Friday, December 28, 2007


We had our white Christmas: hvít Jól. Icelanders, and I do agree with them, like their Christmas to be white. Surely the result of global warming, snow falls in Iceland are not what they were and nowadays it is not always sure to have a white Christmas. In that case you have a red Christmas: rauð Jól. It was snowing almost all day on Christmas day and Reykjavík covered itself with a "thick" (about 20cm) blanket of snow.

Over the next few days tons of fireworks (flugeldar in Icelandic) will be sold in Iceland. These fireworks sales are organized by the Icelandic association of search and rescue: Slysavarnafélagið Landsbjörg. All profits made are going to the rescue services.

To give you some figures, it's an extimated 800 tons of fireworks that will be blown up and this figure is always getting bigger year on year. "Only 638 tons" were imported in 2005.

As a result of this huge fireworks display that last hours over Reykjavík, peaks of air pollution are recorded every year on new year's eve.

Most companies will be giving their employees some fireworks. Most of fireworks have names of famous characters from the Icelandic sagas. Last year we got from work a box of fireworks named after Hallgerður Langbrók and this year we are getting a box named after Grettir Ásmundarson, from the saga of the same name: Grettir's Saga.


Weather outside: sunny, -8°C
I just realized it was +7°C last week, a 15° drop over a week, not bad!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Fish à la piss...

The dreaded day is almost upon us!!! On December 23rd, Icelanders are celebrating Þorláksmessa, Þorláskur's mass, patron saint of Iceland. So nothing wrong so far...

The problem with Þorláksmessa is what Icelanders traditionnally eat on that day: skata (literally skate in english). Nothing wrong there again with eating skate...

I do eat skate/ray wings in Brittany. We have a traditionnal dish called "aile de raie au beurre noir" (ray wing with black butter).

So what is wrong with skata???....

The skata tradition is supposedly coming from the west fjörds. A hole is dug on the beach, the fish is then buried in the hole for several weeks. Skate, like sharks, don't have a urinal track and therefore release urine through their skin. This means the flesh of the skate rotting away in its hole is saturated with ammonia. The finished product smells like... well, it smells like piss!

It's not Þorláksmessa today but it's last day before it in the company and for that matter, it will be served at lunch today. Luckily for me the skata won't be cooked here but the fumes from the "ready-made" trays will still make the building smell like urinals from the rarely cleaned bathroom of a railroad station.

Being French I should be used to strong smells. French washed rind cheeses are the smelliest cheeses in the world but they still smell way better than skata.

To read an oposite opinion about skata, have a pick at the article posted yesterday by Bjarni on Iceland Review: click here.

Gleðileg jól - Merry christmas - Joyeux noël

Weather outside: Mostly cloudy, 7°C

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


"Christmas" has really started today in Iceland as last night households were visited by the first Yule Lads: Stekkjastaur. These Yule lads are 13 and are the sons of Grýla and Leppalúði, two mountain-dwelling trolls. Grýla has for "hobby" of looking for kids and put them in a sack that she carries on her back. The couple owns a huge and horrible cat: Jólakötturinn. The cat helps Grýla in her task of picking children. The tradition was that kids with a new article of clothing would be safe and not eaten by Jólakötturinn. Icelandic singer Björk interpreted a song called "Jólakötturinn". You can listen to it on Youtube: here. And I'm going to throw in the lyrics with both Icelandic and English! Lyrics here.

The 13 Yule Lads are naughty characters: they steal your food, slam your doors, peep through your windows, etc... Nowadays, kids leave their shoes by the window. When they wake up in the morning, nice kids will find a present and naughty kids will find... a rotting potato!

  1. Stekkjastaur
  2. Giljagaur
  3. Stúfur
  4. Þvörusleikir
  5. Pottasleikir
  6. Askasleikir
  7. Hurðaskellir
  8. Skyrgámur
  9. Bjúgnakrækir
  10. Gluggagægir
  11. Gáttaþefur
  12. Ketkrókur
  13. Kertasníkir

All pictures are from the Jólamjólk website.

