Random weirdness for the week of Oct. 6, 2015

hamlet

If you think the guy is the picture is demanding your wallet, you’re sort of correct (and no we didn’t just pick some black guy with a gun…in fact, the real reason he’s carrying it might be more disturbing than a stick-up). He’s one of the actors in the production of “Hamlet” now being performed by the National Theatre in London, a performance of which will be broadcast live at Kuturhuset at 8 p.m. Oct. 15 as part of a new series of high-art shows piped in from afar. The first show was a concert paying tribute to Swedish jazz legends  this week, which filled about one-third of the seats at Kulturhuset even though the show was free. Obviously this will be a much more real test of whether locals are really into this sort of thing, since admission is 220 kroner (165 kr. for students), or more than double what a first-run movie ticket costs. Then again, since we’re pretty sure automatic handguns are an “enhancement” of Shakespeare’s orignal tale, maybe there will be some “live” action movie stunts as well. By the way, some subsequent shows will cost even more…

We’re not sure how the percentage of residents owning guns in Svalbard compares to mainland communities, but we’re assuming it’s pretty high given the polar bear protection thing. But thanks to another of our unique laws it turns out Svalbard has by far the fewest dead people owning guns in Norway, according to Rogalands Avis. About 38,000 dead people own about 70,000 guns in Norway, which is a big problem because heirs are not required to report the weapons, according to police officials interviewed by the newspaper. But while the Hedmark district represents the biggest zombie apocalypse threat with 5,885 dead people owning weapons, Svalbard (despite the rumors of zombies living in the seed vault) can probably ward off the invasion since only 10 own weapons…

And speaking of the Doomsday Vault, it turns out our famous and possibly sinister facility may be lacking in its claim of being the world’s top seed preservation spot. That’s because of a two-room vault at 5,500 meters above sea level at the Chang La pass in Ladakh, India. An article at the website catchnews.com notes the vault contains more than 5,000 samples of about 200 plant species (far fewer than ours), primarily focusing on Indian crops but (like ours) it also accepts “deposits” from other governments. The big problem is weather – tons of snow make it inaccessible in winter and the summer heat requires an intensive artificial cooling process.