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July 8, 2007 / milesandhisfavorites

Unsinkable — NOT!

Iceberg ahead!

 Oh, hi there!  Today we’re going to take a trip back through time.  Now, I’m not talking about going all the way back to the stone age. No no, Toto!  Today we’re going to go back to the time of the Titanic.  Whew, that’s quite a tongue-twister. 

Okay, let’s start talking business.  The Titanic was an ocean liner from White Star Lines.    It left from England in 1912.  Now, here is an old and very popular picture of the Titanic:

Now,  let’s see…oh, yes.  The Titanic was thought to be unsinkable until it hit an iceberg four days into the voyage.  Now, that part you probably already know.  The question-o-matic will now give you a quiz about boats:

  1. What is port and what is starboard?
  2. What is the wheel that steers the boat called?
  3. True or false, pirates really did use planks?

Answer Key:

  1. Port is the left side of a boat and starboard is right.
  2. The helm.
  3. False, pirates did not use planks, that’s just what people in movies do to make pirates look more cool.

Let’s get back to business now.  Now, where were we?  Oh, yes. Here is a view of the Titanic anatomy:

Now, they had special compartments that could fill with water. If up to four compartments were filled with water, it could still go on.  But six compartments were flooded.  Whew! Call the police! Call the fireboats!  But they couldn’t, they were in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean!  So, they used a special signal and called The Carpathia.  Here’s the problem.  The people in command of the Titanic thought that the ship was unsinkable, but it really wasn’t.  So, some people had to jump overboard because there were not enough lifeboats. Lots of people died.  Hey, but there’s a good side to the story.  The Carpathia saved the rest of the people on the Titanic.

 Here are two pictures of the wreckage of The Titanic:

Alright, here is the man who first discovered the wreck:

This is his name: Dr. Robert Ballard.  He’s also my hero.  I have an autographed picture of him.  He’s an oceanographer, which means he’s a man who discovers things in the ocean.  He and the crew of the Alvin had many adventures.  Now he works in Connecticut at the Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration.  And here is his old mini-submarine.  Introducing The Alvin!

Dr. Robert Ballard used to work at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute which is where Alvin still works! 

For more information about ocean creatures, check out Miles’s Science Encyclopedia Part One.

Next entry is going to be a code-cracking challenge!


One Comment

Leave a Comment
  1. TriSec / Aug 1 2007 11:02 am

    Hi Miles!

    Should you ever have the chance, make the trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia, home of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic ( They have one of the largest collections of Titanic memorabilia anywhere, including one of the few authentic deck chairs recovered from the wreck.

    Always a pleasure to see your blog!

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