Morning Cup of Links: Chocolate Super Hero Costumes

Carbon-14 formed by atomic weapons testing can be used to date biological specimens, like trees and human beings. You can lie about your age, but your autopsy can find out if you were born in the mid-1950s. (via Metafilter)
*
An examination of why we are so drawn to sad LOLcats. Anthropomorphism makes it easier to confront -and laugh at- our own woes.
*
Good news for Christmas morning gift opening: some manufacturers are launching new packaging that's easier to open. You won't need to use a saw, blowtorch, or your teeth to get to the product!
*
Underage soldiers of World War I. They included a future king, a future US senator, and one who is still alive. (via Grow-A-Brain)
*
Puppet is the bizarre story of a young man who creates a hand puppet that hurts him in increasingly gruesome ways. An animated short by Patrick Smith.
*
A recent New York fashion show had a super hero theme, with costumes modeled after action and science fiction film characters. But best of all, the clothing shown was make entirely of chocolate!
*
Even short-term exposure to air pollution could lead to high blood pressure and heart attacks. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
*
12 Pop Culture Cavemen (and Cavewomen). A man who resembles us but does not understand or fit in with the confusing modern world is a wonderful device for both comedy and adventure.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
College Board Wants to Erase Thousands of Years From AP World History, and Teachers Aren't Happy
iStock
iStock

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]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
North America: East or West Coast?
iStock
iStock

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios