U.S. Military Academy established on March 16, 1802
U.S. Military Academy established: The United States Military Academy - the first military school in the United States - is founded by Congress for the purpose of educating and training young men in the theory and practice of military science. Located at West Point, New York, the U.S. Military Academy is often simply known as West Point.
Located on the high west bank of New York’s Hudson River, West Point was the site of a Revolutionary-era fort built to protect the Hudson River Valley from British attack. In 1780, Patriot General Benedict Arnold, the commander of the fort, agreed to surrender West Point to the British in exchange for 6,000 pounds. However, the plot was uncovered before it fell into British hands, and Arnold fled to the British for protection.
Ten years after the establishment of the U.S. Military Academy in 1802, the growing threat of another war with Great Britain resulted in congressional action to expand the academy’s facilities and increase the West Point corps. Beginning in 1817, the U.S. Military Academy was reorganized by superintendent Sylvanus Thayer–later known as the “father of West Point”–and the school became one of the nation’s finest sources of civil engineers. During the Mexican-American War, West Point graduates filled the leading ranks of the victorious U.S. forces, and with the outbreak of the Civil War former West Point classmates regretfully lined up against one another in the defense of their native states.
In 1870, the first African-American cadet was admitted into the U.S. Military Academy, and in 1976, the first female cadets. The academy is now under the general direction and supervision of the department of the U.S. Army and has an enrollment of more than 4,000 students.
History Channel / United States Military Academy.edu / United States Army /
Britannica Encyclopedia / Wikipedia /
U.S. Military Academyd (YouTube)
First liquid-fueled rocket on March 16, 1929
First liquid-fueled rocket: The first man to give hope to dreams of space travel is American Robert H. Goddard, who successfully launches the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket at Auburn, Massachusetts, on March 16, 1926. The rocket traveled for 2.5 seconds at a speed of about 60 mph, reaching an altitude of 41 feet and landing 184 feet away. The rocket was 10 feet tall, constructed out of thin pipes, and was fueled by liquid oxygen and gasoline.
The Chinese developed the first military rockets in the early 13th century using gunpowder and probably built firework rockets at an earlier date. Gunpowder-propelled military rockets appeared in Europe sometime in the 13th century, and in the 19th century British engineers made several important advances in early rocket science. In 1903, an obscure Russian inventor named Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky published a treatise on the theoretical problems of using rocket engines in space, but it was not until Robert Goddard’s work in the 1920s that anyone began to build the modern, liquid-fueled type of rocket that by the early 1960s would be launching humans into space.
Goddard, born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1882, became fascinated with the idea of space travel after reading the H.G. Wells’ science fiction novel War of the Worlds in 1898. He began building gunpowder rockets in 1907 while a student at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute and continued his rocket experiments as a physics doctoral student and then physics professor at Clark University. He was the first to prove that rockets can propel in an airless vacuum-like space and was also the first to explore mathematically the energy and thrust potential of various fuels, including liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. He received U.S. patents for his concepts of a multistage rocket and a liquid-fueled rocket, and secured grants from the Smithsonian Institute to continue his research.
In 1919, his classic treatise A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes was published by the Smithsonian. The work outlined his mathematical theories of rocket propulsion and proposed the future launching of an unmanned rocket to the moon. The press picked up on Goddard’s moon-rocket proposal and for the most part ridiculed the scientist’s innovative ideas. In January 1920, The New York Times printed an editorial declaring that Dr. Goddard “seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools” because he thought that rocket thrust would be effective beyond the earth’s atmosphere. (Three days before the first Apollo lunar-landing mission in July 1969, the Times printed a correction to this editorial.)
In December 1925, Goddard tested a liquid-fueled rocket in the physics building at Clark University. He wrote that the rocket, which was secured in a static rack, “operated satisfactorily and lifted its own weight.” On March 16, 1926, Goddard accomplished the world’s first launching of a liquid-fueled rocket from his Aunt Effie’s farm in Auburn.
Goddard continued his innovative rocket work until his death in 1945. His work was recognized by the aviator Charles A. Lindbergh, who helped secure him a grant from the Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics. Using these funds, Goddard set up a testing ground in Roswell, New Mexico, which operated from 1930 until 1942. During his tenure there, he made 31 successful flights, including one of a rocket that reached 1.7 miles off the ground in 22.3 seconds.
Meanwhile, while Goddard conducted his limited tests without official U.S. support, Germany took the initiative in rocket development and by September 1944 was launching its V-2 guided missiles against Britain to devastating effect. During the war, Goddard worked in developing a jet-thrust booster for a U.S. Navy seaplane. He would not live to see the major advances in rocketry in the 1950s and ’60s that would make his dreams of space travel a reality. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, is named in his honor.
