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Old 01-23-2009, 08:20 AM   #5621 (permalink)
Juicious Maximus III
 
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Yeah, Svalbard is the archipelago and Spitsbergen is the largest island, followed by Nordaustlandet, Edgeøya .. and Bjørnøya and lots of tiny islands.

Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen is the northernmost city in the world that has a proper infrastructure (police, fire department, people governing, yadda yadda).

In the picture, I'm actually on my way to one of my sites. When the snow melts, the water can't seep very far into the ground because of the permafrost, so you get these annoying rivers popping up all over the place in the valleys. It's annoying! That one's just a stream compared to some of the bigger ones .. and having to take off your pants to wade through meltwater river is not always pleasant .. >.<

I didn't have to do that to get to any of my sites, luckily. But I always got wet feet on the way back.

I know several germans who I've studied biology with on Svalbard. 3 of them were from Kiel .. Where do you live in Germany?
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:51 AM   #5622 (permalink)
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how did you know our faces without the pics then?

You build up mental pictures of people. I imagined toretroden to be older!
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:59 AM   #5623 (permalink)
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Yeah, I do look kinda young and clean-shaven .. I'm only 26, though.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:41 AM   #5624 (permalink)
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I had several sites where I put up plastic boxes with water and alcohol .. The idea was that flightless invertebrates such as springtails and mites might be dispersed by wind and, if so, could be passively caught by such "traps". I collected the water and refilled these traps as often as was feasible, about once per week. Now I have a crapload of insects and various other invertebrates that I struggle with in the lab.

Going to that particular site was a 4-5 hours walk all in all, not counting the work that needed to be done at the site. I would take a car and drive as far as I could and then walk from there. I didn't mind the trips much, really. The tundra is quite beautiful in late july and the air is so fresh up there.



The meltwater stream is just in front of that little hill in the middle of the picture. The site was on that hill.

The most beautiful parts of Norway that I've seen are the fjords in the west of the country, without a doubt.


I thought the beach looked a little Kiel-ish which is why I mentioned it. I thought perhaps you lived there too! I've never been to Köln, but I'm eager to get around in Germany. Since I have so many friends down there, finding places to sleep over should be easy and Germany has a lasting appeal to me .. Especially the bier and bratwurst part I'll admit. I'm a food-and-drink-o-holic
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:16 PM   #5625 (permalink)
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Most insects on Svalbard by far can fly, so they tend to end up in the trap that way, but I also had to be a little careful with stuff crawling in. The boxes had these bent edges that should be hard to crawl up on and the edges were also greased with vaseline to stop that from happening .. >.< Anyways, by far, most of the stuff I caught were invertebrates capable of flight (particularly midges) .. not really the target of my study, but since we have the data on them, we'll try and get some publications out.


I think Wikipedia is over-exaggerating the german skills. I only know a little bit of german and most of my friends are much worse than I am. I can't really have a conversation in german, but I can ask for food and drink or try to explain that my car has broken down. :p

Bokmål and nynorsk are the two written languages in Norway because in the 19th century when there was interest to grammatically restore the norwegian language, two guys set out to do so, Knud Knudsen did bokmål and Ivar Aasen did nynorsk .. Bokmål was a norwegianized danish while Ivar Aasen studied the multitude of dialects and based his nynorsk on that. I think very few people speak either one, but I guess most people's way of talking may resemble nynorsk more than bokmål. Still, I write in and prefer to read bokmål.

.. But don't worry about it, germans are very good at learning and understanding norwegian. More so than norwegians are at learning german, which has much harder grammar rules.
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Old 01-23-2009, 04:24 PM   #5626 (permalink)
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My eldest looks real happy to be stood next to his dad (and yes that is my Dawn Of The Dead T-shirt!)
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Old 01-23-2009, 04:36 PM   #5627 (permalink)
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at first i thought it was just a picture of your face on a t-shirt.
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Old 01-23-2009, 04:40 PM   #5628 (permalink)
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Have never heard that before.....
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Old 01-23-2009, 04:40 PM   #5629 (permalink)
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I love your piercing.
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Old 01-23-2009, 04:41 PM   #5630 (permalink)
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Lovely kids Mr. Lee.
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