+
upworthy
popular

10 things that made us smile this week

A weekly dose of joy, brought to you by Upworthy

jack o lantern, uplifting news
Canva

All treats. No tricks.

Halloween has passed, thus kicking off the incoming holiday season. It's during this time of year that celebration, gratitude and reclaiming simple joys seem paramount.

It's not always easy to be in high spirits, though. Luckily, Upworthy can help with that. Each week we curate a list of things that brought a smile to our face. Little reminders that the world is still a pretty cool place, and that a lot of the people in it are quite wonderful.

And because the Halloween spirit doesn't have to expire after October 31st, this week's list of 10 smile-inducing things includes quite a bit of spooky fun—creative costumes, furry friends interacting with jack-o-lanterns and a friendly ghost vacuum to boot.

Scroll down and enjoy.


1. Sisters create a super realistic rollercoaster costume for Halloween.

@laurie.dabbs.gayton

♬ Love Rollercoaster - Ohio Players

A perfect combination of design and performance. No notes. Give them all the candy.

Speaking of Halloween...

2. Hundreds of New Yorkers perform a flawless 'Thriller' flashmob routine

No doubt more than half of these folks were Broadway dancers. New York has to be one of the most fantastic palces to celebrate Halloween.

3. British baby sitter lulls kid to sleep by reading a coffee manual

@meggmordaunt

♬ original sound - Meg Mordaunt

Apparently, reading from the manual was the child's request. But quite honestly, that voice could read the phone book and it would sound oh-so soothing. Perhaps that will be the next reading material!

4. Snow leopard gets spooked by a pumpkin

@tanganyikawildlifepark It was a very scary pumpkin 🎃 #snowleopard #leopard #leopards #catsoftiktok #bigcats ♬ original sound - Tanganyika Wildlife Park

Proving that all cats are the same, not matter the size.

5. George Washington shares his dream for America's wacky measuring system in a hilarious "SNL" skit

Comedian and host Nate Bargatze delivers an amazingly understated performance as Washington, which makes the comedy sing in this one. No wonder viewers hailed it an "instant classic."

6. Kitties waiting patiently for their steamed milk is too cute for this world

@jessielubrooke They all line up and wait by the eapresso machine every morning for “milky.” Its oatmilk 😁 #catsoftiktok #cats ♬ original sound - JessieB

They've got their own little cat cafe going on! If only we humans could be this patient at Starbucks.

7. Toddler gets pulled over in her hot pink kiddie jeep

Most adorable lawbreaker of all time.

8. Meet Peanut, the world's oldest chicken

Peanut was a late hatcher, but 20 years later and she's still clucking. Considering the average life expectancy of a chicken is around 5-10, that's quite a feathery feat.

9. Woman dresses her Roomba vacuum up as a ghost

@abc7ny Spooooooky clean! 👻🧼🧹 #fyp #cleantok #roomba #halloween ♬ original sound - ABC7NY

Well now she has to keep the costume on for the rest of the year, obviously.

…and last but not least…

10. Little girl can't stop saying "that's my mommy!" after finding out she's getting adopted

There is still good in this world
byu/SweetyByHeart inMadeMeSmile

This sweet little girl can't take her eyes off her new mommy. Melts the heart on so many levels, doesn't it?

Hope this roundup helped brighten your day. If you enjoyed this post and want to see more like it in your inbox, subscribe to our free email newsletter, The Upworthiest, here.

Photo by Eliott Reyna on Unsplash

Gen Z is navigating a career landscape unlike any other.

True

Every adult generation has its version of a “kids these days” lament, labeling the up-and-coming generation as less resilient or hardworking compared to their own youth. But Gen Z—currently middle school age through young adulthood—is challenging that notion with their career readiness.

