Swatrick Payze sure is the greatest thing since the last.
They intend moving the English dictionaries to London and the
bilingual Harrap titles to Paris, involving not just the loss of 27
jobs in Edinburgh but the end of a publishing tradition going back
nearly two centuries. Chambers is a Scottish and British institution
dear to the hearts of word-lovers.
Yes, the advent of free resources on the internet has changed the
world of reference publishing, but it is far from clear whether all
options for the future of Chambers Harrap have been properly
considered in what appears to be a very drastic and possibly even
underhand move by Hachette. I feel strongly we shouldn’t just accept
this as inevitable. Hachette should be forced at the very least to
undertake a properly full and open review of the situation first, in
due consultation with the NUJ. If you wish to join with others in
urging them to think again, you may like to sign the online petition
at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/chambers-in-edinburgh/. It only
takes a few seconds.
I’m in Fort St John, BC – which appears to be exactly 116° due west of the hills around Arrochar where I used to stomp around. It’s also the furthest north I’ve ever been in Canada.
The one that got away – Scotland on Sunday on Ivor Cutler.
A recent BBC news story from Scotland leads with:
Wind farms could cost Scotland’s tourism industry millions of pounds and hundreds of jobs, a report has warned.
But the findings of the report are much milder:
This research has shown that even using a worst case scenario the impact of current applications would be very small …
… Our overall conclusion is that the effects are so small that, provided planning and marketing are carried out effectively, there is no reason why the two are incompatible.
So it looks, as usual, as if the BBC is trying to make wind turbines look far worse than they really are.
I saw my first anti-MMP flyer today (a postcard from nommp.ca, which appears to be run by a trainspotter from Guelph) and it surprised me that there could be such virulent opposition to what is basically a good idea. MMP, or its local variant, has worked very well in Scotland. So I’m going to vote for MMP.
When the Scottish Parliament got going late last century, it had a proportional representation system from the start. It did allow some minority parties in – like the Scottish Greens and the Socialists – but in doing so more fairly represented the wishes of the Scottish people.
True, there were some unusual antics in the house at first from some of the Socialist members, but I notice that they are no longer represented. Act like a jerk, nobody votes for you again – that’s democracy.
I’m not sure about the rise of the Nats, and the Greens are hanging on by one member, but it seems to work, and ends the “3 years of doing the opposite + 1 year of campaigning” to which majority rule seems to devolve.
Strike Rochdale from the record books. The Co-op began in Scotland.
… the cooperative movement was born nearly 240 years ago in a barely-furnished cottage in Fenwick, East Ayrshire. (And it’s pronounced ‘fennick’, before you ask.)
Conclusive proof (if any were needed) that Scotland invented Unicode:
If you try to display a UTF-8 apostrophe on an ISO 8859-15 system, you get a reasonable representation of didnae, isnae and wasnae.
I’m not quite sure what to make of the Scottish National Party forming a minority government in the Scottish parliament.
Wikipædia, the first encyclopædia in the Scots leid.
(and although I’m Scottish, and Scotland’s about the size of a Wal*Mart parking lot, I don’t know anyone who uses the word leid for language. Everyone knows the right word is langwidge …)
Everyone says I don’t have a very strong accent, but I’m sick of being misunderstood. I have been offered Wild Turkey when I asked for water, and my house number – 36 – is a constant source of confusion. Bell got it wrong for a couple of hours when we first got our phone in 2002, and so the poor folks at 56 have been getting our junk mail ever since.
Last straw came during the last power outage. Toronto Hydro has an automated voice recognition system which first asks your postal code, then your street name, then the house number. It got the code and the street right, then assumed I was saying big ol’ 56 again. It took me right back to the postal code question, even after confirming it and the street name before.
Rather than going postal, I ended up having to slur out my mooshiest “thihrdheesihx” before it took it. C’mon people, consonants, consonants!
Hate to think what it’d have made of the Glaswegian ‘thehrty’, which my Gran always decried as “common” …
Daniel Aliangana is a medical technologist from Eldoret, Kenya. In 1994–95 he was studying at the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow, and living in the apartment blocks in nearby Sighthill. He recorded these tracks in his spare time, and gave me a tape before he left for Kenya.
Daniel recorded these on a double cassette deck, carefully overlaying each track by recording live over the top. He used a classical guitar, an electronic keyboard, and some kitchen objects for percussion.
I don’t know where Daniel is these days, but there’s a Mr D. Aliangana listed as Chief Technician in the Department of Medical Physiology at Moi University in Eldoret. Wherever you are, Daniel, I hope you are well, and thanks for the music!
(originally linked from my music page.)
Trendy roof turbines are not as green as they look says The Observer. <smugness/>
Paul Gipe has some thoughts on this:
The last one has a couple of pictures I took when we were in Scotland.
Scotland beat France 1-0 yesterday. Here are some Scots enjoying the health benefits of smoking in the drizzle:
Yup, Chernobyl was 20 years ago. Let’s just have a wee pause for a technology that’s still messing us up, yet we’re told it’s the green technology of the future. Yeah, and I bet it’ll be too cheap to meter, too.
There are still farms in Scotland affected by the fallout from Chernobyl. Though, what with all the nuke plants in Scotland, it could be any one of them that’s the real culprit.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a wind farm to survey …
Serendipity: took a wrong turn coming out of the
federal building, and found ourselves in Scottish culinary heaven (which is not an oxymoron, I assure you). At the corner of Ellesmere & McCowan is The But ‘n’ Ben Butchers; they sell all sort of quality Scottish foods. So far, we’ve sampled and can approve their butcher’s pies, plain bread and empire biscuits. They’ve also got a supply of UK Heinz Beans, which knock the gummy North American beans into a cocked hat.
Next door but one is St Andrews Fish & Chips. They’re amazing. I think the chips (hand cut, of course) are deep fried in some unhealthy, but tasty, animal byproduct. And they have Irn Bru, too …
You can’t know how happy it makes me to read about the survey that shows that over 90% of people living closest to the Dun Law site supported their local wind farm. The early planning stages of this project were particularly fraught with opposition.