Old Sailors' Almanac

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY

Week 43, 2020

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President Eisenhower approves the transfer of all U.S. Army space-related activities to NASA on October 21, 1959

President Eisenhower approves the transfer of all U.S. Army space-related activities to NASA on October 21, 1959

President Eisenhower approves the transfer of all U.S. Army space-related activities to NASA: subject to the approval of Congress on October 21, 1959.

The Space Race

After World War II drew to a close in the mid-20th century, a new conflict began. Known as the Cold War, this battle pitted the world’s two great powers–the democratic, capitalist United States and the communist Soviet Union–against each other. Beginning in the late 1950s, space would become another dramatic arena for this competition, as each side sought to prove the superiority of its technology, its military firepower and–by extension–its political-economic system.

Causes of the Space Race

By the mid-1950s, the U.S.-Soviet Cold War had worked its way into the fabric of everyday life in both countries, fueled by the arms race and the growing threat of nuclear weapons, wide-ranging espionage and counter-espionage between the two countries, war in Korea and a clash of words and ideas carried out in the media. These tensions would continue throughout the space race, exacerbated by such events as the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 and the outbreak of war in Southeast Asia.

Space exploration served as another dramatic arena for Cold War competition. On October 4, 1957, a Soviet R-7 intercontinental ballistic missile launched Sputnik (Russian for “traveler”), the world’s first artificial satellite and the first man-made object to be placed into the Earth’s orbit. Sputnik’s launch came as a surprise, and not a pleasant one, to most Americans. In the United States, space was seen as the next frontier, a logical extension of the grand American tradition of exploration, and it was crucial not to lose too much ground to the Soviets. In addition, this demonstration of the overwhelming power of the R-7 missile–seemingly capable of delivering a nuclear warhead into U.S. air space–made gathering intelligence about Soviet military activities particularly urgent.

President Eisenhower approves the transfer of all U.S. Army space-related activities to NASA on October 21, 1959

NASA Is Created

In 1958, the U.S. launched its own satellite, Explorer I, designed by the U.S. Army under the direction of rocket scientist Wernher von Braun. That same year, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a public order creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a federal agency dedicated to space exploration.

Eisenhower also created two national security-oriented space programs that would operate simultaneously with NASA’s program. The first, spearheaded by the U.S. Air Force, dedicated itself to exploiting the military potential of space. The second, led by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Air Force and a new organization called the National Reconnaissance Office (the existence of which was kept classified until the early 1990s) was code-named Corona; it would use orbiting satellites to gather intelligence on the Soviet Union and its allies.

Space Race Heats Up: Men (And Chimps) Orbit Earth

In 1959, the Soviet space program took another step forward with the launch of Luna 2, the first space probe to hit the moon. In April 1961, the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to orbit Earth, traveling in the capsule-like spacecraft Vostok 1. For the U.S. effort to send a man into space, dubbed Project Mercury, NASA engineers designed a smaller, cone-shaped capsule far lighter than Vostok; they tested the craft with chimpanzees, and held a final test flight in March 1961 before the Soviets were able to pull ahead with Gagarin’s launch. On May 5, astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American in space (though not in orbit).

Later that May, President John F. Kennedy made the bold, public claim that the U.S. would land a man on the moon before the end of the decade. In February 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth, and by the end of that year, the foundations of NASA’s lunar landing program - dubbed Project Apollo were in place.

President Eisenhower approves the transfer of all U.S. Army space-related activities to NASA on October 21, 1959

Achievements of Apollo

From 1961 to 1964, NASA’s budget was increased almost 500 percent, and the lunar landing program eventually involved some 34,000 NASA employees and 375,000 employees of industrial and university contractors. Apollo suffered a setback in January 1967, when three astronauts were killed after their spacecraft caught fire during a launch simulation. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union’s lunar landing program proceeded tentatively, partly due to internal debate over its necessity and to the untimely death (in January 1966) of Sergey Korolyov, chief engineer of the Soviet space program.

December 1968 saw the launch of Apollo 8, the first manned space mission to orbit the moon, from NASA’s massive launch facility on Merritt Island, near Cape Canaveral, Florida. On July 16, 1969, U.S. astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins set off on the Apollo 11 space mission, the first lunar landing attempt. After landing successfully on July 20, Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon’s surface; he famously called the moment “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.

