Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 28, 2018

Previous Week   July 09, 2018 - July 15, 2018  Next Week

Largest tank battle in history ends on July 13, 1943

Battle of Kursk: Largest tank battle in history ends on July 13, 1943

Largest tank battle in history ends: The Battle of Kursk, involving some 6,000 tanks, two million men, and 5,000 aircraft, ends with the German offensive repulsed by the Soviets at heavy cost.

In early July, Germany and the USSR concentrated their forces near the city of Kursk in western Russia, site of a 150-mile-wide Soviet pocket that jutted 100 miles into the German lines.

The German attack began on July 5th, and 38 divisions, nearly half of which were armored, began moving from the south and the north. However, the Soviets had better tanks and air support than in previous battles, and in bitter fighting Soviet antitank artillery destroyed as much as 40 percent of the German armor, which included their new Mark VI Tiger tanks.

After six days of warfare concentrated near Prokhorovka, south of Kursk, the German Field Marshal Gunther von Kluge called off the offensive, and by July 23rd the Soviets had forced the Germans back to their original positions.

In the beginning of August, the Soviets began a major offensive around the Kursk salient, and within a few weeks the Germans were in retreat all along the eastern front.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / Battle of Kursk.org / AHCTV / The Battle of Kursk (YouTube search) video

Understanding Military Terminology: Scout of Many Trails (Sea Scout and Boy Scout look at globe with old sailor) ~ Norman Rockwell

Understanding Military Terminology - Minimum-risk route

(DOD) A temporary corridor of defined dimensions recommended for use by high-speed, fixed-wing aircraft that presents the minimum known hazards to low-flying aircraft transiting the combat zone. Also called MRR.

Joint Publications (JP 3-52) Peace Operations

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

The Old Salt’s Corner

Supplementary Plot (SUPPLOT)

The function of SUPPLOT is to gather indications and warning (I&W) information and pass it quickly to the pertinent warfare commander(s). It is not physically located within CVIC. SUPPLOT can be thought of as an afloat information correlation center. SUPPLOT provides tactical indications and warning, intelligence support to the ship, air wing, embarked CARGRU/CRUDESGRU staff, and to the composite warfare commanders.

SUPPLOT serves as a focal point and fusion center for all-source operational intelligence information. The information is derived from organic intelligence sensors as well as from intelligence assets from outside the battlegroup (e.g., national assets). The combined warfare commander uses this fused intelligence in combination with information from other battlegroup assets to determine a course of action. Additionally, many CVBGs choose to stand up their C2W (AQ) watch in SUPPLOT spaces.

FAS.org / Module 6 — Intelligence WORK CENTERS

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“To argue with a man

who has renounced his reason

is like giving medicine to the dead.”

“Moderation in temper is always a virtue;

but moderation in principle is always a vice.”

~ Thomas Paine

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“Think for yourselves

and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too.”

“Every man is guilty

of all the good he did not do.”

“Dare to think for yourself.”

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”

~ Voltaire

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“The difference between who you are

and what you want to be

is what you do.”

~ 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)

Man With Gun Tattooed On His Forehead Is Busted On Weapons Possession Charge

Man With Gun Tattooed On His Forehead Is Busted On Weapons Possession Charge

A South Carolina man who has a giant gun tattooed on his forehead has been charged with weapons possession after he was spotted disposing of a firearm following a car crash, cops report.

Officers subsequently recovered a loaded Smith & Wesson .38-caliber revolver from the area where firefighters said Vines discarded the weapon.

Vines, a convicted felon, is barred from possessing a firearm. His rap sheet includes multiple narcotics convictions.

In addition to a weapons count, Vines was charged with reckless driving and driving with a suspended license in connection with the recent crash.

The Smoking Gun (06/19/2018) video

What Legal Authority Does Judge Judy Have?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: What Legal Authority Does Judge Judy Have?

While Judith Sheindlin was a real, live judge—New York City Mayor Ed Koch appointed her to family court in 1982 and then made her Manhattan's supervising family court judge in 1986—she's not acting as one on her show. Neither are any of the other daytime TV judges (whether they passed the bar and served as actual judges or not).

