#MilitaryMonday

MilMon title image

Military Monday is a weekly feature in appreciation of the armed forces of the United States and its Allies.

1777, the Continental Congress adopts the design of the present U.S. flag. Journal entry reads: “Resolved, that the Flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

The ‪‎US Navy‬ played a key role in our flag’s history: http://go.usa.gov/3EqJA

“140th Flag Day, 1777-1917”. Color lithograph shows a man raising the American flag, with a minuteman cheering and an eagle flying above. 'Tis the Star Spangled Banner, oh, long may it wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave’ Library of Congress photograph

“140th Flag Day, 1777-1917”. Color lithograph shows a man raising the American flag, with a minuteman cheering and an eagle flying above. ‘Tis the Star Spangled Banner, oh, long may it wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave’ Library of Congress photograph

The Birth of Old Glory. Artist Percy Morgan, circa 1917. Betsy Ross and two girls showing the U.S. Flag to George Washington and three other men. Library of Congress Photograph

The Birth of Old Glory. Artist Percy Morgan, circa 1917. Betsy Ross and two girls showing the U.S. Flag to George Washington and three other men. Library of Congress Photograph

U.S. Navy Sailors and Morning Colors. U.S. Navy photo

U.S. Navy Sailors and Morning Colors.
U.S. Navy photo

(April 5, 2011) Sailors assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) practice for the San Diego Padres opening day flag ceremony. Approximately 300 volunteers unfurled an 800-pound flag that covered the entire field. Bonhomme Richard is in dry dock for maintenance and upgrades through April. (U.S. Navy photo)

(April 5, 2011) Sailors assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) practice for the San Diego Padres opening day flag ceremony. Approximately 300 volunteers unfurled an 800-pound flag that covered the entire field. Bonhomme Richard is in dry dock for maintenance and upgrades through April. (U.S. Navy photo)

Pacific Ocean (April 11, 2006) - The American flag flies high as the Utility Landing Craft (LCU 1635) travels to unload excess ammunition off of the amphibious assault ship USS Tarawa (LHA 1). Tarawa is offloading her ammunition to the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), which is preparing for a deployment to the Persian Gulf. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate Airman Apprentice Bryan Niegel

Pacific Ocean (April 11, 2006) – The American flag flies high as the Utility Landing Craft (LCU 1635) travels to unload excess ammunition off of the amphibious assault ship USS Tarawa (LHA 1). Tarawa is offloading her ammunition to the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), which is preparing for a deployment to the Persian Gulf. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate Airman Apprentice Bryan Niegel

1956, USS Canberra is recommissioned as (CAG 2) at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pa. Originally to be named USS Pittsburgh, the ship was renamed to honor the loss of HMAS Canberra during the Battle of Savo Island.

USS Canberra (CAG 2) eight-inch guns of Turret # 2 firing, during a Vietnam War gunfire support mission, March 1967. Note the two outgoing projectiles in the upper right corner. Photographed by Chief Journalist R.D. Moeser.  Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

USS Canberra (CAG 2) eight-inch guns of Turret # 2 firing, during a Vietnam War gunfire support mission, March 1967. Note the two outgoing projectiles in the upper right corner. Photographed by Chief Journalist R.D. Moeser.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

USS Canberra (CAG 2) underway on 9 January 1961. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

USS Canberra (CAG 2) underway on 9 January 1961. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower practicing his golf game, while on board USS Canberra (CAG 2) en route to Bermuda for a conference, 14 March 1957. The driving target and protective netting has been rigged on the main deck, just to starboard of the ship's Number Two eight-inch gun turret.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower practicing his golf game, while on board USS Canberra (CAG 2) en route to Bermuda for a conference, 14 March 1957. The driving target and protective netting has been rigged on the main deck, just to starboard of the ship’s Number Two eight-inch gun turret.

USS Canberra (CAG 2) crewmen sponge out a 8/55 gun of Turret # 2, following Vietnam War bombardment operations, March 1967. Photographed by Chief Journalist R.D. Moeser.  Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

USS Canberra (CAG 2) crewmen sponge out a 8/55 gun of Turret # 2, following Vietnam War bombardment operations, March 1967. Photographed by Chief Journalist R.D. Moeser.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

1939, USS Saratoga (CV 3) and USS Kanawha (AO 1) complete a two-day underway refueling test off the coast of southern Calif., demonstrating the feasibility of refueling carriers at sea where bases are not available.

