Hawai'i emergency notification system password revealed in photo about problems with Hawai'ian emergency notification system

Hawai'ians and the rest of the world want to understand why they were warned of their imminent demise -- what kind of bad design choices could allow such a thing to happen? Read the rest

Bad design: This is the menu where a wrong click triggered the Hawaii missile alert Saturday

Honolulu Civil Beat tweeted this image of the menu page where an Emergency Management Agency employee accidentally clicked the wrong item and triggered a public emergency missile alert.

According to Honolulu Civil Beat, "The operator clicked the PACOM (CDW) State Only link. The drill link is the one that was supposed to be clicked... The BMD False Alarm link is the (newly) added feature to prevent further mistakes." Read the rest

Best friends for 60 years learn they're biological brothers through DNA site

This is a truly heartwarming story.

As a way to find his father, a man in Hawaii took an Ancestry.com DNA test. He soon discovered he shared the same birth mother as someone else using the site: his best friend of 60 years.

Now in their 60s, Walter Macfarlane and Alan Robinson of Oahu recently learned that they are half-brothers. The men, both born and raised in Hawaii, are 15 months apart in age and used to play football together in high school. Macfarlane says that he and Robinson have been playing cribbage together all their lives.

KHON reports:

Macfarlane never knew his father, and Robinson was adopted.

With the help of his family, Macfarlane searched for answers over the years through the internet and social media with no luck so they turned to family DNA matching websites.

“So then we started digging into all the matches he started getting,” Cindy Macfarlane-Flores, Macfarlane’s daughter, explained.

At the top of the list of DNA matches was the username Robi737.

The results showed Macfarlane and robi737 had several matches in their DNA including identical X chromosomes.

Here’s where Robinson comes in.

“As a nickname everybody called him Robi and he flew 737s for Aloha Airlines, he was a pilot,” Macfarlane-Flores says.

It turns out Robinson had also used Ancestry.com to find answers about his family.

After a few phone calls back and forth, the men learned they shared the same birth mother.

“It was a shock,” Macfarlane said.

“Yea it was shock, definitely and then we thought about it and compared forearms,” Robinson said.

Read the rest

Track weekly lava changes at a volcano with this helicopter diary

Mick Kalber of Paradise Helicopters takes tourists and photographers up over Pu'u 'O'o's lava lake and other remarkable lava flows each week. For those of us who can go up each week with him, he shares a weekly diary of his favorite moments. Read the rest

Watch some relaxing surfing on Hawaii's famed North Shore

The ocean has been featured prominently in a lot of bad news lately. Here's Morgan Maassen's reminder of how lovely it can be, featuring surfer Stephanie Gilmore. Read the rest

How America's obsession with hula girls almost wrecked Hawai'i

Over at Collectors Weekly, Lisa Hix has just written an incredibly in-depth history of the hula, from its roots as a sacred dance to its kitschy personification as a dashboard doll. For her piece, Hix spoke with Constance Hale, a hula dancer herself, whose new book, The Natives Are Restless, focuses on authentic, 21st-century expressions of the hula.


In his journal, Captain Cook described the Hawaiians’ hula: “Their dances are prefaced with a slow, solemn song, in which all the party join, moving their legs, and gently striking their breasts in a manner and with attitudes that are perfectly easy and graceful.”

In The Natives Are Restless, Hale explains, “To be sexually adept and sensually alive—and to have the ability to experience unrestrained desire—was as important to ancient Hawaiians as having sex to produce offspring. The vital energy caused by desire and passion was itself worshiped and idolized.”

Cook and his men—and the merchants, whalers, artists, and writers who followed—mistook the hula’s sexually charged fertility rituals as a signal the Hawaiians’ youngest and loveliest women were both promiscuous and sexually available to anyone who set foot on their beaches. In her 2012 book Aloha America: Hula Circuits Through the U.S. Empire, historian Adria L. Imada explains how natural hospitality of “aloha” culture—the word used as a greeting that also means “love”—made Hawaiians vulnerable to outside exploitation. To Westerners, the fantasy of a hula girl willingly submitting to the sexual desires of a white man represented the convenient narrative of a people so generous they’d willing give up their land without a fight.

Read the rest

Mark Zuckerberg sues over 100 Hawaiians to force them to sell them their ancestral land

In 2015, Mark Zuckerberg (who insists that privacy is dead) bought 100 acres of land around his vacation home in Hawaii to ensure that no one could get close enough to spy on him. Read the rest

Badass cover of "Pipeline" on Hawaiian slack key guitar

Slack key legend Ledward Kaapana not only nails the Dick Dale surfing standard, but he even breaks into "Ghost Riders in the Sky" for good measure. Read the rest

Hydrofoil surfing on open ocean swells

Since hydrofoil surfing was introduced, Kai Lenny has been experimenting with boards and techniques to the point that he can go out in the open ocean and glide across swells for miles without having to compete for waves. Read the rest

Inside a Martian house on Earth

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

Read the rest

Kick-ass flamenco ukulele shredding

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

Congressman requests approval to wear Aloha shirt on Fridays

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."

(AP) Read the rest

NASA's new flying saucer-shaped LDSD Mars lander tech completes second test flight

The saucer-shaped craft that may help NASA do more on Mars splashed down Monday in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of the Hawaiian island of Kaua'i.

Video escape: Lantern-floating ceremony to honor the dead, Honolulu, Hawaii

A beautiful way to honor loved ones who have died.

Watch Paige Alms and other surfing greats tackle insane Hawaiian winter surf

Paige Alms may have caught the greatest big wave barrel ever by a female surfer, thanks to unusual wave angle and nearly nonexistent breeze.

Practicing life on Mars, on a Hawaiian volcano

A team of researchers have been living in a simulated Mars habitat on a Hawaiian volcano for the past 4 months, to better understand what it would be like to live on Mars.

Earth's largest volcano, Mauna Loa on Hawaii's Big Island, awakens from slumber

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.

Check out the USGS report, and don't miss out on those webcams. Read the rest

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