Join 3,552 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Iceland...
March 3, 2008 6:16 PM   Subscribe

About 10% of Iceland is covered by glaciers. Thanks to the ongoing catastrophy of global warming, we Icelanders have noticed drastic changes in our poor glaciers. On of the more concerned individuals regarding this is the now retired physician Leifur Jonsson, who is seen in this report by National Geographic. The report does not contain, however, the story about when Leifur almost died on a glacier. In his younger years he got lost in a blizzard, skiied off cliffs and fell 900 feet into the crater of Grímsvötn, an active volcano underneath Icelands largest glacier Vatnajökull. Decades later, two people, also lost in a blizzard, accidentally drove off the same cliffs, as is reported here. The interesting part is that when they were brought to the Emergency Department of Landspitali-University Hospital in Reykjavik, the physician taking care of the was Leifur...
posted by nucleus (14 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Small world.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 6:33 PM on March 3, 2008


Not one to pee on the story, but the odds seem to be around 1 in 1000.

When you consider that the greater Reykjavik area (the area of the fall and the nearest hospital) has 2/3rds of the population of Iceland (around 276,000 total at the time) in it, it kind of diminishes in the realms of true coincidence, for me...

Sorry.
posted by Brockles at 7:01 PM on March 3, 2008


I get some Icelandic TV every now and then, and it strikes me as a mysterious and humane place, with a very light footprint on the environment.
posted by Huplescat at 7:37 PM on March 3, 2008


Brockles, your probability analysis is so flawed, I hardly know where to begin.

Assuming that Leifur worked in the hospital for much of his career, and assuming that it's one of Rejkavik's main hospitals, the probability of him crossing paths with any particular Icelander in person at some point in his career approaches one.

The 'coincidence' nothing to do with population, though. It's really about the probability that anybody lost in a blizzard would fall into the caldera of a volcano near the capital. This probability is also pretty close to one.

Now, can we skip to the part where he was once in the same bar as Sigur Ros? That's almost certain to have happened, as well.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:58 PM on March 3, 2008


I was working on the basis of this statement - "The interesting part is that when they were brought to the Emergency Department of Landspitali-University Hospital in Reykjavik, the physician taking care of the was Leifur...".

You'd assume that after that fall, he'd be meeting (at least one) physician. The chances of it being the same guy that fell down the same thingy is one in a thousand or so, as that is how many physicians there are on the Island. Leifur doesn't even need to work in a hospital (or at all) for the chance of the physician tending the guy to be him to be the same 1000 or so to 1. Which, in my book, is not exactly spectacular coincidental odds.

But if you are arguing that it is hardly a coincidence at all, given the size of the population, and so hardly worthy of note, I agree with you.
posted by Brockles at 8:40 PM on March 3, 2008


The bright side of global warming is that once all the glaciers are melted those nasty things won't be around to cause so many problems.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 9:22 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'd read this, but I'm still busy trying to learn the lyric to Haysátan.
posted by 1adam12 at 9:32 PM on March 3, 2008


The interesting part is that when they were brought to the Emergency Department of Landspitali-University Hospital in Reykjavik, the physician taking care of the was Leifur...

It's a cool story, but I'm trying to find it within your four links. Not that I'm saying, "Hey, quit makin' up stuff" -- But I'v read (albeit quickly) through the wikipedia pages and the story page, and haven't look at the NG video. Please point me toward where I'm missing it. Thanks!
posted by not_on_display at 9:52 PM on March 3, 2008


The bright side of global warming is that once all the glaciers are melted those nasty things won't be around to cause so many problems.

GASP! But what will we chill our vodka with?
posted by taursir at 10:33 PM on March 3, 2008


That's a hell of a fall. I like Menke's description and his page on "what went wrong and what went right." But yeah, where's the info about the other guy coming from?
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:21 PM on March 3, 2008


People, Grimsvotn is across the island from Reykjavik, not next door, okay? If we're talking odds, there aren't that many people in Iceland, so I expect many folks will run into one another under odd circumstances. But, anyway, I don't think that's the most interesting part of the post. You blu-bummers are trying too hard.
posted by CCBC at 1:39 AM on March 4, 2008


What really made it a coincidence is that Leifur saw the patient and said: "Thats my son!" How is this possible?
posted by criticalbill at 3:50 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


He had sex with the guys mother approximately (his age +9 months) before?
posted by Brockles at 6:20 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


GASP! But what will we chill our vodka with?

Easy - ice cubes made in your gasoline-powered refrigerator.
posted by kcds at 3:39 PM on March 4, 2008


« Older Greensburg, Kansas...  |  "Let us say that you have rave... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments