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Newsletter for 19th November 2021

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  • Newsletter for 19th November 2021

    For the latest news from Scotland see our ScotNews feed at:
    https://electricscotland.com/scotnews.htm


    Electric Scotland News

    Why Vikings weren't who we thought they were
    Vikings are often thought of as 'pure-bred', blonde-haired, and blue-eyed warriors who changed the course of European history.

    Now a team of international scientists has debunked this modern-day myth of the Vikings by examining their genetic ancestry. The largest-ever DNA sequencing of Viking remains reveals their surprising ethnic diversity.

    Video by Alexandra Rasmussen at:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/reel/video/p0b...ught-they-were


    Scottish News from this weeks newspapers
    Note that this is a selection and more can be read in our ScotNews feed on our index page where we list news from the past 1-2 weeks. I am partly doing this to build an archive of modern news from and about Scotland and world news stories that can affect Scotland and as all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on Google and other search engines it becomes a good resource. I might also add that in a number of newspapers you will find many comments which can be just as interesting as the news story itself and of course you can also add your own comments if you wish which I do myself from time to time.


    Home discomforts at COP26
    The challenge of removing greenhouse gas emissions from the heating of Scotland's homes and other buildings is a colossal one technically and financially, with an estimated 33bn cost.


    Read more at:
    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland...iness-59256838


    Yule be alright
    Should we be downbeat about reports that 'the best of the recovery is behind us'? Far from it, the UK only looks comparatively sluggish now because we bounced back so much more strongly than expected earlier this year. If anyone should be worried in the run-up to Christmas it's not Britain, but our continental neighbours.


    Read more at:
    https://capx.co/the-eu-has-more-to-w...p-to-christmas


    Renewable energy: How Scottish Isle of Eigg relies on wind, water, solar
    As the world slowly moves away from using fossil fuels for electricity, a tiny Scottish island has shown it’s possible to rely almost entirely on renewables. The community living on the Isle of Eigg were the first in the world to set up their own off-grid energy system powered by wind, water and the Sun.


    Read more at:
    https://www.bbc.com/news/av/science-...nment-59238305


    The kite engineer striving to revolutionise DIY wind power
    Inventor Rod Read has spent more than a decade pioneering turbine kite technology on Scotland’s islands.


    Read more at:
    https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-scotland-59190335


    Gaidhlig and the Outer Hebrides. It is who we are, and it tells our rich story.
    Sponsored by Outer Hebrides Tourism by Alison Campsie


    Read more at:
    https://www.scotsman.com/interactive...d-the-hebrides


    David Buick: the motoring pioneer who lost everything
    Having moved from Arbroath in Scotland to the US as a toddler in 1856, he went on to co-found a plumbing business.


    Read more at:
    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland...iness-56459341


    Do we need a new tea towel to show our self-loathing?
    If only we had a decent education system that produced people like this now, and allowed us to find the solutions. Sadly, the solutions will largely be found by others who have overtaken us in the ability to think outside the box, but if we could rediscover a culture of innovation and self-improvement instead of self-loathing, we could make a useful contribution again, and maybe the world might forgive us.


    Read more at:
    https://thinkscotland.org/2021/11/do...self-loathing/


    Scottish castle grows 2021 Garden of the Year after winning record number of votes
    The Gordon Castle Walled Garden near Fochabers in Moray has picked up the Historic Houses 2021 Garden of the Year award following a public vote. It is the first time a garden north of the border has won the honour outright in the competition’s history.


    Read more at:
    https://www.scotsman.com/heritage-an...-votes-3460038


    Ballet superstar Leanne Benjamin pays tribute to Scots choreographer Sir Kenneth MacMillan
    She was a superstar of ballet, performing on the world’s biggest stages, taking the most prestigious roles in the most iconic productions. When the ovations ended, however, the bouquets gathered from the stage and the spotlights turned off, Leanne Benjamin, then 27, felt so disillusioned she was ready to quit her stellar career. Until, that is, she met her mentor, choreographer Sir Kenneth MacMillan.


