A Darkerview on “Ziplinegate” Oh the IRONY!

Geez… I don’t know what I’ve gotten myself involved in… but I’ll be posting more comments on this entire situation going on with the possible lawsuit against my blog when I know more status about it.

In the meantime, I’ll throw the attention to the latest blogger to give attention to this matter and that is Andrew Cooper over at The Darker View where he states in his post “Blogging and Libel“:

“…The ironic part is that Damon had previously given a great deal of positive press to this operation. This top banner on his blog even features a photo of Damon riding the Umauma zipline!..”

Damn Andrew… you really know where to sock me in the gut huh? Just teasing as I’ve previously stated this is one of the best pictures of me taken ever!

I’ll be changing my header in the next few days due to the recent things that have happened in the last few days.

Keck Telescope: “Total Number of Stars in the Universe is Likely Three Times Bigger Than Realized”

Remember the phrase “There are more stars in the sky then grains of sand on the planet” well the amount of stars out there may be even more then what we first expected.

Big Island Blogger Andrew Cooper, who works up at the Keck Telescope,  reports:

Astronomers have discovered that small, dim stars known as red dwarfs are much more prolific than previously thought—so much so that the total number of stars in the universe is likely three times bigger than realized

Full release here: A Lot More Stars Out There

Tribune Herald on the TMT Project… HUH? Where are the Locals?

I was trying to figure out how the TMT project was providing a boost in our economy when not many folks right now are even from Hawaii that are working on this project and construction has not officially began.

I fired off the following question to Sandra Dawson the “Task Leader for the TMT Site Master planning”:

I read in the newspaper the other day that the TMT has helped employment numbers on this island, but at no time have I seen an announcement listing job opportunities.

I do see quite a few people employed: http://www.tmt.org/about-tmt/people

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like many local folks have been hired yet.

When will local folks have an opportunity at applying for positions with TMT.

I got the following response from Ms. Dawson regarding the newspaper article:

The newspaper should have said “will help employment numbers”.  The only hiring we have done so far is a few small contracts with local companies for surveys, and several contracts for consulting.  I am still the only
TMT employee in Hawaii.
Current TMT employees are are specialized telescope designers and scientists, and are in California and Canada.  If there are local folks who qualify for these specialized positions they will be considered.  I see every applicant for jobs from Hawaii, and there have been very few so far.

We hope to begin construction by the end of 2011.  When we do that, we will likely beef up our office staff here with local people, as well as hiring local construction workers.

Final EIS – TMT Observatory Project

Media Release:

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo (UH Hilo) in its capacity as the proposing agency for the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) Project has approved the publication of the Final EIS.  The notice of availability has been published in the May 8, 2010, edition of The Environmental Notice.  A copy of the Final EIS is available for download at www.TMT-HawaiiEIS.org.

The Final EIS identifies the “13-North” (13N) site as the Project, as the Draft EIS did, and this site remains the focus of the Final EIS.  The selection of the 13N site was based on consideration of the impacts of both the 13N site and the Project alternatives considered.

The acceptance of the Final EIS by the Governor of Hawai‘i completes the Project’s compliance with the EIS law (Hawai‘i Revised Statutes, Chapter 343) and the EIS rules (Hawai‘i Administrative Rules, Title 11, Chapter 200).  Therefore, you will not receive any further notifications regarding the Project.  You can continue to follow the Project at www.tmt.org.

Japanese Megastars Masami Nagasawa and Asami Mizukawa Visit Mauna Kea and Cruise Hilo

Japanese Superstars Masami  Nagasawa

and Asami Mizukawa

…recently visited Mauna Kea on the Big Island.

The following is a video of their visit to the mountain and then they cruise Hilo:


A Waikiki View

I’ve seen everything… so I thought! Here is a street vendor soliciting views of Jupiter through a telescope… and people are bucking up!

The Dark Side of the Moon… in the Daytime

Have you ever looked up in the sky…


… And wondered why you can’t see the dark side of the moon in the daytime?

