Physical exercise boosts mental health. A feel-good hormone (cortisol) is released, improving your heart's ability to pump blood throughout your body. Coupled with headphones playing favourite music, regular walks help manage anxiety and counteract racing thoughts.
Running since 1987, the annual Edinburgh Science Festival is the world's first public festival celebrating. Along with various science education outreach programmes, its mission is "to inspire, encourage and challenge people of all ages and backgrounds to explore and understand the world around them."
The theme for 2020's festival is 'Elementary,' focusing on the rise of the environment movements, "using the ancient classifications of Earth, Air, Fire, Water and ether as lenses to explore global environmental challenges and opportunities." Unfortunately, the 'Ed Sci Fest' fell foul of the major issue facing the world around it in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic, and was forced to cancel all its 270+ planned events.
Strolling along Porty Prom, I came across the billboard display that has always been erected to advertise the science festival. Featuring stunning photographs of the world beyond the Firth of Forth's horizon, these gave some hope for the eventual return to normality.
Early 90s Great Yarmouth shoegazers CATHERINE WHEEL, whose singer/guitarist, Rob Dickinson was a cousin of Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson. Invited to record a Peel session in 1991 before releasing anything, they triggered a signing frenzy between Alan McGhee's Creation, who was courting pedal-heavy bands like Slowdive, Ride and Swervedriver, and Brian Eno's Opal. Their track 'Black Metallic' made no. 15 of John Peel's 1991 Festive Fifty.
From THE BEATLES' 11th and last studio album, Abbey Road, released in September 1969 seven months before they broke up, 'Oh! Darling' and 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer.' The latter, a pop song ironically wrapped around a ditty about a hammer-wielding, serial-killing student, caused a deal of acrimony. Paul McCartney insisted on lengthy studio time perfecting it, while the other three of the Fab Four, George Harrison, John Lennon, and Ringo Starr, told him how much they hated the song. Starr said it was "the worst track we ever had to record."
FAT WHITE FAMILY, an experimental post-punk band from South London, have released a slew of singles, including 'I am Mark E Smith,' 'Tastes Good with the Money' (featuring Ian Dury's son, Baxter, on spoken word lyrics, and 'Goodbye Goebbels,' the latter from their 2nd album, Songs for Our Mothers, (Fat Possum, 2016). 'Satisfied,' is taken from that album, which also includes 'Whitest Boy on the Beach' which closed the credits on T2 Trainspotting.
THE FALL, from 3rd album, Grotesque (After the Gramme), (Rough Trade 1980), instantly takes me back to religiously recording John Peel sessions in my teenage bedroom, with Mark E Smith at his ambiguously acerbic best. "Debtors' retreat estate/Neurotic Red landscape/A socialist state invention/Keep them old government bones working."
Post-punks, LIFE, reminiscent of Smith's band, but from the other side of the Pennines (Hull), with a track from their 2nd album, A Picture of Good Health (Afghan Moon, 2019), and finally, 'The End,' the concluding track of Love in the 4th Dimension (Fiction, 2017) from the Mercury-nominated debut album by London all-female indie rock band THE BIG MOON.
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