Fun Stuff

John Stuart Mill

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 6:00pm
"If mankind minus one were of one opinion, then mankind is no more justified in silencing the one than the one - if he had the power - would be justified in silencing mankind."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Henry J. Tillman

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 6:00pm
"Life is something that everyone should try at least once."
Categories: Fun Stuff

ergonomic

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 12:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 17, 2014 is:

ergonomic • \er-guh-NAH-mik\  • adjective
1 : of or relating to the science of designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely 2 : designed or arranged for safe, comfortable, and efficient use

Examples:
Clara hoped that the ergonomic arrangement of her new workstation would help reduce the daily aches in her elbow and wrist.

"Fender has been credited with design and manufacturing innovations that revolutionized the world of electric guitars and basses. The Stratocaster body introduced a curvy ergonomic design for ease of playing…." — Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times, November 12, 2014

Did you know?
In 1969, a British publication assured the public that although the word ergonomics looked forbidding, "all it means is the science of making things fit people, instead of asking people to fit things." Ergonomic design as a field of study originated in the 19th century when a Polish author, Wojciech Jastrzebowski, wrote an article about the relation between human activity and the methods used to accomplish that activity. In the article, written in his native Polish, Jastrzebowski coined the word ergonomji, an efficient combination of the Greek ergo-, meaning "work," and nomos, meaning "law." British scientist K. F. H. Murrell is credited with creating the English word ergonomics in 1949, applying the -nomics ending to ergo- in imitation of economics. Earliest evidence of the adjective ergonomic dates to 1954.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - December 16

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 11:23pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

We have been quite lucky with the weather recently, it has got steadily warmer each day, over the last five days.

By this, I mean that the temperature rose by the same amount each day.

The average temperature was 2 °C and I know it froze on two occasions.

I also know the product of the temperatures was over 500 but below 2,000 and each temperature was an integer.

What were the last 5 temperatures?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - December 16 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 11:23pm
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 - December 16

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 11:23pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Monkey Lander
   Lander with a difference.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

December 17, 1903: First airplane flies

This Day in History - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 11:00pm

Near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Orville and Wilbur Wright make the first successful flight in history of a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft. Orville piloted the gasoline-powered, propeller-driven biplane, which stayed aloft for 12 seconds and covered 120 feet on its inaugural flight.

Orville and Wilbur Wright grew up in Dayton, Ohio, and developed an interest in aviation after learning of the glider flights of the German engineer Otto Lilienthal in the 1890s. Unlike their older brothers, Orville and Wilbur did not attend college, but they possessed extraordinary technical ability and a sophisticated approach to solving problems in mechanical design. They built printing presses and in 1892 opened a bicycle sales and repair shop. Soon, they were building their own bicycles, and this experience, combined with profits from their various businesses, allowed them to pursue actively their dream of building the world's first airplane.

After exhaustively researching other engineers' efforts to build a heavier-than-air, controlled aircraft, the Wright brothers wrote the U.S. Weather Bureau inquiring about a suitable place to conduct glider tests. They settled on Kitty Hawk, an isolated village on North Carolina's Outer Banks, which offered steady winds and sand dunes from which to glide and land softly. Their first glider, tested in 1900, performed poorly, but a new design, tested in 1901, was more successful. Later that year, they built a wind tunnel where they tested nearly 200 wings and airframes of different shapes and designs. The brothers' systematic experimentations paid off--they flew hundreds of successful flights in their 1902 glider at Kill Devils Hills near Kitty Hawk. Their biplane glider featured a steering system, based on a movable rudder, that solved the problem of controlled flight. They were now ready for powered flight.

In Dayton, they designed a 12-horsepower internal combustion engine with the assistance of machinist Charles Taylor and built a new aircraft to house it. They transported their aircraft in pieces to Kitty Hawk in the autumn of 1903, assembled it, made a few further tests, and on December 14 Orville made the first attempt at powered flight. The engine stalled during take-off and the plane was damaged, and they spent three days repairing it. Then at 10:35 a.m. on December 17, in front of five witnesses, the aircraft ran down a monorail track and into the air, staying aloft for 12 seconds and flying 120 feet. The modern aviation age was born. Three more tests were made that day, with Wilbur and Orville alternately flying the airplane. Wilbur flew the last flight, covering 852 feet in 59 seconds.

