Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fréttir - 2

1 January 2012
Newsletter #2


The Snorri program is a unique opportunity for young people 18-28 of Icelandic origin living in Canada and the United States, to discover their roots in a six-week summer program in Iceland. The application deadline is 22 January 2012.
The Snorri Plus Program is a two-week cultural program in August for those who are over 30. It is suitable for people of Icelandic descent and people who have true passion for Iceland.
The application deadline for Snorri Plus is 26 January 2012.
Visit for more information and an application.


Since 1919, the 'Icelandic National League of North America' has been meeting the needs of their members in many various ways, including local clubs where members can interact and participate with one another. Although the benefits of joining a local club are immeasurable, it has not been an option for members living outside the radius of local clubs. Realizing the needs of those members, the INL of NA has been exploring the benefits of technology to meet those needs, and are excited to announce the addition of a new, interactive, online club called the 'Icelandic Online Club.'
By creating an online club, the INL of NA feels this will allow members who are unable to participate in a local club due to their location, to be able to participate in an interactive online club, by using various methods of technology to meet the needs of its online members. Although this cannot replace the personal interaction provided by participating in a local club, it will allow those that were never able to participate, to benefit from being in an Icelandic club. The new online club will be a fully participating chapter of the INL of NA, members will have access to 'Icelandic National League' information, voting rights at the annual Convention, and inclusion in INL of NA projects.
The INL of NA will be launching the new interactive, 'Icelandic Online Club' December 31, 2011. For additional information on the club or how to join, go to . Help spread the word to others, or be one of the first to join the new online club! The club is available to all Icelanders, people of Icelandic decent, and people interested in all things Icelandic.


Mr. Gudmundur A. Stefansson, Ambassador of Iceland to the United States from 1 October 2011. Gudmundur was appointed Ambassador in the Icelandic Foreign Service on 1 September 2005. He served as Ambassador of Iceland to Sweden from 1 November 2005. He was Mayor of the Town of Hafnarfjördur 1986–1993


The Northern Lights exist in the outmost layer of the atmosphere. They are created by electrically charged particles that make the thin air shine, not unlike a fluorescent light. They can be seen in auroral belts that forms 20-25 degrees around the geomagnetic poles, both the north and the south. The Northern Lights, also called Aurora Borealis are one of the most spectacular shows on this earth and can frequently be seen in Iceland from September through April on clear and crisp nights. The Northern Lights occur high above the surface of the earth where the atmosphere has become extremely thin, in an altitude of 100-250km.
What causes this spectacular phenomenon, so characteristic of our northern lights in Iceland? Well, it's electricity that does it - and of course it all goes back to the sun. Tiny particles, protons and electrons caused by electronic storms on the sun (solar wind) are trapped in the earth's magnetic field and the begin to spiral back and forth along the magnetic lines of force - circle around the magnetic pole, so to speak. While rushing around endlessly in their magnetic trap, some particles escape into the earth's atmosphere. They begin to hit molecules in the atmosphere and these impacts cause the molecules to glow, thus creating the auroras.

White and green are usually the dominant colors but sometimes there are considerable color variations, as the pressure and composition of the atmosphere varies at different altitudes. At extremely high altitudes where the pressure is low, there tends to be a reddish glow produced by oxygen molecules when they are struck by the tiny particles of the solar wind. At lower altitudes, where there is higher pressure, their impact-irritated oxygen molecules may glow with a greenish tinge and sometimes there is a reddish lower border created by particles colliding with nitrogen molecules in the immediate vicinity.
The phenomenon is easily explained by modern science. What our ancestors may have thought when they gazed into the brightly-lit winter sky is quite another matter. But by all means don't let any scientific explanation spoil your appreciation of the beauty of the Northern Lights. They are a truly impressive spectacle, whatever their cause.
This year the Northern Lights in Iceland are predicted to more visible than most years. Generally, the period between November and April are the best months to see the Northern lights. Iceland Travel offers various northern lights tours, both shorter packages which include different activities, as well as day tours with the sole purpose to see the spectacular Aurora Borealis.


GUÐRÚN JÓNSDÓTTIR (Gudrun Jonsdottir) was born 3 January 1859 in Vestmannaeyjar, the daughter of Jon Erlendsson, born on 19 July 1834, died 18 March 1898; and Margret Arnadottir, born 6 June 1837, died 28 July 1921. Gudrun married Jakob Bjornsson, born 22 November 1861.
Gudrun and Jakob immigrated to Utah in 1892 with their daughter Johanna Jakobsdottir, born in 1892. Jakob built a nice home in Spanish Fork, Utah, were his family lived. Gudrun and Jakob had four other children, all born in Spanish Fork, Utah: Jacob Jonathan Bearnson (1894-1915), Elnora Groa Christine Bearnson (1898-1963), Robena Bearnson (1902-1902), and Robert Ingersol Bearnson (1903-1951). Gudrun died 14 February 1942 and is buried in the Spanish Fork City Cemetery. In Utah she was known as Gudrun E. Bearnson.

David A. Ashby