Blown away: Biggest cruise ship ever in Longyearbyen makes huge waves for stores, tours – but strong winds nearly kept it from docking

Blown away: Biggest cruise ship ever in Longyearbyen makes huge waves for stores, tours – but strong winds nearly kept it from docking

As expected, the biggest cruise ship to ever dock in Longyearbyen meant a day of big crowds, big sales and big discussions. But another big – the wind – nearly made things very small. More »

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of June 12, 2018

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of June 12, 2018

New folk high school may mean 150 more Longyearbyen residents Students enrolling at a new folk high school scheduled to open in Longyearbyen in the fall of 2019 will be able to More »

Hunting ‘Unicorn’: Svalbarði hoping participants on reality TV investment show pull trigger on 800-kroner iceberg water

Hunting ‘Unicorn’: Svalbarði hoping participants on reality TV investment show pull trigger on 800-kroner iceberg water

In the first-ever episode of “The Apprentice” a guy tried to win a lemonade stand challenge by charging $1,000 a glass in the hope of making a single sale (he failed and was fired soon afterward). More »

Friday night frights: Polar bear heading toward Longyearbyen chased away by helicopter; attempted return forces locals to abandon beach bonfire; alert still in effect

Friday night frights: Polar bear heading toward Longyearbyen chased away by helicopter; attempted return forces locals to abandon beach bonfire; alert still in effect

A polar bear approaching Longyearbyen from Adventdalen was scared away from town Friday night with a rescue helicopter, but an attempt by the bear to swim back toward town resulted in police ordering More »

Biggest fish tale ever: This week’s Icepeople is a record 28 pages and very personal; incredible people and incredible happenings capture everything awesome about Svalbard

Biggest fish tale ever: This week’s Icepeople is a record 28 pages and very personal; incredible people and incredible happenings capture everything awesome about Svalbard

It’s a bit late, but that’s because we just kept adding pages while muttering “I can’t believe this is happening.” What started as an ordinary 12-page fishwrapper is a record-size 28 pages More »

 

BACK IN BLACK? Store Norske’s new leader says 100M tons of coal can be extracted while mines are dismantled. The government doesn’t sound enthusiastic

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Norway’s government has adamantly and repeatedly insisted Store Norske cannot reopen its two main mines, but the company isn’t giving up the fight as it is proposing to extract 100 million tons of coal from Svea during the dismantling process scheduled to take place for the next few years.

Noah’s bark: Dogs evacauted from flooded kennels as massive melt caused by high temperatures clogs drain pipe

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The weather went to the dogs, making the weekend a real bitch for the canines and their owners as the kennels at the edge of Longyearbyen were flooded for several hours Saturday due to heavy snowmelt and a clogged drain pipe.

MISSING NEAR BJØRNØYA: Man who apparently fell overboard Coast Guard ship presumed dead after massive overnight search

bjornoyasearch

A crew member who apparently fell off the Norwegian Coast Guard ship Nordkapp sometime Saturday morning in the vicinity of Bjørnøya is presumed dead after an extensive search by sea and air, emergency officials announced at midday Sunday.

Random bits of weirdness for the week of May 1, 2018

flatearth

Maybe this is why climate change is happing so fast in Svalbard…the archipelago is actually at what appears to be the equator, according to a group of experts meeting this week.

Presidential meltdown: Svalbard eyed by group planning to carve ‘Mount Trumpmore’ on glacier so they can watch it melt

mounttrump

While Donald Trump is declaring that “someday” he deserves to be added to Mount Rushmore, an environmental group moved by his musings such as climate change being a Chinese hoax is planning an even cooler carving: his own Mount Trumpmore on an Arctic glacier now rather than later.

Wasteful spending: Ocean and coastal cleanup projects biggest recipients of 15.6M in environmental protection grants

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It’s no longer a dirty secret: Svalbard’s shores are far from a pristine Arctic paradise and it’s going to take serious money and effort to combat the ongoing and worsening accumulation of trash on them.

That reality was recognized in the latest round of semi-annual grants from the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund, with nearly a third of the 15.6 million kroner for 40 projects awarded to ocean and coastal cleanup efforts.

A picture worth a thousand wards: Ski marathon set to top 1,000 racers for first time; start featured live online

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Signs of the times: This year’s Svalbard Skimaraton is expected to surpass 1,000 racers for the first time ever, all of whom will have to walk an extra 200 to 300 meters into the valley where the start line is due to poor snow/ice conditions closer to the road. But non-participants who don’t feel like making the trek can watch it all happen live from the comfort of their laptops or phones. 

Random weirdness for the week of April 24, 2018

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Can you identify the location in Svalbard where this filming project is taking place (hint: think about how you’re accentuating the question before answering)?

BEAR SPRAY: Artist ‘tags’ Svalbardbutikken with larger-than-life polar predator as part of weekend art exhibit

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For Martin Whatson, the hardest part about “tagging” one of Longyearbyen’s most notable buildings in the minus 10 degrees Celsius cold isn’t incurring the wrath of the law (it’s not graffiti if city officials say it’s OK) or his spray paint cans freezing in the cold. Rather, due to how the cold affects the pressure in the cans, it means spraying much thinner droplets that are slow to dry.

“It’s much more drippy,” he said, making precise painting of his polar predator a predicament.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of April 24, 2018

austfjordnes

Year-long trapping stays at Austfjordnes put on hold
The historical trappers’ way of life is coming to an end in Svalbard – at least temporarily at a cabin where caretakers have been selected for year-long stays by The Governor of Svalbard for the past few years.