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10 things that made us smile this week​

Hey, everyone!

It's that time of the week again, where we round up some snippets of delight to lift people's spirits and bring a smile to their faces. Think of it as a hit of endorphins giving you that natural high we all crave, and a reminder that no matter how bleak things may feel at times, simple things can bring us great joy.

I dare you to go through this whole list and not smile once. (Nah, just kidding. Revel in this joy, friends. Laugh out loud if you feel compelled. Share it with friends. We all need more of this in our timelines.)

Enjoy:


You know an animal feels 100% safe with you when she brings you her babies to snuggle.

Say it with me: "Awwwww!" Too sweet.

Hello, brand new, unbelievably adorable human getting a bath! 

Stop it right now. This is too much dopamine to handle.

The mesmerizing joy of a bunch of dachshunds chasing around a big blue ball.

"Chasing" the ball isn't exactly right. It's more like they're pushing it, or maybe carrying it? Or it's carrying them? I'm not even sure, but doggone it, this is what living your best dachshund life looks like. And shout out to the random dalmatian there too.

Doggo gets caught messing around in the sink, then tries to play it cool.

"Are you doing dishes? I hope so." Hilarious. It looks like this dog forgot it was a dog for a minute.

Mom recorded his son's daycare pickups for five years and OMG the cuteness.

The instant grin. The squeal of delight. The throwing his hands in the air. This is a boy who adores his mama. Read the full story here.

This 17-year-old created a free app that makes Disney+ movies more accessible for deaf children.

Mariella Satow spent much of her pandemic downtime creating an app that lets young kids who aren't able to read subtitles or closed captions enjoy children's films. SignUp is a free Chrome extension that provides a pop-up window with a sign language interpreter on Disney+ films, filling a gap in the deaf community. Not too shabby for a 17-year-old. Read the full story here.

Dogs coordinate to save their owner when he collapsed on a mountain trail. 

A 71-year-old man was walking with his dogs on a mountain summit in England when he collapsed from an apparent seizure and fell unconscious. One of his dogs, a black lab, ran after a walker who had passed them a few minutes before and barked to get her attention. She followed, found the man with his golden retriever lying by his side and called emergency services. Amazing. Read the full story here.

Simple human connection and kindness always wins the day.

An Uber driver stopping by his house to procure some comfort food for someone who was missing home? More of these stories all day long, please. (Be sure to swipe and see the second slide. Beautiful.)

Native Americans created a way to have powwows safely during the pandemic

If you've never been to a native powwow, you're missing out. The beauty and energy of these festive celebrations of Native American culture are wonderful to experience firsthand, but the pandemic has put a damper on such large, in-person gatherings. A Facebook group called @SocialDistancePowwow has brought together thousands of people through song, dance and art—definitely something to check out during Native American Heritage Month.

This is the coolest trick-or-treater ever. 

Casually driving up, taking just a little candy (with no one watching—way to go, parents), putting it in the trunk, singing a little song to himself, backing up into a three-point turn and driving away? It does not get any smoother than this.

Come on, now. That worked, right? Totally brought a smile (or several) to your face? The daycare pickup kid alone is good for at least five smiles.

Join us next week for another happy things roundup, and enjoy your weekend!

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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Girls are bombarded with messages from a very young age telling them that they can’t, that is too big, this is too heavy, those are too much.

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Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

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