Murphy's Law: February 27, 2005


The U.S. Department of Defense is trying to cut expenses, and one of the ideas under consideration is to reduce the aircraft carrier force from 11 ships, to 12. The most logical carrier to be retired is the USS John F Kennedy. This is because the JFK is old, scheduled for some expensive refurbishment, and one of the few non-nuclear carriers in service. But sailors will miss the JFK for other reasons; long, hot, showers. The JFK was originally designed to have nuclear power. But the Secretary of Defence during the 1960s, seeking to save some money, ordered the navy to build the JFK to burn oil instead. The design was changed, but the ship was left with larger than normal, for a carrier, water tanks (designed to help keep the absent nuclear reactors cooled off). This meant that the crew had more leeway in taking long showers. A minor amenity, to be sure, but one that you quickly miss when you get transferred from the JFK to a ship with more normal (stingy) water use rules. 


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