Fun Stuff

Paul Gauguin

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 7:00pm
"Art is either plagiarism or revolution."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Bill Vaughan

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 7:00pm
"A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a national election."
Categories: Fun Stuff

interlocutor

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 23, 2014 is:

interlocutor • \in-ter-LAH-kyuh-ter\  • noun
: one who takes part in dialogue or conversation

Examples:
Steve's aggressive insistence on the correctness of his own opinions frequently made his interlocutors uncomfortable.

"I don't wonder that one of his interlocutors stared when he seriously suggested to them that MPs were paid too much, and would do their job much better if they were on the minimum wage." — Philip Hensher, The Independent (London), September 14, 2014

Did you know?
Interlocutor derives from the Latin interloqui, meaning "to speak between" or "to issue an interlocutory decree." (An interlocutory decree is a court judgment that comes in the middle of a case and is not decisive.) Interloqui, in turn, ultimately comes from the words inter-, "between," and loqui, "to speak." Some other words that English borrowed from loqui are loquacious ("talkative"), circumlocution (essentially, "talking around a subject"), ventriloquism ("talking in such a way that one's voice seems to come from someone or something else"), eloquent ("capable of fluent or vivid speech"), and grandiloquence ("extravagant or pompous speech").

Categories: Fun Stuff

October 23, 2002: Hostage crisis in Moscow theater

This Day in History - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 11:00pm

On October 23, 2002, about 50 Chechen rebels storm a Moscow theater, taking up to 700 people hostage during a sold-out performance of a popular musical.

The second act of the musical "Nord Ost" was just beginning at the Moscow Ball-Bearing Plant's Palace of Culture when an armed man walked onstage and fired a machine gun into the air. The terrorists—including a number of women with explosives strapped to their bodies—identified themselves as members of the Chechen Army. They had one demand: that Russian military forces begin an immediate and complete withdrawal from Chechnya, the war-torn region located north of the Caucasus Mountains.

Chechnya, with its predominately Muslim population, had long struggled to assert its independence. A disastrous two-year war ended in 1996, but Russian forces returned to the region just three years later after Russian authorities blamed Chechens for a series of bombings in Russia. In 2000, President Vladimir Putin was elected partly because of his hard-line position towards Chechnya and his public vow not to negotiate with terrorists.

After a 57-hour-standoff at the Palace of Culture, during which two hostages were killed, Russian special forces surrounded and raided the theater on the morning of October 26. Later it was revealed that they had pumped a powerful narcotic gas into the building, knocking nearly all of the terrorists and hostages unconscious before breaking into the walls and roof and entering through underground sewage tunnels. Most of the guerrillas and 120 hostages were killed during the raid. Security forces were later forced to defend the decision to use the dangerous gas, saying that only a complete surprise attack could have disarmed the terrorists before they had time to detonate their explosives.

After the theater crisis, Putin's government clamped down even harder on Chechnya, drawing accusations of kidnapping, torture and other atrocities. In response, Chechen rebels continued their terrorist attacks on Russian soil, including an alleged suicide bombing in a Moscow subway in February 2004 and another major hostage crisis at a Beslan school that September.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - October 22

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 7:08pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

My 6, 7, 3 is a tear to a newspaper.
My 5, 4, 1 is damper than moist.
My 1, 7, 6, 4 makes you weary blowing it up.
My 5, 7, 6, 9 helps electricity to flow.
My 8, 10, 2 is an attempt at this puzzle.

My whole might have been used to create this puzzle.

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - October 22 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 7:08pm
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 - October 22

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 7:08pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

My Diamond
   A deadly race with a moving frame of lasers.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Johnny Carson

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 7:00pm
"If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Edmond de Goncourt

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 7:00pm
"A painting in a museum hears more ridiculous opinions than anything else in the world."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Eric Hoffer

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 7:00pm
"It is a sign of a creeping inner death when we no longer can praise the living."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Edward P. Tryon

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 7:00pm
"In answer to the question of why it happened, I offer the modest proposal that our Universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time."
Categories: Fun Stuff

turophile

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 22, 2014 is:

turophile • \TOOR-uh-fyle\  • noun
: a connoisseur of cheese : a cheese fancier

Examples:
Surely the turophiles at our table can recommend some good cheeses to pair with our wine selection.

"For this dish you need a special cheese from Switzerland called Raclette. It's expensive and hard to find where I live, and it smells terrible—or, to turophiles like me, divine." — Patty Kirk, Starting From Scratch: Memoirs of a Wandering Cook, 2008

Did you know?
Are you stuck on Stilton or gaga for Gouda? Do you crave Camembert? If so, you just might be a turophile, the ultimate cheese lover. From an irregular formation of the Greek word for cheese, tyros, plus the English -phile, meaning "lover" (itself a descendant of the Greek -philos, meaning "loving"), turophile first named cheese aficionados as early as 1938. It was in the 1950s, however, that the term really caught the attention of the American public, when Clifton Fadiman (writer, editor, and radio host) introduced turophile to readers of his eloquent musings on the subject of cheese.