History Channel / NASA.gov /
Britannica Encyclopedia / Wikipedia / Space.com /
Robert H. Goddard (YouTube)
Understanding Military Terminology - Military source operations
(DOD) The collection, from, by and/or via humans, of foreign and military and military-related intelligence.
Joint Publications (JP 2-01.2) Joint and National Intelligence Support to Military Operations
The Old Salt’s Corner
Amphibious Ready Groups
Amphibious Ready Groups consist of anywhere from five to twenty-plus amphibious warfare ships carrying between one to fifty thousand marines, depending on the mission.
The combined Marine troops and air wing form Marine Air/Ground Task Forces (MAGTFs) of varying sizes (see below). MAGTFs include their own command staffs, ground troops, close air support (AV-8B Harriers and assault helicopters) and service/maintenance support.
The most basic ARG is the Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) consisting of three to five ships and a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) of two thousand marines with enough supplies for fifteen days of combat.
Advantages of the PHIBRON/MEU team include quick response and forward deployment. This makes them ideal for evacuation of U.S. personnel abroad facing hostile conditions (see below) or amphibious raids.
The next operational level up is the Amphibious Group (PHIBGRU) consisting of sixteen to twenty-four ships and a Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) of fifteen thousand marines equipped for thirty days of combat. This group is capable of larger, extended operations. The ships in the PHIBGRU include Maritime Pre-positioning Ships (MPS) loaded with ammunition, supplies and material.
Finally, there is the Amphibious Task Force (ATF) consisting of twenty ships and a full Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) of twenty-five to fifty thousand marines capable of sixty days sustained combat operations. This is the largest, most powerful MAGTF.
Typical ARG missions include non-combatant evacuation (NEO), in extremis hostage rescue (IHR), tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel (TRAP), and maritime interdiction force operations (MIFO). A Navy/Marine Corps PHIBGRU performed a NEO to evacuate U.S. citizenry from Liberia during the 1991 civil war. U.S. Navy warships performed an extended MIFO in support of United Nations economic sanctions against Iraq during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm also in 1991-2.
“I’m Just Sayin”
“Never tell the truth to people
who are not worthy of it.”
~ Mark Twain
“Thought for the Day”
“Advertising is the art
of convincing people to spend money
they don’t have
for something they don’t need.”
~ Will Rogers
“What I Have Learned”
“Don’t place your mistakes on your head,
their weight may crush you.
place them under your feet
and use them as a platform
to view your horizons.”
Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)
Dead Goose Falls From Sky, Sends Waterfowl Hunter To Shock Trauma
BALTIMORE (WJZ): An experienced hunter is recovering after a goose that was shot and killed fell from the sky and hit the man in Easton, Maryland.
The waterfowl hunter found himself in the crosshairs of his harvest - knocked out cold by a dead goose falling from the sky.
“These birds weigh anywhere from 10 to probably 14 pounds. They can have a wingspan of up to six feet”, says Candy Thomson, Maryland Natural Resources Police. “So, if they’re 35 yards up in the air, and they’re falling 60 feet and they hit you in the head, it’s going to definitely cause severe damage.”
Maryland Natural Resources Police say the unpredictable scene played out near the Miles River.
A group of hunters had leased private land and took their shots at a flock of geese before sunset. Robert Meilhammer, 51, was severely injured on his head and face.
As hundreds of thousands of geese migrate back north, hunters have flocked to the Eastern Shore, and while accidents are rare, they’re not unheard of.
“This morning, one of our really senior commanders said “Oh, yes, it doesn’t happen often, but you’re a hunter, you’re concentrating on what you’re shooting at, and you don’t see something until it’s too late”, Thomson said.
Officials say Meilhammer was lucky he wasn’t hunting alone as he was carried to the road by fellow hunters and eventually flown to Shock Trauma in Baltimore.
Meilhammer was in stable condition and still recovering at Shock Trauma.
CBS (Baltimore, WJZ) (02/02/2018)
Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Why Are the Keys On a QWERTY Keyboard Laid Out As They Are?
What is commonly called QWERTY (more properly, the Sholes layout) was designed by Christopher Lathan Sholes, then modified through a series of business relationships. Sholes's original keyboard was alphabetical and modeled after a printing telegraph machine. The alphabetical layout was easy to learn, but not easy to type on.
The construction of the “Type Writer” had two flaws that made the product susceptible to jams. Firstly, characters were mounted on metal arms or typebars, which would clash and jam if neighboring arms were pressed at the same time or in rapid succession.Secondly, its printing point was located beneath the paper carriage, invisible to the operator, a so-called “up-stroke” design. Consequently, jams were especially serious, because the typist could only discover the mishap by raising the carriage to inspect what he had typed.
