Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Best in Show

Note how big France is - I would have placed Texas a little more to the east 

Growing up in Texas I remember the pride associated with everything being bigger in Texas than elsewhere. I was too young to have at the time wondered what the connection was or how this came to be their thing. But later in life I read up on it and although I found nothing absolutely conclusive everything pointed to the state‘s geographical size and former ranking as the largest state in the USA. Until Alaska which was a hard swallow for Texans apparently.

Iceland would not have had a problem with this Alaska business if we had been Texas. There are so many ways to look at things it is merely a matter of choosing a viewpoint. For one you could say that Alaska is detached and therefore not a contender - it is really more Canada than USA, when comparing states. Also there are pieces breaking off the state so its size is a varying figure not reliable enough to be taken seriously. Then there is the snow. Who really knows what is under all that snow in the middle part and the top edge – could be a big hole that should be subtracted. And so on. An Iceland-Texas would remain the largest state – at least within Iceland-Texas.

Here we are the same as the Texans I recall from childhood. We are very proud when we are best at something or top any list, preferably if it is a good list although this is not altogether a rule set in stone. In the absence of a good list a bad list will do.

Just recently it was reported here that Iceland had topped a list – in three categories even. The list was prepared by Yale and Columbia Universities and was supposed to rank 163 countries in a cool to not-at-all-cool order.
photo from:
To cut a long story short Iceland was considered the cleanest country in respect to the purity of water and air and the effect of the environment on the health of the population. Iceland was also considered the most peaceful country and here they gauged unrest and violence. It was also ranked as the friendliest country. The report did not mention which country actually ended up being the coolest country – leading me to suspect vaguely that it was not Iceland.

Amongst other categories and the countries that topped them were: Happiest people in the world: Columbia, best country to be female: New Zealand, highest education levels: Canada, least friendly country: Bolivia, richest country: Qatar. You would think with all that money they could afford a “u” to place behind the “Q”.

And of the countries represented on this blog, two others got mention beside Iceland.

Most pessimistic: France
Most sex (presumably per capita): Greece

So there you have it. If you are planning your vacation Iceland is the place to go if you are looking for peace, cleanliness and friendliness. If you are in the market to curb your giddiness then France is the ticket and Greece …. I think I will leave it to Jeffery to wrap this sentence up for me. 

Yrsa - Wednesday     


  1. My son lives in Texas. I live in Greece. Just knowing that Greece has more of anything than Texas brings a smile to my face, Yrsa. But considering the category it's a mile-wide grin. They may have the oil but we have the, uhh, Greece. And if you're correct that the figures are on a per capita basis, since much of Greece is committed to monastic ways, do you have any idea how much of a burden that puts on places like Mykonos to keep up the national average? But, as they say, it takes a village. Time to get to's my patriotic duty.

  2. Keeping UP the national average. Gee, Jeff, I would not have expected such a cheap shot from you.

  3. Believe it or not that one was unintended...but I'll take it.