This weekend the city of Amiens hosts a preseason hockey tournament called the Napoleon Cup. The four participating teams are: Les Gothiques d'Amiens, Les Dragons de Rouen, Nottingham Panthers, and Les Patriotes de l'Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. The two French clubs play in Ligue Magnus, the Panthers in Britain's EIHL, and UQTR in the CIS, Canada's varsity league. It's an opportunity to see how those three leagues stack up. Results:
Rouen 3 - 2 UQTR
Nottingham 4 - 3 Amiens
Nottingham 3 - 1 Rouen
UQTR 4 - 3 Amiens
UQTR 6 - 5 Nottingham (shootout)
Amiens 0 - 6 Rouen
Nottingham take the Cup, but Rouen and UQTR were close.
Morton go to Forfar for an afternoon of Seaside League association football action. This is the fifth game in fifteen days for the Greenockians. The Loons have played three in the same interval, having crashed out of League Cup and Challenge Cup in the first round.
Greenock Morton and Forfar Athletic share lots of Second Division memories. This is their sixth season together in the third flight in the 21st century. You could make a case that Forfar is the definitive Seaside League club, though Brechin might have a word to say. Still, when Hamilton supporters taunted Morton supporters late last season, it was Forfar they mentioned.
The last meeting of these two clubs came on August 9th, 2011, when Morton eliminated Forfar from the Challenge Cup by the score of 5 - 0.
Morton's Jamie McCluskey played for Forfar last year. Forfar's Chris Templeman played for Morton from 2004 to 2008.
How many SPFL clubs are named Athletic? Four: Alloa, Dunfermline, Forfar and Annan. And the Lowland League has Preston Athletic.
When did Forfar Athletic last play in the second tier of Scottish football? 1991-92, in the days of three divisions. When did they last play in the top division? Never. What was Forfar Athletic's greatest moment? A 0 - 0 draw against Rangers in the 1981-82 Scottish Cup semi-final.
Ross County became the first club of the young season to fire its manager. County have zero points in four Premiership matches. St Mirren (Premiership) and Airdrieonians (League One) are both pointless and goalless in league play entering today's action, so watch out, managers of those teams.
[Forfar win 3 - 2. Morton goals by McManus and Hands. Morton slip to fourth place.]
Kegan Paul published the series of speculative essays To-Day And To-Morrow from 1923 and 1931. Each volume identifies an aspect of the modern (1920s) world and attempts to foresee how things will develop through the 20th Century. The books have a standard format: brown cardboard boards 6 3/8" tall and 4 5/8" across; labels pasted to the spine and front board; about 90 pages plus ten or twenty pages of ads for other volumes. Most of the books are titled according to the formula: X or the Future of Y, where X is a name from classical mythology and Y is the topic of the volume. In the pile above we have:
Achates or the Future of Canada, by W. Eric Harris.
"Canada's way to the future, then, is well defined. It is a path which leads to world service, within the Empire, and one of intimate co-operation with the United States in an endeavour to keep that influential and powerful nation working in co-operation with the Empire in the development of the peoples of the world, and in the promotion of world peace."
Cassandra or the Future of the British Empire, by F.C.S. Schiller.
"It is therefore by the way of financial influence and control that the political unification of the world can be brought about most easily and smoothly, though gradually, with a minimum of disturbance, violence and friction and with a maximum of peace and prosperity."
Hanno or the Future of Exploration, by J. Leslie Mitchell.
"The inevitable triumph of ballistics that will enable men to explore the lunar deserts may soon elsewhere uprear 'Upon the night's starr'd face/ Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance.'"
Lars Porsena or the Future of Swearing, by Robert Graves.
"To conclude, swearing as an art is at present in low water. National passion seldom runs high, invention is numbed, and there is no appeal of a politico-religious nature which will meet everywhere with the same respect. The only taboo strong enough to be worth breaking is the sexual one, and swearing shows every sign of continuing standardized on the basis of that for some time."
Lysistrata, Woman's Future and Future Woman, by A.M. Ludovici.
"The regeneration of man will immediately transform woman and her position; because, while her contempt for the male will vanish, she will recover both physically and spiritually that lost joy of looking up to her mate."
Morpheus or the Future of Sleep, by Professor D.F. Fraser-Harris M.D., D.Sc., F.R.S.E.
" A certain amount of legislation will be enacted in the near future in the interests of sleep, legislation exactly comparable with that we already have in the interests of pure air, pure food and proper drainage."
Achates was Aeneas' good and faithful friend. Cassandra had the power of prophecy, but nobody believed her. Hanno was an explorer. Lars Porsena swore by the Nine Gods in Macaulay's "Horatio at the Bridge". Lysistrata led a women's strike against the Peloponnesian War. Morpheus was the god of dreams.
Partick Thistle visit Cappielow for the second round of the Scottish League Cup.
The last time these two clubs met was April 10th, 2013, at Firhill, when Thistle definitively ended Morton's First Division title run. It seems so long ago now.
2013-14 was a disastrous season for Morton -- all except the League Cup. The Ton made it to the quarterfinals, defeating Celtic along the way, their best showing since 1979-80 when they last made the semi-finals.
Apparently it's wrong to call Partick Thistle Partick, you must call them Thistle. ~Because there are so few Scottish clubs named Thistle, and so many from Partick.~
The Scottish League Cup is without a sponsor this year.
[Greenock Morton 0 - 1 Partick Thistle. Morton are out of the League Cup.]
[UEFA Champions League: Celtic 0 - 1 Maribor. Celtic are out of the Champions League.]
A few passengers were standing there talking to the officer who had brought the records. The boat was already off the Sanuki coast. One of the passengers said to the officer, "Purser, which one of those mountains is the one with Kotohira Shrine on it?"
"It's that one there," said the officer, pointing. "It's supposed to resemble an elephant's head. Lord Kotohira on Elephant Head Mountain -- that's how they used to refer to the shrine in the old days, I'm told. You see that black patch on the side of the mountain? It looks pretty small from here, but when you get there you'll find that it's a big forest."
Four or five fishing boats, their sails taut, sped past over the indigo sea. The purser said that they were now about in the middle of the Inland Sea, where the tides from the east and west met as they came in and parted as they went out. "Next month will be even busier," he said, "when Zentsūji Temple has its festival."
Kensaku moved away from the group and went astern. There he sat down on a bench and looked at the line of mountains in the distance. There was a mountain on this side of the one the purser pointed at which seemed to Kensaku to have a much greater resemblance to an elephant's head.
The elephant, which has until now only shown its head, suddenly rises out of the ground. The people are thrown into a panic. Will this monster destroy all mankind, or will they find a way to destroy it? Soldiers, statesmen and scholars from all over the world gather together and rack their brains. Guns and mines won't do, for the elephant's hide is a hundred yards thick, and they would only scratch its surface. Trying to starve it would be useless, for it eats at fifty-year intervals. The more intelligent men say that so long as it is not annoyed it will do no mischief. Certain men of religion in India say that it is a god. But the great majority of men clamor for its immediate destruction, and are full of foolish ideas as to how this might be accomplished. The elephant begins to get angry.
Before he knew it, Kensaku himself had become the elephant, excitedly preparing for his one-man war against the world at large. He is in a city. Each time he stamps a foot, fifty thousand men are crushed to death. Guns, mines, poison gas, airplanes, airships -- all such ingenious devices created by man's intelligence are directed at him. He takes a deep breath, exhales through his long nose, and the airplanes, feebler than mosquitoes, fall to the ground; the airships float away helplessly like balloons. He draws up water into his nose and disgorges it, and there is a flood; he descends into the depths of the ocean and comes up suddenly, causing a tremendous tidal wave ...
"I hope the trip hasn't been too boring for you, sir. That over there is Tadotsu. We'll be arriving in about ten minutes." It was the purser. Little did he know that at that moment Kensaku was far from being bored.
Naoya Shiga, A Dark Night's Passing, pages 132-4. This novel was published in 1937, but most of it was serialized from 1921 to 1923, three decades before the first Godzilla movie; which only goes to show that everything was invented in the Twenties.