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simple minded dream 79-80-81-82-83-84

They got overshadowed by Bono in their interviews, their videos hardly rocked the zeitgeist, their lead singer looked way too much like the weird kid who played little Hitler in the Boys From Brazil, but for a while in the late 1970s and the early 1980s (before the release of a certain annoying movie), it was sometimes claimed that Simple Minds were the best band in the entire history of the Universe, if not the world ... and the groove goes on.
posted by philip-random on Oct 25, 2008 - 53 comments

The other kind of free trade

Smuggler's Britain tells "the fascinating story of smuggling in 18th and 19th century Britain, when high taxes led to an dramatic increase in illegal imports. As the 'free trade'" grew, smugglers openly landed contraband in full view of the customs authorities: columns of heavily-armed thugs protected the cargoes." Includes a gazetteer with Google maps links so you can scope out some lonely cove to land contraband of your own in the footsteps of your forefathers and introduces you to famous smugglers like Isaac Gulliver, who never killed a man in a long career. Though of course, it was an enterprise where things often would turn ugly.
posted by Abiezer on Oct 9, 2008 - 7 comments

Adverts Made In Scotland From Girders

Take Britain’s favourite poem and add it to Scotland’s other national drink and here’s the result (mildly NSFW). [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jun 4, 2008 - 26 comments

A Guide To Recognizing Your Setts

For those of you who are celebrating Tartan Day on April 6, a little primer on tartans. Tartans began in Scotland as woven wool patterns used as district identifiers, created using locally popular patterns and, originally, different natural wool colors. The word tartan originally just meant the style of weaving -- take the yarn over two cross strands, then under two, then repeat. Eventually the meaning changed to what we now accept, the patterns of colors in the weave, also called the sett. [more inside]
posted by Shotgun Shakespeare on Apr 5, 2008 - 31 comments

"To say that I am a patient man would be an understatement."

Seventeen years Steve Feltham sold up everything, bought an old mobile library van and parked up alongside Loch Ness to look for Nessie... He's still there.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 24, 2008 - 20 comments

Unlikely stories, likely

Poet, playwright, novelist, mural painter, experimentalist, illustrator; a “fat, spectacled, balding, increasingly old Glasgow pedestrian”; and perhaps “the greatest Scottish novelist since Sir Walter Scott,” Alasdair Gray has a new book out. [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Feb 20, 2008 - 20 comments

Mujer Libre

The Scots voice of the Spanish revolution [Embedded DivX video 1hr15m; also downloadable] Ethel MacDonald was a young working class Scots woman who hitch-hiked to Barcelona to do her part in the war. There she became the English-language voice of the anarchist movement as a radio station announcer. Newspapers at home dubbed her the "Scottish Scarlet Pimpernel" for her role in helping comrades escape the crackdown that followed the May Days. Her remarkable story is told in this recent drama-documentary.
posted by Abiezer on Feb 1, 2008 - 12 comments

Gaelic Psalm Singing

THE church elder’s reaction was one of utter disbelief. Shaking his head emphatically, he couldn’t take in what the distinguished professor from Yale University was telling him. "No," insisted Jim McRae, an elder of the small congregation of Clearwater in Florida. "This way of worshipping comes from our slave past. It grew out of the slave experience, when we came from Africa." But Willie Ruff, an Afro-American professor of music at Yale, was adamant - he had traced the origins of gospel music to Scotland. [more inside]
posted by brautigan on Jan 11, 2008 - 96 comments

Happy Birthday Big Yin!

Billy At 65: I owe it all to Glasgow. But Glasgow and Scots in general owe Billy Connolly for all the laughs at our own expense...Tourism, Economy, Music, Religion, Sport, Social life, Education, Language, Cuisine, History, Transport and Sex. (Rampant YouTubery: All links potentially offensive and NSFW) [more inside]
posted by brautigan on Dec 3, 2007 - 26 comments

Over the sea to Skye...

Andy Strangeway decided to spend a night on each of the 162 Scottish islands. This is his story.
posted by triv on Nov 19, 2007 - 22 comments

Frank McNab, Glasgow artist

Empty Cathedrals. Tenement closes. Glasgow artist Frank McNab documents the communal entrances sans nostalgia or sentimentality. Gets it just so damn right! His 'Thoughts' and 'Projects' need a little more work however.
posted by Wrick on Nov 17, 2007 - 11 comments

A grave situation

ukgraves.info has thousands of photographs of cemeteries and gravestones all over the UK, from City of London to the Kirk of Lammermuir, and random points in between.
posted by dersins on Nov 14, 2007 - 11 comments

