Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 24, 2016

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Magna Carta sealed on June 15, 1215

Magna Carta sealed on June 15, 1215

Magna Carta sealed: Following a revolt by the English nobility against his rule, King John puts his royal seal on the Magna Carta, or “Great Charter”. The document, essentially a peace treaty between John and his barons, guaranteed that the king would respect feudal rights and privileges, uphold the freedom of the church, and maintain the nation’s laws. Although more a reactionary than a progressive document in its day, the Magna Carta was seen as a cornerstone in the development of democratic England by later generations.

John was enthroned as king of England following the death of his brother, King Richard the Lion-Hearted, in 1199. King John’s reign was characterized by failure. He lost the duchy of Normandy to the French king and taxed the English nobility heavily to pay for his foreign misadventures. He quarreled with Pope Innocent III and sold church offices to build up the depleted royal coffers. Following the defeat of a campaign to regain Normandy in 1214, Stephen Langton, the archbishop of Canterbury, called on the disgruntled barons to demand a charter of liberties from the king.

In 1215, the barons rose up in rebellion against the king’s abuse of feudal law and custom. John, faced with a superior force, had no choice but to give in to their demands. Earlier kings of England had granted concessions to their feudal barons, but these charters were vaguely worded and issued voluntarily. The document drawn up for John in June 1215, however, forced the king to make specific guarantees of the rights and privileges of his barons and the freedom of the church. On June 15, 1215, John met the barons at Runnymede on the Thames and set his seal to the Articles of the Barons, which after minor revision was formally issued as the Magna Carta.

The charter consisted of a preamble and 63 clauses and dealt mainly with feudal concerns that had little impact outside 13th century England. However, the document was remarkable in that it implied there were laws the king was bound to observe, thus precluding any future claim to absolutism by the English monarch. Of greatest interest to later generations was clause 39, which stated that “no free man shall be arrested or imprisoned or disseised [dispossessed] or outlawed or exiled or in any way victimised…except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land”. This clause has been celebrated as an early guarantee of trial by jury and of habeas corpus and inspired England’s Petition of Right (1628) and the Habeas Corpus Act (1679).

In immediate terms, the Magna Carta was a failure–civil war broke out the same year, and John ignored his obligations under the charter. Upon his death in 1216, however, the Magna Carta was reissued with some changes by his son, King Henry III, and then reissued again in 1217. That year, the rebellious barons were defeated by the king’s forces. In 1225, Henry III voluntarily reissued the Magna Carta a third time, and it formally entered English statute law.

The Magna Carta has been subject to a great deal of historical exaggeration; it did not establish Parliament, as some have claimed, nor more than vaguely allude to the liberal democratic ideals of later centuries. However, as a symbol of the sovereignty of the rule of law, it was of fundamental importance to the constitutional development of England. Four original copies of the Magna Carta of 1215 exist today: one in Lincoln Cathedral, one in Salisbury Cathedral, and two in the British Museum. History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica The British Library / National archives.gov

“It was Beautiful Yesterday”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“24 Notes That Tap Deep Emotions”

“Go To Sleep, Go to Sleep.”

Day is done, gone the sun,

From the hills, from the lake,

From the sky.

All is well, safely rest,

God is nigh.

Go to sleep, peaceful sleep,

May the soldier or sailor,

God keep.

On the land or the deep,

Safe in sleep.

Love, good night, Must thou go,

When the day, And the night

Need thee so?

All is well. Speedeth all

To their rest.

Fades the light; And afar

Goeth day, And the stars

Shineth bright,

Fare thee well; Day has gone,

Night is on.

Thanks and praise, For our days,

'Neath the sun, Neath the stars,

'Neath the sky,

As we go, This we know,

God is nigh.

~ Jari A. Villanueva

“I’m Just Sayin”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.”

~ Oscar Wilde

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“When your mother asks, 'Do you want a piece of advice?' it is a mere formality. It doesn't matter if you answer yes or no. You're going to get it anyway.”

~ Erma Bombeck

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Advice is Free. The right answer will cost you money.”

~ Anonymous

Why Is Popcorn the Default Movie Theater Snack?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Why Is Popcorn the Default Movie Theater Snack?