Weather outside: mostly cloudy, 2°C

Monday, December 10, 2007


One of most, if not the most, served desserts over Christmas in Iceland is the traditional Danish "Ris a l'amande", which is a dessert made of rice and almonds. The Danes already got it wrong when using french words to name the dish (it should be riz à l'amande) but Icelanders are really out by a mile when it comes to spelling it.

I have seen the following:
  • Ris ala mande
  • Ris a la mande
  • Ris alamande
  • etc...
  • but this year's winner has to be the spelling from the glersalurinn menu: Ris á l´allamande.
Here is the recipe if you want to give it a try:
Servings: 6 servings
Prep. Time: 1:00
Total Time: 3:30

1 cup short grain rice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups whole milk
3 tbsp. sugar
3/4 cup finely chopped almonds
1-3/4 cups whipping cream
6 whole almonds
Cherry preserves for the topping

Cook the rice in the whole milk with the vanilla extract at medium-low heat for around 45 minutes until tender and let cool. Add the sugar and the chopped almonds. Whip the cream until you get soft peaks then fold it into the now cooled rice mixture. Spoon a little into ramekins then put one whole almond in the center and cover it with more rice mixture. Refrigerate for a few hours to let set. Serve it cold with warmed cherry preserve spooned on top.

Weather Outside: Clear, -3°C

Monday, December 3, 2007

Best í heimi...

It turns out that Iceland is the best country to live in for this year 2007.
For the past 6 years, the Human Development Index was topped by an other Scandinavian country: Norway.


With only over 300000 inhabitants, Iceland does not have the resources to do some good television and most of what is shown is coming from the US and get subtitled.

A few examples of all that goodness: Dr Phil, Oprah, Survivor, Amazing Race, The biggest loser, High School Reunion, The bachelor, The bachelorette, America's Next Top Model, So you think you can dance, American Idol, and many more...

Icelandic version of some shows were done: 3 seasons of Idol, 1 season of "The X-Factor" and I think just one of the batchelor. The latest to date is an icelandic version of the american show named "Are you smarter than a 5th grader?", which would translate to Ertu skarpari en skólakrakki? and is shown every Sundays on Skjáreinn.

I found an small video of the original show on Fox that raises a lot of questions!

Weather outside: Sunny, -2°C

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


On Monday, the North part of Langjökull glacier witnessed over a dozen of earthquakes with the biggest one reaching 4.4 on the Richter scale (see picture on the right).

Iceland being on the top of the Mid-Atlantic ridge makes it prone to have these earthquakes. If you check the Icelandic website, you can see that about a dozen or more quakes and tremors are recorded on a daily basis. The location of the quakes is usually following the path taken by the ridge underneath the island as you can see below marked in blue.

The most dramatic place to see the ridge is the National Park of Þingvellir. This park is less than 1 hour drive from Reykjavík and is a place charged with history. One of the oldest parlement in the world, the Alþing, was taking place there around 930 AD. More about the rift in Þingvellir here.

On March 6th, 2006 an earthquake of magnitude 4.6 shook Reykjavík. It happened in the afternoon. I was at work and people came to see me to ask me if I felt the quake. I had to admit that I did not feel anything.

I'm out to the countryside with A for the weekend, just above Selfoss, on the ridge so maybe this time I will feel something. Anyhow, I did learn the golden rule in case of earthquake:

Weather outside: Mostly cloudy, 2°C

Monday, November 26, 2007


Let's begin this week with a touch humour. When people think of Iceland, they think blonde, tall, and slim/fit women... Well I'm sorry to tell you that it is not the case. Icelandic women are far from being all blonde.

And here is the touch of humour:

Weather outside: Rain, 9°C

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Það er kalt úti!!!... Indeed it's cold outside. -5°C was saying the car computer this morning. Mínus fimm stig! Speaking about minus, there is an Icelandic "hard" rock band called Mínus. Here is a video of one of their song called "the long face".

