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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

THE TRUTH ABOUT TIGER BALM

I went golfing today with a colleague from the University of Hawaii, and he said he had been using Tiger Balm for more than half a century, and it works.  At the age of 14 he began to have migraines. and just a dab at his temples, a short rest in bed, and the pain and vision problem were gone.  He said this salve lasts forever, for he has bought several small jars over time, stores them here and there for emergency use, and they all work.  Surprising that he does not keep one in his golf bag.

This piqued my curiosity, for I've long contended that medical proof linking a particular ingredient or more from a sold product promising to cure your ailments was not necessarily all that essential for effectiveness. There is something about a  psychosomatic response that works.  The placebo effect skews medical studies, because the mind is something experimentalists can't factor out of the study.

The preeminent example is a bar of soap placed at the bottom of your bed to prevent leg cramps.  I rank this fix as a modern-day miracle, for there is no scientific proof for something that actually works.  If Snopes is befuddled but approbative, then you might as well also accept this nonsensical solution to be real.  And, incidentally, don't do what that girl is doing.  Place the soap (some say Ivory is best--hooha) in a cloth bag, and safety pin it below the sheet at the bottom of the bed.  You don't need to feel the actual soap if you work your mind right.

Now, it is possible that Tiger Balm does have a key chemical that works for everything:  headaches, aching backs, joint pain from arthritis, muscle stiffness, sinus congestion and mosquito bites, among a thousand other ailments.  Sure sounds like snake oil. 

It turns out that American Snake Oil Frauds in the 1800's actually ran into Chinese water snake liniment dealers, and learned a thing or two.  The Oriental version actually included 20% of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid that is today, with DHA, the key fish oil components that are the nutritional rage today.  Incidentally, snake oil tended to be mineral oil, beef fat, red pepper, turpentine and camphor, or nothing related to snakes, and might have, too, a psychosomatic benefit.

Okay, so what exactly is the history of Tiger Balm?  A product of many millennia from China?  Well, no.  This all started in Burma, now known as Myanmar.  Aw Chu Kin (left) developed this product in the 1870's and passed it on to his sons (gentle tiger and gentle leopard--photo below, with Aw to the left):  Aw Boon-Haw was born in Rangoon in 1882 and migrated to Malaysia in 1926 where he and Aw Boon-Par, who tended to follow his older brother, began selling Tiger Red Balm. Throw in half a dozen marriages, dominant daughters, World War II, Confucianism, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tiger Balm Gardens (also known as Haw Par Villa Gardens, now down to two, in Singapore and China, as the Hong Kong site is closed, but remains as a museum), and you have this miracle lotion that is better than snake oil.


Just what is Tiger Balm, anyway?  Paraffin petrolatum and vaseline infused with camphor, menthol, menthone and oils from mint, eucalyptus, cajuput, cassia and clove.

Where is it sold?  Almost 100 countries, plus, on the internet.  Try Amazon.com.  Ten ounces of Tiger Balm Red Extra Strength Pain Relieving Ointment costs $5, while 19.4 ounces go for $5.90.
Next time I order from Amazon, I'll get the $5 jar.  I've already convinced myself that it should work for whatever ails me.  Stay tuned for my experience.  If Advil cured my flu in two days, just imagine what Tiger Balm can do?

I might add that my University of Hawaii friend indicated that he has held Tiger Balm stock (HAW PAR CORPORATION LTD Common Stock) for some time, and this is part of why he is so rich (well, he didn't quite say it so crassly, and his wife manages their stock profile):


I looked into the future of this stock, and SG Wealth Builder was optimistic.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

15 CRAIGSIDE HOLOHOLO TO KAPOLEI

The 15 Craigside holoholo trips around Oahu on Sunday afternoons are usually to sites frequented by tourists.  Yesterday we went where few of them go:  Kapolei, located 24 miles from Waikiki.


Certainly doesn't look that far, for Diamond Head is even further away than Waikiki, but that whitish line to the bottom of this photo is the Hawaii Rail Transit line at Kapolei:


Kapolei City covers 4 square miles of James Campbell lands, which were in part used for sugar and pineapple, where this very tiny block of the total Ewa purchase in 1890 is now known as the Second City of Oahu.  Named after Pu'uokapolei, an inconspicuous volcanic cinder cone located at the eastern corner of Kapolei Regional Park, as far back as the 13th century, it served as a place of governance.  The Bishop Museum considers this location to be the most sacred and important place in the ahupua'a of Honoluliuli (where was located the largest and longest-used internment camp during World War II, and has gained National Monument Status):


The largest heiau (Hawaiian burial ground) was found here.  However, how times have changed, for in 1920 the rocks from this graveyard were crushed and used as the foundation for Farrington Highway, as well as in irrigation ditches of sugar cane fields.

