Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 38, 2016

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The Superfortress takes flight on September 21, 1942

The Superfortress takes flight on September 21, 1942

The Superfortress takes flight: On this day in 1942, the U.S. B-29 Superfortress makes its debut flight in Seattle, Washington. It was the largest bomber used in the war by any nation.

The B-29 was conceived in 1939 by Gen. Hap Arnold, who was afraid a German victory in Europe would mean the United States would be devoid of bases on the eastern side of the Atlantic from which to counterattack. A plane was needed that would travel faster, farther, and higher than any then available, so Boeing set to creating the four-engine heavy bomber. The plane was extraordinary, able to carry loads almost equal to its own weight at altitudes of 30,000 to 40,000 feet. It contained a pilot console in the rear of the plane, in the event the front pilot was knocked out of commission. It also sported the first radar bombing system of any U.S. bomber.

The Superfortress made its test run over the continental United States on September 21, but would not make its bombing-run debut until June 5, 1944, against Bangkok, in preparation for the Allied liberation of Burma from Japanese hands. A little more than a week later, the B-29 made its first run against the Japanese mainland. On June 14, 60 B-29s based in Chengtu, China, bombed an iron and steel works factory on Honshu Island. While the raid was less than successful, it proved to be a morale booster to Americans, who were now on the offensive.

Meanwhile, the Marianas Islands in the South Pacific were being recaptured by the United States, primarily to provide air bases for their new B-29s—a perfect position from which to strike the Japanese mainland on a consistent basis. Once the bases were ready, the B-29s were employed in a long series of bombing raids against Tokyo. Although capable of precision bombing at high altitudes, the Superfortresses began dropping incendiary devices from a mere 5,000 feet, firebombing the Japanese capital in an attempt to break the will of the Axis power. One raid, in March 1945, killed more than 80,000 people. But the most famous, or perhaps infamous, use of the B-29 would come in August, as it was the only plane capable of delivering a 10,000-pound bomb—the atomic bomb. The Enola Gay and the Bock’s Car took off from the Marianas, on August 6 and 9, respectively, and flew into history. History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / Boeing / PBS video

“The Demon Whore of Captain Moore”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“The Demon Whore of Captain Moore”

I once heard told

a story so old,

but true as yesterday.

It was about Captain Moore

and his forbidden whore

the one he drowned in the bay.

They said the year,

but I've forgotten I fear,

maybe it was around '28.

The sailors were home

with nowhere to roam

and Captain Moore

went looking for a mate.

He found her one night

at a tavern in Kite,

a town not too far from here.

She was a true beauty

devoted to her duty

and she seduced the old buccaneer.

In the depths of her pleasure,

he sang of his treasure;

the secrets of his soul he gave.

She took all he owned

and he lay there and groaned

for he had now become her slave.

He woke in a panic

at the thought of the satanic

woman and what he would reap.

She took all he owned

So he grabbed her one night

in a desperate fight

and rowed her out to the deep.

She pleaded to be saved

but he was completely depraved

and he threw her over the side.

He watched as she sank

and he sat and he drank

until he knew she had died.

Then he stood tall and proud

and he boasted out loud

of the demon whore

he had sent to her death.

But his glory was short

and he was convicted in court.

The hangman took his last breath.

~ James Andersen

“I’m Just Sayin”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law.”

~ Hofstadter's Law

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“I will not follow where the path may lead,

but I will go where there is no path,

and I will leave a trail.”

~ Muriel Strode

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

~ George Bernard Shaw

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)

In Novel Coincidence, Hemingway Wins Hemingway Look-Alike Contest

In Novel Coincidence, Hemingway Wins Hemingway Look-Alike Contest

He has the name. He has the look. And now he has the trophy to prove it.

A man by the name of Hemingway has won the Hemingway look-a-like contest for the first time in its 36-year history.

Dave Hemingway, 65, from North Carolina, insisted he was not related to the Nobel Prize-winning author, whose life is celebrated every year in the Florida Keys where he lived.

But he admitted that he did share some of the literary giant's traits.

He enjoyed fishing, and drinking a little, he said. He added: “And I like women.” Telegraph (07/25/2016) video

How Is My Credit Score Determined (and Why Might it Fluctuate by Credit Bureau)?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: How Is My Credit Score Determined (and Why Might it Fluctuate by Credit Bureau)?

Every day, numbers help define us. Our blood pressure is a pretty decent indicator of our heart health. Our age might determine whether we can vote, see a movie, or get a discount at the ticket window.

