Tag Archives: Titanic II

Titanic News For Superbowl Sunday

Sorry folks for being away for a while. Simply put, got busy and there was not much news to report on. February has finally arrived and it is Superbowl Sunday here in the U.S. For those outside of the U.S., it is a national day of watching two teams battling it out for supremacy. Like our Thanksgiving day, people gather together to eat lots of high caloric foods but not as formal as that day. In fact, according to recent news reports, many food companies see this as one of their biggest days of the year. Pizza ranks pretty high on the list, so those ovens get fired up early in the morning and the prep work is pretty frantic to get those pizzas out the door. If you have not ordered your pizza by now, it will be a long wait for it to arrive in time for the game.

Moving on, here are some Titanic stories you might find interesting:

1. Titanic Show Sails Into Macau (31 Jan 2013, SinoShip News
Professor Palmer said while Titanic was not scheduled to visit China or Asia, Titanic II’s ties with China will be significant. “I have commissioned CSC Jinling Shipyard to build and coordinate the construction of Titanic II in China,” he said. “This signifies the future relationship between Titanic II and China, as Titanic II offers a tremendous opportunity for CSCJinling to showcase their abilities and grow their business, as well as establish China in the luxury cruise ship market.” Palmer said Titanic will be remembered when guests meet to enjoy the same lavish eleven course menu as first class passengers did on April 14, 1912.

2. Treasure Hunter Continues Quest To Recover Gold Buried With Titanic’s Sister Ship(30 Jan 2013, IrishCentral)
According to the Boston Herald, Bayerle sought and was eventually awarded the exclusive salvage rights to the wreck in 2005 by now retired U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner. But the twist in the tale came when another judge scuttled his lawsuit last week against a maritime historian he believes holds blueprints to the ship and the keys to the success of his mission. (Related story at Boston Herald)

3. Titanic Memorial(30 Jan 2013, C-SPAN)
This video is about the Titanic Memorial in Washington D.C. Has some interesting background information about the person who designed it.

4. Titanic’ Exhibit Sails Into The Grand Rapids Public Museum(30 Jan 2013, MLive.com)
 “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition” opens February 9 and runs through July 7. Tickets can be purchased at startickets.com or at 800/585-3737. Tickets are timed and limited. Tickets for nonmembers are $17/adults, $16/seniors, $12/children 3—18; and free/children 2 and under. For members, tickets are $12/adults, $11/seniors, $10/children 3—18, and free/children 2 and under. Tickets include admission to the rest of the Museum.

5. Museum To Host Titanic Exhibition(20 Jan 2013, The Northern Echo)
Darlington Railway Museum will hold an exhibition and performance from the History Wardrobe on the famous ship, which sank on April 15, 1912 after striking an iceberg. There will be displays of costumes, documents and survivor testimonies, with a show telling the story of dress designer Lady Lucy Duff-Gordon, who escaped from the ship when it began sinking in the North Atlantic Ocean. (Show date: 17 Feb at 2:00p.m.)

6. Titanic Museum Debuts New Children’s Gallery(25 Jan 2013, Branson Tri-Lakes news)
More than 2,200 people were on board the RMS Titanic when it set sail on its doomed maiden voyage more than 100 years ago, and the Titanic museum attraction in Branson is making sure people don’t forget their stories. This year, the museum added a new gallery dedicated to the children who were on board. Mary Kellogg-Joslyn, executive vice president of operations for the museum’s parent company, Cedar Bay Entertainment, said the new exhibit is just one way the museum is changing to appeal to new, and sometimes younger, visitors. This year the museum also is adding an additional audio tour aimed at children. The tour, Kellogg-Joslyn said, “makes the artifacts come to life and gives them a voice.”

