Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 25, 2018

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Franklin D. Roosevelt signs GI bill on June 22, 1944

Franklin D. Roosevelt signs GI bill on June 22, 1944

Franklin D. Roosevelt signs GI bill: On this day in 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the GI (“Government Issue” or “General Issue”) bill to provide financial aid to veterans returning from World War II. Upon signing the legislation, Roosevelt voiced his belief that ensuring veterans’ employability was critical to a sound postwar economy.

The GI bill, named after the slang term for soldiers whose wartime goods and services were government issued, provided funding for education, home loans, unemployment insurance, job counseling and the construction of veterans’ hospital facilities. It also greatly strengthened the authority of and scope of services provided by the Veterans Administration. Tuition for advanced education or technical training was covered up to $500 per school year, along with a monthly living allowance while the veteran was in school. GIs could also apply for guaranteed home and business loans.

In his speech at the signing of the bill, Roosevelt acknowledged the sacrifices of America’s men and women in uniform and emphasized the moral responsibility of the American people not to let their veterans down once they returned to civilian life. He and his economic advisors foresaw potential problems as the then-robust wartime economy transitioned to peacetime. He hoped that the GI bill would help prevent a situation in which the return of 2.2 million servicemen from war created massive unemployment, economic depression or social unrest. Also in his speech, Roosevelt appealed to Congress to enact some sort of future legislation that would reassure current civilian workers that their services would still be needed in a post-war economy.

Roosevelt urged that the goal after the war should be the maximum utilization of our human and material resources. After his death and the end of the Second World War, veterans of wars in Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and U.N.-led coalition conflicts continued to benefit from an evolving GI bill.

History Channel / Wikipedia / Britannica Encyclopedia / U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs / FDR Library.edu Franklin D. Roosevelt signs GI bill (YouTube) video

Germany launches Operation Barbarossa—the invasion of Russia on June 22, 1941

Germany launches Operation Barbarossa—the invasion of Russia on June 22, 1941

Germany launches Operation Barbarossa - the invasion of Russia: On this day in 1941, over 3 million German troops invade Russia in three parallel offensives, in what is the most powerful invasion force in history. Nineteen panzer divisions, 3,000 tanks, 2,500 aircraft, and 7,000 artillery pieces pour across a thousand-mile front as Hitler goes to war on a second front.

Despite the fact that Germany and Russia had signed a “pact” in 1939, each guaranteeing the other a specific region of influence without interference from the other, suspicion remained high. When the Soviet Union invaded Rumania in 1940, Hitler saw a threat to his Balkan oil supply. He immediately responded by moving two armored and 10 infantry divisions into Poland, posing a counterthreat to Russia. But what began as a defensive move turned into a plan for a German first-strike. Despite warnings from his advisers that Germany could not fight the war on two fronts (as Germany’s experience in World War I proved), Hitler became convinced that England was holding out against German assaults, refusing to surrender, because it had struck a secret deal with Russia. Fearing he would be “strangled” from the East and the West, he created, in December 1940, “Directive No. 21: Case Barbarossa” - the plan to invade and occupy the very nation he had actually asked to join the Axis only a month before!

On June 22, 1941, having postponed the invasion of Russia after Italy’s attack on Greece forced Hitler to bail out his struggling ally in order to keep the Allies from gaining a foothold in the Balkans, three German army groups struck Russia hard by surprise. The Russian army was larger than German intelligence had anticipated, but they were demobilized. Stalin had shrugged off warnings from his own advisers, even Winston Churchill himself, that a German attack was imminent. (Although Hitler had telegraphed his territorial designs on Russia as early as 1925 - in his autobiography, “Mein Kampf”.) By the end of the first day of the invasion, the German air force had destroyed more than 1,000 Soviet aircraft. And despite the toughness of the Russian troops, and the number of tanks and other armaments at their disposal, the Red Army was disorganized, enabling the Germans to penetrate up to 300 miles into Russian territory within the next few days.

