#LastNightInSweden


Welcome to this week’s #WeekendCoffeeShare. Yes, I have been absent from both the coffee share and the blogosphere due to this pesky lil thing called Real Life, but thought it would be best to reappear online to let my online friends know that I am alive and well.

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If we were having coffee I would tell you that the decision to reappear online is due to an incident that happened in real life, I am sure the news about the terrible, terrible terrorist incident that happened #LastNightInSweden has reached you. I mean, it was huge, believe me. Sweden! Who would believe this! Sweden!

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I live so close to Sweden. So close. I can spit over to Sweden. I’m the only one that lives this close to Sweden. I know Swedes, I know more Swedes than anyone in the world.

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Yes, it was terrible, it was a new Bowling Green Massacre. Only in Sweden. It was huge. It is a mess. Who would believe this! And the fake media is not reporting this!

What really happened was that the Swedish population all had healthcare and great education, paid vacation and maternity leave, democracy and freedom. There was no incident linked to terrorism in Sweden, just like there was no Bowling Green Massacre. And I am sorry to tell my American friends this, but your president is a liar, a narcissistic proto-fascist, and to top it all off: dumb as a brick.

#JeSuisSweden #NeverRemember #SwedenIncident #BowlingGreenMasscre #IdiotInChief

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Care to join us at the #WeekendCoffeeShare ? It has moved and is now hosted by the lovely Nerd in the brain, so come on over and join the link up !

Want to see my previous contributions to the #WeekendCoffeeShare? They are funny, I promise, here are my last five:

What it means…

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Haunt much?

Most of the time

… So Tired!

read my blog

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Training Update


OK, just an extra update from me here on the whole «getting into shape»-program I have started. I have survived another round of “Health Booster”, and I just want to say that when I am gasping for air into burning lungs, have an abnormally high body temperature and muscles and joints ache, and I generally feel like I am about to die – I usually go to the doctor and get diagnosed with double sided pneumonia, bronchitis, arthritis, gout and probably the plague. This is not the type of health you want to boost!

(If you, by oversight, missed the background for this update, then you can read it here: FUN RUN)

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Overworked
Conventional Wisdom

FUN RUN


All right, all right! I admit: I have survived two weeks of exercise, and I still have not killed anyone! I ask you to keep that in mind when I go on to tell you just how much I hate exercise. If you just arrived here and don’t understand why I have started exercising when I hate it so much, then please read this post (I haven’t killed anyone!), which explains the need to put myself through such ordeals I am about to describe.

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Sir Nerdalot and I have started a program (that came highly recommended by one of the Nerds coworkers) to get in shape in 7 weeks. Which is kind of weird, as I am already in shape! Round is a shape! This program gives us specific tasks for 7 weeks, and this is supposed to get us into some sort of shape. I am hoping that my midsection ends up more concave than convex at the end of this ordeal. And ordeal it is; my muscles ache, my forehead and whole body is dripping with sweat, and I am wheezing and gasping for air, and it basically feels like my body is about to shut down! Still, I push through, and I just know I am going to end up with terrible muscular cramps in my legs and probably painful injuries – just like the last time I decided to start exercising.

15977979_10154567391256622_1262020767917715231_nYou see, health gurus all over the world claim that exercise is good for ya, and if you refrain from this then you will for sure die a slow and painful death. But exercise is like living a slow and painful life, and I can’t understand how that can be better??? My whole body is signaling that this trotting around the pond must stop, and aren’t we supposed to listen to our bodies? And it’s not just then, yanno, when I am exercising, my body objects. Oh no! It is objecting for days after! I’m sure I can’t possibly feel worse, not even after running a friggin marathon! My thighs hurt. My arms hurt. My butt hurts. My belly hurts. The only part of my body that is not in pain is my hair! Because hair is already dead!

