A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
We are a small, independent media company on a mission to share the best of humanity with the world.
If you think the work we do matters, pre-ordering a copy of our first book would make a huge difference in helping us succeed.
Education

# People can't believe a wavy brick wall uses fewer bricks than a straight one, but it's true

### The "crinkle crankle" wall is a testament to human ingenuity.

Karen Blaha/Wikimedia Commons

Crinkle crankle walls are more common the U.K., but they can be found in the U.S. as well.

If you were to draw a straight line and a wavy line from point A to point B, there would be no question which one used more ink. After all, "The shortest distance between two points (on a flat surface) is a straight line" has been baked into our brains since elementary school math class. Logically, a wavy line uses more ink because it covers more distance, right? Right.

So if that's true, how is it possible that a brick wall built in a wavy pattern could use fewer bricks than a straight one built between the exact same two points?

Not only is it possible, it's actually true, despite people's disbelief over the fact.

A post on X from @InternetHOF shows the claim that "corrugated brick fences" sometimes seen in England use fewer bricks than a straight wall, with the caption, "I don't believe this is true."

It does seem illogical from a pure geometry-on-paper standpoint, but what makes it true is how the structural integrity of brick walls works.

There are all kinds of nitty-gritty calculations a structural engineer could get into to explain, but thankfully, internet hero (and strangely popular X account) Greg came to everyone's rescue with an explanation that neatly fit into a single post on X.

"They're called crinkle crankles," wrote Greg. "A single leaf wall over that distance would need brick piers approx every 1.5-2m if it was a retaining wall it would need to be at least 9” wide (2 bricks). The crinkle crankle has more strength due to it’s curved nature so can be 4” wide or a single leaf of bricks.

"For the maths if we can assume they’re true semi-circles then each semi circle would be 1/2piD or 1.57D whereas a double leaf wall would be 2D for the same length D.

"Therefore using 21.5% less bricks than a double leaf wall hope that clears things up."

In even simpler terms, a long, straight brick wall only a single brick wide would not be able to stand without some kind of buttresses every couple of meters, which would actually take more bricks to build. Otherwise, it would need to be thicker, which would also increase the number of bricks needed. The curve of the crinkle crankle (best name ever) provides stability all on its own, so the wall doesn't need structured supports.

Crinkle crankle walls are usually referred to as serpentine walls in the U.S.

Karen Blaha/Wikimedia Commons

First of all, what a cool piece of human ingenuity that people actually figured this out hundreds of years ago. And second of all, why are there not more crinkle crankle walls everywhere? So much more fun and whimsical. And apparently, a better use of resources.

But before you go building your own crinkle crankle wall to make your house look super cool, make sure you've got the geometry correct. There are actual specifications for making a structurally sound serpentine wall, and if you don't do it correctly, you may find yourself with a pile of bricks and no wall, curvy or straight.

If you want to see some cool crinkle crankle walls in the U.S., head to the University of Virginia. Thomas Jefferson himself added them to the design of the Charlottesville, Virginia, campus.

Crinkle crankle wall at the University of Virginia

Carlin MacKenzie/Wikimedia Commons

Joy

## People born between 1954 and 1965 are thrilled to learn they're not boomers, but 'Gen Jones'

### "Whaaat? There's a name for us? I have never felt like a real boomer—or Xer! I feel normal for once!"

Michelle Obama, Stephen Colbert and Michelle Yeoh are all Gen Jonesers.

The Silent Generation. Baby boomers. Gen X. Millennials. Gen Z. Gen Alpha. Social science and pop culture commentators have spent decades grouping and analyzing the different generations, assigning various qualities, habits and tendencies to each age group.

But some people don’t identify with their generation, or at least these particular categories of them. Those on the cusp between two generations often feel like neither aligns with who they are..

That’s where Generation Jones comes in.

