BELFAST’S Victoria Square shopping centre is playing host to an attempt to create a 40-foot replica of the Titanic.
When it is completed on Thursday, it will be suspended over the main shopping mall.
Although not yet finished, it is already causing a stir and stopping shoppers in their tracks.
About 14,000 balloons are being attached to a frame that will be around 40 feet long.
Portadown woman Fiona Fisher designed the balloon ship and her team of six professional balloon artists are currently working on realising her vision.
With her company Worldwide Balloon Decor, Fiona has been involved in balloon creations for 13 years and some of her works so far include a pint of Guinness, a Ferrari and Peugeot 207 rally car.
She told the News Letter yesterday that her team has been getting a very positive reception from curious shoppers watching the work progress.
It will be complete by tomorrow and will be on display at the centre for three weeks.
Meanwhile, science writer Richard Corfield has re-examined how Titanic sank in April’s edition of Physics World.
He writes of the work of two metallurgists, Tim Foecke and Jennifer Hooper McCarty, who combined their own analysis with historical records from the shipyard in Belfast where the Titanic was built.
The metal experts found that the rivets that held the ship’s hull together were not uniform in composition or quality and had not been inserted in a uniform fashion.
This meant that, in practice, the region of the Titanic’s hull that hit the iceberg was substantially weaker than the main body of the ship.
Foecke and McCarty speculate that the poorer quality materials were used as a cost-cutting exercise.
As well as the actual make-up of the ship, it also appears that the climate thousands of miles away from where the ship sunk may have had a hand in events.
At times when the weather is warmer than usual in the Caribbean, the Gulf Stream intersects with the glacier-carrying Labrador Current in the North Atlantic in such a way that icebergs are aligned to form a barrier of ice.
“No one thing sent the Titanic to the bottom of the North Atlantic. Rather, the ship was ensnared by a perfect storm of circumstances that conspired her to doom,” writes Corfield.