Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 22, 2019

Previous Week   May 27, 2019 - June 02, 2019  Next Week

American Civil War ends on June 02, 1865

American Civil War ends on June 02, 1865

American Civil War ends: In an event that is generally regarded as marking the end of the Civil War, Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of Confederate forces west of the Mississippi, signs the surrender terms offered by Union negotiators. With Smith’s surrender, the last Confederate army ceased to exist, bringing a formal end to the bloodiest four years in U.S. history.

The American Civil War began on April 12, 1861, when Confederate shore batteries under General Pierre G.T. Beauregard opened fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina’s Charleston Bay. During 34 hours, 50 Confederate guns and mortars launched more than 4,000 rounds at the poorly supplied fort, and on April 13 U.S. Major Robert Anderson, commander of the Union garrison, surrendered.

Two days later, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteer soldiers to help quell the Southern “insurrection”. Four long years later, the Confederacy was defeated at the total cost of 620,000 Union and Confederate dead.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / Battle Fields.org / Ohio History Central.org / Biography / American Civil War ends on June 02, 1865 (YouTube) video

The Vandal Sack of Rome on June 02, 455

The Vandal Sack of Rome on June 02, 455

The Vandal Sack of Rome: Sack of Rome: Vandals enter Rome on June 02, 455, and plunder the city for two weeks.

Taking advantage of a coup in Rome, which resulted in the death of Emperor Valentinian III, the King of Vandals, Genseric, left Carthage with his fleet to the capital of the Western Roman Empire. The city was captured without a fight, being without troops. Pope Leo I persuaded the vandals not to destroy the city and not to kill the inhabitants in exchange for the surrender of Rome.

The pillaging of Rome by the vandals lasted two weeks – from June 2 to June 16, 455. These events are associated with the emergence of the term “vandalism” in the late 18th century, meaning the senseless destruction of cultural values.

Background of the Raid

At the end of the 4th century, the Germanic Vandal tribe under pressure moved from their habitats in Pannonia to the west. In 406, the Vandals, in alliance with the tribes of Alans and Sueves, broke into the Roman province of Gaul, ravaged it and in 409, captured Spain.

Under pressure from the Visigoths in 429, the Vandals with the Alans crossed Gibraltar to northern Africa, where they began successful wars with the Roman governor and Byzantine troops sent to his aid. In 439, the Vandals, violating the peace treaty, seized Carthage from the Romans, which became their capital. From this year, the birth of the Kingdom of Vandals and Alans, recognized in 442 by Emperor Valentinian III under the new peace treaty, began.

The Troubles in Rome

The legitimacy of the power of new Emperor Maxim was questionable (He presumably killed the last Emperor), therefore, just a few days after his proclamation, he married Licinius Eudoxia, the widow of Valentinian III. This marriage was forced and soon his new wife turned on him, calling the king of Vandals to avenge the death of her husband. This call was heard by the king of Vandals, Genseric, who mustered his army and sailed to Rome. Like the revenge for the old Hannibal and Carthage, Rome was doomed by the old city on the north African coast.

The Vandal Sack of Rome on June 02, 455

The Seizure and Pillage of Rome

Rome learned about the expedition of Genseric in advance. A panic broke out in the city, during which the emperor Maxim, who had been in power for less than 3 months, was killed. The new Emperor did not have the strength to challenge the new enemy, and was killed by his people who did not trust him. The city was in disarray; soldiers, civilians, barbarians, all feared for their lives. There was nobody to take charge of the situation and defend the city from an attack by the Vandals.

The King of Vandals was met at the gates of the city by Pope Leo I and persuaded to spare the city from arson, and the inhabitants from torture and murder. Prosper Aquitaine, the direct witness of the fall of Rome, noted in his chronicle, “When everything was subject to his authority, the king of Vandals refrained from fire, slaughter, and executions. So, for the next fourteen days, Rome was deprived of all its wealth, and along with the queen and her children, many thousands of captives were taken to Carthage.”The ruin of Rome was different from the earlier pillage of the Gothic leader Alaric, in 410. They looted treasures from the Roman palace, captured by the Roman emperor Titus Vespasian in Jerusalem in the 1st century.

The old city of Rome for the first time was looted and the glory and fame of the old city was lost. There was nobody to stop the Vandals from pillaging and killing the old might and fame was no more, Rome had fallen to the enemy, Rome was pillaged.

