London, Dec. 3 (Reuters): A dinner menu from the ill-fated Titanic fetched £28,800 ($49,500) at auction yesterday.
The menu, the size of a postcard, was thought to have been given by the ship’s second officer to his wife before he left Southampton on the vessel’s doomed maiden voyage in 1912.
It shows the passengers ate salmon, sweetbreads, roast chicken, spring lamb, golden plover on toast and peaches just days before the supposedly unsinkable Titanic hit an iceberg in the Atlantic and slipped beneath the waves.
The menu, along with other items of memorabilia from the ship, were bought by a private museum in Belfast, where the Titanic was built. It had been expected to fetch between £8,000-£12,000 ($13,700-$20,600).
Among the other items sold was a manuscript, written by the same second officer, describing the ship’s last hours. “There was heard a rumbling and crashing from inside the ship, like the sound of distant thunder,” wrote the officer, the highest-ranking crew member to survive the disaster.
“It was just on two ’clock when she assumed the absolute perpendicular and stood there for a space of about two minutes, an amazing spectacle, with her stern straight up in the air. Then first slowly, but with increasing speed, she quietly slipped beneath the water.”
New York (AFP): The new Mandarin Oriental hotel that just opened amid great fanfare in New York boasts a presidential suite priced high enough to give most major heads of state pause for thought. At $12,595 a night, the suite can lay claim to the title of the most expensive hotel room in a city that has never been particularly friendly to the budget traveller. The 3,000-square-foot, two-bedroom, art-laden retreat, which offers panoramic views of Central Park and the Hudson river, edges out the Royal Suite at The Ritz-Carlton by almost $100. The foyer, with floors of French marble milled in Italy, leads to a large living room that features a black-lacquered grand piano, wet bar and control panel to coordinate lighting, sound, and temperature.
Berlin (Reuters): University professors and students are holding a 72-hour outdoor physics lecture in one of Berlin’s busiest squares to protest budget cuts and beat a record. In a makeshift tent in front of the high-rise office buildings at Potsdamer Platz, 32 professors from the city’s universities have been lecturing students and passers-by non-stop since Monday.