Weekly Word: Feb. 9, 2012

As Clint Shmeastwood would say, you can’t be knocked out in one punch,* which must mean you’re almost ready for testing season.


Everyone knows that Manningham’s the man with the fancy feet,** but who else was temporarily distracted by the appearance of M.I.A.’s middle digit? Considering Madonna’s determination to look and act like an extra from The Walking Dead, Clint’s polarizing ad, and a split-second lag by the busy censors over at NBC, we’re calling it: this year’s big game was a controversial one.

If you’re in the mood for a little less drama, on the other hand, come on over for a sure thing: New Shmoop!

Brand New Shmoop: AP Statistics

Spoiler alert: Moneyball isn’t about money and balls. (Well, not totally.) It’s about math—specifically, how using statistics can help your little team play hard in the big leagues. Yes, that is a metaphor. For everything.

To help bring out the nerd-slash-wildly-successful-baseball-manager in you, Shmoop introduces a brand new guide to AP Statistics, guaranteed to fill your brain to the brim with all sorts of statistical data and know-how.

More New Shmoop: Learning Guides to Feed the Mind

In case massive amounts of math isn’t enough, run for the touchdown (or maybe stop and do a butt-slam?) with a few extra yards of our new free guides:


Shmoop Shout Out 1.0: Dickens World

If you have a thing for Charlie D. and his gritty tales of poverty, corruption, and gruel (and who doesn’t?), you probably already know it was Mr. Dickens’ birthday this week.

In fact, you might also be interested in dropping by Kent in Merry Olde England for a trip to Dickens World, the Dickensian equivalent of Disney World—featuring Victorian-era mannerisms, the Great Expectations boat ride, and severed heads.

This Week in History: Of Mice and Men Published Feb. 6, 1937

Of Mice and Men is required reading in many an American high school, and Lennie’s childlike mannerisms and puppy-squeezing ways have turned him into something of a cultural icon.

Everyone from Bugs Bunny to Chris Farley has gone on to parody the character, but do you really know what’s up with the men in Of Mice and Men?

History Birthday: Ronald Reagan Born Feb. 6, 1911

We celebrated the birthday of FDR, so we think it’s fitting to say happy b-day to an equally controversial president, Ronald W. Reagan. The two led the United States through World War II and the Cold War, respectively, and we still can’t decide whether to love ‘em or hate ‘em.

Want to weigh in? Read our guides back to back to learn about two of the most polarizing leaders in U.S. history.

Shmoop Shout Out 2.0: Self-Cloning Seagrass

Self-cloning has always ranked up there on Shmoop’s not-so-secret list of wishes, right behind

  1. transmogrifier
  2. Time-Turner
  3. a pony

So we’re pretty excited about the self-cloning seagrass that scientists think might be the oldest living organism out there.

Of course, we’d also have to live at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea for 100,000 years, but it would probably be worth the trade-off. Curious about the building blocks of cloning? Check out Shmoop’s guide to DNA here.

Don’t break a hip,


*Well, except for the time you ran face-first into the tetherball pole in elementary school.

**Shmoop HQ will be replaying that catch ’til Super Bowl XLVII

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