Weekend Links: The Geek Shall Inherit The Earth

A love letter to letters: or, how to get your friends to actually send you a tangible piece of mail every once and awhile to give your email account a break!
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Puzzle time: twist the letters around to make new ones. Here's another twist: you have to guess all of them within a certain amount of time. How far did you guys get? I never got past level two.
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For anyone doubting that the Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth, they have seemingly taken over the one thing no one suspected: sports bars! In some pubs, Starcraft battles are taking the place of football fanaticism. Just don't expect this to become an arena event with Jumbo Trons … yet* (*until they hack it).
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After seeing, in some cases, far more flesh than I would ever want to at this year's Dragon*Con in Atlanta, this gallery of more modest fashions from past decades certainly appeals (umm … in a certain sense. Actually these costumes would fit right in at Dragon*Con!)
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Sure you've seen an infinite number of solar system models, but how many have you seen to scale? Thanks to the power of the web you can now scroll forever and a day to get through our scaled system that in real life would be spaced half a mile from end to end!
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I've spent a good portion of the week watching the "John Adams" miniseries (it's fantastic, by the way), and spent about half of that time thinking about the accents portrayed on the show. Stumbling across this article on whether or not Americans had British accents in 1776 and, either way, when and why did it change was indeed fortuitous!
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15 free and useful tech guides. BRB, downloading.
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Finally, from the Annals of Too Much Time ... it explains itself (be sure to let it fully load!)
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Stay tuned! More links on the way tomorrow - in the meantime send your finds to FlossyLinks@gmail.com. And don't forget to follow me on Twitter where I pass on links that school you in some vintage Julia Childs.

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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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