Archive for August 15, 2021

By John Ruberry

This summer Netflix debuted the Icelandic series Katla. The actual Katla is a subglacial volcano, which last erupted in 1918. 

Whereas for the series, which is centered on the village of Vík, Katla erupted one year earlier, forcing the evacuation of most of the town, save for some essential workers and their families.

Then a Swedish woman covered in ash, Gunhild (Aliette Opheim), not seen in Vík for twenty years, appears mysteriously, having not aged at all.

Others then emerge in the same manner.

To explain the setting and mood of the Katla, I need to make a diversion. Stick with me. Although this bit is quite fascinating.

According to Icelandic folklore much of the country, particularly rocks and boulders, are inhabited by the huldufólk, the hidden people. 

Iceland is unique. In the fifth episode of his long running podcast Lore, “Under Construction,” host Aaron Mahnke describes the island nation this way: “Now you have to understand something about Iceland, much of the region is a vast expanse of sparse grass and large volcanic rock formations,” adding, “the ground boils with geysers and springs and the sky seems to be eternally gray and cloudy.”

Nature is particularly harsh in Iceland. Earthquakes are common, it has a chilly subpolar oceanic climate, long winter nights, and of course there are those volcanoes, nearly thirty of them are active. 

The use of folklore is a common method to explain the world and with so much of Iceland being a seemingly blank canvas–the “vast expanse of sparse grass” that Mahnke described, as well as its unpredictable volcanoes, it is understandable that folklore’s roots are deep there.

Mahnke in his podcast mentions a couple of road projects in Iceland–one just six years ago–that were altered to assuage fears that the huldufólk would not be disturbed. Click here to find other projects that were changed for the sake of the huldufólk.

In a 1998 survey slightly more than half of Icelanders said they believe in the hidden people. In the minds of many Icelanders the huldufólk are quite real. They are certainly part of the psyche of this Nordic nation.

Huldufólk take on many incantations within Icelandic folklore, among these are as changelings.

Katla is an eight-episode series that is the work of Sigurjón Kjartansson and Baltasar Kormákur. The duo was also responsible for the series Trapped, Kormákur directed the movie Everest.

It appears Kormákur and Kjartansson’s primary audience for Katla is Icelanders and other Scandanavians. The former and probably the latter have a basic understanding of the huldufólk, whereas the primary audience of this blog does not. Hence my diversion because the huldufólk legends aren’t discussed at all in Katla except briefly midway in the series, but that part is featured in the Netflix trailer.

After the emergence of the young Gunhild, the “other” one–twenty years older of course–is discovered in Sweden. Next to come from the ash is Ása (Íris Tanja Flygenring), whose return puzzles her sister Gríma (Guðrún Eyfjörð), a rescue worker in an unhappy marriage with a dairy farmer, Kjartan (Baltasar Breki Samper). Ása and Gríma find themselves entangled in the complicated life of Gunhild and an old relationship of his.

In Katla we also find a deeply religious man, police chief Gísli (Þorsteinn Bachmann) and a scientist Darri (Björn Thors), whose lives are dramatically altered by the new arrivals. 

Katla is part science fiction and part psychological drama. It’s worth your time. 

The show’s directors make the most of the stark scenery–the cinematography is breathtaking. And the acting is compelling.

Katla is rated TV-MA for violence, scenes of suicide, brief nudity, and strong language. It is available in English, in Icelandic with subtitles, and in English with subtitles. I recommend watching the Icelandic with subtitles version, as there are passages in English and Swedish–and that method of viewing fills out the storyline a little better.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

A quick commentary on the Afghan debacle, might have made it up before Kabul falls.

A lot of people who counted on us are going to be slaughtered thanks to Biden and his “expert” military leaders who say folks like me are the real threat.

The only enemy this Biden Administration and their woke Military leaders are prepared and anxious to fight are us.

Here is the current state of the table top baseball leagues I run. All leagues are 162 game seasons with one 3 game series scheduled per week If you click on a team link you can see their stats, injuries, leaders etc.

Since our last update more teams have been taken in online leagues.

League one All Futility League (all teams lost 96 + games) 2nd Season. Scheduled series time Thursday Mornings. This league is nearly finished.

