Part the One Hundred Ninety Third is now up, and may be read here.
Monthly Archives: November 2009
Word this morning came in about the seizure of the Maran Centarus. While her capacity is for 300,000 tons, there’s no confirmation how much oil she was carrying when they seized her, though considering she was en route from Saudi Arabia to the US it’s probably likely she was fully loaded.
In addition to all the stated worries about environmental damage if she breaks apart during her captivity (and using live ammo atop an oil tanker is not on most people’s list of “safe and harmless activities”), there’s the potential for economic mayhem. With oil this morning at $73/bbl and continued volatility in that market, a spectacular failure could give a slight spike in the price, giving gas stations an excuse to jump pump prices drastically, which this holiday season would be the last thing the economy here needs. It’s already been tough to predict how oil will behave, and this won’t make it any easier…
Word of this came just as it was announced that the Ariana was released, one out of a number still held.
Of course, one of the potential elements of the ransom for the Maran Centarus will be for the release of pirates held in captivity, which may surprise some folks who think that there are not that many out there. With reports from the TIMES of pirates being let go after seizure, it’s hard to argue there’s anyone in the brig to trade for oil…
Part the One Hundred Ninety Second is up now, a day early in order to work around the Thanksgiving weekend here in the States. Unless you’ve said to yourself on reading the last sentence, “I have to deal with turkey a day early?” you can find the next part here.
And a happy and safe time this weekend to everyone.
The reviews are starting to come in for Michael Crichton’s PIRATE LATITUDES, a surprise discovered after the author’s death on his hard drive (the 21st century equivalent of the bottom drawer, perhaps?):
- The NY TIMES didn’t think much of it, noting that its weaknesses may be due to the manuscript not being polished up before his death
- ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY right with the first sentence that it might have been better had it not seen the light of day
- The AP review via MSNBC was even less kind
- Notice at THE WALL STREET JOURNAL cites the first two reviews as well as the review at PEOPLE WEEKLY along the same ilk, and has link to an excerpt from Chapter 6; the excerpt sort of speaks for itself…
If nothing else, it encouraged a Flash-animated spot for the book from the UK, soon to be followed by a film adaptation to be directed by Steven Spielberg, which means more interest in pirates to come from the same wide audience that showed up when Disney released the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN films.
As a side note, discussions of Crichton’s work mention that part of the crew of privateers assembled includes the pirate Lazue, a wily French woman who is an accomplished sea artist.
No, I don’t want to go there; nope, won’t even try…
Part the One Hundred Ninety First is now up, and may be read here.
A word of warning: I’m posting the next part a day earlier, in order to clear more time for the Thanksgiving weekend. Expect to see the next installment about 24 hours earlier than usual.
Part the One Hundred Ninetieth is now up, and may be read here.
What, another remake? Somali pirates went for the Maersk Alabama again. This time, the ship had posted guards who repelled boarders, so this became an incident as opposed to an ordeal. So there’s at least that to be happy about.
But still; between a remake of the series V and redoing the film THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123, the film 2012 being far too reminiscent of WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE, and even talk that James Cameron owes Poul Anderson something for his next picture, is it too much to ask for new ideas? Or have we as a culture all become pirates in the end…?