The Vandal Sack of Rome on June 02, 455


Vandals divided the captives from Rome between Vandals and Moors, and other raiders. Prisoners, among whom there were many noblemen, were redeemed for money. Bishop Victor Vitensky told about the participation of the Catholic Church in their release.

The daughter of Eudoxia, Evdokia, was married to Genseric. Genseric in 477 inherited the kingdom of the Vandals and Alans, and in 523 the king of Vandals became his son from Evdokia, Hilderich. Eudoxia herself, and her other daughter Placidia, were released to Constantinople two years later.

Rome, after the forcible raid from vandals for a month, was plunged into anarchy, that marked the end of its power. In July 455, the new emperor was proclaimed military commander, a companion of Aetius and a friend of the Gothic King, Theodoric II. Treasures looted by vandals in Rome were captured by the Byzantine army in 534, after the defeat of the barbarian kingdom and transported to Constantinople.

The Vandals’ raid became the second pillage of Rome in the 5th century, in 410, it was subjected to a 3-day robbery by the Visigoths of Alaric, a result of which part of the city was burned down. However, it was the Vandals’ raid that made a deep impression on contemporaries and left a notable mark in Catholic historiography. Although there is no information about the killings by the vandals of the townspeople, unlike the capture in 410, Genseric did not become like Alaric to take churches under protection.

During the Great French Revolution, the term “vandalism” arose in relation to the destruction of historical monuments. The term, despite its obvious unreliability, took root, began to denote the senseless destruction of spiritual and material cultural values and entered many languages of the world.

The Vandal Sack of Rome - Six Infamous Sacks of Rome - History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / Ancient History Encyclopedia.eu / The Vandal Sack of Rome on June 02, 455 (YouTube) video

“Mariner's 23rd Psalm” - “Unknown”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“Mariner's 23rd Psalm”

The Lord is my pilot, I shall not go adrift;

He lighteth my passage across dark channels;

He steereth me through the deep waters,

He keepeth my log.

He guideth me by the evening star for my safety's sake.

Yes, though I sail mid the thunders and tempests of life,

I fear no peril, for Thou art with me,

Thy stars and heavens, they comfort me.

The vastness of the sea upholds me.

Surely fair winds and safe harbors shall be found

All the days of my life;

And I shall dock, secure forever.

~ Unknown

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“When man learns to respect even the smallest being of Creation,

whether animal or vegetable,

nobody has to teach him to love his fellow man.

Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of


and it may be confidently asserted that

he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.”

~ Albert Schweitzer

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

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

“We live in deeds, not years

In thoughts not breaths;

In feelings, not in figures on a dial.

We should count time by heart throbs.

He most lives who thinks most,

feels the noblest,

acts the best.”

~ Aristotle

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Learned”

“Open minds and empty heads are not the same.”

“Oh what a stink of the rot!”

“Pray for what you want. Work for what you need.”

~ Anonymous

Second Hand News

Second Hand News (Links to Articles from Week 22 - May 27, 2019 - June 02, 2019)

Top News Stories - Photos (Washington Examiner) Trump never revoked John Brennan's security clearanceJudge who blocked border wall donated $20K to ObamaTrump slams 'activist Obama appointed judge' after border wall rulingFormer White House Communications Director Hope Hicks subpoena article in New York Times draws torrents of criticism from 'The Usual Suspects'

Iran says U.S. 'hostile policies' dangerous for the regionFAA investigates religious discrimination complaints after two airports exclude Chick-fil-ARV dealership refuses to take down massive American flag after city claims it violates ordinance

Editor's Picks: Senators demand answers over early release of 'American Taliban' John Walker LindhEdward Snowden: DOJ 'declared war' on journalism by charging Julian Assange with espionageAttorney General William Barr given power to declassify documents on surveillance activities into Trump campaign‘This is crazy’: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says ‘casual tornadoes’ are a new threat to the country

Commentary - Washington Secrets - Red Alert: Bring meaning and purpose to your Memorial DayOur military knows to put the mission first. Does Congress?As Barr mulls declassification, a familiar tune from criticsRein in politicized judges and their injunctionsScience deals a setback to Obamacare's transgender rule Washington Examiner

