Fun Stuff

requisite

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 25, 2014 is:

requisite • \REK-wuh-zut\  • adjective
: essential, necessary

Examples:
The application will not be considered until all of the requisite forms have been submitted.

"This smaller, slightly more upscale pizza shop … has all the requisite Wicker Park trappings: chalkboard menu, exposed brick, communal seating." — Kate Bernot, Chicago Tribune, June 20, 2014

Did you know?
Acquiring an understanding of where today's word comes from won't require a formal inquiry. Without question, the quest begins with Latin "quaerere," which means "to ask" and is an ancestor of a number of English words, including "acquire," "require," "inquiry," "question," "quest," and, of course, "requisite." From "quaerere" came "requirere," meaning "to ask again." Repeated requests can express a need, and the past participle of "requirere," which is "requisitus," came to mean "needed" or "necessary." The English language acquired "requisite" when it was adopted into Middle English back in the 1400s.

Categories: Fun Stuff

July 25, 1978: World's first "test tube baby" born

This Day in History - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1978, Louise Joy Brown, the world's first baby to be conceived via in vitro fertilization (IVF) is born at Oldham and District General Hospital in Manchester, England, to parents Lesley and Peter Brown. The healthy baby was delivered shortly before midnight by caesarean section and weighed in at five pounds, 12 ounces.

Before giving birth to Louise, Lesley Brown had suffered years of infertility due to blocked fallopian tubes. In November 1977, she underwent the then-experimental IVF procedure. A mature egg was removed from one of her ovaries and combined in a laboratory dish with her husband’s sperm to form an embryo. The embryo then was implanted into her uterus a few days later. Her IVF doctors, British gynecologist Patrick Steptoe and scientist Robert Edwards, had begun their pioneering collaboration a decade earlier. Once the media learned of the pregnancy, the Browns faced intense public scrutiny. Louise’s birth made headlines around the world and raised various legal and ethical questions.

The Browns had a second daughter, Natalie, several years later, also through IVF. In May 1999, Natalie became the first IVF baby to give birth to a child of her own. The child’s conception was natural, easing some concerns that female IVF babies would be unable to get pregnant naturally. In December 2006, Louise Brown, the original "test tube baby," gave birth to a boy, Cameron John Mullinder, who also was conceived naturally.

Today, IVF is considered a mainstream medical treatment for infertility. Hundreds of thousands of children around the world have been conceived through the procedure, in some cases with donor eggs and sperm.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - July 24

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 10:29pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Can you find anagrams of the following words:

BINARY
ABROAD
RASCAL
ALTARS
BADGER
BARKED
MARBLE
UNABLE
TABLET
CALLER

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - July 24 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 10:29pm
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 - July 24

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 10:29pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Voodoo Charms
   Clear the grid of charms using bombs.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Peter Blake

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 7:00pm
"Great part of being a grownup, you never have to do anything."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Evan Esar

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 7:00pm
"Zoo: An excellent place to study the habits of human beings."
Categories: Fun Stuff

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 7:00pm
"At 18 our convictions are hills from which we look; At 45 they are caves in which we hide."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Neil Gaiman

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 7:00pm
"It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor."
Categories: Fun Stuff

silhouette

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 24, 2014 is:

silhouette • \sil-uh-WET\  • noun
1 a : a picture (as a drawing or cutout) of the outline of an object filled in with a solid usually black color b : a profile portrait done in silhouette 2 : the shape or outline of something; especially : the outline of an object seen or as if seen against the light

Examples:
"The tree-tops rose against the luminous blue sky in inky silhouette, and all below that outline melted into one formless blackness." — H. G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau, 1896

"This is not a season for shoehorning yourself into your pants. Painted-on is out, and loose, slouchy silhouettes are in." — Christine Whitney and Jessica Prince, Harper's Bazaar, April 2014

Did you know?
Before the age of the photograph, the silhouette, either cut from paper or painted, was the most affordable portrait that could be made. The art enjoyed a golden age in the second half of the 18th and first half of the 19th centuries, when many people collected them. Although silhouettes were well-loved, the man for whom they were named was not: Étienne de Silhouette was France's finance minister under Louis XV and was notorious for both his frugality and his hobby of making cut-paper shadow portraits. The phrase "à la Silhouette" came to mean "on the cheap," and portraits like the ones he produced were (satirically) bestowed with his name as well.

Categories: Fun Stuff

July 24, 1911: Machu Picchu discovered

This Day in History - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 11:00pm

On July 24, 1911, American archeologist Hiram Bingham gets his first look at Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca settlement in Peru that is now one of the world's top tourist destinations.

Tucked away in the rocky countryside northwest of Cuzco, Machu Picchu is believed to have been a summer retreat for Inca leaders, whose civilization was virtually wiped out by Spanish invaders in the 16th century. For hundreds of years afterwards, its existence was a secret known only to the peasants living in the region. That all changed in the summer of 1911, when Bingham arrived with a small team of explorers to search for the famous "lost" cities of the Incas.

