Old Sailors' Almanac

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY

Week 41, 2020

Previous Week   October 05, 2020 - October 11, 2020  Next Week

United States-led attack on Afghanistan begins on October 07, 2001

United States-led attack on Afghanistan begins on October 07, 2001

United States-led attack on Afghanistan begins: On October 7, 2001, a United States-led coalition begins attacks on Taliban-controlled Afghanistan with an intense bombing campaign by American and British forces.

Logistical support was provided by other nations including France, Germany, Australia and Canada and, later, troops were provided by the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance rebels. The invasion of Afghanistan was the opening salvo in the United States “war on terrorism” and a response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.

United States-led attack on Afghanistan begins on October 07, 2001

Named “Operation Enduring Freedom” in U.S. military parlance, the invasion of Afghanistan was intended to target terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida organization, which was based in the country, as well as the extreme fundamentalist Taliban government that had ruled most of the country since 1996 and supported and protected al-Qaida.

The Taliban, which had imposed its extremist version of Islam on the entire country, also perpetrated countless human rights abuses against its people, especially women, girls and ethnic Hazaras. During their rule, large numbers of Afghans lived in utter poverty, and as many as 4 million Afghans are thought to have suffered from starvation.

In the weeks prior to the invasion, both the United States and the U.N. Security Council had demanded that the Taliban turn over Osama bin Laden for prosecution. After deeming the Taliban’s counteroffers unsatisfactory - among them to try bin Laden in an Islamic court - the invasion began with an aerial bombardment of Taliban and al-Qaida installations in Kabul, Kandahar, Jalalabad, Konduz and Mazar-e-Sharif.

Other coalition planes flew in airdrops of humanitarian supplies for Afghan civilians. The Taliban called the actions “an attack on Islam”. In a taped statement released to the Arabic al-Jazeera television network, Osama bin Laden called for a war against the entire non-Muslim world.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Naval History and Heritage Command.mil / Army Transportation Museum.mil / Federation of American Scientists.org /Council on Foreign Relations.org / Conflict Casualties - DCAS.mil / Canadian Encyclopedia / United States-led attack on Afghanistan begins on October 07, 2001 (YouTube) video

“This Day in History”

This Day in History October 07

• 3761 BC Hebrew calendar The World Is Created, According to the Hebrew Calendar

• 1403 Venetian–Genoese wars: Battle of Modon: The Genoese fleet under a French admiral is defeated by a Venetian fleet.

• 1513 War of the League of Cambrai: Battle of La Motta: Spain defeats Venice.

• 1571 Battle of Lepanto: Spain defeats Venice.

• 1691 Province of Massachusetts Bay Charter issued.

• 1763 Royal Proclamation of 1763: King George III proclamation closing Indigenous lands in North America north and west of the Alleghenies to white settlements.

• 1780 American Revolutionary War: Battle of Kings Mountain: American militia defeat royalist irregulars led by British major Patrick Ferguson in South Carolina.

• 1826 Granite Railway Begins operations as the first chartered railway in the U.S.

• 1864 American Civil War: Bahia incident: U.S. Navy ship captures a Confederate raider in a Brazilian seaport.

• 1916 Most lopsided college football game: Georgia Tech defeats Cumberland University 222–0.

• 1919 KLM Flag carrier of the Netherlands, is founded. It is the oldest airline still operating under its original name.

• 1940 World War II: McCollum memo Proposes bringing the United States into the war in Europe by provoking the Japanese to attack the United States.

• 1944 World War II: Birkenau concentration camp uprising: Jewish prisoners burn down Crematorium IV.

• 1950 Mother Teresa establishes the Missionaries of Charity.

• 1958 U.S. manned space-flight project is renamed Project Mercury.


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

Understanding Military Terminology

Patriot

(DOD) A point and limited area defense surface-to-air missile system capable of intercepting aircraft and theater missiles, including short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles in the terminal phase.

