Alaska: Last Frontier, 49th state

Alphabetically among the states, Alaska is second, after Alabama.

Map of USAIn case you missed it amidst your New Year’s revelry, Alaska was granted statehood on as the 49th state of the United States on January 3, 1959. Back in 2011, when my mom died, my daughter, one of her older cousins and the cousin’s boyfriend were asked what’s the largest state in size, and only my seven-year-old daughter knew it was Alaska.

Upon attaining statehood, Alaska increased the size of the United States by nearly one-fifth. I think Americans are confused by the vastness of the state because most maps of the United States look like the one above, with Alaska (and Hawaii) relegated to the lower left corner of the map, usually with no scale. Hawaii usually appears larger than it is in relationship to the contiguous states, but Alaska almost appears MUCH smaller.

“The Last Frontier” is “the northernmost and westernmost state in the United States and has the most easterly longitude” in the country because the Aleutian Islands extend into the Eastern Hemisphere. Canada, specifically British Columbia and Yukon, border the state to the east. It has a maritime border with Russia to the west across the Bering Strait. To the north are the southern parts of the Arctic Ocean. The Pacific Ocean lies to the south and southwest. The state has a longer coastline than all the other U.S. states combined.
Alaska over the US

Yet Alaska is also the most sparsely populated U.S. state with a population of only 739,795 (2017). Denali National Park is home to Denali (formerly called Mount McKinley), North America’s highest peak. Alphabetically among the states, it’s second, after Alabama. In terms of postal codes, AK is first, before AL.

You may know why Russia gave up Alaska. The territory was difficult to defend and “Russia was short on cash due to the costs of the war in Crimea” in the 1850s.

But why the US want to buy it? “In Alaska, the Americans foresaw a potential for gold, fur, and fisheries, as well as more trade with China and Japan. The Americans worried that England might try to establish a presence in the territory, and the acquisition of Alaska – it was believed – would help the U.S. become a Pacific power. And overall the government was in an expansionist mode backed by the then-popular idea of ‘manifest destiny.’

So a deal with “incalculable geopolitical consequences was struck,” and the Americans seemed to get quite a bargain for their $7.2 million, approximately two cents per acre.

For ABC Wednesday

May rambling #2: Not to be used to bribe politicians

Muppet Rawk III: Revolver by Karin Madan

Not to be used to bribe politicians

How Long Does It Take To Figure Out If a Ten-Dollar Bill Is Real?

Historically, Income Inequality Is Known As A Destroyer Of Civilizations

Mass incarceration: An American problem

His last foray into international negotiations doesn’t bode well for his Kim meeting

There’s no cost to white people who call 911 about black people. There should be

Yes, He Is Making White People More Hateful

Congressman: Rocks tumbling into ocean causing sea level rise

Why did it take so long to find the Golden State Killer suspect?

Big Pay Gaps Are Bad for Business

Outlines of a Reading Project on the Class Divide

Seven Maps to Better Understand the World

All hail the mighty balloon lobby

A SON SPEAKS OUT By Moses Farrow

Why Be a Congregation?

Stores & Brands Offering Senior Discounts

Alan Bean, 4th Person to Walk on the Moon, Dies at 86

Toobin: What you need to know about Tom Wolfe

Memorial video for Comedy Store creator Mitzi Shore

An Open Letter to Wikipedia by Philip Roth (September 2012)

The cast of The Big Bang Theory gave their own tribute to fan Stephen Hawking

Have Your Heard Adulting is Way Hard?

According to a local official in the know, plannerding is “a thing.” “Nerding” is the act of being a nerd. Planning is obvious. Being a nerd, while planning (typically involving mapping and or data analysis) = plannerding

Alexa, Stop Spying on Me

Here’s to the Losers

Now I Know: The Solution to an Unanswerable Question and The Problem with Chinese GPS and How Strawberries with Sugar Ravaged Portugal and The Restaurant With A Rotating Grandma On The Menu

Hotel Duckmaster

We Made a Tool So You Can Hear Both Yanny and Laurel

MUSIC

Jaquandor and his bride have been married 21 years

Symphony No. 2 by Howard Hanson, the “Romantic”, in memory of Dr. Janice Wade of Waverly, IA

AFRICA – Peter Bence (Piano Cover of Toto song)

Coverville 1217: The Steve Winwood Cover Story II – my request! and Coverville 1218: Covering the 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Stand By Me Father – The Soul Stirrers

Higher Love – Lilly Winwood with Steve Winwood

The Flying Sequence from the score to Superman, by John Williams

Medley of Junk – Continental Co-Ets, surf/garage band from Fulda, Minnesota

Here’s to the losers

The Seeker – Fish

THE NATURE OF SOUND – Symphony of Science

Alright – Jain

The Song of Summer 2018

Why Stradivarius violins are worth millions

Burton Silverman’s Famous Painting

I’ll Never Hear Every Song

March Rambling: a quintillion or a trillion?

Fred Hembeck talks about a compilation of his Marvel work, House of Hem.

Pie-Chart-39
Delayed exoneration of a death row inmate, after 30 years.

9 Things Many Americans Just Don’t Grasp (Compared to the Rest of the World).

“The phone rang. It was my college rapist.”

What Happens When Mein Kampf’s Copyright Expires?

Building Equity: Race, Ethnicity, Class and Protected Bike Lanes.

Giving Homes to the Homeless is Cheaper Than Leaving them on the Street.

Man vs. Machine. A guy walks into a bar. He finds a video poker machine – run by the Oregon state lottery – which dealt him a strange hand.

Re: NCAA men’s basketball March Madness, the odds of a perfect bracket? It’s not 1 in 9.2 quintillion. Not incidentally, 10^18, or one followed by 18 zeroes is in the English system, one trillion. In any case, 9.2 quintillion is NOT 9.20000000000000000000, as NBC Nightly News showed earlier this month; THAT number is equal to a number smaller than 10.

Dustbury explained +/- (plus/minus) in basketball to me: “It’s based on the changing score during a player’s actual time: if, during a six-minute period in which he plays, if his team scores three points more than the opposition, he is +3. This of course varies greatly with substitutions, but electronic box scores update every minute or so.”

John Oliver won’t be your therapist: How he torpedoed the reassuring tropes of fake news.

Selma: the tragic anniversary of the death of Viola Liuzzo and Underground Railroad Project remembers the March.

Joseph Skulan on Wisconsin Mining Bill AB486 (2.17.12).

Major League Baseball’s Dirty Little Secret and Through the No-Looking Glass and Professional Ice Cream Taster.

25 maps that explain the English language.

Jaquandor: Writing Outside the Lines: on outlines. Plus the beer-drinking, 1970s sitcom DVD-watching Hank Speaks: How I Edit.

Dustbury hears voices; I’ve experienced this, too.

Gordon’s eight years in Chicago.

For all you lovers of the dance: here is an explanation of the influence of Africa on modern dance – if you have three hours to spare.

The Beatles or the Stones: Which Side Are You On? “If the Stones resented the Beatles’ cultural primacy, the Beatles resented the Stones’ unassailable coolness and sexual heat.” The Beatles themselves were like other men, but the music and lyrics channeled through them contained magic and messages from beyond the mind.

“Back when L.A.’s recording scene was a hit-minting machine that ruled the airwaves,” the Wrecking Crew worked up to four three-hour sessions a day. Here’s a review of a film about them.

Not only Diana Ross but also Mary Wilson turned 71 this month. 10 underrated Supremes songs.

SamuraiFrog ranks the Weird Al Yankovic songs: 165-151 and 150-136 and 135-126 and 125-116.

Art Spiegelman and jazz composer Phillip Johnston: “Wordless!”

Swamp Thing music.

The cover art on your favorite band’s album is awesome. It’s even better with cats. Must show the Daughter.

My friend Fred Hembeck is interviewed, and talks about a compilation of his Marvel work, House of Hem.

Irwin Hasen, R.I.P., the artist of the comic strip Dondi. Here’s the New York Times obit.

Trailers for 2015: The Best Animated Short nominees.

Muppets: Jim Henson Company and the ‘Into the Woods’ Movie that Could’ve Been and the message of “Rainbow Connection’ and Cookie Monster, Life Coach and Cookie Monster is making unboxing videos and Animal’s Whiplash.

How To Make The IDEAL Chocolate Chip Cookie: Add A Pinch of Science.

Getting more mayonnaise and toothpaste out of the container.

Dominoes and Etch-A-Sketch.

Srinivasa Ramanujan’s Magic Square.

Welcome to the Inauthentic Paper Detector. “Paste any text in the textbox. The chance that your submission is a human-written authentic scientific document will be output. Text over 50% chance will be classified as authentic.” Here’s the paper about it. Everything I write is inauthentic.

GOOGLE ALERT (me)

Chuck Miller: Welcome to the club, Roger Green!! Apparently, I have posted 1000 times on my Times Union blog. I had no idea. Also, Another win for the TU Community Bloggers.

My blog post re: the Barber Adagio was linked to EvilGeniusVic’s Capital Region.

Sharp Little Pencil: Outhouses and Holes We Dig, for Wisconsin governor Scott Walker.

Jaquandor’s Sentential Links (the Leonard Nimoy edition).

Where I’ve been in the USA

Sadly, I haven’t added to the thirty states I’ve visited since my trek to Chicago, IL in 2008.

map1
I got to the map on this page via Dustbury.

Click states in the map to cycle through the colors, or use the list beneath. Choose:

red for states where you’ve not spent much time or seen very much.
amber for states where you’ve at least slept and seen some sights.
blue for states you’ve spent a lot of time in or seen a fair amount of.
green for states you’ve spent a great deal of time in on multiple visits.

