Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 37, 2018

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McKinley dies of infection from gunshot wounds on September 07, 1940

McKinley dies of infection from gunshot wounds on September 14, 1901

McKinley dies of infection from gunshot wounds: On this day in 1901, U.S. President William McKinley dies after being shot by a deranged anarchist during the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.

McKinley won his first Congressional seat at the age of 34 and spent 14 years in the House, becoming known as the leading Republican expert on tariffs. After losing his seat in 1890, McKinley served two terms as governor of Ohio. By 1896, he had emerged as the leading Republican candidate for president, aided by the support of the wealthy Ohio industrialist Mark Hanna. That fall, McKinley defeated his Democratic rival, William Jennings Bryan, by the largest popular margin since the Civil War.

As president, McKinley became known–controversially–as a protector of big businesses, which enjoyed unprecedented growth during his administration. He advocated the protective tariff as a way of shielding U.S. business and labor from foreign competition, and he successfully argued for using the gold standard of currency.

Above all, however, McKinley’s presidency was dominated by his foreign policy. In April 1898, he was pushed by Congress and American public opinion to intervene in Cuba’s struggle for independence from Spanish colonial rule. In the first American war against a foreign power since 1812, the United States handily defeated Spain in just three months, freeing Cuba–although the island became a U.S. protectorate–and annexing Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. For the first time, the United States had become a colonialist power.

America’s growing interests in the Pacific led McKinley’s administration to greatly increase its involvement in Asian politics. In 1900, McKinley sent thousands of U.S. troops to China to help put down the Boxer Rebellion, aimed at driving out foreigners. His aggressive “Open Door” policy declared U.S. support for an independent China and argued that all nations with commercial interests in China should be able to compete on equal footing.

The popular McKinley won a second term by even greater margins over Bryan, who attacked him on his “imperialism” in the Pacific and, domestically, on the growth of illegal monopolies, or trusts. There was little time to see what his second term would bring, however. On September 6, 1901, while standing in a receiving line at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, McKinley was approached by Leon Czolgosz, a Polish-American anarchist carrying a concealed .32 revolver in a handkerchief. Drawing his weapon, Czolgosz shot McKinley twice at close range. One bullet deflected off a suit button, but the other entered his stomach, passed through the kidneys, and lodged in his back. When he was operated on, doctors failed to find the bullet, and gangrene soon spread throughout his body. McKinley died eight days later. Czolgosz was convicted of murder and executed soon after the shooting.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / University of Buffalo.edu / Library of Congress / Shapell.org President McKinley Assassinated (YouTube search) video

North and South clash at the Battle of South Mountain on September 14, 1862

North and South clash at the Battle of South Mountain on September 14, 1862

North and South clash at the Battle of South Mountain: General Robert E. Lee’s exhausted Confederate forces hold off the pursuing Yankees by closing two passes through Maryland’s South Mountain, allowing Lee time to gather his forces further west along Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg.

After the Second Battle of Bull Run, Virginia, in late August 1982, Lee decided to invade Maryland to raise supplies; he also hoped a decisive win would earn the South foreign recognition. As he moved, he split his army into five sections while the hungry Rebels searched for supplies. A copy of the Confederate plans accidentally fell into Union hands when the orders were left in an abandoned campsite outside of Frederick, Maryland. McClellan now knew that Lee’s force was in pieces, but he was slow to react.

As Lee moved into western Maryland, he left detachments to guard Crampton’s Gap and Turner’s Gap through South Mountain. If McClellan had penetrated the passes, he would have found Lee’s army scattered and vulnerable. South Mountain, a 50-mile-long ridge, contained several passes, but Crampton’s Gap and Turner’s Gap were the most important. The National Road ran through Turner’s Gap to the north, and Crampton’s Gap connected western Maryland to Harpers Ferry, Virginia.

The Union troops drove the Confederates away at Crampton’s Gap, but were initially unable to expel the Confederates from Turner’s Gap. However, the Rebels did retreat the next morning. Union losses for the day amounted to 2,300 dead and wounded, including the death of Major General Jesse Reno. The Confederates lost 2,700.

