Sunday, June 29, 2014

As of April 2014

The geographical centre of Scotland lies a few miles from the village of Newtonmore in Badenoch.[142] Rising to 1,344 metres (4,409 ft) above sea level, Scotland's highest point is the summit of Ben Nevis, in Lochaber, while Scotland's longest river, the River Tay, flows for a distance of 190 kilometres (118 mi).  HP Pavilion DV6-1350us Keyboard

The whole of Scotland was covered by ice sheets during the Pleistocene ice ages and the landscape is much affected by glaciation. From a geological perspective, the country has three main sub-divisions.

The Highlands and Islands lie to the north and west of the Highland Boundary Fault, which runs from Arran to Stonehaven.  HP Pavilion DV7-3188cl Keyboard This part of Scotland largely comprises ancient rocks from the Cambrian and Precambrian, which were uplifted during the later Caledonian Orogeny. It is interspersed with igneous intrusions of a more recent age, remnants of which formed mountain massifs such as the Cairngorms and SkyeCuillins. ASUS F6VE Keyboard A significant exception to the above are the fossil-bearing beds of Old Red Sandstones found principally along the Moray Firth coast. TheHighlands are generally mountainous and the highest elevations in the British Isles are found here. Scotland has over 790 islands divided into four main groups: Shetland, Orkney, and the Inner Hebrides and Outer Hebrides. DELL NSK-DB301 Keyboard

There are numerous bodies of freshwater including Loch Lomond and Loch Ness. Some parts of the coastline consist of machair, a low lying dune pasture land.

The Central Lowlands is a rift valley mainly comprising Paleozoic formations. Many of these sediments have economic significance for it is here that the coal and iron bearing rocks that fuelled Scotland's industrial revolution are found. HP Pavilion dv6-3057tx Keyboard

This area has also experienced intense volcanism, Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh being the remnant of a once much larger volcano. This area is relatively low-lying, although even here hills such as the Ochils and Campsie Fells are rarely far from view.

The Southern Uplands are a range of hills almost 200 kilometres (124 mi) long, interspersed with broad valleys. DELL Vostro PP38L Keyboard They lie south of a secondfault line (the Southern Uplands fault) that runs from Girvan to Dunbar.[145][146][147] The geological foundations largely comprise Silurian deposits laid down some 4–500 million years ago. The high point of the Southern Uplands is Merrick with an elevation of 843 m (2,766 ft).[ HP Pavilion DV7-3057nr Keyboard

The Southern Uplands is home to the UK's highest village, Wanlockhead (430 m or 1,411 ft above sea level).

The climate of Scotland is temperate and oceanic, and tends to be very changeable. As it is warmed by the Gulf Stream from theAtlantic, it has much milder winters (but cooler, wetter summers) than areas on similar latitudes, TOSHIBA Satellite l20-135 Keyboard such as Labrador, southernScandinavia, the Moscow region in Russia, and the Kamchatka Peninsula on the opposite side of Eurasia. However, temperatures are generally lower than in the rest of the UK, with the coldest ever UK temperature of −27.2 °C (−17.0 °F) recorded at Braemar in the Grampian Mountains, on 11 February 1895.[ Toshiba Satellite L30-10X CPU Fan

Winter maxima average 6 °C (42.8 °F) in the Lowlands, with summer maxima averaging 18 °C (64.4 °F). The highest temperature recorded was 32.9 °C (91.2 °F) at Greycrook, Scottish Borders on 9 August 2003.[152]

The west of Scotland is usually warmer than the east, owing to the influence of Atlantic ocean currents and the colder surface temperatures of the North Sea. Toshiba Satellite A300-21H CPU Fan Tiree, in the Inner Hebrides, is one of the sunniest places in the country: it had more than 300 hours of sunshine in May 1975.[152] Rainfall varies widely across Scotland. The western highlands of Scotland are the wettest, with annual rainfall in a few places exceeding 3,000 mm (118.1 in).[153] In comparison, much of lowland Scotland receives less than 800 mm (31.5 in) annually.[154SONY Vaio VGN-FS415M CPU Fan

] Heavy snowfall is not common in the lowlands, but becomes more common with altitude. Braemar has an average of 59 snow days per year,[155] while many coastal areas average fewer than 10 days of lying snow per year.

