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Wings Over Scotland

Leading the world

Posted on October 21, 2013 by

Every country on Earth is the best at something.


We can do better than this, right?


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    58 to “Leading the world”

    1. big_al says:

      Not if Labour, Tories and the Lib Dems have their way, no

    2. desimond says:

      Has anyone asked Heaven 17 about this?

    3. Vronsky says:

      How could they possibly know?  Oh, BBC.

    4. Doug Daniel says:

      Looking at Russia, I’ll bet rUK is looking on in envy (and I don’t mean the raspberries bit).
      Not quite every country there, mind – most of the former Yugoslav republics and small states like Monaco, Liechtenstein and Andorra are missing. And loads of countries that I really only know from doing Sporcle geography quizzes all the time.
      Still, top for fascist movements? What an absolute embarrassment. I wonder what Scotland is best at? Hopefully not “wee feartie beasties who would rather someone else made their decisions for them”.

    5. MajorBloodnok says:

      Is this what our crowd-funded survey money went on?  We raised more than I thought…

    6. Murray McCallum says:

      The map is quite wrong with regard to the glorious UK and the data clearly manipulated by some foreign communist.
      The UK is the home of fairness to wealthy people and tolerance to white people with specific accents. Fairness and tolerance.

    7. Gary S says:

      All of a sudden, I fancy Estonia for a holiday

    8. Truth says:

      @Doug Daniel
      Sporcle is amazing. I c an actually complete the world countries one with 5 mins to spare. Can’t wait to be able to type Scotland into it!

    9. MajorBloodnok says:

      @Gary S
      Or, for that matter, Venezuela (or should that be Venusuela?).  I nearly went there for a post-doc you know, to work on squid axons (don’t ask).

    10. Ian Brotherhood says:

      What’s a squid axon?

    11. Luigi says:

      Now, if Scotland was already an independent nation, what would we be best at?
      Please don’t tell me “FASCIST MOVEMENTS”!

    12. southernscot says:

      Its people, oil, gas, inventions, etc and democracy

    13. Doug Daniel says:

      Truth – you should try the one for naming the old Scottish counties. That’s a real toughie.

    14. MajorBloodnok says:

      @Ian Brotherhood
      Axon – nervous system component.  Particularly large in squid (nothing to boast about though) hence extensively studied.

    15. Jimsie says:

      In defence of Bosnia. They are steadily getting rid of their land mines, and their team will be playing at the world cup.

    16. kininvie says:

      O/T  Here’s our very own Ivan McKee’s speech to the Yes Rally in Perth:

    17. lumilumi says:

      Some surprises there (and I had to google a couple of things like mohnflesserl) but I did know that Finns consume more coffee per capita than any other nation in the world. 🙂 (I’m not a very typical Finn because I only drink one mug in the morning and maybe another in the afternoon, and -shock, horror – often use instant. The coffee maker or espresso pot only usually gets taken out if I’m entertaining guests.)
      I couldn’t get at the data (the site was probably swamped by WoS readers) but it’s nice to know that almost everybody is the best at something. Well, some of the “bests” weren’t very nice, such as illiteracy, inequality and Fascist movements.
      Scotland? Probably whisky production without the revenues staying in the country. Oh, and exporting well-educated, bright, entrepreneurial people. But indipendence can change that.

    18. The Water Beastie says:

      When a friend posted this a few hours back from Italy, I suggested the partition would be ‘Whisky and Renewables’….do China really beat us on renewables?  I’m living there just now and I see precious little sign of it…..!!

    19. gedboy says:

      wit the land mine team

    20. Holebender says:

      I thought Scotland produced most of the world’s rasps. How dare those Ruskies usurp our world soft fruit domination!

    21. Luigi says:

      Sorry to say this, folks, but we may be the CRINGE capital of the world.
      Let’s get rid of that label, once and for all in 2014.

    22. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Do these ‘axons’ play a part in Alistair Darling’s extensive range of facial tics?

    23. Daughter of Evil Reindeer says:

      Easy one! Renewable Energy! The natural resource base for renewables is extraordinary by European, and even global standards. Somewhere down the line it is a story that has to happen.

    24. Desimond says:

      O/T but is “Chris Hoy” the NO Campaigns equivalent of YES’ “Dont mention Braveheart!”

      Is a man on a bike the best they can keep coming up with?

    25. Luigi says:

      Do these ‘axons’ play a part in Alistair Darling’s extensive range of facial tics?
      Ian, you need at least one brain cell to generate axon activity.

    26. Murray McCallum says:

      Surely Scotland would be top for the best weather?

    27. Craig P says:

      This must be down to all the Internet chatter from unionists calling the SNP nazis. 

    28. sneddon says:

      Murray – Best weather for what? – staying indoors 🙂

    29. Taranaich says:

      Honestly, I couldn’t even laugh at this. All the wondrous achievements of Scots and the Scottish subsumed under the achievements of the UK – and it just so happens that the UK’s greatest lead in the world is in fascist movements. A land with so many technical, social, scientific, literary, artistic, economic, and cultural advancements… but because of our union with England, our southern neighbour’s greater size means they’re blotted out. Better Together my eye.
      That said, I do have to question the sources of that image (which has been ALL OVER my bloody Facebook): it isn’t that I doubt their veracity, but it’d be nice if there were some citations.

    30. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “That said, I do have to question the sources of that image (which has been ALL OVER my bloody Facebook): it isn’t that I doubt their veracity, but it’d be nice if there were some citations.”

      Didn’t you click the “Data” link?

    31. Taranaich says:

      I did (as I did on Facebook) but it just links back to the picture.  Knowing me, it’s probably my stupid computer.

      EDIT: just tried there again, now the page won’t load. THE INTERNET IS CONSPIRING TO MAKE ME LOOK STUPID

    32. Murray McCallum says:

      Good point.
      Let me refine that – best all round weather – for a proper outdoor experience and then a great indoor experience watching from inside the pub.

    33. Boorach says:

      Our seed tatties have a world-wide reputation though it’s a well known fact that England exports much more Scotch whisky than Scotland does! 🙂

    34. pmcrek says:

      Anyone else desperate to join the Internet, Democracy, Atheism and Coffee club?

    35. lumilumi says:

      Don’t forget education!
      Though I’m a bit miffed that Denmark bagsied that.  I thought Finland was a world leader, what with us doing so well in PISA and the stream of international visitors coming to our schools to see how we do it, and Finnish education experts being invited all over the world. Including my friend, a secondary school teacher who developed a method of teaching foreign languages with crap spelling (such as English) to dyslexic students.

    36. Oisin Murphy-Lawless says:

      Can only assume the data from Ireland was taken from Bertie aherns dream version of Republic where healthcare magically sorts itself out and property bubbles never burst. 

    37. Taranaich says:

      Ah, NOW the bally thing works…
      So after perusing the depressing list of fascist movements, I note that the majority, if not the entirety, of them were founded in England. Obviously I’m not making any sort of stupid generalisation about the English being fascists, and I’m sure they had their share of Scottish devotees and allies, but I do think it’s notable that of that list, not one of the movements was based in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland.

    38. wee folding bike says:

      Scotland gave the world the bicycle.
      I think we’ll find it difficult to top that. Probably the greatest invention of all time.

    39. Murray McCallum says:

      Don’t forget that Scotland gave the world the sauna. It’s all down to the great weather.

    40. Seems we have such a group in power.

    41. CameronB says:

      The Water Beastie
      ….do China really beat us on renewables?  I’m living there just now and I see precious little sign of it…..!!
      Hydroelectric? Such as the world’s largest power station at the Three gorges dam.

