Fun Stuff

Ambrose Bierce

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 04/19/2015 - 7:00pm
"Brain: an apparatus with which we think we think."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Laurence J. Peter

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 04/19/2015 - 7:00pm
"Competence, like truth, beauty and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder."
Categories: Fun Stuff

desiccate

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sun, 04/19/2015 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 19, 2015 is:

desiccate • \DESS-ih-kayt\  • verb
1 : to dry up or become dried up 2 : to preserve (a food) by drying : dehydrate 3 : to drain of emotional or intellectual vitality

Examples:
Weeks of blazing heat along with a prolonged lack of rain have desiccated many of the plants in our garden.

"Since these insects desiccate easily, they will build tunnels to provide themselves the moisture they need." — Paula Weatherby, Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville), February 7, 2015

Did you know?
Raisins are desiccated grapes; they're also dehydrated grapes. And yet, a close look at the etymologies of desiccate and dehydrate raises a tangly question. In Latin siccus means "dry," whereas the Greek stem hydr- means "water." So how could it be that desiccate and dehydrate are synonyms? The answer is in the multiple identities of the prefix de-. It may look like the same prefix, but the de- in desiccate means "completely, thoroughly," as in despoil ("to spoil utterly") or denude ("to strip completely bare"). The de- in dehydrate, on the other hand, means "remove," the same as it does in defoliate ("to strip of leaves") or in deice ("to rid of ice").

Categories: Fun Stuff

April 19, 1897: First Boston Marathon held

This Day in History - Sat, 04/18/2015 - 11:00pm

On April 19, 1897, John J. McDermott of New York won the firstBoston Marathonwith a time of2:55:10.

The Boston Marathon was the brainchild of Boston Athletic Association member and inaugural U.S. Olympic team manager John Graham, who was inspired by the marathon at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. With the assistance of Boston businessman Herbert H. Holton, various routes were considered, before a measured distance of 24.5 miles from the Irvington Oval in Boston to Metcalf’s Mill in Ashland was eventually selected.

Fifteen runners started the race but only 10 made it to the finish line. John J. McDermott, representing the Pastime Athletic Club of New York City, took the lead from Harvard athlete Dick Grant over the hills in Newton. Although he walked several times during the final miles, McDermott still won by a comfortable six-minute, fifty-two-seconds. McDermott had won the only other marathon on U.S. soil the previous October in New York.

The marathon’s distance was changed in 1908 in accordance with Olympic standards to its current length of 26 miles 385 yards.

The Boston Marathon was originally held on Patriot’s Day, April 19, a regional holiday that commemorates the beginning of the Revolutionary War. In years when the 19th fell on a Sunday, the race was held the following Monday. In 1969, Patriots Day was officially moved to the third Monday in April and the race has been held on that Monday ever since.

Women were not allowed to enterthe Boston race officiallyuntil 1972, but Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb couldn’t wait: In 1966, she became the first woman to run the entire Boston Marathon, but had to hide in the bushes near the start until the race began. In 1967, Kathrine Switzer, who had registered as “K. V. Switzer”, was the first woman to run with a race number. Switzer finished even though officials tried to physically remove her from the race after she was identified as a woman.

In the fall of 1971, the Amateur Athletics Union permitted its sanctioned marathons (including Boston) to allowfemale entry. Nina Kuscsik became the first official female participant to win the Boston Marathon in 1972. Seven other women started and finished that race.

In 1975, the Boston Marathon became the first major marathon to include a wheelchair division competition. Bob Hall won it in two hours, 58 minutes.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - April 18

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 04/18/2015 - 10:15pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Two friends were driving from their home to Manchester, Kevin drove the first 90 miles, and Daniel took over the remainder of the journey.

On the way back, Kevin drove to begin with, and Daniel took over for the last 100 miles.

Who drove the most?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - April 18 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 04/18/2015 - 10:15pm
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 - April 18

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 04/18/2015 - 10:15pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

People Bucket
   Unusual physics-based game where you throw little men into buckets.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

John Wilmot

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 04/18/2015 - 7:00pm
"Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children and no theories."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Janet Long

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 04/18/2015 - 7:00pm
"Part of being sane, is being a little bit crazy."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Walter Goodman

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 04/18/2015 - 7:00pm
"The idea of all-out nuclear war is unsettling."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Robert Benchley

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 04/18/2015 - 7:00pm
"Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing."
Categories: Fun Stuff

wimple

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sat, 04/18/2015 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 18, 2015 is:

wimple • \WIM-pul\  • verb
1 : to cover with or as if with a wimple : veil 2 : to ripple 3 : (chiefly Scottish) to follow a winding course : meander

Examples:
A thick fog wimpled the shoreline so that the only thing that could be seen from the distance was the light winking from the top of the lighthouse.

"In retrospect, [The Sound of Music] may have been the first movie to introduce the concept of 'saboteur nun,' and made people think differently about the wimpled sorority." — James Lileks, National Review Online, December 9, 2013

Did you know?
Wimple is the name of the covering worn over the head and around the neck and chin by women in the late medieval period, as well as by some modern nuns. Its name is akin to Old Saxon wimpal and Middle Dutch wimpel, both of which mean "veil" or "banner." Like the word veil, wimple is also used as a verb meaning "cover" and was adopted by literary writers as a substitute for ripple and meander, especially when writing about streams. "Over the little brook which wimpled along below towered an arch," James Russell Lowell once observed.

Categories: Fun Stuff

April 18, 1906: The Great San Francisco Earthquake

This Day in History - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 11:00pm

At 5:13 a.m., an earthquake estimated at close to 8.0 on the Richter scale strikes San Francisco, California, killing hundreds of people as it topples numerous buildings. The quake was caused by a slip of the San Andreas Fault over a segment about 275 miles long, and shock waves could be felt from southern Oregon down to Los Angeles.

San Francisco’s brick buildings and wooden Victorian structures were especially devastated. Fires immediately broke out and–because broken water mains prevented firefighters from stopping them–firestorms soon developed citywide. At 7 a.m., U.S. Army troops from Fort Mason reported to the Hall of Justice, and San Francisco Mayor E.E. Schmitz called for the enforcement of a dusk-to-dawn curfew and authorized soldiers to shoot-to-kill anyone found looting. Meanwhile, in the face of significant aftershocks, firefighters and U.S. troops fought desperately to control the ongoing fire, often dynamiting whole city blocks to create firewalls. On April 20, 20,000 refugees trapped by the massive fire were evacuated from the foot of Van Ness Avenue onto the USS Chicago.

By April 23, most fires were extinguished, and authorities commenced the task of rebuilding the devastated metropolis. It was estimated that some 3,000 people died as a result of the Great San Francisco Earthquake and the devastating fires it inflicted upon the city. Almost 30,000 buildings were destroyed, including most of the city’s homes and nearly all the central business district.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - April 17

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 10:01pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

What three-letter word best completes the below words?

C...ON
HE...
E...H
M...YR
QU...ER
ST...

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - April 17 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 10:01pm
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 - April 17

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 10:01pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Enigmatica
   Tricky puzzle where you have to line up tiles in rows and columns.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Fran Lebowitz

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 7:00pm
"Remember that as a teenager you are at the last stage of your life when you will be happy to hear that the phone is for you."
Categories: Fun Stuff

From "Taxi"

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 7:00pm
"The great thing about television is that if something important happens anywhere in the world, day or night, you can always change the channel."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Bette Midler

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 7:00pm
"I never know how much of what I say is true."
Categories: Fun Stuff

David Letterman

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 7:00pm
"New York now leads the world's great cities in the number of people around whom you shouldn't make a sudden move."
Categories: Fun Stuff