Monday, October 31, 2011

Pacific Vortex: The Koolau Range and more EDITED

View of Koʻolau Range from the top. Kaneohe is visible on the right side
pg 6

The Koolau Range rose on his left...
Koʻolau Range is a name given to the fragmented remnant of the eastern or windward shield volcano of the Hawaiian island of Oʻahu. It is not a mountain range in the normal sense, because it was formed as a single mountain called Koʻolau Volcano (koʻolau means "windward" in Hawaiian, cognate of the toponym Tokelau).

What remains of Koʻolau is the western half of the original volcano that was destroyed in prehistoric times when the entire eastern half—including much of the summit caldera—slid cataclysmically into the Pacific Ocean. Remains of this ancient volcano lie as massive fragments strewn nearly 100 miles (160 km) over the ocean floor to the northeast of Oʻahu.

The modern Koʻolau mountain forms Oʻahu's windward coast and rises behind the leeward coast city of Honolulu — on its leeward slopes and valleys are located most of Honolulu's residential neighborhoods.

The volcano is thought to have first erupted on the ocean floor more than 2.5 million years ago. It eventually reached sea level and continued to grow in elevation until about 1.7 million years ago, when the volcano became dormant. The volcano remained dormant for hundreds of thousands of years, during which time erosion ate away at the initially smooth slopes of the shield-shaped mountain; and the entire mass subsided considerably. The highest elevation perhaps exceeded 3,000 metres (9,800 ft); today, the summit of the tallest peak, Puʻu Konahuanui is only 3,100 feet.

After hundreds of thousands of years of dormancy, Koʻolau volcano began to erupt again. Some thirty eruptions over the past 500,000 years or so have created many of the landmarks around eastern Oʻahu, such as Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, Koko Head, Punchbowl Crater, Tantalus, and Āliapaʻakai. Geologists do not always agree on the dates of these more recent eruptions, some dating them to around 32,000 years ago, others to as recently as 10,000 years ago. Geologists believe that there is at least a remote possibility that Koʻolau volcano will erupt again.

There are three roads that tunnel through the southern part of the Koʻolau Range, connecting Honolulu to the Windward Coast. From south to north:

* Hawaii Route 61 (Pali Highway)
* Hawaii Route 63 (Likelike Highway)
* Interstate H-3

Alongside of them the neat, green pineapple fields...
The Hawaiian Pineapple Company, was founded in 1901 by James Dole, who opened his first pineapple plantation in the central plateau of the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Sanford Dole, the cousin of James, had been president of the Republic of Hawaii from 1894 after the overthrow - by American businessmen - of the Kingdom of Hawaii (her last monarch, Queen Liliʻuokalani), and first governor of the Territory of Hawaii until 1903. The annexation of Hawaii to the United States made selling agricultural products to the mainland much more profitable, since they would never be subject to import tariffs.

In 1932 Castle & Cooke purchased a 21% interest in the Hawaiian Pineapple Company. In the 1960s Castle & Cooke acquired the remainder of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company and the Standard Fruit Company and renamed the company "The Dole Food Company, Inc" in 1991.

a seaman in the Navy summer white uniform

Seaman is the third enlisted rank from the bottom in the U.S Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and other navies and coast guards. For the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard the rank and pay just above that of a Seaman Apprentice and below those of a Petty Officer Third Class. This naval rank was formerly called the Seaman First Class.

The actual title for an E-3 in the U.S. Navy varies based on the subset of the Navy to which the sailor, seaman, submariner, aviator, hospitalman, nurse, etc., has been assigned. Likewise, the color of his/her group rate mark also depends on his section of the navy.

* Those in the general deck and administrative community are "seamen". They wear white stripes on their navy blue uniforms, and navy blue (black) stripes on their white uniforms.
* Hospital Corpsmen are now called "hospitalmen." They possess the only rating in this area of duty. They wear white stripes on their navy blue uniforms, and navy blue stripes on their white uniforms.
* Those in the ship's engineering and hull maintenance area are called "firemen", and they wear red stripes on both their navy blue and white uniforms.
* Those in the aviation area of the Navy are called "airmen", and they wear green stripes on both their navy blue and white uniforms.
* Seabees are called "constructionmen", and they wear light blue stripes on both their navy blue and white uniforms.

No such stripes are authorized to be worn on the working uniforms - NWUs (Navy Working Uniform) [a new uniform introduced in 2006], coveralls, utility wear, flight suits, hospital and clinic garb, diving suits, etc. However, sailors with the rank of E-3 are permitted to wear silver-anodized collar devices on their Navy Service Uniforms.

In October 2005, the dental technician rating was merged into the hospital corpsman rating, eliminating the "dentalman" title. Those who once held the rank of "dentalman" have instead become "hospitalmen".

Sailors who have completed the requirements to be assigned a rating and have been accepted by the Bureau of Naval Personnel as holding that rating (a process called "striking") are called Designated Strikers, and are called by their full rate and rating in formal communications (i.e., Machinist's Mate Fireman, as opposed to simply Fireman), though the rating is often left off in informal communications. Those who have not officially been assigned to a rating are officially referred to as "undesignated" or "non-rates." In order to advance to the rate of Petty Officer Third Class, a Seaman would have to submit a request every 6 months. However, advancement is not guaranteed because of the vast amounts of Seamen competing for a promotion.

As with the Navy, the actual title for a E-3 in the U.S. Coast Guard varies based on their community. However, the smaller size of the Coast Guard limits the E-3s to only three options: seaman (white stripes), fireman (red stripes), and airman (green stripes). The Coast Guard does not possess its own medical corps, dental corps, pharmacy corps, or legal corps, but rather, it either draws the necessary services and experts from the U.S. Navy, Air Force, or Army, or it contracts for services by civilians. Likewise, the U.S. Marine Corps does not possess its own trained experts in these areas, but rather, it generally uses the corps of experts from the U.S. Navy, or else from the other two American Armed Forces (whichever one is available in the region) that have own corps of experts: e.g. medical, dental, legal, or nursing.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Spartan Gold: Timex Expedition and more

pg 19
Sam looked at his watch, a Timex Expedition.
Timex Group USA, Inc. (formerly known as Timex Corporation), a subsidiary of Timex Group B.V. and its US headquarters, is based in Middlebury, Connecticut. The company is the current day successor to the Waterbury Clock Company, founded in 1854 in nearby Waterbury, Connecticut.

Advent of the wristwatch
With the beginning of World War I there were new demands for timepiece design. Artillery gunners needed an easy way to calculate and read time while still being able to work the guns. The Waterbury Clock Company met this need by modifying the small Ingersoll ladies' Midget pocket watch to become military-issue wristwatches – lugs were added for a canvas strap, the crown was repositioned to 3 o'clock, hands and numbers were made luminescent for nighttime readability – thus making one of the first wrist watches.

1997 saw the introduction of the successful Timex Expedition brand, designed for rugged outdoor sports.

They gathered their packs and hiked the half mile back to their skiff...
The term skiff is used for a number of essentially unrelated styles of small boat. The word is related to ship and has a complicated etymology: "skiff" comes from the Middle English skif, which derives from the Old French esquif, which in turn derives from the Old Italian schifo, which is itself of Germanic origin (German Schiff). "Ship" comes from the Old English "scip", which has the same Germanic predecessor.

