Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Summertime musicking

Many families imagine summer as a time of endless fun and warmth. But summer is full of parenting challenges, including disrupted schedules and kids having more free time while parents have less. Such parenting challenges make this a great moment to consider how to weave music into activities and routines of family life to make things a little easier and a little more fun—an approach I call “parenting musically.”

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Pudding all over the world

Quite recently, the Polish linguist Kamil Stachowski has published a paper “On the Spread and Evolution of pudding” (the source is the journal Studia Linguistica Universitatis Iagellonicae Cracoviensis 141, 2024, 117-137).

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Greenhouse gases from an unseen world

The list of ways we humans produce greenhouse gases is long and varied, starting with the combustion of coal, oil, and natural gas, which releases prodigious amounts of carbon dioxide. That most important greenhouse gas is also emitted by deforestation, the making of cement, the cultivation and harvesting of crops, and the raising of cattle, pigs, and chickens.

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75 years of unidentified flying objects [interactive]

In the summer of 1947, a private pilot flying over the state of Washington saw what he described as several pie-pan-shaped aircraft traveling in formation at remarkably high speed. Within days, journalists began referring to the objects as “flying saucers.”

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A ridge too far: getting lost in the Italian Apennines

Most people these days speed across the Apennines between Florence and Bologna through road or rail tunnels without really noticing. But if, as I did, you travel more slowly along that ridge on foot, you’ll get some impression of how these modest peaks had once been seen as “the dreadfull … Appennines”.

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Does Orwell still matter?

Much of George Orwell’s work is historically grounded, yet his final novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, remains of great interest even as it nears seventy-five years in print. Is Orwell still relevant today? Popular answers appeal to Orwell’s supposed ability to anticipate the future, say, the increase of surveillance technology and prevalence of authoritarian regimes. I contend Orwell remains relevant for a different reason: better than most, he understood the need to critically engage with potential allies and how to do it.

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Behind the scenes: what it’s like to be a junior author for the OHCM

To mark the release of the much anticipated 11th edition of the Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine (OHCM), Oxford University Press spoke with the three new authors of this edition: Peter Hateley, a GP based in New Zealand; Dearbhla Kelly, a Critical Care Medicine fellow in Oxford; and Iain McGurgan, a Neurology Resident in Switzerland. The author team shared their experiences of writing the world’s best-selling medical handbook.

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Some gleanings and the shortest history of bummers

Every English dictionary with even minimal information on word origins, will tell us that lord and lady are so-called disguised compounds. Unlike skyline or doomsday (to give two random examples), lord and lady do not seem to consist of two parts. Yet a look at their oldest forms—namely, hlāf-weard and hlæf-dīge—dispels all doubts about their original status (the hyphens above are given only for convenience).

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A listener’s guide to Sand Rush [playlist]

Writing Sand Rush forced me to watch some of the worst teen movies ever produced by Hollywood— I’m never getting that one hour of my life spent watching The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966) back—but the music associated with California beaches is top notch. Almost all of the songs on the Sand Rush playlist are from a very short period in time, roughly between 1961 and 1965 (not withstanding some obvious throwback songs from the 80’s, 90’s, and beyond), when the Southern California beach culture was on display everywhere, from music album covers to movies and magazine advertisements.

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Six books to read this Pride Month [reading list]

As Pride Month blossoms with vibrant parades and heartfelt celebrations, it’s the perfect time to reflect and honor the rich tapestry of LGBTQ+ history and culture. Whether you’re looking to deepen your understanding, celebrate diverse identities, or simply enjoy compelling stories, our carefully curated reading list offers something for everyone.

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From rags to riches, or the multifaceted progress of lady

Every English dictionary with even minimal information on word origins, will tell us that lord and lady are so-called disguised compounds. Unlike skyline or doomsday (to give two random examples), lord and lady do not seem to consist of two parts. Yet a look at their oldest forms—namely, hlāf-weard and hlæf-dīge—dispels all doubts about their original status (the hyphens above are given only for convenience).

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Human vulnerability in the EU Artificial Intelligence Act

Vulnerability is an intrinsic characteristic of human beings. We depend on others (families, social structures, and the state) to enjoy our essential needs and to flourish as human beings. In specific contexts and relationships, this dependency exposes us to power imbalances and higher risks of harm. In other words, it increases our vulnerability.

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Kids, race and dangerous jokes

I wish that everything my children will hear about race at school will be salutary, but you and I know it won’t. Their peers will expose them to a panoply of false stereotypes and harmful ideas about race, and much of that misinformation will be shared in the guise of humor.

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