The two Giant pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang will be arriving at Edinburgh Zoo this Sunday. There will then be a two week gap before the public are allowed to see them.
But we were out at the zoo today and we are now wondering…what about the penguins? They had their own internet moment when the penguincam went viral….but now the pandas are to get their own panda cam….
So who will be top dog now?
FedEx are transporting the two pandas to Scotland and you can track their progress here…..
The Caves in Niddry Street offered the perfect venue for the Scottish premiere of Death’s Cabaret on 29 November, with their mix of subterranean spookiness and decadent splendour.
Written by composer Stephen Deazley with a text by Martin Riley, it told of a haughty concert cellist’s withdrawal to deepest Brittany, his love for a mysterious woman with a murky past, and a chilling midnight encounter with Mistress Death.
It’s an odd piece that likeably takes classical music in the direction of theatre – a kind of staged concerto where the soloist, as well as executing a demanding cello part, is required to narrate and sing. And it can only be done by one man: Matthew Sharp, whose prowess on the cello is matched by his considerable abilities as a singer (and whose bronzed, stentorian tones fitted the gothic storyline perfectly).
That might somewhat limit the piece’s future life, of course. But no matter. The young British Sacconi Quartet provided the musical backdrops, with immaculate playing and precise ensemble, bringing Deazley’s characterful music to colourful life. First violin Ben Hancox was especially impressive in some soaring melodies, although the whole quartet joined in with singing and foot-stamping in a raucous Breton dance.
It was the performances that really carried the evening, though. Sharp gripped the audience from his first words, in a performance delivered with utter conviction that stopped just short of self-parody, and often sent a genuine shiver down the spine. The piece itself, while beautifully crafted and thankfully unpretentious, came across as an amusing entertainment, but not much more.
Technology Puts Scotland on the M-App
Scottish tourism received a major St Andrew’s day boost today with the launch of the most technologically advanced tourism app in Europe, Welcome to Scotland.
The new app uses augmented reality, pointing technology, GPS and interactive maps to deliver detailed information on just about anything the visitor might want to know. Based on Landmark Press’s successful Welcome to Scotland website the app also features many exceptional special offers.
Launching the app at Camera Obscura in Edinburgh, Fergus Ewing, Scottish Government Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism said: “This app is an excellent way of getting the most up to date and relevant information to visitors, helping them make the most of their time in Scotland. It will enhance their experience by empowering them with the knowledge they need to have an unforgettable trip.
“It’s come at an exciting time where we have so much to offer in the lead up to, and beyond, the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and the Homecoming in 2014.”
Using GPS, the app provides comprehensive information for visitors on what they can see and do nearby, while the augmented reality facility helps them identify landmarks and hills – all of Scotland’s Munros and Corbetts are included. The app also enables visitors to plan ahead and search for and book accommodation by destination.
Alan Bird, project director comments: “One of the Welcome to Scotland app’s most valuable and unusual features is that all of its content and main map are preloaded. This means visitors can access the information wherever they are with no internet connection being required. As a Scottish travel app, this makes a huge difference because many of our most beautiful rural locations suffer from poor broadband and mobile data coverage. It also enables visitors from abroad to use the app on the go without risking expensive roaming charges.”
“A further major plus point for the app is that it provides exceptional value for money. With excellent special offers from many of Scotland’s top attractions, activity operators, accommodation providers and restaurants, users will recoup the £2.99 purchase price many times over.”
David Hayes, managing director, added: ‘Through Landmark Press and our ‘Welcome’ bedroom folders and guides we have been at the forefront of information provision for Scotland’s tourism industry for well over 20 years. With the huge increase in the use of smartphones, it made undoubted sense to develop an app that would act as a guide to Scotland and that would be fun and entertaining to use.’
‘We have been fortunate to have worked for the last three years with the Edinburgh based digital agency Line UK. They have done a great job, as more recently have GeoGuides the app developers from Wicklow’
‘Developing the app will be an ongoing process’ he continued. ‘We are asking anyone who wishes to be featured or who has improvements to suggest to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.’
