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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.

Education

Teacher of the year explains why he's leaving district in unforgettable 3-minute speech

"I'm leaving in hopes that I can regain the ability to do the job that I love."

Lee Allen

For all of our disagreements in modern American life, there are at least a few things most of us can agree on. One of those is the need for reform in public education. We don't all agree on the solutions but many of the challenges are undeniable: retaining great teachers, reducing classroom size and updating the focus of student curriculums to reflect the ever-changing needs of a globalized workforce.

And while parents, politicians and activists debate those remedies, one voice is all-too-often ignored: that of teachers themselves.

This is why a short video testimony from a teacher in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County went viral recently. After all, it's hard to deny the points made by someone who was just named teacher of the year and used the occasion to announce why he will be leaving the very school district that just honored him with that distinction.

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Joy

Tea time: how this boutique blends cultures from around the world

Ethically sourced, modern clothes for kids that embrace adventure, inspire connections and global thinking.

The Tea Collection combines philanthropic efforts with a deep rooted sense of multiculturalism into each of their designs so that kids can grow up with global sensibilities. They make clothes built to last with practicality and adventure in mind. But why "Tea"?

Let's spill it. Tea is a drink shared around the world with people from all different cultures. It is a common thread that weaves the world together. The Tea Collection was born from a love of travel and a love of sharing tea with different people in different places. Inspired by patterns from around the world, these clothes help children develop a familiarity with global communities.

Tea sources their materials ethically and ensures that each of their partners abide to strict codes of conduct. They have a zero-tolerance policy for anything "even slightly questionable" and make sure that they regularly visit their manufacturing partners to ensure that they're supporting positive working conditions.

Since 2003, The Tea Collection has partnered with the Global Fund for Children and has invested in different grassroots organizations that create community empowered programs to uplift kids in need. They donate 10% of their proceeds and have already contributed over $500,000 to different organizations such as: The Homeless Prenatal Program (San Francisco, CA, USA), Door of Faith Orphanage (Baja California, Mexico), Little Sisters Fund (Nepal) and others in Peru, Sri Lanka, India, Italy and Haiti.

But the best part about the Tea Collection? They're also an official member of the Kidizen Rewear Collective, which believes that clothes should stretch far beyond one child's use. They have their own external site for their preloved clothes that makes rewearing affordable. Families can trade in gently used Tea clothes and receive discounts for future products. Shopping the site helps keep clothes out of land fills and reduces the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

By creating heirloom style clothing made to last families can buy, sell, and trade clothes that can be reworn again and again. Because "new to you" doesn't always have to mean never been worn. And let's be honest, we all know how fast kids grow! Shopping preloved clothes is a great way to keep styles fresh without harming the environment or feeling guilty about not getting the most out of certain styles.

But don't just take our word for it! Head over to the Tea Collection and see for yourself!

Upworthy has earned revenue through a partnership and/or may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through links on our site.

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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