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A 7-year-old taught himself to play the bagpipes. Here's what 4 other people learned from YouTube.

YouTube is more than just cat videos and makeup tutorials. Way more.

A 7-year-old taught himself to play the bagpipes. Here's what 4 other people learned from YouTube.

Meet the 2015 javelin world champion, Julius Yego.

Image via EMEASports/YouTube.


His win in Beijing isn't just incredible for the regular reason (you know ... being the world's greatest javelin thrower). The amazing part is that Yego made it this far without a coach (if we don't count Coach YouTube). That's right — this world champion taught himself how to throw javelin from watching YouTube videos.

What's super cool is that his story is far from unique. Here's a list of some seriously talented folks who owe what they know to Professor YouTube.

(Turns out YouTube is for way more than just watching cute cat and bunny videos. I so need to re-evaluate my online video consumption.)

This adorable and talented 7-year-old who secretly taught himself bagpipes so he could surprise his dad.

Photo from USA Today/YouTube.

First-grader Luke Stewart wants to be just like his dad. So when he saw his dad playing the bagpipes, he did what any normal 7-year-old would do: watch YouTube for a year and become this amazing player. You have to see this kid in action.

A teenage pole vault champion.

This isn't her, but we can pretend. Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images for IAAF.

High schooler Reannah Martin got interested in pole vault through her brother's participation in the sport. With no coach available at her school to help, she watched video after video of champion vaulters. During her first competition, she placed first in her region. Impressive.

A woman who learned embroidery from YouTube and now makes clothing for Drake.

REAL TALK with bellelunavie.com @angel_jhang check out the Interviews 🍄
A photo posted by MARIE SOPHIE LOCKHART (@goodfornothingembroidery) on

Marie Sophie Lockhart of Good for Nothing Embroidery once embroidered a tattoo of Drake and posted it on Instagram. He saw it, reposted it ... and was impressed so much by her work that he asked if she would do work for him. Now she makes clothing for a celebrity musician. Since then, she's also partnered with luxury brands. NBD.

This unemployed Brit who used his sudden chunk of free time to become a weapons-trafficking expert through YouTube videos.

Image via The Guardian/YouTube.

When Eliot Higgins became unemployed, he found himself watching a lot of leaked videos from Syria. He soon put the pieces together about arms trafficking in the area and started keeping a blog under the alias Brown Moses. His content proved to be so valuable that reporters and human rights activists used the blog as a go-to resource. Learn more about his journey on The Guardian.

A MasterChef UK winner!

2015 MasterChef UK winner Simon Wood never took a cooking class in his life! He told MailOnline that got his skills from observing cooks — at restaurants, on shows, and on YouTube. He then would practice his culinary masterpieces for his kids. Lucky.

These YouTube-taught masters show the power of sharing knowledge.

YouTube has millions of videos and contains a WEALTH of information that anyone with an Internet connection can access and learn from. It isn't just a tool for fame and mindless chatter. It's clear that the site has become a way for humans to share information with one another — for free.

These success stories don't just show how great YouTube is. They also show how valuable access to broadband Internet can be.

This summer, President Obama committed to expanding high-speed Internet access in low-income areas to fill the “digital divide." Because everyone should have the chance to become the next great athlete/cook/musician/expert if they want — regardless of how much they make or where they live. Now go spread the word and learn something.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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