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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
I just found out about the following recently. It's a terrific coup for Edinburgh...

TEDGlobal 2012 Edinburgh​

TEDGlobal 2012 will be held in Edinburgh, at the Edinburgh International Conference Center. Its beautiful main theatre, its foyer and its vast spaces, right in the middle of downtown, will be the central hub of TEDGlobal.

TEDGlobal has successfully taken place three times in Oxford (2005, 2009, 2010). We love the city and its great beauty and rich historical and cultural roots. We are proud of the events that we have been able to organize there, and grateful to all those who have helped us make them happen. However, the (lack of) infrastructure in Oxford was increasingly limiting our ability to develop TEDGlobal in new, imaginative ways. After an extensive analysis, we have found a fantastic venue, the Edinburgh International Conference Center (EICC) and have decided to make it the new home of TEDGlobal.


TED
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Robert Louis Stevenson's works donated to National Library of Scotland​
BBC News 27th June 2012


A rare collection of books and papers belonging to one of Scotland's favourite writers is to return to Edinburgh.

Robert Louis Stevenson's letters and first editions have been donated to the National Library of Scotland and Edinburgh Napier University.

The writer, best known for Treasure Island, Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde, was born in Edinburgh in 1850.

He spent much of his life travelling, dying in Samoa in 1894.

Many of his papers were sold after his death but Stevenson scholar Dr Ernest Mehew, who lived south of the Border, attempted to reunite the author's relics.

Dr Mehew would take advantage of his hour-long Underground commute to and from his home in Stanmore to read up on Stevenson.

His collection consists of more than 40 boxes of papers and 2,000 books and includes first editions, biographies, collections of letters, reference books, critical studies and bound copies of the magazines in which Stevenson's work first appeared.

In the 1960s Dr Mehew edited Stevenson's letters by locating, sorting, transcribing and dating 2,800 of them, many of which are being published for the first time.

Dr Mehew was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was awarded an honorary doctorate by Edinburgh University in 1998.

Following his death last year his works were donated to the national library, although the books are going to Edinburgh Napier University.

Robin Smith, head of collections and interpretation at the National Library of Scotland, said: "This is a unique and wonderful collection which will enrich our existing Stevenson archive.

"We are extremely grateful for this donation and to be able to house these papers in the land of Stevenson's birth."

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
The TEDGlobal conference is a terrific coup indeed! Marvellous stuff. If only it wasn't so expensive to go to their events.
Yes, Davy.

It is expensive.

However, the people who can afford to go are effectively bankrolling the events. And this works to the advantage of the wider world. Thus, you, me and every other human being on this planet who has access to a computer can watch TEDtalks for free. TedTalks had achieved around 500 million views by June 2011, I believe. And some of these talks are very good indeed. Here is an example of an excellent speaker at TED:

David Christian


Teacher of 'Big History'​

I listened to a series of lectures on 'Big History' by Christian a couple of years ago which were magnificent. Bill Gates thought so too. So much so, that he wants every student to be taught 'Big History' in the coming years, and has charged the Gates Foundation with bringing this about.

You can watch Christian deliver a blinder of a lecture on 'Big History' here.

Gates explains why he wants to see students being taught 'Big History' here.

The TEDGlobal conference is a terrific coup indeed! Marvellous stuff.
Yes, I was delighted to learn that Edinburgh got this conference. Cities get wet just thinking about landing something like this. The fact that TED chose Edinburgh is a clear demonstration of the city's intellectual standing.

As to why TED chose Edinburgh over Glasgow - who knows? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that when the following guy applied for a job at Glasgow University, he was told to **** off...

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I wouldn't mind a cold one here on a nice summer's evening...

Beer Garden​


Applecross Inn, Applecross, Wester Ross

~o0o~



~o0o~



Applecross Inn

~o0o~

Skye


Viewed from Applecross
 

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Yes, Davy.

It is expensive.

However, the people who can afford to go are effectively bankrolling the events. And this works to the advantage of the wider world. Thus, you, me and every other human being on this planet who has access to a computer can watch TEDtalks for free. TedTalks had achieved around 500 million views by June 2011, I believe. And some of these talks are very good indeed. Here is an example of an excellent speaker at TED:

David Christian
Teacher of 'Big History'​

I listened to a series of lectures on 'Big History' by Christian a couple of years ago which were magnificent. Bill Gates thought so too. So much so, that he wants every student to be taught 'Big History' in the coming years, and has charged the Gates Foundation with bringing this about.

You can watch Christian deliver a blinder of a lecture on 'Big History' here.

Gates explains why he wants to see students being taught 'Big History' here.


Yes, I was delighted to learn that Edinburgh got this conference. Cities get wet just thinking about landing something like this. The fact that TED chose Edinburgh is a clear demonstration of the city's intellectual standing.

As to why TED chose Edinburgh over Glasgow - who knows? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that when the following guy applied for a job at Glasgow University, he was told to **** off...

