Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 37, 2017

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McKinley dies of infection from gunshot wounds on September 07, 1940

McKinley dies of infection from gunshot wounds on September 14, 1901

McKinley dies of infection from gunshot wounds: On this day in 1901, U.S. President William McKinley dies after being shot by a deranged anarchist during the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.

McKinley won his first Congressional seat at the age of 34 and spent 14 years in the House, becoming known as the leading Republican expert on tariffs. After losing his seat in 1890, McKinley served two terms as governor of Ohio. By 1896, he had emerged as the leading Republican candidate for president, aided by the support of the wealthy Ohio industrialist Mark Hanna. That fall, McKinley defeated his Democratic rival, William Jennings Bryan, by the largest popular margin since the Civil War.

As president, McKinley became known–controversially–as a protector of big businesses, which enjoyed unprecedented growth during his administration. He advocated the protective tariff as a way of shielding U.S. business and labor from foreign competition, and he successfully argued for using the gold standard of currency.

Above all, however, McKinley’s presidency was dominated by his foreign policy. In April 1898, he was pushed by Congress and American public opinion to intervene in Cuba’s struggle for independence from Spanish colonial rule. In the first American war against a foreign power since 1812, the United States handily defeated Spain in just three months, freeing Cuba–although the island became a U.S. protectorate–and annexing Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. For the first time, the United States had become a colonialist power.

America’s growing interests in the Pacific led McKinley’s administration to greatly increase its involvement in Asian politics. In 1900, McKinley sent thousands of U.S. troops to China to help put down the Boxer Rebellion, aimed at driving out foreigners. His aggressive “Open Door” policy declared U.S. support for an independent China and argued that all nations with commercial interests in China should be able to compete on equal footing.

The popular McKinley won a second term by even greater margins over Bryan, who attacked him on his “imperialism” in the Pacific and, domestically, on the growth of illegal monopolies, or trusts. There was little time to see what his second term would bring, however. On September 6, 1901, while standing in a receiving line at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, McKinley was approached by Leon Czolgosz, a Polish-American anarchist carrying a concealed .32 revolver in a handkerchief. Drawing his weapon, Czolgosz shot McKinley twice at close range. One bullet deflected off a suit button, but the other entered his stomach, passed through the kidneys, and lodged in his back. When he was operated on, doctors failed to find the bullet, and gangrene soon spread throughout his body. McKinley died eight days later. Czolgosz was convicted of murder and executed soon after the shooting.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / University of Buffalo.edu / Library of Congress / Shapell.org President McKinley Assassinated (YouTube search) video

“The Odyssey”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“The Odyssey”


Ulysses was left in the cloister, pondering on the means whereby with Minerva's help he might be able to kill the suitors. Presently he said to Telemachus, “Telemachus, we must get the armour together and take it down inside. Make some excuse when the suitors ask you why you have removed it. Say that you have taken it to be out of the way of the smoke, inasmuch as it is no longer what it was when Ulysses went away, but has become soiled and begrimed with soot. Add to this more particularly that you are afraid Jove may set them on to quarrel over their wine, and that they may do each other some harm which may disgrace both banquet and wooing, for the sight of arms sometimes tempts people to use them.”

Telemachus approved of what his father had said, so he called nurse Euryclea and said, “Nurse, shut the women up in their room, while I take the armour that my father left behind him down into the store room. No one looks after it now my father is gone, and it has got all smirched with soot during my own boyhood. I want to take it down where the smoke cannot reach it.”

“I wish, child”, answered Euryclea, “that you would take the management of the house into your own hands altogether, and look after all the property yourself. But who is to go with you and light you to the store room? The maids would have so, but you would not let them.”

“The stranger”, said Telemachus, “shall show me a light; when people eat my bread they must earn it, no matter where they come from.”

BOOK XIX continued ...

~ Homer

Written 800 B.C.E

Translated by Samuel Butler

Table of Contents

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“An empirical rule relating traffic fatalities to traffic congestion as measured by the proxy of motor vehicle registrations and country population.”

