05 October 2009

Celtophile Monday

Some of the Lewis Chessmen which were found on a beach in the Western Isles more than 150 years ago are being reunited for a tour of Scotland. A total of 30 of the 93 pieces will go on display at locations including the island of Lewis, where they were found. They are thought to have belonged to a 12th Century merchant who visited Lewis as he journeyed from Ireland to Norway. Read more

UK Mammals Have "Celtic Fringe"
DNA tests on British populations of small mammals show a genetically distinct "Celtic Fringe", say scientists at The University of York. Voles, shrews, mice and stoats in northern and western areas have different DNA from their counterparts in other parts of the British Isles. The paper, in Proceedings B journal, says the different populations arrived at the end of the last ice age. The authors say the work sheds light on the origins of the Celtic people. Click here for complete article by Judith Burns

Scottish Families Set 50-Mile Food Target
An experiment is under way in the Scottish Borders which will see 50 people try to source all their food from within a 50 mile radius of home. The Tweedgreen initiative centres on Peebles and will last throughout the month of October. Organisers hope it will show how eating local food can help to do "the least possible damage" to the environment. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/south_of_scotland/8282846.stm

Writer Says Scots Fiction Stifled by Mediocrity
A row has broken out among Scotland's leading authors on the state of fiction north of the Border. James Kelman, the influential Glasgow writer, accused the literati of favouring populist offering such as JK Rowling's Harry Potter, and detective novels, such as Ian Rankin's Rebus, over encouraging new innovative talent. Mr Kelman, who won the Booker Prize in 1994, derided Potter as "upper middle class" at the Edinburgh Book Festival and accused Scotland's literary establishment of rewarding mediocrity. He also accused it of failing to encourage contemporary literature by being anglocentric. He said: "Praise and position is given to genre fiction in Scotland. If the Nobel Prize were given to a Scot, it would be given to a f****** crime writer, or a children's writer who writes middle-class books about a child magician." Read article by Fiona MacLeod

All Things Whisky!
The Scotsman's definitive guide to uisge beatha, Scotland's national drink. Read more

Test Your Knowledge of Scotland
How well do you know Scotland? Put it to the test with this quick quiz from the website www.scotland.org. Click here

McNappy Tartan
In a bid to get more parents to "switch from bin to pin", Real Nappy supporters came together last week to launch the McNappy Tartan diaper. Click here for story by Kirsten Johnson

Sea Eagle Numbers in Scotland Soar to 150-Year High
The number of sea eagle chicks hatched in Scotland has reached its highest level in 150 years, according to the RSPB. The charity said that 36 chicks were successfully hatched in 2009, eight more than last year. Two new breeding pairs of the sea eagle, the largest bird of prey in the British Isles, were seen during its annual survey. Click for more

Wales Photo Galleries
Digital photographs of Wales submitted by BBC Wales readers. Click here

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