The Weekend Links

From our own Miss C, a quiz of Olympic proportions - Can you name these former Olympics medalists? I've only been paying attention since 1996, so I did pretty poorly.

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Were you aware that a previously unknown insect was recently discovered on eBay? Here's a list of 10 other bizarre things you can buy online.

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This one goes out to all the English majors and picky punctuation persons out there (of whom I am one ... and so is Chris Higgins! Check out his vintage posts on the subject).

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Regarding the always fascinating world of bento, a slideshow of pictures showing you just how much work you're not putting into making your lunch.

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For more Japanese fun, try this amusement sent in by Savannah. It's a flash game that requires you to find a star on each level (mostly by clicking around). Don't be lulled into a false sense of security, though ... it gets much harder as the levels progress!

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"Nils Olav already has medals for good conduct and long service. He made honorary colonel-in-chief of the elite Norwegian King's Guard in 2005. And yesterday he was knighted. Not bad for a 90-centimeter tall penguin." (Thanks Martha!)

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More from the Olympics, a series of sporty advertisements highlighting the versatility of ... condoms.

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From Jan, a clip from a morning show playing back a pretty hilarious voicemail. If someone left something like that on my phone, I would definitely have to share.

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An interesting gift idea: a Tiddy Bear. No, that's not a typo. And apparently, it's not a joke (I heard this was on Ellen ... can anyone vouch?)

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The translation of this picture site featuring tiny handmade ice sculptures is pretty wonky, so I'm not sure what exactly is going on ... regardless, the concept is pretty cool!

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I'm including this because it made my mouth water and didn't seem too hard - how to make your own homemade pop tarts.

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Google maps really can be amazing, can't it? It probably also knows the exact position of Schrödinger's cat.

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Speaking of Schrody's cat (who may or may not be dead, alive, dead or alive, dead AND alive ...) here's a definitive list of
7 People who cheated death, and then, as the site so eloquently adds, "kicked it in the balls."

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The body is truly amazing - learn some of the tricks it can do here.

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I've stumbled upon a plethora of lovely picture-heavy blogs of late. If you're interested in design, or just pretty things, check out Oh Joy!, Lena Corwin's blog and Love Made Visible.

If you have any blogs to pimp, pictures to share or links of any size, shape and kind, send 'em on over to FlossyLinks@gmail.com. You can also add FlossyLinks to your Google Notebook. Have a great weekend!

[Last Weekend's Links]

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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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