Exactly 129 years and one day before Operation Barbarossa, another “dictator” foreign to the country he controlled, invaded Russia - making it all the way to the capital. But despite this early success, Napoleon would be escorted back to France - by Russian troops. History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / RT (Russia Today) / The Atlantic / Military Channel video

Understanding Military Terminology: Scout of Many Trails (Sea Scout and Boy Scout look at globe with old sailor) ~ Norman Rockwell

Understanding Military Terminology - Mine warfare

(DOD) The strategic, operational, and tactical use of mines and mine countermeasures either by emplacing mines to degrade the enemy’s capabilities to wage and, air, and maritime warfare or by countering of enemy-emplaced mines to permit friendly maneuver or use of selected land or sea areas. Also called MW.

Joint Publications (JP 3-15) Barriers, Obstacles, and Mine Warfare for Joint Operations

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

The Old Salt’s Corner

Air Operations (OC Division)

The Air Operations Division is responsible for airspace management around the carrier, and monitoring the status of all airborne aircraft. These functions are performed in the Carrier Air Traffic Control Center (CATCC). Enlisted Air Traffic Controllers (ACs) work in this division.

Electronic Materials Office (EMO)

The EMO Division is responsible for all electronic maintenance of tactical and navigational radar systems onboard the ship. The EMO also provides maintenance for the ship’s internal and external communications systems, ship’s computers, and tactical display systems. Enlisted Data Systems Technicians (DSs) man these ADP systems.

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“For as we forgive, we are forgiven;

as we condemn others, we are ourselves condemned.

Thus in patience condemn not, neither find fault;

not condoning, not agreeing,

but let thine own life so shine that others,

seeing thy patience, knowing thy understanding,

comprehending thy peace, may take hope.”

~ Edgar Cayce

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.”

“A fool and his money are soon elected.”

“Everything is changing.

People are taking their comedians seriously

and the politicians as a joke.”

“If advertisers spent the same amount of money

on improving their products as they do on advertising

then they wouldn’t have to advertise them.”

~ Will Rogers

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Life is an echo.

What you send out, comes back.

What you sow, you reap.

What you give, you get.

What you see in others, exists in you.

Remember, life is an echo.

It always gets back to you.”

~ 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)

CVS exposed my Viagra script — and ruined my marriage

CVS exposed my Viagra script — and ruined my marriage

He was supposed to get a lift from his little blue pills, but a Long Island man instead was left feeling small and deflated after a loose-lipped pharmacist blabbed about his Viagra to his wife, a lawsuit claims.

Michael Feinberg brought a prescription for eight 100-milligram pills of the erectile-dysfunction drug, with five refills, last year into the Merrick Road CVS with specific instructions: he’d pay for the medicine himself, according to the suit he filed against the pharmacy chain.

After explaining to a CVS employee, identified in court papers as “Aurula”, that the Viagra, which can cost more than $60 a pill, was not to be put through his insurance, Feinberg left.

But a few days later, all hell broke loose when his wife called the pharmacy to check on one of her own prescriptions, and a chatty worker began talking about Feinberg’s blue bombers, he claims in court papers.

Now, Feinberg says, his “marriage has broken down”.

The court papers do not say exactly why the revelation drove a wedge between the couple.

The hubby claims CVS violated his privacy under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a federal law that requires a patient’s permission before revealing their “confidential protected healthcare information.”

The employee “without solicitation, improperly informed [Feinberg’s] wife that [Feinberg’s] ‘prescription for Viagra was not being covered by insurance,’” he alleges in the Nassau Supreme Court lawsuit.

Feinberg calls his wife a “third-party” who had no right to know about the drug.

He’s accusing CVS of negligence and seeking unspecified damages for what he describes as “genuine, severe mental injury and emotional harm”.

CVS places “the highest priority on protecting the privacy of those we serve”, spokesman Gary Serby said.

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department, which oversees HIPAA enforcement, says it expects to receive 17,000 complaints this year over privacy violations under the federal law.

Gizmodo (05/15/2018) video

If Earth is Always Moving, Then How Do We See the Same Constellations Every Night?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: If Earth is Always Moving, Then How Do We See the Same Constellations Every Night?

Constellations are very very far away. 6700 mph is nothing in cosmological speeds and distances.

