Fun Stuff

Daily Game - August 19

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 10:28pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Ultimate Billiards
   Pot all of the bombs before they go off.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Albert Einstein

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 7:00pm
"Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater."
Categories: Fun Stuff

W. C. Fields

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 7:00pm
"Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Richard Diran

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 7:00pm
"I have a rock garden. Last week three of them died."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Robert Benchley

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 7:00pm
"As for me, except for an occasional heart attack, I feel as young as I ever did."
Categories: Fun Stuff

demesne

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 19, 2014 is:

demesne • \dih-MAYN\  • noun
1 : legal possession of land as one’s own 2 a : the land attached to a mansion b : landed property : estate c : region, territory 3 : realm, domain

Examples:
Lewis and Clark were commissioned to explore the vast demesne of forests and plains that the United States acquired in the Louisiana Purchase.

"Just as no monarch can ever quite control her entire demesne, no sister can ever quite neutralize the mischief of younger brothers." — Sebastian Smee, Boston Globe, February 4, 2014

Did you know?
Why isn't "demesne" pronounced the way it's spelled? Our word actually began as "demayn" or "demeyn" in the 14th century, when it was borrowed from Anglo-French property law. At that time, the Anglo-French form was "demeine." Later, the Anglo-French spelling changed to "demesne," perhaps by association with another term from Anglo-French property law: "mesne," meaning "intermediate." ("Mesne" has entered English as a legal term as well.) According to rules of French pronunciation, the "s" was silent and the vowel was long. English speakers eventually followed suit, adopting the "demesne" spelling. Our word "domain" (which overlaps with the meaning of "demesne" in some applications) also comes from Anglo-French "demeine."

Categories: Fun Stuff

August 19, 1909: First race is held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

This Day in History - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1909, the first race is held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, now the home of the world's most famous motor racing competition, the Indianapolis 500.

Built on 328 acres of farmland five miles northwest of Indianapolis, Indiana, the speedway was started by local businessmen as a testing facility for Indiana's growing automobile industry. The idea was that occasional races at the track would pit cars from different manufacturers against each other. After seeing what these cars could do, spectators would presumably head down to the showroom of their choice to get a closer look.

The rectangular two-and-a-half-mile track linked four turns, each exactly 440 yards from start to finish, by two long and two short straight sections. In that first five-mile race on August 19, 1909, 12,000 spectators watched Austrian engineer Louis Schwitzer win with an average speed of 57.4 miles per hour. The track's surface of crushed rock and tar proved a disaster, breaking up in a number of places and causing the deaths of two drivers, two mechanics and two spectators.

The surface was soon replaced with 3.2 million paving bricks, laid in a bed of sand and fixed with mortar. Dubbed "The Brickyard," the speedway reopened in December 1909. In 1911, low attendance led the track's owners to make a crucial decision: Instead of shorter races, they resolved to focus on a single, longer event each year, for a much larger prize. That May 30 marked the debut of the Indy 500--a grueling 500-mile race that was an immediate hit with audiences and drew press attention from all over the country. Driver Ray Haroun won the purse of $14,250, with an average speed of 74.59 mph and a total time of 6 hours and 42 minutes.

Since 1911, the Indianapolis 500 has been held every year, with the exception of 1917-18 and 1942-45, when the United States was involved in the two world wars. With an average crowd of 400,000, the Indy 500 is the best-attended event in U.S. sports. In 1936, asphalt was used for the first time to cover the rougher parts of the track, and by 1941 most of the track was paved. The last of the speedway's original bricks were covered in 1961, except for a three-foot line of bricks left exposed at the start-finish line as a nostalgic reminder of the track's history.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - August 18

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 10:14pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Last week I decided to cycle to my Grandmother's house.

On the first day, I cycled half of the distance.

On day 2, I cycled one half of the remaining distance.

On day 3, I cycled three quarters of the remaining distance.

On day 4, I cycled 10 miles.

On day 5 I cycled two thirds of the remaining distance and on the final day I cycled the remaining 5 miles.

