Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Perceptions of Medieval Manuscripts

Fragmentology: bits of books and the medieval manuscript

So many fragments of manuscripts exist that a new term—Fragmentology—has recently been applied to the study of these parts and parcels. Librarians, archivists and academics are paying more attention to what can be learned about textual culture from a folio cut, say, from a twelfth-century manuscript and later used by a binder to line the oak boards of a fifteenth-century book.

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After ice expect snow

Winter is round the corner, and the best way to prepare for it is to read a few murky stories about the etymology of the relevant words: “ice” and “snow.”

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Walk with Me

The activism of Fannie Lou Hamer: a timeline

Fannie Lou Hamer was a galvanizing force of the Civil Rights movement, using her voice to advance voting rights and representation for Black Americans throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Faced with eviction, arrests, and abuse at the hands of white doctors, policemen, and others, Hamer stayed true to her faith and her conviction in non-violent […]

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MNRAS

A cosmic census

A new census of the Universe will allow scientists to understand more about how galaxies are born, age, and die. The millions of galaxies that have been painstakingly catalogued come in many shapes and sizes and this new work shines a light on every variety that we can see.

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Oftener and oftener

When I was growing up, someone in authority told me that way to pronounce often was offen, like off with a little syllabic n at the end. Often was like soften, listen, and glisten, I was warned, with a silent t.

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The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Is food addiction contributing to global obesity?

What is it about highly processed foods that causes such a public health threat? Why are people unable to quit even when they are highly motivated to do so? Evidence is growing that highly processed foods are capable of triggering addictive processes akin to addictive drugs like tobacco.

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What is public debt? [podcast]

What do you think of when you hear the term “public debt?” If you’re familiar with the phrase, you might think about elected officials debating budgets and how to pay for goods and services. Or maybe it’s a vague concept you don’t fully understand.  

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The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Does “overeating” cause obesity? The evidence is less filling

The usual way of thinking considers obesity a problem of energy balance. Take in more calories than you expend—in other words, “overeat”—and weight gain will inevitably result. The simple solution, according to the prevailing Energy Balance Model (EBM), is to eat less and move more. New research shows that viewing body weight control as an energy balance problem is fundamentally wrong, or at least not helpful, for three reasons.

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Classical Mythology

Can interpretations of the Pandora myth tell us something about ourselves?

According to the early Greek poet Hesiod (ca. 700 BC), the primordial human community consisted only of men, who lived lives of health and ease, enjoying a neighborly relationship with the gods. That relationship soured, however, after Prometheus deceived the Olympian gods for the benefit of mankind. In retaliation, Zeus schemed to punish men by […]

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