The Icelandic Pirate Party has won three seats in its national Parliament in the Pirates' best-ever showing on the world stage. They form a small part of the opposition to the "center-right" Independence Party (Americans, please note that the Independence Party would be considered socialists by present US mainstream political standards). One of the new Pirate parliamentarians is Birgitta Jónsdóttir, the Icelandic MP who volunteered for, and campaigned for Wikileaks. The Icelandic Pirate Party is only
five nine months old!
The three new Icelandic lawmakers include Jón Þór Ólafsson, a business administration student at the University of Iceland; Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson, a computer programmer; and Birgitta Jónsdóttir, a well-known WikiLeaks volunteer and former member of parliament from 2009 to 2013.
Birgitta is also one of three activists involved in a WikiLeaks investigation currently underway in the United States. In November 2011, a district court judge found that prosecutors could compel Twitter to give up specific information on the three accounts, including IP addresses, direct messages, and other data. In January 2013, a federal appeals court in Virginia ruled (PDF) that Birgitta and the two others have no right to find out which other companies the government sought information from besides Twitter.
The trio, along with other members of Iceland’s digerati (including Smári McCarthy, who also is one of the organizers of the International Modern Media Initiative), founded the party just five months ago.
Pirate Party wins 3 seats in Icelandic parliament for its best result worldwide [Cyrus Farivar/Ars Technica]
Boing Boing is proud to present an exclusive debut: the video for Björk's "Thunderbolt," from her new album, Biophilia.
Björk tells us:
Am playing live shows in reykjavik at the moment. Here comes a recording of thunderbolt live. Please please, do me a favour and use headphones or proper speakers when you listen.
You can buy the new record here. Tour dates here.
VIDEO CREDITS: Director: thirtytwo. Producer: Dan Bowen. Production Company: Pulse Films.
(Editor's Note: The record label has geo-blocked the video. They explain that this is because they do not have worldwide rights to the content. This is a bummer. Depending on where you are in the world, you may have problems viewing. We apologize. There are crafty workarounds.—XJ)
According to this report in the Iceland Review, Terry Gunnell, associate folklore professor at the University of Iceland, has surveyed Icelanders and discovered a large number who believe in elves and ghosts (and a larger number who wouldn't rule them out).
Only 13 percent of participants in the study said it is impossible that elves exist, 19 percent found it unlikely, 37 percent said elves possibly exist, 17 percent found their existence likely and eight percent definite. Five percent did not have an opinion on the existence of elves.
More admitted to believing in ghosts. Only seven percent said their existence was impossible, 16 percent unlikely, 41 percent possible, 18 percent likely and 13 percent definite. Four percent had no opinion on the existence of ghosts.
I can't locate the research (here's the researcher's website
), and I'm not sure how that compares to other western societies, though I believe it to be higher than US, UK and Canadian beliefs in supernatural phenomena (apart from those incorporated into Abrahamic religions) (oh, and homeopathy).
Iceland Still Believes in Elves and Ghosts