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Friday, December 31, 2010

MY TOP TEN OF 2010

You'll see essentially the same top ten of the year several times over the next few days.  So let me start with something totally different:  my Top 10 for 2010:


10.  Present and Future of University of Hawaii Athletics:  softball Wahine made it to the College World Series (and broke the national home run record in the process, with most returning in 2011), men's baseball team to the NCAAs, football team won ten games, both the women's and men's volleyball teams did quite well and the University engineered a miracle:  football team into the Mountain West and all other teams into the Big West.  

9.   Can Qatar Show the Way Towards Sustainability?  Here is this dinky (less than half the areal size and one sixth the citizen population of Hawaii) nation in the Middle East, which has more oil than the whole USA and the third largest natural gas reserve in the world (four times larger than the U.S.), run by an Emir who has unchallenged powers.  At a gathering of experts this year, a cautious future energy plan was suggested.  I proposed a more ambitious strategy

8.   My Adventures with Human Cloning involved three articles in the Huffington Post:

      a.  Human Cloning (14)

      b.  The Science and Future of Cloning (224)

      c.  Life After Death (16)

Why there were 224 comments in the second of the series surprised me.  

7.   My China Monologues, as published in the Huffington Post:




Monologues because no one bothered to respond.  The first suggestion to Barack Obama was actually my very first HuffPo in 2008.  As he ignored me, I thought I'd try to convince China to strive for Peace.  That went nowhere, but I was in China when this appeared, so there were some anxious moments (in my mind).  After I left, I decided to send a similar note to their next leader:  Xi Jinping.  


My quest for peace, forever, also started with my original message to Obama.  The concept is simple:  all he does is pledge to cut our defense budget by 10%, which would be continued for a decade, if the Group of Eight and China also do so.  Fat chance?  Unfortunately for Humanity, you're right!

5.  Is There Any Hope for Hawaii?  The combination of Peak Oil and Global Heating will result in a long economic depression for Hawaii.  There is no way out of this.  However, why not at least put on a full court press to minimize the agony or reduce the length of the crunch.  How?  Develop a sustainable substitute for jetfuel and/or develop a next generation aircraft to continue to bring tourists to Hawaii.  Yes, I don't like our predicament nor the solution, too, but we never were able to diversity our economy and we either maximize our tourist revenues or enter doomsday.  Here are a few HuffPos:





4.  Lunches at the Best Restaurants in the World:  I now mostly do major lunches around the world, partly because of safety concerns about going out at night, but also because they tend to be cheaper.  

    a.  at the top rated restaurant in the world:  When I had lunch at Noma in Copenhagen earlier this year, this was #3 rated in the world.  Well, the latest survey placed it at #1, with Chef Rene selected the top chef in the world.  That's Rene to my left.  What more can I say?

    b.  Bizbaz:  This Seoul restaurant is an epicurean's dream.  While it is a buffet, these international stations make this experience worthwhile.  There are separate cooking areas for French, Italian, American, Japanese, Chinese and Korean food, and made to your order, with ingredients being displayed.  The wine is acceptably cheap and service was okay.

    c.  Fasching in Munich:  the day was magical and the second floor restaurant at the Hotel Konigshof was spectacular, but expensive. (Chef Fauster above.)  Here we think of French and Spanish food as being the best, not German. This was a French-German fusion extraordinaire, and the best lunch I ever had, until...

    d.  above the Spanish Steps in Rome:  a top floor gem in the Eden Hotel served the best lunch I have ever had in my life, and it was vegetarian!  I was early, so had a prosecco in the bar, which provided the freshest assortment of various nuts and olives that could have made just this combination the full meal.  So I had this tray delivered to my table.  I had a Barolo and a Brunello at the same time, but in different glasses.  The piece de resistance were the white truffles.  I had just had a totally different kind of truffle experience in Amsterdam, and this one was equally memorable.


    e.  I've joined them on a couple of other occasions, but in December was invited to a Chaine des Rotisseurs gathering at the Halekulani.  Bruce (he is wearing all those medals because he serves as Chambellan Provincial, a commanding officer) and Judith (she is merely Chargee de Presse Provinciale, and why there is an "e" at the end of Provianciale is a mystery, although maybe it has to do with gender) Liebert above are colleagues at the University of Hawaii and Patrick Okubo was promoted to Echanson Proviancial, which I gather makes him the sommelier for this organization in Hawaii.



    f.  My Most Memorable Flight, Ever:  this was a lunch, too, and you need to click on it to appreciate this happening.  Not as exciting, but my recent day from Rome to D.C. was also remarkable.


3.  Launching of Blue Revolution Hawaii:  I've long felt that the riches of the ocean represent the future of Hawaii.  Finally, maybe, we have initiated the Blue Revolution.


2.  Anytime you write a book, that has to be a major accomplishment.  In September, SIMPLE SOLUTION ESSAYS, a tribute to Pearl, was published.


1.  The Joys and Tribulations of Chile

My number one involvement was with Chile, although I have never been there.  First, the bad, for in February, when I was in Amsterdam, that terrible 8.8 earthquake struck Chile.  There were reports of a tsunami, so the Huffington Post asked me to write an article on the coming Hawaii Tsunami?  The problem was I was virtually on the other side of the globe.  But, no problem, as I had a better view of the situation than many friends back home who had to evacuate to the hills.  CNN had two live scenes:  of Waikiki Beach and Hilo Harbor.  The upshot of this all is that my average daily blog gets fewer than 100 hits.  That day, there were more than 3,000 visits.  Then there was the Copiapo mine disaster of 5August2010, trapping 33 miners at a depth of 2300 feet.  Sixty nine days later on 13October2010, a sign showed "Mision Cumplida Chile," the feel good story of the year that revealed countries can work together when necessary.

For a more traditional lists of top tens, go to TIME magazine:  News & PoliticsArts & EntertainmentScience & SocietyBusiness & TechPop and Culture.

Not enough?  Then try (CLICK ON ANYTHING AND YOU WILL BE TRANSPORTED TO THAT SITE):


Then by categories (including worst of 2010):

Arts & Entertainment

Business

Crime

Energy & Environment

Education

Health & Medicine

Internet

Lifestyle

Personal Finance


Politics

Religion

Science

Sports

Tech

Travel

United States

War & Terrorism

World



TOMORROW:  MY PREDICTIONS FOR 2011 AND BEYOND

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The Dow Jones Industrials ended the year up 8 to 11,578, 11% higher for the year.  The market dipped below 10,000 now and then from May through August, but the past four months saw a nice recovery.  I was waiting for a swoon below 9,000, which never happened, compromising my resolve to purchase stocks this year.  The Dow was just under 14,200 on 11October2007, but dropped to 6470 on 6March2009.  Gold shot up $14/toz to $1421 (highest price ever), up 28% this year and 172% over five years.  Petroleum is at $91/barrel, an increase of 14% this year.  While the highest price occurred on 11July2008 at $147/barrel, by December there was a crash to below $34/barrel, and again in February of 2009.






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