Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - July 20

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 07/20/2014 - 9:34pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Start with a number larger than 0, square it, add 4, double, take away 3, times 4 and finally subtract the original number.

If you were now left with 20, what number did you start with?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - July 20 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 07/20/2014 - 9:34pm
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 - July 20

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sun, 07/20/2014 - 9:34pm
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

Miguel de Cervantes

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 07/20/2014 - 7:00pm
"Facts are the enemy of truth."
Categories: Fun Stuff

William Jennings Bryan

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 07/20/2014 - 7:00pm
"No one can earn a million dollars honestly."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Fran Lebowitz

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 07/20/2014 - 7:00pm
"The opposite of talking isn't listening. The opposite of talking is waiting."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Kin Hubbard

Quotes of the Day - Sun, 07/20/2014 - 7:00pm
"Classical music is the kind we keep thinking will turn into a tune."
Categories: Fun Stuff

big data

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sun, 07/20/2014 - 1:00am

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

big data • \BIG-DAY-tuh\  • noun
: an accumulation of data that is too large and complex for processing by traditional database management tools

Examples:
"The age of big data has driven advances in technology that make it possible to collect, store, and transmit nearly infinite amounts of information." — Sean Lahman, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, May 30, 2014

"In other words, how do you use big data about people and things productively and profitably without risking a loss of trust and business patronage from consumers who are beginning to question it?" — Mary Shacklett, TechRepublic.com, June 16, 2014

Did you know?
"Big data" is a new addition to our language, but exactly how new is not an easy matter to determine. A 1980 paper by Charles Tilly provides an early documented use of "big data," but Tilly wasn't using the word in the exact same way we use it today; rather, he used the phrase "big-data people" to refer to historians engaged in data-rich fields such as cliometrics. Today, "big data" can refer to large data sets or to systems and solutions developed to manage such large accumulations of data, as well as for the branch of computing devoted to this development. Francis X. Diebold, a University of Pennsylvania economist, who has written a paper exploring the origin of big data as a term, a phenomenon, and a field of study, believes the term "probably originated in lunch-table conversations at Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) in the mid 1990s…."

Categories: Fun Stuff

July 20, 1969: Armstrong walks on moon

This Day in History - Sat, 07/19/2014 - 11:00pm

At 10:56 p.m. EDT, American astronaut Neil Armstrong, 240,000 miles from Earth, speaks these words to more than a billion people listening at home: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Stepping off the lunar landing module Eagle, Armstrong became the first human to walk on the surface of the moon.

The American effort to send astronauts to the moon has its origins in a famous appeal President John F. Kennedy made to a special joint session of Congress on May 25, 1961: "I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth." At the time, the United States was still trailing the Soviet Union in space developments, and Cold War-era America welcomed Kennedy's bold proposal.

In 1966, after five years of work by an international team of scientists and engineers, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) conducted the first unmanned Apollo mission, testing the structural integrity of the proposed launch vehicle and spacecraft combination. Then, on January 27, 1967, tragedy struck at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, when a fire broke out during a manned launch-pad test of the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn rocket. Three astronauts were killed in the fire.

Despite the setback, NASA and its thousands of employees forged ahead, and in October 1968, Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, orbited Earth and successfully tested many of the sophisticated systems needed to conduct a moon journey and landing. In December of the same year, Apollo 8 took three astronauts to the dark side of the moon and back, and in March 1969 Apollo 9 tested the lunar module for the first time while in Earth orbit. Then in May, the three astronauts of Apollo 10 took the first complete Apollo spacecraft around the moon in a dry run for the scheduled July landing mission.

At 9:32 a.m. on July 16, with the world watching, Apollo 11 took off from Kennedy Space Center with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin Jr., and Michael Collins aboard. Armstrong, a 38-year-old civilian research pilot, was the commander of the mission. After traveling 240,000 miles in 76 hours, Apollo 11 entered into a lunar orbit on July 19. The next day, at 1:46 p.m., the lunar module Eagle, manned by Armstrong and Aldrin, separated from the command module, where Collins remained. Two hours later, the Eagle began its descent to the lunar surface, and at 4:18 p.m. the craft touched down on the southwestern edge of the Sea of Tranquility. Armstrong immediately radioed to Mission Control in Houston, Texas, a famous message: "The Eagle has landed."

At 10:39 p.m., five hours ahead of the original schedule, Armstrong opened the hatch of the lunar module. As he made his way down the lunar module's ladder, a television camera attached to the craft recorded his progress and beamed the signal back to Earth, where hundreds of millions watched in great anticipation. At 10:56 p.m., Armstrong spoke his famous quote, which he later contended was slightly garbled by his microphone and meant to be "that's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." He then planted his left foot on the gray, powdery surface, took a cautious step forward, and humanity had walked on the moon.

"Buzz" Aldrin joined him on the moon's surface at 11:11 p.m., and together they took photographs of the terrain, planted a U.S. flag, ran a few simple scientific tests, and spoke with President Richard M. Nixon via Houston. By 1:11 a.m. on July 21, both astronauts were back in the lunar module and the hatch was closed. The two men slept that night on the surface of the moon, and at 1:54 p.m. the Eagle began its ascent back to the command module. Among the items left on the surface of the moon was a plaque that read: "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot on the moon--July 1969 A.D--We came in peace for all mankind."

