Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - October 15

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 11:34pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

If EELS + MARK + BEST + WARY = EASY

What does HELP + BARK + WARD + LEAD equal?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - October 15 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 11:34pm
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 15

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 11:34pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Abductroids
   Protect your humans from waves of alien ships
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

October 16, 1934: The Long March

This Day in History - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 11:00pm

The embattled Chinese Communists break through Nationalist enemy lines and begin an epic flight from their encircled headquarters in southwest China. Known as Ch'ang Cheng—the "Long March"—the retreat lasted 368 days and covered 6,000 miles, nearly twice the distance from New York to San Francisco.

Civil war in China between the Nationalists and the Communists broke out in 1927. In 1931, Communist leader Mao Zedong was elected chairman of the newly established Soviet Republic of China, based in Kiangsi province in the southwest. Between 1930 and 1934, the Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek launched a series of five encirclement campaigns against the Soviet Republic. Under the leadership of Mao, the Communists employed guerrilla tactics to resist successfully the first four campaigns, but in the fifth, Chiang raised 700,000 troops and built fortifications around the Communist positions. Hundreds of thousands of peasants were killed or died of starvation in the siege, and Mao was removed as chairman by the Communist Central Committee. The new Communist leadership employed more conventional warfare tactics, and its Red Army was decimated.

With defeat imminent, the Communists decided to break out of the encirclement at its weakest points. The Long March began at 5:00 p.m. on October 16, 1934. Secrecy and rear-guard actions confused the Nationalists, and it was several weeks before they realized that the main body of the Red Army had fled. The retreating force initially consisted of 86,000 troops, 15,000 personnel, and 35 women. Weapons and supplies were borne on men's backs or in horse-drawn carts, and the line of marchers stretched for 50 miles. The Communists generally marched at night, and when the enemy was not near, a long column of torches could be seen snaking over valleys and hills into the distance.

The first disaster came in November, when Nationalist forces blocked the Communists' route across the Hsiang River. It took a week for the Communists to break through the fortifications and cost them 50,000 men—more than half their number. After that debacle, Mao steadily regained his influence, and in January he was again made chairman during a meeting of the party leaders in the captured city of Tsuni. Mao changed strategy, breaking his force into several columns that would take varying paths to confuse the enemy. There would be no more direct assaults on enemy positions. And the destination would now be Shensi Province, in the far northwest, where the Communists hoped to fight the Japanese invaders and earn the respect of China's masses.

After enduring starvation, aerial bombardment, and almost daily skirmishes with Nationalist forces, Mao halted his columns at the foot of the Great Wall of China on October 20, 1935. Waiting for them were five machine-gun- and red-flag-bearing horsemen. "Welcome, Chairman Mao," one said. "We represent the Provincial Soviet of Northern Shensi. We have been waiting for you anxiously. All that we have is at your disposal!" The Long March was over.

The Communist marchers crossed 24 rivers and 18 mountain ranges, mostly snow-capped. Only 4,000 troops completed the journey. The majority of those who did not perished. It was the longest continuous march in the history of warfare and marked the emergence of Mao Zedong as the undisputed leader of the Chinese Communists. Learning of the Communists' heroism and determination in the Long March, thousands of young Chinese traveled to Shensi to enlist in Mao's Red Army. After fighting the Japanese for a decade, the Chinese Civil War resumed in 1945. Four years later, the Nationalists were defeated, and Mao proclaimed the People's Republic of China. He served as chairman until his death in 1976.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Henry Stimson

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 7:00pm
"The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him."
Categories: Fun Stuff

George Burns

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 7:00pm
"Too bad the only people who know how to run the country are busy driving cabs and cutting hair."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Elbert Hubbard

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 7:00pm
"Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Anonymous

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 7:00pm
"The best defense against the atom bomb is not to be there when it goes off."
Categories: Fun Stuff

doctrinaire

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 1:00am

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

doctrinaire • \dahk-truh-NAIR\  • adjective
: attempting to put into effect an abstract doctrine or theory with little or no regard for practical difficulties

Examples:
"As doctrinaire as I may be about players being ready to play every day," Coach said, "they are also human beings; I need to accept they are going to need breaks once in a while."

