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Tag: Iceland

More Canadians Getting High; Peacocks Attacking Cars; Cross Country on a Unicycle; Japan is Shrinking; Meditation Saves a Life

Iceland is a gun-loving country with no shooting murders since 2007 – NBC News

A historic exodus is leaving Venezuela without teachers, doctors and electriciansWashington Post

Monique Richard, the first woman to summit Mount Logan in Yukon’s Kluane National Park, Canada’s highest mountain, solo, says her biggest fear came when she fell into a dangerously deep crevice. – Canadian Press

51 year old swimmer Benoit Lecomte sets off from Japan in a record Pacific crossing attempt. His planned destination is the U.S. west coast. It should take him about 6 months to complete. – BBC

  • If you are doubtful this is impossible, Lecomte previously swam the frigid Atlantic Ocean in 73 daysThe Independent // But that was 20 years ago, and that trip was some 2,400 kilometres shorter.

New report finds no evidence that having sex with robots is healthy – WSJ (paywall) // Did someone, anyone, really believe it was?

The death toll from Guatemala‘s volcano has climbed to 69 people as new explosion hampers rescue efforts – ABC News, CBC

A 23 year old Alberta student is attempting to cross Canada on a unicycle, and has so far made it over the Rockies. – CBC

Canadians are expected to be smoking, eating and vaping up to 35% more marijuana once cannabis is legalized – CBC // Will that make us even nicer?

Unintended benefit? Unlike alcohol, cannabis has no caloriesCBC

Apple copied Google Android, again, and unveiled new features in iOS 12 to reduce distractions, including Screen Time, Do Not Disturb at Bedtime, grouped notifications, and new parental controls – Apple // Or you could exercise a bit of self discipline, take back control of your life, and simply power it off at bedtime and when you don’t want to be disturbed.

The CEO of Aetna, an American health insurance company, was considering suicide before he found meditationQuartz

Japan’s shrinking population: A record low 946,000 children were born in 2017. Meanwhile deaths hit a post-war high of 1,340,433, resulting in a natural decrease of 394,373 people. – Japan Times

Feral peacocks are attacking vehicles in British Columbia, causing thousands of dollars in damages – CTV News

Heiða Guðný Ásgeirsdóttir, the sheep farmer who is fighting for her beautiful and remote corner of southern Iceland

BBC Travel:

When an Icelandic power company proposed plans in 2012 to build a hydroelectric station whose reservoir would cover much of her farm, she refused to sell her land and fought the proposal, despite fierce pressure from the company and other locals who wanted to sell for significant profit.

More:

Meet Heiða, the sheep farmer at the end of the world – People We Meet

Heiða Guðný Ásgeirsdóttir – Facebook video

 

Iceland is expected to use more energy mining bitcoin this year than it uses to power its homes

The “exponential” use of energy is obviously not sustainable.

Associated Press:

The energy demand has developed because of the soaring cost of producing and collecting virtual currencies. Computers are used to make the complex calculations that verify a running ledger of all the transactions in virtual currencies around the world.

In return, the miners claim a fraction of a coin not yet in circulation. In the case of bitcoin, a total of 21 million can be mined, leaving about 4.2 million left to create. As more bitcoin enter circulation, more powerful computers are needed to keep up with the calculations — and that means more energy.

More:

Bitcoin energy use in Iceland set to overtake homes, says local firm – Chris Baraniuk, BBC

In Iceland, bitcoin mining will soon use more energy than its residents – Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica

 

Here’s why Icelanders are super creative

Mike Krings-Kansas, Futurity:

The nation’s history of being isolated and independent for long stretches made creativity something of a necessity as well, the researchers note. Less-than-abundant natural resources forced Icelanders to learn skills such as making furniture from driftwood, and short growing seasons required them to be able to make food out of just about anything. Being a small country also has its advantages.

The common criticism against small communities that “everyone knows your business” applies in Iceland, but it also makes it easier for creative people to get noticed, and Icelandic openness allows young people to try new things without being severely criticized. Young musicians, filmmakers, and artists can be quickly discovered.

“Creative kids here in the United States tend to be looked at as a problem. But there, the idea of encouraging their children to be different is very common,” Kerr says. “And they’re not afraid of their child being different.”

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