These are definitionally tricky categories. In addition to NY and NC, where I’ve lived, I’ve added PA to the green category, because at least three of my grandparents’ families lived there. The parents of my childhood friend Carol owned a cottage in northern PA, where I visited a lot. I’ve seen my now-ex, the Okie, there. One of my brothers-in-law lives there now.

Likewise, I spent so much time going to Boston and Springfield that I added Massachusetts to the list. The same then future brother-in-law used to live there, who I visited after I appeared on JEOPARDY! in Boston.

California almost made the list, due to multiple visits to San Diego; I’ve actually been to the major league ballpark there more than any other. Vermont was also on the blue-to-green bubble. Washington, DC would be definitely blue.

Most of the amber states I visited as a result of a single conference visit: Colorado, Kentucky, Illinois, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin. I went to Michigan and Ohio on a train trip in 1998. Oddly, the only place I’ve been in West Virginia is Martinsburg, about halfway between Albany, NY and Charlotte, NC, but we’ve been there enough times to identify the restaurants and hotels, practically from memory.

A few years ago I did a similar map, but it was a merely/yes no thing. Sadly, I haven’t added to the thirty states I’ve visited since my trek to Chicago, IL in 2008. But we ARE working on adding to The Daughter’s list.

Incidentally, if I were to add the Canadian provinces, Quebec would be amber – two trips to Montreal in the 1990s – but Ontario would be blue, with trips to Windsor, Toronto, Peterborough, and especially Niagara Falls.

April Rambling: Buy the niece’s new album, and end Daylight Saving Time

“Your attention to detail often makes you isolated and aloof, but your heart is also deeply passionate and romantic.”

rjcoldfact
New album from Rebecca Jade & The Cold Fact the debut release from San Diego-based eclectic soul/funk band. RJ is my niece, my sister Leslie’s daughter.
From NBC San Diego: “Not everything on April Fool’s Day was a joke. Rebecca Jade & the Cold Fact released their self-titled debut and it’s no laughing matter. Channeling everyone from Candi Staton and Betty Davis to Morcheeba and Brightback Morning Light, these 12 tracks of soul and funk are stunners. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy.”
Another review.
In this picture, she’s the one in the blue dress.

After watching this video, I’m even more convinced than I was before: Daylight Saving Time is a waste of time. Having tried to schedule a phone call from the UK at a point when the US is in DST and the UK has NOT yet moved to British Summer Time, I know of which the speaker is talking about.

Everything wrong with the US prison system in under 4 minutes.

That dreadful US Supreme Court’s ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC has made buying politicians so much easier. If the case confuses you check out this video. Definitely watch the cartoon United States of John Roberts.

There are more ways to arrange a deck of cards than atoms on Earth!

Former Major League Baseball player Doug Glanville was caught Shoveling Snow While Black, at his own residence.

We are all just stories in the end. Yes, I’m the Roger mentioned therein.

Leave me alone, but not now. I’m convinced that MOST of us are like this; certainly, I am.

Dustbury pointed me to this: I didn’t willfully start out forgetting you. It was something that just happened, an occurrence that took place over time, little by little…

Melanie: People who heal. Also, Knowledge comes from what you add, wisdom from what you remove.

Two moments, one sister.

Evanier on Advocating for your family at the hospital, plus a follow-up. Plus his Tales of My Grandmother.

Animation: Johnny Cash on gospel music.

Tosy’s ranking U2 songs: 100-91.

The J.D. Salinger of Sick Songs, Tom Lehrer. More Lehrer.

Jack Nicholson’s descent into homicidal madness re-cut into uplifting family film trailer.

Microsoft released a video on the story behind their “Bliss” default desktop photo for its Windows XP operating system, for which it is no longer providing technical support.

Less interested in the comic book review that the reference to the New York World’s Fair, which I attended, though not until 1965.

cat-science
In one of those Facebook memes: “I’m Picard: Few are smarter and more reliable, but that doesn’t mean you’re bad in a fight. You surround yourself with great people, but maintain a strong devotion to the chain of command. You’re fiercely loyal to your friends and family, but never had time to start one yourself. In the minus column…you can be a touch boring.” And speaking of which: Picard’s tea. Also, Trek-lit reading order.

I’m also Led Zeppelin: “You’re an overachiever and a perfectionist. You work hard at what you do, and it shows. Your attention to detail often makes you isolated and aloof, but your heart is also deeply passionate and romantic. If you continue to refine your skills, you’ll eventually become one of the greatest ever in your chosen field.” Third sentence is almost certainly correct.

The Gandy Dancers.

An Aesop fable comes true.

Great newspaper headline, with proper grammar.

14 Arcane words every freelancer should use.

50 Shades of Smartass: Chapter 21 and Chapter 22 and Chapter 23. TG this ends soon…

Because Muppet Outtakes Are the Best Outtakes. Also, I remember this Jim Henson AmEx commercial.

Kids react to technology: rotary phones and Walkmans.

Judgmental city maps.

GOOGLE ALERT (not me)
For Kibler [Arkansas] Police Chief Roger Green, “providing law enforcement to the Crawford County town is not much different than policing larger cities.”