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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Howe Manning Elementary, Middleton- April 15th

42° 35' 47" N
71° 00' 51" W 
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Also, compare today's coordinates to those of other recent EarthView outings, near and far!

The EarthView team is happy to be back visiting the Howe Manning Elementary School in Middleton for the fourth year in a row. It is quite far from where we were last night in Taunton, some 60 miles away! 

Our last visit to the school occurred on April 3rd, 2015 while our very first occurred on May 4th, 2012. Our first blog post about the school includes information on the town's history, check it out! 

On this day 104 years ago at 2:20 in the morning, the "unsinkable" Titanic sank four days into its maiden voyage with over 2,000 passengers about 400 miles south of Newfoundland, Canada. The map below shows the path that the Titanic took from Southampton England towards New York City which it never reached.

The Titanic struck an iceberg just before midnight on April 14th and sunk shortly there after. This came as a big surprise as the ship was built to be "unsinkable". It was designed by Irish shipbuilder William Pirrie and was 883 feet from stern to bow. The hull of the ship was divided into 16 compartments which were supposed to be watertight. The ship was thought to be "unsinkable" because four of these 16 compartments could be flooded without affecting the ships buoyancy.

When the Titanic struck the iceberg, five of the 16 compartments were damaged causing the bow of the ship to sink and forced the stern into a vertical position. By 2:20 a.m. on April 15th, the ship broke in half and sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. 

Because there were not enough lifeboats to accommodate all of the passengers and no emergency preparations, over 1,500 people died when the ship sank. Those who did survive were mainly women and children. 

In 1913, the first International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea was held in response to the Titanic disaster. The convention established rules that required all ships to have enough lifeboat space for each person on board and that lifeboat drills would be held. The International Ice Patrol was also established to monitor icebergs in the North Atlantic. 

What is freaky is that in 1898, a novella written by Morgan Robertson titled Futility essentially predicted the sinking of the Titanic. In the novella, a large ship called the Titan which was described as "unsinkable" sank in mid-April after striking an iceberg.

While it certainly cannot be confirmed that Robertson actually predicted the future, it is quite a creepy coincidence. And if any of you are looking for an adventure, Australian billionaire Clive Palmer is rebuilding the Titanic! This ship is named the Titanic II and will be an exact replica of the original, except with all of the modern amenities and safety features. The ship is set to sail its maiden voyage in 2018. Let's hope that this ship is able to complete its maiden voyage and sail complication free. 

To learn more about the sinking of the Titanic, the novella seemingly predicting the future, and the Titanic II, please click on their links. 

We hope that the students of Howe Manning Elementary enjoy their visit with EarthView today! 

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