Thursday, January 29, 2009

274. A city called Chicken

Turkey may be the name of a country, but in Alaska there is a city called Chicken. You can drive there in the summer or fly there year-round. according to the 2000 census, there are 17 people who live there, although in the summer a lot more go there to mine for gold. they have no electricity, plumbing, telephone, or internet service. They get mail delivered twice a week.

Coordinates are 64° 4′ 14.66″ N, 141° 52′ 29.62″ W

Here is their website, maintained outside of Chicken since they have no internet service. The website includes Chicken souvenirs, information on the village, driving directions, etc.

Why is it named Chicken? In 1902 the post office was established, so the gold miners living there had to come up with a name. The village of Eagle had been named for the eagles in the area, so the people in chicken decided to name their village for the birds in the area. However, they could not agree on how to spell "ptarmigan", so instead of naming after the birds in the area, they named it Chicken instead.

No, they do NOT have a college called Cluck U.

Monday, January 19, 2009

273. Anchorage schools closed due to warm weather

The schools in Anchorage were closed for 3 days last week, Wednesday through Friday) due to weather. This rarely happens. However, the temperature soared and was around 44° F (7° C) for these days.

Sounds harmless enough, doesn't it? For the month previous, we had a lot of cold weather and a lot of snow. Then, when the weather got above freezing, the snow and ice began melting, and became wet ice. The city became a large ice skating rink. I was unable to make it to my car, parked on a slanted driveway. (And yes, I do have grippers / spikeys / cleats / whatever-you-call-them that go over my shoes.)

Right now there are a lot of puddles everywhere, the whole city is wet. The temperature is supposed to go back down below freezing sometime this week, and all this will become ice. Let's see what happens then...

Friday, January 09, 2009

272. Hamas (with cartoon stolen from thre internet)

As I see it, there are two possible solution to the Israel-Hamas problem:

1. Israel can attack harshly enough to scare Hamas into living in peace

2. Israel can return to 1946 borders

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

271. Cold spell in Interior Alaska

OK, I know that every place has hot spells and cold spells, but when Alaska has cold spells, as the Interior is, it causes problems. I have a friend who was visiting in Fairbanks (where it has been around -45° for the past week) and was planning to drive back to Valdez, where she lives. But it is not safe to drive back in weather that cold - if you break down or get stuck in a snowbank, you can freeze to death. Right now she is stuck in Fairbanks. There are places where airplanes can not land because of ice fog, so they can not get groceries or mail. Some places are running low on food.

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