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10 things that made us smile this week

This week's roundup of joy and delight.

10 things that made us smile this week

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

This week, the team here at Upworthy had the incredible honor of meeting one of humanity's best. Civil rights leader and nonviolence educator Reverend Dr. James M. Lawson, who worked alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis to change the course of American history, came to our office and shared some of his wisdom with us.

At 93, Rev. Lawson has experienced the range of our nation's ups and downs. He has also witnessed the power of people coming together for good. When asked where people should start, he shared the importance of community as a catalyst for change. We can all build community no matter where live, starting with our own families and neighborhoods, our social circles, groups and organizations we belong to, and beyond.


Sometimes, building community looks like big, bold initiatives, but more often it looks like creating simple connections—engaging in small acts of service, reaching out with a kind word or sharing a warm smile. When we consistently look for ways to connect and build bonds between people, we'll find them.

One thing that brings people together, pretty much universally, is joy. “Laughter is the closest distance between two people," as musician and comedian Victor Borge wrote, but we don't even have to laugh out loud to connect. When we experience something joy-inducing as a collective, we create a shared experience that taps into our basic humanity and reminds us of what we have in common.

As you enjoy this week's list of 10 things that made us smile, picture all of the people who are experiencing the same smiles and laughter you are. Let's create a virtual community of joy, right here in this moment.

1. We have a new, incredible view of our universe—or at least a tiny-yet-ginormous piece of it.

This image from the Webb telescope, the largest telescope in human history, gives us a never-before-seen view of space—or at least a tiny sliver of it. According to Vox, what's captured in this image is the equivalent of a grain of sand being held out at arm's length if you were looking at the night sky, which is mind-blowing considering the fact that almost all of the blobs in the image are entire galaxies. Wowsers.

2. The vastness of the universe is amazing, but so is a tiny butterfly on a tiny human.

@amarana91

Miggin found BLUTTAFLY… you will not regret watching this ☺️🥹 #fyp #butterfly #cute

"Are you okay bluttafly?" STAHP IT.

3. The American Rescue Dog Show celebrates unique doggos with adorable prizes like Best in Belly Rubs, Best in Snoring and Best in Underbite.

Instead of the pedigree, grooming and training that the Westminster Dog Show highlights, the American Rescue Dog Show celebrates the average adopted doggo's sweet quirks. Check out the full story here.

4. Anthropologist Grover Krantz donated his body to science on one condition—that his dog be included.

“I’ve been a teacher all my life,” Krantz told the Smithsonian, “and I think I might as well be a teacher after I’m dead, so why don’t I just give you my body.” It's true.

5. This kid is having the best sleep of his life—or anyone's life, for that matter.

Pretty sure this is what heaven looks like. Gracious.

6. Little Luca cheering for US women's soccer star Alex Morgan— ("Aleh Morgaaaaan!") is the cutest thing everrrrr.

Toddler fans are the best fans. And the Ted Lasso shirt is just a cherry on top of this little sundae of delight. Read the full story here.

7. A guy asked for 104 birthday wishes for his dad who was turning 104. He got thousands.

Gerald got bombarded with birthday messages from all over the world, but there's something about this preemie newborn baby wishing a 104-year-old man a happy birthday that feels so beautiful. Gerald and Flora out here making us smile about the full circle of life. Love it.

8. A man surprised his parents after being away for three years and his mom's reaction is so precious.

There's nothing like a mother's love. (Somebody pass the tissue box, please.)

9. This guy's engagement ring shenanigans leading up to his proposal were hilariously adorable.

Click the right arrow to scroll through. The one with the ring in the palm of her hand while she's sleeping is just too much.

10. May your day be as blissful as this chihuahua being bathed with toothbrushes.

That tongue sticking out! Apparently being washed with a toothbrush reminds them of being bathed by their mom. I can't handle it. May we all be so pampered.

If this roundup made you smile or laugh or both, create more bonds of joy by passing it along. And definitely come back next Friday for another top 10 for the week!

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


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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.

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