Survivor of S.V. Concordia Says Sinking Was Like Titanic

The S.V. Concordia, a floating classroom for upper class high schoolers and first year S.V.Concordia(2007)college students, was on a five-month trip around the world when it sank near Brazil. According to news reports, the 64 survivors had to drift and await rescue. The ship encountered strong winds and rough seas off Brazil. Horizontal winds caused the three masted ship to flip over.

“It was like the Titanic,” she said. The moment the three-mast ship rolled on its side, water spilled over the hull. The classroom began to flood. The windows cracked and broke. Many of the young students began to panic, then the extensive emergency training kicked in. Fighting gravity, a friend helped pull Keaton up into the hallway, then onto the deck and side of the ship. Keaton was able to get her emergency survival suit on. Many didn’t have time.

The Brazilian Navy rescued the survivors. However since the radio was underwater, there was no way for the survivors to know if help was coming. They had to drift and wait hoping the distress beacon was received and acted upon. This harrowing tale has a good ending with everyone rescued and returning home.

Source: It Was Like The Titanic” (Toronto Star,20 Feb 2010)

Titanic Cliche of the Day: Glenn Beck Does Titanic

Once again the story of RMS Titanic proves fruitful for the opinion business. Glenn Beck, who hosts both a radio and television program, used Titanic as a metaphor for America on his Fox News show.

You see, the name of the boat is the America. But America isn’t sinking. Just America as we have run it, is sinking. America, as we have known it, is sinking. But it’s not the ship. Who cares about the White Star Line? We’ll build another one. We’ll build a better one, one that won’t sink or one that will sink slower. We don’t care about the ship. We care about the people in it and the idea of the ship. We need to get people into the lifeboats with the idea of the Constitution, because we can build a fleet of these.”

The transcript details his examination of Titanic leading to his conclusion noted above. Whether you agree or not with Beck, it is at least entertaining. For his efforts, we award Beck the Titanic Cliche of the Day Award.

Titanic Art Sale Nixed

Plans to sell art for a new Titanic museum in Southampton has been scrapped. Instead the Southampton city council will sell land to finance the new building.

The plan, which the council hoped could raise £5 million ($7.8 million) toward the proposed £15 million ($23.4 million) center, had aroused considerable fury from some residents and institutions in the United Kingdom. Officials at the Tate released statements questioning the intelligence of the move, and protest groups such as Save Our Collection organized to oppose the sale.

Source: Southampton Nixes Titanic Art Sale (Artinfo.com, 18 Feb 2010)

Titanic Song On List Of Worst Love Songs

John Sinkevics at MLive.com reports readers choose best and worst love songs. Topping the worst list is Captain & Tennile’s 1970 song “Muskrat Love.” I must agree with the selection here. “Muskrat Love” is not going to help anyone feel romantic. Surprisingly Titanic’s “My Heart Will Go On” was number four. I am a bit surprised as this is a good song. I have to wonder whether its constant play is a factor or perhaps people do not like Celine Dion. It has become a signature song for her and fans love it.

Here is the list from MLive.com:
Worst (Readers Choice)
1. “Muskrat Love,” Captain & Tennille (1976)
2. “Afternoon Delight,” Starland Vocal Band (1976)
3. “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That),” Meat Loaf (1993)
4. “My Heart Will Go On,” Celine Dion (1998)
5.  (Tie) “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You,” Bryan Adams (1991)
“Wind Beneath My Wings,” Bette Midler (1981)
“You’re Beautiful,” James Blunt (2005)
“Every Breath You Take,” The Police (1983)

Best
1. “Wonderful Tonight,” Eric Clapton (1978)
2. “Just the Way You Are,” Billy Joel (1977)
3. “Your Song,” Elton John (1970)
4. “Love Song,” Tesla (1989)
5. (Tie) “Unchained Melody,” Righteous Brothers (1965, though various artists have had hits with it since 1955)
Jason Mraz | MySpace Music Videos”Lucky,” Jazon Mraz/Colbie Caillat (2009)
“Because You Loved Me,” Celine Dion (1996)

I would have liked to see Roy Orbison on the list for “You Got It.”

As for Celine, she is set to return to Vegas in 2011. Obviously the MLive list does bother her one bit. 🙂

Titanic Cliche of the Day: Japan’s Economy Leans Titanic

Combining economics and Titanic is done frequently by columnists. A bank failure, crashing economy, badly run corporations are all compared to Titanic. Tom Plate, in an opinion piece appearing in The Jakarata Post, writes about how Toyota has fallen to Earth after years of being revered for its quality. Plate uses this to illustrate that the Japanese do not walk on water. He writes:

“Because unless you understand the Japanese as mortal members of planet earth like the rest of us, there is no way to explain why Japan’s economy is starting to lean like a potential Titanic….”

The image does not work well. If he is arguing Japan is like Titanic moving dangerously through an ice field about to have a collision, then it ought to have been better stated. It however makes the grade for our Titanic Cliche of the Day.

Irwin Allen Would Be Proud

Virgin Limited Edition, a U.K. company, recently announced an “underwater plane” that will dive to 36,000 feet. It is a three person submersible and looks pretty cool from the model shown in the picture. It reminds me of the flying submarine from Irwin Allen’s television show Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. The show was based on the 1961 movie with Walter Pidgeon, Barbara Eden and Peter Lorre. None of the movie actors carried over to the series. Richard Basehart played Admiral Harriman Nelson and David Eddison as Captain Lee Crane. One of the nifty aspects of Seaview was its flying submarine. It could launch underwater, move to the surface and take off. It would do the same in reverse by diving under the water and then returning to its Seaview hangar underwater.

The Necker Nymph alas cannot fly except underwater. From the picture it looks pretty cool. Now for the details. Here is what the press release states (in part):

Available either when chartering Necker Belle, the luxury 105 foot catamaran, or when staying on Necker Island, underwater flight on Necker Nymph takes exploration to another level. Gliding on the water’s surface like an aeroplane on a runway, one of the three pilots will operate the joystick to smoothly dive down, and the thrilling experience begins. Uncover ancient shipwrecks, fly side-by-side with dolphins, or spyhop with whales; the options are endless. With the flexibility to glide peacefully over glorious reefs or bank adventurously in 360 degree turns, the sub is hydrobatic. Individual “wind shields” remove the pressure of slipstream, enabling comfortable speed and ranges previously unthinkable without enclosing the pilots. The open cockpits afford near ideal 360 degree viewing for occupants, creating a uniquely open experience. Dives can last up to two hours.

The press release states that it can be launched from the Necker Belle or from shore. Before you reach for the phone to make a reservation, you ought to know this is no cheap thrill. If you rent the Necker Belle for a week ($88,000 according to one report I read), you get the Necker Nymph for a weekly rate of $25,000. How much it costs just for a day and launched from shore is not listed. My guess is around $10,000-$15,000. Only the heavy wallet brigade can afford it.

Richard Branson once again makes the impossible seem possible. Irwin Allen would agree and, if alive, be one of the first to take a trip.

May I Serve You Gin and A Sinking Ship?

Titanic icecube
Tacky

 

Okay so you are at a party and you are served a drink with a ice cube in the shape of a ship. Not just any ship but resembling RMS Titanic. Do images come to mind of the star-crossed lovers of Cameron’s Titanic? How about the terror those aboard felt in those final moments? Or will just laugh it off as a joke as the people at Fred and Friends hope you will? After all they are just ice cube molds, right?

I can say, with some authority, what many in the Titanic community would say and it would not be printable here. Some of the printable words are disgraceful, tacky, disrespectful and that is on the mild side. There have been many Titanic themed products over the years, some very nice collectibles and others just tacky like stuff sold to tourists at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.

Perhaps the best place for them is where tacky already is. I recommend any MTV reality show but if tacky is as tacky does, then send it the house where the cast of Jersey Shore is staying. Ought to make for some interesting television. :-P

Christmas in Belfast 2009

ChristmasInBelfast.jpg
Christmas in Belfast 2009 with big wheel in background.

A recent travel write-up noted how much Belfast has changed since peace began.

“When I first visited Belfast in the early 1980s it was an uninviting destination by day and a ghost town by night. The Provos were blowing up the place and their Loyalist street rivals were retaliating with murderous intent. Dickens once described Belfast as “a fine place with rough people”. He was wrong. Belfast people are supremely friendly but the place used to be as dangerous as a tin of Spam left out in the sun.”

On a more recent visit, he found the place well worth visiting. Belfast is born again. The City Hall commands views over grand hotels, smart shops, handsome public buildings, an ice hockey arena, waterfront apartments with jetties and scores of hip restaurants. Shoppers are everywhere. Gunmen, police and soldiers are nowhere to be seen. Salmon have returned to the Lagan. The normality is surreal.

During his trip around the city, he went to where Titanic was built and noted: “Unexpectedly awestruck, I’m looking into the massive dock on Queen’s Island where the Titanic was built: 39 metres wide, 259 metres long, 13 metres deep. Belfast once led the world in shipbuilding, linen manufacturing and rope making. There were 49,000 ship workers alone.”

The picture at the top is from the Belfast City Council and shows the 2009 Christmas celebration. One bit of discord is that big wheel you see there. It blocks entrance to the Titanic monument there, which has caused a row between the local Titanic group and the city leaders. You can read about it at the news side of the site. Hopefully the next time they put it up they are more mindful of not blocking the Titanic memorial that likely tourists will want to see. After all that is what they are spending millions of pounds for in the first place.

Titanic Cliche of the Day-Times Online

I never knew that there was a coffee problem in Britain until I read Chloe Lambert’s Cup of coffeearticle. She laments that British coffee was not up to snuff when compared to what you find elsewhere in the world.

“I love my country. I love our sense of humour, our pubs, our theatre and I don’t even mind our weather. But when I fly back home from a holiday, there’s one sight that makes me want to jump into the luggage hold and wait until the plane turns back. That is the brightly lit, maroon colours of a Costa Coffee. It’s the beleaguered businessman queuing up to pay £2.50 for a weak, lukewarm “cappuccino” with enough froth to sink the Titanic.” (“Coffee: Are We Finally Up To World Cup Standards?,” Times Online, 8 Dec 09)

I must give the writer credit for using something different with the cliche. Normally it is about rearranging the deck chairs or how (whatever the subject is about) is steering into the iceberg. I believe this is the first cliche that uses cappuccino and froth in relation to Titanic. In case you are wondering, the writer has found hope for coffee in Britain. Starbucks and other high end coffee shops are bringing real coffee to the populace. 🙂

Titanic Cliche of the Day-Huffington Post

The Titanic Cliche is really popular these days when talking about the economy. Cenk Uygur over at the Huffington Post recently blogged about the renomination of Fed Chief Ben Bernanke. And once again RMS Titanic makes an appearance:

“I had large misgivings about Ben Bernanke before his hearings began. He’s given credit for steering our economy to safe shores after we hit an enormous economic iceberg. First, I would argue we are nowhere near safe shores. Second, why are we rehiring the guy who steered the Titanic into the iceberg in the first place?”

Poor Captain Smith. Not only the captain of a ship that collided with an iceberg and sank, but now tied to sinking an economy as well. 🙂

Commentary on Titanic news and other related items.

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