Okay, I chose to start up with this, I could have chosen an exercise that was lower impact and less subjected to the natural elements. But to my defense – I didn’t. Thing is, I like being outdoors, and I like activities in which I can include my dog. For instance – I love hiking and going on walks. I enjoy packing my backpack with picnic food and a thermos of coffee and hang the cam around my neck and go for a walk and take in the scenery while the dog is trotting back and forth sniffing tree trunks and big rocks and is having a grand time. But this is not exercise – I don’t even break a sweat when I do that, as I stop and take pictures, I take coffee breaks, I find somewhere to sit and just take in the nature, just to see, to feel, to be. And the crappy weather? Pfth! I’m Norwegian and I wholeheartedly believe that there is no bad weather, only bad clothing!20150319_125332_005-001

Do I really have anything to complain about? After all, I was the one who chose to quit smoking, and I knew damn well that I would gain weight. I am also the one that chose to start exercising, and I chose in what way I exercise. I am also the one choosing to stick with it, so do I really have anything to complain about? Hell yeah, I do! You see, the genius that made the program I am following, have attempted to come off as positive and motivational, and I would normally appreciate that. In this case, however, it’s painfully stupid:

How can anyone call a 30-minute jog for a “FUNRUN” Serious!!! It is no fun to feel your whole body shutting down, everything hurts, and the wet snow whipping your face feels somewhat acceptable because it cools your overheated face!

Or how about calling the intervals of high intensity runs a “HEALH BOOSTER”? I’m no MD, but I am certain that repeatedly feeling like you are about to die is not the type of health you would want to boost.

Then you have this beautiful little term, the “ENERGY BOOSTER”.  This exercise should be renamed to ENERGY BUSTER, as I do not, at any point before, during or after the exercise, feel like I have boosted my energy. Nope, I feel completely drained of energy. Come on, this is not magic, perpetual motion has always been, and will always be, impossible!

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Despite feeling like I am about to die 3 times a week, and an everlasting pain and soreness in every single muscle and fiber of my body, I will carry on, no matter the weather. After this 7 weeks-program, I will continue for the next 7 weeks. And I hope that by that time, I have started to enjoy it, and might even start to call a 30 minute jog a “FUNRUN”. And if I do, you can bet your sweet little tush that I will be sadistic enough to recommend to my less fit friends that they go for a FUNRUN!

Coupon much?


It is not that often that Old Mamasan is watching the «stupid-box», as I am more of a streaming-service fan. But there is one show that has caught my eye for some time now: Extreme Couponing.  This whole concept is quite foreign to me, the fine art of couponing is not possible in Norway or Denmark to the same extent as it is showcased in the TV-show from the USA.

In the episode I saw today, three expert couponers were flown to Las Vegas to participate in a contest.  I do realize that what the contenders did there is not normal practice for couponers in general – as the winner walked out of the store with 14 carts full of products. The retail value was 6358 USD, and he got it all for free. Say what? Yes, FOR FREE! This is absolutely nuts!

I see that the couponers get products that they don’t need/like/use, because the coupon will give an “overage” (is that even a word?) – meaning that an item on sale might cost less than the value of the coupon, and the prize difference will somehow be payd out to the customer, often in the form of store credit. This money can then go towards items that you do not have a coupon for, so the coupons actually pay for your apples. The products that they don’t need/want/use can then be donated to charity. I am all for that! Actually it sounds like a sweet melody in my ears!

I also notice that some of these extreme couponers have to add on to their house, kick the hubby out of the garage, build sheds in the garden etc. to store all their free and/or dirt cheap products. Now, to me that is taking it a tad far. Why would you want to store 3000 bars of soap? “Stock up when it’s free”, they say – and I get that. But that does not explain the excess. Give it away! Give the excess to friends, neighbors, homeless shelters, whatever!

I am so intrigued by the concept of couponing that given the chance, I am sure I would hit the floor running and it would definitely turn into a sport for me (mind you – I do draw the line at dumpster-diving). I would learn this in a jiffy! I now have to convince Sir Nerdalot that we need to move to the states for a couple of years, to a state that allows doubling of coupons. I just have to do my research and find the most coupon-friendly states. (And I do hope Alaska, Hawaii, and the New England states are coupon-friendly)

How’s that for a life goal for ya – relocate to a different continent to coupon? That’s a good a reason as any, don’t you think? (Unless Trump wins the election, then he can keep both the country and the coupons!)

Clip ya later!

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Brexit Tea


Welcome to yet another #WeekendCoffeeShare! Today I am welcoming you to Brexit Tea (Formally known as High Tea) – and I stray from the purely joke-part of my weekly Saturday feature. I might be able to sneak in a joke though.

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If we were having Brexit Tea, you might have noticed that some of you only got hot water. Those of you who got only hot water have one thing in common: you are Britons. I would like to welcome all you Britons to a tasting of next month’s flavor (or prophecy, if you prefer) – Hot Water! By voting for the Brexit, you cancelled out each and every commercial agreement you have! No more imports for you!
I know you Britons enjoy your coffee, and you also enjoy your tea. Your High Tea will now be reduced to High Hot Water, as both coffee and tea are imports. And no. You cannot sweeten the deal with a spoonful of sugar. Nor lemon. Nope. All imports. You can have milk in your hot water though. You are welcome!
Sure, you can sit there and suck on your red currants and rhubarb, that’s absolutely fine. But don’t you think they leave a sour taste in your mouth now that you have no sugar to sweeten them with?
FB_IMG_1439578712151If we were having Brexit Tea, I would remind you of the post I wrote yesterday: Britain, what did you just do?  where I admit to have been taken completely by surprise by the Brexit vote. I also question whether the EU will meet you in your attempt to being elegant in your Brexit-endeavor. Turns out – I was correct to question just that. The EU has basically put the UK in the waiting room until you make a speedy decision. You are not welcome in the decisionmaking process within the EU until you make up your mind. You are actually already out! You are too chaotic, and too unstable to be trusted with a EU vote at the moment. None of this waiting til October-bullshit. You have to decide whether or not to invoke article 50 damn fast! And by doing so – you have two years to figure out some way to deal with the EU – all from the waiting room, and when those two years are up, whether you have come to an agreement you can live with or not – you are OUT for real! Not just out in the hallway – or in the waitingroom. Out! Out in the cold. Alone. And this is what you wanted? Really?
Am I exaggerating? Possibly. Of course UK can negotiate new commercial agreements. Sure. But this takes time – and one very important little detail you have forgotten: YOU HAVE JUST MADE YOURSELF A LESS DESIRABLE BUSINESSPARTNER! Because you have just proven yourself to be selfish, not a team player, chaotic, irrational and not trustworthy. Why would I risk my investments to such an unstable country? Sure I’ll sell you my tea and sugar – but it’s fucking gonna cost you! And your pounds aren’t worth much these days, so the prices will be astronomical for the regular consumer purcasing tea and lemon in the supermarket. This is what you voted for! On the up side: you don’t have to worry about Lithuanians, Latvians and Hungarians coming to take the jobs you don’t want in the first place. Good on ‘ya!
FB_IMG_1436123568334If we were having Brexit Tea, we would note that Europhobes, Islamaphobes and Racists are asking for referendums in France and Belgium. Well, they seem to be as short-sighted as the Britons. Hopefully they have Government leaders with just a tad higher IQ scores then the Europhobes, Islamaphobes and Racists. Europhobia, Islamaphobia and Racism are populist topics. It is the favor of the month. That’s it. To cast your vote out of populist propaganda and fear – is not smart. It’s actually really, really stupid.

 

The rest of EU getting in on the flavor of the month, with absolutely no consideration of the next month’s somewhat bland flavor – hot water – is not a pretty sight. I am very confident when I say that there will be no:

  • 1-13549217_1847166298837241_968068870_oGrexit
  • Departugal
  • Italeave
  • Ditchland
  • Donemark
  • Rungary
  • Czechout
  • Byegaria
  • Outstria
  • Finnish
  • Byegium
  • Sweyoulater
  • Etc

But then again: I was wrong about the Brexit!

