Old Sailors' Almanac

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY

Week 25, 2020

Previous Week   June 15, 2020 - June 21, 2020  Next Week

Arlington National Cemetery is established when the Arlington estate formerly owned by Confederate General Robert E. Lee is officially set aside as a military cemetery by U.S. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton on June 15, 1864

Arlington National Cemetery is established when the Arlington estate formerly owned by Confederate General Robert E. Lee is officially set aside as a military cemetery by U.S. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton on June 15, 1864

Arlington National Cemetery is established: In the spring of 1864, as the Civil War entered its third year, the Union Army began an offensive designed to finally crush the Confederate Army.

As fighting intensified, Washington hospitals - in many cases, converted churches, public halls, or governmental buildings - were flooded with wounded soldiers, brought up the Potomac from battlefields in Virginia and elsewhere.

Describing the hospitals, Washington journalist Noah Brooks wrote:

“Maimed and wounded…. arrived by hundreds as long as the waves of sorrow came streaming back from the fields of slaughter…. They came groping, hobbling, and faltering, so faint and so longing for rest that one’s heart bled at the piteous sight.”

As many of these men died, cemeteries in the city and surrounding areas filled to capacity.

To relieve the desperate situation, the Army started burying soldiers along the northern border of the Arlington estate, approximately one half mile from the mansion-headquarters, in May of 1864. Meanwhile, the office of Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs set about the task of identifying an appropriate place for a new, offical cemetery. Meigs did not have to look very far.

Arlington National Cemetery is established when the Arlington estate formerly owned by Confederate General Robert E. Lee is officially set aside as a military cemetery by U.S. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton on June 15, 1864

As the Army had occupied Arlington since 1861 and the U.S. Government had legally purchased the property at public auction in January 1864, it emerged as a logical choice. The fact that the land had also been the plantation home of Robert E. Lee probably made it even more attractive to Meigs, who formally proposed Arlington as the site of the new cemetery in a letter to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton on June 15, 1864. The same day, Stanton approved Meigs’ recommendation and instructed that part of the Arlington Estate, “not exceeding two hundred acres” be surveyed and laid out for the national cemetery.

The Republican press hailed the choice of Arlington. On June 17, the National Republican reported:

“The ‘powers that be’ have been induced to appropriate two hundred acres, immediately around the house of General Lee, on Arlington Heights, for the burial of soldiers dying in the army hospitals of this city. The grounds are undulating, handsomely adorned, and in very respect admirably fitted for the sacred purpose to which they have been dedicated. The people of the entire nation will one day, not very far distant, heartily thank the initiators of this movement…. This and the contraband establishment there are righteous uses of the estate of the rebel General Lee, and will never dishonor the spot made venerable by the occupation of Washington.”

Meigs likely appreciated the prediction that Americans would one day “heartily thank the initiators of this movement”. He viewed the creation of the cemetery as a means for restoring honor to the property, which he felt Lee had dishonored by resigning from the U.S. Army and leading the Confederate forces.

However, the Quartermaster General was not convinced that the cemetery was necessarily permanent, fearing that the end of the War might allow the Lees to resume control over Arlington and potentially remove the graves on the property. In hopes of preventing such from occurring, Meigs wanted to place graves as close to the mansion as possible. Doing so, he felt, would make the house uninhabitable. In his original proposal to Secretary Stanton, Meigs specified:

“I have visited and inspected the grounds now used as a Cemetery upon the Arlington Estate. I recommend that interments in this ground be discontinued and that the land surrounding the Arlington Mansion, now understood to be the property of the United States, be appropriated as a National Cemetery, to be properly enclosed, laid out, and carefully preserved for that purpose, and that the bodies recently interred by removed to the National Cemetery thus to be established. The grounds about the Mansion are admirably adapted for such a use.”

Arlington National Cemetery is established when the Arlington estate formerly owned by Confederate General Robert E. Lee is officially set aside as a military cemetery by U.S. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton on June 15, 1864

Though Meigs’ initial proposal to Stanton and subsequent orders to officers at Arlington clearly spelled out the Quartermaster General’s intentions, the cemetery did not develop quite as he envisioned. At first, most of the burials were made some distance from the mansion. As Meigs recorded later, many of the officers quartered in the mansion were uncomfortable with the idea of living in the middle of a graveyard,

“It was my intention to have begun the interments nearer the mansion, but opposition on the part of officers stationed at Arlington, some of whom used the mansion and who did not like to have the dead buried near them, caused the interments to be begun in the northeast corner of the grounds near Arlington road. On discovering this on a visit I gave specific instructions to make the burials near the mansion. They were then driven off by the same influence to the western portion of the grounds."”

