Random weirdness for the week of June 11, 2019

Random weirdness for the week of June 11, 2019

OK, scary as that angry girl shooting magic (or whatever) from her hands might seem, what we’re really concerned about are those diamond-shaped things you might suspect are merely harmless snowflakes. Because it More »

AN UNFORTUNATE FEW DAYS AT SEA: Passengers rescued from grounded sailboat, young man dies from epilepsy on cruise ship in third sea emergency in three days

AN UNFORTUNATE FEW DAYS AT SEA: Passengers rescued from grounded sailboat, young man dies from epilepsy on cruise ship in third sea emergency in three days

Passengers were rescued from a sailboat that ran aground in Isfjorden and a young man on a cruise ship in northwest Spitsbergen died after a serious epilepsy attack, marking the second and third emergencies at sea More »

PERIL AT PYRAMIDEN: Historic seal-hunting boat takes on water at ice edge as 13 aboard prepare to abandon ship, but stays afloat until help arrives

PERIL AT PYRAMIDEN: Historic seal-hunting boat takes on water at ice edge as 13 aboard prepare to abandon ship, but stays afloat until help arrives

A boat notorious for its former seal-hunting history that started taking in water in the engine room after suffering a leak Friday morning at the ice edge near Pyramiden had the 13 people aboard preparing More »

Blown to and fro: Strong winds giveth and strong winds taketh away for runners in biggest-ever Spitsbergen Marathon; local teen, 14, achieves notable win as fastest woman in 10K race

Blown to and fro: Strong winds giveth and strong winds taketh away for runners in biggest-ever Spitsbergen Marathon; local teen, 14, achieves notable win as fastest woman in 10K race

While spectacular snow-covered mountains dominate the landscape for the world’s northernmost marathon, the vast majority of the course itself is basically flat. But for Isabel Aarnes it was very much an uphill More »

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of May 28, 2019

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of May 28, 2019

Shortage of industrial store space results in overinflated prices, restraints on growth A lack of available buildings fueling Longyearbyen’s housing crisis is also being felt by businesses in dire need of storage More »

 

Random weirdness for the week of June 11, 2019

frozen2

OK, scary as that angry girl shooting magic (or whatever) from her hands might seem, what we’re really concerned about are those diamond-shaped things you might suspect are merely harmless snowflakes. Because it seems like that’s what’s making those magic hands possible. Also, it’s possible some magic horses living underwater in Svalbard might have something to do with all this.

AN UNFORTUNATE FEW DAYS AT SEA: Passengers rescued from grounded sailboat, young man dies from epilepsy on cruise ship in third sea emergency in three days

sailboatgrounded

Passengers were rescued from a sailboat that ran aground in Isfjorden and a young man on a cruise ship in northwest Spitsbergen died after a serious epilepsy attack, marking the second and third emergencies at sea in three days in the wake of a historic vessel that suffered engine room flooding from a leak near Pyramiden.

PERIL AT PYRAMIDEN: Historic seal-hunting boat takes on water at ice edge as 13 aboard prepare to abandon ship, but stays afloat until help arrives

sealboatleak

A boat notorious for its former seal-hunting history that started taking in water in the engine room after suffering a leak Friday morning at the ice edge near Pyramiden had the 13 people aboard preparing to evacuate the vessel, but the crew was able to restart the engine and keep the water under control until emergency help arrived, according to the Joint Rescue Coordination Centres of Northern Norway.

Blown to and fro: Strong winds giveth and strong winds taketh away for runners in biggest-ever Spitsbergen Marathon; local teen, 14, achieves notable win as fastest woman in 10K race

marathon19a

While spectacular snow-covered mountains dominate the landscape for the world’s northernmost marathon, the vast majority of the course itself is basically flat. But for Isabel Aarnes it was very much an uphill and downhill effort thanks to persistent winds of nearly 30 kilometers an hour.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of May 28, 2019

storagespace

Shortage of industrial store space results in overinflated prices, restraints on growth
A lack of available buildings fueling Longyearbyen’s housing crisis is also being felt by businesses in dire need of storage space, with LNS Spitsbergen admitting it’s overpaying by spending five million kroner for 300-square-meter space in a steel building with no insulation or district heating.

A bit less crowded: Scaled-down cruise ship season gets scaled-down local welcome – until new visitor center can ramp things up

firstship19

The first large cruise ship of the year docked in Longyearbyen early Wednesday morning and, unlike previous years, there was no welcoming party by locals to greet it.

But it had nothing to do with whatever frustrations some residents have had about the crowds of visitors arriving on increasingly large ships (although there will be notably fewer of them than last year). Rather, the welcoming is briefly on hold until a more personal one is possible when a new visitor center at the dock is finished.

Random weirdness for the week of May 28, 2019

liverpoolsvalbard

“Even the polar bears will be dancing.” We’re always a bit puzzled when sports stars credit God for a victory, but if indeed that prediction by a certain group of fervent locals happens after this weekend’s Champions League final we might have to rethink if She does indeed take sides.

POLAR BEAR APPROACHES TOWN: Governor spends Monday morning chasing animal away from Longyearbyen

bearneartown

A polar bear spotted near Longyearbyen early Monday morning that at one point approached the dog kennels at the edge of town proved difficult to chase away  despite lengthy efforts by officials using a helicopter and other means, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

SHORT-TERM GAIN, LONG-TERM PAIN: A dozen evacuated ‘red zone’ homes can again be occupied until winter, but dozens more may join demolition list due to avalanche exposure

moreriskyhomes

Good news: a dozen apartments can now be occupied during the next several months just in time for the many employees arriving for the start of summer cruise ship season next week. Bad news: the list of about 140 residences scheduled for demolition beginning as soon as this month due to their avalanche exposure may add another 41 units because previous hopes of protecting them may be unfeasible.

Random weirdness for the week of May 21, 2019

svalbardgameofthrones2

Everybody can’t stop talking about the awfulness known as the last season (or two) of “Game of Thrones,” so of course we have to start this week’s rant with Svalbard-related weirdness after the fiasco of a finale because, well, people can’t stop talking about GoT (a.k.a. clickbait galore!).