To make war all you need is intelligence.  But to win you need talent and material.
– Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ch. 9

Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American author and journalist. His distinctive writing style, characterized by economy and understatement, influenced 20th-century fiction, as did his life of adventure and public image. He produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s.

He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. Hemingway’s fiction was successful because the characters he presented exhibited authenticity that resonated with his audience. Many of his works are classics of American literature. He published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works during his lifetime; a further three novels, four collections of short stories, and three non-fiction works were published posthumously.

Hemingway was born and raised in Oak Park, Illinois. After leaving high school he worked for a few months as a reporter for The Kansas City Star, before leaving for the Italian front to become an ambulance driver during World War I, which became the basis for his novel A Farewell to Arms.

He was seriously wounded and returned home within the year. In 1922 Hemingway married Hadley Richardson, the first of his four wives, and the couple moved to Paris, where he worked as a foreign correspondent. During his time there he met and was influenced by modernist writers and artists of the 1920s expatriate community known as the “Lost Generation“. His first novel, The Sun Also Rises, was written in 1924.

After divorcing Hadley Richardson in 1927 Hemingway married Pauline Pfeiffer; they divorced following Hemingway’s return from covering the Spanish Civil War, after which he wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls. Martha Gellhorn became his third wife in 1940, but he left her for Mary Welsh Hemingway after World War II, during which he was present at D-Day and the liberation of Paris.

Shortly after the publication of The Old Man and the Sea in 1952 Hemingway went on safari to Africa, where he was almost killed in a plane crash that left him in pain or ill-health for much of the rest of his life. Hemingway had permanent residences in Key West, Florida, and Cuba during the 1930s and ’40s, but in 1959 he moved from Cuba to Ketchum, Idaho, where he committed suicide in the summer of 1961.

Berlin Museum of Natural History

The extensive collections in the Berlin Museum of Natural History – at present numbering over 50 million specimens – were first formed in the Mineralogical, Paleontological and Zoological Museum. The latter, in turn, built upon a collection started by the Berlin Mining College in the 18th C., and was housed from 1810 in the Unter den Linden university buildings.

As a result of expeditions and gifts, such as those from Alexander von Humboldt and Adelbert von Chamisso, who took part in a Russian Pacific expedition in 1815-18, the collection grew enormously; consequently, a new museum was planned in 1875 and opened its doors on Invalidenstrasse in 1889. In 1893 the director of the British Museum in London praised it as being “a perfect example of a complete revolution in concepts of museum management.”

The Second World War put an end to the continued development. From 1941 parts of the collections were either evacuated elsewhere or stored in the cellars. Heavy bombing raids, especially in November 1943 and February 1945, destroyed large parts of the building and some of the most valuable exhibits – whole skeletons in the Anatomical Hall were destroyed, together with those of whales and other marine mammals in the Whale Hall and all but three of the large dioramas of indigenous animals.

Soon after hostilities ceased, the collections were again temporarily opened to the public and rebuilding commenced, as a result of which the Museum – which is now a part of Humboldt University – became one of the five biggest natural history museums in the world. The Museum also possesses a preparation workshop, the arboretum in Berlin- Baumschulenweg (Späthstrasse 80/81) and a library, the most valuable items in which include 545 pages of watercolors of animals by the Nuremberg doctor Lazarus Röting (1549-1614).

Lovebite partially paralyses woman – GILES BROWN

A Christchurch doctor had to treat a woman after she was partially paralysed by a lovebite from her amorous partner. Dr Teddy Wu, who is currently working in the neurology department at Christchurch Hospital, said he believed it was the first time someone had been hospitalised by a “hickey”.

An article on the case has appeared in the New Zealand Medical Journal. Wu said he saw the woman over a year ago while he was working in Middlemore Hospital in Auckland. The 44-year-old Maori woman went to the emergency department after experiencing loss of movement in her left arm. It happened while she was sitting watching television. The only injury was a lovebite on the right of her neck near an artery.

“Because it was a lovebite there would be a lot of suction. “Because of the physical trauma it had made a bit of bruising inside the vessel,” said Wu. “There was a clot in the artery underneath where the hickey was.” The clot had gone into the woman’s heart and caused a minor stroke that led to the loss of movement, he said. She was treated with warfarin, an anticoagulant. That treatment saw the clot disappear almost entirely within a week, he said.

