From Iceland — Top Hits At

Top Hits At

Published June 11, 2013

Top Hits At

The following are the most viewed stories at since we started keeping track in 2009. It’s clear. Our readers want Björk, eruptions, and a mixed bag of quirky “only in Iceland” kind of news. But this isn’t your typical list of fluffy stories. Quite the contrary, these stories involve serious topics like aluminium smelters, the truth about Iceland’s revolution, our part in the international horsemeat scandal and, well, cat parties too.
1: Grand Old Aunt Björk
By Haukur S. Magnússon, 2010
Björk is clearly our biggest hit, interviewed here in our most-read story and the author of three other stories in the top 10. In this feature interview, Haukur talks to Björk about the whole Magma Energy/HS Orka thing, what it was like to be at the forefront of that campaign, her call to public service, being in the spotlight, celebrity martyrs, a few projects that she was working on at the time, including making music for the Moomins, and all kinds of other things.
2: Björk Answers Ross Beaty: We Shouldn’t Complete This Deal
By Björk Guðmundsdóttir, 2010

Björk was at the forefront of the campaign against the sale of HS Orka to Magma Energy. This is part of a series of exchanges between Björk and Magma Energy CEO Ross Beaty. Here’s a snippet of Björk’s letter: “…please don’t insult our intelligence by playing the great benefactor . we know very well that the value of all our natural resources will increase dramatically over the next few decades. and so do you – that’s why you’re here. you wish to expand and thereby destroy some of our beautiful nature, like krýsuvík and kerlingafjöll , some of the most beloved natural pearls in iceland.”  
3: Surprising Twist in Horse Meat Scandal
By Catharine Fulton, 2013

Leave it to Iceland to top the international horsemeat scandals that ripped through Europe and North America at the beginning of his year. While everyone was up in arms about horsemeat being mislabelled as beef, it turns out that a particular Icelandic company wasn’t selling horsemeat in the disguise of beef pies; it was selling beef pies with no beef in them or any meat at all for that matter. Our online news editor Catharine thought this was pretty unbelievable, and the world thought so too.
4: Police Break Up Cat Party
By Paul Fontaine, 2012

This is one of those quirky Icelandic stories that people love to read. Our online news editor at the time, Paul Fontaine, wrote a story about police in Reykjavík being called to an abandoned home to evict a party of cats. It took off like wild fire. Pee-wee Herman even shared it! That’s right, Pee-wee Herman!
5: Amazing New Eruption Pics!
By Julia Staples, 2010

Two years post-collapse, the Eyjafjallajökull eruption put Iceland back into the spotlight. Grapevine drove into the ash cloud and photographer Julia Staples took some sweet photos of it all. The large majority of these viewers were clearly captivated, returning for another glance or two.
6: A Deconstruction of “Iceland’s On-going Revolution”
By Anna Andersen, 2011

This article was written in response to ‘Shock Doctrine’ author Naomi Klein tweeting this: “#Iceland is proving that it is possible to resist the Shock Doctrine, and refuse to pay for the bankers’ crisis” with a link to an article called, “Iceland’s On-going Revolution,” by Deena Stryker. This article was full of factual errors, so we tweeted back: “@NaomiAKlein We are fans of yours, but we are sad to say that your tweet and the article it cites are both dead wrong. #Iceland” She replied: “@rvkgrapevine tell me and i’ll correct.” And so we did.
7: Björk To Ross Beaty: You Totally Miss My Point
By Björk Guðmundsdóttir, 2010

Ross Beaty tried to give Björk shares in his company. She responded with this short and sweet letter:
dear ross
noticed your message for me
you offering me shares in hs orka shows that you totally miss my point
i feel this company should not be privatized , it should be given back to the people.
therefore i am not interested in shares .
but if i would get the same deal as you , a 70% bulletloan from icelanders to buy usage of their own resources , i might reconsider , who wouldn´t ?
you didn’t really put your money where your mouth is , did you ?
good bye
P.s. I also saw in financial times when you asked me , personally  , to pop over to your office and you would  lower how long magma´s usage of our resources is going to be . This  only reveals how willing you are to cut deals outside law and order
8: Woman Takes Part In Search For Herself
By Paul Fontaine, 2012

This story by Paul was wonderful. It made all kinds of international media. It was so wonderful that we created an award called “Tourist of the Year” with her in mind. That award will now be given out annually. So far this year we think the tourists who had to be rescued from their picnic on a small iceberg are pretty good candidates. But go nominate somebody (or yourself) at and he/she (you) could win a trip to Iceland.
9: Björk On Magma Energy
By Björk Guðmundsdóttir, 2010

There’s nothing like reading letters between other people, especially when one of them is Björk and she’s talking about something really important. This is the first in a series, a few of which appear above:
Dear friends,
I can no longer remain silent on the very pressing subject that is the selling off of Iceland’s nature.
I hereby challenge the government of Iceland to do everything in its power to revoke the contracts with Magma Energy that entitle the Canadian firm complete ownership of HS Orka. These are abhorrable deals, and they create a dangerous precedent for the future. They directly go against necessary and oft-repeated attempts to create a new policy in the energy- and resource management of this nation.
Björk Guðmundsdóttir
10: Volcano Erupts Under Eyjafjallajökull
By Haukur S. Magnússon, 2010

Not long after Eyjafjallajökull erupted, a huge ash cloud made its way to mainland Europe, shutting down airspace and stranding people at airports for days. This was a big deal. FUN FACT: This story was written on a borrowed laptop, at a party, under the influence of several beers, en route to a Peaches show at NASA, a club that no longer exists.

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