Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 14, 2018

Previous Week   April 02, 2018 - April 08, 2018  Next Week

America enters World War I on April 06, 1917

America enters World War I on April 06, 1917

America enters World War I Two days after the U.S. Senate voted 82 to 6 to declare war against Germany, the U.S. House of Representatives endorses the declaration by a vote of 373 to 50, and America formally enters World War I.

When World War I erupted in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson pledged neutrality for the United States, a position that the vast majority of Americans favored. Britain, however, was one of America’s closest trading partners, and tension soon arose between the United States and Germany over the latter’s attempted quarantine of the British Isles. Several U.S. ships traveling to Britain were damaged or sunk by German mines, and in February 1915 Germany announced unrestricted warfare against all ships, neutral or otherwise, that entered the war zone around Britain. One month later, Germany announced that a German cruiser had sunk the William P. Frye, a private American vessel. President Wilson was outraged, but the German government apologized and called the attack an unfortunate mistake.

On May 7, the British-owned Lusitania ocean liner was torpedoed without warning just off the coast of Ireland. Of the 1,959 passengers, 1,198 were killed, including 128 Americans. The German government maintained that the Lusitania was carrying munitions, but the U.S. demanded reparations and an end to German attacks on unarmed passenger and merchant ships. In August, Germany pledged to see to the safety of passengers before sinking unarmed vessels, but in November sunk an Italian liner without warning, killing 272 people, including 27 Americans. With these attacks, public opinion in the United States began to turn irrevocably against Germany.

In 1917, Germany, determined to win its war of attrition against the Allies, announced the resumption of unrestricted warfare in war-zone waters. Three days later, the United States broke diplomatic relations with Germany, and just hours after that the American liner Housatonic was sunk by a German U-boat. On February 22, Congress passed a $250 million arms appropriations bill intended to make the United States ready for war. In late March, Germany sunk four more U.S. merchant ships, and on April 2 President Wilson appeared before Congress and called for a declaration of war against Germany. Four days later, his request was granted.

On June 26, the first 14,000 U.S. infantry troops landed in France to begin training for combat. After four years of bloody stalemate along the western front, the entrance of America’s well-supplied forces into the conflict marked a major turning point in the war and helped the Allies to victory. When the war finally ended, on November 11, 1918, more than two million American soldiers had served on the battlefields of Western Europe, and some 50,000 of them had lost their lives.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Britannica Encyclopedia / ARMY.mil / The Atlantic / The National WW Museum and Memorial.org / United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.org World War I (1914 - 1918) (YouTube) video

U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier USS Washington (U.S.Navy.mil)

The Old Salt’s Corner

Air Wings

As mentioned earlier, the carrier air wing forms the primary offensive capability of the deployed carrier battlegroup. The air wing is a balanced force that performs a multitude of missions for the battlegroup commander.

These include fleet air defense, attack and strike missions, early airborne warning, electronic warfare, SUW, USW, AW, and day-to-day logistics. The air wing is a self-contained unit with its own commanding officer and administrative support (air wing organization will be discussed in Module 6).

Listed below is a typical carrier air wing (CVW). Note that it contains both fixed and variable wing aircraft of different class and capability. Actual CVW compositions may vary.

Typical Carrier Air Wing (CVW):

AC Type   AC Name   Mission   Squadrons   Planes per Squadron

F/A-18   Hornet   AW/Strike   3   10-12 planes

F-14   Tomcat   Air Superiority   2   10-14 planes

E-2C   Hawkeye   Surveillance   1   4 planes

S-3A/B   Viking   USW/Attack/EW   1 (detachment)   8 planes

ES-3B   Viking   EW Surveillance   1   2 planes

EA-6B   Prowler   EW   1   4 planes

SH-60    Sea Hawk   USW/OTH/SAR   1   6 helicopters

C-2   Cod   Cargo/Transport   1 (detachment)   2 planes

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“Our bodies are our gardens

to which our wills

are gardeners.”

~ William Shakespeare

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“Progress is impossible without change,

and those who cannot change their minds

cannot change anything.”

