Tag Archives: The Guardian

Titanic Tidbits

RMS Titanic departing Southampton on April 10, 1912.
RMS Titanic departing Southampton on April 10, 1912.

1.  A lump of coal and a rusticle that were salvaged from Titanic in the 1990’s are going up for auction. The coal was brought up in 1994 (the Titanic Research & Recovery Expedition) and the rusticle from the ship’s hull from the 1998 French expedition to the site. The go under the hammer today at JP Humbert Auctioneers (UK).
Source: Chunk Of Titanic Goes Under The Hammer(10 Mar 2015,Advertiser & Review)

2.The UK Guardian’s Chase Condrone gave Titanic Museum at Pigeon Forge, Tennessee a good review. She notes the museum crafts reality and theatre into one with people dressed up in period costumes, the original items on display, the ability to feel the coldness of that night. It also makes her in one case feel a bit creepy:

I walk up to a narrow trough of water, and a sign tells me to plunge my hand into it. The water is 28 degrees: the temperature of the Atlantic that night. In his 1915 poem The Convergence of the Twain, Thomas Hardy saw the Titanic and the iceberg as “twin halves of one august event”. My iceberg is just a picture, but this room is nonetheless creepy, and as I trail my hand in the trough of icy water, I feel certain that I could never know the experience of the Titanic.

Source: For $27 You Can Experience The Sinking Of The Titanic – In Landlocked Tennessee (12 Mar 2015,The Guardian)

3. Eurogamer.net reports that a proposed project called Titanic Honor & Glory will be the most ambitious recreation of the disaster to date. While it will be a game, the developer has hired a team of contributors to make it historically accurate (except of course the fictional aspects of the story). There will be interaction with real-life Titanic passengers and crew. Sounds pretty ambitious and hopefully will come to pass.
Source: Ambitious Titanic Game Lets You Explore The Sinking Ship In Real-Time (eurogamer.net,24 Feb 2015

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Titanic Memorial Cruises Bothers The Guardian

Disaster tourism. The Guardian  believes the cruise tours planned next year to commemorate Titanic’s sinking fall into this category. These tours are following Titanic’s route in 1912 to where it all ended in the mid-Atlantic. It is hard to say what offends the newspaper most, the tours themselves or that people are actually paying big dollars. Considering their criticism is included with other odd and strange tours, I am leaning to the second. Today the cruise business is no longer about transporting passengers as in 1912 but essentially floating hotels taking passengers to interesting, even exotic destinations.

I understand why many are upset with such tours. But really is it that different from people who travel to famous battle sites, meet with distinguished lecturers and historians, and then have meals? The only difference I see is that people are aboard a ship where they will likely have Titanic themed events and lectures, movies, meals like those served aboard Titanic, and likely a memorial service for those that perished. Of course being a cruise ship of today it will have the latest safety features, a benefit of the very tragedy they are aboard to commemorate.

Belfast is using Titanic 2012 to show the world the city is worth more than battles between Catholics and Protestants. They are busy making things ready for the many tourists coming to see where Titanic was built. For Belfast the Titanic legacy has been mixed. They did not want to talk about it much believing that it tainted them. Much of Titanic was handmade by craftsman who took pride in their work. Its sinking was a terrible blow to all those who had made the dream come true. Yet they ought not to be ashamed. Titanic was a magnificent ship built by workers in Belfast. Its sinking was a terrible catastrophe but ought not to take away the fine work done to build her.

Critics see the cruises as bad since they commercialize the catastrophe. Except that this has been going on ever since 1912 from books, to movies, to exhibits, and feature movies. You can split hairs as to what was done for the right and wrong reasons, but lots of people have made money from Titanic. James Cameron made buckets of money for himself and the studio by commercializing the catastrophe (albeit with a fictional story) with his movie. The movie was spectacular and probably the most close in depicting how the ship looked ever done on screen. Of course now there is a television miniseries coming next year. What will the critics say-a cynical cashing in on Titanic or the retelling of a well known story?

The memorial cruises are no more and no less that what has gone on before. People are free, unless it has changed, to spend money as they see fit. If they want to take a Titanic Memorial Cruise, get a sense of what it was like in 1912, and get dressed up for it, that is their decision. Many will go to Belfast to connect with Titanic, soak up the sights, and get a taste of Ireland as well.

The Guardian notes many other strange and oddball places for people to stay at:
*A comfortable place that requires you to remove shoes upon entry (barefoot, socks, or slippers only)

*A hotel that imposes a Day of Silence on its guests.

*And the best of all-camping with pigs. Not just staying nearby but actually sleeping with them in the pig houses (fresh straw included) so you really get up close and personal with your future ham, bacon, and sausage while still on the hoof.  Of course those who are religiously averse to pigs (or vegans) ought to stay away.

I wonder what James Herriot would think of that. 🙂

The Guardian,Would You Go On This Holiday?, 20 Aug 2011

Not A Prank: Titanic Yacht Sinking!

Here is one for the books. While out shopping the phone rings and the caller tells you his ship is sinking. Oh and it is named Titanic! In the case of Alex Evan, a lifeboat volunteer with Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), it was his friend Mark Corbett. At first Evan thought it was a prank but was convinced it was a real emergency.

Corbett really was on a yacht called Titanic and was calling 4,000 miles away in the Caribbean using a satellite phone to reach him.

According to The Guardian, the yacht was too far from Grenada. listing badly, and short of power. Luckily Corbett remembered the number of his friend in RNLI. Evan took down information about the ship’s position and relayed it on. An hour later a French spotter plane located the yacht and a U.S. Coast Guard cutter arrived later to tow the damaged vessel to port.

Evan tells The Guardian his friend made the right choice to call him. Thanks to his contacts through RNLI, the report was taken seriously. Corbett and his two crewmen all are safe and back in Wales. As for the yacht, was renamed Titanic after its previous owners transferred its old name to a new ship. There is an old sea superstition that renaming a ship makes it unlucky. Unless, as Evan notes, you swim around the ship naked three times telling why the renaming was required (presumably to appease a water god). Yikes! I would rather just toss bottles of rum overboard to appease the spirits than swim around naked in the cold ocean.

Then again angering a sea god can be risky business. Just ask Odysseus. 🙂