Making new friends as an adult is challenging. While people crave meaningful IRL connections, it can be hard to know where to find them. But thanks to one Facebook Group, meeting your new best friends is easier than ever.
Founded in 2018, NYC Brunch Squad brings together hundreds of people who come as strangers and leave as friends through its in-person events.
“Witnessing the transformative impact our community has on the lives of our members is truly remarkable. We provide the essential support and connections needed to thrive amid the city's chaos,” shares Liza Rubin, the group’s founder.
Despite its name, the group doesn’t just do brunch. They also have book clubs, seasonal parties, and picnics, among other activities.
NYC Brunch Squad curates up to 10 monthly events tailored to the specific interests of its members. Liza handles all the details, taking into account different budgets and event sizes – all people have to do is show up.
“We have members who met at our events and became friends and went on to embark on international journeys to celebrate birthdays together. We have had members get married with bridesmaids by their sides who were women they first connected with at our events. We’ve had members decide to live together and become roommates,” Liza says.
Members also bond over their passion for giving back to their community. The group has hosted many impact-driven events, including a “Picnic with Purpose” to create self-care packages for homeless shelters and recently participated in the #SquadSpreadsJoy challenge. Each day, the 100 members participating receive random acts of kindness to complete. They can also share their stories on the group page to earn extra points. The member with the most points at the end wins a free seat at the group's Friendsgiving event.
If you want to meet the group in person, NYC Brunch Squad, along with many other locally-based New York groups, is participating in the upcoming Facebook IRL event on December 2. This pop-up experience in New York City’s West Village will provide a space to discover new hobbies, find new friends, and connect with others around the things they love.
Learn more about the event and sign up to attend here.
Not in the New York area but still want to get involved? As a result of NYC Brunch Squad’s popularity, the group is expanding across the country.
“With a robust community established in NYC, we're now excited to announce our expansion with pop-up events in the works in 15 additional cities. What's more, we're launching a travel club, extending our mission to foster connections beyond the city limits and to help people build life-changing friendships in new and exciting places,” Liza says.
If you’re ready to make new meaningful connections, join NYC Brunch Squad! You might just meet your new best friends.
They were doing trigonometry 1500 years before the Greeks.
Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!
Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.
Mansfield and his team are, understandably, incredibly proud. What they discovered is that the tablet is actually an ancient trigonometry table.
"The huge mystery, until now, was its purpose – why the ancient scribes carried out the complex task of generating and sorting the numbers on the tablet. Our research reveals that Plimpton 322 describes the shapes of right-angle triangles using a novel kind of trigonometry based on ratios, not angles and circles. It is a fascinating mathematical work that demonstrates undoubted genius."
"The tablet not only contains the world's oldest trigonometric table; it is also the only completely accurate trigonometric table, because of the very different Babylonian approach to arithmetic and geometry. This means it has great relevance for our modern world. Babylonian mathematics may have been out of fashion for more than 3,000 years, but it has possible practical applications in surveying, computer graphics and education. This is a rare example of the ancient world teaching us something new."
The tablet predates Greek astronomer Hipparchus, who has long been regarded as the father of trigonometry. Mansfield's colleague, Norman Widberger, added:
"Plimpton 322 predates Hipparchus by more than 1,000 years. It opens up new possibilities not just for modern mathematics research, but also for mathematics education. With Plimpton 322 we see a simpler, more accurate trigonometry that has clear advantages over our own."
"A treasure trove of Babylonian tablets exists, but only a fraction of them have been studied yet. The mathematical world is only waking up to the fact that this ancient but very sophisticated mathematical culture has much to teach us."
People were understandably excited by the news.
Some mathematicians actually think studying the Babylonians back then could help us improve the way we do trigonometry today.
\u201c"With Plimpton 322 we see a simpler, more accurate trig. (with) clear advantages over our own."\n@n_wildberger: https://t.co/xoZBNxvxZ8\n#TOK\u201d— Roo Stenning (@Roo Stenning) 1503658186
Of course, there were the haters...
\u201cFind someone who loves you as much as this guy dislikes a hypothesis about Babylonian math: https://t.co/AznQgoYxFP\u201d— Miles Brundage (@Miles Brundage) 1503605001
But all in all, Twitter users were pretty impressed with the Babylonians' skills.
