Startup Iceland Explores Health and Personal Data in a Post-GDPR Digital Economy

The conference program will close on 1 June at Haskólinn Reykjavík with Startup Iceland’s renowned “office hours” style mentoring sessions, where attendees have the unique opportunity to meet one-to-one with the event speakers and other seasoned executives and influencers.  The international speakers will be joined by mentors, investors and entrepreneurs in the Icelandic business community such as Þorvarður Sveinsson, Executive Director, Vodafone Iceland, Svana Gunnarsdóttir, Partner, Frumtak Ventures; Einar Gunnar Guðmundsson, Corporate Entrepreneur, Arion Bank; Salóme Guðmundsdóttir, CEO, Icelandic Startups;  Freyr Hólm Ketilsson, CEO, Dattaca Labs; Dr. noncleared-maintext”> Startup Iceland, taking place in Reykjavik Iceland 31 May – 1 June 2017, will dive into the implications and opportunities of the impending Europe GDPR on personal data and digital health and what that may mean globally for digital companies and the people who use their services.  The program will feature speakers from Facebook, Union Square Ventures, Clue, SOS Ventures, Digi.me, SidekickHealth, Router Ventures, Plain Vanilla Games and Frumtak Ventures, among others.   Additionally, the winners of Stökkpallurinn and the 2017 class of Startup Reykjavik entrepreneurs will be announced on stage at the close of the day.   Iceland’s Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson will open the event’s speaker program at Harpa Conference […]

Watch prize-winning Icelandic movies at Reykjavik’s arthouse cinema

noncleared-maintext bigimgs-interleaved”> If you’re interested in Icelandic film, you should know that the latest prize-winning offerings of cinema in Iceland can be viewed at Bíó Paradís in central Reykjavik.  Bíó Paradís is a lovely, small and quaint cinema in downtown Reykjavik which offers a fantastic selection of arthouse films.  Here’s where you can catch award winning international films from all corners of the globe, cult classics, a good selection of quality children’s films and of course, Icelandic films.  Currently there are three Icelandic films showing at Bíó Paradís, the internationally acclaimed Heartstone, a coming of age story of an Icelandic boy, Of Horses and Men, a 2013 drama also set in the Icelandic countryside, and documentary Heima, which documents a series of impromptu gigs in Iceland of Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós in 2006.  Furthermore, Bíó Paradís offers a cosy café/ bar where you can enjoy a pre-movie drink and snacks.  For tickets and further info you can visit Bíó Paradís on their website HERE. 

Icelandic design store Kiosk reopens its doors

noncleared-maintext”> Kiosk is an absolutely must-stop for fashionistas travelling to Reykjavik, offering items from some of the most exciting young designers in Iceland. After having to close their boutique on Laugavegur earlier this year, a new one has just reopened on Ingólfsstræti in the city centre.  Eight places for fashionistas to visit in Reykjavik Kiosk was set up by several Icelandic designers in 2010 and has been voted “Best shop for Icelandic design” for six years in a row by the Reykjavik Grapevine.   Designer Eygló, one of the team who founded Kiosk was named fashion designer of the year at the last Grapevine design awards, with Milla Snorrason, another Kiosk designer named runner up. At Kiosk you’ll also find labels Kyrja and Helicopter although designer Hildur Yeoman, once part of Kiosk has now opened her own store on Skólavörðustígur.  As well as the gorgeous clothes available, Kiosk will now be offering jewellery from French label Justine Clenquet, British label Jessie Harris and Icelandic perfumed candles,  Angan.  The new boutique is located at Ingólfsstræti 6 and opens its doors on Saturday.

Over 200 new hotel rooms for Laugavegur this month

At no other time in history such a rapid change has been noted on Laugavegur, called the “hotelification of Laugavegur” by some.  The newest addition to the street is Sandhótel located next to the Sandholt bakery on Laugavegur 32b – 36. The hotel offers 53 rooms to begin with and another 13 later this year. The hotel takes over seven buildings on Laugavegur, one of them in a building where Iceland nobel laureate Halldór Laxness was born and you can see various touches within that pay homage to him.  Construction has been very noticable in Laugavegur in the past year. The hotel is luxurious and features paintings by renowned Icelandic artists in all its rooms. noncleared-maintext bigimgs-interleaved”> The new hotels opening on Reykjavik’s central shopping street, Laugavegur, means that over 200 new hotel rooms will be available in this popular shopping street. A new restaurant, Lauf, will be opening on the ground floor next week. Golli / Kjartan Þorbjörnsson

Massive queues and chaos at Iceland’s Costco yesterday

Huge queues were present throughout the day.  Brett Vig­elskas, managing director of Costco in Iceland says that despite the crowds, everything went well. He adds that when the store’s doors opened at 10 am, lots of customers were waiting in line.   According to a Morgunblaðið journalist, only customers with a trolley were let into thes store. However, there weren’t enough trolleys for everyone which meant that people were almost in ambush of the nearest person who had completed their shopping.  noncleared-maintext bigimgs-interleaved”> Thursday was a day off in Iceland with many apparently chosing to spend the day visiting the new Costco store in the outskirts of Reykjavik.

New English name for domestic flight company in Iceland faces criticism

The Icelandic tongue is in danger of extinction unless there is a concensus within our society to protect our language and its position.” In a press announcement from Air Iceland Connect (formerly Flugfélag Íslands) it states that there are several reasons for the name change including increased activities on the international market, an increase in tourists to Iceland, increased cooperation with Icelandair and simplified marketing as the two names, Flugfélag Íslands and Air Iceland were expensive and also sometimes caused confusion for passengers.  The Icelandic name has been dropped.  This decision has met with some furor amongst academics, including that of the Mímir society of students of Icelandic studies at the University of Iceland. It has been reported in media that the customers of  the flight company are mostly Icelanders so it is difficult to understand the purpose of the change of name. noncleared-maintext”> Iceland’s leading domestic flight company, Air Iceland which has until now been known as Flugfélag Íslands in Iceland, has received a new name, Air Iceland Connect. The society has sent a letter of complaint to the company where they state,;”Mímir believes that this sort of decision is a part of the attack of businesses in Iceland […]

Former PM of Iceland forms new progressive society

“Disagreements and a lack of unity are standing in the way of the party developing further and becoming a strong force within Icelandic society.” Asked whether why he didn’t simply put these ideas forward within the Progressive Party as an MP for the party he replied, “The situation within the party does not give me room to do so.  He says he’s not creating a new poltical party but that the society will probably develop with time.  But I hope that members of the progressive party will join the society and that it will help strengthen the grass roots within the party.” The new society will officially be founded on Saturday with a formal meeting.  noncleared-maintext”> Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, former PM and former leader of the Progressive Party who was implicated in the Panama Papers last year, has announced the founding of a new society called Framfarafélagið (The Progressive Society). I hope that political parties can however benefit from some of the ideas created there.”  He adds that he believes that the Progressive Party is damaged from the political turmoil within it in the past months.   The society will, according to Gunnlaugsson, draw in people from all areas of […]

Live karaoke night at Kex on Thursday

noncleared-maintext”>  Kex Hostel are celebrating summer by hosting a live karaoke tonight.  Anyone can register to sing with a live band of some very talented musicians,  Guðmundur Óskar Guðmundsson and Hjörtur Ingvi Jóhannsson from Hjaltalín, composer Aron Steinn Ásbjarnarson tónskáld, Þorvaldur Þór Þorvaldsson, drummer for Bloodgroup, and Sammi’s big band and Örn Eldjárn,  guitarist of Tilbury and Ylja.  The karaoke starts at 8 pm and guests can choose from 100 songs curated by Kex.  Celebrity guest singers will also be joining in.

Improved access at Iceland’ Gullfoss waterfall

noncleared-maintext”>  Tourists are now using the new staircase at Gulfoss, Iceland’s most famous waterfall and one of the country’s most popular tourist spots. “The older staircase was worn and in bad shape.” Although the staircase has been put into use, some work is still left with regards to the area around it.  Lárus Kjartansson at the agency says that the construction of the staircase was urgent. The new facilities were put up by the Iceland Environmental Agency to protect the area and improve safety.

Swan pair in Iceland adopt a couple of goslings

Birna Viðarsdóttir who lives nearby their usual nesting place reported this on her Facebook page. Speaking to mbl.is she says that she’s observed the pair for years as they always come back to the same nest at the same time. “He was so cute that I took him to this lady who lives in Hella and was raising other chicks, so he grew up there with her.” noncleared-maintext bigimgs-interleaved”> A swan pair in Mýrdalur, South East Iceland have adopted two goslings whom they are raising along with their two cygnets. It’s really nice.” She also tells mbl.is that last year, one cygnet got left behind as the pair moved on. “I saw the swans swimming on the pond with these four youngsters.

