Among those stranded by last week's new eruption of an Icelandic volcano was Jens Stoltenberg, prime minister of Norway, who on Friday found himself stuck in JFK, according to news reports.
Fortunately, he'd just bought an iPad, and proceeded to conduct the daily business of the country in the airport lounge.
"It's interesting. Here you have a brand-new technology and a head of state actually using the technology to manage the country," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, as quoted in a report by Newsfactor.com. "It either says an awful lot about the device or an awful lot about what he needs to do to manage the country." He went on to discuss the potential security liabilities in Stoltenberg's action.
The Norwegian PM story was just one of many to hit the Internet regarding Eyjafjallajokull, ranging from photos and videos of the eruption to the implications on animal husbandry to guides on pronouncing its name. There were also metastories, such as how people were using the Internet to deal with the incident.
Pre-existing Twitter feeds from Iceland, such as the Laughing Puffin and This Is Iceland, continued their usual posts. "I must admit, my eruption is a bit dramatic," stated the latter yesterday, which is always written in first-person form from the island itself. Currently, it is taking suggestions for the volcano's theme song, such as David Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes." (Incidentally, the Twitter hashtag for volcano-related items is #ashtag.)
Icelanders, who get a volcanic eruption every five years on average and hold regular volcano drills, are dealing with the situation with equanimity. "Roughly speaking, up to 90% of Iceland, including the Reykjavik [capital] area, have not been affected by the eruption in any direct way," noted one of the official status reports. "All infrastructure of the country is unaffected, except roads in the flooding area below the glacier."
The report went on to add that approximately 1,800 tourists are stranded on the island, and not only are they all accommodated, but they have all been given free passes to the country's numerous museums, as well as to the municipal public swimming pools and Jacuzzis -- all geothermally heated -- that even the smallest towns boast. (Reykjavik, with a population of 200,000, has four.) This measure is very popular among the tourists, the report notes.
"My people take my volcanic activity very seriously but they do not make a big fuss," This Is Iceland said.