Tag Archives: Hawaii

“Island Earth” is an Eye-Opening Look into Hawaii as the Epicenter for Food Reform

“The land is our chief and we are its servants; if we take care of this land, it will take care of us,” Hawaii native Malia Chun reservedly proclaims over the Waimea Valley on Oahu’s North Shore.

As she stands atop a dramatic overlook with her family, the opening scene of Island Earth unfolds into a multifaceted conversation about the future of farming with new issues at every turn.

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Surf Shacks is a Look into the Eclectic Homes of Iconic Surfers

Surfing is a freaking way of life. If you’ve ever met a hardcore surfer, odds are you wanted to swap lives with him, or at the very least become his BFF. That’s because these guys and gals live and breathe the lifestyle— from the way they style (or don’t style) their hair, to the beach “shacks” they call home.

And there’s an important lesson we can take from watching them live: All we really need to survive is a passion and a cozy shack to call home.

Surf-Shack Cover

That’s the reason we love Surf Shacks ($60), a new book put together by the surf-centric blog Indoek and publisher Gestalten that chronicles some of the most visually pleasing homes of legendary surfers.

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Hawaii Leads US States in Well-Being for Record Sixth Time

  • Hawaii has highest well-being scores in three of five well-being elements
  • Alaska among top two well-being states for third straight year
  • West Virginia is lowest well-being state for eighth straight year

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hawaii residents had the highest well-being in the nation in 2016, with the state reaching the top spot for the sixth time since Gallup and Healthways began tracking well-being in 2008. Alaska finished in the top two for the third consecutive year, while Colorado finished in the top 10 for the ninth straight year and joins Hawaii as the only two states to earn this distinction.

States With 10 Highest Well-Being Scores, 2016
State Well-Being Index Score
Hawaii 65.2
Alaska 64.0
South Dakota 63.7
Maine 63.6
Colorado 63.5
Vermont 63.5
Arizona 63.4
Montana 63.2
Minnesota 63.2
Texas 63.1

Continue reading Hawaii Leads US States in Well-Being for Record Sixth Time

15 Gorgeous Vacation Spots Proving Heaven Is a Place on Earth

1. Villajoyosa, Alicante, Spain


2. Cimon della Pala, Dolomites, Italy


3. Trolltunga, Odda, Norway


4. Bermuda


5. Khao Phing Kan, Thailand


6. Kauapea Beach, Kauai, Hawaii


7. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming


8. Nugget Point Lighthouse, New Zealand


9. Derweze, Turkmenistan


10. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Australia


11. Chapada Diamantina National Park, Brazil


12. Bora Bora, French Polynesia


13. Fairy Pools, Drynoch, Scotland


14. Havasupai Falls, Grand Canyon National Park


15. The Sand Dunes of Namibia


The Five Most Physically Challenging Hikes In The USA

We’ll always love a lazy stroll, but if you’ve been training relentlessly all winter and are up for an adventure, then here are five physically challenging hikes in the United States that should do just the trick.

1—Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii

Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii

If looks could kill, few would last more than a few minutes on this dreamy 11-mile stretch of the lush Na Pali Coast on Hawaii’s remote Kauai Island. Instead, a few other features of this picture-perfect hike could lead to your early death. Like the narrow trail that ventures through five different Hawaiian valleys, hugging 4000-foot high volcanic cliffs over the Pacific Ocean. Scary, but it becomes downright horrifying by adding just a little moisture, which turns the earthy path into a pissed off slip and slide. And the trail just so happens to be littered with waterfalls on top of three flash-flood prone jungle rivers. In April 2014, these floods caused 121 hikers to be rescued in just one day. While you’re navigating the precarious path praying for no rain, you’ll also have to mind the locals. There’s a community of not-always-so-happy-to-see-you hippies that have long lived by the trail; in December 2012, one tossed a Japanese tourist off a cliff. And fun fact: The 2009 Mila Jovovich horror film, A Perfect Getaway, was set along the trail. If you make it, the reward is handsome—the impossibly perfect secluded beaches of Hanakapi’ai and Kalalau. Seasoned hikers can do the trail in a day, but most will need to camp out at one of the two pre-approved campsites.

