Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 34, 2018

Previous Week   August 20, 2018 - August 26, 2018  Next Week

Vesuvius erupts on August 24, 79

Vesuvius erupts on August 24, 79

Vesuvius erupts: After centuries of dormancy, Mount Vesuvius erupts in southern Italy, devastating the prosperous Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and killing thousands. The cities, buried under a thick layer of volcanic material and mud, were never rebuilt and largely forgotten in the course of history. In the 18th century, Pompeii and Herculaneum were rediscovered and excavated, providing an unprecedented archaeological record of the everyday life of an ancient civilization, startlingly preserved in sudden death.

The ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum thrived near the base of Mount Vesuvius at the Bay of Naples. In the time of the early Roman Empire, 20,000 people lived in Pompeii, including merchants, manufacturers, and farmers who exploited the rich soil of the region with numerous vineyards and orchards. None suspected that the black fertile earth was the legacy of earlier eruptions of Mount Vesuvius. Herculaneum was a city of 5,000 and a favorite summer destination for rich Romans. Named for the mythic hero Hercules, Herculaneum housed opulent villas and grand Roman baths. Gambling artifacts found in Herculaneum and a brothel unearthed in Pompeii attest to the decadent nature of the cities. There were smaller resort communities in the area as well, such as the quiet little town of Stabiae.

At noon on August 24, 79 A.D., this pleasure and prosperity came to an end when the peak of Mount Vesuvius exploded, propelling a 10-mile mushroom cloud of ash and pumice into the stratosphere. For the next 12 hours, volcanic ash and a hail of pumice stones up to 3 inches in diameter showered Pompeii, forcing the city’s occupants to flee in terror. Some 2,000 people stayed in Pompeii, holed up in cellars or stone structures, hoping to wait out the eruption.

A westerly wind protected Herculaneum from the initial stage of the eruption, but then a giant cloud of hot ash and gas surged down the western flank of Vesuvius, engulfing the city and burning or asphyxiating all who remained. This lethal cloud was followed by a flood of volcanic mud and rock, burying the city.

The people who remained in Pompeii were killed on the morning of August 25 when a cloud of toxic gas poured into the city, suffocating all that remained. A flow of rock and ash followed, collapsing roofs and walls and burying the dead.

Much of what we know about the eruption comes from an account by Pliny the Younger, who was staying west along the Bay of Naples when Vesuvius exploded. In two letters to the historian Tacitus, he told of how “people covered their heads with pillows, the only defense against a shower of stones”, and of how “a dark and horrible cloud charged with combustible matter suddenly broke and set forth. Some bewailed their own fate. Others prayed to die.” Pliny, only 17 at the time, escaped the catastrophe and later became a noted Roman writer and administrator. His uncle, Pliny the Elder, was less lucky. Pliny the Elder, a celebrated naturalist, at the time of the eruption was the commander of the Roman fleet in the Bay of Naples. After Vesuvius exploded, he took his boats across the bay to Stabiae, to investigate the eruption and reassure terrified citizens. After going ashore, he was overcome by toxic gas and died.

According to Pliny the Younger’s account, the eruption lasted 18 hours. Pompeii was buried under 14 to 17 feet of ash and pumice, and the nearby seacoast was drastically changed. Herculaneum was buried under more than 60 feet of mud and volcanic material. Some residents of Pompeii later returned to dig out their destroyed homes and salvage their valuables, but many treasures were left and then forgotten.

In the 18th century, a well digger unearthed a marble statue on the site of Herculaneum. The local government excavated some other valuable art objects, but the project was abandoned. In 1748, a farmer found traces of Pompeii beneath his vineyard. Since then, excavations have gone on nearly without interruption until the present. In 1927, the Italian government resumed the excavation of Herculaneum, retrieving numerous art treasures, including bronze and marble statues and paintings.

The remains of 2,000 men, women, and children were found at Pompeii. After perishing from asphyxiation, their bodies were covered with ash that hardened and preserved the outline of their bodies. Later, their bodies decomposed to skeletal remains, leaving a kind of plaster mold behind. Archaeologists who found these molds filled the hollows with plaster, revealing in grim detail the death pose of the victims of Vesuvius. The rest of the city is likewise frozen in time, and ordinary objects that tell the story of everyday life in Pompeii are as valuable to archaeologists as the great unearthed statues and frescoes. It was not until 1982 that the first human remains were found at Herculaneum, and these hundreds of skeletons bear ghastly burn marks that testifies to horrifying deaths.

