Cross The Line
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Cross The Line
cross the line (third-person singular simple present crosses the line, present participle crossing the line, simple past and past participle crossed the line)
The line-crossing ceremony is an initiation rite that commemorates a person's first crossing of the Equator. The tradition may have originated with ceremonies when passing headlands, and become a "folly" sanctioned as a boost to morale, or have been created as a test for seasoned sailors to ensure their new shipmates were capable of handling long, rough voyages. Equator-crossing ceremonies, typically featuring King Neptune, are common in the Navy and are also sometimes carried out for passengers' entertainment on civilian ocean liners and cruise ships. They are also performed in the merchant navy and aboard sail training ships.
Throughout history, line-crossing ceremonies have sometimes become dangerous hazing rituals. Most modern navies have instituted regulations that prohibit physical attacks on sailors undergoing the line-crossing ceremony.
In 1995, a notorious line-crossing ceremony took place on the Royal Australian Navy submarine HMAS Onslow. Sailors undergoing the ceremony were physically and verbally abused before being subjected to an act called "sump on the rump", where a dark liquid was daubed over each sailor's anus and genitalia. One sailor was then sexually assaulted with a long stick before all sailors undergoing the ceremony were forced to jump overboard and tread water until permitted to climb back aboard the submarine. A videotape of the ceremony was obtained by the Nine Network and aired on Australian television. The coverage provoked widespread criticism, especially when the videotape showed some of the submarine's officers watching the entire proceedings from the conning tower.
By the eighteenth century, there were well-established line-crossing rituals in the British Royal Navy. On the voyage of HMS Endeavour to the Pacific in 1768, captained by James Cook, Joseph Banks described how the crew drew up a list of everyone on board, including cats and dogs, and interrogated them as to whether they had crossed the equator. If they had not, they must choose to give up their allowance of wine for four days, or undergo a ducking ceremony in which they were ducked three times into the ocean. According to Banks, some of those ducked were "grinning and exulting in their hardiness", but others "were almost suffocated".
The U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard have well-established line-crossing rituals. Sailors who have already crossed the Equator are nicknamed Shellbacks, Trusty Shellbacks, Honorable Shellbacks, or Sons of Neptune. Those who have not crossed are nicknamed Pollywogs, or Slimy Pollywogs, or sometimes simply Slimy Wogs.
In the 18th century and earlier, the line-crossing ceremony was quite a brutal event, often involving beating pollywogs with boards and wet ropes and sometimes throwing the victims over the side of the ship, dragging the pollywog through the surf from the stern. In more than one instance, sailors were reported to have been killed while participating in a line-crossing ceremony.
Baptism on the line, also called equatorial baptism, is an alternative initiation ritual sometimes performed as a ship crosses the Equator, involving water baptism of passengers or crew who have never crossed the Equator before. The ceremony is sometimes explained as being an initiation into the court of King Neptune.
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt described his crossing-the-line ceremony aboard the "Happy Ship" USS Indianapolis with his "Jolly Companions" in a letter to his wife Eleanor Roosevelt on 26 November 1936. Later, during World War II, the frequency of the ceremony increased dramatically, especially in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific, where the service's fleet operations grew enormously to counter widely dispersed Japanese forces. As late as World War II, the line-crossing ceremony was still rather rough and involved activities such as the "Devil's Tongue", which was an electrified piece of metal poked into the sides of those deemed pollywogs. Beatings were often still common, usually with wet firehoses, and several World War II Navy deck logs speak of sailors visiting sick bay after crossing the line.
Efforts to curtail the line-crossing ceremony did not begin until the 1980s, when several reports of blatant hazing began to circulate regarding the line-crossing ceremony, and at least one death was attributed to abuse while crossing the line.
The eve of the equatorial crossing is called Wog Day and, as with many other night-before rituals, is a mild type of reversal of the day to come. Wogs (all of the uninitiated) are allowed to capture and interrogate any Shellbacks they can find (e.g., tying them up, cracking eggs or pouring aftershave lotion on their heads). The Wogs are made very aware that it will be much harder on them if they do anything like this.
