Awesomely Bad Facial Hair of the Civil War Era

Posted by Shmoop on 5/29/19 11:03 AM

Facial hair is patriotic. How so? It helped Abraham Lincoln win the election, for starters, and for fifty years after that, every single elected president rode Lincoln’s scruffy coattails...except McKinley. Real trailblazer, that one.

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Topics: Updates

They Like Us...They Really Like Us! Shmoop Won Some Awards.

Posted by Shmoop on 5/28/19 1:40 PM

Winners of the ComputED Gazette's 25th Annual Best Educational Software Awards (BESSIES) and The Communicator Award's 25th Annual Communicator Digital Excellence Awards were recently announced, and wouldn't you know it...Shmoop won again. 

This year, Shmoop received the BESSIES award for best Multi-Subject Courseware

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Topics: Updates, Awards

6 Quasi-Fascinating Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About the Internet

Posted by Shmoop on 5/15/19 11:50 AM

As the school year winds down, everyone's starting to get antsy for summer. Which means it's harder than ever to focus—and easier than ever to fall down the internet rabbit hole. (Or an actual rabbit hole, if you're not watching your step.) And while we're sure you can find the perfect gif for any occasion without blinking an eye, do you know how the internet,

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Topics: Updates

Take a Break — 6 Ways to Distract Yourself from APs Without Losing Brain Cells

Posted by Shmoop on 5/14/19 12:59 PM

It's the second week of AP® exams, and your brain might be getting a little fuzzy from everything you're packing in there. As much as we love a good binge-watch session, we also encourage you to take a break from AP studying with something that won't dry up those learning muscles.

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Topics: ap exams, Updates

May These 6 Star Wars Facts Be With You

Posted by Shmoop on 5/1/19 12:53 PM

May 4th is this weekend, which means Star Wars fans across the galaxy are getting ready to hashtag like crazy: #maythefourthbewithyou. But what about the people who've never found the fifteen-and-a-half hours to watch all seven Star Wars movies? Worry, do not. We've got you covered. These facts will impress even your friends who wear shirts that say "Han Shot First."

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Topics: Literature, Updates

The Future of Earth Day: 8 New Celebrations That Are Out of This World

Posted by Shmoop on 4/22/19 12:34 PM

Earth Day—or Mirth Day, as we like to call it—is today. Started in 1970, Earth Day is meant to get everyone on board with saving the environment: planting trees, thinking about renewable energy, recycling our Oreo sleeves...all to delay our inevitable planetary extinction. 

While we were sitting in the dark conserving electricity, we imagined what celebratory days would look like on other know, if we aren't able to save our own planet and end up colonizing the rest of 'em.

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Topics: Updates, Science

The AP Seder Plate

Posted by Shmoop on 4/16/19 12:45 PM

This Friday is the beginning of Passover and we're celebrating...while we study for the APs that kick off in just a few weeks. Shalom. 


Modern Jews celebrate Passover with a Seder—a ceremonial dinner—which commemorates the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. During the Seder, the Seder plate holds various symbolic foodstuffs and plays a big part in the rituals.

So while we were procrastinating—er, getting hyped—we decided to see which APs would fit on the Seder plate. Here's what we came up with.

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Topics: Literature, Updates

6 Fun Tax-Related Facts

Posted by Shmoop on 4/10/19 12:36 PM

It's April. We've turned our clocks forward and eaten Creme Eggs 'til we puked, but it doesn't feel like spring has truly sprung until the first tender growth bursts from the frozen ground, claws its way out of the soil, and takes about a third of your income.


We're talking about the IRSWhat is the IRS?



The tax deadline's coming up, but to help you procrastinate until the absolute last minute, we've compiled a list of tax-related fun facts that you don't have to declare on your 1040EZ.  

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Topics: Updates

17-minute Distractions for APs

Posted by Shmoop on 4/3/19 12:17 PM

AP® exam week can leave you feeling like a hamster that's had its feet hot-glued to an exercise wheel. do you make it through the AP week coming up? Our suggestion: treat your studying like it's a real job.

Uh, no, we're not going to pay you to study. What we mean is that you should approach studying the same way most productive employees approach their work. In 2014, a study found that people are most productive when they work for 52 minutes and then take a 17-minute break. (Talk about specific.)

Drawing a blank on what to do during your breaks? We came up with ideas for productive(ish) 17-minute distractions for each of the remaining APs.

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Topics: Updates

12 April Fools' Day Tricks from History

Posted by Shmoop on 4/1/19 10:30 AM

April Fools' Day has a long, storied history. Archeologists recently discovered a cave painting in western Asia depicting a caveman dressed in the skin of a saber-toothed tiger sneaking up on another to scare him for laughs. Dating back to 38,000 BCE, this prank began an annual tradition roughly translated into English as Stupid Tiger Day. 

The yearly ritual of tricking our friends, neighbors, and younger siblings has thrived for millennia since. And in recent years, it has taught us a valuable lesson: you shouldn't trust a single thing you read on the internet.

So, before you start planning your pranks for Monday, let's look back at some famous tricks, gags, and general April Foolery throughout history. 

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Topics: Updates

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