23 July 2007

Scotophile Monday

Between finishing "Deathly Hallows" [happy sigh] and working on deadline, I've only managed to pull together a few snippets this week. But these are good ones! Enjoy!

All sources credited.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Bookstores across Scotland (and across the world as well, no doubt) opened till after midnight on Friday as the seventh and last Harry Potter book by Scottish-based author JK Rowling began to fly off the shelves. A price war broke out amongst the big book sellers in the UK. These days, at least for popular books, that includes the supermarkets and Asda (part of the WalMart group). They have decided on a loss-making price of £5 (for a book that has a "recommended price" which is over three times that in the UK). Bloomsbury, a previously obscure publisher that produces the Harry Potter books, has been transformed as result of Harry Potter. They announced a record-breaking 12 million copies for the first print run of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" in the U.S. alone. In 2001, Ms Rowling purchased a luxurious 19th century estate house, Killiechassie House, on the banks of the River Tay, near Aberfeldy, in Perth and Kinross. [Carolan's note: YOU GO, GIRL!] Later that year she married Neil Murray, an anaesthetist, in a private ceremony at their new home.And here is the rest of it.

Scotty Beaming Down on Linlithgow
Linlithgow has satisfied itself that it is (or will be) the birthplace of Star Trek's Scottish engineer Montgomery Scott - better know as "Scotty" - who beamed Captain Kirk down to his destinations. A memorial plaque is to be erected to mark the event (in the year 2222) and the family of the late actor James Doohan, who played the part, will be the guests of honour at the new "James Doohan Memorial Exhibition" which is to open its doors in Annet House museum. It tells the story of the Canadian-born actor and his role in the cult sci-fi series. The Doohan family have provided photographs and personal items for display and Doohan's props, including his original Star Trek costume. Star Trek models and personal memorabilia will be featured too. The links between Doohan's character and Linlithgow emerged from a reference in a book by Dorothy C Fontana, who wrote many of the original Star Trek episodes. The museum already has a section devoted to Mary Queen of Scots.

Thief Caught on Camera
Cameras at a newsagent and confectioners in Aberdeen have caught a thief slipping in to a display of snacks and walking off with a packet of cheesy Doritos. Nothing unusual in that, perhaps, but thief keeps returning, day after day, for a packet of those cheesy Doritos. So he must have a strong stomach as well as a lot of cheek. He's got it down to a fine art, waiting until there are no customers around and staff are standing behind the till - then he raids the place. Staff have failed to apprehend the "regular customer" That's because the thief can fly away - it's a crafty seagull that has found a new source of food. As long as nobody actually chases after the bird (now named Sam by amused locals) the packet is ripped open on the pavement outside and its contents consumed. Sam has become so notorious (a phone-camera video is now on YouTube) BBC Scotland sent a camera team and reporter to Aberdeen to interview him and show his exploits in the TV evening news. When confronted by the camera evidence and the reporter's accusations, Sam pled the 5th amendment and flew off - leaving the local pigeons to commit a felony by dealing (and eating) in stolen goods...

This Week in Scottish History
July 22 1298 - The army of the English King Edward I, using longbows for the first time, defeated the Scots led by Sir William Wallace at Battle of Falkirk.
July 22 1793 - Alexander Mackenzie completed the first overland crossing of North America.
July 22 1913 - Edinburgh Zoo opened for the first time.
July 23 1745 - Charles Edward Stuart landed on Eriskay at the start of the 1745 campaign.
July 23 1886 - Birth in Glasgow of Arthur Whitten Brown (later Sir Arthur), companion of Alcock on the first west to east aircraft crossing of the Atlantic.
July 24 1567 - Mary Queen of Scots abdicated and the young James VI acceded to Scottish throne. The Earl of Mar was appointed regent.
July 23 1916 - Death of Sir William Ramsay, Scottish chemist who discovered helium, xenon, neon, argon, radon and krypton.
July 24 2002 - The Princess Royal formally opened the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, Scotland's first national park.
July 25 1394 - King James I born.
July 25 1848 - Arthur James Balfour, the only Secretary of State for Scotland to become Prime Minister, born E Lothian.
July 27 1689 - Battle of Killiecrankie in which Graham of Claverhouse (Bonnie Dundee) leading an army of Highlanders in support of the Jacobite cause, defeated King William's army under General Hugh Mackay.
July 29 1565 - Mary, Queen of Scots, married Lord Darnley.
July 29 1567 - King James VI (aged 13 months) crowned at the Church of the Holy Rude, beside Stirling Castle, following the abdication of Mary, Queen of Scots, five days earlier.

Scottish Castle of the Week: Lochmaben Castle, Dumfries

Scottish Proverbs
Twelve highlanders and a bagpipe make a rebellion.

Be slow in choosing a friend but slower in changing him.

Lachlan's Law No. 34: "A good time to keep your mouth shut is when you're in deep water."

Scottish Blog of the Week: Yours-Truly.net

1 comment:

Samantha Lucas said...

These were great! I'm snagging your this week in Scottish history and sending it to my grandfather. :)