Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - May 25 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 05/25/2015 - 6:43pm
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 - May 25

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 05/25/2015 - 6:43pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Hit The Dots
   How many dots can you hit in 20 seconds.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

callithump

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Mon, 05/25/2015 - 1:00am

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

callithump • \KAL-uh-thump\  • noun
: a noisy boisterous band or parade

Examples:
Anyone who wants to participate in the town's annual Memorial Day callithump should be at the elementary school by 10 a.m.

"Almost wherever you are in the Los Angeles area Sunday, there's a parade coming your way. Yes, it's callithump time in and about the City of Angels, and whether you prefer the traditional, the eclectic or the absurd, you'll have your choice of pageants." — Michael Welzenbach, Los Angeles Times, November 26, 1988

Did you know?
Callithump and the related adjective callithumpian are Americanisms, but their roots stretch back to England. In the 19th century, the noun callithumpians was used in the U.S. of boisterous roisterers who had their own makeshift New Year's parade. Their band instruments consisted of crude noisemakers such as pots, tin horns, and cowbells. The antecedent of callithumpians is an 18th-century British dialect term for another noisy group, the "Gallithumpians," who made a rumpus on election days in southern England. Today, the words callithump and callithumpian see occasional use, especially in the names of specific bands and parades. The callithumpian bands and parades of today are more organized than those of the past, but they retain an association with noise and boisterous fun.

Categories: Fun Stuff

May 25, 1977: Star Wars opens

This Day in History - Sun, 05/24/2015 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1977, Memorial Day weekend opens with an intergalactic bang as the first of George Lucas’ blockbuster Star Wars movies hits American theaters.

The incredible success of Star Wars–it received seven Oscars, and earned $461 million in U.S. ticket sales and a gross of close to $800 million worldwide–began with an extensive, coordinated marketing push by Lucas and his studio, 20th Century Fox, months before the movie’s release date. “It wasn’t like a movie opening,” actress Carrie Fisher, who played rebel leader Princess Leia, later told Time magazine. “It was like an earthquake.” Beginning with–in Fisher’s words–“a new order of geeks, enthusiastic young people with sleeping bags,” the anticipation of a revolutionary movie-watching experience spread like wildfire, causing long lines in front of movie theaters across the country and around the world.

With its groundbreaking special effects, Star Wars leaped off screens and immersed audiences in “a galaxy far, far away.” By now everyone knows the story, which followed the baby-faced Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) as he enlisted a team of allies–including hunky Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and the robots C3PO and R2D2–on his mission to rescue the kidnapped Princess Leia from an Evil Empire governed by Darth Vader. The film made all three of its lead actors overnight stars, turning Fisher into an object of adoration for millions of young male fans and launching Ford’s now-legendary career as an action-hero heartthrob.

Star Wars was soon a bona-fide pop culture phenomenon. Over the years it has spawned five more feature films, five TV series and an entire industry’s worth of comic books, toys, video games and other products. Two big-screen sequels, The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and The Return of the Jedi (1983), featured much of the original cast and enjoyed the same success–both critical and commercial–as the first film. In 1999, Lucas stretched back in time for the fourth installment, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, chronologically a prequel to the original movie. Two other prequels, Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005) followed.

The latter Star Wars movies featured a new cast–including Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen–and have generally failed to earn the same amount of critical praise as the first three films. They continue to score at the box office, however, with Revenge of the Sith becoming the top-grossing film of 2005 in the United States and the second worldwide.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Will Rogers

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 05/24/2015 - 7:00pm
"That's the trouble with a politician's life-somebody is always interrupting it with an election."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Woody Allen

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 05/24/2015 - 7:00pm
"The lion and the calf shall lie down together but the calf won't get much sleep."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 05/24/2015 - 7:00pm
"You cannot slander human nature; it is worse than words can paint it."
Categories: Fun Stuff

George Bernard Shaw

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 05/24/2015 - 7:00pm
"A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - May 24

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 05/24/2015 - 6:29pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

If a metal nut is heated, will the hole in the centre get larger or smaller?

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - May 24 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 05/24/2015 - 6:29pm
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 - May 24

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 05/24/2015 - 6:29pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Reverse 2
   Navigate the simple mazes, but watch out, your mouse movement has been reversed.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

erudite

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sun, 05/24/2015 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 24, 2015 is:

erudite • \AIR-uh-dyte\  • adjective
: having or showing knowledge that is gained by studying : possessing or displaying extensive knowledge acquired chiefly from books

Examples:
The university hosted an informative lecture given by an erudite scholar of Cold War history.

