Fun Stuff

November 17, 1558: Elizabethan Age begins

This Day in History - Sun, 11/16/2014 - 11:00pm

Queen Mary I, the monarch of England and Ireland since 1553, dies and is succeeded by her 25-year-old half-sister, Elizabeth.

The two half-sisters, both daughters of King Henry VIII, had a stormy relationship during Mary's five-year reign. Mary, who was brought up as a Catholic, enacted pro-Catholic legislation and made efforts to restore the pope to supremacy in England. A Protestant rebellion ensued, and Queen Mary imprisoned Elizabeth, a Protestant, in the Tower of London on suspicion of complicity. After Mary's death, Elizabeth survived several Catholic plots against her; though her ascension was greeted with approval by most of England's lords, who were largely Protestant and hoped for greater religious tolerance under a Protestant queen. Under the early guidance of Secretary of State Sir William Cecil, Elizabeth repealed Mary's pro-Catholic legislation, established a permanent Protestant Church of England, and encouraged the Calvinist reformers in Scotland.

In foreign affairs, Elizabeth practiced a policy of strengthening England's Protestant allies and dividing her foes. Elizabeth was opposed by the pope, who refused to recognize her legitimacy, and by Spain, a Catholic nation that was at the height of its power. In 1588, English-Spanish rivalry led to an abortive Spanish invasion of England in which the Spanish Armada, the greatest naval force in the world at the time, was destroyed by storms and a determined English navy.

With increasing English domination at sea, Elizabeth encouraged voyages of discovery, such as Sir Francis Drake's circumnavigation of the world and Sir Walter Raleigh's expeditions to the North American coast.

The long reign of Elizabeth, who became known as the "Virgin Queen" for her reluctance to endanger her authority through marriage, coincided with the flowering of the English Renaissance, associated with such renowned authors as William Shakespeare. By her death in 1603, England had become a major world power in every respect, and Queen Elizabeth I passed into history as one of England's greatest monarchs.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Fran Lebowitz

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 11/16/2014 - 6:00pm
"If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater, suggest that he wear a tail."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Bill Watterson

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 11/16/2014 - 6:00pm
"Leave it to a girl to take the fun out of sex discrimination."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Robert Anton Wilson

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 11/16/2014 - 6:00pm
"Cynics regarded everybody as equally corrupt... Idealists regarded everybody as equally corrupt, except themselves."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Frank Moore Colby

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 11/16/2014 - 6:00pm
"Every improvement in communication makes the bore more terrible."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - November 16

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 11/16/2014 - 5:55pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

He and she both have one each, but every person has two.

A citizen has three and a human being has four.

A personality has five and an inhabitant of earth has six.

What?

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - November 16 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 11/16/2014 - 5:55pm
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 - November 16

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 11/16/2014 - 5:55pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

StarBox
   Enter the StarBox to test your ultimate survival and star-collecting skills.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

meliorism

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sun, 11/16/2014 - 12:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for November 16, 2014 is:

meliorism • \MEE-lee-uh-riz-um\  • noun
: the belief that the world tends to improve and that humans can aid its betterment

Examples:
The author's meliorism is evident in such statements as, "I believe that peace is inevitable."

"Eric Schlosser's fine Fast Food Nation wavered between a pragmatic meliorism, devoted to reforming the meatpacking and restaurant industry, and a visionary despair over the conditions of modern American life." — Stephen Metcalf, Los Angeles Times, May 27, 2001

Did you know?
In 1877, British novelist George Eliot believed she had coined meliorist when she wrote, "I don't know that I ever heard anybody use the word 'meliorist' except myself." Her contemporaries credited her with coining both meliorist and meliorism, and one of her letters contains the first documented use of meliorism, but there is evidence that meliorist had been around for 40 years or so before she started using it. Whoever coined it did so by drawing on the Latin melior, meaning "better." It is likely that the English coinages were also influenced by another melior descendant, meliorate, a synonym of ameliorate ("to make better") that was introduced to English in the mid-1500s.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - November 15

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 11:45pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

My BrainBashers electronic world atlas has developed another fault, I did a listing of miles from England to particular countries and here is the result:

Australia     500 miles
Peru        8,000 miles
India       4,500 miles
Scotland    9,500 miles

How far away did it list France as?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - November 15 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 11:45pm
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 - November 15

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 11:45pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Blockoban
   Move the blocks to the corresponding targets in this interesting puzzle game.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

November 16, 1532: Pizarro traps Incan emperor Atahualpa

This Day in History - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 11:00pm

On November 16, 1532, Francisco Pizarro, the Spanish explorer and conquistador, springs a trap on the Incan emperor, Atahualpa. With fewer than 200 men against several thousand, Pizarro lures Atahualpa to a feast in the emperor's honor and then opens fire on the unarmed Incans. Pizarro's men massacre the Incans and capture Atahualpa, forcing him to convert to Christianity before eventually killing him.

