What is the Scotland, firefighter connection?

Q: I watched the ceremony for the Toledo firemen who lost their lives. At the end, the bagpipes played, “Scotland the Brave.” How did the relationship between Scotland and firefighters come about? — Roberta L. Larson, Findlay.
A: In the 1800s, Irish immigrants in Eastern cities often could get only the most dangerous jobs, those of policemen and firemen.
When one died in the line of duty, the public wake called for the sorrowful sound of Irish bagpipes.
But Scottish highland bagpipes are much louder than Irish uilleann bagpipes and they eventually were heard at funerals for nearly all fallen police and firefighters.
By the way, “Scotland the Brave” is one of Scotland’s most patriotic pieces, although it’s barely more than 100 years old. You’ll recognize it immediately at

Q: Someone said it’s wrong to unfurl those huge U.S. flags at sports events and parades.
A: “The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free,” states Title 4, United States Code. — Congressional Research Service, 2008.

Q: We used to get emergency alerts from the sheriff’s office on our TVs through Time Warner Cable. They would break into programs for such things as severe weather warnings and missing persons. Why don’t we get them anymore? — Paul Moyer, Findlay.
A: You will.
Under the Ohio Emergency Alert System, key authorities in the region work with “local primary broadcast stations,” which, for us, are WXKA-FM in Findlay and WIMT-FM in Lima.
They, in turn, automatically activate radio and television stations, and cable systems, which interrupt your program with the emergency information.
Time Warner Cable says the system “is far superior to the older alert system … because it now has the ability to reach more people faster and on a wider variety of platforms — cable, digital, broadcast and wireless.”
It can be used for any natural and man-made danger or disaster, and for Amber Alerts.
The system is tested monthly. Get up early for the next test on WKXA-FM at 4:50 a.m. June 6. — Mike Hogan, Time Warner Cable.
Q: Epitaph for writer H.G. Wells (1866-1946)?
A: “I told you I was sick!”
Q: On screen, characters beg the wounded or hurt to “Stay awake!” or “Stay with me!” to keep them conscious and alive. Does this really help?
A: Save the drama.
It’s useless to yell at or to slap the victim on the face. The (original) trauma is likely to unfold whether awake or not.
The only time shouting might help is if the victim is faking it or is in a psychogenic coma, that is, one originating in the mind.
Also, doctors say it is not true that head-injury victims must be kept awake at all costs, although it is smart to rouse them occasionally to make sure they’re OK.
In 2006, Mayo Clinic neurologists found that only 7 percent of movies made after 1970 portrayed comas “reasonably accurately.” — Daniel Engber, Slate.
Q: What does it cost to mint a nickel?
A: 9.4 cents.
Q: What did Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) say?
A: “After three days men grow weary of a wench, a guest, and weather rainy.”
After three days, try Send an E-mail to justask, or Just Ask, The Courier, P.O. Box 609, Findlay, OH 45839.


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