Fun Stuff

maunder

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sun, 10/26/2014 - 1:00am

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

maunder • \MAWN-der\  • verb
1 : chiefly British : grumble 2 : to wander slowly and idly 3 : to speak indistinctly or disconnectedly

Examples:
Chelsea left a nearly incoherent message on my voicemail, maundering on for several minutes without ever getting around to her reason for calling.

"Some of Tyler's students lag behind to chat, maundering along at their own pace." — Cody Winchester, Argus Leader (Sioux Falls, South Dakota), May 14, 2011

Did you know?
Maunder looks a lot like meander, and that's not all the two words have in common—both mean "to wander aimlessly," either physically or in speech. Some critics have suggested that while meander can describe a person's verbal and physical rambling, in addition to the wanderings of things like paths and streams, maunder should be limited to wandering words. The problem with that reasoning is that maunder has been used of the physical movements of people since at least 1775, whereas meander didn't acquire that use until around 1831. These days, meander tends to be the more common choice, although maunder does continue to turn up in both applications.

Categories: Fun Stuff

October 26, 1881: Shootout at the OK Corral

This Day in History - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1881, the Earp brothers face off against the Clanton-McLaury gang in a legendary shootout at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.

After silver was discovered nearby in 1877, Tombstone quickly grew into one of the richest mining towns in the Southwest. Wyatt Earp, a former Kansas police officer working as a bank security guard, and his brothers, Morgan and Virgil, the town marshal, represented "law and order" in Tombstone, though they also had reputations as being power-hungry and ruthless. The Clantons and McLaurys were cowboys who lived on a ranch outside of town and sidelined as cattle rustlers, thieves and murderers. In October 1881, the struggle between these two groups for control of Tombstone and Cochise County ended in a blaze of gunfire at the OK Corral.   

On the morning of October 25, Ike Clanton and Tom McLaury came into Tombstone for supplies. Over the next 24 hours, the two men had several violent run-ins with the Earps and their friend Doc Holliday. Around 1:30 p.m. on October 26, Ike's brother Billy rode into town to join them, along with Frank McLaury and Billy Claiborne. The first person they met in the local saloon was Holliday, who was delighted to inform them that their brothers had both been pistol-whipped by the Earps. Frank and Billy immediately left the saloon, vowing revenge.

Around 3 p.m., the Earps and Holliday spotted the five members of the Clanton-McLaury gang in a vacant lot behind the OK Corral, at the end of Fremont Street. The famous gunfight that ensued lasted all of 30 seconds, and around 30 shots were fired. Though it's still debated who fired the first shot, most reports say that the shootout began when Virgil Earp pulled out his revolver and shot Billy Clanton point-blank in the chest, while Doc Holliday fired a shotgun blast at Tom McLaury's chest. Though Wyatt Earp wounded Frank McLaury with a shot in the stomach, Frank managed to get off a few shots before collapsing, as did Billy Clanton. When the dust cleared, Billy Clanton and the McLaury brothers were dead, and Virgil and Morgan Earp and Doc Holliday were wounded. Ike Clanton and Claiborne had run for the hills.

Sheriff John Behan of Cochise County, who witnessed the shootout, charged the Earps and Holliday with murder. A month later, however, a Tombstone judge found the men not guilty, ruling that they were "fully justified in committing these homicides." The famous shootout has been immortalized in many movies, including Frontier Marshal (1939), Gunfight at the OK Corral (1957), Tombstone (1993) and Wyatt Earp (1994).   

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - October 25

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 7:49pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

What number comes next in this sequence:

1 3 5 7 11 ==?==

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - October 25 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 7:49pm
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 - October 25

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 7:49pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Turbo Truck
   Take your truck out on the huge hills and cliffs.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Aristotle

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 7:00pm
"It is unbecoming for young men to utter maxims."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Norman Douglas

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 7:00pm
"Education is a state-controlled manufactory of echoes."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Ashley Montague

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 7:00pm
"Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without any proof."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Woody Allen

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 7:00pm
"If it turns out that there is a God, I don't think that he's evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he's an underachiever."
Categories: Fun Stuff

vendetta

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sat, 10/25/2014 - 1:00am

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

vendetta • \ven-DET-uh\  • noun
1 : a feud between different families 2 : an often prolonged series of retaliatory, vengeful, or hostile acts or exchange of such acts

Examples:
The vendetta between the two more powerful families on the island reached new heights when the prominent son of one family and two of his associates suddenly went missing.

