Claypotts Castle, Dundee, Scotland's only kiln-fired ceramic castle. Can hold up to four million fluid ounces. Source.
Morton visit Dens Park to play division leaders Dundee FC. Morton are twelve points out of ninth place going into today's play. Only the most Panglossian optimist could suppose the Greenock men will avoid relegation now. Or would the most Panglossian optimist think Morton's relegation makes this the best of all possible worlds? Whatever! Can Morton play the spoiler and knock Dundee out of first, that's the question.
What would be the best of all possible Scottish Championships? I think it would be: Morton, St Mirren, Kilmarnock, Partick, Dumbarton, Airdrieonians, Queen of the South, Ayr United, Falkirk and Clydebank. Clydebank?! They only exist as a junior club now, but surely in their time they were Morton's ideal local rival, the Other Shipbuilding Town on the Clyde. The year Morton won the Cup they had to go through Clydebank, and the Bankies were the only one of seven opponents to hold them to a draw. See here.
Fouad Bachirou will play for the Comoros national team against Burkina Faso Wednesday. (Against Burkina Faso ON Wednesday. Burkina Faso Wednesday is no a real club.)
[Dundee win 2 - 0. Morton cannot finish better than third place.]
Four Japanese clubs joined the Asian Football Confederation Champions League group stage this midweek. Cerezo Osaka played Pohang Steelers. Sanfrecce Hiroshima played Beijing Guoan. Yokohama F Marinos played Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. And Kawasaki Frontale played Guizhou Renhe. [Pohang 1 - 1 Osaka. Hiroshima 1 - 1 Beijing. Jeonbuk 3 - 0 Yokohama. Kawasaki 1 - 0 Guizhou.]
Shigeru Mizuki's manga Showa: A History of Japan 1926-1939 is at once a history of Japan's pre-war military build-up and an account of Mizuki's own childhood during those years. When he focuses on his own childhood neighbourhood he uses the same cartoon versions of his family and schoolmates you saw in NonNonBa. But for historical events he relies on hand-drawn facsimiles of news photographs, some of which you can easily find via Google image search. The ones above relate to the February 26 Incident, a rebellion of part of the Japanese Army in 1936. The cartoons appear on pages 444, 436 and 433 of the manga.
This illustration from a 1908 Puck shows what we're in for if women are allowed to smoke. It's a wonderous cartoon packed with detail and Beatonesque expression, and should be viewed in large format, which you can do here at the similarly information-loaded History Blog ,where you can also read a excursus on the New York City politics that inspired this centre spread.
Kibyōshi were a form of illustrated book popular in Japan around the year 1780. Relying on both text and picture to convey a story, they veer very close to modern-day manga. The example above is from a draft version of a kibyōshi by Santō Kyōden about how writing a novel compares to giving birth, and is particularly comic-like insofar as it has cartoons in the place of the more formal woodcut figures of the final version. You can browse both versions here at the National Diet Library.
Snegurochka is a feature-length animated cartoon based loosely on Rimsky-Korsakov's opera of the same name, which translates as The Snow Maiden. It shows some Disney influence, but not so much as to excise the fairy tale's bittersweet ending. The animation has a flowing grace, with some really remarkable dance scenes. Full movie.
Greenock Morton travel to New Douglas Park to face Hamilton Academical. The Accies have been on a bit of a slide lately and have relinquished first place to Dundee. Morton have been on a slide since Week Two.
When Kenny Shiels came in as Greenock Morton's new manager he brought an unserved touchline ban with him from Kilmarnock, and had to manage last weekend's game from a seat in the directors' box. Luckily Cappielow is small and his voice carries. Morton supporters were pleased to see the new manager screaming instructions at the players, just like them.
There were no Boxing Day fixtures in the Championship this year, though the Premiership teams were all in action. Boxing Day games are not generally the norm for Morton. According to Fitba Stats the Ton have played only 24 over the years, or about two a decade, winning 10, losing 6, with 8 draws. The big story on Boxing Day though was Rangers 1, Stranraer 1, at Ibrox, which ends Rangers' winning streak at 20 in all competitions. They were defeated by Forfar in the League Cup August 3rd, and subsequently won 15 League One matches, 3 Challenge Cup matches, 2 Scottish Cup matches and a partridge in a pear tree.
Tomorrow it's the semifinals of the Emperor's Cup: Yokohama F Marinos versus Sagan Tosu; FC Tokyo versus Sanfrecce Hiroshima. Sagan Tosu have never won the cup. FC Tokyo have won it once. Sanfrecce Hiroshima have won it three times. Yokohama have won it nine times: five times as Nissan Motors FC, once as Yokohama Marinos, three times as Yokohama Flügels, but never as Yokohama F Marinos. [Yokohama and Hiroshima advance to Wednesday's final.]
This 1982 West German five Deutsche Mark coin commemorating the 150th anniversary of Goethe's death reproduces the most important bit of the famous portrait Goethe in the Roman Campagna painted by Johann Tischbein around 1786. Working in a very constrained space the coin's designer is forced to suggest the contour of the great writer's hat and cloak with a notch beside his chin. But it also looks like an inverted speech bubble with the text outside and the picture of the speaker inside. The coin is from the online catalog of the Münzkabinett of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. See also.