New Titanicfeasible or folly


Feb 4, 2007
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I agree that Ethanol doesn't seem like a good, long-term solution. As has been said, in addition to its high energy consumption to produce, it is less efficient as a fuel than diesel or biodiesel (or even regular petroleum gasoline for that matter).

While I think biodiesel is a great PIECE of the sustainable energy puzzle, I don't think it is a be-all, end-all solution. Unless technology advances quite a bit, and we are able to extract renewable vegetation-based oil from algae or somethingorother relatively quickly in mass quantities at low cost, then I don't think it will be a very viable option for ships unless marine engines suddenly drastically improved their mileage capabilities.

I could be wrong of course, and while large strides have been taken recently in the biodiesel sector, for use in ships, it's just hard to imagine due to the immense volume needed worldwide.

And I say this as a 6-years-on operator of a vintage 100% biodiesel-powered Mercedes 220D.
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Now nuclear energy, while exceptionally dangerous, is a definite power source option. Not that I endorse it's use, however.

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And then there's our growing lack of concentration. Even if I did survive rowing for a few hours, and ignoring the obsese having cardiac arrest alongside me, I'd be woolgathering about ... oh, just stuff ... and get out of synch...
That's what iPods and personal DVD players are for.
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Jan 28, 2003
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I don't think the drum-beater will let me have my iPod on board. Not if he's got any sense.

Seems quite a muddle here in your thinking, Jason, not that I blame you for that ... we are all prone to this, these days.

I, for example, am constantly wondering about relative risk. Is it worse to expect a Chernobyl every 50 years, or to put carbon emissions into the atmosphere all the time with other less 'dangerous' power-generating systems? Are re-cycled paper bags better than plastic ones in terms of carbon footprint?

Food waste sounds dreadful, but is it really worse to let it rot in the ground un-harvested, or to dump it when the best-before date has been reached, or to put it in the trash at home when it says it is past its best (whatever happened to our noses?) It probably produces the same amount of methane whatever you do.

If I could send my left-overs to starving nations, then I would. But I can't. It's awful that they might welcome them, but what to do?
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Now nuclear energy, while exceptionally dangerous, is a definite power source option. Not that I endorse it's use, however.<<

Oh?

How many Chernobyl's have there been? While there have been accidents, without exception, the containment methods and mechenisms worked as designed. Chernobyl happened because the people there took some really rediculous and stupid chances in an experiment which was highly illegal even under the old Soviet regime.

The fact is that in terms of safety, the commercial nuclear power industry has a better safety record then just about any close competitor, and it doesn't put gigatons of carbon into the atmousphere the way oil, coal and gas do.

As to biodiesel and ethenol, the question is how much aerable land can be set aside to make the stuff as opposed to food production and at what cost in terms of clear cutting jungles and rainforests? There's only so much to be had and we can't just bulldoze the rain forests without paying a heavy price for it in the long haul.
 
Feb 4, 2007
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The fact is that in terms of safety, the commercial nuclear power industry has a better safety record then just about any close competitor
Hummmm......now let's throw in the very real threat of terrorism activity and we could have a problem, Houston. Much more of a problem than petroleum or biofuel ever could have.

Still, nuclear power is a viable and 'clean' option, but I sure as hell wouldn't want to live or work anywhere close to a plant. And if I already do, please don't tell me ~ I worry about enough as it is.
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Dec 2, 2000
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>>Hummmm......now let's throw in the very real threat of terrorism activity and we could have a problem, Houston. Much more of a problem than petroleum or biofuel ever could have<<

Perhaps but with the security surrounding these facilities, anybody planning an attack would have a lot of challanges to overcome. Contrary to some popular opinion, you can't just do a kamikaze dice on the reactor dome and have a reasonable chance of penetrating. These structures are built of thich walls of re-inforced concrete and have multiple layers of sheilding within. They're built tough with an eye towards keeping things contained, and there are numerous safety devices built into the system designed to shut down the reactor in the event of a problem.

I live near the Oconee nuclear power plant in South Carolina and grew up not far from the Waltz's Mill testing facility in Pennsylvania, and served on a nuclear powered warship. There has never been a problem with either and the intense scrutiny from the government is in place which keeps them all honest.

While it's not wrong to be concerned, all too often I see the line crossed from legitimate concern to irrational fear.
 

Ryan Thompson

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And I say this as a 6-years-on operator of a vintage 100% biodiesel-powered Mercedes 220D.
Jason - What year? :D Is it the kind with the little tail fins? Automatic or stick?

Also, I'm not trying to sound rude, but nuclear power is probably off-topic...
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Also, I'm not trying to sound rude, but nuclear power is probably off-topic...<<

So are biodiesel powered Mercedes. That and nukes were all topic drift in to alternative powwr sources but if we want to carry on with that, perhaps the thread I have going on environmental issues in the Other Ships and Shipwrecks folder would be a good choice.
 
Feb 4, 2007
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Hi Ryan, I sent you a PM to answer your questions.

Now then, nuclear power and biodiesel are NOT completely off-topic because both sources of energy are viable options to feasibly power a "New Titanic" ~ should such a thing ever be built (and it most likely won't).
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>should such a thing ever be built (and it most likely won't).<<

If by that, you mean a replica, then you're right: It ain't gonna happen. If you mean any sort of ship built to modern design criteria and standards...well...the owners can use any name they like. The Titanic I saw in the Persian Gulf was a medium sized tanker which had a reletively long and mercifully quiet career which ended in the usual fashion: In the breaker's yard.
 

