How can universities become a spur for sustainable development in the next generation? One way would be by engaging more with their local communities.
Here at Edinburgh Napier, we encourage you to become involved in groups, societies or activities that help make campuses greener places for working and studying.
We are even committed to minimising our carbon footprint beyond the campuses. 80% of our waste is recycled, while the remaining 20% is used for fuel production. Further information can be found in the links below:
Onedrive is free cloud storage. It is a great way of storing and saving large files and documents online, accessing on other devices and sharing with others. You no longer need a ring binder folder full of paper!
Highland Games are a traditional event held in many Scottish towns during the summer and are a mixture of sporting, cultural and social events. The well-known events such as tossing the caber and the hammer throw are only for the strongest and fittest competitors!
Origin and history
It is believed that the Highland Games originated in Ireland around 2000BC and they were brought to Scotland with 4th and 5th century migrations of the Scotti people into Dalriada (Argyll). The games may have become a way of choosing the strongest and most able men for the household of clan chieftains, with musicians and dancers also sought to add prestige to the clan. The first historical reference to Highland Games-type events was made during the 11th century. They were banned following the Battle of Culloden in 1746 but the ban was lifted in the early 19th century.
The Braemar Gathering is the most famous of all Highland Games. Queen Victoria attended the games in 1838 and royal support has continued since then. Queen Victoria’s endorsement of the games ensured the growth of such events and their export around the world. Highland Games now take place in many different countries, particularly countries where Scots emigrated to in large numbers such as Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand.
The Ceres Games in Fife are considered the oldest, continuous Highland Games in Scotland and began in 1314.
It wouldn’t be a Highland Games without the traditional strong man events such as tossing the caber and the tug of war.
Tossing the caber-The caber is a large wooden pole and the name derives from the Gaelic word cabar which refers to a wooden beam. The caber is around 20 feet long and normally weighs around 150 pounds. Competitors must balance the caber in their hands and perform a run-up before they toss it. Throws are judged on their straightness – a perfect toss sees the small end of the caber facing away from the thrower at a 12 o’clock angle.
Hammer throw-The “hammer” used consists of a metal ball weighing around 22 pounds attached by a steel wire to a grip. Competitors use the handle to whirl the hammer around their head and throw it as far as they can.
Tug of war-This event involves teams of eight pulling against another team of eight, encouraged by another team member who shouts instructions and encouragement to spur their team to pull the other one across the line to win the event.
These competitions make the games a thrilling event, but to add to the spectacle there are also other attractions.
Highland dancing – Dancers give dazzling displays on pointed toes of dances such as the Highland Fling and the sword dance. They wear colourful tartan outfits and compete in solo and group events.
Pipe bands-They will play for entertainment and in competitive events.
More recently Highland Games have become a celebration of country life and many now include events such as:
Animal exhibitions-Displays of Highland cattle, Clydesdale horses and Shetland ponies.
Sheep dog trials-Competitions against the clock.
Food stalls-Showcasing local produce with free tastings.
Arts and crafts.
Re-enactments-Groups give displays of sword fights, spinning yarn and cooking.
More recently novelty events have been added such as wellie throwing and tossing the haggis.
Sadly due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions most of Scotland’s major events have been cancelled this year. A few events are still going ahead and the calendar can be viewed here.
Hopefully you will be able to visit a Highland Games in the future and get to enjoy all they have to offer.
We’ve come a long way since Evelyn Roxburgh graduated from Heriot-Watt College in 1923 with a diploma in electrical engineering – the first woman in Scotland to qualify as an electrical engineer. Evelyn spent much of her career in Metropolitan Vickers, one of the biggest engineering companies in the country.
And then there was Langholm-born Dorothy Buchanan who, in 1927, became the first female chartered engineer registered by the Institution of Civil Engineers and worked on engineering projects as far-flung as Sydney, Kharthoum and Belfast.
Nevertheless, there is still a huge gender imbalance in the scientific industries, and that’s why we need an International Women in Engineering Day. Now in its 8th year, INWED aims to raise the profile of women in engineering and inspire women and girls all over the world to enter the industry. INWED is celebrated on 23rd June all over the world. See here for what’s happening in the UK.
