…including what is shaping to be an amazing partnership with Technion and some spectacular gamesmanship:
Dr. Skorton saved that information for just the right moment. After Thanksgiving, the city invited five contenders to make detailed presentations. Cornell and Technion went last, on Dec. 3.
“President Skorton ended it by saying ‘I want to tell you all that we have a $350 million gift,’ ” Mr. Fuchs recalled. “You could have heard a pin drop in that room.”
Mr. Steel said, “It’s pretty breathtaking when other schools are talking about the challenges of fund-raising, and one of your strongest competitors says on the first phase financing: done.”
In negotiations, the city tried to sweeten the bids. Stanford balked at some conditions, while Dr. Skorton sought more ammunition from Cornell’s trustees at a Dec. 8 meeting.
“I asked if they would be willing to take $100 million of the endowment for start-up companies,” he recalled.
“And they said, ‘How about $150 million?’ ”
No other school offered a venture fund, something that Seth W. Pinsky, president of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, called “particularly attractive to us.”
By the time Stanford shocked everyone involved by dropping out Dec. 16, city officials said, Cornell and Technion had all but won. Mr. Bloomberg made it official three days later.
“Of all the applications we received, Cornell and the Technion was far and away the boldest and most ambitious,” the mayor said. A big part of its appeal, he added, was “a tantalizing, groundbreaking partnership.”
Let’s face it, America has a reality fetish when it comes to Alaska. While its been brewing for awhile, in the last few years the Alaska reality genre has exploded. Perhaps it was Sarah Palin that opened the Alaska reality floodgates, but whatever the impetus is, we love romanticizing the rugged, frontier, Alaskan way of life. Take any mundane job in the lower 48, stick it in Alaska and you’ll likely have a film crew tagging along. Get arrested in Alaska, chances are good are it’ll be captured on film.
I tweeted this a few months back:
I have long theororized that over 50% of Alaskans are on a reality TV show. Further proof of this: http://on.today.com/n8FWHK
— Marcus Cohn (@MarcusCohn) August 3, 2011
And I’d now like to build upon this by providing an ever growing list of Alaska reality shows currently or recently on air (let me know if I’ve missed any):
- Deadliest Catch — arguably the one that started it all!
- Ice Road Truckers
- Flying Wild Alaska
- Tougher in Alaska
- Alaska State Troopers
- Gold Rush Alaska
- Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment
- Arctic Roughnecks
- Alaska Wing Men
- Toughest Race on Earth: Iditarod
- Sarah Palin’s Alaska
- Big Hair Alaska — the spinoff to Sarah Palin’s Alaska about her hair salon
- Looking for Love: Bachelorettes in Alaska
- And the coup de grâce: Coast Guard Alaska — on the Weather Channel…yes, the Weather Channel. When the Weather Channel jumps on the bandwagon we must ask ourselves, has Alaska jumped the shark?
Believe it or not, it doesn’t stop here. There are more shows currently in production. We’ll soon have the pleasure of watching:
Not to mention, one-off specials and episodes of other shows including:
- Alaska Week Along with sharks, Alaska gets its own dedicated Discovery Channel week!
- Alaska: Most Extreme
- Dirty Jobs — multiple Alaska episodes
- Mythbusters: Alaska Special
- Ax Men: Papac Alaska Logging
- Untamed Alaska
In sum,The Anchorage Daily News puts it in perspective:
On a Friday night… a new Unalakleet-based show about Alaska Bush pilots became Discovery Channel’s biggest new series premiere ever with 2.6 million viewers.
With a state population of 710,000, the Flying Wild Alaska premiere was watched by more than 3.5x people than Alaska has residents. Fetish much?