Fun Stuff

dubious

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sat, 07/25/2015 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 25, 2015 is:

dubious • \DOO-bee-us\  • adjective
1 a : of doubtful promise or outcome b : questionable or suspect as to true nature or quality 2 : unsettled in opinion : doubtful

Examples:
Jesse made the dubious claim that he could eat a whole watermelon in one sitting; then we sat in awe and watched him do it.

"'Can you work with what I have?' he asked, sounding dubious. 'Absolutely!' I said, though I was dubious, too. I'd always staged houses with my own furnishings.'" — Marni Jameson, San Jose Mercury News (California), June 11, 2015

Did you know?
Dubious derives from the Latin verb dubare, meaning "to hesitate in choice of opinions or courses," and it is related to the Latin word for "two": duo. Dubious can be used to indicate uncertainty about the result of an action or the truth of a statement as well as about the uncertainty of a person and his or her character. In either case, it usually implies a feeling of doubt from suspicion, mistrust, or hesitation.

Categories: Fun Stuff

July 25, 1978: World’s First Test Tube Baby Born

This Day in History - Fri, 07/24/2015 - 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 - Fri, 07/24/2015 - 8:23pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Below are thirteen 5 lettered words, each of which has had two of its letters removed. In total these 26 letters are A-Z. The remaining letters in each word are in the correct order. There are no words which are spelled differently based upon location (favour/favor, etc). Can you determine the original words?

CLH
COH
DIR
REA
INE
OKR
AOR
UAL
REE
TOE
SAM
YAT
EBA

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - July 24 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 07/24/2015 - 8:23pm
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 - Fri, 07/24/2015 - 8:23pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Reverse
   Navigate the simple mazes, but watch out, your mouse movement has been reversed! Very addictive!
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Oscar Levant

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 07/24/2015 - 7:00pm
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility, there are so few of us left."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Ambrose Bierce

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 07/24/2015 - 7:00pm
"The covers of this book are too far apart."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Mark Twain

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 07/24/2015 - 7:00pm
"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them."
Categories: Fun Stuff

King Farouk of Egypt

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 07/24/2015 - 7:00pm
"The whole world is in revolt. Soon there will be only five Kings left--the King of England, the King of Spades, The King of Clubs, the King of Hearts, and the King of Diamonds."
Categories: Fun Stuff

umbra

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Fri, 07/24/2015 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 24, 2015 is:

umbra • \UM-bruh\  • noun
1 : a shaded area 2 a : a conical shadow excluding all light from a given source; specifically : the conical part of the shadow of a celestial body excluding all light from the primary source b : the central dark part of a sunspot

Examples:
During the eclipse, the moon was in the umbra of the earth's shadow for about 90 minutes.

"When the moon passes into the penumbra, it darkens the surface of the moon, making it look as if a 'bite' has been taken from the lunar surface. 'Totality' occurs when the moon is completely submerged in the umbra, and takes on a deep red hue." — Maria Rovito, The Snapper: Millersville University, April 9, 2015

Did you know?
The Latin word umbra ("shade, shadow") has given English a range of words in addition to umbra itself. An umbrella can provide us with shade from the sun. So can an umbrageous tree—in this case, umbrageous means "affording shade." The connection to shade or shadow in other umbra words is less obvious. When we say someone takes umbrage, we mean they take offense, but in times past people used the word as a synonym of shade or shadow. Those two senses of umbrage influenced umbrageous, which can mean "inclined to take offense easily" as well as "affording shade."

Categories: Fun Stuff

July 24, 1911: Machu Picchu discovered

This Day in History - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 11:00pm

On July 24, 1911, American archeologist Hiram Bingham gets his first look at Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca settlement in Peru that is now one of the world’s top tourist destinations.

Tucked away in the rocky countryside northwest of Cuzco, Machu Picchu is believed to have been a summer retreat for Inca leaders, whose civilization was virtually wiped out by Spanish invaders in the 16th century. For hundreds of years afterwards, its existence was a secret known only to the peasants living in the region. That all changed in the summer of 1911, when Bingham arrived with a small team of explorers to search for the famous “lost” cities of the Incas.

Traveling on foot and by mule, Bingham and his team made their way from Cuzco into the Urubamba Valley, where a local farmer told them of some ruins located at the top of a nearby mountain. The farmer called the mountain Machu Picchu, which meant “Old Peak” in the native Quechua language. The next day–July 24–after a tough climb to the mountain’s ridge in cold and drizzly weather, Bingham met a small group of peasants who showed him the rest of the way. Led by an 11-year-old boy, Bingham got his first glimpse of the intricate network of stone terraces marking the entrance to Machu Picchu.

