28 January 2008

Scotophile Monday

Welcome back to Scotophile Monday! All sources credited. Enjoy!

Mirth and Fun!
Rabbie himself may not be able to speak to us at the many events taking place at this time of year around the world, but Scotland.org has organised a most attractive alternative - actor Andy Weir reading some of Burns' great poems, giving advice on recipes and his own immortal memory. The Interactive Burns presentation is slick and amusing and will appeal to Burns fans and to those who are just discovering him. There's also a Scots language quiz and facts and information on Scotland's national bard. Well worth a look at Burns Interactive.

Number of Smokers Falls
A government survey has shown that the number of people smoking tobacco in Scotland has fallen from 45% in 1978 to 25% in 2006. Although that is a big improvement, and a decrease from 28% in 2005, Scotland still has a higher percentage of the population smoking than any other part of the UK. Smoking is now equally spread, with 25% of men and 25% of women considering themselves smokers, although women smoke fewer cigarettes a day (13 on average) than men (an average of 15 a day).

Scotland's First Community Marine Conservation Area
Lamlash Bay, on the Isle of Arran in the Firth of Clyde, is to given statutory protection as Scotland's first Community Marine Conservation Area. It came about as a result of pressure from an independent body, the Firth of Clyde Forum, which brought together representatives of the fishing industry and nature conservationists. Under the new proposals, part of the bay will become a marine reserve where fishing activity will be prohibited and the remainder will be a fisheries management area with a particular focus on scallops. It follows a campaign by conservationists who have long argued that statutory protection is needed. The moves are aimed also at providing an opportunity to showcase the area's marine environment, with the possibility of underwater cameras, so that future visitors to the island and elsewhere will be able to enjoy the fantastic marine life which Lamlash Bay has to offer.

World Monopoly Bid by Edinburgh
The makers of the popular Monopoly board game have already published special editions featuring locations in Scotland as a whole as well as others for Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee. Now the company is to launch a worldwide edition and the public is being asked to select from a list of 68 locations around the world. The most popular 22 places will appear on this edition of the well-known boardgame. Having made it onto the initial short-list, Edinburgh is hoping to be voted onto the list of winning world locations. The tourism agency VisitScotland is supporting the campaign and urging everyone to take the time to vote for their favourite city. See World Monopoly for more details.

This Week in Scottish History
January 27 1783 - Glasgow Herald newspaper first published. It is the longest continuously published daily newspaper in Britain.
January 27 1926 - First public demonstration of TV by John Logie Baird.
January 28 1829 - William Burke, murderer and body snatcher of "Burke and Hare" fame, executed.
January 29 1928 - Earl Haig, Commander in Chief of British forces 1915-18, founder of the British Legion, died.
January 30 1649 - King Charles I executed.
January 31 1761 - Lachlan MacQuarie, "Father of Australia" born Ulva.
January 31 1788 - Charles Edward Stewart, "Bonnie Prince Charlie" died in Rome.
January 31 1953 - Princess Victoria, Stranraer-Larne ferry, sank in a storm with the loss of 133 lives; 44 were rescued.
February 1 1708 - Alexander Selkirk, a sailor from Lower Largo, Fife, rescued after four years on the island of Juan Fernandez, 400 miles off the coast of Chile; his story inspired Daniel Defoe to write "Robinson Crusoe".
February 1 1865 - Highland Railway formed from the amalgamation of Inverness and Perth Junction and the Inverness and Aberdeen Junction Railways.
February 1 1918 - Author Muriel Spark born.
February 2 - Feast and legal Quarter Day of Candlemass.
February 2 1424 - James I married Lady Jane Beaufort, daughter of the Earl of Somerset, in London.

Aye Write!
The programme for Glasgow's third annual literary festival, Aye Right!, has been launched and it features Hollywood actress Kathleen Turner and Gerry Anderson, the creator of the TV "Thunderbirds" series. The festival aims to encourage a love and enthusiasm for reading - and the Herald newspaper arranged for its readers to get a free copy of "From Saturn to Glasgow", a new compilation of 50 of Edwin Morgan's most treasured poems. This is to be this year's "City Read" and will be the centre of a series of events, readings and workshops. It will also be used for educational purposes, before and during the festival which runs from March 7 to 15.

