Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 35, 2017

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Germany prepares for invasion of Poland on August 31, 1939

Germany prepares for invasion of Poland on August 31, 1939

Germany prepares for invasion of Poland: At noon, despite threats of British and French intervention, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler signs an order to attack Poland, and German forces move to the frontier. That evening, Nazi S.S. troops wearing Polish uniforms staged a phony invasion of Germany, damaging several minor installations on the German side of the border. They also left behind a handful of dead German prisoners in Polish uniforms to serve as further evidence of the alleged Polish attack, which Nazi propagandists publicized as an unforgivable act of aggression.

At dawn the next morning, 58 German army divisions invaded Poland all across the 1,750-mile frontier. Hitler expected appeasement from Britain and France–the same nations that had given Czechoslovakia away to German conquest in 1938 with their signing of the Munich Pact. However, neither country would allow Hitler’s new violation of Europe’s borders, and Germany was presented with an ultimatum: Withdraw by September 3 or face war with the Western democracies.

At 11:15 a.m. on September 3, a few minutes after the expiration of the British ultimatum, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain appeared on national radio to announce solemnly that Britain was at war with Germany. Australia, New Zealand, and India immediately followed suit. Later that afternoon, the French ultimatum expired, and at 5:00 p.m. France declared war on Germany. The European phase of World War II began.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / USHMM.org / The Atlantic / BBC German Invasion of Poland (YouTube search) video

“The Odyssey”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“The Odyssey”


When the child of morning, rosy-fingered Dawn, appeared, Telemachus bound on his sandals and took a strong spear that suited his hands, for he wanted to go into the city. “Old friend”, said he to the swineherd, “I will now go to the town and show myself to my mother, for she will never leave off grieving till she has seen me. As for this unfortunate stranger, take him to the town and let him beg there of any one who will give him a drink and a piece of bread. I have trouble enough of my own, and cannot be burdened with other people. If this makes him angry so much the worse for him, but I like to say what I mean.”

Then Ulysses said, “Sir, I do not want to stay here; a beggar can always do better in town than country, for any one who likes can give him something. I am too old to care about remaining here at the beck and call of a master. Therefore let this man do as you have just told him, and take me to the town as soon as I have had a warm by the fire, and the day has got a little heat in it. My clothes are wretchedly thin, and this frosty morning I shall be perished with cold, for you say the city is some way off.”

On this Telemachus strode off through the yards, brooding his revenge upon the When he reached home he stood his spear against a bearing-post of the cloister, crossed the stone floor of the cloister itself, and went inside.

Nurse Euryclea saw him long before any one else did. She was putting the fleeces on to the seats, and she burst out crying as she ran up to him; all the other maids came up too, and covered his head and shoulders with their kisses. Penelope came out of her room looking like Diana or Venus, and wept as she flung her arms about her son. She kissed his forehead and both his beautiful eyes, “Light of my eyes,” she cried as she spoke fondly to him, “so you are come home again; I made sure I was never going to see you any more. To think of your having gone off to Pylos without saying anything about it or obtaining my consent. But come, tell me what you saw.”

BOOK XVII continued ...

~ Homer

Written 800 B.C.E

Translated by Samuel Butler

Table of Contents

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.”

~ Segal's law

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“I want to share something with you.

The three little sentences that will get you through life:

Number 1: Cover for me.

Number 2: Oh, good idea, Boss!

Number 3: It was like that when I got here.”

~ Homer Simpson

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Don’t place your mistakes on your head,

their weight may crush you.


place them under your feet,

and use them as a platform

to view your horizons.”

~ 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)

Do you have trypophobia? The fear you might not realise you're suffering from that's making your life hell

Do you have trypophobia? The fear you might not realise you're suffering from that's making your life hell

Sufferers of trypophobia sometimes can't stand basic household items like bread, crumpets bubble bath or peppers, but few people have ever heard of the phobia.

