Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Study suggests nine lifestyle changes can reduce dementia risk

Old And Isolated

As someone touched by dementia within their family, I think anything that might reduce the risk of falling victim to this affliction has to be worth a mention.

According to an international study in the Lancet., one in three cases of dementia could be prevented if more people looked after their brain health throughout life, and it lists nine key risk factors including lack of education, hearing loss, smoking, and physical inactivity.

These risk factors, described as potentially modifiable, make up 35% of the total risk – the remaining 65% is thought to be potentially non-modifiable.

  • Mid-life hearing loss – responsible for 9% of the risk
  • Failing to complete secondary education – 8%
  • Smoking – 5%
  • Failing to seek early treatment for depression – 4%
  • Physical inactivity – 3%
  • Social isolation – 2%
  • High blood pressure – 2%
  • Obesity – 1%
  • Type 2 diabetes – 1%

Depending on your own lifestyle and circumstances, some of those may or may not be easy to alter positively, but I think the relevant factor is that people be made aware of them.

It’s no secret that some of the items listed are clearly not good for their health, but many people ignore that already – perhaps coming into contact with people affected by dementia (victims and their families) might be something that would help persuade them to review their life choices.

Via: Nine lifestyle changes can reduce dementia risk, study says

 

The report, which combines the work of 24 international experts, says lifestyle factors can play a major role in increasing or reducing an individual’s dementia risk.

Although dementia is diagnosed in later life, the brain changes usually begin to develop years before,” said lead author Prof Gill Livingston, from University College London.

Acting now will vastly improve life for people with dementia and their families and, in doing so, will transform the future of society.

 

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July 31, 2017 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian | | Leave a comment

Most useless shop ever

A little bit of fun to end the month with, I almost burst a gut laughing when I looked across the road and spotted this business/shop in Shettleston. I must have caught them on early closing day.

Wealth Management?

In Glasgow’s east end?

In Shettleston?

Who are they kidding?

Maxim Wealth Management

Maxim Wealth Management

If you believe what you read in the media, or what activists tell you, then this will give you an idea why my funny bone was enjoying itself…

Scotland’s Glasgow areas of Shettleston, Springburn, Maryhill and Baillieston have been named as being among the 10 most deprived spots in the UK.

 

Scotland’s poorest place located

Scotland’s poorest and richest areas revealed

430,000 Scots kids living on the poverty line shock

I don’t believe most of what I read (to be specific, I believe any FACTS quoted, but not any of the spin, claims, or political drivel attached), and the chances of me not collapsing to the ground in fits of hysterical laughter when an activist starts to speak are… well, ‘slim to nil’ would probably not be too far from the truth.

(Note: That’s a real business in Shettleston, but it’s NOT mentioned in, or the subject of this post!)

July 31, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

MCM Comic Con 23-24 September 2017 at the SEC

ComicCon2017

ComicCon2017

I usually don’t spot these things until about 10 minutes after the doors close – so this makes a nice change.

I have to confess to missing the old style Science Fiction Conventions we used to enjoy in the Central Hotel.

Circumstances forced me to give up attending for some time, and when I did eventually get back (in my opinion) found that much of the content had evaporated as video and online (early days of the Internet) meant that many of the streams were no longer present.

But nothing stays constant.

I’d probably be running to Comic Con if I was as interested in the material as I was in the Science Fiction days, and from the photo albums I see from the other meetings around the world, the cosplay is impressive, with some participants putting in WAY too much effort – but why not?

One of the nice things about Comic Con seems to be the reasonable cost of entry, at best £24 for the weekend. I don’t think that too far off what I was paying many years ago for full attendance at out local cons, and much less than many other attractions nowadays. I often look   at shows and displays I used to attend regularly, and to use the common expression, the prices make my eyes water.

I won’t be specific, but many events (involving Classic Cars) I used to attend religiously almost every weekend during summer were £5 or so, yet in the past years of low inflation have seen their gate prices double and more. Granted there are some reasons arising from legislation and liability (and a number of events have just folded as they say they cannot raise the money), but it all seems disproportionate.

In some ways, I’m kind of glad I don’t have to worry about attending.

But best of luck to those who do.

See the following for full details of Comic Con at the SEC:

MCM Comic Con 23-24 September 2017 at the SEC

July 30, 2017 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

Missed me – again

The recent spate of violence in Glasgow was noted not only by me (since I kind of walk through some of it), but was also flagged up by the media.

Usually, when I try to lighten things a little with a ‘Missed me – again’ post, the reason is usually down to a walking route change, and finding some errant vehicle has clobbered something on a spot where I might have been walking, had I been there at the time.

Occasionally, it has noted a shooting, or worse.

The only possible positive note has been that such things usually take place at odd times.

