Looking to Contact Sam Halpern


Jun 12, 2004
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Hello, all!

I am not quite sure where I should have posted this, so I decided to insert it here in the general area. Other contact requests are here as well, so I though 'why not?'

Anyway . . .

It has been a long time, and I have been quite busy with other aspects of my life.

It's good to be back. Older issues from a year ago are gone, having disappeared months ago. I am doing well, although I am dealing with serious medical issues as of late.

I also have been writing up a storm as well: two novels, a couple collections of short stories, freelance writing . . .

I have tried to email Sam, but, for some reason, the missive came back. I have not contacted anyone from the site in over a year, so I figured that some problems or changes might have occurred. Sam, do you have any idea what might have happened? I wanted to stay in contact with you, but, alas, so go the unexpected trials and tribulations of life. How are you? I hope all is well. Do you have an alternative email I may use? Please let me know when you have the time.

Happy Thanksgiving to all citizens of my country.

Take care and peace!

Mark
 
Jun 12, 2004
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Hi, Mike,

Yes, I already sent a private note through ET and his site, but I just thought I'd attempt to catch his attention here as well. The problem in the email could be related to my computer; if so, all emails could be affected. Best to have all the bases covered. No harm, no foul.

I hope you have been well.

Mark
 
Jun 12, 2004
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>>A few rocks and shoals along the way<<

Mine have been more like boulders and mountains, with slippery gravel underneath, but I manage to get through, and that's the important thing. ;)

For you, I can imagine each 'rock' and 'shoal' must be a story in itself, hehe.


>>I hope you can stay around with us for awhile.<<

My plate is loaded, but I'm certainly going to try. If I can just deal with this burning hole in my chest and the dizzying shifting weight in my head that continue to keep me out of work, I'll be even better. This takes priority.

Damn, I just hope it's not Cancer. The doctor said it just might be . . .

Have I missed anything?
 
Jan 28, 2003
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Hello, Mark. Sorry to hear you are feeling rough. Chests and heads are prime sites, however, for things that may be personally worrying, but not necessarily serious.

"Have I missed anything?"
Depends what you like to discuss. I don't think you've missed anything really astounding or new in research terms. However, the fun and banter is always worth catching up on, as is the companionship.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Hi Mark,

I received your private email that you sent me via my website, and the one via my ET profile. As I explained in my reply to you, the email you tried to contact me on was an old account that was closed last July after I moved. Don't know why they would send a missive back, but I have no control how they handle closed accounts.

Good to see you back.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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Thank you, Monica, glad to hear from you. I hope you are well.


>>I don't think you've missed anything really astounding or new in research terms.<<

The Titanic world always has some interesting developments, if not from researchers, then everyday Titanic enthusiasts who share their valuable insights on a regular basis. Thank goodness everything is stored and maintained here for readers to access at their leisure.


>>the fun and banter is always worth catching up on, as is the companionship.<<

Indeed that is true, Monica. I have found many of the people here to be jovial and witty, and the conversations as lighthearted and engaging as they are educational. I am always drawn back to this.



Hello, Sam. I left a post here because I wasn't certain my emails would go through. After the bounce-back I had received, I was afraid that the problem could have involved a dastardly glitch in my computer system. My apologies for the overkill.


>> . . . was an old account that was closed last July after I moved.<<

Circumstances are bound to change over time. I considered this as well.


>>Don't know why they would send a missive back, but I have no control how they handle closed accounts.<<

I think it might have been a notice that the account is no longer active. The wording threw me off. I will forward the email to you so you can see it for yourself. Strange things do happen . . .


>>Good to see you back.<<

Nice to be back. I'll try to throw the occasional tidbit into the mix from time to time.


Now I must go. My chest is burning and I need to eat and rest.

Take care, all!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Have I missed anything?<<

As always, I'm covering the news to keep the membership informed of items of interest in the maritime world. I don't pretend that it's comprehensive but it does give a useful snapshot of what's going on out there, and often the reasons behind some of the events.

Hope your cancer fears turn out to be unfounded.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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>>I don't pretend that it's comprehensive but it does give a useful snapshot of what's going on out there<<

Being comprehensive isn't really important; each example brings some degree of new insight to the constantly growing body of knowledge and our understanding of that knowledge, so every little bit helps. I don't take that role lightly, as it is very important.

That snapshot must be panoramic as far as Titanic is concerned--so many variations, so many directions . . .


Hello, Jason, thank you for the welcome.

>> do need to send you an e-mail at some point.<<

Feel free to write anytime. I look forward to it.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Being comprehensive isn't really important; each example brings some degree of new insight to the constantly growing body of knowledge and our understanding of that knowledge, so every little bit helps. I don't take that role lightly, as it is very important.<<

For whatever it may be worth, I've been trying to highlight the economic aspects wherever possible. Shipping is extremely important because you don't get even so much as rubber doggie droppings out of Hong Kong to the novelty shoppe in California without it being moved on a ship. The credit markets are the key here. If you understand just how shaky they were and still are, you understand why the world's economy is still in some really deep doodoo.