A major seminar on domestic abuse will be held tomorrow 1 December 2011 to discuss ways in which all agencies should work together to tackle the issue.
‘Caledonian – An Integrated Approach to Domestic Abuse’ will highlight the ground-breaking work of the Caledonian System, an initiative which addresses the issue of men’s behaviour and helps women and children who have been affected.
The event is being chaired by Michelle Miller, Chief Social Work Officer for the City of Edinburgh Council, and the keynote speaker is Angela Constance, Scottish Minister for Children & Young People.
Delegates will hear how the Caledonian System increases the safety of women and children by working directly and intensively with men convicted of domestic violence-related offences. It aims tp reduce their re-offending, and by supporting the women and children affected by the men’s behaviour.
The programme also helps men change their behaviour through direct intervention, assessing the potential risk they pose and then managing that risk by working with other agencies, including social work, police and voluntary sector.
Councillor Paul Edie, Health and Social Care Leader for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “The Caledonian System is an innovative project that is both reducing re-offending and helping victims. It has shown the effectiveness of different agencies coming together with a common purpose.
“Only by getting to the root cause of men’s offending and preventing them committing further acts of violence can we begin to resolve the wider issue of violence within our society. “
Michelle Miller, Chief Social Work officer, City of Edinburgh Council said: “Approaches to domestic abuse have long focused exclusively on women and children. Their safety is of course paramount, and working directly with men, holding them to account for their offending, challenging their attitudes and tackling their behaviour are powerful strategies to keep women and children safer.”
The event is taking place during the International 16 Days of Action Opposing Violence Against Women campaign which runs until 10 December.
Today there is a march in the city centre and some roads are closed, or diversions are in place. The full list is shown below.
Sisters Kayleigh and Sarah Brown are testament that a little sisterly love goes a long way.
The siblings from Loanhead, Edinburgh, celebrated together as they both graduated with a HNC in Early Education and Childcare at Stevenson College Edinburgh’s glittering graduation ceremony this month.
During the two year course the sisters spent most of their days together, but luckily for Sarah and Kayleigh, studying, living and travelling to college together didn’t drive them mad but made them even closer.
Kayleigh (21) who has dyslexia, also benefited from having younger sister Sarah (18) on hand to read over course work and offer advice.
Kayleigh said: “At first when Sarah said she was going to do the course I was a bit apprehensive, but it turned out to be good because we could turn to each other for support.
“As I have dyslexia it was great having her there to go through things with me. There wasn’t too much competition between us, but we were always looking out to see who got the higher mark.”
The sisters, who live with their mother Lorna and younger brother Chris (17) keep busy in their spare time helping with Brownie and Girl Guide groups as well as doing youth work through Loanhead Parish Church.
However, having completed the course the sisters have now gone their separate ways. Sarah is continuing in education and is studying paediatric nursing at Edinburgh Napier University, meanwhile Kayleigh is a supervisor with supermarket Sainsbury’s where she continues to put the skills learned while at Stevenson to the test by giving talks to nurseries and schools on healthy eating.
Sarah said: “We both really enjoyed the course and learned a lot from it which we are now using in different ways. The lecturers were excellent and I really enjoyed the placements. It also helped me secure my place at Napier which is fantastic.
“It was a tough two years but it was great having Kayleigh there with me. We helped each other and made it through together.”
A total of 263 graduated at the recent ceremony which was held at the prestigious Usher Hall, Edinburgh. Guest speaker on the night was Steve Stewart, founder of Stewart Brewing.
It was also the first year BA students have graduated from Stevenson College Edinburgh. The college currently runs two degree courses in conjunction with the University of Abertay Dundee.
Stevenson College Edinburgh Principal, Brian Lister OBE, said: “Congratulations to all our graduating students. They have worked hard throughout the year and are a credit to themselves and to Stevenson College Edinburgh.
