Fun Stuff

Mae West

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 05/17/2015 - 7:00pm
"Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before."
Categories: Fun Stuff

terrestrial

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sun, 05/17/2015 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 17, 2015 is:

terrestrial • \tuh-RESS-tree-ul\  • adjective
1 : of or relating to the earth or its inhabitants 2 : living or growing on land 3 : belonging to a class of planets that are like the earth (as in density and silicate composition)

Examples:
The newly discovered fossils include some of the earliest known terrestrial arachnids.

"The InSight mission, scheduled to launch in March 2016, will record the first ever measurements of the interior of the red planet, giving scientists detail into the evolution of Mars and other terrestrial planets." — Denver Post, November 18, 2014

Did you know?
What do terriers, terrariums, and terraces have in common with terrestrial? Terra firma! All of those words derive from the Latin root terra, which means "earth." Of course, terrestrial can refer to anything on or from the Earth, and extraterrestrial describes things (or science fiction creatures) that come from space. And early usage of terrestrial, dating from the 15th century, indeed referred to creatures and other things that pertain to this world, as opposed to the heavens. By the 17th century, however, the word was also being used to describe things found strictly on land, as opposed to those found in the sea or air.

Categories: Fun Stuff

May 17, 1954: Brown v. Board of Ed is decided

This Day in History - Sat, 05/16/2015 - 11:00pm

In a major civil rights victory, the U.S. Supreme Court hands down an unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, ruling that racial segregation in public educational facilities is unconstitutional. The historic decision, which brought an end to federal tolerance of racial segregation, specifically dealt with Linda Brown, a young African American girl who had been denied admission to her local elementary school in Topeka, Kansas, because of the color of her skin.

In 1896, the Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that “separate but equal” accommodations in railroad cars conformed to the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection. That ruling was used to justify segregating all public facilities, including elementary schools. However, in the case of Linda Brown, the white school she attempted to attend was far superior to her black alternative and miles closer to her home. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) took up Linda’s cause, and in 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka reached the Supreme Court. African American lawyer (and future Supreme Court justice) Thurgood Marshall led Brown’s legal team, and on May 17, 1954, the high court handed down its decision.

In an opinion written by Chief Justice Earl Warren, the nation’s highest court ruled that not only was the “separate but equal” doctrine unconstitutional in Linda’s case, it was unconstitutional in all cases because educational segregation stamped an inherent badge of inferiority on African American students. A year later, after hearing arguments on the implementation of their ruling, the Supreme Court published guidelines requiring public school systems to integrate “with all deliberate speed.”

The Brown v. Board of Education decision served to greatly motivate the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s and ultimately led to the abolishment of racial segregation in all public facilities and accommodations.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - May 16

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 05/16/2015 - 10:42pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

My first is in bridge, but not in ridge.
My second is in awake and in mistake.
My third is in danger, but not in ranger.
My fourth is in flange and in orange.
My fifth is in spline and in nine.
My last is in river and in diver.
My whole likes the darkness.
What am I?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - May 16 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 05/16/2015 - 10:42pm
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 - May 16

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 05/16/2015 - 10:42pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Maximus
   Throw your spear at the varying targets. With a little trial and error you'll soon be an expert.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Paula Poundstone

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 05/16/2015 - 7:00pm
"The wages of sin are death, but by the time taxes are taken out, it's just sort of a tired feeling."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Logan Pearsall Smith

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 05/16/2015 - 7:00pm
"It is the wretchedness of being rich that you have to live with rich people."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Alfred A. Knopf

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 05/16/2015 - 7:00pm
"An economist is a man who states the obvious in terms of the incomprehensible."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Eugene McCarthy

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 05/16/2015 - 7:00pm
"The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is inefficiency. An efficient bureaucracy is the greatest threat to liberty."
Categories: Fun Stuff

hinterland

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sat, 05/16/2015 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 16, 2015 is:

hinterland • \HIN-ter-land\  • noun
1 : a region lying inland from a coast 2 a : a region remote from cities b : a region lying beyond major metropolitan or cultural centers

Examples:
The enormous Greenland Ice Sheet covers most of the hinterland of the world's largest island.

