Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 52, 2018

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First commercial movie screened on December 28, 1895

First commercial movie screened on December 28, 1895

First commercial movie screened: On this day in 1895, the world’s first commercial movie screening takes place at the Grand Cafe in Paris. The film was made by Louis and Auguste Lumiere, two French brothers who developed a camera-projector called the Cinematographe. The Lumiere brothers unveiled their invention to the public in March 1895 with a brief film showing workers leaving the Lumiere factory. On December 28, the entrepreneurial siblings screened a series of short scenes from everyday French life and charged admission for the first time.

Movie technology has its roots in the early 1830s, when Joseph Plateau of Belgium and Simon Stampfer of Austria simultaneously developed a device called the phenakistoscope, which incorporated a spinning disc with slots through which a series of drawings could be viewed, creating the effect of a single moving image. The phenakistoscope, considered the precursor of modern motion pictures, was followed by decades of advances and in 1890, Thomas Edison and his assistant William Dickson developed the first motion-picture camera, called the Kinetograph. The next year, 1891, Edison invented the Kinetoscope, a machine with a peephole viewer that allowed one person to watch a strip of film as it moved past a light.

In 1894, Antoine Lumiere, the father of Auguste (1862-1954) and Louis (1864-1948), saw a demonstration of Edison’s Kinetoscope. The elder Lumiere was impressed, but reportedly told his sons, who ran a successful photographic plate factory in Lyon, France, that they could come up with something better. Louis Lumiere’s Cinematographe, which was patented in 1895, was a combination movie camera and projector that could display moving images on a screen for an audience. The Cinematographe was also smaller, lighter and used less film than Edison’s technology.

The Lumieres opened theaters (known as cinemas) in 1896 to show their work and sent crews of cameramen around the world to screen films and shoot new material. In America, the film industry quickly took off. In 1896, Vitascope Hall, believed to be the first theater in the U.S. devoted to showing movies, opened in New Orleans. In 1909, The New York Times published its first film review (of D.W. Griffith’s “Pippa Passes”), in 1911 the first Hollywood film studio opened and in 1914, Charlie Chaplin made his big-screen debut.

In addition to the Cinematographe, the Lumieres also developed the first practical color photography process, the Autochrome plate, which debuted in 1907.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / Biography / International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum / First commercial movie screened (YouTube)video

Westminster Abbey is consecrated in England on December 28, 1065

Westminster Abbey is consecrated in England on December 28, 1065

Westminster Abbey is consecrated in England: Westminster Abbey is one of the most famous religious buildings in the world.

Westminster Abbey, London church that is the site of coronations and other ceremonies of national significance. It stands just west of the Houses of Parliament in the Greater London borough of Westminster. Situated on the grounds of a former Benedictine monastery, it was refounded as the Collegiate Church of St. Peter in Westminster by Queen Elizabeth I in 1560. In 1987 Westminster Abbey, St. Margaret’s Church, and the Houses of Parliament were collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Benedictine monks first built a house of worship in or around 960 A.D. on the banks of the River Thames, the river that bisects the city of London, in an area that was then known as Thorny Island.

In 1040, King Edward I, who later became known as St. Edward the Confessor, built his royal palace on a nearby tract of land. A religious monarch, Edward I decided to endow and expand the monastery.

He commissioned the construction of a large, Romanesque-style stone church in honor of St. Peter the Apostle. Twenty-five years later, in December, 1065, the new church was completed, although Edward I was too ill to attend the dedication ceremony and died a few days later.

The new church, St. Peter’s Cathedral, became known as the “West-minster” to distinguish it from St. Paul’s Cathedral, another notable London church that was called the “East-minster”.

Every monarch since William the Conqueror—except for Edward V and Edward VIII, who were never crowned—had a coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey. In all, 39 monarchs have been crowned in the church.

Under the orders of King Henry III, Edward I’s remains were removed from a tomb in front of the high altar of the old church into a more impressive tomb behind the high altar in the new one.

In the centuries since, multiple royals have been laid to rest nearby, including Henry III, Edward III, Richard II and Henry V. In all, the church has more than 600 wall tablets and monuments, and more than 3,000 people have been buried there.

