A timeless prank turns 40
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Despite his reputation as a prankster, Porky Bickar was civic-minded. He alerted local authorities to the prank — with the notable exception of the Coast Guard, which sent a plane from Juneau.
The Museum of Hoaxes puts it at number 16 on the list of Top 100 April Fools Hoaxes of All-Time.
The Eruption of the Mt. Edgecumbe Volcano was staged in Sitka 40 years ago today, on April 1, 1974. The prank was orchestrated by Porky Bickar and a group of co-conspirators known as the “Dirty Dozen,” using a helicopter and two sling loads of old tires. KCAW’s Robert Woolsey produced the following piece in 2009, to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the hoax.
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A species of fern common in Asia has been found in Southeast Alaska. But unlike invasive species, Wright’s filmy fern is an early colonizer. And figuring out how and when it got here is the next piece of the puzzle. more
Rob Harcourt is a professor of Marine Ecology at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He's in Sitka as a Scientist in Residency Fellow (SIRF) at the Sitka Sound Science Center. Harcourt uses advanced tagging techniques to study ocean animals and their habitat -- everything from jellyfish to blue whales. He'll be speaking tonight (6PM Wed Apr 22, Alaska Raptor Rehabilitation Center, free) on climate change and penquins: "Will Happy Feet feel the heat?" With SSS research director Tory O'Connell.
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