1. The Titanic centenary allowed people with lots of disposable income to fork over €45,000 (approximately $50,000) for take an 8 hour dive down to Titanic and back. Now that same company is planning a trip to see the remains of the World War II battleship Bismarck. The Bismarck was located in 1989 by Robert Ballard.
Source:Touristic Expedition To Titanic’s Remains(5 May 2015,Epoch Times)
2. On 7 May 1915, RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German U-Boat 11 miles south of Ireland. She sank in 18 minutes taking with her 1,191 souls. Only 764 of the 1,962 passengers and crew survived. According to Sluggerotoole.com it will be remembered.
There will be a memorial service at the Old Head next Thursday, led by Simon Coveney, Ireland’s defence minister, including a two-minute silence at 2:10pm (the precise moment the torpedo struck the Lusitania). Additionally, the Lusitania Museum and Old Head of Kinsale Project are organising the restoration of the Old Head’s Signal Tower, a task that they are hopeful will be finished in time for the commemorations. The Project also have planning permission to plant a Lusitania memorial garden, and are aiming to have a sculpture incorporating the names of all of the Lusitania‘s souls on board. Finally, they hope eventually to set up a Lusitania museum by the Signal Tower. Such a museum would, however, have to be partially submerged in the ground, so that it does not obscure the view of the Tower.
The 1983 miniseries Reilly Ace of Spies dramatizes the life of Sidney Reilly who helped inspire Ian Fleming’s fictional spy James Bond. Based on the 1967 book of the same name by Robin Bruce Lockhart, the miniseries starred Sam Neil as Sydney Reilly. It is a masterful performance and likely increased his fame as a result. The problem with the miniseries is that if you read the book, too much creative license was employed in dramatizing the stories. Sometimes that can be good but it changes the tenor of the stories and changes things in ways that do not make sense.
It is however a very entertaining series if you just see it as creative fiction. Sam Neill plays Reilly well. One of the problems is that Reilly is a dark character. He could be charming, clever, and could acquire intelligence quite well when needed. He was also unscrupulous, ruthless, a serial bigamist and womanizer, and a murderer. But his pluses and the ability to speak Russian fluently (along with several other languages)made him a logical choice to be sent to Russia in 1917. And it is those events in Russia that have historical significance.
The theme chosen to open each episode comes from the romance movement of The Gadfly by Dmitri Shostakovich. Personally it seems a bit melancholy for me but considering its setting is well chosen. Reilly’s world is shown through the various photographs that flash before us as the tune plays. The tune sticks with you long after the show ends. This YouTube rendition of the opening uses it owns photos of the period to mimic the opening of the show (which is copyrighted material)along with the music. The last photograph is of Reilly.
I highly recommend reading the original book and then Andrew Cook’s Ace of Spies:The True Story of Sydney Reilly(2004). For in depth look at what British spies did in Russia (including Reilly), Giles Milton’s Russian Roulette: : How British Spies Thwarted Lenin’s Plot for Global Revolution(2013) is excellent.