"Lawyers for the indicted … sheriff are accusing the federal prosecutor of misconduct, saying he has a vendetta against their client and threatened him with arrest during a heated May meeting over U.S. Forest Service patrols in northern New Mexico." — Russell Contreras, Albuquerque Journal, August 20, 2014

Did you know?
Vendetta has been getting even in English since the mid-19th century. English speakers borrowed vendetta, spelling and all, from Italian, in which it means "revenge." It ultimately traces to the Latin verb vindicare, which means "to lay claim to" or "to avenge." That Latin word is also in the family tree of many other English terms related to getting even, including avenge, revenge, vengeance, vindicate, and vindictive.

Categories: Fun Stuff

October 25, 1881: Pablo Picasso born

This Day in History - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 11:00pm

Pablo Picasso, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, is born in Malaga, Spain.

Picasso's father was a professor of drawing, and he bred his son for a career in academic art. Picasso had his first exhibit at age 13 and later quit art school so he could experiment full-time with modern art styles. He went to Paris for the first time in 1900, and in 1901 was given an exhibition at a gallery on Paris' rue Lafitte, a street known for its prestigious art galleries. The precocious 19-year-old Spaniard was at the time a relative unknown outside Barcelona, but he had already produced hundreds of paintings. Winning favorable reviews, he stayed in Paris for the rest of the year and later returned to the city to settle permanently.

The work of Picasso, which comprises more than 50,000 paintings, drawings, engravings, sculptures, and ceramics produced over 80 years, is described in a series of overlapping periods. His first notable period--the "blue period"—began shortly after his first Paris exhibit. In works such as The Old Guitarist (1903), Picasso painted in blue tones to evoke the melancholy world of the poor. The blue period was followed by the "rose period," in which he often depicted circus scenes, and then by Picasso's early work in sculpture. In 1907, Picasso painted the groundbreaking work Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, which, with its fragmented and distorted representation of the human form, broke from previous European art. Les Demoiselles d'Avignon demonstrated the influence on Picasso of both African mask art and Paul Cezanne and is seen as a forerunner of the Cubist movement, founded by Picasso and the French painter Georges Braque in 1909.

In Cubism, which is divided into two phases, analytical and synthetic, Picasso and Braque established the modern principle that artwork need not represent reality to have artistic value. Major Cubist works by Picasso included his costumes and sets for Sergey Diaghilev's Ballets Russes (1917) and The Three Musicians (1921). Picasso and Braque's Cubist experiments also resulted in the invention of several new artistic techniques, including collage.

After Cubism, Picasso explored classical and Mediterranean themes, and images of violence and anguish increasingly appeared in his work. In 1937, this trend culminated in the masterpiece Guernica, a monumental work that evoked the horror and suffering endured by the Basque town of Guernica when it was destroyed by German war planes during the Spanish Civil War. Picasso remained in Paris during the Nazi occupation but was fervently opposed to fascism and after the war joined the French Communist Party.

Picasso's work after World War II is less studied than his earlier creations, but he continued to work feverishly and enjoyed commercial and critical success. He produced fantastical works, experimented with ceramics, and painted variations on the works of other masters in the history of art. Known for his intense gaze and domineering personality, he had a series of intense and overlapping love affairs in his lifetime. He continued to produce art with undiminished force until his death in 1973 at the age of 91.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - October 24

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 7:35pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

During the recent BrainBashers cipher convention, a binary code contest took place.

The contest consisted of a binary code transmission where the spaces between the letters were missing and there was no punctuation.

