Friday, December 24, 2010


Free Hawai`i


Here's What The History Books Won't Tell You -

Western diseases, to which Hawaiians had no immunity, decimated their numbers. At the time of western contact, well over 500,000 people inhabited the Hawaiian Islands.

By 1805 that number had been more than halved.

By 1853 there were only 71,000 Hawaiian or part-Hawaiian people in the islands.

Within 100 years of western contact, the Hawaiian population had been reduced by nearly 90 percent.

According to the 2000 census, the numbers of people who claim some native Hawaiian ancestry have increased to over 400,000. But only 239,000 live in Hawai`i and they are the poorest, most locked-up population in the state.

Although they only make up about 20 percent of the state's population, in June 2001 they made up 39 percent of the state's prison population, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

Sadly, today they make up 37 percent of the state's homeless population.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The History of the Hawaiian Lei

The History of the Hawaiian Lei

The lei custom was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands by early Polynesian voyagers, who took an incredible journey from Tahiti, navigating by the stars in sailing canoes. With these early settlers, the lei tradition in Hawaii was born.

Leis were constructed of flowers, leaves, shells, seeds, nuts, feathers, and even bone and teeth of various animals. In Hawaiian tradition, these garlands were worn by ancient Hawaiians to beautify themselves and distinguish themselves from others. The Maile lei was perhaps the most significant. Among other sacred uses, it was used to signify a peace agreement between opposing chiefs. In a Heiau (temple), the chiefs would symbolically intertwine the green Maile vine, and its completion officially established peace between the two groups.

A Custom of Aloha

With the advent of tourism in the islands, the lei quickly became the symbol of Hawaii to millions of visitors worldwide.

During the "Boat Days" of the early 1900s, lei vendors lined the pier at Aloha Tower to welcome malihini (visitors) to the islands and kama'aina (locals) back home. It is said that departing visitors would throw their lei into the sea as the ship passed Diamond Head, in the hopes that, like the lei, they too would return to the islands again someday.

Today, visitors can easily bring back the nostalgia of old Hawaii by ordering a traditional flower lei greeting for their arrival at the airport. Greeters welcome visitors with a warm “aloha” and adorn them with beautiful fresh leis. It's a wonderful way to begin a Hawaiian vacation.

Lei Etiquette

There are very few "rules" when it comes to wearing a Hawaiian lei. Anyone can wear one, anytime - there need not be an occasion. It is perfectly fine for one to purchase or make a lei for themselves. It is common for locals to have a nut, seed or shell lei on hand to wear on special occasions. And hats are often adorned with flower, fern or feather leis.

There are, however, a couple of "unspoken rules" one should know when receiving a lei for the first time. A lei should be a welcomed celebration of one person's affection to another. Therefore, always accept a lei, never refuse. The proper way to wear a lei is gently draped over the shoulders, hanging down both in front and in back. It is considered rude to remove a lei from your neck in the presence of the person who gave it to you, so if you must, be discreet.

Lei giving is a regular part of any special occasion such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and graduations. It is not uncommon for a graduating senior to have so many leis around their neck that they can no longer see!

Lei or Leis?

The Hawaiian language does not distinguish between singular and plural. Therefore, the proper way to say the plural form of lei is actually just “lei.” However, on our website we have chosen to use the anglicized version of this word to prevent confusion.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The True Story Of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer


A guy named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night. His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing.

Bobs wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer. Little Barbara couldn't understand why her mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dads eyes and asked, "Why isn't Mommy just like everybody else's Mommy?"

Bob's jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears. Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been the story of Bob's life. Life always had to be different for Bob. Small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He was often called names he'd rather not remember . From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in.

Bob did complete college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his job as a copywriter at Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression.

Then he was blessed with his little girl. But it was all short-lived. Evelyn's bout with cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room apartment in the Chicago slums.

Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938. Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn't even afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if he couldn't buy a gift, he was determined a make one - a storybook! Bob had created an animal character in his own mind and told the animals story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope.

Again and again Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling. Who was the character? What was the story all about? The story Bob May created was his own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. The name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose.

Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day. But the story doesn't end there. The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book. Wards went on to print, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores. By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph. That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book. In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Wards returned all rights back to Bob May. The book became a best seller. Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter.

But the story doesn't end there either. Bob's brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to Rudolph. Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore , it was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of "White Christmas." The gift of love that Bob May create d for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn't so bad. In fact, being different can be a blessing.

The creator of "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer" passed away at the age of 71 in 1976.

Rudolph himself turns 72 in January 2011

Kim Taylor Reece...Hawaii Artist

Kim Taylor Reece, Hawaii’s foremost fine art photographer, has been studying hula kahiko for nearly 25 years. A catalyst of Hawaii’s Cultural Renaissance, his photography captures the mystery and magic of this dance, which for generations has excited the imaginations of people around the world.

