Fun Stuff

Cullen Hightower

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 7:00pm
"There's always somebody who is paid too much, and taxed too little - and it's always somebody else."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Unknown

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 7:00pm
"Don't use a big word where a diminutive one will suffice."
Categories: Fun Stuff

quixotic

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 29, 2014 is:

quixotic • \kwik-SAH-tik\  • adjective
1 : foolishly impractical especially in the pursuit of ideals 2 : capricious, unpredictable

Examples:
Pauline characterized her Halloween decorating plans as ambitious, but she secretly feared that "quixotic" was a more apt descriptor.

"David Smith has chased for at least 15 years what seemed a quixotic challenge—finding a way to harness the energy remaining in discarded batteries which could represent at least 50 percent of their power capacity." — Richard Craver, Winston-Salem Journal (North Carolina), September 28, 2014

Did you know?
If you guessed that quixotic has something to do with Don Quixote, you're absolutely right. The hero of the 17th-century Spanish novel El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (by Miguel de Cervantes) didn't change the world by tilting at windmills, but he did leave a linguistic legacy in English. The adjective quixotic is based on his name and has been used to describe unrealistic idealists since at least the early 18th century. The novel has given English other words as well. Dulcinea, the name of Quixote's beloved, has come to mean "mistress" or "sweetheart," and rosinante, which is sometimes used to refer to an old, broken-down horse, comes from the name of the hero's less-than-gallant steed, Rocinante.

Categories: Fun Stuff

October 29, 1998: John Glenn returns to space

This Day in History - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 11:00pm

Nearly four decades after he became the first American to orbit the Earth, Senator John Hershel Glenn, Jr., is launched into space again as a payload specialist aboard the space shuttle Discovery. At 77 years of age, Glenn was the oldest human ever to travel in space. During the nine-day mission, he served as part of a NASA study on health problems associated with aging.

Glenn, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, was among the seven men chosen by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1959 to become America's first astronauts. A decorated pilot, he had flown nearly 150 combat missions during World War II and the Korean War. In 1957, he made the first nonstop supersonic flight across the United States, flying from Los Angeles to New York in three hours and 23 minutes.

In April 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space, and his spacecraft, Vostok 1, made a full orbit before returning to Earth. Less than one month later, American Alan B. Shepard, Jr., became the first American in space when his Freedom 7 spacecraft was launched on a suborbital flight. American "Gus" Grissom made another suborbital flight in July, and in August Soviet cosmonaut Gherman Titov spent more than 25 hours in space aboard Vostok 2, making 17 orbits. As a technological power, the United States was looking very much second-rate compared with its Cold War adversary. If the Americans wanted to dispel this notion, they needed a multi-orbital flight before another Soviet space advance arrived.

On February 20, 1962, NASA and Colonel John Glenn accomplished this feat with the flight of Friendship 7, a spacecraft that made three orbits of the Earth in five hours. Glenn was hailed as a national hero, and on February 23 President John F. Kennedy visited him at Cape Canaveral. Glenn later addressed Congress and was given a ticker-tape parade in New York City.

Out of a reluctance to risk the life of an astronaut as popular as Glenn, NASA essentially grounded the "Clean Marine" in the years after his historic flight. Frustrated with this uncharacteristic lack of activity, Glenn turned to politics and in 1964 announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate from his home state of Ohio and formally left NASA. Later that year, however, he withdrew his Senate bid after seriously injuring his inner ear in a fall from a horse. In 1970, following a stint as a Royal Crown Cola executive, he ran for the Senate again but lost the Democratic nomination to Howard Metzenbaum. Four years later, he defeated Metzenbaum, won the general election, and went on to win reelection three times. In 1984, he unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for president.

In 1998, Glenn attracted considerable media attention when he returned to space aboard the space shuttle Discovery. In 1999, he retired from his U.S. Senate seat after four consecutive terms in office, a record for the state of Ohio.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - October 28

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 8:31pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

What is the 5-digit number in which:

the sum of the first two digits is one smaller than the third digit
the third digit is double the fourth digit
the fourth digit is double the last digit
the third digit is the product of the fourth and fifth digits
the second digit is five more than the first digit
the first digit is one-eighth the third digit and also one-fourth of the fourth digit?