Great thread. So much to be positive about.

Regarding TED - great news it came to Scotland. I think its getting up its own arse a bit though. A few too many charlatans with buzzwordy language seeping in - time for them to get back to basics a bit IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Beer Garden​

Applecross Inn, Applecross, Wester Ross​
^^​

This made me think of a great beer garden I used to go to behind the Wickets Hotel in Partick. The hotel and beer garden no longer exist. They were obliterated to make way for flats. I console myself with the thought that it was only Glasgow City Council Planning Department's 987,436,729th blunder.

~o0o~

Wickets Hotel



Sadly missed
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The Garden of Cosmic Speculation​
Portrack House, Dumfries​



~o0o~


Designed by Charles Jencks​

'The garden is inspired by science and mathematics, with sculptures and landscaping on these themes, such as Black Holes and Fractals. The garden is not abundant with plants, but sets mathematical formulae and scientific phenomenae in a setting which elegantly combines natural features and artificial symmetry and curves. The garden is private but usually opens on one day each year through Scotland's Gardens Scheme and raises money for Maggie's Centres, a cancer care charity named for Maggie Keswick Jencks, the late wife of Charles Jencks.' - Wikipedia
The Garden of Cosmic Speculation
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Regarding TED - great news it came to Scotland. I think its getting up its own arse a bit though. A few too many charlatans with buzzwordy language seeping in - time for them to get back to basics a bit IMO.
Given the success of TED, Due East, I think the problems you mention were bound to happen. TED is probably the most successful speaking platform in the world right now and so charlatans of every flavour are going to feel powerfully drawn to it. One sort of charlatan I most certainly don't want to see polluting TED is the 'Business Guru' - you know, the carefully-scrubbed spider that writes books of platitudinous pish for mediocre middle managers who fantasise about becoming CEOs and 'Masters of the Universe' - books like The Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun, Confucius in the Boardroom, If Aristotle Ran General Motors, and so on.

Once these snake-oil salesmen are allowed in, we won't have to wait too long until Wayne Rooney appears at TED and solemnly shares his solution to world hunger with millions of human beings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Henry Dundas' private papers bought for Scots archive​
BBC News 3rd July 2012


The private papers of one of Scottish history's most controversial political figures have been saved for the nation.

The Melville papers - which include the documents of Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville - contain about 11,000 records which span 150 years.

The National Records of Scotland purchased the collection for £1.35m.

For three decades Dundas was the Grand Manager of Scotland, or Great Tyrant to his enemies, and the trusted lieutenant of British prime minister William Pitt.

He was the most powerful man in 18th Century Scotland.

After training as a lawyer, he was appointed Solicitor-General at the age of 24 and Lord Advocate at 33 but moved into politics.

He was a crucial figure in the expansion of British influence in India, and dominated the East India Company.

Dundas promoted harsh punishment for rebellious colonists in the Americas and prolonged the abolition of slavery.

He was the last person to be impeached in the United Kingdom, for misappropriation of public money, in 1806. He was acquitted, but never again held office.

Effigies of Dundas, known as "the uncrowned king of Scotland", were burned rather than those of the King during the political and social unrest that accompanied the outbreak of revolution in France.

He is commemorated by the 150-foot high Melville Monument, designed by William Burn in 1823, in Edinburgh's St Andrew Square.


His papers have been on long-term loan to the archives but have now been bought from the Melville family for the permanent collection.

George MacKenzie, Keeper of the Records of Scotland, said: "Had we not acquired it for Scotland's archive, the papers would have been sold at auction at a price beyond the public purse and broken up and dispersed across the world.

"The Melville papers have been extensively used by the public since they were first loaned to us, and now that they're in public ownership, we'll be working hard to make them even more widely available."

The collection includes letters from economist Adam Smith, a copy of Admiral George Cockburn's journal which detailed Napoleon's last journey into exile and correspondence relating to the reform of Scotland's political system.

Richard Finlay, Professor of Scottish History at the University of Strathclyde, said the purchase was a major coup for the National Records of Scotland.

"The papers cast a considerable amount of light on the expansion of the British state and empire in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century by giving us an insight into the activities of one of the key architects of the projection of British world power in this era.

"Henry Dundas was a man who was at the centre of a web of patronage that cast itself around the earth. The Dundas dynasty was Scotland's greatest and most powerful political family since the Stuart monarchy."

Culture minister Fiona Hyslop said: "There are very few important politicians and military and naval men of the time who did not have dealings with the Dundases.

"Their influence over the government, politics and society of Scotland was extensive - and their legacy lives on Scottish public life today, in our street names, our statues and now, in this public collection."

The purchase of the collection was funded by £725,000 from the Scottish government, and £625,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Glasgow Titan Crane to lift top engineering honour

BBC News 5th July 2012


The century-old Clydebank Titan Crane is to be awarded a top engineering honour.

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers will present its Engineering Heritage Award to celebrate its position as the oldest crane of its type in existence.