“We looked around the medical literature and that example of having a lovebite causing something like that hasn’t been described before,” he said. If it had not been treated quickly the woman could have suffered more strokes. “Strokes have different levels of severity. But possibly patients can become paralysed.”

It was easier to live under a regime than fight it.
– Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ch. 34

Chinese Pianist Plays Propaganda Tune at White House

US humiliated in eyes of Chinese by song used to inspire anti-Americanism

Epoch Times – By Matthew Robertson

Lang Lang the pianist says he chose it. Chairman Hu Jintao recognized it as soon as he heard it. Patriotic Chinese Internet users were delighted as soon as they saw the videos online. Early morning TV viewers in China knew it would be played an hour or two beforehand.

At the White House State dinner on Jan. 19, about six minutes into his set, Lang Lang began tapping out a famous anti-American propaganda melody from the Korean War: the theme song to the movie “Battle on Shangganling Mountain.”

The film depicts a group of “People’s Volunteer Army” soldiers who are first hemmed in at Shanganling (or Triangle Hill) and then, when reinforcements arrive, take up their rifles and counterattack the U.S. military “jackals.”

The movie and the tune are widely known among Chinese, and the song has been a leading piece of anti-American propaganda by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for decades. CCP propaganda has always referred to the Korean War as the “movement to resist America and help [North] Korea.”

The message of the propaganda is that the United States is an enemy—in fighting in the Korean War the United States’ real goal was said to be to invade and conquer China. The victory at Triangle Hill was promoted as a victory over imperialists.

The song Lang Lang played describes how beautiful China is and then near the end has this verse, “When friends are here, there is fine wine /But if the jackal comes /What greets it is the hunting rifle.” The “jackal” in the song is the United States. The name of the song is “My Motherland,” originally titled “Big River.”


“My Motherland” having been played at the White House will be seen as a propaganda triumph in China.

“In the eyes of all Chinese, this will not be seen as anything other than a big insult to the U.S.,” says Yang Jingduan, a Chinese psychiatrist now living in Philadelphia who was Deputy Director of science and technology development at the No. 4 Military Medical University in Xi’an in China. “It’s like insulting you in your face and you don’t know it, it’s humiliating.”

Yang sees Lang Lang choosing this tune as an expression of the deeply anti-American propaganda that is constant in China. “This deeply anti-American chauvinism has been fanned by the CCP for years; Lang Lang is expressing the feelings of this generation of angry young people,” Yang said.

A well-known example of such feelings was seen on Sept. 11, 2001, when Chinese chat rooms were filled with young people celebrating this act of terror as an American defeat. Excited at this coup, patriotic Chinese have been circulating the clip for the last several days. One netizen wrote “the right place, right time, right song!”

Humiliating the US

Whether Chinese officials intended Lang Lang to play this piece, its performance at the White House fits a general pattern of Chinese propaganda attacking the United States. Subtle details are seized on and used to humiliate the United States before the Chinese people.

When Nixon visited China, a photo was taken of him getting off the plane to greet Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai. Nixon has a big smile and extends his hand out to Zhou. Zhou stands with a rigid face and holds his hand close to his body.

The photo was widely used in all of the Chinese media to help support the idea that Nixon’s visit was a victory for China. Chinese schoolchildren were told, “See how long Nixon’s arm is stretched out? That shows the United States is reaching out to us.”

When President Obama visited China in November 2009, he toured the Imperial Palace. Obama exited through the Shen Wu Men, which may be translated as Gate of Divine Prowess. CCTV reported that he exited through the Shun Zhen Men, which may be translated as “Gate of Obedience and Purity.”

In fact, the Gate of Divine Prowess is the outer gate and everyone must exit through it. However, Chinese media would not accord President Obama the honor of going through the “Gate of Divine Prowess.” Neither the White House nor the Chinese Embassy responded to phone calls requesting comment on this story.

Broadband cable on its way to unplugged Cuba

Florida scholars left out of Obama’s ease on Cuba travel ban

The Obama administration’s move to ease Cuba travel restrictions won’t help Florida researchers and professors.