The Kapolei master plan was first drafted in 1955, and a decade ago had 800 companies and entities providing 25,000 jobs.  The 2010 census showed a population of 15,186 people.  Spellings' Best Places reports Kapolei has a median income of $70,129, compared to the national average of $42,350.  Home ownership rate is 70%.  A few months ago, a 15 Craigside outing took us to Ka Makana Ali'i, a mall with a hundred stores that opened in 2016.  

Image result for the bus logo, honoluluHow's this for stupid planning?  The Kapolei Station terminal of the mass transit system sits about a mile or so away.  Same for the UH's West Oahu campus.  Further, you can't directly take The Bus from Waikiki or Ala Moana Shopping Center to this major shopping site.  The City and County of Honolulu should make this mall the bus transfer center, and see if it is not too late to extend the transit line to this mall.

The University of Hawaii is in the process of expanding the West Oahu campus, which first opened five years ago.  It was eerie, but some of us walked through much of the campus and saw no one.  Not one student, not one employee.  The enrollment is around 3,000 and the average age is a very high 27.  If that sign is over land owned by the university, there will be a lot of room to grow, for the existing buildings now must be almost half a mile away:


The translation is Moving Forward Together.  Below, our guide Tony, Lily and Pat:

Across the parking lot is the new Tokai International University:


James Campbell's mark is all over Kapolei, including the library above.  
  • Born in Ireland in 1826, at the age of 15, was on a whaling vessel, which sunk, resulting in his clinging to debris until he floated to a nearby Tuamotu Island in the Pacific.
  • Captured by natives, was spared only because he talked the chief into using his talents.  Remember, he was still 15.  He escaped to Tahiti, where he lived for several years.
  • Joined another whaling crew at 24 and came to Lahaina, Maui.
  • Ten years later, he got into sugar processing, made a fortune, and bought lands on Maui,Oahu and the Big Island.
  • At the age of 51, married 19-year old Abigail Bright of a Hawaiian aristocratic family.
  • They had eight children, and of the four surviving daughters,  Abigail (same name as mother), married Prince David Kawananakoa (right), and their three children became heirs to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii as the House of Kawananakoa.
  • In 1890 he was derided for purchasing what was termed useless land:  41,000 acres in Ewa, where he found water and made even greater profits in sugar and agriculture, from where derived Kapolei.
  • He and his wife were loyal to Queen Liliuokalani when she was overthrown in 1893.
  • Three years later he was kidnapped in San Francisco and almost did not survive.
  • Four years after that in 1900, he passed away at the age of 74, leaving a $3 million trust (depending how you do the calculation, a sum of $3 million then is worth between $74 million and $2.7 billion today).
  • This trust dissolved in 2007, but was kept largely intact by his 176 beneficiaries.
  • Campbell High School in this region is named after him.
  • The 91 year old Abigail Kawananakoa currently involved in a legal battle is a descendant from the House of Kawananakoa
Interestingly enough, James Campbell is buried right next to 15 Craigside:


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Sunday, November 19, 2017

PLEASE MR. POSTMAN


My posting on 9 November 2017 indicated that some day in the future I would report on who recorded Please Mr. Postman first:  The Beatles or The Marvelettes.  This was a memorable period of my life, for I was getting to be a senior at Stanford and in mid-1962 moved on to my first real job, with the sugar industry in Naalehu on the Big Island of Hawaii, where not only was there no television, but also no radio reception.  Got married and suffered through Army basic training.  These transition periods result in memorable songs.  

There were various girl groups/singers those days hitting #1 on the Billboard Top 100:  The Shirelles with Will You Love Me Tomorrow, Connie Francis / Where the Boys Are (click on THIS to get a flavor of youth immaturity, which could have led to my demise), Sue Thompson / Sad Movies, Dee Dee Sharp / Mash Potato Time, Shelley Fabares / Johnny Angel, Little Eva / The Loco-Motion, Joanie Sommers / Johnny Get Angry and Chiffons / He's So Fine.

