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Letting It Go, or Not

Prominent blogger Andrew Sullivan develops an unhealthy obsession over the (lack of) details surrounding the birth of Sarah Palin's youngest child. Sullivan really, really won't let it go. Persistent rumors lead the editor of the Alaska Daily News to, "finally decide, after watching this go on unabated for months, to let a reporter try to do a story about the 'conspiracy theory that would not die' and, possibly, report the facts of Trig's birth thoroughly enough to kill the nonsense once and for all." Palin releases press release slamming the paper. Editor of paper publishes email from Palin's office along with his response. Palin complains about "bored, anonymous, pathetic bloggers who lie," says episode is, "more indication of continued problems in the world of journalism." She also thinks Katie Couric is bad at journalism, not the center of everybody's universe, and is exploiting Palin. Mike Huckabee disagrees, says Couric was "extraordinarily gentle" with Palin. Political pundits and journalists are left scratching their heads - is she crazy? Or a crazy genius? 2012 is just around the corner.
posted by billysumday on Jan 13, 2009 - 188 comments

Trevor Dunbar, frozen two-mile run

The new Internet legend. Trevor Dunbar ran a 9 min 1 sec, 2 mile time trial through ice and snow. The entire thing is recorded. And what was once in Alaska can't stay in Alaska. More details.
posted by jwakawaka on Dec 8, 2008 - 23 comments

AP Calls Alaska Senate race for Begich.

One last goodbye for the memories. Theodore Fulton Stevens has lost his Alaska Senate seat.
posted by daHIFI on Nov 19, 2008 - 75 comments

Something's fishy in this state, too

Very, er, unusual voting results in Alaska. [more inside]
posted by flotson on Nov 8, 2008 - 90 comments

Troopergate Update

An independent investigator hired by the Alaska Personnel Board has cleared Governor Sarah Palin of wrongdoing in the Troopergate controversy. (Executive summary and recommendations of the report). As previously covered in MeFi, the Alaskan legislature had conducted its own investigation and had concluded that Governor Palin had indeed abused her power in dismissing Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, but the independent investigator concluded that the Legislature's special counsel used the wrong state law as the basis for his conclusions and also misconstrued the evidence in the investigation.
posted by gyc on Nov 3, 2008 - 96 comments

One closer to 60

Sen. Stevens (R, AK) found guilty of of seven corruption charges. Stevens was behind in the polls before this point anyway, so it looks like a solid Dem gain at this point. Palin has obviously thown him under the bus.
posted by jaduncan on Oct 27, 2008 - 131 comments

You Betcha

Legislative panel concludes that Palin abused the power of her office. A Republican-dominated Alaska State Legislative panel voted unanimously this evening to release to the public the results of the investigation into Governor Sarah Palin's dismissal of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. (Full report PDF here) Among four key points released in the report, the most significant "concludes that Palin violated the state's executive branch ethics act, which says that 'each public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust.'"
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Oct 10, 2008 - 477 comments

EPIC FAIL: The Astroturf is always greener on the other side.

Rusty Shackleford over at right-wing anti-Muslim jihad blog The Jawa Report has posted that the Obama campaign, in an effort to portray Sarah Palin a member of the secessionist Alaska Independence Party, is engaged in a smear campaign through the use of viral video and astroturf techniques on You Tube. [more inside]
posted by Skygazer on Sep 24, 2008 - 73 comments

from Argentina to Alaska

Candelaria and Herman Zapp drove from Argentina to Alaska in a 1928 Graham-Paige. They wrote and self-published a book about their trip and are now planning a similar trip across Asia. [more inside]
posted by maurice on Sep 21, 2008 - 12 comments

Nine vignettes about the Alaskan Secession

Nine Whispered Opinions Regarding the Alaskan Secession. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Sep 16, 2008 - 29 comments

The Matanuska Colony: The New Deal in Alaska

The 'Dirty Thirties' saw farmers hit with the double-whammy of the Great Depression and the ecological disaster of the Dust bowl years. "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 - 33 comments

Whalesong and ocean sounds

The Jupiter Foundation and the Whalesong Project are both organizations which record humpback whale songs from floating buoys; some of their archived recordings can be found here, here, and here. (Warning, last two may resize your browser.) DOSITS hosts a more comprehensive collection of oceanic sounds, with seals and fish along with its whales and dolphins. It also has a couple of nice sections on how animals use sounds in the ocean. (Previously.) [more inside]
posted by Upton O'Good on Sep 7, 2008 - 9 comments

An Inconvenient Wolf

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 - 30 comments

More impressive than the Kessel Run

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 - 34 comments

We'd lava to stay, but...

