Sunday, 24 January 2021
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Trouble for EU? Merkel ally's victory risks fuelling anti-Brussels sentiment in Germany

Added: 23.01.2021 8:00 | 27 views | 0 comments

ANGELA Merkel's close ally, Armin Laschet, risks fuelling euroscepticism, as well as driving people to embrace extremism, if he succeeds her as Germany's chancellor, a former MEP has warned.


Lee Miller: The Inspiration Behind Jessica May

Added: 22.01.2021 21:39 | 4 views | 0 comments

As I mention in the Author’s Note at the back of The Paris Orphan, I first heard of Lee Miller when I was researching my previous book, . There was a throwaway line in an article that mentioned Miller and other female war correspondents who, after World War II had ended, had not been able to continue working as serious journalists because the men had returned from overseas and taken all of the available jobs.

It caught my attention. What would it have been like to report on a war and then come home to America and be assigned completely different work? After the war, Lee Miller was relegated to photographing fashion or celebrities during the winter season at Saint-Moritz. She was also an occasional contributor of recipes for Vogue.

That article was the start of my fascination with her. I went looking for more. And I found a story so incredible I couldn’t help but be inspired by it.

Miller the Photojournalist

Miller was a photojournalist for Vogue during World War II. She took some extraordinary photographs: she stumbled upon the battle for Saint-Malo in France and photographed the U.S. Army’s first use of napalm there. She reported from Paris, Luxembourg, Alsace, Colmar, Aachen, Cologne, Frankfurt and Torgau, among other places. She was one of the first to document the horrors of the Dachau concentration camp. And she was the subject of an iconic photograph, bathing in Hitler’s bathtub in his Munich apartment, having left her filthy boots to drop the dirt of Dachau, as she put it, all over the Fuhrer’s pristine white bathroom.

Miller the Model

But Lee Miller started on the other side of the lens. She was discovered by Condé Nast on the streets of Manhattan and became a famous model for magazines like Vogue during the 1920s. I decided to use this as the starting point for my character, Jessica May, as I was fascinated by that transition. How did a woman who was so obviously beautiful manage in the male and often chauvinistic environment of an army during a war?

Just as Condé Nast discovers Lee Miller, he also discovers Jess in The Paris Orphan and Jess is one of his favorite models, as Miller was. However, to suit my story better, I moved time forward to begin Jess’s modeling career in the early 1940s.

Miller’s modeling career ended when a photograph of her was used by Kotex in an advertisement for sanitary pads. It’s so hard to imagine that this could end a career, but it did. To be seen as the “Kotex Girl” was a stigma so dreadful that no magazine wanted to use pictures of Miller again. So Miller moved to France, where she became Man Ray’s lover. He helped her develop her photography skills and she became a well-regarded surrealist photographer.

I used these elements when creating Jess’s character too. Jess has to stop modeling after a photograph of her is used by Kotex, Jess has a French photographer as a lover, and solarization is a trademark of her work, as it was Miller’s.

The Intersection of Fiction and Reality

Miller actually reported for British Vogue during the war, although many of her pieces appeared in American Vogue too. For ease of the story, I have Jess working for American Vogue in The Paris Orphan.

Jess follows in Miller’s footsteps in The Paris Orphan, working out of a field hospital when she first arrives in France after D-Day. I have given the room used by Lee Miller at the Hotel Scribe in Paris to Jess, complete with a balcony piled high with fuel cans and an acquaintance with Picasso. Miller is called la femme soldatby the joyful Parisians after the city is liberated, as is Jess. Miller stays at Hitler’s apartment in Munich and is photographed in Hitler’s bath, as is Jess in The Paris Orphan.

After the War

One of the most heartbreaking parts of Miller’s story is what happened to her after the war. She suffered from post-traumatic stress after viewing and recording so many horrors, and she tried to forget that she was ever a witness to war and all its atrocities. So effective was she at excising this from her past that, when she died at age seventy, her son, Roland Penrose, had no idea of what she had done during the war. Her work was largely forgotten.

