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Monday, July 4, 2016

HAPPY 240TH BIRTHDAY AMERICA!

Yes, I promised yesterday that I would continue my quest to further share with you the cutting edge of genetic engineering.  However, this is Independence Day, our 240th birthday, a time to celebrate freedom, liberty and things patriotic.  Here are my previous July 4th postings:

  • 2008:  Declaration of Energy Independence
  • 2009:  History, fireworks and the Sea-Based X-Band Radar
  • 2010:  Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest and finding my wallet
  • 2011:  Maybe not too respectful, but the lighter side of this day.  Worth a click.
  • 2012:  Bali to Singapore to Sydney...okay, not exactly the USA, but I was on one of my grand adventures.
  • 2013:  A lot of history, but mostly, all those fireworks and concerts.
  • 2014:  How's this for a title--Hot Dogs, Fireworks, Haboobs and Gina Lollobrigida (Why?  You will need to click on that posting to find out.)
  • 2015:  More hot dogs, the Royal Hawaiian Band, more concerts and Diamond Head
Anyway, aren't you glad, being now the United States of America, we will not directly suffer from BREXIT?  It was from Great Britain that we gained our independence.

Unlike the UK, all seems well with the USA, and POTUS 45 should not be Donald Trump, for most betting odds have him at 20%, with Hillary Clinton an overwhelming 80%.  Yet, it makes me uncomfortable that 75% of gamblers in the UK placed money agains BREXIT...or felt that their country would vote no on exiting.

So what will you do today?  I have my annual patriotic BBQ with Betsy, Harvey and our friends (see below).  15 Craigside has its own BBQ, but cooked in the kitchen.  On television, the finals of Wimbledon are next week, same for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.  So what is left at night is to watch those concerts (stations and times are for Hawaii) with fireworks:
  • Macy's Fireworks (7 PM KHNL):  This is Year 40 for New York City, with the largest fireworks show in the country, synchronized with a musical score featuring the U.S. Air Force Band and Broadway star Jennifer Holliday, starting at 1925 EDT (1:35 PM, Hawaii time, but delayed on TV) for 25 minutes, two sites along the East River, between 23rd and  37th Streets and below the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • A Capitol Fourth (7:30 PM KHET):  Concert on the Mall, with Smokey Robinson, Kenny Loggins, Jackie Evancho, (right), and much more, ending with that most patriotic of fireworks shows starring the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial and Lincoln Memorial, to Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.
  • Boston Pops Fireworks (8 PM KGMB):  Hosted by Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato, half a million spectators are expected, and the finale is always the 1812 with fireworks over the Charles River.  This could be the final one, for many cities are cutting back, some with less noisy displays, and philanthropist David Mugar is stepping down after 43 years running the Boston show.  No replacement (for this $2 million/year) has yet been found for next year.
Can't leave Hawaii out of this list:
  • Oahu
    • Honolulu:  Ala Moana Center Centerstage entertainment from 3-6 PM, followed by fireworks at Ala Moana Beach Park around 8:30PM, with accompanying soundtrack on FM 92.3 KSSK, this year featuring something new--a waterfall.
    • North Shore:  Turtle Bay Resort at 8PM, with a Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival starting at 2:30 PM.
    • Schofield Barracks:  45th annual Fourth of July Spectacular, a two-day event, open only to the military.
    • Kailua:  starting with a parade at 10 AM
  • Maui
    • Lahaina:  Front Street, with fireworks at 8 PM.
  • Kauai
    • Kekaha:  activities from 4-9:30 PM, with fireworks
    • Lihue:  festivities from 4-9:30PM, ending with their 27th Annual Concert in the Sky
  • Big Island
    • Mauna Lani Bay Hotel:  Turtle Independence Day (release of juvenile Hawaii Green Turtles) at 10:30 AM.
    • Hilo Bay Blast, with the Hawaii County Band concert at 7PM and fireworks at 8PM.
    • Volcano Village Parade at 9 AM., followed by festival.
    • Kailua-Kona Independence Day Parade at 6PM and fireworks at 8PM.
    • Waikoloa Family Fourth, with fireworks at 8PM.
    • Parker Ranch Annual July 4th Horseraces and Rodeo.
How can I end without reporting on Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, which was re-captured by Joey Jaws Chestnut, swallowing a record 70 hot dogs  (mind you, in ten minutes):


My freshman roomy, Jim Seger, will need to explain this to me some day, but both Jaws and #2 Matt Stonie, are from San Jose.  Miki Sudo retained her women's title with 38 dogs, to Sonya the Black Widow Thomas at 34:


There must be some Asian gene trait at advantage here, as Miki (right) is hapa Japanese and the Black Widow is Korean.  Incidentally, the pre-knosh weight of Thomas (left) was 99 pounds, while Sudo weighed in at 125 pounds.

Tomorrow I will report on some historic events that occurred this week in history.  Then, for sure, on Wednesday, CRISPR.

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Here is a photo of the annual 4th of July BBQ hosted by Betsy and Harvey Lee:


The disconcerting thing about this photo is the absence of several regulars:  two prominent members of the local community, Willy Lee and Mack Hamada (right), very recently passed away,  another just came down with a serious clot problem.  Mack was a prominent lawyer and official in town, while Willy and Harvey were leaders of the Forgotten Five, no doubt the best basketball team ever fielded by the University of Hawaii comprised of local players during the 1950's.  Willy later played with the Harlem Globetrotters.

So, anyway, I decided to walk home, and took these photos:


The Jacaranda remains in bloom across the street from 15 Craigside.

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There are two hurricane force ocean storms in the Pacific.  West of Mexico, and headed for Hawaii, is Hurricane Blas at 70 MPH, with an expectation of attaining Category 3 status:


The good news is that Blas should weaken long before it gets close to Hawaii.  However, in the West Pacific, Nepartak is just about to reach typhoon strength, and will strengthen into a Category 4 (131-155 MPH) just about when the eye is currently projected to track between Taiwan and Okinawa:


Chances are that there will be some deviation by Friday.  Either way will be disastrous.

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