Get in a car at night and drive on a straight road, then look at the moon. The angle of the moon in respect to your point of view doesn’t change; it seems like the moon is following you wherever you go. Meanwhile, things that are really close to you—like electric poles, roadside buildings, and trees—seem to fly by really fast.

The effect is known as parallax. Things that are close seem to move faster and “travel more distance” (not really) than things that are far away.

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: If Earth is Always Moving, Then How Do We See the Same Constellations Every Night?

In the video above, there are several objects in perspective. The light in the center, which represents the sun, was placed so far away you can barely see it move.

The sun is only eight light-minutes away; that’s 146 million km on average. At human scale it seems like a lot, but in cosmic distances it is nothing. Orion, for example, has stars that are from 243 to 1360 light years away from us. Imagine traveling at the speed of light for 1360 years. That’s how far these stars are. And these are not even the farthest stars. Some stars are Giga-light years away from us.

Now, with the proper precision instruments you can indeed notice the parallax in distant stars, just not with the naked eye. Furthermore, our solar system has moved so much since the early days of astronomy and astrology, the constellations do not correspond to the early astrology maps. The constellations appear shifted.

As a free info nugget: In case your life is ruled by astrology, whatever sign you think you are, you are not.

Britannica EncyclopediaUniversity of Nebraska.eduQuoraSpace.comWikipedia Parallax Effect: If Earth is Always Moving, Then How Do We See the Same Constellations Every Night? (YouTube) video

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

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Smokin' and Coke'in': Derogatory nickname used to describe an unauthorized break, where a sailor takes a smoke break, and grabs a soda out of a vending machine. Also termed as Smokin' and Jokin'.

Smoke Check: What results from wiring something incorrectly.

Smoke Pit: Designated smoking area. This is almost always used when ashore.

Smoke Test: Turn on recently repaired electronic gear; worst case scenario it smokes, indicating a catastrophic failure.

Smoking Lamp: Is out or lit in specified spaces or throughout the ship; 1MC announcement specifying where smoking is permitted or prohibited during certain hours or operations.

Smoking Sponson: Designated smoking area aboard aircraft carriers, usually right below the flight deck on the exterior of the ship's hull. A great place to catch up on scuttlebutt and unwind after a long day.

Smooth Crotch: A surface sailor, also a term for Reactor Control division for their tendencies to find ways to never conduct manual labor.

Smurf: A recruit who is in his first few days of boot camp who hasn't been issued uniforms yet, and thus wears a “Smurf Suit” (see below).

Smurf Suit/Smurfs: Set of blue sweatpants and sweatshirt issued on arrival at boot camp; worn for the first several days and thereafter used mostly for PT.

S.N.A.F.U.: Situation Normal All Fucked Up, or Situation Normal All Fouled Up if you are talking to your mother.

Snake Eaters: Special Forces personnel such as Navy SEALs, Green Berets, etc...

Snipes: Sailors: Assigned to the Engineering rates, i.e. Machinists Mates, Boilermen, Enginemen, Pipefitters, Damage Controlman, Hull Technicians, Electricians, Gas Turbine Technicians.

Snivel: To request time off or to not be scheduled, usually for personal reasons. Most schedule writers will have a "snivel log" for such requests, which may or may not be granted based on the needs of the unit and the sniveler's standing with the schedules officer (Skeds-O).

SPLIB: Special Liberty, Comp-Time.

Spooks: Navy Cryptologic Technicians or other service equivalents. May also be applied to civilians from three-letter agencies riding a naval vessel.

S.N.O.B.: Shortest Nuke on Board. Term used to refer to the lucky nuke who gets out of the Navy next. This term usually only applies to nukes who have not re-enlisted (i.e. "first-termers"). In rare cases, the S.N.O.B. voluntarily relinquishes his/her title to a “second-termer” that gets out of the Navy earlier who exhibits extreme disgruntlement and is generally accepted by the “first-termers” as one of their own. This person would be given the title of “Honorary S.N.O.B.”

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VFA-122 - “Flying Eagles”
Naval Air Station Lemoore, Kings / Fresno counties, near Lemoore, California - Established January 15, 1999

Where Did That Saying Come From

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Where Did That Saying Come From? &ldquoA stone's throw”

A stone's throw:”  Meaning: A short distance.