Top News Stories - Photos (Daily Mail) President Trump stands alongside First Lady Melania as he becomes the first foreign leader to meet Japan's new Emperor Naruhito in a stunning ceremony at Tokyo's Imperial PalaceNorth Korea calls National Security Advisor John Bolton a 'war monger' and a 'defective human product' for slamming Kim Jong-un's recent missile testsCalling farmers "patriots" won't pay the bills': Republican Senator Joni Ernst calls on Trump to end the trade war with China to save U.S. agriculture

President Trump tells Attorney General William Barr to declassify ALL documents related to 'spying' on his 2016 campaign and orders the FBI, CIA and 13 other intelligence agencies to cooperate with the AG's investigationRepublican Rep. Liz Cheney says texts between 'FBI lovers' Peter Strzok and Lisa Page during the Russia investigation 'sound like a coup' and 'could well be treason'

Trump unleashes on Democrats asking 'impeach for what' in a tweet after claiming opponents can't get over Mueller probe and declares: 'I'm only interested in what's good for our country'Trump slams Joe Biden as a 'low IQ individual' from Tokyo and says 'intelligent' people agree with him on North Korea in a rebuke to his security adviser - and Abe says he wants a summit with Kim, tooTrump demands libel laws are changed as he furiously hits out at NYU professor for tweeting made-up quote claiming the President thinks Kim Jong-un would be better at his job than Joe Biden

AOC slams The New York Times for framing an article on Hope Hicks's Congressional subpoena as a 'Lifetime drama' and for using a 'glamour shot' to show her 'weighing committing a crime'Chicago businessman, 76, charged with the SAME crime as Jussie Smollett was fined and now has a criminal record, while the disgraced actor who cost the city $130,000 by refusing to admit culpability had all charges dropped

Scott Pelley says he was ousted from CBS Evening News because he repeatedly complained to senior management about a hostile work environment Family of woman who hanged herself with her bra in jail after guards bet on her suicide and failed to help even when security tapes captured the sound of choking are awarded $860,000Legendary Green Bay Packers QB Bart Starr, who led the team to five championships including their first two Super Bowls, dies aged 85 Daily Mail UK

Top News Stories - Photos (John Batchelor) House Democrats choose Federal judges to harry the White House. audio

Waiting for Mueller in the Impeachment Dance. audio

Tehran comprehends that the U.S. will not attack with carriers in the Gulf audio

Red China is not tomorrow's world hegemon. audio

Putin reacted in amazement and befuddlement to Trump's 2016 election. audio

Investigate the Investigators: Attorney General William Barr names lawman John Durham to investigate the FBI investigators of 2016. audio John Batchelor (05/27/2019)

CORRUPTION CHRONICLES - Mainstream Media Scream: (Watch Dog On-Line Publications) CORRUPTION CHRONICLES: JUDICIAL WATCH UNCOVERS FBI KNEW OF HILLARY’S ABUSESDeep State - Ohr Deleting Emails? Court Orders Antifa Activist to Pay $22K to Judicial Watch, Another Clinton Email Coverup‘Investigating the Investigators’ - The FBI is Has a Chart of Hillary Clinton’s Potential Law Breaking LookU.S. Considers Honoring Muslims who Led Racist Anti-Semitic Cult, Called Whites “Devils”

Feds Use DUI Arrest Records to Catch Illegal Aliens Released by Sanctuary Cities Most Federal Crimes Involve Immigration, Drugs and are Executed by Hispanics The Qatar Connection: Judicial Watch Probes Funding of U.S. UniversityObama Judge Orders Florida to Provide Spanish Ballots for Puerto Ricans by 2020 Election Judicial Watch

What is Infinity?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: What is Infinity?

Albert Einstein famously said: “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe.”

The notion of infinity has been pondered by the greatest minds over the ages, from Aristotle to German mathematician Georg Cantor. To most people today, it is something that is never-ending or has no limit. But if you really start to think about what that means, it might blow your mind. Is infinity just an abstract concept? Or can it exist in the real world?

What is Infinity?


Infinity is firmly rooted in mathematics. But according to Justin Moore, a math researcher at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, even within the field there are slightly different uses of the word.

“It's often referred to as a sort of virtual number at the end of the real number line”, he tells Mental Floss. “Or it can mean something too big to be counted by a whole number.”

