+
upworthy
Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Turkey cuddle farms, frog hotels and quetzalcoatlus costumes—all gathered to make you smile.

happy joy smile

Feel a little joy today.

Each week, Upworthy rounds up 10 delightful things that made us smile so that you can enter the weekend with a dash of hope and joy. It's our way of providing a respite from the often heavy and dreary content readily available on the internet.

This week, there might even be some bonus emotions—perhaps a jaw dropped in wonder or the shedding of a happy tear. But still, we are sharing stories that celebrate humanity and the human experience.


And it's the embrace of these rich, complex feelings that lead to more happiness, humility and overall balance. So, doomscroll no more, and instead add a little bit of cheerscrolling to your online regimen today. Starting with...

1. A young boy's unbridled joy after finding out he gets to be a quetzalcoatlus (his favorite dinosaur) for Halloween

A) Kudos to this little boy for being able to properly pronounce quetzalcoatlus; B) His high-pitched squeals of excitement go straight to the heart.

2. Woman shares emotional reunion with her favorite teacher 30 years later

On National Teacher Day, no less. Lora is a customer service agent who spotted a childhood teacher getting on a WestJet flight in Toronto. She shared her memories about this special teacher on the microphone and shouted out Ms. O’Connell, thanking her for instilling a love of Shakespeare and piano playing.

Yep, this is one of those happy tear stories.

3. Artist's unusual painting techniques have people mesmerized and inspired all at the same time

assets.rebelmouse.io

Jay Lee is a painter on YouTube who uses unconventional painting techniques that are not only extremely soothing to watch, but actually make the art feel a bit more attainable to anyone who'd like to try their hand but feel overwhelmed.

In other words, have we just found the next Bob Ross?

You can read about him here.

4. Librarian finds the sweetest way to help others find comfort with death

Usually, death isn't exactly something to smile about. But the way that Rosie Grant has delighted her followers on TikTok with recipes for delicious cookies, pies and other treats found on gravestones (cause yeah, apparently it's a thing) has people finding connection with those who've passed in a creative and heartfelt way.

You can read more about Rosie here.

5. Rediscovered clip of an 8-year-old martial arts badass is just so freakin' cool

@brannmanndan Flashback to 2014. JJ McParland winning thebCadet World Championships. #weapons #martialarts #kickboxing #sword #samurai ♬ original sound - Brannmanndan

Jesse-Jane McParland is one of the best martial arts performers in the world. Now, at 16, she holds more than 300 martial arts titles, rightfully earning her the name of JJ Golden Dragon. This clip is from when McParland was but a wee dragon at only 8 years old, and really is the stuff of legend.

6. A farm that's hosting a turkey cuddle fest for Thanksgiving, because yay

A farm in California is already hatching plans to celebrate Thanksgiving by letting folks enjoy some family-friendly hugs with a feathered friend, followed by a slice of vegan pie.

7. Guy creates an authentic Terminator costume by creating a light-up prosthetic eye

@bsmachinist #terminator#terminatoreye #cyborg#cyborgeye#cyberpunk#cyberpunkfashion#ocularprosthetics#ocularprosthesis#retinoblastomasurvivor#fuckcancer #prostheticeye #prosthetics ♬ Terminator 2: Judgment Day Theme - Everrune

Brian (@bsmachinist on TikTok) lost his eye to cancer, but creates his own prosthetic eyes that light up and come in cool shapes. People love his red glowing Terminator eye in particular.

8. Just a dog reminding us how to live a happy life

Forgotten how to frolic in the rain? Just take a look at how this doggo does it, and be reminded of the importance of play.

9. A beautiful display of green frogs chilling in vivid pink flowers looks like something straight out of a fairy tale

Frogs, welcome to the Dahlia Hotel.

10. An adorable puppy ready to lend a "halping" paw

Bringing a whole new meaning to the term "joy ride."

True

Making new friends as an adult is challenging. While people crave meaningful IRL connections, it can be hard to know where to find them. But thanks to one Facebook Group, meeting your new best friends is easier than ever.

Founded in 2018, NYC Brunch Squad brings together hundreds of people who come as strangers and leave as friends through its in-person events.

“Witnessing the transformative impact our community has on the lives of our members is truly remarkable. We provide the essential support and connections needed to thrive amid the city's chaos,” shares Liza Rubin, the group’s founder.

Despite its name, the group doesn’t just do brunch. They also have book clubs, seasonal parties, and picnics, among other activities.

NYC Brunch Squad curates up to 10 monthly events tailored to the specific interests of its members. Liza handles all the details, taking into account different budgets and event sizes – all people have to do is show up.

“We have members who met at our events and became friends and went on to embark on international journeys to celebrate birthdays together. We have had members get married with bridesmaids by their sides who were women they first connected with at our events. We’ve had members decide to live together and become roommates,” Liza says.

Members also bond over their passion for giving back to their community. The group has hosted many impact-driven events, including a “Picnic with Purpose” to create self-care packages for homeless shelters and recently participated in the #SquadSpreadsJoy challenge. Each day, the 100 members participating receive random acts of kindness to complete. They can also share their stories on the group page to earn extra points. The member with the most points at the end wins a free seat at the group's Friendsgiving event.

Keep ReadingShow less
Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Van Gogh’s Starry Night.



Van Gough never got to enjoy his own historic success as an artist (even though we've been able to imagine what that moment might have looked like). But it turns out that those of us who have appreciated his work have been missing out on some critical details for more than 100 years.

I'm not easily impressed, OK?

I know Van Gogh was a genius. If the point of this were "Van Gogh was a mad genius," I would not be sharing this with you.
Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Baby still in diapers is blowing people away with his musical ability at the piano

Young Gavrill seems to intuitively understand music, and the best part is that he does it with such joy.

Gavrill Scherbenko appears to be a musical prodigy.

Mozart blew people away with his composing abilities at age 5. Franz Liszt played piano professionally for the aristocracy when he was 9. Yo-Yo Ma played cello for President John F. Kennedy at age 7.

Musical prodigies have fascinated people for centuries with their mastery of music at unexpected ages. Most of us have the same questions: How and at what age were their abilities discovered? Is it nature or nurture or a combination of both? Can prodigies be created on purpose, or is it something no one can predict or control?

While each musical prodigy has their own unique story, one family is giving the world some early glimpses of what an innate sense for music looks like in a baby who's still in diapers.

Keep ReadingShow less

Christine Kesteloo has one big problem living on a cruise ship.

A lot of folks would love to trade lives with Christine Kesteloo. Her husband is the Chief Engineer on a cruise ship, so she gets to live on the boat pretty much for free as the “wife on board.” For Christine, life is a lot like living on a permanent vacation.

“I live on a cruise ship for half the year with my husband, and it's often as glamorous as it sounds,” she told Insider. “After all, I don't cook, clean, make my bed, do laundry or pay for food.“

Living an all-inclusive lifestyle seems like paradise, but it has some drawbacks. Having access to all-you-can-eat food all day long can really have an effect on one’s waistline. Kesteloo admits that living on a cruise ship takes a lot of self-discipline because the temptation is always right under her nose.

Keep ReadingShow less

Is it always best to be honest with friends?

A big parenting trend over the past few decades is people giving their children names that help them stand out instead of fit in. Social scientists say that a big reason for the change in America is the rise of individualism.

“As American culture has become more individualistic, parents have favored giving children names that help them stand out—and that means more unique names and fewer common names,” Jean Twenge, a San Diego State University psychology professor, told the BBC.

However, being an individualist comes with some risks. One can be an iconoclastic trendsetter or seen as desperate, inauthentic and cringeworthy.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Macaulay Culkin finally got his Hollywood star, and it was full of heartfelt nostalgia

The moment included a heartfelt reunion with beloved "Home Alone" star Catherine O'Hara.

photo by Alan Light, Wikipedia/Canva

A photo of young Macaulay Culkin and the Hollywood Walk of Fame

With Christmas just around the corner, it feels beyond appropriate that holiday icon Macaulay Culkin would be getting his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this past weekend on Friday, Dec 1st.

It was an adorable moment filled with sweet reunions, emotional speeches and plenty of heartfelt nostalgia as the “Home Alone” actor accepted his long awaited award. Not to mention it left several fans proud to see how much the child star had grown up into a healthy adult.
Keep ReadingShow less

Dad walks in on couple in hilariously compromising scene

Look, sometimes we walk in on things that we just shouldn't see. Those situations can be embarrassing for everyone involved and there's never a clear way to address it depending on what exactly was seen. Sure, some situations are easier to explain than others while others may be completely innocent but no amount of explaining will make the unsuspecting party believe it.

One Italian couple was recording a video for a TikTok trend when the woman's father walked in on them. Music is blasting when the dad slowly opens the door to take a peek at what's going on. It appears he was not ready to see what he saw because he stood in the doorway looking confused and flabbergasted at the sight.

Matilde Morra and Daniele were having a good time dancing for the trend while she was wearing her partner's baggy clothes and he was wearing...her leopard print dress.

Keep ReadingShow less