Old Sailors' Almanac

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY

Week 04, 2019

Previous Week   January 21, 2019 - January 27, 2019  Next Week

Thomas Edison receives the patent on the incandescent lamp on January 27, 1880

Thomas Edison receives the patent on the incandescent lamp on January 27, 1880

Thomas Edison receives the patent on the incandescent lamp: On January 27, 1880, Thomas Edison received the historic patent embodying the principles of his incandescent lamp that paved the way for the universal domestic use of electric light.

Thomas Edison propelled the United States out of the gaslight era and into the electric age. From the time he was a boy, he was mesmerized by the mechanics of the universe and, with virtually no formal education, brought forth innovations that continue to dominate our lives. Out of his New Jersey laboratories, which were themselves inventions—thoroughly equipped and fully staffed—came 1,093 patented inventions and innovations that made Edison one of the most prolific inventors of all time.

Three of his most famous inventions, the phonograph, a practical incandescent light bulb, and the moving picture camera, dazzled the public and revolutionized the way people live throughout the world. His thundering dynamos transformed the United States into the world’s greatest industrial superpower.

In 1878 the creation of a practical long-burning electric light had eluded scientists for decades. With dreams of lighting up entire cites, Edison lined up financial backing, assembled a group of brilliant scientists and technicians, and applied his genius to the challenge of creating an effective and affordable electric lamp. With unflagging determination, Edison and his team tried out thousands of theories, convinced that every failure brought them one step closer to success. On January 27, 1880, Edison received the historic patent embodying the principles of his incandescent lamp that paved the way for the universal domestic use of electric light.

Our Documents.gov / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / National Archives.gov / Smithsonian / Thomas Edison receives the patent on the incandescent lamp on January 27, 1880 (YouTube search) video


The U.S. Congress approves Indian Territory (in what is present-day Oklahoma), clearing the way for forced relocation of the Eastern Indians on the “Trail of Tears” on January 27, 1825

The U.S. Congress approves Indian Territory (in what is present-day Oklahoma), clearing the way for forced relocation of the Eastern Indians on the “Trail of Tears” on January 27, 1825

Under President James Monroe, Secretary of War John C. Calhoun devised the first plans for Indian removal. By late 1824, Monroe approved Calhoun's plans and in a special message to the Senate on January 27, 1825, requested the creation of the Arkansaw Territory and Indian Territory.

The Indians east of the Mississippi were to voluntarily exchange their lands for lands west of the river. The Senate accepted Monroe's request and asked Calhoun to draft a bill, which was killed in the House of Representatives by the Georgia delegation. President John Quincy Adams assumed the Calhoun-Monroe policy and was determined to remove the Indians by non-forceful means, but Georgia refused to submit to Adams' request, forcing Adams to make a treaty with the Cherokees granting Georgia the Cherokee lands.

On July 26, 1827, the Cherokee Nation adopted a written constitution modeled after that of the United States which declared they were an independent nation with jurisdiction over their own lands. Georgia contended that it would not countenance a sovereign state within its own territory, and proceeded to assert its authority over Cherokee territory.

When Andrew Jackson became president as the candidate of the newly organized Democratic Party, he agreed that the Indians should be forced to exchange their eastern lands for western lands and relocate to them, and enforced Indian removal policy vigorously.

Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / Library of Congess.gov / Oklahoma History.org / The U.S. Congress approves Indian Territory (in what is present-day Oklahoma), clearing the way for forced relocation of the Eastern Indians on the “Trail of Tears” on January 27, 1825 (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 - Movement control

(DOD) The planning, routing, scheduling, and control of personnel and cargo movements over lines of communications; includes maintaining in-transit visibility of forces and material through the deployment and/or redeployment process. See also line of communications; movement control teams; non-unit cargo; non-unit-related personnel.

