Friday, April 30, 2010

Snoop on Yourself

You can do this, y’know. You can find out what people are saying about you online.

All you have to do is set up a Google Alert.

It could be helpful, just in case somebody is trying to smear your good name in some ridiculous website. If you find something bad being said about you, the sooner you notify the website owner, the faster it’ll be taken down and the less likely the smear will be repeated elsewhere.

Just go to It’s simple, it’s free, and it’s good protection.

Because these days … one just never knows.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

“Beard Saga II” Making a Point

Now that I’ve had my beard for a little more than 10 weeks, I’ve decided to mess around with the style just a little bit more.

What I did was trim the jawline hair so none of it hung below the jawline. I left the chin hairies alone this time.

The result is a more … um … devilish style.

The Beard: It Now Has a Slight Rounded Point

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fair Warning!

This sign requires practically no commentary, except to say that that I’d warn the soccer players not to cry out “Oh shoot!” if they’re tackled or knocked to the ground, or miss a goal, or let the ball get pass them.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Keeping Abreast of Charities

Oh boy … here’s a slightly creepy "charity."

There’s a website called where women can post photos of their needy chests, and wait for benevolent men to donate money that will be used to pay for breast implant surgery.

The guys benefit, of course – they can have private chats with the women they “sponsor,” if they pay a monthly membership fee as well.

Who in their right mind would do this? That’s what I asked myself. But … apparently the website has helped several hundred women find their “swell” new figures.

This is just another sign that the Apocalypse is just around the corner.

Monday, April 26, 2010

For High-End Rear Ends

Waitrose Supermarket in London is now selling “cashmere toilet paper” impregnated with cashmere extracts. Its high-end luxurious toilet-paper line includes fanny wipes containing aloe vera and jojoba extracts.

According to Waitrose buyer Carla Smith, "It's indulgent, it's stylish and it's helping provide that extra softness to our new premium bathroom tissue collection."

It’s not terribly expensive either, selling at about $3.50 for a four-roll pack, and $7.52 for nine (the budget pack).

I looked and looked, but can find nothing about “cashmere extract.” Guess it’s little bitty fibers of the ultra-soft under fur of the cashmere goats, huh? Hope it doesn’t make your butt fuzzy.

No matter. It’s toilet paper fit for a king, giving a whole new meaning to the term, “throne room.”

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Red Hot Hibiscus

I don’t have much to add about the brilliant beauty of this flower, except to say it’s in a hibiscus hedge alongside the Imperial Plaza building at the corner of Kapiolani Boulevard and Cooke Street near downtown Honolulu.

Pretty, huh?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Find a Penny …

Remember the old saying about a penny?

Find a penny, pick it up

And all day you’ll have good luck.

I wonder how many people still pick up pennies they see lying there on the ground. I know I don’t.

I did see a nickel on the ground yesterday in the supermarket parking lot. After standing there for a couple of seconds, contemplating my next move, I gave in to my nostalgic recollection of the adage, bent over and picked up the nickel.

But I didn’t keep it. I put it in the Red Cross can with the rest of my change at the grocery store’s check-out counter, my thought being that maybe I can pass on my day’s share of good luck to someone who really needs it.

I would have put it in the nickelodeon, but I couldn't find one where I was.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hawaii Technology Education Fair

Being shown in conjunction with the 2010 Hawaii Science and Engineering Fair a couple of weeks ago was the Hawaii Technology Education Fair, which was administered by the Hawaii Academy of Science for the Hawaii Department of Education.

(That sure is a bunch of Hawaii agencies and events, eh?)

Since I was at the science fair, I snooped around the tech education area and snapped a few pix. Here’s some of what was on display …

Group A “Best of Show”

Group B “Best of Show”

CD Cover Designs

Tee Shirt Designs

Handmade Ukuleles

These are some talented kids, eh?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Neck and Neck Race

Every election, I count the election signs along the roadway from my street to the Manoa Market Place where my post office, drug store and supermarket are.

