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Splice The Mainbrace

Splice The Mainbrace
Splice the mainbrace is an order given aboard naval vessels to issue the crew with a drink. Originally an order for one of the most difficult emergency repair jobs aboard a sailing ship, it became a euphemism for authorized celebratory drinking afterward, and then the name of an order to grant the crew an extra ration of rum or grog. The phrase is a mainstay of pirate vernacular in popular culture.

Braces are the lines which control the angle of the yards. On the first rate men-o-war, the mainbrace was the largest and heaviest of all the running rigging; the mainbrace on HMS Victory was 5 inches (13 cm) in diameter. Gunners commonly aimed for the ship's rigging during naval battles, with the mainbrace being the prime target.

If the mainbrace was shot away, it was usually necessary to repair it during the engagement; the ship was unmanoeuvrable without it and would have to stay on the same tack. Even repairing it after the battle was a difficult job; the mainbrace ran through blocks, so it could not be repaired with a short splice or a knot. Splicing in a large run of hemp was strenuous work, and generally the ship's best Able Seamen were chosen to carry out the task under the supervision of the Bosun (Boatswain).

On completion of the task, it was customary for the men to be rewarded with an extra ration of rum. The Bosun would take a sip from the ration of each of the men he had selected for task. Eventually the order "Splice the mainbrace" came to mean that the crew would receive an extra ration of rum, and was issued on special occasions: after victory in battle, the change of a monarch, a royal birth, a royal wedding or an inspection of the fleet. In cases where the whole fleet was to receive the signal, it would be run up with a lift of flags or signalled by semaphore.

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Phillies World Series Ring

Phillies World Series RingPhillies receive World Series rings.

The Philadelphia Phillies received their World Series championship bling on Wednesday, a 14-carat white gold ring featuring 103 diamonds.

Led by a motorcycle police escort, the rings arrived in a white van that circled around the warning track. Former general manager Pat Gillick, who retired after last season, was the first to receive his ring during a lengthy pregame ceremony.

An emotional Gillick cried after team president David Montgomery handed him his ring. Manager Charlie Manuel came next, and he was greeted by chants of "Charlie! Charlie" by the sellout crowd.

Former Phillies Pat Burrell, Geoff Jenkins and Adam Eaton took part in the ceremony. Burrell got a rousing ovation before heading off to Boston to play a night game for Tampa Bay. Eaton, who was left off the postseason roster, was booed.

"A World Series championship ring is a most prized possession," Montgomery said. "We wanted to present our players and others in the Phillies organization with a meaningful tribute that appropriately commemorates bringing a world championship to Philadelphia. I believe this ring certainly does that."

The top of the ring is crowned with a ruby inlay around a large "P" that's inset with diamonds. "World Champions" is written along the top and bottom outer rum of the ring. The left side features each person's name and number atop and below the Liberty Bell. The right side depicts the World Series trophy rising out of Citizens Bank Park. The 103 diamonds total 3.84 karats. They represent the 92 regular-season wins and 11 postseason victories. The description was a closely guarded secret throughout the offseason. Even the players had no idea what they we were getting.

"It exceeds any expectation I could've had," 46-year-old pitcher Jamie Moyer said, choking up. "I don't think anybody had any inkling what these looked like."

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USS Bainbridge

USS Bainbridge

USS Bainbridge: Information On US Destroyer Tracking Somali Pirates.

The American destroyer the USS Bainbridge is tracking a U.S.-flagged ship that was hijacked by Somali pirates. The crew of the hijacked ship managed to retake control from the pirates, however pirates are still holding the captain hostage in a lifeboat.

The USS Bainbridge is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. From Wikipedia:

She was launched on 13 November 2003 at Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, sponsored by Susan Bainbridge Hay, Commodore William Bainbridge's great-great-great-granddaughter. She was commissioned on 12 November 2005, with Commander John M. Dorey commanding.

Bainbridge is more than twice as long and displaces 20 times as much tonnage as her namesake a century earlier. She is homeported in Norfolk, Virginia.

The ship currently features the Remote Mine-hunting System (RMS),[1] which includes the Remote Mine-hunting Vehicle (RMV), an unmanned craft that detects, classifies, and localizes underwater mines.