Traditional Boats - Americas

In American usage, the term is used to apply to small sea-going fishing boats. It is referred to historically in literature in Moby-Dick by Herman Melville[2] and The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.[3] The skiff could be powered by sails as well as oars. One usage of skiff is to refer to a typically small flat-bottomed open boat with a pointed bow and a flat stern originally developed as an inexpensive and easy to build boat for use by inshore fishermen. Originally designed to be powered by rowing, their form has evolved so that they are efficiently powered by outboard motors. The design is still in common use today for both work and pleasure craft. They can be made of wood or other materials. There is a similar style of craft in Central American/Mexican, generally called a panga.

The nearest town and their base of operations was Snow Hill, three miles up the Pocomoke River.
Snow Hill is a town in Worcester County, Maryland, United States. The population was 2,409 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Worcester County.

Snow Hill was founded in 1686 in Somerset County by English settlers who may have named it after a street and neighborhood of the City of London called "Snow Hill". The town received its first charter on the October 26, 1686, and was made a port of entry in 1694.

In 1742, Worcester County was carved out of the eastern half of old Somerset County and Snow Hill, centrally located in the new county and at the head of navigation on the Pocomoke River, was made the county seat.

Major fires in 1844 and 1893 destroyed the center of Snow Hill, including two successive Court Houses, although some eighteenth century structures survived both fires. Following the second fire, much of the commercial area was rapidly rebuilt, so the downtown today contains many historic buildings of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Snow Hill Historic District, which includes approximately 80% of the town, was created in 2002.

In December 2010 a Snow Hill businessman started a petition to remove the towns incorporation and revert the area back to county control. The reasons given were lower county taxes, better services provided to the town, and a need for revitalization. The push was abandoned in January 2011.

The B&B they'd chosen had a surprisingly decent wine cellar and a crab bisque...

A bed and breakfast (or B&B) is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and breakfast, but usually does not offer other meals. Since the 1980s, the meaning of the term has also extended to include accommodations that are also known as "self-catering" establishments. Typically, bed and breakfasts are private homes with fewer than 10 bedrooms available for commercial use.

A wine cellar is a storage room for wine in bottles or barrels, or more rarely in carboys, amphorae or plastic containers. In an active wine cellar, important factors such as temperature and humidity are maintained by a climate control system. In contrast, passive wine cellars are not climate-controlled, and are usually built underground to reduce temperature swings. An aboveground wine cellar is often called a wine room, while a small wine cellar (less than 500 bottles) is sometimes termed a wine closet.

Bisque (Bisk) is a smooth, creamy, highly-seasoned soup of French origin, classically based on a strained broth (coulis) of crustaceans. It can be made from lobster, crab, shrimp or crayfish. Also, creamy soups made from roasted and puréed vegetables are sometimes called bisques.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pacifc Vortex: bright red AC Ford Cobra and more

The bright red AC Ford Cobra sat forlornly on the road.
The AC Cobra, also known colloquially as the Shelby Cobra in North America, is an Anglo-American sports car that was produced during the 1960s.

The history of the AC Ford Cobra is too long to be shared here. Check it out at Wikipedia here: Suffice it to say that Ford had wanted a car to compete against the Corvette in races, and teamed up with the English company AC to do so.

He swung onto Highway 99, passing through Waialua and heading up the long grade that ran next to the picturesque and usually dry Kaukomahua Stream.
Hawaii Route 99 (Honolulu to Haleiwa)
The island of Oahu: As Route 99, Kamehameha Highway begins at its southern terminus at the Pearl Harbor interchange of Interstate H-1 near Pearl Harbor and Hickam Air Force Base. The highway runs north past the Pearl Harbor historic sites (the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Bowfin, and the bridge to Ford Island leading to the USS Missouri) and Aloha Stadium. The highway then turns west through the suburbs of Aiea and Pearl City, passing Pearlridge Center, the state's second largest shopping mall.

After passing Pearl City and the interchange with Interstate H-2 near Waipahu, Route 99 turns north through the central O'ahu suburbs of Waipio and Mililani. South of Wahiawā near Wheeler Army Airfield, the named Kamehameha Highway continues through Wahiawā as Route 80, while Route 99 (as Wilikina Drive and Kamananui Road) bypasses Wahiawā on the west, rejoining Kamehameha Highway north of Whitmore Village. It then continues north through pineapple fields and former sugar cane fields to the junction with Route 83 near Haleiwa.

The Kaukonahua Stream or Kaukonahua River is a 9.9-mile-long (15.9 km) river on the island of Oʻahu which is one of the Hawaiian Islands. Including its longer South Fork, the stream's total length is 28.0 miles (45.1 km). It flows down in a generally northwest direction into the Pacific Ocean. It is the longest river of the whole island group.

After the Schofield Barracks Military Reservation disappeared...headed toward Pearl City.
Schofield Barracks is a United States Army post and census-designated place (CDP) located in the City and County of Honolulu and in the Wahiawa District of the island of Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi, United States. Schofield Barracks lies adjacent to the town of Wahiawā, separated from most of it by Lake Wilson (also known as Wahiawā Reservoir). Schofield Barracks is named after Lieutenant General John McAllister Schofield, Commanding General United States Army August 1888 to September 1895. He had been sent to Hawaiʻi in 1872 and had recommended the establishment of a naval base at Pearl Harbor.

Schofield Barracks has an area of some 17,725 acres (72 km2) on Central Oʻahu. The post was established in 1908 to provide mobile defense of Pearl Harbor and the entire island. It has been the home of the 25th Infantry Division, known as the Tropic Lightning Division, since 1941 as well as the Command Headquarters for United States Army Hawaii (USARHAW). Schofield Barracks is also home to the 8th Theater Sustainment Command. The population was 14,428 at the 2000 census.

Pearl City is a census-designated place (CDP) located in the ʻEwa District and City & County of Honolulu on the Island of Oʻahu. As of the 2010 Census, the CDP had a total population of 47,698. Pearl City is located along the north shore of Pearl Harbor. ʻAiea borders Pearl City to the east, while Waipahu borders the west.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Spartan Gold: Sam was a right-brain thinker and more

Despite his engineering background, Sam was an intuitive right brain thinker while Remi, a Boston College trained anthropologist/historian, was firmly grounded in logical left brain thinking.
According to Wikipedia:
The idea that the two hemispheres of the brain may learn differently has virtually no grounding in neuroscience research. The idea has arisen from the knowledge that some cognitive skills appear to be differentially localised to a specific hemisphere (e.g. language functions are typically supported by left hemisphere brain regions in healthy right handed people). However, massive amount of fibre connections link the two hemispheres of the brain in neurologically healthy individuals. Every cognitive skill that has been investigated using neuroimaging to date employs a network of brain regions which are spread across both cerebral hemispheres, including language and reading, and thus no evidence exists for any type of learning that is specific to one side of the brain.

