Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 48, 2017

Previous Week   November 27, 2017 - December 03, 2017  (In Process)

USSR attacks Finland on November 30, 1939

USSR attacks Finland on November 30, 1939

USSR attacks Finland:On this day in 1939, the Red Army crosses the Soviet-Finnish border with 465,000 men and 1,000 aircraft. Helsinki was bombed, and 61 Finns were killed in an air raid that steeled the Finns for resistance, not capitulation.

The overwhelming forces arrayed against Finland convinced most Western nations, as well as the Soviets themselves, that the invasion of Finland would be a cakewalk. The Soviet soldiers even wore summer uniforms, despite the onset of the Scandinavian winter; it was simply assumed that no outdoor activity, such as fighting, would be taking place. But the Helsinki raid had produced many casualties-and many photographs, including those of mothers holding dead babies, and preteen girls crippled by the bombing. Those photos were hung up everywhere to spur on Finn resistance. Although that resistance consisted of only small numbers of trained soldiers-on skis and bicycles!–fighting it out in the forests, and partisans throwing Molotov cocktails into the turrets of Soviet tanks, the refusal to submit made headlines around the world.

President Roosevelt quickly extended $10 million in credit to Finland, while also noting that the Finns were the only people to pay back their World War I war debt to the United States in full. But by the time the Soviets had a chance to regroup, and send in massive reinforcements, the Finnish resistance was spent. By March 1940, negotiations with the Soviets began, and Finland soon lost the Karelian Isthmus, the land bridge that gave access to Leningrad, which the Soviets wanted to control.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica /Uralica / The Atlantic / Finland WWII in color 1939 (YouTube search) video

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

Understanding Military Terminology - Military Construction

(DOD) Any construction, alteration, development, conversion, or extension of any kind carried out with respect to a military installation. Also called MILCON.

Joint Publications (JP 3-34) Joint Engineer Operations)

“Tales of Legendary Ghost Ships - Legend of El Caleuche”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“Tales of Legendary Ghost Ships”

Legend of El Caleuche

In the very south of South America, there live a group of people known as the Mapuche. This little known peoples were able to repel the Spanish conquistadors from the 16th century for over 300 years. This allowed them to keep much of their pre Columbian heritage and mythos intact. The collected wisdom is known as the Chilota mythology. One of the those bits of lore is about “The Caleuche”.

The Caleuche is a ghost ship that appears every night near the Island of Chiloe, which is an island off the coast of Chile. The ship appears as a beautiful and bright white sailing ship, with 3 masts of 5 sails each, The ship is always full of lights and with the sounds of a party and the people on board laughing. After she is spotted the ship is then said to disappear or submerge itself under the water. The ghost ship is also known to be able to navigate while under water.

The Ship is not just any type of ship. The Caleuche is said to be is a kind of conscious being that sails the waters around the area. She carries the spirits of all those who have drowned at sea. According to Chilota mythology, the spirits of the drowned are summoned to the ship by three Chilota “water spirits”.

After appearing for a few moments, the ship is then said to disappear or submerge itself under the water. According to legend, the spirits of the drowned are summoned to the ship by Sirena Chilota, her sister Pincoya, and their brother Picoy. Sirena Chilota resembles what we know as mermaids, with the upper body and face of a teen, with long blond hair and golden scales.

Pincoya is said to have long blond hair, be of incomparable beauty, be cheerful and sensual, and rise from the depths of the sea with her totally human like body. Picoy has the body of a sea lion with golden fur and the face of a strikingly attractive human man, with long blond hair.

There appear to be two types of passengers aboard the luminous vessel. The spirits of those who drowned at sea are said to be able to continue their existence in a sort of paradise like existence, instead of being left lonely and cold in the ocean deeps. They are allowed according to some stories to even visit home once a year to give aid to their families. However there are also kidnapped fishermen who are kidnapped and forced to perform the duties as crew.

The folklore also says that the evil Brujo Chilote, the equivalent to the male witch, likes to visit the party on the Caleuche. Although they are evil, they are welcome aboard the ship. They reach the Ship by summoning up a magical water horse which is said to be able to gallop upon the surface of the ocean.

EsoterX / Chiloe Mitologico / LabrujulaVerde (Green Compass) / Night Watch Paranormal / Wikipedia

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“Go where the money is.

Often cited in medical schools to teach new doctors to spend resources where they are most likely to pay off. The law is named after bank robber Willie Sutton, who when asked why he robbed banks, is claimed to have answered “Because that's where the money is.”

~ Sutton's law.