The crane was refurbished in 2007 as a tourist attraction and museum about shipbuilding in Clydebank.

John Wood, the institution's heritage chairman, told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme: "It is a very special piece of engineering history, it is hugely important and well worth honouring. Without this huge crane you couldn't have built the very big cruise ships and war ships of the time."

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Five European wolf pups born at Highland Wildlife Park

BBC News 5th July 2012


Five European grey wolf pups have been born at the Highland Wildlife Park at Kincraig, near Aviemore.

Now six weeks old, the wolves have still to be sexed by staff at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland site.

Wolves in the wild in Scotland were thought to have been hunted to extinction in the 1700s.

Douglas Richardson, animal collection manager, said wolves had been an "iconic" animal at the wildlife park since 1972.

The park's keeping of wolves has attracted criticism in the past from campaigning group OneKind, formerly Advocates for Animals.

In 2006, a pack of six Mackenzie River wolves - a North American wolf - were put down because they were "not portraying their natural behaviour".

Four years later, a female wolf escaped from its enclosure into another secure area. It was recaptured.

Following the incident, Mr Richardson said public safety was never at risk, claiming that a pet hamster would have posed a greater threat of inflicting injuries than the escapee.

On the births of the five pups, Mr Richardson said on the park's Facebook page: "We have made a number of changes to how we manage the species over recent years and it is personally very rewarding to watch this litter being reared.

"The pups, especially one particularly bold individual, are now beginning to wander around the large wooded enclosure, which does seem to cause their mother some anxiety.

"The park is visited by quite a number of people with a special interest in wolves and it is hoped that this latest breeding success will generate further interest in this much maligned species, especially as it is an animal that formerly roamed over most of the country."

A carved stone by the side of the A9 near Brora claims to mark the site where the last wolf in Sutherland was killed by a man called Polson in 1700.

According to research done by Glasgow Zoo, now closed, the wolf was regarded as a common enemy.

Chieftains and royalty led hunts.

One attended by Queen Mary in 1563 employed 2,000 Highlanders and ended in the deaths of five wolves and 360 deer.

Huge swathes of forest in Perthshire, Lochaber and Argyll were systematically destroyed to deprive wolves of their habitat.

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
EuroMillions lottery winners Chris and Colin Weir will continue sharing luck

BBC News 12th July 2012


A couple who won the biggest-ever EuroMillions jackpot have pledged to continue sharing their good luck.

Chris and Colin Weir, from Largs in North Ayrshire, won £161m when their numbers came up on 12 July last year.

The pair have already given large donations to several causes, including £1m to the SNP's independence campaign.

Speaking as they celebrated the anniversary of their win, they said it was a "privilege" to be able to support causes close their heart.

Mr Weir said: "It has been quite a year, exciting and challenging in equal measure, but we couldn't be happier.

"There is still an overwhelming sense of good fortune - we were incredibly lucky and will never forget that.

"But, a year on, the biggest change in our life is that we can now support causes close to our hearts in a more meaningful way.

"It is a privilege to be in a position to see a situation where help is needed and be able to do something about it."

The couple helped raise funds for local 15-year-old tennis hopeful Ross Wilson to attend a tennis academy in Barcelona and 15-year-old race driver Gregor Ramsay to attend the European and Italian F3 European Abarth.

They have also donated money to help refurbish sports facilities for the National Sports Training Centre Inverclyde and the Largs Thistle Community Club, and helped secure the future of the Waverley, the world's last ocean-going paddle steamer.

Mr Weir added: "What we've done in the last 12 months is to achieve a balance between enjoying our new life to the full with recognising the real difference we can now make to others' lives.

"We are currently in the process of setting up our charitable trust, which will support individuals, groups and charities across Scotland who are struggling to gain funds from the more traditional or mainstream grant makers.

"For us, that seems the best way for us to go on sharing our good luck."

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Apparently the last wolve ever killed was in the Inverness area (Ceann Creag gu Inbhirs / Inverness to Kincraig) - despite their negative media image, I'd welcome the amazing animals back to our Highland landscape along with everyone else! They tend to kill less people than deer, less crashes!
Yes, NL. They're magnificent creatures.

Here's another creature it's our good fortune to have in Scotland:

Highland Tiger



The Scottish Wildcat

'Scottish wildcats are the only surviving member of the cat family native to Britain...fossil remains suggest that the biggest ever wildcat measured 1.2m (4 feet) from nose to tail and may have weighed 14kg (30lb)...pound for pound they are as powerful as any other cat alive and they have a top speed of up to 30mph...their night sight is 7 times better than ours...they are strict meat-eaters, consuming almost every part of their kill including the fur and bones. Unlike us they don’t waste a thing.'

The above was extracted from the following website:


The Scottish wildcat survives in habitats like these:



~o0o~



~o0o~



~o0o~​

Not only should we be preserving these habitats. We should be augmenting them. Then everything that lives in Scotland will benefit - including us.

Viz.

 
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