Alaska Robotics

Archive for the ‘Alaska Robotics News’ Category

Boring Talk – Katie Moritz

Monday, February 2nd 2015 by Pat

boring talk

Today on Boring Talk, I sit down with Katie Moritz, government reporter at the Juneau Empire. Moritz is a fresh face in the capitol building this year and I was eager to hear about her expectations and anxieties going into the new job.

Here are some of Katie’s most recent stories:

On a technical note, I’m still working out some bumps with my audio gear so this does have some light clipping. Sorry about that.

Boring Talk is a podcast where I’ll be exploring Alaska politics through long, boring conversations. This is a personal thirst for understanding but I’ll be sharing my (largely unedited) conversations because I think civic discourse is important in the age of Twitter and maybe there’s some information here that will be valuable to other Alaskans.

Boring Talk – “Disco” Ray Metcalfe

Friday, January 23rd 2015 by Pat


Boring Talk is back in podcast form! In this first episode, I sit down with anti-corruption advocate and the man who brought the VECO scandal to light, Ray Metcalfe.

Metcalfe explains that with cases like Citizens United, the Supreme Court may be signalling that states need to button up their corruption problems with strict, criminal ethics laws and longer statues of limitations. Metcalfe also talks about his current efforts to do just that through the referendum process.

Boring Talk is a podcast where I’ll be exploring Alaska politics through long, boring conversations. This is a personal thirst for understanding but I’ll be sharing my (largely unedited) conversations because I think civic discourse is important in the age of Twitter and maybe there’s some information here that will be valuable to other Alaskans.

Learn more:

Happy Post

Wednesday, January 14th 2015 by Pat

My friend Dayne says the website needs a happy message related to our successful Kickstarter. He’s right.

HOLY BAT-COW! We did it! YOU did it!!! We made our funding goal and get to do another session of Alaska Robotics News!

Kickstarter Dance

I thought we were doomed to fail but there was an incredible outpouring of support at the last minute and everything worked out. I can’t thank our backers enough, we’re overwhelmed by your generosity.

We’ll get under way on our first segments in the next week or two. We’ve already been kicking around ideas and reading prefiled legislation.

I’m also planning to relaunch Boring Talk as a podcast instead of a video series. I think it will be easier to listen to in that format.

If you’re not familiar with Boring Talk, check out my exit interview with Representative Beth Kerttula.

If you missed our Kickstarter project and still want to support Alaska Robotics News, consider dropping by our office with a suitcase full of cash or buying something from our gallery.

Dying on the Kickstarter Vine

Friday, December 12th 2014 by Pat

Here’s a piece on Alaska Robotics News that ran on KTOO this morning. The interview and article was conducted by Kayla Desroches.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the project lately.

It’s hard to ask for money and it’s harder to ask for money unsuccessfully… And it’s even harder to do an interview about your Kickstarter project while it’s failing.

I’ve been sorting through all these weird and complex feelings as I’ve watched our news project languish and die on the Kickstarter vine. Sure, little sparks of hope here and there but not nearly enough fire to keep the cold out.

I should be clear, I don’t feel that we’re owed anything. I recognize our, my, incredible privilege. We have technology, community and our speech is protected by the crumbling framework of democracy. I’m a white male in a nice town surrounded by nice people. I don’t have to put up with much and I get my way a lot of the time.

I firmly believe it would be better for people to give their money to the Glory Hole (Yes, that’s really the name of our local shelter, don’t ask or look it up on Google Image Search). But I did hope there might be a little left over to keep this project moving forward.

It’s just nice to feel that a project you’ve put your heart into has value and it’s hard to not equate that feeling of value with a number on a third-party website writ in a supreme font size.

I think about what went wrong. Timing? Didn’t get the word out? Too niche? Maybe people know we’ll just keep making things without any money or support? Maybe it’s just politics?

People hate politics. I hate politics. It’s why there’s a secret sense of relief building in my stomach. It’s hard to be so close to that dark miasma of power and deeply weird shit but I think it’s important to keep pulling at it and just hope it comes apart or forms a crack or something.

It’s too early to give a concession speech. There are people who love what we do and for them I’ll hang on tighter than Mark Begich. This project could still fund. But if we do fail to meet our goal on Monday, I promise not to concede until at least Wednesday.

So yeah, I’m a little bummed but if we don’t hit our goal, I have about a hundred other projects I’m excited about. I’m an artist. I’m smart. And I’m just crazy enough that I might happen.

Big love to Aaron, Lou, Jamie, Marian, Mom, Dad and everyone else who so easily find it in themselves to support me, work with me and love me.

Geez. Mushy. I told you, weird and complex feelings.


Alaska Robotics News – 2015

Monday, November 24th 2014 by Pat

Thanks to everyone who supported us last year on Alaska Robotics News. We’re giving it another swing this year if you’d like to support our efforts on Kickstarter.

AKRN – In the Voting Line

Tuesday, November 4th 2014 by Pat

Here’s the final bit in our voting series. If you missed any, you can catch them all over at the Alaska Dispatch News.

AKRN – Attack of the Giant Weed Monster

Thursday, October 30th 2014 by Pat

Alaska has a marijuana reeferendum on the ballot this fall but we aren’t the first to blaze this trail. Alaska Robotics News sends their top reporters into the field to see how life has changed in the states of Washington and Colorado where marijuana has already been legalized.

Come Film with Alaska Robotics News!

Tuesday, October 28th 2014 by Pat

This weekend we’re filming a short segment for our series of election related satire and you can help!

the crew

Join us at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center this Saturday at 1:00pm and please come dressed like you would if you were waiting in line to vote… But we need you to imagine that voting is as exciting as a big blockbuster movie.

We want this to look like the line for Star Wars or Lord of the Rings except you’re lining up to vote instead.

Maybe that means you’ve been camped out in line for days or you’re dressed as your favorite political hero or villain. Or maybe you’re more excited about the ballot measures. Whatever the case, we’re trying to paint the picture of a whimsical alternate reality where people care deeply about voting and there’s huge excitement about the process.

Please dress for the weather, we may need you to mill around outside for a bit while we film. Hot chocolate will be provided.

Here’s our Facebook Event invite if you want to RSVP.

AKRN – Into Darkness

Monday, October 27th 2014 by Pat

We’ve been publishing op-ed essays at the Alaska Dispatch along with our satire segments. The editor we work with called this episode “meaty.”

AKRN – Lame Tricks

Thursday, October 23rd 2014 by Pat

Alaska Robotics News takes on the annoying and inescapable snow machine advertisement.

If you’re wondering, yes, the original Don Young Call of the Wild commercial does have an awesome ghost wolf.