As you might guess, time is a bit tight when you are in law school. (Yes, I'm making excuses for the lack of posts again.) Still, every now and then some time becomes available. When you live in Hawai‘i, even a little time can be enough to let you see some amazing things.
I got over to the Big Island last weekend. On Saturday evening, we managed to get over to the Volcano, and I managed to get some nice pictures of Halema‘uma‘u at night.
A small linguistic diversion may be called for here. The Hawaiian language has 13 letters. One of those letters is the ‘okina, or glottal stop. The ‘okina is often seen represented by the apostrophe ('), but is more correctly represented using an inverted comma (‘). It's also often omitted entirely, which can lead to some confusion. I try to use the inverted comma. Since not all fonts render that correctly, you may see something different instead. If you do, I apologize.
In other words, you may have seen Halema‘uma‘u written as Halema'uma'u, or as Halemaumau. They're all referring to the same place.
For those of you who are not familiar with the Big Island, or with Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Halema‘uma‘u is a crater that is located within Kilauea Caldera. At the moment, there is a pit within Halema‘uma‘u. Within that pit, there is a lava lake. The lake itself is not visible from any safe location, but the column of vapor that the lake emits is. At night, the column is incandescent, which allows for some really spectacular views.
One of those pictures is above. There are more below the fold. As usual, you can click on any of them to see a higher-resolution version at my Flickr site.
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Yes, this is a post about the new Pope. And not because he's got a chemistry degree in his background.
My feelings about religion at any point in time are rarely clear. My skeptical nature and my Catholic upbringing are usually found in either a state of open conflict or uneasy truce. Fortunately, that doesn't matter so much for this post, since I'm not really planning to get too much into theology, and don't need to get into my own feelings and beliefs (and disbeliefs) at all.
Pope Francis does not have what anyone would call a progressive outlook on any number of social issues. He's not exactly a big promoter of women's issues. He's called same-sex marriage "demonic" in origin. We are not going to wake up tomorrow to learn that women can now become priests, or that priests can marry. None of those changes are going to happen under this Papacy.
But they would not have happened under a Scola Papacy. Or a Scherer Papacy. Or an Ouellet Papacy. Or a Dolan Papacy. Or, for that matter, under any of the leading candidates. Or under any of the non-leading candidates, with the possible exceptions of 1000:1 longshots Bono and Guido Sarducci. (It definitely would not have happened under the 666:1 longshot Dawkins Papacy, but for very different reasons.)
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There was a time when this was a science-type blog, written by someone on the path to a PhD in the sciences. Same blog. Same writer. But now it's starting to focus more on law, probably because I'm now in law school. The $10K question is why.
I love science. Did then, do now. As I write this, I'm multitasking my way through a real property class covering a topic that is increasingly making me consider the benefits communism would have to my personal sanity. So why am I sitting here in the classroom when I could be carrying fermenting banana mush around the Big Island.
Rest assured, the smell of rotting bananas is vastly preferable to the intricacies of the Rule Against Perpetuities.
Yet here I sit, wrestling with the Unborn Widow case, and a principle of law so complex that California has quite literally ruled that it's not malpractice if a lawyer screws up and writes a will or trust that inadvertently violates the rule.
(The professor just literally said to us, "I'm so sorry to have to teach you this.")
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It's been a while since I used this blog. Life has interfered with blogging a bit. A lot of that has to do with starting law school. Learning the law has proven to be at least twice as much fun as I could have imagined, and at least three times as much work as I expected. And I expected a lot.
But I think I'm more or less back in the groove, and I've missed blogging. My new legal focus might feel a little out of place in a science-oriented community from time to time, but hopefully there will be enough connections to justify my place here. And, of course, I'll still be talking about politics, current events, life, and other things.
I'm hoping to get the place cleaned up a bit, re-do the sidebar, and so on over the next couple of weeks. But I'm good enough at breaking things that I might be better off leaving them the way they are. We'll see how it goes.