We all know people who suffer from phobias, from being scared of the dark to having an irrational fear of flying.

But one of the less common phobias is trypophobia.

Officially defined as a “fear of holes”, it may seem funny at first, but sufferers often flinch at the sight of things like bubbles, foam or other objects with clusters of holes or bumps.

• Bubbles can cause a trypophobia sufferer to become afraid.

• The air pockets in a loaf of bread can also be out of the question.

• Bubbles in fizzy drink are also a no-no.

• The seed pod of a lotus flower can send shivers down the spine.

• Bees in a honeycomb are a terrifying prospect - but not only because of the fear of being stung.

Rare belly button phobia makes medical student VOMIT and ould destroy her doctor dream.

Upon seeing these shapes, some people say they shudder, feel their skin crawl, experience panic attacks, sweat, and feel nauseous or itchy.

So what advice does he give sufferers?

• Get to the root of the problem - what is causing the fear?

• Talk to people.

• See a counsellor if the irrational fear becomes too much.

• Try and think positive thoughts - turn the fear into something positive, rather than something negative.

• And just deal with it.

Mirror (06/22/2017) video

Why Do People in the UK Drive on the Left Side of the Road?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Why Do People in the UK Drive on the Left Side of the Road?

• The practice far predates cars, according to The Telegraph. In fact, it goes back to the Middle Ages. In ye olden days, when traveling down a highway put you at risk of being attacked or robbed, traveling on the left was a matter of safety. Since most people were (and still are) right-handed, passing on the left meant leaving your sword-hand free to take on any challengers. Whether on foot, horseback, or in a carriage, you needed to be able to whip out your lance, sword, pitchfork, or staff in response to a threat—and quickly.

According to the BBC, this practice was widespread outside of Britain, too, potentially dating back as far as ancient Greece and Rome. The UK wasn’t the only place with dangerous roads, after all. But various pressures eventually shifted travelers to the right.

Notably, Napoleon was a fan of right-side driving, and brought the practice to territories he conquered (as did French colonists). That included Germany, and Hitler continued to spread the tradition across Europe as he took power, forcing Czechoslovakia and Austria (where half the country drove on the left side of the road and the other half drove on the right) to switch to right-side driving.

America has been driving on the right side of the road since colonial times, according to the Federal Highway Administration’s research, likely both as a rejection of British customs and because it made it easier to control a wagon. Drivers either sat on the left of their wagon or led their horses on foot on the left-hand side, so it was much easier to see oncoming traffic by traveling on the right side of the road. Plus it made it less likely that you’d end up in a ditch. Pennsylvania regulated right-side traffic on a new turnpike in 1792, and New York regulated right-hand driving on all public highways in 1804. Many states followed suit, but Henry Ford really cemented the practice; he chose to put the Model T’s steering column on the left, and the car’s immense popularity meant that the rest of the car industry followed suit.

Britain has previously considered switching over to right-side driving (as Sweden did in 1967), but the idea isn’t likely to take hold anytime soon. In 2009, Samoa became one of the few nations in the world to switch from right-side driving to left-side driving, in a bid to make cheap cars from Australia and New Zealand available there.

BBC AmericaNational GeographicQuoraHistory ChannelReadres DigestWikipediaWorld Standards

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Pogue: A homosexual who may be called a "twink", usually under-aged. This term may be used pejoratively (see Pogey bait), as no one but Marines are interested in pogues or baiting homosexuals.

Polish a Turd: Make the most of a bad situation e.g. Karlene Golding wearing make-up.

Pollywog:: An individual who has not crossed the Equator, who must go through rituals, that sometimes cross the line to be hazing, to become a shellback. This practice can be traced back hundreds of years and is conducted in many countries' Navies across the globe. See crossing the line.

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

Just for you MARINE

SACO: Substance Abuse Control Officer, a Marine responsible for the initial screening and evaluation of a Marine or sailor with alcoholism or illegal drug use issues to the proper medical facilities for rehabilitation & treatment.

