London’s Victoria & Albert Museum will give visitors a taste of the golden age of luxury travel when its exhibition Ocean Liners: Speed & Style opens on Saturday. The show explores the history behind the 19th and 20th centuries’ most opulent cruise ships, starting with the steamship the SS Great Eastern of 1859 and including the SS Kronprinz Wilhelm, RMS Titanic and its sister ship, RMS Olympic, as well as RMS Queen Mary, SS Normandie, SS United States and the QE2. An earlier exhibition took place at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, and has been reimagined for the V&A, incorporating more than 250 exhibits, some of which have never previously been seen in Europe. The story starts in the mid-19th century when ocean travel became a more appealing prospect for wealthy passengers rather than a dangerous voyage which could result in a watery grave.
Ocean Liners: Speed & Style is at London’s V&A from Saturday until June 17, then V&A Dundee from September 15 to February 24, 2019. For more information, see www.vam.ac.uk
2.‘Titanic’ Costume Exhibit Opens In February At Biltmore (27 Jan 2018, Sampson Independent) Quickly on the heels of the 20th anniversary of 1997’s blockbuster hit “Titanic,” Biltmore will launch a new exhibition, Glamour on Board: Fashion from Titanic the Movie. The exhibition offers dazzling attire worn by actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, and many others from the film’s large cast. Staged throughout Biltmore House, the exhibition opens Feb. 9 and runs through May 13.
3.Titanic Recreation Virtually Incredible: Exhibition Re-Imagines Doomed Cruise Ship In Extraordinary Detail For VR Experience Of A Lifetime (13 Jan 2018, Daily Mail) More than three decades after the Titanic shipwreck was found at the bottom of the Atlantic, a new virtual reality experience takes users below the water’s surface to explore the site. Titanic the Exhibition allows history buffs to wander the reconstructed replicas of the bedrooms and hallways of the British liner and now includes the spectacular technology giving viewers the opportunity to journey through the wreckage. Stunning graphics made possible by front line innovation takes audiences into the shipwreck through a virtual dive vessel to the depths of the freezing waters.
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.
1. Robert Ballard, part of the team that discovered Titanic, recently gave a lecture at Jacksonville University. Addressing 150 marine biology students he noted that he was inspired by the fictional Captain Nemo. While Titanic made him famous, he noted:
“I have done 150 expeditions and when I look back on what were the most important ones, it was not finding the Titanic,” Ballard said. “It was finding amazing systems in our ocean that we did not know were there; going to look for ‘A’ and finding something more important.”
2. When noted scientists get involved in silly controversies over fictional movies, I usually shake my head. On the other hand Neil DeGrasse Tyson pointed out a major plot hole over Jack Dawson’s demise.
“Whether or not he could’ve been successful, I would’ve tried more than once. You try once. ‘Oh, this is not gonna work. I will just freeze to death in the water.’ No, excuse me. No!
Christopher Keohane, owner of Fresh Food Catering, came up with an interesting idea: Last Tea of the Titanic. Keohane owns Wenham Tea House in Wenham, Massachusetts. After doing many months of research into how tea was served aboard Titanic, he came up with a clever way for people to experience a bit of being aboard the famous ship.
And he added flair with music from the period and having staff wear ship’s officers and crew clothing for the event. For $50, you not only get a delicious cup of tea but a three course meal. The meal includes items found on the menu in 1912 such as Chartreuse jelly that are not commonly found on today’s afternoon tea menus. The upcoming event on February 25th is sold out but two Last Teas are planned for April. Great idea but get rid of the Titanic shaped ice cubes in the water glasses. If you are paying $50.00 for a touch of Edwardian elegance, you do not need such tacky items.
Source:‘Last Tea Of The Titanic’: A Taste Of What Dining Was Like On The Doomed Ship(WBUR.org, 17 Feb 2017)
It is a rainy day here in Northern California. We are being hit with a major storm dumping lots of water and the strong winds are making things treacherous. Trees have come down, power has gone off for many, and some areas have lots of flooding. It amazes me that people will try to drive through large standing pools of water. Most cars end up stranded since waterproofing is not a standard option on most vehicles. And car engines do not like lots of water sloshing about under the hood. Of course the weather forecasters and reporters breathlessly report on every part of storm and the havoc it creates.
Funny thing how repetitive the media can be. For instance the recent claim that the coal bunker fire caused more damage than White Star wanted to admit and contributed to Titanic sinking by weakening the steel, is now going around the world in that all too familiar pattern. It is reported like a new story with headlines that report Titanic’s demise has a new theory. It is not that old since debate on the coal bunker fire has been around for a while. The new claim is that White Star was criminally negligent and ought never to have allowed Titanic to sail. Walter Lord was fond of saying that with Titanic there are many “What If’s.” For instance had they paid more attention to the ice warnings, put more lifeboats on the ship, the lookouts had binoculars and so on much of what happened could have been averted. And this is another one of those type of What If’s.
Over at Bustle they have a listing of the 6 Titanic conspiracy theories. Most are known to Titanic enthusiasts and researchers but here is the list for those who have never seen or heard of them. I am only putting four of the most well known ones on my list.