Naturally, it comes down to more numbers. “Your credit score depends on several factors, the largest being your payment history,” says Torabi. “That makes up 35 percent of your FICO® credit score calculation. “On-time payments can raise your score; late payments can detract from it.”

The second most important, Torabi says, is your credit utilization. Say you have three cards with $10,000 in available total credit. If you’re $2,000 in debt, your utilization would only be 20 percent. “The lower your utilization, the better for your score,” she says. “In fact, the highest credit scores tend to be held by individuals with credit utilization of under 10 percent. That’s why it’s important to maintain low balances and not get on that ‘monthly minimum’ bandwagon if possible.”

Utilization accounts for 30 percent of your score. Another 15 percent is related to how long your credit history is—the longer, the better. (Young folks without a credit history should ask their parents about becoming an authorized user on their credit accounts.) 10 percent looks at how many new lines of credit you’ve opened. (Applying for too many in too short a time can be damaging.) Finally, the remaining 10 percent considers how many different lines of credit you have between cards, car loans, or personal loans.

That resulting basic FICO® Score can range from a 300 to a maximum of 850, with the numbers being calculated by three major bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. You may also notice the number can vary a little—or even a lot—between the three. Why? ”Credit bureaus keep track of the same information but sometimes in different ways,” Torabi says. “Lenders report your credit information to the bureaus, but sometimes at various times so you can’t assume that all bureaus always have identical information.”

When it comes to your financial health, there’s nothing more important than knowing where you stand. Chase Slate offers a variety of tools to help you monitor your credit health. Chase Slate cardholders have access to a custom Credit Dashboard that provides a comprehensive view of their credit health, including their monthly FICO® Score for free along with the reasons behind the score, the top positive and negative factors impacting it and tailored tips for improving credit health overtime. Visit Chase Slate to learn more about this resource and other ways of managing your credit.

FICO® is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the United States and other countries.

Consumer Federal Trade Commission.govCredit.comMental FlossMy FICOWikipedia

Where Did That Saying Come From? “A picture is worth a thousand words”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

A picture is worth a thousand words:”  Meaning: A picture tells a story just as well as, if not better than, a lot of written words.

Origin: This phrase emerged in the USA in the early part of the 20th century. Its introduction is widely attributed to Frederick R. Barnard, who published a piece commending the effectiveness of graphics in advertising with the title “One look is worth a thousand words”, in Printer's Ink, December 1921. Barnard claimed the phrase's source to be oriental by adding “so said a famous Japanese philosopher, and he was right”.

Printer's Ink printed another form of the phrase in March 1927, this time suggesting a Chinese origin:

Chinese proverb. One picture is worth ten thousand words.

The arbitrary escalation from 'one thousand' to 'ten thousand' and the switching from Japan to China as the source leads us to smell a rat with this derivation. In fact, Barnard didn't introduce the phrase - his only contribution was the incorrect suggestion that the country of origin was Japan or China. This has led to another popular belief about the phrase, that is, that it was coined by Confucius. It might fit the Chinese-sounding 'Confucius he say' style, but the Chinese derivation was pure invention.

Many things had been thought to be 'worth ten thousand words' well before pictures got in on the act; for example:

“One timely deed is worth ten thousand words” - The Works of Mr. James Thomson, 1802.

“That tear, good girl, is worth, ten thousand words” - The Trust: A Comedy, in Five Acts, 1808.

“One fact well understood by observation, and well guided development, is worth a thousand times more than a thousand words” - The American Journal of Education, 1858.

“One timely deed is worth ten thousand words” - The Works of Mr. James Thomson, 1802.

The idea that a picture can convey what might take many words to express was voiced by a character in Ivan S. Turgenev's novel Fathers and Sons, 1862:

“The drawing shows me at one glance what might be spread over ten pages in a book.”


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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

LSO: Landing Safety Officer or Landing Signals Officer. On a carrier, this officer stands just to the port side of the landing area and talks to each pilot as he makes his approach for an arrested landing. On a “small boy”, the LSO sits under a bubble on the flight deck and talks to helo pilots as they attempt to land in the Rapid Securing Device, or “trap”. Both types of LSO are referred to as “Paddles”.

LSD: Dock landing ship, or Large Sitting Duck, so called due to their slow speed and absence of any significant offensive weaponry. “I survived a six-month trip on LSD”, commonly heard slogan from sailors who have made a deployment aboard such a vessel.

LST: Tank landing ship, or Large Slow Target, a now disused type of amphibious warfare ship.