Iceland’s ice bathing champion beats record

Photo/Róbert Daníel Jónsson He sat in freezing cold, ice filled water for 20 minutes and 18 seconds and beat the Icelandic record in ice bathing. noncleared-maintext bigimgs-interleaved”> Vilhjálmur Andri Einarsson is the winner of the Icelandic ice bathing championship which took place in Blönduós, North Iceland yesterday.   Benedikt Lafleur was in second place with 17.21 seconds and the third, a Canadian of Icelandic origin who had never taken an ice bath before in third place, with 15.04 minutes.  Contestants in the ice water bathing contest.

New video from Iceland’s bad boys of music

The video was shot by Jökull Jónsson, Ragnar Sigurðsson and Daníel Rúnar Sölvason.  You can catch the Pink Street Boys live in Reykjavik on August 3rd at Bar Ananas.  When the man died, the chicken man became very sad and started drinking too much. Things then only took a turn for the worse, they dragged him into even more misery and he was forced to move into a gutter in Reykjavik.” The dramatic video was directed by the Pink Street Boys themselves and it was edited by Jónbjörn Birgisson, Alexander Jónsson and Grace Claiborn sem sáu um klippingu. noncleared-maintext bigimgs-interleaved”> Iceland’s loudest band, or so they claim, the Pink Street Boys have just released a new video to their song Wet, from their forthcoming album Sleazus due in September.  Singer and guitarist Axel Björnsson explains that the video is about the chicken man and his gutter friends. He was sent to Iceland when he met the Pink Street Boys. “He was born on the streets of Kentucky and was adopted by the man who invented KFC.

Iceland’s second oldest person: No key to longevity

 It’s just luck.” She added that she just hope to be able to stay in relatively good health for the remainder of her life and would like to wish all good things to all Icelanders in their lives.  She was born on May 24th, 1911, a few weeks before the University of Iceland was founded.  She was married to wholesaler Ólafur Þórðarson who died in 1977 and they had one son, Jón Þ.Ólafsson, athlete and office manager.  Among the many things Straumfjörð has experienced in her life are being infected with the Spanish flu in 1918, being one of the first guests to the glamorous Hótel Borg in 1930 and attending the Marlene Dietrich concert in Iceland in 1944 during Iceland’s US occupation in WW2.  Speaking to today’s Morgunblaðið Straumfjörð is asked about the key to longevity. But that’s rubbish of course. “I used to say that it’s because I don’t eat fruit or vegetables. There’s no key to longevity. Straumfjörð was born and raised in Reykjavik and worked for over forty years as a cashier for the state shipping company. noncleared-maintext”> Guðrún Straumfjörð is Iceland’s second oldest Icelander and is celebrating her 106th birthday today.

Icelandic children are the second fattest in Europe

 She points out that Icelanders need to look to Denmark to see how they can improve matters. This means that Icelandic parents are less obese than the Finns but more obese than all the other Nordic nations.  Icelandic children are the fattest in all of the Nordic countries. “I think we need to look at what the Danes are doing to improve diet, exercise and their concerns with marketing unhealthy foods.”  Magnúsdóttir adds that it’s important that children adopt a healthy lifestyle without focusing on how much they weigh. The most obese children in the world are in the US with Canadian children second.  The research was made in 2013- 2014 and also shows that Icelandic parents are just under the average figures of the OECD with regards to obesity. noncleared-maintext”> New figures from the OECD with regards to childhood obesity show that Icelandic children are the second fattest in Europe. A fifth of 15 year olds are overweight or obese in Iceland.  Greek children are the fattest in Europe with Icelandic children second. Nutritionist Anna Ragna Magnúsdóttir says speaking to Morgunblaðið that children leading unhealthy lifestyles are at increased risk of becoming diabetic, having high blood pressure, having a […]

Young Italian tourist dies in Iceland bike accident

“The man seems to have fallen of his bike as he was riding on Nesjavallavegur west of the Dyrafjöll mountains, and to have sustained severe head injuries. Today, police announced that he had died from his injuries.  Police also disclosed that he was an Italian tourist. Police would like to ask anyone who can provide informmation on the man’s journey on Nesjavallavegur to contact police by calling 444-2000 or via email to sudur­land@log­regl­an.is.”  noncleared-maintext”> A man in his twenties was found unconscious on the road leading to Nesjavellir in South Iceland yesterday.