The Weekly Word: Sept. 6th, 2012

Happy September, Shmoopsters!

We’re going to draw on our incredible psychic powers* and guess that you probably spent Labor Day

1. Grilling things,
2. Wondering who came up with the rule that you can’t wear white after the holiday weekend, and
3. Mourning the end of summer, mostly by making terrible puns about how hard you’ll be “laboring” once school really gets going.

Luckily, we have the perfect anecdote for your back-to-school blues. (Or, if you’re anything like we were back in the day, your “back-to-school woo-hoos.” No? No? Fine.) It doesn’t involve a pony made out of ice cream, but we think calculus can be just as tasty. Metaphorically, anyway.

Don’t believe us? Read on.

Featured Shmoop: Calculus Textbook – Shmoop Style

We know you’ve been waiting for us to Shmoop calculus because—well, calculus is tough stuff, and there’s nothing like giving a little Shmlove to the hard subjects. We spent a good portion of the summer figuring out how to attack the beast that Newton created when he was 17, and we’re pretty proud of our efforts.

If you’re having trouble figuring out how to decode derivatives or instruct yourself in integrals, stop by our brand new calculus textbook.

Featured Shmoop: Reaganomics Video

As we pointed out in the past, history tends to repeat itself.

As we pointed out in the past, history tends to repeat itself. Oh, wait, that was history, not us.

We’ve made it to another election year, and no, we won’t be proselytizing for our own beliefs from the Shmivory tower. However, we did happen to make a video that explores one issue—one really, really big issue—at the center of this year’s debates. No matter your politics or even whether you’re old enough to vote, learn a bit about Reagan and his economics here.

Here’s the main question: What do you think?


Shmoop Shout Out: On the Road Published September 5, 1957

Maybe Jack Kerouac didn’t exactly write his groundbreaking novel from scratch in one three-week burst of inspiration—he actually kept a bunch of diaries and records of his experience as it happened, which means that 1) outlining is important and 2) diaries are cool—but his 120-foot long manuscript formed the backbone of one of the most important texts of the Beat Generation.

And while the road-tripping adventures of the real-life Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty are long over, On the Road lives on in film: the movie adaption is scheduled for release in December.

P.S. Bonus cover art by Kerouac! Not too shabby, right?

Shmoop Shout Out 2.0: The Old Man & The Sea Published September 1, 1952

The title really hits the nail on the head with this one. In fact, the whole plot can be boiled down to an old man who heads out to sea and comes back. Sure, some crazy things happen, like the part where he catches a huge fish only to have it eaten by sharks before he can get back to his village. (Um, spoiler alert?) But the net of it is that he went to sea…and then came back.

Well, okay; we suppose there may be some metaphors hidden in there as well. To decipher Hemingway’s terser-than-everyone-else-ever prose, check out our guide.

Shmoop Shout-Out 3.0: Students Get Chance to Name Asteroid

When we were talking about Reagan and his economics, all you student readers under the age of 18 were probably like, “Whatever, I can’t vote yet anyway.” (For those of you over 18, here’s a friendly reminder: VOTE.) Not so fast—you can submit your candidacy for something pretty spectacular in its own right: the chance to name an asteroid.

We’ll let that sink in a for a few seconds.

As long as you’re under 18, keep your potential name under 16 characters, and have the chops to explain your choice, a flying piece of space rock could be yours…in name, at least. We would probably go for something elegant and timeless, like Shmoopotron or Lady GaGa-steroid. Get the scoop here.


Welcome back,

Shmearth, Shmind, & Shmire


*Other predictions: You made it to the end of the newsletter! Mind. Blown.

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