Random weirdness for the week of Feb. 5, 2019

beartongue

Since nobody will ever be stupid enough to think we’re offering food for the brain, the rants this week are all about food for the gut (meaning, egad, we’re the perfect Trumpian tabloid). And in the predatory spirit of “I’ve got mine, screw yours” we’re starting off with the above neener-neener by a polar bear at a seagull who’s definitely not getting the bigger guy’s seal of approval. The moment was captured by amateur German photographer Marko König during a boat trip here last year, who told the Daily Mail of London “I think it’s just one of his eating behaviours – he sticks his tongue out as he chews.” There’s actually a cluster of the little folk near the carnage and, while some dared getting near the king during the 30 minutes König watched, none of his photos indicate they were so bird-brained as to seek some life-sustaining nourishment for themselves. Insert your appropriate political/class warfare metaphor here…

Since we’re already descending into the media sewers by invoking His Wigginess, we’ll stick with it by reliving a giant Svalbard leap for mankind involving junk food and a space force. Plus there’s nothing like a good stroll through memory lane (because otherwise it would be called something else) and during the past week High North News Editor Arne O. Holm has written a remarkable “in memory of solidarity” tribute for about Agnes Kvilvang, a long-ago and now-obscure (outside Svalbard) leader of the Longyearbyen Workers Union who died in late January. But, oops, that’s what a god of Arctic journalism is up to; here’s we’re featuring a tribute to Doritos and how they were featured in the first advertisement beamed into space from our back yard. Reader’s Digest (the largest paid circulation magazine in the world, making them the devil to us) in yet another of their endless advertiser-friendly clickbait listicles, has seen fit to inform us about the “11 Things You Didn’t Know About Doritos.” Besides being invented as Disneyland, being nearly 50 years old and available in flavors such as Mountain Dew, short-on-funds-scientists at EISCAT also went in the bag for the “little golden things” (what the name means in Spanish) on June 12, 2008, when the 30-second ad was beamed from one of those giant satellite dishes (chip-dip capacity: 300,000 cubic meters*) at the planets in the solar system orbiting 47 Ursae Majoris a mere 42 light years away. BTW, while it was a big-time sellout, it turned out not to be for big-money – but it still ended up sustaining life in a way a diet consisting solely of corn chips will. “It could be the thin end of the wedge to using our resources in a new way,” said an EISCAT researcher from the U.K., all of whom were about to lose their jobs in one of those austerity things. But the always-reliable Wikipedia declares the U.K. is still a partner at the station, so our junk-food-addled brains will assume it’s so. (*Not verified by actual data.)…

plumbingproblems

Eat my shorts: Despite (or maybe because) we’ve gotten all sorts of supposedly healthy stuff like vegan food in recent years, it seems the excrements of local folks into our plumbing system (including, but very much not limited to these boxers) are seriously mucking things up. Photo by Steingrim Holseth.

Speaking of sewers (oh God, it is necessary while talking about eating?), it turns out 288,291 cubic meters of “stuff” was discharged from Longyearbyen’s sewer pipe network into the channel near the dog kennels in 2017, and it’s revealing some costly clogging complications due to all the uneaten food mixed with that which is digested, according to The Local Paper of Rørlegger (Norwegian for plumbers – consider that our public service in education for the week). The city mandated all households have food grinders in sinks back in 2010 (there was a variety of snafus getting that to actually happen), with one of the results being that particles are now mucking up pipe filters instead of our solid waste facility. But there was a committee meeting about it this week so things are probably now all good, or so we’ll assume until our toilet explodes. Um, actually, we may not be able to blame bureaucrats for that, so moving on…

Finally, moving from export to import, there continues to be a severe problem with locals experiencing a burning sensation before eating junk food rather than after as dry-cooking fires continue their multiyear streak of being the most common type the fire department responds to. The folks across the street who are actual professionals when it comes to writing about flamers note the number of alarms has increased from 131 in 2008 to 191 in 2018, although 157 of last year’s were false or unnecessary. Of the 16 “real” fires, nine were of the misbehaving-in-the-kitchen type. “Dry-cooking incidents are generally people who have fallen asleep with food on the stove or in the oven,” Fire Chief Jan Olav Sæter reminded anyone bothering to read the department’s annual report. “Usually at night time between midnight and 6 a.m. Often alcohol intake is an associated factor.” The problem started about five years ago when the shutdown of Classic Pizza left us without early morning food/delivery, and since its owners just lost a lawsuit seeking a few million kroner for some lost homes and the local convenience store has abandoned its early-morning fast-food experiment we’re guessing plenty more inebriators and firefighters are in for more indigestion during the coming year.

 

 

 

 

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