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15 hilarious parenting comics that are almost too real

They're funny because they're true.

brian gordon, fowl language, parenting comics

Fowl Language by Brian Gordon


Brian Gordon is a cartoonist. He's also a dad, which means he's got plenty of inspiration for the parenting comics he creates for his website, Fowl Language (not all of which actually feature profanity).

He covers many topics, but it's his hilarious parenting comics that are resonating with parents everywhere.

"My comics are largely autobiographical," Gordon tells me. "I've got two kids who are 4 and 7, and often, what I'm writing happened as recently as that very same day."


Gordon shared 15 of his oh-so-real comics with us. They're all funny 'cause they're true.

Let's get started with his favorite, "Welcome to Parenting," which Gordon says sums up his comics pretty well. "Parenting can be such tedious drudgery," he says, "but if it wasn't also so incredibly rewarding there wouldn't be nearly so many people on the planet."

Truth.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did.

1.

parenting, comics, humor

“Welcome to parenting."

via Fowl Language

All comics are shared here with Gordon's express permission. These comics are all posted on his website, in addition to his Facebook page. You can also find a "bonus" comic that goes with each one by clicking the "bonus" link. Original. Bonus.

2.

food allergies, fussy, picky eaters

Eating is never fundamental.

via Fowl Language

Original. Bonus.

3.

sleep deprivation, children, isolation

Adjusting the coping mechanism.

via Fowl Language

Original. Bonus.

4.

ducks, birds, fowl

I used to be cool.

via Fowl Language

Original. Bonus.

5.

naps, popcorn, movies

Naps happen.

via Fowl Language

Original. Bonus.

6.

politics, advice, education

Rolling with the punches.

via Fowl Language

Original. Bonus.

7.

emotions, therapy, emotional maturity

Tears happen.

via Fowl Language

Original. Bonus.

8.

insomnia, sleep deprivation, kids

It’s time to get up.

via Fowl Language

Original. Bonus.

9.

psychology, toddlers, family

The benefits of experience.

via Fowl Language

Original. Bonus.

10.

babies, diapers, responsibility

Is it gas?

via Fowl Language

Original. Bonus.

11.

sociology, grief counseling, dads

Everyone gets therapy, yea.

via Fowl Language

Original. Bonus.

12.

moms, dress up, costumes

Everyone has a role to play.

via Fowl Language

Original. Bonus.

13.

doctor, medicine, pediatrics

What’s up doc?

via Fowl Language

Original. Bonus.

14.

sports, competition, aggression

Everyone gets a participation ribbon.

via Fowl Language

Original. Bonus.

15.

theatrics, advice, Dan Gordon

Perception shifts.

via Fowl Language

Original. Bonus.

I love Gordon's comics so much because they're just about the reality of parenting — and they capture it perfectly.

There's no parenting advice, no judgment, just some humor about the common day-to-day realities that we all share.

When I ask him about the worst parenting advice he's ever received, Gordon relays this anecdote:

"I remember being an absolute sleep-deprived wreck, sitting outside a sandwich shop, wolfing down my lunch quickly beside my 1-month-old son, who was briefly resting his lungs between screaming fits.

A rather nosy woman walked up to me and said, all smugly, 'You should enjoy this time while they're easy.' It was the exact worst thing anyone could have said to me in that moment and I just wanted to curl up on the sidewalk and cry."

Who hasn't been on the receiving end of totally unneeded and unwanted advice? That's why Gordon's comics are so welcome: They offer up a space for us to all laugh about the common experiences we parents share.

Here's to Gordon for helping us chuckle (through the tears).


This article originally appeared on 07.11.16

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Scientists tested 3 popular bottled water brands for nanoplastics using new tech, and yikes

The results were alarming—an average of 240,000 nanoplastics per 1 liter bottle—but what does it mean for our health?

Suzy Hazelwood/Canva

Columbia University researchers tested bottled water for nanoplastics and found hundreds of thousands of them.

Evian, Fiji, Voss, SmartWater, Aquafina, Dasani—it's impressive how many brands we have for something humans have been consuming for millennia. Despite years of studies showing that bottled water is no safer to drink than tap water, Americans are more consuming more bottled water than ever, to the tune of billions of dollars in bottled water sales.