Painting by Walter L. Greene, 1927, depicting the USS Saratoga launching aircraft. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph (# NH 42486-KN). Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC

Painting by Walter L. Greene, 1927, depicting the USS Saratoga launching aircraft.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph (# NH 42486-KN). Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC

USS Saratoga (CV 3) in the Gaillard Cut (Culebra Cut), Panama Canal, bound for the Pacific, on the morning of 7 February 1928. Naval Aviation Museum

USS Saratoga (CV 3) in the Gaillard Cut (Culebra Cut), Panama Canal, bound for the Pacific, on the morning of 7 February 1928.
Naval Aviation Museum

USS Kanawha (AO 1), probably at Noumea, New Caledonia, as seen from USS Wasp (CV 7) on the eve of the Guadalcanal-Tulagi invasion. Photo is dated 4 August 1942. Other ships present include, at right, USS San Juan (CL 54), an old "flush-deck" destroyer in center, and in the distance a heavy cruiser (left) and a transport (right). U.S. National Archives photo

USS Kanawha (AO 1), probably at Noumea, New Caledonia, as seen from USS Wasp (CV 7) on the eve of the Guadalcanal-Tulagi invasion. Photo is dated 4 August 1942. Other ships present include, at right, USS San Juan (CL 54), an old “flush-deck” destroyer in center, and in the distance a heavy cruiser (left) and a transport (right).
U.S. National Archives photo

USS Kanawha (AO 1), off Mare Island, California, 23 June 1915.  US Navy Photo Collection.

USS Kanawha (AO 1), off Mare Island, California, 23 June 1915. US Navy Photo Collection.

1881, the bark-rigged wooden steamship Jeannette sinks after she is crushed in an Arctic ice pack during the expedition to reach the North Pole through the Bering Strait. She departed in July 1879, entered the Arctic ice in September and is frozen in. The ship is eventually crushed and only 13 of her crew survive out of 33.

USS Jeannette (1879-1881). Composite photograph of the ship, and the officers of her Arctic expedition. Those shown are (clockwise from top center): Lieutenant Commander George W. DeLong, USN, Commanding Officer; Passed Assistant Surgeon James M. Ambler, USN; Chief Engineer George W. Melville, USN; Raymond Lee Newcomb, Naturalist and Astronomer; William Dunbar, Pilot; Jerome J. Collins, Correspondent for the "New York Herald"; Lieutenant John W. Danenhower, USN, Second Officer; and Lieutenant Charles W. Chipp, USN, Executive Officer. Donation of Captain T.S. Wilkinson, USN, 1934. USN Photo Collection.

USS Jeannette (1879-1881). Composite photograph of the ship, and the officers of her Arctic expedition. Those shown are (clockwise from top center): Lieutenant Commander George W. DeLong, USN, Commanding Officer; Passed Assistant Surgeon James M. Ambler, USN; Chief Engineer George W. Melville, USN; Raymond Lee Newcomb, Naturalist and Astronomer; William Dunbar, Pilot; Jerome J. Collins, Correspondent for the “New York Herald”; Lieutenant John W. Danenhower, USN, Second Officer; and Lieutenant Charles W. Chipp, USN, Executive Officer. Donation of Captain T.S. Wilkinson, USN, 1934. USN Photo Collection.

Jeannette Arctic exploring expedition, 1879-1881. "The Sinking of the Jeannette" Engraving by George T. Andrew after a design by M.J. Burns, copied from "The Voyage of the Jeannette ...", Volume II, page 575, edited by Emma DeLong, published in 1884. It depicts USS Jeannette after she was crushed by ice flows north of Siberia on 12 June 1881. She sank in the morning of 13 June in position 77 14'57" N, 154 58'45"E.  USN Photo Collection

Jeannette Arctic exploring expedition, 1879-1881. “The Sinking of the Jeannette” Engraving by George T. Andrew after a design by M.J. Burns, copied from “The Voyage of the Jeannette …”, Volume II, page 575, edited by Emma DeLong, published in 1884. It depicts USS Jeannette after she was crushed by ice flows north of Siberia on 12 June 1881. She sank in the morning of 13 June in position 77 14’57” N, 154 58’45″E.
USN Photo Collection

Jeannette Arctic exploring expedition, 1879-1881. Engraving of the expedition's survivors, based on a photograph taken at Yakutsk, Siberia, in 1882. Those present are (left to right, in front): Lauderback, Bartlett, William Coles, Seaman William F.C. Nindemann, and Mansen. (left to right, in middle): Chief Engineer George W. Melville and Lieutenant John W. Danenhower. (left to right, in back): Raymond Lee Newcomb (naturalist), Seaman Louis P. Noros, Henry Wilson, Tong Sing (cook), Anequin and H.W. Leach.  USN Photo Collection

Jeannette Arctic exploring expedition, 1879-1881. Engraving of the expedition’s survivors, based on a photograph taken at Yakutsk, Siberia, in 1882. Those present are (left to right, in front): Lauderback, Bartlett, William Coles, Seaman William F.C. Nindemann, and Mansen. (left to right, in middle): Chief Engineer George W. Melville and Lieutenant John W. Danenhower. (left to right, in back): Raymond Lee Newcomb (naturalist), Seaman Louis P. Noros, Henry Wilson, Tong Sing (cook), Anequin and H.W. Leach.
USN Photo Collection

