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Eldfell Volcano

The Vestmannaeyjar Archipelago, off the south coast of Iceland, was first settled in 874 AD. Heimaey, the only populated island, was home to both a center of the Icelandic fishing industry, and a volcano which had never erupted during nearly a millennium of continuous human settlement. Then, in 1973, all hell broke loose. [more inside]
posted by Blue Jello Elf on Jul 7, 2014 - 20 comments

Ideas can be dangerous, especially the good ones

Four years ago, a group of punk anarchists with no political experience led by Icelandic comedian Jón Gnarr formed a joke political party, the Best Party, to campaign for Reykjavik's mayoral and city council positions, hoping to lighten up local politics in the wake of the catastrophic Icelandic financial meltdown. To everyone's surprise, they won. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee on Jun 20, 2014 - 31 comments

The Reykjavik Confessions

On a bitter Icelandic night in 1974, teenager Erla Bolladottir was having a nightmare. Voices, whispering outside her room. Who were they? What were they saying? It seemed so real. Terrified, she wet the bed. The dream would continue to haunt her for years to come.
posted by Jelly on May 16, 2014 - 21 comments

60th Birthday Surprise

Woman exits elevator on her 60th birthday and is given a lovely surprise. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Mar 9, 2014 - 26 comments

Reykjavíkurdætur

Reykjavíkurdætur (SLYT)
posted by CitoyenK on Dec 26, 2013 - 22 comments

High-speed rail in unlikely places

High-speed rail projects may be struggling in California and facing increased opposition in the UK, but they have gotten a boost in two unlikely countries. In Iceland, a country which currently has no working railways, a plan to build a high-speed rail line from Keflavík airport to downtown Reykjavík, using either conventional HSR or maglev technology, is being explored. Meanwhile in Australia, the conservative federal government has committed to safeguarding a corridor for a Melbourne-Canberra-Sydney-Brisbane high-speed rail network, a project commenced by the previous Labor minority government after pressure from the Greens. [more inside]
posted by acb on Dec 3, 2013 - 31 comments

Cool bananas

For decades, Iceland has been rumoured to be the largest producer of bananas in Europe. This factoid made the BBC quiz show Q.I. in 2006, and was cited as truth in a Christian Science Monitor article about geothermal energy in Iceland. Now the Reykjavík Grapevine digs deeper and reveals the provenance of this rumour and what truth there is in it (PDF; see page 6).
posted by acb on Nov 14, 2013 - 20 comments

There Must Be Something in the Water in Iceland

Icelandic band Árstíðir sings the hymn "Heyr himna smiður" a capella in a German train station, to beautiful effect. [more inside]
posted by yasaman on Oct 13, 2013 - 31 comments

Hel on Earth

Icelandic Lava Tubes [via]. A video of a tour.
posted by Joe in Australia on Jul 6, 2013 - 12 comments

Frændi, svifnökkvinn minn er fullur af álum.

In Iceland, with a population of around a third of a million, the danger exists of that heady one-night stand ending up as an intimate encounter between near-relatives, as nearly happened to the friend of Elin Edda. No longer, due to the launch of an android app ("Bump the app before you bump in bed") which easily tells a budding couple how related they are. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Apr 16, 2013 - 67 comments

The clean, fresh air of Scandinavia

The BBC explore the olfactory delights of rakfisk, "trout sprinkled with salt and fermented in water for up to a year." But is it as smelly as Surströmming, fermented Baltic Herring from neighboring Sweden, or as extreme as the Icelandic Hákarl, basking shark buried in a hole and fermented for several months and tasting "similar to very strong cheese slathered in ammonia"? [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Dec 2, 2012 - 52 comments

"snuggling"

If you live in the Suðurnes area and witness cats occupying abandoned homes and holding parties, you can contact the local police and rest assured that they will respond without hesitation.
posted by cthuljew on Oct 30, 2012 - 51 comments

Icelandic landscapes, set to Japanese post-rock

Legend: A Journey Through Iceland is a 12 min. 31 sec. long time-lapse video of Icelandic landscapes, set to the music of MONO, a Japanese post-rock band. A bit more MONO and pleasant landscapes inside. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 6, 2012 - 20 comments

What happened with Iceland?

It seems that Iceland's unorthodox crisis policy response has succeeded.
posted by knz on Jul 16, 2012 - 67 comments

Iceland is the one that sparkles

Scandanavia And The World: A web comic of outrageous national stereotypes bluntly portrayed by cute little cartoon bobbleheads, that will nonetheless help outsiders learn to differentiate among the Nordic countries. With explanatory text.
posted by Diablevert on May 21, 2012 - 48 comments

NyQuil nightmare version of Disasteradio

The band/artist is called Kristmann Op, the song is called Hátt fjall,The video of the song is an autotuned alien disco futuristic dreamwave delight
posted by The Whelk on May 3, 2012 - 25 comments

My life IS war!

