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Pop Culture

One couple has already won Halloween by perfectly recreating iconic 'Stranger Things' scene

No one can figure out how they did it.

stranger things vecna, stranger things tiktok

Excuse us while we pick our jaws up off the floor.

Yep, we already have a winner for “Coolest Halloween Decor” this year, and this one’s a doozy.

Dave and Aubrey, a “horror prop making family” in Chicago, have left horror fans stunned with their hyperrealistic recreation of arguably THE most iconic scene from season 4 of Netflix’s “Stranger Things.”

If you haven’t seen it (um, where have you been?), the season’s main monster antagonist, Vecna, traps Max and other characters in the alternate dimension of the Upside Down, and just before they meet their doom, these characters begin to float midair in the human world.

Luckily (spoiler alert) our heroes are able to figure out how to save Max before it’s too late, by playing “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush—her favorite song.

Dave and Aubrey somehow managed to make their own life-size replica of Sadie Sink’s character that, no joke, looks like it’s levitating using nothing but some kind of dark magic.


@horrorprops

♬ Stranger Things - Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein

More than 14 million people have been mesmerized on TikTok, including Jimmy Fallon, who called the trick “amazing.”

Dave and Aubrey mentioned in the comments that nothing in the video was edited, which left folks baffled as to how the heck this image was made possible … especially without a tree or a telephone wire to attach a wire to.

“There’s clearly a string connected to a satellite in outer space. How don’t y’all know this?! 🙄🙄,” one person joked.

Though he wouldn’t disclose his secret, Dave did tell WRAL News that it’s “not drones, helium or balloons.” He also shared that he and his wife “go big” every year for Halloween. This year, in an attempt to outdo themselves, they began their project on Aug 1.

Unsurprisingly, a floating Max isn’t the only thing that Dave and Aubrey have up their sleeves this year. It’s actually part of a massive, all encompassing “Stranger Things” display, which includes:

A glowing, smoking Upside Down spire…

@horrorprops Upsidedown spire... it's looking strange here #halloweendiydecor #vecnascurse #strangerthings #strangerthings4 #upsidedown #halloween2022 #diyhalloween #horrorprops #transworldhauntshow #CHB #horrortok #spookytok ♬ Bfg Division - Mick Gordon

“Excuse me, I thought my house was gonna be the spooky one on the block this year w/ my dollar tree props, maybe I’ll just be the Christmas one. Jk lol,” one person quipped.

Vecna’s other victims…

@horrorprops We took Spirits Miserable Marie and tossed her right into Vecnas Layer. #horrorprops #vecna #strangerthings #daveandaubrey #fyp #fypシ #halloween2022 #halloweenprops #horrortok #diyproject#vecnascurse ♬ Chrissy Wake Up (gregorybrothers & Schmoyoho Remix) - Chrissy

Unfortunately, Chrissy (played by Grace Van Dien) wasn’t as lucky as Max. But it makes for a rad haunted house!

Sprawling house vines…

And a creepy cuckoo clock…

@horrorprops Times Up Max. #vecnascurse #diyproject #horrortok #fyp #trending #strangerthings #strangerthings4 #upsidedown #timesup #halloween #transworld2022 #venca #saddiesink ♬ Stranger Things - Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein

Yet another well-known image from season 4.

"There's so many people out there who are fanatics like we are, so we wanted to make something that was the most iconic scene from the show; something maybe no one else could try and do," Dave told WRAL News. Mission successful, Dave. Well done.

For folks in the Chicagoland area, this amazing “Stranger Things” display will be part of a haunted tour for Chicago Haunt Builders. For everyone else: Have no fear, TikTok provides.

Inspired to create your own haunted masterpiece? We’ve rounded up some easy, unique decor ideas to make your house effortlessly spooky this year.

True

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.

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Education

3,700-year-old Babylonian stone tablet gets translated, changes history

They were doing trigonometry 1500 years before the Greeks.

via UNSW

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.

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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy

@kleinkwagga1/TikTok, The 2023 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, @natasha_luigui/TikTok

From kids to kangaroos, this week's 10 things is full of delights.

Each year, the Comedy Wildlife Awards highlights photos that capture our animal friends in hilarious moments, made all the more delightful by the fact that not one of them is actually trying to be funny.

Perhaps that's one reason we love animal and little kid videos so much. Their hilarity is so pure. And we've got a whole passel of funny kiddos and furry friends in this week's list of things that made us smile.

If you're looking for some small joys to lift your spirit, we've got you covered! Enjoy!

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Democracy

This Map Reveals The True Value Of $100 In Each State

Your purchasing power can swing by 30% from state to state.

Image by Tax Foundation.

Map represents the value of 100 dollars.

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.

