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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Here, have a round of joy. It's on us.

joy smiles
Alexas_Fotos/Canva

Upworthy's weekly roundup of delights.

When headlines and social media seem to be dominated by the negative, we all need reminders that the world is full of wonderfulness. Joy connects and inspires us and can be found everywhere—if we keep our eyes open and look for it. One of our goals at Upworthy is to make that search a little easier by telling stories that highlight the best of humanity and sharing the delights, large and small, that unite us.

Each week, we collect 10 things that made us smile and offer them to you to enjoy and share with others. We hope this week's list tickles your heart and brings a smile (or 10) to your face as well.

1. Tico the parrot is a master vocalist. Not even an exaggeration.

@ticoandtheman

On a dark desert hwy, cool wind in my hair…

We've shared some delightful parrots in these roundups before, and each one somehow seems to out-entertain the last. I did not see Tico's vocal skills coming, though. The intonation! The vibrato! Even my music major daughter was blown away by this singing bird.


You can see more of Tico singing with guitarist Frank Maglio on YouTube and TikTok.

2. Mom navigates adorable toddler questions about her pregnancy.

@kadynsmithsmith

😂🥰🤍 #pregnant #momtok #momsoftiktok #toddlertok #toddlersoftiktok #baby

Three-year-old Blakely is going to be a big sister for the second time, but this time she has questions. Every parent felt that weighty pause when she asked how the baby got into Mommy. (You just never know when that question is coming, so it's hard to be prepared with the right answer for the age and maturity of the kid asking.) Little Blakely sure is a doll, though. Read the full story—and get some expert tips for how to field kids' questions in an age-appropriate way—here.

3. People are sharing simple ways to practice kindness daily.

kindness

Simple ways to show kindness to others.

Canva/Upworthy

A Reddit user asked for ideas of kind acts people can do every day, and people shared their thoughts. Some of the ideas were profoundly simple, and not necessarily things we might think of, like being aware of how we're impacting those around us or leaving a place a little better than we found it. See the whole collection of acts of kindness here.

4. Woman finds out her best friend named her baby after her and it's a roller coaster of emotion.

Meeting a brand new human being is always a special moment, and when it's a loved one's baby it's even more special. But Mireya meeting her best friend Morgan's baby pushed special into a whole other stratosphere when she found out she'd become a namesake. That second when it sunk in and then the disbelief. "What? No, you did not." Oh yes, she did. So much love here.

5. Little chimpanzee kiddo is greeted with hugs from his new family.

Oh, the hugs for Beckley! This is almost too much sweetness for one video.

It was shared by Liberia Chimp Rescue & Protection, a sanctuary and conservation center in Liberia that rescues baby chimps from the illegal bushmeat and pet trades. While most of the chimpanzees the workers rescue and rehabilitate aren't able to be returned to the wild, they do get to live their life in a protected forest with other chimps. You can read more about their work here.

6. The Onion filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court and it's seriously hilarious.

supreme court the onion parody satire

The Onion used parody to defend parody before the Supreme Court.

Photo by Jimmy Woo Man Tsing on Unsplash

It's a real brief with a real argument for a real First Amendment case, but it's unlike any other court filing you'll ever read. The satirical news site is petitioning the Supreme Court to review a case of a man who was arrested and prosecuted for creating a Facebook page parodying the Parma, Ohio, police department. After the man was acquitted by a jury, he sued the police for violating his constitutional rights, but his case was thrown out because the police were granted "qualified immunity." In defense of the man's—and everyone's—First Amendment right to parody, The Onion filed a 23-page brief utilizing the very parody it's defending, and it's a brilliant and hilarious read. I mean, who else could call the federal judiciary "total Latin dorks" while making a solid argument? Read the full story here.

7. Kids casually chatting with scientists is the cutest thing everrrr.

Kids are naturally curious, which makes them the perfect people to ask questions about science. Upworthy and Pfizer have been inviting kids to chat with scientists and there's just no way to predict where their conversations will go. Precious Marcelo here with his "I've got like 27 more years" to think about a career while chatting with virologist Vidia Roopchand was just so delightfully real. You can find more of these kid chats on our Instagram channel.

8. Four-year-old sings The Isley Brothers with his whole soul.

Goodness. "Driftin' on a nemberee…all we need is candlewight…" He's putting his entire self into singing that song. Beautiful voice from her, too.

9. The Rock's daughter pranks him with a water balloon as he's waking up.

"Good Morrrnniiiiing!" HA. She knows how to get her dad good.

Not gonna lie. I would not have the good-natured patience of The Rock if my child broke a water balloon over my face in bed. But this isn't the first time he's played the "Daddy, close your eyes!" game, so he knew something was coming. See more of Jazzy's pranks on her pops here.

10. Let's welcome the weekend with the exuberance of this ball-fetching doggo.

Even without the bouncing in anticipation, the tail wag says it all. Pure joy. Bring it.

That's it for this week! Come back next week for another round of joy on us. And if you'd like more stories like this in your inbox, subscribe to our free newsletter, The Upworthiest, here.

Community

Decluttering top of mind for 2024? This Facebook group can help

This online community offers easy-to-implement advice for decluttering, organizing, and cleaning up your home and your life with support from 125,000 members.

With the new year comes plenty of resolutions we all vow to keep up with the best of intentions. But by February 1, our resolve has often waned as life gets in the way and things go back to how they were. What we all need a little more of is motivation.

When we participate in something collectively, it’s easier to meet goals and maintain the enthusiasm to get things done. While the support of a friend or two is great, imagine having the power of an entire online community cheering you on and offering advice along the way.