    Read more at:
    https://www.sundaypost.com/fp/leanne-benjamin-ballet


    Scotland's hangover
    The SNP's flagship public health policy - minimum alcohol pricing - is turning out as badly as many warned. Not only have deaths from alcohol abuse actually increased, there's growing evidence that young drinkers are abandoning over-priced cider and vodka in favour of cheaper street drugs.


    Read more at:
    https://thecritic.co.uk/dear-booze-m...cots-druggies/


    The rebirth of Tasmanian indigenous culture
    Although many people believe that this ancient culture and people were lost, recent years have seen a seismic shift in recognition for indigenous Tasmanians.


    Read more at:
    https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/2...genous-culture



    Electric Canadian

    Thoughts on a Sunday morning - the 14th day of November 2021
    By the Rev. Nola Crewe

    You can watch this at:
    http://www.electricscotland.org/foru...-november-14th


    Robert Fleming Gourlay

    Added three of his publications for you to read...


    The Banished Briton and Neptunian
    Being a record of the Life, Writings, Principals and Projects of Robert Gourlay, Esq. now Robert Fleming Gourlay (1843) (pdf)
    Read at: http://www.electriccanadian.com/history/neptune21.pdf

    The Neptunian No.17
    Chronicles of Canada (pdf)
    Read at: http://www.electriccanadian.com/hist...ianno17-18.pdf

    The Banished Briton and Neptunian No. 1-12
    By Robert Gourlay
    Read at: http://www.electriccanadian.com/hist...279-no1-12.pdf


    Buffy Sainte-Marie
    A Multimedia Life, chronicled the achievements of Sainte-Marie and her personal journey as singer, songwriter, artist, teacher and activist.

    View this video at:
    http://www.electriccanadian.com/life...inte-Marie.htm

    Memoirs of Major Robert Stobo of the Virginia regiment
    By Robert Stobo and Neville Craig (1854) (pdf)

    Read this account at:
    http://www.electriccanadian.com/makers/murray/stobo.pdf


    Electric Scotland

    Beth's Video Talks
    November 17th 2021 - Human Mysteries and Drambuie Recipe

    You can watch this at:
    https://electricscotland.com/bnft/index.htm

    A Short History of the Scottish Highlands And Isles
    By W. C. MacKenzie FSA Scot (Third Edition) (1908) (pdf)

    You can read this at:
    https://electricscotland.com/history...hhighlands.pdf

    Memoirs of Major Robert Stobo of the Virginia regiment
    By Robert Stobo and Neville Craig (1854) (pdf)

    You can read this at:
    https://electriccanadian.com/makers/murray/stobo.pdf

    A General View of the Coal Trade of Scotland
    Chiefly that of the River Forth and Mid-Lothian to which is added an Inquiry into the condition of the Women who carried coals under ground in Scotland know by the name of Bearers with an appendix in which a review of the trade is taken to the present period since the treatise was first published in 1808; and a statement given of the steps lately taken by Government, with the view of placing the coal trade under an excise in the effects if which are fully considered by Robert Bald, Alloa, Civil Engineer and Mineral Surveyor; Member of the Wernerian Natural History Society of Edinburgh and Honorary Member of the Geological Society of London. (1812) (pdf)

    You can read this at:
    https://electricscotland.com/busines...descotland.pdf

    Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
    Got in the December 2021 section 2 issue.

    Hi Everyone. Here is Section B for December. I surely hope you enjoy it.

    Happy Thanksgiving, which I just learned to my great surprise, is next week!

    Tom is again home from the hospital. This time was really terrifying. As a paraplegic, he can't feel pain below his chest. His accident was in 1988 and a kidney stone had been there for a very long time (The size of a 10 mm bullet) and caused Septicemia and Afib. It took EIGHT body scans to find it. He was at the NE GA Medical Center at Braselton - thank goodness. That is the most excellent hospital either one of us has ever known about. Thankfully, he will be ok. He is home for 2 weeks, giving himself IVs each day. He will go back for the kidney stone to be zapped and then home for a week and back again. After that, he should be well. He is still in bed from his pressure ulcer which is healing wonderfully well, but so slowly.

