Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 31, 2015

Previous Week   July 27, 2015 - August 02, 2015   Next Week

14th Amendment adopted on July 28, 1868

14th Amendment adopted on July 28, 1868

14th Amendment adopted: Following its ratification by the necessary three-quarters of U.S. states, the 14th Amendment, guaranteeing to African Americans citizenship and all its privileges, is officially adopted into the U.S. Constitution.

Two years after the Civil War, the Reconstruction Acts of 1867 divided the South into five military districts, where new state governments, based on universal manhood suffrage, were to be established. Thus began the period known as Radical Reconstruction, which saw the 14th Amendment, which had been passed by Congress in 1866, ratified in July 1868. The amendment resolved pre-Civil War questions of African American citizenship by stating that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens of the United States and of the state in which they reside.” The amendment then reaffirmed the privileges and rights of all citizens, and granted all these citizens the “equal protection of the laws”.

In the decades after its adoption, the equal protection clause was cited by a number of African American activists who argued that racial segregation denied them the equal protection of law. However, in 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that states could constitutionally provide segregated facilities for African Americans, so long as they were equal to those afforded white persons. The Plessy v. Ferguson decision, which announced federal toleration of the so-called “separate but equal” doctrine, was eventually used to justify segregating all public facilities, including railroad cars, restaurants, hospitals, and schools. However, “colored” facilities were never equal to their white counterparts, and African Americans suffered through decades of debilitating discrimination in the South and elsewhere. In 1954, Plessy v. Ferguson was finally struck down by the Supreme Court in its ruling in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / Cornell University Law School / The Library of Congress

Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States (1861–1865) / Eastman Johnson's 1863 painting of Bible reading The Lord is My Shepherd / Winslow Homer's 1876 painting A Visit from the Old Mistress

U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier USS Washington (U.S.Navy.mil)

The Old Salt’s Corner

Intelligence WORK CENTERS

The ship’s intelligence work centers coordinate to provide the commanding officer or higher embarked authority with the most up-to-date tactical picture. Most ships will have some kind of intelligence coordination center and personnel assigned to it in either a primary or collateral duty. Of course, the ultimate intelligence fusion center is found on the carrier itself. Smaller ships in the battlegroup act as information gatherers, reporting sensor and positional data in real time to the carrier. The total intelligence fusion effort then takes place across many different platforms and work centers. Learning where you fit in is crucial to maximizing your effectiveness as a reservist.

The carrier CVIC is the largest single intelligence work center in the battlegroup. We will start there and examine how the intelligence effort is divided into not one but several areas on and off the carrier itself.


CVIC is only one part of the total intelligence effort on board the carrier. It is considered to have two major functional groups; Mission Planning (MP) and Multi-Sensor Interpretation (MSI). Overall, the CVIC must be responsive to the air wing, ship, and embarked staff(s). This involves a great deal of coordination with other functional areas including Operations, Weapons, Strike Operations, EW, SSES, and many other non-organic sources to be effective. The flow of information between CVIC and other intelligence work centers on the carrier is the key to success. CVIC continually strives to maintain a comprehensive, current and accurate operational intelligence picture.

CVIC provides the embarked air wing with the capability to process and analyze collected information rapidly, combine it with other tactical intelligence, and correlate this data with other information in the database. The CVIC can generate mission planning material for the embarked commander and air intelligence briefing and planning materials.

The major physical sections of CVIC include:

• Mission Planning (MP) - Debriefing Area

• Multi-Sensor Interpretation (MSI) - Chart Vault

• Photo Lab - Strike Plot

• Library - Sensitive Compartmented Intelligence Facility (SCIF)


Note that MSI, MP, Strike Plot, Administration Spaces, Library, SCIF, and Photo Lab are what physically constitute a CVIC. The SSES, SUPPLOT, Main Photo Lab, and Chart Vault, although closely associated with CVIC, are normally located in different areas of the carrier.

1. Mission Planning (MP)

The main mission planning areas of support are flight operations and strike support. Individual functions within mission planning generally fall into two categories: photographic reconnaissance and strike mission planning.

2. Multi-Sensor Interpretation (MSI)

The second major group within CVIC is multi-sensor interpretation (MSI) which focuses on collection, reporting and reconnaissance. It is defined as the employment of two or more sensors simultaneously or covering of the same target with two or more sensors on the same mission. The "products" of MSI are reports generated from multi-sensor analyses such as TARPS photography from F-14s and ISAR imagery from ES-3Bs). MSI contributes to the overall strike support readiness effort. When considering MSI systems there are two areas of concern: reconnaissance and interpretation.