Meigs continued to push the issue and, after considerable effort, finally got his wish. In August 1864, 26 bodies were buried along the perimeter of Mrs. Lee’s rose garden within a few yards of the mansion. But, as evidenced by a December 1865 letter from one of Meigs’ assistants, the location of new graves remained a very important issue to the cemetery’s creator for some time to come as he sought to further solidify the cemetery’s roots at Arlington.

Arlington National Cemetery is established when the Arlington estate formerly owned by Confederate General Robert E. Lee is officially set aside as a military cemetery by U.S. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton on June 15, 1864

This letter, directed to Major General D.H. Rucker, the Chief Quartermaster of Washington read, in part:

“The Quartermaster General….some time ago, expressed his regret, that the interments have not been made in close proximity to the Arlington House…. as to more firmly secure the grounds known as the National Cemetery, to the Government by rendering it undesirable as a future residence or homestead. There being more than a thousand interments yet to be made, the views of the Quartermaster General can now be carried out.”

To underscore the urgency and importance of burying the dead close to the house, the Assistant Quartermaster closed his letter by relaying the following story:

“A brother of Genl. Lee (Smith Lee) in a recent visit to Arlington, remarked to the Superintendent, ‘that the house could still be made a pleasant residence, by fencing off the Cemetery, and removing the officers buried around the garden.’”

Smith Lee’s appraisal obviously alarmed the Assistant Quartermaster and undoubtedly also Meigs himself. Both practically and symbolically, the possibility of Robert E. Lee and his family returning to the mansion on the hilltop at Arlington which literally looked down upon the capital city of the United States did not sit well with those in charge of creating the cemetery. To further ensure that this did not happen, Meigs ordered the construction of a tomb for unknown Civil War dead in the rose garden in April 1866. The remains of 2,111 unknown soldiers, recovered from battlefields in the vicinity of Washington, were sealed in the vault. They joined some 15,000 other Civil War casualties who had already been laid to rest at Arlington.

As it turned out, the Lees would never return to live at Arlington again. Whether influenced by Meigs’ efforts to make the mansion uninhabitable or not, Robert E. Lee and his wife decided not to pursue regaining the title to the mansion after the War. Instead, the former Confederate General and his family settled in Lexington, Virginia where he spent the last five years of his life as the President of tiny Washington College. While the family was later compensated for the estate, the Lees would never again reside on the property. Meigs got his wish and the Cemetery became a permanent feature at Arlington.

National Parks Service.gov / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / Smithsonian / Smithsonian / Arlington Cemetery.mil / History Channel / Arlington National Cemetery is established when the Arlington estate formerly owned by Confederate General Robert E. Lee is officially set aside as a military cemetery by U.S. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton on June 15, 1864 (YouTube) video

“This Day in History”

This Day in History June 15

• 763 BC Assyrian eclipse: Assyrians record a solar eclipse that is later used to fix the chronology of Mesopotamian history.

• 1215 King John of England puts his seal to Magna Carta.

• 1667 The first human blood transfusion is administered by Dr. Jean-Baptiste Denys.

• 1752 Benjamin Franklin proves that lightning is electricity (traditional date, the exact date is unknown).

• 1800 The Provisional Army of the United States is dissolved.

• 1844 Charles Goodyear receives a patent for vulcanization, a process to strengthen rubber.

• 1846 Oregon Treaty: establishes the 49th parallel as the border between the United States and Canada, from the Rocky Mountains to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

• 1896 Sanriku earthquake: The deadliest tsunami in Japan's history kills more than 22,000 people.

• 1916 United States President Woodrow Wilson signs a bill incorporating the Boy Scouts of America, making them the only American youth organization with a federal charter.

• 1940 World War II: Operation Ariel begins; Allied troops start to evacuate France, following Germany's takeover of Paris and most of the nation.

• 1944 World War II: Battle of Saipan; The United States invade Japanese-occupied Saipan.

• 1991 Mount Pinatubo In the Philippines, erupts in the second largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century, killing over 800 people.


Understanding Military Terminology: At the Marine Corps Museum: Norman Rockwell's “The War Hero”

Understanding Military Terminology

Operations Support Element

(DOD) An element that is responsible for all administrative, operations support and services support functions within the counterintelligence and human intelligence staff element of a joint force intelligence directorate.

Also called OSE.

Joint Publications (JP 2-01.2) Joint and National Intelligence Support to Military Operations

Operations to Restore Order

Operations intended to halt violence and support, reinstate, or establish civil authorities so that indigenous police forces can effectively enforce the law and restore civil authority.

Joint Publications (JP 3-07.3) Peace Operations - Federation Of American Scientists


“The Odyssey”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“The Odyssey”

Book VI

So here Ulysses slept, overcome by sleep and toil; but Minerva went off to the country and city of the Phaecians - a people who used to live in the fair town of Hypereia, near the lawless Cyclopes. Now the Cyclopes were stronger than they and plundered them, so their king Nausithous moved them thence and settled them in Scheria, far from all other people. He surrounded the city with a wall, built houses and temples, and divided the lands among his people; but he was dead and gone to the house of Hades, and King Alcinous, whose counsels were inspired of heaven, was now reigning. To his house, then, did Minerva hie in furtherance of the return of Ulysses.

She went straight to the beautifully decorated bedroom in which there slept a girl who was as lovely as a goddess, Nausicaa, daughter to King Alcinous. Two maid servants were sleeping near her, both very pretty, one on either side of the doorway, which was closed with well-made folding doors. Minerva took the form of the famous sea captain Dymas's daughter, who was a bosom friend of Nausicaa and just her own age; then, coming up to the girl's bedside like a breath of wind, she hovered over her head and said:

“Nausicaa, what can your mother have been about, to have such a lazy daughter? Here are your clothes all lying in disorder, yet you are going to be married almost immediately, and should not only be well dressed yourself, but should find good clothes for those who attend you. This is the way to get yourself a good name, and to make your father and mother proud of you. Suppose, then, that we make tomorrow a washing day, and start at daybreak. I will come and help you so that you may have everything ready as soon as possible, for all the best young men among your own people are courting you, and you are not going to remain a maid much longer. Ask your father, therefore, to have a waggon and mules ready for us at daybreak, to take the rugs, robes, and girdles; and you can ride, too, which will be much pleasanter for you than walking, for the washing-cisterns are some way from the town.”

When she had said this Minerva went away to Olympus, which they say is the everlasting home of the gods. Here no wind beats roughly, and neither rain nor snow can fall; but it abides in everlasting sunshine and in a great peacefulness of light, wherein the blessed gods are illumined for ever and ever. This was the place to which the goddess went when she had given instructions to the girl.

“The Odyssey” - Book VI continued ...

~ Homer

Written 800 B.C.E

Translated by Samuel Butler

“The Odyssey” - Table Of Contents


“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”

“It is better to be violent if there is violence in our hearts

than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence.”

“I object to violence because when it appears to do good,

the good is only temporary.

The evil it does is permanent.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi


“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“Let the wife make the husband glad to come home,

and let him make her sorry to see him leave.”

“For in the true nature of things,

if we rightly consider,

every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.”

“War is the greatest plague that can afflict humanity,

it destroys religion,

it destroys states,

it destroys families.

Any scourge is preferable to it.”

~ Martin Luther


“What I Have Learned”

“What I Learned”

“Ignorance can be educated.

Crazy can be medicated.

But there is no cure for stupid.”

“Addiction doesn't kill the addict.

It kills the family, kids and people who tried to help!”

~ Anonymous


Second Hand News

Second Hand News: Articles from Week 25 - June 15, 2020 - June 21, 2020

Top News Stories - Photos (Washington Examiner) Fed-up black business owners wrestle with 'defund the police'Never Trump Republicans collaborating with Democrats to elect BidenRepublicans are defending 21 Senate seats Democrats only 12 seats this year, control of White House and Senate toss-ups

Atlanta police officer fired after fatal shooting of Rayshard BrooksBlack high school principal faces push to resign over claims she silenced students speaking out against injustice Middle school teacher on leave after being charged with desecrating Christopher Columbus statue

MOST READ: 'You could have blown this for us': Trump was 'frightened' to face Melania after Access Hollywood tape 'You could have blown this for us': Trump was 'frightened' to face Melania after Access Hollywood tape Trey Gowdy: Peter Strzok likely in John Durham's sightsRobert E. Lee opposed construction of Confederate monumentsProtesters set stage for clash with Tennessee governor with plan to form new “Autonomous Zone”Black Harvard law professor uses uncensored N-word repeatedly on CNN Washington Examiner

Top News Stories - Photos (The Federalist) Welcome To Your New World Order: A Rundown Of Woke Insanity Amid The Newest Cultural RevolutionMinneapolis City Council Passes Resolution to Remove and Replace Police DepartmentTrump Addresses Protests And Riots: ‘Toughness Sometimes Is The Most Compassionate’The New York Times Fails By Its Own Standards

Will The D.C. Circuit Court Order Sullivan To Dismiss The Flynn Case? It All Comes Down To One JudgePoll: Defunding The Police Is Now A Majority Position For DemocratsTo Truly Reduce Racial Disparities, We Must Acknowledge Black Fathers Matter‘Baby Lives Matter’ Onesie Featured On Trump Campaign Website Sparks Controversy

MOST READ: Abolitionist Monuments Defaced By ‘Anti-Racism’ Rioters Is What Teaching Fake History Gets AmericaIf You Don’t Support Black Lives Matter, You’re FiredWhy Supporting Black Lives Matter Is Anti-Christian And Anti-LifeSenator Josh Hawley: The Left Wants A Civil War

If You Want To Know What Disbanding The Police Looks Like, Look At MexicoHistoric First: Under Trump, Half Of National Security Council Leaders Are WomenYou Can Be A Christian, You Can Be A Marxist, But You Can’t Be BothCNN Guest - Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender: Not Wanting To Be Raped And Robbed Is White PrivilegeThe Lockdowns Are Now Intentional Cruelty The Federalist

Top News Stories - Photos (CORRUPTION CHRONICLES - Mainstream Media Scream: (Watch Dog On-Line Publications) CORRUPTION CHRONICLES: Judicial Watch Asks for Preliminary Relief Enjoining Governor Newsom’s Order to Mail Ballots to Every Registered Voter in California

“Investigating the Investigators:” Leftist Groups, Including La Raza, to Monitor Police Under Reform Bill Modeled after Obama Plan

Judicial Watch Asks D.C. Mayor for Permission to Paint ‘Because No One Is Above the Law!’ on Capitol Hill Street

Judicial Watch and Election Integrity Project California Both Work to Restore Voter Confidence Nationwide Judicial Watch

OUTING FAKE NEWS OMISSIONS and DISTORTIONS: CNN-vs.-Trump food-fight interview: Stelter Decries Trump 'Abuse of Power' on Comcast, Forgets His Own Story on Obama vs. FoxNew York Times's Token Conservative Eviscerates Own 'Woke' Paper Over “The Tom Cotton Op-Ed and the Cultural Revolution - How Liberalism, and the Liberal Media, Are Changing Before Our Eyes”Radical Samantha Bee Fully Embraces 'Defund the Police' Movement“Inmates Are Running the Asylum:” Chris Wallace Unloads on NYT, Media

ABC's George Stephanopoulos: Did Stacey Abrams Grant 'Legitimacy' to Atlanta Wendy's Torching?ABC Responds to Allegations Top Talent Exec Barbara Fedida Has Abusive, Racial HistoryMSNBC Major Tweeter/Producer Kyle Griffin Mangles Trump Fox Talk on ChokeholdsMSNBC: Biden Has 'The Perfect Message For 2020' News Busters

How Does Weather Radar Work? Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: How Does Weather Radar Work?

Doppler Radar Explained

A weather radar is an essential tool in the meteorologist’s toolbox, it allows them to detect precipitation and forecast the weather. Like satellite imagery of clouds, radar helps meteorologists better understand the weather around them, resulting in more reliable forecasts.

Radar (short for RAdio Detection And Ranging) and its use in weather was actually discovered by accident. With the increasing use of radar to detect enemy ships and planes during World War II, radar operators found precipitation also caused false echoes on their screens.

Military radars were repurposed for meteorological use after WWII, and subsequent upgrades enhanced their precipitation-detecting capabilities. Today’s weather radar imagery you find in your weather radar app is far different from those first radars of the 1950s, but the core concepts are the same.

How Modern Weather Radar Works

All radars operate in a similar fashion, no matter their technology. An antenna emits a beam of radio waves outwards. If there are objects in the air like rain, sleet, or snow, the emitted radio waves bounce off those objects and scatter. Some of these scattered radio waves are reflected back to the radar, with larger objects reflecting more.

Differences in reflectivity are plotted on a map to provide a view of precipitation falling within the range of the radar, providing the image you see on TV, the web, and your radar app.

How Does Weather Radar Work?

How Does Doppler Radar Work?

Doppler radar works a little bit differently from older radars. Instead of merely just measuring the reflectivity of precipitation, it also detects the shape, position, and form as well. By measuring this, a Doppler radar can also measure the velocity of the movement of precipitation toward or away from the radar.

This allows Doppler radars to measure wind speed, making them extraordinarily useful in detecting tornadoes. Before, meteorologists had to look for visual cues, called a “hook echo”, in order to find tornadoes within storms. Since not every tornado will produce these hook echoes, many were missed.