In addition to royals, Westminster Abbey has a famed Poets’ Corner, which includes burial crypts and memorials for legendary writers and artists including Geoffrey Chaucer, Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, William Shakespeare, W. H. Auden, Jane Austen, Laurence Olivier, Lewis Carroll, T.S. Eliot, Oscar Wilde, Dylan Thomas, Charles Dickens and the Brontë sisters (Charlotte, Emily and Anne).

History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / Westminster Abbey.org / Westminster Abbey is consecrated in England on December 28, 1065 (YouTube)video

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

Understanding Military Terminology - Morale, welfare, and recreation

(DOD) The merging of multiple unconnected disciplines into programs which improve unit readiness, promote fitness, build unit morale and cohesion, enhance quality of life, and provide recreational, social, and other support services. Also called MWR.

Joint Publications (JP 1-0) Joint Personnel Support - Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The WWI Christmas Truce of 1914

The Old Salt’s Corner

The WWI Christmas Truce of 1914

December 24-26, 1914: The Christmas Truce

In December 1914 the world was reeling from the trauma of five months of horrifying bloodshed, which spread death and sowed hatred on a scale almost beyond comprehension. As a particularly fierce winter blanketed Europe in snow and ice, civilians on the home front found their worries compounded by the first shortages of food and fuel. Worst of all, most people now realized that there was no end in sight: the war would probably go on for years.

But in the midst of all this misery humanity still somehow prevailed, if only for a moment, creating one of the most powerful cultural memories and moral examples of the Great War.

The famous Christmas Truce of 1914, when exhausted foes put down their guns to enjoy a brief evening of peace and camaraderie, began with music. It started on Christmas Eve, when British and German soldiers huddling in the cold, damp trenches tried to cheer themselves up by singing Christmas carols and songs from home – then were amazed to hear their enemies applauding and responding with songs of their own. William Robinson, an American volunteer in the British Army, recalled the strange scene:

“During the evening the Germans started singing, and I heard some of the most beautiful music I ever listened to in my life. The song might start just opposite us, and it would be taken up all along the line, and soon it would seem as if all the Germans in Belgium were singing. When they had finished we would applaud with all our might, and then we would give them a song in return… The men were getting along well with it, when someone in the German trenches joined in singing in just as good English as any of us could speak.”

There were many talented musicians on both sides, who now paid tribute to their foes by playing their national songs, showing that the national hatreds were far from universal even among men on the frontline, who had the most reason to embrace them. Phil Rader, an American volunteer in the French Foreign Legion, described one such exchange:

“After dinner we heard a blast of music that thrilled us. A little German band had crept into the trenches and announced itself with a grand chord. Then came the unexpected chords of the 'Marseillaise.' The Frenchmen were almost frantic with delight. George Ullard, our Negro cook, who came from Galveston, got out his mouth organ and almost burst his lungs playing 'Die Wacht am Rhein.'”

The exchange of songs across no-man’s-land built trust and encouraged curiosity, leading to shouted verbal exchanges, followed by men poking their heads over the parapets – normally a suicidal move – only to find their erstwhile enemies looking back at them, waving and beckoning. When it became clear that neither side was going to shoot, in a matter of minutes soldiers were climbing out of the trenches and crossing no-man’s-land to meet the men who had been shooting at them a few hours before (top, British and German troops fraternize).

They shook hands, embraced, and tried to communicate as best they could, helped by informal translators, who in many cases had lived in the enemy’s country before the war. One British junior officer, Edward Hulse, met a German counterpart who had lived in Britain for years and lost everything he loved when the war started:

“He came from Suffolk where he had left his best girl and a 3 ½ h.p. motor-bike! He told me that he could not get a letter to the girl, and wanted to send one through me. I made him write out a postcard in front of me, in English, and I sent it off that night. I told him that she probably would not be a bit keen to see him again… They protested that they had no feeling of enmity towards us at all, but that everything lay with their authorities, and that being soldiers they had to obey…”

The truce continued into the next day, as junior officers took advantage of the break in hostilities to get some important tasks done – above all, burying the dead. Victor Chapman, an American in the Foreign Legion who would later become the first American pilot killed in the war, recalled:

“Christmas morning a Russian up the line who spoke good German, wished them the greetings of the season, to which the Boches responded that instead of nice wishes they would be very grateful to the French if the latter buried their compatriot who had lain before their trenches for the last two months… The burying funeral performed, a German Colonel distributed cigars and cigarettes and another German officer took a picture of the group.”