Like the Xennials that straddle Gen X and millennials, Generation Jones are not quite boomers but not quite Gen X. For most of their lives, those born between 1954 and 1965 have been lumped in with the baby boomers, but culturally they’ve never quite fit. They were too young to be involved in the major civil rights, women’s liberation and Vietnam war movements of the 60s, instead witnessing those social upheavals through children’s eyes. But they were also too old to identify with the Gen X latchkey kid angst.

Jonathan Pontell is the television producer, director, and writer who named Generation Jones and explained what made them unique. “We fill the space between Woodstock and Lollapalooza, between the Paris student riots and the anti-globalisation protests, and between Dylan going electric and Nirvana going unplugged,” he wrote in Politico in 2009.

He also explained why Gen Jonesers make good leaders:

“What makes us Jonesers also makes us uniquely positioned to bring about a new era in international affairs. Our practical idealism was created by witnessing the often unrealistic idealism of the 1960s. And we weren’t engaged in that era’s ideological battles; we were children playing with toys while Boomers argued over issues. Our non-ideological pragmatism allows us to resolve intra-Boomer skirmishes and to bridge that volatile Boomer-GenXer divide. We can lead.”

Many Generation Jonesers have never felt like they had a generational home and are thrilled to learn they actually do have one. Check out how Upworthy readers responded with glee upon discovering they were a part of Gen Jones:

"Thank you! As a definite Gen Jones, I completely relate to this. To young to be a hippy, therefore was never a yuppy, but too old to be Gen X. Gen Jones works just fine."

"I have said for decades that I must be a transitional person into Gen X, because I don’t relate to boomers! I appreciate them, but I am not one of them. I am glad someone finally named my generation!"

"There are definite differences between people born in the 1940s/1950s and those of us born in the early 1960s. Most of us born in the early 1960s do not remember the JFK assassination and we were much too young to participate in Woodstock. The older Boomers were already established in their careers and as homeowners with families in the 1980s when we were in our 20s just starting out and ready to buy our first home. While the older Boomers experienced reasonable mortgage interest rates, the early 1960s Boomers faced mortgage interest rates averaging 14 percent in the 1980s which made it more difficult for us to buy our first home. We definitely need an additional group between Boomers and Gen X, and Generation Jones fits the bill."

"I was born 6 days before 1960…. I’ve felt out of touch with a lot of the boomer life descriptions, and not Gen X enough to fit in there. I’ll take Generation Jones."

"1957 here, with older siblings born before 1950. I definitely did not have the same experience growing up that they had. I feel I can identify a little with Boomers and a little with the Gen X experience, so there’s some overlap. (BTW, Gen X needs to stop claiming that they’re the first to have experienced all the things we grew up with. Kids, you didn’t invent drinking out of the garden hose or playing outside until the streetlights came on. Sheesh!) Glad to be a Joneser."

"Of course there is a difference between people raised in the 1950’s and people raised and coming of age in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Society changed a lot in those three decades."

"This is my generation but I never knew we had a name! The description fits perfectly."

Congrats on finding your people, Gen Jones. It's your time to shine.

Pop Culture

## Couple expecting twins asks folks to come up with the funniest fake names imaginable

### These did not disappoint.

Hey, Mary-Kate and Ashley already worked for one set of twins, didn't it?

Naming a baby isn’t the easiest thing that new parents will experience, and subjecting themselves to the well intentioned, but not so helpful input of others is one of the many aspects that makes the whole process really stressful.

That of course goes double for naming twins.

Everyone has an opinion on how matching, catchy or avant garde twin names should be, but outside opinions are rarely what parents need—especially when they didn’t ask for it. Imagine finally coming up with not one, but two perfect monikers meant to represent the two humans you’re bringing into the word ostensibly for their entire life, and someone completely raining on that parade. Doesn’t sound like new parent bliss.

And that’s why one couple decided to come up with a list of fake twin names to give to any inquiring minds.

Over in the r/namenerds subreddit, the couple shared that Tom and Jerry, Ben and Holly, Charlie and Lola and Ant and Dec had already been jotted down, and asked folks to share their own ideas.

