Old Sailors' Almanac

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY

Week 42, 2020

Previous Week   October 12, 2020 - October 18, 2020  Next Week

Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier on October 14, 1947

Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier on October 14, 1947

Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier: U.S. Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager becomes the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound.

Yeager, born in Myra, West Virginia, in 1923, was a combat fighter during World War II and flew 64 missions over Europe. He shot down 13 German planes and was himself shot down over France, but he escaped capture with the assistance of the French Underground. After the war, he was among several volunteers chosen to test-fly the experimental X-1 rocket plane, built by the Bell Aircraft Company to explore the possibility of supersonic flight.

Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier on October 14, 1947

For years, many aviators believed that man was not meant to fly faster than the speed of sound, theorizing that transonic drag rise would tear any aircraft apart.

All that changed on October 14, 1947, when Yeager flew the X-1 over Rogers Dry Lake in Southern California. The X-1 was lifted to an altitude of 25,000 feet by a B-29 aircraft and then released through the bomb bay, rocketing to 40,000 feet and exceeding 662 miles per hour (the sound barrier at that altitude). The rocket plane, nicknamed “Glamorous Glennis” (after Yeager's wife), was designed with thin, unswept wings and a streamlined fuselage modeled after a .50-caliber bullet.

Because of the secrecy of the project, Bell and Yeager’s achievement was not announced until June 1948. Yeager continued to serve as a test pilot, and in 1953 he flew 1,650 miles per hour in an X-1A rocket plane. He retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1975 with the rank of brigadier general.

History Channel / Bell X-1 - Wikipedia / Space.com / National Geographic.org /Chuck Yeager.org / NASA.gov / National Archives.gov / Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier on October 14, 1947 (YouTube) video

“This Day in History”

This Day in History October 14

• 1066 Battle of Hastings: The Norman conquest of England begins.

• 1322 Battle of Old Byland: Robert the Bruce of Scotland defeats King Edward II of England, forcing Edward to accept Scotland's independence.

• 1582 Adoption of the Gregorian calendar: This day does not exist in this year in Austria, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

• 1586 Mary, Queen of Scots goes on trial for conspiracy against Queen Elizabeth I of England.

• 1805 War of the Third Coalition: Battle of Elchingen: French corps defeats an Austrian attempt to escape encirclement at Ulm.

• 1806 War of the Fourth Coalition: Battle of Jena–Auerstedt: Napoleon decisively defeats Prussia.

• 1863 American Civil War: Battle of Bristoe Station: Confederate troops under the command of A. P. Hill fail to drive the Union Army completely out of Virginia.

• 1884 George Eastman receives a U.S. Government patent on his new paper-strip photographic film.

• 1908 Chicago Cubs defeat the Detroit Tigers, 2–0, clinching the 1908 World Series; this would be their last until winning the 2016 World Series.

• 1938 The first flight of the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fighter plane.

• 1943 World War II: Second Raid on Schweinfurt: The American Eighth Air Force loses 60 of 291 B-17 Flying Fortress.

• 1943 World War II: Prisoners at the Sobibór extermination camp in Poland revolt against the Germans.

• 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis: begins when an American reconnaissance aircraft takes photographs of Soviet ballistic missiles being installed in Cuba.

• 1964 Martin Luther King Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence.


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

Understanding Military Terminology

Performance work statement

(DOD) Stability actions, predominately diplomatic and economic, that strengthen and rebuild governmental infrastructure and institutions in order to avoid a relapse into conflict.

Also called PB.

See also Peace Enforcement; Peacekeeping; Peacemaking; Peace Operations.

Joint Publications (JP 3-07.3) Countering Air and Missile Threats

Peace Enforcement

Application of military force, or the threat of its use, normally pursuant to international authorization, to compel compliance with resolutions or sanctions designed to maintain or restore peace and order.

See also Peace Building; Peacekeeping; Peacemaking; Peace Operations.

Joint Publications (JP 3-07.3) Countering Air and Missile Threats

Peacekeeping

Military operations undertaken with the consent of all major parties to a dispute, designed to monitor and facilitate implementation of an agreement (cease fire, truce, or other such agreement) and support diplomatic efforts to reach a long-term political settlement.

See also Peace Building; Peace Enforcement; Peacemaking; Peace Operations.

Joint Publications (JP 3-07.3) Countering Air and Missile Threats

Peacemaking

The process of diplomacy, mediation, negotiation, or other forms of peaceful settlements that arranges an end to a dispute and resolves issues that led to it.

See also Peace Building; Peace Enforcement; Peacekeeping; Peace Operations.

Joint Publications (JP 3-07.3) Countering Air and Missile Threats

Peace Operations

A broad term that encompasses multiagency and multinational crisis response and limited contingency operations involving all instruments of national power with military missions to contain conflict, redress the peace, and shape the environment to support reconciliation and rebuilding and facilitate the transition to legitimate governance.

Also called PO.

See also Peace Building; Peace Enforcement; Peacekeeping; Peacemaking;.

Joint Publications (JP 3-07.3) Countering Air and Missile Threats


“The Odyssey”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“The Odyssey”

Book XXIII

Euryclea now went upstairs laughing to tell her mistress that her dear husband had come home. Her aged knees became young again and her feet were nimble for joy as she went up to her mistress and bent over her head to speak to her. “Wake up Penelope, my dear child”, she exclaimed, “and see with your own eyes something that you have been wanting this long time past. Ulysses has at last indeed come home again, and has killed the suitors who were giving so much trouble in his house, eating up his estate and ill-treating his son.”

“My good nurse”, answered Penelope, “you must be mad. The gods sometimes send some very sensible people out of their minds, and make foolish people become sensible. This is what they must have been doing to you; for you always used to be a reasonable person. Why should you thus mock me when I have trouble enough already- talking such nonsense, and waking me up out of a sweet sleep that had taken possession of my eyes and closed them? I have never slept so soundly from the day my poor husband went to that city with the ill-omened name. Go back again into the women's room; if it had been any one else, who had woke me up to bring me such absurd news I should have sent her away with a severe scolding. As it is, your age shall protect you.”

“My dear child”, answered Euryclea, “I am not mocking you. It is quite true as I tell you that Ulysses is come home again. He was the stranger whom they all kept on treating so badly in the cloister. Telemachus knew all the time that he was come back, but kept his father's secret that he might have his revenge on all these wicked people.&rdqu

Then Penelope sprang up from her couch, threw her arms round Euryclea, and wept for joy. “But my dear nurse”, said she, “explain this to me; if he has really come home as you say, how did he manage to overcome the wicked suitors single handed, seeing what a number of them there always were?”

“The Odyssey” - Book XXIII continued ...

~ Homer

Written 800 B.C.E

Translated by Samuel Butler

“The Odyssey” - Table Of Contents


“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”

“Although the world is full of suffering,

it is also full of overcoming it.”

“Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it,

we can never do anything wise in this world.”

~ Helen Keller


“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“I grew up like a neglected weed - ignorant of liberty,

having no experience of it.”

“I had crossed the line.

I was free;

but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom.

I was a stranger in a strange land.”

“I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person.

There was such a glory over everything.

The sun came up like gold through the trees,

and I felt like I was in heaven.”

~ Harriet Tubman


“What I Have Learned”

“What I Learned”

“Professionals are people who can do their job when they don’t feel like it.

Amateurs are people who can’t do their job when they do feel like it.”

~ Anonymous


What’s inside lava lamps, and how do they work? Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: What’s inside lava lamps, and how do they work?

Background

A lava lamp is a decorative tube-shaped light fixture containing a colored, oily fluid that flows up and down throughout the lamp chamber in a manner reminiscent of molten lava. As the fluid rises and sinks in the lamp chamber it changes shape and breaks into globules of various sizes, giving a psychedelic effect of constantly shifting patterns.

Credit for the creation of the lava lamp is given to English engineer Craven Walker who, in the late 1940s, saw a prototype of the lamp in a pub in Hampshire, England. This early version, according to the Walker legend, was made of “a cocktail shaker, old tins and things.” He purchased the liquid-filled fixture and set out to make his own. Walker formed the Crestworth Company in Dorset, England, and over the next 15 years tried to build a better lava lamp.

When first marketed under the name Astro Lite in British stores in the early 1960s, it was not an immediate success. Then, at a 1965 German trade show, two American entrepreneurs saw an early model on display, and bought the rights to manufacturer the lamp in North America. In the United States, they changed the name from Astro Lite, to the infinitely hipper Lava Lite Lamp and began manufacturing operations in Chicago.