The Ugly Duckling (YT) or Donald Duck ala Dogme 95. Via io9 (FYI: Gawker Media site)
posted by KingEdRa on Apr 17, 2012 - 14 comments

Does this mean Canadians get to put Bjork on the hundred dollar bill?

Iceland eyes loonie, Canada ready to talk. Iceland, still reeling from the aftershocks of the devastating collapse of its banks in 2008, is looking longingly to the loonie as the salvation from wild economic gyrations and suffocating capital controls.... The Canadian government says it’s open to discussing the idea. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Mar 2, 2012 - 93 comments

Icelands Economic Recovery

"In the 2008 economic meltdown, Iceland nearly collapsed. Its three banks failed, it's currency lost 50 per cent of its value and in an unprecedented display of anger, usually peaceful Icelanders took to the streets to protest. But Iceland defied the orthodox economic wisdom of the time---bailouts and slashing government services---and now is on the road to a recovery that the rest of Europe envies. The hero of the hour and the man almost solely responsible for this remarkable turnaround is the country's president Olafur Grimmson." This CBC Sunday Edition Interview is a fascinating listen. [more inside]
posted by smudgedlens on Dec 21, 2011 - 35 comments

Burton Holmes, Inventor of the Travelogue

The Burton Holmes Archive has information about Burton Holmes, the travel writer who became the first person to make filmic travelogues. More importantly, they also have a lot of film clips by Holmes and his associate, André de la Varre, who was also a great travelogue maker himself. Watching these clips is not quite time travel, but it is as close as we can get. Take a look at Reykjavík, Iceland, in 1926, Lake Michigan in 20s, Cairo in 1932 and the 1955 Rio de Janeiro carnival. The later films have sound and narration, but I prefer the silent ones. [Burton Holmes previously, André de la Varre previously, and the Travel Film Archive, which runs Burton Holmes site, previously]
posted by Kattullus on Oct 26, 2011 - 5 comments

Where the night's so bright, I gotta wear shades.

The Midnight Sun is a natural phenomenon that occurs in the summer months near the Arctic and Antarctic Circles, where the sun remains visible at the local midnight. This short, time lapse film was shot in June 2011 over 17 days and incorporates 38,000 images. The photographer/videographer traveled over 2,900 miles throughout Iceland. Midnight Sun (SL-vimeo, via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 18, 2011 - 24 comments

Bicycling the Globe at a Bargain

35 days, 2822 miles through 9 states at a cost of $252.51 ($7.21 per day). George 'the Cyclist' Christensen spends a good part of each year bicycling through a different country and wild camping in places like Iceland, Turkey, China, the foot of Mt Fuji and around Lake Victoria; And writing about his travels on his blog from libraries and internet cafés. For the past eight years, too, he has also followed the Tour de France after first watching upwards of 70 films [in 12 days] at the Cannes Film Festival.
posted by Rashomon on Oct 17, 2011 - 20 comments

Saga Saga

Dr. Emily Lethbridge of Cambridge University is on a year-long research trip to document the settings of Icelandic Sagas. The short documentary Memories of Old Awake beautifully captures those dramatic landscapes, and you can read more about her research on her blog The Saga-Steads of Iceland: A Twenty-First Century Pilgrimage. (via) (previously)
posted by Horace Rumpole on Sep 27, 2011 - 9 comments

Corn, Lightning, Aurora, Ice and Stars

The ever-lower cost of motion control technology is allowing amateurs to create increasingly spectacular films of timelapse astrophotography: the latest work from Randy Halverson, Eric Hines and Ágúst Ingvarsson. (Full-screen viewing is highly recommended). [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Sep 15, 2011 - 24 comments

"And at once I knew I was not magnificent..."

Bon Iver has released a video for the second single from their new eponymous album: Holocene (Vimeo / Youtube.) Background. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 20, 2011 - 26 comments

“The mapmaking took two years and over 3,000 hours to complete."

