Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 12, 2016

Previous Week   March 21, 2016 - March 27, 2016   Next Week

Stamp Act imposed on American colonies on March 22, 1765

Stamp Act imposed on American colonies on March 22, 1765

Stamp Act imposed on American colonies: In an effort to raise funds to pay off debts and defend the vast new American territories won from the French in the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763), the British government passes the Stamp Act on this day in 1765. The legislation levied a direct tax on all materials printed for commercial and legal use in the colonies, from newspapers and pamphlets to playing cards and dice.

Though the Stamp Act employed a strategy that was a common fundraising vehicle in England, it stirred a storm of protest in the colonies. The colonists had recently been hit with three major taxes: the Sugar Act (1764), which levied new duties on imports of textiles, wines, coffee and sugar; the Currency Act (1764), which caused a major decline in the value of the paper money used by colonists; and the Quartering Act (1765), which required colonists to provide food and lodging to British troops.

With the passing of the Stamp Act, the colonists’ grumbling finally became an articulated response to what they saw as the mother country’s attempt to undermine their economic strength and independence. They raised the issue of taxation without representation, and formed societies throughout the colonies to rally against the British government and nobles who sought to exploit the colonies as a source of revenue and raw materials. By October of that year, nine of the 13 colonies sent representatives to the Stamp Act Congress, at which the colonists drafted the “Declaration of Rights and Grievances”, a document that railed against the autocratic policies of the mercantilist British empire.

Realizing that it actually cost more to enforce the Stamp Act in the protesting colonies than it did to abolish it, the British government repealed the tax the following year. The fracas over the Stamp Act, though, helped plant seeds for a far larger movement against the British government and the eventual battle for independence. Most important of these was the formation of the Sons of Liberty–a group of tradesmen who led anti-British protests in Boston and other seaboard cities–and other groups of wealthy landowners who came together from the across the colonies.

Well after the Stamp Act was repealed, these societies continued to meet in opposition to what they saw as the abusive policies of the British empire. Out of their meetings, a growing nationalism emerged that would culminate in the fighting of the American Revolution only a decade later. History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / Yale Law School.edu / U.S. History.org / History of Massachusetts.org video

“Sailors Ghost”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“Sailors Ghost”

How I long to see the sun and its morning light,

to warm my face from these long cold nights.

And hold you close and near,

to chase away all my fears.

But this my love I cannot do,

for my spirit walks along with you.

My ship hit the reef and sunk in the night,

my last thoughts were of holding you tight.

Until that day when we are united as one,

I will wait my love by the setting sun.

~ Joseph Sergi

“I’m Just Sayin”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“Adding manpower to a late project makes it later”

~ Brooks' law

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

~ Harper Lee

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“The chief lesson I have learned in a long life is that the only way you can make a man trustworthy is to trust him; and the surest way to make him untrustworthy is to distrust him.”

~ Henry L. Stimson

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)

Egypt orders arrest of Facebook administrator after unfaithful wives comments

Egypt orders arrest of Facebook administrator after unfaithful wives comments

Egypt's top prosecutor has ordered the arrest of a Facebook page administrator whose assertion on a popular television talk show that a third of married women in the conservative country are unfaithful caused a social media uproar.

The public prosecutor issued an arrest warrant for Taymour el-Sobky, accusing him of slandering Egyptian women and damaging their honor, according to a statement from his office.

“Women cheat on their husbands, and their husbands know about it. They keep forgiving them until they give up and leave”, Sobky said.

Reuters (02/16/2016)

Why Do We Say That the Broken-Hearted “Carry A Torch” for Someone?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Why Do We Say That the Broken-Hearted “Carry A Torch” for Someone?

Unrequited love is a universal theme, so it makes sense that it would have its own anthem, or musical calling card. The phrase torch song comes from the idiom “to carry a torch” for someone, the idea being that the flame of one’s love still burns long after their intended’s has extinguished. But where did the phrase “carry the torch” come from?

This, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, was the first instance where the phrase “carry the torch” is used in regards to love. But, Gioia writes, “others, perhaps more erudite or merely imaginative, have tried to link the phrase back to the torches carried by ancient Greek revelers at the wedding processions.”