There isn't just one type of infinity, either. Counting, for example, represents a type of infinity that is unbounded - what's known as a potential infinity. In theory, you can go on counting forever without ever reaching a largest number. However, infinity can be bounded, too, like the infinity symbol, for example. You can loop around it an unlimited number of times, but you must follow its contour - or boundary.

All infinities may not be equal, either. At the end of the 19th century, Cantor controversially proved that some collections of counting numbers are bigger than the counting numbers themselves. Since the counting numbers are already infinite, it means that some infinities are larger than others. He also showed that some types of infinities may be uncountable, as opposed to collections like the counting numbers.

“At the time, it was shocking—a real surprise”, Oystein Linnebo, who researches philosophies of logic and mathematics at the University of Oslo tells. “But over the course of a few decades, it got absorbed into mathematics.”

Without infinity, many mathematical concepts would fall apart. The famous mathematical constant pi, for example, which is essential to many formulas involving the geometry of circles, spheres, and ellipses, is intrinsically linked to infinity. As an irrational number—a number that can't simply be expressed by a fraction—it's made up of an endless string of decimals.

And if infinity didn't exist, it would mean that there is a biggest number. “That would be a complete no-no“, says Linnebo. Any number can be used to find an even bigger number, so it just wouldn't work, he says.

What is Infinity?


In the real world, though, infinity has yet to be pinned down. Perhaps you've seen infinite reflections in a pair of parallel mirrors on opposite sides of a room. But that's an optical effect - the objects themselves are not infinite, of course. “It's highly controversial and dubious whether you have infinities in the real world”, says Linnebo. “Infinity has never been measured.”

Trying to measure infinity to prove it exists might in itself be a futile task. Measurement implies a finite quantity, so the result would be the absence of a concrete amount. “The reading would be off the scale, and that's all you would be able to tell”, says Linnebo.

The hunt for infinity in the real world has often turned to the universe - the biggest real thing that we know of. Yet there is no proof as to whether it is infinite or just very large. Einstein proposed that the universe is finite but unbounded—some sort of cross between the two. He described it as a variation of a sphere that is impossible to imagine.

We tend to think of infinity as being large, but some mathematicians have tried to seek out the infinitely small. In theory, if you take a segment between two points on a line, you should be able to divide it in two over and over again indefinitely. (This is the Xeno paradox known as dichotomy.) But if you try to apply the same logic to matter, you hit a roadblock. You can break down real-world objects into smaller and smaller pieces until you reach atoms and their elementary particles, such as electrons and the components of protons and neutrons. According to current knowledge, subatomic particles can't be broken down any further.

What is Infinity?


Black holes may be the closest we've come to detecting infinity in the real world. In the center of a black hole, a point called a singularity is a one-dimensional dot that is thought to contain a huge mass. Physicists theorize that at this bizarre location, some of the singularity's properties are infinite, such as density and curvature.

At the singularity, most of the laws of physics no longer work because these infinite quantities “break” many equations. Space and time, for example, are no longer two separate entities, and seem to merge.

According to Linnebo, though, black holes are far from being an example of a tangible infinity. “My impression is that the majority of physicists would say that is where our theory breaks down”, he says. “When you get infinite curvature or density, you are beyond the area where the theory applies.”

New theories may therefore be needed to describe this location, which seems to transcend what is possible in the physical world.

For now, infinity remains in the realm of the abstract. The human mind seems to have created the concept, yet can we even really picture what it looks like? Perhaps to truly envision it, our minds would need to be infinite as well.

Encyclopedia BritannicaMath.orgMental FlossQuoraWikipediaWonderopolis.org / What is Infinity? (YouTube) video

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Delta Sierra: “Dumb Shit”: A stupid mistake or poor performance, the opposite of “Bravo Zulu”.

Department: Highest organizational level in most naval commands. Common departments are combat systems (combination of some operations/weapons department divisions) supply, admin, deck, engineering, operations, and maintenance. These are broken up into divisions.

Dependopotamus: Term used for overweight dependents of sailors.

Deuce and a half: A 2.5 ton truck.

Dickbag: “Douche bag” or “dirt bag”.

Dick Skinners: Hands. “Get your dick skinners off my white hat.” Other terms include: Peter clamps, Meat hooks, Dick beaters.