Boston College
Boston College (BC) is a private Jesuit research university located in the village of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA. The main campus is bisected by the border between the cities of Boston and Newton. It has 9,200 full-time undergraduates and 4,000 graduate students. Its name reflects its early history as a liberal arts college and preparatory school in Boston's South End. It is a member of the 568 Group and the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. Its main campus is a historic district and features some of the earliest examples of collegiate gothic architecture in North America.

Boston College offers bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and doctoral degrees through its nine schools and colleges. Boston College is currently ranked 31 in the National Universities ranking by U.S. News & World Report.

Boston College is categorized as an RU/H: Research Universities (high research activity) in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

it also led to vigorous debates, ranging in topic from what had started the English Reformation to ...
The English Reformation was the series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church.

These events were, in part, associated with the wider process of the European Protestant Reformation, a religious and political movement which affected the practice of Christianity across most of Europe during this period. Many factors contributed to the process: the decline of feudalism and the rise of nationalism, the rise of the common law, the invention of the printing press and increased circulation of the Bible, the transmission of new knowledge and ideas among scholars and the upper and middle classes. However, the various phases of the English Reformation, which also covered Wales and Ireland, were largely driven by changes in government policy, to which public opinion gradually accommodated itself.

Based on Henry VIII's desire for an annulment of his marriage, the English Reformation was at the outset more of a political affair than a theological dispute. The reality of political differences between Rome and England allowed growing theological disputes to come to the fore.[1] Immediately before the break with Rome, it was the Pope and general councils of the church that decided doctrine. Church law was governed by the code of canon law with final jurisdiction in Rome. Church taxes were paid straight to Rome and it was the Pope who had the final say over the appointment of bishops. The split from Rome made the English monarch the Supreme Governor of the English church by "Royal Supremacy", thereby making the Church of England the established church of the nation. Doctrinal and legal disputes now rested with the monarch, and the papacy was deprived of revenue and the final say on the appointment of bishops.

The structure and theology of the church was a matter of fierce dispute for generations. These disputes were finally ended by a coup d'état (the "Glorious Revolution") in 1688, from which emerged a church polity with an established church and a number of non-conformist churches whose members at first suffered various civil disabilities which were only removed over time, as did the substantial minority who remained Roman Catholic in England, whose church organization remained illegal until the 19th century. how to best play Vivaldi's concerto Summer.
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (4 March 1678 – 28 July 1741), nicknamed il Prete Rosso ("The Red Priest") because of his red hair, was an Italian Baroque composer, priest, and virtuoso violinist, born in Venice. Vivaldi is recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread over Europe. Vivaldi is known mainly for composing instrumental concertos, especially for the violin, as well as sacred choral works and over 40 operas. His best known work is a series of violin concertos known as The Four Seasons.

Many of his compositions were written for the female music ensemble of the Ospedale della Pietà, a home for abandoned children where Vivaldi worked from 1703 to 1715 and from 1723 to 1740. Vivaldi also had some success with stagings of his operas in Venice, Mantua and Vienna. After meeting the Emperor Charles VI, Vivaldi moved to Vienna hoping for preferment. The Emperor died soon after Vivaldi's arrival, and the composer died a pauper, without a steady source of income.

Though Vivaldi's music was well received during his lifetime, it later declined in popularity until its vigorous revival in the first half of the 20th century. Today, Vivaldi ranks among the most popular and widely recorded Baroque composers.

A concerto is a composition for an orchestra and one or more soloists. The classical concerto usually consisted of several movements, and often a cadenza (an elaborate flourish or showy solo passage, sometimes improvised, introduced near the end of an aria or a movement of a concerto.).

The Four Seasons (Italian: Le quattro stagioni) is a set of four violin concertos by Antonio Vivaldi. Composed in 1723, The Four Seasons is Vivaldi's best-known work, and is among the most popular pieces of Baroque music. The texture of each concerto is varied, each resembling its respective season. For example, "Winter" is peppered with silvery pizzicato notes from the high strings, calling to mind icy rain, whereas "Summer" evokes a thunderstorm in its final movement, which is why the movement is often dubbed "Storm."

The concertos were first published in 1725 as part of a set of twelve concerti, Vivaldi's Op. 8, entitled Il cimento dell'armonia e dell'inventione (The Contest between Harmony and Invention). The first four concertos were designated Le quattro stagioni, each being named after a season. Each one is in three movements, with a slow movement between two faster ones. At the time of writing The Four Seasons, the modern solo form of the concerto had not yet been defined (typically a solo instrument and accompanying orchestra). Vivaldi's original arrangement for solo violin with string quartet and basso continuo helped to define the form.

"I've found, my dear, a vintage Master padlock, circa 1970."
Master Lock Company LLC was formed in 1921 by locksmith-inventor Harry Soref, and is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

In 1969, the company was purchased by American Brands from Soref's heirs. American Brands was later renamed to Fortune Brands, which then split on October 3, 2011 to create the Fortune Brands Home & Security company.

Iconic Ad
In 1973, Master Lock ran a Super Bowl ad where one of their locks survived being shot by a sharpshooter, thereby proving its durability, thus the slogan "Tough Under Fire". Master Lock would continue running similar ads during future Super Bowls, spending almost their entire annual marketing budget on the single commercial. Later, Master would incorporate the image into a one second long blipvert commercial in 1998.

Offshoring and re-shoring
In 1999, Fortune Brands began to abandon most operations in its Milwaukee Master Lock factory, and moved most of its manufacturing jobs to offshore plants in China and Mexico, putting an estimated 1,300 American workers (represented by the United Auto Workers) out of work. In 2011, it was announced that 36 jobs making combination locks were being returned from China to the heavily-automated Milwaukee plant, which would now employ 379 workers. It would continue to contract with three Chinese factories, twenty Chinese suppliers, and to operate its maquiladora near the Arizona border, where low-cost Mexican workers do non-automated, labor-intensive work, such as assembling made-in-Milwaukee components

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pacific Vortex: Mark Spitz and more

pg 3
Mark Spitz might have made it
Mark Andrew Spitz (born February 10, 1950) is a retired American swimmer. He won seven gold medals at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, an achievement surpassed by Michael Phelps who won eight golds at the 2008 Olympics.

Between 1968 and 1972, Spitz won nine Olympic golds plus a silver and a bronze, five Pan American golds, 31 US Amateur Athletic Union titles and eight US National Collegiate Athletic Association titles. During those years, he set 33 world records. He was the most successful athlete at the 1972 Summer Olympics. He was named World Swimmer of the Year in 1969, 1971 and 1972.

...consuming several shots of Cutty Sark Scotch
A shot glass is a small glass designed to hold or measure spirits or liquor, which is either drunk straight from the glass ("a shot") or poured into a mixed drink.

Shot glasses decorated with a wide variety of humorous pictures, toasts, and advertising, are popular souvenirs and collectibles.

The Old West
The most popular origin story is that the shot glass originated in the Western saloons of the Old West. The story explains that the cowboys of the old west would trade a cartridge (bullet plus powder and primer encased in brass) for a small amount of alcohol.

Birdshot or buckshot
Another origin story is that a shot glass was a glass used at the dinner table for diners to place any lead shot they found left during the meal.

