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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy

people dancing, baby smiling with creepy doll

10 reasons to smile, from hip-hop grannies to creepy doll-loving babies

I've been thinking a lot lately about hope. What it is. Where it comes from. How we hold onto it. Where we look for it when it feels lost.

People talk about hope as if it's something that you either have or you don't, but I think hope is a choice. We decide to look for the positive, we choose to believe that things will improve, we consciously create a world in our imagination that's better than the one we are currently living in.

One of our goals at Upworthy is to make it easier to for people to choose hope. Sometimes we do that by sharing stories of inspiring people, sometimes we do it through exploring solutions to tough challenges the world faces and sometimes we do it by making people smile or laugh because joy is good for us.

It can be hard to choose hope when the world feels dark, but without it, things only get darker.


I hope this simple roundup of joy makes you smile and also helps you keep choosing hope.

1. Robert Irwin gets emotional sharing the first bred baby turtle named after his dad

Steve Irwin was a gift, and the way his kids have continued his legacy is just beautiful.

2. People are loving this baby's reaction to the creepy demon baby doll her sister picked out for her

@brittikitty

Lily is so thoughtful 😂😂

So sweet and so creepy. Read the full story here.

3. Yo-Yo Ma plays 'Going Home' from Dvořák's New World Symphony and it's hauntingly gorgeous

Music is like a magical balm for our souls.

4. This toddler band is the greatest thing, right from the first count

So. Darn. Cute.

5. 16-year-old country singer starts yodeling and gets the coveted 4-chair turn on 'The Voice'

Even if you're not a country music fan (raises hand), it's easy to appreciate her skill and energy and the way she wowed the crowd. Read the full story here.

6. Watch this scary smart cat figure out how to open a jammed door

Impressive. And a little spooky.

7. This 75-year-old 'hip-hop granny' inspires with her dance moves

@fiercefitnessty

Reposting this video of Ms.Stephanie & I since it going viral again. This video will always be a vibe. One thing Ms.Stephanie and I created was magic. We dance from our hearts. My classes are always about creating a Fierce vibe for everyone to show up and show out! . #fiercefitness #dancefit #fiercefitnessty #hiphopfitness #fyp #viral

And she didn't even start taking dance classes until she was nearly 30! Learn more about Ms. Stephanie and her love of dance here.

7. Bride breaks tradition to make sure her mom is honored at her wedding

So much deserved gratitude for Mom. Read the full story here.

9. Little girl loves the 'grandmas and grandpas' that live upstairs from her preschool

Can we make this a living arrangement everywhere, please?

10. Paul Simon and George Harrison singing 'Here Comes the Sun' is just the pure spirit lift we need

Sweet, nostalgic, lovely and soothing. Just what we all need a bit more of in our lives.

If you enjoyed this post and would like to see more of them, sign up for our free email newsletter, The Upworthiest, here.

Image from YouTube video.

An emotional and strong Matt Diaz.


Matt Diaz has worked extremely hard to lose 270 pounds over the past six years.

But his proudest moment came in March 2015 when he decided to film himself with his shirt off to prove an important point about body positivity and self-love.

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Millenial names are now "old" names.

You can’t turn back the hands of time and so it’s impossible to avoid being labeled “old” by younger generations, no matter how hard you try. For many of us, our names are tied to the times when we were born and can start to sound really dated, no matter how fashionable they were at one point.

TikTokker Amber Cimotti found this out the hard way when her daughter noted that she has an “old” person's name.

“My daughter told me the name Ashley or Amanda — or my name is Amber — are like old people names and I never thought about it this way,” Amber explained in a video with over 3 million views.

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Family

Dad takes 7-week paternity leave after his second child is born and is stunned by the results

"These past seven weeks really opened up my eyes on how the household has actually ran, and 110% of that is because of my wife."

@ustheremingtons/TikTok

There's a lot to be gleaned from this.

Participating in paternity leave offers fathers so much more than an opportunity to bond with their new kids. It also allows them to help around the house and take on domestic responsibilities that many new mothers have to face alone…while also tending to a newborn.

All in all, it enables couples to handle the daunting new chapter as a team, making it less stressful on both parties. Or at least equally stressful on both parties. Democracy!

TikTok creator and dad Caleb Remington, from the popular account @ustheremingtons, confesses that for baby number one, he wasn’t able to take a “single day of paternity leave.”

This time around, for baby number two, Remington had the privilege of taking seven weeks off (to be clear—his employer offered four weeks, and he used an additional three weeks of PTO).

The time off changed Remington’s entire outlook on parenting, and his insights are something all parents could probably use.

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Woman shows her misbehaving cat to 'the trenches'

You always hear about a "bad dog," giving the furry goofballs a reputation for getting into mischief, but what about bad cats. Not all cats are angels just lounging around the house until someone gives them food while fanning them with a giant palm leaf. Some cats have a sketchy "catigree" and every once in a while they let that wild streak show. When that happens, what is a cat owner to do?

A cat mom that goes by the user name Lambo Licia on Instagram posted a video showing exactly how she gets her cat in line when he's misbehaving. No, it's not with a spray bottle. She shows him what life is like in "the trenches." You know, the area of town where homeless cats roam and cat burglars have real whiskers and thumbs that don't work, leaving a strange fish smell wherever they lurk.

If Scared Straight: Cat Edition was an actual thing, Mega, the orange tabby would be the first to turn his life around. He looks absolutely petrified from all of the unruly cat behavior he sees out the window and his mom's commentary.

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Science

College students use AI to decode ancient scroll burned in Mount Vesuvius

“Some of these texts could completely rewrite the history of key periods of the ancient world."

When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 C.E., it buried entire cities in volcanic materials. While Pompeii is the most famous site affected by the natural disaster, the nearby villa of Herculaneum was also laid to waste—including over 800 precious scrolls found inside Herculaneum’s library, which were carbonized by the heat, making them impossible to open and recover their contents.

Which brings us to the Vesuvius challenge, started by computer scientist Brent Seales and entrepreneurs Nat Friedman and Daniel Gross in March 2023. The contest would award $1 million in prizes to whoever could use machine learning to successfully read from the scrolls without damaging them.

On February 5, the prize-winning team was announced.
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Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons

Shaquille O'Neal retired from pro basketball in 2011, but he's still one of the most famous players ever.

Fame comes with a lot of challenges, but it also comes with some pretty obvious perks. There's the money that frequently follows fame, of course, but there's also the special treatment people automatically offer you.

Some famous folks might revel in that special treatment and some might even express gratitude for it. But occasionally, you find a celebrity who refuses it altogether.

Take basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal, for instance.

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