Scotland's wildlife is typical of the north west of Europe, although several of the larger mammals such as the lynx, brown bear, wolf, elk and walrus were hunted to extinction in historic times. HP Pavilion dv6-3109ca CPU Fan

There are important populations of seals and internationally significant nesting grounds for a variety of seabirds such as gannets.[156] The golden eagle is something of a national icon.[157]

On the high mountain tops species including ptarmigan, mountain hare and stoat can be seen in their white colour phase during winter months.[158] HP Pavilion dv9547cl CPU Fan Remnants of the native Scots pine forest exist[159] and within these areas the Scottish crossbill, the UK's onlyendemic bird species and vertebrate, can be found alongside capercaillie, wildcat, red squirrel and pine marten.In recent years various animals have been re-introduced, including the white-tailed sea eagle in 1975, the red kite in the 1980s,[ HP G42-380LA CPU Fan ] and more recently there have been experimental projects involving the beaver and wild boar. Today, much of the remaining native Caledonian Forest lies within the Cairngorms National Park and remnants of the forest remain at 84 locations across Scotland. On the west coast, IBM ThinkPad T43P-2668 CPU Fan

remnants of ancient Celtic Rainforest still remain, particularly on the Taynish peninsula inArgyll, these forests are particularly rare due to high rates of deforestation throughout Scottish history.[165][166]

The flora of the country is varied incorporating both deciduous and coniferous woodland and moorland and tundra species. Toshiba Satellite P300 CPU Fan However, large scale commercial tree planting and the management of upland moorland habitat for the grazing of sheep and commercial field sport activities impacts upon the distribution of indigenousplants and animals.[167] The UK's tallest tree is a grand fir planted beside Loch Fyne, Argyll in the 1870s, and the Fortingall Yew may be 5,000 years old and is probably the oldest living thing in Europe. HP Pavilion dv7-4283cl CPU Fan Scotland has a western style open mixed economy closely linked with the rest of Europe and the wider world. Traditionally, the Scottish economy has been dominated by heavy industry underpinned by shipbuilding in Glasgow, coal mining and steel industries. Petroleum related industries associated with the extraction of North Sea oil have also been important employers from the 1970s, especially in the north east of Scotland. HP COMPAQ 2510P Series CPU Fan De-industrialisation during the 1970s and 1980s saw a shift from a manufacturing focus towards a more service-oriented economy. Edinburgh is the financial services centre of Scotland, with many large finance firms based there, including: Lloyds Banking Group(owners of HBOS); the Government owned Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Life. HP Pavilion dv6-3126ea CPU Fan

Edinburgh was ranked 15th in the list of world financial centres in 2007, but fell to 37th in 2012, following damage to its reputation,[173] and in 2014 was ranked 64th.[174]

In 2012, total Scottish exports (excluding intra-UK trade) were estimated to be £26 billion, of which 59% (£15.4 billion) were attributable to manufacturing.[175] IBM 41W5269 CPU Fan Scotland's primary exports include whisky, electronics and financial services. The United States, Netherlands, Germany, France and Norway constitute the country's major export markets.[175] Scotland's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), including oil and gas produced in Scottish waters, was estimated at £150 billion for the calendar year 2012.[3] Compaq Presario CQ60-615DX CPU Fan If Scotland became independent, it would hold 95% of the UK's current oil and gas reserves if they were split geographically using a median line from the English-Scottish border.If the reserves were split by population, that figure would be reduced to 9%.Scotland also has renewable energy potential, especially in tidal energy and offshore wind. HP Pavilion dv6-2057eo CPU Fan Whisky is probably the best known of Scotland's manufactured products. Exports increased by 87% in the decade to 2012[178] and were valued at £4.3 billion in 2013, which was 85% of Scotland's food and drink exports.[179] It supports around 10,000 jobs directly and 25,000 indirectly. HP Pavilion dv7-1135nr CPU Fan It may contribute £400-682 million to Scotland, rather than several billion pounds, as more than 80% of whisky produced is owned by non-Scottish companies.[181] Tourism is also widely recognised as a key contributor to the Scottish economy. A briefing published in 2002 by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) for the Scottish Parliament's Enterprise and Life Long Learning Committee stated that tourism accounted for up to 5% of GDP and 7.5% of employment. IBM ThinkPad T43P-2668 CPU Fan In February 2012, the Centre for Economics and Business Research concluded that "Scotland receives no net subsidy" from the UK, as greater per capita tax generation in Scotland balanced out greater per capita public spending.[183] More recent data, from 2012–13, show that Scotland generated 9.1% (£53.1bn; this included a geographical share of North Sea oil revenue – without it, Toshiba Satellite A100-02M CPU Fan the figures were 8.2% and £47.6bn) of the UK's tax revenues and received 9.3% (£65.2bn) of spending.[184] Scotland's public spending deficit in 2012–13 was £12bn, a £3.5bn increase on the previous year; over the same period, the UK's deficit decreased by £2.6bn.[185] Over the past thirty years, Scotland contributed a relative budget surplusof almost £20billion to the UK economy. ACER Aspire 5730Z Series CPU Fan As of April 2014, the most recent available data showed that, in the last quarter of 2013, the Scottish economy grew by 0.2%, less than the 0.7% for the United Kingdom for that period.[187] Scotland matches the UK as a whole in unemployment rates – both were 6.6% as of April 2014.[188] The youth unemployment rate is slightly lower: 21.1% in Scotland compared with 21.3% for the period August to October 2013.  Toshiba Satellite P300-1FN CPU Fan

Although the number of native vascular plants is low by world standards, Scotland's substantial bryophyteflora is of global importance.Scotland has five main international airports (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Prestwick and Inverness), which together serve 150 international destinations with a wide variety of scheduled and chartered flights.[192]  HP G42-415DX CPU Fan

GIP operates Edinburgh airport and BAAoperates (Aberdeen and Glasgow International), while Highland and Islands Airports operates 11 regional airports, including Inverness, which serve the more remote locations.[193] Infratil operates Prestwick.

The Scottish motorways and major trunk roads are managed by Transport Scotland.  HP Pavilion dv7-4177nr CPU Fan The remainder of the road network is managed by theScottish local authorities in each of their areas. Regular ferry services operate between the Scottish mainland and many islands. These ferries are mostly run by Caledonian MacBrayne, but some are operated by local councils. Other ferry routes, served by multiple companies, connect to Northern Ireland, Belgium, HP 580718-001 CPU Fan Norway, the Faroe Islands and also Iceland. Network Rail Infrastructure Limited owns and operates the fixed infrastructure assets of the railway system in Scotland, while the Scottish Government retains overall responsibility for rail strategy and funding in Scotland.[194] Scotland's rail network has around 340 railway stations and 3000 kilometres of track.  ACER Aspire One A110-1834 CPU Fan

Over 62 million passenger journeys are made each year.

Scotland's rail network is managed by Transport Scotland.[196] The East Coast and West Coast main railway lines connect the major cities and towns of Scotland with each other and with the rail network in England.  Dell Vostro 3450 CPU Fan Domestic rail services within Scotland are operated by First ScotRail. During the time of British Rail the West Coast Main Line from London Euston to Glasgow Central was electrified in the early 1970s, followed by the East Coast Main Line in the late 1980s. British Rail created the ScotRail brand. SONY Vaio VPC-EB4X1E/BQ CPU Fan When British Rail existed, many railway lines in Strathclyde were electrified. Strathclyde Passenger Transport Executive was at the forefront with the acclaimed "largest electrified rail network outside London". Some parts of the network are electrified, but there are no electrified lines in the Highlands, HP 646578-001 CPU Fan

Angus, Aberdeenshire, the cities of Dundee or Aberdeen, or Perth & Kinross, and none of the islands has a rail link (although the railheads at Kyle of Lochalsh and Mallaig principally serve the islands).

In addition, Glasgow has had a small integrated subway system since 1896. HP Pavilion tx2510us CPU Fan

Completely gutted and modernised between 1977 and 1980, its 15 stations serve just under 40,000 passengers per day. There are plans to extensively refurbish the system in time for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The East Coast Main Line crosses the Firth of Forth by the Forth Bridge.  ACER Aspire 7112WSMi CPU Fan

Completed in 1890, this cantilever bridge has been described as "the one internationally recognised Scottish landmark".