The solution was to place commonly used letter-pairs (like “th” or “st”) so that their typebars were not neighboring, avoiding jams.
The QWERTY layout was not designed to slow the typist down, but rather to speed up typing by preventing jams.
Aside from the issue of jamming, keys being farther apart increases typing speed on its own, because it encourages alternation between the hands. Almost every word in the English language contains at least one vowel letter, but on the QWERTY keyboard only the vowel letter “A” is located on the home row, which requires the typist's fingers to leave the home row for most words.
But the biggest rivals to ever challenge QWERTY is the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard, developed by Dr. August Dvorak in the 1930s.
Dvorak users reported faster and more accurate typing, in part because the system dramatically increases the number of words that can be typed using the “home” row of keys where your fingers naturally rest - also known as the keys you type when you’re just trying fill space. asjdfkal; sdfjkl; asdfjkl; asdfjkl; dkadsf. asdfjklasdfjk. More recent research has debunked any claims that Dvorak is more efficient, but it hardly matters. Even in 1930 it was already too late for a new system to gain a foothold. While Dvorak certainly has its champions, it never gained enough of a following to overthrow King QWERTY. After all, the world learned to type using Remington’s keyboard.
When the first generation of computer keyboards emerged, there was no longer any technical reason to use the system – computers didn’t get jammed. But of course, there’s the minor fact that millions of people learned to type on the QWERTY keyboards. It had become truly ubiquitous in countries that used the Latin alphabet. Not only that, but way back in 1910, the system had been adopted by Teletype, a company that would go on to produce electronic typewriters and computer terminals widely used around the world, thereby ensuring QWERTY’s place as the new technological standard.
When a design depends on a previous innovation too entrenched in the cultural zeitgeist to change, it’s known as a path dependency. And this why the new KALQ proposal is so interesting. It attempts to break from the tyranny of Christopher Latham Sholes, whose QWERTY system makes even less sense on the virtual keyboards of tablets and smartphones than it does on a computer keyboards.
Is the new KALQ system any different? In some ways, the answer is obviously yes. It has been designed around a very specific, very modern behavior – typing with thumbs. Like the telegraph operator QWERTY theory, the user is determining the structure of the keyboard. But it could still be argued that the KALQ system, or any similar system that may be developed in the future, is also a product of path dependency.
Because no matter how the letters are arranged, they basic notion of individually separated letters distributed across a grid dates back to Sholes and co. tinkering away in their Milwaukee workshops. But it’s just not necessary in a tablet. If you gave an iPad to someone who had never used a keyboard and told them to develop a writing system, chances are they would eventually invent a faster, more intuitive system. Perhaps a gesture based system based on shorthand? Or some sort of swipe-to-type system? This is not to say that such a system would be better, it’s merely an observation that our most bleeding edge communication technology still dates back more than 150 years to some guys tinkering in their garage.
Truly, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
• QWERTY Keyboard (YouTube)
NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang
Rubber Hooeys: Condoms.
Rumor Control: The often wildly inaccurate rumors that concern fictitious changes to the ship's schedule. Usually takes the form of "Hey, did you hear (insert ship name here) had a fire in their main machinery room and can't get underway so our cruise got extended by a month?" See also “Mess Deck Intelligence”.
Sack-o'-Lantern: A scrotum stretched across a battle lantern that has been energized. Smiley-face art optional.
Just for you MARINE
Thump Gun: Grenade launcher, from the distinctive noise made when firing. See also blooper and gerbil launcher.
TIC: Troops In Contact.
Tie-ties: Straps or strings used to tie items to another line, such as laundry or rifle targets.
Tight-jawed: Angry, so named from the human tendency to clench the jaw when angered.
Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames
VFA-37 - “Ragin Bulls”
Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S. - Established July 1, 1967
Where Did That Saying Come From?
“Sleep tight” Meaning: This 19th century expression isn't, as is often wrongly claimed, a reference to the tightness of the strings used to support mattresses. 'Tight' just means 'soundly/properly' and 'sleep tight' just means 'sleep soundly'. The word was probably chosen because of its rhyme with night, so people wished other 'good night, sleep tight'.
Origin: 'Sleep tight' is a very well-used phrase in many parts of the English-speaking world. It's common at bedtime in the form of the rhyme “good night, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite”.
