Monday, August 15, 2005


There is not much happening today. Work was uneventful. The drive home was routine. Dinner was a garbonzo and tuna pasta salad that has been sitting in the fridge since Saturday. All in all Tuesday, 15 August 2005 was not a day that I am likely to remember much beyond the end of this week. Usually on Mondays I try to post something about squid, or other cephalopodea. Today I want to point out Squidblog, a blog about "giant squid, colossal squid, any squid at all". It is not a bad blog, but it would be nice if it were updated a bit more often. The 15 July, 2005 entry describes the possible sighting of a live giant squid. If true this is the first time that a giant squid as ever been seen in its natural habitat. Unfortunately all we have is one person's description. There is no film or other physical evidence. Still, there is no reason not to believe this report, and even if John Howard did not see a giant squid, whatever it was was still big enough to eat him if it had wanted to.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Caps are Going to be Big

The Washington Capitals have been quietly putting together a new team over the past week. Louis Robitaille (F) and Matt Petinger (LW) will be back when the coming season opens on October 4. In addition the Caps have signed two free agents, Boyd Kane (LW) and Jamie Heward (D). They also obtained Bryan Muir (D) from Los Angeles for future considerations. The Muir trade is interesting. At 100 kg and 1.95 m Muir is a big defenceman. Add to this the signing on Wednesday of Ivan Majesky and Mathieu Miron, both of whom are even bigger than Muir, and the Capitols look like they are going to be a team that does its share of pushing other teams around.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

2005 Booker Prize Longlist Announced

The long list for the 2005 Mann-Booker prize was announced last Wednesday. The full list is
  • Aw, Tash - The Harmony Silk Factory
  • Banville, John - The Sea
  • Barnes, Julian - Arthur and George
  • Barry, Sebastian - A Long Long Way
  • Coetzee, J. M. - Slow Man
  • Cusk, Rachel - In the Fold
  • Ishiguro, Kazuo - Never Let Me Go
  • Jacobson, Dan - All for Love
  • Lewycka, Marina - A Short Histor of Tractors in Ukranian
  • McEwan, Ian - Saturday
  • Mantel, Hilary - Beyond Black
  • Meek, James - A Peoples' Act of Love
  • Rushdie, Salman - Shalimar the Clown
  • Smith, Ali - The Accidental
  • Smith, Zadie - On Beauty
  • Thompson, Harry - This Thing of Darkness
  • Wall, William - This Is the Country
The Prince George's County Memorial Library System only has two of these book, which is a little surprising considering that man of these books have been in print for much of the last year. Personally I find this a bit disappointing since one of the functions of a public library is to allow people to be exposed to new literature, and the Booker Prize nominees are generally considered to be among the best of the previous year's crop of English-language fiction. On thing to notice about this list is the large number of established authors, like Rushdie, McEwan, and Coetzee. I would prefer that the prize committee be a bit more adventurous in setting the long list. Rushdie, for example, is a highly over-rated writer, and Shalimar the Clown has not even been published yet! Why is it on the list? It would be rather sad if the Booker Prize became as irrelevant as the Nobel Prize in Literature. Watch this space on September 8 for the short list.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Sixty Days to Go

There are only 60 days to go until the 2005-2006 NHL season starts. It is hard to imagine hockey in the depths of August, but hockey will soon be back in Washington, DC. The Washington Capitals have managed to sign Alexander Ovechkin to a three-year deal. Ovechkin, a Russian left-winger, is one of the most promising new players to enter the league this year. Forget all this talk about Sydney Crosby. I will be watching Ovechkin and the Caps.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Xtreme Sushi

Here we have a blatent case of octopus abuse.