Fun Stuff

pica

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 1:00am

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

pica • \PYE-kuh\  • noun
: an abnormal desire to eat substances (as chalk or ashes) not normally eaten

Examples:
Some women suffer from pica during pregnancy.

"Pica is an eating disorder that makes you want to nibble on substances with no nutritional value. Sufferers crave washing powder, cigarette ash, dog food, soil, chalk, ice and raw rice, among other things." — Shenaaz Jamal, The Times (South Africa), June 17, 2014

Did you know?
In Latin, pica means "magpie." The magpie bird is an opportunistic omnivore that characteristically eats just about anything. The eating disorder in which people are compelled to eat nonnutritious substances—such as ice, dirt, hair, or laundry starch—has since the 16th century taken its name from that bird of indiscriminate eating habits. Another pica dating back to the 16th century refers to a 12-point printing type. According to one theory, the name comes from a collection of church rules called "pica" whose close black print on white pages resembled the coloring of the magpie; however, no such collection printed in pica from the 16th century is known.

Categories: Fun Stuff

August 28, 1996: Charles and Diana divorce

This Day in History - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 11:00pm

After four years of separation, Charles, Prince of Wales and heir to the British throne, and his wife, Princess Diana, formally divorce.

On July 29, 1981, nearly one billion television viewers in 74 countries tuned in to witness the marriage of Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, to Lady Diana Spencer, a young English schoolteacher. Married in a grand ceremony at St. Paul's Cathedral in the presence of 2,650 guests, the couple's romance was, for the moment, the envy of the world. Their first child, Prince William, was born in 1982, and their second, Prince Harry, in 1984.

Before long, however, the fairy tale couple grew apart, an experience that was particularly painful under the ubiquitous eyes of the world's tabloid media. Diana and Charles announced a separation in 1992, though they continued to carry out their royal duties. In August 1996, two months after Queen Elizabeth II urged the couple to divorce, the prince and princess reached a final agreement. In exchange for a generous settlement, and the right to retain her apartments at Kensington Palace and her title of "Princess of Wales," Diana agreed to relinquish the title of "Her Royal Highness" and any future claims to the British throne.

In the year following the divorce, the popular princess seemed well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming "a queen in people's hearts," but on August 31, 1997, she was killed with her companion Dodi Fayed in a car accident in Paris. An investigation conducted by the French police concluded that the driver, who also died in the crash, was heavily intoxicated and caused the accident while trying to escape the paparazzi photographers who consistently tailed Diana during any public outing.

Prince Charles married his longtime mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles, on April 9, 2005.

Categories: Fun Stuff

John Clarke

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 7:00pm
"Who is more busy than he who hath least to do?"
Categories: Fun Stuff

Victor Hugo

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 7:00pm
"There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Groucho Marx

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 7:00pm
"A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five."
Categories: Fun Stuff

William Ralph Inge

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 7:00pm
"A nation is a society united by delusions about its ancestry and by common hatred of its neighbors."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - August 27

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 6:15pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Here is snippet of section A of the curious multiple-choice entrance exam into the exclusive BrainBashers puzzle club.

1. The first question with B as the correct answer is:

A. 1
B. 4
C. 3
D. 2

2. The answer to Question 4 is:

A. D
B. A
C. B
D. C

3. The answer to Question 1 is:

A. D
B. C
C. B
D. A

4. The number of questions which have D as the correct answer is:

A. 3
B. 2
C. 1
D. 0

5. The number of questions which have B as the correct answer is:

A. 0
B. 2
C. 3
D. 1

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - August 27 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 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 - August 27

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 6:15pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Snow Boarder XS
   Ride your snow board downhill performing tricks along the way.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

fleer

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 27, 2014 is:

fleer • \FLEER\  • noun
: a word or look of derision or mockery

Examples:
When Adam suggested that the firm's partners do the work pro bono he half-expected to be hit with a collective fleer, but the others readily agreed.

"He expressed himself, of course, with eccentric abandon—it would have been impossible for him to do otherwise; but he was content to indicate his deepest feelings with a fleer." — Lytton Strachey, Eminent Victorians, 1918

Did you know?
Fleer first appeared in English as a verb (fleryen in Middle English) meaning "to laugh, grin, or grimace in a coarse manner." The verb is of Scandinavian origin and is akin to the Norwegian flire, meaning "to giggle." The noun fleer first and most famously appeared in William Shakespeare's tragedy Othello, in which the evil Iago invites Othello to observe the signs of his wife's unfaithfulness in the visage of her supposed lover, Cassio: "And mark the fleers, the gibes, and notable scorns / That dwell in every region of his face…."