Today, Mount Vesuvius is the only active volcano on the European mainland. Its last eruption was in 1944 and its last major eruption was in 1631. Another eruption is expected in the near future, would could be devastating for the 700,000 people who live in the “death zones” around Vesuvius.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / National Geographic / Smithsonian / Lonely Planet Pompeii (YouTube search) video

1980 Robert Altman's 'Popeye'

The Old Salt’s Corner

Remember Being a Sailor in the 80s:

1. You could have a beard.

2. Beer machines in the barracks.

3. Snail mail that took months to reach you.

4. Cinderella liberty.

5. Life before urinalysis.

6. Watching the same movie 72 times on deployment because there was no satellite.

7. Enlisted and Officers partying together.

8. Liberty cards, request chits, and green “Memorandum” books.

9. Having a “discussion” with the chief in the fan room.

10. Getting paid in cash.

11. Our only enemy was the Reds.

12. Communicating with flags.

13. Navigating before GPS.

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“If you want a happy ending, that depends,

of course, on where you stop your story.”

~ Orson Welles

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward;

you can only connect them looking backwards.

So you have to trust that the dots

will somehow connect in your future.

You have to trust in something

- your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.

This approach has never let me down,

and it has made all the difference in my life.”

~ Steve Jobs

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“A foolish man tells a woman to stop talking,

but a wise man tells her that her mouth is extremely beautiful when her lips are closed.”

~ 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)

Botched Restoration Turns 500-Year-Old Spanish Statue Into Weird IRL Cartoon

Botched Restoration Turns 500-Year-Old Spanish Statue Into Weird “In Real Life” (IRL) Cartoon

A SPANISH church has been condemned for the botched restoration of a 16th-century statue which left Saint George looking like a “frightening cartoon character”.

The wooden sculpture, housed at San Miguel Church in the Navarre town of Estella, had turned a dark shade of brown in the 500 or so years since its completion.

But images shared online after its restoration show the ancient saint sporting a garish pink face with cartoonish eyes and flashy red armour.

It has been compared to the restoration by an elderly woman of the 'Ecce Homo' ('Behold the Monkey') fresco of Jesus Christ in nearby Borja - which resembled a pale-faced ape and catapulted its well-meaning restorer Cecilia Gimenez to international fame in 2012:

Local officials have expressed outrage that the church didn't inform them of their plans for the “frightening” restoration.

Director of the regional heritage service, Carlos Martinez Alava, said the work was carried out "without control or professionalism" by a local arts and crafts teacher.

“They covered the paint from the 16th century with new paint, it also seems that scraping and sanding was done, which are not techniques used in restoration nowadays”, he said, adding his team were trying to work out how to &ldundo” the makeover.

Mayor of Estella, Koldo Leoz, said: “They've used plaster and the wrong kind of paint and it's possible that the original layers of paint have been lost.”

“This is an expert job. It should have been done by experts.”

The country's art conservation association, ACRE, branded the repainting an “attack on the cultural heritage” of Spain.

According to local reports, the church had only wanted the sculpture to be “cleaned” and had no intention of having it fully restored.

The president of ACRE, Fernando Carrera, said the St George sculpture had been “a work of great historical and cultural relevance” before the parish priest ordered the work.

“We have lost part of our cultural heritage”, he added.

Unsurprisingly, the bungled restoration has been widely mocked by social media users.

One joked that St George was now the “patron saint of Disney characters”.

Another added: “Can't decide whether he's more Tintin or Playmobil. Props to the artist.”

Irish Post (06/28/2018) video

What Would Happen If a Person Received a Transfusion Using a Blood Type Other Than Their Own?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: What Would Happen If a Person Received a Transfusion Using a Blood Type Other Than Their Own?

That depends on what type of blood was given and the recipient’s blood type.