With the advent of psychedelia and pop-art later that decade, Walker's gimmicky contraption became a major fad. By the time Walker left the business in 1990, he had sold over seven million of his creations. Today, the company ships 400,000 lamps a year to shops around the world. Currently, Haggerty Enterprises is the only U.S. manufacturer of Lava Lite Lamps and they distribute them nationally through a number of retail and mail order outlets.

What’s inside lava lamps, and how do they work?

Design

The lava effect is due to the interaction between the fluids used in the lamp.

These fluids are selected on the basis of their density so one tends to barely float in the other. In addition, they are chosen based on their coefficient of expansion, so as they are heated one tends to rise or sink faster than the other. When heat from the light bulb warms the heavier liquid sitting on the bottom, it gets hotter and, due to its lower density, rises to the surface.

By the time the “lava” reaches the top of the lamp, it begins to cool, becomes denser, and sinks to the bottom. As the lava sinks, it gets closer to the light bulb, heats up again, and the process is repeated over and over. Therefore, the key to successful lava lamp design is the selection of appropriate immiscible fluids. The exact composition used in lava lamps is a proprietary secret, but in general terms, one fluid is water based and the other is oil based. The aqueous phase may be water mixed with alcohol or other water-soluble solvents.

The second fluid must meet a number of design criteria: it must be insoluble in water, heavier and more viscous, non-reactive and non-flammable, and reasonably priced. It must also be non poisonous, unchlorinated, not emulsifiable in water, and must have a greater coefficient of expansion than water.

While fluid selection does not change from lamp to lamp, there are design changes to be considered because lamps are available in different colors, sizes, and styles.

The original Century model, which is still manufactured today, was the most popular model during the 1960s and 1970s. Its gold base is perforated with tiny holes which simulate starlight and its 52 oz (1.46 kg) globe is filled with red or white lava and yellow or blue liquid.

A number of interesting variations on the Century have been manufactured in past years, although not all of them are still made today. For example, the Enchantress Planter Lava Lite lamp came equipped with plastic foliage. The Continental Lava Lite lamp which, was the only cordless, non-electric model, featured a candle to warm the lava.

The Consort Lava Lite lamp, according to the company's 1970s catalog, was designed with a more masculine look “perfect for the study or den, so right for the executive suite.” There was also the Mediterranean Lava Lite lamp, which was decorated with black wrought iron. In addition, Haggerty offers so-called giant lamps, which range in size up to 27 in (68.6 cm) tall.

What’s inside lava lamps, and how do they work?

Raw Materials

The actual ingredients used in Lava Lite Lamps are proprietary but there are several liquid ingredients, which can be combined to give a lava effect.

Liquid components

Lava-type lamps can be made with water mixed with isopropyl alcohol as one phase and mineral oil as the other. Other materials, which may be used as oil phase ingredients include benzyl alcohol, cinnamyl alcohol, diethyl phthalate, and ethyl salicylate.

Other additives

Other additives used in lava lamp fluids include various oil and water-soluble colorants. The specific gravity of the aqueous phase can be adjusted through the addition of sodium chloride or similar materials. In addition, a hydrophobic solvent may be added to the mixture to help the lava coalesce. Turpentine and similar paint solvents are said to work well in this regard. Antifreeze ingredients can also be added to increase the rate at which the lava warms.

Container

A clear glass cylinder is used to house the fluids and forms the body of the lamp. The classic lava lamp shape is an hourglass about 10 in (25.4 cm) high.

Heat source

A regular incandescent bulb is used as the source for both light and heat in a lava lamp. The type of light bulb is critical to ensure the lava is not over or under heated. Haggerty Enterprises lists several bulb types that are appropriate for their appliances, depending on which the model: 40 watt frosted bulb, 100 watt reflector bulb with inside frost, 7.5 watt bulb 40 watt candelabra type. Although it does not generate at much heat, a florescent bulb is used in their Pacifica model.

Hardware

Other items used in lava lamp production include the base plate, which houses the electrical components, 16-gauge lamp wire, and an electrical plug. Quarter inch (0.635 cm) thick foam rubber may be used as a gasket material to seal the chamber. Miscellaneous hardware, such as screws, is also used. Optional equipment, such as a light dimmer switch or a small fan, may be used for temperature control.