Please Mr. Postman thus came in this frenetic year which established my life.  Written by Georgia Dobbins (borrowed an unfinished blues composition of William Garret and, never having any songwriting experience, reshaped it overnight to reflect doo-wop), Freddie Gorman (who, interestingly enough, actually worked as a U.S. Postman), Brian Holland and Robert Bateman, this classic, released by the Marvelettes in 1961 when they were 15 year old high school students in a suburb of Detroit, was the first Motown song to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.   Marvin Gaye played drums on this recording.
The company has had 57 reaching the top, and the final one was twenty years ago. However, in 2008, the latest version of this company released Motown's No. 1 Hits in a box set to celebrate their 50th anniversary.  The announcement indicated that 191 tracks reached #1, plus an additional 10 cover tracks.  There are three new sets left, each for $800 from Amazon.  Motown is synonymous with Detroit, where it was first formed in 1959, but moved to Las Angeles in 1972.

The Marvelettes kept changing, but the original had Gladys Horton (as lead singer), Georgeanne Tillman, Georgia Dobbins, Wanda Young, Wyanetta (Juanita) Coward and Katherine Anderson:


They first called themselves the Casinyets, mostly because they were just beginning and agreed they can't sing yet.  Dobbins, who helped write that song, had to quit because her father forbade her to sing in night clubs. The Marvelettes even lost their name because a New York businessman, Larry Marshak, was first to register it, and promoted other groups touring as The Marvelettes.  The originals had other problems anyway, like drugs, sickness and mental breakdown.  As a result, they have yet to make it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Tillman married Billy Gordon of The Contours, while Young married Bobby Rogers of The Miracles.

What makes Please Mr. Postman particularly notable is because the Beatles recorded it in 1963.  Interesting story on why they chose this song, and note that they were not the first.

However, The Carpenters' cover reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1975.  It has been reported that nine songs have this distinction.  My favorite is Venus, with Shocking Blue (Dutch band) in 1970 and Bananarama (British female trio) in 1986.  Why I can't imagine.

So anyway, I get religious or nostalgic on Sunday.  So to further extol the virtues of living in Purgatory, here is a rainbow scene from the Ala Wai Golf Course on Friday, plus, turning around 180 degrees, a scene in the Waikiki direction:


I took a bath, and it was dark, so I chose to dine indoors on Japanese Wagyu Beef and Otoro Maguro (ahi or yellow-fin tuna) Sashimi, with an assortment of mushrooms:


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Saturday, November 18, 2017

OUR WORLD OF SEXUAL PREDATORS

My Chapter 1 of SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity was entitled, CRIME AND WARS.  Even though the Kindle version only costs $3.99, you don't need to buy the book, for this blog site began serializing that chapter with Ending Crime and War Forever.  However, there was very little about sexual predation in this publication, a depravity that until Harvey Weinstein and religious clerics, was generally shrouded by society.

Two years ago, it was reported that just for U.S. Catholic churches, priest sex abuse had cost them MORE THAN $2.3 BILLION ANNUALLY FOR THE PAST THREE DECADES.  Multiplying those numbers, you get a figure of $69 billion.

Then again, maybe it's not so bad, for USA Today in 2013 reported that there have been 6,905 accused priests since 1950, 16,463 victims and "only" $2.5 billion in settlements.  As the USA has 5% of the world population, you'd need to multiply those above figures by, maybe not 20, but a significant number.

And you know this exploitation has been occurring all throughout history by clerics of every religion.  In some Muslim countries, for example, this could well be accepted practice.  Further, sexual predation is hardly the monopoly of the religious sector.
However, this notoriety somehow never affected predators in other professions, until Harvey Weinstein, who is now up to 80 accusers.  What he did was to remove the shame of victims in the U.S., and, perhaps world, too.  Woody Allen's escapade might have been history, but he does have a new film coming out, and who knows...  Arnold  Schwarzenegger says he is just a naturally rowdy guy.  You couldn't have missed Roman Polanski, Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly, but new in the spotlight:

