Fun Stuff

Bertrand Russell

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 08/10/2014 - 7:00pm
"If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have paradise in a few years."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Woody Allen

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 08/10/2014 - 7:00pm
"Interestingly, according to modern astronomers, space is finite. This is a very comforting thought-- particularly for people who can never remember where they have left things."
Categories: Fun Stuff

A. Whitney Brown

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 08/10/2014 - 7:00pm
"That is the saving grace of humor, if you fail no one is laughing at you."
Categories: Fun Stuff

bootless

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sun, 08/10/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 10, 2014 is:

bootless • \BOOT-lus\  • adjective
: useless, unprofitable

Examples:
We already knew that our mechanic was on vacation, so any attempt to call him at his garage would be bootless.

"The international alliance that won the Cold War has been bootless in the case of Syria." —David Ignatius, Washington Post, February 12, 2014

Did you know?
This sense of "bootless" has nothing to do with footwear. The "boot" in this case is an obsolete noun that meant "use" or "avail." That "boot" descended from Old English "bōt" and is ultimately related to our modern word "better," whose remote Germanic ancestor meant literally "of more use." Of course, English does also see the occasional use of "bootless" to mean simply "lacking boots," as Anne Brontë used the word in Agnes Grey (1847): "And what would their parents think of me, if they saw or heard the children rioting, hatless, bonnetless, gloveless, and bootless, in the deep soft snow?"

Categories: Fun Stuff

August 10, 1846: Smithsonian Institution created

This Day in History - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 11:00pm

After a decade of debate about how best to spend a bequest left to America from an obscure English scientist, President James K. Polk signs the Smithsonian Institution Act into law.

In 1829, James Smithson died in Italy, leaving behind a will with a peculiar footnote. In the event that his only nephew died without any heirs, Smithson decreed that the whole of his estate would go to "the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge." Smithson's curious bequest to a country that he had never visited aroused significant attention on both sides of the Atlantic.

Smithson had been a fellow of the venerable Royal Society of London from the age of 22, publishing numerous scientific papers on mineral composition, geology, and chemistry. In 1802, he overturned popular scientific opinion by proving that zinc carbonates were true carbonate minerals, and one type of zinc carbonate was later named smithsonite in his honor.

Six years after his death, his nephew, Henry James Hungerford, indeed died without children, and on July 1, 1836, the U.S. Congress authorized acceptance of Smithson's gift. President Andrew Jackson sent diplomat Richard Rush to England to negotiate for transfer of the funds, and two years later Rush set sail for home with 11 boxes containing a total of 104,960 gold sovereigns, 8 shillings, and 7 pence, as well as Smithson's mineral collection, library, scientific notes, and personal effects. After the gold was melted down, it amounted to a fortune worth well over $500,000. After considering a series of recommendations, including the creation of a national university, a public library, or an astronomical observatory, Congress agreed that the bequest would support the creation of a museum, a library, and a program of research, publication, and collection in the sciences, arts, and history. On August 10, 1846, the act establishing the Smithsonian Institution was signed into law by President James K. Polk.

Today, the Smithsonian is composed of 19 museums and galleries including the recently announced National Museum of African American History and Culture, nine research facilities throughout the United States and the world, and the national zoo. Besides the original Smithsonian Institution Building, popularly known as the "Castle," visitors to Washington, D.C., tour the National Museum of Natural History, which houses the natural science collections, the National Zoological Park, and the National Portrait Gallery. The National Museum of American History houses the original Star-Spangled Banner and other artifacts of U.S. history. The National Air and Space Museum has the distinction of being the most visited museum in the world, exhibiting such marvels of aviation and space history as the Wright brothers' plane and Freedom 7, the space capsule that took the first American into space. John Smithson, the Smithsonian Institution's great benefactor, is interred in a tomb in the Smithsonian Building.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - August 9

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 8:08pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

A local fisherman caught a large trawler load of haddock.

He decided to donate some of his fish to the local community, 1,672 people in all.

