Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 06, 2017

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America meets the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 09, 1964

America meets the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 09, 1964

First session of the U.S. Supreme Court: At approximately 8:12 p.m. Eastern time, Sunday, February 9, 1964, The Ed Sullivan Show returned from a commercial (for Anacin pain reliever), and there was Ed Sullivan standing before a restless crowd. He tried to begin his next introduction, but then stopped and extended his arms in the universal sign for “Settle Down.” “Quiet!” he said with mock gravity, and the noise died down just a little. Then he resumed: “Here’s a very amusing magician we saw in Europe and signed last summer….Let’s have a nice hand for him—Fred Kaps!”

For the record, Fred Kaps proceeded to be quite charming and funny over the next five minutes. In fact, Fred Kaps is revered to this day by magicians around the world as the only three-time Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques Grand Prix winner. But Fred Kaps had the horrific bad luck on this day in 1964 to be the guest that followed the Beatles on Ed Sullivan—possibly the hardest act to follow in the history of show business.

It is estimated that 73 million Americans were watching that night as the Beatles made their live U.S. television debut. Roughly eight minutes before Fred Kaps took the stage, Sullivan gave his now-famous intro, “Ladies and gentlemen…the Beatles!” and after a few seconds of rapturous cheering from the audience, the band kicked into “All My Lovin”. Fifty seconds in, the first audience-reaction shot of the performance shows a teenage girl beaming and possibly hyperventilating. Two minutes later, Paul is singing another pretty, mid-tempo number: “Til There Was You”, from the Broadway musical Music Man. There’s screaming at the end of every phrase in the lyrics, of course, but to view the broadcast today, it seems driven more by anticipation than by the relatively low-key performance itself. And then came “She Loves You”, and the place seems to explode. What followed was perhaps the most important two minutes and 16 seconds of music ever broadcast on American television—a sequence that still sends chills down the spine almost half a century later.

The Beatles would return later in the show to perform “I Saw Her Standing There” and “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” as the audience remained at the same fever pitch it had reached during “She Loves You”. This time it was Wells & the Four Fays, a troupe of comic acrobats, who had to suffer what Fred Kaps had after the Beatles’ first set. Perhaps the only non-Beatle on Sullivan’s stage that night who did not consider the evening a total loss was the young man from the Broadway cast of Oliver! who sang “I’d Do Anything” as the Artful Dodger midway through the show. His name was Davy Jones, and less than three years later, he’d star in a TV show of his own that owed a rather significant debt to the hysteria that began on this night in 1964: The Monkees. History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / America meets the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 09, 1964 (YouTube)video

“The Mystic Blue”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“The Mystic Blue”

Out of the darkness, fretted sometimes in its sleeping,

Jets of sparks in fountains of blue come leaping

To sight, revealing a secret, numberless secrets keeping.

Sometimes the darkness trapped within a wheel

Runs into speed like a dream, the blue of the steel

Showing the rocking darkness now a-reel.

And out of the invisible, streams of bright blue drops

Rain from the showery heavens, and bright blue crops

Surge from the under-dark to their ladder-tops.

And all the manifold blue and joyous eyes,

The rainbow arching over in the skies,

New sparks of wonder opening in surprise.

All these pure things come foam and spray of the sea

Of Darkness abundant, which shaken mysteriously,

Breaks into dazzle of living, as dolphins that leap from the sea

Of midnight shake it to fire, so the secret of death we see.

~ D.H. Lawrence


“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“If you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written.”

The editorial equivalent of Murphy's law, according to John Bangsund.

“. . while Murphy is out of town.

~ Mrs. Murphy's Law

“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

~ Murphy's law

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“People inspire you or they drain you. Pick them wisely.”

~ Hans F Hansen

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“You may think the grass is greener on the other side,

but if you take the time to water your own grass,

it would be just as green.”

~ Anonymous

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)

Police break into frozen car to rescue elderly woman - but it's not what they think...

Police break into frozen car to rescue elderly woman - but it's not what they think... Police in the city of Hudson, New York, responded to a call on Friday morning from a concerned member of the public who believed she'd seen an elderly woman “frozen to death” in parked car.

Officers were on the scene in minutes, and saw what did indeed appear to be a woman of advanced years sat in the passenger seat of the parked Subaru, wearing an oxygen mask.

“She was not moving and was unresponsive”, said a the police department press release. “It was bitterly cold, (around 8 degrees) and the car had snow cover, indicating it may have been parked there overnight.”

Telegraph (12/18/2016) video

What Happens to the Losing Team's Championship Shirts?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: What Happens to the Losing Team's Championship Shirts?

After a big game in any sport, fans and players are going to be clamoring for commemorative merchandise, often just minutes after the game ends.

To meet this demand and cash in on the wallet-loosening “We’re #1” euphoria, manufacturers and retailers produce and stock two sets of T-shirts, hats and other merchandise, declaring each team the champ.

Based on strong sales after the Chicago Bears’ 2007 NFC Championship win, Sports Authority printed more than 15,000 shirts proclaiming a Bears Super Bowl victory well before the game even started. And then the Colts beat the Bears, 29-17.

That’s a lot of misprinted shirts that can’t hit store shelves, and seem like fine candidates for the incinerator instead. And for a long time, that’s where they went, with all four major American pro sports leagues—MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL—requiring the destruction of incorrect post-season apparel.

