Deck of tour boat M/S Langøysund catches fire with 34 aboard during BBQ; passengers trapped, no serious injuries reported

Deck of tour boat M/S Langøysund catches fire with 34 aboard during BBQ; passengers trapped, no serious injuries reported

The deck of the M/S Langøysund tour boat caught fire in Isfjorden shortly before noon on Thursday, according to The Governor of Svalbard.but was extinguished by the crew a short time later with no More »

Holiday plans cancelled: Po Lin Lee loses planned hotel site in addition to giant Santa’s mailbox due to faulty paperwork

Holiday plans cancelled: Po Lin Lee loses planned hotel site in addition to giant Santa’s mailbox due to faulty paperwork

To use an analogy apt for Po Lin Lee: If you mail a wish list to Santa you might not get everything on it, but if you don’t mail it you definitely More »

This week in Doomsday nonsense:  ‘The Uninhabitable Earth,’ ‘Arks of the Apocalypse,’ DNA evidence for the end of the world

This week in Doomsday nonsense: ‘The Uninhabitable Earth,’ ‘Arks of the Apocalypse,’ DNA evidence for the end of the world

To proclaim we’re all dead men walking is hardly alarmist: that’s been the case for everyone on Earth except for a few cases like Jesus or Lord Voldemort before his Horcruxes were vanquished. More »

Beach bummed: Staff at Bjørnøya collect nearly 400 kilograms of trash on shores near station, lots more remains

Beach bummed: Staff at Bjørnøya collect nearly 400 kilograms of trash on shores near station, lots more remains

Kristine Tofte decided to walk a bit beyond her usual spot on a beach when she came upon an now all-too-familiar story that still shocks those experiencing it for the first time: a More »

Going to the dogs: Volunteers sought for one-day and weekend trash cleanups in Isfjorden: project funding kennel repairs

Going to the dogs: Volunteers sought for one-day and weekend trash cleanups in Isfjorden: project funding kennel repairs

For everyone bummed they didn’t win the annual Trash Lottery (also known the governor’s annual cleanup cruise on the north shores of Svalbard this month) consider this an Instant Win consolation prize. More »

 

Deck of tour boat M/S Langøysund catches fire with 34 aboard during BBQ; passengers trapped, no serious injuries reported

firedeck

The deck of the M/S Langøysund tour boat caught fire in Isfjorden shortly before noon on Thursday, according to The Governor of Svalbard.but was extinguished by the crew a short time later with no major injuries to the 34 people aboard, but one crew member was treated at Longyearbyen Hospital for smoke inhalation.

Holiday plans cancelled: Po Lin Lee loses planned hotel site in addition to giant Santa’s mailbox due to faulty paperwork

newdorms

To use an analogy apt for Po Lin Lee: If you mail a wish list to Santa you might not get everything on it, but if you don’t mail it you definitely won’t get anything.

A failure to send proverbial wish lists is now costing the Hong Kong native more than her gigantic Santa’s mailbox that’s facing imminent removal, as she is now being denied previous approval to build a hotel at Elvesletta. Her company Svalbard International received a permit to build the hotel in 2014 that was valid until mid-December of 2015, but property owner Store Norske now plans to offer the site to another entity.

This week in Doomsday nonsense: ‘The Uninhabitable Earth,’ ‘Arks of the Apocalypse,’ DNA evidence for the end of the world

heartlesshead

To proclaim we’re all dead men walking is hardly alarmist: that’s been the case for everyone on Earth except for a few cases like Jesus or Lord Voldemort before his Horcruxes were vanquished. But calling a bit of water leakage into Svalbard Global Seed Vault a key sign of a mass extinction event now underway comparable to the one that wiped out the dinosaurs might be a doomsday cry too far.

Beach bummed: Staff at Bjørnøya collect nearly 400 kilograms of trash on shores near station, lots more remains

bjornoyatrash1

Kristine Tofte decided to walk a bit beyond her usual spot on a beach when she came upon an now all-too-familiar story that still shocks those experiencing it for the first time: a coastline more reminiscent of an urban landfill than the pristine environmental “crown jewel” of Norway.

“I found car tires, nets, snuff boxes, food and fish boxes,” she told ABC Nyheter. “Everything you can imagine.”

Going to the dogs: Volunteers sought for one-day and weekend trash cleanups in Isfjorden: project funding kennel repairs

isfjordencleanup

For everyone bummed they didn’t win the annual Trash Lottery (also known the governor’s annual cleanup cruise on the north shores of Svalbard this month) consider this an Instant Win consolation prize.

A series of one-day and three-day trips to Isfjorden to clean up beaches there is being offered between July 30 and Sept. 8 on behalf of the Longyearbyen Dog Club, which says it’s planning to use a 100,000 kroner grant from the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund for the project to repair kennels and other facilities damaged by landslides last fall.

A severe case of the crabs: Lawsuit about illegal fishing in Svalbard really about oil drilling rights, experts say

crabship

A kilogram of crabs costs about twice as much as a kilogram of oil. But it’s the latter that’s perceived as the real treasure in a rapidly escalating legal battle between Norway and the European Union that may redefine the Svalbard Treaty and affect rights to drilling and other activity in the region for decades to come.

Random weirdness for the week of July 4, 2017

usvisit

We’re not saying a bunch of top U.S. officials rushed to Svalbard on that country’s Independence Day for a top-secret meeting about their missile defense operations here only hours after North Korea launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the “American bastards.” It just looks like that’s what happened.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of July 4, 2017

snowglass

Will late appearance of  Operafjellet ‘champaign glass’ mean late break date? 
It took a long time for the “champaign glass” of snow appeared on Operafjellet this year – will that mean a late date when the “stem” of the glass breaks?

Doomsday deluge: Ongoing flood of articles about seed vault results in officials fencing off road during repairs

vaultfence

It’s been a month since The Guardian’s absurd story about the “flooding” of the Doomsday Vault, but new headlines and articles with various bits of nonsense are still appearing daily. And for the conspiracy theorists there’s a new wrinkle: a fence has suddenly been erected at the roadway entrance.

Cool comrades: Barentsburg greeting visitors with a huge facelift, but residents’ wariness and unseen decay linger

thenandnow

A hotel room without hot water or toilet paper (as for internet…surely you jest), buildings in full post-Cold War decay, and vodka flowing freely during breakfast before 8 a.m.

That was then.