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Good for your skin, good for the planet: 5 reasons your shower needs the Boie Body Scrubber

The Boie Body Scrubber let's you save money while you save the world

In an era where sustainability meets self-care, the Boie Body Scrubber emerges as a standout hero in our daily routines. It’s not just another bath accessory; it's a revolution in skin health and environmental responsibility. Crafted from unique, 100% recyclable materials, the Boie Scrubber redefines what staying clean and green means. As we become more conscious of the products we use daily, the Boie Scrubber promises a cleaner body and a cleaner planet.

100% Recyclable - The ‘Send-It-Back’ Program

Picture this: a body scrubber that loves the planet as much as you do. Boie's Scrubber is a dream come true for anyone who takes recycling seriously. Made from BPA and phthalate-free thermoplastic elastomer, it doesn't just clean your skin; it helps clean up your environmental act. Every Scrubber is engineered for longevity, drastically reducing waste from tossing out traditional sponges and plastic loofahs. And when it's finally time to part ways? Boie has ensured their scrubbers are 100% recyclable, completing a full circle of sustainability. You can even send your worn-out scrubber directly to Boie as part of their “Send-It-Back” program, and they’ll recycle it for you. Because choosing Boie isn't just good for you; it’s a step towards less plastic waste.

Superior Hygiene and Health

Here's a not-so-fun fact: traditional bath sponges can be breeding grounds for bacteria. But with Boie, it's a different story. Their Body Scrubber’s design features antimicrobial properties for keeping those unwanted bacteria at bay. This isn't just about staying clean; it's about staying healthy. While typical scrubbers can irritate your skin or introduce bacteria, the Boie Scrubber is a guardian for your skin's health, ensuring a cleaner, safer wash every time. It’s also hypoallergenic, which is great news for people with acne, eczema, and keratosis pilaris.

Long-Lasting and Economical

Wave goodbye to the endless cycle of buying and tossing out old plastic loofahs. The Boie Body Scrubber is here to break that loop. Engineered for endurance, this Scrubber doesn’t just survive shower after shower; it thrives. Where traditional sponges and loofahs deteriorate and become less effective over time, the Boie Scrubber stands the test of time. This isn’t just good news for your wallet, saving you from constant replacements; it's also a win for reducing waste. In the long run, Boie isn’t just a purchase – it’s an investment in sustainability and savings.

Unmatched Comfort and Efficiency

Step into a shower experience that's not just clean but comfortabe too. The Boie Body Scrubber's ergonomic design fits snugly in your palm, so using it is a breeze. This scrubber isn't just about ease, it elevates your daily ritual. Its flexible bristles glide smoothly over your skin, offering a gentle yet effective cleanse. Every curve and contour of your body is effortlessly reached, turning a simple shower into a spa-like experience. With Boie, it's not just about getting clean – it's about indulging in a moment of self care.

Easy to Clean and Maintain

Let's face it: nobody enjoys the post-shower chore of cleaning a soggy, bacteria-laden sponge. Enter the Boie Body Scrubber— the low-maintenance hero of your bathroom. Thanks to its clever design, this Scrubber is a cinch to clean and dries in a snap: no more unpleasant dampness or the accompanying worries about hygiene. While traditional sponges can become a hassle to keep germ-free, the Boie Scrubber makes maintenance effortless. It's all about giving you more time to enjoy your shower and less worrying about what's lurking in your loofah.

Learn More

Ready to learn more about a cleaner, greener, and comfier cleanse? Click here and embrace a better shower today with the Boie Scrubber.

This iconic hotel transforms your favorite Christmas stories into frozen masterpieces

Ice artisans from around the world create a spectacular holiday canvas at Gaylord Hotels

Imagine stepping into a winter fairytale where your favorite Christmas stories are not just told but spectacularly frozen in time. This is what awaits you at the Gaylord Hotels' renowned ICE event. Each year, these iconic hotels transform into a frosty wonderland, where millions of pounds of ice are intricately carved into breathtaking scenes from beloved holiday tales.

It's not just an exhibit; it's an immersive journey through the heart of winter's magic. Whether you're a fan of the whimsical, the nostalgic, or just looking for a unique holiday experience, the ICE event at Gaylord Hotels promises a dazzling fusion of art and festivity, genuinely making it a standout holiday destination.

Artisanal Mastery Behind the Scenes

The magic of the Gaylord Hotels' ICE event doesn’t just appear out of thin air. It’s the handiwork of over 40 master ice artisans hailing from Harbin, China – a city celebrated for hosting the world's largest ice and snow sculpture festival. These artists travel thousands of miles to bring the stories to life, dedicating over six weeks to sculpting over two million pounds of ice.

Each stroke, carve, and chisel is a testament to their unparalleled skill. They transform colossal 300-pound ice blocks into delicate scenes, capturing the essence of holiday classics with astonishing precision. This intricate art form is more than just sculpting; it’s a way of storytelling that these artisans have perfected, turning ice into a canvas for holiday wonder.

