12 August

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The Glorious Twelfth

So we are drinking a...

Capercaillie

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Today is a great day for gourmets. If not such a good day for grouse. It is, of course, the Glorious Twelfth, the day when the shooting season opens in the United Kingdom, sending toffs to the moors, with ghillies and beaters in attendance, in quest of these small, yet delectable birds.


It's a day when the British Royal Family often demonstrate their undying devotion to wildlife by, err, killing it, and hunt saboteurs endeavour to throw a spanner in the works. Yes, it's a splendid tradition all round, even if Brits no longer insist on hanging the bird until it's basically rotten.

For us, grouse most often means Scotland - and Scotch, of course. So we'll be marking the occasion not by donning deerstalkers and capes and hunkering down in some damp heather, but by shaking up a couple of Capercaillie cocktails. Wayne Collins' creation takes its name from the biggest type of grouse found in the UK, the Capercaillie.

Cat-Pondering Physicist Born


Erwin Schrödinger, the Austrian physicist who brought us the brain-exploding experiment known as Schrödinger's Cat, was born on this day in 1887.

In his (fortunately) hypothetical experiment, a cat is placed in a sealed box with a Geiger counter, radioactive material and poison; if the counter detects radioactive decay, the cat is poisoned. The question is whether, without an observer there to influence its state, the cat is dead or alive. And, yes, if you're a quantum physicist, that's a very important question indeed. We are easing our now rather tired brains with a suitably feline non-alcoholic cooler, the Pussyfoot.

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