Showing posts from October, 2011
I have been reading a really wonderful book called the Darwinian Tourist, and it has made me blink dumbly in the bright distance of time.

The Universe is 13.7 billion years old, the Earth is 4.6 billion years old, life is 3.5 billion years old, Mammals first appeared 200 million years ago, the first Hominids 6 million years ago. Modern Humans have only been on the planet 200,000 years ago. 50,000 years ago humans first left Africa, and only 12,000 years ago did our closest human relatives, the Hobbits or Homo Floresiensis, die out.

Here's that timeline retold as if it were just one year. Here it is in toilet paper.

 In that context, Kure and Midway were formed 40 million years ago, where Hawaii is now, and Kauai was formed 6 million years ago.

People came to Hawaii only 1500 years ago.

All of this fills me with awe.

An Open Letter to the Librarians of Kauai

Dear Librarians of Kauai,

Your job is tough. You are shepherds of books in a place where books have many natural enemies. This is an island so humid that books curl damply on my bookshelf. Mold powders every spine, pickles every page with white dust or black spots. Sand works itself into the glue, causing pages to faint listlessly out of binding. Rain falls into daily puddles can easily appear where a safe dry book spot was.  Bugs swarm and devour: silverfish and termites, those little dusty small aphids and tiny spiders that infest floury cookbooks. The hot sun bleach-bakes paper, salt air rusts paper, red dirt dyes paper. Books age prematurely, battered by the unmitigated elements. In the face of this constant battle, you librarians must be tired, worn down, exhausted--- trying to keep your books safe.

Patrons come into the library. Patrons complicate matters-- they scramble the books, misplace them, expose them to earth wind and fire. In their eagerness they might pull 15 books of…