He Just Wants A Safe Neighborhood. Unfortunately, That's Harder Than It Sounds.
He is SO funny, but it got me thinking: Where the heck can he feel safe?
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.
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.
Let's start with the unspoken and uncomfortable fact that miscarriages at home usually happen in a toilet.
Content Warning: This story discusses pregnancy loss details that may be uncomfortable for some readers.
Losing a pregnancy is not something anyone can prepare for. There's no course you can take to tell you what to expect, how you'll feel or what to do after the miscarriage occurs. It's not something that's widely talked about, even in conversations about miscarriage.
About 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage in the first trimester and 1 in 5 in the second, according to the March of Dimes. Many women who reveal they've lost a pregnancy talk about how difficult it was emotionally, but they rarely talk about the lack of information from medical professionals or the details of the process of miscarrying. It makes sense because it's hard enough to discuss pregnancy loss, and to go into detail may be much worse on their mental health.
There also may be a level of shame attached to the process, partly because the topic of miscarriage is still taboo but also because many at-home miscarriages happen in the toilet. It's an uncomfortable truth that haunts people who have experienced the process. But the truth of the matter is, hospitals don't usually admit you for a miscarriage; they send you home with little to no instructions on what to do after it happens. So to people who have experienced the pain of a miscarriage at home, it makes sense that a woman in Ohio, currently on trial for "abuse of a corpse" would have no idea what to do after miscarrying.
Brittany Watts, 33, of Warren, Ohio, went to the hospital twice concerning her unborn baby. She was informed that she was miscarrying and her baby was not viable. She was presumably sent home to miscarry, like many other miscarrying mothers. The fetus was only 22 weeks gestation when Watts miscarried into the toilet after her water broke, and when she flushed the remains clogged the pipes. A forensic pathologist testified that an autopsy found that the fetus was not injured, and that it had died before passing through the birth canal. Instead of being able to grieve, Watts was arrested.
But there's not much information available in America on what to do if you miscarry at home. In the UK, the NHS sends miscarrying mothers home with a leaflet that gives some basic options on how to handle the process.
"If you miscarry at home you are very likely to pass the remains of your pregnancy into the toilet. You may look at what has come away and see a pregnancy sac and/or a very early baby (we call this a fetus) – or something you think might a be a fetus. If you complete your miscarriage at home you have no obligation to dispose of the pregnancy remains in any particular way," the NHS writes.
"You might want to simply flush the toilet – many people do that automatically. If you prefer to dispose of the remains the way you normally dispose of sanitary waste this is a personal choice and there are no regulations to prevent you doing whatever feels right for you. Or you may want to remove the remains for a closer look. That’s natural too. If you know that you do not want to flush the remains of your pregnancy you may wish to place a bowl into the toilet."
I’m struggling to comprehend the ignorance of policy makers about what happens during pregnancy/miscarriage.— Mamacita Sanchez (@SanchezMamacita) November 30, 2023
Yesterday I learned that they didn’t know that you usually miscarry into a toilet. They didn’t know that your medical team sends you home to miscarry.
Being in the position of losing a pregnancy and everything that comes with it, people forget the shock aspect of it all. There are people who pass out from pain and those who pass out from the sight of blood, both of which are often present with miscarriages. But the question remains, what are people going through this experience supposed to do if they're sent home from the hospital or miscarry without warning at home?
A woman who uses the screen name Mamacita Sanchez took to X (formerly Twitter) to express her shock and frustration at elected officials.
"I’m struggling to comprehend the ignorance of policy makers about what happens during pregnancy/miscarriage. Yesterday I learned that they didn’t know that you usually miscarry into a toilet. They didn’t know that your medical team sends you home to miscarry," she starts her thread.
"They don’t know the difference between Plan B and meds used to manage miscarriages. They don’t know the difference between zygote/embryo/fetus. They don’t know a miscarriage is called an “abortion” on a woman’s medical chart."
Sanchez's thread goes on to highlight the dangers of pregnancy and miscarriages with women chiming in revealing their own experience with miscarriage and their fears.
"I got sent home after they determined there was no heart beat to have my miscarriage at home. Lots of clots and lumps of tissue. No telling what in all that was what. Where is it supposed to go if not the toilet? So. Much. Blood. Such sadness. Heart ache. Agony," one woman replies.
"Exactly! I was given the pill when my body didn't take care of things on its own and spent the next day feeling like I was dying while my boss texted me over and over again on how to do my tasks. Farthest I got from the restroom was the bed," someone reveals.
