Batting 100,000. June 30, 2009Posted by ourfriendben in Ben Franklin, Uncategorized, wit and wisdom.
Tags: Benjamin Franklin, blog milestones, Founding Fathers, Poor Richard's Almanac
The day has finally arrived that our friend Ben, Silence Dogood, and Richard Saunders have been looking forward to since we started Poor Richard’s Almanac back in February 2008 and realized that other people were willing to read it besides us, even though a) you really do have to read it and b) we’re such Luddites we can’t even take a decent photo, much less upload one: This morning, our Word Press stats revealed that our blog had welcomed its 100,125th visit.* (Other stats: 675 posts; 2,988 comments; 5,757 wretched pieces of spam; and 3054 views so far of our most popular post, “To thine own self be true.”)
We promised some fun when we passed 100,000, so today we’re going to give you two quizzes, one to test your knowledge of us and the blog, and the second, courtesy of Richard, to test your knowledge of the Founding Fathers, who as you may recall play a significant role in our proceedings. And at the end, we’ll reveal exciting prizes for a few lucky winners! (Silence steps up to remind our friend Ben that excitement is in the eye of the beholder. She suggested the word “wacky” as a more accurate description. Whatever.) Let’s get started:
How well do you know Poor Richard’s Almanac? Answer these multiple-choice questions to find out:
1. Our hero and blog mentor is:
a) Homer Simpson
b) Ebenezer Scrooge
c) Benjamin Franklin
d) Mr. Darcy
2. The cottage where Silence Dogood and our friend Ben live is named:
a) Poor Richard’s
b) Hawk’s Haven
c) Raptor’s Retreat
d) Rose Haven
3) We call ourselves Luddites because:
a) it takes all three of us to screw in a lightbulb
b) we belong to a little-known sect of Puritans who were believed to have died out in the 17th century
c) we’re technological incompetents
d) the asylum where we’re confined thought it sounded more dignified than Bedlamites
4. Silence and our friend Ben recently adopted a puppy named:
5. Richard’s three obsessions are Colonial history, backyard birding, and:
a) hot peppers
b) his girlfriend Bridget
c) The Wall Street Journal
d) fried chicken
6. Silence loves to cook but hates:
d) stink bugs
7. Our friend Ben collects all but one of the following. Choose the one he doesn’t collect:
b) Pueblo pottery
d) antique chess pieces
8. Silence and our friend Ben now live in Pennsylvania, but they’re originally from:
9. Richard, our friend Ben, and Silence all share an obsession with:
a) reality TV
d) fly fishing
10. Our friend Ben’s dream is to win:
a) the lottery
b) a Gates Foundation grant
c) a Nobel Prize
d) a MacArthur Fellowship
Okay, before moving on to the Founders, let’s see how you did with the PRA quiz. The correct answers are: 1-c, Benjamin Franklin, though Scrooge and Mr. Darcy have their admirers among us, and who doesn’t love a good doughnut?; 2-b; 3-c; 4-c; 5-oops! both a and b are correct (and c and d rank pretty high on the list as well); 6-d, Silence’s epic battles with the hated stinkbugs have provided fodder for many a post; 7-c, Silence says our friend Ben would collect map tacks if had access to a map store, and his collections are really diverse, but if there’s one thing our friend Ben hates, it’s socks; 8-c, Nashville, though they have ancestral claims to all the others, too; 9-b, with c as a close second; 10-all of the above.
But enough about us. Richard is here to provide a test of your knowledge of one of our major inspirations, the Founding Fathers. Let’s see what he’s managed to dig up on them now:
1. Which Founding Fathers weren’t born in America?
a) George Washington and Patrick Henry
b) Paul Revere and John Adams
c) John Hancock and Gouverneur Morris
d) Alexander Hamilton and Tom Paine
2. Which of these men was not in the army with Washington at some point?
a) Alexander Hamilton
b) Daniel Boone
c) Benedict Arnold
d) Davy Crockett
3. Which Founder never left his native shores?
a) George Washington
b) Thomas Jefferson
c) James Madison
d) John Adams
4. Benjamin Franklin’s interest in the public good was perhaps his greatest passion. Which of the following did he not found in the Colonies?