Dark Side of the Moon

I bet Andrew, Tom, Anthony, or Canspice can give me a reasonable explanation.

I understand the sun is on that side etc… but why can’t I at least see the round black dark side of the moon in the daytime?

Video: 2009 Galileo Block Party

The Mauna Kea Observatories Outreach Committee (www.mkooc.org) planned and sponsored the International Year of Astronomy 2009 Galileo Block Party. Held in Hilo, Hawaii on Saturday, October 24th.


Thirty Meter Telescope to Sponsor WordPress Bloggers

TMT and WordPress

Media Release:

In a stunning move today, the Thirty Meter Telescope announced an alliance with WordPress Bloggers.

WordPress Project spokesman Nick states:

Between the WordPress Bloggers and the Thirty Meter Telescope… We look forward to working with the TMT

Well It’s not April… But I may have gotten a few of you!

If you look closely at the TMT Dome… You will see that I inserted the WordPress Logo into it somewhere.

I’m gonna try and win this contest: “Support Hours and WordPress Logo Fun

China to Co-Op on TMT Project?


BEIJING: Astronomers from China and the United States are considering cooperating on the world’s largest telescope, through which scientists will have a deeper insight into the very early stages of the universe…

…”It is a big undertaking and it will define the future of astronomy and astrophysics for about 60 or 70 years, so it will automatically involve a large international community,” said Caltech president Jean-Lou Chameau in an interview with Xinhua on Friday…

but no final decision has been made for China’s participation.

Canada and Japan have signed up to the TMT project, which needs total financing of US$1 billion…

…China has observer status on the TMT project, and will become a partner after signing a memorandum of understanding and agreeing on commitment of funds….

Full Article: China, US Discuss co-op on world’s largest telescope (China Daily)

*Update* Mainland Videoblogger On Assignment for TMT Opposers? Millilani Trask Responds to Him… Others on Hidden Camera?

Just ran across a bunch of clips that have been posted by someone who is obviously posting youtube clips to make a buck and isn’t happy with the TMT project.

Before I go on and show the featured videos… I’ll pass on a few of his other youtube clips he has posted:

Alien Human Sperm Theft:


Is Making War on Iraq Like Making a Sandwich?


So without passing along judgment and just posting some of the previous stuff the guy has posted… here are some of his anti TMT videos he is now posting.

Here is what Millilani Trask gave the guy (part1):


Part 2:


And a very weird interview by the Waiakea High School Golf Coach a guy wearing a Waiakea High School golf shirt that appears to be done via hidden camera (I say this because he never looks in the camera once):


There are some other videos that you can find on his youtube site regarding this matter.

Looking at what he covers… he obviously is some sort of paid lobbyist… DESPITE Telling the coach above he wasn’t in the first part of the clip!


I have been told that the guy wearing the Waiakea Golf Shirt is not a coach on the team.  It is interesting how the camera pans to the Logo a few times though.

Bio of the Film Maker:

Name: John Sefick
Age: 69

Filmmaker for the last 5 years. I am a retired federal agent.

Hometown: Rio Rancho New Mexico

Interests and Hobbies: Astronomy founder of Chaco Canyon Observatory

A Cool Time Lapse of the Gemini Observatory

Here is a time-lapse movie of the Gemini North observatory during a Laser Guide Star (LGS) run, taken from the catwalk around the outside of the UH 2.2 meter telescope. LGS creates an ‘artificial star’ which is used as a reference source for adaptive optics systems on Gemini instruments. Directly behind the Gemini Observatory is the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT).


The Black Sun From the Big Island






Thirty Meter Telescope Chairman: “Chinese American Hero”

Chairman of the board for the Thirty Meter Telescope project, Henry Yang

Chairman of the board for the TMT project, Henry Yang

The chairman of the board for the Thirty Meter Telescope project, Henry Yang was recently featured in “AsianWeek” as a Chinese American Hero.

