Friday, February 1, 2008

Videos from Iceland

Iceland on The Daily Show.
This is funny!

Icelandic 4x4 formula.
This is seriously crazy. How do these maniacs dare to fly up vertical slopes like this?


And more:

And even more:

And again:

Different formula videos:

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The cars with the most cool at the moment

Last year, if you wanted to be cool in Iceland, a Range Rover was the car to be seen in.

Now, these cars are all for sale, because the cool car at the moment is the Toyota Landcruiser 200.

I have to agree that the Range Rover is "sooooo last year". Dont understand how anybody can be driving such a bad car around town.

The next cool car might become the Lamborgini Reventon.

Now this is a car!
Seats for two. Top speed way over the top and economy like running a fishing wessel.

Got to get to the top in Iceland. Just a matter of time.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Cool as ice or uncool as hell.

What is cool about Iceland?

Is there anything uncool at all?

Post your comments!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Icelandic food is cool or at least a bit disgusting

Icelandic food is in fact world class good.
This goes for the better home cooked food and when you visit upscale restaurants.

Icelandic low end and mediocre restaurant food is a different story, and the traditional food is still another thing.

Raw rotten shark, steamed fermented stingray, sheeps balls, feet of sheep in lactic acid, boiled half head of lamb, steamed fish with potatoes and fermented fat of lamb are some of the highlights.

This has lately been recognised by the outer world. Anthony Bourdain has been to many places, but judges Icelandic food to be the most discusting in the world. I find that quite cool.

See Anthony Bourdain meeting Icelandic cuisine here.

Family names are not the norm

Jens Helgason, is the name of an Icelandic man.

To friends, family and collegues, he will first and foremost be Jens.

The printed Icelandic phonebook is ordered alphabetically by first name.
Look up Jens Helgason in the online version here.

Helgason, is not his family name. There is no such thing in Iceland.
(There are exceptions to this. A few families have taken family names)

Helgason, tells you that he is son of a man called Helgi.
Literally his second name is Son of Helgi.
As Helgi conjugates to Helga in the posessive form, he becomes Helgason.

His sister Anna, is called Anna Helgadóttir, as she is not son of her father. She is daugther of her father Helgi and is therefore Helgadaugther.

Read back and notice that the four of them have four different second names. This can cause quite some explaining on travels abroad.

So when the family of Helgi Beinteinsson, his wife Arnlaug Illugadóttir and their son Jens Helgason and daughter Anna Helgadóttir checked into a hotel in London on a travel in 1978, the lobby cleric kept insisting in vain on getting a family name. The cleric originated from India and could not envision this scenario.
"Please write family name here!" he insisted.
Explanations that this did not exist made him repeat the question:
No family?

When the answer was yes, he went back to square one and demanded:
"Please write family name here!"

Luckily after several minutes, a supervisor stepped in and said "you are an Icelandic family arent you ?"

Damn right he was.

You know you have become a real Icelander, when you:

This list is meant to be entertaining. If you disagree, keep that to yourself. Don't waste your time suing us. It's not written with you in mind, even though it all fits on you.

01. - pay in the supermarket and don't even check the price.
02. - park your 4x4 on the pavement in front of the store instead of walking 10 meters.
03. - order coke and prince polo as a lunch in the kiosk.
04. - know how to blow a tire back on a rim with WD40
05. - throw away the cap from the vodka bottle you just opened because you wont need it again.
06. - eat rotten shark and enjoy it.
07. - wear white socks in your sandals.
08. - take the ringroad in 48 hours as your only summer holliday.
09. - think that 50 m/s is hardly even a wind.
10. - think playing golf in the middle of the night is normal.
11. - drive on top of the snow with flat tires.
12. - are 15 minutes too late every time.
13. - talk about the weather and nothing except the weather - all the time
14. - don't bother offering your help to that confused tourist with the map upside down because he will ask for your help when he's ready.
15. - have to have every new gadget on the market, just because your neighour has it.
16. - actually love eating sheep's head and particularly like the eyes.
17. - wonder about what Danish company to buy next.
18. - spend a month's salary on fireworks to shoot up at New Year's Eve, but then can't because it's too windy.
19. - use Herbalife.
20. - sell Herbalife.
21. - change your car every 3 months.
22. - import your car yourself with ShopUSA
23. - have 44" on your Nissan Patrol.
24. - have satnav on the instrument panel of your car. With a map, not of the roads, but the offroad Iceland.
25. - have two pilot valves in each rim.
26. - have at least 2 pyrimid scheme chain letters for sale.
27. - own a set of silver trays with a golden stripe around the edge.
28. - do not think half a meter of snow is a problem to drive through.
29. - think the danish language is a throat disease.
30. - know exactly which english store chains Baugur owns this week.
31. - go shopping in Glasgow.
32. - have been to Kulusuk.
33. - know how to adjust the temperature and vacuum on your distiller to perfection.
34. - buy a 3 liter "belja" in Selfoss on your way to the summerhouse.
35. - buy things you don't even need in Europris, just because they seem cheap.
36. - drink coffee like your life depends on it.
37. - can talk while breathing in.
38. - have just finished extending your wooden platform in front of the house, just to make it bigger than your neighbours new one.
39. - have a king size gas barbeque standing on your wooden platform.
40. - buy a bucket of pop corn and a super big coke every time you go to the moovies.
41. - have a heated driveway.
42. - have a camper to hook on to your lorry size pick up truck.
43. - sold the Ford pickup after being charged like a lorry in the Hvalfjord underpass.
44. - have a summer house in Florida.
45. - have shares in all the Icelandic banks, and think they will keep rising forever.
46. - think a camp-let is only usefull for drinking beer in on snow scooter trips.
47. - know that grøn is a beer and not a slim woman.
48. - remember to remind danish people you meet that grøn is better tasting in Iceland than in Denmark. "because of the water".
49. - know that everything is best in Iceland.
50. - eat hrossabjúgu with mashed potatoes and ketchup.
51. - eat liqorice rolled around a piece of chockolate.
52. - understand every point of this list.
53. - think that a party is not complete without eating flatbread with smoked lamb.
54. - can read the faroese newspapers, and find the language cute but hopeless.
55. - know which day the new danish magazines come to your bookstore.
56. - are incapable of chewing gum with your mouth closed. Especially while performing customer service related tasks
57. - think those white stripes in parking lots are there as amusing optical illusions meant to be crossed.