"We use endorsement interviews to see how candidates interact with their opponents, how politically daring (or doctrinaire) they are and whether they’re thinking more about the public’s good or their own campaigns." — Elizabeth Sullivan, Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), September 21, 2014

Did you know?
Doctrinaire didn't start out as a critical word. In post-revolutionary France, a group who favored constitutional monarchy called themselves Doctrinaires. Doctrine in French, as in English, is a word for the principles on which a government is based; it is ultimately from Latin doctrina, meaning "teaching" or "instruction." But both ultraroyalists and revolutionists strongly derided any doctrine of reconciling royalty and representation as utterly impracticable, and they resented the Doctrinaires' influence over Louis XVIII. So when doctrinaire became an adjective, "there adhered to it some indescribable tincture of unpopularity which was totally indelible" (Blanc's History of Ten Years 1830-40, translated by Walter K. Kelly in 1848).

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - October 14

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 11:20pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Geoff and I were playing on the roundabout at the local park.

It was very large and we stood on opposite sides and we spun the roundabout anti-clockwise.

I threw a ball to Geoff. Did the ball go to Geoff, or did it go to the right of him or the left of him?

A roundabout is similar to a merry-go-round or carousel, but smaller.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - October 14 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 11:20pm
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 14

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 11:20pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Brain Bender
   Click the colour of the word, not the word itself.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

October 15, 1917: Mata Hari executed

This Day in History - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 11:00pm

Mata Hari, the archetype of the seductive female spy, is executed for espionage by a French firing squad at Vincennes outside of Paris.

She first came to Paris in 1905 and found fame as a performer of exotic Asian-inspired dances. She soon began touring all over Europe, telling the story of how she was born in a sacred Indian temple and taught ancient dances by a priestess who gave her the name Mata Hari, meaning "eye of the day" in Malay. In reality, Mata Hari was born in a small town in northern Holland in 1876, and her real name was Margaretha Geertruida Zelle. She acquired her superficial knowledge of Indian and Javanese dances when she lived for several years in Malaysia with her former husband, who was a Scot in the Dutch colonial army. Regardless of her authenticity, she packed dance halls and opera houses from Russia to France, mostly because her show consisted of her slowly stripping nude.

She became a famous courtesan, and with the outbreak of World War I her catalog of lovers began to include high-ranking military officers of various nationalities. In February 1917, French authorities arrested her for espionage and imprisoned her at St. Lazare Prison in Paris. In a military trial conducted in July, she was accused of revealing details of the Allies' new weapon, the tank, resulting in the deaths of thousands of soldiers. She was convicted and sentenced to death, and on October 15 she refused a blindfold and was shot to death by a firing squad at Vincennes.

There is some evidence that Mata Hari acted as a German spy, and for a time as a double agent for the French, but the Germans had written her off as an ineffective agent whose pillow talk had produced little intelligence of value. Her military trial was riddled with bias and circumstantial evidence, and it is probable that French authorities trumped her up as "the greatest woman spy of the century" as a distraction for the huge losses the French army was suffering on the western front. Her only real crimes may have been an elaborate stage fallacy and a weakness for men in uniform.

Categories: Fun Stuff

William Cobbett

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 7:00pm
"To be poor and dependent is very nearly an impossibility."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Slovenian Proverb

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 7:00pm
"Speak the truth, but leave immediately after."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Richard Feynman

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 7:00pm
"I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Flip Wilson

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 7:00pm
"The cost of living is going up and the chance of living is going down."
Categories: Fun Stuff

judgment

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 1:00am

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

judgment • \JUJ-munt\  • noun
1 : a formal utterance of an authoritative opinion 2 : a formal decision given by a court 3 : the capacity for judging or the exercise of this capacity

Examples:
Theresa showed good judgment by clearing her family out of the house as soon as she smelled gas.

"Christenson said he'll reserve judgment on the larger iPhone 6 until he holds one in his hand." — Neil Nisperos, Redlands Daily Facts (California), September 10, 2014

Did you know?
Judgment can also be spelled "judgement," and usage experts have long disagreed over which spelling is the preferred one. Henry Fowler asserted, "The OED [Oxford English Dictionary] prefers the older and more reasonable spelling. 'Judgement' is therefore here recommended." William Safire held an opposite opinion, writing, "My judgment is that Fowler is not to be followed." "Judgement" is in fact the older spelling, but it dropped from favor and for centuries "judgment" was the only spelling to appear in dictionaries. That changed when the OED (Fowler's source) was published showing "judgement" as an equal variant. Today, "judgment" is more popular in the U.S., whereas both spellings make a good showing in Britain.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - October 13

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 11:06pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Starting on Sunday last week, it took me three days to go from A to B, but then four days to go from B to A. What are A and B?

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - October 13 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 11:06pm
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