It's the new tourism
A FULL-SIZE working replica of the Titanic is to be built in China following an agreement between an Australian entrepreneur and a Chinese shipyard.
Titanic II is due to be completed by 2016. She will then be sailed to Britain and prepared for her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York - a repeat of the 1912 journey which ended in disaster.
The Jinling shipyard in Nanjing has already signed an initial agreement to build the ship with billionaire mining tycoon Clive Palmer.
Palmer's representatives say his company has already received inquiries from potential passengers around the world, with some offering up to $1million (R9 million) for a chance to be on the maiden voyage in 2016.
Disaster re-enactment is obviously the new craze. Stand by for a replica of the giant passenger airship, Hindenburg, and a flight from Germany to Lakeside, New Jersey. Nothing like a giant hydrogen balloon to get the adrenalin going. The punters will queue and pay over the odds for the experience.
The Great Fire of London? It could be tricky persuading Boris Johnson and the London authorities to play along with a re-enactment, but just think of the spectacle; what the punters would to pay be present. This is the new tourism disaster re-enacted.
Volunteers wanted for the Titanic band! Bring on the icebergs!
LATE newsflash: The archaeological team that discovered the bones of Richard III under the Leicester car park are digging up the Tesco's car park next door to see if they can find his horse.
Bad to verse
MEANWHILE, Ron Coppin, of Hillcrest, contributes some verse:
Roses are red,
Apples are fruity,
Watch out, your lasagna
Might be Black Beauty.
TYGER, tyger burning bright the St Clement's soirees kick off again at 6pm on Monday, after a longish summer hibernation, with a presentation and slide show by Pieter Scholtz on the illuminated poems of William Blake.
This should be a good 'un. Blake was a master craftsman in both verse and illustrations, and he always saw the two as complementary.
Perhaps we can also persuade Pieter to lead us in singing Jerusalem, that stirring hymn also written by Blake that has become almost an anthem among rugby enthusiasts in England.
RABBITS have been wreaking havoc on cars parked at Denver International Airport in Colorado, in the US. They hide under the cars, seeking warmth, then while they are there starting chewing the insulation round the vehicles' spark plug cables and other wiring. They've caused damage running into thousands of dollars.
It's no doubt very pesky but at least it's not the carnivorous rabbit that featured in Monty Python's Flying Circus. This was a terrifying creature that sprang straight for the jugular.
Sea slug romance
NOW HERE'S a strange one. The red-and-white sea slug of south-east Asia sheds its sexual equipment after dalliance with a lady sea slug, only to grow a replacement set within 24 hours.
This is according to Japanese biologists who have been studying the copulation of red-and- white sea slugs.
What is one to make of this? Is one supposed to feel envy? But why? One can also feel relief at not being subject to the replacement uncertainties of being a red-and-white sea slug; also not being a Japanese biologist who has to sit and observe such goings-on.
NEWS from America. Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association, has married his longtime gun, an AK-47 assault rifle, which he met at a gun show in Alabama in 1991.
The wedding ceremony was attended by 25 of LaPierre's guns and over 200 members of Congress, according to satirist Andy Borowitz.
He says marriage between a human and a gun is not legal in most states, a situation LaPierre deplores: "For a lot of NRA members it's the only intimate relationship they're capable of."
BUMPER sticker: "If they ban guns how can I fight the zombies?"
She: "You haven't listened to a word I've been saying, have you?"
He: "Why do you always start a conversation with that statement?"
It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it. - Upton Sinclair