Scottish Media Lab Newsletter

The recent changes to Facebook are making it harder to keep in touch with those visiting Facebook Pages. So much so that even the Like, Follow, See First option isn't getting Page posts into feeds.

Facebook may reshuffle, but I guess that only happens when we see the replacement content they've talked about and that eventually gets compared to how things were before. For now Facebook pages like Scottish Media Lab risk quietly slipping below the horizon, as the posts don't get served-up routinely.

I reckon the obvious thing to do is to open up other often used options and a newsletter delivered by email on a monthly basis seems worth a go. What would that included . . .

  1. A short round-up of the most visited posts and links from each month.
  2. A post on history or myth exclusive to the newsletter.
  3. Recently made images and the odd extract from course booklets.

Clearly along the way readers would be routed back to the Facebook page if they've been missing posts.

If a routine way to get taken back to the Facebook page and an occasional extra dose of history and culture sounds OK, please leave an email in the pop-up or via the Contacts page where email is set as the only required field.

Almost done, but I wouldn't want to leave out a touch of colour, which should open up to a larger size if you click on it. (Dunnottar Castle).

The plan is to send out the newsletter at the start of each month. The Contacts page/ form are linked here.

Camster and the Cailleach?

Camster and the Cailleach?

While Ness of Brodgar may yet prove to be older, as things stand Caithness' Camster Cairns show the 'Scottish' Megalithic sequence developing from as early as 3,600BC. Tracing the connections between the Neolithic in Caithness and Orkney are problematic, as there are both significant differences and key similarities. Whatever the pattern that emerges through further archaeology the Camster Cairns mark a very significant point of arrival for the European Neolithic bundle, as the site has monumental cairns, passage chambers and is set within a naturalistic liminal landscape.

Read More

Mermaid

Mermaid

The mermaid, or, as she is called in Gaelic, Maid-of-the-Wave, has great beauty and is sweet-voiced. Half her body is of fish shape, and glitters like a salmon in sunshine, and she has long copper-coloured hair which she loves to comb as she sits on a rock on a lonely shore, gazing in a mirror of silver, and singing a song in praise of her own great beauty. Sometimes, on moonlight nights, she takes off her skin covering and puts on sea-blue garments, and then she seems fairer than any lady in the land.

Read More

Scotland - 10,000 Years

Over the last couple of hundred years Scotland has developed an set of frequently used symbols or icons based on a largely Victorian view of Scotland. For the most part these emblems represent Scotland as a land of whisky, golf, bagpipes and haggis . . . once overseen by kings and castles.

Led by the mythical Nessie, the most familiar symbols appear on countless calendars, menus, mugs and tea towels. They serve both as decoration and as emblems mapping attachments to parts of Scottish culture. It seems likely these emblems will remain part of Scotland's iconography for as long as they are part of life in Scotland.

Read More

Corruption v2

Tabletop RPG, and clone of the Original Game, Corruption switches to the familiar Player's Handbook, Gamesmaster's Guide and Monsters approach.

The new version uses fresh colour images and slots in new gameplay options. That includes extra classes, additional monsters and expanded worldbuilding.

Corruption acts as a set of OSR resource booklets, so if you’re not looking for a system you can just grab the monsters or the campaign building. Everything plugs straight into most other Old School systems.

Read More

Best Practices For Web Design For Kids

Best Practices For Web Design For Kids

Designing websites and related media for kids presents plenty of opportunities for Web designers. Openings are available at many businesses and schools, as well as through parents and kids themselves, giving designers many ways to find work on electronic and print projects that appeal to kids. The types of work range from interface designs for video games to websites for birthday parties.

Read More

Sovereignty

Sovereignty

The statement below, made at the 2016 oathtaking in the Scottish Parliament, has been widely interpreted:

"Pledges loyalty to the people of Scotland, in line with the Scottish constitutional tradition of the sovereignty of the people."

The sovereignty of the people - OK the tradition goes back a long way and a few red herrings need cooked before getting started.

There are longstanding misunderstandings about the roots or origins of the sovereignty of the land linked to the early medieval period at the Scottish stronghold/ 'capital' at Dunadd in Argyllshire - when Scots were living in Antrim and Argyllshire.

Read More

Captain James MacRae and The Pirates of Malibar

Captain James MacRae and The Pirates of Malibar

Not a lot is known about James MacRae's early life. He was born in Ayrshire in 1677 and moved to Ayr with his widowed mother at the age of five. With no formal education, and only a life of poverty ahead, he left home and sailed to India.

A relatively uneventful early career, (if only because it went unrecorded), changed on August 17, 1720 - when MacRae, as Captain of the Cassandra, encountered the infamous pirate Edward England near the Comoros archipelago to the north of Madagascar.

Read More

The Northern Lights

The Northern Lights

A recent search for pages on legends linked to the Northern Lights brought up a few short descriptions of myths from around the world. However, few pages mentioned the Scottish version and I couldn't find one covering the full story. Which begins with a nod to a slightly mysterious figure from Scottish and Irish myth.

Read More

Myths and Legends - Fact and Fiction

Myths and Legends - Fact and Fiction

A recent report on the origins of many legends and fairy tales has found stories such as Jack and the Beanstalk are thousands of years old.

The brothers Grimm held much the same view and we find other examples such as the Egyptian Cinderella - Rhodopis - dating to 1350BC or earlier. (I'll add a copy at the end of the post).

It, therefore, looks safe to say that many tales and legends have offered entertainment and insight for millenia. As part of that they have held a universal appeal in terms of being handed on fairly intact from one generation to another.

Read More