Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 12, 2015

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Results of Peers investigation announced on March 17, 1970

Results of Peers investigation announced on March 17, 1970

Results of Peers investigation announced: After an investigation, the U.S. Army accuses 14 officers of suppressing information related to an incident at My Lai in March 1968.

Soldiers from a company had massacred Vietnamese civilians, including women and children, at My Lai 4, a cluster of hamlets in Quang Ngai Province, on March 16, 1968. The company had been conducting a search-and-destroy mission looking for the 48th Viet Cong (VC) Local Force Battalion. The unit entered My Lai, but found only women, children, and old men. Frustrated by unanswered losses due to snipers and mines, the soldiers took out their anger on the villagers, indiscriminately shooting people as they ran from their huts, and systematically rounding up and executing the survivors.

Reportedly, the killing was only stopped when Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson landed his helicopter between the Americans and the fleeing South Vietnamese, confronting the soldiers and blocking them from further action against the villagers. The incident was subsequently covered up, but eventually came to light a year later. The Army commissioned a board of inquiry, headed by Lieutenant General Peers.

After investigating, Peers reported that U.S. soldiers committed individual and group acts of murder, rape, sodomy, maiming and assault that took the lives of a large number of civilians - he concluded that a “tragedy of major proportions” occurred at My Lai. The Peers report said that each successive level of command received a more watered-down account of what had actually occurred; the higher the report went, the lower the estimate of civilians allegedly killed by Americans. Peers found that at least 30 persons knew of the atrocity, but only 14 were charged with crimes.

All eventually had their charges dismissed or were acquitted by courts-martial except Lt. William Calley, the platoon leader of the unit involved. He was found guilty of personally murdering 22 civilians and sentenced to life imprisonment, but his sentence was reduced to 20 years by the Court of Military Appeals and further reduced later to 10 years by the Secretary of the Army. Proclaimed by much of the public as a “scapegoat”, Calley was paroled in 1974 after having served about a third of his 10-year sentence.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Library of Congress (Letter of Transmittal) / UMKC Law School.org / United Sates Army Combined Arms Center.army.mil / PBS / National Archives.gov (Statistical Information about Fatal Casualties of the Vietnam War)

Wikipedia.org  Photo: My Lai Massacre, Vietnamese women and children in Mỹ Lai before being killed in the massacre, March 16, 1968.[13] According to court testimony, they were killed seconds after the photo was taken. / Son My village, Sơn Tịnh District of South Vietnam.

Photo II: Vietnam War: Hovering U.S. Army helicopters pour machine gun fire into a tree line to cover the advance of South Vietnamese ground troops in an attack on a Viet Cong camp 18 miles north of Tay Ninh, northwest of Saigon near the Cambodian border, in Vietnam on March 1965. (Associated Press / U.S. Department of Defense / U.S. Marine Corps.) / The Big Picture, Boston Globe

Understanding Military Terminology

Understanding Military Terminology - guarded frequencies

(DOD) Guarded frequencies:

A list of time-oriented, enemy frequencies that are currently being exploited for combat information and intelligence or jammed after the commander has weighed the potential operational gain against the loss of the technical information. See also electronic warfare. Wikipedia / Global Security.org

Ship’s plan of the Day (POD)

The Old Salt’s Corner

Ship’s plan of the Day (POD)

The Ship’s Plan of the Day lists information pertaining to next days routine, special drills, uniform of the day, etc., and is posted throughout the ship. You are responsible for knowing what is in the POD for the day. Carry a copy of the Plan-of-the-Day with you. It is usually available the night before in the wardroom or mess hall.

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin’”

If life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade... And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

~ Winston Churchill

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“If you think there is good in everybody, you haven't met everybody.”

~ 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)

Swedish children’s TV dancing genitals cartoon sparks parental outcry

Swedish children’s TV dancing genitals cartoon sparks parental outcry

Parents complain about cartoon video for children’s channel showing penises and vaginas - while others complain not progressive enough

Swedish public broadcaster SVT, capitalizing on the country’s supposedly liberal sexuality to promote an upcoming children’s series on the human body, produced a one-minute cartoon featuring genitals singing and dancing.

However, the SVT program director admitted in January that there was criticism--not for salaciousness, but because the penis was portrayed with a moustache and the vagina with long eyelashes, which some critics said unfortunately “reinforced gender stereotypes”. The Guardian UKvideo

Can Men Lactate?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Can Men Lactate?

Let’s start with why women, and not men, lactate routinely in appropriate circumstances. As you might suspect, the cause is genetic—22 of the 23 pairs of human chromosomes are identical, with the 23rd pair the only set that differs between the sexes.

“The genes on chromosome 23, acting in concert with genes on other chromosomes, ultimately determine all differences between our sexes”, wrote Pulitzer Prize winner and one-time physiologist Jared Diamond in a 1995 article for Discover. “Those differences, of course, include not only the possession of ovaries as opposed to testes but also the post adolescent differences in beards, pitch of voice, and breast development.”

