Fun Stuff

Malcolm Forbes

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 7:00pm
"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Edward P. Tryon

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 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

draconian

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Wed, 08/26/2015 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 26, 2015 is:

draconian • \dray-KOH-nee-un\  • adjective
1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of Draco or the severe code of laws held to have been framed by him 2 : cruel; also : severe

Examples:
The editorial asserts that a life sentence for any non-violent crime is draconian.

"As electronic highway signs implore Californians to 'Save Water' and municipalities impose increasingly draconian conservation measures, we are seeing a phenomenon known as 'drought-shaming'—the humiliation of water-wasters among both the rich and famous and more ordinary residents." —Henry I. Miller, Forbes.com, 1 July 2015

Did you know?
Draconian comes from Draco, the name of a 7th-century B.C.E. Athenian legislator who created a written code of law. Draco's code was intended to clarify existing laws, but its severity is what made it really memorable. In Draco's code, even minor offenses were punishable by death, and failure to pay one's debts could result in slavery. Draconian, as a result, became associated with things cruel or harsh. Something draconian need not always be as cruel as the laws in Draco's code, though; today the word is used in a wide variety of ways and often refers to measures (steep parking fines, for example) that are relatively minor when compared with the death penalty.

Categories: Fun Stuff

August 26, 1939: First televised Major League baseball game

This Day in History - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1939, the first televised Major League baseball game is broadcast on station W2XBS, the station that was to become WNBC-TV. Announcer Red Barber called the game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, New York.

At the time, television was still in its infancy. Regular programming did not yet exist, and very few people owned television sets–there were only about 400 in the New York area. Not until 1946 did regular network broadcasting catch on in the United States, and only in the mid-1950s did television sets become more common in the American household.

In 1939, the World’s Fair–which was being held in New York–became the catalyst for the historic broadcast. The television was one of fair’s prize exhibits, and organizers believed that the Dodgers-Reds doubleheader on August 26 was the perfect event to showcase America’s grasp on the new technology.

By today’s standards, the video coverage was somewhat crude. There were only two stationary camera angles: The first was placed down the third base line to pick up infield throws to first, and the second was placed high above home plate to get an extensive view of the field. It was also difficult to capture fast-moving plays: Swinging bats looked like paper fans, and the ball was all but invisible during pitches and hits.

Nevertheless, the experiment was a success, driving interest in the development of television technology, particularly for sporting events. Though baseball owners were initially concerned that televising baseball would sap actual attendance, they soon warmed to the idea, and the possibilities for revenue generation that came with increased exposure of the game, including the sale of rights to air certain teams or games and television advertising.

Today, televised sports is a multi-billion dollar industry, with technology that gives viewers an astounding amount of visual and audio detail. Cameras are now so precise that they can capture the way a ball changes shape when struck by a bat, and athletes are wired to pick up field-level and sideline conversation.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - August 25

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 10:06pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

At the local games evening, four lads were competing in the draughts and chess competitions.

Liam beat Mark in chess, James came third and the 16 year old won. Liam came second in draughts, the 15 year old won, James beat the 18 year old and the 19 year old came third. Kevin is 3 years younger than Mark. The person who came last in chess, came third in draughts and only one lad got the same position in both games.

Can you determine the ages of the lads and the positions in the two games?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - August 25 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 10:06pm
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 - August 25

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 10:06pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Dupligon
   Duplicate the polygons as closely as you can.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

William Shakespeare

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 7:00pm
"Though music oft hath such a charm to make bad good, and good provoke to harm."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Charles McCabe

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 7:00pm
"Any clod can have the facts, but having opinions is an art."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Victor Borge

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 7:00pm
"Laughter is the closest distance between two people."
Categories: Fun Stuff

John H. Patterson

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 7:00pm
"An executive is a person who always decides; sometimes he decides correctly, but he always decides."
Categories: Fun Stuff

grog

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Tue, 08/25/2015 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 25, 2015 is:

grog • \GRAHG\  • noun
: alcoholic liquor; especially : liquor (such as rum) cut with water and now often served hot with lemon juice and sometimes sugar

Examples:
The reviewer praised the restaurant for serving an eclectic range of beers and wines and not just any old grog.

