Polar bears return to Hiorthhamn; governor uses helicopter and boat to scare them away

Polar bears return to Hiorthhamn; governor uses helicopter and boat to scare them away

A mother polar bear and her cub that trapped a couple in their cabin and disrupted an archaeological site returned to the cabin area at Hiorthhamn across the channel from Longyearbyen for More »

Rant: Our fishwrapper is alive and stinky as ever again after dying on the night of our worldwide TV debut

Rant: Our fishwrapper is alive and stinky as ever again after dying on the night of our worldwide TV debut

For those trying to visit during the past 17 hours and wondering why the world’s coolest newspaper didn’t seem to exist, we apologize. There was some kind of serious problem with the More »

Rant: Ranking the ‘characters’ of ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge’ from least to most interesting (WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS)

Rant: Ranking the ‘characters’ of ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge’ from least to most interesting (WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS)

The verdict from the cast seems near-unanimous: the charcter they like least is themselves. The first two episodes of the docu-soap “Svalbard: Live on the Edge” served to introduce the 11 “characters” More »

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ episode two (WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS)

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ episode two (WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS)

9:15 p.m.: Welcome to the third liveblog about “Svalbard: Life on the Edge” in the past 26 hours (and first three of my life, so if they seem rough and not what’d More »

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ episode one (WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS)

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ episode one (WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS)

2:52 p.m.: Kulturhuset is nearly full for the advance screening of the debut episode, which airs in Norway at 10 p.m. Monday on BBC Earth. Those who don’t want specific details of More »

 

Polar bears return to Hiorthhamn; governor uses helicopter and boat to scare them away

bearsadventcity

A mother polar bear and her cub that trapped a couple in their cabin and disrupted an archaeological site returned to the cabin area at Hiorthhamn across the channel from Longyearbyen for several hours Tuesday before being chased away, according to the Governor of Svalbard.

Rant: Our fishwrapper is alive and stinky as ever again after dying on the night of our worldwide TV debut

markbbc

For those trying to visit during the past 17 hours and wondering why the world’s coolest newspaper didn’t seem to exist, we apologize. There was some kind of serious problem with the server. After a sleepless night and much beseeching during livechats to tech support, the fishwrapper has returned to its usual stinky self. And if anyone wants to take pity and chip in to the “must injest endless amounts of caffeine” (and maybe some drugs that aren’t legal) fund, donate a dollar (or a million). Most of all, keep reading and telling me all the ways I’m crazy/wrong/evil/etc.

Update: The reason the fishwrapper’s website was down for 17 hours yesterday and today (and has been crashing intermittently throughout the morning) is so many people were trying to access it that it crashed both my account and server. If nothing else, this is the best advertising pitch (and begging request for donations) I’ll ever be able to make. Especially since I’m being told I’m going to have to migrate/upgrade my server to handle that kind of traffic.

Rant: Ranking the ‘characters’ of ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge’ from least to most interesting (WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS)

rankcharacters

The verdict from the cast seems near-unanimous: the charcter they like least is themselves.

The first two episodes of the docu-soap “Svalbard: Live on the Edge” served to introduce the 11 “characters” that were followed around by camera crews for much of the past year. Some received dominent amounts of screen time, others made scant appearances with large gaps between them. And in talking to numerous locals following advance screenings of the episodes Sunday at Kulturhuset, there were a few clear top favorites.

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ episode two (WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS)

liveblog2

9:15 p.m.: Welcome to the third liveblog about “Svalbard: Life on the Edge” in the past 26 hours (and first three of my life, so if they seem rough and not what’d you expect sorry about that). Definitely going to be another full house…in fact, seats are almost gone already.

9:18 p.m.: And, of course, the usual reminder from the headline this will contain spoilers, so if you don’t want to know details of the episode before it airs at 10 p.m. Sept. 5 on BBC Earth (day/time may be different outside Norway) smash in your computer/tablet/phone screen immediatly (or come up with some other way of not reading this before then).

Liveblog: ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge,’ episode one (WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS)

liveblog1

2:52 p.m.: Kulturhuset is nearly full for the advance screening of the debut episode, which airs in Norway at 10 p.m. Monday on BBC Earth. Those who don’t want specific details of the show revealed should read my previous cast-only liveblog of the first two episodes.

Liveblogging ‘Svalbard: Life on the Edge': Spoiler-free cast-only preview

liveblogpreview

Many of the ten Longyearbyen residents cast as the “stars” of the BBC Earth reality TV series “Svalbard: Life on the Edge” (“Ice Town: Life on the Edge” outside Norway) are gathering at 7 p.m. Saturday at Kulturhuset for a preview screening of the debut episode. As one of the “characters” I’ll be liveblogging some general impressions and reactions from other locals without revealing the “plot.” I’ll also be liveblogging both public previews – with spoilers – at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. Sunday.

Rant: Hmmm…we’re getting a sense BBC Earth might be kinda kicking its Svalbard docu-soap under the rug

bbcad

Simple test: do a Google search for “BBC Earth” and see how many results you have to scroll through before finding anything about the ten-part Svalbard docu-soap debuting in a couple of days.

Coffins from Svalbard’s biggest graveyard saved from coastal erosion, offer clues to life in 1600s

grave2

The remote and harsh setting often made life very hard indeed, but also meant Mother Nature took great care with the dead after they submitted to the elements.

Until recently.

The well-preserved remains of three men in coffins at Likneset were removed from Svalbard’s largest graveyard earlier this month and are now in cold storage at Svalbard Museum. The graveyard is on a coastal cliffside at Likneset on northwestern Spitsbergen, described as the heartland of whaling in the archipelago during the 17th and 18th centuries, but erosion had put the coffins in immanent danger of being washed into the sea.

Random weirdness for the week of Aug. 23, 2016

marsrovergame

The Mars Curiosity Rover has returned to Svalbard and this time you’re not just allowed to drive it, but thoroughly wreck the vehicle and the pristine landscape– all for free.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Aug. 23, 2016

russianbear

Russians waited 12 hours to report fatal shooting of bear
A polar bear killed by a Russian researcher at Prins Karls Forland on Aug. 9 was shot from a distance of about 130 meters, according to The Governor of Svalbard. Scientists spotted the two-year-old female bear at that distance from their tent camp, with one of the researchers firing a warning shot with a flare gun before another researcher fired two shots with a rifle.