Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 13, 2018

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President Reagan shot on March 30, 1981

President Reagan shot on March 30, 1981

President Reagan shot On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by a deranged drifter named John Hinckley Jr.

The president had just finished addressing a labor meeting at the Washington Hilton Hotel and was walking with his entourage to his limousine when Hinckley, standing among a group of reporters, fired six shots at the president, hitting Reagan and three of his attendants. White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the head and critically wounded, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy was shot in the side, and District of Columbia policeman Thomas Delahaney was shot in the neck. After firing the shots, Hinckley was overpowered and pinned against a wall, and President Reagan, apparently unaware that he’d been shot, was shoved into his limousine by a Secret Service agent and rushed to the hospital.

The president was shot in the left lung, and the .22 caliber bullet just missed his heart. In an impressive feat for a 70-year-old man with a collapsed lung, he walked into George Washington University Hospital under his own power. As he was treated and prepared for surgery, he was in good spirits and quipped to his wife, Nancy, “Honey, I forgot to duck”, and to his surgeons, “Please tell me you’re Republicans.” Reagan’s surgery lasted two hours, and he was listed in stable and good condition afterward.

The next day, the president resumed some of his executive duties and signed a piece of legislation from his hospital bed. On April 11, he returned to the White House. Reagan’s popularity soared after the assassination attempt, and at the end of April he was given a hero’s welcome by Congress. In August, this same Congress passed his controversial economic program, with several Democrats breaking ranks to back Reagan’s plan. By this time, Reagan claimed to be fully recovered from the assassination attempt. In private, however, he would continue to feel the effects of the nearly fatal gunshot wound for years.

Of the victims of the assassination attempt, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and D.C. policeman Thomas Delahaney eventually recovered. James Brady, who nearly died after being shot in the eye, suffered permanent brain damage. He later became an advocate of gun control, and in 1993 Congress passed the “Brady Bill,” which established a five-day waiting period and background checks for prospective gun buyers. President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law.

After being arrested on March 30, 1981, 25-year-old John Hinckley was booked on federal charges of attempting to assassinate the president. He had previously been arrested in Tennessee on weapons charges. In June 1982, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity. In the trial, Hinckley’s defense attorneys argued that their client was ill with narcissistic personality disorder, citing medical evidence, and had a pathological obsession with the 1976 film Taxi Driver, in which the main character attempts to assassinate a fictional senator. His lawyers claimed that Hinckley saw the movie more than a dozen times, was obsessed with the lead actress, Jodie Foster, and had attempted to reenact the events of the film in his own life. Thus the movie, not Hinckley, they argued, was the actual planning force behind the events that occurred on March 30, 1981.

The verdict of “not guilty by reason of insanity” aroused widespread public criticism, and many were shocked that a would-be presidential assassin could avoid been held accountable for his crime. However, because of his obvious threat to society, he was placed in St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, a mental institution. In the late 1990s, Hinckley’s attorney began arguing that his mental illness was in remission and thus had a right to return to a normal life. Beginning in August 1999, he was allowed supervised day trips off the hospital grounds and later was allowed to visit his parents once a week unsupervised. The Secret Service voluntarily monitors him during these outings. If his mental illness remains in remission, he may one day be released.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Britannica Encyclopedia / CBS News President Reagan shot on March 30, 1981 (YouTube) video

USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) (U.S.Navy.mil)

The Old Salt’s Corner

Carrier Battlegroups Elements

Eleven carrier battlegroups and one training carrier operate in the fleet. At the core of each group, reporting directly to the battlegroup commander, is a permanently assigned carrier (CV or CVN), carrier air wing (CVW), a carrier group (CARGRU), a cruiser/destroyer group (CRUDESGRU), and a tactical destroyer squadron (TACDESRON). Submarine support for each battlegroup usually consists of one or two nuclear powered attack submarines (SSNs). The summary of a typical carrier battlegroup follows:

Ship Type   Primary Mission   Typical Number in Battlegroup

Aircraft Carrier   Power Projection   1

Cruiser   AW   1-2

Destroyer   USW/SUW/AW   2-3

Frigate   USW/SUW/AW   2-3

Submarine   USW   1

Auxiliary   Support   1

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“The path of least resistance

leads to crooked rivers

and crooked men.”

