Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 17

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is established on April 24, 1800.

President John Adams approves legislation to appropriate $5,000 to purchase “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress”, thus establishing the Library of Congress. The first books, ordered from London, arrived in 1801 and were stored in the U.S. Capitol, the library's first home. The first library catalog, dated April 1802, listed 964 volumes and nine maps. Twelve years later, the British army invaded the city of Washington and burned the Capitol, including the then 3,000-volume Library of Congress.

Former president Thomas Jefferson, who advocated the expansion of the library during his two terms in office, responded to the loss by selling his personal library, the largest and finest in the country, to Congress to "recommence" the library. The purchase of Jefferson's 6,487 volumes was approved in the next year, and a professional librarian, George Watterston, was hired to replace the House clerks in the administration of the library. In 1851, a second major fire at the library destroyed about two-thirds of its 55,000 volumes, including two-thirds of the Thomas Jefferson library. Congress responded quickly and generously to the disaster, and within a few years a majority of the lost books were replaced.

After the Civil War, the collection was greatly expanded, and by the 20th century the Library of Congress had become the de facto national library of the United States and one of the largest in the world. Today, the collection, housed in three enormous buildings in Washington, contains more than 17 million books, as well as millions of maps, manuscripts, photographs, films, audio and video recordings, prints, and drawings. History Channelvideo

Wikipedia  Image: Library of Congress Exterior and Interior (LibraryofCongress.gov)

Understanding Military Terminology

Understanding Military Terminology - Defense human intelligence executor

(DOD) The senior Department of Defense intelligence official as designated by the head of each of the Department of Defense components who are authorized to conduct human intelligence and related intelligence activities. Also called DHE.

The Old Salt’s Corner - Hot racking

Hot racking (also known as hot bunking or hot bedding) is the sanctioned practice within military organizations of assigning more than one crew member to a bed or "rack" to reduce berthing (sleeping) space. The practice dates back at least to the sixteenth century, and today is particularly applied aboard submarines, where maximization of space is especially important. Generally, the lowest ranking members of the crew are required to hot rack. Hot racking is sometimes utilized in jails and prisons to deal with overcrowding.

Depending upon the watch system, two, or even three people may end up sharing the same bunk. The term comes from the military slang use of the term "rack" for a bed or bunk. With more than one crew member assigned to a rack, it is possible that a crew member returning from a duty shift will lie down on a rack immediately after it is vacated by another crew member about to start a shift. The rack is therefore said to be "hot", that is, still warm from the vacating crew member's body heat.

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin’”

Ham and eggs: A day’s work for a chicken, a lifetime commitment for a pig.

“Thought for the Day

“Thought for the Day”

The Ten American Indian Commandments

- Remain close to the Great Spirit.

- Show great respect for your fellow beings.

- Give assistance and kindness wherever needed.

- Be truthful and honest at all times.

- Do what you know to be right.

- Look after the well-being of mind and body.

- Treat the Earth and all the dwell thereon with respect.

- Take full responsibility for your actions.

- Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good.

- Work together for the benefit of all mankind.

“What I Have Learned”

Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

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)

Michael Schell, 24, and Jessica Briggs, 31, were arrested on several charges in Minot, N.D., in February when police were called to a convenience store because Schell and Briggs had commandeered a restroom and were having noisy sex. The store is part of the Iowa-based chain of 400 serving the Midwest that go by the name Kum & Go.Minot Daily News

What is the most dangerous sport?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: What is the most dangerous sport?

On the whole, Americans are a fun-loving bunch. A more contemporary work-hard, play-hard attitude has replaced the old Protestant work ethic. And if the numbers coming in from emergency rooms are any indication, Americans are indeed playing hard -- very hard.

Roughly 14.7 million visits were made to the ER in 2010, the most recent year for which data are available. And 4.1 million of those visits fell under the sports and recreation category [source: NEISS].

So what is the most dangerous recreational sport? Any sport can cause injuries, and we've all seen them happen but we wanted to base this on hard data, not hearsay. This uses information from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, created by the Consumer Safety Product Commission to collect information from ERs across the country.

The commission originally created the NEISS to track injuries related to consumer products, but because of its usefulness, the system expanded to cover all injuries beginning in the year 2000.

“The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System is a statistical sample of approximately 100 hospital emergency departments in the U.S. open to the general public”, said Thomas Schroeder, director of the CSPC's Division of Hazard and Injury Data Systems. “Data are collected from participating hospitals on a daily basis for consumer product-related injuries treated in the emergency department.”

So what made the top of the list? Grab a helmet and some spandex and embrace your inner Lance Armstrong. Have wheels, will travel -- and likely get injured, if NEISS data is any indication. Bicycle riding sends more people to the ER than any other sport or activity. The popularity of cycling, from training wheels to extreme mountain biking, lends itself to the higher number of injuries and a chart-topping 541,746 ER trips.

