Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Thursday Quiz LXXVI

The Thursday Quiz!

The Thursday Quiz is a twelve item is-it-or-isn't-it test of your knowledge, reasoning, stamina, and moxie!

Remember always the Fundamental Rules of the Thursday Quiz:

1. The Thursday Quiz is a POP quiz. No research, Googling, Wikiing, or use of reference books. Violators will never be able to look at themselves in the mirror again.

2. Don't get all stressed out about it! It's supposed to be fun!

Abraham Lincoln!

Twelve statements about the great President of the United States. But which of them IS true, and which ones ISN'T -- and are, in fact, just so much poppycock5000?

1. Lincoln really was born in a one-room Kentucky log cabin.

2. After failing at several business ventures, including selling whiskey, Lincoln found a cheap second-hand set of law books and used them to train himself as an attorney.

3. As a first-term U.S. Representative, Lincoln was a vocal opponent of the Mexican War. This position was so unpopular that it not only made it impossible for him to run for re-election, but temporarily ended his political career.

4. President Taylor offered Lincoln the governorship of the Oregon Territory. Rather than accept a post in such a remote backwater, however, Lincoln chose to return to his private law practice in Illinois.

5. In Lincoln's most important legal case, Hurd v. Rock Island Bridge Company, he was able to establish the legality of bridges, which boat and barge companies had disputed in some cases as "hazards to navigation."

6. Though healthy and vigorous throughout his life, Lincoln was at 68 the oldest man to have assumed the Presidency up to that time.

7. Before the outbreak of the Civil War, Lincoln was actually fairly popular in the South. Out of 996 counties in the southern states, Lincoln won a majority of the vote in a respectable 360.

8. The Southern states succeeded to form the Confederacy after Lincoln's first year in office, in a protest of his vigorous efforts to restrict the practice of slavery.

9. Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, one of the most important speeches in American history, was discovered in the 1990s to have been cribbed in large part from a soliloquy by the obscure British playwright John Fletcher.

10. Lincoln insisted on being directly involved with Union strategy during the Civil War, despite his lack of real military training. However, he is generally considered to have performed as well or better than most of his generals in this regard.

11. Lincoln's three terms of office make him the only President other than Franklin Roosevelt to have served more than two terms in the Oval Office.

12. Abraham Lincoln had four children, but only one of them survived into adulthood.


Submit your answers in the comments.

17 comments:

Elizabeth said...

1. No.
2. Yes.
3. Yes.
4. No.
5. No.
6. Yes.
7. Yes.
8. No.
9. No.
10. Yes.
11. No.
12. Yes.

Honestly, Abe, I'm guessing here.

DrSchnell said...

1. yes
2. yes
3. no
4. no
5. yes
6. no
7. no
8. no
9. no
10. no
11. no
12. yes

I'm sure I have too many nos there. Oh well.

The Calico Cat said...

1. yes
2. yes
3. yes
4. no
5. yes
6. no
7. no
8. yes
9. no
10. no
11. no
12. yes

mrs.5000 said...

We'll see if having spent my early years in the Land of Lincoln is any help here--
1 yes
2 At the FOL book sale? Let's say yes
3 yes
4 yes!
5 Too good to be true. no
6 no
7 yes?
8 no
9 Fletcher! As if! Methinks no.
10 yes
11 no
12 no

Critical Bill said...

1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes
4. Yes
5. Yes
6. No
7. No
8. No
9. No
10. No
11. No
12. No

KarmaSartre said...

Since I got up on the wrong end of the bed, I'll say NO to all 12.

Kadonkadonk said...

1 True
2 True
3 True?
4 True?
5 False?
6 False?
7 True
8 False
9 God do I hope it's False
10 True
11 False
12 True

Hmmm, let's see if my guessing game will hold up this week!

MJ said...

it's not fair! i'm trying to behave and remember when it's quiz day :(
who cares, i'm answering!
1. is
2. is
3. isn't
4. is
5. is
6. isn't
7. is
8. is
9. isn't
10. isn't
11. isn't
12. is

LegalMist said...

The devil is in the details, isn't it? For so many of them, I'm sure the answer is partly true, but not sure about the rest. For others, I simply haven't a clue. Here are my best guesses (without research, I promise!)

1. True
2. True
3. True?
4. Poppycock5000
5. Poppycock5000
6. Poppycock5000
7. True
8. Poppycock5000
9. Poppycock5000
10. True
11. Poppycock5000
12. True

d said...

wait. was he the one who chopped down the tree> with a hacksaw or something?