 

12049160_10153519238741622_363953617073661685_nIf the free movement of people is the problem, then it is better to work INSIDE the system to change the EU, rather than throwing all the toys out of the sandbox and throw a tantrum. Cuz that is what the UK is doing – it is throwing a temper tantrum. And they are shooting themselves in the foot!
If we were having Brexit Tea, I would ask the Britons if you have any idea of the work you have ahead? You have 43 years of laws that you have to look into, make adjustments to, change as a whole or leave as is. Do you comprehend the man-hours and costs this will tally up to? I dare say, Old Chap – you have no idea what you just did by casting your vote the way that you did. By throwing a temper tantrum.

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Actually, it is the old geezers in England and Wales who are throwing this tantrum. They were the ones who voted to leave. They are throwing their own kids and grandkids under the bus. Not a very likeable trait – and a polarizing one. Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay. What choice do they have?

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Northern Ireland could leave the UK, and possibly cozy up with Ireland. The problem there is that they cannot live together. Because in Northern Ireland they believe in God. This does not sit well with the Irish – because the Irish believe in God. Both are too friggin stupid to realize that they believe in the SAME GOD! Seriously, people! Grow. The. Fuck. Up!
Scotland just voted to stay in the UK, and then 63% of the votes on the Brexit were in favor of staying in the EU. Scotland now has good reason to reevaluate their decision to stay in the UK. Scotland is a country in a union in a union. Sure, Scotland can choose to leave one union and seek to keep UK’s place in the EU. I don’t know if that is going to work, but I would hope my plaid clad friends would succeed in that endeavor. Of course then there would have to be put in place some sort of border control between England and Scotland – as Scotland would be in the Union while England would be out. A fence! Of course this is doable, but costly. What would cause a bigger headache is the oil and gas. Scotland has the resources, but the offices are mainly in England. I think this was one of the reasons the Scots voted to stay in the UK – just the hassle of moving the headquarters back to Scotland. Of course, with the Brexit, it might now be worthwhile.
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England and Whales would then sit there – with their Brexit tea – and no oil. Now, that’s gonna suck big time! Now they are even less desirable as a commercial partner. And Gibraltar (whom voted to stay in the EU with a whopping 95.9%)? Absorbed by Spain I guess.

 

Britain – I will ask you again; what did you just do? Is this really what you want? ARE YOU FUCKING SURE? All this just to keep the southern and eastern Europeans out? You better fucking make up your mind pretty damn fast – because EU won’t wait!

 

Britain – you have made a fucking mess! You clean this shit up, and fast! You broke it – you fix it!

And Prime Minister David Cameron: Start doing what you are being paid the big bucks to do: LEAD THE FUCKING UK! Do not run and hide with the tail between your legs because your win on a populist vote backfired on you!

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If we were having Brexit Tea, I would mention Donald Trump. Just the mere mention of his name should have you in stitches! Because we all know that The Donald is a fucking JOKE!
Just when you think this asswipe (The Donald) can’t possibly get any stupider, he goes and does it again – setting an all-time low of stupid:

Tromp Brexit

As Lili Allen pointed out to him; Scotland voted IN. They voted STAY in the EU. They voted NO to Brexit. This joker does not understand that Scotland is a country in a union in a union. For the Scots to “take back their country”, they have to leave both the UK and the EU. Now that they are pretty fucking clear about not wanting the Brexit (63% of the vote), they might want to look into if the Union with England and Wales are in their best interest – as briefly discussed earlier on in this post.

 

FB_IMG_1435131202247Also Trumpty-Dumpty (and I am fighting the urge to call him a clown – as that would be a great insult – to the clowns!) is actually saying something very unexpected here: He is talking about UK taking their country back – and that the Americans will take their country back. He is saying that a state leaving a union is a good thing! Did any of you catch that? That means breaking up the USA into individual, sovereign states! This is what he is actually saying! Who will be the first state to break free? California? Or Texas? Or how about the southern states breaking free and forming their own union? And then you have it going all over again, don’t you? History repeating! Good on ‘ya! Dumbass! The Donald is no longer running for Presidency of USA – he’s running for Presidency of the State of New York*! 

