Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - September 2

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - 4 hours 6 min ago
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Using all of the letters A to Z, each once only, complete these words:

*e*er
**eue
**o
ma*
*p*a*e*
*erso*
***k*am*on
*ouse
*a*
*ur*
***igent

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - September 2 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - 4 hours 6 min ago
BrainBashers Daily Sudoku



Complete the grid such that every row, every column, and the nine 3x3 blocks contain the digits from 1 to 9.

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Game - September 2

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - 4 hours 6 min ago
BrainBashers Daily Game

Sketchy
   Extreme snow sledding.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

BrainBashers RSS Feed - Unsubscribe?

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - 4 hours 6 min ago
To unsubscribe from the BrainBashers RSS feed please view the notes on BrainBashers.
Categories: Fun Stuff

September 2, 1969: First ATM opens for business

This Day in History - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1969, America's first automatic teller machine (ATM) makes its public debut, dispensing cash to customers at Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York. ATMs went on to revolutionize the banking industry, eliminating the need to visit a bank to conduct basic financial transactions. By the 1980s, these money machines had become widely popular and handled many of the functions previously performed by human tellers, such as check deposits and money transfers between accounts. Today, ATMs are as indispensable to most people as cell phones and e-mail.

Several inventors worked on early versions of a cash-dispensing machine, but Don Wetzel, an executive at Docutel, a Dallas company that developed automated baggage-handling equipment, is generally credited as coming up with the idea for the modern ATM. Wetzel reportedly conceived of the concept while waiting on line at a bank. The ATM that debuted in New York in 1969 was only able to give out cash, but in 1971, an ATM that could handle multiple functions, including providing customers' account balances, was introduced.

ATMs eventually expanded beyond the confines of banks and today can be found everywhere from gas stations to convenience stores to cruise ships. There is even an ATM at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Non-banks lease the machines (so-called "off premise" ATMs) or own them outright.

Today there are well over 1 million ATMs around the world, with a new one added approximately every five minutes. It's estimated that more than 170 Americans over the age of 18 had an ATM card in 2005 and used it six to eight times a month. Not surprisingly, ATMs get their busiest workouts on Fridays.

In the 1990s, banks began charging fees to use ATMs, a profitable move for them and an annoying one for consumers. Consumers were also faced with an increase in ATM crimes and scams. Robbers preyed on people using money machines in poorly lit or otherwise unsafe locations, and criminals also devised ways to steal customers' PINs (personal identification numbers), even setting up fake money machines to capture the information. In response, city and state governments passed legislation such as New York's ATM Safety Act in 1996, which required banks to install such things as surveillance cameras, reflective mirrors and locked entryways for their ATMs.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - September 1

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 7:25pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

In this sequence, which planet would be listed last:

Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Earth Mars ... ... ==?==

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - September 1 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 7:25pm
BrainBashers Daily Sudoku



Complete the grid such that every row, every column, and the nine 3x3 blocks contain the digits from 1 to 9.

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Game - September 1

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 7:25pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Parking Perfection 4
   Play new levels of parking car fun that's more realistic and more playable than ever.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

impregnable

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 01, 2014 is:

impregnable • \im-PREG-nuh-bul\  • adjective
1 : incapable of being taken by assault : unconquerable 2 : unassailable; also : impenetrable

Examples:
"The castle was built on the corner of a great rock, so that on three sides it was quite impregnable…." — Bram Stoker, Dracula, 1897

"He is too generous in his assessment of Lee's disastrous frontal attacks at the Battle of Malvern Hill that capped the Seven Days campaign, and his equally futile assault—now famous as Pickett's Charge—on another impregnable federal position at Gettysburg, in 1863." — Fergus M. Bordewich, The New York Times, June 29, 2014

Did you know?
Since the days when the Norman French ruled England, English-speakers have been captured by the allure of French terms. Impregnable is one of the many English words that bear a French ancestry. It derives from the Middle French verb prendre, which means "to take or capture." Combining prendre with various prefixes has given our language many other words, too, including surprise, reprise and enterprise.

Categories: Fun Stuff

September 1, 1864: Atlanta falls to Union forces

This Day in History - Sun, 08/31/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1864, Union Army General William Tecumseh Sherman lays siege to Atlanta, Georgia, a critical Confederate hub, shelling civilians and cutting off supply lines. The Confederates retreated, destroying the city's munitions as they went. On November 15 of that year, Sherman's troops burned much of the city before continuing their march through the South. Sherman's Atlanta campaign was one of the most decisive victories of the Civil War.

William Sherman, born May 8, 1820, in Lancaster, Ohio, attended West Point and served in the army before becoming a banker and then president of a military school in Louisiana. When the Civil War broke out in 1861 after 11 Southern slave states seceded from the Union, Sherman joined the Union Army and eventually commanded large numbers of troops, under General Ulysses S. Grant, at the battles of Shiloh (1862), Vicksburg (1863) and Chattanooga (1863). In the spring of 1864, Sherman became supreme commander of the armies in the West and was ordered by Grant to take the city of Atlanta, then a key military supply center and railroad hub for the Confederates.

Sherman's Atlanta campaign began on May 4, 1864, and in the first few months his troops engaged in several fierce battles with Confederate soldiers on the outskirts of the city, including the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, which the Union forces lost. However, on September 1, Sherman's men successfully captured Atlanta and continued to defend it through mid-November against Confederate forces led by John Hood. Before he set off on his famous March to the Sea on November 15, Sherman ordered that Atlanta's military resources, including munitions factories, clothing mills and railway yards, be burned. The fire got out of control and left Atlanta in ruins.