Jeannette Arctic exploring expedition, 1879-1881. "Dragging the Boats over the Ice" Engraving by George T. Andrew after a design by M.J. Burns, copied from "The Voyage of the Jeannette ...", Volume II, page 629, edited by Emma DeLong, published in 1884. It depicts the crew of USS Jeannette hauling the ship's boats over the very rough Arctic ice north of Siberia in June-August 1881. Jeannette had been crushed in the ice and sunk on 12-13 June. USN Photo Collection

Jeannette Arctic exploring expedition, 1879-1881. “Dragging the Boats over the Ice” Engraving by George T. Andrew after a design by M.J. Burns, copied from “The Voyage of the Jeannette …”, Volume II, page 629, edited by Emma DeLong, published in 1884. It depicts the crew of USS Jeannette hauling the ship’s boats over the very rough Arctic ice north of Siberia in June-August 1881. Jeannette had been crushed in the ice and sunk on 12-13 June.
USN Photo Collection

1916, USS Pennsylvania (BB 38) is commissioned and is the lead ship of the Pennsylvania class of a U.S. Navy super-dreadnought battleship. During her service to our nation, she received eight battle stars and one Navy Unit Commendation.

Halftone reproduction of a photograph of the interior of the Pennsylvania's (BB 38) wheelhouse, showing a binnacle, steering wheel and an engine order telegraph. Taken circa 1916-1918, it was published in about 1919 by A.M. Simon, 324 E. 23rd St., New York City, as one of ten images in a "Souvenir Folder" concerning Pennsylvania.  USN Photo

Halftone reproduction of a photograph of the interior of the Pennsylvania’s (BB 38) wheelhouse, showing a binnacle, steering wheel and an engine order telegraph. Taken circa 1916-1918, it was published in about 1919 by A.M. Simon, 324 E. 23rd St., New York City, as one of ten images in a “Souvenir Folder” concerning Pennsylvania.
USN Photo

USS Pennsylvania (BB 38) view of the battleship's forward 14/45 guns and her forward superstructure, circa the early 1930s. USN Photo

USS Pennsylvania (BB 38) view of the battleship’s forward 14/45 guns and her forward superstructure, circa the early 1930s.
USN Photo

Humorist Will Rogers with crewmen of USS Pennsylvania (BB 38), on the battleship's after deck, 28 March 1928. USN Photo

Humorist Will Rogers with crewmen of USS Pennsylvania (BB 38), on the battleship’s after deck, 28 March 1928.
USN Photo

Pennsylvania (BB 38) leading two other battleships during maneuvers, during the 1920s. The other ships are two of these three: Colorado (BB 45), Maryland (BB 46) and West Virginia(BB 48). USNHC # NH 63346, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Pennsylvania (BB 38) leading two other battleships during maneuvers, during the 1920s. The other ships are two of these three: Colorado (BB 45), Maryland (BB 46) and West Virginia(BB 48). USNHC # NH 63346, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

June 1948 – The Women’s Armed Forces Integration Act provides for enlistment and appointment of women in the Navy Reserve.

WAVES take the oath. USN Photo.

WAVES take the oath.
USN Photo.

WAVES were first authorized to transfer to the ‪#‎USNavy‬. Pictured Front Row: YNC Wilma Juanita Marchal; YN2 Edna Earl Young; HM1 Ruth Flora. Back Row: AK1 K.L. Langdon, SK2 Frances Teresa Devaney, TE2 Doris Roberta Robertson. Also pictured Capt. Joy B. Hancock, director of the Women’s Reserve, Secretary of the Navy John Sullivan, and Rear Adm. L. Russell, Judge Advocate General. For more Navy Reserve history visit http://navyreservecentennial.com/

1944, one of our nation’s most famous battleships, USS Missouri (BB 63) is commissioned. USS Missouri was the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan which ended WWII‬.

Surrender of Japan, Tokyo Bay, 2 September 1945  Adm. William F. Halsey and Vice Admiral John S. McCain on board USS Missouri (BB 63) shortly after the conclusion of the surrender ceremonies, 2 September 1945. Collection of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN.

Surrender of Japan, Tokyo Bay, 2 September 1945
Adm. William F. Halsey and Vice Admiral John S. McCain on board USS Missouri (BB 63) shortly after the conclusion of the surrender ceremonies, 2 September 1945. Collection of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN.

