When it comes to Sporcle, curators truly do know best. In this blog series, some of the great curators of Sporcle share their expert opinions on curating, top-notch quizzes, up-and-coming Sporclers, and a wee bit of trivia.
How did you first get involved with Sporcle?
From memory, I stumbled onto a quiz about US Presidents on Facebook (at the time I doubt I would have gotten 10 answers right) around 2008 and finally created an account later on that year. I released a quiz on the first day that quizmaking became an option for users, and even though inspiration hasn’t struck as frequently as I’d have liked since then in regards to quiz creation, I stuck around the site playing lots of quizzes and very rapidly getting very addicted.
Why did you decide to be a curator for your subcategories?
After many years (I’d been here for about 5 years I think by this stage) I somehow stumbled onto the fact that the subcategory World was sitting unattended. After a series of e-mails, and a great sense of dread about entering into the world of curatorships with such a large topic, I applied and surprised myself by getting the spot. I settled in quite quickly and applied almost immediately for the job of Border curator on account of my long-term love of weird borders. There was later a request for spots to be filled during a lull in curator activity, and I jumped aboard Capital and Elements – the former because my affection for geography knows no end, the latter stemming from high school science and memorising the periodic table, dragging me into the world of science.
What’s your favorite trivia fact having to do with your subcategories?
Border: Exclaves, border disputes and more exclaves! Anything to do with unusual (or unusually boring) borders fascinate me. Now that the India-Bangladesh border has been formally tidied up a bit, it is probably the Bir Tawil-Hala’ib Triangle that I find most interesting: a contrasting region between Egypt and Sudan where both claim the fertile Triangle while therefore relegating the sparsely populated desert region to the other.
Capital: With so many to choose from, I would probably pick the fact that Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is the only national capital city to border two other countries (namely Austria and Hungary).
Elements: I only recently discovered this one, but there was an anagram devised in 1999 where 30 elements were spelled out on one side of an equation, and another 30 on the other – not only do the letters on both sides match, but the added atomic numbers also match!
World: Chimborazo, the highest mountain in Ecuador at 6,263 metres (20,548 feet) above sea level is the furthest point from the centre of the Earth despite being more than 2500 metres shorter than Everest. This is simply because the bulge around the equator ensures that the world is sufficiently non-spherical that these sorts of discrepancies can happen. It’s not even the tallest mountain in the Andes.
What are some of your favorite published quizzes from your subcategories?
Border: Finding US states can be hard enough, particularly when one isn’t from America, but throw in a map without any border outlines and then still have to find them, you have yourself a tough, fun quiz: Find the US States – No Outlines Minefield.
Capital: Always hard to ignore the obvious–Capitals of the World–but I’ll add a quiz cut from the same cloth in Progressively Tougher World Capitals.
Elements: Hard to go past the original classic, Periodic Table, but also El_Dandy’s Mixed-Up Periodic Table and brimtown’s Hidden Elements: Countries.
World: Countries of the World is my most played and probably was the greatest hook the site had to offer me …at least until there was the Flags of the World quiz – both all-time favourites.
What are some of your favorite contributed quizzes from your subcategories?
Border: One of the most inventive ways of showing border connections I’ve seen in my life is dotsarecool’s Borders Graph – United States. A great use of the slideshow format by zigga is Peek-A-Bhutan. I’ll also add here kfastic’s Let’s Draw/Find Those Borders series.
Capital: Possibly the most interesting way to blend language and world capitals would be to use the pattern of consonants and vowels as a link, and that’s exactly what was done by Alcas in the Capital Consonant Pattern Puzzle.
Elements: timmylemoine’s Countrelements is a blend of geography and science in a fun, interesting way. goc3 has a fascinating range of clickable periodic table-based quizzes, including Periodic Table Filler – Scrabble Value.
World: Given my responses lower down, I’ll have to here feature teedslaststand, particularly Find The Countries And Dependencies Of The World. Also the blend of countries, flags and borders all in one quiz by michaelgeorgebar: World Flag Maps.
What are your favorite quizzes from an entirely different category?
Anything to do with Queen songs rapidly becomes a favourite (Bohemian Rhapsody, Under Pressure), but also Still Alive from Portal and We Didn’t Start the Fire. Special mention must go to The Sporcler’s Apprentice though.
How can Sporclers in your subcategories best contact you?
Despite the fact that I still have an e-mail address on my profile, it’s almost certainly easiest to message me through the Sporcle Messages system.
Are there any Sporclers whose quizzes you think merit more attention than they get?
One unpublished user who has grabbed my attention recently is Azazello. A recent return to quiz making has provided a range of innovative quizzes that have captured the attention of a few, but deserve to be seen by many more. Also, while they already get a lot of attention, I believe that teedslaststand deserves a lot more – particularly his clickable geography quizzes. They utilise the best map of the world I’ve ever seen on Sporcle with great detail and very useful insets. Almost half of my unpublished favourites all come from teedslaststand, and I could so easily favourite many more.
Haiku or favorite Dad Joke:
Hard to go past a haiku about waking up (blatantly stolen from the internet)–
No no no no no
No no no no no no no
No no no no no