Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 35, 2018

Previous Week   August 27, 2018 - September 02, 2018  Next Week

Germany prepares for invasion of Poland on August 31, 1939

Germany prepares for invasion of Poland on August 31, 1939

Germany prepares for invasion of Poland: At noon, despite threats of British and French intervention, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler signs an order to attack Poland, and German forces move to the frontier. That evening, Nazi S.S. troops wearing Polish uniforms staged a phony invasion of Germany, damaging several minor installations on the German side of the border. They also left behind a handful of dead German prisoners in Polish uniforms to serve as further evidence of the alleged Polish attack, which Nazi propagandists publicized as an unforgivable act of aggression.

At dawn the next morning, 58 German army divisions invaded Poland all across the 1,750-mile frontier. Hitler expected appeasement from Britain and France–the same nations that had given Czechoslovakia away to German conquest in 1938 with their signing of the Munich Pact. However, neither country would allow Hitler’s new violation of Europe’s borders, and Germany was presented with an ultimatum: Withdraw by September 3 or face war with the Western democracies.

At 11:15 a.m. on September 3, a few minutes after the expiration of the British ultimatum, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain appeared on national radio to announce solemnly that Britain was at war with Germany. Australia, New Zealand, and India immediately followed suit. Later that afternoon, the French ultimatum expired, and at 5:00 p.m. France declared war on Germany. The European phase of World War II began.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / USHMM.org / The Atlantic / BBC German Invasion of Poland (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 - Mission-oriented protective posture

(DOD) A flexible system of protection against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear contamination in which personnel are required to wear only that protective clothing and equipment appropriate to the threat level, work rate imposed by the mission, temperature, and humidity. Also called MOPP See also Mission-oriented protective posture gear.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction (CJCSI 3180.01)

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“There are stars you haven’t seen

and loves you haven’t loved.

There’s light you haven’t felt

and sunrises yet to dawn.

There are dreams you haven’t dreamt

and days you haven’t lived

and nights you won’t forget

and flowers yet to grow.

There is more to you

that you have yet to know.”

~ Gaby Comprés

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“The only person you are destined to become

is the person you decide to be.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Watch your thoughts, they become your words.

Watch your words, they become your actions.

Watch your actions, they become your habits.

Watch your habits, they become your character.

Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”

~ 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)

Couple together for 80 years with combined age of 208 set oldest living married couple record

Couple together for 80 years with combined age of 208 set oldest living married couple record

More than 80 years of marriage has helped a Japanese couple become the new record holders for the oldest living married couple.

Masao Matsumoto (born 9 July 1910) married Miyako Sonoda (born 24 November 1917) on 20 October 1937 and officially became the Oldest living married couple, aggregate age on Wednesday 25 July aged 108 years 16 days and 100 years 243 days respectively, giving them a combined age of 208 years 259 days.

Having been together for more than 80 years, the couple now have five daughters (Etsuko, 77, Chizuyo, 75, Mitsue, 71, Emiko, 68, and Hiromi, 66), 13 grandchildren and are expecting their 25th great-grandchild in August.

However, their impressively long relationship has not always been without adversity.

Both born in Oita prefecture, Masao and Miyako were introduced to each other through an acquaintance.

The pair wed in 1937, but there was a chance that the marriage may not have taken place. With the intention to hold a wedding, Miyako and her family visited Masao's parents.

When they've arrived, however, Masao had not returned from another region in Japan, leaving Miyako disgruntled as the wedding had to be delayed.

Her soon-to-be husband had actually been paying off his brothers’ debt and had no money to return home. Had this marriage got called off because of this incident, then there would not have been a new Guinness World Record title.

Hardship hit the couple when Japan was involved in a series of wars.

Until the end of Second World War, Masao was called up for military service three times, having to leave Miyako and two young daughters behind. Miyako lived with a group of relatives and worked hard to raise her daughters.

Miyako was prepared for the worst, the possibility that Masao might not return. In fact, Masao was finally able to return to his family in 1946.

Having returned to his home “with only skin and bone left” - according to Miyako - Masao was overjoyed to reunite with his family.

After Masao's return, the couple had three more daughters.

However, the post-war environment meant more challenging times, as the family struggled for food and clothing.

Their daughters recall a time when their pledge of having a doll set for Hinamatsuri (Japanese traditional festival) was firmly rejected by Masao with a reply “(instead of buying dolls) five of you should just line up, that'll do.”

