Fun Stuff

H. L. Mencken

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 07/13/2014 - 7:00pm
"Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Mark Russell

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 07/13/2014 - 7:00pm
"The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Samuel Goldwyn

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 07/13/2014 - 7:00pm
"I don't want any yes-men around me. I want everybody to tell me the truth even if it costs them their jobs."
Categories: Fun Stuff

tortuous

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sun, 07/13/2014 - 1:00am

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

tortuous • \TOR-chuh-wus\  • adjective
1 : marked by repeated twists, bends, or turns : winding 2 a : marked by devious or indirect tactics : crooked, tricky b : circuitous, involved

Examples:
After it left the tree, the leaf followed a tortuous path through the air before settling on the ground.

"The decision in Vergara vs. California also describes the tortuous procedure schools must go through to fire teachers, a process that makes it so difficult to get rid of even the worst teachers that many schools don't bother trying." — The Los Angeles Times, June 11, 2014

Did you know?
Be careful not to confuse "tortuous" with "torturous." These two words are relatives—both ultimately come from the Latin verb "torquere," which means "to twist," "to wind," or "to wrench"—but "tortuous" means "winding" or "crooked," whereas "torturous" means "painfully unpleasant." Something "tortuous" (such as a twisting mountain road) might also be "torturous" (if, for example, you have to ride up that road on a bicycle), but that doesn't make these words synonyms. The twists and turns that mark a tortuous thing can be literal ("a tortuous path" or "a tortuous river") or figurative ("a tortuous argument" or "a tortuous explanation"), but you should consider choosing a different descriptive term if no implication of winding or crookedness is present.

Categories: Fun Stuff

July 13, 1985: Live Aid concert

This Day in History - Sat, 07/12/2014 - 11:00pm

On July 13, 1985, at Wembley Stadium in London, Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially open Live Aid, a worldwide rock concert organized to raise money for the relief of famine-stricken Africans. Continued at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia and at other arenas around the world, the 16-hour "superconcert" was globally linked by satellite to more than a billion viewers in 110 nations. In a triumph of technology and good will, the event raised more than $125 million in famine relief for Africa.

Live Aid was the brainchild of Bob Geldof, the singer of an Irish rock group called the Boomtown Rats. In 1984, Geldof traveled to Ethiopia after hearing news reports of a horrific famine that had killed hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians and threatened to kill millions more. After returning to London, he called Britain's and Ireland's top pop artists together to record a single to benefit Ethiopian famine relief. "Do They Know It's Christmas?" was written by Geldof and Ultravox singer Midge Ure and performed by "Band Aid," an ensemble that featured Culture Club, Duran Duran, Phil Collins, U2, Wham!, and others. It was the best-selling single in Britain to that date and raised more than $10 million.

"Do They Know It's Christmas?" was also a No. 1 hit in the United States and inspired U.S. pop artists to come together and perform "We Are the World," a song written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie. "USA for Africa," as the U.S. ensemble was known, featured Jackson, Ritchie, Geldof, Harry Belafonte, Bob Dylan, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, and many others. The single went to the top of the charts and eventually raised $44 million.

With the crisis continuing in Ethiopia, and the neighboring Sudan also stricken with famine, Geldof proposed Live Aid, an ambitious global charity concert aimed at raising more funds and increasing awareness of the plight of many Africans. Organized in just 10 weeks, Live Aid was staged on Saturday, July 13, 1985. More than 75 acts performed, including Elton John, Madonna, Santana, Run DMC, Sade, Sting, Bryan Adams, the Beach Boys, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Queen, Duran Duran, U2, the Who, Tom Petty, Neil Young, and Eric Clapton. The majority of these artists performed at either Wembley Stadium in London, where a crowd of 70,000 turned out, or at Philadelphia's JFK Stadium, where 100,000 watched. Thirteen satellites beamed a live television broadcast of the event to more than one billion viewers in 110 countries. More than 40 of these nations held telethons for African famine relief during the broadcast.

A memorable moment of the concert was Phil Collins' performance in Philadelphia after flying by Concorde from London, where he performed at Wembley earlier in the day. He later played drums in a reunion of the surviving members of Led Zeppelin. Beatle Paul McCartney and the Who's Pete Townsend held Bob Geldof aloft on their shoulders during the London finale, which featured a collective performance of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" Six hours later, the U.S. concert ended with "We Are the World."

Live Aid eventually raised $127 million in famine relief for African nations, and the publicity it generated encouraged Western nations to make available enough surplus grain to end the immediate hunger crisis in Africa. Geldof was later knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his efforts.