7. Largest Paper Model Of The Titanic: Ronald Luntz Breaks Guinness World Record(20 Jan 2013, World Record Academy )
Ronald Luntz, 70, spent more than eight hours a day in his Apple Valley home for the past three months and built a 7-foot model of the Titanic which is a foot wide and 3 feet high and sets the new world record for the Largest paper model, according to the World Record Academy: www.worldrecordacademy.com/. The Guinness world record for the argest model railway engine was set by the Thomas the Tank Engine character ‘James’, which is 264.3 cm high, 149.6 cm wide, 652 cm long (104.05 x 58.59 x 256.69 in) and weighs nearly 1.5 tons (236.2 st).  Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the largest model of DNA; it measured 28 m (91 ft 10 in) and was created by Nu Skin Greater China in Kowloon, Hong Kong, China. “People don’t understand how sturdy cardboard is,” he said. “If you give me enough cardboard and glue, I can make you a bridge you can drive across. That’s a fact.”

Some odds and ends

1. James Cameron’s Titanic was a major hit but according to The Inquisitr the Taliban did not like Afghan boys getting haircuts similar to Leonardo DiCaprio’s in the movie. They arrested at least 30 barbers and many Afghan teenage boys who got the cut. Many were beaten and forced to shave their heads. Many tried to hide their haricuts by wearing hats. Underground barbers emerged to give the banned haircuts after hours and outside of public view. Another reason to oppose such regimes in the strongest possible terms.
Source: The Inquisitr, Taliban Hated The Movie Titanic And Banned Leonardo DiCaprio’s Haircut, 29 Jan 2013

2. A “Titanic” cigar measuring 19 feet long and 3 feet wide was recently sold for $18,500. It titanicigarweighs 1,600 pounds making it nearly 25,000 normal sized cigars into one. You have to wonder how this came about. Was it after a few beers where someone mentioned about the largest cigar ever made? Or a wager to see if you could actually make one and sell it. Since it can never be used (except by a giant), it can only be used as a display. Perhaps in the entry way of a building. Or if you really want to poke some fun at the anti-smoking crowd, have it placed outside one of their main offices. Should really get them up in arms. Nanny Bloomberg is probably already outraged and calling on federal agents to seize the offending Titanic cigar (possibly for violating some obscure law).
Source: 8countnews.com,  Titanic Cigar Sells For $185000, 2 Feb 2013

Updates On Titanic II 2013 Presentations

More dates are being announced for the upcoming Titanic II presentations. All of them were cancelled in 2012 due to Hurricane Sandy but Palmer is creating his own whirlwind.

Here are the dates thus far:

16 Feb: Macau
25 Feb: Boston
26 Feb: New York
1 Mar: Halifax, Nova Scotia
5 Mar: London & Southampton

The New York event is going to be a gala with major celebrities and politicians in attendance. So you can expect the entertainment press to be all over it. But the real question everyone will ask is–will the actors that played Rose and Jack attend?

Source: etravelblackboardasia.com, New Date For Titanic II Macau Event, 9 Jan 13

Another Titanic II Reception Rescheduled;Southampton Will Have To Wait Till March 2013

A special event to showcase Titanic II in December has been rescheduled to 5 Mar 2013 reports Daily Echo. Clive Palmer was going to use the event at Grand Cafe to showcase Titanic II, which is scheduled to launch in 2016. All of the original events in U.S. were cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy.

Source: Daily Echo,Billionaire’s Titanic II Showcasing Delayed,29 Dec 2012

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Titanic II Gala Dinner Now Set For February

Readers here will recall that in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Clive Palmer decided to put the gala dinner for Titanic II in early December on hold. Now the gala is set for 26 Feb 2013 in New York. Invitations for the same high power guest list are being sent out. Palmer will unveil the Titanic replica plans at the dinner.

