We all remember James Cameron’s massively successful 1997 movie Titanic, catapulting its stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet into Hollywood super-stardom. Well, Titanic is being turned into a board game with Titanic: The Game. Spin Master Games has used the 1997 movie Titanic for its inspiration for the game, pulling the characters that Cameron used in the movie with players able to play as Jack, Rose, Cal, Ruth or the Captain.
The claim: A Black woman named Malinda Borden died on the Titanic because lifeboats were only for white women and children. The Titanic, the “unsinkable” ship turned tragedy that inspired one of the world’s highest-grossing films of all time, is often associated with iconic romance and Celine Dion. Now, an inaccurate meme is promoting a less romantic story about a Black crew member allegedly killed by discrimination and arctic waters.
During the ceremony, Alderman Frank McCoubrey also stated that “Titanic Belfast is synonymous with Belfast, it is an inspiring testament to RMS Titanic and our city. As First citizen, it was a privilege to be its first official visitor and experience the enhancements it has made for locals this year. There is no doubt that discovering the world-famous story on our doorstep evokes a sense of civic pride and I would encourage locals to support the world-leading attraction by visiting this summer.”
The UK Department for Transport says the treaty means the British and US governments have the power to grant or deny licences to enter the ship and remove items, and that unauthorised activity will be punishable by large fines. But RMS Titanic Inc has reportedly argued the new treaty has “no teeth” in US law, and has filed a notice of intent to retrieve items from the ship at the US district court in eastern Virginia. They announced this week that it has developed a special robot to reach in through a deck house roof and extract the Marconi without the need to cut into the wreck. The company has partnered on the project with Guernsey-based deepwater specialists Magellan Limited.
Judith Owens, chief executive of Titanic Belfast said: “We are absolutely delighted to open our doors again. Welcoming visitors, telling stories and creating experiences is what we do best. Now more than ever, we need the support of our city and Northern Ireland, and we’ve been working away behind the scenes to ensure that those who come to visit have a truly memorable Titanic experience. “For us, home is where the heart is and this has never been more apparent. As one of Belfast’s iconic symbols, we are always keen to play our part and reflect the city’s spirit. This is our way of saying thank you to our local heroes for their hard work and bravery.
Remembering History: England Defeats Spanish Armada
On July 29, 1688 naval forces of England and Spain engaged in an 8-hour furious battle off the coast of France that determined the fate of both countries control of the seas. Spain had created the armada to not only gain control of the English Channel but also to land an invasion force in England. England since the early 1580s had been conducting raids against Spanish commerce and had supported Dutch rebels in Spanish Netherlands. The other reason was to restore Catholicism that had been outlawed since the reign of King Henry VIII
The invasion fleet was authorized by King Philip II and was completed in 1587 but delayed by a raid by Sir Francis Drake on the Armada’s supplies. It did not depart until May 19, 1588. The fleet consisted of 130 ships under the command of the Duke of Medina-Sidonia. It had 2,500 guns, 8,000 seamen, and 20,000 soldiers. The Spanish ships though were slower than their English counterparts and lighter armed as well despite their guns. Their tactic was to force boarding when their ships were close enough. They believed with the superior numbers of Spanish infantry they could overwhelm the English ships.
The English were commanded by Charles Howard, 2nd Baron Howard of Effingham. Like his counterpart, he was an admiral with not much sea experience but proved to be the better leader. His second in command was Sir Francis Drake. The English fleet was at its height 200 ships but in the actual combat was at most 100. Only 40 were warships and the rest smaller but they were armed with heavy artillery that were able to fire at longer ranges without having to get close to the enemy to be effective. The English strategy was to bombard their enemy from a distance and not give them the opportunity to get close and possibly board their ships (which had smaller number of soldiers aboard than the Spanish had).
As the Spanish Armada made its way, it would be harassed by English ships that bombarded them at a distance negating Spanish attempts to board. The Armada anchored near Calais, France on 27 July. The Spanish forces on land were in Flanders and would take time to get down to Calais. However, since there was no safe port and enemy Dutch and English ships patrolled the coastal shallows, it meant those troops had no safe way to get to the Armada.
Around midnight on 29 July, the English sent 8 fire ships into the anchored Spanish fleet. The Spanish were forced to quickly scatter to avoid the fire ships. This meant the Armada formation was now broken making them easier targets for the English to attack. They closed to effective range and attacked. Surprising to the English, the return fire was mostly small arms. It turns out most of the heavy cannons had not been mounted. And those that were did not have properly trained crews on how to reload. Three Spanish ships were sunk or driven ashore. Other ships were battered and moved away. The English also were low on ammunition, so they had to drop back and follow the Spanish fleet.
The Spanish fleet had to flee north and around Scotland and from there head back to Spain. The English fleet turned back for resupply. It was a long road back to Spain for the Armada. Autumn had arrived and gales in the North Atlantic made passage tough. Ships were lost to bad weather, navigational errors, foundered near Ireland, and possibly battle damage as well. Only 60 of the 130 survived with an estimated loss of 15,000 men. The English losses were much smaller with fewer men wounded or killed in battle. It appears most of the deaths that came later were due to disease (possibly scurvy). Damages to the English ships were negligible.