Stop me if you've heard this one. An Icelandic sea captain, an Alaskan reporter, and a bunch of Russian amateur radio enthusiasts try to get to a remote island in the Aleutians to set up a ham-radio outpost as part of a DXpedition (wiki). From the preliminary report, it sounds uninteresting. They landed on the island, and the resident volcano, Mount Cleveland (wiki), erupted. Solution? Bring on the vodka and big bags of croutons. (WMV or RealAudio)
posted by greatgefilte on Aug 9, 2008 - 11 comments

A Tale of Two Airplanes

"Once Upon A Time... there were two very special airplanes that lived.... far.... far.... away on a tiny island in the Bering Sea. One was named Rivet Ball and the other was named Rivet Amber. Very few people knew anything about these two planes or the men that flew them. Even family members knew very little. That's because their mission was... TOP SECRET." (some photos and language within are NSFW) [more inside]
posted by kurmbox on Aug 7, 2008 - 18 comments

Around the Country in 121 Days

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 - 21 comments

Blogging from the top of the world

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 - 10 comments

Graham Siebe Alaskan Photoblog

PhotoGrahambo.com ― Alaskan photoblog by Graham Siebe. Where, what, and how.
posted by netbros on May 16, 2008 - 7 comments

Alaska's Capitol City Cuts the Power

While Alaskan senators get mopey about polar bears and climate change, the capitol city is busy cutting their power use... even if it is a bit against their will. The Snettisham Hydro plant suffered a massive avalanche this Spring, taking out the main source of power for Juneau. Some more info
posted by Foam Pants on May 15, 2008 - 11 comments

Naalagiagvik -- The Place Where You Go to Listen

The Song of the Earth -- New Yorker music critic Alex Ross writes on composer John Luther Adams, who has created an installation work at the Museum of the North in Fairbanks, Alaska in which geologic, astronomical, and meteorologic data are converted, in real time, into "a shimmering synthesized carillon." For a tiny hint of the experience, you can watch this Youtube video Hear more about the work from Living on Earth.
posted by fourcheesemac on May 6, 2008 - 6 comments

Kennan Ward Nature-Wildlife Photography

Kennan Ward Nature-Wildlife Photography -- “Being a nature-wildlife photographer is a demanding job … but all the hardship is forgotten when I make eye-to-eye contact with a wild animal, or experience the moment when a window in the clouds opens up, highlighting a landscape … I feel honored to be able to bring the inspiring beauty of nature to others.” [more inside]
posted by netbros on Apr 29, 2008 - 4 comments

Well, I'm running down the road trying to loosen my load

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 - 17 comments

They Moved the Whole Town

The town of Valdez, Alaska is located in south central Alaska on the northeast tip of Prince William Sound. Incorporated since 1901, the community’s first century has been marked by a number of significant events the most notable of which are the 1964 Alaska Earthquake, being chosen as the terminus of the trans-Alaska Pipeline and the tragic 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Apr 16, 2008 - 4 comments

Tunnel town - Whittier, Alaska

Imagine living in a town, total population 182, further imagine that you and just about all of your neighbors live in just one building. [more inside]
posted by Rafaelloello on Apr 14, 2008 - 24 comments

It's Coming Down Fast

Gravelter Skelter [video, WTF content].
posted by digaman on Apr 1, 2008 - 20 comments

The last Eyak speaker passes

Chief Marie Smith Jones, 1919-2008. "Eyak language dies with its last speaker." Or download the story directly as an .mp3 from Alaska Public Radio Network . [more inside]
posted by fourcheesemac on Jan 22, 2008 - 49 comments

Straight on Till Mornin'

"23 days, 12 states, five Canadian provinces, and 10,923 miles. We came within a hundred miles of the Arctic Circle and 500 miles of Russia. And we saw the most beautiful place that can be imagined." In June of last year, Clint and Robin drove from Chicago to Alaska and back again. Last August they headed into the great American west. Along the way they took some beautiful photos and made some inspired observations. If you've got some time on your hands, and some wanderlust in your heart, read along.
posted by Roman Graves on Dec 26, 2007 - 15 comments

The Whale Hunt

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". via
posted by mkb on Dec 10, 2007 - 21 comments

"Do unto others what they'd like to do to you... But do it first!"

Soapy Smith was "the king of the frontier confidence men." Born Jefferson R. Smith, he gained the nickname "Soapy" after running a successful scam that the Denver newspapers dubbed "The Prize Package Soap Sell Swindle." He ran criminal enterprises in Colorado and Alaska until his death at the hands of vigilantes in 1898. Every year his descendants hold a wake in his honor. His story has inspired several books and movies. The Soapy Smith Preservation Trust maintains an extensive archive of his life and times.
posted by amyms on Oct 16, 2007 - 20 comments

Never Pay A Bill Again

Braving Alaska 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 - 22 comments

great white wrecks

Abandoned plane wrecks of the north. The Arctic North is a cruel environment for men and machine; for planes it is no different. The weather creates all sorts of hazards, the terrain offers its own variety of opportunities for disaster. (Warning: extreme comic sans.)
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese on Sep 13, 2007 - 12 comments

Glacier surfing

Glacier surfing. 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. (YT)
posted by gottabefunky on Sep 13, 2007 - 32 comments

