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rearrange (the) deckchairs on the Titanic

To partake in or undertake some task, activity, or course of action that will ultimately prove trivial or futile in its possible effect or outcome. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. For all his blustering about overhauling the education system, the prime minister might as well have been rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic for all the good these proposals will do. You're applying for arts council funding? Why don't you just rearrange deckchairs on the Titanic while you're at it?

be like rearranging (the) deckchairs on the Titanic

To be a task, activity, or course of action that will ultimately prove trivial or futile in its possible effect or outcome. You're giving the baby a bath before we eat spaghetti? That's like rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic.

rearrange (one's) face

1. To change one's facial expression, especially to hide a negative feeling or reaction. Hearing the news filled me with shock and despair, so I took a moment to rearrange my face before returning to the table.
2. To badly damage or mutilate one's face by violently attacking it. He threatened to rearrange my face if I didn't give him everything in my pockets. He's a towering bulk of man who could rearrange your face with a single punch.
See also: face, rearrange

rearrange someone's face

injure or mutilate someone's face by hitting it. informal
See also: face, rearrange

rearrange the ˌdeckchairs on the Tiˈtanic

if something is like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, it is an activity that is not worth doing because it cannot improve the situation: None of the staff believe that the new system will improve anything. It’s simply a case of rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.This expression refers to the famous ship that sank after hitting an iceberg on its first voyage.
References in periodicals archive ?
Scheme-1: K2CO3-induced rearrangement of (5-methyl-3-nitroso-2-phenylindolizin-1-yl)(phenyl) methanone.
2] The mother and sister of our male patient had been diagnosed with balanced and unbalanced chromosomal translocations, respectively, highlighting that this was a familial chromosomal rearrangement.
Following amplification, a total of 74% (37/50) positive monoclonality rearrangements were detected in IGH gene.
This method is not limited to the noninvasive detection of balanced fetal translocations, but rather has broad applicability in any condition where a balanced structural rearrangement has been implicated.
Papanastasiou (2002) proposed the rearrangement procedure that rearranged and skipped certain items and could better estimate the examinees' abilities.
The researchers analyzed these regions further to identify DNA sequences that displayed incorrect ordering, orientation, or spacing, and observed that an average of 9 rearrangements was found in each of the six samples (range, 4-17).
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) has been used for the identification of chromosome abnormalities in couples who are at risk for either aneuploidy, based on maternal age, or an unbalanced parental karyotype chromosome rearrangement (such as translocations and inversions).
In the same way we have investigated the effects of ortho, meta and para substituents on the acylation reactions of benzoic acid derivatives and also Fries rearrangement in PPA.
The third criteria describe the ability of the beads to expand and fill the void created by the rearrangement of the beads.
The taxpayer's engineering department provides estimates, project planning and project design to plant department personnel engaged in the construction, maintenance, repair, rearrangement and removal of the taxpayer's systems.
Then there are the various and sundry competing crossovers coming, many of which are still in the pipeline despite the rearrangement of the divisional marketing messages.
Several specific enzymes are involved in all these chromosome rearrangement processes.
The report evaluates other proposed changes at the airport, such as the acquisition and rearrangement of parking lots, that would be undertaken if a proposed agreement with the city is adopted.
Rearrangements are known to cause diseases; knowledge of rearrangement can reveal new biological mechanisms.