Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - January 22

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 7:49pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Starting with BALL, change one letter at a time until you have the word HEAD.

Each change leaves the other letters in their original places and must result in a proper word.

What is the minimum number of steps required to achieve this change?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - January 22 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 7:49pm
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 - January 22

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 7:49pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Qwerty Warriors
   Fast-paced typing game, where typing letters shoots the letters.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

David M. Ogilvy

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 6:00pm
"The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Voltaire

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 6:00pm
"The secret of being a bore is to tell everything."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Thomas A. Edison

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 6:00pm
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Paul Fussell

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 6:00pm
"I find nothing more depressing than optimism."
Categories: Fun Stuff

morganatic

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 12:00am

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

morganatic • \mor-guh-NAT-ik\  • adjective
: of, relating to, or being a marriage between a member of a royal or noble family and a person of inferior rank in which the rank of the inferior partner remains unchanged and the children of the marriage do not succeed to the titles, fiefs, or entailed property of the parent of higher rank

Examples:
The king's son, the child of a morganatic marriage, will never rule.

"His marriage, when it came, was anything but conventional: a long-lasting morganatic alliance to actress Louisa Fairbrother, which produced several children but was never recognized by the queen." — Martin Rubin, The Washington Times, January 9, 2014

Did you know?
Although the deprivations imposed on the lower-ranking spouse by a morganatic marriage may seem like a royal pain in the neck, the word morganatic actually comes from a word for a marriage benefit. The New Latin term morganatica means "morning gift" and refers to a gift that a new husband traditionally gave to his bride on the morning after the marriage. So why was the New Latin phrase matrimonium ad morganaticam, which means literally "marriage with morning gift," the term for a morganatic marriage? Because it was just that—the wife got the morning gift, but that's all she was entitled to of her husband's possessions.

Categories: Fun Stuff

January 22, 1998: Ted Kaczynski pleads guilty to bombings

This Day in History - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1998, in a Sacramento, California, courtroom, Theodore J. Kaczynski pleads guilty to all federal charges against him, acknowledging his responsibility for a 17-year campaign of package bombings attributed to the "Unabomber."

Born in 1942, Kaczynski attended Harvard University and received a PhD in mathematics from the University of Michigan. He worked as an assistant mathematics professor at the University of California at Berkeley, but abruptly quit in 1969. In the early 1970s, Kaczynski began living as a recluse in western Montana, in a 10-by-12 foot cabin without heat, electricity or running water. From this isolated location, he began the bombing campaign that would kill three people and injure more than 20 others.

The primary targets were universities, but he also placed a bomb on an American Airlines flight in 1979 and sent one to the home of the president of United Airlines in 1980. After federal investigators set up the UNABOM Task Force (the name came from the words "university and airline bombing"), the media dubbed the culprit the "Unabomber." The bombs left little physical evidence, and the only eyewitness found in the case could describe the suspect only as a man in hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses (depicted in an infamous 1987 police sketch).

In 1995, the Washington Post (in collaboration with the New York Times) published a 35,000-word anti-technology manifesto written by a person claiming to be the Unabomber. Recognizing elements of his brother's writings, David Kaczynski went to authorities with his suspicions, and Ted Kaczynski was arrested in April 1996. In his cabin, federal investigators found ample evidence linking him to the bombings, including bomb parts, journal entries and drafts of the manifesto.

Kaczynski was arraigned in Sacramento and charged with bombings in 1985, 1993 and 1995 that killed two people and maimed two others. (A bombing in New Jersey in 1994 also resulted in the victim's death.) Despite his lawyers' efforts, Kaczynski rejected an insanity plea. After attempting suicide in his jail cell in early 1998, Kaczynski appealed to U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell Jr. to allow him to represent himself, and agreed to undergo psychiatric evaluation. A court-appointed psychiatrist diagnosed paranoid schizophrenia, and Judge Burrell ruled that Kaczynski could not defend himself. The psychiatrist's verdict helped prosecutors and defense reach a plea bargain, which allowed prosecutors to avoid arguing for the death penalty for a mentally ill defendant.

On January 22, 1998, Kaczynski accepted a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole in return for a plea of guilty to all federal charges; he also gave up the right to appeal any rulings in the case. Though Kaczynski later attempted to withdraw his guilty plea, arguing that it had been involuntary, Judge Burrell denied the request, and a federal appeals court upheld the ruling. Kaczynski was remanded to a maximum-security prison in Colorado, where he is serving his life sentence.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - January 21

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 7:35pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Lemon Twist: how many times does the word LEMON appear in this grid?

