Page 279. " Meronym list'ned griefsome 'nuff as I telled her 'bout the scorpionfish but she sorried, "
The Red lionfish (Pterois volitans), a member of the scorpionfish family.
Public DomainThe Red lionfish (Pterois volitans), a member of the scorpionfish family. - Credit: Jens Petersen

The scorpion fish, or the Scorpaenidae, belong to one of the most venomous families of marine fish in the world. They possess sharp spines laced with poisonous mucus and are found mostly in the Indo-Pacific. They usually dwell on the bottom of the ocean and feed on crustaceons. Within the same family are the lionfish, the firefish, the dragonfish and the stingfish - named after the manner in which they kill their prey.

Page 283. " we trekked inland southly up Waiulili stream an' I cogged the clearin' by Hiilawe Falls where I'd s'prised the Kona what killed Pa five-six years b'fore. "
Hi'ilawe waterfall,
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeHi'ilawe waterfall, - Credit: Paul Hirst

One of the tallest in Hawaii, the Hiilawe Falls have a drop of 442 metres. Located within the Waipi'o Valley (itself part of the Hamakua District), it often runs dry.

Page 288. " tho' its walls wasn't as tall as a redwood, nay, more a spruce high. "
A Norway Spruce (Picea abies)
GNU Free Documentation LicenseA Norway Spruce (Picea abies) - Credit: MPF

The coastal redwood is commonly around sixty metres tall, although many reach beyond ninety metres. It is usually found in California (see bookmark p. 419) but also appears Great Britain, New Zealand and Hawaii. The tallest recorded is called Hyperion and can be found at the Redwood National Park. It is 115 metres tall. The spruce tree grows between 20 - 60 metres tall.  

Page 289. " Meronym spoke, marv'lin as much as me, they wasn't temples, but observ'trees what Old'uns used to study the planets'n'moon'n'stars, "
Mauna Kea Observatories - above 40% of the world's atmosphere
Creative Commons AttributionMauna Kea Observatories - above 40% of the world's atmosphere - Credit: Vadim Kurland

Mauna Kea (see bookmark p.272) plays host to the largest astronomical observatory in the world. There are currently 13 telescopes operating near the summit, each managed independently but operated by scientists from eleven countries. Mauna Kea offers close to ideal operational conditions for some of the world's most advanced telescopic equipment. Firstly, Mauna Kea offers the highest point in the Pacific Basin and stands above 40% of the world's atmosphere. Secondly, the atmosphere here is clean, dry and stable. Thirdly, visibility is exceptional owing to dark skies undisturbed by city lights. Learn more about the observatory by visiting their excellent website.

Page 291. " Sonmi'd been birthed by a god o'Smart named Darwin, that's what we b'liefed. "

An 1871 caricature of 'A Venerable Orang-outang' in the satirical magazine 'The Hornet'
Public DomainAn 1871 caricature of 'A Venerable Orang-outang' in the satirical magazine The Hornet
HMS Beagle being hailed by natives of Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire)
Public DomainHMS Beagle being hailed by natives of Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire) - Credit: Conrad Martens (1801-1878)
Difficult to say anything new about a man whose stature stands monolithic on the plains of science. He made popular the notions of natural evolution and the survival of the fittest, put forward in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species.  It is much less well known that he was famous in his day for publishing The Voyage of the Beagle  (1839) (read here), both a travel memoir and scientific field journal, which provides an account of his five year journey aboard HMS Beagle. His wanderings around the Pacific and his maritime experience connect him neatly with Mitchell's text. Darwin's ideas did not collide head-on with religion as one might have expected, and many liberal Christians, who did not believe in the Old Testament at a literal level, found Darwin's findings not incompatible with their belief system. God, after all, might have designed man to be self-evolving.