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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy

rainbow smiley face
Photo by Yuyang Liu on Unsplash

Share a little joy.

It's been a heavy week for our world, friends. I always feel torn putting together posts like this in times like these, but in some ways it might be the best time for sharing small joys. While we can't pretend terror and war aren't happening, taking a moment to smile or laugh is life-affirming and a reminder that joy can coexist with tragedy. Indeed, it always does.

May this week's list of 10 things that made us smile this week provide a respite, however brief, for whoever needs one.


1. Barbershop quartet nails Britney Spears, NSYNC and more in modern ‘oldies’ medley

Absolutely delightful.

2. John Cena explains 'You don't see me' to a fan's British grandmother and it's so precious

@thehook

John Cena explains ‘You Can’t See Me’ to a granny 😂👵 #johncena #youcantseeme #johncenameme #wwe #playingwithfire #fyp #foryoupage

"I'm a bit of a rabble rouser…" Could John Cena be any more charming? Read the full story here.

3. Little girl singing with her grandpa is the stuff core memories are made of

And the fact that it's 4 Non Blondes is extra delightful.

4. There's a 1 in 3 chance you'll get the wrong order at this restaurant, but for the best reason

Inclusion at its best. Read the full story here.

5. Nearly 300 years ago, Bach wrote a hilarious and totally relatable song about a girl who was obsessed with coffee

johann sebastian bach and a girl drinking a cup of coffee

Bach's "Coffee Cantata" is a comic mini-opera that is totally related for coffee fanatics.

Public Domain (left) Photo by Hunter Newton on Unsplash (right)

The entirety of Bach's "Coffee Cantata" is an argument between a highly caffeinated young woman and her father, who keeps trying to punish her into quitting her coffee habit to no avail. It. Is. Glorious. Read the full story with the lyrics here.

6. Baby lion shows off its fierce and terrible roar (sound up!)

So little. So fierce. So adorable.

7. This closed captioning fail at a Portland Trail Blazers game is one for the ages

Never seen the national anthem done quite like that before. Read the full story here.

8. Comedian highlights how weird the 'normal' things humans do actually are

Holy cow, humans really are a strange bunch. Read the full story here.

9. This gull fast-feet dance is cute, but the fact that it's called 'worm-charming' is even better


10. Vets distract a nervous dog while it's getting its blood drawn in the best way

The energy and commitment, though. Can someone do this for me next time I get a blood draw?

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Joy

Gen X has hit 'that stage' of life and is not handling it very well

We are NOT prepared for Salt-n-Pepa to replace Michael McDonald in the waiting room at the doctor's office, thankyouverymuch.

Gen X is eating dinner earlier and earlier. It's happening.

The thing about Gen X being in our 40s and 50s now is that we were never supposed to get "old." Like, we're the cool, aloof grunge generation of young tech geniuses. Most of the giants that everyone uses every day—Google, Amazon, YouTube—came from Gen X. Our generation is both "Friends" and "The Office." We are, like, relevant, dammit.

And also, our backs hurt, we need reading glasses, our kids are in college and how in the name of Jennifer Aniston's skincare regimen did we get here?

It's weird to reach the stage when there's no doubt that you aren't young anymore. Not that Gen X is old—50 is the new 30, you know—but we're definitely not young. And it seems like every day there's something new that comes along to shove that fact right in our faces. When did hair start growing out of that spot? Why do I suddenly hate driving at night? Why is this restaurant so loud? Does that skin on my arm look…crepey?

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Maddie Cable turns her brace into armor.

High school is tough enough for the average 17-year-old girl. Anyone who stands out is a target for whispers and hushed laughter in the in hallways or, at worst, public ridicule.

That's why Maddie Cable, 17, from Charlotte, North Carolina, was less than enthusiastic after being told she needed to wear a large plastic brace to school for at least six weeks.

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Genesis Systems' WaterCube.

A seriously impressive piece of technology grabbed a lot of attention at this year's CES trade show convention in Las Vegas, Genesis Systems’ WaterCube. It’s a home and office appliance that’s about the size of an A/C unit and can produce up to 100 gallons of water daily from thin air. That’s the amount of water used by a typical family of 4.

The amount of water it can produce depends on the humidity levels, but Genesis Systems says it can even create water in dry environments.

Much like solar panels provide energy independence, this does the same for water.

"Our first mission is to sustainably solve global water scarcity," said David Stuckenberg, who founded Genesis with his wife, Shannon, told Techxplore. "Once you have this plugged into your house...you can turn yourself off (from) the city water."

"One of the challenges that we're facing, in terms of making humanity sustainable, is the stuff we need for life," he said, according to Techxplore. "Next to air, water is the most important thing."

The WC-100 WaterCube stands more than 3 feet tall, weighs close to 600 pounds and will cost around $20,000 to pre-order. So, even though you may not have a water bill anymore, you will have a pretty expensive monthly payment plan on a WaterCube for a few years.

But once it’s paid off, your water is free as long as you own the appliance.

Genesis Systems believes that the WaterCube creates “an infinite water source” that is “democratizing the water supply.”

Family

9 things to know about kids in foster care. Plus an unforgettable view into their lives.

Foster care is a nightmare for some kids and their foster parents. For others, it's a blessing.

A clip from "ReMoved Part Two"



Zoe's story, "Removed," has been seen by millions of people.

It was previously shared by my amazing Upworthy colleague Laura Willard. We got just a tiny taste of what it was like for kids in foster care, right after being removed. Specifically, a little girl named Zoe and her little brother Benaiah.

My wife and I, foster parents for the past year, even shared the original with our adoption worker, who passed it along to the entire agency and, then, it took off like wildfire among those people as well.

This is part 2 of that story, and it hits hard.

(Yes, the video's on the long side at about 20 minutes. But it's worth the watch to the end.)

She describes her life as a cycle, interrupted by a tornado. She's a foster child. I don't think I need to say any more.

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This isn’t comfortable to talk about.


Trigger warning for discussion of sexual assault and violence.


A recent video by Just Not Sports took two prominent female sportswriters and had regular guys* read the awful abuse they receive online aloud.

Sportswriters Sarah Spain and Julie DiCaro sat by as men read some of the most vile tweets they receive on a daily basis. See how long you can last watching it.

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Science

Breastfeeding mom's touching encounter with an orangutan has people swooning—and debating

"She sat with me for approximately half an hour, kept stroking the glass and lay down next to me as if to support and protect me."

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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