Joint Publications (JP 3-01) Countering Air and Missile Threats


“The Odyssey”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“The Odyssey”

Book XXII

Then Ulysses tore off his rags, and sprang on to the broad pavement with his bow and his quiver full of arrows. He shed the arrows on to the ground at his feet and said, “The mighty contest is at an end. I will now see whether Apollo will vouchsafe it to me to hit another mark which no man has yet hit.”

On this he aimed a deadly arrow at Antinous, who was about to take up a two-handled gold cup to drink his wine and already had it in his hands. He had no thought of death- who amongst all the revellers would think that one man, however brave, would stand alone among so many and kill him? The arrow struck Antinous in the throat, and the point went clean through his neck, so that he fell over and the cup dropped from his hand, while a thick stream of blood gushed from his nostrils. He kicked the table from him and upset the things on it, so that the bread and roasted meats were all soiled as they fell over on to the ground. The suitors were in an uproar when they saw that a man had been hit; they sprang in dismay one and all of them from their seats and looked everywhere towards the walls, but there was neither shield nor spear, and they rebuked Ulysses very angrily. “Stranger”, said they, “you shall pay for shooting people in this way: om yi you shall see no other contest; you are a doomed man; he whom you have slain was the foremost youth in Ithaca, and the vultures shall devour you for having killed him.”

Thus they spoke, for they thought that he had killed Antinous by mistake, and did not perceive that death was hanging over the head of every one of them. But Ulysses glared at them and said:

“Dogs, did you think that I should not come back from Troy? You have wasted my substance, have forced my women servants to lie with you, and have wooed my wife while I was still living. You have feared neither Cod nor man, and now you shall die.”

“The Odyssey” - Book XXII continued ...

~ Homer

Written 800 B.C.E

Translated by Samuel Butler

“The Odyssey” - Table Of Contents


“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy.”

“The basis of shame is not some personal mistake of ours,

but that this humiliation is seen by everyone.”

“He took over anger to intimidate subordinates,

and in time anger took over him.”

~ Milan Kundera


“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“Nobody minds having what is too good for them.”

“One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.”

“They are much to be pitied who have not been given a taste for nature early in life.”

~ Jane Austen


“What I Have Learned”

“What I Learned”

“It’s a wonderful feeling when you discover some evidence to support your beliefs.”

“God will provide the victuals,

but He will not cook the dinner.”

~ Anonymous


Why Is Opening an Umbrella Indoors Supposed to Be Bad Luck? Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Why Is Opening an Umbrella Indoors Supposed to Be Bad Luck?

Do you dread Friday the 13th? Does it freak you out if a black cat crosses your path? Will you pick up a coin on the sidewalk if you find it tails-side up? If you open an umbrella indoors, will everyone in the house experience bad luck?

If you put stock in any of these popular ideas, you may be a bit superstitious. A superstition is usually defined as an irrational practice or belief that stems from ignorance, fear, belief in the supernatural or a mistaken understanding of the cause of an event. Superstitions typically take the form of a belief that doing something - or not doing something - will result in particularly good or bad luck.

For example, many people believe that finding a four-leaf clover will lead to a streak of good luck for the finder. On the other hand, many people believe that walking under a stepladder or breaking a mirror will lead to bad luck.

Superstitions have been around for thousands of years. In fact, most superstitions can be traced back to ancient times, before science had developed to the point where people could find reasonable, scientific explanations for what they saw in the world.

Why Is Opening an Umbrella Indoors Supposed to Be Bad Luck?

Without the benefit of science and more advanced technology, ancient peoples would develop stories and beliefs to help them make sense of the world around them. Even though many superstitions have been refuted - or are just too strange to be believed - millions of people all over the world still follow them.

Take the umbrella, for example. If you were to carry one with you and open it indoors at random times over the course of a week, you'd probably be surprised by how many people mention that it's bad luck to do so! Why is that?

The humble umbrella - also known in various locales as a parasol, brolly, rainshade, sunshade, gamp or bumbershoot - takes its name from the Latin word umbra, which means shade or shadow. People have believed for hundreds of years that opening an umbrella indoors will result in bad luck “raining” down on you. There are a couple of theories about how this belief got started…

Some people believe the umbrella superstition comes from ancient Egypt, where the umbrella was primarily used for protection from the hot rays of the sun. Legend has it that ancient Egyptians believed that opening an umbrella indoors - away from the sun - was a disrespectful act that would anger the sun god, who would then take out his anger on everyone in the house in which the umbrella had been opened.

