Fun Stuff

Jules Renard

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 7:00pm
"Look for the ridiculous in everything and you will find it."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Howard Dietz

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 7:00pm
"I don't like composers who think. It gets in the way of their plagiarism."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Rita Mae Brown

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 7:00pm
"I finally figured out the only reason to be alive is to enjoy it."
Categories: Fun Stuff

John Cage

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 7:00pm
"I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones."
Categories: Fun Stuff

collimate

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 11, 2014 is:

collimate • \KAH-luh-mayt\  • verb
: to make (something, such as light rays) parallel

Examples:
"Amazingly, some astrophysical jets—streams of charged particles collimated and accelerated over astronomical distances—also exhibit a helical structure." — From an article by Mario Livio on The Huffington Post, November 20, 2013

"The higher cost and fixed eyepieces of the … binoculars are distinct disadvantages, but setup time is reduced—there's no need to collimate optics or align tube assemblies." — From a product review by Phil Harrington in Astronomy, February 2004

Did you know?
One might expect a science-y word like "collimate" to have a straightforward etymology, but that's not the case. "Collimate" comes from Latin "collimare," a misreading of the Latin word "collineare," meaning "to direct in a straight line." The erroneous "collimare" appeared in some editions of the works of ancient Roman statesman Cicero and scholar Aulus Gellius. The error was propagated by later writers—most notably by astronomers, such as Johannes Kepler, who wrote in Latin. And so it was the spelling "collimate," rather than "collineate," that passed into English in the 19th century.

Categories: Fun Stuff

April 11, 1814: Napoleon exiled to Elba

This Day in History - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of France and one of the greatest military leaders in history, abdicates the throne, and, in the Treaty of Fontainebleau, is banished to the Mediterranean island of Elba.

The future emperor was born in Ajaccio, Corsica, on August 15, 1769. After attending military school, he fought during the French Revolution of 1789 and rapidly rose through the military ranks, leading French troops in a number of successful campaigns throughout Europe in the late 1700s. By 1799, he had established himself at the top of a military dictatorship. In 1804, he became emperor of France and continued to consolidate power through his military campaigns, so that by 1810 much of Europe came under his rule. Although Napoleon developed a reputation for being power-hungry and insecure, he is also credited with enacting a series of important political and social reforms that had a lasting impact on European society, including judiciary systems, constitutions, voting rights for all men and the end of feudalism. Additionally, he supported education, science and literature. His Code Napoleon, which codified key freedoms gained during the French Revolution, such as religious tolerance, remains the foundation of French civil law.

In 1812, thinking that Russia was plotting an alliance with England, Napoleon launched an invasion against the Russians that eventually ended with his troops retreating from Moscow and much of Europe uniting against him. In 1814, Napoleon's broken forces gave up and Napoleon offered to step down in favor of his son. When this offer was rejected, he abdicated and was sent to Elba. In March 1815, he escaped his island exile and returned to Paris, where he regained supporters and reclaimed his emperor title, Napoleon I, in a period known as the Hundred Days. However, in June 1815, he was defeated at the bloody Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon's defeat ultimately signaled the end of France's domination of Europe. He abdicated for a second time and was exiled to the remote island of Saint Helena, in the southern Atlantic Ocean, where he lived out the rest of his days. He died at age 52 on May 5, 1821, possibly from stomach cancer, although some theories contend he was poisoned.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - April 10

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 7:27pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Can you find the hidden country in the following sentence:

All of our newspaper undermanagers require a ten percent pay increase before they will consider working again.

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - April 10 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 7:27pm
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 - April 10

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 7:27pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

BUG Battle Combat
   Prepare to be addicted in this fast and simple fury of oncoming bugs.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Woody Allen

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 7:00pm
"You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Sir Frederick G. Banting

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 7:00pm
"No one has ever had an idea in a dress suit."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Kurt Vonnegut

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 7:00pm
"Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before... He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Dan Quayle

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 7:00pm
"I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy - but that could change."
Categories: Fun Stuff

kith

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Thu, 04/10/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 10, 2014 is:

kith • \KITH\  • noun
: familiar friends, neighbors, or relatives

Examples:
Alan looked forward to the annual block party as a way to stay connected with his kith.

"Many urban dwellers, embedded in networks of kith and kin, wouldn't dream of swapping the spiciness of the city for the white-bread pleasures of suburbia." — From an article by David L. Kirp in The New York Times, October 20, 2013

Did you know?
"Kith" has had many meanings over the years. In its earliest uses it referred to knowledge of something, but that meaning died out in the 1400s. Another sense, "one's native land," had come and gone by the early 1500s. The sense "friends, fellow countrymen, or neighbors" developed before the 12th century and was sometimes used as a synonym of "kinsfolk." That last sense got "kith" into hot water after people began using the word in the alliterative phrase "kith and kin." Over the years, usage commentators have complained that "kith" means the same thing as "kin," so "kith and kin" is redundant. Clearly, they have overlooked some other historical definitions, but if you want to avoid redundancy charges, be sure to include friends as well as relatives among your "kith and kin."

Categories: Fun Stuff

April 10, 1866: ASPCA is founded

This Day in History - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 11:00pm

On April 10, 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is founded in New York City by philanthropist and diplomat Henry Bergh, 54.

In 1863, Bergh had been appointed by President Abraham Lincoln to a diplomatic post at the Russian court of Czar Alexander II. It was there that he was horrified to witness work horses beaten by their peasant drivers. En route back to America, a June 1865 visit to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in London awakened his determination to secure a charter not only to incorporate the ASPCA but to exercise the power to arrest and prosecute violators of the law.

Back in New York, Bergh pleaded on behalf of "these mute servants of mankind" at a February 8, 1866, meeting at Clinton Hall. He argued that protecting animals was an issue that crossed party lines and class boundaries. "This is a matter purely of conscience; it has no perplexing side issues," he said. "It is a moral question in all its aspects." The speech prompted a number of dignitaries to sign his "Declaration of the Rights of Animals."

Bergh's impassioned accounts of the horrors inflicted on animals convinced the New York State legislature to pass the charter incorporating the ASPCA on April 10, 1866. Nine days later, the first effective anti-cruelty law in the United States was passed, allowing the ASPCA to investigate complaints of animal cruelty and to make arrests.

Bergh was a hands-on reformer, becoming a familiar sight on the streets and in the courtrooms of New York. He regularly inspected slaughter houses, worked with police to close down dog- and rat-fighting pits and lectured in schools and to adult societies. In 1867, the ASPCA established and operated the nation's first ambulance for horses.

As the pioneer and innovator of the humane movement, the ASPCA quickly became the model for more than 25 other humane organizations in the United States and Canada. And by the time Bergh died in 1888, 37 of the 38 states in the Union had passed anti-cruelty laws.

Bergh’s dramatic street rescues of mistreated horses and livestock served as a model for those trying to protect abused children. After Mary Ellen McCormack, 9, was found tied to a bed and brutally beaten by her foster parents in 1874, activists founded the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Bergh served as one of the group’s first vice presidents.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - April 9

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 7:13pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Below you will find 15 well-known five letter words, with only their endings remaining. Can you determine the words?

..PAY
..LAD
..IOR
..EUE
..RVA
..DAY
..VOC
..YSS
..GUN
..PTY
..TIL
..CAY
..UKE
..UZE
..NOE

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - April 9 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 7:13pm
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 - April 9

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 7:13pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Bump Copter
   Navigate your 'copter and avoid bumping things on the way.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Stanislaw J. Lec

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 7:00pm
"I am against using death as a punishment. I am also against using it as a reward."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Jane Caminos

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 7:00pm
"A waist is a terrible thing to mind."
Categories: Fun Stuff