Fun Stuff

velar

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - 4 hours 4 min ago

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 19, 2014 is:

velar • \VEE-ler\  • adjective
1 : formed with the back of the tongue touching or near the soft palate 2 : of, forming, or relating to a velum and especially the soft palate

Examples:
The word "keg" contains two velar consonants, "k" and "g."

"Those throat-clearing sounds you hear in German? That's the voiceless velar fricative, and it adds a wonderful percussiveness to '99 Luftbalons.' English speakers don't have it; it's one reason the Anglicized version of Nena's 1984 hit falls flat." — William Weir, Slate, November 8, 2012

Did you know?
Velar is ultimately derived from Latin velum (meaning "curtain" or "veil"), which was itself adopted into English by way of New Latin as a word for the soft palate (the fold at the back of the hard palate—palate, by the way, refers to the roof of the mouth—that partially separates the mouth from the pharynx). Velar is used by phonologists to refer to the position of the tongue in relation to the soft palate when making certain sounds. Other terms for what phonologists refer to as "places of articulation" are palatal (tongue against the roof of the mouth), dental (tongue against the upper teeth), and alveolar (tongue against the inner surface of the gums of the upper front teeth).

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - September 18

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:22pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

10     100     1,000     10,000

Which number comes after 10,000?

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - September 18 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:22pm
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 18

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:22pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Less Quick
   Click the objects in the correct order before time runs out. With unlimited lives for those who are not fast enough.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

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BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:22pm
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September 19, 1957: Nevada is site of first-ever underground nuclear explosion

This Day in History - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1957, the United States detonates a 1.7 kiloton nuclear weapon in an underground tunnel at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), a 1,375 square mile research center located 65 miles north of Las Vegas. The test, known as Rainier, was the first fully contained underground detonation and produced no radioactive fallout. A modified W-25 warhead weighing 218 pounds and measuring 25.7 inches in diameter and 17.4 inches in length was used for the test. Rainier was part of a series of 29 nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons safety tests known as Operation Plumbbob that were conducted at the NTS between May 28, 1957, and October 7, 1957.

In December 1941, the U.S. government committed to building the world's first nuclear weapon when President Franklin Roosevelt authorized $2 billion in funding for what came to be known as the Manhattan Project. The first nuclear weapon test took place on July 16, 1945, at the Trinity site near Alamogordo, New Mexico. A few weeks later, on August 6, 1945, with the U.S. at war against Japan, President Harry Truman authorized the dropping of an atomic bomb named Little Boy over Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later, on August 9, a nuclear bomb called Fat Man was dropped over Nagasaki. Two hundred thousand people, according to some estimates, were killed in the attacks on the two cities and on August 15, 1945, Japan surrendered to the Allied Powers.

1957's Operation Plumbbob took place at a time when the U.S. was engaged in a Cold War and nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union. In 1963, the U.S. signed the Limited Test Ban Treaty, which banned nuclear weapons testing in the atmosphere, underwater and outer space. A total of 928 tests took place at the Nevada Test Site between 1951 and 1992, when the U.S. conducted its last underground nuclear test. In 1996, the U.S signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which prohibits nuclear detonations in all environments.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Frank Herbert

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 7:00pm
"The people I distrust most are those who want to improve our lives but have only one course of action."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Andy Rooney

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 7:00pm
"Making duplicate copies and computer printouts of things no one wanted even one of in the first place is giving America a new sense of purpose."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Joe Theismann

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 7:00pm
"Nobody in the game of football should be called a genius. A genius is somebody like Norman Einstein."
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Caskie Stinnett

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 7:00pm
"A diplomat... is a person who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip."
Categories: Fun Stuff

hegemony

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 18, 2014 is:

hegemony • \hih-JEM-uh-nee\  • noun
1 : dominant influence or authority over others 2 : the social, cultural, ideological, or economic influence exerted by a dominant group

Examples:
Consumers welcomed the diversification of the software market as smaller innovators challenged the hegemony of the large companies.

