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Pop Culture

'Common' things that happen in other countries that would simply terrify Americans

Talk about a different perspective.

Ask Reddit; other countries; America; animals
Canva/Screenshots via Reddit

"Common" things that happen in other countries.

'Common' must be a word that's up for debate because my American brain refuses to believe that the occurrences these people are discussing are common anywhere in the world. But I also live where people fish next to signs that say "caution alligators may be present," so maybe I'm not the best judge of "common." Thanks to someone picking "things I never knew I wanted to know" on the Jeopardy board of Reddit, we now have a single thread that will tell you all the places to avoid … or places to travel to if you're channeling your inner Steve Irwin.


Someone on Reddit posed the question "What's something that happens in your country that would scare Americans?" Of course, the Australians were the first to pop on the scene with their spiders the size of dinner plates hanging out on your wall at any given time. Trying to watch TV? Giant spider. Giving your kids a bath? Sure, with a big ol' nope crawling up the wall. Obviously Australia is beautiful, but I think it would have to be to off set all of the things that are trying to take you off the planet. You know, it's pretty so it gives you incentive to stay and try not to die another day.

Canva/Screenshot via Reddit

After the Australians warned the internet of their dog-sized spiders, an American followed up with probably the most American response you can think of, "As an American the walls of my house would be riddled with bullet holes if this were the case." Honestly, while I don't personally own a gun, I know how to make a flamethrower from household items so let's just say I'd be homeless but the spider would be dead.

Just when you thought spiders that could wrap a toddler in their web to save for later was bad, South Africa bursts through the door like the Kool-Aid Man. The South African commenter said that while they don't know any Americans personally, "people get concerned when I mention that we occasionally have baboons invading our houses." Don't worry though, they have social media groups dedicated to letting residents know when baboons are running amok so they can put up their animals.

Canva/Screenshot via Reddit

I'm sorry, what?! You mean to tell me after a long day of work, that you could come home to a dang baboon making himself at home and going through your pantry? Have you seen the teeth on those things? I'm not certain but I'm pretty sure they could eat your face off. The commenter didn't list the town they live in, so I'm just going to cross off the entire country until Baboon City has been identified. Because, absolutely not.

South Africa is out and apparently so is Kenya because they have wandering lions. Of course there are lions, it's Kenya, we just don't pet the big kitty. But apparently, hyenas snatch toddlers in that country and I'm just wondering how people survive in these places. Do they give "how to throat punch hyena lessons" in preschool or do they keep decoy toddlers around? There are so many questions and the commenter did not give any answers that would bring much comfort.

Canva/Screenshot via Reddit

Hey, at least in Romania the most terrifying thing someone listed was waking up to the sound of your neighbor turning a live duck into a dinner-ready duck. After learning about all of the different ways certain countries try to put humans on the endangered species list, a little unfortunate quacking in the morning somehow doesn't sound as bad. If you want to check out the entire list before you make your travel plans, you can do that here.

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Joy

Gen X has hit 'that stage' of life and is not handling it very well

We are NOT prepared for Salt-n-Pepa to replace Michael McDonald in the waiting room at the doctor's office, thankyouverymuch.

Gen X is eating dinner earlier and earlier. It's happening.




The thing about Gen X being in our 40s and 50s now is that we were never supposed to get "old." Like, we're the cool, aloof grunge generation of young tech geniuses. Most of the giants that everyone uses every day—Google, Amazon, YouTube—came from Gen X. Our generation is both "Friends" and "The Office." We are, like, relevant, dammit.

And also, our backs hurt, we need reading glasses, our kids are in college and how in the name of Jennifer Aniston's skincare regimen did we get here?

It's weird to reach the stage when there's no doubt that you aren't young anymore. Not that Gen X is old—50 is the new 30, you know—but we're definitely not young. And it seems like every day there's something new that comes along to shove that fact right in our faces. When did hair start growing out of that spot? Why do I suddenly hate driving at night? Why is this restaurant so loud? Does that skin on my arm look…crepey?


As they so often do, Penn and Kim Holderness from The Holderness Family have captured the Gen X existential crisis in a video that has us both nodding a long and laughing out loud. Salt-n-Pepa in the waiting room at the doctor's office? Uh, no. That's a line we are not ready to cross yet. Nirvana being played on the Classic Rock station? Nope, not prepared for that, either.