Quill pen holder
Another story ties the origin of the shot glass to the use of quill pens. According to this story, the term shot glass was coined over 100 years ago, describing a small, thick-walled glass placed on a writing desk, and filled with small lead shot. A feather writing quill would be placed in the glass when not in use, and the lead shot would hold the quill upright. An upright quill was more easily removed from the glass.

Firing glass
Certain fraternal organizations such as Freemasons have a custom of drinking toasts from specially shaped glasses known as cannons or firing glasses, which are slammed on the table making a sound like a gunshot – a firing glass then becomes a shot glass. The firing glass is much older than the shot glass, and has a very specific shape with relatively thin sides, and a very thick protruding base.

Friedrich Otto Schott
This theory argues that the word shot was originally spelled Schott, and named after Friedrich Otto Schott who co-founded the glassworks factory Jenaer Glaswerk Schott & Genossen in Jena, Germany in 1884. This Jena glass has been theorized as the origin of the first Schott Glass and the source of the name, which was later, in the U.S., mutated to Shot Glass and the origin of the word forgotten.

Cutty Sark is a range of blended Scotch whisky and sherry produced by Edrington plc of Glasgow whose main office is less than 10 miles from the birthplace of the famous clipper ship of the same name.

The whisky was created on March 20, 1923, with the home of the blend considered to be at The Glenrothes distillery in the Speyside region of Scotland. The name comes from the River Clyde-built clipper ship Cutty Sark, whose name came from the Scots language term cutty-sark, the short shirt prominently mentioned in the famous poem by Robert Burns - "Tam o' Shanter". The drawing of the clipper ship Cutty Sark on the label of the whisky bottles is a work of the Swedish artist Carl Georg August Wallin. He was a mariner painter, and this is probably his most famous ship painting. This drawing has been on the whisky bottles since 1955.

The Tall Ships' Races for large sailing ships were originally known as The Cutty Sark Tall Ships' Races, under the terms of sponsorship by the whisky brand.

Sharks, he knew, seldom ventured close to shore because the swirling turbulence of heavy wave action forced sand through their gills; this discouraged all but the hungriest from a handy meal.
According to Wikipedia's article on sharks, "sharks attack at 2-3 feet of water so remember to stay closer than that in shark infested waters."

Contrary to popular belief, only a few sharks are dangerous to humans. Out of more than 360 shark species, only four have been involved in a significant number of fatal unprovoked attacks on humans: the great white, tiger, bull[17] and the oceanic whitetip.

These sharks, being large, powerful predators, may sometimes attack and kill people; however, they have all been filmed in open water by unprotected divers. The 2010 French film Oceans shows footage of humans swimming next to sharks deep in the ocean.

It is possible that the sharks are able to sense the presence of unnatural elements on or about the divers, such as polyurethane diving suits and air tanks, which may lead them to accept temporary outsiders as more of a curiosity than prey. Uncostumed humans, however, such as those surfboarding, light snorkeling, or swimming, present a much greater area of open meaty flesh to carnivorous shark predators.

In addition the presence of even small traces of blood, recent minor abrasions, cuts, scrapes, or bruises, may convince sharks to attack a human in their environment. Some sharks such as the Hammerhead seek out prey through electromagnetic detection, an unpreventable transmission relative to natural human intervention in an oceanic environment. Most of the oceanic whitetip shark's attacks have not been recorded, unlike the other three species mentioned above.

Reasons for attacks
While one should be very cautious with great white sharks, they do not target humans as prey.

Large sharks species are apex predators in their environment, and thus have little fear of any creature they cross paths with. Like most sophisticated hunters, they are curious when they encounter something unusual in their territories. Lacking any limbs with sensitive digits such as hands or feet, the only way they can explore an object or organism is to bite it; these bites are known as exploratory bites. Generally, shark bites are exploratory, and the animal will swim away after one bite.

For example, exploratory bites on surfers are thought to be caused by the shark mistaking the surfer for the shape of prey. Nonetheless, a single bite can grievously injure a human if the animal involved is a powerful predator like a great white or tiger shark.

Despite a few rare exceptions, it has been concluded that feeding is not a reason sharks attack humans; as stated on, "Humans are not on the menu. In fact, humans don't provide enough high-fat meat for sharks, which need a lot of energy to power their large, muscular bodies".

Sharks normally make one swift attack and then retreat to wait for the victim to die or exhaust itself before returning to feed. This protects the shark from injury from a wounded and aggressive target; however, it also allows humans time to get out of the water and survive.[35] Shark attacks may also occur due to territorial reasons or as dominance over another shark species, resulting in an attack.

Sharks are equipped with sensory organs called the Ampullae of Lorenzini that detect the electricity generated by muscle movement; another theory is that the shark's electrical receptors, which pick up movement, pick up the signals like those emitted by wounded fish from someone who is fishing or spearfishing, and thus attack the person by mistake.

George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File, said the following regarding why people are attacked: "Attacks are basically an odds game based on how many hours you are in the water"

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spartan Gold: Delmarva Peninsula and more

pg 16
...Cannon had escaped from prison and went on murdering and robbing far into her nineties, to tales that have her ghost still roaming the Delmarva Peninsula.
The Delmarva Peninsula is a large peninsula on the East Coast of the United States, occupied by most of Delaware and portions of Maryland and Virginia. The peninsula is almost 180 by 60 miles (300 by 100 km), and is bordered by the Chesapeake Bay on the west, and the Delaware River, Delaware Bay, and Atlantic Ocean on the east.

The northern isthmus of the peninsula is transected by the sea-level Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, so the peninsula could be considered to be an island. Several bridges cross the canal, and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel join the peninsula to mainland Maryland and Virginia, respectively. Another point of access is Lewes, Delaware, reachable by ferry from Cape May, New Jersey.

Dover, Delaware's capital city, is the peninsula's largest city by population but the main commercial area is Salisbury, Maryland, near its center. Including all offshore islands (the largest of which is Kent Island in Maryland), the total land area south of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal is 5,454 sq mi (14,130 km2). At the 2000 census the total population was 681,030, giving an average population density of 124.86 persons/sq mi (48.2 persons/km²).

Roughly south of Wilmington, Delaware, is the fall line, a geographic borderland where the Piedmont region transitions into the coastal plain, a flat and sandy area with very few or no hills

After a detailed study of the Pocomoke's historical topography...
I shared info on the Pocomoke River in my last Pacific Vortex post, but will share it again.
The Pocomoke River stretches approximately 66 miles (106 km) from southern Delaware through southeastern Maryland in the United States. At its mouth, the river is essentially an arm of Chesapeake Bay, whereas the upper river flows through a series of relatively inaccessible wetlands called the Great Cypress Swamp, largely populated by Loblolly Pine, Red Maple and Baldcypress.

The river is the easternmost river that flows into Chesapeake Bay and is reputed to be one of the deepest rivers for its width in the world. “Pocomoke” (locally /ˈpoʊkɵmoʊk/), though traditionally interpreted as "dark (or black) water" by local residents, is now agreed by scholars of the Algonquian languages to be derived from the words for "broken (or pierced) ground," and likely referred to the farming practices of the surrounding indigenous peoples.