Iceland had, until last year, a show similar to Jackass. It was first named 70 minútur and then was changed to Strákarnir. The guys from the show did a song called "dirty bastard" with a lot of shots similar to the video of "the long face" from Mínus. You can also find shots from a video with Madonna/Britney, a video with P.Diddy, etc... Here is the video:

Weather outside: clear, -5°C

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Condom fish...

It has started for me!... Over the next few weeks, I will go to several jólahlaðborð, christmas buffets. All companies and other associations are organizing one of these buffets.

We started our "eating marathon" on Saturday evening. We were invited to Domo by A's company. We did not get a proper jólahlaðborð but got served a lot of different dishes directly to our table instead of having to pick everything from a buffet.

The evening meal began with a mix of sushi as appetizers, then for starter we got two plates: one with kangaroo and the other one with scallops and squids.

It's funny to learn a new language because you try to find out how some words are made up. In the case of squid, the Icelandic word for it is smokkfiskur. I don't think you have to be a rocket scientist to guess that fiskur stands for fish. Smokk comes from smokkur, which in Icelandic means condom. So a squid is a condom fish in Iceland and when you think of a squid or of its shape who do see why Icelanders would have decided to name squids smokkfiskar.

Back to our dinner, the main course was served on three plates as we had cod, lamb and beef. The dessert was a tiny warm chocolate cake with a hint of ginger served with a scoop of ice-cream... Nice!

I have the rest of the week to burn up the calories in the gym before the next jólahlaðborð, which is this week-end. It is organized by Alliance Française. We like dinners organized by Alliance Française: the food is prepared by François Fons, a French chef who has been living in Iceland for years and does a "mean" lambalæri (leg of lamb).

I picked the photo from his website. There are classic dishes that you would always find on a jólahlaðborð:
  • Hamborgarhryggur - salted and lightly smoked pork rack.
  • Hangikjöt - smoked lamb.
You could also find game meat but usually you would go to another type of dinner for that: villibráðarveisla.

Bon appétit!

Weather outside: clear, 2°C

Friday, November 16, 2007

La vie en rose...

It seems that this post is going to be about cinema again!

On Monday, I received an e-mail from Alliance Française. They had a limited amount of invitations for the premiere of La vie en rose, a film depicting the life of french singer Edith Piaf.

It is rare to have something else than american blockbusters on screen in Iceland. Luckily, there is græna ljósið, a foreign movie distributor. When you go to cinema in Iceland, you have to know that there will be break in the middle. Is it to go to the bathroom? Is it to refill on popcorn or soda? Anyway, whatever it is for, it is still a pain in the rear end... But now when you go to see a foreign film, it is rare to have a break.

The event was preceded by a little concert with actress/singer Jóhanna Vigdís who sang few classics of the French repertoire. I came to realise that she had no Icelandic accent when interpreting these French songs, the same way Céline Dion (or other French-Canadian singers) does not have the thick French-Canadian accent when she sings in French. I'm wondering if it works the other way around. If I sing in Icelandic, do I lose my French accent?

Back to our film. I must admit I'm a bit disappointed. The actress, Marion Cotillard, gives a superb performance but the jumps back and forth in time were too many and ruined a little bit the film.

Today is November 16th, it is "Dagur Íslenskrar Tungu", day of the Icelandic language. Colleagues at work have decided to only speak Icelandic with me today!

Weather outside: rain, 8°C

Monday, November 12, 2007

And the Oscar goes to...

Last night was the EDDA night. The EDDA are the Icelandic "Oscars". This year "Grand Prix" went to Ragnar Bragarson's film Foreldrar (parents). This film is in fact the second chapter of a cinematographic diptych which started with the film Börn (children). Last year's big winner was Mýrin: the screen adaptation of Arnaldur Indriðason best-seller thriller Jar City. Mýrin should be reprensenting Iceland at this year's Oscar in the Best Foreign-Language Film category.