Of the celebrity name variety, Mary-Kate and Ashley was the top suggested, followed by Taylor and Travis, Lucy and Desi, Cheech and Chong, Penn and Teller.

Then there were music-inspired choices, like Tu and Pac, Wayne and Garth, Sonny and Cher, Ike and Tina and Pink and Floyd.

Plus a few names based on historical figures, like Antony and Cleopatra and Bonnie and Clyde.

Of the twin names inspired by children’s shows, we had Snoopy and Woodstock, Zack and Cody Phineas and Ferb, Anna and Elsa, He-man and She-Ra Bluey and Bingo Fred & Barney Burt & Ernie, Even a few video game references with Mario & Luigi and Link and Zelda. And of course, Ken and Barbie.

There were quite a few names based on literary icons. Be it authors, like Nora and Robert, Lewis and Carol, Agatha and Christie, Stephen and Kingsley, Jane and Austen, James & Joyce and William and Blake. Or characters like Hansel and Gretel, Jack and Jill, Cinderella and Prince (Charming) ,Thor and Loki, Nancy & Drew, and Romeo and Juliet . For the last one, it was suggested to “feign total ignorance that they’re not related” for added comedic effect.

Next category: Movies/TV shows inspired names, which included Wednesday and Pugsley, Ross and Monica, Bart and Lisa, Cersei and Jaime (yikes!) and Luke and Leia.

“I honestly don’t think anyone would be shocked if I suggested Luke and Leia 🤣 That’s definitely going at the top of the list,” the OP commented.

And from there, things descended into absurdity with suggestions like Easy-Peasy and Lemon-Squeezy, Copy and Paste, Dayquil and Nyquil, Gin & Tonic, Merlot & Chardonnay, Beavis and Butthead (especially if for twin girls).

One last honorable mention goes to the person who shared, “My partner and I always joke that we’d tell everyone they were Yanni & Laurel after that internet ‘they sound the same’ thing that went around in 2020.”

Ultimately, naming twins needs the same kind of considerations that all baby names do, which is to think about the real world implication their name might have beyond childhood. There’s just the added challenge of choosing between complete individuality or by acknowledging the unique sibling bond. No choice is necessarily better or worse than the other.

Regardless, this couple has plenty of hilarious fake names to add to their decoy list. Mission accomplished.

Family

## Heartbroken wife files for divorce after DNA test reveals 2-year-old son isn't hers

### She first became suspicious when her son didn't have blue eyes.

A woman in distress contemplates her future.

It’s pretty common to hear a story about a man whose life is turned upside down after a DNA test proves that he’s not the father of a child he thought was his. However, hearing a mother dealing with the same scenario is rare. That’s why a recent post on Reddit has so many people talking.

A user named ThrowRA-3xbetrayal claims that a DNA test shows her husband is the father of the 2-year-old boy they’ve raised but she isn’t the biological mother.

The story began 6 years ago when the couple tried to conceive but had no luck. The woman then discovered she had a “medical condition” that meant she couldn’t bring a baby to term, which resulted in a partial hysterectomy. The woman, who refers to herself as the family’s “breadwinner” took on multiple jobs to pay a surrogate to have their child.

“I still had my ovaries so we started looking into cost of a surrogate. It is really expensive! My close friend since college who'd already had 2 kids of her own, offered to serve as the surrogate for us to cut down on costs. After two disappointing IVF sessions that did not result in pregnancy, she became pregnant on the 3rd try and carried a boy to term for us,” ThrowRA-3xbetrayal wrote.

The couple was over the moon after the birth of the boy and the surrogate became a bigger part of their lives.

A woman in distress being comforted.via Liza Summer

“My friend and my husband started talking more and I would sometimes come home from my weekend job to find her already hanging out at our house when my husband was there,” ThrowRA-3xbetrayal wrote. “I chalked it up as innocuous and it's good for her to know my husband better since she was in the process of hopefully carrying our child for us. I was grateful to have someone helping us have a child.”

