Titanic II Replica Ship to Set Sail in 2018

It’s been nearly 104 years since the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg in the Atlantic, meeting a tragic end on its maiden voyage and claiming more than 1500 lives. The story has since captivated the world, helped along by a little film adaptation in 1997 starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

Among those who remain fascinated by the tale is Australian billionaire Clive Palmer, who is building a replica of the ill-fated ship called Titanic II. It was recently announced that the ship will set sail in 2018, two years later than planned.

Blue Star Line’s recreation will look just like the original liner, but will be four meters wider to meet 21st century maritime safety regulations, and will feature a hull that is welded instead of riveted. It will also meet modern safety regulations, including equipment like life jackets, a certain quota of lifeboats, and of course, updated technology.

"The new Titanic will of course have modern evacuation procedures, satellite controls, digital navigation and radar systems and all those things you'd expect on a 21st century ship," James McDonald, the global marketing director of Palmer's Blue Star Line, told the Belfast Telegraph.

The ship will be 270 meters long, 53 meters high, and weigh 40,000 tons. It will contain nine floors, with 840 cabins to accommodate 2400 passengers and 900 crew members. Travelers can visit Turkish baths, a swimming pool, gyms, and spaces modeled after the original restaurants and dining rooms. The replica will also stay loyal to history with its ticket classifications: first-, second-, and third-class tickets will be offered.

Titanic II will, however, differ from history in its route, traveling from Jiangsu, China, to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where Blue Star Line has reportedly been fostering business partnerships.

If the idea of the replica rubs you the wrong way, you’re not alone. Relatives of some of the Titanic’s lost passengers have spoken out against the project. On the flip side, Blue Star Line has reportedly received a bevy of inquiries from interested parties, and offers as high as £640,000 (about $925,600) for a ticket. We'll assume that gets you a first class ride.

Explore more designs for the future vessel here and hear more about the project here.

The Secret World War II History Hidden in London's Fences

In South London, the remains of the UK’s World War II history are visible in an unlikely place—one that you might pass by regularly and never take a second look at. In a significant number of housing estates, the fences around the perimeter are actually upcycled medical stretchers from the war, as the design podcast 99% Invisible reports.

During the Blitz of 1940 and 1941, the UK’s Air Raid Precautions department worked to protect civilians from the bombings. The organization built 60,000 steel stretchers to carry injured people during attacks. The metal structures were designed to be easy to disinfect in case of a gas attack, but that design ended up making them perfect for reuse after the war.

Many London housing developments at the time had to remove their fences so that the metal could be used in the war effort, and once the war was over, they were looking to replace them. The London County Council came up with a solution that would benefit everyone: They repurposed the excess stretchers that the city no longer needed into residential railings.

You can tell a stretcher railing from a regular fence because of the curves in the poles at the top and bottom of the fence. They’re hand-holds, designed to make it easier to carry it.

Unfortunately, decades of being exposed to the elements have left some of these historic artifacts in poor shape, and some housing estates have removed them due to high levels of degradation. The Stretcher Railing Society is currently working to preserve these heritage pieces of London infrastructure.

As of right now, though, there are plenty of stretchers you can still find on the streets. If you're in the London area, this handy Google map shows where you can find the historic fencing.

[h/t 99% Invisible]

The Force Field Cloak
This Glowing Blanket Is Designed to Ease Kids' Fear of the Dark
The Force Field Cloak
The Force Field Cloak

Many kids have a security blanket they bring to bed with them every night, but sometimes, a regular blankie is no match for the monsters that invade their imaginations once the lights are off. Now there’s a glow-in-the-dark blanket designed to make children feel safer in bed, no night light required.

Dubbed the Force Field Cloak, the fleece blanket comes in several colorful, glowing patterns that remain invisible during the day. At night, you leave the blanket under a bright light for about 10 minutes, then the shining design will reveal itself in the dark. The glow lasts 8 to 10 hours, just long enough to get a child through the night.

Inventor Terry Sachetti was inspired to create the blanket by his own experiences struggling with scary nighttime thoughts as a kid. "I remember when I was young and afraid of the dark. I would lie in my bed at night, and my imagination would start getting the best of me," he writes on the product's Kickstarter page. "I would start thinking that someone or something was going to grab my foot that was hanging over the side of the bed. When that happened, I would put my foot back under my blanket where I knew I was safe. Nothing could get me under my blanket. No boogiemen, no aliens, no monsters under my bed, nothing. Sound familiar?"

The Force Field Cloak, which has already surpassed its funding goals on both Indiegogo and Kickstarter, takes the comfort of a blanket to the next level. The glowing, non-toxic ink decorating the material acts as a gentle night light that kids can wrap around their whole body. The result, the team claims, is a secure feeling that quiets those thoughts about bad guys hiding in the shadows.

To pre-order a Force Field Cloak, you can pledge $36 or more to the product’s Indiegogo campaign. It is expected to start shipping in January 2018.


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