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
An unlikely family will celebrate their ninth Christmas together this year.
Get ready folks, this story is a bit of a tearjerker.
That girl, Raven Whitaker, would later become his daughter.
Smith recalled with Good Morning America that the 11-year-old looked like a “sweet,” “innocent” child as she admitted to him what she had done.
Trying to reason with her, Smith asked, "Well, if you were out at a restaurant, would you do that there?'"And that was when Raven told him that she had never really been to a restaurant. As she explained to WTHR, she had spent most of her life in the foster care system, suffering under terrible conditions, and was currently living in a group home.
This immediately touched Smith. "At that point, I had felt like she just needed a hand, needed help," he told GMA. "I recognized that she needed something to go in her favor, maybe for once, that it hadn't gone in her favor in the past, but she just needed somebody to help her."
Smith went home to explore the idea of fostering Raven with his wife Marybeth. This was, understandably, a touchy subject, as the couple had wanted children of their own and not only struggled through infertility treatments, but also already had fostered kids.
But Marybeth knew her husband must have felt “passionate” about it, so they gave it some thought. And eventually they reached out to begin the fostering process. Raven ended up moving into their home in June 2015. And on Nov. 3, 2017, as Raven entered high school, the Smiths formally adopted her.
Despite it seeming strange at first, Raven noted that the Smiths made her “feel extremely welcome, like I was already in the family. They got everything that I needed without even knowing that I would be there forever. They just did it."
A family in Kentucky will celebrate their ninth Christmas together this year after an adoption that began in a principal's office. https://t.co/1UggWzHvdw— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 30, 2023
She even looks back and says she “always knew” that the Smiths would end up being her permanent family. And with that support system in place, Raven Whitaker (make that Raven Whitaker-Smith) overcame the odds. Now 20, Raven is in college studying social work and sharing her story to offer some hope to others in similar situations.
It’s amazing what miracles can happen for kids when they are placed in a loving environment. As principal-turned-dad Jason Smith told GMA, “there are no bad children…given the right opportunity, given the proper support, love and affection, all children can be successful."
Watch the full story below.
Your purchasing power can swing by 30% from state to state.
As the cost of living in large cities continues to rise, more and more people are realizing that the value of a dollar in the United States is a very relative concept. For decades, cost of living indices have sought to address and benchmark the inconsistencies in what money will buy, but they are often so specific as to prevent a holistic picture or the ability to "browse" the data based on geographic location.
The Tax Foundation addressed many of these shortcomings using the most recent (2015) Bureau of Economic Analysis data to provide a familiar map of the United States overlaid with the relative value of what $100 is "worth" in each state. Granted, going state-by-state still introduces a fair amount of "smoothing" into the process — $100 will go farther in Los Angeles than in Fresno, for instance — but it does provide insight into where the value lies.
The map may not subvert one's intuitive assumptions, but it nonetheless quantities and presents the cost of living by geography in a brilliantly simple way. For instance, if you're looking for a beach lifestyle but don't want to pay California prices, try Florida, which is about as close to "average" — in terms of purchasing power, anyway — as any state in the Union. If you happen to find yourself in a "Brewster's Millions"-type situation, head to Hawaii, D.C., or New York. You'll burn through your money in no time.
The Relative Value of $100 in a state.
Image by Tax Foundation.
If you're quite fond of your cash and would prefer to keep it, get to Mississippi, which boasts a 16.1% premium on your cash from the national average.
The Tax Foundation notes that if you're using this map for a practical purpose, bear in mind that incomes also tend to rise in similar fashion, so one could safely assume that wages in these states are roughly inverse to the purchasing power $100 represents.
This article originally appeared on 08.17.17
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.
Bill Gates sure is strict on how his children use the very technology he helped bring to the masses.
In a recent interview with the Mirror, the tech mogul said his children were not allowed to own their own cellphone until the age of 14. "We often set a time after which there is no screen time, and in their case that helps them get to sleep at a reasonable hour," he said. Gates added that the children are not allowed to have cellphones at the table, but are allowed to use them for homework or studying.
