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Pop Culture

Watch this 14-year-old win the National Spelling Bee after an intense lightning round

In only 90 seconds, Harini accurately spelled out a whopping 26 words.

student wins spelling bee in lightning round

What even are these words?!

Look, spelling bees might not come across as the most exciting type of competition in the world, but rest assured … they are intense. Hours upon hours are spent rigorously studying words you’ve absolutely never heard of (and never will hear again), followed by facing crippling stage fright while avoiding any and all mistakes lest you face the dreaded disqualification. Believe me, you never forget the misspelled word that takes you out. February, with its insidious little “r," haunts me to this very day.

It can be even more anxiety-inducing to watch, as was the case with 14-year old Harini Logan’s recent victory at the 94th Scripps National Spelling Bee.

The competition had been fierce from the get-go. BuzzFeed News reported that Logan was nearly eliminated due to a discrepancy for the definition of “pullulation,” which can apparently either mean the nesting of mating birds or the swarming of bees. Either way, it’s a great word to throw out to sound smart and nature-savvy.

Things really heated up when Logan went head-to-head with fellow competitor Vikram Raju. When each speller made it to the end with the same amount of mistakes, the judges had no other choice but to enforce their first ever “lightning round.”

In only 90 seconds, Harini accurately spelled out a whopping 26 words:

Though she handled the pressure like an absolute pro, Logan shared with NPR that the pace of a lightning round "terrified" her. "I go slow. That's my thing. I didn't know how I would fare in that setting," she said.

Luckily her months of practicing paid off, literally. Logan went home in first place with a prize of $50,000.

If you're curious, here are the words she spelled, according to a very helpful commenter on Twitter:

Spealbone

Phreatophyte

Gaydiang

Parison

Excimer

Toquilla

Glochis

Epaulement

Chara

Maieutic

Chalicothere

Teosinte

Siserary

Akori

Bouchal

Saccharose

Talisay

Vesicate

Semmit

Chorepiscopus

Kniphofia

Hontish

Malbrouck

Prnithorhynchus

Nandubay

Moorhen

Do you know what any of these words mean? I sure don’t. Most of these just look like something that would appear after my cat walks across my keyboard.

Logan’s impressive skills made for one heart-stopping finale. In the age of autocorrect, spelling bees might seem a little meaningless. But to logophiles, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of keeping your cool while placing letters perfectly.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


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Pop Culture

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Making a priceless memory

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Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

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