Who Won the Space Race?

By landing on the moon, the United States effectively “won” the space race that had begun with Sputnik’s launch in 1957. For their part, the Soviets made four failed attempts to launch a lunar landing craft between 1969 and 1972, including a spectacular launch-pad explosion in July 1969.

From beginning to end, the American public’s attention was captivated by the space race, and the various developments by the Soviet and U.S. space programs were heavily covered in the national media. This frenzy of interest was further encouraged by the new medium of television. Astronauts came to be seen as the ultimate American heroes, and earth-bound men and women seemed to enjoy living vicariously through them.

Soviets, in turn, were pictured as the ultimate villains, with their massive, relentless efforts to surpass America and prove the power of the communist system.

History Channel / Wikipedia / U.S. ARMY Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management Command / NASA Origins - NASA.gov / National Archives / Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.edu / Encyclopedia Britannica / President Eisenhower approves the transfer of all U.S. Army space-related activities to NASA on October 21, 1959 (YouTube) video

“This Day in History”

This Day in History October 21

• 1097 Siege of Antioch: Crusaders led by Godfrey of Bouillon, Bohemund of Taranto, and Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse, begin the Siege of Antioch.

• 1512 Martin Luther joins the theological faculty of the University of Wittenberg.

• 1520 Ferdinand Magellan discovers a strait now known as the Strait of Magellan.

• 1520 João Álvares Fagundes discovers the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, bestowing them their original name of “Islands of the 11,000 Virgins”.

• 1797 In Boston Harbor, the 44-gun United States Navy frigate USS Constitution is launched.

• 1805 Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Trafalgar: A British fleet led by Lord Nelson defeats a combined French and Spanish fleet under Admiral Villeneuve.

• 1824 Portland cement is patented.

• 1854 Florence Nightingale and a staff of 38 nurses are sent to the Crimean War.

• 1879 Thomas Edisonapplies for a patent for his design for an incandescent light bulb.

• 1944 World War II: Battle of Leyte Gulf: The first kamikaze attack begins.

• 1944 World War II: Nemmersdorf massacre against the German civilians takes place.

• 1944 World War II: Battle of Aachen: The city of Aachen falls to American forces after three weeks of fighting, making it the first German city to fall to the Allies.

• 1950 Korean War: Battle of Yongju.


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

Understanding Military Terminology

Performance Work Statement

(DOD) A statement of work for performance based acquisitions that describe the results in clear, specific, and objective terms with measurable outcomes.

Also called PWS.

Joint Publications (JP 4-10) Operational Contract Support

Period 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) Peace Operations


“The Odyssey”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“The Odyssey”

Book XXIV

Then Mercury of Cyllene summoned the ghosts of the suitors, and in his hand he held the fair golden wand with which he seals men's eyes in sleep or wakes them just as he pleases; with this he roused the ghosts and led them, while they followed whining and gibbering behind him. As bats fly squealing in the hollow of some great cave, when one of them has fallen out of the cluster in which they hang, even so did the ghosts whine and squeal as Mercury the healer of sorrow led them down into the dark abode of death. When they had passed the waters of Oceanus and the rock Leucas, they came to the gates of the sun and the land of dreams, whereon they reached the meadow of asphodel where dwell the souls and shadows of them that can labour no more.

Here they found the ghost of Achilles son of Peleus, with those of Patroclus, Antilochus, and Ajax, who was the finest and handsomest man of all the Danaans after the son of Peleus himself.

They gathered round the ghost of the son of Peleus, and the ghost of Agamemnon joined them, sorrowing bitterly. Round him were gathered also the ghosts of those who had perished with him in the house of Aeisthus; and the ghost of Achilles spoke first.

“Son of Atreus”, it said, “we used to say that Jove had loved you better from first to last than any other hero, for you were captain over many and brave men, when we were all fighting together before Troy; yet the hand of death, which no mortal can escape, was laid upon you all too early. Better for you had you fallen at Troy in the hey-day of your renown, for the Achaeans would have built a mound over your ashes, and your son would have been heir to your good name, whereas it has now been your lot to come to a most miserable end.”

