Weekly Word: March 7, 2012

Hey hey we’re the Shmoopers,*

We observed a minute of silence at Shmoop HQ today when we learned that the Indianapolis Colts were unceremoniously dumping—sorry, cordially parting with—quarterback Peyton Manning after 14 years of service and one Super Bowl championship.**

As Randy Jackson might say in one of his rare grammatically correct constructions on American Idol, “That’s harsh, dawg.” (If anyone does have an in with Randy, please tell him that nobody can be be the “most unique” artist in the competition. You’re either unique or you’re not.)

If football has you down, study your blues away with new Shmoop guides to AP Physics B and AP Art History, just in time for AP season. Do it for Shmoop. Do it for Peyton.

Featured Shmoop: AP Physics B

Shmoop will work hard to impress upon students the gravity of the AP Physics B concepts so they will understand why they are pouring so much energy into their work. Then, when they’ve graduated and are leaving for college, they can say goodbye to Shmoop with a wave motion. Zing!

In this guide, you will

  • Learn to recognize Newtonian mechanics without having an apple chucked at your head. In fact, students are unlikely to be struck by any produce whatsoever.
  • Cover physics from A to Z—from “atomic” to “zeroth law of thermodynamics.” Zeroth, yeah. It’s a word.
  • Enjoy the beloved fable of Goldiquarks and the Three Photons. Spoiler: In an unexpected twist, she gets eaten by The Big Bad Magnetic Field.
  • Discover what your mom’s terrible Disco Santa seasonal light display can teach you about electricity and magnetism.
  • Understand why a D-grade on the exam magically gets you a perfect 5. (Okay, it’s not magic. It’s a curve. We think Criss Angel would still be impressed.)

Featured Shmoop: AP Art History

Our AP Art History guide breaks down what you can expect to see on the test and delves deeply into the material most likely to appear on the exam—from ancient Roman sculpture to your baby brother’s finger painting that your mother stuck to the fridge last spring.

In this guide, you will

  • Learn the difference between Rococo and Baroque…coco (not really a thing).
  • Determine whether Renaissance babies really had creepily muscular triceps. Hey, maybe they just spent a lot of time on the crib press.
  • Figure out how many arches is too many arches. We’re looking at you, McDonald’s.
  • See why AP Art History is like your high school yearbook, except with more naked people. Hopefully.

Interested in Shmooping your entire school? Send us a note here.

This Week in History: Telephone Patented March 7th, 1876

Before the days of camera phones and computer phones, there was Alexander Graham Bell and his patent. Or, perhaps more accurately, there was Elisha Gray and his patent, but to the ruthless (and potentially unethical) go the spoils. Yup, there’s some major telephone-related drama up in here…although we do think the Gray telephone has a bit of a ring to it.

Literary Birthday: Gabriel Garcia Marquez Born March 6th, 1927

When it comes to crafting magical realism, winning Nobel Prizes in Literature, and creating the most complicated family tree in the history of trees (sup, Buendiases), Senor Garcia Marquez has everyone beat. The Colombian author turned 85 yesterday, and Shmoop wishes him another 85 years of confusing the bejeezus out of everyone with his magical prose.

Also, that would probably give us enough time to put up our guide to 100 Years of Solitude. (Oh wait, we did that.)

Need more Gabe G-M in your life? Check out Shmoop’s guides to “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” andLove in the Time of Cholera.

This Week in History 2.0: Notorious B.I.G. Killed March 9th, 1994

Normally, we don’t do Death Days,** but this one was a game-changer. The deaths of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. in 1994 marked a fatal clash of hip hop’s often-violent content with reality. The “beef” between West Coast and East Coast rappers transcended their lyrics, and the world lost two innovative and groundbreaking artists as a result. Take a second to reflect with our guides:

Shmoop Shout Out: Robot Cheetah

If we weren’t so worried about Skynet and the coming robot apocalypse (okay, we might have read too much into theTerminator movies), this robot cheetah would be super awesome. Well, it’s still super awesome. Soon enough it’ll be able to fetch and get the paper, too—or at least download the paper onto a drive and upload it onto your mobile device.

Peyton could work for us,****

The Folks at Shmoop

*RIP, Monkees’ lead man Davy Jones.

**Food for thought: Fourteen year = basically a ninth-grader.

***Unless, of course, you celebrate yours like Nearly Headless Nick of Harry Potter fame.

****But not for $28 million a year, thank you.

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