Popcorn was hugely popular at fairs and carnivals in the mid-1800s. Street vendors were able to easily make and sell the delicious, aromatic snack food by the bag when the first steam-powered popcorn maker was created in 1885. However, movie theaters wanted to stay far, far away from the pungent, crunchy grub.

They strove to associate themselves more with the latter half of their name: the theater. A real theater would refuse to be associated with food that would be noisily chomped on and messily strewn about by consumers during showings. Before talkies, literacy was a necessity for film-goers, and movie theaters strove to target a well-educated crowd.

In 1927, with the dawn of talkies, movies were no longer just geared towards a "sophisticated" and literate audience. Going to the movies was an activity anyone could enjoy. This coincided with the Great Depression, and Americans wanted cheap entertainment that would help them to get lost in a new reality. Movies fit the bill.

Although early theaters weren’t equipped to handle popcorn machines, independent vendors were quick to jump at the opportunity of selling directly to consumers. Corn kernels were cheap, so popcorn was inexpensive (ranging from five to ten cents a bag) and patrons who were not well-off could enjoy a bag of the goodness. Vendors began selling popcorn to people outside of the theater, allowing for a double profit of simple passersby and film-goers alike. The snack was everywhere. Soon, vendors could, for a small fee, sell popcorn in the lobby directly to people entering the theater.

Movie theater owners began to cut out the street vendors and sold popcorn themselves. Theaters that refused to change with the times and have their own popcorn makers suffered, as the cheap snack became in-demand. (One theater owner even lowered the price of his movie tickets in order to encourage people to come for the food.) For theater owners, the way to stay alive during the Depression was to give the people what they wanted.

During World War II, the sales of popcorn in the United States really hit off. Sugar was sent overseas for the military, so there were not as many resources for the creation of candies and soda. Meanwhile, there was no salt or kernel shortage. The food's popularity continued to grow, and the rest is movie history.

Film Maker IQFood NetworkMental FlossSmithsonianNew York TimesPBSWikipedia video

Where Did That Saying Come From? “A fly in the ointment”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

A fly in the ointment:”  Meaning: A small but irritating flaw that spoils the whole.

Origin: These days ointments are chiefly for medicinal use - just the thing for rubbing on that nasty rash. In earlier times, ointments were more likely to be creams or oils with a cosmetic or ceremonial use. Literally, ointment was the substance one was annointed with. There is considerable annointing in Bible stories and it isn't surprising therefore that this phrase has a biblical origin. Ecclesiastes 10:1 (King James Version):

“Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.”

Our contempary phrase 'the fly in the ointment' didn't appear until later. The earliest example I have found in print of that precise wording is in John Norris' A Practical Treatise Concerning Humility, 1707:

“Tis that dead fly in the ointment of the Apothecary.”


NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang - U.S. Navy America's Navy - A Global Force For Good

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Khakis: Term used to describe senior enlisted members (E-7 and above) or officers, due to the khaki-colored working uniform typically worn by them.

Khaki Brigade: chiefs who start taking over an engineering casualty or going over to see what is going on. “Here comes the khaki brigade.”

Khaki Clad Bastards: See: Khakis.

Khaki Sacker: See: Brown bagger (Married sailor who brings his lunch from home in a paper bag.)

Just for MARINES - U.S. Marines Marines - The Few. The Proud.

Just for you MARINE

Leg: Servicemember who does not rate to wear the Parachutist Insignia, borrowed from the Army Airborne.

Leggings: Leg coverings made of canvas with eyelets and laces or buckles to secure the trouser legs over boots.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

HSC-21 - Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWENTY ONE: “Blackjacks”
Naval Air Station North Island - San Diego, California

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Duck injured by frostbite gets new 3D-printed feet

Duck injured by frostbite gets new 3D-printed feet

OSHKOSH, Wisconsin - A Wisconsin duck that lost his feet to frostbite is up and walking again thanks to his new 3D-printed flippers.

”We are now using what's called Ninja Flex, and Ninja Flex is a flexible material”, Jischke told WBAY-TV.