TV court shows don't take place in real courtrooms and they don't feature real trials, though they are usually real cases—the producers often contact parties who have pending litigation in small claims court and offer them the opportunity to appear on TV instead. What you're seeing on these TV court shows is really just arbitration playing dress-up in small claims court's clothes.

Arbitration is a legal method for resolving disputes outside the court. The disputing parties present their cases to a neutral, third-party arbitrator or arbitrators who hear the case, examine the evidence, and make a (usually binding) decision. Like a court-based case, arbitration is adversarial, but generally less formal in its rules and procedures.

The power that Judge Judy and the rest of the TV arbitrators have over the disputing parties is granted by a contract, specific to their case, that they sign before appearing on the show. These contracts make the arbitrators' decision final and binding, prevent the disputing parties from negotiating the terms of the arbitration, and allow the "judges" wide discretion on procedural and evidentiary rules during the arbitration.

TV judges make their decision on the case and either decide for the plaintiff, in which case the show's producers award them a judgment fee, or with the defendant, in which case the producers award both parties with an appearance fee. This system seems to skew things in favor of the defendants and gives them an incentive to take their case from court to TV. If they have a weak case, appearing on the show absolves them of any financial liability; if they have a strong case, they stand to earn an appearance fee along with their victory.

If one party or the other doesn't like the arbitrator's decision, it can really only be successfully appealed if it addresses a matter outside the scope of the contract. In 2000, Judge Judy had one of her decisions overturned for that reason by the Family Court of Kings County. In the case B.M. v. D.L., the parties appeared in front of Sheindlin to solve a personal property dispute. Sheindlin ruled on that dispute, but also made a decision on the parties' child custody and visitation rights. One of the parties appealed in court, and the family court overturned the custody and visitation part of the decision because they weren't covered by the agreement to arbitrate.

Hollywood ReporterJudgeJudy.com/Mental FlossQuoraWikipedia Judge Judy (YouTube) video

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang


1) Any evolution or situation, to be performed by an individual, a ship, or even larger unit, subject to scrutiny by a superior, such as a major inspection;

2) An evolution that involves one sailor working while his/her superiors are watching and waiting impatiently.

3) A task that has to be done yesterday.

Sweat pump(s) / Sweat pump(s) on line/ on overload: See “sweat the load”.

Sweat the load: Personal stress about being able to perform some task; to feel stress about a situation. see also The Load.

Swims: Aviation water survival training. This 2-day class must be completed every few years by pilots and aircrew. Consists of classroom and pool instruction and culminates with the dreaded “Dilbert Dunker” and “Helo Dunker”.

Swinging Dick: Spoken by Marines, and sailors to refer to healthy shipmates while on maneuvers, e.g. “I want every swinging dick on station, right this second.”

TACCO: Tactical Coordinator. Usually the senior NFO on a patrol aircraft.

Tack on crow: (Hazing) When promoted in rank, senior and equivalent ranks would tack the crow (solidly punching) patch on one's arm as good luck so it does not “fall off”. Marines have an equivalent "tack" on each side. Can be “simulated” for a non-hazing by equal connotation. May be followed by a “wetting down”.

TAD or TDY: Temporary Additional Duty or Temporary Duty.

Take suction on a seat cushion: Alternative form of “pucker factor”.

Tango Uniform: See Tits Up.

Tape Zebra: Maddening condition aboard ship, especially aircraft carriers, where passageways are “taped off” so that they may be waxed, dried, and buffed in the middle of the night. It seems that the passageways are purposely chosen to maximize delay and frustration when a pilot has to do an 0-dark-thirty preflight or some other duty. Junior enlisted sailors take special delight in denying officers access to these passageways, and relish in their disgruntled detours. Likewise, junior officers thoroughly enjoy when a man overboard or general quarters is called in the middle of the night, and they rush to get to the head of the line so as to crash through tape zebra and trample through the wet wax.

TAPS: Announced over the 1MC at 2200 local time, “Taps, Taps...lights out, all hands turn into your bunks, maintain silence about the decks.” “Taps” is a musical piece sounded at dusk, and at funerals, particularly by the U.S. military. It is sounded during flag ceremonies and funerals, generally on bugle or trumpet.