A hand-drawn, interactive map of Reykjavik, Iceland, via The Map Room
posted by desjardins on Jun 27, 2011 - 18 comments

Friending Iceland

Halló humans on the Inter-net. My name is Iceland. I am an island, full of mountains and glaciers and hot water and sheep and many nice Icelandic people, who like to make music, and who are sometimes cold. (Maybe you have seen me on your tele-visions, or your Inter-net.) I have heard that many humans use the Inter-net to make friends, and to talk about themselves. I decided to do this, too.
                      Iceland wants to be your friend. [more inside]
posted by carsonb on May 19, 2011 - 57 comments

Science museum adds to membership

``Several people had pledged their penises over the years — including an American, a Briton, and a German — but Arason's was the first to be successfully donated, Hjartarson said.'' [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 12, 2011 - 40 comments

Iceland

Inspired by Iceland
posted by puny human on Mar 9, 2011 - 17 comments

Did the Scots visit Iceland? New research reveals island inhabited 70 years before Vikings thought to have arrived

Did the Scots visit Iceland? New research reveals island inhabited 70 years before Vikings thought to have arrived. This appears to be the first physical evidence that confirms the stories of celitc monks being on the island when the Norse arrived.
posted by novenator on Dec 26, 2010 - 41 comments

They see you when you're sleeping

This Christmas Eve spare a thought for the Chrildren of Iceland, who will be suffering a traumatising visit from Kertasníkir, or "Candle Beggar", the thirteenth and final of the strange and somewhat sinister Icelandic Santas, or Yule lads, who are the childre of the ogress Gryla. Most of them don't seem to care if you've been bad or good - mainly they want to steal your food and wreck stuff. [more inside]
posted by Artw on Dec 24, 2010 - 27 comments

Possible pre-Columbian Native American gene found in modern Icelanders

An Icelandic company called deCODE genetics (previously) has found evidence, though not conclusive, that an unknown American woman traveled to Iceland, possibly against her will, as early the year 1000 but not later than 1700. She had offspring in Iceland with natives. 80 of her descendants are still extant in that country. This finding has been announced in a pre-print online publication of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. The work involved explorations of mitochondrial DNA, which are frequently employed to examine humans' centuries-old lineages. One surprising result is that this lineage does not seem to line up with previously known Native American genetic markers, but the authors believe that the explanation above is "[more] likely" than this common ancestor being European or Asian. (Via Daily Mail.) [more inside]
posted by knile on Nov 19, 2010 - 28 comments

The sorcerer must therefore find someone who is willing to take the pants

>If you want to make your own necropants (literally; nábrók) you have to get permission from a living man to use his skin after he's dead. Click here for a vocal description. NSFW image here. [via Great Dismal, via Got Medieval] [more inside]
posted by kaspen on Nov 2, 2010 - 50 comments

Kinda Epic.

While the rest of Europe was expressing itself mainly in the medium of poetry1, focused largely on romantic exploits of the aristocracy, the people of early Iceland were trying something different. At the Icelandic Saga Database you can read of the explots of the late Viking era, in Icelandic or English translation. If you seek a more direct experience, you can view scans of original collections at Saganet. [more inside]
posted by kaibutsu on Aug 30, 2010 - 28 comments

Well-Scrubbed Marauders

Health, Grooming, and Medicine in the Viking Age. "John of Wallingford, the abbot of St. Albans Abbey wrote in his chronicles that the Norse invaders in England were far more attractive to Anglo-Saxon women since, unlike Anglo-Saxon men, they combed their hair daily, took baths weekly, and laundered their clothing regularly."
posted by rodgerd on Aug 19, 2010 - 48 comments

Iceland financial woes, continued.

Magma Energy Corp. sets to acquire HS Orka (shareholders) for about 40 canadian millions. HS Okra owns the rights to most of Iceland's natural ressources for the next 65 years. Renewable. Some MP's consider suing the Icelandic government. Björk asks some questions(PDF).
posted by CitoyenK on Jul 14, 2010 - 57 comments

I, for one, welcome our new grocery overlords

Once, there was the shooter's sandwich. Now Tesco bring us a new lunchtime delicacy - the Lasagna Sandwich. Hungry for more unorthodox pasta products? Then try a Chicken Tikka Lasagne, or a Lasagna Pie [more inside]
posted by mippy on Jul 12, 2010 - 65 comments

WE ARE THE BEST!

The Best Party (link in Icelandic), led by comedian Jón Gnarr has won 34.7% of the vote in the Reykjavik City Council election after a campaign promising, among other things, a new polar bear for the Reykjavik Zoo. Icelanders will soon know the answer to one of the most important questions in politics: Does power corrupt funny people? [more inside]
posted by doublehappy on May 30, 2010 - 24 comments

Electric Boogaloo

Shocking photos of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 and more volcano pictures from Marco Fulle taken on April 14th, 16th, and 17th.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 18, 2010 - 130 comments

Iceland takes its revenge

Air traffic in much of northern Europe halted – due to ash from a volcanic eruption under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland. The volcano under the glacier erupted for the first time in 200 years last month and whilst Iceland is renowned for its volcanic and geologic activity the sheer ferocity of the latest eruption (thought to be 20 times more powerful than the initial eruption on the 20th March) and prevailing wind conditions have culminated in the current traffic chaos. Flightradar24.com shows the current impact on the skies. Whilst the particles will disperse at high altitude and pose no threat to those on the ground, the volcanic ash is very dangerous to aircraft . Not only is there the problem of it clouding pilot vision but the ash can cause engine malfunction and damage the delicate airframe skin. One silver lining in all this is the anticipated glorious red sunset that should follow.
posted by numberstation on Apr 15, 2010 - 149 comments

"It's just like creating anything. when you create food, it's just like creating music."