Traveling on foot and by mule, Bingham and his team made their way from Cuzco into the Urubamba Valley, where a local farmer told them of some ruins located at the top of a nearby mountain. The farmer called the mountain Machu Picchu, which meant "Old Peak" in the native Quechua language. The next day--July 24--after a tough climb to the mountain's ridge in cold and drizzly weather, Bingham met a small group of peasants who showed him the rest of the way. Led by an 11-year-old boy, Bingham got his first glimpse of the intricate network of stone terraces marking the entrance to Machu Picchu.

The excited Bingham spread the word about his discovery in a best-selling book, sending hordes of eager tourists flocking to Peru to follow in his footsteps up the Inca trail. The site itself stretches an impressive five miles, with over 3,000 stone steps linking its many different levels. Today, more than 300,000 people tramp through Machu Picchu every year, braving crowds and landslides to see the sun set over the towering stone monuments of the "Sacred City" and marvel at the mysterious splendor of one of the world's most famous man-made wonders.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - July 23

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 10:15pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

What is represented by this BrainBat?

N
W
O
R
G

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - July 23 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 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 - July 23

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 10:15pm
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

E. Joseph Cossman

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 7:00pm
"Drive-in banks were established so most of the cars today could see their real owners."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Ogden Nash

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 7:00pm
"Middle age is when you've met so many people that every new person you meet reminds you of someone else."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Saint Augustine

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 7:00pm
"O Lord, help me to be pure, but not yet."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Aaron Copland

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 7:00pm
"The whole problem can be stated quite simply by asking, 'Is there a meaning to music?' My answer would be, 'Yes.' And 'Can you state in so many words what the meaning is?' My answer to that would be, 'No.'"
Categories: Fun Stuff

interpolate

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for July 23, 2014 is:

interpolate • \in-TER-puh-layt\  • verb
1 a : to change (as a text) by inserting new or foreign matter b : to insert (words) into a text or into a conversation 2 : to insert (something) between other things or parts : to make insertions 3 : to estimate values of (data or a function) between two known values

Examples:
"Ellis nicely interpolated a harpsichord solo between Bach's two movements…." — Tom Aldridge, NUVO (Indiana), May 18, 2013

"Most scanners can scan at higher resolutions than their maximum optical resolutions by using software to interpolate more dots per inch, but you really aren't getting any better quality." — Jim Rossman, The Virginian-Pilot, June 23, 2014

Did you know?
"Interpolate" comes from Latin "interpolare," a verb with various meanings, among them "to refurbish," "to alter," and "to falsify." "Interpolate" entered English in the 17th century and was applied early on to the alteration (and in many cases corruption) of texts by insertion of additional material. Modern use of "interpolate" still sometimes suggests the insertion of something extraneous or spurious, as in "she interpolated her own comments into the report."

Categories: Fun Stuff

July 23, 1984: Miss America resigns

This Day in History - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1984, 21-year-old Vanessa Williams gives up her Miss America title, the first resignation in the pageant's history, after Penthouse magazine announces plans to publish nude photos of the beauty queen in its September issue. Williams originally made history on September 17, 1983, when she became the first black woman to win the Miss America crown. Miss New Jersey, Suzette Charles, the first runner-up and also an African American, assumed Williams' tiara for the two months that remained of her reign.

Vanessa Lynn Williams was born March 18, 1963, in Millwood, New York, to music teacher parents. She attended Syracuse University and studied musical theater. In 1982, while working a summer job as a receptionist at a modeling agency in Mt. Kisco, New York, photographer Thomas Chiapel took the nude pictures of Williams, telling her they'd be shot in silhouette and that she wouldn't be recognizable. After Williams became Miss America, the photographer sold the pictures to Penthouse without her knowledge. Williams later dropped lawsuits against the magazine and photographer after it was learned that she had signed a model release form at the time the photos were taken.

The Miss America pageant, which prides itself on projecting a wholesome, positive image of women, began in 1921 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, as a stunt developed by local businessmen to extend the summer tourist season. In 1945, the Miss America Organization handed out its first scholarship. Today, it provides over $45 million each year in cash and tuition assistance to contestants on the national, state and local levels. In 1954, the competition was broadcast live for the first time. Beginning in the 1980s, contestants were required to have a social platform, such as drunk-driving prevention or AIDS awareness, and Miss America winners now travel an estimated 20,000 miles a month for speaking engagements and public appearances. In 2006, following a decline in TV ratings, the pageant moved from Atlantic City for the first time in its history and took place in Las Vegas, where a new Miss America was crowned in January instead of September.

Vanessa Williams rebounded from the Miss America scandal and went on to a successful entertainment career as an actress and recording artist, performing on Broadway as well as in movies and television and releasing a number of popular albums.

Categories: Fun Stuff