Dicking the dog: Putting “half-assed” effort into a task. (Refers to improperly securing the “dogs” on a watertight hatch when passing through. Such a lax procedure could spell doom for a sinking ship if hatches were not absolutely watertight.) Also said as “poking the poodle” or “screwin' the pooch”. Not to be confused with “screwing the pooch” which refers to royally messing up a task.

Dicksmith (derogatory): A hospital corps member.

Deck: Floor.

Diddy Bag: Small white cloth bag with a drawstring. Issued in boot camp, used to store loose items, shoe polish stuff, etc.

Diddy Bopping: Walking around with no particular purpose.


(1) Term used mostly by disgruntled Nukes to refer to an “A.J. Squared Away” sailor. Utterance of the term is usually accompanied by the McDonald's tune followed by “I'm diggin' it” instead of “I'm lovin' it”.

(2) A multi-tool (aka Gerber, Leatherman, etc), while not authorized to perform ANY maintenance, is nonetheless carried by most engineers in Reactor spaces.


Just for MARINES - The Few. The Proud.

Just for you MARINE

Deep Six: To dispose of by throwing overboard ship.

Detachment: A portion of a unit sent independently of its parent organization, usually in support of a larger headquarters; or a small stand alone unit isolated geographically from its parent command.

Deuce Reference to the number two in various unit or equipment names; the senior intelligence officer for a unit;.

Deuce Gear: See 782 gear, from the last digit in that term.

Devil Dog or Devil: Nickname for Marines, from the German word “Teufel Hunden”, supposedly given by German troops at the Battle of Belleau Wood, though the correct grammatical form would be “Teufelshunde”.

Devil Nuts: A regional variation of devil dog and nickname for Marines. Popular with Marines serving at Marine Barracks Japan (Late 1990s era).

Devil Pup: Nickname for a Marine's child(ren); a member of the Young Marines; a patronizing nickname for a junior Marine. Mostly used by senior Marines to reference junior Marines in a polite way, and commonly used around higher ups..


Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 40 (VRC-40 Detachment 3) - 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 the going gets tough, the tough get going”

When the going gets tough, the tough get going:”  Meaning: When the going gets tough, the tough get going' means that, when times are difficult, those with resolve don't give up but are stimulated into action.

History: As might be expected the inspirational motto 'When the going gets tough, the tough get going' originated as a coaching mantra in American Football circles. It joins other similar motivational phrases that use wordplay for effect - 'Failing to plan is planning to fail' and 'Better to die on your feet than live on your knees', etc.

The first example that I can find of it in print comes from the Texas newspaper The Corpus Christi Caller Times, September 1953, which reports on a speech made by John Thomas, the coach of the Green Hornets football team:

John Thomas, who has been coaching the Green Hornets for 17 years, tore down the house as he mixed philosophy with wit, in as fine a speech as the Quarterbacks will hear all year.

The article then lists several uplifting slogans that Thomas had coined to encourage the team, finishing with:

As Thomas said: “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.”

Given the context it is plausible that Thomas coined the slogan himself.

The phrase is found in U.S. newspapers throughout the 1950s, mostly with reference to sports. By the 1980s it had become common enough in the wider community to spawn the parody version 'When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping', as here in this advice to teenagers from Len Albin, writing in Seventeen Magazine, December 1980:

Take in an upbeat movie, get a change of scenery, find a new hobby to occupy your attention, or follow the popular adage, “When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping.”

More recently there are as many jokey variants on the original as there are rhymes for going - 'get sewing', 'go rowing' and so on...

Phrases.org UK

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)

Why Physicists Are Interested in the Mysterious Quirks of the Heftiest Quark

Why Physicists Are Interested in the Mysterious Quirks of the Heftiest Quark

So there are these things called quarks. (I know, I wish they had a better name, but I'm not in charge of naming things in physics.) Quarks are little teensy tiny particles (we'll get to exactly how small in a bit) that are fundamental building blocks of matter. As far as we can tell, quarks themselves are not made of anything smaller. That may change in the future as we learn more, but it's good enough for now.

