Brief asides


POSTED: Thursday, December 17, 2009


Trying to cash in on a dream

Despite the economic downturn, or maybe because of it, Americans are snapping up lottery tickets. Ticket sales nationwide increased from $52.4 billion in 2007 to $53.4 billion last year, with $30.4 billion in sales for instant scratch-off tickets, according to an annual report by the U.S. Census Bureau. Sales remain robust this year.

Hawaii, which prohibits all forms of gambling, is one of eight U.S. states that do not have a statewide lottery. Another, oddly enough, is Nevada. A constitutional ban on lotteries in that high-rolling state has persisted since 1864.



Keep those eyes open, at least on 1 side

Corals, and sponges, and creatures—oh my!

The scientists and submersibles operated by the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory have discovered new deep-sea coral and sponge species at the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. Remarked one observer, upon seeing some fantastical sponges: “;It looks like something out of Dr. Seuss.”;

Kudos, crew! “;Oh, the places you'll go! Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you.”;



Chilly Chicago or sunny Hawaii?

Chicago feels abandoned by President Barack Obama.

Since relinquishing his role as the junior senator from Illinois, Obama and his family spent Thanksgiving at the White House, took his summer vacation at Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, are headed again for his childhood home on Oahu and like Camp David, spending only the Valentine's Day weekend at the windy city.

Obama said before his inauguration that he would revisit Chicago “;at least every six weeks or couple months.”; Who can blame him for going back on his word in this case?