Teams AL Division AWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
1970 Milwaukee Brewers8661.585—–NoN/A
1970 Chicago White Sox7869.5318No—-
2002 Tampa Bay Devil Rays6978.45217Yes9
2003 Detroit Tigers5394.36133NoE
Teams AL Division BWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
1970 Kansas City Royals9156.619_____Yesn/a
2012 Minnesota Twins8661.5855No+8
2008 Seattle Mariners7473.50317Yes4
1973 Texas Rangers6384.42928Yes15
Teams AL Division CWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
2009 Cleveland Indians7275.490—–No6*
1967 Kansas City A’s7275.490____No6*
1957 Washington Senators6879.4634No10
2019 Baltimore Orioles6681.4496No12

AL Leaders: Hitting:

Avg Mauer Min .353, OBP, Mauer Min .459, Slug Huff TB .603 Runs Harper .Mil 135, Hits: Harper Mil 203, 2B Ibanez Sea, A Cabrera Cle Harper Mil 45, 3B Cabrera Cle Crowe Cle 14, SB Revere Min 77, BB Mauer Min 105 HR Sievers Wash 39, RBI Harper Mil 125

Pitching: Wins Hernandez Sea, Johnson KCR 21, ERA Hyde Wash 2.88, IP Hernandez Sea 250 1/3, K’s Hernandez Sea 223, Avg against Sosa TB .202 WHIP Krause KCA 1.05 HR/9 Hyde Wash 0.30 Saves Yan TB Perkins Min 29,

*Division Winner automatically makes playoffs

Teams NL Division AWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
1998 Montreal Expos9156.619—–YesN/A
2009 Washington Nationals8463.5717Yes+ 3
2001 Pittsburgh Pirates 8166.55110Yes4
1998 Florida Marlins6483.43527YesE
Teams NL Division BWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
2000 Philadelphia Phillies7275.490—–YesN/A
2012 Houston Astros6582.4427YesE
2015 Atlanta Braves6582.4427NoE
2017 San Francisco Giants6282.4318 1/2NoE
Teams NL Division CWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
1982 Cincinnati Reds8265.558_____Non/a
1993 New York Mets7965.5491 1/2No1/2
1974 Chicago Cubs7176.48311No11
1993 San Diego Padres6780.45615No15

NL Leaders Hitting:

AVG Gwynn SD .361, OBP Giles Pit .450 Slug Giles Pit .623, Runs Giles Pitt 114, Hits Gwynn SD 189 2B Gwynn SD 56, 3B Guerrero Mon 15, SB Morgan Wash 45, BB Giles Pit 101, HR Murray Mets 34, RBI Ramirez Pit 114

Pitching Wins Hermanson Mon 25, ERA Hermanson Mon 2.00, IP Soto Cin 262 1/3, K’s Soto Cin 321, Avg against Soto Cin .201 WHIP Hermanson Mon 1.03 HR/9 Gooden Mets, 0.34, Saves Urbina Mon 33.

The SD Jones memorial .500 teams league is a league (all teams were no better than 2 games over .500 or no worse than 2 games under) Initial season . Games are scheduled for Tuesdays. AM

Teams AL EastWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
1993 Boston7446.617—–Non/a
1973 New York (A)6060.50014Yes+1
1957 Baltimore5763.47517Yes2
1967 Washington5169.42523Yes8
Teams AL CentralWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
2010 Detroit8040.667—–Yesn/a
1975 Cleveland5367.44227No6
1973 Minnesota5268.43328No7
1998 Chicago (A)4476.36736No15
Teams AL WestWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
2010 Oakland7149.592—-Yesn/a
2017 Kansas City5961.49212No_______
2018 Los Angeles (A)5961.49212Yes_______
2005 Toronto5862.48313Yes1

AL Leaders Batting

Avg Carew Min .358, OBP Trout LAA .440, SLUG Trout LAA .637, Runs Cabrera Det 106, Hits Carew Min 176, 2B Cabrera Det 43, 3B Durham ChW, 13, SB Carew Min 46 BB Trout LAA 91 HR Trout LAA 34, RBI Cabrera Det 112


Wins Verlander Det 18, ERA Halladay Tor 2.26, IP Vernalder Det 238 2/3, K’s Verlander Det 219, Avg against Eckersley Cle .200, WHIP Darwin Bos 0.97, HR/9 Lehman Bal 0.30, Saves Valverde Det 26

Teams NL EastWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
2018 Washington7350.593________Non/a
1967 Pittsburgh7452.5871/2No+8
1957 Philadelphia5367.44218Yes10
1975 New York (N)5370.43118 1/2Yes10 1/2

Division winner skips wild card

Teams NL CentralWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
1996 Cincinnati6558.528_____Non/a
2000 Colorado6357.525 1/2Yes____
1975 St. Louis6459.5201Yes1/2
1973 Houston5571.43711 1/2Yes10 1/2
Teams NL WestWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
1975 San Francisco7347.608—–Yesn/a
2012 Arizona6258.51711Yes1
2007 Los Angeles (N)5367.44220Yes10
1982 San Diego4674.38327Yes17