Herald/Times – BY JANET ZINK

Academics around the country hailed the move last week by President Barack Obama to loosen travel restrictions to Cuba. But there was no celebrating by scholars at Florida’s public universities.

A 2006 state law prohibits them from using state money or tapping into their budgets for travel to countries considered “terrorist states” by the federal government, Cuba being one. The others are Iran, Sudan and Syria.

The rule applies both to state funding and nonstate funds administered by public universities. Margaret Miller, director of the University of South Florida Institute for Research in Art, calls the law an “embarrassment.”

“I can understand trade restrictions because having an economic impact is a useful tool,” he said. “But I would want educators to share information. I wouldn’t put that in the same category as economic-related embargoes. Would I have problems with USF professors traveling to Cuba and meeting with colleagues, there? I wouldn’t.”

But Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, who sponsored the bill in 2006 and is a 2012 U.S. Senate candidate, stands by it.

“There should be three conditions before we change anything,” he said. “That is the liberation of all political prisoners, No. 2 the legalization of all political parties and an independent press, and third, of course, the scheduling of free, internationally-supervised elections.”

Hard-line positions against Cuba make for good politics in Miami-Dade County, where 72 percent of registered Republican voters are Hispanic, mostly Cuban…

Florida’s law is facing a legal challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union and faculty at the University of South Florida, the University of Florida and Florida International University.

An appeals court upheld the statute in August, forcing cancellation of an art exhibit organized by USF at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana that would have featured works by artists such as Robert Mapplethorpe and Chuck Close.

The program was to be paid for from privately-raised foundation money.The ACLU plans to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case…

Clint Eastwood: I do not think about Retirement

Le Figaro – By Jean-Paul Chaillet (English Translation)

…I do not believe in regrets. I operate on instinct. Once my decision, I do not procrastinate. A refusal does not mean it is estimated that the project will fail, just that it will be better suited to someone else. Examples? I could succeed Sean Connery and be the new James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service! I had the same lawyer as the producer Cubby Broccoli, who suggested that I take over in 1968.

It would have been very financially advantageous deal for me, but I had just finished a trilogy and I do not see myself signing for another in danger of being relegated to a kind and trapped in the long term. I also felt that the role should be maintained by an English-born. I would have had to work very hard to be convincing. It seems they are finally doing pretty well without me!

Later, in 1977, Frank Wells, president of Warner, asked me if I wanted to play as Superman. The idea of personifying a comic book hero does not attract me at all. It was a good concept, but not with me. So I made sweet, crazy and hard to spot, and both films were huge hits for Warner!

On several occasions, Steve McQueen and I tried to find a common project, even though every time he told me in gasping: “The problem is that you are damn great!” One day, Coppola has proposed play Willard in Apocalypse Now, but he wanted the role of Kurtz, who would have run only a fortnight for the same stamp! He therefore suggested to Francis that I play Willard in his place. It was quite a discussion with him on the phone, but as everyone knows, it failed! “

His passion for piloting

“I started in the summer of 1968 during the filming of The Paint Your Wagon, Oregon. I had rented a house in Baker City and as the main set was in the mountains 50 kilometers away, it took me by helicopter, a Bell Model 47. The pilot, certified instructor, suggested I take the handle. I have accumulated quite a few hours.

Then in June 1989, just before going to Zimbabwe to make White Hunter, Black heart, I went to the Air Show at Le Bourget, where I ordered a single-engine Ecureuil Aerospatiale. After shooting, I spent time at the training center of Aix-en-Provence, while one was developing my camera. It is parked in a hangar at the Burbank airport. In just under two hours, I can ask in Caramel. I like the anonymity it provides. Flying, we’re just a number in the sky. “


“My mother is the woman who probably has the most to me. As my grandmother. I lived with my parents when she sought work during the Great Depression in the ’30s. She was very independent and progressive. I was her favorite and she learned to drive, even leaving me behind the wheel of his car. As for Dina, my wife, I like to think that with his influence, I became a better person and more patient. There is a great complicity between us, in addition to many tastes in common: family life, our menagerie of animals, travel, golf.