Not so the most recent – ATM cash stolen in ‘terrifying’ armed robbery

An armed robber dressed in a “hi-vis” jacket took at least £10,000 from a worker delivering cash to an ATM in the east end of Glasgow.

The “shocking” incident happened at about 11.55 as the 57-year-old security guard approached the Tesco store in Annick Street in Shettleston.

The robber took the money box before making off in a small white car, later found burnt out nearby.

That in order of a mile from me, or 20 minutes’ walking. Pretty close.

The notable thing was the blatant timing of 11:55 – lunchtime.

Since I’m not a Tesco groupie I don’t have any pics, and I’m not going out for one, so this handy Street View capture will have to do:

Tesco ATMs

Tesco ATMs

I gave up  ‘normal’ shopping hours years ago, and started shopping at 2 or 3 am when the first 24-hour Tesco opened in Glasgow – it’s like having the shop to yourself. While the circumstances that made that my norm have gone, I still do most of my shopping last thing at night, usually on the way home, and avoid any sort of daytime shopping if at all possible – the queues are insane.

So, while I was actually there later, there was no sign of what had happened, and I only learned of it much later, when I looked at the news.

It’s not the closest…

One incident of ‘Shots fired’ at a house half a mile away.

Or the most serious…

I didn’t know at the time, but two-thirds of a mile away I passed a dying murder victim who had just left a pub – but at that moment it just looked like a bunch of kids around a drunk mate. The truth only came to light a few minutes later as it hit the news very quickly.

There was a closer incident, the theft of a number of cars, but that doesn’t really count as it happened in the middle of the night, and nobody was involved as it was not discovered until the dealer’s opened in the morning.

Update

To my shame, I can now be classed as a ‘Supermarket photographer’…

Although laden with shopping, I just couldn’t resist the urge to  have my own current pic of this Tesco, so grabbed this as I left last night.

And a hearty ‘Thank You’ to the driver of the white car, which parked in front of the subject (the ATMs) just as I pressed the shutter.

Shettleston Tesco ATMs

Shettleston Tesco ATMs

July 30, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Cambuslang’s cute bike racks revisited

I’ve mentioned the cute car-themed bike racks of Cambuslang before.

I really like them, not only for their appearance, but also because their use of cars as a motif is a nice change from the sort of rabid anti-car hate spouted when SOME cycle fans get a chance. That sort of reaction helps no-one, and merely provokes a similar reaction.

I’ve noticed a number of decorative items seem to be disappearing from Cambuslang. There was a sculpture of some sort modelled on a drum kit (I think) which used to be in the main street, but I don’t think I can see nowadays. I don’t think I noted it in here, but might have a pic buried away somewhere, so might try hunting it down.

However, the bike racks remain, although I’ve yet to see a bike chained to any of them – or anywhere in Cambuslang for that matter (apart from Morrison’s).

I thought I’d reveal the BACK of these racks, as the decorative detail is cast (I’m assuming they are casting) in sections, only on one side, that facing the shops. The other side is plain.

Also caught in this pic is one of the bench seats which feature in the main street.

They seem to be pretty tough/robust, and unlike more conventional wood or lightweight street furniture seem to largely vandal proof. They’re solidly fixed, have no fine details to bend or break, and their smooth finish is easy to keep clean and hard to deface. So far, I haven’t noticed a damaged one – I imagine any piece of scum that tried kicking or breaking is likely to come off worst.

Cambuslang Bike Rack And Seat

Cambuslang Bike Rack And Seat

July 30, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Turnbull Building resurfaces

Recently, while walking along George Street, I thought things looked ‘different’.

It took a moment to work out just what had caught my eye, but I eventually realised that the barriers and fences which had been screening the Alexander Turnbull Building for the past few years were coming down – an obstacle in place since around 2015.

From the original story about the building’s redevelopment, it should now be student accommodation with 83 en-suite studio bedrooms, a gym, TV room, and study. Strathclyde University bought the building back in 1975, before which time it had been the offices of a tobacco company, and used as a warehouse.

The architects noted that the internal space was compromised and that the existing roof was in poor condition. In order to maximise the usable space, the existing roof and chimneys were removed and replaced with a modern lightweight roof extension which carried on the existing vertical lines of the building. Modifications were carried out on the ground floor, with a shopfront, hardwood timber screens, and larger doors to increase its usability.

I can’t recall the interior (singularly unmemorable I guess), but I did have to attend a short series of lectures as part of the business section of my course at Strathclyde, and I do have memories of being in a very small room with no windows. Other than that, the place was pretty much an anonymous black hole on George Street, with little more than the sign above the door indicating it was part of the university.

It’s hard to get a decent pic. It’s a tall building with no option to ‘step back a bit’ – shops and others building line across the road.

A decent wide-angle lens would help, but be a tad expensive.

As it was, I ended up taking about a dozen shots across the façade, and stitched these together to get my shot.

It also looks as if my perspective correction tool only offers pincushion correction (it doesn’t actually specify). While the final stitch has maintained the verticals with reasonable accuracy, the horizontal distortion remains strong. Applying my usual perspective correction to seemed to be working… until I noticed the sides were being curved to the same degree as the roof was being straightened, with no options to adjust these separately. Oddly, this is the first time I’ve seen this effect.

I guess I’ll have to hunting for a free correction tool for barrel distortion.

I’ve got other image distortion tools, but they are entirely manual, and just take too long use accurately.

Regardless of the bendy pic, it’s still nice to see that a building can be refurbished and repurposed, rather than being razed.

Turnbull Building

Turnbull Building

Frank Burnet and Boston, architects, 1897. 6-storey and attic, red sandstone ashlar Baronial office building. Irregular 7-bay elevation with squat 2-stage tower rising from eaves to right. Altered ground floor with large vehicle entrances to end bays, central main entrance with polished pink granite surround, consoled pedimented rouch-arched doorway. Sculpted tympanum, depressed arch fanlight.

All windows bipartite with fixed upper part, narrower at end bays. All windows modern pivot plate-glass. Cornice over ground, mutule cornice over 1st, 3rd and 4th floors with windows divided by giant order engaged composite columns. Heavy cornice over 4th. To right, octagonal turret with bracketted (sic) balustraded parapet. Brick flanks, some box dormers, slate roofs.

Information from Historic Scotland, 6 September 2012.

July 29, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Site news – outage 28 July 2017

Big SeSco S

Nice start to the morning – a message that I have exceeded the disk space on my web host.

Ridiculous of course, I keep it at around 50% by design and cull anything that might be taking it over that.

I’ve raised an issue with the techs, and see what they come up with.

As far as I can see, I have gained a 400+ MB file that is not of my making, and it’s too big for me to easily handle via my (now) rather slow and archaic broadband connection.

No, I haven’t been doing anything new, so I know it’s not mine, so guess it’s a REAL problem, or something existing has had a slight nervous breakdown.

Uh-oh…

Maybe it’s another quirk of the server migration that put us offline at the start of the month.

Update

Apparently it’s a legit error file that’s not limited in size or entries.

Unfortunately, although it’s full of error reports, well, just five – but the last one has just been repeated thousands of times, all it seem to record is the error, and nothing about the source.

Hope all I need to do is deal with the item mentioned in the error report, which is a PHP error so not actually down to me, but there’s no obvious reason for to have appeared as I have not altered anything recently. It may be a change in PHP that has become active on the host.

 

July 28, 2017 Posted by | Site News | , , | Leave a comment

Van-Lee Transport gates (noticed at last)

I find myself frequently complaining about the lack of ‘old goodies’ surviving around Glasgow nowadays.

It’s not a new complaint, and it’s one I can actually date to starting to make before 2000.

Back in the days of Ye Olde Film Camera I had the bright idea of driving into Glasgow on Sundays (that far back, Sunday was still relatively quiet as the ending of restricted Sunday trading was still to become the norm), but it proved to be less successful than I had expected.

It was probably triggered by the elimination of most of the surviving artefact from the 1988 Glasgow Garden Festival, which I had been collecting the odd pic of as they were gradually lost. When they had gone, I started looking elsewhere for interesting remains.

But it was really too late, and after only four Sunday trips, I really couldn’t find anything sizeable or notable around the city centre, or its less well-known corners, to photograph.

That’s not to say there nothing, just that what remained was generally well-known and relatively easy to find in existing collections or records.

Since then, it’s gradually become harder and harder to find something unusual, especially after nonsense such as the 2014 Commonwealth Shames saw the council and other interested parties razing any sort of remains or featured that were considered ‘untidy’.

I’ve become so disillusioned by this sanitizing and purification of the view to make Glasgow appear to be modern, clean, and tidy, that I miss many items of interest simply because I’ve reached the stage of no longer expecting to find any.

Case in point – the gates seen in the pic below.

Van-Lee Transport Gates

Van-Lee Transport Gates

I’ve probably walked past these particular gates hundreds of times now, yet failed to ‘see’ them.

They’re not particularly noteworthy or even noticeable, and might not even be that old, in historic terms, and it’s a shame about the vandalism, and the permanently present wheelie-bins in front of them.

Their style is not modern, so they could be decades old, but…

I think Van-Lee Transport is still alive, and have been able to find pics of their lorries taken a few years ago (although none are recent), but while I can usually research companies and find records, couldn’t do the same to confirm this one.

However, pics of their lorries carry the same livery as the gates, so it looks as if they have never caught the disease that afflicts many, and ‘modernised’ just because some adviser has told them to.

So…

Now I wonder how many ‘interesting’ features I might just be walking past these days, and missing simply because I am so used to seeing them they have effectively become invisible.