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“There may be times when

we are powerless to prevent injustice,

but there must never be a time

when we fail to protest.”

~ Elie Wiesel

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

Six ethics of life

“Before you pray, believe.

Before you speak, listen.

Before you spend, earn.

Before you write, think.

Before you quit, try.

Before you die, live.”

~ 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)

Driver stops car after hearing mysterious crying 10 miles from home and finds terrified koala clinging to wheel

Driver stops car after hearing mysterious crying 10 miles from home and finds terrified koala clinging to wheel

A terrified koala was found clinging to a car’s wheel axle after being driven 10 miles from home.

The young mother, who had lost her baby, was heard crying when the driver stopped and pulled over.

When he peered behind the wheel he saw the female still clutching the wheel strut.

Jane Brister, from Fauna Rescue, who was called out to care for the little marsupial, said: “I have never seen anything like that. It is absolutely incredible.”

It is believed Kelly had crawled into the wheel arch while the car was parked in the hills on the outskirts of Adelaide, the state capital of South Australia.

The animal was listed as a “vulnerable” species under an Australian conservation law in 2012.

There are fewer than 100,000 left in the wild, perhaps even as few as 43,000, according to Australian Koala Foundation estimates.

Mirror (09/17/2017) video

What Are the Northern Lights?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: What Are the Northern Lights?

Before science was able to get a read on what exactly was happening in the night sky, ancient tribes had their own theories for what caused the jaw-dropping light show. Many early beliefs had roots in religion, such as that the light was a pathway souls traveled to reach heaven (Eskimo tribes) or that the light was an eternal battle of dead warriors (Middle-Age Europe). Early researchers were a bit more reasonable in their approximations, and most surrounded the idea of the reflection of sunlight off the ice caps. In 1619, Galileo Galilei named the lights the aurora borealis after Aurora, the Roman goddess of morning, after concluding they were a product of sunlight reflecting from the atmosphere.

Today, scientists have come to the general agreement that the lights are caused by the collision of electrically charged solar particles and atoms from our atmosphere. The energy from the collisions is released as light, and the reason it happens around the poles is because that's where the Earth’s magnetic field is the strongest. In 2008, a team at UCLA concluded that “when two magnetic field lines come close together due to the storage of energy from the sun, a critical limit is reached and the magnetic field lines reconnect, causing magnetic energy to be transformed into kinetic energy and heat. Energy is released, and the plasma is accelerated, producing accelerated electrons.”

“Our data show clearly and for the first time that magnetic reconnection is the trigger”, said Vassilis Angelopoulos, a UCLA professor of Earth and Space Sciences. “Reconnection results in a slingshot acceleration of waves and plasma along magnetic field lines, lighting up the aurora underneath even before the near-Earth space has had a chance to respond. We are providing the evidence that this is happening.”

The best time to see the Northern Lights is during the winter, due to the Earth’s position in relation to the sun (shorter days means darker night skies). And by the way, it’s not just the North Pole that puts on a show - there are Southern Lights, too. There are also aurora borealis on other planets - including Mars - so rest assured that future generations born “abroad” will not miss out on this spectacular feat of nature.

Traditionally, the best places to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights are in Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Greenland, northern Canada, and Alaska. Maybe you'll get lucky this week and sneak a peek from your very own window. See Aurorasaurus for regular updates on where they are showing.

Earth Sky.org Library of CongressMentalflossNOAANorthern Lights Centre CanadaQuaraSpace.comWikipediaWhat Are the Northern Lights (YouTube Search) video

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Rack: Bed.

Rack Burns: Reddish marks seen on the face of a sailor who has just emerged from sleeping in his/her rack. Scorned upon if he/she was not supposed to be there..

Rack Hound: (derogatory but usually with a hint of envy): Sailor that spends more than his/her fair share of time in the “Rack”. Usually spoken when seeing somebody with Rack Burns. “You are such a Rack Hound!”

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

Just for you MARINE

Skivvies: Underwear: skivvie shirt (T-shirt) and skivvie drawers (underwear).

Skuzz: To wash a deck or floor with a brush or towel (skuzz rag) in place of a mop, used in Boot Camp as a method to physically toughen recruits while cleaning the squadbay.

Skylark: To casually frolic or take excess time to complete a task, from the old naval term to run up and down the rigging of a ship in sport.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VAW-117 - “Wallbangers”
CVW-11 Naval Air Station Point Mugu, Naval Air Station Point Mugu, Ventura County, near Oxnard, California - Established July 1, 1974

Where Did That Saying Come From

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Eat Humble Pie”

Eat Humble Pie”  Meaning: Act submissively and apologetically, especially in admitting an error.

