Iceland Envious of Euroland

Few developed world economies were hit as hard in the economic crisis as wee Iceland's. But could adopting the euro ward off future blows to the country's financial system?


Gallup says the answer is moderate "yes." When the national tender, the krona, fell 45% in value against most major currencies last year, Icelanders saw their assets plummet. Tens of thousands were laid off and a critical immigrant labor supply flew back to mainland Europe overnight

A slow recovery has begun, but the country's GDP is expected to shrink 10% in 2009. Looking for a way out, sixty percent of the country, according to Gallup, is ready to dispense with the krona for good.

Long protective of an independent economy, Icelanders, like Norwegians, have been reluctant to join the Eurozone for fear of what restrictions it might bring to their lucrative fishing and gas industries.

But those times might be over. Iceland has just elected a pro-E.U. coalition government.

Eurozone expert Pasquale Bova reflected on the advantageous economic cohesion among Eurozone countries for Big Think.

'Upstreamism': Your zip code affects your health as much as genetics

Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
  • Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
  • Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
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Afghanistan is the most depressed country on earth

No, depression is not just a type of 'affluenza' – poor people in conflict zones are more likely candidates

Image: Our World in Data / CC BY
Strange Maps
  • Often seen as typical of rich societies, depression is actually more prevalent in poor, conflict-ridden countries
  • More than one in five Afghans is clinically depressed – a sad world record
  • But are North Koreans really the world's 'fourth least depressed' people?
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Banned books: 10 of the most-challenged books in America

America isn't immune to attempts to remove books from libraries and schools, here are ten frequent targets and why you ought to go check them out.

Nazis burn books on a huge bonfire of 'anti-German' literature in the Opernplatz, Berlin. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Culture & Religion
  • Even in America, books are frequently challenged and removed from schools and public libraries.
  • Every year, the American Library Association puts on Banned Books Week to draw attention to this fact.
  • Some of the books they include on their list of most frequently challenged are some of the greatest, most beloved, and entertaining books there are.
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Videos
  • Oumuamua, a quarter-mile long asteroid tumbling through space, is Hawaiian for "scout", or "the first of many".
  • It was given this name because it came from another solar system.
  • Some claimed 'Oumuamua was an alien technology, but there's no actual evidence for that.