Last Call: Why do people live in Barrow, Alaska?

Photo: Kevin Smith/Getty Images
Photo: Kevin Smith/Getty Images

The Devil Wears Prada

Everybody has that movie that they can’t ever turn off, and here is mine: If I come across it while channel flipping, I will never not watch The Devil Wears Prada. I don’t know what it is: Anne Hathaway’s clothes, Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci’s over-the-top performances, or Meryl Streep’s masterpiece of passive-aggressiveness. Probably a combination. I might have seen it 20 or 80 times, and I will undoubtedly watch it 20 or 80 times more. [Gwen Ihnat]


Why does Barrow, Alaska exist?

I’ve long been fascinated with extreme locales, places that are the coldest, hottest, highest, lowest on Earth. Barrow, Alaska sits on the Arctic Ocean and is the northernmost city in the United States—so close to the North Pole, the sun doesn’t rise for 65 days in the winter. And yet, 5,000 people call it home. Why? This 10-minute short film explains. [Kevin Pang]

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

Kevin Pang was the founding editor of The Takeout, and director of the documentary For Grace.



That reminded me, people talk about how moving to Alaska is some magic cheap place, but land apparently goes for (though that may change with this admin) a premium there that rivals the coastal parts of Cali. Due to much of the state being federal land, you cannot actually buy it and homestead there. Then, like the video shows, everything is ‘spensive due to shipping costs. This is also the region where, due to cold, you have to shit in buckets and have it hauled away. Due to the climate, sewage and septic are not an option, at the same time it being so cold, just letting it freeze into shit cubes makes it way less unpleasant.