Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 08, 2014 is:
pork barrel \PORK-BAIR-ul\ noun
: government projects or appropriations yielding rich patronage benefits; also: government funds, jobs, or favors distributed by politicians to gain political advantage
It was apparent that the construction of the new parking garage was not a necessary project but a pork barrel deal for the business owners who would see increased foot traffic.
"In a debate over pork barrel projects in 2007, [Sen. Tom Coburn] admonished his colleagues, 'Your duty is to the country as a whole, not to the well-heeled special interests who are the beneficiaries.'" Chris Casteel, NewsOK.com (Oklahoma City), September 7, 2014
Did you know?
You might expect that the original pork barrels were barrels for storing porkand you're right. In the early 19th century, that's exactly what pork barrel meant. But the term was also used figuratively to mean "a supply of money" or "one's livelihood" (a farmer, after all, could readily turn pork into cash). When 20th-century legislators doled out appropriations that benefited their home districts, someone apparently made an association between the profit a farmer got from a barrel of pork and the benefits derived from certain state and federal projects. By 1909, pork barrel was being used as a noun naming such government appropriations, and today the term is usually used attributively in constructions such as "pork barrel spending" or "a pork barrel project."
On this day in 1871, flames spark in the Chicago barn of Patrick and Catherine O'Leary, igniting a two-day blaze that kills between 200 and 300 people, destroys 17,450 buildings, leaves 100,000 homeless and causes an estimated $200 million (in 1871 dollars; $3 billion in 2007 dollars) in damages. Legend has it that a cow kicked over a lantern in the O'Leary barn and started the fire, but other theories hold that humans or even a comet may have been responsible for the event that left four square miles of the Windy City, including its business district, in ruins. Dry weather and an abundance of wooden buildings, streets and sidewalks made Chicago vulnerable to fire. The city averaged two fires per day in 1870; there were 20 fires throughout Chicago the week before the Great Fire of 1871.
Despite the fire's devastation, much of Chicago's physical infrastructure, including its water, sewage and transportation systems, remained intact. Reconstruction efforts began quickly and spurred great economic development and population growth, as architects laid the foundation for a modern city featuring the world's first skyscrapers. At the time of the fire, Chicago's population was approximately 324,000; within nine years, there were 500,000 Chicagoans. By 1893, the city was a major economic and transportation hub with an estimated population of 1.5 million. That same year, Chicago was chosen to host the World's Columbian Exposition, a major tourist attraction visited by 27.5 million people, or approximately half the U.S. population at the time.
In 1997, the Chicago City Council exonerated Mrs. O'Leary and her cow. She turned into a recluse after the fire, and died in 1895.
Starting with WARM, change one letter at a time, and end with COOL?
Each change leaves the other letters in their original places and must result in a proper word.
[Copyright: Kevin Stone]
Complete the grid such that every row, every column, and the nine 3x3 blocks contain the digits from 1 to 9.
[Copyright: Kevin Stone]
Sling, flick and snap through 20 levels of puzzling action fun!
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]