Titanic Week In Review

1. Rare Titanic Menu Auctioned Off
MSN News reports the rare Titanic menu auctioned off by Henry Aldridge & Son fetched $96,000 (£60,000).  A small locker key from Titanic topped $99,000 (£62,000). MSN reports the bidding was fierce and bidders were from around the world. Andrew Aldridge is quoted to say “Some of the items we had on sale today were extremely rare, which prompted a lot of interest from people here in the UK as well as from Monaco, South America and the USA.” Perhaps Premier Exhibitions can learn a thing or two from Aldridge about selling Titanic artifacts.

Image: Public Domain (NOAA)
Image: Public Domain (NOAA)

2. Ballard Says Adios To Mystic Aquarium
Robert Ballard has ended his long term relationship with Mystic Aquarium to focus on other projects reports Hartford Courant. Ballard cites his work with his Ocean Exploration Trust and the Center for Ocean Exploration at the University of Rhode Island as the reason for ending the relationship. “I couldn’t keep this many irons in the fire. I had to make some decisions” said Ballard. Ballard helped raise money for Mystic and his leaving is bittersweet says aquarium president Stephen Coan. “But I’m really happy for him,” he said. “So many things have come together for him over the past few years in terms of having the tools he needs for his research and the affiliations to support that work” said Coan.

3. New Photographs Of Titanic Launch
Ulster Folk and Transport Museum now has on display 166 never before seen photographs of Titanic’s launch at Harland & Wolff in 1911. Photos of Titanic sister ship Olympic are included.

4 Titanic Artifacts Value Goes Up But No Buyers As Of Yet
It was announced this week that a new appraisal of the Titanic collection sets its value at $218 million. It was previously valued $189 million so it has gone up in value. Unless there are some very wealthy investors willing to stake the money, it may be very difficult to sell as a whole lot. I wonder if they are planning to challenge the salvage ruling as too constrictive in selling the collection.

Countdown To Halloween#3

Fantasia (1941) is perhaps Disney animation at its finest. While Disney has done other animations that get praise, this movie is at the top of most lists. There are two sequences of interest in the Halloween season. One is the famous-and scary-Night on Bald Mountain using the music composed by Modest Mussorgsky in 1867. Mussorgsky composed it as a symphonic poem but it was not well liked in his day and never performed. In 1886, five years after his death, Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov arranged the music as a fantasy for orchestra. And it is this version that is used rather than the original one composed by Mussorgsky. It was first performed in Saint Petersburg in 1886 to great acclaim and became a concert favorite. For the Night On Bald Mountain chapter in Fantasia,Leopold Stokowski arranged this version based on Rimsky-Korsakov. It has become a classic. And now here it is.[Disclaimer: Our attorneys at Dewey,Cheateam, and Howe want to remind that unless the video is an authentic authorized version by permission of the copyright holder,this public showing may be in violation of copyright law. While this has been posted to YouTube, it does not mean the copyright holder has given permission to be shown on YouTube.]

Titanic News: New Photos of Titanic’s Launch and Titanic Artifact Collection Will Now Cost More To Purchase

RMS Titanic departing Southampton on April 10, 1912.
RMS Titanic departing Southampton on April 10, 1912.

1. According to The Guardian, 166 photographs– never seen by the public before–are going on display at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. The photos show Titanic during her launch at Harland & Wolff on 31 May 1911. Images from Olympic are also included.

2. The Atlanta Business Journal is reporting a new appraisal of the Titanic artifact collection held by Premier Exhibitions is now worth $218 million. The appraisal was done by The Alasko Co.  The previous appraisal set the value at $189 million. The appraisal only covers the artifacts and not any of the intellectual or archaeological assets by Premier Exhibitions.

Countdown To Halloween#2

Exploring haunted houses to find ghosts is often done by so-called paranormal teams fitted out with all kinds of special gear. Not to be outdone,the Muppet Labs has gone mobile to prove the existence of ghosts. And Beaker, the ever faithful assistant, is sent into a haunted house while the doctor in charge is safely outside in the mobile lab. And now the story of that adventure….

Titanic Week In Review

Photo courtesy George Behe
Photo courtesy George Behe

1.Titanic Menu Up For Auction
BBC is reporting that a menu from Titanic’s first class restaurant will be auctioned off on 18 October by Henry Aldridge & Son. The menu, stuffed inside a coat pocket, is expected to fetch £70,000($112,528). A deck plan used to help a survivor find the way to a lifeboat on Titanic will be auctioned off as well.

