Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 04, 2018

Previous Week   January 22, 2018 - January 28, 2018  Next Week

Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first female to be officially recognized as a physician in U.S. history on January 23, 1849

Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first female to be officially recognized as a physician in U.S. history on January 23, 1849

Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first female to be officially recognized as a physician in U.S. history: Elizabeth Blackwell is granted a medical degree from Geneva College in New York, becoming the first female to be officially recognized as a physician in U.S. history.

Blackwell, born in Bristol, England, came to the United States in her youth and attended the medical faculty of Geneva College, now known as Hobart College. In 1849, she graduated with the highest grades in her class and was granted an M.D. In 1857, after several years of private practice, she founded the New York Infirmary for Women and Children with her sister, Emily Blackwell, also a doctor. In 1868, the institution was expanded to include a women’s college for the training of nurses and doctors, the first of its kind in America. The next year, Blackwell returned to England, where in 1875 she became professor of gynecology at the London School of Medicine for Women, a medical discipline she had helped to establish.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / National Institutes of Health (NIH) / Biography

“Tales of Legendary Ghost Ships - Legend of the Haunted Submarine of World War I, UB-65”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“Tales of Legendary Ghost Ships”

Legend of the Haunted Submarine of World War I, UB-65

During the hellacious and bloody battles of World War I, a terrifying new enemy was unleashed beneath the waves of the sea; the submarine. Never before had these new weapons of war seen such deadly and widespread usage. The Germans in particular put submarines to spectacularly lethal effect. Silent, stealthy, appearing from nowhere from under the dark waves to ravage their victims, the German U-boots or U-boats, a shortened version of Unterseeboot or literally “undersea boat”, were feared by seafaring vessels, in particular the merchant and supply ships which would go on to lose millions of tons of cargo by the time the war ended. Yet although these undersea specters of death terrorized the enemy, it would prove that there were mysterious forces at work aboard one U-boat that would go on to terrorize the crew just as much as anyone else, and propel it into the long maritime pantheon of undersea mysteries and cursed vessels.

The submarine UB-65 was a Type UB III U-boat built by the German Imperial Navy in 1916, and before it was even completed and launched to seek havoc upon the enemy, it had already acquired a dark, ominous reputation for death. The construction of the sub was plagued by numerous freak accidents and horrific deaths. In one instance while the hull was being laid, a huge steel girder that was being lifted by chains and swung into position crashed to the ground when its sturdy chains inexplicably snapped. Two workers were unfortunate enough to be below the massive girder when it fell and were subsequently horrifically cThin Lizzyed beneath it. One of the workers was killed instantly but the other was not so lucky, writhing in agony as colleagues tried desperately to free him before he finally succumbed to his grievous injuries two hours later. It would later be established that the chains seemed to be in perfect working condition and no explanation could be found for how they might have suddenly broken as they had. In another incident, three engineers were in the newly built engine room doing a routine test of the dry cell batteries when they were overcome by sudden noxious diesel fumes. The deadly fumes quickly incapacitated the men and they had all asphyxiated by the time their bodies were dragged up into the light of day. Again there was no explanation for what had caused the fatal leak.

These ominous portents of doom and spooky freak accidents would not stop with the completion of the submarine’s tumultuous construction. During a test run with the aim of establishing the sub’s seaworthiness, the UB-65 encountered a fierce storm that brewed out of nowhere and violently swept one crewman overboard with an enormous wave. The crewman’s body was never found and it was assumed that he had died. Not long after this, as the sub was doing a test dive, the ballast tank was damaged and the dry cell batteries flooded with seawater, which again filled the engine room with poisonous gas killing two additional crew members. When the captain ordered the sub to the surface, it refused to do so as the deadly fumes continued to spread throughout the ship. The crew were luckily able to repair the malfunctioning sub and get to the surface before any more crew were lost to the toxic gases.

On another test run meant to test the sub’s diving ability, a fracture occurred in one of the ballast tanks yet again. Inundated with a sudden deluge of seawater, UB-65 sank in short order, finally resting upon the bottom with its crew in a mad panic and doubtlessly wondering how long they’d last before they all suffocated. The crew, now stranded at the bottom of the sea in a steel coffin, desperately worked to repair the sub and bring it to the surface as their limited oxygen supply dwindled. After 12 perilous hours under the sea, UB-65 was finally fixed and was able to surface before everyone aboard perished. It was considered almost a miracle at the time that no one else had died in the incident.