a) the first abolitionist society
b) the first lending library
c) the first volunteer fire department
d) the first medical school
5. It’s well known that Ben Franklin fought to make the wild turkey America’s symbol rather than the bald eagle. Why?
a) he thought too many other countries used eagles as their symbols
b) he valued the turkey as a uniquely American bird
c) he derided eagles as cowardly scavengers
d) he lauded turkeys for their courage and native intelligence
6. Who was the bravest Revolutionary War general on the American side?
a) George Washington
b) Nathanael Greene
c) Benedict Arnold
d) Henry Knox
7. Why was George Washington revered in Europe, even by his enemies?
a) he won the Revolutionary War
b) he was the first President of the United States
c) he was the Father of Our Country
d) he walked away from a crown and an appointment as president for life
8. Who was the most scandalous of the Founding Fathers?
a) Tom Paine
b) Alexander Hamilton
c) Thomas Jefferson
d) Benjamin Franklin
9. Which Founder is least honored today?
a) George Mason
b) Patrick Henry
c) Sam Adams
d) Gouverneur Morris
10. Who’s the best-loved Founder?
a) Benjamin Franklin
b) Thomas Jefferson
c) George Washington
d) Patrick Henry
Ready for the answers? Here you go: 1-d, this could be viewed as a trick question, since none of them were technically born in America, which wasn’t yet an independent country, but for our purposes, we’ll limit the answer to offshore births: Alexander Hamilton was born in Nevis in the British West Indies and Tom Paine in England; 2-d, we don’t tend to think of Daniel Boone as Washington’s contemporary, but he was, and both played a role in the French and Indian Wars, it was Davy Crockett who came to prominence later; 3-c, the fragile Madison dreamed of France but never left America, while even the dour Adams went to both England and France and Washington went to Barbados; 4-Franklin actually founded all of the above; 5-all of the above; 6-c, Benedict Arnold, whose courage was awe-inspiring and was one of the reasons Washington loved him like a son, it was his judgment that was weak while his ego was strong, a fatal combination; 7-d, such a thing had never happened before, and even won the admiration of Washington’s old enemy George III, as well as setting a precedent for America; 8-b, though it’s closely contested: while the scandals that swirled around Ben Franklin were fabrications and exaggerations, Tom Paine’s drunkenness, slovenliness, chronic inability to keep a job, rabble-rousing, and divorce made him a good candidate, and Thomas Jefferson’s long involvement with and scandalous lack of concern for Sally Hemings have made him a figure of controversy in our own time, to say the least, but back in the Founders’ day, it was Hamilton who made the headlines with his notorious adulterous affair and his lurid death in a duel at Aaron Burr’s hands; 9-a, though all the Founders who supported states’ rights and failed to go on to play prominent national roles after the Revolution don’t get the respect of those who did, but George Mason, who was a key player in the early days of unrest and spent long hours discussing strategy with his friends George Washington and James Madison, is all but forgotten today except among historians of the period; 10-a, who else?!
Now that we’ve given your brain and memory a good workout, we’ll admit that we’re not about to keep score. If you want to be eligible for one of our fabulous, uh, far-fetched prizes, all you have to do is let us know in a comment on this post and be willing to give us your e-mail address so we can contact you for your mailing address if you win. Names will be selected at random in a traditional hat drawing, but we do ask that you indicate first and second choices for prizes so you don’t end up with something you don’t want. Note that we wish everyone could be a winner, but we can’t afford the postage, so we’re only pulling three names out of that hat!
Here are the prizes:
+ A bag of fabulous, limited-edition JABO marbles from our friend Ben’s stash
+ Richard’s custom-made Emergency Room Special Hot Pepper Mix
+ An autographed copy of Silence’s book Kick the Clutter
+ A Shiloh-approved recipe for dog treats
+ Silence’s favorite garam masala or curry powder, your choice
Yes, this is more than three prizes for three winners, but we wanted to give you all some options. And we’d like to say an absolutely HUGE thank you to everyone who’s gotten us here!!!
Silence Dogood, our friend Ben, and Richard Saunders
* You’ll note that the SiteMeter on this page does not show 100,125 views or even close. That’s because it took us forever to get the idea to put SiteMeter up on our site, and even longer to ask our techno-savvy friend Nan to actually do it for us. Thank goodness WordPress was counting from the beginning!