Hartley Violin Exhibit Extended At Titanic Branson

Wallace Hartley's ViolinThe Hartley Violin scheduled to end its exhibition at Titanic Branson on 15 Aug has been extended to 7 Sep 2013. According to KMOX news, 18,000 people have seen the violin already. Reservations are required for the daily VIP tour at 8:30 a.m. Further information can be found at titanicbranson.com.

Source: Iconic Titanic Violin Exhibit Extended At Branson Museum(14 Aug 2013,KMOX)

Titanic T-Shirt

The German site Spread Shirt has this Titanic t-shirt for sale:

Titanic t-shirtMy German is a bit rusty so I put it through the Google translator. The line above the image literally translates No Panic on the Titanic! and the bottom The water is sufficient for all. In English, the best meaning might be Don’t Panic! There is water for all. Now before you get a bit upset remember this is just a bit of fun here. It sort of fits in with the German sense of humor.

Of course if you have other suggestions as to what it could say, drop us a line.

Monday Titanic Tidbits

Lady Duff Gordon (1919)

*A kimono style robe worn by Lady Duff Gordon on the night Titanic sank has been acquired at auction by National Museums Northern Ireland. The robe is now on display at Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.

Source: Titanic Survivor’s Luxury Robe Joins Exhibition(12 Aug 2013,News Letter)

*The annual Crosslake Cardboard Races at Moonlite Bay Family Restaurant in Crosslake, Minnesota took place Saturday. Harv’s Baby won the Titanic Award after their dramatic sinking. All caught on video and now for the world to see via YouTube.

Source: Crosslake Cardboard Boat Races(11 Aug 2013,Brainerd Dispatch)

Sunday Titanic Newswrap

Photo courtesy George Behe
Photo courtesy George Behe

1. Crain’s Detroit Business examines the possible sale of the Titanic artifacts and who might be in the running to buy it. Candidates are Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, VA; Titanic Belfast museum (Belfast, N.I), and the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas along with some very wealthy individuals. I would add, considering the interest of bringing Titanic II to UAE, that wealthy business people from there are also interested. Some might scoff at that but remember they have lots of money to spend and are tightly connected to their government (in some cases, they are actually in it). Having genuine Titanic artifacts on display would be a huge tourist draw.

A good portion of the article is divided between what the valuation might be for shareholders and a examination of Mark Sellers III, who took control of Premiere some years ago after getting frustrated with it’s then leadership. Sellers tells Crain’s he is in no rush to sell quick but admits there is pressure to do so. You think? Look at how much time has passed since the salvage award came down till now. At first it seemed like things might be proceeding towards a sale and then it just stopped. This year we finally learned this mysterious consortium that signed a non-binding letter of intent could not get the money. Shareholders thought they would be reaping benefits right now and have not. Sooner or later patience will run out if Seller’s cannot get the sale done. I see lawsuits and demands for transparency about the sale coming soon if nothing happens in six months.

Source: Buyer Sought For Titanic Artifacts; One Estimate: $189 Million(11 Aug 2013,Crain’s Detroit Business)

2. You learn of people finding something spectacular in garage sales or scrap yards, but this is the first I think for a Titanic plaque. Doug Turner spotted something dusty and dirty with “Titanic” on it. He bought it for $138 and cleaned it up. Turns out it is a memorial plaque for Titanic’s musicians. He found after checking it out online that it was really one of one. A photo he saw of it in a Titanic book said its whereabouts were unknown. It was was last seen in 1982.That is when he learned it was something really special–a genuine Titanic artifact of that time. Turner, who is in law enforcement, is making sure it cannot be stolen by Titanic fortune seekers. As to its worth, he has no idea but one can fairly guess since it is one of a kind it would fetch a very high price at a Titanic auction. For now he is not interested in selling it. It is currently on loan to Titanic Experience in Orlando where it will be shown next week.

1. Titanic Artifact Found In Naples Scrapyard(9 Aug 2013,WFTX-TV)

2. Plaque With Ties To The Titanic Ends Up In Naples Scrap Yard(9 Aug 2013,WINK)

3. The Titanic exhibit in St.Claire, MI which ended on 27 Jul had 4,2000 visitors and brought in $75,000 for the  St. Clair Endowment Fund. The exhibit focused on the engineering behind the construction and included an18 foot long model of the ship done by Gary Kohs. His model has won praise for its accuracy. Kohs began designing the model in 1997 and completed in 2002. According to Randy Maiers, president of the endowment fund, they had people from all over the country came to the exhibit at the Moore Boathouse.

