Tag Archives: Scotland

this day in history: Bare-Knuckle Fighter Dies After 99-Round Fight (1833)


Bare-Knuckle Fighter Dies After 99-Round Fight (1833)

In 1830, bare-knuckle prizefighter Simon Byrne, Ireland‘s heavyweight boxing champion, fought Alexander McKay, the “Champion of Scotland,” for the right to challenge England‘s heavyweight champ. McKay died of a head injury shortly after losing the lengthy fight, and Byrne was charged but later cleared of manslaughter. Three years later, Byrne fought England’s champion, James Burke. After 3 hours and 99 rounds, Byrne was knocked out. He died days later. What became of Burke after the fatal fight? More… Discuss

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Saint of the Day for Monday, May 4th, 2015 : St. Florian


BRAHMS, Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80, great compositions/performances


BRAHMS, Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80

Sir Granville Bantock ~ Hebridean Symphony ~ Complete , great compositions/performances


Sir Granville Bantock ~ Hebridean Symphony ~ Complete

today’s holiday: Junkanoo Festival (2014)


Junkanoo Festival (2014)

The Junkanoo Parade and Festival, held in Nassau‘s native quarter, is celebrated each year on December 26, Boxing Day, and January 1, New Year’s Day. Masqueraded marchers wearing colorful headpieces and costumes dance to the beat of an Afro-Bahamian rhythm called Goombay. The music is played by a variety of unusual native instruments, including goat skin drums, lignum vitae sticks, pebble-filled “shak-shaks,” and steel drums. The Junkanoo parade, which begins at two o’clock in the morning and continues until sunrise, is followed by the judging of costumes and awarding of prizes. More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Pan Am Flight 103 Is Bombed (1988)


Pan Am Flight 103 Is Bombed (1988)

The terrorist bomb that brought down New York-bound Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killed all 259 people on board and 11 others on the ground. After a three-year investigation, US and UK authorities announced indictments against two Libyan officials in connection with the bombing. Libya finally turned over the suspects in 1999. After a nine-month trial, one of them, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. Why was he released in 2009? More… Discuss


St. Andrew’s Eve

The eve of St. Andrew’s Day is a special night for young Polish girls who want to find husbands. They play Andrzejki, or “Andrew’s games,” a kind of fortune telling. They break off dry branches from cherry trees, place them in wet sand, and tend them carefully for the next few weeks. If the branch blooms by Christmas, it is believed that they will marry within the year. Pouring liquid wax into cold water is another popular method of foretelling their romantic futures. The shapes formed by the hardened wax often provide clues with which they can read their fate. More… Discuss

todays holiday: Plebeian Games


Plebeian Games

The Roman leader Flaminius is thought to have instituted the Plebeian Games in 220 BCE. They originally may have been held in the Circus Flaminius, which he built. Later, they may have moved to the Circus Maximus, a huge open arena between the Palatine and Aventine hills. The Games were dedicated to Jupiter, one of whose feast days was November 13, and included horse and chariot races and contests that involved running, boxing, and wrestling. The festival lasted from November 4-17, and its first nine days were devoted to theatrical performances. More… Discuss

today’s birthday: King James II of England (1633)


King James II of England (1633)

King James II was the last Catholic monarch to rule over England, Scotland, and Ireland, reigning from 1685 to 1688. The birth of his son, a possible Catholic heir, brought about the Glorious Revolution, in which Protestants deposed James in favor of Mary II and William of Orange. The belief that James was the legitimate ruler became known as Jacobitism, and Jacobites thereafter attempted to restore the Stuart line to the thrones of England and Scotland. Who protected James when he fled England? More… Discuss

Ennio Morricone – Cinema Paradiso (In Concerto – Venezia 10.11.07): great compositions/performances


Ennio MorriconeCinema Paradiso (In Concerto – Venezia 10.11.07)

this pressed (read it please): Scotland’s Independence Vote Shows a Global Crisis of the Elites – NYTimes.com


Scotland’s Independence Vote Shows a Global Crisis of the Elites – NYTimes.com.

Excepts:  “The details of Scotland’s grievances are almost the diametrical opposite of those of, say, the Tea Party or Swedish right-wingers. They want more social welfare spending rather than less, and have a strongly pro-green, antinuclear environmental streak. (Scotland’s threatened secession is less the equivalent of Texas pulling out of the United States, in that sense, than of Massachusetts or Oregon doing the same.) But there are always people who have disagreements with the direction of policy in their nation; the whole point of a state is to have an apparatus that channels disparate preferences into one sound set of policy choices.

