The 'Dirty Thirties' saw farmers hit with the double-whammy of the Great Depression and the ecological disaster of the Dust bowl
"In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt offered 203 families from the hardest-hit areas of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan the chance to start fresh in a new land, in a fertile Alaskan valley with the melodic name Matanuska."
"It was heady, fine-sounding stuff on paper.
Picked from relief rolls in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, the prospective colonists knew their Promised Land was a wilderness, but the Government was going to turn the wilderness overnight into an Eden with running water, radios, a cinema. It was going to set each family up on fine 40-acre farms with every necessity, many a luxury, 30 years to pay." It didn't quite work out as well as they'd hoped.thirties' saw many farmers in the United States [more inside]
posted by merelyglib
on Sep 10, 2008 -
Enemy of the State.
Wolves in Alaska are gunned down from the air for cash bounties, their orphaned pups often discovered by agency biologists in the field and killed
. Alaskans soon vote on proposition 2
to stop the controversial slaughter that serves the interests of large game hunters.
posted by Brian B.
on Aug 29, 2008 -
All across Alaska, radio operators tore their earphones from their heads, swore under their breath, and ran out to find help. The telegram in their hands read: "AN EPIDEMIC OF DIPHTHERIA
IS ALMOST INEVITABLE HERE STOP I AM IN URGENT NEED OF ONE MILLION UNITS OF DIPHTHERIA ANTITOXIN STOP MAIL IS ONLY FORM OF TRANSPORTATION STOP I HAVE MADE APPLICATION TO COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH OF THE TERRITORIES FOR ANTITOXIN ALREADY STOP THERE ARE ABOUT 3000¢WHITE NATIVES IN THE DISTRICT". [more inside]
posted by Cobalt
on Aug 10, 2008 -
62 year old emergency physician John Hall and his wife Jane took off on a Bike Ride Around America
to promote cancer awareness. They started on April Fool's Day
, and completed their 12,000 mile journey around the perimeter of the country just today
. Along the way they encountered hundreds of towns and thousands of friendly people
, and a few not so nice
. All in all, a pretty amazing accomplishment in my book.
posted by netbros
on Jul 31, 2008 -
Dispatches from Polar Scientists
-- A compilation of blogs "in celebration of the International Polar Year (2007-08), [giving] you an up-close-and-personal look at research in extreme environments through the thoughts and experiences of the scientists working there. We’ll post their photos, videos, and blogs on this site."
posted by fourcheesemac
on Jul 16, 2008 -
A few years ago when I was visiting Alaska, one of the more interesting portions of the trip was the 45-minute drive from Anchorage to Girdwood along the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet
. This is one of the world's rare bodies of water that features bore tides
, an amazing scene. The highway is one of only 15 roads in the United States that have been designated an "All-American Road." What about some of the world's greatest highways? [more inside]
posted by netbros
on Apr 17, 2008 -
A photographic catalog of a traditional whale hunt. (Flash, photos include whale hunting in all its bloody detail)
In order to develop an experimental interface for storytelling, photographer Jonathan Harris accompanied a family of Inupiat Eskimos on a subsistence whale hunt. During his week long journey, he took 3,214 photographs, including pictures taken every 5 minutes while he was sleeping. The navigation allows for for very quick navigation through the series, using a heartbeat metaphor and a number of filtering constraints so that you can narrow your search to cast members, locations on the journey, and even something as loose as a photo's "concept".
posted by mkb
on Dec 10, 2007 -
is a fantastic 1992 National Geographic special
that may make you want to move to Alaska. Focusing on a handful of U.S. families who have moved from the cities in the lower 48 to handmade homes above the arctic circle and now receive their mail by bush pilot maybe 3 times a year, living hundreds of miles from their nearest neighbor, and exist entirely of their own capability, the documentary is a fascinating view of life WAY off the grid. Presented here in a YT playlist of six segments, there are more great moments (from sawing through the frozen fish to the enumeration of meals made from Moose) than I can list.
posted by jonson
on Sep 26, 2007 -
Filming in Alaska in 1995, photographer and surfer Ryan Casey looked at the huge waves kicked up by calving glaciers – up to 30 feet high, breaking on an ice shelf 18 inches deep, surrounded by tumbling chunks of ice as big as buildings – and thought, I bet you could surf that
. A month ago, Hawaiian big-wave surfers Garrett McNamara
and Keali’i Mamala did it
posted by gottabefunky
on Sep 13, 2007 -
The Klondike Gold Rush
, the last great gold rush of the 19th century.