How far is it to my Grandmothers house?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - August 18 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 10:14pm
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 - August 18

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 10:14pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Shields Of Gemland
   Collect gems and stars, and upgrade your cannon to survive in this adventure.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

R. Buckminster Fuller

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 7:00pm
"Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Anonymous

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 7:00pm
"A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Benjamin Stolberg

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 7:00pm
"An expert is a person who avoids small error as he sweeps on to the grand fallacy."
Categories: Fun Stuff

King Farouk of Egypt

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 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

backstairs

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 18, 2014 is:

backstairs • \BAK-stairz\  • adjective
: secret, furtive; also : sordid, scandalous

Examples:
The article accuses the influential Washington lobbyist of having been involved in a number of backstairs deals to limit regulation of financial institutions.

"During the protracted balloting—it went four rounds before Jackson was declared the winner—backstairs talks began, aimed at stopping Jackson, according to operatives." —Jeff E. Schapiro, Richmond Times-Dispatch (Virginia), May 22, 2013

Did you know?
When Roger Boyle, 1st Earl of Orrery, wrote in 1654 about leading someone "down a back-stairs," he wasn’t referring to anything scandalous. He simply meant "down a secondary set of stairs at the back of a house." Just over a decade earlier, however, Boyle’s contemporary, Sir Edward Dering, had used the phrase "going up the back-stairs" in a figurative way to suggest a means of approach that was not entirely honest and upfront. The figurative use likely arose from the simple notion that the stairs at the rear of a building are less visible and thus allow for a certain degree of sneakiness. By 1663, "backstairs" was also being used adjectivally to describe something done furtively, often with an underhanded or sinister connotation.

Categories: Fun Stuff

August 18, 1991: Soviet hard-liners launch coup against Gorbachev

This Day in History - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1991, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev is placed under house arrest during a coup by high-ranking members of his own government, military and police forces.

Since becoming secretary of the Communist Party in 1985 and president of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1988, Gorbachev had pursued comprehensive reforms of the Soviet system. Combining perestroika ("restructuring") of the economy--including a greater emphasis on free-market policies--and glasnost ("openness") in diplomacy, he greatly improved Soviet relations with Western democracies, particularly the United States. Meanwhile, though, within the USSR, Gorbachev faced powerful critics, including conservative, hard-line politicians and military officials who thought he was driving the Soviet Union toward its downfall and making it a second-rate power. On the other side were even more radical reformers--particularly Boris Yeltsin, president of the most powerful socialist republic, Russia--who complained that Gorbachev was just not working fast enough.

The August 1991 coup was carried out by the hard-line elements within Gorbachev's own administration, as well as the heads of the Soviet army and the KGB, or secret police. Detained at his vacation villa in the Crimea, he was placed under house arrest and pressured to give his resignation, which he refused to do. Claiming Gorbachev was ill, the coup leaders, headed by former vice president Gennady Yanayev, declared a state of emergency and attempted to take control of the government.

Yeltsin and his backers from the Russian parliament then stepped in, calling on the Russian people to strike and protest the coup. When soldiers tried to arrest Yeltsin, they found the way to the parliamentary building blocked by armed and unarmed civilians. Yeltsin himself climbed aboard a tank and spoke through a megaphone, urging the troops not to turn against the people and condemning the coup as a "new reign of terror." The soldiers backed off, some of them choosing to join the resistance. After thousands took the streets to demonstrate, the coup collapsed after only three days.

Gorbachev was released and flown to Moscow, but his regime had been dealt a deadly blow. Over the next few months, he dissolved the Communist Party, granted independence to the Baltic states, and proposed a looser, more economics-based federation among the remaining republics. In December 1991, Gorbachev resigned. Yeltsin capitalized on his defeat of the coup, emerging from the rubble of the former Soviet Union as the most powerful figure in Moscow and the leader of the newly formed Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - August 17

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 10:00pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

What is represented by this BrainBat?

ABCDEFGHIJKMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ 2

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - August 17 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 10:00pm
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 - August 17

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 10:00pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

In The Bucket
   Can you fire all of the balls into the bucket?
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Jimmy Buffett

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 7:00pm
"If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane."
Categories: Fun Stuff