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This is the most draconian legislation applied to the hapless, wheezing, over-charged, over-taxed, broken-winded, bronchitic, catarrhal, modern smoker.

The Death of the Irish Pub? "The smoking ban is the work of one man, Michael Martin, the Minister for Health and Children, and one of nature's killjoys... He is generally thought to regard the banning of nicotine from Irish pubs as a personal crusade, explaining that he once tried smoking but didn't enjoy it."

The ban was scheduled to start today, but has been delayed until March. It's one thing to have smoking banned in California and New York, but what's the point of pub that's not dark and smoky? And Scotland might be next...
posted by grabbingsand on Jan 1, 2004 - 122 comments

vitamin q | a temple of trivia and lists

Scottish puzzle writer, poet, and soon to be author Roddy Lumsden pens vitamin q, a weblog devoted to, as he puts it, "trivia lists, curiosities, and fragments which please me as a connoisseur of the sequential and the inconsequential - it's more a cave of wonder than a grotto of geekery". Vitamin q is the place to go if you need to know 75 terms for being drunk, want lists of fruits and vegetables that have been used as derogatory slang, need the names of the My Little Ponies, or have always wondered which singers have been heralded as "The New Bob Dylan". The archives are bursting with more of the same.
posted by iconomy on Dec 29, 2003 - 9 comments

Hunt the Haggis!

Now that they've found Saddam, it's time to hunt the haggis!
posted by moonbird on Dec 14, 2003 - 5 comments

It canna be!

Scotland shamed: Japan wins whisky challenge. The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre hosted a tasting in Toronto, and a 20-year-old Nikka Yoichi, distilled in Hokkaido, beat out a 16-year-old Lagavulin (my own favorite) and 12-year-old whiskies from Cragganmore and Balvenie (also excellent). This is reminiscent of the 1976 tasting in which California wines beat out French ones and put California on the map; can America someday produce a world-class scotch-type whisky (the preferred spelling in Scotland), or shall we simply continue to take pride in our bourbon and rye?
posted by languagehat on Nov 25, 2003 - 37 comments

When architects have too much Irn Bru

Construction of the Scottish Parliament in Pictures. The site was way over its budget even before they'd started building it, but it's nice to see they're at least doing something creative with the design. Being a lucky soul, I get to walk past this monstrosity every single day.
posted by bwerdmuller on Oct 10, 2003 - 15 comments

Whisky of Mass Destruction

Weapons of Mass Drunkenness. The ever vigilante U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency has been monitoring the web cams at the Bruichladdich Scotch Whisky Distillery on Islay island, Scotland, to make sure the facilities are not being used to make chemical weapons. I, for one, am glad to know that my government takes the safety of whiskey distilleries seriously. [First link via Boing Boing.]
posted by homunculus on Sep 27, 2003 - 12 comments

But where are the Frenchmen?

They come in quest of the Grail. Some people believe the Holy Grail is hidden someplace in or beneath this small fifteenth-century chapel near Edinburgh. Or maybe it contains other knowledge and relics acquired by the Knights Templar in Jerusalem. Or perhaps . . . well, there's not much that someone at some time has not believed about Rosslyn Chapel.
posted by Man-Thing on Sep 11, 2003 - 20 comments

Political prisoner

The prison diary of Scottish Parliament MP (and successful self-publicist) Tommy Sheridan, jailed for seven days (not for the first time) for refusing to pay a fine imposed after he was found guilty of a breach of the peace while demonstrating at Faslane against nuclear weapons.
posted by ascullion on Sep 2, 2003 - 7 comments

National Library of Scotland

The National Library of Scotland and its interesting collection of online exhibits : the Murthly Hours, an illuminated book of hours (folios here); 16th century maps of Scotland; playbills from Edinburgh's Theatre Royal; 16th century Scottish books; the albums of the Edinburgh Calotype Club; R.L. Stevenson; Robert Burns; World War I stories; more.
posted by plep on Jun 24, 2003 - 2 comments

Court Decision - Internet Jokes Found Illegal For Misleading Stupid People

In the first of two stories from Scotland's Scotland on Sunday newspaper, a father is found selling his son into child slavery on the internet. The child is rescued by a vigilant Canadian woman living in the US. - A tale of gullibillitie (that's the new spelling of "gullibility")
posted by Blue Stone on May 3, 2003 - 1 comment

Orkney and Other Scottish Islands

Orkneyjar. The history, folklore and traditions of the Orkney Islands - ghost stories, megaliths, and more on this extensive site.
Related interest :- St. Kilda: Death of an Island Republic. A matriarchal society? Via Utopia Britannica: British Utopian Experiments 1325-1945.
More :- the National Trust's St. Kilda website; the Iona community, an ecumenical community founded in 1938 (more about the founding of the monastery on Iona by St. Columba in 563); independent Eigg; life in Westray, one of Orkney's north isles; the Shetland Museum.
posted by plep on Apr 26, 2003 - 7 comments

'Ock, where's my car?'

An Edinburgh man got back from holiday to find his car had gone missing. It hadn't been stolen. It had been moved by the local council because it was obstructing some drain and hadn't bothered to tell him. How far can local government authority really go in matters of personal property? [more]
posted by feelinglistless on Jan 29, 2003 - 36 comments

O wad some Power the giftie gie us

O wad some Power the giftie gie us -To see oursels as ithers see us! Put on your Sporrans and join me for a wee dram and a bite of Haggis, as Scotland celebrates its national bard ,William Mcgonagal. Oops , i mean Robert Burns.
posted by sgt.serenity on Jan 25, 2003 - 16 comments

Hogmanay ya Bass !

