Random weirdness for the week of April 5, 2016


Longyearbyen residents are so deliriously delighted they’re delusional about where they live, at least if this photo is how the town actually looks instead of the place locals think they’re living. The Argentinian newspaper El Sol features this picture in an article headlined “The Happiest People Are the World’s Northernmost,” which digs up a few other scoops likely to surprise even the oldest of old-timers. Everything, for example, is brought in by plane or ship “except coal and seal meat and reindeer.” Among the gleeful inhabitants singled out is “a cashier at the Colombian supermarket” and the editor of this fishwrapper (which you’re not really holding since it only exist on the internet). Also, “this year there has been no winter” and “everyone in Svalbard describes life as a polar El Dorado.” Which means a lot of locals also need to get their hearing checked since it seems unlikely many are hearing comparisons of their hometown to a mythical gold city of indigenous people from the 1500s. (For the record, we don’t know what town this is, but our best guess is it’s a publicity still from “Fortitude,” the show that tells the world trees line the streets of Longyearbyen. If anyone has better info, give us a head-up and we’ll give you a shout-out.)…


No need for you to pick this up: Just be happy knowing it’s Somebody Else’s Problem. Photo courtesy of The Governor of Svalbard.

It’s that time of year again where we put on our “community oriented journalism” hats and remind locals that under no circumstances should they be bothered by the beach traffic pictured to the right and under no circumstances should they enter this year’s “trash lottery” seeking volunteers to pick the mess up. After all, it can be cold, wet and/or exhausting work – not to mention polar bears have been known to disrupt the efforts of previous unpaid garbage collectors. So for once we’re telling you to skip the rest of this week’s rant. Seriously, just stop reading. Now. OK, now that we’ve hopefully gotten rid of at least some who are newcomers or unaware, perhaps the odds will be a bit better for the masses who’ve been entering the lottery for many years (including us) hoping to make one of two half-week trips to the coast of northern Spitsbergen for the annual cleanup hosted by The Governor of Svalbard. This year’s trips are from July 12-15 and July 18-21, each with a group of 12 people, and the deadline to enter online via the governor’s website is May 1.