Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 35, 2020

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First voyage of James Cook on August 26, 1768

First voyage of James Cook on August 26, 1768

First voyage of James Cook: On this day, James Cook appointed to command a ship called Endeavour left Plymouth, England on August 26, 1768.

Cook joined the Royal Navy relatively late in life

Cook worked on a Yorkshire farm in his youth before winning an apprenticeship with a merchant sailing company at age 17. He cut his teeth as a mariner on shipping voyages in the choppy waters of North and Baltic Seas, and spent the next decade rising through the ranks and mastering the art of navigation.

He was being groomed to become a captain, but in 1755, he shocked his superiors by quitting his merchant sailing career and enlisting in the British Royal Navy as a common seaman.

Cook was 26 - far older than most new recruits - yet it didn’t take long for the Navy to recognize his talent. He was promoted to ship’s master in only two years, and later became one of the first men in British naval history to rise through the enlisted ranks and take command of his own vessel.

Cook was an expert mapmaker

Cook first rose to prominence as a cartographer during the Seven Years’ War, when his detailed charts of the Saint Lawrence River helped the British pull off a surprise attack against French-held Quebec.

In the early 1760s, he was given a ship and tasked with charting the island of Newfoundland off the coast of Canada. The map he produced was so accurate that it was still in use in the 20th century.

Cook’s skill at charting the seas would later become a crucial tool in his explorer’s arsenal. He won command of his first round-the-world voyage in part because he could be trusted to navigate in uncharted territory and bring home precise maps of the lands he discovered.

First voyage of James Cook on August 26, 1768

Cook’s first voyage included a secret mission from the British government

Cook’s career as an explorer began in August 1768, when he left England on HM Bark Endeavour with nearly 100 crewmen in tow. Their journey was ostensibly a scientific expedition - they were charged with sailing to Tahiti to observe the transit of Venus across the face of the sun - but it also had a hidden military agenda.

Cook carried sealed orders instructing him to seek out the “Great Southern Continent”, an undiscovered landmass that was believed to lurk somewhere near the bottom of the globe. The explorer followed orders and sailed south to the 40th parallel, but found no evidence of the fabled continent. He then turned west and circled New Zealand, proving it was a pair of islands and not connected to a larger landmass.

Cook would later resume his search for the Southern Continent during his second circumnavigation of the globe in the early 1770s, and came tantalizingly close to sighting Antarctica before pack ice forced him to turn back.

Cook's ship Endeavour nearly sank on the Great Barrier Reef

After landing in Australia during his first voyage, Cook pointed his ship north and headed for the Dutch seaport of Batavia. Because he was in unmapped territory, he had no idea he was sailing directly into the razor-sharp coral formations of the Great Barrier Reef.

On June 11, 1770, his ship Endeavour slammed into a coral reef and began taking on water, endangering both his crew and his priceless charts of his Pacific discoveries.

Cook’s men frantically pumped water out of the holds and threw cannons and other equipment overboard to lighten the ship’s weight. They even used an old sail to try and plug a hole in their hull. After more than 20 desperate hours, they finally stopped the leak and limped toward the Australian coast. It would take Cook nearly two months of repairs to make his ship seaworthy again.

Cook helped pioneer new methods for warding off scurvy

In the 18th century, the specter of scurvy - a disease caused by a lack of vitamin C - loomed over every long distance sea voyage. Cook, however, managed to keep all three of his expeditions nearly scurvy-free. This was partially because of his obsession with procuring fresh food at each of his stops, but many have also credited his good fortune to an unlikely source: sauerkraut.

While Cook didn’t know the cure or cause of scurvy, he did know that the nutrient-rich pickled cabbage seemed to keep the disease at bay, so he brought several tons of it on his voyages. His only problem was getting his crew to eat it.

To trick them, Cook simply had sauerkraut “dressed every day” for the officers’ table. When the enlisted men saw their superiors eating it, they assumed it was a delicacy and requested some for themselves

First voyage of James Cook on August 26, 1768

Even Britain’s enemies respected Cook

While Cook’s journeys took place during a time when Britain was variously at war with the United States, Spain and France, his reputation as a pioneering explorer allowed him to travel the seas with relative impunity.

In July 1772, a squadron of Spanish vessels briefly detained his ships, only to release them after they realized Cook in command.

Likewise, when Cook’s third voyage set sail during the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin wrote a memo to colonial ship captains instructing them to treat the British vessels as “common friends to mankind” if they encountered them at sea.

Cook searched for the Northwest Passage

In 1776, a 47-year-old Cook set sail on his third voyage of discovery—this time a search for the elusive Northwest Passage in the Arctic.

After traveling halfway around the world, he led the ships HMS Resolution and Discovery on a perilous survey of the upper coasts of western Canada and Alaska.

Cook came within 50 miles of the western entrance to the passage, but his attempts to locate it were ultimately thwarted by freezing weather, violent currents and heavy ice floes in the Bering Sea.

When the extreme conditions drove his crew to the brink of mutiny, Cook reluctantly turned south for the summer. He would die before he had a chance to resume his search.

Natives mistook him for a god when he landed in the Hawaiian Islands

During Cook’s third voyage, he became the first European to set foot on Hawaii, which he called the “Sandwich Islands” after his patron the Earl of Sandwich

Hawaiians at Kealakekua Bay celebrated Cook’s January 1779 landing with joyous celebrations, and for good reason: by some strange coincidence, the explorer’s arrival coincided with an annual festival honoring the Hawaiian fertility god Lono.

Since the natives had never seen white men or massive sailing ships like Cook’s, they assumed he was their deity and lavished him with feasts and gifts.

The Europeans responded by greedily stripping Kealakekua of food and supplies, but when one of Cook’s sailors died from a stroke, the natives realized the strangely dressed Europeans weren’t immortals after all. From then on, Cook’s relationship with the Hawaiians became increasingly strained.

First voyage of James Cook on August 26, 1768

Cook suffered a grisly death

While docked for repairs in Hawaii in February 1779, Cook became enraged after a group of natives stole a cutter ship from one of his boats. He went ashore and tried to take King Kalani‘ōpu‘u hostage, but the Hawaiians feared their leader would be killed and swarmed to his aid.

When Cook’s ship Discovery fired its cannons at another group of Hawaiians, the explorer panicked and discharged a rifle before fleeing to a waiting boat. He didn’t get far before he was pelted by stones and struck by a club.

A Hawaiian warrior then brandished a knife - a gift from Cook - and plunged it into his back. Cook fell into the surf and was repeatedly stabbed and bashed with rocks.

After he perished, the Hawaiians ritualistically prepared his corpse as they would that of a king. They preserved his hands in sea salt, then roasted the rest of his body in a pit before cleaning his bones.

NASA named spacecraft after Cook's ships

Cook explored and mapped more territory than any navigator of his era, and his achievements later saw him honored by NASA.

Cook’s HMS Discovery was one of several historical vessels that inspired the name of the third space shuttle, and NASA later named their final shuttle “Endeavour” after the ship he commanded on his first circumnavigation of the globe.

When the shuttle Discovery made its final space flight in 2011, its crew carried a special medallion made by the Royal Society in honor of Cook.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / Princeton.edu / Captain Cook Society / Smithsonian.edu / Gutenberg.org / First voyage of James Cook on August 26, 1768 (YouTube) video

“This Day in History”

This Day in History August 26

•   683 Battle of al-Harrah: Yazid I's army kills 11,000 people of Medina including notable Sahabas.

• 1071 Battle of Manzikert: The Seljuq Turks defeat the Byzantine army and soon gain control of most of Anatolia.

• 1278 Battle on the Marchfeld: Ladislaus IV of Hungary and Rudolf I of Germany defeat Ottokar II of Bohemia in the Battle on the Marchfeld near Dürnkrut in (then) Moravia.

• 1346 Battle of Crécy: France suffered a devastating military humiliation, while England's military reputation was established in an evening's hard fighting.

• 1542 Francisco de Orellana navigated the Amazon River, reaching the Atlantic Ocean.

• 1791 John Fitch is granted a United States patent for the steamboat.

• 1920 19th amendment to United States Constitution takes effect, giving women the right to vote.

• 1942 World War II: At Chortkiv, the Ukrainian police and German Schutzpolizei deport two thousand Jews to Bełżec extermination camp.

• 1944 World War II: Liberation of Paris: Charles de Gaulle enters Paris.

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

Understanding Military Terminology

Overseas Environmental Baseline Guidance Document

(DOD) A set of objective criteria and management practices developed by the Department of Defense to protect human health and the environment.

Also called OEBGD.

Joint Publications (JP 3-34) Joint Engineer Operations

Oversized cargo

1. Large items of specific equipment such as a barge, side loadable warping tug, causeway section, powered, or causeway section, nonpowered that require transport by sea.

2. Air cargo exceeding the usable dimension of a 463L pallet loaded to the design height of 96 inches, but equal to or less than 1,000 inches in length, 117 inches in width, and 105 inches in height.

Also called Outsized Cargo.

Joint Publications (JP 3-17) Air Mobility Operations

“The Odyssey”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“The Odyssey”

Book XVI

Meanwhile Ulysses and the swineherd had lit a fire in the hut and were were getting breakfast ready at daybreak for they had sent the men out with the pigs. When Telemachus came up, the dogs did not bark, but fawned upon him, so Ulysses, hearing the sound of feet and noticing that the dogs did not bark, said to Eumaeus:

“Eumaeus, I hear footsteps; I suppose one of your men or some one of your acquaintance is coming here, for the dogs are fawning urn him and not barking.

The words were hardly out of his mouth before his son stood at the door. Eumaeus sprang to his feet, and the bowls in which he was mixing wine fell from his hands, as he made towards his master. He kissed his head and both his beautiful eyes, and wept for joy. A father could not be more delighted at the return of an only son, the child of his old age, after ten years' absence in a foreign country and after having gone through much hardship. He embraced him, kissed him all over as though he had come back from the dead, and spoke fondly to him saying:

So you are come, Telemachus, light of my eyes that you are. When I heard you had gone to Pylos I made sure I was never going to see you any more. Come in, my dear child, and sit down, that I may have a good look at you now you are home again; it is not very often you come into the country to see us herdsmen; you stick pretty close to the town generally. I suppose you think it better to keep an eye on what the suitors are doing.”

“The Odyssey” - Book XVI continued ...

~ Homer

Written 800 B.C.E

Translated by Samuel Butler

“The Odyssey” - Table Of Contents

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“Everyone complains of his memory,

and nobody complains of his judgment.”

“Nothing is impossible;

there are ways that lead to everything,

and if we had sufficient will we should always have sufficient means.

It is often merely for an excuse that we say things are impossible.”

“The defects and faults of the mind are like wounds in the body.

After all imaginable care has been taken to heal them up,

still there will be a scar left behind.”

~ Francois de la Roche Foucauld

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“And out of darkness came the hands that reach thro' nature, moulding men.”

“Knowledge comes,

but wisdom lingers.”




these three alone lead life to sovereign power.”

~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Learned”

“No individual raindrop ever considers itself responsible for the flood.”

“Farm: What a city man dreams of at 5 p.m., never at 5 a.m.”

“Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects.”

~ Anonymous

Second Hand News

Second Hand News: Articles from Week 35 - August 24, 2020 - August 30, 2020

Top News Stories - Photos (Washington Examiner) 2020 Republican National Convention: Trump ignores tradition and puts himself center stage on convention Day OneRepublicans go for genuine touch with convention eschewing Dems' bells and whistlesRepublicans see political gold for Trump in Biden's 'shut it down' comments

'Your family will not be safe:' McCloskeys, The couple who wielded weapons at “Black Lives Matter” protesters from their St. Louis home - warn of 'radical Democrats’ America'Tim Scott caps Republican convention night of minority voter outreachNikki Haley denounces Biden 'Blame America First' foreign policy

Lindsey Graham to subpoena FBI official he says misled Senate Intelligence Committee on Steele dossierTrump administration 'criminal', AOC says, dismissing Republicans' 'law and order' stance'Settle for Biden' agrees with Matt Gaetz on 'woketopian' aim to control Biden

MOST READ: CDC guidelines say wearing a mask during prolonged exposure to coronavirus won't prevent possible infectionMedia succeeds in forcing Kellyanne Conway out of the Oval by turning her distressed daughter into a #resistance heroHillary Clinton: Biden 'should not concede under any circumstances' Washington Examiner

Top News Stories - Photos (The Federalist) Kenosha, Wisconsin Violence And Chaos EscalateMayor Bill De Blasio: No Indoor Dining Until Next YearRNC Kicks Off With Patriotic Message Of Hope And Optimism In Stark Contrast With DNC’s Pandemic Nightmare

Herschel Walker Rejects ‘Racist’ Accusations Against Trump: ‘It Hurts My Soul’Maximo Alvarez Offers Powerful Testimony On Joe Biden: ‘I Have Seen People Like This Before’Like Joe Rogan, The Republicans Will Thrive Because Corporate Media Fails

MOST READ: FBI Lawyer’s Guilty Plea Suggests Spygate Corruption Goes Way HigherFires Burn In Kenosha, Wisconsin After Rioters Set Church And Car Lot AblazeDisney Corporate Darling, Atlantic Journo Jemele Hill Says U.S. Is As Bad As Nazi Germany

Explosive New FBI Notes Confirm Obama Directed Anti-Flynn OperationAmericans React To Kamala Harris’s Call For Post-20 Week Abortions With Pictures Of Their 20-Week-OldsPostmaster General Rips Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier, Tells Her To Educate Herself In Awkward Moment The Federalist

Top News Stories - Photos (CORRUPTION CHRONICLES - Mainstream Media Scream: (Watch Dog On-Line Publications) CORRUPTION CHRONICLES: The Election Integrity Threat: 96 Million Unverified Mail-In-Ballots

