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  1. Icelandic Web Site Helps Icelanders Find Out If They Are Committing Incest

    Good News Everyone!

    While it has produced the larger-than-life personality of Björk, Iceland is not a very big country. With a population of just 300,000 people, a common problem when two people decide to pursue a romantic relationship is how closely related they might be to each other. And not like "What if our ancestors had sex on the Mayflower?" More like, "What if our great-grandparents are the same?" Okay, that's an exaggeration. But, apparently, it's not that unusual to find yourself dating your own third or fourth cousin, and some Icelanders are finding that a bit too close for comfort. But now, Íslendingabók is here to help the people of Iceland stop themselves from becoming the next accidental Lannisters!

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  2. Majestic "Moonbow" Makes Rainbows Seem Gaudy, Cheap

    When Iceland isn't spewing volcanic ash into the air or crowdsourcing a rewrite of its constitution, it's home to some of the most spectacular views on the planet. This image from Stephane Vetter is a great example, featuring a gorgeous waterfall, spectacular rock formations, a faint aurora and a "moonbow."

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  3. US Judge Rules Twitter Must Hand Over Icelandic MP User Information in Wikileaks Case

    US judge Liam O'Grady ruled this past Thursday that Twitter must hand over information regarding Birgitta Jonsdottir, a member of the Icelandic parliament and also a supporter of the controversial anti-secrecy site Wikileaks. The ruling comes after months of fighting to keep what Jonsdottir views as private information out of the court's hands, and could have far wider implications.

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  4. Icelandic Experiment Plans to Trap CO2 in Limestone

    With carbon-reducing technologies only just now going mainstream and dangerous amounts of the greenhouse gas already in the atmosphere, scientists are considering drastic solutions to the problems of global warming. One such approach beginning next month in Iceland aims to trap CO2 in limestone, removing it from the atmosphere. The 6-12 month test, called CarbFix, has a short-term goal of giving Iceland's geothermal plants a means to trap and store carbon brought up during operation and become truly carbon-neutral. The longer-term implications, however, could be on a global scale.

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  5. Iceland Uses Social Media to Draft a New Constitution

    When Iceland gained independence from Denmark in 1944, it more or less copy-pasted the Danish constitution and adopted it as its own. Sure, they made a few changes here and there, like changing "king" to "president," but the tiny Atlantic nation has needed to update its governing document for some time. The country is now drafting their own home-grown constitution, but has decided to allow Icelanders to make comments and suggestions on the draft document through various social media platforms. The approach is two-fold: Icelanders can make suggestions for the constitutional committee to consider, and also comment on the constitution online. Iceland is taking a highly moderated approach to suggestions they receive electronically, with local committees vetting suggestions before sending them on to the constitutional committee and public online discussion. Though Twitter, YouTube, Flickr are part of the effort, Facebook is apparently the most popular platform for discussion.

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  6. Pictures from Iceland’s Latest Volcanic Eruption

    On May 22, Iceland's most active volcano Grímsvötn began erupting in the east of the country. It was a spectacular eruption, sending a massive ash plume 12 miles into the air. From the Christian Science Monitor:
    The eruption of Grímsvötn, Iceland’s most active volcano, on Saturday evening is believed to be far more powerful than that of Eyjafjallajökull last year. Experts estimate that Grímsvötn produced between 100 and 1,000 times more material per second when it exploded. The plume it generated was twice as high as Eyjafjallajökull’s.
    The ash is expected to blow towards Northern Ireland and parts of the U.K. over the next few days, though it is not expected to choke off air travel as Eyjafjallajökull did last year. It's also much, much easier to pronounce. Read on below for more pictures from this dramatic eruption, and how it's affecting the Icelanders.

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  7. Fog Will Not Save You From Vikings

    Vikings are already famous for their beards and badassery, not the least of which springs from their sailing prowess. Spreading from Sweden and Norway, the Vikings sailed and settled Northern England, Iceland, Greenland, and were the first Europeans to arrive in North America. They also pillaged and terrorized an unready European populace with their ferocity and totally sweet boats, but a lingering question faced by historians is how they managed to sail as well as they did with such limited technology. Navigation in the far north poses several unique problems.

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  8. Necropants: The Icelandic Pants of the Dead

    If this isn't metal, I don't know what is: Nábrókarstafur, or "Necropants," is an Icelandic stave, or runelike symbol, associated with a pair of pants made from a dead man's skin. As the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft charmingly notes, "If you want to make your own necropants (literally; nábrók), you have to get permission from a living man to use his skin after his dead." Why? For prosperity, of course. Full queasy details below:

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  9. Iceland Volcano Eruption: May Spark MORE Iceland Volcano Eruptions

    News surfaced yesterday that the Icelandic Volcano eruption is not only refusing to abate, but that it might also spark further volanic eruptions nearby.


    A volcano in southern Iceland has erupted for the first time in almost 200 years, raising concerns that it could trigger a larger and potentially more dangerous eruption at a volatile volcano nearby.

    Anderson Cooper reported on the potentially scary scenario last night.

    Video of the exchange after the jump:

    Mediaite's Colby Hall has also penned the mock script to an inspired, Jerry Bruckheimer-like trailer around the volcano events: All disaster movie geeks should head over and check it out.

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  10. Get Your Eyjafjallajokull-Shaped Blankets Right Here [PSA]

    Troublemaking Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull has been in the news a lot lately for grounding flights in the UK and across Europe into the weekend, thanks to the blanket of ash it has steadily been spewing over Europe. But Eyjafjallajokull is also the source material for quite a different type of blanket -- the kind you can non-lethally throw over yourself when you're cold.

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