These accidents and incidents quickly imbued UB-65 with the malevolent reputation as a cursed vessel. In 1917, despite all of the problems and spooky rumors being whispered amongst sailors, UB-65 was scheduled to embark upon its official maiden voyage. If there was truly some sinister force infesting the sub, then it showed no signs of waning. As the torpedoes were being placed prior to this first real mission, one of them inexplicably exploded, which damaged the ship, seriously wounded several crew members, and killed the sub’s second officer, a Lieutenant Richter. Despite the tragedy, the Germans were desperate for more ships and hastily repaired and launched UB-65 again.

Not long after this, UB-65, already known for being a cursed vessel, would earn itself the title of a haunted one as well.

One of the earliest ghostly sightings aboard the sub was made as UB-65 was scouring the English Channel for enemies to decimate, by a lookout stationed up in the ship’s conning tower. The lookout was allegedly up in the tower when he noticed someone standing down on the deck directly below him, which was unusual since all of the hatches had been battened down and there should have been no one there. When the mysterious figure looked up, the lookout could clearly see that it was Lieutenant Richter, the second officer who had been killed in the freak torpedo accident. The ghostly Richter reportedly shouted some sort of warning and disappeared when the lookout began screaming in terror. Shortly after this, a panicked crewman ran to tell others that he had seen the dead Richter casually strolling about on deck. The captain thought the crewman was just seeing things, but nevertheless went to investigate the deck, where he found another crewman cowering in fright near the conning tower. This terrified crewman confirmed the story and explained that the dead second officer had sort of hovered off of the ground up the gangplank, along the bow, and had stopped to look out over the sea before simply vanishing into thin air.

From these initial sightings, the dead Lieutenant Richter began to make regular appearances aboard UB-65. He was seen by one engineer in the engine room, where he seemed to be examining the instrument panels before fading away into nothing. On another occasion, the spectral second officer was seen standing atop the conning tower in the middle of a violent storm, seemingly oblivious to the howling winds and enormous swells churning around him. In other instances, the ghost was seen roaming around the darkened, claustrophobic passages below decks and even phasing through walls. Richter would apparently gain some company when a crewman was killed in an air raid while on shore leave and his ghost began to be sighted aboard the sub as well.

For a long time, the wreckage of UB-65 could not be located and the mystery of its explosion and sinking over the years became a perplexing maritime mystery. The wreck was finally found and identified by underwater archaeologists in 2004. Examination of the UB-65 wreck showed no signs of being heavily damaged by a weapon attack, which conflicted to official German Naval records which list it as having been destroyed by its own torpedoes. The aft hatches of the wreck were also found to be open, an apparent indicator that some of the crew had made attempts to escape. The sinking of the sub was eventually attributed to “accidental causes” although the exact cause is still not known for sure and it is still not clear what the explosion was that the American sub reported. It is thought that perhaps the explosion could have been caused by a depth charge which detonated near the doomed vessel and caused enough internal damage to sink it without leaving any obvious major hull damage. However, in the end, even with the discovery of its wreckage the exact fate of UB-65 remains as mysterious as the ominous phenomena that hung over it throughout its career.

World War I brought its fair share of hell to both sides, and in the case of UB-65, perhaps a bit of hell was brought to it as well, infesting it, pervading it, and locking it into the annals of great unexplained mysteries of the sea.

Mysterious Universe.org

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“Be who you are and say what you feel,

because those who mind don’t matter,

and those who matter don’t mind.”

~ Bernard Baruch.

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“If you don’t like something change it;

if you can’t change it,

change the way you think about it.”

~ Mary Engelbreit

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Whenever you find yourself

doubting how far you can go,

Just remember how far you have come.

Remember everything you have faced,

all the battles you have won,

and all the fears you have overcome.”

~ 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)

Grandmasters complain London's 'pawnographic' World Chess Championship logo looks like the Kama Sutra

Grandmasters complain London's 'pawnographic' World Chess Championship logo looks like the Kama Sutra

The unveiling of a logo for a big sporting contest is meant to be a grand occasion that builds up a flurry of excitement.

