Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 16, 2017

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Militia slaughters strikers at Ludlow, Colorado on April 20, 1914

Militia slaughters strikers at Ludlow, Colorado on April 20, 1914

Militia slaughters strikers at Ludlow, Colorado: Ending a bitter coal-miners’ strike, Colorado militiamen attack a tent colony of strikers, killing dozens of men, women, and children.

The conflict had begun the previous September. About 11,000 miners in southern Colorado went on strike against the powerful Colorado Fuel & Iron Corporation (CF&I) to protest low pay, dangerous working conditions, and the company’s autocratic dominance over the workers’ lives. The CF&I, which was owned by the Rockefeller family and Standard Oil, responded to the strike by immediately evicting the miners and their families from company-owned shacks. With help from the United Mine Workers, the miners moved with their families to canvas tent colonies scattered around the nearby hills and continued to strike.

When the evictions failed to end the strike, the Rockefeller interests hired private detectives that attacked the tent colonies with rifles and Gatling guns. The miners fought back, and several were killed. When the tenacity of the strikers became apparent, the Rockefellers approached the governor of Colorado, who authorized the use of the National Guard. The Rockefellers agreed to pay their wages.

At first, the strikers believed that the government had sent the National Guard to protect them. They soon discovered, though, that the militia was under orders to break the strike. On this day in 1914, two companies of guardsmen attacked the largest tent colony of strikers near the town of Ludlow, home to about 1,000 men, women, and children. The attack began in the morning with a barrage of bullets fired into the tents. The miners shot back with pistols and rifles.

After a strike leader was killed while attempting to negotiate a truce, the strikers feared the attack would intensify. To stay safe from gunfire, women and children took cover in pits dug beneath the tents. At dusk, guardsmen moved down from the hills and set the tent colony on fire with torches, shooting at the families as they fled into the hills. The true carnage, however, was not discovered until the next day, when a telephone linesman discovered a pit under one of the tents filled with the burned remains of 11 children and 2 women.

Although the “Ludlow Massacre” outraged many Americans, the tragedy did little to help the beleaguered Colorado miners and their families. Additional federal troops crushed the coal-miners’ strike, and the miners failed to achieve recognition of their union or any significant improvement in their wages and working conditions. Sixty-six men, women, and children died during the strike, but not a single militiaman or private detective was charged with any crime.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Britannica Encyclopedia / University of Denver / Colorado Public Radio / New Yorker / Zinned Project.org Ludlow Massacre (YouTube) video

Understanding Military Terminology: Scout of Many Trails (Sea Scout and Boy Scout look at globe with old sailor) ~ Norman Rockwell

Understanding Military Terminology - Maximum ordinate

(DOD) In artillery and naval gunfire support, the height of the highest point in the trajectory of a projectile above the horizontal plane passing through its origin. Also called vertex height and MAXORD. Joint Publications JP 3-09.3 (Close Air Support)

“The Sailor Boy”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“The Sailor Boy”

He rose at dawn and, fired with hope,

Shot o’er the seething harbour-bar,

And reach’d the ship and caught the rope,

And whistled to the morning star.

And while he whistled long and loud

He heard a fierce mermaiden cry

“O boy, tho' thou are young and proud,

I see the place where thou wilt lie.

“The sands and yeasty surges mix

In caves about the dreary bay,

And on thy ribs the limpet sticks,

And in thy heart the scrawl shall play.”

“Fool”, he answer’d, “death is sure

To those that stay and those that roam,

But I will nevermore endure

To sit with empty hands at home.

“My mother clings about my neck,

My sisters crying, ‘Stay for shame;’

My father raves of death and wreck, -

They are all to blame, they are all to blame.

“God help me! save I take my part

Of danger on the roaring sea,

A devil rises in my heart,

Far worse than any death to me.”

~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson

(from The Sailor Boy, 1861)

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“The things that make us happiest

are usually right in front of our faces,

but we stop noticing those things after a while.

Today is a great day to start noticing again.”

~ Anonymous

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Some people get angry because God put thorns on roses, while others praise him for putting roses among thorns.”

~ Anonymous

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)

Baby Bunny Was Lost — Until He Found A Tortoise To Be His Friend

Baby Bunny Was Lost — Until He Found A Tortoise To Be His Friend

Everybody could use a friend in times of need — and tiny baby hares are certainly no exception.

Fortunately for this fluffy little orphan who had been clinging to life all alone, he found just that.