Take Abigail Sanders, an 18-year-old college graduate. Thanks to a dual enrollment program with her online school, she actually earned her bachelor’s degree before her high school diploma. Now she’s in medical school at Bastyr University in Washington state, on track to become a doctor by age 22.

a family of 6 at a graduation with two graduatesAll four of the Sanders kids have utilized Connections Academy to prepare for their futures.

Abigail’s twin sister, Chloe, also did dual enrollment in high school to earn her associate’s in business and is on an early college graduation path to become a vet tech.

Maeson Frymire dreams of becoming a paramedic. He got his EMT certification in high school and fought fires in New Mexico after graduation. Now he’s working towards becoming an advanced certified EMT and has carved his career path towards flight paramedicine.

Sidny Szybnski spends her summers helping run her family’s log cabin resort on Priest Lake in Idaho. She's taken business and finance courses in high school and hopes to be the third generation to run the resort after attending college.

log cabin resort on edge of forestAfter college, Sidny Szybnski hopes to run her family's resort in Priest Lake, Idaho.

Each of these learners has attended Connections Academy, tuition-free online public schools available in 29 states across the U.S., to not only get ready for college but to dive straight into college coursework and get a head start on career training as well. These students are prime examples of how Gen Zers are navigating the career prep landscape, finding their passions, figuring out their paths and making sure they’re prepared for an ever-changing job market.

Lorna Bryant, the Head of Career Education for Connections Academy’s online school program, says that Gen Z has access to a vast array of career-prep tools that previous generations didn’t have, largely thanks to the internet.

“Twenty to 30 years ago, young people largely relied on what adults told them about careers and how to get there,” Bryant tells Upworthy. “Today, teens have a lot more agency. With technology and social media, they have access to so much information about jobs, employers and training. With a tap on their phones, they can hear directly from people who are in the jobs they may be interested in. Corporate websites and social media accounts outline an organization’s mission, vision and values—which are especially important for Gen Z.”

Research shows over 75% of high schoolers want to focus on skills that will prepare them for in-demand jobs. However, not all teens know what the options are or where to find them. Having your future wide open can be overwhelming, and young people might be afraid of making a wrong choice that will impact their whole lives.

Bryant emphasizes that optimism and enthusiasm from parents can help a lot, in addition to communicating that nothing's carved in stone—kids can change paths if they find themselves on one that isn’t a good fit.

Dr. Bryant and student video meeting Dr. Bryant meeting with a student

“I think the most important thing to communicate to teens is that they have more options than ever to pursue a career,” she says. “A two- or four-year college continues to be an incredibly valuable and popular route, but the pathways to a rewarding career have changed so much in the past decade. Today, career planning conversations include options like taking college credit while still in high school or earning a career credential or certificate before high school graduation. There are other options like the ‘ships’—internships, mentorships, apprenticeships—that can connect teens to college, careers, and employers who may offer on-the-job training or even pay for employees to go to college.”

Parents can also help kids develop “durable skills”—sometimes called “soft” or “human” skills—such as communication, leadership, collaboration, empathy and grit. Bryant says durable skills are incredibly valuable because they are attractive to employers and colleges and transfer across industries and jobs. A worldwide Pearson survey found that those skills are some of the most sought after by employers.

“The good news is that teens are likely to be already developing these skills,” says Bryant. Volunteering, having a part-time job, joining or captaining a team sport can build durable skills in a way that can also be highlighted on college and job applications.

Young people are navigating a fast-changing world, and the qualities, skills and tools they need to succeed may not always be familiar to their parents and grandparents. But Gen Z is showing that when they have a good grasp of the options and opportunities, they’re ready to embark on their career paths, wherever they may lead.

Learn more about Connections Academy here and Connections’ new college and career prep initiative here.

Teacher Lisa Conselatore isn't holding back.

A recent study by the National Center for Education Statistics found that 87% of public schools say the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted students' socio-emotional development. Respondents have also said there has been a significant increase in student misconduct.

