Clive Palmer’s plan to build Titanic II appears dead but a Chinese full size replica is on course to be built. According to China.org.cn a full size replica will be assembled at the end of this year. The replica will be the exact size of the original Titanic and will cost 1 billion yuan. Everything from door knobs to menus will look as if it was on the original Titanic (except some modern necessities as needed of course). The replica will also employ the use of a Titanic Sinking Simulator so that visitors will experience what it was like to be aboard when the ship was sinking. The replica will be permanently docked at a theme park in the Qi River in Daying County, Sichuan. It is scheduled to open in 2018.
Source:Life-Size Replica Of Titanic To Be Assembled Late This Year(China.org.cn,17 Aug 2016)
Titanic Belfast just celebrated its three millionth visitor recently. Since it opened in 2012, Titanic Belfast has seen a steady stream of tourists from all over the world. They recently had their busiest day when 4,200 people came through the doors beating down previous numbers. Titanic Belfast chief executive Tim Husbands notes “We have spent over £1m refurbishing and refreshing three or four of the galleries because obviously Titanic is a story that can be told in so many different facets.”
Source: Titanic Belfast Welcomes Its Three Millionth Visitor(Irish Times,15 Aug 2016)
Sometimes people forget to remove things from items before donating to charity. And such was the case when a rare Titanic postcard slipped out of a book donated to Books For Amnesty in Bristol, UK. The card, which shows Titanic docked in Southampton before its maiden voyage, is dated to 1912. And was done by a local photographer.
Colin Richardson, a volunteer at the store and has an interest in postcards himself, was astonished at the remarkable find. The card has been put up for sale on Ebay and could fetch close to £99 ($130).
Seven rare artifacts will have an extended stay at the Titanic exhibit at the Luxor Hotel & Casino until August 1, 2016. Those items are:
Declaration of Intention Form: 2nd class passenger Franz Pulbaum, a machinist originally from Germany, clearly intended to become a U.S. citizen upon his return to New York City. He had been on a business trip to Luna Park amusement park in Paris. The form would have been used to allow him a smooth disembarkation. Pulbaum’s signature and personal information is still legible on the naturalization form. Pulbaum never became a U.S. citizen, he went down with Titanic.
White Star Line Receipt for “One canary in Cage”: Recovered from Marion Meanwell’s alligator purse, this small receipt fragment appears to confirm that 3rd class passenger, Mrs. Meanwell (nee Mary Ann Ogden), a milliner from Eastbourne Sussex, England agreed to transport a relative’s canary from Southampton to Cherbourg. Additional information suggests that Chief Purser Hugh Walter McElroy took responsibility for the bird, while transport payment was provided by Mrs. Meanwell.
Cotton Pajamas: This pair of men’s pajamas is made of white cotton with blue stripes. No maker marks were found, they are a size medium with button shirt and drawstring bottoms. The deterioration around the neck and body appear to reflect normal wear and tear.
Pair of Gloves: This degraded pair of cotton gloves was originally white and probably belonged to a gentleman. They are still attached at the cuff, so they had not yet been worn. The gloves were recovered from a suitcase containing unmarked pajamas, jackets, and other clothing.
Waiter’s Pad Blank Page: Waiters from the exclusive à la carte restaurant on board would jot down lunch and dinner orders on pads such as this for the chefs to prepare in the galley. Unlike the First Class Dining Saloon, which cooked in larger quantities, the à la carte restaurant prepared each individual meal to order.
Pair of Socks: This is one of three pairs of cotton and silk socks recovered from a single suitcase. These were neatly folded by the owner for his Titanic journey. While the clothing in this passenger’s suitcase was of good quality, these socks have been darned in several places, showing a thrifty character as well.
Left Shoe: This men’s leather shoe fragment consists of the welt, top cap and partial quarter with the insole. Attesting to the meticulous care under which all artifacts are conserved, this shoe has never been previously exhibited due to its fragile condition.
After August 1 they are scheduled to return to the conservation facility where they will only be available to researchers.
*Celine Dion is sporting a Titanic sweatshirt that is getting some media buzz. Commonly called a hoodie these days, this is not something to be found at your local big box retailer. The 80% cotton/20% polyester and made in Portugal will cost you $885 at Vetements.
*I knew it was going to happen someday. A proposed Chinese-American film will offer a “fresh take” on Titanic. And what will that be? Well according to China Film Insider the film plot will involve a conspiracy. No doubt it will weave in elements made popular by those who believe the Illuminati was involved, that Olympic and not Titanic was sunk for insurance money, or that a dastardly German plot using a submarine was involved. Or perhaps it will go the supernatural route. A cursed Egyptian mummy is brought aboard and escapes causing mayhem and death. Abbott and Costello could have had fun with that one.
*The former home of Thomas Andrews in Belfast, N.I. has been for some years been the home of the Irish Football Association. They have since moved their headquarters and put the property up for sale. According to Belfast Telegraph, it has been purchased by Action Cancer and will be used to treat women suffering from breast cancer.
The U.S. Trustee has filed an objection to Premier’s motion to sell artifacts from the French Collection. “The Sale Motion should be denied because it is not noticed to all required parties, does not include a description of sale procedures, does not describe the property to be sold, and, at least at this early stage in the case, does not meet the standard.”
Summer is here so Titanic themed news tends to get thin.
1. William Barrows, ship steward aboard Titanic, wrote a short note to his sister Mary about Titanic. He had landed the job as steward in the ship’s First Class Lounge. His note indicates he was happy to be aboard although he would need a better fitting waiting jacket in the future. He signed off the letter with “Love & best wishes to all, Your affectionate brother Will. Place all laundry and things in middle draw in the chest of drawers in my room.” In many ways, it tells more about the loss of life than some of the books out there. The letter and other items associated with it are up for auction at Adam Partridge Auctioneers in Macclesfield, Cheshire, UK.