*New York because that is where he is from. If the USA no longer excists, and he wants to be President, then his home state would be the only state he could run for presidency in. (He already is President of the Great State of Confusion)

Seriously, Trump; Go read a fucking book! Start with children’s books and work your way up. You have a great deal of learning to do before you can run a country.

To my American friends who are considering wasting your votes on this amoeba: Do you really want this person to represent your country? To represent YOU? The rest of the world LAUGHS at the Donald. He’s a fucking JOKE! Do YOU want to be represented by a JOKE?


Care to join us at the #WeekendCoffeeShare ? Then go to  Parttime Monster Blog and join the link up!

Want to see my previous contributions to the #WeekendCoffeeShare? They are funny, I promise:

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Trouble is my middle name

We should not sleep away the summer night

Diet much?

Wolf Whistle much?

An eggy conundrum

Happy Mother’s Day!

#WeekendCoffeeShare

Nice to meet you

Coffee and taxes

read my blog

 

Britain, what did you just do?


I have to say that the result of the Brexit-vote came as a surprise on Old Mamasan. I really did not see that one coming. I was certain that the “stay” side would win. I was wrong. The question is “What now?”

(What is Brexit? It is a term for UK leaving the EU, a blend of “British” and “Exit”)

UK Prime Minister David Cameron and various MP’s have talked calmly about negotiations and finding good and elegant solutions all morning. And there is no doubt in my heart that that is what they will attempt to do.

 

 

But – there are 27 other countries on EU’s member list, so an elegant negotiation is certainly not guaranteed, and that both EU and UK will be happy with the terms and conditions in the end is highly doubtful. The other EU members are:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden

It should be clear to everyone that this list of countries represent a multitude of cultures, politics, ethics, history and economy, and to find a one cure to benefit them all must be near impossible. Some of these countries will be disgruntled. Toes will be stepped on. Perhaps that is why the vote resulted as it did in the first place?

Does the UK know what they just did? Nope. No one does. What effect will this vote have for the UK, for the EU, for the EEC and for the rest of the world? We don’t know. Will be an interesting voyage to follow.

Got to hand it to David Cameron though: this is Democracy. The people were given a choice. And the people are heard. The Brexit is on.

 

 

Recline much?


Ok, folks. We have to have the talk about reclining your aircraft seat. Yes, this is happening!

Now that summer vaccy is starting for many, there seem to be a lot of pissy comments around the Inter-Web about inconsiderate, stupid, rude people invading all the friggin’ space of the passenger behind them by fully reclining their seats.

Guess what? *drumroll* I am an inconsiderate, stupid, rude person who invade all the friggin’ space of the passenger behind me! My name is Old Mamasan, and I am inclined to recline. And I will stay reclined for the duration of the flight. Of course – not during take-off and landing, and also not during mealtime. I will also not slam the seat back with full force; I am actually considerate enough to recline slowly – giving you ample time to remove your knees from the back of my seat. I will even alert you that my seat is a-coming your way by turning around and have a wee look at you – as this is the international sign of commencement of seat reclining. I might even tell you in words, that my seat will now be reclined. And no, that is not a question. It is simply a warning so you can hold on to your wine while said seat is being reclined.

Do you have a problem with that? Then you should do your homework before getting on the flight. There are seats in every plane where you don’t have to get anyone reclining into your lap. Look it up, and take the necessary action to secure such a seat. It often involves some kind of payment. Don’t want to take the needed action? Well, I guess that makes you S.O.L. – ‘cuz my seat is coming back!

