Red Bull Does Titanic–And Gets Called “Despicable”

Red Bull advertising executives thought they had a clever idea. They created an advertising cartoon which showed a crate containing Red Bull being being loaded on a ship. The captain walks by and asks what it contains. When he learns it is an energy drink, he is insulted pointing out they only drink champagne on his ship and orders it brought down. The deckhand says the drink gives you wings (an advertising slogan of the drink). The captain responds by saying there is no need for wings on a ship, And then the crate reveals the name of the ship–Titanic–as the captain walks away.

According to The Telegraph:

The ad has also outraged some of the relatives of the 1915 disaster which saw more than 1,500 lose their lives when the ‘unsinkable’ ship hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic. Clifford Ismay, 57, a relative of Titanic owner Joseph Bruce Ismay, condemned the advert as “despicable.” He said: “I have a sense of humour but I really don’t like the idea – in fact I find it quite sickening considering so many people died on that night. “With their slogan ‘Red Bull gives you wings’ I can only assume that they are referring to the idea that if all those people had Red Bull – or wings – then they would have been ok. “It’s despicable. I think the Titanic, and the people involved, should be treated with dignity and respect.”

42 complaints have been lodged with Advertising Standards Authority over the ad. The Titanic Heritage Trust condemned the advert. Its founder, Howard Nelson, is considering filing a formal complaint.

Now I am no fan of tacky Titanic themed products, but this ad does not get me that angry. I understand why people are offended. On the scale of offensive, I put it in the mild category. When the deckhand says it is an energy drink, Captain Smith scoffs at serving anything less than champagne. If anything, it pokes fun at the aristocratic mentality that abounded at that time. Whether it ought to use Titanic is another issue. Then again, they had to know using Titanic was going to draw ire from some. And perhaps that is what they wanted.

I had not seen the ad, so I quickly tracked it down on YouTube. I actually watched both English and German versions. So they are getting eyes on the ad but whether it translates into sales, that is something they have to determine later. I actually thought the German version more funny than English. It is how it is said in German that makes it so. At any rate judge for yourself. The English version is below but if you want to see the German one, click here.

Source: Red Bull Criticised For ‘Tasteless’ Titanic Advert (13 Sep 2013, The Telegraph)

MasterChef Finale: And The Winner Is….

Luca Manfe won the coveted title of MasterChef(U.S.). The Italian born restaurant manager,who last year never made it beyond the audition phase, was up against a formidable foe in Natasha Crnjac. It was the best finale in the series history pitting two extraordinary cooks up for the title. Both are fierce competitors and unafraid to take risks. And both delivered the best dishes they have ever cooked.

In fact both were so good that Gordan Ramsay wondered in the judging phase whether it was a draw. The other judges, though, said only one could win. That tells you how good they both are when it was so close. What likely went for Luca was his menu was just that touch more of finesse and decadence you would find in a European high class restaurant. His father and sister were flown over for the event by MasterChef making the win even more poignant for him. Luca has achieved the American dream he was hoping for.

As for Natasha, she has gained tremendous experience and exposure from being on the show. Doors are going to be open for her to work at restaurants to gain the experience she needs. And I look forward one day to not only eating at Luca’s Italian Restaurant but Natasha’s as well. Congratulations to Luca and well done to Natasha.

witch hatOf course the show had to have its Krissi moment. Gordon called on Krissi to comment on the two cooks battling it out below. She was complementary to Luca but said all Natasha was doing was sauteing scallops. To that Natasha simply turned around, looked up and put Krissi in her place. She reminded Krissi that she was up in the gallery while she was down in the “thunderdome.” Once again reminding everyone that Krissi is a ….well you know.

Remembering Reverend John Harper

Reverend John Harper

John Harper (1872-1912), a Baptist pastor from Great Britain, perished when Titanic sank in 1912. He was traveling with his six-year-old daughter Nana and his sister Jessie W. Leitch. He was going to Chicago to preach for several weeks at the Moody Church. He found his faith when he was 14 and began preaching at 18. Another pastor noticed his work and sent him to  Govan, Scotland to begin ministry work. He became the first pastor in 1897 of Paisley Road Baptist Church in Glasgow, Scotland (late renamed Harper Memorial Baptist Church when it moved to Craigiehall Street  in 1922).