Despite boys and girls having an equal interest in science and technology in their school years, only around 25% of workers in the STEM sector are women. Equate Scotland aims to help change this. It works with further education institutions, employers and students to develop women’s scientific expertise, skills and confidence. Find out about them here
Here at Edinburgh Napier, 20% of our staff and students in the School of Engineering & the Built Environment are female. We welcome girls and boys of all backgrounds. Why not join us? Find out more here
Box of Broadcasts, or BoB as it is affectionately known, is an on demand TV and radio service for education run by an organisation called Learning on Screen. It allows staff and students at subscribing institutions to record and watch programmes from over 60 free-to-air channels and search an archive of over 2 million broadcasts.
How to Access BoB
Content is accessible online, both on and off campus within the UK. When you arrive at the BoB homepage begin by clicking “Login”. Next Select Edinburgh Napier University from the “Where are you from?” drop-down box. You will need to register the first time you use BoB, but after that, you can simply log in with your university username & password.
Not only will you be able to access millions of broadcasts, including those from channels such as the BBC, CNN, and Channel 4, but you can make personal playlists and create clips.
Scotland offers some fantastic opportunities to get out and about and do some wildlife watching. When it’s not possible to do so, there are some great ways to watch a magnificent bird of prey from the comfort of your own home.
Ospreys have now returned to Scotland for the breeding season. These large birds of prey overwinter in Africa and return to the UK to breed in the spring. They feed mostly on fish caught in lochs and rivers and they tend to pair for life. Ospreys were found extensively across the UK until they were persecuted to extinction. This meant that in Scotland ospreys became extinct in 1916.
They started to return to Scotland in 1954, but re-colonising was a slow process and by 1976 the breeding population was only 14 pairs. Nest protection and conservation projects helped the population to increase and to colonise other parts of the UK.
Where to watch
There are visitor centres at Loch of the Lowes and Loch Garten, where you can watch the ospreys as they tidy their nests, raise their chicks and see the young birds take their first flight. However, if you prefer to watch from the comfort of your own home, you can follow the birds’ progress on the Loch of the Lowes webcam here.
There is also a webcam for the osprey nest at Loch Arkaig which can be viewed here.
More information about ospreys can be found on the RSPB website here.
If you are interested in birds there are several books about them in the Edinburgh Napier collection. Here is a selection of the many titles available:
You are just one step away from reducing your carbon footprint for World Environment Day on the 5th June 2021…
Every year, World Environment Day is celebrated to restore ecosystems and encourage action for the protection of the environment for future generations.
Wherever you are, you can change your habits and educate one another about environmental issues such as wildlife crime, pollution, and global warming. Here are just a few steps you can take now:
Recycling or going plastic free – marine mammals are killed every year by ingesting plastic. To help save our ecosystem, use a bag for life when doing your weekly shop, and swap plastic water bottles for steel ones!
Greener Travel – at Edinburgh Napier University, we highly encourage you to walk or cycle to our campuses. One of the benefits of this is that you can enjoy the picturesque views of Edinburgh along the cycle routes, parks and waterways.
Shopping – look out for the Fairtrade logo on packaging. Fairtrade supports sustainable production, fairness, equality, and improved working conditions for farmers. Learn more about Fairtrade in the link below:
The month of June is Pride Month and here at the Library we “pride” ourselves on being an inclusive and welcoming place to visit. We thought it might be interesting to share with you some history about Pride Month and show you some resources for learning more about LGBTQ+ culture.
The reason that Pride occurs in June is because it marks the date of the Stonewall riots in America. This was a significant turning point in LGBTQ+ rights, galvanising movement towards greater equality. The first Pride parade occurred a year later on the anniversary of the riot, and parades around the world have marked the occasion ever since.
Pride Month is a celebration of how far LGBTQ+ rights have come and about bringing attention to work that still needs to be done. It’s also about having a lot of fun and some truly fabulous parades!
The Library has a wealth of books and articles on the subject. From the history of LGBTQ+ rights to current Legal information to keep you informed. Use LibrarySearch to find what you are looking for, or contact us for help with any of your research needs.
Here are some items available through the Library to get you started: