Bond (James Bond) Week: How to Look

Allow us to criticize your appearance for a minute, will you? If you're hoping to convince your friends and neighbors that you're a British secret agent in your spare time, you're going to need to take a hard look in the mirror. Luckily, Kingsley Amis and The Book of Bond have a few recommendations for you:

* "Our prototype is six foot tall and, whereas a few inches either way will make no vital difference, those under four foot six and over seven foot would be better advised to model themselves on one of the original 007's enemies, probably Goldfinger (five foot) or Dr. No (six foot six)."

* "[Your eyes] must be narrow and watchful, with a hint of anger. Practice this in the mirror, making sure not to look merely short-sighted, cretinous or very, very drunk."

* "[Your complexion] must be tanned. Note that the pigment which constitutes suntan is soluble in water, no never wash your face. Those who can't afford topping-up trips at Christmas and Easter must get a sun-lamp, but realize that being known to possess one would be instantly fatal to 007ship. Keep it under lock and key with your spare wig, denture fixative, etc."

* "Repeat to yourself: a paunchy 007 cannot exist."

Now, let's all ponder whether Mr. Amis was taking his own advice:

To be fair, he was pretty dapper in his younger days (pic is after the jump). And you can't beat the eyebrows.


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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