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Titanic, BBC, Frank Prentice

The "unsinkable" Titanic sunk on April 14, 1912.

The sinking of the Titanic on April 14, 1912, is one of the most talked-about tragedies in modern history, and not only because of the James Cameron film. When a ship that's been marketed as "unsinkable" literally sinks on its maiden voyage, it's automatically a riveting story, even without any other details.

But the details matter. Each life lost and each life saved on that fateful night was a unique human whose story impacted everyone connected to them.

We don't need a Jack and Rose romance to be transfixed by stories from the Titanic. One thing Cameron's film did well was show what it must have been like as the ship hit the iceberg at 11:40 p.m. and sank in slow, dramatic fashion for the next two and a half hours, but hearing an account from someone who lived it brings that event to life in on a whole other level. When we're watching a movie, even about a true historical event, our brains can easily pretend it's not real. Hearing it described by someone who lived it doesn't allow for that sort of mental game.


There are no living survivors of the Titanic left to share their stories anymore, but we do have recordings of them. One of those recordings came from a 1979 interview with Frank Prentice, the ship's assistant purser.

The film footage from the BBC archive shows Prentice describing the moment the ship hit the iceberg—how it felt like slamming on the brakes in a car—and the part he played in helping people get onto the lifeboats. (There was space for 800 people on the lifeboats, but only 500 made it into them in the chaos and confusion. Even if they'd filled every space, that would have barely saved a third of the 2,240 passengers and crew on the ship.)

Prentice's delivery sounds so calm, belying the traumatic experience he's describing from 67 years prior. But at the end of the segment, the interviewer asked if it bothered him to talk about it. "I should probably dream about it tonight," he replied. "Have another nightmare. You'd think I'm too old for that but you'd be amazed."

Anyone who knows the full story of the Titanic likely wouldn't be surprised that reliving that horror would have an impact no matter how much time had passed. Only 705 people total survived the sinking, either being lucky enough to snag a space on a lifeboat or rescued from the water in time. More than 1,500 perished. Those who survived were fortunate, but they had to experience and witness so much fear and loss.

Even close to seven decades after the fact, we get a glimpse of that pain in Frank Prentice's interview.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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People have clearly missed their free treats.

The COVID-19 pandemic had us waving a sad farewell to many of life’s modern conveniences. And where it certainly hasn’t been the worst loss, not having free samples at grocery stores has undoubtedly been a buzzkill. Sure, one can shop around without the enticing scent of hot, fresh artisan pizza cut into tiny slices or testing out the latest fancy ice cream … but is it as joyful? Not so much.

Trader Joe’s, famous for its prepandemic sampling stations, has recently brought the tradition back to life, and customers are practically dancing through the aisles.


On the big comeback weekend, people flocked to social media to share images and videos of their free treats, including festive Halloween cookies (because who doesn’t love TJ’s holiday themed items?) along with hopeful messages for the future.
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via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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