Others believe the umbrella superstition has a more modern - and practical - source. The first modern umbrellas were not all that safe. Built with hard metal spokes and spring triggers, they could be dangerous to open. In fact, opening one indoors could pose a danger to people and fragile objects nearby.

Why Is Opening an Umbrella Indoors Supposed to Be Bad Luck?

Warning people not to open an umbrella indoors served to protect the health and safety of people and property indoors. In this sense, the superstition might have stemmed from the “bad luck” - the injuries and broken objects - that often coincided with the umbrella's opening. To the extent that injuries were avoided, this superstition wasn't necessarily all bad!

Interestingly, some people believe that it's not always bad luck to open an umbrella indoors. Some people believe it's only bad luck if the umbrella is black, was a gift, has never been used outdoors, or there's a sick person in the house!

Other bad luck umbrella superstitions:

If you drop an umbrella, never pick it up yourself. Ask someone to pick it up for you.

Don't give umbrellas as gifts.

Don't put umbrellas on tables or beds.

Wonderopolis.org / Wikipedia / Psychic Library / Mental Floss / Quora / Live Science / How Stuff Works / Why Is Opening an Umbrella Indoors Supposed to Be Bad Luck? (YouTube) video


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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Pier 20: Derogatory term used to describe the U.S.S. Mt. Whitney (LCC-20), as it rarely goes to sea.

PIERPAC: Pretending to be on deployment while moored to a pier. (like WESTPAC referring to a Western Pacific deployment.) See Fast Cruise.

Pier-Queer: Air Force term for “Sailor”. (The Navy term for Air Force personnel is simply “Queer”.)

Pier tender: A ship that never gets under way. See “USS Neversail”.

Pigs in a Bucket, Fuck it: Colorful rhyming term used when a sailor wants to forget what they have heard, seen, or done.

Pillows of Death: Canned ravioli, usually burned, served for midrats.

Wiktionary.org


Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Navy Rotary Wing Weapons School Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center (NAWDC, pronounced NAW-DIK) - nicknamed the “TOPGUN”

United States Navy Naval Air Station - Naval Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), Naval Air Station Fallon, Churchill County, near Fallon, Nevada: June 10, 1944 - present.


Where Did That Saying Come From

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Shoemaker's son always goes barefoot”

Shoemaker's son always goes barefoot:

Meaning: Artisans work for the wealthy but cannot afford their own produce.

History: There are many variants of this expression. Those that refer to a cobbler are usually British in origin whereas the USA versions use shoemaker. These may be constructed as any combination of:

“The (cobbler/shoemaker) always (wears the worst shoes/goes barefoot/has no shoes).”

The poorly shod person may also be the cobbler/shoemaker's wife or children or family. More widely, many expressions have been cobbled together in the form of “The 'X' always has the worst 'product of X'.”

For the definitive version we need to find the earliest example in print, which is in John Heywood's 1546 glossary A dialogue conteinyng the nomber in effect of all the prouerbes in the englishe tongue:

“But who is wurs shod, than the shoemakers wyfe,

With shops full of newe shapen shoes all hir lyfe?”

As with many proverbial sayings, there's an everyday truth conveyed by this expression. A modern variant, which from days working in IT, might be:

“The computer expert is the last person to back up their work.”

Phrases.org UK


Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Watch African killifish embryos enter suspended animation to surviveMysterious ‘ghost’ populations had multiple trysts with human ancestorsHumans are a bigger source of climate-altering methane, new studies suggestHigh-altitude genes could turn Himalayan wolves into a new species Science AAAS

Old carbon reservoirs unlikely to cause massive greenhouse gas releaseNewly found bacteria fights climate change, soil pollutantssResearchers develop new method to isolate atomic sheets and create new materialsHighly sensitive pressure sensors for robotics and healthcare applications Phys.org / MedicalXpress / TechXplore


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)

How newborn stars prepare for the birth of planets

How newborn stars prepare for the birth of planets

Source: National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Summary: Astronomers used two of the most powerful radio telescopes in the world to create more than three hundred images of planet-forming disks around very young stars in the Orion Clouds. These images reveal new details about the birthplaces of planets and the earliest stages of star formation.

Most of the stars in the universe are accompanied by planets. These planets are born in rings of dust and gas, called protoplanetary disks. Even very young stars are surrounded by these disks. Astronomers want to know exactly when these disks start to form, and what they look like. But young stars are very faint, and there are dense clouds of dust and gas surrounding them in stellar nurseries. Only highly sensitive radio telescope arrays can spot the tiny disks around these infant stars amidst the densely packed material in these clouds.

For this new research, astronomers pointed both the National Science Foundation's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to a region in space where many stars are born: the Orion Molecular Clouds. This survey, called VLA/ALMA Nascent Disk and Multiplicity (VANDAM), is the largest survey of young stars and their disks to date.

Very young stars, also called protostars, form in clouds of gas and dust in space. The first step in the formation of a star is when these dense clouds collapse due to gravity. As the cloud collapses, it begins to spin -- forming a flattened disk around the protostar. Material from the disk continues to feed the star and make it grow. Eventually, the left-over material in the disk is expected to form planets.

Many aspects about these first stages of star formation, and how the disk forms, are still unclear. But this new survey provides some missing clues as the VLA and ALMA peered through the dense clouds and observed hundreds of protostars and their disks in various stages of their formation.

How newborn stars prepare for the birth of planets

Young planet-forming disks

“This survey revealed the average mass and size of these very young protoplanetary disks”, said John Tobin of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Charlottesville, Virginia, and leader of the survey team. “We can now compare them to older disks that have been studied intensively with ALMA as well.”

What Tobin and his team found, is that very young disks can be similar in size, but are on average much more massive than older disks.

“When a star grows, it eats away more and more material from the disk. This means that younger disks have a lot more raw material from which planets could form. Possibly bigger planets already start to form around very young stars.”

Four special protostars

Among hundreds of survey images, four protostars looked different than the rest and caught the scientists' attention.

“hese newborn stars looked very irregular and blobby», said team member Nicole Karnath of the University of Toledo, Ohio (now at SOFIA Science Center). “We think that they are in one of the earliest stages of star formation and some may not even have formed into protostars yet.”

It is special that the scientists found four of these objects.

“We rarely find more than one such irregular object in one observation”, added Karnath, who used these four infant stars to propose a schematic pathway for the earliest stages of star formation. “We are not entirely sure how old they are, but they are probably younger than ten thousand years.”

To be defined as a typical (class 0) protostar, stars should not only have a flattened rotating disk surrounding them, but also an outflow - spewing away material in opposite directions - that clears the dense cloud surrounding the stars and makes them optically visible. This outflow is important, because it prevents stars from spinning out of control while they grow. But when exactly these outflows start to happen, is an open question in astronomy.

How newborn stars prepare for the birth of planets

One of the infant stars in this study, called HOPS 404, has an outflow of only two kilometers (1.2 miles) per second (a typical protostar-outflow of 10-100 km/s or 6-62 miles/s).

“It is a big puffy sun that is still gathering a lot of mass, but just started its outflow to lose angular momentum to be able to keep growing”, explained Karnath. “This is one of the smallest outflows that we have seen and it supports our theory of what the first step in forming a protostar looks like.”

Combining ALMA and VLA

The exquisite resolution and sensitivity provided by both ALMA and the VLA were crucial to understand both the outer and inner regions of protostars and their disks in this survey. While ALMA can examine the dense dusty material around protostars in great detail, the images from the VLA made at longer wavelengths were essential to understand the inner structures of the youngest protostars at scales smaller than our solar system.

“he combined use of ALMA and the VLA has given us the best of both worlds”, said Tobin. “Thanks to these telescopes, we start to understand how planet formation begins.”

