Random weirdness for the week of Oct. 25, 2016


For those 30 folks (including our vagabond editor) who got hastily tossed out of Gamle Sickhuset this year because the building was unsafe, get ready for your revenge. No, there’s still no payout from any of the parties that allowed that clusterchuck to happen. But they’ll be able to use the collapsing former hospital as a demolision target and/or crash barrier in the upcoming video game Asphalt Xtreme. The game for PCs and mobiles devices puts players on an unusual assortment of off-road terrain, and provides them with “various vehicles like rugged SUVs, rally racers, and buggies that are suitable for such environments,” according to an official description by the developer. Locations include Thailand, Egypt, the Gobi desert and Svalbard – and, yes, it appears we’ve all been confused about where various buildings are located around town. But we squinted really hard at the preview shot above and there’s no doubt we can see what look like digitalized cracks that have appeared in recent years in the right places. There’s no release date specified at the company’s website, but since you can now get some virtual currency by pre-registering we’re assuming it’ll be out before the building collapases on its own…


Waaaait a minute…Who allowed this greenie propaganda photo to slip by our Truthy editor? Photo by unknown contributor.

Proving we’re not part of the global conspiracy against Wiggy Trump, we’re sharing some shocking news about our local wildlife from the only media source he can count on to tell The Truth. Breitbart, in a story headlined “The Truth About Polar Bears: They’re a Dangerous, Out of Control Pest” (tinyurl.com/gvkagxu), refers to five Canadian kids “terrified out of their lives by the extremely rare sight of a polar bear roaming through their village,” Russian scientists “besieged by a group of a dozen ravenous adult polar bears” and the four bears killed in Svalbard this year due to human encounters. The article claims the global polar bear population “has increased five- or six-fold from around 5,000 to between 22,000 and 31,000,” and the real threat to their existence is they’re “simply too healthy.” The top-rated reader comment (out of 263 at presstime) was by “Fenbeagle,” who noted “Oh blimey. If they’re islamic too we’re doomed. Particularly if they insist on wearing burkinis. (It’s a blind spot.)” Prompting, naturally, exactly the kind of high-minded discussion you’d expect…


Easily impressed: “The glimpses I got of the view told me this adventure was going to be pretty damn incredible.” Yup, those are her words below this picture about why she passed up Svalbard.

Uh-oh. Is it possible Svalbard has already hit peak tourism just as the industry is starting its all-out ramp up to replace to mining? Lucy Fuggle, in a blog post at The Huffington Post, sounds like the ideal type to visit here: a solo traveler with a small backpack looking for something unusual in June. “I was initially planning to hit up Svalbard this summer, the why-would-you-go-there island above Norway where you’re compelled by law to carry a gun to fend off polar bears if you leave the town limits. But the thing was, I knew people who had already been there. But I didn’t know anyone who had been to Greenland. I pondered this while browsing the Lonely Planet and seeing a write-up from a clearly wild and exciting travel writer. The photos were incredible; the remoteness overwhelmingly tempting.” So the next several hundred words and many pictures are devoted to that unspoiled Arctic landscape, rather than our heavily traveled one. No, she probably won’t bring down the local travel industry all by herself. But how long will it take before the inevitable “it’s being overrun” articles become the norm?…


An army of one: All those troops, weapons and explosives were no match for a polar bear who was feeling a bit ill that day. Photo courtesy of The Russian Arctic National Park.

And then there’s the little-known set of islands just east of ours, which is getting gobs of global headlines right now in publications from series scholarly journals to seedy scandal sheets. This space being what it is, we’ll go to the always reliable Sun of London to reveal “Hitler’s Ghost Island” (a.k.a. Franz Josef Land, 800 kilometers east of Svalbard): “Secret Nazi ‘Treasure Hunter’ base in Arctic found by Russian scientists after being abandoned over 70 years ago when crew was poisoned by polar bear meat.” It’s not like we need to add a lot to that description. Oh, except the always reliable Russia Today says it was a  meteorological station that mostly provided needed weather data from the Arctic during the war to help German cruisers and submarines that were conducting raids along the Northern Sea Route. But it was known as the “Treasure Hunter” base which, come to think of it, might have been a great war to con soldiers into staying there while they were freezing and being poisoned to death.