Beasts of burden: Volunteers discover ultimate price wildlife pays for trash, want others to see the deadly entanglements

Beasts of burden: Volunteers discover ultimate price wildlife pays for trash, want others to see the deadly entanglements

Several meters away from a large square of crude log benches were more than a dozen intact and shattered wine bottles were loosely grouped, two large sets of reindeer antlers were hopelessly More »

A huge piece of ship: Buyers on mainland reportedly want giant Santa’s mailbox, but the shipping costs are insane

A huge piece of ship: Buyers on mainland reportedly want giant Santa’s mailbox, but the shipping costs are insane

Which is the harder challenge for Santa: traveling 1,050 kilometers per second to deliver all his gifts in one night or changing his mailbox address? Let’s just say he’s done the first More »

Random weirdness for the week of Aug. 1, 2017

Random weirdness for the week of Aug. 1, 2017

Maybe the photo above reveals why so few rainbows are seen in Longyearbyen. A rainbow stretching from the sea towards town earlier this month failed to make it across the road due to More »

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Aug. 1, 2017

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Aug. 1, 2017

Computer equipment stolen from former kindergarten Computer equipment was burglarized from Longyearbyen Kindergarten between Friday night and Monday morning, according to The Governor of Svalbard. “We do not want to come out More »

Deck of tour boat M/S Langøysund catches fire with 34 aboard during BBQ; passengers trapped, no serious injuries reported

Deck of tour boat M/S Langøysund catches fire with 34 aboard during BBQ; passengers trapped, no serious injuries reported

The deck of the M/S Langøysund tour boat caught fire in Isfjorden shortly before noon on Thursday, according to The Governor of Svalbard.but was extinguished by the crew a short time later with no More »

 

A severe case of the crabs: Lawsuit about illegal fishing in Svalbard really about oil drilling rights, experts say

crabship

A kilogram of crabs costs about twice as much as a kilogram of oil. But it’s the latter that’s perceived as the real treasure in a rapidly escalating legal battle between Norway and the European Union that may redefine the Svalbard Treaty and affect rights to drilling and other activity in the region for decades to come.

Random weirdness for the week of July 4, 2017

usvisit

We’re not saying a bunch of top U.S. officials rushed to Svalbard on that country’s Independence Day for a top-secret meeting about their missile defense operations here only hours after North Korea launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the “American bastards.” It just looks like that’s what happened.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of July 4, 2017

snowglass

Will late appearance of  Operafjellet ‘champaign glass’ mean late break date? 
It took a long time for the “champaign glass” of snow appeared on Operafjellet this year – will that mean a late date when the “stem” of the glass breaks?

Doomsday deluge: Ongoing flood of articles about seed vault results in officials fencing off road during repairs

vaultfence

It’s been a month since The Guardian’s absurd story about the “flooding” of the Doomsday Vault, but new headlines and articles with various bits of nonsense are still appearing daily. And for the conspiracy theorists there’s a new wrinkle: a fence has suddenly been erected at the roadway entrance.

Cool comrades: Barentsburg greeting visitors with a huge facelift, but residents’ wariness and unseen decay linger

thenandnow

A hotel room without hot water or toilet paper (as for internet…surely you jest), buildings in full post-Cold War decay, and vodka flowing freely during breakfast before 8 a.m.

That was then.

Stuck with muck: World’s northernmost car wash shuts down because cars are too dirty – but, hey, clean rentals

carwashclosed

It seems like a winning business formula: lots of cars get very dirty and therefore need to be washed. But it turns out that’s a fatal flaw for the world’s northernmost car wash due to a very Svalbard specific problem: there’s no place here to dispose of all that muck and it’s too costly to ship it elsewhere.

Food for thought: Is a meal of nearly all-local ingredients possible? Yes, but is it economically and politically possible?

greeneat

It hardly strains journalism objectivity to declare a gathering promoting locally sourced food received universal raves. Indeed, accusations of “media bias” would almost certainly be warranted otherwise since attendees got to indulge in a free dinner with local items included soup, whale, seal, reindeer and salad prepared by a professional chef (who at one point observed “who can afford to eat like that?”).

Random weirdness for the week of June 20, 2017

glaciergin

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 of the purity of Svalbard. That can’t be said for the latest bonkers beverage that’s roughly the equivalent of grinding up the world’s most expensive steak and using it to make chili.

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

touristsmailbox

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.

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

outsidestore

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 at RaBi’s Bua on Wednesday afternoon she said she’s also glad to be free of the responsibilities after recent years of struggle due to people switching to online shopping.