Sherman and 60,000 of his soldiers then headed toward Savannah, Georgia, destroying everything in their path that could help the Confederates. They captured Savannah and completed their March to the Sea on December 23, 1864. The Civil War ended on April 9, 1865, when the Confederate commander in chief, Robert E. Lee, surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia.

After the war, Sherman succeeded Grant as commander in chief of the U.S. Army, serving from 1869 to 1883. Sherman, who is credited with the phrase "war is hell," died February 14, 1891, in New York City. The city of Atlanta swiftly recovered from the war and became the capital of Georgia in 1868, first on a temporary basis and then permanently by popular vote in 1877.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - August 31

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 08/31/2014 - 7:11pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Which letter is missing from this sequence:

B C D G P T V

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - August 31 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 08/31/2014 - 7:11pm
BrainBashers Daily Sudoku



Complete the grid such that every row, every column, and the nine 3x3 blocks contain the digits from 1 to 9.

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Game - August 31

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 08/31/2014 - 7:11pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Turkey To Go
   Guide your turkey around collecting feathers, but watch out for that fork!
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Seth Hoffman

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 08/31/2014 - 7:00pm
"Rules are just helpful guidelines for stupid people who can't make up their own minds."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Eddie Izzard

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 08/31/2014 - 7:00pm
"If you're choking in a restaurant you can just say the magic words, 'Heimlich maneuver,' and all will be well. Trouble is, it's difficult to say 'Heimlich maneuver' when you're choking to death."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Frank Lloyd Wright

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 08/31/2014 - 7:00pm
"Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Erica Jong

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 08/31/2014 - 7:00pm
"Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't."
Categories: Fun Stuff

permutation

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sun, 08/31/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 31, 2014 is:

permutation • \per-myoo-TAY-shun\  • noun
1 : often major or fundamental change (as in character or condition) based primarily on rearrangement of existent elements; also : a form or variety resulting from such change 2 a : the act or process of changing the lineal order of an ordered set of objects b : an ordered arrangement of a set of objects

Examples:
The policy went through a number of permutations before the committee settled on its final version.

"There are grilled cheeses with pierogi, hamburger patties, jerk shrimp and crabmeat. They use gouda, beer cheese, buffalo mozzarella and provolone. The permutations are potentially limitless." — Dan Gigler, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 31, 2014

Did you know?
Permutation has not changed all that much since it was borrowed into Middle English from Anglo-French in the 14th century as permutacioun, meaning "exchange, transformation." Permutacioun traces back to the Latin verb permutare, meaning "to change thoroughly, exchange," and ultimately derives from the Latin mutare, "to change." Other descendants of mutare in English include commute, mutant, and mutual. Permutation also has a specific application in the field of mathematics relating to the ordering of a given set of objects. For example, permutations of items a, b, and c are abc, acb, bac, etc.

Categories: Fun Stuff

August 31, 1980: Polish government signs accord with Gdansk shipyard workers

This Day in History - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1980, representatives of the communist government of Poland agree to the demands of striking shipyard workers in the city of Gdansk. Former electrician Lech Walesa led the striking workers, who went on to form Solidarity, the first independent labor union to develop in a Soviet bloc nation.

In July 1980, facing economic crisis, Poland's government raised the price of food and other goods, while curbing the growth of wages. The price hikes made it difficult for many Poles to afford basic necessities, and a wave of strikes swept the country. Amid mounting tensions, a popular forklift operator named Anna Walentynowicz was fired from the Lenin Shipyard in the northern Polish city of Gdansk. In mid-August, some 17,000 of the shipyard's workers began a sit-down strike to campaign for her reinstatement, as well as for a modest increase in wages. They were led by the former shipyard electrician Lech Walesa, who had himself been fired for union activism four years earlier.

Despite governmental censorship and attempts to keep news of the strike from getting out, similar protests broke out in industrial cities throughout Poland. On August 17, an Interfactory Strike Committee presented the Polish government with 21 ambitious demands, including the right to organize independent trade unions, the right to strike, the release of political prisoners and increased freedom of expression. Fearing the general strike would lead to a national revolt, the government sent a commission to Gdansk to negotiate with the rebellious workers. On August 31, Walesa and Deputy Premier Mieczyslaw Jagielski signed an agreement giving in to many of the workers' demands. Walesa signed the document with a giant ballpoint pen decorated with a picture of the newly elected Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla, the former archbishop of Krakow).

In the wake of the Gdansk strike, leaders of the Interfactory Strike Committee voted to create a single national trade union known as Solidarnosc (Solidarity), which soon evolved into a mass social movement, with a membership of more than 10 million people. Solidarity attracted sympathy from Western leaders and hostility from Moscow, where the Kremlin considered a military invasion of Poland. In late 1981, under Soviet pressure, the government of General Wojciech Jaruzelski annulled the recognition of Solidarity and declared martial law in Poland. Some 6,000 Solidarity activists were arrested, including Walesa, who was detained for almost a year. The Solidarity movement moved underground, where it continued to enjoy support from international leaders such as U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who imposed sanctions on Poland. Walesa was awarded the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize, and after the fall of communism in 1989 he became the first president of Poland ever to be elected by popular vote.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Gerald R. Ford

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 7:00pm
"Things are more like they are now than they have ever been."
Categories: Fun Stuff