~ Henry David Thoreau

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“Be who you are

and say what you feel,

because those who mind

don’t matter

and those who matter

don’t mind.”

~ Dr. Seuss

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“The difference between who you are

and what you want to be

is what you do.”

~ 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)

Shark Snags Australian Fisherman’s Line, Takes Him For A Wild Ride

Shark Snags Australian Fisherman’s Line, Takes Him For A Wild Ride

A kayaker feared drowned in Melbourne’s southeast has been found, following a close call with a shark.

Police launched a full-scale search after an empty kayak was found in the water this morning, but discovered the owner, oblivious to the search, alive at home.

Safely back on dry land in Western Port Bay, Brett Palmer carried his pride and joy back home.

His kayak was retrieved after copping a shark bite while Mr Palmer fished with his friends after dark.

The pull of a seven gill shark threw the experienced fisherman from his kayak around 2.30am.

Clinging onto his catch, he managed to paddle back to shore, leaving his kayak at the beach.

The boat was swept out to sea, where it was discovered four hours later by concerned fishermen, about one kilometre off Cliff's Beach near Balnarring.

“Kayaks do tend to be over represented in marine deaths and certainly we feared the worst”, Water Police spokesman Glenn McKenzie said.

But a knock on Me Palmer's door was all it took to find the father-of-three alive and well at home, oblivious to frenzy surrounding him.

The fisherman had presumed the boat stolen and gone home to sleep.

“At least it was a positive result you know, I wouldn't want to be on the other side of it.”

9 News Sydey, Australia (02/18/2018) video

Does Einstein's Theory of Relativity Imply That Interstellar Space Travel is Impossible?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Does Einstein's Theory of Relativity Imply That Interstellar Space Travel is Impossible?

The opposite. It makes interstellar travel possible—or at least possible within human lifetimes.

The reason is acceleration. Humans are fairly puny creatures, and we can’t stand much acceleration. Impose much more than 1 g of acceleration onto a human for an extended period of time, and we will experience all kinds of health problems. (Impose much more than 10 g and these health problems will include immediate unconsciousness and a rapid death.)

To travel anywhere significant, we need to accelerate up to your travel speed, and then decelerate again at the other end. If we’re limited to, say, 1.5 g for extended periods, then in a non-relativistic, Newtonian world, this gives us a major problem: Everyone’s going to die before we get there. The only way of getting the time down is to apply stronger accelerations, so we need to send robots, or at least something much tougher than we delicate bags of mostly water.

But relativity helps a lot. As soon as we get anywhere near the speed of light, then the local time on the spaceship dilates, and we can get to places in much less (spaceship) time than it would take in a Newtonian universe. (Or, looking at it from the point of view of someone on the spaceship: they will see the distances contract as they accelerate up to near light-speed—the effect is the same, they will get there quicker.)

Here’s a quick table I knocked together on the assumption that we can’t accelerate any faster than 1.5 g. We accelerate up at that rate for half the journey, and then decelerate at the same rate in the second half to stop just beside wherever we are visiting.

Does Einstein's Theory of Relativity Imply That Interstellar Space Travel is Impossible?

You can see that to get to destinations much beyond 50 light years away, we are receiving massive advantages from relativity. And beyond 1000 light years, it’s only thanks to relativistic effects that we’re getting there within a human lifetime.

Indeed, if we continue the table, we’ll find that we can get across the entire visible universe (47 billion light-years or so) within a human lifetime (28 years or so) by exploiting relativistic effects.

So, by using relativity, it seems we can get anywhere we like!