~ Smeed's law

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“From this instant on,

vow to stop disappointing yourself.

Separate yourself from the mob.

Decide to be extraordinary

and do what you need to do now.”

~ Epictetus

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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)

'I've pooped 11 times since this morning' - man allergic to milk rants at Starbucks from his toilet

'I've pooped 11 times since this morning' - man allergic to milk rants at Starbucks from his toilet

When you have a food intolerance, life can be full of small, everyday battles and frustrations.

Whether it's gluten or lactose, doing something as simple as buying a takeaway coffee can be a case of trial-and-error.

Demit Strato knows this only too well. In fact, Demit knows that going to buy a coffee can have serious consequences.

This is what happened after a recent trip to Starbucks - and he had something to say about it.

“This the second time I ordered a Venti Iced Coffe with Soy Milk this month...

...where the Soy Milk request was ignored and regular milk was instead used.”

“Do you think I enjoy soy milk? Does anyone enjoy soy milk? Really? I don't order soy milk because I'm bored and want my drink order to sound fancy.”

“I order soy milk so that my bottom doesn't blast fire for 4 hours. I'm not a Charmander. Thank you for listening to my rant.”

“P.S. I'm writing this from the comfort OF MY TOILET.”

So there you go, when someone orders soy milk, there's every chance they're not doing it to be awkward.

Mirror (06/29/2017) video

Is a Tomato a Fruit?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Is a Tomato a Fruit?

Tomatos have been called a super food, a functional food, and just plain delicious. It's the tomato, and it has an abundance of vitamins and nutrients that help keep our bodies moving, from lycopene (which may help ward off some chronic disease) and beta-carotene to Vitamin C.

It should be a regular part of your diet. But if you're big into food classification, you might be wondering—is a tomato a fruit? Is it a vegetable? Or is it some weird hybrid of the two?

The answer is that it depends on who's asking. In the world of botany, a fruit is defined as the part that develops from the fertilized ovary of a flower. Vegetables are the edible parts of plants that aren't fruits. By this definition, the tomato is a fruit.

Botanists, however, don't have the last word on the subject. In 1893, the U.S. Supreme Court was asked to decide whether a tomato was a fruit or a vegetable after importer John Nix was slapped with a 10 percent import tax on vegetables coming in to New York's Port Authority. He argued the botanical definition, but the judges disagreed, ruling that in the “common language of the people, whether sellers or consumers of provisions”, the tomato was a vegetable.

Nutritionists in particular like to categorize the tomato as a vegetable because it lacks the abundance of fructose (sugar) found in many fruits like oranges and apples. In less formal terms, fruits are also classified based on their ability to be incorporated into desserts due to their sweetness. There's a reason we have apple pie and not broccoli pie.

So is the tomato a fruit? As a seeded growth, yes. Nutritionally, no. If you want to stick to the legal term, according to Nix's case, the tomato is a vegetable. He couldn't prove otherwise. Then again, it might depend on where you live. Tennessee made it the official state fruit, while New Jersey calls it the official state vegetable. Arkansas played both sides of the fence by declaring the tomato both the state fruit and the state vegetable.

Business InsiderEncyclopedia BritannicaNational GeographicMental FlossQuaraWikipedia

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

PQS: Personnel Qualification Standards, a card carrying various qualifications for a warfare badge or similar. Must be signed off by a superior or expert.

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

Just for you MARINE

Sandbox: Iraq or other desert area.

Sand Monster: To bury/hide something in the sand, usually MRE trash and brass. (Locale to 29 Palms)

SARC: Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, a Marine (usually an SNCO) assigned as the point of contact for personnel who are victims of or witnesses to sexual assault. Such duty is often ironically assigned to one of the least tactful/sensitive members of a unit.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VAQ-137 - “Rooks”
CVW-1 Naval Aviation Squadron Whidbey Island, Washington - Established October 1, 1996

Where Did That Saying Come From

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Up to scratch”

Up to scratch”  Meaning: Acceptable.

