A Model Pandemic


COVID-19 has prompted dramatic changes around the world. Beyond the isolation and economic shock there is a growing awareness of some of the science behind pandemics, including modeling. Almost daily we hear about the need for more data to fine-tune predictions and response. But what do epidemiologists mean by a model. To answer that, I turned to KUAC’s “Math-Guy” John Gimbel, mathematics professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Deconstructing the Self


Back in February, before travel restrictions and social distancing was set in place, Jeff Kitzes was in Fairbanks. Jeff is a psychotherapist from California and frequently leads Zen retreats in town through the Cold Mountain Zen Center. Jeff is also a certified Zen Master, whose Buddhist name is Bon Soeng. He heads up the Empty Gate Zen Center in Berkeley. 

While he was in Fairbanks this last time he was invited to talk with University of Alaska Fairbanks students, faculty and staff at a new room called The Well, intended as a quiet and inviting spot where students and others can sooth and replenish their spirits through meditation or other contemplative practices.

Also, on the show: One of the rituals for some die-hard baseball fans it to head to Florida’s baseball camps to take in spring training. That option was called on account of COVID-19. Author and reviewer Frank Soos sympathizes and he’s in with some recommendations to ease the pain.

The Great American Novel

The Boys of Summer

The Summer Game

The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop

The Art of Fielding

The Cactus League

And Chris Lott is in with some eastern religious phrases that have taken root in English, on Katexic Clippings.


Music by JukeDeck

Bus Pilgrimage



Steve Parker: Psychologist and Stone Wrangler

Last week, another pilgrim to the bus near Healy where Chris McCandless died in 1992 had to be rescued. McCandless is figured in Jon Krakauer’s non-fiction book Into the Wild. In this Northern Soundbite, Fairbanks psychologist Steve Parker says while it’s important to have pilgrimage sites, many journeying to the bus probably don’t know the disturbing backstory captured in McCandless’ sister’s book, The Wild Truth.

The Afflicted Fourth Estate


With a majority of the U.S. workforce at home and on-line, it may seem ironic to report that COVID-19 has hit local journalism hard. For example, at the end of March the Anchorage Daily News announced it had cut salaried staff pay by 20% and trimmed back full-time hourly workers to a 32-hour week. That’s on top of the seven employees it laid off. The ADN is not alone.

To discuss the issue, I turned to retired Fairbanks Daily News columnist Dermot Cole who now files independently from his site “Reporting from Alaska,” at dermotmcole.com

Another Epidemic


Even as we struggle to cope with COVID-19, America is increasingly falling prey to another disease: diabetes. In conjunction with a national broadcast on PBS “Blood Sugar Rising,” Northern Soundings hears from Interior Alaska’s only practicing endocrinologist, Dr. Muhammad Ahmed.

Also, some says the globe itself is suffering from a disease. On the eve of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we hear from two organizers of celebrations past and present: Richard Seifert and Dave Norton.

And Chris Lott is in with a Katexic Clippings that may change your mind.


Music by Jukedeck