Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 47, 2016

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First issue of Life is published on November 23, 1936

First issue of Life is published on November 23, 1936

First issue of Life is published:On November 23, 1936, the first issue of the pictorial magazine Life is published, featuring a cover photo of the Fort Peck Dam by Margaret Bourke-White.

Life actually had its start earlier in the 20th century as a different kind of magazine: a weekly humor publication, not unlike today’s The New Yorker in its use of tart cartoons, humorous pieces and cultural reporting. When the original Life folded during the Great Depression, the influential American publisher Henry Luce bought the name and re-launched the magazine as a picture-based periodical on this day in 1936. By this time, Luce had already enjoyed great success as the publisher of Time, a weekly news magazine.

From his high school days, Luce was a newsman, serving with his friend Briton Hadden as managing editors of their school newspaper. This partnership continued through their college years at Yale University, where they acted as chairmen and managing editors of the Yale Daily News, as well as after college, when Luce joined Hadden at The Baltimore News in 1921. It was during this time that Luce and Hadden came up with the idea for Time. When it launched in 1923, it was with the intention of delivering the world’s news through the eyes of the people who made it.

Whereas the original mission of Time was to tell the news, the mission of Life was to show it. In the words of Luce himself, the magazine was meant to provide a way for the American people “to see life; to see the world; to eyewitness great events … to see things thousands of miles away… to see and be amazed; to see and be instructed… to see, and to show...” Luce set the tone of the magazine with Margaret Bourke-White’s stunning cover photograph of the Fort Peck Dam, which has since become an icon of the 1930s and the great public works completed under President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Life was an overwhelming success in its first year of publication. Almost overnight, it changed the way people looked at the world by changing the way people could look at the world. Its flourish of images painted vivid pictures in the public mind, capturing the personal and the public, and putting it on display for the world to take in. At its peak, Life had a circulation of over 8 million and it exerted considerable influence on American life in the beginning and middle of the 20th century.

With picture-heavy content as the driving force behind its popularity,the magazine suffered as television became society’s predominant means of communication. Life ceased running as a weekly publication in 1972, when it began losing audience and advertising dollars to television. In 2004, however, it resumed weekly publication as a supplement to U.S. newspapers. At its re-launch, its combined circulation was once again in the millions. History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / Old Life Magazines / TIME - LIFE

Understanding Military Terminology

Understanding Military Terminology - Maritime interception operations

(DOD) Efforts to monitor, query, and board merchant vessels in international waters to enforce sanctions against other nations such as those in support of United Nations Security Council Resolutions and/or prevent the transport of restricted goods. Also called MIO. Joint Publications 3-03 (Joint Electronic Library JEL, Joint Publication Operations)

“O Captain! My Captain!”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“O Captain! My Captain!”

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;

The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;

The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,

While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:

But O heart! heart! heart!

O the bleeding drops of red,

Where on the deck my Captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;

Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;

For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;

For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;

Here Captain! dear father!

This arm beneath your head;

It is some dream that on the deck,

You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;

My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;

The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;

From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;

Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!

But I, with mournful tread,

Walk the deck my Captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.

~ Walt Whitman (from Leaves of Grass, 1867 edition, first published in Saturday Press, New York, 1865)

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars.

You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.”

~ C.S. Lewis

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Life is just a blank slate, what matters most is what you write on it.”

~ Christine Franklin

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)

Bar mitzvah party-flasher case: Arizona yoga instructor Lindsey Ann Radomski found not guilty of indecency

Bar mitzvah party-flasher case: Arizona yoga instructor Lindsey Ann Radomski found not guilty of indecency

“Epic” bar mitzvah party produces epic trial and bizarre defense

Radomski, who was 32 in March, 2015, when the party occurred, was accused in misdemeanor counts of flashing her newly enhanced breasts to seven boys, ranging in age from 11 to 15, letting them fondle them and of administering oral sex to one of the boys.

The party was held at the home of her employer at

It attracted attention (and a lot of wisecracking about bar mitzvah gifts) nationally and even internationally because of the setting and circumstances.

Washington Post (09/15/2016) video

Why Do the Lions and Cowboys Always Play on Thanksgiving?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Why Do the Lions and Cowboys Always Play on Thanksgiving?

Because it's tradition! But how did this tradition begin?

Every year since 1934, the Detroit Lions have taken the field for a Thanksgiving game, no matter how bad their record has been. It all goes back to when the Lions were still a fairly young franchise. The team started in 1929 in Portsmouth, Ohio, as the Spartans. Portsmouth, while surely a lovely town, wasn't quite big enough to support a pro team in the young NFL. Detroit radio station owner George A. Richards bought the Spartans and moved the team to Detroit in 1934.

