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10 things that made us smile this week

A weekly dose of joy, brought to you by Upworthy

jack o lantern, uplifting news
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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.

"Freddie Mercury" by kentarotakizawa is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Fans are thrilled to hear Freddie Mercury's iconic voice once again.

Freddie Mercury had a voice and a stage presence unlike any other in rock music history. His unique talents helped propel the band Queen to the top of music charts and created a loyal fan base around the world.

Sadly, the world lost that voice when Mercury died of AIDS at age 45. For decades, most of us have assumed we'd heard all the music we were going to hear from him.

However, according to Yahoo! Entertainment, remaining Queen members Roger Taylor and Brian May announced this summer that they had found a never-released song they'd recorded with Mercury in 1988 as they were working on the album "The Miracle."

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The comedian adjusts himself in his seat and doesn't break character the entire time and somehow the interviewer is able to maintain a serious face throughout the process. Kevin Hart and the actual Dwayne Johnson cannot keep it together while Black does his impression of his co-star.

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All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

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via Pixabay

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“I (34F) have a (5M) son who attends preschool. A few hours after I picked him up from school today, I got a phone call from his teacher,” Flowergardens0 wrote. “She made absolutely no effort to sound kind when she, in an extremely rude and annoyed tone, told me to stop packing my son such ‘disgusting and inappropriate’ lunches."

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