Fun Stuff

Donald H. Rumsfeld

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 6:00pm
"If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Will Rogers

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 6:00pm
"I'm not a real movie star. I've still got the same wife I started out with twenty-eight years ago."
Categories: Fun Stuff

officious

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Wed, 11/19/2014 - 12:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 19, 2014 is:

officious • \uh-FISH-us\  • adjective
1 : volunteering one's services where they are neither asked nor needed : meddlesome 2 : informal, unofficial

Examples:
Staff members view the new consultant as an officious individual offering unwanted feedback, but she is simply doing her job.

"During an interview this week with Morris News, Saxby, a Republican, said he is frustrated by the delay but attributes it more to officious federal bureaucrats than to partisan gamesmanship." — Carla Caldwell, Atlanta Business Chronicle, April 2, 2014

Did you know?
Don't mistake officious for a rare synonym of official. Both words stem from the Latin noun officium (meaning "service" or "office"), but they have very different meanings. When the suffix -osus ("full of") was added to officium, Latin officiosus came into being, meaning "eager to serve, help, or perform a duty." When this adjective was borrowed into English in the 16th century as officious, it carried the same meaning. Early in the 17th century, however, officious began to develop a negative sense describing a person who offers unwanted help. This pejorative sense has driven out the original "eager to help" sense to become the predominant meaning of the word in modern English. Officious can also mean "of an informal or unauthorized nature," but that sense isn't especially common.

Categories: Fun Stuff

November 19, 1863: Lincoln delivers Gettysburg Address

This Day in History - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 11:00pm

On November 19, 1863, at the dedication of a military cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln delivers one of the most memorable speeches in American history. In just 272 words, Lincoln brilliantly and movingly reminded a war-weary public why the Union had to fight, and win, the Civil War.

The Battle of Gettysburg, fought some four months earlier, was the single bloodiest battle of the Civil War. Over the course of three days, more than 45,000 men were killed, injured, captured or went missing.  The battle also proved to be the turning point of the war: General Robert E. Lee's defeat and retreat from Gettysburg marked the last Confederate invasion of Northern territory and the beginning of the Southern army's ultimate decline.

Charged by Pennsylvania's governor, Andrew Curtin, to care for the Gettysburg dead, an attorney named David Wills bought 17 acres of pasture to turn into a cemetery for the more than 7,500 who fell in battle. Wills invited Edward Everett, one of the most famous orators of the day, to deliver a speech at the cemetery's dedication. Almost as an afterthought, Wills also sent a letter to Lincoln—just two weeks before the ceremony—requesting "a few appropriate remarks" to consecrate the grounds.

At the dedication, the crowd listened for two hours to Everett before Lincoln spoke. Lincoln's address lasted just two or three minutes. The speech reflected his redefined belief that the Civil War was not just a fight to save the Union, but a struggle for freedom and equality for all, an idea Lincoln had not championed in the years leading up to the war. This was his stirring conclusion: "The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Reception of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was initially mixed, divided strictly along partisan lines. Nevertheless, the "little speech," as he later called it, is thought by many today to be the most eloquent articulation of the democratic vision ever written.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - November 18

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 6:23pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Find two words, which are anagrams of each other, which complete this sentence:

Due to a recent outbreak of a ==?== infection in the zebra house, the local zoo had to ==?== their electron microscope correctly, to ensure rapid detection.

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - November 18 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 6:23pm
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 - November 18

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 6:23pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Ice Rush
   Extreme Arctic racing game.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Randy K. Milholland

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 6:00pm
"Nothing like a lot of exercise to make you realize you'd rather be lazy and dead sooner."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 6:00pm
"Man is tormented by no greater anxiety than to find someone quickly to whom he can hand over that great gift of freedom with which the ill-fated creature is born."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Margot Asquith

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 6:00pm
"What a pity, when Christopher Colombus discovered America, that he ever mentioned it."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Oscar Wilde

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 6:00pm
"I suppose that I shall have to die beyond my means."
Categories: Fun Stuff

leitmotif

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 12:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 18, 2014 is:

leitmotif • \LYTE-moh-teef\  • noun
1 : a melodic phrase or figure that accompanies the reappearance of an idea, person, or situation in a music drama 2 : a dominant recurring theme

Examples:
The overcoming of obstacles and a love of theater are the two leitmotifs of her autobiography.

