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Quiz – Ancient Scotland

Which of these could you find in Glasgow 330 million years ago?

  1. Flying sharks.
  2. Unicorns.
  3. Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Thistle Games

Where was the first lunar calendar in the world – from 8000BC – found?

  1. Egypt.
  2. Mesopotamia.
  3. Aberdeenshire.

Where are the earliest large scale/ Megalithic standing stones in Britain found?

  1. Callanish.
  2. Stonehenge.
  3. Avebury.

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Thanks to Otter for the image.

Who built the standing stones of Callanish?

  1. Ancient ‘Scots’.
  2. Celts.
  3. Picts.

Over what range did early Scots trade by 2,500BC – when the pyramids were getting started?

  1. Ireland.
  2. Wales.
  3. Britain and Europe.

How significant were the European ‘Celts’?

  1. A fashion.
  2. An influence.
  3. An invasion.

Thistle Games - Scottish Media Lab (c)

Why did the Roman legions leave Scotland?

  1. Guerrilla warfare.
  2. Climate change.
  3. Rebellion.

Where is the original Stone of Destiny used for the coronation of the first kings of the Scots?

  1. Edinburgh Castle.
  2. Dunadd.
  3. Scone.

Dunnadd - Wojsyl

What do many of the sculptures on Pictish stones display . . ?

  1. Hunting scenes.
  2. Christian and, possibly, Pictish parables.
  3. Graffiti.

Do the Norse or ‘Vikings’ as a whole deserve a reputation for . . ?

  1. Slaughter and pillage.
  2. Raiding and settling.
  3. Making friends and bartering.

Thistle Games

Who funded and organised much of the Scottish effort during the First Scottish War of Independence?

  1. William Wallace.
  2. The Scottish Church.
  3. Robert the Bruce.

What is Scotland’s greatest historical achievement?

  1. The Law of the Innocents.
  2. The invention of the television.
  3. The Battle of Bannockburn.

My take on the answers in a couple of days :)

One For The Road

For me by far the key decision many Scots will take this week is not about sticking a cross in a box for Yes or No. Instead the vote comes across as presenting each voter with a personal watershed. One where each of us takes a decision to either commit to constructive civic activism or to lapse back towards the sidelines of the politics of confrontation.

Yes as a whole has been unique in my memory in offering an overwhelmingly positive, at times almost carnival, activism. Stalls, canvassing, the more moderate forums, vehicle tours, concerts, rallies and meetings have all played a role. Alongside that the banners on the mountainsides, the rock climbs, the baking, the visits to the pub after canvassing, the artwork and the performances, have added buzz and engagement to the more traditional, but generally light, politics.

Niena Studios

Thanks – Niena Studio

This combination of issues, participation and fun could develop and become even more effective without threatening anyone. But that maybe means going into the actual vote with the understanding that the real work starts now.

If it’s a Yes then Scots will likely require the patience of saints, while rapidly working out how to discard any notion of ‘the English’ as in anything other than much the same difficulties as ourselves.

If it’s a No, then Yes will be judged by its reaction, which could be full of recriminations or opt for genuinely forward thinking – anger or activism.

For myself, Friday brings a pile of has to be done fast work. Afterwards I continue with civic activism, but on my own terms, which are less direct than some.

Overall, by far the majority of my time on Scotland has been spent on history and writing, which kind of need more attention – but through artwork and accessible content rather than research or text.

Hopefully, whatever the result Yes and, possibly, No will rise to the occasion.


If civic activism is the route – forums may wish to look at how to shape discussion towards issues and debates. Regular threads of varying frequency are about the easiest way to encourage discussion without shaping everything too much.

Of the day/ week/ month/ year:

Poster/ Book/ Video/ Image/ Infographic
International Site/ Book
Current Issue/ Future Issue/ Green Issue/ International Issue
On This Day/ Anniversary
International Issue
Global Futures
Innovation – Solutions
Enterprise – Employability
Fingertip Activism

Clearly, not all, all of the time.


This is from activism in a different context from a while back now. It seems relevant:

. . . with few resources we had to invent our own solutions – often from next to nothing.

  • The most helpful ideas can result from having to think more creatively, because there are almost no funds or very limited resources.
  • Check you’re not re-inventing the whole wheel.
  • Plan and plan some more.
  • Habits die hard, so it is often easier to look for solutions that improve on or build on existing solutions.
  • Look for a range of uses and markets for your innovations.
  • Get the most out of what you have before you start to bring in new technologies and overheads.
  • Get close to or inside the problem so you know how things work on the ground.
  • Consider knock on effects where one innovation may lead to more innovations.
  • The easier it is to use, the more it will get used.
  • Inexpensive innovations can reach wider audiences.
  • Aim for wide audiences and think beyond limits.


‘Flash mob’ in Buchanan Street in Glasgow today – the adjoining Sauchiehall Street was quite busy too. A crowd too large to fit, which simply gathered to sing Scottish songs. 100,000+ is the likely figure.

A No supporter and his kid wanted through the crowd, so a path opened up and everyone gave the kid a smile on the way. Buskers provided the music, but the singer-songwriter of Scottish anthem Caledonia joined the crowd to lead the singing.

There have been similar largely spontaneous events popping up more and more often with George Square taken over by country dancing on Wednesday afternoon – seriously – and similar events/ performances across Scotland. Inverness was among other places today where videos came in showing these totally off the cuff, completely peaceful gatherings taking over open areas.

It’s just after lunch in this shot and no one would dream of causing any bother – there are kids all over the place so we have a self-policing form of civic activism going on. Aka a family outing. I must admit to being more than impressed by many of my fellow Scots.