Brain Time: 4 Websites Where You Can Learn Stuff

I am a dedicated "waste time on Wikipedia" person. Give me an article about a Civil War general and I'll find myself reading about Tina Turner or Athabaskan languages within an hour. I'm far from the only person who uses the internet's free encyclopedia as an easy, fun way to use up free time while also making myself feel a little smarter. Still, sometimes I feel like there's slightly more practical things I could be doing with my time, better ways to fill my head with interesting information. Here are four great websites I could be using to learn about cool stuff instead of falling into yet another Wikipedia k-hole.

Memrise: Memrise is all about making learning fun for you and for your brain. OK, I know that makes it sound like the set of flashcards your mom put in the backseat during long car trips, but I promise Memrise is really cool. You can use this site (and the Memrise app) to learn almost anything you can think of: languages, art history, yoga, or even just to train your memory. All of the courses are a for set amount of time and have discussion pages where you can interact with other people who also want to learn about culinary herbs or pop art or whatever it is you're exploring.

Cut Out + Keep: Take the craftiness of Pinterest and combine with awesome community forums and you've got Cut Out + Keep. This U.K.-based site has thousands of tutorials for all kinds of craft projects, from fashion to recipes, beauty tutorials to cleaning products.

Busuu: If languages are your thing, try Busuu before shelling out for Rosetta Stone. The site is totally free, but there is a premium paid option, if you want to opt for that. The site has interactive language lessons, plus lots and lots opportunities to interact with native speakers, considering there are 30 million users! Whoa.

Skillshare: I'm sure you already know about Skillshare, but it's still worth mentioning. All the classes on the site are project-based, which means you'll actually create or produce something, not just click around on a screen. I've taken one Skillshare class and although it was more labor-intensive than I expected for something I wanted to do for fun, it was still worth my money. There are classes on all sorts of topics, including writing, cooking, photography, music, and more. Classes offered right now range from "A Staple of Branding: How To Start Your Own Fashion Company" to "Show Us Your Balls: Meatball Making With The Meatball Shop." You can also teach your own Skillshare class if you're interested.