Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Oxford Companion to Food

Ten facts about snack foods from around the world

Did you know that in the United States, February is National Snack Food month? In 1989 a need was seen to increase the sales of snack food in the usually slow month of February, and so National Snack Food month was born. To celebrate we’ve collected together 10 surprising facts about snack foods from around the world, all taken from The Oxford Companion to Food.

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Wrapping up the AALS Annual Meeting 2016

The Association of American Law Schools (AALS) is a nonprofit association of 179 law schools. The association serves as the learned society for over 9,000 law faculty at its member schools, and provides them with extensive professional development opportunities, including the AALS Annual Meeting which draws thousands of professors, deans and administrators each year.

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When probability is not enough

While out driving one afternoon, I notice a bus speeding down the road towards me. As it approaches, the bus drifts into my lane, forcing me to swerve and strike a parked car. The bus doesn’t stop and, while I glimpse some corporate logo on the side, I’m shaken and I don’t manage to make it out.

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9780199898121 - Pandemics: What Everyone Needs to Know (WENTK)

The Zika virus: a “virgin soil” epidemic

First isolated in Uganda in 1947, this normally mild, non-fatal mosquito-born flavivirus infection is characterized by transient fever, joint pain and malaise. The current explosive Zika virus epidemic in the Americas is, however, causing great concern because of what looks to be a sudden, dramatic increase in the incidence of microcephaly (small brain/head size) in newborns.

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5 facts about marriage, love, and sex in Shakespeare’s England

Considering the many love affairs, sexual liaisons, and marriages that occur in Shakespeare’s plays, how many of them accurately represent their real-life counterparts? Genuine romantic entanglements certainly don’t work out as cleanly as the ending of Twelfth Night, where Sebastian and Olivia, Duke Orsino and Viola, and Toby and Maria all wind up as married couples.

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A Practical Guide to the Interpretation of Cardiopulmonary Exercise Tests

The evolution of breathing tests

If a person is experiencing difficulty breathing comfortably, the chances are that the difficulty stays with them no matter what they’re doing, be it sitting, standing, or walking. So it’s not surprising that conventional scans or breathing tests, carried out with the patient lying on a couch or sitting in a chair, don’t always tell us what the problem is.

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The tradition of political debate in India

India has a long history and tradition of upholding the power of debate. Bhiku Parekh explains in this interview that perhaps more than any other civilization, India has deeply valued debate, and would partake in them for days at a time.

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9780199668564 Bardgett - Earth Matters

Why soil matters more than we realise

The soils surrounding the village where I live in the north west of England have abundant fertility. They mostly formed in well-drained, clay-rich debris left behind by glaciers that retreated from the area some ten thousand years ago, and they now support lush, productive pasture, semi-natural grassland and woodland. Although the pastures are managed more intensively than they were in the past, most of them are well drained, and receive regular dressings of manure along with moderate fertiliser, and are regularly limed, which keeps the land productive and the soil in good health.

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Can American schools close the achievement gaps?

Currently, the United States is at war and the nation’s future can be at risk. It’s the war on student achievement gaps, one that has waged for decades and proven extremely difficult to fight and complex to understand. Is American education system losing its war on achievement gaps?

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Bodies of breath, bodies of knowledge, and bodies of culture

Towards the end of his lecture on ‘techniques of the body’, delivered to a meeting of the Société Française de Psychologie in 1934, the sociologist and anthropologist Marcel Mauss discussed the methods of breathing practiced by Daoist priests and Yogic mystics. Far from being instinctive, these techniques require a lengthy apprenticeship.

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Does the ‘Chinese room’ argument preclude a robot uprising?

There has been much recent talk about a possible robot apocalypse. One person who is highly skeptical about this possibility is philosopher John Searle. In a 2014 essay, he argues that “the prospect of superintelligent computers rising up and killing us, all by themselves, is not a real danger”.

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The fortepiano: capturing the sound aesthetic for modern playing

Grappling with performing the music of early Beethoven, Mozart, and Haydn on the modern piano can be a daunting experience. The modern piano is not the instrument for which their music was composed. Beethoven, Mozart, and Haydn all preferred Viennese pianos (today called the fortepiano) and the traits from the inside out are distinctly different than those of the modern piano.

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Etymology gleanings for January 2016

Some of the most enjoyable comments and questions are those that combine scholarship and play. One of our correspondents pointed out that Engl. strawberry, if pronounced as a Slavic word, means (literally) “from grass take.” Indeed it does! In the Russian s travy beri, only one ending does not quite match Engl. s-traw-berry.

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ECt12Nen

Humanity in the digital age

How does one preserve the ephemera of the digital world? In a movement as large as the Arab Spring, with a huge digital imprint that chronicled everything from a government overthrow to the quiet boredom of waiting between events, archivists are faced with the question of how to preserve history. The Internet may seem to provide us with the curse of perfect recall, but the truth is it’s far from perfect — and perhaps there’s value in forgetting.

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Ten things you may not have known about Greek gods and goddesses

Greek gods and goddesses have been a part of cultural history since ancient times, but how much do you really know about them? You can learn more about these figures from Greek mythology by reading the lesser known facts below and by visiting the newly launched Oxford Classical Dictionary online.

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