Ron Brink, who works as lead ranger for the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain hotel in Arizona, discovered the wild-born bunny one morning last weekend while checking in on the facility's resident pet - an African tortoise, named Wamba.

Turns out, Wamba had found him first.

The evening before had been particularly chilly, and the lost bunny had somehow managed to descend from the surrounding hills and hop into Wamba's night shelter, which is equipped with a heat lamp. Rather than drive the little visitor out of her cozy abode, the much bigger tortoise was surprisingly accommodating.

The Dodo (02/23/2017) video

Do Carbonated Drinks Go Flat Quicker on Their Sides?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Do Carbonated Drinks Go Flat Quicker on Their Sides?

There isn't a fizzy drink around that tastes better once it has gone flat. As soon as you break the seal on the bottle, it's a race against time to finish off your soft drink before the precious bubbles that make the drink taste better are depleted. The last thing you want to do is speed up that process.

That's why we had to know: Does laying a bottle on its side make a soft drink go flat more quickly? Or is it nothing more than a consequence-free way to cram more and more of them in the fridge?

First you have to understand why fizzy drinks go flat at all. The carbonation in soft drinks is a result of additional carbon dioxide being dissolved into the liquid, which is then sealed under pressure. When the container is opened, the difference in pressure allows the carbon dioxide to form into bubbles, which then rush to the surface and escape back into the air. As each bubble bursts, the drink becomes a little less fizzy.

So does it matter if the container is on its side?

Leaving the cap off. It's all about vapor pressure. The carbonation wants to leave as the drink gets warmer, so keeping the cap on will only let a certain amount escape into the air space of the bottle before the gases hit equilibrium--leaving the cap off essentially means your drink is equilibrating with the atmosphere, so it'll go flat much faster.

Granted, when you're down to the bottom quarter or so of a drink, it probably won't make much difference.

Bartending school teaches that a similar concept applies to champagne and other sparkling drinks, which is why they're put in ice at an angle.

What about repressurizing pumps? They'll only work if you pump in something that contains more carbon dioxide than the drink. Air doesn't, so the extra air you pump in creates a high-pressure mix of mostly oxygen and nitrogen, which—if anything—helps forcibly displace the carbon dioxide in the drink by encouraging oxygen and nitrogen to dissolve.

Food HacksMental FlossNational Geographic • (Leaving the cap off or opening it several times - leaving the cap off or opening it several times - Quora) • RedditWikipedia

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Damp Squib”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Damp Squib:”  Meaning: A let-down.

Origin: A squib is an explosive device, often used in a pyrotechnic display. If it gets wet, it won’t light.

The first thing to say about the expression “damp squib” is that is is “squib”, not “squid”. Squid are a species of cephalopod. In their natural environment squid are usually damp but that's as near to this phrase as they are likely to get. Having mentioned squid I ought also to get the other notable squiddish play on words out of the way - the old joke “Hey, where's that sick squid you owe me?”. Having done our linguistic duty with squid, we can now move on to “damp squib”.

A squib is a form of firework, usually cylindrical in shape with a paper fuse at one end, which provides a mild explosion - think 'dynamite lite'. Clearly, fireworks work best when they are dry. Anyone who, at a backyard bonfire, has lit the blue touch paper and retired only to see the firework phut and fizzle out will know the disappointment of a damp squib.

Phrases.org UK

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Occifer: (derogatory, pronounced “ossifur”): Any officer, especially a junior officer.

Officer's Candy: Urinal cakes.

Officer's Country: The area of the ship where the Officer's berthing area and Wardroom are located; Enlisted men are not allowed into Officer's Country without permission, with certain rating exceptions.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

HT-28 - Helicopter Training Squadrons: “Hellions”
Formerly HTU-1, HTG-1 TRAWING 5, Established May 2nd 2007 - Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Santa Rosa County near Milton, Florida

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Airlines could reduce climate impact by 10% by making these small changes to flightsWhat global climate change may mean for leaf litter in streams and riversIndoor security robot reads badges, flags open doors and moreGas mileage up a gallon since early '90sBPA replacement BHPF found to also cause estrogen related problems in miceNew research could trigger revolution in computer electronics manufacturingA certain type of salt added to pesticide found to help prevent waste due to splashing Phys.org

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

First Solid Sign that Matter Doesn't Behave Like Antimatter

First Solid Sign that Matter Doesn't Behave Like Antimatter

One of the biggest mysteries in physics is why there's matter in the universe at all. This week, a group of physicists at the world's largest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider, might be closer to an answer: They found that particles in the same family as the protons and neutrons that make up familiar objects behave in a slightly different way from their antimatter counterparts.

