Friday, February 22, 2013

Living on Lava

The Big Island (Hawaii) is one giant pile of lava from five different volcanoes. The large one, slightly below center in the photo, is Mauna Loa and it is still an active volcano. You can see streaks of old lava flows spreading out from the summit. Mauna Kea, the slightly higher volcano above center, is now dormant.1 The active volcano that tourist visit is Kilauea, below and to the right on Mauna Lao.

We are staying at the Hilton resort in Waikaloa. It is built on the lava flow from 1859 where it spilled into Kiholo bay [The 1859 eruption of Mauna Loa and its human impact].

This is the dry side of the island and the surrounding area is very desert-like. As you can see from the photo I took (below), the resort area is not desert at all. That lush vegetation requires constant watering. (I don't know were the water comes from.) You can also see the parts of the lava flow that have not been transformed. It's very impressive to see it up close.

The photos are from the balcony of our apartment. When we woke up today there was snow on the top of the mountain. The temperature here is about 30°C (or 86°F for the only major country that isn't metric.2)







[Hat Tip: Ms. Sandwalk took the photos of snow-capped Mauna Loa with her telephoto lens.
1. That's where the Hawaiian observatories are located.
2. Liberia and Burma are the other two countries that aren't metric.

13 comments :

  1. I do hope you go looking for i'iwi and 'apapane. The Kilauea area is pretty good for that. Nene too, and there are usually tropicbirds in Kilauea crater.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I do hope you plan to visit Kealakekua Bay Marine Sanctuary.
    It's great snorkeling, the 3 times I've been there I've seen sea turtles and I only know of one tourist who was taken by a shark. If you don't snorkel you can rent a kayak. Of course you're on the wrong side of the airport but you might fit it in with your visit to volcanoes national park if you get up early enough.

    ReplyDelete
  3. about encode
    http://gbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/02/20/gbe.evt028.full.pdf+html

    ReplyDelete
  4. As Dave Barry (newspaper humor columnist) has noted, the U.S. has adopted metric only insofar as 9 mm ammo is popular.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to wikipedia "... in June 2011, the Burmese government's Ministry of Commerce began discussing proposals to reform the measurement system in Burma and adopt the metric system used by most of its trading partners."

      Soon there will be only two countries that aren't metric.

      Delete
    2. Don't tell anyone, but the UK isn't really metric. Miles are alive and well on all road signs, you can still ask for a pound of apples without being carted off to a correctional facility, and many weather forecasters still give the old farts Fahrenheit!

      Delete
    3. At least you haven't lost a space probe worth half a billion dollars because of a metric/Imperial mixup.

      Delete
    4. Having lived through the Canadian imperial to metric switch, I'm completely schizophrenic, my indoor furnace thermostat is set to Fahrenheit, my choice of outdoor apparel is based on the Celsius temperature, food shopping is an unholy mix of pounds, kilograms, litres and ounces, travel is based on kilometers and kilometers/hour, fuel efficiency is in miles/gallon and I've given up on barometric pressure.

      Delete
    5. fuel efficiency is in miles/gallon

      Strangely, here in Poland we are interested in fuel consumption (measured in L/100km, the lower the better) rather than fuel efficiency.

      Delete
    6. Years ago the radio commentator Eric Sevareid did a cranky opinion piece saying that if the U.S. went metric we would have to say, instead of "penny-wise, pound-foolish", "penny-wise kilogram-foolish". He never noticed that he had refuted himself: the original saying preserved two measures that were long obsolete in the U.S. The smallest U.S. coin is not officially a "penny", but a cent, and the "pound" (not a unit of weight anyway) was last an official unit of currency here in the 1700s. They saying continued on, anyway.

      Delete
    7. The Polish equivalent of a brass farthing (out of circulation in the UK since 1960) is złamany szeląg 'a broken shilling' (we had them as a currency in the 17th century). Sayings don't go metric.

      Delete
    8. At least you haven't lost a space probe worth half a billion dollars because of a metric/Imperial mixup.

      Yikes! That's a disaster almost on a par with the time a butcher gave me twice as much meat as I really wanted ...

      Delete
  5. it's looking very nice.how nice creation of God.thanks for share with us.
    Visalus

    ReplyDelete