“Investigating the Investigators:” Supreme Court Ruling Forces George Soros Groups to Make Anti-Prostitution Pledge to Get U.S. AIDS Funding

Voter Fraud: Man Arrested in Los Angeles for Voting 3 Times as His Dead Mother Judicial Watch

OUTING FAKE NEWS OMISSIONS and DISTORTIONS: Fairness: Networks Melt Down Over ‘Aggressive’, ‘Red Meat’ RNC That Said America Isn’t RacistRACISTS: CNN Claims Senator Tim Scott and Former U.N. Ambassador Haley Are Tokens for White PartyAfter Some Praise, ABC, CBS TRASH Tim Scott From the Left on “Black Lives Matter”, COVID

CNN Interrupts Republican Convention SIX Times on First Night, TWO for DemocratsVenom: MSNBC Opens with Disdain for RNC, Fearing Trumps Are a ‘Monarchy’HYPOCRITES: MSNBC Loved Dem Convention, But Breaks Into ‘Dangerous’ Republican Event News Busters

Why Does the New Year Start on January 1? Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Why Does the New Year Start on January 1?

The Romans had a god named Janus. He was the god of doors and gates and had two faces—one looking forward and one looking back. Julius Caesar thought it would be appropriate for January, Janus's namesake month, to be the doorway to a new year, and when he created the Julian calendar, he made January 1 the first day of the year (this also put the calendar year in line with the consular year, as new consuls also took office that day).

For Caesar, the Julian calendar was a political tool and weapon. As the Roman armies conquered new lands, the Empire often gave its new subjects some freedom in retaining certain religious and social customs. After the calendar was created, though, it was used in every corner of the Empire, not just for consistency, but to remind all citizens of Roman authority and Caesar's power.

After Rome fell and Christianity spread through Europe, the celebration of the new year was seen as pagan (the Romans, after all, had observed the new year's first day by having in drunken orgies), so the first day of the year was moved to a more agreeable date to Christianize it. Some countries started their year on March 25, the day Christians commemorate the announcement to Mary that she miraculously was pregnant.

Other countries used Christmas Day, December 25, and others used Easter Sunday, no matter what date it fell on. Often, this change only applied to the government calendar's. In common usage, January 1 was still the first day of the year, as regular non-clergy, non-royal folks didn't see a need to change it.

Why Does the New Year Start on January 1?

Change of date

This calendrical chaos worked for a while, but a frustrated pope would put an end to it during the Middle Ages. An error in Caesar's calendar had caused the Julian year to become misaligned with the solar year. By 1582, the difference had grown to 10 days. Over the years, the Spring Equinox (and, with it, Easter) kept getting moved up, and Pope Gregory XIII was tired of having to reset the holiday. Gregory devised a new calendar that used a single leap day every four years to keep it aligned. He also restored January 1 as the first day of the year.

Most Catholic countries adopted the Gregorian calendar quickly, but the Protestant and Eastern Rite countries were a little more hesitant. The Protestants complained that the “Roman Antichrist” was trying to trick them into worshiping on the wrong days. The Eastern Rite churches wanted to maintain tradition, so some Eastern European countries kept the Julian calendar for centuries more. Russia didn't switch to the Gregorian calendar until after the 1917 revolution, and even today the Eastern Orthodox Church still follows either the traditional or revised Julian calendar to set its liturgical year.

Eventually the Protestant nations came around and switched to the Gregorian calendar. Most, though, changed the start of the year well before they adopted the whole thing. England, Ireland and the British colonies made January 1 the start of the year in early 1752 Scotland had already switched about 150 years earlier) but waited until September to fully embrace the new calendar. The staggered move was perhaps symbolic, bringing the government calendar in line with the people's before bringing the nation's calendar in line the with Pope's.

Live Science / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / Mental Floss / Quora / History Channel / Why Does the New Year Start on January 1? (YouTube) video

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Ouija Board/Wee-Gee Board: Flat board with small airplanes, bolts, etc. that can be moved around to indicate aircraft position and status on an aircraft carrier.

Out of sight Hi/Lo: Steam boiler casualty in which the water level in the steam drum gauge glass goes out the top/bottom, requiring the boiler to be immediately shut down to prevent water hitting the turbine blades (hi) or melting boiler tubes (lo). If operating on one boiler at the time of the casualty, the ship then goes "dark and quiet" as all power and propulsion is lost.

Overhead: Ceiling.


Just for MARINES - The Few. The Proud.

Just for you MARINE

OTV: Outer Tactical Vest, militarized version of Interceptor body armor, a common type of ballistic vest; being replaced by the MTV.

Outside: Civilian life after discharge. See also real world.

Overhead: Ceiling

Over the Hill: Excessively old, or a Marine so long in the service they have become institutionalized.


Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

HSM-78 Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM) Squadron SEVEN EIGHT - nicknamed the “Blue Hawks”

United States Navy Naval Air Station - Naval Air Station North Island, Naval Base Coronado Location San Diego, California / Coronado, California / Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron - Squadron Lineage: HSM-78: March 1, 2012 - present.

Where Did That Saying Come From

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Road to hell is paved with good intentions”

Road to hell is paved with good intentions:

Meaning: The intention to engage in good acts often fails. It points up the principle that there is no merit in good intentions unless they are acted on.

History: The origin of almost all proverbs is shrouded by the mists of time. Nevertheless, there is no shortage of claimants to the authorship of 'The road to hell is paved with good intentions'.

The expression is often attributed to the Cistercian abbot Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1090 – 1153). This attribution was made by St Francis de Sales in Correspondence: Lettres d'Amitié Spirituelle (written in 1640 and printed in 1980). The de Sales version was 'l'enfer est plein de bonnes volontés ou désirs', which translates as ‘hell is full of good intentions and wishes’. The five hundred year gap and the fact that the text isn't found in the works of St Bernard suggests that we can discount Francis's account.

And... just when you've waited five hundred years for one St. Bernard myth, along comes a second. St. Bernard rescue dogs don't carry casks of brandy around their necks to give drinks to people who are stranded in snowdrifts. That idea comes from a painting by the popular Victorian painter Sir Edwin Landseer. His 1820 painting Alpine Mastiffs Reanimating a Distressed Traveller shows such a scene and the image entered the public consciousness. However, Landseer made it up, it never happened.

Back to the proverb. Early English versions don't refer to the road to hell or suggest that such a road was paved, but simply state that hell was filled with good intentions. In more recent times there is always a mention of paving. This adaptation may have been influenced by Ecclesiasticus 21:10:

“The way of sinners is made plain with stones, but at the end thereof is the pit of hell.”

The person who made the 'paved' version popular appears to have been James Boswell in The Life of Samuel Johnson LL.D.,1791, who is second favourite after Saint Bernard as the suggested author of this proverb:

No saint, however, in the course of his religious warfare, was more sensible of the unhappy failure of pious resolves, than Johnson. He said one day, talking to an acquaintance on this subject, “Sir Hell is paved with good intentions.”

Johnson didn't coin the phrase however. In 1670, the English theologian John Ray published A Collection of English Proverbs, in which he used the version that Johnson later quoted.

The 'road' element was added even later. The first time that the complete proverb 'The road to hell is paved with good intentions' appears in print is in Henry G. Bohn's A Hand-book of Proverbs, 1855. Neither Bohn nor Ray claimed to have coined the phrase, they were collectors, not originators.

As to who did coin the phrase. I intended to discover that and to let you know but, regrettably, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Phrases.org UK

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Can solar geoengineering mitigate both climate change and income inequality?A protein called Sestrin might be responsible for many of the benefits of a good workoutChemists report a new use for the waste product of nuclear power generation which could be used to create valuable commodity chemicals as well as new energy sourcesStudy puts the 'Carib' in 'Caribbean,' boosting credibility of Christopher Columbus' cannibal claims Phys.org / MedicalXpress / TechXplore

Forget Top Gun: Maverick - let’s settle Blue Thunder vs. Airwolf once and for allInside TASBot’s semi-secret, probably legal effort to control the Nintendo SwitchHigher minimum wages linked to reduced suicide rateIranian hackers have been “password spraying” the U.S. grid ARS Technica

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)

Hummingbirds' rainbow colors come from pancake-shaped structures in their feathers

Hummingbirds' rainbow colors come from pancake-shaped structures in their feathers

Source: Field Museum

Summary: Hummingbirds are some of the most brightly-colored things in the entire world. Their iridescent feathers reflect light in a way that other birds can't match, and scientists weren't sure what made hummingbirds special. But a new study shows that while hummingbird feathers have the same basic makeup as other birds', the special shape of their pigment-containing structures enables them to reflect a rainbow of light.

“The big question that keeps me up at night is, why are some groups of birds more colorful than others?” says Chad Eliason, the paper's first author and a postdoctoral researcher at the Field Museum in Chicago. “You can look out your window and see drab brown birds, and then you have this glittering gem flutter to your hummingbird feeder. Why are hummingbirds so colorful? Is it the environment, is it sexual selection? Or is it something about the internal mechanisms, the physics and the way colors are produced?”

To answer these questions, Eliason and his international team of colleagues conducted the largest-ever optical study of hummingbird feathers. They examined the feathers of 35 species of hummingbirds with transmission electron microscopes and compared them with the feathers of other brightly-colored birds, like green-headed mallard ducks, to look for differences in their make-up.

