Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 52, 2017

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First commercial movie screened on December 28, 1895

First commercial movie screened on December 28, 1895

First commercial movie screened: On this day in 1895, the world’s first commercial movie screening takes place at the Grand Cafe in Paris. The film was made by Louis and Auguste Lumiere, two French brothers who developed a camera-projector called the Cinematographe. The Lumiere brothers unveiled their invention to the public in March 1895 with a brief film showing workers leaving the Lumiere factory. On December 28, the entrepreneurial siblings screened a series of short scenes from everyday French life and charged admission for the first time.

Movie technology has its roots in the early 1830s, when Joseph Plateau of Belgium and Simon Stampfer of Austria simultaneously developed a device called the phenakistoscope, which incorporated a spinning disc with slots through which a series of drawings could be viewed, creating the effect of a single moving image. The phenakistoscope, considered the precursor of modern motion pictures, was followed by decades of advances and in 1890, Thomas Edison and his assistant William Dickson developed the first motion-picture camera, called the Kinetograph. The next year, 1891, Edison invented the Kinetoscope, a machine with a peephole viewer that allowed one person to watch a strip of film as it moved past a light.

In 1894, Antoine Lumiere, the father of Auguste (1862-1954) and Louis (1864-1948), saw a demonstration of Edison’s Kinetoscope. The elder Lumiere was impressed, but reportedly told his sons, who ran a successful photographic plate factory in Lyon, France, that they could come up with something better. Louis Lumiere’s Cinematographe, which was patented in 1895, was a combination movie camera and projector that could display moving images on a screen for an audience. The Cinematographe was also smaller, lighter and used less film than Edison’s technology.

The Lumieres opened theaters (known as cinemas) in 1896 to show their work and sent crews of cameramen around the world to screen films and shoot new material. In America, the film industry quickly took off. In 1896, Vitascope Hall, believed to be the first theater in the U.S. devoted to showing movies, opened in New Orleans. In 1909, The New York Times published its first film review (of D.W. Griffith’s “Pippa Passes”), in 1911 the first Hollywood film studio opened and in 1914, Charlie Chaplin made his big-screen debut.

In addition to the Cinematographe, the Lumieres also developed the first practical color photography process, the Autochrome plate, which debuted in 1907.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / Biography / International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum / First commercial movie screened (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 - Military government

(DOD) Routine contact and interaction between individuals or elements of the Armed Forces of the United States and those of another nation’s armed forces, or foreign and domestic civilian authorities or agencies to build trust and confidence, share information, coordinate mutual activities, and maintain influence.

Joint Publications (JP 3-57) Joint Doctrine for Civil Affairs, formerly titled Joint Doctrine for Civil-Military Operations)

Guarding Christmas

The Old Salt’s Corner

Guarding Christmas

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,

I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.

My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,

Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,

Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree, I believe,

Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,

Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep

in perfect contentment, or so it would seem.

So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,

But I opened my eye when it tickled my ear.

Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,

Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,

and I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,

A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A sailor, I puzzled, some twenty years old.

Yet he stood there, huddled here in the cold.

Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,

Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

“What are you doing?” I asked without fear.

“Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!

Hurry and brush the snow from your sleeve,

You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!”

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,

away from the cold and snow blown in a drift,

to the window that danced with a warm fire's light,

then he sighed and he said “It’s really all right.”

I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night.

Our freedom comes first 'til the dawn's early light.

It’s my duty to stand at the front of the lines,

that separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,

I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,

then he sighed, “That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers.”

“My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam

And, now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,

But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.”

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,

The red white and blue... an American flag.

“I can live through the cold and the being alone,

Away from my family, my house and my home,

I can stand at my watch through the rain and the sleet,

I can sleep in a small rack with little to eat,

I can carry the weight of killing another,

or lay down my life with my sisters and brothers

who stand at the front against any and all,

to insure for all time that this flag will not fall.”

“So go back inside”, he said, “harbor no fright

Your family is waiting and I'll be all right.”

“But isn't there something I can do, at the least,

Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?.

It seems all too little for all that you've done,

For being away from your wife and your son.”

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,

“Just tell us you love us, and never forget

To stand your own watch, no matter how long.

Have faith in our country, be bold, and be strong.

For when we come home, either standing or dead,

to know you remember we fought and we bled,

is payment enough, and with that we will trust.

That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“Budget constraints imply that the values of excess market demands must sum to zero.”