Watch:

Hoo boy, the denial is real, isn't it? We grew up on "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, for goodness sake, and it's starting to feel like we made a wrong choice a chapter or two back and suddenly landed our entire generation in a time warp. This isn't real, is it? Thirty years ago was the 1970s. That's just a Gen X fact. So what if we've lived long enough for our high school fashions to go out of style and then back into style and then back out of style again?

Seriously, though, we can either lament our age and stage in life or we can laugh about it, and people are grateful to the Holdernesses for assisting with the latter. Gen X fans are also thrilled to see their own experiences being validated, because at this point, we've all had that moment in the grocery store or the waiting room when one of our jams came on and we immediately went into a panic.

"They were playing The Cure in the grocery store and I almost started crying," wrote one commenter. "I mean, how 'alternative' can you be if you're being played in Krogers? You guys are great! Thanks for making us laugh."

"I couldn’t believe it when I heard Bohemian Rhapsody being played in Walmart," shared another. "That was edgy in my day."

"I know!!! Bon Jovi at the grocery store!!! That was my clue in!!" added another.

"Long live Gen Xers! We have to be strong!! We can get through this together!! #NKOTBmeetsAARP" wrote on commenter.You can find more from the Holderness Family on their Facebook page, their podcast and their website, theholdernessfamily.com.


This article originally appeared on 1.28.24

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Family

Texas UPS driver proudly explains why he never helps his wife do any chores

“I don’t help her clean, do laundry, take care of the kids — none of that.”

J.R. Minton's video has over 6 million views.

Even though America has come a long way in gender relations over the past few decades men are still far behind women when accepting domestic responsibilities.

A recent study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' American Time Use Survey found that women aged 15 and over spend 5.7 hours daily on domestic tasks, whereas men spend 3.6 hours, a 37 percent difference. Women with a 35-hour week devote 4.9 hours daily to home chores and child care, compared to men's 3.8 hours.

In a world where men still trail behind women when it comes to work on the homefront, a Texas UPS driver is going viral for a TikTok video where he urges men to reconsider how they think about domestic responsibilities.


In a video with over 6 million views, J.R. Minton proudly says he doesn’t “help” his wife with jobs around the house. “I don’t help my wife cook. I don’t help her clean, do laundry, take care of the kids — none of that,” Minton, 32, began his clip.

Warning: Strong language.

So, why does Minton refuse to help his wife?

"Because I do what I am supposed to do as a father and a husband. I cook. I clean. I do the laundry. I take care of the kids. I can't help my wife do those things because they are my job, too,” he reveals.

He then urged men to change their perspectives on how they view their relationship to domestic responsibilities and their wives. “Change the way you speak, change the way you think, and grow the f*** up and be a man," he added.

The video received raves from women in the comments. Sadly, many used the video to share that their husbands have fallen short of Minton’s level of understanding. "My husband sometimes doesn’t even flush the toilet," Human Robot wrote. "I am sending this straight to my man he needs to see this," JJsMom added.

"Yep! My husband and I recognize it’s BOTH our kids and BOTH our house, therefore BOTH our responsibility," Sweetheart wrote.

Minton is an equal partner to his wife because he was raised much differently and wants to right the wrongs of his past. “Pretty much everything about my parenting style is in spite of what I saw when I was growing up,” he told Today.com

Minton knew that his philosophy on marriage was necessary when a woman at Target praised him for doing the “bare minimum." “I was wearing the baby, and I had two kids in the cart, and this lady comes up to Brittany, and she’s like, ‘Oh my God. Is this your husband!? Look at him. You should take a picture of him,’” Minton said. “I get so much credit for doing nothing. How low is the bar?"

Minton responded to his viral video with a heartfelt follow-up to everyone who loved how he cared for his wife and family. “I’m truly humbled at how far my message has gone,” he said. “However, I’d like to take a second to say: I am not special. I am no ‘unicorn.’ I am normal.”

“Nothing about my parenting style or my commitment to my wife is unique. Although it may seem out of the ordinary, it is far from extraordinary,” he continued. “Every father and husband we know (that seems to come up short) is fully-capable — yet unwilling.” He added that there was one thing that separates dads who do their part and dads who don’t: “Effort.”