Source: The Australian, Sandy Delays Clive Palmer’s Titanic II Gala, 20 Dec 2012

Palmer: Forget The Dinners, Breakfast Instead

Clive Palmer decided recently not to hold Titanic dinners out of respect for Hurricane Sandy victims. It will be breakfast, instead, in Halifax on 7 Dec 2012. Here is the blurb from the Chronicle Herald about it:

Clive Palmer, the outrageous Australian billionaire who is building a 21st-century version of the Titanic, is bringing his international road show to Halifax. Word of the visit Thursday from Palmer’s public relations firm in Australia is the first hint a Nova Scotia stop will be on the itinerary when the huge ship goes into service. “To honour the history of Titanic and recognize Halifax’s very special relationship and role with the grand ship, a Titanic Breakfast will be held at the Lord Nelson Hotel,” said a news release. The Halifax breakfast event is scheduled for Dec. 7. Palmer is to provide details of the Titanic II project afterwards. The release notes Palmer will host a series of Titanic culinary breakfasts and dinners around the world during November and December to promote the project.

I guess the victims of Hurricane Sandy no longer matter. Instead of big dinners it is now big breakfasts, presumably Edwardian style.

Source:The Chronicle Herald,Billionaire Building Titanic II Heads To Halifax For Breakfast PR Event,9 Nov 2012

Titanic II Gala Events Postponed Due To Hurricane Sandy

Five gala dinners to celebrate plans for Titanic II next month have been postponed. The dinners were scheduled to be in London, New York, Boston, Halifax and Southampton. A spokesman said they were postponed out of respect for families who lost loved ones to Hurricane Sandy.

Source:news.com.au, Palmer’s Titanic II Plans Hit A Snag,8 Nov 2012

Titanic Musings-Premiere Revenues Up, Ballard Helps Out Turkey, Lusitania Questions, and MasterChef

Titanic Musings
18 Jul 2012

Take some time off to come back to find lots of news stories to sift through! Actually it was not that bad since I filter out a lot of stories that have no bearing to Titanic at all. Some just mention Titanic as a descriptive like “it was a match of titans” or it was a “Titanic event. ” Of course there are the usual cliches like the infamous “rearranging desk chairs” that seem never to go out of style. Pity that politicians just seem to love to use Titanic. It crosses borders and parties as well.

Over at Premier Exhibitions, the word seems to be silence. No word on what is going except that negotiations are continuing regarding the artifact sale. They got title to the salvaged artifacts but can only sell it as one piece limiting sales to only mega corporations, museums or consortiums with very deep pockets, or wealthy oil princes in the Middle East. Perhaps China will buy it up and make it a tourist attraction. Stranger things have happened.

Premiere Exhibitions reported that its profits are up for the first three months that ended 31 May. They report a 9 percent jump resulting in $1.2 million or 2 cents a share.  Last year at the same time it was $1.1 million and 2 cents a share. Overall revenues (before expenses) were up 19 percent to $11.5 million from $9.7 million. Their acquisition of Arts and Exhibitions International LLC–which has King Tut II, Cleopatra and Real Pirates (and others) as part of its programs–added to the bottom line. Ticket prices however went down during the period (no doubt to attract people) by 7.6 percent.

Titanic II appears to be rolling along. Still in the planning stages (actual construction has not yet started) but Clive Palmer already has said he will likely exclude everyone but first class passengers from its casino. He says he did not want people not able to lose money to go there. Nice sentiments but Las Vegas has no such qualms. As long as your money is good (and not one their list of banned people) you can gamble as you wish. Some people do get foolish and gamble too much. There are some who do get addicted to gambling but that is a special category. And those people, like alcoholics, need counseling to deal with this problem. Palmer likes to remind that Titanic II will have all the latest in safety technologies, be wider than the original for stability, and offer nice amenities. Hopefully they will not serve Titanic shaped ice cubes in the bars.

Robert Ballard has been in the news recently. The Turkish government asked him to assist in locating the downed fighter craft shot down by Syria. Since his ship was docked in Turkey already for an expedition, he went out and located it in Syrian waters. Still up for debate is whether the Syrians had any legal right to shot it down (if it was in their airspace they will claim they had the right while Turkey says they did not). Ballard’s ship Nautilus is exploring the Black and Mediterranean seas this summer looking for Byzantine era ships and to observe marine life. You can check out their progress at www.nautiluslive.org.

