Eating the Globe: Syria   

I was in San Francisco for work and celebrated a productive morning with an out-of-the-way lunch. This is Palmyra.

I got the Kibbi platter, which consists of:
Four shells of mashed cracked wheat stuffed with ground beef, sauteed onions, and pine nuts served with a side of hummus, cucumber salad, pita, garlic sauce, and hot sauce.

The kibbi was/were delicious. Not greasy or heavy at all. My only complaint was that it only came with four pieces.

Countries tried so far:
Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria, Somalia, South Africa
Asia: Afghanistan, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam, Yemen
Europe: Albania, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden
North America: Belize, Canada, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Trinidad & Tobago, USA
South America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela
Oceania: Australia, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga
          Samizdata quote of the day   

Free-marketeers, even at the more purist end of the spectrum, usually accept imperfect approximations of their ideals. (I have met exceptions to this, but not many.) We are comfortable embracing second-best, even third-best and fourth-best solutions. Browse through the IEA’s publications section, and you will find IEA authors endorsing the Chilean pension system, the Swiss healthcare system, the Icelandic system of tradable fishing quotas, Sweden’s approach to labour migration, and many other such examples. None of these endorsements come without qualifications: the authors are saying “This is not real X. Real X has never been tried”. But unlike socialists, they
...continue Samizdata quote of the day

          Alpha Whiskey Photography added album "Icelandic Horses"   
Alpha Whiskey Photography added album "Icelandic Horses"
          Alpha Whiskey Photography added album "South Iceland In Black And White"   
Alpha Whiskey Photography added album "South Iceland In Black And White"
          Alpha Whiskey Photography added album "South Iceland"   
Alpha Whiskey Photography added album "South Iceland"
          Big away win for Shamrock Rovers brings up 100 wins for Irish sides in European competitions   
A first win in eight away European games has given Shamrock Rovers a great chance of advancing to the second qualifying round of the Europa League, Gary Shaw the hero for the Hoops in Iceland.
          Iceland: panoramas Part 2   

Part 1 is here, here's batch of 10, part 2 of 3.

Isolated living

Isolated living

The once 70,000 population of Siglufojdhur (Based off fishing) now is somewhere around 3-5,000. With an amazing walking setup, well worth a stop-off.

Godafoss waterfall

Godafoss waterfall

The fourth largest in Iceland, for me the most stunning to look at. A mini-Niagara Falls without the awful commercial town. Look at the colours!

Godafoss Waterfall

Godafoss Waterfall

Lake Myvatan

Lake Myvatan

Tourists snake through guided trails near Lake Myvatan

Hverfjall volcano

Hverfjall volcano

Down a dirt track to the world's nicest toilets (you'll understand when you go there), a short 100 metre vertical climb perches you on the top of the now-dead Hverfjall volcano. A kilometre diameter, it's hard to comprehend this once erupted.....

Hverir geothermal field

Hverir geothermal field

Only 10 minutes drive from Kverfjall volcano, these field is a surreal landscape, the earth belching 24 hours a day steam. The smell of sulphur is a......memory!

Husavik, north Iceland

Husavik, north Iceland



Slightly over-coloured but an interesting perspective on some of the many whale-tour boats of Husavik.



Hard to beat this - you wouldn't find any campsite with a view like this!

wastelands, iceland

wastelands, iceland

60-odd percent of Iceland is officially classified as 'wasteland'. This photo, in the colours as captured by the camera, show a bleakness not found in many places. And hey, may as well be King of the Wastelands!

           BIG SHOT OF THE WEEK: Iceland founder Sir Malcolm Walker    
To the sneering chattering classes he is an anachronistic dinosaur; whose frozen food chain, is everything that's wrong with our nation's eating habits.
          Seismic swarms unrest the world: 900 earthquakes in Yellowstone, 40 quakes near Lake Tahoe, 50 earthquakes in northern Iceland

Seismic swarms unrest the world: 900 earthquakes in Yellowstone, 40 quakes near Lake Tahoe, 50 earthquakes in northern Iceland

 There are currently several seismic swarms ondergoing around the world.

Nobody knows when they are going to stop and more frightening what they are going to produce.

Yellowstone Supervolcano earthquake swarm reaches 878 events in just two weeks.
The earthquake swarm hitting the Yellowstone national Park is currently slowing down, but more than 900 quakes have already hit near West Yellowstone on the western edge of the National Park in the last 2 weeks.

But there is virtually no risk of the volcano erupting – USGS hasn’t raised either the volcano alert level or the aviation color.

Over 800 earthquakes have now been recorded at Yellowstone supervolcano over the last two weeks.via Newsweek

Highest number of earthquakes at Yellowstone within a single week in the past five years

The current earthquake swarm began on June 12. A week later, the USGS put out a statement to say that 464 earthquakes had been recorded, with the largest being magnitude 4.4. This is the highest number of earthquakes at Yellowstone within a single week in the past five years.

At the time, a spokesperson for the USGS said “slowly winding down,” adding that “no other geological activity has been detected.” However, in a newly released statement about the ongoing swarm, seismologists from the University of Utah said 878 events have now been recorded at Yellowstone National Park.

Volcanic supereruption nearby?

While increased seismic activity can signal a volcano is about to erupt, the latest earthquake swarm is no cause for concern. The swarm has slowed down considerably, and that larger swarms have been recorded in the past.

The swarm in 2010 on the Madison Plateau lasted at least three weeks. In 1985, there was one that lasted several months. Yellowstone has had dozens of these sorts of earthquake swarms in the last 150 years it’s been visited. The last volcanic eruption within the caldera was 70,000 years ago. For magma to reach the surface, a new vent needs to be created, which requires a lot of intense geological activity.

The volcano alert level remains at green. We would need to see considerably more and larger earthquakes, combined with contemporaneous ground deformation, steam explosions, and changes in gas and heat discharge prior to moving the alert level.None of that has occurred.

Small eruption?

The USGS says the current risk of an eruption at Yellowstone is one in 730,000.Furthermore, if it were to erupt, the eruption produced would probably be fairly inconsequential. If Yellowstone erupts, it’s most likely to be a lava flow, as occurred in nearly all the 80 eruptions since the last ‘supereruption’ 640,000 years ago. A lava flow would be a big deal at Yellowstone, but would have very little regional or continental effect.

So what about this earthquake swarm?

This is definitely not the biggest swarm ever recorded. The largest swarm ever recorded in Yellowstone occurred in October of 1985 and lasted for 3 months and had over 3,000 located earthquakes in it. In January of 2010 there was a swarm that had over 2,000 located events in it that lasted for about a month.

Swarms in Yellowstone are a common occurrence. On average, Yellowstone sees around 1,500-2,000 earthquakes per year. Of those, 40 to 50 percent occur as part of earthquake swarms. This swarm is larger than the average swarm we record but this is a normal thing to happen in Yellowstone.
Moreover, there are no volcanic signatures. This looks to be a ‘tectonic’ swarm in that these earthquakes are due to slip on small faults/fractures in the crust. There doesn’t look to be any evidence at this point that these earthquakes are related to the movement of magma in the subsurface.

When a volcano starts ‘acting up’ prior to an eruption, one of the typical signs is increased seismicity. However, it is usually just one of the signs of an impending eruption. Other signs include, large changes in surface deformation, changes to the hydrothermal system and changes in gas output. If we start to see changes in all these things, then a red flag may be raised.”

Over 30 earthquakes hit Lake Tahoe region on June 27, 2017

The United States Geological Survey reports that more than two dozen earthquakes rattled the Lake Tahoe region early June 27. USGS

The United States Geological Survey reports that more than two dozen earthquakes rattled the Lake Tahoe region early Tuesday. The largest earthquake measured a magnitude 4.0shortly after 2 a.m. at a shallow depth. The earthquake was reported 11 miles (17 kilometers) from Truckee. Preliminary earthquake information shows that at least 28 minor aftershocks occurred in the area, ranging in magnitude from 0.6. to 3.2 following the 3.9 magnitude shaker.

Series of more than 50 earthquakes hit northern iceland

There were over 50 earthquakes at Kolbeinseyjahryggur north of Iceland on June 27. Photo: Iceland Met Office

An earthquake swarm has started last night 230 km north off Iceland, with more than 50 small tremors and two earthquakes larger than M4.0 on the Richter scale. Oficials say there are no sings of an eruption and that the series seems to be linked to the movement of the American and the Eurasian tectonic plates.

The epicenter, known as Kolbeinseyjarhryggur is directly located where two tectonic plates meet. Series of earthquakes aren’t unusual, though they were many and some of them large all at the same time.
This article (Seismic swarms unrest the world: 900 earthquakes in Yellowstone, 40 quakes near Lake Tahoe, 50 earthquakes in northern Iceland) was originally published on Strange Sounds and syndicated by The Event Chronicle
          Rolls-Royce To Design And Equip New Stern Trawler For Icelandic Fishing Company   
stern trawler rolls royce
Rolls-Royce has won a contract to design and equip a new Rolls-Royce NVC 375 WP Stern Trawler for Icelandic fishing company HB Grandi.
          Of Iceland and Tudor Roses   

Just a quick update to say that I have finished the Icelandic Lace Shawl. It was a quick and easy knit. The color changes seem to have given it some interest. That said I am not sure that the finished product really appeals to me that much but it does seem to be a practical shawl that you don't have to agonize over getting snagged.

Here are some pictures. I look somewhat agonized. My husband sometimes has trouble taking pictures and I think I was letting it get to me.

I have also finished Katherine's first sleeve. The people in my knitting group so agonized about cutting the armhole steek but really what are you to do? A sweater with no arms would not be of much use. Likewise, I have two arms so off to finish Katherine up. I am hoping my energy can hold up until her completion.

In other news, if you have a Ravelry account I have been loading pictures of old stuff onto it. It's been a nice trip down memory lane. Check me out at LorriAnn.

          Back in Action with Icelandic Lace   

After getting to the blue border of the Icelandic Lace Shawl, I realized that one of my colors was off. I substituted the darker pool for the sky that I had been intending to use. I think it fits in with the overall color scheme better but I had to wait for KnitPicks to send me the one skein of yarn. Now that I have it I am back in action. I only have 10 very long rows left!

In the meantime I started a Large Rectangle In Spider Netting from Victorian Lace Today. I knew that I shouldn't because I have enough WIP's. Furthermore, I don't even know why I want to make this shawl. It is very plain with nothing very interesting about it. Never-the-less, I started yet another project and am very much looking forward to it.

          Plugging Away on Icelandic Lace Shawl   
I have been knitting away on the Icelandic Lace Shawl. It has been a quick knit although the pattern doesn't seem to be well written. I will have to check the errata and get back to you on that.
I had enough foresight to use a provisional cast-on at the beginning which made it much easier to pick up the 339 stitches for the border. I am 10 rows into the 30 row border and then I am done. I would be doing the happy dance but the last row has in excess of 600 stitches so I am not that close to the end.
In other news, I finally got on Ravelry. I am just loving it. Wonderful places to organize your projects, patterns, and stash. I also love how easy it is to look at other people's projects. If you are on Ravelry my name is LorriAnn. If you are not sign up to be a Beta tester because you will LOVE it.

          The Fall of Knitalongs   
There are so many wonderful knitalongs out there that I am always tempted to join but eventually I see reason. Reason says that I should finish some of the stuff on the needles before starting yet another project. Two knitalongs have called out to me so much lately though that I have joined.
One of the knitalongs is for Fulmar. If you have been reading my blog you may remember (or you may not since it has been awhile since I have worked on it) that I have been working on Fulmar forever. This is a great knitalong for me since I obviously need some inspiration and I don't need to add another project to me needles.

My Fulmar is currently on the home stretch of the front. Yes, that means that I still must knit 2 sleeves and the back. Someday I will finish this sweater. Honestly. . .

The second knitalong is for the Icelandic Lace Shawl courtesy of Knitting Daily. The pattern was free. I had most of the yarn. I am not currently working on a lace project. So I took the plunge. It looks like it will be a fairly quick knit also. I have only been working on it for a week.

I am using size 6 needles and 9 colors of blues and greens from Knitpicks Palette. I have been hearing some grumblings about the shawl being too small. The jury is still out on mine. I tend to block things quite large anyhow. I may switch to a size 7 for the border though.

Happy knitting everyone!
          Week 17 - Iceland   
itunes pic

          Sky UK USA + Turkey sky sport ABC news Vlc   

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          Icelandair to Install WiFi On Entire Fleet   

Icelandair passengers will get to surf the web by the end of this year.

The post Icelandair to Install WiFi On Entire Fleet appeared first on NYCAviation.

          Is Tyler, The Creator Dropping A New Album?   

What's so good?

Tyler, The Creator has been teasing fans via a countdown on his Twitter for the past week. Just a few months ago Tyler was supposedly gearing up to release an album called Scum Fuck Flower Boy. If you want to find out a bit more, read below.

Tyler, the Creator's New Album

In fact, despite expectations from fans, Tyler, the Creator isn't dropping a new album. The countdown on his Twitter was actually in anticipation of his forthcoming Viceland show, Nuts + Bolts, due to premier on August 3rd. 

However, this isn't entirely bad news as Tyler and his Flognaw/Golfwang gang are a normally hysterical, if not entertaining, at best.

Tyler, the Creator: 7 Days Countdown

Tyler has been posting a photo per day on Twitter as a 7 day countdown towards the announcement of Nuts + Bolts. Lets hope the hype is worth it!

Scum Fuck Flower Boy

The most likely explanation as to why fans were expecting an album is due to the spread of false information about Scum Fuck Flower Boy. Rumors about a new album have been abuzz after a mysterious website, featuring a countdown clock, popped up back in May. Tyler was quick to provide the verdict of 'untrue.'

For anyone hoping that there would be new Tyler, the Creator, it's not an album, but at least it's going to be more content!

Image Source: Wikipedia Commons

1. Original post: Is Tyler, The Creator Dropping A New Album?

2. Find more music on Indie Shuffle's Indie Music Blog.

          Gary Shaw pounces to give Shamrock Rovers impressive victory in Iceland   

STJARNAN 0 - 2 SHAMROCK ROVERS: Gary Shaw’s first-half goal brought Shamrock Rovers victory at the Stjörnuvöllur in Reykjavik last night to mark a milestone 100th win in European club competition by a League of Ireland side.

          Tyler, the Creator Drops Surprise Video with A$AP Rocky   
Tyler, the Creator Drops Surprise Video with A$AP Rocky

As originally seen on

While his new show looks fairly interesting, Tyler, the Creator fans were understandably disappointed when they thought the rapper's social media countdown clock wouldn't lead to new music. Fortunately, the rap luminary has come through with a brand new treat.

Tyler has teamed up with his former tour partner A$AP Rocky to share the new music video "Who Dat Boy." The song is ridiculously frenetic, and its colourful video (from Tyler under his Wolf Haley moniker) is packed with some gory graphics.

From the sounds of it, the end of the "Who Dat Boy" video also previews more new music from Tyler. Here's hoping that means another new album is on the way.

As previously reported, his new show Nuts + Bolts premieres August 3 on VICELAND.

          Tyler, the Creator Teases New 'Nuts + Bolts' TV Show   
Tyler, the Creator Teases New

As originally seen on

Not only is Tyler, the Creator jumping back into the world of television with his Jellies cartoon, but he's also set to host a new show on VICELAND titled Nuts + Bolts. Now, a teaser for the show has been shared by the rapper after a week-long countdown.

As Tyler explains in the clip below, the show is about "how everything that I think is awesome is made." The teaser sees him take on donuts, mustard, go-karts, stop-motion animation and time travel, which he learns about with Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Nuts + Bolts premieres August 3 on VICELAND. Watch the trailer in the player below. 
          The xx’s Iceland Festival Had Permit Troubles a Month Before Cancellation   
On Tuesday, the Reykjavík Grapevine reported that Night + Day, an upcoming music festival in Iceland hosted and headlined by The xx, had been cancelled. According to an email sent to ticketholders, organizers canceled the festival because Skógafoss, the waterfall where the concert was to take place on July 14-16, was added to the Environment Agency of Iceland's list of
          Shaw on target as Rovers win in Iceland   
Gary Shaw's first half goal brought Shamrock Rovers a deserved victory in their Europa League first qualifying round, first leg at the Stjörnuvöllur in Reykjavik.
          ICELAND 4K

Cast: Tomas Aamli

Tags: phantom 4 pro, drone, landscape, iceland, dji, 4k, nature, slowmo and glacier

          Light Hunter - Chasing the light in Iceland   

The Light Hunter Web series will launch on 4th of December 2015 on vimeo. The whole film will be available on the 4th of December.

Many people think that being a professional photographer is the best and easiest job there is. Traveling around the world, being independent, and hunting rare weather formations and moods. This does not correspond to reality. Experience close up the truth about this job. Accompany the well known Swiss photographer Stefan Forster on his trip trough Iceland. Look how his photographs are being made, witness how much effort Forster put's into his photographs, explore the beauty of Iceland, be a part of the adventure of being a photographer. This will be the first of several documentaries about the beauty of our world. Right now the movie production company WOOP Prod is editing and finishing their biggest movie project - the first lighthunter movie.

Publication date: Dec. 2015
Actor: Stefan Forster (
Producer / Director: Philippe Woodtli (
Camera: Reto Aebischer, Jean-Christophe Dupasquier, Philippe Woodtli, Stefan Forster

Cast: WOOP Productions

Tags: Stefan Forster, WOOP Prod, Iceland, Light Hunter, Nikon, Defy, Sony, Island, Photographer, Documentary, DJI, S1000, Nikon D800, Nikon D810, Panasonic GH4, A7s, Timelapse, Landscape, Aurora and Northern lights

          Тур в Исландию + день в Риге в августе за 3299€ с перелетом, питанием и экскурсиями   
Тур в Исландию + день в Риге в августе за 3299€ с перелетом, питанием и экскурсиями
Тур с вылетом из Киева 19 августа (сб) на 8 ночей до 27 августа (вс) Код предложения 29061705                                                                            ...
          PEAK SUMMER: Iceland and Greenland in one trip from Dublin from €489!   
Explore two amazing destinations!
Исландия это страна вулканов, моря и ледников, живые обои Iceland в полной мере отображают холодную красоту северного острова. Волны плещутся у кромки каменистого берега вулкана и легкие снежинки довершают картину суровой но прекрасной картины.

          Where Have The Ability To The Great Games Eliminated?   
The auto has to function completely under harsh summer heat, frigid winter seasons, water and accumulated snow. Ashantis happened to be specially surprised on performance of Afrifa. A few stores had animal meat that analyzed good for pony DNA: Tesco, Dunnes Stores, Lidl, Aldi and Iceland.

Now you see from very early occasions to existing occasions sterling silver has actually amazing healing attributes. Take in even more vegetables and veggies in whatever type you are able to manage — entire, powdered, tablet or even in smoothies — ask united states for some good recommendations. That is critical whenever education for a tournament.

Thanks to the lengthening periods, allergies are not just long lasting much longer; they are becoming more severe besides. Body out-breaks and itching are regularly relieved with omega-3 acids. This is exactly okay, in case you keep up working out as you are if you are dieting you will want to increase the level of excess fat in your diet to steadfastly keep up your health y body weight. The hats by breeze straight back features a distinctive charm with its enthusiasts, they just are unable to skip the opportunity to acquire one of these brilliant breathtaking artworks.

Give it the time and you should become a master of this recreation, where point we hope you come join you right up in Montana. The mix was pleasant to learn. The glowing skin, vibrant external and rude inner health is an integral hand out to others you have begun having Aloe Vera supplements.

Police cars may heavier weight than typical automobiles, about 1,000 lbs heavier. Wonderful sports vehicles also are already a greater target for theft, plus insurance fees will reflect it. The main city city Colombo features all the qualities of a metropolis. All you have to Beatriz do Prado Rodrigues is start after multiple easy recommendations at your home.

Be sure to test it on and make certain you're pleased with the combo. We'd all love to feel more youthful, more aware and much more self-confident about the body and basic wellness. Whenever that occurs, online may be the most powerful and most effective strategy to get any types of news details.

The large sampling place was actually bare during our check out, but one can envision a lively gathering on weekends. Think of for which you were when you heard the horrifying news. In addition it features a streamlined form that decreases pull by 43-percent within the FT-9 driver for lots more length. Green tea includes 5-alpha-reductase inhibiting substances.

In 2003 the business celebrated the 150th anniversary of fame and achievements. Its simple to spot individuals with, since they're packed with life and bouncing across location! Rods with thin blanks and light rings along with a delicious concept. Just what thus not many people comprehend as well as care and attention to ask the question.
          Adventure Travel with MOJO   

Explore. Discover. Transform….and Have some FUN!

Adventure travel continues to rise in popularity. The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) defines adventure travel as a mix of nature, physical activity and culture. A recent study found that the motivations for adventure travel are much more than the physical experience. People are looking for transformation, a sense of personal growth and challenge where they can gain accomplishment and come away with gratitude for the places they visit. Iceland certainly fits the adventure equation and is a hot destination for US travelers.

Molly Mathis, an experiential adventure travel expert and founder of MOJO Active Adventures  leads custom adventure travel trips for women currently to Iceland, Puerto Rico, and Colorado with many more destinations on the horizon. MOJO custom trip experiences seek out the very best in a destination and allow women to step out of their comfort zone through unique adventure activity to explore and discover amazing destinations.

MOJO Active Adventures inspire healthy living, balance, confidence, strength and meaningful connections with the following principles in mind:


 Travel gives you endless opportunities to learn and discover incredible things about yourself along with the destination you visit.


 In addition to the adventure based activities, attendees have the opportunity to engage in a variety of activities including yoga, culinary tours/demonstrations, cultural tours, spa/hot springs visits and more.



While fitness is a key element of a healthy lifestyle, rewarding yourself with earned relaxation is key. Taking time to enjoy yourself and engage with fellow travelers is essential.



MOJO Active Adventures can be designed to meet your group’s needs. Guests are encouraged to step outside their comfort zone, challenge themselves and go “all in”. Expert instructors lead all adventures activities and provide essential gear and necessary safety precautions.


Discover the land of Fire & Ice

This summer MOJO will lead two trips to Iceland June 9-16, 2017 and August 7-14, 2017 (sold out). The June trip has a few spots available if you are looking for some FUN adventure this summer. Visit for the full itinerary or call 770-356-4910. Group sizes are small (14) to allow for great connections among traveler


Iceland MOJO adventure highlights includes: “Valley of Thor” hiking, snorkeling between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, glacial walk and climb, horseback riding, bike and cultural tour of Reykjavik, Super Jeep interior island tour, visit to the world-famous Blue Lagoon, and much more.


Beginning in 2018, MOJO and Mountain High Adventures are thrilled to announce a partnership where MOJO Active Adventures will provide CO-ED trips for Mountain High Adventures travel seekers. Each trip will be customized to make the trip experience unique and adventure packed. Destinations will include Puerto Rico, Iceland, Colorado and Oregon. Trip details will posted at  and this summer.


Discover your MOJO on an adventure travel experience. It’s a magical experience that sets a course for personal transformation.

          Watch a New Trailer for Tyler, The Creator's Viceland Show 'Nuts and Bolts'   
The Odd Future co-founder will show us how everything he thinks is awesome is made. Continue reading…
          Comment on Yes, We Have an International Airport by BC Shelby   
...Boeing recently announced plans for the 797, which will fit in between the 737 Max and 787. The plane is designed specifically with providing long range/transatlantic service to smaller market cities (like Milwaukee) in mind. The 737 Max also will have the range to provide such service as well. One good candidate is Norwegian Air which currently serves Mitchell with "sunbird" flights to the Caribbean. The airline is not only taking on more orders for 787s, but the 737 Max 10 and is interested in the 797.. Norwegian is also looking to increase service between Europe and North America and is evaluating "second tier airports" that are close to major population centres such as Milwaukee Mitchell. Given the refurbishment that is under way to transform the underused E concourse into an international terminal complete with customs, as well as the close proximity to the Northern Chicago environs as well as having a rail station associated with the airport, Milwaukee could become an attractive "secondary" gateway. for the lower Great Lakes/Chicago region. True we may not be able to attract the big foreign carriers like British, Lufthansa, Air France, Virgin Atlantic, KLM, Qantas, ANA, or Ethiad, nor have overseas service provided by any of the big three US carriers (particularly since a number of them already offer intercontinental service from O'Hare). However, many of the low fare international airlines like Norwegian, Condor, Icelandair, and Air Berlin would fit right in.
#Italiangirl #americangirl #englishgirl #frenchgirl #spanishgirl #cinesegirl #hawaiangirl #germangirl #texasgirl #newyorkgirl #chicagogirl #floridagirl #belgiangirl #latingirl #norwergiangirl #mexicangirl #persiangirl #europeangirl #russiangirl #hungariangirl #croatiangirl #australiangirl #danishgirl #polishgirl #finnishgirl #braziliangirl #canadiangirl #icelandicgirl
          Comment on Iceland telephone country code fixed by Jacob   
          Comment on Iceland telephone country code fixed by mike   
Is this generated name real name and real ssn
          Ask A Limnologist: Are There Any Mosquitoes In Iceland?   

Professor Gísli Már Gíslason, Professor of Limnology (the study of lakes and fresh water) at the University of Iceland, explains:...

The post Ask A Limnologist: Are There Any Mosquitoes In Iceland? appeared first on The Reykjavik Grapevine.

          Missing In Iceland: All-Night Diners   

Visitors to Iceland are often quite taken by how Americanised this country is, from car culture to hot dogs to...

The post Missing In Iceland: All-Night Diners appeared first on The Reykjavik Grapevine.

          Giant Ferris Wheel Proposed for Reykjavík   

A story reported by Morgunblaðið has caught the attention of Icelanders across social media. Marta Jonsson, best known to Reykjavík...

The post Giant Ferris Wheel Proposed for Reykjavík appeared first on The Reykjavik Grapevine.

          Icelandic Facebook Groups: Hundasamfélagið   

2016 and 2017 have been rough times for humanity. Syria, Orlando, Manchester, Alan Rickman, Donald Trump, Harambe, the list goes...

The post Icelandic Facebook Groups: Hundasamfélagið appeared first on The Reykjavik Grapevine.

          Last Words: Once In A Lifetime   

Two news stories caught my attention during the first weeks of the short and bittersweet Icelandic summer. They made me...

The post Last Words: Once In A Lifetime appeared first on The Reykjavik Grapevine.

          Word Of The Issue: Fórnarlamb   

“Fórnarlamb” is the Icelandic word for “victim,” but it literally means “the sacrifice (fórn) lamb.”  Especially when it comes to...

The post Word Of The Issue: Fórnarlamb appeared first on The Reykjavik Grapevine.

JEWISH KING JESUS IS COMING AT THE RAPTURE FOR US IN THE CLOUDS-DON'T MISS IT FOR THE WORLD.THE BIBLE TAKEN LITERALLY- WHEN THE PLAIN SENSE MAKES GOOD SENSE-SEEK NO OTHER SENSE-LEST YOU END UP IN NONSENSE.GET SAVED NOW- CALL ON JESUS TODAY.THE ONLY SAVIOR OF THE WHOLE EARTH - NO OTHER. 1 COR 15:23-JESUS THE FIRST FRUITS-CHRISTIANS RAPTURED TO JESUS-FIRST FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT-23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.ROMANS 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.(THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE)

Dreams of a gender-neutral O Canada are over — for now-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-June 28, 2017

Canadians will not be singing a gender-neutral national anthem on Canada Day after a bill before Parliament to officially change the lyrics has stalled.The House of Commons overwhelmingly passed a private member's bill last summer that would alter the national anthem by replacing "in all thy sons command" with "in all of us command" as part of a push to strike gendered language from O Canada.Although the bill sailed through the House with government approval, Conservative senators opposed to the changes have scored a victory in the Red Chamber. A yearlong campaign successfully punted a vote on the bill until the fall, at the earliest, and even then the legislation faces an uncertain future."I'm trying to protect the tradition rather than, you know, water it down with a politically correct version that is historically inaccurate," Conservative Senator David Wells said in an interview with CBC News on Tuesday."I don't misrepresent why I'm [using parliamentary stall tactics] … I don't like this bill, and I will do what I can to ensure it doesn't pass."Wells and a number of other senators have said they oppose efforts to tinker with the lyrics written by a man long dead.(The lyrics have been changed since they were first penned by Robert Stanley Weir in 1908, but not since O Canada officially became the country's national anthem in 1980.) The late Liberal MP Mauril Bélanger introduced the bill, and many MPs backed the legislation as a salute to a colleague on his death bed."The bill was passed in the House compassionately and out of sadness for a dying colleague. While that is touching, it is not the way we make public policy in this country and it is not the way we do our legislation," Ontario Conservative Senator Lynn Beyak said.A flurry of amendments were introduced to the bill in the last few weeks of the parliamentary sitting — all failed to pass in the face of opposition from most Liberal and Independent senators — which dragged out debate considerably. Parliament rose for summer break before a final vote at third reading could be held.Ramona Lumpkin, the chancellor of Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, and a strong proponent of the bill, said she was deeply disappointed by the developments."We're so close and I really regret that there are a few senators who seem to have dug in and decided to delay. I hope it's not a permanent block," said Lumpkin, in an interview with CBC News."It's not as if the words were brought down from Mount Sinai on stone tablets like the Ten Commandments, they are words created by humans and subject to change as our social and cultural conditions change, and thank goodness they do," she said.Wells said national symbols cannot be altered to simply adhere to the "flavour of the day." He said Canadians were not consulted by the government and that there hasn't been an adequate conversation about a fairly significant change."I'll be working my hardest to delay this bill until there's a full debate," he said. "I get a lot of emails, and many comments to me personally, from people who don't want to see the anthem change, who see it as a part of our tradition and who see this attempt to change it as political correctness run amok. It is a slippery slope. Calls for inclusion will always be there, but my belief is all Canadians are already included in the national anthem."He said pictures adorning the walls of the Senate depict men in combat during the First World War. "Would we now airbrush females into those pictures to accurately reflect what it might be today with those pieces of Canadians' history? My answer is no, that would be an abomination, and I think that's what it is with the anthem as well."If the bill is amended in the Senate it would be sent back to the House for another vote. As per parliamentary rules, because Bélanger is dead, MPs will have to unanimously agree to replace him as sponsor or the bill drops from the order paper; that is unlikely given entrenched opposition from some corners of the chamber."That worries me," Lumpkin said. "I know language matters and I talk to students and young women regularly who still feel their voice doesn't carry as strong as the voice of their male friends. I think the gesture, even though it's symbolic, would say a lot to those young women."The Liberal government could also choose to introduce legislation of its own — with the same wording — to avoid some of the problems that often befall private member's bills; namely, the government could invoke time allocation to prevent procedural time delays.

DANIEL 7:23-24
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast (EU,REVIVED ROME) shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth,(7TH WORLD EMPIRE) which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.(TRADING BLOCKS-10 WORLD REGIONS/TRADE BLOCS)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings(10 NATIONS-10 WORLD DIVISION WORLD GOVERNMENT) that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.(EITHER THE EUROPEAN UNION DICTATOR BOOTS 3 COUNTRIES FROM THE EU OR THE DICTATOR TAKES OVER THE WORLD ECONOMY BY CONTROLLING 3 WORLD TRADE BLOCS)

9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.(THE VATICAN IS BUILT ON 7 HILLS OR MOUNTAINS)
11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

Heres the scripture 1 week = 7 yrs Genesis 29:27-29
27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week:(7 YEARS) and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.
29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.

DANIEL 9:26-27
26 And after threescore and two weeks(62X7=434 YEARS+7X7=49 YEARS=TOTAL OF 69 WEEKS OR 483 YRS) shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;(ROMAN LEADERS DESTROYED THE 2ND TEMPLE) and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.(THERE HAS TO BE 70 WEEKS OR 490 YRS TO FUFILL THE VISION AND PROPHECY OF DAN 9:24).(THE NEXT VERSE IS THAT 7 YR WEEK OR (70TH FINAL WEEK).
27 And he ( THE ROMAN,EU PRESIDENT) shall confirm the covenant (PEACE TREATY) with many for one week:(1X7=7 YEARS) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,(3 1/2 yrs in TEMPLE ANIMAL SACRIFICES STOPPED) and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Opinion-G20 is 'test run' for Trump-era climate governance By Simon Schunz-euobserver

BRUSSELS, 27. Jun, 09:06-Weeks after US president Donald Trump announced the US' withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, the debate is still raging on in regard to the possible implications of his decision.Some fear a global domino effect, with more countries renouncing climate protection pledges and ceasing domestic emission reduction efforts.Others argue that the Paris accord's architecture is sufficiently resilient, and that efforts to keep global temperature increases to "well below 2°C" – as stipulated by the agreement – will endure.Activities at the sub-national level in the US also seem to support the argument that the agreement will prevail and domestic opponents of Trump’s decision have mobilised remarkably quickly.Cities and states with progressive climate policies joined forces across the US, committing themselves to honouring the Paris agreement.For instance, support came via the bipartisan "US Climate Alliance" of states – including heavyweights such as California and New York – and the "We Are Still In" initiative, which involves hundreds of businesses, investors, and institutes of higher education.Moreover, these sub-national players are linking up with leading nations to create innovative climate diplomacy networks: California and China have held talks to collaborate on emission reduction efforts, while several US states have intensified climate cooperation with Canada.Though these developments enhance the Paris agreement’s chances of survival, they will not be enough.Fight for survival-The resilience of the agreement hinges on how other major emitters will react to Trump’s break.To pursue effective global climate governance, these countries must repeat the steps taken in the run-up to the 2015 Paris climate meeting, where a strategy of "multiple bilateralism" between US-China, China-India and China-EU (among others) served to build trust and resolve crunch issues.The emerging consensus among key emitters was translated into cooperation in the world’s club governance fora (G7, G20) and fed into the multilateral negotiations, leading to the Paris agreement’s ultimate entry into force.True to this spirit, six members (plus the EU) were already pressuring the US to remain committed to the Paris agreement at the recent G7 summit in Sicily. Not that it seemed to do much good, as Trump withdrew from the climate pact a few days later.The next litmus test for effective global climate governance comes in July, when leaders from countries accounting for 80% of global emissions meet for the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, on 7-8 July.With the US thrusting itself into isolation, the German G20 presidency will seek to gather the broadest possible support for the Paris agreement.But a question remains: is a G20 entente possible? It might be, if others show the way.Climate leaders-From the G7, the EU and Canada display the clearest leadership ambitions.EU heavyweights have signalled their "strongest commitment" to uphold their pledges to combat climate change.In his reaction to Trump’s Paris exit, Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, confirmed his country's "unwavering commitment to fight climate change".The Canadian government has also vehemently denied recent reports that Trudeau wished to scrap references to climate from the draft G20 declaration, in order to appease the US government.But leaders need followers. And whether followers can be mobilised depends on how G20 members define their interests – economically and politically.Economically, many G20 countries appear to believe the energy transition – accelerated by the Paris Agreement – must continue.Investing in low-carbon development is no longer seen as a burden on growth prospects. If anything, there is a growing consensus that Trump’s decision will put the US at risk of lagging behind technologically.Politically, the relationship between G20 countries and the US (particularly the Trump administration) is tricky.Are countries like Australia, Japan, Turkey and the UK willing to risk relations with the president of a key ally by adopting a confrontational attitude over climate change? The answer depends heavily on whether the German G20 presidency can dispel their concerns by convincingly demonstrating that the world is changing – because it is.-Changing world-At an EU-China summit the day after Trump’s announcement, a draft joint declaration on climate change characterised the Paris Agreement as “an historic achievement further accelerating the irreversible global low greenhouse gas emission and climate resilient development” and outlined numerous joint actions.Although it was ultimately withheld due to trade-related differences, this declaration contains the blueprint for a shifting centre of gravity in global climate governance to Eurasia.If supported by India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, who has reiterated support for the Paris Agreement, a solid pro-climate coalition including three of the world’s top four emitters would emerge.Cooperation with Canada, and with the sub-national forces in the US, could then provide additional momentum to convince other G20 members.As a major guiding forum, the G20 represents a test run for the future of global climate governance during the Trump era.The direction this governance will take, depends heavily on the strength of emerging partnerships, and their ability to convince others to join them regardless of US policies.If the will is robust enough, this "multiple bilateralism" could bring about the dawn of a new era, and the successful implementation of the Paris Agreement.If it fails, however, global climate politics faces a complicated, daunting future.Dr Simon Schunz is a Research Fellow at the United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS), and a professor of EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies at the College of Europe in Bruges. He is also a visiting professor at the University of Leuven.

Opinion-EU parliament should befriend transparency By Sylvie GUILLAUME and Danuta HUEBNER-euobserver

BRUSSELS, 27. Jun, 17:24-A few days ago, an NGO representative expressed her concerns about the way the European Parliament was dealing with the European Commission’s proposal for a revised inter-institutional agreement on a “mandatory transparency register”.The proposal was submitted by the EU commission on 28 September 2016 and aimed at including the Council of the EU, where representatives of member states sit, as a new partner within the framework.Following the commission's proposal, the EU parliament’s Conference of Presidents entrusted us, as the responsible lead negotiators - supported by a contact group composed of one MEP from each political group - with developing a draft negotiating mandate.We organised five contact group meetings, where detailed discussions provided the opportunity for all political groups to give their input and ideas. It led to the endorsement of a balanced text on 11 April this year.We enriched our deliberations by means of a half-day meeting between the contact group and the involved NGO representatives - including Nina Katzemich from the website LobbyControl, and others from organisations such as Transparency International, Civil Society Europe and Corporate Europe Observatory.We listened carefully to their concerns, many of which we had already incorporated into our work, such as the necessity to enlarge the definition of lobbying and to include an independent observer in the management structure of the transparency register.We also discussed how we to pursue the negotiations with the EU commission and the council in order to get those concerns taken on board.Instead of the expected swift adoption of the mandate, which would signal the parliament’s readiness to enter into negotiations, we were deeply troubled to find that the item had been taken off the agenda of the Conference of Presidents on successive occasions.-Horse-trading-It appeared that some MEPs used procedural manoeuvres and political horse-trading to achieve repeated postponements of the adoption of the mandate, even though a large majority in parliament supported its content.It seems that it is sometimes those who believe themselves to be on the path of righteousness, who are most willing to misuse our system of procedures to score cheap political points.We found it disturbing that some wilfully ignored parliament’s power to determine its own internal organisation.It has also saddened us to see that some of those who claim to be at the forefront of stemming the tide of populism, do not seem to mind riding on that very same tide when it serves their own political ends.However, we were glad to see that the Conference of Presidents finally adopted the mandate two weeks ago on 15 June, in the very same form that had been proposed by the contact group.Following its adoption, the mandate was immediately published on the EU parliament’s website.Regarding the free and independent mandate of MEPs - enshrined in EU primary law - it is noteworthy that the independence of elected representatives is a cornerstone of a representative democracy and a principle this is not easily dismissed.Therefore, any limitation on MEPs in the exercise of their free mandate must be proportionate and cannot, for example, unduly restrict his or her right to seek information.Moreover, a principle enshrined in primary law cannot be altered by secondary law, let alone by an inter-institutional agreement.The mandate adopted on 15 June is based on a long line of parliament’s decisions regarding its relations with interest representatives.It reflects the position of a broad majority of MEPs and it constitutes a solid base for negotiations on a significant improvement to the current transparency register and a widening of its scope.-Negotiating framework-The mandate should be understood as a framework for the negotiations.Parliament’s position will continue to be adapted as the negotiations progress. Once the negotiations are concluded, parliament will adopt follow-up decisions with respect to its internal organisation, in order to implement the new inter‑institutional agreement.But the European Parliament still remains committed to pushing for a transparency regulation that would go beyond an inter-institutional agreement and lay down the relevant provisions on transparency and the register in secondary law.One should not forget the progress that parliament has achieved so far in this field. It initiated the Transparency Register as early as 1996, as well as a Code of Conduct with a commitment for registered lobbyists to act in accordance with high ethical standards.Parliament is, and remains, the most open EU institution, which can be seen with the web-streaming of its meetings and the ability for citizens to visit all of its buildings.Furthermore, parliament decided that registration on the transparency register was to be made a requirement to be invited as a speaker at committee hearings and to receive a long-term access badge for its premises.It also put in place a voluntary legislative footprint last year, and it encourages its MEPs to meet only with registered organisations.Katzemich considers the EU commission to have made a big step in 2015 by publishing meetings of commissioners, heads of cabinets and directors‑general.Certainly, this is true. However, this measure was decided by the commission with a view to its own internal organisation and cannot be easily translated to other institutions such as EU parliament or the council, both of which have a different set-up.Furthermore, the commission’s system is not without its flaws and has room for improvement, as Transparency International and other organisations regularly report.As the EU parliament's lead negotiators, we are particularly committed to getting the council on board and to adding significant value compared to the current framework.Three principles-A new register should encompass the following three principles.First, the widest possible scope of application for EU institutions and other bodies, including meaningful participation of the council.Next, a comprehensive and clear framework, without weakening the current system, for the regulation of interest representation activities.Finally, structures and resources that guarantee effective implementation.One of the main issues is that the new inter-institutional agreement provides a framework for coordination among the EU institutions, while at the same time fully respecting their different competences and prerogatives.-The mandate-The approach we have developed in our mandate would allow for:- The full respect of MEPs' independent mandate.- An inclusive transparency policy for all types of interest representative, as with the current register that features over 11200 registered interest groups from all over the world.- The possibility to maintain the wider definition of lobbying, covering both direct and indirect interest representation (as with the current system).- The full respect for each institutions’ needs, e.g. in the case of parliament as an open house but also with the need to know, for security reasons, who is coming in and why.- More flexibility in respect to the EU institutions’ roles and structures (parliament cannot simply duplicate rules that were designed for the commission).- Better quality information on the database – making the register more reliable as a source of information for the institutions themselves and for the general public.The quality of the new system will depend on how far the council can be convinced to match the parliament’s and commission’s commitment to transparency.We would therefore advise to look at the whole picture and analyse the situation comprehensively, especially with a view to scrutinising the council’s approach.It takes time to change long-standing practices, but we are fully committed to forge ahead, knowing that a pragmatic and constructive approach will yield the best results.Transparency certainly is one important aspect of ensuring citizens’ trust in the EU institutions. But it is not the only one. Keeping true to the facts is another.Sylvie Guillaume is a vice-president of the European Parliament, and Danuta Huebner is the chair of the constitutional affairs committee-Correction: The article's footnote originally said that Danuta Huebner is the chair of the foreign affairs committee, when in fact, she is the chair of the constitutional affairs committee

EU Commission could get say on Russia gas pipeline By Andrew Rettman-euobserver

BRUSSELS, 27. Jun, 09:29-EU states have given initial backing for the European Commission to negotiate the legal model of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline with Russia.Pablo Micallef, a spokesman for the Maltese EU presidency, told EUobserver that “some 13” member states spoke out on the plan when EU energy ministers met for informal talks in Brussels on Monday.The incoming Estonian EU presidency is now expected to convene a working group to take things forward.The Danish energy minister, Lars Christian Lilleholt, who was among the 13 EU backers, said: “I’m very satisfied. It was the best thing that could have come out of the meeting”.The mandate will have to be formally approved later down the line in a “reinforced qualified majority” vote by member states, a higher than usual threshold of 72 percent of EU countries representing 65 percent of its population.Maros Sefcovic, the EU energy commissioner who drafted the proposal, told the Reuters news agency: “I’m definitely optimistic about getting the [formal] mandate, but I know this is just the beginning of the debate."Nord Stream 2 is to concentrate 70 percent of Russian gas supplies to Europe in one route to Germany under the Baltic Sea.But its critics, which include the Nordic states, the Baltic countries, Poland, and the US, say it would harm EU energy security and undermine Ukraine, a Western ally, by making Ukraine’s transit pipes obsolete.-EU laws-Anna-Kaisa Itkonen, the Commission’s energy spokeswoman, told EUobserver on Tuesday that the Commission wanted to talk to Russia on whether the offshore part of Nord Stream 2 should be covered by the EU’s so-called third energy package.That EU law would oblige Russian state firm Gazprom to open up its Nord Stream 2 monopoly to EU competitors - a demand which led Russia to stop a previous project, the South Stream pipeline under the Black Sea to Bulgaria.But Itkonen said the talks would “not [be] about a [Commission] veto, it is not about the future of the pipeline, not about the Commission approving it or not”.She said the Commission-Russia talks would be designed to give “legal certainty” on Nord Stream 2 and that they would be “nothing spectacular or extraordinary” because EU officials had held similar discussions with “third countries” on other projects.The Nord Stream 2 regulatory framework is currently being negotiated between Germany and Russia.German, Austrian, French, and Anglo-Dutch firms - Uniper, Wintershall, OMV, Engie, and Shell - are to take part in the project, with Germany and Austria keen to press ahead.Neither the German nor the Austrian minister spoke out on Monday, EU sources told Reuters, but Germany and Austria recently attacked the US over its threat to impose sanctions on Nord Stream 2 investors.“We decide who supplies us with energy and how they do it”, the German and Austrian foreign ministers said in a joint statement on 15 June.-Ukraine unhappy-Pavlo Klimkin, the Ukrainian foreign minister, told Reuters in Paris on Monday that Nord Stream 2 "would have disastrous consequences for the energy security of the European Union and would make the EU dependent on one source.""Maybe some companies will benefit for the time being, but in the long-run it will lead nowhere”, he said.He added that there was no progress on Russia ending hostilities in east Ukraine."How can you trust Russia in setting up a unique source of gas supply?”, he said, referring to broader EU and US concerns over Russia’s aggressive behaviour toward neighbouring states.

Focus-Nordics consider alternative to EU emissions trading system By Lisbeth Kirk-june 28,17-euobserver

Copenhagen, Today, 07:44-If the European emissions trading system is not reformed to work efficiently, a Nordic carbon price floor could be introduced to secure future green investments in the region, according to a new strategic review of energy co-operation by the Nordic Council.The plan, which has been in preparation for over a year, is penned by Finnish businessman Jorma Ollila, who had formerly chaired Royal Dutch Shell for almost ten years and was the chairman and CEO of Nokia.It comes at a crucial time, just as the final talks on reforming the EU's carbon trading scheme are due to take place in Brussels.On Tuesday (27 June), representatives of the EU member states, the European Parliament and the European Commission met for one of the final meetings on how the EU’s flagship climate instrument – the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) – should look in the 2021-2030 period.But before the real talks have even started, hopes of reforming the EU system to work efficiently are fading.”I think everyone realises that this is not enough. The [EU] proposal will not deliver a carbon price that we need to decarbonise the industry sectors,” said Femke de Jong, EU policy director for Carbon Market Watch.Her organisation brings together more than 800 NGOs and academics from 70 different countries, working to make the carbon market “an effective climate mitigation tool.””I think it is only logical to have a debate on how we can complement the system. A carbon floor price – at least at the regional level – seems a realistic option,” de Jong said.-Nordic energy union-Norway and Sweden are strong on hydropower, Norway produces oil and gas, Denmark has wind, while Finland and Sweden have built nuclear plants and are pushing for more bio-fuels as a future energy resource.Some 20 years ago, these countries decided to connect their national electricity grids with water reservoirs, allowing hydropower to serve as a kind of Nordic battery to compensate for periods without wind, for example.”There were significant benefits, welfare benefits, lower electricity prices and easier management of the generation of electricity in tough times or during high peak demand in winter times,” Ollila pointed out.This Nordic solution, Ollila said, has been "managed historically very well". He added that since the EU is looking into different prospects for the energy union, there is an opportunity to learn from "what has been done in Nordic countries over the past 20 years."In addition to Nordic carbon trade, Ollila also suggested a Nordic export strategy for green energy solutions, alignment of research and using the whole Nordic area as a testbed.Nuuk in Greenland has been suggested to become a testbed for the full deployment of electric vehicles, and Reykjavik in Iceland may become a testing ground for infrastructure and systems that can support electrification of visiting cruise and fishing ships.The Faroe Islands may become the place for the development of battery technology and energy storage.-Green transition and growth-Put together, the Nordic region today is one of the 12 largest economies in the world and it is already living proof that the green transition is not incompatible with economic growth.However, the Nordics must become even greener to complete their transition into renewable energy, the Nordic Council report said."The energy transition is already underway – but if the Nordic countries do not participate to the fullest, the jobs will be created elsewhere," warned Jorma Ollila."The renewables will take off faster than what was thought only five years ago. So, the role of the renewables will grow quite significantly," he added."The focus should be on securing the most efficient green transition. If the ETS does not provide this, it may be relevant and timely to discuss a joint Nordic approach to support the schemes for renewable energy," Ollila's report concluded.”Another approach could be to discuss the introduction of a Nordic carbon price, based on the United Kingdom’s carbon price floor, in order to secure stronger incentives for the green transition,” it said.-UK leads the way-The prospect of a regionalised European carbon trading system in the future is not limited to the Nordic area. For instance, the UK already introduced a carbon price floor in 2013.”So far, the only country in Europe that has a carbon floor price is the UK. There it was very effective. They introduced a carbon floor price in 2013 and it has resulted in UK coal emissions falling by almost 60% last year," Femke de Jong said, adding: "So it is really significant."She goes on to say that: "It can be a very effective instrument to – at least in the intermediate time – to make sure that the carbon price reflects the damage cost of the pollution to the society.”Under the UK carbon floor price system, carbon emission prices rise automatically – currently at 18 pounds sterling (€20) from 2016 to 2020.Currently the carbon price in Europe stands at €5, but it should rise to €40 to meet the objectives of the Paris climate agreement and rise further to €100 in 2030.-Regional carbon trade-”Ideally, this should be solved at the EU level, but if this is not possible in the short-term, it makes sense to go for a regional solution,” de Jong said.”France has been pushing for it very much in the past and we think that now, with Macron [as president of France], he will also push for that," she added."Let's see," she said, "maybe after the German elections, there can also be a regional carbon price in Western Europe – with Germany, maybe Belgium, the Netherlands and France."Linking the Nordic carbon trade to the British system might be made complicated by the Brexit process, however.”I think it might be tricky for the Nordic countries to join the UK system,” said de Jong.”It is still an open question if the UK will withdraw from the ETS or not. Maybe it is also an idea to team up more with other countries that are contemplating this,” she suggested.

Luxembourg not a tax haven, claims PM By Nikolaj Nielsen-june 28,17-euobserver

Luxembourg, Today, 08:42-Luxembourg continues to refute any notion that it is a tax haven, despite widespread evidence of dubious schemes that it cuts global tax bills for big firms."We were never a tax haven," Luxembourg's prime minister, Xavier Bettel, told EUobserver on Tuesday (27 June).Bettel's comments follow a grilling of Luxembourg's former prime minister and current European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker. Juncker in late May told the European Parliament that he was unable to explain why the Grand Duchy "didn't want to remove tax secrecy."But Bettel, who was fielding a wide range of questions from reporters at an event hosted by the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg, defended the country's tax policies by saying it was one of the first places to push transparency and the exchange of tax rulings with other member states."It is important for me that we have common rules and Luxembourg was one of the first one for transparency," he said.Luxembourg was rocked by scandal following media revelations in late 2014 that exposed how nearly 340 companies secured secret deals that shaved billions of euros from taxes, which were due to be paid elsewhere.The revelations ushered in a raft of new EU and national legislation to increase tax transparency and weed out abuse.The scandal also triggered a probe by the European Parliament, which slammed Luxembourg for allowing corporations to dodge "tax that could have been used to build schools, hospitals or pay down national debt."A report by the Brussels-based NGO, Eurodad, had also revealed last December that Luxembourg had in fact increased the number of so-called tax rulings in the wake of the 2014 media revelations by some 50 percent.The issue saw former PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) employee Antoine Deltour face prison time for leaking the secret rules to the media, posing larger questions on whistleblower protection laws.But Bettel maintained that his country was fully compliant with tax standards and had not committed a crime."There are over 20 countries in Europe doing [tax] rulings," he noted, echoing a similar refrain to his predecessor, Juncker.Luxembourg, under Juncker's decade-long leadership of the country, had also repeatedly blocked the rolling back of aggressive tax planning schemes throughout the EU, according to a cache of German cables leaked earlier this year.Bettel also opposes any pan-EU taxation system and refuses to impose any sort of tax on financial transactions.The financial transaction tax, also known as the FTT, aims to raise money for the public good by imposing a 0.1 percent tax on shares and bonds, and 0.01 percent on derivative products."I am fully against and I will block that," said Bettel. But he noted that other member states are free to move ahead on the file as part of a two-speed Europe.He also added that people in Luxembourg should not have to pay more tax only "because other countries were not responsible with public finances."

