Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 20, 2019

Previous Week   May 13, 2019 - May 19, 2019  Next Week

Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII of England, is beheaded for adultery, treason, and incest on May 19, 1536

Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII of England, is beheaded for adultery, treason, and incest on May 19, 1536

Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII of England, is beheaded for adultery, treason, and incest: In 1536, England’s King Henry VIII accused his second wife Anne Boleyn, who had been crowned queen in 1533, of charges including adultery, incest and conspiracy against the king. At her trial, she was found guilty, and on May 19, 1536 she was taken to Tower Green in London, where she was beheaded by a French swordsman, rather than the standard axe-wielding executioner.

Historians believe the charges against her were false, issued by Henry VIII to remove Boleyn as his wife and enable him to marry his third wife, Jane Seymour, in hopes of producing a male heir.

Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII of England, is beheaded for adultery, treason, and incest on May 19, 1536

Who was Anne Boleyn before she became Queen?

Boleyn was a member of Henry VIII’s court, serving as a maid of honor to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, to whom he was married from 1509 to 1533. The king became smitten with Boleyn and pursued her, but she refused to become his mistress.

Anne Boleyn, who came from an aristocratic family, had served in the courts of other European royals. She was educated and skilled at the diversions expected of a charming member of court, such as dancing, singing and the game-like art of flirting. But she also had political functions at court. Like her father, a diplomat, Anne played a role in greeting foreign dignitaries and had some influence on matters of international affairs. In that capacity, she engaged with political leaders, including Thomas Cromwell, a politician who rose to become Henry VIII’s chief minister in 1532.

Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII of England, is beheaded for adultery, treason, and incest on May 19, 1536

Anne Boleyn played an important part in English history and the creation of the Church of England.

In order for Henry VIII to marry Anne Boleyn, his marriage to Catherine of Aragon needed to end. The king had found a new favorite in Anne, who he hoped would provide a son. (Catherine had not.) But Anne refused to be his mistress and held out for marriage.

Though divorce was not allowed under the Catholic church, Henry VIII persisted in seeking one. First, he argued to Pope Clement VII that his marriage to Catherine could be annulled because she had been married to his brother Arthur, who died shortly after their marriage. Henry based this argument on a Biblical passage in Leviticus that condemns marriage between a man and his brother’s wife. Therefore, Henry claimed, the Pope who granted the marriage had been wrong do so in the first place.

When Pope Clement VII refused to annul the marriage, Henry VIII took a step that would change the course of world history and religion. With the help and maneuvering of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII broke ties with the Catholic church in Rome, affirming the king’s view that the church should not have power over England’s sovereignty.

The king and Anne Boleyn were secretly married in January 1533, causing Henry and the Archbishop of Canterbury at the time, Thomas Cranmer, to be excommunicated from the Catholic church. This in turn led to the establishment of the Church of England, a major step in the Reformation that added England to the list of Protestant nations.

Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII of England, is beheaded for adultery, treason, and incest on May 19, 1536

Did Thomas Cromwell lead a conspiracy against Anne Boleyn?

Anne Boleyn fell from Henry VIII’s favor when she failed to give birth to a male heir. In 1533, she bore a female child, who would grow up to be Queen Elizabeth I. But Anne suffered miscarriages and her only male child was stillborn in January 1536.

At that point, Henry decided to make a change. He had been having adulterous relationships with two of the Queen’s maids-of-honor, Madge Shelton and Jane Seymour. The latter was fast gaining the king’s esteem.

Meanwhile, Boleyn and Cromwell were clashing on matters of foreign policy and the king’s finances. Historians are divided on the extent of Cromwell’s motives behind facilitating Boleyn’s demise, but in setting up the charges against her, he was certainly carrying out the king’s wishes.

Cromwell was part of a secret commission, one that included Boleyn’s father, to investigate her wrongdoing. Historians speculate that her father probably tried to warn her of the situation. But there was little she could do. Boleyn was accused of sexual affairs with male members of her court, who in some cases were tortured into making confessions. In addition, she was accused of incest with her own brother and of using sorcery to bewitch the king.

Boleyn was sent to confinement in the Tower of London and her trial took place on May 15, 1536. She was found guilty by a jury that included her own uncle and a former fiancé. By sending Anne to her death, Henry VIII cleared the way to marry Seymour, which he did on May 20, one day after Boleyn’s beheading.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / The Anne Boleyn Files / Tudor History.org / Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII of England, is beheaded for adultery, treason, and incest on May 19, 1536 (YouTube) video

Queen Elizabeth I of England orders the arrest of Mary, Queen of Scots on May 12, 1568

Queen Elizabeth I of England orders the arrest of Mary, Queen of Scots on May 12, 1568

Queen Elizabeth I of England orders the arrest of Mary, Queen of Scots: The Wildly Different Childhoods of Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots

Why Queen Elizabeth I signed a death warrant to execute the rival royal cousin she'd never met

Queen Elizabeth I of England and Mary, Queen of Scots were two of the greatest, most legendary rivals in recorded history - although they never even met. In one castle was Elizabeth, the childless “virgin” queen: bawdy, brilliant, tactical and cynical. In the other, Mary: feminine, charming, romantic and reckless.

Their decades’ long verbal boxing match over the English crown would end with Mary’s beheading at Fotheringhay Castle - with Elizabeth’s blessing - in 1587. But the two cousins’ tortured relationship was determined long before, during childhoods so dissimilar and defining that they would inform both Queens’ characters—and seal Mary’s tragic fate.

