Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 43, 2016

Previous Week   October 24, 2016 - October 30, 2016   Next Week

The United States loses the Hornet on October 26, 1942

The United States loses the Hornet on October 26, 1942

The United States loses the Hornet: On this day in 1942, the last U.S. carrier manufactured before America’s entry into World War II, the Hornet, is damaged so extensively by Japanese war planes in the Battle of Santa Cruz that it must be abandoned.

The battle for Guadalcanal was the first American offensive against the Japanese, an attempt to prevent the Axis power from taking yet another island in the Solomon chain and gaining more ground in its race for Australia. On this day, in the vicinity of the Santa Cruz Islands, two American naval task forces had to stop a superior Japanese fleet, which was on its way to Guadalcanal with reinforcements. As was the case in the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942, the engagement at Santa Cruz was fought exclusively by aircraft taking off from carriers of the respective forces; the ships themselves were not in range to fire at one another.

Japanese aerial fire damaged the USS Enterprise, the battleship South Dakota, and finally the Hornet. In fact, the explosions wrought by the Japanese bombs that rained down on the Hornet were so great that two of the Japanese bombers were themselves crippled by the blasts, and the pilots chose to dive-bomb their planes into the deck of the American carrier, which was finally abandoned and left to burn. The Hornet, which weighed 20,000 tons, had seen battle during the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo (its commander at the time, Marc Mitscher, was promoted to admiral and would be a significant player in the victory over Japan) and the battle of Midway.

While the United States losses at Santa Cruz were heavy, the cost in aircraft to the Japanese was so extensive—more than 100, including 25 of the 27 bombers that attacked the Hornet—that they were unable finally to reinforce their troops at Guadalcanal, paving the way for an American victory.

Footnote: The Hornet lost at Santa Cruz was the CV-8; another Hornet, the CV-12, launched August 30, 1943, led a virtually charmed life, spending 52 days under Japanese attack in many battles in the Pacific, with nary a scratch to show for it. That is, until June 1945, when it was finally damaged—by a typhoon. History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica /Biography / U.S. Naval Institute / McGill University School of Computer Science video

“A Sailors Farewell”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“A Sailors Farewell”

Surrounded by angry,raging seas Under a shrouded midnight moon

I think about loved ones dearly missed

I won't be seeing anytime soon.

Future plans come crashing down

Under the heavy pounding waves

I've traded my warm bed and loving arms

In exchange for an early watery grave.

Weep not for me my cherished children

For I could have been a better man:

I just hope I will be remembered

For providing as best for you I can.

Eternity now pulls and beckons me

I must say my last goodbye with tears

To you my love, please forgive me,

For not providing you more years.

~ Carl Fraser

“I’m Just Sayin”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“The energy of computation is halved every year and a half.”

~ Koomey's law

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.

~ Isaac Asimov

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Even after all this time,

the Sun never says to the Earth, “You owe Me”.

Look what happens with a love like that.

It lights up the whole sky.”

~ Hafez

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

“Comfyballs” Underwear Deemed Too Offensive For Men, But Not For Women

“Comfyballs” Underwear Deemed Too Offensive For Men, But Not For Women

It seems that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has its limits when it comes to men’s underwear.

When Anders Selvig, the founder of a Norwegian brand known as Comfyballs, tried to register his company’s name in the United States (after successfully doing so in 22 countries), he couldn’t register as a men’s underwear company. The USPTO said Comfyballs was too vulgar.

“Registration is refused because the applied-for mark consists of or includes immoral or scandalous matter,” the office replied, declining Comfyballs’ application because of its use of, well, balls in its name. Huffington Post (08/22/2016) video

Why Do Fleas, Ticks, and Mosquitoes Show Individual Preferences?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Why Do Fleas, Ticks, and Mosquitoes Show Individual Preferences?