There are many meanings of the word 'tight' and it's no surprise that there are several theories going the rounds as to the origin of 'sleep tight'. One is that the phrase dates from the days when mattresses were supported by ropes which needed to be pulled tight to provide a well-sprung bed. This was the notion that was put forward on a 2008 BBC antiques show, when the presenter lay on an oak settle to demonstrate the support provided by the understringing and to confidently pronounce "hence the expression 'night, night, sleep tight'". Sleep tightThis explanation seems unlikely, as it is the bed rather than its occupant that is tight and no one (in my experience) ever wishes furniture a good night's sleep. He would have had more luck had he opted to say that 'settle down to sleep' derives from 'settle' or 'seat' - which it does.
The phrase 'sleep tight' itself was common in the late 20th century, and there could hardly have been a better way of cementing any phrase into the popular consciousness than by Lennon and McCartney using it in the lyrics of a song at the height of Beatlemania. That's where it found itself, in Good Night on the White Album in 1968:
Now it's time to say good night, Good night. Sleep tight.
The 'don't let the bedbugs bite' part has prompted some to suggest that the 'tight' refers to the tightness of bedclothes, intended to keep bedbugs at bay. That's hardly likely, as bedbugs live in mattresses and wouldn't be avoided by tying bedclothes tightly. Also, '...bedbugs bite' is an extended version of the original 'sleep tight' bedtime message, which didn't start to be used until the mid-20th century - well after 'sleep tight' was first used.
'Sleep tight' didn't derive from either bedcoverings or ancient furniture and, in fact, isn't a very old expression at all. The first citation of it that I can find is from 1866. In her diary Through Some Eventful Years, Susan Bradford Eppes included:
“All is ready and we leave as soon as breakfast is over. Goodbye little Diary. ‘Sleep tight and wake bright,’ for I will need you when I return.”
There aren't many other known citations until the early 20th century and the OED lists none until 1933, by which time the innerspring mattress had been invented and most mattresses were supported by metal straps or springs. This puts the phrase out of general circulation at the date that rope-strung beds were commonly used, which makes the rope-stringing origin unlikely at best.
Susan Eppes' line, with its clear link between 'sleep tight' and 'sleep well', leads us to the most probable explanation for the phrase. The word tightly, although not often used in this way now, means 'soundly, properly, well'. The earlier phrase 'tight asleep' derives from this meaning, as seen in this example from Marie Beauchamp's novel Elizabeth and her German Garden, 1898:
And once, when there was a storm in the night, she complained loudly, and wanted to know why lieber Gott didn't do the scolding in the daytime, as she had been so tight asleep.
'Tight asleep' just meant 'soundly asleep', or to put it another way 'fast asleep', and 'sleep tight' just means 'sleep soundly'.
Science & Technology
First 3-D imaging of excited quantum dots
• Evolution - and skill - help hefty hummingbirds stay spry
• Are you rocky or are you gassy? Astronomers unlock the mysteries of super-Earths
• Researchers help robots think and plan in the abstract
• Surprise finding points to DNA's role in shaping cells
• Breakthrough in controlling light transmission
• Study: Humanity will need to make some drastic changes to keep the 'good life' going
• Scientists simplify process to make polymers with light-triggered nanoparticles
Phys.org / MedicalXpress / TechXplore
The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird
Flat-Earth Rocketeer Fails to Launch (Again)
The flat-Earth rocketeer remains planet-bound.
“Mad&rd. Mike Hughes, a flat-Earth conspiracy theorist who has managed to get significant attention for his now-repeated failed rocket launches, strapped himself into his second homemade rocket Saturday (February 3). But, as Noize TV documented in an excruciating 11-minute livestream of the event, Hughes' rocket never left its pad.
His stated plan, is to launch himself 1,800 feet (550 meters) above the desert in California and take photos before bailing out in a parachute. These photos, shot from a height anyone can reach by climbing a very tall building or even a small mountain, will, Hughes claims, show that the Earth is flat.
In fact, it's pretty easy for anyone to show that the Earth is round with a simple experiment - though the planet's curvature doesn't become visible to the naked eye until a height of about 35,000 feet (10,700 m).
Hughes went on to say that the launch could still happen - though he does have to be in court because he's suing a range of California officials, from Governor Jerry Brown to U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.
“It's just aggravating”, he told a small crowd of reporters.
Live Science (02/05/2018)
“Go Your Own Way” - Fleetwood Mac
Lindsey Buckingham wrote this as a message to Stevie Nicks. It describes their breakup, with the most obvious line being, “Packing up, shacking up is all you want to do.” Stevie insisted she never shacked up with anyone when they were going out, and wanted Lindsey to take out the line, but he refused.