There are six kinds of quarks, each with different but equally quirky names: up, down, top, bottom, strange and charm. And despite its name, the strangest of the sextuplets is actually the top quark. [7 Strange Facts About Quarks]

Upside-down world

By far, the most common quarks you'll encounter are the up and down ones. They're the ones that bundle together in triplets to form protons (two ups and a down) and neutrons (two downs and an up). To form the familiar positive charge of the proton and the neutral charge on the neutron, the quarks need fractional charges. I know, that sounds weird, but that's only because we thought that the charge of protons and electrons was fundamental. Turns out, we were wrong. The up quark has a charge of plus two-thirds, while the down quark is sitting at minus one-third.

What's even more confusing about the quarks is that they're surprisingly light. The up quark is a mere 0.2 percent the mass of the proton, while its partner the down quark is only around 0.5 percent of the proton mass. So how can these measly particles add up to the mass of a hefty proton?

The answer is the force that binds quarks together: the strong nuclear force. This binding among the quarks is blaringly strong - handily defeating the natural electric repulsion of the similarly charged quarks. And since energy is the same thing as mass (thanks, Einstein!), the mass of the proton is really due to the glue, and not the quarks themselves.

Why Physicists Are Interested in the Mysterious Quirks of the Heftiest Quark

Living on the top

Not all the quarks are that big. But in the world of particle physics, big is bad news. Being massive is like being at the very top of a tall, skinny mountain. Sure, the views are great, but any hint of a breeze will send you tumbling down to a more stable position. And stable means small — if you're a massive particle suffering an instability, you quickly find yourself transforming into a shower of your smaller cousins. [Wacky Physics: The Coolest Little Particles in Nature]

That means life is just peachy for the up and down quarks. They're the smallest; so while they don't have great views, they're not in any danger of falling off an existential cliff. The next largest quarks, strange and charm, are rarely found in any great abundance in nature. They're so massive that they're hard to make in the first place, and as soon as they're manufactured by some exotic process, they quickly decay into something else, leaving behind nothing more than a memory.

For quite a while, physicists thought there were only these four quarks — up, down, strange and charm. But in the early 1970s, they started to suspect otherwise by examining some rare decays involving kaons (and again, I'm not in charge of naming things. The kaon is a duo of a strange quark and either an up or a down quark). In order to explain the weird decay that produced these kaons, theorists had to guess at the existence of a new pair of quarks, which they dubbed the top and bottom. These new quarks were much, much heavier than the other four (otherwise we would've seen them by now).

Once quark No. 5 (the bottom) joined the club of known-and-measured particles in 1977, the race was on to find the sixth and final one (the top). But the problem was that nobody had any idea how big it was, meaning we didn't know how beefier we had to make our particle accelerators before we could pop one out. Every year, groups around the world upgraded their gear, and every year they came up short, pushing the mass of the then-hypothetical particle ever upward.

It wasn't until February 1995 that researchers at Fermilab could finally stake a claim to a discovery of a top quark with a mass tipping the scales at almost 200 times heavier than a proton. That's right: While the up and down quarks barely do any of the work of making a proton a proton, the top quark can easily body- slam entire atoms with ease.

Why Physicists Are Interested in the Mysterious Quirks of the Heftiest Quark

Enter the Higgs

The top quark is about 100 trillion times heavier than the up quark. That's nice. But why? Why do the quarks have such an immense range in masses?

This is where the Higgs boson comes in. The Higgs boson is associated with a field (the Higgs field, kind of like the electromagnetic field) that permeates all of space-time, like an invisible glue filling the universe. Other fundamental particles, like electrons and neutrinos and quarks, must swim through this field to go from place to place. The very fact that the fundamental particles can't ignore the Higgs field is (through various and sundry mathematics) the very reason they have mass.

Ah, a clue, then. If the Higgs is somehow connected to the very concept of mass, and the top quark is far and away the heaviest of the quarks, then the Higgs boson and the top quark must be best of friends.

And so over the years, the top quark became one gateway to our understanding of the Higgs, and it's hoped that with further study of the Higgs itself we can get some perspectives on the mysteriously large mass of the top quark.

The Biggest Unsolved Mysteries in Physics

The 11 Biggest Unanswered Questions About Dark Matter

8 Ways You Can See Einstein's Theory of Relativity in Real Life

Live Science (02/05/2019) video

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


“Can't Find My Way Home” - Blind Faith 1969

“Can't Find My Way Home” - Blind Faith
Album: Blind Faith
Released 1969 video

Blind Faith was a Supergroup made up of Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker, and Ric Grech. They released just one album, which topped both the UK and U.S. charts around the same time the group was breaking up.