There are three major antigens (things on the outside of blood cells that cause allergic reactions). The antigens are A, B, and O. There are two copies. The combos are OO, AO, BO, and AB. They are referred to as O, A, B, and AB for the sake of simplicity.

Type O is tolerated by everyone. Type O blood is “universal donor” and prized. Type A blood is tolerated by A and AB recipients. Type B is tolerated by B and AB recipients. Type AB blood is only tolerated by AB recipients … AB types are “universal recipients”.

What Would Happen If a Person Received a Transfusion Using a Blood Type Other Than Their Own?

So what happens depends on chance:

If a person with AB gets anything different, it does not matter.

If a person with O gets anything different, that’s likely a huge problem called a major hemolytic transfusion reaction.

If a person with O gets anything different, that’s likely a huge problem called a major hemolytic transfusion reaction.

This is why a mix up is a potentially tragic error.

Encyclopædia BritannicaNCBIQuoraRoyal Children's Hospital MelbourneSmithsonianUW Health.orgWikipedia What Would Happen If a Person Received a Transfusion Using a Blood Type Other Than Their Own? (YouTube) video

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

0-dark-hundred: 0'dark-hundred (Pronounced “oh dark hundred”, because the "zero" in time expressions was verbally pronounced “oh” in the US Navy and U.S. Army as late as the 1980s: A slang term for any time between midnight and daylight. Used to convey that the time is when people are usually asleep. e.g. “We have to get up at 0-dark-hundred.” It is not a reference to any particular time.

0-dark-thirty: 0'dark-thirty: A slang term that is used to describe that the commencement time of an operation or exercise is after midnight and before daylight; most typically when people would be deep asleep. It is not a reference to any particular time.

13 button salute: When a sailor in dress pants pulls down on the top two corners and all 13 buttons come unbuttoned at once, usually done just before sex.

1D10T: A mythical substance that new Sailors are sent in search of as a joke. Pronounced as “one dee ten tee”, “one delta ten tango” or “idiot”.

1MC: The General Announcing system on a ship.

1st Division: The division, in most aviation and afloat commands, which is responsible for the material condition and cleanliness of the ship. On ships equipped with small boats, the First Lieutenant or “First” (First Division Officer or Deck Department Head) is in charge of these boats and the sailors who maintain and run them.

On small boats, the “First” is in charge of boatswain mates and deck seaman.

On larger ships, the “First” may be in charge of air crew.

Work for 1st division varies among ships depending on size. Small ships only have one division, while larger ships like carriers or amphibs can have 5 or more.

On Submarines the 1st Looey (1st Lt) is usually an non-qual Ensign and he runs “seaman gang” responsible for, among other responsibilities, all the gadgets necessary for handling and storing of mooring lines, materiel condition of Topside (chipping and painting), escape and rescue equipment like life vests and Steinke Hoods back when they were carried.

Seaman gang, the 1st Lt's folks, are often non-quals who are e-4 & below with a first class or senior second class petty officer as leading petty officer. When the wardroom is short on baby Ensigns and/or in shipyard overhaul periods the 1st Lt may be a Chief Petty Officer.

Just for MARINES - The Few. The Proud.

Just for you MARINE

1st Civ Div: 1st Civilian Division. Civilian life, usually applied to Marines facing discharge or retirement. As in “getting assigned to 1st Civ Div.” Also occasionally referred to as “1st Couch Company».

360: Forming a complete circle (as in on a compass (360°)); to put protection all around.

48, 72, 96: In hours, the standard liberty periods of two, three, four days.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Strike Fighter Squadron One Five One (VFA-151) - nicknamed the “Vigilantes”
Naval Air Station Lemoore, California - Established August 6, 1948

Where Did That Saying Come From

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Ball and chain”

Ball and chain:”  Meaning: A 20th century slang term, meaning wife. (A rather crude description of a wife refers to the ball and chain strapped to a prisoner's leg in American and British prisons in the early 19th century.)

History: The allusion being to the presumption that a man's wife held him back from doing the things he really wanted to.

This, of course, refers back to the actual ball and chain, which was a heavy metal ball secured to a prisoner's leg by means of a chain and manacle. The ball and chain was in use in both Britain and the USA by the early 19th century (and possibly much earlier). The earliest citation in print is from The Times, January 1819:

“They sentence the prisoner to receive 50 stripes on his bare back, and be confined with a ball and chain to hard labour for 12 calendar months.”

Soon after, in 1821, is this U.S. reference from the Ohio Repository, Canton, Ohio:

“Bread and water, the ball and chain, and even whipping, the convicts prefer to the solitary cell.”

Phrases.org UK

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Here's What We Know About the F-15X Super Eagle - The “new” jet is expected to be cheaper and carry more weapons than the F-35 but won’t replace the stealth fighter outright.WWII P-38 Discovered Under 300 Feet of Ice in Greenland - The P-38 "Echo" is part of the Lost Squadron of aircraft that were forced to crash land in Greenland during a blizzard.Scientists Discover a New Shape That Might Be Inside You Right Now - The scutoid is the shape that many of your skin and organ cells likely take.8 Next-Level Lawn Care Tips - Water and fertilizer are just the starting point for a healthy lawn.These 5 Great VPNs Are at Least 70 Percent Off - Each of the popular VPNs on this list offer top-notch security and super-fast browsing speeds.Grieving Orca Mom Has Been Carrying Her Dead Calf for Days - The orca's heartbreaking journey echoes killers whales' threatened place in the world.

Popular Mechanics

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Shark Stolen from an Aquarium in a Baby Stroller Is Rescued and Recovering

Shark Stolen from an Aquarium in a Baby Stroller Is Rescued and Recovering

A gray horn shark named Miss Helen is doing swimmingly after a harrowing brush with a trio of kidnappers.

Two men and a woman have been accused of abducting the young shark from the San Antonio Aquarium, swaddling her in a blanket, stuffing her in a bucket and then spiriting her away in a baby stroller, local outlet KSAT12 News reported.

Surveillance video captured the alleged criminals in action, and officials arrested a man in connection with the theft. Miss Helen was returned to the aquarium at 9 p.m. local time that evening, according to KSAT12 News. [Images: Sharks & Whales from Above]

The trio suspected of stealing the 2-foot-long (0.6 meters) shark allegedly lifted her from an open saltwater pool, an exhibit that contained several shark species that visitors are allowed to touch, KSAT12 reported. According to the KSAT12 report, one of the men allegedly lifted the shark out of the water by its tail, and the other man wrapped the shark in a blanket, later placing her in a bucket with a bleach solution and rolling her out to the parking lot in a baby stroller.

An aquarium employee spotted the suspected shark-nappers and called management. Jen Spellman, general manager of the aquarium, confronted them in the parking lot, but they refused to let her look inside the truck where they had hidden the shark, according to KSAT12.

Shark Stolen from an Aquarium in a Baby Stroller Is Rescued and Recovering

Police tracked down the trio's vehicle and found Miss Helen in a tank at the home of one of the suspects, who confessed to the theft. Officers discovered other marine animals in the man's home as well, San Antonio Police Lt. Joseph Salvaggio told the San Antonio Express-News.

Video captured by local outlet KEN5 News and shared on Facebook shows Miss Helen's triumphant return to the aquarium in a gray plastic tub. She was greeted by cheering onlookers before being confined to a quarantined area, where aquarium staff checked her condition and began preparing her for a transition back to aquarium water, Jamie Shank, an aquarium spokesperson, told KEN5 News in the video.

“We didn't know if we would get her back”, Shank said. “She appears very healthy. And now that we have her here, I'm overjoyed.”

Horn sharks (Heterodontus francisci) like Miss Helen are bottom-dwelling, nocturnal crustacean-eaters that typically live in warm waters off the coast of southern California down to Mexico, and they get their name from the sharp spines that tip their pair of dorsal fins, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Live Science (07/31/2018) video

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


“Roadhouse Blues” - The Doors 1970

“Roadhouse Blues” - The Doors
Album: Morrison Hotel
Released 1970 video

When Jim Morrison got drunk, he liked to sing blues numbers at The Doors jam sessions. This in one of the songs he came up with at one of those inebriated sessions.

If there was an actual roadhouse that inspired this song, it was probably the Topanga Corral, a windowless nightclub in the counterculture enclave of the Topanga Canyon, where Jim Morrison lived. To get to the venue you had to take Topanga Canyon Boulevard, which is full of twists and turns - you really did need to “keep your eyes on the road, your hand upon the wheel”.

