Brief asides


POSTED: Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Astronomers choose Oahu

The stars have aligned for Honolulu to host the world's largest meeting of professional astronomers.

Hawaii seems a natural fit for the 2015 convention of the International Astronomical Union, what with the world-class telescopes on the Big Island and a night sky over Oahu that can be dazzling even when viewed with the naked eye.


Isle-born Mark Dacascos hits the dance floor

Hawaii fans of “;Dancing with the Stars,”; take note—there's a local-born contestant vying for that silver disco ball. It's Mark Dacascos, born in Honolulu in 1964, a trained martial artist as well as actor currently seen as “;The Chairman”; on the Food Network show, “;Iron Chef America.”;

After winning numerous martial-arts championships as a youth, Dacascos went on to appear in 100-plus TV episodes and 40-plus movies, according to his Web site.

Will he be able to cha cha his way into viewers' hearts? Time will tell if his fluid martial arts moves translate onto the dance floor.


Isle college pact may be worth replicating

A partnership that keeps community college students on track for a bachelor's degree fills an important need and should be replicated in other areas of study.

Students working toward a two-year degree in Kapiolani Community College's paramedic program can enroll at the same time at the University of Hawaii-West Oahu, and their course work will transfer toward a four-year degree in public administration.

The innovative approach could help boost graduation rates and fill jobs in one steadily growing sector of the U.S. economy—health care.