You experience these “Doppler shifts” on a daily basis. Think about sitting at a light to allow an emergency vehicle to pass, or at a railroad crossing as a train goes by blaring its whistle. You’ll notice that the pitch sound rises as it approaches, is steady as it’s in front of you, and lowers in pitch as it moves away.

That’s the Doppler effect in action, and those shifts are what a doppler radar tries to detect.

How Does Weather Radar Work?

Dual-Polarization Radar

Dual-polarization radar is an upgrade to Doppler radar which enhances its detection abilities. Instead of just sending out radio waves in a horizontal direction, “dual-pol” radars send out radio waves both horizontally and vertically.

The benefits of this is an enhanced ability to detect the shape of objects in the atmosphere. This allows meteorologists to differentiate between precipitation types, and even identify ground debris in the air. The image below shows how dual polarization has helped to confirm when a tornado is on the ground.

Before dual-polarization, we’d only have the velocity data on the left, which would allow us to suspect a tornado on the ground, but not confirm it without a ground spotter. The image on the right is called correlation coefficient, and the small circular blue area indicates an area of clear air encircled by objects detected in the air (the green color) and similarly shaped raindrops (shown in red). This is called a “debris ball”, and it's a telltale sign on a dual-pol radar of a tornado on the ground.

What’s Next for Weather Rada

Radars have revolutionized weather forecasting, especially when it comes to severe weather. And meteorologists aren’t stopping with Doppler radar: new technologies like phased array radar will improve detection, and also dramatically increase scan times. Instead of the 2-6 minutes each scan takes now in the Doppler radar system, phased array will be able to scan the same area in under a minute.

Phased array radar is expected to cost billions of dollars to implement, and with dual-polarization recently launched, it's unlikely to occur until well into the next decade.

Weather Station Advisor / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / Weather.gov / NOAA.gov / The Weather Channel / How Does Weather Radar Work? (YouTube) video


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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

MR: Machinery Repairman rating. Machinery Repairmen are skilled machine tool operators. They make replacement parts and repair or overhaul ship's engines and auxiliary systems. Also referred to “Monkey Rapers”.

Mung: (Submarine Service): Any dark green/brown plant residue with snot-like consistency found in/on scuppers (mostly in engineering spaces).

Mustang: An Officer who came from the Enlisted ranks.

Mystery Shitter: An intoxicated sailor who returns from the beach and is unable to safely reach the head, defecates in random locations prior to climbing into his or her rack to sleep it off.

Wiktionary.org


Just for MARINES - The Few. The Proud.

Just for you MARINE

MSG: Marine Corps Security Guard, responsible for guarding United States Embassies.

MTO: Motor Transport Officer, the Marine in charge of maintenance and operation of a unit's trucks.

MTV: Modular Tactical Vest, the newest type of ballistic vest for Marines.

MTVR: Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement See also 7-ton.

Mustang/Mustanger : Marine Officer who has previously served in the enlisted ranks.

Muster (Gather): Formal gathering of troops, especially for inspection, display, or exercise.

MWD: Military Working Dog”, a trained government canine for law enforcement, detection of explosives or drugs, sentry, or other military use(s).

Mystery Meat: A low quality unknown type of meat patty served at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.

Wikipedia.org


Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

HSM-49 Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM) Squadron FORTY NINE- nicknamed the “Scorpions”

United States Navy Naval Air Station - Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California / Coronado, California / Maritime Strike helicopter squadron - Squadron Lineage; HSL-49: March 1990 - April 2015 / HSM-49: April 2015 – present.


Where Did That Saying Come From

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Where Did That Saying Come From? “All's well that ends well”

All's well that ends well:

Meaning: The problems and pitfalls of an enterprise are justified and forgotten, so long as everything turns out well in the end.

History: Given that Shakespeare wrote 'All's Well That Ends Well' over 400 years ago it might be assumed that he coined the expression. In fact it was a proverb long before it was a play title. The Middle English Dialogue between Reason & Adversity, circa 1425 describes the saying as 'this olde prouerbe'.

The earliest version known in print is in the 13th century English prose poem The Proverbs of Hendyng:

“Wel is him þat wel ende mai.”

(“Well is him that may end well.”)

John Heywood was probably the first to put the provebr into the form we now use - albeit in Middle English. He included it in A dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the prouerbes in the Englishe tongue, 1546:

“Lovers live by love, ye as larkes live by leekes

Saied this Ales, muche more then halfe in mockage.

Tushe (quoth mine aunte) these lovers in dotage

Thinke the ground beare them not, but wed of corage

They must in all haste, though a leafe of borage

Might by all the substance that they can fell.

Well aunt (quoth Ales) all is well that endes well.”

Shakespeare was well acquainted with Heywood's work and wrote All's Well That Ends Well in 1601. It is not only as the title of the play, but line appears in the text too.

“HELENA:

Yet, I pray you:

But with the word the time will bring on summer,

When briers shall have leaves as well as thorns,

And be as sweet as sharp. We must away;

Our wagon is prepared, and time revives us:

All's well that ends well; still the fine's the crown;

Whate'er the course, the end is the renown.”

Phrases.org.uk


Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Motherly poison frogs shed light on maternal brainAlpha Magnetic Spectrometer measurements unveil properties of cosmic heliumGroundbreaking cohesin study describes the molecular motor that folds the genomeNiobium used as catalyst in fuel cell Phys.org / MedicalXpress / TechXplore

The Most Detailed Simulation of Our Universe EverAirmen in Subzero Temps Discover F-35 Survival Kit Works Better Than AdvertisedThere Goes Europa, Just Spewing Jets of Water Vapor into SpaceHow to Paint a Room Using Math Popular Mechanics


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)

Environmental cost of cryptocurrency mines

Environmental cost of cryptocurrency mines

Source: University of New Mexico

Summary: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Monero -- the names of digital-based 'cryptocurrencies' are being heard more and more frequently. But despite having no physical representation, could these new methods of exchange actually be negatively impacting our planet? It's a question being asked by researchers who are investigating the environmental impacts of mining cryptocurrencies.

“What is most striking about this research is that it shows that the health and environmental costs of cryptocurrency mining are substantial; larger perhaps than most people realized”, said Benjamin Jones, UNM Researcher and asst. professor of economics.

Cryptocurrency is an internet-based form of exchange that exists solely in the digital world. Its allure comes from using a decentralized peer-to-peer network of exchange, produced and recorded by the entire cryptocurrency community. Independent "miners" compete to solve complex computing algorithms that then provides secure cryptographic validation of an exchange. Miners are rewarded in units of the currency. Digital public ledgers are kept for "blocks" of these transactions, which are combined to create what is called the blockchain. According to proponents, cryptocurrencies do not need a third party, or traditional bank, or centralized government control to provide secure validation for transactions. In addition, cryptocurrencies are typically designed to limit production after a point, meaning the total amount in circulation eventually hits a cap. These caps and ledgers are maintained through the systems of users.

But the mechanisms that make these currencies so appealing are also using exorbitant amounts of energy.

In a new paper titled 'Cryptodamages: Monetary value estimates of the air pollution and human health impacts of cryptocurrency mining' published in the journal, Energy Research & Social Science, University of New Mexico researchers Andrew Goodkind (asst. professor, Economics), Benjamin Jones (asst. professor, Economics) and Robert Berrens (professor, Economics) estimate the environmental impact of these cryptocurrency mining techniques. Using existing data that assessed energy use on cryptocurrency, and a battery of economic valuation techniques, the three were able to put a monetary figure on the mining practices.

“Our expertise is in estimating the monetary damages, due to health and environmental impacts, of different economics activities and sectors”, Berrens explained. “For example, it is common for economists to study the impacts from energy use connected to production and consumption patterns in agriculture, or with automobile production and use. In a world confronting climate change, economists can help us understand the impacts connected to different activities and technologies.”

Environmental cost of cryptocurrency mines

The independent production, or 'mining', practices of cryptocurrencies are done using energy-consuming specialized computer hardware and can take place in any geographic location. Large-scale operations, called mining camps, are now congregating around the fastest internet connections and cheapest energy sources -- regardless of whether the energy is green or not.

“With each cryptocurrency, the rising electricity requirements to produce a single coin can lead to an almost inevitable cliff of negative net social benefit”, the paper states.

The UNM researchers argue that although mining practices create financial value, the electricity consumption is generating “cryptodamages” - a term coined to describe the human health and climate impacts of the digital exchange.

“We looked at climate change from greenhouse gas emissions of electricity production and also the impacts local air pollutants have when they are carried downwind and across local communities”, Goodkind said.

The researchers estimate that in 2018, every $1 of Bitcoin value created was responsible for $.49 in health and climate damages in the United States.

Their data shows that at one point during 2018, the cost in damages that it took to create Bitcoin matched the value of the exchange itself. Those damages arise from increased pollutants generated from the burning of fossil fuels used to produce energy, such as carbon dioxide, fine particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide. Exposure to some of these pollutants has been linked to increased risk of premature death.