...the bulk of the proceeds would go to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinatti, Ohio.
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a museum in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio based on the history of the Underground Railroad. The Center also pays tribute to all efforts to "abolish human enslavement and secure freedom for all people." Billed as part of a new group of "museums of conscience," along with the Museum of Tolerance, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National Civil Rights Museum, the Center offers lessons on the struggle for freedom in the past, in the present, and for the future as it attempts to challenge visitors to contemplate the meaning of freedom in their own lives.

Its location recognizes the significant role of Cincinnati, where thousands of slaves escaped to freedom by crossing the Ohio River, in the history of the Underground Railroad.

After ten years of planning and fundraising, the $110 million Freedom Center opened to the public on August 3, 2004; official opening ceremonies took place on August 23. The 158,000 square foot (15,000 m²) structure was designed by Boora Architects (design architect) of Portland, Oregon with Blackburn Architects (architect of record) of Indianapolis with three pavilions celebrating courage, cooperation and perseverance. The exterior features rough travertine stone from Tivoli, Italy on the east and west faces of the building, and copper panels on the north and south. According to one of its primary architects, the late Walter Blackburn, the building's "undulating quality" illustrates the fields and the river that escaping slaves crossed to reach freedom. First Lady Laura Bush, Oprah Winfrey, and Muhammad Ali attended the groundbreaking ceremony on June 17, 2002.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pacific Vortex: the Pentagon and more

Southeast view of the Pentagon iwth the Potomac RIver and Washington Monument in the background. Photo from 1998. (Wikipedia)
pg 40
"You unknowingly set off an earthquake in the Pentagon that was picked up on a seismograph in California."
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.

Designed by the American architect George Bergstrom (1876–1955), and built by Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, general contractor John McShain, the building was dedicated on January 15, 1943, after ground was broken for construction on September 11, 1941. General Brehon Somervell provided the major motive power behind the project; Colonel Leslie Groves was responsible for overseeing the project for the Army.

The Pentagon is the world's largest office building by floor area, with about 6,500,000 sq ft (600,000 m2), of which 3,700,000 sq ft (340,000 m2) are used as offices. Approximately 23,000 military and civilian employees and about 3,000 non-defense support personnel work in the Pentagon.

It has five sides, five floors above ground, two basement levels, and five ring corridors per floor with a total of 17.5 mi (28.2 km) of corridors. The Pentagon includes a five-acre (20,000 m2) central plaza, which is shaped like a pentagon and informally known as "ground zero", a nickname originating during the Cold War and based on the presumption that the Soviet Union would target one or more nuclear missiles at this central location in the outbreak of a nuclear war.

On September 11, 2001, exactly 60 years after the building's groundbreaking, hijacked American Airlines Flight 77- a Boeing 757-223 was crashed into the western side of the Pentagon, killing 189 people, including five hijackers, 59 others aboard the plane, and 125 working in the building.

"It also made you a big-man-on-campus with the Navy Department."
BMOC, slang for an "important" college student - typically one who was very good at sports. Do a search for this on the internet and all the sites give you the definition, none give the eytemology. Probably since the 1920s when football became a popular spectator sport.

"I'm only a retired cast-off to those boys, so I wasn't offered a peek behind the curtain."
"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain," a sentence made famous by the 1939 Wizard of Oz movie. Used since the 1800s for mystery, as theater stages at t hat time began to have curtains hung in front of the stage to hide scene changes.

"I was simply asked by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, explain your new assignment."
The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) is a body of senior uniformed leaders in the United States Department of Defense who advise the Secretary of Defense, the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council and the President on military matters.

The composition of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is defined by statute and consists of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (VCJCS), and the Military Service Chiefs from the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Marine Corps, all appointed by the President following Senate confirmation. Each of the individual Military Service Chiefs, outside of their Joint Chiefs of Staff obligations, works directly for the Secretary of the Military Department concerned, i.e. Secretary of the Army, Secretary of the Navy, and the Secretary of the Air Force.

Following the Goldwater-Nichols Act in 1986 the Joint Chiefs of Staff do not have operational command authority, neither individually nor collectively, as the chain of command goes from the President to the Secretary of Defense, and from the Secretary of Defense to the Commanders of the Combatant Commands.

Goldwater-Nichols also created the office of Vice Chairman, and the Chairman is now designated as the principal military adviser to the Secretary of Defense, the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council and to the President.

Not to be confused with The Joint Staff (JS), a headquarters staff in the Pentagon, composed of personnel from all the four services, that assists the Chairman and the Vice Chairman in discharging their responsibilities and is managed by the Director of the Joint Staff (DJS) who is a Lieutenant General or Vice Admiral.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spartan Gold: Gorton's Fisherman and more

Ch 1, pg 13
When she'd first donned the waders, he'd made the mistake of suggesting she looked like the Gorton's Fisherman...
Gorton’s of Gloucester is a subsidiary of the Japanese seafood conglomerate Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd., producing fishsticks and other frozen seafood for the retail market in the United States. Gorton’s also has a North American foodservice business which sells to fast-food restaurants such as McDonald’s, and an industrial coating ingredients operation. It has been headquartered in Gloucester, Massachusetts, since 1849.

HistoryThe company traces its roots to a fishery called John Pew & Sons. William Pew, son of John Pew, picked up fishing after serving as a Colonial soldier in the French and Indian War. While most people moved West after the war, Pew turned eastward and arrived in Gloucester, Massachusetts, in 1755. The father-and-son fishery business emerged as an official commercial company, John Pew & Sons, in 1849.

When nearby Rockport’s chief industry, the Annisquam Cotton Mill, burned down, Slade Gorton, the mill’s superintendent, was out of a job. At his wife’s urging, he began a fishing business in 1874 known as the Slade Gorton & Company, and began to pack and sell salt codfish and mackerel in small kegs. This company was the first to package salt-dried fish in barrels. In 1899, the company patented the “Original Gorton Fish Cake.” In 1905, the Slade Gorton Company adopted the fisherman at the helm of a schooner (the “Man at the Wheel”) as the company trademark. Today, he is known as the Gorton’s Fisherman.

In 1906, Slade Gorton & Company and John Pew & Sons and two other Gloucester fisheries merged into the Gorton-Pew Fisheries. They made Gorton’s codfish cakes a household name in New England. The company offices were located at 372 Main Street, Gloucester, in the same building where Gorton’s Main Office is located today.

The company went into the fish-freezing business in the early 1930’s. In 1949, Gorton-Pew made headlines when it drove the first refrigerator trailer truck shipment of frozen fish from Gloucester, Massachusetts, to San Francisco, California – a trip that took eight days. In 1953, the company was the first to introduce a frozen ready-to-cook fish stick, Gorton’s Fish Sticks, which won the Parents Magazine Seal of Approval.

In 1957, Gorton-Pew Fisheries name was changed to Gorton’s of Gloucester; in 1965, it became The Gorton Corporation, and it is now known as Gorton’s. In 1968, Gorton’s merged with General Mills, Inc., as a wholly owned subsidiary.

In May 1995, Unilever bought Gorton’s from General Mills. In August 2001, Unilever sold Gorton’s and BlueWater Seafoods to Nippon Suisan (USA), Inc., a subsidiary of Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd., for US$175 million in cash.