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Revenge is a dish best served cold”

All birds' feathers are made of keratin, the same material as our hair and nails, and they're structured like tiny trees, with parts resembling a trunk, branches, and leaves. The “leaves”, called feather barbules, are made up of cells that contain pigment-producing organelles called melanosomes. We have melanosomes too - they produce the dark melanin pigment that colors our hair and skin. But pigment isn't the only way to get color. The shape and arrangement of melanosomes can influence the way light bounces off them, producing bright colors.

“We call these iridescent colors 'structural colors' because they depend on the structural dimensions”, says co-author Matthew Shawkey of Belgium's University of Ghent. “A good analogy would be like a soap bubble. If you just look at a little bit of soap, it's going to be colorless. But if you structure it the right way, if you spread it out really thin to form the shell of a bubble, you get those shimmering rainbow colors around the edges. It works the same way with melanosomes: with the right structure, you can turn something colorless into something really colorful.”

“In mammals, the melanin isn't organized in any fancy way inside of the hairs, but in birds, you get these layers of melanosomes, and when light bounces off the different layers, we see bright colors”, says Eliason.

But even among birds, hummingbird melanosomes are special. Ducks have log-shaped melanosomes without any air inside, but hummingbirds' melanosomes are pancake-shaped and contain lots of tiny air bubbles. The flattened shape and air bubbles of hummingbird melanosomes create a more complex set of surfaces. When light glints off those surfaces, it bounces off in a way that produces iridescence.

The researchers also found that the different traits that make hummingbird feathers special - like melanosome shape and the thickness of the feather lining - are traits that evolved separately, allowing hummingbirds to mix and match a wider variety of traits. It's kind of like how you can make more outfit combinations with three shirts and three pairs of pants than you can with three dresses. All in all, hummingbird feathers are super complex, and that's what makes them so much more colorful than other birds.

And, the authors note, this project opens the door to a greater understanding of why hummingbirds develop the specific colors that they do.

“Not all hummingbird colors are shiny and structural -- some species have drab plumage, and in many species, the females are less colorful than the males”, notes co-author Rafael Maia, a biologist and data scientist at Instacart.

“In this paper we describe a model of how all these variations can be achieved within feathers. Now other wonderful questions appear. For example, if it is possible to display a wide variety of colors, why are many hummingbirds green? Whether this reflects historical events, predation, or female variation in preferences are still open and challenging questions”, says co-author Juan Parra from Colombia's Universidad de Antioquia.

“This study sets the stage for really understanding how color patterns are developed. Now that we have a better idea of how feather structure maps to color, we can really parse out which genes are underlying those really crazy colors in birds”, says Eliason.

Science Daily (01/06/2020) video

Second Hand News

Second Hand News: Articles from Week 35 - August 24, 2020 - August 30, 2020

Top News Stories - Photos (Daily Mail) Don Jr. says this election is 'church, work and school vs. rioting, looting and vandalism' - while Kimberly Guilfoyle attacks Biden and his 'socialist comrades' who will 'fundamentally change this nation' Republican senator Tim Scott tells how his family 'went from cotton to Congress in a generation' as he asks voters to back Trump and paints Democrats as socialists who will cause law and order to collapse

Kenosha burns: “Black ives Matter” protesters set light to Department of Corrections building and local businesses while looters run riot for second night in defiance of the National Guard deployed to restore order following Jacob Blake police shootingNew footage shows Jacob Blake brawling with cops before being shot - Governor Tony Evers 'wholly irresponsible' for condemning law enforcementWisconsin cop is knocked out with a brick sparking cheers of 'f*** the police' during riots by shooting of Jacob Blake

Republicans begins the RNC by calling Trump 'the bodyguard of Western civilization' as it showcases 'ordinary voters' including St. Louis gun couple who says he stands between America and 'vengeful mob'Trump appears with frontline workers who have battled COVID and six freed American hostages held abroad as RNC highlights personal stories of those president has intervened to help

Cuban immigrant comes close to tears as he tells Republican convention that Democrats are like Fidel Castro and says his father told him of America: 'There is no other place to go.'Nikki Haley says 'the U.S. is NOT a racist country' and says Trump will build an America where 'every black life matters' - including African American cops killed on the job

Trump accuses Democrats of 'using COVID to steal an election' claiming mail-in ballots will 'defraud the American people of a fair and free election' as he accepts Republican nomination at surprise convention speechTrump's fiercest Congressional defenders including Matt Gaetz and Jim Jordan make the case for him at RNC convention claiming Joe Biden will 'lock you in your home and move MS-13 in next door to you'