“By using large amounts of electricity generated from burning fossil fuels”, Jones said. “Cryptocurrency mining is associated with worse air quality and increased CO2 emissions, which impacts communities and families all across the country, including here in New Mexico.”

In addition to the human health impacts from increased pollutants, the trio looked at the climate change implications and how the current system of mining encourages high energy use.

“An important issue is the production process employed in the blockchain for securing new blocks of encrypted transactions”, Berrens explained. “Along with supply rules for new units of a currency, some production processes, like the predominate Proof-of Work (POW) scheme used in Bitcoin, require ever increasing computing power and energy use in the winner-take-all competition to solve complex algorithms, and secure new blocks in the chain.”

Although relatively limited in overall use currently, there are cryptocurrencies with alternative production schemes which require significantly less energy use. The researchers hope by publicizing the health and climate impacts of such schemes, they will encourage alternative methods of mining.

“The ability to locate cryptomining almost anywhere (i.e. following the cheapest, under-regulated electricity source) ...creates significant challenges to implementing regulation”, the paper says.

Goodkind says the specialized machines used for mining also have to kept cool, so they won't overheat while computing such complex algorithms. That additional energy-use was not part of this study, which means even more energy is being consumed than is currently being accounted for when looking solely at the usage of running the machines.

Moving forward, the challenging public policy question is: “How can you make the people who are creating the damage pay for the cost, so that it is considered in the decision in how to mine cryptocurrencies”, Goodkind concluded.

Science Daily (11/13/2019) video


Second Hand News

Second Hand News: Articles from Week 25 - June 15, 2020 - June 21, 2020

Top News Stories - Photos (Daily Mail) Donald Trump's niece reveals in new book that she leaked details of his 'tax dodges', alleges he contributed to his brother's death and says his retired federal judge sister disapproves of himTrump accuses Democrats of doing nothing to stop 'far left' bringing cities to a halt and instead 'becoming radical' to keep coronavirus lockdowns after Seattle police chief and mayor clash over “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ)U.S. Air Force F-15 warplane crashes off British coast during training flight as rescue mission is launched for pilot

Video appears to show a white woman setting fire to Wendy's in Atlanta where Rayshard Brooks was killed as black protesters shout 'it wasn't us' - and cops offer $10,000 to track her downDA reveals Atlanta cop Garrett Rolfe shouted 'I got him' after killing Rayshard Brooks which 'shows he did NOT act in self defense' - as he warns officer could now face murder charges and slams police for failing to hand over all bodycam

Communities will still be 'safe' without cops, says Ilhan Omar - but fails to explain how Americans will be protected or crimes investigated without law enforcement Seattle police chief and mayor clash over CHAZ: Top cop vows to retake precinct 'as soon as possible' as gun club patrol the zone after the mayor said it was 'a summer of love' Daily Mail

Top News Stories - Photos (John Batchelor)

#NewAmericanCivilWar: The Woke Culture vs the American Empire, 2020 AD, New York City. audio   #NewAmericanCivilWar: Christianity vs the Roman Empire under Domitian, 90 AD, Londinium. audio   #TheScalaReport: How do the big imperial cities in Europe and the USA revive and adapt? audio   #PacificWatch: Because Seattle, Because LA, Because San Francisco, Because Disneyland. audio  

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SONG FACTS

“Shapes Of Things” - The Yardbirds 1966

“Shapes Of Things” - The Yardbirds
Album: Ultimate!
Released 1966 video

When Songfacts spoke with Yardbirds drummer Jim McCarty, we asked him about writing a hit song. He replied:

“That's probably the hardest thing to try and do. Every time we tried to do that it never really succeeded. I suppose we were lucky in that when we did 'Shapes of Things' it was like a hit song, but we were really coming from not trying to create a sort of a 3-minute piece of music, it was just something that seemed natural to us. We started with the rhythm, we used a bass riff that came from a jazz record, got a groove going with that and then added a few other bits from elsewhere, other ideas that we'd had. And I think it was a great success for us, it was a good hit record that wasn't really selling out. And it was original.”

Explaining how they composed the song, McCarty added:

“With 'Shapes Of Things' video I came up with a marching type of rhythm that I tried to make interesting. And at the end of each line we'd build up like we used to do with some of our stage stuff - the rave ups. And then the bass riff came on top of that. And the bass riff was loosely based on a Dave Brubeck song, sort of a jazz song, around a doo doo doo doo doo doo, and then the chords came over that. The chords were very basic, came between the two tones, I think G and F, and then resolving it in D, each verse. And then the tune came on top of that. In fact, I remember putting the backing track down, which sounded great. I wasn't at the session where Keith (Relf) made up the tune, and when I heard the tune, I thought, Oh, that's great. It's a real surprise. He made up the tune, and then we had this sort of 'Come tomorrow,' but that was part of the song, anyway, at the beginning. So it was an exciting song to be involved in.”