MSI Reconnaissance is concerned with collecting intelligence. Ideal reconnaissance systems should have all of the following basic capabilities; all weather performance, day and night performance, provide location of target data, identification and status of target(s), and good resolution. Multi-sensor systems currently include; optical photography, side looking airborne radar (SLAR), synthetic aperture radar (SAR), inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR), infrared systems (IR), LASER systems, and passive electronic countermeasures (PECM). Combining sensors usually results in producing the greatest amount of intelligence data about a potential target.

There are several MSI systems in this area: NIPS A/B, PC-NIPS , GCCS-M, JDDS, STRED, and GALE LITE. The CVIC may also have access to tactical circuits such as TACINTEL, TADIXS-A, OTCIXS, TDDS, TADIXS-B, and TIBS. Later modules will cover these systems in depth.

3. Strike Mission Planning (STRIKE PLOT)

The CVIC mission planning area provides pilots with an area to prepare for upcoming missions. Here the pilot and intelligence officer will find all the tools and intelligence data required for planning the mission. All pre-mission intelligence briefings are given from CVIC and disseminate out to the individual squadron ready rooms over the Secure Closed Circuit Television System (SCCTV) which is described in Module 10. Post-flight debriefings are also conducted either in this area or some other specially designated area. Mission Planning utilizes a host of specialized electronic systems. These systems also will be discussed in detail later in Module 9.

4. CVIC Photo Lab

All incoming film collected by airborne platforms (e.g., helicopters and TARPS missions) and the ship’s onboard sighting team is developed and processed in the photo lab. It is then taken to the multi-sensor interpretation (MSI) area located in CVIC for analysis, evaluation and dissemination to operators.

5. Library

This area is a collection of various publications frequently used by intelligence personnel in CVIC. It can include both classified and unclassified data. There are various commercially available as well as classified GENSER publications found here dealing with worldwide combat fleets, weapons systems and aircraft. Also found in CVIC libraries are hard copies of some electronic displays, microfiche collections, and CD-ROMs.

6. Debriefing Area

Aircrew are debriefed in this are following mission completion to assess the overall success or possible shortcomings of the mission. Debriefing is discussed in the next module.

7. Sensitive Compartmented Intelligence Facility (SCIF)

The SCIF is a special restricted area where Top Secret/SCI material is stored. The SCIF is managed by the Special Security Officer (SSO) and reports directly to the ship’s Intelligence Officer. Special access is required to utilize information stored in this area. FAS.org / Module 6 — Intelligence WORK CENTERS

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin’”

Life doesn't have any hands, but it can sure give you a slap sometimes.

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“I attribute my success to this - I never gave or took any excuse.

~ Florence Nightingale

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“My dog is so smart. He thinks I’m a genius.”

~ Anonymous

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

Why some ink enthusiasts are tattooing their eyeballs – and risking blindness

Why some ink enthusiasts are tattooing their eyeballs – and risking blindness

The most recent exposition of people who tattoo their eyeballs, at the International Tattoo Festival in Caracas, in February, featured the phenomenon’s founder, Mr. Luna Cobra, who said it all started when he tried to create “bright blue” eyes, as in the 1984 film “Dune”. (Pigment is injected, permanently, so that it rests under the eye’s thin top layer, the conjunctiva.)

Asked what the process feels like, devotee Kylie Garth told BBC News, “It was mentally intense”, resembling an eye poke, pressure, and “a bit of sand” - but “no pain”. Mr. Cobra urged young people to get their jobs before trying eye tats, since “You’re going to look frightening forever to the majority of people you encounter.”

Washington Post (02/04/2015)

Will digital data last forever?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Will digital data last forever?

We’re used to thinking of the Internet as permanent. Whatever we say or do online supposedly stays with us forever. So it can come as a shock to realize the Internet—in its current form—is far less stable than we think. According to Google boss Vint Cerf, everything in our online lives may soon be lost forever.

It’s all thanks to something called “bit rot”. While digitizing can preserve something for generations to come, its continued use depends on our being able to access it. As programs and hardware fall out of use, it can become impossible to retrieve data designed for old formats. Old emails, blogs, and videos can become lost forever. This has already happened to plenty of files stored on floppy disks in the 1990s. Unless you’re willing to part with the money for an external floppy drive, those old photos your Mom took in 1995 are probably now inaccessible. That’s only 20 years later. By the time we get to 2095, people will have as much idea of what a floppy disk is as you do a diplograph.