Joint Publications (JP 4-01.5) Joint Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Transportation Terminal Operations


“An Old Sailor” Old Sailors of the Square Rigger Navy - NH2889

The Old Salt’s Corner

“An Old Sailor”


They remember friends from long ago and the times they had back then, of the money they've spilled and the beer they've swilled in their days as sailing men.


Their lives are lived in days gone by , with thoughts that forever last, of Dixie cup hats and bell bottom blues, and the good times in their past.


They recall long nights with a moon so bright far out on a lonely sea, and thoughts they had as youthful lads when their lives were unbridaled and free.


They know so well how their hearts would swell when the flag fluttered proud and free, and the stars and stripes made such beautiful sights as they plowed through an angry sea.


They talk of the bread Ole Cookie would bake and the shrill of the bo'sun's pipe, and how the salt spray fell like sparks out of hell when a storm struck in the night.


They remember mates already gone who forever hold a spot in the stories of old when sailors were bold and lubbers a pitiful lot.


They rode their ships through many a storm when the sea was showing its might, and the mighty waves might be digging their graves as they sailed on through the night.


They speak of nights in a bawdy house somewhere on a foreign shore, and the beer they'd downed as they gathered around cracking jokes with a busty whore.


Their sailing days are gone away, never more will they cross the brow, but they have no regrets for they know they've been blessed 'cause they honored their sacred vow.


Their numbers grow less with each passing day as their chits in this life are called, but they've nothing to lose for they've paid their dues and they'll sail with their shipmates again.


I've heared them say before getting underway that there is still some sailing to do, and they'll exclaim with a grin that their ship has come in, and the Lord is commanding the crew.


~ Author Unknown


“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

&ldquoIf you aren’t at the table,

then you are on the menu.”

~ Ann Richards


“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“Kindness is the language

which the deaf can hear

and the blind can see.”

~ Mark Twain


“What I Have Learned”

“Thought for the Day”

“Growth is painful.r

Change is painful.

but nothing is as painful

as staying stuck

somewhere you don’t belong.”

~ Anonymous


Second Hand News

Second Hand News (Links to Articles from Week 4 - January 21, 2019 - January 27, 2019)

Top News Stories - Photos (Daily Mail) Tom Brady is stunned after reaching his NINTH Super Bowl as his New England Patriots clinch a thrilling overtime victory over the Kansas City ChiefsSaints coach Sean Payton reveals the NFL's head of officials admitted they 'blew the call' by not penalizing the Rams for pass interference in heartbreaking OT loss in NFC Championship GameOver the moon! Thrilled stargazers around the world are treated to a stunning Super Blood Wolf Moon as it turns RED for AN HOUR following a total lunar eclipse

'Nancy, I am still thinking about the State of the Union speech': Trump tells Pelosi he's 'get back to her soon' about annual address after ordering her to clean up streets of her San Francisco district because 'they're disgusting' Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agrees to bring Trump's $5.7 billion Dreamers proposal to the floor for a vote this week'YOU ARE GREAT PATRIOTS!' President Trump thanks government employees working without pay during the record federal shutdown Daily Mail UK

Top News Stories - Photos (Washington Examiner) President Trump offers deal to Democrats that includes extensions of protections for recipients of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs in return for $5.7 billion for an additional barrier at the Southern BorderNo deal: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejects Trump’s offer to legalize 'Dreamers' for wall moneySenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: Senate will vote next week on Trump planSenate Democrat hopeful Trump's shutdown offer 'will allow us to immediately reopen gov'Oil prices could soar heading into the election year as new clean fuel mandate kicks inFake News: BuzzFeed reporter left out crucial detail in request for comment from Mueller's office Washington Examiner

Top News Stories - Photos (Times of Israel) IDF: Iranian troops fired missile at Israel as a warning against future attacksIranian air chief: ‘We’re ready for war that will destroy Israel’IDF says it bombed Iranian arms caches, intel sites, bases; Syrian air defensesIsraeli strikes said to destroy Iranian, Hezbollah sites near Damascus Israel bombs Iranian targets near Damascus as border tensions rocketIsrael media review: Israel and Iran heading downhill fast: 9 things to know for January 21 Times of Israel

