Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea–And It Will Cost!

Titanic Wreck Bow
Image: Public Domain (NOAA-http://www.gc.noaa.gov/images/gcil/ATT00561.jpg)

Some years ago enterprising chaps started charging people to see Titanic. No, not an exhibition or replica but diving two miles down to the bottom of the North Atlantic to see the wreck. This is no simple task considering it takes three hours down and back in a specially pressurized submersible with few comforts. It stopped for a while but now appears to be back according to various news sources. Blue Marble Private of London, UK is offering a diving expedition in 2018. The eight day journey begins in Newfoundland, Canada and paying customers will become client specialists to participate with the expedition team in the dive. And according to Blue Marble, the price is what it would cost to travel first class in Titanic today (with inflation): a whopping $105,129. It is claimed that is fully booked for the first voyage in 2018.

They are not alone. An Everett, Washington company called OceanGate Expeditions is planning a similar thing and its cost is remarkably the same: $105,129 which makes it look like they may be a US version of Blue Marble. Then there is a company called Blue Fish that is also going to offer dives as well but at a lesser price of $59,680. So it seems a voyage to the bottom of the sea has become popular again for those with a lot of disposable income. Hopefully they will not run into the variety of monsters that Irwin Allen’s show became famous for.

Sources
Titanic: Diving tours of wreck site to begin in 2018 (CNN, 21 Mar 2017)
Everett company planning Titanic expedition with civilians (KOMO,22 March 2017)

St. Patrick’s Day (17 March)

St. Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland. Photo:Andreas F. Borchert
St. Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland.
Photo:Andreas F. Borchert

The Feast of St. Patrick is celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church, the U.S.Episcopal Church, as a commemoration by the Evangelical Lutherans, and venerated in Orthodox Church. It is a public holiday in Ireland. The shamrock was used by St.Patrick to explain the Holy Trinity. In Ireland it is celebrated by families getting together for a meal. If the day falls on a Friday during Lent, observant Catholics receive dispensation to eat meat. If the feast day falls during Holy Week (and it does occasionally), the feast day is moved to avoid conflicting with the Holy Week calendar. A more recent occurrence are public festivals in Ireland and use of the day to promote Irish culture.

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Here is an old tune from the Emerald Isle, known as The Minstrel Boy. The full lyrics can be found here.The tune was quite popular (and still is) and the opening is often heard more than the full song:

The minstrel boy to the war is gone,
In the ranks of death you’ll find him;
His father’s sword he has girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him;
“Land of Song!” said the warrior bard,
“Though all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!”

The first is a wonderful rendition using Irish traditional musical instruments. And the second is from a more modern source (and set in the future) from Star Trek:The Next Generation episode The Wounded where the song has an important role. Chief O’Brien uses the tune to remind his old captain of his duty and what he has done.

A Fateful Day:The Ides of March(44 BC)

The Death of Julius Caesar,Vincenzo Camuccini (1771–1844). Public Domain
The Death of Julius Caesar,Vincenzo Camuccini (1771–1844).
Public Domain

Today is 15 March and on the old Roman calendar was a day of religious observance to the Roman god Jupiter and other lesser deities. But it is most famous as the date in 44 BC when Julius Caesar was assassinated at a meeting of the Roman Senate. 60 conspirators were involved but the leaders were Brutus and Cassius. Caesar was forewarned of his death by a seer according to Plutarch. And in his famous work Julius Caesar, Shakespeare has the soothsayer say “beware the ides of March” which Caesar ignores and if course he ends up stabbed to death uttering the famous line before death:

Et tu Brute!

The assassination was a turning point for Rome. It brought about a civil war and ended the Roman Republic. Octavian (later Augustus) would become emperor and the Roman Empire would come to dominate the entire Mediterranean Sea, North Africa, and parts of Europe and Britain. In Julius Caesar Mark Antony gives perhaps the most remembered funeral oration ever done. Most people recall the famous opening line:

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears! I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him. The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones; so let it be with Caesar.

The oration is masterful in that it cleverly turns the people against Brutus and Cassius by showing they were ambitious and not Caesar. By the end the plebeians call them traitors and murderers.

