My current life/travel obsession is seeing the northern lights. I’ve been gleefully researching where and when I’d have the best chance of seeing them, and although Alaska, Sweden, and Norway all sound amazing, this time lapse video of the northern lights over Iceland this past winter might have just made my decision for me. It’s almost painfully beautiful. [Laughing Squid]
You know, I was in Iceland a few months ago, accidentally because my flight home from Paris was laid over there for 24 hours, and I did not see one single, solitary Ryan Gosling doppelganger. But apparently, the country appears to have the highest concentration of Gosling lookalikes of any other country ever. See, Gosling himself was apparently in the country recently, meeting with the Icelandic editor of his directorial debut, “How To Catch A Monster,” and was spotted at Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon hot springs. Dudes, I went to the Blue Lagoon when I was in Iceland too. Does this mean Ryan Gosling marinated his shirtless body in water previously touched by yours truly? I like to think so. Anyway, getting back to the lookalikes, the Gos was reportedly also in a fender bender in the capital of Reykjavik, but it turns out, the driver just looks like Ryan. His real name is Júlíus Pétur Guðjohnse (on the left), he’s 27, and frankly I don’t think the resemblance is that striking. Like, I would know he wasn’t the real Gos. But I am an expect. So apparently a blogger based out of the city of Siglufjörður on the northern coast of Iceland agreed with me that Guðjohnse is not all that Gosling-esque, and presented their own local doppelganger, Bjarni Mark Antonsson, 17 (right). While I think that both gentleman are not nearly as droolworthy as my man, I must admit that I am impressed that a country as small as Iceland managed to dig up two somewhat worthy Gosling lookalikes in record time. Also, given that I think I am way more attractive in person, i would like to give both of these gentlemen the benefit of the doubt and judge their resemblance to my lover in person. How do I make that happen? [Gawker]
Iceland is a pretty small country, people-wise. There’s only around 300,000 people in total, and most of them are related. In Michael Lewis’s 2011 book Boomerang (on the global financial collapse. It’s really good!), he explains that there are only about nine surnames in the country, and everyone is listed in the phone book by their first names. And yes, they all know Bjork. “Yes, I know Bjork,” says a professor at the University of Iceland, whom Lewis interviews. “She can’t sing, and I know her mother from childhood, and they were both crazy. That she is so well known outside of Iceland tells me more about the world than it does about Bjork.”
Thanks to their generally closed society over the last 1,100 years and the fact that everyone has similar last names (ending in either -son or -dottir), dating and mating can be tricky. But a new app, which is loosely translated to mean Incest Prevention Alarm, is hoping to help Icelanders avoid sleeping with relations. Its slogan is “Bump the app before you bump in bed.” Keep reading »
Better start hoarding your cum shot videos and bondage now, Icelanders! The government of Iceland is considering a ban on Internet pornography that depicts “violent,” “hateful,” and “degrading” content in an effort to keep children from being exposed to that material. Keep reading »
Icelandic teen Blaer Bjarkardottir won the right to use her birth name in court this week. Blaer, which means “Breeze” in Icelandic, was on the restricted names list because it was considered a masculine name. Because the name was not approved , the authorities at the National Registry recorded Blaer’s name as Stulka, which translates to “Girl.” Keep reading »
Today in “Confusing Headlines From Iceland,” a missing tourist joined a search party to look for … herself. How does that work? Well, the woman was on a bus tour through the southern highlands of Iceland, and decided to change her clothes and “freshen up” after exploring a volcanic canyon. Apparently her freshening up routine was so effective (I might need to get some tips from this lady) that the bus driver and the rest of the tour group failed to recognize her and reported her missing to the police. A 50-person search party was formed, which the woman eagerly joined (bless her heart) after failing to realize the person everyone was looking for was, you know, her. Search efforts continued until 3 a.m., when it was discovered that the bus driver had miscounted his passengers and the missing woman had never been lost. Well, at least not in the physical sense. No word on whether the massive search party helped her find herself, in the Eat, Pray, Love sense. [Boing Boing]
Iceland is the place to be. Aside from the hot springs, the moon rock, and all of its inhabitants looking like sexy aliens, Iceland is home to the world’s largest collection of cock. The Phallological Museum in Husavik has an extensive collection of 209 peens and penile parts belonging to 92 different species. You can catch a glimpse of whale, seal, and — for the first time — human dick. Yup, they just got their first Homo Sapien specimen, donated by 95-year-old dead man, Pall Arason. What a legacy to leave behind. I’m in! Who is coming with me? [Huffington Post, Phallus] Keep reading »
If you need us, we’ll be in Iceland. That’s because according to a new report from the World Economic Forum, Iceland is tops for women. The Global Gender Gap Report found that women do best in Iceland, Norway and Finland. What makes these Nordic countries so much better than the rest of the world? A smaller gender gap. As the study states, “The Index rewards countries that reach the point where outcomes for women equal those for men, but it neither rewards nor penalizes cases in which women are outperforming men.”
The study evaluated four main categories: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, political empowerment, and health and survival. The U.S. came in 19th. And at the bottom of the list — Pakistan, Chad and Yemen. [NPR] Keep reading »
Iceland has passed a law to shut down all strip clubs, making it illegal for any business to profit from the nudity of its employees.
Well, duh. It’s cold up there.
Actually, no: politician Kolbrun Halldorsdottir, who first proposed the law, said on Wednesday, “It is not acceptable that women, or people in general, are a product to be sold.” Iceland began hammering that point home last year when it passed a law effectively banning prostitution by criminalizing the purchase of sex; the strip club law is simply the next step. Keep reading »