The mountains, both mauka and makai, were snuggled under fluffy fleece, and sparkling stars blanketed the sky when Koko and I went out walking this morning. Above us, but slightly to the east, a thin wedge of gold highlighted a dark sphere of moon.
It’s been an action-packed week, so I thought I'd share a few of the things that caught my interest along the way:
• The revelation that killer whales, which have never deliberately attacked a human in the wild, have killed 24 people while in captivity. Do you think they’re trying to tell us something?
• A new study that found liberals are more intelligent than conservatives.
• A report from friend who visited Tokyo. He got sick and went to the emergency room, where he was seen by a doctor, treated and given a prescription — all within 30 minutes, and at a cost of just $70, without insurance. “American health care sucks,” he proclaimed.
But after leaving a dance hall with some other reggae performers, their car was stopped by police, who spent 45 minutes searching it, including pulling off the door panels, in a fruitless search for marijuana. “They’re really down on the herb over there,” he noted.
• The skinniness of mama cows after they’ve weaned their calves.
• The news that some in the pro-GMO University of Hawaii College of Tropical Ag are trying to prevent Professor Hector Valenzuela, outspoken GMO opponent, from getting tenure.
• This video clip about last month’s senseless, heavy-handed evictions at Wainiha.
• The snuffling, grunting sounds of a pig rooting in the thick vegetation alongside the trail where Koko and I walked one afternoon.
• This link from a friend, who also sent a PDF of a study that showed semen quality and quality is on the decline in Switzerland, along with the message: “Israel and Switzerland have now reported studies. Wonder which country is next?”
And on a related note, research that has linked endocrine-disrupting chemicals to nearly every major human disease, including obesity and a decline in male births.
• Ant behavior, especially how quickly they can assemble and disperse.
• News that the insecticide clothianidin, one of numerous chemicals added to the new Smarstax variety of genetically modified corn, which was grown experimentally in Hawaii for years, has been linked to deaths of wild honey bees. This prompted a beekeeping friend to comment: “One of the keynote speakers at the national bee meeting has been railing about this for years and gone unheeded, but people are now starting to listen to him.”
• The far-reaching cultural significance of both Wailua and Haena, as articulated so eloquently by Kehau Kekua and Aikane Alapai on my KKCR radio show yesterday. I’ll devote a blog post to this soon, as well as a link to an audio file of the show.
• The irony of deleting a comment that artfully and amusingly outed an often annoying and particularly prolific poster who invariably complains and cries “censorship” whenever I delete any comments in that section. But since the comment advocated sending viruses to his business email, I figured it shouldn't be allowed to stand. Of course, if the guy remains absolutely and adamantly opposed to deletions, I could retrieve the comment from the trash….