Although Richards' new squad was a solid team, they were playing second fiddle in Detroit to the Hank Greenberg-led Tigers, who had gone 101-53 to win the 1934 American League Pennant. In the early weeks of the 1934 season, the biggest crowd the Lions could draw for a game was a relatively paltry 15,000. Desperate for a marketing trick to get Detroit excited about its fledgling football franchise, Richards hit on the idea of playing a game on Thanksgiving. Since Richards' WJR was one of the bigger radio stations in the country, he had considerable clout with his network and convinced NBC to broadcast a Thanksgiving game on 94 stations nationwide.

The move worked brilliantly. The undefeated Chicago Bears rolled into town as defending NFL champions, and since the Lions had only one loss, the winner of the first Thanksgiving game would take the NFL's Western Division. The Lions not only sold out their 26,000-seat stadium, they also had to turn fans away at the gate. Even though the juggernaut Bears won that game, the tradition took hold, and the Lions have been playing on Thanksgiving ever since.

BUT “How ‘Bout Them Cowboys!”

The Cowboys, too, jumped on the opportunity to play on Thanksgiving as an extra little bump for their popularity. When the chance to take the field on Thanksgiving arose in 1966, it might not have been a huge benefit for the Cowboys. Sure, the Lions had filled their stadium for their Thanksgiving games, but that was no assurance that Texans would warm to holiday football so quickly.

Cowboys general manager Tex Schramm, though, was something of a marketing genius; among his other achievements was the creation of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.

Schramm saw the Thanksgiving Day game as a great way to get the team some national publicity even as it struggled under young head coach Tom Landry. Schramm signed the Cowboys up for the game even though the NFL was worried that the fans might just not show up—the league guaranteed the team a certain gate revenue in case nobody bought tickets.

But the fans showed up in droves, and the team broke its attendance record as 80,259 crammed into the Cotton Bowl. The Cowboys beat the Cleveland Browns 26-14 that day, and a second Thanksgiving pigskin tradition caught hold. Since 1966, the Cowboys have missed having Thanksgiving games only twice.

In 2006, because 6+ hours of holiday football was not sufficient, the NFL added a third game to the Thanksgiving lineup. This game is not assigned to a specific franchise—this year the Green Bay Packers welcome the Chicago Bears.

NFLPro Football Hall of FameMental FlossSB NationTIMEWikipedia

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Fool's errand”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Fool's errand:”  Meaning: A pointless undertaking.

Origin: The description 'fool' is now often used as a contemptuous insult, but in the Middle Ages it didn't have such negative connotations. A fool then was a naive simpleton but regarded with respect and even admiration - somewhat the way that 'the fool on the hill' is portrayed in The Beatles' song. The numerous names and phrases that contain the word 'fool' generally refer to how easy it is to dupe (or to fool if you like) a fool. Examples of this are:

Fool's gold - a brassy mineral that resembles gold.

Fool's paradise - a state of euphoria based on false hope.

Fool's parsley - Lesser Hemlock, a poisonous weed that resembles parsley.

Fool's mate - a naive chess move that incurs checkmate in two moves.

Fools rush in... - a proverb indicating the unworldly lack of caution shown by fools.

It has long been part of the initiation of new recruits to send them on 'fool's errands'. A credulous beginner might be sent to the stores to fetch a skyhook or a tin of striped paint. The first references to 'fool's errand' come in texts from the 18th century. An early example is from the Yorkshire-born clergyman Edmund Hickeringill's Priest-craft, 1705:

Did not the Pope send all the Princes in Christendom upon a Fools Errand, to gain the Holy Land, that he might (as he did in their absense) rob them of their territories.

Given that playing tricks on the simple-minded must have been happening since Adam was a lad, it seems odd that 'fool's errand' didn't emerge into the language until the 18th century. The reason for this is that mediaeval England had a different name for the sport, which was a 'sleeveless errand'. From the Tudor era to around the 1700s, 'sleeveless' was very commonly used to mean 'futile' or 'trifling'. 'Sleeveless answers' were those that gave no useful information and a 'sleeveless errand' was a fool's errand, often used to get someone out of the way. The historian Raphael Holinshed used the expression in Chronicles, 1577:

So as all men might thinke that his prince made small account of him, to send him on such a slevelesse errand.


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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Material condition: Status open or closed, of various fittings, hatches, etc, which are denoted by a letter. Generally X(X-ray): always closed, Y(Yoke): closed while underway, Z(Zebra): closed while at GQ. ("Set material condition Zebra throughout the ship" is part of the standard GQ alarm.)

Mat Man: Make Electronics Maintenance Man.

Maverick Can: The perfect place to sleep in a weapons magazine.

“M-Crud” MCRD: Marine Corps Recruit Depot.

