Titanic Musings: New Titanic Book, Titanic 3D, and Titanic Cliche of Day

•Titanic has generated lots of books over the years covering every conceivable point of view. Of course with 100th anniversary of Titanic sinking, a lot more books have come out. Some are excellent, good, or just plain bad. The worst simply repeat what others have written (including obvious errors of fact) claiming to be original work. Fortunately the reviewers for The Titanic Commutator (published by the Titanic Historical Society) help sort out which ones are worth reading to those best used for lining bird cages or kindling for your wood stove. Mark Chirnside reviewed On A Sea of Glass: The Life & Loss of RMS Titanic giving it a thumbs up for its well written approach to the subject. The book also offers new insights and information along with examining some current controversies.

On A Sea of Glass: The Life & Loss of RMS Titanic
Tad Fitch, J. Kent Layton & Bill Wormstedt
Amberly Publishing, 2012

•Titanic 3D broke new records as people all over the world flocked to see Jack and Rose in 3D especially during the Titanic anniversary. Ticket sales hit $2.3 billion which includes $88 million overseas. Proves you can draw a crowd to see an already popular movie but many industry people still are not sold on 3D. It may be, as many predicted, just the right time and place for it again until the public tires of it. Are we ready for 3D Star Wars?

•Mithika Mwenda, coordinator for campaign group the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance made a statement recently at the UN Doha Climate talks about the slow progress of negotiations. And this is where the comparison to Titanic comes in:

“This is like the Titanic, where both developing countries and industrialized countries will sink.”

Congratulations! You have been awarded the oft imitated, never duplicated award for Titanic Cliche of Day. I am just wondering if Titanic and dinosaurs will soon be connected!

The Republic(Reuters), Analysis: UN Doha Climate Talks Risk Sinking “Like Titanic”,24 May 2012



Titanic Musings-Just Trying To Quiet The Kids

If you watch the judge shows–Judge Alex, Judge Judy, The People’s Court–you learn people do all kinds of dumb things. We have a fellow in Washington state that got upset about kids making noise while watching Titanic 3-D. Instead of doing the sensible thing of getting theatre staff to handle problems, he decides to act on his own. After telling the kids to be quiet, he gets mad later and allegedly throws an iced drink and punched one of the kids in the face. The man, Yong Hyun Kim, was there with his girlfriend. He claims that kids were tossing popcorn at him and girlfriend, running back and forth in the aisle, and bumping them.

Yong, 31, is facing second-degree assault charges and will be arraigned on 31 May. If convicted, faces three to nine months in jail. Now anyone who has been to the movies at some point encounters this situation. It might be mischievous youths, make-out sessions for couples, someone who had too much to drink and talking loudly. Yong was foolish in doing what he did. The adult way is to simply go out and tell the appropriate people in charge about it. They will usually take care of it (and in my experience they do). Source: Fox News .
Premiere Exhibitions just released latest figures which indicate losses in fourth quarter went down due to lower operating expenses. Quarter revenues dropped to $7.54 million from $9.76 million from previous quarter. Expenses decreased to $5.86 million from $7.06 million last year. No word yet about the Titanic auction. It seems suspiciously quiet after all the noise made about auctioning off the artifacts. Source: RTT News.

Funny thing happened to me. I got the latest issue of Titanic Commutator or rather the envelope with nothing inside. Never had that happen before. Looked like the adhesive never worked so somewhere out there in the sea of mail is the missing issue. Fortunately a quick email to the membership person at Titanic Historical Society got me a new copy.

If you are in San Francisco with time on your hands and like old ships, consider heading down to Hyde Street Pier near Fisherman’s Wharf. It costs you nothing to enter and walk around the pier, but you do have to pay a fee if you want board any of the ships (one fee covers it all). The old sailing ship Balclutha (often used in movies) is there along with an old ferry, a seagoing tug Hercules, and other nifty craft you can explore. Also the old ferry has a neat collection of old cars to look at. You can get information by clicking here. Check weather forecast before you go. Sometimes it can get pretty breezy on the pier. On nice days, you get a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay. If you decide to go, the easy way is by bus (parking is expensive in the area and street parking difficult). Take a 30 Stockton or 47 Van Ness to Hyde Street and walk down the hill right to the pier. Or take the Hyde Street Cable car. The bus costs $2.00 and the cable car $6.00.

Titanic Musings-Bad Tidings on Titanic Cruise and Titanic II Spoof

•It is not surprising that once all the festivities calmed down we start hearing some tales of woe.  Take the case of Sheila Richardson aboard the Balamoral. According to Times & Star the trip she had planned had some problems. First was a fuel surcharge the cruise line imposed (£326/$515) which caused some grumbling. Then Balmoral arrived late to Ireland causing cancellation of onshore trips. Richardson does say that Ireland was still a highlight and the reception in Cobh was amazing.

