Tag Archives: Titanic

Titanic Documentary: Titanic Real Story (2015)

The most up-to-date examination of the Titanic wreck site using modern forensic technology to understand more clearly what happened. Instead of just looking at a few sections, this expedition sought to map the entire site and learn new details. Many well known Titanic experts were involved along with a lot of other experts as well. This is certainly the most ambitious expedition to date. Enjoy!

Liverpool Seafarers’ Centre Calls China’s Titanic Sinking Simulator Disrepectful

The Grand Staircase of the RMS Olympic Photo:Public Domain (Wikipedia)
The Grand Staircase of the RMS Olympic
Photo:Public Domain (Wikipedia)

It is not the first criticism of this idea but it is the latest. Presently a full scale Titanic replica is being built for a Chinese theme park. Not a movie set type but the real thing that will be permanently docked. It will even rent out rooms so people can experience the era and even eat foods they did back then. It will also feature a sinking simulator so that you will feel, see, and hear the iceberg strike Titanic. John Wilson, chief executive of the Liverpool Seafarers’ Centre believes it is in bad taste. He is not against them have a Titanic attraction but thinks the sinking simulator is wrong.

“But having an attraction where it replicates what it’s like to sink is out of order and disrespectful to those who did lose their lives and their relatives. A lot of lives were lost and this is not something which sits easy.”

Source: Titanic theme park slammed as “disrespectful” by Liverpool Seafarers’ Centre(14 Jun 2015,Liverpool Echo)


Tuesday Titanic (and other stuff) Musings

Titanic-Not By Clive Palmer-Replica Gets Noticed
The fact that in 2017 visitors to a Chinese theme park will be able to board a full size Titanic replica is really played up all over the world. Not only will it look authentic, it will also serve food served on the famous liner, and even offer accomodations. Still not enough? Well you can experience the Titanic Sinking Simulator. They are spending $150 million on this tourist draw. Las Vegas style of entertainment is planned. You get the point. This is not like Titanic Belfast with its historic tours and ability to learn lots about Titanic. This is a Las Vegas style type of entertainment built on the grand scale.

Steven Spielberg posing with triceratops animatronic in 1993 on set of Jurassic Park. It was originally posted as a gag by a Facebook user but taken as serious by a whole lot of people including noted author Joyce Carol Oates in 2015.
Steven Spielberg posing with triceratops animatronic in 1993 on set of Jurassic Park. It was originally posted as a gag by a Facebook user but taken as serious by a whole lot of people including noted author Joyce Carol Oates in 2015.

The Ultimate Game Trophy of All Time
Steven Speilberg has made a lot of movies over his career. Most of them have done very well and even won awards. Jurassic Park, his 1993 adaptation of the excellent Michael Crichton novel, wowed audiences and made them believe the age of dinosaurs was back. Last year a photo circulated, taken in 1993, of Spielberg sitting in front of an animatronic dinosaur used in the movie. When I first saw the picture, I knew exactly what it was: a dinosaur and not a real one either. Well that picture caused some heat from animal rights people and generated all kinds of negative posts. It did not matter that this was of an extinct creature or that it was simply a glorified stage prop. Nope. Spielberg was roundly criticized for his cruelty. Except he had the last laugh when all those idiots were made as fools.

However noted author Joyce Carol Oates recently saw the picture and sent out a message on her Twitter account:

So barbaric that this should still be allowed… No conservation laws in effect wherever this is? https://t.co/hgavm9IBaM

— Joyce Carol Oates (@JoyceCarolOates) June 9, 2015

Oh dear. You do not know whether to laugh at her foolishness or utter “what an idiot!” Something has really gone off the rails when a simple photo of a director with a prop is misidentified as the real thing. It is logical fallacy at play that speaks of both ignorance and illiteracy. It goes something like this: My dog has four legs, a cat has four legs. Both have mouths and ears. Therefore my dog is a cat. You could it put off to other things but far too many people seem to follow this logic. Which why when pranksters put pictures of hunters standing over a supposed dead Yeti (a creature that so far has not proven to exist except in folklore and grainy photos) they get called all kinds of nasty names. One good thing came of this: I decided to re-watch Jurassic Park in the near future.