In real life, it was much the same. Antony played them by seemingly supporting amnesty but turning people against them both. Brutus was forced to leave and ended up on Crete, Cassius went east to gather support amongst the governors and to amass an army. Antony and Octavian would clash militarily causing divisions in Rome. This allowed the forces of Brutus and Cassius to march on Rome. However Octavian made peace with Antony upon this news so both forces joined to stop Brutus and Cassius. They met at Philippi on 3 Oct 42 BC. The first battle resulted in Brutus defeating Octavian but Antony defeating Cassius. Not knowing that Brutus had defeated Octavian, Cassius took his own life. At the second battle of Philippi on 23 October, Brutus was defeated and forced to flee into the hills where he committed suicide. Antony treated his body with great respect by having it wrapped his most expensive purple mantle. His body was cremated and remains sent to his mother.

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Having A Cup of Tea Titanic Style

Afternoon Tea by Francisco Miralles Galup (1848-1901)
Public Domain

Christopher Keohane, owner of Fresh Food Catering, came up with an interesting idea: Last Tea of the Titanic.  Keohane owns Wenham Tea House in Wenham, Massachusetts. After doing many months of research into how tea was served aboard Titanic, he came up with a clever way for people to experience a bit of being aboard the famous ship.

And he added flair with music from the period and having staff wear ship’s officers and crew clothing for the event. For $50, you not only get a delicious cup of tea but a three course meal. The meal includes items found on the menu in 1912 such as Chartreuse jelly that are not commonly found on today’s afternoon tea menus. The upcoming event on February 25th is sold out but two Last Teas are planned for April. Great idea but get rid of the Titanic shaped ice cubes in the water glasses. If you are paying $50.00 for a touch of Edwardian elegance, you do not need such tacky items.
Source:‘Last Tea Of The Titanic’: A Taste Of What Dining Was Like On The Doomed Ship(WBUR.org, 17 Feb 2017)


Rare Titanic Photo Sells For £360

RMS Titanic beginning sea trials, April 2, 1912.
Public Domain (National Archives and Records Administration,ARC Identifier#306 RG 306)

A rare black and white photograph in a glazed oak frame recently sold for £360 pounds ($374 USD) reports Deccan Chronicle. The photograph was bought by a collector at an auction for £20.  It was estimated to be auctioned off for £200 and was purchased by an anonymous bidder.
Source: Rare Titanic Photograph Fetches 360 pounds at UK Auction(Deccan Chronicle, 19 Feb 2017)

Today is President George Washington’s Birthday (President’s Day)

 George Washington (1732–99) by Gilbert Stuart Photo: Public Domain (Wikimedia Commons)
George Washington (1732–99) by Gilbert Stuart
Photo: Public Domain (Wikimedia Commons)

Although today is referred to as “President’s Day” it is not a federal holiday by that name. It is officially designated as Washington’s Birthday under federal law. There was a movement to combine both Washington and Lincoln’s birthday (since they occur days apart) or honor the office of president. That never came to be. Instead in 1968 the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was past and came into force in 1971. That shifted most federal holidays to a Monday if it fell during the week. Washington’s Birthday name was not changed and so under federal law it is still Washington’s Birthday. However many states issue their own proclamations celebrating not only Washington but Lincoln and others from their own state. Advertisers have caught on as well. So today many call it President’s Day but who it commemorates beyond George Washington is up to the state governors.

The unity of Government, which constitutes you one people, is also now dear to you. It is justly so; for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very Liberty, which you so highly prize.
President George Washington,Farewell Address, 19 September 1799.

TItanic Replica Mania: Linens

Photo: Vision Support Services

Titanic themed products are popular which is why textiles giant Vision Support Services decided to go all in with their replica Titanic linens they recently unveiled in their Liddell product range. This range is based upon the patterns used by William Ewart & Son Ltd that supplied Oceanic Steam Navigation Company with linens for all their ships which included RMS Titanic. The company merged later with rival William Liddell and Co. to become Ewart Liddell & Co. Vision went to great effort to authenticate the linens by researching records and working with historian and author Tom McCluskie. McCluskie, according to one news report, was thrilled Vision went all out to faithfully reproduce the linens using the same pattern back then. “This strict attention to authentic and historical detail presents the purchaser with a window into time of a bygone age of elegance and luxury,” notes McCluskie. The linens are only available a short time.
Source: Brand creates replicas of linens used on RMS Titanic (Bainbridge Leader, 6 Feb 2017)


St. Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is used by many to show their affection or love for someone they care about. It has spawned an industry for greeting card makers, candies, and of course flowers. However there is a real religious component as many Christian denominations celebrate it as feast day, commemoration, or optional for the local diocese (such as the Catholic Church). Valentine was the name of many Christian martyrs in the early Church resulting in them all being remembered for their acts of sacrifice for the faith. Some denominations, such as Eastern Orthodox Church, celebrate a particular St. Valentine on two different days.

