Retro Saturday: Hawaii Five-O Theme

Hawaii Five-O ran on CBS from 1968-1980 starring Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett, the head of a special state police task force that actually did exist in World War II Hawaii (when it was still a territory and not a state). McGarrett was a seasoned pro unlike the re-imagined one currently airing though both had naval careers. McGarrett and his team (Danny Williams played by James MacArthur, Chin Ho Kelly played by Kam Fong Chun,and Kono Kalakaua played by Zulu)dealt with all sorts of criminals, secret agents, and even terrorists. Wo Fat (played excellently by Khigh Dheigh),an agent for the Chinese government, was one recurring enemy of McGarrett. McGarrett often got the better of him despite his many machinations. In the final season Wo Fat was finally captured and jailed. The show was known for its tight storytelling so it allowed little room for personal character development. McGarrett was pretty much dedicated to his job and had little romantic life. The current show has gotten deeper into the characters lives and motivations and much darker in tone with police corruption, powerful crime organizations, and conspiracies (like what really happened to his mother). Both shows use the same theme song written Morton Stevens but the current one is much shorter though nearly the same landmarks are used along with modern footage of today’s Hawaii. “Book ’em, Danno!”was a popular phrase when I was a kid and brings back fond memories.

The original series is still very popular and shown around the world. It also shows up on classic over the air(OTA) retro television channels and is available on Netflix streaming with the new re-imagined series. Both have their merits but the original Steve McGarrett would not ride a motorcycle into a club! Jack Lord’s character had no need to do that. He would simply walk up to the door with gun drawn, kick it in, and advise everyone to keep their hands where he could see them (backed up by Danny and the other members of his team). And they knew he meant it (and those foolish enough to move would regret it).

Premier Exhibitions: No Idea Why Stock Fell

Public Domain
Public Domain

Premier Exhibitions, the owner of RMS Titanic Inc and Titanic:The Artifact Exhibition, had a sudden stock drop this week. The company in an official statement says:

With regard to the recent decline in our stock price, Premier Exhibitions, Inc. (Nasdaq:PRXI) knows of no specific reason for the decline. As previously announced, the board is currently exploring all strategic and financing options. The board is currently in advanced discussions with a potential strategic partner and is considering several other financing alternatives. We expect to have more news to report in the near future.

Now it could be just a general drift of the market but this is a niche stock, one that is not traded on the big boards. The big problem the company has is that, aside from monetizing the Titanic artifacts, it has been unable to sell the collection to another buyer. The strict conditions imposed by a federal judge means the entire collection gets sold at one time. It cannot be sold in sets or individual lots. The high sale price means only the most wealthy of investors or institutions can afford to purchase. And even if a bid is finally accepted by Premier, then you head off to federal court to have the judge sign off on it. And that will not be easy. The judge will demand lots of proof you are going to maintain the collection. And the hearing will be public. Expect anti-salvors to show up to protest the sale. Not to mention petitions that seek to reopen the salvage award.

Or another reason could be the decision to have a 1 for 10 reverse stock spilt. Normally a stock split gives you stock (for every ten shares you own we give you two). Reverse stock splits are not unheard of but unusual. It is cheaper than a stock buy-back but means investors loose shares. Say you have 100 shares in Premier. Every 10 shares will be converted to 1 share. So instead of 100 shares, it gets cut to 50. In theory, by reducing the number of shares held by investors it increases the market value. Premier had 49.1 million shares before the deadline of 27 Feb 2015. Now thanks to the reverse stock split, it now has 4.9 million shares thus increasing its market value. And its ability to keep the stock price above a certain threshold ($1.00)to be publicly traded as well perhaps bettering the chances for financing.

