The Four Founders of Hogwarts.
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!
I downloaded this to relearn German and it’s awesome and kind of fun!
All the reviews of Guardians of the Galaxy mention the “ragtag band of misfits” trope, but none of them seem to have noticed how political this movie is. Not that it’s especially allegorical or polemical, it’s not. This is not a movie about how politics is, could be, or ought to be practiced, which is good, because I hate that kind of movie. Instead, despite the epic scale, this is a much smaller movie, about the effects of political trauma on individual life.
When you hear “band of misfits,” you assume you’re going to get some combination of fuckups and weirdos, and GOTG certainly delivers. They’re all different colors and species, engaged in variously illegal activities, with levels of merriment ranging from “stonefaced” to “maniacal.” But to stop there would be to miss the most important part. The emotional core of everyone on the team comes from their origin stories, which are: abducted from home by mercenaries, coerced into service of same; family killed by invading attackers; family killed by invading attackers, then coerced into service of same; abducted from home (or synthesized?) by shadowy experimenters and coerced into experiments in service of same; and Groot, whose origins are unclear but who is completely alone, except for Rocket.
These are not “dropped out of state school because I was partying too hard” stories, despite the lazy jokes about Quill sleeping around. These are stories of political violence and disenfranchisement. Our heroes belong not to the social category of fuckups but to a political category: refugees. By the time the movie starts, they’re a long way from being innocents, but those trajectories all started with being rendered helpless and alone. “Life takes more than it gives”: it’s taken their communities, their families, their autonomy.
This movie is about what it means to make something new for yourself, after what you have is taken. Petty larceny doesn’t cut it, grand larceny doesn’t cut it, even vengeance doesn’t cut it. There are only two things that really help: making your own family, and giving a shit, which turn out to be pretty close to the same thing.
Our heroes belong not to the social category of fuckups but to a political category: refugees.
I would like to add that canonically Groot is the king of his people/planet, which while it is never explained past that, I’m willing to bet he’s a refugee as well.
12:01 AM in Ferguson. Curfew broken.
Surprise! Bring in the ‘friendly police’ so all the outraged white people can cool down, and then turn around and do it all over again.
Al Jazeera America film crew after a cop literally drove up to them, dropped tear gas, and drove away.
Here’s a few shots of them destroying the camera and equipement after they fled.
From blatant acts like this to the dubious goings on with Twitter trend suppression of #Ferguson, the attempt at censorship is one of the most enraging aspects about this.
They’re attempting to spin the narrative in their favour as it is happening and are getting help to do it.
I’m thoroughly disgusted.
Gods bless social media, otherwise no one would know this has been going on at all.
This is the incident report that the Ferguson police just produce. Now if you don’t know, this morning they FINALLY named the killer of Michael Brown as Darren Wilson. Along with naming Darren as the killer, the Ferguson police are now trying to link Michael Brown with a robbery that happened supposedly MOMENTS before.
Michael was killed at 12:01 and this robbery was at 11:54.
There are so many questions.
- We’ve seen the surveillance photos they’ve produced that shows someone who looks like Michael being aggressive with a store owner over an apparent box of swishers. (If you don’t know, Swishers are cigar papers you can pick up for like…2 for .50.
- They are saying that Officer Darren Wilson was responding to that robbery.
- They are calling it an STRONG ARMED ROBBERY
- A strong armed robbery is using, involving, or threatening the use of physical force or violence to gain an objective:
- Okay, got that bullshit out of the way
- The dispatch tapes that were released mention NOTHING ABOUT A ROBBERY.
- NOT ONE WORD
- THE ONLY THING MENTIONED WAS A SHOOTING AND REQUEST FOR CROWD CONTROL.
- THAT’S IT
- So how did Officer Wilson FIND OUT about the robbery?
- They’ve now listed Dorian Johnson (THE ONLY OTHER EYEWITNESS WHO WAS THERE) as the second accomplice to the robbery.
- The same Dorian Johnson who has been trying (in vain) to talk with the Ferguson Police Department about Michael’s Death since LAST SATURDAY.
- So this man who is this SECOND SUSPECT IN A ROBBERY CASE IS PLEADING WITH YOU AND IS ALL OVER NATIONAL NEWS AND YOU ARE REFUSING TO SEE HIM. BUT HE’S A SUSPECT IN A ROBBERY. OKAY
- When Officer Wilson sees both Michael and Dorian his initial reaction was "GET THE FUCK ON THE SIDEWALK."
- Not any kind of reaction dealing with them being robbery suspects.
- From some of the pictures (I’m not going to post them due to the family’s wishes) if you compare the footage from the store and the footage from Michael’s death, he’s swapped from Nike sandals to Sneakers. This red hat cannot be found (this is speculation).
- If the reason Office Wilson approached them was because they were suspects in an robbery WHY DIDN’T HE CALL IT IN? WHY DIDN’T HE FOLLOW PROCEDURE? WHY WOULD HE ROLL UP ON ROBBERY SUSPECTS IN HIS VEHICLE? WHY DID IT TAKE 6 DAYS FOR THIS TO BE ANNOUNCED?
I implore you. IMPLORE YOU to take a look into the presented facts of the case. This is just an incident report, we do not have access to the investigative report. There has been no reports presented of Michael’s autopsy and this report is contradictory of the second eye witnesses report.
None of this makes sense.
They are putting Michael on trial to dehumanize him, villify him, to make him less human to justify his murder.
And at the end of the day, LET’S JUST SAY MICHAEL DID DO THIS…is petty theft (it was like 5 swisher sweets they say. That’s a two dollars and fifty cents) IS HIS MURDER, HIS EXECUTION, THIS UNARMED SURRENDING TEENAGE BOY, justified by this?
This is murder. Don’t let them put Michael on trial for HIS DEATH.
what a difference 50 years can make