Indeed, as it was Christmas, it was only natural to exchange presents, which not only demonstrated goodwill but allowed men on both sides to get things they lacked. Edward Roe, a British corporal, recalled: “They gave us bottles of wine and cigars; we gave them tins of jam, bully [beef], mufflers, tobacco etc. I annexed a tin of raspberry from the sergeant’s dugout and gave it to a stodgy and bespectacled Saxon. In return he gave me a leather case containing five cigars… The line was all confusion [with] no sentries and no one in possession of arms.”

In some places the truce continued into December 26, “Boxing Day”, and even as late as December 27 - but inevitably it was bound to come to an end. Senior officers on both sides were livid when they heard about the informal ceasefire, which they believed threatened to undermine morale and discipline; after all, as some German soldiers told members of 2nd Royal Dublin Fusiliers: “We don’t want to kill you, and you don’t want to kill us. So why shoot?” British war correspondent Philip Gibbs summed up the contradiction in simple, damning terms: “The war had become the most tragic farce in the world. The frightful senselessness of it was apparent when the enemies of two nations fighting to the death stood in the grey mist together and liked each other. It became so apparent that army orders had to be issued stopping such truces.”

It’s worth noting, however, that the truce wasn’t universal. According to British eyewitnesses, German troops from Saxony were often eager to fraternize, perhaps because of their shared ethnic heritage with the Anglo-Saxons, whereas Prussian troops were much less likely to make any friendly gestures, if only because they were under the stern supervision of committed Prussian officers. Meanwhile, on the Allied side, French troops were understandably also less inclined to fraternize with invaders occupying their own homeland - indeed, in some cases, their own homes. And regardless of nationality, some individuals simply seemed unable to put aside their personal hatred of the enemy. A Bavarian dispatch runner, Adolf Hitler, voiced strong disapproval of the truce, according to one of his fellow dispatch runners, who later recounted: “He said, ‘Something like this should not even be up for discussion during wartime.’”

Although some men held back, the Christmas Truce still delivered an unambiguous message to the world that the ideal of a universal humanity, along with basic values like human kindness, had not yet fallen victim to the war. The war would continue, but that declaration would not be effaced, lasting until the present day. Back in the trenches Roe captured the wrenching sense of sadness among soldiers who would have to continue fighting, knowing neither they nor their enemy wanted to:

“Would the Spirit of Christmas be maintained?... Would ambitious Statesmen and Warlords, who only think of the Regimental officer and common soldier in terms of mathematics, cast aside their ambitions, stupidity, pride and hatred and allow the angel of peace, instead of the angel of death, to spread his wings over stricken and bleeding humanity. I, or any of my comrades, as far as I can ascertain, bear no malice or hatred against the German soldier. He has got to do as he is told, and so have we… I’m afraid I’m a damn bad soldier. I’m preaching peace in the spirit of Christmas.”

Mental Floss / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / History / The WWI Christmas Truce of 1914 (YouTube)video

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,

till thou return unto the ground;

for out of it wast thou taken:

for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

~ Genesis 3:19

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“The secret to change

is to focus all of your energy,

not on fighting the old,

but on building the new.”

~ Socrates

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Learned”

“Every saint has a past

and every sinner has a future.”

~ 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)

Rabbits pictured surfing on sheep's backs to escape rising floodwaters

Rabbits pictured surfing on sheep's backs to escape rising floodwaters

A farmer has photographed wild rabbits riding on the backs of sheep to escape rising floodwaters during heavy rain in New Zealand.

Ferg Horne, 64, said he had never seen anything like it and snapped the pictures because he knew his family would never believe what he had witnessed.

“I couldn't believe it for a start”, he added.