1) Titanic Switch Theory
No it is not Titanic down there but Olympic. Depending on who is pushing the theory, either the it was done for insurance reasons or to hide something much worse.
2) The Sinking Was Deliberate
This one says Titanic was sunk to kill specific persons (Jacob Astor IV, Benjamin Guggenheim, and Isador Strauss)because they opposed the creation the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank. However things got out of control and more people died as a result. And the Illuminati were involved as well.
A German U-Boat sank Titanic and depending on who is advancing the theory either it was an accident or deliberate.
4) That Old Standby: Mummy Curse
A cursed mummy was aboard Titanic and that curse means Titanic and all aboard were doomed. Except there was no Egyptian mummy aboard and its story can be traced back to those trying to stir up a story for their own use.
When Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared from radar in 2014, it has sparked a lot of analysis and like Titanic some mythology as well. Today there is some hope that recent finds may lead to exactly what happened to that flight. However speculation of all kinds about what happened has filled social media and even some news reports. Julie Williams, a Titanic historian at Stamford University and a Titanic survivor descendant, told the Christian Science Monitor that a meme compared the missing flight to Gilligan’s Island. She noted that her great-uncle Albert Caldwell could buy Titanic postcards mourning the sinking as soon as he disembarked Carpathia. The desire to solve tragedies like Titanic or the missing airliner often fuels people to devise ways to solve it because it obsesses us. We cannot fathom, says William Nesbitt, a professor of English and chair of the department of humanities at Beacon College, how it can disappear and never reappear.
And that is what happened with Titanic. When it sank, many could not believe it not only went down but would never be seen again. The media of the day played up every angle, even if it was wrong, which added to a lot of confusion about what happened aboard the ship. It would take not only wading through two hearings and lots of detective work by historical writers to ferret out what happened from the myths that were spread. Just like today with social media, false and bad information traveled fast. So the parallels are not that far apart and closer than most want to admit.
2.Just Cool Cars: This 1911 Benz has a Titanic link(USA Today, 17 Sep 2016) Gerhard and Adrienne Schnuerer of Huntington Beach, Calif., are owners of this one-of-a-kind 1911 Benz, rare because of its German heritage and New York coachwork.The car was ordered by Charles Hayes, a railroad tycoon from Chicago who went down with the Titanic after she struck an iceberg. Part of his legacy becomes the car he left behind — although he never saw it. It was still being built when he died.
3.Keys From Titanic Among Items Auctioned By Jersey Collector(ITV,15 Sep 2016) A set of keys from the Titanic, which were previously owned by a Jersey collector, has sold for twice the estimate at auction. David Gainsborough Roberts put the set of four up for auction at Christies in London. The keys, which are thought to have belonged to Samuel Ernest Hemming, the lamp trimmer on board the ship, sold for £20,000 yesterday evening.
4. Exploring The Britannic Wreck, Titanic’s Sister Ship (Engineering and Technology, 12 Sep 2016) To get around this huge wreck in the limited time – only 45 minutes – that the divers have at depth, they use underwater scooters. Even with rigorous safety measures in place, the sea is still unpredictable, especially at these depths. Britannic claimed the life of world-renowned technical diver Carl Spencer in 2013 and Kovacs says that it’s not uncommon to hear the explosions of illegal fishermen nearby.Kovacs’ holy grail for this wreck is a rivet-accurate blended acoustic and optical model of the entire exterior yielding a hugely accurate picture of the bulkheads. What this means in practice is a 3D volumetric model. The acoustic images have been taken with multibeam and side-scan sonar from the Perseo ROV and these will be overlaid with the optical results from the divers.
5.Titanic Floats While Some Sink At Annual United Way Cardboard Boat Race(Mlive.com,9 Sep 2016) It was a replica of the most famous sinking ship in history. Made with cardboard and deliberately cracked at its center, the vessel defied its design and the notorious fate of its predecessor. It floated. “We can’t even sink the Titanic,” designer and builder Dave Turk said Friday as he loaded the too-successful boat into the back of a pickup truck at the close of the United Way’s cardboard boat race.
Titanic not only sank but now the wreck itself will be mostly gone in 14 years according to a scientific study. The study done by experts from Institut Laue-Langevin, the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry and the Institut de Biologie Structurale has determined “extremophile bacteria” will eat away the ship by 2030.
Source:Titanic wreck ‘will dissolve in 14 years’(Belfast Telegraph,9 Sep 16)
Southampton has a very strong connection to Titanic. Yet as a writer for Daily Echo points out, the city elders did not capitalize their connection as strongly as Belfast did. Titanic Belfast is a major tourist attraction for Belfast yet Southampton’s Sea City Museum only draws modest numbers. Sea City overlooks the area where Titanic docked but since the area is still a major working port, expansion is not as easy as Belfast had. Others agree more should be done to promote Southampton.
Source:Has Southampton missed the boat with Titanic museum? (Daily Echo,11 Sept 2016)
Summer is drawing to a close and schools are opening up. Sleepy eyed kids are getting on the local buses again to make the journey to school. It has been a quiet summer Titanic wise. Not a whole lot of news though some important news did occur.
