A Poem for Friday


WC will be away from the Intertubes intermittently for a few days. There are some scheduled posts, but there may be gaps. WC will leave you with this lovely, unpublished, untitled piece from Jane Yolen: But craft does not forgive the broken rim, the stuttered word, the slipped knot of the weave. Eye and ear…

WC’s Fourth Anniversary


According to the automated features of WordPress, this is the fourth anniversary of Wickersham’s Conscience blog. We’ll take a brief intermission to examine the statistics. 1,338 Posts 4,100 Comments approved 360,000 Views From 154 countries Most popular blog post Most popular search term Most continuous days with at least one post: 322 (and counting) First…

The Simple Explanation


WC was asked recently why he “wastes his time messing around with birds.” Not for the first time. Rather than simply blow the question off with one of his usual smart-ass answers, WC offers a photographic explanation. Panama is quite a small country, just 29,000 square miles, or about the size of South Carolina. It…

Alaska History Footnotes: The Atlin Meteor


And while we are talking about Atlin: from the December 14, 1915 Fairbanks Daily Times, the predecessor to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Despite fairly strenuous efforts, WC is unable to confirm, corroborate or even find independent reference to this report. A crater 50 feet in diameter? Really? That would have been an extremely loud explosion, but there…

Thomas Seibold: Lost But Not Necessarily Dead


The Alaska Dispatch has a long, thoughtful piece on missing German/Wisconsin survivalist Thomas Seibold. He disappeared on the Sungak River, northeast of Ambler, Alaska. Yesterday the Alaska State Troopers announced they were abandoningsearch efforts. But before  we all write him off as dead, WC wants to take his readers back to 1963, and the story of…

Notes on Ken Burns’ The Dust Bowl


WC doesn’t watch much television, but made an exception for Ken Burns’ latest documentary, The Dust Bowl. The film is superb, and makes the point that the largely forgotten lesson of the worst ecological disaster in American history was significantly man-made. Yes, there was a severe drought, but what made the dust bowl such a…