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aries1988 : scotland   11

From tea to opium: how the Scots left their mark on China | Aeon Essays
Like their 18th-century predecessors, Jardine and Matheson financed Britain’s lucrative tea trade in Canton by moving their clients’ money from India to China. Instead of transferring these fortunes through a variety of legal Indian and Southeast Asian commodities, namely cotton, pepper, wood, tin and saltpetre, as had been done in the past, the Scottish traders relied increasingly on a contraband product: Indian opium. In defiance of the laws of China they, along with private traders of different nationalities including Americans and Indian Parsis, smuggled tens of thousands of chests of opium into China each year during the first half of the 19th century.

In 1848 and again in 1849, Fortune travelled in full disguise, including the traditional Qing dynasty hairstyle with a shaved hairline and long braid, deep into the countryside of Zhejiang, Anhui and Fujian provinces. He was searching for the finest tea plants in China. Having acquired thousands of specimens and seeds, he shipped them all, carefully packed in airtight glass cases, from Hong Kong to the East India Company’s Botanical Gardens in Calcutta. From there, they went further, to the Company’s gardens in the Himalayas.

Scots played an outsized role in the intertwined trades of tea and opium, giving rise to social, economic and cultural developments that changed the macro relationship between Britain and China as well as everyday cultural practices and patterns of sociability.

When British consumers began sweetening their Chinese tea with Caribbean sugar, these two commodities, one from the East Indies, the other from the West, reinforced one another. The result was new fuel for the industrial revolution. In addition to coal, sugary tea made the revolution possible by helping British workers endure inhumanely long shifts in the textile factories of the industrial North.
drinking  uk  china  qing  history  scotland 
9 weeks ago by aries1988
He died as he lived: David Hume, philosopher and infidel | Aeon Ideas

Ever tactful, Boswell immediately brought up the subject of the afterlife, asking if there might not be a future state. Hume replied that ‘it was possible that a piece of coal put upon the fire would not burn; and he added that it was a most unreasonable fancy that we should exist for ever’.

Boswell persisted, asking if he was not made uneasy by the thought of annihilation, to which Hume responded that he was no more perturbed by the idea of ceasing to exist than by the idea that he had not existed before he was born.
scotland  death  religion  thinking  leader  philosophy  19C 
february 2018 by aries1988
殊途不同归——加泰罗尼亚与苏格兰的独立之路 - FT中文网



comparison  espagna  scotland  independence  politics  referendum  numbers 
november 2017 by aries1988
Edimbourg, côté palais
Fini le grand faitout familial mêlant abats, avoine et légumes assez peu ensoleillés, pour tenir au corps les froides soirées d’hiver. La cuisine écossaise a beaucoup évolué et s’est nourrie aussi bien des techniques françaises sophistiquées que du produit brut prôné par la tendance scandinave. « Lorsque l’on évoque la cuisine écossaise aujourd’hui, plus que des spécialités, on parle surtout de chefs qui utilisent des ingrédients locaux », affirme Alan Chalmers, qui a lancé les visites guidées gastronomiques Eat Walk Edinburgh. Rassurez-vous : entre le déjeuner, le tea time et le dîner, il vous restera sûrement un peu de temps pour visiter le château…
list  scotland  travel  idea  restaurant  moi 
october 2017 by aries1988
After 150 years, are the days of grouse shooting numbered?

For a century and a half, passionate sportsmen — and, increasingly, sportswomen — have flocked to Scottish moors in their tweeds for the Glorious Twelfth, the August 12 start of the grouse-shooting season. In recent decades the appeal has gone global, with enthusiasts from all over the world angling for places on the best shoots and buying some of Scotland’s finest estates.

Employing dedicated beaters instead meant that a whole hillside’s population of grouse could be driven toward a prepared line of concealed positions.

It is the expense of driven grouse shooting that makes for one of its strongest justifications: few other activities can attract such free-spending landowners and visitors to the remote upland areas of the UK, with resulting year-round employment.

Successfully maintaining a moor’s population requires the burning of heather in rotation to ensure that a given environment offers both young shoots for the grouse to eat and older growth in which they can hide. He also has to distribute medicated grit to deal with parasitic threadworms that infest grouse guts. And then keepers have to shoot or trap predators such as foxes, crows, stoats and weasels.

It is red grouse’s unpredictability and the speed of its flight — sometimes exceeding 100kmh — that give it its sporting lustre. Lagopus scoticus is an attractive bird from all points of view, wrote one admirer in 1910. He is interesting to behold; beautiful in plumage; graceful in movement; devoted and courageous in defence of his young; while, as an object of sport, he has no equal in this country among the feathered tribes.
hunting  debate  animal  tradition  scotland  nature 
august 2017 by aries1988

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