Categories: Fun Stuff

October 22, 1962: Cuban Missile Crisis

This Day in History - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 11:00pm

In a televised speech of extraordinary gravity, President John F. Kennedy announces that U.S. spy planes have discovered Soviet missile bases in Cuba. These missile sites—under construction but nearing completion—housed medium-range missiles capable of striking a number of major cities in the United States, including Washington, D.C. Kennedy announced that he was ordering a naval "quarantine" of Cuba to prevent Soviet ships from transporting any more offensive weapons to the island and explained that the United States would not tolerate the existence of the missile sites currently in place. The president made it clear that America would not stop short of military action to end what he called a "clandestine, reckless, and provocative threat to world peace."

What is known as the Cuban Missile Crisis actually began on October 15, 1962—the day that U.S. intelligence personnel analyzing U-2 spy plane data discovered that the Soviets were building medium-range missile sites in Cuba. The next day, President Kennedy secretly convened an emergency meeting of his senior military, political, and diplomatic advisers to discuss the ominous development. The group became known as ExCom, short for Executive Committee. After rejecting a surgical air strike against the missile sites, ExCom decided on a naval quarantine and a demand that the bases be dismantled and missiles removed. On the night of October 22, Kennedy went on national television to announce his decision. During the next six days, the crisis escalated to a breaking point as the world tottered on the brink of nuclear war between the two superpowers.

On October 23, the quarantine of Cuba began, but Kennedy decided to give Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev more time to consider the U.S. action by pulling the quarantine line back 500 miles. By October 24, Soviet ships en route to Cuba capable of carrying military cargoes appeared to have slowed down, altered, or reversed their course as they approached the quarantine, with the exception of one ship—the tanker Bucharest. At the request of more than 40 nonaligned nations, U.N. Secretary-General U Thant sent private appeals to Kennedy and Khrushchev, urging that their governments "refrain from any action that may aggravate the situation and bring with it the risk of war." At the direction of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. military forces went to DEFCON 2, the highest military alert ever reached in the postwar era, as military commanders prepared for full-scale war with the Soviet Union.

On October 25, the aircraft carrier USS Essex and the destroyer USS Gearing attempted to intercept the Soviet tanker Bucharest as it crossed over the U.S. quarantine of Cuba. The Soviet ship failed to cooperate, but the U.S. Navy restrained itself from forcibly seizing the ship, deeming it unlikely that the tanker was carrying offensive weapons. On October 26, Kennedy learned that work on the missile bases was proceeding without interruption, and ExCom considered authorizing a U.S. invasion of Cuba. The same day, the Soviets transmitted a proposal for ending the crisis: The missile bases would be removed in exchange for a U.S. pledge not to invade Cuba.

The next day, however, Khrushchev upped the ante by publicly calling for the dismantling of U.S. missile bases in Turkey under pressure from Soviet military commanders. While Kennedy and his crisis advisers debated this dangerous turn in negotiations, a U-2 spy plane was shot down over Cuba, and its pilot, Major Rudolf Anderson, was killed. To the dismay of the Pentagon, Kennedy forbid a military retaliation unless any more surveillance planes were fired upon over Cuba. To defuse the worsening crisis, Kennedy and his advisers agreed to dismantle the U.S. missile sites in Turkey but at a later date, in order to prevent the protest of Turkey, a key NATO member.

On October 28, Khrushchev announced his government's intent to dismantle and remove all offensive Soviet weapons in Cuba. With the airing of the public message on Radio Moscow, the USSR confirmed its willingness to proceed with the solution secretly proposed by the Americans the day before. In the afternoon, Soviet technicians began dismantling the missile sites, and the world stepped back from the brink of nuclear war. The Cuban Missile Crisis was effectively over. In November, Kennedy called off the blockade, and by the end of the year all the offensive missiles had left Cuba. Soon after, the United States quietly removed its missiles from Turkey.

The Cuban Missile Crisis seemed at the time a clear victory for the United States, but Cuba emerged from the episode with a much greater sense of security. A succession of U.S. administrations have honored Kennedy's pledge not to invade Cuba, and the communist island nation situated just 80 miles from Florida remains a thorn in the side of U.S. foreign policy. The removal of antiquated Jupiter missiles from Turkey had no detrimental effect on U.S. nuclear strategy, but the Cuban Missile Crisis convinced a humiliated USSR to commence a massive nuclear buildup. In the 1970s, the Soviet Union reached nuclear parity with the United States and built intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of striking any city in the United States.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Terry Pratchett

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 7:00pm
"I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Herb Caen

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 7:00pm
"The only thing wrong with immortality is that it tends to go on forever."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Andy Gibb

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 7:00pm
"Girls are always running through my mind. They don't dare walk."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Mark Twain

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 7:00pm
"In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - October 21

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 6:54pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

The legendary BrainBashers calendar has had a small problem.

Here is a listing showing the number of days in each month:

January    73
February   83
March      51
April      52
May        31
June       42
July       41
August     63
September  ==?==

Using the same rules, how many days are in September?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - October 21 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 6:54pm
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 - October 21

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 6:54pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Fat Slice
   Slice up shapes by dragging your mouse through them.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff