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January 28, 2015

  • bradley-cooper-american-sniper

    American Sniper – What We Criticize

    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…

  • NewsMissed-1-25

    The Weekend Off – News You Missed

      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…

    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…

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

    Bird of the Week – Wandering Tattler

    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.  

  • YearinPhotos2014

    Road Trips, Protests and Kiev – 2014 In Photos

    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….



The Weekend Off – News You Missed

Jan 5, 2015

Alaska – ‘Nextdoor’ app aims to connect neighbors in Anchorage It started as a quest to protect a reindeer. About two years ago, somebody tried to break into Albert Whitehead’s home on 10th Avenue, near downtown Anchorage. They also tried to break into the pen of Whitehead’s well-known pet reindeer, Star. – Special Investigator Planned To Look Into National Guard Allegation Attorney General Craig Richards is in the process of hiring a special investigator to look into the handling of sexual assault complaints within the Alaska National Guard. Grace Jang, a spokeswoman for Gov. Bill Walker, said Richards is…

Common Murres, St. Paul Island, Pribilof Islands

Bird of the Week – Common Murre

Jan 3, 2015

But wait, there are more Alcids! Certainly including the very Common Murre. WC has received criticism that he only posts photos of single birds. Well, duh! But for variety, at least, here a group shot of half a dozen of Alaska’s most common Alcid, the Common Murre. A Common Murre colony is a very noisy, crowded place, with many of their long, moaning “Ooooaaarrr” calls. When alarmed by a predator, or an encroaching, careless birder, they stream off their cliff colony is a silent waterfall of black and white birds, calling only as they level out of the ocean waves….


Martin Luther King’s Church: At the Historic Ebenezer Baptist

Dec 29, 2014

In October I had the honor of photographing a service that the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. It was just before the 2014 election so people were registering and calling for a turnout at the polls. Reverend Warnock, the current head of the church called for people to sign up on the Souls to the Polls forms that were distributed. The service was one of the more moving that I’ve ever been to Rev. Warnock preached of the importance of participation in your community. The original Ebenezer Baptist Church is now part of the National Park system and…

The Weekend Off News You Missed

The Weekend Off – News You Missed

Dec 29, 2014

Alaska Fairbanks Newsminer – Alaska governor issues order to halt 6 megaprojects Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has ordered a halt to all non-obligated state spending on six major projects: Ambler Road, Juneau Access Road, Susitna-Watana Dam, Kodiak Launch Complex, Knik Arm Crossing and Alaska Stand-Alone Pipeline Project. ADN – Video: Anchorage chef strives to be an example for the disenfranchised Aaron Dollison, 49, grew up in Anchorage and learned to cook from his mother. He went on to cook at Susitna Foods & Spirits and Denny’s, but he learned how to cook in bulk in prison. Juneau Empire – Hunters find…


On the Campaign Trail: East Coast Edition

Dec 28, 2014

In October and November of 2014 I was on assignment for Al Jazeera America, working with Greg Palast. We were on the trail of the 2016 vote theft. If you haven’t read it by now please check out our Sidney Award winning article on Kris Kobach’s voter registration purge program, Crosscheck and the followup on activists responses. Along the way I discovered that Alaska was in on the scheme and reported the story for TheMudflats – read it here. Along the way we happened across another story, the 2014 election. Here’s some photos and video from the Monday and Tuesday of the…

Hoary Redpoll, Chevak, Alaska

Bird of the Week – Hoary Redpoll

Dec 27, 2014

Around the holidays, WC likes to post a bird that is at least kind of Christmasy. The challenge is that Alaska just doesn’t have that many Christmasy birds, and WC is starting to have to reach a bit. Here’s a Hoary Redpoll. A paler version of its more ubiquitous Common Redpoll cousin, the Hoary seems to prefer more northerly habitat. On a day when WC might have 100 Common Redpolls at this feeders, there might be just one or two Hoarys. There’s some excitement about Hoary Redpolls in ornithological circles; bird researchers haven’t figured out their taxonomy. For WC, it’s…


Video: Dealing With Your Relatives

Dec 24, 2014

This week is all about spending time with family, sharing gifts and unfortunately talking to your relatives. That’s why the crew at Lady Parts Justice created this video filled some of the things that the right wing of your family might gas on about. (do people still say ‘gas on’?) Luckily – we have the internet – so you don’t need to spend the holidays alone – please share your  holiday horror stories on twitter and instagram with the hashtag #LPJHolidayHell and follow @LadyPJustice on twitter.


Alaska to NY in About 10 Minutes with a GoPro

Dec 21, 2014

Earlier this year, during the infamous ‘Polar Vortex,’ I decided it would be a completely reasonable idea to drive the Alaska Highway. Starting in Alaska I drove to Dawson Creek, British Columbia (the end of the Alaska Highway), and then on through Canada and the Midwest to Upstate New York. It took me about 10 days. Thanks to a GoPro attached to the windshield of my car now you can watch the trip in a little over 10 minutes. I’ll be posting some photos from the trip over the next couple of days throughout The Mudflats end of the year…

Parakeet Auklets, St. Paul Island, Pribilof Islands

Bird of the Week – Parakeet Auklet

Dec 20, 2014

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.


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

Dec 15, 2014

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…