Mr Horne was trudging through the deluge to rescue a neighbour's 40 sheep from the floodwaters on Saturday at their South Island farm near Dunedin when he spotted some dark shapes from a distance.

He was puzzled because he knew his neighbour, who was away in Russia attending a nephew's wedding, did not have any black-faced sheep.

Then he saw the bedraggled wild rabbits hitching a ride - two atop one sheep and a third on another.

The sheep were huddled together on a high spot on the farm, standing in about three inches of water.

Mr Horne said the rabbits had got wet but seemed fairly comfortable and relaxed atop their fleeced friends. /p>

The farmer typically shoots rabbits - which are considered pests in New Zealand - when he sees one.

“But they'd showed so much initiative, I thought they deserved to live, those rabbits”, he said.

Mr Horne herded the sheep to a patch of dry ground on the farm about 50 metres away.

“As they jumped through the water, the rabbits had a jolly good try at staying on”, he said.

He added the rabbits appeared to cling onto the wool with their paws. They fell off as they reached higher ground but managed to climb a hedge to safety.

Mr Horne returned later that afternoon to find the floodwaters receding, the sheep all safe, and the rabbits long gone.

The farmer's home also remained dry.

Independent UK (07/26/2017) video

How Much Weight Would Santa Gain From Eating Milk and Cookies

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: How Much Weight Would Santa Gain From Eating Milk and Cookies

This is a simple question for the Factor Label Method. This method, also known as dimensional analysis or unit analysis, make problems a breeze. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in doing seemingly hard math problems like this one. Here’s how you use it:

1. Write your given “1 Santa Claus” - on the left side of your paper

2. Write your desired answer “pounds” - on the right side of your paper

3. Make a chain of units from left to right (no numbers required).

4. Fill in the numbers

5. Multiply by all the tops (numerators)

6. Divide by all the bottoms (denominators)

7. Clean up

In just 7 simple steps you’ve got an answer. Here’s my answer. (Note: I assumed a cookie has 200 calories and a glass of milk has 100 calories. Your results will vary based on the type of cookie. I also assumed around 2 billion houses.) Here’s my Factor Label Method:

How Much Weight Would Santa Gain From Eating Milk and Cookies

Answer: 400,000,000 pounds.

One of the best things about mathematics of this kind is that, by approximating in this way, you can see the magnitude of your answer. This answer is 400 million pounds, but it might be 300 or 500 million, depending on your assumptions.

But for the real world, the Factor Label Method is the next best thing to magic.

ForbesQuaraSpoon UniversityWikipediaHow Much Weight Would Santa Gain From Eating Milk and Cookies (YouTube Search) video

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Bilge Juice: Non-sanctioned alcoholic beverage created while on long deployments by mixing yeast, water and sugar.

Bilge Rat: Someone who works in the engineering spaces. On submarines the bilge rat is usually the smallest non-qual in the division, although bilges are great places for a field day assignment (good for napping) so a senior second class petty officer might call dibs on a bilge.

Bilge Troll: Engine room lower level watchstander; junior enlisted nuke machinist mate on sub.

Bilge Turd: Derogatory term for “Boiler Technician”, typically from Machinist Mates who attend the identical A school.

Bilge Water: Something spoken that is nonsense or ridiculous.

BINGO: Minimum fuel needed to return to base (RTB).

Binnacle List: The daily list of ship's crew who are sick in quarters (see below). So called because in the old days of sailing, this list was posted on the binnacle, the casing that housed the ship's compass.

Bird: Aircraft.

Birdfarm: Aircraft Carrier.

Just for MARINES - The Few. The Proud.

Just for you MARINE

Bachelor Enlisted Quarters: Living spaces for single enlisted Marines; usually a barracks.

BCD: Bad Conduct Discharge; also known as Big Chicken Dinner.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Patrol Squadron Twenty Six (VP-26) - nicknamed the “Tridents”

United States Navy - Naval Air Station, Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Jacksonville, Florida - Established September, 1 1948.

Where Did That Saying Come From

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Merry Christmas”

Merry Christmas:”  Meaning: The traditional greeting at Christmas - very commonly used on Christmas cards.