And they figured it out 3,700 years ahead of me...and counting.— Marty (@Marty) 1503631905
\u201c@prophiphop And we're over here trying to figure out how to do trig with our TI-83s... man I love it when the ancients show what real intelligence is.\u201d— Kenny Hayse (@Kenny Hayse) 1503633184
Congratulations to Dr. Mansfield and his team on their incredible discovery... and for making trigonometry exciting!
This article originally appeared on 07.10.21
"These past seven weeks really opened up my eyes on how the household has actually ran, and 110% of that is because of my wife."
Participating in paternity leave offers fathers so much more than an opportunity to bond with their new kids. It also allows them to help around the house and take on domestic responsibilities that many new mothers have to face alone…while also tending to a newborn.
All in all, it enables couples to handle the daunting new chapter as a team, making it less stressful on both parties. Or at least equally stressful on both parties. Democracy!
TikTok creator and dad Caleb Remington, from the popular account @ustheremingtons, confesses that for baby number one, he wasn’t able to take a “single day of paternity leave.”
This time around, for baby number two, Remington had the privilege of taking seven weeks off (to be clear—his employer offered four weeks, and he used an additional three weeks of PTO).
The time off changed Remington’s entire outlook on parenting, and his insights are something all parents could probably use.
“It's unfortunately the end of my maternity —ahem— paternity leave,” Remington quips at the beginning of his video, via voiceover. “I only joke because my wife is truly the man of the house. And call me what you want, but I am totally okay with that.”
He then shares that after getting to spend quality time with his family to create precious memories—losing track of time to “watch ants cross the sidewalk,” for instance—he feels “guilty” about not doing so with their firstborn.
“[It] made me realize how many of those small moments I missed out the first time, but I'm looking past that guilt and grateful that I had some time to make it up,” he says.
You’ll notice that during this entire video, Remington is also doing chores. Sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, washing dishes, wiping the countertops…you get the picture.
@ustheremingtons I (caleb) am getting ready to go back into work and i am not ready. Grateful for my four weeks plus 3 weeks of PTO, but i feel like we were just getting into a groove and i was finally getting to have some 1 on 1 time with my son. Picking up the house today because we all function better with a clean space and we haven’t had time to do much of it while surviving these past 7 weeks. I do work from home and find that I have a little more flexibility in helping out here and there but i am also pretty glued and have to be zoned in during work hours. I do however have some pretty awesome and understanding coworkers and company!Shout out to @SAMBAZON Açaí 👊 Tiff is an all star: working and stay at home mom. I am dedicated in doing better to help balance more of the domestic responsibilities. #paternityleave #dadtok #dadsover30 #dadlife #fyp #foryoupage #ditl #ditlvlog #maternityleave #newbornlife #newbornbaby #secondbaby #2under2 #toddlerlife ♬ original sound - Tiffany + Caleb
Why is he doing this? His wife, aka “the lady with the milk bags,” has been so stressed with the house being messy that Remington decided to focus on doing all the housecleaning so that she could spend time with the kids.
Doing a fair share of the domestic labor is something Remington admits to failing at their first time around. Spending seven weeks taking on more responsibilities, however, opened his eyes to the fact that what he previously saw as doing his “fair share” was actually doing “the bare minimum.”
“It has taken multiple conversations — and many ongoing ones — to truly master how to take on more of the mental load of raising children, growing our marriage and taking care of our investments like our home.”
Proof that having difficult conversations can lead to better understanding!
Lastly, Remington reflects on how the emotional turbulence of being new parents challenged his relationship, even though he and his wife were good communicators and aware of how much effort would be required.
“I honestly hated how much we fought, how much I felt misunderstood, and how much I misunderstood her…so now as second-time parents, I feel like we're a little bit more prepared. Prepared in how we talk to each other, prepared in how I balance work, life, and personal life, and prepared to just let things go,” he says.
Definitely valuable insights for anyone navigating baby number one. Or number five, for that matter.
Remington’s story stands as a great example of just how beneficial paternity leave can be. It offers priceless bonding time, an equal balance of responsibilities, and more time for much needed reflection as parents begin a pivotal new chapter in their lives.
This article originally appeared on 9.7.23
He tries making himself so small in the kennel until he realizes he's safe.
There's something about dogs that makes people just want to cuddle them. They have some of the sweetest faces with big curious eyes that make them almost look cartoonish at times. But not all dogs get humans that want to snuggle up with them on cold nights; some dogs are neglected or abandoned. That's where animal shelters come in, and they work diligently to take care of any medical needs and find these animals loving homes.