Currently, there is a race on to temporarily fill one of the two Hawaii seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, because the incumbent resigned to run for Hawaii governor in November. It’s a winner-take-all election with the candidate having the greatest number of votes claiming the seat.

Registered voters in the First Congressional District (Oahu Island’s most densely populates areas) will vote by mail; ballots must be returned by May 22.

So far this year, it’s pretty much a toss-up between Republican Charles Djou and Democrat Ed Case. The signs indicate they are leaving Democrat Colleen Hanabusa in the dust. It appears to be a two-candidate toss-up because as of yesterday, I counted 5 fence/yard signs for Case, 4 for Djou, and 0 (none, nada) for Hanabusa.

This is totally unscientific, but I’ve found that the sign count along my two-mile (round trip) drive pretty much serves a predictor on who will win an election.

I’m just saying.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Yesterday was “420 Day”

Not only was it April 20 (4/20), yesterday, it was also “420 Day,” a day when potheads gather en masse to smoke, puff and otherwise consume cannabis – y’know, marijuana … pot … weed … Mary Jane.

The “420” actually refers to the alleged time (4:20 p.m.) when a group of high school potheads gathered at San Rafael High School (California) to puff.

This stupid counterculture holiday has spread to cities and universities across the U.S., Canada and New Zealand.

The above picture is a vid-cap taken yesterday at Redwood Park, Arcata, California. Check out that cloud of smoke, and notice how the picture is unfocused. Guess the photographer was celebrating too, huh?

Pity the fool bird that tried to fly through THAT cloud.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

“Beard Saga II” Growing on Me

I’ve now had my beard for nine weeks.

Nothing much has changed, except that the beard hair is a bit longer than the last time I showed it to you – about an inch and a quarter long at this point. It's a good length for tugging when I want to look as though I'm thinking.

I shave the neck a couple of times a week to keep the beard shaped. The goatee portion is a bit lusher than the growth on the edges of the jawline.

Do you think my face is trying to tell me something? Like … go to a goatee only?

The Beard: Just a Wee Bit Longer Than Last Time

Monday, April 19, 2010

They Did the Scuba Poky

You put your right arm in,

You take your right arm out,

You put your right arm in

And you shake it all about.

You do the scuba poky

And you turn yourself around,

That’s what it’s all about.

We saw some Japanese tourists doing the “Scuba Poky” during a recent walk at Magic Island, all decked out in their wet suits, with their gear in a pile on the ground.

They were actually practicing some scuba moves under the watchful eyes of their instructors.

Funny thing is, after they did the dance, they picked up their gear and left. I thought we’d get a glimpse of them getting into the water.

Guess they must have been all pokyed out, eh?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Was Kilroy There?

I love reading about minor league baseball promotions.

The Charleston Riverdogs once held “Nobody Night,” where nobody was allowed in the ballpark until the fifth inning when the game became official.

Obviously, they set a record for lowest attendance, as fans peered over the outfield fence to watch the game, or enjoyed themselves at a party outside the park, which was hosted by the Riverdogs.

The team owners conducted all of the usual between-inning contests, with employees and players participating instead of fans.

Unfortunately for the fans, all of the runs scored in the game happened while they were barred from entering.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Historic Letter of Alexander Liholiho

In a small room on the first floor of The Queen’s Medical Center, Pauahi Tower, is a small room containing artifacts and documents of historical importance.

One such document is a letter written by Alexander Liholiho when he was 12 years old.

Liholiho, later to be known as King Kamehameha IV, and his wife, Queen Emma, founded The Queen’s Hospital in 1859.

I stumbled upon this room and the fascinating letter during a little sojourn to the hospital’s dining room in the Harkness Building.

It would have been even more fascinating had I been able to make out what was written in the letter. But as a collector and someone who appreciates historical relics, I am fortunate to have even seen the document.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

You Win One, You Lose One

Two well-known celebrities have made the news these past couple of days, news that’s related but for entirely polar reasons.

On the positive side of things (depending on your point of view), Elizabeth Taylor is getting married … again … for the ninth time … maybe.

