Fun Stuff

Mahatma Gandhi

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 09/03/2014 - 7:00pm
"I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Steven Wright

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 09/03/2014 - 7:00pm
"I have an existential map. It has 'You are here' written all over it."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Jerome K. Jerome

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 09/03/2014 - 7:00pm
"It is always the best policy to speak the truth--unless, of course, you are an exceptionally good liar."
Categories: Fun Stuff

El Niño

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Wed, 09/03/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 03, 2014 is:

El Niño • \el-NEEN-yoh\  • noun
: an irregularly recurring flow of unusually warm surface waters from the Pacific Ocean toward and along the western coast of South America that prevents upwelling of nutrient-rich cold deep water and that disrupts typical regional and global weather patterns

Examples:
Representatives of the Pacific Island countries met in Fiji in 1999 to discuss the climatic impacts of the 1997–98 El Niño.

"Forecasters have been pointing to a developing weak to possibly moderate El Niño as a reason why there will be fewer storms this year." — Bill Fortier, Telegram & Gazette (Massachusetts), August 11, 2014

Did you know?
Each year around Christmas time, a warm equatorial current flows southward along the coast of Peru. In the 19th century, Peruvian fisherman named that annual current "El Niño" in honor of the Christ child (el niño means "the child" in Spanish). Later, when scientists noted that in some years this warm current flow is more intense than usual, they adopted the name and applied it to that more potent but erratic climatic phenomenon. Now El Niño is used almost exclusively for the severe episodes rather than for the annual ones to which it was originally applied.

Categories: Fun Stuff

September 3, 1783: Treaty of Paris signed

This Day in History - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 11:00pm

The American Revolution officially comes to an end when representatives of the United States, Great Britain, Spain and France sign the Treaty of Paris on this day in 1783. The signing signified America's status as a free nation, as Britain formally recognized the independence of its 13 former American colonies, and the boundaries of the new republic were agreed upon: Florida north to the Great Lakes and the Atlantic coast west to the Mississippi River.

The events leading up to the treaty stretched back to April 1775, on a common green in Lexington, Massachusetts, when American colonists answered King George III's refusal to grant them political and economic reform with armed revolution. On July 4, 1776, more than a year after the first volleys of the war were fired, the Second Continental Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence. Five difficult years later, in October 1781, British General Charles Lord Cornwallis surrendered to American and French forces at Yorktown, Virginia, bringing to an end the last major battle of the Revolution.

In September 1782, Benjamin Franklin, along with John Adams and John Jay, began official peace negotiations with the British. The Continental Congress had originally named a five-person committee--including Franklin, Adams and Jay, along with Thomas Jefferson and Henry Laurens--to handle the talks. However, both Jefferson and Laurens missed the sessions--Jefferson had travel delays and Laurens had been captured by the British and was being held in the Tower of London. The U.S. delegation, which was distrustful of the French, opted to negotiate separately with the British.

During the talks Franklin demanded that Britain hand over Canada to the United States. This did not come to pass, but America did gain enough new territory south of the Canadian border to double its size. The United States also successfully negotiated for important fishing rights in Canadian waters and agreed, among other things, not to prevent British creditors from attempting to recover debts owed to them. Two months later, the key details had been hammered out and on November 30, 1882, the United States and Britain signed the preliminary articles of the treaty. France signed its own preliminary peace agreement with Britain on January 20, 1783, and then in September of that year, the final treaty was signed by all three nations and Spain. The Treaty of Paris was ratified by the Continental Congress on January 14, 1884.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - September 2

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 7:39pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Using all of the letters A to Z, each once only, complete these common words:

*e*er
**eue
**o
ma*
*p*a*e*
*erso*
***k*am*on
*ouse
*a*
*ur*
***igent

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - September 2 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 7:39pm
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 2

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 7:39pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Sketchy
   Extreme snow sledding.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Peter De Vries

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 7:00pm
"I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Robert Pirsig

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 7:00pm
"There is an evil tendency underlying all our technology - the tendency to do what is reasonable even when it isn't any good."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Eugene McCarthy

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 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

Russel Lynes

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 7:00pm
"Every journalist has a novel in him, which is an excellent place for it."
Categories: Fun Stuff

repugn

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for September 02, 2014 is:

repugn • \rih-PYOON\  • verb
: to contend against : oppose

Examples:
Over 450 students signed the petition repugning the school board's decision to fire the popular teacher.

"Still to come, bad blood between Bloom and Bieber. Will we ever know what happened when the movie star repugns the pop star?" — Lester Holt, NBC News Transcripts, August 2, 2014

Did you know?
Repugn is a word that was relatively common in English in the 16th and 17th centuries. These days, however, English speakers are more likely to be familiar with one of its close relatives, namely, the adjective repugnant, which formerly meant "hostile" but today most commonly means "exciting distaste or aversion." The Latin root for both of these words is pugnare, meaning "to fight." Other English derivatives from this root are pugnacious, meaning "belligerent," and impugn, meaning "to assail with words or arguments." Even pungent is a relative of pugnare. Therefore, don’t try to repugn, or impugn for that matter, the influence of pugnare on our language—lest you appear pugnacious!

Categories: Fun Stuff

September 2, 1969: First ATM opens for business

This Day in History - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1969, America's first automatic teller machine (ATM) makes its public debut, dispensing cash to customers at Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York. ATMs went on to revolutionize the banking industry, eliminating the need to visit a bank to conduct basic financial transactions. By the 1980s, these money machines had become widely popular and handled many of the functions previously performed by human tellers, such as check deposits and money transfers between accounts. Today, ATMs are as indispensable to most people as cell phones and e-mail.

Several inventors worked on early versions of a cash-dispensing machine, but Don Wetzel, an executive at Docutel, a Dallas company that developed automated baggage-handling equipment, is generally credited as coming up with the idea for the modern ATM. Wetzel reportedly conceived of the concept while waiting on line at a bank. The ATM that debuted in New York in 1969 was only able to give out cash, but in 1971, an ATM that could handle multiple functions, including providing customers' account balances, was introduced.

ATMs eventually expanded beyond the confines of banks and today can be found everywhere from gas stations to convenience stores to cruise ships. There is even an ATM at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Non-banks lease the machines (so-called "off premise" ATMs) or own them outright.

Today there are well over 1 million ATMs around the world, with a new one added approximately every five minutes. It's estimated that more than 170 Americans over the age of 18 had an ATM card in 2005 and used it six to eight times a month. Not surprisingly, ATMs get their busiest workouts on Fridays.

In the 1990s, banks began charging fees to use ATMs, a profitable move for them and an annoying one for consumers. Consumers were also faced with an increase in ATM crimes and scams. Robbers preyed on people using money machines in poorly lit or otherwise unsafe locations, and criminals also devised ways to steal customers' PINs (personal identification numbers), even setting up fake money machines to capture the information. In response, city and state governments passed legislation such as New York's ATM Safety Act in 1996, which required banks to install such things as surveillance cameras, reflective mirrors and locked entryways for their ATMs.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - September 1

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 7:25pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

In this sequence, which planet would be listed last:

Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Earth Mars ... ... ==?==

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - September 1 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 7:25pm
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 1

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 7:25pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Parking Perfection 4
   Play new levels of parking car fun that's more realistic and more playable than ever.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Alfred North Whitehead

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 7:00pm
"There are no whole truths; all truths are half- truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil."
Categories: Fun Stuff

William James

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 7:00pm
"The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Quentin Crisp

Quotes of the Day - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 7:00pm
"If at first you don't succeed, failure may be your style."
Categories: Fun Stuff