Alaska Related Govdocs: Radioactive Southeast, Aleutian voices, Aleutian Subsistance

My work sometimes brings me into contact with federal publications about Alaska. Some are old and some are new. Here’s a selection of some recent items I’ve run across:

Title Investigations for radioactive deposits in southeastern Alaska /
Internet Access
Author West, Walter S.(Walter Scott),1912-author.
Published [Washington, D.C.] : United States Department of the Interior, Geological Survey, 1955.
Series ( Geological Survey bulletin ; 1024-B.)
General Note “This report concerns work done on behalf of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and is published with the permission of the Commission. ”
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (page 54) and index.

Title Aleutian voices /
Internet Access
Published [Washington, D.C.?] : U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 2014-
Publication Dates Began with: Volume 1, no. 1 (2014).

Title Subsistence study for the North Aleutian Basin /
Internet Access
Author Reedy-Maschner, Katherine L.,1975-author.
Published Anchorage, AK : U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Alaska Region, 2012.
Description 1 online resource (xv, 226 pages) : illustrations (chiefly color), color maps.
Series ( OCS study ; BOEM 2012-109.)

ISS Daily Summary Report – 10/28/13 | ISS On-Orbit Status Report

I’m doing some test posting from e-mail. Forgive the odd posts over the next day or two. At least I’m showing interest in this blog again!

Here’s a summary of what happened on the International Space Station on October 28, 2013:

ISS Daily Summary Report – 10/28/13

Posted on October 28, 2013 by HQ.

Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV)-4 Undocking: ATV-4 successfully undocked from the Service Module at 03:54 am CDT this morning. The ISS crew monitored and took photographs of the undocking. ATV-4 delivered more than 2489 kg of cargo to the ISS when it arrived on June 15th and will be disposing of more than 2160 kg. ATV-4’s final de-orbit burn prior to destructive reentry is scheduled to occur at 06:28am Saturday, November 2nd.

Spinal Ultrasound Scans: Flight Engineer (FE)-6 Nyberg performed as the operator conducting the first Spinal Ultrasound Scan session on FE-3 Hopkins with remote guidance from the ground team. This investigation aims to characterize microgravity-associated spinal alterations during and after spaceflight using in-flight ultrasound. Results from this research will provide data to enhance crew health for long duration space missions.

NanoRacks Module 9: FE-5 Parmitano activated and shook designated mixing tubes while capturing video of his activities. This
investigation is a result of a commercial Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education program overseen by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE), called the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP). Student teams from across the United States design their own experiments using flight approved fluids and materials. The investigation consists of 17 different science experiments flown in a NanoRacks Module on board the ISS.

Pro K (Dietary Intake Can Predict and Protect Against Changes in Bone Metabolism during Spaceflight and Recovery) Diet: All three USOS crewmembers continued with their Pro K diet today. All performed a urine pH test and updated the log of food and beverages consumed while on the controlled diet. Each crewmember will perform these activities multiple times during their stay onboard ISS. This is NASA’s first evaluation of a dietary countermeasure to lessen bone loss of astronauts. The results of this study will be used to determine if a decreased ratio of animal protein to potassium will lead to a decreased loss of bone mineral. Pro K findings may impact the definition of nutritional requirements and development of food systems for future exploration missions and could yield a method of
counteracting bone loss with no risk of side effects.

Shock and Awe: 3 Inspiring Wall Calendars for 2013

UPDATE 1/26: GPO reports they still have calendars but they are going fast!


Government Book Talk

Shock and awe were the terms that came to mind when these three wall calendars / event planners came across my desk this week.

Shock came from the “I didn’t know that!?” response to the fascinating facts and awe as in “How did they take such awe-inspiring photos”? And the final “Awww” as in “Awww, shucks!” because there are only limited quantities available (under 100 each), so if you don’t act immediately, they’ll be gone! In fact, our supply of the National Park’s Service famous National Historic Landmarks calendar last year sold out in a few hours, and we expect this year to be more of the same.

