Category Archives: Video

Bear of a weekend: Mother and cub crash couple’s cookout at cabin near town, spend two days indulging themselves

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Helene Renate Hvedding says the uninvited guests weren’t exactly unwelcome, even if they seriously disrupted plans to spend a weekend with her significant other at their cabin.

A mother polar bear and her cub showed up as the couple was preparing to light a charcoal grill outside their cabin at Revneset the Friday before last, forcing the couple to hastily retreat indoors and stay there for four days as the bears lingered to feast on garbage and anything else they could find that was edible.

Pushing Against The Ocean: In six years the Arctic coasts they’re cleaning will again be full of trash – is it worth the effort? (PLUS: Watch trailer for upcoming documentary)

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The beach along the rocky inlet is strewn with so much and such diverse garbage it’s reasonable to suspect it might have been the dumping ground for a fish camp. And some Russian graves at the top of the ridge might support that theory – if they weren’t more than a century old.

Instead, the evidence suggests it was dumped during a six-year period by everyone from fishermen in the north Atlantic to families in London who don’t recycle their soda cans.

Frenemy alert: Svalbard remains a rich target for Russian and other foreign spies, annual threat report states

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We should still be afraid. Very afraid.

Svalbard continues to be a ripe target for evil people from other countries who are greedy and likely to do mean things to get what they want, according to Norway’s national threat assessment report for this year. As in recent years, Russia is singled out as the biggest threat, with concerns about espionage by China also expressed.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Feb. 9, 2016

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Demolition of homes buried by avalanche at midpoint
Workers have demolished six of the 11 homes damaged beyond repair by the Dec. 19 avalanche as of this week, according to LNS Spitsbergen, which has posted a video of the ongoing work.

Full of scat: Visitors inspire locals to be extra expressive – on stage and off – during this year’s Polarjazz fest

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Which is worse: being a local who’s totally owned by an intruder during an on-stage jam or being an intruder who’s drowned out by the locals?

Both…neither…actually, it’s not really an answerable question given the nature of the world’s northernmost jazz festival.

The notable lack of jazz at a festival supposedly featuring the genre is hardly unique here, but over the years Polarjazz has become as much a social gathering as a musical one. Longyearbyen residents found themselves extra expressive at this year’s five-day festival that ended Sunday, although at times that wasn’t necessarily a good thing.

Dishonorable mention: We watch and rank every episode of ‘Sval and Bard’ so you don’t have to

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The temptation to use the moronic cliché “so bad it’s good” (and vice-versa) with great repetition is powerful since, as with anime porn, the more evil the better.

But “Sval and Bard” deserve better since – even at their good-bad moments (the kind where their lack of badness is not good, which we’re sure sounds confusing to nobody) – they deserve a spot somewhere in Svalbard’s Video Hall of Fame.

Penal pals: ‘Sval and Bard’ show visitors how to commit Svalbard’s ten deadly sins by acting like total wankers

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They arrive in Svalbard after one sticks his head out of a plane, causing the resulting suction to send them plummeting 10,000 meters into a glacier they demolish a hefty portion of. So, yeah, they merit a place somewhere in the ranks of Svalbard’s most clueless tourists in recent years.

Hope or hot air? U.N. chief’s hopeful remarks about climate summit during visit to Svalbard contrast previous comments and data

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Things are proceeding at a glacial pace, which means they’re happening too fast in Svalbard and too slow in the diplomatic world.

But U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, during a visit to the archipelago this week, said he’s optimistic a meaningful agreement to limit climate change can be reached during an international summit in Paris at the end of year.

Video: Definitely not the summer’s hottest movie…

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…But it’s still got babes in bikinis, big guns, death-defying stunts and an ironic twist as soldiers, scientists, royalty and humble citizens (with lots of money) converge at the Barneo ice camp at 89 degrees latitude north this spring in “Arctic United,” a documentary by the Russian TV network RT that is free to view or download.

Growing pains: Seed vault’s status as savior or saboteur gets new media, movie scrutiny

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The good: A “daring rescue” of seeds in worn-torn Syria that may ensure the country’s future food production. The bad: a rusted refrigerator part at the seeds’ new home in Svalbard that “for a few horrible moments (suggested) the future of human civilization was in jeopardy.” The mixed: the drama of our possible “mass extinction” of meals is getting big-screen exposure, but critics aren’t finding it all that palatable.