Source:Poignant Titanic letter written by doomed crewman reveals his ‘excitement’ at joining ship(Daily Mirror,26 June 2016)
2. The Irish News recently reported that “The wreck of the Titanic could be put up for sale after the company that owns it went bust.” Call Douglas Wooley! He is the chap who claims he actually owns the wreck (and probably does) and believes the U.S court has no jurisdiction over his property. Actually what might be auctioned off are items from the French Collection outside the salvage award in the U.S. court. Might want to do better fact checking next time.
Source: Titanic wreck could be sold(Irish News,29 June 2016)
3. Billy Zane believes his character Cal had found redemption at the end and that Rose would have been with him. Should keep a lot of fans up late at night texting about that.
4. Titanic:The Artifact Exhibition opened at the Portland Science Center in Maine. No word yet on the numbers but one expects it will draw a considerable number of people to it. The exhibition will likely run until the Fall (no firm date given for its end).
5. Being summer outdoor grilling becomes a common occurrence. Just like deep frying turkey for Thanksgiving, there are safety rules to follow. A video from the National Fire Protection Association covers much of what you need to know.
Of course if you need some help on grilling the perfect burger, here is a video featuring Alton Brown from the Food Network.
It is funny how things end up. Back in 1987 George Tulloch and G. Michael Harris formed a partnership to recover Titanic artifacts. They partnered with Ifremer, the French Research Institute for Exploration of the Sea (which was also partnered with Ballard in his Titanic expedition). The company that was formally established was called RMS Titanic Inc and conducted numerous dives to bring up artifacts. Needless to say many were not happy with this. It caused major splits in the Titanic community with angry confrontations on the Internet and major gatherings. The company though went through all the necessary legal steps to claim, under maritime law in a U.S. Federal Court, that they had the right to do what they did. And the court found they did in the end. The artifacts were brought up, restored, and put on exhibition. It is the only way to see genuine Titanic artifacts.
But in 1999 Tulloch was ousted in a hostile takeover. The company would begin to move in other directions by deciding to become an exhibition company. In 2004 it changed its name to Premier Exhibitions. It also began the highly controversial Bodies exhibition (it is controversial because many claim the bodies from China are from their prisons). Other exhibitions would be added as well. Yet something was amiss. Here was a company with a prize possession, Titanic artifacts, and other well liked exhibitions. And it was losing money. Why?
Interest in exhibitions can wax and wane but Titanic was certainly a draw. Belfast shows how true this is. Belfast Titanic has done pretty well and the city is happy with the revenues it has generated. From what is publicly known, it seems Premier probably signed unwise expensive leases but that cannot be the whole story. The merger with Dinoking was meant to bolster the bottom line and hopefully restore confidence. And infuse money into the company to get it back on its feet. Now it is in bankruptcy court to get protection from its creditors and reorganize.
Perhaps the best thing about this is that it will require the books to be opened for inspection. This way one can find out how the company is run. It might turn out that the company was not run well, the appropriate checks and balances not followed, and revenues decreased by undisclosed expenses that were never reported to shareholders. Whatever the case, the shareholders ought to be incensed and demand oversight of this process is truly independent.
*Summer means MasterChef/Hotel Hell
MasterChef has lost two of its original members: Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot. Joe left two seasons ago and was replaced by Christina Tosi. Graham left at the end of last season and no replacement has been made. Instead they will have a rotating series of well-known chefs such as Wolfgang Puck visiting from time-to-time. Will it work? Well Wolfgang was certainly interesting. Puck was only there for the Mystery Box challenge and not for the elimination. Why? Would you not want his expertise there as well? Meanwhile on Hotel Hell, Ramsay continues his tour of American by stopping at hotels in dire need of his extreme criticism. I have little sympathy for the owners of these places complaining about Ramsay. There is a lot of stuff out there about how he does things and his previous outings are well documented. So when someone complains Gordon or his production staff purposefully left stained duvets for him to find, I am usually do not find it credible. Especially when it is clear that they are never going to follow much of his advice anyway. And the dolt that runs the hotel in Chelan decided once the lights and cameras were off to jettison much of what Gordon suggested. Reminds of me the experience Gordon had at Black Oyster.
*Call of the Wild
I got some criticism about the raccoon posting. My point was education. Far too many people think, thanks to anthropomorphism of nature, that it is safe to approach them like a domesticated pet. As that video showed, feeding a wild raccoon is neither safe nor wise. People get killed or maimed by wild animals because they forget this simple fact of nature: they are not human. Never forget that. Respect nature and do not think that cute mother bear wants you to approach and take photos of its cubs.
Some interesting facts from Lillian Rizzo’s blog entry at Wall Street Journal on the Titanic bankruptcy filing:
1. Premier owes owes $12 million to unsecured creditors.
2. The company states that just the sale of four artifacts from the French Collection could fetch $10 million or more at auction.
3. The money raised from the sale would be used to pay off creditors,help the shareholders and keep the company afloat.
In a recent report to the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), Premier Exhibitions reported:
“On June 20, 2016, the Company filed a number of motions in the Bankruptcy Court. Among the motions filed was a motion seeking permission to sell a portion of the Titanic artifacts awarded to the Company pursuant to a 1993 French administrative decree, which are from time to time referred to as the 1987 Artifacts in Company filings. At this time the Company does not know when the Bankruptcy Court will rule on this motion, and does not know the likely outcome of the motion.”
Since those artifacts are not part of the salvage award decision in the U.S., those stringent conditions imposed for sale do not apply here.
Before the news broke about the bankruptcy filing, the stock was trading at 51¢ but at the close of trading yesterday fell 27% to land finally at 37¢. The value of the stock is getting slimmer by the day.