The torch is said to have symbolized the newly-formed connection between the two households. Well-wishers would cheer for the happy couple, and similar to today’s bouquet-throwing tradition, the bride is said to have flung the torch into the crowd. Ironically, despite the danger of throwing a lit flame into a crowd of people, catching the torch was said to grant its new possessor a long life. This ritual is thought to have been connected to Vesta, the Roman goddess of the hearth, home, and family. Another possibility is that it was intended to represent Ceres, who searched for her daughter Proserpina (better known by the Greek name Persephone) by torchlight after her abduction by Pluto. The torch symbol is also represented in works of art. depicting Hymen, the Greek god of marriage ceremonies; according to certain accounts, the gods also held torches.

Aside from its ceremonial trappings, the torch also had obvious practical uses. Take Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope, for example. According to legend, Diogenes spent much time wandering the countryside in broad daylight, torch or lamp in hand, in search of an honest man—which speaks to the hopelessness and despair many torch singers convey through their powerful ballads. But it is also thought that “carrying a torch” simply refers to the utility a torch offers when looking for a lost loved one.

Given that the lighting of the hearth in a Roman couple’s home was symbolic of the beginning of a new life, it makes sense that those scorned would be left to carry their torch, it never reaching its intended final destination. But those who are lucky enough to be heartbroken and talented can channel these feelings into powerful music: The kind you either cry to or sing at karaoke (or, perhaps, both).

BBCDivorce360Mental FlossPsych CentralWikipedia

Where Did That Saying Come From? “>Loose cannon”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Loose cannon:” An unpredictable person or thing, liable to cause damage if not kept in check by others.

From the 17th century to the 19th century, wooden warships carried cannon as their primary offensive weapons. In order to avoid damage from their enormous recoil when fired they were mounted on rollers and secured with rope.

A loose cannon was just what it sounds like, that is, a cannon that had become free of its restraints and was rolling dangerously about the deck.

As with many nautical phrases, the use of “loose cannon” owes something to the imagination as no evidence has come to light to indicate that the phrase was used by sailors in the days that ships actually carried cannon. The imagination in question belonged to Victor Hugo who set the scene in the novel Ninety Three, 1874. A translation of the French original describes cannon being tossed about following a violent incident onboard ship:

“The carronade, hurled forward by the pitching, dashed into this knot of men, and crushed four at the first blow; then, flung back and shot out anew by the rolling, it cut in two a fifth poor fellow... The enormous cannon was left alone. She was given up to herself. She was her own mistress, and mistress of the vessel. She could do what she willed with both.”

Phrases.org UK

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

ID10T: Idiot, pronounced “Eye-Dee-Ten-Tango”. Similar to “bulkhead remover”, an inexpensive way to derive enjoyment from inexperienced personnel. “Recruit, go get me an ID10T form, and step on it!”

IFNAG: (Derogatory) Ignorant Fucking Naval Academy Graduate.

Ikeatraz: Derogatory term used to describe the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69).

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

Just for you MARINE

JAX: Jacksonville, North Carolina. Located outside Camp Lejeune. Also called J-ville. Typical U.S. military town filled with bars/taverns, pawn shops, tattoo parlors, car dealers and strip clubs. More commonly referred to as J-ville.

Jesus slippers or Jesus boots: Government-issue sandals or flip-flops for sanitation in showers. Also known as a “Boot from the Heavens”. “Best boot I ever had”. See also shower shoes

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

HSC-2 - Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWO: “Fleet Angels”
Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Illusion transforms Yosemite waterfall into “firefall”

Illusion transforms Yosemite waterfall into “firefall”

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, California - Visitors to Yosemite National Park's Horsetail Falls are capturing photos of a stunning yearly phenomenon known as the “firefall”.

The illusion, nicknamed “firefall” because it makes the waterfall appear to be flowing fire, is noted each year at the park when the angle of the sunset reflects off the water.

