Earth, the Moon and the Sun


The Naval Service and Medals

Although prior to 1793, gold medals and chains were occasionally presented to successful naval commanders by the British monarch, it was the Naval Gold Medal, first awarded after the battle of the Glorious 1 June 1794, that initiated the modern tradition of government medal awards for military or other service. Gold chains were awarded to six flag officers and one captain in 1794 and the gold medals in 1796. The Naval Gold Medals were instituted November 1796 by an Admiralty Order, Lewis Pingo received 150 gns in December for the engraving work. Further medals were struck from the existing dies in 1797 for Cape St Vincent and subsequent victories. Each medal carries, Obverse: Britannia which is crowned by a Nike/ Victory with a laurel wreath. Revers: Engraved with the rank and name of the recipient, and the event and date for which the medal was awarded. The large medal has a surround of a wreath of oak and laurel


Captain’s Naval Gold Medal for the Battle of the Trafalgar, 1805 awarded to Charles John Moore Mansfield, Captain of HMS Minotaur (left)

Flag officer’s Naval Gold Medal and chain awarded to Admiral Lord Alexander Hood (1726-1814) for his services during the battle of the Glorious First of June 1794 (right)

These medals continued to be presented to officers above the rank of Captain, who took part in successful actions throughout the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (there was also a gold military medal). Flag officers received a larger medal hung on a neck ribbon and captains one of smaller size. The medals were of standard design and personalized with the name of the recipient. In total 22 large gold medals were awarded, 112 small gold medals and seven gold chains.


Gold medal presented to Vice-Admiral Charles Thompson (1740-1799) for services at the Battle of St Vincent, 1797 

In 1813 it was decided not to award more than one gold medal to an individual, all awards except the earliest were to be exchanged for clasps and four medals earned by a single individual were to be exchanged for a gold cross – this request was not successfully implemented. Two years later in 1815, recipients of the re-founded Military Order of the Bath were asked to return their Naval Gold Medals. Following an outcry, a further letter withdrew this request but stated that the medals could not be worn with the insignia of the order. A few months later this new rule was also withdrawn but no further Naval Gold medals were awarded. In 1900, Nelson’s three large Naval Gold Medals were stolen from the Painted Hall Greenwich. The medals awarded to Captain Thomas Troubridge for St Vincent and the Nile were probably lost at sea in 1807.


Coastlines Change

1598 map of the Philippines overlaid onto present-day map.

Look at maps of changes in the British coastline between now and 1600.  Same thing.



A comprehensive political map of Turkey in 1899 indicating provinces (vilayet) and cities (sanjak). The current sultan is working to bring things back to the way that they were (+ Libya).


Dentists in Europe

Locations of dentists, according to Open Street Maps.



Canadian province or territory with the highest percentage of a certain European ethnicity.



    • Just a coincidence. And just a coincidence that the Moon is the right size to keep the tidal pressure on the Earth’s mantle and core to keep it stirred up, hot, and generating radiation belts to protect us. Lots of coincidences. Nothing to see here, move on, what’s the latest on Oprah? I hear that she and (not a) Dr. Jill will be having lunch soon.

  1. Good stuff to mull this morning. The E/M/S shot is incredible.

    BUT…’come on, man!…NO mention of that breathtaking Oprah interview with “Not A Princess” Meghan and “No Longer A Prince” Harry??…what has this blog come to?

    I suppose Ms. Puh-Saki won’t have to field any hard-hitting questions at today’s “Biden not present” presser….”How was the president’s* weekend at home in Delaware?”, demanding her thoughts on last nights critical interview with a couple of fame-seekers.

    Guess I’ll have to wait for the People Magazine expose’.

    • I’ve let you all down. If I was doing my job, I’d get some photos of the not-too-white not-a-princess shopping on Rodeo Drive, spending $900 on a pair of shoes that she might wear once. And I’d be able to tell you what Oprah is thinking about doing and the names of Slow Joe’s dogs. Is one of them named Hunter?

      The E-True Hollywood story is sadly ignored here on this blog as are details of how many steps the not-royal baby took today.

      I should go out and get pictures of something. While eating dinner deer blasted by the dining table. One-two-five, full power, and then we saw a young mountain lion bounding after them, as if he could catch deer on the run. Lions are ambush hunters and sprinters. I wish that I’d had my phone with me to capture the action. Alas.

      • Hahhah…I think I can speak for most, we would have been more concerned had you started the blog this morning with those two. Can never go wrong sticking to your guns (literally and figuratively) and not bending to societal idiocy designed to deflect from the important things.

        Front row seat…keeps us humble. But the selfie may have gone badly (Estes Park or Yellowstone, every year). We think a lion come through the pasture both weekend mornings…horses are good spotters, the snort-blow gets your attention. Never saw it but while out on the long loop hike the dog is always a good yellow alert when we aren’t paying attention.

        • You have to worry about the lions you don’t see. You can shoot the ones that you see if you need to.

          • Exactly, always looking for the head or tail, hard to see unless moving.

            (oh, and no implication on the selfie going badly ‘for you’…as I know you would be prudently armed while out and about. People think wild animals – like elk or bison – are in an open petting zoo because they watch too much TV, forgetting where we stand in the wildland food chain.)

  2. Obviously the change in coastlines was failure to do anything about climate change in 1600.
    That earth-moon-sun photo was a good one.

    • You’re getting more progressive, Jim. Yes, it’s a shame about climate change. In 1600 they only had ten years left (too).

    • There weren’t many, years ago when I lived there. They get them pulled by the barber…

  3. So the Brits used to award gold medals for excellent service.

    Today we the USA issue a pretty ribbon for showing up to stand guard at the Great Wall of Pelosi.

    How far we’ve fallen.

      • Don’t forget the added bonus of a concrete bedroll, one bathroom, and tainted leftovers from the House Mess. Adds up to zero respect.

      • I read a blog run by an actual combat vet and he and his buddies are livid about the ribbon and the medal. Someone pointed out that the PTO had one medal, the ETO had another, the Med had another. For the whole damned war. Not a medal/ribbon for Guadalcanal or Tarawa Bloody Tarawa or Saipan, no. A single ribbon/medal (with clusters) for service in that theater.

        What the actual Copulative Moment?

        • The ribbon is for the defense of the Capitol against dangerous white people. The medal is for the heroic defense on January 6 when so many police and guardsmen lost their lives, etc.

          • When you think about it, the January 6 attack on the capitol was a lot like Tarawa or Guadalcanal. The campaign only lasted for a single day but it was like scaling Mount Suribachi for those who were there. 7,000 Marines died on Iwo Jima. 20,000 more were wounded. So you can see that the defense of the capitol for that one day was so much more.

          • Which ribbon is the ribbon for wearing your ribbons right?
            Which ribbon is the ‘Continued On Reverse’ ribbon?

  4. Sailors today are using charting data from as early as that drawn up on the expeditions of Capt. Vancouver. This includes vendors of chart software. Geodesic data used in aviation often stems from the 1984 survey.

    Bad data is like a hole in the boat; the problem comes if you don’t know about it. More than a few mariners have gotten into trouble when they don’t examine the data carefully enough. One potential surprise is found with the new style chart plotter; the user must zoom in for finer details.

    Whether aviation or marine, I’m a paper chart guy. I’ll use software and GPS but I prefer my primary source is paper.

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