    I can not express our gratitude to the absolutely marvelous doctors and nurses who cared for him there.

    If you know anyone who is a paraplegic, please ask them to have a check-up for kidney stones. They are more dangerous than we ever knew.

    Don't forget to let me know about changes in your email. Don't forget to send me queries for your genealogy.

    Oh, the most wonderful news is that - and it is in the publication here - a young girl was rescued because of the hand signal where you bend your thumb into your palm and then close your fingers over your thumb!

    Aye,
    beth

    You can read this issue at:
    https://electricscotland.com/bnft/index.htm

    The statutes of Iona: text and context
    By MacGregor (2006) (pdf)

    You can read this at:
    https://electricscotland.com/webclan...utesofiona.pdf

    Clan Henderson Newsletter
    Got in their December 2021 newsletter which you can read at:
    https://electricscotland.com/familyt...rson/index.htm

    Southern Presbyterian Leaders
    By Henry Alexander White, A.M., PH.D., D.D., LL.D. (1911) (pdf)

    You can read this at:
    https://electricscotland.com/bible/S...an_Leaders.pdf


    Story

    This is part of an Introduction to a book "The Scottish Pulpit" in which the author in America is talking to Americans setting the scene so to speak.

    For an intelligent appreciation of the Scottish Pulpit we must have some knowledge of the Scottish character, and some acquaintance with at least the main lines of Scottish Ecclesiastical History.

    Between the people and the pulpit of a nation action and reaction are continuously operative. Originally a man of the people, partaking in all their national peculiarities, and educated in the midst of them, the preacher has been largely moulded by what they are; while, on the other hand, his influence tends to modify their disposition, and in all times of crisis and agitation becomes a potent factor in the settlement of affairs.

    The leaves put forth by a tree do at length fall from it and fertilize its roots; and the pulpit, which is very largely the fruit of a nation’s life, comes ultimately to affect that life. Or, to borrow the illustration of Mr, Gladstone, the preacher receives from the people in vapor that which he gives back to them in flood, but that flood carries them away with it to enterprises which else they had never undertaken. So in entering upon our theme we must pause for a few moments to speak of the distinctive features of the Scottish people.


    These are not difficult to discover. Foremost among them—indeed the very vertebral column of the national character — is sturdy independence. The Scotsman insists upon the right to be, and to belong to, himself. He will let no one think for him or dictate to him. This came out in the patriotic and political struggles of the people, and also, as we shall see, in their ecclesiastical conflicts. But it is just as characteristic of the individual as it is of the nation as a whole. Their great poet has at once expressed and strengthened it by the lyric fervor of the glowing song in which these words occur:

    "The rank is but the guinea’s stamp,
    The man’s the gowd for a’ that.”

    Everywhere the people are jealous of any interference with the great human birthright of private judgment. The very national motto, with its distinct individuality, “Nemo me impune lacessit,” is an assertion of this quality, and occasionally it has run to seed into controversies which have brought it wellnigh into ridicule. The youth who, when asked why he was going to the debating society, answered, “Oh, jist to contradic’ a wee,” was perhaps an exaggerated specimen, but the right to have, to maintain, and to act upon his own conviction is one which every true Scotsman would defend to the utmost.

    Behind this independence, as the hot-blast to the furnace, is that intensity which has become proverbial as the “praefervidum ingenium Scotorum,” and which makes him terribly in earnest in everything that he does. It acts upon him as a convex lens does on the rays of the sun, focusing him upon that which he undertakes until it bursts into a flame, which may either kindle a holy enthusiasm or a destructive conflagration.

