Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - October 18 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 6:12pm
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 - October 18

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 6:12pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Crazy Chess
   Action packed arcade game where you pick up points by moving your knight using the rules of chess.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

neophilia

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sat, 10/18/2014 - 1:00am

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

neophilia • \nee-uh-FILL-ee-uh\  • noun
: love or enthusiasm for what is new or novel

Examples:
Loretta wondered if it was neophilia that led her husband to buy shiny new power tools even when the ones he already had were in perfect condition.

"Time was, not too many years ago, when shopping was a pleasure. The atmosphere at the malls, the array of items, the decor, the people, the variety of shops, all beckoned to our neophilia, although I wasn’t aware there was a word for it." — Juanita Hughes, Cherokee Tribune (Canton, Georgia), September 2, 2014

Did you know?
The earliest known example of neophilia in print is from an 1899 issue of Political Science Quarterly, a publication of Columbia University. The word is a combination of the Greek-derived combining forms neo-, meaning "new," and -philia, meaning "liking for." In the 1930s, the form neophily was introduced as a synonym of neophilia, but no neophilia could save it from obscurity—it has never caught on. The opposite of neophilia is neophobia, meaning "a dread of or aversion to novelty." It has been around slightly longer than neophilia, having first appeared in 1886.

Categories: Fun Stuff

October 18, 1867: U.S. takes possession of Alaska

This Day in History - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1867, the U.S. formally takes possession of Alaska after purchasing the territory from Russia for $7.2 million, or less than two cents an acre. The Alaska purchase comprised 586,412 square miles, about twice the size of Texas, and was championed by William Henry Seward, the enthusiasticly expansionist secretary of state under President Andrew Johnson.

Russia wanted to sell its Alaska territory, which was remote, sparsely populated and difficult to defend, to the U.S. rather than risk losing it in battle with a rival such as Great Britain. Negotiations between Seward (1801-1872) and the Russian minister to the U.S., Eduard de Stoeckl, began in March 1867. However, the American public believed the land to be barren and worthless and dubbed the purchase "Seward's Folly" and "Andrew Johnson's Polar Bear Garden," among other derogatory names. Some animosity toward the project may have been a byproduct of President Johnson's own unpopularity. As the 17th U.S. president, Johnson battled with Radical Republicans in Congress over Reconstruction policies following the Civil War. He was impeached in 1868 and later acquitted by a single vote. Nevertheless, Congress eventually ratified the Alaska deal. Public opinion of the purchase turned more favorable when gold was discovered in a tributary of Alaska's Klondike River in 1896, sparking a gold rush. Alaska became the 49th state on January 3, 1959, and is now recognized for its vast natural resources. Today, 25 percent of America's oil and over 50 percent of its seafood come from Alaska. It is also the largest state in area, about one-fifth the size of the lower 48 states combined, though it remains sparsely populated. The name Alaska is derived from the Aleut word alyeska, which means "great land." Alaska has two official state holidays to commemorate its origins: Seward's Day, observed the last Monday in March, celebrates the March 30, 1867, signing of the land treaty between the U.S. and Russia, and Alaska Day, observed every October 18, marks the anniversary of the formal land transfer.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Al Boliska

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 7:00pm
"Do you realize if it weren't for Edison we'd be watching TV by candlelight?"
Categories: Fun Stuff

Henry David Thoreau

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 7:00pm
"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Kin Hubbard

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 7:00pm
"Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Jean Giraudoux

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 7:00pm
"The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - October 17

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 5:58pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Take a normal piece of paper, exactly 0.1 mm thick.

Fold it in half, and then in half again, and again, and again.

Do this a total of 50 times.

How thick would the final paper be?

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - October 17 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 5:58pm
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 - October 17

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 5:58pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Snail Bob 2
   Snail Bob is back and it's Grandpa's birthday.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

forswear

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Fri, 10/17/2014 - 1:00am

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

forswear • \for-SWAIR\  • verb
1 : to make a liar of (oneself) under or as if under oath 2 a : to reject, deny, or renounce under oath b : to renounce earnestly

Examples:
Tina forswore flying after the latest airline mishap left her stranded in Chicago for eighteen hours.

"… the film finds Cotillard playing an ordinary woman who, shortly after recovering from a period of depression, finds herself being laid off in unusual circumstances. If she can persuade a majority of her colleagues to forswear their annual bonuses then she can keep her job." — Donald Clarke, The Irish Times, August 22, 2014

Did you know?
Forswear (which is also sometimes spelled foreswear) is the modern English equivalent of the Old English forswerian. It can suggest denial ("[Thou] would'st forswear thy own hand and seal" — John Arbuthnot, John Bull) or perjury ("Is it the interest of any man … to lie, forswear himself, indulge hatred, seek desperate revenge, or do murder?" — Charles Dickens, American Notes). But in current use, it most often has to do with giving something up, as in "the warring parties agreed to forswear violence" and "she refused to forswear her principles." The word abjure is often used as a synonym of forswear, though with less emphasis on the suggestion of perjury or betrayal of the beliefs that one holds dear.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - October 16

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 11:48pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Which are there more of: fathoms in a kilometre or hours in a month?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - October 16 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 11:48pm
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 - October 16

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 11:48pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Pharaoh's Treasure
   Find squares of matching Pharaoh's treasure.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

October 17, 1931: Capone goes to prison

This Day in History - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1931, gangster Al Capone is sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion and fined $80,000, signaling the downfall of one of the most notorious criminals of the 1920s and 1930s.

Alphonse Gabriel Capone was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1899 to Italian immigrants. He was expelled from school at 14, joined a gang and earned his nickname "Scarface" after being sliced across the cheek during a fight. By 1920, Capone had moved to Chicago, where he was soon helping to run crime boss Johnny Torrio's illegal enterprises, which included alcohol-smuggling, gambling and prostitution. Torrio retired in 1925 after an attempt on his life and Capone, known for his cunning and brutality, was put in charge of the organization.

Prohibition, which outlawed the brewing and distribution of alcohol and lasted from 1920 to 1933, proved extremely lucrative for bootleggers and gangsters like Capone, who raked in millions from his underworld activities. Capone was at the top of the F.B.I.'s "Most Wanted" list by 1930, but he avoided long stints in jail until 1931 by bribing city officials, intimidating witnesses and maintaining various hideouts. He became Chicago's crime kingpin by wiping out his competitors through a series of gangland battles and slayings, including the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre in 1929, when Capone's men gunned down seven rivals. This event helped raise Capone's notoriety to a national level.

Among Capone's enemies was federal agent Elliot Ness, who led a team of officers known as "The Untouchables" because they couldn't be corrupted. Ness and his men routinely broke up Capone's bootlegging businesses, but it was tax-evasion charges that finally stuck and landed Capone in prison in 1931. Capone began serving his time at the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta, but amid accusations that he was manipulating the system and receiving cushy treatment, he was transferred to the maximum-security lockup at Alcatraz Island, in California's San Francisco Bay. He got out early in 1939 for good behavior, after spending his final year in prison in a hospital, suffering from syphilis.

Plagued by health problems for the rest of his life, Capone died in 1947 at age 48 at his home in Palm Island, Florida.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Richard Pryor

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 7:00pm
"I never met anybody who said when they were a kid, "I wanna grow up and be a critic.""
Categories: Fun Stuff

Charles Lamb

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 7:00pm
"I am determined that my children shall be brought up in their father's religion, if they can find out what it is."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Chinese Proverb

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 7:00pm
"He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Fred Allen

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 7:00pm
"Committee--a group of men who individually can do nothing but as a group decide that nothing can be done."
Categories: Fun Stuff