An article in the Daily Mail once again asks the question whether or not Lusitania was carrying illegal munitions that contributed to its sinking in 1915. On 7 May 1915, a German submarine torpedoed the liner which sank rapidly taking 1,198 lives. Controversy swirled from the very beginning because there were two explosions. One was the torpedo and the other no can ascertain for sure. Some speculate it was munitions for the war in Europe put on board illegally, others that it was coal that ignited as a result of the torpedo. Greg Bemis, who is co-owner of the wreck and believes that it went down as result of illegal munitions, is conducting dives to the wreck to determine what happened. The wreck lies 300 feet down off the coast of Ireland near Cobh (Titanic docked there in 1912 but it was Queenstown then). The water is murky making it hard to see and cutting into the hull takes time. Weather of course makes it difficult. All of this is for a documentary that will reveal what they found.

It was a major news story back in 1915. Europe was at war with England/France/Russia on one side vs. Germany/Austria/Turkey on the other. Lusitania was a civilian vessel and many Americans were aboard. The German embassy had placed notices in newspapers warning such ships were subject to attack. The German policy of unrestricted submarine warfare allowed them to target military and civilian vessels of its enemies. Its sinking angered America and President Wilson. However it did not lead to American entry into the war (that came in 1918 thanks to the infamous Zimmerman Telegram). Like people who believe President Roosevelt knowingly allowed the Japanese to bomb Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec 1941, there are those who argue the same for Lusitania. They argue the British (in particular Churchill) wanted the Americans in the war and put the illegal munitions on the ship knowing the Germans would get the blame when they torpedoed her. No real proof exists (though lots have been written to support it) that is the case.  A lot of post-World War I history is written from the point of view, that America was sucked into that war by the British and that Lusitania was part of it.

Turning away from Titanic, I have been watching MasterChef(Fox-USA). I like this show. Unlike the other shows (except maybe for Food Network Food Star) all of the participants are amateurs and mostly home cooks. A few have some restaurant experience as food runners, servers, burger flippers, or breakfast serving, but most learned from just doing it at home sometimes with their parents or others around them. What is surprising is the creativeness and quality of dishes presented. The judges–Joe Bastianich, Graham Elliot, and Gordon Ramsey–put the aspiring MasterChefs through a lot of hurdles to get the best of the best. Along the way you get interesting challenges and personalities. This season has also seen lots of changes. Obviously aware that shows like these become predictable, they have chosen to shake things up to make it less so. For instance, usually at the end of a mystery box challenge they call down the three best they want to try. However at the first one, the three they called down were judged by them (they walk around and taste the dishes and talk with the cheftestants) to be the worst. They also have mixed up the elimination challenges by having the winner select who cooks what in that challenge. It adds a lot more stress and strategy. Choose right and you might send home someone who was a competitor. On the other hand, you might end up helping the very people you want to eliminate as Ryan found out to his embarrassment. Sadly some of the challenges send favorites away like Josh (who really excelled in most challenges but the egg pressure test was his doom). Christine, who is blind, has proved to be very creative in her dishes despite an obvious impediment.

And it is never certain who wins or loses. For instance, Ryan was pleased to think that Monti had screwed it up by using canned crab to make scotch eggs. At first Gordon thought she was nuts but upon tasting realized it was delicious. Tali, never known for anything particularly great, did produce a delicious strawberry shortcake while Becky, a front runner, produced a trifle that looked beautiful but was very bad. So the show keeps you guessing as to whether the people you think are good will in fact cook well to survive to the next round. The worst offenders are easy to spot. Generally they serve undercooked food, miss key components required, or poorly executed dishes. Or you do something totally bizarre like baking cheddar cheese on top of your apple pie or putting unthinkable combinations in risotto. You know how bad it is when Joe takes your dish and tosses it into the trash. Your only hope is someone has done worse (and that has happened). Give MasterChef a watch. I think you will like it.

