Polar Bear Sighted On Langjökull PDF Print E-mail
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Written by grapevine.is   
Tuesday, 30 November 2010 03:00
Polar Bear Sighted On LangjökullA polar bear appeared in Iceland this past Friday afternoon. Like previous polar bear sightings in Iceland, the bear arrived on a piece of ice and only stayed a short while. However, unlike its most recent predecessors, who came in white and went out bleeding, this bear came in red and went out in the white of a snowdrift. In fact, this bear was painted on the base of Langjökull (Iceland’s second largest glacier) as part of a global art exhibition entitled 350 Earth, which aims to raise awareness about climate change on the eve of the UN Climate Change Conference being held in Cancún, Mexico.

350 Earth is an exhibition taking place in dozens of places across the world—from Santa Fe, Santo Domingo and São Paulo, to Reykjavík, New Delhi, Cairo, and Fowler’s Gap, Australia—and is part of a wider programme of so-called “creative activism” engendered by a U.S. based, global organisation called 350.org. Grapevine caught up with the producer of Iceland’s entry to 350 Earth, Charlotte Ólöf Jónsdóttir Biering, just hours after the “polar bear on ice cap” happening.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 00:39
Everything Well Under Control? PDF Print E-mail
Written by grapevine.is   
Tuesday, 23 November 2010 03:00
Everything Well Under ControlSome of you may recall the wave of Nigerian scam emails that hit businesses the world over in the 1990s. Generally the offending email, a bit of fluff promising a hefty return on investment (supposedly penned by some ousted colonel or ex-bank manager on the run), would request the recipient to transfer an small percentage to some offshore numbered account in the form of a deposit to secure the hidden millions. Stltoday.com, a St. Louis, Missouri news website, ran a story this month that the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office was investigating a scam whereby the alleged Icelandic lottery was to pay out Missouri residents, winners of the so-called Icelandic office of the MTA Sweepstakes, after a one-time-handling fee of USD 1.000.00. “Winners” received fake cheques under the name of the Icelandic Lottery.

Two years after the collapse of Iceland’s banking system, Iceland is still struggling to come to grips with the demise of everything that once made it the richest country in the world. The Special Investigator’s Office, working in collaboration with the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO), are supposedly preparing hundreds of cases, yet the Icelandic nation has yet to see a single ‘bankster’ brought to trial. In October, The Daily Mail pointed out that the SFO is investigating some of Kaupþing’s largest lenders. Among them Robert Tchenguiz, who borrowed over 1.2 billion GBP, which he used to buy stakes in UK retail chain Sainsbury’s, and Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley, along with three ‘unnamed’ others. Yet, the Daily Mail states that “the Icelandic government is keen for any trial to be held on the tiny North Atlantic island. But it is understood the authorities are not interested in pursuing any individuals who do not have an Icelandic surname.” Does the expression “burying ones head in the sand” ring any bells?

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 00:46
Adieu Eva Joly PDF Print E-mail
Written by grapevine.is   
Thursday, 18 November 2010 03:00
Adieu Eva JolyEva Joly shocked some of her admirers in Iceland when she said a few weeks ago that Iceland should join the European Union. For many of Joly's fans this was not acceptable. For one and a half years, Eva Joly has enjoyed a heroine status in Iceland. In a country sadly lacking in trust, she has been a force of almost unquestionable moral authority. Now she is running for president in France, but if rules allowed she could more easily become president of Iceland.

One of the results of the economic collapse in Iceland is a total lack of confidence in most institutions: the Parliament, the banks, the civil service. There was talk of getting foreign specialists to help this scarcely populated nation sort out the mess it had gotten itself into—it obviously lacked experience. Not much happened.
Tags: Adieu Eva Joly
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 00:52
Welcome to Leikjavík PDF Print E-mail
Written by grapevine.is   
Tuesday, 16 November 2010 03:00
Welcome to LeikjavíkWelcome to Leikjavík, Reykjavik’s newest game centre and meeting place for all those who are bonkers about board games and passionate about puzzles.
Leikjavík, which officially opened its door last Friday to over seventy people, is an inspiring social development project masterminded by a group of social entrepreneurs hailing from all around the world and living in Reykjavík.

One of the founders, Filipa Andrade, has been living and working in Iceland for over a year. “We started out as a small group in November 2009 initially because we love to play games and meet new people.
As we’ve grown, we’ve noticed ourselves, as well as having been told by many others, that Reykjavík is missing a place where anyone can come, meet people and play games for free.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 02:20
Stay-At-Home-Dad to Perform Surgery on Iceland's Constitution? PDF Print E-mail
Written by grapevine.is   
Monday, 15 November 2010 03:00

Stay-At-Home-Dad to Perform Surgery on Iceland's Constitution?If he gets enough votes, he will...

Farmers, students, salesmen, chefs, stay-at-home-Dads, film directors, engineers, preschool teachers, architects, lawyers, painters, mechanics, security guards, museum directors, businessmen, veterinarians, psychiatrists, hotel managers, retirees, doctors, journalists, driving school instructors, the unemployed and priests – they’re all running to be part of a Constitutional Assembly, which will convene this February to review Iceland’s constitution for the first time in history.

Although a constitutional review of this sort has always been option, the banking crisis and dissatisfaction in the nation provided the necessary momentum to roll this into action. “After the financial meltdown, there was a strong demand from society for greater participation from the people and the current government is meeting those demands,” Ministry of Finance press officer Rósa Björk Brynjólfsdóttir tells us.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 01:18
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