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Hear My Nectar! Dish-Shaped Leaves Attract Bats

<p style="text-align: justify;"><br /> A photo montage show a flowering vesrion of Marcgravia evenia and an approaching Cuban nectar-feeding bat.Ralph Mangelsdorff and Ralph Simon.It's the acoustic version of a bright, showy flower: A Cuban vine attracts pollinating bats to its nectar not with color, but by posting a dish-shaped leaf over its flowers. The leaf reflects sounds in ways that draw the attention of echolocating bats, according research published today in Science. The hemispherically shaped leaves halve the time it takes for bats to find nectar, compared to the flat leaves that line the rest of the vine, according to the researcher's experiments. Read More

In Havana, no one likes Barack much anymore

<p style="text-align: justify;">By Achy Obejas. Jul. 28, 2011. A visitor from the U.S. in Havana will, eventually and undoubtedly, be asked, “What’s going on with your president?” The debt ceiling chaos overtaking Washington right now isn’t what baffles the Cubans. The very idea of a debt ceiling mystifies them, especially since Cuba lives on debt, and things like the national budget are not really discussed in much detail here. In fact, Cubans seem generally convinced the Washington mess is mostly theater and that all will work out – whatever it is that has to work out – before the Aug. 2 deadline. My constant concern with finding out what was going on back home did little but amuse them. Read More

Food imports put Cuban reforms at risk

<p style="text-align: justify;">HAVANA, July 28 (UPI) -- High food imports are putting Cuban economic reforms at risk because of the drain they pose on foreign exchange resources.The government sounded warnings about rising food commodities import bills after it emerged that while Vietnam, the lead exporter, saw earnings rise from rice sales to Cuba, Havana's&nbsp; state trade sector wasn't too pleased about the situation.Cuban President Raul Castro has been exhorting Cubans to become self-reliant and has laid off of tens of thousands of government employees to cut state spending and signal his readiness to accept a gradual shift toward a market-oriented economy. Read More

Chavez Celebrates 57th Birthday, Vows To Fight Cancer

<p style="text-align: justify;">(NewsCore) - CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, who returned home over the weekend after a first round of chemotherapy in Cuba, celebrated his 57th birthday Thursday and said he was already preparing to celebrate his 67th in a decade's time despite his illness.Chavez vowed to beat the cancer and said he was happy and healthy despite preparing himself for a second bout of chemotherapy, in an interview shown on state broadcaster VTV. Read More

The charm of the Snails Chapel

<p style="text-align: justify;">2011.07.28 - 09:22:33 / / The charm of the Snails Chapel. Havana, Cuba. -&nbsp; A sui generis chapel, dedicated to Cuba´s Patron Saint, has stood in the old Havana neighborhood of Santos Suarez for almost 80 years. Its facade, previously plastered with snails and seashells, made it different and attractive. Read More

Higher studies prevent premature aging

<p style="text-align: justify;">2011.07.28 - 09:59:21 / / Higher studies prevent premature aging.Havana, Cuba. - People with less academic qualification age faster, according to a genetic study published in the magazine “Brain, Behavior and Immunity.” The explanation lies in the telomeres that cover the tip of chromosomes in the DNA. They are shorter in people with lower education, a positive sign of premature aging.&nbsp; Read More

Harold López-Nussa Woos French Jazz Fans

<p style="text-align: justify;">An influential French magazine gave him rave reviews and he was elected Jazz Talent 2011 in April, but the young Cuban pianist Harold López-Nussa still feels far from famous.France has given me more international visibility, but I think I´m in a beginning stage in my career, said the youngest of the jazz musicians in a country teeming with top-flight pianists, in an exclusive to Prensa Latina in Paris. Read More

Presented demos of the Cuban cartoon Meñique

<p style="text-align: justify;">By Gabriela Ávila Gómez, Student of Journalism. Children, teen agers and grownups, enjoyed in Factoría Habana the presentation of the demos of Meñique, the first Cuban animated movie in third dimension (3D). As part of the activities of the summer program Rutas y Andares, organized by the Office of the Historian of the City, was organized a conversation with Ernesto Padrón, director and script writer of the proposal. Read More

Cuban Parliament Readies Agenda for 7th Ordinary Session

<p style="text-align: justify;">Members of Cuba's National Assembly of People's Power (Parliament) will meet Thursday and Friday in 12 permanent commissions to prepare the agenda for the 7th ordinary session, Granma newspaper reported Wednesday. The National Assembly members will hear reports from government ministers before going into session on Aug. 1. Read More

Diana Nyad: Sharks need our help

<p style="text-align: justify;">07:15 AM ET.Editor's Note: Recent news reports have raised the issue of sharks and how Diana Nyad and her team will react if sharks come near as she attempts to swim from Cuba to Key West, Florida. CNN , following Nyad's preparations for over a year, asked her about her shark plan and how she intended to deal with predators she might encounter in her oceanic journey. Sharks have made news in recent weeks, from attacks near U.S. beaches to how they were treated by the team of a fellow ocean swimmer. There were some reports - denied by those involved - that sharks were harmed when Penny Palfrey swam in the Caymans. Read More