Fun Stuff

Daily Game - July 15

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 8:24pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Premiere League Foosball
   Play Foosball with your favourite UK football team.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Oscar Wilde

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 7:00pm
"A man can be happy with any woman as long as he does not love her."
Categories: Fun Stuff

George Bernard Shaw

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 7:00pm
"We don't bother much about dress and manners in England, because as a nation we don't dress well and we've no manners."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Garry Shandling

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 7:00pm
"I'm too shy to express my sexual needs except over the phone to people I don't know."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Irv Kupcinet

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 7:00pm
"What can you say about a society that says that God is dead and Elvis is alive?"
Categories: Fun Stuff

instigate

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 1:00am

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

instigate • \IN-stuh-gayt\  • verb
: to cause to happen or begin : to goad or urge forward : provoke

Examples:
"The catcher instigated the collision by blocking home plate without the ball." — Ryne Sandberg, quoted in The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 8, 2014

"U.S. and European Union officials accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of instigating the insurgency against Kiev…."— Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times, June 3, 2014

Did you know?
"Instigate" is often used as a synonym of "incite" (as in "hoodlums instigating violence"), but the two words differ slightly in their overall usage. "Incite" usually stresses an act of stirring something up that one did not necessarily initiate ("the court's decision incited riots"). "Instigate" implies responsibility for initiating or encouraging someone else's action and usually suggests dubious or underhanded intent ("he was charged with instigating a conspiracy"). Another similar word, "foment," implies causing something by means of persistent goading ("the leader's speeches fomented a rebellion"). Deriving from the past participle of the Latin verb "instigare," "instigate" first appeared in English in the mid-16th century, approximately 60 years after "incite" and about 70 years before "foment."

Categories: Fun Stuff

July 15, 1971: Nixon announces visit to communist China

This Day in History - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 11:00pm

During a live television and radio broadcast, President Richard Nixon stuns the nation by announcing that he will visit communist China the following year. The statement marked a dramatic turning point in U.S.-China relations, as well as a major shift in American foreign policy.

Nixon was not always so eager to reach out to China. Since the Communists came to power in China in 1949, Nixon had been one of the most vociferous critics of American efforts to establish diplomatic relations with the Chinese. His political reputation was built on being strongly anti-communist, and he was a major figure in the post-World War II Red Scare, during which the U.S. government launched massive investigations into possible communist subversion in America.

By 1971, a number of factors pushed Nixon to reverse his stance on China. First and foremost was the Vietnam War. Two years after promising the American people "peace with honor," Nixon was as entrenched in Vietnam as ever. His national security advisor, Henry Kissinger, saw a way out: Since China's break with the Soviet Union in the mid-1960s, the Chinese were desperate for new allies and trade partners. Kissinger aimed to use the promise of closer relations and increased trade possibilities with China as a way to put increased pressure on North Vietnam--a Chinese ally--to reach an acceptable peace settlement. Also, more importantly in the long run, Kissinger thought the Chinese might become a powerful ally against the Soviet Union, America’s Cold War enemy. Kissinger called such foreign policy 'realpolitik,' or politics that favored dealing with other powerful nations in a practical manner rather than on the basis of political doctrine or ethics.

Nixon undertook his historic "journey for peace" in 1972, beginning a long and gradual process of normalizing relations between the People's Republic of China and the United States. Though this move helped revive Nixon’s sagging popularity, and contributed to his win in the 1972 election, it did not produce the short-term results for which Kissinger had hoped. The Chinese seemed to have little influence on North Vietnam's negotiating stance, and the Vietnam War continued to drag on until U.S. withdrawal in 1973. Further, the budding U.S.-China alliance had no measurable impact on U.S.-Soviet relations. But, Nixon's visit did prove to be a watershed moment in American foreign policy--it paved the way for future U.S. presidents to apply the principle of realpolitik to their own international dealings.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - July 14

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 8:10pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Place the words below into pairs.

You will then have 5 lots of eight letters, each of which is an anagram of an animal.

What are the original 5 animals?

PINK
TENT
MOST
MUCH
THEN
LEAP
SOOT
AREA
TIRE
MARE

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - July 14 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 8:10pm
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 - July 14

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 8:10pm
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

James Russell Lowell

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 7:00pm
"Whatever you may be sure of, be sure of this, that you are dreadfully like other people."
Categories: Fun Stuff

David Russell

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 7:00pm
"The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn."
Categories: Fun Stuff

P. J. O'Rourke

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 7:00pm
"With Epcot Center the Disney corporation has accomplished something I didn't think possible in today's world. They have created a land of make-believe that's worse than regular life."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Doctor Who

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 7:00pm
"There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes."
Categories: Fun Stuff

undertaker

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Mon, 07/14/2014 - 1:00am

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

undertaker • \UN-der-tay-ker\  • noun
1 : one that undertakes : one that takes the risk and management of business : entrepreneur 2 : one whose business is to prepare the dead for burial and to arrange and manage funerals 3 : an Englishman taking over forfeited lands in Ireland in the 16th and 17th centuries

Examples:
The undertaker offered the family several choices of coffin for the burial service.

