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Comment Bathymetric map of the Hawaiian Islands (Score 4, Informative) 44

Zoom in on the Hawaiian archipelago; de-selecting multibeam bathymetry surveys and switching the base map to "Shaded Relief (GEBCO_08) will give
you a nice image of what the chain looks like under water. Kaena Pt is the westermost tip of the island of Oahu. Also note that Maui Nui was once a much
larger island, encompassing Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe. Loihi is visible to the the southeast of the island of Hawaii.

Submission + - Decommissioning San Onofre may take decades (

gkndivebum writes: Southern California Edison has elected to decommission the San Onofre nuclear plant after a failed effort to upgrade the steam generation system. "Nuclear economics" is the reason stated for the proposed decommissioning. Other utilities operating nuclear power plants in the US likely face similar decisions when it comes to weighing the costs of upgrading older facilities. Allowing the reactors to remain in "safe storage" for a period of up to 60 years will allow for radioactive decay and lower radiation exposure for the workers performing the demolition.

Comment Re:Seems Odd To Me (Score 1) 367

You bring up a good point.

The MLO is located 34KM WNW from and well above the summit of Kilauea. The primary volcanic emissions plume from Kilauea is driven by trade winds which blow mostly from the NE, and because of the topography of the Big Island most of that plume will bypass the observatory. However, there has to be some effect from it; the question is how much?

FWIW, I live on the Kona side of the Big Island and get to enjoy the effects of Kilauea's vog (volcanic smog) more than would like.

Submission + - Fusion-powered rocket for manned Mars mission 1

gkndivebum writes: Principal investigator John Slough from the University of Washington has secured second round funding from NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts Program to expand on their work using magnetic fields to implode metal rings over a magnetically-confined plasma, compressing it to a fusion state. The superheated and ionized metal from the implosion would be used as a propellant via a rocket nozzle. Their proposal is discussed here (PDF).

Submission + - HP Chairman Raymond Lane Steps Down (

gkndivebum writes: The latest casualty from the ill-fated acquisition of British company Autonomy by HP appears to be Raymond Lane, who was recently re-elected by only 58.8% of shareholders. Mr. Lane will remain on the board with activist shareholder Ralph Whitworth as interim chairman. It will be interesting to see where the "evolution" of the board as articulated by Mr. Whitworth leads.

Comment Re:Altitude Sickness... (Score 1) 80

I am going to assume that was Mauna Kea and not Mauna Loa. There is a road to the summit of the former, paved part of the way, for the people who work at the observatories up there. There is a 4WD unpaved "road" part way up the slope of Mauna Loa but no vehicular access to the summit.

Rental car companies don't like having to come collect their vehicles from Mauna Kea after people have destroyed the brakes in them riding them all the way down the hill (or having negative interactions with invisible cows at lower elevations).

FWIW when I make trips to the summit I bring oxygen, and spend an hour or so at the Visitor Information Station at 9300 feet before heading up to the summit.

Working at altitude can be deceptively difficult -- an acquaintance who works at the summit describes a conversation he had which went something along the lines of "Well, I've cut it three times and it's still too short". Low PO2 isn't good for higher cognitive function.

Comment HI - Kona - choice of paper or electronic (Score 1) 821

No waiting - choice of paper or electronic. Most people opting for paper (as I did). Process was pretty painless;
in addition to the federal election there are some choices for local stuff: state senator and representative, trustees
for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, county mayor and prosecuting attorney; some proposed state constitutional
amendments and several Hawaii County charter amendments.

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