When the Aesir and the Vanir stopped fighting, they chewed up berries, spat them into a big pot, and created Kvasir. For some reason, he was very wise, and was the muse of poetry. Then Kvasir was murdered by a couple of dwarves, who mixed his blood with honey and made two jars of mead out of it. Then they drank it. This made them very wise. Odin got ahold of the mead, too, so he's very wise. Sometimes, Odin will offer some of his stash to a human. That lucky person is a poet.

Search engine

The most significant search engine for the nordic countries is called Kvasir, for not-quite-obvious reasons (the muse of poetry? How effective can that be as a search engine? Alas)

The engine was started early 1992(?), as part of Schibsted Nett (SN), one of the first major internet service providers in Norway, and its address used to be kvasir.sn.no. It later changed its name into SOL (Scandinavia On Line - kvasir.sol.no) and finally got its own url - www.kvasir.no

Kvasir is very much like Yahoo. It started as a project to catalog all major Norwegian web sites, and only had a search engine for this catalog - not an actual spider or other web searching technology.

Whereas the catalog is still incredibly well updated and useful, kvasir is primarily used to find businesses and other resources on the net, as it will only find resources in Norway (or, if you choose, the nordic countries). Only quite recently (mid-2001) it started to offer freetext search of the web globally. The usefulnes of Kvasir was mainly that of being a good search engine for the nordic countries, because neither Altavista nor Hotbot (the two largest search engines back in the day) had a good Norway/nordic countries coverage. Things have changed, however, and imho, Kvasir is finished. Mind you - it is still useful for finding resources exclusive to Norway, but I find myself using Google 99% of the time, because it is significantly faster, and more up to date.

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