Thursday, June 27, 2013

Viking silver declared Treasure Trove

Fabulous story from the BBC
Three items of Viking silver dating back 1,000 years, discovered using a metal detector in the Isle of Man, has been declared treasure trove.
An inquest heard the three silver pieces, found by Seth Crowe in a field in Andreas in April, date back to between 930 and 1080 AD.
Archaeologists believe the two silver ingots and broach fragment contain more than 60% silver.
Coroner of Inquests John Needham made the ruling at Douglas Courthouse.
Mr Crowe, 39, made the discovery having sought the permission of the landowner Leslie Faragher, some years ago.
'Amazing Viking history'
The Ramsey man said he was "proud of his discovery".

Start Quote

Viking Ingot found in Isle of Man
It is likely that the item buried for safe keeping but the owner never returned”
Allison FoxHead of Archaeology at Manx National Heritage
All three objects were found in a ditch at the side of Mr Faragher's field.
It is the second significant find on the farmer's land after fellow treasure seeker, John Crowe, found a similar Viking silver ingot in 2009.
Head of Archaeology at Manx National Heritage, Allison Fox, said it is "highly likely" the two finds are related.
She explained there are no recorded archaeological sites near the area where the discovery was made and pieces like this are usually associated with larger hordes.
According to Miss Fox, the ingots would have originally been used as currency.
"They are another significant part of the Isle of Man's amazing Viking history", she said.
The Vikings flourished on the Isle of Man and much of their influence is still evident today.
She said: "This is the latest of a number of Viking finds in recent years and illustrates how the Isle of Man could have once acted as a 'clearing house' for deals in goods and wealth and been at the centre of Viking trade routes.
BroachA decorative fragment of a broach was found alongside the two ingots in Andreas
"It is likely that the item was buried for safe keeping but the owner never returned."
After he made the discovery, Mr Crowe brought his find to the Manx Museum in Douglas.
Following Wednesday's ruling, MNH will now take a decision whether or not to acquire the items for the national collection.
If that is the case they will be valued and a reward offered to the finder.
Mr Crowe said any reward would be split 50-50 with the land owner.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Manx Government to clamp down on money launderers

The Manx government is reviewing laws to crack down on terrorists using the island to launder money.
The amendments, said home affairs, will ensure the Isle of Man's finance industry "continues to comply with international regulations."
Minister Juan Watterson said: "It is imperative our legislation continues to be effective in preventing the flow of terrorist funding to our shores."
public consultation on the new legislation will run until 31 July.
"We are acutely aware that our position as an international finance centre may make us a target for terrorists laundering their funds," continued Mr Watterson.
The changes would mean bringing Manx law in line with international standards on money laundering, terrorism funding and tax evasion.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Manx Students to Compete at International Linguistics Olympiad

At the end of July four secondary school students from the Isle of Man will be travelling over to Manchester University to compete with students from 30 other countries in the International Linguistics Olympiad.

Held over four days at Manchester University, Erin McNulty and Doona Lambden from the Queen Elizabeth II High School, Byron Slater of St Ninian’s High School and Charlotte Tyler from Ramsey Grammar School have been entered by Bob Teare who heads the Department of Education and Children’s Manx Language Service, with travel kindly sponsored by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.

Mr Teare had previously entered Manx language students from the Queen Elizabeth II High School into the UK Olympiad with Erin (who narrowly missed out on a team place) and Doona both finishing in the top 10 per cent. On the strength of this organisers of the International Olympiad agreed that a team should be entered from the Isle of Man, which will involve some of our top language students solving a range of complex and diverse questions in a bid to secure both individual and team medals.

Mr Teare commented, “If you think that the top linguists in China, Russia, the United States and all those other huge countries will be taking part, the competition will be very tough. Since the first competition in 1965 even the UK has won only a silver medal and a handful of bronzes. It’s a very difficult competition. We are not going to Manchester with huge expectations of winning medals, although we’ll do our best, but it will be a fantastic experience to take part and we’ll be proud to represent the Isle of Man”.

The first linguistic Olympiad for secondary school students took place in Moscow in 1965 on the initiative of Alfred Zhurinsky, a fifth-year student of linguistics who later became a prominent philologist. It was regularly held at the Moscow State University 1965 – 1982 and resumed at what is now the Russian State University for the Humanities in 1988, and is now organised jointly by both institutions.

But the idea has been used by other countries along with the potential for international co-operation in this field.

Valerie Caine
© June 2013

Isle of Man students win 'grow your own' clothing award

A group of students from the Isle of Man have received a three-year funding programme to "grow their own" clothes.
They won a category in the Observer Ethical Awards with their green tea, sugar and bacteria material.
Millie Barrow, Emma Howard, Annabell Jose and Grace Harrop were chosen from more than 400 entries to become the Ecover Young Green Champions for 2013.
The Queen Elizabeth II High school pupils will be given £6,000 a year for their project, Grow Your Own Clothes.
Millie Barrow, 16, said the idea revolved around the tea solution.
"The clothes are made from a cellulose mat (kombucha) which is grown from the solution - it was inspired by watching a BBC news article by fashion designer Suzanne Lee.
"It sounds strange to grow your own clothes but we hope the idea will gain enough publicity for people to think harder about the consequences of the clothes they buy.
"We want people to think about the alternatives. We are going to experiment with different growing mixtures, dyes and assembly methods," she said.
The annual Observer Ethical Awards have been running for eight years with the aim of recognising "environmental and social justice".
BBC Ellan Vannin -- a great news source  Grow your own clothing

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

From Adrian Cain at Ynsee Gaelg

John McGuinness, table tennis and learning Manx
I managed to miss the races this year as I had a few days in Galway (under the scorching sun) but it was good to hear that McGuinness had won again. There are probably loads of qualities that go into making a successful TT rider but I imagine that perseverance is one of them; to be honest perseverance is probably the most important skill needed to learn Manx.
I don't buy into the idea (excuses) that I'm too old to learn or that I was never any good at languages at school; indeed, I was never good at languages at school myself having achieved 9% in my last French exam even though I had cheated: there must be a lesson to be learnt there I think!
Ultimately, learning Manx is about commitment, hard work, practice and perseverance. I realise that I'm not selling it very well but to my mind someone who has learnt to speak Manx is the linguistic version of a McGuinness/Dunlop/Anstey (clearly without the life threatening part of the process) and just as the riders are seen as skilled, talented and committed practitioners then so should Manx speakers.
Matthew Syed - ex-international table tennis champion - in his acclaimed book Bounce brilliantly destroys the myth of talent (or I'm no good at languages excuse) and shows that with 'purposeful practice', 'hard work' and 'commitment' a great deal is possible.
I'll write more about his book later but to all those Manx language versions of John McGuinness out there, don't worry you'll get your day on the podium! 
Check out here the great new Manannan cartoon produced by the fantastic Gary Myers 
Also, if you didn't catch it the other night then check out Britain on Film here on the iplayer. After about 9 minutes there's a great piece on Mannin including Doug Faragher teaching Manx in the 1960s
Finally, well done to the Manx Language students who will be attending the International Linguistics Olympiad. 

Manx researchers tag basking sharks

Isle of Man researchers have deployed their first basking shark tags of the season, as part of continuing efforts towards international conservation.
Marine scientists have tagged four fish since May to help create a series of profiles called shark passports.
The information includes images of the shark's dorsal fin to help with identification.
The tags are designed to reveal where the sharks travel to during the winter and to what depths they can swim.
A spokesman from the Manx Basking Shark Watch said some of the tags are designed to attach to the shark's dorsal fin and some to be towed.
It is hoped the technology, which means the sharks can be followed in real time, will stay attached for up to a year.
All the sharks tagged by the Manx Basking Shark Watch can be followed online.

Thanks BBC

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

US Dance Group to Visit the Isle of Man to Learn More about Manx Culture

US folk dance team, And Sometimes Y, will be heading for the Isle of Man at the beginning of July to learn more about Manx culture, after raising over $12,000 and securing a grant from the Country Dance and Song Society to make a ‘once in a lifetime’ journey to the Island.

Based in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, they are an enthusiastic group of teenagers who perform both Morris and Sword dancing, but are perhaps best known for being probably the only team in North America to specialise in Manx dancing after their teacher, David Nixon, was taught a selection of dances by Island based group Perree Bane.

Members of the US group, founded in 2009, practice on a regular basis during the autumn and winter months, before leaping into the festival season followed by a series of local tours. They are particularly well known for dances studied from the Sherborne English Morris tradition and demonstrate their talents at a number of ‘ales’ (gatherings of Morris and folk dancers) which take place under richly evocative titles such as the Harvest Ale, the Ginger Ale and the Marlboro Ale.

After a phenomenally successful bout of fundraising, a dozen dancers and musicians of the US dance team, accompanied by adult supporters, will be arriving on the 2nd July for an extended visit, which it’s hoped will be the beginning of an on-going cultural exchange.

Teacher David Nixon commented, “We are very excited to be able to travel to Mann, thanks to the over $12,000 raised in our fund raising campaign.  Our fund raising campaign continues with bake sales, a raffle, and generous contributions from our friends, families, and supporters”.

Their fundraising efforts included a number of thought-provoking ideas, such as working in the kitchen for a local Burns night supper, raffling a specially commissioned quilt designed and stitched by needlewomen associated with the group and a Manx-themed dinner. The group’s extraordinary efforts were highlighted in a number of regional US newspapers giving valuable publicity to the team’s forthcoming visit to the Isle of Man.

It’s going to be a busy time for members of And Sometimes Y as they intend to pack in many activities during their holiday, which they hope will broaden their knowledge of Manx life, and influence their direction in future years. Appropriately they will be on the Island for Tynwald Day and intend to sample the traditions and excitement of our National Day at St John’s, and observe the pomp and ceremony of this important occasion.

They also hope to explore the Manx countryside, study both traditional and new Manx dances from Island based dancers and also perform their own style of Manx
dancing to local audiences.

(Photos courtesy of Pam Ososky and Sarah Strong)

Valerie Caine
© June 2013

(Courtesy of Manx Tails)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Madsen-Mygal makes it a ton!

Dave Madsen-Mygdal has become the first rider to finish 100 Isle of Man TT races.
The island-based 57-year-old made his TT debut in 1985, following on from his father Dick, who raced in the 1950s.
He said: "It feels fantastic. It probably means more to the family than me, but I am very happy.

BBC News ‎- 7 hours ago
Dave Madsen-Mygdal has become the first rider to finish 100 Isle of Man TT races.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Two Manx high-schoolers attend 60th Anniversary of the Coronation celebration

Hayley Robinson from Ramsey and Elliott Alexander from Peel were at Westminster Abbey for the historic event.
The pair were chosen at random from all the head boys and girls at the island's secondary schools.
A stunning image of Queen Elizabeth II on her coronation day in 1953. The Queen returns to her coronation church today 60 years later with a service for 2,000 guests in Westminster Abbey
They accompanied the island's Lieutenant Governor, Adam Wood, in the 2,000-strong congregation in London.
Last year's Diamond Jubilee marked the 60th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne.
Back then, aged 27, she was the 38th sovereign to be crowned in an abbey that has been conducting Coronation ceremonies since 1066.

Because I love it -- The Liver bird meets the triskellion.

Praying the Keeills Week 2013

Praying the Keeills Week has now settled into an annual event with opportunities to join together and pray at some of the ancient spiritual sites on the Isle of Man.

It’s a chance for anyone to seek out some of the Island’s places of peace and beauty during a week-long schedule of events that takes keen walkers and Christians to various parts of the Manx countryside as they reflect on their spiritual journey.

Organised by local churches from all denominations, a hardworking group of volunteers put together an Island-wide schedule, drawing on the extensive knowledge of local historian Frank Cowin.

There’s a large network of keeill sites scattered throughout the Island, which historically served as family chapels, wayside shrines, or places of hermitage. Small buildings made of earth and stone, they date predominantly from the eighth century, but very few now remain in any tangible form. However, the sites themselves, which include burial grounds, can predate the buildings from the sixth century, or earlier, and tend to be pre-Christian sites or Bronze Age cairns.

It’s a flexible programme of events with something to suit most abilities, with walks to areas of scenic beauty such as Santon Gorge, St Runius Church in Marown, around the Meayll Peninsula and along the Carnanes in the south of the Island.

Other activities during the week included a celebration of song at Abbeylands Methodist Chapel, a tour of the crosses and keeills within Maughold churchyard and a coach trip to the ‘Irish Abbeylands’ finishing at Glen Maye Chapel.

Valerie Caine
© June 2013