Picnic on the Green

It was more of an event than I expected, and a much larger crowd. There were two bands, multiple food trucks and stands, performances by a dojo and a hālau, and of course a bunch of telescopes provided by Keck and the West Hawaii Astronomy Club.

Scott in the Sun
Scott showing folks the Sun with a white light solar filter

Maggie , the school librarian had contacted Keck to see if we could provide a speaker and a few telescopes for viewing. Given the telescopes part the request got passed along to me to get the club’s assistance with the telescopes side.

As usual the club members volunteered quickly, no problem getting enough people and telescopes into place to do the event. As long as the weather held over Waikoloa this would be a good event.

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Kohala Skies

While much of the island focused on events taking place on the slopes of Mauna Kea, we had a better plan for Monday evening… Take some activities, and a couple telescopes out to a local library and share the sky with anyone who came.

Shelly the the Pretty Purple Telescope
Shelly enjoying a view of Jupiter through the PPT

We planned to bring a presentation and activities to the Kohala library. While the gals presented inside we had a couple telescopes setup outside the front door for anyone to enjoy. Thus is was a team of four… Shelly, Kelleen, Scott, and myself that arrived at the library about 5pm.

The drive over the Kohala on the mountain road is often pretty in the late afternoon. This day was no exception, the afternoon lighting the rolling green hills, Haleakala on Maui looming directly ahead of me as I drove.

I do worry about setting up a star party in Kohala as the weather is notoriously fickle and heavy rain squalls can sweep off the ocean very quickly. I was greeted by nearly clear skies, a pleasant surprise that bode well for the evening.

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Online Outrage

What is it about online commenting that enables people to make totally racist and insulting comments?

TMT Protest in Waimea
A protest against TMT in Waimea, May 27, 2015
This is something I have been seeing all too often in the recent round of local controversies. This is nothing new, we all know and see it if we participate at all in online forums. But I can not just let it slide, I cringe every time.

I make a point of following the pro/anti TMT issue. It is an issue that reveals some of the simmering tensions here in the islands, among those are issues of race and cultural identity.

You cannot reason with zealots. They deify a pile of rocks and worship a mythical past which was in reality a Hobbesian fantasm of violence, disease and poverty. – Richard Johnson Esq. in a Civil Beat comment

I have neglected to include the most egregious comments here, they are just too rude for me to re-post. You will just have to settle for the moderately insulting comments here. Want to see the worst? Just wait for another TMT article in the local press and read the comments.

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