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19 Videos That Make Learning Fun

Labor Day generally marks the end of summer and the start of a new school year. These fun educational videos for all ages should ease the sting of returning to school and help make studying more enjoyable.

History

"Bad Romance: Women's Suffrage" by Soomo Publishing

This might be our favorite: a fantastic, well-produced women's suffrage parody of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" from the educational publishing company Soomo.

"Gutenberg" by History for Music Lovers

The Hawaiian-based history teachers behind History for Music Lovers created this text-only video, a parody of Blondie's "Sunday Girl," to teach about the creator of the printing press. Visit their YouTube channel for more great history-based parodies of popular songs.

"Too Late to Apologize: A Declaration" by Soomo Publishing

Yes, it's a second video from Soomo, but they're both too good not to include. This parody of One Republic's "Apologize" was actually the first educational parody music video they produced; after its success (it has received more than 3 million views on YouTube), they created the "Bad Romance" video.

"The Animated Bayeux Tapestry" by David Newton of Potion Graphics

Originally a college project, this video brings the Bayeux Tapestry to life.

"Famous Last Words" by Ransom Riggs for mental_floss

Of course we had to include our own fun clip about some of history's most famous last words!

Science

"Meet the Elements" by They Might Be Giants

This introduction to the scientific elements from They Might Be Giants is off the band's Grammy Award-nominated album Here Comes Science. Check out more of TMBG's videos on YouTube.

Bill Nye the Science Guy on Static Electricity

Visit TheRealBillNye on YouTube for more clips from the classic science show, and visit his web site for media and educational materials.

"Classification Rap" by T.H. Culhane

This video was made back in 1989, way before YouTube made it quick and easy to share educational videos. Culhane's Melodic-Mnemonic approach to education helped his at-risk students succeed in school; he has gone on to work with the State Department's Cultural Affairs program to hold science workshops around the world.

Math

"Pi: Each and Every Time" by Ignite! Learning

The educational company Ignite! Learning created this song to explain the concept of pi.

"Calculus Rhapsody" by Paul Kirk & Mike Gospel

This parody of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" explains calculus. Click through to YouTube for the lyrics.

Geography

"The Countries of Your Planet" by Marco Polo

For more videos exploring the world from Team Marco Polo, visit their YouTube channel.

"50 States Song" by Mallory Lewis & Lamb Chop

Mallory Lewis, daughter of Lamb Chop's creator Shari Lewis, has picked up where her mom left off, and tours the country performing with the beloved puppet.

"50 State Capitols" by Wakko on Animaniacs

This is one of the most popular Animaniacs clips on YouTube, with more than 5 million views. (Judging by the comments, quite a few people watch the video to study for their tests.)

English

"History of English" by The Open University

This 11-minute video combines all 10 parts of Open University's video series on the history of the English language.

"Celebrities Sing Alphabet Song" by Sesame Street

Over the years, many celebrities have sung the alphabet song on Sesame Street. To promote the 2011-2012 season of the children's show, they released this celebrity compilation video. You can watch many more Sesame Street clips on the official YouTube channel.

"Conjunction Junction" by Schoolhouse Rock

Who can forget this classic from the popular animated educational series Schoolhouse Rock?

Art

"Three Primary Colors" by OK Go on Sesame Street

The guys of OK Go teach kids about the three primary colors and how they mix. Watch more Sesame Street videos on the official YouTube channel.

"The History of Art in 3 Minutes" by LikeFilms.org

A brief and humorous overview of art history. Note: Contains some not-safe-for-children/work words.

"500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art" by Philip Scott Johnson

This video, nominated as Most Creative Video for the 2007 YouTube Awards, depicts the evolution of the depiction of women in Western art over 500 years. Follow along with the list of artists and paintings. (This is also one of the most popular educational videos, with more than 92,000 views on Vimeo and more than 12 million views on YouTube.)

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5 Subtle Cues That Can Tell You About Your Date's Financial Personality
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Being financially compatible with your partner is important, especially as a relationship grows. Fortunately, there are ways you can learn about your partner’s financial personality in a relationship’s early stages without seeing their bank statement or sitting them down for “the money talk.”

Are they a spender or a saver? Are they cautious with money? These habits can be learned through basic observations or casual questions that don’t feel intrusive. Here are some subtle things that can tell you about your date’s financial personality.

1. HOW THEY ANSWER BASIC MONEY QUESTIONS.

Casual conversations about finance-related topics can be very revealing. Does your date know if their employer matches their 401(k) plan contributions? Do you find their answers to any financial questions a bit vague—even the straightforward ones like “What are the rewards like on your credit card?” This could mean that your partner is a little fuzzy on some of the details of their financial situation.