Source:Titanic Exhibit Money Goes To St. Clair Fund(7 Aug 2013,Times Herald)

SamTrans Reminder:Route Changes Begin 11 Aug

busOkay for those of you living in San Mateo County, major changes are being implemented by SamTrans starting 11 Aug 2013.

1. Routes 390/391 are discontinued and replaced by the ECR. The ECR will run between Palo Alto and Daly City BART. Service to San Francisco, South San Francisco and San Bruno BART stations are discontinued. The ECR will now run approximately every 15 minutes weekdays and 20 minutes weekends.

2. Many school trips are being moved to new routes, but not all. Route 140 is dropping the Terra Nova High runs, which are being moved to route 49.

1. Timetable List of New School Day Bus Routes(SamTrans)

2. Route ECR New Weekday/Weekend Schedule(SamTrans)

Remember if you are going to Tanforan and used to get there via the 391 into San Bruno BART, you will have to get off on El Camino & Sneath stop and walk over. You could get off at El Camino & San Bruno Ave and catch the 140 to BART, but you might have a long wait as the bus runs hourly between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. weekdays. It runs hourly on weekends all day. You can also take BART to San Bruno and exit on the west side which is right in back of Tanforan.

MasterChef-Sunny Eggs and Second Chances(8 Aug 2013)

sunny side up egg

*This episode had no mention of Walmart.

*The cheftestants were likely told they would not be cooking since they wore clothes suitable for dining than cooking.

*Unlike last year, each judge selected one person to come back and compete for the apron. Bri (Gordon),Bime (Graham), and Lynn(Joe). All three had reactions from The Six. Lynn was most feared while Bri and Bime got rolled eyes and the usual “they do not belong” here type of retorts. And oh yes, Krissi was upset too.

*Eggs and lots of them. Now remember this is reality television and they control what we see. Not all those eggs were real but food decoratives. They selected from the areas where the real eggs were. And no mention they came from Walmart!

*The challenge was straight forward: cook us as many sunny side up eggs in fifteen minutes. MasterChief provided the pans, stove, butter, and oil. Of course the eggs have to be perfect. And each challenger had one hundred plates to use.

*Bime seemed the most organized, Lynn the most stressed, and Bri made good use of her time.

*I understand why they trashed those eggs but all those plates? Hopefully they were imperfect lots that were bought cheaply.

*Hens all over America were outraged at the egg wastage. So many eggs tossed away, only a few good ones cooked. PETA will not doubt lodge a protest.

*Lynn proved why he fizzled out in his Epic Fail. He cannot handle stress very well.

*The Six retire to the restaurant and with Joe to await being served. Which took an hour. What did they do for that entire hour? Just sit there with Joe and wait for the food to be served? I would hope they could whip out iPods and listen to music or catch up on some reading until they were needed.

*Bri and Bime each got a whole king salmon. What a treat! Unfortunately they had to take it apart to make seven entrees (pan fried) that included asparagus, potatoes, and Hollandaise sauce.

*The vote was an even three for Bime and Bri. That was unexpected but the reason Joe was part of the tasting (and did not see who cooked each plate). The seventh person would be the tie-breaker if it occurred. It did and Bri made it back. Congratulations Bri!

Final Thoughts
Eggs. I like eggs but I have to admit after watching all those eggs I could not eat one the next day. I would not want to ever cook so many eggs under that time pressure. Not surprised Lynn flamed out and neither was Joe from his blog posting at people. I would have brought back Eddie instead. Eddie, Lynn, Bri or Bethy would have been a better challenge. Bime had his moments but he was a poor team leader and totally mixed up tartar sauce and cornstarch turning his not-lemon meringue into something used on horror movie set. Still the fact the Bri won means more pressure on the others. And next week promises to turn the heat on even more.

Update on Josh Marks
From all news reports, he was put under psychiatric observation. TMZ reported that in a promo for a group he works with that he admitted he was bi-polar. His rambling and incoherent statements when he was arrested point to someone with a problem. But the legal system is not so forgiving on such things. He faces real serious jail time unless some deal is worked out.

Ratings Update(9 Aug 2013)
Deadline Hollywood is reporting that ratings for MasterChef fell 4% from last week. However the show was still the second-highest-rated show of the night. The highest rating was the results show for America’s Got Talent.


Monday Titanic Newswrap

(Photo Courtesy George Behe)
(Photo Courtesy George Behe)

Well not much to recap in the last full month of summer. There are the usual news about current exhibitions (nothing new to report there) the occasional cliché being used, that somebody once again arguing the Titanic/Olympic switch theory. The only thing really going on is whatever news about Titanic II is revealed. So far the ship has yet to begin construction but it appears Palmer is assembling all the needed pieces to make it come about.

