Friday, February 13, 2009

The site of the epicenter of the May 2008 earthquake near the city of Selfoss, approximately 30 miles south of Reykjavik. .  

It seems clear that this blog is not going to function as a journal.  Perhaps as a response to the weather, distance, isolation - frankly the comfort of this apartment, and most likely and to the point, a real need (whether I want or not) to spend some time alone, I don't find I have much to say at the moment.  I did refer to open doors/gates and have shared some photos, and will share more.   

With virtually free heat (geothermal) , shop doors are left at least slight but perceptibly open - when shops are open. There is little plowing or shoveling of snow that becomes ice and is slowly melting in specific places - though cold patches seem to persist -  due in part to rain that is now falling, in part to general warming, and because there seem to be hot spots, even on the streets and sidewalks.  Included below (or above, as I have yet to master this layout part of this blog) are some photos of other kind of hot spot.  On a trip organized by the newly formed Icelandic Fulbright alumni association,  the epicenter of last May's earthquake has brought up new hot springs, boiling water / mud within the icy hilltop. 

The other dominant aspect is the collapse of the government, the world's first (out) lesbian prime minister, and the shift of mass action and protests to force the resignation of the head of the national bank, the main culprit of Credit- Default Swaps, and personification of the economic catastrophe that is the Icelandic economy.    He is [apparently] something of a rock-star level 
dynamo, former prime minister.  

10000kr  the real 10,000 Kroner note is worth about $85.  A year a
go it was probably worth about $160 or maybe more. This posting has taken an interesting turn.  I have attended some of the protest including Monday of this week.  They are loud, drums, pots and pans, all at this point with the intent of keeping David Oddsson from going to his office at the central bank (which happens to be down the street from the Theater Department, close enough to where I live that I can hear the protests, including fire works that on the even of Obama's inauguration I mistook for sharing our
 celebration.  Humility lesson for me here.  The blurry guy at the left of this photo is someone one of my students called Siggy Punk (sp?), a  well know musician, author and political activist.  

Here's a photo of the front of the Academy.

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