Queen Elizabeth I of England orders the arrest of Mary, Queen of Scots on May 12, 1568

Elizabeth I’s difficult childhood

Elizabeth, daughter of the mercurial King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn, was born on September 7, 1533, at Greenwich Palace. Though Anne had bewitched the King, she was despised by most of the court and the public. Her redheaded daughter was considered the “bastard child of a whore.”

Henry VIII had cast aside his universally respected Catholic wife, Catherine of Aragon, and their daughter, Mary, for Anne. He also broke with the Catholic Church when the Pope refused to validate his marriage to Anne. But the turmoil would be justified if Henry’s “concubine” produced the male heir that the King and kingdom had long prayed for.

It was not to be. “The King’s mistress was delivered of a girl, to the great disappointment and sorrow of the King, and of the Lady herself”, Eustace Chapuys, the hostile ambassador to the Holy Roman Empire, wrote, “and to the great shame and confusion of physicians, astrologers, wizards, and witches, all of whom affirmed that it would be a boy.”

This disappointment and her subsequent inability to produce a son, hastened the spectacular fall of Anne Boleyn. Although it is unknown whether three-year-old Elizabeth was aware of her mother’s execution in 1536, it appears the precocious, watchful girl was quick to notice the dramatic change in her station. “How haps it Governor”, she asked in 1537, “yesterday my Lady Princess, and today but my Lady Elizabeth?”

And so, the newly-styled Lady Elizabeth was declared illegitimate and coldly hidden out of her father’s sight, with a small household and little income. Things got so bad that the year of her mother’s death, Elizabeth’s governess pleaded for money, complaining the child “hath neither gown, nor kirtle, nor petticoat.”

Elizabeth’s childhood was not totally devoid of comfort. She developed a devoted little court, and a clutch of servants who would stay with her for decades. Governess Kat Ashley would be like a mother to Elizabeth, taking “great labor and pain in bringing me up in learning and honesty”.

The lonely child received a superior education. “The constitution of her mind is exempt from female weakness”, her tutor Robert Ascham would write. “She is endued with a masculine power of application. No apprehension can be quicker than hers, no memory more retentive.”

Elizabeth was occasionally brought to the English court where she impressed her distant father with her intellectual prowess. She also developed a relationship with her step-mother, Henry’s fifth wife, Katherine Howard, only to see the flighty teen executed by her father in 1542. It is said that this was the incident that prompted the practical nine-year-old to vow she would never marry.

Queen Elizabeth I of England orders the arrest of Mary, Queen of Scots on May 12, 1568

Mary, Queen of Scots’ pampered childhood

That same year, another ginger-haired princess was born on December 8 at Linlithgow Palace in Scotland. The frail infant, named Mary Stuart, was the only surviving child of the equally weak King James V of Scotland and his formidable wife, Mary of Guise. The child (Henry VIII’s great-niece) was Queen of Scotland nearly from birth, since her father died when she was only six days old. She was also raised to believe she was the lawful, rightful heir to the British throne.

“Mary’s sense of herself as queen had been with her from the dawning of her consciousness”, biographer Jane Dunn writes in Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens. “It was never disputed or tested, as was Elizabeth’s. This awareness of her pre-eminence was her companion through life, something taken for granted, the responsibilities to which she did not apply much profound thought nor, in the end, much value.”

The baby queen spent her first five years being moved from one palace to another in Scotland to keep her safe from the warring clans of the highlands. In 1548, when Mary was sent to her mother’s homeland of France to become the fiancée of the Dauphin, she was already a figure of romance and sympathy. For the next 13 years, the little Dauphiness- Queen would be worshipped by both the French royal family and her mother’s powerful family.

“The little Queen of Scots is the most perfect child that I have ever seen”, King Henry II of France proclaimed soon after meeting his new charge (Mary of Guise had stayed in Scotland to rule her daughter’s domain). His son, the sickly, despondent Francis, also adored his future wife and hung onto her every word.

Since Mary was already an anointed Queen, she walked before any of the French princesses, even the King’s own daughters. “It is impossible”, Mary’s doting grandmother wrote, “for her to be more honored than she is.”

“While her cousin Elizabeth’s youth was largely spent outside court life with her books and plans, and the occasional visitor to engage her thoughts”, writes Dunn, “Mary’s life from the age of six was lived at the very center of the most glamorous court in Christendom.”

Mary spent her childhood surrounded by cousins, slavish servants, tutors and pets. Her bills show that she had a lavish wardrobe the young Elizabeth could only have dreamed of, as well as dancing, horseback riding and singing lessons.

“In marked contrast to her cousin Elizabeth Tudor, Mary Stuart enjoyed an exceptionally cosseted youth”, Antonia Fraser writes in her biography Mary, Queen of Scots. “It is left to the judgement of history to decide whether it did, in fact, adequately prepare her for the extreme stresses with which the course of her later life confronted her.”

Queen Elizabeth I of England orders the arrest of Mary, Queen of Scots on May 12, 1568

Elizabeth’s teenage years were plagued by scandal

While the pretty, well-spoken Mary flourished, secure in her majesty, the stresses of royal life were almost crushing her cousin Elizabeth. After her father’s death in 1547, Elizabeth’s younger brother, Edward VI, ascended the throne. The teenage Elizabeth, long restored to the title of Princess, should have enjoyed a relatively benign fate. She was placed in the care of the learned Catherine Parr, her father’s last wife, with whom she had become very close.