New cyberattack wallops Europe; spreads more slowly in US-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-June 27, 2017

PARIS — A new and highly virulent outbreak of data-scrambling software — apparently sown in Ukraine — caused disruption across the world Tuesday. Following a similar attack in May , the fresh cyber-assault paralyzed some hospitals, government offices and major multinational corporations in a dramatic demonstration of how easily malicious programs can bring daily life to a halt.Ukraine and Russia appeared hardest hit by the new strain of ransomware — malicious software that locks up computer files with all-but-unbreakable encryption and then demands a ransom for its release. In the United States, the malware affected companies such as the drugmaker Merck and Mondelez International, the owner of food brands such as Oreo and Nabisco.Its pace appeared to slow as the day wore on, in part because the malware appeared to require direct contact between computer networks, a factor that may have limited its spread in regions with fewer connections to Ukraine.The malware's origins remain unclear. Researchers picking the program apart found evidence its creators had borrowed from leaked National Security Agency code, raising the possibility that the digital havoc had spread using U.S. taxpayer-funded tools."The virus is spreading all over Europe and I'm afraid it can harm the whole world," said Victor Zhora, the chief executive of Infosafe IT in Kyiv , where reports of the malicious software first emerged early afternoon local time Tuesday.In Ukraine, victims included top-level government offices, where officials posted photos of darkened computer screens, as well as energy companies, banks, cash machines, gas stations, and supermarkets. Ukrainian Railways and the communications company Ukrtelecom were among major enterprises hit, Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan said in a Facebook post .The virus hit the radiation-monitoring at Ukraine's shuttered Chornobyl power plant, site of the world's worst nuclear accident, forcing it into manual operation.Multinational companies, including the global law firm DLA Piper and Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk were also affected, although the firms didn't specify the extent of the damage.Ukraine bore the brunt with more than 60 per cent of the attacks, followed by Russia with more than 30 per cent , according to initial findings by researchers at the cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab. It listed Poland, Italy and Germany, in that order, as the next-worst affected.In the U.S, two hospitals in western Pennsylvania were hit; patients reported on social media that some surgeries had to be rescheduled. A spokeswoman for Heritage Valley Health System would say only that operational changes had to be made. A Wellsville, Ohio, woman at one of its hospitals to have her gallbladder removed said she noticed computer monitors off and nurses scurrying around with stacks of paperwork.Security experts said Tuesday's global cyberattack shares something in common with last month's outbreak of ransomware, dubbed WannaCry . Both spread using digital lock picks originally created by the NSA and later published to the web by a still-mysterious group known as the Shadowbrokers.Security vendors including Bitdefender and Kaspersky said the NSA exploit, known as EternalBlue, lets malware spread rapidly across internal networks at companies and other large organizations. Microsoft issued a security fix in March, but Chris Wysopal, chief technology officer at the security firm Veracode, said it would only be effective if every single computer on a network were patched — otherwise, a single infected machine could infect all others."Once activated, the virus can automatically and freely distribute itself on your network," Ukraine's cyberpolice tweeted.Bogdan Botezatu, an analyst with Bitdefender, compared such self-spreading software to a contagious disease. "It's like somebody sneezing into a train full of people," he said.Ryan Kalember, a security expert at Proofpoint, said one reason the attacks appeared to be slowing down was that the ransomware appears to spread only when a direct contact exists between two networks — such as when a global company's Ukraine office interacts with headquarters.But once it hits a computer on a network, it spreads quickly, even among computers that have applied the fix for the NSA exploit."It's more harmful to the organization that it affects, but because it's not randomly spreading over the internet like WannaCry, it's somewhat contained to the organizations that were connected to each other," Kalember said.Botezatu said the new program appeared nearly identical to GoldenEye, a variant of a known family of hostage-taking programs known as "Petya." It demanded $300 in Bitcoin.Unlike typical ransomware, which merely scrambles personal data files, the program wreaking havoc Tuesday overwrites a computer's master boot record, making it tougher to restore even a machine that has been backed up, said Kalember.It may have first spread through a rogue update to a piece of Ukrainian accounting software called MEDoc, according to tweets by the country's cyberpolice unit. It said a rogue update seeded the infection across Ukraine. In a lengthy statement posted to Facebook, MEDoc acknowledged having been hacked.The motives of those behind the malware remain unknown. Ukraine has been a persistent target of pro-Russian hackers, who are blamed for twice shutting down large swaths of its power grid in the dead of winter and sabotaging its elections system in a bid to disrupt May 2014 national elections.Emails sent Tuesday to an address posted to the bottom of ransom demands went unreturned. That might be because the email provider hosting that address, Berlin-based Posteo, pulled the plug on the account before the infection became widely known.In an email, a Posteo representative said it had blocked the email address "immediately" after learning that it was associated with ransomware. The company added that it was in contact with German authorities "to make sure that we react properly."___Bajak reported from Houston. Associated Press writers Anick Jesdanun in New York, Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow, Larry Rosenthal in Beaver, Pennsylvania and Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, contributed to this report.Raphael Satter And Frank Bajak, The Associated Press.

Trudeau appoints his first climate change ambassador with revamped mandate-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-June 27, 2017

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tapped a long-time Canadian diplomat to step into a revamped role of Canada's ambassador for climate change.Canada hasn't had such an ambassador since January 2015.Jennifer MacIntyre fills the role as of Tuesday, with a mandate to push Canada's international relationships on the climate change file, including promoting Canadian clean technology businesses abroad.She is the fifth person to hold the title of ambassador for climate change — but the first where the role is not the equivalent of Canada's chief negotiator for climate change treaties.As such she will not be on hand next week when Trudeau sits down with other G20 leaders in Germany where the Paris climate change agreement will be front and centre.Instead her role is to find ways for Canada to take advantage of any international opportunities for trade and investment that climate change policies bring.MacIntyre spent most of the last four years as the ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein.The Canadian Press.

NATO chief: US allies to spend $12 billion more this year-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-June 28, 2017

BRUSSELS — NATO's chief says U.S. allies are projected to spend around $12 billion more on defence this year, after President Donald Trump berated them for failing to boost military budgets.NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Wednesday that "we have really shifted gears. The (spending) trend is up and we intend to keep it up."Unveiling new figures, Stoltenberg said European allies and Canada have increased spending by almost $46 billion over the last three years.He said 25 of NATO's 29 allies aim to raise defence spending in 2017.Only the United States, Britain, Estonia, debt-burden Greece and Poland met NATO's spending targets last year. Romania says it will meet the 2 per cent of GDP guideline this year, while Latvia and Lithuania plan to in 2018.The Associated Press.


LUKE 21:25-26
25 And there shall be signs in the sun,(HEATING UP-SOLAR ECLIPSES) and in the moon,(MAN ON MOON-LUNAR ECLIPSES) and in the stars;(ASTEROIDS ETC) and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity;(MASS CONFUSION) the sea and the waves roaring;(FIERCE WINDS)
26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear,(TORNADOES,HURRICANES,STORMS) and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth:(DESTRUCTION) for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.(FROM QUAKES,NUKES ETC)

Wind fans the flames of Utah fire that has burned 13 homes-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-June 28, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY — Firefighters are bracing for more high winds Wednesday as they try to slow a southern Utah wildfire that has burned 13 homes and forced the evacuation of 1,500 people.Firefighters are hoping to be able to put out hot spots on the southern end of the fire to allow residents to return to the ski town of Brian Head. Homes there have been evacuated since June 17 when authorities say it was started by someone using a torch tool to burn weeds on private land.The fire is the largest in the nation at 78 square miles (201 square kilometres ).The blaze is one of several in the West. Crews in California were making gains against two new fires that spread quickly, and firefighters in Idaho battled five lightning-sparked wildfires burning in grass and brush.

The Associated Press

EUROPEAN UNION-KING OF WEST-DAN 9:26-27,DAN 7:23-24,DAN 11:40,REV 13:1-10



GENESIS 6:11-13
11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.(WORLD TERRORISM,MURDERS)(HAMAS IN HEBREW IS VIOLENCE)
12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence (TERRORISM)(HAMAS) through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

GENESIS 16:11-12
11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her,(HAGAR) Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael;(FATHER OF THE ARAB/MUSLIMS) because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
12 And he (ISHMAEL-FATHER OF THE ARAB-MUSLIMS) will be a wild (DONKEY-JACKASS) man;(ISLAM IS A FAKE AND DANGEROUS SEX FOR MURDER CULT) his hand will be against every man,(ISLAM HATES EVERYONE) and every man's hand against him;(PROTECTING THEMSELVES FROM BEING BEHEADED) and he (ISHMAEL ARAB/MUSLIM) shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.(LITERAL-THE ARABS LIVE WITH THEIR BRETHERN JEWS)

ISAIAH 14:12-14
12  How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer,(SATAN) son of the morning!(HEBREW-CRECENT MOON-ISLAM) how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14  I (SATAN HAS EYE TROUBLES) will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.(AND 1/3RD OF THE ANGELS OF HEAVEN FELL WITH SATAN AND BECAME DEMONS)

JOHN 16:2
2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.(ISLAM MURDERS IN THE NAME OF MOON GOD ALLAH OF ISLAM)

Trudeau touts open Canadian immigration system in face of Trump travel ban-[CBC]-YAHOONEWS-June 27, 2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will continue to promote Canada's open immigration policy on the world stage as controversy rages over U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban.Trudeau said Tuesday during a news conference in Ottawa to wrap up the parliamentary sitting that government officials have had "multiple conversations" with the U.S. administration about protecting Canadian rights in the face of immigration decisions south of the border."But at the same time, Canadians have been very clear that we see immigration as a net positive, that we know we don't have to compromise security to build stronger, more resilient communities," he said. "I will continue to stand for Canadian values and Canadian success in our immigration system as I always have, whether it's in Washington or in Hamburg next week or elsewhere around the world."On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a limited version of Trump's ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries to take effect.The justices will hear full arguments in October, but in the meantime, the court said Trump's ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen could be enforced if those visitors lack a "credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."-Trudeau defends sniper role-In the wide-ranging news conference in the National Press Theatre, Trudeau was asked about topics ranging from trade concerns with the U.S. to recent news that a Canadian special forces member had shot and killed an ISIS fighter at a record distance for a sniper.Trudeau called the sniper actions "entirely consistent" with the role of troops in northern Iraq. The "advise and assist" mission has always had an element of defending Canadian forces as well as our coalition partners, he said."That is something that is integral to this mission, and that is something that has always been followed," he said.NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has said the incident suggests Canadian forces are actually involved in direct combat in Iraq, and has called on Trudeau to provide the public with more details on the role of the mission.Trudeau said the incident should be "celebrated" for demonstrating the excellence in training and performance of duties by the Canadian Forces.National Defence said the sniper, part of the Joint Task Force 2 special forces unit, was supporting Iraqi forces when he shot an enemy fighter from 3,540 metres away.That is more than a kilometre farther than the previous record, held by a British sniper who shot a Taliban fighter in Afghanistan in 2009.Trudeau also said he broke his key electoral promise to reform Canada's electoral system because there was no compromise from other parties, and he didn't want to use his Liberal majority to ram through fundamental change."There was no path to do that."-'No path' on electoral reform-Trudeau said Liberals preferred a ranked ballot system, while the NDP wanted a proportional voting system that would have led to "fragmented" parties.Conservatives wanted to keep the status quo, he said."It was a very difficult decision for me," Trudeau said in describing his decision to break the promise.Asked about when the government will eliminate the deficit, Trudeau said his government is targeting billions in new spending on infrastructure and other services Canadians need and will not put a timeframe on when it will "arbitrarily" balance the books.Trudeau also touted what he sees as the government's key accomplishments so far, namely helping improve the quality of life for the middle class and taking steps to tackle the opioid crisis before taking questions.The prime minister also reacted to a new round of anti-dumping tariffs imposed on Canada's softwood lumber industry by the U.S. Department of Commerce. He said he is focused on being "constructive" and working toward a deal that will help protect thousands of jobs in Canada.Earlier Tuesday, the prime minister issued a statement to mark Multiculturalism Day.'Differences make us strong'"Canadians come from every corner of the world, speak two official languages and hundreds more, practise many faiths, and represent many cultures," he said. "Multiculturalism is at the heart of Canada's heritage and identity, and as Canadians, we recognize that our differences make us strong."Canada's tradition of multiculturalism has meant fresh perspectives and new answers to old problems, Trudeau said.Noting that Canada is celebrating both the 150th anniversary of Confederation and the 35th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Trudeau said the milestones are a reminder of the values that unite Canadians: Openness, inclusion and deep respect for our differences."Whoever we are, wherever we come from, these values bring us together as equal members of this great country," he said.

U.S.-led coalition envoy visits Syria to discuss Raqqa aftermath-YAHOONEWS-[Reuters]-June 28, 2017

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Brett McGurk, the U.S. special envoy to the coalition against Islamic State visited north Syria on Wednesday and met the council planning to run Raqqa after its capture from the jihadists to assure it of support, one of its members said.The U.S.-led coalition is supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias that began fighting inside Raqqa three weeks ago.The SDF announced the creation of the Raqqa Civil Council in April to replace militant rule in a city that has for three years been Islamic State's de facto capital in Syria.McGurk has met the council in Ain Issa in north Syria twice before in meetings that were not publicized, a member of the Raqqa Civil Council, Omar Alloush, said.Colonel Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the coalition, said coalition members are routinely in northern Syria working with the SDF and other local entities including the council. He could not confirm McGurk's visit on Wednesday and referred queries to the special envoy's office.Alloush said McGurk and other coalition officials, including its deputy commander Major General Rupert Jones, promised infrastructure help but did not discuss how much money was available."They did not specify any sum, but they decided we will support first removing mines, lifting rubble, maintenance of schools, then electricity stations and water," Alloush said.This month, volunteers at the council told Reuters they had informed the coalition it would take about $10 million a year to restore power and water supplies, roads and schools.(Reporting by Tom Perry; Writing by Angus McDowall; Editing by Louise Ireland)

Cluster bombs kill at least 15 in eastern Syria-[The Canadian Press]-YAHOONEWS-June 28, 2017

BEIRUT — A cluster bomb attack on an Islamic State-held village in eastern Syria killed at least 15 people on Wednesday, activists said, the latest in a series of devastating airstrikes along the Euphrates River ValleyTwo Syrian monitoring groups, Deir Ezzor 24 and Justice For Life, said the weapons were dropped on the village of Doblan by an unidentified jet. Russian, Syrian, and U.S.-led coalition aircraft are all known to operate in the area.Cluster bombs are designed to spread small bomblets across a wide area, but many fail to explode, endangering civilians long after the fighting has ended.Omar Abou Layla, the head of Deir Ezzor 24, said 15 bodies, including of women and children, were recovered in the village. He said residents expect to find many more killed.Ali Rahbe, of Justice For Life, said local informants counted at least 35 dead in the village, which is between the IS strongholds of al-Mayadeen and Boukamal.The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the initial toll at 30 dead.At least 57 people were killed in an airstrike on an IS-run jail in the Euphrates River Valley on Monday. Activists said that airstrike was carried out by the U.S.-led coalition. The coalition said it was looking into the reports.Turkey's military meanwhile said it returned fire after an attack by Syrian Kurdish forces.A statement Wednesday said the People's Protection Units, or YPG, fired on Turkish territory overnight with anti-aircraft weapons from Syria's Afrin region. Turkish artillery units returned fire, destroying the "detected targets."The YPG is the main component of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a U.S.-backed militia that is battling the Islamic State group in the extremists' de facto capital, Raqqa. Turkey views the YPG as an extension of the Kurdish insurgency raging in its southeast.Turkey was angered by a U.S. decision last month to arm the Syrian Kurds, fearing the weapons will end up in the hands of Kurdish rebels in Turkey.The Associated Press.

Philippines says beheaded civilians found in rebel-held town-[Reuters]-By Kanupriya Kapoor-YAHOONEWS-June 28, 2017

MARAWI CITY, Philippines (Reuters) - Five decapitated civilians were found in a Philippine city occupied by Islamist rebels on Wednesday, the military said, warning the number of residents killed by rebel "atrocities" could rise sharply as troops retake more ground.The discovery of the five victims among 17 bodies retrieved would be the first evidence that civilians trapped in besieged Marawi City have been decapitated during the five-week stand by militants loyal to the Islamic State group, as some who escaped the city have previously reported.Some 71 security forces and 299 militants have been killed and 246,000 people displaced in the conflict, which erupted after a failed attempt on May 23 to arrest a Filipino militant commander backed by Islamic State's leadership.President Rodrigo Duterte promised to destroy the militants in Marawi and said the Philippines was now dealing with "a very dangerous situation" due to young Muslims inspired by the "mass insanity" of Islamic State."All they do is just to kill and destroy, and killing in a most brutal way," he said at an event where he received hundreds of sniper and assault rifles donated by China to help the military campaign in Marawi."They enjoy decapitating people in front of cameras. They have to be dealt with, with the same ferocity but not the brutality," he said.The information about the beheadings came via a text message to reporters from Lieutenant Colonel Emmanuel Garcia of the Western Mindanao Command. Garcia did not respond to repeated requests for details.A civilian rescue worker, Abdul Azis Lomondot, told Reuters body parts were found, but with "no proof of beheading".Military spokesman Jo-Ar Herrera said bodies were found separately in two groups, of 12 and five, but he was unable to confirm if the five were beheaded.The battle entered its 36th day on Wednesday, with intense gunfights and bombing in the heart of the town and black-clad fighters seen from afar running between buildings as explosions rang out.The rebels' hold on Marawi, while incurring the full force of a military for years trained by its U.S. counterparts, has much of the region on edge, concerned that Islamic State's influence may run deeper than thought.Those fears are also being felt in Malaysia and Indonesia, whose nationals are among the Maute group of rebels fighting in Marawi, suggesting the group may have built a cross-border network that has gone largely undetected.-RISING TOLL-Military spokesman Restituto Padilla earlier said it was likely that many civilians had been killed and the death toll - at 27 before the latest 17 were announced - was only what the authorities could confirm independently and escapees had reported many in the area of fighting."(It) may increase significantly," Padilla told reporters. "There have been a significant number that have been seen."Padilla said the cause of all of those deaths would be "atrocities committed by the terrorists".Among those atrocities, the army says, have been residents being forced to loot homes, take up arms or become sex slaves.Videos have appeared this month on the website of Islamic State's Amaq news agency and its social media channels of hostages in Marawi pleading for their lives, saying they would be beheaded if air strikes were not stopped. Clips have also appeared of kneeling captives, shot in the head from behind.Reuters was unable to confirm the authenticity of the footage.The military has so far been reluctant to discuss the possibility that the real impact of the fighting on civilians could be far more severe than has been reported.It has played down the impact of daily air strikes and mortar assaults aimed at rebel sniper positions, which have reduced areas of the lakeside town to rubble and alarmed people stuck there, some of whom have said the shelling was a bigger threat than the militants.Military spokesman Padilla said troops needed more time to finish what was a tricky mission, complicated by trapped civilians, hostages and booby traps.(For a graphic on battle for Marawi, click reporting by Neil Jerome Morales in MANILA; Writing by Martin Petty)


12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates;(WERE WW3 STARTS IN IRAQ OR SYRIA OR TURKEY) and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.(THE TURKEY ATATURK DAM ON THE EUPHRATES CAN BE SHUT AND DRIED UP ALREADY BY TURKEY)
13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon,(SATAN) and out of the mouth of the beast,(WORLD DICTATOR) and out of the mouth of the false prophet.(FALSE POPE)
14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.(WERE 2 BILLION DIE FROM NUKE WAR)
15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.(ITS AT THIS TIME I BELIEVE WHEN AMERICA GETS NUKED BY RUSSIA ON THE WAY TO THE MIDEAST)

44 But tidings out of the east(CHINA) and out of the north(RUSSIA, MUSLIMS WHATS LEFT FROM WAVE 1) shall trouble him:(EU DICTATOR IN ISRAEL) therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.( 1/3RD OF EARTHS POPULATION)

12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.
13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,
14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four(DEMONIC WAR) angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.(WORLDWIDE WAR)(TURKEY-IRAQ-SYRIA)(EUPHRATES RIVER CONSISTS OF 760 MILES IN TURKEY,440 MILES IN SYRIA AND 660 MILES IN IRAQ)
15 And the four(DEMONIC WAR) angels were loosed,(WORLDWIDE WAR) which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.(1/3 Earths Population die in WW 3 2ND WAVE-2 billion)
16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand:(200 MILLION MAN ARMY FROM CHINA AND THE KINGS OF THE EAST) and I heard the number of them.
17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.(NUCLEAR BOMBS)
18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.(NUCLEAR BOMBS)

          Eric Clapton sets record for the largest salmon caught in Iceland this year   
Who knew Eric Clapton was such as master with a fishing rod? Well, those who read his 2007 autobiography would know. For those who didn’t however, it may come as a surprise that the classic rock bluesman just entered the international record books after catching the year’s largest salmon in Iceland...
          Watch the trailer for Tyler, the Creator's new TV show 'Nuts + Bolts'   
Tyler, the Creator recently shared the trailer for his new TV show “Nuts + Bolts,” which is slated to premiere Aug. 3 on Viceland. Fans can gear up to learn some fun, fascinating facts in the multi-talented, multi-tasking rapper's exciting new creative endeavor. Tyler posted the teaser clip for the...
          Red hot Iceland keeps some investors out in the cold   
LONDON (Reuters) - Iceland spent nearly a decade trying to keep foreign money in the country after a financial collapse, now it is trying to keep some of it out.

Heartstone: A remote fishing village in Iceland. Teenage boys Thor and Christian experience a turbulent summer as one tries to win the heart of a girl while the other discovers new feelings toward his best friend. When summer ends and the harsh nature of Iceland takes back its rights, its time to leave the playground and face adulthood.
          There Is No Technical fix   

A New York Times article, Our Fix-It Faith and the Oil Spill quotes Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press,
Americans have a lot of faith that over the long run technology will solve everything, a sense that somehow we’re going to find a way to fix it.
He cites a 1999 poll in which he says they found us to be "naïvely optimistic about the fruits of technology: 81 percent said there would be a cure for cancer, 76 percent said we would put men on Mars." The article ends with Kohut referring to complaints when an Icelandic volcano sent plumes of ash over the continent, grounding airlines for a week. He said, "The reaction was: ‘Fix this. Fix this. This is outrageous.’" But there was no technical fix. The planes needed to wait until the ash dissipated. Not all our problems can or will have technical solutions.

The problems facing those seeking to master the deep sea oil leak reveals the problem of putting our faith in technology as not all our problems have technical solutions. Turning from such larger matters as volcanos and oil leaks to the more personal, we find folk looking for technical solutions in cosmetic surgery and abuse of alcohol and drugs. Instead of dealing with problems more directly, realistically, we can opt for technical solutions. Here again, there is not always a technical fix, but that does not mean we can get beyond God's redemption.

I am reminded me of a quotation I have shared previously in this space. Albert Rhett Stuart, the Sixth Bishop of Georgia told the techno-tuned folks of 1956,
People are discovering that a life full of gadgets is no satisfactory substitute for a life lived in the power and presence of God.
I am not seeking to minimize the natural disaster taking place deep under the Gulf, but to use this to point beyond the current crisis to the problem of relying on technology to save us in some larger sense, and while redemption is possible, it doesn't come through technology, but in relationship.

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

Icelandic Valcano
          Tyler, the Creator explores how “awesome” things get made in trailer for new show Nuts + Bolts — watch   
Rapper/creative's new show debuts this August on Viceland.

April 2001 | The Netherlands becomes first country in the world to allow gays to marry in a civil ceremony 12 European countries follow Belgium, Britain (except Northern Ireland), Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway,...
          Stjarnan vs KR Reykjavík, Jul 02, 2017 – Live Stream, Score, Prediction   
Icelandic Cup, Stjarnan – KR Reykjavík, Sunday, 3:15 pm ET Short Preview Stjarnan has a series of defeats in the last matches (in the last 5 games wins – 0). Recent matches KR Reykjavík is playing unpredictable (in the last 5 games wins – 1). Stjarnan will have a small advantage in this match.Last 10 […]
          Gimli: Webcam des New Iceland Heritage Museum in Gimli   
          Road Trip - Travel Locket - Summer Vacation Wanderlust Photo Locket Necklace by DearestMine   

38.00 USD

Let the adventure begin!

This locket makes the perfect gift for wanderlust travelers!

I have the extreme pleasure of collaborating with Etsy award-winning photographer, Irene Suchocki. Her stunning work was featured on a recent episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition". She creates 'little poems for the eyes' and our talents merge to bring you little poems to adorn your neck!

Irene took this spectacular adventure photograph in Iceland. This dazzling fine art photograph is printed on Kodak Endura's gorgeous metallic paper. The colors are exceptionally vivid and the image has a unique three-dimensional quality. The paper has a lovely pearlescent sheen and it's simply stunning in it's oval grande brass locket. The vintage camper "Road Trip" image is captured on an antique finish brass oval locket. The locket features a classic smooth finish around the border as well as on the backside.

The photograph is sealed with a glass-like coating for protection and shine and the locket hangs on a brass rolo chain which is finished with a lobster clasp. Length-a generous 28 inches but can be shortened upon request!

Inside the locket, there are 2 empty recessed oval areas for you to mount your favorite pictures of your own choosing. These openings measure 38mm tall (1 1/2 inches)inch tall by 29mm wide. The outside diameter of the locket measures 2 inches tall by 1 1/2 inches wide.

This would make a fabulous gift for that special someone...even yourself!

To see more of Irene's amazing fine art photography, please visit her shop at


          Misseri-calendar: A Calendar Embedded in Icelandic Nature, Society, and Culture   

Development of Icelandic calendar from Viking settlement forward

          Misseri-calendar - The Icelandic Week-based Calendar   

Certain calendar features were familiar to all the settlers, who mainly came from the fiords of Western Norway, with slaves from Ireland and the British Isles. These features included a seven-day week [3], with several of the days named after Norse gods that in turn correspond to Roman gods whose names remain visible in the weekday names of some Roman languages.

  • Sunday, the day of the sun

  • Monday, the day of the moon

          Global Bottled Water Market Industry Analysis, Trends and Forecast   

In terms of value, the market is expected to register a CAGR of 6.6% during the forecast period (2016–2024).

Albany, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/30/2017 -- Transparency Market Research (TMR) offers an 8-year forecast for the global bottled water market between 2016 and 2024. In terms of value, the market is expected to register a CAGR of 6.6% during the forecast period (2016–2024). The main objective of the report is to offer insights on the advancements in the bottled water market. The study demonstrates market dynamics that are expected to influence the current environment and future status of the global bottled water market over the forecast period. The report aims to offer updates on trends, drivers, restraints, value forecasts, and opportunities for manufacturers operating in the global bottled water market.

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Global Bottled Water Market: Drives and Restraints

Factors such as increasing health consciousness, hygiene awareness, lack of well-developed public water infrastructure and demand for functional bottled water are expected to fuel revenue and volume growth of the global bottled water market.  Bottled water manufacturers are introducing new products with health benefits and new flavours which is resulting several product launches in the bottled water market. The new products offering functional benefits, better taste and convenience are preferred by consumers. Increasing disposable income and consumer preferences for bottled water over aerated drinks and rising demand for functional and flavoured water are expected to further fuel demand for bottled water across the world.  Globally, the growth of PET bottles sector has led to widespread supply of bottled water, through wide network organized markets as well as several grocery and club stores. These factors are expected to bolster growth of the bottled water market in the near future. 

A section of the report discusses how the overall competition in the market is steadily increasing. It discusses various factors shaping the internal as well as external competition in the market. Overall internal competition in the bottled water market is observed to be comparatively high owing to a large number of major providers of bottled water products and increasing number of small domestic players in the market. The global bottled water industry is facing external competition from producers & distributors, which are adopting forward and backward integration strategies, and developing their own facilities to produce bottled water. Various barriers to entry in the industry are analyzed and rated on the basis of their impact on the competition level in the market. 

Global Bottled Water Market: Competitive Landscape

In the final section of the report, a competitive landscape has been included to provide report audiences with a dashboard view. Key categories of providers covered in the report are bottled water suppliers, manufacturers, and a list of major retailers and raw material suppliers. Detailed profiles of the providers are also included in the scope of the report to evaluate their long- and short-term strategies, key offerings, and recent developments in the bottled water space. Key players in the global bottled water market report include bottled water suppliers and manufacturers such as Key players in the global bottled water market report include bottled water suppliers and manufacturers such as Nestle Waters, Groupe Danone, PepsiCo Inc, The Coca Cola Company, Mountain Valley Spring Company, LLC., Suntori Beverage & Food Ltd, Unicer - Bebidas SA, Grupo Vichy Catalan, Icelandic Water Holdings ehf., CG Roxane, LLC

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Global Bottled Water Market: Segmentation 

The report analyses the market share of the global bottled water market by each of the packaging type segment including PET bottles, glass bottles, and others(foodservice, vending). It also analyses the market share of the global bottled water market by each distribution channel and product types. A section of the report highlights bottled water demand, region-wise. It provides a market outlook for 2016–2024 and sets the forecast within the context of the bottled water ecosystem, including strategic developments, latest regulations, and new product offerings in the global bottled water market. This study discusses key region trends contributing to growth of the global bottled water market, as well as analyzes the degree to which drivers are influencing the market in each region. Key regions assessed in this report include North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), and Middle East & Africa (MEA).

Key Segments Covered

By Product Type
Still Bottle Water
Carbonated Bottle Water
Flavored Bottle Water
Functional Bottle Water
By Packaging
PET Bottles
Glass Bottles
By Distribution Channel
Convenience/Drug Stores
Grocery Stores/Club Stores
Others (Foodservice/Vending)

On the basis of product type, the global bottled water market is segmented into still bottle water, carbonated bottle water, flavoured bottle water and functional bottle water. Demand for bottled water has grown significantly owing to increasing consumption bottled water over any other non-alcoholic beverage. Improving hygienic conditions, health consciousness and improving living standards, clubbed with increasing consumer preferences for functional bottled water is expected to drive revenue growth of the global bottled water market. 

On the basis of distribution channel, the global bottled water market is segmented into super/hypermarket, convenience/drug stores, grocery stores/club stores, and others (foodservice/vending). A detailed analysis has been provided for every segment in terms of market size analysis for bottled water across the globe. 

In addition, it is imperative to note that in an ever-fluctuating global economy, we not only conduct forecasts in terms of CAGR, but also analyze on the basis of key parameters such as Year-on-Year (Y-o-Y) growth, to understand the predictability of the market and identify the right opportunities.

Another key feature of this report is the analysis of all key segments in terms of absolute dollar. This is usually overlooked while forecasting the market. However, absolute dollar opportunity is critical in assessing the level of opportunity that a provider can look to achieve, as well as to identify potential resources from a sales and delivery perspective in the global bottled water market.

Key Regions/Countries Covered

North America
Latin America
Rest of Latin America
Rest of Europe
Asia Pacific
Australia and New Zealand
Rest of APAC
Middle East & Africa
North Africa
South Africa
Rest of MEA

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Related Report : UHT Milk Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2013 - 2019

Flavored and Functional Water Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013 - 2019

Bottled Water Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2016 - 2024

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          Comment on Top 5 Hotels in Reykjavik On A Budget In Iceland by Will Tang   
You're most welcome Bill! Hopefully you'll be able to enjoy at least one of these hotels on your trip to Iceland.
          Comment on Top 5 Hotels in Reykjavik On A Budget In Iceland by Bill   
That's about as good as a deal you'll see in Iceland ... thanks for bringing them to our attention!
          Destination Yamaha Iceland, la aventura de 18 moteros   
18 aventureros recorrerán Islandia de la mano de Destination Yamaha Hugo Scagnetti se va a unir a 17 motoristas para embarcarse en una nueva aventura, recorrer a bordo de 13 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré Islandia. Los aventureros buscan redescubrir la historia de los vascos en la isla nórdica hace 402 años, cuando 32 balleneros vascos perdieron la vida.
          Leif Vollebekk And His Latest Recording "Twin Solitude"   
Leif Vollebekk was born in Canada, but his music is influenced by his travels to France, Iceland and New York. Now he calls Montreal home.
          2016 | the year in review   
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2017 is here. It sounds like such a futuristic number. 2017 is the year I will celebrate 20 years since I graduated from high school. (Omg.) I'm honestly not feeling super inspired about this year (or the next four, yikes) thanks to current politics in this country. The impending inauguration is filling my January with dread. But at the same time, I'm more motivated than ever to make a difference in 2017.

But first, let's take a look back at 2016. It seems a little silly to summarize a year that I didn't write about in the first place. My life has felt so routine and cyclical these past few years and I'm not sure how to shake myself out of this deep rut. I feel like I'm just rehashing the same things on this blog year after year. I only seem to share travel photos anymore and my travel posts are feeling too formulaic and also make my life seem like all we do is travel. But in reality, there are lots of hard everyday moments in between those incredible trips. I do miss writing and sharing photos, and most of all documenting my life, so I guess there's no time like the present to get back in the blogging saddle. While 2016 was a bit of a crap year for the world (and definitely for the U.S.), and a difficult year for me emotionally and business-wise, it was also a pretty awesome year of travel and hiking for Larry and me. There's good and bad to all years, though, and I'm thankful I had such incredible adventures to make up for the challenging times.

But back to reminiscing about 2016. We traveled a ton this year, both within the U.S. and internationally. Socially, we laid low and kept to ourselves. My three biggest personal accomplishments were hiking 100 miles, finishing a sketchbook, and reading 62 books, which is a good reminder that it's the simple pleasures that make a good life.

I actually started this post back in January 2016 and typed up a summary of each month throughout the year...until June, when I forgot about it. Dedication to habits long-term has never been my strength. Luckily, thanks to the world of social media and the thousands of unorganized photos on my computer, it's easy to go back and remember what we were doing each month...

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snowzilla 2016
Netflix and sweet potatoes. That pretty much sums up how we spent January. Larry and I were still reeling after a difficult and emotional December. 2015 had been a tough year for us, and we were still in recovery mode. The one thing I usually love about January is making goals and planning out the year. But we really struggled with planning this year because 2016 was supposed to go in one direction, and it ended up going in another. Which in retrospect is what keeps life interesting, but at the time was very confusing and we felt a bit upside-down.

After eating like college students in December, we rediscovered our cooking mojo and ended up spending the month eating dozens of sweet potatoes (Mediterranean Baked Sweet Potatoes, Sweet Potato and Tomato Sauce, Thai-Flavored Green Curry with Sweet Potatoes and Green Beans, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos), watching Netflix (we were hooked on Making a Murderer) and starting to make travel plans after scoring tickets to see Pearl Jam in Quebec City in the spring. Snowzilla hit at the end of the month and we holed up with a few cases of beer and a giant pack of TP. We cooked banh mi in multiples forms. My SnoBrum got snowed into the trunk of my car, so we dug out with a kick board. We made snow angels in the backyard. We celebrated a belated Christmas with Larry's family in Maryland and had Dad and Sheila over for a Christmas/New Year's dinner. I started an online book club with Veronika and Karen and laughed my face off as we critiqued/destroyed our first book pick. I had a painting in a local art show and attended the VIVID opening with friends.

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Our Virtual Book Club started reading Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart which led to both epic conversation (143 comments on our discussion thread- WHAT DOES IT EVEN MEAN?) and serious wanderlust. Larry and I took our first hike of the year with the pups on the A.T. in Maryland. We finally nailed down our plans for our annual anniversary trip and per usual, made the reservations at the last minute. We started talking about a summer trip to Scandinavia and tried to figure out how to squeeze in visiting Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and the Faroe Islands. Ha! We considered getting a reservation for dinner at Noma in Copenhagen before it closed at the end of the year. Ha, again! I spent a day in DC with my friends Jane and Lauree, drinking cocktails and marveling over the Wonder exhibit at the newly opened Renwick Gallery. Larry had a dream about me in which I exclaimed "I'm never partying with Elvis or drinking Old Crow again!" We went bowling and I got a high score of 141, which is about double what I usually bowl. (Should I add that to my list of accomplishments?!) We ate more banh mi. Larry non-surprised me with cupcakes on Valentine's Day. We celebrated our friend Jen's 40th/10th birthday on Leap Day. Our dryer broke as we were packing for our anniversary trip.

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We took our third anniversary trip to Palm Springs and Joshua Tree. We relaxed at Sparrows Lodge, eating breakfast under the citrus trees, lounging by the pool, and spending the evenings in the hot tub. We only left the lodge to eat an anniversary dinner at Workshop. We stayed at an incredible modern cabin in the desert and hiked 9 miles to the Lost Palms Canyon Oasis. We saw a desert tortoise on the trail. I spent way too much time trying to photograph the perfect Joshua Tree. We listened to U2. We showered outside in a corrugated metal tube during a windstorm. We ate coconut cupcakes on our anniversary and sampled California beers. We saw incredible sunrises and the darkest night skies. We saw art installations at the Noah Purifoy Outdoor Museum. We dreamed of buying cheap land, moving to the desert, and opening up a taco joint.

Back in Virginia, spring finally arrived. We went hiking, and visited wineries, and tried to get rid of our winter funks. We did a lot of laundry at my mom's house. We planned local excursions and goals for the rest of the year. We had an Easter picnic in the car with my mom. We started eating healthy again after our winter slump. I was frustrated with low-carb/vegan breakfast options and became obsessed with this recipe for awesome Blueberry Muffin Breakfast Cookies.

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I started swimming laps again (with my waterproof iPod) and meditating in the mornings and was feeling great and productive. For the first time ever, I crossed off all my To Dos on my weekly planner. We celebrated Mom's birthday on a beautiful spring day at Hillwood Gardens. We hiked Rose River Falls in Shenandoah National Park. I volunteered to help build the Raise/Raze re-ball art installation at the DC Underground with friends. (And then was unable to see the finished exhibit because tickets sold out immediately!) I struggled with some business decisions. I went back to the Wonder exhibit to marvel over the installations again and take photos. We saw our first concert of the year on April 1st - Caleb Caudle and Wrinkleneck Mules at Jammin Java. On the last day of the month, we drove north and stopped in Schroon Lake, New York for a night on the way to Canada.

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We spent a few days in Jacques-Cartier National Park in Quebec. We hiked over snow pack, stayed in a modern cabin, saw a moose, ate cheese (so much cheese!), and sat by the fire in the evening. We sampled Canadian beers. We met up with our friend Bryan in Quebec City, mangled the French language, ate poutine, and drank cocktails in the Hotel Frontenac. We saw Pearl Jam play at the Centre Videotron and survived the scariest cab ride of my life. We explored Montmorency Falls and took a culinary/alcohol driving tour of Ile d'Orleans, sampling wine, beer, cider, pastries, chocolate, and ice cream as we went.

Back in Virginia, I became enraged as the house across the street was torn down and construction began on a new McMansion to replace it. I read a memoir about Tokyo and became obsessed with Asian food. We finally replaced our washer and dryer after living without one for three months. We watched two baby foxes (and their mama) explore our yard for several weeks. I got locked out of the house for six hours. We began renovating my studio, and gave it a fresh coat of paint and built a giant bulletin board over Memorial Day weekend.

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We continued working on my studio reno, and then per usual, quit, mid-project. We celebrated Larry's birthday/Larrypalooza with several concerts: Nathaniel Rateliff and Lord Huron at Wolf Trap, and Frank Tuner, Jason Isbell, and Chris Stapleton at Merriweather Post. We took our first (and only) bike ride of the year. We hiked Big Schloss in George Washington National Forest - one of the best local hikes we've ever done. I started a sketchbook and a 100 day personal challenge, which I called #artandactive. We finally booked our trip to Iceland. Gravy killed a baby bunny while I was sitting in the yard drinking a beer. I got new eyeglasses for the first time in 13 years. Karen died and I checked out of society for a while.

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I made art and exercised every single day in July. We hiked Kennedy Peak and Wildcat Mountain and visited Creek's Edge Winery, Vanish Brewing Company, and Backroom Brewery. I got stung by a bee. We spent Saturday mornings at the farmers market. We bought tons of tomatoes and Larry worked on perfecting his Bloody Larry recipe. We had a picnic in Cherry Hill Park. I got a GoPro and practiced by taking a thousand fish-eye selfies of my big head using burst mode. I went to Belmar to visit my dad and we spent our days at the beach. I swam in the coldest water I've ever been in. In the mornings we read on the porch, ate fruit, and walked 4 miles down the Spring Lake Boardwalk. I convinced Dad to eat vegetarian sausage. I watched the Democratic National Convention and drew politicians in my sketchbook. Cory Booker liked my drawing of him on Instagram. We picked 9 pounds of blackberries.

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I ate all the blackberries. It was seriously Iron Chef Battle Blackberry in the Smoellke test kitchen, as I made everything from cocktails to pizza using our berry bounty. I spent many hours watching the Rio Olympics. I continued sketching and exercising every day for my #artandactive challenge, but quit after 77 consecutive days, because we went to Iceland...

A trip to Iceland had been on my bucket list for nearly 20 years. It was definitely the highlight of the month and the year. After surviving a huge travel snafu in getting over there, we had a wonderful time. We explored Reykjavik, and saw a local music festival at the Kex Hostel, where we discovered the music of the incredible Axel Flóvent. We soaked in the Blue Lagoon, saw hundreds of waterfalls and thousands of sheep, and hiked to a geothermal river. I fell on my face and nearly knocked my teeth out. I spent more time naked outside than I ever have. We ate tomato soup in a tomato greenhouse. We saw seals frolicking among icebergs. We walked on a glacier. We saw the Northern Lights and watched them shimmering overhead while soaking in a hot tub on the deck of our cabin.

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We had a few more days in Iceland. We saw the Northern Lights again. We hiked the famous Fimmvörduháls Trail. We took what I thought was a nature cruise and ended up being a death-defying ride on a speedboat. Back at home, I struggled with jet lag and post-vacation funk. We started hiking in Virginia again and visiting wineries afterwards. We went tubing on the Shenandoah River with our friend Bryan and a cooler full of beer. A new season of television started, and I got hooked on This Is Us.

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I completed my first embroidery project, became obsessed, and started several larger embroidery projects. We hiked some more. Gravy got hurt and we ended up leaving him at the e-vet while I sobbed at the pizza restaurant across the street. He was fine. We went to a Halloween party dressed as Yukon Cornelius and his Bumble. I dressed Gravy up as a sad martini using his cone of shame. I watched the presidential debates and felt enraged. We visited our nephew at West Virginia University and saw Frank Turner perform at a local club. Larry and Thomas gave me a tour of the campus and the engineering school. I was very excited to ride the PRT (personal rapid transit). We drank the bottle of Poizin zinfandel that I had been saving for six years. It was incredible.

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The beginning of November was abuzz with equal parts anxiety and excitement over the upcoming election. It was almost all I could think about. A few days before the election, we saw a snake in our yard - an ominous sign? On the evening of November 8th, we were frantically packing for a flight to New Mexico which left early the next day, but I still made time to bake a Hillary quiche for dinner and sit down to watch the election returns. As we all know, THINGS DID NOT GO AS EXPECTED. As the night hours became early morning, my worry switched to fear and then uncontrollable tears and despair. I got several bloody noses. I finally forced myself to lie in bed for an hour before my alarm went off to go to the airport. I'm not sure how I managed to finish packing for the trip, other than I got a case of the fuck-its, crammed some clothes in my suitcase, and said "Let's just get the f*** outta DC!" And at the time, I would've been ok not coming back. I considered driving from New Mexico to actual Mexico and saying adios to the USA forever. I'm still crushed by the election, but a little more level-headed these days. I am so thankful that we had to leave for a trip the next day because that escape was just what I needed. I found myself getting teary multiple times during our trip, but the foreign landscape of rural New Mexico and some good ol' nature therapy definitely gave me some separation from what was going on in DC.

In Santa Fe, I explored the art galleries on Canyon Road while Larry went to business meetings. At night, we sat by the fire in our kiva. We stuffed our faces with face-melting New Mexican food - I ordered Christmas chile on everything. We talked politics with some long-bearded guys at a bar. We headed north to a great little AirBnB cottage in Dixon. Our hosts were wonderful and brought us cookies. We hiked at Tent Rocks, Rio Grande del Norte, and Chimney Rock at Ghost Ranch. I finally saw a Big Horn Sheep. In the evenings, we played Scrabble in the cottage. We visited wineries and ate green chile pizza at Mamacita's.

Back in Virginia, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at our friends' house. I made a pumpkin praline cheesecake. We hosted a birthday/chili party for our friend Mike. We went to the National Gallery of Art with my dad and had dinner afterwards at Montmartre. My obsession with embroidery continued, and I stitched until I started suffering from severe neck pain. Gravy got sick and gave us another scare. I made a video of our New Mexico trip using the 1 Second Everyday app.

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December is always an extremely difficult and stressful month for me. I tried to plan ahead this year to ward off the stress and emotions, but the month ended up walloping me anyway. I painted dozens of ornaments to raise money for charities. We kicked off our last hike of the year by eating vegan donuts at Glory Doughnuts, and then we hiked the A.T. to Annapolis Rock and completed our 100 mile challenge. We popped into The Bottom Line to drink beer under the Christmas lights. I burned a lot of scented candles. I changed my hair color. We saw our eighth concert of the year - The Weepies at The State Theatre. I celebrated my birthday with friends at Miracle on 7th Street and Right Proper Brewing Company. Larry took me on a dinner date at Equinox. I hung out with the Sara/hs and drank wine, ate cheese, and laughed my face off with my oldest friends. I made cookies. I finally replaced my four-year old, nearly inoperable iPhone. I failed to send out Christmas cards for the second year in a row. I started diapering my dog who started taking out his dissatisfaction with life on our carpet. I read my 62nd book of the year. We saw Manchester by the Sea in the theater and the Winter Walk of Lights at Meadowlark Gardens. We ate spaghetti for Christmas dinner and hung out with the dogs. As usual, Larry and I gave each other almost identical gifts. We hosted a southern-themed New Year's Eve dinner party and burned old Christmas trees in the backyard. At midnight we toasted with Alabama Slammers, lamented the future of the U.S., and talked about where we'd go in 2017...
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          best of 2016 | best books   
2016 Books and Beverages collage
Follow what I read and chat with me about books on Instagram: @funnelcloudrach | #booksandbeverages

2016 was a great reading year - I read 62 books, explored different genres with the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, joined Goodreads, and enjoyed discussing books with my online book club. The year started off with the creation of the Virtual Book Club with Veronika and Karen. Our first selection was the most boring book I have ever read in my life (H is for Hawk - HOW does this have 4 stars on Amazon?!) and we ripped that book a new one in our online discussion. I had tears of laughter running down my face at each new hilarious comment, and with that, our group was forever bonded in snarkiness. Luckily, every book club pick after that was excellent. (Though honestly, I think we have more fun discussing the bad ones!) In June, we lost Karen to cancer and I also lost some of my mojo for reading (and life). But I did keep reading throughout the year, more consistently than I ever have.

Here's what I read in 2016:

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
Snapper by Brian Kimberling
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley
H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald
Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius
Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Lumberjanes, Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson
Lumberjanes, Vol. 2: Friendship to the Max by Noelle Stevenson
Wake Up: The Morning Routine That Will Change Your Life by Jeff Finley
Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart by Carrot Quinn
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me by Ellen Forney
The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins
Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley
A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg
Slade House by David Mitchell
Tomboy by Liz Prince
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Boy on Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard by John Branch
The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
Paris: A Love Story by Kati Marton
Pretty Good Number One: An American Family Eats Tokyo by Matthew Amster-Burton
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Stitches by David Small
The Martian by Andy Weir
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
This is the Life by Alex Shearer
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Black River by S.M. Hulse
Ethel and Ernest by Raymond Briggs
Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea by Guy Delisle
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki
A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver
300 Days of Sun by Deborah Lawrenson
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Blue Horses by Mary Oliver
The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
The Council of Dads by Bruce Feiler
Miss American Pie by Margaret Sartor
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
Love, Loss, and What We Ate by Padma Lakshmi
Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelson
Why I Wake Early by Mary Oliver
Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt
You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When it Monsoons by Mo Willems
Shelter by Jung Yun
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli
Unbecoming by Jenny Downham
Yes, Please by Amy Poehler (audiobook)
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama (audiobook)
Land of Shadows by Rachel Howzell Hall
Essays After Eighty by Donald Hall
The North Water by Ian McGuire
Simpatico by Sam Shepard
Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe (audiobook)

And the breakdown, because I love these types of stats:

Total Number of Books: 62
Fiction: 30
Non-Fiction: 29
Poetry Collections: 3
Graphic Novels: 13
Audiobooks: 3
By Male Authors: 31
By Female Authors: 31

A 50/50 split between fiction/non-fiction and male/female authors! This makes me feel pretty good that I'm reading a wide variety of books.

Favorite Books | Did You Ever Have a Family
                             Burial Rites
                             The Martian

Larry has always teased me about loving depressing books, and my favorites definitely confirm that. I loved Bill Clegg's Did You Ever Have a Family, but the premise is heartbreaking. And Hannah Kent's Burial Rites, which is based on a true event (and which I read in preparation for our trip to Iceland last summer), is downright bleak and crushingly sad. On the other hand, Americanah and The Martian aren't sad books, and they definitely lived up to the hype they've gotten over the past few years. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is an incredible writer and incredibly smart and I can't wait to read more of her books. And I never ever thought I would read, much less include in my favorites, a book called The Martian (which Larry kept recommending me to me and I kept ignoring), but I must admit I loved it. (And the movie was pretty good, too.) It may not be high-brow literature, but it was pure entertainment and I got thoroughly sucked in and couldn't put it down.

A few other good ones: if you enjoy a thrilling summer page turner, I enjoyed The Kind Worth Killing more than both Gone Girl and Girl on the Train. Station Eleven also lived up to the hype, and I'll admit I was reluctant to read it because I am not at all interested in dystopian books. (Larry enjoyed this one, too.) This is the Life and Essays After Eighty may not be everyone's cup of tea, but they provided thoughtful, humorous, insightful nuggets about life. And The North Water was the most masculine book I've ever read - brutal, gruesome, and perverse. You've been warned! It is savage, bloody, and definitely NOT for everyone, (there are only I few people I would confidently recommend this to, my husband being one of them) but it was also captivating and I couldn't stop turning pages. Another manly book is Black River, a modern western, which was surprisingly written by a woman.

My favorite graphic novel was Tomboy. If you were ever bullied or felt like you didn't fit in as a child, you'll relate to this one - Liz Prince nails it. My favorite audiobook was The Audacity of Hope, which is narrated by Barack Obama himself. I found his voice and his thoughts to be so soothing and reassuring during my post-election depression. I'm hoping to listen to more audiobooks in 2017, now that I've found that I strongly prefer memoirs which are read by the author. Several months ago I got hooked on embroidery and I've found that it's the perfect repetitive/mindless task to work on while listening to a book. I've also surprisingly been enjoying reading poetry - but only Mary Oliver. I find reading a few of her poems (which are mostly about nature or dogs) first thing in the morning is almost meditative and gives me a better outlook on starting my day. I'm still skeptical of other poetry, but Mary Oliver is awesome.

I've been struggling with whether I should set reading goals for 2017. On the one hand, I love setting goals and know that they motivate me to read more, and on the other, I feel that having a goal turns reading for pleasure into an assignment and takes the fun out of an activity that I'm doing for my own enjoyment. I know I want to read a lot, but should I put a number on it? My goal for 2016 was to read 52 books (one book per week) and I was able to exceed that goal, but does setting a number discourage me from reading longer books?  One reason that I was able to read a lot of books this year is because I read some poetry collections and graphic novels which were extremely fast reads. But I have a couple of 1,000 pagers sitting on my shelves that I was never inspired to tackle. I also enjoyed working on the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge in both 2015 and 2016, but both years I came close, but never finished the challenge. The challenges definitely got me to read lots of books that I wouldn't have ordinarily picked up (science fiction, poetry, post-apocalyptic, horror, comics, a play), but does it matter that I didn't complete the challenge? Another goal is to keep working my way though the Pulitzer winners, and yet another is to read more of the books that have been sitting unread on our own shelves. So little time, so many books! What should I do? Part of me wants to set a specific reading goal for 2017, and the other part of me says my reading goal should be to read whatever I want!

I'm curious to hear what others think about reading goals! And if you'd like to join our virtual book club (which I think we should re-name to Snarky Virtual Book Club!), connect with me on Goodreads and I'll send you an invite!
          weekend adventures | tubing the shenandoah   
tubing the shenandoah
On the last Saturday in September, we celebrated summer's last hurrah with a tubing trip down the Shenandoah River. I'd been trying to make this excursion happen all summer, but with vacations and crappy weekend weather forecasts, we didn't pull it off until summer's eleventh hour. Actually, it was the third day of fall. But no matter, the weather was perfect and getting out on the river was a great way to extend summer.
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Our friend Bryan is always game for an adventure, and when all of our other friends already had plans for the weekend, the three of us decided we weren't going to miss out on the perfect weather forecast or the chance to squeeze in one last summer activity. We booked a three mile float with Front Royal Canoe, donned our river shoes and swimsuits, packed a couple of coolers of sustenance (ok, it was beer), lathered up with sunscreen, and were driven in an old school bus to the launch point. Our coolers were even fitted out with their own tubes. Redneck fun at its finest.
tubing the shenandoah
tubing the shenandoah
tubing the shenandoah
I figured the tube adventure was a good opportunity to practice taking photos with the GoPro I got in July. Over the summer I had tested out my new toy at the beach and in Iceland, with mixed results. One we got on the river, I strapped the camera to my arm, but it kept sliding, so I ended up strapping it to my knee. I find it really hard to set up a photo with the GoPro (or even tell which mode I'm in), so I just pushed the button randomly and literally shot from the hip. Er, knee. Once again, I got a lot of awkward pictures of my arms and legs and other random body parts...

