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A few days ago I noticed that my Ficus Benjamina had started to sprout tender new leaves. It always happens around this time, and it never ceases to amaze me that during the darkest time of the year here in Iceland, when daylight is considered a luxury, these brand-new shoots of life should spring forth. Just when you would think their natural tendency was to go into hibernation mode and just ...

You've seen the Internet memes, and possibly also Paul Krugman's enthusiastic columns proclaiming Iceland the poster child of economic recovery. Having in 2008 suffered the biggest banking collapse in history relative to its economic size, Iceland has now bounced back in spectacular fashion, with steady economic growth, virtually no unemployment, and only nominal inflation. On top of all that, the tourist industry is booming, and the building cranes are back. Time to party like it's 2007! ...

Earlier this month I announced that I was going to retire my Iceland Weather Report Facebook page. It so happened that the announcement came in the wake of a post that had attracted racist, hateful comments from a bunch of people who apparently were at their wits end because several thousand Icelanders wanted to help Syrian refugees whose children were drowning in the Mediterranean Sea. I'm not even going to try to describe what sorts of feelings and thoughts arose in me when I read some of those comments. Suffice it to say that I felt sick, and also shocked to think that I had, with my page, potentially been feeding those people's fascist wet dream of Iceland as some sort of uncontaminated Aryan paradise. Also, I had been engaging in jovial online banter...

I'm sure you have heard the stories: Icelanders believe in elves, won't build anything without first checking whether there are elves living on the site, go around knocking on boulders to say hello to the elves, make whole entire maps of elf colonies, and blah-de-blah. The international media loves to chew on this stuff, and the Icelandic tourist industry loves to feed it to them. Well, I'm here to tell you: it's a crock of poo. "But!" I hear you say breathlessly. "There was this study that showed that Icelanders most definitely do believe in elves. I read about it in Vanity Fair [or insert name of other sophisticated media outlet here]." Sure, ok. I will grant that there was a study. And allegedly, in...

Dear all! Since late last year I have been reflecting and ruminating on my career and the way I have been running things, and have decided that I want to make some changes. Nothing dramatic - just some subtle shifts that may add up to something bigger in the long run. I've started by launching a newsletter that I'll be releasing on a monthly basis. The idea is that it will be focused on my books, writing and publishing activities, which I am very passionate about and that are taking up an increasing amount of my time. Subscribers to my newsletter will get book news first, and will also get deals on any new releases. I'll also share some fun and fascinating things that I've found...

It's that time of year again! NIGHTMARE OF THE YEAR Anything to do with Icelandic politics. It has been one blow after another after another to those of us who believe in honesty and integrity and keeping promises and sticking up for those who need it most. The government has worked diligently to erode the infrastructure of Icelandic society and appears to be succeeding spectacularly. At the close of the year, Icelandic doctors are still on strike in protest of their working conditions and wages, while the Progressive Party (the one in power) has no problem creating new ministerial positions for their own people, and appointed a new Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources on the last day of the year. Judging by what we...

Hey everyone - I'm looking for a handful of volunteers who might be willing to help out by acting as beta readers for my new book. [caption id="attachment_937" align="alignleft" width="300"] With any luck you won't be quite this bored.[/caption] If you're not familiar with it, a beta readers is (generally) a non-professional who reads over a work prior to publishing and offers their feedback - thoughts, impressions and commentary - to the author. Like most of my other books, this one will be an independently published project. What I am especially looking for this time around is someone to give me feedback on diction, grammar, spelling ...

Everyone's doing them: end-of-the-year posts. I've never done one before, but suddenly for no apparent reason I felt inspired. So here's my own personal year in review, in no particular order. SLOG OF THE YEAR My degree. Puh. Increasingly I found myself wondering what the hell I'm doing it for. It's so bloody time consuming, and let's face it: it's not like it's going to help me launch a career. But it's something I set out to finish, and finish I will (this spring). And besides, it hasn't all been pointless. I've learned a whole bunch of stuff that I will be putting to good use very soon. More on that later. VICTORY OF THE YEAR My personal overcoming of my own self-destruction when...

The term minimalism is also used to describe a trend in design and architecture where in the subject is reduced to its necessary elements. Minimalist design has been highly influenced by Japanese traditional design and architecture. In addition, the work of De Stijl artists is a major source of reference for this kind of work....

The term minimalism is also used to describe a trend in design and architecture where in the subject is reduced to its necessary elements. Minimalist design has been highly influenced by Japanese traditional design and architecture. In addition, the work of De Stijl artists is a major source of reference for this kind of work....

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