These engagements were a mere prelude to the Battle of Antietam. Although costly, they allowed Lee time to assemble his scattered bands at Sharpsburg.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / Battle Fields.org / Civil War Home First Combat Submarine The “Turtle” - 1776 (YouTube search) video

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

The Old Salt’s Corner


In sailing and warfare, hull-down means that the upper part of a vessel or vehicle is visible, but the main, lower body (hull) is not; the opposite term hull-up means that all of the body is visible. The terms originated with sailing and naval warfare in which the curvature of the earth causes an approaching vessel to be first visible “sails-up”. Beginning in the 20th century, hull-down has also been used in armored warfare.

In modern armored warfare, hull-down is a position taken up by an armored fighting vehicle (AFV) so that its hull (the main part of the vehicle) is behind a crest or other raised ground, but its turret (or a superstructure or roof-mounted weapon) is exposed. Turret-down is the position in which the vehicle's crew can observe forward from roof hatches, but the vehicle is completely hidden (usually a few meters further back from a hull-down position). The belly armor should not be exposed, because it is vulnerable to even modest antitank weapons.

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“It’s the rough side of the mountain

that’s the easiest to climb;

the smooth side doesn’t have

anything for you to hang on to.”

~ Aretha Franklin

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“The world breaks everyone,

and afterward,

many are strong at the broken places.”

~ Ernest Hemingway

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Almost every successful person

begins with two beliefs:

the future can be better than the present,

and I have the power to make it so.”

~ 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)

Piggyback riders: Get off my back! Hippo is ambushed by dozens of turtles as it takes a dip in South Africa

Piggyback riders: Get off my back! Hippo is ambushed by dozens of turtles as it takes a dip in South Africa

Hippos are widely considered to be the most dangerous animal in Africa - but that didn’t stop a group of about 50 audacious turtles from trying to turn one into a giant sun lounger.

The giant hippo, weighing in with a mass of up to 2.5 tonnes, was ambushed by dozens of much smaller pan hinged terrapins after going for a quick dip at a waterhole in South Africa's Kruger National Park.

The water-loving reptiles, seen in marshes and slow-moving rivers in South Africa, enjoy basking on rock faces – not to mention the odd grumpy hippo – or floating close to the water surface.

Kruger National Park describes its hippos as ‘waterway wallowers which are a common sight in most watering holes and are often in herds, but they’re also very easily mistaken for grey rocks.

‘Their snouts sometimes even look like crocodile noses when they’re just floating beneath the surface of the water.’

But be warned, if they open their massive jaws and expose their humongous lower canine teeth, that means they feel threatened.

Daily Mail (08/15/2018) video

What Causes Red Tides?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: What Causes Red Tides?

Red tides aren't just the scourge of beachgoers; they're also deadly to marine life like fish, birds and even manatees. And they can have a serious impact on human health, too.

A red tide occurs when the population of certain kinds of algae known as dinoflagellates explodes, creating what's called an "algal bloom." Scientists sometimes refer to red tides as harmful algal blooms or HABs.

When millions of these microscopic algae reproduce and cluster in one area of the ocean, they can change the color of the water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A rusty shade of red is often seen, though the color may range from pink or orange to brown or yellow.

There are three types of algae associated with red tides. In the Gulf of Mexico, Karenia brevia is especially prevalent along the west coast of Florida and the Texas shore.

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: What Causes Red Tides?

Farther north, Alexandrium fundyense is found on the Atlantic coastline from New England into Canada, while Alexandrium catenella is common throughout the Pacific, from Mexico to Alaska, and along the coasts of Australia and Japan.

A number of factors can cause an algal bloom to grow. Low salinity, a high nutrient content in the water and warmer-than-usual surface water temperatures are usually cited as contributing to a red tide's formation.

The algae linked to red tides contain a toxin that affects the nervous and digestive systems of animals. Red tides are usually accompanied by a massive die-off of fish, as well as the birds and other animals that feed on fish.

Even larger animals that feed on fish, shellfish and other marine life can be killed if they consume enough of the toxin. A red tide in Florida this month has been blamed for a significant die-off of manatees, while another red tide in 2012 may have caused a large number of squid deaths in California.

Humans are also vulnerable to the toxic effects of a red tide. Wave action can release the algae's toxins into the air, causing respiratory problems among people near the shoreline, particularly those with asthma, emphysema or other respiratory illnesses.