"An undertaker has admitted selling uninsured funeral plans in order to support himself and his struggling business." — Manchester Evening News, May 28, 2014

Did you know?
You may wonder how the word "undertaker" made the transition from "one who undertakes" to "one who makes a living in the funeral business." The latter meaning descends from the use of the word to mean "one who takes on business responsibilities." In the 18th century, a funeral-undertaker was someone who undertook, or managed, a funeral business. There were many undertakers in those days, undertaking all sorts of businesses, but as time went on "undertaker" became specifically identified with the profession of arranging burial. Today, "funeral director" is more commonly used, but "undertaker" still appears.

Categories: Fun Stuff

July 14, 1789: French revolutionaries storm Bastille

This Day in History - Sun, 07/13/2014 - 11:00pm

Parisian revolutionaries and mutinous troops storm and dismantle the Bastille, a royal fortress that had come to symbolize the tyranny of the Bourbon monarchs. This dramatic action signaled the beginning of the French Revolution, a decade of political turmoil and terror in which King Louis XVI was overthrown and tens of thousands of people, including the king and his wife Marie Antoinette, were executed.

The Bastille was originally constructed in 1370 as a bastide, or "fortification," to protect the walled city of Paris from English attack. It was later made into an independent stronghold, and its name--bastide--was corrupted to Bastille. The Bastille was first used as a state prison in the 17th century, and its cells were reserved for upper-class felons, political troublemakers, and spies. Most prisoners there were imprisoned without a trial under direct orders of the king. Standing 100 feet tall and surrounded by a moat more than 80 feet wide, the Bastille was an imposing structure in the Parisian landscape.

By the summer of 1789, France was moving quickly toward revolution. There were severe food shortages in France that year, and popular resentment against the rule of King Louis XVI was turning to fury. In June, the Third Estate, which represented commoners and the lower clergy, declared itself the National Assembly and called for the drafting of a constitution. Initially seeming to yield, Louis legalized the National Assembly but then surrounded Paris with troops and dismissed Jacques Necker, a popular minister of state who had supported reforms. In response, mobs began rioting in Paris at the instigation of revolutionary leaders.

Bernard-Jordan de Launay, the military governor of the Bastille, feared that his fortress would be a target for the revolutionaries and so requested reinforcements. A company of Swiss mercenary soldiers arrived on July 7 to bolster his garrison of 82 soldiers. The Marquis de Sade, one of the few prisoners in the Bastille at the time, was transferred to an insane asylum after he attempted to incite a crowd outside his window by yelling: "They are massacring the prisoners; you must come and free them." On July 12, royal authorities transferred 250 barrels of gunpowder to the Bastille from the Paris Arsenal, which was more vulnerable to attack. Launay brought his men into the Bastille and raised its two drawbridges.

On July 13, revolutionaries with muskets began firing at soldiers standing guard on the Bastille's towers and then took cover in the Bastille's courtyard when Launay's men fired back. That evening, mobs stormed the Paris Arsenal and another armory and acquired thousands of muskets. At dawn on July 14, a great crowd armed with muskets, swords, and various makeshift weapons began to gather around the Bastille.

Launay received a delegation of revolutionary leaders but refused to surrender the fortress and its munitions as they requested. He later received a second delegation and promised he would not open fire on the crowd. To convince the revolutionaries, he showed them that his cannons were not loaded. Instead of calming the agitated crowd, news of the unloaded cannons emboldened a group of men to climb over the outer wall of the courtyard and lower a drawbridge. Three hundred revolutionaries rushed in, and Launay's men took up a defensive position. When the mob outside began trying to lower the second drawbridge, Launay ordered his men to open fire. One hundred rioters were killed or wounded.

Launay's men were able to hold the mob back, but more and more Parisians were converging on the Bastille. Around 3 p.m., a company of deserters from the French army arrived. The soldiers, hidden by smoke from fires set by the mob, dragged five cannons into the courtyard and aimed them at the Bastille. Launay raised a white flag of surrender over the fortress. Launay and his men were taken into custody, the gunpowder and cannons were seized, and the seven prisoners of the Bastille were freed. Upon arriving at the Hotel de Ville, where Launay was to be arrested by a revolutionary council, the governor was pulled away from his escort by a mob and murdered.

The capture of the Bastille symbolized the end of the ancien regime and provided the French revolutionary cause with an irresistible momentum. Joined by four-fifths of the French army, the revolutionaries seized control of Paris and then the French countryside, forcing King Louis XVI to accept a constitutional government. In 1792, the monarchy was abolished and Louis and his wife Marie-Antoinette were sent to the guillotine for treason in 1793.

By order of the new revolutionary government, the Bastille was torn down. On February 6, 1790, the last stone of the hated prison-fortress was presented to the National Assembly. Today, July 14--Bastille Day--is celebrated as a national holiday in France.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - July 13

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 07/13/2014 - 7:56pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

What is missing from this sequence:

teloiv ogidni eulb ==?== wolley egnaro der

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - July 13 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 07/13/2014 - 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]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Game - July 13

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 07/13/2014 - 7:56pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Quick
   How quickly can you click the shapes in the correct order?
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Gertrude Stein

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 07/13/2014 - 7:00pm
"In the United States there is more space where nobody is than where anybody is. That is what makes America what it is."
Categories: Fun Stuff