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Brief asides


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POSTED: Wednesday, September 09, 2009

BY THE NUMBERS

Are you feeling lucky today?

Whether to expect good luck or bad today depends on how you feel about the number nine. The date 09/09/09 is an auspicious one in the Chinese culture, as the numeral is associated with long life. (The words for nine and long sound alike in Mandarin.)

In Japanese, however, the word for nine is a homophone for the word for agony or torture, so the number - and this date - are considered highly unlucky among those Japanese who look to the calendar for more than just the date.

FOREIGN ROOTS

Another distinction for Hawaii

Hawaii students are among the most likely in the United States to have at least one foreign-born parent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. California led the nation, with 50 percent of kindergarten through 12th-grade students in that category, followed by Nevada, with 36 percent.

New York, Florida, Texas, Arizona, New Jersey and Hawaii were next, all with at least one-quarter of all students in this age group having at least one foreign-born parent.

DRIVING STRAIGHT

Keeping inconvenience in perspective

For late-night motorists or party-hoppers over the long holiday weekend, encountering those impaired-driver checkpoints around town might have elicited a few grumbles and groans. Humbug!

But when one realizes that each of those arrested drivers were apparently driving when they shouldn't have been, that any one of them could have injured or killed someone before being

removed from the wheel, well, it puts things into perspective.

Almost 70 drivers were arrested over the Labor Day weekend for driving under the influence.

As of Aug. 24, alcohol and/or speed had factored in at least 20 of the last 37 traffic collisions that killed 39 people.