History: A stone's throw is, of course, literally the distance that a stone can be thrown, but has come to mean any short but undefined distance. Early English versions of the Bible refer to 'a stone's cast' with the same meaning, as in Luke 22:41, Wycliffe's Bible, 1526, for example:

“in nd he gat himself from them, about a stone's cast,”

'Stone's throw' was used in a non-biblical setting by the end of the 16th century. Arthur Hall's translation The Ten books of Homers Iliades, 1581, contains this line:

“For who can see a stones throw of ought thing in land or plaine?”

Stones hadn't then been established as the definitive objects to be thrown and the following year Nicholas Lichefield wrote:

“The enimyes were come, within the throwe of a Dart.”

No form of the phrase was much used and it wasn't until 1704 that Jonathan Swift revived it in The battle of the books:

“The two Cavaliers had now approach'd within a Throw of a Lance.”

The 'stone's throw' variant was established properly by John Arbuthnot in The History of John Bull, 1712, and, following that, there are many citations of the phrase.

“Mrs. Bull's condition was looked upon as desperate by all the men of art; but there were those that bragged they had an infallible ointment and plaister, which being applied to the sore, would cure it in a few days; at the same time they would give her a pill that would purge off all her bad humours, sweeten her blood, and rectify her disturbed imagination. In spite of all applications the patient grew worse every day; she stunk so, nobody durst come within a stone's throw of her, except those quacks who attended her close, and apprehended no danger.”

Phrases.org UK

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

At end of grocery rainbow could be swarm robots taking your orderShould people know they're talking to an algorithm? After a controversial debut, Google now says yesTaking the stress out of residual stress mappingMonster ocean wave sets southern hemisphere record: scientistsThe challenge of space gardening: One giant 'leaf' for mankindMimicking a sweet solution to mop up pollutionX-rays from tabletop lasers allows scientists to peer through the 'water window'

Phys.org / MedicalXpress / TechXplore

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Physicists Just Measured One of the Four Fundamental Forces of Nature. Now They're Bummed.

Physicists Just Measured One of the Four Fundamental Forces of Nature. Now They're Bummed.

Chalk up another win for the Standard Model, the remarkably successful theory that describes how all the known fundamental particles interact.

Physicists have made the most precise measurement yet of how strongly the weak force - one of nature's four fundamental forces - acts on the proton.

The results, published today (May 9) in the journal Nature, are just what the Standard Model predicted, dealing yet another blow to physicists' efforts to find kinks in the theory and discover new physics that could explain what dark matter and dark energy are. [Strange Quarks and Muons, Oh My! Nature's Tiniest Particles Dissected]

Despite its triumphs, the Standard Model is incomplete. It doesn't explain dark matter and dark energy, which together may make up more than 95 percent of the universe and yet have never been observed directly. Nor does the theory incorporate gravity or explain why the universe contains more matter than antimatter.

Physicists Just Measured One of the Four Fundamental Forces of Nature. Now They're Bummed.

Testing the Standard Model

One way toward a more complete theory is to test what the Standard Model says about the weak force, which is responsible for radioactive decay, enabling the nuclear reactions that keep the sun shining and drive nuclear power plants. The strength of the weak force's interactions depends on a particle's so-called weak charge, just as the electromagnetic force depends on electric charge and gravity depends on mass.

The Q-weak experiment, a multiyear effort involving more than 100 scientists from more than 20 institutions, set out to measure the proton's weak charge for the first time.

“We were just hoping this was one path to finding a crack in the Standard Model”, said Greg Smith, a physicist at the Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Virginia and the project manager for the Q-weak experiment.

The researchers blasted beams of electrons at a pool of protons. The spins of the electrons were either parallel or anti-parallel with the beam. Upon colliding with the protons, the electrons would scatter, mostly due to interactions involving the electromagnetic force. But for every 10,000 or 100,000 scatterings, Smith said, one happened via the weak force.

