Who Is Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now?

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Against this haunting music, the opening scene of Francis Ford Coppola’s surrealistic Vietnam epic “Apocalypse Now” shows what initially is a peaceful coastline of graceful palm trees along a beautiful and deserted beach. As Jim Morrison mournfully sings, helicopters begin to appear and that coast becomes totally engulfed in the violence of bursting explosives and fire. That’s the same coast my shipmates and I saw, but with the shelling and fires finally silenced, as we sailed away, leaving a brutal and painful war in our wake. This book is about what it was like to be a witness to the very end of the Vietnam War. It’s my personal story, along with a few relevant and hopefully interesting historical notes, of the six and a half month voyage I made as a newly commissioned junior officer shortly after reporting for duty aboard the U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer USS Benjamin Stoddert (DDG-22). Although what happened at the end of our deployment was truly historic and significant, this is still a sea story told mostly in the …show more content…

A yard may also very well have been the legendary distance between Henry I of England’s thumb and his nose at the beginning of the 12th Century, which is actually pretty interesting. But what’s more important is that a nautical mile or 2,000 yards is exactly one 60th of a degree of latitude, also known as one minute of latitude. A minute of latitude is the exact same length everywhere on the planet, whereas degrees of longitude are longer at the equator, diminishing to zero length at the Earth’s poles. Use of latitude minutes/yards is eminently useful for marine navigation, in the form of 1 minute of latitude = 1 nautical mile = 2,000 yards, which is about 1.85

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