Random weirdness for the week of May 31, 2016

virtualicecave

Taking a tour of the famous local ice cave while sitting on the toilet? That’s too cool for even us to ridicule.

Summer is the worst time to visit Longyearbyen’s ice caves in real life due to all the meltwater rivers carving out new channels, but those looking to virtually get their feet wet can now explore Longyearbreen ice cave with a 3D tour made by Evzen Janousek, with assistance from Aleksey Marchenko and Nataly Marchenko, as an Arctic Technology project for The University Centre in Svalbard…

It’s no surprise to see yet another photo of a polar bear in Svalbard win a contest, but we gotta say we are not impressed by what maybe the most elitist newspaper in the UK felt was foremost. This ass-end picture of a not-so-close, not-so-motherly, not-so-fierce, not-so-starving, not-so-cannabalistic bear leaving tracks in the snow earned Harry Skeggs (whoever he is) a £250 voucher in a weekly contest by The Sunday Times of London. The newspaper declared it a “poignant picture” of a “path less trodden.” Our favorite among several runners-up was a young woman carrying what looked like enough provisions to feed the bear for weeks on her tiny delivery motorbike…

Since we’re kinda dissing the now-arriving cruise ship tourists by reminding them of the things definitely not to do if they don’t want to be despised, we figure it’s only fair to point out this week’s bit of local lunacy as seen on social media. It seems shoppers at Svalbardbuttiken are having trouble getting past the cars parked so tightly together next to the entrance that neither bag-laden consumers or carts may pass. And speaking of parking, we’ve been posting warnings about snowmobiles in watery whereabouts for weeks.  One finally took a plunge into a river this week along Vei 505. Yeah, there’s multiple ways the phrase “polar dip” applies here.