Unlike the electromagnetic force, the weak force doesn't obey mirror symmetry, or parity, as physicists call it. So, when interacting via the electromagnetic force, an electron scatters in the same way regardless of its spin direction. But when interacting via the weak force, the probability that the electron will scatter depends ever so slightly on whether the spin is parallel or anti-parallel, relative to the direction the electron is traveling.

In the experiment, the beam alternated between firing electrons with parallel and anti-parallel spins about 1,000 times a second. The researchers found that the difference in scattering probability was a mere 226.5 parts per billion, with a precision of 9.3 parts per billion. That's equivalent to finding that two otherwise identical Mount Everests differ in height by the thickness of a dollar coin - with a precision down to the width of a human hair.

“This is the smallest and most precise asymmetry ever measured in the scattering of polarized electrons from protons”, said Peter Blunden, a physicist at the University of Manitoba in Canada who was not involved in the study. The measurement, he added, is an impressive achievement. Plus, it shows that, in the hunt for new physics, these relatively low-energy experiments can compete with powerful particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Blunden said.

Even though the proton's weak charge turned out to be pretty much what the Standard Model said it would be, all hope isn't lost for finding new physics someday. The results just limit what those new physics might look like. For example, Smith said, they rule out phenomena involving electron-proton interactions that occur at energies below 3.5 teraelectron volts.

Still, it would've been much more exciting had they found something new, Smith said.

“I was disappointed”, “I was hoping for some deviation, some signal. But other people were relieved that we weren't far away from what the Standard Model predicted.”

Live Science (05/09/2018) video

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


“Layla” - Derek and the Dominos 1970

“Layla” - Derek and the Dominos
Album: Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs
Released 1970 video

This song is about George Harrison's wife, Pattie. She and Clapton began living together in 1974 and married in 1979. Clapton and Harrison remained good friends, with George playing at their wedding along with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Clapton left her for actress Lory Del Santo (with whom he had his son, Conor) in 1985.

In an article published in The Guardian December 13, 2008, Pattie said:

“I wasn't so happy when Eric wrote 'Layla,' while I was still married to George. I felt I was being exposed. I was amazed and thrilled at the song - it was so passionate and devastatingly dramatic - but I wanted to hang on to my marriage. Eric made this public declaration of love. I resisted his attentions for a long time - I didn't want to leave my husband. But obviously when things got so excruciatingly bad for George and me it was the end of our relationship. We both had to move on. Layla was based on a book by a 12th-century Persian poet called Nizami about a man who is in love with an unobtainable woman. The song was fantastically painful and beautiful. After I married Eric we were invited out for an evening and he was sitting round playing his guitar while I was trying on dresses upstairs. I was taking so long and I was panicking about my hair, my clothes, everything, and I came downstairs expecting him to really berate me but he said, 'Listen to this!' In the time I had taken to get ready he had written “Wonderful Tonightvideo.”

“I was a bit more hurt when Eric wrote Old Love (1989). The end of a relationship is a sad enough thing, but to then have Eric writing about it as well. It makes me more sad, I think, because I can't answer back.”

Clapton was seeing Pattie Harrison and deeply in love with her when he wrote this. A lot of people knew about the affair, since it wasn't easy for someone as famous as Clapton to keep a secret. Bobby Whitlock, who was in the band and good friends with both Harrison and Clapton, told us:

“I was there when they were supposedly sneaking around. You don't sneak very well when you're a world figure. He was all hot on Pattie and I was dating her sister. They had this thing going on that supposedly was behind George's back. Well, George didn't really care. He said, 'You can have her.' That kind of defuses it when Eric says, 'I'm taking your wife' and he says, 'Take her.' They got married and evidently, she wasn't what he wanted after all. The hunt was better than the kill. That happens, but apparently Pattie is real happy now with some guy who's not a guitar player. Good for her and good for Eric for moving on with his life. George got on with his life, that's for sure.”

The lyrics are based on the book by Persian poet Nizami, Layla and Majnun, about a man in love with a woman who cannot have her because her parents object. When they cannot be together, he goes insane. Clapton's situation with Pattie was different, but he liked the title and the theme of unattainable love.

Duane Allman came up with the famous guitar riff and played lead with Clapton. The riff was based on one Albert King played on his song “As The Years Go Passing By”, but considerably sped up.

