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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

This week's roundup of joy and delight.

joy, good news

Upworthy's weekly collection of happiness.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that the "10 things that made us smile" list was too full of awesome people doing awesome things that week to include any delightful animals. That was great news for us humans, but still a sad omission, so I did promise to bring the doggos back.

I'm happy to announce the doggos are indeed back. And the kitties. And the birdies. Even some goats and a lemur, for good measure.

There's a lot happening in the U.S. and around the world right now that deserves our attention and energy and even our righteous anger. But there's also a lot to delight in and celebrate. Small joys help sustain us through hard times, and a story or video that makes us smile can be just the moment of peace our hearts need.


Whether it's a cute kid or a hilarious pet or an amazing human representing the best of us, reminders of hope and happiness can be found everywhere. Here are 10 of them to help carry you through the weekend.

1. This woman who goes back to help an elder cross the street in the rain.

I love that she had been waiting under an awning and started rushing across the street, trying not to get wet, and then when the realization dawned on her, she immediately went back and took her time to help the old woman cross the street safely. Beautiful example of selfless service to a fellow human being.

2. Why can't we all just sit and hold hands with lemur on a bench?

I have zero idea what's happening here or why, but it's adorable.

3. Uncle kills it with his niece in the father-daughter dance.

Here's to those who show up and step up when they're needed.

4. Mom shares the heartwarming results of positive parenting with her toddlers.

@lauralove5514

Gentle parenting doesnt always yeild immediate reaulya because it is nog fear based BUT if you are consistent, you WILL see them actively use what they learn ♥️ Be patient! #fyp #foryou #toddlermom #parenting #gentleparenting #breakingthecycle #positivediscipline #respectfulparenting #viral

"'Scuse me, I need some attention." I know a lot of adults who should have learned to express that with their words. Good job, mama. (Follow @lauralove5514 on TikTok.)

5. Cairo the parrot uses his words to express his displeasure with the cat invading his space.

@feathersandfriends

Cairo’s house is a no-cat zone! #parrots #cairothegrey #africangrey #parrotsoftiktok

Cairo isn't messing around. "Stop being a gerbil." "Smarten up, man." And that finger-snapping sound! Cairo is too smart.

6. Paul Rudd made an incredibly kind gesture to a bullied kid who had no one to sign his yearbook

When Brody's mom shared that her son came home crushed that no one wanted to sign his yearbook, her plea for kindness went viral. Paul Rudd saw it and called Brody to talk to him. Then he sent him some Ant-Man gear and a sweet note of encouragement. Definitely a kindness this kiddo will never forget. Read the full story here.

7. Lost baby goat gets reunited with its mama, and you 100% want the sound up for this.

Awwwww.

8. Heroic teen saved three girls and a police officer from drowning in a river.

Corion Evans deserves all the kudos for his quick thinking and selfless bravery. Read the full story here.

9. This 1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is just too delightful.

Robin Williams was such a gem.

10. The way this kitty instantly plays it cool after being discovered.

"Who me? I'm just here checking the wall. Yeah, the wall. That's it."

BONUS: May your weekend be as exciting as this doggo seeing his friend.

Hope that made you smile! Come back again next Friday for another roundup of joy.

A young woman drinking bottled water outdoors before exercising.



The Story of Bottled Waterwww.youtube.com

Here are six facts from the video above by The Story of Stuff Project that I'll definitely remember next time I'm tempted to buy bottled water.

1. Bottled water is more expensive than tap water (and not just a little).

via The Story of Stuff Project/YouTube


A Business Insider column noted that two-thirds of the bottled water sold in the United States is in individual 16.9-ounce bottles, which comes out to roughly $7.50 per gallon. That's about 2,000 times higher than the cost of a gallon of tap water.

And in an article in 20 Something Finance, G.E. Miller investigated the cost of bottled versus tap water for himself. He found that he could fill 4,787 20-ounce bottles with tap water for only $2.10! So if he paid $1 for a bottled water, he'd be paying 2,279 times the cost of tap.

2. Bottled water could potentially be of lower quality than tap water.

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The Vegetable Orchestra performs.

The idea of a concert where everyone plays vegetables sounds like a funny one-night-only joke. Still, the Vegetable Orchestra, out of Vienna, has played more than 300 concerts and released 4 albums over the past 25-plus years.

It all started when the group’s founder, Matthias Meinharter, had a silly idea in the kitchen. His friend had signed them up for an hour-long slot at a student festival and they wanted to perform non-traditional music.

“As we were making vegetable soup, we landed on the idea of cooking it on stage and performing a concert with the vegetables while we were doing that,” Meinharter told Atlas Obscura. “It all started as a joke,” he told the BBC. “We were brainstorming what we could do, and we thought: ‘What is the most difficult thing to play music on?’”

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Science

A 6-year-old asks ​Neil DeGrasse Tyson an adorable question. He gives her an awesome answer.

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science." — Albert Einstein

Neil DeGrasse Tyson at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.

I recently spent some time with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. He's known not only for breaking down stereotypes about what kinds of people go into science, but he has actively stood up and spoken against those who would close its doors, especially to young women.

So when Neil was asked this question by a little girl during a public speech, he gave one of the best answers I've ever heard. It may drive some parents crazy, but it also might just help change the world.

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Parenting

Dad's motivational speech for his newborn daughter in the NICU has everyone gushing

"It's going to be like this for the rest of my life. Will always be one of her top cheerleaders."

NICU dad's motivational speech for newborn is beautiful

Having a baby is an adjustment for any new parent but not all new parents get to walk out of the hospital with their newborns a couple of days after birth. For a number of reasons, oftentimes due to prematurity or birth complications, some babies have to stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) anywhere from days to months. During their stay they're closely monitored for signs they can start spending more time outside of the incubator.

Incubators regulate temperature, humidity, optimize oxygen levels and monitors a baby's vital signs. New dad, Ed Andretti, recently welcomed a baby girl, Cathara, who is having to spend some time in the NICU after being born three months early. But it was his sweet motivational speech he gave to his daughter through the plastic of the incubator that has everyone's heart melting.

Andretti can be seen looking into Cathara's incubator saying, "you hear that beeping? That's you. You're breathing so good the machine is like 'yo, take this baby down on oxygen.' That's you, you're doing great."

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Losing a child is a scary experience.

Nothing strikes fear in a parent’s heart, like realizing their child is missing. It happened to Krista Piper Grundey, 36, on a recent trip to a play place with her 2 kids. The good news is she was able to locate her daughter quickly because she kept calm and remembered a viral TikTok hack from 3 years ago.

She was with her children in a play place that "runs the entire length of a giant science museum,” she said in her viral TikTok video.

“So I end up going the opposite direction of where she actually ended up. So I thought she didn't go past me, so she must have gone to a water table or something because she loves water. She wasn't down there, so at that point, I'm starting to panic,” Grundey revealed.

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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.

serpentine brick wall next to a bunch of daffodils

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.

wavy brick wall separating a grassy area and a driveway

Crinkle crankle wall at the University of Virginia

Carlin MacKenzie/Wikimedia Commons

More crinkle crankles everywhere, please.