T.A.R.F.U.: Things Are Really Fucked Up.

Target (Submarine Service): erm to describe any ship or boat on the surface.

TDU (Submarine Service): Trash Disposal Unit. Sophisticated AN-DEEP-6 weapons system.

The Boat: Airdale term for the ship their airwing is attached to. “We're going to The Boat for a few weeks.”

The Hole: Main machinery space where an engineer works. “What do you do onboard?” “I work in The Hole.” Also “The Pit”.

Three steel balls: Meant to be humorous but oddly accurate reference to a sailor or situation acting like a sailor: “Put a sailor in a room with three steel balls. Come back an hour later: one will be missing, one will be broken, and one will be in his pocket.” In an alternative version one will be pregnant.

Tiger Team: Junior enlisted of all ratings (E-3 and below) who are tasked to clean the engine room prior to inspection, such as GITMO Refresher training or evaluation.

Tin Can: Destroyer. Designated Driver, from DD.

Tin Chicken: U.S. Merchant Marine Officer Insignia on a U.S. Naval Officers uniform, often worn above the SWO pin. The beak of the eagle can be used as an emergency bottle opener.

Titivate: To spruce up or clean up the ship and its company.

Titless Wave: Male clerical personnel such as yeomen, storekeepers, personnelmen, and other desk jockeys, pencil pushers, etc. See “sea pussy”.

Tits Machine: Old-school term for a kick-ass aircraft, usually a fighter, that consisted of little more than an airframe, minimal avionics, and a huge engine or two. The F-8 Crusader was universally accepted as a tits machine. The F-14 Tomcat was also widely accepted. Today's modern electronic video game fighters like the F/A-18 will never be in the same ballpark.

Tits Up: Broke-dick, inoperable, dead (from some piece of equipment being “flat on its back”). Sometimes referred to as “Tango Uniform”.

TLD (Nuclear): Thermo-Luminescent Dosimeter. More Affectionately “Tiny Little Dick”. Worn by nukes and submarine crewmembers to measure radiation received over time. Often a good source of humor for when the topsiders ask what they are for.

Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club: Those elements of the Pacific Fleet which operated in the referenced waters 1965-1975.

Topsider: (Carrier) Anyone who is not a nuke. On other surface ships, it can also be a reference to non-engineers.

Torpedo Sponge: Similar to “Missile Sponge”, this refers to the smaller ships in a convoy, whose duty it is to protect the carrier, to the point of taking the torpedo hit for the carrier if needed.

Training Anchorage (TRANCH): A frustrating, fuel-saving method of practicing battle tactics electronically among ships while at anchor, usually within sight of an attractive liberty port.

Training Aids: Logically, these are items used to assist by demonstration some point in a training lecture. On submarines, there are also Sonar Training Aids which are any meaty foods with a phallic shape.

Just for MARINES - The Few. The Proud.

Just for you MARINE

Yellow leg: Marine, nickname given by North Korean Army in reference to Korean War-era discolored, yellow-looking leggings.

You-who: When an NCO or Higher wants the attention of a Junior/Boot and does not know his name.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VFA-136 - “Knighthawks”
Naval Air Station Lemoore, Kings County and Fresno County, California. Lemoore Station, California,- Established July 1, 1985

Where Did That Saying Come From

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Where Did That Saying Come From? &ldquoAn apple a day keeps the doctor away”

An apple a day keeps the doctor away:”  Meaning: Eating an apple each day can help to keep you healthy.

History: It isn't often that I get the opportunity to list Wales as the source of a commonplace English phrase.

There's a fair chance that this little maxim originated there as the earliest known example of its use in print makes that claim. The February 1866 edition of Notes and Queries magazine includes this:

“A Pembrokeshire proverb. Eat an apple on going to bed, And you'll keep the doctor from earning his bread.”

A number of variants of the rhyme were in circulation around the turn of the 20th century. In 1913, Elizabeth Wright recorded a Devonian dialect version and also the first known mention of the version we use now, in Rustic Speech and Folk-lore:

“Ait a happle avore gwain to bed, An' you'll make the doctor beg his bread; or as the more popular version runs: An apple a day Keeps the doctor away.”

