The Incredible Food Pyramid of Michel Lotito

You don’t get the nickname Monsieur Mangetout (“Mr. Eat Everything”) without earning it. Over the course of 40 years, Frenchman Michel Lotito ate an estimated 9 tons of metal.

In his youth, Lotito suffered from pica, a mental disorder in which people compulsively eat non-food items such as dirt and plastic. (Lotito’s condition was first diagnosed around age 9, when he started munching on parts of the family TV set.) But once he started experimenting with more dangerous items like nails and glass, he learned that the incredibly thick lining of his stomach and intestines allowed him to consume almost anything. Soon, Lotito turned his affliction into a career.

By breaking up metal into small pieces and chugging mineral oil to lubricate his throat, he perfected his technique. For years, the Frenchman ate 2 lbs. of metal each day. In 2007, Lotito died of natural causes unrelated to his eating habits. But before he passed away, he made sure he could eat a coffin.

A few of the incredible non-foods that Lotito consumed during his life:

2 Beds
7 Television Sets
6 Chandeliers
18 Bicycles
15 Shopping Carts
1 Cessna 150 Airplane (Lotito’s most famous meal: Eating the plane took him two years, from 1978 to 1980.)

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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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