When families visited the rest home to take photos with the Guinness World Records official certificate, Masao apparently said: let's go and have some udon! Udon is a traditional Japanese noodle and it is especially famous in Kagawa region. Masao took a ride on his wheelchair with the family to a nearby udon restaurant; it is his long-held tradition to treat his visitors to tasty udon.

The Oldest married couple, aggregate age ever are Norwegians Karl Dolven (August, 31 1897 - July, 31 2004) and Gurdren Dolven (October, 14 1900 - April, 24 2004) who had a combined age of 210 years 1 month 34 days when Gudrun passed away.

Guinness World Records (08/08/2018) video

Why Do So Many Diners Look Like Train Cars?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Why Do So Many Diners Look Like Train Cars?

No matter how many fine dining options you may have in your area, there’s something about sitting down in a diner that can’t be matched. Their menus are models of American comfort food, from meatloaf to patty melts. The coffee cups are bottomless. There’s usually a toothpick dispensary at the register.

Many diners across the country have one additional identifying trait: They’re shaped like a train car, a sleek and narrow compartment that looks like it belongs on a set of tracks. When and why did this style choice become synonymous with diners?

Why Do So Many Diners Look Like Train Cars?

In a piece for Atlas Obscura, Anne Ewbank shed some light on the practice. The early 20th century saw a rise in entrepreneurs who were interested in meeting the need for casual dining establishments for people hurrying to or from work. Their ambitions had evolved from the lunch wagons of the late 1800s, which provided shelter from weather by putting up awnings or letting people sit inside on stools.

City ordinances, however, made such operations a little tricky: Many food wagons needed to be permanent fixtures in order to avoid the narrow operating hours mandated by communities. Rather than hire a contractor or lease an existing commercial space, people opted to order prefabricated, mobile carts that could be shipped to their location by rail or towed by truck. These dining cars became known as “diners”.

Like the pop-up locations of today, the diners could appear virtually overnight. Most were delivered in one piece; others were modular, requiring minimal assembly, and could offer a greater variety of styles and seating capacities. For small business owners, their affordability and convenience made it possible to strike out on their own. Some manufacturers even offered to repair fixtures by having the diner shipped back to the factory.

The look became so intertwined with fast-dining that some owners recycled old train cars to capture the aesthetic. Today, even diners built from scratch often mimic the narrow, elongated shape so familiar to patrons—a design now borne out of choice rather than necessity. It's a curious bit of history, and one worth pondering the next time you grab a toothpick.

American Diner Museum.orgBBCCurbedDaily Jstor.orgEpicuriousMental FlossSmithsonianWikipedia American diner (YouTube) video

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

2JV: Engineering sound-powered circuit. (Growler)

2MC: Engineering loudspeaker circuit. It's like the 1MC but restricted to Engineering Spaces.

7MC: On submarines this is generally the Ship's Control Comms Circuit (between the OOD on the bridge and Helmsman below in Control.

21MC: Ships command intercom circuit, mainly used between the bridge, combat, and flight decks. Also known as the Bitch Box.

2-10-2: A female, perceived to be unattractive otherwise, out at sea on a ship which has many more males than females and who is consequently paid more attention than she would be paid on land. “She was a 2 before going to sea, a 10 out at sea, and back to a 2 when she returned.”

2-6-10: Abbreviation of “It's gonna take 2 surgeons 6 hours to remove 10 inches of my boot from your ass.” Used to motivate someone who is not pulling their weight.

43P-1: Work center Maintenance manual; prior to OPNAV numbering the current guidance 4790/4(series) it was 43P.

The series of books; 43P-1, 43P-2, 43P-3 and 43P-4 were separate books covering all aspects of maintenance.

The 43P-2, 43P-3 and 43P-4 books were replaced in the mid 1980's with one book. the new book was a three ring binder, blue in color and had “3-M” all across the front & side.

The 43P-1 book containing MIPs stayed in the work center and was a deep red color with 43P-1 across the cover. Officially no longer named the 43P-1, the fleet continues to name and refer to their work center maintenance manual as the 43P-1.

4JG: Communications circuit used by V4 Fuels Division to coordinate flight deck fueling operations between the flight deck and below decks pump and filter rooms. Also used to pass information between a flight deck fuel station and flight deck control as to status of fueling operations for individual aircraft. Found on aircraft carriers and similar vessels.

4MC: Emergency communications circuit that overrides sound powered phone communications to alert controlling stations to a casualty.

