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Studies Show Duolingo Learning Outcomes Are Comparable to University Classes
Despite being a 1-week wonder-kind-of-habit, people who study languages on Duolingo perform as well as University students with years under their belts, according to a recent study. The most popular language-learning platform on Earth, Duolingo offers courses on more than 20 languages. The experiment published in Foreign Language Annals demonstrated that Duolingo learners who completed five units in the Spanish or French courses performed as well on reading and listening tests as students who had completed four semesters of university language instruction. What’s more is that Duolingo learners achieved four semesters of proficiency in reading and listening in less than half the time as their college counterparts.
10 Stories From This Week Guaranteed to Make You Smile
When life gets tough, it's important to find little moments of joy. These ultimate feel-good stories from this week are a reminder that, despite the bad news we often see in the headlines, there is still a lot of good in the world. This week's roundup of joy includes a pup with the most excited reaction to seeing his human, a security guard having the time of her life at a Taylor Swift concert, and a heartwarming story of the best dad joke ever.
A Young Boy Was Just Reunited With His Pet Tortoise After Seven Months
Mary, a pet tortoise, has returned home after being missing for seven months, thanks to the help of a power company worker named Ben Baxendale. Harvey, Mary's owner, was devastated when his beloved pet went missing last August, but he never gave up hope of finding her. When Ben found Mary taking a "power nap" at a nearby electricity substation, he knew he had to help reunite the wandering reptile with her family. After knocking on doors, Ben eventually found Harvey's grandmother, who identified Mary as the missing tortoise. What a happy ending!
Two Teenagers Just Made an Incredible New Mathematical Discovery
Two high school students, Calcea Johnson and Ne'Kiya Jackson, just proved Pythagoras' Theorem can be proven without trigonometry at the American Mathematical Society's Annual Southeastern Conference. This achievement is a big deal because many mathematicians have been trying to do this for nearly 2,000 years. They were the only high school students in the room, making their accomplishment even more remarkable. With the help of their dedicated teachers, these students have shown that anything is possible with hard work and determination.
How a Music School is Offering a Lifeline to Survivors of Turkey's Earthquake
The Nefes Foundation for Arts and Culture in the city of Gaziantep, created by Syrian and Turkish musicians in 2016, was one of the buildings to survive the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkey last month. The school, which offers music lessons on Middle Eastern instruments and group classes to revive forgotten Syrian classics, serves as a sanctuary for many refugees, providing a comfort zone for them to integrate through music with Turkish and Syrian cultures. The school recently resumed classes, offering a lifeline for many students.
This 17-Year-Old Discovered a Remarkable Way to Diagnose Pediatric Heart Disease
Ellen Xu, a 17-year-old student, has won third place and a $150,000 reward in the Regeneron Science Talent Search competition for developing an AI-based diagnostic test for Kawasaki disease. With Kawasaki having no existing test method and children risking long-term heart complications if left undiagnosed, Xu took it upon herself to use deep learning and crowdsourcing to create an 85% positive diagnosis rate using just a smartphone image. The disease currently has no existing test method, making Xu's test a significant breakthrough.
A London Community Centre is Offering a Warm Lifeline for Families
A community center in Newham, east London, run by the charity Hope 4 Humanity, is offering a warm haven for people to gather, enjoy free food, and share stories. The service is open on Sundays and Tuesdays and has about 70 regular attendees. The charity also operates a food bank on Saturdays, serving 300 people. With rising costs of living, including rent and food, the charity has seen a noticeable increase in visitors, and volunteers say the warm haven has become a lifeline for many families who cannot afford to host gatherings at home.
A Puppy Interrupted a Live TV Segment and It Was the Cutest Addition Ever
Reporter Bob Barnard was doing a live report on local weather conditions in Leesburg, Virginia when a furry little surprise stole the show. A puppy named Pierogi had escaped and jumped over the gate, and couldn't resist making a cameo on TV. Bob, being the champ that he is, stopped everything he was doing and picked up the pup, declaring that he wanted to get to know this dog. Pierogi's human eventually came to relieve Bob of his doggy-day-care duties, but not after cute little pup had already made everyone's day!
Meet the Woman Who Ran 200 Marathons to Encourage Sustainable Water Use
Australian businesswoman Mina Guli has completed 200 marathons in a single year to raise awareness about the global water crisis. Each of the marathons were 42.195 kilometers in length, and in total, Guli ran 8,439 kilometers across 32 countries. The #RunBlue challenge saw her cross Australian deserts, glaciers in Tajikistan, and the Amazon rainforest before finishing outside the UN headquarters in New York. Guli’s goal is to bring attention to the global water crisis and its negative impact on billions of people, and to find sustainable solutions.
Poland is Honoring Heroes Who Risked Their Lives to Save People From the Holocaust
Polish President Andrzej Duda honored Poles who risked their lives to save Jews from the Holocaust during the Nazi German occupation of Poland. At a memorial site in Markowa, Duda spoke about the many families in the region and across Poland who hid Jews during WWII, ensuring their survival. The names of these brave families, including the Ulmas who were declared martyrs by Pope Francis, are engraved on plaques at the Markowa Museum of Poles Saving Jews During World War II.
What Went Right: A Roundup of This Week's Best News
In a world full of bad news, it's easy to forget the good that's happening too. But we believe that good news matters, and there's tons of it to go around! Some of this week's best headlines include the World Happiness Report releasing some incredible findings, a low-cost universal transit pass rollout in Germany, and a new policy in Scotland that's saving lives. Plus, a new report on slashing emissions and renewable energy is giving hope on saving the planet!