"I know my country, and my fellow countrymen; the people I was meeting were simple souls, scraping a living in Yemen’s tough agricultural hinterland. Large political questions were far from their minds." — Baraa Shiban, The Guardian (London), April 6, 2015

Did you know?
When you're dealing with geography, it helps to know your hinterland from your umland. In the late 19th century, geographer George Chisholm took note of the German word Hinterland (literally, "land in back of") and applied it specifically to the region just inland from a port or coastal settlement. (Chisholm spelled the word hinderland, but English speakers eventually settled on hinterland.) Early in the 20th century, another geographer adopted the German Umland ("land around") to refer to the territory around an inland town. What hinterland and umland have in common is a reference to a region economically tied to a nearby city. But nowadays hinterland has a less technical use as well; it's used for land that's simply out in the sticks.

Categories: Fun Stuff

May 16, 1929: First Academy Awards ceremony

This Day in History - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1929, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hands out its first awards, at a dinner party for around 250 people held in the Blossom Room of the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California.

The brainchild of Louis B. Mayer, head of the powerful MGM film studio, the Academy was organized in May 1927 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and improvement of the film industry. Its first president and the host of the May 1929 ceremony was the actor Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. Unlike today, the winners of the first Oscars–as the coveted gold-plated statuettes later became known–were announced before the awards ceremony itself.

At the time of the first Oscar ceremony, sound had just been introduced into film. The Warner Bros. movie The Jazz Singer–one of the first “talkies”–was not allowed to compete for Best Picture because the Academy decided it was unfair to let movies with sound compete with silent films. The first official Best Picture winner (and the only silent film to win Best Picture) was Wings, directed by William Wellman. The most expensive movie of its time, with a budget of $2 million, the movie told the story of two World War I pilots who fall for the same woman. Another film, F.W. Murnau’s epic Sunrise, was considered a dual winner for the best film of the year. German actor Emil Jannings won the Best Actor honor for his roles in The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh, while 22-year-old Janet Gaynor was the only female winner. After receiving three out of the five Best Actress nods, she won for all three roles, in Seventh Heaven, Street Angel and Sunrise.

A special honorary award was presented to Charlie Chaplin. Originally a nominee for Best Actor, Best Writer and Best Comedy Director for The Circus, Chaplin was removed from these categories so he could receive the special award, a change that some attributed to his unpopularity in Hollywood. It was the last Oscar the Hollywood maverick would receive until another honorary award in 1971.

The Academy officially began using the nickname Oscar for its awards in 1939; a popular but unconfirmed story about the source of the name holds that Academy executive director Margaret Herrick remarked that the statuette looked like her Uncle Oscar. Since 1942, the results of the secret ballot voting have been announced during the live-broadcast Academy Awardsceremony using the sealed-envelope system. The suspense–not to mention the red-carpet arrival of nominees and other stars wearing their most beautiful or outrageous evening wear–continues to draw international attention to the film industry’s biggest night of the year.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - May 15

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 10:28pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Below you can find a proverb, the letters of which have been converted to their location in the alphabet and any spaces removed.

For example, CAT would be 3120 and PROVERB would be 161815225182. What is the proverb?

12121782051891920852519201354939145

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - May 15 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 10:28pm
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 15

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 10:28pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

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

Categories: Fun Stuff

George Carlin

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 7:00pm
"Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong."
Categories: Fun Stuff

William James

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 7:00pm
"As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."
Categories: Fun Stuff

John Cleese

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 7:00pm
"I find it rather easy to portray a businessman. Being bland, rather cruel and incompetent comes naturally to me."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Robert Frost

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 7:00pm
"A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer."
Categories: Fun Stuff

bowdlerize

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 15, 2015 is:

bowdlerize • \BOHD-ler-ize\  • verb
1 : to expurgate by omitting or modifying parts considered vulgar 2 : to modify by abridging, simplifying, or distorting in style or content

Examples:
Years later, it was discovered that the publisher had bowdlerized many of the poet's letters.

"Being an iconic classic, however, hasn't protected Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from being banned, bowdlerized and bleeped. It hasn't protected the novel from being cleaned up, updated and 'improved.'" — Michiko Kakutani, New York Times, January 6, 2011

Did you know?
Few editors have achieved the notoriety of Thomas Bowdler. He was trained as a physician, but when illness prevented him from practicing medicine, he turned to warning Europeans about unsanitary conditions at French watering places. Bowdler then carried his quest for purification to literature, and in 1818 he published his Family Shakspeare [sic], a work in which he promised that "those words and expressions are omitted which cannot with propriety be read aloud in a family." The sanitized volume was popular with the public of the day, but literary critics denounced his modifications of the words of the Bard. Bowdler applied his literary eraser broadly, and within 11 years of his death in 1825, the word bowdlerize was being used to refer to expurgating books or other texts.

Categories: Fun Stuff