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

bucket shop

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Thu, 10/16/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 16, 2014 is:

bucket shop • \BUK-ut-SHAHP\  • noun
1 : a gambling establishment that formerly used market fluctuations (as in commodities) as a basis for gaming 2 : a dishonest brokerage firm

Examples:
"Today … the SEC is able to intervene more quickly to shut down frauds, like boiler rooms or bucket shops pushing bogus stocks…." — The Orange County Register, October 15, 2001

"As a result, dozens of operations have sprouted up on the Caymans to supply directors, from one-man bucket shops to powerhouse law firms." — Azam Ahmed, The New York Times, July 2, 2012

Did you know?
In the 1870s, a bucket shop was a lowly saloon that sold beer and other cheap hooch in buckets. How did the term make the jump from watering hole to Wall Street? No one is really sure. Some speculate that it may have been because of the small-time gambling that took place at the original bucket shops, while others claim it derives from the bucket elevator used to transport things between the Chicago Board of Trade and a market for small investors housed directly below it. By the 1880s, bucket shop was being used for pseudo "investment houses" where gamblers bid on the rise and fall of stock prices. These days the term is used for any business that sells cut-price goods, especially airline tickets.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - October 15

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 11:34pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

If EELS + MARK + BEST + WARY = EASY

What does HELP + BARK + WARD + LEAD equal?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - October 15 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 11:34pm
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 15

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 11:34pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Abductroids
   Protect your humans from waves of alien ships
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

October 16, 1934: The Long March

This Day in History - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 11:00pm

The embattled Chinese Communists break through Nationalist enemy lines and begin an epic flight from their encircled headquarters in southwest China. Known as Ch'ang Cheng—the "Long March"—the retreat lasted 368 days and covered 6,000 miles, nearly twice the distance from New York to San Francisco.

Civil war in China between the Nationalists and the Communists broke out in 1927. In 1931, Communist leader Mao Zedong was elected chairman of the newly established Soviet Republic of China, based in Kiangsi province in the southwest. Between 1930 and 1934, the Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek launched a series of five encirclement campaigns against the Soviet Republic. Under the leadership of Mao, the Communists employed guerrilla tactics to resist successfully the first four campaigns, but in the fifth, Chiang raised 700,000 troops and built fortifications around the Communist positions. Hundreds of thousands of peasants were killed or died of starvation in the siege, and Mao was removed as chairman by the Communist Central Committee. The new Communist leadership employed more conventional warfare tactics, and its Red Army was decimated.

With defeat imminent, the Communists decided to break out of the encirclement at its weakest points. The Long March began at 5:00 p.m. on October 16, 1934. Secrecy and rear-guard actions confused the Nationalists, and it was several weeks before they realized that the main body of the Red Army had fled. The retreating force initially consisted of 86,000 troops, 15,000 personnel, and 35 women. Weapons and supplies were borne on men's backs or in horse-drawn carts, and the line of marchers stretched for 50 miles. The Communists generally marched at night, and when the enemy was not near, a long column of torches could be seen snaking over valleys and hills into the distance.

The first disaster came in November, when Nationalist forces blocked the Communists' route across the Hsiang River. It took a week for the Communists to break through the fortifications and cost them 50,000 men—more than half their number. After that debacle, Mao steadily regained his influence, and in January he was again made chairman during a meeting of the party leaders in the captured city of Tsuni. Mao changed strategy, breaking his force into several columns that would take varying paths to confuse the enemy. There would be no more direct assaults on enemy positions. And the destination would now be Shensi Province, in the far northwest, where the Communists hoped to fight the Japanese invaders and earn the respect of China's masses.

After enduring starvation, aerial bombardment, and almost daily skirmishes with Nationalist forces, Mao halted his columns at the foot of the Great Wall of China on October 20, 1935. Waiting for them were five machine-gun- and red-flag-bearing horsemen. "Welcome, Chairman Mao," one said. "We represent the Provincial Soviet of Northern Shensi. We have been waiting for you anxiously. All that we have is at your disposal!" The Long March was over.

The Communist marchers crossed 24 rivers and 18 mountain ranges, mostly snow-capped. Only 4,000 troops completed the journey. The majority of those who did not perished. It was the longest continuous march in the history of warfare and marked the emergence of Mao Zedong as the undisputed leader of the Chinese Communists. Learning of the Communists' heroism and determination in the Long March, thousands of young Chinese traveled to Shensi to enlist in Mao's Red Army. After fighting the Japanese for a decade, the Chinese Civil War resumed in 1945. Four years later, the Nationalists were defeated, and Mao proclaimed the People's Republic of China. He served as chairman until his death in 1976.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Henry Stimson

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 7:00pm
"The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him."
Categories: Fun Stuff

George Burns

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 7:00pm
"Too bad the only people who know how to run the country are busy driving cabs and cutting hair."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Elbert Hubbard

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 7:00pm
"Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Anonymous

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 7:00pm
"The best defense against the atom bomb is not to be there when it goes off."
Categories: Fun Stuff

doctrinaire

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 15, 2014 is:

doctrinaire • \dahk-truh-NAIR\  • adjective
: attempting to put into effect an abstract doctrine or theory with little or no regard for practical difficulties

Examples:
"As doctrinaire as I may be about players being ready to play every day," Coach said, "they are also human beings; I need to accept they are going to need breaks once in a while."

"We use endorsement interviews to see how candidates interact with their opponents, how politically daring (or doctrinaire) they are and whether they’re thinking more about the public’s good or their own campaigns." — Elizabeth Sullivan, Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), September 21, 2014

Did you know?
Doctrinaire didn't start out as a critical word. In post-revolutionary France, a group who favored constitutional monarchy called themselves Doctrinaires. Doctrine in French, as in English, is a word for the principles on which a government is based; it is ultimately from Latin doctrina, meaning "teaching" or "instruction." But both ultraroyalists and revolutionists strongly derided any doctrine of reconciling royalty and representation as utterly impracticable, and they resented the Doctrinaires' influence over Louis XVIII. So when doctrinaire became an adjective, "there adhered to it some indescribable tincture of unpopularity which was totally indelible" (Blanc's History of Ten Years 1830-40, translated by Walter K. Kelly in 1848).

Categories: Fun Stuff