Volunteers are essential to animal shelters running effectively to fill in the gaps employees may not have time for. Rocky Kanaka has been volunteering to sit with dogs to provide comfort. Recently he uploaded a video of an extremely emaciated Vizsla mix that was doing his best to make himself as small as possible in the corner of the kennel.
Kanaka immediately wanted to help him adjust so he would feel comfortable enough to eat and eventually get adopted. The dog appeared scared of his new location and had actually rubbed his nose raw from anxiety, but everything changed when Kanaka came along.
The volunteer slowly entered the kennel with the terrified dog, crouching on his knees for an easy escape if needed. But the dog attempted to essentially become invisible by avoiding eye contact and staying curled in a tiny ball. It seemed like it was going to take a long time for this nervous pup to warm up.
Before long, he's offered a treat. Success! The brown dog takes the treat, and as minutes pass you can see his body slowly relax, eventually coming to sit directly next to Kanaka for pets. In the few minutes of the video, you see such an amazing transformation that proves this little guy just needed some love.
"It was so cute when he started wagging his tail. You could tell his whole demeanor just changed, and he was happy. Just a few kind words and a little attention. That’s all animals need. Well, besides food. Lol," one commenter says.
"That moment when he starts to realize he's actually safe. That gradual tail wag, and the ears perking, the eyes lighting up. You don't have to be an expert to show an animal love and respect," another writes.
"After that first treat his entire demeanor changed. He went from not trusting you to thinking you may be kind and he could feel less stressed. That was really amazing to see," someone gushes.
This sweet scared dog just needed human connection by someone taking the time to sit with him to know he was safe. Once he was sure the shelter was a safe place, the dog even welcomed those who came to visit him after seeing the video.
"I went to the shelter today to visit 'Bear'! Everyone would be thrilled to hear that he seems very happy and energetic! He has a little red squeaky bone toy that he loves. He licked my hand immediately and rubbed his head on my legs and arms, eager for affection. What a sweetheart," a commenter writes.
Thanks to Kanaka's sweet gesture, the dog, now named Shadow Moon, was adopted and is now living his best life with his new human dad and husky brother. You can follow Shadow Moon's journey on his Instagram page.
She's a little afraid to leave her cabin.
A lot of folks would love to trade lives with Christine Kesteloo. Her husband is the Chief Engineer on a cruise ship, so she gets to live on the boat pretty much for free as the “wife on board.” For Christine, life is a lot like living on a permanent vacation.
“I live on a cruise ship for half the year with my husband, and it's often as glamorous as it sounds,” she told Insider. “After all, I don't cook, clean, make my bed, do laundry or pay for food.“
Living an all-inclusive lifestyle seems like paradise, but it has some drawbacks. Having access to all-you-can-eat food all day long can really have an effect on one’s waistline. Kesteloo admits that living on a cruise ship takes a lot of self-discipline because the temptation is always right under her nose.
“One of the hardest things about living on a cruise ship is that I know right now, if I just leave my cabin, I can go and have cookies, pizza, a shake, I could have anything I wanted, and I want it, I absolutely want it,” she said in a TikTok video that received over 400,000 views.
The hardest part about living on a cruise ship is that I am surrounded by free food all of the time anything I want I just had lunch but it’s 2 o’clock in my body tells me it’s either cookie time or time for a hamburger. The hardest part is telling myself not to eat. #hardestpart #cruiseship #livingatsea #koningsdam #weliveonacruiseship #cruisefoodie #foodtok #itsaproblem #halcruises #hollandamericaline
“I am laying here. It is 2 pm. I had a salad for lunch, I had some fresh fruit, but that didn’t fill me up,” she continued. “Right now, all I can think about is eating a burger with some French fries and some mayonnaise.”
“And that, folks, is the absolute hardest part about living on a cruise ship,” she said. “I am surrounded by food all the time.”
She added, "The hardest part is telling myself not to eat.”
Kesteloo’s trouble is a common problem among people on cruise ships. A study by Admiral Travel Insurance found that over 60% of people who go on a week-long cruise anticipate gaining weight. Seventeen percent of people say they gain 2 to 3 pounds on a cruise, while 14% say they gain 4 to 5 pounds.