One day, Penrose’s wife found boxes of photographs and films in the attic at Farley Farm, Miller’s home. They contained Miller’s correspondence with her Vogue editor and wartime paraphernalia. Penrose immediately understood that he had made an incredible discovery, that his mother had been a true artist, and that her words and pictures had—once upon a time, until she let the world forget them—meant something.

He resurrected Lee Miller and her work. She is now widely regarded as one of the world’s preeminent war correspondents and photographers. The idea that she had been all but forgotten haunted me, and this inspired the scenes set in contemporary times in The Paris Orphan, when D’Arcy Hallworth finds an attic full of photographs and an extraordinary legacy that should never have been lost to the past.

Puzzling signal on Saturn’s moon Rhea may finally be explained

Added: 22.01.2021 20:16 | 23 views | 0 comments

NASA’s Cassini mission spotted a strange signal coming from Saturn’s second-largest moon Rhea – it may be from hydrazine, a compound often used in rocket fuel

Tags: NASA, Fuel
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Covid-19 outbreak in Manaus suggests herd immunity may not be possible

Added: 22.01.2021 19:55 | 32 views | 0 comments

Though 76 per cent of people in Manaus, Brazil have covid-19 antibodies, the virus is spreading quickly – potentially fuelled by a new variant – which may mean herd immunity by infection is not possible

Tags: Brazil, Fuel
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The Climate Change Committee is advised by banks – how can the public trust its findings on fossil fuels

Added: 22.01.2021 18:17 | 21 views | 0 comments

It is truly shocking that the banks who have been pouring billions into fossil fuel investments should dominate a committee advising the government on ending fossil fuel financing. And yet, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. At the end of last year, the government’s official advisers on climate action, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), . For the first time they included a report on the financing of the transition to a zero-carbon economy. The majority of the committee invited by the CCC to draft the report consisted of executives from major financial institutions, including HSBC, RBS, Aviva, Federated Hermes and Schroders. It beggars...

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Electric cars' best ever year is a tipping point for green transport

Added: 22.01.2021 17:18 | 9 views | 0 comments

More electric cars were sold last year than in the previous decade. Fossil fuel-powered cars are not yet consigned to the scrapheap, but they are travelling fast down a one-way road towards it, says Adam Vaughan

Tags: Greece, ADATA, Fuel
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Denmark says it will stop new oil and gas extraction from the North Sea

Added: 21.01.2021 22:23 | 11 views | 0 comments

Fossil fuel extraction will stop by 2050.

Tags: Oil, Fuel

Canceling Keystone XL Is a Gift to China and Russia

Added: 21.01.2021 14:16 | 15 views | 0 comments

Joe Biden's plans to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline is a gift to someone. The radical green groups for sure: they have opposed the oil link since its inception. The trucking and railroad industry will benefit, too, because once the pipeline is stopped, then the oil will be transported in and around America by something with wheels. It's also a gift to our adversaries: for who will benefit when America and Canada can't bring their fossil fuels to market? The competition. Russia and Venezuela will be thrilled to know their market share will increase thanks to the Biden Administration's fumble....

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Cristiano Ronaldo's 760th goal fuels debate over greatest goalscorer of all time

Added: 21.01.2021 10:33 | 38 views | 0 comments

Cristiano Ronaldo's goal in Juventus' Italian Super Cup win over Napoli on Wednesday took his career scoring tally to 760, making him the highest goalscorer of all time -- or is he?


Obesity impairs immune cell function, accelerates tumor growth

Added: 21.01.2021 8:20 | 2 views | 0 comments

A new study in mice finds that a high-fat diet allows cancer cells to outcompete immune cells for fuel, impairing immune function and accelerating tumor growth. Cancer cells do so by rewiring their metabolisms to increase fat consumption. Blocking this rewiring enhances anti-tumor immunity. The findings suggest new strategies to target cancer metabolism and improve immunotherapies.

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