Top News Stories - Photos (South China Morning Post) As people freeze, who’s paying the price for China’s clean air plan? China confirms gene-edited babies, blames scientist He JiankuiChina economy slows further, matching its lowest ever quarterly growth China’s birth rate falls to its lowest rate since 1961 ‘Nothing to be proud of’: Hong Kong tops the table as world’s most expensive housing market for 9th straight year South China Morning Post

CORRUPTION CHRONICLES - Mainstream Media Scream: (Watch Dog On-Line Publications) Inside Judicial Watch: Our Top 5 Investigations of 2018Weekly Update: BIG Court Victory on Clinton Emails and BenghaziJudicial Watch: Documents Detail Nancy Pelosi’s $185,000 CODEL to Italy and Ukraine in 2015On Watch: Pandemic Influenza & U.S. Public Health Readiness with Dr. Steven Hatfill, M.D.Federal Court Orders Discovery on Clinton Email, Benghazi Scandal: Top Obama-Clinton Officials, Susan Rice and Ben Rhodes to Respond to Judicial Watch Questions Under Oath Judicial Watch


What Are Microbursts?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: What Are Microbursts?

Facts About Microbursts

Microbursts, also called downbursts, are powerful, localized columns of wind that occur when cooled air drops from the base of a thunderstorm at incredible speeds - up to 60 mph - and subsequently hits the ground, spreading out in all directions.

Once this column of air reaches the ground (or body of water) and fans outward, it produces straight winds that can reach up to 100 mph, equivalent in speed to an EF1 tornado on the Enhanced Fujita scale, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Strong microbursts are capable of creating havoc for miles, knocking down trees, power lines and fences and causing extreme damage to buildings. Microbursts can occur all over the United States but are more common east of the Rocky Mountains, simply because there are more thunderstorms on this side.

What Are Microbursts?

What’s in a name?

As the name suggests, a microburst is a relatively small weather event, lasting anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes and affecting 2.5 miles or less. For downbursts affecting areas greater than 2.5 miles, Fujita used the term “macroburst”.

How do microbursts form?

The most common weather event leading to microburst development is dry air entrainment, a phenomenon that occurs when dry air mixes with precipitation in a thundercloud. The dry air causes the droplets to evaporate, resulting in a rapid drop in air temperature. This patch of cooled air begins to sink, gaining momentum as it drops and essentially turning into a speeding column of air.

William Gallus, a professor of meteorology and numerical weather prediction in the department of geological and atmospheric sciences at Iowa State University, explains this phenomenon: “Cool air is heavier than warm air, so this blob of cold air can plunge toward the ground, and it spreads out rapidly when it hits the ground, kind of like how water explodes sideways when a water balloon is dropped and hits the ground”, he told.

When this cool, dry air is further pulled down by the weight of precipitation, it is called water loading, and this causes the air to drop even faster.

Wet and dry microbursts

Microbursts are divided into two basic types: wet and dry. Depending on where you are in the country will determine which type you are more likely to encounter. Wet microbursts are more common in humid climates where there are plenty of thunderstorms, such as the Southeastern United States. These microbursts are typically driven by both dry air entrainment and water loading.

Dry microbursts usually begin with dry air entrainment due to moisture in the upper levels but eventually turn into wind-driven events with no surface precipitation. “For dry microbursts, we know they are more likely when the relative humidity a few thousand feet up in the sky is rather high, but it is much lower (dryer) below that level, especially near the ground. This kind of situation happens relatively often in places like Denver”, said Gallus. “When this happens, a storm can form from the moisture up high, but as it creates rain, the rain falls into the very dry air near the ground, and it evaporates, which cools the air.” Precipitation that evaporates before it hits the ground is called virga.

