Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 06, 2018

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America meets the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 09, 1964

America meets the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 09, 1964

First session of the U.S. Supreme Court: At approximately 8:12 p.m. Eastern time, Sunday, February 9, 1964, The Ed Sullivan Show returned from a commercial (for Anacin pain reliever), and there was Ed Sullivan standing before a restless crowd. He tried to begin his next introduction, but then stopped and extended his arms in the universal sign for “Settle Down.” “Quiet!” he said with mock gravity, and the noise died down just a little. Then he resumed: “Here’s a very amusing magician we saw in Europe and signed last summer….Let’s have a nice hand for him—Fred Kaps!”

For the record, Fred Kaps proceeded to be quite charming and funny over the next five minutes. In fact, Fred Kaps is revered to this day by magicians around the world as the only three-time Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques Grand Prix winner. But Fred Kaps had the horrific bad luck on this day in 1964 to be the guest that followed the Beatles on Ed Sullivan—possibly the hardest act to follow in the history of show business.

It is estimated that 73 million Americans were watching that night as the Beatles made their live U.S. television debut. Roughly eight minutes before Fred Kaps took the stage, Sullivan gave his now-famous intro, “Ladies and gentlemen…the Beatles!” and after a few seconds of rapturous cheering from the audience, the band kicked into “All My Lovin”. Fifty seconds in, the first audience-reaction shot of the performance shows a teenage girl beaming and possibly hyperventilating. Two minutes later, Paul is singing another pretty, mid-tempo number: “Til There Was You”, from the Broadway musical Music Man. There’s screaming at the end of every phrase in the lyrics, of course, but to view the broadcast today, it seems driven more by anticipation than by the relatively low-key performance itself. And then came “She Loves You”, and the place seems to explode. What followed was perhaps the most important two minutes and 16 seconds of music ever broadcast on American television—a sequence that still sends chills down the spine almost half a century later.

The Beatles would return later in the show to perform “I Saw Her Standing There” and “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” as the audience remained at the same fever pitch it had reached during “She Loves You”. This time it was Wells & the Four Fays, a troupe of comic acrobats, who had to suffer what Fred Kaps had after the Beatles’ first set. Perhaps the only non-Beatle on Sullivan’s stage that night who did not consider the evening a total loss was the young man from the Broadway cast of Oliver! who sang “I’d Do Anything” as the Artful Dodger midway through the show. His name was Davy Jones, and less than three years later, he’d star in a TV show of his own that owed a rather significant debt to the hysteria that began on this night in 1964: The Monkees.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / America meets the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 09, 1964 (YouTube)video

“Tales of Legendary Ghost Ships - Legend of the NS Schooner Teazer”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“Tales of Legendary Ghost Ships”

Legend of the SS Valencia

The most famous ghost ship of the maritime coast of Nova Scotia, hails from Lunenburg County is said to appear in the waters between Mahone Bay and Chester. The Teaser, or the Teaser Light as some locals call it, is the spectre of a burning ship. The Teaser was a typical sailing schooner of the 1800s, employed as a privateer. A privateer is a licensed pirate ship that stalked the waters around Mahone Bay during the War of 1812. Using the Bay’s many coves and islands as cover, the ship would prey upon unarmed British merchant ships, taking them back to Boston to be sold for prize money.

It was common practice among countries to allow privateers in times of war to attack enemy merchant ships and claim any loot they found. This was a big help because it robbed the enemy of needed supplies. It also gave naval ships more time to fight battles. Privateering was a very dangerous way to make a living, but many ship owners participated for it was a quick way to make a fortune. During the War of 1812 many American privateers chased down British ships along the southeastern coast of Nova Scotia, just as did the American own schooner Teazer.

In June of 1813 one of these American privateers, the Young Teazer, became the hunted instead of the hunter. On June 27th the HMS Hogue encountered the Young Teazer and forced her into Halifax Harbour (spelled: Harbor in U.S.) but the Young Teazer managed to escape. A few days later the frigate HMS Orpheus chased the Teazer into Luneburg Harbour. But the Orpheus lost her near Mahone Bay due to light winds. The chase lasted all day, with the Young Teaser desperately searching for a place to hide or escape. She was shelled by the battery at Lunenburg, and eventually made her way into the mouth of Chester Harbour where she ran aground near Quaker Island.

The Hogue then picked up the chase again, after 18 hours she was able to trap the Young Teazer in Mahone Bay. The Hogue began to fire upon the Teazer viciously. Soon the Orpheus joined in.

