Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A riveting tale

Bottoms up

It now appears that the dramatic sinking of the Titanic in 1912 was all about quality control and supply chain management. It seems that the builders used low-quality rivets in putting the hull together, so when the ship brushed against the iceberg, several hull plate seams popped open like Kirstie Alley's pants after a three-day pig-out. Harland and Wolff was building three enormous ships at roughly the same time (Titanic, Olympic and Britannic). A good rivet was hard to find, especially when you need 3 million of them per boat.

Interesting side note: the Britannic was originally to be called the Gigantic but was quietly renamed after the Titanic disaster. As notes on Snopes.com, "After the sinking of the Titanic, passengers were suddenly less concerned with size and luxury than with getting to their destinations alive, and the dignified name Britannic conveyed a sense of safety and reliability in a way that the attention-grabbing Gigantic could not."

Sox notes

  • Jed Lowrie is the latest prepubesecent Red Sox rookie (click here to see a video of him). He made his major league debut last night and got two hits and three RBIs. I swear the kid doesn't shave. He's right up there in the Squeezably Soft department with Jacoby Ellsbury, who is also a fantastic player in all pahses of the game.
  • The Sox are in first place, half a game ahead of Baltimore and Toronto. Youkilis is 4th in the AL in batting average at .385. Daisuke Matsuzaka is 14th in the AL in ERA at 2.70, which is worth mentioning only because he's one spot ahead of Boof Bonser (2.84) of the Twins, and I really wanted to have a reason to say "Boof Bonser."

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