At 5:35 p.m., Armstrong and Aldrin successfully docked and rejoined Collins, and at 12:56 a.m. on July 22 Apollo 11 began its journey home, safely splashing down in the Pacific Ocean at 12:51 p.m. on July 24.

There would be five more successful lunar landing missions, and one unplanned lunar swing-by, Apollo 13. The last men to walk on the moon, astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt of the Apollo 17 mission, left the lunar surface on December 14, 1972. The Apollo program was a costly and labor intensive endeavor, involving an estimated 400,000 engineers, technicians, and scientists, and costing $24 billion (close to $100 billion in today's dollars). The expense was justified by Kennedy's 1961 mandate to beat the Soviets to the moon, and after the feat was accomplished ongoing missions lost their viability.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - July 19

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 07/19/2014 - 9:20pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Add a single straight line to make this equation true - the equals sign remains untouched.

5 + 5 + 5 = 550

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - July 19 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 07/19/2014 - 9:20pm
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 - July 19

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Sat, 07/19/2014 - 9:20pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

The Final Frontier
   Retrieve enough cargo for Iron Maiden to perform the loudest gig in the Universe.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

William Feather

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 07/19/2014 - 7:00pm
"The petty economies of the rich are just as amazing as the silly extravagances of the poor."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Samuel Butler

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 07/19/2014 - 7:00pm
"Life is like playing a violin in public and learning the instrument as one goes on."
Categories: Fun Stuff

M. Cartmill

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 07/19/2014 - 7:00pm
"As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life - so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Paula Poundstone

Quotes of the Day - Sat, 07/19/2014 - 7:00pm
"I don't have a bank account, because I don't know my mother's maiden name."
Categories: Fun Stuff

blandish

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Sat, 07/19/2014 - 1:00am

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

blandish • \BLAN-dish\  • verb
1 : to coax or persuade with flattery : cajole 2 : to act or speak in a flattering or coaxing manner

Examples:
Some of Tim's coworkers even managed to blandish him into doing their work for them by complimenting him shamelessly.

"Glennan believed a presidential statement would help to gain initiative against Congress and the media, and he repeatedly blandished Eisenhower to make a greater public relations effort." — Yanek Mieczkowski, Eisenhower's Sputnik Moment, 2013

Did you know?
The word "blandish" has been a part of the English language since at least the 14th century with virtually no change in its meaning. It ultimately derives from "blandus," a Latin word meaning "mild" or "flattering." One of the earliest known uses of "blandish" can be found in the sacred writings of Richard Rolle de Hampole, an English hermit and mystic, who cautioned against "the dragon that blandishes with the head and smites with the tail." Although "blandish" might not exactly be suggestive of dullness, it was the "mild" sense of "blandus" that gave us our adjective "bland," which has a lesser-known sense meaning "smooth and soothing in manner or quality."

Categories: Fun Stuff

July 19, 1799: Rosetta Stone found

This Day in History - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1799, during Napoleon Bonaparte's Egyptian campaign, a French soldier discovers a black basalt slab inscribed with ancient writing near the town of Rosetta, about 35 miles north of Alexandria. The irregularly shaped stone contained fragments of passages written in three different scripts: Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphics and Egyptian demotic. The ancient Greek on the Rosetta Stone told archaeologists that it was inscribed by priests honoring the king of Egypt, Ptolemy V, in the second century B.C. More startlingly, the Greek passage announced that the three scripts were all of identical meaning. The artifact thus held the key to solving the riddle of hieroglyphics, a written language that had been "dead" for nearly 2,000 years.

When Napoleon, an emperor known for his enlightened view of education, art and culture, invaded Egypt in 1798, he took along a group of scholars and told them to seize all important cultural artifacts for France. Pierre Bouchard, one of Napoleon's soldiers, was aware of this order when he found the basalt stone, which was almost four feet long and two-and-a-half feet wide, at a fort near Rosetta. When the British defeated Napoleon in 1801, they took possession of the Rosetta Stone.

Several scholars, including Englishman Thomas Young made progress with the initial hieroglyphics analysis of the Rosetta Stone. French Egyptologist Jean-Francois Champollion (1790-1832), who had taught himself ancient languages, ultimately cracked the code and deciphered the hieroglyphics using his knowledge of Greek as a guide. Hieroglyphics used pictures to represent objects, sounds and groups of sounds. Once the Rosetta Stone inscriptions were translated, the language and culture of ancient Egypt was suddenly open to scientists as never before.

The Rosetta Stone has been housed at the British Museum in London since 1802, except for a brief period during World War I. At that time, museum officials moved it to a separate underground location, along with other irreplaceable items from the museum's collection, to protect it from the threat of bombs.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - July 18

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 9:06pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Are there more square inches in a piece of carpet 15 yards by 5 yards or feet in a 20 mile walk?

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - July 18 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Fri, 07/18/2014 - 9:06pm
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