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Magnificat by Tawnie Olson

Tawnie Olson: re-imagining the Magnificat

Several years ago, a choir in which I sang premiered a piece by a successful male composer. The music and text combined to suggest a Blessed Virgin who was inoffensively meek, sweet, and… small. I was not the only singer who found this composer’s vision unsatisfying. After one rehearsal, a normally-reserved alto walked up to me and fumed, “Tawnie, you have to compose a feminist Magnificat!”

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When Money Talks: A History of Coins and Numismatics

A silver thread through history [video]

With a history spanning back over 2,000 years, coins are much more than just money. They are also a means of storing and communicating information, resembling tiny discs of information technology that convey images and text across vast swatches of time and territory. Coins are the first world wide web linking us together. While they […]

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Letting foregones be bygones

I was reading a column in a chess magazine when I came across the description of a game’s finish as a bygone conclusion. “That’s really weird,” I thought, “It should have said foregone conclusion.”

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Dissenting Daughters: Reformed Women in the Dutch Republic, 1572-1725

Ten new books to read this Women’s History Month [reading list]

Since 1987, Women’s History Month has been observed in the US annually each March as an opportunity to highlight the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. This month, we’re sharing some of the latest history titles covering a range of eras and regions but all charting the lives of women and the impact they made, whether noticed at the time or from the shadows.

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Manhattan Phoenix: The Great Fire of 1835 and the Emergence of Modern New York by Daniel S. Levy

New York City: the life and times of the Bowery Theater

In the mid 1820s, New York had three theaters:, the Park, the Chatham, and the Lafayette. Some citizens felt there should be more, and in October 1825, the New York Association started work on a new house. They chose a site between the Bowery and Elizabeth Street just south of Canal Street, and Mayor Philip Hone officiated at the laying of the cornerstone. “This spot which a few years since was surrounded by cultivated fields,” he told the gathered, “where the husbandman was employed in reaping the generous harvest, and cattle grazed for the use of the city, then afar off, has now become the centre of a compact population.”

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The Art of Conversation in Cancer Care

Healing conversation in medical care

Every day thousands of people have conversations with healthcare providers (HCPs) about their medical condition. Such meetings can be profoundly comforting or extremely distressing to the patient and caregiver.

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Saving Animals, Saving Ourselves Why Animals Matter for Pandemics, Climate Change, and other Catastrophes

Why does justice for animals matter?

Recent health and environmental crises have taught us that our lives are increasingly connected. Many of us now appreciate pursuing health and climate justice requires pursuing social and economic justice too. And in the same kind of way, I believe, pursuing justice for humans requires pursuing justice for animals too.

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Manhattan Phoenix: The Great Fire of 1835 and the Emergence of Modern New York by Daniel S. Levy

New York City: The Great Fire of 1835

In the 1830s, New York was a small city. While the island of Manhattan had a prosperous community at its southern end, its northern area contained farms, villages, streams, and woods. Then on the evening of 16 December 1835, a fire broke out near Wall Street.

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The neuroscience of consciousness by the Oxford Comment podcast

The color line: race and education in the United States [podcast]

Black History Month celebrates the achievements of a globally marginalized community still fighting for equal representation and opportunity in all areas of life. This includes education. In 1954, the United States’ Supreme Court ruled “separate but equal” unconstitutional for American public schools in ‘Brown v. Board of Education’. While this ruling has been celebrated as a pivotal victory for civil rights, it has not endured without challenge.

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