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10 things that made us smile this week

At Upworthy, we strive to bring you the best of humanity and this week there was a lot to be happy about. We had ear-to-ear grins after learning about Wally the Walrus, a huge drop in the child hunger rate, and a mom of six who got a million-dollar scone order.

1. Belgian Olympic marathoner breaks down in tears of disbelief upon hearing she finished 28th

Mieke Gorissen, a 38-year-old math and physics teacher from Diepenbeek, Belgium, came in 28th out of 88 world-class runners in the marathon at the Tokyo Olympics. Her feat was inspiring because she just started running three years ago. When a reporter told her that she came in in the top third of the pack, she was astonished. "No," she said. "That's not possible."


Read the whole story at Upworthy.


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2. Child hunger rates dropped 24% after just one round of Child Tax Credit payment

The first wave of $250 to $300 direct payments to families with children from the American Rescue plan has had a positive impact on child hunger. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, after the money was distributed, the rate dropped by nearly 24%.

3. Mom of six who turned her Irish pub into a hub of pandemic service gets $1 million surprise

Mary O'Halloran's Irish pub in New York City's east side was shut down just before St. Patrick's Day in 2020 and her husband, a longshoreman, got and got stuck in the Aleutian Islands for nine months. The mother of six struggled as she raised her kids alone while trying to make ends meet during the pandemic. After Humans of New York shared her story and included a link to purchase her scones, she received over $1 million in orders.

Read the whole story at Upworthy.


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4. Wally the Walrus appears to drive a boat he 'stole' off the coast of Ireland

Wally the Wondering Walrus from Norway was captured on video appearing to steer a boat he jumped in on the Irish coast. The walrus has been on a 2,500-mile solo trip for months and has recently been seen in Wales, England, and France.


This funny video shows Wally the Walrus appearing to drive a boat! | SWNSwww.youtube.com


5. Wrestling gold medalist Tamyra Mensah to buy her mom a food truck with prize money

Early last week, wrestler Tamyra Mensah-Stock won gold in the Olympics women's freestyle match and was granted a $37,500 cash prize. She said she plans to use her winnings to help her mother purchase a food truck.

"It is her dream," she said. "I told her five years ago, 'I'll get you your food truck, but you have got to be responsible.' She was like, 'Thank you, baby.' So my mom is getting her food truck!"

Read the whole story at Upworthy.

6. Kevin Costner returned to the 'Field of Dreams'

The New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox squared off on Thursday in a specially-built stadium in Dyersville, Iowa near the cornfield where the 1989 classic "Field of Dreams" was filmed. The film's star, Kevin Costner, started off the night by walking through the cornfield surrounding the stadium.

7. Research shows that AI could diagnose dementia in a day

Currently, it can take several scans and tests to diagnose dementia. However, scientists are testing an artificial intelligence system thought to be capable of diagnosing dementia after a single brain scan. It may also be able to predict how quickly the condition will remain stable.


8. The average pay for supermarket and restaurant workers tops $15 an hour for the first time

For over a decade the Fight for $15 movement has worked to push governments and companies to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Recently, the average wage for workers in restaurants and supermarkets hit that magic number as wages have risen during a resurgent economy.

9. Dog urges mom: 'Keep your paws off my baby!'

A dog in Fort Worth, Texas, is so protective of the family's three-month-old baby girl that even her mother's arm gets pushed away.



10. Alabama is turning to TikTok to help convince returning students to get vaccinated

A group of educators in the Birmingham City Schools launched a TikTok contest aimed at young people from 13 to 29 to create videos around the theme "This is why I got vaccinated." A panel of judges will select four winners who will receive $250 Visa gift cards.

Read the whole story at Upworthy.

Photo by CDC on

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

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Memories of childhood get lodged in the brain, emerging when you least expect.

There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.

It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.

Nostalgia is fleeting and that's a good thing because it’s best not to live in the past. But it does remind us that the wonderful feeling of freedom, creativity and fun from our childhood can still be experienced as we age.

A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”

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