News behind the news. This picture is me (white spot) standing on the bridge connecting European and North American tectonic plates. It is located in the Reykjanes area of Iceland. By-the-way, this is a color picture.
Yesterday NPR reported that Tony Mendez, the man behind the 1980 rescue of six American diplomats trapped in Iran by the Iranian revolution, has died. The six diplomats were hidden by the Canadian Embassy until the CIA was able to smuggle them out of the country. The story was the basis for the movie “Argo.” The full story was not really told until the movie was released in 2012.
The article at NPR reports:
Tony Mendez became a legend inside the CIA with his daring 1980 rescue of six American diplomats who were given shelter by the Canadian Embassy in Tehran after the U.S. Embassy had been stormed by Iranian revolutionaries.
But the “Canadian Caper” remained classified for nearly two decades, and Mendez didn’t receive full acclaim until the Oscar-winning movie Argo, came out in 2012, with Ben Affleck portraying him.
Mendez, who was 78 and had Parkinson’s disease, died Saturday at an assisted living facility in Frederick, Md., outside Washington, according to the International Spy Museum, where Mendez was a founding board member.
“He was a legendary intelligence officer,” said the museum’s Executive Director Chris Costa.
The movie tells the story of how Tony Mendez posed as a film director with a crew scouting locations in Iran for a movie. He then gave the diplomats phony identities as part of his crew and smuggled them out of the country as his film crew. The crew flew out on a commercial airline. It is an amazing movie, and Mr. Mendez deserves a tremendous amount of credit for pulling off the scam. He was a true American hero.
ABC News is reporting today that Linda Ronstadt has Parkinson’s Disease and as a result has lost her ability to sing. Linda Ronstadt had a truly beautiful singing voice. She could do rock and roll, country, traditional songs and operetta. She provided part of the soundtrack of my early twenties, and later I thoroughly enjoyed her performance in Pirates of Penzance. I wish her the best and hope a cure for the disease is found soon. Her beautiful voice will be missed.
I had a wonderful time on Saturday being part of Team Bettina in the Parkinson’s Unity Walk in Central Park. My husband and I had a wonderful weekend in New York City and enjoyed a concert on Saturday night. Here are a few pictures from the Unity Walk. As you can see, people of all ages participated.
On April 28, I will be in New York City doing the Parkinson’s Unity Walk (see NYC Upcoming Event on this website for more information and enjoy the video). With this in mind, I post the following information:
Scientists create and inject a virus into the brain. The shot jump starts the production of dopamine, which is the chemical patients need to fight Parkinson’s.
Without dopamine, Parkinson’s sufferers often shake and can’t control their movements.
The article reports that other gene therapy experiments are taking place in the United States. Doctors are saying that more studies are needed to confirm that the treatment being used in Britain is safe and that it is effective long term.
This is good news for those who are suffering from the disease.
This year my husband and I will be doing the Parkinson’s Unity Walk in New York City in April. My husband’s brother and one of my nieces suffer from the disease. Please follow the link below to watch a video done by my niece and entered in the Neuro Film Festival.