Some microbursts, known as hybrids, have characteristics of both wet and dry types and are driven by several influences, such as dry air entrainment, precipitation loading, cooling beneath the cloud base and/or sublimation (ice crystals turning directly into vapor), according to NOAA.

Facts About Microbursts?

Microburst or tornado?

Though less well-known than tornadoes, microbursts are much more common. According to the National Weather Service, there are approximately 10 microburst reports for every one tornado, but these numbers are just an estimate.

“There has not been a detailed study done to look at how many happen on average each year in different areas, but it is believed a lot of wind damage happening in thunderstorms is likely due to microbursts, so that our climatology of wind damage from storms might give us a good idea [of their frequency]”, Gallus said.

In fact, microbursts can cause so much damage that residents often believe they’ve been struck by a tornado. The surest way of knowing whether it was a tornado or a microburst, however, is by studying the pattern of damage. When a tornado hits, it leaves behind a more circular or meandering pattern of destruction and debris, while microburst winds cause straight-line damage that radiates from a center point of impact.

Facts About Microbursts?

Disasters in the sky

The study of microbursts is relatively new in the field of atmospheric science. Before the introduction of Doppler radar at airports just a few decades ago, microbursts were responsible for as many as 20 major airline accidents, resulting in over 500 deaths, according to the National Science Foundation (NSF). Many of these had been mistakenly blamed on pilot error.

Microbursts still pose an incredible danger to aircraft, particularly during a take-off or landing. With winds up to 100 mph, trying to maneuver through a strong microburst is about as difficult as flying through a tornado. And like tornadoes, microburst development can be difficult to detect on radar and seem to come out of nowhere.

One terrible disaster in particular - the crash of Delta Airlines Flight 191 - is credited with speeding up microburst research as well as bringing stronger safety measures for all aircraft. The disaster happened in August 1985. A thunderstorm was hovering over Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport as the pilots of Flight 191 were preparing to land. As the aircraft descended toward the runway, an explosive downdraft of wind knocked the plane full of passengers to the ground, sending the aircraft careening onto a highway where it hit and killed an automobile driver and plowed into two large water tanks where it burst into flames. Only 27 people survived this horrific event, and 137 lives were lost.

While most pilots at this time had been highly trained in wind shear - rapid changes in wind speed or direction — surprisingly little was known about the specific dangers of microbursts. The crash of Delta 191 was a turning point, calling for more scientific research on these small but potentially fatal weather phenomena. Soon after, it was required that all planes be equipped with wind shear detection devices.

Thanks to better research and advancements in technology, including the introduction of Doppler radar in 1988, the airways are much safer today. The last U.S. commercial airline to crash from a microburst was USAir Flight 1016 in 1994.

Facts About Microbursts?

Forecasting microbursts

Even with today’s advanced technology, detecting microbursts is still a difficult task. Not only are they a relatively small phenomenon, but they are also quick to form.

“It is very hard to predict microbursts”, Gallus said. “We can predict that an environment is somewhat favorable for microbursts, but we cannot tell in advance which exact locations will get hit by one, and not all storms will produce one even on a day when we say conditions are favorable. So it is a lot like forecasting tornadoes, except that conditions that support microbursts happen more often than those that support tornadoes.”

When forecasters are searching for ripe conditions, radar is the most helpful tool. They look for several factors, including air instability, high PW or precipitable water (a prediction of precipitation levels based on moisture in the atmosphere), dry air in middle levels, and strong winds in the layer of dry air, according to NOAA. The perfect conditions usually occur in the hot and humid summer months, especially in the Southeastern states.

Radar does have some limitations when it comes to microbursts, though. For example, if a microburst forms on the outskirts of a radar’s reach, it may look so small that the meteorologist can’t see it, Gallus said. Also, since they form so quickly, one could hit the ground before a forecaster has time to issue a warning.

