Fun Stuff

pell-mell

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - 3 hours 21 min ago

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 16, 2014 is:

pell-mell • \pel-MEL\  • adverb
1 : in mingled confusion or disorder 2 : in confused haste

Examples:
After the final bell of the day rang, the pupils bolted from their desks and ran pell-mell out the door into the schoolyard.

"So Congress has been racing pell-mell this month to fix this crisis that’s been simmering for two decades. And what they’ve come up with is a Rube Goldberg contraption even by their usual convoluted standards." — Danny Westneat, Walla Walla Union-Bulletin (Washington), July 18, 2014

Did you know?
The word pell-mell was probably formed through a process called reduplication. The process—which involves the repetition of a word or part of a word, often including a slight change in its pronunciation—also generated such terms as bowwow, helter-skelter, flip-flop, and chitchat. Yet another product of reduplication is shilly-shally, which started out as a single-word compression of the question "Shall I?" For pell-mell, the process is believed to have occurred long ago: our word traces to a Middle French word of the same meaning, pelemele, which was likely a product of reduplication from Old French mesle, a form of mesler, meaning "to mix."

Categories: Fun Stuff

September 16, 1932: Gandhi begins fast in protest of caste separation

This Day in History - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1932, in his cell at Yerovda Jail near Bombay, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi begins a hunger strike in protest of the British government's decision to separate India's electoral system by caste.

A leader in the Indian campaign for home rule, Gandhi worked all his life to spread his own brand of passive resistance across India and the world. By 1920, his concept of Satyagraha (or "insistence upon truth") had made Gandhi an enormously influential figure for millions of followers. Jailed by the British government from 1922-24, he withdrew from political action for a time during the 1920s but in 1930 returned with a new civil disobedience campaign. This landed Gandhi in prison again, but only briefly, as the British made concessions to his demands and invited him to represent the Indian National Congress Party at a round-table conference in London.

After his return to India in January 1932, Gandhi wasted no time beginning another civil disobedience campaign, for which he was jailed yet again. Eight months later, Gandhi announced he was beginning a "fast unto death" in order to protest British support of a new Indian constitution, which gave the country's lowest classes--known as "untouchables"--their own separate political representation for a period of 70 years. Gandhi believed this would permanently and unfairly divide India's social classes. A member of the more powerful Vaisya, or merchant caste, Gandhi nonetheless advocated the emancipation of the untouchables, whom he called Harijans, or "Children of God."

"This is a god-given opportunity that has come to me," Gandhi said from his prison cell at Yerovda, "to offer my life as a final sacrifice to the downtrodden." Though other public figures in India--including Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambdekar, the official political representative of the untouchables--had questioned Gandhi's true commitment to the lower classes, his six-day fast ended after the British government accepted the principal terms of a settlement between higher caste Indians and the untouchables that reversed the separation decision.

As India slowly moved towards independence, Gandhi's influence only grew. He continued to resort to the hunger strike as a method of resistance, knowing the British government would not be able to withstand the pressure of the public's concern for the man they called Mahatma, or "Great Soul." On January 12, 1948, Gandhi undertook his last successful fast in New Delhi, to persuade Hindus and Muslims in that city to work toward peace. On January 30, less than two weeks after breaking that fast, he was assassinated by a Hindu extremist on his way to an evening prayer meeting.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - September 15

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 10:40pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

How quickly can you find the answer to:

5  x  4  x  3  x  ...  x  -3  x  -4  x  -5

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - September 15 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 10:40pm
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 - September 15

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 10:40pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Reverse
   Navigate the simple mazes, but watch out, your mouse movement has been reversed! Very addictive!
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

BrainBashers RSS Feed - Unsubscribe?

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 10:40pm
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Categories: Fun Stuff

G. K. Chesterton

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 7:00pm
"By a curious confusion, many modern critics have passed from the proposition that a masterpiece may be unpopular to the other proposition that unless it is unpopular it cannot be a masterpiece."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Bertrand Russell

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 7:00pm
"Men who are unhappy, like men who sleep badly, are always proud of the fact."
Categories: Fun Stuff

H. L. Mencken

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 7:00pm
"Misogynist: A man who hates women as much as women hate one another."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Arthur C. Clarke

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 7:00pm
"The best measure of a man's honesty isn't his income tax return. It's the zero adjust on his bathroom scale."
Categories: Fun Stuff

divarication

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 15, 2014 is:

divarication • \dye-vair-uh-KAY-shun\  • noun
1 : the action, process, or fact of spreading apart 2 : a divergence of opinion

Examples:
The team of botanists studied the growth patterns of the trees, including the divarication of their branches.

"For journalists, the futurists were at worst nothing more than a further example of the divarication between the world of art and the tastes of the public.…" — Luca Somigli, Legitimizing the Artist, 2003

Did you know?
There's no reason to prevaricate about the origins of divarication—the word derives from the Medieval Latin divaricatio, which in turn descends from the verb divaricare, meaning "to spread apart." Divaricare itself is derived from the Latin varicare, which means "to straddle" and is also an ancestor of prevaricate ("to deviate from the truth"). The oldest sense of divarication, which first appeared in print in English in 1578, refers to a literal branching apart (as in "divarication of the roads"). The word eventually developed a more metaphorical second sense that is used when opinions "stretch apart" from one another.

