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."
Categories: Fun Stuff

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

September 17, 1862: Battle of Antietam

This Day in History - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 11:00pm

Beginning early on the morning of this day in 1862, Confederate and Union troops in the Civil War clash near Maryland's Antietam Creek in the bloodiest one-day battle in American history.

The Battle of Antietam marked the culmination of Confederate General Robert E. Lee's first invasion of the Northern states. Guiding his Army of Northern Virginia across the Potomac River in early September 1862, the great general daringly divided his men, sending half of them, under the command of General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, to capture the Union garrison at Harper's Ferry.

President Abraham Lincoln put Major General George B. McClellan in charge of the Union troops responsible for defending Washington, D.C., against Lee's invasion. McClellan's Army of the Potomac clashed first with Lee's men on September 14, with the Confederates forced to retreat after being blocked at the passes of South Mountain. Though Lee considered turning back toward Virginia, news of Jackson's capture of Harper's Ferry reached him on September 15. That victory convinced him to stay and make a stand near Sharpsburg, Maryland.

Over the course of September 15 and 16, the Confederate and Union armies gathered on opposite sides of Antietam Creek. On the Confederate side, Jackson commanded the left flank with General James Longstreet at the head of the center and right. McClellan's strategy was to attack the enemy left, then the right, and finally, when either of those movements met with success, to move forward in the center.

When fighting began in the foggy dawn hours of September 17, this strategy broke down into a series of uncoordinated advances by Union soldiers under the command of Generals Joseph Hooker, Joseph Mansfield and Edwin Sumner. As savage and bloody combat continued for eight hours across the region, the Confederates were pushed back but not beaten, despite sustaining some 15,000 casualties. At the same time, Union General Ambrose Burnside opened an attack on the Confederate right, capturing the bridge that now bears his name around 1 p.m. Burnside's break to reorganize his men allowed Confederate reinforcements to arrive, turning back the Union advance there as well.

By the time the sun went down, both armies still held their ground, despite staggering combined casualties--nearly 23,000 of the 100,000 soldiers engaged, including almost 4,000 dead. McClellan's center never moved forward, leaving a large number of Union troops that did not participate in the battle. On the morning of September 18, both sides gathered their wounded and buried their dead. That night, Lee turned his forces back to Virginia. His retreat gave President Lincoln the moment he had been waiting for to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, a historic document that turned the Union effort in the Civil War into a fight for the abolition of slavery.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - September 16

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 10:54pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Name three consecutive days without using the words Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - September 16 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 10:54pm
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 16

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 10:54pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Hide Caesar
   Drop objects to shelter the Roman coin from a hail of pebbles.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

pell-mell

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Tue, 09/16/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 16, 2014 is:

pell-mell • \pel-MEL\  • adverb
1 : in mingled confusion or disorder 2 : in confused haste

Examples:
After the final bell of the day rang, the pupils bolted from their desks and ran pell-mell out the door into the schoolyard.

"So Congress has been racing pell-mell this month to fix this crisis that’s been simmering for two decades. And what they’ve come up with is a Rube Goldberg contraption even by their usual convoluted standards." — Danny Westneat, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin (Washington), July 18, 2014

Did you know?
The word pell-mell was probably formed through a process called reduplication. The process—which involves the repetition of a word or part of a word, often including a slight change in its pronunciation—also generated such terms as bowwow, helter-skelter, flip-flop, and chitchat. Yet another product of reduplication is shilly-shally, which started out as a single-word compression of the question "Shall I?" For pell-mell, the process is believed to have occurred long ago: our word traces to a Middle French word of the same meaning, pelemele, which was likely a product of reduplication from Old French mesle, a form of mesler, meaning "to mix."

Categories: Fun Stuff

September 16, 1932: Gandhi begins fast in protest of caste separation

This Day in History - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1932, in his cell at Yerovda Jail near Bombay, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi begins a hunger strike in protest of the British government's decision to separate India's electoral system by caste.

A leader in the Indian campaign for home rule, Gandhi worked all his life to spread his own brand of passive resistance across India and the world. By 1920, his concept of Satyagraha (or "insistence upon truth") had made Gandhi an enormously influential figure for millions of followers. Jailed by the British government from 1922-24, he withdrew from political action for a time during the 1920s but in 1930 returned with a new civil disobedience campaign. This landed Gandhi in prison again, but only briefly, as the British made concessions to his demands and invited him to represent the Indian National Congress Party at a round-table conference in London.

After his return to India in January 1932, Gandhi wasted no time beginning another civil disobedience campaign, for which he was jailed yet again. Eight months later, Gandhi announced he was beginning a "fast unto death" in order to protest British support of a new Indian constitution, which gave the country's lowest classes--known as "untouchables"--their own separate political representation for a period of 70 years. Gandhi believed this would permanently and unfairly divide India's social classes. A member of the more powerful Vaisya, or merchant caste, Gandhi nonetheless advocated the emancipation of the untouchables, whom he called Harijans, or "Children of God."

"This is a god-given opportunity that has come to me," Gandhi said from his prison cell at Yerovda, "to offer my life as a final sacrifice to the downtrodden." Though other public figures in India--including Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambdekar, the official political representative of the untouchables--had questioned Gandhi's true commitment to the lower classes, his six-day fast ended after the British government accepted the principal terms of a settlement between higher caste Indians and the untouchables that reversed the separation decision.

As India slowly moved towards independence, Gandhi's influence only grew. He continued to resort to the hunger strike as a method of resistance, knowing the British government would not be able to withstand the pressure of the public's concern for the man they called Mahatma, or "Great Soul." On January 12, 1948, Gandhi undertook his last successful fast in New Delhi, to persuade Hindus and Muslims in that city to work toward peace. On January 30, less than two weeks after breaking that fast, he was assassinated by a Hindu extremist on his way to an evening prayer meeting.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - September 15

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 10:40pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

How quickly can you find the answer to:

5  x  4  x  3  x  ...  x  -3  x  -4  x  -5

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - September 15 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 10:40pm
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