Burns an' a' That
The Scots Language Centre has put together links to lots of information about Burns, plus a selection of some great Burns related videos from YouTube as well as audio of Scottish actress Dawn Steele performing his poem "Tae a Louse". Then there are pointers to poems, songs and everything else you ever wanted to know about Burns from the BBC. See www.scotslanguage.com.

Alabama Celtic Association
Alabama is home to a wide variety of Celtic organizations and interests. There are several Scottish and Irish Dance schools, Pipe and Drum Bands, Scottish Highland Games, Irish Events, Celtic bands and musicians, as well as Celtic Heritage organizations and Clan Societies. The non-profit Alabama Celtic Association provides enrichment scholarships in dance and music. To help fund these prizes, it organises events which see a host of area musicians and dancers sharing their talents in a showcase format. The next such evening of music and dance takes place on 15 February at Bottletree Café in Birmingham, Alabama. For reservations, see Bottletree Café. For more on the Alabama Celtic Association, see www.celticalabama.net.

Walk Highlands
Over 340 free, detailed walk descriptions with GPS waypoints, maps and photos across the Highlands of Scotland, with over 1,200 places to stay and things to do - plus history, culture, wildlife and more... The areas covered include Fort William, Kintail and Lochalsh, Black Isle and Dingwall, Cairngorms, Glencoe, Isle of Skye and the Applecross Peninsula. See Walk Highlands.

All the above are from RampantScotland.com

Wind Farm in Doubt on Divided Island
Words of support come to the "Wind Farm Man" as Gaelic whispers. As the local face behind the controversial plan to erect 176 colossal wind turbines on the protected peatlands of Lewis, Kevin Murray cannot expect bouquets and has endured no few brickbats.
But occasionally people sidle up to him in the pub or at the shops in Stornoway and say quietly: "Cum a' dol – tha sinn feumach air an obair." The translation: "Keep going – we need the work." Read more by Stephen McGinty

Edinburgh Dungeon Rated in Scotland's Top 10
Edinburgh Dungeon is a relatively new addition to the city's tourist attractions, and joins similar exhibitions in London, York and Hamburg. Focussing on some of the less savoury aspects of Edinburgh's past, the tour takes you on a journey taking in famous bodysnatchers Burke & Hare, who dug up graves to provide bodies for experimentation, an exhibition dedicated to torture and disease and one dealing with notorious Leith cannibal and troglodyte, Sawney Bean. Another charming exhibit describes how Auld Reekie used to be when it really was reekie; sewage being thrown out of upper windows with the cry of 'gardyloo' and carts touring the streets collecting dead bodies. There are also displays of torture equipment and early sugery - and the heart of Robert the Bruce. Read more

Bagpipes a Threat to the Environment
THEY were once outlawed for being used as seditious weapons of war. Now, bagpipes have been blasted as an environmental menace. Over-intensive logging means that the African wood used to make Scotland's national instrument faces being wiped out. Conservation groups are letting out skirls of protest, urging musicians and instrument manufacturers to make sure their pipes come from eco-friendly sources. As part of the campaign, Scots are being asked to fund the planting of "bagpipe trees" in a bid to atone for the environmental damage. Traditionally the chanter on the bottom of Highland pipes, which is used to create the melody, was made from native woods such as bog oak. But Scottish mariners who travelled to Africa in the 18th century returned with supplies of African Blackwood, which proved to be far more resilient and produced a sweeter sound. Since then the species, known as Mpingo in Swahili, has been a staple component of most quality pipes. Conservation group Fauna & Flora International (FFI) said urgent action is needed to prevent the species being lost. Read more by Marc Horne

Web Page of the Week
Scottish And Celtic Music Discussion Forum

1 comment:

Samantha Lucas said...

Always so much fun! I'm off to vote for Monopoly. :)