The Team

Meet the Oak team!  Allie Racette – Publisher and Editor Allie graduated from SUNY Potsdam in December 2015 with a BA in Professional Writing and returned to her Northern New York hometown of…

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Define Female. Define Breast.


OC April 2016 blog Ocean City, Maryland, April 2016. Maryland legal language is clear. Nothing defines the female breast differently than the male breast, but so far I have not received my normal assurances of legality from any Maryland police agency. Ocean City Police and Ocean City Beach Patrol officers did last year agree with me that the legal language does not forbid female bare-chestedness, but the police stopped short of giving me a written statement of agreement. I’m working on it. Nevertheless, I have spent many afternoons on Maryland beaches without negative interaction. This week for example I spent two quiet hours of a warm evening reading near the tideline. Any earnest conversation of topfreedom and female bare-chestedness will eventually turn to how we define femaleness and femininity. Women should be modest, so say some…and going bare-chested is not ladylike. Immodesty is fundamentally, to some, a crime.

One of the more absurd aspects…

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Watch: Battle of the Hamlets with Benedict Cumberbatch, David Tennant, Prince Charles ETC

Sherlocks Home


Yesterday was the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. To mark the occasion, the BBC broadcast a live event from the Royal Shakespeare Company celebrating the Bard’s work. A highlight of the show saw several esteemed actors battle it out over the best way to deliver the famous “to be or not to be” speech from Hamlet. And guess who was amongst them…

Yes, following on from his box-office breaking run as the Prince of Denmark last year, Benedict Cumberbatch took to the stage alongside a whole host of thespians like David Tennant, Ian McKellen, Rory Kinnear, Judi Dench… Tim Minchin and, even stranger, Prince Charles himself! See the sketch below:

Shakespeare Live can be viewed online (for UK residents) over at BBC Iplayer.

Shakespeare and Sherlock fans might also be interested to know that TV movie The Hollow Crown:Richard III, which will feature Cumberbatch as the hunchbacked…

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Anusbook. Be connected. Be discovered.

a paper bird

“Tests of shame! Till when?” Campaign by the Tunisian group Damj

Join the campaign to end forced anal tests in Tunisia. You can start by posting a message of support, or even re-posting this article, on Twitter or Facebook. Paste in the hashtag #لا_لفحوصات_العار(No test of shame!), or  #لا_للفصل_230(No to Article 230!); or use the hashtags #TestdelaHonte and #Tunisie.

On September 6, police summoned a young Tunisian man, 22 or 23, in the coastal city of Sousse. One of his friends had been murdered; the man numbered among the contacts on the victim’s phone. Someone in the young man’s circles told me:

A friend of mine was there in the police station to be with him in case he needed any thing. This friend told me that the arrested young man was being beaten as he was interrogated.  Also, he had no legal representation at all. I was told…

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Nip Tuck: Circumcision in Ancient Egypt

Ancient Near East: Just the Facts

Main_PhotoRecently for practice I translated an ancient Egyptian stela on display at the Oriental Institute in Chicago, Illinois. It’s a large and colorful stela of an official named Uha, and it’s unusual in that it contains information about his circumcision. I had never translated a monument with this aspect of the ancient culture, so was interested in seeing what it had to say in the original ancient language.

Along the way I spent some time researching the subject and thought it might be worthwhile to compose an article about it. There is a lot of interesting information out there, and I noted that some of it on the internet is misleading or incorrect. I also was reminded of the polarizing effect the subject of circumcision has on modern people, some of whom are not disturbed by it, some of whom find it “barbaric,” and others who regard the practice as a…

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“from Jubilate Neoleo (Harry, his cat)” by Larry Jones

I’m a runaway from Commack, Long Island,
left home when I’d turned only two and
that same spring had a truly torrid fling

with a pandemonious she-panther from the
surly wrong side of the alley, soon thereafter
landing in a trap for vagrant, feral cats,

very much like the one I’d recently become.
Turns out that at my would-be mother-in-law’s
beckoning, I moved in on her daughter whose

cop boyfriend shortly went completely postal on me.
Next, not unlike last term’s mayor of New York City,
I move on, in on a Brooklynese gay business associate.  

Oh no, nothing like “Harry and Larry” becoming
sexually/romantically involved, again like
the last term’s mayor my narrowly having

just escaped/survived the extremely bitter end
to just such a disunion and my being just subsequent
to some very shall we say “challenging” surgery.  

Our roomie, Damian the Russian/Argentine refugee
artist, and I…

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