That evening the Hogue readied five boats to board the Teazer. Meanwhile, Captain Dobson on board the Young Teazer discussed plans to defend his privateer with his 38-man crew. Lieutenant Johnson known for erratic behavior on previous cruises, argued with the captain and then disappeared below. The schooner exploded a few minutes later.

Johnson, who was a British deserter, knew that once his identity was discovered he would be hanged. In desperation he threw a lit torch into the ship’s supply of gunpowder blowing the Teazer to smithereens.

Only eight of the ship’s 36-man crew survived, and most were horribly maimed. A few of the Teazer’s men who survived the explosion were badly burned. They were found by local residents clinging to the burning spars and bow of the shattered hull of the schooner. Approximately, 30 of the Teazer crew died. The local militias secured the survivors including the captain and were sent to Melville Island prisoner war camp in Halifax.

Some of the men who died were buried in St. Stephen’s cemetery in Chester in unmarked graves.

Almost a year later to the day the ghost ship Teazer was first seen near Chester in Mahone Bay. This was only the beginning of many appearances. Hundreds have seen a burning ship out on the bay. Many state this ship just appears out of nowhere. Some report seeing this burning ship head right for them. Terrified, they felt it was about to run them down– only to see it vanish at the last second. Sometimes this ship passes so close to the shore witnesses on the beach can even make out seamen up in its riggings. They have even stated they heard the tortured cries of the men who were trying to escape this flaming ghost ship.

The Young Teazer is most often seen near the anniversary of when it exploded and in the exact spot where it exploded Once seen the firey ship vanishes into thin air!

When the moon is nearly full and a fog blows in from offshore, residents claim that a ghostly Teaser replays her last voyage across Mahone Bay over and over again…

Sadly there aren’t as many sightings in recent years. A possible reason for this being the encroachment of civilization—lights from homes, marinas etc. making it much harder to see out over the bay. Others claim that they have debunked these sightings. They state that when a bank of fog covers the moon as it raises over the horizon it causes the illusion of a ship on fire.

The number of the crewmembers and how many were killed in the explosion are not known so approximate numbers are given.

Some of the wreckage salvaged was used for building materials. One store near Mahone Bay was built from this salvaged wood. Other materials where turned into souvenirs. A piece of the keel was used to build a cross—the same cross that stands inside the St. Stephen’s Anglican Church in Chester today. Another fragment of the scotched oak wood keel is displayed at the Maritime Museum of the Atlanta in Halifax.

Home Earth

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“Great spirits

have always encountered violent opposition

from mediocre minds.”

~ Albert Einstein.

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“Don’t let the same dog bite you twice.”

~ Chuck Berry

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“There is always,

always something to be

thankful for.”

~ 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)

Oregon's Freak-Out Over Pumping Your Own Gas Shows Why Many Dumb Regulations Still Exist

Oregon's Freak-Out Over Pumping Your Own Gas Shows Why Many Dumb Regulations Still Exist

Oregon and New Jersey are the only two states that ban self-service gas stations. But thanks to a new law that went into effect on January 1, customers can now pump their own gas in Oregon, though only at stand-alone gas stations in counties with fewer than 40,000 residents. Elsewhere, the ban still holds.

But even this tiny increase in freedom was apparently too much for some Oregonians. In a Facebook post that’s now gone viral, local news station KTVL polled their fans for their thoughts about the new law. Some did not take the news well.

Here are a few premium selections:

“Many people are not capable of knowing how to pump gas and the hazards of not doing it correctly. Besides I don't want to go to work smelling of gas when I get it on my hands or clothes. I agree Very bad idea.”

“I don't even know HOW to pump gas and I am 62, native Oregonian.....I say NO THANKS! I don't want to smell like gasoline!”

“I've lived in this state all my life and I REFUSE to pump my own gas. I had to do it once in California while visiting my brother and almost died doing it. This a service only qualified people should perform. I will literally park at the pump and wait until someone pumps my gas. I can't even...”

Of course, every day, tens of millions of Americans in 48 states pump their own gas and—miraculously—manage to avoid setting themselves on fire or drowning in gas.