The Magic of Ice Sculpting at Gaylord Opryland

At Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, the beloved holiday tale "The Polar Express™" springs to life in a frozen panorama. Imagine wandering through a world where the storybook train, the North Pole, and the enchanting characters are all intricately carved from ice. This isn't just viewing art; it's like stepping into the book.

The artisans' mastery shines in every detailed sculpture, capturing the warmth and wonder of the story in a paradoxically cool setting. Each scene, from the steam train's billowing smoke to the twinkling lights of the North Pole, is crafted to draw you deeper into the magical journey, making the Gaylord Opryland's ICE event a spellbinding experience that goes beyond mere spectacle.

A Christmas Story Comes to Life at Gaylord Rockies

Step into Gaylord Rockies, and you're stepping into a scene straight out of "A Christmas Story™." This Colorado location turns the timeless holiday film into an icy reality. Imagine gliding down ice slides beside Ralphie's house or peeking into the frosty windows of Higbee's department store, all sculpted from ice. It's an interactive playground where the story's most cherished moments are frozen in time, offering a unique twist on the traditional Christmas narrative.

The ice tunnels, resembling the streets of a snowy Indiana town, add to the immersive experience. Each slide, tunnel, and sculpture invites you not just to see but to actively participate in a winter adventure, capturing the essence of the beloved classic in a way you've never experienced before.

Whimsical Winter Wonderland at Gaylord National

At Gaylord National in Maryland, the timeless charm of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer™" is brought to life in a whimsical winter wonderland. As you wander this icy marvel, you'll meet Rudolph, Clarice, and the entire gang, all beautifully carved from ice. It's a scene that ignites childhood memories and creates new ones for families.

Picture the joy of snapping photos next to a life-size ice sculpture of Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster or standing beside the glowing red nose of Rudolph himself. This Maryland extravaganza is more than just a visual feast; it's an interactive experience where every corner offers a new opportunity for families to bond and capture memories that will last long after the ice melts.

Dr. Seuss’s Classic at Gaylord Texan

At the heart of Texas, the Gaylord Texan transforms into a Dr. Seuss wonderland with "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" Each sculpture in this icy expanse brings the whimsy of Whoville and its quirky inhabitants to life. Visitors are invited to wander through scenes straight from the beloved book, encountering the Grinch, his loyal dog Max, and the cheerful Who-folk, all expertly captured in ice.

It's a place where Seuss's playful rhymes meet the magic of the holiday season, offering a delightfully unique spin on festive celebrations. From the Grinch's cave to the bustling streets of Whoville, these sculptures are not just impressive in scale but in the joy they bring, creating an unforgettable holiday adventure deep in the heart of Texas.

Holiday Nostalgia with “A Charlie Brown Christmas” at Gaylord Palms

In the sunny setting of Florida, Gaylord Palms takes a nostalgic turn with "A Charlie Brown Christmas." Here, ice transforms into a sentimental journey back to the simpler joys of the holidays, as seen through the eyes of Charlie Brown and his friends. As you stroll through the exhibit, the beloved Peanuts characters, from Snoopy's doghouse to the iconic sparse Christmas tree, are all vividly recreated in ice.

This Florida spectacle taps into the heartfelt essence of the season, reminding us of the warmth and joy that come with holiday traditions. It's a place where each frozen scene, from Charlie Brown's quiet contemplation to the jubilant group gathering, resonates with the timeless message of holiday spirit and togetherness.

Beyond the Ice - Additional Attractions

But the wonder at Gaylord Hotels extends beyond the ice. Each resort turns into a holiday hub, brimming with activities for all ages. Think dazzling light shows, snow tubing adventures, and even encounters with Santa himself! Culinary delights await at various dining venues, offering everything from festive treats to gourmet meals. And let's not forget the captivating live shows, ranging from acrobatic performances to heartwarming musicals.

Each Gaylord Hotel becomes a comprehensive holiday destination, offering an array of experiences to make your festive season truly unforgettable.

Experience The Magic

Don't just dream of a white Christmas; click here to learn more about the Gaylord Hotels' ICE event – your new holiday tradition awaits!

Family

Woman bakes cheeky curse word pies for her grandma and it becomes a quirky holiday tradition

2023's pie is an homage to her favorite word to use while stuck in traffic.

Canva

You never know where a holiday tradition will come from.

Tried-and-true holiday traditions certainly have their merit, but there’s something quite special, magical even, about discovering personal rituals that commemorate one’s unique life. In my household, for instance, nothing quite rings in the Christmas spirit like sipping my partner’s delicious coquito and putting up a cardboard gingerbread house for my cats.

The beauty of creating customized holiday traditions is that they can be as festive, sentimental, or as silly as you want them to be. And you never know how one small moment can become the catalyst for a tradition that sparks joy year after year.

For Jess Lydon, that tradition is baking expletive-laden pies for Thanksgiving. (This is your profanity warning—the images below contain swear words.)

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