Several times, I’ve commented on the short days in Iceland in wintertime. I don’t want to oversell the darkness, though: there’s a lot of twilight and the cities are well-lit. One of the benefits of having vast amounts of essentially free electricity is that you can chase away the dark if you want. The sun… Read More Days 178-184: walking in the dark
This was the day I didn’t break my left arm. Actually, thinking about it, there have been lots of days I didn’t break my left arm. In fact, I have never broken my left arm, or any other bone, so I suppose today was quite unremarkable except for my visit to an Icelandic hospital to… Read More Day 158: hefur þu verið á spitala á Íslandi?
In December, the University offered a three-week intensive course on assessing the environmental impact of an industrial project. Most countries have an environmental assessment process: the U.S. was one of the early adopters, creating a system of environmental impact statements in 1969. The specifics – what projects require an assessment and what the assessment must… Read More Days 157-177: not the rains down in Africa
At the end of finals in November, I got a special visitor – my wife, Lisa, whose planned trip to Iceland for our anniversary had previously been delayed. Hobbes, who has a special kitty sense about these sorts of things, decided to help out as I got the apartment ready for a visitor. His reaction… Read More Days 151-156: another visit from Vegas
Three finals in November: Earth Sciences, Energy Tech (aka Formulas on Parade) and Energy Economics. Lots of reading to go over, lots of concepts and equations to memorize. Serious stuff. Still … Not all study techniques have to be completely serious. The sheer volume of lecture materials in Earth Sciences — 1,000+ PowerPoint slides! —… Read More Days 138-150: finals
One thing about living overseas: you miss some familiar holidays, and get to celebrate some new ones. In Iceland, for example there’s no Thanksgiving Day in November. If you want to eat yourself into a coma, you need to wait for Sprengidagur (“Bursting Day”), which comes in late winter – typically in February or March.… Read More Days 131-137: the Universe is cracked; the Pandorica will open; Yuletide will fall *
When you live toward the poles, the change in seasons really becomes noticeable. It’s getting darker. Actually, it’s been getting darker since the day I got here. My flight landed at Keflavik the morning of June 29, 2015, a little over a week after summer solstice. There were two sunsets that day: the first at… Read More Days 124-130: darkness falls
What do sheep and Vikings have in common? More than you’d think, actually. They both settled in Iceland about 871 AD, give or take a couple of years. Until the Norsemen arrived with their sheep, the largest land mammal to be found in Iceland was the Arctic fox. Humans and sheep eat quite a lot… Read More Days 117-123: of sheep and Vikings
It was snowing on the way to the airport at Keflavik. Yes, winter is coming. My friend Mo came out from Las Vegas to visit at the end of October. It was his first trip to Iceland, and after hanging out for a bit in Reykjavik and taking a day trip through the Golden Circle,… Read More Days 112-116: a visit from Vegas
Reykjavik University awards grades on a scale of 1 to 10. My first final grade, in Surface Geothermal Exploration, was 9.5. I can live with that.