However, the arrangement would end in disaster. Parr had married Thomas Seymour, brother of the Lord Protector of England, less than a year after Henry VIII’s death. Seymour was sexually inappropriate with Elizabeth, with his wife sometimes joining in. When confronted about his actions by Elizabeth’s governess Kat Ashley, he excused it as a bit of fun.

Elizabeth was sent away in disgrace, and her relationship with Seymour continued to haunt her. In 1549, the recently widowed Seymour was arrested for treasonous behavior; many believed he intended to marry Elizabeth and claim the throne in her name. To prevent this, Elizabeth was quarantined, and her beloved governess thrown in jail.

On the day of Thomas Seymour’s execution, she supposedly stated: “This day died a man with much wit and very little judgement.”

Worse was to come. In 1553, Elizabeth’s half sister, Mary Tudor (Catherine of Aragon’s Catholic daughter) became England's first female monarch. Elizabeth now took the position of “second person” in the country, causing her sister—who later became known as “Bloody Mary” - great anxiety.

According to many, Mary I had always despised her Protestant half sister. In 1554, the Protestant Wyatt’s Rebellion, which focused on securing the throne for Elizabeth, finally gave Mary the onus to unleash her pent-up rage against her relative. Elizabeth was thrown into the Tower of London, where her mother Anne Boleyn had died. As she entered, she cried out to the hundreds of Londoners who had come out to show her support, “Oh Lorde! I never thought to have come in here as prisoner!”

“The horror of her incarceration in the Tower was a defining event Elizabeth could never forget”, Dunn writes. After three weeks in prison Elizabeth was banished for almost a year before Mary pardoned her.

When Elizabeth finally became Queen in 1558, she had already lived through several lifetimes. “I did put myself to the school of experience”, she said decades later, “where I sought to learn what things were most fit for a king to have, and I found them to be four: namely, justice, temper[ance], magnanimity, and judgement.”

However, many of Elizabeth’s Catholic subjects believed that Mary, Queen of Scots was the rightful queen of England, since she was the senior descendant of Henry VIII's elder sister.

Queen Elizabeth I of England orders the arrest of Mary, Queen of Scots on May 12, 1568

Imprisonment and Death of Mary, Queen of Scots

Three years after Elizabeth became Queen, Mary returned to her Scottish kingdom, newly widowed after a short reign as Queen consort of France.

The coddled royal was neither prepared for the coarse Scots, nor the coldness of her cousin Elizabeth. As the “second person” in the line of succession, she expected Elizabeth to name her heir to the British throne. But Elizabeth refused to formalize the arrangement.

Mary’s second marriage was to her first cousin, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, a match that enraged Elizabeth I, who had not been asked permission for the marriage. After Darnley’s assassination, Mary wed James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, who may have been responsible for Darnley’s murder. The public found the marriage shocking, and Mary was denounced as as an adulteress (Bothwell had been married previously, so Catholics considered the marriage to Mary unlawful) and a murderer. Soon, Mary was forced to abdicate the Scottish throne in favor of her one-year-old son and imprisoned.

For Mary, her 19 years in captivity would be dull and repetitive, as she was shuffled from one minor English castle or manor to another. Due to her rank, Elizabeth demanded Mary be kept in relative luxury with a small retinue of loyal servants to keep her company. But her years of boredom gave Mary ample opportunity to write her cousin letters, hoping to convince Elizabeth that they could be partners instead of enemies.

“Little is known of Elizabeth’s inner feelings for Mary”, Fraser writes, “since the English queen had learnt in childhood to hide all inner feelings, those dangerous traitors, within the breast.”

However, when Mary’s involvement in the Babington Plot to assassinate Elizabeth and take the English throne was discovered, Elizabeth signed Mary’s death warrant with a flurry of other papers, and wished for her cousin's execution to take place without her knowledge.

It was nothing personal: in Elizabeth’s mind her hard-won crown - and therefore the security and prosperity of England itself - was in jeopardy if Mary stayed alive.

Mary, Queen of Scots was convicted of treason on October 25, 1586. She was executed by beheading on February 7, 1587 at Fotheringhay Castle, a week after Elizabeth signed the death warrant for the troublesome cousin she had never met.

Since her birth, Elizabeth had repeatedly been taught the most important lesson for any successful royal ruler. Almost all relationships - especially familial ones—are in the end, only political.

History Channel / Elizabeth I of England - Mary, Queen of Scots - Wikipedia / Elizabeth I, Queen of England - Mary, Queen of Scotland - Encyclopedia Britannica / Smithsonian / Queen Elizabeth I of England orders the arrest of Mary, Queen of Scots on May 12, 1568 (YouTube) video

“The USS Indianapolis”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“The USS Indianapolis”

It was in July of 1945

And the USS Indianapolis

Had a crew of nearly 12 hundred alive

But a Japanese sub fired and did not miss.

American sailors had completed their job

Delivering parts for the first atomic bomb

Some sank with the ship, others in the sea did bob

No food, few lifeboats, ocean deceptively calm.

Surprise attack, no distress signal had been sent

It was four days later those floating were spotted

The survival rate was just 25 percent

With hundreds of sailors’ bodies the sea was dotted.

