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.



Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

A simple solution for all ages, really.

School should feel like a safe space. But after the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, many children are scared to death. As a parent or a teacher, it can be an arduous task helping young minds to unpack such unthinkable monstrosities. Especially when, in all honesty, the adults are also terrified.

Katelyn Campbell, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina, worked with elementary school children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. She recently shared a simple idea that helped then, in hopes that it might help now.

The psychologist tweeted, “We had our kids draw pictures of scenery that made them feel calm—we then hung them up around the school—to make the ‘other kids who were scared’ have something calm to look at.”



“Kids, like adults, want to feel helpful when they feel helpless,” she continued, saying that drawing gave them something useful to do.

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Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani wows audiences with his amazing musical talents.

Mozart was known for his musical talent at a young age, playing the harpsichord at age 4 and writing original compositions at age 5. So perhaps it's fitting that a video of 5-year-old piano prodigy Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani playing Mozart has gone viral as people marvel at his musical abilities.

Alberto's legs can't even reach the pedals, but that doesn't stop his little hands from flying expertly over the keys as incredible music pours out of the piano at the 10th International Musical Competition "Città di Penne" in Italy. Even if you've seen young musicians play impressively, it's hard not to have your jaw drop at this one. Sometimes a kid comes along who just clearly has a gift.

Of course, that gift has been helped along by two professional musician parents. But no amount of teaching can create an ability like this.

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