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

October 22, 1962: Cuban Missile Crisis

This Day in History - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 11:00pm

In a televised speech of extraordinary gravity, President John F. Kennedy announces that U.S. spy planes have discovered Soviet missile bases in Cuba. These missile sites—under construction but nearing completion—housed medium-range missiles capable of striking a number of major cities in the United States, including Washington, D.C. Kennedy announced that he was ordering a naval "quarantine" of Cuba to prevent Soviet ships from transporting any more offensive weapons to the island and explained that the United States would not tolerate the existence of the missile sites currently in place. The president made it clear that America would not stop short of military action to end what he called a "clandestine, reckless, and provocative threat to world peace."

What is known as the Cuban Missile Crisis actually began on October 15, 1962—the day that U.S. intelligence personnel analyzing U-2 spy plane data discovered that the Soviets were building medium-range missile sites in Cuba. The next day, President Kennedy secretly convened an emergency meeting of his senior military, political, and diplomatic advisers to discuss the ominous development. The group became known as ExCom, short for Executive Committee. After rejecting a surgical air strike against the missile sites, ExCom decided on a naval quarantine and a demand that the bases be dismantled and missiles removed. On the night of October 22, Kennedy went on national television to announce his decision. During the next six days, the crisis escalated to a breaking point as the world tottered on the brink of nuclear war between the two superpowers.

On October 23, the quarantine of Cuba began, but Kennedy decided to give Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev more time to consider the U.S. action by pulling the quarantine line back 500 miles. By October 24, Soviet ships en route to Cuba capable of carrying military cargoes appeared to have slowed down, altered, or reversed their course as they approached the quarantine, with the exception of one ship—the tanker Bucharest. At the request of more than 40 nonaligned nations, U.N. Secretary-General U Thant sent private appeals to Kennedy and Khrushchev, urging that their governments "refrain from any action that may aggravate the situation and bring with it the risk of war." At the direction of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. military forces went to DEFCON 2, the highest military alert ever reached in the postwar era, as military commanders prepared for full-scale war with the Soviet Union.

On October 25, the aircraft carrier USS Essex and the destroyer USS Gearing attempted to intercept the Soviet tanker Bucharest as it crossed over the U.S. quarantine of Cuba. The Soviet ship failed to cooperate, but the U.S. Navy restrained itself from forcibly seizing the ship, deeming it unlikely that the tanker was carrying offensive weapons. On October 26, Kennedy learned that work on the missile bases was proceeding without interruption, and ExCom considered authorizing a U.S. invasion of Cuba. The same day, the Soviets transmitted a proposal for ending the crisis: The missile bases would be removed in exchange for a U.S. pledge not to invade Cuba.

The next day, however, Khrushchev upped the ante by publicly calling for the dismantling of U.S. missile bases in Turkey under pressure from Soviet military commanders. While Kennedy and his crisis advisers debated this dangerous turn in negotiations, a U-2 spy plane was shot down over Cuba, and its pilot, Major Rudolf Anderson, was killed. To the dismay of the Pentagon, Kennedy forbid a military retaliation unless any more surveillance planes were fired upon over Cuba. To defuse the worsening crisis, Kennedy and his advisers agreed to dismantle the U.S. missile sites in Turkey but at a later date, in order to prevent the protest of Turkey, a key NATO member.

On October 28, Khrushchev announced his government's intent to dismantle and remove all offensive Soviet weapons in Cuba. With the airing of the public message on Radio Moscow, the USSR confirmed its willingness to proceed with the solution secretly proposed by the Americans the day before. In the afternoon, Soviet technicians began dismantling the missile sites, and the world stepped back from the brink of nuclear war. The Cuban Missile Crisis was effectively over. In November, Kennedy called off the blockade, and by the end of the year all the offensive missiles had left Cuba. Soon after, the United States quietly removed its missiles from Turkey.