Apples may be good for us but it wasn't their precise medicinal properties that were being exalted when this phrase was coined. In Old English the word apple was used to describe any round fruit that grew on a tree. Adam and Eve's forbidden fruit, which they ate in the Garden of Eden, is often described as an apple but, in the 1611 King James Version of the Bible, it is just called 'a fruit'.

Phrases.org UK

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

One year of school comes with an IQ bump, meta-analysis showsThe Rosetta stone of active galactic nuclei decipheredStudy on instinctive behaviour elucidates a synaptic mechanism for computing escape decisionsAlzheimer's breakthrough: Brain metals that may drive disease progression revealedPhysicists show that is impossible to mask quantum information in correlationsResearchers create one of the smallest nanoparticle stabilized nanoemulsions with new techniqueUnconfirmed near-Earth objects

Phys.org / MedicalXpress / TechXplore

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Here's How Your Water Bottle Could Start a Fire

Here's How Your Water Bottle Could Start a Fire

Leaving a water bottle sitting in your car sounds benign enough. But on a hot, summer day, the plastic can act as a lens, focusing light into a high-energy beam that's intense enough to burn material like car-seat upholstery.

Last summer, Idaho Power shared its video of a water bottle burning two holes in a car seat. And for this year's World Cup soccer tournament, the Russian water company Holy Water is selling soccer ball-shaped water bottles that can act as perfect light-focusing lenses. In a video published by Fontanka Ru, the ball-shaped bottle is seen focusing light so well that it ignites a box of matches and burns a hole in laminate flooring. [Photos: Top 10 Greatest Explosions Ever]

“The water bottle is acting like a lens that's focusing the light coming through the window”, Odile Madden, a materials scientist at the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles, told Live Science.

Light consists of numerous photons, which are subatomic particles that travel in a straight line, Madden said. Eyeglass and microscope lenses direct the photons so they converge on a point. “You can use that to see something better, get it in focus. Or, you can focus a lot of light onto a very small point and concentrate all that energy, and that can cause melting and burning,” Madden explained.

Madden witnessed the astonishing power of laser-focused light years ago, when she was experimenting with using lasers to remove clear adhesives from artwork and artifacts. She discovered that the grooves in the adhesive worked to focus the laser and “turned up the power”, subsequently burning or etching pits into the glass microscope slides she was using for the experiment. She published her findings in 2005 in the journal Lasers in the Conservation of Artworks.

Here's How Your Water Bottle Could Start a Fire

Everything lined up just right

What surprised Madden about the water bottle examples is that the light passes through the car window first, yet there's still enough heat left to go through the bottle and cause burning. “Conceivably, this would be worse on a hot day or if the window were down, because the window filters the light”, she said.

“This is a good illustration of just how much energy there is coming from the sun”, said Michael Doutre, a chemist at the Getty Conservation Institute who works with Madden in GCI's Modern and Contemporary Art Research Initiative, which studies plastic, among other materials. "We think of this as a cheap water bottle, but we're unintentionally creating an optically almost-perfect shape" for a lens, Doutre told Live Science.

Doutre said that even after the sunlight passes through the car window, it hits the seat with about 600 watts per square meter of energy - about the same amount of energy from a small electric space heater - but focused on a tiny point that's smaller than a millimeter. A couple of seconds of that focused sunlight can easily heat up vinyl seat material to its decomposition temperature, thereby causing burning, Doutre explained.

But both scientists think it's unlikely that the water bottle could cause the seats to actually catch fire. That's because car materials, including seats, are made to be fire-retardant and self-extinguishing, said Madden. The plastic material many car seats are made out of, polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, doesn't propagate flames well, she said.

For burning to occur, the liquid in the bottle must be clear, so enough light can pass through it; this means that soda and juice drinkers can leave their bottles in the sun if they want - unless the soda is clear. A transparent bottle holding a clear carbonated liquid, like sparkling water or lime soda, could allow light to pass through just like a regular water bottle. "If you get the bubbles on the side, it would gather the light a little bit, but fundamentally it wouldn't really change anything," Doutre said.

