Random weirdness for the week of June 20, 2017

Random weirdness for the week of June 20, 2017

Yeah, lots of people make fun of Svalbarði’s “super premium” glacier water that costs 400 kroner per 750-milliliter bottle here and twice that elsewhere. But at least it’s marketable as a unique taste More »

Return to sender: Giant Santa’s mailbox benefactor back in Longyearbyen, bewildered at rejection of gift to community

Return to sender: Giant Santa’s mailbox benefactor back in Longyearbyen, bewildered at rejection of gift to community

Santa’s Little Helper is back in town – and says she doesn’t understand why her gigantic gift to the community is causing such a huge fuss. More »

Going offline: RaBi’s Bua closes after 27 years, owner says rustic shop can’t compete with online shopping

Going offline: RaBi’s Bua closes after 27 years, owner says rustic shop can’t compete with online shopping

Birgit Brekken, 66, says what made her happiest was building up a clothing and gift shop from nothing, not even a loan, that existed for 27 years. But during the final hours More »

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of June 20, 2017

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of June 20, 2017

Better efficiency called key part of future energy supply Buildings in Longyearbyen are so energy inefficient it’s possible to increase population by nearly half, build houses for them and still save energy More »

Girlfight: Best men for buccaneering are women in local student performance of ‘Peter Pan’

Girlfight: Best men for buccaneering are women in local student performance of ‘Peter Pan’

(Imagining the scenario in the land of alternative reality: A student performance of “Peter Pan” featuring an all-female lead cast ended in rioting by parents who assaulted teachers in the audience and tore More »

 

Dire dozen: Number of people employed in Longyearbyen drops 12 percent due largely to mining, construction losses

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The number of people employed in Longyearbyen dropped 12 percent between 2015 and 2016, due primarily to Store Norske completing its large-scale layoffs and suspending most of its mining operations, according to Statistics Norway.

Isn’t that special? Nearly all of Longyearbyen’s eateries/shops adjust to increasing demand for various diets and allergens

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Svalbard’s concept of a “special diet” historically meant staples such as whale and reindeer meat, and even in the modern day the archipelago is exempt from allergen labeling requirements that exist in the rest of Norway. But with Longyearbyen shifting in recent years from a mining-dominated town to a more diverse one where tourism and research is increasing, so are the requests from those with special diets and efforts by restaurants and stores to accommodate them.

Digging deep: UNIS working aggressively to boost enrollment, curb deficits, according to annual report

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More students than ever are learning about the many aspects of the Arctic at The University Centre in Svalbard, but officials responsible for the school’s finances are getting some chilly lessons of their own.

Ship shape: First cruise ship passengers of the year greeted with fewer snags organizing tours – but a few during them

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A year ago the first cruise passengers in Longyearbyen were a couple merely planning to walk into town to discover possible activities. This year the first passengers were a couple expressing anxiety about being among the relative few taking that approach.

Beds of summer? Evacuation of homes after avalanche may be lifted to accommodate extra seasonal workers

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An evacuation of dozens of homes in effect since an avalanche hit two nearby apartment buildings Feb. 21 may be lifted soon – although perhaps not as soon or predictably as city and private employers hope.

Shaken up: Two campers scare off polar bear that jumps over tripwire alarm, pays 3 a.m. visit to their tent

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Ronny Lauritz Berntsen thought a reindeer was pushing against the outside wall of the tent so he smacked the fabric hoping to scare it away. Then he realized that might not have been a great idea.

Random weirdness for the week of May 23, 2017

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Since the latest nonsense story about the Doomsday Vault – that it flooded it can’t handle a bit of rain and – is just regular weirdness it’s not worthy of this space (instead we put it on the front page, because of course we did). But the real winner for this week’s wacky vault tie-in goes to Space.com for their article headlined “Freeze-dried space sperm gives rise to healthy baby mice.”

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of May 23, 2017

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Svalbardbutikken hires new staff due to empty shelves
Svalbardbutikken is hiring two additional managers to help keep goods in stock after the going through months of empty shelves in various parts of the store.

Reaching the other side: Barentsburg residents embrace spirit of Wonderland, guide killed in accident during annual cultural exchange show

In the fairy tale seen on stage, a troubled woman trying to dig up the dead because “she missed her friends, her family and their love” finds solace with a magical winter visit to Barentsburg. In real life, the residents of the Russian settlement reached out to a recently departed colleague with a musical tribute to neighbors sharing their sorrow. 

Seedy sensationalism: ‘Doomsday seed vault in the Arctic has FLOODED,’ headlines scream. Not so much – and it’s old news

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“Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts.” The headline quickly made it the top-read story at The Guardian’s website Saturday and spread like wildfire to other sites.

Naturally climate change skeptics everywhere screamed “fake news!” And for once they were right – if not quite in the way they meant.