Governors Island in New York recently had a visitor wash up on its shores, a calico cat. Her fur was matted and had seaweed on it. A weekend of storms had preceded her arrival leading many to speculate the feline had been swept into the harbor and then either swam or floated ashore on a piece of debris. It caused a sensation and a name had to be given to this cat (whose owners have not been found). So after a contest where names were submitted—where such names as Mary Ann, Ginger, Salty and Buttermilk were considered—the name that won out was Molly Brown.
That’s right. She is named after the “Unsinkable Molly Brown” of Titanic fame. Well you have to admire the selection. From all reports the cat is doing quite well having the island mostly to her itself for the moment. It opens up to tourists on 27 May. No doubt many will ask about the feline Molly Brown, who likely will become a permanent fixture on the island.
Source: DNAinfo, The Stray Cat Was Named After “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,”13 May 2011
Heritage Auction Gallery in Dallas, Texas is auctioning items from the Charles Pelligrino collection that includes an actual piece of Titanic. According to the press release:
“This section, however, was part of the “crackage” of the great boat, which sheared away from the vessel as it broke in half, and was recovered from the ocean floor some distance from the wreck. A semicircular depression in one corner of the piece is evidence of the force with which the ship cracked, sufficient to pop a rivet completely away from the hull. It has become essentially fossilized after the bio-absorption.”
On my discussion list I speculated that RMS Titanic Inc. (part of Premiere Exhibitions) likely would be upset and go to court. One of the list participants contacted Premiere and was told discussions were going on, and that the auction house would be making a correction.
So far nothing has been released just yet but the obvious question is how Pellegrino acquired this piece. We know Titanic split in two and that there is a debris field between them. Most (but not all) artifacts come from the debris field. Some artifacts were brought up before RMS Titanic Inc (RMSTI) filed for salvage rights (some by RMSTI and the French brought some up as well). So it is possible this piece came up before any salvage rights were awarded.
The press release is rather vague about where it was found. It implies it was found away from the debris field which might put it outside of RMSTI’s control. And we do not know who certified it as part of Titanic. It will be interesting to watch how this story unfolds.
Today’s cliché comes from blog at the Natural Resources Defense Council:
“Just a week after the anniversary of the nation’s greatest oil disaster, Congress is set to vote on legislation to open up virtually all federal waters to drilling, while cutting governmental oversight and safety measures at the same time. That’s sort of like telling the designer of the Titanic to forget about the icebergs and just build more ships. Full speed ahead!”
I am not sure it quite works. Titanic was designed to take damage if one, two, or even three of her forward compartments were damaged from a ship collision. Hitting icebergs were rare (usually head on). Titanic was damaged when the iceberg scraped along the starboard side causing lots of ruptures along the way. Hardly the scenario ever envisioned by ship designers. As for the designer, Thomas Andrews, he perished when Titanic sank.
Natural Resources Defense Council (blog), Stop the Dangerous Bills For More Drilling, 3 May 2011
Once again time to see how Titanic gets used and abused as a cliché.
1. “A new development – company board chairman Jorma Ollila today said he will leave his post by 2012 – may lead you to wonder if the company isn’t merely rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Along with his announcement, Ollila said he would not “throw in the towel” at the Nokia before then.”
-Tracey E. Schelmetic on techzone360.com about Nokia chairman Ollila departing next year.
2. “On Friday April 29, 2011, as riots raged across the country, local television stations in Uganda were twiddling their thumbs. Like the band on the Titanic that played on as the ship sank, the TV stations were showing music videos, repeats of Mexican soaps, or feeds of the Royal Wedding in London.”
-Daniel Kalinaki writing in Daily Monitor about riots in Uganda and the failure of its television media to cover it.
1. techzone360.com, Nokia Chairman of the Board Ollila Departing Next Year, 3 May 2011
2. Daily Monitor, You must worry when your TV shows soaps but no riots, 3 May 2011
A trend of putting a very large ice cube in drinks sparked an article in Globe and Mail . According to the article, bartenders in upscale places are putting large ice cubes in old fashioned glasses to keep drinks from being watery. The ice cubes measure about 5 centimeters long which makes them big than the traditional small ice cubes. Big enough, the author notes, to sink the Titanic!
Well not really of course but it does raise some questions. Do large ice cubes melt slower than the smaller? Of course one ought to be skeptical of the claim that using collosal size cubes means drinks are less watery. In recent years most bars have gotten pretty good at cutting costs. Unless you order scotch neat, chances are most mixed drinks have ice in them to cut down on the amount of alcohol they put in each drink. Now crafty bartenders and owners know people have caught on, so they are bringing out the colossal cube. They say it makes your drink less watery. And because of its size, you do not notice it melting much.
The writer of the piece did have someone do an experiment on it. And it looks like the larger cubes shed less water than the smaller ones which seems to mean you get a stiffer drink. However the Mythbusters rule needs to be used here. I am not convinced (and neither is the one who did the tests) this is proven yet. There are many factors that need to be explored. And those clever guys on Mythbusters are just the guys to find out the truth. They have already tried out a few alcohol myths so this one ought to be pretty easy to do. My hunch is this: In some cases, you get less water melting from the larger cubes owing to a number of factors but only in a limited way. In most drinks it probably is the same as the smaller ones.
But at least no one is calling these colossal cubes Titanic. 🙂