SAFE: Mnemonic for the set up of weapons in small-unit defense, denotes: Security, Automatic weapons, Fields of fire, Entrenchment.

Safety Brief: Usually given by an NCO to junior enlisted Marines prior to being released for liberty. “Marines if you are going to drink, don't drive, if you are going to drive, don't drink, if you meet some gal be smart and use a condom (if you can't wrap it, smack it, as my sergeant would tell us) etc...”

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VAQ-135 - “Black Ravens”
Expeditionary Naval Aviation Squadron Whidbey Island, Washington - Established May 15, 1969

Where Did That Saying Come From

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Steal One's Thunder”

Steal One's Thunder”  Meaning: Someone 'steals your thunder' when they do something that takes attention away from what someone else has done, or when they use your ideas or inventions to their own advantage.

Origin: It comes from fox hunting. A red herring has a strong odour. Hounds chasing a fox could be distracted by the smell of the herring and start following that instead.

Devices that produce the sound of thunder have been called on in theatrical productions for centuries. The methods used include - rolling metal balls down troughs, grinding lead shot in bowls, shaking sheets of thin metal. The latter device, called a thunder sheet, is still in use today. The bowl method was referred to in Alexander Pope's literary satire The Dunciad, published in 1728:

With Shakespear's nature, or with Johnson's art,

Let others aim: 'Tis yours to shake the soul

With Thunder rumbling from the mustard bowl.'

The story that lies behind 'stealing someone's thunder' is that of the literary critic and largely unsuccessful playwright, John Dennis. In 1704, Dennis's play Appius and Virginia was produced at the Drury Lane Theatre, London and he invented a new method of creating the sound of thunder for the production. We don't know now what this method was (some texts say it was a refinement of the mustard bowl referred to by Pope, in which metal balls were rolled around in a wooden bowl), but it is reported that after Appius and Virginia failed and was closed, the method was soon afterwards used in a production of Macbeth. Dennis was less than pleased at having his idea purloined and this account of his response was recorded by the literary scholar Joseph Spence (1699–1768) and later quoted in W. S. Walsh's Literary Curiosities, 1893:

Damn them! They will not let my play run, but they steal my thunder.”

The actual words are in doubt and are also reported as "That is my thunder, by God; the villains will play my thunder but not my play!". What is clear is that Dennis's experience was the source of this attractive little phrase.


Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

New fighters, more roles for unmanned aircraft, and a new fifth generation missileFlying in a fortress: What It's Like to Fly in a B-17 BomberRiding Keanu Reeves' $78,000, Made-in-America MotorcycleDid Comcast Sabotage This Independent ISP That Spurned It? - A lawsuit alleges Comcast and its contractors deliberately cut all the cables of a competing service providerHummer Plant Sold to Make Electric CarsIsrael Doubles Down on High-Tech Air PowerThat Tesla Battery Emissions Study Making the Rounds? It's Bunk. - No, making a Tesla battery does not equal eight years of driving an internal combustion car.How Could the Fitzgerald Collision Happen?

Popular Mechanics

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Blooming Beasts: Dinosaurs Are Coming Up Roses in AI Artwork

Blooming Beasts: Dinosaurs Are Coming Up Roses in AI Artwork

A programmer recently turned to artificial intelligence to create positively charming images of so-called “botanical dinosaurs”, representations of tyrannosaurs, stegosaurs, triceratops and others, all constructed entirely out of flowers.

To generate the unusual effect, coder Chris Rodley used a web app that employs a technique known as style transfer, in which an algorithm “learns” a specific visual style and re-creates an image in that style. In this case, the algorithm re-created a selection of dinosaurs in the style of botanical illustrations, using all the visual elements that you'd expect to find in a field guide to local flora — stems, leaves and blossoms in a variety of colors.