In his research, Kim has traveled with the Hawaii State Foundation of Culture and the Arts, enabling him to study and work with dancers from more than 37 different Pacific Islands. His extensive research of costumes and dances of the early Hawaiians captures the spirit and essence of this ancient ritual.

His unique style has established the visual standards for hula kahiko. As millions encounter Kim’s work everyday, it helps to preserve the hula and enrich lives with his fine art photography.

Kim’s award winning photography has brought him worldwide recognition. Over the years, Kim has received 15 Pele Awards (communication and arts), Print Magazine Awards, Kahili Awards (HVCB), Travel Journalism Awards and National Community Service Awards. His images have been acquired by collectors, dignitaries, and museums internationally.

He studied art at Long Beach State in California and because he is color-blind was told to "change majors or be a starving artist". He uses it to his advantage in capturing the subtleties of the kahiko in black and white. He uses sepia tone to represent the timelessness of the dance. Kim has been publishing his art prints since 1983.

Kim has a gallery at Sacred Falls, Oahu, Hawaii. "The beauty in nature of the lush green valley and the striking blue ocean exemplifies what I am trying to portray through my work." Says the artist of his remote location.

For those who appreciate hula, Kim Taylor Reece has devoted his talents to the celebration of Hawaii’s ancient dance.

Sunday, December 5, 2010



1.) Fine - This is the word women use to end an Argument when they are right and you need to shut up

2.) Five Minutes - If she is getting dressed, this means a half and hour. Five Minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given 25 more minutes to watch the game

3.) Nothing - This is the calm before the storm. This means something and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in Fine

4.) Go Ahead - This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!!!

5.) Loud Sigh - This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A Loud Sigh means she thinks you are an Idiot and Wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of Nothing.)

6.) That's Okay - This is one of the most dangerous statements a woman can make to a man. That's Okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mastake.

7.) Thanks - A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you're welcome. (I want to add in a clause here - This is true, unlless she says "Thanks a lot" - that is pure sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say "you're welcome". That will only bring "Whatever").

8.) Whatever - Is a woman's way of saying F--- YOU!!!

9.) Don't Worry About it, I got it - Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking "What's Wrong?" For the woman's response Refer to # 3.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Power Of Prayer

Does prayer’s power heal the sick, change lives, or fulfill our needs and desires? Should you bury a statue of Saint Joseph, if you want to sell your home, or put Saint Christopher on your dashboard as you travel this holiday season? There’s no definitive way to prove the power of prayer, but it’s not for lack of trying. Humans, including scientists, charlatans, and medical experts, have attempted to prove and disprove the efficacy of prayer since the beginning of intellectual curiosity.

The most surprising thing about these studies is that we’ve learned nothing. Some studies seem to show concentrated group prayer, whatever that is, has a measurable effect on AIDS patients. A decade ago, Dr. Elisabeth Targ’s famous double-blind research convinced some that AIDS patients who were prayed for lived longer than AIDS patients who were not prayed for by a controlled group of prayer-sayers. How do you control that?

Reading university studies is interesting, but confusing. Some show cardiac patients who believe in God do better than those who don’t. On the other hand, in a Harvard study, it looks like cardiac patients assured of receiving prayers of intercession didn’t fare as well as others, and Francis Galton, cousin of Charles Darwin, determined that if a king’s subjects prayed for him, the poor guy lived a shorter life than other kings.

Consider this: Studies aside, nearly everyone has stories of friends, family, and acquaintances that lived a miracle brought about by prayer or devotion. A widow accidentally drops her keepsake wedding ring in the ocean. She prays daily that she will find it. Years later, it turns up in the local fisherman’s catch. A missing child is inexplicably recovered when his whole community gathers to pray.

My husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness ten years ago. We prepared ourselves. We prayed a lot. He’s still around, and his medical team is astounded. He should not have had a positive outcome. There are thousands of stories of humans visited by angels – some of them seem inarguable. We can’t get enough of George’s angel in It’s a Wonderful Life, and books about causing change through prayer fill the bookstores’ shelves.

You can drive yourself to distraction Googling for answers on whether prayer has power or can effect change. The Online Surgical Technicians Course has a comprehensive list of formal, rigorous, scientific studies. You can find first-hand prayer testimonials on the Experience Project Web site and, I dare say, all over the Web.

Maybe the most rational conclusion was drawn by Wendy Cadge from the sociology department of Brandeis University, Massachusetts. An expert on how religion and medicine impact each other in today’s American culture, Cage remarked, “With double-blind clinical trials, scientists tried their best to study something that may be beyond their best tools; and [this] reflects more about them and their assumptions than about whether prayer works.”

The question isn’t complicated. The answer doesn’t lie in studies funded by millions of tax dollars. If you attend to your spiritual growth, you will have a relationship with your personal mode of prayer and with your higher power. When your devotion is honest and sincere – prayer can smooth out rough areas and improve the quality of your life.

Believe in miracles.