    42. lumilumi says:

      @Murray (7.27)
      Pooh, pooh, the Bronze age sauna just proves the Finns were there first! 😀
      There’s a linguistic theory that proto-Finnic -speaking peoples first inhabited northern Europe when the ice receded. Other, Indo-Europaic -speaking peoples then edged in from the south/east/west, but a substratum of Finnic remained and explains some differences between northern (European) and southern (Indo-Iranian) Indo-European languages. I don’t buy that theory, and saunas, or various kinds of “sweat baths” were apparently quite common among peoples in northern latitudes (including native Americans).
      However, Finns have kept up the tradition for millenia, even now when we have hot running water for washing and no rational reason for saunas. “Sauna” is, as far as I know, the only Finnish loanword to enter the Engish lexicon.
      Very appropriate, because sauna is so fundamental in Finnish culture. In the olden days, women gave birth in the sauna (very wise, since the temperature killed most of the germs and it was probably the cleanest place in the homestead) and the dead were washed in the sauna (germs, again, and a spiritual thing), and major political/commercial deals were/are made in the sauna, in a more relaxed atmosphere than the boardroom.
      Today, the Finn’s ultimate relaxation is having a sauna with friends, maybe a beer, feeling thoroughly clean. It is still spiritual, affirming our unique Finnishness, who we are. The first thing Finnish UN peacekeepers or NATO partner troops do is set up a sauna. Somewhere to wash away all the dirt and all the cares and stresses and a piece of home.
      Imagine Scotland without whisky. You don’t have to drink lots of it all the time but it’s in the DNA of Scottish culture. That’s what sauna is for us.

    43. john king says:

      Ian brotherhood says
      “What’s a squid axon?”
      is it 
      ” the very large (up to 1 mm in diameter; typically around 0.5 mm) axon that controls part of the water jet propulsion system in squid. It was discovered by English zoologist and neurophysiologist John Zachary Young in 1936. Squids use this system primarily for making brief but very fast movements through the water.
      Between the tentacles of a squid is a siphon through which water can be rapidly expelled by the fast contractions of the body wall muscles of the animal. This contraction is initiated by action potentials in the giant axon. Action potentials travel faster] in a larger axon than a smaller one, and squid have evolved the giant axon to improve the speed of their escape response. The increased diameter of the squid axon decreases the internal resistance of the axon, as resistivity is inversely proportional to the cross sectional area of the object. This increases the space constant, ?=sqrt(rm/ri).
      The increased space constant propagates a given local depolarization further, which speeds up the action potential, according to the equation
      or have I got that totally wrong ?

    44. Wee folding bike says:

      But you’re a mammal so you have myeline sheaths which also increases the transmission speed. 

    45. john king says:

      for any one who knows me on this site and has any concern for my bodily well being I beseech you to hold the rev back because he’s gonna kill me, 
      I was in the middle of removing all the crap from that post when my computer froze, now I’m, going to have plastic surgery and move to Belize doh 
      I mean southern Iran rev honest 
      dammit I’m a dead man ,twice in one day jesus 
      omg 🙁

    46. MajorBloodnok says:

      @john king
      I’m having flashbacks now (that’ll be the acetylcholine).  JZ Young, crikey – I’ve still got one of his text books on my shelves.  My favourite neurophysiological double act were Fatt & Katz, who were the first to propose that neurotransmitter release at synapses was quantal in nature (Nobel prize winning stuff). Plus, referencing them always cracked me up.  See, I told you not to ask.

    47. Murray McCallum says:

      Yes I know you Finns are sauna crazy. I stayed at a friends house in Sysma. It involved thrashing people with birch branches and jumping in the lake. Interesting that all the electric power for the area came from the [massive] lake – miles of cable sunk into the mud.
      I still like the idea of the Assynt sauna though (or hole in the ground depending on how you look at it) – our take on luxury.