Ancient 2,000-year-old redwoods have survived California wildfires - including 329ft tall Mother of the Forest tree - as state continues battle against three huge blazes that have destroyed 1.2m acres, killed seven and put 250,000 under evacuation ordersOne-two punch for Gulf: Tropical Storm Laura could batter the South as a category THREE hurricane 48 hours after being hit by storm Marcos sparking Texas and Louisiana declare state of emergencies Daily Mail

Top News Stories - Photos (Daily Mail) Herschel Walker: ‘I Have Seen Racism Up Close. I Know What It Is. And It Isn’t Donald Trump.’WATCH: Rising Republican Candidate Kim Klacik Delivers Speech At Republican ConventionTrump Jr. Nails Biden: ‘The Loch Ness Monster Of The Swamp,’ ‘He’s Been Lurking Around In There’Gun-Toting St. Louis Couple: Democrats Want To Spread ‘Chaos And Violence Into Our Communities’

Georgia Democrat Torches His Party During RNC Convention: ‘Infected’ With ‘Bigotry’, Tolerating ViolenceWATCH: Jim Jordan Tells Powerful Story Of Trump Consoling Family Member Who Lost SonNikki Haley Scorches Democrats For Claiming ‘America Is Racist’: ‘That Is A Lie’, ‘This Is Personal For Me’Matt Gaetz: Democrats Will ‘Disarm You, Empty The Prisons, Lock You In Your Home, And Invite MS-13 To Live Nextdoor’ Daily Wire

Top News Stories - Photos (John Batchelor)

Biden's acceptance speech borrowed indiscreetly from the late Jack Layton of the Canada's New Democratic Party (NDP) of the Left. audio  
What Biden didn’t talk about. audio  
Anxiety-laden speeches at 2020 Democratic National Convention (DNC); plotting against the post office. audio  

NewAmericanCivilWar: Soon the Prince of Darkness. audio  
#NewAmericanCivilWar: Biden the Prince of Peace. audio  

#TheScalaReport: Is this the end of the big cities? Is this the rebirth of suburbia? audio  

Massive fires. Mysterious surveillance app arrives unsought in your phone. audio  

Germany says that Navalny was poisoned & What i to be done? audio  

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“What the World Needs Now Is Love” - Jackie DeShannon 1965

“What the World Needs Now Is Love” - Jackie DeShannon
Album: This Is Jackie DeShannon
Released 1965 video

What the World Needs Now Is Lovevideo was written by the songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. It was offered to Dionne Warwick and Gene Pitney, who both passed on it. In Songfacts 2012 interview with Jackie DeShannon, she explained:

“When Hal suggested that Burt play 'What the World Needs Now' Burt was not that enthused about showing it to me at that moment. So we went on, played some more songs, and tried to decide on the four sides that we would record for the session. At that point Hal again suggested that Burt play 'What the World Needs Now.' And reluctantly, I think, he played it for me.

Of course it was love at first hearing and first sight at those gorgeous words and fantastic melody. There were cornfields and wheat fields in my back yard where I grew up in Kentucky on a farm, and I heard a little bit of a gospel feel in the chorus. I thought it was a match made in heaven. The minute Burt heard me singing it, he said, 'Off to New York! We're off to New York!' That's where we recorded the song.”

Jackie DeShannon wrote several hit songs, including:

When You Walk In The Roomvideo, The Searchers;

Come and Stay With Mevideo, Marianne Faithfull;

Dum Dumvideo, Brenda Lee;

Bette Davis Eyesvideo, which became a huge hit for Kim Carnes, appeared on her 1975 album New Arrangement.

Burt Bacharach (from Record Collector magazine):

Dionne (Warwick) rejected that song. She might have thought it was too preachy and I thought Dionne was probably right. Hal pushed me to play it for Jackie De Shannon who we were gonna record. Otherwise I would have let it be and it would still be in the drawer.

Once I heard Jackie sing four bars of it, I thought 'this is great.' Jackie had such a great voice. Love her voice. Whether it's a song she wrote herself or singing 'What The World Needs Now Is Love,' she's special. I wish we could have repeated that success with Jackie but the material we gave her on the next session wasn't as good.”

Lyricist Hal David discussed this track in the book Chicken Soup For the Soul: The Story Behind The Song:

“I was living in Roslyn, New York, on the north shore of Long Island, which is where my children were raised. I would drive into Manhattan every day to meet Burt (Bacharach) at the Brill Building in Famous Music's offices on the sixth floor, where we did our writing. Mine was a rock and roll house where each of my kids had a band that practiced there. It was hard for me to find somewhere quiet to work so I would drive into town slowly, which would give me the opportunity to think and get ideas. I would write in my head during the ride.

