April 20th, 2012

nighthawks

Time-traveling to Save The Titanic!

Following up on my post last Sunday about my (admittedly tongue-in-cheek) 2008 computer simulation of the sinking of Titanic, revived on the 100th anniversary of the sinking.

I was fascinated with Titanic long before the James Cameron movie.

Probably because Arthur C. Clarke, one of my favorite science fiction authors, was fascinated with Titanic (and the sea in general). In IMPERIAL EARTH (1976), he depicts a future in 2276 where they're raising the Titanic. Of course, at that time, in 1976, the wreck hadn't been found, and the assumption was the wreck would be relatively undisturbed that deep on the ocean floor, that rust and microscopic sea life wouldn't have ravaged it. He revisited this in his novel THE GHOST FROM THE GRAND BANKS (1990). Which was written after Robert Ballard's discovery of the wreck in 1985. It takes place in the 22-years-in-the-future far-off year of 2012 (!), on the centennial of the sinking. Even with Ballard's findings, I think maybe the full extent of the damage to the wreck wasn't realized at the time, or maybe Clarke was just wishful thinking, that there'd still be enough left to raise.

And, as you can see from the cover, apparently fractals and the Mandelbrot Set are very important for raising the Titanic!

Also, one time at my uncle and aunt's house, I read the (also 1976) Clive Cussler Dirk Pitt novel RAISE THE TITANIC! Because, I needed something to read, and it was on their shelf. And a book with an exclamation point in the title is a book to be reckoned with. Dirk Pitt, in case you're unfamiliar with him, is sort of a combination of James Bond and Jacques Costeau. At the time, I didn't know who Dirk Pitt was, but, I did know that Raising The Titanic! seemed like a cool thing to do.

In the book, they're Raising the Titanic! because there's a safe filled with some sort of Unobtanium in the cargo hold.

But it wasn't all work. One of the first things Dirk Pitt does once the Titanic Is Raised! is get the married (but separated) female scientist into one of the staterooms and gets it on with her on the waterlogged mattress. Again, the assumption was that, even after 60+ years on the bottom of the Atlantic, there'd still be something left of the furnishings. It might smell of seawater, but it hadn't all been eaten by microscopic sea life, or filled with eels, or anything icky like that.

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