“The Odyssey” - Book XXIV continued ...

~ Homer

Written 800 B.C.E

Translated by Samuel Butler

“The Odyssey” - Table Of Contents


“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“He who is not a good servant will not be a good master.”

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark.

The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”

“There are two things a person should never be angry at,

what they can help,

and what they cannot.”

~ Plato


“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“A lie never lives to be old.”

“Look and you will find it -“

what is unsought will go undetected.”

“There is no sense in crying over spilt milk.

Why bewail what is done and cannot be recalled?”

~ Sophocles


“What I Have Learned”

“What I Learned”

“Never try to teach a pig to think.

It doesn’t work and it annoys the pig.”

~ Anonymous


Does the Full Moon Really Make People Act Crazy? Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Does the Full Moon Really Make People Act Crazy?

The moon looms large in folklore, urban legends and myths from around the world.

Every full moon is a spectacular sight, if skies are clear. But November's full moon is far from ordinary. It will be the closest full moon since 1948, and we won't see another full moon this close again until 2034, according to NASA.

Because the moon follows an elliptical path around Earth, sometimes it is closer to us - at its closest, a position called “perigee”, it is 14 percent closer to Earth than when it is at its farthest position, known as “apogee”. When that proximity coincides with the full moon phase, making the moon 30 percent brighter in the night sky, the event is referred to as a “supermoon”.

The moon holds a mystical place in the history of human culture, so it's no wonder that many myths - from werewolves to induced lunacy to epileptic seizures - have built up regarding its supposed effects on us.

“It must be a full moon”, is a phrase heard whenever crazy things happen and is said by researchers to be muttered commonly by late-night cops, psychiatry staff and emergency room personnel.

In fact a host of studies over the years have aimed at teasing out any statistical connection between the moon - particularly the full moon - and human biology or behavior. The majority of sound studies find no connection, while some have proved inconclusive, and many that purported to reveal connections turned out to involve flawed methods or have never been reproduced.

Reliable studies comparing the lunar phases to births, heart attacks, deaths, suicides, violence, psychiatric hospital admissions and epileptic seizures, among other things, have over and over again found little or no connection.

One possible indirect link: Before modern lighting, the light of a full moon have kept people up at night, leading to sleep deprivation that could have caused other psychological issues, according to one hypothesis that awaits data support.

Does the Full Moon Really Make People Act Crazy?

The Moon, Tides and You

The human body is about 75 percent water, and so people often ask whether tides are at work inside us.

The moon and the sun combine to create tides in Earth's oceans (in fact the gravitational effect is so strong that our planet's crust is stretched daily by these same tidal effects).

But tides are large-scale events. They occur because of the difference in gravitational effect on one side of an object (like Earth) compared to the other. Here's how tides work:

The ocean on the side of Earth facing the moon gets pulled toward the moon more than does the center of the planet. This creates a high tide. On the other side of the Earth, another high tide occurs, because the center of Earth is being pulled toward the moon more than is the ocean on the far side. The result essentially pulls the planet away from the ocean (a negative force that effectively lifts the ocean away from the planet).

However, there's no measurable difference in the moon's gravitational effect to one side of your body vs. the other. Even in a large lake, tides are extremely minor. On the Great Lakes, for example, tides never exceed 2 inches, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which adds:

“These minor variations are masked by the greater fluctuations in lake levels produced by wind and barometric pressure changes. Consequently, the Great Lakes are considered to be essentially non-tidal.”

Which is not to say tides don't exist at smaller scales.

The effect of gravity diminishes with distance, but never goes away. So in theory everything in the universe is tugging on everything else. But: “Researchers have calculated that a mother holding her baby exerts 12 million times the tide-raising force on the child than the moon does, simply by virtue of being closer”, according to Straightdope.com, a Web site that applies logic and reason to myths and urban legends.

Consider also that tides in Earth's oceans happen twice every day as Earth spins on its axis every 24 hours, bringing the moon constantly up and down in the sky. If the moon's tugging affected the human body, one might presume we'd be off balance at least twice a day (and maybe we are).

