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Friday, February 15, 2013


A year ago I reflected on my past in decadel increments.  While I'm not a fan of astrology and don't believe the fact that I was born a Dragon means anything, I have tracked my life, more specifically in twelve year periods, and now that the Snake replaces the Dragon this year, it seems convenient to review these cycles and speculate on the final phase of my life:

0-12     I was born in Honolulu and must have considered dentistry at an early age.  I once thought there was a real Santa Claus and ended up not believing in God.

13-24   Did well at McKinley High School, went on to Stanford University, joined the sugar industry, got married and spent six months in the U.S. Army.  

25-36   Earned my PhD in biochemical engineering from LSU and joined the University of Hawaii faculty.  Worked on laser fusion at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for Edward Teller and Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) at the NASA Ames Research Center, where my proposal for directly detecting extrasolar planets was bypassed in favor of indirect techniques, mostly having to do with star wobbles.  I still think the Planetary Abstracting Trinterferometer (PAT) makes more sense, for you not only find the planet, but also determine the atmospheric composition.

37-48   Spent three years with the U.S. Senate and assisted Carl Sagan get their initial funding for SETI.  I also assisted in drafting the original bills on Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion, Wind Energy and Hydrogen, all becoming law.  Dean Paul Yuen and I, with the involvement of UH presidents (Fujio Matsuda and Al Simone), Hawaii Governors (George Ariyoshi and Ben Cayetano) and three U.S. Senators (Spark Matsunaga, Dan Inouye and Dan Akaka), invented the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research, which succeeded in gaining net positive for OTEC at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority and built a facility on Maui to attempt to produce methanol from biomass

49-60   This was by far the most productive period of my life, where as director of the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute we became the National Science Foundation Marine Bioproducts Engineering Center, U.S. Department of Energy Hydrogen Education and Research Center and Department of Interior Marine Minerals Technology and Environment Center.  The concept of the Blue Revolution was created.  I am standing  here in front of a bioreactor at our Look Lab test site.  I gave talks in more than a dozen countries and reached 2 million miles with United Airlines.

61-72    My most enjoyable period, for I was fully retired, golfed an average of twice/week (even at the Old Course at St. Andrews, followed the next day at Carnoustie), went to about a movie a week and maintained an office at the Manoa Campus of the UH, where I wrote three books (SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Planet Earth, SS for Humanity and SS Essays) and posted more that 100 articles in the Huffington Post.  

Pearl and I took several trips and three cruises:

My favorite wife and favorite tie.  After Pearl passed away I traveled the world several times, dropping her ashes off at 43 sites, including the Taj Majal, Mount Kilimanjaro and Machu Picchu.  

73-84   For the coming year I have scheduled my ultimate global journey next month and am planning a second world trip to enjoy the Fall colors in Japan, board a Tauck River Cruise in Europe and participate in an OTEC conference in Sweden for Africa.  This will be the Autumn version of my Spring adventure last year.   By the end of that trip I will have laid Pearl's ashes at 50 locations, and should publish my fourth book, an electronic version of PEARL'S ASHES.  By the end of this phase Pearl's Gold Tree should be blooming on the Mauka side of the Ala Wai Canal.  My fifth book could be a novel on THE VENUS SYNDROME.  I have already volunteered my retirement from the Huffington Post and could well soon end this daily blog the day of my fifth anniversary, 29April2008.  One needs to move on and find new things to do.  My final and best phase of my life is now beginning.


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