Fun Stuff

Albert Schweitzer

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 08/01/2015 - 7:00pm
"Man is a clever animal who behaves like an imbecile."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Lyndon B. Johnson

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 08/01/2015 - 7:00pm
"If two men agree on everything, you may be sure that one of them is doing the thinking."
Categories: Fun Stuff

skulduggery

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sat, 08/01/2015 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 01, 2015 is:

skulduggery • \skull-DUG-uh-ree\  • noun
: underhanded or unscrupulous behavior; also : a devious device or trick

Examples:
There was a whiff of skulduggery surrounding the real-estate deal, since the building managed to pass inspection even though everyone knew it wasn't up to code.

"Some House Democrats … cast a poor light on the idea of continued backroom negotiations. Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), the No. 4 Democratic leader, said the move to extend a possible revote until as late as July 30 was 'shady stuff' and 'underhanded' and held the potential for procedural skulduggery." — Paul Kane and Mike DiBonis, Washington Post, June 16, 2015

Did you know?
Skulduggery, which can also be spelled skullduggery, was first documented in the mid-19th century with the spelling scull-duggery. Etymologists aren't sure exactly how the word arrived in English, but despite the macabre imagery conjured by the word's parts, they do not believe it had anything to do with skulls. It is possibly derived from the now-very-rare sculduddery, a term once used to refer to gross or lewd conduct, but unfortunately the origins of that word are also unknown.

Categories: Fun Stuff

August 01, 1961: Texans head for the thrills at Six Flags

This Day in History - Fri, 07/31/2015 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1961, amusement park lovers “head for the thrills” as Six Flags Over Texas, the first park in the Six Flags chain, opens. Located on 212 acres in Arlington, Texas, the park was the first to feature log flume and mine train rides and later, the first 360-degree looping roller coaster, modern parachute drop and man-made river rapids ride. The park also pioneered the concept of all-inclusive admission price; until then, separate entrance fees and individual ride tickets were the standard. During its opening year, a day at Six Flags cost $2.75 for an adult and $2.25 for a child. A hamburger sold for 50 cents and a soda set the buyer back a dime.

The park, which took a year and $10 million to build, was the brainchild of Texas real estate developer and oilman Angus Wynne Jr., who viewed it as a short-term way to make a buck from some vacant land before turning it into an industrial complex. Wynne reportedly recouped his personal investment of $3.5 million within 18 months and changed his mind about the park’s temporary status. With 17.5 million visitors in its first 10 years, the park became the Lone Star State’s top for-profit tourist attraction. Today, average annual attendance at the park is over 3 million.

One of Six Flags’ unique aspects was that it wasn’t just a random collection of rides; it was developed around a theme: the history of Texas. The park’s name was a nod to the six flags that had flown over the state at various times–France, Spain, Mexico, the Confederacy, Texas and the United States. The park’s rides and attractions were grouped into six themed sections that represented the cultures of these governments and enabled visitors to experience everything from cowboy culture to Southern belles and pirates. Originally, the park was to be called Texas Under Six Flags, before it was decided that Texas should never be under anything.

Angus Wynne sold Six Flags in 1969 and in the coming years, the company expanded and was resold. Today, Six Flags, Inc. is the world’s largest regional theme park company and owns and operates 30 theme, water and zoological parks in North America. In 2005, almost 34 million people spent a combined 250 million hours at Six Flags parks.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - July 31

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 07/31/2015 - 10:00pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

In the olden days, a man rode into town on his horse. He arrived on Monday, spent six days in town and left on Friday. How is that possible?

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - July 31 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 07/31/2015 - 10:00pm
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 - July 31

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 07/31/2015 - 10:00pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Numz
   Find your way to the exit in each of the levels.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Edgar Watson Howe

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 07/31/2015 - 7:00pm
"A poem is no place for an idea."
Categories: Fun Stuff

E. B. White

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 07/31/2015 - 7:00pm
"I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Charles Peters

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 07/31/2015 - 7:00pm
"Bureaucrats write memoranda both because they appear to be busy when they are writing and because the memos, once written, immediately become proof that they were busy."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Hob Broun

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 07/31/2015 - 7:00pm
"Realism...has no more to do with reality than anything else."
Categories: Fun Stuff

vilify

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Fri, 07/31/2015 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 31, 2015 is:

vilify • \VIL-uh-fye\  • verb
1 : to lower in estimation or importance 2 : to utter slanderous and abusive statements against : defame

Examples:
Janet's angry letter chastised members of the media for vilifying her brother, the disgraced ex-councilman.