Because the toxins can accumulate in shellfish, red tides often cause outbreaks of parasitic shellfish poisoning (PSP) and amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP). Both illnesses affect the nervous systems; ASP can cause dizziness and disorientation, and in extreme cases, PSP can cause respiratory paralysis, resulting in death by asphyxiation

Red tides occur worldwide, and some reports indicate their occurrence is on the rise, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The phenomenon now takes place almost every summer along Florida's Gulf Coast, for example, and global warming may be contributing to the increase.

Researchers at NOAA used computer models to determine how warming ocean temperatures might change the timing and frequency of the algal blooms associated with red tides.

“We found that, not only will the risk for toxic blooms increase within the present-day bloom season, which is typically between July and October, but the bloom season itself will also expand”, Stephanie Moore of NOAA's West Coast Center for Oceans and Human Health, told National Geographic.

Encyclopedia BritannicaCarleton.eduLive ScienceMote.orgNOAA.govQuoraWikipedia What Causes Red Tides? (YouTube) video

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Abu Dhabi (used attributively / as an adjective): Labeled in Arabic aboard a ship; used of any product, but especially soda cans. “We've been home from cruise for 8 months and we still have Abu Dhabi Cokes in the vending machines!” (More common synonym: Hadji).

Acey-Deucey Club: A recreational facility that serves alcohol for first and second class petty officers, or any Enlisted Club that caters mostly to First and Second Class Petty Officers, but still allows all enlisted personnel. Also, a board and dice game akin to Backgammon. Except you start with all pieces off the board. Also a Variance on the rules.

Admin: Aviation,Pre-arranged meeting point, or shared hotel in-port.

Admin Warfare Specialist (humorous, sometimes derisive): A yeoman, personnelman or holder of another Navy administrative rating. Used especially of a sailor who does not have a warfare pin.

ADCAP: Advanced Capability Torpedo that began life as the Mk 48 torpedo (21 inch diameter) launched primarily by submarine platforms. After the 3rd Mod, advances in computer technology and circuit miniaturization brought about the ADCAP which is a truly remarkable torpedo.

ADSEP: ADministrative SEParation: Release from Naval Service for administrative reasons. (The list of reasons is very extensive and can be found in BUPERSINST 1900.8C, Enclosure.)

Just for MARINES - The Few. The Proud.

Just for you MARINE

Aboard: Term for all personnel being accounted for in a building, such as a classroom.

Above my/your pay grade: Expression denying responsibility or authority (indicating that the issue should be brought to higher-ranking officials); alternatively, a semi-sarcastic way of telling someone that they're not authorized to receive certain information.

Acquire(d): euphemism denoting theft.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Strike Fighter Squadron 195 (VFA-195) - nicknamed the “Dambusters”
Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Yamato and Ayase in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan - Established 1938 - In use 1938–1945, 1950–present

Where Did That Saying Come From

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Bee in your bonnet”

Bee in your bonnet:”  Meaning: Preoccupied or obsessed with an idea.

History: This phrase clearly alludes to the state of agitation one would be in when finding a bee inside one's bonnet. It follows on from the earlier expression 'to have bees in one's head', which had much the same meaning. This is recorded from the 16th century, for example, in Alexander Douglas's Aeneis, 1513:

“Quhat bern be thou in bed with heid full of beis?”

Bee-keepers have always worn protective headgear when working with bees and it is possible, although entirely speculative, that the bonnet refers to this.

The first citation of 'bee in his bonnet' in print that I have found is the Reverend Philip Doddridge's Letters, 1790:

“I suppose you have heard of Mr. Coward's pranks. He has, as the Scotch call it, a Bee in his Bonnet.”

The reference to Scotland is significant and the expression may well be Scottish. Early bonnets were caps worn by men and boys and had gone out of use in England by the time the phrase emerged but continued to be used in Scotland.

A form of the phrase appears to have been used by Robert Herrick, in the poem The Mad Maid's Song, 1648. Robert Nares certainly thought so when he published A glossary; or, Collection of words in 1822. He wrote:

The phrase [bee in the bonnet] is clearly alluded to in the following passage:

“For pity, sir, find out that bee

Which bore my love away.

I'll seek him in your bonnet brave,”

which is an extract from Herrick's poem. On further reading of the full text, that case doesn't seem to be well made. Herrick's imagery is unusual, to say the least, and the 'him' that is referred to appears to be the mad maid's lost love, not an insect.

