Posts Tagged ‘Titanic’


“I was born on the day Lincoln was shot and the Titanic sank.”~ Pete Rose

Earlier this evening, I was watching a television program about distress calls and signals.

It was heavily documenting the distress signals of the Titanic when it went down in 1912. But it was referring to a different distress signal than what we know so well.

So did the Titanic use SOS or CQD?

The answer: BOTH.

Jack Phillips, senior wireless operator aboard Titanic, was the person who had sent out the majority of the distress signals as the operations room was taking on water and the ship was sinking.

Around 9:30 PM, the Titanic had received its first warning of ice in the area by the steamship Mesaba. But it was ignored.

Around 11:00 PM, members in the operations room failed again to heed any of the warnings that came to the Titanic. This time, from the SS Californian to warn them of the threat of icebergs ahead.

Tragically, Phillips would return messages back to the SS Californian, telling them to “Shut up! Shut up! I’m busy working Cape Race!” which caused the Californian to switch off their boards.

Titanic struck ice at 11:40 PM. Shortly after midnight, Jack Phillips was given orders to send out a distress signal by Captain Edward Smith. Phillips would do so almost immediately. After the entire operating room was busy sending messages on behalf of the passengers to loved ones and family about how they were enjoying themselves and having a good time. They failed to see any of the warnings that came to the Titanic from the SS Californian to warn them of the threat of icebergs ahead.

But once Jack Phillips began sending the distress signals, he did so until the very end. His last transmission being “CQD, CQD, CQ” which is assumed at that point the power failed.

The horrible irony of the situation in the operations room was the fact that the nearest vessel to the Titanic was the SS Californian which now had shut off their machines and therefore did not receive any of the distress signals. And who knows what would have happened if the SS Californian would have received the signals coming from the Titanic?

Jack Phillips would die on board the Titanic as he heroically sent distress signal after distress signal until the power went out. By then the operations room was already taking on so much water and flooding and the ship was sinking faster and faster.  slideshow_std_h_slide12

The S.O.S. distress signal was fairly new and Phillips decided that he would use both signals to reach help for the failing ship because he may not be able to have another chance to use it.

So knowing what “S.O.S.” stands for, but what does “C.Q.D.” stand for?

Land telegraphs had traditionally used “CQ” (“sécu,” from the French word sécurité) to identify alert or precautionary messages of interest to all stations along a telegraph line, and CQ had also been adopted as a “general call” for maritime radio use.

However, in landline usage there was no general emergency signal, so the Marconi company added a “D”  for “distress” to CQ in order to create its distress call. Thus, “CQD” is understood by wireless operators to mean, “All stations: distress.” Contrary to popular belief, CQD does not stand for “Come Quick, Danger”, “Come Quickly Distress”, or “Come Quick — Drowning!”.

It is transmitted in Morse code as  — · — ·    — — · —    — · · 

It was announced on the 7th of January, 1904, by “Circular 57″of the Marconi International Marine Communication Company, and became effective, beginning on the first day of February, 1904 for Marconi installations. Marconi being the transmitters on board Titanic as well.

Although used worldwide by Marconi operators, CQD was never adopted as an international standard since it could be mistaken for a general call “CQ” if the reception was poor.

At the second International Radiotelegraphic Convention, held in Berlin in 1906, Germany’s Notzeichen distress signal of three-dots/three-dashes/three-dots (· · · — — — · · · ) was adopted as the international Morse code distress signal. This distress signal soon became known as “SOS”. Germany had first adopted this distress signal in regulations effective on the first day of April, 1905.

The first recorded use of SOS as a distress signal was by the steamer SS Arapahoe on the 11th of August, 1909.

The first distress call was simply ‘HELP’. By February 1904, the Marconi Wireless Company required all of its operators to use ‘CQD’ for a ship in distress, or requiring URGENT assistance. In the early morning of the 23rd of January, 1909, whilst sailing into New York from Liverpool, RMS Republic collided with the Italian liner SS Florida in fog off the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts.

“God, Himself could not sink this ship!”~ Capt. E.J. Smith.

Oh yeah? Well, neither can Hollywood apparently!!!!!!!!!!!!

I must share this web article with you. It just totally blows my mind.

That’s right! The movie by James Cameron, “Titanic” (original release date: 1997) is going to be re-released… in 3-D!!!!! The release date will be in April 2012. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read from a Belgian website that it was possible. But now the New York Post reported about a month ago, that it is fact and not rumor. Its release date comes just days before the actual 100th anniversary of the vessel’s demise.