With the defeat of the Spanish Armada, England was made safe from invasion. The Dutch rebels the English backed in Spanish Netherlands were saved as well. Spain up to that point had been considered to be the greatest European power, so it was a major blow to their prestige that would have ramifications down the road for them. Also, it heralded a major change for naval battles. This was the first major naval gun battle where the combatants fought at a distance rather than closing and boarding. Warships that could move quickly and had artillery that fire at long range would become the norm on the seas from that point on. England would now become a major world power. Spain still was in the game for several decades (the English were not successful either in trying their own invasion) and was still a major colonial power. England and Spain formally ended their conflict in 1604. Spain however would eventually go into decline as England and other European powers would successfully expand into Asia and establish their own colonies and trade routes.
(Note: All dates are given are for the Gregorian calendar, which was adopted by England in 1750. At the time of the battle, the Julian calendar was in effect.)
A Baltic craftsman has broken the Guinness World Record for the largest amber sculpture ever made. Tomasz O?dziejewski from the village of Szutowo on the Baltic coast, spent a month building a massive 1.5-metre-long replica of the Titanic ship. Working around the clock to meet the Guinness World Record attempt regulations, O?dziejewski, who has worked with amber for 32 years, spent 12 to 14 hours a day to complete his biggest work of art. Measuring exactly 1.532 meters long and 36.7 tall, the ship which costs a cool EUR 11,000, was made without any additional metal frames or reinforcements.
After lengthy review and expert consultation, the organization has developed a multi-phase, dual ROV, non-evasive method to safely excavate and investigate the Marconi Radio. This new tooling and methodology will allow us to expose the key components in their current resting state and determine if safe extraction and recovery is possible. This unique dual ROV ladder deployment system on the Titan manipulators will allow non-evasive entry to areas of interest without wreck disturbance. Each ROV will be equipped with their respective tooling to first dredge and clean the area for a thorough investigation. Components approved safe for extraction will be gently removed using both ROV’s and collected to salvage baskets for safe recovery to the surface. The organization has also released additional imagery of the custom deep-sea tools that will be used to recover the Marconi.
And before the facility shut on March 18 as the pandemic took hold, it was still generating around £1 million a week in spend. But with no major corporate events planned for the rest of this year, visitor numbers being restricted, and international or cruise tourists virtually non-existent, income will be a mere fraction of what it has been used to. However, chief executive Judith Owens insists ambition is as big as ever – and is appealing to the home market to lend its support. She said: “Since opening in 2012 we’ve not only became a key economic driver for Northern Ireland, but the symbol of it and its spirit.
3. Titanic Belfast Celebrates Record-Breaking Year (Hospitality Ireland,11 May 2017) Titanic Belfast’s chief executive, Tim Husbands, stated that “2016/17 was a really strong year. Not only did we have our busiest day ever in August 2016, with an increase in numbers from key markets including Britain, USA, China, France, Germany and Australia, but we were also crowned World’s Leading Tourist Attraction at the prestigious World Travel Awards.”More than 82% of those who visited the attraction in 2016 were from outside Northern Ireland, with over 40% of all visitors asserting that Titanic Belfast represented the sole reason for their journey to Northern Ireland.
August is now the eighth month of the year under the current calendar but was originally the sixth month under the old Roman calendar. When January and February were added to the calendar in 753 BC, it became the eighth month. Julius Caesar added two days making it 31 days in 45 BC for the new Julian calendar. In 8 BC it was named for the Roman emperor Augustus and has remained so ever since. The gladiolus or poppy is the flower associated with this month.
August is also National Sandwich Month in the United States. John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, is often credited with being is namesake. During a card game, it is claimed, he wanted something to eat so he did not have to leave the game. Meat between two slices of bread fit the bill and it has forever more been known in England and the West as a sandwich. In it simplest form it is a portable meal. Such ways of eating food have been around for a long time and many cultures going back to ancient times had versions of what we call a sandwich. Stemming perhaps from a legal decision about whether burritos or quesadillas count as sandwiches, a sandwich is defined as two slices of bread with meat or other items of food between. Hot items on breads are almost never called sandwiches such as hamburgers or hot dogs. American sandwiches tend to be full size when European and British tend to be smaller and sometimes used for fancy parties. The English butty is a type of sandwich with butter and meat but is rarely cut. Often one slice of bread is used that is folded over rather than sliced.
The Titanic in Photographs exhibit has opened up at RVP in Tunbridge Wells, UK. This exhibit is based upon a book of the same name by Daniel Klistorner. The exhibit contains items from various Titanic auctions around the world. It is quite a remarkable collection to view. It also simulates through the use of various memorabilia what it looked like aboard Titanic. The exhibit is free but guides are available for £5.
Belfast Titanic is adding jobs this summer to cope with expected heavy crowds. The weather over there right now is not too bad. Temperatures for the coming week look to be in the mid-60’s during the day and mid 50’s at night. And yes some rain is expected during the week. As always pack with that in mind when visiting Ireland.