History: “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You” was the verse that was shown on the first commercially available Christmas card in 1843. Christmases has been merry long before that though. The use of 'Merry Christmas' as a seasonal salutation dates back to at least 1534, when, on 22nd December, John Fisher wished the season's greetings in a letter to Thomas Cromwell, recorded in Strype Ecclesiastical memorials, 1816):

“And this our Lord God send you a mery Christmas, and a comfortable, to your heart’s desire. ”

1843 was the date of the publication of Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol and it was around that time, in the early part of the reign of Queen Victoria, that Christmas as we now know it was largely invented. The word merry was then beginning to take on its current meaning of 'jovial, and outgoing' (and, let's face it, probably mildly intoxicated). Prior to that, in the times when other 'merry' phrases were coined, for example, make merry (circa 1300), Merry England (circa 1400) and the merry month of May (1560s), merry had a different meaning, that is, 'pleasant, peaceful and agreeable'.

That change in meaning is apparently viewed with disfavour by Queen Elizabeth II, who wishes her subjects a 'happy' rather than 'merry' Christmas in her annual Christmas broadcasts. The idea of a modern-day merry England is presumably unwelcome at the palace.

The best-known allusion to merriment at Christmas is the English carol God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen. The source of this piece isn't known. It was first published in William Sandys' Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern in 1833, although versions of it probably existed as a folk-song and tune well before that but weren't written down. Sir Thomas Elyot, lists the phrase 'rest you merry' in his Dictionary in 1548:

“Aye, bee thou gladde: or joyfull, as the vulgare people saie Reste you mery.”

It is often assumed that the carol's lyric portrays the wish that jovial gentlemen might enjoy repose and tranquillity. The punctuation of the song suggests otherwise though - it's 'God rest ye merry, gentlemen', not 'God rest ye, merry gentlemen'. In this context 'to rest' doesn't mean 'to repose' but 'to keep, or remain as you are' - like the 'rest' in 'rest assured'.

'Rest ye merry' means 'remain peacefully content' and the carol contains the wish that God should grant that favour to gentlemen (gentlewomen were presumably busy in the kitchen). It isn't the 'rest' that is being given but the 'merry'. Anyone misreading that comma is in good company though. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen was the carol that Dickens was referring to in A Christmas Carol:

“The owner of one scant young nose, gnawed and mumbled by the hungry cold as bones are gnawed by dogs, stooped down at Scrooge's keyhole to regale him with a Christmas carol: but at the first sound of

“God bless you, merry gentleman!

May nothing you dismay!”

Scrooge seized the ruler with such energy of action that the singer fled in terror.”

Phrases.org UK

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Mars May Have Enough Oxygen to Sustain Subsurface LifeMysterious 'Headless Chicken Monster' Spotted in Ocean Near AntarcticaThe CIA Gave U-2 Pilots a Special Diet So They Wouldn't Have To PoopThe Best Oscillating Tools: Put to the Test (Heavy-duty oscillating multitools can take on nearly anything—sanding, removing grout, and making quick cuts in awkward spaces)Five Digital Distance Tools That'll Replace Your Tape MeasureUnlucky Man Had BMW Crushed While He Was Getting Surgery

http://www.popularmechanics.com/" target="_blank" rel="external nofollow">Popular Mechanics

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

What's Going On With That Bizarre Rectangular Iceberg?

What's Going On With That Bizarre Rectangular Iceberg?

An iceberg recently spotted by NASA scientists looks like it was carefully cut into a perfect rectangle, and it's getting a lot of attention because of those unexpected angles and straight lines.

It looks nothing like the craggy, uneven mass that sunk the Titanic, perhaps the most famous iceberg ever.

But in fact, there is little that is particularly unusual about the iceberg photographed floating near the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica, as sea ice specialist Alek Petty explains. He's a research scientist with NASA's Operation IceBridge, the group that took the stunning photo, and is based at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

He says it's a kind of formation called a tabular iceberg. They form in Antarctica, he says, “where we have these really wide floating ice shelves connected to land.” The ice is “being kind of spread out in this very thin layer”, Petty says, and "because it's ice and it's brittle, if that gets too weak or it comes into contact with something else, it can shatter and kind of break apart.”

