passed away last week at 78 years old. He was a Master Navigator
from the tiny island of Satawal
. In the seventies, he traveled to Hawaii to help the Polynesian Voyaging Society
revive the wayfinder
's art, navigating by the sun, moon, stars, animals, waves and clouds. In 1976, he steered the Hokule'a, a traditional sailing canoe,
from Hawaii to Tahiti without even so much as a compass. He began teaching a new generation of navigators and helped launch
a revival of Polynesian culture. To honor him, the Polynesian Voyaging Society is raising money
to assist the people of Satawal, while also preparing for a world wide voyage on the Hokule'a, to use their ancient wisdom to help imagine a new relationship to the planet
posted by cal71
on Jul 21, 2010 -
A cyclone has essentially flattened
the tiny Pacific island nation of Niue. Although only one of the island's 1200 inhabitants has died, the infrastructure is so battered that the government may simply call it quits,
ceding control to New Zealand. Although suffering from sharp population declines over the years, Niue had been one of the most technologically advanced microstates, being the first country to install free Wi-Fi
accessible to all of its residents and visitors. And they control the top-level domain .nu
- or do they? The recent natural disaster may highlight the fact that the story of the .nu domain is one of economic and legal exploitation.
And if Niue folds, can you run a website from a domain attributed to a deleted country?
A fascinating sidebar to this fascinating story. (Via /.
posted by PrinceValium
on Jan 12, 2004 -
The Polynesians were, undoubtedly, the greatest navigators of the ancient world. Using outrigger canoes, they were able to colonize lands spread as far apart as Madagascar and Easter Island and as far south as New Zealand. But where did they originally come from? Jared Diamond
demonstrates how, by using linguistic and archaeological evidence, it's possible to reconstruct their journey from China and Taiwan to the Philippines, from there on to Borneo, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Guinea and out to the Pacific one way and Madagascar in the other. As an exercise, try comparing the numbers 1 to 10 in all Polynesian and Indonesian languages
, to see how the language gradually changed as they hopped from island to island.
posted by lagado
on Nov 23, 2000 -