Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 09, 2017

Previous Week   February 27, 2017 - March 05, 2017  Next Week

The Battle of the Bismarck Sea on March 02, 1943

The Battle of the Bismarck Sea on March 02, 1943

The Battle of the Bismarck Sea: On this day, U.S. and Australian land-based planes begin an offensive against a convoy of Japanese ships in the Bismarck Sea, in the western Pacific.

On March 1, U.S. reconnaissance planes spotted 16 Japanese ships en route to Lae and Salamaua in New Guinea. The Japanese were attempting to keep from losing the island and their garrisons there by sending 7,000 reinforcements and aircraft fuel and supplies. But a U.S. bombing campaign, beginning March 2 and lasting until the March 4, consisting of 137 American bombers supported by U.S. and Australian fighters, destroyed eight Japanese troop transports and four Japanese destroyers. More than 3,000 Japanese troops and sailors drowned as a consequence, and the supplies sunk with their ships. Of 150 Japanese fighter planes that attempted to engage the American bombers, 102 were shot down. It was an utter disaster for the Japanese–the U.S. 5th Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force dropped a total of 213 tons of bombs on the Japanese convoy.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill chose March 4, the official end of the battle, to congratulate President Franklin D. Roosevelt, since that day was also the 10th anniversary of the president’s first inauguration. “Accept my warmest congratulations on your brilliant victory in the Pacific, which fitly salutes the end of your first 10 years.” History Channel / Wikipedia / World War II Today / United States Army / Battle of the Bismarck Sea (YouTube) video

“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”


The Sun now rose upon the right:

Out of the sea came he,

Still hid in mist, and on the left

Went down into the sea.

And the good south wind still blew behind,

But no sweet bird did follow,

Nor any day for food or play

Came to the mariners’ hollo!

His shipmates cry out against the ancient Mariner, for killing the bird of good luck.

And I had done an hellish thing,

And it would work ’em woe:

For all averred, I had killed the bird

That made the breeze to blow.

Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay,

That made the breeze to blow!

But when the fog cleared off, they justify the same, and thus make themselves accomplices in the crime.

continued ...

~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

(originally published in Lyrical Ballads, 1798)

Full Poem

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“If the universe of discourse permits the possibility of time travel and of changing the past, then no time machine will be invented in that universe.”

~ Niven's laws:

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.”

~ Thomas Paine

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Just when the caterpillar thought her life was over, she began to fly.”

~ 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)

Dubai’s Flying Firefighters Battle Blazes With Jetpacks

Dubai’s Flying Firefighters Battle Blazes With Jetpacks

Look - up in the sky! Is it a bird...? Is it a plane...? No, it’s a Dubai firefighter!

Fighting fires in the United Arab Emirates just got a hell of a lot cooler with the introduction of a new firefighting system that includes jet skis and water-powered jetpacks.

The system, named Dolphin, was devised as a quick way for firefighters to battle blazes along waterways without first having to fight their way through traffic.

A video released by Dubai Civil Defense shows a firefighter equipped with a water-powered jetpack soar high above a burning vehicle on an unidentified causeway. Once in position, he’s able to quickly and efficiently extinguish the fire.

Huffington Post (01/24/2017) video

Why Do the Bubbles in a Guinness Sink?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Why Do the Bubbles in a Guinness Sink?

There’s something soothing about watching the tiny, golden bubbles rush to the top of the glass after pouring a cold beer. That’s unless of course your brew of choice is Guinness or some other stout, in which case the bubbles do the reverse, making their way to the bottom of your pint glass. This phenomenon has long been puzzling beer drinkers. It’s easy to see why bubbles would float to the top of a lager or ale—the air is lighter than the surrounding liquid, after all. So how come stout, a beer that’s definitely heavier than the bubbles it contains, produces this backwards effect?

The answer, it turns out, can be traced to the shape of the glass. In 2012, Irish mathematicians published a study outlining the effects the iconic Guinness vessel has on the trajectory of beer bubbles post-pour. What they found is that stout bubbles behave differently depending on where they are in the glass: Bubbles in the middle rise up to the surface with nothing to block their path, while bubbles along the sloping walls experience drag and clump together. When the bubbles reach the top and crowd at the head, some liquid gets pushed to the sides which in turn pushes down the bubbles sticking to the wall. This creates a current of beer pulling down the bubbles, then circulating back upwards again once it hits the bottom.

This same occurrence can be witnessed with lighter beers, but it’s much more exaggerated in stouts. In addition to carbon dioxide most stouts contain nitrogen, a gas that takes longer to dissolve in liquid. Nitrogen bubbles are also smaller, making them more susceptible to drag.

There’s an easy way to prove to your friends at the bar that the Guinness effect is more than just an optical illusion. Instead of ordering your stout in the traditional receptacle have it served to you in a tall, cylindrical glass. If the beer is poured into the glass while it’s tilted at an angle, you should be able to see the bubbles rise to the surface in the upper part of the glass and sink beneath the surface in the lower part. In this experiment the bottom of the glass mimics a pint glass while the higher portion acts as an anti-pint (or upside down pint) glass, which has the opposite impact on the bubbles’ movement.