All male and female mammals have mammary glands, which is the organ that produces milk. When mammary glands mature fully in females during puberty, they develop into a state where a hormonal spike—most notably of prolactin—can easily induce lactation. For males, the gland generally doesn’t mature to that level.

So the difference is a matter of hormonal influence, first during puberty and then again after pregnancy. Men do have the necessary equipment, but usually they don’t naturally produce the necessary levels of hormones to use it. Provide the right hormones, though, and male lactation is absolutely possible.

One way to do this is through medical intervention. There are a number of ways this can be done, but generally, you need to introduce both estrogen and prolactin into the system, often by injection. Some drugs, like Thorazine—an antipsychotic popular in the mid-20th century—and the heart medication digoxin have induced milk from men as a side effect.

But how can men develop milk naturally?

The circumstances, as you might guess, are rare. One way to induce lactation from men is via starvation. During World War II, thousands of men reported lactation while held as prisoners either in Japanese POW camps or Nazi concentration camps. When a person is malnourished, the hormone-producing glands—like the pituitary gland, which generates prolactin—are impeded, but so too is the hormone-destroying liver. If proper nourishment is later provided, the glands recover much more quickly than the liver, causing hormone levels to skyrocket.

TIt’s also possible that something could target the pituitary gland and cause it to produce more prolactin. As breast-feeding expert Jack Newman notes, a tumor on the pituitary gland could have this effect.

For starters, there was vitamin L, so named for its apparent role in rat lactation. Better known as anthranilic acid, L1 is now closely regulated by the DEA: as one of the primary compounds used in the synthesis of the powerful recreational sedative methaqualone, aka Quaaludes, it falls into that intriguing category of substances that are fun but potentially fatal.

There’s also a camp within the scientific community that thinks men can lactate merely through nipple stimulation. In 1978, medical anthropologist Dana Raphael claimed as much in her book The Tender Gift: Breastfeeding. Medical College of Georgia endocrinologist Robert Greenblatt later agreed with Raphael. Diamond, too, thinks this is possible

“Mere repeated mechanical stimulation of the nipples suffices in some cases, since mechanical stimulation is a natural way of releasing hormones”, Diamond wrote. “For instance, sexually mature but virgin female marsupials can regularly be stimulated to lactate just by placing another mother’s young on their teats.”

Diamond provided several cases “in which [not pregnant] women succeeded in nursing an infant by repeatedly placing it at the breast.” Most adoptive mothers, for instance, begin lactating within three or four weeks of adoption, suggesting mere stimulation can induce enough hormonal action to produce milk. The same has reportedly happened to men, including a 38-year-old man in Sri Lanka who, in 2002, nursed his two daughters through infancy after his wife died during childbirth, according to an Agence France-Presse report.

So is it possible for men to lactate? Yes, it is. Does it happen often? Not at all. Could it happen more? Absolutely, if men decide they want the job.

Live Science

Research:  WikipediaScientific AmericanMen Stuff.orgOther Side of Science

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Scot free”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

“Scot free” Medieval Dental art

Scot free:” The “scot” in “scot-free” is an English word taken from Old Norse, where it meant “tax or assessment”. In the Middle Ages in England, each town levied a general tax on residents which was called the “scot”.

If for some reason a citizen was ruled exempt from the tax, he was said to go “scot-free”. This tax-related literal sense of the phrase first appeared in the 13th century.

But by the 16th century “scot-free” was being used in its more general modern sense of “exempt from punishment, responsibility or blame” (“She should not, for all the trouble she has cost you, go away scot-free”, 1740). Today I Found Out

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

B.O.S.N.I.A.: Big Ol' Standard Navy Issue Ass.

King Neptune: Usually the senior “shellback” on the ship, this individual presides over the royal court and the initiation of pollywogs during Crossing the Line ceremonies.

SAR: Search and Rescue.

Senile Chief: Slang for Senior Chief.

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

Just for you MARINE

DEP: Delayed Enlistment Program.

Department of the Navy: The unit, under the Department of Defense, that manages the Navy and Marine Corps. There are also Departments of the Army and Air Force.

Dependent: Usually the spouse and children of military people. Others can be dependents if they meet the dependency criteria of the service.

Deployment: Leaving the normally assigned duty area, usually as a unit, to serve temporarily in another area, normally on board ship.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VAQ-135 - Electronic Attack Squadron 135: “Black Ravens”
NAS Whidbey Island, Washington

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Angel’s Glow: American Civil War - The Battle of Shiloh

Angel’s Glow: American Civil War - The Battle of Shiloh

The Battle of Shiloh was one of the bloodiest in the entire Civil War. It was a constant, two-day struggle that left little time for the medics to tend for the wounded, and the massive amount of wounded soldiers meant that many of them would be left just lying on the battlefield for days. As the wounded men lay in agony, a strange thing happened: Some of their wounds started glowing. The eerie sheen was clearly visible in the dark, and no one could understand what was happening. However, the strangest part happened when the medics actually started treating the wounded: The soldiers with glowing wounds were healing much better than the ones with normal, non-glowing injuries.

