Titanic Exhibit at the Portland Science Center

Hidden down a side street, and occupying the second and third floor of a building only a stone’s throw from the water, the Portland Science Center opened in the summer of 2015. I missed their first display, the popular Body Worlds exhibit that’s been traveling across the nation, but I was excited to attend their newest show that opened just this past weekend: Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition.

After all, who can resist Jack and Rose and love that never dies and . . . oh, yeah, this isn’t about the movie. It’s about the actual ship and the tragedy that struck in the form of an iceberg on its maiden voyage in 1912, killing 1517 people. It’s about the artifacts that have been recovered, items that may seem mundane until you consider that they’ve been recovered from over 12,500 feet beneath the ocean’s surface. It’s about remembering those that lost their lives.

There’s not much I can say to elaborate on what you probably already know. I will say that the exhibit was an experience I’m glad to have not missed. The Science Center did a great job of personalizing the experience by issuing a replica ticket to each patron, with the details of one passenger on the back side. At the end of the exhibit there are memorial walls where you can discover the fate of ‘your’ passenger.

Also on display are replicas of the rooms, menus, and items provided by the shipping company for the comfort of its passengers, all examples of the separation of the classes on-board the ship.

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If you get the chance, step back in time and experience the short-lived history of the Titanic. It’s a truly humbling experience.

Exploring Redstone Quarry

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redstone7redstone2The old Redstone Quarry is part of the Green Hills Preserve land in Conway, NH. Miles of trails lead you through a maze of old equipment and abandoned structures in this area that is rich in history. Granite from this quarry was used in the construction of Grant’s Tomb in New York and the National Archives building in Washington, among many other notable landmarks.

redstone5redstone4The quarry closed in 1950; now it’s a recreational area frequented by hikers, bikers, runners and snowmobilers. You can spend hours wandering the woods and still not see everything that’s been left behind. If you’re up for a little incline, you can hike up Rattlesnake Mountain and see the chunks missing from the side of the mountain where the granite was mined and taken away. This is a great place to experience history while getting some fresh air and exercise. I’m looking forward to going back with snowshoes this winter.

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Behold a Pale Horse by Peter Tremayne ~ Fiction Book Review

book13This is the story of a book that I never would have chosen for myself. A story that begins in my local bookstore, an overstock and remainder shop where you can get new books at a fantastic price. The only problem is that your options are a bit limited, but if you’re up for trying something new, this is a great place to be. The shop owner and I were discussing our reading preferences.

Me: “Mysteries are my favorites, but it’s been a long time since I actually chose a book from the mystery section. I really like the unconventional mysteries I find in the mainstream fiction section, especially those by foreign authors.”

Her: “Like who?”

Me: “Like Tana French.”

Her: “I haven’t heard of her. Where’s she from?”

Me: “She’s Irish.”

Her eyes opened wide and she said, “Oh! I have the perfect author for you. He’s Irish and he writes the best mysteries!”

I was sold. I went home with a copy of “Behold a Pale Horse” by Peter Tremayne knowing only the genre and the author’s country of origin. The first chance I got I opened the book and dove right in. Well. Surprise # 1 was that the book is #22 of a series. Surprise # 2 was that the series takes place in ancient Ireland. This particular novel follows Sister Fidelma, the mystery solving lawyer/religieuse/princess in Northern Italy in the year 664 AD.

Mind blown.

It took me much longer than usual to get through this book. I had to get over #1, my prejudices about the book, #2, the history lesson I was gaining from reading the book, and #3, several small hissy fits that I threw upon having to read something outside of my comfort zone. But after I readjusted my attitude and approached the book as an adventure, I discovered that I actually enjoyed the story. I don’t have the urge to conquer the entire series, but I would spend some more time with Fidelma. Just not any time too soon. My personal rating is a 4, but if an accurate historical piece rich in learning opportunities and mystery is your thing, I’d say this might be a five.

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