Sunday, September 30, 2012

Beyond the Blue Horizon: How the Earliest Mariners Unlocked the Secrets of the Oceans

Starting more than 50,000 years ago Homo Sapiens have spread from Africa to inhabit all parts of the Earth. How? Brian Fagan explains with great clarity. Brian Fagan was born in England and spent several years doing fieldwork in Africa. He is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of New York Times bestseller The Great Warming and many other books, including Fish on Friday: Feasting, Fasting, and the Discovery of the New World, and several books on climate history, including The Little Ice Age and The Long Summer.
Beyond the Blue Horizon: How the Earliest Mariners Unlocked the Secrets of the Oceans. [Hardcover] Publication Date: 2 Aug 2012 We know the tales of Columbus and Captain Cook, yet much earlier mariners made equally bold and world-changing voyages. In Beyond the Blue Horizon, archaeologist and historian Brian Fagan tackles his richest topic yet: the enduring quest to master the oceans, the planet's most mysterious terrain. From the moment when ancient Polynesians first dared to sail beyond the horizon, Fagan vividly explains how our mastery of the oceans changed the course of human history. What drove humans to risk their lives on open water? How did early sailors unlock the secrets of winds, tides, and the stars they steered by? What were the earliest ocean crossings like? With compelling detail, Fagan reveals how seafaring evolved so that the forbidding realms of the sea gods were transformed from barriers into a nexus of commerce and cultural exchange. From bamboo rafts in the Java Sea to triremes in the Aegean, from Norse longboats in the North Atlantic to sealskin kayaks in Alaska, Fagan crafts a captivating narrative of humanity's urge to challenge the unknown and seek out distant shores. RRP: £20.00 Price: £17.00 & this item Delivered FREE in the UK with Super Saver Delivery. See details and conditions You Save: £3.00 (15%) Buy here. Beyond the Blue Horizon: How the Earliest Mariners Unlocked the Secrets of the Oceans

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pinetum Scone Palace

Pinetum scone Palace.
The 100 acres of Scone Palace Grounds was landscaped by the Third Earl of Mansfield in 1805. The magnificent pinetum was established in 1848 and includes many western hemlock and noble fir positioned in avenues.
Other notable heritage trees include the The Scone Douglas Fir, raised from the original seed sent from America in 1826 by David Douglas. David Douglas was born in the village of Scone in 1799 and worked as a gardener at Scone Palace for seven years. Douglas went on to become an explorer and a great plant hunter.
This gives an idea of the scale of these magnificent trees.
An unusual habit of throwing up vertical branches.
This particular tree displaying Bracket Fungi. Bracket fungi cause decay and rot in the heartwood of trees and produce bracket-shaped fruiting bodies on the trunk or main branches. These fungi usually lead to the weakening and eventual breakage or fall of affected trees.
Fallen tree, the rings counted at 108 years, so relatively young compared to the others.
Amazing twisting growth of the trunks.
If you are a tree lover, or even a tree hugger with a long reach then this place will delight you.

Setting Sun over Mugdrum Island, the River Tay North Fife

Setting Sun over Mugdrum Island, the River Tay North Fife.

Abernethy Tower

Abernethy Tower, Perth and Kinross adjacent to North fife. The tower stands 23 metres high in the centre of Abernethy and from the top has commanding views. The functional clock was installed in 1868 which now activates a mechanism which pull the bell rope, chiming every hour.
Abernethy Tower Bronze bell cast in 1782.
Entrance door to the tower, the key can be obtained from the Tea room along side. Inside the climb to the top is accessed by a spiral steel staircase which has replaced wooden ladders between several floors. On reaching the top final access is a wee steel ladder through a trap door.
Abernethy Square from the top of the tower. Abernethy is steeped in History, has a wee museum displaying historical facts, that it was an important Pict cultural centre and before. Well worth a visit and in this day and age Free.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Millers Tale at The Steeple Newburgh

The Millers Tale at the Steeple, Newburgh North Fife. Tonight. Quick or you'll miss it.
The stage is set......the mind boggles.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bad Pharma: How drug companies mislead doctors and harm patients

I don't want to alarm you but it's worth knowing how inappropriate and damaging pharmaceutical drugs as proscribed by your doctor can be. Myself I've been hospitalised because of the side effects of medicine proscribed by my doctor. I have many friends on cocktails of medication, often something else is given to deal with side effects of the others. Endless poisoning and by the thousands we die because of.
Doctors and patients need good scientific evidence to make informed decisions. But instead, companies run bad trials on their own drugs, which distort and exaggerate the benefits by design. When these trials produce unflattering results, the data is simply buried. All of this is perfectly legal. In fact, even government regulators withhold vitally important data from the people who need it most. Doctors and patient groups have stood by too, and failed to protect us. Instead, they take money and favours, in a world so fractured that medics and nurses are now educated by the drugs industry. Patients are harmed in huge numbers. So called alternative medicines are being attacked by the industry, what a surprise. Myself I've found other non industrial medications that have benefited my health fully. You can go on believing your Doctor if you wish. The Web is a fantastic mine of information, if you search, you'll find. If you are concerned about your health and of others buying this book will give you factual help and maybe food for questions. To view or order. Bad Pharma: How drug companies mislead doctors and harm patients I wish you a long life.