Your Egg Breakfast Is About To Become A Luxury Item
Chicken egg prices are rising fast to due a lot of hens being killed  due to bird flu. Not all the hens are infected but once it is found in one, the chances of it spreading are pretty good considering the close quarters hens are kept in. The result is that everything that uses eggs for commercial products are seeing massive price spikes. Meanwhile eggs needed for such production will have to be imported. The rising cost from all of this is already starting to be noticed in US eastern and middle sections. And spreading west. For the first time in recent memory, organic eggs will actually be the same price as regular eggs and perhaps, in some cases, a few cents cheaper. Even when the bird flu is over it will take a while for supplies to resume. Which means your plate of eggs at the local diner is going to get a lot more expensive or not available at all in some parts of the USA. Of course producers of duck, pigeon, and quail eggs might get some new business. And one ostrich egg equals about twenty chicken eggs. You will need a special drill,goggles, and a very large pan. :)


Tuesday Titanic News

Photo:Yoshi Canopus(Wikimedia Commons)
Photo:Yoshi Canopus(Wikimedia Commons)

Things Not Well For Chinese Shipbuilding These Days
1. The Chinese shipbuilding industry appears to be in financial trouble. The major shipbuilders are either in bankruptcy or teetering on the edge of ruin. A combination of bad management, low bids, and rising costs are causing lots of problems. So if that Australian tycoon is still planning on making a Titanic replica, China does not look promising at all. He might have to consider, gasp!, having a European firm build it. That is of course if he is truly serious about building it.
Source: Shipbuilding Industry In China Has Titanic Money Problems(1 June 2015,Want China Times)

2. Now One Pass To See Titanic Belfast and Nomadic
Until recently you had to pay separate tickets for Titanic Belfast and Nomadic. No longer. Now there is a White Star Premium Pass that covers both attractions. It is priced at £25 per adult, £20 for seniors/students and £15 for children.

Using the ultimate Titanic experience ticket, visitors can now not only enjoy the delights of Titanic Belfast but the SS Nomadic, the last remaining White Star Line vessel, as well as the award-winning Discovery Tour, which highlights the famous barrel-vaulted Harland & Wolff Drawing Offices, the slipways and the building’s iconic structure for one price.

It is advised you purchase tickets well in advance. You can purchase tickets at www.titanicbelfast.com/.
Source: Titanic Belfast And SS Nomadic Launch Joint Ticket – The White Star Premium Pass(29 May 2015,Belfast Telegraph)

3. SS Carpathia: The Unassuming Ship That Became Famous
Maritime Executive has a nice write-up of SS Carpathia, the ship that rescued Titanic survivors. Neither a grand ship or a clunky cargo hauler, she was built to carry immigrants from the old world and bringing tourists from the new world. A nice bit of writing and a reminder of a bygone era.
Source: Carpathia’s Role In Titanic’s Rescue(31 May 2015,The Maritime Executive)


Titanic Shipping Label Auctioned Off

Shipping label addressed to Titanic wireless operator. Photo:johnnicholsons.com

                                       Photo:johnnicholsons.com

The shipping label for a parcel addressed to Marconi operator on Titanic has been sold at auction for £3,000($4,587). It was sold to an Internet bidder from the UK.

 

Source:Titanic Marconi Parcel Label Auctioned For £3,100(30 May 2015,BBC)


Update On Titanic Shipping Label Up For Auction

 Photo:johnnicholsons.com

                         Photo:johnnicholsons.com

A few days ago I reported on the upcoming auction of a shipping label from a package sent to the Marconi wireless operator on Titanic. A group called the Old Moulsham and Central Community Trust is seeking to purchase the label to show a link between Chelmsford Marconi factory and Titanic. They are currently trying to raise money from benefactors to make this possible.

The auctioneer is John Nicholson of Fernhurst, West Sussex, UK. The starting bid is £500 ($775) and will auctioned off on 30 May 2015.

Source: Bid To Bring Titanic Parcel Label Back To Chelmsford Marconi Factory(29 May 2015,Essex Chronicle)


Remembering the Empress of Ireland

 RMS Empress of Ireland 1908 Photo:Public Domain (Library and Archives Canada / PA-116389)
RMS Empress of Ireland 1908
Photo:Public Domain (Library and Archives Canada / PA-116389)

The Titanic disaster of 1912 was still making waves when on 29 May 1914, the RMS Empress of Ireland collided with the Norwegian coal freighter Storstad in the Saint Louis River at  Pointe-au-Père, Quebec. It occurred around 0200 in the morning. Storstad hit the starboard side, causing severe damage. Empress began to list and quickly fill with water. Portholes had not been secured before leaving port so many were open (many passengers complained of poor ventilation) so that allowed a lot of water to enter. Many in the lower decks drowned from water coming in from the open portholes.

Also failure to close the watertight doors led to the quick sinking. Three lifeboats were launched quickly with passengers and crew that were in the upper deck cabins able to get away but as the ship listed further starboard, the other lifeboats could not be used. Ten minutes after the collision, Empress lurched violently on the starboard side allowing 700 passengers and crew to crawl out of portholes and decks on her side. Then 15 minutes later, after it briefly looked like she might have run aground, the hull sank dumping all the people left on her into the icy water. When the final tally was done, 1,012 people lost there lives. 465 survived. Many on the starboard side where asleep and likely drowned in their cabins.

The official enquiry, which began on 16 June 1914, was headed by Lord Mersey who had previously headed the British Titanic enquiry (he would also lead up the enquiry into Lusitania later). Two very different accounts emerged of the collision from the Storstad and Empress. At the end of the day, the commission determined that when Storstad changed course, it caused the collision. The Norwegians did not accept the verdict and held their own enquiry which exonerated the captain and crew of the Storstad. Canadian Pacific, which owned the now sunk Empress of Ireland, pursued a legal claim and won. The Norwegian owners countersued but in the end the liabilities forced them to sell Storstad to put money in the trust funds.

What happened to Empress, though not receiving the same attention as Titanic, was to change ship design. The reverse slanting bow was dangerous in ship-to-ship collisions resulting in below the waterline damage. Bows were redesigned so the energy of the collision would be minimized below the surface. Longitudinal bulkheads were discontinued as they trapped water beneath them causing the ship to list and capsizing. Needless to say portholes were to be secured from that point on (in fact nearly all cruise ships use decoratives that can never be opened). The wreck today has been salvaged many times and is now the only underwater historic site in Canada. The wreck is in shallow water (130 feet) but is notably dangerous dive due to the cold waters, currents, and often impaired visibility.

Sources:
1. The Empress Of Ireland Was Canada’s Titanic(2 Jul 2013, Niagarathisweek.com)

2. RMS Empress of Ireland(Wikipedia)

3. Royal Alberta Museum Online: The Empress of Ireland

Amazon books: Empress of Ireland

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Titanic News: Dubuque Exhibition Sets Records;Thomas Andrews Home Up For Sale

1. The Dubuque Times Herald reports that 5,677 visitors attended the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium over the Memorial Day weekend. Normal attendance is around 3,000. Once again proving Titanic still brings them in. Pity that Premiere Exhibitions seems not to be making much money these days.
Source:River Museum Sets Memorial Day Weekend Record As ‘Titanic’ Exhibit Opens(27 May 2015,Dubuque Times Herald)

2. Andara House in Comber,Northern Ireland was once the family home of Thomas Andrews. Built in 1872 for the Andrews family, it is steeped in history. The large manor was converted into luxury apartments a few years back and one,specifically Apartment 3, is up for sale. The asking price is £189,950 (about $291,218). Its connection to Titanic naturally draws attention of the curious and serious. According to the Belfast Telegraph:

A key feature of the apartment is beautiful original mahogany panelling in the living room – formerly the billiards room -which it is believed was installed by craftsmen who worked on the Titanic.

If the pictures at Belfast Telegraph are any indication, it really is quite a nice place but the upkeep is likely not cheap.

Source:Ardara House: Apartment With Strong Titanic Links Could Be Yours For £190k(22 May 2015,Belfast Telegraph)

3. Premier Exibitions:Sorry Folks, We Are Still Not Making Great Profits
Premier Exhibitions, which owns Titanic:The Artifact Exhibition,released its fourth quarter and year 2015 results. Here is what Michael Little, the current Interim president and CEO, says about the results:

Our overall results remain disappointing, however our total revenue increased for the third consecutive quarter due to contributions from our Pompeii and King Tut exhibitions which continue to offset our lower revenue from our Titanic and Bodies brands. During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, we performed a detailed analysis of our general and administrative expenses and through reductions in headcount and other expenses reduced our normalized general and administrative expense from approximately $1.0 million per month to $750,000 per month. It should be noted this does not include the additional expenses related to the merger transaction that will continue through the third quarter of fiscal 2016. During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 we performed our annual intangible impairment testing and based upon updated projections of future projects related to our AEG acquisition in the first quarter of fiscal 2013 determined that a non-cash charge of $2.9 million was required in order to reflect the change in our assumptions. In addition, we revalued our AEG royalty which resulted in a gain of $338 thousand and wrote-off $104 thousand in development cost for projects that were cancelled during the quarter.

Whew. Did you get that? The higher revenue generating exhibitions are offsetting the lower ones andtthey generally lowered expenses. They were forced to take a non-cash charge of $2.9 million. Revised royalty income resulted in a $338 thousand gain but had to write off $184 thousand in costs. In short, we still have our shirts on but hope to afford something more fancy then beer and pretzels at our next big event.

Source:Premier Exhibitions Reports Fourth Quarter And Full Year 2015 Results(28 May 2015,Global Newswire-Press Release)


Shipping Label From Parcel Addressed To Titanic Wireless Operator Up For Auction

Photo:johnnicholsons.com

                  Photo:johnnicholsons.com

We have had postcards, letters and even a rare violin come up for auction. Now we have a shipping label from a parcel addressed to “Marconi Operator, RMS Titanic” now up for auction. What the parcel contained is unknown or what happened to the box. According to BBC News, the mother of the current owner got it from Olympic’s first officer who was a friend of hers. She passed away in 1972.

The auctioneer is John Nicholson of Fernhurst, West Sussex, UK. The starting bid is £500 ($775) and will auctioned off on 30 May 2015.

Source: Titanic Parcel Label To Be Auctioned(22 May 2015,BBC)