Shake it up: A 4.5-magnitude earthquake struck north of Valdez, Alaska, just after 3 p.m. Thursday, according to the tsunami warning folks in Palmer. The quake was close to the surface – just 3 miles below ground – in comparison to data provided by the Feds on other, recent Alaska earthquakes with a Richter scale measurement higher than 3.0. Precisely:
Fairbanks pride: Violent solar storms and hat-tips from travel gurus at the Los Angeles Times and National Geographic, among others, have made the Golden Heart City of Fairbanks Alaska's top travel destination for a trusted travel guide. City promoters blasted off a release this morning touting Fairbanks's newfound travel buzz – Lonely Planet recently named Fairbanks as the No. 2 U.S. travel destination – and included a cool video of best-of-Interior highlights, most notably the upside of Alaskan winters, when northern lights dance all night. No mention of the minus-40 degree cold or ice fog.
Alaska's baby dinos: The skull of a young dinosaur discovered near an adult version of the species in Alaska last year led scientists to conclude that dinosaurs were reproducing in a climate once considered too harsh for survival. The Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas announced the finding Thursday. The finding of the adult dinosaur north of the Arctic Circle, called Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum, is named in recognition of the family of H. Ross Perot, the billionaire Texas businessman who unsuccessfully ran for president in 1992.
Alaska, last frontier for zombie resistance: Cable TV writers have turned their attention North, again, this time to serialize Alaskan subsistence living for reality TV audiences. But instead of emphasizing the skills, benefits and rewards that come with self sufficiency among hunt-and-fish Alaskans, Karga Seven Casting will cast those outliers among us preparing for the zombie invasion. Zombies, after all, are a real threat for someone, somewhere in Alaska, while other issues interwoven with subsistence, like food security and human nutrition, may be less tease-worthy for audiences that enjoy other Alaska reality programs Karga producers have been involved with, such as "Big Hair Alaska" and "Flying Wild Alaska 2."
Drink up, Anchorage: One of Anchorage's best kept secrets is getting a bit of recognition from TravelNerd, which recently named the city as one of the best "small cities for beer-lovers." The travel site profiled 10 cities with populations under 400,000, noting that Anchorage's beer scene has been "revving up" over the last few years. While the site gave shout-outs to a few of the big names in town (Anchorage Brewing, Midnight Sun, Broken Tooth, Sleeping Lady) they left off others -- namely, King Street Brewing and Glacier Brewhouse.
LANCE, the movie: One of Alaska's most beloved mushers, Lance Mackey, is the subject of a full-length documentary and fans got a first look Monday. The film, directed by Greg Kohs, follows Mackey before, during and after the 2013 Iditarod. Mackey, a four-time Iditarod and Yukon Quest champion, finished 19th this year. Filmmakers note the film is "coming" winter 2014.