Fun Stuff

Franklin P. Adams

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 7:00pm
"Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Kin Hubbard

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 7:00pm
"The only way to entertain some folks is to listen to them."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Noel Coward

Quotes of the Day - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 7:00pm
"The higher the buildings, the lower the morals."
Categories: Fun Stuff

ragamuffin

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 1:00am

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 21, 2014 is:

ragamuffin • \RAG-uh-muf-in\  • noun
: a ragged often disreputable person; especially : a poorly clothed often dirty child

Examples:
Tourists in the city were often surrounded by young ragamuffins begging to be allowed to do small services for an equally small donation.

"Miller shows remarkable range in her portrayal of Rose, who transforms from an underfoot ragamuffin to a confident vixen." — David N. Dunkle, The Patriot-News (Pennsylvania), July 18, 2014

Did you know?
If you’ve guessed that "rag" or "ragged" is related to "ragamuffin," you may be correct, but the origins of today's word are somewhat murky. In Middle English the term functioned both as a surname and generically to denote a ragged and sometimes stupid person, and in the Middle English alliterative poem Piers Plowman William Langland used the word to serve as the name of a demon. The "muffin" part of "ragamuffin" may have its origin in either of two Anglo-Norman words for a devil or scoundrel, but that too is uncertain. No matter its muddied history: the word has continued to develop in modern times. It can also refer to a type of music with rap lyrics and a reggae beat, a meaning that can be found at Merriam-Webster Unabridged.

Categories: Fun Stuff

August 21, 1959: Hawaii becomes 50th state

This Day in History - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 11:00pm

The modern United States receives its crowning star when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs a proclamation admitting Hawaii into the Union as the 50th state. The president also issued an order for an American flag featuring 50 stars arranged in staggered rows: five six-star rows and four five-star rows. The new flag became official July 4, 1960.

The first known settlers of the Hawaiian Islands were Polynesian voyagers who arrived sometime in the eighth century. In the early 18th century, American traders came to Hawaii to exploit the islands' sandalwood, which was much valued in China at the time. In the 1830s, the sugar industry was introduced to Hawaii and by the mid 19th century had become well established. American missionaries and planters brought about great changes in Hawaiian political, cultural, economic, and religious life. In 1840, a constitutional monarchy was established, stripping the Hawaiian monarch of much of his authority.

In 1893, a group of American expatriates and sugar planters supported by a division of U.S. Marines deposed Queen Liliuokalani, the last reigning monarch of Hawaii. One year later, the Republic of Hawaii was established as a U.S. protectorate with Hawaiian-born Sanford B. Dole as president. Many in Congress opposed the formal annexation of Hawaii, and it was not until 1898, following the use of the naval base at Pearl Harbor during the Spanish-American War, that Hawaii's strategic importance became evident and formal annexation was approved. Two years later, Hawaii was organized into a formal U.S. territory. During World War II, Hawaii became firmly ensconced in the American national identity following the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

In March 1959, the U.S. government approved statehood for Hawaii, and in June the Hawaiian people voted by a wide majority to accept admittance into the United States. Two months later, Hawaii officially became the 50th state.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - August 20

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 10:42pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Which bird is the odd one out:

finch gull eagle ostrich sparrow

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - August 20 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 10:42pm
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 20

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 10:42pm
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

John Kenneth Galbraith

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 7:00pm
"The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Samuel Goldwyn

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 7:00pm
"You've got to take the bitter with the sour."
Categories: Fun Stuff

John D. Rockefeller

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 7:00pm
"I can think of nothing less pleasurable than a life devoted to pleasure."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Dave Barry

Quotes of the Day - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 7:00pm
"I think Superman should go on the Larry King show and announce that he would come back to life if people in all 50 states wanted him to."
Categories: Fun Stuff

flyblown

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day - Wed, 08/20/2014 - 1:00am

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

flyblown • \FLY-blohn\  • adjective
1 a : not pure : tainted b : not bright and new : seedy c : trite, hackneyed 2 : infested with eggs or young larvae of a blowfly

Examples:
"This is a mighty simple movie, with its flyblown wisdom spelled out." — Pauline Kael, The New Yorker, November 2, 1987

"The landscape of 'The Rover' is an arid, flyblown sandpit. We see a guarded container car train with Chinese markings clank across the horizon…. A vastness of tarmac roads connects nasty clusters of buildings that don't add up to towns." — Colin Covert, Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), June 20, 2014

Did you know?
One meaning of "blow" (used mostly, it seems, by 17th century entomologists) is "to deposit eggs or larvae on"—hence the blowfly, which lays its eggs on meat or wounds. "Flyblown" has its origins in the very unpleasant image of a blowfly's victim, and it's from this literal meaning that the more common senses come. Phrases such as "flyblown shack" and "flyblown restaurant" still suggest the actual presence of flies, if not necessarily their embryonic precursors.