Style transfer isn't new, but the unlikely pairing of dinosaurs and flowers was unusual and eye-catching enough to garner quite a bit of attention online. As of yesterday (June 21), Rodley's June 15 tweet sharing the images has gathered over 32,000 likes and about 14,000 retweets. [Super-Intelligent Machines: 7 Robotic Futures]

A team of programmers developed the style-transfer technique and described it in a paper published online in 2015, and the study authors later made style transfer available to the public through the online platform DeepArt, Rodley told Live Science in an email. He used DeepArt to make the dinosaurs, though there are several online platforms offering style transfer as a service for anyone to try, he said.

The idea for the botanical dinosaurs came from an unexpected type of style transfer in an image that Rodley glimpsed on Reddit, he told Live Science. In the image — a reproduction of the painting “Napoleon Crossing the Alps” by Jacques-Louis David — Reddit user vic8760 re-imagined Napoleon and his horse using images lifted from a crowd scene in an unidentified High Renaissance painting, Rodley wrote in a blog post.

As it happens, Rodley's floral dinosaurs have a famous fine-art precedent that dates back to the 16th century — paintings by the Italian artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo, who created human portraits as assemblies of vegetables. A second composite image, which Rodley also tweeted on June 15, mirrored Arcimboldo even more closely, with dinosaurs' bodies created entirely from 19th-century engravings of fruit.

“Machines came up with an idea that for humans is very hard to conceptualize. Because there aren't many pathways in our brains linking flowers and dinos” he said.

Live Science (06/22/2017) video

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


“Home Sweet Home” - Motley Crue 1985

“Home Sweet Home” - Motley Crue
Album: Theatre of Pain
Released 1985 video

In the Mötley Crüe: The End - Live In Los Angeles DVD, bass player Nikki Sixx said of this song: “It was a response to us from being gone so long during Shout At The Devil [1983 album and tour]. It was our first time. A tour bus picked us up at our little tiny apartments and we took off to go play some shows, and 18 months later we got dropped back in our little apartments. I was calling Tommy like, 'Hey, what are you doing?' 'Sitting here. What are you doing?' 'I don't know what to do.' 'I don't know what to do either. Want to grab a beer? How about a bindle of cocaine - that too. And a couple of strippers.'

We didn't know what to do, so we started writing songs for Theater Of Pain and 'Home Sweet Home' started to come out. The lyrics came out of that feeling of being gone so long and wanting to come back, which is ironic, right? Because all you ever want is to get in a band and go on the road, but then you're on the road and you want to come home.”

The original video, directed by Wayne Isham, stars with a vignette showing each band member getting phone call and saying “I'm on my way”. The guy handing them the phone in each scene is Michael Berryman, who played the principal in Mötley Crüe's "Smokin' In The Boy's Room" video (which Isham also worked on). Berryman can also be seen in the movies One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest and The Hills Have Eyes.

When this song was first released in 1985, it peaked at #89 in the U.S. In 1991, a new version was released as “Home Sweet Home '91”, which made it to #37.

For the 1991 re-release, a new video was made, this time a black-and-white clip directed by Matt Mahurin.

Speaking with Redbeard, the host of North American syndicated rock radio show and web site, In The Studio: The Stories Behind History's Greatest Rock Bands, Nikki Sixx explained how this non-traditional Crüe song would set the bar for hard rock bands to follow. “Bands didn't have a power ballad and MTV as a vehicle to have a hit”, he said. “That just wasn't the way it was. After 'Home Sweet Home', every band had the one ballad that came as their second or third single.”

“I think the reason we did it was because it was so anti-Mötley Crüe and it was funny, because it threw us into the mainstream”, He added. “Trust me, none of us had the foresight to see that.”

