Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 36, 2016

Previous Week   September 05, 2016 - September 11, 2016   Next Week

United States nicknamed Uncle Sam on September 07, 1813

United States nicknamed Uncle Sam on September 07, 1813

United States nicknamed Uncle Sam: On this day in 1813, the United States gets its nickname, Uncle Sam. The name is linked to Samuel Wilson, a meat packer from Troy, New York, who supplied barrels of beef to the United States Army during the War of 1812.Wilson (1766-1854) stamped the barrels with “U.S.” for United States, but soldiers began referring to the grub as “Uncle Sam’s”. The local newspaper picked up on the story and Uncle Sam eventually gained widespread acceptance as the nickname for the U.S. federal government.

In the late 1860s and 1870s, political cartoonist Thomas Nast (1840-1902) began popularizing the image of Uncle Sam. Nast continued to evolve the image, eventually giving Sam the white beard and stars-and-stripes suit that are associated with the character today. The German-born Nast was also credited with creating the modern image of Santa Claus as well as coming up with the donkey as a symbol for the Democratic Party and the elephant as a symbol for the Republicans. Nast also famously lampooned the corruption of New York City’s Tammany Hall in his editorial cartoons and was, in part, responsible for the downfall of Tammany leader William Tweed.

Perhaps the most famous image of Uncle Sam was created by artist James Montgomery Flagg (1877-1960). In Flagg’s version, Uncle Sam wears a tall top hat and blue jacket and is pointing straight ahead at the viewer. During World War I, this portrait of Sam with the words “I Want You For The U.S. Army” was used as a recruiting poster. The image, which became immensely popular, was first used on the cover of Leslie’s Weekly in July 1916 with the title “What Are You Doing for Preparedness?” The poster was widely distributed and has subsequently been re-used numerous times with different captions.

In September 1961, the U.S. Congress recognized Samuel Wilson as “the progenitor of America’s national symbol of Uncle Sam”. Wilson died at age 88 in 1854, and was buried next to his wife Betsey Mann in the Oakwood Cemetery in Troy, New York, the town that calls itself “The Home of Uncle Sam.” History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / Library of Congress

“Tin Can Sailors”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“Tin Can Sailors”

The mighty 3rd to the north did steam,

Chasing a ghost not to be seen

Guard the landing your task assigned,

Quiet the day is to be benign.

At dawn the Imperial fleet does appear,

Surprise complete, ranging fire splashes near

Outnumbered and out gunned, duty is clear,

Close the range you must in spite of your fear.

Laying smoke, a jagged course you take,

An account of yourselves you will make

Steel your heart and make sure your eye,

For each salvo keeps you alive.

Toe-to-toe the battle, you exchange mighty blows,

Triumph impossible, yet into the fray you all go

In perfect rhythm, the mad dance goes on,

As smoke filled gunhouse loads powder and shot.

Decks strewn with the dead and dying,

Teams repair to keep the ensign flying

Struck and struck again, yet to point blank you steam,

Hard to port, you cross the “T”.

“All guns to fire at the turn, torpedoes away!”

The enemy scatters in disarray

Too late, mortal blows you take

To the deep, no more your enemy to rake.

One final salute their captain does render,

For you fought to the death and did not surrender

On this all men do still agree,

These were the finest two hours of Taffy 3

On October 25th, 1944, 3 destroyers and 4 destroyer escorts of Task Force Taffy 3 engaged a combined force of Imperial Japanese Navy battleships and cruisers in a 2 hour running gun battle to protect the escort carriers and troop transports taking part in the Leyte Gulf landings in the Philippines.

Two of the three destroyers and one of the escorts were sunk while sinking three Japanese heavy cruisers and damaged three more. Due to the fierceness of the attack, the Japanese fleet retired from the area thinking they had been attacked by a much larger force.

At the outset of the battle, the commanding officers of these 7 ships, without orders, individually decided to attack and headed at flank speed to the fight all knowing they would most likely not survive the day. Almost 1600 did not. In a final act of respect, the commander of one Japanese cruiser saluted the crew of an American ship that had just sunk as his ship passed them floating in the water.

~ Steve Harris (Poetry Soup)

Battle off Samar (Wwikipedia)

“I’m Just Sayin”

“I’m Just Sayin”

In medicine, is commonly stated as “Patients can have as many diseases as they damn well please”, and is a counterargument to the use of Occam's razor.

