Fun Stuff

Benjamin Disraeli

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 07/26/2014 - 7:00pm
"What we anticipate seldom occurs; what we least expected generally happens."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Orson Welles

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 07/26/2014 - 7:00pm
"My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people."
Categories: Fun Stuff

celerity

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sat, 07/26/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 26, 2014 is:

celerity • \suh-LAIR-uh-tee\  • noun
: rapidity of motion or action : swiftness

Examples:
Monica was impressed by the ease and celerity with which the new waiter she had hired could wipe down and set up a table.

"The Common Core entered public discourse suddenly this year, due in large part to the celerity with which the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation financed and coordinated its implementation in 2010." — Micah Meadowcroft, The American Spectator, June 9, 2014

Did you know?
In the novel Of Human Bondage, W. Somerset Maugham tells of an undertaker's shop that used the words "Economy, Celerity, Propriety" as part of a window display involving "silver lettering on a black cloth" and "two model coffins." But "celerity" isn't dead in English writing, where it has proven its vitality since the Middle Ages. Shakespeare used it in Henry V when the chorus recited, "Thus with imagin'd wing our swift scene flies, / In motion of no less celerity / Than that of thought." Benjamin Franklin used it as a synonym of "velocity." And the speedy term (which can be traced back to "celer," a Latin word meaning "swift") is still keeping pace today.

Categories: Fun Stuff

July 26, 1775: U.S. postal system established

This Day in History - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1775, the U.S. postal system is established by the Second Continental Congress, with Benjamin Franklin as its first postmaster general. Franklin (1706-1790) put in place the foundation for many aspects of today's mail system. During early colonial times in the 1600s, few American colonists needed to send mail to each other; it was more likely that their correspondence was with letter writers in Britain. Mail deliveries from across the Atlantic were sporadic and could take many months to arrive. There were no post offices in the colonies, so mail was typically left at inns and taverns. In 1753, Benjamin Franklin, who had been postmaster of Philadelphia, became one of two joint postmasters general for the colonies. He made numerous improvements to the mail system, including setting up new, more efficient colonial routes and cutting delivery time in half between Philadelphia and New York by having the weekly mail wagon travel both day and night via relay teams. Franklin also debuted the first rate chart, which standardized delivery costs based on distance and weight. In 1774, the British fired Franklin from his postmaster job because of his revolutionary activities. However, the following year, he was appointed postmaster general of the United Colonies by the Continental Congress. Franklin held the job until late in 1776, when he was sent to France as a diplomat. He left a vastly improved mail system, with routes from Florida to Maine and regular service between the colonies and Britain. President George Washington appointed Samuel Osgood, a former Massachusetts congressman, as the first postmaster general of the American nation under the new U.S. constitution in 1789. At the time, there were approximately 75 post offices in the country.

Today, the United States has over 40,000 post offices and the postal service delivers 212 billion pieces of mail each year to over 144 million homes and businesses in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, the American Virgin Islands and American Samoa. The postal service is the nation's largest civilian employer, with over 700,000 career workers, who handle more than 44 percent of the world's cards and letters. The postal service is a not-for-profit, self-supporting agency that covers its expenses through postage (stamp use in the United States started in 1847) and related products. The postal service gets the mail delivered, rain or shine, using everything from planes to mules. However, it's not cheap: The U.S. Postal Service says that when fuel costs go up by just one penny, its own costs rise by $8 million.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - July 25

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 10:43pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Can you place a common 4-letter word into each of the brackets to create two longer words, for example:

Question - COOK [....] CASE
Answer   - COOK [BOOK] CASE

The word BOOK creates the words COOKBOOK and BOOKCASE.

