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Booker season: Dentistry, love and religion

It starts out well enough. Right on page  -2 (before the page numbers), the epigraph comes from an ancient tome, the Bible. From the well-respected book of Job, chapter 39, verse 25 — the King James version even.

It reads: “Ha, ha.”

Just so you’re clear on the tone of Joshua Ferris’ Man Booker Prize shortlisted novel, “To Rise Again at a Decent Hour.”

For military ship, civilian science is the mission

The U.S. Coast Guard ice breaker Healy stopped in Juneau on Thursday after four months in the Arctic, and the captain graciously gave the Empire a one-on-one tour of the ship on Friday. Here's what we learned. (And click here to see what we saw.)

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Like Shark Week for book-lovers

Yes, that’s right people — it’s Booker season.

As in the Man Booker Prize for those of you who don’t follow books like you follow Twitter. It’s a literary award. An august and popular one with about $80,000 (£50,000) in the kitty and a funny-looking trophy at stake.

Today the shortlist was released, leading to a feeding-frenzy of book reviews, a great, sharp mouthful of criticism and violent, thrashing praise.

There will be conjecture, there will be melodrama, and in five weeks, there will be a winner.

A Real Juneau Hiker

Most of the low lying trails around Juneau involve hiking out and back. We are surrounded by saltwater on one side and the Juneau Icefield on the other, with glacier carved valleys hemmed in by high mountain ridges stacked up and down the coast. I remember my first year in Juneau, when I learned the geography of the ridges and valleys along the road system: Hawthorne Peaks-Sheep Creek-Mt. Roberts-Perseverance-Mt. Juneau-Salmon Creek-Blackerby Ridge-Lemon Creek-Heintzleman Ridge/Thunder Mt.-Mendenhall Valley-McGinnis. Up, down, up, down, up, down, up.

Rainy Day Reads: I bought an ereader

I was one of those people who said they’d never get an ereader. It was like blasphemy to me. Books were the physical things you held in your hands. You turned the pages, you hefted their weight, you sniffed their used-book/new-book smell.

I’ve always hated reading things on screen. To this day, if a news story or blog post runs too long, I print it out and read it on paper. Reading on screens is just … different. And for me, difficult.

Rainy Day Reads: 'Girls of Atomic City'

They were not told where they were going. They were not allowed to talk about their jobs. They watched gauges and added numbers without knowing what they meant. They were recruited to spy on one another.

Summer Hikes: Part II

Summer Hikes, continued-

Summer Hikes: Part I

Ah, what a summer it’s been so far. My goal this year as a newly retired person is to get outside and do something active every day, rain or shine. At first I had this crazy idea that I would be skiing, climbing mountains and hiking ridges for hours every day. I was hammering each day like it was my “day off”, trying to get in as much activity as I could. But since I’m not 20 years old anymore that didn’t last long, and I was forced to slow down a bit when I hit the figurative wall.

Avian rescue at the Empire

On sunny days in the Empire newsroom we often open the doors to let in a cool breeze — but this afternoon we got a little more than fresh air — we got a live bird.

We often have crows perched along the railings of the two balconies with access to the newsroom. To my knowledge, today was the first day one of the birds decided he was too good for the balcony and ventured indoors.

Winning the Weather Lottery: Kayaking in Berner's Bay

The weather towards the end of June was cloudy and rainy, with not much hope for improvement any time soon. We squeezed in some good bike rides and hikes when we got the chance, but for the most part we put on rain gear and made the best of it. One rainy, foggy day we loaded up the kayaks and went to Echo Cove. We hadn’t been kayaking yet this year.

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