~ George Bernard Shaw

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“A real leader faces the music,

even when he doesn't like the tune.”

~ 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)

Yelling ‘Dilly Dilly’ Is Banned at the Masters, and Bud Light Is Royally Offended

Yelling ‘Dilly Dilly’ Is Banned at the Masters, and Bud Light Is Royally Offended

The brand will send 1,000 shirts with the catchphrase to Augusta

It’s the advertising catchphrase heard ’round the world, but it won’t be heard at Augusta National Golf Club.

“Dilly Dilly” has reportedly been banned at the PGA’s 2018 Masters Tournament, according to British golf publication Bunkered, whose reporter got wind of a list of phrases that will get spectators ejected immediately from the tournament.

Most fans of advertising, beer, Super Bowl battlefields and pits of misery, however, are likely familiar with the phrase, which Wieden + Kennedy New York introduced in 2017. It rapidly gained traction as a celebratory phrase worth yelling at almost any social event, and it ended up being the centerpiece of a multi-part medieval ad series that culminated in the brand’s 2018 Super Bowl spot.

Yelling ‘Dilly Dilly’ Is Banned at the Masters, and Bud Light Is Royally Offended

Now Bud Light, much like its campaign’s charmingly indifferent monarch, isn’t backing down from a fight.

The brand has fired back at the (not officially PGA-confirmed) reports by tweeting out a response from its fictional king, who is apparently named King John Barley IV:

The tweet’s proclamation reads:

“Your king hath received word that the guards of the Green Jacket plan to escort any patron who dare utter Dilly Dilly off yon premises. Except for myself, I am against tyranny in all forms. So I have instructed my royal tailors to make 1,000 Dilly Dilly shirts that shall be delivered to Georgia in time for the festivities.”

“For if thou cannot say Dilly Dilly, thou can still wear Dilly Dilly. Yours in friendship and beer, King John Barley IV.”

AD Week (04/03/2018) video

Is There Really Such Thing As 'Muscle Memory'?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Is There Really Such Thing As 'Muscle Memory'?

If you’ve spent any amount of time lifting weights, taken a break for a bit, and then started back up again, you probably noticed that you seemed to regain strength and size much quicker than the first time around.

Well, this isn’t your mind playing tricks on you–the acceleration in progress is a scientifically verified phenomenon often referred to as “muscle memory”. Neurological mechanisms can explain the rapid regain of strength, but not muscle size.

Do muscle fibers have some sort of “memory” of their previous, more conditioned states? Or is something else responsible for these effects?

Muscles Cells Are Specially Equipped to Grow

The answer to the muscle memory enigma begins with an interesting fact about muscle cells themselves: they are quite large and one of the very few multinuclear cells in our bodies. That is, they don’t contain just one nucleus but many.

As you overload your muscles with resistance training, new nuclei are added to the muscle cells, which then allows them to grow larger in size. In fact, the number of nuclei within the muscle fibers is one of the most important conditions that regulates muscle size.

If resistance training causes the body to add nuclei to the muscle fibers, which then allows them to grow larger, what happens to our muscles when we stop training for extended periods of time?

The Physiology of “Muscle Memory”

It was long believed that, after a having stopped training a muscle for a certain amount of time (“detraining,” as it’s known scientifically), the new muscle nuclei acquired during the training period were lost to apoptosis.

It turns out that while detraining clearly results in smaller, weaker muscles, the new nuclei added during the training period are retained for at least 3 months of inactivity. In fact, there’s evidence that these new nuclei are never lost, meaning that resistance training induces permanent physiological changes in muscle fibers.

1. Muscles are subjected to overload and new nuclei are acquired for the first time. Through further training and proper diet, these nuclei synthesize new muscle proteins and thus, the muscle fibers grow larger.

2. If detraining continues for long enough, however, protein degradation rates exceed protein synthesis rates and the muscles shrink in size…but the nuclei aren’t lost.

3. At some later time, when training is resumed, the muscles rapidly grow in size because the step of adding nuclei is “skipped”–they’re already there, ready to synthesize muscle proteins again, rapidly increasing muscle size.

