What did Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott face in their race to the South Pole? Amundsen and Scott were at the forefront of Antarctic explorations along with others such as Ernest Shackleton and Francis Crozier. The journey to be the first to make it to the South Pole was fraught with all kinds of peril explorers had to endure. And an exhibition from the New York American Museum of Natural History has opened at Titanic Belfast to educate people about this race.
Using multimedia and hands-on exhibits, visitors will get an understanding and appreciation for what these explorers did. This is the first time this exhibition has been to Belfast and the U.K. The exhibition is in Andrew’s Gallery and will be there till 28 Aug.
When I graduated from 8th grade back in the stone age, there was no dance. There was a ceremony to mark the occasion and not much else as I recall. Some places though go the extra step and have a dance for the graduating eighth graders as they head off to four years of high school. The graduating eighth graders of Canyon Lake Middle in Canyon, CA had a memorable dance. When the arrived at the schools multipurpose room they found it had been transformed into Titanic.
“They found the room transformed into the ship’s grand ballroom, with a projection of the grand staircase on stage, creating an upper class and steerage, along with sets that included a special entrance, a wooden gangplank and the nose of the Titanic for photo ops.”
From all accounts it went well. No word if anyone put in an appearance as Jack and Rose.
It is usually the case that when you have an increase in revenues and people attending your tourist attraction, you make money. Not so for Titanic Belfast in 2015 reports Belfast Telegraph. The Telegraph reports this is despite the fact that revenues went up by 7% during that year and that it attracted 625,000 visitors. So what caused the drop in revenue? The newspaper reports:
The drop in profit arose chiefly from the firm’s administrative expenses increasing from £6.27m to £7.42m. And the average number of staff employed last year increased from 134 to 153 with staff costs increasing from £2.17m to £2.45m.
So hiring nineteen people cut into expenses pretty seriously. That tells a lot about the cost of labor these days in NI. And probably why visiting the attraction will soon cost more.
Not a whole lot to report in terms of Titanic. Been quiet of late. Perhaps all the nonsense about Titanic II being built put a cork in it for a while. Another Titanic anniversary is coming up so I expect the news to pick soon. Perhaps another bit of Titanic memorabilia will emerge to be auctioned off. Or more likely some more drama about the actors that were in that movie.
Belfast is having its Titanic 10K Road Race on 10 April. The race is in its tenth year and doing quite well. Of course you do not have to run in the race to enjoy it. Fans line up to watch it to see if the any of their favorites will finish first. Then after all the hoopla is done, retire to a favorite place for a pint of the good stuff and a delicious meal.
The worlds largest cruise ship, Harmony of the Seas, is about to embark on its maiden voyage. This ship makes every other cruise ship look like a dinghy in comparison. It is massive, and I mean massive, at 1,187 feet long and with a displacement of 227,000 tonnes. With 18 decks, it is crammed full of places to eat, entertain, and eat some more. A replica of New York’s Central Park with 10,587 plants and 52 trees is included if you miss a city landscape. As you might expect this is not a cheap trip. Plan to spend serious cash to sail on this leviathan.
And not to be outdone, the folks in Dubai who have gone seriously Titanic crazy decided to have an authentic Titanic meal. It will be at a French restaurant called Bord Eau. The dining area will be converted into a Titanic first class cabin on 14 April. Diners will have a 10 course meal similar to what first class diners had on the ship. Those attending are expected to dress up for this event. Do not think of showing up in a t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops for this one or you will experience an old fashioned punishment called keel hauling. The cost is Dh406 or in U.S. dollars (at last check) $106.00. No jokes about Jack and Rose please at the table.
It has never really crossed my mind to consider how old the iceberg Titanic hit. Possibly as part of an intellectual exercise and a desire to alleviate boredom, scientists at Sheffield University crosschecked data on ocean currents and witness descriptions from 1912. And now they believe it was snow that formed glaciers 100,000 years ago in southwest Greenland that ended up being the infamous iceberg that collided with Titanic in 1912. And it originally was 100ft above the water and possibly 1,700ft long when first formed. By the time it hit Titanic it had shrunk a bit in size but still quite large.
It is Superbowl Sunday here in the United States. It has become a mini-holiday of sorts. For football fans, it is the ultimate game between two rivals. Whether you go to the game or watch it at home, it means cheering on your favorite team (if you have one). And it has become a major food day as well. There are many foods to celebrate the game from nachos to pizza. Pizza is the number one food according to both surveys and sales. All the major national pizza chains look to Superbowl Sunday as the biggest pizza day of the year. It is also the Chinese Lunar New Year so at my house this year, the game will have delicious Chinese food from a local restaurant.
Now to Titanic….
