Random weirdness for the week of April 3, 2017

bearmating

An image of polar bears mating from a video shot by Yann Rashid during a trip to Pyramiden last week got nationwide media attention. He emphasized the distance and blurry quality of the video was because he filmed at a considerable distance.

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Egad, how shameful is it our Local Paper of Record resorted to clickhits by playing up this YouTube video that’s as natural to Svalbard’s best-known wildlife as it is to its humans living the wild life? Um, well it’d be the rest of Norway’s media, including our supposedly non-conforming deviant selves, following in their, um, tracks.

The video of two polar bears steaming up the sea ice was posted online Tuesday by Yann Rashid, a local tour guide since 2010 leading a snowmobile to Pyramiden, and occupied the top two stories at Svalbardposten’s website a day later (above stories about a possible strike by most of Store Norke’s workforce and the appointment of the third minister in as many weeks of the person who’s bureaucratic boss Svalbard the Norway’s government deals with massive turmoil. The video is less-than-climactic in terms of quality because it was filmed from several hundred meters away, but he emphasized in an interview with that “other paper” the group made of point of keeping its distance and not disturbing the copulating couple. And while his initial Facebook post was low-key (791 views and no “likes” as this writing more than a day later), it appears the polar porn is likely to go viral with national TV coverage – and were not exactly expecting the global Gawker crowd to exercise restraint – with the same ardor seen on screen…

icefutbol
Penalty area: Seriously, is there any move on this polar pitch that isn’t punishing? Photo courtesy of the Norwegian Coast Guard.

Still, at this exact moment in time the viral image of the moment is another form of balling on the ice in the lands where all are high, as armed guards at the perimeters of an ice floe protect navy privates and scientists from polar bears during a football match March 22 during a break from research activities during a cruise aboard K/V Svalbard icebreaker. This airborne photo provided by the Norwegian Coast Guard is getting considerable exposure as a “photo of the week” in The Guardian and similar features in other publications. The ship, currently in waters east of Greenland, normally operates in Svalbard, with search and rescue missions and oil spill cleanups among its other primary duties. But, while the global Gawkers gathered plenty of details about polar protection and peculiarities of such excursions, nobody bothered to find out the score of the damn game. Uh, what about us as the ultimate local “truly free media?” Well, our useless tyrant overlord was busy getting engorged on a different form of giant wildlife getting their groove on…

…And the review is that it’s a subjective truth Svalbard is home to the coolest free jazz musicians on the planet, courtesy of folks who spent five years listening to them obsessively. It seems bowhead whales found in our waters ” sing intricate and variable songs – more like jazz musicians than Beethoven or Bach,” according to a National Geographic summary of the study. Frankly, our evil editor is inclined to call out the lamestream media for its typical collective conformity because a lengthy listen suggests harmonic concepts more consistent with Norwegian electro-modernists like Nils Petter Molvær than true freebasers such Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler. Anyhow, lead researcher Kate Stafford, a marine biologist at the University of Washington, said the study of whales between Greenland and Svalbard shows “a typical bowhead song lasts for between 45 to 90 seconds, which the whale then repeats over and over for 24 hours a day…Sometimes they sound like they’re screaming, others sound like ice, and even occasionally like a police siren.” What’s unknown is why they’re doing it. Which means we can’t totally rule out they’re doing it so they can lure polar bears to watch doing it…

About Post Author

Mark Sabbatini

I'm a professional transient living on a tiny Norwegian island next door to the North Pole, where once a week (or thereabouts) I pollute our extreme and pristine environment with paper fishwrappers decorated with seemingly random letters that would cause a thousand monkeys with a thousand typewriters to die of humiliation. Such is the wisdom one acquires after more than 25 years in the world's second-least-respected occupation, much of it roaming the seven continents in search of jazz, unrecognizable street food and escorts I f****d with by insisting they give me the platonic tours of their cities promised in their ads. But it turns out this tiny group of islands known as Svalbard is my True Love and, generous contributions from you willing, I'll keep littering until they dig my body out when my climate-change-deformed apartment collapses or they exile my penniless ass because I'm not even worthy of washing your dirty dishes.
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