“Muscle Memory” is Our Best Friend

In fact, scientists believe that “filling up” our muscles with as many nuclei as we can while we’re young can greatly benefit us as we age because

a) building muscle gets harder in our later years and

b) persistent muscle loss is one of the most serious health risks associated with aging.

Mens HealthMuscle for LifePsychology TodayQuoraWikipediaWomens HealthMuscle Memory (YouTube) video

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Scrambled Eggs: Gold embroidered decoration on a Commander's/Captain's cover. Admirals have Double Eggs. The similar silver clouds and lightning bolts addition to an Air Force Major's/Colonel's hat is called Farts and Darts.

Screw: Propeller.

Screwing the Pooch: Making a huge mistake. “You really screwed the pooch this time.”

Just for MARINES - The Few. The Proud.

Just for you MARINE

UA: Unauthorized Absence, the naval version of the term AWOL.

UCMJ: Uniform Code of Military Justice (Public Law 506, 81st Congress) 1951, the system of military law, both judicial and non-judicial.

UD: Unit Diary, the computerized system that maintains all administrative records for a unit. Also, Uniform of the Day (or UDs) – prescribed uniform for the day; more generally associated with “Charlies”.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VFA-86 - “Sidewinders”
Naval Air Station Lemoore, Kings / Fresno counties, near Lemoore, California - Established February 1, 1951

Where Did That Saying Come From

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Cooking the books”

Cooking the books”  Meaning: The deliberate distorting of a firm's financial accounts, often with the aim of avoiding the payment of tax.

Origin: Cooking seems a rather odd choice of word to convey fraud. The Oxford English Dictionary lists a dozen or so meanings of the verb 'to cook', ranging from 'prepare opium for use' to 'make the call of a cuckoo' and, of course, 'prepare food by the action of heat'. Tucked away at the bottom there is also the meaning 'present in a surreptitiously altered form' and it is that meaning of cook that was used in the coinage of the phrase 'cook the books'. The allusion appears to be the changing of one thing into another, as in the conversion of food ingredients into meals.

This usage dates back to Stuart and possibly Tudor England and was used by the Earl of Strafford in his Letters and dispatches, 1636:

“The Proof was once clear, however they have cook'd it since.”

The verb was in common use by the 18th century and Tobias Smollett's The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, 1751, made the link to finance explicit:

“Some falsified printed accounts, artfully cooked up, on purpose to mislead and deceive..”

Apart from the expression 'cooking the books' this use of 'cook' has become less common in the 19th and 20th centuries. The preferred euphemism for the manipulation of financial statements has come to be 'creative accounting'. This is first recorded in the 1960s and is attributed to the U.S. comedian Irwin Corey, as in this example from the Middlesboro Daily News, May 1968:

“Professor” Irwin Corey claims his CPA [Certified Public Accountant] isn't exactly crooked - but the government's questioning him about his “creative accounting”.

The numerous corporate fraud cases of the 1990s turned public opinion against the semi-admiring tone of 'creative accounting' and journalists stopped using it. That, and the transformation of bookshops, which now seem to sell more coffee and cakes than they do books, has brought about a revival of the term 'cooking the books', which looks like staying with us for some years to come.

Phrases.org UK

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

This Boat is Impossible to Capsize - The Thunder Child can right itself even in the harshest stormsMissile CSI: How We Know Iran Violated an Arms EmbargoThe Future Machines of the Year 2100Humanity's Biggest Machines Will Be Built in SpaceThe Best Robot Vacuums for Hands-Free CleaningHere's How Our Favorite Robots Size UpHow to Caulk Your BathtubWhat You Need to Know About GCFI OutletsThese Cheap Power Banks Will Keep Your Phone Going

Popular Mechanics

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

What Your Genes Do After Death Can Help Detectives Solve Crimes

What Your Genes Do After Death Can Help Detectives Solve Crimes

So, you've died. Your heart's stopped pumping, your brain's stopped thinking and, yes, your hair and nails have stopped growing. And yet, despite all this, your genes are still hard at work. Why?

Gene expression - the process by which information stored in DNA is used to create proteins and other molecules — has been shown to continue in the human body after blood stops flowing, sometimes for several days, according to previous research. This cellular skeleton-crew is responsible for shutting down your immune system, metabolism, cell production and other key processes.

And, according to a new paper published Feb. 13 in Nature Communications, watching the activity of these genes in the dead could reveal valuable insights to the living. In the paper, an international team of researchers suggests that monitoring gene expression in various tissues of recently deceased bodies can provide a shockingly accurate timestamp of when that person died. [The Science of Death: 10 Tales from History]

“We found that many genes change expression over relatively short post-mortem intervals, in a largely tissue specific manner”, study author Pedro G. Ferreira, a researcher at the Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology at the University of Porto in Portugal, said in a statement. By learning to recognize when and where these gene changes occur after an individual dies, researchers may be able to develop models that can accurately estimate time of death.

Scientists can monitor gene expression in various cells by looking at molecules called RNA transcripts, which copy segments of DNA to create proteins. In the new study, researchers analyzed RNA transcription data from more than 7,000 tissue samples collected from 540 deceased donors, including samples from donors' brains, skin and most major organs. The researchers also compared blood samples taken before and after death from select donors, providing the researchers opportunities for direct comparison between pre- and post-mortem gene expression.

What Your Genes Do After Death Can Help Detectives Solve Crimes

“Immediately following death (and up to seven consecutive hours) we observe an increase in the expression of many genes, and a decrease in the expression of a few”, the researchers wrote. Most changes occurred between 7 and 14 hours after death, and stabilized significantly within 24 hours.

Using this RNA transcription data, the researchers developed tissue-specific models to predict how much time had elapsed since an individual's death — also known as the post-mortem interval. By averaging the results from each tissue, the researchers found their model could accurately predict the post-mortem interval within about 10 minutes of the actual time, the researchers wrote.

“We conclude there is a signature or a fingerprint in the pattern of gene expression after death that could eventually be used in forensic science, but we don't pretend we have now a method that can be used in the field”, lead author Roderic Guigó, a coordinator of the Bioinformatics and Genomics Program at the Center for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, told the BBC.

“Longer post-mortem intervals, not only 24 hours, the age of the individual, the cause of death - all of these will need to be taken into account if we are to convert this into a useful tool.”

Live Science (02/15/2018) video

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


“Rocket Man” - Elton John 1972

“Rocket Man” - Elton John
Album: Honky Chateau
Released 1972 video

Space exploration was big in 1972; the song came out around the time of the Apollo 16 mission, which sent men to the moon for the fifth time.

The inspiration for Bernie Taupin's lyrics, however, was the short story The Rocket Man, written by Ray Bradbury. The sci-fi author's tale is told from the perspective of a child, whose astronaut father has mixed feelings at leaving his family in order to do his job. It was published as part of the anthology The Illustrated Man in 1951.

Bradbury's story was the basis for another song called “Rocket Man”, which was released by the folk group Pearls Before Swine (fronted by Tom Rapp) in 1970. Taupin says that this gave him the idea for his own “Rocket Man” (“It's common knowledge that songwriters are great thieves, and this is a perfect example”, he says). In the Pearls Before Swine song, a child can no longer look at the stars after his astronaut father perishes in space.

This was produced by Gus Dudgeon, who worked with David Bowie on his 1969 song “Space Oddityvideo. Both songs have similar subject matter, and lots of people accused Elton of ripping off Bowie, something both Elton and Bernie Taupin deny.

The opening lyrics came to Bernie Taupin while he was driving near his parents' house in Lincolnshire, England. Taupin has said that he has to write his ideas down as soon as they show up in his head, or they could disappear, so he drove though some back roads as fast as he could to get to the house where he could write down his thought: “She packed my bags last night, pre-flight. Zero hour, 9 a.m., and I'm gonna be high as a kite by then.”

From there he came up with the song about a man who is sent to live in space as part of a scientific experiment.

