Random weirdness for the week of Aug. 25, 2015


Always eager to point out our stupidity before either of our readers get a chance, take a moment to look at the weather forecast on page 3. Did it take longer than three seconds to spot what’s amiss. Yup – we’re publishing as fact that Longyearbyen will have two sunsets on Wednesday. That might seem impossible unless you’re living on Tatooine, but remember the last sunset here was nearly four months ago. But the end of the polar summer has arrived and the double sunset marks the beginning of those two months where the sky gods torture our body clocks before plunging us into total darkness. For those new to the phenomena, be sure to check out the other sunrise/sunset times during the rest of the week since that’s when the change is most extreme …

The end of summer also means the beginning of school, which means that in addition to the usual welcoming speeches pupils of all ages are heading out into the hills for activities definitely not approved by the helicopter parent brigade. The preschoolers have their own reindeer hunting quota, Camp Svalbard has a permit this year for the teenagers there this week and Svalbard Turn also has a new permit as part of a new “locally sourced” food project. The UNIS students, while not being subject to fraternity hazing, will also be toting guns and going for polar dips in “highly attractive orange survival suits, which make you look like a Teletubbie that’s had a horrible fake-tanning accident,” according to a diary by Camilla Rootes describing the field school (tinyurl.com/p9oog3c).