The new chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary discusses its future
. "My idea about dictionaries is that, in a way, their time has come. People need filters much more than they did in the past."
posted by anothermug
on Jan 26, 2014 -
Dave Hartnett was surprised with an award
this week for his services to tax avoidance. He was celebrating his retirement as head of the UK's tax and customs department, where he agreed "sweetheart" deals
with Goldman Sachs and Vodafone, letting them off outstanding tax bills. Cue some pleasantly awkward confusion as the partygoers realise what is going on.
posted by creeky
on Sep 24, 2012 -
The 158th Boat Race
between Oxford University Boat Club
& Cambridge University Boat Club
last Saturday was perhaps the most eventful in the event's 183 year history
. The race was stopped after a protestor, Trenton Oldfield, swam out out the course and was narrowly missed by Oxford's blades. After a 20 minute delay, the race was restarted. Thirty-five seconds in, the Oxford cox was warned for steering into Cambridge's line, and then initiated a blade-clash that broke one of Oxford's blades. Cambridge rowed on to win by four and a quarter lengths (Official race report
). After finishing the race, Oxford's bowman collapsed, and was taken to hospital; the traditional presentation ceremony was abandoned. The OUBC medical officer stated
: "The sudden and premature stopping of the Race when concentration and exertion were at their peak was bad enough, but when the Race had lost its equal footing for having lost an oar, the psychological response was to try even harder. Oxford drove themselves to the limit to try to contain the damage. Alex Woods rowing at Bow reached the finishing line and found he had expended all reserves of energy; in my view he had rendered himself hypoxic, and this was the cause of his collapse"
. He has returned home to recover. [more inside]
posted by James Scott-Brown
on Apr 9, 2012 -
The Elements of Drawing: John Ruskin's Teaching Collection at Oxford
digitizes the drawings, engravings, and paintings that John Ruskin
collected (and created) for use in teaching drawing. The objects can be viewed separately or in their teaching order and context, with Ruskin's own catalog annotations. The site also suggests how modern art students can put the collection to use, with instructional video and a variety of drawing exercises. Ruskin also assembled another fine art collection for working-class viewers in Sheffield; you can see that collection at the Museum of Sheffield
, which also helps sponsor a digital reconstruction of the original museum building, the St. George's Museum
posted by thomas j wise
on Nov 14, 2011 -
A bridge builder, a student of how societies hold together; an advocate of dialogue. Standing against polarized and simplistic styles of thought. Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor is Canada's best known and most widely read contemporary thinker. In books like Sources of the Self and A Secular Age, he has attempted to define the unique character of the modern age. He maps the fault-lines in our modern identity, and points to both the pitfalls and the promise of our condition. Learn about his life, history, upbringing, and... ideas.
Now available, CBC IDEAS in five one-hour parts: the malaise of modernity
(this special program has the same title as the 1991 Massey Lecture of the same name, but is not the same [MP3's, get them now, they will go away, and then you can only stream them]).
. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation
on May 20, 2011 -
is offering hundreds of links to free online courses from the top universities in the United States (and Oxford).
posted by gman
on Jan 12, 2011 -
An attempt at a collaborative translation of Plato’s Protagoras
. Every day for a few months, Dhananjay Jagannathan will post roughly a page of the dialogue, side by side in Greek, in his own translation, and in Jowett’s classic 1871 translation. He's invited readers to comment and offer suggestions to improve the translation. Jagannathan's goal is to communicate Plato in English the way readers of his would have interpreted his Greek.
posted by unliteral
on Jun 30, 2010 -
The New Oxford American Dictionary Word of the Year is.... UNFRIEND.
That's right, the negation of the verbification of 'friend'. Well, it's not quite as cringe-worthy as some of the runners-up... Teabagger?!?
And previous winners of this honor were Hypermiling (2008)
, Locavore (2007)
, Carbon-Neutral (2006)
and Podcast (2005)
(links include each year's finalists, including frugalista, staycation, bacn, mumblecore, Islamofascism, funner, lifehack and squick). Best comment about the WotY (so far)? "an unreliable yet fascinating barometer of tech"
. But, at risk of over-editorializing, these look more like candidates for the Banished Words List
. Clearly better is the recent list of "A Word a Year, 1906-2006"
from Oxford's website (if only for the invaluable perspective of time).
posted by oneswellfoop
on Nov 17, 2009 -
An albino with a pinkish face and an appearance described as "rabbit-like," Reverend Dr. William Archibald Spooner
was an Oxford don and priest of the Church of England
. For decades he was a respected member of the faculty at Oxford, lecturing on Christianity, philosophy, and ancient history, but he is mostly remembered for unintentionally transposing letters or syllables as he spoke (e.g., "It is kisstomary to cuss the bride" or "You have hissed all my mystery lectures"). Almost 165 years after his birth (on 22 July 1844), the details of his life are no longer common knowledge, but the nature of his mis-spoken words is remembered
. A spoonerism
is an error in speech or deliberate play on words in which corresponding consonants, vowels, or morphemes are switched. Such wordplay, intentional or otherwise, has a history beyond the good Reverend Doctor
, but he is alone in his fame. Having trouble creating bitty wanter of your own? Fablebish
to the rescue.
