Strangely Consistent

Theory, practice, and languages, braided together

November 13 2010 — burning tuits

35 years ago today, the steamship Yarmouth Castle, on a pleasure cruise from Miami to the Bahamas, caught fire and sank.

Shortly before 1:00 a.m. on November 13, a mattress stored too close to a lighting circuit in a storage room, Room 610, caught fire. The room was filled with mattresses and paint cans, which fed the flames.

The ship was made of wood, and was freshly painted, so the fire spread quickly.

More problems ensued. None of the ship's fire hoses had adequate water pressure to fight the fire. One of the hoses had even been cut. Crewmen also had difficulty launching the lifeboats. The ropes used to lower the boats had been covered in thick coats of paint, causing them to jam in the winches. Even the boats that were successfully lowered had no oarlocks, and had to be paddled like canoes. By the end, only six of the 13 lifeboats were launched.

87 people went down with the ship, and three later died while treated at hospitals. The disaster brought on changes in the international Safety of Life at Sea law. One of the changes was "do not build passenger ships out of wood".

I've been here and there today, nibbling at stuff. Did a little more work on pls, cleared out my queue of pending rakudobugs, and patched an LTA error message in Rakudo.

But the chunk of "actual" November work today was restoring Shrdlu to the living. The commit summarizes what needed doing:

Shrdlu is a really nice project that I will tell you all about some day. Also, I'll start actually hacking on it some day... after I've grokked what that Terry Winograd was doing.