Fun Stuff

Anatole France

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 7:00pm
"To be willing to die for an idea is to set a rather high price on conjecture."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Harlan Ellison

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 7:00pm
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Bill Cosby

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 7:00pm
"Human beings are the only creatures that allow their children to come back home."
Categories: Fun Stuff

sprachgefühl

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Thu, 03/19/2015 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for March 19, 2015 is:

sprachgefühl • \SHPRAHKH-guh-fuel\  • noun
1 : the character of a language 2 : an intuitive sense of what is linguistically appropriate

Examples:
One review of the book praised the author's sprachgefühl and her graceful, literary style.

"Robert Dankoff patiently taught me Ottoman Turkish, attempting to instill in me Sprachgefühl, and carefully corrected every inaccurate transliteration and translation that I insisted he read." — Marc David Baer, Honored by the Glory of Islam, 2008

Did you know?
Sprachgefühl was borrowed into English from German at the end of the 19th century and combines two German nouns, Sprache, meaning "language, speech," and Gefühl, meaning "feeling." (Nouns are capitalized in German, and you'll occasionally see sprachgefühl capitalized in English too, as in our second example.) We're quite certain that the quality of sprachgefühl is common among our readers, but the word itself is rare, making only occasional appearances in our language.

Categories: Fun Stuff

March 19, 2003: War in Iraq begins

This Day in History - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 11:00pm

On this day in 2003, the United States, along with coalition forces primarily from the United Kingdom, initiates war on Iraq. Just after explosions began to rock Baghdad, Iraq’s capital, U.S. President George W. Bush announced in a televised address, “At this hour, American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.” President Bush and his advisors built much of their case for war on the idea that Iraq, under dictator Saddam Hussein, possessed or was in the process of building weapons of mass destruction.

Hostilities began about 90 minutes after the U.S.-imposed deadline for Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq or face war passed. The first targets, which Bush said were “of military importance,” were hit with Tomahawk cruise missiles from U.S. fighter-bombers and warships stationed in the Persian Gulf. In response to the attacks, Republic of Iraq radio in Baghdad announced, “the evil ones, the enemies of God, the homeland and humanity, have committed the stupidity of aggression against our homeland and people.”

Though Saddam Hussein had declared in early March 2003 that, “it is without doubt that the faithful will be victorious against aggression,” he went into hiding soon after the American invasion, speaking to his people only through an occasional audiotape. Coalition forces were able to topple his regime and capture Iraq’s major cities in just three weeks, sustaining few casualties. President Bush declared the end of major combat operations on May 1, 2003. Despite the defeat of conventional military forces in Iraq, an insurgency has continued an intense guerrilla war in the nation in the years since military victory was announced, resulting in thousands of coalition military, insurgent and civilian deaths.

After an intense manhunt, U.S. soldiers found Saddam Hussein hiding in a six-to-eight-foot deep hole, nine miles outside his hometown of Tikrit. He did not resist and was uninjured during the arrest. A soldier at the scene described him as “a man resigned to his fate.” Hussein was arrested and began trial for crimes against his people, including mass killings, in October 2005.

In June 2004, the provisional government in place since soon after Saddam’s ouster transferred power to the Iraqi Interim Government. In January 2005, the Iraqi people elected a 275-member Iraqi National Assembly. A new constitution for the country was ratified that October. On November 6, 2006, Saddam Hussein was found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging. After an unsuccessful appeal, he was executed on December 30, 2006.

No weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - March 18

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 9:00pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Which letter is missing from this sequence:

B C E G K Q S W

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - March 18 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 9:00pm
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 18

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 9:00pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Fowl Words 2
   Fowl typing test.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

William Hazlitt

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 7:00pm
"Men of genius do not excel in any profession because they labor in it, but they labor in it because they excel."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Andre Gide

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 7:00pm
"Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Samuel Butler

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 7:00pm
"Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them."
Categories: Fun Stuff

George Bernard Shaw

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 7:00pm
"Martyrdom... is the only way in which a man can become famous without ability."
Categories: 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