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

Daily Puzzle - October 23

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 7:22pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

A car travels at a speed of 64mph and its fuel consumption is 28 mpg.

It has a 11 gallon tank which was full when it started but at that very moment began to leak fuel.

After 112 miles the car stops with a completely empty tank.

How many gallons per hour was it losing?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - October 23 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 7:22pm
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 23

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 7:22pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Zwingo
   Zwing your ball around using the mouse, smashing the balls on the screen.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

William James

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 7:00pm
"Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Scott Adams

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 7:00pm
"Dance like it hurts,/ Love like you need money,/ Work when people are watching."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Paul Gauguin

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 7:00pm
"Art is either plagiarism or revolution."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Bill Vaughan

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 7:00pm
"A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a national election."
Categories: Fun Stuff

interlocutor

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Thu, 10/23/2014 - 1:00am

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

interlocutor • \in-ter-LAH-kyuh-ter\  • noun
: one who takes part in dialogue or conversation

Examples:
Steve's aggressive insistence on the correctness of his own opinions frequently made his interlocutors uncomfortable.

"I don't wonder that one of his interlocutors stared when he seriously suggested to them that MPs were paid too much, and would do their job much better if they were on the minimum wage." — Philip Hensher, The Independent (London), September 14, 2014

Did you know?
Interlocutor derives from the Latin interloqui, meaning "to speak between" or "to issue an interlocutory decree." (An interlocutory decree is a court judgment that comes in the middle of a case and is not decisive.) Interloqui, in turn, ultimately comes from the words inter-, "between," and loqui, "to speak." Some other words that English borrowed from loqui are loquacious ("talkative"), circumlocution (essentially, "talking around a subject"), ventriloquism ("talking in such a way that one's voice seems to come from someone or something else"), eloquent ("capable of fluent or vivid speech"), and grandiloquence ("extravagant or pompous speech").

Categories: Fun Stuff

October 23, 2002: Hostage crisis in Moscow theater

This Day in History - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 11:00pm

On October 23, 2002, about 50 Chechen rebels storm a Moscow theater, taking up to 700 people hostage during a sold-out performance of a popular musical.

The second act of the musical "Nord Ost" was just beginning at the Moscow Ball-Bearing Plant's Palace of Culture when an armed man walked onstage and fired a machine gun into the air. The terrorists—including a number of women with explosives strapped to their bodies—identified themselves as members of the Chechen Army. They had one demand: that Russian military forces begin an immediate and complete withdrawal from Chechnya, the war-torn region located north of the Caucasus Mountains.

Chechnya, with its predominately Muslim population, had long struggled to assert its independence. A disastrous two-year war ended in 1996, but Russian forces returned to the region just three years later after Russian authorities blamed Chechens for a series of bombings in Russia. In 2000, President Vladimir Putin was elected partly because of his hard-line position towards Chechnya and his public vow not to negotiate with terrorists.

After a 57-hour-standoff at the Palace of Culture, during which two hostages were killed, Russian special forces surrounded and raided the theater on the morning of October 26. Later it was revealed that they had pumped a powerful narcotic gas into the building, knocking nearly all of the terrorists and hostages unconscious before breaking into the walls and roof and entering through underground sewage tunnels. Most of the guerrillas and 120 hostages were killed during the raid. Security forces were later forced to defend the decision to use the dangerous gas, saying that only a complete surprise attack could have disarmed the terrorists before they had time to detonate their explosives.

After the theater crisis, Putin's government clamped down even harder on Chechnya, drawing accusations of kidnapping, torture and other atrocities. In response, Chechen rebels continued their terrorist attacks on Russian soil, including an alleged suicide bombing in a Moscow subway in February 2004 and another major hostage crisis at a Beslan school that September.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - October 22

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 7:08pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

My 6, 7, 3 is a tear to a newspaper.
My 5, 4, 1 is damper than moist.
My 1, 7, 6, 4 makes you weary blowing it up.
My 5, 7, 6, 9 helps electricity to flow.
My 8, 10, 2 is an attempt at this puzzle.

My whole might have been used to create this puzzle.

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - October 22 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 7:08pm
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 22

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 7:08pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

My Diamond
   A deadly race with a moving frame of lasers.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Johnny Carson

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 7:00pm
"If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Edmond de Goncourt

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 7:00pm
"A painting in a museum hears more ridiculous opinions than anything else in the world."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Eric Hoffer

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 7:00pm
"It is a sign of a creeping inner death when we no longer can praise the living."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Edward P. Tryon

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 7:00pm
"In answer to the question of why it happened, I offer the modest proposal that our Universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time."
Categories: Fun Stuff

turophile

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 22, 2014 is:

turophile • \TOOR-uh-fyle\  • noun
: a connoisseur of cheese : a cheese fancier

Examples:
Surely the turophiles at our table can recommend some good cheeses to pair with our wine selection.

"For this dish you need a special cheese from Switzerland called Raclette. It's expensive and hard to find where I live, and it smells terrible—or, to turophiles like me, divine." — Patty Kirk, Starting From Scratch: Memoirs of a Wandering Cook, 2008

Did you know?
Are you stuck on Stilton or gaga for Gouda? Do you crave Camembert? If so, you just might be a turophile, the ultimate cheese lover. From an irregular formation of the Greek word for cheese, tyros, plus the English -phile, meaning "lover" (itself a descendant of the Greek -philos, meaning "loving"), turophile first named cheese aficionados as early as 1938. It was in the 1950s, however, that the term really caught the attention of the American public, when Clifton Fadiman (writer, editor, and radio host) introduced turophile to readers of his eloquent musings on the subject of cheese.

Categories: Fun Stuff