Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Cat tortured in Neilston – somebody should hand over the names concerned

I really hope there is a Hell, and that there are special rooms reserved for the more deserving inmates.

Such as those who torture cats (or animals).

Intentional animal torture and cruelty (IATC) is now recognised, and is worth reading about, as it is a potential indicator of those who will abuse people, or children.

For a light introduction, look it up, or have a look here…

The Psychology of Animal Torture
Why would anyone want to deliberately inflict pain on animals?

This is why I generally appeal for anyone who might know who is behind this sort of act to tell someone who these people are.

In this case…

Cruel thugs attacked a cat in Neilston – setting him on fire and leaving him with life-changing injuries.

Two-year-old Leo suffered cigarette burns to his ear and vets were forced to amputate his tail in the wake of the horror incident last Sunday night.

His owner Pauline Shields has been left distraught by the vile actions of the perpetrators, who are thought to have struck in the Glen Avenue area of the town.

She said: “It’s been horrific, for Leo in particular but also for me and all the people who have worked to help him.

“His injuries were like a horror show and what he’s been through has been awful, I can’t believe someone would do this.”

Leo’s ear was partially amputated because of the hole that was burned straight through, and his injuries to his tail were so severe that the surgeon at Rouken Glen Vets in Giffnock said they were some of the worst he’d seen.

And, after the moggy caught an infection in the affected area, they were forced to amputate without leaving a stump.

Fundraiser launched after thugs set Neilston cat on fire

Leo Image via GlasgowLive article

Leo Image via GlasgowLive article

31/01/2019 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian | , | Leave a comment

THAT’S unusual – a POSITIVE drone story!

It’s sad, but true, that the noisiest hinge get the attention, even if it’s not the most deserving.

Nearly all the publicity and attention given to drones through the media is adverse, negative, and hostile.

That’s partly understandable, bad news sells, while few pay any attention (or feed advertising clicks) for good news stories where the bottom line is… nothing interesting or sensational happened.

I follow a lot of drone development stories (for their technical, R&D content) and know that a lot of unacknowledged progress is being made, but since it doesn’t involve airports being closed, or some sort of panic or outrage – nobody features it.

So, I have to give this little story a mention.

The potential of using drones to deliver medical supplies to GP surgeries, hospitals and care homes is being investigated in the Highlands.

NHS Highland is working with Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the University of the Highlands and Islands on the project.

The health board said drones could potentially pick up and deliver items across its regions.

NHS Highlands area includes the Caithness, Skye and Argyll.

The health board said the project, which is based in Inverness, was still in the early stages.

A spokesman said: “They could be used to transport goods and supplies across the region, delivering and picking up items from sites including, but not limited to, GP surgeries, hospitals and care homes.”

Drone plan to carry medicines in Highlands considered

It really is a shame more attention/publicity is not given to schemes such as this, which are much more practical, useful, and realisable than the more high-profile schemes seen, and usually negatively criticised, which are much larger, more expensive, and even controversial. And just too big.

I’d say we need to curb the big, high-profile schemes, and concentrate on smaller, more practical applications.

Get those right – and the fancy stuff can come later, if it’s really needed.

It may not be the same as flying (which actually has less obstacles), but this is now almost TWO years old, and shows that autonomous delivery driving can be achieved!


31/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | | Leave a comment

Glasgow first for recycling single-use cups

I can say I’ve NEVER had a single-use cup from any of the disgusting so-called ‘fast food’ franchises, since I’ve never crossed their thresholds, or given them a penny of my hard-earned.

In fact, I simply cannot understand how anyone with two brain cells or more would even consider handing certain outlets £2.50 or more for a (paper) cup of hot water with the run-off from some burnt beans in it, which probably cost around 5 pence (not counting the wages of the unnecessary staff, expensive location, and whopping franchise payments.

But then again, I have tossed more than my fair share of paper cups from coffee vending machines into the bin – even if some of the factories I worked in actually did have recycling containers from them, and that was 20 years ago.

It’s taken the rest of the world a LONG time to catch up.

Glasgow will be the first Scottish city to launch a campaign to stop single-use cups either going to landfill or ending up as litter.

In response to growing public concern about the environmental impact of single-use items, environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful has launched the Cup Movement in Glasgow.

With an estimated 95 million single-use cups being used in the Greater Glasgow area every year, the pioneering project will tackle this issue head on by transforming recycling infrastructure and encouraging people to adopt more sustainable behaviours.

Contrary to popular belief, hot and cold drinks cups can be recycled, and the Cup Movement aims to collect and recycle as many as possible in Glasgow. The initiative will encourage all sectors and organisations of all types and sizes across the city to support the Cup Movement and help solve the problem.

Throughout 2019, the Cup Movement will also be working with partners to encourage Glasgow’s thousands of regular cup users to think carefully about their everyday choices. Over the longer term, the initiative will also focus on inspiring people to move to re-usable cups and encouraging behaviour change.

Glasgow to be first city in Scotland to lead single-use cup recycling campaign

“behaviour change”?