While matter and antimatter have all of the same properties, antimatter particles carry charges that are the opposite of those in matter. In a block of iron, for example, the protons are positively charged and the electrons are negatively charged. A block of antimatter iron would have negatively charged antiprotons and positively charged antielectrons (known as positrons). If matter and antimatter come in contact, they annihilate each other and turn into photons (or occasionally, a few lightweight particles such as neutrinos). Other than that, a piece of matter and antimatter should behave in the same way, and even look the same - a phenomenon called charge-parity (CP) symmetry.

Besides the identical behavior, CP symmetry also implies that the amount of matter and antimatter that was formed at the Big Bang, some 13.7 billion years ago, should have been equal. Clearly it was not, because if that were the case, then all the matter and antimatter in the universe would have been annihilated at the start, and even humans wouldn't be here.

But if there were a violation to this symmetry - meaning some bit of antimatter were to behave in a way that was different from its matter counterpart - perhaps that difference could explain why matter exists today.

Live Science (02/27/2017) video

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


“Born To Be Wild” - Steppenwolf 1968

“Born To Be Wild” - Steppenwolf
Album: Steppenwolf
Released 1968 video

With the line “Heavy Metal Thunder”, this became the first popular song to use the phrase “Heavy Metal”, which became a term for hard rock. William Burroughs is credited with coining the phrase, as he used it in his 1961 novel The Soft Machine, describing his character Uranian Willy as “the Heavy Metal Kid”. Burroughs told The Paris Review: “I felt that heavy metal was sort of the ultimate expression of addiction, that there's something actually metallic in addiction, that the final stage reached is not so much vegetable as mineral.”

This was used in the 1969 movie Easy Rider, a counterculture classic starring Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda as bikers who ride from Los Angeles to New Orleans. Another Steppenwolf song, “The Pushervideo, was also used in the film.

When the movie was in production, this was simply a placeholder, since Fonda wanted Crosby, Stills and Nash to do the soundtrack. It became clear that the song belonged in the movie, and it stayed. Partly because of it's use in Easy Rider, this has become the song most associated with motorcycles.

This was written by Mars Bonfire, which is the stage name of Dennis Edmonton. He wasn't a member of Steppenwolf, but his brother Jerry was the band's drummer. Bonfire wrote a few other songs for Steppenwolf as well, including “Ride With Mevideo and “Tendernessvideo.

Explaining how he came up with the song, Bonfire said: “I was walking down Hollywood Boulevard one day and saw a poster in a window saying 'Born to Ride' with a picture of a motorcycle erupting out of the earth like a volcano with all this fire around it. Around this time I had just purchased my first car, a little secondhand Ford Falcon. So all this came together lyrically: the idea of the motorcycle coming out along with the freedom and joy I felt in having my first car and being able to drive myself around whenever I wanted. 'Born To Be Wild' didn't stand out initially. Even the publishers at Leeds Music didn't take it as the first or second song I gave them. They got it only because I signed as a staff writer. Luckily, it stood out for Steppenwolf. It's like a fluke rather than an achievement, though.”

Steppenwolf, official site / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / Wikipedia

Image: “Steppenwolf (album)” by Steppenwolf



● Fearing that young boys might not read a book written by a woman, publishers demanded that Joanne Kathleen (JK) Rowling use two initials, rather than her full first name.

● The coconut plant has the largest seeds.

● Rotisserie Leagues is the tasty name for these sports leagues in which fans create fantasy teams and get points based on player accomplishments.

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

A Priest, A Minister, A Rabbi And A Bear

A priest, a minister and a rabbi want to see who’s best at his job. So they each go into the woods, find a bear, and attempt to convert it. Later they get together. The priest begins:

“When I found the bear, I read to him from the Catechism and sprinkled him with holy water. Next week is his First Communion.”

“I found a bear by the stream”, says the minister, “and preached God’s holy word. The bear was so mesmerized that he let me baptize him.”

They both look down at the rabbi, who is lying on a gurney in a body cast.

“Looking back”, he says, “maybe I shouldn’t have started with the circumcision.”

Quotable Quotables

"Groucho Marx"

“Four quotes makes a gallon”

“Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?”

“Behind every successful man is a woman, behind her is his wife.”

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”

“I could dance with you till the cows come home. On second thought, I'd rather dance with the cows till you came home.”

~ Groucho Marx