”Horsetail Falls is famous for appearing to be on fire when it reflects the orange glow of sunset in mid- to late-February. It falls off of the east side of El Capitan and is best seen from just east of El Capitan”, Yosemite National Park's website states. UPI (02/19/2016)

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


“U Can't Touch This” - MC Hammer

“U Can't Touch This” - MC Hammer
Album: Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em
Released 1990 video

The music is based on “Super Freakvideo by Rick James. That song was a hit in 1981, so many younger listeners did not know the beat was sampled. In a strange irony, Hammer got a huge boost from MTV, who put the video in heavy rotation. In 1981, however, they refused to play “Super Freak”, as they didn't play videos by black artists with any regularity. Maybe if Rick James wore parachute pants and pulled off the “Chinese Typewriter” dance move, he would have gotten some respect from the network.

Hammer was a bat boy for the Oakland A's baseball team, and got the name "Hammer" because he looked like baseball legend Hank Aaron, who was known as “Hammerin' Hank”. Some members of The A's helped finance Hammer's rap career, and he emerged from the West Coast rap scene in the late '80s, representing Oakland. His first album gave him a lot of credibility in the rap community and produced a minor hit with “Turn This Mutha Outvideo, but this song took him in a new direction. It was a massive Pop hit, and Hammer appeared on MTV and a variety of talk shows performing in ridiculously baggy pants that became his trademark along with his distinctive dance moves. A massive tour followed with lots of backup dancers and hangers on, many of which were old friends of Hammer who were happy to share his financial success. The tour was bloated and expensive, and when Hammer's star faded, there was no money left. He dropped the “MC” and tried to reinvent himself as more of a gangsta rapper, but he lost credibility in the rap world and no longer appealed to that audience. He became a bit of a joke as listeners realized that it didn't take much talent to take a hit song from years ago and rap over the beat (think Vanilla Ice). In 2005, he made some appearances where he was willing to poke fun at himself, including a reality TV show and a commercial where he performs this in front of a mansion that gets repossessed 15 minutes later when his luck runs out. He also performed on the MTV video music awards that year.

Rick James sued MC Hammer over credit for the “Super Freak” sample. The case was settled out of court, with James getting listed as a co-writer on the track. Also credited was Alonzo Miller, a disc jockey who wrote some lyrics on “Super Freak” and was listed as a songwriter on the track.

This won 1990 Grammy Awards for Best Rap Solo Performance and Best Rhythm & Blues Song for writers MC Hammer, Rick James and Alonzo Miller.

“Weird” Al Yankovic did a parody of this song called “I Can't Watch Thisvideo, which is about bad TV programs, which are “as much fun as watching paint dry”.

MC Hammer recorded this song at the Capitol Records studios in Hollywood, the same place where Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole made many of their famous recordings.

This was featured in the 2003 movie Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.

MC Hammer Facebook official site / Rolling Stone magazine / Soul Train's 25th Anniversary Hall of Fame Show 1995 / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Wikipedia

Image: “Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em (album)” by MC Hammer



● Newton's second law of motion F = ma - Force, mass, acceleration.

● The Antarctica continent is subjected to the world's largest ozone hole.

● A squid can have an eye measuring 16 inches across, the largest in the animal kingdom.

People Who Know Everything

A Test for People Who Know Everything

Name the only sport in which the ball is always in possession of the team on defense, and the offensive team can score without touching the ball?

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

Answer to Last Week's Test

Crater Lake in Oregon is the deepest lake in the United States at 1,932 feet (589 meters). What is the deepest lake in the world?

Answer: Lake Baikal in Russia is the largest and deepest freshwater lake by volume in the world, containing roughly 20% of the world's unfrozen surface fresh water. (UNESCO World Heritage Site) Wikipedia

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

A kindergarten teacher wanted to teach her students about self esteem.

She said to her class, “Everyone who thinks you are dumb, please stand up.”

She didn’t think anybody would stand and she’d make the point how no one was dumb.

But about that time little Jonny stood up.

She didn’t quite know what to do.

She said, “Now Jonny do you really think that you’re dumb?”

He said, “No Maam, I just hate to see you standing there All by yourself.”

Pun of the Day

The key to job searching is looking inside yourself. It's all about the inner view.