This story did not come out on Halloween, which would have been fitting considering the subject. According to Ozarks First the Wichita Paranormal Research Society (WPRS) recently examined the Titanic Museum in Branson for signs of paranormal activity. Said founder Shane Elliot, “I think there’s some really interesting claims here.” The claims are of apparitions being seen, ghostly voices and other weird things.
WPRS is investigating and used all kinds of monitoring equipment. According to the news account, “WPRS spent about six hours investigating the museum. Every person of the seven member team had some experience with voices or shadows.” This vague tease is likely a precursor that, of course, the exhibit is haunted. The findings, one suspects, will get some print space in the local newspaper and likely a mention on television (and quite possibly a segment on one of those television ghost hunter shows).
One thing I have learned from reading and studying on the paranormal is how easy it is to fool ourselves. All kinds of things can make us believe we are seeing or hearing things we attribute to the supernatural but are not. Distant voices or sounds can sometimes be from air vents or pipes. The normal contraction of wood (caused by heating up and cooling down) can sometimes be alarming with loud popping sounds. I once thought I heard someone walking about upstairs in the living room in my father’s house but no one was there. It was caused by the growing coldness of the night and the wooden floorboards contracting.
We can be easily fooled by our senses and the power of suggestion. Hopefully the ghost hunters will bear that in mind in tracking down the “ghosts” that allegedly hang around the exhibit.
BBC News reported recently that a new world record is about to recorded in the area of matchstick replicas.
David Reynolds, a former oil rig worker from Southampton, England, decided to build a matchstick replica of a North Sea oil platform. It took 15 years and four million matches to finish the job. He did it out of fun and to keep “the grey matter working.” The replica is so big it could not be put together in his own home and took two trucks to haul it to the Bursledon Brickworks and Industrial Museum where it is being temporarily housed. He got the matches to build his replica from friends and by buying wholesale to keep his costs very low.
If he is certified by the Guinness people, it will beat the the previous Guinness world record that went to a 3.5 million-match replica of the Titanic.
Sony BMG Music was sued by John Jorgensen claiming that his song “Long Lost Lover” was infringed by the songs “My Heart Will Go On” and “Amazed.” He argued that his tune was stolen as he had sent out unsolicited mass mailings of the song to record companies. Rewind and repeat: he sent out unsolicited mass mailings (aka spam) of his song to record companies.
He sued in 2003 but the judge granted a motion for summary judgment agreeing that Jorgensen “had not presented sufficient evidence of access to support his claim of copyright infringement, i.e., Jorgensen had not shown a reasonable opportunity by the allegedly infringing songwriters to hear and copy Jorgensen’s unpublished song.” (Jorgensen v. Epic/Sony Records et al, U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 3 Dec 2003, 351 F.3d 46)
His appeal to the 2nd Circuit was denied as it agreed with the lower court that “corporate receipt of unsolicited work” is not evidence of a connection between those who received the emails and those alleged to have infringed the copyright. Jorgensen had no evidence to prove his claim and the defendants were able to show there was no connection. So the appeals court denied his appeal and he took it to the U.S. Supreme Court. Today that court rejected his appeal which means Jorgensen is out of luck.
The court papers state he represented himself, so at least he does not owe a lot of money to attorneys. The lesson here is simple. Sending out copies of your work via unsolicited emails is not very smart. And proving they stole your music, which you sent by mass mail, is even more difficult to prove under these circumstances. Case dismissed.
Bill Mechanic, former chief at 20th Century Fox Studio and involved with Disney’s home video, recently spoke at Independent Film & Television Alliance’s production conference in Santa Monica. According to Home Media Magazine he blamed studios for being more concerned about budgets than changing market forces.
“If I can buy Titanic for under $5 in some stores, why am I so eager then to rush out to pay $30 or so when it’s released on Blu-ray?” Mechanic said. “Is the quality that great? How many formats are yet to come?”
Good point. And if you already own “Titanic” or the three volume “Lord of The Rings” trilogy, are you willing to shell out more bucks for a blu-ray version? I suspect most people will not do so unless they are buying it for the first time.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, movie executives are interested in re-releasing two of James Cameron’s movies, “Titanic” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” in 3D format. But the newspaper reports that converting many movies into 3D will be limited to well known classics.
Still, though several Hollywood majors also might tread that path eventually, only select projects are likely until 3D home entertainment takes hold, and that’s maybe five years down the road. Only the most well-known film classics would merit the considerable costs of converting 2D pics, not to mention the marketing expenses of 3D rereleases.
I am somewhat baffled by this trend to 3D. When I was a kid it had been long discarded by movie studios. And for good reason as after a while it lost its appeal (it mainly was for horror and sci-fi movies). I just wonder how big the market really is for 3D. With all the advanced digital tech we now use and advanced computer rendering that is done, one wonders if 3D is just one of those niche trends that comes and goes with the wind. After all, do you really need to see the iceberg in 3D?
Over the years there have been are many “tacky” Titanic items offered upfor sale. There is a stuffed Titanic, a Titanic-Bot Transformer, a Rose doll (from Cameron’s Titanic), Christmas ornaments, salt and pepper shakers, and even a Titanic sinking game. But there is one that perhaps tops them all and it is by no means tacky to say the least. Consider the Jean Pierre Lepin Titanic Palladium Fountain Pen.