Which leads us to the one and perhaps only relevant Titanic II news for today. Tillberg Design, the Swedish firm hired to design the interior, has announced some of the major differences from the original ship. “The beds will be bigger because people today are bigger than they were 100 years ago,” says Fredrik Johansson of Tillberg Design. Not exactly clear on what that really means. Are they longer or wider? I am leaning more towards long rather than wide. Another design change is more availability of bathrooms.

On the Titanic, 20 people shared a bathroom and the plan is to make the new ship as similar as possible to the original. But we’re preparing the cabins for toilets and showers by drawing in extra large wardrobes for all the piping,” he said.

A wise move on their part. Having people queue up as they did on Titanic for bathroom use would probably result in a mutiny. 🙂

Source:Swedish Firm Updating Interior Of Titanic II(5 Aug 2013,UPI)

Titanic (A&E Documentary, 1994)

Titanic(A&E,1994)One of the better documentaries out there is A&E’s Titanic(1994). Narrated by David McCallum, it incorporates interviews with various Titanic writers, survivors and others. It was originally broadcast as a two parter and the original dvd release kept that order. Part 1 is Death of a Dream and Part 2 is The Legend Lives On. It is hard to find these days as it seems to be out of print. So either you buy it used or pay a huge price (over $200) for it new. Check out your local library, they might have it available to be checked out or able to retrieve it for you from another library in the system.

Fortunately YouTube has them available for view, but I cannot vouch whether the upload is legal or not. You can view the first part, Death of a Dream by clicking here. Part 2 is also available.

The dvd was repackaged for the Titanic centennial as Titanic: The Complete Story. It is the same, as far as I know.


Friday Titanic Newswrap

1. Cruise Ship News writes about how some are willing to pay $1 million for a ticket on Titanic II. They also report at least 40,000 people have inquired about a ticket thus far. With reported talks going on between Blue Star at United Arab Emirates (UAE) companies, the speculation is Titanic II will likely be directed to wealthy Emirates.

Source: Titanic 2 Ship Tickets At A Ridiculous Price(Cruise Ship News,2 Aug 2013)

2. Titanic: The Experience has opened in Buena Park, CA at the old Movieland Wax Museum. It runs from 1 Aug-21 Nov and is open daily. Ticket prices, hours of operation and other information can be found here.

Source: 8 Enthralling Elements To Experience At “Titanic” & “Bodies” In Buena Park(1 Aug 2013,Examiner.com)

Wallace Hartley's Violin3. The Hartley Violin is now on display at Titanic Branson  Aug 1-15. Visitors are advised to purchase tickets in advance. Reservations are required for daily VIP Hartley Violin tour.

Source: Press Release:Titanic Branson Set For Exclusive World Display of Long Lost Titanic Violin August 1 – 15(30 Jul 2013, PR Newswire)

4. Titanic Belfast Update:The Belfast Telegraph reports that Ulster Bank has renewed financing with the group backing Titanic Belfast. The £92m financing deal will help further development of the site.

Source: Full Speed Ahead For Titanic Belfast And Its Bankers(1 Aug 2013,Belfast Telegraph)


MasterChef 31Jul 2013: Family, Sushi, and Luca Aims Wrong

Hiroshige Bowl of Sushi
Photo: Wikipedia

After last weeks adventure in the outdoors, it is back to the MasterChef kitchen for the next Mystery Box challenge. But under the giant box are family members waiting to see their loved ones. It actually was quite touching for our remaining cheftestants. Krissi’s son could not be there in person due to tests but did tape a message which broke Krissi into tears. The challenge was to make food that reminded you of family and of course make it special for MasterChef. From what we saw during the walk arounds, they all seemed to be doing some fine work. In the end it came down to Natasha, Jessi, and Luca. All three dishes were considered excellent but Luca got the edge so off to the pantry he goes.

Sushi Chefs

I have to think one of the most difficult challenges MasterChef throws is sushi. It looks simple but requires a lot of finesse and technique to get it right. There is not any room for error. Now the twist is that, like last year, it will be done by teams of two. Not at the same time, that would be too easy! Once again it is a tag team challenge where one member does work and the other stands by offering tips, advice, or begins planning their escape to a distant tropical island. Luca pairs Natasha and Krissi together since he does not like Natasha (and she not liking him much either). Surprisingly he puts James and Jordan together, two strong contenders you normally would not want paired up. I suspect he was recalling Eddie’s tactic of giving them both fresh mushrooms and how it really hurt them by being overconfident. Eddie and Jessi are paired.

