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Music we’re thankful for

By Alyssa Bender
Thanksgiving is upon us in the US. Before the OUP Music team headed home for some turkey and stuffing, we compiled a list of what we are most thankful for, musically speaking. Read on for our thoughts, and leave your own in the comments. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Ten things you didn’t know about Thanksgiving

By Erin Fegely
With Thanksgiving quickly approaching in the United States, we thought that it would be interesting to highlight 10 fun facts on the holiday from the newly released The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Second Edition. Additionally, you will find an interview with Editor in Chief Andrew Smith dispelling common myths associated with the origin of Thanksgiving.

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An interview with Emanuel Tov

In this interview conducted for Oxford Biblical Studies Online (OBSO), Professor Marc Brettler (Brandeis University) discusses with Professor Tov his early days as a scholar of Biblical studies, his research into the Qumran scrolls, and the legacy of his work — most notably his landmark book Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible, which continues to set the standard for his field.

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Giant pumpkins

By Cindy Ott
At this year’s Topsfield Fair in Massachusetts, Ron Wallace broke the world record for the biggest pumpkin yet with a specimen weighing in at 2009 pounds. Photographs of Wallace next to this colossal body of orange flesh made headlines not only in the regional Boston Globe but also the nationwide Huffington Post. Yet every year in the popular press scenes of a pickup truck with its bed filled to the brim or a grown adult comfortably nestled inside a single giant pumpkin document the variety’s comically huge size.

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Place of the Year 2012 in pictures

Fresh off the heels of an exciting “Word of the Year” week, OUP geographers are still debating what should be recognized as the Place of the Year 2012. This slideshow highlights the POTY shortlist, full of contenders that may have to duel this out.  Unless….if you make your vote below, we’ll be able to select the place that has inspired the majority of readers this year, sparing the planet World War POTY.

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Announcing the Place of the Year 2012 Shortlist: Vote!

Happy Geography Awareness Week! At Oxford University Press, we’re celebrating by highlighting the interesting, inspiring and/or contentious places of 2012. The longlist, launched last month, took us from Iran to Cambridge, NY, the home of pie à la mode. We explored 29 places on Earth, but we couldn’t resist an extraterrestrial trip to Mars. Thanks to your votes in the most tightly watched election this year, we narrowed down the nominees to a shortlist.

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How to play Six Degrees of Oxford Index on Twitter

Can you connect two seemingly different ideas? Now’s your chance! In a new addition to our regular Friday Twitter games, we’re introducing Six Degrees of Oxford Index or #6degreesOI. We’ll pose a challenge — such as Pompeii to propaganda – with the #6degreesOI hashtag. Discover the five steps to move from one Oxford Index Overview Page (Pompeii) to the other (propaganda) using the “Related Overviews” on the right hand side. The first person to tweet the correct steps with the #6degreesOI hashtag wins.

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In praise of the podcast

PB. The initials are not exactly as familiar as, say, BBC, or NPR, but we’re not operating in a massively different environment. PB: Philosophy Bites. Time was when to broadcast on the radio (or the ‘wireless’) you’d have to seek a license for permission to use a teeny weeny portion of the radio frequency spectrum. Broadcasting was time-consuming, bureaucratic, and above all expensive. It required staff and costly equipment and it was possible only with the support of highly-trained studio technicians and engineers. No longer

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New Atlantis at Voodoo Fest

By John Swenson
I had the great thrill over the week to perform as part of the Paul Sanchez Rolling Road Show at the Voodoo Experience in New Orleans. The three day music extravaganza takes place under the live oaks in beautiful City Park. Sanchez asked me to read from New Atlantis: Musicians Battle for the Future of New Orleans at the beginning of his set on the Preservation Hall stage. I read about my return to New Orleans after hurricane Katrina as the band played the melodic swells of “At the Foot of Canal Street” behind me.

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Howard Skempton on composing

By Anwen Greenaway
Composer Howard Skempton is one of the mainstays of British contemporary classical music. He is an experimental composer who writes in a style completely his own, un-deflected by trends in composition or performance. Having developed, under the tutelage of Cornelius Cardew, a musical style characterised by its elegance and simplicity, Skempton’s catalogue of compositions is now extensive and diverse.

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Pasqua Rosee and the coffee shop

Coffee shops are in the news, but where did it all begin? Perhaps with this man, Pasqua Rosee (fl 1651-6), who opened London’s first coffee-house at St Michael Cornhill. Rosee’s coffee-house was a shed in St Michael’s churchyard. Here served “two or three dishes” of coffee “at a time twice or thrice a day.” Rosee’s coffee-house was a shed in St Michael’s churchyard.

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The challenges of discoverability

By Robert Faber
In the world of digital scholarship, discovery really matters. There are many new ways of reading content on the web or mobile devices, but making our publications easy to find in the vast ocean of digital information is a growing challenge. When we decided to take this on and set up a “discoverability” program across all OUP’s global academic publishing, it sounded simple enough: we just have to improve the ways people find and use our content, right?

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The top ten dramatizations of Moby-Dick

By George Cotkin
Moby-Dick draws readers into it. And many of its more creative readers have sought to capture its grandeur on film and stage. From the first film in 1926 to the present, these attempts have taken liberties with the novel, sometimes for good, sometimes for ill. But that is the challenge that Moby-Dick offers its readers, a text that is deep and wide, an ocean of issues and concerns that we must all, in some fashion, navigate

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Announcing the Place of the Year 2012 Longlist: Vote!

As the year winds down, it’s time to take a look back. Alongside the publication of the 19th edition of The Atlas of the World, Oxford University Press will be highlighting the places that have inspired, shaped, and challenged history in 2012. We’re also doing things differently for Place of the Year (POTY) in 2012. In addition to our regular panel of geographers and experts, we’re opening up the choice to the public.

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The Day Parliament Burned Down in real-time on Twitter

To mark the anniversary of a now little-remembered national catastrophe – the nineteenth-century fire which obliterated the UK Houses of Parliament – Oxford University Press and author Caroline Shenton will reconstruct the events of that fateful day and night in a real-time Twitter campaign on 16 October 2012.

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Coming out for marriage equality

Polls and election results show Americans are sharply divided on same-sex marriage, and the controversy is unlikely to subside, especially with a presidential election almost upon us. As a result, Debating Same-Sex Marriage co-author John Corvino, chose to speak to some of the questions revolving around the same-sex marriage dilemma and why the rights and responsibilities of marriage are still important.

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