Another helpful tool for detecting microbursts is DCAPE (Downdraft Convective Available Potential Energy), a computation used to estimate the potential strength of downdrafts in thunderstorms. “DCAPE gives us an idea of how much negative buoyancy can happen, which means how much cooler can a blob of air get due to evaporative cooling than the background temperature”, Gallus said.

Encyclopedia BritannicaLive ScienceQuaraWeather.govWikipediaFacts About Microbursts? (YouTube Search) video


NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang - U.S. Navy

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

BMOS: Big Man On Ship: Often refers to the ship's Captain. The closest civilian equivalent is BMOC (Big Man On Campus).

BMW: Big Maine Woman: One of the large women in the Brunswick/Bath Maine area who like to pick up sailors from the former Naval Air Station Brunswick or pre-commissioning destroyers at the Bath Iron Works in local bars.

Boat:.

(1) Boats list (lean to the inside of a turn), Ships heel (lean to the outside of a turn). “Turn to Port, heel to Starboard” Word passed from the bridge to PriFly indicating a turn and to warn the flight deck crew of deck angle changes.

(2) A water craft small enough to be carried on a ship (ships themselves may only be called boats by members of the crew who have completed a deployment).

(3) (in port) A submarine (submarines are called boats, with only limited exceptions).

Boat Goat: A female sailor onboard a ship.

Bluenose: An individual who has crossed the Arctic Circle.

Boat School: Nickname for the United States Naval Academy (USNA) at Annapolis, Maryland.

Boats: A sailor in the Boatswain's Mate rating or the Aviation Boatswain's Mate rating, or the ship's Bosun or Air Bosun, the latter usually a CWO or LDO.


Just for MARINES - The Few. The Proud.

Just for you MARINE

Bn: Battalion.

Boondoggle: Project or trip on government time and/or expense that serves no purpose other than to entertain the person making it.

Boot: A term for Marines who are new to the Marine Corps. Derived from the term “boot camp”, to insinuate that the Marine is fresh out of boot camp. Generally used as a pejorative term (even if in an affectionate manner) in the Fleet and elsewhere, sometimes as a way to explain that new Marines should know their place. It can also be used as a term for a Marine who is new to a rank or billet. e.g. - “He's a boot Corporal”. Meaning, said Marine was just recently promoted to Corporal. Also used by infantry Marines as a pejorative for any other Marine who has not gone on a combat deployment, regardless of rank or time in service.

Boot Bands: Elastic bands or metal springs rolled into the hem of the trousers to blouse them near the top of the boot.

Boots and Utes: The utility uniform without the normal uniform blouse, typically used for PT.

Boot camp: Training hub for new Marines at Parris Island, South Carolina and San Diego, California.


Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Patrol Squadron Forty Six (VP-46) - nicknamed the “Grey Knights”

United States Navy - Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington. - Established July 1, 1931.


Where Did That Saying Come From

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Gadzooks”

Gadzooks:”  Meaning: An exclamation - a euphemistic shortening of God's hooks (the nails on the cross).

History: As the meaning suggests, this was originally two words - gad's zooks, which was sometimes hyphenated and now almost always spelled as a single word.

Gad was a common term used to avoid speaking the name of God - an example of a minced oath. That taboo, although still influential amongst the devout, is now much weaker and the use of gad has diminished as a consequence. In the 17th century we would have had a choice of such 'gad' words - gadsbobs, gadsbodikins, gadsbud, gadsbudlikins, gadslid, gadsniggers, gadsnigs, gadsnouns, gadsokers, gadsookers, gadsprecious, gadswookers, gadswoons - gad pretty much anything you like. These share a format with many reduplications - many of which also take an existing word and add a secondary made-up word for emphasis.