Profession (s): Professor of Engineering and University Chancellor

Education: B.S., Civil Engineering, National Taiwan University, 1962; M.S., Structural Engineering, West Virginia University, 1965; Ph.D., Structural Engineering, Cornell University, 1969

• Neil A. Armstrong Distinguished Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University, 1988-1994
• Elected member of National Academy of Engineering, 1991
• Elected member of Academia Sinica, 1992
• Benjamin Garver Lamme Award, American Society of Engineering Education, 1998
• Honorary doctorates from City University of Hong Kong (2005), National Taiwan University (2004), Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (2002), and Purdue University (1996)

During Chancellor Yang’s tenure since 1994, UC Santa Barbara faculty members have won five Nobel Prizes (one in 1998, two in 2000, and two in 2004), a National Humanities Medal (1997), a National Technology Medal (1999), and a Millennium Technology Prize (2006). The campus’s distinguished 900-member faculty also includes a Fields medalist, numerous Guggenheim and Fulbright fellows, and scores of elected members or fellows of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1995 the campus was elected to the prestigious Association of American Universities.

Dr. Yang has served on scientific advisory boards for the Department of Defense, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, NASA, and the National Science Foundation. He is currently serving as the chairman of the board for the Thirty Meter Telescope project. He is also a member of the Kavli Foundation board, Millennium Technology Prize selection committee, Association of Pacific Rim Universities steering committee, Association of American Universities executive committee, Singapore Ministry of Education international academic advisory panel, and Ho Leung Ho Lee Prize selection board.

Publications/Patents: His book Finite Element Structural Analysis has been translated into Japanese and Chinese. He has published more than 170 articles in scientific journals with the 52 Ph.D. students he has supervised.

Mayor Kenoi Urges a Respectful Dialogue on Mauna Kea Telescope

Media Release

Hawai’i Island Mayor Billy Kenoi today urged all parties in the debate on the Thirty Meter Telescope to engage in a respectful dialogue as the community works toward a collaborative decision on the project.

“In this time of economic hardship for many County of Hawai’i residents, it is critical that the community pull together to search for a solution that benefits our island and our neighbors,” Mayor Kenoi said. “I know that all of the participants in this discussion sincerely want the best outcome for our community, and we owe it to each other to debate the project in a reasoned, respectful way.”

While the Big Island hosts some of the most sophisticated star-gazing technology in the world, Mayor Kenoi said that until now the youth from the island have had little hope of participating in the science and discovery happening on Mauna Kea.

That will change only when Hawai’i Island students are offered exceptional science and math education at the earliest grades, Mayor Kenoi said. It is critical that any additional projects on the mountain be harnessed to provide the foundation in science education that will allow Hawai’i youngsters to grow up to be the engineers, mathematicians and physicists who make astronomy on the mountain possible.

University of Hawai’i President David McClain recently announced that the TMT would bring a community benefit package of $1 million a year to the Big Island that would help fund children’s education.

“As a parent, I want exciting science education career opportunities for our young people so they can dream big about the future,” Kenoi said. “As a Hawaiian, I believe we can preserve our culture, protect our environment and support astronomy. As your mayor, I hope to facilitate compromise and find common ground.”

75% Say Mauna Kea Beats Chile for TMT Location Site… Poll Still Open

I’ve posted this non-scientific  Thirty Meter Telescope poll on and off for the last nine months on my blog.

As of this posting 75% of the readers that participated in the blog are in favor of the TMT project being located in Hawaii instead of Chile.

I’ll post it once again so anyone that hasn’t had a chance to vote on this can. If you have voted before… your IP address won’t allow you to vote again.

This is non scientific and I don’t have much control of the poll.

If you haven’t voted before… feel free to vote again.

The current results show that 75% of the people that have participated so far are in favor of the TMT being located on Mauna Kea.

[polldaddy poll=”962352″]

UH President: “I can say that should TMT come to Mauna Kea, the Hawaiian community and community-at-large will benefit through an annual $1 million community benefit package…”

Richard Ha recently posted a post on his blog entitled “TMT is Pono” where he talks about a community meeting where they created some radio spots for the Thirty Meter Telescope project.

Wayne Joseph and I left a comment for Mr. Ha and the response that he gave me is very pleasing.

