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text 2018-01-05 02:09
Reading progress update: I've read 784 out of 784 pages.
The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 - Margaret MacMillan

I have mixed feelings about this book. Overall it's a good, readable overview of the run up to the First World War that incorporates an impressive range of factors and includes a number of excellent pen portraits of European leaders. Yet it is peppered with minor errors; more importantly, it doesn't offer anything new to its readers, just points that were culled from other, previously published materials. Perhaps if I hadn't read Christopher Clark's The Sleepwalkers I would have a higher opinion of this book, but Clark is an extremely hard act to follow.

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text 2018-01-01 20:03
Reading progress update: I've read 28 out of 784 pages.
The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 - Margaret MacMillan

Two chapters in, and so far I'm finding the book a disappointment. Instead of offering something a little fresh, she's covering well-trodden ground which she's trying to enliven with portentous prose. Hopefully the text improves once we get past the preliminaries.

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text 2017-12-11 11:45
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Seventh Square - International Human Rights Day and St. Lucia's Day

International Human Rights Day (December 10th)

Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on December 10 every year.  The date was chosen to honor the United Nations General Assembly's adoption and proclamation, on December 10, 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the first global enunciation of human rights and one of the first major achievements of the new United Nations. The day is usually marked by high-level political conferences and meetings and by cultural events and exhibitions organized by governmental and non-governmental organizations dealing with human rights issues.  The Nobel Peace Prize is also awarded on this day. -- Note: The 2017 award went to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), as announced on October 6, 2017.  You can read the Award Ceremony Speech on the Nobel Prize website.

 

The Reading Tasks:

Read a book originally written in another language (i.e., not in English and not in your mother tongue), –OR– a book written by anyone not Anglo-Saxon, –OR– any story revolving around the rights of others either being defended or abused.
–OR– Read a book set in New York City, or The Netherlands (home of the U.N. and U.N. World Court respectively).

 

–OR–

 

Other Tasks:

Post a picture of yourself next to a war memorial or other memorial to an event pertaining to Human Rights. (Pictures of just the memorial are ok too.) –OR– Cook a dish from a foreign culture or something involving apples (NYC = Big Apple) or oranges (The Netherlands); post recipe and pics.

 

 

St. Lucia’s Day (December 13th)

St. Lucia’s Day is a Christian feast day celebrated on December 13 in Advent, commemorating a 3rd-century martyr under the Diocletianic Persecution, who according to legend brought food and aid to Christians hiding in the catacombs using a candle-lit wreath to light her way and leave her hands free to carry as much food as possible.  Her feast once coincided with the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year before calendar reforms, so her feast day has become a Christian festival of light.  Falling within the Advent season, Saint Lucia's Day is seen as an event signaling the arrival of the Light of Christ on Christmas Day.  Saint Lucia’s Day is celebrated most commonly in Scandinavia, where it is a major feast day, and in Italy.  In Scandinavia, where the saint is called Santa Lucia in Norwegian and Sankta Lucia in Swedish, she is represented as a lady in a white dress (a symbol of a Christian's white baptismal robe) and a red sash (symbolizing the blood of her martyrdom) with a crown or wreath of candles on her head.  In Norway, Sweden and Swedish-speaking regions of Finland, as songs are sung, girls dressed as Saint Lucia carry rolls and cookies in procession, which symbolizes bringing the light of Christianity throughout world darkness.

 

The Reading Tasks:

Read a book set in Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Sweden - and Finland for the purposes of this game) or a book where ice and snow are an important feature.

 

–OR–

 

Other Tasks:

Get your Hygge on -- light a few candles if you’ve got them, pour yourself a glass of wine or hot chocolate/toddy, roast a marshmallow or toast a crumpet, and take a picture of your cosiest reading place.


Bonus task: Make the Danish paper hearts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jur29ViLEhk

Addendum: Lillelara shared another set of instructions here and explained:

"You can find a link for a pfd file with a lot of different patterns here: http://www.altomhobby.dk/jul/flettede-julehjerter/sadan-fletter-du-julehjerter/

Klick on the link called "52 gratis skabeloner til flettede julehjerner". They do mean julehjerter - christmas hearts. A julehjerne is a christmas brain. I had to chuckle quite a bit at that :)."

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review 2017-12-05 17:03
Peace On Earth, Good Will To Dogs - Eleanor Hallowell Abbott
Peace On Earth, Good Will To Dogs - Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

Despite weird punctuation (what are all those dashes supposed to indicate?) and obvious period details this book feels remarkably modern. You could turn it into a modern story in about 15 minutes. You could turn it into a modern movie rom com script without a great deal of effort. Dogs! So cute. Oh, go on: it's free, it's short, it's amusing, it'll get you feeling jolly.

 

 

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text 2017-11-30 13:15
Surprise, Surprise Bonus Joker #2: The Cuckoo Egg

THE SOLUTION:

 

It's World Peace Day (square 10) ... which isn't on December 21, but on September 21 of each year.

 

Congrats to everybody who messaged us with the correct answer -- that's one bonus point for each of you!

 

 


 

 

 

We're almost halfway into the 16 Tasks of the Festive Season, and it's time for another bonus joker ... and for 'fessing up: because we've put one over on you. 

 

Yes, that's right, one of the 32 holidays we've included in the game isn't actually set in December but ... well, when exactly, and of course which holiday it is, will be for you to find out.

 

We'll give you two hints:

 

(1) It's not one of the holidays that we've already passed, and

 

(2) It's not one of the holidays that are based on a different calendar than the Gregorian calendar, so that they could be on certain dates in November or December in one year and on other dates the next year.

 

(Oh, and it isn't Christmas.  But you'll have suspected that.)

 

Since we'd like to give as many people as possible the chance to earn a bonus point for this one, we'd ask you to PM Murder by Death or Themis-Athena your answers so the beans don't get spilled too early.

 

The joker is good from right now until 12 midnight (EST) on November 29, 2017.

 

Happy hunting!

 

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