Just for MARINES - The Few. The Proud.

Just for you MARINE

4th Battalion: Pejorative used to describe an individual or unit lacking toughness as in “He was trained in 4th Battalion”. Derived from the 4th Battalion of the Recruit Training Regiment at MCRD Parris Island, which trains female enlisted Marines.

4th Marine Dimension: Derogatory term for the 4th Marine Division, the division to which the ground combat element of the Marine Forces Reserve is assigned; used by active duty Marines to denote displeasure with the difference in culture and operating procedures within the division as opposed to active duty units.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Strike Fighter Squadron 154 (VFA-154) - nicknamed the “Black Knights”
Naval Air Station Lemoore, California - Established July 1, 1946

Where Did That Saying Come From

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Barking mad”

Barking mad:”  Meaning: Insane; intensely mad.

History: There are a couple of stories which link 'barking mad' with the east London suburb of Barking. One is that the phrase owes its origin to a medieval asylum for the insane which was part of Barking Abbey.

The second story isn't a suggested origin, just a neat 1980s joke at the expense of Margaret Thatcher. She was known by those who disliked her as 'Daggers' Thatcher - not from a reputation for stabbing colleagues in the back, but because she was said to be 'three stops past Barking' [Dagenham is three stations beyond Barking on the London Underground].

The problem with the asylum tale is the date - it is far too early. 'Barking mad' isn't medieval and began to appear in the language only around the beginning of the 20th century.

The first record of this in print is from the USA. The 11th November 1927 edition of the Oklahoma newspaper The Ada Evening News reported on the frenetic and, if contemporary photographs are to be believed, borderline insane sport of Auto-polo:

“At 2:30 this afternoon at Park field a half dozen barking mad auto polo cars will be whirled into action.”

That usage suggests a readership already familiar with the phrase, and the playing of polo in cars, while having a strong claim to epitomise madness, isn't the likely source.

A much more prosaic derivation, that the phrase refers to mad and possibly rabid dogs, is a more probable source. There are many examples of 'barking like a mad dog' in print; for example, this from records of the trial for murder of a Walter Tricker, in 1867:

“Mrs Hitchins, at the Inquest, says 'It was not ordinary barking. They [the dogs] were barking like tearing mad.'”

See also: “barking up the wrong tree” and “as mad as a hatter”.

Phrases.org UK

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Researchers Find Source of Strange 'Negative' Gravity

Researchers Find Source of Strange 'Negative' Gravity

Sound has negative mass, and all around you it's drifting up, up and away - albeit very slowly.

That's the conclusion of a paper submitted to the preprint journal arXiv, and it shatters the conventional understanding that researchers have long had of sound waves: as massless ripples that zip through matter, giving molecules a shove but ultimately balancing any forward or upward motion with an equal and opposite downward motion. That's a straightforward model that will explain the behavior of sound in most circumstances, but it's not quite true, the new paper argues. [The Mysterious Physics of 7 Everyday Things]

A phonon - a particle-like unit of vibration that can describe sound at very small scales - has a very slight negative mass, and that means sound waves travel upward ever so slightly, said Rafael Krichevsky, a graduate student in physics at Columbia University.

Phonons aren't particles of the sort most people typically imagine, like atoms or molecules, said Krichevsky, who published the paper along with Angelo Esposito, a graduate student in physics at Columbia University, and Alberto Nicolis, an associate physics professor at Columbia.

When sound moves through air it vibrates the molecules around it, but that vibration can't be easily described by the movement of the molecules themselves, Krichevsky told Live Science in an email.

Researchers Find Source of Strange 'Negative' Gravity

Instead, just as light waves can be described as photons, or a particles of light, phonons are a way to describe sound waves that emerge from the complicated interactions of the fluid molecules, Krichevsky said. No physical particle emerges, but researchers can use the mathematics of particles to describe it.

And it turns out, the researchers showed, these emergent phonons have a tiny mass — meaning that when gravity tugs on them, they move in the opposite direction.

“In a gravitational field phonons slowly accelerate in the opposite direction that you would expect, say, a brick to fall”, Krichevsky said.

To understand how this might work, imagine a normal fluid in which gravity acts downward. Fluid particles will compress the particles below it, so that it's slightly denser lower down. Physicists already know that sound typically moves faster through denser media than through less-dense media — so the speed of sound above a phonon will be slower than the speed of sound through the slightly denser particles below it. That causes the phonon to “deflect” upward, Krichevsky said.

