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The Oxford Comment Archive

What’s The Oxford Comment? In Spring 2010, Lauren and Michelle decided it was time Oxford University Press got a podcast, and by September, The Oxford Comment was born. Reporting at special events, live on the street, and from the “studio,” each episode features commentary from Oxford authors and friends of the Press. “The Oxford Comment […]

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The Death Penalty: My Personal Journey

By Edward Zelinsky

Like most Connecticut residents, I watched with a mixture of fascination and horror the trial of Steven J. Hayes. Hayes is one of two defendants accused of the particularly gruesome home invasion murders in July, 2007 in suburban Cheshire, Connecticut. Hayes has been found guilty; the jury has sentenced Hayes to receive the death penalty.

Like everyone who followed this trial, I have both admired and sympathized with Dr. William Petit, Jr. whose wife and two daughters were brutalized and killed by Hayes. Unsurprisingly, Dr. Petit wanted the death penalty in this case as would I had I been in Dr. Petit‘s position. So compelling have been the facts exposed at Hayes’ trial that many normally outspoken opponents of the death penalty have remained silent as the jury assigned that penalty to Hayes for his truly evil crimes.

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Memo from Manhattan: The High Line at Dusk

By Sharon Zukin
Shortly before 8 p.m. on a warm September evening the High Line, Manhattan’s newest public park and the only one located above street level, is crowded. Men and women, old and young, tourists from overseas and longtime New Yorkers have climbed the winding metal stairs to the former railroad freight line, now a mile-long, landscaped walkway, just to view the sunset over the Hudson River. There are more people up on the High Line than down on the streets.

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First Contact

How would you communicate with an alien? A look at how Science Fiction authors tackled the problem.

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The Martians of Science: An Excerpt

Hargittai’s book tells the story of five brilliant men born at the turn of the twentieth century in Budapest: Theodore von Kármán, Leo Szilard, Eugene Wigner, John von Neumann, and Edward Teller.

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Miami Vice: Death of the Cop-Action Film?

Crime Films: A Monthly Column By Nicole Rafter Miami Vice is a major disappointment in an already frustrating movie summer. I had hoped for more not only because of the stylishness of the 1980s television series on which it is based but also because director Michael Mann’s Heat (1995) and Collateral (2004) had proved him […]

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