Slice Of Life

Slice Of Life, is a Weblog (BLOG) that I write, in which I try to tell some sort of story about something, or someone in my life. Sometimes it's happy, sometimes not, sometimes informative, sometimes...... HA, gotcha, did ya think that I was going to say not? Don't know me very well, do ya? :=) I will try to update the BLOG from time to time, whenever I can.

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Location: Chandler, Arizona, United States

My personality is outgoing, I use to be a wallflower, until I realized that it was all the outgoing people that were having the most fun. It was a tough conversion, but nobody I know today would even remotely consider me to be a wallflower. Basically, when I was young, my parents taught me that if you work hard, you can accomplish anything. I haven't quite found the "anything" part to be always true, but it has inspired me to always try to do, and be, my best.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Oh, They Built The Ship Titanic, To Sail The Ocean Blue...

My Adventure Club went down to the Arizona Science Center a couple of weeks ago. They had an exhibit of the Titanic. I was really looking forward to it, since the last time it was in Phoenix..... I missed out on seeing it. I thought it was a once in lifetime chance, so I'm glad it came back.

It was really interesting, they had artifacts that had been brought up from the ship on the bottom of the Atlantic, plus a step by step history of the building of the ship, which gave an idea of why they claimed it was "unsinkable". It actually should have been. Like most tragedies, it wasn't one specific thing that doomed the Titanic, but a series of unfortunate events that combined all together sunk the ship. They also gave you a "Passport" at the start of the self guided tour, with the name and biography of one of the passengers, which you could look up at the end of the tour to see if "you" survived. My person was a 61 year old man, traveling 3rd class, who's cabin was 5 decks down in the ship. Doesn't look to good for him, eh?

There has always been several things that I wondered about that tragedy. Why couldn't they see that darned iceberg in time? What, wasn't it big enough? Sure it was, if the person in the watchtower had his binoculars, that were misplaced in the rush for the ship to leave the dock.

And, why didn't any other ships in the area bang into, or at least see, and radio back positions of icebergs that night? They did, at least the ones that were spotted in the regular shipping lanes. Turns out, the Titanic had deviated from the normal shipping lanes, because they were taking a "short cut", trying to make the trip in the shortest amount of time, to break the current speed record for the trip.

That's the same reason that the warnings about icebergs in the area were ignored, and why the ship couldn't stop in time. The Captain had ordered "full speed ahead", so even when the night watch finally saw the iceberg, and the order for "Hard to Port, Full Reverse Engines" was given, it was too late to stop, or turn the ship away from the iceberg.

Still, even when the ship did hit the iceberg, the ship itself was designed to stay afloat, even with 4 of it's lower compartments fully flooded. Unfortunately, the iceberg ripped a hole in 6 compartments. Too bad they weren't going slower so they could stop or turn away, or had their binoculars, so they could see that iceberg sooner, eh?

And even after impact, the ship didn't sink immediately, so why couldn't they get everyone off the ship in the lifeboats? Because there weren't enough lifeboats, that's why. The ship was originally designed to carry 32 lifeboats, which was plenty for everyone, but due to cost cutting, the final built version of the ship only had 20. So, to save a buck, so sorry for the people who needed those extra 12 boats. Tough luck.

The lifeboat shortage is even more tragic, because it turns out, most of the fatalities weren't from drowning. Most of the fatalities were from exposure to the cold water, and hypothermia. Salt lowers the freezing temperature of sea water, and it was estimated the water temp in the Atlantic that night was less than ~25F. At that temperature, hypothermia will occur in less than 5 minutes. The exhibit set up a simulated "iceberg" that you could touch that was cooled to that estimated temperature. I could only hold my hand against it for ~ 30 seconds before my skin started to go numb. Too bad there weren't enough lifeboats, they might have saved everyone.

So, all in all, it was a very interesting exhibit, and I was happy for those that made it, sorry for those that didn't, and I definately learned allot more of the story, then any Leonardo Decaprio movie could have shown me.

By The way, My 61 Year Old Passenger friend.... Survived :-)

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