Steve Winwood wrote this and sang lead. Many critics noted that Blind Faith sounded a lot more like Winwood's old band Traffic than Clapton's Cream, which is what Clapton was going for.

Eric Clapton played acoustic guitar on this track, which is something he rarely did. In his previous group, Cream, he played long, intense solos, something he wanted to get away from with Blind Faith.

The album was released in the UK with a cover photo of an 11-year-old girl named Mariora Goschen. The cover photo because as famous as the album itself, since it showed Goschen naked and holding a model spaceship (a different cover with a band photo was used in the U.S. and for stores that wanted an alternative in the UK).

Bob Seidemann came up with the concept and took the photo, which represents humankind's relationship with technology (this was when the mission to put a man on the moon was big news). The band wasn't yet named, and when Seidemann took the photo, he called it “Blind Faith”. Clapton decided that should be the name of the band.

Ginger Baker, official website - Steve Winwood, official website - Eric Clapton, official website / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Blind Faith

Image: “Blind Faith (album)” by Blind Faith



● What GPS brand is named after a Portuguese navigator and explorer?

Answer to Trivia

● The internet was established in 1969 as a way for research to be quickly and securely shared by computers, for what department of the U.S. government?

Answer to Trivia

● After Chinese, what are the world's three most commonly spoken languages?

Answer to Trivia

● What country has the longest coastline?

Answer to Trivia


A Test for People Who Know Everything

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “BIBLE STUDY” ($200)

“God chose this most righteous man & his family to survive the events of Genesis 7.”

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

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “BIBLE STUDY” ($400)

“This woman “out of whom went seven devils” became a follower of Jesus & was present at his crucifixion & resurrection.”

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

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “BIBLE STUDY” ($800)

“The last book attributed to Moses, this fifth book is written in the form of a farewell address by him.”

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 - “BEERS BY STATE” ($200)

“Samuel Adams.”

● Answer: Massachusetts. Samuel Adams

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “BEERS BY STATE” ($800)


● Answer: Pennsylvania. Yuengling

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “BEERS BY STATE” ($1,000)

“Shiner Bock.”

● Answer: Texas. Shiner Bock

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

“The Doctor Says - I Have An Idea”

Joke of the Day

“The Doctor Says - I Have An Idea”

The Doctor said: “The good news is I can cure your headaches...The bad news is that it will require castration. You have a very rare condition which causes your testicles to press up against the base of your spine and the pressure creates one hell of a headache. The only way to relieve the pressure is to remove the testicles.”

Joe was shocked and depressed. He wondered if he had anything to live for. He couldn't concentrate long enough to answer, but decided he had no choice but to go under the knife. When he left the hospital, he was headache free for the first time in over 20 years, but he felt as if he was missing an important part of himself. As he walked down the street he realized he felt like a different person. He could make a new beginning and live a new life. He saw a men's clothing store and thought, “That's what I need, a new suit.”

The elderly salesman eyed him quickly and said, “Let's see, you're a size 44 long.”

Joe laughed and said, “That's right, how did you know?”

“Been in the business 60 years!”

Joe tried on the suit. It fit perfectly. As Joe admired himself in the mirror, the tailor asked, “How about a new shirt?" Joe thought for a moment and then said, “Sure.”

“Let's see, 16 and a half neck, 34 sleeve.”

Joe was surprised. “How did you know?”

“Been in the business 60 years.” The shirt fit perfectly.

As Joe looked at himself in the mirror, the salesman said, “You could use new shoes.”

Since Joe was on a roll, he said, “Sure.”

The man eyed Joe's feet and said, “9-1/2E.”

Joe was astonished. “That's right. How did you know?”

“Been in the business 60 years.” Joe tried on the shoes and they also fit perfectly.

As Joe walked comfortably around the shop, the salesman asked, “How about new underwear?”

Joe thought for a second and said, “Why not.”

The man stepped back, eyed Joe's waist and said, “Let's see, size 36.”

Joe laughed. “Finally I've got you! I've worn size 32 since I was 18 years old.”

The tailor shook his head. “You can't wear a size 32. Size 32 underwear would press your testicles against the base of your spine and give you one hell of a headache.”