Bassist Paul Samwell-Smith told NME staffer and press officer Keith Altham that he wrote this song about the destruction of the planet. He added:

“ wrote it in a bar in Chicago. I just lifted part of a Dave Brubeck fugue to a marching beat. It's a sort of protest song.”

Jim McCarty said:

“'Shapes Of Things' video was very much about the state of the situation in the country with the Vietnam War, so it was sort of an anti-war song.

Drummer Jim McCarty (August 2011)

“We were definitely surprised when we discovered that we could write hits without outside writers. With Jeff Beck it became very much a team effort. Some of us did some things well and some of us did other things well. We put all of those things in a pot and it just all seemed to work. I always fancied 'Shapes Of Things' video as being The Yardbirds' best single. That song had all the elements. Good tune, good lyrics, good rhythm and a great guitar solo by Jeff. That song was really the band at that point.”

The Yardbirds official site / Rock & Roll Hall of Fame / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / The Yardbirds

Image: “Ultimate! (album)” by The Yardbirds


Trivia

Trivia

● What kind of person shall not be honored on a U.S. postal stamp, according to the U.S. postal service and the Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Commitee?

Answer to Trivia

● In which movie did Humphrey Bogart play Charlie Allnut?

Answer to Trivia

● Which TV character said, “Live long and prosper”?

Answer to Trivia

● What is the name of Batman’s butler?

Answer to Trivia

● The average human body contains how many pints of blood?

Answer to Trivia


Jeopardy

A Test for People Who Know Everything

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

“Mary Anderson is in the National Inventors Hall of Fame for creating this car device; intermittent ones would come later.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer The National Inventors Hall of Fame

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

“In 1950 Zenith introduced the first one of these gadgets; it was called the 'Lazy Bones'.”

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

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “INVENTIONS” ($600)

“Ben Franklin, describing this invention: 'I have only to move my eyes up or down... to see distinctly far or near'.”

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

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

“In addition to his machine gun, this Civil War-era man also invented a steam plow.”

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

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

“In 1846 Elias Howe took this invention to Washington to apply for a patent.”

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


Answer to Last Week's Test

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “SAILING LITERATURE” ($200)

“The vessel in Lothar-Gunther Buchheim's claustrophobic World War II novel 'Das Boot' is one of these.”

● Answer: a U-boat. Wikipedia

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “SAILING LITERATURE” ($400)

“For poet John Masefield, 'All I ask is a tall ship and' this 'to steer her by'.”

● Answer: a Star. Poetry Foundation.org

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “SAILING LITERATURE” ($600)

“'My purpose holds to sail beyond the sunset', he says in a Tennyson poem that bears his name, set.”

● Answer: Ulysses (Triple Stumper: Who is Aeneas?, Who is Odysseus?. Poetry Foundation.org

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “SAILING LITERATURE” ($800)

“A strange ship called the Demeter brings this character to England, but its crew is gone & the captain is dead!.”

● Answer: Count Dracula. Cliffs Notes

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “SAILING LITERATURE” ($1,000)

“The third Narnia book is 'The Voyage of' this ship that sails through magic waters to the end of the world.”

● Answer: the Dawn Treader. Wikipedia


Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

“LAWYER JOKES”

How does an attorney sleep? Well, first he lies on one side, then he lies on the other.

You’ve heard that one, along with a million other lawyer jokes that people have sprung on you from the moment you first announced you were going to school to be a paralegal. Some of them probably even get told around the law office. Even lawyers like to laugh and there are a lot of aspects of legal practice that are ripe for a little deadpan humor.

ParalegalEDU.org

Joke of the Day

“Of Swine and Men”

A rabbi, a Hindu, and a lawyer are in a car that breaks down in the countryside one evening.

They walk to a nearby farm and the farmer tells them it’s too late for a tow truck but he has only two extra beds and one of them will have to sleep in the barn.

The Hindu says, “I’m humble, I’ll sleep in the barn.”.

But minutes later he returns and knocks on the door and says, “There is a cow in the barn. It’s against my beliefs to sleep in the same building as a cow.”.

So the rabbi says, “It’s okay, I’ll sleep in the barn.”

But soon, he is back knocking on the door as well, saying, “There is a pig in the barn, and I cannot shelter in a building with a pig.”

So the lawyer is forced to sleep in the barn.

Shortly, there is another knock on the door and the farmer sighs and answers it. It’s the pig and the cow.