Concern growing for brain-invading worms, spread by slugs and rats

(credit: Lindo et al.)

There have been six cases of a rare parasitic infection called “rat lungworm” in Maui in the last three months, health officials reported this week. The number is small, but it’s a dramatic jump from the normal number of cases. In the decade before this period, the island had only seen two other cases.

The surprising uptick has health officials and residents alike worried about the rise of the worm, which can invade the human brain. In infected people, the infection may be symptomless and resolve on its own. But for others, rat lungworm moves into the brain and can cause inflammation, pain, and other neurological problems such as tremors. In those cases, it can be fatal. In all cases, rat

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‘Imiloa Astronomy and Hawaiian Cultural Center

The ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center pleasantly surprised us with the depth of their exhibits and the diversity of their collection, which includes astronomy and Hawaiian culture, as well as the overlap between the two. We watched projected videos of Hawaii, took a ride through space with a robot, played with wooden boat puzzles, learned new Hawaiian words, pushed a lot of buttons, and even enjoyed a 3D movie of the universe. A lot of love went into creating the exhibits and artwork throughout the space, including intricate paper flowers made from recycled paper that you notice first walking in the door. The space was very welcoming and opening for toddlers, and we will definitely plan a trip back to see a show in the planetarium and have … Read the rest

Aloha Dispatch Day 13

So, lilikoi is the same as passionfruit, which explains why I couldn’t find any lilikoi in our box of passionfruit.

We’ve put ourselves on something of an austerity budget, partly to keep us focused on work and partly to keep us from just eating out every meal. There are not a lot of great restaurants, but there are enough good ones and they’re nee to us and look interesting enough to make us want to explore them – and we have a small kitchen and a toddler who likes to get into everything. So it would be easy to spend a lot of money eating out, but we’ll try to spend our money on the farmers market and limit our restaurant usage to twice per … Read the rest

Aloha Dispatch Day 10

I needed quarters for laundry (it feels regressive to be doing coin-op laundry again). I went to the bank next door and stood behind a guy at the bank today who was trying to open an account with his lady friend who had no ID of any kind. They both looked like burnouts and I concluded that there are probably a lot of people without ID here, living off the grid with little money and no insurance.

There is a measurement, like I.Q., called Life Skills that some people have more than others. And there is a kind of Peter Principle of geography – people tend to migrate where their life skills are at the level of incompetency. To live in New York City, you need … Read the rest