When their “trendy” new logo was revealed for next year's flagship event in London it was met with a rather passionate response among grandmasters.

The British Grandmaster Nigel Short, a long-time critic of the game's governing body Fide, said the organisers were “perhaps suggesting that they are giving the chess world a good f------.”

And Grandmaster Susan Polgar, the pioneer of women's chess, questioned whether the racy image was appropriate for children.

Chess enthusiasts also noticed something else they didn't like about it - the board is only 6x6 squares, not the 8x8 needed for a real game.

“People are openly laughing at it”, said chess expert David Kramaley, who runs learning site Chessable. “But, joking aside, I've got to say it has grown on me.”

Iranian officials claimed the jagged numbers in fact spelt out the word “Zion”, some claimed to spot elements of a Swastika and others said it sparked epileptic fits.

Telegraph (12/20/2017) video

Where Are Extra Calories Stored in the Body?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Where Are Extra Calories Stored in the Body?

The first step is to stop thinking in terms of calories. Calories are a measurement of energy. It's like saying ”how do I save gallons?” Rather than “how do I save gas?” in reference to your car.

Energy in your body comes from 3 sources:


amino acids,

and fatty acids.

Glucose is the simplest for your body to use. Fatty acids are the next while amino acids take a little more work to break down.

All of them go through some metabolic processing to be broken down into acetyl-coa which is then broken down into ATP and used for energy.

Glucose is located in the bloodstream (blood sugar) and in your muscles and liver (glycogen stores). Your blood sugar levels are regulated by various glands. If it gets low, your body is told to release energy from various stores to maintain its level.

Amino acids are found in many places, primarily your muscles. If you need energy your body will break down muscles as well as fat to create that energy.

Fatty acids are stored in adipose cells in the form of triglycerides. Fatty acids are also often found in your blood stream, as well either as free fatty acids or cholesterol. Fats contain more than twice the amount of energy as glucose, but takes a little more processing to get to and requires oxygen to get there while glucose can create energy without oxygen.

Glucose, amino acids and fatty acids can all be converted to triglycerides. triglycerides and amino acids can also be converted to glycogen for storage if your muscles and liver run low — this is the primary method that you lose fat through exercise, by your liver and muscles being replenished.

ForbesHealthy EatingLive StrongQuaraStack ExchangeWikipediaWhere Are Extra Calories Stored in the Body? (YouTube Search) video

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang - U.S. Navy

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Rick, Ricky: A “recruit” or sailor-to-be who is still in boot camp.

Rickety Rocket: USS Richmond K. Turner (CG-20) Commissioned 1963, decommissioned 1995, sunk as a target 1998 by USS Enterprise Battle Group.

Ricky Boxing: Masturbation. The term is used in boot camp to refer to male masturbation. Compare “Ricky Fishing&”.

Ricky Fishing: Masturbation. The term is used in boot camp to refer to female masturbation. Compare “Ricky Boxing&”.

Ricky Forklift: A boot camp term for a dust pan.

Ricky Girlfriend:: A male sailor's hand, used to masturbate.

Ricky Crud: A “recruit” or sailor-to-be who is still in boot camp.

(1) A one-night sickness which sailors acquire in bootcamp after receiving their smallpox vaccinations.

(2) The constant cold that sailors suffer from in bootcamp because they spend 8 weeks confined with 80 people from all walks of life.

Ricky Dive: Fast, effective method of cleaning in boot camp, consisting of wearing smurf suits inside-out and sliding, or being dragged, on the floor to pick up dust.

Ricky Heaven: A number of restaurants and entertainment venues found in a single building at boot camp, so called because only graduates of boot camp may go there.

Ricky Iron: Using one's right hand to press one's uniform flat.

Ricky Lawnmower: Nailclippers, used to trim stray threads from uniforms. See “Irish Pennant”.

Ricky Ninja: Within minutes of lights out, the entire division is asleep, except for the Ricky Ninjas, dressed in their ski masks and sweaters, sliding from rack to rack, Gullivering, dirty-dicking, and spitting in the RPOC's canteen.

