After two years of spinning next to city hall, the Big Wheel is finally coming down on 11 April. The wheel was a major tourist success but it also had its detractors. In November 2009 the Belfast Titanic Society complained the wheel blocked access to the Titanic Memorial. And it prevented them from laying a memorial wreath.
The Belfast Titanic Society campaigned for the wheel to be removed. Apparently it worked. Originally the company running the attraction had submitted an application for summer use. They have since decided to remove the wheel.
Visitors to the Thompson Dry Dock in Belfast can no longer visit it for free. The BBC is reporting that it will now cost £50 to enter the area. The fee is being implemented by the Northern Ireland Science Park, the owner of the dock. The dock was opened in 1911 by the Belfast Harbour Commissioners. The 850 foot long dock was the world’s largest at the time. It is popular with tourists who want to see a real Titanic attraction. The BBC reports that it is a popular stop for bus tours.
A parking fee has been added as well for tour buses, cars, and even taxis. The article states you can avoid the Thompson charge by pre-booking a site tour or by purchasing goods in the visitors center.
Well its official according to Cinematical. A 3D version of Cameron’s Titanic is set to be released in spring 2012 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of its sinking. I expect it will be shown somewhere, along with another great Titanic movie A Night To Remember on the same day Titanic went down. Of the two A Night To Remember is more historically accurate than Cameron’s treatment. And I am not particularly fond of 3D! This was a brief blip on the cinematical experience long ago. It failed because audiences tired of it and studios found it costly to produce. Besides those 3D glasses made you look silly. 🙂
If researchers at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia are right, best to be on a ship sinking slowly rather than one sinking fast reports the New York Times. They concluded the rate of sinking results in either “Women and Children First!” or “Every Man For Himself!” scenarios. Titanic’s sinking (1912) and Lusitania’s (1915) were used to test their hypothesis. Titanic sank slowly allowing for more children and women to survive. Lusitania sank fast so women and children had a lesser chance to survive.
“When you have to react very, very fast, human instincts are much faster than internalized social norms,” said Benno Torgler, an economics professor at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and one of the authors of the study, published in the current issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
I am not sure this really tells us anything new about human behavior. There were a lot of factors that played into how many survived Titanic. And “Women and Children First” was not universal on Titanic. Lightoller enforced it but not other officers. There also was little panic. Lusitania, on the other hand, is a different story. A torpedo fired from a German submarine fatally ruptured her. She went down fast and everyone had to race to the lifeboats. In such situations, there is little time. One must move fast.
The S.V. Concordia, a floating classroom for upper class high schoolers and first year 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.
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.
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.
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)
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. 🙂
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.