Fun Stuff

Daily Game - May 16

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 05/16/2015 - 10:42pm
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

Paula Poundstone

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 05/16/2015 - 7:00pm
"The wages of sin are death, but by the time taxes are taken out, it's just sort of a tired feeling."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Logan Pearsall Smith

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 05/16/2015 - 7:00pm
"It is the wretchedness of being rich that you have to live with rich people."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Alfred A. Knopf

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 05/16/2015 - 7:00pm
"An economist is a man who states the obvious in terms of the incomprehensible."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Eugene McCarthy

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 05/16/2015 - 7:00pm
"The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is inefficiency. An efficient bureaucracy is the greatest threat to liberty."
Categories: Fun Stuff

hinterland

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sat, 05/16/2015 - 1:00am

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

hinterland • \HIN-ter-land\  • noun
1 : a region lying inland from a coast 2 a : a region remote from cities b : a region lying beyond major metropolitan or cultural centers

Examples:
The enormous Greenland Ice Sheet covers most of the hinterland of the world's largest island.

"I know my country, and my fellow countrymen; the people I was meeting were simple souls, scraping a living in Yemen’s tough agricultural hinterland. Large political questions were far from their minds." — Baraa Shiban, The Guardian (London), April 6, 2015

Did you know?
When you're dealing with geography, it helps to know your hinterland from your umland. In the late 19th century, geographer George Chisholm took note of the German word Hinterland (literally, "land in back of") and applied it specifically to the region just inland from a port or coastal settlement. (Chisholm spelled the word hinderland, but English speakers eventually settled on hinterland.) Early in the 20th century, another geographer adopted the German Umland ("land around") to refer to the territory around an inland town. What hinterland and umland have in common is a reference to a region economically tied to a nearby city. But nowadays hinterland has a less technical use as well; it's used for land that's simply out in the sticks.

Categories: Fun Stuff

May 16, 1929: First Academy Awards ceremony

This Day in History - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1929, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hands out its first awards, at a dinner party for around 250 people held in the Blossom Room of the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, California.

The brainchild of Louis B. Mayer, head of the powerful MGM film studio, the Academy was organized in May 1927 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and improvement of the film industry. Its first president and the host of the May 1929 ceremony was the actor Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. Unlike today, the winners of the first Oscars–as the coveted gold-plated statuettes later became known–were announced before the awards ceremony itself.

At the time of the first Oscar ceremony, sound had just been introduced into film. The Warner Bros. movie The Jazz Singer–one of the first “talkies”–was not allowed to compete for Best Picture because the Academy decided it was unfair to let movies with sound compete with silent films. The first official Best Picture winner (and the only silent film to win Best Picture) was Wings, directed by William Wellman. The most expensive movie of its time, with a budget of $2 million, the movie told the story of two World War I pilots who fall for the same woman. Another film, F.W. Murnau’s epic Sunrise, was considered a dual winner for the best film of the year. German actor Emil Jannings won the Best Actor honor for his roles in The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh, while 22-year-old Janet Gaynor was the only female winner. After receiving three out of the five Best Actress nods, she won for all three roles, in Seventh Heaven, Street Angel and Sunrise.

A special honorary award was presented to Charlie Chaplin. Originally a nominee for Best Actor, Best Writer and Best Comedy Director for The Circus, Chaplin was removed from these categories so he could receive the special award, a change that some attributed to his unpopularity in Hollywood. It was the last Oscar the Hollywood maverick would receive until another honorary award in 1971.

The Academy officially began using the nickname Oscar for its awards in 1939; a popular but unconfirmed story about the source of the name holds that Academy executive director Margaret Herrick remarked that the statuette looked like her Uncle Oscar. Since 1942, the results of the secret ballot voting have been announced during the live-broadcast Academy Awardsceremony using the sealed-envelope system. The suspense–not to mention the red-carpet arrival of nominees and other stars wearing their most beautiful or outrageous evening wear–continues to draw international attention to the film industry’s biggest night of the year.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - May 15

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 10:28pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Below you can find a proverb, the letters of which have been converted to their location in the alphabet and any spaces removed.

For example, CAT would be 3120 and PROVERB would be 161815225182. What is the proverb?