What's Going On With That Bizarre Rectangular Iceberg?

Petty compares the process to a fingernail that grows and grows, “then it gets very weak because really that ice is being kind of extended out into the ocean”, leaving less support for the floating ice. At that point, tides or strong winds could break icebergs off.

This iceberg probably recently calved from the ice shelf, NASA says. And the portion above the surface is likely just 10 percent of the total iceberg, Petty says.

But why such straight lines? Petty compares it to a glass plate that shatters – the lines are typically very straight. "“You can just get these fracture lines that can form these interesting geometric structures”, he says, and points out a different, triangle-shaped iceberg spotted by NASA scientists recently.

The rectangular iceberg is about a mile wide, Petty says – considerably smaller than another well-known iceberg from the Larsen C ice shelf. After years of anticipation by scientists, a formation the size of Delaware broke off from Antarctica last year. That iceberg measured about 2,300 square miles, as NPR's Geoff Brumfiel reported.

NASA's Operation IceBridge, which monitors polar ice using plane surveys, has been going on for a decade. But this is the first year that the scientists will also survey Antarctica using the new Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2.

“IceBridge and ICESat-2 both use laser altimeters that fire pulses of light toward the ground and measure how long it takes for that light to bounce off the ice and return to the instruments' sensors”, NASA said earlier this month. “Scientists can then calculate the distance between the aircraft or the satellite and the ice surface, which gives them the ice height.”

The size and illumination technology of Chengdu's artificial moon are not yet available, so it remains unclear if the brightness of the proposed artificial satellite would indeed be intense enough to interfere with the routines of local wildlife. In addition, while the company is calling it a “satellite”, which suggests that it will be launched into geostationary orbit - in which the orb circles the Earth above the equator - no details have been released about how the company plans to deploy the “artificial moon”.

National Public Radio (NPR) (10/23/2018) video

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


“Jingle Bell Rock” -  Bobby Helms 1963

“Jingle Bell Rock” - Bobby Helms
Album: Jingle Bell Rock
Released 1963 video

Jingle Bell Rock is considered the first mainstream rock 'n' roll Christmas song. Helms was a new, relatively successful Country artist with two #1 country hits in 1957, "Fraulein" and "My Special Angel," both of which were crossover hits that made it into the pop Top 40.

Although this was released only two days before Christmas in 1957, the single still hit #6 on the pop chart. The song was re-released around Christmas in 1958 and again in 1960, making it back to the charts each time.

The B-side of the single is "Captain Santa Claus And His Reindeer Space Patrol."

Many artists have covered this song, including Hall & Oates, The Platters, 38 Special, and The Beach Boys. The only other version to chart was by Chubby Checker and Bobby Rydell; their rendition hit #21 in 1962.

The Hall & Oates version, released in 1983, was accompanied by an exceptionally campy video that got a lot of airplay on MTV, which launched in 1981. When we asked Daryl Hall why they covered the song, he said that he was in a rockabilly phase at the time and wanted to do a rockabilly Christmas song.

This song is credited to Joe Beal and Jim Boothe. Hank "Sugarfoot" Garland played guitar on this track as well as Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree." Before his death, Garland filed suit against the record label, claiming that he and Helms, not Beal and Boothe, wrote the song.

In a 1986 interview, Helms said he made significant changes to many of his songs, but never got credit. "Jingle Bell Rock," he said, originally didn't have a bridge so he wrote one ("What a bright time, it's the right time, to rock the night away...").

Helms' version has been used in several TV shows, including The Wonder Years, Chuck, House M.D., It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Simpsons, South Park, Family Guy and Once Upon A Time. It's also featured in the movies Lethal Weapon (1987), Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, Jingle All The Way (1996), and Vanilla Sky (2001).

Image: “Jingle Bell Rock (album)” by Bobby Helms

“Run Rudolph Run” - Chuck Berry 1958

“Run Rudolph Run” - Chuck Berry
Album: Christmas Classics
Released 1958 video

Chuck Berry based this tale on “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeervideo, giving Rudolph a bit of an attitude as he delivers the toys. Unlike Santa, however, Rudolph is copyrighted, and Berry had to give the publishing rights to Johnny Marks, who wrote the original Rudolph. Perhaps if Berry had used “Randolph” (another reindeer he mentions), he could have kept the publishing. That's what the makers of the British TV special Robbie the Reindeer did.