For a water bottle to cause a fire, everything must line up perfectly: a smooth, spherical, transparent bottle full of a clear liquid that's placed at just the right point from both the light source and the flammable focal point. Both scientists said they suspect that the chances of that happening by accident are slim.

Live Science (05/09/2018) video

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


“Stranglehold” - Ted Nugent 1975

“Stranglehold” - Ted Nugent
Album: Ted Nugent
Released 1975 video

On the TV series Sounds of the Time, Nugent explained: “The song is not only sensual and sexual, but lyrically it is a song of defiance. Every record label passed on Ted Nugent.

Here I come again now baby

Like a dog in heat

Tell it's me by the clamor now baby

I like to tap the streets

I've been smoking for so long

You know I'm here to stay

Got you in a stranglehold baby

You best get out of the way

That's to the industry. This is the music people love: I'm playing 300 concerts a year and people are foaming at the mouth. The energy at my concerts was unprecedented and remains unprecedented, so some dirtbag at a desk in New York City is going to say that my music isn't relative? Come on the road with me a couple hundred nights and see the relative. Watch the girls dance - that's relative, you dirtbag. So it was a song of defiance.”

Nugent didn't sing lead on this; Derek St. Holmes, who was the vocalist with his band, did. Nugent resented the attention Holmes received on stage and eventually sang all the hits himself. His explanation: “There's only one alpha wolf, and that's me.”

Right up there with “Thunderstruckvideo as one of the most swaggering, guitar-driven rockers with manly appeal, the lyrics are rather violent, with the singer letting some poor girl know that he has the upper hand now, and is willing to burn her house down if he has to. Nugent claims the misogynist, violent lyrics were part of his act and should not be taken literally. This did not make women's groups feel any better.

According to Nugent, he's heard from many Americans in the military who have a connection to this song. “When they go to battle and they know there's going to be fire and danger, they play 'Stranglehold,'“ he said. “Is there a more powerful connection to the most important people in the world who will go into a firefight for our freedom listening to my song?”>

Ted Nugent official site / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / Ted Nugent

Image: “Ted Nugent (album)” by Ted Nugent



● In Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter, beautiful and lovely Hester Prynne is convicted of adultery with the minister, and sentenced to wear a prominent “A”.

● El Nino is a periodically occuring climatic event translates in Spanish to “the boy”.

● Harvard is America's oldest and largest college library, containing over 12 million items, was founded in 1638.


A Test for People Who Know Everything

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “TRAILER PARK” ($200):

“A hatching dinosaur is a highlight in a trailer for this 1993 blockbuster movie.”

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

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “TRAILER PARK” ($600):

“In a trailer for this animated feature from 1999 Satan is in bed with Saddam Hussein.”

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

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “U.S. COINS” (DD $1,000):

“When it appeared in 1913, it was the first animal besides the eagle to appear on a U.S. circulating coin.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer U.S. Mint

Answer to Last Week's Test

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “GEOGRAPHIC TERMS” ($200):

“In the bathroom it's a sink; on the map it's an area drained by a single river.”

● Answer: Basin. Ancient History Encyclopedia

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “GEOGRAPHIC TERMS” ($600):

“The word archipelago is from the Greek for 'chief sea', meaning this arm of the Mediterranean.”

● Answer: The Aegean. ArsTechnica

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “GEOGRAPHIC TERMS” ($1,000):

“It's smaller than a lake, but a lake doesn't have an organism called its own type of 'scum'.”

● Answer: A Pond. PFAF.org

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

“Eli's Dirty Jokes - Bedroom Burglar”

“Eli's Dirty Jokes - Bedroom Burglar”

“Help from Grandma.”

Joke of the Day

Having been playing outside with his friends, a small boy came into the house and asked: “Grandma, what is it called when two people sleep in the same room and one is on top of the other?”

His grandma was surprised to hear such a forthright question from a six-year-old but decided to answer as honestly as she could. “Well”, she said hesitantly, “it’s called sexual intercourse.”

“Oh, okay”, said the boy and he ran outside to carry on playing with his friends.

A few minutes later, he came back in and said angrily: “Grandma, it isn’t called sexual intercourse. It’s called bunk beds. And Jimmy’s mom would like a word with you!”