Brief asides


POSTED: Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Men who ride mountains get the green light

For the first time in five years, it was a go.

The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau big-wave competition finally had the monster waves and the right conditions at Waimea Bay to be held yesterday—and what a scene it was. Waves of up to 40 feet pounded the North Shore as elite surfers took to the ocean for the invitational thrill ride. On shore, roadways along the North Shore became parking lots as onlookers jammed the area.

Even the national weather reports—occupied with fierce winter storms that blanketed the mountain west with snow, drenched Southern California with rain, and were headed for the Midwest—could not look away. Videos of Waimea's monster surf and those daring young men on their flying surfboards were a sight to see.


You can go back safely to your faddish toy-buying now

Are they or aren't they? Unsafe, that is—and apparently, they aren't. Which means, in the lexicon of double-negatives, they are indeed safe.

We're talking the Zhu Zhu Pets hamster, that hot, hot robotic toy of the holiday season that was the subject of confused statements and warnings over the past few days. First came Saturday's alert from consumer group Good Guide that the Zhu Zhu had too too much of the heavy metal antimony, exceeding federal limits.

The toy's maker denied this, and on Monday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission affirmed that the toy does not exceed federal safety standards. Good Guide retracted its claim.

So all is well. The hamster is safe to have and to hold. Just good luck finding one.