In 1865, a customised tea clipper called the Mimosa delivered around 150 Welsh men, women and children to an uninhabited corner of southern Argentina. Today, in far corners of Patagonia, Welsh culture and language still survive.
I AM INTO THIS. Who are the Cambridge Satchel Company and why should we care? The company started in 2008, and they sell old-style 1950s/60s era British school satchels. Originally meant for kids (the founder states, "I honestly thought that it would be schoolchildren and parents buying my bags!"), the satchels have become a more modest and budget-friendly alternative to designer bags. As a small startup company, they relied on enthusiastic word-of-mouth from the internet to bolster their profits; Deane states,"I think online was the only way that we could really engage and get traction really quickly" (warning: autoplaying video). This is the perfect storm of internet obsession: you click the link, and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. [more inside]
A year on, y'all may be sick to death of Frozen and new versions of Let it Go, but surely there's room for the Welsh version as translated and sung by the 14 year old Rebekah West? Bonus: sing along version with lyrics.
The Welsh Space Campaign. The suit is made of the fabric woven in the last remaining wool mills in Wales. The astronaut boots are traditional Welsh clogs crafted by a traditional clog maker. The whole pressure system that will enable the astronaut to sustain life in outer space was built by a Welsh plumber. The aim of the designer is to reveal that Wales has the capacity to explore space, and to show that off-world culturalisation can be achieved through a collective communitarian effort; as a way to allow the people involved to reconsider their role and skill in relation to these cosmic contexts. -- We Make Money Not Art
What Is Going on With the Accents in Game of Thrones? Gawker beanplates the accents used on-screen by the actors in Game of Thrones. Like most fantasy television shows, Game of Thrones is largely populated by English actors speaking with English accents. This is because Americans are still unconvinced that England is a real country, and associate English speech patterns with kings and magic and sorcery and frequent stabbings. [more inside]
folkinfo.org is a database of English-language folk songs. Each song is listed with its respective lyrics, sheet music, Roud Index number, midi file, and historical information. The database also provides song information in abc notation. Placed into an abc converter, one can generate sheet music in a variety of forms and scales.
Exploring Cardiff's Roath Lock studios, home of Doctor Who, Casualty, Upstairs Downstairs and the Welsh language Pobol y Cwm. Oh yeah, and there's a trailer for Doctor Who series 7, in which Farscape fans will catch a glimpse of Ben Browder.
Not a lot of people know that today is Owain Glyndwr Day. "Welsh prince Owain Glyndwr led a successful people's rebellion against England's iron-fisted rule in the early 15th century and arguably became the most famous and highly regarded figure in Welsh history." [more inside]
Twenty-four different accents in just over eight minutes. (NSFW SLYT)
A few years ago, Gruff Rhys, lead singer of fabulous Welsh pop oddballs Super Furry Animals (Cymraeg/English) set out to make a film about the search for his uncle, a 1970s Argentinian pop star called René Griffiths. The result is Separado!: part travelogue, part music film, and part history of how a small band of idealists set out to establish a Welsh colony in the Argentinian part of Patagonia. [more inside]
Since 1980, the Celtic Media Festival has brought together people who broadcast, and now Webcast, in Celtic languages. Videoblog Gwagenn.TV provides a report (with autoplaying video) from the 2009 festival whose clips and interviews are spoken and subtitled variously in Breton, French, English, Welsh, Scots Gaelic and Irish, Catalan, and Basque, not all of which are actually Celtic. [more inside]
Following in the footsteps of (fellow Welshman) John Cale, Jeff Buckley, kd lang, Sheryl Crow, Bon Jovi, et al, Welsh band Brygin have been given permission by Leonard Cohen (touring for the first time in 15 years and in Cardiff tomorrow night) to release their Welsh language version of Hallelujah. Lyrics for those wishing to sing along and compare to the original.
A Welsh Black Box to make biofuel whilst capturing car fumes
The poems of Dafydd ap Gwilym A project at Swansea University puts the works of one of mediaeval (14th century) Europe's literary giants on line in full, including a full concordance, digitalised manuscripts, English translations and recorded readings. Dafydd was a great poet of love, lust and nature and a master of strict form. His work was also hilariously funny.
NewsFilter: Lloyd Alexander (2) has died two weeks after his wife. Don't take his children's fantasy books seriously? Does it help that the American author introduced thousands of kids to Welsh mythology through The Chronicles of Prydain (Including The Black Cauldron [movie]), wrote over 40 novels (many of which are not fantasy nor children's books, such as his first book, "Let the Credit Go"), joined the army in WWII to become a better writer, and translated Nausea? His last book, The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio, will be released in August.
...Historians teach that they are mostly descended from different peoples: the Irish from the Celts and the English from the Anglo-Saxons who invaded from northern Europe and drove the Celts to the country’s western and northern fringes. But geneticists who have tested DNA throughout the British Isles are edging toward a different conclusion. Many are struck by the overall genetic similarities, leading some to claim that both Britain and Ireland have been inhabited for thousands of years by a single people that have remained in the majority, with only minor additions from later invaders like Celts, Romans, Angles, Saxons, Vikings and Normans. The implication that the Irish, English, Scottish and Welsh have a great deal in common with each other, at least from the geneticist’s point of view, seems likely to please no one.A United Kingdom? Maybe
See also Myths of British ancestry
In the words of one well known Basque cultural icon: HA Ha!
The tradition of the Regimental Goat extends as far back as 1775 and the Battle of Bunker Hill, if not earlier. Canada's own Batisse IX is said to be a direct descendant of Tibetan goats presented by the Shah of Persia to Queen Victoria in 1884. Ask any regimental goat and they will tell you they are well respected, but military discipline can be severe when the regimental goat steps out of line.
Subtitles on the radio. Last night Radio 1, the BBC's flagship youth station, broadcast an hour of Welsh language music and chat. The webcast includes subtitles.
Gathering the Jewels. Welsh culture online. 'The goal of the project was to put the cream of Wales' cultural history, from repositories throughout Wales, on the Internet for people to learn from and enjoy. ' Politics, religion, sport, domestic life, emigration (the Welsh in Patagonia), the Welsh landscape etc. Via the 24 Hour Museum.
Wales and sports. I'd not put the two together, being from across the Atlantic. But, as we approach next weekend's Mountain Bike Bog Snorkeling Championship, I'm amazed the sport isn't better known in the States. Though, after reading about it from the 2000 Woman's champion, I think I'd rather participate in their horse racing marathon (there's a big bonus for crossing the finish before the horse) or bikeless bog snorkeling events. What sporting events are there where you're from that haven't yet gotten the world wide audience they deserve?
The Castles of Wales A very extensive site documenting castles, abbeys and the like in Wales. If you're fond of castles, be prepared to lose at least an hour.
Was John Wayne A ... Welshman? In that case, I nominate Johnny Cash as the No.1 American icon. Unless it turns out he's English or something. [Inspired by jpoulos's, Kafkaesque's, Optamystic's and others' recent celebrations - elsewhere on MetaFilter - of the great man.]