BBCDiscover MagazineMental FlossQuoraPhys.orgWikipedia

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Bee's Knees”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Bee's Knees:”  Meaning: Perfection.

Origin: In the 1920s there was a great craze for this animal + body part construction. There were loads of them - elephant’s wrist, eel’s ankles, bullfrog’s beard - but only three have survived into the modern age: bee’s knees, cat’s pyjamas, and dog’s bollocks.

Some etymologists suspect cat’s pyjamas may originally have been slang for “vagina”, though there’s no firm evidence for this.

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

Non-Comm: A non-commissioned officer, E4-E9.

Non-skid: A rough epoxy coating used for grip on weather decks.

Nonskid Wax: A fictitious substance used for waxing non-skid decks, something junior sailors are sent looking for.

Non-Qual (Submarine Service): A sailor who has not yet earned his Submarine Warfare Qualification (Dolphins).

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

Just for you MARINE

OP: Observation Post, a position used for reconnaissance; also, the post newspaper of Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms.

OQR: Officer Qualification Record, a service record for officers, much like an enlisted Marine's SRB.

OOB: Out Of Bounds, or straying into an area restricted from use by normal traffic, prohibited to Marines, or too far from base for a given liberty period.

OOD: Officer Of the Deck, or the senior Marine responsible for the patrol and security of a unit's garrison working spaces and sleeping quarters after working hours, usually responsible for subordinate sentries and acts as a guard commander. See also duty & firewatch.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VT-27 - Fixed Wing Training Squadrons: “Boomers”
Formerly ATU-B, ATU-402 Established July 11th 1951, redesignation VT-27 on July 1st 1960 Primary TRAWING 4, Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

100-million-year-old “alien” insect discovered trapped in amberThis is what triggered the biggest supervolcano eruption in historyNew signs of mythical city of Atlantis and its mysterious civilisation found in Spanish marshAndean bears are thriving in Incan citadel Machu PicchuGlobal destruction looms as Doomsday Clock moves closer to midnightGang Culture: Boys who see girls as sex objects are more violent towards them from as young as 12Newly discovered activity in the tectonic fault off the coast of Italy points to earthquake risk International Business Times

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Big, Red and Tasteless: Why Tomatoes Lost Their Flavor

Big, Red and Tasteless: Why Tomatoes Lost Their Flavor

Ever wonder why most store-bought tomatoes are so tasteless? The answer (surprise, surprise) has to do with revenue: Tomato farmers care about yield, and the genetic variants associated with yield are not associated with tasty tomato flavors, a new study finds.

“Consumers complain that the modern tomato has little flavor. [It's] like a 'water bomb'”, said the study's co-principal investigator Sanwen Huang, the deputy director general at the Agricultural Genome Institute at Shenzhen at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

How can farmers ditch this “water bomb” and reinstate the rich, sweet flavor of the tomato? To find out, Huang and colleagues investigated which genes are associated with tomatoes' taste. (Why Are Bananas Berries, But Strawberries Aren't?) Live Science (01/26/2017) video

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


“Can’t Find My Way Home” - Blind Faith 1969

“Can’t Find My Way Home” - Blind Faith
Album: Blind Faith
Released 1969 video

Blind Faith was a Supergroup made up of Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker, and Ric Grech. They released just one album, which topped both the UK and U.S. charts around the same time the group was breaking up.

Winwood wrote this and sang lead. Many critics noted that Blind Faith sounded a lot more like Winwood's old band Traffic than Clapton's Cream, which is what Clapton was going for.

Clapton played acoustic guitar on this track, which is something he rarely did. In his previous group, Cream, he played long, intense solos, something he wanted to get away from with Blind Faith.

The album was released in the UK with a cover photo of an 11-year-old girl named Mariora Goschen. The cover photo because as famous as the album itself, since it showed Goschen naked and holding a model spaceship (a different cover with a band photo was used in the U.S. and for stores that wanted an alternative in the UK).

Blind Faith, official site / Rolling Stone magazine / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Wikipedia

Image: “Blind Faith (album)” by Blind Faith



● WALTER REED U.S. Army medical officer, around 1900, helped discover the causes and cures for typhoid fever and yellow fever.

● Most commercial jets take off and land at about the same speed - 160 miles per hour.

● At one time Joan Baez and Dylan were called the King and Queen of folk music. Baez a folk singer recorded songs written by Bob Dylan and became his lover.

People Who Know Everything

A Test for People Who Know Everything

Most people think these large objects originated in Holland, but actually they began in Persia around 650 A.D. What are they?

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

Answer to Last Week's Test

When she married her fifth cousin, she didn't have to change her last name. Who was this President's wife?

Answer: Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, born October 11, 1884. She married her 5th cousin, Franklin Roosevelt, in New York City on St. Patrick's Day, 1905. Her godfather, President Theodore Roosevelt. gave the bride away in marriage. History.com

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

A defendant isn’t happy with how things are going in court, so he gives the judge a hard time.

Judge: “Where do you work?”

Defendant: “Here and there.”

Judge: “What do you do for a living?”

Defendant: “This and that.”

Judge: “Take him away.”

Defendant: “Wait; when will I get out?”

Judge: “Sooner or later.”

Pun of the Day

How do astronomers organize a party?

They planet.