L.T.D.B: “Living the Dream, Baby.” Often used sarcastically in reference to Naval lifestyle.

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

Just for you MARINE

Meat Gazer: Urinalysis observer who observes the servicemember peeing into the sample container to prevent tampering with the sample.

MEB: Marine Expeditionary Brigade.

MEDEVAC or Medivac: MEDical EVACuation, removing a wounded person to the closest medical or triage facility using designated ambulance equipment, vehicles, or aircraft. See also CASEVAC.

Med Float Widow: Unfaithful wife of a Marine or Sailor deployed from the East Coast on a float a.k.a. float widow.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

HSM-51 - Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron: “Warlords”
NAF Atsugi, Japan

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

What happened to Ava? Scientists reconstruct face of 18 year old farmer who died in Scottish Highlands 3,700 years - and say her mysterious “uneven” skull may be proof of strange head binding customsBirth of Earth's largest ocean: Scientist reveal how odd line up of tectonic plates created the Pacific millions of years agoIncredible footage shows U.S. Airmen dropping convoy of eight military HUMVEES from a plane at 5,000 ftMillion dollar mountain! Amazing photos reveal the tons of expensive U.S. military equipment dumped at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean at the end of WW2Conspiracy theorists predict doomsday caused by “second coming of Jesus Christ” and a magnetic polar flip Daily Mail

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Corpse Flowers All Over Are Blooming At Once And It Feels Ominous

Corpse Flowers All Over Are Blooming At Once And It Feels Ominous

People line up to get a look (and a whiff) of corpse flowers when they bloom.

The rare tropical plant takes nearly a decade to form its first bloom and, when it does, the odor it releases is comparable to rotting flesh. The blooms also only last for a day or two.

So, it’s incredibly strange that corpse flowers from Missouri to Florida are suddenly blooming all at the same time.

Scientists aren’t sure why this phenomenon is happening, but the flowers are releasing their deathly smell in Bloomington, Indiana; Sarasota, Florida; Washington, D.C.; St. Louis and New York, according to The Wall Street Journal.

For perspective, the University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted a study and found only 157 corpse flower blooms between 1889 and 2008.

Having seen what it looks like, the Latin name for the flower makes complete sense: Amorphophallus titanum, which translates to “giant misshapen penis”.

The flower is said to share some chemical compounds with Limburger cheese and human feces, creating a miasma that is meant to attract insects to help the plant to pollinate.

Descriptions of the smell range from person to person, but the consensus is that it’s definitely not pleasant. Huffington Post (08/01/2016) video

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


“Living on a Thin Line” - The Kinks

“Living on a Thin Line” - The Kinks
Album: Word Of Mouth
Released 1984 video

Written by Dave Davies and released as a track of their 1984 album Word Of Mouth, this song wasn't released as a single but it's a very popular and successful song. It was played three times in the 2001 episode “University” of the American TV show The Sopranos. According to producer Terence Winter on the DVD extras, it is the series' most asked about song.

This was included on the compilation The Sopranos: Peppers & Eggs: Music from the HBO Original Series.

The Kinks official site / Rolling Stone magazine (100 Greatest Artists, - 65) / Rock & Roll Hall of Fame / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Wikipedia

Image: “Word Of Mouth (album)” by The Kinks



● On the pedestal of New York's Statue of Liberty appears a sonnet, “The New Colossus”, which begins... “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

● Anthropology, even more than Sociology is the “ology” studies the culture and behavior of human beings.

● “Serpico” a 1973 film played by Al Pacino was based on a New York undercover policeman exposed police curruption, fears for his safety caused him to quit the police force and leave the U.S. for Europe.

People Who Know Everything

A Test for People Who Know Everything

The largest adobe building in the United States and the oldest building in the U.S., 800 years old, are both located in which city?

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

Answer to Last Week's Test

These hard-working Indian people, who are called dhobis by profession, earn about $1 per day for their labor, but, since 1986, when a certain machine was introduced to India for the first time, their livelihood has been threatened. What do they do?

Answer: Wash Clothes In Rivers. Wikipedia - Pakistan Dawn

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

Colonoscopies are important medical procedures that have saved lives. And yet they’re as popular as, well, a colonoscopy. Here are comments purportedly made by patients to physicians during their procedures.

“Now I know how a Muppet feels!”

“Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up there?”

“Any sign of the trapped miners, chief?”

Pun of the Day

If you drive through swamp country you will see swamps going bayou.