In spite of our now digital world, wall calendars are still useful as a quick visual reference for you, your family or even your team at the office. And with these particular calendars on your wall this year, you will also be…

View original post 1,191 more words

Keeping the Kids Entertained… and Educated


Some fun ideas for kids. Here are some links to help you find this books in a library near you or
through interlibrary loan:

  • Jankowski, Krista L., and Caroline Marshall Hill. 2009. Junior paleontologist activity book, ages 5 to 12. [Washington, D.C.]: National Park Service, U.S. Dept. of Interior.
  • United States. 2011. Discovering the underground railroad: junior ranger activity book. [Washington, D.C.?]: National Park Service.
  • United States, William Wallack, and George Gonzalez. 2012. Celebrating 30 years of the space shuttle program. Washington, D.C.?: National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


Junior Explorer Geology and Fossils Activity Book doesn’t appear to have made it into a library.

Government Book Talk

This week as holiday breaks from school and winter weather keep the kids indoors, parents are looking for ways to keep them entertained–and educated– at the same time.

Fortunately, many Federal agencies this year provide the perfect solution with publications that are both fun AND educational, and with which the kids might actually learn something besides how to shoot down some “Angry Birds” on their new tablet! 😉 From dinosaurs to fossils, freedom runners to astronauts, these fun facts will prove more fascinating than fiction.

Here are a few that I (and my eight and six year-old nephews) particularly enjoy:

     Junior-PaleontologistJunior Paleontologist Activity Book, Ages 5-12, Explore, Learn, ProtectFor the kid who thinks dinosaurs are dynamite

In this illustrated color booklet, a child can learn about ancient life, complete fun activities, and explore some of the 230 national parks that preserve fossils and offer a look into the…

View original post 645 more words

Today I’m testing the reblog function on WordPress, something I didn’t realize they had. This is a discussion of how the US federal government has used comic books to promote everything from bike safety to army equipment maintenance.

Government Book Talk

By Guest Blogger, Marianne Mason, Federal Information Librarian, Research and Library Instruction at The University of Iowa Libraries

Comic books are not really books and often not comic, but are serialized graphics-based stories expressed through political and cultural rhetoric.  Think Maus, a story of the Holocaust.  Think Peanuts’ ethics and theology.

O.K., not all comic books or graphic novels are Pulitzer Prize winners or speak to a deep sense of ethics.  The pure entertainment value of storytelling through sequential art can be worthy on its own merits.  However, the comics can inform, persuade, and encourage new behaviors in readers.  This is the purpose of comic books authored by U.S. government agencies.

Used as social program marketing tools for decades, the government-authored comic book format has been used to promote program benefits (Social Security Administration) and to educate (Consumer Product Safety Commission) using superhero/anti-hero models like Sprocket Man (reviewed in…

View original post 527 more words

Alaska Gasline Flashback: 1981 Orange Book

I have a number of side projects I work on a on-again, off-again basis. One of these is compiling a bibliography of federal documents titled by color (i.e. Red Book, White Book, Green Book, etc)

This week I was browsing through the April 1981 issue of the Orange Book: Critical Project Status Report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Projects in the Orange Book were considered to have a significant impact on the nation’s energy supply or on questions of energy policy. According to the introduction in the Orange Book, “Because of their importance to national supply and policy, each energy and issue critical project is assigned to a Project Manager responsible for monitoring throughout the regulatory process – ensuring timeliness and quality of review through the regulatory process.”

Page 13 of the April 1981 Orange Book was dedicated to  CP 78-123 et al, Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Systems (ANGTS). At the time, the pipeline construction cost was put at $10 billion and was expected to produce 2.4 billion cubic feet a day.

The FERC status of the pipeline as of April 1981 was:

Prebuild hearings completed. Orders issued. Alaska Segment hearings awaiting submission of financing plan.

The Orange Book also noted that the Gasline was originally meant to have been completed by 1/1/1983. In its “slippage analysis” of that date, FERC noted “Unresolved issues concerning producer participation in financing has held up submission of a financing plan.”

Fast forward 30 years and the past appears to be prolouge.