The phenomenon soon became known as Angel’s Glow. Its nature remained a mystery, and many suspected the healing shine was actually divine in origin.

The strange secret of Angel’s Glow was finally solved in 2001 by two high school students who were investigating the phenomenon for a science fair project. They figured out that the glow on the wounded soldiers was most likely Panellus stipticus, a ”good” bacteria with bioluminescent properties that was transported to the wounds by the many insects that were infesting them. Although P. stipticus wouldn’t usually survive in human body temperature, it was able to survive in the hypothermic wounded soldiers, allowing it to fight the bad bacteria that were trying to infect their wounds. American Civil War Story


“My Sharona” - The Knack 1979

“My Sharona” - The Knack
Album: Get The Knack
Released 1979 video

The Knack lead singer Doug Fieger wrote the lyrics to this song, which is about a girl he fancied. Doug was in a long-term relationship when he walked into the clothing store where a high school student named Sharona Alperin (who had a boyfriend), was working. The age difference (he was about eight years older) and relationship status didn't deter Fieger, who was immediately lovestruck. With his girlfriend looking on, he invited Sharona to a show. Not long after, he broke up with the girlfriend and professed his love for Sharona, creating a weird dynamic where he would come on to her even though she had a boyfriend who often attended Knack concerts with her. It got pretty heavy when Fieger started writing songs about her - they weren't together when he composed “My Sharona”.

About a year after they first met, Sharona gave in and they started dating. She joined the band on tour and watched as the song Fieger wrote about her elevated them to stardom. The couple were together for about four years (and engaged at one point) before the Rock and Roll lifestyle and Fieger's alcoholism became too much for Sharona, and they called it off. In the aftermath, Sharona answered questions about the breakup by saying that she needed to become her own Sharona, not someone else's.

After a cooling off period, Alperin and Fieger became friends. Alperin was with Fieger the last week of his life; he died of cancer on February 14, 2010.

The song was produced by Mike Chapman and recorded at MCA Whitney Recording Studios in Glendale, California. Chapman, who had produced Blondie and Suzi Quatro, says he told the band it would be a #1 hit the first time they played it for him.

In the U.S., this was the best-selling single of 1979.

Sharona Alperin became a high-end real estate agent in California, specializing in celebrity clientele. After the passing of Fieger, Alperin wrote on her website: “From the time Doug and I first met, both of our lives changed forever. It’s very rare for two people to have such an impact on each other. The bond we shared is something that I will treasure as long as I live, he will always have a special place in my heart.”

Doug Fieger wrote this song with Knack guitarist Berton Averre, who co-wrote many songs for the band with Fieger.

That's Sharona Alperin on the cover of the single holding the Get The Knack album. She posed for the art even though she and Doug Fieger weren't yet dating.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Doug Fieger said: “I was 25 when I wrote the song. But the song was written from the perspective of a 14-year-old boy. It's just an honest song about a 14-year-old boy.”

This wasn't the only song on the album that was about Sharona and Fieger's feelings for her. The songs “That's What the Little Girls Do” video and “(She's So) Selfish” video were also inspired by her.

The album version runs 4:52, but the single version was edited down to 3:58. The victim of this cut was Knack guitarist Berton Averre, whose much-admired solo was chopped.

Doug Fieger of The Knack was the younger brother of famed attorney Geoffrey Fieger, who defended Dr. Jack Kervorkian.

Rolling Stone magazine (Rolling Stone Readers Pick the Top 10 One-Hit Wonders of All Time - 6) / The Knack.com / All Music / Song Facts / Wikipedia

Image: “My Sharona” by The Knack



● Vincent Van Gogh only sold 1 painting his whole life and that was to his brother!

● On April 2, 1872, Victoria Woodhull became the first woman candidate for the U.S. presidency.

● Abraham Lincoln once invented a device for lifting riverboats over shallow water.

Military Trivia

● What was the cause of the brief undeclared war that broke out between Honduras and El Salvador in July 1969?

A: El Salvador's victory over Honduras in the three game World Cup soccer play-off. The war is known as the Soccer War.

● How long did the Battle of Waterloo last?

A: About nine and a half hours.

● What did the famous backstage mother of actress Ginger Rogers do during World War I?

A: Lela Rogers was a Marine sergeant.

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

We've all been there but don't like to admit it. We've all kicked back in our cubicles and suddenly felt something brew down below. As much as we try to convince ourselves otherwise, the WORK POOP is inevitable. For those who hate pooping at work, following is the Survival Guide for taking a dump at work. Memorize these definitions and pooping at work will become a pure pleasure.


Definition: a fart that slips out while taking a leak at the urinal or forcing a poop in a stall. This is usually accompanied by a sudden wave of panic embarrassment. This is similar to the hot flash you receive when passing an unseen police car and speeding. If you release an escapee, do not acknowledge it. Pretend it did not happen. If you are standing next to the farter in the urinal, pretend you did not hear it. No one likes an escapee, it is uncomfortable for all involved. Making a joke or laughing makes both parties feel uneasy.

JAILBREAK (Used in conjunction with ESCAPEE).