Origin: The phrase used in pugilists' fights. A line was scratched on the ground to which the contestants had to put their forward foot before the fight could begin.

Sporting.' A line or mark drawn as an indication of a boundary or starting-point; in Cricket, a 'crease' (obs.); in Pugilism, the line drawn across the ring, to which boxers are brought for an encounter. Hence in various phrases (often fig.), as 'to come up to the scratch,' 'to bring to the scratch,' 'to toe the scratch,' etc.


The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Oozing Methane Blasts Holes in Siberian Tundra

Oozing Methane Blasts Holes in Siberian Tundra

Escaping methane gas has blown at least two new holes in the Siberian tundra in the past few months, according to eyewitness accounts to the Siberian Times and the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Reindeer herders northwest of the village of Seyakha in Siberia's far north reported seeing an eruption of fire and smoke on the morning of June 28 — an event caught on seismic sensors at 11 a.m. local time, according to The Siberian Times. Scientists visiting the site photographed a fresh crater blown into the banks of a river. Reindeer herders northwest of the village of Seyakha in Siberia's far north reported seeing an eruption of fire and smoke on the morning of June 28 — an event caught on seismic sensors at 11 a.m. local time, according to The Siberian Times. Scientists visiting the site photographed a fresh crater blown into the banks of a river.

Researchers also discovered a second, previously unknown crater in the Tyumen region of Siberia this month, the newspaper reported. Local herders told Aleksandr Sokolov, a researcher at the Institute of Ecology of Plants and Animals in Russia, that they'd observed fire in the area of that crater in the winter or early spring. [See Photos of Siberia's Mysterious Craters] Researchers also discovered a second, previously unknown crater in the Tyumen region of Siberia this month, the newspaper reported. Local herders told Aleksandr Sokolov, a researcher at the Institute of Ecology of Plants and Animals in Russia, that they'd observed fire in the area of that crater in the winter or early spring. [See Photos of Siberia's Mysterious Craters]

When permafrost melts, it releases large amounts of methane. According to Russian scientists, this sudden release could have led to the explosions. How fast and how frequently this is happening remain controversial topics in the scientific community, given that Siberia is so remote and unexplored. But scientists do agree that Siberia's permafrost is in danger of melting as the globe warms.

Permafrost is soil that stays frozen all year long. Any organic matter, like dead grass or animal corpses, caught up in permafrost stays frozen, too. But as the Arctic warms, the depth of the spring thaw gets deeper and deeper — a process called active-layer deepening. As the soil thaws, the organic material locked inside begins to decompose all at once, releasing flammable gases such as methane, University of Michigan postdoctoral researcher Ben Abbott tells.

Past research suggests that warming can cause explosive changes in the landscape. A study released in June found that at least 100 giant craters formed in one region on the Arctic seafloor about 11,600 years ago as the ice sheet retreated and destabilized mounds of frozen methane underneath. These mounds, call pingos, sometimes blew craters up to 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) wide into the ocean bottom.

Some Arctic scientists think something similar is happening in Siberia today. Pingos, or soil-covered permafrost hills, occur on land, too. If they melt rapidly, they could release a fiery burst of methane and create craters similar to the ancient ones seen on the seafloor. Previously, Siberian researchers had discovered craters that had never been seen before, but they had not published any information on the ages of the craters or scientific analyses of how they'd formed. The new eyewitness accounts from local herders suggest that the formation of these craters may, indeed, be violent.

Live Science (07/06/2017) video

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


“You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” - Bachman-Turner Overdrive 1985

“You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” - Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Album: Not Fragile
Released 1974 video

Bachman-Turner Overdrive Randy Bachman didn't intend to release this song with the stuttering vocal. He sang it with the stutter to poke fun at his brother, Gary, who had a speech impediment. During microphone checks, he would sing it with the stutter and recorded a version that was intended just for Gary. His record company liked it a lot better than the non-stuttering version, so that's the one they released. Eventually, Gary stopped stuttering.