While the Rumours album was being recorded, the marriage of John and Christine McVie (both of them Mac members) was also coming to an end. With two couples breaking up during the sessions, recording could be quite tense. They were also doing lots of drugs at the sessions, making sure there was plenty of Behind The Music material.
This was the first single from the Rumours album, which became one of the best-selling of all time. Describing the recording process for this song in Q magazine, drummer Mick Fleetwood said:
“'Go Your Own Way's' rhythm was a tom-tom structure that Lindsey demoed by hitting Kleenex boxes or something. I never quite got to grips with what he wanted, so the end result was my mutated interpretation. It became a major part of the song, a completely back-to-front approach that came, I'm ashamed to say, from capitalizing on my own ineptness. There was some conflict about the 'crackin' up, shackin' up' line, which Stevie felt was unfair, but Lindsey felt strongly about. It was basically, On your bike, girl!”
Stevie Nicks told Q magazine June 2009: “It was certainly a message within a song. And not a very nice one at that.”
Fleetwood Mac official website / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / Wikipedia
Image: “Rumours (album)” by Fleetwood Mac
● Car colour popularity in America and in the world: “1. White, 2. Black, 3. Silver, 4. Grey, 5. Blue and 6. Red”.
● U.S. President William McKinley was assassinated in 1901.
● Vitamin A, also called Retinolhelps maintain the skin, eyes, healthy bones and teeth, is found in milk, liver, eggs, butter, and vegetables.
A Test for People Who Know Everything
From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “SOUNDS LIKE A STAR WARS CHARACTER” ($200):
“Author of 'Acts of the Apostles'.”
● Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer Encyclopedia Britannica
From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “MAJOR SPORTS TEAMS' NAMES IN COMMON” ($400):
“New York & Texas.”
● Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer NHL / MLB
From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “THE BOOK BIZ” ($400):
“This set of proofs that sound like oar-propelled ships come in long vertical columns.”
● Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer Encyclopedia Britannica
Answer to Last Week's Test
From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “FRUIT STAND” ($400):
“Texas developed the Ruby type of this citrus fruit.”
● Answer: A Grapefruit. Health.com
From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “FRUIT STAND” ($800):
“The halawy is a sweet type of this palm fruit.”
● Answer: The Key Lime. Wikipedia
From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “FRUIT STAND” ($1,000):
“The halawy is a sweet type of this palm fruit.”
● Answer: A Date. Encyclopedia Britannica
Joke of the Day
“I HATE TO RUIN YOUR DAY”
An elderly man in Miami calls his son in New York and says, “I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing. Forty-five years of misery is enough.”
The son screams, “Pop, what are you talking about?”
The old man says, “We can't stand the sight of each other any longer.”
“We're sick of each other, and I'm sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her”, and he hangs up.
Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone, “Like heck they're getting divorced”, she shouts, “I'll take care of this.”
She calls her father immediately and screams at the old man, “You are NOT getting divorced! Don't do a single thing until I get there. I'm calling my brother back, and we'll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don't do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?” and hangs up.
The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. “Okay”, he says, “They're coming for Passover and paying their own airfares.”
“TWO MEN IN A TREE”
Two guys are out hiking. All of a sudden, a bear starts chasing them.
They climb a tree, but the bear starts climbing up the tree after them. The first guy gets his sneakers out of his knapsack and starts putting them on.
The second guy says, “What are you doing?”
He says, “I figure when the bear gets close to us, we'll jump down and make a run for it.”
The second guy says, “Are you crazy? You can't outrun a bear.”
The first guy says, “I don't have to outrun the bear. I only have to outrun you.”
“OLDERLY COUPLE, MONEY and POLICE”
An elderly couple who were childhood sweethearts had married and settled down in their old neighborhood.
To celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary they walk down to their old school. There, they hold hands as they find the desk they shared and where he had carved “I love you, Sally.”
On their way back home, a bag of money falls out of an armoured car practically at their feet. She quickly picks it up, and they don't know what to do with it so they take it home. There, she counts the money, and its fifty-thousand dollars.
The husband says: “We've got to give it back.”
She says, “Finders keepers”, and puts the money back in the bag and hides it up in their attic.
The next day, two policemen are going from door-to-door in the neighbourhood looking for the money show up at their home.
One knocks on the door and says: “Pardon me, but did either of you find any money that fell out of an armoured car yesterday?”
She says: “No”.
The husband says: “She's lying. She hid it up in the attic.”
She says: “Don't believe him, he's getting senile.”
But the policemen sit the man down and begin to question him.
One says: “Tell us the story from the beginning.”
The old man says: "Well, when Sally and I were walking home from school yesterday ...”
At this, the policeman looks at his partner and says: "We're outta here ...”