Categories: Fun Stuff

September 15, 1978: Ali defeats Spinks to win world heavyweight championship

This Day in History - Sun, 09/14/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1978, boxer Muhammad Ali defeats Leon Spinks at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans to win the world heavyweight boxing title for the third time in his career, the first fighter ever to do so. Following his victory, Ali retired from boxing, only to make a brief comeback two years later. Ali, who once claimed he could "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee," left the sport permanently in 1981.

Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. in Louisville, Kentucky, on January 14, 1942, the future world champ changed his name to Muhammad Ali in 1964 after converting to Islam. He earned a gold medal at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome and made his professional boxing debut against Tunney Husaker in October 1960, winning the bout in six rounds. On February 25, 1964, Ali defeated the heavily favored Sonny Liston in six rounds to become heavyweight champ, after which he famously declared, "I am the greatest!"

During the Vietnam War, Ali refused to be inducted into the U.S. armed forces and in 1967 was convicted of draft evasion and banned from boxing for three years. He stayed out of prison as his case was appealed and returned to the ring in October 1970, knocking out Jerry Quarry in Atlanta in the third round. On March 8, 1971, Ali fought Joe Frazier in the "Fight of the Century" and lost after 15 rounds, the first loss of his professional boxing career. In June 1971, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Ali's conviction for evading the draft.

At a January 1974 rematch at New York City's Madison Square Garden, Ali defeated Frazier in 12 rounds. In October of that same year, an underdog Ali bested George Foreman and reclaimed his heavyweight champion belt at the heavily hyped "Rumble in the Jungle" in Kinshasa, Zaire, with a knockout in the eighth round. On February 15, 1978, in Las Vegas, an aging Ali lost the title to Leon Spinks in a 15-round split decision. For Spinks, who was born in 1953 and won a gold medal in boxing at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, the fight was just the eighth of his professional career. However, seven months later, on September 15, Ali won the title back, in a unanimous 15-round decision.

In June 1979, Ali announced he was retiring from boxing. On October 2, 1980, he returned to the ring and fought heavyweight champ Larry Holmes, who knocked him out in the 11th round. After losing to Trevor Berbick on December 11, 1981, Ali left the ring for the last time, with a record of 56 wins, five losses and 37 knockouts. In 1984, he was revealed to have Parkinson's disease. Spinks retired from boxing in 1995 with a record of 26 wins, 17 losses and 14 knockouts.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - September 14

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 09/14/2014 - 10:27pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

There are four bungalows in our cul-de-sac. They are made from these materials: straw, wood, brick and glass.

Mrs Scott's bungalow is somewhere to the left of the wooden one and the third one along is brick. Mrs Umbrella owns a straw bungalow and Mr Tinsley does not live at either end, but lives somewhere to the right of the glass bungalow. Mr Wilshaw lives in the fourth bungalow, whilst the first bungalow is not made from straw.

Who lives where, and what is their bungalow made from?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - September 14 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 09/14/2014 - 10:27pm
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 - September 14

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 09/14/2014 - 10:27pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Arcade Lines
   Line up balls 5 in a row, made a little easier with power-ups.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Joan Rivers

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 09/14/2014 - 7:00pm
"A man can sleep around, no questions asked, but if a woman makes nineteen or twenty mistakes she's a tramp."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Emile Chartier

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 09/14/2014 - 7:00pm
"There are only two kinds of scholars; those who love ideas and those who hate them."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Arthur Schopenhauer

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 09/14/2014 - 7:00pm
"If we were not all so interested in ourselves, life would be so uninteresting that none of us would be able to endure it."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Ken Olsen

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 09/14/2014 - 7:00pm
"There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home."
Categories: Fun Stuff

aleatory

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sun, 09/14/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 14, 2014 is:

aleatory • \AY-lee-uh-tor-ee\  • adjective
: characterized by chance or random elements

Examples:
Tom and Renee's romance had an aleatory beginning—for without the sudden rainstorm that led to their introduction beneath the shop's awning, would they ever have met?

"Pollard had learned the 'cut-up' technique from Burroughs, in which the song (or poem) is completed, then spliced, then rearranged in random order. This writing technique is aleatory: in other words, it deposits chance directly into the creative process. What’s produced as a result of the technique is completely random …." — Brian Burlage, The Michigan Daily, July 30, 2014

Did you know?
If you're the gambling type, then chances are good you've come across aleatory in your travels. Deriving from the Latin noun alea, which refers to a kind of dice game, aleatory was first used in English in the late 17th century to describe things that are dependent on uncertain odds, much like a roll of the dice. The term now describes things that occur by sheer chance or accident, such as the unlucky bounce of a golf shot or the unusual shape of an ink blot. Going a bit further, the term aleatory music, or chance music, describes a musical composition in which certain parts are left for the performer to concoct through improvisation.

Categories: Fun Stuff