His family

“Today I have an excellent relationship with all my children, which has not always been the case. When I started, obsessed with success and my career, I was often absent in the pursuit of success, film after film. Becoming a father late in life has allowed me to devote myself fully to my two youngest daughters, Francesca (18) and Morgan (15 years). They were my priority, taking precedence over the rest, although I continued to be very busy. I attended all their school activities. I think they have instilled the traditional values. “


“I certainly never imagined not last so long in this profession when I was trying desperately to make it to Hollywood in the early 50s. I was already well aware that success might be random at best temporary, and as luck would play a role. Whatever we possess an innate talent, it is a significant parameter in the equation. I have seen several stages of my career.

On the physical level, I always made sure my health: exercise regularly, watch my diet, take vitamins … I never smoked other than the camera. I always drank in moderation. Only beer and wine. I like to keep abreast of what’s happening again in the medical field. More particularly, the theoretical pathology, which I studied at a time at the University of New York.

Retirement? I do not think, even if some do it for me! With age, you appreciate things more. But I am not nostalgic or backward-looking. I’m still curious. I still learn, find new challenges. Many motivations that stimulate me. My enthusiasm is intact. And unless you are struck by senility, I intend to continue making films. Manoel de Oliveira’s centennial and is still running. As for John Huston, he directed his last film in a wheelchair and on oxygen! “

Spanish old folks still young at heart

One of the last great taboos is the sex life of the elderly. Will it be love among the ruins, or the start of a golden age?


We like to think that we live in more enlightened times: that 50 is the new 40; that 60 is the new 50; and that 70 is the new 60 — except when it comes to sex, which somehow tastefully disappears from our lives once we pass 60.

Old folks are supposed to be genderless folks. As one doctor less-than-tactfully put it to a female patient in her fifties: “nature has finished with you.” A generation on from the supposed sexual revolution of the 1960s — which didn’t reach Spain until a decade later — whether we like to admit it or not, most of us still assume that once the reproductive cycle is over, we return to an infantile state from the waist down. Tenderness, sure; even flirtation: but not predatory.

The image of an elderly couple out for a walk, hand in hand, or maybe chastely embraced in a gentle two-step at a village dance brings a warming smile to our faces. But the thought of passionate kissing, of intimate caresses, or of the pleasurable moans that precede orgasm is more likely to make us wrinkle our noses. We either assume it’s just not physically possible, or wouldn’t occur to any right-thinking retiree, or is just plain bad taste. Hence the expression dirty oldman.

Sex in old age is one of the last taboos, despite the fact that we live in an ageing society: of Spain’s 44 million inhabitants, there are more than eight million people aged over 65. And 28 percent of those are over 80. More than half still live with their partner, but in a country where women outlive men by nearly seven years, dying on average at 84 years of age, 38 percent are widows.

As a result of Spain’s demographics, there are more sexually inactive women over the age of 60 than men. That said, Spain’s situation pretty much matches the figures that emerged from a survey carried out by the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine in 2008. The survey reported that 73 percent of Americans aged between 57 and 64 enjoyed a regular sex life.

The figure dropped to 53 percent between the 65 and 75-year-old age group, and fell more sharply to 26 percent among 85-year-olds. “Even so,” write the authors in their conclusion, “there is a significant number of people who have vaginal intercourse, oral sex, or continue to masturbate even into their nineties.”

None of which is to say that our sex lives don’t change and to varying degrees diminish as we get older, in large part due to physiological factors. Women’s estrogen levels can drop significantly with menopause, provoking vaginal dryness; at the same time, diminished blood flow to the genitals can also reduce desire, explains gynecologist Santiago Palacios, president of the Spanish Menopause

Hormonal factors are not so important in men, although their testosterone levels do drop. Physical deterioration, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes can also reduce the ability to gain or maintain an erection, and there is a general lessening of the libido, says Eduardo Ruiz Castañe, head of the andrology department at the Puigvert Foundation, a Barcelona-based nonprofit body dedicated to research into male urological and genital pathologies.

But in both sexes, overall health, the quality of sex earlier in life, good communication with one’s partner and being able to find the time and place to be intimate are more important factors than the mere ageing process…

Cuba Travel and Informational Resources