News from Iceland - Review Journal

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2006: 01 02
2005: 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

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2005 June 30:
The professor Kristín Ingólfsdóttir took over the position of the rector of The University of Iceland today, during the celebrations of the college festival. The former rector, Páll Skúlason gave her the symbol of authorities over the college - the rektor’s chain. Páll has authority since 1997. Kristín is a pharmacy doctor and is a first woman – rector of Háskóli Íslands.

2005 June 29:
This month, the Marine Research Institute of Iceland and University of Akureyri in cooperation with the local fishing fleet in Eyjafjordur (Iceland) launched a very ambitious research project where Star-Oddi DST GPS archival tags are used to position the movements and behavior of cod in one of Iceland’s largest fjords.

The new DST GPS tag allows the scientist to track the movements of the fish with high accuracy, the tag also stores temperature and depth measurements in its memory giving the scientists valuable information about the behavior of the fish as well as information about environmental parameters in the surroundings. When the fish is recaptured the valuable information is retrieved, and the tags can be reprogrammed and reused as long as the battery last. What makes this project particularly interesting is the small portable transmitter that is used to transmit the GPS codes underwater to the DST GPS archival fish tags. The small FPS transmitter is put on several small fishing boats that sail frequently in the area of interest. The commercial fishermen that allow the scientists to attach the small FPS are the key players in this project, which makes this a low cost solution for the project.

2005 June 28:
The Icelandic Institute of Environment (Umhverfisstofnun) plans to rebuild the old cottage and the barn for sheep at Ásbyrgi and to transform it onto place for exhibition about Jökulsárgljúfur National Park. Ten years ago the cottage was still used for sheep. It is with the area of 200 m², and the barn: 160². Buildings are placed between the shop at Ásbyrgi and the house of the service in the camping site. This undertaking will cost about 100 millions ISK. Sigþrúður Stella Jóhannsdóttir, the guard of the park said that according to estimations rebuilding would cost less than putting the new building.

2005 June 27:
Sturla Böðvarsson Minister of Communications (Samgönguráðuneytið) officially opened new tunnel Almannaskarðsgöng in Hornafjörður. The minister cut the band at the south end of the tunnel. Works at the construction of Almannaskarðsgöng began at the end of March 2004, and final boring of rocks took place at the beginning October, long before than was planned. The tunnel has about 1100 metres in length. The 5-kilometre long new way has been also built.

2005 June 26:
Sappers from the Icelandic Coastguard were called for the boat Aðalbjörg RE-5 which was at sea, not far from Þorlakshöfn. The boat pulled an unidentified object in its net. It appeared that this was the mine - misfire from II World War. Sappers brought it ashore and detonized it in the heap of sand between Þorlakshöfn and Eyrarbakki.

2005 June 25:
70% of all harms due to traffic accidents on Iceland, happened in Reykjavík and neighbouring cities. The entire cost of accidents in Reykjavík in 2004 amounted about 10 milliards ISK. According to the Insurance Company Sjóva, the most dangerous street in the capital is Miklabraut. Last year 164 persons was harmed in accidents just on this street and in all Reykjavík - 1100 persons (in 9200 accidents).

2005 June 24:
Eggert Pétursson won the second prize on the International Festival of Contemporary Art, Carnegie Art. Jury valued the pictures on which Eggert painted flowers in the non-typical way. The artist received also 6 millions ISK. Eggert’s works will be shown in Scandinavian capitals, Nice and London. It was the second time when Eggert participated in Carnegie Art. Jury, under Lars Nittve’s leadership, chose from among Scandinavian artists 21 finalists to the participation in the exhibition. The first prize won Karin Mamma Anderson.

2005 June 23:
Yesterday, at about 5 o’clock in the morning began the earthquake near Kleifarvatn (the lake on Reykjanes peninsula, in Krýsuvík). The greatest tremor had the power 3,4 degrees in Richter scale. It was preceptible in Hafnarfjörður and Reykjavík and in neighbouring regions. Seismic tremors on this ground are not surprising because this is the area with the strong geothermal activity. Geologists calm that tremors do not presage no serious eruptions or shakeses.