But the mother became suspicious because the baby’s eyes were brown when she and her husband’s were blue.

The mother took the child to a doctor’s appointment and she received some devastating news. She discovered that her son’s blood type is B+ while his father’s is O+ and She is A+. The doctor said it was “biologically impossible” for her son to have that blood type given his parents’.

ThrowRA-3xbetrayal thought the fertility clinic made a horrible mistake. She took a DNA test and found that her husband was the boy’s father, but she was not the mother. “Then my husband confessed that he'd slept with my friend (our surrogate) on a few different occasions during our struggle to have her get pregnant with our embryos,” ThrowRA-3xbetrayal wrote. “This means what I thought was our son conceived by IVF and carried with a surrogate isn't my son at all and was, in fact, conceived the old-fashioned way, which I can't ever do.”

The woman says that the terrible news felt like a triple betrayal. The woman has decided to divorce her husband and wants to give up any parental rights to the child. Her husband, the surrogate and her family all believe that she’s wrong to give up rights to the child that she’s raised for 2 years.

She asked Reddit’s AITA forum to tell her if she was in the wrong and the community responded with overwhelmingly positive support, affirming her tough decision.

A happy toddler playing on the beach. via Taryn Elliott/Pexels

The most popular commenter said that she should sue the surrogate for taking her money without having her baby. “One of the things that gets me is that you were working extra jobs to pay for the surrogacy which I am assuming included her medical bills and financially supporting her. I would speak to a solicitor about suing her for your money back. She knew that if she was having sex then there was always a chance that the child was biologically hers,” they wrote.

Another affirmed the wife’s decision to leave her husband and to surrender any parental rights. “He cheated... it's not yours. I will absolutely tell you what I tell men posting this. It would be wonderful if you love the kid enough to stay, but if you're in shock and damaged too much to do so, you aren't the A**le for walking away,” they wrote.

Another pointed out that if a man were in this position, no one would judge him for giving up his parental rights. “If these roles were reversed and you were a man saying that his wife had cheated and had another man’s baby, people would have no problem telling him that he’s within his rights to leave and have nothing to do with the child if he doesn’t want to,” the commenter wrote.

If the story that ThrowRA-3xbetrayal wrote tells is true, it’s an incredible tragedy. She fought so hard to have a child only to realize she was living a lie two years later. So, let’s hope she found some solace in the hundreds of people who supported her decision to move on with her life while also sharing some great advice on going forward.

Joy

## ‘Didn’t qualify for the Olympics’ sports fail videos are even better than the real events

### So much more relatable than the actual Olympics.

Not everyone can be an Olympian.

Watching the Olympics is always an inspiring reminder of the incredible human ability to push the boundaries of excellence and achievement in sports. It can also be a good reminder of the utter inability the vast majority of us have to even come close to the feats those athletes perform.

There's a funny phenomenon with the Olympics where we all become overnight armchair experts in every sport, critiquing diving teams' synchronicity and rock climbers' foot placement and gymnasts' landings as if we have any idea what we're talking about. And there's also the phenomenon where, somewhere in our bodies, we feel like we might actually be able to do backflips on a balance beam or butterfly stroke our way across a pool or run 100 meters in 10 seconds.

Of course, the truth is we can't. It takes years and years of intense training to be able to do what Olympians do, and the rest of us aren't even in the same universe of skill and physical ability as they are. That's where the "didn't quality for the 2024 Olympics" viral video trend comes in, offering a hilariously humbling reality check for us all.

When elite athletes make their sport look easy, it's easy to forget how hard what they do actually is. Seeing people blunder their way through it, though, makes the difficulty painfully clear. So when people started sharing videos of sports fails on social media, tagging them with the captions along the lines of, "Unfortunately didn't qualify for the 2024 Olympic team," it became a hilarious viral celebration of human un-achievement.

