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1. Another unpleasant infection: Zika virus

Over two years ago I wrote that “new viruses are constantly being discovered... Then something comes out of the woodwork like SARS which causes widespread panic”. Zika virus infection bids fair to repeat the torment. On 28 January 2016 the BBC reported that the World Health Organization had set up a Zika “emergency team” as a result of the current explosive pandemic.

The post Another unpleasant infection: Zika virus appeared first on OUPblog.

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2. Bang, bang — democracy’s dead: Obama and the politics of gun control

It would seem that President Obama has a new prey in his sites. It is, however, a target that he has hunted for some time but never really managed to wound, let alone kill. The focus of Obama’s attention is gun violence and the aim is really to make American communities safer places to live.

The post Bang, bang — democracy’s dead: Obama and the politics of gun control appeared first on OUPblog.

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3. Philosopher of the month: Plato

The OUP Philosophy team have selected Plato (c. 429–c.347 BC) as their February Philosopher of the Month. The best known and most widely studied of all the ancient Greek philosophers, Plato laid the groundwork for Western philosophy and Christian theology. Plato was most likely born in Athens, to Ariston and Perictione, a noble, politically active family.

The post Philosopher of the month: Plato appeared first on OUPblog.

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4. How can we hold the UN accountable for sexual violence?

Cometh the new year, cometh the fresh round of allegations that United Nations peacekeepers raped or abused some of the most vulnerable people in the world. 2016 has just begun and already reports are surfacing of UN peacekeepers paying to have sex with girls as young as 13 at a displaced persons camp in the Central African Republic.

The post How can we hold the UN accountable for sexual violence? appeared first on OUPblog.

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5. A history of the poetry of history

History and poetry hardly seem obvious bed-fellows – a historian is tasked with discovering the truth about the past, whereas, as Aristotle said, ‘a poet’s job is to describe not what has happened, but the kind of thing that might’. But for the Romans, the connections between them were deep: historia . . . proxima poetis (‘history is closest to the poets’), as Quintilian remarked in the first century AD. What did he mean by that?

The post A history of the poetry of history appeared first on OUPblog.

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6. Regretoric: the rise of the “nonapology” apology and the “apology tour”

OxfordDictionaries.com is adding the nouns apology tour and nonapology. These additions represent two related steps in the evolution of the noun apology, which first entered English in the sixteenth century, according to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). Its earliest example is a book title: the 1533 Apologie of Syr Thomas More.

The post Regretoric: the rise of the “nonapology” apology and the “apology tour” appeared first on OUPblog.

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7. Seven reasons why your medications are not working properly

What happens when medication doesn’t bring your condition under control? Usually, it’s not just one single issue but various factors that contribute to the problem. Your doctor will work to figure out why–and from there, create a new plan of attack. Finding the right combination of medications may require some trial and error.

The post Seven reasons why your medications are not working properly appeared first on OUPblog.

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8. Sex, love, and Shakespeare [slideshow]

Whether he fills his scenes with raunchy innuendos, or boldly writes erotic poetry, or frequently reverses the gender norms of the time period, Shakespeare addresses the multifaceted ways in which sex, love, marriage, relationships, gender, and sexuality play an integral part of human life.

The post Sex, love, and Shakespeare [slideshow] appeared first on OUPblog.

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9. Are you really free? Yes: a new argument for freedom

How is human freedom really possible in the natural world as correctly described by modern physics, chemistry, biology, and cognitive neuroscience? Or, given the truth of modern science, are you really free? By 'real freedom,' I mean 'real free will and real rational agency'.

The post Are you really free? Yes: a new argument for freedom appeared first on OUPblog.

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10. Contextual cartography: an email exchange with Henry Greenspan and Tim Cole, Part 2

Two weeks ago, we published the first part of an exchange between Henry Greenspan and Tim Cole. Below, they wrap up their conversation, turning to the intellectual difficulties of taking context into consideration. The issues they raise should be of interest to all oral historians, so we want to hear from you!

The post Contextual cartography: an email exchange with Henry Greenspan and Tim Cole, Part 2 appeared first on OUPblog.

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11. Nils Alwall: The quiet, unassuming Swede

During the night, between 3rd and 4th September 1946, things were stirring in the basement of the internal medicine department, at the university hospital of Lund, Southern Sweden. A 47-year-old man had been admitted for treatment. His main problem was uraemia (urea in the blood), but he was also suffering from silicosis (a lung disorder), complicated by pneumonia.

The post Nils Alwall: The quiet, unassuming Swede appeared first on OUPblog.

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12. Mind this space: couple therapy

What happens in our relationships? This is the question that draws people into the profession of couple therapy. Therapists stand outside the couple in order to understand how their relationship systems and unconscious dynamics work. What is it that the couple have created between them? How can you restore the balance within that relationship?

The post Mind this space: couple therapy appeared first on OUPblog.

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13. Epicureanism: eat, drink, and be merry?

Most people have a good idea what it is to have a Stoical attitude to life, but what it means to have an Epicurean attitude is not so obvious. When attempting to decipher the true nature of Epicureanism it is first necessary to dispel the impression that fine dining is its central theme.

The post Epicureanism: eat, drink, and be merry? appeared first on OUPblog.