2005 June 22:
Iceland becomes more and more a popular destination for newly-weds. Many people want to spend its own honeymoon on this island. For example the firm North Sailing which serves whale watching cruises from the port in Húsavík, observed increasing interest of foreign newly-weds which in the non-typical place and into the non-typical manner would like to spend several moments during the honeymoon. Last week they had two honeymoon couples onboard on the same tour and to celebrate, a bottle of bubbly was opened and a toast made to wish the couples all the very best in the future. North Sailing’s boats are chartered for various occasions, even weddings. In the summer of 2003 a couple got married onboard Haukur, Iceland’s only schooner. With the stunning mountains of Kinn in the background this was an unusual and spectacular wedding.

2005 June 21:
The day before yesterday the fire appeared in the boathouse at Ásbraut street in Hafnarfjörður. There was no boat at this moment in the boathouse, but losses caused by fire are serious. The nearest, another boathouse was in fire risk but firemen managed to put out the fire very fast. No details about the reasons of fire are known yet but the police suspect that it was an arson.

2005 June 20:
From 1500 to about 2000 persons took part in celebration of the holiday in Þingvellir – the 90 years ago Icelandic women gained the vote rights. Before the beginning of the main ceremony, festally dressed women went down from Almannagjá, stood at Drekkingarhyl and soused 18 roses. Main events took place in Efrivellir. Historian Kristín Ástgeirsdóttir told the history of women fighting for the freedom, while the former president of Iceland Vigdís Finnbogadóttir made a festive speach.

2005 June 19:
Icelanders, as inhabitants of other Scandinavian countries, will celebrate the Day of Wild Flowers this Sunday. Nordic Council supports botanical associations organizing this day free walks for people which would like to observe the wild vegetation. In Iceland, all interested can go for 2 h walks organized in the most of Iceland localities.

2005 June 18:
Icelandic geologists explore at present the bottom of Grímsvötn volcano crater. Crater gained a new shape after the last eruption last autumn. Well equipped super-jeeps drove in on Vatnajökull and from there the team started the exploration of the volcano. This undertaking took place for the first time. There was 100-metre thickness ice cave in the crater a half year ago.

2005 June 17:
Blue Lagoon Ltd. opened a new Medical Center facility on June 10. Accommodations for 30 guests, an outdoor lagoon and indoor pool are among the amenities that await guests seeking treatment. To make a typical three-week stay in Iceland more enjoyable, a fitness room, walking trails, Internet connections, and fine dining is available. Treatment for psoriasis has been offered with excellent results since 1994 and involves bathing in warm geothermal seawater known for its healing power and active ingredients: mineral, silica and algae. The treatment is natural and without side effects. In recent years, people from 18 countries, have visited Blue Lagoon Medical Center for relief from psoriasis.

2005 June 16:
This year on Iceland, till for 70% the number young people interested on starting studies exceeds the number of vacancies at universities. 1700 persons put in for it at the University in Reykjavík but indexes will receive only 950. The biggest competition is in the High School of the Business. Only 135 persons will be accepted from 400 which want to begin studies on this school.

2005 June 15:
Cabinet Office signed the contract with Kristbjörg Kristinsdóttir concerning the Hotel Valhöll in Þingvellir which goes under her management for 5 years. After the general repair this object is going to be reopened on Independence Day of Iceland, 17 June. Kristbjörg is a professor in the Economy Department at the University of Iceland and for last 3 years she was a manager of the Hotel Borg.

2005 June 14:
The Icelandic container ship Lagarfoss, the property of Eimskip, failured near coast of Scotland. The outflow of ammonia which was transported on board appeared. The crew at once informed the coastguard from the port in Aberdeen in Scotland. 18 persons of the crew had to close themselves in their cabins and to wait till gas disappear. 150-metre ship got the immediate order to stop and wait for specialists. After about 7 hours the flaw was repaired and Lagarfoss got the agreement sail further to Iceland.

2005 June 13:
Kjartan Jakob Hauksson who tried to sail single-handed round Iceland by rowboat in 2003, decided to make an attempt to do it this year once again. At present Kjartan reached West Fiords and he has a rest there. Kjartan sails by night, because the sea is then considerably more serene. If the next stage of his expedition will run without difficulties then his next stop over will be at Gjögur. However quite a lot depends on wind power.

2005 June 12:
The construction of the new, 7-storeyed flat building in Reyðarfjörður has began on wednesday. It will consist of 22 flats, specially tailored to needs of elders. Except these flats, the Community Centre and different service agencies will have there their own residences. Half number of flats have been already sold.

