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African American lives

February marks a month of remembrance for Black History in the United States. It is a time to reflect on the events that have enabled freedom and equality for African Americans, and a time to celebrate the achievements and contributions they have made to the nation.

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‘And the Oscar went to …’

In his acceptance speech at the 1981 Oscars (best original screenplay, Chariots of Fire), Colin Welland offered the now famous prediction that ‘The British are coming!’ There have since been some notable British Oscar successes: Jessica Tandy for Driving Miss Daisy (1989); director Anthony Minghella for The English Patient (1996); Helen Mirren (in The Queen, 2006).

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What does the future hold for international arbitration?

How can we outline the discussion on the law and practice of international arbitration? What is the legal process like from the drafting of the arbitration agreements to the enforcement of arbitral awards? Long-time international arbitrators Constantine Partasides, Alan Redfern, and Martin Hunters — co-authors of Redfern and Hunter on International Arbitration: Fifth Edition with Nigel Blackaby — sat down with the OUPblog to discuss the latest developments in their field.

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A quiz on Prohibition

How much do you know about the era of Prohibition, when gangsters rose to power and bathtub gin became a staple? 2013 marks the 80th anniversary of the repeal of the wildly unpopular 18th amendment, initiated on 17 February 1933 when the Blaine Act passed the United States Senate. To celebrate, test your knowledge with this quiz below, filled with tidbits of 1920s trivia gleaned from The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America: Second Edition.

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Re-introducing Oral History in the Digital Age

By Caitlin Tyler-Richards
This week, in the spirit of our upcoming special issue on oral history’s evolving technologies, we want to (re)introduce everyone to the website Oral History in the Digital Age, a substantial collaboration between several institutions to “put museums, libraries, and oral historians in a position to address collectively issues of video, digitization, preservation, and intellectual property.

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Comfort food

By Georgia Mierswa
This Valentine’s Day-themed tech post was supposed to be just that—a way to show that all that sexy metadata powering the Oxford Index’s sleek exterior has a sweet, romantic side, just like the rest of the population at this time of year. I’d bounce readers from a description of romantic comedies to Romeo and Juliet to the three-act opera Elegy for Young Lovers, and then change the Index’s featured homepage title to something on the art of love to complete the heart shaped, red-ribboned picture.

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Valentine’s Day serenades

Love is in the air at Oxford University Press! As we celebrate Valentine’s Day, we’ve asked staff members from our offices in New York, Oxford, and Cary, NC, to share their favorite love songs. Read on for their selections, and be sure to tell us what your favorites are too. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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A Valentine’s Day Quiz

It’s that time of the year again where the greeting cards, roses and chocolates fly off the shelves. What is it about Valentine’s Day that inspires us (and many of the great literary authors) to partake in all kinds of romantic gestures? This month Oxford Reference, the American National Biography Online, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and Who’s Who have joined together to create a quiz to see how knowledgeable you are in Valentine traditions. Do you know who grows some of the sweetest roses or hand-dips the sweetest treats? Find out with our quiz.

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On this day: the 50th anniversary of Sylvia Plath’s death

Philip Carter
Today, 11 February 2013, marks the 50th anniversary of the death of the poet Sylvia Plath (1932-1963). It is an event that has significantly shaped biographies and critical studies of her work — particularly following the publication of Ariel (1965), her posthumous collection edited and prepared by Ted Hughes. Then, as now, many reviewers regarded these poems as foretelling the circumstances of her death. Plath’s biography in the Oxford DNB offers an alternative perspective.

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National Libraries Day UK

Ever wondered what the Latin word for owl is? Or what links Fred Perry and Ping Pong? Maybe not, but you may be able to find the answers to these questions and many more at your fingertips in your local library. As areas for ideas, inspiration, imagination, and information Public Libraries are stocked full of not only books but online resources to help one and all find what they need.

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Quiz on the word origins of food and drink

Did you know that ‘croissant’ literally means ‘crescent’ or that oranges are native to China? Do you realize that the word ‘pie’ has been around for seven hundred years in English or that ‘toast’ comes from the Latin word for ‘scorch’? John Ayto explores the word origins of food and drink in The Diner’s Dictionary. We’ve made a little quiz based on the book. Are you hungry for it?

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A history of smuggling in America

Today America is the world’s leading anti-smuggling crusader. While honorable, that title is also an ironic one when you consider America’s very close history of… smuggling. Our illicit imports have ranged from West Indies molasses and Dutch gunpowder in the 18th century, to British industrial technologies and African slaves in the 19th century, to French condoms and Canadian booze in the early 20th century, to Mexican workers and Colombian cocaine in the modern era. Simply put, America was built by smugglers.

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Public International Law Quiz

In the last fifty years, public international law has undergone a radical transformation, moving from a discipline which ‘the great majority of lawyers of all states [knew] little or nothing’ about (Oppenheim) to the fastest growing legal discipline. To celebrate the recent update to the Max Planck Encyclopedia of International Law, we present this quiz.

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Burrowing into Punxsutawney Phil’s hometown data

Every February second, people across Pennsylvania and the world look to a famous rodent to answer the question—when will spring come? For over 120 years, Punxsutawney Phil Soweby (Punxsutawney Phil for short), has offered his predictions, based on whether he sees his shadow (more winter) or not (an early spring).

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A Very Short Film competition

By Chloe Foster
After more than three months of students carefully planning and creating their entries, the Very Short Film competition has closed and the longlisted submissions have been announced.

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Do you really know Who’s Who?

Do you know for how long Boris Johnson held his first job, or which music video The IT Crowd’s Richard Ayoade has produced? Who’s Who has become a phrase incorporated into our everyday language. With the iconic red-covered book or its online counterpart, you can get the lowdown of Who’s Who in politics, Who’s Who at the Oscars, even the Who’s Who of the cooking world. Written by the entrants themselves, the biographies not only walk you through their career and education but also, in some cases, reveal some interesting and unusual recreations! Take our quiz to see if you really know Who’s Who.

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