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Lessons

 

 

As I've already mentioned, we might have seen more of the west coast of Hawaii - for example the Captain Cook obelisk - had we spent a night or two over there. 

Like the big island, there are obviously lots of out-of-town things to see on Oahu.  But it's difficult to get out of Waikiki / Honolulu without a car. 

Certainly public transport is cheap around town.  A day bus pass costs $2.50 (correct change only on busses) but the traffic is slow and the stops frequent and then there are the ponderous traffic lights. Why are the cycles so long?  So its interminable to get anywhere.  It's made more difficult to use the busses if you're unfamiliar with the routes.  There are no maps on the busses and several different providers. Using a mobile phone to check Google Maps is a solution but requires mobile data. 

So it's easy to spend an extra hour, beyond the actual travel time, waiting and/or walking to bus stops.  And unlike driving, riding a bus is boring and it's often uncomfortable, particularly if you have to stand.

Uber is an option if you can find an open Wi-Fi spot to call, but it's not really practical for a casual drive around to see what one can see or along the coast or to take a look at pineapples growing.

Looking back we agreed that it was a big mistake not to rent a car on both islands and to simply pay the additional cost of hotel parking in Oahu.  As it was our visit to Pearl Harbour was cut short due to our dependence on a shuttle bus to come and go.  And we would certainly have seen a lot more of the island with a car. 

 

 

 

 

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Travel

Brazil

 

 

In October 2011 our little group: Sonia, Craig, Wendy and Richard visited Brazil. We entered Brazil from Argentina near the Iguassu Falls.

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Fiction, Recollections & News

The Meaning of Death

 

 

 

 

 

 

'I was recently restored to life after being dead for several hours' 

The truth of this statement depends on the changing and surprisingly imprecise meaning of the word: 'dead'. 

Until the middle of last century a medical person may well have declared me dead.  I was definitely dead by the rules of the day.  I lacked most of the essential 'vital signs' of a living person and the technology that sustained me in their absence was not yet perfected. 

I was no longer breathing; I had no heartbeat; I was limp and unconscious; and I failed to respond to stimuli, like being cut open (as in a post mortem examination) and having my heart sliced into.  Until the middle of the 20th century the next course would have been to call an undertaker; say some comforting words then dispose of my corpse: perhaps at sea if I was travelling (that might be nice); or it in a box in the ground; or by feeding my low-ash coffin into a furnace then collect the dust to deposit or scatter somewhere.

But today we set little store by a pulse or breathing as arbiters of life.  No more listening for a heartbeat or holding a feather to the nose. Now we need to know about the state of the brain and central nervous system.  According to the BMA: '{death} is generally taken to mean the irreversible loss of capacity for consciousness combined with the irreversible loss of capacity to breathe'.  In other words, returning from death depends on the potential of our brain and central nervous system to recover from whatever trauma or disease assails us.

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Opinions and Philosophy

Sum; estis; sunt

(I am; you are; they are)

 

 

What in the World am I doing here?

'Once in a while, I'm standing here, doing something.  And I think, "What in the world am I doing here?" It's a big surprise'
-   Donald Rumsfeld US Secretary of Defence - May 16, 2001, interview with the New York Times

As far as we know humans are the only species on Earth that asks this question. And we have apparently been asking it for a good part of the last 100,000 years.

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