Oxford Companion to Food fact of the week:

As pancakes increased in popularity in Britain during the 17th Century, there was much debate over what should form the liquid base of the batter with milk, cream, water, and even brandy having their advocates.

Love food? Love facts about food? Can’t stop watching that adorable cat steal the pancake? We’re going to be posting a series of fun food facts, from the new edition of The Oxford Companion to Food, so get your knives and forks at the ready and prepare to share our plate of food nerdiness!
Follow the #OxCompFood hashtag across social media for more delicious food treats, bon appetit!
Gif via Giphy.com

Oxford Companion to Food fact of the week:

As pancakes increased in popularity in Britain during the 17th Century, there was much debate over what should form the liquid base of the batter with milk, cream, water, and even brandy having their advocates.

Love food? Love facts about food? Can’t stop watching that adorable cat steal the pancake? We’re going to be posting a series of fun food facts, from the new edition of The Oxford Companion to Food, so get your knives and forks at the ready and prepare to share our plate of food nerdiness!

Follow the #OxCompFood hashtag across social media for more delicious food treats, bon appetit!

Gif via Giphy.com

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography podcast: Margaret Watt, founder of the Women’s Institute

In September 1915 Margaret Watt established the first meeting of what came to be known as the Women’s Institute. Watt had previously argued that women should gather for the purposes of food growing and production. Now that Britain was at war this became imperative.  Her Women’s Institute (or WI) was a non-party political, non-denominational network that quickly developed into one of Britain’s largest voluntary associations. By her death in 1948 WI membership exceeded 450,000.

The story of Margaret Watt is one of over 200 episodes available from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography’s podcast archive. New episodes are released every second Wednesday.

Image: Women’s Institute members bottle jam, 1943, by Imperial War Museum. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

"The first person that I had a conversation [with] about [trans issues] was a psychologist in New York after college. So I was in my 20s, and of course the first psychologist that I talked to knew less about what it meant to be trans than I did. So, in fact, he not only gave me information that was not helpful — he gave me information that was wrong. In some ways [it] delayed my ability to address my troubles [for] years."

Finney Boylan in an interview with NPR’s Fresh Air on trans people

Slate’s Lexicon Valley show about The Language Hoax, in which author and linguist John McWhorter pushes back against the idea that language affects culture.


On the smoke-shrouded morning of 8 October 1918, during the battle of the Argonne Forest, York and his patrol were isolated and under fire behind enemy lines near the French village of Châtel-Chéhéry. With half of his sixteen men dead or wounded, York outshot an entire German machine gun battalion, silencing some thirty-five guns and killing approximately twenty of the enemy.

Learn more about the life of Alvin Cullum York in the American National Biography Online.

On the smoke-shrouded morning of 8 October 1918, during the battle of the Argonne Forest, York and his patrol were isolated and under fire behind enemy lines near the French village of Châtel-Chéhéry. With half of his sixteen men dead or wounded, York outshot an entire German machine gun battalion, silencing some thirty-five guns and killing approximately twenty of the enemy.

Learn more about the life of Alvin Cullum York in the American National Biography Online.

"Most Americans who made it past the fourth grade have a pretty good idea who Thurgood Marshall, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Jr., were. Not many Americans have even heard of Alice Paul, Howard W. Smith, and Martha Griffiths. But they played almost as big a role in the history of women’s rights as Marshall and King played in the history of civil rights for African-Americans. They gave women the handle to the door to economic opportunity, and nearly all the gains women have made in that sphere since the nineteen-sixties were made because of what they did."

Louis Menand on “The Sex Amendment: How women got in on the Civil Rights Act” in the New Yorker

Word of the day: Golf (German)

n. Gulf.

image

Image: Lingayen Gulf, Philippines by eutrophication&hypoxia. CC BY 2.0 via Flickr.

On the Shelves in Oxford this week we have the perfect addition to our mini-series of A-Z paperbacks. Want to find out what words you should use in your CV? Then this is the book for you. 1001 Words You Need To Know And Use contains essential information for anyone wanting to achieve greater success in a written or spoken task, supported by authoritative definitions from Oxford Dictionaries.

Did you know that the dense and long hairs of caterpillars can act as defensive armor against predators? 
Read the recent article in Behavioral Ecology exploring the adaptive significance of caterpillar hair length and its potency as a means of self-defense against ravenous intruders.

Did you know that the dense and long hairs of caterpillars can act as defensive armor against predators? 

Read the recent article in Behavioral Ecology exploring the adaptive significance of caterpillar hair length and its potency as a means of self-defense against ravenous intruders.


British practitioners agreed that health professionals should be instructed in the recognition of cancer, but they were generally reluctant to spread the educational message to the lay public. Most thought that public education would undermine the control effort itself, either by inducing excessive fears of the disease, or by encouraging unrealistic expectations of cure.

“The British Fight against Cancer: Publicity and Education, 1900–1948" by Ornella Moscucci. 
Social History of Medicine has put together a collection of articles on the topic of “Disease, Health, and the State,” freely accessible until 8 August.
Image: Doctor consults with patient (4) by National Cancer Institute. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

British practitioners agreed that health professionals should be instructed in the recognition of cancer, but they were generally reluctant to spread the educational message to the lay public. Most thought that public education would undermine the control effort itself, either by inducing excessive fears of the disease, or by encouraging unrealistic expectations of cure.

The British Fight against Cancer: Publicity and Education, 1900–1948" by Ornella Moscucci. 

Social History of Medicine has put together a collection of articles on the topic of “Disease, Health, and the State,” freely accessible until 8 August.

Image: Doctor consults with patient (4) by National Cancer Institute. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.