    Then, strangely enough, in connection with that fervor there is a persistence amounting almost to dogged stubbornness which keeps the Scotsman steadily at a thing until he has gained his end. This quality of “dourness” — to give it the vernacular name—makes the true Caledonian everywhere pertinacious. He rarely, if ever, lets go that of which he has taken hold, and all that he enters upon he carries through. He has what I may call the spirit of “stick-to-it-iveness” in perfection; and that was a wise prayer which he is said to have offered on one occasion: “Lord, grant that we may be right, for thou knowest we are very decided.”

    Happily, with this indomitable firmness there is combined a very large measure of caution, or what is commonly ridiculed as “canniness.” He leaps with intensity, but he looks before he leaps. He stands like a rock, because he has first taken care to stand on a rock. The high average of intelligence in the nation consequent upon its excellent system of education enables him to see with clearness where the right lies, and so his persistence, which otherwise might have been fraught with mischief, has been mainly an immense power for good.

    Then there is in him a poetic sense which enables him to appreciate the ideal, and halos even common things for him with “the light which never was on sea or land.” That had its bright efflorescence and undying illustration in Robert Burns; for he was exceptional only in the fact that his genius enabled him to express the feelings which were struggling for utterance in his countrymen, and to bring into light the poetry that was already lying latent in their lives. In him it was creative, in them it is receptive; but it is in them, else they could not appreciate him as they do—wellnigh to the verge of idolatry; and they who are most conversant with the peasantry of the land will confirm me when I say that in their ordinary conversation there is not a little of that richness of simile and that spirituality of insight which we associate with poetry.

    Add to these a humor of a quaint, sometimes grim, and occasionally playful sort; not often boisterous, but when it is, shaking the sides with laughter; frequently sly, or, as they call it, “pawkie” and when there is need, stinging and sarcastic too. Some one has said that it requires a surgical instrument to get a joke into the head of a Scotsman, but that is a libel on the people which probably was never meant to be seriously understood; and every intelligent reader of Dean Ramsay’s book will know what value to put upon the assertion. Perhaps the author of it had forgotten to make allowance for the fact that, as a rule, the Scotch are undemonstrative, and would not be apt to show always that they did appreciate a joke. And that reminds me to mention, as feature too important to be lost sight of in our present department, the reticence, especially in regard to sacred things, by which they are characterized. Even in secular affairs they


    “Still keep something to theirsel’s
    They scarcely tell to ony ” —

    but this reserve is more marked in spiritual matters. They feel a great deal more than they say, and they are disposed to regard almost as irreverent any common reference to personal religious experiences in the presence of others.

    Some of these qualities have been modified in recent years, but, as a rule, they are still very largely characteristic of Scotsmen generally, and we shall find continual illustrations of their influence on their greatest preachers, as well as in their Ecclesiastical History. Indeed, this last department, owing very largely to that sturdy individual independence of which we have spoken, is to the uninitiated a labyrinth in which they speedily lose themselves; and even those who are at home in such matters find it a tangled skein requiring both skill and patience for its unravelment. Happily for our present purpose, all that is necessary is some general acquaintance with “the lie of the land,” together with an accurate knowledge of its water-sheds and divisions.


    END.

    And that's it for this week and hope you all have a great weekend and as Beth reminded me in her publication a Happy Thanksgiving to our American friends.

    Alastair


  • #2
    Just a wee side bar to the item on Eigg.
    A number of years ago the Isle of Eigg was struck by a very unusual set of circumstances. There was a drought, the wind did not blow and there was too much cloud cover for the 'then solar' panels to charge the batteries' Luckily there were still diesel generators available so there was some power available~~

    Comment


    • #3
      Interesting Sandy... I think myself that tidal power is the way forward and there are some encouraging news items coming out on that front.

      Alastair

      Comment


      • #4
        Agreed Al. Tides are much more reliable than the other resources. However, small Hydro operations (using Archimedes screws) should also be considered. There is not need to build huge damns for Hydro.

        Comment

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