For almost two decades, an international humanitarian aid group called World Vision collected the unwanted items at its distribution center in Pittsburgh, then shipped them overseas to people living in disaster areas and impoverished nations

After losing Super Bowl XLIII in 2009, Arizona Cardinals gear was sent to children and families living in extreme poverty in El Salvador. In 2010, after the New Orleans Saints defeated Indianapolis, the Colts gear printed up for Super Bowl XLIV was sent to earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

In 2011, after Pittsburgh lost to the Green Bay Packers, the Steelers Super Bowl apparel went to Zambia, Armenia, Nicaragua, and Romania.

Beginning in 2015, after 19 years with World Vision, the NFL started working with Good360. After New England defeated Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX, Seahawks gear was distributed in Azerbaijan and Georgia.

It's too early to say where this year's Patriots or Falcons merchandise will end up, as nonprofit partners will determine who needs what.

Business InsiderChicago TribuneGuardianMental FlossPost GameQuora

Where Did That Saying Come From? “At one fell swoop”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

At one fell swoop:”  Meaning: All at once.

Origin: The phrase originally meant “swift and brutal murder”, and was first used in Macbeth. Macduff utters the words on hearing of the death of his wife and children.

A “swoop” is the sudden descent of a bird of prey on its victim.

“Fell” is from the Old French word fel, meaning “merciless”.

English Stack Exchange - Phrases.org UK

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

NAVY: acronym used by disgruntled sailors for “Never Again Volunteer Yourself”, “Need Any Vaseline Yet”, (Naval Air wing) “No Aviator Values You”.

Naval Infantry: Derogatory term for the U.S. Marines, although historically some of the original colonies/early states had “naval infantry” or “naval militia”.

Navy Shower: Not a form of punishment. While underway, fresh water must be manufactured. A common-sense way of saving it is to wet down while taking a shower and then TURN OFF THE WATER. Lather up and wash. Finally, TURN ON THE WATER to rinse off. Continual disregard WILL attract a punishment shower with scrub brushes.

Navy World: RTC Orlando was referred to as “Navy World” on its water tower due to Disney World and Sea World being close by.

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

Just for you MARINE

Officers' Country: Living spaces for officers aboard ship, or portion of post or station allocated for the exclusive use of officers.

OFP: Own Fucking Program. When a Marine does what he wants to, when he wants to and gets away with it.

Oki: Okinawa

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VT-10 - Fixed Wing Training Squadrons: “Wildcats”
Formerly Basic Naval Aviation Officer (BNAO) school, Established June 1960, redesig to VT-10 on January 15th 1968, NFO Primary/Intermediate, TRAWING 6, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Which way do YOU think the dancer is spinning? Researchers explain the latest hit optical illusion - and how it could show you're a geniusRussia goes nuclear to the North Pole: Reactor-powered ice-breaker will spearhead race to control Arctic in wake of global warmingRussian fisherman becomes online hit after revealing bizarre catchesSex robots could reveal your secret perversions: Handing over intimate data is a privacy risk, warns expertInuit people have the same “caveman genes” that helped an extinct type of human survive the last Ice Age Daily Mail

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

How to Build a Death Star

How to Build a Death Star

This is the story of how the rebels stole the plans to the original “Death Star” – a space station the size of a small moon with a weapon powerful enough to destroy a planet.

In Star Wars lore, the 120 km (75-mile) diameter space station was made from quadanium steel (a fictional metal alloy) and crewed by 2m Imperial personnel, including officers, Stormtroopers and TIE pilots.

So would it possible in the real world? Let's not worry about the vast quantities of raw materials required. For example, at current production rates of steel it would take 182 times the current age of the universe to accrue enough. I'm more concerned conceptually with how to power such a colossal battle station and how to generate gravity for everyone on board. It turns out our conventional technologies might not cut it. Live Science (12/16/2016) video

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


“Don't Bring Me Down” - Electric Light Orchestra 1979

“Don't Bring Me Down” - Electric Light Orchestra
Album: Discovery
Released 1979 video

This was the first ELO song that did not use strings. After recording it, they fired their string section, leaving 4 members in the band.

ELO leader Jeff Lynne wrote this song late in the sessions for the Discovery album. He came up with the track by looping the drums from a song he recorded earlier in the session, then coming up with more music on the piano. The words came last, as Lynne put together some lyrics about a girl who thinks she's too good for the guy she's with.

This turned out to be a good theme song for astronauts enjoying their time in space. The song was played to astronauts on the Space Shuttle Columbia as their wake up call on July 6, 1996 - they were in flight longer than expected because of bad weather on the ground. ELO's record company also tried to tie in the song with the Skylab space station, which crashed to Earth on July 11, 1979 after 6 years in space. They placed ads in trade magazines promoting the new single “Don't Bring Me Down” by dedicating it to Skylab.

Electric Light Orchestra, official site / Rolling Stone magazine / Not In Hall Of Fame / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Wikipedia

Image: “Discovery (album)” by Electric Light Orchestra



● Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo and Gummo were the five comedy Marx brothers.

● Although they look sober and reliable, they hold a valid airline ticket, and don't look threatening, what category of people may be denied an airline seat? - Pregnant Women

● The Berlin Wall erected in 1961, and torn in 1989.

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day


Q: What can run, but never walks? Has a mouth, but never talks? Has a head, but never weeps? Has a bed, but never sleeps?

A: A river.

Q: The man who made it doesn’t want it. The man who bought it doesn’t need it. The man who needs it doesn’t know it. What am I talking about?

A: A coffin.

Q: If a red-house is made of red bricks, has a red wooden door, and a red roof, and a yellow-house is made of yellow bricks, has a yellow wooden door, and a yellow roof, then what is a green-house made of?

A: Glass.

Pun of the Day

England doesn't have a kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.