Allman ended up playing on the album through good timing and a mutual admiration between he and Clapton. Tom Dowd was producing the Allman Brothers' album Idlewild South at Criteria Studios in Miami when he got the call that Clapton would like to book time with his new band. Duane was a huge fan of Clapton, and when the Allman Brothers played a show in Miami on August 26, 1970, it was when Derek and the Dominos were recording with Dowd at Criteria. Duane called to see if he could stop by after the gig, and Clapton decided to bring his band to the show. At the show, Duane froze up when he saw Clapton near the stage, but the admiration was mutual, and Clapton arranged for Duane to keep coming by and help with the album. Duane would fly in between Allman Brothers shows, and after recording a few songs with Derek and the Dominos, he worked with them on “Layla” the final day of the recording sessions: September 9th.

An edited version was released as a single in 1971. it ran 2:43 and flopped on the charts. The full, 7:10 version was released a year later and became one of the most famous songs in rock history. Allman's death in a motorcycle accident in October 1971 helped renew interest in the song.

Clapton went into a drug-filled depression when the single tanked in 1971. He couldn't understand why it wasn't a hit. The record company did very little to advertise the album, figuring any project with Clapton would get plenty of publicity. It eventually did, and the record company made out very well.

Derek and the Dominos formed after Eric Clapton, Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle and Jim Gordon worked on George Harrison's first post-Beatles album, All Things Must Pass. They got together at Clapton's house in England and started writing songs and playing small clubs. Bobby Whitlock explained in his Songfacts interview:

“We toured all over England. We did a club tour, and no ticket was over a pound. It was all word of mouth. We played the Speakeasy in London and The Marquee Club, then we played some really funky places up in Nottingham and Plymouth and Bornmouth - we went all over Great Britain. Here we were, these so called “big rock stars”, and we were playing these funky places that would hold like 200 people. Of course, people were jam packed and spilling out on the streets and stuff. It was pretty wild, it was a great time. We did this one tour, we rode around in Eric's Mercedes. We were all crammed in one car. The second time we went out in Great Britain, we upscaled it. We played small concert venues - Royal Albert Hall and places like that. We went down to Miami, recorded the Layla album and went on tour in the United States. We preceded the record for the most part. All Things Must Pass Came Out, it was a big record, “My Sweet Lordvideo was #1. We were on the road in the United States, George was playing all over. We were all over the radio with our playing with George, and the album Layla - nobody could get it.”

The group did a lot of drugs while they were recording the album - there's even a picture as part of the album art of Duane making a phone call, which Whitlock says was to score drugs from Georgia. While drugs led to a lot of problems down the line for the band and most of their members, it didn't hurt their performance on the album - Clapton even said that the drugs may have helped the recording process.

In her 2007 book Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me, Pattie Boyd wrote:

“We met secretly at a flat in South Kensington. Eric Clapton had asked me to come because he wanted me to listen to a new number he had written. He switched on the tape machine, turned up the volume and played me the most powerful, moving song I had ever heard. It was Layla, about a man who falls hopelessly in love with a woman who loves him but is unavailable. He played it to me two or three times, all the while watching my face intently for my reaction. My first thought was: 'Oh God, everyone's going to know this is about me.' ”

“I was married to Eric's close friend, George Harrison, but Eric had been making his desire for me clear for months. I felt uncomfortable that he was pushing me in a direction in which I wasn't certain I wanted to go. But with the realization that I had inspired such passion and creativity, the song got the better of me. I could resist no longer.”

Clapton's affair with Patti Harrison wasn't a big concern with the band. Says Whitlock, “It was nobody's business. They were adults making adult, life-altering decisions.”

At the end of the song, Dwayne Allman produced the “crying bird” sound with his guitar while Clapton played acoustic. It was a tribute to Charlie Parker, a jazz legend known as “bird”.