Statement from UH President David McClain:

UH President David McClain

After discussions with academic and community leaders on the Big Island, and review with the Board of Regents, I can say that should TMT come to Mauna Kea, the Hawaiian community and community-at-large will benefit through an annual $1 million community benefit package, which will provide funding for locally chosen and managed educational programs on Hawai’i Island. This will begin once all permits for the project have been received.

The compensation to the University of Hawai’i, which is expected to begin at “first light”, will be split equitably between a higher education package to be used for selected initiatives of the University of Hawai’i at Hilo and Hawai’i Community College on Hawai’i Island and observing time for University of Hawai’i scientists.

David McClain
University of Hawaii

Tomorrow: Community Sign Waving Event in Support of Thirty Meter Telescope

Media Release


WHAT: Community Sign Waving Event in Support of
Thirty Meter Telescope

WHEN: Friday, June 12, 4 pm – 6 pm

WHERE: Fronting the King Kamehameha Statue at Hilo Bayfront

The community is invited to come and rally support for the Thirty Meter
Telescope this Friday as the proposed $1.2 billion Thirty Meter Telescope Project prepares to present its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to the island wide audience next week.

Community supporters will have TMT Yes! buttons, signs and t-shirts on hand for sign waving supporters.

We are encouraging our Big Island ohana to come out and support this
once-in-a-generation opportunity to show that our island is united in its support of the Thirty Meter Telescope. Bring the entire family.

Richard Ha’s Hamakua Springs Farm is supplying the first 150 supporters with a clamshell of grape tomatoes.

For further information contact Laura Aquino at Current Events (808)

NASA Releases Video on the Testing That Took Place on Mauna Kea

Back in November, I got to go up to Mauna Kea and check out the Moon Rover (SCARAB) that was tested up there.

NASA workers at the Mauna Kea Testing Site

NASA workers at the Mauna Kea Testing Site

I wasn’t paid to go up there, I simply communicated with NASA officials and got the credentials to go there as a “Community Blogger”.

Media from around the world talking to NASA Reps.

Media from around the world talking to NASA Reps.

I just thought it would be a great once  in a life time opportunity for my wife and I to check the stuff out… as she is a total science fiction “buff”.

My wife and a machine that will create water out of "Moon Dust"

My wife and a machine that will create water out of "Moon Dust"

You can view my blog and pictures from that little trip up there here.

NASA released the following video today from this “Mission”:

Research teams and NASA experts on regolith, the material covering the Moon’s surface, held tests in Hawaii in November 2008, on equipment and lunar rover concepts that will help astronauts take advantage of resources onsite where they land. The tests were held in Hawaii because its volcanic soil is similar to the Moon’s. NASA tested prototype robotic rovers and excavators that could collect soil for oxygen generation systems. Rovers with prospecting equipment could search for water ice and volatile gases that could be used by astronauts on the lunar surface to reduce the amount of resources brought from Earth.


TMT Draft Environmental Impact Statement Published: Potential Benefits, Stewardship and Mitigation Measures Stressed

Media Release

Hilo, HI—The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) for the proposed $1.2 billion Thirty Meter Telescope Project (TMT) will appear Saturday, May 23 in the Office of Environmental Quality Control’s (OEQC) Environmental Notice. The draft document details the environmental, community, economic, and cultural impacts of locating TMT on Maunakea.

The purpose of the Draft EIS is to present the existing environmental conditions, analyze the potential effects of the project, and identify ways to minimize potential adverse impacts. The Draft EIS also outlines the potential benefits of TMT to the local economy and community.

Scope of the Draft EIS

The TMT project encompasses the construction, operation, and ultimate decommissioning of the world’s most advanced optical / infrared telescope. The plan proposes building TMT on the northern plateau of Maunakea at a location designated in the 2000 Mauna Kea Science Reserve Master Plan for the next generation of optical telescopes. This location was preferred because it provides suitable observation conditions with minimum impact on existing facilities, wēkiu bug habitat, archaeology/historic sites, and the view of the mountain from various areas on the island.

