2000

Throwback Thursday: HMHS Britannic 1916

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Britannic Image One
Photo Credit: wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org

One-hundred, three years ago, today, the HMHS Britannic, sister ship to the RMS Titanic, sank in the Aegean Sea. On its way to pick up more wounded soldiers near the Gulf of Athens, a loud explosion shook the ship at 8:12am.

In the wake of the Titanic disaster on April 14, 1912, the White Star Line made several modifications in the construction of its already-planned sister ship. First, the name was changed from Gigantic to Britannic and the design of the hull was altered to make it less vulnerable to icebergs. In addition, it was mandated that there be enough lifeboats on board to accommodate all passengers, which had not been the case with the Titanic.

The nearly 50,000-ton luxury vessel was launched in 1914 but, was requisitioned soon afterward by the British government to serve as a hospital ship during World War I. In this capacity, Captain Charlie Bartlett led the Britannic on five successful voyages bringing wounded British troops back to England from various ports around the world.

Britannic Image Two
Postcard of the Britannic showing her intended purpose. Image Credit: wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org & ibiblio.org

[Immediately after the explosion], Captain Bartlett ordered the closure of the watertight doors and sent out a distress signal. However, the blast had already managed to flood six whole compartments, even more extensive damage than that which had sunk the Titanic. Still, the Britannic had been prepared for such a disaster and would have stayed afloat except for two critical matters.

First, Captain Bartlett decided to try to run the Britannic aground on the nearby island of Kea. This might have been successful but, earlier, the ship’s nursing staff had opened the portholes to air out the sick wards. Water poured in through the portholes as the Britannic headed towards Kea. Second, the disaster was compounded when some of the crew attempted to launch lifeboats without orders. Since the ship was still moving as fast as it could, the boats were sucked into the propellers, killing those on board.

Less than 30 minutes later, Bartlett realized that the ship was going to sink and ordered it abandoned. The lifeboats were launched and even though the Britannic sank at 9:07, less than an hour after the explosion, nearly 1,100 people managed to make it off the ship. In fact, most of the 30 people who died were in the prematurely launched lifeboats.

In 1975, famed ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau found the Britannic lying on its side 400 feet below the surface of the Aegean.

[Source]

Britannic Image Three
Image Credit: wikipedia.org & wikimedia.org & titanicstation.blogspot.com

Violet Jessop (who was also one of the survivors of Britannic’s sister-ship Titanic and had even been on the third sister, Olympic, when it collided with HMS Hawke) described the last seconds:

“She dipped her head a little, then a little lower and still lower. All the deck machinery fell into the sea like a child’s toys. Then, she took a fearful plunge, her stern rearing hundreds of feet into the air until with a final roar, she disappeared into the depths, the noise of her going resounding through the water with undreamt-of violence…”

Britannic was the largest ship lost in the First World War.

[Source]

The cause, whether it was a torpedo from an enemy submarine or a mine, was not apparent. It would later be revealed that the mines were planted in the Kea Channel on October 12, 1916, by SM U-73 under the command of Gustav Sieß (German language link).

[Source]

Rescue
The Wreck
Legacy
Britannic TV Film 2000 (fictional account)
BBC2 Documentary 2016

From the TV Film

Shutterbug Saturday: Old Halloween Stuff

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It’s finally October, home month of jack-o-lanterns, ghosties, ghoulies, witches (the cartoon type), bats, spiders, skeletons, and the like, for the upcoming Halloween. I love wandering around to get shots of local decorations, much like Christmas. This post, however, covers some of my old stuff…stuff collected over the years (remember email forwards?)…stuff I didn’t take, myself, plus…a really cute video from 2005. I have no idea who took these. ~Vic

Barfing Pumpkin 2000 Image One
Sick Pumpkin
Image file reflects 12-05-2000
The Lone Mooner Image Two
Pumpkin Mooner
Image file reflects 09-30-2001
Drunk Pumpkin Image Three
Drunk Pumpkin
Image file reflects 10-31-2001
Halloween Flashers Image Four
Halloween Flashers
Image file reflects 10-19-2002
Dead Pumpkin Image Five
Dead Pumpkin
Image file reflects 08-26-2007
Hard Pumpkin Party Image Six
Partied Too Hard
Image file reflects 10-12-2008

Throwback Thursday: January 31 Trivia Bits

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January 31 Calendar Image One
Image Credit: axial.net

January 31 doesn’t appear to be a day where anything really Earth-shattering happened. I have gathered up a few noteworthy thingys…

1940…….Ida May Fuller was issued the very first Social Security check (numbered 00-000-001) for the amount of $22.54.

1958…….The very first satellite put into Earth orbit by the United States was Explorer I. Launched at 10:48pm EST, it was the first to detect the Van Allen radiation belt.

1961…….Ham the Chimp was launched from Cape Canaveral in the Mercury-Redstone 2 (MR-2) test flight of Project Mercury. He was returned to Earth, safely and lived an additional 22 years.

1971…….Apollo 14, the third mission to land on the Moon, was launched at 4:03pm EST. Mission Commander was Alan Shepard, Command Module Pilot was Stuart Roosa and Lunar Module Pilot was Edgar Mitchell. They landed in the Fra Mauro formation, the aborted Apollo 13 mission’s destination.

2000…….Dr. Harold Shipman, British serial killer, was found guilty of murdering 15 patients under his care. The Shipman Inquiry estimated the total victim count to be 250. Known as The Angel of Death, he hung himself in prison in 2004, one day before his 58th birthday.

Notable Birthdays
1892 Eddie Cantor (d. 1964)
1919 Jackie Robinson (d. 1972)
1921 Carol Channing (d. January 15, 2019).
1923 Norman Mailer (The Executioner’s Song) (d. 2007)
1929 Jean Simmons (d. 2010)

Notable Deaths
1606 Guy Fawkes (b. 1570)
1945 Eddie Slovik (the only American soldier to be court-martialed and executed for desertion since the Civil War) (b. 1920)
1956 A. A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh creator) (b. 1882)
1974 Samuel Goldwyn (b. 1882)
1976 Ernesto Miranda (Miranda vs Arizona & “Mirandize”) (b. 1941)

30-Day Song Challenge: Day 27

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Music Challenge Image
Photo Credit: goodreads.com

A song that breaks your heart…

“Living in the memory of a love that never was…”


 

“I wish you never even loved me…
It makes it so hard to live without love, now…

I had a handle on my sorrow…
My composure was in order…
If not sufficiently intact…
But, every reminiscent echo brings a blow…
To chill my senses and my heart quakes…
And tenses ’till those moments pass…

Every trace, every vision…
Brings my emotions to collision…
Past love’s lost tokens…
Every cherished thought once spoken…
False hope of reconciliation…”


 

Darius Rucker could sing the phone book to me.


 

“Don’t fall away…
And leave me to myself…
Don’t fall away…
And leave love bleeding in my hands…


 

“Since, I was young, I knew I’d find you…
But our love, was a song, sung by a dying swan…
And in the night, you hear me calling…
You hear me calling…

And when the nights are long…
All those stars recall, your goodbye, your goodbye…

Breathe in the light and say goodbye…”


 

Throwback Thursday: Kathy D. Sullivan & Space

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Kathryn D. Sullivan Image
Photo Credit: wikimedia.org

October 11, 1984, Kathryn Dwyer “Kathy” Sullivan became the first American woman astronaut during the STS-41-G mission to perform an EVA or an extravehicular activity (3.5 hours worth), which freely translates to a “space walk”. This was NASA‘s thirteenth flight in the Space Shuttle program and the sixth flight of the Challenger. She was the Mission Specialist 1 and had just turned 33 years of age eight days prior.

She received a Ph.D. in geology from Dalhousie University in 1978, became an Adjunct Professor of Geology at Rice University in 1985 and joined the Navy Reserves in 1988 as an Oceanography Officer, retiring after 18 years at the rank of Captain.

April 24, 1990, she served on board the Space Shuttle Discovery as a Mission Specialist 3 for the STS-31 mission that launched the Hubble Space Telescope. March 24, 1992, she served as Mission Specialist 1 during the STS-45 mission on board the Space Shuttle Atlantis. She was part of the Group 8 NASA Astronaut selection on January 16, 1978. She left NASA in 1993.

Other October 11 space-related trivia:

1957…..Operation Moonwatch scientists calculate Sputnik 1‘s ‘satisfactory orbit’ with an IBM 704.

1958…..NASA launches the lunar probe Pioneer 1 (Pioneer Program). It falls back to Earth and burns up.

1968…..NASA launches Apollo 7, the first crewed flight.

2000…..NASA launches STS-92, the 100th Space Shuttle mission to the ISS via Discovery.