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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Dive into a pool of joy with these delightful finds from around the internet.

woman firing flaming arrow with feet, roger federer and trevor noah, smiling man

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy

It's 10 things day! Officially the best day, this week and every week.

While these roundups of joy may initially come across as light and fluffy, they serve an important purpose. We all need a respite from the troubling headlines and negative news that bombards us each day. The "information age" can be tough to navigate, as it's so easy to get bogged down in all the things we wish we could change, but that don't have easy or quick fixes. Maintaining hope is vital to fighting the good fight, and finding positivity to keep our energy up is neither a small nor insignificant thing.

Stories of human triumph, compassionate connection, impressive ingenuity—and yes, even entertaining animal antics—can serve as fuel to keep us going through difficult or dark times. We hope these offerings will lift your spirits and remind you that there's good to be found all around us.


Hope this week's list brings a smile or 10 to your face!

1. Cat interrupts girl's opera singing to perform a 'meowpurra' of his own

I don't care what anyone says, that cat is singing.

2. Pediatrician and father of seven explains why 8-year-old girls are the very best humans

@dr_mikem

I think all kids are great ( obviously) but there is no doubt that 8 yr old girls embody all of the best human qualities. #kidsrock #pediatrics #pediatrician #pediatriciansoftiktok

It's true. If we all acted with the magnanimity, empathy and compassion of 8-year-old girls, the world would surely be a better place. (And yes, he also explained what makes 8-year-old boys awesome, too. Read the full story here.)

3. 106-year-old tattoo artist becomes the oldest Vogue cover model and her story is something

Swipe through the slides to learn about the extraordinary Apo Whang-Od.

4. Witness the magical land art of Andy Goldsworthy, made just with nature itself

Incredible what some perfectly placed leaves can do for the imagination. See more of Andy Goldsworthy's work here.

5. Trevor Noah and Roger Federer made what might be the greatest tourism ad ever.

Not only is it enjoyable to watch, it's also incredibly effective. Who doesn't want to take a train ride through Switzerland after that? See more from behind the scenes of this fabulous collaboration here.

6. Mom creates epic Tokyo Alley Market sleepover space for her daughter

Cardboard Queen, indeed. Wow.

7. Let's take a moment to appreciate the amount of disciplined training it takes to do something like this

The things humans can do when they put their minds to it. Dang.

8. Watch this student's family react as he finds out if any Ivy League schools have accepted him

Young Zimbabwean guy getting his university letters
by u/Studog in MadeMeSmile

The culmination of years of hard work—and clearly some joyous support from his family.

9. Michael Che played a hilarious prank on Colin Jost during SNL's 'Weekend Update' and they can't keep it together

The worst thing for a comedian is to have your jokes bomb, so Che asking the audience to limit their laughter during Jost's segments totally got him. (Thankfully, it's all in good fun with these two, who are always playing jokes on one another. Read the full story here.)

10. May we all find something we love as much as this guy loves trains.

@francis.bourgeois

56098 and 50007 at Shawford Station and then Leamington Spa Station! @GB Railfreight #trains

Francis Bourgeois has gained a huge social media following for his child-like passion for trains. He's downright giddy, every time. A delightful reminder to find something you love and go all in on the joy it brings you.

If you enjoyed this post and want to get these roundups delivered to your inbox each week, sign up for The Upworthiest newsletter here.

Pop Culture

Here’s a paycheck for a McDonald’s worker. And here's my jaw dropping to the floor.

So we've all heard the numbers, but what does that mean in reality? Here's one year's wages — yes, *full-time* wages. Woo.

Making a little over 10,000 for a yearly salary.


I've written tons of things about minimum wage, backed up by fact-checkers and economists and scholarly studies. All of them point to raising the minimum wage as a solution to lifting people out of poverty and getting folks off of public assistance. It's slowly happening, and there's much more to be done.

But when it comes right down to it, where the rubber meets the road is what it means for everyday workers who have to live with those wages. I honestly don't know how they do it.

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Family

5-year-old gave his mom advice for handling nerves. It was both adorable and spot-on.

"You say, ‘I am brave of this meeting!’, ‘I am loved!’, ‘I smell good!"

Kids really do say the darnedest things.

