It’s Been a Busy Month!
I can’t believe it is already March and we will be heading to Honolulu next month for the Annual Meeting. It has also been quite a month with a lot going on …
First, are the late-breaking abstracts. Wow, what a response!! On February 27 2017, the ISMRM received over 100 abstracts on machine learning in response to the call for late-breaking abstracts. Many thanks to those authors who submitted such high quality work, and to the AMPC subcommittee who read and scored all of these abstracts. It was a tough choice, but they have come up with an outstanding oral session on Tuesday morning of the annual meeting (25 April) in room 313BC. The Central Office sent the announcements earlier today. Very exciting!
Unfortunately, this February the White House announced a travel ban from citizens of seven Middle Eastern and African countries. Although the courts struck down the initial executive order, the Trump administration is looking to implement similar travel bans, the details of which are still evolving – including a court challenge by the State of Hawaii. We are dismayed by this decision and understand that this impacts many of our members. For those members affected by the ban who have scientific and educational talks, the ISMRM Central Office will be implementing solutions to allow for remote presentations for those who are unable to have a colleague present the work. If you are affected by changes in US immigration policies, please contact the Central Office to see how we can help. Please also see the ISMRM website for updates on travel restrictions and the ISMRM position on travel bans. I would also note that all future ISMRM meeting sites are all outside of the US for the foreseeable future.
Be sure to sign up for the ISMRM Fun Run to be held on Sunday, April 23 2017. The run / walk will start promptly at 06:00, but please be there at 05:00 to make sure you are registered and ready to go. The event will be held at Fort Derussy, next to beautiful Waikiki beach. Details of the 5km course will be sent out soon. Be sure to register right away to not only get your limited edition ISMRM Fun Run T-shirt, but to ensure you are able to run as there is a limit on the number of participants. We are almost full!
I am sure that you have also thinking about fun things to do outside of the meeting. Why travel all that distance not to have a little fun in this tropical paradise? I am very lucky to have a good friend and former fellow, Darren Lum, a body MR Radiologist at The Queen’s Medical Center in downtown Honolulu. As a native of Hawaii, Darren has graciously put together this following list of fun activities to do outside of the meeting. Many thanks to you, Darren, for putting this together!
World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument:
2016 marked the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. At Pearl Harbor, you will find the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Missouri, USS Bowfin, and the Pacific Aviation Museum. For more information visit http://www.pearlharborhistoricsites.org
Visit a museum or take a tour at a Hawaiian historical landmark.
Iolani Palace is a historical Hawaiian landmark. Located in downtown Honolulu, it was the residence of King Kalakaua and Queen Lili`uokalani, the last monarchs of Hawai`i. It is the only royal palace in the US. Used as the official residence of Hawaii’s last two monarchs from 1882 to 1893. Open Monday-Saturday from 9am-4pm. For tickets, visit the ticket office in the Iolani Barracks on the Palace Grounds Monday-Saturday from 8:30am-3:45pm. To make reservations, call 808-522-0832 or visit http://iolanipalace.org.
Nearby is the statue of King Kamehameha, Kawaihao Church, and Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site (www.missionhouses.org).
Bishop Museum has a large collection of Hawaiiana. From Wikipedia: “The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, designated the Hawaiʻi State Museum of Natural and Cultural History, is a museum of history and science located in the historic Kalihi district of Honolulu on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu. Founded in 1889, it is the largest museum in Hawai’i and has the world’s largest collection of Polynesian cultural artifacts and natural history specimens.” Open daily from 9am to 5pm, General Admission for adults: $22.95. For more information Call 808.847.3511 or visit http://www.bishopmuseum.org.
Go to an authentic luau and enjoy an evening show at the Polynesian Cultural Center:
Visit the Polynesian Cultural Center. From Wikipedia: “The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) is a Polynesian-themed theme park and living museum located in Laie, on the northern shore of Oahu, Hawaii.” Villages from different islands around the Polynesia are re-created here. This theme park employs students from the adjacent Brigham Young University-Hawaii. Entrance fees help subsidize students from around the Pacific. In exchange, students work at PCC. For more information call (808) 293-3333. http://www.polynesia.com
Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay:
One of the most popular activities on the island. Voted #1 Best Beach in the US for 2016 by Dr. Beaches. Declared a protected marine life conservation area and underwater park in 1967. Hanauma bay is closed every Tuesday. Hours 6am to 7pm. Limited parking. City bus #22 runs to Hanauma bay regularly. Another way is to reserve a seat on Waikiki to Hanauma Bay shutte. Park entry fee $7.50. Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve (808) 396-4229. http://hanaumabaystatepark.com
Life’s a Beach:
Enjoy one of the fantastic beaches on Oahu. There are many excellent beaches on Oahu. The famous Waikiki beach will be close and accessible. Ala Moana Beach Park/Magic Island is near the convention center.
If you have a rental car, it would be worthwhile to drive out to Kailua. Lanikai Beach is one of the best beaches on the island. Just be aware that parking is very difficult, and there are strict parking regulations with certain days where parking is prohibited. Beware that the neighborhood is a loop and that on certain weekends and holidays, entering vehicles pack the loop creating gridlock. From Wikipedia: “Lanikai Beach is located in Lanikai, a community in the town of Kailua and on the windward coast of Oahu, Hawaii. The name Lanikai means “heavenly sea.” This small ½ mile strip of beach is consistently ranked among the best beaches in the world. Adjacent to Lanikai Beach is a primarily upper-class residential area because of this it is accessible through public beach access paths. Although the beach itself is public property, it is not state land and is not a county beach park like many beaches in Hawaii. There is no public parking lot and the area lacks facilities like restrooms, showers or lifeguards.”