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

Just for you MARINE

Moto: Motivated / motivating, often used to describe a person, object, or event that would motivate an individual Marine.

Moto Tats: Tattoos displaying USMC logos or slogans, often gotten by young Marines right out of basic training, that are looked upon as being overly gratuitous and boastful.

Motarded: Displaying excess motivation, often in the form of visual symbols and lore (such as unit logos); a combination of the terms “moto” and “retarded”.

Motor T or MT: Motor Transport, a subunit of Marines responsible for the operation and maintenance of wheeled non-combat and non-engineer vehicles.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

HSM-77 - Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron: “Saberhawks”
Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

What The F? What swearing reveals about language and ourselvesBuilding a bionic spine - Using a stentrode device, researchers want people to control robotic limbs via thought.Germany orders Facebook to stop sharing and delete WhatsApp user dataDepartment of Energy’s toothless energy-use test helps TV makers warp resultsBloodborne: The Card Game is actually pretty greatUnsafe at any clock speed: Linux kernel security needs a rethinkJudge skewers Oracle attorney for revealing Google, Apple trade secrets [Update] ARS Technica

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

“Atlas Obscura” Tour Of Manhattan Finds Hidden Wonders In A Well-Trodden Place

“Atlas Obscura” Tour Of Manhattan Finds Hidden Wonders In A Well-Trodden Place

Sometimes the world can feel a bit uniform: the same department stores in every shopping mall, the same fast food chains on every corner. The website “Atlas Obscura ” will make you reconsider that sense of monotony.

“The world is still this huge, bizarre, vast place filled with astounding stuff”, says co-founder Dylan Thuras. “And if you sort of tilt your view a little bit and start looking for it, you start finding it everywhere.”

Thuras' new book, also called Atlas Obscura, is a guide to the world's hidden wonders — like a ventriloquist dummy museum in Kentucky or a 230-foot-wide hole in Turkmenistan that's been on fire for 40 years. NPR (09/20/2016) video

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


“Sweet Child O' Mine” - Guns N' Roses 1987

“Sweet Child O' Mine” - Guns N' Roses
Album: Appetite For Destruction
Released 1987 video

The lyrics came from a poem Axl Rose was working on. He wrote the song about his girlfriend, Erin Everly, who is the daughter of Don Everly of the Everly Brothers. They married in 1990 but divorced a month later.

Appetite For Destruction was Guns N' Roses first album, and it took a while for the band to catch on. This didn't hit U.S. #1 until a year after the album was released. It was the third single, following “It's So Easyvideo and “Welcome To The Junglevideo, which both flopped, although “Welcome To The Jungle” became a hit when it was re-released in the wake of “Sweet Child”'s success.

Slash came up with the riff when he was playing around on his guitar. He thought it was silly and wanted nothing to do with it, but Axl loved it and had him keep playing it. Izzy Stradlin added some chords, and the song came together. According to Duff McKagan's 2012 autobiography, Slash always considered it the worst Guns N' Roses song.

Slash told Rolling Stone magazine: “It's a combination of influences. From Jeff Beck, Cream and Zeppelin to stuff you'd be surprised at: the solos in Manfred Mann's version of 'Blinded By The Light' video and Gerry Rafferty's 'Baker Streetvideo.

Axl listened to a bunch of Lynyrd Skynyrd songs before recording his vocal. He liked their down-home, genuine sound and wanted to duplicate it on this track.

This won Best Single, Heavy Metal/Hard Rock at the 1989 American Music Awards. The group performed “Patiencevideo; at the show with Don Henley sitting in on drums for an ailing Steven Adler.

In 1989, this won the MTV Video Music Award for Best Heavy Metal Video.

Guns N' Roses official site / Rolling Stone magazine / Rock & Roll Hall of Fame / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Wikipedia

Image: “Appetite For Destruction (album)” by Guns N' Roses



● On Dec. 10, 1953, the first Playboy magazine was released. MARILYN MONROE was the first playmate.

● Egypt was the first Arab nation to make peace with Israel.

● 92% copper and 8% nickel (before 1965, the dime was made of silver).

People Who Know Everything

A Test for People Who Know Everything

What tale from Greek mythology tells of a sculptor who falls in love with the statue of a woman that he has created? b. What play, based upon this story, did George Bernard Shaw create in 1913, which later became an extremely popular musical comedy?

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

Answer to Last Week's Test

After water, what are the next two most widely consumed beverages in the world?

Answer: Tea / Beer Wikipedia

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

Three elderly men are taking a walk outside their nursing home. The first one says, “Windy, isn't it?”

The second one says, “No, it's Thursday!”

The third one says, “So am I. Let's go get a beer.”

Pun of the Day

When writing out drink recipes you have to have a first draft.