  • Director James Toback (right), almost 300 women--said they're pathetic liars
  • Author and TV analyst Mark Halperin, 8 accusers--promises to make amends
  • Chef John Besh, more than two dozen--he said everything was consensual
  • Director Oliver Stone (right), whose victims were a Playboy Bunny and actress Patricia Arquette--has not said much in response
  • Former New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier--has apologized to his victims
  • Actor/Director Ben Afleck, groped women on the red carpet, including a reporter--has apologized
  • Former editor of Artforum Knight Landesman, nine--not sure if he, or his victims, wrote an open letter
  • Actor James Woods, tried to pick up on actress Elizabeth Perkins when she was 16 and he was in his 50's--no comment
  • Creator of Nickelodeon Chris Savino, about a dozen--I am deeply sorry and ashamed
  • BOB WEINSTEIN, Harvey's brother, with only one accuser--denied through lawyer
  • Director Lars von Trier, who was accused by actress Bjork
  • Comedian Andy Dick, known to have indecently exposed himself, groped and licked women--said he might have licked, but never groped anybody
  • Actor/Producer Jeremy Piven, accused by actress Ariane Bellman of groping her breasts--unequivocally denied anything
  • Actor Louis C.K. (right), masturbated in front of at least five women, plus--yes, I'm guilty, so his I Love You, Daddy film scheduled to be released yesterday was shelved--only got a 38% Rotten Tomatoes reviewers rating, anyway
  • Actor Kevin Spacey, accused by actor Anthony Rapp of sexual advances when he was 14 and Spacey 26--he not only apologized but "came out"
  • Produced Brett Ratner, six women, mostly actresses--denied everything
    • Actor Dustin Hoffman, sexually harassed a production assistant--no reported response
    • Actor and musician Ed Westwick, three women of serious sex assault--no response
    • former President George H.W. (the father) Bush, groped at least seven women--has sincerely apologized
    So we now come to those political headlines:
    • Senator Al Franken:  wrong, dumb, he apologized, she accepted, a non issue, but perhaps the Democratic Party might want to kick him out of the Senate, or he could place a lot of heat on President Trump by doing so himself, to make Democrats look good next November, as the Minnesota governor is a Democrat and will name another Democrat as replacement.  There is now more than one Franken victim, but the Donald has 16, a few worthy of impeachment.
    • Former judge Roy Moore:  will lose his sure-shot seat for U.S. Senator because he made inappropriate sexual advances on a 14-year old girl almost forty years ago.  This issue will seriously damage Republican efforts to retain control of Congress and the White House.
    • President Donald Trump: truly serious allegations, with the payoffs and judicial compromises now re-surfacing.  He has been accused of rape three times, with one victim only 13 years old.  Sixteen women have been victims of our President.  That underage rape incident could well be why he gets impeached.  The prospects of Robert Mueller nailing Trump also cannot be discounted.  In any case, the odds are high now that he will not finish his term.  Betting.Betfair now has Trump's early exit more likelier than not.  Kathy Griffin got fired for showing Donald Trump's head.  Shame she won't be on CNN with Anderson Cooper for their New Year's Eve telecast.  Looks like her replacement will be Andy Cohen, his "best" friend.
    Where are the female sexual predators, anyway?  You know they exist, for it is reported that more than half of male college students in one study reported at least one sexual victimization experience since age 16.  Half of the perpetrators were female.  One reason is that 86% of victims of female sexual predators aren't believed, so most crimes go unreported.  Then there, is that hmm, it wasn't so bad, after all, attitude of men everywhere, sort of a Mrs. Robinson type of relationship.

    The Guardian has written that up to 64,000 women in the UK are child-sex offenders.  So as that country is slightly less that 1% the world population, make that 6.4 million female child-sex offenders the world over.  Unless the UK is unique.  When was the last major scandal you read about one of them?

    Ah, in desperation, I finally found one.  In the list of 35 famous people charged with sex crimes, Britney Spears was the sole female.  A former bodyguard claimed the pop star flashed him and invited him into her bedroom when she was nude.  Check on that list.  Interesting.

    The bottom line is that social standards change, and tolerable practices in the past, as immoral as they might have nevertheless been, might not be so today.  But there remain a few universal lines you just cannot cross that can prove fatal. What will ultimately exonerate Spears and Franken legally will not apply to Moore and Trump, the former because he was 32 and she was 14, but for Trump, rape is rape, especially if this was a virgin of 13.  What could once be shunted aside because of power and money can return to haunt, as these Trump passive victims have now been transformed into piranhas with seasoned lawyers.

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