Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 44, 2018

Previous Week   October 29, 2018 - November 04, 2018  Next Week

Sistine Chapel ceiling opens to public on November 01, 1512

Sistine Chapel ceiling opens to public on November 01, 1512

Sistine Chapel ceiling opens to public: The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, one of Italian artist Michelangelo’s finest works, is exhibited to the public for the first time.

Michelangelo Buonarroti, the greatest of the Italian Renaissance artists, was born in the small village of Caprese in 1475. The son of a government administrator, he grew up in Florence, a center of the early Renaissance movement, and became an artist’s apprentice at age 13. Demonstrating obvious talent, he was taken under the wing of Lorenzo de’ Medici, the ruler of the Florentine republic and a great patron of the arts. After demonstrating his mastery of sculpture in such works as the Pieta (1498) and David (1504), he was called to Rome in 1508 to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel—the chief consecrated space in the Vatican.

Michelangelo’s epic ceiling frescoes, which took several years to complete, are among his most memorable works. Central in a complex system of decoration featuring numerous figures are nine panels devoted to biblical world history. The most famous of these is The Creation of Adam, a painting in which the arms of God and Adam are stretching toward each other. In 1512, Michelangelo completed the work.

After 15 years as an architect in Florence, Michelangelo returned to Rome in 1534, where he would work and live for the rest of his life. That year saw his painting of the The Last Judgment on the wall above the altar in the Sistine Chapel for Pope Paul III. The massive painting depicts Christ’s damnation of sinners and blessing of the virtuous and is regarded as a masterpiece of early Mannerism.

Michelangelo worked until his death in 1564 at the age of 88. In addition to his major artistic works, he produced numerous other sculptures, frescoes, architectural designs, and drawings, many of which are unfinished and some of which are lost. In his lifetime, he was celebrated as Europe’s greatest living artist, and today he is held up as one of the greatest artists of all time, as exalted in the visual arts as William Shakespeare is in literature or Ludwig van Beethoven is in music.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica /Musei Vaticani.va / Live Science / Smithsonian / Sistine Chapel (YouTube search) video

“WHO LOVED SO WELL” - (A sailor's eulogy)

The Old Salt’s Corner


(A sailor's eulogy)

We sailed the sea by oceans light,

Around the horn through restless night.

Our course and luck did make it right,

To see things new in strange delight.

The seas were harsh and took their toll

With branded flesh and tortured soul.

And when at last the sun sat low,

It touched the earth with blood red glow.

The mighty wars have all been won.

Now empty winds slack sails undone.

The world is ours but mates care not,

And search in vain for wars unfought.

Silver breakers plight our trough,

To sails unfurled and winds aloft.

Spirits soar on breezes free,

That bear the souls of sailors we.

Hear our prayer Oh Lord our God.

We lived to serve and wield thy rod.

Though wretches we and racked with flaws,

We are the ones who fought thy cause.

Now bleached white bones on foreign sands,

Attest the toll in far off lands,

For those who heard their country's call,

Brave sailors each, who came to fall.

Remember those who served on ships,

And bid farewell on endless trips,

Across the seas to Timbuktu,

And lived and died, these chosen few.

We ask this, Lord, for those so true,

And honor bound beneath skies blue.

Who served and died for freedom's hand,

To hold and cherish this, your land.

A sailor's death on ships of sleep,

With few to know and none to weep.

For faith so brave, a soul to keep,

A silent grave in oceans deep.

And when the end has come at last,

And unfilled shadows heaven casts.

Remember we who served and fell,

And to the hosts of heaven tell.

Bring home my boys who loved so well.

~ (Robert E. Browne CPO, USN, ret.)

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“Religion is what keeps the poor

from murdering the rich.”

~ Napoleon Bonaparte

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“I became insane,

with long intervals of horrible sanity.”

“I have no faith in human perfectibility.

I think that human exertion will have

no appreciable effect upon humanity.

Man is now only more active

not more happy – nor more wise,

than he was 6000 years ago.”