Does the Full Moon Really Make People Act Crazy?

Studies of full moon effects

Epilepsy

A study in the journal Epilepsy & Behavior in 2004 found no connection between epileptic seizures and the full moon, even though some patients believe their seizures to be trigged by the full moon. The researchers noted that epileptic seizures were once blamed on witchcraft and possession by demons, contributing to a longstanding human propensity to find mythical rather than medical explanations.

Psychiatric visits

“The belief that the lunar cycle is associated with the onset and severity of psychiatric symptoms has persisted since the middle ages”, researchers write in 2014 in the journal ISRN Emergency Medicine. Has this belief been proved out by science?

A 2005 study by Mayo Clinic researchers, reported in the journal Psychiatric Services, looked at how many patients checked into a psychiatric emergency department between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. over several years. They found no statistical difference in the number of visits on the three nights surrounding full moons vs. other nights.

For the 2014 study, researchers led by Varinder Parmar of Queen's University in Ontario, Canada, looked at psychiatric emergency-department visits around the night of the full moon: six hours, 12 hours and 24 hours before and after a full moon. During the 12 hours before and after a full moon, EDs saw significantly more patients with personality disorders as well as with more urgent triage scores (those who needed more urgent care). However, fewer patients with anxiety disorders showed up during the 12 hours and 24 hours prior to and following the full moon.

Lunacy

People don't seem to be “howling at the full moon”, at least according to the research out there.

A review, called a meta-analysis, of 37 published and unpublished studies regarding a link between the full moon and “lunacy” as well as other behaviors found that just 1 percent of the change in activities considered “lunacy” - mental hospital admissions, psychiatric disturbances, crisis calls, homicides, and other criminal offenses, according to the researchers - could be attributed to the full moon, the scientists wrote in their study published in 1985 in the journal Psychological Bulletin.

Emergency Room Visits

Researchers examined 150,999 records of emergency room visits to a suburban hospital. Their study, reported in American Journal of Emergency Medicine in 1996, found no difference at full moon vs. other nights.

Surgery Outcomes

Do doctors and nurses mess up more during the full moon? Not according to a study in the October 2009 issue of the journal Anesthesiology. In fact, researchers found the risks are the same no matter what day of the week or time of the month you schedule your coronary artery bypass graft surgery.

Not all studies dismiss lunar influence.

Pet Injuries

In studying 11,940 cases at the Colorado State University Veterinary Medical Center, researchers found the risk of emergency room visits for pets to be 23 percent higher for cats and 28 percent higher for dogs on days surrounding full moons. It could be people tend to take pets out more during the full moon, raising the odds of an injury, or perhaps something else is at work - the study did not determine a cause.

Animals Gone Wild

A pair of conflicting studies in the British Medical Journal in 2001 leaves room for further research. In one of the studies, animal bites were found to have sent twice as many British people to the emergency room during full moons compared with other days. But in the other study, in Australia, dogs were found to bite people with similar frequency on any night.

Some wild animals do behave differently during a full moon: For example, lions usually hunt at night, but after a full moon, they're more likely to hunt during the day - likely to make up for the tough going on a moonlit night.

Does the Full Moon Really Make People Act Crazy?

Myths persist

If one presumes that modern lighting and mini-blinds have pretty much eliminated the one plausible source of human-related moon madness, why do so many myths persist?

Several researchers point out one likely answer: When strange things happen at full moon, people notice the “coincidental” big bright orb in the sky and wonder. When strange things happen during the rest of the month, well, they're just considered strange, and people don't tie them to celestial events.

“If police and doctors are expecting that full moon nights will be more hectic, they may interpret an ordinary night's traumas and crises as more extreme than usual“, explains Bad Science Columnist Benjamin Radford. “Our expectations influence our perceptions, and we look for evidence that confirms our beliefs.”

And that leads to this final note, which is perhaps the biggest logical nail in the coffin of the moon madness myths:

The highest tides occur not just at full moon but also at new moon, when the moon is between Earth and the sun (and we cannot see the moon) and our planet feels the combined gravitational effect of these two objects. Yet nobody ever claims any funny stuff related to the new moon (except for the fact that there is more beach pollution at full and new moon ...).

