Fun Stuff

Paul Tillich

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 10/10/2014 - 7:00pm
"Cynically speaking, one could say that it is true to life to be cynical about it."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Ann Landers

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 10/10/2014 - 7:00pm
"Television has proved that people will look at anything rather than each other."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Tom Lehrer

Quotes of the Day - Fri, 10/10/2014 - 7:00pm
"On my income tax 1040 it says 'Check this box if you are blind.' I wanted to put a check mark about three inches away."
Categories: Fun Stuff

clerisy

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

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

clerisy • \KLAIR-uh-see\  • noun
: intellectuals who form an artistic, social, or political vanguard or elite: intelligentsia

Examples:
The book's author claims that a successful society must have both a strong commitment to democratic ideals and a well-established clerisy.

"The situation was so dire that it required nothing less than scientific experts freed from constitutional strictures to run the government and the elevation of intellectuals and artists to the status of a new cultural clerisy." — Daniel DiSalvo, The Washington Times, February 18, 2014

Did you know?
English philosopher-poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) believed that if humanity was to flourish, it was necessary to create a secular organization of learned individuals, "whether poets, or philosophers, or scholars" to "diffuse through the whole community … that quantity and quality of knowledge which was indispensable." Coleridge named this hypothetical group the clerisy, a term he adapted from Klerisei, a German word for clergy (in preference, it seems, to the Russian term intelligentsia which we borrowed later, in the early 1900s). Coleridge may have equated clerisy with an old sense of clergy meaning "learning" or "knowledge," which by his time was used only in the proverb "an ounce of mother wit is worth a pound of clergy."

Categories: Fun Stuff

October 10, 1985: Achille Lauro hijacking ends

This Day in History - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 11:00pm

The hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro reaches a dramatic climax when U.S. Navy F-14 fighters intercept an Egyptian airliner attempting to fly the Palestinian hijackers to freedom and force the jet to land at a NATO base in Sigonella, Sicily. American and Italian troops surrounded the plane, and the terrorists were taken into Italian custody.

On October 7, four heavily armed Palestinian terrorists hijacked the Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt. Some 320 crewmembers and 80 passengers, were taken hostage. Hundreds of other passengers had disembarked the cruise ship earlier that day to visit Cairo and tour the Egyptian pyramids. Identifying themselves as members of the Palestine Liberation Front--a Palestinian splinter group--the gunmen demanded the release of 50 Palestinian militants imprisoned in Israel. If their demands were not met, they threatened to blow up the ship and kill the 11 Americans on board. The next morning, they also threatened to kill the British passengers.

The Achille Lauro traveled to the Syrian port of Tartus, where the terrorists demanded negotiations on October 8. Syria refused to permit the ship to anchor in its waters, which prompted more threats from the hijackers. That afternoon, they shot and killed Leon Klinghoffer, a 69-year-old Jewish-American who was confined to a wheelchair as the result of a stroke. His body was then pushed overboard in the wheelchair.

Yasir Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) condemned the hijacking, and PLO officials joined with Egyptian authorities in attempting to resolve the crisis. On the recommendation of the negotiators, the cruise ship traveled to Port Said. On October 9, the hijackers surrendered to Egyptian authorities and freed the hostages in exchange for a pledge of safe passage to an undisclosed destination.

The next day--October 10--the four hijackers boarded an EgyptAir Boeing 737 airliner, along with Mohammed Abbas, a member of the Palestine Liberation Front who had participated in the negotiations; a PLO official; and several Egyptians. The 737 took off from Cairo at 4:15 p.m. EST and headed for Tunisia. President Ronald Reagan gave his final order approving the plan to intercept the aircraft, and at 5:30 p.m. EST, F-14 Tomcat fighters located the airliner 80 miles south of Crete. Without announcing themselves, the F-14s trailed the airliner as it sought and was denied permission to land at Tunis. After a request to land at the Athens airport was likewise refused, the F-14s turned on their lights and flew wing-to-wing with the airliner. The aircraft was ordered to land at a NATO air base in Sicily, and the pilot complied, touching down at 6:45 p.m. The hijackers were arrested soon after. Abbas and the other Palestinian were released, prompting criticism from the United States, which wanted to investigate their possible involvement in the hijacking.

On July 10, 1986, an Italian court later convicted three of the terrorists and sentenced them to prison terms ranging from 15 to 30 years. Three others, including Mohammed Abbas, were convicted in absentia for masterminding the hijacking and sentenced to life in prison. They received harsher penalties because, unlike the hijackers, who the court found were acting for "patriotic motives," Abbas and the others conceived the hijacking as a "selfish political act" designed "to weaken the leadership of Yasir Arafat." The fourth hijacker was a minor who was tried and convicted separately.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - October 9

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 10:11pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

At the annual BrainBashers puzzle discussion conference, 20 people attended.