During the Middle Ages, the lord of a manor would hold a feast after hunting. He would receive the finest cut of meat at the feast, but those of a lower standing were served a pie filled with the entrails and innards, known as “umbles”. Therefore, receiving “umble pie” was considered humiliating because it informed others in attendance of the guest’s lower status.

In the 14th century, the numbles (or noumbles, nomblys, noubles) was the name given to the heart, liver, entrails etc. of animals, especially of deer - what we now call offal or lights. By the 15th century this had migrated to umbles, although the words co-existed for some time. There are many references to both words in Old English and Middle English texts from 1330 onward. Umbles were used as an ingredient in pies, although the first record of 'umble pie' in print is as late as the 17th century. Samuel Pepys makes many references to such pies in his diary; for example, on 5th July 1662:

“I having some venison given me a day or two ago, and so I had a shoulder roasted, another baked, and the umbles baked in a pie, and all very well done.”

and on 8th July 1663:

“Mrs Turner came in and did bring us an Umble-pie hot out of her oven, extraordinarily good”

It is possible that it was the pies that caused the move from numbles to umbles. 'A numble pie' could easily have become an umble pie', in the same way that 'a napron' became 'an apron' and 'an ewt' became 'a newt'. This changing of the boundaries between words is called metanalysis and is commonplace in English.

Phrases.org UK/

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

The Ford Ranger Raptor Is Real and It Can Jump - Ford finally confirmed today the existence of a hardcore off-roading Raptor version of its small truck. Now the question is whether it's coming to North America.Rumors Swirl That Russia Has Dropped 'Father of All Bombs'Secret Antarctic Ice Caves Could Hold Unknown Species9 Best Desk Accessories For Staying OrganizedStar Wars' New Dreadnought Is a Better Star Destroyer—And It Still Doesn't Make Any SenseThese Smart Doorbell Cameras Show You Who's at the Door Before You Even Answer

Popular Mechanics

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

15 pounds of ham crashed into a Florida home in the dead of night and nobody knows how or why

15 pounds of ham crashed into a Florida home in the dead of night and nobody knows how or why

Summer technically starts on June 21, but everyone knows the season doesn't really begin until a big ol' hunk of mysterious ham falls on a roof.

On July 15, a Florida family awoke at 4 a.m. to the sound of a loud crash on their roof. The impact was apparently caused by a 15-pound frozen bag of ham and sausage.

Travis Adair, the homeowner, told WPLG Local 10 that he called the company listed on the bag of ham and they didn't have any answers as to how or why it ended up on his roof. To make matters even more strange, a delivery address on the ham bag led to a man who lives 170 miles from Adair who says he also has no idea how it ended up on a roof at 4 a.m.

So much ham, so few answers.

“We've tossed a lot of things around, you know, you've got your planes, and your sausage throwing machines... I think the only logical answer is a North Korean sausage missile”, said Adair.

Mashable (07/21/2017) video

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


“Photograph” - Def Leppard 1983

“Photograph” - Def Leppard
Released 1983 video

The Pyromania album was produced by Mutt Lange, who came up with the line, “All I've got is a photograph.” This gave them the idea to write a song about a guy who's crazy about a girl, but all he has of her is a photograph.

Lange, whose first work with the band was producing their previous album High 'n' Dry, was so integral to the band's sound that he got songwriter credits on every Pyromania track. Def Leppard's next album, Hysteria, was also produced by Lange after an attempt with Jim Steinman failed. It wasn't released until 1987, delayed because of Lange's schedule and a severed limb: drummer Rick Allen lost an arm in a car accident on New Year's Eve, 1984.

Ringo Starr had a #1 hit in 1973 with a song called “Photograph” that contained similar subject matter. The band was worried they were too similar, but Lange thought no one would notice. In 2005, Nickelback had a huge hit with their own “Photographvideo.

The band would sometimes dedicate this song to Marilyn Monroe when they performed it live, and the video featured a Monroe look-a-like. This drew many listeners to the conclusion that the song is about the actress, but the Monroe association was constructed for the sake of a good story. The band didn't have a specific inspiration for the lyrics, but wanted to express their young lust in an anthemic song - what guy hasn't found himself so infatuated with a girl that every photograph he sees reminds him of her?

