All posts by Mark Taylor

Descendent of Titanic Survivor To Marry On Titanic Replica

A few weeks ago I wrote about Ben Goldsmith and his fiancée Amanda Warrix entering a contest to have their marriage at COSI’s Titanic replica. The Mansfield News Journal reports they won the online competition. Readers will also recall that Ben Goldsmith is the great-great-grandson of Titanic survivor Frank Goldsmith, Jr. In addition to winning the contest, COSI is also paying for a honeymoon at the Sandals resort in The Bahamas. We wish the couple all the best.

Source: Mansfield News Journal , Madison Grad Wins A Titanic Wedding ,14 June 2010

This “Titanic” Did Not Dock Either!

The first annual “Anything That Floats” regatta was held on Saturday in Clearfield, PA during the Clearfield Riverfront Festival. Participants raced in human-powered homemade boats on a section of the Susquehanna River that flows through Witmer Park. Teams were judged not just on speed but creativity. A team for Zalno’s Jewelers crossed first and were all clad in bright pink T-shirts in a wooden pink and black boat. The most creative craft was one with a tropical island theme. And the winner of the “Titanic” award (for not making it across the finish line) went to the Spanky’s Courthouse Café team. The write-up from the local paper indicates a possible reason why:

The Spanky’s Courthouse Café team equipped its homemade pontoon boat with a small plastic waterslide and a stereo system that blasted 80s heavy metal music while team members lounged on lawn chairs with a drink cooler while wearing Hawaiian leis. The team, which consisted of Brandon Ruiz, Jason Peters, Gary Shaffner and Preston Rauch, all of Clearfield, took home the surprise “Titanic” award for not reaching the finish line.

Pontoon, small plastic waterslide, heavy metal music and lounging on lawn chairs in Hawaiian leis sipping a cold one. One can see where that might end up not quite making it. The Mullet Madness (!) team wearing large mullet wigs on a pontoon floated by empty beer kegs and towing a long train of inflatable pink flamingos behind them overcame obstacles to cross the line. Occasionally the pink flamingos would separate requiring an assist by the fire department rescure boat.

Fun was had by all according to the newspaper. And it drew people to downtown Clearfield, which was the point of the event. Said Kellie Truman “These events brought attention to our downtown businesses and also the river,” she added. “We love that all ages and backgrounds of the community are coming together to celebrate the All-American people, places and spirit of downtown Clearfield. This is what the CRC’s Main Street program and revitalization are all about.”

Hopefully next year no one will get the Titanic award! 😉

Source: The Progress, Regatta A Boatload Of Fun For Participants And Spectators, 14 June 2010

Titanic Cliche of the Day: Governor Paterson & Titanic

According to New York Observer, Governor Patterson is on the attack against a fellow Democrat in the state senate. Senate Majority Leader Espada has stated that he would not vote for cuts that are slipped into weekly emergency budget extenders. This caused Paterson to throw some verbal bombs and naturally Titanic was invoked.

“That is absolutely incorrect—that is so obtuse,” Paterson said. “That is a gimmick designed to make everyone think everything is fine. He should have been an orchestra soloist on the Titanic.”

The imagery conveyed is odd. Is he trying to compare Espada to the Titanic musicians who played until the final moments? They are considered heroes and all perished . Or is Paterson trying to say Espada is a foolish one note musician about to be swallowed up by the sea (the sea, in this case a political one)? An odd way to use a cliche and quite muddy in meaning. One could argue that Paterson wants Espada to drown (metaphorically speaking). Paterson gets our Tacky Titanic Award For Clumsy Use of Cliche.

New York Observer, Paterson: Espada Would Have Done Well in Orchestra on the Titanic, 10 June 2010

Titanic Comment of Day: Devo Like Titanic Band!

Devo!  A very long time ago (before the age of the Internet) my college roomate bought their record. Devo was edgy and new wave, perfect for the college student on a stuffy college campus. Today it has been reported that Devo, in addition to making their first album in 20 years, is also going to be part of Futurama’s 100th episode. According to Undercover, Devo will be campaigning for mutant rights. Gerald Casale offers up this gem:

“The world is in sync with Devo,” says his band-mate and co-writer Gerald Casale. “We’re not the guys who freak people out and scare them – we’re like the house band on the Titanic, entertaining everybody as we go down.”

As they sang it so well: Whip it, whip it good! 🙂, Devo To Star In Futurama, 8 June 2010

Titanic Cliche of Day: Star Ledger & New Jersey Sports Authority

Titanic deck chairThe New Jersey Sports Authority, like many government agencies these days, is bleeding red. And they need lots of money to keep from going broke. Of course that means taxpayers get to foot the bill despite a $1.3 million cut in the payroll. To that the Star Ledger notes in its editorial:

The NJSEA says it has cut $1.3 million from its payroll, but that’s like throwing a deck chair off the Titanic.

