Fun Stuff

Richard Feynman

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 7:00pm
"I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy."
Categories: Fun Stuff

James Reston

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 7:00pm
"This is the devilish thing about foreign affairs: they are foreign and will not always conform to our whim."
Categories: Fun Stuff

null

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 23, 2015 is:

null • \NULL\  • adjective
1 : having no legal or binding force : invalid 2 : amounting to nothing : nil 3 : having no value : insignificant 4 : having no elements

Examples:
The court will declare the city ordinance null if it is found to be in conflict with state law.

"Michigan voters in November rejected two ballot questions that would essentially have allowed the state Natural Resources Commission to decide the hunting of wolves. But a legislative maneuver made those votes null." — John Barnes, Kalamazoo (Michigan) Gazette, December 23, 2014

Did you know?
English borrowed null from the Anglo-French nul, meaning "not any." That word, in turn, traces to the Latin word nullus, from ne-, meaning "not," and ullus, meaning "any." We sometimes use null with the meaning "lacking meaning or value," as in "By the time I heard it, the news was null." In math, null is sometimes used to mean "containing nothing"; for example, the set of all whole numbers that are divisible by zero is the null set (that is, there are no numbers that fit that description). The phrase null and void is a term in its own right, defined as "having no validity."

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - April 22

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 11:11pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Below are 8 Academy Award winners, 4 female and 4 male.

The letters of their names have been mixed up and put into alphabetical order.

The brackets contain clues to their names - the first letter and the length of each part of their name. E.g. EEIKNNOSTV [K5 S5] = KEVIN STONE.

DEEFIJOORST      [J5 F6]
EEELMPRRSTY      [M5 S6]
ABEIJLORRSTU     [J5 R7]
AABEEHHIKNNPRRTU [K9 H7]
CEEEGGLNOOORY    [G6 C7]
ACCHIJKLNNOOS    [J4 N9]
BDEEINOORRRT     [R6 D2 N4]
AACCEEHIILMN     [M7 C5]

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - April 22 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 11:11pm
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 - April 22

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 11:11pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Mushroom Life
   The game of life with mushrooms.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

April 23, 1564: William Shakespeare born

This Day in History - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 11:00pm

According to tradition, the great English dramatist and poet William Shakespeare is born in Stratford-on-Avon on April 23, 1564. It is impossible to be certain the exact day on which he was born, but church records show that he was baptized on April 26, and three days was a customary amount of time to wait before baptizing a newborn. Shakespeare’s date of death is conclusively known, however: it was April 23, 1616. He was 52 years old and had retired to Stratford three years before.

Although few plays have been performed or analyzed as extensively as the 38 plays ascribed to William Shakespeare, there are few surviving details about the playwright’s life. This dearth of biographical information is due primarily to his station in life; he was not a noble, but the son of John Shakespeare, a leather trader and the town bailiff. The events of William Shakespeare’s early life can only be gleaned from official records, such as baptism and marriage records.

He probably attended the grammar school in Stratford, where he would have studied Latin and read classical literature. He did not go to university but at age 18 married Anne Hathaway, who was eight years his senior and pregnant at the time of the marriage. Their first daughter, Susanna, was born six months later, and in 1585 William and Anne had twins, Hamnet and Judith. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died 11 years later, and Anne Shakespeare outlived her husband, dying in 1623. Nothing is known of the period between the birth of the twins and Shakespeare’s emergence as a playwright in London in the early 1590s, but unfounded stories have him stealing deer, joining a group of traveling players, becoming a schoolteacher, or serving as a soldier in the Low Countries.

The first reference to Shakespeare as a London playwright came in 1592, when a fellow dramatist, Robert Greene, wrote derogatorily of him on his deathbed. It is believed that Shakespeare had written the three parts of Henry VI by that point. In 1593, Venus and Adonis was Shakespeare’s first published poem, and he dedicated it to the young Henry Wriothesley, the 3rd earl of Southampton. In 1594, having probably composed, among other plays, Richard III, The Comedy of Errors, and The Taming of the Shrew, he became an actor and playwright for the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, which became the King’s Men after James I’s ascension in 1603. The company grew into England’s finest, in no small part because of Shakespeare, who was its principal dramatist. It also had the finest actor of the day, Richard Burbage, and the best theater, the Globe, which was located on the Thames’ south bank. Shakespeare stayed with the King’s Men until his retirement and often acted in small parts.

