By Jay Fidell
Some weeks are just a cornucopia of new things, and this seems to be one of them.
After I filed the ThinkTech aquaculture column for last weekend, I found out that Food and Water Watch earns nearly $7 million a year and that their executives are paid well. Some of that must be from public donations off their site, but you just wonder whether big money comes from somewhere else. Apropos to the column, this past Monday there was an article in the Advertiser about ahi with salmonella imported into Hawaii, proving that the seafood FWW wants us to import in lieu of local aquaculture can be downright dangerous. We’ve got to grow our local aquaculture industry. We should not be distracted from that by the likes of FWW.
I got some very nice cards and letters on that article by email and by word of mouth. I also got some nice remarks on the Advertiser website, but I got some thoughtless comments on the Advertiser website too. This suggests that Peer News, now civilbeat.com is right to exclude public commentary like this. Interestingly, these missives are pretty nearly always anonymous. The problem of inappropriate comments was discussed at the NewsMorphosis 2.0 conference on March 18th. The video of the conference will air through May on OLELO Channel 54.
NOAA was here on Tuesday for a hearing to get public input on what their policies should be for the 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone. Good for them, but we hope they’ll make room for aquaculture. By all accounts, the aquaculture industry showed up to provide input, and the activists were also there to stop aquaculture. By those accounts, industry presented well, and the activists did not. We can only hope these activist groups will move on to some other more useful cause sometime in the near future.
A new antigen fungus recently came from British Columbia and thence into Oregon, where it has infected a number of unhappy people. Forget about spending a lot of time in Oregon until this blows over. It’s not clear whether the systemic infection caused by the fungus is treatable, although a number of people have recovered. The NPR piece that discussed the fungus did say there were those who felt it was related to climate change. That’s scary, suggesting there are more surprises to come.
Did you know that the City Council decided not to make him resign or to prosecute him? And did you know that in the “settlement” of the clams and charges against him for his outrageous personal use of taxpayer money, they let him pay it back on a deferred payment basis under a promissory note that doesn’t even bear interest, like ZERO interest. No bank would do that for me, so why does the City do it for him. It must be magic.
This week I stumbled into this news site, current.com/vantage, but there it was, and it’s fabulous. It’s a news site with tons of video and some real courageous investigative reporting. Like the dream news site. It’s what I would have imagined for Peer News. They should look at this.
PIGGY BACK TRAIN
A buddy sent me an article from a Chinese paper on the intercity high speed train system that China is building. The most amazing part of it is the fact that the trains won’t be stopping. The City train to Kapolei will average only 25 mph because it has to stop all the time. The China trains won’t have to stop – they’ve designed this piggy pack on and off cabin that makes that unnecessary.
When the train arrives at a station, it doesn’t stop - it just slows down to pick up a connector cabin which moves on the roof of the train. When the train is leaving the station, the passengers board from the cabin. After unloading passengers, the cabin moves to the back of the train so passengers who want to get off at the next station will board the cabin. When the train arrives at the next station, it leaves the cabin there. The departing passengers can take their time. Then the train picks up the new passengers in another cabin on the front of the train's roof. So at each station the train drops one cabin at the rear of its roof and picks up another at the front of its roof. Wow! This could change trains everywhere.
John Flanagan, former editor of the Star-Bulletin, is on a freedom ride motorcycle tour of the Southwest, and he’s keeping a daily and detailed blog, with great stories and photos. He’s a professional journalist so it’s really fun to read. You have to see it and eat your heart out. Check high-speed-wobble.blogspot.com. But how does he do this in the boonies? For one thing, if you hadn’t heard, all the campgrounds now have wireless. Do Hawaii’s campgrounds have wireless? I doubt it. Better put, does Hawaii have real campgrounds anyway? Some say, however, that all of Honolulu, now including Kapiolani Boulevard itself, is getting to look like a campground.
He talks to his wife by video Skype, and he sends her knockout photos. You can see them on the blog. At home in Hawaii, during her recent video chat with him she could see the moon rise in the background over the mountains in Tuscon. And in the campground, he can get electricity and cell phone coverage. With that he can use his Blackberry as a modem, and that works well enough to enable their online video Skype conversations. The modern tech camper, but it doesn’t sound much like Walden Pond to me.
FRESH AIR HAWAII
ThinkTech is expanding its video channels. We’ve got ThinkTech on tech, Asia in Review on Asia, and now we’re expanding to Fresh Air Hawaii on the environment and then to High Energy Hawaii on energy. Stay tuned for some great videos. Check us out at ThinkTechHawaii.com.
The best for last. Pheromones create attraction between members of the opposite sex. When we were kids, we would have given anything for this. Now human pheromones are apparently a reality, a secret weapon for dating. We’ve discovered the limbic region of the brain which is responsible for sexual attraction. We’ve also discovered an organ in the nasal cavity called the vomeronasal organ, which detects pheromones and stimulates the limbic region to increase feelings of attraction. And you thought it was all in the heart.
This works with animals, but the theory was recently reinforced for humans by the famous "twins" study in the ABC News show 20/20, a “speed dating” exercise which showed that pheromones actually work. The next question is how to manufacture them, and it now appears that this can be done. Dr. Virgil Amend, a pioneer in the field, has developed the “Pheromone Advantage.” With a few drops, he says, you can boost levels to achieve unavoidable results. The drops are available on his website for $39.95, with a guarantee. If this works, it sounds too good to be legal, but we’ll see. Is tech wonderful, or what.