Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 17, 2017

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Universe is created, according to Kepler on April 27, 4977

Universe is created, according to Kepler on April 27, 4977

Universe is created, according to Kepler: On this day in 4977 B.C., the universe is created, according to German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler, considered a founder of modern science. Kepler is best known for his theories explaining the motion of planets.

Kepler was born on December 27, 1571, in Weil der Stadt, Germany. As a university student, he studied the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus’ theories of planetary ordering. Copernicus (1473-1543) believed that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the solar system, a theory that contradicted the prevailing view of the era that the sun revolved around the earth.

In 1600, Kepler went to Prague to work for Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, the imperial mathematician to Rudolf II, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Kepler’s main project was to investigate the orbit of Mars. When Brahe died the following year, Kepler took over his job and inherited Brahe’s extensive collection of astronomy data, which had been painstakingly observed by the naked eye.

Over the next decade, Kepler learned about the work of Italian physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), who had invented a telescope with which he discovered lunar mountains and craters, the largest four satellites of Jupiter and the phases of Venus, among other things. Kepler corresponded with Galileo and eventually obtained a telescope of his own and improved upon the design. In 1609, Kepler published the first two of his three laws of planetary motion, which held that planets move around the sun in ellipses, not circles (as had been widely believed up to that time), and that planets speed up as they approach the sun and slow down as they move away. In 1619, he produced his third law, which used mathematic principles to relate the time a planet takes to orbit the sun to the average distance of the planet from the sun.

Kepler’s research was slow to gain widespread traction during his lifetime, but it later served as a key influence on the English mathematician Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) and his law of gravitational force. Additionally, Kepler did important work in the fields of optics, including demonstrating how the human eye works, and math. He died on November 15, 1630, in Regensberg, Germany. As for Kepler’s calculation about the universe’s birthday, scientists in the 20th century developed the Big Bang theory, which showed that his calculations were off by about 13.7 billion years.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Britannica Encyclopedia / Space.com / Creation.com Johannes Kepler (YouTube) video

“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)

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”

Corollary: “Expenditure rises to meet income.”

~ Parkinson's law

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“Once destroyed,

nature’s beauty cannot be

repurchased at any price.”

~ Ansel Adams

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Don’t give up now.

Chances are, your best kiss, your hardest laugh, and you greatest day

are still yet to come.”

~ 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)

Alligator stuns golfers by strutting across the course with a huge FISH in its mouth

Alligator stuns golfers by strutting across the course with a huge FISH in its mouth

Florida golf courses are known all over the world as being home to wildlife, specifically alligators.

Norma Respess lives in Tampa and now has her own “golf course gator” story after she spotted one walking across the green with a huge fish clamped in it's mouth.

She watched along with other stunned golfers as the alligator waltzed across the cart-path at Seven Springs Golf Club and into a water hazard.

Respess posted a video showing just this to her Facebook page, and can be heard making comments in the background.

“That's amazing, I've never seen that before”, she can be heard saying behind the camera.

“I'm glad you got the fish and not me”, she said as the gator entered the water hazard and disappeared from view.

Daily Mail (03/04/2017) video

What Does a U.S. Ambassador Really Do?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: What Does a U.S. Ambassador Really Do?

When U.S. diplomats negotiate a treaty, attend a state dinner, or arrange a visa for a traveler to the United States, they all have the same mission—to represent the interests and policies of the United States. Beyond that, diplomats’ roles and responsibilities are immensely varied.

An ambassador is the President’s highest-ranking representative to a specific nation or international organization abroad. An effective ambassador has to be a strong leader - a good manager, a resilient negotiator, and a respected representative of the United States. A key role of an ambassador is to coordinate the activities not only of the Foreign Service Officers and staff serving under him, but also representatives of other U.S. agencies in the country. At some overseas posts, personnel from as many as 27 federal agencies work in concert with embassy staff.

Foreign Service Officers are professional, trained diplomats who represent American interests abroad under the direction of the ambassador. All Foreign Service Officers listen to and observe what is going on in the host country, analyze it, and report to the ambassador and Washington. This makes U.S. policy more sensitive to the needs of other countries and their people. An embassy generally houses five types of Foreign Service Officers:

Economic (or “econ”) Officers work with foreign governments to secure internet freedom, fund scientific advances, protect the environment, or negotiate new trade laws.

Management Officers are action-oriented “go-to” leaders responsible for all embassy, consulate, or diplomatic mission operations from real estate to people to budget.

Political Officers keep the ambassador up-to-date on political events and changes occurring in the country.

Public Diplomacy Officers build mutual understanding and support for U.S. policies by reaching directly to publics in foreign countries working with traditional and social media; websites; educational, cultural and sports programs; and all manner of people-to-people exchange.

Consular Officers’ primary job is assisting and protecting American citizens abroad. If you lose your passport, find yourself in trouble with the law, or want to get married to a foreigner overseas, you’ll need the help of this officer. Consular officers also issue visas to non-U.S. citizens who wish to travel, work, study, or live in the United States.

Diplomacy.State.govJob ShadowMental FlossQuoraWikipedia

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Fag End”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Fag End”  Meaning: The dregs.