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PassoverPassover (Hebrew, Yiddish: Pesach , Tiberian: pɛsaħ, Israeli: Pesah, Pesakh, Yiddish: Peysekh, Paysokh) is a Jewish and Samaritan holy day and festival commemorating God sparing the Hebrews when he killed the first born of Egypt, and is the seven day Feast of the Unleavened Bread (it lasts eight days in the diaspora) commemorating the Exodus from Egypt and the liberation of the Israelites from slavery.

Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of Nisan (equivalent to March and April in Gregorian calendar), the first month of the Hebrew calendar's festival year according to the Hebrew Bible.

In the story of the Exodus, the Bible tells that God inflicted ten plagues upon the Egyptians before Pharaoh would release his Israelite slaves, with the tenth plague being the killing of firstborn sons. The Hebrews were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb and, upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord passed over these homes, hence the term "passover". When Pharaoh freed the Hebrews, it is said that they left in such a hurry that they could not wait for bread to rise. In commemoration, for the duration of Passover, no leavened bread is eaten, for which reason it is also called חַג הַמַּצּוֹת (Ḥag haMaẓot), "The Festival of the Unleavened Bread". Matza (unleavened bread) is the primary symbol of the holiday. This bread that is flat and unrisen is called Matzo.

Together with Shavuot ("Pentecost") and Sukkot ("Tabernacles"), Passover is one of the three pilgrim festivals (Shalosh Regalim) during which the entire Jewish populace historically made a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. Samaritans still make this pilgrimage to Mount Gerizim, but only men participate in public worship.

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Pulte Homes

Pulte HomesPulte Homes To Acquire Centex.

his is a transcript of the Market Update: Midday video report.

Earnings season is off to a shaky start, as expected, but Wall Street was resilient Wednesday morning. The major U.S. averages started the day in positive territory, and a tie-up by a pair of home builders made headlines.

Pulte Homes ( PHM - news - people ) will acquire Centex ( CTX - news - people ) in an all-stock deal. According to Pulte Chief Executive Richard Dugas, the deal should accelerate a return to profitability for the combined company and will result in a workforce reduction.

Pulte shares lost 4% Wednesday morning. Centex shares were down over 5%, The Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly measure of loan applications climbed 4.7% in the latest reading, and its purchase index jumped 11.1%, compared to just a 3.2% increase in refinancing.

Transportation company Ryder System ( R - news - people ) threw a curve at the market, issuing first-quarter guidance well below the Street's estimates and warning that the weak economic environment is likely to continue for the remainder of 2009. A day earlier, trucking company YRC Worldwide ( YRCW - news - people ) issued a bleak forecast of its own, cautioning that conditions remain difficult and it sees no signs of improvement.

YRC shares were down around 3%. Ryder shares slid over 11%.

Investors were also honing in on the Federal Reserve, which is due to release the minutes from its March monetary policy meeting Wednesday afternoon, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is expected to revive the uptick rule to restrict short sellers from piling on vulnerable stocks.

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MVA Maryland

MVA Maryland

Maryland ID fraud makes voter registration fraud easy.

MVA officials said the scale of attempted fraud is underscored by the volume of out-of-state calls to the toll-free number dedicated to scheduling appointments for applicants using foreign documents without U.S. visa stamps. During the last three months of 2008, almost one in four of the 297,1000 calls originated from 53 states and territories outside Maryland.

Relaxing voter registration laws is necessary to prevent disenfranchising as many as ten million (a made up number) citizens for whom registration is an obstacle. As many a ten million (a popular made up number) elderly and minority citizens do not have IDs. Laws,activists like The Brennan Center advocate, need to be relaxed so a (postage stamp receipt) utility bill can serve as ID.

Victor Torrez Gonzalez, 47, gave the MVA a Laurel address when he applied for a license in August, presenting a receipt for postage stamps as proof.

Activists insist that no one would ever risk voting with fraudulent IDs like Maryland issues. What if they were paid to do it?

Activists are simply too naive, inexperienced in election administration (vs theory) and willing to dismiss historic evidence that people do and will cheat if given the opportunity.

Maryland also prosecuted 507 immigrants last year for supplying false foreign licenses or other identity documents.

If citizens (and non citizens) will go to the trouble to obtain a fake driver's license, for which the penalties are just as severe as voting illegally, how can the argument be made they will not register and attempt to vote? There are incentives.

Even the Governor of Illinois was willing to play for pay.

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