USS Missouri (BB 63) Sikorski HO3S-1 helicopter (Bureau # 122527) landing on the forward 16-inch gun turret, during the 1948 Midshipmen's cruise. Guard mail, ships' newspapers and personnel were exchanged via helicopter while the Midshipmen's cruise squadron was at sea. Most exchanges were made by hovering pick-up. The forward turret was used as a landing platform since the floatplane catapults on the ship's fantail prevented helicopters from operating there.  Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

USS Missouri (BB 63) Sikorski HO3S-1 helicopter (Bureau # 122527) landing on the forward 16-inch gun turret, during the 1948 Midshipmen’s cruise. Guard mail, ships’ newspapers and personnel were exchanged via helicopter while the Midshipmen’s cruise squadron was at sea. Most exchanges were made by hovering pick-up. The forward turret was used as a landing platform since the floatplane catapults on the ship’s fantail prevented helicopters from operating there.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

USS Missouri (BB-63) ship's crew and midshipmen celebrate the fourth anniversary of V-J Day, during the Midshipmen's cruise, 2 September 1949. They are gathered around the plaque that marks the spot where Japan surrendered on 2 September 1945. Turret Two is trained as it was during the surrender ceremonies.  Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

USS Missouri (BB-63) ship’s crew and midshipmen celebrate the fourth anniversary of V-J Day, during the Midshipmen’s cruise, 2 September 1949. They are gathered around the plaque that marks the spot where Japan surrendered on 2 September 1945. Turret Two is trained as it was during the surrender ceremonies.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

USS Missouri (BB 63) in port, circa 1948, with a motor launch full of U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen passing by in the foreground. U.S. Navy Photo Collection.

USS Missouri (BB 63) in port, circa 1948, with a motor launch full of U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen passing by in the foreground. U.S. Navy Photo Collection.

For the US Army’s 240th Birthday, here’s one example of One Team operating together: “The Tokyo Raid By the US Army B-25 Bombers,” April 1942 by John Charles Roach, Oil Painting on Canvas, WWII. (Image courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Gallery 2012-12-8)

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Crash Notes: Freaky Friday News

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Family First

On Feb. 9 a single traffic stop in Alderson, West Virginia, resulted in the arrest of six people from the same family, trafficking in stolen power tools (including one man who traded a leaf blower, hedge trimmer and weed trimmer for Percocet pills). However, a month later, members of an even more charming family were caught in raids in Elyria, Ohio. Officers from three jurisdictions arrested 34 people — all related to each other — in connection with a $400,000 drug operation. [Register-Herald (Beckley, W.Va.), 2-12-2015] [WEWS-TV (Cleveland), 3-18-2015]

Government in Action

– The predawn line in March actually started forming at midnight, snaking around the building in Maitland, Florida, but it wasn’t for concert tickets. The dozens of people needed coveted visitor passes just to speak to an IRS agent — because budget cuts and personnel reductions have limited services. “I just came here to verify my identity,” said one frustrated taxpayer, who arrived at 8 a.m. and would not be served that day. The agency said its budget had been cut by $1 billion since the congressional “sequestration” in 2011. [News 13 (Orlando), 3-16-2015]

– Nope, They Haven’t Grown Back Yet: Canada’s Department of Veterans Affairs requires any vet receiving disability benefits to have a doctor re-certify the condition annually — including people like Afghan war double-leg amputee Paul Franklin. He complained to Canadian Broadcasting Corp. News in March that he had been harshly threatened with loss of benefits if he failed to file (even though the department told CBC News that it might perhaps relax the certification requirement to “every third year”).

Wait, What?

– Several theaters in Denmark reported in March that they had begun adding subtitles — to Danish-language films, because so many customers complained that the dialogue was incomprehensible. Apparently, it is widely known that spoken Danish is harder to understand than the written, but Copenhagen’s website The Local reported that actors had rebelled at improving their diction, claiming that their “mumbling” adds “realism” to the films. [The Local, 3-6-2015]

– Attention to Detail: Major League pitcher Max Scherzer, new this season to the Washington Nationals, informed manager Matt Williams in March, according to a New York Times report, that he requires assistance when he warms up during daily practice sessions. He spoke of the importance of simulating actual game conditions, and since Scherzer is a starting pitcher, he needed someone to stand beside him and hum “The Star-Spangled Banner” before he begins his practice pitching. [New York Times, 3-2-2015]

Perspective

Lawyers Brendan and Nessa Coppinger live in a Washington, D.C., row house next door to a tobacco user, whose smoke seeps into their unit, and (especially since Nessa is pregnant) the Coppingers have filed a $500,000 lawsuit against the neighbor. However, the anti-corruption website Republic Report found that one of Nessa Coppinger’s clients is Suncoke Energy, which is being sued by four Ohio residents who allege that Suncoke does to them what Coppinger’s neighbor does to her and her fetus. (Suncoke’s “clouds or haze,” containing particulates of lead, mercury, arsenic, chromium, creosote, coal tar pitch and other alarming substances, allegedly threatens the neighbors’ health and property values.) [Salon.com, 3-24-2015]

The Continuing Crisis

– Superman: While thousands of Japanese women accept commercial pornographic movie roles, only a dwindling number of males (by one estimate, only 30 industrywide) are available to pair with them (“stallions on call,” according to one producer). That makes the undisputed king of Japanese porn, “Shimiken,” 35, in such demand that he works as many as six movies a day with few days off. His oeuvre, according to a double entendre-laden March profile in Details magazine, includes 7,000 films, with at least 7,500 “co-stars,” including, once, 72-year-old twins. To maintain his vigor, he hits the gym fanatically and downs mineral supplements and complex amino acids — but no Viagra. “I haven’t had to use it,” he said (adding, after a pause, “yet”). [Details, March 2015]

