Tag Archives: Reykjavik

Icelandic Engineers Having Fun

How do Icelandic engineers have fun?


They make street art. A Mohr’s Circle is a two-dimensional representation of stresses in materials.  Compare the representation of stresses above with the more technical one below.

Nice. Here’s Wikipedia’s explanation of just why one might do this:

Internal forces are produced between the particles of a deformable object, assumed as a continuum, as a reaction to applied external forces, i.e., either surface forces or body forces. This reaction follows from Euler’s laws of motion for a continuum, which are equivalent to Newton’s laws of motion for a particle. A measure of the intensity of these internal forces is called stress. Because the object is assumed as a continuum, these internal forces are distributed continuously within the volume of the object.

So, here’s the Icelandic version again:

Lots of permutations through stress there, all delightfully witty.

And why is the Icelandic version so much more accessible and, well, fun? Ah, that’s because Icelandic engineers are well-versed in the barbs of thought and look for any chance for them to go away.

I think that’s it.

The Fun of Fooling Yourself in Iceland

Sure, you can sneak up on a waterfall, but it can also sneak up on you.

Hey, it’s just as much fun as picking up cigarette butts in Reykjavik, eh.

Or fooling yourself into thinking you are sneaking up on a troll.

Or lying in wait for the sun, trying to look like a block of ice. Loads of fun, that.

And just try to sneak up on an Icelandic horse.


All together now!

Improvisation vs. Subsidization: Class Power, the Icelandic Way

Iceland has one of the highest divides between wealthy and poverty people in the world. One result is that private construction is improvised and not meant to last.

Frakkastigur, Reykjavik

While government construction is sturdy and maintained.

The Church at Borg

This is not new. Private, circa 1945:

Private, 2016:


Looking out from the Harpa Concert Hall over the New Harbour in Reykjavik

Well, OK, government-financed completion of failed rich man’s extravagance. That’s part of the picture, too.


Beach Wrack in Iceland Washes High Up On Shore

The sky cries tears in Iceland. Viennese waltzes warping in a banana box in a window, old hi-fi junk, and all the books of the world wash up on the shore otherwise called Hverfisgata.

Not much different than a knot of broken fishing nets and cast-off plastic knocking against the knees of kelp-eating sheep, really.