Here is a little (and surely non-exhaustive) list of Icelandic films you may consider renting:

Weather outside: rainshower, 6°C

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Good news for us, foreigners, living in Iceland... It has been announced that Iceland will soon join the European Food Safety Authority (ESFA). Well, what does it mean for me? It means I will now be able to bring meat from France.

No more I will be smuggling saucisson (french salami but way better!) into the country. Custom officials at Keflavík airport have confiscated around 5 tons of meat products so far this year of which 1.7 tons were salami!

I did already bring some meat product from Iceland to France. A couple of years ago, I got some hangikjöt (smoked lamb) in my Christmas hamper and I decided to bring it to France. It was an easy process. You go to the Ministry of Agriculture (Landbúnaðarráðuneyti, which is situated behind the National Theater of Iceland) and there you pay to get a sticker stipulating that the meat is from Iceland and is free of any diseases. That's it!

Anyway, the "traveling" hangikjöt was cooked and prepared in France where it did not received the favorable reception from the french palates... But my brother's dog, Sky, loved it and gave it the 2 "paws" up!

Weather outside: mostly cloudy, 7°C

Friday, November 2, 2007

Icelandic stereotype...

I was able to find a commercial that ran in Ireland a few years back. It was a bit of a shock to hear Icelandic on the Channel 4.

Just to keep the record straight:
  • I do not remember seeing Tennent's beer in any of the ATVRs, the state owned off-licences, only places where you can buy alcohol.
  • Wind-dried puffins recipe has yet to be invented. The only thing "wind-dried" so far is the harðfiskur. That said, it would not be surprising to hear that dried puffins does exist in Vestmannaeyar where most of the puffin hunting takes place.
  • "6 women to 1 man"... This really needs to be proven!!!
  • Bar-frikki does not exist. There is something call the Ice Bar in the city centre. It is part of Restaurant Reykjavík, formerly known as Kaffi Reykjavík.
  • Hreindýra bollur, reindeer balls, are reindeer meat balls and has nothing to do with genitalia.
  • And finally, a pint costs 600isk (€7/$10) in a bar... not 2000isk!!!

Weather outside: mist, 7°C

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Hunting season...

One of the most anticipated event of the year for Icelanders has started: the rjúpa hunting season.

The rjúpa, or arctic grouse, is part of the traditional dishes that will be served over Christmas. As you can see from the picture, the white winter plumage make it difficult to spot during the winter. Some hunters will spend hours and will come back empty handed. Others, with pointing dogs, maybe more fortunate.

With most of the employees gone hunting, the building is strangely quiet. Too quiet to be working...

And a little game: find the rjúpa (summer plumage)

Weather outside: mostly cloudy, 2°C

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Walking out...

The news of the the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, walking out from an interview with 60 Minutes' journalist Lesley Stahl only made page 6 of yesterday's Fréttablaðið.

Most newspapers have reported the event depicting the French president as the foe during the interview. I do think it is really uncalled for: Lesley Stahl was asking questions good for the Oprah Show, not for a political interview.

In the following extract from the show, "there's a great mystery. Everybody is asking", says Lesley Stahl... Honestly, who cares!!! A survey showed that 79% of the French did not care about the divorce.

Who is more professionnal? A president answering politely questions and then decides to leave because the questions are inappropriate or a journalist forcing to get answers to personal questions? I let you be the judge:

On a different note, Andrea Bocelli is playing tonight in Egilshöll. Four types of types went on sales: 22900isk (€284 or $381), 14900isk, 12900isk and 8900isk (€102 or $148)... Guess what? it is not sold out! Just to compare: Björk's concert tickets went on for 4000isk (standing) or 7000isk (sitting) for her concert in April 2007.

Weather outside: partly sunny, 2°C

Monday, October 29, 2007

French DVDs...