N O M E L L E M O N L E M O N
N O M E L N O M E L E L E M O
L E M O N N O M E L L E M O M
L O E L O L L M M L E M O N E
N N O M E L O E L E M O N E L
O L E M L N L L M M L N L L E
M L O E L N L E M O N E E E M
E N M E O E E M N N N M M M O
L O M M N N M N L O O L L O N
N O E L O M O O N E M E L N N
N L N E M E N M N O M E L O N
O N O M E L O E E O M O L M O
M L M O L E M L N L E E N E M
E E E N O M E L E M O N L L E
L M L O M E L E M O N O M E L

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - January 21 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 7:35pm
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 - January 21

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 7:35pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Paint Wars
   Paint at a frantic pace to stay alive.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Darby Conley

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 6:00pm
"It's hard to take over the world when you sleep 20 hours a day."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Horace Walpole

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 6:00pm
"The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand things well."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Dr. Thomas Fuller

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 6:00pm
"Get the facts, or the facts will get you. And when you get them, get them right, or they will get you wrong."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Bertrand Russell

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 6:00pm
"The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible."
Categories: Fun Stuff

pandiculation

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 12:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for January 21, 2015 is:

pandiculation • \pan-dik-yuh-LAY-shun\  • noun
: a stretching and stiffening especially of the trunk and extremities (as when fatigued and drowsy or after waking from sleep)

Examples:
"He was coming on to yawn. His breath sucked in the draught from the window. His shoulders hunched, his legs stretched to their toes, he made claws of his fingers in his hands—a fierce pandiculation of his limbs." — Jamie O'Neill, At Swim, Two Boys, 2001

"Carefully orchestrated pandiculations follow a routine: Lips part, the tongue hunkers down, and muscles in the face, mouth and diaphragm engage as the head tilts back." — Laura Sanders, Science News, May 7, 2011

Did you know?
Cat and dog owners who witness daily their pets' methodical body stretching upon awakening might wonder if there is a word to describe their routine—and there is: pandiculation. Pandiculation (which applies to humans too) is the medical term for the stretching and stiffening of the trunk and extremities, often accompanied by yawning, to arouse the body when fatigued or drowsy. The word comes from Latin pandiculatus, the past participle of pandiculari ("to stretch oneself"), and is ultimately derived from pandere, meaning "to spread." Pandere is also the source of expand.

Categories: Fun Stuff

January 21, 1977: President Carter pardons draft dodgers

This Day in History - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1977, U.S. President Jimmy Carter grants an unconditional pardon to hundreds of thousands of men who evaded the draft during the Vietnam War.

In total, some 100,000 young Americans went abroad in the late 1960s and early 70s to avoid serving in the war. Ninety percent went to Canada, where after some initial controversy they were eventually welcomed as immigrants. Still others hid inside the United States. In addition to those who avoided the draft, a relatively small number--about 1,000--of deserters from the U.S. armed forces also headed to Canada. While the Canadian government technically reserved the right to prosecute deserters, in practice they left them alone, even instructing border guards not to ask too many questions.

For its part, the U.S. government continued to prosecute draft evaders after the Vietnam War ended. A total of 209,517 men were formally accused of violating draft laws, while government officials estimate another 360,000 were never formally accused. If they returned home, those living in Canada or elsewhere faced prison sentences or forced military service. During his 1976 presidential campaign, Jimmy Carter promised to pardon draft dodgers as a way of putting the war and the bitter divisions it caused firmly in the past. After winning the election, Carter wasted no time in making good on his word. Though many transplanted Americans returned home, an estimated 50,000 settled permanently in Canada, greatly expanding the country's arts and academic scenes and pushing Canadian politics decidedly to the left.

Back in the U.S., Carter's decision generated a good deal of controversy. Heavily criticized by veterans' groups and others for allowing unpatriotic lawbreakers to get off scot-free, the pardon and companion relief plan came under fire from amnesty groups for not addressing deserters, soldiers who were dishonorably discharged or civilian anti-war demonstrators who had been prosecuted for their resistance.

Years later, Vietnam-era draft evasion still carries a powerful stigma. Though no prominent political figures have been found to have broken any draft laws, Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and Vice-Presidents Dan Quayle and Dick Cheney--none of whom saw combat in Vietnam--have all been accused of being draft dodgers at one time or another. Although there is not currently a draft in the U.S., desertion and conscientious objection have remained pressing issues among the armed forces during the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - January 20

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 7:21pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

What is represented by this BrainBat?

KCAB KCAB

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - January 20 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 7:21pm
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