"'Collaboration' is the author's supporting theme, and he weaves it in throughout his anecdotes and character studies. Approached lazily, this kind of leitmotif would be more irritating than illuminating, but Isaacson fully commits." — James Norton, The Christian Science Monitor, October 13, 2014

Did you know?
The English word leitmotif (or leitmotiv, as it is also spelled) comes from the German Leitmotiv, meaning "leading motive" and formed from leiten ("to lead") and Motiv ("motive"). In its original sense, the word applies to opera music and was first used by writers interpreting the works of composer Richard Wagner, who was famous for associating a melody with a character or important dramatic element. Leitmotif is still commonly used with reference to music and musical drama but is now also used more broadly to refer to any recurring theme in the arts or in everyday life.

Categories: Fun Stuff

November 18, 1991: Terry Waite released

This Day in History - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 11:00pm

Shiite Muslim kidnappers in Lebanon free Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite after more than four years of captivity. Waite, looking thinner and his hair grayer, was freed along with American educator Thomas M. Sutherland after intense negotiations by the United Nations.

Waite, special envoy of the archbishop of Canterbury, had secured the release of missionaries detained in Iran after the Islamic revolution. He also extracted British hostages from Libya and even succeeded in releasing American hostages from Lebanon in 1986.

A total of 10 captives were released through Waite's efforts before Shiite Muslims seized him during a return mission to Beirut on January 20, 1987. He was held captive for more than four years before he was finally released.

During captivity, Waite said he was frequently blindfolded, beaten and subjected to mock executions. He spent much of the time chained to a radiator, suffered from asthma and was transported in a giant refrigerator as his captors moved him about.

Waite, 52, made an impromptu, chaotic appearance before reporters in Damascus after his release to Syrian officials. He said one of his captors expressed regret as he informed Waite he was about to be released.

"He also said to me: 'We apologize for having captured you. We recognize that now this was a wrong thing to do, that holding hostages achieves no useful, constructive purpose,'" Waite said.

The release of Waite and Sutherland left five Western hostages left in Beirut—three Americans, including Terry Anderson, and two Germans. The Americans would be released by December 1991, the Germans in June 1992.

Some 96 foreign hostages were taken and held during the Lebanon hostage crisis between 1982 and 1992. The victims were mostly from Western countries, and mostly journalists, diplomats or teachers. Twenty-five of them were Americans. At least 10 hostages died in captivity. Some were murdered and others died from lack of adequate medical attention to illnesses.

The hostages were originally taken to serve as insurance against retaliation against Hezbollah, which was thought to be responsible for the killing of over 300 Americans in the Marine barracks and embassy bombings in Beirut. It was widely believed that Iran and Syria also played a role in the kidnappings.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - November 17

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 6:09pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

A prisoner is enclosed in a room.

This room has no doors, no windows and no other hole large enough for the prisoner to escape via. He has no tools, he has no assistance. He does have a table and a chair in the centre of the room. The room is quite large, walls are two foot thick.

How can the prisoner escape?

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - November 17 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 6:09pm
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 - November 17

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 6:09pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Virus
   A classic arcade shooter, fight the 3 types of virus before they start to spread. Use bombs to destroy the genes before they take hold.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Bertrand Russell

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 6:00pm
"A sense of duty is useful in work, but offensive in personal relations. People wish to be liked, not be endured with patient resignation."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Samuel Goldwyn

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 6:00pm
"Television has raised writing to a new low."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Dale Carnegie

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 6:00pm
"Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain - and most fools do."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Jewish Proverb

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 11/17/2014 - 6:00pm
"If God lived on earth, people would break his windows."
Categories: Fun Stuff