After crossing the line, Pollywogs receive subpoenas to appear before King Neptune and his court (usually including his first assistant Davy Jones and her Highness Amphitrite and often various dignitaries, who are all represented by the highest-ranking sailors who are Shellbacks), who officiate at the ceremony, which is often preceded by a beauty contest of men dressing up as women, each department of the ship being required to introduce one contestant in swimsuit drag. Afterwards, some may be "interrogated" by King Neptune and his entourage, and the use of "truth serum" (hot sauce + after shave) and whole uncooked eggs put in the mouth. During the ceremony, the Pollywogs undergo a number of increasingly embarrassing ordeals (wearing clothing inside out and backwards; crawling on hands and knees on nonskid-coated decks; being swatted with short lengths of firehose; being locked in stocks & pillories and pelted with mushy fruit; being locked in a water coffin of salt-water and bright green sea dye [fluorescent sodium salt]; crawling through chutes or large tubs of rotting garbage; kissing the Royal Baby's belly coated with axle grease, hair chopping, etc.), largely for the entertainment of the Shellbacks.
Once the ceremony is complete, a Pollywog receives a certificate declaring his new status. Another rare status is the Golden Shellback, a person who has crossed the Equator at the 180th meridian. The rarest Shellback status is that of the Emerald Shellback (US), or Royal Diamond Shellback (Commonwealth), which is received after crossing the Equator at the prime meridian, near the Null Island weather buoy. When a ship must cross the Equator reasonably close to one of these meridians, the ship's captain might plot a course across the Golden X so that the ship's crew can be initiated as Golden or Emerald/Royal Diamond Shellbacks.
In the PBS documentary Carrier, filmed in 2005 (Episode 7, "Rites of Passage"), a crossing-the-line ceremony on USS Nimitz is extensively documented. The ceremony is carefully orchestrated by the ship's officers, with some sailors reporting the events to be lackluster due to the removal of the rites of initiation.
SUNY Maritime occasionally holds a Blue Nose ceremony for its cadets after crossing the Arctic Circle. Their most recent ceremony was during the summer of 2019, on the TSES VI, held shortly after departing Reykjavik. Cadets crawled through a tunnel with lo mein, or "Eel Spawn", and then had food put in their hair before crawling through the fantail while being sprayed by fire hoses.
Johnson's 40-6648 Self-Leveling Cross & Line Laser combines the features of a cross-line laser with an additional 90 degree plumb line useful for checking square reference of beams, posts, or any other object. A 1/4"-20 tripod thread and manual mode also let you project orthogonal lines at any angle, for stairs and other non-level applications.
Untangle all of the lines as quickly as possible. Use your mouse to drag the dots around the screen and rearrange the lines." } } ] } ] Sorry... this game is not playable in your browser.
In less than two weeks, the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council will make a decision that affects the lives of more than 4.1 million people in northwestern Syria: whether to allow the UN and its partners to continue providing lifesaving humanitarian aid to Syria from across its border with Turkey.
The Syrian government has long obstructed what is known as cross-line aid, assistance that moves across front lines from government-held parts of the country into non-government-controlled territory. Over the past year, the UN has only managed to send five convoys from government-controlled areas into northwest Syria with nutrition, health, food, and education supplies, a drop in the ocean compared to the staggering number of Syrians needing humanitarian assistance to survive.
Security Council members should vote to keep open the Bab al-Hawa border crossing, a lifeline to civilians in northwest Syria, for at least another year. As the leaders of 32 humanitarian organizations warned earlier this month, shutting it down would be devastating. In addition to keeping this crossing open, on July 7, Security Council members should also consider expanding humanitarian access by authorizing additional crossings that would more effectively service Syrians in other areas, as they desperately need assistance.
With the clock ticking (the mandate was set to expire on 10 July) and Russia refusing to formally engage on the text, the co-penholders removed the language re-authorising the Al Yarubiyah crossing but made no further textual changes. They then placed the updated draft under silence until 10 am on 8 July. China maintained its position from the previous day. Nonetheless, the co-penholders decided to put the draft text in blue during the afternoon of 8 July, with the vote scheduled for 9 July. 59ce067264