Right about now they're watching the sun come up at Narita Temple. If Douglas can draw something in 2013 as good as this panel from Genshiken chapter 51 he'll be happy. See here for some pics of Narita at New Year's Eve.
This bird of prey, in gold and garnet, is part of the Staffordshire Hoard discovered in 2009. The quality of the materials, design and craftsmanship suggest that the Anglo-Saxons were almost as advanced as the Haida.
This is the Lyle Fountain in Cathcart Square at the end of William Street. You can see the Dutch Gable House between the pillars. The popular etymology of Greenock is "green oak" after a tree that once stood on this spot. As we learned in an earlier post the name actually derives from the Gaelic "grianaig" meaning a sunny place, and was coined by the same marketing firm that branded Greenland. Paving stones by RJ McLeod.
Dunfermline visit Cappielow today. For the first time this season the Pars are below the Ton in the league table. Morton had held third spot since September, as Partick and Dunfermline traded first. On Wednesday Morton went to Firhill and broke Thistle's perfect home record, while Dunfermline lost at home to Falkirk.
"The Green Oak Tree" by nearly everyone in Greenock c. 1975. These are the locations so far as I can figure. It starts in the school yard of Greenock Academy. The sailboats are moored off Battery Park. The children skip along Lyle Road, quite a long way from the school and up a big hill. More of them spill out of Greenock Academy. They come out of the big archway in Cathcart Square. The spiral ramp is at the nearby Central Library. Then the kids cross Well Park, several blocks east. Meanwhile a brass band is marching along Brisbane Street, away from the spire of the West Burn Church (and toward Greenock Academy, which the children have just deserted) and also away from the assembly point. I think the barber shop has been spliced in from another street. Everyone gathers in front of the Mid Kirk -- those cliffs are the slope below Well Park, less overgrown than today -- and the Town Hall. The men are digging at Wallace Place on the west side of Town Hall on a different, rainier day and appear to hear the sound coming from the wrong direction. The Anchorage Bar used to be on Cross Shore Street, according to this thread.
[Morton win, 4 - 2! Goals by Bachirou, Tidser (2) and Weatherson. Attendance 3076, about twice the usual. Airdrie hold Partick to a draw. Morton end 2012 in first place!]
It's semifinal day in the Emperor's Cup. Gamba Osaka play Kashima Antlers, and Yokohama F Marinos play Kashiwa Reysol, raising the possiblity of a final between those two teams I always mix up, Kashima and Kashiwa. [It's Gamba Osaka and Kashiwa Reysol in the final.]
Thermae Romae, a manga about a Roman architect who time travels between the reign of the Emperor Hadrian and the bathrooms of modern Japan, came out in an English translation in November, but in Japan it has already been made into an anime and a feature-length film. Manga review. Film site. Through a hilarious series of misunderstandings Douglas asked Heather for the French edition for Christmas, but that's cool too.
It's Spengler Cup time again. This annual invitational tournament has been going on since 1923. If you've been following this blog at all you'll have noticed that much of Europe began to play hockey around 1923. That's like ninety years ago. If you want hockey tradition it's right here.
And if you want Canadian hockey players, they're right here too. Four of the six teams in this year's Spengler Cup have Canadians.
This year's entrants are:
Davos. Host team. 15-time winners of the Spengler Cup, including last year. Currently 9th in the Swiss NLA. Two locked-out NHL All-Stars play for Davos: Rick Nash and Joe Thornton. [And they borrowed Patrick Kane from Biel.]
Fribourg-Gottéron. 3rd in the NLA. Five Canadians play for Fribourg: Christian Dubé, Simon Gamache, Shawn Heins, Joel Kwiatkowski, and locked-out NHLer David Desharnais. Fribourg last played in this tournament in 1992, when they came fifth.
Adler Mannheim. Currently 1st in the DEL. Seven Canadians play for Adler: Shawn Belle, Mike Glumac, Yanick Lehoux, Craig MacDonald, Ken Magowan, Adam Mitchell, plus Jason Pominville of the Buffalo Sabres. The team also includes three Germans who are currently locked out of their NHL rinks: Marcel Goc, Dennis Seidenberg and Jochen Hecht. Adler last appeared in the tournament in 2009, when they finished fourth. My prediction: Spengler Cup winner. [Adler are the first team to be eliminated.]
Vítkovice. 10th in the Czech Extraliga. Roster includes lockout refugees Pavel Kubina, Roman Polak and Filip Kuba. Vítkovice played in last year's Spengler tournament, and were knocked out in the semifinals.
Salavat Yulaev Ufa. 5th in the Eastern Conference of the KHL. Salavat lost the 2007 Spengler Cup final to Team Canada. They need to be out of their home rink right now as Ufa is the site of the world junior championship.
Team Canada. Eleven-time winners of the Spengler Cup, most recently 2007. Coach Doug Shedden is also coach of EV Zug, so he has some insight into the two Swiss clubs in the tournament. The team includes Jason Spezza and Michael de Zotto of Rapperswil-Jona Lakers, Jon Tavares of SC Bern, Tyler Seguin of Biel, Patrice Bergeron of Lugano, Logan Couture of Genève-Servette, and Jared Spurgeon of Langnau Tigers. Plus: Ryan Smith! Complete roster.
Format. The six teams are divided into two groups. Group A includes Fribourg-Gottéron, Vítkovice and Salavat; Group B consists of Davos, Team Canada and Adler.
Each team plays the other two in its group once. The two group winners
get a bye to the semifinals. The other four clubs play the
quarterfinals, crossing over to play a club from the other group. Quarterfinal winners meet group winners in the semifinals. The two semifinal winners meet in the final on December 31st.
I haven't found a complete Spengler Cup database yet, but the German-language wikipedia article has year-by-year standings going back to 1977. Generally, the German-language articles on European hockey are the best ones.
German clubs have won the Spengler Cup six times. Berliner SC won in 1924, 1926 and 1928. EV Füssen won in 1952 and 1964. Kölner Haie won in 1999. All three clubs still exist.
[Team Canada beat Davos 7 - 2 in the final game to take their 12th Spengler Cup.]
To Firhill Stadium in Glasgow today for a match between Greenock Morton and Partick Thistle. Morton supporters have been assigned the north end of the Jackie Husband Stand, named for longtime Thistle and Scottish international John Husband. That's him right there.
Partick hold a perfect home record of 8 wins, 0 draws or loses, 29 goals for and only 5 against. Morton for their part are the only club in Scottish football to have not lost on the road yet this season. They have 3 wins and 4 draws. Morton's Campbell is the divisional scoring leader with 11. Partick's Lawless is tied for second with 9. By any measure this is First Division match of the day.
Though unfortunately Archie Campbell will not be playing.
[But Morton win 2 - 1! Goals by Hardie and Taggart! And Dunfermline lose, so the Ton move up to second place! Happy Boxing Day!]
When Japanese visitors to the Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung in Berlin find themselves in front of the famous bust of Queen Nefertiti, do they wonder, "When are they going to paint the other eye?" In Japan the figure of Daruma receives a second eye when some important task has been completed. Perhaps Nefertiti's one eye is saying, "You still haven't returned me to Egypt."