A Grapevine service announcement Pay attention: Holuhraun, still spewing lava. Bárðarbunga, still sinking.

Handball “Core Of The National Spirit” Says President

Published July 31, 2012

Following remarks made by Iceland’s Olympic handball coach about the meaning of the sport, President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson told the international press that handball is a defining sport for the Icelandic people, equivalent to “the core of the national spirit”.
Iceland is competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics being held in London this year, and have so far been doing quite well for themselves in handball. Guðmundur Þ. Guðmundsson, Iceland’s handball coach, has been quoted in the international media as saying, “We have no army in Iceland, so it’s with handball we fight for the recognition,” following the country’s victory against Argentina yesterday. They have also scored a 32-22 victory against Tunisia, RÚV reports.
Among those attending was Icelandic president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson. TIME magazine caught up with the president to get his thoughts on the game:

“Handball, for us, has become not just a sport, but the core of the national spirit,” Grimsson says. “Can anyone honestly say the same about any single U.S. Olympic team? No way. I’m here not just as a great fan of the team,” says the Icelandic president, “but to also pay homage to what they’ve done.”

Ólafur also credited handball for being a part of Iceland’s recovery from the 2008 financial crisis, saying, “A nation, after an initial shock, decided to move forward. And the handball team played a big role in that.”
When asked for final thoughts before the impromptu interview’s close, the president remarked, “My last word to the American audience is to start playing handball. It’s a fun game.”



News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Iceland, Now With Transgenic Mice

by

Genetically modified mice will soon be imported into Iceland and used to further cancer research, reports RÚV. The Environment Agency of Iceland has granted the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Iceland a license to import and use genetically modified mice for scientific purposes. Genetically modified, or transgenic mice have had their genomes altered through the use of genetic engineering techniques and are widely used for medical or scientific research. Where cancer is concerned, transgenic mice can be developed to carry cloned genes that have the potential to cause cancer. The disease symptoms and potential drugs

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Mentally Ill Inmate Kept In Solitary For 2 Months

by

An inmate with mental health issues has been in solitary confinement at Litla Hraun maximum security prison for the last 2 months, reports RÚV. The man has in the past spent years in the psychiatric ward of Iceland’s National University Hospital. Two years ago however, he was deemed mentally competent enough to serve out the remainder of his – undisclosed – sentence at Litla Hraun. The prison withheld therapy from the inmate – who was diagnosed with psychopathy – for a year and a half before granting him treatment this past spring. Recently the inmate began refusing to take his medication and as

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Defence Attorney: Facebook “Likes” Constitute Impartiality

by

A lawyer defending former Interior Minister assistant Gísli Freyr Valdórsson has asked the court to remove the prosecutor for “Liking” a news story pertaining to the trial. Gísli Freyr Valdórsson, a former assistant to Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir, was charged with breach of confidentiality and relieved of his position last August. He is now on trial in Reykjavík District Court and today, RÚV reports, the defence has offered a unique argument as to why the prosecutor, Helgi Magnús Gunnarsson, is unfit to participate in the trial. Ólafur Garðarsson, Gísli Freyr’s defence attorney, argued in court today that

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Iceland: A Good Place To Grow Old

by

A new report from Global Age Watch puts Iceland in 7th place amongst the best countries in the world to grow old. According to the report, Norway is officially the best country in the world to grow older, while Afghanistan is the worst. Iceland has held its position in the top ten due to the life expectancy and financial security, amongst other factors. Icelanders aged 60 years old today can expect to live another 25 years; 17.8 of those in good health. 100% of the population over 65 receives some kind of pension, with only 1.6% living in poverty. In

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

“Illska” Nominated For Nordic Council Literature Prize

by

Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl’s book Illska (“Evil”) has been chosen to be one of Iceland’s entries for the Nordic Council Literature Prize. Eiríkur shares the nomination with novelist Auður Jónsdóttir for her book, Ósjálfrátt (“Unintended”). Illska also bears the honour of having already won the Icelandic Literary Prize in 2012 and The Book Merchant’s Prize. Illska is a 500+ page novel about Agnes Lukauskas, an Icelander of Lithuanian descent, and her love triangle with Ómar Arnarson and Arnór Þórðarson. The story spans decades, through the height of World War 2, to Iceland’s recognition of Lithuania as a sovereign nation in 1991,

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

News In Brief: Late September

by

 Fortunately for us, the Holurhraun eruption (discussed here and here) has not produced airplane-choking ash clouds nor led to devastating glacial flooding. There have, however, been continuous plumes  of sulphur dioxide wafting through mostly North and East Iceland from the site of the Holuhraun  eruption, giving police another reason to cordon off a large swath of Iceland from public access. Not that  this hasn’t stopped a few idiots from blithely driving into an eruption site anyway. New forms of natural  selection ahoy! Minister of Health Kristján Þór Júlíusson is exploring the legalisation of drugs, going so far as to  agree

Show Me More!