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10 uplifting things that made us smile this week

The internet can be a complicated place, but when you dig beneath social media's problematic elements, there are so many gems of joy to be found. From personal triumphs to adorable animal encounters to delightful moments caught on film, here are 10 things guaranteed to bring a smile to your face this week.

1. Woman celebrates becoming a published author at age 83.

Mary V. Macauley said she couldn't even send an email a short time ago, and now she's officially a published author in her ninth decade of life. It's never too late to follow your dreams, kids. (You can find her book "Free to Be Me" here.)

2. Daughter surprises her parents with her optometry school acceptance letter, and their reaction is priceless.

Her dad reading "Dear Gurjiv, COMMA" is just pure delight. So much joy in this family.



(Read the whole story here.)

3. Dog insists on joining a couple's first dance as a married couple.

Doggo doesn't want to be left out of the lovefest! Equally impressive and adorable.

4. Groom swats his bride's face mid-wedding ceremony, and it's actually hilariously sweet.

He was saving her from a bee! His expression after the instinctual swat is precious, their mutual laughter is adorable, and the officiant's "There was a bee" clarification for the people in the back is just perfectly timed.


5. Woman shared a sweet story of beloved children's author Eric Carle's unexpected response to her missing cat poster.

Eric Carle, the creator of more than 70 children's books including "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," didn't just help a stranger look for her cat, but also supported her emotionally through the whole ordeal. She didn't find out until afterward that the kind man who had helped her was famous children's author. (Read the whole story here.)

Lara B. Sharp


6. The same judge who gave a drug dealer a second chance swears him in as a lawyer 16 years later.

Judge Todd Russell Perkins saw something in Edward Martell when he showed up to his court as a drug dealer 16 years ago. Martell got his life together and became a lawyer this month—a beautiful story of second chances and redemption. (Read the whole story here.)

7. Disabled man celebrates overcoming obstacles to achieve independent living

Reddit user u/A-a-ron98 shared his celebratory announcement that he'd moved into his own place, living 100% independently. "Adulting" is hard for many, but for people with disabilities, being able to live independently can be a significant challenge. The support on Reddit for this win was beautiful to see (in addition to the education of folks who didn't understand that a disabled person can have a job.)


8. A woman who died at age 97 had her fudge recipe engraved on her tombstone.

There are people who take their secret recipes to their graves, and then there's Kathryn Andrews, who had her fudge recipe engraved on hers. "She really loved people," her family said. "She would take fudge whenever people got together." Gonna have to try out this recipe now! (Read the whole story here.)

via Find a Grave


9. Donkey recognizes the girl who raised it and holy moly the reunion is beautiful.

Who says animals don't have memories or emotions? Watch this donkey snuggle up to the girl who raised it and try not to smile. (Sound up.)

10. Microscopic image shows that grass is always happy to see us.

Okay, so they're actually "vascular bundles" that look like they're smiling at us, but still. How fun is this? The image originally came from naturalist Phil Gates, who shares wonders of the microscopic world on his blog "Beyond the Human Eye," and was shared by computational biologist Dr. Bethany Nichols on Twitter. Amazing.

As we work on our individual and collective challenges, let's also remember to celebrate the best of humanity wherever we see it. Joy is energizing, and the more we focus on what's good in the world, the more vitality and strength we'll have to confront the problems that need fixing to make it a better place for everyone.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

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