"But her daughter … denies the allegations against her mother. Instead, she believes the person who made the initial complaints was merely looking to vilify her mother after her own termination." — Evan Peter Smith, Times Recorder (Zanesville, Ohio), June 30, 2015

Did you know?
Vilify came to English by way of the Middle English vilifien and the Late Latin vilificare from the Latin adjective vilis, meaning "cheap" or "vile." It first appeared in English in the 15th century. Also debuting during that time was another verb that derives from vilis and has a similar meaning: vilipend. When they were first used in English, both vilify and vilipend meant to regard someone or something as being of little worth or importance. Vilipend now carries an additional meaning of "to express a low opinion of somebody," while vilify means, more specifically, to express such an opinion publicly in a way that intends to embarrass a person or ruin his or her reputation.

Categories: Fun Stuff

July 31, 1975: Jimmy Hoffa disappears

This Day in History - Thu, 07/30/2015 - 11:00pm

On July 31, 1975, James Riddle Hoffa, one of the most influential American labor leaders of the 20th century, disappears in Detroit, Michigan, never to be heard from again. Though he is popularly believed to have been the victim of a Mafia hit, conclusive evidence was never found, and Hoffa’s death remains shrouded in mystery to this day.

Born in 1913 to a poor coal miner in Brazil, Indiana, Jimmy Hoffa proved a natural leader in his youth. At the age of 20, he helped organize a labor strike in Detroit, and remained an advocate for downtrodden workers for the rest of his life. Hoffa’s charisma and talents as a local organizer quickly got him noticed by the Teamsters and carried him upward through its ranks. Then a small but rapidly growing union, the Teamsters organized truckers across the country, and through the use of strikes, boycotts and some more powerful though less legal methods of protest, won contract demands on behalf of workers.

Hoffa became president of the Teamsters in 1957, when its former leader was imprisoned for bribery. As chief, Hoffa was lauded for his tireless work to expand the union, and for his unflagging devotion to even the organization’s least powerful members. His caring and approachability were captured in one of the more well-known quotes attributed to him: “You got a problem? Call me. Just pick up the phone.”

Hoffa’s dedication to the worker and his electrifying public speeches made him wildly popular, both among his fellow workers and the politicians and businessmen with whom he negotiated. Yet, for all the battles he fought and won on behalf of American drivers, he also had a dark side. In Hoffa’s time, many Teamster leaders partnered with the Mafia in racketeering, extortion and embezzlement. Hoffa himself had relationships with high-ranking mobsters, and was the target of several government investigations throughout the 1960s. In 1967, he was convicted of bribery and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

While in jail, Hoffa never ceded his office, and when Richard Nixon commuted his sentence in 1971, he was poised to make a comeback. Released on condition of not participating in union activities for 10 years, Hoffa was planning to fight the restriction in court when he disappeared on July 31, 1975, from the parking lot of a restaurant in Detroit, not far from where he got his start as a labor organizer. Several conspiracy theories have been floated about Hoffa’s disappearance and the location of his remains, but the truth remains unknown.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - July 30

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 07/30/2015 - 9:46pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Hot is to freeze as ==?== is to melt?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - July 30 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 07/30/2015 - 9:46pm
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 - July 30

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 07/30/2015 - 9:46pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Flux
   Gather balls and build clusters.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Booth Tarkington

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 07/30/2015 - 7:00pm
"There are two things that will be believed of any man whatsoever, and one of them is that he has taken to drink."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Isaac Newton

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 07/30/2015 - 7:00pm
"I keep the subject of my inquiry constantly before me, and wait till the first dawning opens gradually, by little and little, into a full and clear light."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Thomas Pickering

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 07/30/2015 - 7:00pm
"In archaeology you uncover the unknown. In diplomacy you cover the known."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Albert Camus

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 07/30/2015 - 7:00pm
"Charm is a way of getting the answer yes without asking a clear question."
Categories: Fun Stuff