The only gad... form to have survived is gadzooks. That is still used but it has gone the same way as prithee and odd's bodkins, that is, stagey allusions to history that are wheeled out for comic effect - Gadzooks Mrs Miggins, bring me more veal pies. Use of gad with its original intent may have almost disappeared but such obvious replacements of words with similar-sounding invented words that have less risk of offending is still with us - feck being a recent example.

Gad began life in the early 17th century, for example:

Robert Armin's A nest of ninnies, 1608:

“But occasionally a column or comic strip will 'go over' like a V-1 rocket in one community and, for inexplicable reasons, a lead balloon in another.”

Gadzooks soon spawned a shortened form of its own - zooks. This is first recorded in Thomas Heywood's The late Lancashire witches, 1634:

“Zookes thou art so brave a fellow that I will stick to thee.”

Phrases.org UK


Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Researchers discover genes that give vegetables their shapeDefective DNA damage repair leads to chaos in the genomeBending DNA costs less energy than assumedInnovative experimental scheme can create mirror moleculesEnvironmentally-inspired 'niche' features impact species evolutionSalmonella found to be resistant to different classes of antibioticsDeveloping a 3-D collagen model to test magnetic-assisted osteogenesis in vitroScientists bring polymers into atomic-scale focusUsing behavior trees to improve the modularity of AUV control systems

Phys.org / MedicalXpress / TechXplore


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)

Scientists Want to Use Lasers to Guide Aliens to Earth. What Could Go Wrong?

Scientists Want to Use Lasers to Guide Aliens to Earth. What Could Go Wrong?

We could build a laser that could send signals to extraterrestrial intelligence.

A new paper published in The Astrophysical Journal has found that humanity could feasibly build an infrared laser hot and bright enough that - if we shined it directly at nearby exoplanets - alien astronomers should be able to detect it using sky-watching technology not too much more advanced than our own. (Presuming they're out there, of course.) [9 Strange, Scientific Excuses for Why We Haven't Found Alien Life Yet]

It would have to be pretty huge, but not unthinkably so One possible design the researchers proposed would require a 1 to 2 megawatt laser and at least a 100-foot (30 meter) diameterprimary mirror.

It's not clear if aliens would immediately recognize the laser as a signal from intelligent life-forms, James Clark, a graduate student at MIT and the lead author on the paper, said in a statement. But, he added, “it would certainly attract attention.”

The main challenge for building an alien laser beacon, the authors wrote in the paper, is that Earth isn't alone in space. Instead, it's a relatively minor one of eight planets orbiting a star far brighter than any laser humanity could reasonably hope to produce. From the perspective of an alien astronomer hundreds of light years away, the entirety of human civilization and any infrared source it might produce would be drowned out by the gigantic, white-hot source of light in our local space.

Scientists Want to Use Lasers to Guide Aliens to Earth. What Could Go Wrong?

The goal of the laser then, wouldn't be to create a blinking beacon in the darkness for aliens to sit up and notice. Instead, the authors explained, it would be to make our sun look weird enough from an alien perspective to take a second look.

A set of aliens scanning the sky may have noticed that our sun has planets around it, or that at least one of those planets might possibly be habitable. But that doesn't seem to be all that rare. Maybe, if they're on Trappist-1, which hosts the largest number of exoplanets that could conceivably have liquid water at their surface, they'll have taken special notice of our system for the same reason we've taken notice of theirs: the possibility of habitable worlds a mere few-dozen light-years away.

However, if we pointed a laser of the scale Clark imagines directly at those aliens while they were looking at our sun, our sun would seem to exhibit some very unusual behavior.

Under normal circumstances, stars vary a bit in terms of how much light they produce. And there are patterns to that variation. A focused infrared laser, though, could make our sun's light output vary far more in the infrared spectrum than is normal. Instead of creating a blinking beacon in the dark, the laser would make our sun appear to be an existing light that had gone wonky.

Scientists Want to Use Lasers to Guide Aliens to Earth. What Could Go Wrong?

