Hi, as trivial as it seems, aragnophobia is one of the most common phobias in the world and I would greatly appreciate not seeing a picture of a spider during these courses. Beside the sudden anxiety buildup, I cannot pass a certain block of exercises as I cannot look at them.
Also, I want to mention I started Duolingo after watching your TedTalk yesterday. I knew the story of re-captcha and was fascinated enough - and Duolingo was an icing on the cake during that talk. I love it, I love that it is "fair business", a working language education being approachable while giving back to the global community. Big kudos and big thanks! I am spreading the word, for sure.
Not all of them. I think you're referring to the big, black ones with long hairy legs that hide under people's pillows. Those can get annoying sometimes. I can't tell you how many times I've woken up with one of those guys trying to squeeze under my pillow...
Some of them, however, can be really cute. I've seen some cute little spiders of the Salticidae family. Usually when I see them they're all furry and look like little baby bears. With big mustaches. :)
I also met a tiny little orb-weaver in the center of his web. He was cute, too. http://greatmst.blogspot.com/2013/07/garden-spider.html