Fun Stuff

controvertible

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for March 18, 2015 is:

controvertible • \KAHN-truh-ver-tuh-bul\  • adjective
: capable of being disputed or opposed by reason

Examples:
"A key piece of evidence was found at last: a copy of John of Balliol's words of homage and of feudal recognition to Edward I. Because these words had been formally drawn up by a notary public, they constituted firm and not-readily controvertible evidence." — Hunt Janin, Medieval Justice: Cases and Laws in France, England and Germany, 500-1500, 2004

"There are two sisters…. Each possesses a ferociously 'true' version of a shared childhood scene. All these decades later, the sisters still can't agree, still won't agree…. One sister has to be right, and one sister has to be wrong—the proof is controvertible.… How would you know who is telling the truth?" — Beth Kephart, Chicago Tribune, November 21, 2013

Did you know?
If you're familiar with incontrovertible, you may have wondered about the existence of controvertible. Both words are direct descendants of controvert ("to dispute or oppose by reasoning"), which dates back to 1584 in English and itself derives from controversy. Controvertible was documented in print as early as 1610, and incontrovertible turned up around thirty years later. Controversy comes to us (through Anglo-French) from the Latin controversus, meaning "disputable," and can ultimately be traced back to the Latin contro- ("against") and versus, the past participle of vertere ("to turn").

Categories: Fun Stuff

March 18, 1852: Wells and Fargo start shipping and banking company

This Day in History - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1852, in New York City, Henry Wells and William G. Fargo join with several other investors to launch their namesake business.

The discovery of gold in California in 1849 prompted a huge spike in the demand for cross-country shipping. Wells and Fargo decided to take advantage of these great opportunities. In July 1852, their company shipped its first loads of freight from the East Coast to mining camps scattered around northern California. The company contracted with independent stagecoach companies to provide the fastest possible transportation and delivery of gold dust, important documents and other valuable freight. It also served as a bank–buying gold dust, selling paper bank drafts and providing loans to help fuel California’s growing economy.

In 1857, Wells, Fargo and Co. formed the Overland Mail Company, known as the “Butterfield Line,” which provided regular mail and passenger service along an ever-growing number of routes. In the boom-and-bust economy of the 1850s, the company earned a reputation as a trustworthy and reliable business, and its logo–the classic stagecoach–became famous. For a premium price, Wells, Fargo and Co. would send an employee on horseback to deliver or pick up a message or package.

Wells, Fargo and Co. merged with several other “Pony Express” and stagecoach lines in 1866 to become the unrivaled leader in transportation in the West. When the transcontinental railroad was completed three years later, the company began using railroad to transport its freight. By 1910, its shipping network connected 6,000 locations, from the urban centers of the East and the farming towns of the Midwest to the ranching and mining centers of Texas and California and the lumber mills of the Pacific Northwest.

After splitting from the freight business in 1905, the banking branch of the company merged with the Nevada National Bank and established new headquarters in San Francisco. During World War I, the U.S. government nationalized the company’s shipping routes and combined them with the railroads into the American Railway Express, effectively putting an end to Wells, Fargo and Co. as a transportation and delivery business. The following April, the banking headquarters was destroyed in a major earthquake, but the vaults remained intact and the bank’s business continued to grow. After two later mergers, the Wells Fargo Bank American Trust Company–shortened to the Wells Fargo Bank in 1962–became, and has remained, one of the biggest banking institutions in the United States.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - March 17

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 8:46pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Below, 10 nine letter words have been broken into chunks of three letters. These chunks have been mixed up, no chunk is used twice and all chunks are used. Can you determine what the 10 words are?

rbr ent ard man tor rbo
and ban con erf dst dli
fly spa dra dif hai ght
per all fis ove ush hea
new gon fer wat her duc

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - March 17 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 8:46pm
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 - March 17

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 8:46pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Bad Octo
   Rescue Octo the Octopus's victims and teach him a lesson.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Ernie Kovacs

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 7:00pm
"Television � a medium. So called because it is neither rare nor well done."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Edgar Watson Howe

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 7:00pm
"Most people have seen worse things in private than they pretend to be shocked at in public."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Beryl Pfizer

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 7:00pm
"I write down everything I want to remember. That way, instead of spending a lot of time trying to remember what it is I wrote down, I spend the time looking for the paper I wrote it down on."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Roy Blount Jr.

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 7:00pm
"The last time somebody said, 'I find I can write much better with a word processor.', I replied, 'They used to say the same thing about drugs.'"
Categories: Fun Stuff

inveigle

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Tue, 03/17/2015 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for March 17, 2015 is:

inveigle • \in-VAY-gul\  • verb
1 : to win over by wiles : entice 2 : to acquire by ingenuity or flattery : wangle

Examples:
I was relieved when I finally managed to inveigle her assistant into fitting me into her schedule.

"… but now the industry is headed down a path where more loathsome strategies are being put in place to inveigle consumers to throw down their dough before learning whether or not the game is actually worth buying." — Paul Tamburro, Craveonline.com, January 21, 2015

Did you know?
Inveigle, a word that dates from the 16th century, refers to the act of using clever talk, trickery, or flattery either to persuade somebody to do something or to obtain something. What could such a word possibly have to do with blindness? Inveigle came to English from the Anglo-French verb enveegler, which means "to blind or hoodwink someone," from the adjective enveugle, meaning "blind." Enveugle derives from the Medieval Latin ab oculis, a phrase which literally translates to "lacking eyes." You might say that a person who is inveigled to do or give up something is too "blinded" by someone's words to know that he or she is being tricked.