– Among Colorado’s legal contortions to improve mass murderer James Holmes’ chances of getting a “fair” trial, officials in January called more than 9,000 people to choose its jury of 12 (plus 12 alternates) who will somehow surmise whether the Aurora theater shooter was legally sane at the time he killed 12 and wounded 70. The 9,000 first had to complete lengthy questionnaires, with “thousands” returning for individual interrogation, and many for follow-up screening. (Among the prospects the judge encountered was one man skeptical of the death penalty — except in the case of a “zombie apocalypse.” Said Judge Carlos Samour Jr., “You meet some interesting people in this job.”) [Associated Press, 3-9-2015]

Unclear on the Concept

Some states that rushed to enact systems to evaluate schoolteachers by the test scores of their students left the details of such regimens for later, resulting, for example, in absurdities like the Washington, D.C., public school custodians and lunchroom workers who a few years ago were being evaluated, in part, by student test scores in English and math. In March, a New York public school art teacher, writing in The Washington Post, complained that his coveted “effective” rating one year had dropped to “developing” simply because his school’s student math score had fallen. Furthermore, since he is now “developing,” he must file plans for improving his performance (i.e., how, from art class, he can raise math scores among students he does not teach). [Washington Post, 3-25-2015]

Quintessential Australia

(1) In March, the Simoneau family in a town near Australia’s Sunshine Coast at first considered the three-foot-long slitherer to be one of the country’s ubiquitous snakes, but the home invader was moving very slowly and, it turned out, was merely from one of those hair-raising Australian species — gigantic earthworms. (2) Dogs and cats, as well as wild animals searching for food, sometimes show up with their heads caught in fences, buckets or food containers (and, to avoid starvation, need to be freed by helpful humans). In a suburb of Adelaide, in March, a deadly Eastern brown snake turned up needing similar aid, but it being Australia, its head was stuck in a beer can. [Sunshine Coast Daily, 3-5-2015] [ninemsn.com.au (ASydney), 3-15-2015]

Marketing Challenges

(1) Burger King Japan commenced an April rollout — limited in duration and only in Japan — of Burger King-branded cologne (mimicking the Whopper’s savory “flame-grilled scent”). Early reviews were favorable, even though the launch date, suspiciously, was April 1. (2) A small Virginia defense contractor won a $7 million job recently to help Pentagon analysts sift through supercomputer research, and according to the industry watchdog Defense One, the firm has decided to stick with its long-ago- selected original name. Even though events have overtaken that name, the company will still be known as Isis Defense. [The Verge, 4-1-2015] [DefenseOne.com, 3-9-2015]

Least Competent Criminals

Didn’t Go As Planned: (1) Surveillance cameras revealed a man with a gun inside the Circle K in Palm Bay, Florida, on Jan. 31. Since the clerk was in the back, with the cash register locked, the man decided to wait for him — for 17 seconds, according to the video — but then, impatient, fled empty-handed. (2) According to a February Ormond Beach, Florida, police report, Matthew Semione, 26, handed a holdup note (implying that he was armed) to a Sun Trust bank teller, who walked away to get money. Semione grew weary of waiting and left empty-handed, but was arrested minutes later. [Florida Today, 2-1-2015] [Daytona Beach News-Journal, 2-19-2015]

Have a great weekend!

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Crash Notes: Freaky Friday News

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Witness Protection

Even dangerous felons sometimes serve short sentences, but Benito Vasquez-Hernandez, 58 — guilty of nothing — has been locked up for nearly 900 days (as of early March) as a “material witness” in a Washington County, Oregon, murder case. The prosecutor is convinced that Vasquez-Hernandez saw his own son, Eloy, murder a woman in 2012, and the case is on hold until the victim’s body is found. The judge has given Vasquez-Hernandez two opportunities to leave, both impractical (pay a $500,000 bond or give a video deposition, but he speaks no English, is illiterate in Spanish and, said his lawyer, might be mentally incompetent). (Consolation: Material witnesses in Oregon earn $7.50 a day.) [The Oregonian, 3-12-2015]

The Continuing Crisis

The trendy St. Pauli neighborhood in historic Hamburg, Germany, suffers its share of uncouth revelers who wander out from nightclubs seeking restroom facilities but too often choose walls of storefronts and private homes, reported London’s The Guardian in a March dispatch. The solution, according to the civic group IG St. Pauli: paint jobs with an “intensely hydrophobic” product known as Ultra-Ever Dry,” which somewhat propels liquid aimed at it right back toward the source by creating an air barrier on the surface. In other words, said an IG St. Pauli official, it’s “pee back” time, and shoes and trouser legs should expect splashes. [The Guardian, 3-4-2015]