What distinguishes the current moment is that discontent with the way things have been going is so high as to test many people’s tolerance for the governing institutions as they currently exist…
“Power is not a right; it is a responsibility. The choice that Scotland is making on Thursday is of whether the men and women who rule Britain messed things up so badly that they would rather go it alone. And so the results will ripple through world capitals from Athens to Washington: The way things are going currently isn’t good enough, and voters are getting angry enough to want to do something about it.

this day in the yesteryear: William Wallace Is Executed (1305)


William Wallace Is Executed (1305)

Wallace was a Scottish knight who, during the Wars of Scottish Independence, led a resistance movement against the English occupation. He gained control of Scotland briefly, but a Scottish knight betrayed him to the English in 1305. Found guilty of treason, he was hanged, drawn, and quartered. Much of what is known about his life is based on legend and the patriotic epic, The Wallace, written by 15th-century minstrel Blind Harry. What was done with Wallace’s remains after his execution? More… Discuss

today’s holiday: The Glorious Twelfth


The Glorious Twelfth

August 12 is the legal opening of grouse season in Scotland. If the 12th falls on a Sunday, Grouse Day is the following day. Because grouse-shooting has always played such a central role in the life of Scottish gentlemen, the occasion is referred to as the Glorious Twelfth and is observed as a social event by Scots around the world. More… Discuss

today’s holiday: Festival Interceltique


Festival Interceltique

Created in 1971, the Festival Interceltique (Interceltic Festival) brings together traditional and contemporary expressions of Celtic culture and arts. Approximately 4,500 singers, instrumentalists, visual artists, dancers, professors, and filmmakers from the traditionally Celtic lands take part in the event, including Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Galicia (Spain), Asturias (Spain), and Brittany (France). The festival takes place in Lorient, a town in Brittany, from the first Friday in August until the second Sunday in August. About 350,000 spectators attend the festival annually. More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Mary Queen of Scots Is Deposed (1567)


Mary Queen of Scots Is Deposed (1567)

Mary Stuart was Queen of Scotland from 1542 to 1567. She was forced to abdicate the throne after her husband, Lord Darnley, was murdered and she was implicated in the plot. Mary then fled to England, where she faced a murder inquiry and became a prisoner of the English government. After conspiracies to put her on the throne of England were uncovered, she was tried for treason and ultimately beheaded. Some say her executioners asked for her forgiveness. What is she said to have replied? More… Discuss

Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order


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Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order

by Noam ChomskyRobert W. McChesney (Introduction)
In “Profit Over People,” Noam Chomsky takes on neoliberalism: the pro-corporate system of economic and political policies presently waging a form of class war worldwide. By examining the contradictions between the democratic and market principles proclaimed by those in power and those actually practiced, Chomsky critiques the tyranny of the few that restricts the public ar…more
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ARTICLE: NESSIE: THE LOCH NESS MONSTER


Nessie: The Loch Ness Monster

Although most experts agree that the monster said to live in Scotland‘s Lake Ness does not exist, the Loch Ness Monster is alive and well in the popular imagination and has been rearing its enormous head in legends dating all the way back to 565 CE. Some theorize that “Nessie” is related to the long-extinct plesiosaur, a Mesozoic marine reptile, but this is challenged by the fact that Lake Ness was frozen solid during recent ice ages. What are some other theories about Nessie’s origins? More… Discuss

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: THE NORTH SEA FLOOD (1953)


The North Sea Flood (1953)

When heavy winds struck the North Sea during the high spring tide in 1953, it created a severe flood that affected parts of the Netherlands, Belgium, and the UK. Belgium suffered significant property damage but little loss of life. The Netherlands, on the other hand, had 1,836 reported deaths, and the UK had more than 500, with nearly half of the victims perishing at sea. The flood remains one of the UK’s worst natural disasters. What has been done to prevent future disasters of this sort? More… Discuss

 

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TODAY’S HOLIDAY: UP-HELLY-AA


Up-Helly-Aa

This ancient fire festival is observed by people ofLerwick in the Shetland Islands. In pre-Christian times, their Norse ancestors welcomed the return of the sun god with Yule, a 24-day period of feasting, storytelling, and bonfires. The last night of the festival was called Up-Helly-Aa, or “End of the Holy Days.” Today, a group known as the Guizers builds a 31-foot model of a Viking longship in honor of the Viking invaders who remained in Scotland. On the night of Up-Helly-Aa, the Guizers dress in Norse costumes and carry the boat to an open field. There, they throw lit torches into the ship and burn it. More… Discuss

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TODAY’S HOLIDAY: BURNS NIGHT


Burns Night

Burns Night is the anniversary of the birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns. The day is celebrated not only in Scotland but also in Newfoundland, and wherever there are devotees of this lusty poet. The celebrations generally take the form of recitations of Burns’s poetry, the imbibing of quantities of single-malt Scotch whiskey, and the serving of haggis, a Scottish dish made of a sheep’s or calf’s innards (liver, heart, etc.) boiled in its stomach. At the point of the carving of the haggis, it is traditional to recite “To a Haggis,” with its line, “Great chieftain o’ the pudding race!” More…Discuss

 

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Quote

Quotation: Andrew Carnegie


« He that cannot reason is a fool. He that will not is a bigot. He that dare not is a slave. »
Andrew Carnegie

Quotation: Sir Walter Scott about doing good


For he that does good, having the unlimited power to do evil, deserves praise not only for the good which he performs, but for the evil which he forbears.

Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) Discuss

 

This Day in the Yesteryear: THE BRIEF BATTLE OF PRESTONPANS (1745)


The Brief Battle of Prestonpans (1745)

England‘s King James II may have been deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, but he was not without supporters. These supporters, the Jacobites, spent the next six decades unsuccessfully fighting to restore him—and, later, his descendants—to the throne. Their final major attempt, the Forty-five Rebellion, began auspiciously for the House of Stuart, with a victory at Prestonpans, Scotland. The battle was won in mere minutes. How many casualties did the government troops suffer in that time? More…Discuss

 

Hebrides Overture (Fingal’s Cave’) Op. 26



Hebrides Overture (Fingal’s Cave‘) Op. 26

Felix Mendelssohn

Mendelssohn wrote the magnificent Hebrides Overture when he was only 21 (though revisions were made a few years later). It was upon a visit to Scotland (the Romantic view of which was much in vogue at the time) and more specifically, the Hebridean Islands off the Scottish west coast, that the first mysterious theme came to his head, which he quickly wrote down. He was also inspired by a visit to Fingal’s Cave, a natural structure of pillars of basalt, hence the subtitle for the composition.

The waters around the Hebrides are famously rough and stormy, and navigation can be difficult even today, let alone in Mendelssohn’s time. Throughout the overture, Mendelssohn evokes the sense of the great, mysterious power surrounding the islands, as well as the tumbling ocean (bass activity at around 00:19 – 00:35, for example) and lonely cries of seabirds (3:54?)

The Hebrides Overture is not meant to be a narrative – it is more of a scene/mood setter. Nevertheless, it is perhaps the earliest example of what could be described as a tone poem, and is a fascinating, riveting work written with great maturity by a man barely out of his teens.

 

Today’s Birthday: John Ross (1790)


John Ross (1790)

The son of Scottish and Cherokee parents, Ross served in the War of 1812 under Andrew Jackson against the Creeks. Elected principal chief of the eastern Cherokee in 1828, he resisted government attempts to seize Cherokee farms and lands in Georgia and unsuccessfully petitioned Jackson to defend the tribe’s rights. In 1838, he was forced to lead his people on the infamously long, hard journey to the Oklahoma Territory. In Native American lore, this journey is known as what? More… Discuss

This day In History: The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh (1547)


The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh (1547)

The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh was part of the War of Rough Wooing, the ruthless war launched by Henry VIII against Scotland to force a marriage between Mary Queen of Scots and his son, the future Edward VI. The first “modern” battle to be fought in the British Isles and the last pitched battle between the English and Scottish royal armies, it resulted in a catastrophic defeat for the Scots, who came to call it Black Saturday. What type of bombardment was used for the first time during the battle? More… Discuss

Today’s Quotation: Beatrix Potter (1866-1943)


Thank goodness…I was never sent to school…it would have rubbed off some of the originality.

  • Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) DiscussHelen Beatrix Potter (28 July 1866 – 22 December 1943) was an English author, illustrator, natural scientist and conservationist best known for her imaginative children’s books featuring animals such as those in The Tale of Peter Rabbit which celebrated the British landscape and country life.Born into a privileged Unitarian family, Potter, along with her younger brother, Walter Bertram (1872–1918), grew up with few friends outside her large extended family. Her parents were artistic, interested in nature and enjoyed the countryside. As children, Beatrix and Bertam had numerous small animals as pets which they observed closely and drew endlessly. Summer holidays were spent in Scotland and in the English Lake District where Beatrix developed a love of the natural world which was the subject of her painting from an early age.

    She was educated by private governesses until she was eighteen. Her study of languages, literature, science and history was broad and she was an eager student. Her artistic talents were recognized early. Although she was provided with private art lessons, Beatrix preferred to develop her own style, particularly favoring watercolor.
    (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatrix_Potter)

My thought on children books and letter sizes:
I remember,how when I was  child I was mesmerized by the size of the letters. I always thought that those huge letters were tall, taller the the stories I was reading. As I grew up I had to buy a magnifying lens, aside for the prescription glasses I wear for reading: I needed to read the small prints. Those almost indistinguishably small (but of utmost importance) notes, with which all contracts end: Fear the small print, there is nothing good in it for you!

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The Stone Of Scone


The Stone of Scone

The Stone of Scone is an oblong block of red sandstone upon which the kings of Scotland were once crowned. According to tradition, the stone was used by Jacob as a pillow when he dreamt of a ladder to heaven and was the coronation stone of early kings of Ireland. It was taken to Scotland and housed in Scone Abbey near Perth until Edward I of England took it to London’s Westminster Abbey in 1296 and had it fitted into the Coronation Chair. In what year was the Stone of Scone returned to Scotland? More… Discuss