Still, it was fun to shoot some pics on the river without worrying about how to keep a camera dry. Don't let these "action shots" fool you. It was slow going on the river. Really slow going. A couple times we asked each other "Are we even moving?" The trip was supposed to take 3-4 hours, but we had almost 6 hours before we had to get the tubes back to the outfitter. Plenty of time! We had all day to mosey down the river. (Foreshadowing!) We didn't bring our phones with us and had no idea what time it was (and no way to contact anyone!) It was SO liberating. All we had to do was float.
tubing the shenandoah
tubing the shenandoah
tubing the shenandoah
tubing the shenandoah
This was definitely the most relaxing thing I did all summer. The sun was shining, the water was clear and refreshing, and the views were gorgeous. I literally had nothing to do but sit in a giant inflatable donut and drink beer. I didn't even have to leave the tube to pee! I think this is the only scenario I've ever experienced where peeing was easier for girls than guys!
tubing the shenandoah
(I'm peeing right now.)

We quickly learned that it was best to tie all our tubes together so we could talk without drifting apart (and so we all had easy access to the beer cooler.) This also worked well when we hit slow spots and the boys got out of the tubes to pee pull us, and I could sit my lazy butt in my inflatable toilet tube and pee float while being towed. This is the life.
tubing the shenandoah
We eventually stopped for lunch and while we were eating Larry pointed to a black shape down the river. "Is that a cow in the river?" he asked. We scoffed at him, and then the black shaped moved its head! It was a cow in the river!
tubing the shenandoah
tubing the shenandoah
Another awkward GoPro photo. With cows in the background.

By the time we got back in our tubes, the cow had moved to shore, but we found a whole herd watching us wearily from the river bank. We slowly floated past the herd (and some idiot girls who nearly rammed the wading cows with their canoe while trying to take selfies with them. PSA: Cows don't like selfies!)
tubing the shenandoah

Our little flotilla slowly floated on. It seemed to be taking a very long time to travel three miles, but luckily we were well-stocked with refreshments.
tubing the shenandoah
tubing the shenandoah
tubing the shenandoah
tubing the shenandoah
tubing the shenandoah
tubing the shenandoah
tubing the shenandoah
tubing the shenandoah
tubing the shenandoah
And then we realized the sun was starting to set and river came to a virtual halt. What the heck time was it anyway? We had to have the tubes back by 6:30, but it couldn't possibly have taken us longer than the 4 hours maximum time it was supposed to take to float the river, could it? We started getting worried. The river wasn't moving at all and the boys got out of the tubes to tow us. The whole trip the river had been perfectly clear and about two feet deep, but suddenly the river was five or six feet deep and full of muck. When Bryan mentioned that he had sunk knee-deep in slime, I made the decision to stay in my tube. The guys spent the last 20 minutes of the trip swimming through literal sludge to get us back in time. Thanks, guys!

It was 6:15 when we returned our tubes. Somehow it had taken us five and a half hours to float three miles!

But still, I can't wait to do it again! It was great forced relaxation after a summer spent stressing and introverting. (Time in nature makes everything better.) Why didn't we do this every weekend over the summer? Next time, I'll try to round up a bigger crew (who's in?), but that probably won't happen until next year. That Saturday ended up being the last day of summer weather in Virginia. By Sunday it had dropped ten degrees and by Monday I was wearing a sweatshirt. It's been raining ever since.

And with that, summer 2016 comes to a close. I'm hoping there's still a chance to get back on the river this fall - maybe in a kayak...

          New Beginnings.   
Note: I think it’s about time I properly introduce myself.

My name is Reyna and I write. Or should I say I’m a writer-in-the-making since I’ve only dropped tags every now and then, here and there. I’m still in the process of studying letterforms and style development.

In other words, yes. I’m still a straight up toy.

I’ve been into art since I was little. I grew up around it, studied it and it’s been the only thing consistent in my life so far. I’ve been painting long before I was first exposed to graffiti, which was only two years ago when I first moved to Malaysia.

My impression of graffiti was pretty typical of an outsider. I appreciated the art but I didn’t think much of it until I met Cyde02, who opened up my eyes to the culture – telling stories of the scene, his personal experiences in it and life in general. Meeting him was the tipping point of all this and he’s been a ubiquitous influence in my growth artistically and as a person up 'til now.

I’ve met quite a number of other writers since and the more I knew about graffiti, the more drawn I became to it. I fell in love with how raw it is and how passionate these people were against all odds. That fearlessness became something I wanted so badly to emulate and because I already had a somewhat similar background, their means of communicating it was something I could already relate to.

Around the same time there have been drastic changes in my life mainly because I’ve finally gained the freedom to really explore myself, living on my own and all. Graffiti became more than just an art form, but a mirror image of what I was going through. Tagging my name became a public declaration of my rebirth and I can honestly say that I have never felt more comfortable in my own skin, who I am, and the direction I’m going.

It’s been a thrilling and humbling experience so far, which is pretty wild since I’ve only just begun to take the plunge.

Hello, world. I’m finally here. :)

Oh, and how did Reyna come about? I wanted a tag name in my mother tongue. Reyna means ‘queen’ in Tagalog. Coincidentally, it also means ‘to have experienced/to feel’ in Icelandic. Fitting, no?

Big ups to KWS. ♥

          A brief history of climate change and conflict   
This is a very important and timely article from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

I would encourage people to read and study this article carefully.


A brief history of climate change and conflict

By James R. Lee | 14 August 2009 Article Highlights

■The interaction between climate change and conflict started as early as 35,000 years ago.
■The Neanderthals, Vikings, and Mayans all benefited and suffered from a changing climate that affected resources such as water, game, and agriculture.
■By analyzing historical case studies of climate and societal collapse, we can identify a set of discernible lessons for today.
In recent years, many foreign affairs experts have attempted to demonstrate the linkages between climate change and the social tensions that can lead to conflict. While critics may believe this is simply a fad in international affairs, history suggests otherwise. Over the last few millennia, climate change has been a factor in conflict and social collapse around the world. The changing climate has influenced how and where people migrate, affected group power relations, and provided new resources to societies while taking away others. Such circumstances cause large-scale alterations in lifestyles and illustrate pathways from climate change to conflict.

Because climate change can be a contentious subject, it's worth taking a moment to answer some basic questions and put forth a series of assumptions. First, what is climate change? The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the most authoritative source on the subject, assesses climate change by measuring changing temperatures and precipitation. Since trends in temperature often (but don't always) drive trends in precipitation, scientists consider temperature a more robust and stable measure of climate change. But in simplest terms, climate change is the long-term change in the patterns of these two meteorological characteristics. Second, does climate change affect the world the same everywhere? In fact, climate change is a heterogeneous phenomenon and produces different outcomes in different places. The subsequent case studies demonstrate that a changing climate can have acute regional effects such as near the equator or North Pole, the "hot" and "cold" zones, respectively. In both cases, "hot" and "cold" conflicts demonstrate how rising and falling temperatures have had different impacts on human survival and prosperity.

Finally, a fact: The relationship between climate and conflict isn't as simple as cause and effect. Instead, climate change events--such as temperature shifts of a few degrees or a precipitation change of a few inches--contribute to conflict gradually over the long term. Because the climate has been changing for millennia, it's possible to look at the past for examples. Do we see cases of climate-conflict interaction when rates of climate change have diverged? In fact, it's possible to assess historical events and records in order to construct pictures of how climate affects conflict. Historical case studies, therefore, allow us to identify three paths from climate change to conflict: sustained trends, intervening variables, and the need for conflict triggers.

Consider each of the paths. The first is that conflict has the potential to emerge after a sustained period of divergent climate patterns. While people can survive aberrant, short-term climate change by exploiting existing or stored resources, this strategy has temporal limits. On this particular path the issue isn't one of surviving an especially fierce rain or harsh winter, but the cumulative effects of many fierce rains and many harsh winters. Next, climate change alone won't cause conflict but, along with other factors, will contribute to and shape it. It's one variable among many others, such as cultural, economic, or demographic factors. Last, unless a society learns to adapt to sustained climate change, its wealth will decline and its social fabric will weaken with each passing year. But even if a society faces these environmental challenges, a trigger--such as an assassination, extreme natural event, or random act of group violence--is usually required to ignite violent conflict.

We can, nevertheless, draw lessons from natural (climate) and human (conflict) interaction that may be transferable to today's global climate challenge by considering three periods in human history: the Holocene warming period, the medieval climate optimum, and the "little ice age."

About 35,000 years ago the Holocene warming period, during which the North American and Eurasian glaciers shrunk, was responsible for ending the last ice age that coincided with the flowering of human culture. This period and its aftermath shaped the climate we live in today. The glaciers receded, and humans migrated north to Eurasia in search of hunting grounds. Probably around today's Middle East region, the humans found plentiful game and encountered the Neanderthals. Over time, humans pushed into Europe and forced the Neanderthals further north into the less hospitable parts of the continent, where game wasn't as abundant and temperatures were much colder. Although the Neanderthals had survived several ice ages over the course of hundreds of thousands of years, they couldn't survive both an ice age and the humans, who enjoyed advanced weaponry and social organization. Of course, theories about the end of the Neanderthals are controversial and unresolved. However, there is no question that climate change provoked the interaction of human societies and the Neanderthals and subsequently led to conflict.

The medieval climate optimum lasted from 500 to 1000. It brought about a period of sustained progress in Europe as warmer conditions allowed for longer growing seasons in the largely agricultural societies. However, conditions elsewhere were quite different. Between 700 and 900, rainfall in China was scarce due to weak summer monsoons that failed to develop over the Pacific Ocean. Gerald Haug and other researchers have concluded PDF that famines caused by the failed monsoons resulted in peasant revolts and fueled the intrastate conflict that drastically weakened, and then led to the complete collapse of, the Tang Dynasty.

Across the globe in North America, the Mayans had settled in the lowlands around 8000 BC and began practicing large-scale farming as early as 2000 BC. By the beginning of the medieval climate optimum in AD 500, the population was nearly 14 million, making it one of the largest centers of civilization anywhere. But the thriving Mayan cities began to experience diminished long-term rainfall patterns. Dry conditions began in 760 and, after a 50-year wet period, drought again set in about 860. Another drought followed in 910. The boom-and-bust cycles of rainy and dry periods contributed to eras of both growth and decline. Technology, population sizes, and agricultural intensity overwhelmed the land. Yields declined with the dry conditions and these structural incongruities led to ongoing wars between Mayan city-states that eventually contributed to their collapse.

The warming in Central America that was disastrous for the Mayans was, on the other hand, fortunate for the Vikings. Warmer temperatures in the north meant their land was more hospitable to live on. Complex push-and-pull factors allowed the Vikings to expand their settlements from Scandinavia to Iceland, Greenland, and later Newfoundland. It was in Newfoundland that they encountered Native Americans. The Native Americans, too, perceived the warmer climate as a new opportunity and fought to control the increasingly abundant land. The Vikings and Native Americans would alternately trade and fight with each other throughout the Vikings' time in Newfoundland.

Enter the "little ice age"--a period marked by abnormally cooler temperatures. Scholars differ on the exact duration of this period; some researchers believe it started as early as 1000 in certain northern regions, whereas other historians, such as noted scholar Brian Fagan, believe it lasted from 1300 to 1850. Regardless, when the climate turned cold, the Viking colonies that had flourished in the warmth of the medieval climate optimum collapsed in Newfoundland (which they had abandoned because of ongoing conflict with the Native Americans). The western Greenland colony was the next to collapse, and around 1350, coinciding with the time of the Black Death, the eastern colony also began to decline. It survived only into the early 1500s.

During the same period, the Anasazi, a hunter-gatherer people who over centuries settled into a sedentary lifestyle, lived along the rivers of what is today the Southwest United States. With gradual improvements in technology and a beneficial climate, their population grew. But the little ice age brought a period of long-term drought, and Anasazi population growth exceeded its resource base. Timber, game, and other resources had to be imported from neighboring areas. The Anasazi had survived a long-term drought and many smaller ones in their long history. So why were they unable to cope with the little ice age drought? Like the Mayans, Anasazi city-states came into conflict as resources dwindled.

Because of its recency, scholars are able to theorize more completely about the little ice age. There were sharp extremes in temperature during the period. In fact, it had two temperature low points, one during the late 1400s and early 1500s, and another during the late 1700s and early 1800s. During the latter extreme cold period, a catastrophic geologic event occurred. In April 1815, Mount Tambora, on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa, threw a massive amount of volcanic dust into the atmosphere in one of the largest volcanic explosions in modern times. The volcanic dust travelled worldwide and blocked the sun's rays, lowering temperatures, especially in the northern hemisphere. The period of extreme cold, coupled with this sudden volcanic eruption, produced the "year without summer."

The year without summer illustrates two different stories--one in Europe and another in North America. In Europe, the cold forced people to migrate. But land across the continent was relatively densely settled, so conflict often came with population movement. On top of this structural problem, the Napoleonic wars culminated shortly before, sapping the vitality and stability of the economy. People were already suffering through instability, but the cold compounded social strife. There were no "pressure valves," such as open land, for populations under temperature-induced duress. The result was social upheaval, riots, and disease.

The cold was just as bad in eastern North America and Canada, where most summer crops were lost. But unlike Europe, there was ample land for climate migrants west of the United States. The building of the Erie Canal in 1817 gradually opened up a westward route for easy migration. Thus, where in Europe people lacked the pressure valve necessary to cope with difficult times, in North America the valve not only existed but its exploitation was encouraged.

These are just a few accounts that allow us to synthesize history into a set of discernible, often regionally specific, lessons on conflict manifestations for today. The impact of climate change is obviously differential in the "hot" and "cold" wars, where trends may reward one part of the world while punishing another--for example, in terms of economic subsistence. In particular, four lessons of conflict emerge from the aforementioned cases that may have application for today's challenges:

■The decline or growth in general resources, such as arable land and fresh water, can cause significant societal impacts. During extremely warm periods in the equatorial zone, marginal lands gradually lose resource assets. This is evident in the drift of the Sahara Desert southward into sub-Saharan Africa, which has occurred over many millennia and continues today. At the same time, in the polar zone, lands and their resources can become more abundant. It was because of this that the Vikings were able to survive for 500 years in Greenland before the little ice age.
■Conflict can exist between societies or within them. By nature, the "hot" and "cold" war zones show divergent paths. In the polar areas, "cold" conflict emerges between states seeking to exploit the new resources that warming makes available. In the equatorial area, which includes many deserts, conflict erupts over declining resources, especially in warmer periods. Such livelihood conflicts often transcend borders and lead to migration. This is particularly evident for historic peoples such as the Mayans and the Anasazi, but also in today's conflicts in the North African Sahel and Sudan's Darfur region.
■There is a full menu of climatic causes of conflict, depending on where the conflict is ("hot" and "cold" war areas), the type of climate change (temperature or precipitation), and the trends in the patterns (increasing or decreasing). In the polar zone, the change in temperature indirectly drives conflict behavior and the impact on inhabitable land is most important. In the equatorial zone, change in precipitation patterns is clearly a major driver, but temperature changes also can influence evaporation rates. Here, water is most important.
■The resiliency of conflict is different in the "hot" and "cold" zones. In the polar zone, conflict is episodic; wars come and go with changes in temperature. In the equatorial zone, conflict is more gradual and continuous. "Hot" wars often stretch on as human population growth and changes in habitat tend to exacerbate changing climate conditions. Simply put, they are "cold" wars of opportunity versus "hot" wars of desperation.
Today, we see the manifestations of climate change slowly emerging in melting glaciers and drying fields. We need to imagine how changes in climate will create possibilities for conflict, using these historical lessons as guides. It's important to note that reacting to the challenges of "hot" and "cold" wars will require different strategies. The past is a good guide, but new types and modes of conflict emerging from climate change are to be expected. In that respect, finding historical examples is easier than contemplating how climate change and conflict will create new models of interaction and present new challenges in the future. After all, the idea that climate change causes conflict is not revolutionary, but evolutionary.
          Low-cost airline announces a 150 flights from Ireland to Canada   

Flights from Dublin and Cork to Toronto and Montral are now available from a 150 each-way including taxes and charges. What's the catch? Well, the flights are not direct - involving a short stopover in Iceland's Keflavik Airport.

           Evidence-based Practice for SLPs in Iceland: working together to strengthen the knowledge base and clinical decision-making    
Roddam, Hazel (2016) Evidence-based Practice for SLPs in Iceland: working together to strengthen the knowledge base and clinical decision-making. In: National Hearing and Speech Institute, 25th November 2016, Reykjavík, Iceland. (Unpublished)
          Lajes is the front line in the New Cold War of the Atlantic. @JerryHendrixII @CNASDC @NRO   
06-27-2017 (Photo:English: en:Lajes Field, en:Terceira Island, en:Azores, en:Portugal KC-135, KC-10 and F/A-18 aircraft on the tarmac. The 65th Air Base Wing is the American unit stationed at Lajes Field and it is the largest U.S. military organization in the Azores. The wing provides base and en route support for Department of Defense, allied nations and other authorized aircraft in transit, including those from the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, France, Italy, Colombia, Germany, Venezuela and Great Britain. source Date Source Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons. Transfer was stated to be made by User:TCY ) Twitter: @BatchelorShow Lajes is the front line in the New Cold War of the Atlantic. @JerryHendrixII @CNASDC @NRO The Kremlin’s expanding fleet of subs is cause for the U.S.-led alliance to beef up its defenses. The Russian Bear has emerged from a long hibernation to threaten American and NATO interests with highly capable submarines in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. But neither the United States nor its allies are prepared to meet the Kremlin’s challenge. A generation ago, Soviet submarines roamed the world’s oceans supporting Communist interests and attempting to place themselves in a position to win a final, terrible war. Fast attack submarines searched for American carrier strike groups, transports carrying troops and equipment to Europe, and, most ominously, missile submarines carrying nuclear weapons. To protect these assets, the United States and NATO maintained a fleet of anti-submarine (ASW) frigates, nuclear and diesel powered submarines, and wings of maritime-patrol aircraft that roamed the oceans searching out the Soviet subs. When one was detected coming out of its port in Murmansk, the alliance would begin a marathon tracking operation, the Norwegians turning things over to the Dutch or Americans flying out of Iceland, who in turn passed the job on to the British and then the French, with Americans flying out of Lajes in the Portuguese Azores. These assets would then turn responsibility for tracking the Soviet boat over to assets coming out of Rota, Spain, or Sigonella, Sicily, before the boat turned around and followed its tracks back home as all the NATO elements repeated their performance in reverse. Unfortunately, in the intervening quarter-century of peace dividends, increased social-welfare investments, and distant wars against radical Islamic terrorism, budgetary priorities and operational focus have shifted away from the historic challenge looming on Europe’s eastern border. Today, Putin’s Russia is in Georgia, Crimea, and Ukraine, and Russian carriers and submarines operate off the coast of Syria deep in NATO’s security environment. Yet Lajes is now closed, with China expressing interest in taking on a long-term lease, and the allied base of operations in Iceland has been vacant for the better part of the past decade, although the United States has expressed an interest in returning. The alliance’s frigate fleet has been nearly cut in half and its submarine fleet by a third. Maritime-patrol aircraft have experienced similar cuts and, perhaps most important, the alliance has failed to exercise together sufficiently to guarantee success if called upon to execute the weeks-long dance of a full-up ASW campaign. During a recent table-top exercise conducted by the Center for a New American Security, participants discovered that in a crisis, they would have enough resources to provide convoy escort for American troops and supplies moving across the Atlantic to reinforce Europe or to conduct an anti-submarine campaign, but not to do both. Top-level participants, including past and current policymakers and military leaders from Norway to France to Germany to the United States, struggled vainly during the “Forgotten Waters” exercise to match means with the alliance’s strategic ends. Challenges rangi...
          Vikingur Reykjavik v IBV   
Football Matches - Icelandic Cup - 2017-07-02 18:00
          Stjarnan v KR Reykjavik   
Football Matches - Icelandic Cup - 2017-07-02 20:15
          18 Stunning “Game Of Thrones” Season 7 Fan Made Posters   

With Season 7 Still Filming in Northern Ireland, Iceland, and Spain, and given the Worldwide phenomenon that “Game of Thrones” has become, it is only normal for many fans to render their own posters for the upcoming season. We’ve compiled 18 of the best ones found online so far. Some of them actually contain renditions […]

The post 18 Stunning “Game Of Thrones” Season 7 Fan Made Posters appeared first on A Blog Of Thrones.

          Icelandic Fish & Chips To Make A Splash In The West Village With A 'Healthy' Twist On The Genre   
Can a dish that's core elements involve battering and deep-frying be retooled into a "healthful" meal? That's the question diners will ask themselves beginning Thursday evening, when Reykjavík transplant Icelandic Fish & Chips debuts in the West Village. "The idea was to take the British dish and kind of put an Icelandic twist on it, we're a big fish nation," co-owner Helen Olafsdottir explains. "But [co-owner] Erna Kaaber had the vision of making it a little bit more healthy, so we use ingredients like spelt batter, we don't use egg in the batter." [ more › ]
          Comment on Iceland by droneventure   
I have very similar shots of this location called Hverir if I good remember...
          Nordic Inspired Woodland Wedding   
Today’s styled shoot was inspired by the event designer’s trip to Iceland, and the Nordic inspiration just flowed from there. A modern bohemian tablescape, a cable-knit sweater cake, and plenty of candles and birch wood accents all shared the spotlight with a beautiful couple and a sweet pup named Zeus. LV Imagery and Blush + […]
          Comment on Top 20 Countries With The Most Jobs Available & Highest Employment Rate by richard schlinder   
Three years ago Iceland had a Jubilee. ALL DEBT WAS FORGIVEN.When a country as no debt, it goes right to the top. If you had a mortgage? Gone. The house was yours. Car payment? Done. Pesky credit cards? solved. What would that mean for your family and the United States?
Vol. 27 No. 5 (June 2017) pp. 83-85

ASSESSING CONSTITUTIONAL PERFORMANCE, edited by Tom Ginsburg and Aziz Z. Huq. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016. 442pp. Paper $39.99. ISBN: 9781316608357.

Reviewed by John E. Finn, Professor of Government Emeritus, Department of Government, Wesleyan University. Email:

This edited collection on the concept of constitutional performance is an important, interesting, and occasionally frustrating book. It will likely be a standard reference in the field of comparative constitutional politics for many years.

As is often the case with edited collections, this one is a bit of a mix. Some readers will find some nuts more appetizing than others, as did I. All of the chapters are impressive, but I was especially struck by Aziz Huq’s chapter on Hippocratic constitutional design, Roberto Gargarella’s chapter on Alberdi, Sumit Bisarya’s chapter on transitional provisions, and Dixon and Landau’s chapter on the constitutional minimum core.

The collection’s biggest strength is its catholic, ecumenical character. As Ginsburg and Huq make clear in their Introduction, they make no effort to advance a single or comprehensive definition of constitutional success or failure, and likewise make no stab at a singular definition or metric of constitutional performance. Their decision not to do so is one of the strengths and weaknesses of the book. It is a strength chiefly because the lack of direction allows the contributors to advance a wide variety of definitions and approaches, often in conversation and disagreement with one another.

This diversity of definition is explicit in, if not the theme of the first part of the book, entitled, aptly, “Defining Constitutional Performance.” But it also resonates in part 2, which addresses some of the concrete and specific challenges that face constitutional regimes (such as managing the transition from military to civilian rule, or in ensuring a minimum core of democratic competition, among others), and in part 3, which consists of four case studies.

One of the central disagreements in the book, discussed at length in the opening chapter by Ginsburg and Huq and visited in nearly every other chapter, concerns whether the assessment of constitutional performance is internal or external in character, as framed by the “perspective of the person engaged in the evaluation” (p. 7). By internal, Ginsburg and Huq mean an assessment informed by “the terms of the community to be regulated by [the] instrument” (p. 7). By external, they mean “assessing constitutional performance against a benchmark derived independently of local circumstances and contingent preferences within the relevant polity” ((p. 8) (One variety of external assessment “proceeds from a normative account of desirable features or products of a constitutional order” (p. 8)).

As one example of the external perspective, Ginsburg and Huq propose a minimalist, four part definition of constitutional success: (1) creating public legitimacy; (2) channeling political conflict into stable political institutions; (3) limiting agency costs, and (4) creating public goods. These criteria, they propose, are general, though not universal, so they may be used to assess constitutional performance across and in many cases. Several chapters offer different accounts, including Martha Nussbaum’s discussion of Indian Constitution, Helene Landemore on Iceland an especially interesting chapter by Roberto Gargarella that develops an internal perspective built on the work on Juan Batista Alberdi.

As Huq concedes, both the external and internal perspectives are framed chiefly in terms of who conducts the assessment: “So defined, the internal/external distinction turns on who applies the standard, not what the standard is” (p. 39). This makes sense as far as it goes, but it does not go very far. Absent from such a perspective is an [*84] inquiry (and a recurrent question in both jurisprudence and normative constitutional theory) that must be back of any inquiry into constitutional success and failure, and equally of constitutional performance: what kind of thing is a Constitution? Most (but not all) of the chapters in this book answer that question by referencing purposes and occasionally matters of inclusion and exclusion (is the Constitution a text or texts only). What is missing is a larger inquiry into what kind of authority the Constitution commands. To be clear, the omission is explicit and intentional—it represents a decision about how to conceptualize the project of assessment. But it is a choice that has consequences.

As an example, consider Huq’s decision to define a constitution as “a legally authoritative written account of at least some of the institutions necessary for the operation of a state over a given geographic space for some extended period of time” (p. 42). The definition of constitutional failure/success that follows upon that definition is a logical correlate: “A constitution succeeds qua constitution so long as, and to the extent that, its design does not contain elements that are likely to conduce unintentionally to the breakdown or dissolution of effective state functioning that it aims to enable” (p. 42).

Huq’s account of constitutional maintenance, although explicitly normative in character, nevertheless is framed in a particular (legal) way. Implicit in this definition of constitution, first, and failure/success, second, is an account of what kind of thing the Constitution is and of what kind of authority it commands—and in both, the juridic, legal character of the project is conclusive. Largely excluded from an inquiry into constitutional maintenance is a close look at criteria that Murphy (2008), Barber (2015), Elkin (2006), Finn (2014), and others might describe as welfarist, attitudinal, or as a way of life—as much a political conception as a legal one.
This impedes an inquiry into other conceptions of what constitutional success and failure might mean and into to other kinds of assessment questions. A definition of constitutional maintenance framed, for example, as a commitment to preambular ends would mean, among things, that neither constitutional success nor constitutional failure can be measured by the durability of constitutional institutions or by the rigor of rights enforcement. It is a bit of surprise that a book as thoughtful and as careful as this one does not attend more fully to the rich literature on constitutional maintenance produced in other scholarly quarters.

Another open question concerns what it means when we say we are engaged in assessing constitutional performance. Do we mean to assess the performance (and is performance simply a matter of success or failure, however we define those terms?) of documents, of regimes, or of something else? Here again the inquiry eventually turns on our definition and understanding of the descriptors “constitution” and “constitutional.” No doubt some forms of political disorder can and should be traced to constitutions and to design decisions, but on reflection this turns out to be more difficult than first appears. As James Fleming (2009) has observed, all sorts of failures might be “attributable to the Constitution in the sense that they are made more likely by our constitutional design” (2009, p. 640).

I want to be clear that this collection is an important and valuable contribution to the literature on comparative constitutional theory. Every student of constitutional maintenance and performance will profit from several of the essays in it, and Ginsburg and Huq have done an admirable job of giving the essays a common theme while also cultivating disagreement on key terms and concepts. Simply put, this book is essential reading.


1 Huq does attend to welfarist understandings of constitutional purpose and maintenance at some length, but his definition of welfarist “metrics” starts from a somewhat different understanding of what the term means in constitutional theory. [*85]


Barber, Sotirios A. 2014. CONSTITUTIONAL FAILURE. Lawrenceville: University Press of Kansas.


Finn, John E. 2014. PEOPLING THE CONSTITUTION. Lawrenceville: University Press of Kansas.

Fleming, James E. 2009. “Towards a More Democratic Congress.” BOSTON UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW. 89: 629 – 640.


Tulis, Jeffrey K. and Stephen Macedo. 2010. THE LIMITS OF CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

© Copyright 2017 by author, John E. Finn.
          Comment on Bokeh movie review: blurry, lonely lives at the end of the world by Weismonger   
Bokeh was the worst movie I have ever seen in my entire life. I've seen 1950 movies that were boring and stupid, but this takes the prize. Do not waste your time unless you need something to make you go to sleep pissed off that you clicked on this stupid, dumb movie. I may not ever watch another film from Iceland for the rest of my life. Totally a brain dead movie.
Auction Type: Offer, Auction End Time: 09/18/2017 08:21 AM (PDT), Price: $5,000, Number of Bids: 0, Domain Age: 0, Description: Arctic Nations, the eight Arctic nations (Canada, Denmark (Greenland & The Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, and USA) are all members of the Arctic Council, as are organizations representing six indigenous populations., Traffic: 0, Valuation: $0, IsAdult: false
          MSP drops new Fade To Winter trailer   

Times change, just as each season gives way to the next. For passionate skiers around the globe, however, the time of year can never undermine the enthusiasm for their next great day on snow. Regardless of weather, conditions, or the effort required to get there, “a bad day of skiing still beats a good day at work.” As summer eases into fall and fall eventually fades to winter, dreams of skiing occupy our minds and we focus all of our energy on returning to the mountains. MSP Films, the production powerhouse behind MCCONKEY and DAYS OF MY YOUTH, is proud to present FADE TO WINTER. Featuring jaw-dropping action from Alaska, Iceland, British Columbia, Japan, Colorado, Italy, and New England, this film captures the spirit of nine skiers who go to great lengths for the sport that they love. Starring Markus Eder, Bobby Brown, Michelle Parker, Mark Abma, Tanner Rainville, Aaron Blunck, James Heim, Sean Jordan, PK Hunder, and others.

          First Six Months of 2017   

Half of the year has already passed by.Time flies really fast specially when you are having fun. What have you been doing?
Well I have done a lot so far. After I came back from my stay in Asia (January-March) and spent a week (last week of March) in Eastern Europe(Kosovo,Macedonia, Bulgaria ,Amsterdam, Edinburgh and Copenhagen) I settled back to domestic bliss by staying in Toronto.So except for a weekend in Iceland I had been in Canada the whole time.
Here is what has been happening on my side for the last 5 months :

          Eric Clapton sets record for the largest salmon caught in Iceland this year   
Who knew Eric Clapton was such as master with a fishing rod? Well, those who read his 2007 autobiography would know. For those who didn’t however, it may come as a surprise that the classic rock bluesman just entered the international record books after catching the year’s largest salmon in Iceland...
          Watch the trailer for Tyler, the Creator's new TV show 'Nuts + Bolts'   
Tyler, the Creator recently shared the trailer for his new TV show “Nuts + Bolts,” which is slated to premiere Aug. 3 on Viceland. Fans can gear up to learn some fun, fascinating facts in the multi-talented, multi-tasking rapper's exciting new creative endeavor. Tyler posted the teaser clip for the...
          The Tatiana Show - Comedian Travis Irvine & Brian Sovryn of Sovryn Tech   

Tatiana interviews comedian Travis Irvine & Brian Sovryn of Sovryn Tech.


--"Comedy and Politics"

--"Libertarians Interacting with the Left"

--"Dark Android"

--"Cryptocurrencies and Privacy"

About the Guests:

-Dr. Brian Sovryn is the proprietor and developer of Zomia Offline Games, as well as the creator and host of the podcast Sovryn Tech. His background in technology comes from years spent with multiple tech companies, the U.S. Army, and from being involved in the cypherpunk community since the late 1990's. Brian also has a Doctorate of Divinity. He was a co-host of the nationally syndicated radio show Free Talk Live for two years, as well as a co-host with Dr. Stephanie Murphy on the popular Let's Talk Bitcoin Network show Sex & Science Hour, and has made numerous appearances on other podcasts and radio shows. He's also a public speaker at various liberty, anarchist, Bitcoin, blockchain, and tech events throughout the world. Brian also fancies himself a gamer, historian, and tech journalist (in that order), and is a supporter of the Center for a Stateless Society, the Center for Global Nonkilling, the Albert Einstein Institute, and the Institute of General Semantics. Born in 1981 in New York, Brian Sovryn is ethnically Jewish, and unfortunately converted to Christianity for a time, but is now a freethinker and anarchist. He is presently a denizen of New Hampshire.

-Travis Irvine is a journalist, comedian, independent filmmaker and unsuccessful politician. He has also contributed to VICELAND, the Guardian, Mediaite, Jesse Ventura's "Off the Grid" and .Mic. Travis wrote and directed a feature-length horror/satire film about killer raccoons that is available from cult film company Troma Entertainment, and in 2007 he ran for mayor of his hometown in Ohio and turned the experience into a short documentary that was featured at the Cannes Film Festival. Travis' campaign and comedy videos have been featured on "The Jay Leno Show," PBS's "NewsHour" and Funny Or Die, and he was also once on "The People's Court.

More Info:

Friends and Sponsors of the Show:


          Arctic UFO Photographs, USS Trepang, SSN 674, March 1971   

The following case was submitted by Investigator/Researcher Alex Mistretta, who can be contacted at: He has graciously allowed the following photographs, and his research, to be archived here on The Black Vault for reference. Please add your comments and input in the comments section below. As more information becomes available, it will be added to this case file. Summary by Alex Mistretta This got started when I heard from one of my sources in Europe that some pictures that I might want to take a look at were making the rounds. These turned out to be the pictures that a French Paranormal magazine called Top Secret published. They claimed that they received them from an anonymous source. That is all they have have said publicly so far. Top Secret source and mine are unrelated. I made connections in the intelligence community in Europe years ago in a project unrelated to UFOs. It was for the Congo’s Mokele-mbembe project that I was working on. They have always been reliable, but you know how these things go, you never really know. I have used them on information based on Russian UFOs in the past, and they have been very reliable with that. I’m obviously trying to directly get access to Top Secret‘s original source, so we’ll see. By the way, feel free to contact them yourself or anyone that you feel can help. Obviously, I want to stay on point with this, and be part of whatever comes out in this case, but the important thing is to get to the truth, and “The Black Vault” name is extremely well respected and that can very much help. Here is what we know so far. The original anonymous source claims that these: 1) The photos were taken from a United State Navy submarine. 2) The location was between Iceland and Jan Mayen island in the Atlantic Ocean. (Jan Mayen belongs to Norway, and is only inhabited by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and the Norwegian military.) 3) They were taken in March of 1971. 4) The Submarine was the Navy’s USS Trepang (SSN 674) and the Admiral on board was Dean Reynolds Sackett. Obviously, the next step is to try and locate this Admiral Dean Reynolds, if he exists. 5) The Submarine came upon the object by “accident,” as they were in the region on a routine joint military and scientific expedition. Officer John Klika was the one who initially spotted the object with the periscope. This obviously implies that it wasn’t ours, and unfortunately doesn’t explain the different objects seen in the pictures. Top Secret claims that on one of the pictures, there were some inscriptions. I don’t have a version of this, and it is too faint to see on these photographs. Upper left it says “Official Photograph. Not to be Released. CT.” In the bottom right corner it says (sic) “Unauthorized Disclosure Subject. Security Certificat SSN 674. Criminal Sanction” I cannot confirm these at the moment, and I don’t know if the spelling of Certificat is just a reproduction error, since these were revealed in their magazine. This is all I have so far, and I’ll keep sending you whatever additional info I have.   Photo Gallery of High Resolution Photographs, NOT from a Magazine On July 13th, I was sent the following photographs via email. These are the original photographs that created the hype about this case, but, they supplied me the original scans of the photos, NOT from the magazine. Photo Gallery of High Resolution, Full Page Scans from “Top Secret Magazine” The original photo gallery is still below, to archive what originally circulated. However, the original scans, in high resolution, have been posted online.  Below, you can find the original scans, thanks to Reddit user SquizCat. The translations were created by Reddit user hillside. Thanks to both users for bringing these to the forefront of the investigation. They appear in the order they were published in the magazine, for easier reading.   Original Photo Gallery Word from the Admiral On July 8, 2015, investigator and former Navy pilot, Steve Murillo was asked to make a phone call (by request of Alex Mistretta) to Admiral Sackett. In respect to the Admiral, the means to track him down are not going to be published so he is not inundated with calls but he was located. (We please ask, there are researchers currently corresponding with him, and we would prefer that no one track him down to ask for additional answers as this unfolds.)  The following is the update from Mr. Mistretta: I asked Steve Murillo, head of UPARS, to speak with Admiral Dean R Sackett this morning. Steve is a former Navy pilot. Admiral Sackett was gracious enough to take the call, but steered away from the UFO question. Admiral Dean R Sackett said “I only saw Ice”. He did agree to check out the pictures though email however, so we will see. This obviously doesn’t prove anything in either direction. These could certainly be a hoax, or these are the real deal and Admiral Sackett is sticking to his security oath. Which incidentally, if that’s the case, he has every right to do. Or these pictures are the real deal, and have no relationship with the Trepang submarine USS 674. There were apparently another sub in the region around the same time. I’ll put up that info as I progress in this investigation. Thank you John Greenewald, Steve Murillo, and also Richard Carlson for some valuable assistance, by the way.  On July 12th, 2015, another updated was released by Alex Mistretta, working with Steve Murillo:   Steve spoke with the Admiral Dean R Sackett and I have been in touch with John Klika, both named by the source who released the pictures as principal participants in this saga. Both men were indeed on the Trepang SSN 674, in March of 1971 in the Arctic. Admiral Sackett denied seen anything unusual while onboard the Trepang. He gracefully took two phone calls from Steve and...

The post Arctic UFO Photographs, USS Trepang, SSN 674, March 1971 appeared first on The Black Vault Case Files.

          Driving Iceland’s Ring Road    
The Santa Barbara poet correspondent reports on an otherworldly road trip.
          Spotlighting Delilah Devlin!   

I am so pleased to spotlight Delilah Devlin this week. This woman is a real gem. And the book is a whole collection of gems by Delilah and several other authors. Plus sexy men in kilts.:-)


Hot HighlandersEdited by Delilah Devlin
Cleis Press
ISBN-10: 1940550025
ISBN-13: 9781940550022
Format: Trade Paperback
On Sale: October 14, 2014

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Men devoting themselves to their true love through the art of courtly love is the ultimate in romance. Hot Highlanders and Wild Warriors is filled with wild knights and Scottish warriors whose courage on the battlefield is outmatched only by their ardor for their ladyloves! Readers will unleash their fantasies of olden days where men wearing heavy armor or thick tartans sent a spirited young maiden’s (or lonely widow’s) heart fluttering. These bravehearts were prized for their physical strength and men were judged for their fierce loyalty and unshakeable honor. Crusaders, highlanders, Normans and Saxons, tournament fighters, vikings, and hunky Mongols astride stallions in search of adventure and love all populate the pages of this steamy read.


“Pleasure in Surrender” by Delilah Devlin
After the lady of the keep bars her gates to the barbarian the king commands she wed, the half-Viking knight scales the walls of her heart

“Wicked” by Susannah Chapin
The strong-willed daughter of a Scottish Laird learns it isn’t her surrender her father’s most powerful but wounded warrior craves

“The Keeper of the Keys” by Axa Lee
A Briton queen learns to lay aside the household keys of her responsibilities and ask her Saxon warlord husband for what she craves

“The Maiden’s Kiss” by Layla Chase
A Viking warrior tempts fate and his own control when an Icelandic maiden asks to be tutored in the art of kissing

“My Loveliest Vision” by Renee Luke
Despite a daunting affliction, the lady of the keep will protect her father’s holdings from a resolute knight come to claim what he was promised

“The Invasion of Nefyn” by Lizzie Ashworth
A Briton woman risks rape and death at the hands of invading Saxons in hopes of a visit from her warrior husband

“The Promise of Memory” by Regina Kammer
A Roman slave finds freedom in fantasies of a knight in the imperial guard—a warrior who evokes memories of a long lost love

“On My Honor” by Beatrix Ellroy
When a wounded knight is offered sanctuary by a widowed healer, the pleasure she also offers may strain his honor

“A Hawk in Flight” by Connie Wilkins
The Lady of Aragotsotn paid tribute to the Mongol conqueror to save her people, but her falcon-fierce heart remains undefeated—though it might be won

“To Love a King’s Man” by Emma Jay
At the Highland Games of 1589, a young widow risks all for a chance to win the love of a bastard favored by the king

“The Bodyguard” by Jacqueline Brocker
As a ninja stalks through the palace corridors, the daughter of a samurai lord is drawn to her wounded, pensive bodyguard

“Broken Vows” by Anya Richards
A marriage of convenience leads to most inconvenient desires and a threat to one knight’s immortal soul

“Poetry and Amber” by Axa Lee
A mighty passion ignites along the Volga River between a Celtic witch and the Rus king to whom she’s been traded

“The Squire” by Cela Winter
While traveling in France, a knight’s secretive new squire makes him question everything he knows about himself


Delilah Devlin is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of erotica and erotic romance. She has published over a hundred thirty erotic stories in multiple genres and lengths, and is published by Atria/Strebor, Avon, Berkley, Black Lace, Cleis Press, Ellora’s Cave, Harlequin Spice, HarperCollins: Mischief, Kensington, Montlake, Running Press, and Samhain Publishing. In May 2014, she adds Grand Central to her list of publishers when Her Only Desire releases!
Her short stories have appeared in multiple Cleis Press collections, including Lesbian CowboysGirl CrushFairy Tale LustLesbian LustPassionLesbian CopsDream Lover,Carnal MachinesBest Erotic Romance (2012)Suite Encounters, Girl FeverGirls Who ScoreDuty and Desire and Best Lesbian Romance of 2013. For Cleis Press, she edited 2011’s Girls Who Bite, and 2012’s She Shifters and Cowboy Lust. In 2013, she addedSmokin’ Hot Firemen and High Octane Heroes.

Delilah DevlinNew York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Get in bed with Delilah. Everyone else has!
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*Hot Highlanders and Wild Warriors – Cleis Press, Coming October!  
His Every Fantasy
 – Forever Yours, Available Now 
Hot Alpha Heroes 
– Boxed set, Available Now *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

          A NASA rocket blasted colorful clouds into space — here's what they looked like   

NASA clouds tracer vapor wallops

  • NASA launched a rocket that created colorful clouds in space on June 29.
  • Such clouds are being used to probe two big holes in Earth's magnetic shield, called cusps.
  • NASA Wallops Flight Facility released a time-lapse video of the vapor puffs.

For the last month, NASA had been waiting for the right moment to launch clouds of red and blue-green vapor out into space.

On June 29, that moment finally came. A NASA sounding rocket launched at 4:25 a.m. EST from the agency’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, and shot out 10 canisters about the size of a soda can, according to the agency.

The cans deployed blue-green and red vapor, which brightly colored puffs of "tracer vapors" that were seen from New York to North Carolina. These clouds allow scientists on the ground to visually track how and where particles move in space.

Here's what the clouds looked like:  

The rocket was originally supposed to launch on May 31, but poor visibility and bad weather conditions delayed the mission a number of times. These space clouds weren't merely for show, however.

The experiment was one of many missions in an international "Grand Challenge" initiative aimed at helping scientists probe two gaping holes in Earth's protective magnetic shield, called cusps.

The two holes in our invisible shield leak nearly 100 tons of air per day, according to Astronomy Now.

Probing Earth's leaky atmosphere

The magnetic bubble that surrounds our planet is vital to life, since it deflects the sun's constant wind of high-energy particles — and protects against the occasional solar storm. Without this invisible force field, Earth may have gone the way of Mars, which lost its magnetic dynamo billions of years ago. That allowed the sun to blow most of the Martian atmosphere into deep space, turning a once wet and potentially habitable world into a dry and nearly airless global desert.

sounding rocket terrier improved malmute nasaWe won't run out of air anytime soon (thankfully, our planet has quadrillions of tons left), but scientists are still struggling to understand how the cusps work. In particular, they want to make them visible — which is where the colored clouds came into play.

Launching tracer vapors such as barium (green), cupric-oxide (blue-green), and strontium (red) into the Earth's ionosphere — where charged air particles and the solar wind interact — helps scientists see how particles move that the region. This data could then help verify and update computer models of the fringes of Earth's atmosphere.

Those models, in turn, may help researchers better understand all sorts of high-altitude phenomena, including auroras, geomagnetic storms — and why a planet like Mars lost all its air while ours has held on to its atmosphere.

Launching space clouds

Keith Koehler, a NASA Wallops spokesperson, said that nearly all past tracer-vapor missions, except for a few recent test launches, have spewed the vapors directly out of the rocket body. But that has limited the data that scientists can collect from the ground, since the colored clouds wound up close together and were often hard to distinguish.

The new launch used new method: The rocket shot lightweight aluminum canisters, called ampules, out of its sides. The canisters traveled 6 to 12 miles before they started releasing vapor, which made the constellation of colored clouds easier to distinguish and follow.

ampules tracer vapor space clouds sounding rocket experiment nasa

The chemical tracer clouds are designed to react to sunlight. The launch therefore happened when it was still dark on the ground but the sun was visible from space to maximize their visibility. 

"These launches have to occur just after sunset or right before sunrise. You need sunlight to hit the vapors and activate them as they're released," Koehler said, adding that these vapors should not be confused with the Aurora Borealis that's typically seen in far northern regions of the world.

"Auroras dance across the sky, and this is not that," he said.

SEE ALSO: A 100-year solar storm could fry our power grids — these are the places most at risk

DON'T MISS: Elon Musk: SpaceX may launch its biggest and most powerful rocket in 3 months

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Antarctica's sky just lit up with electric-blue clouds — here's why

          Eleven Experience and Chōsen Team up to Offer Epic Tour of Iceland   
The seven-day itinerary includes Olympian-led fitness classes, horseback riding, and kayaking.
          Westminster Foundation for Democracy guest week: Gender and political progress   

Are quotas for female African leaders enough? An interview with Icelandic Pirate Party co-founder Birgitta Jonsdottir. A call to action for British women after Brexit. Coming up in our week focused on gender and political progress.


Icelandic Pirate Party co-founder Birgitta Jonsdottir. Credit: Flickr/Steve Rhodes. Some rights reserved. Icelandic Pirate Party co-founder Birgitta Jonsdottir. Credit: Flickr/Steve Rhodes. Some rights reserved.Globally, more women are participating in politics but that does not mean that the issue of gender equality has been solved. Men are still much more numerous in the decision-making structures that decide who who has power and where resources will go.

This gender imbalance is linked to women and girls doing less well and to poorer outcomes for society as a whole.

This week, openDemocracy in partnership with Westminster Foundation for Democracy is introducing a series of articles focused on 'gender as a lens for for democratic progress'.

Gender and politics expert Sarah Childs kicks off coverage by taking a hard look at the hostile environment for women that exists at the top of British politics. She argues that there is a risk Theresa May's premiership will mask under-representation and examines a new group of MPs established to look at diversity.

Writer and broadcaster Phil England speaks to Icelandic politician, poet and activist Birgitta Jónsdóttir, a co-founder of the Icelandic Pirate Party. The party, which promotes transparency and transforming politics, could get its first taste of real power at the Icelandic parliamentary elections in October. 

There is a risk Theresa May's premiership will mask under-representation of women

Journalist and founder of Nzinga Effect, a platform to empower African women through storytelling, Eliza Anyangwe asks whether it's enough to create quotas for female politicians in Africa. What is the continent doing to support and empower women so that they become truly transformational leaders?

On International Day of Democracy, openDemocracy's Editor-at-Large Benjamin Ramm has a wide-ranging conversation with celebrated Greek historian and author of Democracy: A Life, Paul Cartledge about democracy -- as an idea and an ideal. 

In the wake of the UK's historic Brexit vote, Sam Smethers chief executive of British gender equality and women's rights organisation, the Fawcett Society, argues that during these uncertain times women must fight for an equal place in politics. Fawcett has launched a campaign Face Her Future and argue that women must take control of their lives and fight for a more equal future.

This article is published in association with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, which is seeking to contribute to public knowledge about effective democracy-strengthening by leading a discussion on openDemocracy about what approaches work best. Views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of WFD. WFD’s programmes bring together parliamentary and political party expertise to help developing countries and countries transitioning to democracy.


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          Denmark U-16 – Iceland U-16 maçını canlı izle   

Bu maç bitmiş ve yayından kaldırılmıştır. Güncel futbol yayınları için Futbol kategorimizi, güncel basketbol yayınları için Basketbol kategorimizi ziyaret edebilirsiniz.

Denmark U-16 – Iceland U-16 maçını canlı izle yazısı ilk önce Canlı Maç İzle, Online Maç İzle, Maç Yayınları üzerinde ortaya çıktı.

          Portugal’s Turgid Victory Was the Dreadful Ending This Terrible European Championships Deserved   

Congratulations, greedy European bureaucrats. You took the perfection of the European Championships and turned them into a bore and farce. By expanding the tournament from 16 to 24 teams, you diluted it. Portugal’s turgid triumph—that dead air of a match—was the conclusion that the tournament deserved.

Once upon a time, it was possible to rate this championship more highly than the World Cup. The games usually featured hateful historic rivalries. The rough parity of the field worked in the format’s favor. There were few blowouts; there was little incentive for teams to park the bus and defensively grind for a tie. This edition, and its champion, represents the ruin of that European dream—tactically stultifying, goal starved, lifeless. By adding matches, the tournament sapped players of energy, a fatigue that showed on Sunday. By adding teams, it created the goofy math that allowed a squad that finished third out of four in its group to advance to the elimination rounds and ultimately win the title.

The European Championships look especially sad when compared to the Copa America. Unlike the soporific matches in France, Copa America featured attack-minded soccer, an appealing openness—with the exception of the Brazilians, now in the winter of their austere decline. Where watching Euro matches felt like a grim obligation, the Copa was a relative joy. Even Messi, who stumbled at his crucial moment, fulfilled expectations with his play. Alexis Sanchez exceeded them. By contrast, the stars of Europe weren’t much to look at.

So Cristiano Ronaldo has his trophy, where Messi has an indictment for tax evasion. It’s a shame, really, that Ronaldo exited the match. The first eight minutes, while he still had two legs, were vigorous and dramatic. But without the villain, the plot went slack. And more than that, his injury eliminated the realistic possibility for Portuguese counterattacking. Portugal were always a grim side, but their dense defensive block was meant to be the pedestal for Ronaldo’s statuesque counters. Whatever his faults as a human being, Ronaldo is probably the greatest counterattacking player in the history of the game. Despite his creeping age, he remains that stalemate-breaking threat.

One of Ronaldo’s remarkable characteristics is that even his admirable behavior earns him opprobrium. Through the tournament, he has hectored his teammates—berating them for lapses, yelling at them to increase their effort. In the press, these antics have earned him the label of “diva.” Ronaldo was chided for treating his supporting cast with so little respect. There is, of course, another way to describe his behavior: leadership. And when Ronaldo sheds tears, he’s not just lamenting a lost opportunity for legacy enhancement. His subsequent behavior from the sidelines and after the match belies that preening reputation. His theatrical qualities, his obvious affection for his own physique, and his cynicism obscure his human qualities. The man clearly cares about his team and his country.

Despite years of disliking him, I felt a moment of sympathy for Ronaldo … and then it fled. Let’s recall everything he said after Iceland tied Portugal in the opening round of the tournament and hurl his words back at him. “Iceland didn’t try anything. They were just defend, defend, defend and playing on the counterattack. … When they don’t try to play and just defend, defend, defend, this in my opinion shows a small mentality and they are not going to do anything in the competition.” A beautifully articulated critique, Cristiano, and one that is more aptly applied to your own side. Can we have that trophy back now?

In sum, a poor tournament for a limping continent. It’s a shame. Soccer is Europe’s secular religion. Instead of offering a sense of consolation or even transcendence, this quadrennial event seemed to remind Europe of everything that’s broken. It was a perfect encapsulation of sputtering incoherence, shattered promises, and decline.

Read more Slate coverage of Euro 2016.

          How Antoine Griezmann Became the Internet’s Boyfriend   

A version of this story originally appeared on our sister site The story has been translated and lightly edited.

At the moment, he’s the best goal scorer at Euro 2016. His six big moments—his liberating header against Albania, his two goals against Ireland, his chip against Iceland, and his brace against Germany—will be talked about for a long time. But above all, Antoine Griezmann has succeeded in meeting a rare challenge for a soccer player: He has inspired unity in the heart of the French public. The passion between the player and his fans is such that he’s become what’s known as “the internet’s boyfriend.”

At the beginning of the year, we explained this particular concept, wherein some segment of the internet decides to make a star into their chouchou, their beloved. In the past, actors like Oscar Isaac, Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch have successfully made it past the first date. This is the story of how the French striker, scarcely 25 years old, has joined this very exclusive club.

It must be said that even before the beginning of the competition, Grizou cut a sympathetic figure. Last March, a poll in French sports newspaper L’Equipe classified him as the second-favorite French soccer player after goalie Hugo Lloris.* The whole public sees him as a gifted player, and a nice guy.

