Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I Have a Bad Feeling About This...

Stern view of the Titanic
Image taken by Father Francis Browne SJ
Courtesy of Laughing Squid

Sorry if the title is misleading, this isn't a Star Wars or Lucasfilm post. Yesterday morning (at least that's when I heard about it) Australian mining billionaire Clive Palmer announced his plans to build and sail a replica of the Titanic.

The replica luxury ship will retain the dramatic architecture of the original, while utilizing 21st century navigation, technology and guest amenities. To be christened (what else?) Titanic II, she is slated for a 2016 maiden voyage, charting the exact same ill-fated course as the original Titanic in 1912. This feat is poised to kick off Palmer's own planned fleet of luxury ocean liners.

Bold vision, Clive. Maybe TOO bold? Even Sir Richard Branson might call this project loopy. There's some harsh stigma connected to captalizing off of a mammoth tragedy/disaster. I'd be surprised if NASA christens any new space exploration vehicle Challenger in the decades to come. If any significant damage comes out of floating this new tub, the frightened and superstitious are going to serve up a big steaming platter of crow.

All I know is that even from the depths of the Marianas Trench, James Cameron is keeping his eye on these developments. Cameron purses his lips and muses: "Better call Celine Dion to prepare another crappy vocal demo."

The photo of the original Titanic heading this post was taken by Father Browne, whose remarkable life and photographs you can read about here: http://fatherbrowne.com/. Father Browne sailed on the Titanic from it's London embarkation as far as Cobh (a seaport town in County Cork, Ireland), and took many photographs on board which you can see here: http://titanicphotographs.com/. Sift through the menus on the left, to learn of the "divine" intervention that prevented Father Browne from continuing on the voyage, a command that very likely saved his life!

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