MTV, which launched in 1981, put the “Photograph” video in hot rotation, creating a feedback loop between the network and local radio stations. In interview with Joe Elliott, he explained: “It went through the roof because of MTV. Once people started getting cable all over the States, this fledgling MTV thing took off. We got fantastic bounce-back from people watching it on MTV and then asking the radio stations to play it. The two started bouncing back from each other request-wise, and the song just went crazy.”

Shortly after recording his hit “She Blinded Me With Science”, Thomas Dolby worked on the Pyromania album with Mutt Lange, who gave Dolby an unusual credit. Said Dolby: “By that time my name was known as a solo artist and I felt it might be a bit confusing to people to see my name on a rock record like that. And so it was actually Mutt that picked up a new moniker for me, which was Booker T. Boffin.” (See full interview with Thomas Dolby.)

The group “whoa...” that you hear a few times in this song was inspired by a 1973 Mott the Hoople song called “The Golden Age of Rock 'n' Rollvideo, where they do some significant “whoa”ing. Leppard lead singer Joe Elliott is such a fan of Mott that in 2009 he formed a band called the Down 'n' Outz that plays covers of their songs.

To the best of our knowledge, Joe Elliott performed the first flying spread-eagle on MTV when he does the leap about 1:40 into the video. This slow-motion display of limber exaltation was later seen in the Van Halen video for “Jumpvideo, where David Lee Roth performs the feat.

Def Leppard, official website / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / Wikipedia

Image: “Pyromania (album)” by Def Leppard



Still in demand today the Grey Poupon company begin producing Dijon Mustard in 1777.

The term 'sesquicentennial' represents how 150 years.

The annual festival in Surin, Thailand (250 miles north of Bangkok) features amazing hard labor performed by trained elephants.

A Test for People Who Know Everything

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “THAT GAME OF THRONES GUY WITH THE BEARD” ($200):

“Oh, my sun & stars! In 2011 Jason Momoa took over this title film role from Arnold & got all barbaric”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer Wikipedia

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “THAT GAME OF THRONES GUY WITH THE BEARD” ($800):

“Before he was Robert Baratheon, Mark Addy stripped away his troubles as an ex-steelworker in this 1997 movie.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer Wikipedia

Answer to Last Week's Test

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “THINGS TO DO BEFORE” ($200):

“"Scorching" word for qualifying rounds in a track contest held before the main race.”

Answer: A Heat USA BMX

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “THINGS TO DO BEFORE” ($1,000):

“During this pretrial court hearing, charges are read & the accused usually enters a plea.”

Answer: The Arraignment Massachusetts Court System

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

Thanksgiving Jokes

Why can't you take a turkey to church? They use FOWL language.

What kind of music did the Pilgrims like? Plymouth Rock.

If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring? Pilgrims.

Why was the Thanksgiving soup so expensive? It had 24 carrots.

What happened when the turkey got into a fight? He got the stuffing knocked out of him!

What do you get when you cross a turkey with a banjo? A turkey that can pluck itself!

Quotable Quotables

“Frasier” A Lilith Thanksgiving (1993 - 2004)

Lilith: “I'm nearly done defrosting.”

Dr.Niles Crane: “And the turkey?”

Lilith: “Might I suggest you stuff it?”

Dr.Niles Crane: “Where do you keep your saffron?”

Lilith: “Third cupboard.”

Dr.Niles Crane: “Mm-hmm, and where do you keep your shallots?”

Lilith: “In the crisper. By the way, you still have to remove the entrails from the chest cavity.”

Dr.Niles Crane: “In that case, where do you keep your ten-foot pole?”

Dr.Niles Crane: “Oh, by the way, what time tomorrow are Frederick and Lilith flying in?”

Martin: “Her broom touches down at eleven.”

Frasier Crane: “Oh yes, and by the way, I frown on overnight guests.”

Roz: “Then you're not doing it right.”

Daphne: “Where do you keep your saffron?”

Roz: “I don't know how you live with him.”

Daphne: “Huh, I don't know how you work with him.”

Roz: “Well, I have learned a trick: when he's really bugging me, I ask if he hasn't lost a little weight. Before you know it, he's checking his butt out in the glass of the candy machine.”

Daphne: “Really? I tell him he's gained weight. He skips dinner, sulks in his room, and I have the whole evening to myself.”

Frasier Crane: “I know I'm harping on and on about this, but I know you're not used to dealing with delicate flowers.”

Roz: “I've produced your show for three years, haven't I?”

Lilith: “Frasier, if you over-analyze every detail, you will rob us of the joy of the moment. It will be our wedding night all over again.”

~ “Frasier” (1993 - 2004) video Creators: David Angell, Peter Casey, David Lee