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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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The reality of DUI prevention laws [infographic]

Do DUI prevention laws actually deter driving under the influence? Authors Lorne Tepperman and Nicole Meredith argue that punishments like fines, imprisonment, and license suspension are not as effective as we like to think. They have found that people are more likely to be changed by constructive influences (e.g., alcohol counseling) and social taboos than they are by threats of punishment.

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Top 10 Christmas carols countdown

Christmas is the busiest time of year by far for the Oxford Music Hire Library. Oxford University Press publishes most of the carols the world knows and loves – the one that has just popped into your head is probably one of ours – with newly-composed Christmas titles added every year. Carol orders come in as early as August and keep rolling in until worryingly close to the big day itself.

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Which fairy tale character are you? [quiz]

The magic of fairy tales doesn’t just lie in their romantic landscapes and timeless themes of good against evil. The best fairy tales are always populated with compelling and memorable characters – like the rags-to-riches princess, the gallant prince on horseback set to save the day, or the jealous and lonely evil king or queen. Which famous fairy tale character do you think you’re most like?

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How is snow formed? [infographic]

Every winter the child inside us hopes for snow. It brings with it the potential for days off work and school, the chance to make snowmen, create snow angels, and have snowball fights with anyone that might happen to walk past. But as the snow falls have you ever wondered how it is formed? What goes on in the clouds high above our heads to make these snowflakes come to life?

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Wealth, status, and currency in Shakespeare’s world [infographic]

In 1623, one kilogram of tobacco was roughly five times more expensive than Shakespeare’s newly published First Folio. The entire collection, which cost only £1, contained thirty-six of his works, many of which incorporate 16th- and 17th-century notions of status, wealth, and money. Most of his characters are garbed in colors and fabrics befitting their social standing, and he frequently presents foreign currencies alongside English coins.

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Portraits of religion in Shakespeare’s time

Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries was marked by years of political and religious turmoil and change. From papal authority to royal supremacy, Reformation to Counter Reformation, and an endless series of persecutions followed by executions, England and its citizens endured division, freedom, and everything in between.

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AAR/SBL 2015 annual meeting wrap-up

From 21-24 November, our religion and Bibles team was in Atlanta attending the joint American Academy of Religion / Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting. We had a great time interacting with customers and meeting authors. Here’s a slide show of some of the authors who stopped by the booth with their new books.

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How well do you know Ezra Pound? [quiz]

Ezra Pound was a major figure in the early modernist movement. During his lifetime he developed close interactions with leading writers and artists, such as Yeats, Ford, Joyce, Lewis, and Eliot. Yet his life was marked by controversy and tragedy, especially during his later years.

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Ready for the winter holidays? [quiz]

With the most widely-celebrated winter holidays quickly approaching, test your knowledge of the cultural history and traditions that started these festivities. For example, what does Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer have to do with Father Christmas? What are the key principles honored by lighting Kwanzaa candles?

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OUP Philosophy

Philosopher of the Month: Baruch Spinoza

The OUP Philosophy team has selected Baruch Spinoza as their December Philosopher of the Month. Born in Amsterdam, Spinoza has been called the “Prince of Philosophy” due to his revelatory work in ethics, epistemology, and other fields of philosophy. His works include ‘The Principles of Cartesian Philosophy’, ‘Theologico-Political Treatise’, and his magnum opus, ‘Ethics’.

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Do you know your human rights? [quiz]

In the last two hundred years, the concept of human rights has gained prevalence in society. We can define our rights in terms of freedom of speech, privacy, and to be treated humanely, but where did these ideas come from? Do you think you know your human rights?

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Women onstage and offstage in Elizabethan England

Though a Queen ruled England, gender equality certainly wasn’t found in Elizabethan society. Everything from dress to employment followed strict gender roles, and yet there was a certain amount of room for play. There are several cases of (in)famous women who dressed as men and crossed the bounds of “acceptable behavior.”

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The life and work of Émile Zola

To celebrate the new BBC Radio Four adaptation of the French writer Émile Zola’s, ‘Rougon-Macquart’ cycle, we have looked at the extraordinary life and work of one of the great nineteenth century novelists.

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