Thursday, February 02, 2006

This Week's NATIONAL ETIQUETTE AWARD goes to... Iceland!

Iceland Page in Wikipedia

World Factbook: Iceland

Icelandic Tourist Board

Go Iceland

I hereby grant the National Etiquette Award to Iceland, because it is customary in that country to remove shoes when entering homes.

Iceland made it into the newspapers today with the plans of it's government to aim for the elimination of all use of oil as fuel. The plan is to power the whole country with geothermal energy and hydrogen powered cars. With a smaller population, this should not be too difficult for them. I wish them success.

Iceland was colonized by the Vikings in the 'Dark Ages'. During the period of about 500-1000, there was some global warming which enabled civilization in northern europe to thrive and rapid colonization by Viking settlers. They brought many Irish slaves with them, with the result that Icelanders are partly of Celtic stock.

Contrary to the stereotype, Viking civilization in Iceland was very sophisticated. In 930 AD, the Icelanders founded the world's first parliament.

However, the global warming that was occurring at the time resulted in a southward drift in ice that lead to some harsh winters around 1000 AD. This lead to hardship and a breakdown in law and order in Iceland. However, this decline inspired the great Icelandic contribution to literature, the Sagas.

The sagas were epic poems of norse heroes. They were not mythical tales, but socio-realist tales of feuding, conflict and grudges. They are not the most cheerful books you could read, but an excellent way to learn about Norse civilization.

The Icelandic geothermal geysers are one of the world's most interesting geograpical features.

About half of the population of Iceland believe in the existence of Elves.

Did I mention Bjork?


Dorothy said...

Isn't Iceland the country where it is actually green with grass and Greenland the one with Ice? This would be pretty cold on the feet!

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Well, yes, Greenland is a lot colder. However, it is pretty cold in Icelandic winters.

I am sure they have very good central heating and wear wooly socks.

With weather like that, you do not want to bring lots of ice and snow into the house.

Every Blessing in Christ


Redeemed said...

Speaking of weather, did anyone know it was groundhog day today? (Feb 2)

I don't even know if you guys are familiar with that or not, anywho, if you are, good news.

The groundhog did not see his shadow today, which means we will not have 6 more weeks of winter. Spring will be here sooner. yeeeahhhhh, I think I'm actually getting teary.