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Oxford Classical Dictionary

How much do you know about ancient Greek and Roman marriages?

Lacking in love or not, the Greeks’ and Romans’ celebration of marriage was still marked by particular customs. Some of their marital traditions form the roots of modern practices today. For instance, while the Romans might not have gifted diamonds and other “bling” as frequently as suitors do now, an intending husband did solemnize his engagement with a kiss and an iron ring.

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Children’s information ecosystems in the United States

Information ecosystems are normally thought of as consisting of collections of facts that float in and out of one’s life, usually in a structured way. We routinely receive and use at work, the news regularly viewed on our smart phones, and for children, whatever they are taught in school. If we did nothing different in the way we live our lives, a predictable supply of information would enter our world, data that we need in order to not change the way we live.

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Flowers and humans – a curious love affair

Humans love flowers! We admire their varied colors and shapes, enjoy the way they smell, and (especially on a day like today) give them to those we love. But why has this affection for flowers evolved in us – given that flowers have certainly not evolved to impress us? In fact, we gain very little benefit (apart from joy) from them. It is true that some flowers are edible, and that flowers may indicate where an edible part of a plant can be found

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From Byron to boy bands: A timeline of heartthrobs

From dreams of Prince Charming or dashing doctors in white coats, to the lure of dark strangers and vampire lovers; from rock stars and rebels to soulmates, dependable family types or simply good companions, female fantasies about men tell us as much about the history of women as about masculine icons. The timeline below highlights ten heartthrobs, fictional and real, that set hearts aflutter over the decades.

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What makes a love song? OUP staff have their say

The “love song” is undoubtedly timeless, pervading over the centuries–the themes of beauty, time, passion and heartache can be seen very early on in William Shakespeare’s sonnets, (among some of the first expressions of the love song), and with these universal ideas of love remaining ever-significant subject matter of popular music today.

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Love and Tinder: hookup culture at universities [excerpt]

The same dread that college students feel about online dating–the sense that meeting someone with whom you have no prior real life connection is reckless—applies to Tinder as well. Students may indeed want to have sex and hook up, but they do not want to have sex and hook up with anonymous strangers. They want to have sex and hook up with that hot guy from American lit, or that hot girl from chemistry class.

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Tearing the heart out of Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day each year brings with it accusations of shameless appropriatation of sacred rituals by retailers.But of course, there is nothing new in the commercialisation of rituals and traditions. Following enforcement of Confucianism in the Ming and Qing dynasties of China, the nuo exorcism ritual was re-created as an often expensive personal experience performed by nuo Masters for a group of households.

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How dangerous is technology?

Technological advances have provided immense improvements in our lives, but often with a hidden cost. Even the historic skills of bronze and iron working were driven by a desire not only for ploughs and tools, but for better weapons of war. This is still the case for much of modern science. Technical knowledge has helped to combat diseases, improve health, provide more food, offer faster travel, or ease hardship, and this is progress.

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9780190228705

It’s time to talk about power, part I

Immediately after the 2016 election, defenders of the Electoral College repeated the standard laudatory claims about its value everywhere. In these arguments, the Electoral College is one of the many features of our Constitution that effectively neutralizes power by balancing the rights of the minority against those of the majority. But this conventional view is simply wrong.

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Lord Mansfield, the transvestite Chevalier d’Eon, and privacy

It is elementary that judges must adjudicate fairly between the litigants making and defending a claim. For this judges are helped by the litigants and their advocates. But judges must also be fair to witnesses, and to third parties who may be affected by a trial, even if they are not present. For this judges are on their own. Aggrieved litigants have clear rights of appeal. If witnesses or third parties are aggrieved, it may be much more difficult for judges, first to appreciate that fact in good time, and then, to find a remedy.

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How to write dialogue

I’m sitting at my computer early in the morning and my wife walks in. “Good morning,” she says. “Is there any more coffee?” I nod. “Do you want some?” I answer. “I’ll get it,” she says. “What are you working on?” “A blog post on dialogue,” I reply sleepily. “Good luck,” she laughs, heading for the kitchen. That’s pretty bad dialogue. It has no apparent purpose and too many words: adverbs like sleepily, redundant dialogue tags like answer, reply, and laughs, and nothing that really advances a plot or develops a character.

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The nature of addictive disorders

What are addictive disorders? Are they indeed disorders? The nature of problematic psychoactive substance use continues to be a matter of controversy among the public and politicians; even among health professionals there is little consensus. Some have a view that repeated use of a substance (or gambling or gaming) represents personal choice (a “free-will decision”) even when problems are occurring.

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The impact of cybersecurity on international relations

The hack of the Democratic National Committee by the Russian government and the subsequent publication of confidential emails during the 2016 US presidential election elevated cyber security in the context of international affairs to an unprecedented level in the public’s consciousness, not only in the United States but around the world.

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libraries

Spice up your readers’ advisory with “Blind Date with a Book”

Readers’ advisory librarians are the ultimate literary matchmakers. We listen to our patrons, get to know their interests, set them up with a book, and hope they hit it off. If we do our jobs effectively, our patrons will fall in love with multiple partners. And they’ll keep coming back for more. “Blind Date with a Book” offers librarians the perfect way to showcase our readers’ advisory services.

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9780190620295

Deconstructing pseudoscience

Can magicians (illusionists) really levitate themselves and others or bend spoons using only the power of their mind? No. Emphatically no. But they surely make it seem as if they can. Enjoy being fooled? Then you’ll love watching really good magic shows that allow people the opportunity to suspend their disbelief momentarily. But don’t let this suspension become permanent.

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