The song can be interpreted as a symbol of how rock stars are isolated from their friends, family and from the real world by those with power in the music industry. Some lyric analysis as part of the rock star isolation theory:

“I'm burning out his fuse up here alone" - Rocketing through space on stage.”

“Higher than a kite” - “Feeling outside the box called normal.”

“Mars” - “The place he is when he's high; don't need to be raising children when you're an addict. It's a “cold” place, being an addict and larger than life when you want to be “Normal” and a “Rocketman” at the same time.”

American president Donald Trump excoriated North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, referring to him as “Rocket Man” because of his missile program. “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself”, Trump declared. This song immediately began trending.

This wasn't the first time the phrase was used in this context: The Economist put Kim Jong Un's father, Kim Jong Il, on the cover of their July 8, 2006 issue with the headline “Rocket Man”.

Trump is a fan of the song, and often played it at his campaign rallies.

Elton John official website / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / Wikipedia

Image: “Honky Chateau (album)” by Elton John



● In 1893, AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL was inspired by the view from atop Pikes Peak, Katharine Lee Bates, Massachusetts educator and author, wrote a song that begins, “O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain”.

● The name of which subject or science is derived from the Greek language, and means “love of wisdom” - PHILOSOPHY.

● Would the word “its” need an apostrophe in the following sentence: A dog looked for its owner? NO - only for the contraction “it is”.


A Test for People Who Know Everything

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “LUCK OF THE DRAW” ($200):

“(Sarah of the Clue Crew shows a walk cycle on the monitor.) From the Latin for 'instill with life', it's the creation of a motion picture from a series of still images.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer Encyclopedia Britannica

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “LUCK OF THE DRAW” ($600):

“(Kelly of the Clue Crew demonstrates by drawing a bird.) To draw in this liberated style means without support or the guidance of instruments.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer Encyclopedia Britannica

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “LUCK OF THE DRAW” ($1,000):

“To draw with the aid of rulers, scales & compasses is this precise kind of technical drawing.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer Encyclopedia Britannica

Answer to Last Week's Test

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “ERAS OF HISTORY” ($200):

“Around 1200 B.C. this period followed the Bronze Age & provided more lethal weapons to more people.”

● Answer: The Iron Age. Encyclopedia Britannica

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “ERAS OF HISTORY” ($600):

“The Cold War is often said to have begun in this year when a war ended & the cubs played in the World Series.”

● Answer: 1945. Phrases.org UK

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “ERAS OF HISTORY” ($1,000)

“Instead of B.C. some prefer the less religious B.C.E., for 'before' this 'Era'.”

● Answer: The Common Era. Telegraph

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

“Need A New Lawyer”

Warning Signs that you Might Need a Different Lawyer

Your lawyer tells you that his last good case was of Budweiser.

When the prosecutors see your lawyer, they high-five each other.

Your lawyer picks the jury by playing "duck-duck-goose."

Your lawyer tells you that he has never told a lie.

A prison guard is shaving your head.

Joke of the Day

During the mid-1980s dairy farmers decided there was too much cheap milk at the supermarket. So the government bought and slaughtered 1.6 million cows. How come the government never does anything like this with lawyers?

~ P.J. O'Rourke

“Q & A”

Q: What do you call a smiling, courteous person at a bar association convention?

A: The caterer.

Q: What's the difference between a female lawyer and a pitbull?

A: Lipstick.

Q: What do you call a lawyer with an IQ of 100?

A: Your Honor.

Q: What do you call a lawyer with an IQ of 50?

A: Senator.

Q: What's the difference between an accountant and a lawyer?

A: Accountants know they're boring.

Q: What's the one thing that never works when it's fixed?

A: A jury.

Q: Why did God invent lawyers?

A: So that real estate agents would have someone to look down on.

Q: What's the difference between a vacuum cleaner and a lawyer on a motorcycle?

A: The vacuum cleaner has the dirt bag on the inside.

Q: What' the difference between a lawyer and a boxing referee?

A: A boxing referee doesn't get paid more for a longer fight.

Q: What's the difference between a good lawyer and a bad lawyer?

A: A bad lawyer makes your case drag on for years. A good lawyer makes it last even longer.