Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - October 14 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 11:20pm
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 14

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 11:20pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Brain Bender
   Click the colour of the word, not the word itself.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

October 15, 1917: Mata Hari executed

This Day in History - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 11:00pm

Mata Hari, the archetype of the seductive female spy, is executed for espionage by a French firing squad at Vincennes outside of Paris.

She first came to Paris in 1905 and found fame as a performer of exotic Asian-inspired dances. She soon began touring all over Europe, telling the story of how she was born in a sacred Indian temple and taught ancient dances by a priestess who gave her the name Mata Hari, meaning "eye of the day" in Malay. In reality, Mata Hari was born in a small town in northern Holland in 1876, and her real name was Margaretha Geertruida Zelle. She acquired her superficial knowledge of Indian and Javanese dances when she lived for several years in Malaysia with her former husband, who was a Scot in the Dutch colonial army. Regardless of her authenticity, she packed dance halls and opera houses from Russia to France, mostly because her show consisted of her slowly stripping nude.

She became a famous courtesan, and with the outbreak of World War I her catalog of lovers began to include high-ranking military officers of various nationalities. In February 1917, French authorities arrested her for espionage and imprisoned her at St. Lazare Prison in Paris. In a military trial conducted in July, she was accused of revealing details of the Allies' new weapon, the tank, resulting in the deaths of thousands of soldiers. She was convicted and sentenced to death, and on October 15 she refused a blindfold and was shot to death by a firing squad at Vincennes.

There is some evidence that Mata Hari acted as a German spy, and for a time as a double agent for the French, but the Germans had written her off as an ineffective agent whose pillow talk had produced little intelligence of value. Her military trial was riddled with bias and circumstantial evidence, and it is probable that French authorities trumped her up as "the greatest woman spy of the century" as a distraction for the huge losses the French army was suffering on the western front. Her only real crimes may have been an elaborate stage fallacy and a weakness for men in uniform.

Categories: Fun Stuff

William Cobbett

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 7:00pm
"To be poor and dependent is very nearly an impossibility."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Slovenian Proverb

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 7:00pm
"Speak the truth, but leave immediately after."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Richard Feynman

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 7:00pm
"I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Flip Wilson

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 7:00pm
"The cost of living is going up and the chance of living is going down."
Categories: Fun Stuff

judgment

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 14, 2014 is:

judgment • \JUJ-munt\  • noun
1 : a formal utterance of an authoritative opinion 2 : a formal decision given by a court 3 : the capacity for judging or the exercise of this capacity

Examples:
Theresa showed good judgment by clearing her family out of the house as soon as she smelled gas.

"Christenson said he'll reserve judgment on the larger iPhone 6 until he holds one in his hand." — Neil Nisperos, Redlands Daily Facts (California), September 10, 2014

Did you know?
Judgment can also be spelled "judgement," and usage experts have long disagreed over which spelling is the preferred one. Henry Fowler asserted, "The OED [Oxford English Dictionary] prefers the older and more reasonable spelling. 'Judgement' is therefore here recommended." William Safire held an opposite opinion, writing, "My judgment is that Fowler is not to be followed." "Judgement" is in fact the older spelling, but it dropped from favor and for centuries "judgment" was the only spelling to appear in dictionaries. That changed when the OED (Fowler's source) was published showing "judgement" as an equal variant. Today, "judgment" is more popular in the U.S., whereas both spellings make a good showing in Britain.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - October 13

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 11:06pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Starting on Sunday last week, it took me three days to go from A to B, but then four days to go from B to A. What are A and B?

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - October 13 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 11:06pm
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 13

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 11:06pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

NoName
   How quickly can you move your mouse through this simple grid?
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

October 14, 1947: Yeager breaks sound barrier

This Day in History - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 11:00pm

U.S. Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager becomes the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound.

Yeager, born in Myra, West Virginia, in 1923, was a combat fighter during World War II and flew 64 missions over Europe. He shot down 13 German planes and was himself shot down over France, but he escaped capture with the assistance of the French Underground. After the war, he was among several volunteers chosen to test-fly the experimental X-1 rocket plane, built by the Bell Aircraft Company to explore the possibility of supersonic flight.

