30 November 2008
We are of course the unofficial gateway, and the first - having launched an on-line guide to Scotland 14 years ago on the Internet and an on-line guide to Scotland open to 100,000+ readers back in the 1980s. That guide has been updated for St Andrews day, the 15th annual update, and is available at the soc.culture.scottish FAQ page on Silicon Glen. Additions and corrections to the FAQ always welcome.
Happy St Andrews Day to one and all, including the half million plus visitors so far this year to siliconglen.com
29 November 2008
Scottish Parliament E-petition "BBC ALBA"
From: "John Macleod" <email@example.com>
Date: 29/11/2008 20:01
Ma tha sibh airson ur n-ainm a chur ris an athchuinge gu h-àrd, chan eil
agaibh ach gu 5 Dùbhlachd 2008 airson sin a dheanamh. Bidh an athchuinge a'
dol gu foirmeil chun Phàrlamaid air 08.12.08 agus beachdaichidh Comataidh
nan Athchuingean air a' chuspair aig a' choinneamh aca air Dimàirt 16.12.08
aig 2.00f - Seòmar Comataidh 1. Tha còrr is 1000 neach air an ainm a chur
ris an athchuinge gu ruige seo. Airson tuilleadh taic a chur ris an iomairt
seo, chan eil agaibh ach putadh air
Feuch an innis sibh seo dha ur caraidean.
If you would like to put your name to the above petition, the deadline for
this is 5 December 2008. The petition will formally be submitted to the
Scottish Parliament on 08.12.08 and the Public Petitions Committee will
discuss the subject at its meeting on Tuesday 16.12.08 at 2.00pm – Committee
Room 1. More than 1000 people have so far supported this petition. To add
your name. the link to the website is
Please let other Gaelic supporters know about this.
Gaelic events in London
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
TACHARTASAN GÀIDHLIG AN LUNNAINN
ANNS NA SEACHDAINEAN A THA A’ TIGHINN
(29mh Samhain 2008 gu crìoch na bliadhna)
GAELIC EVENTS IN LONDON IN THE COMING WEEKS
(29th November 2008 until end of the year)
Uill, a-réir coltais, mar a’s duirche is a’s fhuaire a dh’fhàsas e, ’s ann a’s beothaile a dh’fhàsas e ... a thaobh saoghal nan Gàidheal an Lunnainn co-dhiùbh! Ged a tha e fliuch is fuar taobh a-muigh, tha mìos làn ghnìomhachasan romhainn eadar seo is àm na Nollaige (faicibh gu h-ìseal). Fileantach, neach-ionnsachaidh no ‘caraid do’n chànan’ – chan eil gu diofar: bithibh ’nur pàirt dheth – is mealaibh e!
Well, as it would seem, the colder and darker it gets, the livelier it gets ... at least as regards the Gaelic scene in London! Though it may be cold and wet outside, we have a month full of activities to look forward to between now and Christmas (see below). Native-speaker, learner or ‘friend of the language’ – it doesn’t matter: be part of it – and enjoy!
PS/ Ma bhios sibh a’ cur air dòigh thachartasan a tha comh-cheangailte ri Gàidhlig no ris a’ chultur Ghàidhealach an Lunnainn no an Ceann Ear-dheas Shasainn ’san àm ri teachd, cuiribh fios chugam mu’n deidhinn! – If you are organising future events relating to Gaelic or to Highland culture in London or the South-East of England, let me know about them!
PPS/ ’S e Là Féill Anndra am-màireach! – St. Andrew’s Day tomorrow!
Di-Sathairne, 29mh Samhain 2008, bho 7:30f
Comunn na Gàidhealtachd is nan Eilean an Lunnainn (HISL), Taigh Cecil Sharpe, NW1 (Fon-talamh: Camden Town)
Òrain Ghàidhlig bho Chaitlin Ghreumach (Eilean Sgitheanach), is ceòl bho Frank Reid is a chòmhlan-dannsa Albannach
Inntreas: £20 / £15 (buill HISL is ‘lùghdachaidhean’)
Saturday, 29th November 2008, from 7:30pm
Highlands and Islands Society of London (HISL), Cecil Sharpe House, NW1 (Underground: Camden Town)
Gaelic songs from Kathleen Graham (Isle of Skye), and music from Frank Reid and his Scottish dance band
Admission: £20 / £15 (HISL members and ‘concessions’)
Di-Dòmhnaich, 30mh Samhain 2008, 12:00 meadhon-latha gu 5:00f
Blasad ‘Gaeilge’ (no ‘Gaedhilge’ – ’s fheàrr leinn an seann litreachadh!) ann an Ionad Culturail nan Éireannach, oisinn Black’s Road is King Street, Hammersmith, W6 (Fon-talamh: Hammersmith).