This article originally appeared on 10.16.23

Family

Woman goes to huge lengths to adopt husband's ex-wife's baby to save him from foster care

She had lived in foster care and didn't want it for the newborn with no name.

Christie Werts and her son, Levi




Christie and Wesley Werts have taken the idea of a blended family to the next level. When the couple fell in love five years ago and married, they brought together her children, Megan and Vance, and his children, Austin and Dakota.

As of January, the Ohio family has five children after adopting young Levi, 2. Levi is the son of Wesley’s ex-wife, who passed away four days after the child was born. The ex-wife had the boy prematurely, at 33 weeks, and died soon after from drug addiction and complications of COVID-19.

When Levi was born, he was a ward of the state with no first name or birth certificate.


“When I heard about Levi, without hesitation, I said we should take him,” Christie said, according to The Daily Mail, and her reason went far beyond the fact that the child was the half-brother to two of her recently adopted children. “I myself was a foster kid and, although for the most part, I had a great experience, I did not want him going to foster care,” Christie said.

@cjthemom5

Replying to @Journey♥️ Yes, they will always know of her and ill be there for every emotion good or bad. But im also mom, ive been to every game, every doctors appt, sat with them if they needed an ear loved unconditional . I am mom also. #adoption #srorytime #siblings #foryou #loveislove

Before the family knew of Levi’s birth, Christie had a recurring dream about a blue-eyed, blonde-haired boy.

"Before Levi, we had wanted to try to have a child of our own," she told Newsweek. "I'm in my forties, so we knew that we would probably need fertility treatment, so I thought let's just think about it and what will be will be."

The problem was that Levi was in Texas, so the family sold their house and moved to the Lone Star State to go through the arduous adoption process. The situation was further complicated because Levi’s biological father had parental rights even though he had substance abuse problems. The family couldn’t move out of Texas until his rights were legally terminated.

But after a 16-month process, in January 2023, Levi became a legal family member. Christie understands that adopting her husband’s ex-wife’s baby may seem unusual to some people. "It's a lot to process for a lot of people, but honestly, it seems a lot crazier than it was. At the time, it just made sense," she said.

@cjthemom5

Our adoption is official !!! after 17 months!!! #adoption #son #loveyou #ourstory#foryou #fyp

Even though Christie knew in her heart that she must adopt Levi, she wasn’t without reservations. “'If I said I did not [have concerns beforehand], that would not be honest,” she told The Daily Mail. “This was different—I was going to walk into a child I never met and was worried the circumstances would hinder this instant love. But [...] he stole my heart. I also felt this intense need to protect him.”

These days, Levi fits right in with the family, and the rest of the kids are happy to be back to living an everyday life without any caseworkers or inspections.

“He's great, he is the king of the house! We are all very close. He won't understand the journey right now, but someday, I will let him know we fought for him!” Christie said.


This article originally appeared on 8.31.23

Joy

Her entire squad quit before the state cheerleading competition. She cheered anyway.

"I've put a lot of time into cheer. It's just always been a part of who I am, so I didn't want to end on that note."

Her entire squad quit before the state cheerleading competition.

Cheerleading is supposed to be a team activity. Most squads have anywhere from 10 to 20 cheerleaders and some have even more than that. But one squad in Nebraska had just four girls, and less than two weeks before the Nebraska State Cheer and Dance Championships, all but one cheerleader had quit.

Most kids would've followed suit so close to a big competition and without teammates, but Katrina Kohel, a senior at Morrill High School, decided she was still going to compete—even if it meant she would have to do it alone. Talk about being brave in the face of disappointment. This girl decided she was going to cheer in the competition and she did, without much care for what others thought.

The competition wasn't just the next town over. It was five hours away, so Kohel and her coach, April Ott, really had to mull it over before committing to making that drive, according to Business Insider. In the end, the teen decided that she didn't want to just sit in the crowd or stay home; she wanted to perform the routine she spent so much time learning. But the routine required the entire squad, so before they could make the trip, they had to figure out how to make it a one-person routine.


"I've put a lot of time into cheer. It's just always been a part of who I am, so I didn't want to end on that note. I wanted to go out on a high one. For that to come true, I didn't want to end it just by going to watch state. I wanted to compete." Kohel told Business Insider. So the lone cheerleader and her coach got to work redoing the routine so it made sense with just one person cheering.

The pair told the Omaha World-Herald that they had to rework the whole performance in a week and a half. It was really a battle of sheer will since Kohel was determined to do her best on the mat without her team. Kohel admitted to the outlet that she was nervous, but no one would have known it.

"She was completely confident the whole week that we practiced," Ott told Business Insider. "It was just 100% confidence, and she just owned it."

This cheerleader was absolutely unstoppable and she had her family's full support. Even Ott's daughter, who was previously a cheerleader at the same high school, tagged along to cheer her on. Kohel's grandparents stood in for her parents because her brother had a state wrestling tournament and her parents are the coaches. But don't worry, they were able to see her cheer through Facebook Live.

Support didn't only come from her family and coach, as other cheerleaders piled into her section and cheered for the brave solo cheerleader. Darin Boysen, executive director of the Nebraska Coaches Association, told the Omaha World-Herald that this was the first time a cheerleader competed alone.

But she didn't just compete—she placed 8th out of 12 squads, which is the highest Morrill High School has placed in the last three years.

"It's almost overwhelming, the amount of support I got from all of them," Kohel explained to Business Insider. "The whole arena was cheering me on. It wasn't just one little section—it was the whole arena."


This article originally appeared on 3.2.23

Pete is officially an #opentowork #jobseeker!

LinkedIn is primarily a platform for working professionals to connect and find employment that aligns with their skills and values. With company layoffs continuing (even increasing in some industries) people have also used the website to courageously share their layoff experiences.

While the main intent behind this is, of course, finding a new job, there have also been some lovely displays of humanity that not only challenge the stigma of being laid off but show the power of a supportive community.

Take this heartwarming story, for example.

Patrick McCarthy, Communications Management & Marketing Leader, recently posted about a layoff that quickly went viral on the platform. Not for himself—for his father.

“This is Pete. He’s my dad,” his post began. “My dad lost his job yesterday. I would tag him here, but he doesn’t have a LinkedIn.”


Pete, who has had a “starkly different professional journey” than his son, spent most of his life working in the service industry and absolutely loved interacting with customers. His empathy and knack for listening made him perfect for the role. Over his career, Pete had collected thousands of interactions from working at Walgreens, Fry’s, and (most recently) Winco, often being the reason folks came back.

And then, Pete was laid off. His job as a cashier, one that he loved and was good at, was gone.

“As anyone would be, he’s shocked. Overwhelmed. Scared. Emotional,” Patrick wrote.

linkedin

This is Pete, customer service extraordinaire and current job seeker.

media.licdn.com

Knowing his dad didn’t have the same network to easily find a new job, Patrick reached out on his behalf, wholeheartedly believing in the “magic” of the LinkedIn Community. He implored that anyone looking for a candidate with “a LOT of customer-facing, customer service, and service industry experience” send him a message so that he could put them in touch with Pete.

Patrick’s faith paid off—way more than he thought it would. In less than a week, the post was shared over 500 times, with over 600 comments from people wanting to help.

A manager at a nearby Sprouts grocery store said Pete sounded like a perfect match for a clerk position that could even pay his daily wage ahead of time. Another suggested he could be an excellent outdoor tour guide for REI. Someone else referred them to a weekly meetup group led by a career coach.

Even LinkedIn responded, writing, “Pete sounds like a top-tier employee! 💙 Keep us posted as he progresses on his journey, as well as any tips or insights either of you learn along the way—it may help those in a similar situation.”

Truly, Pete’s story already provides some helpful insight. While he might still be in the job-seeking phase, things certainly look more optimistic. And all it took (besides Pete being a lovely human being) was one simple, honest post. As Patrick told Upworthy, "Clearly something about his story connected with others. Humanity. Vulnerability. Empathy."

The words “social media” and “job market” can elicit some pretty negative visceral responses. Of course, this viewpoint has some merit, but it’s refreshing to see the power of human connection break through the disheartening headlines. Here’s to Patrick and his father Pete, for reminding us that even when things seem bleak or uncertain, the world is full of people trying to help out one another.


This article originally appeared on 2.28.23