Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Concordia Catastrophe: The Answers

Hello everyone. A few people managed to listen to the BBC Radio 4 "PM" interview about the Concordia cruise ship accident near the island of Giglio off Italy's Tuscan coast. But the broadcast remains on the BBC's servers for only a limited time. So now here are the answers to the questions:

1) According to the report, what nickname are Italian newspapers giving Captain Schettino? Captain "Coward."

2) The Italian journalist Massimo Gramellini of La Stampa says Captain Schettino is a type of Italian "we cannot pretend we don't know, more full of himself than sure of himself."

Listen to Bruce Hood:

3) What adjectives does he use to describe Captain Schettino? Reprehensible, irresponsible. 

4) According to Bruce Hood, what happens when we panic? A flood of hormones invades the body, inducing us to flee or fight.

5) Does he blame Captain Schettino for his behaviour? Not necessarily, there's a separate issue between 'blame' and 'culpability'.

Listen to Admiral Parry:

6) He says, 'I feel extremely sorry for a guy' who has just lost his ship.

7) He observes that a ship is part of a professional sailor's identity.

8) How does he distinguish between the military and civilian tradition of sailing? Military sailors expect to go into dangerous situations and they are specially trained for them.

9) The Admiral is 'not so sure that the crew of the Concordia ever expected to find themselves in this sort of situation.

10) He remarks that until you're in an extreme situation, 'you don't always know how people will react.'

11) And he says, 'At the end of the day, it is a question of boys with toys.'

12) He also says that 'the sort of people you put in command of ships, they have to have egos, they have to have high self-esteem, they're alpha males.

13) And if you put 'alpha males' in a disaster situation which is possibly of their own choosing, they're going to react in very strange ways.'

Bruce Hood again:

14) 'Training is essential'.

15) People have this perception about how they think they'll react to an emergency, but this is often at odds with the reality.'

Some useful vocabulary:

"you walk through these incidents"
"bring people round"
"break lock on the panic mode"
"show off"
"spectacularly messed it up"
"alpha male"
"the acid test"
"at odds with"
"when the reality kicks in"

What do you think these expressions mean? Think of an alternative way of expressing these ideas in English. Then post them on the Tag Board or in a Comment.
More very soon! Have a very good day.

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