Good luck with that!

People can’t even be convinced to leave social media, or put their mobile phones down, and the dangers of those are seen almost daily.

Interestingly, I always do a little background reading before making a post or finding an image, and it was a little alarming to see just how many pics and other sites continue to use alarmist images with ‘Paper cups cannot be recycled’ pasted over them.

Old paper cups

Old paper cups

31/01/2019 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, council | , , | Leave a comment

Change of avatar

I’ve used the same flaming ‘A’ avatar for a long time, so it’s not likely to change, but if it did, or I really do need a change, I think I’ve found two option.

There’s this simple one that suggested itself in a recent post

Woody avatar



Then there’s this one, pretty much a good match, but not practical, as animated avatars sometimes just don’t work…

31/01/2019 Posted by | photography | , , | Leave a comment

Off we go again – yet more ‘local’ violence

The only ‘good thing’ I can say about this is that while it’s a place I’m regularly around, it’s also a back street I’ve only ever walked through once – ever!

A man has been stabbed during an attempted murder in Glasgow.

The 40-year-old was attacked by three men wearing masks and another man with shaved blond hair in a common close in the Tollcross area.

The man was assaulted by the gang in a block of flats in Easterhill Place at about 21:20 on Wednesday.

Man stabbed by masked men in Glasgow flats murder bid

It’s really sad that after making a light-hearted remark recently, regarding the upsurge in violence in places I can be (thankfully, usually not at the same times), I seem to be able to actually make the posts I mentioned every few days.

I hope it doesn’t last.

Violent crimes

Violent crimes

31/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Anybody recognise these cast metal ‘characters’?

I came across these two white metal cast items on separate days, but at the same place, while out walking.

For size, they’re about 20 mm along their longest dimension.

I don’t recognise them, and a quick search for various cast metal game characters didn’t come up with anything similar.

I know the Monopoly tokens had a redesign and makeover a few years ago, but these don’t appear in any of the articles I’ve seen about them, although they are about the same size.

The little old vintage racing car is pretty obvious, but I don’t know if the character with the case is a mole, or fat dolphin!

I found the car first, then the other one.

Cast metal car

Cast metal car


Cast metal characters

Cast metal characters

31/01/2019 Posted by | Appeal, photography | , | 2 Comments

Coldest day… so far

Looks like the weatherfolk nailed it again, and weren’t kidding when they said last night would be the coldest Scotland was going to see (so far).

I was going to take a pic of my window(s), which have been covered with frozen (internal) condensation all day, but the effect just doesn’t come across in a pic.

The morning was interesting, shortly after dawn (bear in mind this is not ‘early’ and close to 9 am), as we had a strange, short, snow fall.

The flakes never clumped, and were coming down individually, much like dust. A slightly odd, but nice sight.

Didn’t last.

But it stayed below freezing all damned day, and only crept above thanks to a period of sunshine, but anything that was frozen – stayed frozen.

I had to do some work on the computer during the afternoon, but only got half the data entered before throwing the OFF switch and retreating, as I lost the feeling in my toes!

Here’s the outside temperature log…

Coldest day so far

Coldest day so far

I hope the forecast after tomorrow holds, and is not changed due to prevailing conditions.

It loses the nights below zero, and although it stays at low figures, they are at least positive, and even get back to +8°C next week.

I wish we were back to the winters we had some years ago, and wonder if anyone else recalls them?

I was foolish enough to think they were bit sad – the weather generally ran down below +5°C at night, and the days weren’t much above +8°C. After a while I began to miss the snow and thought Christmas didn’t feel very Christmassy.

In those days I never thought to manually record the details, and would like to have the data to refer to nowadays.

It’s one of the reasons I splashed out on my own weather station a few years ago – but we’ve just had cold winters with snow, as usual, since I got it, so have never recorded anything particularly unusual to refer back to.

31/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

City of Adelaide Clipper – still in the news (sort of)

I got a news feed of another City of Adelaide clipper item, but not a news item.

This was a reader’s letter, which the media source still won’t let me past its paywall to

When I visit the relevant site, it doesn’t actually have a clip from the reader’s letter, but shows a few words from one of its own articles, presumably the same page the letters are shown on.

My news feed only clips a few words to show me what the relevant content is, and it’s interesting.

The last full article mentioned a replica ship that was about to demolished.

Here’s the start of what the letter writer was suggesting…

REGARDING our “sad” clipper City of Adelaide, what a wonderful opportunity to move her to the about-to-be vacated Buffalo site at Glenelg?

That’s all.

31/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Maritime | , | 1 Comment

Can we PLEASE have a big fire fuelled by Conspiracy Theorists?

I KNOW it would produce a lot of terrible pollution, but in its favour, once done, IT’S DONE! They’re gone.

One of the biggest plagues yet to be acknowledged is the continuing curse of the Conspiracy Theorist, best illustrated by the truly disgusting Alex Jones and his equally disgusting Infowars web site. (No, I’m not giving links to that scum).

Sadly, “The Public” are more ready to listen to that sort of rubbish in preference to reality/truth, simply because it is more interesting, so the psychologists tell us.

I don’t think I’ve ever come across an analysis of the cost of CT’s misinformation, or the damage they do to many beneficial projects, but it must be significant, since all they do is detract from such things, increase their costs, and drive gullible people who would otherwise have supported them into opposing them.

I spotted a projection about CO2 emissions from electric vehicles (EV) (from a sane and reliable source) which contrasts with the usual sort of Conspiracy Theory comments that usually target online discussions about this subject.

The CTs usually flood such forums with their ‘Truth’ about EVs, to the effect that they will bring down electrical grids around the world if their numbers grow (sorry, this claim is utter nonsense), and that since electricity is generated mostly by coal, the growth of EVs will bring massive increase in CO2 emissions. Needless to say, that also utter nonsense.

Sorry Conspiracy Theorists, but those of us qualified to make up our own minds about your crazy and disruptive claims know this graph is much closer to reality than anything you have EVER said.

CTs love to also claim that graphs such as this are just lies, and just show an isolated result.

It is based on all energy inputs.  Manufacturing the car, and running the car – and generation and grid losses.

PDF source PDF source

While BNEF clients get access to the full NEO report including the content above, an excerpt of the findings in a free public report.

Battery EV grid emissions


Later in the day I got an alert about this year’s ‘Car of the Year.

WhatCar? Car of the Year is electric for the first time

That’s not the subject I want to drop a quick comment or observation about though.

The site this story was published on generally has a moderate response from commenters, with the usual few pro-car and anti-bike types making an appearance amongst the reasonable people.


When I looked at the comments after this award article, not long after it was published, I was intrigued to see a huge number of votes supporting ANY NEGATIVE COMMENTS about EVs, lithium batteries, and fast charging.

I can’t, of course, say if this bias will change later, as more people read and comment.

But it does seem to me that I always see this pattern, and could be forgiven for thinking that the anti-EV lobbyists, and their pals who love fossil fuels (and still deny climate change, like the Orange Moron), still patrol the Internet and jump on ANY article which does not suit their agenda, and try to make it look as if it is unpopular by posting myths about EVs and lithium batteries, and then voting them up.

31/01/2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Scotland to begin building rockets

I can think of a few people I’d like to tie to one, but…

Rockets to be launched at the UK’s first spaceport, in the northern Highlands, will be built in Moray.

Private spaceflight company Orbex has bought a vacant building on Forres Enterprise Park and started a recruitment drive for highly specialised engineers.

The firm has previously said it expected its plans to launch small rockets carrying satellites from the proposed spaceport on the A’Mhoine Peninsula in Sutherland would create around 250 new direct and indirect jobs.

Its decision to develop the technology in Moray has been hailed as a “huge boost to the local economy” by MSP Richard Lochhead

The Forres facility, which will be Orbex’s headquarters, is due to be officially opened next month at an event attended by Graham Turnock, head of the UK Space Agency.

Rockets for UK spaceport to be built at Scottish site

After the initial mockery from the usual naysayers when the idea of a Scottish spaceport was first floated some years ago, I’m surprised to see The Scotsman’s Moron Comment section is devoid of any comments from them, even after the story had been up for a day.

I could say the same about another story about our space-based industry, also missing any negative comments after being up for a while.

Perhaps even the naysaying trolls find it hard to make up lies, or Conspiracy Theories, when their earlier rubbish is itself solidly trashed.

They used to laugh at the space proposals and say it would never bring any funding or jobs, or even happen.

It’s taken a while, but…


The Scottish space sector is “punching above its weight”, with 18 per cent of the sector’s UK jobs based north of the Border, according to research from the UK Space Agency.

There are now 132 space companies with a Scottish presence, compared with 104 in 2016, and 83 of these are headquartered in Scotland.

The Scottish sector supports 7,542 jobs, a rise of 600 from two years earlier, and an annual income of £140 million, an increase of £9m from 2016. The agency last year announced more than £30m of funding to support a spaceport in Sutherland to build on the country’s reputation for manufacturing satellites.

Chief executive Graham Turnock said: “Companies such as AAC Clyde Space and Spire have helped Glasgow in particular to become a hub of space activity and expertise.

“The proposed spaceport could create 400 jobs across Scotland and contribute to further growth of the UK’s world-leading space sector.”

Scotland’s space sector is ‘punching above its weight’, says report

Rocket Launch Image Credit Orbex

Rocket Launch Image Credit Orbex

31/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Appropriate registration is… appropriate

There are a few fairly expensive registrations which owners have found for their businesses, and some of them are very good matches.

But I rather like some of the simpler and more common options (as opposed to a completely unique plate), which are affordable, and need no imagination to make the connection.

This is an old(ish) pic I misplaced, but was intrigued to see the same vehicle still carries the plate

2011 Toyota Hilux [Y6 MOW]

2011 Toyota Hilux [Y6 MOW]

31/01/2019 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

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