The 78-year-old movie star is denying reports that she and the 49-year-old businessman Jason Winters are getting married. She admitted however, that they are in love, saying that he’s bought them a house in Hawaii.

On the negative side of things (depending on your point of view), popular talk show host Larry King is getting divorced … again … for the eighth time … and this is NOT a “maybe.”

The 76-year-old King married Shawn Southwick in 1997, and has been accused by her of having an affair with her sister, Shannon Engemann. There’s a big battle looming over custody of their two sons, Cannon, 9, and Chance, 11.

All I can say about these two today is, “Holy makkel!”

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What the Blazes!

I was driving past this fast-food restaurant at Manoa Market Place called “Blazing Steaks,” and saw some men seated outside having their lunch – steaks, I would guess.

They were all dressed in dark blue jump suits.

Being the curious fellow that I am, I drove a little closer to see if I could figure out who they worked for. There on their backs, in bright yellow letters, was the word “Fire.”

They were Honolulu firemen. Eating at Blazing Steaks.

I don’t know why, but this knocked me off the chuckle tree. I was hitting every branch on the way down, forcing me to park the car so I wouldn’t get into an accident.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A-a-and That’s a Wrap, Folks!

Two Garner, Iowa, teens needed nice clothes to wear to their high school prom.

So, Elizabeth Rasmuson collected a whole bunch of blue and white Wrigley’s "5" chewing gum wrappers and made herself a dress … and a vest for her boyfriend, Jordan Weaver.

She said she wanted something different, and got the idea when she heard of someone making a dress out of duct tape.

The dress is finished with a coat of vinyl (I guess to keep the wrapper dress from falling apart during the fast dances).

Mother Dawn Rasmuson called the project “really cool and really awesome.”

If you’ve got the time, you can see them at their prom this Saturday night, but just don’t pop your gum during the slow dances.

By the way, check out his pants. He’s wearing high-waters. Chew on THAT for a while.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hawaii Science Fair V: Grammar Problems

I’m a stickler for good grammar and correct word usage, especially when something is written for class, competition, or public view. So when I went to the Hawaii Science and Engineering Fair last week, certain incorrectly used words and phrases popped out at me.

This was the worst one I saw. My first inclination was to look closely at the exhibit to see if litter (rubbish) was indeed being investigated. It wasn’t. What the student meant to say was “literally.” I’m sure that an adult looked it over before it was brought to school – the parents, probably. In which case, I’m afraid the parents don’t know the difference as well.

The correct word is “farther.” “Further” means “to a greater degree,” referring to time or amount. You use “farther” when referring to length or distance. By the way, this project was a semi-finalist. I guess the judges didn’t know the difference either. This is a common error.

The correct word is “affect.” “Effect” means “result,” or the power to influence a change. “Affect” means to actually influence a change. This is a common error.

A word is missing here, maybe two. Or, more likely, the word “in” is extraneous.

The correct word to use here is “that.” “Which” is non-restrictive, which means the part of the sentence that follows can be eliminated without affecting the meaning. “That” is restrictive. Without the phrase it precedes, the sentence loses its meaning. This is a common error.

“Gasses” is misspelled. The plural form of “gas” is “gases” with one “s.”

You might think I’m being nitpicky. You might be thinking, “Aww c’mon, give them a break, they’re only kids.”

I would disagree with that. They are not just “only kids,” they are competing for a prize. I’ve always believed that in any competition – be it political office, a spelling bee, a science fair, a horse race, a baseball game – you have to do everything in your power to win.

And that includes having someone check your word usage.

It’s not just important, it’s imperative.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hawaii Science Fair IV: Would Somebody ‘Splain These to Me?

See that chart up there? I have no idea what it’s about, what it represents, and what the Hawaii Science and Engineering Fair competitor’s point is.

But you see, he didn’t have to impress me – he had to impress the judges. Unfortunately, he didn’t.

Anyway, this is not criticism. It’s just an observation that kids are so much smarter these days than we were when we were in the junior high. So on second thought, maybe Duncan Keith DID impress me.

Try as I might, some of the projects left me ‘way on the left side of the comprehension curve. Check these out and you’ll see what I mean:

Lawdy, these kids are SMART!

Tomorrow: Nit-picking, nit-picking, nit-picking

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hawaii Science Fair III: They Caught My Eye

During the two hours I spent at the annual Hawaii Science and Engineering Fair on Wednesday, I paused at four exhibits and spent just a little more time on them. Why? Because they piqued certain aspects of my psychological, social and professional make-up, that’s why.

Regurgitating Fishies

I paused at a project that examined the contents of an endemic Hawaiian fish called the o’opu, or the Hawaiian Stream Goby, which spends its life in fresh water streams until it’s ready to spawn. Then, o’opu swim downstream to briny waters where they mate and lay their eggs.

What this young scientist did was work out a process whereby the stomach contents of the fish could be retrieved via regurgitation without harming the fish. The contents were then analyzed for the report.

Fish vomit, indeed!

My Daughter Smells!

This Junior Research 3rd-place winning project tested whether mothers can identify their daughters by smell only, positing that the offspring have odors that can be recognized immediately by their mothers.

Y’know, just as animals in the wild do – with the sound of their voices, or by sniffing a bunch of offspring that look alike. I mean, if you’ve seen one lion cub, you’ve seen them all, right?

This young scientist used new tee-shirts instead of fur, a logical substitution for natural fur, I thought, and talked about the sense of smell as well.

Yep, it was a slam-bang success. Seven out of 7 moms passed the test.

Social Networking Distracts

Parents have long suspected that when their children listen to rock and roll, their grades drop; that when they watch too much TV, their grades drop; and today, that when they spend too much time on social networking sites (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, My Space), their grades drop.

You know what? Mother was right.

According to a young scientist at Waipahu School, empirical data collected at a local high school supports the hypothesis that the more time students spend on social networking sites, the lower their grade-point averages will be.

It affects the boys worse than it does the girls, because, according to the young scientist’s hypothesis, females “have a greater chance of earning a higher GPA because females show a better attention rate than males.”

Well oh yeah? But that’s … wait, I forget what we were talking about. Is it time for lunch yet?

Does Texting Affect Spelling?

Finally, a question that I myself had is answered – at least in the sample of high school seniors tested by our last young scientist.

The student wanted to know if the cryptic abbreviations and quick responses required for texting by youths, as well as the type of keyboard they used, affect their spelling abilities.

Alas, the results and conclusions are going to disappoint quite a few adults, parents and teachers. The experiment showed that (1) the kind of keyboard used has no effect on spelling abilities, and (2) texting in and of itself does not negatively affect spelling.

Shux. I thot I had wun more thing to critisize stoodints with.

Tomorrow: Some projects that defy comprehension

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hawaii Science Fair II: Winners-Plus

Today, I thought I’d run some pix of a few semifinalists at this year’s State Science and Engineering Fair, along with winners if I have their pictures.

First Place in Senior Research went to Kang Ling Liu of St. Andrews Priory for “New Triangular Inequalities in the Form of s-a, s-b, and s-c” (whatever that means).

Kang Ying will be headed to the Intel International and Science Fair, May 9-14 in San Jose.

I wanted to show the Junior Research winner’s display; unfortunately I don’t have a picture of it. The first-place winner was Viola Mocz of Mililani Middle School for “A Fossil Model for Robotic Fish: Learning from Evolutionary Hydrodynamics to Design Better Underwater Vehicles.”

At least I understand what her project was about.

Here are a dozen semifinalists. They sure make my intermediate school science fair entry (ant farm) look amateurish!

2nd Place, Junior Research

Honorable Mention, Senior Research

Honorable Mention, Senior Research

3rd Place, Senior Research

Honorable Mention, Senior Research

Honorable Mention, Junior Research

The students, their teachers and their parents must be mighty proud of their accomplishments. I know I am.

Tomorrow: A couple of displays of particular interest to me