Brief asides


POSTED: Monday, November 16, 2009


Statistical blip or disconcerting trend?

Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and illness in the United States.

So it's especially disconcerting that the expensive habit that causes cancer, heart disease and other fatal conditions seems to be on the upswing.

A little under 21 percent of U.S. adults said they smoked, according to a 2008 national survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's up slightly from the year before, when just 19.8 percent said they were smokers, and marks the first increase in adult smoking since 1994.

The increase is so small that health officials are hoping it's just a blip, not an indicator of future growth.



UH subs play key role in WWII sub drama

It's got an intriguing plot mix: part “;Titanic,”; part “;The Hunt for Red October,”; part “;Tora! Tora! Tora!”; And of course, a huge dose of history.

The recent finding and filming of two World War II Japanese submarines in their Pacific Ocean grave five miles off Oahu is the subject of a National Geographic Channel documentary airing tomorrow. Integrally involved in the shooting of “;Hunt for the Samurai Subs”; were the Hawaii Undersea Research Lab's subs Pisces IV and Pisces V. The footage should be fascinating, as the once “;top secret”; Japanese subs had lain silent and undisturbed for more than 60 years.