~ Walras's law.

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“The difference between an optimist and a pessimist?

An optimist laughs to forget, but a pessimist forgets to laugh.”

~ Tom Bodett

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Each time we face our fears,

we gain the strength, courage and confidence

we need to move forward.”

~ 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)

Santa Claus Gets The Boot From Britain’s National Trust Because He’s Too American

Santa Claus Gets The Boot From Britain’s National Trust Because He’s Too American

Britain’s National Trust has told Santa Claus to get back on his sleigh and get out of town, or at least out of the organization’s famous estates and homes.

He’s too American.

But the agency, which runs more than 300 historic buildings including homes, castles and forts, is keeping the jolly elf. They just want its events to use the proper British name of Father Christmas instead.

The Evening Standard said someone at the Trust accidentally emailed internal guidance on the matter to several members of the press.

“Can you change ‘Santa’ to ’Father Christmas?‘” the email said. “I know you’ve used ‘FC’ later on, but National Trust guidance is never to use Santa.”

“Contrary to any speculation, the National Trust is not looking to ban Santa, Saint Nick or Santa Claus”, The Telegraph quoted a spokesperson as saying. “We recognize the gift-giving, jolly man with the beard goes by many names all over the world, but we try to stick to one, and for many years that has been Father Christmas.”

While Santa is an Americanization, the origin of the name is actually from the Dutch term, Sinterklaas.

Huffington Post (11/20/2017) video

How Much Weight Would Santa Gain From Eating Milk and Cookies

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: How Much Weight Would Santa Gain From Eating Milk and Cookies

This is a simple question for the Factor Label Method. This method, also known as dimensional analysis or unit analysis, make problems a breeze. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in doing seemingly hard math problems like this one. Here’s how you use it:

1. Write your given “1 Santa Claus” - on the left side of your paper

2. Write your desired answer “pounds” - on the right side of your paper

3. Make a chain of units from left to right (no numbers required).

4. Fill in the numbers

5. Multiply by all the tops (numerators)

6. Divide by all the bottoms (denominators)

7. Clean up

In just 7 simple steps you’ve got an answer. Here’s my answer. (Note: I assumed a cookie has 200 calories and a glass of milk has 100 calories. Your results will vary based on the type of cookie. I also assumed around 2 billion houses.) Here’s my Factor Label Method:

How Much Weight Would Santa Gain From Eating Milk and Cookies

Answer: 400,000,000 pounds.

One of the best things about mathematics of this kind is that, by approximating in this way, you can see the magnitude of your answer. This answer is 400 million pounds, but it might be 300 or 500 million, depending on your assumptions.

But for the real world, the Factor Label Method is the next best thing to magic.

ForbesQuaraSpoon UniversityWikipediaHow Much Weight Would Santa Gain From Eating Milk and Cookies (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

Ready Roller: A sailer who wakes up, "rolls" out of his rack- without washing or brushing- "ready" to head to the Mess Hall to start his day. Ready Rollers are generally thought of in a negative scense due to their poor hygene and lack of respect for themselves, while in close quarters or proximity to other shipmates.

Ready Room: Large space aboard a carrier that is the focal point for each of the squadrons in the airwing. Each squadron has one on the O-3 level, and each pilot has his own seat. Used for a variety of reasons such as training, "AOM's," "Roll-ems," etc...

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

Just for you MARINE

Soup Cooler: Synonym for the mouth. Term oft used by DIs in reference to the mouth of a recruit, or other senior person in reference to trainees.

Soup Sandwich: Refers to a disorganized operation or a gaggle.

SOTG: Special Operations Training Group.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VAW-125 - “Tigertails”
CVW-5 - Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakunii, Yamaguchi, Japan - Established October 1, 1968

Where Did That Saying Come From

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Let Your Hair Down”

Let Your Hair Down”  Meaning: To relax or be at ease.

Origin: Parisian nobles risked condemnation from their peers if they appeared in public without an elaborate hairdo. Some of the more intricate styles required hours of work, so of course it was a relaxing ritual for these aristocrats to come home at the end of a long day and let their hair down.

Letting one's hair down was a commonplace part of womens' daily activities in the 17th century. The hair was normally pinned up and was let down for brushing or washing. The term used for this at the time was dishevelling. Anyone who is unkempt and generally untidy might now be described as dishevelled but then it applied specifically to hair which was unpinned. The first reference I can find which refers specifically to this is John Cotgrave's, The English treasury of wit and language, 1655:

“Descheveler, to discheuell; to pull the haire about the eares.”