Categories: Fun Stuff

August 20, 1911: First around-the-world telegram sent, 66 years before Voyager II launch

This Day in History - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 11:00pm

On this day in 1911, a dispatcher in the New York Times office sends the first telegram around the world via commercial service. Exactly 66 years later, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sends a different kind of message--a phonograph record containing information about Earth for extraterrestrial beings--shooting into space aboard the unmanned spacecraft Voyager II.

The Times decided to send its 1911 telegram in order to determine how fast a commercial message could be sent around the world by telegraph cable. The message, reading simply "This message sent around the world," left the dispatch room on the 17th floor of the Times building in New York at 7 p.m. on August 20. After it traveled more than 28,000 miles, being relayed by 16 different operators, through San Francisco, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Saigon, Singapore, Bombay, Malta, Lisbon and the Azores--among other locations--the reply was received by the same operator 16.5 minutes later. It was the fastest time achieved by a commercial cablegram since the opening of the Pacific cable in 1900 by the Commercial Cable Company.

On August 20, 1977, a NASA rocket launched Voyager II, an unmanned 1,820-pound spacecraft, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It was the first of two such crafts to be launched that year on a "Grand Tour" of the outer planets, organized to coincide with a rare alignment of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Aboard Voyager II was a 12-inch copper phonograph record called "Sounds of Earth." Intended as a kind of introductory time capsule, the record included greetings in 60 languages and scientific information about Earth and the human race, along with classical, jazz and rock 'n' roll music, nature sounds like thunder and surf, and recorded messages from President Jimmy Carter and other world leaders.

The brainchild of astronomer Carl Sagan, the record was sent with Voyager II and its twin craft, Voyager I--launched just two weeks later--in the faint hope that it might one day be discovered by extraterrestrial creatures. The record was sealed in an aluminum jacket that would keep it intact for 1 billion years, along with instructions on how to play the record, with a cartridge and needle provided.

More importantly, the two Voyager crafts were designed to explore the outer solar system and send information and photographs of the distant planets to Earth. Over the next 12 years, the mission proved a smashing success. After both crafts flew by Jupiter and Saturn, Voyager I went flying off towards the solar system's edge while Voyager II visited Uranus, Neptune and finally Pluto in 1990 before sailing off to join its twin in the outer solar system.

Thanks to the Voyager program, NASA scientists gained a wealth of information about the outer planets, including close-up photographs of Saturn's seven rings; evidence of active geysers and volcanoes exploding on some of the four planets' 22 moons; winds of more than 1,500 mph on Neptune; and measurements of the magnetic fields on Uranus and Neptune. The two crafts are expected to continue sending data until 2020, or until their plutonium-based power sources run out. After that, they will continue to sail on through the galaxy for millions of years to come, barring some unexpected collision.

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Puzzle - August 19

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 10:28pm
BrainBashers Daily Puzzle

Below are ten words, from each word, remove a single letter and rearrange the remaining letters to find ten new words which are related to each other.

ENERGY
DOORMAN
CLEAREST
WEIGHT
OUTLIVE
EMBARK
CALMER
SOLEMN
VOIDING
ARCHERY

[Copyright: Kevin Stone]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Daily Sudoku - August 19 - Easy

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 10:28pm
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 19

BrainBashers - Easy Sudoku - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 10:28pm
BrainBashers Daily Game

Ultimate Billiards
   Pot all of the bombs before they go off.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]

Categories: Fun Stuff

Albert Einstein

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 7:00pm
"Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater."
Categories: Fun Stuff

W. C. Fields

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 7:00pm
"Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water."
Categories: Fun Stuff

Richard Diran

Quotes of the Day - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 7:00pm
"I have a rock garden. Last week three of them died."
Categories: Fun Stuff