1.Businessweek, Premier Exhibitions 1Q Profit Up, Attendance Rises, 12 Jul 2012

2. Herald Sun, Clive Palmer reveals detailed plans for Titanic II,17 Jul 2012

3. Washington Post, As Titanic’s Discoverer Does Research At Sea, Armchair Explorers Can Watch Online, 16 Jul 2012

4. Daily Mail,Was The Lusitania Our War Crime: 1198 Passengers Died When The Liner Sank, 13 Jul 2012


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Titanic Musings: Titanic II, Friday scramble

A friend of mine called up to ask whether or not this tycoon is really serious about building Titanic II. When I first heard the news, my first reaction is “here we go again.” When Cameron’s movie came out there was the same talk. Reaction from around the world was somewhat the same but the Chinese shipyard confirmed a memorandum of understanding had been signed.

“We will try to build a liner that has the same dimensions as the original Titanic, which sank on its maiden voyage 100 years ago. The Australian side is in charge of the design,” Li told China Daily on Wednesday.

From everything that is out there, this replica will look like Titanic but of course would be  modern in its shipbuilding and safety. No doubt should it ever be built it would be a hit. People will line up just to tour the ship in port The guy is clever is trying to drum up interest not only in Titanic II but in his own cargo ship business. It also is a pointed stab at European and American shipbuilding firms. Building Titanic II and his other ships will benefit China and cost less to build there than in either of those two places.

Today is Star Wars Day. I remember when Star Wars (1977) first came out. Wow! It was exciting and fun to watch. Many of my generation were thrilled to watch this movie on the big screen and it entertains today. While the trilogy (Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi) are considered good movies, the prequels less so. Lucas wanted to make the newer movies more relevant but made miscues both in plot and characters (Jar Jar Binks for one). The overall story of how the Republic fell to a Sith Lord and Darth Vader’s emergence from a young handsome Anakin Skywalker was sidelined by all the mush in those movies. Many of the Star Wars universe books have filled in the gaps. Star Wars still thrills and entertains both young and old.

With all the major Titanic memorials going on, sometimes the smaller ones get less noticed. John Woodward was a cellist aboard Titanic and his body was never found. A crumbling sandstone memorial in Heath Lane cemetery was all that was left to remember him (except for a brass plaque in a church). So local people took up the cause and raised funds to put up a new gravestone with the old one. You can view the interview with those behind it here . I think it says quite a lot about how Titanic has touched people.

Star Wars: The Original Trilogy (Episodes IV – VI) [Blu-ray]
Star Wars Trilogy (A New Hope / The Empire Strikes Back / Return of the Jedi) (Widescreen Edition with Bonus Disc)

Titanic Musings

With the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s sinking over, things have quieted down. News wires were jammed with Titanic themed stories, sometimes just repeating what others wrote. There were remembrances galore, Titanic dinners, heartfelt commemorations. And then inevitably come the commentators all trying to write that piece that sums up Titanic. I lit a candle and watched the movie  A Night To Remember based on Walter Lord’s book of the same name. Though we have modern treatments like Cameron’s and a recent BBC miniseries, this movie still resonates.

I recommend the Criterion collection version which has commentary by Don Lynch and Ken Marschall. They provide lots of interesting details, historical and otherwise, to the movie. The movie does a good job of visualizing Lord’s book but does shift around some things and not always historically accurate (like the opening scene which depicts a ceremony christening Titanic which never happened). Captain Smith comes across as more decisive in the movie but in actuality less so. The movie tends to show the crew working better than in reality in lowering lifeboats. On Titanic most of the crew and officers were unfamiliar with the ship and there were no drills. We see also how frightening it was to step into those boats seeing how far down they had to be lowered. We also see two very different reactions to Titanic’s sinking on California and Carpathia.

