Fun Stuff

Daily Game - September 21

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 09/21/2014 - 6:00pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Trapped Again
   Once more you are trapped. Can you escape the fiendish maze by solving the puzzles?
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

aphelion

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sun, 09/21/2014 - 1:00am

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

aphelion • \a-FEEL-yun\  • noun
: the point in the path of a celestial body (such as a planet) that is farthest from the sun

Examples:
The comet is predicted to reach aphelion a mere 22 years from now.

"Although this seems somewhat counter-intuitive for those of us in the northern hemisphere, Earth is actually at perihelion in early January each year, and at aphelion? in early July." — Alan Hale, Alamo Gordo News, August 14, 2014

Did you know?
Aphelion and perihelion are troublesome terms. Which one means a planet is nearest to the sun and which means it is farthest away? An etymology lesson may help you keep those words straight. Just remember that the "ap" of aphelion derives from a Latin prefix that means "away from" (the mnemonic "'A' for 'away'" can help too); peri-, on the other hand, means "near." And how are aphelion and perihelion related to the similar-looking astronomical pair, apogee and perigee? Etymology explains again. The "helion" of aphelion and perihelion is based on the Greek word hēlios, meaning "sun," while the "gee" of apogee and perigee is based on gaia, meaning "earth." The first pair describes distance in relation to the sun, the second in relation to the earth.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - September 20

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 11:50pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

If a peacock and a half, lay an egg and a half, in a day and a half.

How many eggs can a peacock lay in three days?

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - September 20 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 11:50pm
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 - September 20

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 11:50pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Common Answers
   Compete with the rest of the world by predicting the most common answers to 10 easy questions.
[Played on the BrainBashers Puzzle/Illusion website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

September 21, 1780: Benedict Arnold commits treason

This Day in History - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1780, during the American Revolution, American General Benedict Arnold meets with British Major John Andre to discuss handing over West Point to the British, in return for the promise of a large sum of money and a high position in the British army. The plot was foiled and Arnold, a former American hero, became synonymous with the word "traitor."

Arnold was born into a well-respected family in Norwich, Connecticut, on January 14, 1741. He apprenticed with an apothecary and was a member of the militia during the French and Indian War (1754-1763). He later became a successful trader and joined the Continental Army when the Revolutionary War broke out between Great Britain and its 13 American colonies in 1775. When the war ended in 1883, the colonies had won their independence from Britain and formed a new nation, the United States.

During the war, Benedict Arnold proved himself a brave and skillful leader, helping Ethan Allen's troops capture Fort Ticonderoga in 1775 and then participating in the unsuccessful attack on British Quebec later that year, which earned him a promotion to brigadier general. Arnold distinguished himself in campaigns at Lake Champlain, Ridgefield and Saratoga, and gained the support of George Washington. However, Arnold had enemies within the military and in 1777, five men of lesser rank were promoted over him. Over the course of the next few years, Arnold married for a second time and he and his new wife lived a lavish lifestyle in Philadelphia, accumulating substantial debt. The debt and the resentment Arnold felt over not being promoted faster were motivating factors in his choice to become a turncoat.

In 1780, Arnold was given command of West Point, an American fort on the Hudson River in New York (and future home of the U.S. military academy, established in 1802). Arnold contacted Sir Henry Clinton, head of the British forces, and proposed handing over West Point and his men. On September 21 of that year, Arnold met with Major John Andre and made his traitorous pact. However, the conspiracy was uncovered and Andre was captured and executed. Arnold, the former American patriot, fled to the enemy side and went on to lead British troops in Virginia and Connecticut. He later moved to England, though he never received all of what he'd been promised by the British. He died in London on June 14, 1801.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Dick Cavett

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 7:00pm
"There�s so much comedy on television. Does that cause comedy in the streets?"
Categories: Fun Stuff

Don Delillo

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 7:00pm
"We seem to believe it is possible to ward off death by following rules of good grooming."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Marie Ebner von Eschenbach

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 7:00pm
"We are so vain that we even care for the opinion of those we don't care for."
Categories: Fun Stuff

David Smith

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 7:00pm
"In this business you either sink or swim or you don't."
Categories: Fun Stuff

carouse

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 20, 2014 is:

carouse • \kuh-ROWZ ("OW" as in "cow")\  • verb
1 : to drink liquor freely or excessively 2 : to take part in a drunken revel : engage in dissolute behavior

Examples:
The sailor spent all of shore leave carousing with his mates.