People cite convenience and taste in addition to perceived safety for reasons they prefer bottle to tap, but the fear factor surrounding tap water is still a driving force. It doesn't help when emergencies like floods cause tap water contamination or when investigations reveal issues with lead pipes in some communities, but municipal water supplies are tested regularly, and in the vast majority of the U.S., you can safely grab a glass of water from a tap.

And now, a new study on nanoplastics found in three popular bottled water brands is throwing more data into the bottled vs. tap water choice.

Researchers from Columbia University used a new laser-guided technology to detect nanoplastics that had previously evaded detection due to their miniscule size. The new technology can detect, count and analyze and chemical structure of nanoparticles, and they found seven different major types of plastic: polyamide, polypropylene, polyethylene, polymethyl methacrylate, polyvinyl chloride, polystyrene, and polyethylene terephthalate.

In contrast to a 2018 study that found around 300 plastic particles in an average liter of bottled water, the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in January of 2024 found 240,000 nanoplastic particles per liter bottle on average between the three brands studied. (The name of the brands were not indicated in the study.)

As opposed to microplastics, nanoplastics are too small to be seen by microscope. Their size is exactly why experts are concerned about them, as they are small enough to invade human cells and potentially disrupt cellular processes.

“Micro and nanoplastics have been found in the human placenta at this point. They’ve been found in human lung tissues. They’ve been found in human feces; they’ve been found in human blood,” study coauthor Phoebe Stapleton, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Rutgers University’s Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy told CNN Health,

We know that nanoplastics are making their way into our bodies. We just don't have enough research yet on what that means for our health, and we still have more questions than answers. How many nanoplastics does it take to do damage and/or cause disease? What kinds of damage or disease might they cause? Is whatever effect they might have cumulative? We simply don't have answers to these questions yet.

That's not to say there's no cause for concern. We do know that certain levels of microplastic exposure have been shown to adversely affect the viability of cells. Nanoplastics are even smaller—does that mean they are more likely to cause cellular damage? Science is still working that out.

According to Dr. Sara Benedé of the Spanish National Research Council’s Institute of Food Science Research, it's not just the plastics themselves that might cause damage, but what they may bring along with them. “[Microparticles and nanoparticles] have the ability to bind all kinds of compounds when they come into contact with fluids, thus acting as carriers of all kinds of substances including environmental pollutants, toxins, antibiotics, or microorganisms,” Dr. Benedé told Medical News Today.

Where is this plastic in water coming from? This study focused on bottled water, which is almost always packaged in plastic. The filters used to filter the water before bottling are also frequently made from plastic.

Is it possible that some of these nanoplastics were already present in the water from their original sources? Again, research is always evolving on this front, but microplastics have been detected in lakes, streams and other freshwater sources, so it's not a big stretch to imagine that nanoplastics may be making their way into freshwater ecosystems as well. However, microplastics are found at much higher levels in bottled water than tap water, so it's also not a stretch to assume that most of the nanoplastics are likely coming from the bottling process and packaging rather than from freshwater sources.

The reality is, though, we simply don't know yet.

“Based on other studies we expected most of the microplastics in bottled water would come from leakage of the plastic bottle itself, which is typically made of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic,” lead author Naixin Qian, a doctoral student in chemistry at Columbia University, told CNN Health. “However, we found there’s actually many diverse types of plastics in a bottle of water, and that different plastic types have different size distributions. The PET particles were larger, while others were down to 200 nanometers, which is much, much smaller.”

We need to drink water, and we need to drink safe water. At this point, we have plenty of environmental reasons for avoiding bottled water unless absolutely necessary and opting for tap water instead. Even if there's still more research to be done, the presence of hundreds of thousands of nanoplastics in bottled water might just be another reason to make the switch.

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Watching David's face during the scene change is sheer delight, as her confused look proves that she has no clue what is about to happen.

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The things human beings have figured out how to do boggles the mind sometimes, especially in the realm of medicine.

It wasn't terribly long ago that people with a severe injury had to liquor up, bite a stick, have a body part sewn up or sawed off and hope for the best. (Sorry for the visual, but it's true.) The discoveries of antibiotics and anesthesia alone have completely revolutionized human existence, but we've gone well beyond that with what our best surgeons can accomplish.

Surgeries can range from fairly simple to incredibly complex, but few surgeries are more complicated than separating conjoined twins with combined major organs. That's why the recent surgical separation of conjoined twin boys with fused brains in Brazil is so incredible.

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