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An Invention Worthy Of Q: The Ultimate Self-Defense Umbrella

French umbrella manufacturer Veritable Cherbourg has unveiled a range of defense umbrellas straight out of a James Bond movie. President Nicolas Sarkozy's security detail has already put in an order for these high-tech gizmos.

An Invention Worthy Of Q: The Ultimate Self-Defense Umbrella
Florentin Collomp

It might look like an umbrella, but this is no ordinary umbrella. It protects its users not just from rain and hail, but also from stones, knives, fire and even acid attacks. The Parapactum, as this extraordinary umbrella is called, was unveiled last week at the Made in France show in Paris, and has already been adopted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy's personal security detail.

The umbrella is manufactured by Véritable Cherbourg (Real Cherbourg), a small company of 12 employees created 15 years ago in the Normandy region of Contentin in northwestern France. It is one the last remaining umbrella makers left in France. Most of the four million umbrellas purchased each year in France are now made in China.

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Ideas

García Márquez And Truth: How Journalism Fed The Novelist's Fantasy

In his early journalistic writings, the Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez showed he had an eye for factual details, in which he found the absurdity and 'magic' that would in time be the stuff and style of his fiction.

Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez reads his book

J. D. Torres Duarte

BOGOTÁ — In short stories written in the 1940s and early 50s and later compiled in Eyes of a Blue Dog, the late Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia's Nobel Prize-winning novelist, shows he is as yet a young writer, with a style and subjects that can be atypical.

Stylistically, García Márquez came into his own in the celebrated One Hundred Years of Solitude. Until then both his style and substance took an erratic course: touching the brevity of film scripts in Nobody Writes to the Colonel, technical experimentation in Leaf Storm, the anecdotal short novel in In Evil Hour or exploring politics in Big Mama's Funeral. Throughout, the skills he displayed were rather of a precocious juggler.

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