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happy, joy, duck, music

From a bass-playing 9-year-old to a marathon running duck, enjoy some snippets of joy from around the internet.

It's smile time, folks!

Each week, we round up some of the most delightful things around the interwebs to share in one spot, in the hopes that a little timeline cleanser will bring you some comfort, joy and maybe even a little hope as you head into the weekend. There's no shortage of bad news out there, and social media can be a quagmire of outrage and negativity sometimes, so let's focus on some simple good stuff for a minute.

From adorable animals to talented kids to hilarious Icelanders, here are 10 things that made us smile this week:


9-year-old bass player nails Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke" and it's sheer delight.

Ellen Alaverdyan is only 9, but she's already an accomplished bassist. It's her contagious joy, though, that's the best part of this video. It just gets better and better.

Wrinkle the duck running in the NYC Marathon with her custom running shoes. 

Didn't know you needed to see a duck running a marathon, did you? Go, Wrinkle, go! (Read the full story here.)

Elephants enjoying a private violin concert from violinist Big Lux.

Roger Willilams Park Zoo shared in a Facebook post that the music "provided our girls with voluntary visual and auditory enrichment." Music "stimulates their senses," eliciting "natural behaviors from hearing new sounds" and improves their quality of life. Read the story here.

Speaking of animals enjoying music, watch this fox stop to listen to the banjo.

How gorgeous is this video? The music, the backdrop of the misty mountains and the beautiful fox stopping for a moment to enjoy it. Bliss.

And speaking of bliss, let's go back to elephants for a sec because OMG.

How happy is this fuzzy baby to be in the water? Gracious, that looks refreshing.

Iceland tourism ad hilariously pokes fun of Mark Zuckerberg and the "metaverse."

Welcome to the Icelandverse, where everything and everyone is real, no one seems like an android and nobody has to wear silly-looking VR headsets. (If you're not sure what this is referencing, see the first three minutes of Mark Zuckerberg's metaverse announcement.) Who knew Iceland had such a hilarious sense of humor?

Kitten being fed a bottle? Adorable. The ears, though, are just too much.

Those ears. I can't.

The video is funny enough, but the caption is spot on.

Chimpanzees are always funny, but especially when they do something we see ourselves doing. And I 100% have looked like this trying to carry out a bunch of groceries when I've forgotten a bag and didn't want to pay for one.

This baby getting to see clearly for the first time is pure magic.

I know how life-changing it is just to get new eyeglasses prescription—imagine what it must be like to have never seen clearly before and then suddenly being able to. Her face says it all.

Next time you need a pick me up, let this guy's dancing pump you up.

We are ready to rumble! Let's GOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Hope that brought a smile to your face and some light to your soul—and maybe even added a little pep to your step!

Come back next week for another roundup of smile-worthy snippets of joy.

via FIRST

FIRST students learn real-world career skills through robotics competitions.

True

In today’s rapidly changing world, most parents are concerned about what the future looks like for their children. Whether concerning technology, culture, or values, young people today are expected to navigate—and attempt to thrive in—a society that’s far more complicated than that of their parents. It’s one of the reasons why parents are keen to involve their kids in activities that will help them become more resilient, well-rounded and better prepared for life when they enter adulthood.

One such activity is FIRST®, a volunteer-based global robotics community that helps young people discover a passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through exciting, multifaceted challenges. FIRST helps kids ages 4 to 18 to build confidence, resilience, cooperation and empathy as they compete and collaborate with one another.

You may have seen the transformative power of FIRST programs featured in the new 2022 Disney+ documentary “More Than Robots.”

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via Pexels

Three people engaged in conversation at a party.

There are some people who live under the illusion that everything they say is deeply interesting and have no problem wasting your time by rambling on and on without a sign of stopping. They’re the relative, neighbor or co-worker who can’t take a hint that the conversation is over.

Of all these people, the co-worker who can’t stop talking may be the most challenging because you see them every day in a professional setting that requires politeness.

There are many reasons that some people talk excessively. Therapist F. Diane Barth writes in Psychology Today that some people talk excessively because they don’t have the ability to process complex auditory signals, so they ramble on without recognizing the subtle cues others are sending.

It may also be a case of someone who thinks they’re the most interesting person in the conversation.

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Hamilton was so good at her job.

Once upon a time, in the mid 1970s, "Sesame Street" traded its bright, sunny atmosphere for ominous gray skies. Most of us would have probably never known this had it not been for the power of the internet.

An entire episode of the beloved children’s show has resurfaced online after being initially pulled for allegedly being “too frightening” for kiddie viewers.

What on earth could be so scary in a place where the air is so sweet, you might wonder. As it turns out, even "Sesame Street" isn’t impervious to a wayward witch broom.

The video clip starts with upbeat, fast-talking David (played by Northern Calloway) exiting Hooper’s store, struggling to make his way through powerful gusts of wind.

“Look at that! Something’s falling right outta the sky!” he shouts gesturing up as the wind whirls. David drops to one knee and catches an incoming broom just in the nick of time. Suddenly the wind stops. Yay?

Unfortunately, our hero’s troubles are just beginning. Sinister music begins to play, and unbeknown to David, who should come lurking from around the corner but the original Wicked Witch of the West herself.

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John Cena showed up for a family who fled Mariupol, Ukraine, after their house was destroyed in the Russian invasion.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly four months ago, more than 13 million Ukrainians have fled their homeland. Some cities, such as Mariupol, have been completely destroyed—"reduced to a wasteland littered with bodies," according to an explainer in Reuters—and may be uninhabitable for the foreseeable future.

Many families fled early in the war, when the danger became clear. But not everyone understood why they were leaving.

Children are befuddled by war, as they should be. It is nonsensical, illogical and unbelievable to think that you must leave your home and move to a country far away because a grown-up who is supposed to be a leader is trying to blow up your house. People with intellectual disabilities may also not understand a sudden uprooting, especially when the reason is something even fully abled adults struggle to make sense of.

When Liana Rohozhyn's home in Mariupol was destroyed earlier in the war, she and her family were forced to flee. Her son Misha, a nonverbal 19-year-old with Down syndrome, was understandably distressed about having to leave Ukraine. To comfort him through the long journey across Europe to safety, Liana told Misha they were going on a trip to find the champion wrestler, John Cena.

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