2. Ancient Wreck Dubbed Titanic of Ancient World Proving To Be Treasure Trove
The 2,000-year-old Antikythera shipwreck in Greece is the focus of a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) expedition reports LiveScience.com. The ship likely sank between 70 B.C. and 60 B.C while on its way from Asia Minor to Rome. It was found by sponge divers in 1900 and early efforts to retrieve valuables proved costly in human lives. Some of the earlier items brought up back then included bronze and marble statues of heroes and horses, jewelry, furniture, glassware and a a complex astronomical calculator called the Antikythera mechanism. Jacques Cousteau also dived to the sunken ship and brought up some amazing items as well. This most recent expedition from Sept. 15 to Oct. 7 also brought up some fascinating items as well. Also the dive allowed for the use of rebreathers to allow divers to spend more time down exploring the wreck. They also used high resolution 3D maps of the site that showed it much larger than previously thought. Another expedition is being planned for next year.

3. Premier Exhibitions Facing Stronger Criticism Over Bodies Exhibition
As noted in an earlier posting, human rights activists in Toronto is calling for the seizure of the human bodies on display claiming many of the Chinese included were imprisoned or killed by that government. The Toronto Sun reports that Choose Humanity spokesman Joel Chipkar says the cadavers on display (which include men, women and children)were executed for engaging in such acts as belonging to group such as Falun Gong. Premier Exhibitions has not issued a formal response to the allegation.

4. If You Have $10.9 Million This Former Straus Property Could Be Yours
The Straus inheritors wanted to live big in Red Bank, New Jersey. So they decided to build a huge estate on 29,000 square feet that would have included a 27-room chateau had the Great Depression not slowed down and ended construction. They did build some fine buildings based on 18th century Provence and imported nearly everything to make it look right. What could not be imported was made by French and Italian artisans who came over to do the job. It was sold in 1951 and the houses became part of a co-op. This being a very wealthy area though, it was not a commune but a very nice place for those with lots of money to live in a lovely estate and share common amenities like a pool (important on those hot summer days). Now the whole thing is up for sale. Just fork over $10.9 million and it is yours. Pool included.

Not Titanic
1. I like the ABC show Castle. And like everyone was stunned at how last season ended. We are now two episodes into this season and this is what we learned:that Richard Castle has a very dark secret. And somehow that caught up with him just before the wedding. And he apparently, in conjunction with others to cover it up (possibly not by choice), staged the disappearance and likely used drugs of some kind to permanently loose those memories. Does anyone think the movie Total Recall is being done on us just with a Castle twist? Personally it would have been more likely had old enemies of his father had staged it. Hey, maybe they did for all we know. Not really liking this at all. One hopes down the road Kate does not wake up to find it is the day of the wedding and all that happened really was a dream.

2. Hells Kitchen continues its tradition of D list cooks who seemingly fall apart under the intense scrutiny of Chef Hell (Ramsay) and his assistants. It is becoming easier though to pick the ones that are clearly just there to cause problems in the group.

3. Someone needs to tell the folks over at Amazing Race we really do not care or need to know someone really had to go to the bathroom bad during the race. But we also found out in the first episode that some people really are quite stupid. One of the real estate gals actually said the sun rises in the west and settles in the east. The stunned looks on the two who heard her say that was funny. Needless to say the real estate gals were eliminated. Hopefully by now they have figured where the sun actually rises and sets. And it has been doing it exactly that way for a very long, long time.

That’s all folks!

If You Have $10.9 Million This Former Straus Property Could Be Yours

In Red Bank, New Jersey the children of Isidor and Ida Straus decided to build a huge estate called Cobble Close in the 1920’s. It was modeled on 18th century Provence and no expense was spared to get the best of everything. Anything that could not be imported was built to on site by French and Italian artisans who immigrated to America for the job. The huge expanse of space-29,000 feet–allowed them to plan a majestic 35-bedroom chateau (not built), orangery, a barn and a caretaker’s cottage. The Great Depression slowed and ended the construction. The Straus family sold it in 1951. The estate buildings were turned into homes and a co-op was created so that the building owners could share use of the pool and other things.

Now it is up for sale, the entire estate. The buildings look really good as do the interiors. The area itself is quite wealthy and rated a nice area to live in. With 29,000 feet, you can certainly find a place to escape from the cares of the world. Just fork over $10.9 million and it is all yours.

Source:Macy’s Family Built This Frozen-In-Time Compound Between Titanic Disaster And Depression(6 Oct 2014,Zillow Blog)

MasterChef Junior Season 2 Update

Photo: Fox
Photo: Fox

MasterChef Junior will now be premiering on Tuesday 4 Nov at 8 p.m. in Utopia’s old time slot (that failing show is now banished to Friday). A new cast of very young cheftestants is ready and eager to prove they are just as good as the ones 18+. And of course our culinary trio of Joe Bastianich, Gordon Elliot, and Gordon Ramsay are going to lead them on this food journey. Unlike the other show, foul language will not be used (although Gordon did break down last year and say a rude word but then he had a whole bowl of cream dumped on his head!). And of course these being very young kids, they are being watched by a team of medics and other personnel to make sure all is well. If you want to see interviews of the kids competing, go to MasterChef Junior at Fox.com.