“I would like to wish Kayleigh, Sarah and our other graduates all the best in their future careers. I am sure they will make a success of whatever they choose to do.”
We all start out with good intentions to exercise regularly, but when obstacles appear, it can be tempting to give up. Here are a few practical suggestions on how to avoid some of the most common barriers.
It may feel like you don’t have a spare minute. But if you plan ahead, you will find that your day does contain some opportunities for exercise. For instance, why not try walking or cycling to work, or to meetings?
You can use your lunch break to exercise too. Make sure you keep a gym bag in the office, with your exercise kit or swimming costume. Even if you only have half an hour,. it can make all the difference.
You don’t have to join a gym or buy expensive kit. Trainers and comfortable clothes are all you need.
You can go for a run outdoors, or for a brisk walk, to help achieve your exercise goals. Also, check out any local community halls that hold exercise classes. Another inexpensive way to exercise is to buy or borrow a workout DVD and use it regularly.
Exercise doesn’t have to be dull. Just keep trying different activities until you find some that you do enjoy. If you like to be sociable when you exercise, why not try dancing? If you prefer an activity that requires concentration and learning a new skill, archery, sailing or skating could be perfect for you. There are so many to choose from.
Jenny MacLean is on hand to give you some tips on getting to the level of fitness you really want to achieve. And here is someone who knows what they are talking about. Jenny was the fastest Scottish woman in the Edinburgh Marathon, and she runs her own fitness company called EnergyWise.
This is the third of her fitness columns for The Edinburgh Reporter. We hope it helps you to achieve your fitness goals!
You can contact EnergyWise by email or you will find them here:-
EnergyWise Health & Fitness
Holyrood Business Park
146 Duddingston Road West
Edinburgh EH16 4AP
Tel: 07775 621465
News for you today:-
30 November Industrial Action
Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards 2011
National Museum of Scotland Christmas Events
The Edinburgh Reporter Advent Calendar
Happy St Andrew’s Day!
The Edinburgh University Anti-cuts movement are also picketing the university buildings and issue picketing directions on their website.
Dr Gordon Rintoul, Director of National Museums Scotland, won the Top Scot award last night at The Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards 2011, held at the Mansfield Traquair, for leading the renovation of the Chambers Street museum. The museum recently welcomed its one millionth visitor in four months. Dr Rintoul said that he accepted the award on behalf of the whole team, but this award is described as recognising someone whose achievements “will make all Scots proud.”
There were many other illustrious and deserving winners in each section, such as artist, David Mach and Dr Alan Bowman who has discovered a non-pesticide method of controlling the varroa mite which is threatening bees worldwide. The capital’s Martin Wishart lost out to restaurateur, Norman MacDonald from Cafe One in Inverness who rears his own beef cattle and pigs on his croft. Butcher, Simon Howie, won the Business category, and Edinburgh’s David Paul Jones, composer, vocalist and pianist won the music section. In the screen category, Karen Gillan, she of Doctor Who fame was a popular winner and para-cyclist, Neil Fachie, was winner in the sport section. The writing section was particularly strong with Denise Mina, Jackie Kay and Julia Donaldson all losing out to Falkirk born Alan Bissett, who is a novelist, playwright and performer.
The Museum is putting on some special events leading up to Christmas and just after the big day itself in its Art Competition. It also has a family ceilidh on Hogmanay! Many more details here.
We will have our own Christmas Advent Calendar beginning tomorrow, when we offer you gift ideas each day until Christmas Eve.
Almost 1500 tickets to see the giant pandas have been sold by the zoo in less than 24 hours following the confirmation of the bears’ arrival in Scotland’s Capital.
The giant pandas will go on show to the public from Friday 16 December, following a series of private viewings for zoo staff and members of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. Visitors are not being charged extra to see the pandas, but due to the high demand, time-ticketing is in operation with visitors able to select a visiting time in half-hourly intervals, subject to availability.