"I’ve been saying the same. Policy-makers, and too many journalists, do not understand the medical details of pregnancy complications, not to mention the emotional distress that comes with it," another woman explains.
Maybe it's time for lawmakers to start listening to the people who have gone through these situations and the medical professionals that see them. The physical and emotional toll miscarriage takes on a person can be unimaginable, so a little grace and understanding goes a long way.
“We appreciate your concern but please do not knock on our door.."
If you were taking a stroll through a quiet neighborhood and happened to catch a glance of this majestic sight, you might bat an eye. You might do a double take. If you were (somewhat understandably) concerned about this surprising roof-dog's welfare, you might even approach the homeowners to tell them, "Uh, I'm not sure if you know...but there's a...dog...on your ROOF."
Well, the family inside is aware that there's often a dog on their roof. It's their pet Golden, Huckleberry, and he just sorta likes it up there.
To put passersby at ease and ebb the parade of concerned parties knocking on their door, Huckleberry's human put up a note explaining the whole weird scenario to those interested:
There’s a dog on the wooof!
"Huckleberry is living up to his name and learned how to jump onto our roof from the backyard. We never leave him in the backyard without someone being at home. He will not jump off unless you entice him with food or a ball!""
We appreciate your concern but please do not knock on our door... we know he's up there! But please feel free to take pictures of him and share with the world! #hucktheroofdog."
Of course, they ended it with a hashtag for photos shared on social media. Also, it seems a little strange that the owners mention that Huck is willing to jump 10 feet off a roof to chase food or a ball, but do nothing to suggest that people refrain from urging their dog to make that (seemingly dangerous) leap. Maybe Huck's got the whole process down to the point it's just not a concern.
This may seem like a pretty odd phenomenon, but not so odd that there isn't a whole corner of Reddit devoted to dogs who just seem to really, really enjoy roofs. It's called r/dogsonroofs, and boy does it ever deliver on that name.
This article originally appeared on 12.05.18
It's usually a bad thing to land in a mound of fire ants at 80 mph. But not if you're Joan Murray.
You have a 50% chance of surviving a fall of 48 feet, roughly equaling a 4-story building. The mortality rate rushes all the way up to 90% when you fall 84 feet, the distance of a 7-story building.
So if you’re falling from a whopping 14,500 feet, just over two-and-a-half miles, you can safely bet that you’re most definitely not getting out alive.But one woman did. And that’s not even the wildest part of her story.
In 1999, a woman and skydiving enthusiast named Joan Murray, 47, had traveled to North Carolina to embark upon her 37th free-fall, with the purpose of testing out new equipment.
In 1999, skydiver Joan Murray's parachute malfunctioned, causing her to fall 14,500 feet.— Morbid Knowledge (@Morbidful) November 29, 2023
Her backup parachute opened at 700 feet, but it quickly deflated and she continued to plummet towards the ground at 80 miles per hour.
Miraculously, Murray survived the fall thanks to the… pic.twitter.com/C5zCSIt0DA
After carefully packing and prepping, Murray made her jump. Only when she pulled the cord for her parachute, nothing happened. There she was, hurtling towards the Earth at 80 mph.
According to a Star News article reporting the incident, Murray was finally able to release her emergency chute at 700 feet, but that only “swung her out of control.”
In a display of cosmic irony, Murray eventually slammed into the ground onto a live mound of fire ants. You can’t make this stuff up.
But incredibly, Murray survived the fall. Most of her bones were shattered, her teeth fillings flew out, her face was severely bitten by ants and she fell into a coma for two weeks…but she survived. As for how she survived such a harrowing fall, her doctor simply wrote “miracle” on her file.
And while Murray’s survival is no doubt miraculous, evidence suggests that those fire ants were the little angels behind it.
TIL: On Sept 25, 1999, American skydiver Joan Murray fell 4400 m when her chute failed and landed on a mound of fire ants. Doctors said the >200 stings she received caused an adrenaline surge that kept her heart beating. She survived after 20 surgeries and 17 blood transfusions. pic.twitter.com/0V63ePZyOg— Legends Of Surgery (@SurgeryLegends) March 21, 2020
Murray had remained conscious after her fall (yikes) and reported that she could feel the burning sensation of the army of ants stinging her. Eventually, it was the unbearable pain of the stings, not the insane fall, that made her pass out.