DRIFT   [....] WIND
HOME    [....] BENCH
FOOT    [....] MOTHER
JUNK    [....] STICK
MOTH    [....] ROOM
QUARTER [....] GROUND
SPACE   [....] YARD
WILD    [....] BOAT
YOUR    [....] LESS
BACK    [....] FIGHTER

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - July 25 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 10:43pm
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 - July 25

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 10:43pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

BrainBashers Kiosk
   How well can you run BrainBashers Kiosk? A busy corner shop in the tourist season with glasses of lemonade and mugs of hot chocolate.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, and Jed Whedon

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 7:00pm
"Sometimes people are layered like that. There's something totally different underneath than what's on the surface. But sometimes, there's a third, even deeper level, and that one is the same as the top surface one. Like with pie."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Henry David Thoreau

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 7:00pm
"How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Benjamin Franklin

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 7:00pm
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Alan Dean Foster

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 7:00pm
"Freedom is just Chaos, with better lighting."
Categories: Fun Stuff

requisite

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 25, 2014 is:

requisite • \REK-wuh-zut\  • adjective
: essential, necessary

Examples:
The application will not be considered until all of the requisite forms have been submitted.

"This smaller, slightly more upscale pizza shop … has all the requisite Wicker Park trappings: chalkboard menu, exposed brick, communal seating." — Kate Bernot, Chicago Tribune, June 20, 2014

Did you know?
Acquiring an understanding of where today's word comes from won't require a formal inquiry. Without question, the quest begins with Latin "quaerere," which means "to ask" and is an ancestor of a number of English words, including "acquire," "require," "inquiry," "question," "quest," and, of course, "requisite." From "quaerere" came "requirere," meaning "to ask again." Repeated requests can express a need, and the past participle of "requirere," which is "requisitus," came to mean "needed" or "necessary." The English language acquired "requisite" when it was adopted into Middle English back in the 1400s.

Categories: Fun Stuff

July 25, 1978: World's first "test tube baby" born

This Day in History - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1978, Louise Joy Brown, the world's first baby to be conceived via in vitro fertilization (IVF) is born at Oldham and District General Hospital in Manchester, England, to parents Lesley and Peter Brown. The healthy baby was delivered shortly before midnight by caesarean section and weighed in at five pounds, 12 ounces.

Before giving birth to Louise, Lesley Brown had suffered years of infertility due to blocked fallopian tubes. In November 1977, she underwent the then-experimental IVF procedure. A mature egg was removed from one of her ovaries and combined in a laboratory dish with her husband’s sperm to form an embryo. The embryo then was implanted into her uterus a few days later. Her IVF doctors, British gynecologist Patrick Steptoe and scientist Robert Edwards, had begun their pioneering collaboration a decade earlier. Once the media learned of the pregnancy, the Browns faced intense public scrutiny. Louise’s birth made headlines around the world and raised various legal and ethical questions.

The Browns had a second daughter, Natalie, several years later, also through IVF. In May 1999, Natalie became the first IVF baby to give birth to a child of her own. The child’s conception was natural, easing some concerns that female IVF babies would be unable to get pregnant naturally. In December 2006, Louise Brown, the original "test tube baby," gave birth to a boy, Cameron John Mullinder, who also was conceived naturally.

Today, IVF is considered a mainstream medical treatment for infertility. Hundreds of thousands of children around the world have been conceived through the procedure, in some cases with donor eggs and sperm.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - July 24

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 10:29pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Can you find anagrams of the following words:

BINARY
ABROAD
RASCAL
ALTARS
BADGER
BARKED
MARBLE
UNABLE
TABLET
CALLER

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - July 24 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 10:29pm
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 - July 24

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 10:29pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Voodoo Charms
   Clear the grid of charms using bombs.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Peter Blake

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 7:00pm
"Great part of being a grownup, you never have to do anything."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Evan Esar

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 7:00pm
"Zoo: An excellent place to study the habits of human beings."
Categories: Fun Stuff

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 7:00pm
"At 18 our convictions are hills from which we look; At 45 they are caves in which we hide."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Neil Gaiman

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 7:00pm
"It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor."
Categories: Fun Stuff