Phrases.org UK

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

One of Hollywood's Most Famous Robots Just Sold for $5.3 Million - From the set of Forbidden Planet to the auction blockSLAM Was the Armageddon Cruise Missile From Hell - The radiation-spewing, H-bomb dropping missile would have been the worst weapon ever made, and that’s saying somethingPutting Train Tracks on a Floating Bridge Is RidiculousHow You're Torturing Your Pipes Just By Turning Off the Faucet - Water hammer is just a fact of plumbing, and one engineers can't afford to ignoreThe Rifles That Made America - In the hands of the brave, defending the home of the freeThe Worst Video Game Ever Created Just Won't DieWarming Up Your Car in the Cold Just Harms the EngineWhy Chevy Needs This Naturally Aspirated, Wisconsin-Built V-8Mad Rocket Man To Launch Himself in 500-Mph Homebuilt Contraption - For Flat Earth 'Science'16 Gifts for When the World Ends Once civilization collapses, you'll want a flashlight that triples as a flask and a compass. Happy holidays!An F-22 Just Blew Up a Drug Lab During Its First Combat Mission in Afghanistan

Popular Mechanics

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Yeti' Hair? Nothing So Abominable, Scientists Find

Yeti' Hair? Nothing So Abominable, Scientists Find

The yeti, also known as the “abominable snowman”, looms large in the folklore of Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. Reported sightings of the mythic creature have persisted for centuries in the high mountains of Asia, and people who live in the region have collected hairs, bones and other samples that they claim belong to the legendary beast.

However, scientists have now examined DNA from many of these items, finding that they came from bears and dogs.

These new findings also reveal that the high peaks of the Himalayas may have helped create an evolutionarily distinct bear lineage, researchers said. [Rumor or Reality: The 10 Creatures of Cryptozoology]

In 1951, British mountaineer Eric Shipton returned from a Mount Everest expedition with photographs of giant footprints in the snow. Ever since then, fringe theories have suggested that the elusive Asian yeti may represent a humanoid creature as yet unknown to science. Speculation regarding this animal has suggested that it may be a surviving member of an extinct human lineage, such as the Neanderthals or an extinct ape like Gigantopithecus, or even an unlikely hybrid between modern humans and other primates.

A 2014 study found that two purported yeti samples potentially came from a hybrid between a polar bear and a brown bear, said Charlotte Lindqvist, senior author on the new study and an evolutionary biologist at the University at Buffalo in New York. But Lindqvist was skeptical about the possibility of "some strange hybrid bear roaming the Himalaya Mountains," she told Live Science.

Lindqvist and her colleagues decided to follow up on the 2014 study by analyzing additional purported yeti samples. “My thinking was that if the yeti is really a bear, this study could be an interesting avenue to get access to hard-to-get-to samples of Himalayan bears”, Lindqvist said.

All in all, Lindqvist and her colleagues analyzed nine “yeti” specimens, including bone, tooth, skin, hair and fecal samples collected from monasteries, caves and other sites in the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau. They also collected samples from bears in the region and from animals elsewhere in the world.

Of the nine yeti samples, eight were from Asian black bears, Himalayan brown bears or Tibetan brown bears. The ninth was from a dog.

“It was exciting to find that the purported yeti samples, without doubt, are not strange hybrid bear creatures, but simply related to local brown and black bears”, Lindqvist said. “Modern science, and genetic data in particular, can help answer and resolve old mysteries.”

The scientists detailed their findings online November 29 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Live Science (11/08/2017) video

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


“Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” - John Lennon 1978

“Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” - John Lennon
Album: Shaved Fish
Released 1971 video

John Lennon and Yoko Ono wrote this in their New York City hotel room and recorded it during the evening of October 28 and into the morning of the 29th, 1971 at the Record Plant in New York. It was released in the U.S. for Christmas, but didn't chart. The next year, it was released in the UK, where it did much better.

John and Yoko spent a lot of time in the late '60s and early '70s working to promote peace. In 1969, they put up billboard advertisements in major cities around the world that said, “War is over! (If you want it).” Two years later this slogan became the basis for this song when Lennon decided to make a Christmas record with an anti-war message. John also claimed another inspiration for writing the song: he said he was “sick of 'White Christmas' video.”