Read more similar at

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Geothermal Iceland - Heating up of the roads and even a beach

The center of Reykjavik has hot water heated tubes heating up the main squares, the pavements and the asphalted roads.

See the central Reykjavik on google maps here!

This may seem as an utter waste of energy.

There is another side to it though.
Icelandic houses are nearly all heated with hot water which comes staight out of the ground.
When the water has heated up the house, it is just dumped out with the sewage, as there is no central heating plant to recieve this tepid water back. "The devil himself does not want this water back, and he rules the underground".

So the best thing to do is to use it to melt down the snow, rather than spending energy on showelling it away and driving it out of the center of town with lorries.
So this is all an energy conserving exersize.

Heated beach!

Iceland probably has the only artificially heated sea beach in the world.

See the beach on google maps here!

And here are some photos of it on flickr, by Croald.

Another lunatic feature. Heating up the sea by a beach. "Those folks up there in Iceland got to be absolutely nuts George!".

The beach is partly natural, but has gotten some help from man.

More sand was pumped up on the beach. Then water from the hot springs underground is sent out by the tons, into the center of something resembling a harbour, flanked on one side by a pier made of heavy wood, and by a landfilling on the other side.

The result is a heaven for sea bathers of all ages.

Complexity of the language

Complexity of the language

Icelandic grammar is one of the more complicated ones in the world. The finnish language is more complicated, and there may be a few others beating Icelandic, but German for instance is simple compared to Icelandic grammar.

Conjugation of names
Everything conjugates. Even names of people.

The female name Guðrún for instance will change form depending on the context.

The help word for the caususes are:

Here is:

In this way;

Here is Guðrún
About Guðrúnu
From Guðrúnu
To Guðrúnar

Even the second name conjugates.

So asuming that her name is Guðrún Sveinsdóttir

Here is Guðrún Sveinsdóttir
About Guðrúnu Sveinsdóttur
From Guðrúnu Sveinsdóttur
To Guðrúnar Sveinsdóttur

Conjugation of numbers
In Iceland, the numbers conjugate depending on what gender the object in question is.
For instance one bite is

Einn biti. (The word for one is in this form written "Einn")
One piece is on the other hand:
Ein sneid. (The word one is suddently written "Ein", because piece is female)
One unit, again is:
Eitt eintak. (Now suddenly the word one is written "Eitt", because unit is of neuter gender)

As this is not superbly easy to remember, you would be surprised how many foreigners learning Icelandic choose to buy five pieces of everything in the bakery to get past this dilemma, as only the numbers 1 to 4 conjugate according go what gender the object in question bears.

Einn, tveir, thrir, fjorir, fimm....
Really spelled:
Einn, tveir, þrír, fjórir, fimm....

Ein, tvaer, thrjar, fjorar, fimm....
Ein, tvær, þrjár, fjórar, fimm....

Neuter gender
Eitt, tvo, thrju, fjogur, fimm....
Eitt, tvö, þrjú, fjögur, fimm....

Dont fall for this. Be master of your own purchases.
Buy what you need and do your best. You will just be corrected if you go wrong. You will not be shot or stabbed. Icelandic people will generally like that you make the effort. There is a tendency to speak english to people showing weak icelandic.

Party Icelandic in 2 minutes

As a foreigner, you can get by in Icelandic nightlife with only a couple of phrases.

Yes, yes, is pronounced iau, iau.

This answer will keep the conversation going for a long time, as a bit tipsy Icelandic people will keep talking, and do not really need anything but wind blowing the same way.

If unsure about what to reply, just try:

Ha, pronounced like the start of the word "Harlequin".

Combine the two in a row:

Ha, (pause), iau, iau.

Try it!

Before you know it, you are just blending in, like peanutbutter between two pieces of toast.
Or rather, like a piece of smoked lamb between two pieces of flatbread.

Celebrities on the loose

In Iceland it is considered absolutely uncool to bother celebrities.

Icelandic is a small country, so when you go to the moovies, you are bound to stumble into people you have seen on TV, the local mayor, the guy who got rich selling jacuzzies and all sorts of semi and super famous people.

Because of being used to meet these people, and because Icelanders just are cool, they find it very uncool to bother celebrities.
So when Prince Charles or Damon Albarn come walking down Laugavegur, the main road of downtown Reykjavik, they are left alone, but also nearly ignored.
That is kinda cool!