Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Grove Music

Ten facts about the accordion

Whether you dub accordion music annoying or enticing, you cannot deny the instrument’s persistence. The earliest version of the accordion emerged in the early 1800’s and one can still find it on many street corners today. Certain universities, museums, and soloists have assisted in the accordion’s longevity.

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9780198787440

The conflict of laws and international commercial arbitration

It’s a fundamental principle of developed legal systems that justice is blind. This is often represented by the blindfolded Lady Justice. Objectivity is key to the determination of legal disputes, and parties’ rights and obligations. International commercial arbitration plays an important role in the resolution of cross-border commercial disputes.

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The eternal Cheshire cat

Unlike Alice, who was advised to begin at the beginning and stop only when she came to an end, I’d rather begin at the end. The English-speaking world is interested in the Cheshire cat only because Lewis Carroll mentioned it. The origin of the proverbial grin has never been explained, so that, if you hope to receive an enlightening answer from this post, you can very well stop here.

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Market solutions for improving treatment of farm animals? A review of At the Fork

How are farm animals treated and should one care? For the record, I am not vegetarian and I follow something similar to a paleo diet high in animal proteins and fats. But whether or not one believes animals have rights, libertarian philosopher Loren Lomasky once gave me the most succinct argument for caring about the welfare, at least some, of animals: “You wouldn’t put your cat in a microwave, would you?”

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9780190625030

Iceland’s unruly terrain and hidden inhabitants

When people first learn about my travels to Iceland, the response I most often hear goes something like: “Iceland! That’s on my bucket list.” I understand. It’s hard to resist an arctic wonderland littered with flaming volcanoes and thundering waterfalls, where for months on end the sun barely sets on moss-crazed mountains and whale-infested waters. Maybe you’ve already been there.

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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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9780198732709

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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oupmusic-184x184

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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9780190239855

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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9780198745754

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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