Confirming his image as the “ideal son-in-law”

The articles published just before the Euros bolstered this good image. Le Monde called him the “ideal son-in-law” on the cover and did not exhaust its elegies in the subsequent pages. “He corresponds to the current hopes of the French public, which has had enough of the ‘star system.’ He has the image of a talented player, but simple, happy to play, who knows to put himself in the service of the team, who makes others play better but doesn’t expect them to play for him,” Vincent Chaudel, an expert in sports marketing, explained to the paper.

In effect, the smooth image that Griezmann circulates clashes with the flash of his teammate Karim Benzema, who’s still bogged down in a sex-tape blackmail scandal. His stature as a father and loving partner are given a prominent place in the Le Monde article, and have been, more generally, in the tabloids for months.

Snapchat filters, jokes on Vine, and memes on Twitter

After having cemented his status as the ideal son-in-law, husband, and father, the next step to becoming the internet’s boyfriend consists is making us laugh. For that, Griezmann took to nearly every form of social media.

Unlike French defender Patrice Evra, who posts a lot on Instagram but has only tweeted once, “Grizou” is hyperactive. These past few weeks, we’ve seen him publish content on Snapchat and Instagram, garnering millions of likes each time. With Snapchat filters and Vines, he doesn’t hesitate to make a joke at his own expense, even if the gags are a little annoying sometimes. It’s not an accident that he’s the French footballer with the most Twitter followers.

The apex of this self-deprecating humor came the day after the match against Iceland. Using the hashtag #FaisGlisserTonGrizi, numerous users hijacked the photo of the player where he’s shown sliding on his stomach in celebration. Though the tone was gently mocking, Griezmann decided to publish some of these collages on his account—and laugh at them. It was just like the enthusiasm produced by his celebration after scoring against Ireland—a dance inspired by the rapper Drake, himself the victim of memes. It was a strong move in the sense that few soccer players can take a joke and laugh at the ones they provoke.

Excellent player, super husband, good guy, we could stop there. But the internet promoted Griezmann to the rank of boyfriend thanks to one decisive factor: fantasy.

“Antoine deep-throats a banana”

It all begins with the butt. On the internet, among the thousands of exultant love letters for the striker (notably, after each of his goals), there are hundreds that don’t stop with a simple heart emoji. Using the hashtag #lesfessesdegriezmann, numerous tweets mention the butt, with photos attached, that has fed the fantasies of countless fans.

The sites Buzzfeed and Uproxx have written whole articles about it. But that’s not all. A quick search for “Fuck me Griezmann,” for example, is full of results, some of them quite funny. Some fearless people address themselves to the striker directly.

Of course, the title of The Internet's Boyfriend could not be complete without a good dose of fan fiction, an experience to which all Internet celebrities are entitled. During the match against Iceland, the journalist Lucie Ronfaut found several of these on the site “Archive of Our Own,” where Griezmann’s name appeared a number of times.

In “A New Life,” user BlueGlitter tells the story of Antoine’s arrival at his club Atletico Madrid. After a timid beginning, the story takes a new turn when Grizi finds love in the arms of his teammate and roommate Koke, a Spanish midfielder.

Antoine deep-throated the banana until most of it disappeared in his mouth, than he pulled it from his mouth with a pop. He licked his lips again, savoring the sugary taste, then bit delicately on the end of the banana, chewed it, swallowed it softly and slowly opened his eyes to see Koke and his big open mouth.

On Quotev, @yourmasterpiece imagines a relationship between the Frenchman and Brazilian striker Neymar. More of the same on Wattpad, another popular fanfic site, where the player’s name appears in 273 stories—for comparison, French striker Karim Benzema is in 26, striker Olivier Giroud in 58, and the legendary Zinedine Zidane in 86. In “To the Stars …” a certain ManonGrizi tells the story of the passion between Giroud’s younger sister and Griezmann:

I couldn’t tell you how long that kiss lasted, because for me, kisses with Antoine made me forget everything around me. It made me forget the whole universe, because he was now my universe.

This story is 47 chapters long and has been viewed more than 104,000 times. In itself, to be a fanfic character isn’t unusual. What’s new here is that it’s a French footballer, not an American singer or a British actor, and he’s nourishing fantasies beyond our borders.

Antoine Griezmann has thus passed the test of internet boyfriend with flying colors, and this strange relationship, which is great for his image, will grow in intensity if Les Bleus win the Euro Cup.

Read more Slate coverage of Euro 2016.

*Correction, July 8, 2016: This post originally misspelled Hugo Lloris' last name.

          Cheering for Iceland Feels Different When Your Husband’s Unexpectedly Been Elected President   

In February, I swam with the Canadian-Icelandic writer Eliza Reid and her family in the beautiful Álftanes pool outside Reykjavik as part of my research for a New York Times Magazine story about the geothermal swimming pools of Iceland. At the time, none of us knew the remarkable turns their lives, and their country’s sporting culture, were about to take. After his TV explanations of the Panama Papers scandal endeared him to Icelanders, Eliza’s husband, historian and university professor Guðni Jóhannesson, decided to run for president in May. On Saturday, despite—or perhaps because—of the fact that he had never before held office, Guðni won the election. On August 1, he’ll be sworn in, and Eliza and their four children will be the new First Family.

Meanwhile, the Icelandic football team, representing a nation of just 320,000 people, has been experiencing its own Cinderella story in its first ever major international tournament, Euro 2016. On Monday, during Iceland’s bananas defeat of England in Nice, I was delighted to see Eliza posting videos to Facebook from inside the stadium of her husband and oldest son jumping up and down and screaming. After the match, we spoke, and my full conversation with Iceland’s first lady-elect will air next week on Slate’s parenting podcast, Mom and Dad Are Fighting. But, in the meantime, here’s an excerpt with Reid’s thoughts on Iceland’s upcoming quarterfinal match with France and what it’s like living in a country where everyone—yes, everyone—is cheering for the same team.

Did you get to go to the England-Iceland match because you’re First Lady-elect?

Well, I suspect it was easier for us to get tickets, but we didn’t go in any official capacity. But because Guðni is the president-elect, and I’m first lady-elect, the French officials wanted to be aware that we were going. And so we were met at the airport by a police convoy, who escorted us to our generic, average, found-on-TripAdvisor hotel. The owners of the hotel were rather surprised that we pulled up in this convoy, and promptly upgraded us to a suite. So I can recommend that.

When traveling to France, try to arrange to be the president-elect of your country.

Our son was rather thrilled by it all.

Is it true that 99 percent of Icelanders have been watching these matches?

I think it’s that 99 percent of televisions that were turned on were tuned to the station showing the match.

What’s it like being in a country that is so unified in its excitement for this epic football story?

There is this great atmosphere right now. The election just happened, there’s a new president, and I think it’s fair to say a majority of people are satisfied—even if they didn’t vote for Guðni, they’re still satisfied with him as a choice. So that, I think, is also making people optimistic—but obviously the football, far more so.

During the first matches in the regular part of the tournament, we were campaigning. So we watched them in these little villages. In Bolungarvík in the Westfjords, in Siglufjörður in the north—everywhere, the atmosphere was great and convivial.

Do you guys get to go to Saint-Denis for Sunday’s match against France?

Yeah. Again, not in an official capacity. But we’re gonna go! It’s our wedding anniversary too, so it’s like we’re taking a romantic trip to Paris for our anniversary, where we’ll watch a soccer game and be with a PR person.

Were you an actual sports fan before this?

No, I’m not a particular sports person. Guðni loves sports.

He was a handball player, right?

Yeah, his brother was on the national team for handball, so he comes from a handball background, but he always follows sports: women’s football, men’s football, all the sports. And everyone likes this story. No one except the French is rooting for the French.

Yeah, the entire world is on Iceland’s side.

It’s a David vs. Goliath story! Just qualifying for the tournament is a huge triumph for the team, so everything else is just icing on the cake. There’s no pressure on them! They can lose 20-0 to France (which won’t happen, I’m sure) and they’ll still be heroes.

As a non-sports fan but an Iceland partisan, and now an official voice of Iceland, tell me why Iceland has a chance on Sunday to beat France.

Because all the pressure is on France! Iceland doesn’t have any pressure. They have drive and discipline and enthusiasm. They’ve got nothing to lose!

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

          Why Has England Targeted Its Young, Black Star in the Wake of Its Euro Flameout?   

If a soccer team bears the hopes of a nation, it is also saddled with that nation’s particular fears and neuroses. Everything is about hope, up to the exact moment the team crashes out of an international tournament, and then fear takes over. Blame must be meted out, and the way in which that happens tells a story. This is, and always has been, particularly true of England.

Two days after #Brexit happened, England, the land that invented the sport, was knocked out of the European Championship by Iceland, a place with the population of a London suburb. England was dreadful throughout the tournament. Anyone with a passing familiarity with soccer could see there was simply no team there to speak of, no collective purpose. Roy Hodgson built everything around captain and record goalscorer Wayne Rooney, who was bizarrely deployed as a midfield playmaker having spent his entire career as a forward. Early on the English press purred, comparing Rooney's early displays in the tournament to Andres Iniesta and Andrea Pirlo. You did not have to have seen Rooney’s matches to know that this was likely insane. It was painful to watch this delusion set in, as the English side stunk its way out the tournament. As philosopher Simon Critchley noted, "The team suffered from two main deficiencies: it could neither attack nor defend."

So whose fault was it? And whose fault would it be said to be?

When England lost to Argentina at the 1998 World Cup, David Beckham was blamed. He had been sent off for kicking out pointlessly at Argentina’s Diego Simeone in the round of 16 and the team lost in penalties. An effigy of Beckham was strung up from a noose outside a pub. It wore a homemade "Beckham 7" shirt, and a sarong of the kind a breathless and baffled tabloid press had pictured him wearing earlier that year. The effigy shamed the pretty, stylish Beckham both for the ineffectual act of aggression which had gotten him sent off, and for having flouted the homophobic, misogynistic codes determining the kind of man who ought to be representing England on the football field.

In 2016, it's Raheem Sterling's fault. Not the manager, who has already resigned, saying "These things happen." Nor Joe Hart, the goalkeeper who made a string of basic errors, (but likely deflected much of the criticism he might have faced by demonstrably punching himself in the face on camera following Iceland's second goal.) Nor any number of other players who performed poorly, nor even the English Football Association that presided over this mess. Sterling was booed by England supporters during the first match against Russia, and the vitriol aimed in his direction has only gotten more poisonous since.

Sterling is the best English winger of his generation, a speedy, versatile, tactically sophisticated player who has excelled in a number of forward positions at a young age, including the notoriously difficult 'false nine' position. In other words he embodies exactly the qualities the English team has lacked over many years. He had a disappointing tournament, yes, but he's a 21-year-old who was off form and low in confidence.

Thursday the Sun and the Daily Mail (the two biggest selling newspapers in the country and two principal authors of Brexit) both ran prominent stories on Sterling having purchased an expensive new home, purportedly for himself. "OBSCENE RAHEEM" was the Sun's headline: "England failure steps off plane and insults fans by showing off blinging house." Down the page, the paper described Sterling as a "footie idiot." The Daily Mail took a similar tack: "England flop Raheem shows off blinging house." The Sun carried another story on Thursday about a young semi-professional footballer who had become a drug dealer. The story was accompanied by a picture of Raheem Sterling, who has nothing at all to do with the report.

Both newspapers direct their readers' exasperation at England's humiliation not just towards the extreme wealth of the team's players, but to the wealth of a single black player, and to black wealth in general. Hence both newspapers' fixation on "bling." It is a classic example of the ways in which class issues—such as resentment of the rich in an increasingly unequal society in the grip of the government's interminable "austerity" program—are often played out in British public life in a racist, nationalist idiom.

It turns out Sterling bought the house for his mother, who raised him by herself. Sterling's father was murdered when the player was nine years old. But that won't make any difference, because it's the idea of black people being comfortably at home in Britain in 2016 which is at issue.

People aren't just angry with Sterling, who was born in Kingston, Jamaica. They are angry at black Britain for existing, and especially their current cultural contributions, which are some of the only ones coming out of the country that the rest of the world is currently interested in and seduced by. These cultural offerings, like Grime music or the hilarious Hood Documentary, are fresh and innovative, syncretic forms, which cut and mix from all kinds of traditions to produce distinctively modern modes of expression. Britain's mainstream culture in recent years has consisted in large part of twee, nostalgic re-runs: Downton Abbey, Sherlock Holmes, Mumford and Sons, endless commemoration of military victories, fawning celebration of the Royal Family, and the rest of it.

It's no coincidence that the main Euro 2016 advertising campaigns run by Adidas and Nike follow a virtually identical formula: world soccer stars—Paul Pogba (Adidas) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Nike)—grafted onto a narrative of black British aspiration and creativity. Black British family life. Black British leisure.That's what sells around the world right now, as much as the mega-celebrity endorsement.

You can't use Sherlock Holmes to sell Nike track pants. But you could use Raheem Sterling.

Since the Brexit vote last week, there have been many reports of racial harassment in the UK, with the discussion focused particularly on aggression directed at people from Eastern Europe. But racial prejudice and xenophobia in public life don't fixate on their targets one at a time. The question of Britain's decades-long EU membership, and the people who've come to live in the country as a result, is front and center in public debate right now. But the vicious, racialized scapegoating of Sterling reminds us that there are deeper histories at play here—in particular, the centuries of slavery and colonialism on which Britain built its modern economy. Those histories are still with us. They are part of who we are as a society, and we still haven't dealt with them.

          How Football Can Explain a Divided Europe   

Here are a few of the things that have happened in the past week in Europe:

Two parts of the United Kingdom, Wales and Northern Ireland, played a football game against one another in the 2016 European Championship, as if they were their own separate nations.

An island European nation of approximately 330,000—Iceland—sent about one-tenth of its population on a journey to the banks of the Mediterranean, where their football team, led by a part-time dentist, defeated another region of the United Kingdom—England—that was playing as if it was also its own nation.

A French Republic deeply divided over the question of how—and whether—immigrants from its former colonies and their descendants can be integrated into the Republic cheered on its soccer team, made up largely of the children of African immigrants. That team defeated another European island nation, Ireland.

The game contradicted any notion that there is cosmic justice in the world. In 2009 France had kept Ireland out of the World Cup through one of the most notorious acts of cheating in the modern game, when Thierry Henry scooped the ball with his hand and in so doing set up the winning goal.* An Ireland victory on French soil feels like it would have made things right somehow. But of course that’s rarely how football—or life—actually works.

Belgium, meanwhile scored four goals against Hungary: one by a Flemish player, another by Walloon, a third by the child of Spanish immigrants, and a fourth by the child of immigrants from the Congo. Among the other players on the pitch that day were another child of Congolese immigrants, another whose father is from the French Caribbean island of Martinique, and a Mohawk-sporting child of Indonesian immigrants.

In a week during which the idea of Europe itself has been put to the test, is there a parable in all of this? Can we look to the football pitch to understand what this place—a continent, yes, but also an idea—actually is, and might turn out to be?

There was, first of all, this: an archaeology that helps explain the Brexit vote in the very presence of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland in the knockout round of the tournament.

The fact that three of the regions of the United Kingdom—known, it is true, as “home nations” and tied together by a political compact far older than the European Union—get to play in the tournament is itself an artifact of the vexed relationship Britain has long had with European institutions.

When football’s governing body, FIFA, was formed in 1904 Britain was conspicuously absent, with the English Football Association—along with those of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland—refusing to join. The founding nations of the organization were France, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland, and its lingua franca was French, the acronym from the organization the result of a Franco-English linguistic mash-up: Fédération Internationale de Football Association.

It was only in 1946 that the four British football federations agreed to join what by then had clearly established itself as the leading global institution in football. But they negotiated a return not as one nation but as four. So it is that England, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland are among the non-nations that exist in FIFA as nations—alongside places like Palestine and New Caledonia—and allow the organization to brag that it has more members than the United Nations. The four also are members of the UEFA, the Union of European Football Associations founded in 1954, which organizes the European Championship.

The United Kingdom, furthermore, holds four seats out of eight on the powerful IFAB, the International Football Association Board, which governs the rules of the game and is the body that determines if any changes will be made to these rules. The other four seats are filled on a rotating basis by FIFA. The United Kingdom, then, are essentially the Permanent Members of this board, whose power is considerable.

At least one of these nations has performed some lovely football here. Fans have been treated to the spectacle of a Welsh team whose play has been one of the highlights of the tournament. Gareth Bale’s stunning goals (and his excellent hair) have been a pleasure to watch. The Welsh fans (along with those from Iceland) seem to best embody what it means to be part of a nation, belting out their nineteenth-century anthem in Welsh, celebrating a “land of poets and singers, and people of stature,” whose “brave warriors” and “fine patriots” are all willing to “shed their blood for freedom,” or at least for football.

 When Wales faces Belgium this Friday in the quarterfinals, it will be an encounter between two entities representing the ironies of contemporary Europe. While Wales feels like a nation, even though it isn’t one, Belgium is a nation that doesn’t really feel like one.

Several decades of profound internal conflict between Flemish and Walloon groups over language, culture and politics have created a curious and in many ways dysfunctional patchwork of bureaucracy in the country.

Immigration has transformed Belgium, with 70 percent of the capital of Brussels born abroad. And that city has been transformed by the project of Europe itself, its central city home to the massive buildings that govern the European Union. The recent terrorist attacks in Brussels have only increased the tensions and uncertainties around the nation’s future.

Belgium’s football success in recent years, however, has been striking: from being one of the lowest-ranked teams on the continent, absent from international competitions, they have now risen to near the top of the FIFA rankings, spending much of this past year as number one. This is the result of a concerted project by the Belgian Football Federation to improve its recruitment and training of young players. They have worked hard to incorporate all of the countries communities, notably immigrants and their children, into the process.

The results are on display each week in the English Premier League, where a series of talented Belgian players play on top teams. Of course having talented players on a team is never enough—as England has shown spectacularly this tournament—if there isn’t a strategy and a sense of cohesion and coherence on the pitch.

The Belgian team is one of a series in Europe today in which players of immigrant background play a prominent role.

This has long been the case of the French team, which has had players of African and North African background on the national team since the 1920s. When they won World Cup at home in 1998—the last time the country hosted a major tournament—they did so with a team famously composed of delightfully multi-ethnic cast of characters, most famously Zinedine Zidane, the child of Algerian immigrants.

More recently the German team has also featured prominent players who are the children of immigrants. Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who played his last games for his nation during this tournament, is the child of a Bosnian father and Croatian mother. Though it was only in 1979 that the English team first included a black player, today they are central, and offered up some of the few bright spots in the lineup during a generally lackluster team performance. The Welsh player Hal Robson-Kanu, meanwhile, is of Nigerian background. Certain teams, however – particularly Italy and Spain—have many fewer children of immigrants on their roster.

I’ll be rooting for Belgium on Friday, and not just because that’s where I was born.

When you cheer on the Red Devils, you can’t forget that you are cheering for an idea rather than a reality, and that in a way that idea only exists on the football pitch.

The Belgium that takes shape on the pitch is actually so far from the nation it purports to represent. The team, at its best, is coherent, bringing together disparate languages and histories, a place where immigrant communities are not just welcome but understood as fundamental to the future of the nation.

With Radja Nainggolan’s Mohawk, striking tattoos, and powerful strikes on goal, Kevin De Bruyne constantly moving about the midfield and sending in his beautiful arcing passes, Axel Witsel lurking dangerous around the box, Romelu Lukaku eternally in front of goal but only rarely actually scoring, Marouane Fellaini permanently on the sidelines but looking strangely happy about it, the team is funny, and fun to watch, taking themselves just seriously enough but not too seriously.

Once upon a time the French team—particularly during its 1998 World Cup run—represented something like this too, and it still does in a sense. But the rounds of hope and disappointment around the team, both about what they could do on the pitch and the extent to which they could change society itself, have now become a bit exhausting in their way.

Each new controversy around race, immigration, and the make-up of the French team just seems like a new act in an interminable and unresolvable drama. But at their best, as in their game against Ireland, they still can deliver a burst of joy through their fluid, attacking play, and the idea of a France vs. Belgium final is certainly an attractive one.

If it comes to that I’ll feel pretty divided, though I’ll probably root for Belgium. It’s not that I harbor a hope that the Belgian team can really change the country. I’m just glad that, for a few hours, we can imagine something different, finding a bit of energy through which to confront the fact that that today’s Europe seems less and less what it could be.

*Correction, June 30, 2016: This post originally misstated that Thierry Henry's infamous handball took place in 2005.

          Why Was It So Hard for Me to Watch the Euros in Europe?   

Notes on repeatedly attempting and failing to watch the 2016 European Championship while in Europe:

France vs. Ireland

My French translator Julien was apoplectic with anger. By some odd twist of fate, I was scheduled to speak at the Festival International de Roman Noir—a crime novel festival held in Frontignan, France—at the exact same time as France’s round of 16 showdown against Ireland. Julien is more than a casual fan of his national team, and he was spewing a lively mix of French and American profanities about the timing of the match. The streets of the city were completely deserted, and so the hope was that no one would show up for my talk, the event would be abandoned, and we could go to a bar near the square and watch the game. But the tent where I was doing the talk was full of non–football fans, and so, with France down by a goal early, we began. I answered questions and Julien translated in a clipped, almost aggressive French, trying to get through the program as quickly as possible. Near the end, I was supposed to read a bit in English. Julien turned to me and said, “They want you to read for five minutes only.” I scrambled for a short passage and then, without bothering to introduce the section or set up what the action was, began reading as fast as I could. The quality of the reading was terrible, but it didn’t matter because after about 20 seconds, the car horns and fireworks began, the city suddenly bursting to life, windows thrown open so people could shout and bang pots, cars circling the square drowning out the American writer with nonstop honking.

France 2 Ireland 1

Italy vs. Spain

I was on a TGV train from Montpellier, France, to Figueres, Spain, while the game was being played. A pudgy, middle-aged, Spaniard sat in the seat across the aisle watching the game on his iPhone.  Every now and then he would emit painful, wounded yelps and deep despairing groans. He was in agony for an hour, and then he just sat there, in shock, holding his face in his hands, silently weeping.

Italy 2 Spain 0

England vs. Iceland

In Begur, Spain, I was supposed to watch the game at the house of my British friends, but because the available networks were not broadcasting games that didn’t involve the Spanish team, my friend had been forced to figure out some virtual prviate network workaround, a kind of program that apparently convinces the internet that we are actually in England and have the license to watch the game. This method, which I was assured works 99 percent of the time, failed. So we consumed several bottles of rosé and a few slabs of Catalan cheese.

Iceland 2 England 1

          Iceland Topples England; Announcer Makes Fun of Brexit in His Happy Delirium   

In what's being hailed as a huge upset, tiny Iceland defeated a talented but chronically underperforming English side to advance to the quarterfinals of the 2016 European Championship. And the excitement might be too much for Icelandic announcer Gummi Ben.

This impassioned squealing, according to Twitter user Gissur Simonarson CN, translates to:

This is done! This is done! We are never going home! Did you see that?! Did you see that?! Amazing! I can’t believe it! This is a dream. Never wake me up from this amazing dream!
Live the way you want England. Iceland is going to play France on Sunday. France Iceland! You can go home! You can go out of Europe! You can go wherever the hell you want! England 1, Iceland 2 is the closing score here in Nice! And the fairytale continues!

While the odds, at 13/2, weren't as steep as the the odds Peru faced (15/2) in its upset over Brazil in the Copa America Centenario earlier this month, English melodrama—combined with some very real numerical disadvantages for Iceland—earned this win comparisons to Leicester City's shocking Championship run in the Premier League, in which they overcame 5,000-to-1 odds to win the title. The global media covered Leicester's surreal rise with the appropriate rhapsody and deemed the team’s championship win the greatest underdog story of all time. So how does Iceland's win stack up?

Injured Belgian international, Manchester City star, and soccer analyst Vincent Kompany called the win “bigger than Leicester.”

That's a point that's up for debate, but here are a few facts that support Iceland's case.

Besides Tahiti, which qualified for the 2013 Confederation's Cup, Iceland is the smallest country ever to qualify for a major soccer tournament, as Eric Betts wrote in Slate. Iceland's manager, Heimir Hallgrimsson, still occasionally works as a dentist at his practice. Most importantly, not only does the population of the entire country of Iceland roughly equal that of Leicester City but Iceland can’t buy players from other countries to represent them as club teams can. They only have so many men to choose from. But, boy, did those men perform.

England’s Wayne Rooney converted a penalty shot just four minutes into the game to give the favorites the lead, but less than two minutes later, Ragnar Sigurdsson slid a shot past England keeper Joe Hart to equalize. Fifteen minutes later, Kolbeinn Sigthorsson rocketed a shot to the lower right hand corner that Hart got a piece of before it trickled across the line. You can watch the goals here:

          Waiting for Gascoigne   

A new version of a scene from Waiting for Godot, as rewritten by one despairing England fan.


(having tried in vain to work it out). I'm tired! (Pause.) Let's go.


We can't.


Why not?


We're waiting for an England win.


Ah! (Pause. Despairing.) What'll we do, what'll we do!


There's nothing we can do.


But I can't go on like this!


Would you like a radish?


Is that all there is?


You’re all radishes and turnips. Remember Graham Taylor?


Am I not a carrot?


Carrots. Help you see in the dark. Make you realize that your love of the long, aimless ball lumped toward a tiny center forward is nihilism.


Then give me a radish. (THE ENGLAND FAN fumbles in his pockets, finds nothing but turnips, finally brings out a radish and hands it to HODGSON who examines it, sniffs it.) We’re no good at the back!


Cahill, Hart, and Smalling ...


I only like the pink ones—Danny Rose, a man by any other name—you know that!


Then you don't want it?


I only like the pink ones! And Milner.


Then give it back to me.

HODGSON gives it back.


I'll go and get a carrot.

He does not move.


English football is becoming really insignificant.


Not enough.



What about an approach based on passing, movement, good first touch. That kind of thing.


I've tried everything.


Different boots?


Would that be a good thing?


It'd pass the time. (HODGSON hesitates.) I assure you, it'd be an occupation.


A relaxation.


A recreation.


A relaxation.


Try. These players care only about their boot contracts anyway.


You'll help me?


Nothing will help you now.





There ... there ... 90 minutes. It's all over.


I was managing—


It's all over, it's all over.


I was a football manager—


Don't tell me! We’re about to walk off.

He takes HODGSON by the arm and walks him up and down until HODGSON refuses to go any further.


That's enough. I'm tired.


You'd rather be stuck there doing nothing?




Please yourself.

He releases HODGSON, picks up his coat, and puts it on.


Let's go.


We can't.


Why not?


We're waiting for an England win.


Ah! (THE ENGLAND FAN walks up and down.) Can you not stay still?


I'm sick and tired.


We’re out too soon.


We’re always out too soon.


We fall.


We fall all of a sudden, like today. Like Ice. Like a land made of Ice.


We’re out.


We can go.


Out out out. (Pause. Despairing.) What'll we do, what'll we do!


(halting, violently). Will you stop whining! I've had about my bellyful of your lamentations!


I'm going.


Well! It’s about time.



[No one moves. Except Iceland. They move ... on.]

          Listen to This Iceland Announcer Go Absolutely Bonkers During the Team’s Game-Winning Goal   

There’s excitement and then there’s this. An Icelandic announcer named Gummi Ben absolutely lost his mind when Iceland scored a stoppage time game-winning goal against Austria on Wednesday to secure second place in their group and advance to the round of 16 in the European Championship.

The crescendo is something to behold.

This isn’t the first time this tournament that Ben’s passion has flared to such an extreme. As Business Insider wrote a week ago when Iceland drew 1–1 with Portugal, the “announcer went absolutely bananas,” when Iceland scored.

Iceland is set to face a talented English squad in the next round. Let’s hope our new friend Gummi still has his voice by then.

          How Iceland Transformed From a Soccer Weakling to a European Strongman   

The European Championships start Friday, with hosts France taking on Romania in the opener and most of the world’s best teams in action soon after. Germany’s team is close (that is, lacking Miroslav Klose) to the same roster that won the World Cup two years ago. Spain is the two-time reigning European champion. Belgium’s golden generation has finally come of age. France has many of this year’s breakout talents and is favored to win the whole thing. England will presumably show up too, at least for a little while.

Forget all of them. If you’re a neutral fan, you should be rooting for Iceland.

Yes, Iceland, that far-flung volcanic rock with a sporting history highlighted by a silver medal in team handball in the 2008 Olympics, strongmen like Magnús Ver Magnússon and Hafþór "The Mountain from Game of Thrones" Björnsson, and a disappointing shootout loss in the hockey finals at the Junior Goodwill Games. Iceland currently sits at No. 34 in the FIFA rankings, despite having fewer people than Cyprus (No. 84), Luxembourg (No. 146), and Malta (No. 166). The total population of Iceland, about 330,000, is a bit higher than that of Corpus Christi, Texas, which is not currently ranked by FIFA. Iceland is the smallest country ever to qualify for a major soccer tournament, with the exception of Tahiti, which took Oceania’s spot in the 2013 Confederations Cup. Tahiti lost its three games by a combined score of 24-1, and that single goal set off celebrations in the stands in Brazil.

Iceland isn’t Tahiti. It isn’t going to France for moral victories. To qualify for Euro 2016, the Strákarnir Okkar—Our Boys—beat World Cup semifinalists the Netherlands home and away and took the maximum six points from home games against Turkey and the Czech Republic.

Root for Iceland because a favorable draw has left Björk’s countrymen poised for Euro success. Portugal played its three games at the 2014 World Cup on autopilot and often looks like Cristiano Ronaldo and his backing band. Austria, captained by Leicester City left back and walking autocorrect litmus test Christian Fuchs, are the 10th-best team in the world according to FIFA’s imperfect rankings. But the Austrians can’t play defender/midfielder David Alaba everywhere, despite Pep Guardiola’s efforts to do so at Bayern Munich. Hungary finished third in arguably the weakest European qualifying group, then beat Norway in a qualification playoff. Meh.

Iceland has avoided the likes of Germany, France, Italy and Spain, and thanks to Euro 2016’s new 24-team format, it could advance even if it finishes third out of those four teams. Once they make it to the knockout rounds, who knows? Twelve years ago, Euro 2004 saw the biggest underdog winner in modern international history. Greece was ranked as low as 36th in 2004. That team beat the previous winners (France), the only remaining undefeated team in the tournament (the Czech Republic) and the hosts (Portugal) on its way to the title.

Root for Iceland because the country has earned it. The sport’s governing body, the Knattspyrnusamband Íslands or KSÍ, has willed the national team up from No. 112 in the world rankings just six years ago thanks to a series of intelligent investments in instruction and infrastructure.

In the absence of a sudden influx of Brazilian immigrants, the KSÍ had to make do with what it had. It revamped the country’s coaching education in an attempt to improve the players already available to them. Whereas prospective coaches once had to travel to mainland Europe to get certified, for the past decade cheap courses in Reykjavik have allowed hundreds of coaches to earn UEFA’s  A and B licenses. As a result, all but the youngest Icelandic children are now being trained by someone who knows what he’s doing. Davis Harper writes in Howler Magazine that there’s a UEFA-qualified coach for every 500 Icelanders. In England, that number is closer to 1 for every 10,000 people.

Of course, Iceland has a challenge that England doesn’t: the environment. Heavy winds and the temperatures that earned the island its name make outdoor play difficult for much of the year. As a consequence, the KSÍ commissioned 15 publicly owned indoor pitches, transforming a seasonal hobby into a year-round endeavor. They supplemented those with more than 20 new outdoor turf fields and more than 100 new mini-pitches scattered throughout the country. The first of these indoor pitches was built in 2000. Sixteen years later, the first group of players to come of age with the new facilities and the new coaches has qualified for the nation’s first-ever major tournament.

Before this revamp, the history of Icelandic soccer read as a saga of lone stars venturing to the mainland in search of their fortune. Thus did Ásgeir Sigurvinsson, who played for Standard Liege in Belgium and Bayern Munich and Stuttgart in Germany in the 1970s and 1980s, beget Arnór Guðjohnsen of Anderlecht and Bordeaux, who begat (literally, in this case) Eiður Guðjohnsen, who saw time for Chelsea and Barcelona last decade and made the Euro 2016 roster as a 37-year-old elder statesman.

These stars returned to the island to lead their teams against the giants of Europe, and were always swatted aside. There’s a little bit of that legacy left. Swansea attacking midfielder Gylfi Sigurðsson is the unquestioned star of this squad—he scored nine goals in Swansea’s last 17 games to keep them safely in the Premier League and led Iceland with six goals in qualifying—but none of the 23 players on the country’s final Euro roster plays his club soccer in Iceland.

Captain Aron Gunnarsson has Premier League experience with Cardiff City. Forward Kolbeinn Sigþórsson, who spent time at Ajax before moving to Nantes in France, is at age 26 already his country’s second-leading all-time scorer. Goalkeeper Hannes Þór Halldórsson, who in 2012 supplemented his income from the Icelandic league by directing his country’s entry in the Eurovision Song Contest, plays in Norway now. Iceland’s new approach to soccer nation-building has lifted all boats instead of launching one of them.

Root for Iceland because its success offers a valuable lesson for the rest of the world. Practically, it’s not possible for most countries to duplicate Iceland’s revamp. A commensurate level of investment in a country with 1,000 times more people would be beyond the means of U.S. Soccer, no matter what percentage of revenues it devoted to development. Besides, the federation has to answer other questions about how it’s spending its money.

But that doesn’t mean Iceland’s example can’t be helpful. Some fans in the United States, mostly casual ones, believe our rise as a soccer power won’t begin until the elusive American Messi is unearthed. Maybe, some people say, we need to be luring our country’s "real athletes"—often an unsubtle code for black Americans—away from football and basketball. Or maybe the problem is that our emphasis on winning in youth soccer weeds out smaller, late-developing players who might have command of the touch and creativity needed to succeed at the international level. Usually, but not always, this refers to Latino players.

Both camps are right, to some extent, even if their arguments are tactless. Expanding the sport’s demographic appeal can’t be a bad thing, and sometimes smallish late-bloomers develop the kinds of skills that can change the face of a sport. But Iceland’s success proves that these sorts of players are soccer MacGuffins. To focus on them is to miss the point.

With just more than 20,000 registered soccer players in the whole country there’s no place for a real athlete, or even a diminutive wizard, to hide in Iceland. “Of course, it could happen here, as everywhere else, that some talented player who is small, we’ll miss out on him," Arnar Bill Gunnarsson, the KSÍ head of coaching education, told last year, "but we know of every player who is good in football because of the size of the country and how few we are.”

Compared to that 20,000, the potential U.S. pool—about 1.6 million boys registered with U.S. Youth Soccer in 2014, plus all those basketball and football players us soccer types are going to lure away, some day—seems limitless, and that can be a distraction. The assumption that there may be someone better out there diverts attention from the responsibility to make the players we have better. The American Messi isn’t hiding somewhere. We’ll have to build him ourselves. Root for Iceland because they’ve already figured out what we might never understand.

Read more Slate coverage of Euro 2016.

          New Beer Friday, John Palmer Edition (June 30)   
Preamble by Steve Siciliano

I'm excited to announce that we are bringing noted homebrewing author John Palmer to Grand Rapids during the second week of August. John recently released the fourth edition of How to Brew and we are setting up a number of meet & greets, book signings and presentations during his four-day visit to Beer City USA. We will post specific information on John's itinerary in future issues of The Buzz.

In other homebrewing related news, I received an email this past week from a casting producer at Viceland, Vice Media's television network. Tina Logie informed me that she is currently working on  the second season of Beerland, a series that focuses on homebrewing communities across the United States.

Tina apprised me that they will be filming the next episode in Michigan and asked if I knew of any homebrewers who would like to appear on the show. Those interested should send the following information to Tina at

    • Name, Age and Photo
    • Years brewing
    • Who you brew with
    • Where you brew
    • Any “specialty” brews
    • Where you DRINK your brew
    • Homebrew events/club involvement
    • What makes you/your brew unique

New and Returning Beer

  • Evil Twin Tropical Itch, $3.89/12oz - "Berliner style weisse ale with passionfruit added" (source).
  • Evil Twin Even More Coco Jesus, $3.89/16oz - "Imperial Stout with maple syrup & coconut added" (source).
  • Evil Twin Lemonade IPA, $3.89/12oz - "A refreshing drink often associated with childhood nostalgia to others a pop-cultural symbol of emancipation. Whatever the association we teamed up with good old Swedes, Henok and Karl of the fashionable Omnipollo to squeeze out a tasty, tempting and deceivingly well balanced IPA with sweet and sour notes of old-fashioned memories. Perhaps you can taste the dishonesty, it's all over your breath -it's Lemonade" (source).
  • Rochester Mills Woodward Milkshake Stout, $2.39/16oz - "Rochester Mills Beer Co. & Production Brewery announce the 2017 release of Woodward Bold, a Coffee flavored Milkshake Stout brewed with locally roasted Detroit Bold Coffee Co.’s Woodward Ave. Blend coffee" (source).
  • Rochester Mills Raspberry Radler, $2.19/16oz - "Blends even parts Razz Mills Pills and house made lemonade that then has a higher level of carbonation added to create a sparkling and very refreshing" (source).
  • Petoskey Juicy, $3.09/16oz - "Bursting with rich, mouthwatering citrus and tropical hop aromas, this New England style IPA is a melange of juicy flavors" (source).
  • Odd Side Chicka Chicka Yeah, $1.99/12oz - "A Belgian summer wheat ale with chamomile, orange peel, lemon peel and peppercorn. Finishes light and citrusy" (source).
  • Odd Side Lolly Catcher, $1.99/12oz - "A carefully crafted, comforting concoction of creamy cohesiveness" (source).
  • Odd Side Havanna Lima, $1.99/12oz - "Ale with habanero and lime" (source).
  • Epic Oak and Orchard, $13.59/375ml - "Epic's cellar contains many curiosities and one of kind beers. These extremely limited sour releases are fruited and aged in oak for months until our brewmaster decides they're at their peak. Each release is unique and range from light to dark with a large variety of fruit. Check the release notes for specifics" (source).
  • Epic Sour Peaches, $13.79/375ml - "The intense and complex sour character of this beer is developed in oak Foeders containing select cultures of Lactobacillus, Pidiococcus and wild yeast. The process is slow and delicate, regularly taking a year or more. Once our brewers have decided it’s ready, we blend the soured beer into hand-selected oak barrels with fresh peach puree, where it undergoes additional sour fermentation and aging" (source).
  • Epic Blizzard Conditions, $8.59/22oz - "New England style IPA" (source).
  • Avery Hog heaven, $3.29/12oz - "This dangerously drinkable garnet beauty is a hop lover’s delight. The intense dry-hop nose and the alcohol content are perfectly balanced for a caramel malt backbone. This is a serious beer for serious beer aficionados. Oink" (source).
  • Avery Real A Peel, $2.19/12oz - "Inspired by a summer's day and crafted to crush year-round, our IPA twists real tangerine peel and citrusy hops into this juicy experience. It's the real deal" (source).
  • Short's Space Drop, $13.29/22oz - "Space Drop is a bourbon barrel aged American Pale Ale we make by aging Short’s Flagship American Pale Ale, Space Rock, in bourbon barrels for 7 months and dry hopping the nearly finished brew. Bright with a golden hue, Space Drop pours with a big head that settles quickly into a thin layer that clings to the glass. Citrus aromas are accompanied by subtle scents of oak and bourbon. Upon first sip bitter, citrus flavors abound. Accompanied by light oak and bourbon, Space Drop is quite balanced. This brew finishes dry with a slight bitterness" (source).
  • Brewery Vivant, $4.29/16oz - "" (source).
  • Founders Redankulous, $3.09/12oz - "reDANKulous Imperial Red IPA is a no frills, bold 9.5% ABV India Pale Ale. It pours a pleasing burnt amber with some sweetness due to the Caramalt and roasted barley used in the malt bill. But hops are the true headliner in this elaborate sensory experience. The spicy, piney, tropical complexities of Chinook, Mosaic and Simcoe hops hit you right away with their dank aroma—and they stick around. Take a sip to have your palate simultaneously walloped and caressed in all the right places. Combined, the hops take the beer to 90 IBUs. It’s not just ridiculous. It’s reDANKulous" (source).
  • New Holland Dragon's Milk Reserve S'mores, $4.29/12oz - "Hints of toasted marshmallow and Graham Cracker complement the chocolate character of Dragon’s Milk, giving this Reserve a flavor reminiscent of campfires and summer nights" (source).

Video of the Week | Beerland

Homebrewers, this could be you!


          Experience Iceland's Vatnajökull glacier from the ground and above   
The Vatnajökull glacier is so important to Icelanders and their heritage.
          34 Writing Contests in June 2017 - No entry fees!   
There are nearly three dozen free contests in June. They cover the full range of topics, styles and genres, from essays, to poetry, to full-length works.

In addition to the prestige of winning a contest, some of the monetary prizes this month are substantial.

Be sure to check the submission requirements carefully, as some have age and geographical restrictions.

Many contests are offered annually, so if you miss a contest you may be able to catch it next year. For a full month-by-month listing of contests see: Free Contests.


Amy Awards. Poets & Writers presents the Amy Award each year to recognize promising women poets, age 30 and under, living in the New York City metropolitan area or on Long Island. Winners receive a modest honorarium and give a reading in New York City. The award was established in 1995 by Paula Trachtman and Edward Butscher of East Hampton, New York, in memory of Ms. Trachtman's daughter, Amy Rothholz, an actor and poet. Prize: "Modest", but an award from Poets & Writers is prestigious. Genre: Poetry. Deadline: June 1, 2017.

The Society for Humanistic Anthropology Fiction CompetitionGenre: Stories that relate to the four fields of anthropology. Restrictions: Stories should not exceed 20 pages typed double-spaced. There is a limit of one story submission per applicant. Prize: The first place story will be published in the Society’s journal, Anthropology and Humanism. The first place winner(s) will receive a certificate and award of $100. Deadline: June 1, 2017. Read guidelines HERE. (Scroll down the page.)

Singapore Poetry ContestGenre: Poetry. The poem may be about any aspect of Singapore. Prize: 1st Prize $100. 2nd Prize $50, 3rd Prize $20; all winners will be published online. Deadline: June 1, 2017.

Governor General's Literary Awards. Restrictions: Books must have been written by Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. They do not need to be residing in Canada. Genre: The Governor General’s Literary Awards are given annually to the best English-language book in each of the seven categories of Fiction, Literary Non-fiction, Poetry, Drama, Young People’s Literature (Text), Young People’s Literature (Illustrated Books). Prize: $25,000. Deadline: June 1, 2017. 

Fraser Student Essay ContestRestrictions: Open to high school, undergraduate and graduate students. International. Genre: Essay. Topic: Regulating the Sharing Economy: Do the Costs Outweigh the Benefits? Prizes: $500 - $1500. Deadline: June 1, 2017.

Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors. Created by the Missouri Humanities Council, the Warrior Arts Alliance, and Southeast Missouri State University Press, this series of anthologies preserves and shares military service perspectives of our soldiers and veterans of all conflicts and of their families. It is not only an outlet for artistic expression but also a document of the unique aspects of wartime in our nation's history. Genres: Poetry, Short Fiction, Essay, Photography, Interview with a Warrior. Prize: $250 and publication. Deadline: June 1, 2017 (postmarked).

Texas Book Festival Youth Fiction Writing Contest. Hosted by the Texas Book Festival and the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE) at the University of Texas at Austin. Restrictions: Junior and high school Texas students. Genre: Original fiction, no more than 2,000 words in length on theme of “Funny Running Into You Here.” Prize: Winners receive a cash prize: $250 for first place, $100 for second, and $50 for third. In addition, winners are awarded a plaque, have their stories published on the TBF website, and are invited to participate on a panel during the Texas Book Festival weekend. Deadline: June 1, 2017.

“When I think of My Dad…” Essay ContestGenre: Essay "We want to know what your father means to you and how he has made your life better. What has he done to lift you up and keep you on the right track? How has he influenced you? How has he helped you stay on the path towards healing?" Prize: $200. Deadline: June 5, 2017.

The Pandeism Collegiate Writing CompetitionRestrictions: Open to undergraduate and graduate collegiate students of philosophy, theology, religious studies, social sciences, arts, literature, applied sciences, or comparable disciplines. Genre: Article presenting original thought in exploring implications of the modern theological theory of Pandeism (pantheistic Deism, belief in a Creator wholly becoming our Universe, proposed to be discernible by application of logic and reason). Papers written for course credit are acceptable. Submissions do not need to take a position in favor of or opposed to Pandeism as a theory, but must present original thought about its relative possibility, relation to other areas of theology, or implications for areas such as epistemology, ethics and morality, or science. Submissions must be a minimum of 3,000 words and a maximum of 6,000 words. Only one (1) article may be submitted by each student. Prize: $250 Amazon gift card and publication. Deadline: June 9, 2017.

Peter Blazey Fellowship.  Restrictions: Applicants must either be an Australian citizen or have Australian residency. Genre: Non-fiction in the fields of autobiography, biography or life writing. Prize: $15, 000, and a one-month writer-in-residency at The Australia Centre. Deadline: June 12, 2017.

IUPUI Poetry ContestRestrictions: High school age students. Genre: Poetry. Prize: $300. 2nd Prize $200, 3rd Prize $100. Deadline: June 15, 2017.

The Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award. Sponsored by Sisters in Crime. Restrictions: Open to emerging writers of color. An unpublished writer is preferred, although publication of one work of short fiction or academic work will not disqualify an applicant. Prize: $1,500. Deadline: June 15, 2017.

Bard Fiction PrizeGenre: Published fiction book. Prize: $30,000 and a one-semester appointment as writer-in-residence at Bard College. Deadline: June 15, 2017.

Scotiabank Giller PrizeRestrictions: Open to books published in Canada in English. Must  be nominated by publisher. Genre: Fiction. Full-length novel or collection of short stories published in English, either originally, or in translation. Prize: $100,000 to the winner and $10,000 to each of the finalists. Deadline: Books published between May 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017 must be received on or before June 15, 2017.

Norton Writer's Prize. Sponsored by W.W. Norton & Company. "The Norton Writer’s Prize will be awarded annually for an outstanding essay written by an undergraduate. Literacy narratives, literary and other textual analyses, reports, profiles, evaluations, arguments, memoirs, proposals, mixed-genre pieces, and more: any excellent writing done for an undergraduate writing class will be considered." Genres: Creative Nonfiction, Scholarly Essay. Prize: $1,500. Two runner-up prizes of $1,000. Deadline: June 15, 2017.

American-Scandinavian Foundation Translation PrizesGenre: English translations of poetry, fiction, drama, or literary prose originally written in Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, or Swedish by a Scandinavian author born after 1800. Prize: $2,500. Deadline: June 15, 2017.

Fred Otto Prize for Oz Fiction/Warren Hollister Prize for Oz NonfictionGenre: Short Fiction, Art & Creative Nonfiction. All work must be related to the world of Oz. Prize: $100 in each genre. 2nd Prize $50 in each genre. Deadline: June 15, 2017 (electronic submissions only).

Goi Peace Foundation International Essay Contest for Young PeopleRestrictions: Open to people 25 years of age or less. Genre: Essay (max 700 words). Theme: "Education to Build a Better Future for All." Prize: 1st US$840, 2nd US$420. Deadline: June 15, 2017.

Vermont Studio Center – Full Fellowship Awards. The Vermont Studio Center offers 54 fellowships; open to anyone in the world. Deadline: June 15, 2017.

Towson University Prize for LiteratureRestrictions: Open to Maryland writers. Genre: Book-length manuscript of fiction, poetry, drama or imaginative non-fiction. The work must have been published within the three years prior to the year of nomination or must be scheduled for publication within the year in which nominated. Self-published works will not be considered. Prize: $1,000.  Deadline: June 15, 2017.

Baltimore Science Fiction Society Amateur Writing ContestRestrictions: Author must be a Maryland resident or a student at a Maryland 2- or 4-year college. Genre: Speculative fiction short story. Prize: 1st place is $250, 2nd place is $100, 3rd place is $50. Deadline: June 16, 2017.

Linda Flowers Literary AwardRestrictions: Entrants must live in North Carolina. "The North Carolina Humanities Council invites original, unpublished entries of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry for the Linda Flowers Literary Award. Submissions should detail examinations of intimate, provocative, and inspiring portraiture of North Carolina, its people and cultures, bringing to light real men and women having to make their way in the face of change, loss, triumph, and disappointments." Prize: $1,500. Deadline: June 16, 2017.

A Midsummer Tale Narrative Writing ContestTheme: Summer Love. Length: 1,000 words minimum; 5,000 words maximum. Prize: $35 - $50 Amazon gift card. Deadline: June 21, 2017.

Ocean Awareness Youth ContestRestrictions: Open to students in grades 6 - 12. Genre: Art, poetry, prose, film. "We want your submission to make viewers reflect on the impact of ocean pollution, inspire them to consider possible solutions, and challenge them to take action."  Prizes: $100 - $1,500 Deadline: June 19, 2017.

Utah Division of Arts and Museums Original Writing CompetitionRestrictions: Utah writers. Genres: Poetry and prose. Prize: $1,000 top prizes for book-length manuscripts of novels, creative nonfiction & history, collection of poetry or short stories, and juvenile book; $300 top prizes for individual poems, short stories, and personal essays. 2nd Prize $500 for the book-length categories, $150 for poetry. Deadline: June 23, 2017.

Blue Mountain Poetry Card Contest. "Poems can be rhyming or non-rhyming, although we find that non-rhyming poetry reads better. We suggest that you write about real emotions and feelings and that you have some special person or occasion in mind as you write." Prize: First prize $300. Second prize $150. Third prize $30. Deadline: June 30, 2017.

Drue Heinz Literature PrizeRestrictions: The award is open to writers who have published a book-length collection of fiction or a minimum of three short stories or novellas in commercial magazines or literary journals of national distribution. Online and self-publication does not count toward this requirement. Genre: A manuscript of short stories; two or more novellas (a novella may comprise a maximum of 130 double-spaced typed pages); or a combination of one or more novellas and short stories. Novellas are only accepted as part of a larger collection. Prize: $15,000 and publication by the University of Pittsburgh Press under its standard contract. Deadline: June 30, 2017.

Oregon Literary Fellowships. Fellowships of $3,000 each are given annually to Oregon writers to initiate, develop, or complete literary projects in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. One Women Writers Fellowship and one Writer of Color Fellowship of $3,000 each are also given annually. Submit three copies of up to 15 pages of poetry or 25 pages of prose with the required entry from. Deadline: June 30, 2017.

L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future ContestRestrictions: Contest is open only to those who have not professionally published a novel or short novel, or more than one novelette, or more than three short stories, in any medium. Professional publication is deemed to be payment and at least 5,000 copies (or 5,000 hits for online publication). Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi or Horror.  17,000 words max. Prize: $1,000 1st Prize awarded each quarter; one of those winners also receives the $5,000 annual "Golden Pen Award" grand prize. 2nd Prize $750, 3rd Prize $500. Deadline: June 30, 2017.

Best New Writing (Gover Story Prize)Genre: Short Fiction & Creative Nonfiction. Works of short prose must be less than 10,000 words, previously unpublished. Prize: $250.00. Deadline: June 30, 2017.

Costa Book AwardsRestrictions: Prize is for books first published in the UK or Ireland by authors who have lived in the UK or Ireland for at least six months of each of the preceding three years. Books must be published between November 1 of the previous year and October 31 of the current year. Self-published works not allowed. Genre: Five categories - First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book. Prize: £30,000.00 across all genres. 5,000 pounds in each category (poetry, novel, first novel, biography, children's book). Deadline: June 30, 2017.

Ekphrasis: A Journal of Transformative VerseGenre: Poem. Prize is awarded to the best poem submitted to Ekphrasis during the year. Each poem must address a work of art. Prize: $500. Deadline: June 30, 2017. Snail mail only.

Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry, Griffin Poetry PrizeRestrictions: One prize goes to a living Canadian poet or translator, the other to a living poet or translator from any country, which may include Canada. Genre: Poetry. Books must have been published in English during the calendar year preceding the year of the award. Prize: C$200,000, is awarded annually in two categories – International and Canadian. Each prize is worth C$65,000. Deadline: June 30, 2017.

Words and BrushesGenre: Short story inspired by artwork. Prize: $350 top prize. Deadline: June 30, 2017.

          This Week in Health: Pink Salt, Greek Yogurt and the Plague   
Health trends abound, but some are backed by more evidence than others. Himalayan pink salt, for example, won’t do you much good, but trendy Greek and Icelandic yogurt offer real perks. Here’s what else caught our attention this week. (Sign up for the TIME Health newsletter for more.) Does pink Himalayan salt have any health…
          Atlantic Puffin   
Atlantic PuffinAtlantic PuffinAtlantic PuffinAtlantic PuffinAtlantic Puffin

The Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica), also known as the common puffin, is a species of seabird in the auk family. It is the only puffin native to the Atlantic Ocean; two related species, the tufted puffin and the horned puffin, are found in the northeastern Pacific. The Atlantic puffin breeds in Iceland, Norway, Greenland, Newfoundland and many North Atlantic islands, and as far south as Maine in the west and the British Isles in the east. Although it has a large population and a wide range, the species has declined rapidly, at least in parts of its range, resulting in it being rated as vulnerable by the IUCN. On land, it has the typical upright stance of an auk. At sea, it swims on the surface and feeds mainly on small fish, which it catches by diving underwater, using its wings for propulsion.