Ricky Ray-Gun:The cheap, disposable flashlights Recruits use while standing night watch in the barracks.

Ricky Sweep: Use of a bare hand to gather dustbunnies and other dirt from a deck.

Ricky Rocket: A boot camp “energy drink” made from an assorted mix of sodas, sports drinks, coffee, sugar and artificial sweetners used to help keep the recruit awake. Also known as “Go-Go Juice”. Or half a glass of coffee, half chocolate milk and a shit ton of sugar.

Just for MARINES - The Few. The Proud.

Just for you MARINE

Stacking Swivel: Oblong-shaped link with an opening screwed to the rifle that allowed other rifles to be hooked and stacked (the M1 Garand was the last service rifle to have a stacking swivel, this function is now held by the weapon's sling); “Grab him by the stacking swivel” infers grabbing a person's throat.

Staff NCO: Staff Non-Commissioned Officer Enlisted Marines of a rank having a pay grade of E-6 or higher: Staff Sergeant, Gunnery Sergeant, Master Sergeant, First Sergeant, Master Gunnery Sergeant and Sergeant Major.

Stage: To pre-position something.

Stand By: Command to wait.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VFA-14 - “Tophatters”
CVW-9 - Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S. - Established September 1919

Where Did That Saying Come From

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Rub the Wrong Way”

Rub the Wrong Way”  Meaning: To irritate, bother, or annoy someone.

Origin: Early Americans, during the colonial times, would ask their servants to rub their oak floorboards “the right way”.

The wrong way (not wiping them with dry fabric after wet fabric) would cause streaks to form and ruin it, leaving the homeowner annoyed.

Alternatively, it could have derived from rubbing a cat’s fur the “wrong way”, which annoys them.

It's certainly the case that, although British common law once held that it was legal for a man to chastise his wife in moderation (whatever that meant), the 'Rub the Wrong Way' has never been the law in England.


Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Russia's Plan To Build a Luxury Hotel on the ISS - And you can go...if you have $40 million.The Falcon Heavy Is Almost Ready - SpaceX has completed assembly of the Falcon Heavy's three-core first stage, and it plans to launch the heavy-lift rocket in January.'The Last Jedi' Is the History of Human Warfare in Reverse - From World War II bombing tactics to the ancient battles of Troy.California Is On Track to Meet Its Renewable Energy Goal a Decade EarlyNew Route May Have Distracted Amtrak Engineer Before Fatal CrashMan Scares Off 'Porch Pirates' With Shotgun Contraption

Popular Mechanics

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Vostok: Lake Under Antarctic Ice

Vostok: Lake Under Antarctic Ice

Deep, dark and mysterious, Lake Vostok is one of the largest subglacial lakes in the world. Once a large surface lake in East Antarctica, Lake Vostok is now buried under more than 2 miles (3.7 kilometers) of ice near Russia's Vostok research station. Covered with ice for millennia, cut off from light and contact with the atmosphere, Lake Vostok is one of the most extreme environments on Earth.

“The lake has been ice-covered for at least 15 million years”, said Brent Christner, a Louisiana State University biologist who has examined ice cores collected above the lake.

Subglacial Lake Vostok lies 4000 meters below Vostok Station, in East Antarctica.

Below the surface

Lake Vostok is one of the largest lakes on Earth in size and volume, rivaling Lake Ontario in North America. The lake itself is 143 miles (230 km) long, 31 miles (50 km) wide and as much as 2,625 feet (800 meters) deep. Lake Vostok sits near the South Pole in East Antarctica. The presence of a large buried lake was first suggested in the 1960s by a Russian geographer/pilot who noticed the large, smooth patch of ice above the lake from the air. Airborne radar experiments by British and Russian researchers in 1996 confirmed the discovery of the unusual lake.

Researchers have mapped Lake Vostok's shape with remote sensing techniques, such as seismic soundings and ice-penetrating radar. Lake Vostok is much shallower on one end than the other, with the two basins separated by a ridge. Some scientists think the ridge could be a hydrothermal vent, similar to the ocean floor black smokers that teem with tubeworms. The long, narrow lake may lie in a rift valley, similar to Lake Baikal in Russia.

