The Titanic's Older Sibling (Actually Was Unsinkable)
Via Wikipedia - US Public Domain
You know the story of the Titanic by heart, and thanks to James Cameron, you probably even know it in 3-D. Some guys went ahead and built a ridiculously huge ship, declared it to be "unsinkable" and, as the universe's punishment for their hubris, it immediately sank on its first voyage, teaching everybody a goddamn lesson in humility (also a lesson in not half-assing the amount of lifeboats you want a giant ship to have).
"We just assumed half our passengers would want to die at any given moment."
The One You Didn't Know About:
There were actually three Titanics. More accurately, the Titanic was one of three enormous ships they called the Olympic class cruisers, and the only reason you don't hear about the others is because they didn't hit an iceberg and kill hundreds of people (that's really the only way to make your mark in the boat world). In fact, they had damn good reason to think that the Titanic was unsinkable, because its identical sister ship, the Olympic, had been smashing into shit for a year already and absolutely refused to go down.
"Why can't you be more like your sister? Maybe meet a nice aircraft carrier and settle down?"
The Olympic made its intentions known right out of the gate when it arrived in New York after its maiden voyage and the sheer size of it sucked in and smashed up smaller ships in port. That wasn't even its only misadventure -- only a few voyages later, the Olympic promptly collided with another ship, the HMS Hawke. A little worse for wear, the Olympic was patched up using parts from the not-quite-finished Titanic and sent on its way again.
It's only when the Titanic sank that people started getting nervous about traveling on the Olympic, especially since both ships were practically devoid of lifeboats, and everyone saw how well that worked out for the Titanic. Of course, by that time, World War I was breaking out and nobody wanted to travel to Europe anyway, so the Olympic and the other surviving monster cruiser, the Britannic, were recommissioned as military vessels to help the war effort. How did the Olympic help? The only way it knew how -- by ramming into German submarines and sinking them.
"Permission to shit myself, sir?"