There is a multitude of reasons why we inconsiderates are reclining our seats, both medical and simply out of comfort. Or how about this one: the airline put reclinable seats in the cabin – what other reasons would one need? And here’s the thing; unless you are seated on the back row or the row immediately in front of emergency exits (and variations does exist, so you better do your homework) – you can also recline your seat, and thus restore your personal space. Up to you, Dingbat!

Don’t wanna make that choice? OK, travel with Ryanair, or one of the other shitty cheapo airlines that has put in fixed seats throughout the cabin. Problem solved. You are welcome!

(Of course, travelling with cheapo airlines opens up a whole other set of problems, but at least you won’t have me reclining in your lap, as I will never be your companion on Cheapo Air!)

 

 

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It’s my birthday! (Toolbox talk to self)


1-13412918_10153998366711622_2330988250306413740_nYup, Old Mamasan turns 44 today. That’s old enough to know better and young enough to do it anyway.

Facebook is overflowing with best wishes for my b-day, and I love it. The Norwegian recipe for potato salad that I posted today is running high in the statistics, as I knew it would; Norwegians love food! My boys are taking me out for some fine dining tonight. The phone is ringing off the hook with family and friends wishing me happy b-day.

And I love it! I love the attention! And that should be enough, really. But no. This is my b-day, and if I want to diverge from my regular posting schedule, then I will. And if I want to ramble, then I will. I actually am going to treat myself to this one post that might not fit into my other content all that well. It’s about me doing something for myself. It’s about self-love! (I honestly believe that more people should do something for themselves more often, I believe that would heighten the general happiness-level in the world!)

1-13435388_10153998364971622_4411160549827707725_nAs those of you who have read my blog are aware; I have a Nerd, I call him Sir Nerdalot. Because he Nerds. A lot. Part of being a Nerd, besides shooting things in the face on the computer, is usually intelligence. Don’t get me wrong, a Nerd can be dumb as a friggin’ brick on some topics, but they are usually very, very smart on topics that interest them. My Nerd is doing really well in his area of expertise, and he is going for it! And I support him. I admire people who dare to take a chance, who dare to pursue a dream. My Nerd is a true inspiration to me. (And he’s handsome to boot! SCORE!)

I have, partly through feedback from this blog, partly from Sir Nerdalot and real-life friends, had so many confirmations that I can write that I am actually starting to believe it. So why settle for a stupid blog, when it is a book that I want to write?

Not that I know anything about the fine art of book-writing. But I’m not gonna let that stop me. What I don’t know, I can find out. I also do not know what this book will be about, or what genre, but that’s irrelevant. All I know is that deep down inside of me, there is a book that needs to be released through my fingers. I’ll just have to sit down and write. “Just do it” like Nike says. Or to quote a great athlete who recently passed away:

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

– Mohammad Ali

Having worked for the travel industry and later the oil and gas industry (both on- and offshore) it’s quite embedded in me not to take risks. Not to mention having lived for 8+ years in a rather hostile environment at Svalbard where polar bears roam the streets and weather can go from bad to catastrophic in less than 2 seconds. Play it safe and stay alive.

But we are not talking about that kind of risk, are we? Let’s analyze, what are the risks I am facing in writing a book? Yup, let’s do the Toolbox Talk:

  • Writing a shitty book. Well even a shitty book is a book, and my goal would have been reached. The next book just has to be less shitty!
  • Not finishing. Well that would be a problem for my self-esteem. But there might still be an opportunity for a lesson-learned in that. Not finishing one book does not mean that there will not be a next book – a book that will be finished.
  • Neglecting the blog. Not likely. I’m too much of an attention whore to neglect this fine venue of attention. I might decide to cut back a tiny bit, at least for a period, but not anywhere near the point of neglecting.
  • Not getting published. Then I self-publish! Unless it’s a shitty book. Then I won’t.
  • Giving in to fear of failure and not even start. And that is where I have been up til now. Totally unacceptable!

Conclusion: Seems to me that I have nothing to fear but fear itself. And we can’t have that, now, can we? Fact is, people write books all the time! So why can’t I? The Bloggess has done it.  Meg Sorick has done it. Now, Old Mamasan will do it! I want to be my own Superhero.

