Tony Smith's Home Page



Cuba (see above map from National Geographic Atlasof the World, Fifth Edition 1981) is now at the AtlanticOcean, but about 100 million years ago it was in the Pacific Ocean(see sequence below from aPaleomap Project 1999 web page Java Applet).


In the first game of the 1999 (5760)World Series between the New YorkYankees and the Atlanta Braves, El Duque (Orlando Hernandez, whocame to the New York Yankees from Cuba on a boat) pitched 7 inningswith 2 walks and 10 strikeouts, and giving up only one hit (a homerun by Chipper Jones), as the Yankees won 4-1.

According to a 5 March 2000 article by Buster Olney in TheNew York Times, "... The drills that Orlando Hernandez does are amystery to the other Yankees. ... He places his fingertips at hisears, extends his elbows out, turns to his right and spins around 10times. Without pausing his motion, he then reverses himself, spinningaround 10 times in the opposite direction. ...

... In one routine, he stands on his head, swinging his legs backand forth, as a form of yoga, something he learned 10 years ago inCuba. ... Cone played catch with El Duque in spring training of 1998,and Hernández's fastball seemed to have an unusual movement.Cone asked Hernández to show him how he was holding the ball,... Hernández held the ball out, and Cone was stunned: whenpitchers throw a four-seam fastball, they brace their fingertipsagainst the seams of the baseball, using the stitches as a lever asthey pull down and release the ball. But Hernández placed hisfingertips on the smooth surface, somehow managing to generate enoughtraction to make the ball turn like the standard four-seam fastball-- but with that added unusual movement. A dry four-seamer, Conecalled it, because most pitchers gripping the ball on the smoothsurface could do so only with the aid of spit or another foreignsubstance, making it a wet four-seamer. ...


According to a 24 October 1998 article in the Boston Globe bySteved Fainaru: "... Fidel Castro and two envoys sent by thearchbishop of New York sat down to watch Game 4 of the [1998]World Series via satellite from San Diego.The emissaries carrieda personal letter from Cardinal John O'Connor, asking Castro togrant visas to the mother, former wife, and two young daughters ofYankees pitcher Orlando "El Duque'' Hernandez, who defected fromCuba last Christmas in a 20-foot skiff. ... Castro agreed,calling O'Connor personally in New York. The two emissaries thenreturned to their hotel, picked up the phone, and dialed El Duque inthe visitors clubhouse at Qualcomm Stadium, where the powerfulYankees were about to sweep the San Diego Padres. ... El Duque ...was the winning pitcher of Game 4 of the [1998] AmericanLeague Championship Series and Game 2 of the [1998] WorldSeries, a fitting conclusion to a season in which he went 12-4 as amember of perhaps the greatest baseball teamin history. He spent this [1998] season living in thesuite of a midtown hotel, surrounded by clothes, electronicequipment, golf bags, and other material courtesies of his new-foundstardom in the mecca of capitalism. Inside the room he erected amakeshift shrine that he covered with offerings -- candles, asunflower, a Cuban cigar, red wine, and a miniature Statue of Liberty-- he made to Chango, the deity ofSantería, an Afro-Cuban religion....".

According to a1998 article by Larry Rohter: "... since ... Fidel Castro ...took power ... Santeria has been allowedto flourish as never before in Cuba's 500-year history. ... underCastro ... the Communist Party abandoned atheism in 1992 ... Anestimated three-quarters of Cubans were Roman Catholics before theCuban revolution in 1959. But the majority of Cuba's 11 millionpeople, including many who consider themselves to be good Catholics,are now believed to follow Santeria and to regard it as an essentialpart of the nation's identity. "In the African faiths resides agoodly portion of the Cuban soul," said Orlando Verges, actingdirector of the Casa del Caribe, a government-sponsored culturalinstitute here that studies and promotes Santeria. "Practically allof Cuban music has emerged directly from syncretic cults, and much ofits best art and even literature have been subject to its influence."Santeria originated in West Africa andcame to the Caribbean with the slave trade, which forced transportedAfricans to hide their polytheistic beliefs from their Spanishmasters behind a facade of Roman Catholic saints. In Santeria, eachof series of specialized gods are asked to intercede on behalf ofpetitioners. As a result, those deities acquired a dual identity sothat, for instance, San Lazaro is also Babalu-aye, the god ofhealing, and the Virgin of Regla became Yemaya, mistress of the sea....".

According to the book Santeria, by MigeneGonzalez-Wippler (Llewellyn Publications 1998), Castro's orisha isLegba, and the orisha of Batista( from whom Castro seized power in 1958, after beingpardoned in 1955 from a prison sentence for his unsuccessful attackon Batista's army barracks in Santiago on 26July 1953 ) is Chango.Batista survived the Castro Revolution, fleeing Cuba ( along withsome cohorts such as Meyer Lansky ) on 1 January 1959.

In the 1930s, when Cuba ruled by Batista (throughpuppet presidents), my father went to Pinardel Rio in Cuba to investigate barytes mining possibilities. He didnot like the conditions in Cuba, as hungry people were not allowed toraise food on large unused farms owned by foreigners, and he did notlike having (and paying for) an escort of Batista's soldiers. When heleft Cuba, he met with Batista and told Batista what he did not like,whereupon Batista threw this coin at him:

The 1920 coin has on its face the phrase Patria y Libertad and a5-point star. Between each point of the star are 23 rays (1 very longin the middle, and 4 short plus 7 long on each side). If you includethe points of the star, you have 5 sets of 24 rays. The 24 rays ofeach set correspond to the 24-cell and tothe 24-dimensional Leech lattice.All 5x24 = 120 rays correcspond to the 24+96= 120 vertices of a 600-cell, andto half of the 240 verices of the Wittingpolytope vertex figure of the E8lattice.

The reverse of the Republica de Cuba 40 cent coin depicts theCuban Coat of Arms. The 40 cents correspond to the 40vertices of the root vector polytope of the D5 Liealgebra that is used in the D4-D5-E6-E7physics model. According to aLiceo Cubano web page: "... the Cuban Coat of Arms ...

... consists of three divisions, crowned by the Phrygian Cap(Gorro Frigio) or liberty cap that has a sole star, with the bordersof the divisions surrounded by an oak branch on one side and a laurelwreath on the other. ... In the first top division, horizontally,there is a key symbolizing Cubaís geographical position....[between South and North America]... with a bright risingsun in the background. In ...[one lower]... division ... are... stripes ... representing the three departments which divide theisland: Oriental, Central y Occidental (the Eastern, Central andWestern). In the [other lower] division ... there arepictures of mountains, rivers, the valley and most evident a RoyalPalm Tree, the national tree of Cuba ...".

The coin is now on the chain of a watch given to my father byhis father, about the time that myfather was graduated from Cumberland Law School in Lebanon,Tennessee, in 1927.



Tony Smith's Home Page