Biting insects (bugs, fleas, flies, mites, mosquitoes, ticks) locate and bite their blood host targets from the chemical cues they release. Such cues are volatile organic compound (VOC) produced by their skin microbes after they metabolize human skin gland secretions, i.e., an individual's VOC profile is largely the product of their skin flora. Thus, biting preference is the outcome of how each biting insect's odorant receptors detect the VOCs unique to the individual it bites.

(1). Skin glands are differentially distributed across the body and human skin microbe abundance matches theirs

(2). The human odor profile consists of greater than 400 compounds

(3). Research on which ones are most important in attracting biting insects is very much in its infancy.

One small study (n = 48 adult male volunteers) on the African malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto found that individuals the mosquitoes found highly attractive had different skin bacteria compared to individuals they found poorly attractive, specifically greater abundance but lower diversity of skin-associated bacteria.

(4). In another small study (n = 48 adult male volunteers) Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto found individuals carrying the human leukocyte antigen gene Cw*07 more attractive.

Since different individuals have different HLA haplotypes,

• Each individual's unique HLA system generates different peptides, i.e., source material their skin-associated microbes metabolize and convert to VOCs is unique.

• Each individual's unique HLA is involved in the immunological processes that culminate in their unique microbial profile since immune responses select which microbes to keep or reject.

(5). Individual genetics also influence skin temperature and humidity profiles, and metabolic rate, which are other factors that influence individuals' differential attractiveness to biting insects. Metabolic rate influences local carbon dioxide levels, which along with ammonia and lactic acid and other aliphatic carboxylic acids influence landing rates of biting insects like mosquitoes.

Since human lifestyle, especially diet, can actively sculpt human microbiota profiles, it's likely future research will reveal how different diets could influence an individual's VOC profile and in turn increase or decrease a biting insects's preference for a particular individual.

Similar processes likely explain the differences between dogs who get ticks versus those who don't. However, in the case of ticks that's only the first step since immune status probably determines whether or not they successfully establish an infection, healthier dogs fending off ticks that could stably colonize less healthy ones.

Health LineInsect Identification.orgMental FlossTexas A&M AgriLife ExtensionWeb MDWikipedia

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Know the ropes”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Know the ropes:”  Meaning: To understand how to do something. To be acquainted with all the methods required.

Origin: There is some doubt about the origin of this phrase. It may well have a nautical origin. Sailors had to learn which rope raised which sail and also had to learn a myriad of knots. There is also a suggestion that it comes from the world of the theatre, where ropes are used to raise scenery etc.

The first citation comes in Richard H. Dana Jr's Two years before the mast, 1840:

“The captain, who had been on the coast before and 'knew the ropes', took the steering oar”

That clearly has a seafaring connection, although it appears to be using the figurative meaning of the phrase, that is, 'the captain was knowledgeable', but without any specific allusion to ropes.

There are also early citations that come from the theatre. J. Timon, in Opera Goer, 1850 includes this:

“The belle of two weeks standing, who has 'learned the ropes'.”

The nautical derivation seems more attractive and convincing, but the jury has to remain out on this one.


NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang - U.S. Navy America's Navy - A Global Force For Good

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

MARF: Acronym used by a superior to a roving watchstander, means Make Another Round, Fucker. Also Modifications and Additions to Reactor Facility, an unusual and impractical research reactor in NY, later turned into a training platform (also phrased as My Ass is Royally Fucked.) (FOAD is what most nuke students wish the platform would do.)

Just for MARINES - U.S. Marines Marines - The Few. The Proud.

Just for you MARINE

Military Time: The time of day on a 24-hour clock General Wallace M. Greene forbade the practice of suffixing the unnecessary word “hours” after each indication of time of day (“1330” or “thirteen-thirty” instead of “1330 hours”); the practice of saying “oh” instead of “zero” for hours before 1000 has diminished as well.

MOLLE: MOdular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment, type of load-bearing equipment utilizing the PALS, replaced ALICE and replaced by ILBE.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

HSM-73 - Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron: “Battle Cats”
Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California / Coronado, California

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Someone’s created new signs for Night Tube etiquette

Someone’s created new signs for Night Tube etiquette

The Night Tube arrived on the Central and Victoria lines weekend and overall it’s been a success.