To each person over 50 he gave 16 fish and to each person under 50 he gave 96 fish.

Only 3/4 of the over 50s collected their haddock and only 1/8 of the under 50s collected their fish.

How many fish did the fisherman distribute it total?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - August 9 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 8:08pm
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 - August 9

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 8:08pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Cut The Monster 2
   No one likes monsters! Here you have a chance to use your powerful lasers to cut them.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Aaron McGruder

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 7:00pm
"Late to bed and late to wake will keep you long on money and short on mistakes."
Categories: Fun Stuff

George Bernard Shaw

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 7:00pm
"People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them."
Categories: Fun Stuff

J. W. Eagan

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 7:00pm
"Never judge a book by its movie."
Categories: Fun Stuff

John Russell

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 7:00pm
"Sanity calms, but madness is more interesting."
Categories: Fun Stuff

apophasis

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sat, 08/09/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 09, 2014 is:

apophasis • \uh-PAH-fuh-sis\  • noun
: the raising of an issue by claiming not to mention it

Examples:
"I won't bring up that little incident that happened the last time you tried to cook a meal," said Laura, in a blatant display of apophasis.

"The hope is that if people recognize when rhetoric is being used to deceive, they will learn to use more persuasive language themselves. For example, salespeople tell us 'you don't need to decide now.' This is apophasis, whereby the negative words do not stick in our minds and appear to reject a point while actually emphasizing it." — Nicholas Cole, Alternatives Journal, 2014

Did you know?
Apophasis is a sly debater's trick, a way of sneaking an issue into the discussion while maintaining plausible deniability. It should come as no surprise, then, that the roots of "apophasis" lie in the concept of denial—the word was adopted into English from Late Latin, where it means "repudiation," and derives from the Greek "apophanai," meaning "to deny." ("Apophanai," in turn, comes from "apo-," meaning "away from" or "off," and "phanai," meaning "to say.") This particular rhetorical stunt is also known by the labels "preterition" and "paraleipsis" (which is a Greek word for "omission"), but those words are rarer than "apophasis." Incidentally, don’t confuse "apophasis" with "apophysis"; the latter is a scientific word for an expanded or projecting part of an organism.

Categories: Fun Stuff

August 9, 1974: Unusual succession makes Ford president

This Day in History - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 11:00pm

In accordance with his statement of resignation the previous evening, Richard M. Nixon officially ends his term as the 37th president of the United States at noon. Before departing with his family in a helicopter from the White House lawn, he smiled farewell and enigmatically raised his arms in a victory or peace salute. The helicopter door was then closed, and the Nixon family began their journey home to San Clemente, California. Richard Nixon was the first U.S. president to resign from office.

Minutes later, Vice President Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as the 38th president of the United States in the East Room of the White House. After taking the oath of office, President Ford spoke to the nation in a television address, declaring, "My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over."

Ford, the first president who came to the office through appointment rather than election, had replaced Spiro Agnew as vice president only eight months before. In a political scandal independent of the Nixon administration's wrongdoings in the Watergate affair, Agnew had been forced to resign in disgrace after he was charged with income tax evasion and political corruption. In September 1974, Ford pardoned Nixon for any crimes he may have committed while in office, explaining that he wanted to end the national divisions created by the Watergate scandal.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - August 8

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 7:54pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

At the bread factory, 2 bread-men can bake 6 rolls in 3 hours.

By this same reasoning, how many bread-men will it take to bake 22 rolls in 5 hours?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - August 8 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 7:54pm
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 - August 8

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 7:54pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Massive Tank Attack
   You are in a tank and you need to destroy the other tanks.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Oscar Wilde

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 7:00pm
"One should absorb the colour of life, but one should never remember its details. Details are always vulgar."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Clive James

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 7:00pm
"Everyone has a right to a university degree in America, even if it's in Hamburger Technology."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Wendell Johnson

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 08/08/2014 - 7:00pm
"Always and never are two words you should always remember never to use."
Categories: Fun Stuff