The piano piece at the end was edited on a few weeks later. Drummer Jim Gordon came up with it as a solo project and had to be convinced to use it on “Layla”. Gordon was one of the most successful session drummers of the late 1960s and early 1970s, playing on many classic albums of the time. Sadly, in the mid 1970s, severe psychological problems began to manifest in Gordon's behavior. He complained of hearing voices, especially the voice of his mother. By the late '70s, Gordon's mental difficulties - later diagnosed as acute paranoid schizophrenia - had ruined his musical career. In 1983, Gordon brutally murdered his own mother using a claw hammer. The insanity defense having been narrowed in California, Gordon was convicted of second-degree murder in 1984 and sentenced to 16 years to life. If he ever gets out of jail, Gordon will have lots of money waiting for him as a result of his songwriting credit on this track.

The piano at the end has become a cultural touchstone. It was used to great effect at the end of the movie Goodfellas, and radio stations almost always play the version with the piano. At the time, not everyone liked it. Whitlock told us, “I hated it. The original 'Layla' didn't have a piano part. When we did the song, we didn't have a piano part in mind. Jim was playing it, and Eric said, 'What about that - that's good.' Jim's not a piano player. He plays so straight - everything is right on the money. They wanted me to give it some feel, so Jim recorded it, I recorded it, Tom Dowd mixed them together. It's two different takes.”

Clapton performed a slow, acoustic version for an MTV Unplugged concert in 1992. It was released as a single and made #12 in the U.S., getting lots of airplay on pop, rock, and adult contemporary radio stations. This version also won a Grammy for Best Rock Song.

The band broke up when they tried to record a second album. Clapton and Gordon had a falling out in the studio, which ended the sessions and marked the end of the band. Says Whitlock, “Eric says it was drugs and paranoia. It was just a lot of everything. We were road weary. We did 50-something dates in as many days in the United States. I would wake up and not even know where I was. They didn't expect us to live very long anyway. We surprised them, at least a couple of us did - Eric and myself. That was it.” Carl Radle died of heroin-related kidney failure in 1980. (For more on Derek and the Dominos, check the full Bobby Whitlock interview)

Derek and the Dominos official site / Billboard / All Music / Song Facts / Ultimate Classic Rock / Derek and the Dominos

Image: “Derek and the Dominos (album)” by Derek and the Dominos



● According to the Beatles, “It was 20 years ago today, ... that SERGEANT PEPPER taught his band to play.”

● Names of popular musical groups:

a. Which 70's-80's group named themselves after a large bird? The Eagles.

b. Which 80's-90's group named themselves after the deepest part of human sleep? R.E.M.

c. What singer, popular since the 1990s, has a name that sound like instruments of war? Britney Spears.

d. What popular singer in the 2000's had a one-word colorful name? Pink.

● Which writers created these characters?

a. Uncle Tom? Harriet Beecher Stowe .

b. Dorothy Gale in the Wizard of Oz? L. Frank Baum.

c. Cinderella? Charles Perrault.


A Test for People Who Know Everything

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

“For Uranus: This moon named for a Shakespearean sprite in 'The Tempest'.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer NASA.gov

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “THE MOON” ($600):

“Saturn: This one named for a mythical mischief-maker who should've left things a-jar.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer NASA.gov

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “THE MOON” ($800 DD $2,000):

“Jupiter: This 'continental' one aka Jupiter II.”

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their Answer NASA.gov

Answer to Last Week's Test

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “IT'S SCOTCH TO ME” ($400):

“Whisky sold as scotch must be distilled in Scotland from water & malted this grain.”

● Answer: Barley. Nuts

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “IT'S SCOTCH TO ME” ($800):

“This brand named for a famously fast clipper ship launched in 1923.”

● Answer: Cutty Sark. Royal Museums Greenwich

From the Jeopardy Archives Category - “IT'S SCOTCH TO ME” ($1,000):

“This term can be applied legally only to scotch distilled north of a line stretching from Greenock to Dundee.”

● Answer: Highland. Scotlands Best B&Bs

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

“Eli's Dirty Jokes - Arabian Justice”

“Eli's Dirty Jokes - Arabian Justice”

“If The 'LAST SUPPER' Had Been In Louisiana.”

Joke of the Day: If The 'LAST SUPPER' Had Been In Louisiana.

“Life After Death - Jump This Fence.”

Joke of the Day: Life After Death - Jump This Fence