Random weirdness for the week of Jan. 31, 2017


The only thing worse than having somebody try to con us with “alternative facts” is having them succeed. Yup, we gobbled up the fiction in the photo above hook, line and sinker. The photo posted about two months ago by Reddit user “Johnny_love” claims his uncle “who works on an Arctic research vessel, got an unexpected visitor today.” More than 2,000 people have commented on it since and it finally came to the attention of the lamestream media when the Daily Mail of London and others published it with fitting tabloid headlines. Somewhat to our credit, we didn’t actually publish the fish-feeding photo in our fishwrapper, but that’s only because we were (yet again) a bit behind schedule. Instead, we posted a link to the photo and one of the tabloid stories on a local community Facebook page where, after a couple of expected “wow” reactions, a reporter who used to work up here pointed out the photo is from 17 years ago. We had barely held back before that on any number of very snarky comments about the researchers being complete dolts for snapping a picture of them doing something illegal that might inspire tourists to try similar Stupid Bear Tricks, but it turns out the beakers share our slant. “That this picture is being spread with that accompanying information is not good for us,” Øystein Mikkelborg, a spokesman for the Norwegian Polar Institute, told NRK. He said that the photo was indeed taken upon the Lance research vessel still in use, but that the man in the picture is now retired and was never a researcher. Likewise, the research vessel has been docked near Tromsø for the entire winter…

Speaking of Stupid Bear Tricks, you may have heard Wiggy Donald’s designated education secretary says guns are essential in schools because they might be needed to ward off bears (while getting the most laughs, this was actually among the least worrying things she said). Anyhow, somebody posting at the blog Scary Mommy did a Google search to see if a child had ever been attacked by a bear at school and the only hit was “a starving Norwegian polar bear (that) attacked a group of British children who were on a school camping trip near a glacier on the island of Spitsbergen.” Those who live here remember that 2011 incident well – along with the fact the group’s tripwire alarm and other equipment didn’t working properly. Oh, and the rifle misfired at first. Anyhow, we thought we’d remind folks all teachers here do actually carry rifles when the kids are outdoors because of polar bears, but nobody we’ve spoken to seems to have an ammosexual desire to use them.