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Monday, October 7, 2013

The Legend of the RMS Titanic in Second Life- Orchids Reports

“Though she sank in 1912 the RMS Titanic lives on in the minds of millions. Movies have been made, Museums erected, books have been written... 

Within Second Life you are only limited by your imagination. Come join us sometime on the Ship of Dreams, as she floats upon an ocean of memories...”

Titanic –“gigantic” takes its origins in Greek Mythology. The “RMS Titanic” or the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) indicated that she carried mail under contract with the Royal Mail. It was an Olympic-class ocean liner built at Belfast, Ireland; the largest vessel of the British shipping company White Star Line's fleet.

The titanic is a landmark ship because, due to the sinking, laws for life boats required aboard a vessel were changed to better protect people on board in case of an accident, laws that are still in effect today.

Described as the “a floating city”, it was built with 16 watertight compartments in a 1/6 mile long hull, that the captain made a pre-voyage boast, "Not even God himself could sink her".  It was reckoned that even if four of the compartments should burst, the ship would still float. But as the heavens decreed on the night of April 14, 1912, six of them filled with water, exploded and began to sink the massive ship into the frigid midnight water of the North Atlantic.  The "unsinkable ship" sank. In two hours, over 2000 lives were affected with over 1500 deaths. Only 700 people were rescued.
Yet many of us relived the double tragic story of the titanic and the story of a doomed love in Rose and Jack in one of the most watched movies ever. What draws so many to the Titanic?

A virtual model has been constructed; one of the finest models in the world, and it's available to the public on Linden Labs' virtual world of the future, Second Life. The RMS Titanic is one of the biggest and unique projects in SL built in full detail.  I roamed through the massive ship and found myself back in time. I found a lot of careful detailing has gone into its making.

Builder: Reborn Wingtips
Owners: Mara Menges and Guus Menges.

The Titanic was laid out with the Ritz Hotel as a reference. Decorative styles, ranging from the Empire to Renaissance to Victorian style, were used for public rooms in First and Second Class areas of the ship. The aim was to convey an impression that the passengers were in a floating hotel. Third Class passengers were not treated as luxuriously, but even so they were better off than their counterparts on many other ships of the time.

The two reciprocating engines were each 63 feet (19 m) long and weighed 720 tons. The furnaces required over 600 tons of coal a day to be shoveled into them by hand, requiring the services of 176 firemen working around the clock.

At the uppermost landing was a large carved wooden panel containing a clock, with figures of "Honour and Glory Crowning Time" flanking the clock face.

While exploring, Mara happened to come aboard and spoke about the inspiration behind the behemoth.

Orchids: Who is Mara Menges in SL?
Mara: Mara is in SL since 2007. She began in real estate and worked for a company called Kallisto Estates. Kallisto Estates then bought RMS Titanic from her builder Morphius Barbosa, now under the name Reborn Wingtips. I managed the ship for one year then and became the proud owner of RMS Titanic in July 2009. Furthermore Mara does lectures for RL universities, through SL about HRM to computer science students.
Orchids: Who is Mara Menges in RL?
Mara: Mara in RL is Dutch and works as a Human Resource Manager for the Dutch government. She is married and her rl husband is also in SL.
Orchids: What does the ship mean to you personally?
Mara: The ship means a great deal to me. My father was a huge fan of RMS Titanic so i was brought up with all the stories. The tragedy and human mistakes are so immense. We never can imagine what those people went through that cold and dark night. Furthermore she was the most luxurious ship in that time, an immense project.
Orchids: What inspired you to create and maintain this behemoth?
Mara: I am not the creator i am only the owner. The inspiration in SL is that RMS Titanic is well known over the world and lots of people visit her. Not only the history is appealing but for me its immensely satisfying to see that people that visit have a good time and put a smile on their face. Especially the many people who are sick and are in SL.
Orchids: How much time do you spend on the maintenance of the ship?
Mara: The managing of RMS Titanic takes up aprox. 8 hours a day.
Orchids: How is the RMS titanic different from the rest of the SL titanics?
Mara:RMS Titanic is different from the other one because mine is a replica, as far as possible in a virtual world. All details are the same as in RL. Not only the exterior, but the textures of carpets, walls, the unique dome, all are especially made for the ship by her builder.

Orchids: There are so many things to do aboard the ship.

Dancing in the elegant ballroom

You can run on up to the Cafe' Parisien and have tea with a friend. The Café Parisien was located on a sunlit veranda fitted with trellis decorations and offered the best French haute cuisine for the First Class passengers.

Or, you can also stand on the bridge and imagine what it would be like to be Captain.

And what about having The Wedding of Your Dreams, on The Ship of Dreams, how more romantic can you get.

Orchids: Mara, tell us about the events held in the titanic. What is the inspiration?
Mara: We have lots of events taking place, live singers, dj's and so on. We like to give people a good time, a classy place where they can dance, chat and have some romantic time in a safe environment.

Orchids: You have a memorial service...