During the next few years, the Wright brothers further developed their airplanes but kept a low profile about their successes in order to secure patents and contracts for their flying machines. By 1905, their aircraft could perform complex maneuvers and remain aloft for up to 39 minutes at a time. In 1908, they traveled to France and made their first public flights, arousing widespread public excitement. In 1909, the U.S. Army's Signal Corps purchased a specially constructed plane, and the brothers founded the Wright Company to build and market their aircraft. Wilbur Wright died of typhoid fever in 1912; Orville lived until 1948.

The historic Wright brothers' aircraft of 1903 is on permanent display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Elbert Hubbard

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 6:00pm
"Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists of not exceeding the limit."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Jimmy Buffett

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 6:00pm
"Indecision may or may not be my problem."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Marlon Brando

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 6:00pm
"If there's anything unsettling to the stomach, it's watching actors on television talk about their personal lives."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Mel Brooks

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 6:00pm
"If God wanted us to fly, He would have given us tickets."
Categories: Fun Stuff

réchauffé

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 12:00am

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

réchauffé • \ray-shoh-FAY\  • noun
1 : something presented in a new form without change of substance : rehash 2 : a warmed-over dish of food

Examples:
The day after the holiday, it was traditional to serve réchauffés and snacks rather than cook a full meal.

"[It] is a réchauffé, … lifted and stitched from 'The Gastronomical Me' and other books." — Victoria Glendinning, New York Times Book Review, June 9, 1991

Did you know?
We borrowed réchauffé in the early 19th century from the French; it is the past participle of their verb réchauffer, which means "to reheat." Nineteenth-century French speakers were using it figuratively to designate something that was already old hat—you might say, "warmed over." English speakers adopted that same meaning, which is still our most common. But within decades someone had apparently decided that leftovers would seem more appealing with a French name. The notion caught on. A recipe for "Réchauffé of Beef a la Jardiniere," for example, instructs the cook to reheat "yesterday's piece of meat" in a little water with some tomatoes added, and serve it on a platter with peas and carrots and potatoes. Réchauffé shares its root with another English word, chafing dish, the name of a receptacle for keeping food warm at the table.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - December 15

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 11:09pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Cabbage is to sprouts as carrot is to:

pea cucumber potato tomato artichoke celery

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - December 15 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 11:09pm
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 - December 15

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 11:09pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Metaphysik
   Delicately guide your ball around the maze. A fine touch is all you need.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

December 16, 1773: The Boston Tea Party

This Day in History - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 11:00pm

In Boston Harbor, a group of Massachusetts colonists disguised as Mohawk Indians board three British tea ships and dump 342 chests of tea into the harbor.

The midnight raid, popularly known as the "Boston Tea Party," was in protest of the British Parliament's Tea Act of 1773, a bill designed to save the faltering East India Company by greatly lowering its tea tax and granting it a virtual monopoly on the American tea trade. The low tax allowed the East India Company to undercut even tea smuggled into America by Dutch traders, and many colonists viewed the act as another example of taxation tyranny.

When three tea ships, the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver, arrived in Boston Harbor, the colonists demanded that the tea be returned to England. After Massachusetts Governor Thomas Hutchinson refused, Patriot leader Samuel Adams organized the "tea party" with about 60 members of the Sons of Liberty, his underground resistance group. The British tea dumped in Boston Harbor on the night of December 16 was valued at some $18,000.

Parliament, outraged by the blatant destruction of British property, enacted the Coercive Acts, also known as the Intolerable Acts, in 1774. The Coercive Acts closed Boston to merchant shipping, established formal British military rule in Massachusetts, made British officials immune to criminal prosecution in America, and required colonists to quarter British troops. The colonists subsequently called the first Continental Congress to consider a united American resistance to the British.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Ellen DeGeneres

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 6:00pm
"In the beginning there was nothing. God said, 'Let there be light!' And there was light. There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Flannery O'Connor

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 6:00pm
"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Vince Lombardi

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 6:00pm
"If you aren't fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Don Marquis

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 6:00pm
"When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him: 'Whose?'"
Categories: Fun Stuff