THE WRECK of the EDMUND FITZGERALD: The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down of the big lake they called Gitche Gumee. Nov. 10 marks the 37th anniversary of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald -- 729 feet-long, 75 feet in breadth, 39 feet in depth, weighing 13,632 gross tons -- an ore bulk carrier with a capacity of 25,000 tons. When it was launched on June 7 1958, at the Great Lakes Engineering Works in River Rouge, Michigan, Fitzgerald was the largest ship on the Great Lakes. Here's misty, water-colored video of the launch.
The "Queen of the Great Lakes" sank in the eastern end of Lake Superior during a fierce storm -- including snow squalls -- that pounded the ship with 30-foot waves. The crew of 29 men perished; without witnesses, a definitive reason has never been determined. A Coast Guard report suggested that faulty hatches failed to keep water out of the ship's cargo holds, though others believe the ship struck an uncharted shoal and took on water. A documentary created and aired by the Discovery Channel concluded the loss was due to freak waves that overwhelmed the faulty hatches.
After the wreck, the Rev. Richard Ingalls went to Mariners' Church in Detroit and rang its bell 29 times, once for each life lost. The church continues to hold an annual memorial, which includes reading the names of the crewmen and ringing the church bell. Here's video of Rev. Ingalls recounting that night.
At the request of family members surviving her crew, Fitzgerald's 200 lb. bronze bell was recovered by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society in 1995, as a joint project with the National Geographic Society, Canadian Navy, Sony Corporation, and Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The bell is now on display in the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. Here's a brief video from one of the underwater explorations of the wreck. Throw in the 3-D animation, and you'll feel just like Bill Paxton.
The song by Gordon Lightfoot spent 21 straight weeks on the pop charts, peaking at No. 2. And there's a homemade video for it, which I highly recommend. Beats the tar of Celine Dion! (PS: Ken King -- who has lived on the U.P. of Michigan, says the gales of November are quite something.)
HOW TO DESTROY ANGELS_: Trent Reznor's new project is advance streaming the An omen_ EP.
SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS is advance streaming the Put Your Sad Down EP.
BOB MOULD talked about struggles, self-expression, and kicked out the jams in WFUV's Studio A.
SEA WOLF stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a session.
THE ROLLING STONES drop "One More Shot" ahead of their zillionth hits collection.
MOUNTAIN GOATS: John Darnielle choreographs Ace of Base's "The Sign." (Language warning) A perennial fave.
NEIL YOUNG & PATTI SMITH have a discussion at BookExpo America.
TITUS ANDRONICUS: Patrick Stickles talks to the Village Voice about values and self-conflict.
INTERPOL drummer Sam Fogarino talks to SPIN about the 10th anniversary of Turn On the Bright Lights.
THE 20 BEST WHO SONGS, according to Paste.
CUTOUT BIN: From Lalo Schiffrin to David Naughton, from Big Star to Big Audio Dynamite, from Kenny Rogers to The Jam, plus Peter Buck, Rolling Stones, TMBG, the Five Stairteps and more -- this Friday's fortuitous finds are streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.
SKYFALL is this weekend's sole wide release, currently scoring 93 percent on the ol' Tomatometer. Bond movies always tend to wrestle the legacy of the franchise -- how much to play to it, how much to play against it. No doubt such struggles were particularly acute as those repsonible faced the 50th anniversary of Dr. No. Casino Royale, the first of Daniel Craig's outings, succeeded as a reboot by wiping the slate clean and stripping away or playing against most of the Bond tropes. This helped reposition Bond as Bourne again for a new action movie era... but to be Bond, it was inevitable that the Craig line would be one of evolving into something approaching the more familiar Bond. If Quantum of Solace disappointed as a follow-up, it was perhaps that it tried to be a bit too much like some of the lesser Bond efforts. While Casino Royale dealt with the very current concern of terrorism and its finances, QoS lapsed back into the global threat posed by an amorphous crime syndicate.
Thankfully, Skyfall is not a proto-Spectre story, but one concerned again with concerns drawn ever so loosely from our real ones. If it borrows its MacGuffin from the Mission Impossible reboot, it may be excused by the brilliance of Javier Bardem as a villain who is equal parts Julian Assange and Heath Ledger's Joker. In the post-9/11, internet age the real world has been debating the tension between transparency andthe secrecy demanded by national security organizations, as well as the value of human intelligence and field work versus high-tech intell. We behold threats from non-state actors who may live close to the third-world, but with first world tech. Skyfall plays with all of these contradictions while weaving in the aforementioned struggle with Bond legacy in a fairly brilliant manner. Craig gets the usual assistance -- if it can be called that here -- from Judi Dench as "M",but in addition to Bardem, the fine supporting cast includes Noemi Harris, Ben Winshaw (The Hour) and Ralph Finnes in roles we should be glad to see continue. And while the film initially plays against the trope of Bond gadgetry, my one quasi-spoiler is that Skyfall may boast the best Bond car ever.
ARIEL WINTER's mother denied allegations she abused her daughter, who has a restraining order against her mom and has moved out of the house.
CHARLIE SHEEN: Accused of making a death threat.
JENNIFER LAWRENCE talks to Elle about becoming one of Hollywood's rising stars.
JOHN TRAVOLTA is not gay, according to fellow Scientologist Kirstie Alley. NTTAWWT.
CHRISTINA AGUILERA wanted a threesome with Vanessa Hudgens and her boyfriend, according to the ever-reliable Star magazine.
THE VICTORIA'S SECRET FASHION SHOW: Early pics. Call it Gratuitous Friday.
LIBYA: Egypt closed its consulate in Benghazi due to security concerns; embassies in Tripoli are also worried about rising instability. In Benghazi, two security officials' cars were bombed, and a retired colonel was murdered. Former political leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil is being questioned about the death of Libyan insurgent commander General Abdel Fattah Younes.
EGYPT: Political groups represented in the Constituent Assembly have tentatively agreed on four controversial articles in the draft constitution, leaning toward Islamist positions on gender equality, children's rights, forced labor and freedom of belief.
PAKISTAN: Almost a year after suspension of oil supply to NATO forces, it was resumed via Khyber Pass on Wednesday here in Torkham border of tehsil Landi Kotal, official sources said.
A FAITHFUL DOG stayed with a missing Aussie toddler for 14 hours.
A BABY KOALA, sitting in a teacup.
"THE LION CAT OF WINGRAVE" has been sentenced to herbal therapy and house arrest.
A 10-FT GATOR stops by a suburban Florida home.