~ Hickam's dictum

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

Advice From a Tree

“Stand tall and proud.

Go out on a limb.

Remember your roots.

Drink plenty of water.

Be content with your natural beauty.

Enjoy the view.”

~ Ilan Shamir

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.”

~ Winston Churchill

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)

Ice-cream-loving cat afflicted by “brain freeze”

Ice-cream-loving cat afflicted by “brain freeze”

OWEN SOUND, Ontario - An ice cream loving Ontario cat was filmed by his owner enjoying a spoonful of the frozen treat and pausing to ride out a “brain freeze”.

Deanne McCrae's video shows her cat, Rascal enthusiastically licks up the frozen treat, but has to stop briefly when he apparently suffers from “brain freeze”, aka an ice cream headache.

The cat isn't delayed for long - he rides out the brain freeze and quickly returns to his ice cream. UPI (07/06/2016) video

What's the Difference Between a Font and a Typeface?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: What's the Difference Between a Font and a Typeface?

Most people use the terms “font” and “typeface” interchangeably, and they are incorrect to do so. In most instances when people refer to fonts, they really mean typefaces.

The confusion arose due to the prominence of digital fonts and naming conventions in operating systems, which refer to fonts rather than typefaces. Even type foundries tend to refer to themselves as font foundries rather than type foundries.

As such there is a conflation of terms, where people think fonts are really digital typefaces, whereas typefaces are physical. Instead, the naming convention is the same for physical and digital typefaces; fonts refer to weights, widths and styles, and typefaces are the collective names of sets of related fonts.

Naming conventions of fonts:

Weights: Hairline, Thin, Ultra Light, Extra Light, Light, Book, Regular/Roman, Medium, Semibold, Bold, Extra Bold, Ultra Bold, Black, Ultra Black.

Widths: Compressed, Condensed, Semi Condensed, Narrow, Normal, Extended, Extra Extended, Expanded.

Styles: Roman, Italic, Cursive, Oblique (a slanted roman), Small Caps (usually included as an OpenType feature rather than a digital font), Petite Caps (rare), Upright Italic (rare), Swash (usually an OpenType feature rather than a font).

Optical sizes: Caption, Text, Subhead, Display, Deck, Poster.

Grades: Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4 (subtly different weight to accommodate for different printing conditions).

Effects: Inline, Outline, Shadow, Fill, Bevel.

Typeface is sometimes referred to as a font family, and in CSS this terminology is used rather than typeface. There are also type families however, which are related typefaces, usually covering sans and serif, and sometimes slab serif or even a blackletter design. Examples of type families are:

Brix Sans/Brix Slab/Brix Slab Condensed

Museo/Museo Sans/Museo Slab/Museo Cyrillic/Museo Sans Cyrillic/Museo Sans Rounded/Museo Sans Condensed/Museo Sans Display

Scala Sans/Scala

Skolar/Skolar Sans

The strange thing about widths is that they are often presented as distinct typefaces rather than fonts that are part of one typeface. This is because different widths are often later releases to the original cut. For the same reason sometimes optical sizes are introduced as separate typefaces as well.

Typefaces for languages that use different scripts than Latin (Greek, Cyrillic, Hebrew, Arabic, Devanagari etc.) are referred to as typefaces rather than fonts.

What's the Difference Between a Font and a Typeface?

Interestingly enough, historically, the distinction between typefaces and fonts was blurry in the first years of letterpress printing. Rather than a different style, italics were initially distinct typefaces used to set entire books in. These italics had upright roman capitals (italic type by Ludovico Arrighi, c. 1527).

It wasn’t until the middle of the 16th century that the popularity of italic type declined until italics fulfilled a secondary function of use for in-line citations, block quotes, preliminary text, emphasis, and abbreviations. It was then that italic types became fonts of typefaces rather than typefaces in their own right. Although, there is nothing against an italic type which features no other fonts to be referred to as a typeface.

Fast Code SignGraphic Design Stack ExchangeMental FlossQuoraFont - Typeface‎ - Wikipedia

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Touch and go”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Touch and go:”  Meaning: A risky, precarious or delicate case or state of things - such that the slightest change could prove disastrous.

Origin: “Touch and go” is a highly unusual expression in English in that it has developed with several different meanings. The one given above is the most commonly used but, as the meanings lead us to the origins, let's list the variations first.