Categories: Fun Stuff

March 17, 461: Saint Patrick dies

This Day in History - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 11:00pm

On this day in 461 A.D., Saint Patrick, Christian missionary, bishop and apostle of Ireland, dies at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland.

Much of what is known about Patrick’s legendary life comes from the Confessio, a book he wrote during his last years. Born in Great Britain, probably in Scotland, to a well-to-do Christian family of Roman citizenship, Patrick was captured and enslaved at age 16 by Irish marauders. For the next six years, he worked as a herder in Ireland, turning to a deepening religious faith for comfort. Following the counsel of a voice he heard in a dream one night, he escaped and found passage on a ship to Britain, where he was eventually reunited with his family.

According to the Confessio, in Britain Patrick had another dream, in which an individual named Victoricus gave him a letter, entitled “The Voice of the Irish.” As he read it, Patrick seemed to hear the voices of Irishmen pleading him to return to their country and walk among them once more. After studying for the priesthood, Patrick was ordained a bishop. He arrived in Ireland in 433 and began preaching the Gospel, converting many thousands of Irish and building churches around the country. After 40 years of living in poverty, teaching, traveling and working tirelessly, Patrick died on March 17, 461 in Saul, where he had built his first church.

Since that time, countless legends have grown up around Patrick. Made the patron saint of Ireland, he is said to have baptized hundreds of people on a single day, and to have used a three-leaf clover–the famous shamrock–to describe the Holy Trinity. In art, he is often portrayed trampling on snakes, in accordance with the belief that he drove those reptiles out of Ireland. For thousands of years, the Irish have observed the day of Saint Patrick’s death as a religious holiday, attending church in the morning and celebrating with food and drink in the afternoon. The first St. Patrick’s Day parade, though, took place not in Ireland, but the United States, when Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City in 1762. As the years went on, the parades became a show of unity and strength for persecuted Irish-American immigrants, and then a popular celebration of Irish-American heritage. The party went global in 1995, when the Irish government began a large-scale campaign to market St. Patrick’s Day as a way of driving tourism and showcasing Ireland’s many charms to the rest of the world. Today, March 17 is a day of international celebration, as millions of people around the globe put on their best green clothing to drink beer, watch parades and toast the luck of the Irish.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - March 16

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 8:32pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

The BrainBashers golf world tour is well underway and Fred is planning the journey to each location. Unfortunately, the BrainBashers atlas is playing up again and has worked out the mileage incorrectly, as shown below.

Birmingham   47,000
Oslo         18,000
Chicago      32,000
Manhattan    42,000

According to the system, how many miles is it to Sydney?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - March 16 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 8:32pm
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

Daily Game - March 16

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 8:32pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Flexible Dave
   Move Dave's flexible limbs so he'll fit through the hole.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Henry James

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 7:00pm
"She was a woman who, between courses, could be graceful with her elbows on the table."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Fred Allen

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 7:00pm
"A conference is a gathering of important people who singly can do nothing, but together can decide that nothing can be done."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Mark Twain

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 7:00pm
"Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Thomas A. Edison

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 7:00pm
"Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless."
Categories: Fun Stuff

rhadamanthine

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Mon, 03/16/2015 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for March 16, 2015 is:

rhadamanthine • \rad-uh-MAN-thun\  • adjective
: (often capitalized) rigorously strict or just

Examples:
The judge took the maliciousness of the crime into account and decided upon a rhadamanthine punishment.

"Sometimes, she writes with incandescent hope; often, she manifests a disagreeable proclivity for passing Rhadamanthine judgment on us all." — Andrew Solomon, New York Times, December 12, 2014

Did you know?
In Greek mythology, there were three judges of the underworld: Minos, Aeacus, and Rhadamanthus. Minos, a son of Zeus and Europa, had been the king of Crete before becoming supreme judge in the underworld after his death. Aeacus, another son of Zeus, was king of Aegina before joining the underworld triumvirate. Rhadamanthus, brother of Minos and king of the Cyclades Islands, was especially known for being inflexible when administering his judgment—hence, the meaning of rhadamanthine as "rigorously strict or just."

Categories: Fun Stuff

March 16, 1802: U.S. Military Academy established

This Day in History - Sun, 03/15/2015 - 11:00pm

The United States Military Academy–the first military school in the United States–is founded by Congress for the purpose of educating and training young men in the theory and practice of military science. Located at West Point, New York, the U.S. Military Academy is often simply known as West Point.

Located on the high west bank of New York’s Hudson River, West Point was the site of a Revolutionary-era fort built to protect the Hudson River Valley from British attack. In 1780, Patriot General Benedict Arnold, the commander of the fort, agreed to surrender West Point to the British in exchange for 6,000 pounds. However, the plot was uncovered before it fell into British hands, and Arnold fled to the British for protection.

Ten years after the establishment of the U.S. Military Academy in 1802, the growing threat of another war with Great Britain resulted in congressional action to expand the academy’s facilities and increase the West Point corps. Beginning in 1817, the U.S. Military Academy was reorganized by superintendent Sylvanus Thayer–later known as the “father of West Point”–and the school became one of the nation’s finest sources of civil engineers. During the Mexican-American War, West Point graduates filled the leading ranks of the victorious U.S. forces, and with the outbreak of the Civil War former West Point classmates regretfully lined up against one another in the defense of their native states.

In 1870, the first African-American cadet was admitted into the U.S. Military Academy, and in 1976, the first female cadets. The academy is now under the general direction and supervision of the department of the U.S. Army and has an enrollment of more than 4,000 students.

Categories: Fun Stuff