Pizarro's timing for conquest was perfect. By 1532, the Inca Empire was embroiled in a civil war that had decimated the population and divided the people's loyalties. Atahualpa, the younger son of former Incan ruler Huayna Capac, had just deposed his half-brother Huascar and was in the midst of reuniting his kingdom when Pizarro arrived in 1531, with the endorsement of Spain's King Charles V. On his way to the Incan capital, Pizarro learned of the war and began recruiting soldiers still loyal to Huascar.

Pizarro met Atahualpa just outside Cajamarca, a small Incan town tucked into a valley of the Andes. Sending his brother Hernan as an envoy, Pizarro invited Atahualpa back to Cajamarca for a feast in honor of Atahualpa's ascendance to the throne. Though he had nearly 80,000 soldiers with him in the mountains, Atahualpa consented to attend the feast with only 5,000 unarmed men. He was met by Vicente de Valverde, a friar traveling with Pizarro. While Pizarro's men lay in wait, Valverde urged Atahualpa to convert and accept Charles V as sovereign. Atahualpa angrily refused, prompting Valverde to give the signal for Pizarro to open fire. Trapped in tight quarters, the panicking Incan soldiers made easy prey for the Spanish. Pizarro's men slaughtered the 5,000 Incans in just an hour. Pizarro himself suffered the only Spanish injury: a cut on his hand sustained as he saved Atahualpa from death.

Realizing Atahualpa was initially more valuable alive than dead, Pizarro kept the emperor in captivity while he made plans to take over his empire. In response, Atahualpa appealed to his captors' greed, offering them a room full of gold and silver in exchange for his liberation. Pizarro consented, but after receiving the ransom, Pizarro brought Atahualpa up on charges of stirring up rebellion. By that time, Atahualpa had played his part in pacifying the Incans while Pizarro secured his power, and Pizarro considered him disposable. Atahualpa was to be burned at the stake—the Spanish believed this to be a fitting death for a heathen—but at the last moment, Valverde offered the emperor clemency if he would convert. Atahualpa submitted, only to be executed by strangulation. The day was August 29, 1533.

Fighting between the Spanish and the Incas would continue well after Atahualpa's death as Spain consolidated its conquests. Pizarro's bold victory at Cajamarca, however, effectively marked the end of the Inca Empire and the beginning of the European colonization of South America.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Kent Nichols and Douglas Sarine

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 6:00pm
"Here's a tip to avoid death by celebrity: First off, get a life. They can't touch you if you're out doing something interesting."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Leon Trotsky

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 6:00pm
"Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that happen to a man."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Doug Larson

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 6:00pm
"Few things are more satisfying than seeing your own children have teenagers of their own."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Joseph Stalin

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 6:00pm
"A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic."
Categories: Fun Stuff

execrable

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sat, 11/15/2014 - 12:00am

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

execrable • \EK-sih-kruh-bul\  • adjective
1 : deserving to be execrated : detestable 2 : very bad : wretched

Examples:
It turned out that the execrable odor was coming from a bag of onions rotting in the back of the pantry.

"If the waiter laid my plate on the table and said, 'Eat!' I wouldn't mind. But 'Enjoy!' is another matter. There's something cloying, manipulative and, yes, distasteful about being told to enjoy something that might, for all you know, be bland or even execrable." — Tim Johnson, The Burlington (Vermont) Free Press , February 16, 2013

Did you know?
He or she who is cursed faces execrable conditions. Keep this in mind to remember that execrable is a descendant of the Latin verb exsecrari, meaning "to put under a curse." Since its earliest uses in English, beginning in the 14th century, execrable has meant "deserving or fit to be execrated," the reference being to things so abominable as to be worthy of formal denouncement (such as "execrable crimes"). But in the 19th century we lightened it up a bit, and our "indescribably bad" sense has since been applied to everything from roads ("execrable London pavement" — Sir Walter Scott) to food ("The coffee in the station house was ... execrable." — Clarence Day) to, inevitably, the weather ("the execrable weather of the past fortnight" — The (London) Evening Standard).

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - November 14

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 11:32pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

What number comes next in the sequence:

1 2 3 5 9 12 ==?==

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - November 14 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 11:32pm
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