Describing Dame Muriel Spark's oeuvre as "a body of work singular in its violence, formal inventiveness, and scorching opening lines," Parul Sehgal's What Muriel Spark Saw
examines the enduring appeal and the mystery of Spark's fiction, particularly the "monstruous" women: "What hash Spark's characters make of those eternal debates over unlikable characters or unlikable women." [more inside]
posted by mixedmetaphors
on Jul 1, 2014 -
It is beginning to be appreciated, even in London, that Alex Salmond might just win his independence referendum in September. The break-up of Britain will have begun, David Cameron will have to contemplate being Prime Minister of a rump country — and HMS Britannia will be sunk, not with a bang but a whimper.
posted by Chrysostom
on Feb 6, 2014 -
When the Song Dies
In Scotland, folk songs serve as memories, of places and the dead who once inhabited them. Exploring the theme of change, When the Song Dies seeks to bring the audience under the captive spell of the old ways. Featuring a range of contributors, the film is a poignant reminder that the dead linger on, all around us, in the houses and landscapes we live in, and in the language and music of our culture. Whilst Scottishness is at the heart of the film, this story is as universal as it is specific. It is the story of a culture that is, like so many, in danger of fading from human memory.
A 15-minute film directed by Jamie Chambers.
posted by Lezzles
on Feb 4, 2014 -
After a trade dispute, Grangemouth plant
will remain open. Just another case of a greedy union almost driving a company out of business? Perhaps not. Robin McAlpine argues
that this case underlines the broken nature of British industry and its relationship with the unions, as well as the media's ability to report on stories outside of London
posted by Cannon Fodder
on Oct 25, 2013 -
Taylor was a waterman who first entered the book trade in 1612 with a collection of verses. From that point on he kept up a prolific stream of publications, including in 1618 an account of a journey on foot to Scotland published as The Pennyles Pilgrimage
. In the previous year Taylor has published a similar account of his journey to Hamburg, but this book had two twists. The first was that Taylor had set himself the challenge of completing his journey without begging and relying on spontaneous offers of hospitality. The second was that Taylor tried to fund it through subscriptions
posted by Chrysostom
on Oct 22, 2013 -
lifted the FA Cup as skipper of Oxford University, represented them at five different sports ranging from athletics to real tennis, and once shared a 150-run partnership with WG Grace in the highest level of cricket.
His most notable achievement was captaining England in the first ever international football match though. About 4,000 spectators, including a "large number of ladies", gathered to watch the historic game against Scotland at the West of Scotland Cricket Club in Partick on 30 November 1872."
posted by marienbad
on Aug 21, 2013 -
There is vertical throwing, too, in which people throw a 56-pound weight over a bar that is raised progressively higher. It is important to remember to step aside after you have thrown this weight. One of the heavy contestants told me that at a recent games elsewhere, a thrower forgot to move away. Staring up at the descending weight, he decided to catch it, which was not, it was explained, a good thing to do.
Novelist Alexander McCall Smith with a fond portrait of Scotland's remote Morvern peninsula
and the Highland games held there.
posted by Chrysostom
on Aug 7, 2013 -
Graham Hastings, Alloysious Massaquoi and Kayus Bankole are a musical trio from Scotland. They first met at a local hip-hop night for under-16 youth in Edinburgh
, where the music scene is more focused on indie rock than beats and rapping. They started collaborating a few years ago, and now go by the name Young Fathers
. They mix rap, grime, modern R&B, afro-beat, noisy samples and more, though they write music from a pop-perspective, and consider themselves "pop boys."
They have two short releases that are something between EPs and albums, plus a handful of singles. Their primary releases, Tape One
and Tape Two
, have been (re)released on the US label Anticon
, and they have a handful of official videos: Deadline
are the first four tracks from Tape One; I Heard
is the first video from Tape Two; The Guide
is separate single to stream and/or download
, for free on Soundcloud.
posted by filthy light thief
on Jun 19, 2013 -
In the mid-1920s, Claude Friese-Greene filmed The Open Road
, a record of his journey through Britain, using the 'Biocolour'
technique first developed by his father William. Eighty years later, the BFI produced a digital version of the preserved and restored
We've seen London in 1926
previously on MeFi
, but there's plenty more of The Open Road
to see, including weavers in Kilbarchan
(1:16), farmers harvesting with oxen in Cirencester
(0:52), Glamorgan coal-miners
(0:46), and more. [more inside]
posted by Catseye
on Jun 17, 2013 -
(Scottish Gaelic: literally, "chanting"; Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: [kʰãũn̪ˠt̪ɛɾʲəxk]) is the ancient Scottish Highland method of noting classical pipe music or Ceòl Mòr by a combination of definite syllables, by which means the various tunes could be more easily recollected by the learner, and could be more easily transmitted orally. [more inside]
posted by Callicvol
on Mar 19, 2013 -
In 1820 Gregor MacGregor, chieftain of the Central American principality of Poyais arrived in London and explained his problem: his principality had a fine climate, friendly natives, and a democratic government, but it needed investors and settlers to help develop it and exploit its abundant natural resources. To this end his government was to issue a £200,000 bond which would pay off at a generous 6%, as well as land rights for a modest 3 shillings an acre. MacGregor would eventually raise funds worth £3.2 billion -at today's prices- for the entirely fictional principality; this makes him arguably the most successful con-men of all time
. [more inside]
posted by rongorongo
on Dec 31, 2012 -
The Scottish Government has announced
that it intends to legalise same-sex marriage, and will produce a draft bill for public consultation within the year. [more inside]
posted by Dim Siawns
on Jul 25, 2012 -
Q: What's the connection between heroin in Glasgow and a dead goat in Turkey? A: Anthrax
posted by Len
on Jul 21, 2012 -
A potentially dangerous situation
is developing off the coast of Scotland. An off-shore drilling platform is leaking substantial quantities of gas contaminated with hydrogen sulphide. Much as here, the comments thread is as interesting as the post at The Oil Drum
posted by indices
on Mar 28, 2012 -