The lyrics, especially “She took me to her doctor and he told me of a cure”, led to rumors that the song was about herpes or some other social disease. According to Bachman, the lyrics were just words he improvised, as he didn't thing the song was going to be released and was just using it to test levels in the studio.

Randy Bachman produced the Not Fragile album, and used this song to test dynamics in the studio, since the guitars would go from quiet to loud.

When the band recorded it, they didn't think it would be released, so they didn't bother perfecting it - or even tuning their instruments. Bachman's vocal was considered a scratch track. This became Bachman's “work song” for testing.

The band only played it for their label after the boss at Mercury, Charlie Fach, heard the eight songs they completed and didn't hear a hit. The engineer suggested playing him the “work song”, and Bachman reluctantly agreed.

When Fach heard the song, he loved it, warts and all. In our interview with Bachman, he explained: “Charlie said, 'I want to put this on the album.' And I said, 'I need to remix it.' And he said, 'Don't touch it. Put it on the way it is. When you play this with the other songs, it just jumps off the turntable.'”

The title is grammatically incorrect. It is a double-negative, although "You Haven't Seen Anything Yet" wouldn't have the same ring to it.

This song came about when the band was playing a jam session in the key of “A”. “Takin' Care Of Businessvideo also came out of a jam session, but that one was in the key of “C”.

Randy Bachman wrote this song and sang lead. He and his bandmate Fred Turner split vocal duties in the band.

Bachman's inspiration for the intro/verse melody was Dave Mason's “Only You Know and I Knowvideo.

Bachman-Turner Overdrive, official website / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / Wikipedia

Image: “Not Fragile (album)” by Bachman-Turner Overdrive



Romulus and Remus mythological twins, raised by wolves, were the founders of Rome.

London was founded in the year 43 A.D. following the Roman conquest of Britain.

● Gibraltar a huge limestone mass, lies on the southern coast of Spain.

A Test for People Who Know Everything

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “ONOMATOPOETIC WORDS” ($400):

Keys and coins can do it in your pocket, & a catchy ad can feature one.

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer Quality Logo Products

Answer to Last Week's Test

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “U.S. CODE TALKING” ($200):

Title 4, Section 8: this “should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free”.

Answer: The Flag. Cornell Law School.edu

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

The Cynical Philosopher

• Did you know that dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish?

• My therapist says I have a preoccupation with vengeance. We'll see about that.

• I think my neighbor is stalking me as she's been googling my name on her computer. I saw it through my telescope last night.

• Money talks ... but all mine ever says is good-bye.

Quotable Quotables

“Mad Men” Season 3 (2007 - 2015)

Roger: (To Pete) “Help yourself…not the Stoli.”

Sally: “I’m sorry I broke your suitcase.”

Don: “Find out how much it is to repair and it will come out of your allowance.”

Sally: “I don’t have an allowance.”

Don: “Then don’t break things.”

Peggy: “You have everything. And so much of it.”

Kinsey: “He might lose his foot.”

Roger: “Right when he got it in the door.”

Don: “The truth is people may see things differently, but they don’t really want to.”

(Working on a pitch for Western Union)

Trudy: “Have you been drinking?”

Pete: “The whole country’s drinking!”

(After the JFK assassination)

Ken: “I love getting telegrams, but I never send them.”

Don: “How is that supposed to help?”

(Giving a speech at his daughter’s wedding)

Roger: “Can someone please get my wife out of the kitchen? I have something very nice to say about her. But while we’re alone…”

(On Don)

Suzanne Farrell’s brother: “Well, he knows how to leave a room.”

~ “Mad Men” - “Mad Men Season 3” (2007 – 2015) video Creator: Matthew Weiner - A drama about one of New York's most prestigious ad agencies at the beginning of the 1960s, focusing on one of the firm's most mysterious but extremely talented ad executives, Donald Draper. AMC