His sister and daughter were put aboard a lifeboat while Harper remained aboard Titanic. According to survivors, he went in to the water when the ship sank. One survivor a young man clinging to debris, said Harper tried to lead him to Christ. The man said he did not believe and Harper gave him his life jacket saying he needed it more. Later he swam back and the young man was lead to Christ by Harper according to his account some years later.

A memorial headstone (his body was never recovered) is at the Craigton Cemetery in Glasgow. It says: Called to Higher Service from the decks of the Ill-fated SS Titanic. His former church was renamed for him in 1922. The book, The Titanic’s Last Hero, by Moody Adams is about John Harper.


1. The True Hero Of The Titanic(12 Sep 2013,Speaking Tree (blog)
2. John Harper Encyclopedia Titanica
3. John Harper(pastor) Wikipedia

Sunday Titanic News

Happy Sunday

1. Another amazing story of Titanic artifacts ending up someplace unusual. According to Daily Mail, Mark Manning–who owns Regal Pawnbrokers–purchased Titanic artifacts for £15,000 ($23,445) that are worth £1.2 million. A man came to him with a very interesting story, letters and other supporting documents, and a plastic bag. Manning told the Daily Mail:

The collector was paying insurance on the relics, he was worried he could be burgled and wanted to get rid of that burden, as well as getting some money for it. ‘He also wanted other people to see it, so I’ve been taking it around schools – kids think it is great to be able to touch a genuine piece of the Titanic. ‘I’m also going to look into loaning it to a museum for a few months. ‘We’ve already had an offer of £1.2million for the piece of hull, but when I sell it the collector will get a fair share. We have a gentleman’s agreement because I had no idea it was worth that much when he walked through the door.

Good thing the guy did not go to that well known pawn store in Detroit (the one on that TruTV “reality” show). I could just see them rolling their eyes and showing him the door.

Source: Pawnbroker Pays £15,000 For Bunch Of Titanic ‘Relics’ Handed Over In An Old Carrier Bag… And Finds They’re Worth £1.2Million(7 Sep 2013, Daily Mail)

2. You knew this story was coming. With all the praises for Belfast Titanic, sometimes the other less developed areas are forgotten. So writes Shane Hegarty of Irish Times.

Leaving the Titanic Belfast exhibition and heading along the dockfront of the Titanic Quarter, the path brings you along a stretch of empty retail units, plastered with that familiar innovation of this recession: the false shopfront. These are the look-what-could-be-heres that only ever tell you look-what’s-not. These are the glossy printed scars of an economic graph that dropped sharply. There are some occupied units, one housing a chain convenience store, another a coffee shop that, refreshingly, asks customers to pay what they want for the coffee and buns. A quirky and comfortable spot, it is operating rent free and staffed by volunteers. Talk to the staff and they’ll tell you, without any pushiness, that it’s backed by Christian groups – which, come to think of it, explains the prayer garden in the corner, complete with artificial grass and a tree.

Source: Put Your Titanic Pants On, And Take A Trip Through Downturn Land (7 Sep 2013, Irish Times)*

*Links to Republic of Ireland newspapers are not provided due to policy of charging for links.

And finally, for those who have not seen it, here is the official music video for My Heart Will Go On for your Sunday enjoyment.

MasterChef(4Sep2013)-Top Four Becomes Top Three, and then Top Two

*Walmart Mentions: 0

*Another two-parter!

*And now we are down to just four: Jessie, Krissi, Luca and Natasha. Quite remarkable when you consider the opponents they faced during the competition: Lynn, Jordan, James to name a few.

*Another team challenge opens this two parter and ends with the final three going head to head.

