Random weirdness for the week of March 8, 2016


The local Doomsday Vault zombies, aliens in UFOs and other misfits that apparently are abundant in Svalbard will be getting more company in the future in the wake of a nuclear holocaust that will challenge “what’s left of humanity…to rise again to rebuild civilization.”

That’s the scenario of “Code Name Svalbard,” a single- and multi-player role-playing game now being developed. A press release announcing the project declares “the key to the future of the Earth lies beneath the ice – at Svalbard. Investigate a barren, hostile Arctic landscape. Find the clues to the location of the biological ark of humanity. Select the treasures you will reintroduce into the world. Travel to exotic places, fighting off the milling mutant masses set on satiating themselves on your loot. Oh, and the giant mutant polar bear.” Gamers have lots of thoughts – mostly asking if we really need another zombie apocalypse quest – but comments in the developer’s chat forums don’t seem all that curious about this place and remarks by locals are notably scarce…


Hopefully she has a towel: If so, she can put it over her head and not have to watch her death. Photo courtesy of Don’t Panic.

Anybody remember the “Daisy ad” where a little girl is killed in a nuclear explosion while picking petals off a flower? Svalbard now has its own virtual version thanks to Greenpeace, which hired the ironically named company Don’t Panic to produce a two-minute video titled “The Little Explorer.” We’ll let the greenies explain in their own words why they think the clip will win sympathizers to their cause: “The video shows a young girl in her room, imagining herself exploring the beauty of the Arctic sea’s depths and its native wildlife. The scene is suddenly ruined by a trawl net that descends, sweeping the young girl away.” This is supposed to pursue folks trawlers are a bad thing to have in places like Svalbard, which Greenpeace is specifically targeting due to the Norwegian government’s recent effort to launch a fish processing industry here to replace lost coal mining jobs. At least it’s quicker and less painful than watching her thrash around on a hook…

Turning to “all about us” stuff, it’s more than beyond bizarre that exactly two weeks ago this fishwrapper was all but dead thanks to our eccentric editor getting evicted from his home on a couple hours’ notice. Instead, thanks to some incredible generosity from locals who helped him find a new place we’re going to be around for a while causing a bigger stink than ever and as a result Icepeople is looking for an editorial intern interested in writing news articles and taking photographs. If the thought of doing such work for clips and references for no pay doesn’t appeal, out editor literally begged for such an opportunity nearly 30 years ago. That led to his first job and ultimately to where he is now. OK, very scary example, but the details are on page 11 if you’re interested.