Cat Burglar Ernest Hemingway loved cats about as much as he loved short sentences
and long days of drinking.
So when a ceramic statue of a feline—believed to be a gift from Picasso—was
stolen from the Ernest Hemingway House in Key West last November, the
museum announced a $10,000 reward for its return. It worked.
In December Robert Naughton, 31, was arrested on his boat in Stuart, Florida,
for felony grand theft, according to APBNews.com. Naughton, who admitted
to swiping the cat, had called the museum to say he would return it for
the reward. The museum refused.
Using an alias, Naughton complained several times to The Miami Herald
about the museum’s decision. Finally, the feds tracked him down and arrested
him at a marina, where locals said Naughton had been trying to sell the
hot cat from his 35-foot boat.
At press time, Naughton was being held on $90,000 bond, according to APB
News.com. The statue was returned to Key West.
Apparently, Pablo gave Papa the porcelain piece in the 1920s, when the
two artists met in Paris. Museum officials say it’s not known whether
Picasso sculpted the statue or simply gave it to Hemingway.
2.5 Million Engines Served
In December Mercury’s MerCruiser celebrated a major milestone in its 25-year
history: The company produced its 2,500,000th MerCruiser engine.
The 1,000 employees of the Stillwater, Oklahoma-based company gathered
weeks before Christmas to welcome the noteworthy engine into the marine
world. “This is a monumental day in Oklahoma and MerCruiser history,”
says Barry Eller, company president. Mercury MerCruiser is a division
of Mercury Marine, based in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
The engine was a 496 MAG stern drive, one of the newest models. It features
Mercury’s PCM-555 processor, which connects to a proprietary data management
A Finish to Finning
In the final months of a presidency often hounded by legal sharks, Bill
Clinton made a move to protect saltwater ones.
In December he signed a bill to ban the practice of cutting off shark
fins and then leaving the fish to die in the ocean. Shark fins are not
only a culinary delicacy in Asia, they are considered by many Asians to
be an aphrodisiac. Little wonder shark fin soup sells for as much as $100
a bowl in some Asian countries, according to the Associated Press.
Aimed mainly at Pacific Ocean fishermen who hunt sharks for their highly
lucrative fins, the bill follows in the steps of similar 1993 legislation
that banned shark “finning” in Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico
The new law makes it illegal for a fishing boat to enter an American port
or operate in the 200-mile U.S. federal water territories if she carries
shark fins without the carcass. Shark finning is often a side business
to swordfish and tuna fishing, and small fishing vessels usually have
no room to carry shark carcasses, which are of little market value, according
to the AP.
Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, R-Calif., who first introduced the legislation
two years ago, says sharks are among the most biologically vulnerable
species in the ocean because of their slow growth, late maturity, and
small number of offspring.
According to the Ocean Wildlife Campaign, tens of thousands of sharks,
often blue sharks, are killed for their fins in the U.S. areas of the
Pacific Ocean annually, and in 1998 alone the number of sharks finned
in the waters surrounding Hawaii topped 60,000.
Although Ford denies a deal has been made, Yamaha says it
formed a joint venture with the company to manufacture stern drives in
North America. Toyota has indicated it may invest in the operation.
This follows the announcement in December by Outboard Marine Corporation
that it filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code
and will liquidate some or all of its assets. Both Yamaha and Toyota have
been rumored to be possible buyers. ...Northstar Technologies has
won a major order from the U.K.’s Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
The volunteer organization purchased Northstar 952XD DGPS Navigators for
its fleet of 100 RIB lifeboats.