~ Edgar Allan Poe

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Memory: We retain:

10 percent of what we read;

20 percent of what we hear;

30 percent of what we see

50 percent of what we hear and see;

70 percent of what we say;

90 percent of what we say and 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)

Spooky Nighttime Children’s Voices Turned Out To Be Something Even Creepier Than Ghosts

Spooky Nighttime Children’s Voices Turned Out To Be Something Even Creepier Than Ghosts

Ipswich woman 'terrified' by nursery rhyme alarm

The “eerie” sound of a nursery rhyme which was used as a burglar deterrent “terrified” an Ipswich woman for about a year.

The woman, from Bramford Road, heard the sound of "It's raining, it's pouring", but she had no idea where it was coming from.

She rang local council officers, who tracked the noise to the nearby Farthing Road Industrial Estate, as first reported by the Ipswich Star.

It has since been turned down.

For several months she would hear the rhyme, which would go away only to come again another day.

The woman, who did not wish to be named, said: “The first time I heard it it was the most terrifying thing ever, I went cold and felt sick, and thought 'what on earth was that?'”

On Monday at 23:15 BST the sound of “It's raining, it's pouring” stopped the woman from snoring, as it began to play “literally every two to three minutes”.

She called Ipswich Borough Council to complain about the noise, which other residents had also reported.

First-Ever Observation of Higgs Boson Decay Opens New Doors for Particle Physics

Itsy-bitsy spider

A council officer who was sent to investigate found the noise coming from speakers at a unit on the estate.

The alarm was set up to deter trespassers and a spokesman said it had been very successful but they were unaware of the effect it had on residents.

He explained that the song had begun playing continuously due to an itsy-bitsy spider.

The arachnid had been found on a camera that was linked to the alarm, he said.

“Every time the spider went across the CCTV it set off the alarm.”

“We apologise to everyone that has made us aware they were affected - the alarm's intention was never to have affected the residents”, he added.

The woman said that on Tuesday she stood by her window as they tested a lower alarm volume, and “couldn't hear it”.

A spokesman for the council said: "This is unique in our experience - it was difficult to believe a nursery rhyme would be playing in the middle of the night.

“We did hear the nursery rhyme playing from an industrial premises and it sounded very eerie at that time of night.”

BBC (09/12/2018) video

Why Are Some Men's Beards a Different Color Than Their Hair?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Why Are Some Men's Beards a Different Color Than Their Hair?

Throughout civilization, beards have acted as a silent communicator. For some, it's a symbol of virility and power. For others, being hirsute is mandated by religion, marital status, or both. (Amish single men are clean-shaven; husbands are not.) Seeing an unkempt, scraggly beard could be an indication of a person's economic status or their lack of vanity. One man, Hans Langseth, sprouted a 17-foot-long chin warmer for the unique identity it afforded him. (He kept it neatly rolled over a corn cob when he wasn't busy showing it off.)

Langseth's whiskers, which wound up in the Smithsonian, present a curious timeline of his life. The furthest end of the beard was a vibrant brown, grown out when he was younger. The ends closer to his face—and to the end of his life in 1927 - were yellowed.

While age can certainly influence hair and beard color, it doesn't explain why a younger man can sport a decidedly different beard tone than what's on the rest of his head. Other follicular forces are at work.

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Why Are Some Men's Beards a Different Color Than Their Hair?

By default, scalp hair is white. It gets its color from melanin, turning it everything from jet black to dirty blonde. Pheomelanin infuses hair with red and yellow pigmentation; eumelanin influences brown and black. Like shades of paint, the two can mix within the same hair shaft. (Melanin production decreases as we age, which is why hairs start to appear gray.) But not all follicles get the same dose in the same combination. While you might sport a light brown top, your beard could be predominantly dark brown, or sport patches of lighter hairs in spots. Eyebrow hair will probably appear darker because those follicles tend to produce more eumelanin.

Wondering why these two-toned heads often have a red beard but not red hair, there's an answer for that, too. While all hair color is genetic, one gene in particular, MC1R, is responsible for a red hue. If you inherit a mutated version of the gene from both parents, you're likely to have red hair from head to toe. (Hopefully not too much toe hair.) But if you inherit MC1R from just one parent, it might only affect a portion of your follicles. If that swatch of color annoys you for whatever reason? There’s always beard dye.

Beards.orgBusiness InsiderEncyclopedia BritannicaMental FlossWikipediaWomans Day Why Are Some Men's Beards a Different Color Than Their Hair? (YouTube) video

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Aviation Queer: The enlisted rating AQ, Aviation Fire Control Technician; since merged into Aviation Electronics Technician (AT).