*Nerves were a problem in the first challenge. Blue Team (Luca/Natasha) and Red Team (Jessie/Krissi) were feeling the pressure. While Blue Team did work together, Red was a disaster since neither like the other. Worse Krissi had a temper tantrum and walked off leaving Jessie to do all the work. And that spelled doom for her team which ended up in the pressure test. Personally the minute she gave up and walked away her apron should have been forfeit right there. Gordon noted that Krissi often allows people to tell her what to do and then when things go wrong, throw them under the bus.

*Last year the three souffle challenge was perhaps one of the toughest. This year one upped it. Krissi and Jessie had to make one stunning chocolate mousse for Graham, one stunning lava cake for Joe, and one stunning chocolate souffle for Gordon. Krissi’s mousse is excellent while Jessie’s souffle is better. That leaves it up to Joe and the not-so-stunning lava cakes.

witch hat*And so finally, at long last, Krissi leaves the competition. As a consolation, she gets invited to dinner (with her son)at his upscale Del Posto in New York. She is a talented cook and baker but has many issues that frankly ought to have sent her home long before this. Her bullying and constant bad manners are not welcome in most places. MasterChef has seen its share of villains over the years, but Krissi truly is number one in that category. To make it worse, it seems they wanted to keep her around long enough for the drama and possibly to shake up the other cheftestants. So long Krissi. I will not say the words but if you have seen the Wizard of Oz, you know what song to sing here.

*Top three-Jessie, Luca, and Natasha-entry dishes are back but they now have to show how far they have come since those early days. All three put forth good dishes but Luca, once again, plays wrong with a cheese sauce. Jessie wins and is ranked number 1 allowing to select one of the three foods presented by the judges.  Mario Batalli likes to say parmigiano reggiano is the undisputed king of all cheeses but it turns out it is really a high nobleman in the court of great Italian cheeses. Grana Padano, says Joe, is the king. Graham unveils Kobe beef, the best beef in the world. And finally Gordon has an Alaskan king crab. Jessie gets first pick and chooses Kobe beef even though she has never worked with it before. Natasha gets second pick and chooses the crab for herself leaving Luca with the Grana Padana. And off they go to cook their dishes.

*Natasha’s dish gets rave reviews and complements on the risk taken. Luca gets praise as well. Jessie’s Kobe beef also gets praised but not her noodles. Gordon asks to taste the papaya salad she had also done. After tasting, Gordon raves at how good it is. The others taste it and also think it is good. Gordon points out it is a better than the noodles and would have made a big difference. And probably it would have as both Luca and Natasha are the final two. Sadly Jessie, one of my personal favorites, ends up leaving. Joe though offers her to come work for him. She has style and finesse and will make a terrific chef one day running her own restaurant. And Joe will give her the experience she needs to become one.

Tune in next week for what will be a great match: Luca vs. Natasha. If Luca wins, all of Italy will cheer (but cry if he loses).  Who do you think should win and was Krissi exit right or wrong?

Titanic Newswrap For 3 Sep 2013

Wallace Hartley's Violin1. Hartley Violin Update: The Hartley Violin will be going on display next in Belfast in the replica second class accommodation suite from 18 Sept – 13 Oct 2013. It is scheduled to be auctioned by Henry Aldridge & Son later in October.
Source: Violin From Titanic To Be Exhibited(2 Sep 2013,Belfast Telegraph)

2. Titanic Exhibition Extended:The Grand Rapids Public Museum has extended again Titanic:The Artifact Exhibition one more week until Saturday, 14 Sep 2013.
Source:Titanic Exhibition At Grand Rapids Public Museum Extended A Second Time(3 Sep 2013,

3. You cannot make this up. According to This is Lincolnshire, RNLI lifeboat volunteers responded to a report three inflatable tender boats were in trouble. The found one of the boats was named Titanic and its occupants were trying to start the engine. After that failed, the group then attempted to tow the boat back to the beach as RNLI volunteers watched.
Source:Skegness RNLI Lifeboat Volunteers Involved In ‘Titanic’ Rescue(3 Sep 2013,This Is