*Not that anyone really cares (or do they?)but the entertainment media has been aflutter with Kate Winslet saying that Jack did not need to die. If they do a remake, perhaps he will live that time or perhaps both will die. Or resurrected as flesh eating ghouls for the cinematic horror Zombies From The Cold Sea!
*A cardboard boat race to teach the lessons of buoyancy ended with the famously named Titanic suffering a similar watery fate. Duck tape and cardboard are a tough challenge to be waterproof though Mythbusters proved the viability of a duck tape boat.
*A political candidate recently spoofed Titanic on Saturday Night Live. Once again Titanic being used as a political prop.
*A Spanish broadcaster apparently confused British Prime Minister David Cameron with famous movie producer James Cameron. Oops! Next time try doing an Internet search first.
Raising the Titanic from its watery grave is not possible but Pete Williams of Burnley, UK has found a way to do it–with weights. When not doing his day job as a detective with Greater Manchester Police, he works out three or four days a weeks at a local gym and also a martial arts center. His goal is to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support and possibly set a world record that Guinness will take note of.
Williams and volunteers will attempt to lift Titanic’s weight of 52,000 tons (5.2 million kilograms) for a world record starting on Saturday 16 April. Williams is getting support from friends, a supplement company and hopes to get other sponsors as well. His reason for raising money for Macmillan is the support they gave for his father who was treated there for throat cancer. So far 100 people have signed up for the chance to dead lift a choice of weights for ten times before resting allowing for three people lifting at the same time.
This has been a quiet week for Titanic, so not a lot of news to report. Here are some interesting bits of news for you to consider.
1. You never know what lies waiting to be uncovered when cleaning out your home. Especially if you have not looked in those dust covered corners in closed up rooms, attics, or basements for a long time. A man found the portrait of Elsie Bowerman, a Titanic survivor, suffragette, and barrister. And it is now up for auction at Duke’s Auctioneers in Dorchester, Dorset, UK in March with an estimated price of £1,000.
Source: Titanic Survivor’s Portrait Discovered (BBC News,22 Jan 2016)
2. The Titanic Hotel at Stanley Dock in Liverpool has won the Luxury Travel Global Guide Award of Luxury Hotel of the Year. The editor of Luxury Travel Magazine is quoted as saying they “were blown away by Titanic Hotel Liverpool’s profile.”
Source: Titanic Hotel wins at Luxury Travel Awards (BDaily,22 Jan 2016)
Finally to close out this Friday, I offer something for my friends facing a very snowy weekend back east and all those also having very cold temperatures.
Lego is getting used a lot these days to build Titanic. One kid built a complete replica using Lego bricks. But no one has attempted doing a Lego representation of Titanic sinking. Till now. Take a look at the photos here and you will be astonished. It really took some real creativity to pull this off. It is far easier to build a replica than to simulate the sinking.
1. The entertainment media is all aflutter telling of a mini-reunion of Kate Winslet and Leonardo DeCaprio at the Golden Globes. At least they are not reminding us for the 1000th time the new Star Wars movie has smashed Titanic’s box office record.
2. Can one describe a school bus flooded as akin to Titanic? It appears so. The United Kingdom has suffered from tremendous rain of late causing all kinds of problems. Now there is a certain rule when driving in areas where water is pretty well concentrated: you avoid it. Cars are not water proofed (a select few are but they are special custom jobs or military)so trying to drive through a deep pond of water on the road will certainly not bode well. Usually the driver gets stranded and a tow truck has to pull your car out. Now you would think a school bus driver with a bus full of kids would want to avoid driving in areas that have already been marked to avoid by authorities. School authorities in North Yorkshire are perplexed and investigating why a school bus with 26 children aboard was driven on a closed road where it ended up in a ditch and began filling with water. A young girl told Sky News “like the Titanic.” Water began pouring into the bus and kids had to kick windows to get out. Sky News also reports the driver was warned by the kids not to take that road.
“It started floating and then it capsized into a ditch, and before it capsized loads of water gushed through,” she said. It was pretty much like the Titanic – it was going.”
Not the kind of things parents want to hear about their kids day at school. None of the kids were injured and either went home or continued on to school via other means.
Source:Flooded School Bus Sank ‘Like The Titanic’(Sky News,5 Jan 2016)
3. Just checked the Blue Star website for any new information about Titanic II. Nothing found.
4. Premier Exhibitions is trying to be more transparent these days. In the past shareholders had complained that management was less than forthcoming about company operations, the proposed sale of Titanic collection, and other things. If recent filings are an indication, the new management is taking a different approach. They are trying to let investors know the company is going to be better managed and trying to increase revenues. Also they are looking into opportunities in Asia and in particular Macau.
Source:Premier Exhibitions Inc. Announces Corporate Update(Globe NewsWire,8 Jan 2016-press release)