After two years of computer analysis, the final results reveal that Vostok Lake contains a diverse set of microbes, as well as some multicellular organisms. They chose to include only those sequences which they were absolutely certain came from the accretion ice. Because of this, Rogers believes there are most likely a multitude of others from the lake, opening the door to further research.

Live Science (12/20/2017) video

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


“The Boys Are Back in Town” - Thin Lizzy 1976

“The Boys Are Back in Town” - Thin Lizzy
Album: Jailbreak
Released 1976 video

This song was inspired by Thin Lizzy's fans. The group wrote it after noticing that their shows were full of working-class guys looking to get out and have some fun. Their fans also had a tendency to drink heavily.

This gave Thin Lizzy worldwide exposure. They were popular in their native Ireland, but unknown elsewhere until this came out.

This was Thin Lizzy's only Top 40 hit in the U.S., but they had several other hits in the UK.

Thin Lizzy were surprised when this became their breakthrough hit - because they hadn't wanted it on their Jailbreak album. Guitarist Scott Gorham recalled: “We were playing in some club in the U.S. when our manager came in and said, 'Well, looks like we've got a hit.' We were like, 'Which song?' Seriously, we didn't have any idea at all which song it was that had taken off for us.”

“To tell you the truth, we weren't initially going to put 'The Boys Are Back In Town' on the Jailbreak album at all”, he continued. “Back then you picked 10 songs and went with those because of the time restrictions of vinyl.”

“We recorded 15 songs, and of the 10 we picked, that wasn't one of them”, Gorham added. “But then the management heard it and said, 'No, there's something really good about this song.' Although back then, it didn't yet have the twin guitar parts on it.”

Thin Lizzy official website / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / Wikipedia

Image: “Jailbreak (album)” by Thin Lizzy



TWO VIOLINS, ONE VIOLA, ONE CELLO make up a string quartet.

Those beautiful peacocks, distinguished by their crested head, brilliant plumage, and long spotted back feathers, are always males.

Three teaspoons make up one tablespoon.

Does light travel more quickly through water or through air? AIR.


A Test for People Who Know Everything

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “DRAW YOUR 'GUN'” ($200):

“'Weapon' that serves as indisputable evidence of a crime.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer The Free Dictionary

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “BEVERAGE BRANDS” ($200):

“This soda with an M.D. is 'always one of a kind'.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer The Daily Meal

Answer to Last Week's Test

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “SAILING JOBS” ($200):

“When a command went out for “all hands”, it was for these “hands”, the regular seamen on board.”

● Answer: Deckhands. Career Planner

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “SAILING JOBS” ($1,000):

“General term for any noncommissioned officer aboard ship, chief.”

● Answer: A Petty Officer. America's NAVY

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

“If you kiss me, I will turn into a beautiful princess.”

A 92 year old man is walking through a park and sees a talking frog.

He picks up the frog and the frogs says, “If you kiss me, I will turn into a beautiful princess and be yours for a week.”

The old man puts the frog in his pocket.

The frog screams, “Hey if you kiss me, I will turn into a beautiful princess and make love to you for a whole month.”

The old man looks at the frog and says, “At my age I’d rather have a talking frog.”


Mickey Mouse spoke to the judge about the separation.

Mickey Mouse is in the middle of a nasty divorce from Minnie Mouse.

Mickey spoke to the judge about the separation.

“I'm sorry Mickey, but I can't legally separate you two on the grounds that Minnie is mentally insane”, said the judge.

Mickey replied, “I didn't say she was mentally insane, I said that she's f*cking Goofy!”


“Jesús is watching you.”

Late one night a burglar broke into a house and while he was sneaking around he heard a voice say, “Jesús is watching you.”

He looked around and saw nothing. He kept on creeping and again heard, “Jesús is watching you.”

In a dark corner, he saw a cage with a parrot inside. The burglar asked the parrot, “Was it you who said Jesús is watching me?”

The parrot replied, “Yes.”

Relieved, the burglar asked, “What is your name?.”

The parrot replied, “Clarence.”

The burglar said, “That's a stupid name for a parrot. What idiot named you Clarence?”

The parrot answered, “The same idiot that named the rottweiler Jesús.”