That’s before we take into account how even digital data degrades over time, causing defects like loud chirp noises on old MP3s. It’s totally possible some of those videos you made back in the pre-YouTube days and haven’t looked at since are already seriously damaged. Imagine what they’ll be like in 50 years, and you’ll see why this is a problem.

BBCFedscoopForbesGuardianPopular MechanicsTDAR.orgWikipedia

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Ship State Room”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Ship State Room‎:” Traveling by steamboat was considered the height of comfort. Passenger cabins on the boats were not numbered. Instead they were named after states. To this day cabins on ships are called staterooms. Wikipedia / Snopes

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Cold Shot: A catapult launch from a carrier in which insufficient speed is attained to generate lift. Often fatal for the aircrew if they do not eject in time.

Combo Cover: Short for Combination Cover, which is a type of hat worn by chiefs and officers. It is circular on top and covered with white or khaki fabric. On the front you'll find the officer's crest or the (senior or master) chief's insignia. Below that there is a chin strap and a black brim.

Commodore: Title of the Captain (O-6) in charge of a squadron of ships or submarines or a wing of the same type of aircraft. Prior to 1984 this was thedesignation given to the lowest rank of flag officer (O-7 or one-star). However there was occasional confusion with the other military branches over whether a Commodore was a flag officer. To be more in line with the other services, the US Navy changed the one-star title to Rear Admiral, Lower Half. o Commodore: The title given for any Captain embarked upon a naval vessel that he is not the CO of the unit, even if the CO of the unit is a Commander, he is the “Captain”. There can be only one Captain. This most commonly occurs on submarines and destroyers.

Crotch Crickets: Pubic lice, a/k/a Crabs.

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

Just for you MARINE

G-1: Division or Wing Personnel.

G-2: Division or Wing Intelligence. Also a common reference to a person's intelligence.

G-3: Division or Wing Operations and Training.

G-4: Division or Wing Logistics (which includes supply, operations, facilities and food service).

G-Spot The building containing the majority of the division staff organizations (designated G-1, G-2, G-3 etc.) at Camp Pendleton, CA.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VAQ-134 - Electronic Attack Squadron 134: “Garudas”
NAS Whidbey Island, Washington

Aircraft Nicknames

Aircraft Nicknames

EA-6B Prowler nicknamed “Queere” The Northrop Grumman (formerly Grumman) EA-6B Prowler is a twin-engine, mid-wing electronic warfare aircraft derived from the A-6 Intruder airframe. The EA-6A was the initial electronic warfare version of the A-6 used by the United States Marine Corps in the 1960s.

An EA-6B aircrew consists of one pilot and three Electronic Countermeasures Officers, though it is not uncommon for only two ECMOs to be used on missions. It is capable of carrying and firing anti-radiation missiles (ARM), such as the AGM-88 HARM missile. Northrop Grumman / Wikipedia

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

President John Tyler's Grandsons Are Still Alive

President John Tyler's Grandsons Are Still Alive

John Tyler was born in 1790. He took office in 1841, after William Henry Harrison died. And he has two living grandchildren!

Not great-great-great-grandchildren. Their dad was Tyler’s son.

How is this possible?

The Tyler men have a habit of having kids very late in life. Lyon Gardiner Tyler, one of President Tyler’s 15 kids, was born in 1853. He fathered Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. in 1924, and Harrison Ruffin Tyler in 1928.

As of March 2015, Tyler has two living grandsons through his son Lyon Gardiner Tyler; he is the earliest former president with living grandchildren. Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Jr. was born in 1924, and Harrison Ruffin Tyler was born in 1928; Lyon Tyler Jr. resides in Franklin, Tennessee, and Harrison Tyler maintains the family home, Sherwood Forest Plantation in Charles City County, Virginia. History / Snopes / Mental Floss

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


“American Pie” - Don McLean 1971

“American Pie” - Don McLean
Album: American Pie
Released 1971 video

According to McLean (as posted on his website), this song was originally inspired by the death of Buddy Holly. “The Day The Music Died” is February 3, 1959, when Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper were killed in a plane crash after a concert. McLean wrote the song from his memories of the event (“Dedicated to Buddy Holly” was printed on the back of the album cover).

The Beatles Sgt. Pepper video album was also a huge influence, and McLean has said in numerous interviews that the song represented the turn from innocence of the '50s to the darker, more volatile times of the '60s - both in music and politics.

McLean was a 13-year-old paperboy in New Rochelle, New York when Holly died. He learned about the plane crash when he cut into his stack of papers and saw the lead story.

