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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.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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