However, a teacher with 24 years of experience in the U.S. and abroad believes we are misplacing blame for this rise in misconduct. In a viral TikTok video with over 480,000 views, Lisa Conselatore claims that the big problem isn’t the pandemic but modern parenting.

Keep ReadingShow less

People react to the "I peeled my orange" story.

A slideshow on TikTok has been bringing people to tears because it’s a touching slice of life that describes what it is like to love, lose and find oneself again. The story is centered around a text conversation between Charlotte and EM, who recently broke up and are heading into college.

Charlotte is still in love with Em, but they don't feel the same.

The conversation starts with Charlotte texting Em out of the blue to thank them for helping her with her college application. Charlotte has recently been accepted to New York University, and Em is also looking forward to moving into a dorm room when school starts.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Airbnb host finds unexpected benefits from not charging guests a cleaning fee

Host Rachel Boice went for a more "honest" approach with her listings—and saw major perks because of it.

@rachelrboice/TikTok

Many frustrated Airbnb customers have complained that the separate cleaning fee is a nuisance.

Airbnb defines its notorious cleaning fee as a “one-time charge” set by the host that helps them arrange anything from carpet shampoo to replenishing supplies to hiring an outside cleaning service—all in the name of ensuring guests have a “clean and tidy space.”

But as many frustrated Airbnb customers will tell you, this feature is viewed as more of a nuisance than a convenience. According to NerdWallet, the general price for a cleaning fee is around $75, but can vary greatly between listings, with some units having cleaning fees that are higher than the nightly rate (all while sometimes still being asked to do certain chores before checking out). And often none of these fees show up in the total price until right before the booking confirmation, leaving many travelers feeling confused and taken advantage of.

However, some hosts are opting to build cleaning fees into the overall price of their listings, mimicking the strategy of traditional hotels.
Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

People share the 18 things that are a 'subtle sign' someone is really smart

"They effortlessly communicate complex concepts in a simple way."

Albert Einstein

One of the strangest things about being human is that people of lesser intelligence tend to overestimate how smart they are and people who are highly intelligent tend to underestimate how smart they are.

This is called the Dunning-Kruger effect and it’s proven every time you log onto Facebook and see someone from high school who thinks they know more about vaccines than a doctor.

The interesting thing is that even though people are poor judges of their own smarts, we’ve evolved to be pretty good at judging the intelligence of others.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

After causing an unexpected stir, Drew Barrymore explains why she 'doesn't need sex'

'At nearly 48 I have very different feelings about intimacy than I did growing up.'

Drew Barrymore attends the 26th Annual Webby Awards on May 16, 2022 in New York City.

In late September, talk show host Drew Barrymore made an off-hand comment about sex that caused an unexpected stir. During a “Drew’s News” segment with Ross Mathews, the two discussed Andrew Garfield’s admission he abstained from sex for six months while filming Martin Scorsese’s 2016 film “Silence.”

“I get abstaining from sex, I mean I did that my entire 20s, right?” Mathews joked, to which Barrymore responded, “What’s wrong with me that six months doesn’t seem like a very long time? I was like, ‘Yeah so?'”

“We buried the lede there, that’s the headline. Drew can go six months, no big deal,” Mathews added. “Years,” Barrymore confirmed.

Keep ReadingShow less

Cat adorably photobombs engagement video

Engagements are such a beautiful thing. A lot of planning goes into popping the big question, from picking out the perfect ring to setting the mood in a unique location. Some people even take the time to find a photographer to capture the moment their love says "yes."

It's such a fun memory to look back on for the betrothed couple, especially when the other party Is unsuspecting so true emotion is captured. But sometimes things go wrong on the photographer or videographer's end...like having a nosey cat. One woman found herself in this very predicament and the gaffe was shared by Good Morning America. Annie Polley's sister was getting engaged in her back yard so she was on camera duty to film the moment.

It was beautiful. The guy drops to his knee and pulls out what one can imagine is a gorgeous ring as the woman looks surprised and overcome with emotions.

Keep ReadingShow less