Fun Stuff

Robert Frost

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 7:00pm
"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 7:00pm
"Lawyers spend a great deal of their time shoveling smoke."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Anonymous

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 7:00pm
"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."
Categories: Fun Stuff

exculpatory

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 19, 2015 is:

exculpatory • \ek-SKUL-puh-tor-ee\  • adjective
: tending or serving to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Examples:
The DNA found at the crime scene proved to be exculpatory; it did not match that of the defendant, and so he was acquitted.

"Authorities also were faulted for withholding exculpatory evidence from the defense, including an initial statement by Herrington to police that two men he identified as Jim and Ed were the real killers." — Jim Dey, The News-Gazette (Champaign, Illinois), July 19, 2015

Did you know?
Exculpatory is the adjectival form of the verb exculpate, meaning "to clear from guilt." The pair of words cannot be accused of being secretive—their joint etymology reveals all: they are tied to the Latin verb exculpatus, a word that combines the prefix ex-, meaning "out of" or "away from," with the Latin noun culpa, meaning "blame." The related but lesser-known terms inculpate and inculpatory are antonyms of exculpate and exculpatory. Inculpate means "to incriminate" and inculpatory means "incriminating." A related noun, culpable, means "meriting condemnation or blame for doing something wrong."

Categories: Fun Stuff

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

This Day in History - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 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 - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 8:07pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

What is the next number in this sequence:

0 0 1 2 2 4 3 6 4 8 5 ==?==

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - August 18 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 8:07pm
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 - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 8:07pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Ball-A-Track
   How far can you keep the ball inside the track?
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

H. L. Mencken

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 7:00pm
"The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Samuel Johnson

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 7:00pm
"Wine makes a man more pleased with himself; I do not say that it makes him more pleasing to others."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Tom Wolfe

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 7:00pm
"A cult is a religion with no political power."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Kin Hubbard

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 7:00pm
"Boys will be boys, and so will a lot of middle-aged men."
Categories: Fun Stuff

jog trot

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 18, 2015 is:

jog trot • \JAHG-TRAHT\  • noun
1 : a horse's slow measured trot 2 : a routine habit or course of action

Examples:
The weekly Friday-night dances provided the townsfolk with a few hours of respite from the jog trot of life.

"The speed of the trot can vary between the very slow jog trot at less than four miles per hour to the very fast racing trot of the Standardbred, at well over fifteen miles per hour." — Lee Ziegler, Easy-Gaited Horses, 2005

Did you know?
The jog trot is a type of gait that is sometimes required at horse shows. It appears to have been so named because the horse's often jolting movement is certainly "jogging," and the gait itself is actually a kind of careful, deliberate trot. The term first appeared in print in 1796 and rapidly came to be used in a figurative sense as well, referring to a steady and usually monotonous routine, similar to the slow, regular pace of a horse at a jog trot. There is a suggestion with the generalized sense that the action is uniform and unhurried, and perhaps even a little dull.

Categories: Fun Stuff

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

This Day in History - Mon, 08/17/2015 - 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 - Mon, 08/17/2015 - 7:53pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

My BrainBashers electronic world atlas has developed a fault, I did a listing of miles from England to particular countries and here is the result:

Spain     14,000 miles
Fiji      12,000 miles
Germany   18,000 miles
Brazil    16,000 miles
India     16,000 miles

How far away did it list Iceland as?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - August 17 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 08/17/2015 - 7:53pm
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 - Mon, 08/17/2015 - 7:53pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Word Wanderer
   Jack and the Beanstalk meets a crossword puzzle.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Mitch Hedberg

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 08/17/2015 - 7:00pm
"I wanna hang a map of the world in my house. Then I'm gonna put pins into all the locations that I've traveled to. But first, I'm gonna have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it won't fall down."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Sinclair Lewis

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 08/17/2015 - 7:00pm
"People will buy anything that is one to a customer."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Will Rogers

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 08/17/2015 - 7:00pm
"Our constitution protects aliens, drunks and U.S. Senators."
Categories: Fun Stuff