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Got $200M to spare?

Check down the back of the couch cushions, will you? On the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, they’re going to auction off over 5,000 items recovered therefrom, and a judge has ruled they all have to go in one, big lot to someone who will put them on public display. I’m not quite clear how a Virginia judge got jurisdiction, but good on her, anyhow.

I’m a Titanicophile — or was, until the discovery of the wreck, and the movie and the salvage and the whole Titanic industry. I have some deeply conflicted feelings about this whole business.

On the one hand, there’s no moral high ground in letting it all rot away and cease to be. I’m all for preserving as much of the past as we possibly can, up to and including digging up the ancestors. The wreck was two and a half miles down — finding it and salvaging any part of it took significant investment and significant risk — of money and real, live bodily harm.

On the other hand, the owner and profiteer is Premier Exhibitions, an organization with an ethical compass stolen from the vest pocket of PT Barnum’s stinking corpse. Their other main claim to fame is Bodies, a creepier rip-off of the sufficiently creepy Gunther von Hagens‘ Body Worlds Exhibition. Er, let’s just say, they felt compelled to put this disclaimer on the Bodies show:

This exhibit displays full body cadavers as well as human body parts, organs, fetuses and embryos that come from cadavers of Chinese citizens or residents. With respect to the human parts, organs, fetuses and embryos you are viewing, Premier relies solely on the representations of its Chinese partners and cannot independently verify that they do not belong to persons executed while incarcerated in Chinese prisons.

So. Huh.

Anyhow, the Telegraph has a great slide show of some of the stuff up for auction.

Happy thoughts, happy thoughts.


Comment from Redd
Time: January 5, 2012, 11:09 pm

I use to have a phobia about cold dark water. So, of course, I was both drawn and terrified on the subject of the Titanic. This idea that you know you are going to die, then the ship starts going under, the noise and the confusion, and you are in the water drowning. I imagine it was that way for the victims of 9/11, too.

I consider these sunken ships grave sites so personally I wish they would go undisturbed. There is nothing to learn from it.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 5, 2012, 11:30 pm

Two factoids.

One: The mustelids’ favoured ‘cooking’ champagne is Piper Hiedsieck Monopole – which just happens to have been the Titanic’s house fizz.

We have oft wondered if there is a moral there….

Two: On the condom machines to be found in the gents’ conveniences the length and breadth of Britain in days or yore, the major brand used to have, emblazoned on the machine casing, the proud logo: “Tested to British Standards No. XYZ 341PQR” or somesuch.

To which the inevitable graffito was added: “So was the Titanic!”

Comment from Mojo
Time: January 5, 2012, 11:49 pm

The ship was going from England to New York. What’s Virginia got to do with anything? Tell judge-wedgie to butt out.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 6, 2012, 12:10 am

There’s a whole complicated legal story behind it, but I’m fucked if I remember what it is or care enough to look it up.

Comment from Sven in Colorado
Time: January 6, 2012, 12:11 am

I’m with Redd….bugger off and let the dead sleep.

How would ya’ll like some white lab coat Oceania clone pokin’ their cold, bony fingers and sterile instruments about in remnants of your mortal fambly disaster. AND doing it all in the so called name of science.

We know what happened!!!.

The frikken iceberg did its job poking a hole in the highly touted unsinkable.

What did we learn?

That what looks purty and invincible, yet doesn’t have redundant systems built in for every conceivable mishap, is bound to fail. And it will happen just to put the pompous human ego back in its rightful place…. (REDO<——-Oh yeah, we live in a wild immeasurable and uncontrollable universe and all of our genius, science, mathematics and physics is a pitiful piss in a pot compared to the all encompassing, all powerful mind and heart of our Great Creator God.)

That is not to say that our science and technology hasn't helped create a somewhat easy life for some. It has.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: January 6, 2012, 1:12 am

Some Fed probably invoked the friggin’ antiquities act. It was the same bullshit the Feds used to take Sue the T-Rex from the guy who found her on his own land and auction her off to the Field Museum. I think they even tried to put the guy in prison or some such for objecting in court….

Comment from Oceania
Time: January 6, 2012, 6:25 am

Sven Sven Sven

We all know that 9/11 was an inside job … just look at WTC7 falling over all by itself. Then there were the shorts that made a lot of people some ca$h.

The funny thing is – most Americans brains melt at even the thought that they did it to themselves.

You are all on the SS USA – she hit a Berg on purpose on 9/11 and she is creaking and groaning as she is about to take her final plunge.
Rumour has it the USA is getting divided up.

Comment from Oceania
Time: January 6, 2012, 9:02 am

Here is something just for Scube. It has sciencey stuff in it:


Comment from Oceania
Time: January 6, 2012, 9:05 am

As for selling things … well a few years ago some Kiwis got in hot water from selling Japanese remains from a wreck.
I guess that the site is a grave … and these people are tomb robbers.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 6, 2012, 10:59 am

I dunno, I dunno.

At the distasteful end of the spectrum, you have the Chinese government profiting by killing dissidents and putting their bodies on display.

At the sentimental end of the spectrum, we’re reburying museum specimens that are thousands of year old, because…people. Or something.

I’m personally inclined away from the sentimental end of the spectrum. Dead is dead.