This puffin has a black crown and back, pale grey cheek patches and white underparts. Its broad, boldly marked red and black beak and orange legs contrast with its plumage. It moults while at sea in the winter and some of the bright-coloured facial characteristics are lost. The external appearance of the adult male and female are identical except that the male is usually slightly larger. The juvenile has similar plumage but its cheek patches are dark grey. The juvenile does not have brightly coloured head ornamentation, its bill is less broad and is dark-grey with a yellowish-brown tip, and its legs and feet are also dark. Puffins from northern populations are typically larger than their counterparts in southern parts of the range. It is generally considered that these populations are different subspecies.

Spending the autumn and winter in the open ocean of the cold northern seas, the Atlantic puffin returns to coastal areas at the start of the breeding season in late spring. It nests in clifftop colonies, digging a burrow in which a single white egg is laid. The chick mostly feeds on whole fish and grows rapidly. After about six weeks it is fully fledged and makes its way at night to the sea. It swims away from the shore and does not return to land for several years.

Colonies are mostly on islands where there are no terrestrial predators but adult birds and newly fledged chicks are at risk of attacks from the air by gulls and skuas. Sometimes a bird such as an Arctic skua will harass a puffin arriving with a beakful of fish, causing it to drop its catch. The striking appearance, large colourful bill, waddling gait and behaviour of this bird have given rise to nicknames such as "clown of the sea" and "sea parrot". It is the official bird symbol for the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Explanation from:
          The xx share new video ft. Millie Bobby Brown from Stranger Things   

The xx share new video ft. Millie Bobby Brown from Stranger Things

The xx have shared a beautiful new music video for the song 'I Dare You' that features the familiar face of Millie Bobby Brown - better known as Eleven from Stranger Things.

Directed by Alasdair McLellan, who has worked with The xx three times now, this clip follows a similar trend that has been portrayed with their recent music videos, showcasing a narrative around a group of well dressed teenagers (such as Millie) getting through their day-to-day.

Speaking on the video, The xx write: "This is the third video, our friend, the wonderful Alasdair McLellan has directed for us. He collaborated with a hero of ours, Raf Simons on the creative concept and direction. It was amazing to work with both of them and such a pleasure to meet and work with Millie, Paris, Ashton, Lulu and Ernesto! Thank you to Calvin Klein and everyone involved. We hope you enjoy watching!"

In other news relating to the band, their Night + Day event in Iceland has been canceled due to the location facing "environmental" issues. Annoying but you gotta respect the land. They are also on route to Australia for Splendour in The Grass next month. Get hyped!

Watch the video below and see what you make of it.

          Is Tyler, The Creator Dropping A New Album?   

What's so good?

Tyler, The Creator has been teasing fans via a countdown on his Twitter for the past week. Just a few months ago Tyler was supposedly gearing up to release an album called Scum Fuck Flower Boy. If you want to find out a bit more, read below.

Tyler, the Creator's New Album

In fact, despite expectations from fans, Tyler, the Creator isn't dropping a new album. The countdown on his Twitter was actually in anticipation of his forthcoming Viceland show, Nuts + Bolts, due to premier on August 3rd. 

However, this isn't entirely bad news as Tyler and his Flognaw/Golfwang gang are a normally hysterical, if not entertaining, at best.

Tyler, the Creator: 7 Days Countdown

Tyler has been posting a photo per day on Twitter as a 7 day countdown towards the announcement of Nuts + Bolts. Lets hope the hype is worth it!

Scum Fuck Flower Boy

The most likely explanation as to why fans were expecting an album is due to the spread of false information about Scum Fuck Flower Boy. Rumors about a new album have been abuzz after a mysterious website, featuring a countdown clock, popped up back in May. Tyler was quick to provide the verdict of 'untrue.'

For anyone hoping that there would be new Tyler, the Creator, it's not an album, but at least it's going to be more content!

Image Source: Wikipedia Commons

1. Original post: Is Tyler, The Creator Dropping A New Album?

2. Find more music on Indie Shuffle's Indie Music Blog.

          Tree rings pinpoint eruption of Icelandic volcano to half a century before human settlement   

An international group of researchers has dated a large volcanic eruption in Iceland to within a few months. The eruption, which is the oldest volcanic eruption to be precisely dated at high northern latitudes, occurred shortly before the first permanent human settlements were established, when parts of the now mostly treeless island were still covered […]

The post Tree rings pinpoint eruption of Icelandic volcano to half a century before human settlement appeared first on Geology Page.

          Earthquakes rock Iceland volcano with some 500 since midnight   
LONDON — Earthquakes are rocking Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano, adding to concerns that magma movements may trigger an eruption that could hinder air traffic. Iceland’s Met Office says two earthquakes measuring over magnitude 5 shook the volcano under the vast Vatnajokull […]
          Iceland lowers aviation alert to orange   
By Jenna Gottlieb And Jill Lawless THE ASSOCIATED PRESS REYKJAVIK, Iceland — Iceland lowered its aviation alert level to orange from red Sunday, saying there was no sign of an imminent eruption at the Bardarbunga volcano. And scientists at the […]
          Iceland issues aviation ‘red alert’ after volcano hit with 2 quakes over 5 magnitude   
REYKJAVIK, Iceland — Two earthquakes measuring over 5 in magnitude — the biggest yet — shook Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano Sunday after the country issued an aviation red alert warning that an ash-emitting eruption may be imminent. Iceland’s Meteorological Office recorded […]
          Iceland raises aviation alert to red as subglacial volcanic eruption begins at Bardarbunga   
By Jenna Gottlieb And Jill Lawless REYKJAVIK, Iceland — Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano burst forth with a small eruption Saturday under the ice of Europe’s largest glacier, scientists said, prompting the country to close airspace over the area. Thousands of small […]
          WorldRemit launches money transfers from Iceland   

Customers can send to more than one hundred countries.

(PRWeb August 19, 2014)

Read the full story at

          5 Awesome NYPL Shop Items Made Right Here in the USA   

The Library Shop is home to the creations of many independent artists and designers. This Independence Day, explore what they have to offer with these amazing products made in our very own U.S. of A!

1. Mini Works of the Revolution Applewood

Fireworks, shmireworks! These renowned documents, published by Applewood Books in Carlisle, MA, are downright explosive. Don’t let their size fool you; small-but-mighty works like the U.S. Constitution and the Emancipation Proclamation quite literally hold the power to change the world.

Read some lit literature!

2. A Sturdy Place to Keep Things HandyPeg and Awl

Peg and Awl designs beautiful and practical household items out of reclaimed materials (see our interview with the shop’s founders below!). The Philadephia, PA-based shop has created a stunning series of NYPL-branded caddies, decorated with a vintage stamp. Perfect for home, work, or the classroom!

Keep it organized!

3. A Coast-to-Coast American ToteWestern Textile

Western Textile, a manufacturing company based in Sausalito, CA, has built durable, classically-styled totes and pouches that will last a lifetime. Available in a variety of colors, each bag is stamped with NYPL’s vintage logo and is spacious enough for your entire summer reading stack.

Tote it across the country!

4. A Home Decor ClassicCalifornia Clock Co

Since 1930, the iconic Kit-Cat Clocks have hung in kitchens for generations. A true American design classic, these adorable timepieces are built by the California Clock Company in Fountain Valley, CA. Add a smiling, tail-wagging clock to your home for a playful touch on your walls!

Get the classic!

5. A Puzzling BestsellerWhite Mountain Puzzles

Puzzle lovers and book lovers unite! White Mountain Puzzles of Jackson, NH has created two beautiful, literary-themed jigsaws to keep you puzzling for hours. This one features over fifty of the best-selling books of all time (and NO blue sky). And at 1000 pieces, it’s bound to be challenging, so find the corner pieces and get started!

Piece it together!

A Conversation with Walter and Margaux Kent, Founders of Peg and Awl

How did your shop get started? Where did the name "Peg and Awl" come from?
MK: Walter and I started making things the moment we met—but didn’t start Peg and Awl until two years later. During that time we had a baby (Søren, who is now nine!), got married in Iceland, and Walter spent a year in Iraq with the National Guard. When he returned I tried to convince him to start a business with me. He wasn’t certain we could make something out of nothing, but I felt confident we could! Shortly after his return, he made the tub caddy that I’d been wanting my whole life. We had extra antique wood from torn-down homes in our neighborhood that we had gathered to fix up our backyard. I had been using splintery 2x4s across my tub since I was a kid and with Walter’s creation, I now had a beautifully-crafted reclaimed wood board that spanned the tub and made for a dream drawing/reading space. We took a photograph of me in the tub, pregnant with Silas and using the caddy, and posted it on Etsy. The business was born!

The name comes from an old folk song about handmaking shoes by the Carolina Tar Heels called “Peg and Awl.” We initially wanted to make shoes, but a funny encounter led to Walter and I deciding to make what we know. We merged our love for woodworking, jewelry making, bookbinding, and photography, and eventually learned to make bags when the need for a diaper bag arose! Lucky for us, making objects that we want and use has been the very thing that propelled Peg and Awl. Photographing ourselves and our boys, using our objects in our home, and sharing our real life experiences was a natural transition!

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
MK: I am inspired every day. I love words, sounds, wind, and everything that comes with a storm. I love that things can be made out of nothing. I love wandering and travelling and gathering stories and treasures. I love the effects of time on objects and imagining the layers of people over time in a single place.

WK: It’s Margaux!

When did you each start creating?
MK: I’ve always been making things, but unlike Walter my process was solitary. I was always chaotic, filling every surface with a project (something my parents recall bittersweetly). Our home is like that now. Projects everywhere. I am a bit hard to contain.

WK:  I have been drawing and making stuff my whole life. My dad ran a custom woodworking and remodeling business out of the garage at our house, and my brother and I were always tinkering with the tools. We were home schooled, and would immerse ourselves in everything we learned. While studying medieval history, we spent an entire year creating a medieval world: tapestries, tunics, dresses, and armor out of fabric, wood, paint, and cardboard.

What inspired the NYPL-branded collection?
MK: We love working with the Library, and as a result, we often test our new toys and ideas there. I visited the library with a friend once, and the woman in the jewelry area, not knowing who I was, began to tell me all about our little book necklaces with such enthusiasm and knowledge. Everything that we make has a story—if that story is told, it draws people in to share that joy. When I told her I made them, she didn’t skip a beat and asked how she’d done! Amazing! We all laughed and celebrated her storytelling skills.

What are you reading now?
MK: I am reading The Treasure of the Barracuda, by Llanos Campos and illustrated by Júlia Sardà, to Søren and Silas. I’m also reading Living My Life by Emma Goldman, The Bad Seed (a childhood favorite) by William March, and oodles of picture books. My current favorite is The Liszts by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Júlia Sardà.

WK: I am currently reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire to Søren and Silas. I haven’t read the Harry Potter books before and it’s amazing to experience them for the first time with them.

          R-R to design and equip stern trawler for Icelandic owner   
R-R to design and equip stern trawler for Icelandic owner

JUNE 30, 2017 — Rolls-Royce has won a contract to design and equip a new Rolls-Royce NVC 375 WP stern trawler for Icelandic fishing company HB Grandi.

The vessel will be built at the Armon shipyard in Gijón, Spain and is due for delivery in the middle of 2019. This is the second fishing contract signed with the shipyard for a Rolls-Royce designed vessel. It follows a contract for a NVC 372 design stern trawler for Norwegian fishing company Ramoen.

The 82 m HB Grandi vessel will process various filet products and has a freezing capacity of 100 tonnes / 24 hours. It has an approximately 1600 cu.m cargo hold capacity with an additional approximately 700 cu.m meal hold. The holds are constructed for palletized cargo.

The trawler has a fuel-efficient wave piercing hull. Main equipment will include a Bergen B33:45 diesel engine together with Promas integrated rudder and propeller system and a hybrid shaft generator (HSG) system providing the most fuel efficient propulsion system available.

The trawler will be equipped with electric driven winches including permanent magnet (PM) driven electric trawl winches.

"We have been considering building a freezer trawler for some time and after discussions lasting more than a year we decided to work with Armon and Rolls-Royce as we concluded that their design and experience would meet our need best," said Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson, HB Grandi, CEO.

Monrad Hide, Rolls-Royce, Vice President Sales – Marine, said: "We have worked closely with HB Grandi to design a trawler which will optimize fuel-economy, environmental considerations, comfort, safety and performance at sea with a high level of flexibility, redundancy and efficiency in all operational modes. It will be one of the most effective and modern fishing vessels in the world."

          Permanent Hurricane   

This week Lando and I talk about Iceland, Kong Skull lsland, and Twin Peaks. Show music by Reed Love and OGRE. Support the show on Patreon!

          Comment on Myxomatosis #17 – Head to Iceland with Jaz Coleman by Phillip   
really enjoyed reading your text, and also stumpled upon some new tracks worth listening to. thanks!
当生活在哈尔滨的人们某天醒来发现家门前出现了一片热带雨林,那该有多兴奋?同样的,当生活在三亚的人们某天晒日光浴时突然发现海面浮现了一座冰川,又该是怎样地惊喜?这种由于极度差异化的环境碰撞在一起所带给人的“心灵冲击感”正是艺术家们所追寻的。 在不久前结束的三亚艺术展上,一件名为《ICELAND》的作品几乎刷爆了每个参展嘉宾的朋友圈。因为这件作品让人们明白了:有了科技,距离不是 阅读全文...
          Iceland's Ring Road :   
cover imageSymington, Andy
          Comment on Oct 9th Reykjavík, Iceland: IMAGINE PEACE TOWER & John Lennon memorial concert by Imagine Nations: 15 Peaceful John Lennon Memorials | Urbanist   
[…] via: ImaginePeace and Fotomundo/Allan […]
          Cahill vows to fight for England future under Allardyce   
IMAGE: Iceland's Ragnar Sigurdsson in action with England's Gary Cahill (left). PhotographKai Pfaffenbach Livepic/Reuters. Defender Gary Cahill has...
          New Brewery at the End Of The World   
I recently spent a couple of days in Punta Arenas, Chile - one of the most southerly cities in the world, home to high winds and bad weather, penguin colonies, and the famous Straits of Magellan (the original westerly entrance to the Pacific).

It's also home to Austral beer, which has been around in one form or another for over 100 years.  However, since Austral is more or less a widely distributed macro light lager, I wasn't falling over myself to tour their facilities.  Especially when a new brewery had opened up downtown barely a month ago!  Enter Cerveceria Hernando de Magallanes ("Magellan Brewery"), located less than 100m from the Straits of the same name.

Wow, what an incredibly swank building in an otherwise run down old port neighbourhood!  Somebody is investing in future tourist dollars.  Not a bad bet, since Punta Arenas is on the main tourist route between Tierra Del Fuego and Chile's popular Torres Del Paine National Park.  And you can take a penguin tour while you're here.

El Penguino de Magallanes

One of the co-owners was on hand to pour us a couple of samples.  She was was very generous with her time, and using a combination of broken Spanish, French and English, I gathered that she and her husband had developed this brewery after her husband had homebrewed for a couple of years. They've certainly put a lot of effort and capital into the venture, as the small brewery is beautiful and spotless.  They've started shipping to some restaurants and a couple of grocery stores in town, mostly in bottles.

As usual, the beers on offer were the colour-coded blonde/red/black triumvirate that first-timer craft breweries feel the need to provide in South America.  We sampled the red and black - and again, as expected, the red was bottled prematurely and had fermentation issues (huge crust of brown yeast on the bottom of the bottle; yeasty, sour and strong vegetal flavours), while the stout was mostly passable.  However, given that they've only been at it for a few weeks, good on them - and hopefully they'll work out these issues in the near future.  They certainly have the technology to make good beer.

Lovely, shining though small equipment.  If they gain any popularity, this will quickly become undersized.  Everything is piped in stainless steel (no hoses), the walls sport modern electronic controls and clean cable conduit runs - it looks like little expense was spared.

You can see the Straits of Magellan across the street as you have a taste.

Sexy brewery equipment is showcased through the interior windows.

The best part of the beers/brewery so far is the labelling and historical imagery.  Let's hope this kind of quality will soon extend to the beers.

Arrgh, it be a treasure chest of sweet malty booty!

So while I wouldn't recommend Hernando De Magallanes beer quite yet (though the stout could work in a pinch), it was great to have an early-stage view into one of the newest and most remote craft breweries in the world.  I've now had craft beer at 64 degrees N (Iceland) and 53 degrees South (Punta Arenas) - it's blanketing the world!  Craft beer drinkers rejoice and keep supporting your local craft brewers who truly care.

          Red hot Iceland keeps some investors out in the cold   
LONDON (Reuters) - Iceland spent nearly a decade trying to keep foreign money in the country after a financial collapse, now it is trying to keep some of it out.

          60 sekund – Góry Tęczowe w krótkim teaserze   

Fantastyczne, unikalne, kolorowe i niesamowicie klimatyczne - Góry Tęczowe w naszym 60 sekundowym teaserze.

Artykuł 60 sekund – Góry Tęczowe w krótkim teaserze pochodzi z serwisu Never Ending Travel.

          Stjarnan vs Shamrock: Rovers to hold out for Iceland draw   

Kick Off: 2015, 29/06/2017 Stadium: Stjornuvollur Shamrock face a stern test against Stjarnan in the Europa League but will travel to Iceland for Thursday’s first leg in fine form. Rovers have secured three wins and a draw from their last... Read more »

The post Stjarnan vs Shamrock: Rovers to hold out for Iceland draw appeared first on bwin.

          Iceland: Remaking an Economy Through Entrepreneurship   
I took this picture with my iPhone in 2012 after attending the first Startup Iceland conference. As you can tell, Iceland is stunning. It must be beautiful if that picture is the result of quickly whipping out my phone on a hike. But Iceland offers far more than spectacular views. It’s [...]
          Tyler, The Creator: guarda il trailer del suo nuovo TV show "Nuts & Bolts"   
Tyler, The Creator avrà uno show televisivo tutto suo chiamato Nuts & Bolts, in onda su Viceland a partire dal 3 agosto. Secondo quanto raccontato da Tyler nel trailer di presentazione (che...
          Deciding the fate of the Mojave Cross   
Yesterday, in a highly split decision with six separate opinions, the United States Supreme Court overturned a Ninth Circuit ruling in Salazar v. Buono. The issue at hand? Whether the location of the Mojave Memorial Cross represented an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. The Ninth Circuit decided that it did, but its ruling has been called into question by the high court on several levels. First erected in 1934, the Mojave Cross was intended as a tribute to soldiers killed in war. In 1994, the land on which it stood became a federally-owned part of the Mojave National Preserve. Five years later Frank Buono, a former employee of the National Parks Service brought the cross to the attention of the ACLU as a possible form of government endorsement of religion. The NPS eventually agreed to remove it, until California Representative and Captain Oveur look-alike Jerry Lewis added language to an appropriations bill denying federal funds for the removal of the cross. The ACLU filed suit in 2001, and in July 2002 a U.S. District Court Judge ruled that the cross did, indeed, represent endorsement of religion. However, Rep. Lewis then arranged a transfer, ceding the acre of land containing the cross to the VFW in exchange for five acres donated elsewhere by a private owner. The ACLU complained that the land transfer was unconstitutional on establishment grounds, and in 2004 the Ninth Circuit agreed, declaring that the transfer "would leave a little donut hole of land with a cross in the midst of a vast federal preserve". Yesterday the Supreme Court overturned the Ninth Circuit. Justice Kennedy was joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito in hilighting the memorial purpose of the cross: "A Latin cross is not merely a reaffirmation of Christian beliefs... It evokes thousands of small crosses in foreign fields marking the graves of Americans who fell in battles, battles whose tragedies would be compounded if the fallen are forgotten." He defended the land transfer as part of a "framework and policy of accomodation for a symbol that... has complex meaning beyond the expression of religious views." Meanwhile, Justices Scalia and Thomas also reversed the lower court, but on different grounds. Scalia, writing for that faction, found that Buono did not have standing to challenge the land transfer law. The original injunction, Scalia says, was against display of the cross on federal land. By seeking to challenge the transfer of that land to a private owner, Buono was not requesting "enforcement of the original injunction but expansion of it." Justices Stevens, Ginsburg, and Sotomayor dissented. Stevens wrote that he "certainly agree[s] that the Nation should memorialize the service of those who fought and died in World War I, but it cannot lawfully do so by continued endorsement of a starkly sectarian message." Without judging the constitutional merits of the land transfer itself, he agreed with the District Court that "that the transfer was a means of 'permitting'-indeed, encouraging-the display of the cross." Justice Breyer, writing separately, posed a simple question: did the land transfer violate the language of the injunction, and "permi[t] the display of the Latin cross in the area of Sunrise Rock in the Mojave National Preserve"? He backed the District Court in claiming it did. The case has received some level of attention as the first Establishment Clause case to come before the court under Chief Justice Roberts. The plurality's assertions that a cross did not have primarily Christian connotations has been met with incredulity, both in heated exchanges during the arguments and in analysis after the fact. Nevertheless, Jess Bravin of the Wall Street Journal notes that the court "avoided making any 'sweeping pronouncements' on the line between church and state." She noted Justice Kennedy's hedging language emphasizing the "highly fact-specific nature" of the case, making it "unsuited for announcing categorical rules". SCOTUSblog has a round-up.

HOW DO YOU GET AN ELEPHANT OUT OF A THEATER? My Morning Talk Show Thing: with Kevin 6.30.17 is for your face. . . . . . . #titsonmyballs #talkshowhost #tweetgrams #instasilly #instashowoffs #storytimes #absurdist #nonsensical #dailyvideo #videodaily #timanderic #comedybangbang #poundsign #andymilonakis #talkshows #sillyman #actorlifestyle #unemployedsuccess #nottimanderic
Submitted by: My Morning Talk Show Thing: with Kevin
Keywords: weird comedy funny bizarre strange high weirdo show morning lol wtf weird funny morning show morning kevin kevin masterson weird talk show instagram talk show instagram morning show instagram show viceland adult swim
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           IT’S IN THEIR BLOOD!!!    

IT’S IN THEIR BLOOD!!! My Morning Talk Show Thing: with Kevin 6.29.17 is for your face. . . . . . . #titsonmyballs #talkshowhost #tweetgrams #instasilly #instashowoffs #storytimes #absurdist #nonsensical #dailyvideo #videodaily #timanderic #comedybangbang #poundsign #andymilonakis #talkshows #sillyman #actorlifestyle #unemployedsuccess #nottimanderic
Submitted by: My Morning Talk Show Thing: with Kevin
Keywords: weird comedy funny bizarre strange high weirdo show morning lol wtf weird funny morning show morning kevin kevin masterson weird talk show instagram talk show instagram morning show instagram show viceland adult swim
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          So anyway, there I was in Iceland   
Soon after this WOW moment

I landed the world's most civilized airport, where a helpful city bus meets every flight. Every one of them! I boarded one. 

And it took me to the moon

Have you ever wondered what a crazy person looks like after a 7 hour train escapade followed by a 9 hour flight then a bus ride to the moon of the next calendar day when/where she dips her tired bod into thermo heated water and scrubs her face with silica? 

You missed a spot, crazy

The anklet I picked up the second day on Maui, just 6,000 miles south 

As far as pit stops are concerned, this one was a sheer stroke of genius

After I'd sufficiently soaked and sipped and showered, I followed the lava brick road back to the magic spot where busses show up whenever you want one

I was deposited about half a mile from my hotel, the hotel I'd booked on a whim because someone I'd never met or heard of had said on her TripAdvisor review that she'd stayed there, and I think several stars were included in that review. 

I walked in to my 5th floor room, opened the big closet doors along the entry hall, and fell deeply, immediately in love

Everywhere I turned, I fell more deeply 

The hotel was called A Room with a View, for some reason

Go figure. 

I putzed around for a while then decided it was time for a meal, so I walked around the town indecisively for 3 hours. 

Popping in here and there

In search of the exact perfect meal, with no clue what I wanted to eat. 

I strolled up and down the streets

I strolled the land

and I strolled the sea

I actually walked into at least 2 restaurants and considered staying, but nothing felt quite perfectly like the exact thing that I didn't know I wanted. 

Until I found it

This was at 10pm

I got back to my room around 11 and settled in for what I knew would be a short night. 

I watched the late, late sunset from my pretty balcony and windows

And I hung around out there for a bit to watch the colors change as the sky darkened

Except that it didn't

This is as dark as it got

I went to bed at 12:30 and set my alarm for 3:30, so I guess technically it might have gotten dark for a few minutes in between those hours, but I didn't really sleep and I think I would have noticed. 

Before I knew it, it was time to get up from that comfy bed in that pretty room in that weirdly wonderful city and start the next leg of my journey. I had received a printed map of the half mile I had to walk (over cobblestones with my awful suitcase), it was the same route I had walked when I arrived, exactly one turn down exactly one street. I'd walked those streets for hours the night before, what could possibly go wrong? 

Well, yeah. I got lost. But when the bars closed at 4 there was no shortage of helpful drunk vikings to set me on the right course. Sigh. 

I flagged down a van that had the same logo that was printed on my ticket, and he took mercy on my poor dumb soul and drove me to the bus station, where I was in plenty of time for the shuttle to Keflavik, the world's most efficient airport.  I had some time to kill, and I was thirsty, so....

Until next time, Iceland. And oh yes, there will be a next time.

          Power Rangers: The Adventures of Seven Free-Spirited Liquor Brand Ambassadors   

[caption id="attachment_153479" align="alignright" width="398"]

[media-credit id=6585 align="alignright" width="398"][/media-credit] From left:
Trevor Schneider, Charlotte Voisey, Sebastien Derbomez and Mark Stoddard[/caption]

Brand ambassadors: How they just seem to swoop in out of the blue, drop the knowledge hammer at festivals, parties and tasting events, and then fly off into the sunset, leaving a social media trail of wittily hashtagged adventures in their wake. Best gig ever, right? But have you ever pondered the origin stories of these wild-mannered spirituous superheroes? We rounded up some William Grant & Sons brand ambassadors to find out exactly how they acquired their superpowers.

Trevor Schneider, Mr. Reyka Vodka

If it looks like Reyka Vodka’s U.S. ambassador is having serious fun spreading the gospel of Icelandic volcanic-rock-filtered spirits, that’s probably because he is. But Schneider’s affable, high-energy manner and confident ease addressing a crowd are not accidental. The former Manhattanite routinely calls upon his previous double life as a bartender and screen actor with late-night talk show host aspirations to build rapport with any audience. Over time, his paths merged: “[Hospitality] became more of a love and became the real passion because the bar became my stage,” he says, and those acting chops have come in handy. “Ninety percent of my job has to do with interaction—the way I dress, the way I carry myself, the way I interact with people, the way I tell the story of Reyka, the way I get behind the bar and make cocktails. Pretty much the last 10 years of my experience is embodied every day in my job.” Still, don’t let Schneider’s poise and polish fool you: he can and often does let his hair down.

Mark Stoddard, Mr. Hendrick’s Gin

Curiosity comes with the job at Hendrick’s Gin. The delightful English cucumber- and Bulgarian rose-forward gin embodies the spirit of exploration, aligning its brand with all that is “unusual,” “peculiar” and “wondrous.” As ambassador to the Western U.S., a tweedy and ginger Stoddard has access to toys such as the Hendrick’s Negroni Machine (with mechanical arms that prepare drinks at the pull of a lever) and hands out tiny cocktail field guides. But Stoddard’s adventurous streak dates back to his days studying international relations, and aspiring to join the State Department, CIA or foreign service. The student and bartender (later, a certified sommelier and bar owner) routinely saw his two worlds collide. “I was studying world history, imperialism and colonialism, but at the same time, I started to dive a little bit deeper into the history of alcohol. And I saw a lot of parallels,” Stoddard says. “Throughout human civilization—doesn’t matter if we’re going back to Egypt or into recent times—humans have had a very deep relationship with alcohol. It could’ve been medicinal, religious, ceremonial or recreational.” A keen observer and storyteller, Stoddard uses his grasp of world history and alcohol history to connect with consumers and industry members. “I think I made the right choice. [The other path] would’ve been a lot more bureaucratic paper pushing, and the parties that we throw as liquor ambassadors are much more fun.”

Sebastien Derbomez, Mr. Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch Whisky

Scotch is a complex spirit that warrants ample explanation—which can sometimes knock the wind out of a good party. Therefore, repping for the mixable, youthful, social side of blended malt Scotch whisky is Derbomez, a charming and polite Frenchman by way of the U.K., Australia and U.S. with an accent that attests to his travels. Graduating with a degree in mathematics and electrical engineering, the man known as Seb became a schoolteacher and therefore is well equipped to help consumers and bartenders monkey around with his product, named in tribute to history’s maltmen, who turned malting barley by hand with a heavy iron implement. Derbomez is every bit the vivacious party animal, often outfitted head to toe in monkey-logo’d gear (even on the slopes!), but he is still very much a teacher. Albeit a cool one: “Enjoy your whiskey the way you want it—we just want you to have fun. Play with your whiskey. Forget about the stuffy rules.”

Charlotte Voisey, Madame Director

For every team of operatives, there must be a leader—the M to James Bond, the Colonel Nick Fury to The Avengers. As director of brand advocacy for William Grant & Sons USA, Voisey represents the entirety of the portfolio, mentoring and managing its 25 ambassadors, and she educates consumers and beverage professionals through live events as well as her online show, The Perfect Pour. But before joining the team in 2006 as the first Hendrick’s Gin ambassador, Voisey was a student of international hospitality management, which took her to London, Spain, Argentina and back, working in restaurant and bar operations. “It’s quite a normal path these days for a bartender to go into brand ambassador work because of the skill sets needed. But I find that I draw upon my bartender experience for a different reason than the most obvious, and that is the idea of multitasking, keeping calm and being everything to everyone,” Voisey says. The subsequent years spent in the ranks of the team she now leads means that Voisey can instantly connect with her colleagues while maintaining a bird’s-eye view of the overall mission. “Mostly it’s advice. They are going through the steps of their career, steps that I already went through. So it might be advice on how to handle certain situations, inspiration about how to break through the clutter and make a name for themselves, or they’ve seen what I’ve done but they’re not quite sure how I got there—also just morale and support. That’s not necessarily what they ask me for, but it’s definitely what I see that they need and, in the perfect situation, could provide for them.”

[caption id="attachment_153655" align="alignright" width="370"] Ashley Marsh[/caption]

Ashley Marsh, Ms. Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum

Cars, tattoos, booze—that’s the aesthetic of the Sailor Jerry brand, but also of its San Diego-based ambassador, Ashley Marsh. Degrees in photography and art history couldn’t quite match the excitement and allure of the spirits business, which attracted Marsh early on and quickly led to work in experiential marketing, promo team management and eventually large-scale tours including Comic-Con and auto shows. A chance meeting in a bar is what led Marsh to take up the Sailor Jerry mission; now six years in, her territory stretches from Milwaukee to Hawaii and all the way up to Alaska, and represents some 75 percent of the world’s consumption of the spiced rum. And perhaps no one is more suited to it than Marsh: “I was raised on stock cars, motorcycles, bike weeks and tattoos,” she says. “Living in San Diego, we like fast cars and motorcycles and just doing what we want. Respecting others, but doing what we want—that's everything that the Sailor Jerry brand stands for.”

[caption id="attachment_153654" align="alignleft" width="336"] Jennifer Wren[/caption]

Jennifer Wren, Ms. Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch

Addressing the more serious side of Scotch takes serious presence, which is the only way to describe the arresting charisma of Jennifer Wren, Glenfiddich ambassador for the western third of the U.S. Commanding the room with a potent cocktail of charm and authority, Wren calls upon her background as a trained stage actor to convey knowledge and a personal connection to everyone attending her seminars, tastings or pairing dinners. Initially a spokesmodel by day, Wren handed out samples of first Champagne and later single malt whisky and sparkled in her presentation. She used her personal time to dive deeply inter her new category and took up the Glenfiddich mantle two years ago. “What a lot of people don't realize [about theater] is, it looks flawless from the audience, but backstage is chaos. Then the lights go up and you have to have a fearlessness,” Wren says. “So for me [this job is] that fine combination of weaving a tale in front of an audience, but fearlessly being able to drop down in any city, bar, convention center or setting, and never be afraid to share that story and be present in that space.”


[caption id="attachment_153704" align="alignright" width="346"] Vance Henderson[/caption]

Vance Henderson, Mr. Drambuie

How do you breath new life into a venerable liqueur brand? You put it in the hands of someone like Henderson. Drambuie’s D.C.-based U.S. ambassador has the kind of unique skillset needed to explain why this heather-honey-kissed Scotch-based liqueur from the late 1800s is still relevant. After graduating with a dual degree in education and radio, TV and film production, and with minors in African studies and theater, Henderson did a complete 180, as bartending swept him into restaurant management, catering and eventually having his own underground supper club. So it’s no wonder that Henderson is able to bridge the gap between the Rat Pack-era Rusty Nail-drinkers and the millennial marketplace.  “Each ambassador kind of fits the brand they represent, and the brand kind of fits them,” he says. “Each person has to have their own flair and soul and character that complements and gives life to the brand they represent.” Henderson’s own flair would be for showcasing the soave, modern and social aspects of what he calls a “super classic” and a “living liquid legend,” doing so with a natural swagger and impeccable style. “Literally everything that I’ve done—whether it was the bar, catering company, the supper club—they have all shaped me for this position. It encompasses event planning, training, organization, marketing, acting, working with people, scouting venues… All of those, wrapped into one job, fulfill this need that I have to do many things. I call it the dream job.”

The post Power Rangers: The Adventures of Seven Free-Spirited Liquor Brand Ambassadors appeared first on Vegas Seven.

          Alpha Whiskey Photography added album "Icelandic Horses"   
Alpha Whiskey Photography added album "Icelandic Horses"
          Alpha Whiskey Photography added album "South Iceland In Black And White"   
Alpha Whiskey Photography added album "South Iceland In Black And White"
          Alpha Whiskey Photography added album "South Iceland"   
Alpha Whiskey Photography added album "South Iceland"
          Watch a Trailer for Tyler the Creator’s New Show ‘Nuts + Bolts’   
Now the Odd Future rapper is preparing the launch of his own Viceland show, titled Nuts + Bolts.
          7/1/2017: TRAVEL NEWS: Iceland pleads with tourists to stay safe   
Iceland is seeking to improve the behaviour of its visitors by encouraging all tourists to sign up to a pledge of eight rules. The island’s soaring popularity in recent years has led to concerns over how parts of the country’s infrastructure can cope...
          Smoked Haddock & Sweetcorn Chowder   
Smoked Haddock & Sweetcorn Chowder

Sponsored by Iceland.

I'm really pleased to be working with Iceland Foods again to bring you another recipe aiming to help reduce food waste using the #PowerOfFrozen.

I don't know about you, but I find planning what to eat in the summer much harder than in the winter. In winter I know it's going to be cold, dark and a bit miserable outside and so my meals are always going to be warm and comforting. But the summer is different. Last week I was planning this recipe in 30ºC heat wandering if anyone would really be wanting to eat soup. Today I'm sat wrapped up in layers contemplating putting the heating on knowing that I really want to bowl of nice warm chowder...

Read more

The post Smoked Haddock & Sweetcorn Chowder appeared first on Charlotte's Lively Kitchen.

          For sale - iceland Sc. 928-9 Fish 2001 mnh - Auction   

Clearwater FL, United States
Shipping and handling charge for this lot is $1.40 for usa, and $2.00 to other countries As an additional lot the cost is $0.10. (Discount only applies to a single payment on one invoice Insurance and registration are available, and your satisfaction is guaranteed Thank you and happy ebaying Powered by ebay Turbo Lister The free ...

          Travelling to Iceland from the UK   

Iceland is a country that many people have on their travel bucket lists, and it’s easy to see why. With stunning mountains, glaciers, volcanoes, geysers, hot springs and lava fields, Iceland is certainly a stunning sight to behold, whilst the inspiring culture, arts, and wonderful food simply adds to the stunning nature experience. Iceland is one of the safest countries in the world, with extremely ...

The post Travelling to Iceland from the UK appeared first on Round the World we go.

          HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS SOCCER: Marblehead names Jenna Roncarati as new coach   

    Marblehead High School has named Jenna Roncarati as its next girls varsity soccer coach. Roncarati takes over for Andrew Bub, who stepped down after five  years as head coach.
    Roncarati is no stranger to Marblehead High School athletics, having served as the girls JV soccer coach prior to accepting her new position..
    A 2013 graduate of Providence College, Roncarati was a four-year starter on the women's soccer team and two-year captain. Roncarati was awarded All-Big East accolades all four seasons and was also a four-time Big-East Academic All-Star.
    Roncarati was also a member of the Providence College women's basketball team during the 2012-2013 season. She was also recognized as the 2012-2013 Providence College Female Athlete of the Year. After Providence, she spent a year playing professional soccer in the Premier Soccer Division in Iceland.
A native of Cumberland, RI, Roncarati was a standout three-sport athlete in soccer, basketball and track at Bishop Feehan High School. While at Bishop Feehan, she was a Boston Herald All-Scholastic selection in basketball.
    Roncarati has been a teacher in the Science Department at Marblehead High School since 2014.

Dan Ventura

          Shaun White Olympics 2010 Video - Shaun White, Snowboarder   
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inside the spirit of a gay guy there is always an original dance track ... you just cant help it . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #art #denmark #københavn #copenhagen #list #nordic #nature #skandinavien #composer #vocal #songwriter #photography #fashion #model #iceland #comedy #nyc #gay #bi #straight #club #disco #music
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          Reyka Remix   
For two days this winter, on the 7th and 8th of November get ready for Reyka Remix, the official launch party for Reyka Vodka. Held in Arch 402 in Hoxton. The handcrafted vodka will be hosting a party the only way they know how, Icelandic style! This small batch spirit has managed to cement its […]
          Crossing Mediums: A Talk with Writer Jennifer McGuiggan about Making Art at Squam   

Last week 135 people went to scenic Squam Lake, New Hampshire to attend Squam Art Workshops. I asked seasoned writer Jenna McGuiggan of The Word Cellar to tell me a little bit about her time there and the experience of crossing mediums and being a beginner.

You decided to go to Squam Art Workshops (SAW) this year even though you're a professional writer. Was it scary to be in such an image rich learning environment when your primary medium is words?

When deciding whether or not to go to SAW, I kept saying that I felt scared. But then I stopped and listened to myself and realized that I really wasn't afraid; I just felt like I should feel afraid. My inner gremlins of doubt had me convinced that an art retreat was something scary, even though my heart knew that it wasn't.

Being around so many artists was both new and familiar to me. Because a lot of the women who attended the retreat are bloggers, the vibe was like a more bohemian version of a BlogHer conference – held in the woods! Being around so many visually-inclined people was different, but not uncomfortable.

On the second day, I took a Travel Journaling class. The instructor set us loose in the woods and told us to create whatever kind of art our hearts desired. I immediately thought, "Oh, well, I'll write." But then I decided to stretch myself a little and try something new. I gathered up my paints, brushes, and some little blank postcards and trundled down to a gently rocking dock on the lake.

And then something magical happened: I found liberation in using images to capture my surroundings and my experiences.

I adore words. But since I know I'm supposed to be "good" with them, writing can sometimes feel a bit daunting, especially when I long to capture a visual or ephemeral scene. It's easy to let the craft of writing get in the way of true expression.

But since visual art is so new to me, I was free to just play and make a mess. I even painted a whole postcard with big swaths of extra paint I'd mixed up, just because I liked the color and thought it fit my mood. You can't do quite the same thing with just a bunch of words. So in a way, being in an image rich environment was liberating.

That said, I'm still not thinking of myself as an artist. It took me a long time to claim the name of "writer," but "artist" feels like something different altogether. To me, "artist" feels wilder, more exotic, still something beyond my grasp. I'm interested to see if that changes over time.

What surprised you the most about the experience?

I was most surprised when I looked at my big painting from the first day of class and realized that I didn't hate it. I'd spent the whole class loathing it, bemoaning my color choices, wondering how so little of me had ended up in this thing that I had created. But after I gave it – and me – some space, I discovered little bits and pieces in it that I actually liked. That was a total surprise. And a big lesson about how I react to being frustrated (which is to either run away or get angry). But being forced (or perhaps "encouraged" is a better word!) to stick with it was so valuable in the end. It helped me to overcome my innate desire to do things perfectly. (More on that below.)

What classes did you take and how did you find the learning environment? How do you think exposure to art making in this way will impact your writing?

I took Painting as Process with Lisa Occhipinti on the first day. She did a great job of combining demonstrations with time for us to try things on our own. Her encouragement and ideas are what kept me from ripping up my painting and fleeing to the safety of my cabin!

On day two I took Travel Journaling with Penelope Dullaghan, which was a very free-flowing class. Penny provided some art supplies and some good prompts in case we got stuck. I ended up with a prompt that got me painting on my little postcards. It said: "An acorn gives you three wishes. Find an acorn, sketch it, and then list your three wishes." I'd found the quintessential acorn the day before and decided to paint it. (My three wishes? They're a bit cryptic, but I think you'll get the gist of it: 1. Dream cottage. 2. England, Ireland, Iceland, and Italy. 3. Book.)

On the final day, I was in The Superhero Life with Andrea Scher, who was assisted by Jen Gray and Jonatha Brooke. The class was a mixture of photography tips and life coaching. We broke the ice by doing photo shoots with partners, complete with crazy props like pink wigs and fun hats. Then we got into the heart of things by working with a partner to uncover our core values. That was a great exercise and reconnected me with some things I already knew to be true about myself: that my guiding principles in life are a sense of Joy & Wonder and a need for Connection.

Any new blog crushes? What blogs and resources did you discover?
I'd heard of the magazine "Cloth, Paper, Scissors" before, but had never looked at it. We got a free issue in our goody bags and I realized that it's a great resource to learn about mixed media art. I think that seeing what other people are making and what materials are available will be a huge help to me as I explore this new path.

Other inspiration from the weekend includes two lovely new books: Taking Flight: Inspiration + Techniques to Give Your Creative Spirit Wings by Kelly Rae Roberts and Ordinary Sparkling Moments Christine Mason Miller . I'm also in love with Elizabeth MacCrellish, the amazing, vibrant woman who organized the whole event with grace, aplomb, and love.

What would you say to another writer who's considering giving art a try? Any bits of advice for keeping perfectionism at bay?

Oh, perfectionism. My constant companion and enemy. When I get frustrated, my fight or flight response kicks into high gear. This had me wanting to rip up my painting on day one and start over. And I just wouldn't believe anyone when they said they liked my painting. All I could see were the flaws.

Even before I went to SAW, I could have allowed myself to be overwhelmed by the materials I needed. I didn't know what matte medium was or what kind of brushes to buy, or even how to pronounce "gesso." (FYI for you other newbies: The "g" is soft, like in the word gelatin.) So I went to the art store and said, "I need these things. Can you help?"

And here's what I'm learning: It really and truly is okay to be a beginner. I'm realizing that not knowing isn't shameful or embarrassing or an indication of my intelligence, skill, or capacity. It just means this is all new to me. There's no shame in that! In fact, it's exciting, fun, and beautiful to learn something new.

I'd encourage writers to give visual art a try, even if they've spent their whole lives thinking (like me) that they can't draw or paint. By giving my verbal mind a bit of a rest, I've come back to my writing with renewed love. Playing with visual art has also helped me to really pay attention to the world around me and look for new ways to express that in words. Plus, because I am so word oriented, I found that it's fun to mix writing and text into my art images. It's a little bit of the safe and familiar mixed in with something new and exciting!

          On-Line Shopping? Unimpressed   

Hmmm. The perils of on-line shopping if you are a big fella...


The old 3XL Jack Wolfskin rainproof jacket I used to use when skiing in Austria back in the day still fits nicely, but it is falling apart. Well, some part of the inner lining is shedding like dandruff. So I ordered a replacement 3XL one, in as similar a style as I could find on-line, from their store in Amsterdam and had it delivered to Izzy's place in The Hague.

JW is a German brand, but they don't sell them in Singapore or Australia at the moment, and they don't deliver internationally at all, which is why I had to use the Amsterdam store.

Warning bells.

I thought I'd better bring my even older LaFuma 2XL jacket (from Canada, back when I used to ski Whistler/Blackcomb) as a back-up, just in case. It's a tight fit, but it does zip up at least, so long as I have thinnish layers underneath.

I am not normally this wise.


Here I am in Holland, off to Iceland in two days, and I try on the new 3XL jacket... It is EVEN SMALLER than the 2XL LaFuma. I cannot zip it up with losing some haoir from my belly. Seriously. This sucks. Iceland, where the wind doth howl and the rain doth fall. It's probably warmer than it is in Melbourne at the moment, but... wind, rain. Need a good jacket.

And here we are. Same alleged 3XL size as the previous one (4XL Asian size), and it is not even equivalent to a Canadian XXL.

Maybe Germans are shrinking. Maybe

E@L is not.
          Price Drop: Icelandic Dictionary GoldEdition   
Icelandic Dictionary GoldEdition
Kategorie: Reisen
Preis: 8,99 € -> 3,49 €
Version: 1.32
in iTunes öffnen

GoldEdition - Icelandic Dictionary [Top Application] Ultra High Quality Words in icelandic audio language and in english audio language. Ideal to speak as fast as possible in icelandic and in english. Ideal dictionary is now available in your iPhone and iPad.
          Comment on How to plan a trip to ICELAND? Start here. by Mike Cotton   
I really really, really, reallllllly need to visit Iceland. The photography opportunities are next level. This is a great guide and just further fuels my desire to travel to this beautiful country.
          CRISIL ratings for Indian debt instruments-Jun 30   