Phrases.org UK

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Some of the Oldest Galaxies in the Universe Orbit the MIlky Way - Galaxies right on our cosmic doorstep likely formed at the end of the universe's Dark Ages, more than 13 billion years agoHow Can We Stop Russia’s Apocalypse Nuke Torpedo? - If this nuclear-powered terror gets through, you can kiss entire cities goodbye. Physicists Solve Perplexing Pasta-Breaking ProblemThe Best Safety Gear for the WorksiteThe Most Badass Cars of Bonneville Speed Week 2018

Popular Mechanics

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Man Who Slapped Hippo's Butt at Los Angeles Zoo Is Still at Large

Man Who Slapped Hippo's Butt at Los Angeles Zoo Is Still at Large

Police in Los Angeles are on the lookout for a man who was recently captured on video trespassing at the LA Zoo and getting dangerously hands-on with a hippopotamus.

In the footage, posted to Twitter, the unidentified man is seen climbing over a railing into a restricted area near the zoo's hippo enclosure. He then leans close to the two animals standing by the wall — a mother and daughter pair named Mara and Rosie — and smacks 4-year-old Rosie on her bottom, the Los Angeles Times reported.

After the slap, Rosie flinches, and Mara appears startled; the assailant jumps back over the railing and flees. The incident came to the attention of zoo administrators after the video was widely shared on social media last week. And although police received a trespassing report, no official charges have been filed, LAPD representatives told ABC News. [Photos: World's Cutest Baby Wild Animals]

Even so, the butt slap was a dangerous move, April Spurlock, a representative of the L.A. Zoo said:

“Any unauthorized interaction with an animal is unsafe for the animal and potentially unsafe for the patron”, Spurlock said. “It is never okay to take an animal by surprise and physically make contact with an animal in a way that could be harmful.”

Man Who Slapped Hippo's Butt at Los Angeles Zoo Is Still at Large

Unauthorized entry into animal enclosures at the zoo is prohibited by state law, and may be punishable as a misdemeanor or an infraction, Spurlock added.

Viewed more than 440,000 times on Twitter, the footage shows the man slowly reaching down to deliver a swift slap to Rosie's rear, after which he leaps over the rail and turns to face the camera, seemingly raising his arms victoriously as he jogs away.

“Hippos do have thick skin, but it is also very sensitive”, Spurlock told. The slap would likely have stung temporarily, and Rosie has exhibited no behavioral changes since then, Spurlock said. However, actions such as this can undermine the delicate trust that zoo professionals work hard to establish with the animals that they care for, she explained.

While hippos may appear amusingly lumbering and awkward, they have sharp tusks and can move very quickly; they are considered to be one of the most dangerous animals in Africa.

Mara and Rosie were unharmed by the experience. Nevertheless, after zoo officials found out about the video, “No Trespassing” signs were installed near the hippos to deter copycat rule breakers — for the protection of visitors as much as for the animals, officials said in a statement.

“It is a privilege to observe these rare and endangered species, but they are still wild animals and their space must be respected at all times”.

Live Science (08/18/2018) video

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


“Fortunate Son” - Creedence Clearwater Revival 1970

“Fortunate Son” - Creedence Clearwater Revival
Album: Willy and the Poor Boys
Released 1970 video

This is an antiestablishment song of defiance and blue-collar pride, both anti-Washington and against the Vietnam War. John Fogerty and Doug Clifford both enlisted in the Army Reserves in 1966 (to avoid being drafted and shipped to Vietnam) and were discharged in 1968 after serving their military commitments. “The song speaks more to the unfairness of class than war itself”, Fogerty said. “It's the old saying about rich men making war and poor men having to fight them.”

This is one of three political songs on the Willy And The Poorboys album. The others were “It Came From the Skyvideo and “Don't Look Now (It Ain't You or Me)video.

Richard Nixon was president of the U.S. when group leader John Fogerty wrote this song. Fogerty was not a fan of Nixon and felt that people close to the president were receiving preferential treatment.

This song spoke out against the war in Vietnam, but was supportive of the soldiers fighting there. Like many CCR fans, most of the soldiers came from the working class, and were there because they didn't have connections who could get them out. The song is sung from the perspective of one of these men, who ends up fighting because he is not a “Senator's son”.

Creedence performed this on The Ed Sullivan Show, probably because the show's producers didn't realize it was a protest song. The show tried hard not to offend anyone, and usually had bands perform their least controversial songs or alter the lyrics for the show (see “Let's Spend The Night Togethervideo and “Light My Fire”) video.