In the movie “Jaws” as Captain Quint had related,

“The sharks came cruisin'. So we formed into tight groups.”

Six men per hour were killed while for help they waited

All were lost but 316 Navy troops.

Some victims died of exposure or starvation

But far more were killed by the sharks that had attacked

These men lost their lives in service to our nation

But bomb parts delivered had a deadlier impact.

One of the last ships that was sunk in World War II

The Indianapolis had turned the war’s tide

With a mission carried out by a courageous crew

Victory was soon celebrated by allies worldwide.

~ Diane Locksley

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“Suppose the world were only one of God’s jokes,

would you work any the less to make it a good joke

instead of a bad one?”

~ George Bernard Shaw

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“The value of an idea lies in the using of it.”

“Many of life’s failures are people

who did not realize how close they were to success

when they gave up.”

“There are in nature

neither rewards nor punishments,

there are consequences.”

~ Robert G. Ingersoll

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Learned”

“Nothing is more certain than the certainty of being uncertain.”

“No good deed goes unpunished.”

“Nothing is impossible.”

Possibly a variation of the Bible verse Luke 1:37 “For with God, Nothing shall be impossible.”

~ Anonymous

Second Hand News

Second Hand News (Links to Articles from Week 20 - May 13, 2019 - May 19, 2019)

Top News Stories - Photos (Washington Examiner) Former FBI General Counsel James Baker: Expects the Justice Department inspector general to find “mistakes” committed by the bureau in its handling of the Trump-Russia investigationAttorney General William Barr tasks federal prosecutor with investigating genesis of Trump-Russia probeJustice Department working to disqualify ex-Obama official from defending Chinese technology firm Huawei in high-profile criminal case

Biden downplays China again after bowing to pressureCalls for William Barr to investigate former Secretary of State John Kerry in secret talks with the Iranian government to salvage the Iran nuclear dealFor now, talk of war with Iran is just talk

Dow Jones down 617 points as trade war fuels worst day since JanuarySupreme Court crushes Apple's defense against iPhone app lawsuitInitial U.S. analysis shows Iran likely behind attack on Saudi oil tankers

Editor's Picks: Mueller prosecutor: FBI began obstruction case before special counsel appointmentBernie Sanders downplays socialist label on campaign trailBeto O’Rourke: Tax wealthy whites to transfer money to disadvantagedJill Biden describes how she met Joe's 'happy, and incredibly proud' first wife a month before she was killed

No Collusion: 10 anonymously sourced Trump-Russia bombshells that look like busts

Commentary - Washington Secrets - Red Alert: Rashida Tlaib says thinking of the Holocaust provides her a 'calming feeling,' shockingly claims Palestinians created 'safe haven' for JewsCuban homosexuals and the intellectual vacuity of Democrats' human rights rhetoricDeath is a poignant reminder of how to live

Xi Jinping needs to steal U.S. intellectual property in order to maintain economic growth, and to support his developing cyber, satellite, and conventional military powerMueller, Trump, and “two years of bullshit”Democratic Party cybersecurity: A reminder that these people shouldn't be within 100 miles of our healthcare Washington Examiner

Top News Stories - Photos (Daily Mail) Attorney General William Barr launches investigation into 'spying' on the Trump campaign: taps top prosecutor to look into whether intelligence gathering in the Russia probe was 'lawful and appropriate'Rod Rosenstein tears into James Comey by calling him a 'partisan pundit' who 'deserved' to be fired' and slams the former FBI director for 'selling books and earning speaking fees while speculating about the fate of my immortal soul'

'It WAS sabotage': Iran used EXPLOSIVES to blow a hole in four ships anchored off UAE coast, says Pentagon as Spain pulls frigate from the Gulf amid fears of looming conflictExplosive-laden drones attack oil pipelines in Saudi Arabia in 'act of terrorism': Iran-backed Yemen rebels target global oil supply two days after sabotage of tankers off UAE coast amid looming conflict in the Middle EastWhite House plans to deploy 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran attacks American forces in alarming echoes of the Iraq War

Donald Trump claims it has been 'a rough time' for Muslims and people of other faiths after devastating terror attacks on places of worship during the White House IftarUproar follows U.S. congresswoman' Rashida Tlaib after she said that thinking about the Holocaust gives her a 'calming feeling' because Palestinians provided a 'safe haven to Jews' after after the Second World War

Chinese technology firm Huawei founder 'would shut the company down' if he was asked to eavesdrop on phone calls, claims tech firm's man-in-Europe'Oldest person in the world' dies 'aged 123': Russian shepherd who claimed he was born under last Tsar and said the secret to a long life was 11 hours of sleep per night and avoiding doctors passes away Daily Mail UK

What Is the Big Bang Theory?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: What Is the Big Bang Theory?

Big Bang Theory - The Premise

The Big Bang theory is an effort to explain what happened at the very beginning of our universe. Discoveries in astronomy and physics have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that our universe did in fact have a beginning. Prior to that moment there was nothing; during and after that moment there was something: our universe. The big bang theory is an effort to explain what happened during and after that moment.

