Fun Stuff

Rudyard Kipling

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 6:00pm
"Take everything you like seriously, except yourselves."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Paul Valery

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 6:00pm
"The folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an oracle, is inborn in us."
Categories: Fun Stuff

pelagic

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 12:00am

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

pelagic • \puh-LAJ-ik\  • adjective
: of, relating to, or living or occurring in the open sea : oceanic

Examples:
She is studying to become a marine biologist specializing in pelagic plant life.

"During this time we also have the seasonal migration of pelagic fish from the northern Gulf waters to the Key West area." — Sam O'Briant, The News-Press (Fort Myers, Florida), September 21, 2014

Did you know?
Pelagic comes to us from Greek, via Latin. The Greek word pelagikos became pelagicus in Latin and then pelagic in English. (Pelagikos is derived from pelagos, the Greek word for the sea—it is also a source of archipelago—plus the adjectival suffix -ikos.) Pelagic first showed up in dictionaries in 1656; a definition from that time says that Pelagick (as it was then spelled) meant "of the Sea, or that liveth in the Sea." Over 350 years later, writers are still using pelagic with the same meaning, albeit less frequently than its more familiar synonym oceanic.

Categories: Fun Stuff

November 25, 1952: Mousetrap opens in London

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

"The Mousetrap," a murder-mystery written by the novelist and playwright Agatha Christie, opens at the Ambassadors Theatre in London. The crowd-pleasing whodunit would go on to become the longest continuously running play in history, with more than 10 million people to date attending its more than 20,000 performances in London's West End.

When "The Mousetrap" premiered in 1952, Winston Churchill was British prime minister, Joseph Stalin was Soviet ruler, and Dwight D. Eisenhower was president-elect. Christie, already a hugely successful English mystery novelist, originally wrote the drama for Queen Mary, wife of the late King George V. Initially called "Three Blind Mice," it debuted as a 30-minute radio play on the queen's 80th birthday in 1947. Christie later extended the play and renamed it "The Mousetrap"—a reference to the play-within-a-play performed in William Shakespeare's "Hamlet."

On November 25, 1952, 453 people took their seats in the Ambassadors Theatre for the London premiere of Christie's "Mousetrap." The drama is played out at "Monkswell Manor," whose hosts and guests are snowed in among radio reports of a murderer on the loose. Soon a detective shows up on skis with the terrifying news that the murderer, and probably the next victim, are likely both among their number. Soon the clues and false leads pile as high as the snow. At every curtain call, the individual who has been revealed as the murderer steps forward and tells the audience that they are "partners in crime" and should "keep the secret of the whodunit locked in their heart."

Richard Attenborough and his wife, Sheila Sim, were the first stars of "The Mousetrap." To date, more than 300 actors and actresses have appeared in the roles of the eight characters. David Raven, who played "Major Metcalf" for 4,575 performances, is in the "Guinness Book of World Records" as the world's most durable actor, while Nancy Seabrooke is noted as the world's most patient understudy for 6,240 performances, or 15 years, as the substitute for "Mrs. Boyle."

"The Mousetrap" is not considered Christie's best play, and a prominent stage director once declared that "'The Mousetrap'" should be abolished by an act of Parliament." Nevertheless, the show's popularity has not waned. Asked about its enduring appeal, Christie said, "It is the sort of play you can take anyone to. It is not really frightening. It is not really horrible. It is not really a farce, but it has a little bit of all these things, and perhaps that satisfies a lot of different people." In 1974, after almost 9,000 shows, the play was moved to St. Martin's Theatre, where it remains today. Agatha Christie, who wrote scores of best-selling mystery novels, died in 1976.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - November 24

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 7:47pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

What well known saying is represented by:

Initiate a cursory perusal prior to vaulting.