Science Daily (02/20/2020) video


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

SONG FACTS

“The End of the World” - Skeeter Davis 1962

“The End of the World” - Skeeter Davis
Album: The End of the World
Released 1962 video

The End of the Worldvideo was originally an international hit for Country artist Skeeter Davis, peaking at #2 in the U.S. in 1963.

The record achieved the unusual feat of reaching the Top 10 on Billboard's Hot 100 Pop, Adult Contemporary, R&B and Country charts. Davis' four-chart top-ten accomplishment has never been duplicated by any other female vocalist in the history of Billboard.

Davis' original version was produced by Chet Atkins and the song was played at the legendary country producer's funeral in 2001.

Britain's Got Talent star Susan Boyle covered “The End of the Worldvideo on her 2009 debut album, I Dreamed a Dream.

Many other artists have recorded the song, including:

Herman's Hermits video,

Brenda Lee video,

Bobby Vinton video,

The Carpenters video,

Johnny Mathis video,

John Cougar Mellencamp video,

Julie London video and

Eddy Arnold video.

Sonia video British pop singer recorded a version in 1990, which peaked at #18 in the UK, the same position as Skeeter Davis' original.

Skeeter Davis, unofficial website / Kentucky Music Hall of Fame / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Skeeter Davis - Yesteryear In Nashville Skeeter Davis Documentary; video

Image: “ The End of the World (album)” by Skeeter Davis


Trivia

Trivia

● Which U.S. state is the TV show “Bonanza” set in?

Answer to Trivia

● In musical terms, what does “Da capo” mean?

Answer to Trivia

● Wallace Carothers invented nylon while working as a scientist for what company?

Answer to Trivia

● What name was given to textile workers who opposed modernisation during the 19th century?

Answer to Trivia


Jeopardy

A Test for People Who Know Everything

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “HERE'S THE HARD STUFF” ($200)

“It's the good stuff - I mean the hard stuff - in a classic daiquiri.”

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

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “HERE'S THE HARD STUFF” ($400)

“It's a special birthday; let's celebrate with a glass of 30-year-old this from Glenfiddich.”

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

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “HERE'S THE HARD STUFF” ($600)

“I'll have a Tom Collins, hold the seltzer, lemon juice & syrup - heck, just give me a glass of this.”

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

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “HERE'S THE HARD STUFF” ($800)

“Dilute my bourbon with vermouth? Go straight to Hell's Kitchen! I didn't ask for one of these cocktails.”

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

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “HERE'S THE HARD STUFF” ($1,000)

“If you can handle this Italian stuff made from distilled grape seeds & skins, you're a better man than I am.”

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


Answer to Last Week's Test

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

“This little lady that sailed with Columbus was originally named the Santa Clara.”

● Answer: the Niña. History Channel

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

'

“The 1915 sinking of this ocean liner heightened tensions between the U.S. and Germany.”

● Answer: the Lusitania. History Channel

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

“Tainted borscht led to a 1905 mutiny on this Russian battleship, an event made into a movie in 1925.”

● Answer: Old Ironsides (or Constitution). NAVY.mil

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “NAME THE NOVEL” ($800)

“'He must be a very nice animal,' observed the Mole, as he got into the boat and took the sculls".'”

● Answer: the Potemkin. History Channel

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

“In 1717 Blackbeard converted a captured French slave ship and named it this late queen's 'Revenge'.”

● Answer: Queen Anne's Revenge. Qaronline.org


Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

“A Blonde and a Redhead Lost Their Bull”

A blonde and a redhead have a ranch. They have just lost their bull. The women need to buy another, but only have $500.

The redhead tells the blonde, “I will go to the market and see if I can find one for under that amount. If I can, I will send you a telegram.”

She goes to the market and finds a bull for $499.

Having only one dollar left, she goes to the telegraph office and finds out that it costs one dollar per word.

She is stumped on how to tell the blonde to bring the truck and trailer.

Finally, she tells the telegraph operator to send the word “comfortable”.

Skeptical, the operator asks, “How will she know to come with the trailer from just that word?”

The redhead replies, “She's a blonde so she reads slow: 'Come for ta bull.'”