According to the standard theory, our universe sprang into existence as "singularity" around 13.7 billion years ago. What is a “singularity” and where does it come from? Well, to be honest, we don't know for sure. Singularities are zones which defy our current understanding of physics. They are thought to exist at the core of "black holes." Black holes are areas of intense gravitational pressure. The pressure is thought to be so intense that finite matter is actually squished into infinite density (a mathematical concept which truly boggles the mind). These zones of infinite density are called “singularities”. Our universe is thought to have begun as an infinitesimally small, infinitely hot, infinitely dense, something - a singularity. Where did it come from? We don't know. Why did it appear? We don't know.

After its initial appearance, it apparently inflated (the “Big Bang”), expanded and cooled, going from very, very small and very, very hot, to the size and temperature of our current universe. It continues to expand and cool to this day and we are inside of it: incredible creatures living on a unique planet, circling a beautiful star clustered together with several hundred billion other stars in a galaxy soaring through the cosmos, all of which is inside of an expanding universe that began as an infinitesimal singularity which appeared out of nowhere for reasons unknown. This is the Big Bang theory.

What Is the Big Bang Theory?

Big Bang Theory - Common Misconception

There are many misconceptions surrounding the Big Bang theory. For example, we tend to imagine a giant explosion. Experts however say that there was no explosion; there was (and continues to be) an expansion. Rather than imagining a balloon popping and releasing its contents, imagine a balloon expanding: an infinitesimally small balloon expanding to the size of our current universe.

Another misconception is that we tend to image the singularity as a little fireball appearing somewhere in space. According to the many experts however, space didn't exist prior to the Big Bang. Back in the late '60s and early '70s, when men first walked upon the moon, “three British astrophysicists, Steven Hawking, George Ellis, and Roger Penrose turned their attention to the Theory of Relativity and its implications regarding our notions of time. In 1968 and 1970, they published papers in which they extended Einstein's Theory of General Relativity to include measurements of time and space. According to their calculations, time and space had a finite beginning that corresponded to the origin of matter and energy.” The singularity didn't appear in space; rather, space began inside of the singularity. Prior to the singularity, nothing existed, not space, time, matter, or energy - nothing. So where and in what did the singularity appear if not in space? We don't know. We don't know where it came from, why it's here, or even where it is. All we really know is that we are inside of it and at one time it didn't exist and neither did we.

What Is the Big Bang Theory?

Big Bang Theory - Evidence for the Theory

• First of all, we are reasonably certain that the universe had a beginning.

• Second, galaxies appear to be moving away from us at speeds proportional to their distance. This is called “Hubble's Law”, named after Edwin Hubble (1889-1953) who discovered this phenomenon in 1929. This observation supports the expansion of the universe and suggests that the universe was once compacted.

• Third, if the universe was initially very, very hot as the Big Bang suggests, we should be able to find some remnant of this heat. In 1965, Radioastronomers Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson discovered a 2.725 degree Kelvin (-454.765 degree Fahrenheit, -270.425 degree Celsius) Cosmic Microwave Background radiation (CMB) which pervades the observable universe. This is thought to be the remnant which scientists were looking for. Penzias and Wilson shared in the 1978 Nobel Prize for Physics for their discovery.

• Finally, the abundance of the “light elements” Hydrogen and Helium found in the observable universe are thought to support the Big Bang model of origins.

Big Bang Theory - The Only Plausible Theory?

Is the standard Big Bang theory the only model consistent with these evidences? No, it's just the most popular one. Internationally renown Astrophysicist George F. R. Ellis explains: “People need to be aware that there is a range of models that could explain the observations….For instance, I can construct you a spherically symmetrical universe with Earth at its center, and you cannot disprove it based on observations….You can only exclude it on philosophical grounds. In my view there is absolutely nothing wrong in that. What I want to bring into the open is the fact that we are using philosophical criteria in choosing our models. A lot of cosmology tries to hide that.”

In 2003, Physicist Robert Gentry proposed an attractive alternative to the standard theory, an alternative which also accounts for the evidences listed above.5 Dr. Gentry claims that the standard Big Bang model is founded upon a faulty paradigm (the Friedmann-lemaitre expanding-spacetime paradigm) which he claims is inconsistent with the empirical data. He chooses instead to base his model on Einstein's static-spacetime paradigm which he claims is the "genuine cosmic Rosetta." Gentry has published several papers outlining what he considers to be serious flaws in the standard Big Bang model.6 Other high-profile dissenters include Nobel laureate Dr. Hannes Alfvйn, Professor Geoffrey Burbidge, Dr. Halton Arp, and the renowned British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle, who is accredited with first coining the term "the Big Bang" during a BBC radio broadcast in 1950.

What Is the Big Bang Theory?

Big Bang Theory - What About God?

Any discussion of the Big Bang theory would be incomplete without asking the question, what about God? This is because cosmogony (the study of the origin of the universe) is an area where science and theology meet. Creation was a supernatural event. That is, it took place outside of the natural realm. This fact begs the question: is there anything else which exists outside of the natural realm? Specifically, is there a master Architect out there? We know that this universe had a beginning. Was God the “First Cause”? We won't attempt to answer that question in this short article. We just ask the question: Does God Exist?

Does God exist? An answer to this fundamental question is a prerequisite for answering the other big questions of life: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Do we serve a purpose? Do we have any intrinsic value? What happens after we die? The question of the existence of God is fundamental.

What Is the Big Bang Theory?

Does God Exist - Things to Consider

Once you're ready to ask the question, “does God exist?” here are a few observations to consider as you begin your search for an objective answer:

• Discoveries in astronomy have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that the universe did, in fact, have a beginning. There was a single moment of creation.

