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It was in the mid-1960s when the story joke went around, about passengers of a jet flight who are told, shortly after take-off, “Welcome aboard America’s first fully automated aircraft flight. Under the control of advanced computer systems, this aircraft is perfectly safe. Nothing can possibly go wrong <click> Nothing can possibly go wrong <click> Nothing…

Great Horned Owl, Interior Alaska

Bird Break! Great Horned Owls


Great Horned Owls are an exceptionally widely distributed, highly variable species of owl, and one of the largest owls in the Western Hemisphere. Currently, ornithology thinks there are some 15 subspecies, and countless color morphs. This handsome lady (judging by size; females are noticeably larger) has very little brown coloration. She’s mostly grey and white,…

Tales from Wasilla: Railroaded


One of Alaska’s boondoggles is back in the news: the Mat Su Borough’s hugely expensive, still incomplete railroad to Port MacKenzie. So far, Alaska has invested more than $180 million on a railroad spur from the existing main line of the Alaska Railroad to Port MacKenzie. The money has run out with at least $125…

William Magear Tweed, c. 1870, via WikiCommons

Boss Tweed Comes to Interior


William Magear Tweed (1823 to1878) – Boss Tweed – was a New York politician and arguably the most corrupt man in the history of American politics, Through his control of the New York state Tammany Hall political machine, he exerted iron-fisted control over political patronage in New York City through Tammany, and his ability to ensure the loyalty of voters…