Peril at Sea

During World War II, Anton Otto Fischer was made the artist laureate of the United States Coast Guard.

U.S. Navy Commander Lincoln Lothrop had once written to the artist: “My two lads, one of whom is now a twenty-two-year-old lieutenant in the Navy … used to cut out your pictures and pin them on the walls of their rooms. … You are responsible for recruiting many a seagoing lad.” His work on seas scapes got Fischer an invitation to lunch with Vice Admiral Russell Waesche, Commandant of the Coast Guard for the purpose of recruiting at the height of World War II. The January 9, 1943, Post described a good encounter with the Vice Admiral. Although Waesche knew Fischer was born in Germany and anti-New Dealer, but by late that same afternoon, Fischer was sworn in as a lieutenant commander in the Coast Guard. He was charged with putting on canvas some of the heroic deeds of the Merchant Mariners and Coast Guardsmen, then considered at the time the least publicized men of the armed forces.[4] His drawings are archived in the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut.

Captain at Sea, Anton Otto Fischer

Mandatory Arabic in Harlem

The Hamilton Heights School in Harlem is offering its students Arabic. I commend all linguistic endeavors and found the article interesting. Although, making Arabic mandatory seems like a stretch:

Twelve second graders ran around a classroom playing “Simon Says” and “Duck, Duck, Goose.” But it wasn’t just for fun. The students at the Hamilton Heights School were learning Arabic, which will be offered to all second- through fifth-grade students in the fall. . .

Currently, the 239 students at P.S. 368 can learn Spanish or Mandarin after school. This year, 35 students studied Spanish and 42 studied Mandarin. In March, a small pilot group of 12 students took Arabic classes instead of recess.

I posted earlier on a “bathroom” in Seville. And I talked about the choice of the word hammam. It gets mentioned in this article:

“My favorite word is hammem,” Olivia said with a mischievous grin. “It means toilet.”

That has been my favorite word too. In the past. Not recently though. At least not today.

Halden Prison in Norway

There is a prison in Norway that is nicer than most Navy barracks I’ve seen. It is called Halden and it houses inmates up to 21 years. (No inmate receives a sentence longer than that. 21 years is the max, including for murderers.) Interestingly enough, Anders Behring Breivik could possibly be sent here. The common rooms certainly look bright and cheery:

Every 10 to 12 cells share a kitchen and living room, where prisoners prepare their evening meals and relax after a day of work. No windows at Halden have bars.

Matilda the Cat

Matilda, The Algonquin Cat

The Algonquin Hotel was home to Dorothy Parker and her circle of pals. It also recently underwent a facelift. And Matilda, known as the Algonquin Cat, is back:

A famous feline is back greeting tourists and locals alike at Manhattan’s Algonquin Hotel.

The Algonquin reopens Thursday after being closed for renovations for nearly six months.  Matilda spent the time in a “luxury vacation home in Queens”, according to hotel Executive Assistant (and Chief Cat Officer) Alice de Almeida.

A luxury vacation home in Queens? What a spoiled puddy-cat. . .

Plane From Opa-Locka Airport Loses Door

I’m no pilot, but I can’t imagine that this mishap that occurred at the Opa-Locka Executive Airport improves anyone’s perception of one’s flying skills:

An airplane door detached in flight and fell onto a golf course in Broward County on Wednesday afternoon, WSVN-Ch. 7 reported.

The incident happened shortly after the aircraft left Opa-Locka Executive Airport.  The door plunged onto the golf course at the Westin Diplomat Hotel & Spa.

There were a couple of onlookers, one who yelled, “Fore,” as the door fell on the course.

Counterfeit Parts from China Flooding Our Navy?

SH-60B helicopter

I am aware there are counterfeit parts in the military supply chain. But are they flooding us?

Knowing that a part I use in my daily job may fail is not acceptable: 

Counterfeit electronic parts from China are “flooding” into critical U.S. military systems, including special operations helicopters andsurveillance planes, and are putting the nation’s troops at risk, according to a new U.S. Senate committee report.

A year-long investigation conducted by the Senate Armed Services Committee found more than one million suspected counterfeit parts made their way into the Department of Defense’s supply chain and were bound for use by “critical” military systems, according to the 70-plus-page document released Monday. In addition to Navy helicopters and surveillance planes, the parts were slated to be put into the Air Force’s newest cargo planes.

Okay, call me simple. Why not ban Chinese parts from the military acquisition process?

Berkeley Police Chief Launches Investigation

Berkeley Police Chief Mike Meehan

Berkeley, California is one of the more chaotic cities I have lived in. The police must really have their hands full. With helping the police chief find his son’s cell phone:

How many people have called their local police station about a stolen cell phone or laptop, only to be told by the authorities that they have more pressing issues at hand?

Well, Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan has opened himself up to a new round of controversy after it was reported that he dispatched 10 officers to look for his son’s missing iPhone.

And they didn’t even find it.

Good job. Certainly there are better uses of tax payers’ money.

The Biggest Loser, Navy-style

FC2 (SW) Derek England runs on the frigate Elrod

This is something every command in the Navy should do. Derek England won his ship’s title of the Biggest Loser. By dropping 41 pounds. Gotta work off the donuts somehow:

Derek England is a loser. In fact, he’s the biggest loser in his whole command. And he’s pretty happy about it.

England is a 26-year-old, surface-warfare-qualified, fire controlman second class onboard frigate Elrod. Since the ship left Norfolk, Va., on Jan. 16 for its current deployment to the Caribbean hunting drug runners, he has shed 41 pounds.

The Biggest Loser, Navy-style. I love it.