Yet as hysterical as those reactions are, unfortunately, they’re actually not that far off from the state’s official justifications for the ban. As part of the Oregon law, legislators listed a staggering 17 different reasons to defend the state’s “prohibition on the self-service dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids at retail.” According to the legislature, pumping your own gas is a “health hazard”, whereas requiring “properly trained” attendants to pump gas “reduces fire hazards.” In addition, self-service stations expose customers to “the dangers of crime and slick surfaces”, while leaving small children in the car to pay for gas “creates a dangerous situation.”

Meanwhile, established businesses are more than happy to fuel and exploit public panic for their own gain. For instance, New Jersey’s ban on self-service was heavily backed by the Gasoline Retailers Association, which faced greater competition from rival gas stations that allowed their customers to pump their own gas.

Since those newer stations had no need for attendants, they cut costs, and passed on the savings to consumers in the form of cheaper gas. That threatened the bottom line for incumbent gas station owners, who lobbied the state legislature to ban self-service in 1949. (Oregon’s ban arrived two years later.)

A combination of fear-mongering and rent-seeking is one reason why many regulations that seem so obviously silly or pointless persist. A new book by the Institute for Justice details how “bottleneckers” thrive on regulatory bottlenecks, particularly in the field of occupational licensing.

The Buffalo News (12/01/2017) video

What Are Quarks?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: What Are Quarks?

Quarks and Leptons are the building blocks which build up matter, i.e., they are seen as the “elementary particles”.

Quarks are the main components of protons. We have concluded through experimental probing of the proton with high energy electrons that inside the proton there are three massive objects, and based on Murray Gell-Mann’s theory, we call these quarks.

(There are other things inside the nucleus, such as gluons, but they are lighter in weight. The mass is dominated by the quarks.)

The biggest surprise about quarks is that we cannot extract them. If we put enough energy to pull one out, that energy is transformed into the creation of additional quarks, including an antiquark, which binds with the one we extracted, to make (for example) a quark-antiquark pi meson. This feature is a consequence of the fact that the forces between quarks do not decrease with distance. Pi mesons consist of quark-anti-quark pairs.

This property is called confinement, and it means that in the macroscopic world, we will never see a free quark. Quarks can be semi-free in what we call a quark-gluon plasma, but that’s similar to saying that an electron is free when it conducts inside a metal. And unlike the electron, we can’t pull the quark off the surface of the plasma.

Christian Science MonitorGeorgia State University HyperPhysics.phy-astr.gsu.eduQuoraWikipediaWhat are Quarks? (YouTube Search) video

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Roach Coach: A snack or lunch truck that stops at each pier where the ships are berthed. Usually announced over the 1MC - “Navy Exchange Mobile Canteen is on the pier” or at great risk to the announcer: “The Roach Coach is making its approach.”

Road Mark: Also referred to as a “Street Mark”, a form of point deduction during Boot Camp, when a sailor is either out of step during marching, failure to salute an officer, or an RDC, or any other form of noticeable infraction, the infraction usually results in a deduction of five points form the company's overall score.

R.O.A.D. Program: Retired On Active Duty, refers to someone who is approaching retirement so they don't care about getting any real work accomplished.

Just for MARINES - The Few. The Proud.

Just for you MARINE

STOL: Short TakeOff/Landing, takeoff and landing technique needing only a short runway to become airborne. See also STOVL, VTOL & V/STOL.

STOVL: Short TakeOff, Vertical Landing, takeoff and landing technique where a V/STOL aircraft will make a non-vertical take-off to carry greater weight, such as fuel and weapons, expend that weight, and make a vertical landing. See also STOL, VTOL & V/STOL.

STEAL: Stealthily Transport Equipment to Another Location.

Suck: Mouth.

The Suck: Miserable situation or place, often used to describe the Marine Corps or a combat zone.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VFA-25 - “Fist of the Fleet”
CVW-9 - Naval Air Station Lemoore, Fresno counties, near Lemoore, California. - Established January 1, 1943

Where Did That Saying Come From

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Where Did That Saying Come From? “No Spring Chicken”

No Spring Chicken”  Meaning: Someone who is past his prime.

Origin: New England chicken farmers generally sold chickens in the spring, so the chickens born in the springtime yielded better earnings than the chickens that survived the winter.

Sometimes, farmers tried to sell old birds for the price of a new spring chicken. Clever buyers complained that the fowl was “no spring chicken”, and the term came to represent anyone past their prime.

We find the expression 'now past a chicken,' meaning 'no longer young,' recorded as early as 1711 by Steele in 'The Spectator':

“You ought to consider you are now past a chicken.”

