I love YouTube

One of the things I really love about YouTube is how often it helps me to learn about things that I would never have learned! For example, this video I’m sharing below, demonstrates how a
pog changes the sounds a guitar makes! How cool is that! I have often wondered how musicians can create so many different sounds with their instruments, and I think it is really interesting to see, and hear, the answer to that question!

The Differences between English and Scottish Law & Order

gavel (free clip art)

Civil law vs. common law

In civil law systems there are codes and statutes to cover all eventualities, and a judge simply has to apply the law to the case in hand, whereas in common law systems there are statutes. However, judicial rulings and precedents are the most important source of the law.

Civil law systems have all been influenced to some extent by Roman law, and it is estimated that they exist in approximately 150 countries around the world. Common law derives from English law, and is estimated to be the system in approximately 80 countries. Common law developed after the different regions of England began to unite following the Norman Conquest, by drawing on customs across the country and rulings by monarchs.

The development of Scottish law

Scotland operates a mixed system, combining elements of both approaches. Remember, prior to the Union of Crowns in 1603, Scotland was a completely separate country, which developed its own legal system. After the Union of Parliaments in 1707, English laws began to blend with Scottish laws.

The two countries became increasingly intertwined, until the Scotland Acts of 1998 and 2012, which devolved powers away from London.

Devolved matters include:

·         agriculture, forestry, and fishing

·         education and training

·         environment

·         health and social services

·         housing

·         law and order

·         local government

·         sports and the arts

·         tourism and economic development

·         many aspects of transport

Reserved matters include:

·         benefits and social security

·         broadcasting

·         consumer rights

·         the Constitution

·         data protection

·         defence

·         employment

·         foreign policy

·         immigration

·         nuclear energy, oil, coal, gas, and electricity

·         trade and industry

In terms of the law, this means that the main areas of difference between Scotland, and England and Wales are:

·         criminal law

·         evidence law

·         family law

·         inheritance law

·         property law

·         trust law

The main areas of similarity are:

·         commercial law

·         consumer rights

·         employment law

·         health and safety regulations

·         taxation

Criminal courts

Scottish law, then, is not completely alien, and much of the differences are in terminology, at least as far as the layman is concerned. In England there is the Director of Public Prosecutions, and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS); the nearest equivalent in Scotland is the Crown Office, and the Procurator Fiscal Service.

Scottish criminal cases are referred to as either ‘solemn’, meaning that they are held before a judge and a jury, or they are ‘summary’, meaning that they are held only before a judge. Indeed, you may have heard the expression “summary judgement” which in England refers to a judgement given on a full case, or on discrete parts of a case, by a court, without a full trial.


Another difference in the Scottish legal system is the existence of Sheriffdoms, which act as regional criminal court jurisdictions. There are six: Glasgow and Strathkelvin; Grampian, Highlands, and Islands; Lothian and Borders; North Strathclyde; South Strathclyde, Dumfries, and Galloway; Tayside Central and Fife.

If you need legal advice, particularly if it to do with a case that is taking place in Scotland, the Free Legal Advice Centre may be able to help you.

Guitar Shark

Guitar Shark Pick

Guitar Shark Pick

I’ve heard of land sharks before (do you remember those funny skits from Saturday Night Live?) but I had never heard of a guitar shark! Until Jessie showed me his collection of guitar picks, and he showed me his guitar shark pick. I thought I’d seen everything! I wondered why people would go to the trouble of decorating something so small like that (unless it was jewelry, of course!)

Then I started to think about how I could get creative with something like that and use it to create funky crafts and jewelry. I’ve put a picture of the pick on this post – what do you think I could do with some of these? I’m thinking I could drill a small hole in it and turn it into a necklace, or charm, or using two of them I could make some funky earrings…… maybe try to sell them on Etsy. Do you think anyone would buy something like that?

St Paddy’s Day

St Patrick's Day leprechan (free clip art)

St Patrick’s Day leprechan (free clip art)

Today is the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. That means green beer and lots of shenanigans! I plan on staying home – there is such a focus on drinking and partying that too many people get drunk and do stupid things. I don’t feel safe on the road when I know so many people have been drinking. I call this Amateur Night.

I remember being in school on a Saint Patrick’s Day and I was not wearing green. My mother had not said anything about wearing green – we aren’t Irish and she didn’t celebrate the holiday. But I wore a regular skirt and blouse that had no green on it and I was getting pinched all day long by other kids who took advantage of the day to be a pest! Ever since that day in the fourth grade, I make sure that I am wearing green on St. Patrick’s day!!!