Flashback: Hawaii Superferry questionnaire

15 12 2008

Back in September, I went to Hawaii for a week with my family, and we decided to go from Honolulu to Maui by ferry. It’s a slow trip compared to taking a flight, but worthwhile especially if you are traveling with kids.

Hawaii Superferry

As you approach the boarding lanes, a Hawaii Superferry employee goes through the standard procedure of checking your vehicle and asking you questions about what you are taking with you. Even though you are hopping from island to island in the same state, the procedure resembles crossing the border with a neighbouring country or boarding an international flight, which makes sense in today’s world, and also for environmental reasons. So both sides engaged in this somewhat flat but polite conversation that goes like this:

“Are you carrying any firearms or ammunition?”
“No.”

“Are you taking any domestic animals with you? Any livestock?”
“No on both accounts.”

“Do you have any flammable materials in your baggage?”
“No.”

“Any plants, seeds or soil?”
“Nope.”

“What about human bones?”
“No. Wait. What???”

I know that there must be a reason for the question, some historical precedent or technical legality justifying it. But I can’t help but wonder if anyone was ever caught in the process. “Human bones? Hummm, let me see. Hey sweetheart, are those bones in your bag human?”





Flashback: Hawaii

23 10 2008

I’ve been away from home for most of the month of October, first on vacation in Hawaii, then a swing through East Asia to speak at Singapore and a day-trip to Hawthorne, NY, for a client event. I wish I could blog every day – not that there’s anybody there to read, but I’d like to keep a record of things that are in my mind, for my own navel gazing reasons. I managed to update my status in Twitter/Facebook with some frequency, but blogging, despite being deemed as passé by Paul Boutin (WIRED magazine), is still my favourite form of 2.0 communication. Boutin is missing the point: the 2.0 communication space is definitely more fragmented now, but blogging still has its space. His article is similar to people predicting the death of newspapers, radio, TV and movie theatres in the past, each time a new media appeared. Blogs will evolve too, and may even converge or integrate with social networking sites, but Twitter, Flickr and Facebook simply are not replacing it, just allowing you more choices depending on what you want to communicate or your specific preferences. Of course, my guess is as good as anybody else’s.

It was my first time in Hawaii. I loved it. It’s interesting in so many levels: natural resources, friendly people, unique history, great food. I wouldn’t mind going again. Here are some random shortcuts from the trip that may be vaguely related to IBM or Web 2.0, and some subtle evidence that cyberspace is actually here:

1. It’s a wiki world out there

First thing I saw when I left the plane was the sign to the Wiki Wiki bus. It’s kind of bizarre to see things and places called wikis, but it’s all Ward Cunningham‘s fault :-) .

Not sure if’s readable, but the last picture is mind boggling for IBMers: a place called “Wiki Wiki Java”, that has nothing to do with computers. It’s like the first time I came to North America and thought that a hardware store would be the place to buy computers.

2. IBM Honolulu and the Beehive

I swear I was not thinking about work, but our hotel was very close to the IBM office, a very cool building resembling a beehive and sporting the logo used by IBM between 1956 and 1972 (if you are a history buff, you may like to check-out all the logos IBM has used throughout the years):

IBM Honolulu - The BeehiveIBM Honolulu - The BeehiveHawaii - IBM

3. Hawaii Superferry and Twitter

We took the ferry to Maui, and I found it to be very comfortable, especially if you’re travelling with kids. Free wi-fi is available aboard, and they use Twitter as a communication tool, something that would make Bernie proud of. They even have a “Twitter Us” link in their website.

Hawaii SuperferryHawaii SuperferryHawaii Superferry - Honolulu

The full set of pictures is in Flickr, but here’s a friendly warning that there may be way more pictures and rainbows and sunsets than a normal person can handle there. I’m using Flickr as my photo repository, so the majority of pics there are not that interesting. Here’s the preview:








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