Alaska Robotics

AKRN – Episode 2

Tuesday, February 11th 2014 by Pat

Let me just say right up front that the coolest thing we discovered in making this episode was the Alaska Constitutional Convention Recordings made available by state archivists. It’s a magical bridge to the past, you can sit in and listen to the framers of our state constitution.

Fog Introduction

Fog wafted through the capitol during the first week of the legislative session and pinned down travelers. Maybe you’re not a fan of fart joke but flatulence humor has a rich, billowing history and we’re proud to contribute to such a time-honored art.

Education Interviews

This has been labeled the “Education Session” but many Alaskans are critical of the proposed SJR9 which would allow a vote to change the constitution and put public funding directly towards private and religious schools.

Pick. Click. Give. – The Pebble Mine

Photos for this segment were provided by several people, we need to thank Eric McKittrick and Hig Higman from Ground Truth Trekking as well as Bob Waldrop.

If you aren’t familiar with Erin and Hig, they are the subject of “Journey on the Wild Coast,” a documentary produced by local filmmaker Greg Chaney. Erin has also written a couple books about their trekking adventures which include a 4000 mile walk from Seattle to the Aleutians.

DJ Kit provided the amazing voice over. You can hear her show on KXLL 100.7 on Mondays 6-8pm.

Beth Kerttula Resigns

Beth Kerttula, our representative here in District 32, resigned on the first day of the legislative session. In addition to the satire bit, I had the opportunity to sit down with Beth for a lengthy interview in our companion series, Boring Talk, which I don’t expect a lot of people to watch but was very pleasant and educational.

Parkin’ Wild Alaska

Jamie K. is eating Pel-Meni. Last episode he had a Triangle hot dog. Who knows what feat of digestion he will perform next!

The exploding igloo was made of sugar cubes and baking soda, but unfortunately the video did not capture the resulting and accidental 4′ vertical flame.

Andy K. provided the voice over and the 1992 Saturn S-Series.

The scream is the famous Wilhelm Scream used in hundreds of movies:


Dron-e, The Digital Robotic Omnipresent News Entity, the latest addition to our news team. He had a little accident this first time out but we’ll get him back in the air soon!

The HUD elements used in creating Dron-E came from an After Effects pack provided by Roland at Graphic in Motion.

If you’re interested in Drone policy in Alaska, you’ll want to track HB255, SB136, and possible HB159 which seems to have stalled in committee last session.

The basic issue at hand seems to be what can be done with all the information drones gather and if it will be admissible in court without a specific warrant. This ties into the broader question of personal privacy pushing up against always-on surveillance.

Rural Beat

Jack Dalton is a real-life Yup’ik story teller, writer and teacher who has performed all over the state. He’s currently the only member of the writing team outside Juneau and we’re quite honored to have him aboard for Rural Beat.

The Quinhagak dance group is a real story and you can learn more about them in this article, Kuinerrarmiut Elitnaurviat students dance for their village since 100 + years.

Here’s a video of the actual Quinhagak dancers performing, quite moving when put in context. Even the coughs in the background contribute to the meaning.

Video clips in the opening title segment came from a trip to Kotzebue and the totem can be found on the UAS Campus. The font is of course the official font of Thai restaurants and indigenous peoples around the world, Papyrus.

Non-Alaska Native Flute Music and drums in the intro were smushed together from sound files available on, an excellent source for low budget sound effects. Several of the sound effects are attribution and copyright free for use in your own projects.

Photos for the Rural Beat segment come from the Alaska State Library and the Library of Congress and all images are believed to be in the public domain.

Alaska Strong Supercut & Sean’s Awesome Journal

These segments both lean heavily on the 2014 State of the State address. We did order some rubber “Alaska Strong” bracelets. If you need one, let us know.

The Moderator M9000

We owe a big apology to Rep. Dave Guttenberg. We’ve been pronouncing his name wrong these past two episodes!!! It’s GUT-EN-BERG!! Although… I talked to one of his staffers and we agree that “The Goot” is a superior nickname to “The Gut”… so THE GOOT it is!

Sounds and Images

We’ve got a tiny budget, minuscule really, and we’ve spent a lot of time trying to find sounds and images to use in the show. What has really helped us are the public domain archives maintained by several government agencies. There are incredible photos, videos and audio files all produced by government employees and made available for public use.

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