Wednesday, December 7, 2016

History: The Year is 1912

I've uploaded year 1912 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The 'Practically Unsinkable' Titanic Sinking -- I talk a little about Titanic in the popular media.

Notable Births --  Raoul Wallenberg, Wernher von Braun, Alan Turing, and Milton Friedman.

In Other News -- Opium is illegal, Jim Thorpe is stripped of his medals, and the missing link is found... sort of.

The 'Practically Unsinkable' Titanic Sinking

The Titanic is the star of the White Line super-luxury ocean liners. It boasts a double iron hull. Hatches below the water line can be shut at the flip of a switch. The engineering spec says that it is 'practically unsinkable', so why carry lifeboats? They will take a few, but let's not go overboard. Eh? Titanic sets off from Southampton with 2,224 passengers and crew on their way to New York. Two days later they receive warning of icebergs ahead, but there are no binoculars available for the lookouts. The First Officer makes a note of this deficiency to be corrected once they reach New York. The Titanic never makes it. At 11:40 PM, a lookout shouts, "Iceberg straight ahead!" He rings the bell and 40 seconds later, they hit. It is a glancing blow, but a gaping slash below the waterline opens up. The compartments flood fast, and oddly enough, the engineers hadn't designed them to be water tight. (I can see a hangman's noose in someone's future.) The new wireless telegraph issues a distress call. The Carpathia is 4 hours away. Plenty of time, so the lifeboats are filled but not lowered. Multi-millionaire John Jacob Astor helps his wife into a lifeboat, and then steps back politely to let the evacuation continue. He will be staying... forever. The final compartments give way, the bow goes under and everything not nailed down shifts forward. The stern lifts high into the air, and then snaps. The Carpathia arrives two hours later to pick up 705 survivors, mostly women. It is the greatest single disaster in maritime history. [1] [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
The board of inquiry held the captain of the Titanic to have made a mistake but not a negligent mistake. This finding was greeted with mocking derision by the public. The entire event lives on in memory through the media such in the "The Unsinkable Molly Brown." That was the first live production I have ever seen. (It was also the first time my parents took me to a real sit-down restaurant.) Of course, there was the major motion picture, "Titanic" (1997). Guys with butter-fingers are still dropping their gals into the drink after that movie. My favorite novel on the subject is, "Passage" by Connie Willis. If I say more it will be a spoiler. Just know that the book scared the heck out of me. [3] [4]

Notable Births

  • Raoul Wallenberg (He will issue thousands of Swedish passports to Jews, saving them from the Nazis through creative paperwork.) [5] [6]
  • Wernher von Braun (Invents the V2 rocket for the Nazis and the Saturn V rocket for the USA.). [7]
  • Alan Turing (The father of computer science and the genius credited with breaking the Nazi's Enigma code.) [8]
  • Milton Friedman (Free-market economist who will say, "Governments never learn. Only people learn.") [9] [10]

In Other News

  • Opium is now illegal. IT'S THE LAW! A treaty to control opium sales is signed between countries in Asia, Europe and the USA. [11]
  • Jim Thorpe, All American, is stripped of his medals. The Olympic committee discovers that he once played semi-pro baseball. [6]
  • The missing link is found! Piltdown Man is supposedly 500,000 years old. 45 years later the hoax will be revealed. [6] [12]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1912, Wikipedia.

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