Nearby Kailua Beach Park at 526 Kawailoa Road is also excellent. This beach park offers parking with access to a 2.5 mile long beach with fine white coral sand. Named the best beach in the USA in 1998 by Conde Nast. Shade trees, life guards, picnic tables, and showers available.
Sandy Beach on the southeast corner of the island is popular with young teen bodysurfers, and for people watching. As a word of warning, do not enter the water at Sandy Beach. There is a deceptively dangerous shore break. Neck injuries with cervical spine fractures and paralysis from Sandy Beach is all too common at the local trauma center.
Take a Hike:
There are many excellent hikes on Oahu for various expertise levels. Visit http://www.hawaiitrails.org or http://www.alltrails.com
A fairly easy hike is to the top of Diamond Head. (http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/oahu/diamond-head-state-monument) It is open 6am to 6pm with the last hike at 4:30pm. $5 per car or $1 per pedestrian. Excellent views of Honolulu at the top of the hike, which takes about 2 hours roundtrip.
Other popular hikes include Manoa Falls (http://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/hawaii/manoa-falls-trail), the Lanikai Pillboxes (http://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/hawaii/kaiwa-ridge-pillbox-trail), and the Makapuu Point Lighthouse Trail (http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/hiking/oahu/makapuu-point-lighthouse-trail/).
A longer more difficult hike is Kuliouou ridge Trail (http://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/hawaii/kuliouou-ridge-trail).
Finally, an insane hike up the steep 1048 stairs on the Koko Crater Trail rewards you with spectacular views. (http://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/hawaii/koko-crater-railway-trail)
Check Out The Farmer’s Market:
Held at the parking lot at Kapiolani Community College every Saturday morning from 7:30am to 11am. A very popular farmers market, it gets very crowded. Fresh produce and delicious food from a multitude of vendors. Another popular Farmers Market is held on Wednesdays from 4pm to 7pm at the Neal Blaisdell Center. (http://hfbf.org/market/)
Across the street from the convention center is Ala Moana Shopping Center. From Wikipedia: “Ala Moana Center, commonly known simply as Ala Moana, is the largest shopping mall in Hawaii. It is also the seventh largest shopping mall in the United States, and the largest open-air shopping center in the world”. The recent Ewa-Wing Expansion at Ala Moana was completed last year with a new Nordstrom and Bloomingdales. (http://www.alamoanacenter.com).
In Waikiki, the International Marketplace was just remodeled, reopened last month, and is now anchored by a new Saks Fifth Avenue. (http://www.shopinternationalmarketplace.com). In Wakiki, there is also the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center, Luxury Row, and Waikiki Beach Walk (http://waikiki.com/shop.html)
North Shore Road Trip:
On the mainland US, driving across the country on Route 66 comes to mind when you think of taking a road trip. On Oahu, driving around the island in one day is the longest road trip you can take. Some of the highlights of a North Shore road trip include visiting the Dole Plantation (https://www.doleplantation.com) and cooling off with a shave ice (http://matsumotoshaveice.com). You can stop off at Haleiwa town, visit Waimea Valley (http://www.waimeavalley.net), check out the surf at Sunset Beach, and eat at one of the Kahuku Shrimp Trucks (http://tinyurl.com/juykjfj).
Poke, man… Gotta Catch ’em All:
Go Hunting for the best poke on the Island. One of the advantages of being in Hawaii is the access to the fresh fish right from the ocean. Poke is a popular raw fish salad. If you have a rental car, make it an adventure to get out and sample some of the best poke on the island. (https://www.thrillist.com/eat/honolulu/where-to-find-the-best-poke-in-oahu)
This is just a small sampling of the amazing and diverse opportunities for site-seeing on the island of Oahu. My personal favourites include snorkeling at Hanauma Bay and the Pearl Harbor Memorial. I hope that you are able to make the time to see some of these sites. In addition to this list, please be sure to visit the Hawaii Tours & Sightseeing on the ISMRM website. There are a lot of great options from which to choose.
The ISMRM smartphone app has been updated! Many thanks to Brian Hargreaves and Sally Moran for making major improvements to the ISMRM App. New features include an advanced mapping feature, web-based itinerary builder which syncs to your mobile device, and much more. Be sure to download the ISMRM 2017 App for iPhone and for Android, which will be available on 7 April 2017.
Finally, be sure to sign up for Slack. Slack is collaborative media that is ideal for informal communications. Not only is Slack great for general conversation, but through channels that will be setup by the ISMRM Slack will facilitate live-feed questions for oral presentation, and will create an environment to promote questions and continuing conversations between presenters and the audience, long after the oral sessions are complete. If you haven’t already signed on to Slack, please do so. For those of you not familiar with Slack, be sure to check out the Slack Guide for novice users.
Riding this wave has been quite the trip … just one more month to go!
PS be sure to check out the new “secret_sessions” channel on the ISMRM 2017 Slack team. Shhhh … it’s a secret!