AW: The enlisted rating previously known as Aviation Anti-submarine Warfare Operator, now known as Aviation Warfare Operator; sometimes preceded by the adjective “fuckin'” by non-aircrew sailors.

AWOL: Absent Without Official Leave; this is a U.S. Army and USAF term, not a Navy term, see UA.

AX: The enlisted rating Aviation Anti-Submarine Warfare Technician; since merged into AW rating (often forgotten but masterful to behold).

Aye: Yes (I understand).

Aye, aye: Yes (I heard the order, I understand the order, and I intend to obey/carry out the order). “I understand and I will comply.”/p>

Just for MARINES - The Few. The Proud.

Just for you MARINE

Aviation Units: Active squadrons, inactive squadrons and aviation support units.

HAMS: Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron, also H&MS.

HMA: Marine Attack Helicopter Squadron.

HMH: Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron.

HMHT: Marine Heavy Helicopter Training Squadron.

HML: Marine Light Helicopter Squadrons.

HMLA: Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron.

HMLAT: Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron.

HMM: Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (formerly HMR).

HMMT: Marine Medium Helicopter Training Squadron.

HMR: Marine Helicopter Transport Squadron.

HMT: Marine Helicopter Training Squadron (General designation prior to specific communities (i.e. HMHT(CH-53), HMLAT(H-1)).

HMX-1: Marine Helicopter Squadron One (divided into operational test and Executive transport support).

LAAD Bn: Low-altitude Air Defense Battalion.

MABS: Marine Air Base Squadron.

MACG: Marine Air Command Group.

MACS: Marine Air Control Squadron.

MAMS: Marine Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

MASS: Marine Air Support Squadron.

MALS: Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron.

MATCS: Marine Air Traffic Control Squadron.

MCAS: Marine Corps Air Station.

MOTS: Marine Operational Training Squadrons.

MTACS: Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron.

MWSS: Marine Wing Support Squadron.

MWCS: Marine Wing Communications Squadron.

MWHS: Marine Wing Headquarters squadron.

MWSG: Marine Wing Support Group.

SOES: Station Operations and Engineer Squadron.

VMAQ: Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron.

VMA: Marine Attack Squadron.

VMAT: Marine Attack Training Squadron.

VMB: Marine Bombing Squadron.

VMC: Marine Composite Squadron.

VMCJ: Marine Composite Reconnaissance Squadron.

VMD: Marine Photographic Squadron.

VMF: Marine Fighter Squadron.

VMF(N): Marine Night Fighter Squadron

VMFA: Marine Fighter Attack Squadron.

VMFA(AW): Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron.

VMFAT: Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron.

VMFP: Marine Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron.

VMGR: Marine Aerial Refueler/Transport Squadron.

VMGRT: Marine Aerial Refueler/Transport Training Squadron.

VMJ: Marine Reconnaissance Squadron / Marine Target Towing Detachments.

VML: MMarine Glider Squadron.

VMM: Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (formerly HMM, HMH and VMFA).

VMMT: Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron (formerly HMMT).

VMO: Marine Observation Squadron.

VMP: Marine Patrol Squadron.

VMR: Marine Transport Squadron.

VMS: Marine Scouting Squadron.

VMSB: Marine Scout Bombing Squadron.

VMTB: Marine Torpedo Bombing Squadron.

VMTD: Marine Target Towing Detachment.

VMU: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron.

VMX: Marine Tiltrotor Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron.

WES: Wing Engineer Squadron.

WTS: Wing Transport Squadron.

ZMQ: Marine Barrage Balloon Squadrons.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Patrol Squadron One (VP-1) - nicknamed the “Screaming Eagles”
United States Navy - Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington - Established February, 15 1943

Where Did That Saying Come From

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Where Did That Saying Come From? “The female of the species is more deadly than the male”

The female of the species is more deadly than the male:”  Meaning: Men can often think they are dangerous, but throughout nature it is the female species that is to be feared. (“the essential fierceness of women”)

History: A well-known line from Rudyard Kipling's poem The Female of the Species, 1911:

“When the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,

He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.

But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail.

For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.”