Any parent knows that kids can be surprisingly astute little philosophers at the most unexpected times. One minute your child is throwing a tantrum because you sliced their sandwich wrong, and the next they are blowing you away with their deep preschool thoughts. It's enough to give you whiplash, but it's also one of the most fun things about being around kids. You never know what they're going to say and sometimes what they say is just awesome.

Case in point: This 5-year-old who gave his mom some sage advice about handling her nerves.

Twitter user @Eprecipice (StressieBessie) shared the story in a tweet thread. She wrote:

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"Fun" dad versus "lazy" mom.

Last November, Upworthy published a popular story about Chloe Sexton, a mother who went viral on TikTok for a video she made explaining “daddy privilege” or the idea that fathers are applauded for doing things that mothers are supposed to do.

"In my opinion, 'daddy privilege' is that subtle upper hand men sidestep into as parents that allows them to gain praise for simply…being a parent," she said. "You fed the baby? What a great dad! You held the baby while mommy bathed? So considerate of you! You picked up something for dinner? What would your family do without you?! It's all the little ways mothers do exactly what the world expects of them without a second thought and then watch fathers get praised for simply showing up."

Sadly, the post resonated with a lot of mothers, because it's true. Expectations for fathers are so low that men are commended for handling basic parenting tasks. But if a mother falls short of perfection, she faces harsh criticism.

Mary Catherine Starr, a mother living in Cape Cod who owns a design studio and teaches yoga, is getting a lot of love on Instagram for her cartoon series that perfectly explains daddy privilege.

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Motherhood

Having trouble scheduling time with your mom friends? This solution might actually work.

Scheduling time with mom friends can be like trying to assemble the Avengers.

Photos by StockSnap via Canva

Finally, there just might be an easier way to schedule with mom friends

If you're a mom, you know how difficult it is to plan a time to get together with another mom friend, especially if your kids are in different stages of life. It's a common theme amongst moms that spills into mom groups where we joke about having to plan time to hang out months in advance, complete with fancy RSVPs. You wind up being consumed with your responsibilities of work, kids activities, appointments and overall managing a household.

By the time you finally find time to yourself, you wind up falling asleep on the couch with your streaming platform asking if you're still watching. It certainly doesn't take long to feel like you've lost yourself to motherhood, which can feel extremely isolating. So you really focus on making the effort to spend some kid-free time with a mom friend, only for someone's kid to fall ill or a spouse to work late.

Recently, a good friend and I found ourselves in this endless loop after having coordinated one glorious child-free evening together eating pizza and watching television. Weeks after getting to experience our "moms night in," we simply could not find time to hang out again but we also realized how beneficial the time was to our mental health. We were both stuck in the "busy working mom" hamster wheel desperately wanting to rest our feet.

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Pop Culture

Woman perfectly breaks down how adult life is full of 'catch-up friendships'

It’s a loop so many of us are stuck in. But there are ways out.

Representative Image From Canva

How many friendships in your life are just catch-up friendships?

It’s an all-too-common scenario: after months of being MIA in each other’s lives, you and a friend have finally been able to procure a night free of any work obligations or family commitments or any other non-negotiable responsibilities to actually see each other. Huzzah, May the joyful merriment commence!

…But, when the meetup that you both moved heaven and earth for finally does happen, all you do is regurgitate recent events. Making things feel unsatisfying and anticlimactic.

At the end of the night, you’re left feeling no closer to the person than before. And still you say:

“Let’s catch-up again soon!”

If this never ending cycle sounds familiar, you’re not alone. It’s a loop so many of us are stuck in.

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An incredibly busy off ramp in America and a monster truck that looks like a school bus.

America and European countries share many similarities in culture and governmental structures. They are democracies with similar legal systems, innovative in science and technology and have a significant influence on the world through art and culture.

That being said, there are some glaring cultural differences that are fun to point out. The broad generalization is that Europeans have refined cultural tastes, whereas Americans are a bit more brash and believe that bigger is always better. These are stereotypes, of course, and there are plenty of brash Europeans and Americans with refined tastes.

One of the biggest differences is America’s embrace of consumer culture, which Europeans see as excessive and tacky. Americans have an unquenchable love for processed foods and portions that make most Europeans shudder.

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