• Advances in molecular biology have revealed vast amounts of information encoded in each and every living cell, and molecular biologists have discovered thousands upon thousands of exquisitely designed machines at the molecular level. Information requires intelligence and design requires a designer.

• Biochemists and mathematicians have calculated the odds against life arising from non-life naturally via unintelligent processes. The odds are astronomical. In fact, scientists aren't even sure if life could have evolved naturally via unintelligent processes. If life did not arise by chance, how did it arise?

• The universe is ordered by natural laws. Where did these laws come from and what purpose do they serve?

• Philosophers agree that a transcendent Law Giver is the only plausible explanation for an objective moral standard. So, ask yourself if you believe in right and wrong and then ask yourself why. Who gave you your conscience? Why does it exist?

• People of every race, creed, color, and culture, both men and women, young and old, wise and foolish, from the educated to the ignorant, claim to have personally experienced something of the supernatural. So what are we supposed to do with these prodigious accounts of divine healing, prophetic revelation, answered prayer, and other miraculous phenomena? Ignorance and imagination may have played a part to be sure, but is there something more?

Discover, Big Bang TheoryEncyclopedia BritannicaNational GeographicQuoraWikipedia / Big Bang Theory creation (YouTube) video

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Cryppy, Cryppy Critter: Cryptographer.

CSO: Combat Systems Officer: Officer responsible for maintenance of a ship's combat system (gun, missile, radar, command control and communications systems).

Cum Dumpster: A shameless sycophant. A kiss-ass or a military base whore.

Cumshaw: The art of trading something that doesn't belong to you, to someone, for something that doesn't belong to them, not necessarily for personal gain, but to circumvent regular supply channels, or to obtain something not available through supply channels.

Cunt: A tear drop shaped piece of metal placed in the bottom loop of sail rigging to keep the rope from chaff wear during tie-down of open sails. i.e. “cunt ring”.


(1) Currently Unqualified Naval Trainee.

(2) Civilian Under Naval Training.

(3) Control Unit No-go Test.

Cunt Hair: A very small unit of measurement, used when eyeballing something.

“How much more till the pipe is in place?” - “Oh, about a cunt hair.” A “red cunt hair” is a slightly smaller unit of measurement. A “Royal Cunt Hair” is the finest unit of measure.

Cu Shing: The sound of shit when it hits the fan. Derogatory name for USS CUSHING (DD-985), especially with the Commodore embarked.

CVN 7 on 2: The USS Abraham Lincoln CVN-72. A play on words that hints at the escapades her crew may have been involved in.


(1) Chief Warrant Officer (W1–W5): A “Super Goat”, a highly qualified senior enlisted (E-7/E-8) person who has earned a commission through a competitive process and continues to work in their technical field. By definition, a technical specialist.

(2) Communications Watch Officer.

Just for MARINES - The Few. The Proud.

Just for you MARINE

CS: CS gas 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile, a white solid powder commonly used for CBRN defense training.

Cumshaw: Something extra or free, given as a favor or gift; pidgin expression using the Chinese word for “grateful thanks”, “kamsia”.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 (VRC-40) - nicknamed the “Rawhides”

United States Navy - Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia - Established July 1, 1960.

Where Did That Saying Come From

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Where Did That Saying Come From? “When in Rome, do as the Romans”

When in Rome, do as the Romans:”  Meaning: It is polite, and possibly also advantageous, to abide by the customs of a society when one is a visitor.

History: Why should an English proverb single out Rome and Roman values as especially to be emulated? Couldn't we have had a 'when in Ipswich, do as the Ipswichians do' for example? As it turns out, it's all to do with the travel arrangements of a couple of early Christian saints.

St Augustine: Letters Volume I was translated from the Latin by Sister W. Parsons and published in 1951. Letter 54 to Januarius contains this original text, which dates from circa 390AD:

“... Romanum venio, ieiuno Sabbato; hic sum, non ieiuno: sic etiam tu, ad quam forte ecclesiam veneris, eius morem serva, si cuiquam non vis esse scandalum nec quemquam tibi.”

which was translated as:

“When I go to Rome, I fast on Saturday, but here [Milan] I do not. Do you also follow the custom of whatever church you attend, if you do not want to give or receive scandal.”

Januarius, who was later canonised as a martyr saint, was Bishop of Naples at the time.

The above dates the source of the proverb to at least as early as the beginnings of the Christian church. The implied flexibility on dogma and acceptance of the religious and social practices of other cultures seems to be more akin to the contemporary Buddhist teachings of the Dalai Lama than those of present day Christian authorities.

The use of the proverb in English isn't recorded until much later - well into the Middle Ages.

Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy was first published in 1621. Burton makes oblique reference to the phrase, without using it explicitly:

“...like Mercury, the planet, are good with good, bad with bad. When they are at Rome, they do there as they see done, puritans with puritans, papists with papists.”

He was slightly pre-dated by Henry Porter, who came a little nearer to the present day version of the proverb in his play The pleasant history of the two angry women of Abington, 1599:

“Nay, I hope, as I have temperance to forbear drink, so have I patience to endure drink: Ile do as company dooth; for when a man doth to Rome come, he must do as there is done.”