John Sebastian from the Lovin' Spoonful played harmonica. He is identified on the album as “G. Puglese” because he was afraid to be identified with The Doors in light of Morrison's arrest at a concert in Miami when he was accused of exposing himself to the crowd. Morrison was convicted of indecent exposure and sentenced to six months in jail, but he died while the case was being appealed. In 2010, Florida governor Charlie Crist granted Morrison a pardon, clearing him of the charges.

Guitar great Lonnie Mack played bass. The Doors usually did not use a bass player.

Doors guitarist Robby Krieger joined Creed on stage at Woodstock '99, where they performed this. It is on the Woodstock '99 CD.

This is the first song on Morrison Hotel. The album was a return The Doors' earlier style. On their previous album, The Soft Parade, they used a lot of strings and horns. Morrison didn't do much on that album because he was drunk for most of it and had nothing to do while all the instrumentation was being worked out. Before The Doors had a record deal, they played many Blues songs in their long club shows.

“Roadhouse Blues&rdquo was released as the B-side of “You Make Me Realvideo.

This has been called “the ultimate bar song”, and it continues to be played by bar bands everywhere.

Status Quo covered this song on their 1972 album Piledriver, and the song quickly became a live favorite for the band. The group was wildly successful in England, and like many UK acts, was influenced by American rockers, often doing successful covers (their version of John Fogerty's “Rockin' All Over The Worldvideo went to #3 in the UK). They were never able to conquer America, however, in part because they didn't tour there until 1973.

The Doors official site / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / The Doors

Image: “Morrison Hotel (album)” by The Doors



● In January, 1994, Delta became the world's first airline to ban... what... on all its flights?


● Find three 6-letter words that can be formed with the letters AEMRST.

Master, Stream, Tamers, Maters ...

● Were female thespians originally referred to as “actors” or “actresses”?/p>


● Famous riddle: Forward I am heavy, but backward I am not. What am I?

A Ton.


A Test for People Who Know Everything

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “'ARCH' MADNESS” ($200):

“This laundry substance made possible the Elizabethan fancy collar called a ruff.”

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

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “'ARCH' MADNESS” ($400):

“The nock & the upshot are part of its vocabulary.”

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

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “'ARCH' MADNESS” ($600):

“An advisor to Henry VIII, Thomas Cranmer was the first Protestant to hold this exalted position.”

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 - “SCENE IT” ($200):

“1975: Chrissie picks a bad time to go skinny dipping near Amity Island.”

● Answer: Jaws. YouTube

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “SCENE IT” ($600):

“1959: Cary Grant gets his crop dusted.”

● Answer: North by Northwest. YouTube

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “SCENE IT” ($1,000):

“1964: President Muffley makes an emergency call to Premier Kissoff.”

● Answer: Dr. Strangelove. YouTube

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

“Eli's Dirty Jokes - Nosy Neighbor”

“Eli's Dirty Jokes - Nosy Neighbor”

“Milton Berle One-liners”

Joke of the Day

Milton Berle One-liners

For those old enough to remember Milton Berle.

1. “A good wife always forgives her husband when she's wrong.”

2. “If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?”

3. “In Washington, a man gets up to speak and doesn't say a thing, and the other men disagree with him for three hours.”

4. “I can’t tell you his age, but when he was born the wonder drug was Mercurochrome.”

5. “How long does a person have to be missing to be officially declared a missing person?”

“If it's a Jewish family…one meal.”

6. “A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours.”

7. “What is this, an audience or an oil painting?”

8. “Folks who don't know why America is the Land of Promise should be here during an election campaign.”

9. “Why are we honoring this man? … have we run out of human beings?”

10. “Your marriage is in trouble if your wife says, 'You're only interested in one thing,' and you can't remember what it is.”

11. “He's so old that when he orders a three-minute egg, they ask for the money up front.”

12. “You can lead a man to Congress, but you can't make him think.”

13. “It's amazing how fast later comes when you buy now!”

14. “Poverty is not a disgrace, but it’s terribly inconvenient.”