miðvikudagur, apríl 05, 2006

from the almanak

For bondadagur E picked me up a copy of Almanak fyrir Ísland 2006. It makes engrossing reading, jam-packed as it is with tide tables and sunrise-sunset times. Both of those are interesting to us, as the lengthening of the days in early January is practically a matter of obsession, and the tides affect how much water comes spraying over the sea-wall below our windows on a windy day. But there's a lot in there besides.

This morning I was thumbing through the trusty green tome when I found at the end a table of the world's countries, capitals, and time zones. Pretty standard stuff. But in addition, the table tells country sizes (both land area and population) relative to the Land itself. (That's Iceland, for you new readers.)

For example, we have Holland (Netherlands) at 0.4 the size, but 56 times the population. And Tékkland (Czech Republic) at 0.8 the size but 35 times the population. Suður-Kórea (South Korea) is the same size but has 166 times the people. Then the Big Gorilla, Bandaríkin (the United States) is around 94 times bigger, but with 1001 times as many people. I guess when the vast interior of your country is actually habitable you can pack in a lot more dudes.

9 Comments:

Blogger ECS said...

how about the way the almanac marks the the official days to fly the Icelandic flag? It reminds me of our next-door neighbor at the old place, ceremoniously raising his ice-flag in his tidy yard on sautján júní. I wonder if he did raise for any of the other days, like the prez's birthday. Maybe we should buy him a copy so he's down with the latest flag protocol.

5.4.06  
Blogger JB said...

Ooops, there goes my follow-up post idea. :-)

It's true, the almanac marks some days as "flag days" (fánadagar) and on these days, the Icelandic flag should be flown.

Independence Day, or the 17th of June, is one of those days. But also the birthday of our president, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, on May 14th. Also sjómannadagurinn (Sailor's Day) and a smattering of religious days count as flag days. But months pass by in the calendar without any flag days at all. I like the idea of having certain special days for flag display.

5.4.06  
Blogger ECS said...

woo hoo! Sjómannadagurinn. That's one of my favorite ice-holidays. I hope I can ride on a boat again this year, and maybe we should consider picking up a big flag to fly from the balcony. That'd be pretty sweet.

5.4.06  
Blogger JB said...

I just did my own comparison between the Land and my home state of Massachusetts. Mass is 0.2 times as big as Iceland, but packs in 21 times more dudes. That's a lot of people saying, "Make a right-hand turn aftah the next settalights, just peeast the Dunkins."

5.4.06  
Anonymous Nafnlaus said...

Hi, Fánadagar are the days when the flag sould be flown on official building etc, private individuals that own flags can use them whenever they choose as long as they conform to the law (as regards daylight hours etc.)
17th of june is not Independence day, it is the Day of the republic, 1 dec is the independence day (Iceland became independant on 1 dec 1918 as a kingdom, the republic was created in 1944.

5.4.06  
Blogger JB said...

OK, thanks for the correction, nafnlaus hugleysingi. :-)

I knew that Lýðveldisdagurinn meant "Day of the Republic", I was just trying to put it in more American terms. I had forgotten that there was a wholly separate Independence Day. Now I'll never pass my Icelandic civics test.

5.4.06  
Blogger Pétur said...

My comment's a bit off-topic, but anyway...
I was just reading some of your old posts, including the one where you descbribe last year's Sjómannadagur and the riding on the boat Sæbjörg. In another old post you talk about driving to Akranes and how it used to be before they opened the tunnel under Hvalfjörður. Then someone asks if there wasn't a ferry, and you reply that you think there was. That's actually true - and you've already been on it - it's now called Sæbjörg - but this ship used to be called Akraborgin, and sailed between Reykjavík and Akranes. Then, when the tunnel opened back in '98, there was no use anymore for a ferry, so they turned it into a training vessel for sailors!
Photo: http://www.myndabanki.is/akranes/picture2.asp?ID=7800

5.4.06  
Anonymous SB said...

You also should always put your flag out on May 1st
That's the MOST important day of the year and chant the 'internationallinn'

:D

6.4.06  
Blogger JB said...

I prefer the bizarro American early-September Labor Day.

6.4.06  

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