This process happens with large-scale sound waves, too, Krichevsky said. That includes every bit of sound that comes out of your mouth — albeit only very slightly. Over a long-enough distance, the sound of you saying "hello" would bend upward into the sky.

The effect is too tiny to measure with existing technology, the researchers wrote in the new paper, which has not been peer-reviewed.

But it's not impossible that, down the road, a very precise measurement could be made using super-precise clocks that would detect the slight curvature of a phonon's path. (The New Scientist suggested heavy-metal music would be a fun candidate for such an experiment in their original report on the subject.)

And there are real consequences to this discovery, the researcher wrote. In the dense cores of neutron stars, where sound waves move at nearly the speed of light, an anti-gravitational sound wave should have real effects on the whole star's behavior.

For now, though, this is entirely theoretical - something to ponder as sound falls upward all around us.

Live Science (08/10/2018) video

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


“Crazy Train” - Ozzy Osbourne 1980

“Crazy Train” - Ozzy Osbourne
Album: Blizzard of Ozz
Released 1980 video

In “Crazy Train”, Ozzy asks when we can all learn to love in a world gone mad. Ozzy wrote the song with guitarist Randy Rhoads and bass player Bob Daisley. In an interview with Daisley, he explained how it came together:

Randy had the basic riff, the signature riff. Then we worked on music together. He needed something to solo on so I came up with a chord pattern and the section for him to solo over.

“Before it was called 'Crazy Train,' before we even had a title, Randy and I were working on the music. He had his effects pedals, and coming through his amp was a weird kind of chugging sound. It was a phase-y kind of psychedelic effect, this chugging sound that was coming through his amp from his effects pedal.”

Randy was into trains - he used to collect model trains and so did I. I've always been a train buff and so was Randy. So I said, 'Randy, that sounds like a train. But it sounds nuts.' And I said, 'A crazy train.'”

“Well, that's when the title first was born. And then Ozzy was singing melodies and he was phrasing exactly how it ended up. And I started writing lyrics to it.”

While many believe that this is yet another Ozzy song about insanity, it's actually about the Cold War. Evidence in the lyrics: “Millions of people living as foes”, “One person conditioned to rule and control; The media sells it and you live the role”, “Heirs of a cold war, that's what we've become. Inheriting troubles I'm mentally numb”. The relevant acronym was “M.A.D.” (Mutually Assured Destruction), a doctrine which basically amounts to “if they shoot their nukes at us, we'll shoot ours right back, and that would be the end of the world that nobody wants, so it won't happen... as long as we keep pointing nukes at each other.” Hence, “crazy” is another word for “mad”.

The M.A.D. logic actually extends from “Nash equilibrium”, a concept of zero-sum strategy first theorized by game theory mathematician John Nash. You'll remember him as a character from the 2001 film A Beautiful Mind. The acronym M.A.D. was formulated by computer science pioneer John von Neumann, who had a taste for satirical humor. In fact, this concept, and the “Doomsday Device” idea behind it (coined by war strategist Herman Kahn), forms the entire basis for Stanley Kubrick's 1964 film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. The real-life version of the device is the "Dead Hand" control system deployed by the Soviets. Cold-War paranoia extended from the 1950s until the famous end to it in 1991. By the way, the actual term “Cold War” was coined by one George Orwell, in his essay “You and the Atomic Bomb”.

Randy Rhoads was Ozzy's guitarist on this song - he was in Quiet Riot before joining Osbourne. Like most of the guitar solos he recorded with Ozzy, Rhoads had to “double” all his guitar parts. This means he had to play every note of this very difficult solo exactly the same way, twice. This is one reason why the solo on the recording sounds so unique. Rhoads was a very proficient and influential guitar player.

This was the first single Ozzy Osbourne released after leaving Black Sabbath in 1978. He left the band after a particularly heated dispute with guitarist Tony Iommi, at which time Ozzy was painted as a substance-abusing layabout by his former bandmates. “Crazy Train” was a triumph for Ozzy in that he proved that he could succeed outside of the Sabbath shelter, albeit with lots of help.

