Daily Update: Friday, April 15th, 2016

04-15 - Titanic (New York Times Front Page)

No Saints to honor today. Normally on April 15th I would be noting that it is the the day when tax returns for the  previous year are due to the federal government from U.S. citizens. However, because the District of Columbia is celebrating a legal holiday today (for Emancipation Day, commemorating the freeing of 3,100 slaves in the District of Columbia on April 16, 1862 by Abraham Lincoln, nine months before he signed the Emancipation Proclamation, all citizens  have through Monday, April 18, 2016 to file their 2015 taxes (except for residents of Maine and Massachusetts, who have until Tuesday). So, today we turn to a more recent date than 1862; it was on this date in 1912, at 2:20 am (local time) that RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic, having hit an iceberg shortly before midnight the previous night.

The Titanic was on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York City, and was the largest passenger steamship in the world. The ship surpassed all her rivals in luxury and opulence; the most expensive one-way trans-Atlantic passage was $4,375, the equivalent of $99,237 as of 2011. According to Titanic’s general arrangement plans, the ship could accommodate 833 First Class Passengers, 614 in Second Class and 1,006 in Third Class, for a total passenger capacity of 2,453. The ship carried 20 lifeboats, of three different varieties, which were designed to hold a maximum of 1,178 people; the theory at the time was that, in case of emergency, the lifeboats could be used to shuttle passengers to another ship. The ship sailed on April 12, 1912 with 2.223 passengers and crew; after the iceberg was hit, many lifeboats were launched partially empty. Of the eighteen lifeboats launched before the ship sank, only two went back to pick up additional survivors from the water. When RMS Carpathia arrived in the area, it began rescuing survivors at 4:10 am; after picking up the last survivors and lifeboats at 8:30 am, the ship headed for New York. Some 1,517 passengers and crew were lost; less than a third were rescued (most of those were first-class, second-class, or crew). Titanic has gone down in history as the ship that was called unsinkable. For more than 100 years, she has been the inspiration of fiction and non-fiction. She is commemorated by monuments for the dead and by museums exhibiting artefacts from the wreck. Just after the sinking memorial postcards sold in huge numbers together with memorabilia ranging from tin candy boxes to plates, whiskey jiggers, and even black mourning teddy bears. Several survivors wrote books about their experiences but it was not until 1955 the first historically accurate book A Night to Remember was published. The first film about the disaster, Saved from the Titanic, was released only 29 days after the ship sank and had an actual survivor as its star—the silent film actress Dorothy Gibson, who never made another film. The British film A Night to Remember (1958) is still widely regarded as the most historically accurate movie portrayal of the sinking. The most financially successful movie by far has been James Cameron’s Titanic (1997), which became the highest-grossing film in history up to that time, as well as the winner of 11 Oscars at the 70th Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Cameron. (I have never seen the film; I know how it ends already.) Today is also the birthday of Richard’s niece Jenny, one of the daughters of his sister Susan in Iowa.

We had Thunder on February 15th, so today should have been cooler than usual. I did my Book Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. Richard put in for 8.00 hours of PTO to cover some of our Early Out time off. Once we clocked in Richard was on Three Card Blackjack, closed that table, changed Blackjack cards, and was briefly the Check Racker on Roulette before he became the dealer on Pai Gow. I was on Mini Baccarat, and had only one player, from 10:15 am to 10:45 am. On my breaks I started reading Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shor.

After work I went to the Pharmacy and picked up my prescription and
Richard’s prescription. I continued reading my book and got to a good stopping point. We stopped at Wal-Mart so that Richard could get some cold medication. Once home I ate my lunch salad and read the morning paper. I then went to bed for the rest of the day, and did not do my Daily Update. The Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel was installed today as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana. And our #9 ranked LSU Tigers in the first game of their away three-game Baseball series beat Missouri by the score of 7 to 5. (And today was not noticeably cooler.)

Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Saint Bernadette Soubirous, Religious (died 1879). On my breaks at work I will do my Daily Update for yesterday via WordPress for Android, and continue reading Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shor. In the afternoon I will go to the Adoration Chapel to do my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration. Our #9 ranked LSU Tigers will play the second game of their away three-game Baseball series with Missouri, and our LSU Football team will play their Spring Game Scrimmage. I may go to Mass, and I hope to do my Daily Update before going to bed.

Our Parting Quote on this Friday afternoon comes to us from Barbara Strauch, American reporter, editor, and author. Born in 1951 in Evanston, Illinois, her father was an electrical engineer, and her mother had been a reporter for The Daily Pilot in Orange County, California. After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor’s degree in English, Strauch worked for newspapers in New England, Venezuela and Houston. She was a senior editor at New York Newsday, and ran the Newsday team that won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for spot news for its coverage of a midnight subway derailment in Manhattan that left five passengers dead and more than 200 injured. Hired by The Times after New York Newsday ceased publication in 1995, Strauch worked on the national desk, edited business coverage of the New York metropolitan area and was media editor. She joined the paper’s science department as an assistant editor in 2000. in 2003 she wrote The Primal Teen: What the New Discoveries About the Teenage Brain Tell Us About Our Kids. Appointed health editor in 2004, Strauch supervised coverage of a rapidly changing health care industry, tracking advances in pharmaceutical research, the rising costs of health care, debates over health insurance coverage and the politics of medical care, as well as the changing roles of doctors and hospitals. In 2010 she published The Secret Life of the Grown-up Brain: The Surprising Talents of the Middle-Aged Mind, which concluded that certain cognitive functions peak fairly late, when people are in their 60s. She was named science editor in 2011, overseeing all health and science coverage in the daily news report, as well as in the weekly Science Times section. As science editor, Strauch oversaw the introduction of the popular Well blog and a number of projects, including “Chasing the Higgs,” about the race between two teams of researchers to discover the Higgs boson, sometimes called the “God particle.” It was a Pulitzer finalist in 2014. Other projects examined patient care, treating children with mental illness and the struggles in cancer research (died 2015): “We have teenagers staying out all night or skipping school and their parents tearing out their middle-aged hair,” she wrote. “The good news is that, if we can get past the power-struggle part of all this, admit what we were like at that age, take the long view and call on the calmer middle-aged brain we have, we should also realize that a few bad and even risky moves by teenagers are natural and necessary, as long as they do not kill themselves. Easier said than done.”

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