This is Duolingo, a language-learning website/app that deserves some serious recognition. It offers over 10 languages for English speakers, as well as courses for non-English speakers around the world, and they’re in the process of adding more.
But wait, I don’t want to do any more schoolwork! Not to worry little one, Duolingo is actually more like a game. You can compete with friends, and earn “lingots” (which are basically Duolingo money) to buy power-ups, extra activities, and bonus skills - like Flirting.
I’m already taking a language, what do I need this for?
It’s not really a secret that most school language courses (in America, anyway) suck and only teach you to speak the language at about a third grader’s level. Which is why Duolingo is so freaking awesome.
Teachers can’t give every student individualized attention, but Duolingo can. If you’re not learning the way you want to or as much as you want to in the classroom, Duolingo is a really great resource. It’s easy, tailored to you, and really effective.
Duolingo tracks your progress and reminds you when you haven’t studied for a while or need a refresher on something. Already semi-fluent in a language? No problem, just take a shortcut to more advanced subjects or test out of the lesson.
The lessons start with the basics (he, she, hello, thank you, etc) and move up to harder stuff. Duolingo focuses on vocabulary first, so you can learn the language and then the grammar that goes with it - much simpler than the system most schools use. It also tracks the number of words you’ve learned and how well you know them.
And you don’t even have to write out the flashcards!
Duolingo is perfect for reviewing everything you forgot over the summer or giving you the extra help you need. And if you’re trying to learn a language on your own, it’s fantastic - you don’t have to create your own lessons. Whether you’re trying to learn your second, third, or fifth language, I seriously recommend Duolingo.
Okay, what else?
Duolingo also has discussion boards, where you can ask for help with a hard lesson, make new friends, watch for updates, and share your achievements.
Even better is the Immersion feature. It won’t send you to Spain or France, but it’s pretty awesome. Duolingo takes real articles from the internet, which users translate. You can translate articles from your native language into the language you’re learning or vice versa, which gives you more experience and makes the Internet more universal.
You can suggest new languages and track Duolingo’s progress in creating new courses. Bilinguals (older than 13) can help to create these courses. Duolingo has a long list of courses that can be contributed to, like Punjabi, Hebrew, and Vietnamese. Oh, and Dothraki, Klingon, Sindarin, and Esperanto.
And the best part? IT’S COMPLETELY FREE.
If you love languages or just want to pass French class this year, USE DUOLINGO. Download the app and practice a language while you wait for the bus instead of playing Angry Birds!
Several months ago, in anticipation of the birth of my son, I wrote “Atlas” for him. At the time, I could only imagine the feelings I’d have for him when I’d have to leave for tour. I didn’t truly understand the power and relevance of the song’s sentiment. Now, after having him in my life for almost three months and with Neverender just a few weeks away, I’m starting to feel it. This will be my first tour away from Atlas. And sure, it will be hard, but it’s all for him. I’d like to share that song with you.
This is Théoden, or Theo for short. He’s my new roommate! <3
We adopted Théoden from the Humane Society this past weekend. His former name was “Porter” and he is a pretty old guy (13 years). Sadly, his previous owner had brought him in to have him euthanized. She said that she could not afford to move with him and asked to have him put down because “he was old anyways”. But because he was still healthy, alert, and friendly, the shelter refused to euthanize him and put him up for adoption instead.
When I started looking at adoption possibilities, I learned that the Humane Society has a category of animals labeled “Forget Me Not”. These are animals considered "less adoptable", animals that have been waiting in the shelter for weeks and even months, maybe even for no other reason that they are old, or shy, or meow funny, or have a missing eye or ear or foot. There’s nothing wrong or “broken” about these cats, and all they want is a new human to love! I made up my mind to adopt a “Forget Me Not” cat.
Théoden-formerly-known-as-Porter was a shelter favorite. The staff all loved him and played with him daily, and while they were sad to see him go, they were very happy that he has found the right home after spending almost two months in limbo! Théoden is a big grumbly old man - he weighs almost 17 pounds - but is a soft, gentle, loving, smoochable fellow. His favorite new hobby involves plopping down right in front of the floor fan so that his fur can blow everywhere. He also enjoys chasing laser pointers, drinking water out of places that are not his water bowl, receiving chin scratches, headbutting affectionately, and sleeping derpily in my bookshelf. He may be old, but he surely has many years of loving and sleeping and grumbling left in him. He is a perfect old grump muffin, he is the new king of our house and we love him very much. I’m so glad I could give this guy a second chance. Hail Théoden Cat!
Remember: Adopt, don’t shop. If you’re looking for a new friend, visit your local animal shelter. And consider giving a “less adoptable” animal a chance - they all deserve love too!
