Weekly Word: March 21, 2012

Hey there Shmoopeteers,

Spring has officially sprung. In addition to spring break (yay!), spring flings (uh), spring rolls (yum!), and spring cleaning (this can only end in tragedy), we at Shmoop are getting ready to get you ready for the APs. We’re overachievers like that. Also, it’s our job.

Also also, we love doing it.

It’s time to swing into hardcore AP prep. In the immortal words of Jerry Maguirehelp us help you.* For reference, here’s a list of all the guides we have:

Featured Shmoop: Win an iPad with Viz Media

Everyone wants an iPad. App-arently (see what we did there?), they can do anything from slice fruit (ninja style) to brew coffee.**

Well, here’s one way to get one: a contest put on by our friends, Viz Media. If you would like to get your hands on the goods, all you have to do is show your love for Shonen Jump and Manga by uploading a creative photo here.

It’s simple: one photo = potential for one iPad (for one lucky lady or gent). Sounds like a good ratio to us.

This Week in History: Strategic Defense Initiative, aka “Star Wars,” Announced March 23, 1983

Okay, so Reagan’s advisers could have probably come up with a catchier name than “Strategic Defense Initiative,” but we’re pretty sure the idea speaks for itself.

Space-based lasers and particle beams that shoot down nuclear missiles to defend the country during the Cold War? Sounds pretty awesome. Of course, that kind of technology didn’t exist in 1983, and many wondered if the technology would ever exist, but hey…he was a dreamer. Brush up on your knowledge of proton torpedoes here. Can’t get enough of the chilliest war? Cover the cause of the clashes.

Shmoop Shout Out: Hunger Games in Theaters March 23, 2012

Before we get sucked into what will inevitably become a battle between Team Gale and Team Peeta (we at Shmoop are also Team Katniss and Team Bread), let’s take a minute before the movie’s release on Friday to reflect on a few of its central themes. Ready?

  • Life-and-death politics in a totalitarian government (why can’t they ever be partialitarian?)
  • Economic and social inequality
  • The moral quandary of killing for survival
  • Some seriously, seriously screwed-up reality programming

Cheerful stuff, we know, but at least you can go into the movie prepared.*** To brush up on more Hunger Games, check out our lit guides herehere, and here. As a side note, these games were not sponsored by Jenny Craig.

This Week in History: Largest Art Heist in U.S. History, March 18, 1990

On a scale of one to coolest job ever, we’re thinking “cat burglar” ranks pretty high up there. Except for the burgling part. Basically, we just want to parkour our way from rooftop to rooftop and potentially lock lips with the likes of Grace Kelly or Cary Grant.

We’re suckers for anything heist related, so when we heard about the “holy grail of art crime,” we were on it faster than you can say Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. Learn more about the mystery of the missing masterpieces here.

Shmoop Birthday: Mr. Rogers Born March 20, 1928

By all accounts one of the kindest people to ever don a cardigan, Fred McFeely Rogers (that’s Mr. Rogers to us) used his powers of song and friendship to teach generations of us what it means to be a neighbor. The Emmy-winning minister dedicated his life to children’s education, and we think his work deserves every awesome memorial there is. Fredosaurus Rex Friday XIII, we’re looking at you.

We still think of him every time we put on sneakers and a sweater. Thanks for everything, Mr. Rogers!

Here’s to the wonderful smells of Spring,

The Shmoop Team

*Except with slightly lower blood pressure and also more clothing.

**Ever played Fruit Ninja. But we don’t think it can actually brew coffee…yet.

***We’re bringing four boxes of Kleenex. What can we say? Team Gets Too Emotionally Invested at the Movies, all the way.

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