We have “139 frogs, toads, lizards, turtles,” Ms. Thayer Cuter told Seattle’s MyNorthwest.com in March, touting her Edmonds, Washington, amphibian rescue shop, especially the heroic job done recently on Rocky, the Texas toad who came with stones in his tummy. “He had to have a lot of enemas (but) Rocky is rock-free now” and, after passing all the pebbles, is finally able to eat. Added Cuter, turtles are underrated pets, “very social” and love massages and “cuddl(ing).” [MyNorthwest.com, 3-11-2015]

The Job of the Researcher: Cockroaches can be bold explorers or shy and withdrawn, according to recent work by researchers at Belgium’s Universite Libre de Bruxelles, who caught a bunch of them, affixed radio tags and studied their movements. “Explorers” are necessary for locating food sources, although, obviously, they are also most likely to find Roach Motels; “shy, cautious” roaches are necessary for survival and group stability, and a mixture of the types ensures cockroaches’ legendary survivability. A Mother Nature News commentator wrote, hopefully, that understanding roaches’ personalities might make us “less quick” to “grab a shoe.” [Mother Nature News, 2-6-2015]

Can’t Possibly Be True

Ranson IB Middle School in Charlotte, North Carolina, has a strict dress code (requiring, for example, only “hunter green” outerwear). Thus, on Jan. 27, when parent Chanda Spates dispatched her three kids in improperly hued coats, Ranson officials confiscated the “contraband” clothing, leaving the three (along with 20 other sartorial miscreants) to make their way home after classes with no outerwear at all — though the temperature that afternoon was in the 30s. (Following parental outrage, the administrators apologized.) [Fox News, 2-1-2015]

A female teacher working for the Arizona Department of Corrections was brutally assaulted in prison by a sexual predator and has sued the department, but in February the state attorney general’s office, contesting the lawsuit, told the judge, basically, that the teacher understood all along that she could get attacked in prison. She was administering inmates a GED exam, but that day had no guard support, not even one to hear her screams, and was given an emergency radio tuned to an unmonitored frequency. Nonetheless, Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Weisbard essentially shrugged: “The risk of harm, including assault, always exist(s) at a prison like Eyman.” [The Arizona Republic, 2-4-2015]

Compelling Explanations

Clueless in Florida’s Panhandle: (1) Debra Mason, 58, was arrested for theft of a pickup truck in Destin, Florida, in January — and according to police, Mason said she knew it was stolen property but “didn’t think it was ‘that’ stolen.” (2) Ten miles away in Mary Esther, Florida, in February, Robert Pursley, 54, was arrested for DUI and was asked about items in his truck. According to the police report, Pursley insisted that everything was his — “except for anything illegal.” A baggie of cocaine was in the truck’s center console. [Daily News of Northwest Florida, 1-24-2015, 2-25-2015]

U-S-A! U-S-A!

Americans Abroad: (1) American sisters Lindsey, 22, and Leslie Adams, 20, were convicted, fined and deported by Cambodia’s Siem Reap Court in February after taking several nude photos of each other at the Preah Khan temple, apparently for their social media “friends.” The Angkor Archaeological Park, where the temple is located, is reportedly the world’s largest religious monument. (2) Two other American women were arrested in March for carving 8-inch initials into a wall at Rome’s ancient Colosseum and then snapping selfies for their friends. [Phnom Penh Post, 2-9-2015] [CNN, 3-9-2015]

Recurring Theme: Among the most recent lives ruined by badly botched prosecutions: (1) Joseph Sledge, now 70, was released from prison in North Carolina in January after wrongly serving 36 years for a double murder; hair samples (revealing another man’s DNA), long thought to be lost, were discovered in a court clerk’s storage room. (2) Kirk Odom, 52, served 22 years after his wrongful Washington, D.C., conviction for rape and robbery; a court in February awarded him $9.2 million in compensation, but on the other hand, after several prison rapes, he had contracted HIV. (Odom is one of several D.C. men convicted of rape or murder based on erroneous analysis by an “elite” FBI hair-analysis unit.) [Los Angeles Times, 1-23-2015] [Washington Post, 2-28-2015]

Least Competent Criminals

Not Ready for Prime Time: (1) Tyler Lankford, 21, attempting a robbery of Minerva’s Bakery in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, in January, committed (according to police) the rookie mistake of laying his gun on the counter so he could pick up the money with both hands. The clerk grabbed the gun, and Lankford fled but was arrested in March. (2) There are expert counterfeiters, and then there is Cass Alder, 22, convicted by a court in Canada’s Prince Edward Island of trying to pass $100 bills that had been printed on napkins but affixed by Alder onto thicker paper. [KDKA-TV (Pittsburgh), 3-4-2015] [The Guardian (Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island), 2-25-2015]

Is This a Great Country, or What?

