Fun Stuff

Vince Lombardi

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 6:00pm
"If you aren't fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Don Marquis

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 6:00pm
"When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him: 'Whose?'"
Categories: Fun Stuff

incommensurable

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 12:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 15, 2014 is:

incommensurable • \in-kuh-MEN-suh-ruh-bul\  • adjective
: not commensurable; broadly : lacking a basis of comparison in respect to a quality normally subject to comparison

Examples:
The two theories are incommensurable, making any attempt at comparison across disciplines ridiculous.

"Camus' own predicament as an Algerian of European descent sympathetic to both sides of the Algerian War led him to recognize a collision of incommensurable truths and embrace classical moderation." — Steven G. Kellman, The Texas Observer, December 2013

Did you know?
Commensurable means "having a common measure" or "corresponding in size, extent, amount, or degree." Its antonym incommensurable generally refers to things that are unlike and incompatible, sharing no common ground (as in the "incommensurable theories" of the first example sentence), or to things that are very disproportionate, often to the point of defying comparison ("incommensurable crimes"). Both words entered English in the 1500s and were originally used (as they still can be) for numbers that have or don't have a common divisor. They came to English by way of Middle French and Late Latin, ultimately deriving from the Latin noun mensura, meaning "measure." Mensura is also an ancestor of commensurate (meaning "coextensive" or "proportionate") and incommensurate ("disproportionate" or "insufficient"), which overlap in meaning with commensurable and incommensurable but are not exact synonyms.

Categories: Fun Stuff

December 15, 2001: Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens

This Day in History - Sun, 12/14/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 2001, Italy's Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens after a team of experts spent 11 years and $27 million to fortify the tower without eliminating its famous lean.

In the 12th century, construction began on the bell tower for the cathedral of Pisa, a busy trade center on the Arno River in western Italy, some 50 miles from Florence. While construction was still in progress, the tower's foundation began to sink into the soft, marshy ground, causing it to lean to one side. Its builders tried to compensate for the lean by making the top stories slightly taller on one side, but the extra masonry required only made the tower sink further. By the time it was completed in 1360, modern-day engineers say it was a miracle it didn't fall down completely. 

Though the cathedral itself and the adjoining baptistery also leaned slightly, it was the Torre Pendente di Pisa, or Leaning Tower of Pisa, that became the city's most famous tourist attraction. By the 20th century, the 190-foot-high white marble tower leaned a dramatic 15 feet off the perpendicular. In the year before its closing in 1990, 1 million people visited the old tower, climbing its 293 weathered steps to the top and gazing out over the green Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles) outside. Fearing it was about to collapse, officials appointed a group of 14 archeologists, architects and soil experts to figure out how to take some--but not all--of the famous tilt away.

Though an initial attempt in 1994 almost toppled the tower, engineers were eventually able to reduce the lean by between 16 and 17 inches by removing earth from underneath the foundations. When the tower reopened on December 15, 2001, engineers predicted it would take 300 years to return to its 1990 position. Though entrance to the tower is now limited to guided tours, hordes of tourists can still be found outside, striking the classic pose--standing next to the tower pretending to hold it up--as cameras flash.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - December 14

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 12/14/2014 - 10:55pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Can you find five hidden countries in the following paragraph:

Dominic had a certain way with animals, he could almost talk to them. By tickling it under the chin, a tiger would roll over and let its belly be tickled. This technique is used to good effect in gaining its trust and allows a vital yearly treatment to be performed safely, the removal of nits, whereby a special blend of malt and water is rubbed into the skin.

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - December 14 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 12/14/2014 - 10:55pm
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 - December 14

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 12/14/2014 - 10:55pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Hasty Turtle
   Help the turtle collect pearls and match the colours.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Kurt Vonnegut

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 12/14/2014 - 6:00pm
"Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Peter Borden

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 12/14/2014 - 6:00pm
"Most advances in science come when a person for one reason or another is forced to change fields."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Sir Winston Churchill

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 12/14/2014 - 6:00pm
"When I am abroad, I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the government of my own country. I make up for lost time when I come home."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Charles Caleb Colton

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 12/14/2014 - 6:00pm
"Examinations are formidable even to the best prepared, for the greatest fool may ask more than the wisest man can answer."
Categories: Fun Stuff

nabob

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sun, 12/14/2014 - 12:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for December 14, 2014 is:

nabob • \NAY-bahb\  • noun
: a person of great wealth or importance

Examples:
Those of us in coach had to wait while the nabobs in first class got seated ahead of us.

