And I just
Seriously though, I can’t emphasize enough how amazing Khan Academy is. Khan Academy is completely free, and teaches everything from Humanities to hard sciences. Khan Academy has delivered over 300,000,000 lessons, and its goal is to provide 'a free world-class education for anyone anywhere'. Khan Academy has proven to be invaluable to me, as well as several of my peers, and I highly recommend it for anyone who is looking to expand their interests and their education.
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!
Coolest app I’ve ever downloaded.
I love duolingo you can friend me @ havocados
♚ SwanQueen Appreciation Week
Day 7: Favorite Fanfiction
The Worlds You Never See by writetherest
As soon as she had stepped through the doorway, the door closed tightly. And only then, with Regina inside, did the lines, curves, and swirls shift and move, assembling themselves into words within the heart: The Road You Didn’t Take.
To Protect and Serve Cover
fic by Janemac24 (x)
A loaf of bread made in the first century AD, which was discovered at Pompeii, preserved for centuries in the volcanic ashes of Mount Vesuvius. The markings visible on the top are made from a Roman bread stamp, which bakeries were required to use in order to mark the source of the loaves, and to prevent fraud. (via Ridiculously Interesting)
(sigh) I’ve seen these before, but this one’s particularly beautiful.
I feel like I’m supposed to be marveling over the fact that this is a loaf of bread that’s been preserved for thousands of years, and don’t get me wrong, that’s hella cool. But honestly, I’m mostly struck by the unexpected news that “bread fraud” was apparently once a serious concern.
Bread Fraud was a huge thing, Bread was provided to the Roman people by the government - bakers were given grain to make the free bread, but some of them stole the government grain to use in other baked goods and would add various substitutes, like sawdust or even worse things, to the bread instead. So if people complained that their free bread was not proper bread, the stamp told them exactly whose bakery they ought to burn down.
Bread stamps continued to be used at least until the Medieval period in Europe. Any commercially sold bread had to be stamped with an official seal to identify the baker to show that it complied with all rules and regulations about size, price, and quality. This way, rotten or undersized loaves could be traced back to the baker. Bakers could be pilloried, sent down the streets in a hurdle cart with the offending loaf tied around their neck, fined, or forbidden to engage in baking commercially ever again in that city. There are records of a baker in London being sent on a hurdle cart because he used an iron rod to increase the weight of his loaves, and another who wrapped rotten dough with fresh who was pilloried. Any baker hurdled three times had to move to a new city if they wanted to continue baking.
If you have made bread, you are probably familiar with a molding board. It’s a flat board used to shape the bread. Clever fraudsters came up with a molding board that had a little hole drilled into it that wasn’t easily noticed. A customer would buy his dough by weight, and then the baker would force some of that dough through the hole, so they could sell and underweight loaf and use the stolen dough to bake new loafs to sell. Molding boards ended up being banned in London after nine different bakers were caught doing this. There were also instances of grain sellers withholding grain to create an artificial scarcity drive up the price of that, and things like bread.
Bread, being one of the main things that literally everyone ate in many parts of the world, ended up with a plethora of rules and regulations. Bakers were probably no more likely to commit fraud than anyone else, but there were so many of them, that we ended up with lots and lots of rules and records of people being shifty.
Check out Fabulous Feasts: Medieval Cookery and Ceremony by Madeleine Pelner Cosman for a whole chapter on food laws as they existed in about 1400. Plus the color plates are fantastic.
Thanks history side of Tumblr!
Regina, Marchioness of White, widely renowned as the most elegant woman in England, is in London helping her step-daughter through her first Season. Miss Emma Swan is pretending to be an heiress to seduce and destroy Sir Killian Jones, dandy, on behest of the wealthy Mr Gold.
Featuring at least one elopement, a duel, a pistol, several balls and a great deal of romance.
Belle perched on the bed behind Emma, brushing out her rapidly drying hair. “And how did it go with the riding?” Emma shrugged and Belle slapped her shoulder with the brush. “Ladies do not shrug.”
“It was … fine,” Emma said. It was cold in her room, wind seeping through chinks in the windows and wending its way around her shoulders, not helped by the fact that she was just wearing her undergarments. “I just – horse riding is really not the best place for me to try and seduce Jones. Perhaps Mr Gold could keep that in mind.”
“I know you don’t like it,” Belle said. “But it is one of the few ways you can be alone while surrounded by hundreds of people.”
“I might have fallen,” Emma snapped. “If it weren’t for…” She stopped. She had not told Belle about Lady White, beyond their brief introduction at the ball. She relished that private relationship, totally disconnected from Gold and the unsavoury things she had to do.
“For what?” Belle’s eyes widened and Emma contemplated telling her, but Belle’s loyalties, as twisted as it was, were for Gold and Emma knew she told him everything.
“If it weren’t for my incredible thigh muscles,” Emma said and Belle laughed, smacking her again with the brush.