The excited Bingham spread the word about his discovery in a best-selling book, sending hordes of eager tourists flocking to Peru to follow in his footsteps up the Inca trail. The site itself stretches an impressive five miles, with over 3,000 stone steps linking its many different levels. Today, more than 300,000 people tramp through Machu Picchu every year, braving crowds and landslides to see the sun set over the towering stone monuments of the “Sacred City” and marvel at the mysterious splendor of one of the world’s most famous man-made wonders.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - July 23

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 8:09pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

What is the smallest integer, which, when multiplied by 7 gives a number consisting of only 6's?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - July 23 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 8:09pm
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 23

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 8:09pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Beetle Wars
   Fight for beetle supremacy in this exciting beetle war game!
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

John Cage

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 7:00pm
"I have nothing to say, and I am saying it, and that is poetry."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Leonard Bernstein

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 7:00pm
"Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time... The wait is simply too long."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Eric Hoffer

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 7:00pm
"You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Herb Caen

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 7:00pm
"I tend to live in the past because most of my life is there."
Categories: Fun Stuff

meticulous

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Thu, 07/23/2015 - 1:00am

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

meticulous • \muh-TIK-yuh-lus\  • adjective
: marked by extreme or excessive care in the consideration or treatment of details

Examples:
The composer's meticulous, almost obsessive, attention to detail is evident in even the smallest musical flourishes that the average listener will likely never notice.

"The Australian-American [Justine] Larbalestier's scholarly background is on full display in her latest novel, with its meticulous attention to detail and strong emphasis on overlooked voices from history." — Jennifer Hubert Swan, New York Times, May 31, 2015

Did you know?
It may surprise you to learn that meticulous is derived from the Latin word for "fearful"—meticulosus—and ultimately comes from the Latin noun metus, meaning "fear." Although meticulous currently has no "fearful" meanings, it was originally used as a synonym of frightened and timid. This sense had fallen into disuse by 1700, and in the 19th century meticulous acquired a new sense of "overly and timidly careful" (probably influenced by the French word méticuleux). This in turn led to the current meaning of "painstakingly careful," with no connotations of fear at all. The newest use was controversial among some usage commentators at first, but it has since become by far the most common meaning and is no longer considered an error.

Categories: Fun Stuff

July 23, 1984: Miss America resigns

This Day in History - Wed, 07/22/2015 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1984, 21-year-old Vanessa Williams gives up her Miss America title, the first resignation in the pageant’s history, after Penthouse magazine announces plans to publish nude photos of the beauty queen in its September issue. Williams originally made history on September 17, 1983, when she became the first black woman to win the Miss America crown. Miss New Jersey, Suzette Charles, the first runner-up and also an African American, assumed Williams’ tiara for the two months that remained of her reign.

Vanessa Lynn Williams was born March 18, 1963, in Millwood, New York, to music teacher parents. She attended Syracuse University and studied musical theater. In 1982, while working a summer job as a receptionist at a modeling agency in Mt. Kisco, New York, photographer Thomas Chiapel took the nude pictures of Williams, telling her they’d be shot in silhouette and that she wouldn’t be recognizable. After Williams became Miss America, the photographer sold the pictures to Penthouse without her knowledge. Williams later dropped lawsuits against the magazine and photographer after it was learned that she had signed a model release form at the time the photos were taken.

The Miss America pageant, which prides itself on projecting a wholesome, positive image of women, began in 1921 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, as a stunt developed by local businessmen to extend the summer tourist season. In 1945, the Miss America Organization handed out its first scholarship. Today, it provides over $45 million each year in cash and tuition assistance to contestants on the national, state and local levels. In 1954, the competition was broadcast live for the first time. Beginning in the 1980s, contestants were required to have a social platform, such as drunk-driving preventionor AIDS awareness, and Miss America winners now travel an estimated 20,000 miles a month for speaking engagements and public appearances. In 2006, following a decline in TV ratings, the pageant moved from Atlantic City for the first time in its history and took place in Las Vegas, where a new Miss America was crowned in January instead of September.

Vanessa Williams rebounded from the Miss America scandal and went on to a successful entertainment career as an actress and recording artist, performing on Broadway as well as in movies and television and releasing a number of popular albums.

Categories: Fun Stuff