"Roughly 70 citizens had addresses on the hill. Many of those listed on the hill worked in the useful trades. The development of the hill as an exclusive neighborhood, as the city's nabobs had hoped, did not begin until the early 1880s." — Lawrence Kreisman, Seattle Times, November 7, 2014

Did you know?
In India's Mogul Empire, founded in the 16th century, provincial governors carried the Urdu title of nawab. In 1612, Captain Robert Coverte published a report of his "discovery" of "the Great Mogoll, a prince not till now knowne to our English nation." The Captain informed the English-speaking world that "An earle is called a Nawbob," thereby introducing the English version of the word. Nabob, as it thereafter came to be spelled, gained its extended sense of "a prominent person" in the late 18th century, when it was applied sarcastically to British officials of the East India Company returning home after amassing great wealth in Asia. The word was perhaps most famously used by Vice President Spiro Agnew, in a 1970 speech written by William Safire, when he referred to critical members of the news media as "nattering nabobs of negativism."

Categories: Fun Stuff

December 14, 1911: Amundsen reaches South Pole

This Day in History - Sat, 12/13/2014 - 11:00pm

Norwegian Roald Amundsen becomes the first explorer to reach the South Pole, beating his British rival, Robert Falcon Scott.

Amundsen, born in Borge, near Oslo, in 1872, was one of the great figures in polar exploration. In 1897, he was first mate on a Belgian expedition that was the first ever to winter in the Antarctic. In 1903, he guided the 47-ton sloop Gjöa through the Northwest Passage and around the Canadian coast, the first navigator to accomplish the treacherous journey. Amundsen planned to be the first man to the North Pole, and he was about to embark in 1909 when he learned that the American Robert Peary had achieved the feat.

Amundsen completed his preparations and in June 1910 sailed instead for Antarctica, where the English explorer Robert F. Scott was also headed with the aim of reaching the South Pole. In early 1911, Amundsen sailed his ship into Antarctica's Bay of Whales and set up base camp 60 miles closer to the pole than Scott. In October, both explorers set off--Amundsen using sleigh dogs, and Scott employing Siberian motor sledges, Siberian ponies, and dogs. On December 14, 1911, Amundsen's expedition won the race to the Pole and returned safely to base camp in late January.

Scott's expedition was less fortunate. The motor sleds broke down, the ponies had to be shot, and the dog teams were sent back as Scott and four companions continued on foot. On January 18, 1912, they reached the pole only to find that Amundsen had preceded them by over a month. Weather on the return journey was exceptionally bad--two members perished--and a storm later trapped Scott and the other two survivors in their tent only 11 miles from their base camp. Scott's frozen body was found later that year.

After his historic Antarctic journey, Amundsen established a successful shipping business. He later made attempts to become the first explorer to fly over the North Pole. In 1925, in an airplane, he flew within 150 miles of the goal. In 1926, he passed over the North Pole in a dirigible just three days after American explorer Richard E. Byrd had apparently done so in an aircraft. In 1996, a diary that Byrd had kept on the flight was found that seemed to suggest that the he had turned back 150 miles short of its goal because of an oil leak, making Amundsen's dirigible expedition the first flight over the North Pole.

In 1928, Amundsen lost his life while trying to rescue a fellow explorer whose dirigible had crashed at sea near Spitsbergen, Norway.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - December 13

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 12/13/2014 - 10:41pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Which letter completes this sequence:

TAOTBIESOTRHNEOQTUTEOSBTEITOH

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - December 13 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 12/13/2014 - 10:41pm
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 - December 13

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 12/13/2014 - 10:41pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Planned
   With your mouse, connect all of the squares.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Brooks Atkinson

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 12/13/2014 - 6:00pm
"The perfect bureaucrat everywhere is the man who manages to make no decisions and escape all responsibility."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Bertrand Russell

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 12/13/2014 - 6:00pm
"The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Arthur Brisbane

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 12/13/2014 - 6:00pm
"A good friend can tell you what is the matter with you in a minute. He may not seem such a good friend after telling."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Sir Thomas Beecham

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 12/13/2014 - 6:00pm
"Brass bands are all very well in their place - outdoors and several miles away."
Categories: Fun Stuff