According to the description, this fine writing instrument has the cap shaped like the vent from the ocean liner. The sapphire glass in the top allows you to see the pink gold nib which is “engraved with the silhouette of the Titanic.” Small portholes are on the body of the pen allowing you to see the ink and piston. Here is some more detailed information:
The body with several portholes is fitted with a transparent ink fountain in which it is possible to see ink and piston. Lower down, you can see a propeller similar to the Titanic‘s and underneath the steerage of the ship protected by a sapphire glass cover. On turning the inking-roller, the piston pumps the ink, the propeller turns and needle of steerage starts to move . It is an extremely complex pen .Between the body and cap, there is the famous rusty ring made out of precious metal that was originally part of the Titanic. Screws similar to the rivets of the Titanic hold together the different parts. Different versions, limited to 88 pens per version, will be available and some with solid gold, diamonds and gemstones. Each part will come complete with the certificate from the shipyard to certify the authenticity of the precious metal.
It is obviously not your ordinary fountain pen but one either for collectors or to be used for ceremonial occasions (like signing treaties). And it has the cost consummate with its elegance: $6,650. As the skit on the old Laugh-In said: “That’s a lot of Tootsie Rolls!”
This seems to be the year of Stanley Lord as we have another book examining his culpability that tragic night in 1912. The Titanic and the Indifferent Stranger written by Paul Lee is now out in an expanded paperback edition. According to the press release, the book is a 440 page detailed anaylsis that follows the controversy from its roots all the way through the books published for and against Stanley Lord, and the internal deliberations of the British government.
“The Titanic and the Indifferent Stranger” is a 440 page detailed analysis of the case, chronologically following the controversy from initial press reports of the mysterious ship seen from the Titanic’s bows, to the pronouncements made in later years by authors keen to promote their books and opinions over their rivals. Assisting in Dr. Lee’s conclusions is the first printing of the internal deliberations of the UK Government as the campaigns to clear Captain Lord’s name in 1965, 1968 and the early 1990s were ignited by Lord’s friends. The bequeathed papers of Captain Lord’s foe and namesake Walter Lord, and the Captain’s ardent supporter Leslie Harrison have been scoured and provide a rich source of information on the tactics employed on both sides of the argument – culminating in a legal bid to suppress a book critical of the Californian and its crew.
A review by Paul Rogers on the electronic edition at Encyclopedia Titanica gives it high marks. “Lee’s book is, quite simply, the most comprehensive presentation of evidence in relation to Captain Lord and his infamous ship that I have read to date. Rather than relying on footnotes and references, Lee presents, within the text itself, the full transcripts from the American and British Inquiries that relate to the Californian and the other ships implicated in the Titanic disaster. There is no bias whatsoever that I could perceive and Lee treats all those involved with scrupulous fairness.”
I have no doubt that both sides of the debate (the Lordites and Anti-Lordites) will be making their own appraisals known of Lee’s work in the near future (if they have not all ready done so by now).
Signed copies of the book are available from the author’s site at http://www.paullee.com/book_details.php or you can buy it at amazon.co.uk.
According to thisisleicestershire.co.uk, the Titanic Cafe in Belgrave Gate, Leicester was closed (temporarily) on 13 Aug due to live rodents and mouse droppings found on the premises.
Officials from Leicester City Council’s food safety team found droppings and urine throughout the kitchen and serving area of the Titanic Cafe, in Belgrave Gate, Leicester. Cafe owner Nuri Bay appeared before city magistrates yesterday and was ordered to pay £866.62 costs after they upheld the council’s decision to issue an emergency hygiene notice to prevent the building from being used on August 13. The cafe has now reopened after inspectors revisited the premises prior to yesterday’s hearing.
“He won’t have the luxury of quarterbacking a great team this season. He’s been elected the captain of the Titanic. Bowe is the lone working engine of the Titanic offense.” (kansascity.com, “Haley’s Punishment Of Bowe Hurts Chiefs Instead,”15 Aug 09)
The following news headlines have been posted at titanicnewschannel.com.
1. Surviving the Titanic: The Saga of Davit Vartanian (10 Aug 09, Armenian Weekly)
2. Titanic Exhibition Attracts Crowds To Dockside Museum (9 Aug 09, Yorkshire Post)
3. Shipwreck Declared National Historic Site (7 Aug 09, Canada.com)
4. Nomadic Refloats Titanic’s Tale (6 Aug 09, Belfast Telegraph)
5. Titanic Explorer Ballard To Speak At Wichita Museum (4 Aug 09, Kansas.com)
6. 100000 Visitors to Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at Science Museum of Minnesota (4 Aug 09, PR Newswire-press release)
7. In Sinking Economy, Titanic Exhibit Floats (2 Aug 09, LocalNews8.com-Idaho Falls, ID, USA)
8. Titanic Memorial In DC (30 Jul 09, Examiner.com)
9. Titanic Exhibit Was A Fascinating Look At Human Nature (30 Jul 09, Georgina Advocate-Canada)
10. Titanic Exhibit Coming To Louisville (30 Jul 09, Louisville Courier-Journal-USA)