For a year, six people lived inside a small dome on the desolate side of a volcano on Mauna Loa, Hawaii. The aim of the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) was to approximate life on Mars (albeit with much more surface gravity). This week, the team stepped out of the dome and National Geographic's Nadia Drake took a tour:
Inside the 1,200-square-foot habitat, they dealt with a 20-minute communications delay, limited water supplies, and a few strict house rules. But as we saw on a recent tour, this habitat is the lap of luxury for Martian hopefuls. And if this two-story house were on the earthbound market, it would be a total steal, considering that room, board, and utilities are all free....
Itching for some entertainment? The living room has a bookshelf full of Russian language guides, DVDs, astronaut jigsaw puzzles, and board games, which are perfect for a wild night on the mountain with your five favorite roommates. There’s also a virtual reality setup where you can explore 30 different environments, in addition to creating your own personal getaway.
Finally, Wi-Fi is already installed. Although there’s that pesky 20-minute delay, you can send emails, texts, and video messages, completely Comcast-free.
"Take a Look Inside a House Meant for Mars" (Nat Geo)
photos above and below by Nadia Drake
Taimane, backed by Jonathan and Jazzy, perform at a benefit on Hawai'i's north shore for Music in Elementary Schools -- Tamaine performs her signature flamenco uke style, which goes well beyond gimmick and into a badass, shredding marvel that is as fantastic to watch as it is to listen to. Read the rest
US Representative Mark Takai, a Democrat from Hawaii, formally requested that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan permit the wearing of Aloha shirts on the House floor on Fridays. The longstanding House dress code is "business attire." Aloha Friday has been a custom in Takai's native state since the 1960s.
"The Aloha shirt is a tangible symbol of the Aloha Spirit - it embraces diversity, inclusion and friendliness that pervades throughout the State of Hawaii," Takai wrote in his letter to Ryan. "Embracing the Aloha shirt will allow members to embrace the Aloha Spirit - something that Washington could use a little more of."
After a peaceful nap three decades long, Mauna Loa seems to be stirring. "While there are no signs of impending eruption, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has recorded an increased level of seismic activity on the flanks and summit of Mauna Loa over the past 13 months," reports Big Island Now. "Four distinct earthquake swarms — clusters of earthquakes occurring closely in time and location — have occurred since March 2013."
Mauna Loa is "one of five volcanoes that form the Island of Hawaii in the U.S. state of Hawaiʻi in the Pacific Ocean, [and] the largest subaerial volcano in both mass and volume, historically considered the largest volcano on Earth."
From a Wired Science blog post by Erik Klemetti, assistant professor of Geosciences at Denison University.
As of right now, there is little evidence of deformation or increasing carbon dioxide or sulfur dioxide emissions from Mauna Loa — all key signs that an eruption might be about to start at a shield volcano like Mauna Loa. HVO also notes that the earthquake activity is much less intense now that it was in the years just prior to the 1984 activity. Remember, lava flows from Mauna Loa are definitely a hazard for people living between the volcano and Hilo and Hawaii has been preparing for the volcano’s awakening. Nothing is going on right now, but you can get quite a view from the webcams set up at the Mokuʻāweoweo summit area.
Before Edward Snowden went on the run and effected the first-ever leak of documents from the NSA, he threw a cryptoparty in Hawai'i, coordinating with Runa Sandvik from the Tor Project and Asher Wolf from the Cryptoparty movement to plan an event where everyday people were taught to use crypto. He gave a lecture for his neighbors on Truecrypt, and told people that he ran at least two Tor exist nodes to help people keep their anonymous traffic moving (Boing Boing also runs a Tor exit node). Apparently, his girlfriend videoed the event -- I'd love to see it!
Read the rest
Snowden used the Cincinnatus name to organize the event, which he announced on the Crypto Party wiki, and through the Hi Capacity hacker collective, which hosted the gathering. Hi Capacity is a small hacker club that holds workshops on everything from the basics of soldering to using a 3D printer.
“I’ll start with a casual agenda, but slot in additional speakers as desired,” write Cincinnatus in the announcement. “If you’ve got something important to add to someone’s talk, please share it (politely). When we’re out of speakers, we’ll do ad-hoc tutorials on anything we can.”
When the day came, Sandvik found her own way to the venue: an art space on Oahu in the back of a furniture store called Fishcake. It was filled to its tiny capacity with a mostly male audience of about 20 attendees. Snowden spotted her when she walked in and introduced himself and his then-girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, who was filming the event.
I've been work-cationing in Hawaii for the past week, meeting lots of interesting people and experiencing so many amazing places around the islands. One of the interesting people I've met here is David Chatsuthiphan, a photographer who runs Unreal Hawaii, a great blog about outdoor adventure and outdoor lifestyle in Hawaii. Check out this dazzling photo-essay he shot about one of many hikes you can take here on Oahu, at a spot where rocky cliffs meet the sea and form interesting sea arches and swirling blue pools.
"Oahu Rock Bridge and Sea Cliffs" [unrealhawaii.com]
Update: Ackpht, in the comments:
There was a descendant of Dwight whose speed was much faster than light she went out to play with the dolphins one day and returned on the previous night.Woowoo density goes to infinity - Boing Boing Read the rest
August is one of the best months for aficionados of the form, with the Aloha Festival in San Francisco and the annual Hawaii Slack Key Guitar Festival in Honolulu. I posted a couple of examples from this month's events below.