    48. Daughter of Evil Reindeer says:

      China of course has massive resources but in terms of percent of energy needs met, Scotland might get itself on the map…
      Scotland exceeded its renewable energy target, set in 2007, for 31% of total power generation coming from renewables by 2011, and the 2020 target for the renewable share of total electricity generation has been raised from 50% to 100%.
      From this very large tome…

    49. Ken500 says:

      China would have more Renewables than most countries 1.2Billion pop

      There has been a water Barrage at Dinan, France since 1960. Produces water energy.

      Some folk visited it a few years ago. After booking a trip, mistakingly intending to go to Dinard. Very interesting, a tourist attraction.

      There was a Water barrage, tridal project suggested for the Humber? estuary.Costed at £10Billion. It was cancelled as too costly?

      The latest announced site for new nuclear is close to the sea. Where is the waste going to dumped? The dearest (decommissioning costs), dirtiest (waste) and deadly.

      The two most recently built Nuclear Station have been beset with major problems. Both constructions years late and £Billions over budget. The Finnish one seven years late and £Billions over budget. There have been reconciliation issues etc.

    50. Ken500 says:

      Scotland met the highest Renewables target in Europe, last year.

      A wind turbine on the Isle of Lewis recorded an 80% record in wind power.

      The Fair Isle has a wind turbine that transformed the economy on the island. They had to use generators which were expensive and led to the power not being used at night. There is an increase in visitors (bird watchers) and production has increased.

    51. Ken500 says:

      People installed a heat pump and they have never received the promised UK gov payback.

      Solar subsidy was lowered by ConDems from 42p to 21p. Halved. Cut to deep. Some people will not install them now, because they would not get the investment back before they leave. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

    52. Alba4Eva says:

      John King… see the Squid thing?  Is that the method that Unionists are utilising to make their arguments or more descriptively spout their black stuff?

    53. Alba4Eva says:

      Ken500.  Regarding the Heat Pump issue.  The RHI’s for both Domestic & Non-domestic are outlined here:

    54. Adrian B says:

      @ Ken
      People installed a heat pump and they have never received the promised UK gov payback.
      Whether air source or ground source, the Government (Westminster) moved the goalposts on the qualifying design. Those that meet the requirement laid out last year will get paid if all the paperwork has been done correctly.

      Solar subsidy was lowered by ConDems from 42p to 21p. Halved. Cut to deep. Some people will not install them now, because they would not get the investment back before they leave. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
      The subsidy was cut several times by Westminster. Suppliers moved from supplying the high quality German panels to the cheep Chinese panels. The prices of new systems have dropped through the floor.
      You can still have your system completely paid back in around 7 years with plenty of free clean energy to use at the same time – it all helps to reduce peoples electricity bills and the suppliers are happy as they get the ‘Green Energy Carbon points’.

    55. Alba4Eva says:

      7 years might be slightly optimistic if we are talking PV.

    56. Adrian B says:

      7 years might be slightly optimistic if we are talking PV.
      No not at all – seriously, some will take a little longer but many will be paid off by the end of seven years running particularly up the western side of Scotland which has the most sunshine. All that is actually required is reasonable levels of daylight to generate power. A south facing array works well, but east/west catches ambient light for longer.

    57. john king says:

      alba4eve says 
      @john king
      You read my mind, 
      the bigger the arse the more shite they can spout 

    58. Luigi says:

      Excellent info on squid giant axons (I have dissected quite a few)!  You could add that the axons radiate from a neural ganglion near the brain, to the entire mantle (imagine a nerve star shape).  As you mentioned, the speed of the signal along the nerve depends on it’s thickness.  The ganglion ‘star’ radiates nerves of increasing thickness, short thin ones (low speeds) to the nearest muscle tissue, and long, thick ones (high speeds) to the extremities of the mantle.  It is designed perfectly to ensure that the signal reaches all parts of the mantle (muscle used in jet propulsion).  For jet propulsion to work effectively, all parts of the mantle have to contract at exactly the same time, otherwise it just scooshes out water like a soft balloon.  Hence the need for signals of different speeds (ie increasingly thicker (faster) nerves to the furthermost parts of the mantle.  Fascinating, intelligent animals.

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