Well ... not quite.

Two problems.

First, the effect is only available to the travelers. The Earth times will be much much longer. (Rough rule to obtain the Earth-time for a return journey [is to] double the number of light years in the table and add 0.25 to get the time in years). So if they return, they will find many thousand years have elapsed on earth: their families will live and die without them. So, even we did send explorers, we on Earth would never find out what they had discovered. Though perhaps for some explorers, even this would be a positive: “Take a trip to Betelgeuse! For only an 18 year round-trip, you get an interstellar adventure and a bonus: time-travel to 1300 years in the Earth’s future!”

Second, a more immediate and practical problem: The amount of energy it takes to accelerate something up to the relativistic speeds we are using here is—quite literally—astronomical. Taking the journey to the Crab Nebula as an example, we’d need to provide about 7 x 1020 J of kinetic energy per kilogram of spaceship to get up to the top speed we’re using.

That is a lot. But it’s available: the Sun puts out 3X1026 W, so in theory, you’d only need a few seconds of Solar output (plus a Dyson Sphere) to collect enough energy to get a reasonably sized ship up to that speed. This also assumes you can transfer this energy to the ship without increasing its mass: e.g., via a laser anchored to a large planet or star; if our ship needs to carry its chemical or matter/anti-matter fuel and accelerate that too, then you run into the “tyranny of the rocket equation” and we’re lost. Many orders of magnitude more fuel will be needed.

But I’m just going to airily treat all that as an engineering issue (albeit one far beyond anything we can attack with currently imaginable technology). Assuming we can get our spaceships up to those speeds, we can see how relativity helps interstellar travel. Counter-intuitive, but true.

Britannica EncyclopediaNational GeographicQuoraWikipediaSpace.comDoes Einstein's Theory of Relativity Imply That Interstellar Space Travel is Impossible? (YouTube) video

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang - U.S. Navy

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Sandblower: A person of very short stature.

Salt and Peppers: The pier liberty facilities at Jebel Ali. Sandbox Liberty means travel outside the port of Jebel Ali is not authorized. All one gets is a “beer on the pier”. See “Gerbil Alley”.

Sand Crab: Civil servant working for the Navy. As in “side stepping beach creature”.

Just for MARINES - The Few. The Proud.

Just for you MARINE

Tore up: Broken, messy, unserviceable.

Trade-school: Refers to graduate of one of the Military Academies.

TRAM: Tractor, Rubber-tired, Articulated steering, Multi-purpose.

T-Rats: Tray ration, nickname for Unitized Group Ration, a ration heated and served to a group of servicemembers.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VFA-81 - “Sunliners”
Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia - Established July 1, 1955

Where Did That Saying Come From

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Waking Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed”

Waking Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed”  Meaning: Waking up in a bad mood.

Origin: “The wrong side of the bed is the left side, according to a superstition that goes back to the time of the Romans.

People have been saying other people 'got up on the wrong side of the bed,' 'awoke surly or grouchy,' for well over three centuries now, usually not knowing the real meaning of what they are saying, but the equally old expression 'got up left foot forward' tells the story.

The supposedly sinister nature of the left is reflected in many English superstitions and expressions, such as the belief that it is unlucky to put your left shoe first, or to walk into a house left foot first. The Romans, especially Augustus Caesar, were very careful that they got up on the right side of the bed, but there is no evidence that they were less grouchy than anyone else.” From “Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins” by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).

Phrases.org UK

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

The Future Machines of the Year 2100 - Space elevators, tiny machine “swarms”, flying cars, and human/machine mind melds are just the beginning of the futureHumanity's Biggest Machines Will Be Built in Space - When rockets can no longer hold oversize payloads, building in space might be the best way to goThe F/A-18 Super Hornet Is About to Fly Farther Than Ever Before - New aerodynamic fuel tanks will extend the Navy fighter’s rangeTen Reasons Why You Should Learn JavaScriptThese Cheap Power Banks Will Keep Your Phone Going30 Big Machines That Changed the World In Big Ways

Popular Mechanics

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Bits of Famous, Lost (and Fake) 'Flying Saucer' Turn Up in British Science Museum

Bits of Famous, Lost (and Fake) 'Flying Saucer' Turn Up in British Science Museum

Pieces of a 50-year-old English “flying saucer” have turned up in the London Science Museum archive.

