Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ Episode 5 from Mary-Ann’s Polarrigg

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ Episode 5 from Mary-Ann’s Polarrigg

9:30 p.m.: Welcome to the show that will bring us to the halfway point in the series, although in the timeline of the show (late October until the end of May, we’re More »

Sweet taste of beer: More ways than ever to get hungover during annual Oktoberfest

Sweet taste of beer: More ways than ever to get hungover during annual Oktoberfest

Drinking more than 60 types of beer, loud music until way past midnight, a long boat ride beginning early in the morning – what could possibly go wrong? Oh, and that box of More »

Exchange students: Youths from Barentsburg and Australia get inadvertent education about life during brief cruise

Exchange students: Youths from Barentsburg and Australia get inadvertent education about life during brief cruise

The youths from Barentsburg ended up taking a boat trip to nowhere due to rough seas. An Australian family who paid to visit the Russian settlement decided they were too tired to More »

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ Episode 4 (‘Into the Light’), from Coal Miners Cabins

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ Episode 4 (‘Into the Light’), from Coal Miners Cabins

9:30 p.m.: This week should be an interesting gauge of the show’s popularity with the local population. This liveblog is occuring at a quasi-rustic restaurant/pub that seems to be the most popular More »

Polarizing art: ‘Crazy’ overtakes quality as ten live performance artists squeezed into nine-day Arctic Action festival

Polarizing art: ‘Crazy’ overtakes quality as ten live performance artists squeezed into nine-day Arctic Action festival

Quality (and quirky) art – such as a guy being buried alive in coal – was the emphasis when it debuted last year. This year they’re just rushing impulsively through things all More »

 

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ Episode 5 from Mary-Ann’s Polarrigg

liveblog5

9:30 p.m.: Welcome to the show that will bring us to the halfway point in the series, although in the timeline of the show (late October until the end of May, we’re already in mid-March). Judging from the preview, it looks like this might be an episode that focuses on a topic rather than a progressive narrative, which is something the producers indicated during filming they were planning to do all along.

Sweet taste of beer: More ways than ever to get hungover during annual Oktoberfest

oktoberfest16parade

Drinking more than 60 types of beer, loud music until way past midnight, a long boat ride beginning early in the morning – what could possibly go wrong?

Oh, and that box of beer-infused chocolates you ate after dinner probably won’t make things any easier.

Exchange students: Youths from Barentsburg and Australia get inadvertent education about life during brief cruise

studentexchange

The youths from Barentsburg ended up taking a boat trip to nowhere due to rough seas. An Australian family who paid to visit the Russian settlement decided they were too tired to disembark while the local kids climbed aboard. Which turned their “diminished” experiences into something much richer than originally planned.

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ Episode 4 (‘Into the Light’), from Coal Miners Cabins

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9:30 p.m.: This week should be an interesting gauge of the show’s popularity with the local population. This liveblog is occuring at a quasi-rustic restaurant/pub that seems to be the most popular of four places hosting public screenings so far. The first three episodes all had standout factors making them of heightened interest – the first two introduced the characters and the third was the make-or-break avalanche episode – and were all featured at preview screeenings at the main theater in town. This week: no preview and an ordinary episode that – if the “next week” snippets are any indication – will feature the annual return-of-the sun ceremony, a lighthearted approach to characters doing tourist-oriented work and (educated guess) a character participating in an annual two-day dogsledding race.

Polarizing art: ‘Crazy’ overtakes quality as ten live performance artists squeezed into nine-day Arctic Action festival

arcticaction2

Quality (and quirky) art – such as a guy being buried alive in coal – was the emphasis when it debuted last year. This year they’re just rushing impulsively through things all at once.

Whoa…coal prices have rebounded hugely – but don’t look for a Store Norske reboot anytime soon

coalship

Erase everything that’s happened during the past two years and ponder this: if one or both of Svalbard’s two biggest coal mines were operating full-speed right now they’d nearly be breaking even due to a huge rebound in coal prices.

Alas, that won’t stop the near-total shutdown of mining that has already occurred, with only a few more weeks’ shipping of existing supplies left before it takes full effect. But it is a sign resurrection may be, as a pop-culture movie put it, Mission Extremely Difficult instead of Mission Impossible.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Sept. 9, 2016

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NVE: ‘We did not abandon Longyearbyen’ before Dec. 19 avalanche
The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), which was given the responsibility for avalanche prevention in Longyearbyen in 2013, is denying it failed to take sufficient action to minimize the impact of a massive avalanche last Dec. 19.

Land and sea sick: Four more reindeer pay ultimate price for garbage; how much are we willing to pay so they don’t have to?

reindeercablefront

Four more reindeer paid the ultimate price during the past several days for due to the trash scattered around Svalbard (actually, many more undoubtably did as well, but not in view of people exploring near town).

The question is: how much of a price are we willing to pay so the animals don’t have to?

Get the picture? Photographer’s encounter with reindeer snagged in cables results in unfortunate type of shooting

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I’m driving into Adventdalen for one of my many enjoyable photo tours on a Tuesday afternoon. The weather is fine and I’m hoping to find the reindeer that lives below Mine 7, as I have done many times in recent days.

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ Episode Three (‘Out of Darkness’) at Polar Permaculture

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9:30 p.m.: Saw an advance screeing of this “make-or-break” episode two days ago (almost certainly the last time locals will get the opportunity during the 10-episode series) and it certainly was for the best as I prepare to do this tonight. Not because of the jolt of reliving last December’s avalanche – hard as that is at times – but because of a far more dismal shock I never would have imagined would be shown tonight (BTW, that shock isn’t what may seem overwhelmingly obvious, as you’ll learn by the end).