Other estimates show that the average cruiser will put on 5 to 10 pounds on a weeklong cruise. Imagine living on a cruise ship for half the year, like Kesteloo. She could quickly put on 100 pounds a year if she's not careful.
"I’d be huge if I lived there. I would feel like I’m on a constant vacation, and who diets on vacation?" Theresa Gramelsapcker-Wilson wrote in the comments.
"This is my main reason why I couldn’t do this HHAHAHAHAHAA," Cara Mia added.
"I never thought about those who actually live on a cruise ship. I would be 500 pounds," Lucky Penny2468 said.
Kesteloo’s battle with temptation shows that in every life, a little rain must fall. Nobody ever truly has it perfect. Kesteloo seems to be living the perfect life on board a cruise ship, but she still has to fight temptation every moment of the day or make good use of the ship’s gym facilities. But, obviously, having access to too much food is far better than having too little.
This article originally appeared on 9.5.23
Let's start with the unspoken and uncomfortable fact that miscarriages at home usually happen in a toilet.
Content Warning: This story discusses pregnancy loss details that may be uncomfortable for some readers.
Losing a pregnancy is not something anyone can prepare for. There's no course you can take to tell you what to expect, how you'll feel or what to do after the miscarriage occurs. It's not something that's widely talked about, even in conversations about miscarriage.
About 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage in the first trimester and 1 in 5 in the second, according to the March of Dimes. Many women who reveal they've lost a pregnancy talk about how difficult it was emotionally, but they rarely talk about the lack of information from medical professionals or the details of the process of miscarrying. It makes sense because it's hard enough to discuss pregnancy loss, and to go into detail may be much worse on their mental health.
There also may be a level of shame attached to the process, partly because the topic of miscarriage is still taboo but also because many at-home miscarriages happen in the toilet. It's an uncomfortable truth that haunts people who have experienced the process. But the truth of the matter is, hospitals don't usually admit you for a miscarriage; they send you home with little to no instructions on what to do after it happens. So to people who have experienced the pain of a miscarriage at home, it makes sense that a woman in Ohio, currently on trial for "abuse of a corpse" would have no idea what to do after miscarrying.
Brittany Watts, 33, of Warren, Ohio, went to the hospital twice concerning her unborn baby. She was informed that she was miscarrying and her baby was not viable. She was presumably sent home to miscarry, like many other miscarrying mothers. The fetus was only 22 weeks gestation when Watts miscarried into the toilet after her water broke, and when she flushed the remains clogged the pipes. A forensic pathologist testified that an autopsy found that the fetus was not injured, and that it had died before passing through the birth canal. Instead of being able to grieve, Watts was arrested.
But there's not much information available in America on what to do if you miscarry at home. In the UK, the NHS sends miscarrying mothers home with a leaflet that gives some basic options on how to handle the process.
"If you miscarry at home you are very likely to pass the remains of your pregnancy into the toilet. You may look at what has come away and see a pregnancy sac and/or a very early baby (we call this a fetus) – or something you think might a be a fetus. If you complete your miscarriage at home you have no obligation to dispose of the pregnancy remains in any particular way," the NHS writes.
"You might want to simply flush the toilet – many people do that automatically. If you prefer to dispose of the remains the way you normally dispose of sanitary waste this is a personal choice and there are no regulations to prevent you doing whatever feels right for you. Or you may want to remove the remains for a closer look. That’s natural too. If you know that you do not want to flush the remains of your pregnancy you may wish to place a bowl into the toilet."
I’m struggling to comprehend the ignorance of policy makers about what happens during pregnancy/miscarriage.— Mamacita Sanchez (@SanchezMamacita) November 30, 2023
Yesterday I learned that they didn’t know that you usually miscarry into a toilet. They didn’t know that your medical team sends you home to miscarry.
Being in the position of losing a pregnancy and everything that comes with it, people forget the shock aspect of it all. There are people who pass out from pain and those who pass out from the sight of blood, both of which are often present with miscarriages. But the question remains, what are people going through this experience supposed to do if they're sent home from the hospital or miscarry without warning at home?
A woman who uses the screen name Mamacita Sanchez took to X (formerly Twitter) to express her shock and frustration at elected officials.
"I’m struggling to comprehend the ignorance of policy makers about what happens during pregnancy/miscarriage. Yesterday I learned that they didn’t know that you usually miscarry into a toilet. They didn’t know that your medical team sends you home to miscarry," she starts her thread.
