Random weirdness for the week of July 5, 2016


Since this week seems to be our “reality check” issue, we’re leading with something whose only local connection is it involves our unofficial “sister city” in the U.S., but is high on our rant list for WTF Are Climate Change Deniers Thinking??!! It was a chilling weekend in Juneau, Alaska, where within a day of each other: 1) record flooding occurred when a glacial ice dam collapsed and released an entire lake on the town, and 2) a 1,225-meter-high mountainside spontaneously collapsed on a glacier field a bit further north.

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It should be noted not just the skeptics are shrugging those events off; scientists are basically saying “hey, stuff like that happens these days.” Something about the mountains in that glacier field being a bit fragile and the in-town glacier beating a hasty retreat for many years, so events on a similar scale occurred at both during the past couple of years. So of course there’s no chance, for example, the rapid record loss of ice in the far north might remove some of what’s holding those perilous peaks up Here’s guessing mass-scale disasters due to climate change will take on the taboo associated with mass shootings, where the suggestion it’s easier to carry a real gun than a toy one in many places will bring cries of exploiting tragedies for political gain…

But just to prove some balance, lest skeptics accuse us accepting climate change on faith, they have plenty of company even in our backyard as the latest essay by Svalbard Church Priest Leif Magne Helgesen calling for action on climate change was savaged by commenters who read it in Aftenbladet. A couple samples: “priests should stick to what they do best – superstition” and “nonsense priest! Politicians and the priest can’t do much with natural fluctuations…but there is a lot of money in this.” Um…really? Tell us how because even running end less polar porn has failed us so far…


Fur fetish: This is basically what you see while hanging out at strip clubs for heterosexual female reindeer. Photo by Mads Forchhammer/UNIS.

Speaking of polar porn, we’d love to able to label this a stag film if we had video footage but instead you’ll have to settle for spying on this male reindeer preparing to get laid by shedding its outerwear and developing hard protuberances. Sex has been rife among the species in Adventdalen recently, as this year’s population count nearly matches the estimated 1,300 observed during the previous two counts, according to The University Centre in Svalbard. The surveys began 38 years ago and about 600 individuals were counted during the early 1980s. Researchers use data from the tallies to analyze to what extent climate and biological factors are responsible for the long-term population increase.

Finally, this week’s sensationalist “The Russians are Coming!” headline goes to Outside magazine for an article about the disastrous season at the Barneo Ice Camp titled “It’s the Cuban Missile Crisis Up Here!” It’s actually a nicely balanced presentation of the sandbox fight by both Russia and Norway, in fact, the quote is by a guide attacking the latter for its mean new plane policy.