Live Science / Wikipedia / Mental Floss / Quora / Discover Magazine / Science Direct / National Geographic / Does the Full Moon Really Make People Act Crazy? (YouTube) video


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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Pit:

1) A sailor's rack or bunk. Usually used among those who aren't particularly pleased with shipboard life.

2) Main engineering space aboard ship to include the Fire Room (boiler room), Machinery Room (Engine Room) or a combined room (Main Machinery Room) containing both boilers and main engines.

Pit Sword: A sword-shaped device that protrudes below the ship to measure its speed.

Pineapple Fleet: The Pacific Fleet, usually refers to the Seventh Fleet (in the western Pacific) and specifically to ships stationed in Pearl Harbor. Somewhat confusing term, as Pearl Harbor is considered part of the Third Fleet's area, not the Seventh.

Ping: To emit a pulse of sound energy from a SONAR transmitter.

Ping Jockey Cutter: Term used to describe Sonar Techs.

Plank Owner: Term used for original crew personnel assigned to ships company during commissioning. Plank Owners are "Piped Aboard" when shown proper certification.

Plastic Fantastic: F/A-18 used in the 1980s.

Wiktionary.org


Just for MARINES - The Few. The Proud.

Just for you MARINE

(The) Pits: Depressed area on a shooting range where the targets are located, shooters staff it by marking, raising, and lowering targets from behind a berm. See also butts and pulling butts / pits.

Pitting: Incentive training for a large group of recruits, so named for the sandy pits set aside for such events. See also quarterdecking.

Wikipedia.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 “HAVOC”

United States Navy Naval Air Station - Airborne Electronic Attack Weapons School (HAVOC), 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? “Spare the rod and spoil the child”

Spare the rod and spoil the child:

Meaning: 'Spare the rod and spoil the child' is the notion that children will become weak and vulnerable if not chastised, physically or otherwise, for any wrongdoing.

History: This phrase is often assumed to be Victorian as it embodies the 'pull yourself up by your own bootstraps' thinking that they are widely believed to have espoused. In fact, the phrase is older than that.

The coiner of the version that we use in everyday speech was Samuel Butler, in Hudibras, the satirical poem on the factions involved in the English Civil War, which was first published in 1662:

“Love is a Boy,

by Poets styl'd,

Then Spare the Rod,

and spill the Child.”

[by 'spill', Butler did mean spoil - that was an alternative spelling at the time]

The precise words were Butler's, but the proverbial notion is much older. William Langland's The vision of William concerning Piers Plowman, 1377, includes this line:

“Who-so spareth ye sprynge, spilleth his children.”

'Spilleth' is used to mean 'spoils', as in Butler's poem. 'Sprynge' was commonly used in medieval English to mean the verb 'spring', that is, 'rise quickly, at a bound'. It seems that Langland was using here as a synonym for 'sprig', that is, rod or offshoot of a plant, although the OED has no other records of 'sprynge' being used that way.

English version of the Bible pre-1377 don't include the line in the form we now use, but they do contain a similar thought, and this is probably where Butler took it from. In the King James Version, Proverbs 13:24, we find:

“He that spareth his rod hateth his son:

but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”

Phrases.org UK


Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Is your dog anxious? Genes common to its breed could play a roleMinimuscles let amputees control a robot hand with their mindsNew drugs aim to disarm the immune system’s ‘atomic bomb’ cellsWhy does the weather stall? New theories explain enigmatic ‘blocks’ in the jet stream Science AAAS

What we don't know (about lakes) could hurt usOrganic molecules discovered by Curiosity Rover consistent with early life on Mars: studySynthetic biologists redesign the way bacteria 'talk' to each otherEven fake illness affects relationships among vampire bats 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)

The Brains of Shrimps and Insects Are More Alike Than We Thought

The Brains of Shrimps and Insects Are More Alike Than We Thought

Source: University of Arizona

Summary: Crustaceans share a brain structure known to be crucial for learning and memory in insects, researchers have discovered.

Both insects and crustaceans possess mushroom-shaped brain structures known in insects to be required for learning, memory and possibly negotiating complex, three-dimensional environments, according to the study, led by University of Arizona neuroscientist Nicholas Strausfeld.

The research, published in the open-access journal eLife, challenges a widely held belief in the scientific community that these brain structures - called “mushroom bodies” - are conspicuously absent from crustacean brains.

In 2017, Strausfeld's team reported a detailed analysis of mushroom bodies discovered in the brain of the mantis shrimp, Squilla mantis. In the current paper, the group provides evidence that neuro-anatomical features that define mushroom bodies - at one time thought to be an evolutionary feature proprietary to insects - are present across crustaceans, a group that includes more than 50,000 species.

Crustaceans and insects are known to descend from a common ancestor that lived about a half billion years ago and has long been extinct.

“The mushroom body is an incredibly ancient, fundamental brain structure”, said Strausfeld, Regents Professor of neuroscience and director of the University of Arizona's Center for Insect Science. “When you look across the arthropods as a group, it's everywhere.”

The Brains of Shrimps and Insects Are More Alike Than We Thought

In addition to insects and crustaceans, other arthropods include arachnids, such as scorpions and spiders, and myriapods, such as millipedes and centipedes.

Characterized by their external skeletons and jointed appendages, arthropods make up the most species-rich group of animals known, populating almost every conceivable habitat. About 480 million years ago, the arthropod family tree split, with one lineage producing the arachnids and another the mandibulates. The second group split again to provide the lineage leading to modern crustaceans, including shrimps and lobsters, and six-legged creatures, including insects - the most diverse group of arthropods living today.

Decades of research has untangled arthropods' evolutionary relationships using morphological, molecular and genetic data, as well as evidence from the structure of their brains.

Mushroom bodies in the brain have been shown to be the central processing units where sensory input converges. Vision, smell, taste and touch all are integrated here, as studies on honeybees have shown. Arranged in pairs, each mushroom body consists of a column-like portion, called the lobe, capped by a dome-like structure, called the calyx, where neurons that relay information sent from the animal's sensory organs converge. This information is passed to neurons that supply thousands of intersecting nerve fibers in the lobes that are essential for computing and storing memories.

Recent research by other scientists has also shown that those circuits interact with other brain centers in strengthening or reducing the importance of a recollection as the animal gathers experiences from its environment.

“The mushroom bodies contain networks where interesting associations are being made that give rise to memory”, Strausfeld said. “It's how the animal makes sense of its environment.”

The Brains of Shrimps and Insects Are More Alike Than We Thought

A more evolutionarily “modern” group of crustaceans called Reptantia, which includes many lobsters and crabs, do indeed appear to have brain centers that don't look at all like the insect mushroom body. This, the authors suggest, helped create the misconception crustaceans lack the structures altogether.

Brain analysis of crustaceans has revealed that while the mushroom bodies found in crustaceans appear more diverse than those of insects, their defining neuroanatomical and molecular elements are all there.

Using crustacean brain samples, the researchers applied tagged antibodies that act like probes, homing in on and highlighting proteins that have been shown to be essential for learning and memory in fruit flies. Sensitive tissue-staining techniques further enabled visualization of mushroom bodies' intricate architecture.

“We know of several proteins that are necessary for the establishment of learning and memory in fruit flies,”", Strausfeld said, “and if you use antibodies that detect those proteins across insect species, the mushroom bodies light up every time.”

Using this method revealed that the same proteins are not unique to insects; they show up in the brains of other arthropods, including centipedes, millipedes and some arachnids. Even vertebrates, including humans, have them in a brain structure called the hippocampus, a known center for memory and learning.

“Corresponding brain centers - the mushroom body in arthropods, marine worms, flatworms and, possibly, the hippocampus of vertebrates - appear to have a very ancient origin in the evolution of animal life”, Strausfeld said.

So why do the most commonly studied crustaceans have mushroom bodies that can appear so drastically different from their insect counterparts? Strausfeld and his co-authors have a theory: Crustacean species that inhabit environments that demand knowledge about elaborate, three-dimensional areas are precisely the ones whose mushroom bodies most closely resemble those in insects, a group that has also mastered the three-dimensional world by evolving to fly.