"They don’t know the difference between Plan B and meds used to manage miscarriages. They don’t know the difference between zygote/embryo/fetus. They don’t know a miscarriage is called an “abortion” on a woman’s medical chart."
Sanchez's thread goes on to highlight the dangers of pregnancy and miscarriages with women chiming in revealing their own experience with miscarriage and their fears.
"I got sent home after they determined there was no heart beat to have my miscarriage at home. Lots of clots and lumps of tissue. No telling what in all that was what. Where is it supposed to go if not the toilet? So. Much. Blood. Such sadness. Heart ache. Agony," one woman replies.
"Exactly! I was given the pill when my body didn't take care of things on its own and spent the next day feeling like I was dying while my boss texted me over and over again on how to do my tasks. Farthest I got from the restroom was the bed," someone reveals.
"I’ve been saying the same. Policy-makers, and too many journalists, do not understand the medical details of pregnancy complications, not to mention the emotional distress that comes with it," another woman explains.
Maybe it's time for lawmakers to start listening to the people who have gone through these situations and the medical professionals that see them. The physical and emotional toll miscarriage takes on a person can be unimaginable, so a little grace and understanding goes a long way.
It's usually a bad thing to land in a mound of fire ants at 80 mph. But not if you're Joan Murray.
You have a 50% chance of surviving a fall of 48 feet, roughly equaling a 4-story building. The mortality rate rushes all the way up to 90% when you fall 84 feet, the distance of a 7-story building.
So if you’re falling from a whopping 14,500 feet, just over two-and-a-half miles, you can safely bet that you’re most definitely not getting out alive.But one woman did. And that’s not even the wildest part of her story.
In 1999, a woman and skydiving enthusiast named Joan Murray, 47, had traveled to North Carolina to embark upon her 37th free-fall, with the purpose of testing out new equipment.
In 1999, skydiver Joan Murray's parachute malfunctioned, causing her to fall 14,500 feet.— Morbid Knowledge (@Morbidful) November 29, 2023
Her backup parachute opened at 700 feet, but it quickly deflated and she continued to plummet towards the ground at 80 miles per hour.
Miraculously, Murray survived the fall thanks to the… pic.twitter.com/C5zCSIt0DA
After carefully packing and prepping, Murray made her jump. Only when she pulled the cord for her parachute, nothing happened. There she was, hurtling towards the Earth at 80 mph.
According to a Star News article reporting the incident, Murray was finally able to release her emergency chute at 700 feet, but that only “swung her out of control.”
In a display of cosmic irony, Murray eventually slammed into the ground onto a live mound of fire ants. You can’t make this stuff up.
But incredibly, Murray survived the fall. Most of her bones were shattered, her teeth fillings flew out, her face was severely bitten by ants and she fell into a coma for two weeks…but she survived. As for how she survived such a harrowing fall, her doctor simply wrote “miracle” on her file.
And while Murray’s survival is no doubt miraculous, evidence suggests that those fire ants were the little angels behind it.
TIL: On Sept 25, 1999, American skydiver Joan Murray fell 4400 m when her chute failed and landed on a mound of fire ants. Doctors said the >200 stings she received caused an adrenaline surge that kept her heart beating. She survived after 20 surgeries and 17 blood transfusions. pic.twitter.com/0V63ePZyOg— Legends Of Surgery (@SurgeryLegends) March 21, 2020
Murray had remained conscious after her fall (yikes) and reported that she could feel the burning sensation of the army of ants stinging her. Eventually, it was the unbearable pain of the stings, not the insane fall, that made her pass out.
When paramedics arrived on the scene, they saw Murray completely covered in hundreds of thousands of fire ants—and around 200 stings on her body. It was believed that the venom from their stings not only shocked her heart (thus keeping it beating) but caused her body to produce more adrenaline until help came.
Perhaps the most unbelievable part of this story is that Murray actually skydived again only two years after this disaster. She also turned down an offer to retire with disability from her job and Bank of America and continued her banking career that extended over 20 years.
Though Murray passed away in May of 2022, she is still remembered not only for her amazing survival, but her optimistic outlook on life.
As she shared with “People” following the accident, "Sometimes we take life for granted. I truly have fun putting my shoes on in the morning."
May we all find a way to find the same positivity…perhaps without the fire ants.