As the BBC reported David Clarke, a journalism lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, examined the metal shards and determined that they came from a famous 18-inch (45 centimeters) metal saucer. The object captivated the U.K. press in 1957 after it turned up in Silpho Moor near Scarborough, Yorkshire, England. Then, after being chopped up into bits for examination, it gradually disappeared in the intervening decades.

Three men originally discovered the object in the moor, the Yorkshire Post reported, just three weeks after Russia launched Sputnik - the first satellite of the Earth created by humans. As the Post reported, its copper bottom was covered in hieroglyphics, very much like the saucer discovered in Roswell, New Mexico a decade earlier. [7 Huge Misconceptions About Aliens]

The Silpho Moor saucer also contained a small book, the Post reported, covered in more hieroglyphics, which a Scarborough café owner claimed to decipher as a warning from an alien named Ullo about atomic war: “You will improve or disappear.”

Metallurgists and other experts who studied the Silpho Moor object determined that it had no special properties and had never been to outer space, the Post reported, a journey that leaves telltale signatures in metal.

Still, now that Science Museum archivists have learned the "cultural significance" of the rediscovered shards, the BBC reported, they might put them on display as a record of that strange moment in British history.

Live Science (02/08/2018) video

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


“Live and Let Die” - Paul McCartney 1978

“Live and Let Die” - Paul McCartney & Wings
Album: Paul McCartney
Released 1978 video

A play on the phrase “live and let live”, this was the title song for the eighth James Bond film. It was the first to star Roger Moore as Bond.

Wings co-founder and original drummer Denny Seiwell said of this song: “Everybody thought it was cool that we were doing something for James Bond. I remember what Paul told us - he said a couple weeks before we did the actual recording, he said they wanted him to write the theme to the next James Bond movie, and they sent him the book to read. And we were up at the house one day and he had just read the book the night before, and he sat down at the piano and said, 'James Bond... James Bond... da-da-dum!', and he started screwing around at the piano. Within 10 minutes, he had that song written. It was awesome, really. Just to watch him get in there and write the song was really something I'll remember the rest of my life.”

McCartney was given a copy of the Ian Fleming novel to read and he read the book one Saturday, during a break from sessions for the Red Rose Speedway album before penning the tune on the following day. The former Beatle recalled the writing of the song in an interview with the October 2010 edition of Mojo magazine:

“I got the book and it's a very fast read. On the Sunday, I sat down and thought, OK, the hardest thing to do here is to work in that title. I mean, later I really pitied who had the job of writing Quantum Of Solace. So I thought, Live And Let Die, OK, really what they mean is live and let live and there's the switch.”

“So I came at it from the very obvious angle. I just thought, 'When you were younger you used to say that, but now you say this.'”

George Martin produced this and arranged the orchestra. Martin produced most of The Beatles work, so this was McCartney's chance to work with him again.This was the most successful Bond theme up to that point.

Other hits from James Bond movies include “Nobody Does It Bettervideo by Carly Simon (from The Spy Who Loved Me), “For Your Eyes Onlyvideo by Sheena Easton, and “A View To A Killvideo by Duran Duran.

McCartney was initially asked to write a song for the movie for someone else to perform. He agreed to write it only if his band Wings could perform it.

McCartney's James Bond connection was Albert Broccoli, who produced many of the films. Someone at Apple Records knew Broccoli, who wanted McCartney to do the title song for the 1971 Bond film Diamonds Are Forever. That fell through because of contractual problems, but they were able to connect for the next film, Live and Let Die.