In early July 2005, Geldof staged a series of "Live 8" concerts in 11 countries around the world to help raise awareness of global poverty. Organizers, led by Geldof, purposely scheduled the concert days before the annual G8 summit in an effort to increase political pressure on G8 nations to address issues facing the extremely poor around the world. Live 8 claims that an estimated 3 billion people watched 1,000 musicians perform in 11 shows, which were broadcast on 182 television networks and by 2,000 radio stations. Unlike Live Aid, Live 8 was intentionally not billed as a fundraiser--Geldof's slogan was, "We don't want your money, we want your voice." Perhaps in part because of the spotlight brought to such issues by Live 8, the G8 subsequently voted to cancel the debt of 18 of the world's poorest nations, make AIDS drugs more accessible, and double levels of annual aid to Africa, to $50 billion by 2010.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - July 12

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 07/12/2014 - 7:42pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

What comes next in this sequence:

2 3 5 7 11 31 71 91

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - July 12 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 07/12/2014 - 7:42pm
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 - July 12

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 07/12/2014 - 7:42pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Shell Game
   Guess which cup the ball is under.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Nicholas Chamfort

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 07/12/2014 - 7:00pm
"An economist is a surgeon with an excellent scalpel and a rough-edged lancet, who operates beautifully on the dead and tortures the living."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Stan Dunn

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 07/12/2014 - 7:00pm
"And that's the world in a nutshell, an appropriate receptacle."
Categories: Fun Stuff

W. C. Fields

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 07/12/2014 - 7:00pm
"Some weasel took the cork out of my lunch."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Shirley Temple

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 07/12/2014 - 7:00pm
"I stopped believing in Santa Claus when my mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked for my autograph."
Categories: Fun Stuff

hobbyhorse

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sat, 07/12/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 12, 2014 is:

hobbyhorse • \HAH-bee-horss\  • noun
1 a : a stick having an imitation horse's head at one end that a child pretends to ride b : a rocking horse c : a toy horse suspended by springs from a frame 2 : a topic to which one constantly reverts

Examples:
"The intricate toys, hobbyhorses and tiny working carriages, were made for child play before the eras of radio, TV, Nintendo or Internet." — Wendi Winters, The Capital (Annapolis, Maryland), December 24, 2006

"This has long been a hobbyhorse for McCain; who could forget—literally, because he said it roughly 1 billion times during the 2000/2008 campaigns—that Congress spent $3 million to study the DNA of bears in Montana?" — Chris Cillizza, WashingtonPost.com, May 7, 2014

Did you know?
The hobbyhorse is a toy of yesteryear, dating back to a homespun era predating automobiles. In the 1400s, the word "hobby" could refer to a real-life horse of small or average size. It soon came to refer to the horse costume worn by one participating in a morris dance or burlesque performance, and then, later, to the child's toy. Another meaning of "hobbyhorse" was "a favorite pursuit or pastime"; our modern noun "hobby" ("an activity that one does for pleasure when not working") was formed by shortening this word. From "pastime," the meaning of "hobbyhorse" was extended to "a subject to which one repeatedly returns." The sense is typically encountered as part of such metaphorical phrases as "get on one's hobbyhorse" or "ride one's hobbyhorse."

Categories: Fun Stuff

July 12, 1984: Ferraro named vice presidential candidate

This Day in History - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 11:00pm

Walter Mondale, the leading Democratic presidential candidate, announces that he has chosen Representative Geraldine Ferraro of New York as his running mate. Ferraro, a daughter of Italian immigrants, had previously gained notoriety as a vocal advocate of women's rights in Congress.

Four days after Ferraro was named vice presidential candidate, Governor Mario Cuomo of New York opened the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco with an impassioned retort to Republican President Ronald Reagan's contention that the United States was a "shining city on a hill." Citing widespread poverty and racial strife, Cuomo derided President Reagan as oblivious to the needs and problems of many of America's citizens. His enthusiastic keynote address inaugurated a convention that saw Ferraro become the first woman nominated by a major party for the vice presidency. However, Mondale, the former U.S. vice president under Jimmy Carter, proved a lackluster choice for the Democratic presidential nominee.

On November 6, President Reagan and Vice President George Bush defeated the Mondale-Ferraro ticket in the greatest Republican landslide in U.S. history. The Republicans carried every state but Minnesota--Mondale's home state.

Ferraro left Congress in 1985. In 1992 and 1998, she made unsuccessful bids for a U.S. Senate seat. During President Bill Clinton's administration, she was a permanent member on the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - July 11

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 7:28pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

How many animals do I have if all but 3 are dogs, all but 3 are cats, all but 3 are pigs and all but 3 are cows?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - July 11 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 7:28pm
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 - July 11

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 7:28pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Go Squirrel
   Join the squirrel on her psychedelic journey high into the sky!!!
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Ernie Kovacs

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 7:00pm
"Television � a medium. So called because it is neither rare nor well done."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Robert Anton Wilson

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 7:00pm
"It only takes 20 years for a liberal to become a conservative without changing a single idea."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Larry Gelbart

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 7:00pm
"One doesn't have a sense of humor. It has you."
Categories: Fun Stuff