"Words are like leaves; and where they most abound, Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found."

Alexander Pope 1688–1744, English poet.

Oxford DNB biography podcast: James Maxwell and Charles Tuke, architects of Blackpool Tower

Blackpool Tower—then the tallest building in Britain, and the second tallest in the world, after the Eiffel Tower—cost almost £300,000 and originally included over 5 million bricks, nearly 2500 tons of steel, and over 90 tons of cast iron. Its legs rest upon four huge blocks of concrete, each measuring 35 feet square by 12 feet thick. There was much popular interest in the tower from the start; some 70,000 people queued to enter the lavishly decorated tower buildings on Whit Monday, and on the following day the Liverpool Mercury reported that ‘crowds were almost fighting to gain admittance to the lift’ throughout the opening day. The Manchester Times hailed the tower as a ‘magnificent landmark’ (Manchester Times, 13 April 1894).

The story of Maxwell and Tuke is one of 190 episodes available from the Oxford DNB’s biography podcast archive: new episodes are released every second Wednesday.

Image: Blackpool Tower general view by ingythewingy. CC-BY-SA-2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Can social networks help trace the outbreak of infectious diseases?

An article entitled “From Facebook to Tracebook: A Justified Means to Prevent Infection Risks?,” published in a special symposium from Public Health Ethics, “New Media, Risky Behaviour and Children,” looks at how social media could justifiably be used for infectious disease control.

It details a startling case in which the friend of a man with suspected meningococcal septicaemia posted a message on the patient’s Facebook wall informing three named contacts of the diagnosis and urging them to seek medical attention. At the request of the Health Protection Unit, this message was later modified to reduce unnecessary anxiety and to provide better guidance.

"Existence is a series of footnotes to a vast, obscure, unfinished masterpiece."

Vladimir Nabokov, 1899-1977

Nabokov was born on this day in 1899, 115 years ago. The Russian-American author was a prolific writer and translator, and published novels in Russian, short story collections, plays, and poetry, as well as nine novels in English. Read more about his life and works on University Press Scholarship Online

Word of the day: alveary

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Happy Earth Day from Oxford Journals!
Climate change, greenhouse emissions, urbanization, and agricultural policy are just a few of the most important environmental issues of our day.
In recognition of Earth Day 2014, we’ve put together a free digital collection of articles that address all aspects of environmental studies, from law, history, economics, literature, life sciences, and social sciences.
Image: Earth Eastern Hemisphere by NASA. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Happy Earth Day from Oxford Journals!

Climate change, greenhouse emissions, urbanization, and agricultural policy are just a few of the most important environmental issues of our day.

In recognition of Earth Day 2014, we’ve put together a free digital collection of articles that address all aspects of environmental studies, from law, history, economics, literature, life sciences, and social sciences.

Image: Earth Eastern Hemisphere by NASA. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

"See how the arched Earth does here
Rise in a perfect Hemisphere!
The stiffest Compass could not strike
A Line more circular and like;
Nor softest Pensel draw a Brow
So equal as this Hill does bow.
It seems as for a Model laid,
And that the World by it was made."

— Andrew Marvell, “Upon the Hill and Grove at Bill-borow To the Lord Fairfax,” via Oxford Scholarly Editions Online.

Oxford University Press marketing teams braved the cold and rain to attend the book launch for Ryan Balot’s Courage in the Diplomatic Polis: Ideology and Critique in Classical Athens. The event took place on the USS Intrepid and was sponsored by the Onassis Foundation.

Oxford University Press marketing teams braved the cold and rain to attend the book launch for Ryan Balot’s Courage in the Diplomatic Polis: Ideology and Critique in Classical Athens. The event took place on the USS Intrepid and was sponsored by the Onassis Foundation.