The Interesting letters of Pope Clement XIV [a.k.a. Lorenzo Ganganelli] were published in 1777. Letter XLIV [to Prior Dom Galliard] contains the earliest version of the proverb as currently used in English that I have found in print:

“The siesto, or afternoon's nap of Italy, my most dear and reverend Father, would not have alarmed you so much, if you had recollected, that when we are at Rome, we should do as the Romans do.”

The proverb is so clichéd as to have been adapted to suit many other locations - a web search brings up thousands. Its familiarity, and the expectation that everyone knows the ending, has caused it also to be used in the shortened version - 'when in Rome...'. This dates back to at least the 1930s when a play of that title, written by Charles Faber, was performed in New York.

Phrases.org UK

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A Drunk Man Swallowed a Live, Venomous, Spiny Catfish. Here's What Happened.

A Drunk Man Swallowed a Live, Venomous, Spiny Catfish. Here's What Happened.

There are all sorts of drinking traditions. Some people sing songs as they down their alcohol. Others dance to thumping music. Somewhere in the vicinity of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, a group of young men, apparently inspired by the American television show “Jackass”, got in the habit of capping off their boozing by swallowing live fish.

This, it turns out, is a bad idea. Especially in the event that the fish have evolved to fight back.

According to a recent case report published in the journal Acta Oto-Laryngologica Case Reports, the young men typically swallowed live goldfish out of their home aquarium — small, squishy creatures that don't put up much of a fight. The fun stopped on April 3, 2016, when one of the men tried to take their tradition a bit further by swallowing a bronze catfish (Corydoras aeneus), a popular aquarium fish with some powerful natural defenses. [27 Oddest Medical Case Reports]

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the night ended with the 28-year-old man in the emergency room, where puzzled doctors carefully removed the spiny fish from the man's throat.

A Drunk Man Swallowed a Live, Venomous, Spiny Catfish. Here's What Happened.

Most animals know better

Most animals know better than to eat bronze catfish, said Kees Moeliker, a director at the Rotterdam Natural History Museum who reviewed the catfish remains after doctors removed them from the man's throat. That's for a good reason: Their cute 2- to 3-inch bodies (5 to 8 centimeters) are defended with spines, mounted on their pectoral fins. When the fish get stressed out - say, for example, when they're being swallowed by a predator - those spines become erect and can pump venom into the mouths of their attackers.

Because of this, bronze catfish “don't have predators like birds and other fishes”, Moeliker said. “Those who give it a try die, and natural selection does its work.”

Indeed, in the man's case, it appears that he quickly realized that he had made a grave mistake, according to a video of the incident that was described by the case report authors. Unfortunately, the video was not available to review or share. But the report includes a vivid description of what it showed. In the video, a crowd of men stood around drinking and shouting "grote vis, grote vis!" (Dutch for “Big fish! Big fish!”) One guy, holding a glass of clear water with the live catfish in it, tips it back, attempting to swallow it whole. Four seconds later, he spit the water and the fish out into his hands, and threw it on the table, where it floundered, appearing “distressed” and “agonized”, according to the report.

That might have been the end of it, if someone hadn't plucked the flopping catfish off the table and handed it to a third man, a 28-year-old whose trauma would become the subject of the case report. This unfortunate fellow swallowed some beer, and then dropped the still-living creature into his throat. [11 Weird Things People Have Swallowed]

Immediately, it was obvious something had gone wrong. The man tried to swallow more beer but couldn't. Ten seconds later, he was “gagging vigorously” and vomiting liquid. "In extreme distress," he shoved two fingers down his throat, trying to make himself gag but no luck. Someone administered what the doctors described as a “wrongly-applied Heimlich maneuver”, which again failed to produce the fish. The man spewed some blood into a bucket, and then the camera switched off.

Even so, the man apparently waited “several hours” before going to the hospital, after trying but failing to dislodge the fish with “more beer, honey and ice cream.”

A Drunk Man Swallowed a Live, Venomous, Spiny Catfish. Here's What Happened.

A “fish-like” structure

When the man finally made it to the emergency room, doctors looked down his throat using a tool called a laryngoscope, and spotted what they described as "a fish-like structure," according to the report. [Photos: The Freakiest-Looking Fish].

“This is definitely in the top three of weirdest medical cases I’ve encountered”, said case report co-author Dr. Linda Benoist, a medical resident at Rotterdam’s University Medical Center who treated the patient. Benoist said that she had been aware that the fish-swallowing game was a "bizarre" tradition among some young people in the area.

The catfish, she said, was already dead when the patient arrived, pressed up against the entrance to the man's esophagus, at the bottom of his throat. (The fish had probably suffocated, Moeliker said, noting that a few swallows of beer do not contain enough water for a fish to breathe in).

The man needed surgery to remove the fish, with the surgeons paying very close attention to carefully remove the fish's spines from the delicate tissue in the throat.

Fortunately, the procedure was a success. Though not much is known about the effects of bronze catfish venom on humans, it didn't appear to complicate the situation. As of the man's most recent follow-up with doctors, in March 2017, he is doing well.

The fish, meanwhile, ended up preserved at the Rotterdam Natural History Museum, which is right next door to the hospital. It joined an exhibit called “Dead Animal Tales” on dramatic collisions between animals and humans, Moeliker said.

Asked whether the drinking game is dangerous when only goldfish are involved, Benoist said, “I'm not an expert in goldfish swallowers, but I can imagine that fish species without [spikes] would slide easier into the stomach.”