The Draft EIS addresses the proposed TMT Observatory and associated facilities, including the mid-level facility at Hale Pōhaku, the headquarters in Hilo, and a potential satellite office in Waimea.

The Draft EIS was prepared by Parsons Brinckerhoff. The University of Hawai‘i is the Proposing Agency for the Draft EIS. The Accepting Authority is the Governor for the State of Hawai‘i.

Impact and Mitigation

The Draft EIS acknowledges that there are differences of opinions concerning TMT’s potential impact on cultural resources.

The Draft EIS proposes specific mitigation measures for both the cultural and environmental resources on Maunakea, including:

  • Action plans related to cultural resources, including on-site cultural monitor archeologist;
  • A construction monitor to oversee compliance with the permit and who has authority to cease construction activities if the activity violates the permit and/or is harmful to the cultural resources;
  • Designing the TMT to limit its visual impact;
  • A zero-discharge wastewater system at the TMT Observatory;
  • Implementing a Habitat Restoration Plan if a sensitive habitat is disturbed;
  • Cultural and Natural Resources Training Programs; and,
  • Invasive Species Prevention and Control Program.


The project’s objective is to advance human understanding and knowledge. The potential benefits of the proposed TMT project in Hawai‘i are primarily related to education and employment opportunities and direct contributions to the local and state economies.

Specific benefits include:

  • Hundreds of construction jobs created during the anticipated 8-year construction period;
  • Additional jobs created through materials, goods, and services purchased and contracted locally for this work; and,
  • An estimated 140 full-time employees during TMT’s operations.

Educational and community benefits outlined in the Draft EIS include:

  • A comprehensive Workforce Pipeline Program that is designed to educate, train and mentor Hawaii students to help them succeed and to be qualified for TMT and other high tech jobs; and,
  • A higher education and community benefit package to provide funding for (a) selected educational initiatives on the Island of Hawai‘i and observing time to UH astronomers; and (b) locally chosen and managed educational programs.

The higher education and community benefit package would be negotiated and become part of a lease or sublease, if TMT decides to come to Hawai‘i. Details of the packages will be described in the Final EIS, provided an agreement is reached.

Process and Next Steps

To date, the Draft EIS process has included more than six months of research, environmental studies, public comments, and compliance with the requirements in the Comprehensive Management Plan for Maunakea.

The process began in October 2008 with a series of public scoping meetings. Another series of public meetings to solicit comments on the Draft EIS is scheduled for mid-June at various locations on the Island of Hawai‘i and in Honolulu.

The community has expressed great interest in TMT, in protecting the natural and cultural resources of the island and in developing a different basis for compensation such as higher education and community benefit packages.

“Throughout this process, TMT board and project personnel have looked to the local community for guidance on these issues,” said TMT Site Studies Manager Sandra Dawson. “Environmental, cultural, educational, and civic leaders and community members have been extremely generous with their time and knowledge.”

Comments generated by the Draft EIS will be incorporated into the Final EIS.

The Draft EIS is the first step in the regulatory process. Subsequent milestones include the Final EIS and the submission of a Conservation District Use Application (CDUA) should Hawai‘i be selected as the preferred TMT site.

The TMT project is a partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and ACURA, an organization of Canadian universities. The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan has also joined TMT as a Collaborating Institution.


Sandra Dawson, TMT

(626) 353-9732


Currently, public meetings on the Draft EIS are scheduled for:

June 16:            Waimea Elementary School Cafeteria, 5-8 p.m.

June 17:            Hilo High School Cafeteria, 4-8 p.m.

June 18:            Pahoa High School Cafeteria, 5-8 p.m.

June 22:            Kau High / Pahala Elementary School Cafeteria, 5-8 p.m.

June 23:            Kohala Cultural Center, 5-8 p.m.

June 24:            Kealakehe Elementary School Cafeteria, 5-8 p.m.

June 25:            Farrington High School Cafeteria, 5-8 p.m.

Here are renditions of the proposed TMT Click on Image for Larger Picture: