Now that autumn has arrived, we are seeing the fall colors appear. Leaves start changing color and chilly nights are becoming the norm in many places (except those who have a summer-in-fall climate like in the San Francisco Bay Area). And of course Halloween is not that far away now. Already retailers are unpacking their Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations and will appear just before All Hallows Eve.
With summer now in the rear view mirror, autumn is coming up soon. Many stores have already put out Halloween candy and a few costumes. One grocery store nearby has started making pumpkin pies and put out whole pumpkins for sale. But who puts out pumpkins in September? No one that I know of. A few commercials with Halloween themes are starting to appear as well. And of course we are starting to see just the usual beginnings of “true” ghost stories starting to appear.
Autumn is usually the transition from Summer towards Winter. The days get shorter and the nights longer. Temperatures start to drop in most areas but not always. The San Francisco Bay Area usually has its long awaited summer. Most of the year the temperatures along the coast are in the 60’s to low 70’s Fahrenheit and often cooler due to the marine layer. But in September and October, heat arrives from the interior. The wind shifts to off shore and temperatures usually soar sometimes with record breaking days. Usually it lasts just a few days at a stretch but it can be quite miserable with all the concrete radiating heat in downtown Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose. Most homes do not have air conditioning. We wait anxiously for the fog to return and rejoice when it brings the cooling we so desperately want. But it creates spectacularly bright days which is great for sightseeing. Beaches that normally are only visited by people walking their dogs or surfers become popular spots. Just remember that sand can be hot as well!
Of course the big news for Titanic buffs is the bankruptcy of Premier Exhibitions and the impending sale of the artifacts. The best news would be for the collection to stay in the U.S. or Britain conserved by a museum (or group of them). Hard to see how it will play out but the big money is on the Chinese to purchase it. Of course they will swear up and down they will keep it all together and in the court’s jurisdiction. I suspect though that little by little it will go over to that new theme park in China where a Titanic replica is being built. What Clive Palmer could not pull off they are doing quite handily. From all accounts, it will be quite a sight to behold.
Going over to You Tube you will find all kinds of videos about Titanic. Some are trailers or clips from the various Titanic movies. Others purport to present shocking new evidence of how it really sank. Some of the more reliable ones are from reputable sources like the History Channel, BBC and others. Then sometimes you come across one that makes you stop and enjoy. My Heart Will Go On has become an international standard from that movie and for Celine Dion her most famous song. Here is a lovely rendition of that song on a violin.
Summer is winding down now. Schools are starting to reopen (to the delight of parents). And the days are slowly getting darker earlier. Still a while to the Autumn equinox but it is not that far away either. I have also seen cartons of Halloween items being stored and soon to be deployed on store shelves. But for today we can enjoy a nice Sunday and a tune from John Denver. Have a nice Sunday everyone.
The Spring or March Equinox is today at 16:15 UTC. This equinox marks the moment where the Sun crosses the equator and usually occurs between March 19-21 every year. Both the March and September equinoxes are when the Sun shines directly on the equator making night and day nearly equal.
The March equinox is the transition from winter to spring in the Northern Hemisphere but the reverse in the Southern Hemisphere (summer into fall). Various cultures celebrate March equinox as a time of rebirth. Many spring festivals are timed to coincide with the equinox and some religious events (Passover and Easter) use specific calculations based on the equinox to help determine the exact day of the event.
Though the equinox marks the changing of the seasons, it is quite common for winter effects to continue in many places far until May or even June.
Happy Sunday! Today is once again a day we loose one hour of sleep thanks to daylight savings time. Some really like it while others loathe it. If you live in areas that have lots of farms, farmers do not like it much. In fact, they dislike it intensely because they have to feed and maintain their animals 365 days a year and it causes problems with their schedules.