The Jónsi and Alex (Recipe) Show: join Jónsi Birgisson (frontman of Sigur Rós), Alex Somers and their very loud blender to make raw food recipes. They made three videos from their Good Heart recipe book, for Macadamia Monster Mash, Raw Strawberry Pie, and Nammi Nammi. If coconut, almonds, dates and agave (heavily featured in their three recipes) aren't your thing, enjoy a couple dreamy videos from the couple's album Riceboy Sleeps: All the Big Trees and Daníell in the Sea. See also: Sometimes I Get Scared (a distortion-heavy non-album track), and Jónsi and Alex talk about their album, with parts of the tracks in the background. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 12, 2010 - 7 comments

"Do we really want to change America into Sweden?" YES

What's the matter with Sweden? How public funding for the arts has turned countries like Sweden into Meccas for indie music.
posted by dunkadunc on Mar 29, 2010 - 41 comments

Icelandic Modern Media Initiative

Al Jazeera English's "Listening Post" on the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, a proposal that could turn Iceland into a "journalism haven."
posted by brundlefly on Mar 28, 2010 - 11 comments

Star Wars as an Icelandic saga

Tattúínárdælasaga (The Saga of the People of the Tattooine River Valley) is the Icelandic saga Star Wars was based on. So far five chapters have been transcribed.
posted by Kattullus on Mar 12, 2010 - 44 comments

Ólöf Arnalds

As They Say is a 20+ minute musical composition by Icelander Ólöf Arnalds, where she plays and sings all the parts herself in nine-fold splitscreen. She created the piece from interviews with 17 New Yorkers, each of a different nationality, and she sings in all 17 languages. Other Ólöf Arnalds videos: 11 minute documentary, 4 songs live on KEXP, covering That Lucky Old Sun, original song that morphs into Springsteen's I'm on Fire live, new song, an interview broken up into 17 chunks and a 10 minute documentary. The interview, the first of the documentaries and some songs are in English. [Ólöf Arnalds previously on MeFi]
posted by Kattullus on Feb 9, 2010 - 4 comments

Should Have Stuck to Fishing

Iceland blocks repayment deal, sparks global outrage. "The Icelandic people are effectively saying that Iceland does not want to be part of the international financial system," Britain's Financial Services Minister Paul Myners said. But the bill equates to £40,000 per family. Britain threatens to freeze Iceland out of EU as loan payback vetoed. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Jan 5, 2010 - 109 comments

Soundville

Juan Cabral, the commercial maker behind the Sony Bravia bouncing ball ad has completed a new piece: this time, he and collaborators, including Múm, Richard Fearless (of Death In Vegas) and the people behind Sigur Rós' live concerts, transformed the Icelandic town of Sey∂isfjör∂ur into an ambient sound installation, placing speakers throughout the town, playing music (from folk to electronica to ambient orchestral) and filming the reactions of the locals as they went about their lives. [more inside]
posted by acb on Oct 12, 2009 - 17 comments

Iceland and datacenters

After a disastrous experience with international banking, Iceland has a new angle to attract investment. BBC News reports that a company called Verne Global is currently converting an unused warehouse at the former US Navy airbase (Keflavik) near Reykjavik into a carrier neutral datacenter / colocation facility. The promise is abundant carbon-neutral low cost electricity and the lack of need for any air conditioner system. With a mean June/July temperature of only 13C, Iceland can use air side cooling to dissipate the heat generated by densely packed servers. Iceland is not exactly the best place in the world telecom-wise, but it is linked to Europe and North America by the FARICE , DANICE and CANTAT-3 cables.
posted by thewalrus on Oct 10, 2009 - 15 comments

IgNobility 2009

This year's winners of the Ig Nobel prizes are a bumper crop of wild and crazy SCIENCE!, featuring sword-swallowing, knuckle-cracking, benefits of cow-naming, pregnant women NOT tipping over, a household use for giant panda poop (take that, Packham), diamonds made from tequila, a brassiere that can be used as TWO gas masks, "Ireland's Worst Driver", Icelandic banks, Zimbabwean currency, and a 'Peace Prize' earned by hitting people over the heads with beer bottles (and comparing the effects of empty vs. full bottles) (related inquiry)
posted by wendell on Oct 2, 2009 - 23 comments

New classical music! With Twitter!

Found Songs.
posted by StrikeTheViol on Sep 6, 2009 - 12 comments

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