Alaska Robotics

AKRN – Episode 5

Tuesday, April 22nd 2014 by Pat

Show Opening

News of Alaskans using drones for hunting has lead to new regulations. Finally, a reason to bring back Dron-E, the Digital Robotic Omnipresent News Entity.

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

No marmots were harmed in the making of this bit.


The Alaska Dispatch has purchased the Anchorage Daily News which may be the best or worst thing ever depending on who you talk to.

Personally, I’m an avid reader of the Dispatch and I like seeing our news media take a bend toward something more locally owned. Sure, Alice Rogoff is a relative newcomer and has some loose ties to lucrative permanent fund investment deals but she seems genuinely interested in the state and its people.

I’m on board and hopeful that we’ll see good things.

The house passed an exciting minimum wage bill that turned the world upside down for a while. It was a not-so-subtle attempt to undermine a fall initiative and protect against the repeal of last session’s oil tax. I enjoyed hearing so many legislators flip their positions at once. It was opposite day.

To cap it all off, Speaker Mike Chenault quoted former Rep. Ethan Berkowitz during a big floor speech. He invoked the specter of the Veco scandal and shared a photo of Ed Flanagan flashing a giant dollar sign during a meeting. Was the message a threat? A gentle reminder? An abbreviation for F-note?

My reference to an out-of-state intern was a jab at the practice of allowing non-Alaskans to serve on certain boards. It’s not just the notion that Alaskans are too inexperienced or stupid to hold these positions, it’s the much larger problem of overt economic colonialism.

I can see how Rabinow, a former Exxon Pipeline Co. employee, might be naturally inclined to help out his former employer. What I can’t see is why he would want to work on behalf of Alaskans.

Gasline – Buy the Numbers

Many of those lovely quotes were provided by actual economists, advisers and prognosticators on the oil tax.

Many of the beautiful slides we used can be found by clicking through to the documents accompanying the bill. You can really go down the rabbit hole with Basis, be warned…

Tara also put a pretty good math joke in there that reminded me how much math I’ve forgotten since college.

Pure Gavel

You can actually own your favorite gavel episodes. I recommend “Chenault’s Big Speech” or “Dancing with Bob Lynn”

This sketch was inspired by Time Life classics such as…

The wooden gavel phone was an edited photograph by Dori which we pulled from Wikipedia.

Meet the Alaska Legislature

We had a great time putting together this sketch with Rep. Doug Isaacson’s office and I think it showed. I only wish I had more time to spend on the special effects. It’s hard to see the scene with the miniaturized Brenda Hewitt but she’s in there!

Gardnin’ Wild Alaska

Exploding Igloo Productions is back with another of their perennial Alaska reality shows.

If those tater tots look good, you can find them at the Imperial. Just ask for Totchos.

The blood is delicious cranberry juice.

Running with Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux

Let me say this, Gabrielle LeDoux is a good sport.

This was a crazy shoot. It was cold and the rain was coming down hard the whole time. Aaron and LeDoux ran behind the car while Lou hung out the back with a camera and I ran backwards with the cues scrawled on giant pieces of wet cardboard.

We went through multiple takes and LeDoux was more patient with us than we deserved.

I like her idea of more early childhood reading programs in Alaska. It’s a simple concept to grasp that if you don’t learn to read, you can’t use reading to learn other skills. It also makes a snappy tagline, “Learn to Read, Read to Learn.”

This year was supposed to be the education session, I would have liked to have seen more discussion on this bill.

Foundation first, then the house.

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