Iceland by the numbers

After reading Brenda Yun‘s piece on Iceland (the most recent Photo of the Day), memories of the Blue Lagoon‘s warm waters rushed back to me … as it did yesterday, when I saw Slate’s coverage of the country’s economic collapse. When I came home from Iceland back in June, I joked that its population was roughly the size of my neighborhood’s. Thanks to Slate, I have confirmation. Thanks to Nathan Heller, I can now say with confidence that Iceland’s population of 313,000 is slightly less than that of Manhattan‘s Upper West Side, which, I learned, is around 2,600 miles away.

Reinforcing the notion that now is the time to visit Europe’s most remote corner, the Blue Lagoon’s average temperature is 100 degrees, even in winter! So, make their loss your gain. Hey, had the locals heeded the word on the street, they would have known that the economy was about to tank.

When the waters have worked their magic, head back into Reykjavik to witness the street protests that have occurred every Saturday since the middle of October. Despite the cold, outraged locals gather to call for the jobs of the leaders who sent the economy swirling down the drain.