Monday, June 04, 2007

Under the Banyan Tree


Walking through Waikiki, it is difficult finding interesting forms of life. Elephants and Komodo dragons live in the Honolulu Zoo, but they are not natives. Exploring a banyan tree's roots is like a child's dream. It is easy to see why many cultures consider banyans magical. In Hinduism the banyan represents eternal life. It is part of Indonesia's coat of arms--one tree with many roots. In the Philippines banyans are said to house dwarves and magical creatures--perhaps that is how Yoda got started. Even Robinson Crusoe made his home on a banyan tree.

As we have seen in a Redwood Cathedral, growing outward toward Space is as natural as an expanding Universe. From today's Honolulu Advertiser: The legislature passed Senate Bill 907, authorising funds for a state Space office. Already our Big Island has telescopes and volcanoes powered by a Black Hole First priority is a Pacific International Space Centre for Exploration. PISCES would have analog sites similiar to those operated by the Mars Society.

Despite its reputation as a green tropical paradise, Hawaii has many terrains resembling the Moon or Mars. To see those, you must get out of Waikiki! Our basaltic soil is extremely similiar to another planet, even the red colour. PISCES would be a place where astronauts and their equipment could be tested and trained. The first PISCES conference will be November 7-10 in Hilo. The Naniloa resort sits among the many trees of "Banyan Alley." Before that starts, I hope to be testing gear on Hawaii.

Rocketplane Kistler has made noises about staging Space tourism out of Hawaii. We already have the tourists. Wandering in Waikiki today one sees advertisements for helicopter, sail, whale, scuba, snuba and submarine tours. Adding spaceflight to the resort menu would not be a big stretch. Imagine calling the concierge for a trip into Space!

At the Chelsea Flower Show, a Gold Medal for Best Show Garden was won by this Mars garden. Designer Sarah Eberle intended it for a dome on Mars, with red rocks from Scotland. 600 Days With Bradstone is the result of 8 years of thought, consultations with ESA experts and a final 2 weeks of 15-hour days. "I tell my daughters never to stop dreaming," Eberle says, "because sometimes your dreams really do come true."

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14 Comments:

Blogger Kea said...

Congratulations on the Space Office! I can't wait to visit one day.

3:22 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

My god Louise, you really are a babe. I thought I was going to have a tiny heart attack when I saw that photo. :)

5:24 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Thank you both. Hawaii also hopes that PISCES becomes a tourist attraction in its own right.,

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Sam said...

"Despite its reputation as a green tropical paradise, Hawaii has many terrains resembling the Moon or Mars."

Funny you should mention it, Mauna Kea is used for prepping astronauts going to the moon, and the Pathfinder vehicle sent to Mars was checked with soil from here.

The lava fields down by Kilauea always remind me of some old sci-fi movie, especially where it is shiny and colourful from all the silica.

Glad to see you're back on the Ă¢ina, maybe we'll see you on the Big Island soon.

9:41 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Thanks, Sam, I wish I had time to visit the Big Island this week. Right after the PISCES conference we can demonstrate to the Japanese at the JUSTSAP symposium November 9-15. (They have tried, but despite Japan's massive resources they have been unable to reproduce this technology.) We could also peek into the 5th Symposium on Beamed Energy Propulsion (www.lpw.uah.edu/Home.html) November 12-15 at the Keahou Beach Resort. The Big Island can be an exciting place; I hope to be there soon.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous a quantum diaries survivor said...

Hi Louise,

I agree with ed, and I was starting to miss your nice pictures! Sorry for the kind of low-level comment, but credit is due when a lady with brains does not mind showing she also has quite a body!

Cheers,
T.

9:05 AM  
Blogger QUASAR9 said...

Never Mind Garden on Mars
The top pic seems straight out of "Paradise" with promises of infinite delight!

11:46 PM  
Blogger QUASAR9 said...

If they did a Space Babes calendar
You'd be my favourite Month

11:47 PM  
Anonymous mog said...

anonymous seems kinda bitter.

If you've got it, flaunt it Louise.

2:57 PM  
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