The depiction of Lord in that movie caused the real Captain Lord to seek a new investigation believing he had been unfairly maligned. Lord came under severe criticism in 1912 for failing to act. Conflicting testimony and Lord’s own statement the ship seemed to steam away gave rise to theories of a third ship, but that has never been proven. What is damning is that neither the officers or him were that interested in that ship to wake-up the wireless operator. Had they done so the SOS would have been heard. Rostron on Carpathia sprung into immediate action once he got the information and immediately set off. It is that standard that Lord, fair or not, is held to. Now had Lord had learned the same information at the same time as Carpathia, the outcome would have been the same. Both would have arrived long after the sinking and most passengers had died. So to blame Lord for Titanic deaths is a stretch and both of those captains heeded the ice warnings and stopped for the night while Captain Smith sped on.

There are many stories associated with Titanic and one notable is about Isidor and Ida Straus. When Isidor declined a seat on a lifeboat insisting that women and younger men be saved before him, Ida declined a seat saying “I will not be separated from my husband.”  As we have lived so will we die together.” It is one of those stories, told by witnesses afterwords, that had a lingering impact on people who learned of it. Such a remarkable show of love and devotion tends to do that. While most people learn that Isidor Strauss owned Macy’s not much else is reported about his life. Wikipedia has a biographical sketch but does not give you a feel for who he really was.

Thankfully an article in Jewish Ideas Daily does. Born in 1845 in Otterberg, Germany, his family immigrated to America in 1854 and settled in Talbotton, Georgia. While his family was Jewish, the family no longer was observant and ate bacon from their own smokehouse. He tried enlisting in the Confederate Army but was too young (16) and spent the war working as a store clerk. After the war the family moved to New York where he and his brother Nathan ran a shop selling family glassware and crockery at Macy’s Department Store. By 1896 both Isidor and Nathan took over ownership after the Macy family decided to sell making Isidor a very wealthy man.

Despite having no Jewish education and a secularist, he supported many Jewish institutions and causes even many he did not agree with. He was ardently anti-Zionist and wrote scathingly of its cause. His brother Nathan though was a supporter after a trip to the Holy Land. Ida was more appreciative of Jewish traditions reminding her grown children to remember Pasach and to eat Matzos. Like many he believed himself no longer Jewish but assimilated. Isidor and Ida’s deaths was mourned. Many Jews had died on Titanic but their story was the most well known. Memorial services were held in many places, a park in their name opened three years later (Straus Park). There is a memorial plaque on the first floor of Macy’s in New York, a public school named after them, and Straus Hall at Harvard (a gift from his three sons).

Walter Lord Still Lives On

Walter Lord’s A Night To Remember  first published in 1955 is enjoying record sales, print and e-versions. According to an AP report, 30,000 downloads of the e-edition were recorded by Open Road Integrated Media–the digital publisher. This is an excellent book. Check your local library to see if they have the old or newer editions of the book. It is worth reading and Lord’s excellent writing style does not disappoint. His book about Dunkirk is also highly praised. Worth a read if you come across it.

The Dark Side of Titanic

Gerry Adams penned an op-ed piece in the Irish Echo about Titanic. Adams, of course, was one of those agitating against the British in Northern Ireland for many years. So it comes as no surprise, despite the peace accords, that he would take a whack at British dominated Ireland in 1912. Harland & Wolff did not hire many Catholics, some were expelled, beaten or even killed. He writes further of the bad conditions Catholics endured and the divisions festered by government and business owners. It is interesting that while Adams praises the promising jobs created by Titanic themed building in Belfast, he wants no one to forget the society that built it. He praises Titanic but rues the society that built it.

Here We Go Again….Titanic II

Right after James Cameron’s movie came out there were people saying they wanted to build Titanic II. Nothing came of them, except lots of chatter on the Internet. Fast forward to 2012 and guess what? Some very rich guy who lives down under wants to build Titanic II. Oh and with Chinese help! It is his money, of course, so he is free to spend it as he wishes. However one wonders if it all just publicity stunt for something else. Whatever. Not holding my breath for tickets available for Titanic II in the near future.

Tacky Titanic:Titanic icecube


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