The figurative meaning comes from the literal meaning: a young chicken, having tender meat. Some restaurant menus describe an offering as spring chicken to convince customers that the bird was slaughtered at the peak of perfection. This phrase doesn't seem to be applied to people very often anymore. Middle-aged and elderly women used to say "I'm no spring chicken," meaning they were past young adulthood, when talking about their attractiveness or their health and energy level.

Phrases.org UK

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Study suggests air pollution breathed in the months before and after conception increases chance of birth defectsChemists discover plausible recipe for early life on EarthScientist's work may provide answer to Martian mysteryPond scum explains evolution of first animalsNew model measures characteristics of carbon nanotube structures for energy storage and water desalination applicationsGenome size affects whether plants become invasiveDisease discoveries unlock door to diagnosis and new treatmentsGravitational waves measure the universe

Phys.org / MedicalXpress / TechXplore

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Try These Cold-Weather Science Experiments

Try These Cold-Weather Science Experiments

Frozen bubbles

And while summer is typically the time to crack open a bottle of bubbles, there's a way to make them work in the winter. If it's cold enough outside (Steve Spangler Science recommends temperatures below freezing, though he says the colder it is the better), you can make the bubbles freeze. The trick is to blow them up in the air so that they have time to freeze before hitting the ground or another surface. The bubbles will form crystalline patterns and some might break, looking a bit like the shell of a cracked egg.

Maple syrup candy

Do just like Half Pint did in the “Little House on the Prairie” books and make your own maple syrup candy. Just heat butter and syrup together, according to this recipe, and after it cools, you can pour it onto fresh snow and it will harden into something like maple taffy.

Magic balloons

Just inflate a balloon and and tie the end, then stick it outside and watch it deflate. Bring it back inside to warm up and watch it re-inflate. (This is a nice lesson in how the volume of a gas, in this case, air, changes with temperature, shrinking in the cold, as its density increases, and expanding in the heat, as its density decreases.)

Make your own snow

This one is for those of you experiencing really cold temperatures. Meteorologist Eric Holthaus demonstrates it nicely in a video posted to Youtube: If it's cold enough outside, you can take some boiling water throw it up in the air (make sure it will blow away from you), and it will freeze into snow. When Holthaus did his experiment in Viroqua, Wisconsin, it was minus 21 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 29 degrees Celsius) with a wind chill of minus 51 degrees F (minus 46 degrees C).

Don't run outside with a bowl of super-hot water just yet. Yes, the water will surely freeze into snow (temperatures are in the single digits and below in many spots), but before it does so some of the scalding water could burn someone.

In a YouTube video posted Jan. 6, 2014, a Chicago man threw a pot of boiling water off his balcony, with some of the hot water landing on his girlfriend and him. In that same year, news reports suggest that some 50 people burned themselves with the icy experiment.

How does water turn into snow in the first place? Colder air holds less water vapor than warmer air, while the boiling water is giving off lots of water vapor (that's the steam you see rising from the pot). When the hot water is thrown into the cold air, the air gets more water vapor than it can hold, so the water vapor clings to tiny particles in the air, crystallizing into snow. The air must be quite cold to attempt this one, somewhere in the region of minus 30 degrees F (minus 34 degrees C) or lower.

On Dec. 28, 2017, atop Mount Washington in New Hampshire, where temperatures dropped to minus 31 degrees F (minus 35 degrees C), weather observer Adam Gill, of Mount Washington Observatory, carried out the snow-making trick, with the boiling water immediately freezing into crystals and rushing away in hurricane-force winds, according to a video of the experiment on Facebook.

Live Science (01/02/2018) video

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


“School's Out” - Alice Cooper 1972

“School's Out” - Alice Cooper
Album: School's Out
Released 1972 video

The title (and song) were inspired by a warning often said in The Bowery Boys movies in which one of the characters declares to another, “School is out”, meaning “to wise up”.

The Bowery Boys were characters featured in 48 movies that ran from 1946-1958. They were young tough guys in New York City who were always finding trouble. The movies ran on American TV throughout the '60s and '70s, eating up a lot of air time on independent stations. It was one of these TV viewings that Cooper saw. In the film, the character Sach (Huntz Hall) did something dumb, which prompted one of the other guys to say, “Hey, Sach, School's Out!“ Alice Cooper liked the way the phrase sounded and used it as the basis for this song.