12121782051891920852519201354939145

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - May 15 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 10:28pm
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 - May 15

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 10:28pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Voodoo Charms
   Clear the grid of charms using bombs.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

George Carlin

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 7:00pm
"Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong."
Categories: Fun Stuff

William James

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 7:00pm
"As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."
Categories: Fun Stuff

John Cleese

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 7:00pm
"I find it rather easy to portray a businessman. Being bland, rather cruel and incompetent comes naturally to me."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Robert Frost

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 7:00pm
"A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer."
Categories: Fun Stuff

bowdlerize

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 15, 2015 is:

bowdlerize • \BOHD-ler-ize\  • verb
1 : to expurgate by omitting or modifying parts considered vulgar 2 : to modify by abridging, simplifying, or distorting in style or content

Examples:
Years later, it was discovered that the publisher had bowdlerized many of the poet's letters.

"Being an iconic classic, however, hasn't protected Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from being banned, bowdlerized and bleeped. It hasn't protected the novel from being cleaned up, updated and 'improved.'" — Michiko Kakutani, New York Times, January 6, 2011

Did you know?
Few editors have achieved the notoriety of Thomas Bowdler. He was trained as a physician, but when illness prevented him from practicing medicine, he turned to warning Europeans about unsanitary conditions at French watering places. Bowdler then carried his quest for purification to literature, and in 1818 he published his Family Shakspeare [sic], a work in which he promised that "those words and expressions are omitted which cannot with propriety be read aloud in a family." The sanitized volume was popular with the public of the day, but literary critics denounced his modifications of the words of the Bard. Bowdler applied his literary eraser broadly, and within 11 years of his death in 1825, the word bowdlerize was being used to refer to expurgating books or other texts.

Categories: Fun Stuff

May 15, 1937: Madeleine Albright is born

This Day in History - Thu, 05/14/2015 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1937, Madeleine Albright, America’s first female secretary of state, is born Maria Jana Korbelova in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic).

The daughter of Czech diplomat Josef Korbel, Albright fled to England with her family after the Nazis occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939. Though Albright long believed they had fled for political reasons, she learned as an adult that her family was Jewish and that three of her grandparents had died in Nazi concentration camps. The family returned home after World War II ended but immigrated to the United States in 1948 after a Soviet-sponsored Communist coup seized power in Prague. Josef Korbel became dean of the school of international relations at the University of Denver (where he would later train another female secretary of state, Condoleeza Rice).

After graduating from Wellesley College in 1959, Albright married Joseph Medill Patterson Albright of the prominent Medill newspaper-publishing family. With an MA and PhD from Columbia University under her belt, Albright headed to Washington, D.C., where she worked for Maine’s Senator Edmund S. Muskie and served on the National Security Council in the administration of President Jimmy Carter. She and Joseph Albright divorced in 1982. During the Republican presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, Albright worked for several nonprofit organizations and taught at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

With a Democrat–Bill Clinton–in the White House again in 1992, Albright found herself at the center of Washington’s most powerful circle. In 1993, Clinton appointed her ambassador to the United Nations. In that post, Albright earned a reputation as a straight-talking defender of American interests and an advocate for an increased role for the U.S. in U.N. operations. In late 1996, Clinton nominated Albright to succeed Warren Christopher as U.S. secretary of state. After her nomination was unanimously confirmed by the Senate, she was sworn in on January 23, 1997.

As secretary of state, Albright pursued an active foreign policy, including the use of military force to pressure autocratic regimes in Yugoslavia and Iraq, among other troubled regions. Her trip to North Korea in October 2000 to meet with leader Kim Jong Il made her the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit that country. She drew some criticism for her tough position on U.S. sanctions against Iraq, which led to many civilian deaths in that country and fueled the rage of Muslim extremists such as Osama bin Laden.

Albright’s term ended with the election of President George W. Bush in 2000. Though there was talk of her entering Czech politics, she returned to her teaching post at Georgetown and became chair of a nonprofit organization, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - May 14

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 05/14/2015 - 10:14pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

A husband and wife have a combined age of 91. The husband is now twice as old as his wife was when he was as old as she is now. How old are they?

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - May 14 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 05/14/2015 - 10:14pm
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 - May 14

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 05/14/2015 - 10:14pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Fall On Me
   Explore the unseen divide.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Rodney Dangerfield

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 05/14/2015 - 7:00pm
"A girl phoned me the other day and said "Come on over, there's nobody home." I went over. Nobody was home."
Categories: Fun Stuff