Daylight savings time is really a misnomer. We are not saving time in any real sense of the word. The sun still rises and falls as before, it is just our measurement of the length of daylight has been altered. We get extra sunlight because our clocks move ahead one hour. Those with resorts in sunny tropical areas generally like it but Hawaii stays on standard time year round. They see no practical reason to change it. Some claim the extra hour of daylight reduces crime though studies are mixed. Likewise energy conservation is debatable as well. More recent evidence is that more energy is expended during daylight savings time rather than on standard.
Easter is not that far off now. Good Friday begins on March 30 (Passover also coincides this year as well) and Easter Sunday on April 1.
As we wind down 2017, here are some news items of interest to Titanic enthusiasts.
1. National Maritime Museum Cornwall Will Bring Major Titanic Exhibition To Falmouth In 2018 (Cornwall Live, 29 Dec 2017)
The National Maritime Museum in Falmouth has confirmed that the ‘TITANIC STORIES’ exhibition will be on display from March 8 next year until January 7, 2019.The exhibition which will examine the stories of the Titanic’s sinking on April 15, 1912, and reappraise the several assumptions, controversies and myths that still linger around one of the most renowned historic events of the 20th century. As well as retelling personal stories of survivors, it will present rare and never-seen-before objects and items -thanks to collaboration with private collectors from major UK museums and private collectors from overseas.
Information about hours of operation and admission fees can be found at https://nmmc.co.uk/.
2. Some of you might remember all old Titanic action adventure called Titanic: Adventure Out of Time. It was actually a decent computer game with good Titanic graphics and an intriguing story. But that was a long time ago (1996). But now it has been resurrected at Gog.com. The reviews so far are mostly positive. Right now it is only available on Windows. No word if a MAC version is coming.
Source: 1996 Point-And-Click Game Titanic: Adventure Out Of Time Sails Onto GOG (PC Gamer, 29 Dec 2017
3. Titanic Belfast is holding a New Years Celebration reports Belfast Live. They report that for £40 per person you get a cocktail upon arrival, a light supper, a midnight piper to herald in 2018 and of course a DJ to control the music being played.
4. And finally if you have $100,000 to spend, then come May 2018 you can take a diving tour of Titanic reports Wate.com. According to the news report: “London-based travel company Blue Marble Private will begin taking people down to the wreck in May 2018. Nine people at a time will leave from the coast of Newfoundland and take a 10-day trip, which includes a deep ocean dive to Titanic. The cost of the voyage matches the name of the ship — the per-person cost weighs in at a hefty $105,129, the company told CNN. Blue Marble Private says the cost is the equivalent of a first-class passage on the ship’s inaugural voyage after an inflation adjustment. The trip includes three potential days of diving, with each dive lasting three hours. During the three hour tour, clients will explore the deck, bow, ridge and cavern where the grand staircase once stood.” Perhaps Clive Palmer, who famously said he was going to build a Titanic II and never did, will buy a ticket to see the real thing.
Today is the first day of winter and the Winter Solstice. It is the shortest day for the Northern Hemisphere. The Winter Solstice usually falls between December 20-23 and the sun is directly overhead the Tropic of Capricorn resulting in the North Pole being tilted the furthest away. The result is shorter days for sunlight for the Northern Hemisphere. And the further north you are (like Alaska or Scandinavian countries) means less sun during the day. The reverse happens in the Southern Hemisphere as the sun is closer to them and they celebrate the Summer Solstice. Those closer to the South Pole can have nearly 24 hours of sun during this time of year.
Many cultures observed the Winter Solstice as it marked an important time in the agricultural cycle. By this time all crops and livestock had been prepared for winter. Important foodstuffs were stored for the months when virtually nothing grew. Wine and beer, which had been fermenting during the year, was ready at this time. Cattle and pigs would often be killed at the start of winter so they would not have to be fed during this time. The early months of winter were tough in many places and often called the “famine months” since little food was to be found. Many cultures observed the Winter Solstice as a renewal or that the year was reborn. For out of the seeming withdrawal of the sun, it would come back just as strong and powerful as before. Thus the Winter Solstice was seen by many as the start of a new year such as the old Roman Feast of the Unconquered Sun (Sol Invictus) which happened around the 25th of December.