2017 certainly was a year to remember – from Donald Trump being inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America, to the United Kingdom formally triggering Brexit with Article 50; from Britain releasing its first new pound coin in 30 years, to Facebook reaching two billion monthly users. Celebrities, politicians, and athletes were as vocal as ever last year when it came to current events, but do you know Theresa from Trump, or Putin from a pensioner? Which famous face tried to discourage middle-aged men from wearing Lycra, and who assumed their new role would be easier?
This year a lot happened in the field of philosophy. As we come to the end of 2017, the OUP Philosophy team have had a look back at the past year and its highs and lows. We’ve compiled a selection of the key events, awards, anniversaries, and passings which went on to shape philosophy in 2017, from Alvin Plantinga receiving the Templeton Prize to the death of Derek Parfit.
We all know Dasher and Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. But do you know about the different subspecies of reindeer and caribou inhabiting the snowy climes of the extremes of the northern hemisphere? As Santa Claus travels the globe, here’s an exploration of the possible types of reindeer that are pulling his sleigh.
The English legal system has a long history of traditions and symbolism. Do you know your periwigs from your powdered wigs, your judicial dress from your barrister’s robes, and your green bags from your gavels? While some of the quirks and traditions of the English legal system may seem archaic, even bizarre, they from part of the fundamental constitution of UK culture and are therefore of relevance to anyone with an interest in it.
Today, 4 December, is International Cheetah Day! Cheetahs are easily distinguished from other cats due to their distinctive black “tear stain” markings that create two lines from eye to mouth, their black spots on tawny fur, and black rings at the end of their long tails. Cheetahs also stand apart from other large cats due to their loose and rangy frame, small head, high‐set eyes, and slightly flattened ears.
Major incidents are defined as any incident ‘that requires the mobilisation and use of extraordinary resources’; with the NHS further expanding the definition of such events as ‘any incident where the location, number, severity, or type of live casualties requires extraordinary resources’. There have been many major incidents throughout history that have required an ‘extraordinary’ response by emergency services, medical personnel, and government bodies.
The seemingly simple task of asking who said what has perhaps never been more difficult. In the digital age, quotations can be moved around, attributed, questioned, re-appropriated, and repeated in the blink of an eye. If someone is “widely quoted” as saying something and it sounds more or less right, many people take this to be sufficient proof of the quotation’s origin. With that said, do you really know who said what?
Between the summer of 1937 and November 1938, the Stalinist regime arrested over 1.5 million people for “counterrevolutionary” and “antisoviet” activity and either summarily executed or exiled them to the Gulag. This was Stalin’s “Great Terror” and, contrary to popular belief, the largest number of victims were not elites or “Old Bolsheviks,” but common people. Below is a timeline of The Great Terror in Soviet Ukraine.
This December, the OUP Philosophy team is celebrating three of 2017’s most popular philosophers of the month: Simone de Beauvoir, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Socrates. Test your knowledge with our quiz.
The Ganges is known as a wondrous river of legend and history. After decades of false starts, scandals, and wasted money under previous governments, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a campaign in 2014 to clean the Ganges and save it for future generations. Find out more about the Ganges, its problems, and what can be done to save it with our interactive map.
In September 2017, two powerful hurricanes devastated Puerto Rico. Two months later, 50% of the island is still without power, and residents report feeling forgotten by recovery efforts. From the controversy of hiring a small Montana-based electrical company, Whitefish, to restore power to the island; to the light shone on the outdated Jones Act, the humanitarian crisis following the hurricanes catapulted Puerto Rico to the world stage.
Vaccines represent one of the greatest public health advances of the past 100 years. A vaccine is a substance that is given to a person or animal to protect it from a particular pathogen—a bacterium, virus, or other microorganisms that can cause disease. The slideshow below was created to outline common child and adolescent vaccines from Kristen A. Feemster’s Vaccines: What Everyone Needs to Know.
Beer has been a vitally important drink through much of human history, be it just as a drink that was safe to consume when water might not have been, through to having significant economic and even political significance. The earliest written laws included regulations on beer, tax income from beer funded centuries of British imperialist conquests, and beer is the subject of the oldest international trademark dispute.
To celebrate Thanksgiving this year, we’ve asked Oxford employees to share their holidays traditions. Referencing The Oxford Companion to Food, we put together a slideshow of fun food facts to accompany some of our favorite traditions.
Where were you in 1987? Platoon wins the best picture Oscar, the Channel Tunnel gets the go ahead, and The Great Storm batters South East England. Meanwhile in a Greek restaurant in Shepherd’s Bush, Francis Rose and publisher Alistair MacQueen come up with the idea of the Blackstone’s Statutes series. Thirty years later the series is still going strong thanks to careful editorship and a conscientious selection of legislation.
As we approach the end of 2017, we are also winding down our search for the Place of the Year. Thank you to those of you who participated in the voting period for our Place of the Year 2017 longlist, which took us from Puerto Rico in the tropics to the Arctic further north, to beyond our planet and into the Sun. The top four contenders have moved on to the next round into our shortlist, and we need your help again.