Osbourne got his riffs from Randy Rhoads and his lyrics from Bob Daisley on Blizzard of Ozz, which was formed as a band, not a solo effort. The trio wrote the songs together, later adding drummer Lee Kerslake to complete the band. Their label, Jet Records (owned by Don Arden, Ozzy's future father-in-law), made the project look like a solo effort by putting Ozzy alone on the album cover and his name in big letters on top of the words “Blizzard of Ozz”. The “Crazy Train” single had the band name in large print with Ozzy's name above it. This was as close as they would get to being billed as a band on their releases, even though promotional photos and reviews from the time show that Blizzard of Ozz was supposed to be the band name.

This appropriation was a sticking point for Rhoads, Daisley and Kerslake, but they stayed with Ozzy for his next album, Diary of a Madman, which when issued in 1981 was not just listed as an Ozzy solo album, but listed Rudy Sarzo and Tommy Aldridge on bass and drums instead of Daisley and Kerslake. Legal entanglement followed, and Rhoads died in 1982. In the end, Osbourne's post-Sabbath output was disproportionately attributed to Ozzy, and “Crazy Train” is generally considered his first solo single.

The 1987 live double-album Tribute contains a version of this which is a tribute to Randy Rhoads. Rhoads played on Ozzy's first two solo albums before he died in a plane crash while the band was touring in Florida in 1982. He was 25.

Ozzy Osbourne official site / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / Ozzy Osbourne

Image: “Blizzard of Ozz (album)” by Ozzy Osbourne



● Conservative Radio Talk Show Host, best-selling author and National Radio Hall of Fame inductee Michael Savage recently vowed to sue British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, after she placed his name on what list?

On the list of the 22 'least wanted' visitors to Britain. She banned Savage from entering the country, due to 'hate speech' fostering hatred for his comments on immigration and Islam, earning him a spot on the list that included Hamas terrorist leader Yunis Al-Astal and former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard Stephen Donald Black.

● One of the most popular toys of all time is a plastic ring with a Hawaiian name. What is it?

Hula Hoop.

● Which actress and actor starred in the film, "10", and who was the director?

Bo Derek / Dudley Moore / Blake Ewards.

● What two common parts of the human body continue to grow throughout our lifetimes?

Nose / Ears.


A Test for People Who Know Everything

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “MILITARY MEMORIES” ($200):

“The 451 A.D. Battle of the Catalaunian Plains was the only time this Hun went home a loser.”

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

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “MILITARY MEMORIES” ($400):

“In December 1776 Washington's surprise attack on this now - N.J. capital did not lose a single man & captured 900-plus.”

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

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “MILITARY MEMORIES” ($800):

“Octavian sank the forces of this man 8 ways to Sunday to win the 31 B.C. naval Battle of Actium.”

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 - “'ARCH' MADNESS” ($200):

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

● Answer: Starch. Encyclopedia Britannica

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

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

● Answer: Archery. 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: Archbishop of Canterbury. Encyclopedia Britannica

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

“Eli's Dirty Jokes - Serious Situation”

“Eli's Dirty Jokes - Serious Situation”

“Groucho Marx One-liners”

Joke of the Day

Groucho Marx (1890 – 1977) One-liners

1. “We took some pictures of the native girls, but they weren't developed, but we're going back again in a couple of weeks.”

As Captain Spaulding in “Animal Crackers”

2. “If you want to see a comic strip, you should see me in the shower.”

3. “Behind every successful man is a woman, behind her is his wife.”

4. “Marriage is the chief cause of divorce.”

5. “I could dance with you until the cows come home… on second thought I'd rather dance with the cows until you come home.”

As Rufus T. Firefly in “Duck Soup”

6. “Believe me, you have to get up early if you want to get out of bed.”

7. “You’ve got the brain of a four year old boy… and I’ll bet he was glad to get rid of it.”

8. “Anyone can get old; all you have to do is live long enough.”

9. “Go, and never darken my towels again.”

10. “You call this a party? The beer is warm, the women cold and I’m hot under the collar.”

Groucho Marx as Groucho in “Monkey Business”

11. “There's one way to find out if a man is honest – ask him… if he says, “Yes”, you know he is a crook.”

12. “I made a killing on Wall Street a few years ago…I shot my broker.”

13. “All people are born alike – except Republicans and Democrats.”

14. “I Don’t Want to Belong to Any Club That Will Accept Me as a Member.”

15. GROUCHO: “Why do you have so many children? That’s a big responsibility and a big burden.”

MRS. STORY: “Well, because I love my children and I think that’s our purpose here on Earth, and I love my husband.”

GROUCHO: “I love my cigar, too, but I take it out of my mouth once in a while.”

'You Bet Your Life' contestant with 17 children