One day, I thought of the first two lines of this song:

What the world needs now is love, sweet love

It's the only thing that there's just too little of

Before I got to Manhattan I had the rest of the chorus set the way it is today. Then I needed the verse section. When I began to write the first verse, everything I thought about just seemed off: We don't need a plane to fly faster, we don't need a submarine to go deeper. I tried and tried, showed it to Burt, then put it away and went on to something else.

In a month or two or three, I tried again. It was always the same thing. I needed something to compare it to and everything I thought about had nothing to do with the person I was talking to - God. It took more time to write these lyrics than any other. I realized that I needed to write the antithesis - what we didn't need. One day on the ride to New York, it came to me.

Lord, we don't need another mountain

There are mountains and hillsides enough to climb

There are oceans and rivers enough to cross

Enough to last till the end of time

I knew that was it. I wrote about all of the things that had to do with nature and what God gives us. I gave the lyrics to Burt and he wrote a fabulous melody.

There were three ways Burt and I wrote together. He'd have melody ideas; I'd have lyric ideas. We'd show each other what we had, pick out what we both liked and work on it together. Sometimes we'd be writing three songs at once. Sometimes I'd take the melody home and write lyrics to it, sometimes Burt would take the lyrics home and write the melody to them.

We showed the song to Dionne Warwick, who had recorded many of our songs, and it is the only song of ours that she ever turned down. We put it aside and then received a call from Liberty Records to meet with Jackie DeShannon. We played this song for her and she wanted to do it. Burt did a great arrangement and we recorded it.”

Dionne Warwick evidently changed her mind, as she did later record the song for her 1966 album Here Where There Is Love.

Jackie DeShannon, official website / Country Music Hall of Fame / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Jackie DeShannon

Image: “This Is Jackie DeShannon (album)” by Jackie DeShannon



● Which 2 types of rather small creatures are primarily responsible for having spread the bubonic plague that killed millions of people in Europe and Asia in the 14th century?

Answer to Trivia

● The Revolutionary War between the United States and Great Britain officially ended on September 3, 1783, with a treaty signed where?

Answer to Trivia

● What is the name of the John Philip Sousa march named after a famous newspaper of it's time?

Answer to Trivia

● As a result of patriotism during the Gulf War, in 1991 Whitney Houston had an unlikely musical hit when she recorded what song?

Answer to Trivia


A Test for People Who Know Everything

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

“For centuries, wood was the main fuel used in lighthouses; in the 1700s, this animal product became the primary source.”

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

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

“When her husband died in 1776, Hannah Thomas became the first U.S. woman keeper, taking his job at this state's Plymouth Light.”

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

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

“All U.S. lighthouses come under the jurisdiction of this branch of the Armed Services.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer United States Lighthouse Society.org

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

“In 1937 a lighthouse was constructed & named for her on tiny Howland Island, an island she never reached.”

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

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

“Built by Romans before 100 A.D., the Tower of Hercules in the Galicia area of this country is the world's oldest active lighthouse.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer UNESCO World Heritage Centre.org

Answer to Last Week's Test

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “TOYS "R" US” ($200)

“A Hungarian professor designed the prototype of this puzzle in 1974; by the 1980s, it was a sensation.”

● Answer: a Rubik's Cube. Toy Hall of Fame.org

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “TOYS "R" US” ($400)


“This smiling gal with yarn for hair was the subject of a U.S. patent issued in September 1915.”

● Answer: Raggedy Ann. Toy Hall of Fame.org

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “TOYS "R" US” ($600)

“Someone's block will be knocked off when the Blue Bomber takes on the Red Rocker in this 5-word game.”

● Answer: Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots. Mattel

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “TOYS "R" US” ($800)

“In 1999 this classic toy wagon landed at the National Toy Hall of Fame.”

● Answer: Radio Flyer. Toy Hall of Fame.org

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “TOYS "R" US” ($1,000)

“I got a brand new pair of Riedell 911 Jammer Jams, these.”

● Answer: Roller Skates. Toy Hall of Fame.org

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day


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.


Joke of the Day

“Roundup The Usual Suspects”

While prosecuting a robbery case, the attorney conducted an interview with the arresting officer

Prosecuting attorney: “Did you see the defendant at the scene?”

Arresting officer: “Yes, from a block away.”

Prosecuting attorney: “Was the area well lit?”

Arresting officer: “No. It was pretty dark.”

Prosecuting attorney: “Then how could you identify the defendant?” he asked, concerned.

Arresting officer looking at the attorney as if he were nuts answered, “I’d recognize my cousin anywhere.”

“Protesting Too Much”

Arrested on a robbery charge, the law firm’s client denied all allegations.

So when the victim pointed out the firm’s client in a lineup as one of four men who had attacked him, the client reacted vociferously.

“He’s lying!” the client yelled. “There were only three of us.”