Phrases.org UK

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Can Seeds in a Dead Person's Stomach Really Sprout into Trees?

Can Seeds in a Dead Person's Stomach Really Sprout into Trees?

A story of apparent tragedy and luck is making its way around the Internet, describing how a fig seed in a murdered man's stomach grew into a tree, which later helped authorities find his corpse almost 40 years later in a Cypriot cave.

But, like many fantastical tales, key elements of this story appear to be false - at least according to several news outlets. But it still raises the question: Can a seed in a dead person's stomach really grow into a fruit-bearing tree?

The answer is yes, according to Jay Noller, a professor of soil science at Oregon State University, who has spent time in Cyprus but is not involved with the fig tree incident. [Nature's Giants: Photos of the Tallest Trees on Earth]

Fruit-bearing plants often rely on fruit-munching animals - from birds and bats to bears and monkeys - to eat their fruits. Once these animals poop out the indigestible seeds, the plants have a chance to grow roots wherever the animal lays down a turd.

“Seeds can emerge from animals, so I can well imagine they could emerge out of a human”, Noller told Live Science. However, a seed doesn't have to come from a dead person's stomach; it could also grow out of any part of a dead person's digestive tract, such as the small or large intestine, he said.

Even a seed in a dead person's pocket or a seed in the general burial area could gather nutrients from a decaying body, he said. (Specifically, microscopic fungal networks in the soil break down fats and proteins in decaying organisms. Then, in a symbiotic relationship, the fungus gives these nutrients to plants in exchange for simple sugars.)

The fact that seeds can flourish alongside decomposing bodies isn't a new idea, either. For instance, the Wampanoag Native Americans taught the Pilgrims how to fertilize corn seeds with fish meal, according to Plymouth Plantation.

In addition, researchers found the remains of a medieval skeleton tangled up in the roots of an old beech tree that had toppled over in Ireland in 2015.

In the case of the Cyprus murder, several news sources reported that Ahmet Hergune was killed in 1974, during the conflict between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Hergune and two other people were taken to a cave, where they were killed in a dynamite blast, the story goes. Then, according to the news sources, the dynamite blew a hole in the cave, allowing light to enter and the fig seed in Hergune's stomach to take root and grow.

Later, a researcher reportedly found the fig tree in the cave, and, when he investigated the curious placement of the tree, found the decayed remains of the victims.

But large chunks of this story appear to be false. In reality, the Committee on Missing Persons, which reunites families with the remains of individuals who went missing during the 1963-64 and 1974 conflicts on Cyprus, received a tip in 2006 that three deceased people were buried in a cave by the sea.

There was a fig tree growing in the cave, but it was not growing out of any of the human remains, according to the Cyprus Mail.

However, perhaps to help them deal with the death of their loved one, some members of Hergune's family began saying that the fig tree had grown out of his body, the Cyprus Mail reported.

“It helped them with finding closure”, sources close to the Committee on Missing Persons told the Cyprus Mail.

Live Science (09/25/2018) video

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


“Everybody Wants Some!!” - Van Halen 1980
“Everybody Wants Some!!” - Van Halen 1980

“Everybody Wants Some!!” - Van Halen
Album: Women And Children First
Released 1980 video

While the band was recording the music for this song, David Lee Roth recorded comments (“I like the way the line runs up the back of your stocking”, etc.) onto a separate track. They were then mixed in with the song. At the end, Roth says, “Sure, I'll pay you for it, what the f--k.” The obscenity fades just enough that most radio stations don't worry about editing it out.

Eddie Van Halen played the solo for this with both hands on the freeboard of his guitar. At concerts, he used a board to support the guitar and free up his hands so he could play it.

For the first line in the second verse, Roth meant to sing “I've seen a lot of people just looking for a moonbeam», but forgot the words when he was recording it and just slurred out some gibberish that came close. They liked the attitude in the vocal, so they kept it anyway. The resulting lyric became the topic of wide speculation, but it couldn't be misheard because it was misspoken to begin with.

Van Halen official site / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / Van Halen

Image: “Women And Children First (album)” by Van Halen


Halloween Holiday Trivia

● The first Jack-o-Lanterns were made out of what?