Origin: Nothing to with smoking. In the textiles trade, the last part of the piece of cloth was made of coarser material than the rest and left hanging loose.

It came to be known as the fag end, possibly as a corruption of “flag”, meaning “hang down”.

The Free Dictionary

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

O-Gang: The wardroom. Officers are O-Gangers. See also A-Gang.

O I: (wish I was asleep): Derogatory remark made by any non-OS rate whenever a OS complains about how bad they have it while underway, because OS's are almost always “Port & Starboard” when underway. OS's constitute “OI Division”.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

HUQ-1 - Unmanned Reconnaissance Helicopter Squadrons
Fleet Replacement Squadron (Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance), Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California / Coronado, California

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Neanderthal tooth plaque hints at meals - and kissesThe quest to crystallize time (Bizarre forms of matter called time crystals were supposed to be physically impossible. Now they’re not.)Synthetic yeast chromosomes help probe mysteries of evolutionMagnetic hard drives go atomicShow drugs work before selling themPatchy progress on fixing global gender disparities in scienceRising to the challenge as U.S. states turn the screw on science education


The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Turkey Séance Video? Birds Circling Dead Cat Is Normal, Really

Turkey Séance Video? Birds Circling Dead Cat Is Normal, Really

A bizarre video of a flock of turkeys circling a dead cat in a Boston neighborhood recently went viral.

Although it looks incredibly strange to human eyes, the behavior is typical for the wild birds, Mark Hatfield, a wildlife biologist for the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) in Georgia, said in a blog post.

“They're just making sure that it's no longer a threat”, Hatfield said. “It's more of a curiosity type of thing. Turkeys are very basic.” [The 12 Weirdest Animal Discoveries]

Turkeys have a flock mentality, with one bird typically being a leader, said Pete Muller, the public relations manager for NWTF. When anything resembling a predator shows up in their midst, they have an instinct to follow their natural pecking order, which, in this case, means playing a wary game of follow-the-leader.

“If the cat moved at all, there would be an immediate flock scatter”, Muller told Live Science. Turkeys are fast, too: They can hit top running speeds of 25 mph (40 km/h), according to the National Wildlife Federation.

Live Science (03/03/2017) video

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


“Can’t You See” - Marshall Tucker Band 1973

“Can’t You See” - Marshall Tucker Band
Album: The Marshall Tucker Band
Released 1973 video

This became the anthem song for The Marshall Tucker Band, similar to “Free Birdvideo for Lynyrd Skynyrd. It was never a Top 40 hit, but was very popular on Album Oriented Radio (AOR) and continues to get a lot of airplay on Classic Rock stations.

The open in unusual - it starts with the picking of a guitar and the playing of a flute. Jerry Eubanks of the Marshall Tucker Band played the flute, giving the song a very distinctive sound - it's not a common instrument in the world of Southern Rock.

There is no Marshall Tucker in The Marshall Tucker Band. They saw the name on a key ring where they used to rehearse and decided it would make a good name for their band.

The song was named the #1 greatest Southern Rock song ever recorded by Ultimate Classic Rock with “Sweet Home Alabamavideo as runner-up.

Said the site, “Next time you hear this song in public, take notice and you'll make the strangest observation, especially if there is booze involved. There seems to be something about this particular song that makes the majority (very ironically) close their eyes and sway their head from left to right while singing the song's famous 'Can't you see' line. That universal connection earns this song the top spot on our Southern Rock songs list.”

Marshall Tucker Band, official site / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / Wikipedia

Image: “The Marshall Tucker Band (album)” by Marshall Tucker Band



● Dinosaur (deinos (terrible or awesome) and sauros (lizard or reptile) comes from the Greek words meaning Terrible Lizard.

● The full names of those types of electric current known as AC and DC is Alternating and Direct Current.

● Penguin is the only bird that can swim, but not fly.

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

A Priest, A Minister, A Rabbi

A priest, a minister and a rabbi take a day trip on a boat to the middle of a lake.

In the morning, the priest gets out of the boat and walks across the water to get breakfast.

At midday, the minister gets out of the boat and walks across the of the water to get lunch.

In the evening, the rabbi goes to get supper. He gets out of the boat and falls into the water with a splash.

The priest says to the minister, “Do you think we should've told him about the stepping stones?”

Quotable Quotables

“Have Gun - Will Travel” Season 6 Episode 2 - Taylor's Woman

Paladin: “When Milton declared that heaven's best gift is a woman perfected, he forgot to mention what a hellish job it is perfecting one of them.”

Paladin: “I think perhaps Homer described it better. A creature with the form of a goddess, the walk of a queen and the heart of a tyrant.”

Paladin: “Madam, the fact that a chicken can lay a perfect egg does not entitle her to crow like a rooster.”

Lydia Moss: “Do I have to be a liar to be a woman?”

Paladin: “You'll know when a moment for honesty comes and it'll make truth out of every illusion you've created.”

~ “Have Gun - Will Travel” - “Taylor's Woman (#6.2)” (1962) video Written By: Gene Roddenberry - IMDb - CBS (from 1957 through 1963)