The most amazing thing you'll encounter online today

I've been a bit fixated on electoral politics in my blog posts recently (although, to be fair, that reflects an every waking moment, getting near the end of my thesis fixation with electoral politics in my non-virtual life). But it is also cool to remember that the Internet does other great stuff too. One thing I love about it is its ability to give people access to things they would never have been able to see or hear before, or at least been able to access easily.

The BBC have just launched an amazing Titanic archive site. The absolute highlight of this is a 1936 interview with Charles Lightoller who, as the second officer on the ship, was the highest ranked crew member to survive the fateful maiden voyage. It's a bit strange listening to him talk about the sinking because, for obvious reasons, we are all so familiar with it. Some bits of the description are just as we might imagine, in particular the piece about the ship rearing up or the sixty tonne funnel falling into the water (although, interestingly some elements of the account flatly contradict moments in Cameron's film: there was, according to Lightoller, no panic among the passengers or attempts by people to force their way onto lifeboats. Additionally, he claims all the available lifeboats were successfully launched by a brave and efficient crew). 

But this is better than any film. It is simply incredible to think, listening to this man's voice, that he was actually there, at that time, on that spot of ocean, when the event was taking place. Through this old recording, it is almost possible to reach out and touch that moment. This is quite simply the best thing you'll hear on the Internet today.