Iceland’s nature is truly magnificent. Grand mountain ranges flanking bottomless fjords. Endless stretches of tundra and vast glaciers. Formidable rivers and thundering waterfalls. But what is there to see when you take your focus off the horizon and bring it closer: to the soil beneath your feet? What if you could zoom in even further, see the microorganisms that are invisible to the naked eye
For several months, Sólveig had started every day by playing a little game with herself. She’d wake up exactly 47 seconds before the alarm clock rang, lie completely still in bed, and count down in silence. 47…42, the bus drove past the house; 35, their upstairs neighbour slammed the front door; 21, the nextdoor neighbour […]
The conversation about renewable energy is buzzing louder than ever before. Talk about methanol, in particular, is gaining traction across the automotive, marine, and electricity sectors, all of which have long relied on fossil fuels. A clean-burning, water-soluble and biodegradable electric fuel, methanol is the world’s simplest alcohol and is comprised of only hydrogen, oxygen, […]
Blackport – a political thriller set in the remote Westfjords of the 1980s, documents what happens to a small fishing village when the Icelandic fishing quota system is implemented. If this doesn’t sound like the premise of a hit TV show to you – that’s understandable. But Blackport had Icelanders glued to their television sets […]
In the past few decades, startups have revolutionised how we communicate (Facebook), how we travel (Airbnb), and how we work (Zoom). They’ve also brought with them a new way of thinking about business, and even talking about it – one coloured with optimism. Who wouldn’t want to be part of the “idea economy,” joining a […]
/01 ICELANDIC EXERCISE: PRONUNCIATION “Ministry of Culture and Ed- Culture and Trade.” “Yes, hello. I’m a journalist from Iceland Review. I’m calling to inquire whether Icelandic language education for immigrants falls under this ministry.” “Hmmm… Give me a moment.” … … … “Hi again. The ministry assignments are still being sorted, so I recommend you […]
On a cold winter’s night in 1952, John Greenway, Great Britain’s Minister to Iceland, heard a loud bang and woke in his bed with a start. He was alone in the embassy, commonly known as Höfði house, which also served as his official residence. Intent on discovering the source of the disruption, he descended the […]
In this three-part series, Iceland Review explores the history and culture of Keflavík, as seen through the eyes of the locals. As far as kitchen metaphors are concerned, Iceland has always been less a melting pot and more a sandwich grill: a historical environment that, generation after generation, melds together a handful of related ingredients […]
A sheep farmer’s worst nightmare is if one of his sheep starts to scratch more than usual. If their sheep start to show nerves, tremble, or grind their teeth, they should be really worried. An unstable walk or sheep that spend most of the time lying down might be showing symptoms of scrapie, the ovine […]
LOITERING BENEATH THE AWNING OF AN ASIAN RESTAURANT Raindrops are pattering on Laugavegur, and I’m debating whether or not to invest in a disposable vape pen. I’ve recently gone frigid turkey-bird but have made the concession of vaping during nights out on the town. Despite the exhilaration inherent within this escape clause, I forgo the […]
In 1899, American ragtime composer Scott Joplin – living in Sedalia, Missouri – composed The Maple Leaf Rag and hoped to get it published. He took the sheet music to John Stark, one of the leading publishers in town, who looked at it and scoffed.
“There are too many notes!”
Disappointed, Joplin aired his grievances to a young lawyer and a fan, who managed to convince Stark to buy The Maple Leaf Rag on the terms that the composer would receive one penny for each copy sold. Joplin may have thereby become the recipient of the first royalty payment in history.
Paradise is such an uncompromising word. Through the years – aided by viral headlines, marketing brochures, and proud locals extolling the virtues of their ancestral land – Iceland has acquired a reputation as a utopia. The best place in the world to experience untouched nature, where white-collar criminals get punished for their infractions, and, of course, the best place in the world to be a woman. As with all generalisations, there’s a grain of truth, but it should be taken with a grain of salt. For Eliza Reid, Director of the Iceland Writers Retreat and author of the new book, Secrets of the Sprakkar, gender equality hasn’t been achieved in Iceland. But it’s still a pretty great place to live.