Kill or Get Killed (Book Photo)

Kill or Get Killed

This is the last of my “testing out mail subscription” posts for tonight. Click on the photo to be taken to some additional information about this older USMC training manual.

Thanks for your patience with this rapid posting regime tonight. Do let me know if you take advantage of the “e-mail subscription” link in the upper right-hand corner of the blog. I’ll leave it up for awhile and see what happens.

Wikileaks Reflections

I’ve been following the Wikileaks State Department cable story for awhile. I’ve been saddened by the Administration’s overreaction, though not entirely surprised. What does surprise me is that the Obama administration, which has shown itself to be pretty tech savvy, appears to believe that it can prevent the cables from being read by government employees simply by blocking Wikileaks from gov’t computers. The widespread use of smartphones renders this action immediately ineffective. In order to truly block Wikileaks and sites reproducing their cables, the US Government would need to institute a Chinese style “Great Firewall” where all US traffic was routed through government censorware. I don’t think that’s worth it. Such a national firewall would inevitably be used to censor a growing amount of information (“immorality”, “hate speech”, “unAmerican ideas”, “infringed copyrights”, etc) entirely unrelated to national security.

Interestingly, one thing lost in the Wikileaks story is that most of their leaked cables are unclassified. That’s right. Here are numbers by classification from the Wikileaks Cable Viewer:

  • 15, 652 secret
  • 101,748 confidential
  • 133,887 unclassified

So 53% of the cables are NOT secret data. Some of these unclassified cables make for interesting reading and raise questions that aren’t being discussed in the media. For example cable 09BRASILIA1276, titled “REQUEST TO BRAZIL TO RESETTLE CUBAN MIGRANTS PROTECTED ON GUANTANAMO” details US efforts to have Brazil take some Cubans who somehow got to the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. This raises at least a couple of questions – 1) Why aren’t these Cubans being resettled in the States? It’s not Brazil’s problem unless they’re showing up at the Brazillian Embassy. It’s not even a similar cultures thing – Spanish speaking Cubans would be disadvantaged in Portuguese speaking Brazil as they would be in the English speaking US. Couldn’t they be sent to Spanish speaking US territory Puerto Rico instead?; 2) How many Cuban migrants are at Guantanamo?; 3) Is the US prepared to have Guantanamo Bay become a mass destination for desperate Cubans?  If so, do we have a plan to handle them?; 4) Are the Castro brothers planting spies at our naval base through some of these “migrants”?

Did you know that we’re running a hostel for migrants at the same base we’re holding suspected terrorists? I didn’t. And that’s just one revelation from one UNCLASSIFIED cable. What else is the government doing that we don’t know about and which some Americans might question?

That brings us to the secret cables.

Generally speaking, I’m with the folks at the Federation of American Scientists who believe that there are some legitimate secrecy needs but that much information is badly overclassified. The standards I think are fair are:

1) Personally identifiable information that might lead to the death of someone cooperating with US authorities should never be disclosed while that person is alive.

2) The location of US and allied forces in PUBLICLY acknowledged theaters of war. (i.e. The location of US teams in Afghanistan and Iraq need not be disclosed for operational security, but if we’re using Special Forces teams to kidnap people in Switzerland, that deserves be disclosed.)

3) Confidential negotiations and other actions in support of PUBLICLY declared US policy should be protected from immediate disclosure, but should be declassified after the 25 years prescribed by law.

4) Statements by foreign governments that are in support of their PUBLICLY declared policy. (i.e. If the Saudi gov’t really wants Iran’s government toppled, they should either keep that to themselves or go public. Leaving us to be the heavy isn’t acceptable.)

In short I think the government is entitled to secrecy for operational reasons when their conduct conforms to publicly decided policy. A government of a representative republic has no entitlement to secrecy when pursuing policy aims hidden from the voters. Our actions should confirm to our stated intentions. If we won’t hold ourselves accountable, then others have the right to. I wish Wikileaks had vetted their cables better to prevent naming cooperative individuals, but I support similar efforts at enforcing accountability by showing the world when we say one thing, but do another.