The population of Scotland in the 2001 Census was 5,062,011. This rose to 5,295,400, the highest ever, according to the first results of the 2011 Census.[2] Although Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, it is not the largest city. Toshiba GDM610000277 CPU Fan

With a population of just over 584,000, this honour falls to Glasgow. TheGreater Glasgow conurbation, with a population of almost 1.2 million, is home to nearly a quarter of Scotland's population.

The Central Belt is where most of the main towns and cities are located. Glasgow is to the west,  HP Pavilion dv7-6107tx CPU Fan while Edinburgh and Dundee lie on the east coast, with Perth (its city status restored in 2012) lying 20 miles upstream on the River Tay from Dundee. Scotland's only major city outside the Central Belt is Aberdeen, on the east coast to the north. The Highlands are sparsely populated, although the city of Inverness has experienced rapid growth in recent years.[when?] Dell Vostro 3350 CPU Fan In general, only the more accessible and larger islands retain human populations. Currently, fewer than 90 remain inhabited. The Southern Uplands are essentially rural in nature and dominated by agriculture and forestry. Because of housing problems in Glasgow and Edinburgh, five new towns were created between 1947 and 1966. Dell Vostro 3450 CPU Fan

They are East Kilbride, Glenrothes, Livingston, Cumbernauld, and Irvine.[201]

Immigration since World War II has given Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee small South Asian communities.[202] In 2011, there were an estimated 49,000 ethnically Pakistani people living in Scotland, making them the largest non-White ethnic group.[1] TOSHIBA Mini NB 300 Series Keyboard

 Since the Enlargement of the European Unionmore people from Central and Eastern Europe have moved to Scotland, and the 2011 census indicated that 61,000 Poles live there.

Scotland has three officially recognised languages: English, Scots, and Scottish Gaelic. Almost all Scots speak Scottish English.[ SONY VGN-FE28H Keyboard The 2011 census indicated that 63% of the population had "no skills in Scots".[204] Others speak Highland English. Gaelic is mostly spoken in the Western Isles, where a large proportion of people still speak it; however, nationally its use is confined to just 1% of the population.[205] The number of Gaelic speakers in Scotland dropped from 250,000 – 7% of the population – in 1881 to 60,000 in 2008.[206] DELL Latitude E5500 Keyboard There are many more people with Scottish ancestry living abroad than the total population of Scotland. In the 2000 Census, 9.2 million Americans self-reported some degree of Scottish descent.[207] Ulster's Protestant population is mainly of lowland Scottish descent,[208] and it is estimated that there are more than 27 million descendants of the Scots-Irish migration now living in the US.[ HP Pavilion dv5-1104tu Keyboard

In Canada, the Scottish-Canadian community accounts for 4.7 million people.[211] About 20% of the original European settler population of New Zealand came from Scotland.[212]

In August 2012, the Scottish population reached an all time high of 5.25 million people.[213] TOSHIBA Equium A100 Series Keyboard

 The reasons given were that, in Scotland, births were outnumbering the number of deaths, and immigrants were moving to Scotland from overseas. In 2011, 43,700 people moved from Wales, Northern Ireland or England to live in Scotland.[213]

The total fertility rate (TFR) in Scotland is below the replacement rate of 2.1 (the TFR was 1.73 in 2011[214]). SONY VAIO VGN-AR570 Keyboard

The majority of births today are to unmarried women (51.3% of births were outside of marriage in 2012[215]).

The Scottish education system has always remained distinct from the rest of United Kingdom, with a characteristic emphasis on abroad education.[217] DELL Vostro 3350 Keyboard In the 15th century, the Humanist emphasis on education cumulated with the passing of the Education Act 1496, which decreed that all sons of barons and freeholders of substance should attend grammar schools to learn "perfyct Latyne", resulting in an increase in literacy among a male and wealthy elite.[218] ACER Aspire 7736ZG Keyboard In the Reformation the 1560 First Book of Discipline set out a plan for a school in every parish, but this proved financially impossible.[219] In 1616 an act in Privy council commanded every parish to establish a school.[220] By the late seventeenth century there was a largely complete network of parish schools in the lowlands, but in the Highlands basic education was still lacking in many areas.[221] TOSHIBA NSK-TBD01 Keyboard

Education remained a matter for the church rather than the state until the Education Act (1872).[222]

The "Curriculum for Excellence" provides the curricular framework for children and young people from age 3 to 18.[223] All 3- and 4-year-old children in Scotland are entitled to a free nursery place. Formal primary education begins at approximately 5 years old and lasts for 7 years (P1–P7); HP 9J.N0Y82.H01 Keyboard today, children in Scotland study Standard Grades, or Intermediate qualifications between the ages of 14 and 16. These are being phased out and replaced by the National Qualifications of the Curriculum for Excellence. The school leaving age is 16, after which students may choose to remain at school and study for Access, Intermediate or Higher Grade and Advanced Higher qualifications. HP 517865-031 Keyboard

A small number of students at certain private, independent schools may follow the English system and study towards GCSEs and A and AS-Levels instead.[224]

There are fifteen Scottish universities, some of which are amongst the oldest in the world.[225][226] These include the University of St Andrews, the University of Glasgow, the University of Aberdeen,  Lenovo 0A62039 Keyboard the University of Edinburgh and the University of Dundee —many of which are ranked amongst the best in the UK.[227][228]Proportionally, Scotland has more universities in QS' World University Rankings' top 100 than any other nation in the world.[229] The country produces 1% of the world's published research with less than 0.1% of the world's population, DELL Vostro A860 Keyboard

and higher education institutions account for 9% of Scotland's service sector exports.[230][231] Scotland's University Courts are the only bodies in Scotland authorised to award degrees.

Scotland's Universities are complemented in the provision of Further and Higher Education by 43 Colleges. HP Pavilion DV3000 Keyboard Colleges offer National Certificates, Higher National Certificates and Higher National Diplomas. These Group Awards, alongside Scottish Vocational Qualifications, aim to ensure Scotland's population has the appropriate skills and knowledge to meet workplace needs. ACER Aspire One D150-1920 Keyboard In 2014, research reported by the Office for National Statistics found that Scotland was the most highly educated country in Europe and among the most well-educated in the world in terms of tertiary education attainment, with roughly 40% of people in Scotland aged 16–64 educated to NVQ level 4 and above.[232] HP G42-415DX Keyboard

 Based on the original data for EU statistical regions, all four Scottish regions ranked below some other parts of Europe in completion of tertiary-level education by 25–64-year-olds, including Inner London (40.5–47.9% for Scotland; 62.5% for Inner London).

Just over half (54%) of the Scottish population reported being a Christian while nearly 37% reported not having a religion in a 2011 census.[234] SONY VAIO PCG-FRV25 Keyboard Since the Scottish Reformation of 1560, the national church (the Church of Scotland, also known as The Kirk) has been Protestant and Reformed in theology. Since 1689 it has had a Presbyterian system of church government, and enjoys independence from the state.[18] About 12% of the population are currently members of the Church of Scotland, with 40% claiming affinity. DELL Inspiron M5030 Keyboard

The Church operates a territorial parish structure, with every community in Scotland having a local congregation.

Scotland also has a significant Roman Catholic population, 19% claiming that faith, particularly in the west.[235] HP 519265-001 Keyboard After the Reformation, Roman Catholicism in Scotland continued in the Highlands and some western islands like Uist and Barra, and it was strengthened during the 19th century by immigration from Ireland. Other Christian denominations in Scotland include the Free Church of Scotland, various other Presbyterian offshoots, and the Scottish Episcopal Church. Lenovo 45N2106 Keyboard Islam is the largest non-Christian religion (estimated at around 40,000, which is less than 0.9% of the population),[236] and there are also significant Jewish, Hindu and Sikh communities, especially in Glasgow.[236] The Samyé Ling monastery near Eskdalemuir, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2007, is the first Buddhist monastery in western Europe. HP 365485-001 Keyboard Healthcare in Scotland is mainly provided by NHS Scotland, Scotland's public health care system. This was founded by the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1947(later repealed by the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978) that took effect on 5 July 1948 to coincide with the launch of the NHS in England and Wales. DELL Vostro 1014 Keyboard However, even prior to 1948, half of Scotland's landmass was already covered by state funded health care, provided by the Highlands and Islands Medical Service.[238] Healthcare policy and funding is the responsibility of the Scottish Government's Health Directorates. The current Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing is Alex Neil and the Director-General (DG) Health and chief executive, NHS Scotland is Paul Gray.[239] FUJITSU Lifebook E8210 Keyboard In 2008, the NHS in Scotland had around 158,000 staff including more than 47,500 nurses, midwives and health visitors and over 3,800 consultants. In addition, there are also more than 12,000 doctors, family practitioners and allied health professionals, including dentists, opticians and community pharmacists, TOSHIBA 9Z.N4WSC.001 Keyboard who operate as independent contractors providing a range of services within the NHS in return for fees and allowances. These fees and allowances were removed in May 2010, and prescriptions are entirely free, although dentists and opticians may charge if the patient's household earns over a certain amount, about £30,000 per annum.[240]  FUJITSU Siemens M1010 Keyboard

Life expectancy for those born in Scotland between 2010 and 2012 is 76.5 years for males and 80.7 years for females.[241] This is the lowest of any of the four countries of the UK.

Of the money spent on UK defence, about £3.3 billion can be attributed to Scotland as of 2013.  GATEWAY V030946FS1 US Keyboard Although Scotland has a long military tradition predating the Treaty of Union with England, its armed forces now form part of the British Armed Forces, with the notable exception of the Atholl Highlanders, Europe's only legal private army. In 2006, the infantry regiments of the Scottish Division were amalgamated to form the Royal Regiment of Scotland.  SONY 148738121 Keyboard

Other distinctively Scottish regiments in the British Army include the Scots Guards, the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and the Scottish Transport Regiment, a Territorial Army Regiment of the Royal Logistic Corps.

Because of their topography and perceived remoteness, parts of Scotland have housed many sensitive defence establishments, with mixed public feelings.[  DELL PVDG3 Keyboard Between 1960 and 1991, the Holy Loch was a base for the US fleet of Polaris ballistic missile submarines.[245] Today, Her Majesty's Naval Base Clyde, 25 miles (40 kilometres) north west of Glasgow, is the base for the four Trident-armed Vanguard class ballistic missile submarines that comprise the UK's nuclear deterrent.Scapa Flow was the major Fleet base for the Royal Navy until 1956.  DELL INSPIRON 1464 Keyboard Two frontline Royal Air Force bases are also located in Scotland. These are RAF Leuchars and RAF Lossiemouth, the last of which is the most northerly air defencefighter base in the United Kingdom. A third, RAF Kinloss will close as an RAF unit in 2013–14. RAF Leuchars is due to be turned into an army barracks, ending the RAF's connection in Fife.[246] DELL Vostro 3350 Keyboard

The only open-air live depleted uranium weapons test range in the British Isles is located near Dundrennan.[247] As a result, over 7000 potentially toxic munitions lie on the seabed of the Solway Firth.

Scottish music is a significant aspect of the nation's culture, with both traditional and modern influences.  DELL Precision M4500 Keyboard A famous traditional Scottish instrument is the Great Highland Bagpipe, a wind instrument consisting of three drones and a melody pipe (called the chanter), which are fed continuously by a reservoir of air in a bag. Bagpipe bands, featuring bagpipes and various types of drums, and showcasing Scottish music styles while creating new ones, have spread throughout the world. HP Pavilion dv6-3040sp Keyboard The clàrsach (harp), fiddle and accordion are also traditional Scottish instruments, the latter two heavily featured in Scottish country dance bands. Today, there are many successful Scottish bands and individual artists in varying styles including Annie Lennox, Amy Macdonald, Runrig, Boards of Canada, HP 519265-001 Keyboard

Cocteau Twins, Deacon Blue, Franz Ferdinand, Susan Boyle, Emeli Sande, Texas, The View, The Fratellis, Twin Atlantic and Biffy Clyro. Other Scottish musicians includeShirley Manson, Paolo Nutini and Calvin Harris.[250]