Countdown to Halloween#1

The animation is from Ichabod & Mr.Toad (Disney,1949) and is two animated adaptations containing The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Wind in the Willows.The song was originally sung by Bing Crosby and is a delightful scene on its own. In 1963, Disney issued a record of various songs and one of the was a remixed version of The Headless Horseman Song from 1949. This version is sung by Thurl Ravenscroft. If do not recognize the name, you probably recognize the voice. His unique voice and stylings were used in other animations and in commercials. (Note:You can only watch this video at YouTube. Simply click on the text that appears on upper left side to access the video at YouTube.)


Titanic Week in Review

Photo courtesy George Behe
Photo courtesy George Behe

Well it is the first week of October and it is pretty warm where I live. It is the time of year that Northern California gets a heat wave. No cooling ocean breeze but a warm offshore wind that drives humidity down. Fire departments are especially nervous this time of year since fires can erupt causing massive damages. But enough of the California sunshine and a week to review.

1)Titanic II
A lot of people were hoping this would come off. Clive Palmer has the money and drive to pull it off. And his effort appeared genuine. He wined and dined not only the wealthy and famous, but put serious money down on actual designs and model testing. Preliminary contracts with vendors were made. And he had discussions with a Chinese shipyard that would construct Titanic II. But something went amiss. The shipyard seemed reluctant to go forward and Palmer, who must have thought he would get Chinese money to help build the ship, got nothing. He has formed an alliance to get Chinese sponsors but so far it has not brought anything to the table as of yet. Worse he is in a spat with a Chinese company and has said unflattering things about the Chinese. If he is going to build this ship, it will be done elsewhere. By now the keel was supposed to have been laid and we would be hearing about its construction. So Titanic II remains just a dream on the drawing board and nothing else.

2) Meanwhile in Tinian
The Titanic project in Tinian Harbor seems to be moving along according to Marianas Variety. The plan there is to build a replica Titanic in Tinian Harbor. The plan is to use Titanic to draw Chinese and others to the casino-hotels that will be built. So the investors are filing their plans about how this will be done. A curious note though at the bottom of the news article is this: “The museum will have original Titanic items.” Interesting. Perhaps they are interested in a certain Titanic collection currently up for sale but so hideously expensive no one can afford it. But perhaps the investors in the Tinian project might have the money to pull it off.

3)From The Titanic X Files: Gypsy Warning
A writer over at the Belfast Telegraph recently learned that Thomas Andrews was warned by an old Gypsy woman that calamity would befall him if he was on Titanic. She learned of this particular warning from an excellent book Titanic: Psychic Forewarnings Of A Tragedy by George Behe which goes through a lot of the many supernatural and otherworldly claims about Titanic. It is a good book and examines each story with known facts. The book was out of print but I think was reprinted for the Titanic centenary. You can try finding copies at Amazon or other book places on the web (disclaimer:I am an Amazon associate). Check your local library system as well.

4)Time Again For Cardboard Regatta
Each year it seems people gather at a local lake to witness a cardboard regatta or something similar. Usually these are handmade crafts and often carry one or more people. At Panama City, Florida the inaugural Great Cardboard Boat Regatta took place recently. According to the News Herald 16 teams entered the regatta. Each boat was made only of cardboard, duct tape, glue and paint. They had to do three trips around a 200-yard course. Water safety crews were on standby. Now this regatta is new for where it is being done at (Porter Park in Lynn Haven)but has been going on for 40 years. And the winner? A cardboard craft named Titanic II. The most spectacular sinking though gets the Titanic Award.

5)Letter Written By Titanic Engineer Joseph Bell To Be Auctioned Off
Titanic engineer Joseph Bell wrote a letter to his son Frank describing the near collision of Titanic with two other ships in Southampton is going up for auction reports the Belfast Telegraph. Bell writes:

We nearly had a collision with the New York & Oceanic when leaving Southampton, the wash of our propellers made the two ships range about when we were passing them, this made their mooring ropes break and the New York set off across the river until the tugs got hold of her again, no damage was done but it looked like trouble at the time, keep well and be a good lad, regards to Mrs Johnston.

The auction is being held by Henry Aldridge & Son on 18 Oct. The letter is expected to fetch between £10,000-£15,000 (about $24,000).

Not Strictly Titanic
For some reason, probably to make some cash, the jacket worn by Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic is up for sale. If you want to buy this bit of movie history, it will cost you £70,000 ($111,765). The auction is at Profiles In History in Calabasas, CA on October 17-20. Cash is king at this place but they will take a check but only release the item bought when check clears.

And For Our First Pick Of Halloween Season