Did you hear that the new Star Wars movie has toppled James Cameron’s Titanic off the throne? Hard to miss it since the entertainment media reminds us with screeching headlines announcing this important fact. There are major rumblings in the Middle East, the Turkish prime minister sees Hitler’s leadership as a positive role model, Russia is getting nasty as well but as long as the new Star Wars movie topples Titanic, that is more important.
Down under Clive Palmer’s dream of Titanic II appears moribund. There is still nothing going on at the Chinese shipyard and no formal contract has been signed for its construction. We did learn that if and when it should launch its first stop from China is Dubai. And Dubai has a serious interest in Titanic thanks to developers wanting to make a movie theme park. China is doing better than Palmer in building their Titanic that will be permanently docked at a theme park. You can stay aboard and even experience what it was like as it sank thanks to a sinking simulator. Oh and you can, for a fee, learn what cremation is like first hand (sans the real heat of course). Palmer may not be moving forward with Titanic but the Chinese are.
Premier Exhibitions saw major changes in the past year. Revenues have been mostly flat overall but costs were taking a big chunk of change. One proposed merger deal fell through and recriminations are now headed to court over that. So they sought out Dinoking and its chairman to try and turn around the company. Also they would like to sell the Titanic artifact collection but the price is so astronomical that it is hard to see anyone putting up that money. And it comes with a big sticker shock in the form of permanent judicial oversight from the U.S. Federal Court in Virginia. My guess is that in the end it will either be sold to a government entity of some kind or a consortium either in the Middle East or China. China and Dubai would seem the logical choices and will not be surprised if Beijing steps in to acquire the collection.
Titanic exhibitions continue to draw large crowds wherever they appear. People are fascinated by the story. Belfast has certainly seen it become a big boost for tourism and business. Titanic Belfast continues to draw them in and recently the Nomadic was made part of the exhibition. The fully restored tender is as close to the real Titanic as we can get. It took a lot of dogged work to get it out of France and then even more work to properly restore it. People are so used to how quickly we can turn out things these days but old seafaring vessels require a lot of special work. You do not splash on a new coat of paint and call it a day. It takes hours of patient work to take out the rot and replace it with new material and replacement parts generally hand crafted. Not unlike San Francisco’s historic cable cars. The original factories have long ceased operation and San Francisco has to make all its replacement parts to keep the cars going up and down hills at about nine miles an hour.
Titanic though is steaming on. It sank in 1912 but is still quite alive and well in different forms. People are learning the real story, which is good because there are plenty of lessons from Titanic we can draw from. Pity is that historical forgetfulness often means those lessons are lost but they can be relearned.
1. A new exhibition center is being planned for Belfast Titanic reports News Letter. Plans are to be submitted soon for a 6,000 square meter temporary building across from Titanic Studios. This facility will stage public exhibitions and trade shows. It is scheduled to open in 2015. A more permanent facility is being planned long term to host such events.
Source: Titanic Plans For Exhibition Centre(News Letter,16 Mar 2015)
3. The U.K. Mirror recently showed rare photos of Titanic’s gym. “The equipment, which was state of the art for the time, included an electric camel, an electric horse, cycling machines, a rowing machine, weights and punchbags.”Sadly physical instructor Thomas McCauley would perish when Titanic went down.
Source: Forgotten Pictures Of Titanic Ship’s Gym Show How People Worked Out In 1900s (mirror.co.uk,15 Mar 2015)
4.Elsie Bowerman of England survived Titanic and went on to do many things with her life. She served in woman’s hospital unit in Romania during World War I before having to retreat to St. Petersburg in March 1917. She saw the early days of the Russian revolution. After the war she studied law and became a barrister in 1924 and practiced until 1938. During World War II she was with the Woman’ s Voluntary Services and then with the Overseas Unit of the BBC. She helped work on the U.N. Commission for the Status of Women. She spent the remainder of her life at country house near Hailsham and passed away in October 1973 at age 83.
Source: Fascinating Life Story Of Titanic Survivor(Eastbourne Herald, 15 Mar 2015)
1. The Belfast Telegraph is reporting complaints people are making about paying a fee to visit Nomadic and another one for Titanic Belfast. Currently people wishing to board Nomadic pay £7.50 for adults,£5.00 for children 5-16. Family tickets are also available (£22-27 depending on family size). However if you want to visit Titanic Belfast, a separate fee is required for entry. Which has got some visitors angry at having to dig deeper into their pockets. The Telegraph reports that Nomadic Charitable Trust is in negotiations with Titanic Belfast to set up a joint ticketing scheme.
2. James Cameron, who recently gave his DeepSea Challenger to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, believes that one day expeditions such as his would help scientists predict deep sea earthquakes and their tsunamis. In an interview to CNN, Cameron says “Building technology vehicles like the DeepSea Challenger to get down there, is a first step to planting large instruments which could allow us to survey seismic activity. Ultimately it could lead to some predictive modeling which tells us ‘look we’ve got pressure building up here, maybe this could be a tsunami in the Pacific rim, get ready, brace yourselves”