Of course if you do have a real deck chair from Titanic (presumably retrieved as debris in 1912), that would be worth serious money. Probably not enough though to solve the budget problems NJSEA faces.

The Star-Ledger, NJ Sports Authority Has Become A Money Pit (editorial), 4 June 2010

Titanic Cliche of Day: Titanic At Trial

Sholom Rubashkin, former CEO of the Glatt kosher Agriprocessors slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa is on trial for violating child labor laws. The trial is winding down and the prosecutor made a connection to Titanic in closing arguments.

“The string quartet was playing on the deck of the Titanic as the ship went down. Because this man knew he had the authority to engage an army of lawyers to keep everyone at bay,” she said of the labor investigation.

Once again Titanic makes appearances in the most surprising of places.

Des Moines Register (Blog), Rubashkin Trial, 2 June 2010

*UPDATE-7 June 2010*

Rubashkin was acquitted on all charges of hiring underage children to work in the plant.

North Korea on Titanic: A Failure of Capitalism

Back in the good old days when the Kremlin controlled communist parties worldwide, they wanted capitalism always painted in the worst possible light. So anything that went wrong was always a failure of capitalism. Of course Stalin’s failed policies were never criticized as a failure of Marxism (except outside of Russia). It comes as no surprise to learn that North Korea, worried about the popularity of Cameron’s Titanic had to issue its own “failure of capitalism” statement.

Suzanne Scholte, the leader of the North Korea Freedom Coalition, told Front Page that:

“One could argue that capitalism is alive and well and thriving in North Korea as the people cope the best they can by trading and selling the markets,” she said in her speech.  “In fact, the film Titanic became so widely watched in North Korea that the regime felt compelled to inform the people that the movie was a depiction of the failure of capitalism,” she said.

Of course no criticism of Dear Leader’s failed Marxism allowed here either.

Front Page Magazine, Promoting a Free Korea, 2 June 2010

Titanic Cliche of the Day: Bulgaria is like Titanic!

Bulgaria is just like Titanic says former prime minister.

Titanic is getting lots of use these days in politics. Left, right, middle, anarchists. So it comes as no surprise that at a meeting of the Socialist International that someone would bring up Titanic. And that someone was the former Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Sergey Stanishev:

“The situation in Bulgaria could be compared with the sinking of Titanic, the Cabinet is like an orchestra that was playing joyful music so that the poor in the third class to drown in a good mood, while the rich in the first class were rushing to save their bacon”

Standart News, Bulgaria Is Like the Titanic, 30 May 2010*

*8 Feb 2014-link removed due to malware Google notification.

Dancing With The Stars Ends, Finally!

Our long national agony is finished. Dancing with the Stars (or better known as Dancing With Pros Accompanied by Celebrity Non-Dancers) is over. The folks over at Television Without Pity had the best summation:

Season 10 Performance 9: Results: Come on. You know who won. Do we even really have to go through with this charade?

Not really, no. That about says it all. 🙂

Titanic Victim Finally Gets Tribute & Headstone

Events in Greece and in the Gulf of Mexico likely overshadowed the story of a Titanic victim. Her name was  Kate Buckley who was aboard Titanic sailing to a new life in America. She was coming over to work as a domestic with a ticket paid for by her sister Margaret. Originally she was set to sail on Cymeric for Boston but the coal strike changed that. Instead she was transferred to Titanic and perished when it sank in 1912. Her family, opposed to her going, blamed Margaret (her half sister) for her death. It caused a family rift that was never healed. Kate’s body was found by the Mackay-Bennett and brought back for burial, the only third class passenger to have this done. Her sister requested she be buried in Boston; she was buried in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in West Roxbury in an unmarked grave.

And there the grave remained unknown to anyone until Bob Bracken of the Titanic Historical Society found it. He was shocked there was no headstone and contacted a local monument company, Thomas Carrigg and Sons, to have one made. The likely reason no headstone was ever put up was lack of money. Carrigg according to news accounts often gets requests to make headstones for relatives buried long ago with no headstone. The recent ceremony had nearly one hundred people in attendance. Two of her grandnieces unveiled the monument and roses were placed on the grave by her descendants. Descendants of Margaret and of the Irish family were present. Also present was Irish Consul General Michael Lonergan, Una Reilly chairwoman of the Belfast Titanic Society, along with Bob Bracken and Charles Haas of Titanic International Society.

“I think commemorating Kate Buckley’s death is symbolic of all of the Irish immigrants who sought to come to the United States,’’ said Boston’s Irish consul general Michael Lonergan. “It’s very appropriate that it’s here in Boston.’

Amen to that.

Sources:, Titanic’s ‘Kate’ Found Buried In Boston, 7 May 2010

WBZ, Titanic Victim Gets Headstone In West Roxbury, 19 May 2010

Irish Central, Titanic Survivor Remembered And Family Feud Healed, 24 May 2010