Comment from Oceania
Time: January 6, 2012, 11:17 am

Well Dead Maybe Not!
I have a leg bone turned into a flute … all very Maori.
I hear that tattooed severed Maori heads are all the Rave in the UK still.

Comment from Oceania
Time: January 6, 2012, 11:24 am

You are an American. Remember the US Army first serious action was the extermination of 4.8 million Indians.


Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: January 6, 2012, 12:06 pm

There was a Ghost Hunters episode in which they went to the Titanic exhibit at the Georgia aquarium. Supposedly, people have reported various paranormal experiences when visiting Titanic exhibits. They didn’t really find much, though Grant did get pushed, and there was an EVP that said something like “No, please wait,” when Jay and Grant said they were going to leave the area (a room with personal effects belonging to the victims).

Comment from enter sandman, nothing to see here
Time: January 6, 2012, 12:38 pm

Oceania reminds me of the Titanic but only in so far as the Titanic went down in water and Oceania is a douche, which requires water. Any other resemblance to a human being, live or dead, is coincidental.

That being said, dead is dead. Leave the relics in museums and if someone finds something on land he owns and the gubmint has contributed nothing, it gets nothing. Eminent domain be damned. Public utility can eat my shorts. I hate the state, in general.

Your mileage may vary.

Howdy stoaty and badger. Howareya

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 6, 2012, 12:56 pm

Americans are AWESOME. We killed 4.8 times more Indians than actually existed! w00t!

Actually, the UK’s law on treasure is pretty good. If you’re a metal detectorist and you find something cool, you have to offer it to the government first. They have to give you a fair market price for it, if they want it, and then you split that with the landowner. Seems fair all around.

I think it just applies to gold, though.

Comment from Redd
Time: January 6, 2012, 2:44 pm

In UK movies/television, they always show the coffin going from the chapel on a conveyor belt into flames. That can’t really be accurate, can it?

Comment from mojo
Time: January 6, 2012, 4:48 pm

We killed 4.8 times more Indians than actually existed! w00t!

Yep. Ten thousand years of ceaseless inter-tribal warfare couldn’t do it, but… USA! USA! USA!

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: January 6, 2012, 5:25 pm

Does that figure include movie Indians? That might account for the discrepancy.

AS FOR BONES: Here’s my take:
Do you believe in a soul?
No? Bones are no problem -off to the museum.
Yes? Then the body is just a wrapper, discarded after use-bones off to the museum.

As for the Titanic, I’ve always had a a fascination with her, and with that particular era of history. I love Barbara Tuchman’s history of the period. The sinking of the Titanic really marks the end of an epoch… the last moment in which we truly believe that science was an unmitigated good and that everything in the world was moving towards perfection because of it. Engineers! Infallible! Chemists! Humanitarians improving our health and our lives! Then come the Great War where Engineers and Chemists find ways never imagined to kill millions.

Comment from Pupster
Time: January 6, 2012, 9:16 pm


I believe this Sarjex person owes you some royalties.


He/she/it is a poster in Hot Air’s green room.

Unless that is you in which case forget I said anything.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 6, 2012, 9:27 pm

Nope, not me, but I don’t claim ownership of the idea. There were Zombie Reagans before mine, and there were Zombie Reagans after mine.

I only claim to have the awesomest Zombie Reagan.

(Though some guy on Zazzle was trying to sell a bumpersticker using my actual artwork once. Him, I gently put a stop to).

Comment from Deborah
Time: January 6, 2012, 10:04 pm

Stoaty’s Zombie Reagan is the ne plus ultra of Zombie Reagans.

Comment from Oceania
Time: January 6, 2012, 10:46 pm

A video for Scube with lots of Science in it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbHzAQlniuM

Comment from Redd
Time: January 9, 2012, 7:29 pm

Stoaty: Since you’re such a Titanic fan, here’s a mini series about the building of the ship, due to air sometime in 2012:


We’ll probably learn that someone was playing rumpy-pumpy on the architectural drafts, screwed them up, resulting in the ship being sinkable.

Comment from Goober
Time: January 9, 2012, 7:41 pm

Oceania sells himself as some scientific uber-intellectual and yet believes in the 9/11 “the US did it to itself” conspiracy?

Forget everything else you think you know about 9/11 – any claims that it was a conspiracy, I refute thus:

There were at minimum hundreds, if not thousands of people involved in seeing this conspiracy through to it’s eventual fruition. Are you seriously trying to postualate that not one of them – not a single, solitary one?! – has since seen the error of his way and gone all Wikileaks on the US government?

Not the guy from whom the explosives were purchased who, after the event, thought it somewhat curious and spoke out?

Not a single one of the workers in any of the buildings who noticed an awful lot of demolition and wiring being done right before the blast?

Not one buck private who was there when his superiors launched the cruise missile/drone/whatever that took out the building?

Not a single one of the hundreds of lying witnesses who claimed that they saw a plane crash into the pentagon?

It is impossible to anyone with more than a room temperature IQ to believe that this would be possible.

Furthermore, I would expect someone of Oceania’s awesom intellect to understand that steel buildings don’t topple over, and rather fold up like a house of cards upon recieving one excessive out of plane load, and that the WTC7 collapse was probably a progressive failure that was going on for quite some time prior to the final, catastrophic collapse. But people surprise me all the time with their ability to be dumbasses, so there is that.

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