There are more than 285 competitive bagpipe bands in the United States, made up of thousands of pipers and drummers. Bands are divided into grades based on skill: Grade 5 is the lowest, akin to Little League; Grade 1 is the majors. In May 2014, the Massachusetts-based Stuart Highland Pipe Band was promoted to Grade 1, and next month they'll be facing off against other top-level bands in Glasgow at the annual World Pipe Band Championships. But first, the Stewies made their North American debut at the premier level at a competition in Ontario: Blowhards: On the road, down the bottle, and across the border with Boston’s greatest competitive bagpipe band. [more inside]
UK adoption agencies are reporting "huge numbers of calls from 'deeply distressed' adoptive parents whose children have been contacted" through Facebook and other social networking sites, in violation of the traditional, confidential reunion process between birth parents and their offspring who have been placed with other families. Full report from Channel 4. [more inside]
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware that jaups in luggies: But, if Ye wish her gratefu prayer, Gie her a Haggis!
Just nae call i' English! Food historian Catherine Brown has announced that Haggis, the traditional Scottish dish, was invented in England rather than Scotland. Scottish butchers have dismissed the daft claim. But just in case she turns out to be right, there's always... curry? [more inside]