(Nearly) White Christmas

Well, it wasn’t a White Christmas, but it was very nearly – this was the view from the parental mansion on December 26th:

Winter Hills 01

We have a great view of the vast, ancient geological vastness of the Campsie Fells, a volcanic formation (some of the dried lava flows on it are dated to around 300 million years ago, give or take a few millennia).

Winter Hills 02

Rolling Waves

Tried a wee experiment this afternoon – I rarely use the video mode on my camera, but it has a facility to shoot in a smaller format than the usual widescreen version, but in a high 120 frames per second rate. It was high tide at North Berwick, and with a cold wind blowing down the coast from the Arctic, the swell was high and the waves topped with whitecaps, so I thought I would try the 120 fps mode looking out to the sea and the Bass Rock, and found it slowed the motion down in a rather nice way. Not sure what else I may try using that mode for, but quite liked the effect here:

Video - Bass Rock and Waves 120fps

And here’s a still of the Bass Rock today with the same camera:

Bass Rock and Rolling Waves

Meanwhile in Portobello this morning, after I had been in for a job interview I walked round to the promenade and had lunch by the beach, where I noticed this chap taking advantage of the coastal winds to enjoy some kite surfing:

Riding the Wind 01

Riding the Wind 03

Riding the Wind 02

The great stone spine of the land

Out at the weekend with dad, visiting Field of Bannockburn, the memorial to the incredibly pivotal battle which secured Scottish independence against the violent Plantagenet tyranny spreading across the British Isles, and changing the way the history of these islands would play out. The sun came out from behind the clouds and in the distance, looking towards Callendar we could see this magnificent site:

the great stone spine of Scotland 02

Where the already impressive hills of Scotland start to rise into majestic mountains, still covered in winter snow but now basking in early spring sunshine, glittering and shining, gateway to the Highlands, the great stone spine of Caledonia and a reminder that our Scotland boasts the most beautiful scenery in the whole of the British Isles.

the great stone spine of Scotland 03

the great stone spine of Scotland 04

Rock the world

Geologists have found the oldest rocks on Earth, dating back some 4.28 billion years (a Thursday afternoon), in Hudson Bay, Canada, reports the BBC. You might think since the Earth is ancient it should be relatively simple to find rocks almost as old as our world itself, but since the Earth is a very dynamic world where even the very continents move many of the oldest rocks have long been crushed or slipped back into the interior of the world.

The Woolamaloo Gazette spoke to Billy Granite, a leading local rock, who said he and the entire Igneous, Metamorphic and Trans-sedimentary community were extremely pleased with this new scientific discovery. “Our rocky community is often disparaged by many religious groups, “Mr Granite explained, “they maintain that some mythical creator came along and waved a magic wand to make everything in a few days. Rock-kind find this a bigoted and ignorant view point as it completely dismisses the millions and billions of years stones and rocks have put into crafting our wonderful world and we think these religious bigots should shut up and give some credit to us. They’re happy enough to use us to build their bloody churches but then spread lies about us.”

While religious bigotry and ignorance to rock-kind is, sadly, fairly common, especially in certain parts of America, the problem can escalate to outright hate crimes and violence – only last month two fossils were attacked in a public park in Seattle by fundamentalist Christians. It can only be hoped that new scientific research helps to undermine the ridiculous position of the religious right.