Rabe-Harrison said Phillip is doing well with his new feet. “He picked it up real fast, and I'm sure he'll learn to balance again and be able to waddle around with all the other ducks”, she said.

She said Phillip is now headed for a new life at a sanctuary in Cedarburg.

UPI (04/18/2016)

© CEASAR CHOPPY by cartoonist Marty Gavin - archives Ceasar Choppy's Navy! “© CEASAR CHOPPY” by Marty Gavin


“Tutti Frutti” - Little Richard

“Tutti Frutti” - Little Richard
Album: Here's Little Richard
Released 1955 video

Little Richard wrote this song in 1955 when he was working as a dishwasher at a Greyhound bus station in his hometown of Macon, Georgia. Explaining how he came up with the song, he told Rolling Stone: “I couldn't talk back to my boss man. He would bring all these pots back for me to wash, and one day I said, 'I've got to do something to stop this man bringing back all these pots to me to wash,' and I said, 'Awap bop a lup bop a wop bam boom, take 'em out!' and that's what I meant at the time. And so I wrote 'Tutti Frutti' in the kitchen, I wrote 'Good Golly Miss Molly' in the kitchen, I wrote 'Long Tall Sally' in that kitchen.”

Richard says that “Awap bop a lup bop a wop bam boom” was kind of his catch phrase, something he would reply to folks who asked him how he was doing.

Long before Richard recorded this, he performed it at his shows as “Tutti Frutti, Good Booty”. It was a very raucous and sexual song and was considered too suggestive for white audiences, so it was cleaned up considerably when he recorded it for Specialty Records. The chorus was changed to “Tutti Frutti, aw Rudi”, and these original lyrics were replaced:

If it's tight, it's alright

If it's greasy, it makes it easy

Some sources have claimed that Richard also sang “A good God damn” instead of “a wop bam boom”, but according to the notes in the 2012 reissue of the album, Richard (who later became a minister) never took the Lord's name in vain and never sang that lyric.

This was Little Richard's first hit, but his success was far from instant. His first recordings were in 1952 for RCA Records, and were failures. He moved to Peacock Records the next year and released some singles with the Johnny Otis Trio backing him up. His break came when the singer Lloyd Price played a show in Macon, Georgia, and Richard, who was selling drinks at the gig, went to the dressing room and played Price “Tutti Frutti” on the piano.

Price encouraged Richard to send a tape to Specialty Records, so he sent them a demo of two songs he recorded in February 1955 with his group The Upsetters: “Baby” and “All Night Long”. Specialty owner Art Rupe was unimpressed, but Richard kept calling and sending letters.

His persistence paid off and Rupe finally sent his producer Bumps Blackwell to New Orleans, where on September 13 and 14, they recorded the nine songs that would comprise the Here's Little Richard album. “Tutti Frutti” was released as a single and became a breakout hit, which Richard found out when the record company called him in Georgia to explain. They flew him to Hollywood and had him record follow-up singles “Long Tall Sally” and “Slippin' and Slidin'.”

This persistence paid off and Rupe finally sent his producer Bumps Blackwell to New Orleans, where on September 13 and 14, they recorded the nine songs that would comprise the Here's Little Richard album. “Tutti Frutti” was released as a single and became a breakout hit, which Richard found out when the record company called him in Georgia to explain. They flew him to Hollywood and had him record follow-up singles “Long Tall Sally” and “Slippin' and Slidin'.”

Of course, the original racy lyrics about “good booty” had to be replaced, and Little Richard had no particular talent for writing words that would match his melody yet mollify a white audience. This task fell to Dorothy LaBostrie, who Blackwell described as “a girl who kept hanging around the studio to sell songs.” She was on hand because Richard recorded her song “I'm Just A Lonely Guy” earlier that day. With time running out in the session, an embarrassed Richard sang her the raunchy lyrics, looking at the wall while he did so. LaBostrie left and came back with the sanitized lyrics with just 15 minutes of studio time remaining. They quickly recorded the song, getting it right on the third take with two minutes to spare. Dorothy LaBostrie earned what became a very lucrative writing credit for her efforts.