For instance, this:

@sky.to.swaggy

surprised they didnt ask me to come out of retirement 🤷‍♀️ If @Simone Biles comments I’ll go back to gymnastics #olympics2024paris #gymnastics #simonebiles

And this:

@bellitabaute

Training for LA 2028!! #2024olympics

And this:

@sweetpotatoes2006

maybe next olympics😢

Sometimes you don't make it because maybe you're just a little too powerful.

@marshalls_life

i gave it my best shot tho! #paris2024 #olympics #fail #fyp

This girl is all of us after watching the diving events, mistakenly thinking we could do some of what they do.

@www.ihaveacrushonyou

maybe next year ! 😪#olympics #iwillbethenextsteelejohnson or #simonebiles

From high jump and pole vault fails to balls and bodies bouncing in ways they aren't supposed to, this trend has people wincing but rolling at the examples of why Olympians are Olympians and the rest of us are the rest of us.

Of course, even Olympic athletes have epic fails of their own sometimes, which only serves to prove how difficult it is to get to their level but and execute their skills perfectly each time. All the more reason to appreciate their talent and hard work and perhaps to be a bit humbler in our critiques from the couch.

Here's to humans who do extraordinary things—and to humans who find humor in all the epic fails it takes to get there.

Health

## 'Thank you for believing her': Mechanic makes discovery helping woman afraid of stalker

### She was right to trust her instincts.

A mechanic looks under a woman's car.

A video posted by a mechanic who goes by Tooey’s Garage on TikTok shows why it’s so important to listen to people who fear they are in danger. It’s also a great reminder that when you suspect something creepy is going on, tell someone about it.

It all started when a woman came to Tooey’s Garage because she thought her car had a tracker attached. "The customer stated that she suspected a tracker was in her vehicle and asked if we could take a look,” Tooey captioned the video.

Apple AirTags and Tiles allow people to attach a small tag to their important items (car keys, wallet, luggage, cars, etc.) to track them if they get lost. The tags report back to an app that allows you to find them on a map. If these items are stolen, the owners can make the tag chirp so the thieves know they’re being tracked.

However, people can use these tags for nefarious reasons, such as stalking people by placing them on their cars. This allows them to know wherever their victim may be whenever they leave the house.

Tile tracker devices.via Dennis Sylvester Hurd/Flickr

The woman who came to Tooey’s Garage said she got an alert on her phone that an “unidentifiable tile” was following her around. So Tooey searched the inside of her car for hours and found nothing. Then he put the car up on a rack and searched the underside, where he found a tracker wrapped in duct tape and attached to the vehicle in a magnetic hide-a-key box.

The woman told Tooey that the person she suspected was stalking her had put trackers on other people’s cars as well.

@tooeys.garage

Customer stated that she suspected a tracker was in her vehicle, and asked if we could take a look. We looked inside 1st then put it on a lift once one opened up. The tile tracker was attached under the car in a magnetic key box. #creepy #creeper #stalker #mechanicsoftiktok #mechanic #fypage #gethelp @Life360 @Tile #fixed #life360

“If you feel like someone might be creeping on you and stalking you, maybe see if your local shop can take a look. Hopefully, they won’t think you’re crazy, but it does actually happen,” Tooey said at the end of the video.

People in the video's comments praised the mechanic for taking the woman’s concerns seriously and doing whatever he could to find the tracker. “Y'all are awesome for not only believing her but also helping her!” one commenter wrote. “Thank you for believing her AND being so thorough!” another added.

One commenter made a great point: trackers should be traceable back to the purchaser to prevent stalking. “The owner should be able to have that device tracked back to the purchaser and have them charged with stalking!” they wrote.

Tooey’s video has been seen over 3 million times, and it’s an important warning for people to get their cars looked at immediately if they have even the slightest suspicion that they’re being tracked. It’s also a great example for mechanics to take action if someone comes into their shop looking for a tracker because they could be in great danger.

Kudos to Tooey for going out of his way to help the woman by spending much of his workday trying to locate the tracker. Without his help, the situation could have turned tragic.