I want my McFlys

Hey, remember Marty McFly's shoes from Back to the Future 2?

My first reaction upon seeing this at age twelve was, of course, I've gotta have those. But the future promised in Future seemed ever so far away, and I soon forgot my brief-but-hot-burning podiatiric passion. But not everyone did. Now that it's 2007, and 2015 -- the year in which BTTF2 is set -- is just around the corner, the drumbeat of demand is beginning to grow.

Witness McFly 2015, whose mission statement claims that they are "a grassroots movement to get Nike to make available to consumers the futuristic-looking sneakers seen in the 1989 movie Back to the Future Part 2."

Not only is this the awesomest thing I've ever heard, it also seems like the kind of thing that, should it catch on, just might work! Sure, they look really dorky and retro, but there's got to be at least a few demographics out there who would spring for a pair of auto-lacing McFlys. To wit:

1) Me and people like me
2) People who ride Segways
3) Too-cool-for-school retro rockers like The Darkness and VHS vs. BETA
4) People who have through extraordinary circumstances somehow missed the interceding years and their attendant fashion trends, like
a) Jamie Kennedy in Kickin' it Old Skool
b) Encino Man
c) Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer

So, who wants a pair?

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

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North America: East or West Coast?
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