Alaska Robotics

Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Conference of Young Alaskans 2009

Sunday, January 4th 2009 by Pat

alaska_50_logoComics and films are taking a back burner this week as I step into the role of a facilitator at the Conference of Young Alaskans. The proceedings will be webcast over the next couple of days and if you tune into the stream provided by 360 North I’ll be the guy in the background spilling food on his shoes while fifty-five of Alaska’s brightest young men and women work to develop a vision for the future of the state.

360 North – COYA 2009 Live Stream (Jan 3rd – 6th)

This conference and all of the surrounding activities are tied into Alaska’s 50th anniversary of statehood and it’s been a remarkable experience. I had an opportunity to attend the statehood gala in Anchorage on Friday night and participated in a parade Saturday morning along with the COYA delegates. It’s a small state where you can share the dance floor with the governor, meet people who wrote the state constitution or make something happen just by sharing a good idea. I love Alaska.

Did I write enough about the delegates? The first Conference of Young Alaskans was one of the most powerful events I’ve been involved in and it was strong only because of the participants. We created a framework and the delegates filled it with ideas, goals and passion. I think this group in 2009 has the potential to measure up to, and probably exceed, what are now lofty expectations. It’s refreshing to be reminded how many smart and strong young minds are in this state.

Again, many apologies to those who are visiting for the comics and films, I’ll be back to work on Monday Wednesday and have something new by the end of the week.

Le Petit Prince

Friday, December 19th 2008 by Pat

Mom and I braved the cold weather and tromped over to Theatre in the Rough’s performance of “The Little Prince” last night. It was a beautiful, and deeply rich production cloaked in simplicity. Watching Aaron Elmore draw throughout the play was the real treat for me. There’s something magic about seeing sketches come to life and Aaron’s lines danced, imbued with the spirit of Saint Exupéry’s story.

If you’re in Juneau you should make a point of catching this play and remember to bring a cushion. My only complaint is that the seats were amazingly uncomfortable.

Best (Worst) Fight Scenes Ever, Part II

Monday, December 15th 2008 by Lou

Pat has quite the impressive list of bad fights, but no list is complete without Gymkata!  In this impressive epic, a Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver) look-a-like hold back a whole herd of rabblerousing ragamuffins with whip cracking gymnastic kicks.  Luckily for him, even the poorest of hamlets can afford a pommel horse placed conviently in the town’s center.

Faux MacGyver vs Angry Feudal Citizens

Best (Worst) Fight Scenes Ever

Friday, December 12th 2008 by Pat

I got side tracked yesterday watching some of the worst fight scenes of all time. I think there’s a tipping point in entertainment where shoddy films are suddenly imbued with a sort of divine grace. At some level they just overload our senses, flip the odometer and take on a pristine and unassuming beauty.

Stephen Baldwin vs. Harpies

Steve Carell Lookalike vs. Seinfeld Hair

Captain Kirk vs. Lizard Suit Man


Monday, November 24th 2008 by Pat

I used to hate Cathy comics but that was in my extremist youth when I spent all my time reading Ayn Rand and knife fighting. Now I realize that letting the Cathy comics get to you is the same as letting the terrorists win.

YouTube Contest

Tuesday, November 11th 2008 by Pat

It’s been a while since we entered a short film competition, this might be just the thing we need to light those creative fires!

Big Mike

Monday, November 10th 2008 by Pat

I think my dad is probably the most deservedly happy man I know. He’s friendly, gracious, mischievous, and full of love.

Yesterday was the old man’s 59th birthday and his snowy beard was full of grins and chocolate cake.

Dad’s been getting crafty in his old age. I jumped in the car with him a few weeks back and he proudly announced that he’d just finished crocheting a hat. I’ve known him my entire life and he can still surprise me with a lumpy little hat as proof of his efforts.

He’s also knocked together a cluttered painting nook in the basement of his house where he’s imagined some beautiful landscapes, a handful of portraits, some whimsical jellyfish and a babe on a piano.

It’s because of my dad’s unwavering support and encouragement that I don’t ever do anything that makes much sense. He’s given me license to be happy.


Monday, October 27th 2008 by Pat

Kazu posted a new Copper comic today! If you haven’t read Copper, then you’re in for a treat, it’s a pocket out of time, a little eddy in the river.

“…this comic taught me to tell a story from beginning to end. It taught me to use colors. It taught me to build a better website. It introduced me to other online artists who became my good friends, and among them I found my loving wife. It provided the foundation for what became Flight, and my first Flight story was appropriately a Copper comic. It essentially began my career in comics, allowing me to travel the world to places like Italy and Japan [and Alaska!!] to promote the medium. And yet, the comic that started all this has been collecting dust for a year now”

– Kazu Kibuishi [from his boltcity blog]

What does it mean to be Alaskan?

Tuesday, October 7th 2008 by Pat

We asked the question “What does it mean to be Alaskan?” to several hundred participants at the Forum of Young Alaskans this past weekend. The resulting word cloud is beautiful and illuminating.

note: I removed the words “Alaska” and “Alaskans” from my data for aesthetic purposes, they were giant and felt repetitive. Thanks again to for this fun tool!

Lego Gruening Building

Sunday, October 5th 2008 by Pat

Anyone who went to school up in Fairbanks will remember the siege-proof Gruening building planted in the middle of campus. It was a solid, imposing brick of concrete prepared to defend campus administrators from any student uprisings.

Ty Keltner built an amazing replica out of legos and put together a comic detailing the process. All the final structure needs for atmosphere is some kid chucking watermelons off the roof and a few pale streakers being chased by bike cops.