I’d hate to say it, but “I told you so!”. Some way, some how I just knew that this was going to happen around the centennial anniversary. The thing that shocks me is the fact that it is going to be in 3-D.

The movie by itself is a monstrosity. It made over $1.2 BILLION worldwide. And who knows how much in video & DVD sales, and other merchandise that went along with it when this was all that people were talking about.

It literally turned into a massive cash cow for James Cameron, that we can no longer call him “James Cameron”, but now we must call him “Pimp Daddy J”.

Needless to say that it greatly soared the musical career of Canadian singer, Céline Dion, into diva status. It was a very smart decision on her part to jump in on this project to sing, “My Heart Will Go On”.

And so I have strong and mixed feelings about it all. The film kind of took a toll on me personally when it was in the theaters. It stayed so long that there is not another film that I can think of that has stayed in theaters for showing any longer than this one.

It is a good movie.  But during the long period of time that it was in the theaters, I got so burned out on it. The multi-award winning film is 194 minutes long. And I understand that they wanted the part of the movie where the ship sinks to be almost in time with what happened in real historic time.

I have to admit that I have seen all Hollywood films, with the exception of one, that was centered around the story of the ill-fated ship that ever was released. As time went by, they would prove to be inaccurate. But at that particular point in time, they were believed to be true. Until science proved them all wrong.

And I must note to history buffs: Captain E.J. Smith’s quote about “God not sinking this ship”? It had NOTHING to do with the Titanic! He was talking about another ship, called the Adriatic, which made its maiden voyage in 1907. Five years before Titanic.

But in this version we must also realize, it is a work of fiction as we journey through the short lived tryst of Jack & Rose while on the ship until the bitter end. So it is not going to be 100% accurate either.  

I think that everyone in the world by now has seen this movie. If you haven’t, you either have been living under a rock, reside in a place where the movie is banned, or born a short time after its original release.

I personally cannot say at this time whether or not I plan on watching this movie in 3-D. I’ve seen it so many times when it was in theaters the first time. In all, I have seen it 44 times. The first time by myself, the second time with my best friends about a week later, and then fourty-two times of repeating showings by either dates with women or friends who just thought the movie was so awesome, that it was worth seeing again.

That means I have spent over 142 hours (nearly six full days) of my life sitting in a theater watching the same damned movie over and over and over again. Up until a few years ago I even had each and every ticket stub to prove it. Although I am sure that ziploc bag has been discarded by now.

So yeah, of course I am going to be burned out by this film. I really don’t have anything against it other than my unfortunate will to go through it time and time and time again. To which I should have had some serious misgivings. All I knew back then was that women LOVED the movie. And so I went along with it.

But in talking with people today, they absolutely hate the film that Cameron put out. Mainly because of more “historical inaccuracies”. One person’s opinion was that there was not enough of the story told of Molly Brown. And that they got her character all wrong. To each their own, I suppose.

I’m not really sure if watching this film in 3-D is going to change things much. It is possible, but I do not see how. The ship will sail, and the ship will sink. And more than two and a half hours in between that, there will be a love story.

I am curious to say in the least how much it will make worldwide when it is re-released in 2012. I am doubting the $1.2 billion mark… so how wrong can I possibly be proven?

The production of 3-D films are rare now. Does anyone remember the onslaught of horror films that came out in 3-D?? Quite often, they were the product of a third sequel to that particular movie, and so the third part just had to be in 3-D. I can think of a few. But they stopped making them because it was so expensive.

“Titanic” has already been made. But I guess through 21st Century technology, they are re-creating this monster to adapt to the 3-D process. I don’t know how it is being done, but it is.

I think that this film though really takes the cake on any and all film productiong dealing with this historical event. I believe that this version will always be the comparative, should anyone else try to make another. Whether it be a documentary, or a theatrical release like this one. I highly doubt that this film will ever be knocked out of its throne, so to speak.

But I wonder if this idea of coming out with a 3-D version of this timeless hit is going to be a good idea. I am not saying that I WANT it to fail… I just don’t know how well it is going to do. Time will tell.

Should it be just as successful as it was in 1997, I think that the music industry should also try to find a way to make “My Heart Will Go On” another smash sensation. After all, you can’t have one without the other. Neither can you think of one without thinking about the other. So let’s see record producers mash it up and release some funky, groovy mix to Céline Dion’s #1 hit. Because it is just about as big of a monstrosity as the film.