Jun 30 (Reuters) - Below are the ratings awarded by Credit Rating Information Service ofIndia (CRISIL) for local debt instruments as of June 29, 2017.COMPANY INSTRUMENT RATING AMOUNT MOVEMENT (RS.MLN)------ ---------- ------ ----- ---------SHORT TERM RATINGS:-------------------Adhunik Infrastructures Pvt Ltd BG CRISIL A3+ 900 ReaffirmedBloom Seal Containers Pvt Ltd LOC CRISIL A3 20 ReaffirmedCasva Tiles Pvt Ltd BG CRISIL A4 1.3 ReaffirmedCIS Bureaus Facility Services Pvt Ltd BG CRISIL A2 200 AssignedCrescent Contractors Pvt Ltd BG CRISIL A4+ 40 AssignedCS Components Pvt Ltd BG CRISIL A4+ 10 ReaffirmedCS Components Pvt Ltd LOC CRISIL A4+ 50 ReaffirmedCura Health Care Pvt Ltd BG CRISIL A3 125 Upgraded from CRISIL A4+Devarsh Construction Co BG CRISIL A4+ 50 AssignedDiana Buildwell Ltd BG CRISIL A3 200 ReaffirmedFocus Comtrade Pvt Ltd BG CRISIL A4 60 ReaffirmedFocus Comtrade Pvt Ltd Packing Credit CRISIL A4 5 ReaffirmedFriends Alloys LOC CRISIL A4 30 Downgraded from CRISIL A4+Issuer Not CooperatingGalaxy Tube Industries LOC CRISIL A4+ 30 AssignedGalaxy Tube Industries BG CRISIL A4+ 20 AssignedGlobal Autotech Ltd BG CRISIL A2 20 Upgraded from CRISIL A3+Global Autotech Ltd Foreign Bill CRISIL A2 35 Upgraded from Discounting CRISIL A3+Global Autotech Ltd Inland/Import LOC CRISIL A2 120 Upgraded from CRISIL A3+Global Autotech Ltd Packing Credit CRISIL A2 35 Upgraded from CRISIL A3+Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd BG CRISIL A1+ 200 ReaffirmedHindustan Aeronautics Ltd LOC CRISIL A1+ 10300 ReaffirmedHindustan Aeronautics Ltd ST Debt CRISIL A1+ 4500 ReaffirmedHorizon Industrial Products Pvt Ltd BG CRISIL A4+ 5 ReaffirmedHorizon Industrial Products Pvt Ltd LOC CRISIL A4+ 5 ReaffirmedIIFL Facilities Services Ltd ST Debt Issue* CRISIL A1+ 40000 Assigned*Assigned for initial public offering financing on an episodic basisIIFL Facilities Services Ltd ST Debt Issue* CRISIL A1+ 20000 Withdrawal*Assigned for initial public offering financing on an episodic basisIIFL Facilities Services Ltd ST Debt Issue* CRISIL A1+ 20000 Withdrawal*Assigned for initial public offering financing on an episodic basisJabsons Foods (A Div of Jabsons Inland Guarantees CRISIL A4+ 5 ReaffirmedCottonseed Ind Pvt Ltd)Joonktollee Tea and Industries Ltd BG CRISIL A4+ 1 Downgraded from CRISIL A3Joonktollee Tea and Industries Ltd Overdraft CRISIL A4+ 150 Downgraded from CRISIL A3Joonktollee Tea and Industries Ltd ST Loan CRISIL A4+ 220 Downgraded from CRISIL A3Kamal Jewellers Overdraft CRISIL A3 86.5 ReaffirmedKhurana Exports - Kanpur Packing Credit CRISIL A4 20 ReaffirmedIssuer Not CooperatingKissan Riceland Pvt Ltd Proposed NFBL CRISIL A4+ 17.7 AssignedL&T Special Steels and Heavy Forging BG CRISIL A2+ 350 DowngradedPvt Ltd from CRISIL A1L&T Special Steels and Heavy Forging Proposed BG CRISIL A2+ 650 DowngradedPvt Ltd from CRISIL A1Leather Crafts India Pvt Ltd Proposed ST Bk CRISIL A3+ 20 Reaffirmed Loan FacM.N.S. Metal and Profiles Pvt Ltd Proposed ST Bk CRISIL A3 60 Upgraded from Loan Fac CRISIL A4+M/s M.P. Agarwalla BG CRISIL A4+ 120 ReaffirmedMalabar Tech BG CRISIL A4+ 130 AssignedMegaa Moda Pvt Ltd BG CRISIL A4+ 4.5 ReaffirmedMegaa Moda Pvt Ltd Export Bill CRISIL A4+ 145 Reaffirmed Purchase -DiscountingMegaa Moda Pvt Ltd Export Packing CRISIL A4+ 112.5 Reaffirmed CreditMerit Organics Ltd LOC CRISIL A4 9.5 ReaffirmedMerit Organics Ltd Packing Credit in CRISIL A4 40 Reaffirmed Foreign CurrencyMetropole Tiles Pvt Ltd BG CRISIL A4+ 50 ReaffirmedModern Stage Service BG CRISIL A4 17.5 ReaffirmedMohini Resources Pvt Ltd LOC CRISIL A4+ 750 ReaffirmedMutual Industries Ltd LOC & BG CRISIL A1 30 ReaffirmedNahar Poly Films Ltd LOC & BG CRISIL A3+ 210 ReaffirmedNaser Tanning Company Packing Credit CRISIL A3 104 ReaffirmedNational Housing Bank Proposed ST Bk CRISIL A1+ 60000 Reaffirmed Loan FacOverseas Leather Goods Company Pvt Ltd Packing Credit CRISIL A4 81.6 ReaffirmedPataka Industries Pvt Ltd BG CRISIL A2+ 150 ReaffirmedPep-Cee Pack Industries LOC CRISIL A4+ 67.5 ReaffirmedPKPN Spinning Mills Pvt Ltd LOC CRISIL A4 125.7 Downgraded from CRISIL A4+Ponmani Industries BG CRISIL A4 12.5 ReaffirmedIssuer Not CooperatingPrecision Operations Systems India Pvt BG CRISIL A4 60 ReaffirmedLtdPunch Ratna Fasteners Pvt Ltd LOC CRISIL A2+ 90 ReaffirmedR.L. Foods Packing Credit CRISIL A4+ 150 ReaffirmedRam Ratna Infrastructure Pvt Ltd LOC* CRISIL A4+ 95 Reaffirmed*Fully interchangeable with buyer's credit and bank guaranteeRan India Steels Pvt Ltd LOC CRISIL A4+ 396.5 ReaffirmedShapoorji Pallonji Finance Pvt Ltd CP CRISIL A1+ 1000 ReaffirmedShree Balaji Aromatics Pvt Ltd Foreign Bill CRISIL A4+ 50 Upgraded from Purchase CRISIL A4Shree Balaji Aromatics Pvt Ltd Packing Credit CRISIL A4+ 100 Upgraded from CRISIL A4Shree Shyam Texturising - Ahmedabad BG CRISIL A4 8 ReaffirmedSmart Controls India Ltd LOC & BG CRISIL A4 8 Downgraded from CRISIL A4+**Issuer did not cooperate; based on best-available information Spectrum Coal and Power Ltd BG CRISIL A1 1850 ReaffirmedSprint Exports Pvt Ltd Foreign CRISIL A4 189.6 Downgraded Discounting Bill from CRISIL Purchase A4+Sprint Exports Pvt Ltd Packing Credit CRISIL A4 216 Downgraded from CRISIL A4+Sri Pavithra Constructions BG CRISIL A4+ 40 AssignedSri Sai Leela Electrical Projects BG CRISIL A4+ 85 AssignedSwizzer Ceramic Pvt Ltd BG CRISIL A4+ 40 ReaffirmedThe Mathrubhumi Printing and Publishing BG CRISIL A1 10 ReaffirmedCo. LtdThe Mathrubhumi Printing and Publishing LOC CRISIL A1 780 ReaffirmedCo. LtdVardhman Acrylics Ltd LOC* CRISIL A1+ 400 Reaffirmed* Interchangeable with bank guarantee facilityVardhman Special Steels Ltd STD/CP CRISIL A1+ 1500 ReaffirmedVardhman Special Steels Ltd LOC & BG CRISIL A1+ 1000 ReaffirmedVardhman Textiles Ltd STD/CP CRISIL A1+ 10000 ReaffirmedVardhman Textiles Ltd LOC & BG# CRISIL A1+ 2000 Reaffirmed# Letter of credit and bank guarantee limits are interchangeableVenkhataSrinivasa Infracon Pvt Ltd Overdraft CRISIL A4 60 ReaffirmedIssuer Not CooperatingVMT Spinning Co. Ltd BG CRISIL A1+ 10 ReaffirmedVMT Spinning Co. Ltd LOC & BG CRISIL A1+ 40 ReaffirmedZuberi Engineering Company BG CRISIL A4 400 ReaffirmedZuberi Engineering Company Inland/Import LOC CRISIL A4 50 ReaffirmedMEDIUM TERM RATINGS:-------------------National Housing Bank FD Programme FAAA 10000 ReaffirmedVardhman Textiles Ltd FD FAAA - Upgraded from FAA+LONG TERM RATINGS:-------------------ACB India Ltd NCD CRISIL A+ 1000 ReaffirmedACB India Ltd NCD CRISIL A+ 2000 ReaffirmedACB India Ltd BG # - 1000 Withdrawal# Sublimit of Rs 50 crore for working capital demand loan/cash creditACB India Ltd CC - 470 WithdrawalACB India Ltd Foreign Currency TL - 465.5 WithdrawalACB India Ltd Sales Bill - 150 Withdrawal DiscountingACB India Ltd BG ** - 990 Withdrawal** Sublimit of Rs 20 crore for letter of creditAccutime Logistics Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL BB- 120 AssignedAccutime Logistics Pvt Ltd Proposed CC Limit CRISIL BB- 80 AssignedACME Sawant Ventures Project Loan CRISIL B+ 80 ReaffirmedACME Sawant Ventures Proposed LT Bk CRISIL B+ 100 Reaffirmed Loan FacAdhunik Infrastructures Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL BBB 255 ReaffirmedAdhunik Infrastructures Pvt Ltd Proposed FB Bk CRISIL BBB 45 Reaffirmed LimitsAditya Sai Cot Spin Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL B+ 120 AssignedAnand Rice Mills CC CRISIL BB 200 ReaffirmedAnand Rice Mills Export Packing CRISIL BB 90 Reaffirmed CreditAnand Rice Mills Proposed LT Bk CRISIL BB 95.8 Reaffirmed Loan FacAnand Rice Mills TL CRISIL BB 14.2 ReaffirmedAvian Technologies CC CRISIL B- 20 ReaffirmedAvian Technologies Foreign LOC CRISIL B- 19.5 ReaffirmedAvian Technologies LT Loan CRISIL B- 32.6 ReaffirmedAvian Technologies Proposed LT Bk CRISIL B- 3.9 Reaffirmed Loan FacBalaji Polysacks Pvt Ltd BG CRISIL D 30 ReaffirmedIssuer Not CooperatingBalaji Polysacks Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL D 100 ReaffirmedIssuer Not CooperatingBalaji Polysacks Pvt Ltd LOC CRISIL D 30 ReaffirmedIssuer Not CooperatingBalaji Polysacks Pvt Ltd Standby LOC CRISIL D 10 ReaffirmedIssuer Not CooperatingBalaji Polysacks Pvt Ltd TL CRISIL D 9.5 ReaffirmedBloom Seal Containers Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL BBB- 90 ReaffirmedBloom Seal Containers Pvt Ltd Proposed LT Bk CRISIL BBB- 25 Reaffirmed Loan FacBloom Seal Containers Pvt Ltd TL CRISIL BBB- 20 ReaffirmedC P Ispat Pvt Ltd BG CRISIL D 2 ReaffirmedIssuer Not CooperatingC P Ispat Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL D 120 ReaffirmedIssuer Not CooperatingC P Ispat Pvt Ltd TL CRISIL D 78 ReaffirmedIssuer Not CooperatingCasva Tiles Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL B+ 30 Upgraded from CRISIL BCasva Tiles Pvt Ltd Proposed LT Bk CRISIL B+ 25.7 Upgraded from Loan Fac CRISIL BCasva Tiles Pvt Ltd TL CRISIL B+ 68 Upgraded from CRISIL BCIS Bureaus Facility Services Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL BBB+ 450 Upgraded from CRISIL BBBCrescent Contractors Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL BB+ 60 AssignedCS Components Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL BB 100 ReaffirmedCS Components Pvt Ltd Proposed LT Bk CRISIL BB 5 Reaffirmed Loan FacCura Health Care Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL BBB- 250 Upgraded from CRISIL BB+Cura Health Care Pvt Ltd Proposed LT Bk CRISIL BBB- 5 Upgraded from Loan Fac CRISIL BB+Devarsh Construction Co Secured Overdraft CRISIL BB- 35 Assigned FacDiana Buildwell Ltd TL CRISIL BBB- 1300 ReaffirmedE C Bose and Co Pvt Ltd BG CRISIL D 10 ReaffirmedIssuer Not CooperatingE C Bose and Co Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL D 55 ReaffirmedIssuer Not CooperatingExcel Timbers Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL D 30 ReaffirmedExcel Timbers Pvt Ltd LOC CRISIL D 70 ReaffirmedFaridabad Steel Mongers Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL BB- 400 ReaffirmedFocus Comtrade Pvt Ltd Proposed LT Bk CRISIL B+ 35 Reaffirmed Loan FacFriends Alloys CC CRISIL B 130 Downgraded from CRISIL BBFriends Alloys Proposed LT Bk CRISIL B 30 Downgraded Loan Fac from CRISIL BBG.V.D. Textiles Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL B 106 Downgraded from CRISIL B+Issuer Not CooperatingG.V.D. Textiles Pvt Ltd TL CRISIL B 9 Downgraded from CRISIL B+Issuer Not CooperatingGalaxy Tube Industries Proposed LT Bk CRISIL BB- 20 Assigned Loan FacGalaxy Tube Industries CC CRISIL BB- 30 AssignedGlobal Autotech Ltd CC CRISIL BBB+ 400 Upgraded from CRISIL BBBGlobal Autotech Ltd TL CRISIL BBB+ 410 Upgraded from CRISIL BBBGreatship India Ltd TL CRISIL AA 3300 ReaffirmedGreatship India Ltd WC Demand Loan@ CRISIL AA 3750 Assigned@ Interchangeable with fund-based facilities such as buyer's credit, short-term loan, andforward contract facility, and with non-fund-based facilities such as bank guarantee and letterof creditGreen Agro Pack Pvt Ltd Export Bill CRISIL D 55 Reaffirmed NegotiationGreen Agro Pack Pvt Ltd LT Loan CRISIL D 45 ReaffirmedGreen Agro Pack Pvt Ltd Packing Credit CRISIL D 76.5 ReaffirmedGreen Agro Pack Pvt Ltd Proposed Bill CRISIL D 13.5 Reaffirmed Discounting FacGreen Agro Pack Pvt Ltd Proposed LOC CRISIL D 10 ReaffirmedHindustan Aeronautics Ltd CC CRISIL AAA 4500 ReaffirmedHindustan Aeronautics Ltd Bond CRISIL AAA 4500 ReaffirmedHindustan Dall and Flour Mills CC CRISIL BBB- 60 AssignedHindustan Dall and Flour Mills Proposed CC Limit CRISIL BBB- 40 AssignedHorizon Industrial Products Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL BB 130 ReaffirmedHorizon Industrial Products Pvt Ltd LT Loan CRISIL BB 115 ReaffirmedHorizon Industrial Products Pvt Ltd Proposed LT Bk CRISIL BB 25 Reaffirmed Loan FacHotel Hans Pvt Ltd TL CRISIL BBB- 600 Upgraded from CRISIL BB+Indratara Agro Industries Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL B+ 54.1 ReaffirmedIndratara Agro Industries Pvt Ltd TL CRISIL B+ 92 ReaffirmedJabsons Foods (A Div of Jabsons CC CRISIL BB 45 ReaffirmedCottonseed Ind Pvt Ltd)Jabsons Foods (A Div of Jabsons TL CRISIL BB 14.8 ReaffirmedCottonseed Ind Pvt Ltd)Johar Automobiles Overdraft CRISIL B- 60 ReaffirmedJoonktollee Tea and Industries Ltd CC CRISIL BB+ 320 Downgraded from CRISIL BBB-Joonktollee Tea and Industries Ltd Proposed LT Bk CRISIL BB+ 59 Downgraded Loan Fac from CRISIL BBB-Joonktollee Tea and Industries Ltd TL CRISIL BB+ 450 Downgraded from CRISIL BBB-Kamal Jewellers CC CRISIL BBB- 150 ReaffirmedKaram Udyog Export Packing CRISIL BBB 100 Reaffirmed CreditKhurana Exports - Kanpur Foreign Bill CRISIL B 10 Downgraded Discounting from CRISIL B+Issuer Not CooperatingKhurana Exports - Kanpur Proposed LT Bk CRISIL B 70 Downgraded Loan Fac from CRISIL B+Issuer Not CooperatingKissan Riceland Pvt Ltd TL CRISIL BB- 12.3 AssignedKissan Riceland Pvt Ltd Standby Line of CRISIL BB- 20 Assigned CreditKissan Riceland Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL BB- 250 AssignedKolhapur Municipal Corporation Corporate Credit CCR BBB+ - Upgraded from Rating CRISIL BBBKrish Cereals Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL BB 60 ReaffirmedKrish Cereals Pvt Ltd Proposed LT Bk CRISIL BB 60 Reaffirmed Loan FacKrish Cereals Pvt Ltd TL CRISIL BB 30 ReaffirmedL&T Special Steels and Heavy Forging CC* CRISIL A 1750 DowngradedPvt Ltd from CRISIL A+*Includes sublimit of Rs 50 crore as non-fund based limitL&T Special Steels and Heavy Forging LT Loan CRISIL A 8000 DowngradedPvt Ltd from CRISIL A+L&T Special Steels and Heavy Forging LT Loan^ CRISIL A 3500 DowngradedPvt Ltd from CRISIL A+^Loan from co-promoter, NPCIL, is secured by a charge on the assets of the company that rankspari-passu with other lenders. The loan is being rated on the specific request of NPCIL L&T Special Steels and Heavy Forging Proposed LT Bk CRISIL A 750 DowngradedPvt Ltd Loan Fac from CRISIL A+Laxmi Doors TL CRISIL B+ 45 AssignedLaxmi Doors CC CRISIL B+ 15 AssignedLaxmi Doors Proposed LT Bk CRISIL B+ 10 Assigned Loan FacLeather Crafts India Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL BBB 60 ReaffirmedLeather Crafts India Pvt Ltd Proposed LT Bk CRISIL BBB 100 Reaffirmed Loan FacLeather Crafts India Pvt Ltd TL CRISIL BBB 20 ReaffirmedM. R. Weaving Mills Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL B 25 ReaffirmedIssuer Not CooperatingM.N.S. Metal and Profiles Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL BBB- 180 Upgraded from CRISIL BB+M/s M.P. Agarwalla CC CRISIL BB 90 ReaffirmedM/s M.P. Agarwalla Proposed BG CRISIL BB 30 ReaffirmedM/s M.P. Agarwalla Proposed LT Bk CRISIL BB 150 Reaffirmed Loan FacM/s M.P. Agarwalla Proposed CC Limit CRISIL BB 10 ReaffirmedMA Amba Sponge Iron Ltd CC CRISIL B- 90 AssignedMaa Saradeswari Heemghar Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL B 62 ReaffirmedMaa Saradeswari Heemghar Pvt Ltd Overdraft CRISIL B 7 ReaffirmedMaa Saradeswari Heemghar Pvt Ltd Proposed LT Bk CRISIL B 37 Reaffirmed Loan FacMaa Saradeswari Heemghar Pvt Ltd TL CRISIL B 44 ReaffirmedMalabar Tech CC CRISIL BB 35 AssignedMarine Container Services (South) Pvt Proposed LT Bk CRISIL BBB- 167 Upgraded fromLtd Loan Fac CRISIL BB+Marine Container Services (South) Pvt TL CRISIL BBB- 23 Upgraded fromLtd CRISIL BB+MDA Agrocot Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL B+ 70 ReaffirmedMDA Agrocot Pvt Ltd Foreign Bill CRISIL B+ 250 Reaffirmed DiscountingMegaa Moda Pvt Ltd TL CRISIL BB- 180 ReaffirmedMerit Organics Ltd CC CRISIL B+ 8 ReaffirmedMerit Organics Ltd Rupee TL CRISIL B+ 52.5 ReaffirmedMetropole Tiles Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL BB- 85 ReaffirmedMetropole Tiles Pvt Ltd LT Loan CRISIL BB- 315 ReaffirmedMittal Unicot Industries CC CRISIL BB- 60 Upgraded from CRISIL BMittal Unicot Industries TL CRISIL BB- 32.5 Upgraded from CRISIL BModern Stage Service CC CRISIL B 40.5 ReaffirmedModern Stage Service Proposed LT Bk CRISIL B 2 Reaffirmed Loan FacMohini Resources Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL BB+ 150 ReaffirmedMutual Industries Ltd CC* CRISIL A+ 100 Reaffirmed*Interchangeable with letter of credit and bank guaranteeMutual Industries Ltd CC^ CRISIL A+ 150 Reaffirmed^Interchangeable with letter of credit and bank guarantee to the extent of Rs.5 croreMutual Industries Ltd CC CRISIL A+ 70 ReaffirmedMutual Industries Ltd Proposed LT Bk CRISIL A+ 370 Reaffirmed Loan FacMutual Industries Ltd TL CRISIL A+ 480 ReaffirmedMutual Industries Ltd WC TL CRISIL A+ 150 ReaffirmedNabakalebar Charitable Trust Funded Interest TL CRISIL D 8.5 ReaffirmedIssuer Not CooperatingNabakalebar Charitable Trust Proposed LT Bk CRISIL D 11.5 Reaffirmed Loan FacIssuer Not CooperatingNabakalebar Charitable Trust TL CRISIL D 110 ReaffirmedIssuer Not CooperatingNabakalebar Charitable Trust WC TL CRISIL D 20 ReaffirmedIssuer Not CooperatingNahar Poly Films Ltd CC* CRISIL BBB 420 Reaffirmed*Fully interchangeable with packing creditNahar Poly Films Ltd LT Loan CRISIL BBB 477.9 ReaffirmedNaser Tanning Company Foreign Bill CRISIL BBB- 28 Reaffirmed DiscountingNaser Tanning Company Proposed LT Bk CRISIL BBB- 16.8 Reaffirmed Loan FacNational Housing Bank Proposed LT Bk CRISIL AAA 20000 Reaffirmed Loan FacNational Housing Bank Deposits Under CRISIL AAA 90000 Assigned Rural Housing Fund and Under Urban Housing Fund**Rs 6000 crore under Rural Housing Fund and Rs 3000 crore under Urban Housing Fund National Housing Bank NCDs CRISIL AAA 57750 Reaffirmed(Reduced from Rs.12000 Crore)National Housing Bank Bonds CRISIL AAA 46401.33Reaffirmed(Reduced from Rs.7000 Crore)National Housing Bank LT Borrowing CRISIL AAA 140000 Reaffirmed ProgrammeNDR Infrastructure Pvt Ltd TL CRISIL B+ 1190 Upgraded from CRISIL BOverseas Leather Goods Company Pvt Ltd Foreign Bill CRISIL B 32.3 Reaffirmed PurchasePagoda Steels Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL D 120 ReaffirmedIssuer Not CooperatingPagoda Steels Pvt Ltd Proposed LT Bk CRISIL D 5.9 Reaffirmed Loan FacIssuer Not CooperatingPagoda Steels Pvt Ltd TL CRISIL D 24.1 ReaffirmedIssuer Not CooperatingPalathra Constructions Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL B+ 250 AssignedPataka Industries Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL A- 50 ReaffirmedPCS Auto Cast CC CRISIL B 40 AssignedPCS Auto Cast TL CRISIL B 30 AssignedPelican International Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL D 2.5 ReaffirmedPelican International Pvt Ltd LOC CRISIL D 187.5 ReaffirmedPep-Cee Pack Industries CC CRISIL BB- 81 ReaffirmedPep-Cee Pack Industries Proposed LT Bk CRISIL BB- 4 Reaffirmed Loan FacPep-Cee Pack Industries TL CRISIL BB- 18.3 ReaffirmedPKPN Spinning Mills Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL B 325.4 Downgraded from CRISIL BB+PKPN Spinning Mills Pvt Ltd Foreign Bill CRISIL B 145 Downgraded Discounting from CRISIL BB+PKPN Spinning Mills Pvt Ltd LT Loan CRISIL B 31.7 Downgraded from CRISIL BB+PKPN Spinning Mills Pvt Ltd Proposed LT Bk CRISIL B 252.2 Downgraded Loan Fac from CRISIL BB+Ponmani Industries CC CRISIL B+ 57.5 ReaffirmedIssuer Not CooperatingPrecision Operations Systems India Pvt CC CRISIL B+ 30 ReaffirmedLtdPrecision Operations Systems India Pvt Proposed LT Bk CRISIL B+ 30 ReaffirmedLtd Loan FacPunch Ratna Fasteners Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL A- 150 ReaffirmedPunch Ratna Fasteners Pvt Ltd Proposed LT Bk CRISIL A- 40 Reaffirmed Loan FacPurushottam Jairam & Co. CC CRISIL B- 25 ReaffirmedIssuer Not CooperatingPurushottam Jairam & Co. LOC* CRISIL B- 90 ReaffirmedIssuer Not Cooperating; * interchange between Cash Credit and Letter of Credit to a tune for Rs.75 millionR.L. Foods CC CRISIL BB 290 ReaffirmedR.L. Foods Line of Credit CRISIL BB 10 ReaffirmedR.L. Foods Warehouse FinancingCRISIL BB 50 ReaffirmedRadha Rukmani Spinners Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL D 50 ReaffirmedRadha Rukmani Spinners Pvt Ltd LOC CRISIL D 50 ReaffirmedRam Ratna Infrastructure Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL BB+ 50 Upgraded from CRISIL BBRam Ratna Infrastructure Pvt Ltd Proposed LT Bk CRISIL BB+ 342.5 Upgraded from Loan Fac CRISIL BBRan India Steels Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL BB- 528 ReaffirmedRan India Steels Pvt Ltd TL CRISIL BB- 54.5 ReaffirmedRashi Resources Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL BB+ 50 Upgraded from CRISIL BBRashi Resources Pvt Ltd Proposed LT Bk CRISIL BB+ 50 Upgraded from Loan Fac CRISIL BBRathi Packaging Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL B+ 25 AssignedRathi Packaging Pvt Ltd TL CRISIL B+ 34 AssignedRavisum Processing CC CRISIL B- 90 AssignedRavisum Processing Rupee TL CRISIL B- 40 AssignedRudra Enterprises CC CRISIL B 65 Downgraded from CRISIL BB-S.K. Foods CC CRISIL BB 90 ReaffirmedS.K. Foods Proposed LT Bk CRISIL BB 11 Reaffirmed Loan FacS.K. Foods TL CRISIL BB 24 ReaffirmedSagar Pulses Pvt Ltd Warehouse Receipts CRISIL BB- 95 AssignedSagar Pulses Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL BB- 45 AssignedSagar Pulses Pvt Ltd TL CRISIL BB- 20 AssignedSCC Builders Pvt Ltd Proposed LT Bk CRISIL C 15 Reaffirmed Loan FacSCC Builders Pvt Ltd TL CRISIL C 535 ReaffirmedSCC Builders Pvt Ltd WC Demand Loan CRISIL C 250 ReaffirmedShapoorji Pallonji Finance Pvt Ltd Proposed LT Bk CRISIL AA- 1000 Reaffirmed Loan FacShapoorji Pallonji Finance Pvt Ltd NCD CRISIL AA- 2000 ReaffirmedShree Balaji Aromatics Pvt Ltd Standby Line of CRISIL BB- 30 Upgraded from Credit CRISIL B+Shree Ganpati Ridhi Sidhi Agro CC CRISIL B 45 ReaffirmedIndustries Pvt LtdIssuer Not CooperatingShree Ganpati Ridhi Sidhi Agro LT Loan CRISIL B 77 ReaffirmedIndustries Pvt LtdIssuer Not CooperatingShree Ganpati Ridhi Sidhi Agro Proposed CC Limit CRISIL B 25 ReaffirmedIndustries Pvt LtdIssuer Not CooperatingShree Shyam Texturising - Ahmedabad CC CRISIL B 11.4 Downgraded from CRISIL B+Shree Shyam Texturising - Ahmedabad TL CRISIL B 33.4 Downgraded from CRISIL B+Shri Ram Mahender Kishore International CC/ Overdraft Fac CRISIL BB- 60 ReaffirmedPvt LtdShri Ram Mahender Kishore International Proposed LT Bk CRISIL BB- 40 ReaffirmedPvt Ltd Loan FacSmart Controls India Ltd CC CRISIL B 20 Downgraded from CRISIL BBSmart Controls India Ltd Proposed LT Bk CRISIL B 38 Downgraded Loan Fac from CRISIL BBSmart Controls India Ltd Proposed TL CRISIL B 25 Downgraded from CRISIL BBSmart Controls India Ltd TL CRISIL B 9 Downgraded from CRISIL BBSpectrum Coal and Power Ltd CC CRISIL A+ 750 ReaffirmedSpectrum Coal and Power Ltd Proposed LT Bk CRISIL A+ 354.6 Reaffirmed Loan FacSpectrum Coal and Power Ltd TL CRISIL A+ 5845.4 ReaffirmedSpectrum Coal and Power Ltd CC CRISIL B+ 120 AssignedSprint Exports Pvt Ltd Standby Line of CRISIL B 10 Downgraded Credit from CRISIL BB+Sri Pavithra Constructions Overdraft CRISIL BB 25 AssignedSri Sai Leela Electrical Projects CC - Book Debt CRISIL BB- 45 AssignedSribalaji Hatcheries Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL BB 90 AssignedStepping Stone Educational Society LT Loan CRISIL B 50 Downgraded from CRISIL BB-Issuer Not CooperatingStepping Stone Educational Society Overdraft* CRISIL B 19 Downgraded from CRISIL BB-Issuer Not Cooperating; * its s revolving facilitySwizzer Ceramic Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL BB- 90 ReaffirmedSwizzer Ceramic Pvt Ltd LT Loan CRISIL BB- 215 ReaffirmedThe Mathrubhumi Printing and Publishing CC CRISIL A 600 ReaffirmedCo. LtdThe Mathrubhumi Printing and Publishing LT Loan CRISIL A 1117 ReaffirmedCo. LtdThe Mathrubhumi Printing and Publishing Proposed LT Bk CRISIL A 103 ReaffirmedCo. Ltd Loan FacThe Sunbeam Academy Educational Society LT Loan CRISIL BBB 120 ReaffirmedVaishnodevi Oil Seeds Processing CC CRISIL BB- 85 Upgraded fromIndustries CRISIL B+Vaishnodevi Oil Seeds Processing Proposed LT Bk CRISIL BB- 15 Upgraded fromIndustries Loan Fac CRISIL B+Vaishnodevi Refoils and Solvex CC CRISIL BB 270 ReaffirmedVaishnodevi Refoils and Solvex TL CRISIL BB 50 ReaffirmedVaishnodevi Refoils and Solvex CC CRISIL BB 270 ReaffirmedVaishnodevi Refoils and Solvex TL CRISIL BB 50 ReaffirmedVardhman Acrylics Ltd CC@ CRISIL AA 100 Upgraded from CRISIL AA-@ Rs.5.5 crore cash credit facility interchangeable with short-term loan facilityVardhman Acrylics Ltd FB Fac# CRISIL AA 350 Upgraded from CRISIL AA-#Interchangeable with Non-Fund Based FacilityVardhman Acrylics Ltd Proposed WC Fac CRISIL AA 40 Upgraded from CRISIL AA-Vardhman Acrylics Ltd TL CRISIL AA 10 Upgraded from CRISIL AA-Vardhman Nisshinbo Garments Co. Ltd CC^ CRISIL A+ 85 Reaffirmed^ Interchangeable with non-fun based (LC & BGs)Vardhman Nisshinbo Garments Co. Ltd LT Loan CRISIL A+ 243.8 ReaffirmedVardhman Nisshinbo Garments Co. Ltd Proposed LT Bk CRISIL A+ 114 Reaffirmed Loan FacVardhman Special Steels Ltd CC CRISIL AA- 1500 ReaffirmedVardhman Special Steels Ltd Corporate Loan CRISIL AA- 1400 ReaffirmedVardhman Special Steels Ltd Foreign Currency TLCRISIL AA- 1110.9 ReaffirmedVardhman Special Steels Ltd TL CRISIL AA- 454.3 ReaffirmedVardhman Textiles Ltd CC* CRISIL AA+ 15000 Upgraded from CRISIL AA* Includes Rs 1,155 crore sublimit for packing creditVardhman Textiles Ltd Foreign Bill CRISIL AA+ 2500 Upgraded from Purchase CRISIL AAVardhman Textiles Ltd FB Fac^ CRISIL AA+ 2000 Upgraded from CRISIL AA^ Interchangeable with non-fund based limitsVardhman Textiles Ltd Proposed LT Bk CRISIL AA+ 2.3 Upgraded from Loan Fac CRISIL AAVardhman Textiles Ltd Proposed Rupee TL CRISIL AA+ 8460 Upgraded from CRISIL AAVardhman Textiles Ltd Rupee TL CRISIL AA+ 24200 Upgraded from CRISIL AAVelatal Spinning Mills Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL B+ 62 Downgraded from CRISIL BB+Velatal Spinning Mills Pvt Ltd TL CRISIL B+ 338 Downgraded from CRISIL BB+VenkhataSrinivasa Infracon Pvt Ltd LT Loan CRISIL B 4 Downgraded from CRISIL B+VMT Spinning Co. Ltd CC# CRISIL AA 60 Upgraded from CRISIL AA-#Interchangeable with Packing Credit and Bill DiscountingVMT Spinning Co. Ltd CC* CRISIL AA 90 Upgraded from CRISIL AA-*Interchangeable with Packing Credit & includes sub limit of Rs 2.5 crores for Foreign BillsPurchase/ Foreign Bills Discounting facilitiesVMT Spinning Co. Ltd Proposed TL CRISIL AA 264 Upgraded from CRISIL AA-VMT Spinning Co. Ltd Proposed WC Fac CRISIL AA 5.5 Upgraded from CRISIL AA-VMT Spinning Co. Ltd TL CRISIL AA 470.5 Upgraded from CRISIL AA-White Lotus Cotyledon Pvt Ltd CC CRISIL D 70.5 Downgraded from CRISIL B+White Lotus Cotyledon Pvt Ltd Proposed LT Bk CRISIL D 104.5 Downgraded Loan Fac from CRISIL B+White Lotus Cotyledon Pvt Ltd TL CRISIL D 25 Downgraded from CRISIL B+Zuberi Engineering Company CC CRISIL B+ 80 Reaffirmed--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------$: Rating watch with positive implication#: Rating Watch with Developing implications@: Rating Watch with Negative Implications%: Rating under Credit Watchwd -Rating Stands Withdrawnsp -Rating Suspendedpp -Principal Protectedpn -Principal Not ProtectedCRISIL may apply + or - signs for ratings to reflect a comparative standing within the category.BG-Bank Guarantee; CC-Cash Credit; CCPS-Cumulative Convertible Preference Share; CD-Certificateof Deposit; CLO-Collateralized Loan Obligation; CPA-Claims Paying Ability; CP-CommercialPaper; CPS-convertible preference shares; CRPS- Cumulative Redeemable Convertible Preferenceshares; DDB-Deep Discount Bond; EPBI-Exchange premium bond; FBL-Fund Based Limits; FRB/FRN-Floating Rate Bond/Note; ICD -Inter Corporate Deposit; ITD-Immediate Term Debt; LOC-Letter ofCredit; LT -Long Term; LTB -Long Term Borrowing; LTD -Long Term Debt; MOCD-multiple optionconvertible debenture; MTD -Medium term Debenture; MTN-medium term notes; NCD(SO) -Non-Convertible Debenture-(Structured Obligation); NCD-Non-convertible Debentures; NCRB-NonConvertible Redeemable Bonds; NM-Not Meaningful; OCD-optionally convertible debenture; OD-OverDraft; OFCD-Optionally Fully Convertible Debenture; PCD-Partially Convertible Debenture;PCN-partly convertible notes; PCPS-Partly Convertible Preference Share; POCD-partly optional;PP-privately placed; PSPC-Post Shipment & Packing Credit; PS-Preference Shares; PTC-PassThrough Certificates; RPS-Redeemable Preference Shares; SCPN-secured convertible preferencenotes; SDO-Structured Debt Obligation; SLR-Statutory Liquidity Ratio; SO-StructuredObligation; SPCD - Secured Partly Convertible Debentures; SPN-secured premium notes; STB-ShortTerm Bond; STD-Short Term Debentures; ST-Short Term; Sub. Bonds-Subordinate Bonds; TB-TaxableBond; TFB-Tax Free Bond; TL-Term Loan; TOCD-triple option convertible debentures.(Mumbai Rate Reporting Unit + 91 22 6180 7222 / 3317 7222 , E-mail

          O divertido Bar de Gelo Iceland -10, no Barrashopping   

Vem com a gente conhecer o Bar de Gelo Iceland -10 e tenha uma experiência inesquecível em baixas temperaturas. Cadeiras, escorregador, estátuas e muito mais.

O post O divertido Bar de Gelo Iceland -10, no Barrashopping apareceu primeiro em Viajando por Aí.

          Nepal Idol, Full Episode15 | Top 12 | Parikshyafal | 30 June 2017   
Posted by Anup Baral June 30, 2017 : First time ever in Nepal, the international singing competition is soon to set views on AP1 television. The international franchise ‘Idol’ is the most viewed show all over the world.
Source :
The show first started in England; In 2001 British producer Simon Fuller started the television reality show, which is very popular in various countries. The show is televised in various countries by adjoining the country name to Idol, but in England, the singing competition is popular with the name 'Pop Idol'. The show became worldwide famous when the American Fox channel in 2002 started broadcasting the show as 'American idol'. The 'Idol' franchise now is associated in various other countries like America, Australia, Arab, Indonesia, New Zealand, Latin America, Poland, South Africa, Pakistan India and Iceland. Here in this video you can see the Nepal Idol Episode 12 - Nishan Bhattrai performance. Nepal Idol reality singing competition that is part of the Idols franchise created by Simon Fuller and owned by 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia. AP1 TV acquired the production and broadcast right for Nepal Idol. The series aims to find new solo recording artists from across Nepal and the winner would be decided by viewers' votes through the Internet, telephone and text messages.
          Music News: Night + Day Festival, Iceland Airwaves & Solstafir   

The big music news this week was the cancellation of the inaugural Night + Day festival, which was to be...

The post Music News: Night + Day Festival, Iceland Airwaves & Solstafir appeared first on The Reykjavik Grapevine.

          Sculpting In Time: Páll Ragnar Pálsson’s Tectonics Of Life   

Iceland has long been a musical melting pot, and nowhere was this better represented than in this April’s Reykjavík Festival...

The post Sculpting In Time: Páll Ragnar Pálsson’s Tectonics Of Life appeared first on The Reykjavik Grapevine.

          The Classless Society Of The First Icelandic Diner: Lunch On The Harbour At Kaffivagnin   

Reykjavík’s old harbour area Grandi has gone through a rapid transformation in recent years, with new restaurants and bars popping...

The post The Classless Society Of The First Icelandic Diner: Lunch On The Harbour At Kaffivagnin appeared first on The Reykjavik Grapevine.

          Event Update For 2017-06-27

The seas, lakes and oceans are now pluming deadly hydrogen sulfide and suffocating methane. Hydrogen sulfide is a highly toxic water-soluble heavier-than-air gas and will accumulate in low-lying areas. Methane is slightly more buoyant than normal air and so will be all around, but will tend to contaminate our atmosphere from the top down. These gases are sickening and killing oxygen-using life all around the world, including human life, as our atmosphere is increasingly poisoned. Because both gases are highly flammable and because our entire civilization is built around fire and flammable fuels, this is leading to more fires and explosions. This is an extinction level event and will likely decimate both the biosphere and human population and it is debatable whether humankind can survive this event.

A. More fires and more explosions, especially along the coasts, but everywhere generally.
B. Many more animal die-offs, of all kinds, and especially oceanic species.
C. More multiples of people will be found dead in their homes, as if they'd dropped dead.
D. More corpses found in low-lying areas, all over the world.
E. More unusual vehicular accidents.
F. Improved unemployment numbers as people die off.

Category: Variety Pack

2017-06-27 - Hydrogen sulfide spewing again from the Salton Sea (California), odor advisory issued:

2017-06-27 - Unknown odor sickens dozens of people at warehouse in Canoga Park (California), 12 miles from the coast:

Quote: "A sudden odor inside a Canoga Park warehouse Tuesday caused as many as 50 people on the set of 'Top Chef Junior' to experience respiratory problems, but authorities could not determine the cause."

Quote: "Brian Humphrey, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department, said the department’s hazmat team entered the building but could not find any substance. 'It was not clear what the odor was,' Humphrey explained. 'There was no storage inside the building that would lead us to indicate any product was utilized or stored there.' Humphrey said none of the people the fire department spoke with could describe the odor consistently, and all reported they felt better after they went outside for fresh air."

Note: That's very indicative of hydrogen sulfide, the inconsistent descriptions. At LOW concentrations it smells like 'rotten eggs', or like the odorant they add to natural gas. But at higher concentrations, different people describe it differently, with some saying it smells 'chemically', some saying it smells 'flowery', some saying it smells like licorice, some saying it smells 'sickly sweet', etc. Our brains didn't evolve smelling higher concentrations of hydrogen sulfide, so different people - different brains - interpret it differently, so you get inconsistent descriptions of the smell. Too bad we can't follow these people for a week and see if any of them drop dead in the next few days from respiratory arrest or cardiac arrest or stroke or 'medical event', because sometimes hydrogen sulfide has a delayed reaction of up to a few days after exposure before you die. In other words, some of these people could already be on the way to the cemetery and they just don't know it yet...

2017-06-27 - Man, 66, ignites while cooking and burns to death in apartment in Fort Collins (Colorado):

2017-06-27 - Toxic blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) hits Lake Temescal in coastal Oakland (California):

2017-06-27 - Heatwave bakes Greece, temps hit 45C (114F):

2017-06-27 - Underwater volcano Loihi quaking and possibly erupting near Hawaii:

2017-06-27 - Volcano Bogoslof erupts again, spews ash 30,000 feet into the atmosphere, in the Aleutian Islands (Alaska):

2017-06-27 - Yellowstone Park hit by 1100+ earthquakes in two weeks in Montana/Wyoming:

2017-06-27 - Home destroyed by explosion and fire in Evansville (Indiana), 2 killed, 3 injured:

2017-06-27 - Home damaged by explosion and fire in Cedar Rapids (Iowa):

Note: These are the 188th and 189th residential explosions in 2017...

2017-06-27 - Yacht bursts into flame while docked near Crayton Cove in coastal Naples (Florida):

2017-06-27 - Boat bursts into flame at 1 AM, burns and sinks, while docked in coastal Auke Bay in Juneau (Alaska), 1 injured:

2017-06-27 - Yacht 'Sum Girl' bursts into flame while docked in coastal Pembroke on the island of Bermuda:

Quote: "Thick smoke blanketed a Pembroke neighbourhood yesterday as huge flames erupted from a motor yacht. While it is understood no one was on the 51ft Bertram, Sum Girl, the blaze caused extensive damage to the boat and a towering pillar of smoke visible from both ends of the island."

2017-06-27 - Fishing boat 'Hope' bursts into flame near coastal Pendeen (Britain), 1 injured:

Note: These are the 533rd, 534th, 535th and 536th boats/ships to burn/explode in 2017...

2017-06-27 - Tour bus bursts into flame before 5 AM on 6th Street in St. Louis (Missouri), near the Mississippi River:

Quote: "A bus carrying two bands from Kansas City to Nashville, Tennessee caught fire in downtown St. Louis Tuesday morning. The bus, which was carrying the bands 'Being as an Ocean' and 'Hundredth,' caught fire at 6th and Chouteau around 4 a.m."

2017-06-27 - Passenger bus bursts into flame on the A835 near Tore (Scotland), 3 miles from the coast:

Note: These are the 448th and 449th buses to burn in 2017...

2017-06-27 - Tanker truck bursts into flame just before 11 PM in Eagle Ridge area in Spokane (Washington):

2017-06-27 - Tanker truck bursts into flame at business in Holtze (Australia):

2017-06-27 - Tractor trailer bursts into flame at 5:30 AM on I-64 in Franklin County (Kentucky), 4 cattle killed:

2017-06-27 - Tractor trailer and trucking company buildings go up in flames in Cleveland (Ohio):

Quote: "When the fire department arrived on scene, they said two buildings and a tractor trailer were on fire."

2017-06-27 - Tractor trailer bursts into flame on I-39 near Troy Grove (Illinois):

2017-06-27 - Tractor (combine), forklift and barn destroyed by fire in Steeleville (Illinois):

Quote: "According to Steeleville Assistant Fire Chief Mike Armstrong, the barn contained various pieces of farming equipment, including a combine and a forklift, and the structure was fully involved when firefighters arrived."

2017-06-27 - Tractor trailer bursts into flame at 11:13 PM on the Trans-Canada Highway near Moosomin (Canada):

Note: These are the 1133rd, 1134th, 1135th, 1136th, 1137th, 1138th and 1139th tractors/tankers/semis to burn/explode in 2017...

2017-06-27 - Box truck bursts into flame on Peters Creek Parkway in Winston-Salem (North Carolina):

2017-06-27 - Flatbed truck bursts into flame on street in Altoona (Wisconsin):

2017-06-27 - Truck bursts into flame while parked inside auto shop in Hermitage (Pennsylvania):

Quote: "Firefighters found a truck on fire inside a Hermitage auto body shop on Tuesday night. The fire at Gordy’s Truck and Auto Body on Keel Ridge Road is now under investigation."

2017-06-27 - Truck bursts into flame at 4 AM at home in coastal Hokio Beach (New Zealand):

2017-06-27 - USPS delivery SUV bursts into flame near home in coastal McClellanville (South Carolina):

2017-06-27 - SUV bursts into flame on Dartmeet Hill in Dartmeet, Princetown (Britain):

2017-06-27 - Pickup truck bursts into flame while parked at home in coastal Anacortes (Washington):

2017-06-27 - Pickup truck and RV trailer destroyed by fire at Wasa Rest Area on Highway 93/95 in East Kootenay (Canada):

2017-06-27 - Five cars destroyed by fire at 6:16 AM while parked inside auto shop in Houston (Texas):

2017-06-27 - Two cars destroyed by fire while parked near business, another car damaged, in coastal Kahaluu (Hawaii):

2017-06-27 - Car explodes into flame while parked near home in Oliver Springs (Tennessee):

2017-06-27 - Car bursts into flame at 2 AM while parked at home in Clifton (Colorado):

2017-06-27 - Car bursts into flame on I-69 in Marion (Indiana):

2017-06-27 - Car bursts into flame on I-85 in Cherokee County (South Carolina):

2017-06-27 - Taxi bursts into flame on street near Poonamallee (India):

2017-06-27 - Car bursts into flame near Powai Lake in coastal Mumbai (India):

2017-06-27 - Car bursts into flame at 4 AM on Riverside Road in Trent Vale (Britain):

2017-06-27 - Car bursts into flame at 6:20 AM on the M25 near Godstone (Britain):

2017-06-27 - Car bursts into flame on the M6 near Knutsford (Britain):

2017-06-27 - Car bursts into flame on the A428 in Caxton Gibbet (Britain):

2017-06-27 - Golf cart bursts into flame in the wee hours while parked in garage, fire spreads to garage, in coastal Marblehead (Massachusetts):

2017-06-27 - Forklift bursts into flame inside warehouse on Moor Street in Rainham area in coastal London (Britain):

2017-06-27 - Two RV trailers destroyed by fire while parked at property near Pahrump (Nevada):

2017-06-27 - Semi trailer bursts into flame at 12:30 AM while parked at business in Sterling (Illinois):

2017-06-27 - Two vehicles and garage destroyed by fire at home near Owensville (Missouri):

2017-06-27 - Pickup truck and garage go up in flames at 12:30 AM at home in Canton (Ohio):

2017-06-27 - Two cars and garage destroyed by fire at 2:30 AM at home in Omaha (Nebraska):

2017-06-27 - Wildfire grows to 3000 acres, closes I-84, near Twin Falls (Idaho):

2017-06-27 - Wildfire breaks out and grows rapidly to 8000+ acres near Snowville (Utah):

2017-06-27 - Wildfire burns 7 square miles, forces evacuation of Mayer (Arizona):

2017-06-27 - Brush fire burns 2500 acres and causes problems on I-95 near coastal Rockledge (Florida):

2017-06-27 - Deli heavily damaged by fire at 1 AM in coastal Boston (Massachusetts), nobody there:

2017-06-27 - Warehouse devastated by fire, scrap metal and plastic burn, in coastal Singapore, 1 killed, 1 injured:

2017-06-27 - Home damaged by garage fire in Hillsboro (Oregon):

2017-06-27 - Home damaged by fire at 4:35 AM in Birmingham (Alabama):

2017-06-27 - Home destroyed by fire in Choctaw (Oklahoma):

2017-06-27 - Two homes destroyed by fire at 3:30 AM in Leslieville (Canada):

2017-06-27 - Apartment building heavily damaged by fire in Walker (Michigan):

2017-06-27 - Deadly fire destroys mobile home in Seaford (Delaware), 1 killed:

2017-06-27 - Deadly fire burns home at 12:40 AM in Detroit (Michigan), 3 killed, 1 injured:

2017-06-27 - Deadly fire burns home at 7:20 AM in coastal Jacksonville (Florida), 1 killed:

2017-06-27 - Vacant mobile home destroyed by fire in Marion Station (Maryland):

2017-06-27 - Vacant home burns on Hilston Grove in coastal Hull (Britain):

Quote: "Hilston Grove, Preston Road, Hull. Tue 27 Jun 2017 19:43 (No:14009) Derelict property involved in fire. One main line and two hose reels in use."

2017-06-27 - Vacant commercial building destroyed by fire in Waimea (Hawaii), near the coast:

2017-06-27 - Twenty seagulls found dead at Gallagher Beach on Lake Erie in Buffalo (New York):

Quote: "It was an unpleasant sight Tuesday, as a number of dead seagulls were found washed ashore Gallagher Beach in Buffalo. People got in touch with 2 On Your Side through social media, with questions about the discovery. When 2 On Your Side went to Gallagher Beach Tuesday to check the issue out, we found more than 20 dead seagulls washed ashore there."

2017-06-27 - Fish found dead in the Watauga River near Valle Crucis (North Carolina):

2017-06-27 - Hundreds of fish found dead in coastal Gopalpur (India):

2017-06-27 - Five fishermen found dead in reservoir near Tokwe-Mukosi Dam (Zimbabwe):

2017-06-27 - Two people found dead in the Rio Grande River near Presidio (Texas):

2017-06-27 - Woman, 63, found dead in swimming pool at home in Prosser (Washington), near the Yakima River:

2017-06-27 - Man found dead in swimming pool at home in Buckeye (Arizona):

2017-06-27 - Man drops dead along the Humbug-Willow Creek Trail in Folsom (California):

2017-06-27 - Woman, 59, drops dead before 6:37 AM near grocery store in coastal Cocoa (Florida):

2017-06-27 - Woman found dead in the water at marina in coastal Fort Myers (Florida):

2017-06-27 - Man, 28, found dead in brook in Guilford (Vermont):

2017-06-27 - Boy, 15, found dead in Lake Carolina near Columbia (South Carolina):

2017-06-27 - Man, 32, drops dead in apartment in Clinton (Oklahoma):

2017-06-26 - Person slumps over dead in vehicle in parking lot in Willimantic (Connecticut):

2017-06-27 - Man slumps over dead in SUV in parking lot in Spokane (Washington):

2017-06-27 - Airman found dead in barracks room at Fairchild Air Force Base (Washington):

2017-06-27 - Man, 75, has 'medical emergency' and drops dead on street in North Mankato (Minnesota):

2017-06-27 - Man, 44, falls off paddleboard and dies in Eggleston Lake on Grand Mesa (Colorado):

2017-06-27 - Woman, 46, found dead in the Yellow River in Dexterville (Wisconsin):

2017-06-27 - Man, 57, found dead in the Missouri River near Mandan (North Dakota):

2017-06-27 - Man, 46, found dead in the Pawtuxet River in Coventry (Rhode Island):

2017-06-27 - Person found dead in alley near motel in coastal New Orleans (Louisiana):

2017-06-27 - Person found dead in marshy area in Beggars Tick Park in Portland (Oregon):

2017-06-27 - Man, 37, found dead in wooded area near I-40 in Hickory (North Carolina):

2017-06-27 - Person found dead at Great Sand Dunes National Park (Colorado):

"When I came to look at the kiss, the romantic side is such a small part of it," said British novelist and actress Lana Citron, who compiled the book.

"I love how when you're born, the first thing is, you're kissed, you're welcomed into the world. It's this little gesture that follows you throughout life, through all the most important parts of your life."

Citron's interest in kisses began with a short story she wrote a decade ago about a lonely woman who collected kisses in jars -- such as one for the lover who spurned her, one that was full of yearning -- and labeled them.

That led to her invitation to do an installation of kisses in jars, all labeled, as part of an art exhibition. The response of viewers sent her to the internet, searching out books on kisses and deciding to write her own when nothing seemed just right.

"It was almost like opening a Pandora's chest and just being overwhelmed by all the different ways a kiss is expressed, the meanings attached to it and the things it symbolizes," she said.

"I fell in love with it, I really did. I was submerged in the world of kisses for a year and came out of it with a book."
Read on >>
          'It's the closest thing to the moon': my space odyssey to Iceland   

How Iceland became a magnet for star-gazers, film-makers – and astronauts

‘It’s the elemental childhood fantasy, isn’t it, to see space in some way,” says photographer Robert Ormerod. “I think I wanted to be an astronaut, and then that enthusiasm got replaced by other things. But there are those people who never lose it, and I’m interested in what they do with that passion. Such a small fraction of the population will ever go to space – how do those people live their dream?”

It’s a question that in recent years has led Ormerod all over the world in pursuit of space enthusiasts, shooting UFO hunters in America and amateur rocket builders at a festival in the highlands of Scotland. His latest expedition, captured in these photographs, took him to Iceland. He wanted to track down the aurora hunters, people who spend their nights chasing the northern lights. Then there was the opportunity to capture the country’s unique topography, its weird and wonderful lunar landscapes.

Continue reading...
          Event Update For 2017-06-27

The seas, lakes and oceans are now pluming deadly hydrogen sulfide and suffocating methane. Hydrogen sulfide is a highly toxic water-soluble heavier-than-air gas and will accumulate in low-lying areas. Methane is slightly more buoyant than normal air and so will be all around, but will tend to contaminate our atmosphere from the top down. These gases are sickening and killing oxygen-using life all around the world, including human life, as our atmosphere is increasingly poisoned. Because both gases are highly flammable and because our entire civilization is built around fire and flammable fuels, this is leading to more fires and explosions. This is an extinction level event and will likely decimate both the biosphere and human population and it is debatable whether humankind can survive this event.

A. More fires and more explosions, especially along the coasts, but everywhere generally.
B. Many more animal die-offs, of all kinds, and especially oceanic species.
C. More multiples of people will be found dead in their homes, as if they'd dropped dead.
D. More corpses found in low-lying areas, all over the world.
E. More unusual vehicular accidents.
F. Improved unemployment numbers as people die off.

Category: Variety Pack

2017-06-27 - Hydrogen sulfide spewing again from the Salton Sea (California), odor advisory issued:

2017-06-27 - Unknown odor sickens dozens of people at warehouse in Canoga Park (California), 12 miles from the coast:

Quote: "A sudden odor inside a Canoga Park warehouse Tuesday caused as many as 50 people on the set of 'Top Chef Junior' to experience respiratory problems, but authorities could not determine the cause."

Quote: "Brian Humphrey, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department, said the department’s hazmat team entered the building but could not find any substance. 'It was not clear what the odor was,' Humphrey explained. 'There was no storage inside the building that would lead us to indicate any product was utilized or stored there.' Humphrey said none of the people the fire department spoke with could describe the odor consistently, and all reported they felt better after they went outside for fresh air."

Note: That's very indicative of hydrogen sulfide, the inconsistent descriptions. At LOW concentrations it smells like 'rotten eggs', or like the odorant they add to natural gas. But at higher concentrations, different people describe it differently, with some saying it smells 'chemically', some saying it smells 'flowery', some saying it smells like licorice, some saying it smells 'sickly sweet', etc. Our brains didn't evolve smelling higher concentrations of hydrogen sulfide, so different people - different brains - interpret it differently, so you get inconsistent descriptions of the smell. Too bad we can't follow these people for a week and see if any of them drop dead in the next few days from respiratory arrest or cardiac arrest or stroke or 'medical event', because sometimes hydrogen sulfide has a delayed reaction of up to a few days after exposure before you die. In other words, some of these people could already be on the way to the cemetery and they just don't know it yet...

2017-06-27 - Man, 66, ignites while cooking and burns to death in apartment in Fort Collins (Colorado):

2017-06-27 - Toxic blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) hits Lake Temescal in coastal Oakland (California):

2017-06-27 - Heatwave bakes Greece, temps hit 45C (114F):

2017-06-27 - Underwater volcano Loihi quaking and possibly erupting near Hawaii:

2017-06-27 - Volcano Bogoslof erupts again, spews ash 30,000 feet into the atmosphere, in the Aleutian Islands (Alaska):

2017-06-27 - Yellowstone Park hit by 1100+ earthquakes in two weeks in Montana/Wyoming:

2017-06-27 - Home destroyed by explosion and fire in Evansville (Indiana), 2 killed, 3 injured:

2017-06-27 - Home damaged by explosion and fire in Cedar Rapids (Iowa):

Note: These are the 188th and 189th residential explosions in 2017...

2017-06-27 - Yacht bursts into flame while docked near Crayton Cove in coastal Naples (Florida):

2017-06-27 - Boat bursts into flame at 1 AM, burns and sinks, while docked in coastal Auke Bay in Juneau (Alaska), 1 injured:

2017-06-27 - Yacht 'Sum Girl' bursts into flame while docked in coastal Pembroke on the island of Bermuda:

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2017-06-27 - Tanker truck bursts into flame just before 11 PM in Eagle Ridge area in Spokane (Washington):

2017-06-27 - Tanker truck bursts into flame at business in Holtze (Australia):

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2017-06-27 - Tractor trailer bursts into flame on I-39 near Troy Grove (Illinois):

2017-06-27 - Tractor (combine), forklift and barn destroyed by fire in Steeleville (Illinois):

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Quote: "Firefighters found a truck on fire inside a Hermitage auto body shop on Tuesday night. The fire at Gordy’s Truck and Auto Body on Keel Ridge Road is now under investigation."

2017-06-27 - Truck bursts into flame at 4 AM at home in coastal Hokio Beach (New Zealand):

2017-06-27 - USPS delivery SUV bursts into flame near home in coastal McClellanville (South Carolina):

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2017-06-27 - Pickup truck and RV trailer destroyed by fire at Wasa Rest Area on Highway 93/95 in East Kootenay (Canada):

2017-06-27 - Five cars destroyed by fire at 6:16 AM while parked inside auto shop in Houston (Texas):

2017-06-27 - Two cars destroyed by fire while parked near business, another car damaged, in coastal Kahaluu (Hawaii):

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2017-06-27 - Car bursts into flame on I-69 in Marion (Indiana):

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2017-06-27 - Car bursts into flame at 4 AM on Riverside Road in Trent Vale (Britain):

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2017-06-27 - Car bursts into flame on the A428 in Caxton Gibbet (Britain):

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2017-06-27 - Forklift bursts into flame inside warehouse on Moor Street in Rainham area in coastal London (Britain):

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For the best photos and info on Tom Daley 

Thomas Robert Daley

Thomas Robert Daley - (born 21 May 1994, Plymouth, England, United Kingdom is an English diver, who specialises in the 10 metre platform event and is currently the FINA World Champion.
He started diving at the age of seven, and is a member of Plymouth Diving Club.
He has made an impact in national and international competition at an early age.
He represented Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Olympics, where he was Britain's youngest competitor, the youngest competitor of any nationality outside the sport of swimming, and the youngest to participate in a final.
In the first post-Rome 2009 World Championships edition of the FINA World Diving Rankings for the ten-metre platform, he reached a new career best ranking of number one.
He resides at home in Plymouth with father Robert, mother Debbie and two brothers, William and Ben.
Tom's father, Robert, passed away peacefully on 27th May 2011 following a lengthy battle with a cancerous brain tumour.


From age 11 to 14 Daley attended Eggbuckland Community College.
At 13 he became a celebrity supporter of ChildLine, a children's helpline run by the NSPCC, and at that time it was revealed that he had been bullied eighteen months earlier.
In April 2009 Daley alleged to Plymouth's main local newspaper The Herald that he had been regularly bullied at school since the Olympics,[43] and his father told the BBC that he had temporarily withdrawn him from Eggbuckland because its response to the problem had been ineffective.
Daley was praised in the media for speaking out about the problem.
Daley was promptly offered a full scholarship to board at independent school Brighton College, but his father turned this down due to the distance from home, and entered negotiations with local independent school Plymouth College, which had offered him a "very significant scholarship".
Plymouth College regularly offers swimming scholarships, and its ex-pupils include 2008 Olympic medallist Cassie Patten.[48] A few weeks later it was confirmed that Daley had enrolled at Plymouth College.
Daley took his GCSEs in small batches to fit round his diving commitments. He persuaded supermodel Kate Moss to pose for a recreation of an original portrait by David Hockney, as part of a GCSE photography project recreating great works of art, after meeting her on a photo shoot for the Italian version of Vogue.
Having obtained 2A and 5A* grades in his GCSEs, Daley has begun his two year A level courses in Maths, Spanish and Photography, having declined to undertake the International Baccalaureate course because of the parallel pressures and time necessary for his preparation for the 2012 Olympics. 


Diving Career

In June 2004, the month after his tenth birthday, he won the platform competition in the National Junior (under 18) group, making him the youngest winner of that event.
In 2005 he competed as a guest competitor in the Australian Elite Junior Nationals, and placed first in platform and second in 3 m springboard in the 14-15 age group event.
He also competed in the 14-15 category at the 2005 Aachen Junior International, placing second in platform and third in 3 m springboard.
He met the qualification standard for the 2006 Commonwealth Games, but was not selected for the England team because of his age.
In 2006 he was the under-18 British champion in platform and 3m springboard, and he placed second in the 10 m platform at the 2007 senior British Championships, which were held in December 2006.2007In January 2007, at the age of twelve, Daley was given a special dispensation to compete at the 2007 Australian Youth Olympic Festival.
The usual minimum age is fifteen.
Competing with a persistent thumb injury, Daley won the silver medal with synchro-partner Callum Johnstone in the 10-metre synchronised-diving final.
Later in 2007, he won the senior platform title at the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) National Championships, the national championship for English divers.
In 2007 he also began to compete on FINA's international diving circuit of Grand Prix and World Series events, twice finishing fourth in individual competition 2008
In January 2008 he won the 10 m platform event at the British Championships to become the youngest winner of the senior British 10 m title.
He also won the 10 m platform synchro title with new partner Blake Aldridge.
Two weeks later he won his first medals on the FINA circuit, winning a bronze in the individual platform competition and a silver in synchro at the Madrid Grand Prix.
Daley and Aldridge won bronze in synchro at the 2008 FINA Diving World Cup.
Their score was a British record, and Daley became the youngest-ever male medallist in a world diving event.
Daley came seventh in the individual competition.
In March 2008, Daley became the youngest person to win a gold medal at the European Championships, held in Eindhoven.
The previous youngest winner was the Scottish swimmer Ian Black, who won a European gold in 1958 at the age of 17.Daley qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics in the individual 10 metre dive competition and, following the retirement of 2004 silver medallist Leon Taylor, in the 10 metre platform synchro competition.
It was initially claimed by the British media that in competing he would become the youngest-ever male British Olympian, until it was ascertained that Ken Lester, cox to the rowing pair at the 1960 Olympic Games, had been 13 years and 144 days old at the time.
In the Olympic synchronised 10 metre platform competition, they placed 8th, while in the individual 10 metre platform competition he finished  7th.A month after his appearance at the Olympics, Daley participated in the FINA Junior World Championships for the first time (being too young to enter before).
He finished second in the category "B" platform competition (for 14- and 15-year-old boys) with 549.60 points, between China's Qiu Bo (551.85 points) and Wu Dongliang (474.00 points).
He came in second in the 3-metre springboard competition in the same category as well, with 485.25 points, sandwiched between the two Chinese divers, Wu Dongliang (510.25 points) and Wang Peng (470.40 points).
Daley won the 2007 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Young Personality award.
He is considered a medal prospect for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and is one of the British Olympians being tracked through the years leading up to London 2012 by the BBC television series Olympic Dreams.
By April 2008 he was on British Diving's list of funded divers.
In February 2009 he retained his individual British 10 m championship, setting a competition personal best score of 517.55 points, 133.45 points ahead of the second-placed diver.
He was unable to defend his 10 m synchronised title, as his dive partner Blake Aldridge had been injured in a brawl at a nightclub several days before the championships and was unable to dive.
In March 2009 he improved his personal best to 540.70 in coming third at a Diving World Series event in China, and the following month he improved it to 540.85 while finishing second at the World Series event in Sheffield.
During the Olympics Daley had a row with diving partner Blake Aldridge when the latter phoned his mother between rounds.
When Aldridge missed the British Championships because of the injury sustained in the nightclub incident, Daley's father said he'd like his son to have a different diving partner.
In April 2009 he started to dive with Max Brick, who is two years his senior, compared with the twelve year gap with Aldridge.
The pair achieved a silver medal in the 10m synchronised event at Fort Lauderdale on 8 May 2009.
Daley won the individual event in a new personal best of 554.90, scoring a perfect set of seven 10s for one of his dives.
In the 2009 FINA Wold Championships, held in Rome, Daley unexpectedly won the individual platform title despite his lower tariff, with a score of 539.85 points, when his opponents had poor final dives - Qiu Bo finished on 532.20 points, Zhou Luxin on 530.55.
In the 10 m platform synchronised event at the World Championships, Daley and Brick finished in 9th place following an inconsistent series of dives by the new pairing.
In the February 2010 British Championships individual 10 m competition, Daley unveiled his 5255B dive (back two-and-a-half somersault, two-and-a-half twists) in competition for the first time, giving him a 3.6 tariff dive (reduced from 3.8 in FINAs' September 2009 DD tables).
In this competition Daley finished in 2nd place, 40.05 points behind Peter Waterfield.
In the March 2010 FINA Diving World Series event in Qingdao individual 10 m competition, Daley showcased his two new dives and finished in 4th place, 520.35 points (his best score of the year).
In the first April 2010 FINA Diving World Series event held in Veracruz, Mexico, Daley failed to qualify for the final round of the individual 10 m competition, but in the second event held in the same venue three days later (to replace the Sheffield DWS event which was cancelled because of the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull), Daley finished in 4th place, with a score of 519.70 points - his second highest score of the season (just 0.8 points away from bronze).
In August 2010 Daley attended the European Championships in Budapest, Hungary, intending to defend his individual 10m title.
However, an injury to his triceps muscle in the 10m synchro competition forced his withdrawal from both the synchro and individual 10m competitions, and placed his participation in the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in the following two weeks in doubt.
It was later announced that Daley would dive in the 3m springboard but not in the 10m platform.Daley took part in the 3m springboard diving competition and finished in 9th place.
Tom received the results of his GCSE’s; two A*’s and one A.
He also achieved 100% in his Photography GCSE.
These results are an addition to the four A*’s achieved last year; Tom had to sit a number of exams early to ensure they didn’t conflict with his training schedule.
Tom received his results via email whilst in Singapore, where he was competing in the Youth Olympic Games.
Tom said, “I am so happy with my grades; this year was all about my GCSE’s, learning new dives and the Commonwealth Games. It’s a relief that the exams are out of the way now so that I can focus on preparing for Delhi”.
Tom’s parents were also pleased to hear the news.“We’re absolutely over the moon - I just can’t believe he’s got straight A’s!I always worry for him as he has very limited hours to revise as his training schedule takes up so much of his spare time; it never ceases to amaze me how he does it! ” said Debbie Daley, Tom’s mother.
Tom was in Budapest, for the European Championships, and Singapore for the Youth Olympic Games, but he was unable to compete in his event on the 10m platform due to a tricep injury.
“I really hope I recover in time for the Junior World Championships; it’s not been easy sitting on the sidelines and watching the events that I’ve spent month’s training for.It’s important that I can get back to training as soon as possible to prepare for the Commonwealth Games”.
Tom achieved four A*’s in 2009 in Maths, English Language and Double Award Science.
In August 2010 Tom achieved an A* in Spanish, Photography and an A in English Literature.
He has already commenced work for his three A-Levels, Spanish, Maths and Photography.His A-level curriculum has been fast-tracked so that all exams are completed within 18 months, by January 2012, so that in final six months of training, his focus can be solely on the 2012 Olympics.


In the February 2010 British Championships individual 10 m competition, Daley unveiled his 5255B dive (back two-and-a-half somersault, two-and-a-half twists) in competition for the first time, giving him a 3.6 tariff dive (reduced from 3.8 in FINAs' September 2009 DD tables). In this competition Daley finished in 2nd place, 40.05 points behind Peter Waterfield.
In the March 2010 FINA Diving World Series event in Qingdao individual 10 m competition, Daley showcased his two new dives and finished in 4th place, 520.35 points (his best score of the year).
In the first April 2010 FINA Diving World Series event held in Veracruz, Mexico, Daley failed to qualify for the final round of the individual 10 m competition, but in the second event held in the same venue three days later (to replace the Sheffield DWS event which was cancelled because of the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull), Daley finished in 4th place, with a score of 519.70 points - his second highest score of the season (just 0.8 points away from bronze).
In August 2010 Daley attended the European Championships in Budapest, Hungary, intending to defend his individual 10m title. However, an injury to his triceps muscle in the 10m synchro competition forced his withdrawal from both the synchro and individual 10m competitions, and placed his participation in the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in the following two weeks in doubt.
It was later announced that Daley would dive in the 3m springboard but not in the 10m platform.
Daley took part in the 3m springboard diving competition and finished in 9th place.
On 12 October 2010, Daley attended the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India and he, together with his teammate Max Brick, won the gold medal for Synchronised 10m Platform Competition. The following day he also won gold in the 10m Individual Platform competition.
In November 2010, Daley was announced as one of the nominated sportsmen for both the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2010 and BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year 2010.
He went on to win BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year 2010 for the third time in his career, and is the first person to receive this award three times.


For the 2011 season, Daley was paired in the synchronised competitions with 2004 Athens Olympic silver medallist Peter Waterfield in British Swimming's continuing efforts to find the best synchro pairing for the 2012 Olympics.
At the 2011 National Cup, the British Championship was held in the new Southend Swimming and Diving Centre on 28-30 January and Daley came 2nd in the 3m springboard competition behind Jack Laugher and, together with Waterfield, won the 10m platform synchronised competition.
The following day, Waterfield beat Daley to the individual 10m platform title for the second successive year, by 494.25 points to 472.35, with Max Brick third with 399.80.


Tom Daley won silver at the national diving championships just four days after his father's funeral.The 17-year-old decided to go ahead and dive at the event in Leeds despite his father losing a long battle with brain cancer just two weeks ago.And amazingly the reigning world champion, who gave the eulogy at his dad's funeral, took second place in the 10m platform event behind synchronised diving partner Pete Waterfield."I am slightly disappointed but there are lots of positives to take away today," said Tom. "Dad would have wanted me to be here and competing and I'm pleased I did this competition."The preparation for this meet was not the best, it has been hard to get into it. When you are abroad in international competition there's a huge atmosphere and excitement and pressure -- and that's great."Tom's coach Andy Banks added that taking part in the competition actually helped the teenager deal with his father's death."It's all about being with his friends from the diving world, competing and having fun and doing diving for the same reason he initially started diving, which was because he enjoyed it," said Banks."Part of the struggle Tom has had is the guilt feeling. He thinks that maybe people are looking on and saying, 'You shouldn't be here, you should be with your family, grieving and being morose'."But Tom has also looked at the fact that his dad would have hated him to have not competed. Certainly all the people I have spoken to are very proud of Tom for saying, 'That's what my dad would have wanted and that's what I'm going to try to do'."Daley will defend his world title crown in Shanghai next month, and Banks added that the diver believes his dad will still be looking on."One of the things that Tom has said, which I think is a great way of looking at it, is that somewhere, somehow, his dad will still have hold of that bloody great Union Jack he always had and he will still be waving it furiously and yelling at the top of his voice the way he always

The Independant - Sunday, 12 June 2011

On an industrial estate just south of Leeds city centre, diving world champion Tom Daley took the first steps on a journey to London 2012 he will make without the support and companionship of his father, Rob. For a lesser individual, it might have been an ordeal too far, given that Rob Daley, who died of brain cancer last month aged 40, was laid to rest only last Wednesday.
Tom pulled out of one of his speciality events at the British Gas national championships at the John Charles Centre for Sport, deciding he and his partner, Peter Waterfield, were not prepared for the men's 10 metre synchro which brought him one of his two gold medals at last year's Commonwealth Games. But, believing his father would have wanted him to compete, Tom took to the springboard for the men's 3m individual and will be in action on the 10m platform today.
Andy Banks, his coach at Plymouth Diving Club, said that had Daley not felt ready to compete this weekend he could have withdrawn, but that he believed his father would have been "heartbroken" had he stayed away.
"When I spoke to him on the Sunday after his father had passed away on the Friday, virtually the first thing Tom said to me was that he wantedto come in and train on the Tuesday morning," Banks said. "He said it was because that's what his dad would have wanted. And he said he was definitely going to do the nationals, because that was also what his dad would have wanted."
By the poolside, Daley appeared relaxed, smiling with his fellow competitors, waving to spectators and mingling with fans. There was a place, too, for his sense of humour to which he gave expression in a Tweet at the end of the 3m springboard preliminary round, when he confessed he "nearly fell of the board twice...:) brilliant! Haha...springboard and I don't see eye to eye sometimes!"
Having qualified in sixth, Daley finished fifth in the final, won by Jack Laugher. There was never any expectation that Daley would challenge for the medals. "I came here to compete because my dad would have wanted me to be here." he said. "But it is not my main event, I train for the springboard once a week and I do enjoy it but I use it as a fun event and to get into the competition. My main event is the 10m tomorrow and I can't wait."
Banks added: "He was a little worried that some people might think he shouldn't be here, that he should be at home grieving, but they are a remarkable group of people, the Daley family, tremendously strong and supportive to one another. I've seen Tom wobble only once, on the day his father died, and his family have come here today to be with Tom."
Rob Daley died five years after being diagnosed with a brain tumour. Yet, in spite of the draining effects of the illness and chemotherapy he had to undergo, Rob attended every competition in which his son took part until the Commonwealth Games in Delhi last October, when doctors advised him not to travel.
He doubted his ability to survive to see his son in London next September only when a second tumour was discovered in February this year but, determined not to be defeatist about his condition, Rob was at the poolside, in his wheelchair, when Tom won the men's 10m synchro final in partnership with Waterfield at the Diving World Series leg in Sheffield in April. It would be the last event he would attend and the last in which Tom would participate until this weekend.
Tom's preparation for London 2012 will be based on four events. These begin with the World Championships in Shanghai next month, when he is expected to attempt a tougher programme than he followed when he unexpectedly won the 10m title two years ago. Next year he has the World Cup in London in February, an Olympic qualifying event, plus the National Cup and the British Championships.
June 23rd 2011Tom Daley was 14 when he competed in two events in the Beijing Olympics; he then became world champion in the 10m Individual Platform in 2009.Now 17, he is studying for his A-levels in Plymouth and lives with his mother, Debbie, and two younger brothers.
His father Rob died of a brain tumour in May -
'I train six days a week but I am part-time compared to Chinese divers.
On Friday I go to school then do two hours training, then back to school, then back to the pool to have physio, back to school again and then back to the pool for three hours.
It's a lot of stress on your body – you're jumping off two double-decker buses and half a car and hitting the water at 40mph.
I've got a relatively normal life.
I've still got to go to school; I've still got a mum who tells me off if I do something wrong; I've still got two annoying younger brothers.
I've had the same friends for ages.
It's not been an easy few months because of what happened with Dad, but I am trying to focus all my attention on my diving.
I've gone away to competitions on my own since I was 10 and have had to be mature, but I do have my 17-year-old times.
I don't drink, though; I've only ever had one glass of champagne in my life, on my 16th birthday. It was a not-very-nice-tasting drink. So I'm the story teller after parties.
My friends say: "Did I really do that?" And I'm like: "Yeah, you did."
People should try it: go out and watch your friends get drunk and tell them what happened the next day. 
My weakness is ice cream, and I love Fabs.
The most important thing for me is to keep my strength-to-height ratio the same.
I'm 5ft 9in now, which is tall for a diver – divers are normally 5ft 6in and quite compact and spinny – so I'm hoping I'm not going to grow much more. 
I sometimes dream about diving or podiums, and hear the national anthem in random places. But it's never been at the Olympics in my dreams – and I've never found out the result. I'm always left in anticipation.'


Tom Daley has decided to leave school early in an attempt to renew his dream of being crowned Olympic champion in London.
The 17-year-old diving sensation lost his world title in Shanghai on Sunday, finishing fifth in the 10-metre platform - nearly 80 points behind the sport's new robotic genius, China's Qiu Bo. 
Bo and his team-mates, who between them won all 10 diving gold medals in the World Championships, are trained with an intensity that allows little time for distractions - and that is the model Daley is trying to replicate back home in Plymouth. 

Tom Daley was unable to push for gold in the 10m final

'From January onwards I'm going to take a break from school, so that I have that half a year to train for the Olympics,' Daley told Sportsmail. 

'I'm hoping to get my A-levels done by then and if I have to retake any of them I'll do that in June or go back to school the following year. 

'It's going to be good to concentrate on diving rather than splitting my time with school. I've never done that before. I will be able to work on my consistency, with nothing else to worry about. It's important when you are diving against the Chinese. They are so far ahead of everyone else.' Daley, who is on a scholarship to the private Plymouth College, has already completed his photography A-level but still has exams to sit in maths and Spanish.'

Daley looks dejected after finishing fifth in Shanghai

The school is flexible, working with Daley's family and his coach Andy Banks in fitting classes around his diving commitments across the world.

He now has to cram extra work into the next six months to free him up to polish his exacting new dive-list in time for next summer's Olympics.
His preparations are helped by the planned opening of the new Plymouth pool complex in January.
Daley's performance on Sunday - coming two months after the death of his father Rob - was a mixed report. By finishing in the top eight, he qualified for next year's World Series, a crucial training process ahead of London. But, two years after winning the World Championship in Rome at the age of 15, he is staring at the new global power.
Qiu Bo stormed to the gold medal in front of the home fans
Bo was beyond competition - 41.24 points clear of silver medallist David Boudia of America, with Germany's Sascha Klein third.
Bo's bravura show included a full house of seven perfect 10s for his reverse three-and-a-half somersaults tucked.
'At the moment, Qiu Bo just seems unstoppable,' admitted Daley. 'He's winning by such huge margins, though it will be interesting how he copes with the pressure of the Olympics because it will be his first Games.' Daley's synchro partner Peter Waterfield, suffering illness throughout his stay in China, was 11th.


Tom Daley is a lovely lad, the model of politeness and charm, 17 going on 37 in the mature way he handles his medi
          Las 10 ciudades donde encuentras a los hombres más guapos del mundo (FOTOS)   
Un momento… quienes han tenido el privilegio de pasear por las calles neoyorquinas coincidirán con nosotras en afirmar que hacerlo es todo un deleite para nuestros ojos. A pesar de que los hombres con traje entero, informal o deportivo caminen de prisa y no tengan tiempo para “coquetear” o socializar, es verídico que en la Gran Manzana los hay de lo más diversos. ¡Son bellos! Viajar y ver hombres guapos es un hobbie que nos encanta a todas las mujeres. Así que si estás planeando tu próximo viaje de placer, entérate de cuáles son esas ciudades donde puedes toparte con los hombres más guapos del mundo, según una encuesta publicada por la revista Traveler’s Digest. Antes de echarte este taco de ojo, primero tienes que estar segura de que tu corazón es capaz de soportar semejante belleza masculina. ¿Lista? 1. Milán, Italia: Esta ciudad está en muchas de las listas de los viajeros y en la tuya. La moda y la herencia cultural de los romanos hacen que los chicos de Italia sean atractivos de nacimiento. Acá apreciarás looks varoniles y si topas con suerte, conocerás sobre sus destrezas por conquistar un corazón femenino. Y además, su acento es todo un sex appeal. I travel so much and I love it, but I wanna visit Italy more ❤️ Get the #SUMMERSALE20 on everything on @nohow this week!!🔥 #AD A post shared by Mariano Di Vaio (@marianodivaio) on Jun 27, 2017 at 10:35am PDT           2. Berlín, Alemania: Por su diversidad cultural, museos, cafés y lugares históricos es una de las ciudades más hermosas del mundo. En ella te toparás con chicos inteligentes, con atributos masculinos y enorme originalidad.   #strasbourg tres jolie   A post shared by Mats Hummels – Bruder von JH17 (@aussenrist15) on May 29, 2017 at 8:15am PDT A post shared by Benedikt Höwedes (@benwedes) on Nov 22, 2016 at 2:37am PST 3. Tel Aviv, Israel: La atractiva arquitectura de este país está “decorada” con la presencia de hombres de contextura delgada, con cuerpos atléticos y bronceados. ¿Dispuesta a aplicarles bronceador?   #lifestyle #without #lovers #bored   A post shared by Omar Borkan Al Gala (@omar_borkan_al_galaa) on Apr 7, 2016 at 6:33am PDT #its #50 #degrees in #dubai A post shared by Omar Borkan Al Gala (@omar_borkan_al_galaa) on Jul 29, 2016 at 2:24am PDT 4. Barcelona, España: Te pongo como referencia a Fernando Llorente, futbolista de la selección española. ¡Es impresionante! No tiene nada que envidiarle Miguel Ángel Silvestre. Los españoles son considerados buenos amos de casa, interesados por cuidar su físico y por querer establecer una relación de pareja de amor incondicional. Pasea por las estrechas callejuelas llenas de tiendas de artistas, artesanos y bares. Ve al Museo de Historia, a la majestuosa Catedral, a la Plaza Real… y sobre todo deleita tu vista con sus bellezas naturales y humanas.   ¡Disfrutando de las vacaciones! Godendoci le vacanze ! Having fun and enjoying San Sebastian! ✌🏻☀️ #Holidays2017   A post shared by Fernando Llorente (@llorente_fer) on Jun 1, 2017 at 9:26am PDT Hunted por el tío @ptorres 😉#leica #pelodelocomaximapotencia A post shared by ivansanchezz (@ivansanchezz) on May 3, 2017 at 12:50pm PDT 5. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Personalmente me reservo mi opinión por la experiencia que he tenido con algunos de ellos por su personalidad; sin embargo, la investigación determinó que son deportivos, cultos, misteriosos y un tanto complicados.   Ph: Mi madre 👌❤️   A post shared by Rodrigo Guirao (@rodrigoguirao) on Apr 7, 2017 at 1:01pm PDT El cuerpo es tu fuente de energía. Es injusto maltratarlo o forzarlo a ser algo que él no quiere ser. Pensa que tu cuerpo es una computadora, una máquina perfecta que marca y responde con precisión exacta aquello que pensas y sentís. Tu cuerpo te ama y te sigue, y manifiesta desde su plano lo que debe ser necesariamente visto, como de urgencia. Cuando algo llegó al cuerpo, es demasiado tarde y requiere de atención inmediata. Significa que un conflicto se densificó, se materializó. Es una gracia tener un cuerpo, es una bendición, y el tuyo es muy hermoso! Valoralo, cuidalo y llevalo a hacer ejercicio. Es tu carroza, tu cofre, y te ama. Amalo vos también y agradécele cada día su servicio y su nobleza. Tu cuerpo es tu mejor amigo. Dale un beso espiritual y la libertad de manifestarse en plenitud. Querelo y atesoralo , que te llevará en innumerables aventuras y experiencias maravillosas. 🙏🏻 A post shared by G U I DO | M A S S R I (@guidomassri) on Apr 28, 2017 at 4:07pm PDT 6. Sídney, Australia: Según la investigación hecha por Traveler’s Digest, los australianos son excelentes amantes, les encanta el sol y surfear. ¡Imagínate el color canela de su piel! Son aventureros, les fascina relajarse y tienen buen sentido del humor.   Ahhhhhhh stop it Melbourne!! 🍷☀️#dontstop #summer #winery #2017   A post shared by Scott McGregor (@scottymcgregor) on Jan 21, 2017 at 8:23pm PST What defines us is the balance between what is too much and what is too little. In Iceland it’s the balance between fire and ice, in yoga the balance between strength and flexibility and the battle between effort and ease in life…this balance is where we find our greatest accomplishments. Captured by @vincentdesailly in an amazing lava field in, Iceland! A post shared by Nick Youngquest (@nickyoungquest) on Feb 19, 2017 at 1:34pm PST 7. Lisboa, Portugal: ¿Admiras el físico de Cristiano Ronaldo? ¡Es portugués! Los hombres de esta ciudad y en sí de todo este país son educados, altos, carismáticos y atléticos. ¿Te casarías con uno de ellos?   Grüße aus dem Urlaub! #relaxen ✌🏼️   A post shared by Kevin Volland Official (@kevin_volland) on May 27, 2016 at 10:04am PDT Just relax and enjoy the view🏡👌 A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on Jun 11, 2017 at 4:00am PDT 8. Estocolmo, Suecia: Se visten impecablemente y son conocidos por una extraña práctica, llamada “cortejo sueco”, en la que, cuando conocen a su chica, se dedican a amarla por el resto de sus vidas. ¡Queremos un sueco!   Release party for . First chapter airing Monday night 22.00 @tv6sverige and on . Thank you @crispfilm and @a.wiberg , it’s been a blast! Crossing my fingers for a second season!   A post shared by Måns Zelmerlöw (@manszelmerlow) on Oct 29, 2016 at 10:03am PDT Off to London for the weekend. Long since I took a selfie. #airportselfie A post shared by Måns Zelmerlöw (@manszelmerlow) on Nov 4, 2016 at 11:30am PDT 9. Ámsterdam, Holanda: En tu viaje por Holanda para admirar los jardines multicolores y molinos de viento te toparás con hombres sumamente altos, los cuales se interesan por chicas amables y buenas conversadoras, características que tienes como mujer latina.   La moda también tiene cara de hombre…. luce increíble en todo momento. #moda #modamasculina #hombres #tendencias #tendenciademoda #moda2017   A post shared by ESENCIABORA (@esenciabora) on Jun 29, 2017 at 4:33pm PDT #Tbt #Holanda 🇳🇱 A post shared by RB (@rodrigobastos_) on Jun 29, 2017 at 5:11pm PDT 10. New York: ¡Demostrado! Mi ojo no falla y este estudio lo demuestra al colocarle la etiqueta de ser la ciudad más excitante del mundo. En una de las ciudades donde se han filmado cientos de películas, a la que viajas para subir hasta el piso 102 del Empire State o caminar por el Central Park, encuentras en cada esquina hombres con buen gusto al vestir y una apariencia física indescriptible.   Do you want to have dinner with me ? . . . Tag 2 friends who would like to 😍😘 . Follow for more 👉@williamazalea 👇@favomen #boy #men #male #handsome #hot #cute #cuteboy #cuteguy #hotties #hotboy #hotguy #instaboy #instaguy #instamen #motivation #selfie #gorgeous #muscle #gym #hombres #caliente #hermoso #hombreguapo  #chicoguapo #favoboy #soboy #boiboner #muchachosguapos #ojosazules #ojos   A post shared by FAVOMEN 🔥FAVOBOY🔥 CUTEMEN🔥 (@menfaces) on Jun 14, 2017 at 1:39pm PDT “Your goals may be close or far away. What matters is that you keep walking towards them.” A post shared by Andrea Denver (@andreadenver3) on Jan 24, 2017 at 6:44am PST
          Icelandic Surprise   

How is the singer-songwriter Jon Thor ''Jónsi'' Birgisson similar to the Icelandic volcano that shut down air traffic in Europe for days on end last month? In a word, surprise. Before its eruption, few knew volcanic ash could have that much far-reaching power. And before this solo set, few knew the gay lead singer and guitarist for Sigur Ros could -- or at least would -- churn out fiery music with immediate pop power. The 35-year-old Jónsi launches Go with

The post Icelandic Surprise appeared first on Metro Weekly.

          Concerts in the Redwood Grove: Tom Brosseau + Steven Emerson, Jul 27   
Every Thursday, June through August
Enjoy a magical music experience this summer under towering redwoods in the Berkeley hills.

Tom Brosseau
North Dakota-born and LA-seasoned, Tom Brosseau is a songwriter, guitar player & singer. He learned acoustic guitar from his grandmother. Brosseau has toured Japan, Canada, Portugal, Iceland, Australia; performed in bars, backyards, grand halls, subways, theaters, old folks homes; exchanged songs and poetry with many talented folks, including Susan Orlean, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Patrick Marber, Bonnie Raitt and the late Sam Hinton. Brosseau also sings and plays guitar with Becky Stark and John C. Reilly in John Reilly & Friends. (Check out this video of Tom Brosseau, John C. Reilly and Andrew Bird noodling around together.)

Tom Brosseau on his background: “I grew up with music in the church, in the school, music at home. I learned a lot of hymnal and folk songs, both traditional and contemporary, and since I was influenced by what my grandparents listened to, in a sense I studied the singers and songwriters of the great American songbook.”

His songs have been chosen by Natalie Portman for her charity compilation, covered by Chris Thile (Punch Brothers, host of Prairie Home Companion), and featured in season one of the Judd Apatow Netflix series, Love. Not long after Brosseau arrived in Los Angeles in 2003, he began performing at the renowned club, Largo, where he met Sara and Sean Watkins (Watkins Family Hour, Nickel Creek).

Steven Emerson
A Paisley Underground rocker who opened for R.E.M. on a national tour. An introspective, jazz-inflected singer/songwriter. A filmmaker, poet, and sought-after composer for film, video games, commercials and television. Berkeley’s Steven Emerson has worn all these hats, and in his latest incarnation he’s balancing a burgeoning career as a composer for hire with his resurgence as a performing artist known for incisively crafted songs.

Shows will sell-out – buy online in advance. (No surcharge!)
All tickets are “will call,” non-refundable and non-trasferable.
Your name will be on a check-in list both at the Garden Kiosk and at the Redwood Grove gate.
Parking is limited and not guaranteed – carpooling is highly encouraged.
Ticket includes admission to the Botanical Garden before it closes at 5:00pm. ($12 value for adults!)
Redwood Grove door opens at 5:00 p.m.
Snacks and drinks available; picnics welcome.
Warm clothes recommended.

Dig deeper to avoid being misled by products that don’t necessarily deliver all you expect.

If you’re a loyal Eat This, Not That! reader, by now you know that sports drinks, energy bars, and even green drinks often aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. They could be loaded with sugar and empty calories and may cost way more than they should simply because of all the jazzy packaging.

To achieve your health goals in a sustainable and safe way, it’s imperative to be conscious of the full nutritional picture of everything you’re putting into your body. Let’s take a closer look at foods that get more credit than they really deserve. But before we get into it, let’s clear one thing up: Most of the foods on this list are perfectly fine additions to your diet. The problem is that people often overestimate how healthy they actually are, so think before you consume.


A daily green drink or some sort of cold-pressed juice to boost your fruit and vegetable intake might sound like a great idea, but you may want to rethink your strategy. “When a fruit or vegetable is juiced, vital fiber is extracted, leaving you with a beverage that has some nutritional value but usually way too much sugar,” says Stefanie Sacks, MS, CNS, CDN. “I prefer the blended beverage using the whole fruits, vegetables.”


The dairy aisle is overloaded with yogurt products marketed as health foods, but most are full of added sugar and/or artificial sweeteners. “Reading labels in this category is very important,” says Kathy Siegel, MS, RDN, CDN. “Look for the fewest number of ingredients, and go for the yogurt with the real stuff, such as milk and live and active cultures. The newest dairy product to look for in this category is Skyr, an Icelandic dairy product that’s high in protein and low in sugar. It’s similar to Greek yogurt, but is less tart.” Plain Greek yogurt is always an awesome choice, too. Just steer clear of the flavored yogurt varieties and don’t even think about the kinds that come with candy toppings.


Yes, egg whites are good for you, but you know what’s better? Eating the whole egg! One of the biggest myths in the food industry is that the cholesterol in the foods you eat can trigger a cholesterol problem. But what you eat has virtually no impact on the cholesterol level in your blood. Plus, when you eat fragmented foods, your body starts to crave the rest—and that can make you more likely to reach for something unhealthy. Egg yolks contain choline, which is essential for the functioning of all cells (especially brain cells), so eat the entire egg.


We hate to bring you down a notch, but opting for brown rice over white rice doesn’t make you that healthy. While brown rice does have some of the nutrients lost in processing strips white rice of iron, fiber, and vitamins B1 and B3—it still doesn’t have that great of a nutritional profile when you consider the calories. To get more of a nutritional bang for your calorie cost, always choose the least-processed version you can find; that will usually be the long-grain kinds that take about 30 to 40 minutes to make.


Coconut sugar is made from the sap of the cut flower buds of the coconut palm tree and it’s often touted as a “healthy sweetener because it’s low on the glycemic index and low in fructose. Unfortunately, it has about the same number of calories as table sugar; so, while high prices and marketing might make you believe it’s healthy, it’s really only marginally healthier than the classic white stuff.


“Nut milks, soy milk, and oat milk—are generally only about 1 or 2 percent of the nut/soy/oat, with the rest of their composition being water, sugar, and/or sweeteners, vegetable oil, and a bunch of artificial additives to emulsify, preserve, and make the beverage palatable,” explains Sophie Manolas, clinical nutritionist and founder of The Edible Pharmacy. She suggests checking the label of different milk alternatives to find the one with the least ingredients and always buying the unsweetened version. The very best option (both nutritionally and economically) is to make your own. “All you need is a small amount of your chosen nut, a food processor, some muslin cloth, and some filtered water."


While coconut oil can be good in moderation (it has been linked to improving immune function and helping to fight cancer and heart disease), know that 87 percent of its fat is saturated (13.5 grams and 120 calories per tablespoon; the recommended daily limit is 14 grams). Our point: Use this oil very, very sparingly. Olive oil is lower in saturated fat and has been proven to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol).


Most people don’t actually need to hydrate with coconut water or anything else but plain water when they workout. Plus, many of the claims surrounding the benefits of coconut water (including that it can boost weight loss) have yet to be proved by substantive clinical testing. One thing is for sure: Most prepared coconut waters have more than 2 teaspoons of added sugar and at least 50 calories.


Sandwich wraps sound like a better choice for lunch, but you’re probably being fooled. “They may be thinner, but wraps are usually packed with refined flours, hydrogenated oils, and very little fiber,” says Siegel. “But if you love a wrap, look for products with whole grains listed in the first ingredient and no trans fat. Then, pack with lean meats and veggies.”


Just as they tout coconut sugar as a sweetener, packaged foods often brag that they’re sweetened with agave. While agave is low glycemic (meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar as much as other sweeteners), it’s actually higher in calories and 150 percent sweeter than table sugar!


Bullet proof coffee blends coffee made from low-toxin coffee beans with grass-fed butter and Brain Octane, which is a coconut oil extract that’s 18 times stronger than coconut oil— and it has about 440 calories. While many say they feel full until lunch, drinking Bullet proof coffee on the reg can seriously backfire if it’s not a meal replacement. And if you’re replacing your regular breakfast consistently with Bullet proof coffee, it means that you’re forgoing essential nutrients at the start of your day.


They are generally a motley mixture of simple carbohydrates and various chemicals to bind food together, and don’t hold much nutritional value. Simply put: Gluten-free isn’t code for healthy. A cookie is still a cookie—even if it’s GF.

Written by Sharon Feiereisen in "Eat This Not That!", USA, Summer 2017, excerpts p.28-29. Digitized, adapted and illustrated to be posted by Leopoldo Costa.
          Accolades! Accolades! Accolades!   

As you might have guessed, I'm a bit behind.

Some congrats are in order for Flux authors!

Congratulations to A.S. King whose DUST OF 100 DOGS was named a Spring 2009 Indie Next list pick! (Stop by the D100D website to check out the book trailer!)

Congratulations to Robin Friedman whose NOTHING was named a 2008 Sydney Taylor Award -Notable Book for Teens.

Some great reviews for Heather Duffy-Stone's THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO TELL YOU:

“A sharp writer, Stone’s central triangle of relationships is both strong and universal, and her details are authentic.”—Booklist

“[T]he story is powerful and engaging and worthy of attention.”—Kirkus Reviews

And praise for Barbara Haworth-Attard's MY LIFE FROM AIR BRAS TO ZITS:

“Although laugh-packed, the heart of this endearing, but definitely not sappy, novel is Teresa's evolving family relationships, which challenge her to grow up quickly.”--Kirkus Reviews

“This is a book for chick-lit fans who want more intelligence than fluff.”--ForeWord Magazine

And a bit of advance praise for a book you'll be clamoring for come April: Vance Briceland's THE GLASSMAKER'S DAUGHTER:

"A thoroughly engrossing and surprising narrative, with wonderful descriptions of an imaginary Italian kingdom, this one's a strong contender for next year's Cybil’s!”--Readers' Rants

          Comment on Tyler, the Creator explores how “awesome” things get made in trailer for new show Nuts + Bolts — watch by Tyler the Creator enlists ASAP Rocky for “Who Dat Boy”, Frank Ocean for “911 / Mr. Lonely”: Stream | World Music Artists & World Music News   
[…] the Creator knows how to keep himself busy. Along with developing a new television series for Viceland, the Odd Future rapper has apparently been working on new music. Tonight, he’s […]
          S2 - #8 - What Can I Do in Iceland with Beckii Lovelock   
Iceland - it was a big hit on the internet in 2016 so we thought we'd try it out for ourselves. One of us likes it... and the other dislikes it - Can you guess who is who?! We also sent our mate Beckii Lovelock out there to see what she thought. We chat about the Golden Circle, The Blue Lagoon and our walking tour in the capital city - Reykjavik! What's our game this month? Well it's only bloody Geezer or Geyser!!! ============================================= Follow us Website: Instagram: @what_the_pho_podcast Twitter: @phopodcast Email: Facebook: #travel #travelpodcast #wanderlust #backpack #backpacking #world #aroundtheworld #iceland #icelandic #bluelagoon #goldencircle #reykjavik #travelling #traveling #hiking #waterfalls #gulfoss #game
          Earth: A place to behold, by the gods or ETs?    
Copyright, 2017, InterAmerica, Inc.
The Aeon link, in a posting below, about the significance of Earth (or not) sent to me from my Canadian pal, Bryan Sentes, accentuates the ongoing debate in academic and intellectual circles about who we are and what this planet is in the great scheme of things.

Even a review, by Kelly Grovier,  of a new book about Richard Dorment and his art reviews in the U.K.’s  Daily Telegraph (newspaper), in The Times Literary Supplement for June 16, 2017 [Page 31] mentions a Dorment comment about a painting by contemporary Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, The Weather Project (2003) that is relevant:

“Dorment describes [the painting] as a ‘cataclysmic beauty’ in which ‘we sense our insignificant place within the infinity of our solar system.’” [Italics mine]

Many thinking people see our Earth as insignificant in an objective way, within the context of the cosmos, as we know it.

This shows me that if an advanced, civilized, sentient species exists, would it be spending so much time in surveillance of us, of Earth; that is, in the numbers indicated by UFO reports?

A wag who sends comments too obtuse to allow at this blog “insists” I don’t allow for many thinking species or life forms in the galaxy or universe. This person ill-reads my commentary, which is extensive on the matter and has been for many years now.

I believe that life may be pronounced, likely even, in vast regions of the universe, hidden and seen, and in our own Milky Way galaxy.

My point is, and has always been, that an advanced species from elsewhere, if truly advanced, wouldn’t be committing so much time and effort above our planet when there are so many other living planets, or life forms, and spectacular things to be seen and found in the vast cosmos we are aware of.


          Can England lift the 2018 World Cup?   

England have hardly had a spectacular international football record in recent years. They were knocked out in the group stages of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and suffered a disappointing loss against Iceland in Euro 2016. Do they have a chance of lifting the 2018 World Cup in Russia? The good news is England…

The post Can England lift the 2018 World Cup? appeared first on These Football Times.

          નિહાળો….કુદરતનો અનોખો Light Show   

light show

Tromso, Norway

Tromso, Norway

જો તમે વિચારતા હોય કે રાત્રિના સમયે આકાશમાં માત્ર કાળાશ દેખાય છે તે તમારી ભૂલ છે. આ ધરતીના કેટલાક ભાગમાં કેટલીક વિશેષ પરિસ્થિતિમાં આકાશનું દ્રશ્ય રંગીન જોવા મળે છે. અહી આકાશમાં લીલો, નારંગી, પીળો વગેરે રંગ જોવા મળે છે. આ અદભુત ઘટના નોર્દન લાઈટસના નામથી ઓળખાય છે.

નોર્દન લાઈટ્સનું કારણ શું?
હકીકતમાં નોર્દન લાઈટ્સ કુદરતનો એક એવો જાદુ છે જે ધરતીના ગેસ પાર્ટીકલ્સ અને સૂર્યના વાતાવરણમાં હાજર કણો વચ્ચે અથડામણથી ઉત્પન્ન થાય છે. રંગમાં જે વેરિયેશન હોય છે તે ગેસોના પ્રકાર પર નિર્ભર કરે છે, જે પરસ્પર અથડાય છે. આ કુદરતી રંગોમાં સૌથી કોમન રંગ પીળાશ પડતો લીલો હોય છે, જે ધરતીથી ૬૦ મીલ ઉપર ઓક્સીજનના મોલેક્યુલ્સથી પેદા થાય છે.

આવો જાણીએ ધરતી પર તે જગ્યાઓ વિશે જ્યાંથી નોર્દન લાઈટ્સનું દ્રશ્ય વધારે અદભુત જોવા મળે છે.

Tromso, Norway
જેવી શહેરમાં રાત પડે છે કે શહેરની વચ્ચે અત્યંત અદભુત લાઈટ જોવા મળે છે. જી હા, કંઈક એવું દ્રશ્ય જોવા મળે છે નોર્વેના ટ્રોમ્સો શહેરમાં. ટ્રોમ્સોમાં તમે આ રંગબેરંગી લાઈટ શો જોઈ શકીએ છીએ. અહી તમે શહેરની સુંદરતા સાથે સાથે રંગબેરંગી લાઈટમાં ફરવાની મજા લઈ શકો છો.



જો તમે યોગ્ય સમય પર અહી પહોચી જશો તો તમારા માટે અહીનું દ્રશ્ય વધારે રોમાંચક હશે. આઈસલેન્ડની કુદરતી લાઈટ જોવા માટે તમારે રેયક્જાવિકથી ત્રણ કલાકની યાત્રા કરવી પડશે. અહી તમે ગ્રામીણ એરિયાની કોઈપણ હોટલમાં રોકાઈ શકો છો.

Yukon, Canada

Yukon, Canada

કેનેડામાં જો તમે શિયાળાની રજા ભોગવવા માંગતા હોય તો તમારા માટે આ જગ્યા એક ખાસ સ્થળ હોઈ શકે છે. લીલો, પીળો, મજેનટા અને વાદળી રંગની મિક્ષ લાઈટને તમે રૂમની બારી માંથી જોઈ શકીએ છીએ. અહી લાઈટની મજા લેવા કોઈ નજીકની હોટલમાં રહી શકો છો અને રાત્રિના અંધારામાં તમે તેની મજા લઈ શકો છો.

Longyearbyen, Norway

Longyearbyen, Norway

આ જગ્યા પર તમને એવું લાગશે કે લાઈટ ડાન્સ કરી રહી છે. તેને જોવું એક અલગ મજા છે. તેના માટે તમારે લોંગયેરબ્યેનથી થોડું દૂર અંતર નક્કી કરવું પડશે. આ લાઈટનું દ્રશ્ય જોવા માટે તમારે શહેરની બહાર નાની-નાની  રેસ્ટોરેન્ટ્સ અને રિસોર્ટ્સમાં રહેવું પડશે. અહી પર લાઈટ હળવા લીલા રંગની હોય છે. તે તમને બહુ દૂર સુધી દેખાશે.

Saariselka, Finland

Saariselka, Finland

શું તમને ખબર છે ફિનલેન્ડના કેટલાક વિસ્તારમાં રાત્રિ એવી હોય જ્યાં તમે નોર્દન લાઈટ જોઈ શકાય છે. સારીસેલ્કા પણ એક એવું ગામડું છે જ્યાં શિયાળાના સમયે તમે લાઈટનો આનંદ લઈ શકો છો.

The post નિહાળો….કુદરતનો અનોખો Light Show appeared first on Vishva Gujarat.

          Brexit Bollocks    

            A common complaint about the referendum debate from so-called “ordinary voters” is that while soothsayers and their opinions are many, facts are depressingly thin on the ground. In default of facts, the public is bombarded with unverifiable assertions whose reliability tends to be in inverse proportion to the confidence with which they are expressed. Some of the most forceful of these are manifestly untrue and routinely take the form of histrionic tantrums and insults - humorous and otherwise - directed at opponents. Bombast and fury, notably from advocates of the ‘Leave’ campaign, occupy the sound waves and headlines, elbowing out rational argument and well-researched analysis.  Boris Johnson’s scatological quip about the government’s referendum leaflet, for example, tells us less about the quality of the document than about the puerile humour of a man who, by some accounts, is using ‘Vote Leave’ as part of a plan to replace the current occupant of Number 10. If he succeeds, he will be the first overt buffoon ever to lead the country. Ambition, cold calculation of personal or corporate advantage seem more present among the ‘Outers’ than concern for the country’s future.
            By contrast, the ‘Remain’ campaign seems oddly low-key - probably because it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to be passionately angry about advocating “no change”. Yeats’ unforgettable lines come to mind:
“the best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”
            Not that we should in any sense admit the current UK prime minister into the ranks of “the best”. He is, as Anthony Barnett describes in his excellent piece, an inveterate dissembler, a callow purveyor of untruths. But with respect to the referendum, the arguments for ‘Remain’ put forward by Cameron’s team - and by Corbyn’s for that matter - give the impression at least of appealing to our intellect rather than to crude emotion.
            What is lacking so far in the ‘Remain’ camp is any sign that the manifest absurdities of  prominent ‘Out’ campaigners like Johnson are being subjected to scrutiny. So here is a taste of what such scrutiny might reveal.
            Among Johnson’s recent pronouncements is a claim that President Obama is a hypocrite for recommending that the UK remain in the EU (with a concomitant loss of sovereignty) when the US wouldn’t dream of sharing its own sovereignty with any other nation. That Johnson feels free to voice such an offensive insult suggests that he will say anything to advance his case regardless of whether it is fair, true, or an appropriate way of referring to a foreign head of state prior to a visit to this country.  This is embarrassing enough; but even worse is that his remark is patently untrue.  When, in 1994, the US government entered into the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), it surrendered a substantial degree of autonomy, as did the co-signatories Canada and Mexico. A complex and substantial range of NAFTA rules and regulations governs trade and investment between the three countries, a fact that has given rise to unease in some quarters at the loss of sovereignty supposedly involved.
            The idea that trading arrangements in the modern world are free of political consequences is, to borrow one of Johnson’s favoured epithets, piffle. All such agreements involve releasing control over some aspects of national economic life in return for expected advantages. Whether these involve a fundamental loss of sovereignty, rather than a reversible one, is another matter. ‘Leave’ campaigners are fond of pointing out with declamatory relish the percentage of UK laws now made in Brussels (a Farage speciality), and that various desirable initiatives of the UK government are stymied by EU regulation. What they overlook is that the UK parliament remains sovereign in law and that while, on joining the European Community (as it then was) in 1972, it agreed to acknowledge the supremacy of European law, it could not and cannot bind its successors. Like other EU members, the UK can repudiate existing EU legislation or refuse to sign up to new legislation with which it disagrees. As I have signalled in a previous piece, other EU members have a decidedly pick-and-choose attitude towards EU legislation; and the idea that the UK lacks this element of discretion is, to borrow once more from Johnson, bunkum.
            One of the ‘Leave’ campaign’s most outspoken storm-troopers is Daniel Hannan who, despite his distaste for the EU, is an elected MEP with a right therefore to enjoy the associated perquisites. A curious reversal of Groucho Marx’s refusal to join a club willing to accept him is Hannan’s adherence to a club that he evidently feels should have no members at all - not UK ones at any rate.
            As readers wearing armour plate can verify for themselves, Hannan has assembled  what he doubtless considers to be an imposing armoury of munitions against ‘Remainers’ and everything they stand for; and he expresses himself with the frightening self-confidence of someone for whom doubt is an alien concept, and facts are discardable or subject to revision if they fail to correspond with his vision. 
            An anti-EU article by Hannan in The Spectator  offers a summary of his views. He begins by telling readers that: “… the migration and euro crises are deepening, and Britain is being dragged into them.”  As an exercise in misrepresentation this could hardly be bettered. Given that the UK has not adopted the common currency, the euro troubles to which Hannan refers can only affect the UK indirectly through commerce; and since no one is advocating a cessation of trade with the EU, the issue is irrelevant to the case for or against Brexit. More sinister is Hannan’s reference to migration because it directs our attention, as he doubtless intends, to the refugees flooding into southern Europe from various conflicts in the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere. Their numbers certainly qualify the phenomenon as a crisis, but it is not one created by the EU. If responsibility lies anywhere beyond the conflicting parties themselves, it is with foreign powers that have interpreted their role on the world’s stage as a right to meddle, to bomb, to invade, and to sell arms to those regions, with scant regard for the consequences.
            Hannan’s migration comment slides neatly over the UK’s own role in fomenting the migration crisis: the wreckage of Iraq that gave rise to ISIS, a dithering intervention in Syria, military adventurism in Afghanistan, Cameron’s pathetic failure to keep his promises on Libya, and so on. The inference is that we can and should close our eyes  and borders to the refugee problems facing Greece and Italy, and instead pursue a policy like those of Hungary, Macedonia and now Austria aimed at keeping out unwelcome hordes.  If Europe is descending into what may be the kind nationalism that we saw prior to WWII, then the EU project may come to an end anyway - not for the reasons cited by Johnson and Hannan, but because of a dispiriting failure to exercise the common solidarity that, in a globalised and increasingly volatile world, is critical to our well-being.
            What of the accusation that Brussels obliges the UK (and presumably all the other members) to accept unwelcome regulation? Here is Hannan comparing Swiss “liberty” with EU regulatory oppression:
“Zurich doesn’t need to worry about the expensive and sometimes downright malicious EU regulations that menace London: the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive, the short-selling ban, the bonus cap, the Financial Transactions Tax.”
Describing the EU as “malicious”, and its activities as a “menace” to London anthropomorphises it as a villainous creature intent on doing us down. Since Hannan offers a list of malign EU initiatives, let’s take a look at them. The Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) represents an attempt to limit systemic risk in the “alternatives investment” market, such as hedge funds and derivatives, that are widely considered to have contributed to the global downturn of 2008. Despite coming into force in 2011, only a handful of EU members have bothered to ratify it - the UK being one of them. No one forced the hand of government to sign up, and given the havoc wreaked on the world economy by out-of-control financial speculation, the menace would seem  to be not in Brussels but in the minds of those who wish to allow fund managers to carry on as before. One can only wonder at the reason why Hannan thinks the AIFMD threatens our well-being.
            The short-selling ban is a piece of legislation designed - like the AIFMD -  to foster financial stability in the light of lessons learned in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis, and it contains exemptions available to all member states; while the cap on (bankers’) bonuses - at an almost grotesque maximum of 200% of pay - seems so absurdly innocuous that to cite it as an example of EU maliciousness is either perverse or simply weird. Finally the Financial Transactions Tax is an initiative of the European Commission in which fully half of the EU members - including the UK - have opted not to participate.
            In summary, Hannan’s terrifying examples of EU malevolence turn out to be neither terrifying, foolish, oppressive, malevolent, or even obligatory.
            Turning to the cost of EU membership, Hannan refers to an obscure paper by “Professor  Herman Matthijs of the Free University of Brussels” in which figures are given for national contributions to the EU budget. Hannan’s complaint is that Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, which are non-EU members, only contribute €50, €107 and €68 respectively per capita, while the UK has to pay €229. What he fails to point out, either because the message is inconvenient or because of his own ignorance (he incorrectly describes Professor Matthijs as the only available source) is that the UK’s net per capita contribution after rebate and financial support deductions is not €229 but €118, equivalent to 2.5 pence per day.  By contrast, France pays €176 per capita, Germany €270, Belgium €302, and Netherlands a whopping €504 [1]. Of the twelve EU countries that make positive net contributions to the EU, only Ireland, Spain and Luxembourg pay less per capita than the UK.
              The UK’s position as a net contributor to the EU budget roughly corresponds to the country’s relative wealth per capita. This may come as a shock to those who have become accustomed to hearing - notably from ‘Leave’ campaigners - that the UK economy is the fifth largest in the world. Absolute size is far from being a reflection of economic success, and in Europe, the UK lies in tenth position in terms of GDP per capita behind Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and Sweden. Where the country stands proud is not in relative wealth but in achieving the rank of Europe’s most unequal country.
            Hannan’s peroration in his Spectator article borders on the delusional. In scratching around for evidence of how we could happily go it alone, he quotes the following from disgraced Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson:
 “Iceland is much better off outside the EU. Unemployment is minimal, purchasing power has never been higher, and we have control over our own legal framework, currency and natural resources.” 
            Some might consider this comment to be a damned cheek as well as misleading. Iceland is the country that had to be bailed out by EU countries (plus Norway) when it went bust; and it adheres to virtually the entire EU framework - including the “Schengen” open-border arrangement from which the UK is exempt.
            On the BBC’s Today Programme, MP John Redwood, another ‘Leave” proponent, saw fit to trash the recent  Treasury analysis of the consequences of Brexit, before confidently affirming that “we will be better off out”.  He then excused the ‘Leave’ campaign’s lack of supporting data for this view with a stunning  piece of rhetorical self-contradiction: “Who knows what’s going to happen?”;  a question to which presumably the only possible reply is that of Voltaire’s potty anti-hero Dr Pangloss: “All is for the best…”
            Rhetoric rather than information is the ‘Leave’ campaign’s main weapon; and its case rests largely on arousing sentiments of nationalism, on appeals to emotion and to certitudes whose validity on inspection seeps away like sand through a sieve.
            Writing in 1934, Stefan Zweig presciently identified the difficulty as well as the fundamental  nobility of the European ideal:
            “The European idea is is not a primary emotion like patriotism or ethnicity;….it is not the product of spontaneous fervour, but the slow-ripened fruit of a more elevated way of thinking….the egoism of nationalism will always cut more keenly through to the average man than the altruism of the European ideal because it is always easier to be aware…..of one’s own kind than of one’s neighbour….If we cannot arouse enthusiasm for our idea (of European unity) in the heart and blood of our peoples, our effort will be in vain, for never in the history of change has the intellectual sphere and that of patient reflection ever triumphed.” [2]
            His warning went unheeded, with all the ensuing consequences. Former Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, speaks in similar terms in a recent interview with Owen Jones of The Guardian.  His message: we need to bond across borders if we are to avoid a descent into xenophobia, racism and ultra-nationalism.
            Perhaps, in the end, we just need to glance back at the last century, and learn.