Scotland has a literary heritage dating back to the early Middle Ages. HP G42-415DX Keyboard The earliest extant literature composed in what is now Scotland was in Brythonic speech in the 6th century, but is preserved as part of Welsh literature.[251] Later medieval literature included works in Latin,[252] Gaelic,[253] Old English[254] and French.[255] The first surviving major text in Early Scots is the 14th-century poet John Barbour's epic Brus, focusing on the life of Robert I,[256Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Keyboard ] and was soon followed by a series of vernacular romances and prose works.[257]In the 16th century the crown's patronage helped the development of Scots drama and poetry,[258] but the accession of James VI to the English throne removed a major centre of literary patronage and Scots was sidelined as a literary language.[259]  HP Mini 210-1109TU Keyboard Interest in Scots literature was revived in the 18th century by figures including James Macpherson, whose Ossian Cycle made him the first Scottish poet to gain an international reputation and was a major influence on the European Enlightenment.[260] It was also a major influence on Robert Burns, whom many consider the national poet,[261] SONY VAIO VGN-FS315Z Keyboard and Walter Scott, whose Waverley Novels did much to define Scottish identity in the 19th century.[262] Towards the end of the Victorian era a number of Scottish-born authors achieved international reputations as writers in English, including Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, J. M. Barrie and George MacDonald.[263] In the 20th century the Scottish Renaissance saw a surge of literary activity and attempts to reclaim the Scots language as a medium for serious literature.[264]  FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Keyboard Members of the movement were followed by a new generation of post-war poets including Edwin Morgan, who would be appointed the first Scots Makar by the inaugural Scottish government in 2004.[265] From the 1980s Scottish literature enjoyed another major revival, particularly associated with a group of writers including Irvine Welsh.[264] HP Pavilion G6-1227TU Keyboard

 Scottish poets who emerged in the same period included Carol Ann Duffy, who, in May 2009, was the first Scot named UK Poet Laureate.[266]

Television in Scotland is largely the same as UK-wide broadcasts, however the national broadcaster is BBC Scotland, a constituent part of the British Broadcasting Corporation, the publicly funded broadcaster of the United Kingdom. HP AEUT5U00010 Keyboard It runs three national television stations, and the national radio stations, BBC Radio Scotlandand BBC Radio nan Gaidheal, amongst others. Scotland also has some programming in the Gaelic language. BBC Alba is the national Gaelic-language channel. The main Scottish commercial television station is STV. HP Mini 110-3004tu Keyboard National newspapers such as the Daily RecordThe Herald, and The Scotsman are all produced in Scotland.[267]Important regional dailies include the Evening News in Edinburgh The Courier in Dundee in the east, and The Press and Journal serving Aberdeen and the north.[267]Scotland is represented at the Celtic Media Festival, SONY V072078BS1 Keyboard

which showcases film and television from the Celtic countries. Scottish entrants have won many awards since the festival began in 1980.[268]

As one of the Celtic nations, Scotland and Scottish culture is represented at interceltic events at home and over the world. Scotland hosts several music festivals including Celtic Connections (Glasgow), and the Hebridean Celtic Festival (Stornoway). SONY VAIO VGN-NR11M/S Keyboard

Festivals celebrating Celtic culture, such as Festival Interceltique de Lorient (Brittany), the Pan Celtic Festival (Ireland), and the National Celtic Festival (Portarlington, Australia), feature elements of Scottish culture such as language, music and dance.

Sport is an important element in Scottish culture, with the country hosting many of its own national sporting competitions. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Keyboard It enjoys independent representation at many international sporting events including the FIFA World Cup, the Rugby Union World Cup, the Rugby League World Cup, the Cricket World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, but not at the Olympic Games where Scottish athletes are part of the Great Britain team. ACER Extensa 5635Z Keyboard Scotland has its own national governing bodies, such as the Scottish Football Association (the second oldest national football association in the world)[276] and the Scottish Rugby Union. Variations of football have been played in Scotland for centuries, with the earliest reference dating back to 1424.[277]  Lenovo 45N2106 Keyboard