In 2005, Gorton's acquired King & Prince Seafood of Brunswick, Georgia.

The iconic slogan, "Trust the Gorton's Fisherman," produced in 1978, and the familiar yellow slicker and beard has made the Gorton's Fisherman a recognizable pop culture icon. In particular the Gorton’s Fisherman, has been featured on the "Late Show with David Letterman" numerous times:
--On the January 12, 2007 show and again on the January 7, 2008 show David Letterman sported a yellow slicker, hat and beard and acted out an improvised Gorton’s Fish Stick commercial as the Gorton’s Fisherman complete with a box of Gorton's Fish Sticks.
--The Gorton’s Fisherman made the number seven spot on the “Top 10 Answers to the Question How Rainy Is It?” on April 16, 2007, which read “Number 7. It’s so rainy Regis’s guest host today was the Gorton’s Fisherman.”
--The Gorton's Fisherman also made the number five spot on the "Top 10 Surprises in 'Titantic'" list on January 8, 1998, which read, "Number 5. Graphic love scene between Kate Winslet and the Gorton Fisherman."

Other notable pop culture appearances include:
--In the 2006 Halloween edition of the popular cartoon website, Homestar Runner, The King of Town is dressed as the fisherman in the Gorton’s logo.
--On February 6, 2005, during Super Bowl XXXIX, the Gorton's Fisherman appeared in a Mastercard commercial featuring 10 legendary advertising characters from various food and household products.
--In the movie remake of the classic TV series "Bewitched" (2005), Nicole Kidman's character, Samantha Stephens, encounters the Gorton's Fisherman during a trip to the supermarket. The image of the Gorton's Fisherman on the box comes to life and speaks to her when she picks up a Gorton's package from the frozen food section.
--Fans of the New York Rangers of the NHL often taunt their rival team, the New York Islanders and its fans. In the mid-1990s, the Islanders briefly changed their uniform from their traditional logo to a more new-age logo that featured a fisherman that many thought resembled the Gorton’s logo. Rangers fans have been known to chant, “We want fishsticks!” at both Madison Square Garden and the Nassau Coliseum during games between the teams.
--In an edition of WWE Magazine, the feature “Would You Buy This?” was a parody of Gorton’s, calling it, “Orton’s and replacing the fisherman with wrestler Randy Orton.
--The Gorton’s Fisherman has been the answers to questions/ puzzles on "Jeopardy!" and the "Wheel of Fortune" game shows.

Panama hat worn by Hrry Truman
Sam tipped his tattered Panama hat at her.
A Panama hat (sometimes informally among hat enthusiasts, just a Panama - see Isthmus of Panama) is a traditional brimmed hat of Ecuadorian origin that is made from the plaited leaves of the toquilla straw plant (Carludovica palmata). Straw hats woven in Ecuador, like many other 19th and early 20th century South American goods, were shipped first to the Isthmus of Panama before sailing for their destinations in Asia, the rest of the Americas and Europe. For some products, the name of their point of international sale rather than their place of domestic origin stuck, hence "Panama hats."

The 49ers picked up these hats in Panama, and when President Theodore Roosevelt visited the Panama Canal construction, he wore such a hat, which increased its popularity. They're also known as a Jipijapa, named for a town in Ecuador, one of the centers of the hat trade. The Oxford English Dictionary cites a use of the term as early as 1834.

Glorified during the 19th century, the Panama has since been considered the prince of straw hats. The Ecuadorian national hero and emblematic figure Eloy Alfaro helped finance his liberal revolution of Ecuador through the export of panamas. The reputation of the hat was established by Napoleon III, Edward VII, and some other aficionados.

The pear-shaped gold and jade brooch was said to have belonged to a local woman named Henrietta Bronson, one of the first victims of the notorious outlaw Martha "Patty" (aka Lucretia) Cannon
Cussler goes into great detail on Martha Cannon's career - but there is no such person. (A woman named Martha Cannon did exist but lived several decades after the fictional Martha Cannon: Martha Maria Hughes Cannon (July 1, 1857 – July 10, 1932) was a Welsh-born immigrant to the United States, a physician, Utah women's rights advocate and suffragist, and Utah state senator. In 1896 Cannon became the first female state senator elected in the United States, defeating her own husband, who was also on the ballot.)

Cannon established what many local historians had termed a reverse underground railroad...loaded onto ships headed down the Nanticoke River bound for Georgia's slave markets.
Cussler implies in this sentence that the Nanticoke River goes all the way to Georgia, but actually it ends at Chesapeake Bay and another body of water would take the ships (fictional, in this case) to Georgia.
The Nanticoke River is a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay on the Delmarva Peninsula. It rises in southern Kent County, Delaware, flows through Sussex County, Delaware, and forms the boundary between Dorchester County, Maryland and Wicomico County, Maryland. The river course proceeds southwest and it empties into the Chesapeake at Nanticoke, Maryland. The river is 64.3 miles (103.5 km) long. A 26-mile ecotourism water trail running along the River was set aside in July 2011 by Delaware state and federal officials, contiguous with a 37-mile water-trail extending through Maryland to the Chesapeake Bay.

Its main tributaries are Marshyhope Creek on the north side and Gravelly Fork and Broad Creek on the south side. Notable communities situated along the river include the towns of Nanticoke, Bivalve, Vienna, and Sharptown in Maryland; and the city of Seaford, Delaware.

According to a study paid for by the town of Vienna, the English explorer John Smith travelled up the Nanticoke River and mapped it, and visited with Native Americans in their settlement, now believed to be Vienna.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Spartan Gold: Josephine and more

pg 6
Except for perhaps in his bed with Josephine, he felt more at home on a battlefield than anywhere else.

They set off down the trail, passing the six horses ahead of them, the riders standing at attention for their general.

"General, you might remember Sargeant Pelletier."
Like Laurent, a fictional character, created by Cussler.

It [a gerron] was [a shield] used by Persian light infantry soldiers."

The traditional shield of Persian infantry, the gerron was a figure eight shaped shield made of whicker covered with leather. In combat the soldier held the shield by a vertical grip in between the crescent-shaped concave indentations of the gerron. Unfortunately for Persian troops the light construction of the gerron did not stop heavy weapons like spears from puncturing the relatively flimsy whicker. Although it continued to be used later on during the Empire the gerron was often discarded in favor of a hoplon-style shield.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Vortex: Kaena Point and more

pg 1
Kaena Point, jutting out into the Kauai Channel like a boxer's left jab, is one of the few unadvertised spots where one can relax and enjoy an empty shore.
1) Kaʻena or Kaena Point is the westernmost tip of land on the island of Oʻahu. The point can be reached by foot from both the West (Waiʻanae Coast) and the East (Mokulēʻia) coastlines; walking in from the north side is recommended. An unimproved track extends some 3 miles (4.8 km) along the coast from the end of the paved road on the north side, where a gate prevents entry of all except authorized vehicles.

Kaʻena Point does not have the popularity with surfers of other North Shore locations. Kaʻena Point is located in a very remote area with no direct paved road access and no rescue capabilities. Additionally, the Point's geography results in undertows, dangerous rip currents and other hazardous ocean conditions that make any water activity highly dangerous.