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14. The resource curse – Episode 31 – The Oxford Comment

Global inequality, particularly as it exists today, has proven to be more “process” than state of being. An era of unprecedented interconnection means that individual practices, just as much as large-scale social, political, and economic actions, shape, sustain, and reinforce power dynamics. Consumerism is one such practice, transferring economic power from the hands of those who buy goods to those that supply them. Seldom, though, do we stop to consider whose pockets we are lining in our consumption, whether buying a new television or refueling at our local gas station.

In this month’s episode of The Oxford Comment, Leif Wenar, author of Blood Oil: Tyrants, Violence, and the Rules that Run the World, and Dale Jamieson, author of Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle to Stop Climate Change Failedexplore the unseen costs of consumer demand, corporate conduct, and more, including the increasing destabilization of our global political (and environmental) system. Together, they contemplate the “revolutionary” consequences of changing the means by which we live, moving our world toward a new era of ethics, sustainability and security.

Image Credit: “War and Poverty” by Kelly Short. Public Domain via Flickr.

The post The resource curse – Episode 31 – The Oxford Comment appeared first on OUPblog.

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15. Watts Riots: Black Families Matter

On 11 August 1965, the Watts Riots exploded in Los Angeles taking the nation by surprise. Sparked by an arrest that escalated into a skirmish between local residents and police, the riots lasted six days. They laid bare the seething discontent that lay just beneath the surface in many black communities.

The post Watts Riots: Black Families Matter appeared first on OUPblog.

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16. The truth behind the restaurant industry [quiz]

While the common image of a "restaurant employee" is the server, there are others in the restaurant industry who also face the hardships of working in the restaurant industry: discrimination, low wages, and lack of benefits. All these contribute to a dark side of the restaurant industry, and some restaurants are fighting to change the status quo. Do you know the truth behind the restaurant industry?

The post The truth behind the restaurant industry [quiz] appeared first on OUPblog.

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17. Cornetist memories: A Q&A with Hannah McGuffie

Our instrument of the month for February is the popular and melodic cornet. We sat down with Hannah McGuffie, Senior Marketing Manager for History and Science and lifelong cornetist, to talk about the joys and challenges of the instrument.

The post Cornetist memories: A Q&A with Hannah McGuffie appeared first on OUPblog.

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18. How English became English – and not Latin

English grammar has been closely bound up with that of Latin since the 16th century, when English first began to be taught in schools. Given that grammatical instruction prior to this had focused on Latin, it’s not surprising that teachers based their grammars of English on Latin. The title of John Hewes’ work of 1624 neatly encapsulates its desire to make English grammar conform to that of Latin.

The post How English became English – and not Latin appeared first on OUPblog.

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19. Music therapy and Arts Based Research

Arts Based Research offers a new and diverse method for inquiring about the world around us. Whether examining social sciences or healthcare, this field offers a different approach and establishes an innovative framework for inquiry. We spoke with Professor Jane Edwards, the guest editor for a special issue of the Journal of Music Therapy, about her perspective on this emerging field.

The post Music therapy and Arts Based Research appeared first on OUPblog.

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20. The Cancer Moonshot

Announced on January 13th by President Obama in his eighth and final State of the Union Address, the multi-billion dollar project will be led by US Vice President, Joe Biden, who has a vested interest in seeing new cures for cancer. Using genomics to cure cancer is being held on par with JFK’s desire in 1961 to land men on the moon.

The post The Cancer Moonshot appeared first on OUPblog.

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21. Solidarity: an art worth learning

Can solidarity exist? Or is it just a fantasy, a pious dream of the soft of heart and weak of brain? Gross inequality, greed and prejudice: these manifestations of selfishness which stalk our world may seem to invite our condemnation and to call for an alternative – but what if they are part of the natural order?

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22. Metastatic cells colonize implantable scaffold in mice

Cancer treatment’s biggest failings occur in the metastatic setting, when metastatic cells escaping from the primary tumor colonize and attack critical organs. Much about how cells colonize distant tissues as opposed to remaining in the primary tumor or in circulation without settling in one place remains unknown. But a new bioengineered device could offer insights.

The post Metastatic cells colonize implantable scaffold in mice appeared first on OUPblog.

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23. Geography in the ancient world

Imagine how the world appeared to the ancient Greeks and Romans: there were no aerial photographs (or photographs of any sort), maps were limited and inaccurate, and travel was only by foot, beast of burden, or ship. Traveling more than a few miles from home meant entering an unfamiliar and perhaps dangerous world.

The post Geography in the ancient world appeared first on OUPblog.

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24. Happy new year, China: Recent economic booms and busts

The Chinese New Year begins on 8 February, ushering out the year of the sheep (or goat, or ram) and bringing in the year of the monkey. People in China will enjoy a week-long vacation and will celebrate with dragon dances and fireworks. Given the financial fireworks emanating from China, this is a good time to briefly review some of the major economic news coming out of the Middle Kingdom.

The post Happy new year, China: Recent economic booms and busts appeared first on OUPblog.

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25. Shebang, by Jingo!

The lines above look (and sound) like identical oaths, but that happens only because of the ambiguity inherent in the preposition by. No one swears by my name, while Mr. Jingo has not written or published anything. Nowadays, jingoism “extreme and aggressive patriotism” and jingoist do not seem to be used too often, though most English speakers still understand them, but in Victorian England, in the late nineteen-seventies and some time later, the words were on everybody’s lips.

The post Shebang, by Jingo! appeared first on OUPblog.

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