"Separatist fighters have taken to carousing drunkenly at night and wearing civilian clothes." — Andrew E. Kramer, The New York Times, August 20, 2014

Did you know?
Sixteenth-century English revelers toasting each other's health sometimes drank a brimming mug of spirits straight to the bottom—drinking "all-out," they called it. German tipplers did the same and used the German expression for "all out"—gar aus. The French adopted the German term as carous, using the adverb in their expression boire carous ("to drink all out"), and that phrase, with its idiomatic sense of "to empty the cup," led to carrousse, a French noun meaning "a large draft of liquor." And that's where English speakers picked up carouse in the mid-1500s, first as a noun (which later took on the sense of a general "drinking bout"), and then as a verb meaning "to drink freely."

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - September 19

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 11:36pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

What number comes next in this sequence:

12 13 15 17 111 113 117 119 123 ==?==

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - September 19 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 11:36pm
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 - September 19

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 11:36pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Wake The Royalty
   Everyone is sleeping in the kingdom. Wake up all the royal family!
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

September 20, 1973: King triumphs in Battle of Sexes

This Day in History - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1973, in a highly publicized "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match, top women's player Billie Jean King, 29, beats Bobby Riggs, 55, a former No. 1 ranked men's player. Riggs (1918-1995), a self-proclaimed male chauvinist, had boasted that women were inferior, that they couldn't handle the pressure of the game and that even at his age he could beat any female player. The match was a huge media event, witnessed in person by over 30,000 spectators at the Houston Astrodome and by another 50 million TV viewers worldwide. King made a Cleopatra-style entrance on a gold litter carried by men dressed as ancient slaves, while Riggs arrived in a rickshaw pulled by female models. Legendary sportscaster Howard Cosell called the match, in which King beat Riggs 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. King's achievement not only helped legitimize women's professional tennis and female athletes, but it was seen as a victory for women's rights in general.

King was born Billie Jean Moffitt on November 22, 1943, in Long Beach, California. Growing up, she was a star softball player before her parents encouraged her to try tennis, which was considered more ladylike. She excelled at the sport and in 1961, at age 17, during her first outing to Wimbledon, she won the women's doubles title. King would rack up a total of 20 Wimbledon victories, in singles, doubles and mixed doubles, over the course of her trailblazing career. In 1971, she became the first female athlete to earn more than $100,000 in prize money in a single season. However, significant pay disparities still existed between men and women athletes and King lobbied hard for change. In 1973, the U.S. Open became the first major tennis tournament to hand out the same amount of prize money to winners of both sexes.

In 1972, King became the first woman to be chosen Sports Illustrated's "Sportsperson of the Year" and in 1973, she became the first president of the Women's Tennis Association. King also established a sports foundation and magazine for women and a team tennis league. In 1974, as a coach of the Philadelphia Freedoms, one of the teams in the league, she became the first woman to head up a professional co-ed team.

The "mother of modern sports" retired from tennis with 39 Grand Slam career titles. She remained active as a coach, commentator and advocate for women's sports and other causes. In 2006, the USTA National Tennis Center, home of the U.S. Open, was renamed in King's honor. During the dedication ceremony, tennis great John McEnroe called King "the single most important person in the history of women's sports."

Categories: Fun Stuff

Thomas Sowell

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 7:00pm
"There are only two ways of telling the complete truth--anonymously and posthumously."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Dorothy Nevill

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 7:00pm
"The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment."
Categories: Fun Stuff

From "Taxi"

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 7:00pm
"The great thing about television is that if something important happens anywhere in the world, day or night, you can always change the channel."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Oscar Wilde

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 7:00pm
"Biography lends to death a new terror."
Categories: Fun Stuff

velar

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 19, 2014 is:

velar • \VEE-ler\  • adjective
1 : formed with the back of the tongue touching or near the soft palate 2 : of, forming, or relating to a velum and especially the soft palate

Examples:
The word "keg" contains two velar consonants, "k" and "g."

"Those throat-clearing sounds you hear in German? That's the voiceless velar fricative, and it adds a wonderful percussiveness to '99 Luftbalons.' English speakers don't have it; it's one reason the Anglicized version of Nena's 1984 hit falls flat." — William Weir, Slate, November 8, 2012

Did you know?
Velar is ultimately derived from Latin velum (meaning "curtain" or "veil"), which was itself adopted into English by way of New Latin as a word for the soft palate (the fold at the back of the hard palate—palate, by the way, refers to the roof of the mouth—that partially separates the mouth from the pharynx). Velar is used by phonologists to refer to the position of the tongue in relation to the soft palate when making certain sounds. Other terms for what phonologists refer to as "places of articulation" are palatal (tongue against the roof of the mouth), dental (tongue against the upper teeth), and alveolar (tongue against the inner surface of the gums of the upper front teeth).

Categories: Fun Stuff