Balhalvie Farm North Fife

Balhelvie Farm North Fife, producers of fabulous Beef and Lamb.
Balhelvie fields, North Fife the grain harvested and the straw waiting to be gathered after being baled.

Friday, September 21, 2012

River Tay Ballinbreich 21st September

We are experiencing a weak ridge of high pressure 1005mb, so frost this morning and the day gave way to patchy sunshine, warmish when bathed by it. Humidity is 70% which doesn't bode well for the remaining grain and oilseed rape. As a measure, today the solar panels generated 15.257 Kwh of energy. Not brilliant but not bad either.
The River Tay looking West from Ballinbreich.
Later the same day 21st september.
Sunny Dundee beyond Ballinbreich Castle 21st September about 4pm. Just then it was Dundee's turn, later it rained. What a surprise....
Sure enough it was raining.....

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cirrus Clouds over North Fife

Yesterday evening I wandered into the garden and behold, what a sight, quickly changing, high speed events far above.
Cirrus cloud over North Fife.
Cirrus clouds (cloud classification symbol: Ci) are a genus of atmospheric clouds generally characterized by thin, wispy strands, giving them their name from the Latin word cirrus meaning a ringlet or curling lock of hair. The strands of cloud sometimes appear in tufts of a distinctive form referred to by the common name of mare's tails.
Cirrus clouds generally appear white or light grey in colour. They form when water vapour undergoes deposition at altitudes above 5,000 m (16,500 ft) in temperate regions and above 6,100 m (20,000 ft) in tropical regions. They also form from the outflow of tropical cyclones or the anvils of cumulonimbus clouds. Since these cirrus clouds arrive in advance of the frontal system or tropical cyclone, they indicate that the weather conditions may soon deteriorate.These photographs were taken yesterday and sure enough it has been raining all day since. While they indicate the arrival of precipitation (rain), cirrus clouds themselves produce only fall streaks (falling ice crystals that evaporate before landing on the ground). Jet stream-powered cirrus clouds can grow long enough to stretch across continents, but they remain only a few kilometers deep. When visible light interacts with the ice crystals in cirrus clouds, it produces optical phenomena such as sun dogs and haloes. Cirrus clouds are known to raise the temperature of the air beneath them by an average of 10 °C (18 °F). When they become so extensive that they are virtually indistinguishable from one another, they form a sheet of high cloud called cirrostratus. Convection at high altitudes can produce another high based genus called cirrocumulus, a pattern of small cloud tufts that contain droplets of supercooled water.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Logie Farm North Fife 2012

Logie Farm North Fife 18th September 2012 backed by a patch of sunlight, distant wind turbines in Dundee in slow generation with only a few fields left to harvest.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Scottish Coastal Rowing Newburgh North Fife

Saturday 15th September, in the middle of the town a loud-speaker from afar muffled in my ears, indicating the riverside Newburgh, North Fife, drawn, I headed that way. Bright and comfortably sunny, amiably littered about Robertson's Quay a gathering of participants and spectators were enjoying the regatta. A few large tents, one for Regatta business and others for light refreshments. St Ayles Skiff Regatta was underway. A strong westerly wind was putting up wee white horses, below is the start of the mens 40+, against the wind and tidal flow Crail and Newburgh battled their way upriver.
Skiffs away. 4 Handed with a cox barking the rhythmical commands.
Crail know it's in the bag.
Crail skiff after the finish.
Newburgh skiff crew out of puff limp in a very credible second.
The results:- Mens Open 1) Crail 2) Newburgh 3) Anstruther Womens Open 1) Anstruther 2) Crail 3) Pittenweem Mens 40+ 1) Crail 2) Newburgh (Last) Womens 40+ 1) Port Seton 2) Crail 3) Anstruther Mixed Open 1) Anstruther 2) Port Seton 3) Pittenweem Out of these, the champions of the day were Crail, rowing their Scarlet Partan.

Forth Constructor Newburgh North Fife

FORTH CONSTRUCTOR - IMO 8890592 Call Sign : GXAD Gross tonnage : 265 Type of ship : Work/Repair Vessel Year of build : 1967 Flag : United Kingdom Forth Constructor drifting by Newburgh North Fife on the tide from Perth Docks on its way to The Tay Road Bridge where it's working, normally berthed at Dundee, obviously the crew have been on a jolly in Perth, it's alleged.
Making way for the tug at Newburgh during the first St Ayles Skiff Regatta held on the River Tay.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Rainbow North Fife

Rainbow North Fife, This was taken on the same day as the last two posts, illustrating why I love living in North Fife, the sky is ever changing. I just can't help noticing.

Gulls North Fife

Gulls, North Fife.
Four days ago this was a field of wheat and already being prepared for the next sowing. Typically seagulls follow the plough, scavenging as they do. Throughout Britain gulls will be at it, even right inland on garbage heaps and the like.

Tayview September 14th 2012 North Fife

Tayview September 14th, cloudy and windy day drying the grain fields and then the sun came out fully.
The same field earlier this year.
Combine coming up to the turn at Ballinbreich Farm, North Fife.
Shredding the straw, rather than lay the straw for collection and future use as bedding etc. This way humus is restored back to the soil maintaining a more healthy balance on a bacterial micro-organism level.
Every couple of cuts the barley is off-loaded into trailers. My feeling is the yield is a good one in weight though the malting quality maybe marginal.