[1] Net figures for 2014. Source: Laissez Faire
[2] Stefan  Zweig, The Unification of Europe in “Messages from a Lost World”, Pushkin Press, London.

Note: This piece first appeared in

          Phill H. Goodsell (1927 - 2017) Obituary O   
Deseret News, 04/28/17

Our loving husband and father, Phill H. Goodsell, of Salt Lake City, Utah passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 24, 2017, at his daughter's home in Grace, Idaho. He was 89 years old. Although he suffered from Lewy Body Dementia in recent years and had difficulty communicating, he remained aware and positive, and maintained a sense of humor, often surprising us with a one-liner. Phill will always be remembered as a kind, gentle, soft-spoken, and wise man, always thoughtful and caring of others, especially family.
Phill was born September 27, 1927, in the small town of Weston, Idaho to Albert and Annie Hoopes Goodsell. He was the youngest of twelve children and was adored by his siblings. In 1945 he joined the Army and was stationed in Iceland shortly before the war ended. After the war he returned home and resumed courting his future wife, Joy Dahle, and they were married September 3, 1948, in the Salt Lake Temple. They moved to Logan, Utah where Phill attended the Utah Agricultural College (now Utah State University) and graduated in 1952 with a degree in Agronomy. Upon graduation he obtained employment with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation where he worked for 39 years.
In 1958 Phill was transferred to Boise, Idaho. Here, with his wife Joy, they raised their family of eight children, all of whom graduated from Borah High School. Phill and Joy were active members of the LDS Church, and Phill served as Bishop of the Boise 7th Ward from 1966-1971.
After Phill retired in 1989, he and Joy moved to Provo, Utah to be closer to family and his beloved BYU Cougars. He enjoyed gardening and always had the best garden in the neighborhood. In 2011, Phill and Joy moved to Logan, Utah then to as assisted living center in Salt Lake City in 2015.
Phill is survived by his beloved wife of 68 years, Joy, and his eight children; Lyle (Diane) of Peoria, AZ; Bradford (TJ) of Boise, ID; Karen (Jim) Hubbard of Grace, ID; Janean (Matthew) Baker, of LaCrosse, WI; Janna Hirst of Salt Lake City, UT; Robert (Karen) of Sandy, UT; Theodore "Ted" (Staci) of Lodi, CA; and Joseph (Heidi) of Payson, UT; along with 28 grandchildren and 27 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Veda Fellows, of Preston, ID.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, May 1, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. in the Weston LDS Chapel in Weston, Idaho. A viewing will be held on Monday from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the church in Weston. Interment will be in the Weston Cemetery. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at
Published in Deseret News on Apr. 28, 2017
          Hamrarnir Ladies v UMF Selfoss Ladies   
Football Matches - Icelandic Ladies - 2017-07-01 15:00
          News Briefs 30-06-2017   

Updated edition...

Quote of the Day:

Everything is dumb right now. From nose to tail, we have become the dumbest, saddest pig at the county fair. Historians will not refer to this period as THE DARK AGES, but rather, THE DUMB AGES

Chuck Wendig

          IPC launches upgraded system to enhance treatment of cross-border consumer enquiries   
International Post Corporation (IPC) launched its new Global Customer Service System (GCSS), presenting a number of enhancements to the existing customer service system. The new system will link more than 250 call centres globally from about 180 posts in over 175 countries, enabling a more effective and rapid resolution of customers queries.
GCSSWith the rapid growth in cross-border postal items volumes, customers expect a rapid answer to queries about the location or delivery status of their items. This has led to an increased need for swift cooperation between posts involved. The new IPC Global Customer Service System aims at reducing the time required to  resolve customers’ queries, meeting the needs of customers and at the same time reducing the workload and hence the costs for the individual posts’ customer services. With the inclusion of all international tracking information and continuous update of data, this tool answers the increasing demands from e-retailers and consumers for real-time information about the whereabouts of cross-border postal items.
IPC’s newly upgraded Global Customer Service System builds on the original IT-based IPC system developed 12 years ago to replace a paper query system. The GCSS is a web-based application enabling the exchange of enquiries between posts’ customer service departments. It contains a formalised workflow based on competitive response targets, with focus on proper data provision and conclusive replies, and various tools to pro-actively communicate information on item and query status.
IPC has also set up a dedicated Working Group on Customer Service Quality Awareness, with the aim of creating tools, guidelines and methodologies that will help customer service agents to better operate the GCSS workflow and respond to market demands.
In a first phase, the IPC Global Customer Service System is being applied to priority parcels in all 31 posts participating in the IPC e-Parcel Group (EPG) delivery network1. In November this year, the system is to be extended to Registered, Exprès and Insured services through the IPC-managed PRIME initiative and in March 2014 to EMS products. Ultimately the IPC GCSS will be used for all types of services by up to 180 posts worldwide.  
Ensuring a swift treatment of cross-border customer enquiries is essential for posts to be able to play a bigger role in cross-border e-Commerce. The IPC global customer service system is therefore a key element of IPC’s e-Commerce solutions.
1  Österreichische Post, AT; bpost, BE;  Swiss Post, CH; Croatian Post, HR; Cyprus Post, CY; Czech Post, CZ; Deutsche Post, DE; Post Danmark, DK; Eesti Post, EE; Correos, ES; Itella, FI; ColiPoste, FR; Chronopost, FR; Royal Mail, UK; ELTA, GR; Magyar Posta, HU; An Post, IE; Iceland Post, IS; Poste Italiane, IT; Lithuania Post, LT; Latvia Post, LV; P&T Luxembourg, LU; Malta Post, MT; TNT Post, NL; Norway Post, NO; Poczta Polska, PL; CTT Expresso, PT; Poşta Română, RO; Posten Logistic, SE; Posta Slovenije, SI; Slovak Post, SK; USPS, US

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          7 Days in the Land of Ice   
I finally made it to Iceland earlier this year. My friend and I decided to make the trip with very l
          Bardarbunga volcano erupts in Iceland: spectacular photos taken from the sky   

Stunning pictures show lava shooting out of Bardarbunga volcano, as one tour operator begins to take tourists on flights over the eruption

This week, Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano began erupting in spectacular form. But terrifying as it may first appear, that hasn’t stopped one UK tour operator offering visitors the chance to fly over the action. These pictures were taken on Wednesday, the day tourist flights began.

Continue reading...
          American Companies Still Make Aluminum. In Iceland.   
The Trump administration blames China for the decline of aluminum production in the U.S. But where has it really gone?
          ‘It’s the closest thing to the moon’: my space odyssey to Iceland   
How Iceland became a magnet for star-gazers, film-makers – and astronauts ‘It’s the elemental childhood fantasy, isn’t it, to see space in some way,” says photographer Robert Ormerod. “I think I wanted to be an astronaut, and then that enthusiasm got replaced by other things. But there are those people who never lose it, and […]
          Eric Clapton Catches 28-Pound Salmon in Iceland   
The fish was 42.5 inches long!
          2016 Homer Hickam Holiday Newsletter   

Dear Friends and Readers:

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays 2016 to all! Our lives have been busy and full and this short newsletter is meant to bring you up to date and also remind you that a Homer Hickam book makes a great gift for the readers in your family. For those who asked about our cats, they're assigned to the shipping department and are busy at this very moment shredding wrapping paper and boxes in preparation for the upcoming gift sales of books!

Knowink Shipping Department Meezers at Work

It's been Spring since we last wrote to you so I'll just hit the high points. First, we visited our awesome home in St. John in April to decompress a bit from the wonderful book tour for my big International best-seller Carrying Albert Home. We've completely remodeled the pool so enjoying it was a major requirement!

New Skyridge Pool

By the way, Skyridge is available for weekly rental so, when the snows come and the days are short and cold, go here  - - to imagine what it would be like and maybe decide to come enjoy our tropical home!

The next adventure was my annual trip to Montana to hunt dinosaurs! Glad to say my buddy Frank Stewart found another T.rex! NASA Al English also joined us on this one and brought us luck.

Homer and NASA Al with Frank's T.rex find

Have you read my novel The Dinosaur Hunter? It's a mystery novel set in today's Montana. Not only is it, as the Washington Post called it, "a smart, sexy novel" (absolutely not a kid's book), I sneak in a little on how to find dinosaurs and what it all means - you know, life, death, and all that kind of thing. Linda has a Holiday special on it so from now until Christmas, buy The Dinosaur Hunter or Red Helmet (each are $25) and get as a gift, your choice of Paco the Cat Who Meowed in Space OR From Rocket Boys to October Sky! A $10 value! As many as you wish!! Both signed as you please and autographed of course. Solve your shopping list quickly in a very meaningful and special way with my autographed books.

The Dinosaur Hunter

Linda and I also ventured to Iceland in September with our dear friends the Mountain Marauders and had a most prodigious time! I'll be writing a book about that most excellent journey tentatively titled Iceland Full Circle so keep an eye out for that one in 2017!

Linda, Homer, and Albert in Iceland

Working with Dr. Alan Stern, I also completed a screenplay based on the life of Clyde Tombaugh who discovered Pluto. Titled Clyde's Planet, it's making the Hollywood rounds now. Producers, please contact my agent Brian Lipson at IPGLM.

We also went up to West Virginia for the annual Rocket Boys Festival ( Besides original Rocket Boys Roy Lee, O'Dell, and Billy, we were joined by the marvelous Chad Lindberg who played O'Dell in the movie. He was great and we surely enjoyed getting to know him again!

Chad and Homer

Speaking of West Virginia, have you read Red Helmet yet? It's also a mystery (and very romantic) novel, this one set in modern-day West Virginia coal country. Publisher's Weekly said, "The latest from Rocket Boys author Hickam takes an inside look at coal mining, from shoveling gob to negotiating international trade deals, through the lens of modern romance." I think you'll like this one a lot! And it is part of Linda’s special to get a free gift book worth $10 when you buy it through Christmas.

Red Helmet

And of course, how can I talk about books without again mentioning Carrying Albert Home: The Somewhat True Story of a Man, His Wife, and her Alligator? "Albert" is a national best-seller and, in translation, hit #1 in Britain, France, and Italy! Next to Rocket Boys (forever a best-seller), it is my most popular book. Hope you'll include it on your Christmas list, too! Buy an autographed copy here. (

Carrying Albert Home

Happy Holidays to all of you. May there be Peace on Earth.

From the Hickams in Huntsville, Alabama, Ho Ho, and all the cats who own them!!

Note from Linda:

BOOKS AUTOGRAPHED AND PERSONALIZED BY HOMER HICKAM AVAILABLE BY MAIL Homer's many books can be personalized, autographed and mailed to you! Great gifts for Christmas, birthdays, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, special teacher, Father's Day, graduation and more!! If you want inscriptions on them, remember to add that in the appropriate area in my store order form.

If you do not have PayPal, you may send it THROUGH Paypal or send a check. Be sure to include any inscriptions desired and your mailing address to:

Linda Hickam
4906 Whitesburg Dr. S
PO Box 16053
Huntsville, AL 35802

Books mailed when payment received, so PayPal is quickest!

Thank you, have a great 2017!

Linda Hickam

          Homer and Linda's excellent Icelandic adventure - Sept. 10, 2016   
Sept. 10, 2016 - Linda and I decided to stay an extra day in Iceland, mainly so we could snorkel the famous "crack" in Iceland at Silfra. This is where the North American and European continental plates are moving apart, creating a glacier-melt fill of water into a narrow crack. As retired scuba instructors, we kind of wanted this one on our bucket list although we opted not to go on scuba - too hard on our backs since there is a long hike to get to the water wearing the tanks and weight belts - but went on snorkels instead. The water is pretty shallow so I think we made the right decision.
Selfie at Silfra

Linda ready to go into Silfra!
Linda snorkeling Silfra

Silfra snorkelers from perspective of underneath
Two continental plates, North America on left, Europe on right

Here's also a short video I made while we were snorkeling. It was hard to overcome the thick gloves and buoyancy of the dry suit so forgive me for the length and same shots of the same rocks. You can at least get an idea what it was like, though. Go here:

And so that ends our Icelandic adventure except getting up very early in the morning and flying home. We look forward to rescuing our Molly from the vet where she's been staying since her verdict of diabetes and also cuddling with our other cats and also seeing friends and relatives. Of course, the studio that can't be named and their accomplices in San Diego have devastated us financially and emotionally but I think it can be said we have stayed brave while in this faraway place and kept our heads in a good place for awhile. Now, upon returning, we will continue to fight against the wrongs done to us to the best of our ability while hoping the good people in San Diego, especially the veterans, will take up our cause. I will also work very hard to pick up the shards of my writing career, now in shambles by the actions of the studio that cannot be named. Every time when you see the grinning mugs of the people singing about me and my family in their musical, think of the struggle Linda and I are now facing because of each and every one of them.

Homer Hickam - author Rocket Boys, Rocket Boys the Musical (, the Helium-3 series ( and many other fine works.

          Homer and Linda's Excellent Icelandic Adventure - Sept. 9, 2016   
Sept. 9, 2016 - The next to the last day! We are back in Reykjavik after a drive from the beaches of northern Iceland. Tomorrow, we will do a snorkel along the continental plates and call it a vacation, returning on Sept. 11.

Today, we drove to a lighthouse along the northwestern coast where Linda, Albert, and I managed to snap a selfie.

Linda, Albert, Homer, and an Icelandic Lighthouse

We next headed over to Dritvik Cove. There, we walked the black sand beach and perused the remnants of an old wreck.

Dritvik Cove, Iceland

Seeing the pieces of wreckage reminded me of my wreck diving days when I led teams on the German U-boats U-352 and U-85 off North Carolina and a number of the wrecks in the "Graveyard of the Atlantic." Linda and I also discovered a wreck off Guanaja that had been lost for over a hundred years so we have lots of experience in looking for wrecks and diving on them. Researching and diving the World War II wrecks off North Carolina led to my first book, a non-fiction military history titled Torpedo Junction (a best-seller by the way and still in print: go here:

A lot of folks think that all I ever did was work for NASA but the truth is I've been a writer all my life which led me to write Rocket Boys (my second book after Torpedo Junction) about growing up in a coal town in West Virginia which I ended with the satisfying conclusion that the teenaged "Sonny" Hickam who built rockets finally went to work for NASA (I was 38 years old when I began and 55 when I left to pursue a full-time writing career). This and the movie has led to a lot of confusion with folks thinking I still work for NASA. Nope. Eighteen years in my rearview mirror but I am on the board at Space Camp, my way of giving back to the work that sustained me while I worked in parallel to become a writer whose work would pay the bills.

Anyway, Torpedo Junction was recently optioned for a film by a production company that I won't name yet because they want to keep it confidential until they're ready to begin making it.

Back to Iceland. Linda and I walked the Dritvik Cove and looked for beach glass but, sadly, there isn't any, probably because Icelanders are so neat they don't toss their bottles into the sea. There also isn't any plastic junk littering the beach, either. So, although we miss the beach glass, Linda being an artist who uses it in her work, we don't miss all the other mess. Therefore, a salute to the Icelanders and their lack of litter!

Linda walks along the black sand fruitlessly looking for beach glass

Now we are back at the hotel in Reykjavik. Sunday we get to come home! So one more blog tomorrow evening and we will call it a vacation.

Thanks again for following us during our little Icelandic adventure.

Homer Hickam, author Torpedo Junction and many other fine books.

          Homer and Linda's Icelandic Adventure - Sept. 8, 2016   
Sept. 8, 2016

Today, we were determined to put our worries about what's happening in San Diego behind us and just enjoy our day with the Icelandic horses.

Linda went with a different group so my photos don't include her (I'm sorry!).

Mooie was my horse and he was great. We mostly walked but he also got into a tolt once, a special trot done my Icelandic horses.

Here's Mooie.


And here I am astride Mooie.

Mooie and me
And another...

H3 and Mooie

This is what it looked like as we went along the bank high above a beautiful river.

Riding along a bank above a lovely river
To see a short video clip I took from Mooie as we walked along, please go here:

Here are a couple of photos of the Icelandic horses. They are stocky, very strong, and sure-footed. They are one of the purest breeds in the world. If they leave Iceland for any reason, they are not allowed back in for fear of them bringing something in that would make all the other horses sick. They arrived here a thousand years ago or so, brought by the Vikings on their dragon ships and then over the years, developed into their special breed. I liked my little Mooie very much although he was something of a chow hound, always wanting to stop for grass.

Icelandic horses
More Icelandic horses
So it was a very good day. Thank you for coming along.

Homer Hickam, Author Helium-3 series, Josh Thurlow series, Carrying Albert Home, Coalwood series (Rocket Boys, The Coalwood Way, Sky of Stone, etc.) and many more fine books.

          Our Icelandic Adventure Continues - Sept. 7, 2016   

Sept. 7, 2016 - Today, we visited Godafoss Falls, a spectacular waterfall in this land of almost endless waterfalls. Here is a photo of Linda and me in front of this magnificent natural feature.

Homer and Linda in front of Godafoss Waterfall, northern Iceland 

We next journeyed over hill and dale and through long tunnels until we reached Siglufjordour, a town that was once the center of Iceland's herring industry. In other words, it used to be Coalwood, Iceland, a company town! While there we toured the extensive museum the town has created of the old town as it was when thousands of men, women, and children were employed to catch, sort, cook, and pack herring. Everything was used, every scale and drop of oil from the massive number of fish that were caught.

We visited the Herring Museum which proved for me to be somewhat bittersweet. This town has kept its heritage intact and visitors and residents alike can see what it used to be like. I think I know what it was like. It was a place where everyone was dedicated to the industry that supported the town, where everyone felt a deep sense of worth, where families were raised and children educated, and where good people went to live. In that way, it was like the coal town where I was raised, Coalwood, West Virginia. Seeing this heritage was a little painful because I know there is this giant corporation who knows nothing about Coalwood and the way of life there and is twisting its story to suit its "product," a creation of stereotypes. It's why writers from the outside who try to tell my story never really "get" what Rocket Boys was about. It wasn't about boys trying to escape an awful town by building rockets. That's what lazy writers who know zero about the 1950's coalfields take from it. Rocket Boys was about the town itself, a great place to live that happened to be dying, and a people determined to get their children educated so they could survive in the outer world, and a father who wanted so much to hang onto what was good about Coalwood, he couldn't help but resist its death.  We boys building rockets was the "glue" that allowed me to tell that story and that's what it's really about. 

Anyway, here is a picture of the town as it was in its heyday as presented in the Herring Museum and also some of the tools and fixtures of the industry that also reminds me so much of Coalwood.

Siglufjordour, once capital of the Herring industry in Iceland
Some of the tools used in the Herring Packing Plants

One aspect of the Herring town that I found fascinating were the "Herring Girls." These were young women who came from all over to work in the town, mostly in the canneries  to sort, pack, and cook the fish. Since they were essentially transients, they were put up in factory housing (much like the company housing in early Coalwood) and there they lived. When the herring gave out and the industry collapsed, these young women simply left, leaving behind they clothes and cooking pots and pans and everything else. These photos show their bunks, kitchen, and clothing just as they left them.
Herring Girls Laundry

Herring Girls Beds
Herring Girls Room and Clothing

Linda, who is not a herring girl

We also visited with some of the beautiful Icelandic horses and sheep.
Icelandic Sheep
Icelandic Horses

At the end of the day, we were pretty tired but the view from our hotel is lovely as the sun was setting over the nearby fjord.

Our view from our hotel in northern Iceland

And with that, Linda, I, and Albert bid you a very good night.

Goodnight from Albert

Homer Hickam, Author of Carrying Albert Home ( and other fine books.

          Homer and Linda's excellent Icelandic Adventure Continues - Sept. 6, 2016   
Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016 - Today was a great day. We got in late last night into the Hotel Laxa in the Lake Myvatn area. I was kind of tired and as soon as my head hit the pillow was out.

Homer and Linda and Albert in Iceland

Linda and I were trip leaders for the day so before my head hit that pillow, we planned out the day. She did a great job and I tried to help but my mind was on the pillow, I will confess. Still, I added in my two cents worth by calculating kilometers into miles, something I got pretty good at while in the Army, especially in Vietnam. I only brought artillery in on myself once but I didn't get a medal for it as it was supposed to go about two clicks further out. Math while getting shot at proved to be less than my strong suit. Anyway, I can do it all in my head now, thank you very much.

We rose to a rainy day which made me think maybe it was going to be kind of a forlorn and dreary time but when our entire group of twelve gathered for breakfast and I got some coffee in me, I perked up. A little Ibuprofen for this pesky hip impingement or whatever it is and I was ready to go. Here's a photo of the map for the day's events.

Myvatn Area, northern Iceland

Our first stop was the Dimmbororgir Lava Fields, a natural stone labyrinth formed by bizarre, almost grotesque contorted volcanic rock.

Homer and Albert begin their hike through the lava fields.

The sun came out as we hiked along the paths cut through these rock formations. Local legend tells of some hikers who went into this area and never came out again, perhaps because of confrontations with gnomes or trolls. The TV series Game of Thrones is partially filmed in this area and it's easy to see why.

Homer hikes through the lava fields of Dimmbororgir

Our next stop was Hverfjaw Crater. This enormous crater was caused by a subterranean explosion some 2500 years ago. To get up to its rim requires an arduous climb which Linda and I made with care. We're both a little damaged this time out, her back and my hip, but we are game and up we go with nary a complaint. They make 'em tough in West Virginia and Alabama, I swan. I carried Albert up, too. I do this as a salute to that special alligator my mom and dad carried from West Virginia to Florida in 1935. Have you read that story - Carrying Albert Home - yet? I hope you'll give it a try. It is a lighthearted but at the same time serious tale of that most mysterious of human emotions which we inadequately call LOVE. Go here to order it:

Linda and Homer (also Albert) at the Hverfjaw Crater.

Albert has a look at the Hverfjaw Crater and pronounced
it "cool!" Or maybe he said "cold." I'm not sure.

Our next run was a 30 km drive north to the Dettifoss Waterfall. How do we remember these names? Well, easy. We just make up the names so we can remember them. For instance, Dettifoss become Dental Floss. So after finding a place to park, we hiked to the Dental Floss waterfall, the most powerful waterfall in Europe! It's a pretty amazing waterfall, even for Iceland which is the land of waterfalls. In fact, as we drove up here yesterday, we passed at least a dozen waterfalls which in any other country or a state in the USA would be a major tourist attraction. But in Iceland with hundreds upon hundreds of waterfalls of every size and description, there might be a sign or there might not. We saw some farms along the way that had waterfalls near the farmhouse that had to drop 300 feet into a huge, deep pond. Can you imagine your entire life hearing the roar of a waterfall like that just outside your bedroom window? I would imagine some Icelandic farmers lose their hearing early on or kind of go bonkers. 

Here's a short video of Linda at the Dental Floss Falls. There was a drop in temps and a cold wind but it didn't dampen HER spirits, thank you very much.

Linda at the Dental Floss Waterfall, northern Iceland
Albert at the Dental Floss Waterfall

After enjoying the waterfall, we headed over to Krafla, an area where Iceland is using the enormous geothermal energy created by this land of fire and ice to produce huge amounts of cheap power. This power plant is astonishing in its size and complexity. We stopped long enough to marvel at it and take a few photos.

Krafla Geothermal Power Plant

It was a full day. We finished it by visiting a geothermal-warmed pool to soak out our creaky old bones, then had dinner at the hotel and called it a day except for this blog.

We are tired but happy that our trip is going so well. Thank you for going along with us.

Homer Hickam - Author, Rocket BoysThe Coalwood WaySky of StoneWe Are Not AfraidCarrying Albert Home, the Josh Thurlow series, and many other fine books.

          Homer and Linda's Iceland Adventure Blog - Sept. 5, 2016   
Sept. 5, 2016 -

Today was mostly a driving day. We started on the south coast of Iceland and ended up on the north! The terrain went from spectacular to muted and then plain. So far, the north coast isn't as interesting but we're tired after the long drive so maybe tomorrow, we'll get up and it will be great!

The most interesting was the alien setting of the Namafjall Fumaroles. The mountains surrounding these steam vents are completely devoid of vegetation, killed off by the hydrogen sulfide rolling out of the vents and across and up the hills. It could definitely be used as a movie set for Mars or the moon.

We stopped long enough for pictures before heading to the hotel for the evening. And here's one of them with Linda and me posed in front of one of the fumarole vents.

One tourist asked "Are they hot?" I just smiled because I thought he was kidding but I should have said something since he turned and squatted on one and was soon hopping around, fanning his backside. "Yep. They're hot!" Silly rabbit.

Homer Hickam, Author Carrying Albert Home and other fine books.

          Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016 - Homer & Linda's Iceland Adventure   
Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016

After breakfast, our caravan of three Ford Explorers headed east along the southern coast of Iceland. I was driving with John as trip leader/navigator for the day, and Felicia and Linda in the back seat doing what all good women do, advising the driver and navigator.

We drove to Skaftafel, part of the Vatnajokull National Park. Along the way, we passed many farms built against great buttresses of mountains with contented sheep and cattle grazing. Some of the sheep manage to climb to dizzying altitudes where, it must be presumed, the REALLY good grass must be. The beauty of this place is vast, rugged, and wonderful, so much that as the driver I have to really work to keep my eyes on the road. There is only a little traffic out where we are now but what there is must be tended to as most of the bridges have only one lane. This makes sense. With little traffic, Icelanders can save 50% of the construction cost by making it one lane wide. This, however, requires care as there are no signal lights and some of the bridges are quite long. So, if you can see the other end, you go every other car, or if you can't, you drive very slow and be prepared to back up or, in some cases, there are wide places where it might be possible to pull over. Fortunately, we didn't have to do that!

Skaftafal holds a portion of a giant glacier that dominates southern Iceland. To get out to it requires about a five mile hike round trip which, considering how beautiful it was, we were willing to do. As mentioned earlier, Linda has some back issues and I'm starting to have something wrong with my hip but with a little Ibuprofen, we persevered and covered the distance. Once there, it was time for Linda, me, and a sneaky little Albert to get our picture taken in front of the glacier and here we are.

Linda, Homer, and Albert at the Skaftafell Glacier

The glacier was also a good place for us all to have a group photo so by recruiting a nice passing hiker, we did that very thing. So here that is.

The Mountain Marauders at the Skaftafel Glacier

We journeyed on along the coastline until we reached the Jokulsarion glacier lagoon. It is a glorious place filled with blue icebergs. The reason they're blue is they are ancient and dense, most of the air squeezed out of them. I recall when we were in Alaska, we went out in kayaks and collected blue ice for our drinks. They take a much longer time to melt and are perfect for gin & tonics and such.

Jokulsarion Glacier Lagoon

We are now in another hotel for the evening. It's very nice, we have a great view, and if the clouds should part, maybe we'll get to see the northern lights. In any case, it's been a super day and we've had fun which is always a good thing.

Homer Hickam, author of Carrying Albert Home, Sky of Stone, The Keeper's Son, and many other fine books.

          Second and Third Day of Homer and Linda's Excellent Adventure in Iceland   
Greetings to all from beautiful Iceland! I was unable to blog yesterday because the wifi at the hotel where we stayed said that the blog site was FORBIDDEN and that MALWARE would be downloaded and so many awful things would happen, I should immediately get off the computer and hide under my bed. That was fairly scary so I didn't push it. Today, the same site at a different hotel says all is well. Go figure. Anyway...

Sept. 2, 2016:

First thing to be done was to pick up the rental car which turned out to be a Ford Explorer. We're with a group of ten others so a total of 3 Explorers were required. I have been appointed as one of the drivers which is fine since, like most West Virginians, I love to drive, often even on actual roads when necessary. I will confess I was a bit worried about finding my way from the car rental back to the hotel to pick up the others but I managed it with aplomb if not finesse. As an aside, it seems we almost always end up renting Fords when we're overseas and invariably they've been quite reliable vehicles. We rented a diesel Ford in Italy which I loved. The mileage on it was incredible. Sadly, it isn't sold in the states or I would definitely own one.

Linda and I shared the Explorer on the first day with Roger and Karren. We have a complex chart that requires all of us to move around every day so we don't get tired of each other but we know Roger and Karren quite well as we all go to the same church in Huntsville so we were glad to have them.

Once we were clear of Reykjvik, we headed east along highway 1 and into an area often referred to as the golden circle. The first thing one notices in Iceland is how neat everything is. Every farm seems manicured, the barns and homes so bright and cheerful, it's as if they're all freshly painted. We stopped at Silfra to have a look at the waterfall there and also the cleft in the continental plates that Linda and I hope to get back to on our last day to either snorkel and scuba dive. The water is crystal clear but obviously very cold. We'll see how we feel when the time comes. Probably the highlight of the day was Geysir which, by the name, you can guess there was a geyser. In fact, there were more than one and geysers the world over are named as such because of this field of them.

Geyser at Geysir

Our next stop was the astonishing waterfall at Gulfoss. When we drove into the parking lot, we saw no waterfall. It all looked like a green plain but the two dimensional effect soon gave way to a great river canyon and some spectacular falls. To get to it required a long descent down a stairway and then a hike above the river. We weren't alone. There were a thousand others there determined to have a look. We have been rather surprised at the number of tourists out and about in Iceland but it's still close to August which is the prime European vacation time so I imagine the crowds will dwindle. Also, since we are heading ever steadily into the wayback of Iceland, I think it will get lonelier as we go.

Linda has been favoring her back and I've had a little hip impingement thing going on so we were careful threading our way down to a great stack of rocks overlooking the falls. Once there, the sound was incredible! Trillions of gallons of water rush by and drop away, the roar like a dozen locomotives that never stops. 

Gulfoss Waterfall

Sept. 3, 2016

We were up bright and early this morning, had breakfast at the hotel, and drove on. After our lead car was lost for awhile - hey, it's all good, it's still Iceland! - we turned around and headed for our first stop at Seljalandfoss, a waterfall. As you may have figured out, foss is Islandic for waterfall and there are a sloo of them on this island. They seem to be everywhere! The falls of Seljalandfoss are dominated by a huge one that allows folks to go behind it so, guess what, of course that's what we did where I managed to get this rather (ahem) spectacular shot.


And Linda even let me take her picture at this glorious fall and here is her pretty self!

Linda and the Seljalandwaterfall

Lunch came next. One problem we've discovered in Iceland is the cost of food in restaurants so after our $25 hamburgers the day before, we decided to fix our own lunches. After a quick trip to a grocery store, we had all the fixings and stopped in at the Skogafoss waterfall. Here are some of our group making the journey with us having a picnic lunch.

Lunch at the Skogafoss waterfall.

Afterwards, we drove to the black beaches of Vik. The beaches along southern Iceland are made of volcanic materials which are gritty and black. Also, the most amazing rock formations of lava frozen in time and temperature. It feels and looks alien and it's easy to imagine being on a distant planet. It's also quite beautiful and peaceful. Continuing my traditional series, here is a photo of Linda taking a photo of a section of the beach.

Linda taking a picture along the Vik beach.

Of course, in honor of the original Albert of Carrying Albert Home (have you read it yet? Trust me, you'll love it), we've carried along our own version of Albert. He's our good luck totem and here he is perched on the bizarre basalt rocks along a beach in southern Iceland.

Albert "sunning" himself on the Vik beach

We are all now ensconced in the Fosshotel Nupar for the evening. Tomorrow, our Icelandic adventure continues. Thanks for joining us!

 - Homer Hickam, author of Carrying Albert Home and some other books.

          Blogging from Iceland   

September 1, 2016

We are here in Reykjavik, Iceland. As usual, the planning, packing, and traveling are phases best left behind but actually, it all went smoothly. Delta carried us unfailingly across to Atlanta, then Minneapolis, then Iceland in a whirlwind day - Tuesday - arriving Wednesday morning. We caught our ride to the Hotel Alva in downtown Reykjavik - which is mostly one little main drag and very quiet - and here we've recovered from a small amount of jet lag and are awaiting the rest of our party of ten others. These are folks we call the Mountain Marauders and consist of men and women Linda grew up with on Monte Sano in Huntsville and their spouses, an adventurous group. We've traveled to Africa, the Galapagos, Alaska, and lots of other places together and I've always found them to be a genial fellowship who've grown old together but are still bucket listing away.

Last night, although we were told we wouldn't see them, it being the wrong time of the year, the northern lights appeared as a green, luminous, writhing snake in the sky. Based on this, I would say we're getting a good start.

Tomorrow, we will get our rental cars and start a complete circumnavigation of the island so please keep reading this blog and I will take you on a virtual tour for a week of adventure, misadventure (I'm sure), and hopefully some fun.

Of course, these days, travel doesn't relieve one of what's back home. It's too easy to communicate. We are stressed to learn that our sweet Molly cat is diabetic although we've worried about that for some time. It was confirmed while we were here so our great pet-sitter Kelly will be taking her to the Catisfaction clinic for treatment. this morning Sadly, she will have to be boarded probably for a week while her problem is sorted out. We hope that insulin shots will only be temporary and we'll be able to stabilize her with a change in diet. She loves being home so much, though, so we're stressed that she's going to be stressed.

The other worry - a long term one - continues to be the lawsuit I have lodged against the movie studio that can't be named and the Old Globe Theater in San Diego about a few things, at least one of them this aggravating musical they insist on having about me this fall - October Sky the Musical, they call it - while trying at the same time to break me financially and spiritually. You folks in San Diego have to decide if you want to hurt me or help them. I can't and won't tell you what to do. Enough said.

We are relaxing for the day. It's sunny outside. All our worries about Molly (far and away our greatest) and this niggling lawsuit will hopefully fade as we make our journey around this interesting island. As my mom used to say, "This, too, Sonny boy, will pass and if it doesn't, it's probably your fault." Ah, my mom. I surely miss her. If you don't know Elsie, read Carrying Albert Home to start, then Rocket Boys, The Coalwood Way, and Sky of Stone. She's a trip. Trust me.

And this is a trip. Follow me.

Much love to all,


A rainbow over Reykjvik

          Iceland's secret sights that most visitors miss   

Reykjavik that explores Geysir, Thingvellir National Park and Gulfoss waterfall. So here's where to go in Iceland when you've seen the big sights."

          The xx's Iceland Festival Had Permit Troubles a Month Before Cancellation   

On Tuesday, the ReykjavA k Grapevine reported that Night + Day, an upcoming music festival in Iceland hosted and headlined by The xx , had been cancelled . According to an email sent to ticketholders, organizers canceled the festival because SkA3gafoss, the waterfall where the concert was to take place on July 14-16, was added to the Environment Agency of Iceland's list of endangered places last week.

          Meet the Hannibal Lecter of Fashion: Sruli Recht   

The Reykjavik, Iceland-based designer has meticulously experimented with unconventional materials such as whale and kangaroo foreskin. Not to mention, he once surgically removed a strip of his own skin to create the polarizing "Forget Me Knot" leather ring which retailed for approximately $390,000 USD.

          The xx cancel their upcoming Night + Day festival8:31 am - Jun 28, 2017   

The three-day festival was due to take place from July 14-16 in the vicinity of Skogafoss, a famous waterfall in southern Iceland. As well as a set from The xx, it was due to include performances from Sampha, Robyn, Warpaint, Earl Sweatshirt, Kamasi Washington and Floating Points.

          Retail Assistant - Iceland - Cardiff   
As a Retail Assistant you will be instrumental in rolling up your sleeves to keep the store operation running productively and providing our customers with the... £8.45 an hour
From Iceland - Mon, 19 Jun 2017 21:02:47 GMT - View all Cardiff jobs
          The Dorito-Topped Hot Dog That Saved Breakfast   

Hot dogs in Iceland We left the house by the glacier early—around 7 a.m. My husband and I had to get back to Reyjkavik to catch a plane that afternoon. I expected, like in so many other places I’d travelled, that we would be able to find an open coffee shop or breakfast restaurant, even […]

The post The Dorito-Topped Hot Dog That Saved Breakfast appeared first on Roads & Kingdoms.

          Tyler, The Creator se fait greffer un nouveau visage par A$AP Rocky dans son dernier clip   

Tyler, The Creator, carrément flippant dans son dernier clip (capture d'écran Youtube)

Le rappeur californien a aussi révélé un teaser zinzin de son nouveau show sur Viceland.
          Mumificado, pênis ereto do século 18 está exposto em museu de Londres   

iG São Paulo

O dono original do órgão foi executado há mais de 200 anos; durante a sua morte trágica na Inglaterra, teve uma ereção que resiste até os dias atuais

Um museu britânico adquiriu uma nova peça para o seu acervo. Comprado pelo valor de 2,5 mil libras (cerca de  R$ 10 mil reais), um pênis mumificado – e ereto – é o seu mais recente artefato em exposição. E se a história já soa um tanto quanto bizarra, espere para ler os detalhes escondidos nesta galeria de Londres.

Leia também: Grande oferta: pênis de marfim do século XIX vai a leilão na Irlanda

Segundo o portal "Mail Online", o curador do Museu de Curiosidades, Artes Finais e História Natural Viktor Wynd explicou que, conhecido como “a mais longa ereção do mundo”, o pênis costumava pertencer a um inglês, que foi executado no século 18.

O pênis mumificado tem cerca de 200 anos e está exposto em um museu de excentricidades de Londres

O pênis mumificado tem cerca de 200 anos e está exposto em um museu de excentricidades de Londres

Foto: Reprodução/Oskar Proctor - The Viktor Wynd Museum

Vitimado pela forca, o homem teve que lidar com um último constrangimento: seu órgão sexual ficou ereto justamente durante a sua morte. Aliás, situações como essa eram comuns durante execuções. O fenômeno é explicado por uma pressão no cerebelo – parte do sistema nervoso responsável por funções motoras – , criada pela corda, que consegue “animar” os nervos do órgão.

Ficou interessado neste caso? Saiba que o artefato pode ser visto, ao vivo e a cores, até meados do ano que vem na capital inglesa. O museu responsável por sua exposição foi criado para ser um tipo de “cabine de curiosidades”, lugares muito populares durante a Renascença Europeia, e não segue propósitos educativos. Na realidade, eles querem provocar a curiosidade de quem os visita e, por isso, não costumam seguir critérios muito rígidos de seleção de acervo.

Isso explica, por exemplo, a grande quantidade de objetos pseudocientíficos encontrados nesses museus. A autenticidade do falo do século 18, inclusive, não foi verificada por fontes confiáveis, mas Wynd, curador do local, acredita que algumas evidências históricas sugerem que não há nenhuma mentira por trás do homem executado.

O pênis está exposto em um museu de excentricidade do Reino Unido%2C e deve ficar disponível aos olhos da população até o ano que vem

O pênis está exposto em um museu de excentricidade do Reino Unido%2C e deve ficar disponível aos olhos da população até o ano que vem

Foto: Reprodução/Oskar Proctor - The Viktor Wynd Museum

“Partes do corpo eram frequentemente retiradas de pessoas enforcadas, porque acreditava-se, na época, que elas poderiam ter propriedades mágicas”, esclareceu.

Quais seriam, então, as habilidades sobre-humanas deste peculiar órgão sexual masculino?

Museus animadores

Não, essa não foi a primeira vez que um museu resolveu expor o órgão sexual marculino. A cidade islandesa de Reykjavik, por exemplo, vem atraindo curiosos por ser lar do maior Museu de Falo do mundo, o “Icelandic Phallogical Museum”. Inaugurado em 2011, o local, que abriga 282 tipos do órgão masculino de 93 espécies diferentes de animais do mundo todo, tem alavancado o turismo do vilarejo de 120 mil habitantes. 

Museu do Pênis

Museu do Pênis

Foto: Icelandic Phallological Museum/ Divulgação

“Alguém tinha que construí-lo um dia”, explica o professor e historiador Sigurdur Hjartarson, fundador do museu, ao site The Mirror. Os visitantes que têm a oportunidade de visitar a exposição podem se deparar desde um enorme pênis de dois metros, de uma baleia, até um minúsculo falo, de um hamster.

Leia também: Em busca de prazer sexual, homem introduz 15 agulhas enferrujadas em seu pênis

          Eurovision Round Up: Semi-Final 2   

And time for Semi Number 2. The last half get their chance to shine... and try to get their way into the wonder that is the Eurovision Grand Final.

Will they be as interesting as last night's? Let's find out.

A big welcome to Eurodance and its entry in this year's contest. And a big hello to the newest gay icons Euroband. Nothing says camp more than two blond singers, one with a set of knockers and the other wearing too much eye makeup. Throw in the dance moves for drag queens and the pink and black outfits and we've got Mardi Gras set. As for the song... let's dance. Perfectly Eurovision.
Dix points

Oh Charlotte. A bad start. You need to hit the right notes. Luckily it came back... and one of the biggest favourites of the Contest was done well. It's nice to see Charlotte has been keeping the Swedish plastic surgery industry in the black since her last appearance in Eurovision. Another example of perfect Eurovision pop. And it surely deserves a chance in the Final.
Douze points

Those crazy Turks. People still fight over whether they're actually in Europe or not. But would they fight over this song? Stick standard soft rock. Nothing too exciting. Lots of lighting effects to help it. And crazy facial expressions from the lead singer. Not really a fan... but will Europe embrace rock this year? We'll have to find out.
Sept points

Finally, the Ukrainians have resorted to sex to get points. And they've done a good job at it. Big points for the lead singer who kept her composure even with the tiny piece of material she was wearing as a so-called dress, and extra points for the hot Ukrainian boys locked up in boxes. Another wonderful Eurovision pop song, perfect to rock on to in any state, in any location. Go the Ukrainies!
Douze points

From the excesses of Europop to the stillness of a Lithuanian man wearing tight, tight, tight leather pants singing in English. There's something about his voice I really don't like. It sounds as though he's talking as well as singing - a Denis Walter who's doing more of the talking thing. It sounds as though he's trying too hard. I'm not sure it's too appealing. Stick to Lithuanian.
Trois points

A 16 year old has infiltrated Eurovision. Aren't you supposed to be drunk to perform though? How does that work? Obviously it's legal for her. What's not legal is the song. And the cape. What was she thinking? The song is a mixup of all sorts of things - bit of rock, bit of pop, bit of ballad - and nothing really pulls it together. It's distressing. And then that cape is really something. Obviously she thinks she's Superman... but not even he can save her.
Cinq points

After years of not hearing it, Italian has finally come back to Eurovision. But by the bloody useless Italians? No - the Swiss. And quite a handsome man singing it as well. The crowd love him and I do too. It's really a nice song and this one could do well. Unlike the huge boobs of the backup singers, this song actually moved quite well from the slower reflection to the more rock/pop part. Unfortunately poor Paolo couldn't quite get the notes he was after. That by itself might ruin the chances.
Dix points

Czech Republic
Falling off notes seems to be a common theme tonight, which is quite sad. This poor woman did no better, especially when she started sounding like a man. Luckily for any men listening, they could tune out and just watch the backup dancers in their tiny bikini type costumes. Nothing better than a bit of flange flopping around for entertainment. Quite a possible Euro dance hit here, but it's just not doing anything for me. It got a bit boring after the first 30 seconds. Blah.
Cinq points

Shiny disco balls. And shiny disco kittens. Pity about the Belorussian singer. I hope they all don't look like that and enjoy wearing those very tight leather pants. It seems Lucrezia and De stade has been supplying the Eurovision contestants with their clothing this year. They must've also been supplying Belarus with choreography - that whole sex, bondage, pushing down thing... not pretty. The song. Nothing all that exciting.
Six points

Another welcome to The Wiggles to this year's Contest. Captain Feathersword has been cloned and thrown into Latvia to be devoured for Eurovision. I think this would be an excellent song for children to learn so they know all about pirates. It seems to be very correct, right down to the clothes worn. If I was the audience, I'd be shit scared of them. At least these guys would have an excuse for wearing tight, tight leather pants.
Sept points

The best thing about Eurovision is that it lets those who have left their mother country still connect in some way to it. Croatia has wonderfully thought about these people and given us a stage of old men, exactly the type of Croatians who are dispersed around the world. The one problem about this song is a cute factor - a 75 year old rapper is going to get cute votes. Bastard. You either have to be a small child or a crazy old man to get cute votes these days. Ripped off.
Sept points

I always enjoy a big feather fan, especially when held by a woman whose suspenders are showing. She does want the DJ to take her away, but with the fires that are springing up around the stage I think the DJ's going to have to stop, drop and roll first. A fun song, but could've been done differently. I don't know... it was good... but something was missing. Enjoyable in any case.
Huit points

Hello Simon. Do you want to come to Australia? I like the way you use your mic stand. And I like this song. I can guarantee that there will be people singing the chorus over and over... until they forget it.. and then hear someone else singing it. Thank god Simon was able to sing this one properly. I think Dicko would've enjoyed his stage presence. I wonder what Marcia would've moaned? Come on Simon, come over and we'll stay together 'All night long...'
Dix points

2008's token disabled person is here and it's nice that an up-and-coming ex-Soviet country is the one to provide it. I'm not sure the black zombies are really all that helpful when you're trying to sing about peace. Neither is singing like a man and not making it all that helpful, as it does not bring peace to my ears to hear it. Extra point for the huge hair from the backup singer.
Six points

This song sounds more like a late-90s Irish entry... but with a different slant on the pronunciation of English. The woman looks like a fish that's in the process of being cleaned out. The dress could've been far better. But the song's nice. I'll give her points for the song. She was very confident about it too. Pleasurable.
Sept points

The Maltese have a history of poor song choice - not this year. A sure-fire favourite thanks to the Eurodance and quite attractive woman (apparently they do exist in Malta). The song itself, Vodka, really makes no sense but it sounds like fun even though it's sung in English. If I was drunk, I'd be jumping around to this one for sure. Whether it will do well in the final is unknown, but it's a certainty to get in.
Dix points

This one's getting points exclusively based on the good looking Cypriot men in sparkling suits. Bugger the woman or her Victorian intial costume or the song in general. These boys could dance, play with fabric, be a staircase, sing, lift things... they would have to be the stars of the performance. And look, OK, the song was alright too but in the end, it's the boys who count.
Huit points

Macedonian rapping, in English, is something you don't often get a chance to experience. There's obviously a reason for that. It's unfortunate that the main rapper is wearing clothes and has bad hair. Bad hair is also a curse for the singer. She does a good job at the singing bit though. That's quite impressive. It's a boppy song and quite appropriate for Eurovision. I like it.
Dix points

Quite a big sound from quite a big lady. Someone needs to tell her that her hair colour doesn't help her squishy face and that her lipstick doesn't actually have to match her hair. The song itself is a memorable one and the drums near the end, doing that whole marching thing, does help it quite a bit. I'm a bit of a fan of this one. Would it do well Europe-wide? Quite possibly.
Huit points

That's it. All the semi-finalists have had their time in the spotlight and now it's time to see who gets a chance to sing for glory tomorrow. My choice?

Hello Belgrade. Hello Europe. My selection for the final, in no particular order, is:
1. Sweden
2. Ukraine
3. Malta
4. Denmark
5. Iceland
6. Switzerland
7. Macedonia
8. Bulgaria
9. Cyprus
10. Portugal

And the real results... Iceland, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, Albania, Latvia, Croatia, Denmark, Georgia and Portugal.

Only five out of ten, and a few 'certainties' who weren't actually there. Bugger. However, its the big night tomorrow night on SBS at 7:30pm and I'll be predicting my top three as well as previewing the five songs that are already in the Final tomorrow.

Bring on Eurovision!

          Countdown to Eurovision: 93 days to go   

1988 was a big year. Australia was apparently 200 years old. The world continued to turn. And the Eurovision Song Contest took place in Ireland.

It was a big year in ESCland. The winner of the contest won by 1 point, decided only by the last country to present their votes. A nailbiter, in the true sense of the word. But guess who won? Bloody Celine Dion. I'm happy that ABBA had Eurovision as their break. But Celine could've stayed home. I would've been happy with that. In fact, she should've fallen down a hole in the stage. That would've been much better. However, in the spirit of ESC-goodness, I've decided to share that fateful performance with you all today.

And since I am full of ESC-goodness, I thought I'd share another song from 1988. The one that should've won. The song that, I feel, was the best song performed in 1988. OK, it may have come 19th in the end, but I think it was robbed. Iceland's Beathoven performed Sokrates which should've got douze points for formality. The lead singer is, well, special. So is the la-la-la-ing near the end of the song. Nothing says Eurovision more than a crowd la-la-la-ing to a song, while clapping in the air. This video is also another piece of evidence to show why the 1980s should never come back into fashion. But judge for yourself. The double whammy in 1988.

This is Sokrates by Iceland's Beathoven:

And the winner: Celine Dion performing for Switzerland with Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi...

          Comment on Top 5 Hotels in Reykjavik On A Budget In Iceland by Hotel in Ranchi   
Amazing post! thanks for sharing.
          Comment on Top 5 Hotels in Reykjavik On A Budget In Iceland by Hotel in Ranchi   
Brilliant article and so interesting to read!!
Our travels have taken us to extreme environments: the surreal contrasts of Iceland, a country powered by nature and made up of sulphurous plains, salt terraces and geothermal pools. This is geological drama at its best, a place where isolation and dark winters create the backdrop to a unique breed of creativity. In contrast the gentle landscape of Denmark. A country peppered with archipelagos and lush forests and home of 21st Century design, where form and function meet utopian ideology
          Iceland on film: a tour of the island's movie locations – in pictures   

A drive around Route 1, Iceland’s 832-mile ring road, takes in not only all the island’s cities and towns, but also its natural wonders and – from Bond to Batman – the locations of many of the films shot there in recent years
• Read about Robert’s road trip around the ‘Hollywood of the north’

Continue reading...
          1st Jul: Out of Thin Air (2017), 1hr 24m [TV-14] (6/10)   
Picking up 40 years after six were convicted for two strange murders in Iceland, this chilling documentary proves confessions can't always be trusted.

          American Companies Still Make Aluminum. In Iceland. (Binyamin Appelbaum/New York Times)   

Binyamin Appelbaum / New York Times:
American Companies Still Make Aluminum.  In Iceland.  —  REYDARFJORDUR, Iceland — Where did the United States' aluminum smelters go?  —  More than 30 of the giant factories once dotted the American landscape, sucking down huge amounts of electricity to produce the metal for car parts, beer cans and aluminum foil.

          Young Horse Lovers with Love the Realistic Hand-Painted Horses from the Schleich Horse Club Collection - My Girls Do! (Review) #AD   
Disclosure:  This post is part of a sponsored campaign for Schleich.  I received compensation for my participation, but my review and opinions are my own.

A couple weeks ago I received an email asking if I wanted to review a sampling of Schleich horses and accessories.  I was quick to respond, "Yes" as I knew my girls would love to help me review, as they have a nice collection of these hand painted horses from past reviews and from Christmas when they asked Santa for some more.  Here are some photos I took of the girls playing with their new Schleich toys...

These are the horses and accessories from the Schleich Horse Club we were sent and that are shown in the video above....

Groom with Icelandic pony mare (41431)