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1. Dead body politics: what counting corpses tells us about security

What happens when dead bodies crop up where they are not supposed to be? How can this allow us to reflect on how we understand security and insecurity? For example, mass graves can be indicators of crimes against humanity. Recent satellite evidence of mass graves analyzed by Amnesty International outside of Bujumbura has led to a focus on the political violence there, a result of turmoil after Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza announced his intention to seek a third term.

The post Dead body politics: what counting corpses tells us about security appeared first on OUPblog.

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2. “Aery nothings and painted devils”, an extract from Fantastic Metamorphoses, Other Worlds

Human beings are subject to a continual process of bodily transformation, but shape-shifting also belongs in the landscape of magic, witchcraft, and wonder. Marina Warner, in her award-winning essays Fantastic Metamorphoses, Other Worlds: Ways of Telling the Self, explores this idea ranging from Ovid to Lewis Carroll. In the extract below she looks at Shakespeare's use of magic and demons

The post “Aery nothings and painted devils”, an extract from Fantastic Metamorphoses, Other Worlds appeared first on OUPblog.

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3. How well do you know Thomas Hobbes? [quiz]

This May, the OUP Philosophy team honors Thomas Hobbes (April 5, 1588 – December 4, 1679) as their Philosopher of the Month. Hobbes is remembered as the author of one of the greatest of books on political philosophy ever written, Leviathan, in which he argued with a precision reached by few other thinkers.

The post How well do you know Thomas Hobbes? [quiz] appeared first on OUPblog.

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4. Caring about human rights: the case of ISIS and Yazidi women

Mass sexual violence against women and girls is a constant in human history. One of these atrocities erupted in August 2014 in ISIS-occupied territory and persists to this day. Mainly targeting women and girls from the Yazidi religious minority, ISIS officially reinstituted sexual slavery.

The post Caring about human rights: the case of ISIS and Yazidi women appeared first on OUPblog.

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5. By hook or by crook

Here is a phrase whose origin seems to be known, but, as this does not mean that everybody knows it, a short discussion may not be out of place. I have such a huge database of idioms that once in six weeks or so I am seized with a desire to share my treasures with the public.

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6. A tradition of classical architecture in California

Today, most people associate Southern California with images of palm trees, beaches, swimming pools, and the entertainment industry. If pressed to imagine an earlier era they might come up with “old” Hollywood, the Gold Rush, or even the mission era. But how much of the Golden State can be attributed to the ancient Greeks and Romans?

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7. An elusive quest for a recipe for success in economic development

For some decades before the turn of the Millennium, the growth prospects for most of the developing world looked extremely bleak. Income growth was negligible and poverty rates were high and seemed stubbornly persistent. Some even suggested that the barriers against development were almost insurmountable as progress in the already rich world was argued to come about at the expense of the poor.

The post An elusive quest for a recipe for success in economic development appeared first on OUPblog.

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8. On the finiteness of the atmosphere

I guess the funniest thing I ever saw was a person driving down the highway in a Toyota Prius smoking a cigarette with the windows closed. It was like they were telling me, “I respect your atmosphere but not mine.” That got me thinking, does human generated, gaseous, atmospheric pollution actually make up a significant part of the total atmosphere, and can it possibly affect it?

The post On the finiteness of the atmosphere appeared first on OUPblog.

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9. Spiritual awakening in Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous has provided millions of people with a chance at recovery from addiction. There is one aspect of membership for some members that most people, even addiction specialists, are not aware of, namely, the remarkable transformation that many AA members call a spiritual awakening. It’s a remarkable phenomenon for anyone interested in social science on the addictions.

The post Spiritual awakening in Alcoholics Anonymous appeared first on OUPblog.

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10. A tap dance quiz for National Tap Dance Day

25 May is National Tap Dance Day, commemorating tap dance, our earliest American vernacular dance form and a national treasure. My tap teacher Charles "Cookie" Cook, the famed member of the Copasetics Club, used to say that if you can walk (or even snap your fingers or toes to the rhythm), you can (tap) dance, thus making all of us tap dancers. But how how many notable tap dancers can you name?

The post A tap dance quiz for National Tap Dance Day appeared first on OUPblog.

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11. World Turtle Day: a reading list

World Turtle Day is celebrated on 23 May every year since its inception in 2000. The American Tortoise Rescue sponsors this day of awareness to bring attention to one of the world’s oldest reptiles, and encourage humans to help in the conservation and protection of these grand animals. In honour of these grandiose creatures, we have compiled a reading list of biology titles and articles that have helped to further research into the conservation biology of all chelonians.

The post World Turtle Day: a reading list appeared first on OUPblog.

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12. Veepstakes 2016: A Reality Check

Who will Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump–the Democratic and Republican Party’s likely nominees for president, respectively–pick as their vice presidential running mates? Let’s start here: It probably won’t matter much. Or, we should say, it probably won’t matter in terms of deciding the election. It could matter a great deal, however, in terms of what comes after the election. Allow us to explain.

The post Veepstakes 2016: A Reality Check appeared first on OUPblog.

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13. The “Silk Road Spirit” in a time of globalization

In September 2013, during a visit to Central and Southeast Asia, Chinese President Xi Jinping first proposed the initiative of jointly building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road. Consequently, the Collaborative Innovation Centre of Silk Road Economic Belt Studies has been established in Xi’an, China, which was the eastern starting point of the ancient road.

The post The “Silk Road Spirit” in a time of globalization appeared first on OUPblog.

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14. Christian theology, literary theory, and sexuality in the ‘Song of Songs’

hy were Christian theologians in the ancient and medieval worlds so fascinated by a text whose main theme was erotic love? The very fact that the 'Song of Songs', a biblical love poem that makes no reference to God or to Israelite religion, played an important role in pre-modern Christian discourse may seem surprising to those of us in the modern world.

The post Christian theology, literary theory, and sexuality in the ‘Song of Songs’ appeared first on OUPblog.

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15. Queer history happens everywhere

With the summer issue of the Oral History Review just around the corner, we are bringing you a sneak peak of what’s to come. Issue 43.1 is our LGBTQ special issue, featuring oral history projects and stories from around the country.

The post Queer history happens everywhere appeared first on OUPblog.

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16. Happiness can break your heart too

You may have heard of people suffering from a broken heart, but Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) or “Broken heart syndrome” is a very real condition. However, new research shows that happiness can break your heart too. TTS is characterised by a sudden temporary weakening of the heart muscles that cause the left ventricle of the heart to balloon out at the bottom while the neck remains narrow

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17. Family of Innovators: The Rays’ quest for modernity

Virtually everybody has heard of the filmmaker, writer, graphic artist, and composer Satyajit Ray (1921-1992) but except for Bengalis, few know much about the exploits of his formidable ancestors and their kinsfolk. And yet, over years of versatile creative engagements, Upendrakishore Ray (1863-1915), his father-in-law Dwarakanath Ganguli (1844-1898), his brother-in-law Hemendramohan Bose (1864-1916), his son Sukumar (1887-1923), and daughter-in-law Suprabha (the parents of Satyajit) charted new paths in literature, art, religious reform, nationalism, business, advertising, and printing technology.

The post Family of Innovators: The Rays’ quest for modernity appeared first on OUPblog.

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18. Defining resilience

Consider the following scenario: Two women both lost a son in a war. One returns to work immediately and starts volunteering at an organization helping families of fallen soldiers. The other is unable to leave home, spends most of her days crying and sitting in front of her son’s belongings that were left untouched. Who is more resilient? The answer largely depends on how one defines resilience.

The post Defining resilience appeared first on OUPblog.

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19. A prickly pair: Helmut Schmidt and Jimmy Carter

Helmut Schmidt and Jimmy Carter never got on. Theirs was, in fact, one of the most explosive relationships in postwar, transatlantic history and it strained to the limit the bond between West Germany and America. The problems all started before Carter became president, when the German chancellor unwisely chose to meddle in American electoral politics.

The post A prickly pair: Helmut Schmidt and Jimmy Carter appeared first on OUPblog.

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20. The Poetic Edda, Game of Thrones, and Ragnarök

Season Six of Game of Thrones is about to air. One of the great pleasures of watching the show is the way in which George R. R. Martin, the author of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, and the show-producers, David Benioff and Dan Weiss, build their imagined world from the real and […]

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21. Austerity and the slow recovery of European city-regions

The 2008 global economic crisis has been the most severe recession since the Great Depression. Notwithstanding its dramatic effects, cross-country analyses on its heterogeneous impacts and its potential causes are still scarce. By analysing the geography of the 2008 crisis, policy-relevant lessons can be learned on how cities and regions react to economic shocks in order to design adequate responses.

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22. Etymology gleanings for April 2016

Responses to my plea for suggestions concerning spelling reform were very few. I think we can expect a flood of letters of support and protest only if at least part of the much-hoped-for change reaches the stage of implementation. I received one letter telling me to stop bothering about nonsense and to begin doing something sensible.

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23. Bioinformatics: Breaking the bottleneck for cancer research

In recent years, biological sciences have witnessed a surge in the generation of data. This trend is set to continue, heralding an increased need for bioinformatics research. By 2018, sequencing of patient genomes will likely produce one quintillion bytes of data annually – that is a million times a million times a million bytes of data. Much of this data will derive from studies of patients with cancer.

The post Bioinformatics: Breaking the bottleneck for cancer research appeared first on OUPblog.

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24. A timeline of the dinosaurs [infographic]

Dinosaurs, literally meaning 'terrible lizards', were first recognized by science, and named by Sir Richard Owen (who preferred the translation ‘fearfully great’), in the 1840's. In the intervening 170 years our knowledge of dinosaurs, including whether they all really died out 65 million years ago, has changed dramatically. Take a crash course on the history of the dinosaurs with our infographic.

The post A timeline of the dinosaurs [infographic] appeared first on OUPblog.

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25. Sikhs and mistaken identity

American basketball star, Darsh Singh, a turbaned, bearded Sikh, featured this April in a Guardian Weekend piece on cyberbullying. He recalled how his online picture had been circulated with Islamophobic captions. Long before that he’d had to get used to people yelling things like "towelhead”. Since 9/11, Sikhs haven’t just been verbally insulted but have suffered ‘reprisal attacks’.

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