David Cameron braves David Letterman's US chat show - and leaves red-faced - Telegraph -
David Cameron’s decision to brave one of America’s most-watched chat shows left the Prime Minister red-faced as he struggled to answer David Letterman’s questions about British history. The Prime Minister was caught out on the Late Show when Mr Letterman asked him to name the author of Rule Britannia and he answered incorrectly. He also failed to explain the meaning of “Magna Carta”. After his errors, Mr Cameron - educated at Eton and Oxford - joked: “That is bad, I have ended my career on your show tonight.” Mr Cameron also faced jibes about his social background and public school accent and admitted he is “not very popular at the moment.”
BBC News - Angus field may hold church where Balliol abdicated -
Archaeologists working at the site of the world’s most northerly Roman fort may have found the remains of a key location in Scottish history. The team at Stracathro believe they may have discovered the church where John Balliol abdicated his throne to Edward I in 1296. Medieval ruins were found near a roman fort on the Gask Frontier in Angus. Balliol’s ceremonial disrobing has been described as one of the saddest hours in Scottish history.
Celebrating Curiosity: From Glenelg, Mars, to Glenelg, Scotland - latimes.com -
Amid Curiosity’s latest adventures — getting its wheels dirty, extending its robotic arm to grab hold of a rock — back on Earth, Glenelg, Scotland, is doing some celebrating. The rover is currently making its way toward the tiny hamlet’s Martian namesake, Glenelg, Mars. Folks in Glenelg (note the palindrome) were thrilled to hear that a piece of Martian soil would be named after their town, population “less than 300,” area development officer Emma Maclean told the Los Angeles Times. Consequently, a party is in the works, and they have lured a NASA astronaut with Scottish roots to help them mark the occasion. “This does not happen to us everyday!” Maclean said by email Tuesday. “We are hosting a party to mark the occasion and plan to have Bonnie Dunbar unveil an interpretational astronomical-themed sign for our community, ‘Twinned with MARS.’ ” Dunbar, whose paternal grandparents hailed from Scotland, has taken part in five space flights, according to NASA, and logged more than 1,208 hours in space.
Poor economy, changing customs challenge Ireland's beloved tradition – USATODAY.com -
For the Irish, the collapse of a housing bubble in 2008 brought on a deep recession, toppled the government and introduced international financial control. The crisis has touched almost every aspect of daily life — even the pub. Found almost anyplace in the world where glasses are lifted, the Irish pub is this nation’s most famous export and, according to the Lonely Planet travel guide, its No. 1 tourist attraction. But the recession along with a confluence of other changes threaten the pub’s venerable monopoly on Irish social life. The pub’s woes predate the euro crisis. Irish bar sales have dropped by about 25% over the past decade — 5% last year alone — and the number of pubs has fallen from more than 10,000 to 8,300.
JK Rowling novel attacks poverty and politicians - Features - Scotsman.com -
JK ROWLING, the author of the Harry Potter novels, has criticised the growing gulf of inequality in modern Britain on the eve of the publication of her new novel. The world’s wealthiest author, who began her career as an unemployed single mother writing in Edinburgh cafes, criticised politicians’ inability to appreciate the many reasons behind poverty in Britain today. Rowling, whose books have sold more than 450 million copies, said the theme of new crime novel, The Casual Vacancy, which she started writing five years ago and which tackles rural poverty, has become more relevant since the election of the coalition government and the cuts in social security benefits.
Harry Chambers obituary | Books | guardian.co.uk -
Harry Chambers, who has died aged 75, was the founder and director of the publisher Peterloo Poets, and described by his friend Seamus Heaney as being one of the great “hearers and hearteners” of British and Irish poetry.
Bacon shortage worldwide 'unavoidable' UK pig group says - Life Inc. -
The droughts that ravaged crops across North American and Russia have had a huge impact on the food supply, livestock and farmers but now it may be time to hit the “panic” button – one pig group is predicting a BACON SHORTAGE. “A world shortage of pork and bacon next year is now unavoidable,” the National Pig Association in the UK said this week.
Oh, great, something else to worry about.
BBC News - Italians in Scotland: What have they ever done for us? -
Waves of Italian immigrants have been arriving in Scotland since the late 19th Century. Unification of the country in 1861, intense poverty and two World Wars have seen millions of Italians leave their native land. Tens of thousands of their descendants are now dotted across Scotland and have influenced almost every walk of Scottish life.
The headline poses an odd question, doesn’t it? The first thought that comes to mind is that Italians have given the world a fairly simple but very tasty cuisine that can be successfully reproduced in kitchens around the world. But this article goes on to offer some rather surprising answers.
— Ciaran Carson, the Belfast poet in his poem, “Last Effect,” which is included in this collection