What’s inside lava lamps, and how do they work?

The Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing process of the lamp consists of several steps, both automated and manual. According to a representative of Haggerty Enterprises, the company has the capacity to produce up to 10,000 lamps per day on their assembly line.

Container assembly

The glass cylinder is fastened to the ceramic lamp fixture, which forms the base. The lamp is attached to the appropriate wiring and the bulb is screwed into place. The gaskets are glued into place to prohibit leakage. The containers are assembled and checked to make sure they are leak proof.

Compounding liquid phase

The liquid phases are mixed and added separately. Isopropyl alcohol is used to lower the specific gravity of the water phase so the mineral oil floats appropriately. By mixing water and alcohol in the correct proportions, the mineral oil can be made to float. In 90% alcohol, the mineral oil will sink to the bottom.

The addition of 70% alcohol will make the oil seem lighter until it is about to “jump” off the bottom. The correct ratio is about six parts 90% isopropyl alcohol to 13 parts of 70% isopropyl alcohol. Dyes, salt, etc. are then mixed into the water phase, and the oils and waxes are added to the second liquid. Some heating may be required to melt the waxy materials.

Filling

The lamps are moved along a conveyor line and first filled with the oil/wax phase, then the water phase. A small air-space of about 1 in (2.54 cm) is left at the top to allow for expansion of the hot liquids. This important because the amount of airspace can influence the size of the bubbles formed by the lava. After filling, the cylinder is capped with either a screw type cap or a bottle cap type, which is crimped into place.

Quality Control

During the batching and filling processes, the liquids are checked to ensure they were correctly manufactured. The proper ratio and composition of the two liquid phases is critical to ensure that the lava effect will be achieved. An incorrect ratio may allow the oil and water phase to mix together, separate into bubbles which are too small, rise and fall as one continuous mass, or become mixed with the water and not separate at all.

It is critical that all electrical connections are good and seals are tight to ensure safety and that there are no leaks. Improper gasket alignment or poor seals can result in leakage of the fluids. After filling, each lamp is checked to ensure the light bulb is completely centered and tightened. The bulb and socket may move slightly during shipping. If so, the owner is instructed to gently push the socket back to the center of base.

Instructions on how to change the bulb are provided inside the lamp socket base. Variation in lamp size or wattage may yield unsatisfactory lava flow and may increase the risk of fire.

During initial use, the lava may not flow properly or may float to the top of the globe. If this happens, the lamp should be allowed to heat up for four hours or more to allow the lava material to become completely molten. Excessive agitation of the lamp may cause the fluids to intermingle and become cloudy, or may even result in permanent malfunction. The lamp should not be stored in direct sunlight as this may cause the colors to fade.

Given the proprietary nature of lava lamps, it is difficult to speculate on future improvements in the manufacturing process.

However, it is interesting to note that computer technology has spawned its own version of the lava lamp - the virtual lava lamp. Also known as the Javalamp after the popular computer language, this virtual lamp is a computer animation that mimics the appearance of the real item.

How Products Are Made / Wikipedia / Mental Floss / Quora / Science How Stuff Works / Scientific American / FAQ / What’s inside lava lamps, and how do they work? (YouTube) video


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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Piped Aboard: (of a CO, VIP or other dignitary) Recognized upon entering a ship or land installation by the Boatswain's Mate blowing 2 notes (low, then high) on a boatswain's pipe, followed by sets of two bells, depending on the rank.

After the musical introduction, the dignitary's rank and sometimes name is announced, followed by “Arriving” or “Departing”.

The Commanding Officer and embarked Admiral are piped aboard with the Ship's name or the Group name.

For other dignitaries, the office is used (e.g. “Department of Defense, Arriving”).

Senior officers may be “bonged on board” as a courtesy; in this case, the introduction refers to their rank and service only, e.g. “Colonel, United States Marine Corps, arriving”.

The CO of the particular ship [and the embarked Flag Officer] or installation gets a “stinger», a single bell ring after “arriving”/“departing”.

Bells may be used alone (without a pipe) in the absence of a boatswain's mate.

Pirate Navy: Small boy crafts generally referring to the smallest of the vessels, such as Minesweepers, Coastal Patrol boats, and sometimes Frigates.