2—Half Dome Cable Route, Yosemite National Park, California

Half Dome Cable Route, Yosemite National Park. Credit:  Flickr User Mark Doliner

There are few peaks in the United States more iconic than Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. The Granite peak reaches nearly 5000 feet above the valley floor and has flat-surfaced top with views that have shown up in Ansel Adams’ artwork. For the most part, the 14-mile round trip trail is a moderate hike—steep, but not technical. It gets sheisty at the last 400 feet, where since 1919, two meager metal cables, have allowed hikers to climb up to the top. No ladder. No railings, No safety equipment. The cable route can get crowded, despite the need for a permit (on weekends) and every year there are rescues and sometimes deaths (the last happening in 2011). The biggest threat, park rangers say, is from quick forming lightening storms that have the ability to fry anyone whose misfortune places them on the metal cables at the wrong time.

3—Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon, Arizona

Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon Arizona

Take warning in the fact that the park service staffs something called Preventative Search and Rescue (PSAR) whose sole purpose is to urge the unprepared to get off the Bright Angel trail. They also man water stations for overheated hikers along this popular 4,380 feet deep, 9.5 round trip rim to river trail in the Grand Canyon and still there are over 200 rescues a year. A few things hikers regularly forget? There’s little shade along the way and temperatures increase as you descend into the canyon, regularly reaching the 110 mark. In case you miss someone from the PSAR, there are also signs in every imaginable language warning hikers of the treacherous hike. If you must walk down the Grand Canyon, bring some water, your own shade, start early and rest often. Don’t be that dude.

4—Devil’s Path, Catskills, New York

Devil's Path New York. Photo Credit, Flickr User Miguel Vieira

Less than two hours drive from Manhattan is one of the country’s most underrated treks—25 miles of gorgeous Catskills views, waterfalls, wildlife and a whole lot of scaling of slippery, rocky walls. It may seem quaint by Rocky Mountain standards, but the trail includes steep, vertical climbs where you’re only holding onto tree roots. It meanders across seven peaks (including the famed Indian Head peak) at a grueling, 14,000 feet in combined elevation. Taken piece by piece, the trail is moderate, but attacking it all at once can be downright deadly. Deaths and rescues are a regular part of this trail’s landscape.

5—The Maze, Canyonlands, Utah

The Maze, Canyonlands, Utah. Photo Credit, Flickr User Mike Renlund

This superheated playground of sandstone fins is the most inaccessible part of Canyonlands National Park in Utah. You need a high clearance 4X4 vehicle to take you the 45 miles down a trecherous dirt path past the ranger station just to get to the trail head. Enter without a topographical map and GPS (and the ability to use them) and you may never find your way out of the mess of dead end valleys. It seems the National Park Service has done a good job at keeping the inexperienced out; despite this being one of the most dangerous hikes in the country, there have been no deaths reported yet. But that could have something to do with the fact that only 1000 or so people attempt this crazy trek every year.

Hawaii sited as home to largest optical telescope TMT

hawaii sited as home to largest optical telescope TMT

hawaii’s mauna kea volcano in honolulu is sited as home for the ‘thirty meter telescope‘ (TMT). the large-scale project is lead by a team of engineers, scientists and project specialists in pasadena, california who have been working together to develop the world’s most advanced and most powerful optical telescope,

world's largest telescope TMT designboom the inner workings of the TMT

serving as a tool for investigating a range of topics related to our solar system including: stereoscopic exploration of the dark ages; galaxies and large-scale structures in the young universe offering detailed spectroscopic analysis of galaxies and subgalactic fragments during the epoch of galaxy assembly; investigating the massive black holes throughout cosmic time; and looking at planet-formation processes and the characterization of extra-solar planets.

world's largest telescope TMT designboom
artit’s concept showing the segmented primary mirror, which has 492 hexagonal segments arranged into a f/1 hyperboloidal mirror

the TMT is a wide-field, alt-az ritchey-chretien telescope with a 492 segment (composed of 492 aspheric, hexagonal-shaped, polished and coated mirror components mounted on passive / active segment support systems), a primary mirror with a diametric measurement of 30-meters, a fully active secondary mirror and articulated tertiary mirror.