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - October 28 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 8:31pm
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 28

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 8:31pm
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

Kurt Vonnegut

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 7:00pm
"Well, the telling of jokes is an art of its own, and it always rises from some emotional threat. The best jokes are dangerous, and dangerous because they are in some way truthful."
Categories: Fun Stuff

H. G. Wells

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 7:00pm
"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 7:00pm
"A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Robert Frost

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 7:00pm
"The world is full of willing people, some willing to work, the rest willing to let them."
Categories: Fun Stuff

sempiternal

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Tue, 10/28/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 28, 2014 is:

sempiternal • \sem-pih-TER-nul\  • adjective
: of never-ending duration : eternal

Examples:
No matter how much we try to analyze it, the question of which came first, the chicken or the egg, will be a matter of sempiternal debate.

"But by Page 10, I knew I'd never read 'Moby-Dick.' The novel— if you can call such an idiosyncratic book by any generic name—hit me like a storm out of nowhere. It contained a wild deluge of thoughts and ideas and sempiternal images." — Amy Wilentz, Los Angeles Times, May 1, 2011

Did you know?
Despite their similarities, sempiternal and eternal come from different roots. Sempiternal is derived from the Late Latin sempiternalis and ultimately from semper, Latin for "always." (You may recognize semper as a key element in the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps: semper fidelis, meaning "always faithful.") Eternal, on the other hand, is derived by way of Middle French and Middle English from the Late Latin aeternalis and ultimately from aevum, Latin for "age" or "eternity." Sempiternal is much less common than eternal, but some writers have found it useful. Ralph Waldo Emerson, for example, wrote, "The one thing which we seek with insatiable desire is to forget ourselves, … to lose our sempiternal memory, and to do something without knowing how or why…."

Categories: Fun Stuff

October 28, 1965: Gateway Arch completed

This Day in History - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1965, construction is completed on the Gateway Arch, a spectacular 630-foot-high parabola of stainless steel marking the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial on the waterfront of St. Louis, Missouri.

The Gateway Arch, designed by Finnish-born, American-educated architect Eero Saarinen, was erected to commemorate President Thomas Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and to celebrate St. Louis' central role in the rapid westward expansion that followed. As the market and supply point for fur traders and explorers—including the famous Meriwether Lewis and William Clark—the town of St. Louis grew exponentially after the War of 1812, when great numbers of people began to travel by wagon train to seek their fortunes west of the Mississippi River. In 1947-48, Saarinen won a nationwide competition to design a monument honoring the spirit of the western pioneers. In a sad twist of fate, the architect died of a brain tumor in 1961 and did not live to see the construction of his now-famous arch, which began in February 1963. Completed in October 1965, the Gateway Arch cost less than $15 million to build. With foundations sunk 60 feet into the ground, its frame of stressed stainless steel is built to withstand both earthquakes and high winds. An internal tram system takes visitors to the top, where on a clear day they can see up to 30 miles across the winding Mississippi and to the Great Plains to the west. In addition to the Gateway Arch, the Jefferson Expansion Memorial includes the Museum of Westward Expansion and the Old Courthouse of St. Louis, where two of the famous Dred Scott slavery cases were heard in the 1860s.

Today, some 4 million people visit the park each year to wander its nearly 100 acres, soak up some history and take in the breathtaking views from Saarinen's gleaming arch.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - October 27

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 8:17pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

A horse is pulling a wagon up a hill at an increasing speed. Ignoring all masses except those of the horse and the wagon, which is the case:

a) the horse pulls on the wagon harder than the wagon pulls on the horse.
b) the horse pulls on the wagon less than the wagon pulls on the horse.
c) the horse pulls on the wagon just as hard as the wagon pulls on the horse?

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - October 27 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 8:17pm
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 27

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 8:17pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Alphabet Hunter
   Spot the letters of the alphabet in the correct order.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Lynda Barry

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 7:00pm
"Love is an exploding cigar we willingly smoke."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Kate Reid

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 7:00pm
"Acting is not being emotional, but being able to express emotion."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Bertolt Brecht

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 7:00pm
"Why be a man when you can be a success?"
Categories: Fun Stuff

W. C. Sellar and R. J. Yeatman

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 10/27/2014 - 7:00pm
"For every person who wants to teach there are approximately thirty people who don't want to learn--much."
Categories: Fun Stuff