THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:
...with 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 38th 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.)
OF MONTREAL stopped by The Current for a chat and mini-set.
FRANK TURNER stopped by The Current for a chant and mini-set, including a cover of "Live And Let Die."
WHITE DENIM stopped by Morning Becomes Eclectic for a session.
WILCO: Summerteeth Demos.
TODD RUNDGREN: "Bang the Drum All Day." Because it's Friday.
ALBERT HAMMOND JR of The Strokes talks to PopMatters about the genesis of his latest solo EP.
SUB POP co-founder Bruce Pavitt talks to PopMatters about the early days of grunge to promote his new book on the bubject.
RIOT GRRRL is featured as part of 1993 Week at The A.V. Club.
CUTOUT BIN: and more -- this Friday's fortuitous finds are streaming from the Pate page at the ol' HM.
NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases include Thor: The Dark World, which is currently scoring 70 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; plus the expansions of About Time, which is scoring 65 percent; and 12 Years A Slave, scoring 96 percent. I have already reviewed About Time and 12 Years A Slave, so how about...
THOR: THE DARK WORLD is the second of Marvel Studios' post-Avengers "Phase 2" films, and our third look at the heir to Asgaardian throne. In general, I would say that if you liked the first Thor pic, you'll most probably like this one as well (and if you're one who finds the whole Norse god thing takes you out of the reality you want from the Marvelverse, probably not). The script has two weaknesses. First, the narrative takes longer than it should to build momentum. With a sequel, you should be able to jump into the main narrative a bit more quickly. The third act, in which all heck breaks loose in a unique way not seen before in a superhero pic -- perhaps any pic -- tends to compensate for this. Second, the villain, Malekith, is really sort of weak in his characterization. This is really an underlying sub-issue of the Norse mythology thing; you're asked to simply accept his evil based on writ. However, you also get healthy chunks of Loki, and Tom Hiddleston is again a delight to be savored in the role. The rest of the cast is up to the quality of their prior performances, though one wishes the subplot involving Lady Sif had been more developed, if only to see more of Jaimie Alexander. As with the "Phase 1" Marvel flicks leading up to The Avengers, stay at least part of the way through the credits, and those who stay past the end will be further rewarded.
WILL SMITH was just "being silly" in risque photos taken with his Focus co-star Margot Robbie, says his camp.
JUSTIN BIEBER, filmed sleeping by a mystery girl in Brazil.
KHLOE KARDASHIAN & LAMAR ODOM are secretly selling their Tarzana mansion.
TOM CRUISE reportedly testifed that Katie Holmes indicated she left him in part over Scientology, and offered a glimpse of the aftermath of his divorce from Nicole Kidman, during a deposition in his libel suit against Life & Style magazine.
CHARLIE SHEEN is under a gag order.
JOHNNY GALECKI breaks his silence about his past relationship with Big Bang Theory co-star Kaley Cuoco.
SUPERMAN-BATMAN: Are actresses testing for Wonder Woman? Or Bruce Wayne's love interest?
AN IRANIAN lawmaker claimed that Iran has "hundreds" of troops in Syria assisting Assad regime forces; the IRGC countered that "Iran has only advisers in Syria to transfer its military experience to the Syrian army." Iran entered talks with world powers in Geneva about its nuclear program.
EGYPT: Security forces reportedly killed three Islamist militants during clashes in the Sinai. Al Gamaa al Islamiya said it plans to demonstrate against a new protest law.
LIBYA: Heavy fighting erupted in east Tripoli after reports that the leader of the Misrata Nosoor Battalion had been killed at a checkpoint.
SYRIA: Regime and Hezbollah forces recaptured the strategic rebel-held suburb of Sbeineh, south of Damascus, effectively cutting off much of the supply line for rebels in southern Damascus. The OPCW said it has verified the inoperability of one of the two remaining chemical weapons sites on its list, with "sealed cameras used by Syrian personnel" at the northern Aleppo site.
A TINY KITTEN kisses her face.
TOFFEE THE HORSE: Always a bridesmaid...
MYSTERY FISH caught near Malaysia. It lookslike it might jump onto your face.
MUTANT SUPER-RATS which cannot be killed by regular poisons may be spreading across the UK.