Honolulu Lite


Friday, May 18, 2001

Hey, I can see my
house from here!

Yet another Hawaii item has made it into the Internet's international odd news files, but this one may cause some high-flying paranoia for neighbor island pakalolo growers. Seems that NASA will be sending an unmanned, solar-powered aircraft in a high altitude mission over Kauai to help coffee growers there know exactly when to harvest their beans.

"The craft will take color images of the crops and give precise information down to the day, on when to harvest, which would be a key to producing excellent coffee," a NASA spokesman said.

Yeah, right. You can just see the first report: "Looks like another week on the coffee beans, but the dude at the ranch next door has some righteous buds ready for picking. Better notify DEA."

And now other news:

Hamster gets fired up

TEHRAN (Reuters) >> A school principal who burned a hamster alive in full view of students has been fired. A teacher had brought in the pet to give away as a prize to one of her pupils. The headmistress, however, became enraged when she found the rodent inside the school and set it on fire. An Iranian animal rights society has filed a complaint against the principal.

(Clearly, Iran doesn't deserve the bad rap it gets for human and animal rights abuses.)

Woman gets stoned

TEHRAN (Reuters) >> A 38-year-old Iranian woman is to be stoned to death under Iran's Islamic law for murdering her husband. An accomplice, a 24-year-old man, will be hung in the stabbing death of the victim.

Stoning is relatively rare in Iran, where drug smugglers and murders are regularly hanged. Men who are stoned to death are first buried waist-deep in the ground. If they manage to escape, they can go free. Women are buried deeper to stop stones from hitting their breasts.

(Clearly, Iran deserves the bad rap it gets for human and animal rights abuses, not to mention certain gender-equity issues.)

Weird Web site of the week: This week's site is suggested by our reader Ann. It's called Who Would Buy That? ( and it raises a darn good question. Some current and past auction items include some guy's toe nails, a customized pregnant Barbie doll, a stuffed antelope posterior made to look like an owl's head and a bent paper clip that sold for 3 cents, plus postage. There are some legit collectibles. A 5-foot tall plastic Ronald McDonald sold for $1,035.77.

Quote me on this: "It's at times like this, when I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die from asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young."

"Why, what did she tell you?"

"I don't know, I didn't listen." -- Arthur Dent in Doug Adams' book, "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." (For my tribute to Adams, who died recently -- and WAY too young -- read Honolulu Lite in Sunday's Star-Bulletin.)

Alo-Ha! Friday compiles odd bits of news from Hawaii
and the world to get your weekend off to an entertaining start.
Charles Memminger also writes Honolulu Lite Mondays,
Wednesdays and Sundays. Send ideas to him at the
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-210,
Honolulu 96813, phone 235-6490 or e-mail

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