Ask Mr Brain..all will be explained

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 August, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 August, 1999, 12:00am

How do people in Iceland live? JUDY Marymount Secondary School Iceland is one of the most places in Europe and close to the North Pole. At the North Pole, there are six months of darkness from September to March when the sun does not rise above the horizon.

Once the sun appears on March 21, the spring equinox, there is continuous daylight until September 21, the autumn equinox.

However, Iceland is not at the North Pole so it only gets two to three months of continuous daylight a year. It has a dark period from mid-November until the end of January when there is only about three to four hours of daylight per day.

In the past, Icelanders thought of the year as consisting of two parts, summer and winter, and these seasons were thought of in terms of weeks rather than divided into months.

The reason was because the moon was not easily distinguishable when there was continuous daylight, and during winter it often did not appear due to bad weather. An event would be remembered in terms of which week of summer or winter it happened.

There are many festivals throughout the Icelandic year that are still celebrated today.

The Solarkaffi (sun coffee) festival in January or February celebrates the first day the sun reaches a farm or community after the sunless winter with the drinking of coffee.

Bondadagur (husbands' day) is celebrated during the harshest month of winter.

The man of the house receives treats or treats others. Some traditions say he has had to run around the house in his underwear on that day! The husband's favourite food will usually be served. Nowadays, many women present their men with flowers.

Icelanders also pride themselves as being a resilient and independent people with a vibrant culture.

They have a strong literary tradition dating back to the ninth century and Icelandic artists, ranging from Halldor Laxness who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1955 to pop star Bjork, have won international recognition.

Night life in the cosmopolitan capital of Reykjavik is reputed to be among the best in Europe.

Why does a piece of apple go brown when it is left exposed to the air? VONDA Apples contain chemicals called phenols and an enzyme called tryosinase (also known as polyphenoloxidase). This enzyme helps the phenol chemicals to react with oxygen in a process called oxidation.

When an apple is cut and left exposed to air, the oxidation of phenols can occur more quickly because more oxygen is available.

It is the oxidation of phenols that causes an apple to turn brown. You can prevent cut apples discolouring by plunging them into boiling water, which destroys the enzyme, or by sprinkling lemon juice over them. Lemon juice is acidic and inhibits the action of the enzyme.