The Weekly Word: October 3rd, 2012

Hey there Shmooperinos,

We have a reputation—not that kind—for only doing literature here at Shmoop. It might be because we feature really incredible literary analysis, but we’re here to set the record straight: Shmoop is no one-trick Iguanadon.

For example, here’s a math joke! Everyone loves math jokes, right?

What did the zero say to the eight?

“Nice belt.”

Think you have something better? Tweet a math joke at us with the hashtag #nicebelt, and you could win a free Shmoop t-shirt. We will announce the winner of our #gatsbythegreat contest next week.

Featured Shmoop: Yes, We Do Math!

Over the last few months, Shmoop has expanded our math offerings to include many a pesky subject. Need help with Pre-Algebra? We’ve got you covered. Knocked “Pre” on its math with a roundhouse kick, but his big bad brother Algebra’s got you down? Read our guide.

Finally, we’ve upped the ante by adding an awesome guide to Calculus. This one will cost a little bit of pocket change, but trust us: you’ll be able to handle indefinite integrals as though they were definite in no time at all.

Featured Shmoop Video: The Louisiana Purchase

America wasn’t always the grand nation it is today. For one thing, it was a whole lot smaller. Luckily, Thomas Jefferson had the foresight to double the size of the United States by purchasing a little something something called the Louisiana Territory…for the bargain-bin price of less than 3 cents an acre.

Want more details? Check out our newest offering about the Louisiana Purchase at the Shmoopsterpiece Theater.

This Week in History: East & West Germany Reunite after 45 Years

We here at the Shmoop HQ have spent all of this week in our lederhosen…with good reason, because it’s Oktoberfest! Yes, they might be starting to smell a bit like cheddarwurst, but we do what we must.

Though it’s a festive time of year in both Germany and Shmoop HQ, it’s important to remember that the country was a divided nation not so long ago. After WWII, the Soviet Union laid claim to half, while the Germans retained the Western portion. The schism required time to heal, but eventually Germans could enjoy the merriment of Oktoberfest as one nation again.

Shmoop Shout OutSputnik Launched on October 4, 1957

If you were in Texas or California last month, you might have had the opportunity to see the space shuttle Endeavour take a ride on a 747We knew those “baggage weight limits” were a bunch of crock. It was super fly, but imagine seeing the very first man-made satellite streak across the sky;n 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik into orbit, igniting the “Space Race” with the United States.

Half a century later, the Sputnik served as the inspiration for the best costume ever. Not a bad legacy, if you ask us.

Shmoop Shout Out: Bee Brains make Robots!

What’s the buzz? Bee-powered robots! We know it’s not as sexy as Lt. Commander Data, but it’s still pretty darn cool.  Scientists are using the brains of bees to help them create flying robots that can not only follow instructions, but also react autonomously like you, me, and all them bees. These robots may eventually be used to help humans perform difficult tasks with the same resourcefulness as any other animal.



The Team at Shmoop

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