 Association football is now the most popular sport and the Scottish Cup is the world's oldest national trophy.[278]

Scotland contested the first ever international football game in 1872, a 0–0 draw against England. The match took place at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow, home of the West of Scotland Cricket Club. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E525 Keyboard Scottish clubs have been successful in European competitions with Celtic winning the European Cup in 1967, Rangers and Aberdeen winning the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1972 and 1983 respectively, and Aberdeen also winning the UEFA Super Cup in 1983. Dundee United have also made it to a European final, reaching the UEFA Cup Final in 1987, but losing on aggregate 2-1 to IFK Göteborg. HP Pavilion DV7-3060us Keyboard The Fife town of St. Andrews is known internationally as the Home of golf[279] and to many golfers the Old Course, an ancient links course dating to before 1574, is considered a site of pilgrimage.[280]There are many other famous golf courses in Scotland, including Carnoustie, Gleneagles, Muirfield, and Royal Troon.  Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E120 Keyboard Other distinctive features of the national sporting culture include the Highland games, curling and shinty. In boxing, Scotland has had 13 world champions: Alex Arthur, Ken Buchanan, Ricky Burns, Pat Clinton, Scott Harrison, Johnny Hill, Tancy Lee, Benny Lynch, Walter McGowan, Jackie Paterson, Murray Sutherland, Jim Watt and Paul Weir. IBM 42T3671 Keyboard

Scotland has competed at every Commonwealth Games since 1930 and has won 356 medals in total—91 Gold, 104 Silver and 161 Bronze.[281] Edinburgh played host to the Commonwealth Games in 1970 and 1986, and Glasgow will do so in 2014.

The image of St. Andrew, martyred while bound to an X-shaped cross, first appeared in the Kingdom of Scotland during the reign of William I.[ HP 519265-001 Keyboard Following the death of King Alexander III in 1286 an image of Andrew was used on the seal of the Guardians of Scotland who assumed control of the kingdom during the subsequent interregnum.[283] Use of a simplified symbol associated with Saint Andrew, the saltire, has its origins in the late 14th century;  SONY Vaio PCG-K215M Keyboard the Parliament of Scotland decreeing in 1385 that Scottish soldiers should wear a white Saint Andrew's Cross on the front and back of their tunics.[284] Use of a blue background for the Saint Andrew's Cross is said to date from at least the 15th century.[285] Since 1606 the saltire has also formed part of the design of the Union Flag. Lenovo 3000 Y500 Keyboard There are numerous other symbols and symbolic artefacts, both official and unofficial, including the thistle, the nation's floral emblem (celebrated in the song, The Thistle o' Scotland), the Declaration of Arbroath, incorporating a statement of political independence made on 6 April 1320, ACER TravelMate 6292 Keyboard

the textile pattern tartan that often signifies a particular Scottish clan and the royal Lion Rampant flag.[286][287][288] Highlanders can thank James Graham, 3rd Duke of Montrose, for the repeal in 1782 of the Act of 1747 prohibiting the wearing of tartans.

Although there is no official national anthem of Scotland, TOSHIBA Satellite l25-s1196 Keyboard DELL NSK-D8001 Keyboard Flower of Scotland is played on special occasions and sporting events such as football and rugby matches involving the Scotland national teams and since 2010 is also played at the Commonwealth Games after it was voted the overwhelming favourite by participating Scottish athletes.[291] SONY VAIO VGN-CS31S/R Keyboard

Other currently less popular candidates for the National Anthem of Scotland include Scotland the BraveHighland CathedralScots Wha Hae and A Man's A Man for A' That.

St Andrew's Day, 30 November, is the national day, although Burns' Night tends to be more widely observed, particularly outside Scotland.Tartan Day is a recent innovation from Canada. HP Pavilion dv6-3045eo Keyboard

In 2006, the Scottish Parliament passed the St. Andrew's Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Act 2007, designating the day an official bank holiday.[292]

The national animal of Scotland is the unicorn, which, though fictitious, has been a Scottish heraldic symbol since the 12th century.  Lenovo 3000 G530 4151 Keyboard,DELL 0PVDG3 Keyboard,TOSHIBA PK130260100 Keyboard

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