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Recently, while listening to The Moth [one of my absolute favourite podcasts], I heard the storyteller say this: The emotional dimension is the least interesting part of the human experience.  I had to go back and listen again to make sure I had heard correctly, because this just boggles my mind. How can anyone NOT be interested in the emotional dimension of human experience? To me, the emotional dimension is the MOST interesting part of human experience. Exploring the emotional dimension has been for me like exploring a landscape filled with thrilling revelations and experiences, beauty, truth, joy, exaltation, intense pain and the innumerable other nuances that constitute being human. The narrator in that Moth story was a scientist, and in listening it was brought...

Sometimes I look at people, and I think: Somewhere along the line, that person stagnated. Their spirit congealed. Do you know what I mean? It doesn't entirely have to do with age, either. A person can be 18 and seem 38 in their demeanor and manner and way of speaking. And even when they're 68 they still seem 38 because they just kind of stagnated there. I'm not speaking of people who are young in spirit, or who "have no age" because they are timeless. That is an entirely different thing. No - this congealing is never good. It's heavy, cumbersome, and somewhere, deep down, it is insincere. I notice it a lot with politicians. And public officials. "There are two kinds of people," she...

Lately I've been fascinated by the way we perform different roles in our lives. Sometimes we cast ourselves in roles, sometimes they're thrust upon us, and sometimes other people cast us in roles that we have no idea we're in. Or we suddenly find that we're in a role conceived by somebody else, and other people are getting all mad because we're not playing our part properly. Roles are a funny thing. Sometimes they work fine for a while, and then all of a sudden you realize that you've outgrown a role, but the play is still going on. Only you're having increasing trouble being genuine about it. You start to get irritated and cynical, and feel like you're wearing something...

When I first signed up for Facebook, I was delighted by what it offered me. During the course of my life I'd lived in so many places and made so many friends that I couldn't possibly keep up with everyone via traditional email [to say nothing of snail mail]. But with Facebook, I had them all in one place, so to speak. Their pictures, thoughts and various goings-on showed up in my news feed and it was great to be able to see what they were up to. Sure, I knew that in return I had to hand over to Mark Zuckerberg various bits of info about myself - my age, where I lived, my likes and dislikes - but that...

As many of you no doubt know I have hitherto not been known for my prowess in food blogging (although I CAN cook - honest!) but as it happened I posted a pic of my freshly-made müsli on Instagram today (because that's what you're supposed to do with food, right?) and a few people asked for the recipe. I am completely addicted to müsli and have it for breakfast almost every day. I always make my own and I haven't had the store-bought stuff literally for over a decade, unless I'm travelling or something. For years I made a very basic recipe, adding my own variations depending on my mood - raisins, almonds, dates, dried cranberries etc. - but a few...

October 6th, wery wery significant day in Icelandic history. Four years ago exactly, Icelanders gathered in front of their screens and watched as then-PM Geir Haarde announced that this country was going to hell in a handbasket, national bankruptcy was imminent, and that we could well be sucked into some dark and horrible vortex along with the banks that were all collapsing, one by one. He ended the address with the now-famous phrase: "God bless Iceland." The ensuing panic was palpable, we were all in shock, thinking that we would be instantly transported to the third world, and that our future would be made up of some weird apocalyptic universe. Thankfully those awful visions did not come to pass. However, we...

It is September 30th, which the International Federation of Translators has declared International Translation Day . Here in Iceland, translations are such an integral part of life that it would spell absolute disaster if they were suddenly removed. Just think of all the films, books, TV shows, international agreements, instruction manuals, medical instructions, news, brochures, business reports, documents used in international collaboration and more ...

Earlier today I started a new discussion thread on my Facebook page regarding bilingualism and second-language acquisition. The topic has garnered quite a few responses and given me cause to reflect and analyze my own linguistic performance in different languages - for whatever it is worth. The status I posted, quite flippantly I might add, was as follows: Have just been listening to a lecture on second language acquisition, in which the concept of bilingualism was addressed, plus one thing that I've never actually heard discussed before. It's the idea that when bilingual people switch languages, they also switch personalities. It is something I've been aware of almost my entire life. I've been bilingual since I was five (well actually I was...

EPI and I went for sushi a couple of days ago, at a place called the Fish Market. Before I go further, let me unequivocally state that the sushi was really yummy. Anyway, we both order green tea with our sushi. We get a small tea kettle with a single teabag in it, plus two little teacups. Meanwhile, I notice (as you do) that two of the three women at the table next to us also order tea. They get a teapot, presumably filled with hot water, and each gets a teabag or two on the side. So it comes time to pay. The girl at the bar rings up our order and charges us for two portions of sushi, and two green...

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