Luca Shots Arrow, Misses Target

Luca wanted to get Natasha and he hoped pairing her with Krissi would lead to problems (neither likes the other). Instead the two work together rather than against the other. Krissi decides to listen to Natasha (the more skilled in this regard) and do the needed chopping and rice. So instead of friction, they work as a team likely to throw serious mud right back in Luca’s face. And it worked since they nearly recreated the original dish (though with just seconds to spare). The judges praised their dish.

Alas once again you see the overconfidence of James and Jordan. Jordan at one point starts washing the uni driving Gordon mad at seeing all that flavor being washed away. They present a dish that while has mostly good knife skills and is bland (no seasoning in the rice and much too little elsewhere). Worse the two laugh it off enraging Gordon who says they remind him of teenagers. Luca got it right here. Unfortunately his arrow did not get Natasha or this un-dynamic duo but hit Eddie squarely on the chest.

The dish Eddie and Jessi submit is not great, bad knife skills, and over seasoned with vinegar. Joe asks if they are 50-50 responsible. They say yes but Joe does not believe it. He challenges Eddie, who claimed to eat sushi twice a week, to eat something with him. Eddie declined and that pretty much sealed his fate. Natasha and Krissi are safe, the Un-Dynamic Duo is just saved by their knife skills, and Eddie and Jessi are on the bottom. Eddie is sent home ending a remarkable journey on MasterChef. He clearly has the chops to make it on his own and I hope he gets some mentoring in a real kitchen. I am really disappointed as I pegged him as being in the top four and possibly top two. His demise is once again a reminder how easy it is too trip up and go home.

The Final Six Or Not?
As this episode ends, the final six are James, Jessi, Jordan, Krissi, Luca, and Natasha. But the MasterChef promo for next week shows that last year was not a fluke. They plan to bring back several recent eliminations (last year they brought back all but the first two to be eliminated) so they can battle it out to regain the apron. Last year it brought back Josh (who had been eliminated in the egg pressure test)back into the competition and he made it into the finale against Christine. So it looks like the Final Six will be short lived as one of their competitors makes it back. And it could be someone that Krissi targeted could be back to haunt her. Personally it would be great to see Lynn or Eddie back.

Final Thoughts
This was a good episode and convinced me that Natasha is one of the top four. Krissi, who I am not a fan of, managed to hold her tongue and put her head down to work with Natasha for the win. Luca, who I thought was heading out the door, managed to show he still belongs on the show. I still doubt he will win the trophy but he is going to give it his all. It was sad to see Eddie go. I think this guy has tremendous talent and had he not fallen probably in the top four. Jordan and James really came off badly proving what Eddie surmised early on: both these guys try to complicate their dishes and end up looking foolish for it. Fortunately for them, Eddie and Jessi did far worse. It was close, I think, since neither Eddie/Jessi or James/Jordan really did well. Then again if Eddie wins back a spot in the competition next week, his exit might be short lived.

And Luca, when aiming arrow be sure to understand your target. You botched it when it came to Natasha. She is more stronger now. You did manage to send Eddie home but now the bullseye on your back from Krissi and Natasha make it likely you will go home soon.

Some Disturbing News About Josh Marks
Last night the news broke that MasterChef season 3 finalist Josh Marks had been arrested for assaulting a police officer and taking a weapon. According to TMZ:

As we reported, 26-year-old 7-foot-2 Marks was arrested by University of Chicago police Monday after allegedly punching a cop and trying to grab his gun. 3 officers tried to subdue Marks with batons and pepper spray, but he broke free and took off running.  It eventually took 5 officers to chase him down and handcuff him. Once in custody, cops claim Marks blamed Gordon Ramsay for his outburst, claiming the celeb chef had possessed him and turned him into God. We’re told there was no evidence of drug use.

His family issued a statement on the incident:

“We are working closely with medical professionals to determine if Josh’s behavior could be related to mental health symptoms. Our primary concern is Josh, his health, well being and getting him proper treatment. Josh is an amazing, gentle and talented young man. He comes from a very close knit family; is a cum laude college graduate and very involved in the community. His family is at his side to give him any support that he needs right now.”

This is a very disturbing turn of events for Josh. Obviously something is very wrong and possibly a mental breakdown or stress of some kind (one former contestant speculates he is bi-polar but I agree with Braiser, the guy is a idiot for saying it). What it is I have not a clue but this kind of behavior is not normal. I hope others join with me and giving Josh and his family all the support they need during this time. Hopefully whatever caused this can be treated and Josh will go on. Hopefully his attorney can work out a deal with prosecutors so he gets the treatment he likely needs rather than sitting out 14 years in jail.