You can visit the memorial up the hill and take a minute to see the names of all the souls who perished in that dreadful night in April 1912.
Mara: Yea each year in April we have a memorial service up the hill next to Titanic on Memorial Mountain. There also is the wall where all names of the people that died on RL Titanic are engraved in the wall. Many relatives who are in SL visit that memorial wall often. Also we have a special hidden group for the relatives so that they can meet and talk to each other.
Orchids: Australian billionaire Clive Palmer plans for construction of an RL Titanic II. Some say it is a mistake and disrespectful. The grandchildren of survivors and those who perished say it is a positive development. Your views?
Mara:Well, the plans are there, but we all know Mr. Clive Palmer had some other ideas before and after hitting the front page of every newspaper it got quiet. If he does it i dont think it’s disrespectful although it would be nice if he did it for the love of the ship and not only for publicity. Btw. if she is rebuilt i won’t board her :)
Orchids: Animal avatars/child avatars are banned on the ship. Any reason?
Mara: If we allow that, then they also will come in the ballroom. Ever seen little children and/or animals in an RL ballroom. Furthermore our regular guests come here exactly because there are no animal and child avi's allowed.
Orchids: Any instructions or requests to those who wish to visit the titanic?
Mara: Yes please respect our dress code which is formal.

Many exclusive shops SL are there on the ship and on the docks. While browsing for a titanic themed outfit I came across Cartunno Couture. I personally love the “jump” dress that Rose wore for the movie. Theodote and Patrick are the creators.

Orchids: Who is Theodote Carthage?
Theodote: I'm Theodote Carthage, the designing woman at Cartunno Couture. I've been into vintage clothing since that day I pulled a dress out of a trunk in the back room of an old mortuary. No, I don't think it belonged to one of the clients.;-) . I've been into SL since 2006. My partner in fashion crime is Patric Rotunno. He's the one with the head for business.

Orchids::What inspires you to pursue vintage fashion?
Theodote: Initially it was satisfaction with the selection of 1920's era clothing in-world.  If you could be a dragon, then should be easier to be a flapper! Soon, the satisfaction of creating a piece of wearable art was inspiration enough in itself.

Orchids: Tell us about Cartunno Couture...
Theodote: Cartunno Couture specializes in clothing of the past, with an emphasis on vintage. Patric and I have different tastes in clothing; I love the 1920s he prefers the 1940s. So we have quite a bit of both. We also carry a sizable line of costumes from films set in the past, such as Titanic and Great Gatsby.

Orchids: What does vintage fashion mean to you?
Theodote: Vintage clothing means beautifully constructed clothing with lots of detail work that shows the seamstress' pride in her art.
Orchids: You created "titanic Themed" outfits... Does the titanic have special significance for you personally or otherwise?
Theodote: It is more the other way around. One of my favorite fashion eras is the Edwardian, and Titanic had the most gorgeous Edwardian costumes. Downton Abbey's not bad, either.;-)
Orchids: How would you describe your design aesthetic?
Theodote: I strive to create a look that enhances the digital aesthetic of SL. For example, I admire those who make very realistic clothing textures from scans of cloth, but I prefer to keep that hand-drawn look.

Orchids: Tell our readers please a little bit about the different apparel you create in your collection...
Theodote: Cartunno is pretty eclectic. We have lots of vintage styles, but we also have historic reproductions (medieval, Baroque) a contemporary line, our great designer's line several dance costumes, and a little sexy lingerie. We also have a small selection of men's clothing, so that the lady's escort can match her style.
Orchids: What is the most unique item you created for someone?
Theodote: Don’t know how unique it is, but I'm pretty proud of the Goth wedding gown.
Orchids: Top moments so far?
Theodote: Far too many to mention. Designing is a dream job.
Orchids: How would you describe your personal fashion style?
Theodote: In SL, I am more often in Asian inspired styles than anything else. And there are some lovely Quipao and Hanfu in the shop. *smile*

Orchids: Do you do custom work?
Theodote: No. I am open to suggestions for new styles, however. If there is enough interest I'll give it a try. For example, we carry quite a few side saddle riding habits. It's not something I'd have even thought of on my own.
Orchids: My friend loved the "jump" gown worn by rose and I'm currently wearing. But she is a petite. Do you create for petites? If not, do you plan to expand into petite- clothing?
Theodote: I’m actually playing with a couple of petite flappers that should be out fairly soon. If things sell well, then we might expand our offerings.
Orchids: Do you take part hunts? Tell us about your group...
Theodote: We take part in hunts and events that are for good causes, such as Relay for Life. Otherwise we don't do a lot of them.
Group members are always first to hear about new releases, as well as announcements of any freebies or specials.
Orchids: Do you have discounts and gifts for the shoppers on a limit?
Theodote: At Cartunno we try to keep our prices reasonable in the first place, usually well below what you would expect to pay for the quality. The shop is a labor of love, not profit.
Orchids: Anything you would like say to the readers?
Theodote: Come on down! We would love to have you visit. And if you see myself or Patric Rotunno standing around, do come over for a chat! LM

Orchids Says:

I did find the feeling of “Queen of the world” there for a bit …
And an interesting fact I came across: Titanic had a ship's cat, Jenny, who gave birth to a litter of kittens shortly before the ship's maiden voyage; all perished in the sinking.


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