Fun Stuff

mesmerize

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sat, 06/27/2015 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for June 27, 2015 is:

mesmerize • \MEZ-muh-ryze\  • verb
1 : to subject to mesmerism; also : hypnotize 2 : spellbind

Examples:
Moviegoers will find themselves mesmerized by the visual intricacy and frenetic pacing of the animated sequence that opens the movie.

"In 2008, Democrats had a 47-year-old candidate who mesmerized the party and ran away with the votes of Americans aged 18 to 29." — Byron York, Daily Review (Morgan City, Louisiana), April 30, 2015

Did you know?
Experts can't agree on whether Franz Anton Mesmer (1734–1815) was a quack or a genius, but all concede that the late 18th-century physician's name is the source of the word mesmerize. In his day, Mesmer was the toast of Paris, where he enjoyed the support of notables including Queen Marie Antoinette. He treated patients with a force he termed animal magnetism. Many believe that what he actually used was what we now call hypnotism. Mesmer's name was first applied to a technique for inducing hypnosis by one of his students in 1784.

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June 27, 1950: Truman orders U.S. forces to Korea

This Day in History - Fri, 06/26/2015 - 11:00pm

On June 27, 1950, President Harry S. Truman announces that he is ordering U.S. air and naval forces to South Korea to aid the democratic nation in repulsing an invasion by communist North Korea. The United States was undertaking the major military operation, he explained, to enforce a United Nations resolution calling for an end to hostilities, and to stem the spread of communism in Asia. In addition to ordering U.S. forces to Korea, Truman also deployed the U.S. 7th Fleet to Formosa (Taiwan) to guard against invasion by communist China and ordered an acceleration of military aid to French forces fighting communist guerrillas in Vietnam.

At the Yalta Conference towards the end of World War II, the United States, the USSR, and Great Britain agreed to divide Korea into two separate occupation zones. The country was split along the 38th parallel, with Soviet forces occupying the northern zone and Americans stationed in the south. In 1947, the United States and Great Britain called for free elections throughout Korea, but the Soviets refused to comply. In May 1948 the Korean Democratic People’s Republic–a communist state–was proclaimed in North Korea. In August, the democratic Republic of Korea was established in South Korea. By 1949, both the United States and the USSR had withdrawn the majority of their troops from the Korean Peninsula.

At dawn on June 25, 1950 (June 24 in the United States and Europe), 90,000 communist troops of the North Korean People’s Army invaded South Korea across the 38th parallel, catching the Republic of Korea’s forces completely off guard and throwing them into a hasty southern retreat. On the afternoon of June 25, the U.N. Security Council met in an emergency session and approved a U.S. resolution calling for an “immediate cessation of hostilities” and the withdrawal of North Korean forces to the 38th parallel. At the time, the USSR was boycotting the Security Council over the U.N.’s refusal to admit the People’s Republic of China and so missed its chance to veto this and other crucial U.N. resolutions.

On June 27, President Truman announced to the nation and the world that America would intervene in the Korean conflict in order to prevent the conquest of an independent nation by communism. Truman was suggesting that the USSR was behind the North Korean invasion, and in fact the Soviets had given tacit approval to the invasion, which was carried out with Soviet-made tanks and weapons. Despite the fear that U.S. intervention in Korea might lead to open warfare between the United States and Russia after years of “cold war,” Truman’s decision was met with overwhelming approval from Congress and the U.S. public. Truman did not ask for a declaration of war, but Congress voted to extend the draft and authorized Truman to call up reservists.

On June 28, the Security Council met again and in the continued absence of the Soviet Union passed a U.S. resolution approving the use of force against North Korea. On June 30, Truman agreed to send U.S. ground forces to Korea, and on July 7 the Security Council recommended that all U.N. forces sent to Korea be put under U.S. command. The next day, General Douglas MacArthur was named commander of all U.N. forces in Korea.

In the opening months of the war, the U.S.-led U.N. forces rapidly advanced against the North Koreans, but Chinese communist troops entered the fray in October, throwing the Allies into a hasty retreat. In April 1951, Truman relieved MacArthur of his command after he publicly threatened to bomb China in defiance of Truman’s stated war policy. Truman feared that an escalation of fighting with China would draw the Soviet Union into the Korean War.