This is where the Daily Decluttering Challenge Facebook group comes in. This online community offers easy-to-implement advice for decluttering, organizing, and cleaning up your home and your life with support from 125,000 members.

“By building a network of people who can support and encourage you along the way, you can make progress towards your goals faster and more effectively. Remember, no one achieves success alone, and having a strong support system can make the difference in a goal set versus a goal achieved,” says Kristin Burke, a goal achievement coach.

In addition to tips for tidying up around the house, members share advice on how to tackle one thing at a time, where to donate excess items, and what they do to exercise more willpower to avoid buying new things.

For anyone hoping to declutter their lives in the new year, this Facebook group has the perfect challenge to get you started.

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Here’s a paycheck for a McDonald’s worker. And here's my jaw dropping to the floor.

So we've all heard the numbers, but what does that mean in reality? Here's one year's wages — yes, *full-time* wages. Woo.

Making a little over 10,000 for a yearly salary.

I've written tons of things about minimum wage, backed up by fact-checkers and economists and scholarly studies. All of them point to raising the minimum wage as a solution to lifting people out of poverty and getting folks off of public assistance. It's slowly happening, and there's much more to be done.

But when it comes right down to it, where the rubber meets the road is what it means for everyday workers who have to live with those wages. I honestly don't know how they do it.

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Andie MacDowell shows what we can all learn about beauty and age from the gray hair movement

"Honestly, it's exhausting to have to be something that you no longer are."

Andie MacDowell in Cannes, 2003.

For many, even those that proudly wave the flag of self-love, the sight of that first gray hair is anxiety inducing. That single strand is a harbinger of the doom of our youth. More than one, and you might as well weave them together to create yourself a noose. It’s time to kiss your beauty—and therefore, your value—goodbye.

But what if, instead of marking the end of our glory days, we could see this change as a new chapter with equally glorious reveals? Something worth presenting, rather than hiding?

Back in July 2021, actress Andie MacDowell made headlines for rocking the silver vixen look at the Cannes Film Festival. MacDowell’s hair has always been a defining feature, but previously she had been coloring her raven locks to maintain her signature look. This was at the behest of her managers, according to an interview with Vogue.

But after her kids officially declared the salt-and-pepper look was “badass,” MacDowell started to see going natural as a “power move.” So she followed the impulse, and you don’t need me to tell you it was a bit of a social media sensation.

MacDowell reflected on how freeing the experience was in a conversation with Interview Magazine. “I feel better like this. Honestly, it’s exhausting to have to be something that you no longer are…I was finally like, ‘You know what? I’m not young. And I’m OK with that..I feel so much more comfortable. It’s like I’ve taken a mask off or something.”’

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A juice company dumped orange peels in a national park. Here's what it looks like now.

12,000 tons of food waste and 21 years later, this forest looks totally different.


In 1997, ecologists Daniel Janzen and Winnie Hallwachs approached an orange juice company in Costa Rica with an off-the-wall idea.

In exchange for donating a portion of unspoiled, forested land to the Área de Conservación Guanacaste — a nature preserve in the country's northwest — the park would allow the company to dump its discarded orange peels and pulp, free of charge, in a heavily grazed, largely deforested area nearby.

One year later, one thousand trucks poured into the national park, offloading over 12,000 metric tons of sticky, mealy, orange compost onto the worn-out plot.

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Fans are applauding Niecy Nash for thanking herself during viral Emmy win speech

The iconic mic drop moment became a masterclass in self-esteem.

Television Academy/Youtube, @shanellegenai/X

“And you know who I wanna thank?” Nash asked. “I wanna thank me."

We all have come to expect awards show acceptance speeches to be filled with heartfelt thanks to others—industry peers, family, spouses, a higher power…and in Jennifer Coolidge’s case, “all the evil gays,” (but that’s another story).

But as Neicy Nash took to the stage to accept her award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie at the Emmys last night, she did something a little different.

She thanked herself.

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Parents today spend far more time with their kids than previous generations.

Are we placing unrealistic expectations on ourselves as parents to entertain our children every second of every day? This is what a mom on Instagram purports in a clip that’s resonated deeply with fellow parents who feel stretched to the breaking point.

“I just spent a weekend with my kids who are 6, 4 and 2-years-old,” begins working mom Jen B who goes by the 8thdayformomonly. “And the amount of time I spent setting up activities, cleaning up activities, participating in activities is so much.”

In a video viewed over 35 thousand times, she says she doesn’t recall her parents ever putting in this much time. “I feel like the standard that we are holding ourselves to as parents to entertain our children is so much higher than it was when we were kids.

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Joy

Homeless man catches family's two children and dogs dropped from burning apartment building

"He was right underneath and he was like 'Yes, throw your daughters out, I'm going to catch them, I'm going to get them.'"

Man catches entire family as they jump from burning building.

House fires are devastating for families. In a matter of minutes, you could lose all of your belongings and a place to live, or worse, you could lose loved ones. A family in Phoenix, Arizona, recently found themselves facing the reality of their own home in flames. Claudia Jimenez told CBS News that she woke up trapped in her burning apartment with her two daughters, with nothing to do but yell for help in the hopes that someone would hear her.

The mom's screams were answered by Joe Hollins, a homeless man who was camping nearby with his wife. Hollins didn't hesitate to try to find a way to help. With no way out and the fire department still nowhere on the scene, Jimenez had to trust the stranger who was standing below.

"He was right underneath and he was like 'Yes, throw your daughters out, I'm going to catch them, I'm going to get them,'" Jimenez told CBS.

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