2005 June 11:
The Icelandic Names Committee and names awarded judgement about new names which will be allowed on Iceland. Following female names are rejected: Hnikarr, Bier, Annarósa and Eleonora, but Elínheiður and Janetta were approved. The Committee approved also male names: Spartacus and Ljósálfur.

2005 June 10:
Four persons were arrested for selling and taking drugs on the concert of the British group Irone Maiden. The concert was held in Egilshöll. There was about 10 thousand spectators. As a support the group Nevolution from Akureyri went on. According to the police the traffic to and from the place of the concert ran without any difficulties.

2005 June 09:
The management of the Icelandic pharmaceutical firm Actavis decided to sell the part of shares (544 millions shares; 38, 5 ISK each) of the firm for the total sum: 21 billions ISK. Such undertaking was executed first of all for finance the purchase of the American firm Amide with the similar profile like Actavis. Actavis assorts to Icelandic billionaire Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson (one of the most wealthy mens in the world, according to the magazine Forbes).

2005 June 08:
Last weekend, over 1000 persons visited the exhibition ÍS-land in Höfn in Hörnafjörður. The exhibition is shown in the Museum of Glaciers, where already since a long time it was open for tourists. However, many novelties were introduced to it recently. Among other it is possible to see there a stuffed reindeer, listen to birdsongs, get into a crevasse and the ice cave, see souvenirs from the Agent 007 - James Bond film realization on Jökulsárlón, look the glacier through telescope placed on the observation deck. The estimated cost of the exhibition modernization is about 60 mln ISK.

2005 June 07:
First for three weeks serious rainfall on Iceland appeared yesterday morning in west and south part of the country. In this region, rain has been awaited for a long time. In worse situation is still east Iceland where is a considerable drought. Farmers have to still postpone the sowing of new quicksets. Earlier sown plants became damaged as a result of the drought and strong ground night frosts. Such dry May there hasn’t been in this region since 1930. In the last month it rainfall amouts 40 mm, while the average amount for this period is 96 mm.

2005 June 06:
Last weekend Icelanders participated in crowds in events organized on the occasion of Sailor’s Day. As each year, many kinds of competitions taking place in ports of practically all Icelandic localities were the main attractions. Except traditional events, sacred masses for people of the sea were also held and worthy sailors were given away testimonials.

2005 June 05:
The airway Ernir enlarged its own fleet buying a new plane. Now, the firm possesses four machines. The first flight of new Cessna 207 which can take aboard 7 passengers, took place yesterday at 13:30 over the south part of Iceland. In the Ernir offer, this excursion is called "Jöklar og eldfjöll" ("Glaciers and volcanoes"). Tourists fly over Gullfoss, Geysir, Tindfjallajökull, Eyjafjallajökull, Hekla volcano and Vestmannaeyjar. The excursion lasts about 1, 5 hours and costs 15500 ISK.

2005 June 04:
Hannes Hólmsteinn Gissurarson, a professor and writer, is accused for the break of copyrights into 120 places in its own book about Halldór Laxness' life. The book about Icelandic Nobel prize winner appeared in bookshops on autumn 2003. First of all, Hannes Hólmsteinn Gissurarson are accused of plagiarism and the lack of suitable quotation marks in his book. The lawyer of Laxness' widow demanded 8 millions ISK from Hannes Hólmsteinn.

2005 June 03:
About 92 000 foreign guests came to Iceland in first months this year. This is 5,6% decrease of the tourists quantity in comparaison with the same period last year. Especially few guests visited Iceland on February and April. Statistics shows also that number of Swedes, Norwegians and Britishers visiting Iceland came down and guests from U.S.A. and Germany appear on the island preferably than any time.

2005 June 02:
All the employees (32 persons) of the freezer Smaherja in Stöðvarfjörður will be given notice on September the 1st. Samherja has decided to finish her own production in this town. Yesterday, representatives of Samherja, membership The Trades-Union Vökul and the employees of the freezer met together. Samherja presented their plan concerning the connection of the production in Stöðvarfjörður with the similar activity in Dalvík.

2005 June 01:
The president of India, Aavul Pakkiri Jainulabidin Abdul Kalam has come to Iceland for the official visit. He will take part in the scientific conference of Icelandic pharmaceutical firms. The president Kalam will also familiarize with Icelandic earthquakes warrning systems. The guest will visit the geothermal power station in Nesjavellir and will take part in the discussion about using of alternative energy resources. The president travels with ministers, scientists, high civil servants and representatives of the Indian business.

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