posted by filthy light thief
on Jul 21, 2009 -
On British TV
last night, Gail Trimble
, a Classics scholar at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, singlehandedly trounced
the opposing team in University Challenge
. To some a smug
know-it-all, to others a role model
. Cue the fightback and lots of questions
about whether we, as a society, actually like really clever people and specifically, clever women
posted by MuffinMan
on Feb 24, 2009 -
was the emblem of kingship worn by Wahunsenacawh, also known as Chief Powhatan, father of Pocahontas. A deerskin cloak ornamented with shell beadwork, it may at first appear to be only clothing but in fact it is also a map of the Powhatan Confederacy, which ruled most of eastern Virginia when the English first settled there. The mantle was acquired by one of the John Tradescants
was the foundation of Oxford University's Ashmolean Collection and the mantle resides there still today
. The first linked article
is a fascination article about the mantle as well as a gallery of images of and related to Powhatan's Mantle.
posted by Kattullus
on Feb 12, 2009 -
Save the Words. Do lost words still have meaning?
st because society has neglected them doesn't make them any less of a word. How do you get lost words back in the dictionary?
s scanning publications and other communication for words not curre
ntly housed in the dictionar
y, all yo
u need do is use your adopted words as often as possible. G
* - government by an old woman or women
. [more inside]
posted by Tufa
on Jan 29, 2009 -
On December 4, 2008, at NYC's Symphony Space
's Intelligence Squared
program conducted an Oxford
debate. As their future debate schedules in Australia
, and America
show, the propositions of such debates are routinely phrased strongly to provoke debate, and this was no exception. The motion that was put forward was: "Resolved, that Bush 43 is the worst President of the last 50 years.
" [mp3, 23 MB, 50 min.]
What lifts this above the reams of media and multimedia
already spent on this issue is that, moderated by ABC's John Donvan
, this premise was debated — under formal debate guidelines — by Jacob Weisberg
, Sir Simon Jenkins
, Bill Kristol
, and ... Karl Rove
. [more inside]
posted by WCityMike
on Jan 6, 2009 -
Islamic terrorists are more likely to be engineers than members of any other profession--and not because engineers possess superior technological skills. That's the conclusion of a controversial Oxford University study
that has the engineering
's disturbing finding blames what it calls a universal engineering mindset, which it describes as one drawn to structure and rules plus clear, single solutions to complex problems. When coupled with the harsh realities of life in many Islamic countries, terrorism can be the result, the study says.
~ Via EETimes [more inside]
posted by infini
on Mar 10, 2008 -
For anyone with even a passing interest in Islamic history or cartography, 'The Book of Curiosities of the Sciences and Marvels for the Eyes'
site at Oxford University's Bodleian Library will provide a thoroughly interesting timesink. This recently discovered 13th/14th century copy of an 11th century Egyptian manuscript was partly based on Ptolemy and includes the oldest rectangular map of the world...not to mention the famed human-bearing Waq-Waq
posted by peacay
on Apr 5, 2007 -
The Oxford Project
: in 1984, Peter Feldstein photographed every single citizen in the town of Oxford, Iowa (676 pictures in all). In 2006, he attempts to do it again
posted by JPowers
on Jun 6, 2006 -
Early Manuscripts at Oxford University.
'This site provides access to over 80 early manuscripts now in institutions associated with the University of Oxford. Please read the information about using this website. '
'Between 1995 and 2000 the Early Manuscripts Imaging Project created high resolution digital images from manuscripts which were selected as major treasures from their respective libraries, to create wider availability for originals which may otherwise be too fragile for handling. '
posted by plep
on Nov 8, 2003 -
Save Thousands Of Years And Preserve Graffiti Now: Bijan Omrani
playfully argues for the preservation of contemporary graffiti in Oxford's august Bodleian Library. Perhaps they're the modern equivalent of the Lascaux cave
paintings. "Kilroy was here" notwithstanding, witty graffiti
can be found on walls all around the world. Shouldn't some sort of repository be created to safeguard this undeniably pure - and unfairly overlooked - form of popular expression? I'm sorry to say I couldn't find one
single good written graffiti site on the Web. Does anyone know of one - or at least have a memorable graffito to share with the rest of us?
posted by MiguelCardoso
on May 4, 2002 -
Bishop of Oxford lifts gypsy curse on football ground.
Reported in today's tabloids, my local football club, Oxford United, has called in the Bishop of Oxford to exorcise a gypsy curse on their new ground. However, as is usual, the truth
is rather more mundane. Unfortunately it appears that the team's losing sequence to the start of the season is more likely down to the team being useless.
Has your favourite sports team ever resorted to such desperate measures?
posted by salmacis
on Nov 7, 2001 -
"Language Gene" found...
(link to arstechnica
"A group of Oxford University researchers presented findings in this week's Nature that they isolated a gene called FOXP2 that appears to be involved in both speech and language development." this is intriguing... that so much can start from so little.
posted by zerolucid
on Oct 5, 2001 -
Will Bill become Chancellor of Oxford University? Everyone at Oxford seems to think it is a good idea so, will Bill accept? Is this just an attempt by Oxford to compete with American Universities? (via drudge)
posted by jay
on Dec 3, 2000 -
firstname.lastname@example.org? The Times
is reporting that Miss Clinton is planning to follow in her father's footsteps. Though probably not too
closely... I'd imagine that it'll be easier for her to fit into the college environment once she doesn't have the Secret Service in tow, but I'm still intrigued how she'll get on here...
posted by holgate
on Aug 28, 2000 -
This story of a whiz kid who vanished
raises all kinds of questions. Sufiah, a 15-year-old student at Oxford University, disappears; then, her father receives an e-mail, supposedly from her. The e-mail
claims that she ran away from her father's abusive high-pressure learning techniques; the father
claims that she must have been kidnapped and brainwashed. The police aren't sure how to handle this situation, as there's no way to prove
that the mail is really from the daughter. Finally, the father has called in the media to present his
side of the story, since Sufiah has threatened to go to the media with hers.
posted by harmful
on Jul 6, 2000 -