I will end this ramble now, content in knowing that a decision has been made. I will wish myself a Happy Birthday and repeat my inspirational mantra (two simple words that might not look as all that, but holds immense meaning for me):

ROCK ON!

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Iceland much? Fire Giants and Hellmouths


One way to get a really good overview of Icelandic landscape is by chartering a small plane to show us more of Iceland from the sky. Most photos by me, and two photos by my good friend Svein Nordahl – as stated on the pictures.

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I have in several previous posts covered a lot of the special geological conditions that Iceland offers, but I don’t see how I can write a series from Iceland and not mention volcanic eruptions. We were lucky to get a really good view of some volcanos from the plane.

Let’s (once again) turn to my beloved Wikipedia:

“A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and gases to escape from a magma chamber below the surface.

Earth’s volcanoes occur because its crust is broken into 17 major, rigid tectonic plates that float on a hotter, softer layer in its mantle. Therefore, on Earth, volcanoes are generally found where tectonic plates are diverging or converging. For example, a mid-oceanic ridge, such as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, has volcanoes caused by divergent tectonic plates pulling apart; the Pacific Ring of Fire has volcanoes caused by convergent tectonic plates coming together. Volcanoes can also form where there is stretching and thinning of the crust’s interior plates, e.g., in the East African Rift and the Wells Gray-Clearwater volcanic field and Rio Grande Rift in North America. This type of volcanism falls under the umbrella of “plate hypothesis” volcanism. Volcanism away from plate boundaries has also been explained as mantle plumes. These so-called “hotspots”, for example Hawaii, are postulated to arise from upwelling diapirs with magma from the core–mantle boundary, 3,000 km deep in the Earth. Volcanoes are usually not created where two tectonic plates slide past one another.

Erupting volcanoes can pose many hazards, not only in the immediate vicinity of the eruption. One such hazard is that volcanic ash can be a threat to aircraft, in particular those with jet engines where ash particles can be melted by the high operating temperature; the melted particles then adhere to the turbine blades and alter their shape, disrupting the operation of the turbine. Large eruptions can affect temperature as ash and droplets of sulfuric acid obscure the sun and cool the Earth’s lower atmosphere (or troposphere); however, they also absorb heat radiated up from the Earth, thereby warming the upper atmosphere (or stratosphere). Historically, so-called volcanic winters have caused catastrophic famines.”

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OK, that was a (not so short) explanation of volcanoes from the scientific angle. But say you were a Viking fleeing the terror and killings of Harald Hårfagre (Fair hair) in Norway some thousand years ago, and when arriving in Iceland you see volcanoes for the first time. You have never seen them before. Never heard of them. How will you explain this to yourself and others? You can’t just pitch an idea about tectonic plates, because that is nonexistent in your knowledge base. There are lots of mythological and legend based explanations around the world for the phenomena of volcanoes, and if you were a Viking, chances are you’d connect it with Norse Mythology.

The Norse god Loki was tied up underneath the earth and a poisonous snake would drip venom in his face. When Loki shuddered from the pain, he would create earthquakes (earthquakes are common before eruptions)

The eruption itself is the fire giant Surtr emerging from the ground. Now, you do not want to cross paths with this badboy! Surtr will be a major figure in the events of Ragnarök where his flames will engulf the Earth (basically the end of the world, from which the world will resurface anew and fertile, to be repopulated and rebuildt.)

There are also local legends connected with some of the volcanoes in Iceland, often involving witchcraft – and magic underwear!

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Christians has a tendency to view volcanoes as portals to hell, and that the souls of the condemned travels through volcanoes to reach their final destination.

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There are scientific technologies in place today to foresee volcanic eruptions, and measures are being taken to protect lives when they erupt. So don’t let fear stop you from visiting this fantastic island.

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One more post in this series coming up – from Blue Lagoon. You do not want to miss that post, so check back tomorrow 🙂

Elemental