“We don't think that's a coincidence”, Strausfeld says. “We propose that that the complexity of inhabiting a three-dimensional world may demand special neural networks that allow a sophisticated level of cognition for negotiating that space in three dimensions.”

Lobsters and crabs, on the other hand, spend their lives confined mostly to the seafloor, which may explain why they've historically been said to lack mushroom bodies.

“At the risk of offending colleagues who are partial to crabs and lobsters: I view many of these as flat-world inhabitants”, Strausfeld says. “Future studies will be able to tell us which are smarter: the reef dwelling mantis shrimp, a top predator, or the reclusive lobster.”

Strausfeld co-authored the paper with two of his former students - Gabriella Wolff, now a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Washington, and Marcel Sayre, now a doctoral student at Lund University in Sweden. They hope that the study of mushroom bodies will further help in resolving how brains may have evolved and what environmental conditions shaped that process.

“This research moves us closer to answering the ultimate question”, Strausfeld says. “We want to know: What was the earliest brain like?”

Science Daily (03/03/2020) video


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

SONG FACTS

“You Make Me Feel Good” - The Zombies 1964

“You Make Me Feel Good” video - The Zombies
Album: The Zombies
Released 1964

You Make Me Feel Goodvideo was released as the B-side of their debut single, She's Not Therevideo.

You Make Me Feel Goodvideo was written by the group's bass player, Chris White:

“That was the first song I wrote that was recorded”, he wrote in the Hung Up On A Dream - A Zombie History Sleevenotes.

“We first played that over in the garden of my place, because it was right before the first session and Ken [producer Ken Jones] had said, 'Can you write a song?'”

In this song, Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent share the vocals, giving it a similar sound to many early Beatles songs when John Lennon and Paul McCartney sang together.

The song seems to be answering a question posed by a girl, likely something along the lines of, “Why do you love me?” The answer: “You make me feel good”. Not the most romantic retort, but it could be effective.

According to Gus Dudgeon, who went on to produce Elton John, this was the first song he engineered from beginning to end.

Dudgeon was a tape operator on the session, but the engineer, Terry Johnson, had a drinking problem and showed up after lunch “paralytically drunk”. He was sent home in a taxi, and Dudgeon stepped into the role:

“I just loved what the band did and they were a really nice bunch of guys”, he said. “I used to look forward to their sessions more than anyone else I worked with.”

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 - “STARTS OR ENDS WITH A BODY PART” ($200)

“To assist with the mail or with the birth of a baby.”

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

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “STARTS OR ENDS WITH A BODY PART” ($400)

“Diminutive term for a quick writing method done to take dictation.”

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

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “STARTS OR ENDS WITH A BODY PART” ($600)

“Greaves were part of a knight's set of it.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer Ancient History Encyclopedia.eu

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “STARTS OR ENDS WITH A BODY PART” ($800)

“A spiky 'sea' creature.”

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

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “STARTS OR ENDS WITH A BODY PART” ($1,000)

“It sounds like you might need a shovel at this rowdy, down-home type of party.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer World Wide Words.org


Answer to Last Week's Test

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

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

● Answer: Sarajevo. Encyclopedia Britannica

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

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

● Answer: 1914. 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: Barbed wire. 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: Scotland (Julie: What is Ireland?) (Alex: No, you had to think of the kilts. [*]. [*].). 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: the Argonne. Encyclopedia Britannica


Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

“Man Sends Wife and Kids to a Resort Vacation”

A man sends his wife and kids to a resort for a vacation.

After a week he joined them in the hotel.

As soon as he came to the hotel room he wanted to make love to his wife and gave her “the look”.

Whispering under her breath, the wife says, “No darling, we can't do it here, our kids are watching!”

Husband replies, “You're right, lets go to the beach.”

After a while they make their way to the beach, they start to make love on an empty beach.

All of a sudden, a policeman walks up to them. “Put your cloths on immediately, shame on you, you can't do that in public!”

Embarrassed, the husband admits, “You are right, but I had a moment of weakness. We hadn't seen each other for an entire week, and it would be very embarrassing if you fine me or put me in jail.»

The cop thought for a second and said, “Don't worry... this your first time. But this is the third time I caught this b**** making love on this beach in the last week and she will have to pay.”