The Gates children, now 20, 17 and 14, are all above the minimum age requirement to own a phone, but they are still banned from having any Apple products in the house—thanks to Gates' longtime rivalry with Apple founder Steve Jobs.
Bill Gates tasting recycled water.
Image from media.giphy.com.
While the parenting choice may seem harsh, the Gates may be onto something with delaying childhood smartphone ownership. According to the 2016 "Kids & Tech: The Evolution of Today's Digital Natives"report, the average age that a child gets their first smartphone is now 10.3 years.
"I think that age is going to trend even younger, because parents are getting tired of handing their smartphones to their kids," Stacy DeBroff, chief executive of Influence Central, told The New York Times.
James P. Steyer, chief executive of Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization that reviews content and products for families, additionally told the Times that he too has one strict rule for his children when it comes to cellphones: They get one when they start high school and only when they've proven they have restraint. "No two kids are the same, and there's no magic number," he said. "A kid's age is not as important as his or her own responsibility or maturity level."
PBS Parents also provided a list of questions parents should answer before giving their child their first phone. Check out the entire list below:
- How independent are your kids?
- Do your children "need" to be in touch for safety reasons—or social ones?
- How responsible are they?
- Can they get behind the concept of limits for minutes talked and apps downloaded?
- Can they be trusted not to text during class, disturb others with their conversations, and to use the text, photo, and video functions responsibly (and not to embarrass or harass others)?
- Do they really need a smartphone that is also their music device, a portable movie and game player, and portal to the internet?
- Do they need something that gives their location information to their friends—and maybe some strangers, too—as some of the new apps allow?
- And do you want to add all the expenses of new data plans? (Try keeping your temper when they announce that their new smartphone got dropped in the toilet...)
This article originally appeared on 05.01.17
A childhood game went very wrong.
A childhood game can go very wrong in the blink of an eye.
"You'll never get me!"
“Freeze! Put your hands up."
If you've ever played cops and robbers, you know how the game goes.
John Arthur Greene was 8 and he was playing that game with his older brother Kevin. Only the two brothers played with real guns. Living on a farm, they were both old hands at handling firearms by their ages.
The blast from the gun must have startled them both.
John Arthur Greene (left) and his brother Kevin.
Image from "American Idol"/YouTube.
“We were always extremely safe. They were never loaded," John said.
Except this time it was. And John's brother died in his arms while he watched.
It happens more often than you would ever want to imagine.
In federal data from 2007 to 2011, which is likely under-reported, an average of 62 children were accidentally killed by firearms per year.
Here's a chilling example from Everytown for Gun Safety:
"In Asheboro, North Carolina, a 26-year-old mother was cleaning her home when she heard a gunshot. Rushing into the living room, she discovered that her three-year-old son had accidentally shot her boyfriend's three-year-old daughter with a .22-caliber rifle the parents had left in the room, loaded and unlocked."
And the numbers may actually be getting worse.
With an increase in unfettered access to guns and philosophical opposition to gun regulations, the numbers seem to be on the rise. Here's how many accidental shootings happened at the hands of children in 2015 alone, by age:
Unintentional Firearm Injuries & Deaths, 2015.
From January 19-26 of 2016 — just one week — at least seven kids were accidentally shot by another kid.
Accidental shootings of kids in one week, January 2016.
If the pace holds up for the rest of the year, America would be looking at over 300 accidental shootings of children, in many cases by children, for the year. That's far too many cases of children either carrying the guilt and pain of having shot a loved one or hurting or killing themselves by accident.
John Arthur Greene has been able to manage his feelings of guilt and sorrow through music and by sharing his story for others to hear.
He told his story during an audition for the final season of "American Idol." He says music has helped him keep his brother's memory alive:
"Right now I lift him up every day and he holds me up. Music is how I coped with everything."
It's a powerful reminder. No matter how we each feel about gun safety laws, guns should always be locked away unloaded and kept separately from ammunition.
Our babies are too precious to leave it to chance.
Watch John Arthur Greene's audition for "American Idol" here:
This article originally appeared on 03.07.16