When paramedics arrived on the scene, they saw Murray completely covered in hundreds of thousands of fire ants—and around 200 stings on her body. It was believed that the venom from their stings not only shocked her heart (thus keeping it beating) but caused her body to produce more adrenaline until help came.
Perhaps the most unbelievable part of this story is that Murray actually skydived again only two years after this disaster. She also turned down an offer to retire with disability from her job and Bank of America and continued her banking career that extended over 20 years.
Though Murray passed away in May of 2022, she is still remembered not only for her amazing survival, but her optimistic outlook on life.
As she shared with “People” following the accident, "Sometimes we take life for granted. I truly have fun putting my shoes on in the morning."
May we all find a way to find the same positivity…perhaps without the fire ants.
Dommei’s innovative designs are empowering children to unleash their artistic potential.
Imagine a world where a simple backpack becomes a canvas for imagination and a tool for learning. That's the world
Dommei has created.
Born out of a desire to blend creativity with everyday utility, Dommei is not just another company; it's a hub of innovation. In a time when screens often dominate our children's attention, Dommei brings back the joy of tangible, hands-on creativity.
@dommei_inc Play in different! Dommei DIY Backpack combine the functionality of display board, toys, and tools.
♬ 原聲 - Dommei Inc
Each backpack from Dommei is more than a bag; it's a gateway to worlds of space, oceans, dinosaurs, and more. It's where art meets education, and ordinary backpacks transform into extraordinary masterpieces, empowering children to unleash their artistic potential and explore new horizons.
During the 2020 pandemic, when the world seemed to pause, Dommei hit the play button on creativity and innovation. The company's journey began with a question: How can we turn everyday objects into something extraordinary? Inspired by the grandeur and innovation symbolized by the Crystal Palace of the first World Expo, Dommei decided to reinvent something as simple as a backpack into a canvas of imagination and learning.
At its core, Dommei stands on three pillars: create, have fun, and share. It's not just about making a product; it's about creating an experience that blends joy with education. The brand encourages children and adults alike to explore their creativity, turning personal expression into an interactive adventure. By marrying practicality with play, Dommei backpacks are more than just storage; they're tools for storytelling, learning, and sharing experiences. Each backpack is a celebration of personal expression, underlining the brand's commitment to making education not only accessible but also enjoyable.
Blast off into a universe of learning and creativity with the Space Domepak Kit! This isn't just a backpack; it's a launchpad for young astronauts' imaginations. Loaded with a space-themed display board, stellar toys, and tools for connecting, the Space Domepak turns the mystery of the cosmos into an interactive adventure. It’s perfect for those little dreamers who gaze up at the stars and wonder.
By bringing the wonders of the universe to their fingertips, this kit encourages curiosity, learning, and creativity, making the vastness of space feel a little closer and a lot more personal. It’s not just carrying a backpack but a galaxy of possibilities.
Dive into the deep blue with the Ocean Domepak Kit, where every zip opens up a world of underwater exploration. This kit is more than a backpack; it's an oceanic expedition for young explorers! It is packed with marine-themed toys, a vibrant display board, and tools inviting interaction
It's a treasure trove for budding marine biologists. Kids discover and learn about mysterious marine species, fostering a love for our oceans and their creatures. It's a hands-on experience that brings the ocean's wonders to the surface, igniting a wave of curiosity and care for the aquatic world.
Step back in time with the Dinosaur Domepak Kit, a prehistoric playground for the little paleontologist in your life. This isn't just any backpack; it's a time machine to when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Loaded with dinosaur-themed toys, a prehistoric display board, and tools for hands-on learning, it brings the ancient world of dinosaurs into the present.
This kit makes learning about these magnificent creatures fun and accessible, sparking a fascination with natural history. It's more than a journey into the past; it’s an exploration of a world that once was, igniting a lifelong passion for discovery and science.
Meet the chameleon of backpacks:
the Combo Domepak Kit. This ingenious creation adapts to whatever your child’s heart desires, be it the cosmos, the deep sea, or the age of dinosaurs.
Each kit comes with a variety of themes, making it a jack-of-all-trades in the world of creative learning. It's not just versatile; it's a playground for the imagination. Whether your little one is an aspiring astronaut today or a marine biologist tomorrow, this backpack evolves with their changing passions. It's a celebration of their growing interests, offering a canvas that's as dynamic and creative as their young minds.