By May 1951, the communists were pushed back to the 38th parallel, and the battle line remained in that vicinity for the remainder of the war. On July 27, 1953, after two years of negotiation, an armistice was signed, ending the war and reestablishing the 1945 division of Korea that still exists today. Approximately 150,000 troops from South Korea, the United States, and participating U.N. nations were killed in the Korean War, and as many as one million South Korean civilians perished. An estimated 800,000 communist soldiers were killed, and more than 200,000 North Korean civilians died.

The original figure of American troops lost–54,246 killed–became controversial when the Pentagon acknowledged in 2000 that all U.S. troops killed around the world during the period of the Korean War were incorporated into that number. For example, any American soldier killed in a car accident anywhere in the world from June 1950 to July 1953 was considered a casualty of the Korean War. If these deaths are subtracted from the 54,000 total, leaving just the Americans who died (from whatever cause) in the Korean theater of operations, the total U.S. dead in the Korean War numbers 36,516.

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Daily Puzzle - June 26

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 06/26/2015 - 7:56pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

James had 17 rings and all but 9 were dropped down the drain, how many did he have left?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - June 26 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 06/26/2015 - 7:56pm
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]

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Daily Game - June 26

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 06/26/2015 - 7:56pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Pipol Destinations
   Guide your 'Pipol' to their respective destinations through 20 levels.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

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John Clarke

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 06/26/2015 - 7:00pm
"Who is more busy than he who hath least to do?"
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Rodney Dangerfield

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 06/26/2015 - 7:00pm
"When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them."
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George Santayana

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 06/26/2015 - 7:00pm
"Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim."
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Anatole France

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 06/26/2015 - 7:00pm
"Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another."
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waddy

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Fri, 06/26/2015 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for June 26, 2015 is:

waddy • \WAH-dee\  • noun
: cowboy

Examples:
"One of the waddies, a young, long-faced kid in an oversized black hat, held Renegade's reins up close to the bridle and was running a soothing hand down the skewbald's stout neck." — Peter Brandvold, .45 Caliber Firebrand, 2009

"There is always an Old West gunfight re-enactment to watch, a nightly rodeo to attend, and waddies on horseback to witness strolling into downtown, tying their steed to a hitching post at the historic Irma Hotel—named after Buffalo Bill's daughter—and enjoying an after-work beverage and dinner." — Michael Johnson, Alamogordo (New Mexico) Daily News, May 26, 2012

Did you know?
It's easier to rope a wild mustang than to round up the origin of waddy. Some folks claim it comes from wadding (the material used in stuffing or padding) because waddies were once extra hands hired to fill in when extra cowhands were needed. But other evidence suggests that waddy originally referred to a cattle rustler, a usage that wouldn't support the wadding theory. There is also an Australian waddy meaning "stick" or "club," but definitive evidence of a connection between the Australian and American words remains elusive. All researchers can say with certainty is that waddy has been used to refer to a cowboy since at least the late 19th century.

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June 26, 1948: U.S. begins Berlin Airlift

This Day in History - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1948, U.S. and British pilots begin delivering food and supplies by airplane to Berlin after the city is isolated by a Soviet Union blockade.

When World War II ended in 1945, defeated Germany was divided into Soviet, American, British and French zones of occupation. The city of Berlin, though located within the Soviet zone of occupation, was also split into four sectors, with the Allies taking the western part of the city and the Soviets the eastern. In June 1948, Josef Stalin’s government attempted to consolidate control of the city by cutting off all land and sea routes to West Berlin in order to pressure the Allies to evacuate. As a result, beginning on June 24 the western section of Berlin and its 2 million people were deprived of food, heating fuel and other crucial supplies.

Though some in U.S. President Harry S. Truman’s administration called for a direct military response to this aggressive Soviet move, Truman worried such a response would trigger another world war. Instead, he authorized a massive airlift operation under the control of General Lucius D. Clay, the American-appointed military governor of Germany. The first planes took off from England and western Germany on June 26, loaded with food, clothing, water, medicine and fuel.

By July 15, an average of 2,500 tons of supplies was being flown into the city every day. The massive scale of the airlift made it a huge logistical challenge and at times a great risk. With planes landing at Tempelhof Airport every four minutes, round the clock, pilots were being asked to fly two or more round-trip flights every day, in World War II planes that were sometimes in need of repair.

