Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 17, 2016

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Universe is created, according to Kepler on April 27, 4977 B.C.

Universe is created, according to Kepler on April 27, 4977 B.C.

Universe is created, according to Kepler On this day in 4977 B.C., the universe is created, according to German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler, considered a founder of modern science. Kepler is best known for his theories explaining the motion of planets.

Kepler was born on December 27, 1571, in Weil der Stadt, Germany. As a university student, he studied the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus’ theories of planetary ordering. Copernicus (1473-1543) believed that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the solar system, a theory that contradicted the prevailing view of the era that the sun revolved around the earth.

In 1600, Kepler went to Prague to work for Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, the imperial mathematician to Rudolf II, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Kepler’s main project was to investigate the orbit of Mars. When Brahe died the following year, Kepler took over his job and inherited Brahe’s extensive collection of astronomy data, which had been painstakingly observed by the naked eye. Over the next decade, Kepler learned about the work of Italian physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), who had invented a telescope with which he discovered lunar mountains and craters, the largest four satellites of Jupiter and the phases of Venus, among other things. Kepler corresponded with Galileo and eventually obtained a telescope of his own and improved upon the design.

In 1609, Kepler published the first two of his three laws of planetary motion, which held that planets move around the sun in ellipses, not circles (as had been widely believed up to that time), and that planets speed up as they approach the sun and slow down as they move away. In 1619, he produced his third law, which used mathematic principles to relate the time a planet takes to orbit the sun to the average distance of the planet from the sun.

Kepler’s research was slow to gain widespread traction during his lifetime, but it later served as a key influence on the English mathematician Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) and his law of gravitational force. Additionally, Kepler did important work in the fields of optics, including demonstrating how the human eye works, and math. He died on November 15, 1630, in Regensberg, Germany. As for Kepler’s calculation about the universe’s birthday, scientists in the 20th century developed the Big Bang theory, which showed that his calculations were off by about 13.7 billion years. History Channel / Wikipedia (Johannes Kepler) / Encyclopedia Britannica (Johannes Kepler) / PBS video


The Old Salt’s Corner


Ascending towering mountains with the greatest of ease,

laughing as foliage tickles my tummy with soft, feathery leaves.

Endless melodies, I have played, breezing through dangling chimes,

luring enchanted fairies with an orchestra sublime.

Lifting kites of brilliant colors, I choreograph the dance.

Such magnificent, breathtaking moves, never given to chance.

Designer of vast deserts, sculpting massive, lounging dunes.

Artist of the lonely face that rises from the moon.

Donning infinite perfumes; sweetest flowers; savory food,

or the salt of seven seas, when in a traveling mood.

Ghost writer of romantic voyages, sailors and pirates tell;

beached lovers on exotic islands, my gust upon their sail.

I've swooped down through lost canyons, and valleys, emerald green;

lain in meadow's tall lush grass to nap in sun's warm gleam.

My disposition revealed by soft whispers through the trees,

or howls from the north, saddled on winter's cold, pale steed.

Old as God himself, being born of his first breath.

I fill the lungs of eternity, forever evading death.

~ Arlene Smith

“I’m Just Sayin”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“An organism is unable to return, even partially, to a previous stage already realized in the ranks of its ancestors.” (Simply put evolution is not reversible.)

~ Dollo's law

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“Stop comparing yourself with others.

If they are good at something, you too are good at something else.

Self-confidence is not measured by your own capabilities versus that of others, but by your own needs.

~ Stephen Richards

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Either you run the day or the day runs you.”

~ Jim Rohn

Why Do Most Lemons Have Seeds, While Most Limes Do Not?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Why Do Most Lemons Have Seeds, While Most Limes Do Not?

Lemons and limes are both citrus fruits, and their juice and zest are often used interchangeably in recipes. So why do lemons (and most fruits) have seeds while limes don’t?

The majority of limes sold in the U.S. are Persian limes (Citrus latifolia). While often thought to be its own species, the Los Angeles Times says this fruit is “a natural hybrid of true lime and citron”. Also called Tahiti or Bearss limes, these limes are parthenocarpic, meaning they’re produced without fertilization and are thus seedless. On the other hand, true limes (Citrus aurantifolia, but known commonly as Mexican, Key, or West Indian limes) do have seeds. Because Persian limes are bigger, have a thicker skin, and are more resistant to diseases than true limes, Persian limes have a longer shelf life. But where do they come from if they don't have seeds?

Speaking to Scientific American, two biologists at Brookhaven National Laboratory explain that normal fruit starts to develop when a flower’s egg cell is fertilized by pollen. Parthenocarpic fruit, in contrast, develops without fertilization. Fruit can be parthenocarpic for a variety of reasons, such as problems with the eggs or sperm, problems with pollination, or chromosomal imbalances.

Seedless or “large-fruited” limes have three sets of chromosomes rather than two. While some parthenocarpic fruits occur naturally, this genetic abnormality makes wild reproduction extremely rare for Persian limes. To overcome this, farmers use a technique called grafting, where part of a seedless lime tree is removed and inserted into a new tree. This essentially clones the original tree, ensuring that more seedless limes will be produced. (Farmers can also use grafting to fix fruit trees that have been injured.) Grafting allows farmers to produce seedless fruits on a commercial scale.

While most limes you see in the supermarket are probably seedless, some varieties of lime do indeed have seeds. And although most lemons have seeds, some lemons are actually seedless. You may find an occasional seed even in “seedless” lemons due to cross-pollination if the lemons were grown near other fruits. Lemons without seeds are more difficult to find in grocery stores than regular ones, just as limes with seeds are harder to find in stores than their seedless counterparts.

SmithsonianMental FlossScientific AmericanWonderopolis.orgWikipedia

Where Did That Saying Come From? “A little bird told me”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

A little bird told me:” The text 'a little bird told me' doesn't appear in any version of the Bible, but the root source of this expression probably is biblical, from Ecclesiastes 10-20 (King James Version):

“Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.”

Various authors over the centuries, including Shakespeare, have made reference to birds, feathered or otherwise, giving messages. The first that comes close to our current version of this phrase is Frederick Marryat, in Peter Simple, 1833:

“A little bird has whispered a secret to me.”


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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Jesus Nut: The assembly which keeps the rotary wing attached to a helicopter.

Jim Jim: The nickname for the computer that aided avionics ratings through Basic Electronics and Electricity (B double E) and AVA's self paced courses.

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

Just for you MARINE

Keyboard Jockey: Person whose job causes him or her use a computer for a length of time.

Kill Hat: A junior Drill Instructor who specializes in discipline and punishment. See also: heavy hat.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

HSC-6 - Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron SIX: “Indians”
Naval Station Norfolk - San Diego, California / Coronado, California

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Coffee Tycoon's Ashes Interred In The Iconic Pot He Made Famous

Coffee Tycoon's Ashes Interred In The Iconic Pot He Made Famous

In life as in death, it was all about the coffee for Renato Bialetti.

When the 93-year-old Italian entrepreneur who brought the stove-top Moka coffee maker to the masses died on Feb. 11, his family decided there was only one way for him to be buried. They placed his ashes inside one of his iconic, octagonal aluminum pots.

Bialetti's remains were blessed by a priest in his hometown of Casale Corte Cerro, 60 miles northwest of Milan, before being interred in the family tomb in nearby Omega. Huffington Post - Mashable - CNN (02/18/2016)

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


“Your Cheatin' Heart” - Hank Williams 1953

“Your Cheatin' Heart” - Hank Williams
Album: 40 Greatest Hits
Released 1953 video

Williams wrote this shortly after divorcing his wife, Audrey Mae Sheppard. They married in 1944, while the ink was still drying on Audrey's divorce papers from her first marriage. The pair would go on to record several duets together (and produce a son, Hank Williams Jr.), but Williams' drinking ultimately caused irreparable rift in their marriage.