Talking about how he composed this song when he was a guest on the UK show Songbook, McLean explained: “For some reason I wanted to write a big song about America and about politics, but I wanted to do it in a different way. As I was fiddling around, I started singing this thing about the Buddy Holly crash, the thing that came out (singing), 'Long, long time ago, I can still remember how that music used to make me smile.

I thought, Whoa, what's that? And then the day the music died, it just came out. And I said, Oh, that is such a great idea. And so that's all I had. And then I thought, I can't have another slow song on this record. I've got to speed this up. I came up with this chorus, crazy chorus. And then one time about a month later I just woke up and wrote the other five verses. Because I realized what it was, I knew what I had. And basically, all I had to do was speed up the slow verse with the chorus and then slow down the last verse so it was like the first verse, and then tell the story, which was a dream. It is from all these fantasies, all these memories that I made personal. Buddy Holly's death to me was a personal tragedy. As a child, a 15-year-old, I had no idea that nobody else felt that way much. I mean, I went to school and mentioned it and they said, 'So what?' So I carried this yearning and longing, if you will, this weird sadness that would overtake me when I would look at this album, The Buddy Holly Story, because that was my last Buddy record before he passed away.”

This song made the 26-year-old McLean very famous very quickly, which was difficult for the songwriter. McLean was prone to depression, losing his father at age 15 and dealing with a bad marriage when recording the album. So when the song hit, it thrust him into the spotlight and took the focus away from the body of his work. In a 1973 interview with NME, he explained: “I was headed on a certain course, and the success I got with 'American Pie' really threw me off. It just shattered my lifestyle and made me quite neurotic and extremely petulant. I was really prickly for a long time. If the things you're doing aren't increasing your energy and awareness and clarity and enjoyment, then you feel as though you're moving blindly. That's what happened to me. I seemed to be in a place where nothing felt like anything, and nothing meant anything. Literally nothing mattered. It was very hard for me to wake up in the morning and decide why it was I wanted to get up.”

Contrary to rumors, the plane that crashed was not named the “American Pie” - Dwyer's Flying Service did not name their planes. McLean made up the name.

McLean admits that this song is about Buddy Holly, but has never said what the lyrics are about, preferring to let listeners interpret them on their own.

“The Jester” is probably Bob Dylan. It refers to him wearing “A coat he borrowed from James Dean”, and being “On the sidelines in a cast.” Dylan wore a red jacket similar to James Dean's on the cover of The Freewheeling Bob Dylan, and got in a motorcycle accident in 1966 which put him out of service for most of that year. Dylan also made frequent use of jokers, jesters or clowns in his lyrics. The line, “And a voice that came from you and me” could refer to the folk style he sings, and the line, “And while the king was looking down the jester stole his thorny crown” could be about how Dylan took Elvis Presley's place as the number one performer.

The line “Eight miles high and falling fast” is likely a reference to The Byrds' hit “Eight Miles Highvideo. Regarding the line, “The birds (Byrds) flew off from a fallout shelter”, a fallout shelter is a '60s term for a drug rehabilitation facility, which one of the band members of The Byrds checked into after being caught with drugs.

The section with the line “The flames climbed high into the night” is probably about the Altamont Speedway concert in 1969. While the Rolling Stones were playing, a fan was stabbed to death by a member of The Hell's Angels who was hired for security.

The line “Sergeants played a marching tune” is likely a reference to The Beatles' album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

The line “I met a girl who sang the blues and I asked her for some happy news, but she just smiled and turned away” is probably about Janis Joplin. She died of a drug overdose in 1970.

The lyric “And while Lenin/Lennon read a book on Marx” has been interpreted different ways. Some view it as a reference to Vladimir Lenin, the communist dictator who led the Russian Revolution in 1917 and who built the USSR, which was later ruled by Josef Stalin. The “Marx” referred to here would be the socialist philosopher Karl Marx. Others believe it is about John Lennon, whose songs often reflected a very communistic theology (particularly “Imagine”). Some have even suggested that in the latter case, “Marx” is actually Groucho Marx, another cynical entertainer who was suspected of being a socialist, and whose wordplay was often similar to Lennon's lyrics.

“Did you write the book of love” is probably a reference to the 1958 hit “ Book of Lovevideo by The Monotones. The chorus for that song is “Who wrote the book of love? Tell me, tell me... I wonder, wonder who” etc. One of the lines asks, “Was it someone from above?” Don McLean was a practicing Catholic, and believed in the depravity of '60s music, hence the closing lyric: “The Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost, they caught the last train for the coast, the day the music died.” Some, have postulated that in this line, the Trinity represents Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper.