Le òraidich, bùithtean-obrach is filmichean ùra ann an Gàidhlig na h-Éireann. Còmhla ri Coláiste na nGael.
Inntreas: £13 (no £40 air 4 tiocaidean), le biadh
Sunday, 30th November 2008, 12:00 noon to 5:00pm
A taster of ‘Gaeilge’ (or ‘Gaedhilge’ – we prefer the old spelling!) at the Irish Cultural Centre, corner of Black’s Road and King Street, Hammersmith, W6 (Underground: Hammersmith).
With guest speakers, workshops and new films in Irish Gaelic. In association with Coláiste na nGael.
Admission: £13 (or £40 for 4 tickets), with lunch
Di-Dòmhnaich, 7mh Dùdlachd 2008
Seirbhis eadar-eaglaiseil an Gàidhlig is ’sa Bheurla, leis an Urr. Athair Calum MacGill-Fhaolain (Eirisgeigh) is Còisir Lunnainn.
Eaglais Aonaichte Ath-Leasaichte, Tavistock Place (oisinn Regent Square), WC1
Greim-neòin bho 12:30f; seirbhis bho 2.00f
Inter-denominational service in Gaelic and English with Rev. Father Calum MacLellan (Eriskay) and the London Gaelic Choir (Còisir Lunnainn).
United Reformed Church, Tavistock Place (corner of Regent Square), WC1
Buffet lunch from 12:30pm; service from 2.00pm
Di-Sathairne, 13mh Dùdlachd 2008, bho 7:30f
Comunn Gàidhlig Lunnainn, talla Eaglais Cùirt a’ Chrùin, Covent Garden, WC2 (Fon-talamh: Covent Garden no Charing Cross)
Òrain Ghàidhlig bho Linn Phipps (a bhuannaich ‘Aigeallan-Airgid’ nam Ban aig a’ Mhòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail, 2008)
Saturday, 13th December 2008 from 7:30pm
Gaelic songs from Linn Phipps (winner of the Ladies’ ‘Silver Pendant’ at the Royal National Mòd, 2008)
Di-Dòmhnaich, 14mh Dùdlachd 2008 aig 3:30f
Seirbhis an Gàidhlig ann an Eaglais Cùirt a’ Chrùin, Covent Garden, WC2, leis an Urr. Murchadh MacLeòid (Eaglais Rathad Chrow, Glaschu) (Fon-talamh: Covent Garden no Charing Cross)
Le srùbaig ann an talla na h-eaglaise an deaghaidh làimh (an t-srùbag a’s fheàrr a th’ann an Lunnainn!).
Sunday, 14th December 2008 at 3:30pm
With a ‘stroupach’ (cup of tea) in the church hall afterwards (London’s best ‘stroupach’!).
And the ‘regulars’: don’t forget that these events run throughout the year!
A’ chòisir Ghàidhlig an Lunnainn; coinneamh gach Di-Màirt ann an talla Eaglais Cùirt a’ Chrùin, Covent Garden, WC2 aig 7.00f (Fon-talamh: Covent Garden no Charing Cross)
Coinneamh dheireannach na bliadhna: Di-Màirt, 16mh Dùdlachd 2008 (CBC)
The Gaelic choir in London; meets every Tuesday in the hall of Crown Court Church, Covent Garden, WC2 at 7.00pm (Underground: Covent Garden or Charing Cross)
Last meeting of the year: Tuesday, 16th December 2008 (AGM)
Anns a’ CityLit, Sràid Keeley, Lunnainn WC2 (Fon-talamh: Holborn)
Ìre 1: gach Di-Ciadaoin aig 6.00f
Ìre 2: gach Di-Ciadaoin aig 7:30f
In the CityLit, Keeley Street, London WC2 (Underground: Holborn)
Level 1: every Wednesday at 6:00pm
Level 2: every Wednesday at 7:30pm
27 November 2008
Microsoft project rubbish
I attach a dump from the hated Microsoft Project.
This is the start of a plan, i.e. the top line is task #1. Why does project insist on taking tasks which are a round number of days or zero for a milestone and then rolling them up into fractional days? For the two rolled up tasks in the image, one is a whole number of days and the other isn't. Why is this?! All the tasks are using the same standard calendar.
