Duolingo offers free language instruction to anyone with an internet connection

If learning a new language has ever been on your bucket list, the Duolingo app is making it harder to come up with excuses to get started. Offering a fun, free, and engaging service to anyone with access to WiFi, it is taking the world by storm. Lessons can be broken up in to 3 minute chunks and are age-appropriate for all sorts of users. And, did we mention it’s free?

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GIVEAWAY: Win a Voltaic solar backpack in Inhabitat's Back to School Contest (worth $330)!

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It’s hard to believe, but fall is nearly upon us and a new semester will be in full swing sooner than we know it. Where did summer go? If you’re heading off to school, Inhabitat is here to help you hit the books with a smarter footprint – and in this year’s Back to School Contest we’re giving you the chance to win a Voltaic solar-power backpack to keep your phone and other gadgets charged all day! No more running out of juice between classes, and having to search for a power outlet. Our GRAND PRIZE WINNER will receive a $199 OffGrid 6W Solar Backpack, packed with 6 Watts of solar energy to power your phone, tablet, and USB devices anytime, anywhere. And our two RUNNER UP WINNERS will snag a $129 Converter Solar Backpack that will power you through a full day of classes. Read on to learn how to enter!

HOW TO ENTER:

1. SIGN UP FOR THE INHABITAT NEWSLETTER HERE > We’ll be announcing the winners in our weekly newsletter, so you’ll need to receive it to find out if you won!

2. LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW telling us why you need a Voltaic Solar Backpack. The deadline for this giveaway is September 11, 2015. We’ll choose the comments we like best and announce the winners in our newsletter, so make sure you’re signed up!

DEADLINE IS 11:50 PM SEPT 11

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The moon can be your final resting place for just $12,000

by , 09/02/15
filed under: News, Science

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The living spend a lot of time thinking about what will happen after death. Choosing the spot where your remains will live for eternity is a tough one, especially because there is no changing your mind once it’s said and done. For those looking for a really spectacular way to spend $12,000 that isn’t a lavish funeral on Earth, the San Francisco-based Elysium Space has you covered, offering to shoot your ashes into space or even onto the surface of the moon.

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Solar Decathlon 2015: Storm-resilient SURE HOUSE can charge your neighbors' devices during blackouts

by , 09/02/15
filed under: Inhabitat NYC

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Beauer 3X camper telescopes to three times its size in 20 seconds flat

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Tesla pre-order customers can now customize their Model X SUV for just $132,000

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Tesla’s looooong-awaited Model X crossover SUV has been a source of great excitement among auto buffs for several years now. The fastest selling car in Tesla’s history reached that distinction way back in early 2012, and the all-electric sport utility vehicle with impressive falcon wing doors still isn’t on the road. Yet. Tesla’s still accepting pre-orders, though, and customers can now privately customize a Signature Series model for $132,000, before tax credits.

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’Death Ray’ Walkie Talkie is crowned Britain’s worst building

by , 09/02/15

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Shocking study reveals 90% of seabirds have eaten plastic

seabirds plastic, seabirds eat plastic, albatrosses eat plastic, marine debris, plastic in oceans

The science is clear: the world’s oceans simply can’t take the burden of our plastic waste. Seabirds have been ingesting more of the stuff over the past few decades and the percentage of birds with plastic in their systems is expected to hit 99 percent by 2050. The jump to 90 percent – where it is today – was a quick one, as the number was only 10 percent back in the 70s and 80s.

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Off-grid Fig Tree Residence is a modern solar-powered home in Australia

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ART

Jenine Shereos knits her hair into intricate leaves

by , 09/02/15

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Unchecked global warming could bring the worst hurricanes ever seen by the end of this century

grey swan tropical cyclones, grey swan storms, worst hurricanes ever, global warming and hurricanes, global warming impact on hurricane, climate change impact on hurricane, predicting future storms, predicting hurricanes, ning lin, kerry emmanuel

The basic jist of almost every study we see these days related to weather, climate change, and the environment can be summed up in just a few words: it’s getting worse. Unfortunately, a new study looking into future storm patterns has a similar message. The study theorizes the possibility of rare, ultra-intense tropical cyclones researchers have dubbed “grey swans.” On the bright side, the researchers believe that, although catastrophic, it might be possible to predict such storms before they happen.

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Harvard students build a tiny 100% off-grid home powered by the sun

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Restoration of Alvar Aalto's Viipuri library in Russia awarded 2014 Modernism Prize

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World’s largest green roof unveiled in the heart of Silicon Valley

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Nest's new Learning Thermostat 3.0 is sleeker and smarter than ever before

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Stunning snowflake-shaped home in the UAE is 100% powered by the desert sun

Stunning snowflake-shaped home in the UAE is 100% powered by the…

https://vimeo.com/137865687 The home has everything you’d expect from a vacation home - a full kitchen, living room, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms. The spacious kitchen features…

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Score a $749 Naturepedic organic twin mattress in our Back to School Giveaway!

Score a $749 Naturepedic organic twin mattress in our Back to School…

It's almost that time of year again. Where did summer go? As the kids go back to school, they may be feeling some stresses along with all the excitement. One of the most important…

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India's 20 million LED streetlight retrofit will save $890 million each year

India's 20 million LED streetlight retrofit will save $890 million…

India’s government announced a major commitment to energy efficiency earlier this year when the Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP) was launched, which calls for 20 million…

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Obama heads to Alaska to highlight climate change right after approving Arctic oil drilling

Obama heads to Alaska to highlight climate change right after…

About two weeks after Barack Obama gave Shell the green light to drill for oil in Arctic waters off the Alaska Coast, the president is embarking on an ironic three-day visit to Alaska…

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Register now for San Francisco's 2015 Architecture and the City festival

Register now for San Francisco's 2015 Architecture and the City…

AIA SF's Architecture and the City Festival is bringing a great program of design events to San Francisco this September - sign up now before spots fill up!

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