Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
USNS Gen H.H. Arnold, T-AGM-9 Of Research, Plagiarism, and Tracking Hats

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    It has been said that if you quote a single source and don't give credit, that's plagiarism. If on the other hand, you quote many sources and do give credit, that's research.

    But what if you quote many sources and don't give credit?

    Which brings Grampa Bill to the subject of Tracking Hats. Many years ago, back in the early 'sixties, Grampa Bill, just a snot-nosed kid then, spent two years aboard a missile tracking ship, The USNS General H. H. Arnold (T-AGM-9). Let's paint the picture. About a hundred of America's brightest young engineers and technicians working with cutting edge technology on a space age program. You wouldn't think of it as a place given to superstition. And it wasn't, except for one universally held belief... "You can't track missiles without a tracking hat!" Not only must a hat be worn while tracking, but the more outrageous the better. The Ship's Operations Manager wore a viking helmet complete with horns... not authentic... those horns were from a Texas Longhorn! Another tech had a medieval great helm which completely covered his face. My own Tracking Hat was one of the tamer, an Aussie Army hat with the flip up brim, wearing Royal Australian Combat Chaplain's brass. (I was probably the only active Christian aboard ship.) The hat band was of leopard skin with the tail dangling about two feet down my back. Any failure to gather data from a shot could always be traced to someone who had failed to wear a tracking hat. And woe be to that unfortunate.

    At any rate, one day one of the techs wore his tracking hat aloft as he worked atop one of the RADAR dishes. It was fairly expensive, having started out as a Stetson and upgraded from there. Have no idea why he wore it aloft... but he did, and the wind blew it over the side.

    Next month, he put his hat on his expense account report. And the bean counters at Cape Canaveral sent it back marked "disallowed." The following month, he again put his hat on his expense account, this time with a detailed explanation of how the accident occurred on company time doing company business... and again the Cape disallowed it. The third month when he sent his expense account in, he attached a note, "My Tracking Hat is included. If you can find it, you can disallow it."

    Now back to plagiarism. I have copied much (with some paraphrasing) from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Succession in the Presidency, LDS Reference Encyclopedia, The Church News, The Ensign and other Church Magazines and numerous web sites. Like my colleague of old, I say, "If you can find it, you can disallow it." Just give me an e-mail and I will remove or rewrite the offending material.

Grampa Bill

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