Topic: University of Oxford

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Oxford Electric Bell

Physics Physics/History University of Oxford

The Oxford Electric Bell or Clarendon Dry Pile is an experimental electric bell that was set up in 1840 and which has run nearly continuously ever since. It was one of the first pieces purchased for a collection of apparatus by clergyman and physicist Robert Walker. It is located in a corridor adjacent to the foyer of the Clarendon Laboratory at the University of Oxford, England, and is still ringing, though inaudibly due to being behind two layers of glass.

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Ted Nelson

Biography Internet Computing Philosophy Biography/science and academia Philosophy/Philosophers Sociology University of Oxford

Theodor Holm Nelson (born June 17, 1937) is an American pioneer of information technology, philosopher and sociologist. He coined the terms hypertext and hypermedia in 1963 and published them in 1965. Nelson coined the terms transclusion, virtuality, and intertwingularity (in Literary Machines), and teledildonics. According to a 1997 Forbes profile, Nelson "sees himself as a literary romantic, like a Cyrano de Bergerac, or 'the Orson Welles of software.'"

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Thomas Harriot

Biography Mathematics Biography/science and academia Astronomy Linguistics Linguistics/Applied Linguistics Indigenous peoples of North America University of Oxford

Thomas Harriot (Oxford, c. 1560 – London, 2 July 1621), also spelled Harriott, Hariot or Heriot, was an English astronomer, mathematician, ethnographer and translator who made advances within the scientific field. Thomas Harriot was recognized for his contributions in astronomy, mathematics, and navigational techniques. Harriot worked closely with John White to create advanced maps for navigation. While Harriot worked extensively on numerous papers on the subjects of astronomy, mathematics, and navigation the amount of work that was actually published was sparse. So sparse that the only publication that has been produced by Harriot was The Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia. The premise of the book includes descriptions of English settlements and financial issues in Virginia at the time. He is sometimes credited with the introduction of the potato to the British Isles. Harriot was the first person to make a drawing of the Moon through a telescope, on 26 July 1609, over four months before Galileo Galilei.

After graduating from St Mary Hall, Oxford, Harriot travelled to the Americas, accompanying the 1585 expedition to Roanoke island funded by Sir Walter Raleigh and led by Sir Ralph Lane. Harriot was a vital member of the venture, having learned and translating the Carolina Algonquian language from two Native Americans: Wanchese and Manteo. On his return to England, he worked for the 9th Earl of Northumberland. At the Earl's house, he became a prolific mathematician and astronomer to whom the theory of refraction is attributed.

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St Scholastica Day Riot (1355)

Crime Law England Middle Ages Middle Ages/History Law Enforcement Sociology University of Oxford British crime

The St Scholastica Day riot took place in Oxford, England, on 10 February 1355, Saint Scholastica's Day. The disturbance began when two students from the University of Oxford complained about the quality of wine served to them in the Swindlestock Tavern, which stood on Carfax, in the centre of the town. The students quarrelled with the taverner; the argument quickly escalated to blows. The inn's customers joined in on both sides, and the resulting melee turned into a riot. The violence started by the bar brawl continued over three days, with armed gangs coming in from the countryside to assist the townspeople. University halls and students' accommodation were raided and the inhabitants murdered; there were some reports of clerics being scalped. Around 30 townsfolk were killed, as were up to 63 members of the university.

Violent disagreements between townspeople and students had arisen several times previously, and 12 of the 29 coroners' courts held in Oxford between 1297 and 1322 concerned murders by students. The University of Cambridge was established in 1209 by scholars who left Oxford following the lynching of two students by the town's citizens.

King Edward III sent judges to the town with commissions of oyer and terminer to determine what had gone on and to advise what steps should be taken. He came down on the side of the university authorities, who were given additional powers and responsibilities to the disadvantage of the town's authorities. The town was fined 500 marks and its mayor and bailiffs were sent to the Marshalsea prison in London. John Gynwell, the Bishop of Lincoln, imposed an interdict on the town for one year, which banned all religious practices, including services (except on key feast days), burials and marriages; only baptisms of young children were allowed.

An annual penance was imposed on the town: each year, on St Scholastica's Day, the mayor, bailiffs and sixty townspeople were to attend a Mass at the University Church of St Mary the Virgin for those killed; the town was also made to pay the university a fine of one penny for each scholar killed. The practice was dropped in 1825; in 1955—the 600th anniversary of the riots—in an act of conciliation the mayor was given an honorary degree and the vice-chancellor was made an honorary freeman of the city.

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