July 28, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

He’s behind me, isn’t he?

So, there I was, quietly eyeing up the next potential shot (just a photograph… this time), and that creepy “Somebody’s watching me” feeling arrives. Yet there’s almost nobody else around.

I look around, with a little more care, and sure enough, sitting at a window behind me, and watching carefully – one of feline overlords.

I grabbed a quick pic as I knew this character would disappear the moment it knew I was returning the favour, and watching back.

It’s not a good pic and doesn’t do this rather nice tortie justice, but the quick shot meant the camera focus locked on the nearest feature, in this case the left edge of the window, and refused to budge no matter what buttons I poked.

Tollcross Road Cat Watch

Tollcross Road Cat Watch

But what about the spooky hooded skull reflection?

I wonder if really was the cat that was watching me though.

Look just above its head and right ear – is that a hooded spectre?

Some would say it’s just a reflection (of a car wheel).

But it looks so much like a hooded skull – and that would better explain my feeling of unease.

I could have turned around and had a look…

If I had, I’d probably have seen him – and his pal:

Masked Camo Warriors

Masked Camo Warriors

Glad I didn’t turn around, and just kept on walking.

July 27, 2017 Posted by | photography, Surveillance | , , , | Leave a comment

Baillieston mystery pole identified

It’s some time since we posted a pic of the oddly placed pole seen at the left side of the pic below, then it was part of a discussion in the forum, and as far as can remember was not posted here, in the Blog.

It’s fairly well hidden at this time of year thanks to the undergrowth behind the fence, but come the cold weather it becomes much more obvious once the surrounding leaves have gone.

That original query and discussion proved fruitless, and apart from a few suggestions that didn’t really provide plausible reasons for its presence, nothing was concluded. It was noted that this was a tram terminus, and out of sight, behind the pole and trees, there lies a small electrical substation which used to provide power for the trams.

Baillieston Mystery Pole

Baillieston Mystery Pole

But now we know.

Purely by chance, while visiting one of Glasgow’s museums, I had a seat and noticed it had a small library where visitors could browse through courtesy copies of the books for sale in its shop.

Quite a few were old photo collections that covered the east end (and I already have my own copies), but there were a few I had not seen before, so I had a look through them.

As luck would have it, one of them covered Baillieston, and as I flicked through the pages I noticed it included some early 20th century pics of Baillieston Cross and its traffic.

Better still, it showed a view taken from the area out of sight to the right of the above pic. Not sure where from exactly, as it was from a high viewpoint. It may have been commissioned as I don’t think there were ever any tall buildings there.

Back to the pole…

It is one of a pair, and the one which was located a few feet to the right of the remaining example was removed when the footpath and road were revised and/or updated. Today, the footpath is a different width from that seen in the earlier pic.

The two poles held a large road sign – which was clearly declared redundant when the changes were made, and removed along with the outer pole near the road which would then just have been an obstruction.

Since the inner pole was behind the fence, and may have become redundant, it was not in anybody’s way, so was just left where it was, and forgotten.

Probably nobody even notices it nowadays.

They’re probably too busy… avoiding the remains of a modern version of the same thing, also now redundant, BUT still with BOTH poles extant – the inner pole lies on the access track to the small substation mentioned above (so no undergrowth to ever hide it), while the outer pole lies on the footpath, near the kerb, and lies at a noticeable angle from the vertical, indicating that it has been ‘kissed’ at least once by careless driver parking next to it.

Later Baillieston Sign Poles

Later Baillieston Sign Poles

It pays to look twice!

I almost missed these completely simply because I seldom walk on this side of the road (all the shops are on the other side),

 

July 26, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

1VAN is rather nice… but still one of ‘The Illegals’

This was a lucky catch, after seeing this one speed past me on the road, and just managing to spot the imaginative use of illegal number and letter spacing on the plate, I later found the same car in the car park of the local supermarket.

If this was an American blog, I’d now be having a hysterical breakdown of some sort as the car is not only parked on the lines of the slot, in the ‘Parent and Child Zone’, but also not even in the car area of the slot, but on the marked area intended to be left clear for doors to open freely to allow parent to access child seats and carriers.

Americans are getting seriously scary about the hysteria they can raise on ‘social media’ sites with such a pic, and I think it is only a matter of time before someone is injured, or even shot. And this same madness is becoming evident here now (note I deliberately avoided this aspect, and could have taken a pic showing this clearly – but my observation/comment/point is on the US).

This one’s interesting for me for various reasons.

I really am behind on Mercedes models, and noting this as a 2011 Mercedes-Benz Cls350 CDI was a bit of a surprise, I really didn’t think the car/model was that old.

And, while I’m still not a great fan of the current UK registration number scheme, I rather like the way this one looks.

Mercedes CLS350 [CS51 VAN]

Mercedes CLS350

July 25, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

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