Fun Stuff

Andrew S. Tanenbaum

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 01/17/2015 - 6:00pm
"The nice thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from."
Categories: Fun Stuff


Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sat, 01/17/2015 - 12:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for January 17, 2015 is:

distemper • \dis-TEM-per\  • verb
: to throw out of order

Martha worried that employee morale at the company would be distempered if the rumored merger were to happen.

"The night was rightfully dedicated to much of the new album, 'Come On a Get It' opening the set while the Schoolhouse Rock-influenced 'Stand' and bolder still 'Rock Star City Life' distempered the more recognizable pellets in Kravitz's arsenal." — Selena Fragassi, PopMatters, February 15, 2013

Did you know?
If you temper something, you soften or dilute it by mixing in something else. You might, for example, temper wine with water or temper judgment with mercy. But what if you add the wrong thing and just end up with a big mess? That's the general idea behind distemper, which came to English in the 14th century from Late Latin distemperare ("to mix badly"). Nowadays, we often use the participial form distempered to refer to a mood that is affected by negative feelings. There's also the noun distemper, which can mean "bad humor or temper" or "a serious virus disease of dogs." Another noun and verb pair of distemper entered English centuries after our featured word. The noun refers to a painting process in which pigments are mixed with glutinous substances, like egg yolks or whites. The related verb means "to paint in or with distemper."

Categories: Fun Stuff

January 17, 1950: Boston thieves pull off historic robbery

This Day in History - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1950, 11 men steal more than $2 million from the Brinks Armored Car depot in Boston, Massachusetts. It was the perfect crime--almost--as the culprits weren't caught until January 1956, just days before the statute of limitations for the theft expired.

The robbery's mastermind was Anthony "Fats" Pino, a career criminal who recruited a group of 10 other men to stake out the depot for 18 months to figure out when it held the most money. Pino's men then managed to steal plans for the depot's alarm system, returning them before anyone noticed they were gone.

Wearing navy blue coats and chauffeur's caps--similar to the Brinks employee uniforms--with rubber Halloween masks, the thieves entered the depot with copied keys, surprising and tying up several employees inside the company's counting room. Filling 14 canvas bags with cash, coins, checks and money orders--for a total weight of more than half a ton--the men were out and in their getaway car in about 30 minutes. Their haul? More than $2.7 million--the largest robbery in U.S. history up until that time.

No one was hurt in the robbery, and the thieves left virtually no clues, aside from the rope used to tie the employees and one of the chauffeur's caps. The gang promised to stay out of trouble and not touch the money for six years in order for the statute of limitations to run out. They might have made it, but for the fact that one man, Joseph "Specs" O'Keefe, left his share with another member in order to serve a prison sentence for another burglary. While in jail, O'Keefe wrote bitterly to his cohorts demanding money and hinting he might talk. The group sent a hit man to kill O'Keefe, but he was caught before completing his task. The wounded O'Keefe made a deal with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to testify against his fellow robbers.

Eight of the Brinks robbers were caught, convicted and given life sentences. Two more died before they could go to trial. Only a small part of the money was ever recovered; the rest is fabled to be hidden in the hills north of Grand Rapids, Minnesota. In 1978, the famous robbery was immortalized on film in The Brinks Job, starring Peter Falk.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - January 16

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 6:26pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Farmer Stone has 6 pigs, 4 chickens and 3 cows.

Farmer Morton has 5 pigs, 3 chickens and 5 cows.

How many of Farmer Stone's animals can say they are the same animal as Farmer Morton's?

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - January 16 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 6:26pm
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 - January 16

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 6:26pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

   Collect all the orange balls and get to the exit to pass each level.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Ellen Goodman

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 6:00pm
"In journalism, there has always been a tension between getting it first and getting it right."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Pierre Beaumarchais

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 6:00pm
"It is not necessary to understand things in order to argue about them."
Categories: Fun Stuff

H. P. Lovecraft

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 6:00pm
"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Albert Camus

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 6:00pm
"Charm is a way of getting the answer yes without asking a clear question."
Categories: Fun Stuff