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Solar And Hydrogen Fuel State-Of-The-Art Electric Ship

The electric vessel will be departing from the French city of Lorient on April 9
The electric vessel will be departing from the French city of Lorient on April 9

LAUSANNE — A Swiss-based charity, Race For Water Foundation, wants to turn the PlanetSolar catamaran into a floating display of emerging hydrogen technologies.

"That's unprecedented on a boat," says Alexandre Closset, CEO of Swiss Hydrogen. "For the first time, a full hydrogen chain will be installed on a boat."

The electric vessel, the first to circle the globe on solar power in 2012, will be departing from the French city of Lorient on April 9, to raise awareness about plastic pollution in oceans.

Covered with solar panels, the catamaran contains eight tons of batteries to store energy. "Enough for two days," says Closset. "With our hydrogen system, we've added six to eight days of autonomy."

So how does it work? The vessel pumps seawater, which is then desalinated and purified. "Electrolyzers' powered by solar panels split H20 molecules into oxygen and hydrogen, which is then stored and compressed in bottles, ready to be injected into fuel cells. Thus, the vessel produces energy but emits nothing but water vapor.

Swiss Hydrogen recently presented the "Hy-Rex10" kit, a built-in electric generator on a fuel cell of 10 kilowatts that was installed for demonstration on a Renault Kangoo ZE. The system made it possible to double the electric car's autonomy. For Closset, there's no doubt about it: Hydrogen has the potential to become a fuel source for the future.

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Shame On The García Márquez Heirs — Cashing In On The "Scraps" Of A Legend

A decision to publish a sketchy manuscript as a posthumous novel by the late Gabriel García Márquez would have horrified Colombia's Nobel laureate, given his painstaking devotion to the precision of the written word.

Photo of a window with a sticker of the face of Gabriel Garcia Marquez with butterfly notes at Guadalajara's International Book Fair.

Poster of Gabriel Garcia Marquez at Guadalajara's International Book Fair.

Juan David Torres Duarte


BOGOTÁ — When a writer dies, there are several ways of administering the literary estate, depending on the ambitions of the heirs. One is to exercise a millimetric check on any use or edition of the author's works, in the manner of James Joyce's nephew, Stephen, who inherited his literary rights. He refused to let even academic papers quote from Joyce's landmark novel, Ulysses.

Or, you continue to publish the works, making small additions to their corpus, as with Italo Calvino, Samuel Beckett and Clarice Lispector, or none at all, which will probably happen with Milan Kundera and Cormac McCarthy.

Another way is to seek out every scrap of paper the author left and every little word that was jotted down — on a piece of cloth, say — and drip-feed them to publishers every two to three years with great pomp and publicity, to revive the writer's renown.

This has happened with the Argentine Julio Cortázar (who seems to have sold more books dead than alive), the French author Albert Camus (now with 200 volumes of personal and unfinished works) and with the Chilean author Roberto Bolaño. The latter's posthumous oeuvre is so abundant I am starting to wonder if his heirs haven't hired a ghost writer — typing and smoking away in some bedsit in Barcelona — to churn out "newly discovered" works.

Which group, I wonder, will our late, great novelist Gabriel García Márquez fit into?

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