Feature of the Week: Trading Longships for Aid Packages

Iceland’s increasing wealth has enabled it to make an impact on the international community that could hardly have been imagined half a century ago. The question is whether that same entrepreneurial spirit can be applied to the world of international development.

Feature of the Week: Road through nowhere

Just as attention over the Kárahnjúkar dam has diminished, a new proposal for a year-round road through Iceland’s central highlands has ignited fresh debate. Read Eliza Reid’s feature on Kjalvegur, the 168-kilometer mountain road winding its way through the inhospitable highland interior from the...

Feature of the Week: A New Liberal Government Takes Over

The national elections in Iceland on May 12 marked the end of a 12-year collaboration between the right-wing Independence Party and the centrist Progressive Party. A new governmental administration is now at the helm – a coalition between the Independence Party and the Social Democrats. Read I...

Feature of the Week: Rescue Me

It was recently announced that the Icelandic and US Coast Guard were to sign an agreement on cooperation. Last summer, IR’s Ed Weinman wondered whether Iceland’s Coast Guard would be prepared for when the US troops would leave and their assistance could no longer be counted on. Read about Ed’s day...

Feature of the Week: The Burger Guy

Recent reports have revealed that Icelanders are increasingly rejecting fish for international fast food, like hamburgers and pizza, and experts warn their health will suffer as a result. Meet the guy who introduced hamburgers to Iceland, Tommi Tómasson, through an interview by IR ’s Adam Key Raney.

Feature of the Week: Nomad No. 1201

Heavy industry has split Iceland into two oppositions. On March 30 the inhabitants of Hafnarfjördur near Reykjavík voted on the enlargement of the local Alcan aluminum smelter. It was rejected, but only by 50.3 percent of the votes. Read a feature about two days inside the Kárahnjúkar work camp –...

Feature of the Week: The Bird Man

The golden plover, the first sign of summer, has arrived in Iceland after spending the winter in warmer territories, followed by migratory birds from Europe, Africa and even Antarctica. With birds comes the fear of bird flu, for which there may now be a cure. Read IR ’s Ed Weinman’s account of a...

Feature of the Week: A Drag Growing Old

Senior citizens and the physically disabled in Iceland recently founded a political party and will possibly candidate in the parliamentary elections on May 12 to improve their situation. But how bad is it? Read IR ’s Ed Weinman’s feature on the social system in Iceland, comparing the situation of...

Feature of the Week: Steering in a Man’s World

Iceland’s most important natural resource to date is fish, which has been an issue of debate in parliament recently in relation to the controversial natural resource provision. Most captains are men, in fact, only three women are known to have steered ships in Iceland. Read IR ’s Sara Blask’s...

Feature of the Week: Dancer in the Dark

Pornography has caused a heated debate in Iceland since an adult film industry conference, which was to be held in Reykjavík last week, was canceled. Technically, pornography is illegal in Iceland, although the definition of the term seems unclear - some are wondering why stripping is allowed if...

Feature of the Week: Changing of the Guard

Who will be the next prime minister of Iceland? People wonder about that as the general election in May draws nearer. Read IR ’s Krista Mahr’s interview with Davíd Oddsson, the longest-serving prime minister in Iceland and the current head of the Central Bank.

Feature of the Week: Step by Step

Last month the director of the National Center of Addiction Medicine in Iceland (SÁÁ), Thórarinn Tyrfingsson, criticized the government for leaving drug addicts and alcoholics to be cared for at Christian treatment homes, which has since caused hefty debates at parliament. Read IR ’s Eliza Reid’s...

Feature of the Week: Mad as Hell

Icelandic author Andri Snaer Magnason was recently awarded for his book Draumalandid (“Dreamland”), which harshly criticizes the government’s policy on heavy industry. Read IR’s Ed Weinman’s interview with Magnason on why he is so angry about this policy and why he decided to write a book about it.

Feature of the Week: Wild is the Wind

Iceland’s deCODE Genetics made headlines last week when a former employee of the company was found guilty of violating copyright laws. Read IR ’s Eliza Reid’s interview with deCODE founder and CEO Kári Stefánsson about genealogy in Iceland and the future of deCODE.

Feature of the Week: The awakening of the Westfjords

Iceland’s new wave of environmentalists have been turning their eyes toward the country’s extreme northwest, where people living in the scattered hamlets of the Westfjords are trying something new. Read about IR ’s Ed Weinman’s visit to some of Iceland’s most remote areas last autumn.

Feature of the Week: The Cowboy

The only Icelandic radio station that specializes in country music Útvarp Kántrýbaer has gone off the air, recent reports revealed. The radio station was run by the self proclaimed “Cowboy of the North” Hallbjörn Hjartarson, who IR ’s Sara Blask had a chat with last autumn.

Feature of the Week: Not Smelling Fishy

It is winter in Iceland. Most of the day is dark and it is freezing cold outside. People get depressed and fall ill. Could cod-liver oil be the perfect cure? Read IR ’s Ed Weinman’s interview with Katrín Pétursdóttir, the CEO of fish oil producer Lýsi, about preventing colds and speeding up sperm.

Feature of the Week: Spells We Cast

Icelanders are known to be superstitious and to believe in the existence of elves and the guidance of spirits. Many seek the advice of fortune tellers. Read IR ’s Krista Mahr’s account of her rendezvous with the famous sorceress Sigrídur Klingenberg.

Feature of the Week: Wait and See

After a 17-year moratorium, Icelanders are commercially hunting whales again. And while the majority of Icelanders support sustainable commercial whaling, that’s not the case for rest of the world. Read IR's Brynja Dögg Fridriksdóttir's interview with Einar Oddur Kristjánsson, chairman of Iceland’s...

Feature of the Week: Soon hearing from…Ampop

Icelandic melodic-pop/rock band Ampop recently released its fifth album Sail to the Moon which has been praised by critics. Last summer the band played at several venues across Europe to promote their last album My Delusions and next year Ampop is scheduled to play at concerts in New York and Los...

Feature of the Week: Lone Ranger

Eight police officers cover roughly one-sixth of Iceland, and Inga Birna Erlingsdóttir has one of the biggest areas all to herself. Read IR’s Sara Blask’s experience of patrolling with the lone ranger of Vopnafjördur.

Feature of the Week: Reindeer Games

Reindeer meat is becoming an increasingly popular Christmas dinner in restaurants and in homes in Iceland. Read IR’s Jon Boyce’s experience of searching for Rudolph with local reindeer hunters in the Icelandic Eastern highlands.

Feature of the Week: Top Brass

When Benni Hemm Hemm released their eponymous twelve-track album last September, founder and singer-guitarist Benedikt H. Hermannsson hoped to sell 200 copies in the Reykjavík area. After all, he’d made a mere 30 copies of his first solo EP Summer Plate in 2003. (He and his wife made the elaborate...

Feature of the week: The Champion of Iceland

Read IR’s Daniel Heimpel’s bloody experience of boxing in Iceland. As Iceland only has a population of 300,000 and amateur boxing was banned from 1953, the author thought he could easily beat the Icelandic boxing champion.

Feature of the week: Going Nuclear

The co-founder of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore, left the prominent environmental organization in 1986 because it began “abandoning science and logic.” Now the director of Greenspirit, Moore speaks out for the nuclear industry, the forest industry and supports genetically engineered crops. Is he still...