BBC Podcasts to learn about bakery fresh British popular music

BBC Introducing is an excellent way to keep tabs on what's fresh in the British popular music scene without having to live in a rainsoaked armpit. There are four podcasts for you to download, the flagship Best of Unsigned Podcast, Homegrown Mix with Ras Kwame, Scotland Introducing and BBC Radio Northampton's Weekender. All feature bands that are either unsigned or just recently signed and the music ranges from hip hop to punk rock to what sounds awfully like the soundtrack for a NES game with half-hearted chanting over it. This is an excellent resource whether you're casual searcher for new songs or the kind of anorak who knows which British indie band was first to use an 808.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 5, 2007 - 9 comments

Gillespie, Kidd & Coia: Architecture 1956-1987

Gillespie, Kidd & Coia: Architecture 1956-1987 [more inside]
posted by Len on Nov 2, 2007 - 14 comments

Rebus Retires

Exit Music. The King of Tartan Noir, Ian Rankin has retired his detective John Rebus. Ageing him with each novel, Rebus has finally reached the retirement age at Edinburgh CID; Although that may not stop him... [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 1, 2007 - 18 comments

We ettle tae come up wi writin that's easy tae read an can be soondit bi readers in thair ain dialect.

We've discussed Simple English Wikipedia, and descriptions of other languages in English, but have you tried reading wikipedia in Scots? You asked if Scots is a language? How about any of the other 253 languages of Wikipedia?
posted by jacalata on Sep 5, 2007 - 43 comments

Guga

"The ile is full of wild fowls, and when the fowls has their birds ripe, men out of the parish of Ness in Lewis sail and tarry there seven or eight days and to fetch with them home their boatfull of dry wild fowls with wild fowl feathers" - Donald Monro, Archdeacon of the Isles, 1549. The men sail again, as they have done since the 15th Century, this month.
posted by brautigan on Aug 14, 2007 - 6 comments

Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation

Alasdair Gray 0-70 2004 BBC Artworks Scotland film made on the occasion of Glasgow artist and author's (best known for Lanark) seventieth birthday. Also a short clip and another film on his mural work as embedded Youtubery at his site. (Previously.)
posted by Abiezer on Jul 17, 2007 - 19 comments

Question Time

So, how is that whole Iraq thing working out for you, Tony? What's going on with Scotland? Is the rise of the SNP your party's fault? Are they laying the groundwork for Scottish independence?
posted by chuckdarwin on May 4, 2007 - 81 comments

With nature and a camera

Being the adventures and observations of a field naturalist and an animal photographer - An utterly charming picture of life in Scotland's Outer Hebrides in 1896.
St Kilda - "Many theories have been advanced as to the origin of the inhabitants of this lonely rock, and a curious tradition exists as to its acquisition by members of the outside world. The inhabitants of Harris and Uist agreed to make it the prize for a boat race, and accordingly set out to row across the intervening waste of waters. So equally matched were the crews in regard to pluck and endurance that they arrived at St Kilda almost at the same moment. The Uist men, however, led by a few strokes, and hopes of winning ran high amongst them when Colla MacLeod, the chief of the Harris gang, chopped his left hand off and flung it ashore over the heads of his competitors, and secured St Kilda and its satellites to himself and his descendants for all time."

posted by tellurian on Apr 29, 2007 - 7 comments

John Smith's Ephemera

"John Smith, Youngest, of Crutherland, was given the honorary degree of LL.D in 1840. In 1842 he announced the bequest to the University [of Glasgow] of his runs of publications from learned societies, and his volumes of ephemeral items. These came to the library on Smith’s death in 1849." Some examples: Playbill, Theatre Royal, York Street. Broadsheet account of an attempted prison break. Radical Party election ballad. See also: Glasgow Broadside Ballads: cheap print and popular song culture in nineteenth-century Scotland and Glasgow Broadside Ballads: The Murray Collection
posted by Len on Feb 3, 2007 - 7 comments

Happy New Year

So you can sing along this evening. Happy New Year from Glasgow where our Hogmanay event has been cancelled due to storms.
posted by bobbyelliott on Dec 31, 2006 - 11 comments

Pepsi Bru

Irn Bru Irn Bru Irn Bru
posted by the cuban on Dec 4, 2006 - 43 comments

Middle Eastern troops at Hadrian's Wall in the early fifth century

Iraqi peacekeepers sent to the Scottish border... 1600 years ago. The Notitia Dignitatum, the Roman equivalent of an organisation chart for the imperial bureaucracy in the fifth century, contains a reference to soldiers from the Tigris stationed at Hadrian's Wall. More on the Notitia here; more on Hadrian's Wall here, including a 3D tour of a fort near the Wall, and tablets discovered at another fort (including a request by a commanding officer for "more beer").
posted by greycap on Aug 19, 2006 - 8 comments