But with the extra dose of people tanked up on alcohol and the higher-than-normal levels of people eating food on the tube there are calls for new etiquette rules.

Liv and Bryn who are behind the stickers said: “Friday 19th marked the first day of the night tube, but we saw a problem. The day time rules don’t apply on a midnight underground train, so we decided we’d something about it.”

“We created a whole batch of new signs, called Night Tube Notices, and put them out in London to inform people how to behave on TFL’s new service.” Metro UK (08/22/2016) video

© CEASAR CHOPPY by cartoonist Marty Gavin - archives Ceasar Choppy's Navy! “© CEASAR CHOPPY” by Marty Gavin


“Slow Ride” - Fog Hat

“Slow Ride” - Fog Hat
Album: Fool for the City
Released 1975 video

This song was written by the group's lead singer, David “Lonesome Dave” Peverett, who died in 2000. In various interviews since Peverett's death, Foghat drummer Roger Earl has explained that this song has a very literal inspiration: an actual slow ride with traffic at a near standstill.

Earl says that when the band was on tour en route to New Orleans, they took a detour that brought them through Lafayette, Louisiana. When they hit Verot School Road, they found themselves stuck in traffic and Peverett came up with the lyrics. The song was later hashed out in a jam session.

The album version of this song, which runs 8:14, has become a classic rock staple. While the “slow love” theme is common in R&B music where the tempo is more congruent with the lyrics, this is a rare rock song that pulls off the feat. The famous guitar riffs change speed and climax neat the end, effectively simulating a lovemaking session. Those who are feeling strong can use the album version, but a single cut down to 3:56 with a fade out ending is also available.

A '70s classic, this was used in the movie Dazed and Confused, which was set in that era. The song also appeared on The Simpsons, Seinfeld, That '70s Show and My Name Is Earl.

This song is featured as a playable song in Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock. It is a cover of the 3:56 version, but instead of fading, an original ending was added leaving the singer belting out “SLOW RIDE” and having a bass solo before ending.

Did you know: Foghat got their name when Peverett came up with the word while playing a Scrabble-like game with his brother. Peverett convinced the band to go with it instead of Brandywine.

Fog Hat official site / All Music / Song Facts / Wikipedia

Image: “Fool for the City‎ (album)” by Fog Hat



● The internet was established in 1969 as a way for research to be quickly and securely shared by computers with the U.S. Department of Defense.

● Before his military and later political life, George Washington served as Surveyor and farmer (planter).

● Charles Lindbergh, in May 1927 was the first pilot to fly solo, nonstop, across the Atlantic Ocean.

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

A teacher was teaching her second grade class about the government, so for homework that one day, she told her her students to ask their parents what the government is.

When Little Johnny got home that day, he went up to his dad and ask his what the government was.

His dad thought for a while and answered, “Look at it this way: I'm the president, your mom is Congress, your maid is the work force, you are the people and your baby brother is the future.”

“I still don't get it” responded the Little Johnny.

“Why don't you sleep on it then? Maybe you'll understand it better”, said the dad.

“Okay then...good night” said Little Jonny went off to bed.

In the middle of the night, Little Johnny was awakened by his baby brother's crying. He went to his baby brother's crib and found that his baby brother had taken a crap in his diaper. So Little Johnny went to his parent's room to get help. When he got to his parent's bedroom, he looked through the keyhole to check if his parents were asleep.

Through the keyhole he saw his mom loudly snoring, but his dad wasn't there. So he went to the maid's room. When he looked through the maid's room keyhole, he saw his dad having sex with his maid.

Little Johnny was surprised, but then he just realized something and thinks aloud, “OH!! Now I understand the government! The President is screwing the work force, Congress is fast asleep, nobody cares about the people, and the future is full of s**t!”

Pun of the Day

It's not that the man did not know how to juggle, he just didn't have the balls to do it.