Investors ought to be worried. They cannot sell the Titanic collection, a major deal to sell shares to another entity fell through, and there seems to be a sense that something is not going right at Premier. Taking back shares is a desperate gamble to keep the stock from sinking below $1.00. As of today, the stock is trading at $3.02. So it seems to have worked but still the stock is more trending down than up. Investors are right to be wary about this stock and perhaps take their cash out when it gets high enough to make some money. But more likely it is a loss on the tax form.

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Taking Time Off

I am stepping away from posting on this blog for a while. I have been doing it for over a year or so. I have enjoyed providing Titanic news and my bits of commentary on a variety of subjects. However right now I have other issues pressing I must deal with.

Here We Go Again:Time To Move Clock Forward One Hour(U.S.)

Unless you have clocks that automatically adjust (I have one plus my iPhone), you have to manually set them ahead by one hour. For me it means adjusting my ship’s clock, assorted timers, and watches. We loose one hour of sleep so we can claim to get more sunlight during spring and summer. Farmer’s hate it (screws up the morning schedules in a big way) and a few states do not follow it. Alaskans hate it because during the summer the sun is out all the time (no real nightfall). Arizona (except the Navajo reservation),Hawaii,Michigan,and U.S. Territories (American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands)do not observe daylight savings time.

Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, WWI Posters, LC-USZC4-10663.
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, WWI Posters, LC-USZC4-10663.

Titanic Belfast More Popular Than Eiffel Tower

Titanic Belfast (side view) Image:Prioryman (Wikipedia)
Titanic Belfast (side view)
Image:Prioryman (Wikipedia)

France is not happy about this. Belfast Live is reporting that Titanic Belfast received the coveted title of Europe’s Best Group Visitor Attraction in Berlin at the European Group Travel Awards on Thursday. Sacre´ bleu! No doubt this will spark unrest in France over this obvious snub. Forget about their dislike of American fast food. It has been replaced by their contempt for all things Irish. Of course one might remind them that the last surviving White Star Line tender sat for years neglected in France until brought to Belfast and restored to present glory.
Source: Titanic Belfast Beats The Eiffel Tower To Be Named Europe’s Best Group Visitor Attraction(6 Mar 2015, Belfast Live)

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Jack, The Time Traveler

Public Domain
Public Domain

So you have tired of the usual discussions about Titanic and that very famous movie and are looking for something new. In a Castle like moment, it happens! Jack Dawson was a time traveler sent back in time to prevent Rose from committing suicide. Shazam! The Internet goes ablaze as people discuss its possibility and offering proof. Like the famous cursed mummy, it is sure to last a long time.

If we follow the logic of its believers, if Rose had fallen overboard Titanic would have stopped to look for her. This would take time and quite possibly prevented Titanic from colliding with the iceberg. History would have been changed but for good or ill we do not know. Like all such theories, it opens up a lot of possibilities for alternative history writers. If Jack came back in time to save Rose though it could only be for one reason–that something very bad will occur as a result. Unless of course there was something very personal he wanted to change but it likely would be the first reason.

And Rose is the key. If she lives, history will be changed as Titanic will sink. Some point to the manner of his death as another indication he was a time traveler. Or that he references places he will take her that do not exist yet. Well it is certainly interesting and even entertaining to think about. Which makes her more important than Indiana Jones was in Raiders of the Lost Ark. In that movie, as those guys on Big Bang Theory realized after Amy pointed it out, Jones was not central to the story at all. If he had never been in the story, the exact same ending would have occurred with all the Nazi’s being killed in the end just without Marian and Indy tied up nearby with their eyes closed.

Welcome To March

Daffodil.Photo by Bertil Videt, 2005
Daffodil.Photo by Bertil Videt, 2005

March comes from Latin Martius, the first month of the early Roman calendar. It is named for Mars, the Roman god of war and agriculture. And Romans believed he was the ancestor of Romulus and Remus. March would remain the first month of the new year for many until the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1582 although Great Britain did not change till 1752. Greece was the last European country to switch over in 1923.

March has two birthstones, aquamarine and bloodstone. The birth flower is the daffodil.

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