Scotland (Gaelic: Alba) is a country that occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain. It is part of the United Kingdom, and shares a land border to the south with England. It has a population of 5,295,400 and an area of 78,800 km2.
Scotland shares a 60 mile (96 km) land border to the south with England, and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the south-west. Scottish waters border those of Norway, the Faeroes, Iceland and Ireland. Apart from the mainland, Scotland consists of over 790 islands, giving it a coastline of approximately 6,200 miles (9,900 km).
The Kingdom of Scotland was united in 843, by Kenneth MacAlpin, King of Scots, and is thus one of the oldest still-existing countries in the world. Scotland existed as an independent state until the Act of Union, 1 May, 1707.
The flag of Scotland - the Saltire or St Andrew's Cross - is thought to be the oldest national flag still in use. Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and Saint Andrew's Day, on 30 November, is Scotland's national day. There are currently attempts to create a national holiday on this day. Scottish people have played prominent parts in many important inventions and discoveries.
Sir James Young Simpson, 1st Baronet (7 June 1811 – 6 May 1870) was a Scottish obstetrician and an important figure in the history of medicine. Simpson discovered the anaesthetic properties of chloroform and successfully introduced it for general medical use. James Simpson was born in Bathgate, West Lothian, the youngest of seven children. James received his initial education at the local school, but because of his obvious abilities his father and brothers (his mother died when he was 9) together paid for a college education and he entered the University of Edinburgh when he was 14 years old. Simpson completed his final examination at the age of 18 but, as he was so young, had to wait two years before he got his license to practice medicine. He became a Licentiate in 1830 before graduating in 1832 with an MD. He was appointed Professor of Midwifery (which would now be called Obstetrics) at the University of Edinburgh and physician to Queen Victoria.
At the age of 28 he was appointed to the Chair of Medicine and Midwifery at the University of Edinburgh. He improved the design of obstetric forceps that to this day are known in obstetric circles as "Simpson's Forceps" and, like Semmelweis, fought against the contagion of puerperal sepsis. His most noted contribution was the introduction of anesthesia to childbirth. Simpson's intellectual interests ranged from archaeology to an almost taboo subject at the time: hermaphroditism. He was a very early advocate of the use of midwives in the hospital environment. Many prominent women also consulted him for their gynaecological problems.
Braemar i// is a village in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, around 58 miles (93 km) west of Aberdeen in the Highlands. It is the closest significantly-sized settlement to the upper course of the River Dee sitting at an altitude of 339 metres (1,112 ft). Braemar is the third coldest low lying place in the UK, after the villages of Dalwhinnie and Leadhills, with an annual average temperature of 6.8 °C. It has twice entered the UK Weather Records with the lowest ever UK temperature of -27.2oC, on 11 February 1895, and 10 January 1982.
Photo credit: Paul Chapman
||... Cynicism, together with unrealistic expectation, are the two great bugbears of politics ...
- — Donald Dewar
||... There can be no peace in the world so long as a large proportion of the population lack the necessities of life and believe that a change of the political and economic system will make them available. World peace must be based on world plenty ...
- — John Boyd Orr
- ...that in 1972, Neil Armstrong was welcomed into the town of Langholm, and happily declared the town his home? And that he and Buzz Aldrin both had Scottish ancestry?
- ...that both of the parents of Mary MacKillop, Australia's first (and only) recognised saint, came from Scotland?
Wikipedia in other Scottish languages