Monday, May 4, 2009

Let your light shine, NO MATTER WHAT

AP – Italian neurologist and senator for life, Rita Levi Montalcini, Nobel Prize winner for Medicine in 1986, …

Sat Apr 18, 6:32 pm ET

ROME – Rita Levi Montalcini, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, said Saturday that even though she is about to turn 100, her mind is sharper than it was she when she was 20.

Levi Montalcini, who also serves as a senator for life in Italy, celebrates her 100th birthday on Wednesday, and she spoke at a ceremony held in her honor by the European Brain Research Institute.

She shared the 1986 Nobel Prize for Medicine with American Stanley Cohen for discovering mechanisms that regulate the growth of cells and organs.

"At 100, I have a mind that is superior — thanks to experience — than when I was 20," she told the party, complete with a large cake for her.

The Turin-born
Levi Montalcini recounted how the anti-Jewish laws of the 1930s under Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime forced her to quit university and do research in an improvised laboratory in her bedroom at home.

"Above all, don't fear difficult moments," she said. "The best comes from them."

"I should thank Mussolini for having declared me to be of an inferior race. This led me to the joy of working, not any more unfortunately, in university institutes but in a bedroom," the scientist said.

Her white hair elegantly coifed and wearing a smart navy blue suit, she raised a glass of sparkling wine in a toast to her long life.

Z: will days like hers soon be coming to conservatives shunned enough that we'll have to go into hiding to do our work or to tell the truth? I pray that won't be the case, but this shows the light can still shine.


Anonymous said...

What an amazing, beautiful woman.

Anonymous said...

Amen! She sounds like someone you'd REALLY like to find seated next you at a dinner party or wedding reception.

cube said...

Thank you for bringing this wonderful woman to my attention. She may not live a second hundred years, but her spirit will live in purpetuity.

You know lately business has been slow and, on occasion, we have fallen into the trap of feeling a bit hopeless.

We often think about the indomitable spirit of people who lived through WWII, or closer to home, Mr. Cube's grandmother, who was marched through the desert by the Turks. She and her brother carried their baby sister as long as they could and, when they inevitably faltered, she was left behind and they never saw her again. How does a person get on with their life after something like that?

Well, they do.

These are the lessons that we
must remember and that we must share with others so that they don't lose hope in these unsteady times.

Anonymous said...

Wow Z, what an amazing woman. Some lights are so bright, they just shine through.

Cube, what a heartwrenching story. I do think those of that generation were made of tougher stuff. Perhaps it was a strength of faith that carried them through.


Z said...

Jen, she is very beautiful, isn't she!

Fj, you're right..fascinating to talk with.

Cube, there are countless stories about the forced marches out of Turkey and each one is so astonishingly poignant and horrifying...yours is just horrendous. Imagine? You must read BLACK DOG OF FATE, by Peter Balakian. I'm going to have the pleasure of meeting him next week ...he's an amazing writer and that book really is quite a tale.

Pris, I think their faith helped; but the stories you hear are enough to snatch that away from you forever! Still, they came to America and started churches here.....incredible stories, for sure!

Anonymous said...

Wikipedia: “She has been frequently insulted in public, and on blogs, since 2006, by both center-right senators such as Francesco Storace, and far-right bloggers for her age and Jewish origins.”

Due to the acknowledged keenness of her mind, Rita Levi-Montalcini, as senator for life, supported a center-left candidate for president of the Senate. In her sense of right and wrong, she does not falter.

Her father, albeit an electrical engineer and mathematician, was a traditionalist who did not approve of education for women. Thank God, she had a mind of her own!

psi bond

Z said...

Yes, psi bond, as you posted earlier and I deleted, I checked Wikipedia, as you did when you saw my post and felt you had to add something ugly to the conversation: The oddest thing is that, this morning very early the Wikipedia report had an inclusion that the left hated her, too, and had cartoons about anal sex and this woman in them. I say "odd" because that reference is now gone.
Yes, both sides have treated this woman abominably and it's very true that we should all be glad she had a mind of her own.
Odd that Wikipedia didn't...I've seen things disappear before but it's odd it would be today, within a few hours of my posting on her, huh?
I made a mental note to bother to copy/paste if you came back but it's gone. Extremely odd.

psi bond said...

The odd thing, Z, is that my link to the Wikipedia article, which I opened this morning very early and which remains open on my computer, contains no sign that the left hates this exemplary individual on the left, which hatred you allege. There are no "cartoons about anal sex and this woman in them". Nor does the current edition of the article contain them. Why do you make the assumption that the left would be behind such vandalizations, if in fact there were such? So irresponsible an assumption (“Yes, both sides have treated this woman abominably”) is inappropriate.

Insults by "both center-right senators and far-right bloggers for her age and Jewish origins", are indeed "ugly" and inappropriate. However, that Wikipedia informed us of them is not itself “ugly”. Nor is my posting that report on this blog, which is, to be honest, political.

On the left though her politics are, Rita Levi-Montalcini is noteworthy and praiseworthy for having brilliantly succeeded in the face of so much bigotry–––from traditionalists, from fascists, and from rightwing extremists. Thank you, Z, for having the nonpartisan fairness to bring her to the attention of the bloggers here.

Anonymous said...

What an amazing lady, good on her, thanks for posting this Z.