If aliens nearby detected the signal and understood its significance, it might be possible to set up a communication channel using lasers with data transfer rates of up to 2 Mbps (megabits per second). That's similar to a slow modern internet connection. Of course, there would be time delays of decades between the sending and receiving of messages, thanks to the speed of light.

Farther away from Earth, the researchers found, the laser could still be used to broadcast a more general "Hey, we're here!" signal detectable from up to 20,000 light-years away. (Of course, space is much bigger than that. A 20,000 light-year signal would only reach other stars in our general region of the Milky Way.)

There could be some dangers to shining a superbright infrared laser into the sky. Infrared isn't visible to the human eye, but a targeted intense beam could still blind someone. As long as reasonable safety precautions to prevent anyone from looking into it were taken though, it should be fine, they wrote.

As to whether any of this is a good idea, that's a question for readers to answer for themselves. (Perhaps after reading Cixin Liu's novel “The Three-Body Problem”.)

Live Science (11/06/2018) video


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

SONG FACTS

“Ghostbusters” - Ray Parker, Jr. 1984 “I Want a New Drug” - Huey Lewis and the News 1983

“Ghostbusters” - Ray Parker, Jr.
Album: Ghostbusters Soundtrack
Released 1984 video

Famous Cases of Alleged Music Plagiarism

Ray Parker Jr. vs. Huey Lewis and the News (1984)

Ray Parker, Jr.Ghostbustersvideo

Written by Huey Lewis and the NewsSweet Little Sixteen”) video - (sung by Chuck Berry (1958)

Nothing really comes from scratch anymore, and music is no exception. The first thing bands talk about when they form are their influences, and they typically start off by (and never really stop) playing other people’s music.

Entire genres, like folk, blues, and hip-hop, are based upon liberal borrowing out of either tradition or necessity. Simply put, every artist you love, no matter how unique, innovative, and game changing they may be, stands on the proverbial shoulders of giants.

With that in mind, famous instances of alleged music plagiarism. Some cases went to court. Others got shrugged off. Sometimes we think we’re listening to the same song twice. Other times we just don’t hear it that way.

The Case: Producers of the film Ghostbusters originally approached Huey Lewis to pen the film's theme, but he was already committed to work on another sci-fi comedy - Back to the Future - and declined. Producers tapped Ray Parker Jr. to do the honors, apparently directing him toward a sound that could be described as “Huey Lewis-esque”. Lewis himself certainly thought so, and filed a suit against Parker, alleging that he lifted the melody from his own song “I Want a New Drug”.

The Verdict: The pair settled out of court in 1995 on the condition that both parties refrain from speaking about the suit in public. All was well until Lewis unloaded about the settlement on a 2001 episode of VH1's Behind the Music. Parker sued Lewis soon after for breaching the confidentiality agreement.

Why It Matters: Though no legal precedents were set, the lawsuit's ghostly reemergence served as a strong reminder that confidentiality agreements weren't just a formality.


This was the theme song for the movie starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson and Sigourney Weaver. The film's director Ivan Reitman insisted that the title of the film be in the song, which made Ray Parker Jr. leery of the assignment. Once he started working on it, Parker wrote it in just a few days.

Parker had to get pretty creative with this, as writing a song with the word “Ghostbusters” in it is quite challenging. In an interview with George Cole, author of The Last Miles: The Music of Miles Davis, 1980-1991, Parker said: “It sounds easy now because you've heard the song. But if somebody told you to write a song with the word 'Ghostbusters' in it, it's pretty difficult. That was the hard part - getting the title in the song.”

Parker added that he got his girlfriend and her friends to shout the title for the chorus, since he didn't want to sing it. Parker, who was a renowned session musician, played most of the instruments on the track.

Huey Lewis sued Parker for plagiarizing the medley to his song “I Want A New Drug” on this track. They settled out of court and agreed not to talk about the case in public, but in 2001, Lewis revealed that Parker paid to settle the suit on an episode of VH1's Behind The Music. Parker then sued Lewis for violating the terms of their agreement.

