The Weekly Word: Jan. 6th, 2012

  • Gain 152 pounds. (Get married.)
  • Floss once a month (We’re tired of that judgmental hygienist.)
  • Stop licking the mayonnaise from sandwiches.
  • Get 10th place in the Iowa Caucus.
  • Quit sucking eggs.
  • Tease a grizzly cub; fight the mother.
  • Wear sunscreen.
  • Find dinosaur DNA in fossilized amber. Create park.
  • Become Katy Perry’s teenage dream. (Sorry, Russell. You had your chance).
  • Fill a kiddie pool with Jell-O. Swim in said Jell-O.

If you don’t have strange habits you need to kick, you could always resolve to boost your brain power with our brand new AP Guides.

AP European History

From Magellan to the Maastricht Treaty, we are a one-stop shop for all things AP European History. If you’ve ever wondered how many Napoleons are too many Napoleons, you’ve come to the right place. Check it.

AP Environmental Science

We have dinosaurs and 1,200 varieties of bananas. What more could you need? Tips to help you ace this exam? Good thing, because we totally have them too. Explore your inner environmental scientist here.

Friend of Shmoop: Random House

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, Random House Audio and Listening Library will be hosting a contest beginning January 10, 2012.

The contest is simple: If you had the chance, what advice would you write to your future or past self? Starting 1/10/12, visit to post your entry. Have your friends vote for you, and vote on other posts (if you feel especially charitable).

Oh, bee tee dubs, the Grand Prize is a new DSLR camera!

Literary Birthday: J.D. Salinger Born Jan. 1, 1919

In case you need a bit of a refresher course, Salinger authored The Catcher in the Rye, one of the most controversial and widely taught books in the Western canon. It’s one of those books that you either love or hate. Personally, we hope all that angsty goodness inspires generations of teenagers for decades to come.

A New Year’s Resolution: Get Shmoop for Your School

Okay, so the flossing resolution may not make it. However, if you want to leave a lasting impression on the the students in your school or district, getting them Shmoop would be a rockin’ kick-off to the New Year—just like Dick Clark’s show before he was 157 and muttered ominously about breaking Seacrest in half. (We love you Uncle Dick!)

Science Birthday: Isaac Newton Born Jan. 4, 1643

Good ol’ Newton…thinking up gravity by getting hit in the head with an apple. We wish every time we tripped over our own feet (read: a lot), we could remember where we left our keys, much less discover a groundbreaking physics concept. Cheers to falling fruit and the inventor of calculus.

Shmoop Shout Out: Spider-Man Web

Did you resolve to be a superhero in 2012? What if we told you that becoming Spider-Man was a legitimate possibility? Well, not including the radioactive blood part. And, minus all his powers, really…except the web!

Yep, scientists have figured out a way to get genetically modified silk worms to produce spider-quality silk. Learn more about these super-charged worms here.

Shmoop Shout Out 2.0: Time Hole

As we march forward into another year, it’s always important to ask the question, “Well, is science fiction here yet?” Here’s a list of things we’d like to see:

  • Time travel
  • Cloaking devices
  • The ability to move at the speed of light
  • Invisible soldiers that trick time by bending light

The future may be closer than you think. The soldier doesn’t exist yet, but physicists at the Pentagon have created a “Time Hole” to conceal something that’s happening by bending the light around the event so that it doesn’t exist to observers. Super, super cool. Check it out here, if you still can.
Keep those resolutions,

The Jell-O Swimmers at Shmoop

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