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Biggest Screw-ups in History

IsaacKnewton Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 10:22 PM

Captain Edward Smith, of Titanic infamy, screwed up more ways than you can count.  He ignored warnings of icebergs.  The lookouts in the crow's nest had no binoculars.  Didn't have enough lifeboats. But perhaps his biggest screwups occured after the collison.  Explain. And then cite another incredible screwup and how you, a layman, would have done things much more efficiently, given the knowledge then available.

Guest Thursday, November 24, 2011 at 9:08 AM

he abandoned his ship. captains will never do that

Guest Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Capt smith also may have made the tiller & rudder mistake and steered INTO the iceberg:

Guest Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Actually, an average non-fat 6-feet-person needs about 6 cubic feet: 6 feet height, a Little less than 1 foot dept and a little more than 1 foot width. If you don't put people in cubic boxs, but stack them, the volume is of course even less.

But actually people usually stand on the ground and the Definition of the border of outer space is only abitrary. So the total volume that can be "stored" on earth is not even well defined. So it would make more sense to calculate the surface that the world population needs.

However, "full" doesn't necessary mean, that the space is completely taken up. E.g. a hotel is considered full, if all beds are taken and earth could be considered full, if there are as many people on earth as the ecosystem supports. Nobodey knows an exact number, but many scientists think, that the earth's ecosystem cannot support the current population on the long term and the only reason why it works on the short term is because people use fossile energy.

Guest Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 7:16 PM

sorry, the posting System doesn't work correctly, it posted my previous comment on the wrong page.

Guest Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Actually it is disputed if Smith abandoned the Titanic, it is only known that he did not survive.

However "Captains never Abandon a ship" is idealistic, but unrealistic. In reality it happens very often that a captain Abandons his ship even before everyone is rescued, a more recent example is the captain of the Costa Concordia.

The reason why Smith was so careless was probably arrogance about the ship: Smith thought (like many other preople) that the RMS Titanic was "unsinkable". He was not responsible for the number of lifeboats on the Titanic, the number of Lifeboats was limited by design and was not decided by the captain.


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