A Grapevine service announcement LOOK BUSY! Growing Likelihood Of Eruption At Bárðarbunga
Mag
Articles
Magnús Þór Who?

Magnús Þór Who?

Published June 10, 2013

It’s perhaps not surprising that the top 12 keyword searches leading people to our website are variations of “The Reykjavík Grapevine.” That includes “grapewine” of course, which is almost guaranteed to be the work of Icelanders or foreigners misinformed by Icelanders who, after ten years, still think we’re called “The Reykjavík Grapewine.” Will this poor nation ever learn to differentiate their ‘v’s from their ‘double v’s? Probably not, but that’s all right because we own the domain www.grapewine.is too.
Barring more direct searches for Grapevine or Grapewine, the following is a list of the next ten most popular searches leading people to the site since we started using analytics in 2009. We’re not sure what to make of it all, but it’s semi-interesting anyway…

1. For some reason, “magnús þór þorbergsson,” is the 13th most popular search leading to Grapevine. He must be a very mysterious teacher at the Iceland Academy of the Arts and/or the article that we must have written about him must be loaded with SEO.
2. Skipping over “reykjavik news,” which is a rather boring search, “iceland porn” is the 15th most popular keyword search. News that Iceland was trying to ban porn must have really made a splash. A similar search for “Icelandic porn” is the 26th most popular one, but perhaps these people are actually looking for Icelandic porn. Who knows…
3. Skipping past a few more boring searches, “iceland revolution” is the 21st most popular one. This isn’t surprising given how much attention Iceland got for letting the banks fail, banging on pots and pans, ousting its government, bringing in a new one and last but not least, jailing its bankers. Some of that is myth, by the way.
4. And, skipping past a few more, there are searches for venues like “c is for cookie reykjavik” in 24th and “bakkus reykjavik” in 25th place. The former is a pretty nice coffee shop and the latter is one of the many bars in Reykjavík that no longer exits.
5. Then there’s “seljavallalaug” in 27th place. That’s the name of a pretty cool swimming pool in south Iceland. It’s tucked away at the foot of a mountain, a bit off the beaten path behind a newer pool, which is not nearly as much fun as the old one.
6. Skipping past “reykjavik gravepine,” because that’s just ridiculous, there’s “icelandic sweaters made in china.” I’d want to know if my super expensive handmade Icelandic wool sweater were really made in China, too.
7. Then comes “hemmi og valdi” and “hemmi & valdi” in the 30 and 31st place. We used to throw a concert series there called Grapevine grassroots. It’s a pretty cosy café.
8. After that comes “hugleikur dagsson” in 32nd. If you don’t know him, you should Google him and check out a bunch of the comics he has made for us through the years.
9. We know everyone loves Sigur Rós, but it’s apparently thanks to the band’s keyboard that fans are organically finding their way to us. Indeed, “sigur ros casio keyboard” is the 33rd most popular search.
10. Finally, skipping over “Iceland newspaper,” there’s “sigurður kjartan,” a former intern and current contributor. Now, I’m sure we can all agree that it’s okay to Google ourselves every once in a while, but THIS MANY TIMES, Siggi? Out of 204,443 unique searches, your name is the 35th most popular one. No wonder the guy’s so busy all the time!

Still pretty high on the list after these are searches for “sex in Iceland” and “Iceland sex,” for which we should probably thank Oprah Winfrey, the marketing department at Icelandair, Roosh Vörek and Quentin Tarantino. The latter spoke highly of “Icelandic women,” which is another popular search (incidentally tied “Icelandic coffee”). Finally, a few more after that include “troll stumble,” which maybe goes to show that dyslexic people like Brian Pilkington books, “huang nubo,” who desperately wants to own land in Iceland and “tom cruise Iceland,” which probably has something to do with the fact that TomKat recently split while he sojourned here.
Who knows how much of this has to do with our content, other people’s interests, or the ways of Google Panda and now Penguin, but it’s certainly some combination of the three.



Mag
Articles
<?php the_title(); ?>

Hidden People: They’re Just Like Us (Kind Of)

by

When foreign media outlets report on Iceland and need to add a little local colour, they will invariably throw in a quick, ironical side note about the country’s pervasive belief in elves, or Hidden People. The tone is generally one of indulgence with just a dash of condescension, the written equivalent of patting a small child on the head when she introduces her invisible friend Mister Bob Big Jeans. Although many academic studies and informal surveys alike have concluded that a not insignificant portion of the Icelandic population “will not deny the existence of elves,” as Terry Gunnell, a leading

Mag
Articles
<?php the_title(); ?>

Hidden People Folktales

by

It is due to the efforts of two men, Jón Árnason (1819-1888) and Magnús Grímsson (1825-1860), that such a large body of 18th and 19th century Icelandic folktales exist today. Jón was a writer and also the first librarian of the National Library of Iceland, and Magnús was a student-turned-priest. Following the popularity of the Grimms Brothers’ fairytales, which were collected and first published in the early 1800s, similar folktale compendiums were collected throughout the Nordic countries. However, it was not until an English scholar named George Stephens issued a special request to Icelanders for a similar collection to be

Mag
Articles
<?php the_title(); ?>

“An Absurd Film Set In Reykjavík”

by

In September 1942 the inhabitants of Reykjavík had breakfast in a state of shock. They were reading an article in Morgunblaðið newspaper about a new Hollywood film set in their city, starring the world famous Norwegian figure skater and movie star Sonja Henie. The headline read “An absurd film set in Reykjavík” and the news lead to a public outcry. Subsequently the US government received a complaint from the Icelandic government. Today Iceland is a natural movie set frequented by famous directors. The makers of big projects like ‘Prometheus,’ ‘Noah’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ have all used it to film

Mag
Articles
<?php the_title(); ?>

The Book Cellar’s Book Seller

by

Narratives of Reykjavík’s used book culture often take the form of jeremiads—languorous laments for a bygone heyday, a paradise lost through, by and with the fall of print media. By some estimations, there used to be as many as forty secondhand book shops in town, peddling old, worn and loved books to an eager customer base. But by the end of the aughts, there was only one brick-and-mortar store: Bókin on the corner of Klapparstígur and Hverfisgata. Founded in 1964, Bókin remains an institution, a hallowed hall incensed with must and dust, where the 1993 collaboration between early music group

Mag
Articles
<?php the_title(); ?>

An Off-Road Virgin’s First Time

by

I own two motorbikes in London, one for looks, the other for speed and comfort. Neither of these bikes nor any of the thousands of miles I’ve ridden on them adequately prepared me for what I was about to experience when I went off-roading in Iceland for the first time. My motocross sensei for the day was Jói, who is an accomplished postural therapist and has also been motor-cross and enduro biking since his early teens. From the kitchen, I felt rather than heard the rumble of his black Ford Explorer truck turn into my street. As fantasised, it was

Mag
Articles
<?php the_title(); ?>

The ‘320 Icelanders’ Project

by

Fascinated with the Icelandic people after my first visit to the country in 2007, I decided to photograph 320 people with each portrait standing for 1,000 people. To that end I travelled all over the country and took pictures of Icelanders of all ages—young, middle-aged, elderly—from all walks of life—farmers, carpenters, cargo drivers, preachers and bakers. Now, after four trips to Iceland over a total of five months, I have taken pictures of around 220 people. With the exception of Grimsey island, I have been to and stayed in most parts of the country: Vík and the Westman islands in

Show Me More!