This is a fixture at Cooper's concerts. He says the difference between him and guys like Marilyn Manson is that he leaves the crowd in a good mood. His shows are meant to be fun, not depressing.

This was released in the summer of 1972, when school really was out. It's since become an anthem for summer vacation.

Cooper wrote this song with his guitarist Michael Bruce. At the time, “Alice Cooper” was the name of the band, not just the lead singer, and all members contributed to their songwriting.

Bruce also wrote the group's songs “ Caught In A Dreamvideo and “Be My Lovervideo, and co-wrote “No More Mr. Nice Guyvideo with Cooper.

This was Cooper's biggest hit; it was especially popular in the UK where it topped the chart for three weeks. A concert staple, it is usually the last song he plays at his shows.

The chorus of children who sing on this was put together by producer Bob Ezrin. In 1979, Ezrin used another kid's chorus when he produced "Another Brick In The Wall (part II)" for Pink Floyd. He liked the idea of hearing children's voices on songs about school. In this song, they sing the children's rhyme “No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers' dirty looks.”

In a 2008 Esquire interview, Cooper said: “When we did 'School's Out,' I knew we had just done the national anthem. I've become the Francis Scott Key of the last day of school.”

The album opened like a school desk and contained a pair of paper panties. This is the kind of “added value” you just don't get with CDs.

Alice Cooper official website / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / Wikipedia

Image: “School's Out (album)” by Alice Cooper



Three of the first presidents died on July 4th - (though not the same year): John Adams (1826), Thomas Jefferson (1826), James Monroe (1831).

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

At the 1984 Olympics, Mary Lou Retton became the first American ever to win the Gold Medal in the women's gymnastics all around competition - she won it with a perfect 10 in her final competition.

What is the name of the John Philip Sousa march named after a famous newspaper? THE WASHINGTON POST.


A Test for People Who Know Everything

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “POISONOUS PLANTS” ($200):

“Alliterative name for a line of people who pass pails of water to help put out a fire.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer Mayo Clinic.org

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “THE BUCKET LIST” ($800):

“Bucket seats in cars were popularized by this make's Monza & Corvair & soon took over.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer How Stuff Works

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “THE BUCKET LIST” ($1,000):

“This character 'appeared on the sidewalk with a bucket of whitewash and a long-handled brush'.”

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

Answer to Last Week's Test

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “THE LETTER OF THE LAW” ($200):

“M: If it can go wrong, it will.”

● Answer: Murphy's Law. Urban Dictionary

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES” ($200):

“With a machine gun part of its design, the WWI Fokker Eindecker has been called the first true example of this type of plane.”

● Answer: A Fighter Plane. WWI Aviation

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

“When students took the entrance exam for medical school”

When students took the entrance exam for medical school, they were perplexed by this question:

“Rearrange the letters P-N-E-S-I to spell out the part of the human body that is most useful when erect.”

Those who spelled SPINE became doctors.

The rest are in Congress.

Joke of the Day

Researchers found a tiny Frog!

Researchers have found a frog in new guinea that is so tiny, they believe it's the smallest vertebrate on the planet.

It has the tiniest backbone of any living creature, except members of Congress.

Joke of the Day

A Fishing Story and a Donkey!

The king wanted to go fishing, so he called on the royal weather forecaster and inquired as to the weather forecast for the next few hours.

The weatherman assured him that there was no chance of rain in the coming days, So the king went fishing with his wife, the queen. On the way he met a farmer on his donkey.

Upon seeing the king the farmer said, “Your Majesty, you should return to the palace! In just a short time I expect a huge amount of rain to fall in this area”.

The king was polite and considerate, he replied: “I hold the palace meteorologist in high regard. He is an extensively educated and experienced professional. And besides, I pay him very high wages. He gave me a very different forecast. I trust him.”

So the king continued on his way. However, a short time later a torrential rain fell from the sky. The King and Queen were totally soaked and their entourage chuckled upon seeing them in such a shameful condition.

Furious, the king returned to the palace and gave the order to fire the professional. Then he summoned the farmer and offered him the prestigious and high paying role of royal forecaster.

The farmer said, “Your Majesty, I do not know anything about forecasting. I obtain my information from my donkey. If I see my donkey's ears drooping, it means with certainty that it will rain.”

So the king hired the donkey.

And thus began the practice of hiring dumb asses to work in the government and occupy its highest and most influential positions.

The practice is unbroken to this date and thus, the democrat symbol was born!