"In 1917 the Historical Society of the Town of Warwick held its first George Washington Day Picnic to celebrate and commemorate the visit of Washington and his entourage to Warwick's Baird's Tavern. A meticulous record keeper, Washington recorded this 1782 visit in his journal along with an itemized purchase of grog." — Roger Gavan, The Warwick (New York) Advertiser, July 16, 2015

Did you know?
Eighteenth-century English admiral Edward Vernon reputedly earned the nickname "Old Grog" because he often wore a cloak made from grogram (a coarse, loosely woven fabric made of silk or silk blended with mohair or wool). In Old Grog's day, sailors in the Royal Navy were customarily given a daily ration of rum, but in 1740 the admiral, concerned about the health of his men, ordered that the rum should be diluted with water. The decision wasn't very popular with the sailors, who supposedly dubbed the mixture grog after Vernon. Today, grog can be used as a general term for any liquor, even undiluted, and someone who acts drunk or shaky can be called groggy.

Categories: Fun Stuff

August 25, 1835: The Great Moon Hoax

This Day in History - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1835, the first in a series of six articles announcing the supposed discovery of life on the moon appears in the New York Sun newspaper.

Known collectively as “The Great Moon Hoax,” the articles were supposedly reprinted from the Edinburgh Journal of Science. The byline was Dr. Andrew Grant, described as a colleague of Sir John Herschel, a famous astronomer of the day. Herschel had in fact traveled to Capetown, South Africa, in January 1834 to set up an observatory with a powerful new telescope. As Grant described it, Herschel had found evidence of life forms on the moon, including such fantastic animals as unicorns, two-legged beavers and furry, winged humanoids resembling bats. The articles also offered vivid description of the moon’s geography, complete with massive craters, enormous amethyst crystals, rushing rivers and lush vegetation.

The New York Sun, founded in 1833, was one of the new “penny press” papers that appealed to a wider audience with a cheaper price and a more narrative style of journalism. From the day the first moon hoax article was released, sales of the paper shot up considerably. It was exciting stuff, and readers lapped it up. The only problem was that none of it was true. The Edinburgh Journal of Science had stopped publication years earlier, and Grant was a fictional character. The articles were most likely written by Richard Adams Locke, a Sun reporter educated at Cambridge University. Intended as satire, they were designed to poke fun at earlier, serious speculations about extraterrestrial life, particularly those of Reverend Thomas Dick, a popular science writer who claimed in his bestselling books that the moon alone had 4.2 billion inhabitants.

Readers were completely taken in by the story, however, and failed to recognize it as satire. The craze over Herschel’s supposed discoveries even fooled a committee of Yale University scientists, who traveled to New York in search of the Edinburgh Journal articles. After Sun employees sent them back and forth between the printing and editorial offices, hoping to discourage them, the scientists returned to New Haven without realizing they had been tricked.

On September 16, 1835, the Sun admitted the articles had been a hoax. People were generally amused by the whole thing, and sales of the paper didn’t suffer. The Sun continued operation until 1950, when it merged with the New York World-Telegram. The merger folded in 1967. A new New York Sun newspaper was founded in 2002, but it has no relation to the original.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - August 24

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 9:52pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

My BrainBashers electronic world atlas has developed another fault, I did a listing of miles from England to particular countries and here is the result:

Chile     800 miles
Wales   4,200 miles
France  1,100 miles
Italy   3,400 miles

How far away did it list Scotland as?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - August 24 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 9:52pm
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 - August 24

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 9:52pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Bee Way
   Help the bees to fill all of the beehive cells with honey.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

John Ruskin

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 7:00pm
"When a man is wrapped up in himself, he makes a pretty small package."
Categories: Fun Stuff

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 7:00pm
"Sometimes it is harder to deprive oneself of a pain than of a pleasure."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Will Durst

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 7:00pm
"I hate the outdoors. To me the outdoors is where the car is."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Dick Cavett

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 7:00pm
"As long as people will accept crap, it will be financially profitable to dispense it."
Categories: Fun Stuff