Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 12, 2015 is:
lotusland \LOH-tus-land\ noun
1 : a place inducing contentment especially through offering an idyllic living situation 2 : a state or an ideal marked by contentment often achieved through self-indulgence
The tropical resort was stunning, but after two weeks of recreation and relaxation, I was ready to leave lotusland and return home.
"As a work of fiction it was artless at best, but as a portrait of the pampered children of lotusland it had a devastating aura of authenticity; younger people may have read it for titillation, but their parents read it as a disturbing report from an unknown country." Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post, October 12, 1987
Did you know?
In Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus and his men discover a magical land of lotus-eaters. Some of the sailors eat the delicious "lotus" and forget about their homeland, pleading to stay forever in this "lotusland." (It is likely that the lotus in question was inspired by the fruit of a real plant of the buckthorn family, perhaps the jujube, whose sweet juice is used in candy making and which has given its name to a popular fruity candy.) The label lotusland is now applied to any place resembling such an ideal of perfection, but it also carries connotations of indolence and self-indulgence, possibly derived from the way the sailors refused to work once they reached the original lotusland. The dreamy unreality of a lotusland is a nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there.
The bloodiest four years in American history begin when Confederate shore batteries under General P.G.T. Beauregard open fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina’s Charleston Bay. During the next 34 hours, 50 Confederate guns and mortars launched more than 4,000 rounds at the poorly supplied fort. On April 13, U.S. Major Robert Anderson surrendered the fort. Two days later, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteer soldiers to quell the Southern “insurrection.”
As early as 1858, the ongoing conflict between North and South over the issue of slavery had led Southern leadership to discuss a unified separation from the United States. By 1860, the majority of the slave states were publicly threatening secession if the Republicans, the anti-slavery party, won the presidency. Following Republican Abraham Lincoln’s victory over the divided Democratic Party in November 1860, South Carolina immediately initiated secession proceedings. On December 20, the South Carolina legislature passed the “Ordinance of Secession,” which declared that “the Union now subsisting between South Carolina and other states, under the name of the United States of America, is hereby dissolved.” After the declaration, South Carolina set about seizing forts, arsenals, and other strategic locations within the state. Within six weeks, five more Southern states–Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana–had followed South Carolina’s lead.
In February 1861, delegates from those states convened to establish a unified government. Jefferson Davis of Mississippi was subsequently elected the first president of the Confederate States of America. When Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated on March 4, 1861, a total of seven states (Texas had joined the pack) had seceded from the Union, and federal troops held only Fort Sumter in South Carolina, Fort Pickens off the Florida coast, and a handful of minor outposts in the South. Four years after the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, the Confederacy was defeated at the total cost of 620,000 Union and Confederate soldiers dead.
Can you find a five letter word, which, when typed in upper-case, reads the same upside down?
Complete the grid such that every row, every column, and the nine 3x3 blocks contain the digits from 1 to 9.
[Copyright: Kevin Stone]
Click matching pairs to remove them.
[Played on the BrainBashers Games website]