Random weirdness for the week of April 11, 2017

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There’s always a certain irony about how our Arctic islands get so many people inflamed, but perhaps that’s just the climate here these days, so to speak, as our town at 78 degrees north just had its 78th straight month of above-average temperatures. The average for March was minus 11.8 degrees Celsius, well above the historical average of minus 15.7 degrees. Which means what should be peak snowmobiling season has been plagued by inaccessible areas and potential hazards on routes that are passable. But while humans might grouse about dealing with more heat during their holiday, consider the visual representation of how our animal population feels as Michael Aw literally sets the archipelago ablaze in his “Polar Bear on Melting Ice Svalbard: Van Gogh Edition” photographic art that’s part of Ocean Geographic’s “Elysium Artists for the Arctic Exhibition” that debuted in Singapore last week. He and 65 others from 19 countries spent three weeks during the summer of 2015 traveling through Norway, Svalbard, Greenland and Iceland documenting the impacts of climate change. While organizers’ comments in promotions and news articles are the usual “Poles are warming faster than anywhere else on Earth and our climate stability is quickly melting” recitation, at least the touched-up images offer a new way to catch the attention of the proles…

We’ll keep the commercial pitch out of this space but, for reasons advertised elsewhere on this website, “alternative facts” very much on our mind at the moment so we’re featuring some of the latest and greatest from others. For instance, while officials statistics say Longyearbyen’s population hasn’t dropped much despite the mining layoffs (about 2,150 right now), Walt Amses at VTDigger.org (a government watchdog publication in the U.S.) lets us know Longyeabyen is “a town of 1,000 souls.” Before dismissing this as shoddy research, consider it may have been a painstaking examination of a certain French explorer who declared Longyearbyen “a city without souls” after he was charged with sailing into off-limits areas last fall. Which opens many possibilities, including the feasibility slightly more than half of us are the walking dead. Or, since the dictionary defines souls as immortal, it explains all those ghost, zombie and other supposedly surreal sightings that government types officially scoff at…

Which raises another interesting question: Can the soulless ride smowmobiles? if so, it might explain Magnus Wiström’s discovery during a skiing trip there are 6,000 registered scooters in Svalbard (as the French explorer notes, the government is engaged in a massive conspiracy to coverup the horrific pollution here, so it’s entirely possible the official snowmobile count of less than 3,000 is part of that)…

Then there’s the never-ending collection of material at that Ultimate Source of Truth known as Wikipedia (because “the best of the public is better than a group of experts” in alt-world), Which means we have a transgender mayor (Christin Kristoffersen) who is choosing to go by the “experts” name of Arild Olsen. And the town still has three kindergartens, despite official reports one has been closed (maybe it’s where the kids of the soulless go). Also, Svea also remains Store Norske’s most productive mine (which is only false to those who limit themselves to three-dimensional thinking since, as noted elsewhere in this issue, it may well be up and running again next year)…

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Animal cannibals! As long as we’re reporting they broke into city hall, we might as well report some of those boots and coats were made from Santa’s Little Helpers. Photo by Bjørn-Arild Schancke.

Of course, to know all this it means somebody associated with this rag (It was our evil tyrant overlord – signed, the gossip trolls locked in the dungeon) was actually looking at the “best of the public” for information. So he gets the credit for discovering this week’a final Truthiness after sounding the alarm on a Facebook post by Bjørn-Arild Schancke who at 8:04 a.m. a week ago Saturday (wait for it…) declared “Tip the search!!!!!! Someone has left the front door at (city hall) open!! So now we have have two reindeer that are feeding on both shoes and various down coats here… how do we get them out?!????” Mr. “I’m Pretending I’m Not The Media Elite” immediately reported the news, which was immediately followed by learning that, yeah, the best of the public was better than the so-called expert. Luckily, it was reported verbally to only half our total readership (a.k.a. a single person), so there’s no chance he’ll be exposed unless he’s done something soulless that motivates us to exact revenge.

 

 

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