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December 20, 2014

Bird of the Week – Parakeet Auklet

Parakeet Auklets, St. Paul Island, Pribilof Islands

Yes, there are a lot of Alcids. Here’s another one, the Parakeet Auklet. The white line behind the eye is a plume, a very long, narrow white feather, that appears in breeding season. Like most birds, the shape of the bill tells you a lot about the species’ preferred food. The Parakeet’s bill is adapted to gelatinous prey like small jelly fish. Mated pairs have a charming, bill-tapping routine when they greet each other. Camera geek stuff: f16, 1/250 ISO1000 For more bird photos, please visit Frozen Feather Images.

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Clooney’s Wife: Fascinating, but not for that reason


Barbara Walters chose Amal Ramzi as one of her ‘most fascinating people’ — ABC decides it’s for marrying George.   I want to punch the writer of this piece in the face right now. Yeah, I know that’s a bit aggressive, but I’m tired of this shit. Here’s how some nameless writer decided to open a short article about Amal Ramzi being named Barbara Walters ‘Most fascinating person of the year.’ [You can read the article here, if you want to hate yourself] “Amal managed to do the seemingly undoable, locking down a man thought to be one of the world’s most…

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The Weekend Off – News You Missed


Alaska ADN – Jail contractor calls for end to free local phone calls In the jailhouse phone business, the usual practice in the United States has been for the company that provides telephones behind bars to pay a “commission” to the government agency that allows it to serve a captive customer base. Fairbanks Daily Miner – Lockheed Martin wins Alaska spaceport contract The state-owned space agency on Friday named Lockheed Martin the winner of a bidding process to reconfigure a launch pad to accommodate larger rockets than what the Kodiak Launch Complex can currently handle. Juneau Empire – South Korean vessel heads to…

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UPDATE – Repub ‘Dr.No’ Stops Veteran Suicide Prevention Act


Updated at 9:30pm est Dr. No has done it. Outgoing Senator Tom Coburn has single handedly managed to prevent the passage of the Clay Hunt SAV Act this Congressional session. IAVA’s Paul Rieckhoff posted this to facebook earlier this evening. Post by Paul Rieckhoff.     In a rare bi-partisan show of support, both Senators Murkowski and Begich co-signed a bill that looks to provide 22 million dollars in funding for suicide prevention among veterans. The bill is called the Clay Hunt SAV Act, and if you watched Rachael Maddow the other night [see above] you’d know that a lone Senator is…

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Bird of the Week – Horned Puffin

Horned Puffins, St. Paul Island, Pribilof Islands

Last week’s bird, the Tufted Puffin, has a close cousin that’s almost as colorful, Alaska’s other puffin, the Horned Puffin. The “horns” aren’t really horns; they are fleshy knobs that appear in breeding season. For a bird that is relatively common, they are poorly studied. but are believed to be the most pelagic of Alcids, spending most of their lives far out in the ocean, coming ashore only to breed, and then only after several years. Camera geek stuff: f18, 1/500 ISO1000 For more bird photos, please visit Frozen Feather Images.

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Mudflix: Rhymes for Young Ghouls


“This is what brings my people together… the art of forgetfulness” It’s been a month now since I first was able to watch Rhymes for Young Ghouls, and I still think about it. It’s the sort of film that gives you chills on a regular basis long after viewing. It’s a horror film, but not the kind with traditional ghouls and goblins (even though there are a few). The monsters in this film are not apparitions, they are very real and based on very true stories. We follow a young Red Crow girl surviving on the Red Crow Mi’g Maq reservation in 1976….

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Jeanne Devon Interviews Zach Roberts Today

Zach D Roberts

I’ll be filling in Thursday, Friday, and Monday for conservative radio talk show host Eddie Burke (< —not a typo) on KOAN 1080am and 95.5fm in Anchorage. He’s having knee surgery and asked me to man the ship. What’s that about? Today, I’ll be talking to The Mudflats’ own award-winning photo editor and investigative reporter Zach Roberts! He recently went to Ferguson and then New York City in the wake of grand jury decisions in the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. You’ll hear his take on the trip, what he found, and what he didn’t expect. And our…

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The Oath Keepers in Ferguson


Standing on top of a boarded up beauty shop, silhouetted men look out over the street. I can faintly see the outline of a rifle, an AR-15? M-16? I don’t know guns well enough to make a guess. I walk carefully over to the building, hands half raised. The weather in Ferguson has turned cold, and as I get closer I can see their breath in the night air. I’m trying to think of what to say. There’s lots of stories about these guys. People down the street are connecting them to the rumors that the KKK is in Ferguson. Some…

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Bird of the Week – Tufted Puffin

Tufted Puffins, St. Paul Island, Pribilof Islands

From the smallest Alcid to the largest Alcid, the Tufted Puffin. WC has received complaints that Alcids aren’t very colorful. We’ll address that, too. At just under 16 inches long, the Tufted Puffin is more than three times bigger than its diminutive cousin, the Least Auklet. The flashy plumes are a breeding season characteristic, as are the electric-orange legs and feet. (Technically, this is the second time Tufted Puffin has been the Bird of the Week. But the earlier post was a captive bird, at the Alaska Sealife Center. These are wild birds, on St. Paul Island, in the Priiblofs.)…

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Black Lives Matter: Across The Brooklyn Bridge


Unlike the usual New York protests that end in violence from police and dozens of arrests, this march happened peacefully. Carrying mock coffins that had the names of those killed by the NYPD, at least a thousand people marched across the Brooklyn Bridge Thursday night. Circled by police helicopters and joined by members of the NYPD, the protesters chanted ‘Black Lives Matter,’ occasionally changing it to ‘Thugs Lives Matter’ – meaning that even those committing minor crimes don’t deserve to be shot or strangled.

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