As your connection grows, money talks are only natural. If your date expresses uncertainty about their monthly budget, it may be an indicator that they are still working on the best way to manage their finances or don’t keep close tabs on their spending habits.

2. WHAT THEY’RE WATCHING AND READING.

If you notice your partner is always watching business news channels, thumbing through newspapers, or checking share prices on their phone, they are clearly keeping abreast of what’s going on in the financial world. Ideally, this would lead to a well-informed financial personality that gives way to smart investments and overall monetary responsibility.

If you see that your date has an interest in national and global finances, ask them questions about what they’ve learned. The answers will tell you what type of financial mindset to expect from you partner moving forward. You might also learn something new about the world of finance and business!

3. WHERE THEY GET THEIR FOOD.

You may be able to learn a lot about someone’s financial personality just by asking what they usually do for dinner. If your date dines out a lot, it could be an indication that they are willing to spend money on experiences. On the other hand, if they’re eating most of their meals at home or prepping meals for the entire week to cut their food budget, they might be more of a saver.

4. WHETHER THEY’RE VOICING MONEY CONCERNS.

Money is a source of stress for most people, so it’s important to observe if financial anxiety plays a prominent role in your date’s day-to-day life. There are a number of common financial worries we all share—rising insurance rates, unexpected car repairs, rent increases—but there are also more specific and individualized concerns. Listen to how your date talks about money and pick up on whether their stress is grounded in worries we all have or if they have a more specific reason for concern.

In both instances, it’s important to be supportive and helpful where you can. If your partner is feeling nervous about money, they’ll likely be much more cautious about what they’re spending, which can be a good thing. But it can also stop them from making necessary purchases or looking into investments that might actually benefit them in the future. As a partner, you can help out by minimizing their expenses for things like nights out and gifts in favor of less expensive outings or homemade gifts to leave more of their budget available for necessities.

5. HOW THEY HANDLE THE BILL.

Does your date actually look at how much they’re spending before handing their credit card to the waiter or bartender at the end of the night? It’s a subtle sign, but someone who looks over a bill is likely much more observant about what they spend than someone who just blindly hands cards or cash over once they get the tab.

Knowing what you spend every month—even on smaller purchases like drinks or dinner—is key when you’re staying on a budget. It’s that awareness that allows people to adjust their monthly budget and calculate what their new balance will be once the waiter hands over the check. Someone who knows exactly what they’re spending on the small purchases is probably keeping a close eye on the bigger picture as well.

REMEMBER THERE’S NO SUBSTITUTE FOR TALKING.

While these subtle cues can be helpful signposts when you’re trying to get an idea of your date’s financial personality, none are perfect indicators that will be accurate every time. Our financial personalities are rarely cut and dry—most of us probably display some behaviors that would paint us as savers while also showing habits that exclaim “spender!” By relying too heavily on any one indicator, we might not get an accurate impression of our date.

Instead, as you get to know a new partner, the best way to learn about their financial personality is by having a straightforward and honest talk with them. You’ll learn more by listening and asking questions than you ever could by observing small behaviors.

Whatever your financial personality is, it pays to keep an eye on your credit score. Discover offers a Free Credit Scorecard, and checking it won't impact your score. It's totally free, even if you aren't a Discover customer. Check yours in seconds. Terms apply. Visit Discover to learn more.

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Animals
Where Do Birds Get Their Songs?
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Birds display some of the most impressive vocal abilities in the animal kingdom. They can be heard across great distances, mimic human speech, and even sing using distinct dialects and syntax. The most complex songs take some practice to learn, but as TED-Ed explains, the urge to sing is woven into songbirds' DNA.

Like humans, baby birds learn to communicate from their parents. Adult zebra finches will even speak in the equivalent of "baby talk" when teaching chicks their songs. After hearing the same expressions repeated so many times and trying them out firsthand, the offspring are able to use the same songs as adults.

But nurture isn't the only factor driving this behavior. Even when they grow up without any parents teaching them how to vocalize, birds will start singing on their own. These innate songs are less refined than the ones that are taught, but when they're passed down through multiple generations and shaped over time, they start to sound similar to the learned songs sung by other members of their species.

This suggests that the drive to sing as well as the specific structures of the songs themselves have been ingrained in the animals' genetic code by evolution. You can watch the full story from TED-Ed below, then head over here for a sample of the diverse songs produced by birds.

[h/t TED-Ed]

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