Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs Katrín Jakobsdóttir has confirmed with RÚV that a committee is being formed to come up with a name for the new mountain created by the volcano at Fimmvörðuháls. The minister told reporters that a special work group has been put together to come up with a name, and that they have received a lot of suggestions so far. The group is comprised of cartographers, historians and name experts – Icelandic names, particularly place names, have great significance that warrant national offices devoted just to them. If you have a name you would like to suggest for the new mountain, please post it in the comments section below and we will forward them to the ministry en masse. Barring that, you can also contact the minister directly, here.
In reviewing the past year in news, you will see certain patterns emerge: certain public figures, events and topics that seem to ignite social media and office break room conversations for days, weeks or even months. Arguments are had, alliances are formed, and people are unfriended over these very stories. These are news trends that never really go away; they just change form and come back to pay repeated visits, for better or for worse. Let Grapevine take you back over the past year to savour the delectable banquet that is the very best the news has had to offer.
As you read this, the State Prosecutor is reviewing the latest findings of a months-long police investigation of the Ministry of the Interior, over a memo on Nigerian asylum seeker Tony Omos that found itself in the hands of select members of the media last November. This memo impugned Tony’s reputation, with accusations— which later proved false and misleading—at a time when he was facing impending deportation, and the Ministry was facing a protest. So far, those investigations have seemingly confirmed what has long been suspected: the memo originated in the Ministry, that Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir
In the summer of 2004, exactly 10 years ago, a tragic accident happened on Laugavegur, Iceland’s most popular hiking trail. Ido Keinan, a young man from Israel, passed away after getting trapped in a vicious storm. Only one kilometre away from the hut in Hrafntinnusker, he died of exposure to the fierce elements. To this day a memorial on the Laugavegur trail reminds hikers of the highlands’ hidden dangers. Friday, June 25, 2004, Ben-Gurion airport, Tel-Aviv—Dressed in a black t-shirt and baggy jeans, Ido Keinan, 25 years of age, says goodbye to his family. He is about to take a
As visitors to Iceland will no doubt soon realise, Iceland’s fauna is not particularly diverse. Several attempts have been made to remedy this fact by importing exotic (at least by Icelandic standards) animals to Iceland, but these trials have not been too successful. In the spring of 1932, an enterprising bookbinder named Ársæll Árnason came from Germany bearing a cargo of seven raccoons—to the best of our knowledge the first time raccoons touched Icelandic soil. Ársæll had previously been involved in shipping several young muskoxen to Iceland, all of whom died soon after their arrival in Iceland, a story regular
Karl Kerulf Einarsson, aka Dunganon, aka the Duke of St. Kilda, aka Emperor Cormorant XII of Atlantis, was both an artist and a poet, but his most remarkable creation was himself…or I should say his various selves. Born in 1897 near Seyðisfjörður in eastern Iceland, Karl moved with his family to the Faroe Islands when he was still a child. He may have derived some of his eccentric genes from his father, a grocer who displayed a dead cat playing a violin in the window of his Torshavn shop. Early on, Karl realised that he could find a better playing
Former prime minister and first openly gay head of state Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir delivered a moving speech about LGBT rights at Toronto’s WorldPride Human Rights Conference last week. In her speech, Jóhanna expressed gratitude for LGBT activists and told the audience that she lived with shame and inner conflict before coming out, but that her “story [was] also a tale of triumph. Because in the end love conquered all. Speaking of epic Icelandic women, Björk made international news again last week when MoMA announced they were putting together a special retrospective of her work. According to Klaus Biesenbach, chief-curator-at-large for MoMA,