The Burryman

Every year the The Burryman makes his appearance at the Ferry Fair Festival. It has now been revealed how he copes with all that whisky.
posted by tellurian on Aug 13, 2006 - 13 comments

Scots' speech for the glaikit

Losh! That's a stoater of a web site!
posted by persona non grata on Jul 21, 2006 - 20 comments

3,000 Photographs of Glaswegians

3,000 photographs of Glaswegians taken by Glaswegians, between 1989 and 1992.
posted by jack_mo on Jul 13, 2006 - 27 comments

Inspirational Climber

Tom Weir, climber, writer, broadcaster and cult figure, best known for the show 'Weir's Way' has passed away at age 91. Recently honoured for bringing Scotlands environment and its issues to public attention. I'll be climbing a munro in rememberance. RIP.
posted by Shave on Jul 7, 2006 - 11 comments

Scotsmen giving things away? Whatever next..

Heard of Alasdair Gray? He's a legendary Scottish author/artist. He's 72. He wrote the astonishing Lanark. And now he's got his own blog. Where he's giving away a new play. So you can "re-write it in a dialect or language" you prefer, and "give it a different title and announce that the version is based upon my play."
posted by ascullion on Jul 1, 2006 - 14 comments

Glasgow lights

The Kingston Bridge, a neglected urban bridge in Glasgow was recently resurrected as a public work of art by Leni Schwendinger. Lighting was added under the bridge to highlight the architecture but it also reacted to use. The more traffic flowing on the roads above, the more red is displayed, as the tide rises, blues dominate, resulting in some pretty cool, ever-changing public art on a grand scale.
posted by mathowie on May 23, 2006 - 14 comments

The Survey of Scottish Witchcraft

The Survey of Scottish Witchcraft: A searchable database of people accused of witchcraft in Scotland between 1563 and 1736. Currently, 3,837 people have been identified, 3,212 by name. 113 cases involved fairies, 74 had a known political or property motive, 70 involved some aspect of "white magic". This is the real, and utterly fascinating, history of a hysteria that griped a country and a continent for more than a century. Religion, folk belief, fear and local relations all played out in witchhunts - and we still do not really understand why, why they started or why they ended. Projects like this one are invaluable to help us begin. (Co-developed by mefite Flitcraft)
posted by jb on Feb 20, 2006 - 17 comments

Scots/Irish in America and War

They fight OUR WARS Revenge of The Mutt People", by Joe Bageant is a striking essay about the hopelessness and pride of the impoverished decendants of Scots/Irish stock found in rural America. More information here. -from rigourous intuition-
posted by thedailygrowl on Jan 26, 2006 - 67 comments

Too much of a good thing

The ashes of the recently deceased contains high amounts of nutrient rich phosphates, just perfect for sprucing up that garden of yours. On the iconic peaks of Scotland though Mountaineers have decided that enough is enough.
posted by 0bvious on Jan 25, 2006 - 33 comments

Racing a clockwork orange

The Subway Challenge! Can one man get off the Glasgow underground at one stop, race the train to the next and get back on the same train? Mebbes aye, mebbes naw. (What? Want more underground? Here are some great photographs from before and after its 1970s restoration)
posted by bonaldi on Jan 22, 2006 - 61 comments

hey, mcCloud, get off of my ewe

SCOTTISH ARCHITECTURE plus
posted by Phantast on Jul 12, 2005 - 5 comments

The Golden Spurtle

Porridge. Lots of Porridge. Not the (allegedly) classic BBC TV comedy, but the stuff you make from oats and that's fed generations of Scots. And now you too can attempt to win the Golden Spurtle and be crowned the World Porridge Making Champion. Some light relief for a Monday..
posted by Nugget on Jun 13, 2005 - 10 comments

Scotsman Newspaper Digital Archive 1817-1950

Edinburgh's Scotsman newspaper has launched a digital archive covering all editions from 1817-1950. There are several stories with an American slant which may be something that interests you. There is coverage on such things as the hanging of the notorious bodysnatchers Burke and Hare. Unfortunately, after viewing the free archives it is a paysite, but I still think it's worth a look as there is easily a couple of hours of interesting reading on the free articles that are included. The set-up and look of this site is brilliant as well.
posted by ClanvidHorse on Jun 4, 2005 - 9 comments

The dear green place?

Best laid schemes? Back in 1945 the Bruce Plan [click on images for video footage] was a radical proposal to knock down, and then rebuild, the Victorian centre of the city of Glasgow. The city’s slums* would be cleared; new towns* would be established; Glasgow would rise again, triumphant, once again the second city of the Empire*. In 1971*, there were grand visions of the Glasgow of the future; the Glasgow of tomorrow would be a bright, shining new city, and the Clyde* would once again be something to be proud of. A fascinating film archive of the Glasgow of the 20th century. *All links contain embedded video goodness.
posted by Len on May 17, 2005 - 13 comments

Alexander the Corrector

The Man Who Unwrote the Bible. In the mid-1720s, Alexander Cruden took on a self-imposed task of Herculean proportions: he decided to compile the most thorough concordance of the King James Version of the Bible (777,746 words). The first edition of Cruden's Concordance was published in 1737. Every similar undertaking before or since has been the work of a vast team of people. Cruden worked alone in his lodgings, writing the whole thing out by hand. Cruden's day job was as a "Corrector of the Press" (proofreader). He would give hawk-eyed attention to prose all day long. Then he would come home at night to read the Bible—stopping at every single word to secure the right sheet from the tens of thousands of pieces of paper all around him and to record accurately the reference in its appropriate place. He had no patron, no publisher, no financial backers: his only commission was a divine one.
Cruden's Concordance has never been out of print. A new book tells the tale of Alexander the Corrector's bizarre, sad life (scroll down to about half page).
posted by matteo on Apr 3, 2005 - 10 comments

Super Cooper

Davie Cooper was one of Scotland's greatest ever players. Today sees two of his former clubs Rangers and Motherwell battle it out in a cup final, or Coop final as it has been called. A fitting tribute if ever there was one.
posted by the cuban on Mar 20, 2005 - 7 comments

Crime, politics, romance, emigration, humour, tragedy, royalty and superstitions

The Word on the Street :: A collection of over 1800 broadsides published in Scotland between 1650 and 1910, featuring both digital images of the original Broadsides as well as transcriptons of the texts. You can just review the highlights or search or browse the entire collection.
posted by anastasiav on Feb 20, 2005 - 13 comments

Follies

Follies and Monuments Devoted to the history of English architecture fantastic, outrageous, and (to borrow from the quotation on the index page) "useless." See also this 3D model of William Beckford's Fonthill Abbey (and the facsimile reprint of A Description of Fonthill Abbey and Demesne); folly gardens, historical and current; and a famous French folly garden, the Désert de Retz.
posted by thomas j wise on Jan 2, 2005 - 8 comments

Fry me for an oyster

Fried Beyond Belief: You're disgusting. But why shouldn't you be? If Elvis were on the blue today, WWES?
posted by ewkpates on Dec 9, 2004 - 18 comments

Ach! A Wee Haggis!

Haggis Hunt 2004/2005. Well, now, lads and lassies! 'Tis time to seek out that "Great Chieftan o the Puddin-race!"
Look for them. Learn about them. Or just smack them silly.
posted by grabbingsand on Dec 1, 2004 - 3 comments

Philosophy

The eighteenth-century Scottish Enlightenment.
posted by semmi on Oct 7, 2004 - 5 comments

Gettin involvit in the Scottish Pairlament

Gettin involvit in the Scottish Pairlament The Scottish Pairlament is here for tae represent aw Scotland's folk. We want tae mak siccar that as mony folk as can is able tae find oot aboot whit the Scottish Pairlament dis and whit wey it warks.
posted by xmutex on Sep 10, 2004 - 16 comments

The complete history of englands missed penalty kicks.

Today is world celebrate Scottishness day. View the complete history of Englands missed penalty kicks and the Scottish national liberation armys website whilst having a wee dram with tunes played on Scotlands national instrument , the midi player lilting in the background.
posted by sgt.serenity on Jun 24, 2004 - 14 comments

Muckle bonnie wirds

Dictionary of the Scots Language. The two major historical dictionaries of the Scots language, the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST) and the Scottish National Dictionary (SND), have been combined into one searchable online edition:
Thus, information on the earliest uses of Scots words can be presented alongside examples of the later development and, in some cases, current usage of the same words. In this way, we hope that the DSL will allow users to appreciate the continuity and historical development of the Scots language. By making the DSL freely available on the Internet, we also aim to widen access to the source dictionaries and to open up these rich lexicographic resources to anyone with an interest in Scots language and culture.

posted by languagehat on Apr 2, 2004 - 13 comments

Morrice Web

Morrice Web: Photography from Scotland.
posted by hama7 on Mar 7, 2004 - 2 comments

Burns Night

Burns Night. 'Robert Burns: poet and balladeer, Scotland's favourite son and champion of the common people. Each year on January 25, the great man's presumed birthday, Scots everywhere take time out to honour a national icon. Whether it's a full-blown Burns Supper or a quiet night of reading poetry, Burns Night is a night for all Scots.'
More on the Robert Burns Tribute site.
posted by plep on Jan 23, 2004 - 3 comments

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