"In the novel, a United States aircraft carrier group is sunk in the Pacific Ocean by a mysterious wing of fighter jets, later revealed to bear the red star of the Soviet forces from the parallel dimension, crossing over into our world to turn back the tide of American hegemony." — Andrew E. Kramer, The New York Times, August 20, 2014

Did you know?
Hegemony comes to English from the Greek hēgemonia, a noun formed from the verb hēgeisthai ("to lead"), which also gave us the word exegesis ("exposition" or "explanation"). The word was first used in English in the mid-16th century in reference to the control once wielded by the ancient Greek states, and it was reapplied in later centuries as other nations subsequently rose to power. By the 20th century, it had acquired a second sense referring to the social or cultural influence wielded by a dominant member over others of its kind, such as the domination within an industry by a business conglomerate over smaller businesses.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - September 17

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 11:08pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

My wonderful BrainBashers printer has made a pig's ear out of my latest puzzle. In each sentence below, one letter in each word has been misprinted. Can you find the original sentences?

O bord is she land in eorth too is she push.
She barly bind watches she warm.
I tolling stonk rathers to mops.
Thy grans in alwags greeter in thy otter wide.

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - September 17 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 11:08pm
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 17

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 11:08pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Beetle Wars
   Fight for beetle supremacy in this exciting beetle war game!
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

September 18, 1793: Capitol cornerstone is laid

This Day in History - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1793, George Washington lays the cornerstone to the United States Capitol building, the home of the legislative branch of American government. The building would take nearly a century to complete, as architects came and went, the British set fire to it and it was called into use during the Civil War. Today, the Capitol building, with its famous cast-iron dome and important collection of American art, is part of the Capitol Complex, which includes six Congressional office buildings and three Library of Congress buildings, all developed in the 19th and 20th centuries.

As a young nation, the United States had no permanent capital, and Congress met in eight different cities, including Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia, before 1791. In 1790, Congress passed the Residence Act, which gave President Washington the power to select a permanent home for the federal government. The following year, he chose what would become the District of Columbia from land provided by Maryland. Washington picked three commissioners to oversee the capital city's development and they in turn chose French engineer Pierre Charles L'Enfant to come up with the design. However, L'Enfant clashed with the commissioners and was fired in 1792. A design competition was then held, with a Scotsman named William Thornton submitting the winning entry for the Capitol building. In September 1793, Washington laid the Capitol's cornerstone and the lengthy construction process, which would involve a line of project managers and architects, got under way.

In 1800, Congress moved into the Capitol's north wing. In 1807, the House of Representatives moved into the building's south wing, which was finished in 1811. During the War of 1812, the British invaded Washington, D.C., and set fire to the Capitol on August 24, 1814. A rainstorm saved the building from total destruction. Congress met in nearby temporary quarters from 1815 to 1819. In the early 1850s, work began to expand the Capitol to accommodate the growing number of Congressmen. In 1861, construction was temporarily halted while the Capitol was used by Union troops as a hospital and barracks. Following the war, expansions and modern upgrades to the building continued into the next century.

Today, the Capitol, which is visited by 3 million to 5 million people each year, has 540 rooms and covers a ground area of about four acres.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Henny Youngman

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 7:00pm
"My Grandmother is over eighty and still doesn't need glasses. Drinks right out of the bottle."
Categories: Fun Stuff

William Faulkner

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 7:00pm
"The artist doesn't have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don't have the time to read reviews."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Carl Reiner

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 7:00pm
"A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Jonathan Winters

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 7:00pm
"Nothing is impossible. Some things are just less likely than others."
Categories: Fun Stuff

olfactory

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 17, 2014 is:

olfactory • \ahl-FAK-tuh-ree\  • adjective
: of, relating to, or connected with the sense of smell

Examples:
The aroma of cinnamon rolls coming from the kitchen served as an enticing olfactory clue that breakfast was almost ready.

"First things first, it has to be said that the place smells like an aromatic candle. Equal parts cedar, pine, campfire, and patchouli, with a dash of earthiness, Awendaw Green is an olfactory wonderland." — Kirsten Schofield, Charleston City Paper, August 19, 2014

Did you know?
Olfactory derives from the past participle of the Latin olfacere, which means "to smell" and which was formed from the verb olēre (also "to smell") and facere ("to do"). Olfactory is a word that often appears in scientific contexts (as in "olfactory nerves," the nerves that pass from the nose to the brain and contain the receptors that make smelling possible), but it has occasionally branched out into less specialized contexts. The pleasant smell of spring flowers, for example, might be considered an "olfactory delight." A related word, olfaction, is a noun referring to the sense of smell or the act or process of smelling.

Categories: Fun Stuff