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No picture yet; sorry. For those of you in the ranks of the faithful, I may not be a totally unfamiliar voice. For newer converts, I used to write for IR, and I’ve just returned from California to take on the post of editor here.

While you and I both process this information, some thoughts on returning to life on an island in the North Atlantic:

Though I’ve been here a few times before, Adam Raney, IR’s new journalist who you’ll hear from tomorrow, has not. While back in the United States, we had the shared experience of explaining to people that we were picking up and moving to Iceland. Not Greenland. Iceland. Not visiting, not vacationing. Moving.

The reaction that follows this piece of information ranges from blank stare to cultish exhuberance, but ususally occupies some foggier territory between, with physical symptoms of the raised eyebrow, the slight step backward, and a general countenance that either doesn’t get it, or doens’t get it, but likes the sound of it.

I can only speak from an American perspective, but Iceland is changing in the public consciousness of the US. As our media starts to get over thinking of the nation as a destination for elf sighting and weekend debauchery, Iceland has begun to surface in subtler but less temporal ways.

I was just driving on a tangled freeway in Los Angeles, for instance, and Icelandic jazz was being featured on LA’s public radio station KCRW. The first article in Elizabeth Kolbert´s three-part series on global warming that ran in The New Yorker discussed at length how Iceland fits into the evolving global story of climate change. In the middle of another day´s traffic snarl, I was listening to a weekend edition of NPR, and Múm, a band from Reykjavik, was a soundtrack bridge between stories.

On an almost daily basis, I was reminded, 3000 miles away, of what it was that struck me during my first stay here in 2002: that this relatively small country- both in size and population - is uncannily dynamic and influential.

Why can seem like something of a mystery to a foreigner. So while we tackle the larger questions of how Iceland wields its geopolitical power and fits into the new global economy for our readers, I’ll start with some smaller ones. How – and this time I’m going to find out – can Iceland’s skyr be so superior to every other dairy product on the planet? Why does gum come in bags? Why isn’t my new phone turning on after I charged it for 24 hours?

Your questions, big and small, answered here. I'm looking forward to it.

Krista = [email protected]

Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.