WHAT ALASKA’S WATCHING: A map recently unveiled by YouTube shows the most watched videos in real time across the country. The videos being watched can be filtered according to the number of views or shares, as well as by gender and age of viewers. On May 17, at 6:30 a.m, the most popular video being watched across the country, including in Alaska, was Greg Karber’s video called “Abercrombie & Fitch Gets a Brand Readjustment #FitchTheHomeless.” Take a wild guess what that’s about. The second most popular was a video shot by Kenai Penninsula’s Brad Josephs entitled “A grizzly Ate My GoPro!!!” Watch it to see what a bear’s tongue really looks like. A video of a revised version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, recorded by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station, was third. Source: YouTube.
NOT SUCH A NICE PLACE TO LIVE: Camden, New Jersey (population appr. 77,000) is the poorest city in the United States. More than 40 percent of the city’s population lives below the federal poverty line. It’s also one of the most dangerous places in America. There were 67 murders there in 2012. The violence is mostly attributed to gang wars and a robust illegal drug trade. Source: The Economist, May 11, 2013.
TELL THE FOLKS IN CAMDEN: Gun violence in America is down. There were 11,101 homicides in 2011, down 39 percent from 1993. Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics report released May 7, 2013.
DOCTORS RAKING IT IN: Alaska has the highest healthcare costs for services in the country. A 2010 study found rates in Alaska were up to 192 percent of what they are for the same services in Washington state. In Alaska, doctors get reimbursed through Medicaid $1,141.23 for cataract surgery, to name just one procedure. In Washington, it’s $394.44. Source: Alaska’s Health Care Commission.
SURGEONS REALLY RAKING IT IN: Alaska has the most expensive workers’ compensation premiums and is number one in medical costs for workers. It pays surgeons 482 percent of the Medicare rate. For instance, worker’s comp will pay a doctor $4,181 for knee surgery in Alaska (nearly four times what it reimburses under Medicaid). In Washington, it’s $869, and in Hawaii it’s $693. It’ll pay $2,339 for an MRI in Alaska. In Washington it pays $769, and in Hawaii $634. Source: Alaska’s Worker’s Compensation Medical Services Review Commission.
BURN BABY BURN: Believe it or not, global warming is real. Carbon-dioxide concentrations recently hit their highest level in 4 million years. Earlier this month, the atmosphere around the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, for the first time, hit record setting 400 ppm measurements of CO2. The last time such values prevailed was in the Pliocene Epoch when jungles covered northern Canada. Source : New York Times, NOAA.
PREAKNESS GALS: Only five fillies have won the Preakness in the race’s history. They are Flocarline in 1903, Whimsical in 1906, Rhine Maiden in 1915, Nellie Morse in 1924 and Rachel Alexandra in 2009. Source: Pimlico Race Track, Baltimore.
FRUITS OF OFFICE: Running a foreign government can be quite profitable for those with, say, questionable ethics. Here are some rough estimates of corruptly obtained assets by notable world leaders: Muammar Quaddafi (Libya 1969 – 2011) $30 – $80 billion; Suharto (Indonesia 1967 – 98) $15 – $35 billion; Sani Abacha (Nigeria 1993 -98) $2 – $5 billion ; Ferdinand Marcos (Phillipines 1965 -86) $5 – $10 billion; Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali (Tunisia. 1987 – 2011) $3 – $5 billion; Jean Claude Duvalier (Haiti 1971 – 86) $0.3 – $0.8 billion; and Hosni Mubarak (Egypt 1981 – 2011) $1 – $70 billion. As you can see, that’s some pretty impressive looting. Source: Transparency International and the International Centre for Asset Recovery.
HOW IMPORTANT IS ALASKA TO THE BIG THREE? Number of times Alaska was mentioned during ExxonMobil’s first quarter conference call in April: 0. Number of times Alaska was mentioned during BP’s first quarter conference call: 0. Number of times Alaska was mentioned during ConocoPhillips first quarter conference call: 15. Source: SeekingAlpha.Com.