Piss Cutter: A folding uniform cap.

Pisser:

1) A urinal (not a toilet).

2) An unpleasant situation “that's a pisser”.

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 “TOPDOME”

United States Navy Naval Air Station - Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapons School (TOPDOME), Naval Air Station Fallon, Churchill County, near Fallon, Nevada: July 11, 1996 - present.


Where Did That Saying Come From

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Silence is golden”

Silence is golden:

Meaning: A proverbial saying, often used in circumstances where it is thought that saying nothing is preferable to speaking.

History: As with many proverbs, the origin of this phrase is obscured by the mists of time. There are reports of versions of it dating back to Ancient Egypt. The first example of it in English is from the poet Thomas Carlyle, who translated the phrase from German in Sartor Resartus, 1831, in which a character expounds at length on the virtues of silence:

“Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together; that at length they may emerge, full-formed and majestic, into the daylight of Life, which they are thenceforth to rule. Not William the Silent only, but all the considerable men I have known, and the most undiplomatic and unstrategic of these, forbore to babble of what they were creating and projecting. Nay, in thy own mean perplexities, do thou thyself but hold thy tongue for one day: on the morrow, how much clearer are thy purposes and duties; what wreck and rubbish have those mute workmen within thee swept away, when intrusive noises were shut out! Speech is too often not, as the Frenchman defined it, the art of concealing Thought; but of quite stifling and suspending Thought, so that there is none to conceal. Speech too is great, but not the greatest. As the Swiss Inscription says: Sprecfien ist silbern, Schweigen ist golden (Speech is silvern, Silence is golden); or as I might rather express it: Speech is of Time, Silence is of Eternity.”

That fuller version - 'speech is silver; silence is golden', is still sometimes used, although the shorter form is now more common.

The same thought is expressed in a 16th century proverb, now defunct - as many present-day feminists would prefer it:

“Silence is a woman's best garment.”

Silence has in fact long been considered laudable in religious circles. The 14th century author Richard Rolle of Hampole, in “The psalter; or psalms of David”, 1340:

“Disciplyne of silence is goed.”

Wyclif's Bible, 1382 also includes the thought:

“Silence is maad in heuen.”

Phrases.org UK


Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Push-button warfare: How artists use games to capture drone strike horrorAmazon made a bigger camera-spying store - so we tried to steal its fruitThe wear patterns of your jeans aren’t good forensic evidenceNew Netflix series Night on Earth shows wildlife in a startling new light ARS Technica

Farming gave us salmonella, ancient DNA suggestsTop stories: Tracking the Himalayan wolf, trusting science, and finding our ‘ghost’ ancestorsWatch African killifish embryos enter suspended animation to surviveHumans in India may have survived supereruption 74,000 years ago Science AAAS


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)

Magnetic field at Martian surface ten times stronger than expected

Magnetic field at Martian surface ten times stronger than expected

Source: University of British Columbia

Summary: New data gleaned from the magnetic sensor aboard NASA's InSight spacecraft is offering an unprecedented close-up of magnetic fields on Mars.

In a study published in Nature Geoscience, scientists reveal that the magnetic field at the InSight landing site is ten times stronger than anticipated, and fluctuates over time-scales of seconds to days.

“One of the big unknowns from previous satellite missions was what the magnetization looked like over small areas”, said lead author Catherine Johnson, a professor at the University of British Columbia and senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. “By placing the first magnetic sensor at the surface, we have gained valuable new clues about the interior structure and upper atmosphere of Mars that will help us understand how it - and other planets like it - formed.”

Zooming in on magnetic fields

Before the InSight mission, the best estimates of Martian magnetic fields came from satellites orbiting high above the planet, and were averaged over large distances of more than 150 kilometres.

“The ground-level data give us a much more sensitive picture of magnetization over smaller areas, and where it's coming from”, said Johnson. “In addition to showing that the magnetic field at the landing site was ten times stronger than the satellites anticipated, the data implied it was coming from nearby sources.”

Magnetic field at Martian surface ten times stronger than expected

Scientists have known that Mars had an ancient global magnetic field billions of years ago that magnetized rocks on the planet, before mysteriously switching off. Because most rocks at the surface are too young to have been magnetized by this ancient field, the team thinks it must be coming from deeper underground.

