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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.

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.

Family

Dad takes 7-week paternity leave after his second child is born and is stunned by the results

"These past seven weeks really opened up my eyes on how the household has actually ran, and 110% of that is because of my wife."

@ustheremingtons/TikTok

There's a lot to be gleaned from this.

Participating in paternity leave offers fathers so much more than an opportunity to bond with their new kids. It also allows them to help around the house and take on domestic responsibilities that many new mothers have to face alone…while also tending to a newborn.

All in all, it enables couples to handle the daunting new chapter as a team, making it less stressful on both parties. Or at least equally stressful on both parties. Democracy!

TikTok creator and dad Caleb Remington, from the popular account @ustheremingtons, confesses that for baby number one, he wasn’t able to take a “single day of paternity leave.”

This time around, for baby number two, Remington had the privilege of taking seven weeks off (to be clear—his employer offered four weeks, and he used an additional three weeks of PTO).

The time off changed Remington’s entire outlook on parenting, and his insights are something all parents could probably use.

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Millenial names are now "old" names.

You can’t turn back the hands of time and so it’s impossible to avoid being labeled “old” by younger generations, no matter how hard you try. For many of us, our names are tied to the times when we were born and can start to sound really dated, no matter how fashionable they were at one point.

TikTokker Amber Cimotti found this out the hard way when her daughter noted that she has an “old” person's name.

“My daughter told me the name Ashley or Amanda — or my name is Amber — are like old people names and I never thought about it this way,” Amber explained in a video with over 3 million views.

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Christine Kesteloo has one big problem living on a cruise ship.

A lot of folks would love to trade lives with Christine Kesteloo. Her husband is the Chief Engineer on a cruise ship, so she gets to live on the boat pretty much for free as the “wife on board.” For Christine, life is a lot like living on a permanent vacation.

“I live on a cruise ship for half the year with my husband, and it's often as glamorous as it sounds,” she told Insider. “After all, I don't cook, clean, make my bed, do laundry or pay for food.“

Living an all-inclusive lifestyle seems like paradise, but it has some drawbacks. Having access to all-you-can-eat food all day long can really have an effect on one’s waistline. Kesteloo admits that living on a cruise ship takes a lot of self-discipline because the temptation is always right under her nose.

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Woman shows her misbehaving cat to 'the trenches'

You always hear about a "bad dog," giving the furry goofballs a reputation for getting into mischief, but what about bad cats. Not all cats are angels just lounging around the house until someone gives them food while fanning them with a giant palm leaf. Some cats have a sketchy "catigree" and every once in a while they let that wild streak show. When that happens, what is a cat owner to do?

A cat mom that goes by the user name Lambo Licia on Instagram posted a video showing exactly how she gets her cat in line when he's misbehaving. No, it's not with a spray bottle. She shows him what life is like in "the trenches." You know, the area of town where homeless cats roam and cat burglars have real whiskers and thumbs that don't work, leaving a strange fish smell wherever they lurk.

If Scared Straight: Cat Edition was an actual thing, Mega, the orange tabby would be the first to turn his life around. He looks absolutely petrified from all of the unruly cat behavior he sees out the window and his mom's commentary.

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Science

College students use AI to decode ancient scroll burned in Mount Vesuvius

“Some of these texts could completely rewrite the history of key periods of the ancient world."

When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 C.E., it buried entire cities in volcanic materials. While Pompeii is the most famous site affected by the natural disaster, the nearby villa of Herculaneum was also laid to waste—including over 800 precious scrolls found inside Herculaneum’s library, which were carbonized by the heat, making them impossible to open and recover their contents.

Which brings us to the Vesuvius challenge, started by computer scientist Brent Seales and entrepreneurs Nat Friedman and Daniel Gross in March 2023. The contest would award $1 million in prizes to whoever could use machine learning to successfully read from the scrolls without damaging them.

On February 5, the prize-winning team was announced.
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Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons

Shaquille O'Neal retired from pro basketball in 2011, but he's still one of the most famous players ever.

Fame comes with a lot of challenges, but it also comes with some pretty obvious perks. There's the money that frequently follows fame, of course, but there's also the special treatment people automatically offer you.

Some famous folks might revel in that special treatment and some might even express gratitude for it. But occasionally, you find a celebrity who refuses it altogether.

Take basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal, for instance.

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