Random weirdness for the week of Oct. 16, 2018

Random weirdness for the week of Oct. 16, 2018

Mathematical fact*: If there’s a photography contest there’s a 99.9 percent chance a photo of Svalbard will be submitted and a 99.6 percent chance it will be among the winners. More »

Stuck on Sarkofagen: Two hikers rescued by helicopter after getting trapped on peak

Stuck on Sarkofagen: Two hikers rescued by helicopter after getting trapped on peak

Two hikers trapped at the top of Sarkofagen just to the south of Longyearbyen were rescued by helicopter Tuesday afternoon, according to The Governor of Svalbard. More »

Booted from boathouses: Six people living illegally in buildings at Sjøområdet evicted by fire and city officials

Booted from boathouses: Six people living illegally in buildings at Sjøområdet evicted by fire and city officials

Six people in four buildings were evicted this week from the spaces at Sjøområdet by city and fire officials who say residing in them is a fire hazard. More »

Local takeaway from new major ‘climate catastrophe’ report: Svalbard now warming up to three times as fast as elsewhere

Local takeaway from new major ‘climate catastrophe’ report: Svalbard now warming up to three times as fast as elsewhere

Today’s top story worldwide is a landmark U.N. report declaring global emissions need to be cut in half in 12 years to avoid catastrophic fires, food shortages, storms and other disasters. But More »

Second helpings: Smak Svalbard returns with lower-cost options and high acclaim as one of Europe’s best food festivals

Second helpings: Smak Svalbard returns with lower-cost options and high acclaim as one of Europe’s best food festivals

It features “iffy-sounding” and politically incorrect dishes such as whale and heavily-salted sheep’s head (“a prize for those who eat everything on the head”), but a three-day food festival starting Thursday in More »

 

Spreading sickness: Rabies detected in three more Arctic foxes, putting this year’s trapping season in question

morerabies

Three more Arctic foxes have tested positive for rabies, heightening concerns about the fall hunting and trapping season after another fox and a reindeer tested positive for the disease since May, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

No blubbering allowed: Polar bear family denied whale carcass near Longyearbyen returns to the area for a bit Wednesday

polarbearsback

A trio of polar bears found eating a whale carcass just outside Longyearbyen on Monday made a return visit the area for several hours Wednesday, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

Police steal polar bear family’s feast: Whale carcass removed from cabin area near Longyearbyen; outrage ensues

bearswhale

What might have been a feast for the ages (or at least some weeks) for a mother polar bear and her two cubs ended up being a fast food meal Monday after police towed a beached whale carcass out to sea because it was in an occupied cabin area near Svalbard Airport.

Flat-out fast: Race to build 30 new apartments by winter begins quickly w/ prefab modules set in place over three days

prefab1

Last December more than 60 residences were deemed uninhabitable for the winter due to their exposure to avalanches. Now as the chill of fall sets in workers are racing to build 30 new apartments in just a few months before winter evacuations again make Longyearbyen’s housing crisis even worse.

The project got off to a rapid start this week as 30 pre-fabricated apartments were stacked to form three apartment buildings in Gruvedalen during a three-day time span. The hope is the interior and infrastructure work will be completed by Christmas.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of September 4, 2018

vaultrepair1

A unique “freezing wall” is protecting the seed vault during its reconstruction, demolition of about 150 structures in avalanche-prone areas is scheduled to begin next fall and a polar bear disrupts the plans of an annual youth camp.

Czech it out: Science/art/music festival celebrates 25 years of Czechoslovakian research in Svalbard

czech1

Mirek Wanek’s progressive rock lyrics are described as an “an axe for the frozen sea inside us,” so his band will be in a fitting setting when he fulfills his longtime dream of performing in Svalbard. But now he’s planning to take that proverbial axe far beyond the stage during a festival this week featuring scientific and artistic highlights by his native Czech Republic in the far north.

Shades of grey: Dreary weather, writers with multiple genre and artistic skills mean broad narrative at Longyearbyen’s second literature festival

litkids

Erlend Loe opened the festival by discussing writing a screenplay for a satirical comedy during a late afternoon theater screening, met other writers and guests during a long evening sightseeing cruise, read some of his children’s books to two different groups of students the next morning, and wrapped things up with a robust discussion of his adult works at a pub that night.

‘We were hoping for something better’: Trym Aunevik returns to Longyearbyen, but not to school due to Down’s Syndrome; parents still trying to work out an alternative plan

trymback

Like his peers, Trym Aunevik spent Monday greeting friends after a long summer holiday and learning new things on the first day of the new school year. Only he wasn’t at school – instead he was working in his mother’s cafe because he’s no longer allowed to attend because he has Down’s Syndrome and his parents are still struggling to come up with an alternative education plan.

Hot off the press: As Longyearbyen hits 90 months of above-average temps, here’s the story of the “Hell on Earth” summer told in headlines

heatmap

Hitting 90 straight months of above average temperatures in Longyearbyen certainly makes for a hot headline. But it’s nothing compared to the heat felt by locals spending their summer holidays scattered elsewhere around the world.

Soggy Saturday: Nearly 25mm of rain possible during weekend storm; road between Huset and Museumsveien closed due to landslide danger

soggysaturday

There’s a couple of great outdoor events this weekend in the form of a 24-hour mountaineering marathon and a three-day beach cleanup/camping trip – but a major rainstorm between Friday night and midday Sunday means it’ll hardly be the great outdoors.