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Why We Hate: Understanding the Roots of Human Conflict

Why we hate (and whether we can do something about it)

Human nature is a paradox. On the one hand, thanks to our evolution in the five million years since we left the jungle, we are a highly social species. On the other hand, as the last centuries show only too well, we can be truly hateful towards our fellow human beings—on a group level, war, and on an individual level, prejudice.

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Cold War: A Very Short Introduction

Nine new books to understand the Cold War [reading list]

This October marks the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tense political and military standoff between the United States and the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. To mark the anniversary, we’re sharing some of our latest history titles on the Cold War for you to explore, share, and enjoy. We have also granted free access to selected chapters, for a limited time, for you to dip into.

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The Masnavi, Book Five

Rumi’s subversive poetry and his sexually explicit stories

Rumi, the thirteenth-century Muslim poet, has become a household name in the last few decades, even becoming the best-selling poet in North America thanks to translations of his work into English. Verses of his poetry are used to begin yoga sessions, religious ceremonies, and weddings, and are ubiquitous throughout social media, in addition to actual […]

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Oxford Music

Ralph Vaughan Williams: preserving the publishing legacy

In the Vaughan Williams’s 150th anniversary year, his primary publisher Oxford University Press are donating around 60 items to the British Library, to be preserved and made available to musicians and researchers. These items include artefacts from all stages in the publishing process, from conductor’s marked scores, copyist’s copies and handwritten notes by the composer. In this blog, Simon Wright highlights some interesting features amongst the titles being donated.

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Oxford Open Journals

Towards climate justice: the role of cross-disciplinary Open Access research

To mitigate for the huge environmental and societal impacts we are facing across the world, scientists and scholars, policy makers, governments, and industry leaders need to connect and collaborate effectively. Open access publishing has a role to play in facilitating the discourse needed, by ensuring that the most up-to-date research is accessible, re-usable, and available to a wide audience quickly.

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State lotteries in modern America

The intertwined history of state lotteries and convenience stores

This past summer, millions of Americans were transfixed by the prospect of becoming billionaires. After weeks with no winner, the jackpot for the multi-state lottery game Mega Millions rose to $1.3 billion before being won by an as-yet-unnamed gambler who purchased the winning ticket at a Speedway gas station in Des Plaines, Illinois. Or, more specifically, at the convenience store portion of the gas station, where customers can purchase gas, food, drinks, cigarettes, and, of course, lottery tickets.

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Solo Time for Cello

Eight composers whose music we should know

From Teresa Carreno to Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, this blog post features composers who experienced barriers to music education within their lifetimes, leading to their exclusion from the historical canon.

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Title cover of "Dangerous Crooked Scoundrels: Insulting the President from Washington to Trump" by Edwin L. Battistella, published by Oxford University Press

Being a careful reader

When we are moving briskly though a supermarket, skimming ads, or focusing on a big purchase, it’s easy to be a less-than-careful reader. 

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Public Policy and Aging Report: Aging in Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities

Reframing an aging policy agenda for the AAPI community

Over the past few years, we have had great discussions on societal inequalities in our nation’s infrastructure, and hopefully these in turn will result in policy changes. Aging, too, is having such a review as we think through how older people of color face disparities in key needs such as financial security, housing, and healthcare.

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Word Origins

Noises off? A guarded tribute to onomatopoeia and sea-sickness

While trying to solve etymological riddles, we often encounter references to sound-imitation where we do not expect them, but the core examples hold no surprise. It seems that nouns and verbs describing all kinds of noises should illustrate the role of onomatopoeia, and indeed, hum, ending in m, makes one think of quiet singing (crooning) and perhaps invites peace, while drum, with its dr-, probably evokes the idea of the noise associated with this instrument.

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Walking Among Pharoahs

Howard Carter and Tutankhamun: a different view

On 4 November 1922, Englishman Howard Carter acted on a “hunch” and discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun, setting the world at large on fire, archaeologically speaking. “King Tut’s tomb” and the (much older) Pyramids of Giza;:have any other monuments come to symbolize ancient Egyptian civilization—and archaeology—better?

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