Some more interpretations:

“And moss grows fat on our rolling stone” - Mick Jagger's appearance at a concert in skin-tight outfits, displaying a roll of fat, unusual for the skinny Stones frontman. Also, the words, “You know a rolling stone don't gather no moss” appear in the Buddy Holly song “Early in the Morningvideo, which is about his ex missing him early in the morning when he's gone.

“The quartet practiced in the park” - The Beatles singing at Shea Stadium video.

“And we sang dirges in the dark, the day the music died” - The 60's peace marches.

Helter Skelter video in a summer swelter” - The Manson Family's attack on Sharon Tate and others in California.

“We all got up to dance, Oh, but we never got the chance, 'cause the players tried to take the field, the marching band refused to yield“ - The huge numbers of young people who went to Chicago for the 1968 Democratic Party National Convention, and who thought they would be part of the process (“the players tried to take the field”), only to receive a violently rude awakening by the Chicago Police Department nightsticks (the commissions who studied the violence after-the-fact would later term the Chicago PD as “conducting a full-scale police riot”) or as McLean calls the police “the marching band.”

At 8 minutes 32 seconds, this is the longest song in length to hit #1 on the Hot 100. The single was split in two parts because the 45 did not have enough room for the whole song on one side. The A-side ran 4:11 and the B-side was 4:31 - you had to flip the record in the middle to hear all of it. Disc jockeys usually played the album version at full length, which was to their benefit because it gave them time for a snack, a cigarette or a bathroom break.

McLean wrote the opening verse first, then came up with the chorus, including the famous title. The phrase “as American as apple pie” was part of the lexicon, but “American Pie” was not. When McLean came up with those two words, he says “a light went off in my head”.

In the liner notes to the 2003 reissue of the album, McLean said: “A month or so later I was in Philadelphia and I wrote the rest of the song. I was trying to figure out what this song was trying to tell me and where it was supposed to go. That's when I realized it had to go forward from 1957 and it had to take in everything that has happened. I had to be a witness to the things going o, kind of like Mickey Mouse in Fantasia. I didn't know anything about hit records. I was just trying to make the most interesting and exciting record that I could. Once the song was written, there was no doubt that it was the whole enchilada. It was clearly a very interesting, wonderful thing and everybody knew it.”

The song starts in mono, and gradually goes to stereo over its eight-and-a-half minutes. This was done to represent going from the monaural era into the age of stereo.

Don McLean's original manuscript of “American Pie” was sold for $1.2 million at a Christie's New York auction on April 7, 2015. McLean wrote for the catalog description:

“Basically in 'American Pie' things are heading in the wrong direction… It is becoming less idyllic. I don't know whether you consider that wrong or right but it is a morality song in a sense. I was around in 1970 and now I am around in 2015… there is no poetry and very little romance in anything anymore, so it is really like the last phase of 'American Pie'.”

Don McLean official site / Rolling Stone / All Music / Billboard / Song Facts / Wikipedia

Image: “American Pie (album)” by Don McLean



● For years, the pharmaceutical company Bayer held the trademark for the word “heroin” and sold the drug as a cough and headache remedy.

● The View-Master was originally for adults. The device was used to help soldiers recognize ships, planes, and artillery from afar.

● The creator of the iPod first shopped his idea (without success) to Philips and RealNetworks before Apple agreed to market the device.

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

A girl asks her boyfriend to come over Friday night and have dinner with her parents. Since this is such a big event, the girl announces to her boyfriend that after dinner, she would like to go out and make love for the first time.

Well, the boy is ecstatic, but he has never had sex before, so he takes a trip to the pharmacist to get some condoms. The pharmacist helps the boy for about an hour. He tells the boy everything there is to know about condoms and sex.

At the register, the pharmacist asks the boy how many condoms he'd like to buy, a 3-pack, 10-pack, or family pack. The boy insists on the family pack because he thinks he will be rather busy, it being his first time and all.

That night, the boy shows up at the girl's parents house and meets his girlfriend at the door. “Oh, I'm so excited for you to meet my parents, come on in!”

The boy goes inside and is taken to the dinner table where the girl's parents are seated. The boy quickly offers to say grace and bows his head.

A minute passes, and the boy is still deep in prayer, with his head down.

10 minutes pass, and still no movement from the boy.

Finally, after 20 minutes with his head down, the girlfriend leans over and whispers to the boyfriend, “I had no idea you were this religious.”

The boy turns, and whispers back, “I had no idea your father was a pharmacist.”