When I tell people I’m from Alaska, it’s usually a pretty good ice breaker. It’s hard for them to imagine just how big the state really is. The distance between Adak (the westernmost point of Alaska) and Ketchikan (the easternmost city where I was born) is roughly 1800 miles. In comparison, the coast to coast distance in the Lower 48 is about 2300, give or take. What’s a few hundred miles amongst friends I always say?
Speaking of friends, Alaska travel guru Scott McMurren put a little bug in my ear this morning. We hang out every time he’s in Seattle. It’s a hate/love relationship — he can always count on me for a ride and I can always count on him for really great Internet marketing advice. Our world’s collide when we talk about things like Boeing (for reasons related to travel and manufacturing) and the Internet.
The thing that’s amazing about Internet technology is its capacity to bring real world solutions to really remote locations in real time. Alaska-company GCI is a good example. GCI is the state’s largest provider of Internet services with cable modem, wireless and dedicated access. Services are connected through company-owned fiber optic, satellite and metropolitan area network facilities in the Lower 48. This broadband platform is the only one-of-its-kind in state and allows the company to provide IT services to the Alaska market. Which get’s me to the point of this post.
My icebreaker. I would like help introduce the people I’ve met in the Lower 48 who develop 3D printing and additive manufacturing technologies (such as 3D Systems, Stratasys and Objet) to the people I know in Alaska who can use it — people on traveling scientific laboratories like the USCGC HEALY, people stranded on tankers and tenders, or people working on the Slope, in commercial fishing villages and isolated logging camps. Who wants to join me and help start this conversation?
The Coast Guard Cutter HEALY (WAGB – 20) is United States’ newest and most technologically advanced polar icebreaker. Who wants to start an icebreaker?