Briefly touch on something and then go on to something else.

Involving rapid or careless execution - “Noel Coward wrote many touch and go witticisms.”

A precarious situation, one in which a small deviation could cause calamity - “He almost didn't make it through his heart operation, it was touch and go for a while.”

These meanings may differ but they do have a common structure - each version is of the form “something is briefly the object of attention and then some action is taken”.


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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Lobster: A female sailor. So called because most of the meat of a lobster is in its tail.

Loop, Looper: An officer, usually a LT or LCDR, who is an admiral's aide. So called because of the gold braided loop that they wear around their arm.

LOST: Line Of Sight Tasking: when a senior officer, usually the XO, tasks the first poor bastard JO who walks across his path with some time-consuming, inane project that he knows absolutely nothing about.

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

Just for you MARINE

Master Guns or Master Gunny: Master Gunnery Sergeant. Also sometimes referred to as “Maverick” due to the combination of slang for Master Sergeant “Top” and Gunnery Sergeant “Gunny”.

Marine: A woman who is thought to be sexually promiscuous with other Marines. The plural form is colloquially referred to as M&Ms.

MCI: Marine Corps Institute, a distance education program; also, the courses available to Marines for bonus promotion credit.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

HSM-48 - Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron: “Vipers”
Naval Station Mayport, Jacksonville, Florida

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Moment Pokemon GO fixated news presenter wanders in front of weather forecast on LIVE TV

Moment Pokemon GO fixated news presenter wanders in front of weather forecast on LIVE TV

Allison Kropff, an anchor for WTSP in Florida, was mesmerised by the game to such an extent she completely forgot where she was.

A TV presenter became so transfixed by a computer game she sauntered in front of the camera during a live weather forecast.

Allison Kropff, an anchor for WTSP in Florida, was mesmerised by Pokémon GO to such an extent she completely forgot where she was.

With her eyes glued to her mobile phone, she ambled right in front of shocked weather man Bobby Deskins as he attempted to read the forecast.

Speaking on live TV, he says: “She's looking for Pokémon!” Mirror (07/12/2016) video

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


“Renegade” - Styx

“Renegade” - Styx
Album: Pieces Of Eight
Released 1978 video

This Classic Rock staple tells the story of a man who has committed associated theft and is heading to the gallows to die. Enclosed in the lyrics are a letter to his mother.

This song was written by Tommy Shaw who also sang lead vocals, while James Young supplied the guitar solo.

Chris Daughtry video performed this song live on the TV show American Idol. The topic was songs from the year you were born.

Since 2001, the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive line has been devoted to “Renegadevideo.

Styx official site / Rolling Stone magazine / VH1 - Should Be Rock & Roll Hall of Fame / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Wikipedia

Image: “Pieces Of Eight (album)” by Styx



● Three composers whose last names begin with “R”: Sergei RACHMANINOV / Maurice RAVEL Bolèro/ Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Scheherazade, Flight of the Bumblebee / Gioacchino ROSSINI Barber of Seville, William Tell.

● Costa Rica was the first country, located in North America to formally abolish military forces.

● In 1893 “AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL”, inspired by the view from atop Pikes Peak, Katharine Lee Bates, Massachusetts educator and author, wrote a song that begins, “O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain”.

People Who Know Everything

A Test for People Who Know Everything

Before it began to lean, the tower of Pisa was built to be what?

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer Tower of Pisa Historical Facts.org

Answer to Last Week's Test

This 17th century mapmaker created the flat map where the lines of latitude and longitude are drawn parallel to each other, however causing countries farthest from the equator to be distorted . What is the name of this projection, named after this person?

Answer: Gerardus Mercator Encyclopedia Britannica

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

A therapist has a theory that couples who make love once a day are the happiest. So he tests it at a seminar by asking those assembled, “How many people here make love once a day?” Half the people raise their hands, each of them grinning widely. “Once a week?” A third of the audience members raise their hands, their grins a bit less vibrant. “Once a month?” A few hands tepidly go up. Then he asks, “OK, how about once a year?”

One man in the back jumps up and down, jubilantly waving his hands. The therapist is shocked—this disproves his theory. “If you make love only once a year,” he asks, “why are you so happy?”

The man yells, “Today’s the day!”

Pun of the Day

What happened to the rich guy with the double chin? He made a four chin.