Brief asides


POSTED: Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wie leaves doubters in the dust

Are there any doubters of Michelle Wie remaining after her spectacular performance in the U.S. victory over Europe in the Solheim Cup? After years of struggling with the dampened expectation that here was the future Tiger Woods of the LPGA, the 19-year-old onetime child prodigy displayed talent, confidence and determination of the highest level in going without a loss in four matches. In a Golf Channel poll about who was the “;Woman of the Match”; in the Solheim Cup, 75 percent chose Wie.

It's all starting to add up

Showing students how math is useful in everyday life is one goal of a laudable program that teams University of Hawaii research mathematicians with teachers in public elementary and intermediate schools in Hawaii. The hope is that kids who develop math skills early will further hone that ability in high school, opening up college majors and lucrative career paths simply unavailable to the far too many American students who can barely cut it in beginning algebra. If the program works as intended, Hawaii students will quickly learn that an interest and aptitude in math can lead to a better life.

Cashing in on old cars

Clunk! Clunk! Clunk!

That robust sound over the weekend was the steady stream of car owners heading down to auto dealers to trade in their old gas guzzler for a new, more fuel-efficient vehicle.

In Hawaii, as it was in many other states, the stimulus program that offered up to $4,500 in rebate for an old trade-in was wildly successful as a last-weekend rush flooded dealerships before the program ended yesterday. In addition to getting gas guzzlers off the road, Cash for Clunkers spurred new-car sales big time. At Honolulu's Pflueger Honda, for one, the boost created a new one-day record on Friday of 41 new cars sold, up from the usual 15.

Good to hear of an economic stimulus effort that actually seems to be working. Now if auto dealers can only get their reimbursement checks from the government ...