The video featured short appearances by a bunch of random celebrities, including George Wendt, Carly Simon, and John Candy.

Martin Page played keyboards on this song, and Brian Fairweather played guitar. The English duo had a group called Q-Feel that got a lot of attention when their song “Dancing In Heaven (Orbital Be-Bop)video was put in rotation on the Los Angeles radio station KROQ. They had done session work in England, performing on records for the group Tight Fit. When they came to America, they were thrilled to get the call to work on this track, as they were big fans of Ray Parker, Jr. and his group Raydio. Martin Page quickly established himself as a top songwriter, co-writing the #1 hits “We Built This Cityvideo and “These Dreamsvideo.

When Ghostbusters II was released in 1989, another contemporary hit was expected for the film's theme song. This time, they didn't insist on having the word “Ghostbusters” in the title, which simplified the task. That song ended up being “On Our Ownvideo, which was recorded by Bobby Brown and written by Babyface, L.A. Reid and Darryl Simmons.

This was nominated for an Oscar for Best Song From A Movie. It lost to “I Just Called To Say I Love Youvideo by Stevie Wonder.

In the 2016 documentary Hired Gun, Ray Parker, Jr. said: “To this day, people ask me, 'Are you tired of hearing people say, who you gonna call?' Well, no! It's like, am I tired of holding the best lotto ticket or the best thing to ever happen? No.”

Ray Parker, Jr., official website / Rolling Stone / COS / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ray Parker, Jr.

Image: “Ghostbusters Soundtrack (album)” by Ray Parker Jr.

Trivia

Trivia

● Which 2 types of rather small creatures are primarily responsible for having spread the bubonic plague that killed millions of people in Europe and Asia in the 14th century?

Answer to Trivia

● The Revolutionary War between the United States and Great Britain officially ended on September 3, 1783, with a treaty signed where?

Answer to Trivia

● What is the name of the John Philip Sousa march named after a famous newspaper of it's time?

Answer to Trivia

● As a result of patriotism during the Gulf War, in 1991 Whitney Houston had an unlikely musical hit when she recorded what song?

Answer to Trivia


Jeopardy

A Test for People Who Know Everything

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “SCRAMBLED KEGS” ($200):

“Not just for the stoutest:”

“INN GUESS.”

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

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “SCRAMBLED KEGS” ($800):

“Tonight is kind of special:”

“NEW LABOUR.”

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

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “SCRAMBLED KEGS” ($1,000):

“Enjoyed by a 'range' of people:”

“AREA INVADERS.”

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


Answer to Last Week's Test

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “A MOVIE TO DIE FOR” ($200):

“With the help of a shotgun blast, Tony Montana takes a dive in this 1983 film.”

● Answer: Scareface. IMDB

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “A MOVIE TO DIE FOR” ($400):

“In a 2015 film his estranged son unmasks, then impales him & says 'Thank you' before Chewie gets off a few shots.”

● Answer: Han Solo. IMDB

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “A MOVIE TO DIE FOR” ($800):

“Sean Connery won an Oscar for this film, in which his character doesn't survive.”/p>

● Answer: The Untouchables IMDB


Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

“Six Cans of Dog Food”

“Six Cans of Dog Food”

“A Young Boy - A New Driving Permit”

Joke of the Day

“A Young Boy - A New Driving Permit”

A young boy asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss the use of the car.

His father took him to his study & said to him, “I'll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your bible a little & get your hair cut, & we'll talk about it.”

After about a month, the boy came back & again asked his father if they could discuss use of the car.

They again went to the father's study where his father said, “Son, I've been real proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you've studied your bible diligently, but you didn't get your hair cut!”

The young man waited a moment & replied, “You know Dad, I've been thinking about that. You know, Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, & even Jesus had long hair.

To which his father replied, “Yes, & they WALKED every where they went too!”