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10 uplifting things that made us smile this week

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.

Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

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Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson in 2006.

A startling number of professional athletes face financial hardships after they retire. The big reason is that even though they make a lot of money, the average sports career is relatively short: 3.3 years in the NFL; 4.6 years in the NBA; and 5.6 years in MLB. During that time, athletes often dole out money to friends and family members who helped them along the way and can fall victim to living lavish, unsustainable lifestyles.

After the athlete retires they are likely to earn a lot less money, and if they don’t adjust their spending, they’re in for some serious trouble.

In a candid interview with NFL Hall of Famer and TV personality Shannon Sharpe, Chad Ochocinco (legally Chad Johnson) revealed that he saved 80 to 83% of the $48 million he made in the NFL by faking his lavish lifestyle because it made no sense to him.

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Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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Family

American mom living in Germany lists postpartum support and women are gobsmacked

“Every video you make gets me closer to actually moving to Germany.”

U.S. mom living in Germany shares postpartum support she received.

Having a baby is not an easy feat no matter which way they come out. The pregnant person is either laboring for hours and then pushing for what feels like even more hours, or they're getting cut from hip to hip to bring about their bundle of joy. (Unless you're one of those lucky—or rather not-so-lucky—folks who get to labor for hours only to still end up in surgery.)

Giving birth is hard and healing afterward can feel dang near impossible, especially given that most states in the U.S. only offer six weeks of maternity leave and it's typically unpaid. But did you know that not everyone has that experience?

A mom who had her first child in the U.S. before meeting her current husband and relocating to Germany is shedding light on postpartum care in her new country. The stark contrast is beyond shocking to women living in the U.S. and she's got a few considering crossing the ocean for a better quality of life.

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Meghan Elinor chimes in on the Starbucks tipping debate.

Tipping culture is rapidly changing in America, so understandably a lot of people aren’t sure what to do when they buy a coffee and the debit card reader asks for a tip. It used to be that people only tipped bartenders, drivers, servers and hairdressers.

Now people are being asked to tip just about any time they encounter a point-of-sale system. There is a big difference between tipping a server who lugged around hot plates of food for an hour-long meal and someone who simply handed you an ice cream cone.

"We're living in an era of inflation, but on top of that, we've got tipping everywhere—tipflation. I take it a step further and call it a tipping invasion. Because that's really what I think it is," etiquette expert Thomas Farley (aka Mister Manners) told CBS 8.

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Pop Culture

One moment in history shot Tracy Chapman to music stardom. Watch it now.

She captivated millions with nothing but her guitar and an iconic voice.

Imagine being in the crowd and hearing "Fast Car" for the first time

While a catchy hook might make a song go viral, very few songs create such a unifying impact that they achieve timeless resonance. Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” is one of those songs.

So much courage and raw honesty is packed into the lyrics, only to be elevated by Chapman’s signature androgynous and soulful voice. Imagine being in the crowd and seeing her as a relatively unknown talent and hearing that song for the first time. Would you instantly recognize that you were witnessing a pivotal moment in musical history?

For concert goers at Wembley Stadium in the late 80s, this was the scenario.

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