2. Kauai Channel There is no Kauai channel. Cussler (or his editor) must have meant: The Kaʻieʻi.e. Waho Channel, which separates the islands of Kauaʻi and Oʻahu, at a distance of 72 miles.

Too often is shores are whipped by rip currents extremely dangerous to all but the most wary swimmers.
A rip current, commonly referred to by the misnomer rip tide, is a strong channel of water flowing seaward from near the shore, typically through the surf line. Typical flow is at 0.5 metres per second (1–2 feet per second), and can be as fast as 2.5 metres per second (8 feet per second). They can move to different locations on a beach break, up to tens of metres (a few hundred feet) a day. They can occur at any beach with breaking waves, including the world's oceans, seas, and large lakes.

He kept his eyes keyed on the strange piece of flotsam as he narrowed the gap...
In maritime law, flotsam, jetsam, lagan and derelict describe specific kinds of wreck. The words have specific nautical meanings, with legal consequences in the law of admiralty and marine salvage.

Flotsam is floating wreckage of a ship or its cargo. Jetsam is part of a ship, its equipment, or its cargo that is purposefully cast overboard or jettisoned to lighten the load in time of distress and that sinks or is washed ashore. Lagan is cargo that is lying on the bottom of the ocean, sometimes marked by a buoy, which can be reclaimed. Derelict is cargo that is also on the bottom of the ocean, but which no one has any hope of reclaiming.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Spartan Gold: the Quartermaster and more

pg 4
He turned to Constant. "The quartermaster's report?"
Quartermaster refers to two different military occupations depending on if the assigned unit is land based or naval.

In land armies, especially US units, it is a term referring to either an individual soldier or a unit who specializes in distributing supplies and provisions to troops. The senior unit, post or base supply officer is customarily referred to as "the quartermaster". Often the quartermaster serves as the S-4 in US Army, US Marine Corps units and NATO units.

The term was first coined in Germany as Quartiermeister and initially denoted a court official with the duty of preparing the monarch's sleeping quarters. In the 17th century, it started to be used in various militaries in the sense of organizing supplies.

Interestingly, in many navies it is a non-commissioned officer (petty officer) rank for personnel responsible for their ship's navigation. In the US Navy, the quartermaster is a position responsible for the ship's navigation and maintenance of nautical charts and maps. Aboard merchant ships, the term quartermaster usually refers to the Able Seamen assigned to bridge watches. A naval quartermaster's main task is to steer the ship and apply the helm orders given by the Captain or watch officers.

Ahead, down the pass, there came a shout from the outriders.
Self explanatory, but:
1) an attendant on horseback who rides out ahead of or beside a carriage, stagecoach, etc.
2) a cowboy who rides over a range, as to prevent cattle from straying
3)a trailblazer; forerunner

He'd known Laurent since they were both 16, serving in the La Fere Artillery.
October 30, 1785: Napoleon reports to first posting with the La Fère Artillery Regiment at Valence-sur-Rhône.

After graduation in September 1785, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in La Fère artillery regiment and took up his new duties in January 1786 at the age of 16. Napoleon served on garrison duty in Valence and Auxonne where he was to be stationed. Although it was peacetime, and Napoleon could not win honor in battle, he was determined to improve himself and he spent his time in furthering his education through a rigorous reading program, with a particular emphasis on history and geography.
More at:

As was his custom, Napoleon slep five hours.
Napoleon's sleep patterns have long been discussed. This paragraph is from, discussing those people iwht polyphasic sleept patterns.
Napoleon is not less frequently referred to in the context of napping or polyphasic sleep than da Vinci. And his case is rather easy to falsify through historical records. When compared with an artistic genius of Leonardo, it seems even more preposterous than a brilliant military commander could possibly retire for a nap during a prolonged battle or during his intense life peppered with plethora of engagements. He is indeed said to have slept little and frequently suffer from insomnia at times of great stress. He was also often interrupted by messengers that might perhaps increase his propensity to napping at daylight. Yet he was to be woken up only with bad news. The hard rule was that the good news could wait. His memoirs indicate that he did not mind dying young. Consequently, he would disregard his doctors on the matter of sleeping little and drinking buckets of strong coffee. As Napoleon's life was jam-packed with stress, his short sleep might have been a consequence of his lifestyle. Low sleep diet did not translate well to Napoleon's military skills. Some contemporaries attribute his errors at Waterloo to sleep deprivation. Yet, during slower days he would sleep for sound seven hours, waking up at 7 and often lazing until 8. Then he would yet add an nap in the afternoon. Records also indicate that at Saint Helena he was a normal sleeper, and while stress was replaced with boredom, he often slept late.

He had breakfast, then read the overnight dispatches from his deni-brigade commanders.
The Demi-brigade (English: Half-brigade) was a military formation first used by the French Army during the French Revolutionary Wars. The Demi-brigade amalgamated the various infantry organizations of the French Revolutionary infantry into a single unit. Each one was headed by a chef de brigade.

The term "Demi-brigade" was chosen to avoid the feudal ancien régime connotations of the term "Régiment". Napoleon Bonaparte ordered the term to be abandoned in 1803, and the demi-brigades were renamed "régiments". The term was reused by certain later units in the French Army, such as the 13th Foreign Legion Demi-Brigade, the only permanent demi-brigade in the modern French Army.

Demi-brigadeThe main problem faced by the French Revolution infantry was a lack of unity. The Army included three main types of infantry, all with different uniforms, organizations, equipment, and rates of pay:

regular infantry inherited from the old Royal regiments of the King, relatively well trained and equipped, dressed in white uniforms and wearing tarleton helmets
national guard units, less well-trained or equipped, with blue uniforms
fédéré volunteer battalions, poorly trained and equipped, with no uniform other than a red phrygian cap and a tricolour cockade
The variations between units created logistical problems, and animosity (due to different rates of pay) among units.

The purpose of the Demi-brigade was to blend all three formations into a single unit, with identical equipment, organization, pay, and uniforms. A Demi-brigade consisted of three infantry battalions: one battalion of regulars (from old Royal regiments), and two battalions of either volunteers or national guards. Each battalion had the same organization of one company of grenadiers (heavy infantry) and eight companies of fusiliers (regular infantry). On paper, a Demi-brigade would have 2,437 men and four six-pounder cannons.

The levée en masse had swelled the ranks of the French army, so by August 1794 over a million men (1,075,000) were under arms [1]. The Demi-brigade created a streamlined and simple method of organizing the infantry. Due to the current war situation, Demi-brigades were not formed until early 1794. Separate Demi-brigades were organised as line infantry (Demi-brigade de Bataille, 1792-96 and Demi-brigade d'Infanterie de Ligne, 1796-1803 ) and light infantry (Demi-brigade d'Infanterie Légère); all lacked uniformity in either weapons or equipment. As the French Revolutionary Wars progressed, demi-brigades were issued with specific coloured uniform jackets.

By late 1794, France had completed the re-conquest of the Austrian Netherlands and Rhineland of Germany. The Demi-brigade survived the transition of the French government to the French Directory in 1795, the ending of the First Coalition in 1797 after Napoleon's successful campaigns in Italy, renewed conflict with a Second Coalition, and Napoleon seizing power in 1799 to create the French Consulate.

