ziim and iim



All Saints Tollcross Edinburgh


The Habitacle of Howlets


Jamie The Saxth: A Mundane Convener Of The Diabolical

There shal mete also Ziim and iim, & the Satyre shal crye to his fellowe, & the scriche owle shal rest there, and shall finde for her selfe, a quite dwelling

Isaiah 34.14 On the ruins of Edom

“As to the first kind of these spirits that were called by the ancients by diverse names according as their actions were; for if they were spirits that haunted some houses by appearing in diverse and horrible forms making a great din, the were called lemures or spectra. If they appeared in likeness of any defunct to some friends of his, they were called umbrae mortuorum. And so innumerable styles they got according to their actions, as I have said already; as we see by experience, how may styles they have given them in our language in the like manner.


Of the appearing of these spirits we are certified by the scriptures where the prophet Isaiah, 13 and 34 cap., threatening the destruction of Bablel and Edom (Isaiah 13, Jeremiah 50) declares that it shall not only be wracked, but shall become so great a solitude as it shall be the habitacle of howlets and of zim and iim.”


howlet, Owl

The meaning of Hebrew terms ziim and iim is unknown but a variety of meanings have been offered representing the folk beliefs of the commentators culture .


James I.V. The Third Book of Demonology

L. Normand & G. Roberts, Witchcraft in Early Modern Scotland


Edinburgh Castle and the Park around its base

Historia Frog


Old blog updated, Historia Frog focusing more on the natural history and folk biology on the Frog in Ireland to start of with and some pictures of other things. A more detailed look at R.F. Scharff’s, 19th century argument, that the frog is a native Irish species. Focusing on the use of a 12th century past in a 19th century naturalist present.

Byssus Threads new site with just pictures.

Sound Systems

Dreamy Forms

One advantage of the break up of the U.K. would be that Scottish broadcasters could be removed from the air and transferred to a new Scottish corporation.

Scottish voice over artist are everywhere and have a creepy intonation. Lets have more received pronunciation.

Does anyone else listening to Scottish broadcasters need an interpreter?


Three different letters concerning Scottish accents in the Times Culture magazine, 10.11.13

39 Steps: The Roots of Science Bubble Blowing?

An update on the last post. I had a chance to listen to B.B.C. radio 4 on The Roots of Scottish Nationalism. An excellent series. It made the point that maintaining a sense of Scottish identity in terms of achievement in science, engineering,  invention, exploration etc. was important to the unionist agenda in Scotland since the enlightenment. Presenting Scotland as a vital player in Britain’s industrial successes and also maintaining economic links with immigrant Scots throughout the Empire by promoting a shared sense of identity and achievement.

But it was presenting a distinct identity separate from English achievement in sciences; although this was also celebrated south of the border as well celebrating the diversity and Scotland’s contribution to the might of Empire.

I wonder if this separate sense of scientific identity may perhaps be an issue particularly if the same nationalist sense of a separate development has also been the case in England?  It may have worked whist both countries understood the economic advantages of union and the politics more stable allowing for an easier acknowledgment and celebration of diversity between Scotland and England.

In a contemporary setting articles like the one Thony draws attention to looks distinctly fully detached from the notion of maintaining a modern sense of being a part of a diverse enterprise like Britain.

The Cultural Elephant In The Room

Notes: Science, Culture, Contexts

Interesting article popped up at Thony C. I really don’t read H.O.S blogging  anymore (I find it culturally problematic) but thought I should make the expedition as Thony produces some very subtle stuff indeed. This I would  read with very different eyes in relation to the looming independence vote in Scotland and the way a sense of being British or otherwise is increasingly a focus for the media. Multiple rather than single contexts playing out here.

Second time this week seen the same issue raised (in a highly contrary manner) first in relation to the way Scottish Nationalism used a sense of scientific genius to build a sense of Scottish identity here in the article Thony focuses on the relationship of an article flying the Great British flag for science to debates in H.O.S (he is a historian of science after all and the debate an interesting one). The article he examines emphasizing the Greatness of British Science and the special place of Britain in the development of the subject, although beneath the surface of the claim the focus seems very regional focusing very much on English achievement.

Focus on some wider cultural factors. First one is speculative but a feature in what may certainly fuel ongoing usage of this type of narrative with a distinct geographical focus.  I suspect this economic competition and the tendency for media to be centered in London to be a potential problematic mix in regard to ongoing political debates on British Identity in the coming months.

On a first cursory run through of the article,  looks very Southern English, its geographical referencing all Southern English center’s in competition for science and tech investment. In what is now a Britain of devolved powers their is increasing economic competition between, Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and London. Devolution allowed the three other players to set up departments focusing on investment, London remains the only big English player with the administrative set up to compete.

Part of the sales pitch for these inward investment departments is the uniqueness of the local environment, in Scotland (its main competition London) its quality of life and balance of public/ private business that forms part of the distinctive selling pitch. The key geographical locations in Cox’s sales pitch for what makes British science unique, London, Cambridge, Oxford (the worlds end for many in the south).

I would expect this to be an ongoing live issue not simply in regard to the economics but also in regard to the looming date of the Scottish independence vote. Both Scotland and England have plenty of past form in using science and engineering in the flag waving antics of the administrative classes. Cox’s argument presents a very reassuring picture of British science with English identity firmly in the driving seat at a time when such certainties (with regard to ethnic identity rather than science, which is just the vehicle here)  in the real world are somewhat more anxious and less certain.

Interesting to see if this one has legs in the coming months. I must also find the time to listen to the radio four program on Scottish identity and nationalism that featured this issue in the first episode. Presentation and advertising for the series struck me as somewhat unbalanced and I did not bother to catch it live. Hopefully the program may prove to be better placing the issue in a wider European context as the building of such identities is often based on mirroring the moves of other players on the stage. The rule of this game, often straight forward theft and disguise.


So a date with radio four. Closer look at Cox. Return , rework this and watch the skies for further unidentified high flying objects potentially active in this area.

Fifth Lesson: Old Town

Light seems to be proving the most vexing thing. I need to get to know the camera and settings better. Tried to take shots in a variety of conditions but the camera clearly coped better in some than in others. Ironical what I thought may have proved to be the most interesting in terms of light turned out to be by far the worst.

I liked the one with the digger. I did not notice the writing on the red sign in the distance until after, but directly behind driver and machine in between the buildings is the natural landscape and part of the distinct geological feature that shaped the town.