Magazine - Scottish News
Welcome to the inaugural edition of SLOGAN, a newsletter bringing you some of the iconic brands of Scotland together with new products to try and special places to visit. Wherever you are around the world we hope to bring Scotland to you and possibly tempt you to visit one day and as we go through the seasons we'll also tell you what's happening in this beautiful country.
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From 'Inside the Beltway" by Jennifer Harper - April 3, 2013
A reminder that the nation's capital remains a historic region, as opposed to a welter of tweeting pundits and grimacing politicians. Alex Salmond, the first minister of Scotland, will soon arrive on these shores to return a pair of George Washington's books long held by the National Library of Scotland. It's all part of an effort by Mount Vernon to recreate a collection of Washington's favorite reading materials, to be ultimately housed in the spiffy Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon, set to open in September.
The two volumes date from 1795 and come under the grand title "Official Letters to the Honorable American Congress, Written, During the War between the United Colonies and Great Britain, by His Excellency, George Washington, Commander in Chief of the Continental Forces." The books were donated to Scotland's national collection 75 years ago by the family of one Hugh Sharp, a bibliophile and jute manufacturer who lived in Dundee.
Mr. Salmond returns them to Mount Vernon at a formal ceremony Monday with a flourish and bagpipe music.
Blu-ray Combo Pack and HD Digital
The American-Scottish Foundation® is pleased to advise that we are continuing to work with Disney·Pixar on a national outreach to the Scottish American community.
The focus of our efforts in the coming months is the Animation / Comedy / Adventure feature BRAVE which is available on Blu-ray Combo Pack and HD Digital on November 13, 2012. The studio is as excited to be working with our community as we did for the theatrical release.
A breathtaking adventure that has entertained audiences of all ages, the Blu-ray release of "Brave" includes hours of all-new bonus material, extraordinary behind the scenes features, extended and deleted scenes, a mysterious and exciting, new short film, 'The Legend of Mordu," and much more.
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Andy Scott's Kelpies are in Chicago!
When Camilla Hellman, ASF's Director of Development, visited Chicago for this year's Ryder Cup, she was thrilled to see two stunning Scottish sculptures and wished to share their story with you...
The Kelpies will be one of the largest equine sculptures in the world, standing 30 meters (100 feet) tall. They will be the landmark feature of The Helix Environmental Regeneration Scheme on the Forth and Clyde Canal near Falkirk on Central Scotland. They are the brain-child of sculptor Andy Scott, and will be the largest public artworks in Scotland.
3 meter tall Kelpie maquettes have been installed at the Field Museum, Grant Park, Chicago, overlooking Lake Michigan. They are being exhibited as part of the Chicago Sculpture International Exhibition, and will be in Chicago for 12 months.
Sited along the Lake Michigan walkway in downtown Chicago, the pieces are attracting a lot of attention, as we wait in anticipation for the full scale sculptures to be unveiled in Scotland.
Andy has created many equine sculptures as public works of art. Anyone who's driven the M8 motorway between Glasgow and Edinburgh will have seen 'The Heavy Horse'. It has become one of the best known artworks in Scotland. It stands 4.5 meters tall at the head and is made of galvanised steel round bars.
Neil Armstrong memorial service sees Kelso piper play
September 14, 2012 : Scottish Press
Angus Sutherland wore an Armstrong tartan kilt for the service
A Kelso-born piper has played at the memorial service in Washington DC for Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon.
The astronaut was proud of his Scottish roots and was given the freedom of Langholm in 1972.
Angus Sutherland, who also lived in Melrose, is a recent graduate from Washington DC's Georgetown University.
He wore the Armstrong tartan kilt, as he piped the astronaut's family into the city's cathedral.
Armstrong died last month at the age of 82 and his funeral in Cincinnati, Ohio, was by invitation only. Now he has been honoured by a public memorial service.
Mr Sutherland was asked to play on behalf of the Scottish people by the Scottish government.
