FREAK-est Links

This week: Why life expectancy for women is decreasing in some parts of the U.S. Iceland crowdsources its new constitution. How brain scans of teenagers can predict future pop hits, and may even be able to determine whether they'll grow up to be a criminal.

Elf Problems

| You might have learned about the hidden elves of Iceland if you read the Michael Lewis article we blogged about recently. (Note: for Icelandic pushback to Lewis’s colorful tales, see here.) The Icelandic government apparently takes these elves very seriously, and often requires that new construction sites be certified as clear of elves before […]

What Do Fishermen and Investment Bankers Have in Common?

Icelanders love taking insane risks. In 1973, when a volcanic eruption threatened to wipe out a town on the island of Heimaey, they bet they could stop the lava flow by shooting it with millions of gallons of frigid Icelandic sea water. Unbelievably, they won. Nobody in human history had beaten a volcano before, and […]

How Iceland Went From Blood Feuds to Geothermal

The other day, we brought you a guest post by Nathan Myhrvold that chronicled his recent trip to Iceland. Here, as promised, is the next installment, equally fascinating, with equally stunning photographs. What is Myhrvold exactly? As he admits himself, it’s hard to say — but in this TED talk he does a good job […]

Iceland Rocks: Or, How Is Eating Whale Like Voting for President? A Guest Post

It doesn’t seem fair that one person can be so good at so many things. Nathan Myhrvold is one such person. He is probably still best known as the former chief technology officer of Microsoft. These days, he runs an invention company and spends his free time digging up dinosaur bones, experimenting with old and […]