+
Every day this father of two posts ridiculous dad jokes on a whiteboard in his driveway
via CTV Regina / Twitter

As the old saying goes, "laughter is the best medicine." According to science, it's true. When dealing with tragic events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, finding a way to laugh, can be helpful to ourselves and others.

The humor must be appropriate, of course.

Neuroscientist V.S. Rakmachandran says that humor is a "mature defense mechanism" that can be seen alongside other defenses such as patience, humility, mindfulness, tolerance, and forgiveness.

He says that humor can give us a sense of control over traumatizing events and helps people deal with conflicting thoughts and emotions.



According to What's Your Grief? Humor and laughter increase the production of dopamine, endorphins, T-cells, and immune proteins which may contribute to the following: strengthened immune function, stress reduction, decreased feelings of depression and anxiety, and elevated mood.

It also helps us put things in perspective and increases our problem-solving abilities.

Graeme Parsons, a father of two in Regina Saskatchewan, has been spreading some levity in his neighborhood during the pandemic by posting dad jokes on a whiteboard in his driveway every morning.

"It's a crazy world we're living in right now and there is so much negative all over social media and through the media. It's a way to start brightening the days of people walking by in my neighborhood," Parsons told Global News Canada.

He said the response has been overwhelming.

"It's been absolutely amazing; it's been extremely positive. Everybody in the neighborhood, I see them walking by day after day coming in to check the sign," Parsons said.

"There's people taking pictures of it, sending it to their parents who don't live here," he added.

The jokes have become so popular he's posting them on Instagram, where he has nearly 1000 followers. "In a time of a world wide pandemic, humour can unite us all. Be safe. Be healthy. Stay strong. We will get through this together," the page's bio reads.

(Note: we said they were popular, not necessarily funny.)





Parsons says that the big reason he's posting the jokes is to bring some smiles to people's faces during such trying times.

"I'll continue as long as people keep enjoying it and smiling and as long as people need laughter, which I don't think ever goes out of style," Parsons said.

"There's plenty of material and smiles to pass around."

There's a scientific reason as to why people are responding to Parson's dad jokes. Research shows that humor increases bonding among family and friends, enhances teamwork, helps diffuse conflict, and boosts morale.

So when you see someone indulging a bit of gallows humor during the crisis, don't feel bad, laugh along. They're actually helping us get through a tough time.

Here's a message of gratitude from Parsons.



A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

Keep ReadingShow less

RumorGuard by The News Literacy Project.

The 2016 election was a watershed moment when misinformation online became a serious problem and had enormous consequences. Even though social media sites have tried to slow the spread of misleading information, it doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

A NewsGuard report from 2020 found that engagement with unreliable sites between 2019 and 2020 doubled over that time period. But we don’t need studies to show that misinformation is a huge problem. The fact that COVID-19 misinformation was such a hindrance to stopping the virus and one-third of American voters believe that the 2020 election was stolen is proof enough.

What’s worse is that according to Pew Research, only 26% of American adults are able to distinguish between fact and opinion.

To help teach Americans how to discern real news from fake news, The News Literacy Project has created a new website called RumorGuard that debunks questionable news stories and teaches people how to become more news literate.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

A mom describes her tween son's brain. It's a must-read for all parents.

"Sometimes I just feel really angry and I don’t know why."

This story originally appeared on 1.05.19


It started with a simple, sincere question from a mother of an 11-year-old boy.

An anonymous mother posted a question to Quora, a website where people can ask questions and other people can answer them. This mother wrote:

How do I tell my wonderful 11 year old son, (in a way that won't tear him down), that the way he has started talking to me (disrespectfully) makes me not want to be around him (I've already told him the bad attitude is unacceptable)?

It's a familiar scenario for those of us who have raised kids into the teen years. Our sweet, snuggly little kids turn into moody middle schoolers seemingly overnight, and sometimes we're left reeling trying to figure out how to handle their sensitive-yet-insensitive selves.


Keep ReadingShow less