Ryan Thompson

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I wonder if a modern liner with whose design is a stylized version of the original Titanic's would be possible. I mean, you'd KNOW it was a stylized Olympic-class liner when you saw it.

Or maybe a stylized variation of the Normandie. This ship was already so streamlined, it makes me wonder what all exterior changes would need to happen besides a slanted (and bulbous, which is below the waterline anyway) bow.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I wonder if a modern liner with whose design is a stylized version of the original Titanic's would be possible.<<

From the standpoint of engineering, sure it's possible. The question would be why? These days, the bulk of the market wants the new and exciting with little taste for the retro.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>A modern spin in the Normandie may be more feasible and cost-effective...<<

Possibly. Just so long as such a ship avoided the more outrageous touches of colour and decor. I've seen a few colour photos which jim Kalafus posted on the board a while back. What looked glamourous in black and white just looked tacky in colour.
 

Jim Kalafus

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The Normandie's principal interesting design feature was that the further down the feeding chain you got, the more sophisticated the interiors became. The only truly first class room aboard was in third class ~ the dining room ~ and most of her celebrated 'glamor' was, at best, gauche and, at worst, stridently ugly.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>and most of her celebrated 'glamor' was, at best, gauche and, at worst, stridently ugly.<<

That was my take when I saw the photos. You wouldn't happen to recall where you posted them, would you? If a picture is worth a thousand words, they would really drive the point home.
 

Jim Kalafus

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125255.jpg

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Normandie (The only ship one can name, properly without a prefacing "The" as per her theme song "Normandie Normandie, don't say 'le' or 'la.' She's just Normandie Normandie Normandie, what a splendid name, tra-la." oh god.
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) is often held up as the ultimate expression of 1930s deco afloat, but in fact appears to have been a decades early foreshadowing of the Carnvival/Vegas too-much-is-not-enough school of design.

The lounge, for instance, is made up of elements that function beautifully independent of one another combined for an effect that is both jumbled and garish. Had any one element been selected as the focus of the room, with all of the other furniture and artwork selected to harmonize with it, all would have been well. Witness how beautifully the bronzework now 'displays' on land, in a minimalist setting.

The room works well in black and white, where one can at least endow it with a more....tranquil....color scheme than the mob mansion/ bordello red 'n' gold (set off with about 50,000 additional colors) chosen.

One cannot help but think of Frank Lloyd Wright's comment about the late deco era Shamrock Hotel in Houston (he supposedly refered to one of the more over the top interiors as being an 'architectural venereal disease') as one walks through the first class suite of public rooms, via photograph. Only, in this case it is not so much a venereal disease as it is a ship which reflects EXACTLY what one would get if one gave a millionaire's 21 year old mistress unlimited funds and told her "Have fun and make it CLASSY." All cluttered and gold and red and miles from coherent.

Therein lies the danger of recreating ANY ship, or lost building. If Penn Station magically reappeared, once the....puzzlement....over how that was achieved abated, people would once again be confronting the fact that, monumentality aside, it was not a particularly well designed station. Likewise, a reconstructed Normandie or Titanic, could only disappoint, because reality NEVER surpasses the mental image.
 

Ryan Thompson

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The colors in the above photo would be better if they were more paler, more muted. I like the 'stacked' lights, I think they're great. Question: How large could a replica of the Normandie or Titanic be built before it wouldn't be feasible (i.e. before it would be constrained by restrictions that would distort its appearance too drastically)? Like an 80-foot motor yacht with a crew of three or four and X number passengers, bunk sleeping births, a small but well-appointed galley, etc.

A small example of what I mean is the Solartanic, which is basically an electric motor boat with a range of 15 to 20 miles with its current battery capacity.
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(Blah, hate the photo restrictions -- I have a photobucket account, if its being hosted off-site it'd be nice to be able to post the actual image IN the message rather than a link)
Its a bit 'squat' in scale and there are details lacking but it really gets me thinking. You sit between the 2nd and 3rd funnels...in a larger scale the bridge would likely be better forward of the first funnel, and indoors/below deck.

Likewise, a reconstructed Normandie or Titanic, could only disappoint, because reality NEVER surpasses the mental image.
For what its worth there are probably people who say that about the Queen Mary when they see it in person for the first time.


Is the Shamrock Hotel still around?

I seem to remember there being a "Normandie Hotel" somewhere that was built around the same time as the ship and is all Art Deco style. I can't remember where it is.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>combined for an effect that is both jumbled and garish.<<

There's an understatement for you. I literally flinched when the colour photo appeared. Talk about hurting the eyes. If it wasn't for those bloody chairs, it might have worked.
 
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>I seem to remember there being a "Normandie Hotel" somewhere that was built around the same time as the ship and is all Art Deco style. I can't remember where it is.


http://www.normandiepr.com/

It's in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Comes complete with "NORMANDIE" sign - possibly the very same one off of the ship - and there's another Normandie Hotel in South Beach, Miami.


I'll reserve my thoughts on the garishness of Normandie for later. Maybe I just have bad taste, but I like it.
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