But there's one more factor that makes cycling more dangerous than any other sport: other vehicles. Those who cycle off-road have 40 percent less chance of getting injured. When your mom told you not to play in the street, it looks like she had a point.

But for cyclists who do frequent the paved roads of America, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has some tips. Cyclists should follow the rules of the road, it suggests, and enthusiasts should avoid riding at night [source: NHTSA].

Wikipedia  Image: The peloton makes its way past fields of sunflowers during stage 11 of the 2009 Tour de France from Vatan to Saint-Fargeau-Ponthierry on July 15, 2009 in Vatan, France. (Jasper Juinen, Getty Images, Boton Globe)

Mr. Peabody & Sherman (DreamWorks Animation) Mister Peabody (Rocky and His Friends

Where Did That Saying Come From?

After his first, or “freshman”, year, a college student is called a “sophomore”, and has been since the description emerged at Cambridge in 1688.

The word is constructed from the Greek sophos, meaning wise, and moros, meaning foolish. So a second-year student is somewhere between ignorance and wisdom. Similarly, when we say something is “sophomoric”, we mean it is pretentious or foolish.Straight Dope

Wikipedia  Image: Mr. Peabody & Sherman (DreamWorks Animation) Mister Peabody (Rocky and His Friends)

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Red-Tagged: (Submarines) - Not working; so named by the red tags put on broken equipment.

Trim Party: (Submarines) - A group of several crewmembers who march from the front of the sub to the back of the sub to make the angle severe.

Water Slug: (Submarines) - Firing the torpedo tubes with nothing in them.

X Division: (Submarines) - Generic name for the group of non-rated Seaman tasked with everything from painting the boat to handling lines.

Just for MARINES - U.S. Marines

Just for MARINES

Brass: Officers.

Bravo Zulu: Well done.

Brevet: An honor. Prior to the creation of the Medal of Honor and the proliferation of medals during and after the Civil War, meritorious or heroic service was often recognized by brevet promotion. The awardees were allowed to wear the insignia of the next higher rank and call himself by that advanced title but the pay and honors did not follow.

Military Acronyms

Navy Acronyms

URL - UnRestricted line (Officer)

USNA - United States Naval Academy

UWT - UnderWater Telephone

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VAW-124 - Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 124: “Bear Aces”

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Sam Wilson was a meat packer who supplied preserved beef to the U.S. Army in the nineteenth century. The barrels of meat were stamped “U.S.” to indicate they were property of the United States, but the soldiers joked that the initials were actually those of the supplier, “Uncle Sam” Wilson.

The bearded figure of Uncle Sam was drawn and introduced by Thomas Nast, the same cartoonist who created the Republicans’ elephant and the Democrats’ donkey.


1992 NBA Champions: Chicago Bulls

Sports 1992 Wikipedia

World Series Champions: Toronto Blue Jays

Superbowl XXVI Champions: Washington Redskins January 26, 1992 (from 1991 season)

Superbowl XXVII Champions: Dallas Cowboys January 31, 1993 (from the 1992 season)

NBA Champions: Chicago Bulls

Stanley Cup Champs: Pittsburgh Penguins

U.S. Open Golf: Tom Kite

U.S. Open Tennis (Men/Ladies): Stefan Edberg / Monica Seles

Wimbledon (Men/Women): Andre Agassi / Steffi Graf

NCAA Football Champions: Alabama

NCAA Basketball Champions: Duke

Kentucky Derby: Lil E Tee

Image: Chicago Bulls 1992 Sports Illustrated

Famous Quotes 1992: A Few Good Men

Famous Quotes 1992 Wikipedia

● “You can’t handle the truth!”

~ Jack Nicholson, in “A Few Good Men”

● “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk”

~ U.S. Deptartment of Transportation

● “It’s the economy, stupid”

● “I didn’t inhale.”

~ Candidate for President Bill Clinton

● “Giant sucking sound”

~ Candidate for President Ross Perot

● “Can we all just get along?”

- Beating victim (from the LAPD) Rodney King, to help quell the riots taking place in his name.

Image: The Silence of the Lambs Wikia



● Wilford Brimley was Howard Hughes's bodyguard.

● During WWI, German measles were called “liberty measles” and dachshunds became “liberty hounds”.

● At one point in the 1990s, 50% of all CDs produced worldwide were for AOL.

Answer to Last Week's Test

A 2009 search for the Loch Ness Monster came up empty. Scientists did find over 100,000 _____ ______. Fill in the blanks.

Answer: golf ballsReddit

Joke of the Day

A guy walks into a bar. The bartender says, ”Do you want to play a game? See those two rib-eyes nailed to the ceiling? You get to throw one dart. If you hit one, you get to take them home and I'll give you a free drink.”

The man says, “No thanks, the steaks are too high.”