Titanic Musings

*Premier Exhibitions

Titanic Wreck Bow Image: Public Domain (NOAA-http://www.gc.noaa.gov/images/gcil/ATT00561.jpg)
Titanic Wreck Bow
Image: Public Domain (NOAA-http://www.gc.noaa.gov/images/gcil/ATT00561.jpg)

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_Logo_&_Wordmark.svgMasterChef 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.