To guarantee viewing and to avoid disappointment, all visitors are being encouraged to pre-book their panda viewing online when purchasing Zoo entry tickets. Around one third of panda tickets will also be put aside for visitors coming to the zoo, available on a first come first served basis.
Hugh Roberts, Chief Executive at Edinburgh Zoo, said: “We are witnessing unprecedented levels of interest in viewing opportunities for our newest arrivals, which proves what a global draw the giant pandas are going to be for the Zoo.
“We have invested heavily in systems for the giant panda arrival and a lot of careful planning has gone into our ticketing strategy. Our aim to allow a steady flow of visitors through both viewing areas of the enclosure throughout the day, whilst maximising the viewers’ panda experience.
“We want as many people as possible to view our giant pandas in a comfortable and accessible environment, and our advance-booking system will allow us to do this.”
This year’s awards ceremony was held in the Mansfield Traquair and the competition in each category was fierce.
Kirsty Wark compered the event, sponsored by Glenfiddich and The Scotsman, which at the end of the evening awarded Top Scot to the Director of National Museums Scotland, Dr Gordon Rintoul. One million visitors have been to see the newly renovated Museum in Chambers Street, which was the target for the first year.
Many of Scotland’s finest business, creative and entrepreneurial minds were present, including the venerable John Byrne who lost out in the art nominees category to David Mach who has had such success this year at the City Art Centre with his Precious Light exhibition of collages and sculptures.
But here is a visual sample of who was there…..
Joseph Pearce bar hosts top-notch art exhibition and auction for Barnardo’s Scotland
Time is running out to view or bid for an original or limited edition piece of artwork produced by Scottish and UK-based artists!
On 30 November Joseph Pearce’s Bar in Edinburgh will hold an art exhibition and auction to raise funds for children’s charity Barnardo’s Scotland.
Among those exhibiting are Arron Lindsay, featured on Saatchi Online, Japanese illustrator Ryoko Tamura, graphic designers Wet Yeti, and Glaswegian photographer Neil Macmillan.
‘Until the Long Shadow Fades’, a mixed media artwork created by Mike Inglis, Pete Martin, Rachel Levine, Kirsty Whiten, Skint, Fraser Gray, and Martin McGuinness in 2009, has been hanging in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, and was kindly donated to the Leith exhibition by Shawn Coulman.
More than 52 pieces will be auctioned off over the course of one evening, including artworks, jewellery and boutique fashion, and the silent bids have already started rolling in.
You can view and bid for art across a variety of styles, with proceeds going to Barnardo’s Scotland’s RAFT project, which provides residential care and support for primary-aged children who have experienced multiple placement breakdowns. Children from RAFT have also created their own artworks, which is proudly displayed alongside professional and budding artists.
Anna Christopherson, the businesswoman behind Joseph Pearce’s and sister bars, Boda, Sofi’s and Victoria said:- “The RAFT project does an amazing job helping the kids staying there, and since I have my own kids I know how important it is that children get support, encouragement and care. It feels great to be able to do something to help them and over 50 artists and 25 local businesses have donated to raise money for RAFT project!”
Nigel Beal, RAFT service manager said: “We’re really excited about linking up again with Anna of Pearce’s Café bar to raise money for the service. The children can’t wait to take up their offer of having lunch at the Café bar and for them to see their pictures up on the wall along with the other artists. I remember last time they got a really great boost from the event, and we used the proceeds to take the children away on a special summer holiday – we hope to do the same again.”
Barnardo’s Scotland are extremely grateful to Anna, the talented artists, and Edinburgh’s local businesses for their support and donated prize draws, including a £50 voucher at Kitchin, a magnum bottle of Roederer Champagne, a free golfing session, and £50 worth of free house cleaning!
For more information about the art exhibition and auction or Barnardo’s Scotland please contact Community Fundraising Volunteer Manager, Jonathan Ogilvie on Tel: 0131 334 9893, or Mobile: 07827881451, or Email Jonathan Ogilvie