Premier Exhibitions Declares Bankruptcy To Reorganize
The big news before the summer began was Premier declaring bankruptcy under Chapter 11 and seeking to reorganize. Typically this means the company has enough resources to stay afloat and needs the courts to reduce its liabilities. For creditors it means they usually get something but not everything. It means the court has to take a hard look at how the company operates which means an intensive look at the financial records and other aspects of the company.
While things have not gone well for a while with Premier, it was thought the Dinoking merger and bringing aboard its ceo to manage would bring things in line. What apparently occurred is that the debts owed by Premier were far greater than the cash infusion the merger could solve. So to stave off likely lawsuits from creditors, they headed to bankruptcy court. Now one of the big arguments is over the French Collection. These artifacts were brought up with a joint expedition with IFREMER and are separate from the other artifacts covered under the U.S. Federal Court salvage award. That salvage award limits how the artifacts can be sold, specifically as one collection making it very difficult to find buyers due to the high cost. However Premier believed it had clear title to the French artifacts and wanted to sell some of them to pay off debts. And sought permission from the court to do this. It was denied, in part, because bankruptcy law requires an adversary action to remove any possible claims to items that will be sold or auctioned off to pay debts.
So Premier is suing the French government in federal court. Premier has submitted documents that appear to support their position. Meanwhile we wait on France to decide whether it will contest a possible sale or file a brief saying they will not fight it.
So Much For Palmer’s Titanic II
Well it appears to be over. After all the fanfare and some preliminary work, the Clive Palmer’s dream to recreate Titanic has come to an end. No one can blame him for wanting to bring it about. It is a great dream. Despite all the positive news spun out by his public relations team, financing the construction proved harder than realized. It was to be constructed in China but the date for the work start came and went, new dates were set, but the shipyard remained quiet. Then came news that once it was launched it would stop in Dubai. That raised speculation that investors from that area were keen on tying in their own Titanic themed areas with this new ship. And I speculated that perhaps money to build could come from there (or even be built there). But Palmer’s relations with the Chinese took a real nosedive with his criticisms of a Chinese company and the lack of Chinese investors in the project meant it would go nowhere. So without much fanfare and no publicity, construction of Clive Palmer’s Titanic II has ended.
Chinese Titanic II
Palmer’s version fizzled but China is building their Titanic II that will docked at a theme park. It will be full size and look exactly like the original. It will also be a hotel and tourist attraction. Visitors will be able to stay aboard, sample high-end late Edwardian age cuisine, and even visit the Titanic Sinking Simulator. That has caused a lot of controversy. Perhaps what will stun visitors from the West is that likely the message about Titanic will be strongly anti-capitalist and demonstrate why the Chinese way is more superior. Just do not mention their awful human rights record or persecution of those who practice religion of any kind.
The current season is interesting but has its usual combination of the excellent, the not-so-good, and those just filling a slot until they are dropped. Poor Nathan is the butt of so many jokes. The bow tied tuxedo salesman (and he always wears a suit even when outside at the farm) may be good at cooking dishes alone but has severe problems working in a team. Some of the good have made their mistakes and departed but perhaps none worse than Andrea. She showed really excellent skills but when she failed to bring her sausage dish down to the front table at the right time, it was bad. Worse was how Gordon and company handled it. At this point they knew she was out of the contest. Instead they go through the mockery of tasting the dishes of which the two useful facts were announced: that she (Andrea) had the best dish while Diamond served up raw sausage. In a normal competition, Diamond would go home. But that is reality and not the often strange world of Masterchef that live in an alternate universe.
They knew Andrea was out the moment she put her plate down three seconds too late. Gordon seemed to argue with Christina and Chef Lee about her having the best dish but Christina reminded rules are rules. Do not be fooled, that was all for show as none of it was for real. It was to make it look like there was some dispute when none existed. Diamond, a weak contender, went into the next round and would be sent home in the next episode. In a real contest, Andrea would have been sent home immediately for missing the time requirement. No need to bother with tasting the dishes and move on to the next round. It just shows the strange world that Masterchef inhabits.
*Celine Dion is sporting a Titanic sweatshirt that is getting some media buzz. Commonly called a hoodie these days, this is not something to be found at your local big box retailer. The 80% cotton/20% polyester and made in Portugal will cost you $885 at Vetements.
*I knew it was going to happen someday. A proposed Chinese-American film will offer a “fresh take” on Titanic. And what will that be? Well according to China Film Insider the film plot will involve a conspiracy. No doubt it will weave in elements made popular by those who believe the Illuminati was involved, that Olympic and not Titanic was sunk for insurance money, or that a dastardly German plot using a submarine was involved. Or perhaps it will go the supernatural route. A cursed Egyptian mummy is brought aboard and escapes causing mayhem and death. Abbott and Costello could have had fun with that one.
*The former home of Thomas Andrews in Belfast, N.I. has been for some years been the home of the Irish Football Association. They have since moved their headquarters and put the property up for sale. According to Belfast Telegraph, it has been purchased by Action Cancer and will be used to treat women suffering from breast cancer.
Commentary on Titanic news and other related items.