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Quarterdeck: noun - originally, this was a small deck located above the half-deck and covering about a quarter of a vessel. These days, however, it's used for that part of a ship's upper deck near the stern, and usually reserved for officers or privileged passengers; the officers of a ship or the navy.
'Shirley winked with little subtlety at the steward who brought her glass of champagne, and invited him to join her on the quarterdeck a little after midnight, where, she assured him, she would make it worth his while.'
In the UK, today is generally considered the shortest day of the year and a cause of much joy that improvements are now on their way. Though, sometimes it is the 22nd that's considered so. The night between 21st and 22nd December is the longest. Certainly, following this day, the hours of daylight increase until the mid-summer point, when the whole thing begins its decline again.
The Christian world, borrowing the wisdom of the preceding pagans, placed Christmas at this time of year to capitalise on the potential of associating the birth of their prophet with the ending of the declining season and the hope of better things to come. A wise decision for those early leaders wishing to increase their following in a very uncertain world.
1835 - HMS Beagle sailed into the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, on Darwin's historic voyage of discovery.
1914 - The first feature-length silent film comedy, "Tillie's Punctured Romance" was released, featuring Marie Dressler, Mabel Normand & Charles Chaplin. Chaplin, of course, went on to become one of the cinema's icons over the following years.