Random weirdness for the week of Oct. 16, 2018

Random weirdness for the week of Oct. 16, 2018

Mathematical fact*: If there’s a photography contest there’s a 99.9 percent chance a photo of Svalbard will be submitted and a 99.6 percent chance it will be among the winners. More »

Stuck on Sarkofagen: Two hikers rescued by helicopter after getting trapped on peak

Stuck on Sarkofagen: Two hikers rescued by helicopter after getting trapped on peak

Two hikers trapped at the top of Sarkofagen just to the south of Longyearbyen were rescued by helicopter Tuesday afternoon, according to The Governor of Svalbard. More »

Booted from boathouses: Six people living illegally in buildings at Sjøområdet evicted by fire and city officials

Booted from boathouses: Six people living illegally in buildings at Sjøområdet evicted by fire and city officials

Six people in four buildings were evicted this week from the spaces at Sjøområdet by city and fire officials who say residing in them is a fire hazard. More »

Local takeaway from new major ‘climate catastrophe’ report: Svalbard now warming up to three times as fast as elsewhere

Local takeaway from new major ‘climate catastrophe’ report: Svalbard now warming up to three times as fast as elsewhere

Today’s top story worldwide is a landmark U.N. report declaring global emissions need to be cut in half in 12 years to avoid catastrophic fires, food shortages, storms and other disasters. But More »

Second helpings: Smak Svalbard returns with lower-cost options and high acclaim as one of Europe’s best food festivals

Second helpings: Smak Svalbard returns with lower-cost options and high acclaim as one of Europe’s best food festivals

It features “iffy-sounding” and politically incorrect dishes such as whale and heavily-salted sheep’s head (“a prize for those who eat everything on the head”), but a three-day food festival starting Thursday in More »

 

Random weirdness for the week of Oct. 16, 2018

bearnap

Mathematical fact*: If there’s a photography contest there’s a 99.9 percent chance a photo of Svalbard will be submitted and a 99.6 percent chance it will be among the winners.

Stuck on Sarkofagen: Two hikers rescued by helicopter after getting trapped on peak

helorescue

Two hikers trapped at the top of Sarkofagen just to the south of Longyearbyen were rescued by helicopter Tuesday afternoon, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

Booted from boathouses: Six people living illegally in buildings at Sjøområdet evicted by fire and city officials

boathouses

Six people in four buildings were evicted this week from the spaces at Sjøområdet by city and fire officials who say residing in them is a fire hazard.

Local takeaway from new major ‘climate catastrophe’ report: Svalbard now warming up to three times as fast as elsewhere

pollution

Today’s top story worldwide is a landmark U.N. report declaring global emissions need to be cut in half in 12 years to avoid catastrophic fires, food shortages, storms and other disasters. But for Svalbard the report is even more alarming, as it states the archipelago is now warming up to three times as fast as most parts of the planet – a major step up from the “twice as fast” assertion in recent years.

Second helpings: Smak Svalbard returns with lower-cost options and high acclaim as one of Europe’s best food festivals

smaksheep

It features “iffy-sounding” and politically incorrect dishes such as whale and heavily-salted sheep’s head (“a prize for those who eat everything on the head”), but a three-day food festival starting Thursday in Longyearbyen is whetting some impressive appetites in just its second year.

MASS ADVENTURE: Leif Mage Helgesen leaves Earth-awakening experience as Svalbard Church’s priest, begins another with a pilgrimage throughout Asia

leiflastmass

Whether it’s about surviving in combat zones, a polar bear attack, or an avalanche that killed a close friend and inflicted trauma on the community, during the past 12 years Leif Magne Helgesen mastered the spiritual skill of keeping cool.

And his singing rowdy songs with the local miners’ choir, cavorting through satirical stage skits, presiding over Masses in spectacular outdoor settings, and writing books about heated topics like climate change and the West Bank (not to mention some nude photos of him showing up in publications) are just some of the blessed ways he can warm up a crowd.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Sept. 25, 2018

boatsbears

A cruise ship illegally sending boatloads of passengers to get a close-up look at a polar bear is caught on camera, the Radisson will be closed for more than three months for a massive upgrade and the parents of a girl killed in avalanche are scheduled to discuss settlements with the people they are suing for negligence.

Adiós Airbnb: Company becomes Longyearbyen’s largest private landlord by buying 84 apartments, will end short-term rentals

nomoreairbnb

A company that is purchasing 84 apartments in Longyearbyen will halt the practice of using five of them for Airbnb rentals, a decision earning praise from local leaders and residents due to the town’s critical shorting of housing.

Random weirdness for the week of Sept. 25, 2018

Polarbeartown

“We are working on documentary film about Spitsbergen. We are looking for videos on which we can see polar bears moving around in human settlements e.g. in Longyearbyen (bears wandering around the city, attacking people or maybe when someone shoot a bear).”

This is one of those times when someone else’s words leave us with none (at least when it comes to a witty opening for an extra-long installment of this week’s weirdness).

Spooky: Norway’s first modern-era arrest of alleged Russian spy could lead to increased presence in Svalbard, experts say

russianspy

The arrest of a Russian man in Oslo on suspicion of spying, the first such arrest by Norway in the modern era, could trigger a wave of hostile reactions by Russia including increasing its presence in Svalbard, according to experts.