News In Brief: November

Published November 12, 2012

The month of October began on a peaceful note with the LENNONONO Awards given in Reykjavík. These awards, which recognise efforts made for the cause of world peace, were this year presented to late peace activist Rachel Corrie, author John Perkins, noted anti-theist Christopher Hitchens, Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot, and pop singer Lady Gaga. While some wondered how Hitchens—who was a prominent cheerleader for the invasion of Iraq—ended up receiving a peace award, the event was by all accounts joyously celebrated and it was followed by the lighting of Ono’s “Peace Tower” on the island of Viðey.
A bit of an environmental scare took hold when hay near an aluminium smelter in northeast Iceland was found to have high levels of fluoride. Farmers were immediately informed of the potential contamination and advised not to feed the hay to their animals until it was deemed safe. After a thorough examination, it was determined that levels of fluoride in the hay were far below what are considered dangerous levels, and the farmers were given the green light to give the fluoridated hay to their horse and sheep—all of whom are now reported to have beautiful smiles.
Speaking of animals that were almost poisoned, a dog show in Kópavogur was temporarily cancelled when pieces of liver sausage were found scattered around the area. Tests done at the University of Iceland revealed that the pieces did indeed contain high levels of rat poison. For the time being, there are no known suspects or motives, but police are still investigating.
Were you thinking of visiting Álftanes next year? Too bad! It won’t exist anymore. Earlier this month, residents of Álftanes and Garðabær voted in a referendum in favour of merging their communities, which will take effect next year. The new town is to be named, imaginatively enough, “Garðabær.” One resident of the old Garðabær complained that the referendum information packets were one-sidedly in favour of the merger between the relatively wealthy Garðabær and the debt-ridden Álftanes, but hey, all water under the bridge now!
In other news, Icelanders voted yes to a new constitution earlier this month in an advisory referendum made up of six questions. About 49% of eligible voters took part, with two-thirds of them voting in favour of parliament accepting the draft that the Constitutional Council has written. They also voted in favour of nationalising natural resources that hadn’t already been privatised, creating a “one person = one vote” rule, and keeping a clause about a national church in the new constitution. Media sources the world over subsequently reported the constitution had been written by the nation as a whole via Facebook and Twitter.
Finally the most widely read story this month—thanks in part to Pee-Wee-Herman for sharing it—was the story of police breaking up a cat party in Suðurnes. Neighbours of an abandoned house noticed cats coming in and out of an open window of the house and, naturally, they called the police. When the police showed up, they found no people in the house but they did find “two to three cats” snuggling on the couch. The cats were summarily evicted and the house was shut tight by the police thereafter. Whoever said cats have it easy clearly has never tried to be one in Suðurnes.



News
PHOTOS: Iceland Celebrates 4/20 In Front Of Parliament

PHOTOS: Iceland Celebrates 4/20 In Front Of Parliament

by

The fifth annual 4/20 cannabis celebration-slash legalization demonstration commenced in front of Alþingi at Austurvöllur square today at, um, 16:20.

News
Hafnarfjörður To Be Adorned With Hafnarfjörður Jokes

Hafnarfjörður To Be Adorned With Hafnarfjörður Jokes

by

The seaside town will soon be festooned with classic jokes, in Icelandic and English, that poke fun at people from

News
Connection Between Power Plant Emissions And Death Will Not Be Investigated

Connection Between Power Plant Emissions And Death Will Not Be Investigated

by

Despite research showing a connection between sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions from geothermal plants and shortened lifespans of those who live

News
Horseback Archery School To Open in Iceland

Horseback Archery School To Open in Iceland

by

A world-famous horseback archer and teacher is set to open Iceland’s first horseback archery school in the Ölfus municipality next fall,

News
Distrust In Coalition Leaders Grows

Distrust In Coalition Leaders Grows

by

Public distrust grows and confidence shrinks for Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson and Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson, a new poll

News
Iceland Ranks 3rd In Per Capita Electronic Waste

Iceland Ranks 3rd In Per Capita Electronic Waste

by

There might be a lot of ways that Iceland is green, but handling electronic waste isn’t one of them. The

Show Me More!