For years, many aviators believed that man was not meant to fly faster than the speed of sound, theorizing that transonic drag rise would tear any aircraft apart. All that changed on October 14, 1947, when Yeager flew the X-1 over Rogers Dry Lake in Southern California. The X-1 was lifted to an altitude of 25,000 feet by a B-29 aircraft and then released through the bomb bay, rocketing to 40,000 feet and exceeding 662 miles per hour (the sound barrier at that altitude). The rocket plane, nicknamed "Glamorous Glennis," was designed with thin, unswept wings and a streamlined fuselage modeled after a .50-caliber bullet.

Because of the secrecy of the project, Bell and Yeager's achievement was not announced until June 1948. Yeager continued to serve as a test pilot, and in 1953 he flew 1,650 miles per hour in an X-1A rocket plane. He retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1975 with the rank of brigadier general.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Arthur Schopenhauer

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 7:00pm
"Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 7:00pm
"I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Unknown

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 7:00pm
"He who hesitates is not only lost, but miles from the next exit."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Robert Frost

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 7:00pm
"A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel."
Categories: Fun Stuff

posthaste

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 13, 2014 is:

posthaste • \POHST-HAYST\  • adverb
: with all possible speed

Examples:
"You must leave posthaste," Virginia theatrically admonished her guests, "or you'll miss your ferry!"

"Yes, West Palm Beach commissioners should green-light the chief’s efforts to address the issue posthaste." — Palm Beach Post, September 3, 2014

Did you know?
In the 16th century, the phrase "haste, post, haste" was used to inform "posts," as couriers were then called, that a letter was urgent and must be hastily delivered. Posts would then speedily gallop along a route, with a series of places at which to get a fresh horse or to relay the letter to a fresh messenger. Shakespeare was one of the first to use a version of the phrase adverbially in Richard II. "Old John of Gaunt ... hath sent post haste / To entreat your Majesty to visit him," the Bard versified. He also used the phrase as an adjective (a use that is now obsolete) in Othello: "The Duke ... requires your haste-post-haste appearance," Lieutenant Cassio reports to the play's namesake. Today, the word still possesses a literary flair attributable to the Bard.

Categories: Fun Stuff

October 13, 1792: White House cornerstone laid

This Day in History - Sun, 10/12/2014 - 11:00pm

The cornerstone is laid for a presidential residence in the newly designated capital city of Washington. In 1800, President John Adams became the first president to reside in the executive mansion, which soon became known as the "White House" because its white-gray Virginia freestone contrasted strikingly with the red brick of nearby buildings.

The city of Washington was created to replace Philadelphia as the nation's capital because of its geographical position in the center of the existing new republic. The states of Maryland and Virginia ceded land around the Potomac River to form the District of Columbia, and work began on Washington in 1791. French architect Charles L'Enfant designed the area's radical layout, full of dozens of circles, crisscross avenues, and plentiful parks. In 1792, work began on the neoclassical White House building at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue under the guidance of Irish American architect James Hoban, whose design was influenced by Leinster House in Dublin and by a building sketch in James Gibbs' Book of Architecture. President George Washington chose the site.

On November 1, President John Adams was welcomed into the executive mansion. His wife, Abigail, wrote about their new home: "I pray heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house, and on all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but wise men ever rule under this roof!"

In 1814, during the War of 1812, the White House was set on fire along with the U.S. Capitol by British soldiers in retaliation for the burning of government buildings in Canada by U.S. troops. The burned-out building was subsequently rebuilt and enlarged under the direction of James Hoban, who added east and west terraces to the main building, along with a semicircular south portico and a colonnaded north portico. The smoke-stained stone walls were painted white. Work was completed on the White House in the 1820s.

Major restoration occurred during the administration of President Harry Truman, and Truman lived across the street for several years in Blair House. Since 1995, Pennsylvania Avenue between the White House and Lafayette Square has been closed to vehicular traffic for security reasons. Today, more than a million tourists visit the White House annually. It is the oldest federal building in the nation's capital.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - October 12

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 10/12/2014 - 10:53pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

What 5 letter word can be added to the end of these words to make new words:

green out light bird boat club cook

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - October 12 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 10/12/2014 - 10:53pm
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