There is a DVD/CD sale taking place in Perlan (see picture ->).
I like to go to these sales because I can find french films for much cheaper that I could get them in France.

Few examples of what could be found: Les poupées russes for 590Isk (approx. €6.70). Another nice find: Les triplettes de Belleville for the same price of 590Isk. Both DVDs are over €12 on

Weather outside: fog, -2°C

Friday, October 26, 2007


The new, and the last, Harry Potter, translated in French Harry Potter et les reliques de la mort, is available in store since last night.

Speaking of Harry potter, the free newspaper 24 stundir had a funny story on its front page on Wednesday morning. From the information contained in the article I was able to find an English version on the net.

Our behaviours are influenced by television/movies!?!!?... In England, it has been reported that sales of pet rats are up by 50% since the release of the animated film Ratatouille on October 12th.

Now on a totally different subject, the possibility of a high voltage power line between Iceland and the Faroe islands is being investigated. This cable would run under water for over 450kms and would be the longest of its kind. Read more...

Weather outside: mostly cloudy, 5°C

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Voting from abroad...

This weekend Poland had some anticipated legislative elections. The site of statice provides with a figure of about 7000 Poles leaving in Iceland. I was surprise on Monday to see on the front page of the newspaper Fréttablaðið that only about 450 did vote during the elections.

These 450 voters represents only 15% of the Polish community. What can explain such a low level? Were they only allowed to vote in the embassy? Or did their embassy "f.cked it up" like the French one did? I was not able to vote for the French presidential election this year because the consulate at the French embassy was not able to write down my address correctly... "Elle est belle la France". As a result, it is my neighbour who is getting my mail from the embassy!

Weather outside: partly sunny, 7°C

Monday, October 22, 2007

Casual Friday...

Here is a video that was sent to guys in the company this morning. I realised after watching it that is a sketch from the British comedy show: smack the pony and I was able to find it on youtube.

If casual Fridays were like that...

Weather outside: rain, 6°C


Airwaves... No, this is not the name of a brand of chewing-gum nor the name of a bathroom spray. Airwaves is the name of a music festival taking place in late October since 1999.
This year the festival took place from October 17th until the 21st. I was in the city centre on Friday evening and I was surprised to hear so many Americans but then again, they are a lot of American bands playing and Icelandair offers very good packages (plane+accommodation) during Airwaves.

The ambassadress of Icelandic music is surely Björk Guðmundsdóttir but since the end of the 90s another Icelandic band has emerged on the international scene. I am referring the indi-pop band Sigur Rós.

I had a little discussion about music with some of my colleagues from work on Friday evening. We went to Indian Mango and while waiting for our dishes, we spoke about the Airwaves festival. Of course it lead to Björk, Sigur Rós and other Icelandic artists...

It turns out that Sigur Rós is not that popular with the Icelanders. Björk is a little bit more popular because she did Gling-Gló, an album in which she interprets popular icelandic songs.

So who is popular with all Icelanders???... It's Magnús Þór Jónsson also know as Megas. This came as a surprise to me as Megas has the worst voice ever. So what makes him so special: his melodies and his lyrics (really????). Come on, have a go: Megas extracts.

Weather outside: mostly cloudy, 5°C

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Never to old...

Today France is hit by strikes in the public transport sector and energy sector. The government plans to scrap the "special regime" pension system for half a million workers in state-controlled companies, mainly the SNCF (railroad) and EDF (electricity).

Only 6% of pensions fall under the special regime, which allows beneficiaries to retire after 37.5 years worked, compared with 40 years for other public and private sector employees. These special regime pensions were created after the second world war to make sure positions in the transport and energy services were filled in and by doing so helping the reconstruction effort after the war.

In 1995, Alain Juppé tried to change the special regime system: massive demonstrations took place. In 2003, Jean-Pierre Raffarin did have a go at it.... I will let you guess the result: demonstrations/strikes.

It is crazy to think that a small group of people, only 500 000 person are on these special regimes, can cause so much disturbance. I have a lot of adjective for them: hypocrites, self-centred, selfish, egoist... How can people be so blind to fact that we live longer and the country cannot provide for you like that???

It is nice to live abroad and to have a remote view of the on-going issue in France.

The normal age to retire in Iceland is set to 67 years old. If you want you can push a little bit longer and still work until 70 years old. But there is a problem in Iceland: there is too little unemployment! In Septembre, the unemployment rate was 0.8% with only 1336 people registered as unemployed. This is the lowest rate in 19 years. As a result, the city council of Reykjavík offers now the option of going back to work part-time for people over 70 years old. Here is an extract from Iceland Review:

10/05/2007 | 11:22
Reykjavík City Approves Hiring People Over 70

Reykjavík City Council accepted a proposal from Mayor Vilhjálmur Th. Vilhjálmsson at a meeting yesterday to hire people older than 70 for workplaces operated by the city, like kindergartens, which suffer from a severe lack of staff.

It is now permitted to hire people over 70 for positions requiring work between 33 and 50 percent of a normal working day for one year at a time, but only if the applicant can submit a competence certification, Morgunblaðið reports.

Employment will not result in lower payments from the Pension Fund of City Employees.

Vilhjálmsson said he had noticed considerable interest among senior citizens to reenter the employment market and that he was convinced many would take advantage of this opportunity.

“This is one of the issues senior citizens have been fighting for. We have discussed this with them and are following their request,” Vilhjálmsson said. “I am certain senior citizens will celebrate this decision because many of them are still fully capable of working.”

Sesselja Ásgeirsdóttir, who is 70 and used to work for the Consumers’ Association of Iceland, has been hired as project leader and will be responsible for providing senior citizens interested in this project with jobs where they are most needed.

Ásgeirsdóttir is pleased with the move, but said she finds it strange that people who retire at 67, which is the norm, have to wait for three years before they can reenter the employment market without their pensions being cut.

There is currently a severe lack of staff within caretaking positions in Reykjavík and almost 200 employees are needed for the city’s kindergartens.

Weather outside: mostly cloudy, 10°C
(changes from the -3°C yesterday!!!)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Winter is around the corner...

Winter is coming.
Yesterday, the thermometer was showing a mere 3°C and today is even less with temperatures around 1°C...

I must admit that I like this time of the year. This snappy cold is really invigorating in the morning. You start your day fresh and alert. In the evening you appreciate the warmth and "coziness" of you home.

Cozy... This is a word that I rarely used before living here but it is dear to Icelanders. Not surprisingly, if you search the internet for the etymology of the word cozy you will find that it may have its origin in Scandinavia.

Weather in Iceland can change dramatically in a matter of few minutes. During the week-end temperatures were around 10 and now they are close to the freezing point. It is therefore important to be prepare when visiting Iceland. Accordingly, I propose you today the first part of Bear Grylls' show: Man Vs Wild in Iceland.

Weather outside: partly sunny, 1°C

Friday, October 12, 2007

A new major...

Yesterday the city of Reykjavík got a new major.
This happened after several days of debate regarding the potential sale of Reykjavík Energy’s (OR’s) holding in Reykjavík Energy Invest (REI).

Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson leaves his place to Dagur B. Eggertsson, member of the Social Democrats party.

Now, let's move on onto something totally different. Iceland Review published an interesting article a couple of days ago:

Icelanders Throw Away Food

Every year, each Icelander disposes of 510 kilograms of rubbish. One sixth of this amount is food products.

Farmers’ Weekly, Bændablaðið, quotes Cornelius Aar Meijles, environmental engineer, who argues that each Icelanders throws away 82 kilograms of food in an average year. Half of this food is believed to be fit for human consumption at the time of its disposal.

Similar statistics from Norway indicate that each Norwegian throws away 90 kilograms of food every year.
Among the possible explanations are said to be lesser consumption of leftovers and recipes in cookbooks that are too large. The biggest factor is believed to be food spoilage from supermarkets, especially meat.

I laugh at the idea of "recipes in cookbooks being too large"... Aren't people able to divide quantities? If the recipe is for 8 and you are cooking for 4, just reduce the quantities accordingly unless, of course, you want leftovers.

Two days after Yoko Ono and Ringo Starr unveiled the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER, there are only few videos available on the net. I did find one where Yoko Ono is presenting the tower. I must admit that the end is a little bit strange. What's with the eye???

Weather outside: mostly cloudy: 11°C

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Drug comes in, show goes out...

In Monday's post, I spoke about all that drug coming in.

On the other hand, Iceland exports a TV show for kids promoting healthy life style in over 100 countries. The show in Iceland is know as Latibær or Lazy Town in English. The show was created by a former gymnastics champion: Magnús Scheving.

The show has been translated to over a dozen languages. I propose you two version of the same song I found on youtube: an icelandic version (with subtitles!) and an english version.


Icelandic version:

English version:

Weather outside: mostly cloudy, 8°C

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

And let there be peace...

I'm sure everyone heard this verse from the book of Genesis:

"And God said, Let there be light: and there was light"

People who know me might find strange that I quote the bible but I must admit it fits well today's event: The unveiling of the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER.

The imagine peace tower??? I will just copy an extract from the Imagine Peace website:

On October 9th 2007, Yoko Ono will unveil the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER on Videy Island, Reykjavik, Iceland.

Dedicated to the memory of her late husband John Lennon on what would have been his 67th birthday, the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER will shine as a beacon for World Peace.

Sponsored by the City of Reykjavik, the Reykjavik Art Museum and Reykjavik Energy, the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER will be surrounded by more than 495,000 PEACE WISHES from people worldwide that the artist has collected since 1981 as part of her interactive Wish Tree exhibits.
The wishes will be stored in capsules and buried surrounding the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER.

The light from the tower will be switched off on December 8th, anniversary of John Lennon's death.

I'm wondering how useful is an event like that. Can someone really think that lighting up a culture will bring peace or play a part toward bringing peace? How many people have heard of the event? People who have heard of the event are from countries without on-going wars or political instability.

Here is a picture taken by Jónas Björgvinsson during the ligth testing on September 6th.

Weather outside: mist, 6°C

Monday, October 8, 2007

On the increase...

A murder was committed this week-end in Reykjavík. This is the second one this year.
The first one happened on July 29th and was the first in two years.

I suppose that from an outsider point of view, Iceland seems to be really quiet and safe but crime is on the increase. Here are a few examples:

- On september 20th, fifty-six kilos of amphetamine were confiscated on-board a ship in Fáskrúðsfjörður harbor in east Iceland.
- On August 11, two Icelanders, a 36-year-old male and a 20-year-old female, were arrested in Copenhagen Acarrying 1.9 kilos of a substance believed to be cocaine.
- Some time late July, a 16-year-old girl was arrested at Keflavík Airport in possession of 500 grams of cocaine. The girl and her 28-year-old boyfriend were arriving from Venezuela with a stopover in the US.
- On June 6th, a 28-year-old Icelandic man was arrested for drug smuggling at the Guarulhos Airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He was caught with over six kilos of cocaine.

These are just few selected examples but I think the best example is the fact that women are now scared to be alone down town on week-ends. This was not the case a few years back.

Weather outside: mostly cloudy, 8°C.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

And why not me...

Blogs are now legions on the web and a couple of days ago I decided that I should add my own. Why not me?

No more big "group e-mails"! Now everything will be online. I don't know how often I will amend the blog with fresh news but I'm sure it won't be daily.

As blogs' purpose is sharing (news, infos, links, etc...), I'm going to share with you the following link that has been circulating at work yesterday: Fight For Kisses.

Weather outside: mostly cloudy, 7°C.