If you want to know if he loves you, it’s in his voice:

A study found that people make subtle changes in their voices when speaking to people they find attractive

People make subtle changes in the way they speak when they talk to someone they find attractive

    • Researchers found voice modulations make speaker attractive to listener
    • Men were found to vary tone in a ‘sing-song voice’ like actor Leslie Phillips’
    • Men reached lower minimum voice pitch speaking to ‘less attractive’ women

By Daily Mail Reporter

Published: 19:24 EST, 27 August 2014 | Updated: 05:06 EST, 28 August 2014

When it comes to the language of love, it’s not what you say, but how you say it.

People make subtle changes in their voices when they speak to people they find attractive, say scientists.

And these voice modulations make the speaker more attractive to the listener too, the research by Scotland’s University of Stirling found.

Read more: dailymail.co.uk

BBC News – Gretna Green: The bit of Scotland where English people go to get married


Gretna Green: The bit of Scotland where English people go to get married

Gretna Green has been a hotspot for tying the knot since the 18th Century. But why do people still choose to walk down its many aisles?

The Scottish village of Gretna Green – population 2,700 – hosts almost two weddings per person per year.

The estimated 5,000 marriages that take place every year seem extraordinary if you consider that a mere 3,000 weddings took place across the entire county of neighbouring Cumbria – population 500,000 – in 2011.

Gretna’s status as the ultimate wedding destination comes from its position just north of the Scottish border.

In 1754, an English law stopped couples under 21 marrying without their parents’ permission. But in Scotland it was permitted for girls from the age of 12, and for boys aged 14 or older. Moreover, anyone in Scotland could marry a couple by “declaration”.

Young star-crossed lovers in England would elope and Gretna was the first town they would come to, two miles over the border. Enterprising blacksmiths set themselves up as “anvil priests”, carrying out the ceremony in return for a drink or a few guineas. One blacksmith wrote to the Times in 1843, specifying that he alone had performed around 3,500 marriages in the town over 25 years.

Several attempts were made to curb the phenomenon – which one MP for Newcastle described in 1855 as “lowering the habits, injuring the character, and destroying the morality of the people of the northern counties of England”. A year later an act was introduced to require a “cooling-off period” of 21 days’ residency in the parish in which a couple wished to marry.

In 1940 the institution of “marriage by declaration” was outlawed in Scotland and in 1977 English couples could finally get married without parental consent at 18.

Read more.

The Door Knob

FUN FACT: The doorknob was not invented until 1878, when Osbourn Dorsey filed a patent for a “Door Holding Device.”


Downton Abbey in hot water over bottle blooper | Television & radio | theguardian.com

Downton Abbey in hot water over bottle blooper | Television & radio | theguardian.com

Downton Abbey promotional picture for fifth series, with modern bottle of water on mantelpiece. Photograph: @downtonabbey/PA

A promotional picture for the new series of Downton Abbey caused an online sensation when a sharp-eyed fan of the show noticed the very modern bottle of water on the mantelpiece behind Hugh Bonneville and Laura Carmichael.

Downton Abbey in hot water over bottle blooper | Television & radio | theguardian.com.

Author’s Note for Highland Passage

Author’s Note to Highland Passage. If your copy does not have this, you should be able to download an updated edition from Amazon, or you can just read it here:

Author’s Note

The Stone Chambers of Putnam County, NY: I have often driven by these stone chambers and wondered about them. While there is information available, much of it is conflicting. One theory is that they were built by ancient Celts. From that theory, my imagination took flight and Highland Passage was born.

The Ghost of Balnagown Castle makes a brief appearance in Highland Passage. Known as Black Andrew, he was Andrew Munro, the 16th century laird of the castle. He is said to have abused his power as laird by murdering men and raping women. A day came when the villagers had had enough. They stormed the castle and hanged him by the neck from the highest window. To this day, his ghost is said to wander the castle and harass female visitors.

The 1719 Bombardment of Eilean Donan Castle: Highland Passage takes place during this historic event in which British troops attacked the Jacobite castle. Visitors to Eilean Donan Castle can see replicas of the powder kegs that were used to blow up Eilean Donan Castle in 1719. It was not until 1911 that Lt Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap bought the castle and began a twenty-year restoration to the breathtakingly beautiful castle we see today.