There is no denying that the Last Frontier is profoundly beautiful. Pretty much anyone that visits falls instantly in love, while local residents would never choose to live anywhere else in the world. But when you see just how big, mighty and powerful Alaska is from hundreds of thousands of miles up in the air – it will completely blow your mind. These spectacular images from outer space offer up a glorious amount of eye-candy and they are sure to mesmerize you.
2. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station were amazed by the seismic plumes from the Pavlof eruption that were captured by NASA’s satellite imagery.
3. The largest piedmont glacier in North America (and possibly the world) is Malaspina, located in southeastern Alaska. On September 24, 2014, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured this image that shows the main source of ice coming off of the Seward Glacier at the top.
4. This phenomenal image shows a NASA-funded sounding rocket as it launches into an Aurora Borealis show in the early morning of March 3, 2014, over Venetie, Alaska.
1. Airline miles
Perhaps you don’t know, but that little state surrounded by a box in the bottom left corner of your US map is Alaska and, despite how it may look on that piece of paper, it’s more than four times the size of Texas.
The reason Alaska lies in that box thousands of miles from where it actually belongs is to make it easier for you Outsiders to remember we actually exist as a part of the United States. What it also represents is the fact that to get to another state is going to take some work. Hence the reason darn near everyone has an Alaska Airlines credit card. Alaska Air is responsible for many of the commercial flights between not just Alaska and the rest of the United States but around the state of Alaska itself. If we want to leave in a timely manner, most likely Alaska Airlines is getting us out.
2. Akutaq (Alaskan ice cream)
Fresh, wild berries mixed with fat, this traditional native Alaskan dessert cuts through all the modern crap tied up in our brains back to the survivalist core telling you that all you need to survive is in this food — don’t stop eating it. Someday soon I’m going to find someone with the ingredients to help me make the truly traditional recipe of berries with fish roe and seal fat.
3. Sporting goods stores
In Anchorage alone we have several independent chains such as Skinny Raven Sports and Play it Again Sports, national retailers like REI, Cabela’s, and the Army and Navy Surplus plus all the giant box stores and even a few more tiny local retailers hidden in random corners around the municipality. Then there is my buddy down the street who just fixes and rents out bikes on his own through Craigslist and word of mouth, and there are plenty of others like him.
With quick and easy access to mountains, rivers, forest, ocean, snow, and ice, an individual would have to be actively trying not to get involved in outdoor sports. If nothing else, just living here requires cold weather gear and a good pair of boots. Where else are you going to find reliable stuff?
Alaskan winters are cold, dark, and kind of depressing. Depending on where you live, it could be cold and dark all of the time. Summer time in most of the country is the opposite — the sun never sets and you want to stay awake because there is so much of the world to explore. Either way, coffee helps.
5. Checking the NOAA weather report EVERY morning
Two weeks ago I awoke to a gorgeous, sunny, warm morning of 42-ish° F. Thinking it was going to do nothing but get warmer (maybe even 50s!) and prettier I wore shorts and a pair of flower-embroidered burlap TOMS to bike to work. Over the course of my lunch shift however I watched as thick, grey clouds rolled in belching this wet snow-slush mixture upon the town. Once said shift was over I had to commandeer a few garbage bags to jerry-rig a poncho. It worked pretty well as far as my fleece jacket was concerned, but by the end of my four mile commute my shorts and shoes were completely soaked through. Never again. Always check the weather report. Preferably from NOAA — they rarely let you down.
6. Remote starting the car
Such a simple and beautiful piece of technology may seem frivolous to those that live Outside, but being able to push a button on your car’s key for a few minutes before leaving home or work in order to hop into a preheated vehicle is incredible.
7. Mountain views
The grind of daily life begins to get to me sometimes: go to work, go home, do whatever stupid chores I haven’t been doing. Then I look up and see the snow-covered Chugach Range standing powerfully to the east. We’re not talking beautiful backdrop mountains like what I grew up with in Seattle. We’re talking ‘I-could-ride-my bike-to-those-mountains’ mountains. I’m reminded each time I see them that this isn’t any day; this is a day in Alaska.
8. The small town feel
Alaska is by far the largest state by land mass, but in total population even Puerto Rico beats us. Heck, even North Dakota has more people than we do. North Dakota! Despite our sparse population, 40% of people live in Anchorage, as does the state’s largest airport, sea port, and major roads. Everyone travels through only a few routes, meaning running into someone you know is not terribly uncommon.
9. Smoked salmon
A friend’s wild-caught, expertly cold-smoked by the professionals at Trapper’s Creek, and freely shared at a potluck, salmon is better than anything you are going to find Outside. It’s like a cool slice of ocean storm mixed with quiet campfire is melting on your tongue.
Just because they’re cartoon characters who have no control over their bodies doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to let themselves go every now and then like the rest of us. And thanks to funny fat cartoon art on the Internet, the worst nightmare of iconic cartoon characters has become a reality. Below are pictures of cartoon characters if they were fat (with some being morbidly obese.) This isn’t intended to shame fat people, but just to see re-imagined versions of classic cartoon characters drawn fat. After all, haven’t you always wanted to know what Velma from Scooby Doo would look like if she weighed 600 pounds?
