Facts Fail To Impress The Superstitious. Film at 11.

Andrew Cooper, a local astronomer, laments the continued belief in astrology, which apparently is so detached from the facts that they'll print "The Sun has entered Aries," when, due to precession, the Sun is still well inside Pisces.

Hawai'i is a place of deep spirituality, both mainstream and New Age. A few years ago Tina and I went to a public-comment meeting on regulations for dolphin-human swimming. Spinner dolphins rest during the day in certain coves along the Kona coast (not every cove will do -- the dolphins like to rest over sand bottoms that are between, say, 40 and 120 feet deep). There's no question that dolphins' behavior is "disrupted" by swimmers or divers (they swim deeper under swimmers and they turn away from divers). If the Marine Mammal Protection Act were followed to the letter, large sections of several of the most popular swimming and diving locations would necessarily have to be entirely closed to humans. So some kind of compromise is needed. Tina and I have friends in both the commercial SCUBA industry and in the conservation community, so we went to this meeting expecting to hear some reasonable talk.

Well. The public testimony was entirely dominated by people explaining that dolphins were:

  • alien beings
  • transdimensional beings
  • beings of pure spirit

One way or the other, apparently it is the dolphins' greatest pleasure to seek out humans and swim with them, especially those that pay \$75 to drive in high-speed inflatables owned by bed & breakfasts that specialize in "enlightened" New Age tourism. Uh huh. At one point, Tina leaned over and said "You know, I once had a telepathic link with a dolphin. It said... 'leave me the fuck alone.'"

Anyway, word has it that after the meeting, the poor researcher whose job it was to respond to these comments had to take two weeks vacation, he was so dismayed.