ON THIS DAY: December 18, 2018

December 18th is

Arabic Language Day *

Bake Cookies Day

International Migrants Day *

Roast Suckling Pig Day

Save the Brazilian Rainforests Day *

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MORE! Kublai Khan, Henrietta Muir Edwards and Saki, click

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ON THIS DAY: December 17, 2018

December 17th is

Maple Syrup Day

The Nutcracker Day *

Wright Brothers Day *

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MORE! Simón Bolívar, Mary Cartwright and Zwelakhe Sisulu, click

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TCS: In the Bleak Midwinter

Good Morning!

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Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers on Monday mornings.
This is an Open Thread forum, so if you have an off-topic opinion burning
a hole in your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.

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“I heard a bird sing in the dark of December.
A magical thing. And sweet to remember.
We are nearer to Spring than we were in September.
I heard a bird sing in the dark of December.”

― Oliver Herford

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ON THIS DAY: December 16, 2018

December 16th is

American Pie Day *

Boston Tea Party Day *

Chocolate Covered Anything Day

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MORE! Beatrix Potter, Philip K. Dick and Jen Golbeck, click

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ON THIS DAY: December 15, 2018

December 15th is

Bill of Rights Day *

Cat Herders Day

Gingerbread Latte Day

National Cupcake Day

International Tea Day *

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MORE! Jane Austen, Sitting Bull and Julie Taymor, click

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ON THIS DAY: December 14, 2018

December 14th is

Biscuits and Gravy Day

Bouillabaisse Day

Roast Chestnuts Day *

World Monkey Day

Light on Yoga Day *

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MORE! Aphra Behn, Roald Amundsen and Wilma Mankiller, click

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Word Cloud: ENCRYPTED (Redux)

by NONA BLYTH CLOUD

When the Germans invaded Denmark in April, 1940, Piet Hein (1905-1996) was a 34-year-old scientist and inventor, who had to decide between three responses: do nothing, flee to “neutral” Sweden — or join the Danish resistance movement. As he explained in 1968, “Sweden was out because I am not Swedish, but Danish. I could not remain at home because, if I had, every knock at the door would have sent shivers up my spine.
So, I joined the Resistance.”

His method of resisting was unique. He invented a new kind of poetry.

Hein called his poems Grooks (pronounced “gruk” in Danish), and wrote under the nom de plume Kumbel, “tombstone” in Old Norse. He outwitted the strict censorship set up by the Nazis by writing seemingly innocuous little poems with subtle double meanings, which were published in the Danish daily newspaper Politiken.

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CONSOLATION GROOK

Losing one glove
is certainly painful,
but nothing
compared to the pain,
of losing one,
throwing away the other,
and finding
the first one again.

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The Danes, looking for hope and encouragement during the occupation, saw what the censors missed. The gloves were metaphors: even if you’ve lost your freedom, don’t lose your self-respect by collaborating with the enemy, or you will never forgive yourself when your country is free again. The poem soon appeared as graffiti on walls all over Denmark.

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