New member of the family! <3 We are naming him either Théoden or Samwise - vote please? :) #catstagram
the reason male comic book fans work themselves into a frenzied rage over “fake geek girls" is because they think they can’t get a girlfriend because of their love for comic books (a.k.a nerdiness). if they accept that geek girls genuinely love comic books, then they’re left with the cold harsh reality that it’s not their nerdiness that makes them unattractive to women, but the fact that they are misogynistic condescending dickbags who need to be avoided AT ALL COSTS
Guaranteed basic income to every citizen, whether or not they are employed to ensure their survival and that they live in a dignified, humane way, preventing poverty, illness, homelessness, reducing crime, encouraging higher education and learning vocations as well as helping society become more prosperous as a whole.
Wow. Forget raising the minimum wage. This is much much better idea.
The minimum wage could actually drop if we had basic income.
But Americans would never go for it. Miserably slogging through 12 hour days and having businesses open 24/7 is too engrained in our culture.
"BUT WHERE WILL THE GOVERNMENT GET THE MONEY?" screamed Joe Schmoe, slamming a meaty fist onto the table and getting mouth-froth all over the front of his greying tank top. "You libt*rds all think money grows on TREES!! HAHA!"
"But where will people get the incentive to work?!" Mindy Bindy cried, flapping her hands in front of her face. She’d had a fear of the unemployed lollygagging about ever since she was a child and her mother told her to be afraid of the unemployed lollygagging about. "You think people should get paid for nothing? I work hard for my money!”
"But who will serve me?" grumbled Marty McMoneybags. "Who will make me feel important? Who will do my laundry and cook my food and stand in front of me wearing a plastic smile while I take out all my stress—because I do have a lot of stress, you know, being this rich is stressful—on them?” He paused and straightened out the piles of hundred dollar bills on the desk in front of him, then raised his two watery, outraged eyes up to the Heavens. “Lord, if there are no poor people, how will I know that I’m rich??”
I laughed. This is perfect! Well said!
The thing is, while I’m sure you could scrape up a few people who’d be willing to just float by on a guaranteed minimum income? For most people the choice to work would be a no-brainer. “Hmmm. I can get by on 33k a year, or I can take that part time job and make 48k… enough to move to a better apartment, maybe take the family on vacation. Sold.” Hell, most people would want to work simply because it gives one a sense of dignity and something to do with one’s time. (Speaking as someone who’s been unemployed, on extended sick leave, etc. in her time, the boredom and sense of isolation that comes with not having a job is almost as bad as the humiliation of having to depend on other people for one’s survival.)
And with this system, part-time jobs and “non-skilled” jobs would be much more readily available because nobody would need to work two or three jobs just to stay afloat!
Which would ALSO mean that employers and customers couldn’t shamelessly exploit employees the way they can today, because if losing a job weren’t necessarily a financial disaster, more people would be willing to walk out on jobs where they weren’t being treated with dignity.
And if this also applies to students (and it should) then student loans would become much less of a problem, and fewer people would flunk out of school because of having to juggle studies and work.
Far fewer people would be forced to stay with abusive partners, parents or roommates because they couldn’t afford to move out.
And the thing is, all those people who suddenly had money? They’d be spending it. They’d be getting all the stuff they can’t afford now - new clothes, books, toys, locally-produced food, car repairs - and with each purchase money would flow BACK to the government, because VAT, also income tax.
The unemployed and/or disabled wouldn’t need special support any more - which would also mean the government could fire however many admins who are currently engaged in humiliating - *cough* making sure those people aren’t getting money they don’t deserve. Same for medical benefits and pensions. And I’m no legal scholar, but I somehow imagine less financial desperation would lead to less petty crime, and hence less need for police and security everywhere?
TL;DR Doomie thinks this is a good idea, laughs at those who protest.
reblogging for more top commentary
They tried something like this out in Canada as a sort of social experiment, called Mincome. What they found was that, on the whole, people continued to work about as much as they did before. Only new mothers and teenagers worked substantially less hours.
But wait, there’s more. Because parents were spending just a little more time at home and involved with their families, test scores increased. Because teens didn’t have to work to support their families, drop-out rates decreased. Crime rates, hospital visits, psychiatric hospitalizations and domestic abuse rates all dropped, as well. More adults pursued higher education. Those who continued to work reported more job flexibility and more opportunity to choose employment they preferred.
Basically, now you can go prove to your asshole family members that society won’t collapse without poor people for you to feel better than.
The picture is awesome, but read the commentary, that’s what I’m reblogging for.
Evening Post: August 12, 1899.
"She immediately alighted, caught hold of the astonished youth, and gave him a sound thrashing, using her fists in a scientific fashion…”
I would love to know what this means.
I think that might be code for “punched him in the balls with devastating accuracy”.
#FERGUSON protestor returns tear gas canister back to sender…
This is Amerikkka 2014
while eating his chips lol
People so often use “iconic” to refer to things that are not iconic, but I feel like this picture really will be.
I said it before in a tag, but I think the American flag T-shirt is what’s going to make this the biggest image to come out of Ferguson. Few things make an impression like wearing a T-shirt with the flag of the land of the free and the home of the brave on it while you throw back a tear gas canister that the people who are supposed to be protecting you threw at you in the first place just for protesting.
this is the laziest fucking gang I’ve ever seen