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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

Japan

 

 

 

 

In the second week of May 2017 our small group of habitual fellow travellers Craig and Sonia; Wendy and I; took a package introductory tour: Discover Japan 2017 visiting: Narita; Tokyo; Yokohama; Atami; Toyohashi; Kyoto; and Osaka.  

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Fiction, Recollections & News

The McKie Family

 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

 

This is the story of the McKie family down a path through the gardens of the past that led to where I'm standing.  Other paths converged and merged as the McKies met and wed and bred.  Where possible I've glimpsed backwards up those paths as far as records would allow. 

The setting is Newcastle upon Tyne in northeast England and my path winds through a time when the gardens there flowered with exotic blooms and their seeds and nectar changed the entire world.  This was the blossoming of the late industrial and early scientific revolution and it flowered most brilliantly in Newcastle.

I've been to trace a couple of lines of ancestry back six generations to around the turn of the 19th century. Six generations ago, around the turn of the century, lived sixty-four individuals who each contributed a little less 1.6% of their genome to me, half of them on my mother's side and half on my father's.  Yet I can't name half a dozen of them.  But I do know one was called McKie.  So, this is about his descendants; and the path they took; and some things a few of them contributed to Newcastle's fortunes; and who they met on the way.

In six generations, unless there is duplication due to copulating cousins, we all have 126 ancestors.  Over half of mine remain obscure to me but I know the majority had one thing in common, they lived in or around Newcastle upon Tyne.  Thus, they contributed to the prosperity, fertility and skill of that blossoming town during the century and a half when the garden there was at its most fecund. So, it's also a tale of one city.

My mother's family is the subject of a separate article on this website. 

 

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Opinions and Philosophy

Discovery of the Higgs boson

 

 

Perhaps the most important physics discovery of my lifetime has finally been announced.  I say 'finally' as its existence has been predicted by the 'Standard Model' for a long time and I have already mentioned this possibility/probability in an earlier article on this website (link).

Its confirmation is important to everyone, not just to physicists working in the field of quantum mechanics.  Like the confirmation of the predictions of Einstein's Theory of Relativity we are now confronted with a new model of reality that has moved beyond an esoteric theory to the understanding that this is how the Universe actually is; at least as far as the Standard Model goes.

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