Randon weirdness for the week of March 22, 2016

gamingoutside

It’s getting to be that time of year when lots of people are doing publicity stunts for various charitable/political/commercial causes, especially beginning in April when seemingly every expedition to the North Pole has some sort of “mission.” Among those managing to earn actual news coverage during the past week was Joachim Haraldsen (a.k.a. Noobwork on YouTube),  who participated in a “Counter-Strike Go” tournament on an allegedly -20C day in Longyearbyen (an exaggerated claim but, hey, it’s a nice round number) as part of a publicity stunt for the local telecom company’s 4G network (you didn’t actually think we were going to give the company free advertising by naming them, did you?). The company filmed him for a YouTube video as he kept a real gun at his side to ward off polar bears while going all-out Rambo with the virtual ones. “The network functioned brilliantly,” he said in a company press release. “There were no problems and 4G network functioned exceptionally. The only thing that bothered me was the biting cold.” While outside “noobs” might fall for the “golly gee, they have fast wireless in that wasteland” pitch, we’re more entertained by the thought that, of all the super high-firepower weaponary used in the tournament, arguably the most important gun was the humblest of rifles that never fired a shot…

bermudatriangle

Which is the less dignified death? A plane crash due to a giant sea fart or a collision with a whale (which, unlike the Bermuda Triangle seen here) is something that has actually happened in the waters of the far north).

We really, really hate fart jokes but, as with so much else, the latest one is far more extreme in Svalbard so we’re kinda forced to vent about it. It seems scientists may have discovered what’s causing all those ships and planes to disappear in the Bermuda Triangle: a massive case of gas. That’s based on a study of the seabed near Svalbard, where kilometer-wide craters about 50 meters deep appear to have been created by methane building up and popping under the seabed, according to researchers from The Arctic University of Norway in a statement to the Sunday Times of London. “The crater area is likely to represent one of the largest hotspots for shallow marine methane release in the Arctic,” the statement notes. The researchers will now examine if such sea farts are of sufficient power to overwhelm ships and aircraft …

Turning to inside baseball, we’re guessing that one of the many questions both of our readers have is “what the &$# is this thing known as the Svalbard Daily Planet buried where most alt-weeklies run their porn ads???!!!” That’s a fair question phrased in more politically correct terms than we’d use, so to summarize: 1) with this fishwrapper’s likely expansion to 16 pages as of next week compare to four as of early last year, we’re obviously trolling for material. A ton of stuff gets written globally about Svalbard we never have room to print, but hopefully this lets us catch the best of it. And, yes, the astute will note the half-page ad on the second page is by Visit Svalbard, which is essentially covering the printing costs of those pages (and offers a much more straightforward – meaning sane – news roundup by e-mail each week). But there’s another goal: we’re hoping to update the Daily Planet in reverse-chronological order every morning and e-mail the newsletter to folks, including (hopefully) hotels and other businesses interested in printing out a few copies for guests. Stay tuned for details next week when we hopefully have that part figured out…

One other insider tidbit: readers of The Local Paper of Rehab will notice our editor and his “I don’t have a clue what’s going on” gesture is part of this week’s MSM coverage, since some kindly folks have signed off on a six-month lease in a new flat after he was thrown out of his climate change-damaged building last week. The story also notes it gave new life to this fishwrapper, so…what the heck happened to this week’s issue? Short, sad and simple: illness and injury, as he caught a bug and took a nasty fall that cost him the use of his right arm for a couple of days, so the fishwrapper was put off until Friday as an “interim” issue. We’re taking Easter week off anyhow, so you’ll still be punished in full.