You might think that having a volcano go off in the central business district would be the worst thing that could happen in the history of a town. But no. In 1627 Vestmannaeyjar and surrounding settlements on the south coast of Iceland were attacked by Barbary pirates under a Dutch captain named Murat Reis, and about 400 people were taken captive and sold as slaves in Algeria, and most of them never made it home again. In Vestmannaeyjar the event is remembered as Tyrkjaránið, the Turkish Raid. You can learn about it at the Sagnheimar Folk Museum. Or watch this news report.
Today ÍBV host Keflavík ÍF. Currently ÍBV sit mid-table and are going to miss out on Europe next year if they don't get it together. Keflavík have only three wins so far this season, so it's a timely visit. [1 - 1.]
Round Two of the Scottish Challenge Cup was played this midweek. Queen of the South, Raith Rovers, Annan Athletic, Falkirk, Dundee, Stenhousemuir and Formartine United of the Highland League advance, plus either Rangers or Berwick who play next week.
Morton lost 1 - 2 to Motherwell U20 in a closed door game at Dalziel Park, Carfin, a suburb of Motherwell. Cham was the Morton scorer. Dalziel is pronounced DL.
In Europe this week it was Shakhter Karagandy 2 - 0 Celtic; FH [0 - 2] Genk.
Iceland is opening a museum to volcanism at Vestmannaeyjar which will incorporate some of the buildings buried by ash in the 1973 eruption, including Gerðisbraut 10, where Gerður Sigurðardóttir's used to live.
ÍBV's midweek league game against Keflavík has been postponed to make way for the Europa League second qualifying round second leg match against Crvena Zvezda, also known as Red Star Belgrade. The first leg ended 2 - 0 in Red Star's favour, so ÍBV need to outscore the Serbs by three goals today to advance to the third qualiying round next week. [0 - 0. Red Star win 0 - 2 on aggregate. ÍBV are out.]
Other Europa League matches involving Icelandic or Scottish clubs:
Hibs 0 - 7 Malmö. Hibs are out.
Standard Liège 3 - 1 KR. KR are out.
St. Johnstone 1 - 1 Rosenborg. St Johnstone advance to the third round. Their opponent will be Minsk.
Sturm Graz 0 - 1 Breiðablik. Breiðablik advance to meet Kazakh side Aktobe in the third round.
On Tuesday in the Champions League Celtic beat Cliftonville 2 - 0 (5 - 0 on aggregate) to advance to the third qualifying round where they will face Elfsborg of Sweden.
FH, the 2012 Icelandic champions, beat Slovakian side Ekranas to advance. FH will face Austria Wien.
The SFL First Division has been renamed the Scottish Championship, though of course the winner of the Scottish Championship will not be Scottish champion.
Charles Babbage's Difference Engine was never built in his century, but two of them have been constructed in recent years and are housed at the Science Museum in London and the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley. They're hand cranked! (Via Laughing Squid.)
Spitalfields Life recently published this photograph of Trajan's Column at the Victoria and Albert Museum, causing me to go, "Wait, what? Trajan's Column is in London?" In fact this a photo from the Cast Courts, where the museum's collection of plaster reproductions is displayed. We were at the V&A in 2003, but I never discovered this room. D
Roman glassware at the museum of the Department of Classics and Religious Studies, University of Ottawa.
Have you ever wondered why Roman glassware always looks dirty? It's because it is. An agricultural society like the Romans' maintained a very close relationship to the soil. Today a wine expert can speak authoritatively about the terroir that produced a vintage. The peasantry of the Roman Empire could identify the terroir of pork, egg, mussel or even bread. Their intimate understanding of the soil sprang from the farming practice of tasting the earth to learn its mineral content. The soils of particular estuaries were considered especially healthful. Taverniers bottled earth from these favoured spots with natural spring water and sold it as a refreshing beverage. The dirt you see in Roman glassware is a residue of this soft drink, trademarked Agri-Cola.
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."