Weekend Links: The Least Helpful Reviews Ever

From the Department of Dreams: 8 Ways Magnetic Levitation Could Shape the Future. Here are some of the craziest uses that engineers and designers have conjured up.
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The most fascinating men … who were really women!
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From time to time there's talk about how the best college basketball teams would fare against the lowest ranked NBA teams, especially one with such a young group of players like, say, the Washington Wizards. So Deadspin simulated a Kentucky vs. the Washington Wizards matchup. Who do you think won?
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Why "uncanny valley" human lookalikes freak us out. (Because we should be scared, that's why!)
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Just in time for spring - "You may be familiar with the Common Yellow and the Western Tiger, but the Swallowtail family of butterflies is much larger and diverse than you may imagine. Take a look at some of the less familiar species and revisit one or two you have perhaps seen before."
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If you're a soccer fan, you should be tuning in to the Men in Blazers podcasts for some great fun and good insight, such as this Game of Thrones–to–English Premier League Converter. I know this link will appeal to about 2% of the readers of this blog, but since I'm pretty proud its creator used some of the ideas I emailed him about it I am shamelessly including it anyway! (If you are a fan of both give me a shout - which team do you support and who is your favorite character from the TV show or the books?)
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Some of the least helpful reviews out there, from the satirical to the too ridiculous to believe. Some of these people are clearly regular commenters on Yahoo!Answers and IMDB ...
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What does it look like when a guy comes out to his friends on Facebook but they are entirely too geeky to care? (essentially, as my friend Matt put it, ::shrugs, flips through book on CSS and HXML::)
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I couldn't find out any more about this from a legitimate news source, but I choose to believe its veracity because one day I want to find something like this when I wander through the woods: a German tank is recovered from a lake after 62 years.
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Stay tuned - more links tomorrow! In the meantime, send your emails or ravens (I know there are few of you Game of Thrones fans out there! But do you watch soccer...) to FlossyLinks@gmail.com.

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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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