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.
They were doing trigonometry 1500 years before the Greeks.
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.
Mansfield and his team are, understandably, incredibly proud. What they discovered is that the tablet is actually an ancient trigonometry table.
"The huge mystery, until now, was its purpose – why the ancient scribes carried out the complex task of generating and sorting the numbers on the tablet. Our research reveals that Plimpton 322 describes the shapes of right-angle triangles using a novel kind of trigonometry based on ratios, not angles and circles. It is a fascinating mathematical work that demonstrates undoubted genius."
"The tablet not only contains the world's oldest trigonometric table; it is also the only completely accurate trigonometric table, because of the very different Babylonian approach to arithmetic and geometry. This means it has great relevance for our modern world. Babylonian mathematics may have been out of fashion for more than 3,000 years, but it has possible practical applications in surveying, computer graphics and education. This is a rare example of the ancient world teaching us something new."
The tablet predates Greek astronomer Hipparchus, who has long been regarded as the father of trigonometry. Mansfield's colleague, Norman Widberger, added:
"Plimpton 322 predates Hipparchus by more than 1,000 years. It opens up new possibilities not just for modern mathematics research, but also for mathematics education. With Plimpton 322 we see a simpler, more accurate trigonometry that has clear advantages over our own."
"A treasure trove of Babylonian tablets exists, but only a fraction of them have been studied yet. The mathematical world is only waking up to the fact that this ancient but very sophisticated mathematical culture has much to teach us."
People were understandably excited by the news.
Some mathematicians actually think studying the Babylonians back then could help us improve the way we do trigonometry today.
\u201c"With Plimpton 322 we see a simpler, more accurate trig. (with) clear advantages over our own."\n@n_wildberger: https://t.co/xoZBNxvxZ8\n#TOK\u201d— Roo Stenning (@Roo Stenning) 1503658186
Of course, there were the haters...
\u201cFind someone who loves you as much as this guy dislikes a hypothesis about Babylonian math: https://t.co/AznQgoYxFP\u201d— Miles Brundage (@Miles Brundage) 1503605001
But all in all, Twitter users were pretty impressed with the Babylonians' skills.
And they figured it out 3,700 years ahead of me...and counting.— Marty (@Marty) 1503631905
\u201c@prophiphop And we're over here trying to figure out how to do trig with our TI-83s... man I love it when the ancients show what real intelligence is.\u201d— Kenny Hayse (@Kenny Hayse) 1503633184
Congratulations to Dr. Mansfield and his team on their incredible discovery... and for making trigonometry exciting!
This article originally appeared on 07.10.21
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.
Your purchasing power can swing by 30% from state to state.
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.
The map may not subvert one's intuitive assumptions, but it nonetheless quantities and presents the cost of living by geography in a brilliantly simple way. For instance, if you're looking for a beach lifestyle but don't want to pay California prices, try Florida, which is about as close to "average" — in terms of purchasing power, anyway — as any state in the Union. If you happen to find yourself in a "Brewster's Millions"-type situation, head to Hawaii, D.C., or New York. You'll burn through your money in no time.
The Relative Value of $100 in a state.
Image by Tax Foundation.
If you're quite fond of your cash and would prefer to keep it, get to Mississippi, which boasts a 16.1% premium on your cash from the national average.
The Tax Foundation notes that if you're using this map for a practical purpose, bear in mind that incomes also tend to rise in similar fashion, so one could safely assume that wages in these states are roughly inverse to the purchasing power $100 represents.
This article originally appeared on 08.17.17
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 kid actors are fantastic. Seriously, so darn funny.
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 parents teach lessons through imaginative play
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.
The parents share their own learnings along the way
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.
An unlikely family will celebrate their ninth Christmas together this year.
Get ready folks, this story is a bit of a tearjerker.
That girl, Raven Whitaker, would later become his daughter.
Smith recalled with Good Morning America that the 11-year-old looked like a “sweet,” “innocent” child as she admitted to him what she had done.
Trying to reason with her, Smith asked, "Well, if you were out at a restaurant, would you do that there?'"And that was when Raven told him that she had never really been to a restaurant. As she explained to WTHR, she had spent most of her life in the foster care system, suffering under terrible conditions, and was currently living in a group home.
This immediately touched Smith. "At that point, I had felt like she just needed a hand, needed help," he told GMA. "I recognized that she needed something to go in her favor, maybe for once, that it hadn't gone in her favor in the past, but she just needed somebody to help her."
Smith went home to explore the idea of fostering Raven with his wife Marybeth. This was, understandably, a touchy subject, as the couple had wanted children of their own and not only struggled through infertility treatments, but also already had fostered kids.
But Marybeth knew her husband must have felt “passionate” about it, so they gave it some thought. And eventually they reached out to begin the fostering process. Raven ended up moving into their home in June 2015. And on Nov. 3, 2017, as Raven entered high school, the Smiths formally adopted her.
Despite it seeming strange at first, Raven noted that the Smiths made her “feel extremely welcome, like I was already in the family. They got everything that I needed without even knowing that I would be there forever. They just did it."
A family in Kentucky will celebrate their ninth Christmas together this year after an adoption that began in a principal's office. https://t.co/1UggWzHvdw— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 30, 2023
She even looks back and says she “always knew” that the Smiths would end up being her permanent family. And with that support system in place, Raven Whitaker (make that Raven Whitaker-Smith) overcame the odds. Now 20, Raven is in college studying social work and sharing her story to offer some hope to others in similar situations.
It’s amazing what miracles can happen for kids when they are placed in a loving environment. As principal-turned-dad Jason Smith told GMA, “there are no bad children…given the right opportunity, given the proper support, love and affection, all children can be successful."
Watch the full story below.
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.