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - November 24 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 7:47pm
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 - November 24

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 7:47pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Snake Pit
   Catch 20 mice with the snake to progress to the next level.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Laurence J. Peter

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 6:00pm
"There is no stigma attached to recognizing a bad decision in time to install a better one."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Sir Winston Churchill

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 6:00pm
"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Herbert Henry Asquith

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 6:00pm
"Youth would be an ideal state if it came a little later in life."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Steven Wright

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 6:00pm
"I bought some batteries, but they weren't included."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Job's comforter

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 12:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 24, 2014 is:

Job's comforter • \JOHBZ-KUM-fer-ter\  • noun
: a person who discourages or depresses while seemingly giving comfort and consolation

Examples:
Danny, a reliable Job's comforter, assured Shane that the girl who'd broken his heart had always been out of his league.

"It's a blessing for me, he said, that my joints are frozen solid with the arthritis, because if I tried to run around like I used to, my heart would give out sure. I told him he was a Job's comforter, what good is keeping my heart going like a watch that won't tell time if I can't get up and cook." — Ross Macdonald, The Ivory Grin, 1952

Did you know?
Poor Job. He's the biblical character who endures extraordinary afflictions in a test of his piety. He loses his possessions, his children, and his health. And then, to make matters worse, three friends show up to "comfort" him. These friends turn out to be no comfort at all. Instead, they say that the things that have been happening to him happen to all sinners—and point out a number of his faults. In the mid-18th century, English speakers began using the phrase "Job's comforter" for anyone who offers similarly unhelpful consolation.

Categories: Fun Stuff

November 24, 1859: Origin of Species is published

This Day in History - Sun, 11/23/2014 - 11:00pm

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, a groundbreaking scientific work by British naturalist Charles Darwin, is published in England. Darwin's theory argued that organisms gradually evolve through a process he called "natural selection." In natural selection, organisms with genetic variations that suit their environment tend to propagate more descendants than organisms of the same species that lack the variation, thus influencing the overall genetic makeup of the species.

Darwin, who was influenced by the work of French naturalist Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck and the English economist Thomas Mathus, acquired most of the evidence for his theory during a five-year surveying expedition aboard the HMS Beagle in the 1830s. Visiting such diverse places as the Galapagos Islands and New Zealand, Darwin acquired an intimate knowledge of the flora, fauna, and geology of many lands. This information, along with his studies in variation and interbreeding after returning to England, proved invaluable in the development of his theory of organic evolution.

The idea of organic evolution was not new. It had been suggested earlier by, among others, Darwin's grandfather Erasmus Darwin, a distinguished English scientist, and Lamarck, who in the early 19th century drew the first evolutionary diagram—a ladder leading from one-celled organisms to man. However, it was not until Darwin that science presented a practical explanation for the phenomenon of evolution.

Darwin had formulated his theory of natural selection by 1844, but he was wary to reveal his thesis to the public because it so obviously contradicted the biblical account of creation. In 1858, with Darwin still remaining silent about his findings, the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace independently published a paper that essentially summarized his theory. Darwin and Wallace gave a joint lecture on evolution before the Linnean Society of London in July 1858, and Darwin prepared On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection for publication.

Published on November 24, 1859, Origin of Species sold out immediately. Most scientists quickly embraced the theory that solved so many puzzles of biological science, but orthodox Christians condemned the work as heresy. Controversy over Darwin's ideas deepened with the publication of The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871), in which he presented evidence of man's evolution from apes.

By the time of Darwin's death in 1882, his theory of evolution was generally accepted. In honor of his scientific work, he was buried in Westminster Abbey beside kings, queens, and other illustrious figures from British history. Subsequent developments in genetics and molecular biology led to modifications in accepted evolutionary theory, but Darwin's ideas remain central to the field.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - November 23

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 11/23/2014 - 7:33pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

What is it that you throw away the outside and then cook the inside.

Then you eat the outside and throw away the inside?

The item is naturally occurring.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - November 23 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 11/23/2014 - 7:33pm
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 - November 23

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 11/23/2014 - 7:33pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Rings
   Try to repeat the pattern for as many rounds as possible.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Thomas Fuller

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 11/23/2014 - 6:00pm
"Many would be cowards if they had courage enough."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Arthur Schopenhauer

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 11/23/2014 - 6:00pm
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Horace Walpole

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 11/23/2014 - 6:00pm
"Foolish writers and readers are created for each other."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Cato the Elder

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 11/23/2014 - 6:00pm
"After I'm dead I'd rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one."
Categories: Fun Stuff