The children's voices are the Harlem Community Choir, who were brought in to sing on this track. They are credited on the single along with Yoko and The Plastic Ono Band.

This being a Phil Spector production, four guitarists were brought in to play acoustic guitars: Hugh McCracken, Chris Osbourne, Stu Scharf and Teddy Irwin. McCracken had recently played on the Paul McCartney album Ram. Jim Keltner played drums and sleigh bells, Nicky Hopkins played chimes and glockenspiel. Keltner and Hopkins were part of Lennon's Plastic Ono Band, and a third member, Klaus Voorman, was supposed to play bass on this track, but got stuck on a flight from Germany. One of the guitarists brought in for the session cover the bass - which one nobody seems to remember.

Lennon was shot and killed less than three weeks before Christmas in 1980. The song was re-released in the UK on December 20th of that year.

John Lennon official website / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / Wikipedia

Image: “Shaved Fish (album)” by John Lennon

“Run Rudolph Run” - Chuck Berry 1958

“Run Rudolph Run” - Chuck Berry
Album: Christmas Classics
Released 1958 video

Chuck Berry based this tale on “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeervideo, giving Rudolph a bit of an attitude as he delivers the toys. Unlike Santa, however, Rudolph is copyrighted, and Berry had to give the publishing rights to Johnny Marks, who wrote the original Rudolph. Perhaps if Berry had used “Randolph” (another reindeer he mentions), he could have kept the publishing. That's what the makers of the British TV special Robbie the Reindeer did.

The song is sometimes known as “Run Run Rudolph”, which is how it appears on Lynyrd Skynyrd's cover. Other artists to record the song include Sheryl Crow, Bryan Adams, The Grateful Dead, Jimmy Buffett, Dwight Yoakam, Bon Jovi and Keith Richards.

This was used in the 1990 movie Home Alone in one of those pre-9/11 airport scenes where the family rushes to the gate and barely makes their plane (minus Macaulay Culkin). Other films the song has appeared in include Diner, The Santa Clause 2, Cast Away and Jingle All the Way.

Chuck Berry official website / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / Wikipedia

Image: “Christmas Classics (album)” by Chuck Berry



A Charlie Brown Christmas: In dictating a letter to Santa, Sally ultimately asks Santa for one gift - “Just send money. How about tens and twenties?”.

Eight (no Rudolph!) reindeer are featured in the poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas?”

In the early 1800s, the first gingerbread houses were reportedly inspired by the famous fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel”.

Coca-Cola has been using Santa Claus in its advertising since 1931.

The Nutcracker a Christmas-themed ballet premiered in Saint Petersburg, Russia in 1892.

The Christmas edible Fruitcake is known for its long shelf life.

A Test for People Who Know Everything

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “DUDE-ERONOMY” ($200):

“In Americana, a dude was an Easterner who went to vacation at one of these places.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer Top 20 Ranches

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “DUDE-ERONOMY” ($400):

“This Aerosmith song implores the unwary to 'never judge a book by its cover'.”

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

Answer to Last Week's Test

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “THINGS TO DO BEFORE” ($800):

“'Useful books before going on "Jeopardy!" include this type whose name may derive from Arabic for 'calendar'.”

Answer: Almanac. The Old Farmers Almanac

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. Find Law

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

Viking named Rudolph the Red

One night a Viking named Rudolph the Red was looking out the window when he said, “It’s going to rain”.

His wife asked, “How do you know?”

“Because Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear.”

Quotable Quotables

“Frasier” (1993 - 2004)

Martin Crane: “AThat is not a person, it's a bag of flour. There's an easy trick to tell the difference: people don't usually come with pop-over recipes on their backs.”

Roz Doyle: “It's just so weird. You go through life meeting people who are all the same. And they just think you're the same too. And then one day you meet this guy. But he's not the same, because he actually sees that you're not the same. And he knows, because he's the same way.”

Frasier Crane: “Love is an awesome force. It can make us do things we never imagined were possible. For you see, we don't actually choose love - it chooses us. And once it has, we are powerless to do anything about it.”

Frasier Crane: “I cut myself because I was shaving with no water, and why was there no water? Because I had to move your chair which gouged the floor which made me call for Joe who found bad pipes which called for Cecil who ate the cat who killed the rat that lived in the house that Frasier built!”

Frasier Crane: “Okay, Tom. You win the prize for the saddest Christmas story we've heard today. Happy holidays.”

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