The Weekly Word: Dec. 7, 2011

Let’s face it: the first week of December is a little bit of an Eeyore week.*
There was

  • An event that has “lived in infamy”
  • The assassination of a cultural icon
  • A world-famous recluse
  • Lots of pigs
  • Rain on your wedding day
  • A free ride when you’ve already paid

To soften the blow, we’ve launched two shiny new AP guides, just for you!

You’re welcome.

New Shmoop: AP Biology

Dissecting a fetal pig with that creepily overexcited lab partner will probably stick with you for the next couple of decades. However, the difference between mitosis and meiosis can be a little trickier to drill into your brain. Don’t worry…our guide is here to help. Hop on the Shmoop train here.

New Shmoop 2.0: AP Human Geography

For those of you who still can’t decide if you’re taking biology or cartography—seriously, first semester is almost over—Shmoop is here to make sure you get through the AP test with minimal damage.

Contrary to popular belief, human geography is all about people and the places they go, and our study guide will take you around the world in seven units to explore the populations, cultures, economics, and politics of different regions. Get on the Shmoop balloon here.

This Week in History: Japan Bombs Pearl Harbor

Everyone knows the famous words spoken by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt about the horrific events on December 7th, 1941: “a date which will live in infamy.” This attack changed the course of history, so we ask you to take a moment to remember everyone it affected—maybe even your own grandparents or great-grandparents. Learn the whys and whats of WWII here.

Test Prep for Your School Is Not Out of Reach

You know what’s better than getting Shmoop for your school? Nothing. That’s right. Absolutely nothing. We’re in the computer! It can’t get much easier than that.

If you are harboring a secret desire to be everyone’s favorite teacher, administrator, or librarian—and really, who isn’t?—jump on over to our School or District page to find out how.

Literature Birthday: Emily Dickinson, Dec. 10, 1830

We would wish Emily Dickinson a happy 181st birthday, but we’re guessing that the Queen Recluse (and author of such poems as “I heard a Fly buzz — when I died” and “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,”) may not appreciate the sentiment.

Well, happy birthday anyway! Also, check out something a little less depressing here.

This Week in History: John Lennon Murdered, Dec. 8, 1980

Though we at the Shmoop HQ definitely love our literature (and Lennon), we must admit that obsession can lead to some horrible things. Mark David Chapman, Lennon’s shooter, apparently thought he was Holden Caulfield, the troubled protagonist from The Catcher in the Rye.

Due to Lennon’s disbelief in God and “blasphemy” in the lyrics of “Imagine,” Chapman deemed him “a phony.” A troubled tale indeed, but we can still get a great deal of joy out of the music he left behind. Lennon’s legacy lives on.

Shmoop Shout Out: Pig Walks on Two Legs

So we’re one step (ha, “step”) away from accepting pigs as our new animal overlords. Now they can walk on two legs—and, as we’ve learned from George Orwell’s Animal Farm, they’re probably conniving and scheming for a hostile takeover as we speak.

Learn more here, and keep your eyes peeled for other signs of the apocalypse.**

Shmoop Shout Out 2.0: History-Changing Books

Ever read anything that changed your life? What about the lives of millions? For reference, Kanye’s Twitter totally does NOT count. The books listed here actually created movements that changed the world. Harriet Beecher Stowe practically started the Civil War with Uncle Tom’s Cabin, for Pete’s sake. Check the changes.

Oh Me Oh My,


*“One can’t complain. I have my friends. Someone spoke to me yesterday.”
**An android killing his master, Skynet becoming self-aware, Big Brother coming to power, Seven Riders/Four Horsemen/a partridge in a pear tree/etc

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