Archive for the ‘Scottish’ Category

A midge-hood is just one of a number of extreme... (Picture from Scotsman.com)

Occasionally this blog mentions things about midges (phantom midges) and then things of a Scottish nature (kilts, flying ants in Scotland…). So now, I bring to you: Scottish Midges!

Apparently, they are quite a problem and not something the tourism bureau often mentions. Well, one in particular called the Highland Midge or Culicoides impunctatus (which just begs for a cartoon rendering of a midge in a kilt) is the culprit. Undiscovered Scotland has an interesting page about these midges here, with a link to the Midge Forecast (which is closed for the winter but will reopen when the midges are back…sort of like the swallows to Capistrano…well, OK, alike in that they both fly). June to August are the worst months.

According to the makers of Midgeater Max (who are backed by a reputable scientist):

Because it is found in such dense populations, it is estimated that in some parts of Scotland, a single hectare of land can host up to 50 million midges. That is a similar number to the total human population of the whole UK.  This means the equivalent of ten midges for every man, woman and child in the whole country.

I found out about the midges through this old story from the BBC News which talkes about the “splatometer.”

Now clap you hands along to the fabulous Midgie Song, which I just love!

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 Cool photo by Saint Plan

Well, this is slightly odd: WordPress keeps track of all the search terms that people use to stumble upon this blog. And the number one search term, by a huge and overwhelming majority is “under your kilt.”

I’m not sure if that means people are expecting something a wee bit naughty when they click on my blog or if they are just seriously way off track by coming here. Now, I do have this post, which features a stunning picture of a kilt by Kilt 2…

So, because I’m just a helpful kind of lass (and half Scottish), I’m going to give you, my poor misdirected passing visitor, some places to send you that you might actually be looking for:

First off, check out this silly “what’s under your kilt” website. It’s a mindless, very simple game that amused me for a while. If you are looking for a witty (and some not so witty) comeback to the question of what you have beneath, you can look at this site.

On a more practical level, this site has a great idea: kilt underwear! After all, wool is pretty scratchy…and I promise not to call it a slip.

If you don’t want to spend a fortune on a designer kilt or a traditional kilt, check out the unique American company Utilikilts. I have to say that they have some pretty cool stuff! Although, I’m not sure this will help the situation in Iraq….

If you are really feeling ambitious, you can find directions on how to make your own kilt at this comprehensive website.

Perhaps you are looking for the guidebook What’s Under Your Kilt?

Hopefully, you are well on your way to finding what you were looking for. Hey, feel free to check out the other posts here, though.

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Cult of the Rusty Star

What’s up with all the rusty stars suddenly appearing at an alarming rate on the side of houses?!

Go to fullsize image

It seems like they are everywhere (join us, join us….) Eek!

Maybe this is just the latest rustic outdoor fad, like gazing balls, wooden bent over fat lady bums and dressed up concrete geese? (seriously, someone has waaaay too much time on their hands to be creating all these outfits and who knew there was a Gnome War going on!)

Are you seeing stars? Take a look next time you are driving around…I bet you spot these stars all over the place.

According to one commercial web site:

Barn stars date back to the 1830’s in Pennsylvania and were thought to be a sign of good fortune and luck to many farmers, particularly the German. They were painted directly onto the barns and were later built onto the barn itself. Then, crafter’s {their wording, not mine!} began to make them separate from the barn by making them from wood. Today they are made of steel and have become popular for interior and exterior decorating. Many prefer to allow them to rust by leaving them unpainted. The rusty look is very popular.

Wikipedia has this to say about barn stars. Of course, stars have a strong meaning in nearly every religion. Too much to put in this blog, so check out WP again here.

Oh, and apparently in heraldry a star is a “mullet”…unless you are using Scottish heraldry ’cause then it’s just a “star.” Something to ponder when you view this Scottish mullet:

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Wiki Spin and Rinse

It isn’t really new news that people can get onto Wikipedia and muck things up (although I am always surprised by the number of people who use Wikipedia as a reliable, authoritative source…hello, ANYONE can post to it, people!) However, I found this article in Scotland’s Sunday Herald amusing.

Especially the term “Wiki Spin,” as I have noticed colleges and universities are creating their own content on “their” Wikipedia entry. Some serious spin, indeed. Mostly from the big names.

Anyway, the crux of the article is that a new program was created to track just who is slinging arrows at whom…So, if I pull up someone I don’t like and edit the Wikipedia entry to say “He’s a real wanker and likes to suck on first ladies’ toes,” the program can, to a rather limited degree, track my computer down.

The Wikipedia gurus are saying, in a great example of PR speak:

“We really value transparency and the scanner may prevent a organisation or individuals from editing articles that they’re really not supposed to.”

But the scanners’ creator says this much more revealing comment of why he put it out there:

“To create a fireworks display of public relations disasters for all the world to sit back, and enjoy.”


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Ants in your…kilt?

Apparently it is the height of “flying ant days” in Scotland and the government’s message? “Don’t panic!”

People are being urged not to panic after millions of flying ants appeared in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

According to the blogs I’ve seen, this is a regular annual event (much like the hatching of mayflies around Lake Erie). But this year, the ants are back with a vengence! I’m seeing the Hollywood potential here…Ants on a Plane!!!

And one can’t help but wonder about this quote in the context of wearing a kilt the traditional way:

“As with the ants most people recognise from picnics outside, the flying ants are capable of delivering a tiny nip, which can be equally alarming.”

Alarming, indeed!

Cool Colors, by Kilt2

(and watch out for that manifold, dude!) Photo from Kilt2

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