At the start of the conference, each person shook hands with every other person, how many handshakes took place in total?

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - October 9 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 10:11pm
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 - October 9

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 10:11pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Mouse 1.0
   Guide your mouse through all of the different obstacle laden levels.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

John Dewey

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 7:00pm
"We can have facts without thinking but we cannot have thinking without facts."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Dennis Miller

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 7:00pm
"We need anything politically important rationed out like Pez: small, sweet, and coming out of a funny, plastic head."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Frank Zappa

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 7:00pm
"The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Leonard Louis Levinson

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 7:00pm
"History is the short trudge from Adam to atom."
Categories: Fun Stuff

infinitesimal

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Thu, 10/09/2014 - 1:00am

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

infinitesimal • \in-fin-ih-TESS-uh-mul\  • adjective
1 : taking on values arbitrarily close to but greater than zero 2 : immeasurably or incalculably small

Examples:
Stella includes a lottery ticket in every birthday card she sends despite the infinitesimal chances that it will be a winning one.

"Across the nation, voters in the magic age range of 18 to 29 … have been coming out in this year’s primaries at a rate 20 percent less than their mostly oblivious elders, a rate which in South Florida would put their impact on the election somewhere between sparse and infinitesimal." — Fred Grimm, The Miami Herald, August 27, 2014

Did you know?
Infinite, as you probably know, means "endless" or "extending indefinitely." It is ultimately from Latin infinitus, the opposite of finitus, meaning "finite." The notion of smallness in infinitesimal derives from the mathematical concept that a quantity can be divided endlessly; no matter how small, it can be subdivided into yet smaller fractions, or "infinitesimals." The concept was still in its infancy in 1710 when Irish philosopher George Berkeley observed that some people "assert there are infinitesimals of infinitesimals of infinitesimals, etc., without ever coming to an end." He used the adjective in a mathematical sense, too, referring to "infinitesimal parts of finite lines." Less than a quarter century later, the adjective had acquired a general sense applicable to anything too small to be measured.

Categories: Fun Stuff

October 9, 1967: Che Guevara is executed

This Day in History - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1967, socialist revolutionary and guerilla leader Che Guevara, age 39, is killed by the Bolivian army. The U.S.-military-backed Bolivian forces captured Guevara on October 8 while battling his band of guerillas in Bolivia and assassinated him the following day. His hands were cut off as proof of death and his body was buried in an unmarked grave. In 1997, Guevara's remains were found and sent back to Cuba, where they were reburied in a ceremony attended by President Fidel Castro and thousands of Cubans.

Ernesto Rafael Guevara de la Serna was born to a well-off family in Argentina in 1928. While studying medicine at the University of Buenos Aires, he took time off to travel around South America on a motorcycle; during this time, he witnessed the poverty and oppression of the lower classes. He received a medical degree in 1953 and continued his travels around Latin America, becoming involved with left-wing organizations. In the mid 1950s, Guevara met up with Fidel Castro and his group of exiled revolutionaries in Mexico. Guevara played a key role in Castro's seizure of power from Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959 and later served as Castro's right-hand man and minister of industry. Guevara strongly opposed U.S. domination in Latin America and advocated peasant-based revolutions to combat social injustice in Third World countries. Castro later described him as "an artist of revolutionary warfare."

Guevara resigned—some say he was dismissed—from his Cuban government post in April 1965, possibly over differences with Castro about the nation’s economic and foreign policies. Guevara then disappeared from Cuba, traveled to Africa and eventually resurfaced in Bolivia, where he was killed. Following his death, Guevara achieved hero status among people around the world as a symbol of anti-imperialism and revolution. A 1960 photo taken by Alberto Korda of Guevara in a beret became iconic and has since appeared on countless posters and T-shirts. However, not everyone considers Guevara a hero: He is accused, among other things, of ordering the deaths of hundreds of people in Cuban prisons during the revolution.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - October 8

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 9:57pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

What word is missing from this sequence:

begin inch chapel elastic [?] cellar arisen end

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - October 8 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 9:57pm
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 - October 8

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 9:57pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Balance
   Grab your racket and head to the courts. How long can you balance the tennis racket?
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Robert Heinlein

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 7:00pm
"Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something."
Categories: Fun Stuff

G. K. Chesterton

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 7:00pm
"The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Benjamin H. Brewster

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 7:00pm
"A lawyer starts life giving $500 worth of law for $5 and ends giving $5 worth for $500."
Categories: Fun Stuff