Shrine of St. Valentine in Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland Photo: Blackfish (Wikimedia Commons)
Shrine of St. Valentine in Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland
Photo: Blackfish (Wikimedia Commons)

The association with romantic love could be linked to an ancient Roman festival has been made but there is no evidence of any link. Most seem to believe the link began with Chaucer’s Parlemont of Foules where he indicates birds choose their mates on St. Valentine’s Day although 14 Feb might not be the day Chaucer was referring to. Other poems made the association of love and St. Valentine’s Day in the medieval period and English Renaissance. For those who needed love verses but lacked the ability to compose them, publishers starting offering them. Then putting them on paper and sending them became possible. Paper valentines became very popular in 19th century England resulting in their industrial production. They became popular in the United States as well. With such cards being popular, you needed other things to accompany a card. Roses and chocolates became popular, likely due to skillful marketing to associate them with the day. And so Valentine’s Day became a very major day for greeting card companies, chocolate makers, and sellers of flowers (roses being the most popular flower for the day).

Of course we ought to remember that it is based upon Valentine, who became a saint after he was martyred in Rome in 269 and buried on Flaminian Way. He is the patron saint of Love, Young People, Happy Marriages.

Recent Titanic News

[Editors Note-Still catching up on news. Been busy as of late so I have not been able to post much]

1. Rare Titanic photo going under the hammer (Daily Echo, 10 Feb 2017)
A rare photograph of the ill-fated Titanic,which was bought for “a song” at a country auction, is now set to fetch hundreds of pounds when it is auctioned again next week. The black and white photograph, in a glazed oak frame, was taken shortly before the Titanic sank – with the loss of more than 1,500 lives – on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York in April 1912.

2. Experts are disputing a documentary which says a fire was partly to blame for the Titanic sinking (thejournal.ie, 11 Feb 2017)
The programme argued that long-hidden photographs from the time showed that the Titanic’s hull had supposedly been damaged by a fire before it set off on its only journey, leaving it weak and susceptible when it hit an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean. In the documentary, Moloney noted that researchers had known about the fire before but had tended to dismiss it as an ‘irrelevancy’, arguing that it should have been taken more seriously as a cause of the sinking. The documentary also claimed there were other issues which contributed to the ship sinking, such as substandard materials and shoddy workmanship, primarily due to cost-cutting. However a team of seven maritime historians has published an article completely refuting the programme’s claim that the coal fire was one of the main reasons why the ship sank. “However intriguing the claims set forth in Titanic: The New Evidence may be, they run counter to a wealth of well-researched facts about the ship and its sinking,” said J Kent Layton, a Titanic historian.

3. James Cameron really has a thin skin it seems when it comes to certain aspect of his famous Titanic movie. Fans debate the many points of this and that in the movie. One such example is whether or not Jack could have fit on the door Rose was on. Now I have not spent any real time dwelling on this point since we know this is just a movie. Apparently it got the attention of Mythbusters and they proved it was possible for Jack to have survived on the floating door with extra buoyancy. Okay that ought to have more or less settled it and we could move on. Not Cameron. So he recently commented on it by saying Jack would never have survived and that Mythbusters was full of poop (he used a barnyard word that is far more graphic for this family friendly blog). Of course he was on that episode of Mythbusters and never said is was all poop. He does say it was in the script he was to die. Okay. Moving on.
James Cameron Debunks ‘Titanic’ Theory That Jack Could Fit On The Door (Huffington Post Canada, 1 Feb 2017)


Premier Exhibitions Update

Premier Exhibitions has filed  monthly operating reports from 1 Dec 2016-20 Dec 2016 with the Bankruptcy Court and with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC). Due to being in bankruptcy, the usual reporting to SEC has been suspended for Forms 10-K and 10-Q. Copies of the monthly operating reports submitted to the Bankruptcy Court will be reported to the SEC in Form 8-K

January 26, 2017
Premier Exhibitions 8-K:
https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/796764/000117184317000473/f8k_012517.htm

List of Exhibits 99.1-99.8
https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/796764/000117184317000473/0001171843-17-000473-index.htm

It is dry stuff to read but it is important to read these materials to know what is going on. Pretty sure even the attorneys and accountants who go over this stuff have their eyes glaze over as well.


Commentary on Titanic news and other related items.

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