By 1596, the company had performed the classic Shakespeare plays Romeo and Juliet, Richard II, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. That year, John Shakespeare was granted a coat of arms, a testament to his son’s growing wealth and fame. In 1597, William Shakespeare bought a large house in Stratford. In 1599, after producing his great historical series, the first and second part of Henry IV and Henry V, he became a partner in the ownership of the Globe Theatre.

The beginning of the 17th century saw the performance of the first of his great tragedies, Hamlet. The next play, The Merry Wives of Windsor, was written at the request of Queen Elizabeth I, who wanted to see another play that included the popular character Falstaff. During the next decade, Shakespeare produced such masterpieces as Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, and The Tempest. In 1609, his sonnets, probably written during the 1590s, were published. The 154 sonnets are marked by the recurring themes of the mutability of beauty and the transcendent power of love and art.

Shakespeare died in Stratford-on-Avon on April 23, 1616. Today, nearly 400 years later, his plays are performed and read more often and in more nations than ever before. In a million words written over 20 years, he captured the full range of human emotions and conflicts with a precision that remains sharp today. As his great contemporary the poet and dramatist Ben Jonson said, “He was not of an age, but for all time.”

Categories: Fun Stuff

Charles Churchill

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 7:00pm
"A joke's a very serious thing."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Henry David Thoreau

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 7:00pm
"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Marty Indik

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 7:00pm
"Confusion is always the most honest response."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Pierre Beaumarchais

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 7:00pm
"If a thing isn't worth saying, you sing it."
Categories: Fun Stuff

quidnunc

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 22, 2015 is:

quidnunc • \KWID-nunk\  • noun
: a person who seeks to know all the latest news or gossip : busybody

Examples:
We were naturally curious when the moving van appeared in the Michaelsons' driveway, but the neighborhood quidnunc, Mrs. Dyer, had already heard that Mr. Michaelson was being transferred to a new job out of town.

"To spend time with a book in order to read scandalous revelations about real-life people is not an elevated or honourable thing to do, but it appeals to the gossip-sharing quidnunc in all of us." — John Walsh, The Independent (London), July 22, 2003

Did you know?
"What's new?" That's a question every busybody wants answered. Latin-speaking Nosey Parkers might have used some version of the expression quid nunc, literally "what now," to ask the same question. Appropriately, the earliest documented English use of quidnunc to refer to a gossiper appeared in 1709 in Sir Richard Steele's famous periodical, The Tatler. Steele is far from the only writer to ply quidnunc in his prose, however. You can also find the word among the pages of works by such writers as Washington Irving and Nathaniel Hawthorne. But don't think the term is old news—it sees some use in current publications, too.

Categories: Fun Stuff

April 22, 1970: The first Earth Day

This Day in History - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 11:00pm

Earth Day, an event to increase public awareness of the world’s environmental problems, is celebrated in the United States for the first time. Millions of Americans, including students from thousands of colleges and universities, participated in rallies, marches, and educational programs.

Earth Day was the brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, a staunch environmentalist who hoped to provide unity to the grassroots environmental movement and increase ecological awareness. “The objective was to get a nationwide demonstration of concern for the environment so large that it would shake the political establishment out of its lethargy,” Senator Nelson said, “and, finally, force this issue permanently onto the national political agenda.” Earth Day indeed increased environmental awareness in America, and in July of that year the Environmental Protection Agency was established by special executive order to regulate and enforce national pollution legislation.

On April 22, 1990, the 20th anniversary of Earth Day, more than 200 million people in 141 countries participated in Earth Day celebrations.

Earth Day has been celebrated on different days by different groups internationally. The United Nations officially celebrates it on the vernal equinox, which usually occurs about March 21.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - April 21

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 10:57pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Which letters come next in this sequence:

TO NE US RN ER RS ==?==

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - April 21 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 10:57pm
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 - April 21

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 10:57pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

City Scape
   Build a city in the most efficient way.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Friedrich Nietzsche

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 7:00pm
"There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Henry J. Tillman

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 7:00pm
"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Ogden Nash

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 7:00pm
"I think that I shall never see / a billboard lovely as a tree. / Perhaps, unless the billboards fall, / I'll never see a tree at all."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Unknown

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 7:00pm
"My Karma ran over your dogma."
Categories: Fun Stuff