Brief asides


POSTED: Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Maybe monk seals like being around people


“;OMG i'm near hnl, not nwhi, where R u? Frm ur pal da Seal”;

If monk seals could text, that might be one message zapped back to scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric, who are using cell-phone-like devices to track the endangered critters. Researchers are trying to find out why the population is growing around the main Hawaiian Islands but declining in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands.

The new $4,000 device, glued to the seal's back, send back messages via cell phone towers to scientists, who can record a location every time the animal surfaces with data such as water pressure, depth, temperature and salinity. Scientists get a text message with the info, which can be configured into maps of the animals' behavior.


“;G2G, ttyl. THX 4 caring. C u in da sea. LOL”;


It's (not) the end of the world as we know it

Thank goodness! The world is definitely not coming to an end. That's the word from Bob Holdsworth, an expert in tectonics at Durham University in northern England, talking about the recent tectonic disasters in Haiti, Chile and Turkey. Basically, earthquakes are occurring about as often as usual, so we don't have to worry there. Alas, though, more people are dying from earthquakes because populations in developing countries, especially, have moved to cities near fault lines where they live in poorly constructed buildings. Disaster and earthquake experts predict the problem will worsen as population growth continues.


High hopes for “;Hawaii Five-0”;

For a lot of folks, the highlight of watching “;Hawaii Five-0”; reruns is spotting the local talent (”;Hey, that's Joe Moore!”;). And since the original series was so successful, airing from 1968 to 1980, there was plenty of opportunity for local actors to make their marks. Let's hope the CBS remake now shooting its pilot on Oahu enjoys similar success, and that Hawaii sustains its long history of hosting popular TV shows that bring the islands jobs and valuable exposure.