The Cuban Missile Crisis seemed at the time a clear victory for the United States, but Cuba emerged from the episode with a much greater sense of security. A succession of U.S. administrations have honored Kennedy's pledge not to invade Cuba, and the communist island nation situated just 80 miles from Florida remains a thorn in the side of U.S. foreign policy. The removal of antiquated Jupiter missiles from Turkey had no detrimental effect on U.S. nuclear strategy, but the Cuban Missile Crisis convinced a humiliated USSR to commence a massive nuclear buildup. In the 1970s, the Soviet Union reached nuclear parity with the United States and built intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of striking any city in the United States.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Terry Pratchett

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 7:00pm
"I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Herb Caen

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 7:00pm
"The only thing wrong with immortality is that it tends to go on forever."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Andy Gibb

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 7:00pm
"Girls are always running through my mind. They don't dare walk."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Mark Twain

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 7:00pm
"In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - October 21

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 6:54pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

The legendary BrainBashers calendar has had a small problem.

Here is a listing showing the number of days in each month:

January    73
February   83
March      51
April      52
May        31
June       42
July       41
August     63
September  ==?==

Using the same rules, how many days are in September?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - October 21 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 6:54pm
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 21

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 6:54pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Fat Slice
   Slice up shapes by dragging your mouse through them.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

redux

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Tue, 10/21/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for October 21, 2014 is:

redux • \ree-DUKS\  • adjective
: brought back

Examples:
Now running in his own campaign, the son of the former mayor was advised to develop his own identity and not simply portray himself as his father redux.

"Think of it as 'Combat Evolved' redux. 'Destiny' wants to meld the multiplayer and single-player experience into a coherent whole." — Gieson Cacho, San Jose Mercury News, September 16, 2014

Did you know?
In Latin, redux (from the verb reducere, meaning "to lead back") can mean "brought back" or "bringing back." The Romans used redux as an epithet for the Goddess Fortuna with its "bringing back" meaning; Fortuna Redux was "one who brings another safely home." But it was the "brought back" meaning that made its way into English. Redux belongs to a small class of English adjectives that are always used postpositively—that is, they always follow the words they modify. Redux has a history of showing up in titles of English works, such as John Dryden’s Astraea Redux (a poem "on the happy restoration and return of his sacred majesty, Charles the Second"), Anthony Trollope’s Phineas Redux, and John Updike’s Rabbit Redux.

Categories: Fun Stuff

October 21, 1959: Guggenheim Museum opens in New York City

This Day in History - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1959, on New York City's Fifth Avenue, thousands of people line up outside a bizarrely shaped white concrete building that resembled a giant upside-down cupcake. It was opening day at the new Guggenheim Museum, home to one of the world's top collections of contemporary art.

Mining tycoon Solomon R. Guggenheim began collecting art seriously when he retired in the 1930s. With the help of Hilla Rebay, a German baroness and artist, Guggenheim displayed his purchases for the first time in 1939 in a former car showroom in New York. Within a few years, the collection—including works by Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and Marc Chagall—had outgrown the small space. In 1943, Rebay contacted architect Frank Lloyd Wright and asked him to take on the work of designing not just a museum, but a "temple of spirit," where people would learn to see art in a new way. 

Over the next 16 years, until his death six months before the museum opened, Wright worked to bring his unique vision to life. To Wright's fans, the museum that opened on October 21, 1959, was a work of art in itself. Inside, a long ramp spiraled upwards for a total of a quarter-mile around a large central rotunda, topped by a domed glass ceiling. Reflecting Wright's love of nature, the 50,000-meter space resembled a giant seashell, with each room opening fluidly into the next.

Wright's groundbreaking design drew criticism as well as admiration. Some felt the oddly-shaped building didn't complement the artwork. They complained the museum was less about art and more about Frank Lloyd Wright. On the flip side, many others thought the architect had achieved his goal: a museum where building and art work together to create "an uninterrupted, beautiful symphony." 

Located on New York's impressive Museum Mile, at the edge of Central Park, the Guggenheim has become one of the city's most popular attractions. In 1993, the original building was renovated and expanded to create even more exhibition space. Today, Wright's creation continues to inspire awe, as well as odd comparisons—a Jello mold! a washing machine! a pile of twisted ribbon!—for many of the 900,000-plus visitors who visit the Guggenheim each year.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Jules Renard

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 7:00pm
"Literature is an occupation in which you have to keep proving your talent to people who have none."
Categories: Fun Stuff

J. Robert Oppenheimer

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 7:00pm
"Any man whose errors take ten years to correct is quite a man."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Lenin

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 7:00pm
"A lie told often enough becomes the truth."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Friedrich Nietzsche

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 7:00pm
"Only sick music makes money today."
Categories: Fun Stuff