This song introduced Little Richard's famous “Whooooo”, and also a big "Aaaaaaahhh" scream which he sings just before the tenor sax solo performed by Lee Allen. Richard's scream had a practical purpose: to let Allen know when to start playing. They were recording on just three tracks, so overdubbing the horns wasn't a practical option.

You can also hear Richard's classic line in this song, “A wop bop a lu bop, a wop bam boom!” He felt you could express your emotions without singing actual words. He would also put a little something extra into the words he sang, which he called "that thing." It was something he learned playing piano and singing in church, and it was a style that would influence the next generation of rock music.

This is one of the most famous songs of all time, making #43 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs, but it was not a huge hit, going to #2 on the R&B charts and reaching just #17 on the Hot 100.

Pat Boone fared better with his 1956 cover, taking it to #12. Boone had a long career doing sanitized covers of songs by black artists, and he also covered Richard's “Long Tall Sally”. Many listeners at the time only knew the song through Boone, so Little Richard's promotional materials often labeled him “Original 'Tutti Frutti' Man.”

Like “Long Tall Sally”, this song was covered by Elvis. Little Richard once said, “Elvis may be the King of Rock and Roll, but I am the Queen.”

Little Richard did not invent the name “Tutti Frutti”; it was a popular flavor of ice cream. The phrase is Italian for “All Fruits”, and the ice cream had little bits of candied fruit mixed in. In 1938, the Jazz duo Slim Gaillard and Slam Stewart, who recorded as Slim And Slam, released a popular song called “Tutti Frutti”, which was about the ice cream. Little Richard's was a completely different song.

Little Richard recorded this at J&M Studios in New Orleans, which was the only place to record in the city for many years. Opened in the late '40s, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded there as well. It has since become a laundromat.

Huey “Piano” Smith played the piano on the first eight songs during the session that produced this album, but he didn't have time to learn “Tutti Frutti” so Richard played it himself. The drummer on the session was Earl Palmer, who later moved to Los Angeles and became one of the most prolific drummers of all time, playing on songs by the Righteous Brothers, Elvis Costello, B.B. King and hundreds of others. On this song, Palmer had no rehearsal and Richard was pounding out a rock rhythm on the piano.

Palmer later explained, “The only reason I started playing what they come to call a Rock and Roll beat was came from trying to match Richard's right hand - with Richard pounding the piano wih all ten fingers, you couldn't so very well go against that. I did at first - on 'Tutti Frutti you can hear me playing a shuffle. Listening to it now, it's easy to hear I should have been playing that rock beat.” (From Backbeat: Earl Palmer's Story.)

This song was a huge influence on many aspiring rock stars, but it had special significance for David Bowie, as it was the first rock song he heard. Bowie's father, who ran a London music hall, brought the record home when David was 9 years old. “My heart nearly burst with excitement”, said Bowie. “I had heard God.”

Little Richard told Mojo in 1999: “My greatest achievement would have to be 'Tutti Frutti.' It took me out of the kitchen - I was a dishwasher at the Greyhound bus station, making $10 a week working 12 hours a day, and 'Tutti Frutti' was a blessin' and a lesson. I thank God for 'Tutti Frutti'.”

Little Richard official site / Rock & Roll Hall of Fame / Rolling Stone / Biography / Billboard / Song Facts / Wikipedia

Image: “Here's Little Richard (album)” by Little Richard



● According to a recent nationwide poll, people were asked “What decade produced the best dance music:” 1940's followed by 1970's, then 1980's

● Louisiana is named for the French King, Louis XIV

● Oberlin College in Ohio, founded in 1833 became the first co-ed college in the U.S., and in 1841, first to award degrees to women.

People Who Know Everything

A Test for People Who Know Everything

The international airport in Rome is named after which versatile genius?

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer Rome Airport

Answer to Last Week's Test

I'm a male. If Albert's son is my son's father, what is the relationship between Albert and I?

Answer: Albert will only be your father if YOU are Albert's son; otherwise, he has no connection to you. / P.S. You are NOT, based on the information given, Albert's grandfather. HyperPhysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love, and got married.

The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent!

Pun of the Day

I wasn't originally going to get a brain transplant, but then I changed my mind.