Why not gas up in New Jersey?

We ran an article in our last issue about how gas prices work and in doing some digging on prices around the country, we noticed that if New Yorkers look across the border into New Jersey, they'll see gas prices are about 30 cents cheaper there. So by driving a few extra miles, you could save a significant amount of money over the course of a year, right? Not exactly. Did you know there are still two states in the union - Oregon and New Jersey - where self service pumps are still forbidden? So even though the gas itself is a little cheaper over in the Garden State, you end up paying extra for full-service, which erases most of the savings.

A few facts to prep for Jeopardy's gasoline category:

  • Self-service stations first popped up in California in 1947
  • It wasn't until the 1970s that self service started to become common around the country
  • One of the main reasons Oregon and New Jersey prohibited self service was the fear that customers wouldn't handle the pumps properly and would put themselves and others in a dangerous situation. Is this really still a concern?
  • Both states have stations that allow self service for diesel, because the lawmakers believed truck drivers would know how to handle their gas properly.

                 Speaking of gasoline, I can't believe this story about two girls that "fuel the fire" wasn't up for an Oscar.

Check out this wikipedia article for more than you ever wanted to know on gas stations.

College Board Wants to Erase Thousands of Years From AP World History, and Teachers Aren't Happy

One would be forgiven for thinking that the Ides of March are upon us, because Julius Caesar is being taken out once again—this time from the Advanced Placement World History exam. The College Board in charge of the AP program is planning to remove the Roman leader, and every other historical figure who lived and died prior to 1450, from high school students’ tests, The New York Times reports.

The nonprofit board recently announced that it would revise the test, beginning in 2019, to make it more manageable for teachers and students alike. The current exam covers over 10,000 years of world history, and according to the board, “no other AP course requires such an expanse of content to be covered over a single school year.”

As an alternative, the board suggested that schools offer two separate year-long courses to cover the entirety of world history, including a Pre-AP World History and Geography class focusing on the Ancient Period (before 600 BCE) up through the Postclassical Period (ending around 1450). However, as Politico points out, a pre-course for which the College Board would charge a fee "isn’t likely to be picked up by cash-strapped public schools," and high school students wouldn't be as inclined to take the pre-AP course since there would be no exam or college credit for it.

Many teachers and historians are pushing back against the proposed changes and asking the board to leave the course untouched. Much of the controversy surrounds the 1450 start date and the fact that no pre-colonial history would be tested.

“They couldn’t have picked a more Eurocentric date,” Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, who previously helped develop AP History exams and courses, told The New York Times. “If you start in 1450, the first thing you’ll talk about in terms of Africa is the slave trade. The first thing you’ll talk about in terms of the Americas is people dying from smallpox and other things. It’s not a start date that encourages looking at the agency and creativity of people outside Europe.”

A group of teachers who attended an AP open forum in Salt Lake City also protested the changes. One Michigan educator, Tyler George, told Politico, “Students need to understand that there was a beautiful, vast, and engaging world before Europeans ‘discovered’ it.”

The board is now reportedly reconsidering its decision and may push the start date of the course back some several hundred years. Their decision will be announced in July.

[h/t The New York Times]

North America: East or West Coast?


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