21 November 2008
I am looking for contract work UK wide, permanent work in Central Scotland but I would also look at permanent work further afield depending on the opportunity. I'm available from Mid December, happy to meet up, chat online before hand. I'm currently in London Mon-Fri working at BERR, 1 Victoria Street, Westminster.
Qualified and experienced Web Project Manager, recently qualified Programme manager, Agile experience and current security clearance.
09 November 2008
Barack Obama and Arnie's land of opportunity
PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA: If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.
However, one barrier remains. America still requires the President to have been born in the US. Only a land of equal opportunity if you happen to have been born there. Factors such as skin colour which is something your are born with and have no control over should not be a barrier to becoming President. Neither for the same reason should be the place of your birth, it should be up to the people of America to decide whether a candidate and US citizen is fit to lead them and not some rule which says no After all, he's already leading 12% of Americans.
I'm glad to say that some in America are taking this discrimination seriously and perhaps Arnie is the one person of charisma and ability who can lead a campaign with as much emphasis on the land of opportunity as Barack Obama, and certainly a lot more stylish than boring John McCain.
Why do countries insist on state sponsored discrimination?
08 November 2008
07 November 2008
Gordon Ramsay, give the restaurant business a kick in the (expletive deleted)
I have watched your TV programme where you go into an individual restaurant and go through them like a dose of salts and get them sorted out. How about doing us frequent diners a favour and getting the whole industry to clean up its act.
I go to Tesco and get a milkshake for £1
I go to Boots and get a lunch for £2.99
I go to a pub and get a decent meal for £10 including drinks.
Rarely do any of the above refuse to accept credit cards.
Rarely do any of the above expect a tip, especially for shoddy service.
Rarely do any of the above distort their prices with hidden charges.
Rarely do any of the above fail to generate a VAT receipt, legally compliant and showing the VAT paid.
Yet go into a restaurant (not a pub or in a hotel), pay £20 upwards for a meal and invariably you get a scribble for a bill, no itemised VAT and often a mandatory service charge too. Together the 10% mandatory charge and the inability to claim back VAT adds almost 30% to the expected price of the food. What other business has a service charge which is optional to charge but mandatory to pay? Why does 1 person dining get charged for service anyway? Why are pubs clear with their pricing and billing but restaurants are not?
I have no objection to tipping, but a mandatory service charge just distorts the price of the food.
I call on you to ban this 30% surcharge on food and get restaurants to issue correct bills (with the VAT total separately itemised) and to stop this nonsense of mandatory service charges for 1 person dining, indeed I would welcome them being banned for tables of 4 or less. There's no need for it and it simply annoys and confuses customers and puts them off. The bill is the last thing the restaurant serves, don't let the parting taste be a bad one.
Yours in hope
Craig (a fellow Scot working in Central London)
Black Lion, 123 Bayswater Road, Bayswater W2 3JH
Beer range limited, food range also appeared to be limited (from what I was permitted to see)
Avoid. Well worth the lowly 2/5 rating in Fancy a pint
To all pubs and restaurant: Please don't take menus away, customers might actually want to read them. They aren't a state secret.
01 November 2008
DVD and Cinema features I hate
I'd recall every single DVD player ever sold and get the manufacturers to add a "skip the shite" button which takes you straight past all the unwanted adverts, the insults and accusations that you may be a thief, and any sort of fancy, self-indulgent DVD-designer stuff. I buy the DVD to watch the movie or TV show ... not to be told I'm a thief. I'd also force movie theatres to put up a 10 second message which says, "Hey, you paid to watch this movie, so you're probably not a thief! Thanks! We appreciate your business and hope you enjoy this movie".
See also DVD forced advertising hell.
The "don't be a pirate" clips at the start of DVDs really did themselves proud when they warned me of the risks of watching a pirate DVD that might have been taped in a cinema and could have people standing up and getting in the way in the movie. Well done guys, you've just advertised a really good reason why I shouldn't go and see movies at all.
I would add another rule. I would require every entertainment outlet such as cinemas that is paranoid that you must only eat THEIR food in the cinema that in return the cinema is required to provide a wider range of food such that if you have to eat particular foods for dietary or religious reasons that you can actually either bring your own food or eat healthy food bought in the cinema. Currently the only options at the cinema seem to be "eat popcorn", "drink this unhealthy juice with lots of sugar in it", "eat these bags of sweets by the sackload", "have a hot dog (meat eaters only)" or "go hungry".
Pubs woke up to the food revolution about 30 years ago. When are cinemas going to catch up?