Letting Herself Snow
A gunman in a suit and tie shouted slogans about Syria’s civil war after he killed Russia’s ambassador to Turkey in front of stunned onlookers at a photo exhibition in the Turkish capital on Monday, according to an Associated Press photographer who witnessed the shooting. Police later killed the assailant, Turkish station NTV reported.
Ambassador Andrei Karlov, 62, was several minutes into a speech at the embassy-sponsored exhibition in Ankara when a man fired at least eight shots, according to the AP photographer in the audience.
“Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria!” the gunman shouted in Turkish, referring to the Syrian city where Russian bombardments have helped drive rebels from areas they had occupied for years during the war.
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He also shouted “Allahu akbar,” the Arabic phrase for “God is great” and continued in Arabic: “We are the descendants of those who supported the Prophet Muhammad, for jihad.”
The gunman approached Karlov as he lay on the ground and shot him at least one more time at close range, according to the AP photographer. The attacker also smashed several of the framed photos hung for the exhibition. There was panic as people ran for cover. Three other people were wounded in the attack, NTV said.
The attack comes a day before a meeting of Russian, Turkish and Iranian foreign and defense ministers in Moscow to discuss Syria. Russia and Iran have backed Syrian President Bashar Assad throughout the nearly six-year conflict, while Turkey has supported Assad’s foes.
Karlov was shot “when an unidentified assailant opened chaotic gunfire during a public event in Ankara,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. She said Russia was in contact with Turkish officials about the incident.
U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said U.S. officials were aware of reports about the shooting.
“We condemn this act of violence, whatever its source,” Kirby said.
The United Nations condemned the attack.
“There can be no justification for an attack on an ambassador … and we very much hope that the perpetrators will be brought to justice,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
Melih Gokcek, the mayor for Ankara, told reporters outside the exhibition center that the “heinous” attack aimed to disrupt newly-re-established relations between Turkey and Russia.
Relations between Russia and Turkey were badly strained by the downing of a Russian warplanes at the Syrian border in November 2015, but Turkey’s apology earlier this year helped overcome the rift. The leaders of the two countries, Presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have held several meetings in recent months and spoken frequently over the phone.
Russia and Turkey have co-sponsored the evacuation of civilians and rebels from Aleppo and also discussed the prospect of organizing a new round of peace talks in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana.
The Russian ambassador to Turkey who was fatally shot was a career diplomat.
Karlov joined the diplomatic service in 1976. He served as Russia’s ambassador to Pyongyang in 2001-2006, and later worked as the chief of the Foreign Ministry’s consular department. He had served as the ambassador to Turkey since 2013.
Security Camera Footage from a recording studio where Ceelo green was working.
His phone starts smoking then you see the phone explode and Ceelo collapses to the floor. It’s unclear how long CeeLo was laid on the ground because the video doesn’t show the aftermath of the incident.
Judge Spends Night In Jail With Former Soldier (Photos)
A judge in North Carolina made an unprecedented gesture of compassion when he decided to spend the night in jail with a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who was suffering from PTSD.
Lou Olivera, a district court judge and Gulf War veteran, sentenced Green Beret Joe Serna to one night in jail for violating his probation and lying about a urine test.
“I gave Joe a night in jail because he had to be held accountable,” Olivera told CBS News.
But for Serna, it would be more than just a night in jail. It would be a night of acute stress and painful flashbacks.
“When I walked into the jail cell and they closed the door behind me, I started feeling this anxiety,” he said. “It came back – a flashback.”
Serna is a retired Army Sargent First Class who did three tours in Afghanistan. He had a lot of harrowing experiences, but he says the worst came when a truck he and some fellow soldiers were riding in fell into a creek.
“We were following the creek and the road gave way,” he told CBS News. “And the vehicle went into the creek.”
Serna was the accident’s only survivor.
“I lost my whole crew,” he said in an interview with People. “They were in the water with me. That tore me up. I couldn’t escape that truck. I stayed there until somebody saved me.”
When he arrived back home for good, Serna came bearing scars — both physical and psychological.
“Physically, I was taking care of myself. I didn’t think about the mental,” he said, adding: “I was having issues, and would feed that with alcohol. I thought I was going down the right path. I didn’t know I was going the wrong way.”
The path he was on landed him in Judge Olivera’s courtroom for a number of alcohol-related charges.
“When Joe first came to my court, he was so tight,” Olivera told People. “His shoulders were so tense. Over time, you could see his shoulders relax.”
And while Olivera empathized with Serna’s situation, he knew he couldn’t let him get away with violating his probation. So he made a surprising compromise.
After personally driving Serna to the jail, Olivera spoke to the jailer — who also happened to be a veteran — about his wish to spend the night with the man he’d just sentenced.
Minutes later, Olivera was walking into Serna’s cell. The jailer brought in some mats so that the judge could sleep on the ground.
Serna was taken aback. He asked the judge what he was doing.
“He said, ‘We’re in the foxhole together,'” Serna recalled.
“I was at peace” the former soldier said. “When he came in, I knew everything was going to be OK.”
The two veterans passed the time discussing their careers in the military and their families.
“I’m a judge and I’ve seen evil, but I see the humanity in people,” Olivera said. “Joe is a good man. Helping him helped me. I wanted him to know he isn’t alone.”
He called this stunt the “Suicide Vest” and it’s not hard to see why, instant regret once it’s lit with no power to stop it.
Check it out: