Vegan Winter Festival to be held In Glasgow this weekend

The Glasgow Vegan Winter Festival will be bringing 50 stalls of Vegan food and products to Glasgow Trade Halls this weekend.

The festival, hosted by VegfestUK, will be hosting cookery demos, world food caterers and inspirational talks from 10:30am until 4:30pm on the 23rd and 24th of November.

Entry is £3 per day, although VIP tickets are also on offer for £15 if you pre-book, which includes a goody bag of products, samples, and discounts. All ages are welcome to the event as they will also be running children’s activities throughout the day with under 16s getting free entry.

Vegfest has been hosting events across the UK for two decades. Since its fruition in Bristol in 2003, and with the rise of popularity of people choosing to live a more compassionate lifestyle, they have hosted over 40 events in cities such as Glasgow and London.

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

They have also helped inspire other events, with most major cities hosting their own vegan festivals throughout the year, including a vegan camp out in Nottingham over the summer.

Whether you are vegan or keen to learn more, The Glasgow Vegan Winter Festival is a perfect day out for all. They will be showcasing the very best vegan foods and products including clothing, skincare, and jewellery from independent companies plus an array of entertainment and activities planned throughout both days.

Not only will the festival be promoting the vegan lifestyle and compassion for animals, it will also be taking a close look at the health and environmental aspects. In addition, the festival aims to reduce food waste and will be providing hot and cold meals to the homeless at the end of the event.

UK’s first ‘fine art crawl’ to launch in Edinburgh on Saturday

Edinburgh will be hosting what is being called the UK’s first ‘fine art crawl’ on Saturday.

Tobermory Distillery is introducing their guided tour around the city which is aimed towards those who love art and a dram. The two-hour long tours will visit bars that have been transformed into pop up galleries, including Usquabae, Mather’s, The Green Room and Ryan’s Bar.

The tour will be a multi-sensory experience with a selection of Scottish whiskeys and gins. Foods such as cheeses, oysters, smoked salmon and haggis will be on offer at each stop while attendees can take in some fine art. Edinburgh artists such as Yulia Allan and Ann Cowan, amongst others, will have their work displayed across the venues with some artists attending to give first-hand insights into their pieces.

Speaking on the event, Tobermory Distillery Manager Stephen Woodcock said: “The passion for art in nature is reflected in the spirits that we craft at the distillery, and that’s why we’re introducing the first ‘fine art crawl’ at Edinburgh Art Fair, for art lovers, whisky and gin lovers to experience”.

Edinburgh’s Art Fair is celebrating their 15th anniversary and starts today until Sunday. The fair will be showcasing over 500 artists from around the globe and can be found at the Edinburgh Corn exchange.

The ‘fine art crawl’ will start at The Green Room and will be running from Saturday 23rd – 24th from 2:30 p.m. on each day with tickets priced £15.

New live music venue planned for Edinburgh

Edinburgh will soon be home to a new 1,200-capacity live music venue thanks to London-based Electric Group, an independent and privately owned music venue company.

Glasgow is known as the home of major live music performances thanks to its range of venues such as the SSE Hydro and 02 Academy, but with a new Edinburgh venue in the works, gig-goers may soon be headed to the capital. This will be welcomed news for the residents of Edinburgh, which has seen closures to numerous entertainment and music venues over the years.

Electric Group CEO and co-founder Dominic Madden said: “Very little can compare to the thrill of a live gig and with our extensive experience in the music and entertainment business, and with sound financial backing from the Lewis family, we are committed to growing our business around the UK in key city centres.”

An Edinburgh University study found that the capitals live music scene was currently worth around £40 million a year to the city’s economy, half of what Glasgow pulls in.

Rats have been taught how to drive tiny cars in exchange for treats

Rats have been taught how to drive miniature cars in exchange for sweet treats at the University of Richmond in the US. Scientists hope the unusual experiment can help in the treatment of mental health conditions in humans. Rats and humans share a lot of the same areas and neurochemicals which can make them useful in studies such as this.

The study is led by Dr Kelly Lambert, head of the University’s Behavioural Neuroscience Laboratory and is looking at non-pharmaceutical treatments in treating mental illness such as depression. The experiment used two groups of young rats both with different living environments. One group were housed in an ‘enriched environment’ with comfort and toys, and the other in a bleak, blank cage.

Tests then done on the rats’ faeces for stress hormones found differing results between the two groups however, both groups had higher levels of DHEA, a hormone which controls stress responses. The rats with a more stimulating environment were found to make better drivers and were more successful in operating their vehicle due to their brain’s ability to change over time which was triggered by their living conditions

Dr Lambert is working to the concept which she refers to as ‘behaviorceuticals: activities that release hormones that can ward off prolonged stress brought on by corticosterone, another hormone that affects brain function and stress response. She claims emotional resilience is one of the first lines of defence against mental illnesses like depression, and they hope to learn what behaviours can build that up in the hopes for non-pharmaceutical treatments.


RBS sets aside £900m for PPI Costs

Edinburgh based bank RBS has swung to a quarterly loss due to a surge in Payment Protections Insurance (PPI) complaints ahead of the August deadline to claim.

The bank have put aside £900m and costs have totalled £6.2billion to date for its PPI provisions. Despite the recent hit RBS claim to still be on track, Chief Financial Officer, Katie Murray, commented “We have seen strong growth across the business and our sustained high levels of capital and liquidity mean we are well positioned to support our customers in these uncertain times.”

The lender posted an £8 million pre-tax operating loss from July to September compared to a £961 million profit the year before. Despite being significantly impacted by PPI charges, RBS claim to have a strong story of growth across the business and are on track to hit their £300m target for 2019.

As of the 1st of November, Allison Rose is set to become the new chief executive of RBS and make history by becoming the first woman to lead one of the UK’s leading banks. An update on how the company plan to move forward with their new CEO and Brexit will be available in February with Katie Murray adding “we are controlling the controllable with our Amsterdam and Frankfurt offices fully operational”.

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