The first Jack-o-Lanterns were made in Ireland out of hollowed-out turnips. A piece of coal was inserted into the hollow and the “lantern” was meant to guide the way of poor old Jack who wasn't welcome in Heaven but was also barred from entering Hell for tricking the devil. According to legend, the devil gave this crude lamp to Jack so that he could walk the earth forever in limbo. When the Irish brought this tradition to America, they apparently decided that pumpkins were easier to carve than turnips, and the modern-day Jack-o-Lantern was born!

● Halloween is generally considered to have evolved from what ancient festival?

Although there are many theories on the origin and history of Halloween, it is generally accepted that Halloween dates back to an ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain, or the Celtic New Year. It was believed that the spirits of everyone who had died during the year would return on the eve of Samhain to seek living bodies to possess for the following year. The Celts would dress in ghoulish costumes and hold noisy revels in an attempt to frighten away these spirits. Food and drink was also offered to pacify the dead. There are many tales of unfortunate souls being burned at the stake because they were perceived to have been possessed by one of the returning spirits. Around the turn of the first century AD, Romans abandoned this custom of human sacrifice in favor of the burning of effigies.

● According to legend, a unibrow, tattoos, and a long middle finger are all signs of what Halloween creature?

According to legend, a unibrow, tattoos, hairy palms, and a long middle finger are all signs of a werewolf. Other common traits include unusual strength, an irrational fear of water, and glow-in-the-dark red eyes.

● If you want to keep spirits out of your home on Halloween, what should you sprinkle on your doorstep?

According to tradition, salt can be laid around the boundaries of a room to prevent spirits and demons from entering.

● In what century did the practice of trick-or-treating begin?

In North America, trick-or-treating began to develop as a Halloween tradition during the 1920s, but the European tradition of going house-to-house collecting food at Halloween goes back at least as far as the 16th century. In Britain and Ireland, there are many accounts of people going house-to-house in costume at Halloween, reciting verses in exchange for food, and sometimes warning of misfortune if they were not welcomed.


A Test for People Who Know Everything

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

“Overlord: launched in this month, 1944.”

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

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

“Eagle Claw: abortive 1980 attempt to free hostages in this country.

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

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

“Chromite: the surprise 1950 U.S. landing at this Korean port.

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 - “CRIMINAL CHOICES” ($400):

“In 2015 teen thieves in Missouri thought the box they'd stolen held this drug but nope! It was Grandpa's ashes.”

● Answer: Cocaine. People

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “CRIMINAL CHOICES” ($800):

“In 2015 a Virginian was visited in jail by his current wife & also, his other current wife, which got him an extra 1 1/2 years for this.”

● Answer: Bigamy. Richmond Times-Dispatch

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “CRIMINAL CHOICES” ($1,000):

“Want it in 20s? In 2008 a Texas man was charged with this fraudulent act after trying to cash a check for $360 billion.

● Answer: Forgery. CBS News

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

“Eli's Dirty Jokes - Schedule Conflict”

“Eli's Dirty Jokes - Schedule Conflict”

“The Chinese Doctor and The Lawyer”

Joke of the Day

The Chinese Doctor and The Lawyer

A Chinese Doctor can't find a job in a Hospital in the U.S., so he opens his own clinic and puts a sign outside


An American lawyer thinks this is a great opportunity to earn $100 and goes to the clinic.

Lawyer: “I have lost my sense of taste.”

Chinese: “Nurse, bring medicine from box No. 22 and put 3 drops in patient's mouth.”

Lawyer: “Ugh. this is kerosene.”

Chinese: “Congrats, your sense of taste is restored. Give me $20.”

The annoyed lawyer goes back after a few days to recover his money.

Lawyer: “I have lost my memory. I cannot remember anything.”

Chinese: “Nurse, bring medicine from box no. 22 and put 3 drops in his mouth.”

Lawyer (annoyed): “This is kerosene. You gave this to me last time for restoring my taste.”

Chinese: “Congrats. You got your memory back. Give me $20.”

The fuming lawyer pays him, and then comes back a week later determined to get back $100.

Lawyer: “My eyesight has become very weak I can't see at all.”

Chinese: “Well, I don't have any medicine for that, so take this $100.”

Lawyer (staring at the note): “But this is $20, not $100!!”

Chinese: “Congrats, your eyesight is restored. Give me $20.”