The song is sometimes known as “Run Run Rudolph”, which is how it appears on Lynyrd Skynyrd's cover. Other artists to record the song include Sheryl Crow, Bryan Adams, The Grateful Dead, Jimmy Buffett, Dwight Yoakam, Bon Jovi and Keith Richards.

This was used in the 1990 movie Home Alone in one of those pre-9/11 airport scenes where the family rushes to the gate and barely makes their plane (minus Macaulay Culkin). Other films the song has appeared in include Diner, The Santa Clause 2, Cast Away and Jingle All the Way.

Chuck Berry official website / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / Wikipedia

Image: “Christmas Classics (album)” by Chuck Berry



A Charlie Brown Christmas: In dictating a letter to Santa, Sally ultimately asks Santa for one gift - “Just send money. How about tens and twenties?”.

Eight (no Rudolph!) reindeer are featured in the poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas?”

In the early 1800s, the first gingerbread houses were reportedly inspired by the famous fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel”.

Coca-Cola has been using Santa Claus in its advertising since 1931.

The Nutcracker a Christmas-themed ballet premiered in Saint Petersburg, Russia in 1892.

The Christmas edible Fruitcake is known for its long shelf life.


A Test for People Who Know Everything

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “BIRDS OF A FEATHER” ($200):

“Western screech, snowy, elf.”

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

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “BIRDS OF A FEATHER” ($400):

“Calliope, Anna's, ruby-throated.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer Audubon.org

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “BIRDS OF A FEATHER” ($1,000):

“Andean condor, turkey, Egyptian.”/p>

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

Answer to Last Week's Test

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “DECK THE 'HALL'” ($200):

“This company's Hall of Fame first came to TV on Christmas Eve 1951.”

● Answer: Hallmark. Wikipedia

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “DECK THE 'HALL'DECK THE 'HALL'” ($400):

“The space south of the Capitol Rotunda full of famous folks in marble.”

● Answer: Statuary Hall. Architect of the Capitol

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “DECK THE 'HALL'” ($1,000):

“2009 novel by Hilary Mantel about the court of Henry VIII.”/p>

● Answer: Wolf Hall. Reserve Bar

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

“Eli's Dirty Jokes - Wild Ski Trip”

“Eli's Dirty Jokes - Wild Ski Trip”

“Christmas Puns”

Joke of the Day

“Christmas Puns”

What did Adam say on the day before Christmas? It’s Christmas, Eve!

What is the difference between snowmen and snow-women? Snowballs.

Which of Santa’s reindeer needs to mind his manners the most? “Rude Olph”.

Why did they ask the turkey to join the band? He had the drum sticks.

What is the cow’s holiday greeting? Mooooory Christmas.

Why does Santa Claus go down the chimney on Christmas Eve? Because it soots him.

Why did the elf push his bed into the fireplace? He wanted to sleep like a log.

What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus? Claustrophobic.

Why does Santa have 3 gardens? So he can ho-ho-ho.

What do snowmen eat for breakfast? Snowflakes.

What do you call a chicken at the North Pole? Lost.

What would you get if you ate the Christmas decorations? Tinselitis.

Why did Santa go to jail? He sleighed an elf.

I love when candy canes are in mint condition.

Who delivers presents to baby sharks at Christmas? Santa Jaws!

What do you call an elf that can sing? A wrapper.

What type of Christmas dessert shouldn’t you trust? Mince spies!

Santa was forced to attend a Christmas party because his presents was required.

The North Pole doesn't import goods because it’s Elf Sufficient.

Christmas tree trend started because people thought it would spruce things up a bit.

Reindeer don't go to public school, they’re elf taught.

Santa Claus' favorite swimming spot is the North Pool.

What name does Santa Claus use when he takes a rest from delivering presents? Santa Pause!

The Turkey wasn't hungry at Christmas because he was already stuffed.