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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.

Identity

Celebrate International Women's Day with these stunning photos of female leaders changing the world

The portraits, taken by acclaimed photographer Nigel Barker, are part of CARE's "She Leads the World" campaign.

Images provided by CARE

Kadiatu (left), Zainab (right)

True

Women are breaking down barriers every day. They are transforming the world into a more equitable place with every scientific discovery, athletic feat, social justice reform, artistic endeavor, leadership role, and community outreach project.

And while these breakthroughs are happening all the time, International Women’s Day (Mar 8) is when we can all take time to acknowledge the collective progress, and celebrate how “She Leads the World.

This year, CARE, a leading global humanitarian organization dedicated to empowering women and girls, is celebrating International Women’s Day through the power of portraiture. CARE partnered with high-profile photographer Nigel Barker, best known for his work on “America’s Next Top Model,” to capture breathtaking images of seven remarkable women who have prevailed over countless obstacles to become leaders within their communities.

“Mabinty, Isatu, Adama, and Kadiatu represent so many women around the world overcoming incredible obstacles to lead their communities,” said Michelle Nunn, President and CEO of CARE USA.

Barker’s bold portraits, as part of CARE’s “She Leads The World” campaign, not only elevate each woman’s story, but also shine a spotlight on how CARE programs helped them get to where they are today.

About the women:

Mabinty

international womens day, care.org

Mabinty is a businesswoman and a member of a CARE savings circle along with a group of other women. She buys and sells groundnuts, rice, and fuel. She and her husband have created such a successful enterprise that Mabinty volunteers her time as a teacher in the local school. She was the first woman to teach there, prompting a second woman to do so. Her fellow teachers and students look up to Mabinty as the leader and educator she is.

Kadiatu

international womens day, care.org

Kadiatu supports herself through a small business selling food. She also volunteers at a health clinic in the neighboring village where she is a nursing student. She tests for malaria, works with infants, and joins her fellow staff in dancing and singing with the women who visit the clinic. She aspires to become a full-time nurse so she can treat and cure people. Today, she leads by example and with ambition.

Isatu

international womens day, care.org

When Isatu was three months pregnant, her husband left her, seeking his fortune in the gold mines. Now Isatu makes her own way, buying and selling food to support her four children. It is a struggle, but Isatu is determined to be a part of her community and a provider for her kids. A single mother of four is nothing if not a leader.

Zainab

international womens day, care.org

Zainab is the Nurse in Charge at the Maternal Child Health Outpost in her community. She is the only nurse in the surrounding area, and so she is responsible for the pre-natal health of the community’s mothers-to-be and for the safe delivery of their babies. In a country with one of the world’s worst maternal death rates, Zainab has not lost a single mother. The community rallies around Zainab and the work she does. She describes the women who visit the clinic as sisters. That feeling is clearly mutual.

Adama

international womens day, care.org

Adama is something few women are - a kehkeh driver. A kehkeh is a three-wheeled motorcycle taxi, known elsewhere as a tuktuk. Working in the Kissy neighborhood of Freetown, Adama is the primary breadwinner for her family, including her son. She keeps her riders safe in other ways, too, by selling condoms. With HIV threatening to increase its spread, this is a vital service to the community.

Ya Yaebo

international womens day, care.org

“Ya” is a term of respect for older, accomplished women. Ya Yaebo has earned that title as head of her local farmers group. But there is much more than that. She started as a Village Savings and Loan Association member and began putting money into her business. There is the groundnut farm, her team buys and sells rice, and own their own oil processing machine. They even supply seeds to the Ministry of Agriculture. She has used her success to the benefit of people in need in her community and is a vocal advocate for educating girls, not having gone beyond grade seven herself.

On Monday, March 4, CARE will host an exhibition of photography in New York City featuring these portraits, kicking off the multi-day “She Leads the World Campaign.

Learn more, view the portraits, and join CARE’s International Women's Day "She Leads the World" celebration at CARE.org/sheleads.


Health

Over or under? Surprisingly, there actually is a 'correct' way to hang a toilet paper roll.

Let's settle this silly-but-surprisingly-heated debate once and for all.

Elya/Wikimedia Commons

Should you hang the toilet paper roll over or under?



Upworthy book

Humans have debated things large and small over the millennia, from the democracy to breastfeeding in public to how often people ought to wash their sheets.

But perhaps the most silly-yet-surprisingly-heated household debate is the one in which we argue over which way to hang the toilet paper roll.

The "over or under" question has plagued marriages and casual acquaintances alike for over 100 years, with both sides convinced they have the soundest reasoning for putting their toilet paper loose end out or loose end under. Some people feel so strongly about right vs. wrong TP hanging that they will even flip the roll over when they go to the bathroom in the homes of strangers.

Contrary to popular belief, it's not merely an inconsequential preference. There is actually a "correct" way to hang toilet paper, according to health experts as well as the man who invented the toilet paper roll in the first place.

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Family

A recently-deceased mom became a celebrity after her kids' published stunningly clever obituary

“I finally have the smoking hot body I have always wanted… having been cremated.”

The Hamilton Spectator

RIP Sybil Marie Hicks

It's said that everyone dies twice. The first is your physical death, the second is the last time anyone utters your name.

Sybil Marie Hicks, from Baysville, Ontario, died on February 2, at the age of 81, but it'll be a long time before her name is forgotten. Her children have turned her into a posthumous celebrity after writing a hilarious first-person obituary for her that was published in The Hamilton Spectator on February 5, 2019.

According to her daughter, it was fitting tribute.

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Brielle Asero lost her job after 2 months.

TikTokker Brielle Asero, 21, a recent college graduate, went viral on TikTok in October for her emotional reaction to the first day at a 9-to-5 job. The video, which received 3.4 million views, captured the public’s attention because it was like a cultural Rorschach test.

Some who saw the video thought that Asero came off as entitled and exemplified the younger generation’s lack of work ethic. In contrast, others sympathized with the young woman who is just beginning to understand how hard it is to find work-life balance in modern-day America.

“I’m so upset,” she says in the video. "I get on the train at 7:30 a.m., and I don't get home until 6:15 p.m. [at the] earliest. I don't have time to do anything!" Asero said in a video.

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Gordon Ramsay at play... work.


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

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Family

I told a kid a riddle my dad told me when I was 7. His answer proves how far we've come.

This classic riddle takes on new meaning as our world changes for the better.




When I was 7, my dad told me a riddle.

"A man and his son are driving in their car when they are hit by a tractor-trailer.

Photo via iStock.

(We were driving at the time, so of course this was the riddle he decided to tell.)

The father dies instantly.

The son is badly injured. Paramedics rush him to the hospital.

Photo via iStock.

As he is being wheeled into the operating room, the surgeon takes one look the boy and says:

'I can't operate on him. He's my son.'

How is that possible?!"

Without missing a beat, I answered:

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Know the signs of a domestic abuser.

Most abusers don't start their relationships by hitting their partners. That's why early warning signs are vital to recognize.

I know two women who recently left abusive partners. Both men seemed sweet and likable—even gentle—each time I saw them. Both had some lovely qualities as people and even as partners. And both turned out to be controlling, increasingly abusive partners behind closed doors.


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