“America’s Game” Is Gaming the Government: The U.S. Treasury recently took in more than $40 billion by auctioning off part of the wireless spectrum, but one buyer — the Dish satellite-TV provider — got a discount worth $3.25 billion by convincing the Federal Communications Commission that it is a “very small business” (despite its market value of $34 billion). Using awe-inspiring loophole-management, Dish created a separate company in partnership with a small Alaskan Natives’ group, which theoretically “managed” the company — though the Alaskans’ hands were tied by an earlier Dish-friendly contract. Thus, Dish got the benefits of being “very small” while retaining control — a “mockery” (said one commissioner) of the FCC’s simple-minded attempt to help small businesses. [New York Times, 2-25-2015]

Seeing Jesus the Christ and the Mother Mary

Recent Personal Appearances: Swansea, Wales, January (Jesus in fur in a Yorkshire terrier’s ear); Crowthorne, England, January (Jesus as bird poop on a car); West Kilbride, England, December (Jesus on a stone in a garden); Pocono Summit, Pennsylvania, November (Jesus on a serving of chicken breast); Polk City, Iowa, November (Mary on a tree trunk); Memphis, Tennessee, September (Jesus on a tree trunk); Fresno, California, October (Jesus in a plume of smoke in a house fire); Ecorse, Michigan, September (Jesus on a pierogi); Liberty, Texas, September (Jesus on a downed tree); Jackson County, Mississippi, May (Jesus in a rusted air-conditioner unit). Swansea: [Metro.co.uk (London), 1-19-2015] Crowthorne: [Metro.co.uk, 2-2-2015] West Kilbride: [BT.com (London), 1-2-2015] Pocono Summit: [WNEP-TV (Scranton), 11-14-2014] Polk City: [KCCI-TV (Des Moines), 11-14-2014] Memphis: [WMC-TV (Memphis), 9-24-2014] Fresno: [KSEE-TV (Fresno), 10-29-2014] Ecorse: [WXYZ-TV (Detroit), 9-7-2014] Liberty: [KHOU-TV (Houston), 9-16-2014] Jackson County: [WLOX-TV (Biloxi), 5-30-2014]

Have a GREAT weekend!

Crash

#ThrowbackThursday

I’m reintroducing Throwback Thursday on Crash Course. There are so many fascinating historical photos to be shared – because history is pretty cool!

1945 : 13-yr-old actress Elizabeth Taylor, holding one of her many pets, a black cat named Jill.

1945 : 13-yr-old actress Elizabeth Taylor, holding one of her many pets, a black cat named Jill.

May 1936 : The Hindenburg dumps water to ensure a smoother landing in Lakehurst, New Jersey The airship made 17 round trips across the Atlantic Ocean in 1936, transporting 2,600 passengers in comfort at speeds up to 135 km/h (85 mph).

May 1936 : The Hindenburg dumps water to ensure a smoother landing in Lakehurst, New Jersey
The airship made 17 round trips across the Atlantic Ocean in 1936, transporting 2,600 passengers in comfort at speeds up to 135 km/h (85 mph).

1931 : Film star Charlie Chaplin attends the premiere of his newest film City Lights in Los Angeles, accompanied by his guests of honor: physicist Albert Einstein, and his wife, Elsa Einstein

1931 : Film star Charlie Chaplin attends the premiere of his newest film City Lights in Los Angeles, accompanied by his guests of honor: physicist Albert Einstein, and his wife, Elsa Einstein

An old homestead on a farm in Washington state. The picture was made in 1908. Notice the cat up on the beam of the log cabin. The guns, butter churn and spinning wheel – all reminding us of the self-sufficient lifestyle of the first part of the last century.

1939 : 10 year old Jacqueline Bouvier sitting on a fence during Memorial Day celebrations at the Turf and Field Club, Belmont Park, Long Island, New York.

1939 : 10 year old Jacqueline Bouvier sitting on a fence during Memorial Day celebrations at the Turf and Field Club, Belmont Park, Long Island, New York.

1915 : Vintage photo of an Irish family from Waterford

1915 : Vintage photo of an Irish family from Waterford

1935 : An amazing photograph freezing a moment of youth and innocence when a young boy tries to share a soda with a kitten at the Boston Yacht Club.

1935 : An amazing photograph freezing a moment of youth and innocence when a young boy tries to share a soda with a kitten at the Boston Yacht Club.

1918 : Customers infront of a Ford Model T which has been converted into a sandwich shop on the streets of Washington D.C.

1918 : Customers infront of a Ford Model T which has been converted into a sandwich shop on the streets of Washington D.C.

1930 : A plane flies over Christ the Redeemer Statue under construction in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1930 : A plane flies over Christ the Redeemer Statue under construction in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Around the 1910s most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo. These young women of the Bill Mill in Macon, GA were photographed Jan 19, 1909.

Around the 1910s most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo. These young women of the Bill Mill in Macon, GA were photographed Jan 19, 1909.

Introduced in 1894, Bibendum (commonly known as The Michelin Man) is one of the world's oldest trademarks. This is a 1910 photo of Bibendum.

Introduced in 1894, Bibendum (commonly known as The Michelin Man) is one of the world’s oldest trademarks. This is a 1910 photo of Bibendum.

