Archive for July, 2016

Quote of the day: ICELAND

July 8, 2016


In thinking about Iceland, one is always whipsawed between two facts. On the one hand, there’s the tiny scale of the place. There are only three hundred thousand-plus people in the country, and a Presidential election, even though it gets a huge, Nordic-style turnout, will still top out at about two hundred and forty thousand voters, about one-third the number in a single congressional district in New York City. One might read that, as a proportion of the population, more Icelanders died in the Second World War than Americans did, which means two hundred and thirty, most of them in seafaring accidents. “Icelanders suffer from ecstatic numerical aphasia” is the way that Heiða Helgadóttir, a prominent alternative politician, put it one morning, over milky coffee, the country’s vin ordinaire. “We are convinced that we come from a country of at least two or three million, and nothing dissuades us.” On the other hand, Iceland is an honest-to-God country, not a principality, like Monaco, or a fragment fallen off a larger one, like Montenegro. It has a language and a history and a culture entirely its own, it fields competitive teams in international football tournaments, and it can claim about as many famous artists—Björk, Sigur Rós—as its far larger Nordic peers.

–Adam Gopnik, “Cool Runnings,” The New Yorker

gudni Johannesson                               newly elected president Guðni Jóhannesson (illustration by Jasu Hu)

In this week’s New Yorker

July 8, 2016

new yorker at the beach cover

This week’s issue (beautiful cover by Kadir Nelson) packs an extraordinary series of feature stories about music, politics, and medicine:

In his profile of hiphop producer Mike Will, “The Mixologist,” John Seabrook displays an astonishing familiarity with Atlanta’s music scene.

Quirky novelist George Saunders had the guts to attend Trump rallies all over the country and talk to people who think a Trump presidency is a good idea. The dismaying results show up in “Trump Days.”

In “Cool Runnings,” Adam Gopnik writes about the surprisingly casual presidential election in Iceland by focusing on Guðni Jóhannesson, whom he met when he was serving as tour guide on a bus tour of Thingvellir.

Larissa MacFarquhar provides a respite from the horrible news of the day with a moving portrait of the life of a hospice nurse, “The Threshold.”


Playlist: iTunes shuffle, 7/7/16

July 8, 2016

“Not Mine,” Amanda Palmer
“Light-Pop’s Principle,” Laura Nyro
“Where Will I Be,” Emmylou Harris
“Shake It Off,” Taylor Swift
“The Tides at the Narrows,” Hem
“Highlife Time,” Gender Infinity (Red Hot + Fela)
“One Second and a Million Miles,” Steven Pasquale (The Bridges of Madison County OCR)
“Leave,” Steve Kazee (Once OCR)
“Tribe,” Federale (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night OST)
“Hormones,” Tracy Thorn
“Lua,” Bright Eyes
“Raised on Robbery,” Joni Mitchell
“Brief Eternity,” Bobby McFerrin
“End Credits,” Gustavo Santaolalla (August: Osage County OST)
“Now I Am an Arsonist,” Jonathan Coulton featuring Suzanne Vega
“Beautifully Combined,” k.d. lang
“That’s the Joint,” Funky 4 Plus 1
“Zombie Pt. 2,” Red Hot & Riot
“Ash Wednesday,” Elvis Perkins
“Ana Hina,” Natacha Atlas
“Come Here,” Kath Bloom
“Zebulon (Live),” Rufus Wainwright
“Asa Branca,” Gonzaguinha










“Wings,” HAERTS
“Arrivals,” Aqualung
“See it All,” Fink
“Bad Boys Get Spanked,” Pretenders
“The Werewolf,” Paul Simon
“The Wind,” Matt Alber
“Everything Reminds Me of Her,” Phil Roy
“Fine for Now,” Grizzly Bear
“Another Thought (In the Light of the Miracle),” Arthur Russell
“Bittersweet Melodies,” Feist
“Don’t Leave,” Faithless
“Enchantment (Amp Fiddler Remix),” Grizzly Bear
“I’ll Be Killing You (This Christmas),” Loudon Wainwright III
“Prescription for the Blues,” Watkins Family Hour
“Pitter Patter Goes My Heart,” Broken Social Scene
“Brother Sport,” Animal Collective
“Cupid Song,” John Kelly
“Somthing’s Missing,” The Internet
“Furniture,” Final Fantasy
“Trouble Man,” Rickie Lee Jones
“The Wire,” HAIM
“So Young,” Rolling Stones
“Telemiscommunications,” Imogen Heap

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