1. It’s the 424th birthday of the French artist who, influenced by Caravaggio, used extreme contrasts of light and dark on his canvasses, as shown here. What was his name?
2. Today would be the 402nd birthday of Antonio Pignatelli, who grew up to be Pope Innocent XII, the most recent Pope to sport a beard. To symbolize of one of his chief objectives while in office, Innocent XII claimed that “the poor were his nephews.” What did he mean by that?
3. Abigail Powers was born 219 years ago today. As a 20 year old school teacher, she developed an attachment to her oldest student, and the two eventually married. As her husband achieved increasing success, Abigail became the wife of a Congressman, then a Vice President, and then, following the death of Zachary Taylor in 1850, she became the wife of the President of the United States. Sadly, at her last official act in that role – the inauguration of her husband’s successor, Franklin Pierce, in 1853 – she caught a cold that developed into fatal pneumonia.
Who was Abigail Powers’ husband?
4. It’s the 217th anniversary of the birth of Mustafa Reşid Pasha, the 212th Grand Vizier. Of what entity was Mr. Pasha the leader?
5. Percival Lowell would have been 162 years old today. Lowell is famous for predicting the discovery of something that turned out to be exactly where he thought it would be, although since his reasoning was completely wrong this was just a matter of luck. What 20th century discovery was predicted by, and partly named after, Percival Lowell?
6. It is Al Jaffee’s 96th birthday today. His work, like that shown here, is associated with what venerable publication?
7. If he was still alive, Carlos Roberto Reina would be 91 today. In the 1990s, he was president of the country shown here. What’s that country?
8. It’s the 67th birthday of William H. Macy, shown here in his Oscar winning role as Jerry Lundegaard in what film?
9. Adam Clayton turns 57 today. As a teenager in Dublin, he started a band in high school with his friends Larry Mullen, Dave Evans, and Paul Hewson. Their band became popular and is still playing to stadiums today. What’s it called?
10. Spanish-born soccer player Gerard Deulofeu Lázaro, 23 years old today, is currently playing for a team representing the capital of the Lombardy region, probably the largest and almost certainly the wealthiest city in Italy. What’s that city?
Answers go in the comments! If it is anyone's actual birthday, they get a free extra point.
Two weeks ago, The New Monday Quiz celebrated International Polar Bear Day with a quiz about whiteness, which is, like, the color of International Polar Bears. The answers were:
1. Albumen is egg white, when it's at home.
2. The Chicago World's Fair was the White City
3. The disorganized counterrevolutionaries were the Russian "Whites."
4. Those are songs from the White Album
5. The White Cliffs of Dover
6. Mont Blanc. French for white, cf. Saint Blachard!
7. In high-level chess, playing white (and thus going first) is such an advantage that the goal of the player playing black is often to force a draw. So the first part of the quote is "When I am White I win because I am White," which he considers no big deal. Saying he wins with the disadvantage of black because he is Bogolyubov is a profession of chess genius!
8. Slowly fading stars: White Dwarfs
9. Alice ought to have wondered at seeing the White Rabbit.
10. The incredible walking marine mammal is the Polar Bear!!!
There was an awful lot of rightness in the air that day, but the rightest of all were Christine, Doc Schnell, and hometown favorite Mrs.5000. We'll see how they do when they take a swipe at today's quiz with their massive, shaggy white forepaws.