Fogerty recorded a bunch of vocal takes for “Down On The Cornervideo before singing this. As a result, his voice was strained, which he thinks is apparent on the song.

This is one of those songs that came together very quickly. Fogerty recalled to American Songwriter magazine in January 2013: “When I felt it was about ready to hatch, I went into my bedroom and just sat down to write. The whole thing happened in about 20 minutes. That just poured out.”

Like Bruce Springsteen's “Born In The U.S.A.video, this is often misinterpreted as a patriotic anthem, when it is the opposite.

Wrangler jeans used this in commercials in 2000, taking only the first two lines: “Some folks are born, made to wave the flag, Ooh, that red, white and blue”, implying the patriotic misinterpretation. The next lines are: “And when the band plays “Hail to the Chief” Ooh, they're pointin' the cannon at you”, but those lyrics would not sell jeans very well.

John Fogerty was furious, but there was nothing he could do about it, since he didn't own the rights to the song. Wrangler's director of advertising responded by saying the brand heard the song as “more an ode to the common man. The common man is who we have been directing Wrangler toward.”

Fogerty does not own the publishing rights to this song. He lost them, along with all the other songs he wrote for CCR, in his contract with Fantasy Records, which the band signed when they were struggling. Fantasy's boss at the time, Saul Zaentz, controls the rights and can use the songs any way he wants, as long as it isn't performed by any member of CCR. Fogerty hates that his song is constantly misused, but has no choice. He expressed this frustration on his solo track “Vanz Kant Danz”.

This has been covered by U2, Bruce Springsteen, Kid Rock, Dropkick Murphys, Sleater-Kinney, Corrosion Of Conformity, Minutemen, Uncle Tupelo, Bob Seger, Circle Jerks, Joe Lynn Turner, Bunny Foot Charm, Death Cab For Cutie, Undead, Raccoon, and 38 Special.

When interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine, John Fogerty was asked: “What inspired 'Fortunate Son'?” His response: “Julie Nixon was hanging around with David Eisenhower, and you just had the feeling that none of these people were going to be involved with the war. In 1969, the majority of the country thought morale was great among the troops, and like eighty percent of them were in favor of the war. But to some of us who were watching closely, we just knew we were headed for trouble.”

Creedence Clearwater Revival official site / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / Creedence Clearwater Revival

Image: “Willy and the Poor Boys (album)” by Creedence Clearwater Revival



● This barren plateau region of southern Spain is famous as the setting for Cervantes's Don Quixote. What's the name of this region?


● What city was founded in the year 43 A.D. following the Roman conquest of Britain?


● If cats are feline; what animals are the following: a. Canine b. Bovine c. Ovine

a. Dogs b. Cows c. Sheep

● After an absence of millennia, the first Modern Olympic Games were held in 1896 in which city?



A Test for People Who Know Everything

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “GUNS N' ROSES” ($200):

“Not surprising, there's a sweet little rosebud called the yellow rose of this, also the title of a folk song.”

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

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “GUNS N' ROSES” ($400):

“If you're holding a Smith & Wesson .38, the .38 refers to this, the diameter of the bore of the gun.”

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

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “GUNS N' ROSES” ($800):

“The Remington 700 is an example of a rifle with this manual action to load a cartridge into the chamber.”

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

Answer to Last Week's Test

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: Attila. 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: Trenton. 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: Marc Antony. Encyclopedia Britannica

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

“Eli's Dirty Jokes - Gator Boots”

“Eli's Dirty Jokes - Gator Boots”

“A Ventriloquist Apologizes”

Joke of the Day

A young ventriloquist is touring Norway and puts on a show in a small fishing town. With his dummy on his knee, he starts going through his usual dumb blonde jokes.

Suddenly, a blonde woman in the fourth row stands on her chair and starts shouting, 'I've heard enough of your stupid blonde jokes. What makes you think you can stereotype Norwegian blonde women that way? What does the color of a woman's hair have to do with her worth as a human being? It's men like you who keep women like me from being respected at work and in the community, and from reaching our full potential as people. Its people like you that make others think that all blondes are dumb. You and your kind continue to perpetuate discrimination against not only blondes but women in general, pathetically all in the name of humor!'

The embarrassed ventriloquist begins to apologize, and the blonde interrupts yelling, 'You stay out of this..I'm talking to that little shit on your lap.'