Hogmanay ya Bass! wishing everyone a guid New year : )
posted by sgt.serenity on Dec 31, 2002 - 6 comments

The Pain of History

Welcome to Magdalene Asylums. Now a film, the Asylums were generally staffed by the Sisters of Mercy, and were found throughout Ireland and Scotland.
posted by The Jesse Helms on Nov 29, 2002 - 7 comments

What Would The Good Doctor Have Prescribed?

What Would The Good Doctor Have Prescribed? A Samuel Johnson quotation for every possible occasion, assembled by Frank Lynch. To be taken daily, along with Jack Lynch's Guide, while we wait for David Lynch's upcoming Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland. [Quicktime unrequired, as I made that last bit up]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Nov 7, 2002 - 11 comments

Should majorities also have a say?

Should majorities also have a say? Why doesn't Russia get to vote on Chechen independence? Why can't Britain vote on expelling Northern Ireland ... or the English on Scottish devolution? Should minorities be allowed to hold a gun to the heads of the majority?
posted by bonaldi on Nov 4, 2002 - 35 comments

andy goldsworthy's current project

andy goldsworthy's current project
over the course of a month, artist andy goldsworthy will create works each day in the countryside surrounding his home in scotland, photograph them, and email the photographs to a gallery in san francisco where they will be printed out, and hung on a wall.
in a time when much conceptual art seems increasingly abstract and difficult, goldsworthy's work feels -- at least to me -- accessible, comforting, and wonderful.
what are some other artists that elicit that response in mefi readers? who's work do you like and want to share?
posted by dolface on Oct 31, 2002 - 13 comments

"Al Qaeda Scotland"

"Al Qaeda Scotland" targets the Edinburgh Festival with a leaflet campaign and no-one seems to be doing anything about it. Don't like this man's chances of getting away with it in London or New York.
posted by Summer on Jul 31, 2002 - 12 comments

Scotland's drug minister declares the war on drugs over.

Scotland's drug minister declares the war on drugs over. "The only time you will hear me use terms such as 'War On Drugs' and 'Just Say No' is to denigrate them." [Link via DanceSafe]
posted by bingo on Mar 8, 2002 - 16 comments

Happy Holidays--IN HELL!!

Happy Holidays--IN HELL!! I think someone in Scotland has been watching too much "South Park".
posted by gimonca on Dec 2, 2001 - 15 comments

Celtic's Taliban?

Celtic's Taliban?. Glasgow smeltic fans are a disgrace to Scotland
posted by hector on Oct 1, 2001 - 27 comments

"Hout! Such a mean contrary beast!"

"Hout! Such a mean contrary beast!" Auchh! Who's in the mewd for some good Scottish folk tales, laddies and lasses? Deep in the Highlands, in a bitty crofter's cottage, there lived a wee wee mannie, his kind auld mither and their Big, big coo... (More from The Royal Stuarts.)
posted by brownpau on Sep 29, 2001 - 2 comments

Great Scot!

Great Scot! Who are the 100 greatest Scots of the 20th century? Vote, then come back here to post your choice, justify it, and discuss. (What is a "great Scot" anyway?)
posted by feckless on Sep 5, 2001 - 31 comments

Strathclyde Police, Scotland,

Strathclyde Police, Scotland, given the right to take DNA samples from anyone arrested. Previously DNA samples were taken only from those suspected of murders, sex attacks or serious assaults.

Sir John Orr, Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police, denied that compulsory testing would infringe people's human rights. He said: "The tests are not invasive, not intrusive and not against civil liberties. The vast majority of people will be asked only to give a simple mouth swab, which can be done in seconds. This is a magnificent tool which will help detect crime and the public should be very pleased."

Read: you have nothing to fear if you're innocent...
posted by methylsalicylate on Mar 20, 2001 - 22 comments


Libyan gets minimum of 20 years for Lockerbie Bombing by Scottish Court.

Libyan gets minimum of 20 years for Lockerbie Bombing by Scottish Court. Why are British courts handing out such tiny sentences? After all, in America it's not uncommon for people to receive 99 years for a single murder. Some people are doing over 10 years for rape alone. This Libyan could have easily received the death sentence if he were in the US, as it was similar in scale to the Oklahoma City bombing.

Yet, in the UK, it's possible to kill people through negligence, and get away with it. Just last month an uninsured driver was speeding, killed a pedestrian, fled the scene, and although found guilty, only received a driving ban!

Is the UK overly soft in its sentencing? Or is the USA overly draconian?
posted by wackybrit on Jan 31, 2001 - 23 comments

"States' Rights" hit the UK?

"States' Rights" hit the UK? First abolishing tuition fees, now providing long-term care for the elderly: the Scottish Executive is making life, um, "interesting" for its progenitor in Westminster. The downside of an unwritten constitution?
posted by holgate on Jan 25, 2001 - 7 comments

Go Nessie Go!

Go Nessie Go! I'd bet the ugly reptile is laughing his ass off :-)
posted by joedrescher on Aug 30, 2000 - 1 comment

Mom who laughed as she threw child off 14th-floor balcony sentenced

Mom who laughed as she threw child off 14th-floor balcony sentenced... to five years in prison. I'm definitely committing all my murders in Scotland from now on.
posted by rcade on Aug 5, 2000 - 2 comments

"I think it's a great honour for Scotland,"

"I think it's a great honour for Scotland," he said. Well he sorta served in Her Majesty's Secret Service. He just wasn't very secret about it. He did once say he thought it was alright under certain conditions to "smack a woman" though. I'm not sure if that's a part of the Chivalric Code. I don't know. What do you think?
posted by ZachsMind on Jul 5, 2000 - 12 comments

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