In 1973, this song took home the Grammy award for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocals. It was credited to Wings and George Martin.

This was voted the best Bond theme ever in a poll of BBC Radio 2 and 5 Live listeners conducted in 2012 to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the release of Dr. No. Carly Simon's “Nobody Does it Bettervideo was the runner-up, while “Goldfingervideo, sung by Shirley Bassey, came in third.

Paul McCartney official website / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / Wikipedia

Image: “Wings Over America (album)” by Paul McCartney & Wings



● The first names of these 20th century American jazz pianists and bandleaders were William and Edward, but they were better known by their noble nicknames - William “COUNT” BASIE / Edward “DUKE” Ellington.

● 1/2 MILLION copies of a record album must be sold for the album to be awarded a “gold record”.

● GEORGE C. SCOTT - PATTON / MARLON BRANDO - GODFATHER won Academy Awards as Best Actor in 1970 and 1972 both refused the awards.


A Test for People Who Know Everything

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “ERAS OF HISTORY” ($200):

“Around 1200 B.C. this period followed the Bronze Age & provided more lethal weapons to more people.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer Encyclopedia Britannica

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “ERAS OF HISTORY” ($600):

“The Cold War is often said to have begun in this year when a war ended & the cubs played in the World Series.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer History Channel

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “ERAS OF HISTORY” ($1,000):

“Instead of B.C. some prefer the less religious B.C.E., for 'before' this 'Era'.”

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

Answer to Last Week's Test

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “ANIMAL NAMES” ($600):

“Floating in the waters off Majorca, you might find the fried egg this - we don't suggest it for breakfast.”

● Answer: A Jellyfish. Ocean Portal.edu

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “I'M JUST A SAYING” ($800):

“'Forewarned' is this other 'fore' word, so heed our admonition!”

● Answer: Forearmed. Phrases.org UK

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “SPICES” ($200):

“Spanish for 'little gourd', the guajillo is a mild type of these with a heat rating of 2,500 - 5,000 Scoville units.”

● Answer: A Chili (pepper). Smithsonian

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

“Let There Be Light”

A man was sitting at a bar, and asked the bartender “where I could find a prostitute.”

He told the man to go to the back door, down the dark alley and give the woman there 20 bucks.

So the man went outside, handed a 20 to the woman there, and started getting busy.

After a few minutes, a cop walks past and shines a flashlight on them and says, “What the hell are you doing?”

The man said, “Having sex with my wife.”

The cop said, “I'm sorry, I didn't realize that was your wife.”

And the man said, “Neither did I, till you shined a light on her.”

“Your wife can climb a tree faster than your cat.”

Joke of the Day

“You Might Be A Redneck”

“You think 'loading the dishwasher' means getting your wife drunk.”

“You ever cut your grass and found a car.”

“You own a home that is mobile and 5 cars that aren't.”

“You think the stock market has a fence around it.”

“Your stereo speakers used to belong to the Drive-in Theater.”

“Your boat has not left the drive-way in 15 years.”

“You own a homemade fur coat.”

“Chiggers are included on your list of top 5 hygiene concerns.”

“You burn your yard rather than mow it.”

“Your wife has ever said, 'Come move this transmission so I can take a bath'"”

“You read the Auto Trader with a highlight pe”

“The Salvation Army declines your mattress.”

“You've ever raked leaves in your kitchen.”

“Birds are attracted to your beard.”

“Your wife's job requires her to wear an orange vest.”

“You were shooting pool when any of your kids were born.”

“You have the local taxidermist's number on speed dial.”

“You've ever hit a deer with your car...deliberately.”

“Your school fight song was 'Dueling Banjos'.”

“You think a chain saw is a musical instrument.”

“You've ever given rat traps as gifts.”

“You clean your fingernails with a stick.”

“Your coffee table used to be a cable spool.”

“You keep a can of RAID on the kitchen table.”