A FREE online who-done-it murder mystery course launched last month by the University of Dundee has been inundated with applications.
More than 10,000 people have signed up and some of the filming for the programme has alarmed concerned locals who thought the crime scenes and police officers where for real.
Called ‘Identifying the Dead: forensic science and human identification’, the course sees participants take the role of a forensic investigator at the heart of a discovered body case written by crime author Val McDermid.
Run by social learning platform FutureLearn and the University of Dundee’s Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID) the course lasts six weeks and is a massive open online course, or MOOC.
Project director for the course, Dr Helen Meadows, said: “We are delighted to have 10,000 people already signed up to the course just weeks after launching it.
“At CAHID we work on this kind of investigation all the time, helping police in criminal investigations and identifying individuals in all manner of different circumstances.”
Speaking specifically about the programme, she added: “This course will give a real insight into the work we do.
“It is also set at a level where people don’t require any prior specialist knowledge and it is suitable for anyone from 12 to 112.”
Students are presented with pieces of evidence and video footage from the case as they pick their way through the plot, solving mysteries and trying to uncover the identity of a dead body.
There is an exam at the end of the online course which needs to be paid for, but is optional.
Due to start in September anyone can register for free at: www.futurelearn.com/courses/identifying-the-dead/.]]>
The dodgy maneuvers appear to be part of a cheeky attempt the avoid a detour at Lasswade road on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
The shocking dashcam footage shows the driver squeezing between another motorist and roadwork barriers, seemingly unbothered by the fact that he is travelling against the flow of traffic.
When he encounters a second car in his path – the vehicle filming the incident – he pauses briefly, before reversing at speed.
As he reverses quickly he clips a traffic cone, and appears to swerve across the road.
He then exits onto the roundabout in reverse, before driving off down an alternate exit.
The footage was taken by an unnamed driver on Monday night at around 7pm, and has been published by Scotland’s Worst Drivers.
Although the make and model of the vehicle is unclear, it seems to be a dark coloured small vehicle.
The driver of the camera car said: “The guy actually looked quite annoyed that his way had been obstructed.
“He spun his wheels as he moved off from the roundabout.”
Portions of Lasswade road are currently closed southbound as cycle path reconstruction work is underway.
It is believed that the motorist ignored prominently displayed “Road Closed” signs around the street as he made his exit.
A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: “Police Scotland investigate all reports of dangerous driving and would encourage anyone who witnesses such an incident to contact us on 101.”]]>
Rising star Jamie Bacon, who is from London, was selected to play the lead role in the film The Great Getaway.
The film documents the Jacobite uprising of 1745, of which the prince, also known as the Young Pretender, was the instigator.
It culminates in the Battle of Culloden – which will be the biggest battle scene ever staged in Scotland, with 500 extras at Castle Kennedy, near Stranraer.
Scenes will be shot around Scotland in the coming weeks – and it will be the first time Jamie has ever been in the country.
But the 24-year-old insists he is “retracing history”, as the prince had also never been to Scotland before he arrived for battle.
“I have travelled widely all over the world, but I’ve never been to Scotland before” he said.
“But then again neither had Bonnie Prince Charlie before he landed to reclaim the throne – so it will really be like I’m retracing history and playing the part.
“I was really surprised, but delighted, to win the role. I have absorbed myself in studying the prince.
“I will not be using a Scottish accent, after all Charles was not Scottish either. I see him as a very complex and passionate character.”
Jamie, who went to a state school in Dorset and drama college in London, has already appeared in the films The Hoarder and Olive Green, as well as a gang leader in Holby City.
He will star alongside Mhairi Calvey, who made her big screen debut in Mel Gibson’s Braveheart, aged just five, 20 years ago.
Director Robbie Moffat said casting the prince had proved difficult but he was confident he had found the right actor.
He said: “We looked at a number of people – and talked to several about the role – over a long time, but finding somebody who was right for the part was a major concern. It held up filming.
“But in Jamie we have found the perfect choice. He is the right age with the right look and can act brilliantly.
“Bonnie Prince Charlie was born in Rome to a Polish mother and an English father – he did not have a Scottish accent.
“One of the things this film is trying to do is rid the story of its myths. It is trying to be as authentic as possible.”
The film is the first to be made about the prince for 60 years, following the 1948 production Bonnie Prince Charlie, which starred David Niven and Margaret Leighton.
Legendary for its catastrophic box-office takings, the film also starred an English actor – although Niven claimed to have been born in Kirriemuir, he was later revealed to have been born in London.]]>
New “smart ticketing” technology will soon allow passengers on CalMac ferries to use a microchipped travel card to pay for their crossings.
The same card could eventually be linked to public transport networks across the whole country – allowing travellers to cross all of Scotland with a single card.
The most successful “smart ticketing” system in use in the UK is the Oyster card system – used by London commuters travel services in the capital.
While in Hong Kong citizens use a similar system – the Octopus card – to pay for their public transport.
Commuters on Scots ferries could soon benefit from similar tech – allowing them to scan a prepaid card on boarding, rather than queuing for a ticket.
The new system could come into effect as early as May 2016 – when a new contract to run the CalMac ferries begins.
The contract to run the services is currently the subject of a fierce bidding war between public sector operator CalMac Ferries and private firm Serco.
But no matter who wins, the new contract stipulates that the owners must implement “smart and integrated ticketing and payment.”
The contract also says that the new measures must be in place by October 2021 – when “the majority of foot passenger journeys across all ticket types” will be made using smart media.
The contract’s requirements are in line with government plans to create a single national smart card that will be compatible with all modes of public transport across the country.
A similar system was implemented across Greater London as of July 2003.
The system allows customers to purchase a card from newsagents, topping it up with funds over the counter or at ticket machines.
Commuters then use the card to “tap in” and “tap out” at scanners on turnstiles, meaning they can travel without a physical ticket.
The ticket can be used on national rail services, trams, underground trains, buses, some riverboat services and even the Emirates air line cable car.
The use of the Oyster card system has led to controversial plans for ticket office closures on the London underground, which has pushed unions to threaten strikes over potential layoffs.
But a Rail and Marine Transport Union (RMT) official said they were satisfied that the new system for ferries would not threaten jobs.
Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said: “We have got guarantees from CalMac and the Scottish government on no compulsory redundancies.”
CalMac services were suspended briefly late in June during a strike by RMT members over issues surrounding the potential privatisation of the service.]]>
The poll also revealed 14% are ‘very worried’ while 64% of people think global warming is already a problem.
The main issues the respondents said they were worried about were flooding and sea level rises (63%), extreme weather like hurricanes and cyclones (60%), and droughts and water shortages (53%).
Dr Jenifer Baxter, Head of Energy and Environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers which commissioned the survey, said: “Since the 2008 economic crash, climate change has drifted down the political agenda.
“But these results show that it is an issue that still worries the majority of people.
“As we’ve seen in recent years, the UK is particularly susceptible to flooding and sea level rises, and this is something we are likely to see more of unless urgent action is taken to prevent and adapt to climate change.
“With the UN climate change talks in Paris just four months away and speculation mounting over cuts to public spending, Government needs to clarify how the UK will meet its ambitious carbon reduction targets.”
The tournament, held at the Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina, saw more than 1,000 youngsters take part in the largest golf event for players between the age of six and twelve.
Loretto School pupil Grace Crawford improved on her performance from last year, when she finished sixth in the girls seven and under category.
Posting two par rounds and a final round of three over, Grace also had to battle the weather as midday temperatures reached 43 degrees.
Director of external affairs at Loretto School, Jonathan Hewat, expressed pride in Grace’s accomplishment.
He said: “We are all absolutely delighted for her. What an achievement to have done so well in such a big tournament.
“Just to have been selected to take part in the tournament is a feather in anyone’s cap, but to get that final position is an incredible achievement.”]]>
Analysis by WWF Scotland found that July saw an increase of 58% in the energy produced by wind turbines compared to last year.
Wind generated enough output to supply 100% or more of Scottish homes on eight out of the 31 days of July.
Meanwhile for homes fitted with solar PV panels, there was enough sunshine to generate an estimated 94% of the electricity needs of an average household in Aberdeen, 87%in Inverness, 85%in Edinburgh, and 79%in Glasgow.
WWF Scotland’s director Lang Banks said: “It may have been amongst one of the wettest and windiest months in decades, but July also turned out to be a belter of a month for wind power in Scotland.
“Thanks to a combination of increased capacity and much windier weather, output from turbines was up more than half compared to the same period last year – supplying power equivalent to the electrical needs of 1.75 million homes.”]]>
The University of Edinburgh and the University of Dundee have signed an agreement with the Strategic Alliance for the Medical & Healthcare Industry of China (SAMHIC).
The group consists of 20 influential Chinese enterprises that operates more than 2,500 hospitals in mainland China.
The signing took place in Shanghai and was witnessed by Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, who was heading a Scottish Government trade mission to China.
Commenting on the new partnership, the First Minister said: “We have a world class higher education system paired with excellent medical schools in Scotland and I am delighted that the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee have been able to partner with SAMHIC.
“This new partnership will allow many medical professionals, from both Scotland and China, to develop a first-rate programme of education, training and research.”]]>
Juwon Oshaniwa insists Scottish football holds no fears for him after he fulfilled his dreams and squared up to superstar Lionel Messi at last year’s World Cup finals.
And Hearts’ new signing is adamant he can handle the physicality of the Premiership – claiming he would be playing table tennis if he did not like the rough and tumble of football.
Oshaniwa, who revealed he previously came close to a move to Celtic, started all four of Nigeria’s matches at the World Cup in Brazil, where the Super Eagles qualified from the same group as Argentina.
The 24-year-old prides himself on having represented his nation at the finals, and even more so on having nicked the ball away from Messi – who nonetheless scored twice in the game – to spark an equaliser for team-mate Ahmed Musa in their 3-2 defeat to the eventual finalists.
And the left-back, whose protracted move from Israeli side Ashdod finally overcame paperwork and red tape when he put pen to paper on a three-year deal on Saturday, is desperate to prove the experience has made him a better player.
He said: “The World Cup was great. It’s what every living player on this planet has the desire to do, to play at that level.
“And, for me, at my age, to play at that level – wow!
“It was a dream fulfilled for me to play against big players like Lionel Messi, who is undisputedly the best player in the world, and a collection of attackers like Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Angel Di Maria and the rest.
“These are players I can look up to and I played against them.
“I was Messi’s direct marker, so of course I got some tackles in against him. Most of the pictures I’ve got from that game are against him.”
Asked is he resorted to kicking Barcelona star Messi, he added: “I wouldn’t say I’m hard, actually, but football is a contact game.
“It’s not table tennis, if you want to play a game where you don’t want anybody to touch you then you go and play ping-pong!”
Oshaniwa was thrilled to find out after Nigeria’s last-16 clash with France, which they lost 2-0, that he had been rated higher in the FIFA’s statistics than hero and opponent Patrice Evra.
He admits it was a massive boost to his confidence.
He explained: “My ‘mentor’ has always been Patrice Evra and now I can see me and him playing in the same game!
“FIFA have index statistics for every game and I am seeing myself ahead of him at the end of the game. My statistic in that game was six out of 10 and, I think, Evra was four.
“I said to myself ‘I have a bright future ahead of myself’.
“Now, I face the future and I will see what the future holds for me, but I believe it is a positive one.”
Meanwhile, Oshaniwa insists he did not have to ask international team-mate Efe Ambrose too much about Scottish football ahead of his arrival in Edinburgh – because he had already done his research when previous moves to Celtic were mooted.
The Scottish champions had been linked with the defender in 2013 under Neil Lennon and again in January this year, but with the switch having failed to materialise he is now keen to show Celtic what they missed out on.
Oshaniwa, who claims he is as fit as he could be after training on his own this summer, went on: “I am at Hearts now. Celtic are Celtic with all due respect to them.
“I knew a lot about Celtic and Scottish football because I spoke to Efe Ambrose.
“I had a lot of issues with Celtic before and for the past two seasons I was supposed to be in Glasgow but stuff happened along the line and I did not go there.
“So, I know a lot about Celtic. I spoke a lot to Efe about Celtic and we even sat down and spoke about them when we were with the national team.
“I can’t wait for the day when I play against him for Celtic and we will see what the result will be.”