The 22-year-old said it was an opportunity which "fell in his lap" thanks to a meeting with a diplomat from the British Embassy in Washington DC about a year ago. "I think what happened was Alex Salmond, on hearing about Neil Armstrong's death, contacted NASA and offered them a piper for the occasion," he explained. "Then it was passed over to the British Embassy to sort that out."
Mr Salmond said the Scottish government wanted to honour a man proud of his Scots ancestry.
"Neil Armstrong was a modest man who achieved magnificent things," he said. "He was extremely proud of his Scottish roots and never more so than the day in 1972 when, in the 'Muckle Toon' of Langholm in Dumfriesshire, he accepted the freedom of the town. Local people were surprised but delighted when he accepted their invitation and when Mr Armstrong declared that Langholm would from then on be considered his home town. Forty years later, the collective memory of that day has not dimmed."
The American-Scottish Foundation® is pleased to advise that we are working with Disney·Pixar on a national outreach to the Scottish American community. The focus of our efforts in the coming months is the Animation/ Comedy/ Adventure feature BRAVE, releasing in theatres June 22.
The studio is as excited to be working with us as a community as we are to be working with them:
"Disney•Pixar’s BRAVE is thrilled to be celebrating alongside the American-Scottish Foundation as the film prepares to hit theatres on June 22nd. The Scottish American community will have access to very special opportunities and materials in conjunction with the film that celebrates Scottish culture through its strong characters, beautiful animation and inspiring story. "
Set in the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland, Disney•Pixar’s BRAVE follows the heroic journey of Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald), a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to change her fate, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the unruly and uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane), unleashing chaos in the kingdom. When she turns to an eccentric Witch (voice of Julie Walters), she is granted an ill-fated wish and the ensuing peril forces Merida to harness all of her resources — including her mischievous triplet brothers — to undo a beastly curse and discover the meaning of true bravery.
(These rollout character images are available in high definition on request)
Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, and produced by Katherine Sarafian, “Brave” is a grand adventure full of heart, memorable characters and signature Pixar humor. Opens on June 22, 2012, in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.
See ALL the latest trailers for Disney•Pixar's BRAVE here:
Images from the trailers above:
You can enjoy "The Kilt" Featurette for Disney•Pixar's BRAVE here:
YouTube direct link: http://youtu.be/mbPpzKbsRRM
And please enjoy "The Prize" Trailer for Disney•Pixar's BRAVE here:
YouTube direct link: http://youtu.be/Y4EZULqhP2E
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INTRODUCING THE LORDS AND THEIR SONS
The three lords of the kingdom – Dingwall, Macintosh and MacGuffin – are the unruly, overzealous leaders of their respective clans. Though once warring factions, they have been united under the sword of King Fergus and held together by the diplomacy and political savvy of Queen Elinor. The clans are summoned to Castle DunBroch to compete in the Highland Games, but the lords are soon outraged when Merida defies a sacred tradition. The clans fall back to their history of fervent feuding, which threatens the fragile peace of the entire kingdom.
LORD MACGUFFIN (Voice of Kevin McKidd)
Strapping Lord MacGuffin is full of brawn and dignity. Though a man of few words, his deep voice resounds across the land demanding respect and contributing to his reputation as the most even-handed and reasonable lord in the kingdom. Even so, like his fellow lords, MacGuffin isn't opposed to a first-rate brawl or full-throated belly laugh.
YOUNG MACGUFFIN (Voice of Kevin McKidd)
Speaking an uncommon Scottish dialect that is incomprehensible to most, Young MacGuffin is a shy lad of large proportions. Being the center of attention is not his strong suit, but he will not hesitate to leap into a fight alongside his father and clan when the occasion arises.
LORD DINGWALL (Voice of Robbie Coltrane)
Grumpy and quick-tempered, the scrappy Lord Dingwall doesn’t let being height-challenged get in the way of solving his problems with fisticuffs. Never one to shy away from an old-fashioned fracas or high-spirited kerfuffle, he has no qualms taking on even the burliest adversary to assert his own position in the kingdom.