When he described his first wife as “a cheatin' heart” to country singer Billie Jean Jones, who would soon become his second wife, he was inspired to write the song.

Williams recorded this in September 1952 during what would be his last session at Nashville's Castle Records. He would die just months later from heart problems (or, some say, suspicious circumstances) on the way to a New Year's concert in Canton, Ohio. The song was posthumously released in January 1953 and topped the Country & Western Billboard Charts for six weeks.

Many artists have covered this over the years, including Louis Armstrong, Glen Campbell, Fats Domino and Jerry Lee Lewis. Ray Charles' 1962 version was a hit in both the US and the UK, peaking at #29 and #13, respectively.

Rat Pack member Joey Bishop recorded this in the '60s on the album Cold, Cold, Heart. Bishop was an actor, and many people considered his version so bad it was actually entertaining. On the album cover, Bishop is dressed in a rhinestone cowboy costume. It contains liner notes by fellow Rat Packer Dean Martin.

For the line “You'll walk the floor, the way I do”, Williams took inspiration from his friend Ernest Tubb's “Walkin' the Floor Over Youvideo. He also recorded three of Tubb's hits, which were released posthumously: “First Year Bluesvideo, “It Just Don't Matter Nowvideo and “I'm Free at Lastvideo.

This song shares its name with the 1964 biopic of Hank Williams, starring George Hamilton. Hank Williams Jr. recorded the soundtrack album.

Two versions of this hit the pop charts in 1953: Joni James' at #2 and Frankie Laine's at #18.

Hank Williams official site / Rolling Stone / Biography / Rock and Roll Hall of Fame / All Music / Billboard / Song Facts / Wikipedia

Image: ““Your Cheatin' Heart” (album)” by Hank Williams



● The Milky Way is actually a giant, as its mass is probably between 750 billion and one trillion solar masses, and its diameter is about 100,000 light years.

● The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy.

● A Martian year: The orbital period of Mars is 686.9726 days.

People Who Know Everything

A Test for People Who Know Everything

List at least three words starting with dw

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

Answer to Last Week's Test

In many liquor stores, you can buy pear brandy, with a real pear inside the bottle. The pear is whole and ripe, and the bottle is genuine; it hasn't been cut in any way. How did the pear get inside the bottle?

Answer: It grew inside the bottle. The bottles are placed over pear buds when they are small, and are wired in place on the tree. The bottle is left in place for the entire growing season. When the pears are ripe, they are snipped off at the stems. Telegraph

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

One day while he was at the track betting on the ponies and nearly losing his shirt, a Baptist preacher noticed a priest who stepped out onto the track and blessed the forehead of one of the horses lining up for the 4th race.

Lo and behold, that horse - a very long shot - won the race.

Before the following race, the Priest blessed yet another horse. The Baptist preacher made a beeline for the window, and placed a small bet on the horse. Again, even though it was another long shot, the horse the priest had blessed won the race.

The Baptist preacher collected his winnings, and anxiously waited to see which horse the priest would bless for the 6th race. The priest showed, blessed a horse, the Baptist preacher bet a large amount of money on it, and it won!

True to his pattern, the priest stepped out onto the track before the last race and blessed the forehead, eyes, ears, and hooves of one of the horses.

The Baptist preacher bet every cent he had, including his life savings and the deed to his house. Baptist preacher then watched the horse come in dead last. He was dumbfounded.

He made his way to the track, and when he found the priest, he demanded, “What happened, Father? All day long you blessed horses and they won. The last race, you blessed a horse and he lost. Now, thanks to you, I've lost all my savings!”

The priest nodded wisely and said, “That's the problem with Protestants -- you can't tell the difference between a simple blessing and the Last Rites!”

Pun of the Day

Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.