On August 16, 1896 huge quantities of gold was found in the remote Yukon region of Canada
. Word spread slowly, until eleven months later, the steamship Portland arrived in Seattle
from Dawson with "more than a ton of gold". Within six months, approximately 100,000 gold-seekers set off on the perilous journey north
to the Yukon. Only 30,000 completed the trip.
Resources: Eric A. Hegg's photograph's
of the gold rush, stories
from the gold rush, women
of the gold rush, Klondike Gold Rush Historical Database
, info and teaching resources
(warning: annoying frames), links
, Librarians' Internet Index
posted by MetaMonkey
on Jun 27, 2006 -
Jeremy Hermanns' flight
on Alaska Air #536 was out of the ordinary, to say the least. A baggage handler ran into the plane before takeoff and didn't bother to report it. So when the plane reached altitude, its cabin suddenly depressurized, and was forced back to Sea-Tac Airport. Jeremy, who has experience as a pilot, posted about what happened on his blog. Rather than offer an apology, Alaska Air employees have taken to bashing him from company IP addresses.
This brings up a larger question, though. What should
companies do when their products or services fail, and consumers (almost inevitably) discuss it in a public forum? Jeff Jarvis' Dell incident
comes to mind. In that link, he mentions Dell's no talking to customers on blogs policy.
Would you rather have a company that reached out to disgruntled customers, or pushed them away? I've seen more than one small software company comment on a blog or take direct action as a result of a post -- is that the preferable route today?
posted by bitter-girl.com
on Dec 30, 2005 -
To live in a pristine land ... to roam the wilderness ... to choose a site, cut trees, and build a home ... Thousands have had such dreams, but Richard Proenneke lived them.
In 1968, at 51 years of age, Richard Proenneke retired to Upper Twin Lakes, Alaska
and using nothing but hand tools, built a cabin
where he lived for the next 30 or so years. He filmed
the cabin's construction (as well as much of nature's wonder) and kept meticulous notes on the back of wall calendars. In 1973, Sam_Keith
produced a book (One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey)
based on Proenneke's journal entries and photography. In 1999, at the age of 82, Proenneke could no longer endure the harsh winters of Alaska and moved to California to be with his family. He
on Easter Sunday, 2003.
posted by a_day_late
on Feb 10, 2005 -
"There is, in fact, a war-winning weapon close to hand that the Allawi government could use — with support from allies and from both Democrats and Republicans. This weapon could, at a stroke, put flesh on the bones of formal democracy, change the dynamic of the insurgency, begin to win the confidence of the Iraqi people and create a powerful, growing force for stability, national unity and economic development. The weapon, of course, is oil — and the huge flows of cash it generates." Lenny Glynn suggests an Iraqi People's Freedom Trust
modeled after the Alaska Permanant Fund
posted by Ty Webb
on Nov 11, 2004 -
Normal for Us: The Millter Twins
This is a pretty amazing documentary, made by Eric Cain for Oregon Public Broadcasting, about twins Michelle and Mariya Miller and their family. The girls were born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy and therefore have never been able to walk. The parents were determined to have their daughters live life and so developed unique motorized transports and a home that accomodates their needs. In a tiny town in Alaska. Talk about pulling the tears right out of their ducts!
posted by billsaysthis
on Sep 16, 2004 -
"In the summer of 1978 I undertook a 3-month 11,500-mile journey by moped
from Toronto to Alaska (USA) and back to Toronto. This website contains a complete travelogue of this trip, with over 300 photographs and a description of the trip, plus technical information about the moped and details of the trip."
posted by stbalbach
on May 18, 2004 -
Happy Easter, everybody! Nothing like a natural abomination to ring in the season!
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, those are real live baby chickens dyed in various pastel colors. How do they do this thing? They inject (non-toxic) dye right into the eggs.
Who does this thing? These guys
, a hatchery in Alaska (no information about the chicks on their web page). Amusing? Horrifying? Strangely delicious-looking? You make the call.
posted by logovisual
on Apr 9, 2004 -