Pacific Vortex: Peru-Chili trench and more

pg XI
"The only rise I've heard that comes close to this one is the Peru-Chili Trench. Beginning at 25,000 feet beneath the surface of the sea, it climbs at a rate of one vertical mile for every one horizontal mile. Until now, it was considered the world's most spectacular underwater slope."
The Peru-Chile Trench, also known as the Atacama Trench, is an oceanic trench in the eastern Pacific Ocean, about 160 kilometres (100 mi) off the coast of Peru and Chile. It reaches a maximum depth of 8,065 metres (26,460 ft) below sea level in Richards Deep and is approximately 5,900 kilometres (3,666 mi) long; its mean width is 64 kilometres (40 mi) and it covers an expanse of some 590,000 square kilometres (228,000 mi²).

The trench is a result of the eastern edge of the Nazca Plate being subducted under the South American Plate. The trench subducts two seamount ridges; the Nazca Ridge and the Juan Fernández Ridge.

The Peru-Chile Trench, the forearc and the western edge of the central Andean plateau (Altiplano), delineate the dramatic "Bolivian Orocline" that defines the Andean slope of southern Peru, northern Chile, and Bolivia.

From the Chile Triple Junction to Juan Fernández Ridge the trench is filled with 2.0 to 2.5 km of mainly turbidite sediments, creating thus a flat bottom topography.

"If I didn't know better, I'd say our contact was a scaled-down version of a good old New England fog bank."
Fog is a collection of water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth's surface.

While fog is a type of a cloud, the term "fog" is typically distinguished from the more generic term "cloud" in that fog is low-lying, and the moisture in the fog is often generated locally (such as from a nearby body of water, like a lake or the ocean, or from nearby moist ground or marshes).

Fog is distinguished from mist only by its density, as expressed in the resulting decrease in visibility: Fog reduces visibility to less than 1 km (5/8 statute mile), whereas mist reduces visibility to no less than 1 km (5/8 statute mile). For aviation purposes in the UK, a visibility of less than 2 km but greater than 999 m is considered to be mist if the relative humidity is 95% or greater - below 95% haze is reported.

The foggiest place in the world is the Grand Banks off the island of Newfoundland, the meeting place of the cold Labrador Current from the north and the much warmer Gulf Stream from the south. Some of the foggiest land areas in the world include Argentia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Point Reyes, California, each with over 200 foggy days per year. Even in generally warmer southern Europe, thick fog and localized fog is often found in lowlands and valleys, such as the lower part of the Po Valley and the Arno and Tiber valleys in Italy or Ebro Valley in northeastern Iberia, as well as on the Swiss plateau, especially in the Seeland area, in late autumn and winter. Other notably foggy areas include coastal Chile (in the south), coastal Namibia, and the Severnaya Zemlya islands.

Whatever the reason, it was lost as the Starbuck, like an unleashed bloodhound with a hot scent flowing through her nostrils, swu ng on her new course and surged through the swells.
The Bloodhound (also known as the St. Hubert hound and Sleuth Hound) is a large breed of dog that was bred originally to hunt deer and wild boar, later specifically to track human beings by scent. It is famed for its ability to follow scents hours or even days old over great distances. Its extraordinarily keen nose is combined with a strong and tenacious tracking instinct, producing the ideal scent hound, and it is used by police and law enforcement all over the world to track escaped prisoners, missing people, and even lost pets.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pacific Vortex: Where there's smoke, there's fire and more

Pg X

"We're nowhere near the northern shipping lanes."
The establishment of the North Atlantic sea lanes was inspired by the sinking of the US mail steamer Artic by collision with the French steamer Vesta in October 1854 which resulted in the loss of over 300 lives. Lieutenant M. F. Maury of the US Navy first published a section titled "Steam Lanes Across the Atlantic" in his 1855 Saliling Directions proposing sea lanes along the 42 degree latitude. A number of international conferences and committees were held in 1866, 1872, 1887, 1889, and 1891 all of which left the designation of sea lanes to the principal trans-Atlantic steamship companies at the time; Cunard, White Star, Inman, National, and Guion lines. In 1913-1914 the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea held in London again reaffirmed that the selection of routes across the Atlantic in both directions is left to the responsibility of the steamship companies.

Shipping lanes came to be by analysing the prevailing winds. It is well known that the trade winds allowed ships to sail towards the west quickly, and that the westerlies allowed ships to travel to the east quickly. As such, the sea lanes are mostly chosen to take full advantage of these winds. Currents are also similarly followed as well, which also gives an advantage to the vessel.

It should be noted however, that the sea lanes were chosen based on the importance of cities as well, which could explain some anomalies towards the currents/winds, such as the fact that the shipping lanes are not optimally chosen for the route from Cape town towards Rio de Janeiro (passing Tristan da Cunha).

The Northern Sea Route is a shipping lane officially defined by Russian legislation from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean specifically running along the Russian Arctic coast from Murmansk on the Barents Sea, along Siberia, to the Bering Strait and Far East. The entire route lies in Arctic waters and parts are free of ice for only two months per year. Before the beginning of the 20th century it was known as the Northeast Passage, and is still sometimes referred to by that name.

"The San Francisco to Honolulu to Orient traffic is four hundred miles south."
Shipping routes reflect world trade flows. Sailings are most numerous and most frequent on routes where trade volumes are largest and demand is therefore greatest.

In liner trades to and from the UK, the busiest routes are to the Far East (especially China and Japan), passing through the Mediterranean, the Suez Canal and the Malacca Straits. The North Atlantic route, linking Western Europe and the USA and Canada, is also busy, and there are well-established routes to the Middle East, India, Australia and New Zealand, Central and South America, as well as to East and West Africa.

There are direct liner services from the UK to most other countries, and certainly to all the main trading economies. However, if your cargo is destined for a smaller port in one of these countries or for a port in a country with little trade with the UK, there may not be a direct sailing available - in which case, your cargo will need to be transhipped to another local sailing at the end of the ocean voyage.

In-bulk trade routes reflect the places of origin and consumption of the commodities carried. For example, many of the main oil routes begin in the Middle East and end in developed countries where demand for oil is greatest.
More info here:

"Are you positive?"
"Stake my rating on it."

From left to right: a Special Warfare Operator 1st Class and a Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class.
United States Navy ratings are general occupations that consist of specific skills and abilities. Each naval rating has its own specialty badge, which is worn on the left sleeve of the uniform by each enlisted person in that particular field. Working uniforms, such as camouflage Battle Dress Uniforms, utilities, coveralls, and Naval Working Uniform, bear generic rate designators that exclude the rating symbol. Just as an officer has rank, not a rate, an officer's occupation (if drawn more narrowly than an officer of the line) is classified according to designators and professional staff corps.

Ratings should not be confused with rates, which describe the Navy's enlisted pay-grades. Enlisted sailors are referred to by their rating and rate. For example, if someone's rate is Petty Officer 2nd Class and his rating is Boatswain's Mate, then combining the two—Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class (BM2)—defines both rate and rating in formal address or epistolary salutation.