Nikki Sixx recalled during a 2012 episode of his national radio program, Sixx Sense, how the band had to fight for this song to be included on a record. “Our record company back in the day, Elektra Records, we turned in [1983 LP] Shout At The Devil and they rejected the album”, he said. “They said they didn't like it, it didn't sound like [1981's] Too Fast For Love, we changed the logo, we changed our look. And so we said, 'Fine. Then we'll go to another record company.' So [Elektra] put it out [after all], and it sold four million copies. Elektra was about to go bankrupt at the time, and that saved their ass. And then when our next record [1985's Theatre Of Pain] got turned in, with 'Home Sweet Home' on it, they rejected that album. They said, 'This is horrible, and you have to take that song off the record. You guys aren't a ballad band.' So we did the same thing.”

“We were always at war with that record company; they never really believed in us.”, Sixx continued. “And so we came out with 'Smokin' In The Boy's Room' video, and that album blew up. And then we wanted to release 'Home Sweet Home' [as the next single and video], and [the record company] said, 'No way. No way.' So we funded it, we shot the video ourselves, went on MTV and the rest is history.”

Mötley Crüe singer Vince Neil recalled writing the song: “I remember like it was yesterday”, he said, “sitting in the recording studio when Tommy [Lee, drummer] came up with the piano chords and I almost immediately started humming.”

This was the last song the band ever played live. They performed it as the encore at their December 31, 2015 concert in Los Angeles, the city where they got their start. It was the last stop on their “Final Tour”, which they made sure would be their last one by signing a legal agreement before the tour began stating that they would never tour again.

Motley Crue, official website / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / Wikipedia

Image: “Theatre of Pain (album)” by Motley Crue



Three composers whose last names begin with ”R”: Sergei RACHMANINOV / Maurice RAVEL Bolèro/ Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Scheherazade, Flight of the Bumblebee / Gioacchino ROSSINI Barber of Seville, William Tell.

● Beethoven's Piano Sonata in C Minor and Tchaikowski's Symphony Number 6 both have the same sad-sounding name - PATHETIQUE.

● Popular musical group in the 70's-80's named themselves after a large bird - The Eagles.

A Test for People Who Know Everything

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “CLUES ACROSS AMERICA” ($1,000):

Today the guns of the battleship Wisconsin are silent on Norfolk's waterfront - but in 1945 they were fired on Okinawa as part of Admiral Raymond Spruance's Fifth this.

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer America's Navy.mil

Answer to Last Week's Test

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “IT'S INTOXICATING” ($800):

Named for a region in Tuscany, this red table wine was once recognized by its fiasco, a straw-covered bottle.

Answer: Chianti Chianti

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

A very shy guy goes into a pub

A very shy guy goes into a pub on Valentine's Day night and sees a beautiful woman sitting alone at the bar.

After an hour of gathering up his courage he finally goes over to her and asks tentatively, “Um, would you mind if I brought you a drink?”

She responds by yelling, at the top of her lungs, “No, I won't sleep with you tonight!”

Everyone in the pub is now staring at them. Naturally, the guy is hopelessly and completely embarrassed and he slinks back to his table totally red faced.

After a few minutes, the woman walks over to him and apologizes. She smiles at him and says, “I'm really sorry if I embarrassed you just then. You see, I'm a graduate student in psychology and I'm studying how people respond to embarrassing situations.”

The man responds, at the top of his lungs, “No I will not pay $200!”

Quotable Quotables

“Star Trek”

Spock: “Live Long and Prosper”

Spock: “Highly Illogical...”

Captain Kirk: “Beam Me Up, Scotty”

Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy “I'm A Doctor, Not A...

Captain Kirk: “To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before...” (Star Trek: The Original Series (with the exception of the pilot episodes) famously recited by William Shatner)

Chief Engineer Montgomery “Scotty” Scott: “I'm Givin' Her All She's Got, Captain!”

Chekov: “Nuclear Wessels”

Captain Kirk: “Set Phasers To Stun”

~ “Star Trek” - “The Original Series - First Episode Opening (The Man Trap)” (September 8, 1966) video Created By: Gene Roddenberry - IMDb - NBC (from 1966 through 1969)