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January 30, 2015

In the Heart of NYC – At the Rodeo

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There’s a few things that I’ve always wanted to photograph – among them are, a Presidential Inaugural (check), a revolution (check), the aurora (check), and a rodeo (finally, check). There are others – like the Westminster Dog show and an actual active war zone that hopefully I’ll be covering in the years to come. The rodeo that I got to photograph was actually in NYC, part of the PBR tour. No – that’s not some hipster rodeo – but actually the Professional Bull Riders. It was an odd spectacle that took place at Madison Square Garden, you know… the place where the Knicks…

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American Sniper – What We Criticize

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I quickly grew tired of reading passionate reviews about American Sniper that contained a sentence midpoint which read, “I haven’t seen the movie.” And so it was that I decided to go see the movie myself. I’ll start by saying that the most common complaint I’ve heard – that “it glorifies war” – falls flat. The theater was full, and as several hundred people sat through the credits in silence, and got up in silence, and walked out of the theater in silence, I’m pretty sure they weren’t all fired up to get out there and go to war. My…

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The Weekend Off – News You Missed

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  Alaska The Daily Beast – The Keystone Bill’s Most Hilarious Amendment: Protecting Chicken, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan’s (R-Alaska) first amendment as a lawmaker sent a clear message to the federal government: Nobody messes with Chicken, Alaska. Nobody. Sullivan’s amendment to the Keystone XL Pipeline bill—expected to be voted as soon as Monday— bars officials from Environmental Protection Agency from carrying guns, a direct result of a “raid” conducted in a tiny gold mining town in 2013. A town called Chicken. ADN – Alaska health department investigates possible measles case The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services is investigating a possible…

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Palin for President? Oh please, oh please, oh please…

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Like a bear being wakened from a long winter’s nap, so have I been roused from another project to return to these pages. Was it the warm southern breezes and the promise of a new spring that brought me out of my cave and into the sunlight? No, it was not. It was more like the sound of screeching aluminum right before it succumbs to metal fatigue… kind of a high-pitched squeal that hits you right where the base of the skull connects with the spine. I refer, of course, to Sarah Palin making an announcement. According to The Washington…

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Bird of the Week – Wandering Tattler

Wandering Tattler, St. Paul Island, Pribilof Islands, Alaska

For many years, this was WC’s nemesis bird, a bird he might see in the distance but had been purely unable to photograph. On St. Paul Island, WC finally found a reasonably cooperative Tattler. A fairly uncommon shorebird, it breeds inland along gravel stream banks, but spends most of the year on the mudflats and rocky shores of the Pacific Coast, wintering all the way down to Baja California. It has a wonderful flight song, a ringing, whistled deedle deedle deedle dee. Camera geek stuff: f4, 1/6400, ISO 1000 For more bird photos, please visit Frozen Feather Images.  

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Road Trips, Protests and Kiev – 2014 In Photos

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2014 was an insane year. I haven’t experienced anything like it in my lifetime. Sure, everyone says that’s every year when writing these end of the year summary type articles. But just for a moment stay with my on this. We had the rekindling of the Cold War in Ukraine, riots in the streets of a middle American city, Civil Rights protests in every major city in America, a border crisis (however made-up) and a mid-term election that effectively ended Obama’s chances of doing anything before the end of his Presidency. Somehow I ended up being at all those events….

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The Weekend Off – News You Missed

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Alaska ADN.com – Walker administration asks 9th Circuit to pause same-sex marriage appeal pending Supreme Court ruling News that the U.S. Supreme Court will decide the fate of same-sex marriages means Alaska is pressing pause on its ongoing challenge to the decision allowing marriage equality in the state. NPR.org – Welcome To Whittier, Alaska, A Community Under One Roof Whittier, Alaska, is a sleepy town on the west side of Prince William Sound, tucked between picturesque mountains. But if you’re picturing a small huddle of houses, think again. Instead, on the edge of town, there stands a 14-story building called Begich Towers…

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Bird of the Week – Northern Fulmar

Pale Morph Northern Fulmar, St. Paul Island, Pribilof Islands

The Northern Fulmar is a member of the family Procellaridae, the tubenoses. The tube-like structure on top of the bill allows the Northern Fulmar to excrete salt, making it independent of any need for fresh water. It some ashore only to lay eggs and raise its young. While it has a superficial resemblance to a gull, they are only distant relatives. This pretty lady was on a single egg. The pale morph, in WC’s limited experience, is less common than the dark morph in Alaska waters. Camera geek stuff: f11, 1/1600, ISO 100 For more bird photos, please visit Frozen Feather Images.

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The Weekend Off – News You Missed

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Alaska ADN.COM – With more Alaska women incarcerated than ever, some moved to men’s jail The number of women incarcerated in Alaska is at an all-time high, with the sole women’s prison in the state overcrowded enough that the Department of Corrections is now housing female inmates at Anchorage’s jail for men. DailyMiner.com – Seven bills and resolutions so far head to Juneau from Interior Interior lawmakers had their names on seven of the 63 bills or resolutions pre-filed in the run up to the start of the 29th Alaska Legislature. Many of the Interior delegation bills included retreads of legislation or…

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Photos from France: Je suis Charlie

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Vigils and rallies are springing up all around the world in support of the murdered cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo. These stunning photos are sent to us from the south of France, Aix en Provence to be exact. Taken by Smaranda Tolosano, a photographer based in France but currently going to school in Boston. You can follow her work on Twitter, Tumblr or at her portfolio site.  

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