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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.

Tasty snacks that give back

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Kids watching their parents dance to Taylor Swift is sheer delight.

We all know parenting can be tough, but if there's one thing that makes the roller coaster of emotions totally worth it, it's seeing our children's faces light up with joy.

Children's smiles are infectious, and not in the scary pandemic kind of a way. There's simply nothing better in this world than the face of a bright-eyed little human beaming with happiness, which is why a recent TikTok trend has people grinning from ear to ear themselves.

The premise is simple: The parent asks the kid to record them dancing to Taylor Swift's "Love Story" with the screen facing away from them (under the guise that the parent dancing needs to see themselves). So instead of recording the parent dancing, it's actually recording the kid's face watching them.

And oh, the love and joy on these kids' faces is so, so sweet to witness. Watch:

@thechavezfamilyy

The end 😭😭 why am I bawling at this trend?! He’s SO CUTE #momsoftiktok #momtok #toddlersoftiktok

That face. OMG.

And check out the encouragement from this little fella:

@themarshhfamily

The end did it for me 🥹😭I birthed such a sweet, loving and encouraging little boy!! #momtok #toddlersoftiktok #taylorswiftchallenge #lovestorychallenge #boymom #toddlermom

Seriously, seeing close-ups of kids' joy should be a daily thing.

@makingthemoffitts

#nationaladoptionmonth #adoptionawareness #thisisadoption #thisisfostercare #adoption #fostercare #makingthemoffitts #lovestorychallenge #taylorswift

Some dads have gotten in on the trend as well. Look at the way this little girl beams at her daddy.

@durbanofamily

Had to jump on the trend! Love this beautiful girl!

Of course, part of the beauty of having kids is you simply never know what they're going to do. While some youngsters gaze lovingly at their parents while they dance, others have a … well … different reaction. Check out this girl's facial expressions:

@haleigh.booth

It’s the side eye at the end for me 😆😂😂😂😂

Hilarious. And because this is the internet, naturally someone had to do the TikTok trend with their dog. Gotta admit, Ellie's toothy grin is pretty darn cute as well.

@elliegoldenlife

This is why I don’t dance 😂

TikTok trends can sometimes be strange, annoying or problematic, but once in a while one comes along that brings people together in surprisingly delightful ways. Seeing people's kids' pure enjoyment watching their parents being silly is simply the best.

Pop Culture

Professor becomes a hero after holding his student's spot in line for Taylor Swift tickets

Dr. Austin Shull chose 'not to be the anti-hero' and now has won every heart online.

He is not the "anti-hero" in this story.

When biology professor Dr. Austin Shull received an important email from one of his students, he likely expected it to be about a homework assignment. Instead, the assignment was for him. If he was up to the task, that is.

With her subject line reading “REALLY IMPORTANT,” the student explained how she was currently in the online queue to purchase highly coveted Taylor Swift tickets, but her anatomy practicum class was fast approaching. You can see the conundrum.

The proposal was simple—if Dr. Shull agreed to watch her spot in line on her laptop while she took the class, it would make her “entire year.” Keeping in theme, her email concluded, “please please please don’t be the anti-hero.” For those that live under a rock, “Anti-Hero” is one of Swift’s latest singles. Where have you been?

Anyway, Shull agreed. And not only did he make his student’s entire year, he melted hearts from sharing his story.

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Celebrity

Lizzo took giving someone the clothes off your back literally and brought a woman to tears

'Words don't suffice, and thank you isn't enough. But THANK YOU! I’m speechless.'

Lizzo took giving someone the clothes off your back literally.

Lizzo is probably one of the most nonproblematic celebrities in the world today. She spreads positivity and kindness and encourages others with her openness about her mental health struggles. It's pretty safe to be a Lizzo super fan and for Aurielle Marie, an Atlanta author, being a huge fan of Lizzo's paid off in the most unexpected way.

Marie posted a video to TikTok pleading with Lizzo to wear her dress from the 2022 Emmys. But it turned out the dress was destroyed, according to Lizzo's response, but her dress from the 2019 American Music Awards was intact. The dress was a beautiful muted fuchsia color with a fitted bodice and full tulle skirt complete with a thigh-high slit. Lizzo looked amazing in the dress so obviously fans would love to get their hands on it.

One of the most exciting things about social media is that you get the chance to interact with your favorite celebrities and, as luck would have it, Lizzo saw Marie's video. The flute-playing megastar responded like an absolute queen.

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Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Kids surprise deaf cafeteria worker by learning sign language.

Here at Upworthy, we try to bring you heartwarming stories, so when we came across this story by My Modern Met, we knew we had to share it.

Kids are always surprising adults with questions or new skills they've learned. Young students at Nansemond Parkway Elementary School in Suffolk, Virginia, wanted to be able to communicate with the cafeteria worker who served them breakfast and lunch everyday. So they learned how.

Leisa Duckwall is deaf and had been working at the school for four years serving the students and staff. Because Duckwall cannot hear, she and the students did the best they could to make it work, until a teacher had an idea. Kari Maskelony, who teaches fourth grade, spoke with Duckwall using American Sign Language (ASL) and noticed the cafeteria went silent.

Students watched in awe as the two women used their hands to communicate. Maskelony grew up in a family that was hard of hearing, so sign language was part of her life, according to My Modern Met. After seeing the reaction of students, Maskelony asked the kids if they would like to learn the language.

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