Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Is there a place...

Is there a place on God's Green Earth which is more beautiful than Scotland?

I think not.

The period between 1720 and 1790 was known as the Scottish Enlightenment. During that period, in practically every area of human inquiry, Scotland led the world.

Thinkers such as Adam Smith and David Hume (and countless others) influenced our modern world immeasurably.

Economics. Medicine. The Arts. Architecture. Law. Language. Chemistry. Astronomy. Logic. Agronomy. Ethics. Philosophy. Mathmatics.

Joseph Black was the first to isolate Carbon Dioxide. James Watt invented the steam engine. Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott left us stories and poetry like no others. William Smellie edited the first edition of Encyclopedia Britannica.

Voltaire: "We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilization."

After the Enlightment? What else did Scotland produce?

Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. James Blyth invented the first apparatus (a windmill) to generate electricity from wind. Dugald Clark designed the first two-stroke engine, and Robert Davidson built the first electric locomotive. James Goodfellow invented the ATM. Charles Macintosh invented waterproof fabrics. John McAdam revolutionized the way we pave roads. Robert Watson-Watt got a patent for something called radio detection and ranging — RADAR.

I can't say the Scots invented whisky, but they invented GOOD whisky.

Finally, who can identify the photograph at the top of this post? The university site in Minnesota where I stole the photo, didn't identify it by place. Is it so obvious that it needs no explanation? Not to me.


  1. Thank you, Sheila. I love that photo. It looks exactly the way I pictured a locale in a book I'm halfway through writing. I wanted to know what it was, too, and was going to ask RM. Until I realized he didn't know it either.

  2. Perhaps I've seen a photo previously and it stuck in my head so I used that image when I began writing my book (Except I don't have a bridge).

  3. Scots also sired 99% of all great Americans. The rest were sired by the Irish.

  4. They say it's the one of the most photographed castle in Scotland. It does have a wonderful setting.



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