sheena blackhall

Rookie - 289 Points (18/8/1947 / Aberdeen)

Seven Scottish Inventions


John Logie Baird 1888-1946

Checking out the weather, the traffic or the news,
We switch on the TV for fun and current views
We can watch a polar bear in our living room
See an avalanche, a war, a movie, or cartoon

It's just a screen where pictures move, funny sad or grave
Plato long ago in Greece watched shadows in a cave
Invented by John Logie Baird a Helensburgh boy
Along with under socks and jams and soap, another ploy

His first TV was cobbled from a tea chest, a washstand,
A biscuit tin, string, sealing wax. How carefully he planned!

His TV was too cumbersome in 1935
The BBC devised a test...the best one would survive
Marconi's all electric / Baird's mechanical device
Marconi's won but still today Baird's Thermal Under socks
Are worn by climbers far and wide who like to climb up rocks


Dolly the sheep

What a scoop! What a leap!
When Dolly the sheep
as cloned from a cell, quite undaunted
A nucleus drawn from another sheep's udder
(A Finn Dorset Ewe) was implanted

Thirteen surrogate ewes first created the news
That a team by Professor Keith Campbell
Had succeeded with one. In the oven a bun
In one ewe. What a coup! What a gamble!

This black faced Scot Dolly (ne'er chased by a collie)
In the Roslin Institute stayed
And the press o the world were all duly enthralled
What a stooshie the first cloning made!

Robert Brown years before found there lived at the core
A small body in each tiny cell
This find brought him fame, with ‘the nucleus', its name
The Latin for nut or for kernel

When Frankenstein's tale was created to thrill
To terrify, scare and dismay
Who'd have thought that a sheep from a test tube would creep
To make fact out of fiction today?


Aleaxander Graham Bell: 1847- 1922

Young Alexander Graham Bell
Began by teaching elocution
His mother and his wife were deaf
Speech therapy was one solution

He built a head like a machine
Pumped air into its lips and throat
Using a bellows. It could voice
Quite clearly. Yes, the machine spoke

His next experiment..his dog
Was taught to growl. Oh what a drama!
Toggling its lips and vocal chords
He made it say ‘How are you mama? '

From Scotland, off to Canada
His family sailed, where winters glisten
Here Alec linked a dead man's ear
To a contraption made to listen
It wrote what his deaf pupils said
A pattern all the teachers read

Then sponsors funded his research
Bell and his helper Watson, found
By reeds and electricity
He could transmit an early sound

In June, a reed stuck. It was plucked
He'd made an early telephone
Now he refined this piece of luck
Just like a dog that gnaws a bone
Try try again and even you
Might one day build a marvel too!


James Young Simpson 1811-1870

Once your local barber
Was a sawbones to be feared
He could amputate your limbs
As well as trim your beard

With no anaesthetic,
All you could do was pray
When 5 men held you screaming down
Your leg was sawn away
Loss of blood might weaken
Shock could kill straightway
Simpson set himself the goal
Of keeping pain at bay

He had heard that ether
Used in the USA
Irritated nose and throat
He sought a better way

He learned that chloroform it was
A solvent with a taint
If factory workers sniffed it
It would leave them feeling faint

He took it home and tested it
Eureka! When he sniffed it
He fell unconscious to the floor
Soon after he had whiffed it

When Queen Victoria gave birth
To Leopard the prince
James Simpson's chloroform ensured
The monarch didn't wince

So when you go under the knife
To have your tonsils out
Cry ‘Thank you James Young Simpson'
When you're well enough to shout!



The Anatomists: Ian Donald,1910-1987 Ultra Sound, J.Mallard,1927- MRI Scanner

In Egypt, pharaoh's organs, in Coptic jars were kept
Gods weighed the heart for Honesty, when mummies ‘bodies slept

The Greeks were famed physicians but they diagnosed with ‘Humours'
And didn't have the knowledge to locate and cut out tumours

But would be doctors must be trained, so body snatchers stole
New buried dead to fill the need to map from head to sole

Bats, fish and pregnant mothers all use ultra sound and sonar
Ian Donald‘s scanners used the facts he learned in wartime radar

It scanned an unborn foetus and its worth was quickly shared
And another great invention in the science world appeared

John Mallards body scanner, first designed in Aberdeen
This MRI's huge doughnut is a science fiction dream

The patient slides inside it, his internal organs yield
A sliced picture to the viewer in this huge magnetic field

Here's to Mallard! Here's to Donald! With their windows looking in
So our doctors do not open us, to look under our skin!


James Clerk Maxwell 1831-1879

The microwave, the cell phone, and colour photography
We owe to J. C. Maxwell and his new technology
He found electric gave out waves in different frequency
His childhoods name was ‘Dafty' a misnomer as you'll see

Radio waves are longer, and microwaves are short
The first gives information off, the second makes meals hot
By agitating molecules in porridge, chicken cream
If you rub your hands together you'll discover what we mean

He used a tartan ribbon when he took a colour snap
Projected through 3 filters this photograph to trap

He studied rings of Saturn, learned that sunlight with its heat
Can harm if we stay long in it, we'll cook like roasting meat!


John Shepherd-Barron 1925-2010

John Shepherd-Barron, of Scottish descent
Worked in London, a bank note producer
To read codes that the customer typed in himself
He tweaked a new type of dispenser

The pin number is 4, though at first it was 6
But his wife really couldn't remember
All 6 numbers so he, lopped off 2 and now we
Get our cash out from Jan. to December!

Submitted: Sunday, February 10, 2013

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