Blowing Up the New Year

Fireworks Hawai’i is a unique place to ring in the new year for all sorts of reasons. For one thing, we’re one of the most western time zones. By the time you read this, it’ll probably be late morning on January 1st, yet we’ll still have a few minutes to go before the clock strikes midnight :).

The second, and perhaps more noticeable, feature of Hawai’i is our insane celebratory use of fireworks. Due in part to our large Chinese population, Hawai’i is one of the loudest places in the world to be on New Year’s Eve. Don’t believe me? Take a look at these firecrackers from 2000 – and no, this isn’t an unusually large amount.

Stories abound in the local papers about New Year’s fires, asthma problems, and attempts to ban fireworks in Hawai’i. Yet the big, illegal fireworks that our civil servants can’t seem to crack down on still go off (like the one that just hit my roof – think Disneyland-sized mortars in residential neighborhoods, folks). There always seems to be a party in the Pacific Ocean that somehow rivals that cute little glass ball in the Big Apple.

There’s a contemporary Hawaiian song that was popular a few years ago… “You can take the boy from the islands, but not the islands from the boy.” I think if I ever moved away, one of the things I’d miss is the explosions on New Year’s Eve. Despite the pain it causes my ears, I think it would be very different not to experience it.

So wherever you are or wherever you may find yourself in 2004, make the most of every opportunity and every situation. May you find peace and joy in all you do, and may you find God’s aloha in every part of your lives.

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!

(Image courtesy Jon Sullivan.)

From the News

It’s been an interesting news day. A lot of recent articles have caught my attention.

Mad Cow Disease – Despite the fact that parts of the cow infected with mad cow disease may have reached Hawai’i, I haven’t stopped eating meat. (I’m sipping on a Diet Coke from Jack in the Box as I write this.) It’s a little unnerving, but I believe the reports that contamination is unlikely, so I’m not going to worry about it too much.

Is There a Doctor Aboard? – For 67 year-old Dorothy Fletcher, there were 15. The Associated Press reported today that the Liverpool, England native was flying to Florida for her daughter’s wedding. When she suffered a heart attack en route, 15 cardiologists flying to a conference in Orlando rushed to her aid. Despite a five-day hospital stay, Fletcher arrived in time for the nuptials. It sounds like everybody involved will have quite a story for their friends and family…

That’s Sir Tim to You – Tim Berners-Lee, a British physicist, will soon be knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. Currently the head of W3C, Berners-Lee is credited with the creation of a little program called WorldWideWeb in 1990. The rest, as they say, is history. In true form for him, Berners-Lee dedicated the honor to the entire web development community:

This is an honor which applies to the whole Web development community, and to the inventors and developers of the Internet, whose work made the Web possible. I accept this as an endorsement of the spirit of the Web; of building it in a decentralized way; of making best efforts to keep it open and fair; and of ensuring its fundamental technologies are available to all for broad use and innovation, and without having to pay licensing fees.

I would venture to say that content bloggers probably fit into the category of “Web development.” I know that I’m grateful for the Web. I learn so much every time I peruse the pages millions of people have chosen to share with the world.