Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 31, 2016

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Columbus sets sail on August 03, 1492

Columbus sets sail on August 03, 1492

Columbus sets sail: From the Spanish port of Palos, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus sets sail in command of three ships—the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Nina—on a journey to find a western sea route to China, India, and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia.

On October 12, the expedition sighted land, probably Watling Island in the Bahamas, and went ashore the same day, claiming it for Spain. Later that month, Columbus sighted Cuba, which he thought was mainland China, and in December the expedition landed on Hispaniola, which Columbus thought might be Japan. He established a small colony there with 39 of his men. The explorer returned to Spain with gold, spices, and “Indian” captives in March 1493 and was received with the highest honors by the Spanish court. He was the first European to explore the Americas since the Vikings set up colonies in Greenland and Newfoundland in the 10th century.

During his lifetime, Columbus led a total of four expeditions to the New World, discovering various Caribbean islands, the Gulf of Mexico, and the South and Central American mainland, but never accomplished his original goal—a western ocean route to the great cities of Asia. Columbus died in Spain in 1506 without realizing the great scope of what he did achieve: He had discovered for Europe the New World, whose riches over the next century would help make Spain the wealthiest and most powerful nation on earth. History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica /Biography / Library of Congress / Mariners Museum.org video

Understanding Military Terminology

Understanding Military Terminology - Multinational integrated logistic unit

(DOD) An organization resulting when two or more nations agree to provide logistics assets to a multinational logistic force under the operational control of a multinational commander for the logistic support of a multinational force. Also called MILU. See also logistic support; multinational. Joint Publications JP 4-08 (Logistics in Support of Multinational Operations - Defense)

“Sea Dreams”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“Sea Dreams” (Part II)

“Forgive! How many will say, “forgive”, and find

A sort of absolution in the sound

To hate a little longer! No; the sin

That neither God nor man can well forgive,

Hypocrisy, I saw it in him at once.

Is it so true that second thoughts are best?

Not first, and third, which are a riper first?

Too ripe, too late! they come too late for use.

Ah love, there surely lives in man and beast

Something divine to warn them of their foes:

And such a sense, when first I fronted him,

Said, “trust him not;” but after, when I came

To know him more, I lost it, knew him less;

Fought with what seem'd my own uncharity;

Sat at his table; drank his costly wines;

Made more and more allowance for his talk;

Went further, fool! and trusted him with all,

All my poor scrapings from a dozen years

Of dust and deskwork: there is no such mine,

None; but a gulf of ruin, swallowing gold,

Not making.

Ruin'd! ruin'd! the sea roars

Ruin: a fearful night!”

“Not fearful; fair,”

Said the good wife, “if every star in heaven

Can make it fair: you do but bear the tide.

Had you ill dreams?”

“O yes,” he said, “I dream'd

Of such a tide swelling toward the land,

And I from out the boundless outer deep

Swept with it to the shore, and enter'd one

Of those dark caves that run beneath the cliffs.

I thought the motion of the boundless deep

Bore through the cave, and I was heaved upon it

In darkness: then I saw one lovely star

Larger and larger.

“What a world”, I thought,

“To live in!” but in moving I found

Only the landward exit of the cave,

Bright with the sun upon the stream beyond:

And near the light a giant woman sat,

All over earthy, like a piece of earth,

A pickaxe in her hand: then out I slipt

Into a land all of sun and blossom, trees

As high as heaven, and every bird that sings:

And here the night-light flickering in my eyes

Awoke me.”

“That was then your dream,” she said,

“Not sad, but sweet.”

~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson (Part II of VI)

Full Poem

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“There is no saint without a past, no sinner without a future.”

~ Saint Augustine

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Be the flame, not the moth.”

~ Giacomo Casanova

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)

Burger King’s Mac N’ Cheetos Will Fulfill Your Dreams - Or Nightmares

Burger King Thinks Mac N' Cheetos Is Something You Might Eat

Burger King is out of control and doesn’t care who it hurts.

Being tested in select markets and soon rolling out nationwide, Mac N’ Cheetos are deep-fried macaroni and cheese sticks with Cheetos breading. To put it in old, worn-out meme terms, they heard you liked cheese, so they put cheese in their cheese. Also macaroni. Whatever.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Burger King North American president (how can a king have a president?) Alex Macedo threatens that this will not be the last collaboration between fast food royalty and big snack chip.

Macedo said, “We’re working on a few other menu items,” ... “There’s room for us to do more together in the future.” Kotaku - Bloomberg (06/22/2016)

How is SPF Calculated?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: How is SPF Calculated?


SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and it indicates a sunscreen’s ability to block UVB rays. The concept was pioneered at the Coppertone Solar Research Center in 1972; in 1978, the FDA published an SPF method based on Coppertone’s system, according to Dr. David Leffell, Chief of Dermatologic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology at Yale.

The numbers themselves stand for the approximate measure of time a person who has applied the sunscreen can stay out in the sun without getting burned. Say you get burned after 20 minutes in the sun without sunscreen; if properly applied (and reapplied), SPF 30 will allow you to stay in the sun 30 times longer without burning than if you were wearing no protection at all. So, theoretically, you should have approximately 600 minutes, or 10 hours, in the sun. But it’s not an exact science because the amount of UV light that reaches us depends on a number of factors, including cloud cover, the time of day, and the reflection of UV rays off the ground, so it’s generally recommended that you reapply sunscreen every two hours (or even sooner).

What gives a sunscreen a higher SPF comes down to the product’s formulation. “It’s possible that an SPF 50 might contain slightly more of one or more sunscreen active ingredients to achieve that higher SPF”, says Dr. Patricia Agin, president of Agin Suncare Consulting says, “but it’s also possible that the SPF 50 might contain an additional active ingredient to help boost the SPF performance to SPF 50.”

But no matter what SPF your sunscreen is, you’ll still get a burn if it’s not properly applied. So let’s go over how to do that.


First, make sure you have a water resistant, broad spectrum sunscreen—which means that it protects against both UVB and UVA radiation—with an SPF of at least 30. “Typically, you don’t have to buy sunscreen that has an SPF higher than that unless you have very sun sensitive skin“, Leffell says. “That’s a very small percentage of the population.” (Redheads, people with light eyes, and those who turn pink after just a few minutes in the sun—you’ll want to load up on SPF above 30.)

Twenty minutes before you go out to the beach or the pool, begin to apply your sunscreen in an even coat. “Don’t apply it like icing on a cake”, Leffell says. “I see these patients and they’ve got the tops of their ears covered with thick, unevenly applied sunscreen, and that’s not a good sign.” Sunscreen sprays will easily give you that even coat you need.

Whether you’re using lotion or a spray, when it comes time to apply, Leffell recommends starting with your scalp and face, even if you plan on wearing a hat. “Make sure you’ve covered the ears and nose and under the eyes”, Leffell says. “Then, I would move down to the shoulders, and make sure that someone can apply the sunscreen on your back beyond the reach of your hands.”

Other areas that are important that you may forget to cover, but shouldn’t, are the tops of your feet, the backs of your hands, and your chest. “We see it all the time now—the v of the chest in women has become a socially and aesthetically huge issue when they are 50 and beyond. Because even though they can treat their faces with all sorts of cosmetics and procedures, the chest is much harder, and they are stuck with the face of a 40 year old and the chest of a 60 year old. You want to avoid that using sunscreen.”

Another important thing to keep in mind: Water resistant doesn’t mean waterproof. “I always tell patients to reapply every couple of hours while you’re active outdoors”, Leffell says, “and always reapply when you come out of the water or if you’ve been sweating a lot, regardless of whether the label says water resistant.”

Determining whether or not you’ve succeeded in properly applying your sunscreen is easy: “You know you’re applying your sunscreen properly if, after the first time you’ve used it, you haven’t gotten a burn”, Leffell says.

Agin has a caveat, though: “It’s not a good idea to think of sunscreens only as a way to extend your time in the sun”, she says. “One must also understand that even before becoming sunburned, your skin is receiving UV exposure that causes other damage to the skin. At the end of the 600 minutes, you will have accrued enough UV to cause a sunburn—one Minimal Erythema Dose or MED—but there is pre-MED damage done to skin cells’ DNA and to the skin’s supporting structure of collagen and elastin that is not visible and happens even before you sunburn. These types of damage can occur without sunburning. So you can’t measure all the damage done to your skin by only being concerned about sunburn.”

About EducationHow Stuff WorksMental FlossSkin Cancer.orgWikipedia

Where Did That Saying Come From? “A miss is as good as a mile”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

A miss is as good as a mile:”  Meaning: A [narrow] miss is as bad as a wide miss - they are both misses.

Origin: This proverbial saying dates from the 18th century. The first example of it that I can find in print is from the USA, in the journal The American Museum, Volume 3, 1788:

The version “a little learning” is widely attributed to Alexander Pope (1688 - 1744). It is found in An Essay on Criticism, 1709, and I can find no earlier example of the expression in print:

A smart repartee... will carry you through with eclat such as, “a miss is as good as a mile”.

The expression may or may not be American in origin, but the root source is certainly the British Isles. Similar expressions were in circulation there more than a century earlier; for example, this piece from William Camden's Remaines of a Greater Worke Concerning Britaine, 1614:

“An ynche in a misse is as good as an ell.”

[An ell is a now obslete English measure of length, equalling about 45 inches.]

Camden's version is clearly essentially the same phrase as “a miss is as good as a mile”, the dimensions being those of the early 17th century. The expression was also considered proverbial in Scotland by the 18th century, where James Kelly included it in A Complete Collection of Scotish Proverbs, 1721:

“An Inch of a miss is as good as a span.”

Both Pope's original verse and the misquotation of it were predated by an anonymous author, signing himself “A B”, in the collection of letters published in 1698 as The mystery of phanaticism:

“Twas well observed by my Lord Bacon, That a little knowledge is apt to puff up, and make men giddy, but a greater share of it will set them right, and bring them to low and humble thoughts of themselves.”

Kelly wrote “span” as “spaw”, but it is clear what he meant - a span is the distance from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger of a man's hand, usually formalised as 9 inches.

Perhaps more recent changes in dimensions will lead us to 'a miss is as good as a kilometre'. Until then, we will have to make do with the American “close but no cigar

So, who coined the phrase? It appears to have been a group effort. Bacon can be credited with the idea, Pope with the “learning” version and the mysterious “A B” with the “knowledge” version.


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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Liberty: Free time away from work or the ship, usually after working hours or in port. Differs from leave (see above) in that one must stay close to one's home station and it is generally much shorter.

Liberty Boat: Boat assigned to transfer sailors to and from their ship when in a port that requires the ship to drop anchor instead of pulling pierside. Trips to the beach are generally low key. Trips back to the ship in the wee hours of the night are usually very entertaining.

Liberty Hound: A sailor who conspires to or is able to take extra liberty, or who enjoys liberty more than anything else. Also sailor(s) who head for the quarterdeck immediately after “shift colors”.

Liberty Risk: A sailor who loves liberty a little too much, so much so that he puts himself in danger by drinking too much, getting into fights, or pissing off the locals. Such a sailor will likely be restricted to the ship at the next liberty port.

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

Just for you MARINE

M: A prefix to the model number of a specific nomenclature of equipment, generally considered to denote “model” or “mark”. Also us in the phonetic alphabet for “Mike”.

Ma'am: Proper method of addressing female officers.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

HSM-35 - Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron: “Magicians”
Naval Air Station North Island / San Diego, California / Coronado, California

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

iOS 10 and macOS Sierra: Networking for the modern InternetAd firm: It doesn’t matter that migrant app doesn’t work, it’s the idea that countsLaw & Disorder: “Godless” apps, some found in Google Play, root 90% of Android phonesClinton’s private e-mail was blocked by spam filters - so State IT turned them offWhite House warns Congress not to kill net neutrality and cable box rulesCrook who left his phone at the scene has “no reasonable expectation of privacy”Man beats murder rap because DNA expert illegally testified via Skype ARS Technica

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Bear breaks into car for protein bar feast

Bear breaks into car for protein bar feast

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - A Canadian family awoke to find that a bear had ransacked a car parked in front of their home and eaten a box of protein bars.

North Vancouver RCMP shared photos of the incident in which the bear broke the car's windows, attempted to pry open the doors and ripped up the interior.

While the family did not witness the bear's break-in paw prints, claw marks, fur and the misssing protein bars led police to believe the bear had been looking for a meal.

UPI (United Press International) (06/24/2016)

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


“Be My Baby” - The Ronettes 1963

“Be My Baby” - The Ronettes
Album: Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica
Released 1963 video

This was the first Ronettes song produced by Phil Spector and released on his label, Philles Records. It exemplified Spector's “Wall Of Sound” production technique, where he layered lots of instruments and used echo effects.

Spector had already produced seven chart hits when he auditioned The Ronettes for his Philles record label. The Ronettes were Veronica (Ronnie) Bennett, her sister Estelle Bennett and their cousin Nedra Talley. Phil fell in love with Veronica's voice and immediately went about signing the group to Philles (the trio was under contract with Colpix Records who had issued a few singles and a album which did not chart).

With the help of Veronica (Ronnie) and Estelle's mother, who simply called the company and got Colpix to release the Ronettes from their contract, Phil immediately signed the Ronettes to Philles at the end of March. He had the group record a Jeff Barry-Ellie Greenwich song called “Why Don't They Let Us Fall In Lovevideo, but Spector decided not to release it in favor of another Barry-Greenwich composition, “Be My Baby”. The single (Philles 116) entered the charts at the end of August and became the biggest hit and only Top 10 for The Ronettes.

Veronica Bennett was the only Ronette to sing on this. Phil Spector rehearsed her for weeks and had her do 42 takes before he got the sound he wanted. Spector and Bennett got married in 1968, and they divorced in 1974.

Phil Spector got a songwriting credit on this along with Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich. In an interview on National Public Radio (NPR), Ronnie Spector said she felt the song was inspired by her budding romance with Phil.

The Los Angeles area was populated with very talented session musicians in 1963, and Phil Spector called on many of them to play on “Be My Baby”. Assembled at Gold Star Studios on July 5, 1963 were Don Randi (piano), Hal Blaine (drums - the opening is one of his signature riffs), Frank Capp (also drums - Spector used two drummers at the session), Al de Lory (keyboards), Bill Pitman (guitar), Ray Pohlman (bass), and Tommy Tedesco (guitar).

These four-hour sessions typically yielded 4-6 songs, but many times Phil Spector used all of his time on one song, which was the case here. For the B-side, Spector had Tommy Tedesco and Bill Pitman record a throwaway instrumental that he called “Tedesco And Pitman”. Spector made sure the B-sides of his singles were garbage so there was no doubt what song should be played. This also allowed him more studio time to craft the hit.

Ronnie Spector (formerly Bennett) titled her 1995 autobiography “Be My Baby”. In the book, she explained that Phil had her rehearse the song for weeks, then spent about three days working on her vocal in the control room. Ronnie would practice in the ladies' room at the studio, which she said had great acoustics and let her work out the little “whoas” and “oh-oh-ohs”.

Phil Spector used a full string section on this recording, which Brian Wilson thought was brilliant. Wilson says it is his favorite record, stating in Q Magazine's 1001 Best songs Ever: “This is a special one for me. What a great sound, the Wall of Sound. Boy, first heard this on the car radio and I had to pull off the road, I couldn't believe it. The choruses blew me away; the strings are the melody of love. It has the promise to make the world better.”

Ronnie Spector sang parts of this on Eddie Money's “Take Me Home Tonightvideo, released in 1986. She also appeared in the video, marking her first exposure on MTV and introducing her to a whole new audience (she hadn't had a Top 40 hit since “Walking in the Rainvideo with The Ronettes in 1964).

Take Me Home Tonightvideo not only invigorated Spector's career, it also gave Money his biggest hit when it made #4 U.S.

A pre-famous Cher sang backup vocals. Sonny Bono worked for Phil Spector as a promotion man; he was dating Cher and introduced her to Phil, who then used her as backup on several recordings including “Da Do Ron Ronvideo and “Be My Babyvideo.

Spector invited anyone who could sing to participate in the backup vocal sessions, and for “Be My Baby”, Bono, Darlene Love, Bobby Sheen (of Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans), and Nino Tempo were among those showing up. According to Spector's engineer Larry Levine, they had to back up Cher because her voice would cut through so powerfully.

Brian Wilson wrote an answer song to this called “Don't Worry Babyvideo. Ronnie covered it in 1999 on She Talks To Rainbows.

This song opens the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing, and plays during the opening credits over Martin Scorsese's 1973 movie Mean Streets. After the Dirty Dancing appearance, The Ronettes sued Phil Spector, claiming he wasn't authorized to use their music in movies, advertisements and other venues. In a 1998 trial, Spector was ordered to pay $2.6 million in past royalties to The Ronettes, but the verdict was overturned in 2002, with a judge deciding that if the secondary rights to the music were not spelled out in the contract (which they rarely were in the '60s), the singers did not control those rights.

According to Ronnie Spector, the first time The Ronettes heard the finished version of this song was when Dick Clark played it on American Bandstand. She recalls getting very excited when Clark declared the song “The next record of the century”.

The Ronettes official site / All Music / Billboard / Song Facts / Rolling Stone Magazine / Wikipedia

Image: “Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica‎ (album)” by The Ronettes



● The Canary Islands are named after Dogs (canines), not Birds.

● Math students: This is for you... A map is drawn to a scale of 1/2 inch = 10 miles. If a circular lake has an area of 20 square inches on the map
Exactly 8000 square miles. Reason: since one inch = 20 miles, one square inch = 400 square miles, so 20 square inches = 8000 square miles.

● At the end of the film, The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy clicks her heels and recites “There's No Place Like Home!”

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

Scientists have discovered a food that diminishes a woman's sex drive by 90%.

It's called a wedding cake.

Pun of the Day

Did you hear about the crime that happened in a parking garage? It was wrong on so many levels.