Weekly Word: April 25th, 2012

Hey there, Shmoopeteers!*

In honor of Earth Week this year, we at Shmoop HQ made a vow to take our products totally digital. No more paper! (We heart trees, viva photosynthesis) No more ink! No more giant printing press taking up space in the middle of the office!

…Oh, wait. We already did that. Although, we wish we had an old-school printing press. Gutenberg FTW!

We’re coming to the part of April that’s less about fools and spring showers and more about second semester blahs and upcoming AP tests, so stave off the rest of the cruelest month with Shmoop’s AP prep guides—guaranteed to be green.

Featured Shmoop: Shakespeare (Probably) Born April 26, 1564

Nobody actually knows exactly when Shakespeare was born, but we do know that he was baptized on April 26, which means it’s most likely time to celebrate Will’s Sweet 358th. If you’ve ever been tempted to call someone a “surly flap-mouthed strumpet,” thank this guy.

So pull out your fanciest ruff, because now is the perfect time to read—instead of “not to read,” oh snap—about the man and his works. If calling him “Big Willy” is wrong, we don’t want to be right.

Featured Shmoop: $3,000 Zinch Scholarship

What does $3,000 buy? Well, 12,000 gumballs, for one. But, it can also help pay for college. That’s an extra three grand that won’t add to the mountain of interest your loans rack up when your college daze is over. College days. We meant college days.

If you’re a student looking to lessen the necessary but evil burden of school debt, sign up and apply for the Zinch Scholarship . Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor. (Hope that isn’t trademarked…)

Featured Shmoop: Robinson Crusoe Published April 25, 1719

“Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip. That started from this tropic port, aboard this tiny ship…”

Oh wait, we got our shipwreck stories mixed up.

  • Gilligan’s Island = a group of people go on a three-hour tour that lasts for three seasons, three movies, and a lifetime of syndication.
  • Robinson Crusoe = a guy is trapped on a deserted island and finds out it isn’t so deserted after all. Also, his new neighbors may or may not eat people.

They both have their merits. Learn more about Rob and his man Friday here.

Birthday 2.0: Harper Lee Born April 28, 1926

The author of the high school English class staple To Kill A Mockingbird turns 86 years young this week, so we wrote a little note to her:

Dear Harper,

We love you and your book. It will forever make an appearance on our summer reading lists. Also, if we had known about the essay contest when we were in school, we would have been all over that noise.


The Shmoop Team

Birthday 3.0: Ulysses S. Grant Born April 27, 1822

The erstwhile Hiram Ulysses Grant** was a military genius who basically won the Civil War by cornering none other than Robert E. Lee, who in addition to leading the Confederate troops was also considered something of a military whiz himself. Sign us up, said the postwar American voting public. Best president ever or best president ever?

Unfortunately, Grant’s term in office was a bit of a mess: his whole cabinet was utterly corrupt,*** and he liked to drink his weight in whiskey. Well, nobody’s perfect. See how we Shmooped him here and here.

Save the Earth and your AP scores,
Captain Shmlanet

*You can be one too! ‘Cause saving our planet is the thing to do!

**The ‘S’ came later.

***Think Enron on steroids.

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