world's largest telescope TMT designboom
TMT at dusk

the structure’s 30-meter aperture allows it to render a focus that is sharper than smaller telescopes accomplished through the diffraction of light (also, collecting more light than smaller ones), thus allowing images of fainter objects to appear more pronounced. in addition, TMT reaches a further range than previous designs by a factor of 10 to 100 depending on the observation.

world's largest telescope TMT designboom

the framework of TMT will be comprised of an optical beam that will feed a constellation of adaptive optics (AO) systems and science instruments that are mounted onto nasmyth platforms – arranged around the telescope’s azimuth structure – that will be large enough to support at least eight different AP/instrument combinations (dependent on the exact volume and mass parameters), covering a generous spatial and spectral resolution.

world's largest telescope TMT designboom artist’s illustration of the telescope showing the tertiary mirror in the center of the segmented primary mirror

support facilities within the TMT’s observatory design will maintain and bear these technical systems. the implementation of the adaptive optics system permits a diffraction-limited performance which in essence offers the best that the system’s optics can provide in theory. in return this provides high-sensitivity spatial resolution that is 12 times sharper than what the hubble space telescope achieves.

TMT largest optical telescope
artist concept illustration of the TMT observatory at its proposed mauna kea site in hawaii

the TMT will be housed within a  60-meter diameter ‘calotte’ style dome offers a full range of motion while providing maximum wind protection by virtue of the minimum opening size.

98 vent doors can be opened to provide natural ventilation. construction begins this year, with the TMT enclosure and structure set for completion in 2020.

world's largest telescope TMT designboom

Lava flow from Hawaii volcano just 100 yards from nearest residence

The lava flow from the Kilauea Volcano is seen in a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) image taken near the village of Pahoa, Hawaii, at 10:00HST (20:00GMT) October 26, 2014. REUTERS-U.S. Geological Survey-Handout

Lava flow from the Kilauea volcano that has been creeping toward inhabited areas of Hawaii’s Big Island for months is now just 100 yards (meters) from the nearest residential property, authorities said on Monday.

Residents in the path of the lava have been placed on alert for possible evacuation, and smoke advisories have been issued for downwind areas, the County of Hawaii said in a civil defense alert.

A Hawaii Volcano Observatory geologist maps the margin of the lava flow from the Kilauea Volcano in a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) image taken near the village of Pahoa, Hawaii October 26, 2014. REUTERS-U.S. Geological Survey-Handout

The lava flow, which first bubbled out of the continuously erupting volcano on June 27, came to a standstill in late September, but resumed its slow crawl forward several weeks ago. It has moved about 275 yards since Sunday morning.

The leading edge of the flow, which is about 110 yards wide and spreading, is now heading toward Pahoa village, a historic former sugar plantation consisting of small shops and homes with a population of about 800 people.

A lava flow from the Kilauea Volcano burns through thick vegetation near a cemetery in a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) image taken near the village of Pahoa, Hawaii, at 11:15HST (21:15GMT) October 27, 2014. REUTERS-U.S. Geological Survey-Handout

The civil defense message said the lava was advancing about 10 to 15 yards an hour and that authorities would be monitoring it around the clock. Two roads had been closed.

Crews have been scrambling to build temporary access roads and protect Highway 130, a major route traveled by as many as 10,000 cars a day.

The lava flow from the Kilauea Volcano is seen crossing Apa'a Street-Cemetery Road near the village of Pahoa, Hawaii October 25, 2014.  REUTERS-U.S. Geological Survey-Handout

Without such access roads, some 8,000 people in the Puna district could become “lava-locked” if Highway 130 were to become impassable.

The Kilauea volcano has erupted from its Pu’u O’o vent since 1983. The last home destroyed by lava on the Big Island was at the Royal Gardens subdivision in Kalapana in 2012, according to Big Island Civil Defense.

The lava flow from the Kilauea Volcano is seen advancing across a pasture between the Pahoa cemetery and Apa'a Street, in this U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) image taken near the village of Pahoa, Hawaii October 25, 2014. REUTERS-U.S. Geological Survey-Handout