The Soviets lifted the blockade in May 1949, having earned the scorn of the international community for subjecting innocent men, women and children to hardship and starvation. The airlift–called die Luftbrucke or “the air bridge” in German–continued until September 1949, for a total delivery of more than 1.5 million tons of supplies and a total cost of over $224 million. When it ended, the eastern section of Berlin was absorbed into Soviet East Germany, while West Berlin remained a separate territory with its own government and close ties to West Germany. The Berlin Wall, built in 1961, formed a dividing line between East and West Berlin. Its destruction in 1989 presaged the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union and marked the end of an era and the reemergence of Berlin as the capital of a new, unified German nation.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - June 25

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 7:42pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Find 5 odd numbers which add up to 14.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - June 25 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 7:42pm
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 - June 25

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 7:42pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Shell Game
   Guess which cup the ball is under.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Sir Arthur Eddington

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 7:00pm
"We are bits of stellar matter that got cold by accident, bits of a star gone wrong."
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Friedrich Nietzsche

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 7:00pm
"The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time."
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B. F. Skinner

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 7:00pm
"The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do."
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Matt Frewer

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 7:00pm
"Never knock on Death's door: ring the bell and run away! Death really hates that!"
Categories: Fun Stuff

futile

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 1:00am

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

futile • \FYOO-tul\  • adjective
1 : serving no useful purpose : completely ineffective 2 : occupied with trifles : frivolous

Examples:
Unfortunately, all efforts to repair the damage ultimately proved futile.

"Kumiko's journey is a tragic one. It is made clear from the beginning that her quest is futile." — Josh Weitzel, Columbia Chronicle (Columbia College Chicago), April 13, 2015

Did you know?
Futile floated into the English language in the mid-16th century from Middle French, where it took shape from the Latin adjective futilis, meaning "that easily pours out" or "leaky." That leak of information lets you in on how futile developed its "ineffective" and "frivolous" meanings: things that are leaky are of no use. In 1827, English author Robert Southey found use for the word by blending it into utilitarian to form futilitarian, a word that is used today for anyone who believes that human striving is futile.

Categories: Fun Stuff

June 25, 1876: Battle of Little Bighorn

This Day in History - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1876, Native American forces led by Chiefs Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull defeat the U.S. Army troops of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer in a bloody battle near southern Montana’s Little Bighorn River.

Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, leaders of the Sioux tribe on the Great Plains, strongly resisted the mid-19th-century efforts of the U.S. government to confine their people to reservations. In 1875, after gold was discovered in South Dakota’s Black Hills, the U.S. Army ignored previous treaty agreements and invaded the region. This betrayal led many Sioux and Cheyenne tribesmen to leave their reservations and join Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse in Montana. By the late spring of 1876, more than 10,000 Native Americans had gathered in a camp along the Little Bighorn River–which they called the Greasy Grass–in defiance of a U.S. War Department order to return to their reservations or risk being attacked.

In mid-June, three columns of U.S. soldiers lined up against the camp and prepared to march. A force of 1,200 Native Americans turned back the first column on June 17. Five days later, General Alfred Terry ordered Custer’s 7th Cavalry to scout ahead for enemy troops. On the morning of June 25, Custer drew near the camp and decided to press on ahead rather than wait for reinforcements.

At mid-day, Custer’s 600 men entered the Little Bighorn Valley. Among the Native Americans, word quickly spread of the impending attack. The older Sitting Bull rallied the warriors and saw to the safety of the women and children, while Crazy Horse set off with a large force to meet the attackers head on. Despite Custer’s desperate attempts to regroup his men, they were quickly overwhelmed. Custer and some 200 men in his battalion were attacked by as many as 3,000 Native Americans; within an hour, Custer and every last one of his soldier were dead.

The Battle of Little Bighorn–also called Custer’s Last Stand–marked the most decisive Native American victory and the worst U.S. Army defeat in the long Plains Indian War. The gruesome fate of Custer and his men outraged many white Americans and confirmed their image of the Indians as wild and bloodthirsty. Meanwhile, the U.S. government increased its efforts to subdue the tribes. Within five years, almost all of the Sioux and Cheyenne would be confined to reservations.

Categories: Fun Stuff