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Back to work: body and etymology

While the blog was dormant, two questions came my way, and I decided to answer them at once, rather than putting them on a back burner. Today, I’ll deal with the first question and leave the second for next week. Since the publication of my recent book Take My Word for It (it deals with […]

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cover image of Durers Lost Masterpiece

Albrecht Dürer and the commercialization of art

Dürer´s “Praying Hands” are so iconic, but most people know little or nothing about the painting for which it partly served as a study. Looking at the story of that painting shows us a different Dürer from the arrogant, assured manipulator of new media he is often said to have been. It also opens a new window onto his time and the commercialisation of art

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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

Janus words

January gets its name from Janus, the Roman god of doors and gates, and (more metaphorically) the god of transitions and transformations. What better time to talk about so-called Janus words.

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English spelling, rhyme, rime, and reason

The story of rhyme has been told more than once, but though both The OED and The Century Dictionary offer a detailed account of how the word acquired its meaning and form, it may be instructive to follow the discussion that occupied the intellectuals about a hundred and fifty years ago and some time later.

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Book cover of how to do research

7 ways to deal with the rejection of your manuscript submission

Publication in peer-reviewed journals is an integral part of academic life, but however successful you are in your research career, you’re likely to receive a lot more rejections than acceptances of your submitted manuscript. Here are 7 suggestions on how to cope, understand, and learn from manuscript rejection.

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Genomic insights into the past and future of the black rhinoceros

The iconic African black rhinoceros faces an uncertain future after intense poaching caused a 98% decline in wild populations from 1960 to 1995. The species’ survival within its fragmented natural habitat now relies on dedicated conservation efforts. A study published in Molecular Biology and Evolution reshapes our understanding of the evolutionary and natural history of the black rhinoceros, opening a window into the species’ genetic past while urging us to forge a path toward its conservation.

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