March 1950 : A group of visitors nervously wait their turn to kiss the Blarney Stone at Cork, Ireland.  The Blarney Stone is a block of Carboniferous limestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle, Blarney. According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of the gab (great eloquence or skill at flattery). The stone was set into a tower of the castle in 1446. The castle is a popular tourist site in Ireland, attracting visitors from all over the world to kiss the stone.

March 1950 : A group of visitors nervously wait their turn to kiss the Blarney Stone at Cork, Ireland.
The Blarney Stone is a block of Carboniferous limestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle, Blarney. According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of the gab (great eloquence or skill at flattery). The stone was set into a tower of the castle in 1446. The castle is a popular tourist site in Ireland, attracting visitors from all over the world to kiss the stone.

1949 : Three young women wash their clothes in Central Park during a water shortage, New York City.

1949 : Three young women wash their clothes in Central Park during a water shortage, New York City.

1951 : Two construction workers stop for lunch-break, 60 storeys above New York City

1951 : Two construction workers stop for lunch-break, 60 storeys above New York City

1922 : Collection of U.S. mail in Washington D.C. was made a little more difficult by the recent blizzard that swept through.  It is hard to imagine tromping over the mounds of ice and snow with a sack filled with mail slung over your shoulder.

1922 : Collection of U.S. mail in Washington D.C. was made a little more difficult by the recent blizzard that swept through.
It is hard to imagine tromping over the mounds of ice and snow with a sack filled with mail slung over your shoulder.

When women first began to work out with weights during the late Victorian era, it was considered dangerous to have them lift anything heavy and so they were given only two- or four-pound wooden dumbbells.  Here are two cheerful ladies work out in their street clothes in a photograph c. 1910 by Willis T. White.

When women first began to work out with weights during the late Victorian era, it was considered dangerous to have them lift anything heavy and so they were given only two- or four-pound wooden dumbbells.
Here are two cheerful ladies work out in their street clothes in a photograph c. 1910 by Willis T. White.

One of earliest photographs of US Capitol, c. 1846, before expansion & installation of great dome.

One of earliest photographs of US Capitol, c. 1846, before expansion & installation of great dome.

The first dog in Antarctica.
1912 : Blizzard the pup in Antarctica as a member of the First Australasian Antarctic Expedition.
The Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) was a scientific team that explored part of Antarctica between 1911 and 1914. It was led by the Australian geologist Douglas Mawson, who was knighted for his achievements in leading the expedition.

1955 : Two young Inuit boys and dog pose by the beach in Alaska  Inuit are a group of indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada, and Alaska. In the United States and Canada the term "Eskimo" was commonly used to describe the Inuit.

1955 : Two young Inuit boys and dog pose by the beach in Alaska
Inuit are a group of indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada, and Alaska. In the United States and Canada the term “Eskimo” was commonly used to describe the Inuit.

1965 : Cheerleader training under Bill Horan of the American Cheerleaders Association, Alabama

1965 : Cheerleader training under Bill Horan of the American Cheerleaders Association, Alabama

1951 : Two ecstatic little girls, Paris, France.

1951 : Two ecstatic little girls, Paris, France.

1954 : Marilyn Monroe reads Joyce’s Ulysses at the playground, Long Island, New York shot by Eve Arnold.  As it turns out she really was reading the book when the photographer took this picture.

1954 : Marilyn Monroe reads Joyce’s Ulysses at the playground, Long Island, New York shot by Eve Arnold.
As it turns out she really was reading the book when the photographer took this picture.

1949 : Vintage portrait of a cute little Girl with Curlers in Los Angeles  Photo by Ida Wyman

1949 : Vintage portrait of a cute little Girl with Curlers in Los Angeles
Photo by Ida Wyman

1952 : Teenagers on top of the Pulpit Rock, Ryfylke, Norway  Pulpit Rock is a famous tourist attraction and consists of a steep cliff which rises 604 metres above Lysefjorden.

1952 : Teenagers on top of the Pulpit Rock, Ryfylke, Norway
Pulpit Rock is a famous tourist attraction and consists of a steep cliff which rises 604 metres above Lysefjorden.

This superb 1917 photo is a reminder of what winter can do  1917 : This fountain was let to continuously run on Washington Boulevard in Detroit, Michigan during winter as a result slowly layer upon layer the fountain turned into a 30 foot ice spectacle Most newspapers across US had this photo on their coverpage with title : 'Ice fountain on Washington Boulevard.'

This superb 1917 photo is a reminder of what winter can do
1917 : This fountain was let to continuously run on Washington Boulevard in Detroit, Michigan during winter as a result slowly layer upon layer the fountain turned into a 30 foot ice spectacle
Most newspapers across US had this photo on their coverpage with title : ‘Ice fountain on Washington Boulevard.’

1912 : A rare picture of 10 year old Charles Lindbergh with his pet dog, Little Falls, Minnesota.

1912 : A rare picture of 10 year old Charles Lindbergh with his pet dog, Little Falls, Minnesota.

Crash