“We think it's coming from much older rocks that are buried anywhere from a couple hundred feet to ten kilometres below ground”, said Johnson. “We wouldn't have been able to deduce this without the magnetic data and the geology and seismic information InSight has provided.”

The team hopes that by combining these InSight results with satellite magnetic data and future studies of Martian rocks, they can identify exactly which rocks carry the magnetization and how old they are.

Day-night fluctuations and things that pulse in the dark

The magnetic sensor has also provided new clues about phenomena that occur high in the upper atmosphere and the space environment around Mars.

Just like Earth, Mars is exposed to solar wind, which is a stream of charged particles from the Sun that carries an interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) with it, and can cause disturbances like solar storms. But because Mars lacks a global magnetic field, it is less protected from solar weather.

“Because all of our previous observations of Mars have been from the top of its atmosphere or even higher altitudes, we didn't know whether disturbances in solar wind would propagate to the surface”, said Johnson. “That's an important thing to understand for future astronaut missions to Mars.”

Magnetic field at Martian surface ten times stronger than expected

The sensor captured fluctuations in the magnetic field between day and night and short, mysterious pulsations around midnight, confirming that events in and above the upper atmosphere can be detected at the surface.

The team believe that the day-night fluctuations arise from a combination of how the solar wind and IMF drape around the planet, and solar radiation charging the upper atmosphere and producing electrical currents, which in turn generate magnetic fields.

“What we're getting is an indirect picture of the atmospheric properties of Mars -- how charged it becomes and what currents are in the upper atmosphere”, said co-author Anna Mittelholz, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia.

And the mysterious pulsations that mostly appear at midnight and last only a few minutes?

“We think these pulses are also related to the solar wind interaction with Mars, but we don't yet know exactly what causes them”, said Johnson. ”Whenever you get to make measurements for the first time, you find surprises and this is one of our 'magnetic' surprises.”

In the future, the InSight team wants to observe the surface magnetic field at the same time as the MAVEN orbiter passes over InSight, allowing them to compare data.

“The main function of the magnetic sensor was to weed out magnetic 'noise', both from the environment and the lander itself, for our seismic experiments, so this is all bonus information that directly supports the overarching goals of the mission”, said InSight principal investigator Bruce Banerdt of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “The time-varying fields, for example, will be very useful for future studies of the deep conductivity structure of Mars, which is related to its internal temperature.”

Science Daily (02/24/2020) video


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

SONG FACTS

“She's Not There” - The Zombies 1964

“She's Not There” video - The Zombies
“Tell Her No” video
Album: The Zombies
Released 1964

The Zombies recorded “She's Not Therevideo in one take after they won a talent contest at their college called the Herts Beat competition. The prize was a recording session.

The group signed to Decca Records, and their keyboard player Rod Argent came up with this song for the session. It tells the story of an alluring woman who won't be tied down to one man - the singer wants to tell us all about her, but he can only use words, since she's not there.

This was The Zombies first single. The band also recorded a cover of George Gershwin's videoSummertimevideo for their first album, which was considered for the band's first single, but “She's Not There” got the nod. Boosted by radio play on New York powerhouse WINS, the song became a hit in the U.S.

Some of the chord changes Rod Argent used were inspired by Brian Hyland's “Sealed With A Kissvideo.

This was The Zombies biggest hit. Even though it did very well, their next releases didn't catch on until 1969, when they hit U.S. #3 with “Time Of The Seasonvideo. Unfortunately, the band had already broken up by then and Rod Argent had started his own group, Argent, with Zombies bassist Chris White on board as a songwriter.

The lead instrument is an electric piano, which was very unusual at the time. In the UK, it was the first hit song with an electric piano as the lead instrument.

The song got a big boost when it was judged on the UK TV show Juke Box Jury, where a panel of musical authorities would pass judgment on a song. The week this song appeared, George Harrison was a panelist, and he gave the song a good review.

Rod Argent on the marriage of lyrics and melodies:

“Words have to sit, they have to sort of combine seamlessly with the way the melody is being sung. I know I was very concerned with the lyrics on 'She's Not There' but in the sense that they had to really complement the melody. They had to stand on their own, and had to have their own rhythm and, in that last section I was using the words with different stresses at different times to propel it along towards the final chord. So lyrics have always been very important to me in that way, but not necessarily in a sense of having to explain something concrete. They're an important part of the jigsaw, because I think bad lyrics can screw up a song.”

She's Not Therevideo was inspired by John Lee Hooker's “No One Told Mevideo from his 1964 LP The Big Soul Of John Lee Hooker. Argent explained:

“If you play that John Lee Hooker song you'll hear 'no one told me, it was just a feeling I had inside' but there's nothing in the melody or the chords that's the same. It was just the way that little phrase just tripped off the tongue. I'd always thought of the verse of 'She's Not There' to be mainly Am to D. But what I'd done, quite unconsciously, was write this little modal sequence incorporating those chord changes. There was an additional harmonic influence in that song. In the second section it goes from D to D minor and the bass is on the thirds, F# and F, a little device I'd first heard in 'Sealed With A Kiss' video and it really attracted me, that chord change with bass notes not on the roots. And I'm sure I was showing off in the solo as much as I could!”

She's Not Therevideo was born in bassist/vocalist Chris White's bedroom and only had one verse until producer Ken Jones heard it.

“I remember we were playing in Hatfield, and Ken Jones came up to hear us. And after the gig, Rod said, 'I've got this song that we've been rehearsing' and he played it to Ken on the piano. He did the verse, and then the solo, and there was no second verse, and Ken said 'Can't we go back to the beginning again?' So Rod had to write another verse, because it only had one originally.

On 'She's Not There' Ken Jones also instigated a recurring trait of many Zombies' recordings: additional overdubs added in the mixdown to mono stage from 4-track. In this case, there were a couple of extra beats superimposed to create a distinctive drum pattern, thereby rendering the original mono single mix of 'She's Not There' the only 'correct' version of the song.”

Colin Blunstone's breathy vocals on this track became a signature sound for the group, but their producer, Ken Jones, had him use the technique throughout their first album, which blunted the effect. That album was released in 1965, and was their last until 1968, when they issued “Odessey and Oracle”, which the band produced themselves.

This reached its U.S. chart peak of #2 on the second week of December 1964. This earned the group an invite to the Murray the K Christmas show on December 29 at the Fox Theater in New York City on a bill with Ben E. King, The Shangri-Las, The Shirelles, and several other popular acts. It was the first time the band came to the city, and it was a seminal moment for them, as they got to meet many of their idols and soak up some American culture. They spent a lot of time with Patti LaBelle & the Bluebells, who introduced them to the music of Aretha Franklin.

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

Image: “ The Zombies (album)” by The Zombies


Jeopardy

A Test for People Who Know Everything

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “WORLD WAR I” ($200)

“The assassination that sparked World War I took place in this city.”

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

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “WORLD WAR I” ($400)

“At Xmas in this year soldiers played soccer with foes; the next year orders were given to kill anyone trying the same.”

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

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “WORLD WAR I” ($600)

“This fence material became a deadly instrument; the National WWI Musem sells a replica soldier hanging on it.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer International Encyclopedia of the First World War

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “WORLD WAR I” ($800)

“German forces gave units from this U.K. land the nickname 'the ladies from hell' for their fighting spirit & uniforms.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer Languages and the First World War

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “WORLD WAR I” ($1,000)

“Not to be confused with the Ardennes, this French forest was the site of the biggest WWI battle fought by the AEF.”

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


Answer to Last Week's Test

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

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

● Answer: Rum. 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: (single-malt) Scotch. 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: Gin. 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: a Manhattan. 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: Grappa. Thirsty


Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

“St. Peter at the Pearly Gates”

A priest and a taxi driver both died and went to heaven. St. Peter was at the Pearly gates waiting for them.

“Come with me'”, said St. Peter to the taxi driver.

The taxi driver did as he was told and followed St. Peter to a mansion. It had anything you could imagine from a bowling alley to an olympic size pool.

“Wow, Thank You!”, said the taxi driver.

Next, St. Peter led the priest to a rugged old shack with a bunk bed and a little old television set.

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

“Wait, I think you are a little mixed up”, said the priest.

“Shouldn't I be the one who gets the mansion? After all I was a priest, went to church every day, and preached God's word.”

St. Peter replied, “Yes, that is true. But during your sermons people slept. When the taxi driver drove, everyone prayed.”.