Each letter of the alphabet was translated into its binary equivalent based on its position in the alphabet:

a: 1      b: 10     c: 11     d: 100    e: 101
f: 110    g: 111    h: 1000   i: 1001   j: 1010
k: 1011   l: 1100   m: 1101   n: 1110   o: 1111
p: 10000  q: 10001  r: 10010  s: 10011  t: 10100
u: 10101  v: 10110  w: 10111  x: 11000  y: 11001
z: 11010

Can you find 10 countries?

101011000011110
101111110010110011
100001111110011110100
110100101111011101
11100010011100101
1101111110010111111111111
11010111011010011
10100110011011111110
1000011110111011
1101111111101111111110010011

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - October 24 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 7:35pm
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 - October 24

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 7:35pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Blob Twist
   Arrange the blobs and create a chain reaction.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Marquis de la Grange

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 7:00pm
"When we ask for advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Charles Luckman

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 7:00pm
"The trouble with America is that there are far too many wide-open spaces surrounded by teeth."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Solomon Short

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 7:00pm
"The only winner in the War of 1812 was Tchaikovsky."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Douglas Adams

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 7:00pm
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move."
Categories: Fun Stuff

lyric

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Fri, 10/24/2014 - 1:00am

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

lyric • \LEER-ik\  • adjective
1 : suitable for singing : melodic 2 : expressing direct usually intense personal emotion

Examples:
The critics are praising Jessica's debut novel as a lyric masterpiece that bravely lays out the emotional tensions experienced by its young protagonist.

"Virtually all of Big Jim’s lyric digressions were on writers. When Big Jim talked about Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman or whomever, he spoke and we listened and learned." — Frank Clancy, Savannah Morning News, September 23, 2014

Did you know?
To the ancient Greeks, anything lyrikos was appropriate to the lyre. That elegant stringed instrument was highly regarded by the Greeks and was used to accompany intensely personal poetry that revealed the thoughts and feelings of the poet. When the adjective lyric, a descendant of lyrikos, was adopted into English in the 1500s, it too referred to things pertaining or adapted to the lyre. Initially, it was applied to poetic forms (such as elegies, odes, or sonnets) that expressed strong emotion, to poets who wrote such works, or to things that were meant to be sung; over time, it was extended to anything musical or rhapsodic. Nowadays, lyric is also used as a noun naming either a type of poem or the words of a song.

Categories: Fun Stuff

October 24, 1901: First barrel ride down Niagara Falls

This Day in History - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1901, a 63-year-old schoolteacher named Annie Edson Taylor becomes the first person to take the plunge over Niagara Falls in a barrel. 

After her husband died in the Civil War, the New York-born Taylor moved all over the U. S. before settling in Bay City, Michigan, around 1898. In July 1901, while reading an article about the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, she learned of the growing popularity of two enormous waterfalls located on the border of upstate New York and Canada. Strapped for cash and seeking fame, Taylor came up with the perfect attention-getting stunt: She would go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

Taylor was not the first person to attempt the plunge over the famous falls. In October 1829, Sam Patch, known as the Yankee Leaper, survived jumping down the 175-foot Horseshoe Falls of the Niagara River, on the Canadian side of the border. More than 70 years later, Taylor chose to take the ride on her birthday, October 24. (She claimed she was in her 40s, but genealogical records later showed she was 63.) With the help of two assistants, Taylor strapped herself into a leather harness inside an old wooden pickle barrel five feet high and three feet in diameter. With cushions lining the barrel to break her fall, Taylor was towed by a small boat into the middle of the fast-flowing Niagara River and cut loose.

Knocked violently from side to side by the rapids and then propelled over the edge of Horseshoe Falls, Taylor reached the shore alive, if a bit battered, around 20 minutes after her journey began. After a brief flurry of photo-ops and speaking engagements, Taylor's fame cooled, and she was unable to make the fortune for which she had hoped. She did, however, inspire a number of copy-cat daredevils. Between 1901 and 1995, 15 people went over the falls; 10 of them survived. Among those who died were Jesse Sharp, who took the plunge in a kayak in 1990, and Robert Overcracker, who used a jet ski in 1995. No matter the method, going over Niagara Falls is illegal, and survivors face charges and stiff fines on either side of the border. 

Categories: Fun Stuff