Where does the name Cappielow come from? Scholars tend to agree it's from the Medieval Norse kappe (cape) + lov (law). Medieval Norwegians were under strict orders to keep their hoods up while in Greenock, owing to the risk of pneumonia brought about by exposure to the constant rain. Today, if you stop for a couple of pints before the match you're instructed to remove your hood, even at the Norseman Bar. Memories of the Vikings are that strong.
Stirling Albion visit Cappielow.
Greenock Morton and Stirling Albion have seen quite a lot of each other in the 21st Century. They've played together in the First Division (2007-08, 2010-11), Second Division (2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07) and the Third Division (2002-03). During the same period they've met twice in the Challenge Cup, Morton winning both encounters.
Morton enter today's play in fifth place with four wins and four losses. They have not let go of a point at home, but have only one win away. Stirling currently hold ninth place, have not yet won at home, but are break-even on the road. It's a strong home team versus a pretty good road team.
Today's kick off is two hours early to allow everyone to run home and watch Scotland versus Georgia. [Scotland win 1 - 0.]
Don't know if you've looked at the Championship table lately, but Hamilton Academical are top club in Scotland. 2014-15 could turn out to be their Greatest Moment.
[Morton win 2 - 0. Goals by Barrowman and McNeil. Morton move up to third place.]
Tomorrow Grulla Morioka visit Ryūkyū. [Postponed due to Typhoon Vongfong.]
The Norseman, corner of East Hamilton and Sinclair. Source.
The kipper, or smoked herring, is held to have been invented in Gourock in 1688, though the etymological evidence cries Inverkip.
Raith Rovers visit Cappielow. Morton did not lose three league games in a row last season, but they can hit that mark today. Raith have a win, a loss and a draw and a 0 GD.
The Championship so far: Morton and Livingston are off to surprisingly bad starts. Hamilton and Falkirk are unsurprisingly good. Alloa are surprisingly good. Cowdenbeath are unsurprisingly bad.
Before play today the four division leaders are all still undefeated: Inverness CT are 3-1-0; Hamilton are 3-0-0; Rangers are 3-0-0, and East Stirlingshire are 3-0-0. Rangers and East Stirlingshire each have two away wins already. East Stirlingshire only had three away wins all last season. Inverness have continued to improve from last season, while Ross County have regressed and look likely to be the first to be lapped by Hearts, who are quickly overcoming their 15 point penalty. East Stirlingshire! East Stirlingshire have obviously realized the best way to avoid the Lowland League is to get into League One.
Geography corner. Which league or nearly league Scottish football clubs have home parks to the west of Cappielow (longitude of 4° 43′ 36.52″ W)? In the SPFL: Stranraer. In the Highland League: Fort William. In the Lowland League: none. In the South of Scotland League: none. Ayr United's Somerset Park is a near miss, at 6′ east of Cappielow. I grant you, Greenock is a western town, so most clubs will be to the east of it, but all of the Hebrides and the entire western coast of the Highlands are west of Greenock. The Western Highlands really are an empty quarter.
[Morton 1 - 1 Raith. Morton goal by Imrie. Morton remain in eighth place.]
This week in Europe:
Celtic 3 - 0 Shakhter Karagandy. Shakhter, who held a two-goal lead coming into this game, clearly lost heart after UEFA banned the team's traditional pregame act of animal sacrifice. Celtic move on to the group stage.
Genk 5 - 2 FH. FH are out.
In Thursday's UEFA Champions League Group Stage and Scottish League Cup Round Three draws Celtic were matched with AC Milan, Ajax, Barcelona and Morton.
Yesterday US Boulogne-sur-Mer were at home against US Colomiers (the football team not the rugby team). Colomiers is a suburb of Toulouse, near the Pyrenees. [Boulogne won 3 - 0.]
Tomorrow in Iceland sixth-place ÍBV host fifth-place Valur. [Nope, postponed.] In Japan Sapporo entertain Okayama. Okayama is in the southwesternmost part of Honshu, on the Inland Sea, opposite Shikoku. [2 - 2.]
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.
In 1814 the merchants of Halifax addressed the shortage of coin circulating in Nova Scotia by striking this half penny commemorating the recent victory of HMS Shannon over USS Chesapeake in the ongoing War of 1812. In the place of George III the coin featured the victorious Captain Philip Broke of the Shannon. The coin quickly lost its value and by 1825 was considered worthless.
October 5th, 2011 marked the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Brian O'Nolan, the non pareil of 20th-century comedic prose style. You may know him as Flann O'Brien, or Myles na gCopaleen. The Irish Times has been running a series of essays on his life and influence, with extracts from his Cruiskeen Lawn column, here. He was conversant in four or five languages and at his best when using one to hammer puns off another.
Which omnibus line is best augured?
Fortuna favat 40 Bus.
To the novice I recommend The Best of Myles, an anthology of comic devices collected from Cruiskeen Lawn. Key sections include "The Brother" (reported stories), "Keats and Chapman" (egregious puns), and, for my money the best, "For Steam Men" (specialist and obsessive language). I challenge you to find a better example of comic pacing than his WAAMA League book-handling scheme.
Peter Falk in Wings of Desire. In this scene Falk pauses to look at the ruined facade of the Anhalter Bahnhof, where Berliners used to catch the train in the direction of the state of Anhalt. There's a pun on the verb anhalten, "to stop", which leads to the line "Not the station where the train stopped, but the station where the station stopped."