I also try to dig up some light hearted stuff because frankly, we all need a good laugh especially when things aren't funny. Hope I find something upbeat today. There was another ferry accident in Bangladesh yesterday and that wasn't even remotely funny.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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Hi, all! Feeling a bit under-the-weather today (when hasn't that been the case lately?), but I thought I'd leave a quick acknowledgement, as I hate to keep people waiting. If I don't respond right away, please understand.



>>The credit markets are the key here.<<

You are right about that, Michael. Credit is essential in every aspect of the economy. It serves as a double-edged sword: consumers (and companies) need it to survive, yet, when the economy wavers, as it has been, those same consumers (and companies) go further in debt because they cannot pay off the credit, either.

The key, then, I think, lies in credit. We, as a nation--even on a global level--have become too reliant on credit, which is why the economy has become shaky. Therefore, the solution lies in re-conceptualizing credit and how it works. We can start with a new set of regulations to govern how to use credit, what is allowed, what is not allowed and why.

How would you think this would affect the shipping industries?



>>we all need a good laugh especially when things aren't funny.<<

Indeed, that's true. Whenever I read about Somalian pirates taking over cruise ships or even naval vessels, I am far from jovial. Yes, I know pirates have been around for centuries, but that doesn't mean their attacks aren't threatening and that people's lives aren't in danger.

And this ties directly into the world economy. It shows that problems in other countries, like somalia, affect us as well.

Speaking of cruise ships, what do you think of that new vessel recently out of Finland? Both praise and concern have been given on that one. First, this 'peacock of the sea' shows advances in technology and sophistication, which boasts luxuries for every scenario or contingency--in multiplicity. But such a vessel is also vulnerable due to the excessive complexity of its appointments. For example, if an evacuation is necessary, hundreds of people could easily get lost or have a difficult time accessing the lifeboats. Also, the sheer size would require time to traverse (Titanic was smaller, and it posed these same concerns). Now, with the economy the way it is, should we be building larger, more elaborate ships? Yes, it was built to pull up the economy, but the cost required to design and build the ship could set the industry back even more. Here, the question is timing.

Another accident? What caused this one? Any casualties?

I'll see if I can find something lighthearted to post here or somewhere to lift our spirits.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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Hello again, Monica,

>>Chests and heads are prime sites, however, for things that may be personally worrying, but not necessarily serious.<<

That, of course, depends on the problem. When one doesn't know and the doctor can't even be sure, one feels justified in being concerned, especially when such a problem progresses over a number of months with no sign of regression or decrease in intensity or severity.

Regardless, however, as you've pointed out, the head and chest are both sensitive and therefore dangerous areas for any type of complication to develop.

That evaluation, when completed, will let me know where I stand with this, whatever is going on.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>How would you think this would affect the shipping industries?<<

Depends on how it's all reconceptualized and how any new laws and regulations were written.

The letters of credit are essential instruments in the shipping industry since they serve to gaurantee payment for goods delivered and services rendered. Without them, nothing moves. This makes a compelling case for the responsible use of credit.

The irresponsible use...or more accurately...abuse of credit is as close as the junk mail which shows up in your mailbox offering a bewildering array of credit cards for unbelievably low "Introductory rates" which disappear after six months. By this time, the issuers are hoping you've racked up an enormous debt which you pay off by way of E-Z monthly installments at the full rate.

If you get into trouble, no problem. Somebody will "Help you out" with a debt consolidation loan at equally impressive rates of interest whilst somebody...usually a lot of somebodys...comes along with secured credit card offers, also at impressive rates of interest.

The problem here is that the businesses of the world and the banks in particular have built an enormous industry on selling people literally trillions of dollars, pounds sterling, and/or Euros of debt. Everytime you turn around, some joker is trying to sell you even more debt.

The wonder of it all is that anybody is surprised when this whole house of cards collapses.

>>Another accident? What caused this one? Any casualties? <<

Apparantly, the ferry hit a rock on the way in. Casualties? Hell yes! At least 37. They were lucky they were tying up to the pier. See http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34179233/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Speaking of cruise ships, what do you think of that new vessel recently out of Finland? Both praise and concern have been given on that one. First, this 'peacock of the sea' shows advances in technology and sophistication, which boasts luxuries for every scenario or contingency--in multiplicity. <<

Sounds like a certain Edwardian liner that we know all too well, doesn't it?

Since I forgot to deal with this last night, I'll address this now before it slips my mind. As grand in scale as the Oasis Of The Seas is, I'm concerned that in some respects, it's a bit of a step sideways and one step backwards. I believe it was Jim Kalafus who made this point, but it bears repeating that this ship actually has less room per passenger then the ones which came before.

I'm sure most of you have noticed that during what's called The Golden Age of liner travel, ships were getting bigger even if the passenger capacity remained nearly the same. One of the big drivers for this was to give passengers more room and comfort then the ones which came before and it was the bigger, "better" and more comfortable ships which sold tickets.

The Oasis Of The Seas is certainly bigger, but better?

Well now, that remains to be seen. Her owners are taking a big gamble with her and her sister and I hope it pays off.

As to the safety aspects, I hope this ship never runs into trouble. The price could be damned steep if she does.
 
Jan 28, 2003
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I have a friend who shifts her credit card provider every couple of months to take advantage of 0% interest rates on transferred balances. She says we all should do this. Maybe. I admire her energy and persistence, though I'm sure she must be running out of providers by now. Personally, I just pay it off.
 

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