Gangly, guileless and often lost in his own head, Wee Dingwall is the awkward son of Lord Dingwall. Though Wee Dingwall displays an eagerness that outweighs his inherited small size, his father will proudly employ his only son as an attack dog when the moment is right.
LORD MACINTOSH (Voice of Craig Ferguson)
The wiry, indignant and off-kilter leader of his clan, Lord Macintosh is always a heartbeat away from hysterics. His savage smile and fierce appearance – body bedecked in blue war paint and chest pridefully puffed up – proclaim that he’s ready for battle at any moment, though his bark may be worse than his bite.
As the first-born son of a lord, Young Macintosh knows he has it all – athletic physique, undeniable charm and long flowing locks that leave the lasses swooning in his wake. But vanity and legions of devotees can also be a distraction when it comes to bragging rights at the Highland Games.
(These rollout character images are available in high definition on request)
The Isle of Lewis
The Lewis Chessmen, which were discovered in 1831 in a sand bank in Uig Bay on the west coast of Lewis, comprise of 78 chess pieces made of walrus ivory probably carved in the 12th century in Norway. They show in stunning detail the clothing and armour worn by Viking warriors at the time, and are considered one of the most valuable collection of its kind in the world. Today the majority are housed in the British Museum in London, but a small part of the collection are currently on show at New York's Cloisters Museum. The Lewis Chessmen give us a rare glimpse into the past of a truly remarkable island.
Read more about the Lewis Chessmen in New York.
The Island of Lewis is along with the Isle of Harris (they are both part of the same island) the largest of the British Isles after Great Britain and Ireland, covering around 840 sq miles between them. Lewis is the larger of the two, and houses the bulk of the population; while Harris is relatively hilly and is probably the more visually stunning from a scenic point of view. The boundary between them has been set since time immemorial and formed the march between the old counties of Inverness (Harris) and Ross-shire (Lewis); it was also the border between the clan lands of MacLeod of MacLeod of MacLeod) and MacLeod of Lewis. As such, there has been, and remains, an intense rivalry between the two 'islands'.
During the heyday of the Viking Age Lewis was an important link in the chain of Norse lands stretching from Norway to Ireland. The Vikings came first to raid, and then they began settling the islands, intermarrying with the local Celtic population. In time, Lewis along with the rest of the Hebridean Islands came under the control of the Lords of the Isles, a semi-independent realm ruled over by the Clan Donald. Local governance on Lewis was headed by the MacLeods, but after a dispute with the Crown the lands were forfeited and gifted by the king to the MacKenzies of Seaforth.
The history of the island however goes much further back past the Vikings and the Iron Age to the Neolithic. The Calanais Standing stones are one of the best preserved stone circles in the British Isles and were erected around 4000 years ago. It is part of a wider Stone-Age complex and was probably the centrepiece to a large religious and ceremonial site. Nearby is Dùn Chàrlabhaigh (Dun Carloway), which is a broch (a tower-style fortress), constructed around 100BC during the later stages of the Celtic Iron Age. It was probably around this time that the Gaelic language took root; and it remains part of a very strong cultural identity (it is still spoken by around 65% of the islanders).
Today, Lewis has a population of around 18,500; and the largest town is Steòrnabhagh (Stornoway); which also serves as the principal port serving the Scottish mainland (around a 3 hour ferry journey) and is the administrative centre for Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles). Inland, Lewis is a mixture of heather moorland and sheep grazings with townships and villages dotted across the landscape. The weaving of Harris Tweed is an important industry in these small communities, and along with sheep farming and fishing is key in the local economy. The island is also one of the last bastions of Presbyterianism in Scotland; with church attendance much higher than elsewhere. There is a strong tradition of Sabbath observance, and only recently have ferries begun sailing on a Sunday to the Mainland.
Getting to Lewis is easy for those with a bit of time to dedicate to exploring the islands, and it is recommended to drive through the Northwest Highlands to Ullapool and catch the ferry to Stornoway. Then give yourself a day or two to see all the various attractions from Na Gearrannan village to the lighthouse at Ness; finally heading to Tarbert in Harris to catch the ferry over to Skye and the Mainland.