NL Leaders Batting

AVG Clemente Pit .375, OBP Mitchell Cin .443, Slug Clemente Pit .608, Runs Larkin Cin 104, Hits Clemente Pit 190, 2B Cirillo Col 54, 3B Clemente Pit 19, SB Pierre LAD 66 BB Larkin Cin 96, HR Helton Col 27, RBI Helton Col 109

Pitching Wins Scherzer Wash 18, ERA Scherzer Wash 2.38, IP Scherzer Wash 245 2/3, K’s Scherzer Wash 292, Avg Against Scherzer Wash .205, WHIP Scherzer Wash 0.95, HR/9 Cahill Ari 0.33, Saves Brantley Cin , Face Pitt 27

3rd League All time any time Great Teams League (3rd season) Games scheduled Friday evenings. Two teams have been picked up since the last posting (oddly not the Orioles)

Teams AL EastWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
1970 Baltimore6030.667—–Yesn/a
1993 Toronto5238.5788No+5
1961 Yankees4845.51613 1/2No1/2
1999 Boston3852.42222No9
Teams AL CentralWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
2010 Texas4839.552—–Yesn/a
1954 Cleveland4743.5222 1/2No—–
1974 Oakland3951.43310 1/2Yes8
2006 Detroit4053.43011Yes9 1/2
Teams AL OtherWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
2009 New York (A)4842.533____Non/a
1977 Kansas City4344.4943 1/2No2 1/2
1924 Washington3654.40012No11
1967 Minnesota3357.36715Yes14

AL Leaders Batting

Avg Carew Min ,360 , OBP Olerud Tor .475, Slug Mantle NYY61 .653, Runs Jeter NYY09 78, Hits Jeter NYY09 136, 2B Olerud Tor 36, Triples Taylor Wash 14, SB Henderson Tor 47, BB Killebrew Min 71, HR Mantle NYY61 30, RBI Blanchard NYY61 80

Pitching Wins Leonard KC, Martinez Bos, Cuellar Bal 13, ERA Martinez Bos 1.83, IP Johnson Wash 147 2/3, K’s Martinez Bos 217, Avg against Martinez Bos .205 WHIP Martinez Bos 0.86 HR/9 Martinez Bos .033 Saves Ward Tor 26

Teams NL EastWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
1975 Cincinnati4941.544—–NoN/A
2019 Washington Nats4443.5063 1/2Yes_____
1998 Atlanta4344.4944 1/2No1
1955 Brooklyn4248.4677Yes3 1/2
Teams NL CentralWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
1957 Milwaukee4941.544_____NoN/A
1985 St. Louis4842.5331No+ 2 1/2
1971 Pittsburgh4446.4895Yes1 1/2
2003 Cubs3951.43310Yes11
Teams NL OtherWLPCTGBAvailableWCGB
2016 Chicago (N)6228.689—-Non/a
1977 Philadelphia4545.50017Yes1/2
2001 Arizona4149.45621Yes4 1/2
2007 Colorado3951.43323Yes6 1/2

NL Leaders Batting

Avg Lofton Cubs03 .361, OBP Morgan Cin .469, Slug Galarraga Atl .644, Runs Morgan Cin 81, Hits Kendrick Wash McGee StL 124, 2B Clemente 31, 3B McGee StL 14, SB Morgan Cin 47, BB Schmidt Phil, Morgan Cin 77, HR Ga;arraga Atl, Aaron Mil 26, RBI Aaron Mil 85

Pitching Wins Nolan Cin 14, ERA Tudor StL 1.76, IP Tudor StL 158 2/3, K’s Johnson Arizona 207, Avg against Tudor StL .182, WHIP Tudor StL 0.83 HR/9 Buhl Mil 0.23, Saves Chapman Cubs16 25

If you are interested in taking over the management of any of the online leagues teams contact me in comments.

As a bonus here are the standings of our face to face draft league which first began playing in 1987 in Fitchburg Massachusetts. We have two divisions with 4 teams each playing a 60 game season every other Saturday at Zeda’s Pizza in Fitchburg MA. The individual leagues are named for deceased members of the league. Five teams make the playoffs, the best record gets home field throughout and 2nd best record of the division leaders gets a home series against the best non-division winner while the final two teams play a one game playin for the right to face the best division winner in the playoffs.

New players are always welcome

Tampa Bay Rays (x)3618.667—-n/a
San Francisco Giants(w)3423.5963 1/2+ 9
St. Louis Cardinals(w)2925.5377+ 5 1/2
Colorado Rockies2334.40414 1/22
w clinched at least wildcard game x clinched playoff spot
New York Yankees (XY)3819.667—-n/a
Washington Nationals2532.43913_____
Seattle Mariners2433.421126
San Diego Padres1740.29821ELIM
Y clinched division

the new season and draft will start shortly after this season ends additional teams for expansion are most welcome