April 24, 2007

This Internet rumor could sink a ship (The QE2)

This fun article with some (useless) facts about the QE2 appeared on the charlotte.com site:

"This Internet rumor could sink a ship

Q. How can it be claimed that the QE 2 ocean liner uses a gallon of fuel for each six inches it travels across the Atlantic? It would need a fuel tank larger than the 1,000-foot ship. This is one of those dumb "facts" I repeatedly see on the Internet. -- Richard Pasky, Elyria, Ohio
One gallon of fuel will move the QE 2 ocean liner about 49 feet in open seas, according to Cunard cruise line.

There's your quickie answer. If that's all you want, you may begin clipping Best Buy coupons now. Or paging through TV Week to check the time for "Desperate Housewives Dancing With CSI -- Home Makeover Edition."

I'm gonna talk about all kinds of other stuff.

The best thing about the Internet is, we can all disseminate information far and wide with just a few clickity keystrokes. The worst thing about the Internet is, we can all disseminate information far and wide with just a few clickity keystrokes.

I love Google. I really doogle. But you gotta be careful about the source of information you dig up -- as I have learned the hard way. Fortunately, I can go beyond Web research, and get the attention of pretty much any expert by saying four magic words:
"I'm a syndicated columnist."

They think: "He makes big money! He can write good! He has hair!"
Which proves that even top experts can be terribly wrong.

Chris Hodek, PR coordinator of the Cunard Line, says his company has never said this apparently widespread six-inch fuel thing about its QE 2 ocean liner.

The fuel needed to sail the ship for one day would fill six 29-by-19-foot swimming pools. (The ship has two like this but they don't keep fuel in them.)

The ship's fuel tank holds about 1 million gallons. The ship can cruise about 7,500 miles on each fill-up.

Built from 1965-69, the QE 2 originally cost about $70 million. Cunard has spent more than $675 million to keep it shipshape.

Who christened the ship before its maiden voyage in May 1969? Why, her majesty Queen Elizabeth II, of course. (As played by Helen Mirren.)

It can hold nearly 3,000 people -- 921 personnel and a maximum of 2,008 passengers.
When I go on my transatlantic cruise on the QE 2, I plan to stay in a split-level grand suite -- with living room, dining room, bedroom, marble bathroom, two private verandas (verandum?), a glass-enclosed conservatory and a butler (boatler?).

Price for the grand suite on the QE 2's transatlantic crossing April 12-18, 2008?
Umm. Take a check?

Today's fascinating fact
GOT A QUESTION? E-mail Jeff Elder at glad@charlotteobserver.com

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