Still, the researchers did highlight some other case studies where people choked on live fish, including one instance where a fisherman attempted to kiss a fish but it slid into his throat. It is recommended to eat fish dead and in bite-size pieces.

Live Science (01/25/2019) video

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“I'd Love To Change The World” - Ten Years After 1971

“I'd Love To Change The World” - Ten Years After
Album: A Space In Time
Released 1971 video

This song was written by guitarist Alvin Lee, who was the centerpiece of the group. “I'd love to change the world, but I don’t know what to do and I'll leave it up to you. I'm just saying the world does need changing”, he said of the song in Vintage Rock. “I'd love to do it, but I haven't got the talent. I don't think I'm a world changer.”

The song is a good look at what were considered the big problems in the world in 1971:

“Overpopulation, economic inequality, pollution, war.” Alvin Lee often said in later interviews that the song remained just as relevant despite the passage of time.

The first line in this song throws out a few slurs:

“Every where is freaks and hairies, dykes and fairies”

“Freaks” and “hairies” are terms that detractors used to describe the band - after all, they did play Woodstock. The dykes and fairies are likely a reflection on how others might see the world, and it also creates a memorable rhyme. Later in the song, Alvin Lee pulls out a rhyme of convenience in the lyrics:

“Life is funny

Skies are sunny

Bees make honey

Who needs money?”

Formed in Nottingham, England, Ten Years After made a huge impact when they played the Woodstock festival in 1969 - their performance of “I'm Going Home” made the film.

They released two albums in 1969, two more in 1970, and one in 1971 - A Space In Time, which contains “I'd Love To Change The World”. Their albums sold well, typically charting in the Top 25 in America, which was their stronghold. Hit singles were not a concern; Alvin Lee had almost a disdain for them because he didn't want his songs edited down and then talked over by a DJ.

“I'd Love To Change The World” was by far their biggest hit and most enduring song. Their other charting songs in America were “Love Like A Manvideo (#98, 1970), “Baby Won't You Let Me Rock 'N Roll Youvideo (#61, 1972) and “Choo Choo Mamavideo (#89, 1973). The group stopped performing in 1975 but regrouped every now and then. Alvin Lee died in 2013, but the band had been playing without him for about 10 years by that point.

The group was formed in 1966. They took their name because it was 10 years after what they considered the birth of rock and roll.

The band didn't play this song live while Albert Lee was a member, as he felt trying to re-create it on stage would be “too restricting”.

Ten Years After, official website / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ten Years After

Image: “A Space In Time (album)” by Ten Years After



● a. How many bones in the human body? b. Of these bones, about 1/4 of them are located in which part of the human body?

Answer to Trivia

● What is the name of the effect, named after a 19th Century Austrian physicist, which causes the sound of a moving object to change its pitch as it approaches and then passes you?

Answer to Trivia

● What 3rd century Bishop in Lycia, part of modern-day Turkey, who is remembered and revered among Catholic and Orthodox Christians, is commonly identified with the holiday season?

Answer to Trivia

● Before it began to lean, the tower of Pisa was built to be what?

Answer to Trivia


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“From the Middle Dutch word for "ship" comes this term for the captain of a small ship or boat.”

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“Bacteria comes from a Greek word meaning 'small stic'; this related word goes back to the Greek for 'small' & 'life'.”

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“June 6 just squeaks by as the anniversary of this.

● Answer: “D-Day”. Encyclopedia Britannica

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“This type of building with triangular front & back walls & a long sloping roof gets top marks.”

● Answer: A-frame. Encyclopedia Britannica

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“This setting that controls a camera lens aperture doesn't get a pass.”

● Answer: F-stop. Encyclopedia Britannica

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

“Weight Loss Program”

Joke of the Day

“Weight Loss Program”

A guy calls a company and orders their 5-day, 10 lb. weight loss program.

The next day, there's a knock on the door and there stands before him a voluptuous, athletic, 21 year old babe dressed in nothing but a pair of Nike running shoes and a sign around her neck.

She introduces herself as a representative of the weight loss company.

The sign reads, 'If you can catch me, you can have me.'

Without a second thought, he takes off after her.

A few miles later huffing and puffing, he finally gives up.

The same girl shows up for the next four days and the same thing happens.

On the fifth day, he weighs himself and is delighted to find he has lost 10 lbs. as promised.

He calls the company and orders their 5-day/20 pound program.

The next day there's a knock at the door and there stands the most stunning, beautiful, sexy woman he has ever seen in his life.

She is wearing nothing but Reebok running shoes and a sign around her neck that reads, “If you catch me you can have me.”

Well, he's out the door after her like a shot.

This girl is in excellent shape and hedoes his best, but no such luck.

So for the next four days, the same routine happenswith him gradually getting in better and better shape.

Much to his delight on the fifth day when he weighs himself, he discovers that hehas lost another 20 lbs. as promised.

He decides to go for broke and calls the company to order the 7-day/50 pound program.

“Are you sure?” asks the representative on the phone. “This is our most rigorous program.”

“Absolutely”, he replies, “I haven't felt this good in years.”

The next day there's a knock at the door; and when he opens it he finds a huge muscular guy standing there wearing nothing but pink running shoes and a sign around his neckthat reads, “If I catch you, you're mine.”

He lost 63 pounds that week.