For the little artist with a big imagination,
the Plus Domepak Kit is a masterpiece waiting to happen. This isn’t just a backpack; it's an artist's studio on the go. With its comprehensive set, including a DIY painting kit, it turns every outing into an opportunity for artistic expression.
The Plus Domepak isn't just about carrying supplies; it's about carrying ideas and dreams. Whether it's painting a prehistoric landscape or a starry galaxy, this kit combines art, education, and endless fun. It’s perfect for nurturing creativity, blending the joy of making art with the thrill of learning something new every day.
Dommei's backpacks are more than just bags; they're windows to worlds of creativity and learning. Each one is a unique adventure, inviting kids to explore, create, and grow.
So, why settle for ordinary when your child can carry a masterpiece? Click here to dive into Dommei's world and see where creativity takes you.
Some adults say it's healing their inner child, but there's something in the popular Australian kids' show for everyone.
I have a confession to make. I'm 48 years old, my youngest child is in high school and I can't stop watching "Bluey."
For the uninitiated, "Bluey" is a kids' cartoon from Australia aimed at 5 to 7-year-olds. It's been nearly a decade since my household has seen that demographic, so when people kept telling me I should watch "Bluey," my reaction was basically, "Yeah, I've already done my kiddie show time, thankyouverymuch."
Then my almost-15-year-old started watching it just to see what the fuss was about. And as I started tuning in, I saw why people love it so much. I figured it was going to be a wholesome show with some good lessons for kids, and it is.
But it's also laugh-out-loud hilarious.
As I got sucked deeper and deeper down the "Bluey" hole, I also saw why so many adults say the show is healing their inner child. It doesn't just have good lessons for kids; some episodes are a masterclass in creative, engaged, positive parenting. Now I'm hooked, along with the rest of my family of 40-somethings and young adults. We even have favorite episodes that we rewatch, for goodness sake.
So what is it that makes "Bluey" such a beloved show for all ages?
The children who play 6-year-old Bluey, her 4-year-old sister, Bingo, and their various cousins and friends are outstanding. Their voices are cute, but they're also top notch comedians.
One of my personal favorite bits on the show is when the kids pretend to be grannies. Here's a clip with Bluey, Bingo and their cousin, Muffin, pretending to be grannies at their neighbor's yard sale.
It gets even funnier when the "grouchy granny" encounters an actual, real-life grouchy granny who wants to buy the granny mobile and haggles with her. (We've watched this episode four times. It only gets funnier.)
The clip below shows how Bandit (Bluey and Bingo's dad) creatively uses a unicorn puppet to drive home the importance of good manners and personal care habits when Bluey won't stop chewing with her mouth open.
Using characters that struggle with whatever a kid needs to learn is a great way to help drive home a lesson. And doing it with silliness and creativity makes the learning process both enjoyable and effective.
Also, the parents' love for each other shines through in the show in adorable ways.
Bluey episodes are short—the full episode below is less than 7 minutes—and it's amazing how much they can squeeze into them. Here, Bluey's mom teaches Bluey not to compare herself to others by sharing her own comparison story from when Bluey was a baby, which also includes a lesson for the parents who may be watching as well. It also tugs right at the heartstrings at the end.
I'm just consistently amazed at how well the show executes on every level.
For folks with positive childhoods, the show is nostalgic and comforting. For those with tough childhoods, the show can feel healing. And for people who raising their own kids, it can be a resource to help them be better parents.
My colleague (and Licensed Clinical Social Worker) Jacalyn Wetzel says she recommends "Bluey" to clients who are having a hard time with parenting.
"When parents of young children mention that they're struggling with being able to emotionally regulate through their child's tantrums, outside of talking to them about ways children express unmet needs, I often recommend the cartoon 'Bluey,'" she says. "Bluey behaves very much like a typical preschooler, which sometimes means she accidentally pushes buttons or does something wrong. The way her parents interact with her in those moments are great examples of acknowledging a child's emotions and responding with kindness, understanding and age appropriate terms."
The show includes real-life parenting moments that can be hard to navigate, so she encourages parents to watch how the parents interact with Bluey and Bingo. "Parenting doesn't come with a handbook but 'Bluey' is helping those that maybe didn't have the best example of it growing up, and that's special," she says.
It's just a near-perfect show in almost every way. There's even some silly potty humor if that's your jam. (See what I mean? A little something for everyone.)
You can watch full seasons of "Bluey" on Disney + and find clips and some full episodes the "Bluey" YouTube channel.