Islamic Peacemaking Since 9/11

Note: Bear in mind while you are reading that there are over a billion muslims in the world. This entry is about 99.98% of them.

Thanks to Docuticker for pointing out this new report from the government sponsored United States Institute of Peace:

January 2009 | Special Report No. 218 (12 pages)

Islamic Peacemaking Since 9/11

David Smock and Qamar-ul Huda

pdf icon Download full PDF report


  • Muslims in general and Muslim leaders particularly have often been severely criticized for not more energetically condemning the violent acts of Muslim extremists.
  • Violent extremists are on one edge of the Muslim community. They are counter-balanced by a growing movement of Muslim peacemakers.
  • Equally as notable as Islamic militancy but less noted are Muslims’ 1) widespread condemnation of terrorism and other violent acts; 2) promotion of interfaith dialogue; 3) education of Muslim youth and reeducation of extremist Muslims; and 4) promotion of peaceful conflict resolution.


Here are a couple of examples of Muslim condemnation of terrorism since 9/11. All three are new to me:

The highest judicial body for Islam in the United States, the Fiqh Council of North America, declared in 2005, “The Fiqh Council of North America wishes to reaffirm Islam’s absolute condemnation of terrorism and religious extremism. . . . Targeting civilians’ life and property through suicide bombings or any other method of attack is haram, or forbidden, and those who commit these barbaric acts are criminals, not ‘martyrs.’ The Quran, Islam’s revealed text, states: ‘Whoever kills a person [unjustly] . . . it is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he has saved all mankind.’ (Quran, 5:32)” In 2007, the Fiqh Council of North America issued a fatwa, a legal edict, declaring:

. . . in the spirit of this season of Thanksgiving . . . the Fiqh Council of North America states its unequivocal and unqualified condemnation
of the destruction and violence committed against innocent men and women . . . . All acts of terrorism are forbidden in Islam. It is forbidden for a Muslim to cooperate or associate with any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence. It is the duty of Muslims to report to enforcement authorities any threat which is designed to place a human being in harm’s way, bringing them before a competent court of law and in accordance with due process.

In 2007, the Muslim Council of Britain convened a meeting of more than two hundred Muslim leaders that issued this statement:

We hereby emphatically affirm, announce and declare that (1) We consider all terrorist acts that aim to murder and maim innocent human beings utterly reprehensible and abhorrent. There is no basis whatsoever for such acts in our faith. Islam, as a religion of peace, rejects terror and promotes peace and harmony. We urge Muslim organizations and institutions to exercise their Islamic duty to correct and dispel misinterpretations of our faith. (2) All Britons, Muslim and non-Muslim, should stand united against the threat of terrorism. We should not allow terrorists to divide us and polarize one community against another . . . . 3) Islam requires us to protect and safeguard the life of civilians. It is our collective duty to give the fullest support and cooperation to the police in helping to prevent acts of terror from taking place. Islam requires us to protect and safeguard the life of human beings.

These American and British statements were echoed in the Arab world. The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Asheikh, stated on September 15, 2001, “Hijacking planes, terrorizing innocent people and shedding blood constitute a form of injustice that can not be tolerated by Islam, which views them as gross crimes and sinful acts.”

There are more condemnations, but I thought pull out two that took place after the Iraq war started were particularly noteworthy.

The report also talks about Muslim groups working on peace, living in the modern world and women’s rights like this one:

Sisters in Islam (SIL) is a young Malaysia-based organization that advocates against discrimination and educates women about their legal rights. Through campaigns, legal clinical training, grassroots projects, and workshops, SIL informs women of their rights and ways in which the law is abused or misinterpreted against them. Emphasizing the equality of rights granted through the Islamic tradition, SIL has resisted conservative forces that want to limit women’s participation in the public sphere and their ability to express their voices in public debates.

The report is only 12 pages long and well worth reading, especially you believe Islam to be a monolithic belief system. It is no more monolithic the other Abrahamic faiths of Judaism and Christianity.