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Feature of the Week: Pregnant Possibility

Although an inadvertent paladin for her generation, musician and mother-to-be María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir speaks beyond age and social standing to the beleaguered soul of her nation about reconnecting with Iceland’s essential character. Three weeks before her due date the 28-year-old meets with...

Feature of the Week: The Author of Revolution

With his opening verses at Reykjavík’s first public citizens’ meeting on October 27, novelist Einar Már Gudmundsson has become the voice of the people’s frustration in the current economic crisis. IR staff writer Jonas Moody speaks to the 54-year-old rabble-rouser about the reinvigorated spirit of...

Feature of the Week: Opportune Knocks

There is a uniquely Icelandic expression which means something like “It’ll fix itself” — Thetta reddast . While it may sound a little devil-may-care, these two strange words have never had such symbolic significance as they have today. IR staff writer Tobias Munthe explores the upside of downsizing...

Feature of the Week: Paradise Lost

“I’ve started to bake my own bread,” says Gunna Bjarnadóttir, a 54-year-old nurse in Hafnarfjördur, a suburb south of Reykjavik. “I thought I’d forgotten how to, but the way my mother did it came back to me when I actually tried.” She speaks with a modicum of pride, showing off a loaf of still-warm...

Feature of the Week: Liquid Gold – Part 2

Iceland Spring is another leading brand that uses the nation’s “pure” image to promote its bottled water, in volumes of about seven million bottles per year, the vast majority in the US. “Even if a water existed that was better quality [than Icelandic water], having ‘Iceland’ in the name is enough...

Feature of the Week: Liquid Gold – Part 1

Few other nations on earth are blessed with such a plentiful and clean supply of water. Fresh water accounts for only 2.5 percent of the world’s water, and most of that is frozen in polar ice. With its high precipitation, low population density and virtually non-existent levels of pollution,...

Feature of the Week: Diviners of the Double Helix

I was alone when I found out I would probably lose my hair… With research based on Iceland’s age-old genealogies and health database, deCODE Genetics claims the ability to decipher the secret language of your DNA. But before you heed your prescient cells, does science know what they’re trying to...

Feature of the Week: Knitting Lava

As former Senior Designer at both Calvin Klein and Gucci as well as Design Director at La Perla , Steinunn Sigurdardóttir is no stranger to the glitter and glam of the fashion world. This year she was the first fashion designer ever to be awarded the prestigious Söderberg Prize .

Feature of the Week: Banding Together

Cell phone in hand, bag slung over her shoulder and dark glasses covering her eyes, Anna Hildur Hildibrandsdóttir rushes into the café where we’re due to meet, and waves to say she’ll just be a minute. She’s mid-conversation and looking busy. Hildibrandsdóttir is the managing director of Icelandic...

Feature of the Week: Sense of a Woman

Last year when business bigwigs Halla Tómasdóttir and Kristín Pétursdóttir persuaded some of their gender’s most famous names to help them launch an investment company, a few pinstripes were ruffled. But executive chairman Tómasdóttir says the new venture, dubbed Audur, is not about women. It’s...

Feature of the Week: Rock the Curdle

Back in 2004, after two years in America, Siggi Hilmarsson began keeping his clotted homesickness in seeping bags of cheesecloth slung inside the icebox of his Manhattan apartment. Some boys need their mothers. Others need their childhood friends. Icelandic boys need their native yogurt: skyr .

Feature of the Week: The European Union, Not in the Near Future

In recent months there seems to have been increased interest in Iceland joining the EU. A poll among the members of the Union of Icelandic Employers revealed that two out of three favored applying for membership. Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde has, however, declared that he is opposed to membership...

Feature of the Week: Calmer Times Ahead?

Icelanders have often fought to be in the international spotlight. This spring they found themselves in the center of attention but in a less-than-flattering way. The international press seemed to focus only on the difficulties of the Icelandic economy. In May major steps were taken to improve the...

Feature of the Week: Expanding in Iceland and Abroad

Nýherji is one of the biggest technology companies in Iceland, with over 700 employees. The company is active in many different sectors, including computers, software, sound systems and cameras. Before 2005, Nýherji was based solely in Iceland, but that year the company acquired software company...

Feature of the Week: The Tower

In Iceland, buildings have tended to be on the low side. You don’t see many high rises. Some apartment buildings are about 14 stories, but until now no taller buildings have been built. All that has changed with The Tower. At 20 stories tall, it looms over Kópavogur, a Reykjavík suburb.

Feature of the Week: Energy, the Color of Money

Industrialists, politicians and ecologists alike are falling all over themselves these days for green gold: clean, renewable energy. From its perch at the top of the world Iceland has already begun to cash in on the green energy craze, having built up a century of knowledge in harnessing the only...

Feature of the Week: Loose Screws and Rusty Nails

Twenty years ago, few could have imagined the phrase ‘urban sprawl’ entering the Icelandic lexicon. But take one glimpse at the yellow cranes populating the city’s horizon and you will find an onslaught of office buildings and mid-rise condominium developments sprouting from the landscape. The...

Feature of the Week: Fishers of Fortune

Since the Ministry of Fisheries decided to make a 30 percent cut to the cod fishing quota last fall, one fish processing plant after the other is giving up and dismissing its staff. Iceland’s remotest villages seem to be suffering the worst blows. Read this feature by IR ’s Jonas Moody on “What...

Feature of the Week: Battle for the Brains

As domestic competition in tertiary education intensifies, the country’s largest school, the University of Iceland, responded last year by announcing its intention to become one of the world’s top hundred. Does this finally put the country on the map of higher education or is the nation setting...

Feature of the Week: In the Company of Hawks and Doves

For the first time Iceland has made a bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council. It is one of three candidates for one of the ten non-permanent seats for 2009-10. Former IR editor Sveinn H. Gudmarsson spoke to the director of Iceland’s campaign, Kristín A. Árnadóttir of Iceland’s...

Feature of the Week: Iceland – An Outstanding Location for Data Centers

In early September it was announced that Iceland is among three countries in which computer giant Microsoft is considering establishing a so-called data center —a collection of computer servers usually maintained by an enterprise to accomplish server needs far beyond the capability of one machine.

Feature of the Week: Media Moguls?

Are several media power houses forming in Iceland? There is no lack of media in the country. Five newspapers are published on most days and there are five television stations. Numerous general-interest magazines are published, there are close to ten radio stations and a host of news websites.

Feature of the Week: To Be or not to Be

Joining the European Union is not at the center of the political debate in Iceland. However, suddenly a related issue has cropped up: should Iceland be thinking of joining the European Monetary Union—the “euro club”? Read this news review on whether Iceland should join the “euro club.”

Feature of the Week: The Many Colors of the Blue Collar

Immigrant workers are coming to build dams, roads and smelters, and in increasing numbers, staying to build a life. Is Iceland ready to embrace this onslaught of diversity?

Feature of the Week: The Art of Compromise

Newly appointed Foreign Minister Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir knows her politics. After serving three consecutive terms as a Mayor of Reykjavík, she became the leader of the Social Democrats. In the aftermath of the parliamentary elections earlier this summer, she helped engineer the new governing...

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