The Wild Yonder

Flying in the Alaska Bush. A photoessay of some bush flying in Alaska with a Piper Super Cub.
posted by exogenous on Aug 14, 2007 - 28 comments

Alaska and Northeast Siberia

Artifacts, people, and traditions of Alaska and Northeast Siberia.
posted by Wolfdog on Jun 12, 2007 - 6 comments

How to be an Alaskan fisherman

How to be an Alaskan fisherman is a fantastic photoessay by Corey Arnold targeted to any armchair crab hunters who've watched a few episodes of Deadliest Catch, about how to go from being a teenager in California to working one of America's most tortuous & lethal jobs.Via
posted by jonson on May 18, 2007 - 23 comments

Tunnels of Love

Massive tunnels for peace. Russia is considering building a tunnel under the Bering Strait that would include pipelines, high-speed rails, and a highway, though earlier plans have not gotten far, at least for the last ten millennia. Another large tunnel project under consideration that hopes to encourage mutual understanding is the Red-Dead Canal, which would irrigate the deserts of Jordan and Israel, generate electricity, and refill the Dead Sea using water flowing from the Red Sea to the lowest point on Earth.
posted by blahblahblah on Apr 19, 2007 - 29 comments

Free Snow Balls For Life

Alaska's calling Yoooooooooooou! Not interested in that Free Land in North Dakota or Kansas? Anderson, Alaska is giving away 26 lots on a first come, first serve basis. No gas station, no grocery store, no traffic lights, but grizzley bears abound!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy on Mar 17, 2007 - 19 comments

It's all gotta melt sometime

The World Ice Art Championships are being held in Fairbanks, Alaska this week. If you can't be there to see this year's sculptures, you can view last year's winners in both the single block and the multi-block divisions. You can also see many stunning entries from previous years.
posted by cubby on Mar 12, 2007 - 15 comments

Getting caught in an avalanche would *SUCK*

The Alaska Pacific River Forecast Center provides massive amounts of NWS remote weather station data on precipitation statewide. With avalanche season about to begin, these data are extremely useful to both amateur recreationists and snow professionals.
posted by mistermoore on Nov 14, 2006 - 9 comments

Iditarod Legend Dies

Susan Butcher, pioneer in the previously male-dominated sport of sled dog racing, died on Aug. 5 from leukemia. Among her many accomplishments was winning the Iditarod race 4 times. She was 51.
posted by cass on Aug 7, 2006 - 16 comments

"listing"

Crew of a disabled ship carrying 4,813 cars from Japan to Vancouver will soon be rescued. The Cougar Ace is stranded near Adak, Alaska, a tiny town and former naval air station in the remote Aleutian Islands, 1,192 miles from Anchorage. Here are pictures of other Aleutian shipwrecks.
posted by thirteenkiller on Jul 24, 2006 - 37 comments

what's going on in the rest of the world

Grizzly Bears frolicking at McNeill Falls, Alaska...live. It requires Real Player, sorry, but it's really quite something - the sight and sound of a Grizzly feeding frenzy that happens each summer here.
posted by Flashman on Jul 22, 2006 - 28 comments

The Klondike Goldrush

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 - 11 comments

My Crappy Prosecutor

Just to let everyone know, Rachelle Waterman is free.
posted by zaebiz on Apr 3, 2006 - 23 comments

Alaska Air blows more than a hole in its fuselage

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 - 40 comments

Please turn off all cameras before entering club

View the Pacific Walrus community at Alaska's Walrus Island State Game Sanctuary via their handy webcam. However, do your viewing soon as the camera will be going offline for several weeks starting tomorrow due to annual hunting by Alaskan Natives and their wishes for privacy . (yes, the animals in the last link are seals, but it illustrates why they don't want this broadcast live)
posted by numlok on Sep 8, 2005 - 3 comments

AK's got a real cool tunnel.

The U.S. Army Permafrost Tunnel provides researchers a unique opportunity to study the composition and behavior of ice structures, ice-saturated soils and frozen bioorganics dating over 40,000 years before present.
posted by breezeway on Apr 5, 2005 - 4 comments

Artist's medium: pen and ink on hides, paper, fish skins, seal skins, tree mushrooms, plywood, ceramic tile.

The art of George Aden "Twok" Ahgupuk: Denali, oomiak, blanket toss, whale hunt, caribou, and quite a few more subjects. Don't miss the fourth-graders.
posted by breezeway on Mar 23, 2005 - 1 comment

Care Bears: the true story

Come quick! I'm being eaten by a bear! In 1977, Cynthia Dusel-Bacon, a 31-year old geologist working for the US Geological Survey, lost both arms after an encounter with a hungry black bear during a field trip in Alaska. Not only she survived her ordeal, but she resumed her work as a USGS scientist. She can also tell you a few things about living a life without arms (she calls it "a multi-media approach"): how to chop carrots, undress, wash the dishes, read, and use a mouse.
posted by elgilito on Mar 23, 2005 - 23 comments

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