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Picture of the week - First day of summer

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Yesterday was the first day of summer. Here are some pictures from our garden. Soon we will be able to have our first BBQ!





The President who wants to be King

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There is a presidential election this summer. The Icelandic President holds more somewhat more power in the legislative process than presidents in other European countries, as the Icelandic constitution was heavily based on the Danish constitutional monarchy and is basically bicameral with a parliament and a president.
The current president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson has been in power for 20 year. He had announced not to run again, but changed his mind this week, citing the recent "unrest" and need for stability as a reason.
To me the current president is an example of Icelandic exceptional thinking. He praised the banks and speculators who ended up ruining the Icelandic economy as entrepreneurs and risk takers describing their high risk business tactics as unique Icelandic adventurism that can set an example for other businesses.
He repeated the "Iceland as an example for the world" sentiment in a speech in March. This time he was referring to the unique Icelandic creativity, naming the Jungle Bar, a snack bar made out of insects as an example:

I was present at an awards ceremony when the design award was given to some guys who have made insects into food. We have 9 billion people in the world, and one of the key solutions to food security and hunger in the world is that we start looking at the insects in a new way. There’s a fundamental challenge in the world regarding health and poverty, and it took the design people to put it on the map in this way.
http://grapevine.is/news/2016/03/18/icelandic-president-praises-pirate-party-as-political-innovators/



Insects as food, invented in Iceland in 2016, going to solve world hunger. Head meet desk.
Posted on - Categories: Iceland


Bread and Beer based gift society

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My bakery is still going. Maybe not strong, but steadily. I have a few paying customers, but more interestingly a friend of mine has started to make his own beer and we are now giving each other free beer and bread. It is not a trade per se, there is no x amount of beer traded for x amount of bread, but rather we are gifting each other our goods with the understanding of mutual generosity.
He is also giving me his left over barley from the brewing process, which gives both Hänsel and Gretel a nice country bread like taste. We gorged ourselfes on bread, cheese and wine at a meeting yesterday, which reminded me of my very first sourdough adventure in Chile. It also reminded me that I have much less fun baking bread for comercial reasons than for sharing and enjoying. Insert bread braking metaphor here. Bread and wine with friends, Jesus had the right idea there.


Panama Papers Protest

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It's an alliteration! The biggest protest ever in Iceland (›22.000) took place today in wake of the revelations from the Panama Papers. Icelandic corruption is extensive and it is now more apparent than ever, that despite the praised "pots and pants revolution" in 2009 nothing has changed. The protest was calling for the resignation of the Prime Minister who was implicated in the Panama Papers, but there are increasing calls for re-elections.



Afterwards we met up to discuss ways to keep the momentum going and extending it to a movement for change and avoid the same outcome as 7 years ago.
Posted on - Categories: Politics


Ansel Adams inspired pictures of Borgarfjörður on Good Friday

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This Good Friday we went for an "outing" (as my ex-flatmate calls it). The weather was actually really sunny, but I had just seen a documentary on Ansel Adams, so instead of cheery and sunny I went for dramatic and black and white. Both pictures were taken with a wide lens (23mm), aperture of f8 (as large a depth of field I could get in this light from a moving car) with a red filter and increased contrast.



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