Categories: Fun Stuff

August 27, 1883: Krakatau explodes

This Day in History - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 11:00pm

The most powerful volcanic eruption in recorded history occurs on Krakatau (also called Krakatoa), a small, uninhabited volcanic island located west of Sumatra in Indonesia, on this day in 1883. Heard 3,000 miles away, the explosions threw five cubic miles of earth 50 miles into the air, created 120-foot tsunamis and killed 36,000 people.

Krakatau exhibited its first stirrings in more than 200 years on May 20, 1883. A German warship passing by reported a seven-mile high cloud of ash and dust over Krakatau. For the next two months, similar explosions would be witnessed by commercial liners and natives on nearby Java and Sumatra. With little to no idea of the impending catastrophe, the local inhabitants greeted the volcanic activity with festive excitement.

On August 26 and August 27, excitement turned to horror as Krakatau literally blew itself apart, setting off a chain of natural disasters that would be felt around the world for years to come. An enormous blast on the afternoon of August 26 destroyed the northern two-thirds of the island; as it plunged into the Sunda Strait, between the Java Sea and Indian Ocean, the gushing mountain generated a series of pyroclastic flows (fast-moving fluid bodies of molten gas, ash and rock) and monstrous tsunamis that swept over nearby coastlines. Four more eruptions beginning at 5:30 a.m. the following day proved cataclysmic. The explosions could be heard as far as 3,000 miles away, and ash was propelled to a height of 50 miles. Fine dust from the explosion drifted around the earth, causing spectacular sunsets and forming an atmospheric veil that lowered temperatures worldwide by several degrees.

Of the estimated 36,000 deaths resulting from the eruption, at least 31,000 were caused by the tsunamis created when much of the island fell into the water. The greatest of these waves measured 120 feet high, and washed over nearby islands, stripping away vegetation and carrying people out to sea. Another 4,500 people were scorched to death from the pyroclastic flows that rolled over the sea, stretching as far as 40 miles, according to some sources.

In addition to Krakatau, which is still active, Indonesia has another 130 active volcanoes, the most of any country in the world.

Categories: Fun Stuff

John Scalzi

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 7:00pm
"My marriage had its ups and downs like anyone's, but when it came down to it, I knew it was solid. I miss that sort of security, and that sort of connection with someone."
Categories: Fun Stuff

John Ruskin

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 7:00pm
"There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply. The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Marlo Thomas

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 7:00pm
"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Louis Vermeil

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 7:00pm
"The prime purpose of eloquence is to keep other people from talking."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - August 26

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 6:01pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

How many days before 17th August is it, if 50 days ago, it was four times as many days since March 30th?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - August 26 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 6:01pm
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 - August 26

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 6:01pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Super Fishing
   Fishing for fun!
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

suffrage

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 26, 2014 is:

suffrage • \SUF-rij\  • noun
1 : a vote given in deciding a disputed question or electing a person for an office or trust 2 : the right of voting; also : the exercise of such right

Examples:
On August 26, 1920—42 years after such an amendment had first been introduced in Congress—the Nineteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution became law, finally granting women suffrage.

"The Clark Chateau, 321 W. Broadway St., is hosting an exhibit that celebrates the centennial of women’s suffrage in the state of Montana." — Montana Standard, July 9, 2014

Did you know?
Why would a 17th-century writer warn people that a chapel was only for "private or secret suffrages"? Because in addition to the meanings listed above, "suffrage" has been used since the 14th century to mean "prayer" (especially a prayer requesting divine help or intercession). So how did "suffrage" come to mean "a vote" or "the right to vote"? To answer that, we must look to the word’s Latin ancestor, "suffragium," which can be translated as "vote," "support," or "prayer." That term produced descendants in a number of languages, and English picked up its senses of "suffrage" from two different places. We took the "prayer" sense from a Middle French "suffragium" offspring that emphasized the word’s spiritual aspects, and we elected to adopt the "voting" senses directly from the original Latin.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - August 25

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 08/25/2014 - 11:51pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Can you find anagrams of the following words?

ASPIRATE
ALARMING
BLEATING
DECIMATE
CREATIVE
CHEATING
DOWNLOAD
GRADIENT
ALTITUDE
GENERATE

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff