Modelling plankton with origami is surprisingly similar to doing so with scientific computer simulations, says ecologist and origamist Neil Banas - and it can open up fresh approaches to picturing the richness of life in the oceans. Composer and crochet artist Emily Doolittle joins him to explain.
Just 20,000 years ago, Orkney was covered by a kilometre of ice, part of a huge mass reaching beyond Scotland. Over the years, geologists have found evidence of rocks carried by the glaciers, and in a new film by Selena Kuzman, Dr John Flett Brown and Dr Adrian Hall find some rocks that have travelled a long distance.
Dr Tom Flett, born 100 years ago, took his PhD at Cambridge under the supervision of one of the greatest mathematicians of the time and went on to become professor of mathematics at Sheffield. But he is better known across Scotland as the co-author with his wife Joan of the classic book Traditional Dancing in Scotland. Their daughters Jane Harrison and Lindsay Smith tell the family story, and mathematician Dr James Cranch from Sheffield University looks at the mathematical background.
The Fletts have long been to the fore in almost every aspect of Orkney life from Orkneyinga Saga times onwards. How far back can we trace them? Prof. Jim Flett Wilson of Edinburgh University brings genetics together with family history to trace the story – and goes on to look at the Drevers, the Sinclairs, the Rendalls and the Linklaters, among others, as well.
It was the world's first grid-connected wind turbine, located at Costa Head to catch the full force of the wind. As the 50s went on, the world's thoughts turned away from wind. But it showed what could be done and led the way for subsequent wind developments in Orkney and elsewhere. Neil Kermode of EMEC looks at its story and significance, while archaeologist Dan Lee traces the clues from the remains.
70 years ago the Earl Thorfinn, on her round of the North Isles, was hit by a hurricane and had to run before the wind towards Aberdeen. Captain Hamish Flett and his crew coped with mountainous seas and conditions that destroyed other vessels. How did the ship survive, and how has marine communication developed over the years to help in such situations? Prof. Tom Stevenson tells the story.
The story of the hurricane-force winds of 1953, told through recordings past and present and archive photos. Dr Tom Rendall is joined by Ailsa Seatter (Westray), Billy Cardno (Kirkwall), and Donnie Grieve (Harray), and recently recorded accounts from Isa Stanger (Kirkwall), Jim Pratt (Shapinsay) and Jim Lennie (Sanday). Sarah Jane Gibbon reads a description from her grandmother, Bessie Skea (Countrywoman).