Questions for the Svalbard people on this Leaping Thought Thursday

Alright. Sue me. I'm one day late on my Leaping Thought Wednesday Posts. That means that it is now a Leaping Thought Thursday post. You'll forgive me won't you?

By the way, have any of you heard about the Svalbard Global Seed Vault? Also known as the Doomsday Vault. Well, I've been mulling over the whole fabulous concept for a couple of weeks now but like in a so-so movie, I've found some ah... let's call them glaring plot holes in the script as regards to how we go about accessing the vault's contents. Here are some of the questions I have for the people who designed it.

Dear Norwegian government:

1. Can you please tell me how to get to Svalbard? I like to be prepared and so I've tried to print a from here to there step by step instruction, but all I’ve been able to find are the coordinates (78°14′23 N, 15°29′43 E), and Mapquest keeps giving me an error message whenever I type in "Doomsday Vault." So, City, State and Zip if you please.

2. I heard you deliberately put the repository somewhere that is freezing like hell kind of cold. That's good, good. I understand the reasons why you did so but, I wouldn't be averse to you putting in a central heating switch or something in there so I can comfy up the place once I get inside. Otherwise, I'll be (stupefied) frozen solid before I actually get to do the job. That's a reasonable request, isn't it?

3. For when I get there, I read somewhere that there's supposed to be a long tunnel I'll have to traverse in case I need to drag all those (freakin') millions of seeds out. Did you put a car or a wheelbarrow in there for me? I'd prefer the car quite frankly. No trucks please. I don't have a truck-driving license. But wait! This just found in Scientific American "…But the vault will require some vestiges of human civilization to persist, if only to build the transportation to bring the seeds back out of their new icy home.—" (Are you people insane???) Have you thought this through properly? BUILD A TRANSPORT TO GET THEM OUT? You'd better hope someone who knows how to make wheels is my partner in crime or I can tell you right now that we're doomed.

4. "...Sealed in airtight foil packages and encased in boxes, the seeds will remain viable but dormant in the low temperature and humidity conditions." Hey, nobody said nothin' about humidity. My hair gets really (kinky) curly in humid weather. Again, the central air heater will do the trick. A scissor will be good to have too. I can never open those little foil package thingamajiggies on my own. By the same token, did any of you (idiots) geniuses think to put in some gardening essentials? Say... a spade, perhaps a watering can, some fertilizer, gloves, a cryogenically frozen gardener maybe?

5. I’ve been given to understand that there are polar bears that live in the area. They are supposed to act as natural barriers and protection for the vault. Don't you think that's a bit extreme? I mean the nuclear blast didn't get me but the polar bears surely will, (eat me) no?

6. I am a total gardening ditz. Translate that as non-green thumb (dead thumb is more like it) kind of person. Have you provided some detailed (drawings) descriptions of how to plant the seeds in case someone like me is the only one left to do so? If you have, I hope they are clear enough that I won't screw things up unnecessarily. I also heard you put in backup seeds for each variety. That's good to know. I'm sure it'll take a (gadjillion) several attempts for something green to actually grow for me, in case I should be the one who ends up trying that is (provided I’m not torn to shreds by the polar bears first). By the way, I don't speak any Norwegian, ja?

7. I also heard there's a 300 mile archipelago I need to swim through before I can actually get to Svalbard but maybe I'm assuming incorrectly and you guys saw this far ahead and proceeded to plant a boat with a skipper for me on the mainland somewhere. If so, where may I find it? Remember, city, state and zip. Seriously now, WHO came up with the brilliant Svalbard option? Some Dungeons and Dragons aficionado?

8. Finally, "The vault is designed to protect against global-scale disasters, human or natural." OK already, I GET IT. The place is a Fort Knox, im.preg.na.ble. So, did you like hide the key under the welcome mat or something? There is a spare key somewhere, right? Please tell me I don't have to chase the bear with the funny looking collar...


The one who might be called upon to save our 'seed-less' patooties.


  1. Thank you, thank you for this. I cannot stop laughing at just how logical you are. This is hysterical. Just absolutely hysterical...

  2. This is hilarious. I love that you came up with this--and how your mind works.

    Still laughing.

    Just for good measure, shouldn't they stash some beef jerky in there, to tide us over until the seeds grow? And maybe some corn nuts and V8 juice.

  3. This is too funny! I enjoyed it thoroughly!

    (oh, and I love how blogger puts "word verification" for the lil' "I am human" checker below. When was twrgp ever a word?)

  4. This is me laughing out loud. Hilarious. With some tweaks, I think that you'd have a story proposal to pitch to Hollywood. I particularly like the idea of you getting past the mutant polar bears to the vault only to find that you now have to construct a transportation device out of twisted metal and rocks, to be propelled by a angry polar bear now safely ... okay, okay. I'll stop. (Maybe it could be a computer game.)
    Don't be surprised if the Norwegians call - asking for help to make the vault not only safe for seeds but practical for humans (or highly evolved polar bears, I just can't let that go) eager to reboot civilization from the time of the agricultural revolution .

  5. I've been meaning to tell you that "If my blog were burning, I would save these." is so damn clever I wish I had thought of it.

  6. So glad I clicked on over today for a new posting...I had no idea that human beings were hoarding seeds in an impregnable vault in the high reaches of the northern hemisphere.
    Sometimes truth is far better than fiction and I'm with Ron this could be a great literary series. Like Lord of the Rings but with some catchy and apt title like Clan of the Corn Kernel. Just thinking out loud.

  7. We all can do more than we think we can if we have to. I'm rooting for you, Milena, you'll be the heroine of all our futures! :)

  8. MELISSA: Svalbard is a great idea. It might well be man's last hope. I just wonder if it won't be the kind of hope some tired survivor might consider too impossible to go in search of.

    JENNIFER: Totally agree except the jerky is too primitive. As they are already going for broke with the vault, would it be such a stretch to put in some choice beef and other tasties into that sub-zero of theirs? I mean, after the bears, you'd think I'd deserve more than some break your tooth kind of hard meat no?

    GOLDEN ECHO: funny you should mention the word verification thing. Lately I've been collecting some of the more interesting ones and inventing fake meanings for them. Here's a sample:

    skoioyo - a boyo who skis.
    elypso - Calypso dancing while on the ellipse machine.

    What do you think? I've been meaning to write a post on word verification. Think it might fly?

    RON: I would wish they'd call, I still have about a million questions I left out of the post. I'm very sure they have great answers for all of them but I can't wait to hear what they could possibly say that my vivid imagination won't be able to counter. A game huh? Not such a farfetched idea. I mean, if they can teach people to fly planes via games or conquer virtual worlds. I'm sure I could learn to defeat the impossible odds of human survival after a holocaust if we base it on the Svalbard premise.

    MAMABIRD: Steal away. I did. The burning blog title is the type of cleverness I am unfortunately, not known for.

    CCE: Loved the title. Clan of the corn kernel it shall be once the game is designed. I'll be sure to give you credit for it in the Many Thanks section.

    CARIN DEAR: You've always had far too much faith in me. If anyone will save us it'll be you. After all, you're much closer to Svalbard than me. Continue to root for me though. It is one of the pillars of our friendship and I give thanks for it always.


Leaving a Leaping Thought's worth