1y // 2y // 3n // 4n // 5y (if it's not true, i want it to be) // 6n // 7y // 8n (do you mean seceded or succeeded? sorry. i'm an a-hole.) // 9n // 10y // 11n // 12y

Ben said...

1. No
2. Yes
3. No
4. Yes!
5. Yes
6. No
7. Yes
8. Yes
9. No
10. Yes
11. No
12. Yes

Has anyone calculated the odds of getting all 12 answers correct when guessing yes or no?

Michael5000 said...

OK, here goes:

1. Log cabin? YES

2.Found a cheap second-hand set of law books and used them to train himself as an attorney? YES. (An event cited in Connie Willis' "To Say Nothing of the Dog" as, essentially, a highly convincing instance of chaos theory in action.)

3. Vocal opponent of the Mexican War? YEP.

4. Governorship of the Oregon Territory? YES. Just think, McLaughlin Blvd. might have been Lincoln Blvd.

5. Hurd v. Rock Island Bridge Company and the legality of bridges? YES.

6. The oldest man to have assumed the Presidency? NOPE. He was only 51.

7. Won a majority of the vote in 360 Southern Counties? NO, of course not. The number was closer to, um.... 2.

8. The Southern states succeeded in a protest of Lincoln's first year? NO. The Confederacy was already in action by the time Lincoln took office.

9. The Gettysburg Address is by John Fletcher? NO. It is by Abraham Lincoln.

10. Lincoln as general? YES. There's a lot of room for argument about Lincoln's capabilities as a military strategist, but general acceptance than he was better than most of his actual generals, especially for the first few years of the war.

11. Lincoln's three terms of office? NO. He only made it a year into his second.

12. Abraham Lincoln had four children, but only one of them survived into adulthood? YES. His last descendant died in the 1980s, if I remember right.

Michael5000 said...

Critical Bill strikes Gold this week, taking home the TQLXXVI top honors. It's his sixth time in the Thursday winners circle, and his first Gold Star.

Kadonkadonk continues her dream season by taking the Silver Star, her third. She has now taken Thursday Stars three weeks in a row and five weeks out of the last seven, and will be hard to beat in the race for the 8th Season title.

The Blue Star goes to the always-dangerous DrSchnell; it's his 6th and his 26th Star overall.

Four Green Stars this week, going to Calico Cat, Mrs.5000, LegalMist, and d.

The big news on the leaderboard is that the mighty Rex Parker, who dominated the early seasons of the Thursday Quiz and maintained his lead through 75 weeks of competition, has finally been surpassed by not one but two perennial Quizzers. With DrSchnell and Mrs.5000 both taking their 26th Stars this week, Rex drops from the lead for the first time, all the way to third.

Michael5000 said...

@MJ: It's true, some of these quizzes do have -- shall we say -- a slight North American bias. But I sure do, you know, value our international readers! (There was a question a few weeks back about the Carnation Revolution that I bet you would have NAILED!!!)

@LM: Some Quizzes are designed for knowledge, some for best guesses. This was definitely a best guesses Quiz.

@Karma: I wouldn't put it past me. Except that I have a few rules, which I shall now disclose for the hell of it: 1) there are always at least three IS's. 2) There are always at least three ISN'T's. 3) I dislike for there to be six and six, and have only allowed this to happen two or three times.

@d: It wasn't Lincoln who didn't really chop down an apple tree. It was Washington who didn't really chop down an apple tree. And: do I mean seceded or succeeded? Damn, I have no idea....

@Ben: Not hard to calculate: 2 ^ 12, which is 1:4096. High enough to make me feel like it's more a game of skill than a game of chance.

Thanks for playing everyone!

MJ said...

hey, i wasn't complaining about the quiz at all, only about my memory's timing :(
i believe we are in this world to learn, and now i know a bit more about Lincoln, so thank you! (although i'll probably have forgotten everything by tomorrow)

Critical Bill said...

This is a great day. The first day of Spring and finally getting over the hump on one these damn quizzes. I am bummed that I forgot one dead child. And while it will seem churlish I think #10 is debatable. Lincoln's biggest problem for the first three years of the war was that he did not force his generals to follow his strategy or tactics. His tried to hint them into action with predictably dismal results. His strategic thinking (e.g. Lee's army as a goal rather than territory) was sound, it just wasn't forced on his generals.

Michael5000 said...

@MJ: Cheers. And thanks for the feedback on "Comelana" -- I love knowing stuff like that.

@Bill: A great day indeed. RE: Lincoln as strategist -- that's my understanding as well, you're just doing a much better job than me of expressing it.

Also, "Tad" Lincoln died at 18, so you could make a reasonable case that that constitutes "surviving into adulthood." I meant to replace that question, but forgot about the problem at post-time.