Then after leaving Ireland they had to turn back due to an airlift needed for a sick BBC cameraman. They did make it to the wreck site on time and prepared for the celebration. That too had a problem. It seems now that UNESCO has declared this a historic site you cannot simply just throw anything overboard. They have to meet certain requirements (like being biodegradable). That meant a lot of wreaths people brought with them could not be tossed over. To compensate the ship set up a display of those wreaths and mementoes. The ship did have three biodegradable wreaths that were used.

One interesting fact she relates is that so many people got off in New York that they were offering very cheap fares to fill up the empty spaces.

Mrs Richardson said: “It was a very disappointing trip and there were angry passengers.”

As I recall heavy seas played a part in delaying Balmoral to Ireland, something a cruise line cannot control. The late arrival meant a lot of onshore trips in Ireland could not be done due to time constraints. Hopefully those who prepaid for that part of their travel will get compensation from travel insurance. As for the wreath part, I am not terribly surprised. This is typical when you put bureaucrats in charge. And it is quite a stretch to believe that unless weighted that any wreath would sink two miles down and damage a wreck that is decomposing and will be gone in a couple of decades (or less).

•Titanic II is ripe for humor and the fellows over at thespoof.com have taken there shot at hit. You can read the full article here but the important parts are here:

On the ship’s bridge Captain Edward Smith III ordered the helmsman to press the red button on the computer controlled steering panel. Two gigantic laser cannons deployed and continuously fired from the ship’s bow, turning the iceberg into ice cubes. The ships stewards used the ice cubes to chill bottles of fine old French champagne to toast the occasion.

Now that is how to make ice cubes!

Titanic Cliche of Day: Red Sox Sinking Like Titanic!

I do not follow Boston Red Sox (for those outside the U.S. they are a baseball team) but they had a bad 2011 season. So far they have fared badly in home games. Citing bad management moves to get better talent and in-house problems, Scott Cordischi  sees the Sox in very dire straits. So dire enough to write this:

It’s ironic that a lot has been made about this being the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. It also happens to be the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. In fact, it was the sinking of the Titanic which kept the opening of a brand new Fenway Park off of the front pages of the Boston newspapers in 1912 as both events occurred on the same day. Now, 100 years later, the Red Sox organization appears to have hit an iceberg and is taking on water fast. Abandon ship!

I will leave it to Red Sox fans to decide how accurate this use of a Titanic cliché is.

Source: GoLocal Worcester, Red Sox Report: Sinking Like The Titanic!, 6 May 2012

Titanic Musings: Titanic II, Friday scramble

A friend of mine called up to ask whether or not this tycoon is really serious about building Titanic II. When I first heard the news, my first reaction is “here we go again.” When Cameron’s movie came out there was the same talk. Reaction from around the world was somewhat the same but the Chinese shipyard confirmed a memorandum of understanding had been signed.

“We will try to build a liner that has the same dimensions as the original Titanic, which sank on its maiden voyage 100 years ago. The Australian side is in charge of the design,” Li told China Daily on Wednesday.

From everything that is out there, this replica will look like Titanic but of course would be  modern in its shipbuilding and safety. No doubt should it ever be built it would be a hit. People will line up just to tour the ship in port The guy is clever is trying to drum up interest not only in Titanic II but in his own cargo ship business. It also is a pointed stab at European and American shipbuilding firms. Building Titanic II and his other ships will benefit China and cost less to build there than in either of those two places.

Today is Star Wars Day. I remember when Star Wars (1977) first came out. Wow! It was exciting and fun to watch. Many of my generation were thrilled to watch this movie on the big screen and it entertains today. While the trilogy (Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi) are considered good movies, the prequels less so. Lucas wanted to make the newer movies more relevant but made miscues both in plot and characters (Jar Jar Binks for one). The overall story of how the Republic fell to a Sith Lord and Darth Vader’s emergence from a young handsome Anakin Skywalker was sidelined by all the mush in those movies. Many of the Star Wars universe books have filled in the gaps. Star Wars still thrills and entertains both young and old.

With all the major Titanic memorials going on, sometimes the smaller ones get less noticed. John Woodward was a cellist aboard Titanic and his body was never found. A crumbling sandstone memorial in Heath Lane cemetery was all that was left to remember him (except for a brass plaque in a church). So local people took up the cause and raised funds to put up a new gravestone with the old one. You can view the interview with those behind it here . I think it says quite a lot about how Titanic has touched people.

Star Wars: The Original Trilogy (Episodes IV – VI) [Blu-ray]
Star Wars Trilogy (A New Hope / The Empire Strikes Back / Return of the Jedi) (Widescreen Edition with Bonus Disc)