"But because the stakes here feel so high—that is, because the Internet has not been the great equalizer we'd hoped it'd be but instead reinforces established winner-take-all systems—a serious, erudite appraisal of social media is exactly what we need right now." — John Wilwol, San Francisco Chronicle, April 5, 2015

Did you know?
Erudite derives via Middle English erudit from Latin eruditus, the past participle of the verb erudire, meaning "to instruct." A closer look at that verb shows that it is formed by combining the prefix e-, meaning "missing" or "absent," with the adjective rudis, which means "rude" or "ignorant" and is also the source of our word rude. We typically use the word rude to mean "discourteous" or "uncouth," but it can also mean "lacking refinement" or "uncivilized"; someone who is erudite, therefore, has been transformed from a roughened or uninformed state to a polished and knowledgeable one through a devotion to learning.

Categories: Fun Stuff

May 24, 1883: Brooklyn Bridge opens

This Day in History - Sat, 05/23/2015 - 11:00pm

After 14 years and 27 deaths while being constructed, the Brooklyn Bridge over the East River is opened, connecting the great cities of New York and Brooklyn for the first time in history. Thousands of residents of Brooklyn and Manhattan Island turned out to witness the dedication ceremony, which was presided over by President Chester A. Arthur and New York Governor Grover Cleveland. Designed by the late John A. Roebling, the Brooklyn Bridge was the largest suspension bridge ever built to that date.

John Roebling, born in Germany in 1806, was a great pioneer in the design of steel suspension bridges. He studied industrial engineering in Berlin and at the age of 25 immigrated to western Pennsylvania, where he attempted, unsuccessfully, to make his living as a farmer. He later moved to the state capital in Harrisburg, where he found work as a civil engineer. He promoted the use of wire cable and established a successful wire-cable factory.

Meanwhile, he earned a reputation as a designer of suspension bridges, which at the time were widely used but known to fail under strong winds or heavy loads. Roebling is credited with a major breakthrough in suspension-bridge technology: a web truss added to either side of the bridge roadway that greatly stabilized the structure. Using this model, Roebling successfully bridged the Niagara Gorge at Niagara Falls, New York, and the Ohio River at Cincinnati, Ohio. On the basis of these achievements, New York State accepted Roebling’s design for a bridge connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan–with a span of 1,595 feet–and appointed him chief engineer. It was to be the world’s first steel suspension bridge.

Just before construction began in 1869, Roebling was fatally injured while taking a few final compass readings across the East River. A boat smashed the toes on one of his feet, and three weeks later he died of tetanus. He was the first of more than two dozen people who would die building his bridge. His 32-year-old son, Washington A. Roebling, took over as chief engineer. Roebling had worked with his father on several bridges and had helped design the Brooklyn Bridge.

The two granite foundations of the Brooklyn Bridge were built in timber caissons, or watertight chambers, sunk to depths of 44 feet on the Brooklyn side and 78 feet on the New York side. Compressed air pressurized the caissons, allowing underwater construction. At that time, little was known of the risks of working under such conditions, and more than a hundred workers suffered from cases of compression sickness. Compression sickness, or the “bends,” is caused by the appearance of nitrogen bubbles in the bloodstream that result from rapid decompression. Several died, and Washington Roebling himself became bedridden from the condition in 1872. Other workers died as a result of more conventional construction accidents, such as collapses and a fire.

Roebling continued to direct construction operations from his home, and his wife, Emily, carried his instructions to the workers. In 1877, Washington and Emily moved into a home with a view of the bridge. Roebling’s health gradually improved, but he remained partially paralyzed for the rest of his life. On May 24, 1883, Emily Roebling was given the first ride over the completed bridge, with a rooster, a symbol of victory, in her lap. Within 24 hours, an estimated 250,000 people walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, using a broad promenade above the roadway that John Roebling designed solely for the enjoyment of pedestrians.

The Brooklyn Bridge, with its unprecedented length and two stately towers, was dubbed the “eighth wonder of the world.” The connection it provided between the massive population centers of Brooklyn and Manhattan changed the course of New York City forever. In 1898, the city of Brooklyn formally merged with New York City, Staten Island, and a few farm towns, forming Greater New York.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Eric Hoffer

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 05/23/2015 - 7:00pm
"Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Unknown

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 05/23/2015 - 7:00pm
"The wages of sin are unreported."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Johnny Carson

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 05/23/2015 - 7:00pm
"Nancy Reagan fell down and broke her hair."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Andrew S. Tanenbaum

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 05/23/2015 - 7:00pm
"The nice thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - May 23

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 05/23/2015 - 6:15pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

What word can prefix (go before) these letters to make a valid word in each case:

..ir
..ad
..lm
..ed
..lp

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - May 23 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 05/23/2015 - 6:15pm
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 - May 23

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 05/23/2015 - 6:15pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Broken Words
   Try to reassemble the list of words that have been broken into pieces and mixed together.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff