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10 things that made us smile this week

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.

Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.

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Kellogg's CEO tells people to eat cereal to save money

It doesn't matter if you're a single adult or married with children, there's nothing quite like having cereal for dinner or a late night snack once in a while.

Something about it feels nostalgic but it's also really easy to fall back on when you're too exhausted to cook a full meal. There's nothing wrong with grabbing a bowl of cereal for a meal outside of breakfast. You're feeding yourself or your family a food that contains some of the vitamins a body needs.

Maybe that's the thought process Kellogg's CEO Gary Pilnick was going with when he unintentionally sparked some serious backlash. Pilnick was interviewed by CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" discussing the cereal giant's new commercial featuring Tony the Tiger. The commercial itself isn't really the problem. It features a mom holding a box of cereal with kids excitedly awaiting their cereal for dinner chanting along with Tony the Tiger's call to eat the sweet meal.

The backlash came followeing Pilnick's comments about why his company felt the need to create a commercial advocating families eating cereal for diner.

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We all know that Americans pay more for healthcare than every other country in the world. But how much more?

According an American expatriate who shared the story of his ER visit in a Taiwanese hospital, Americans are being taken to the cleaners when we go to the doctor. We live in a country that claims to be the greatest in the world, but where an emergency trip to the hospital can easily bankrupt someone.

Kevin Bozeat had that fact in mind when he fell ill while living in Taiwan and needed to go to the hospital. He didn't have insurance and he had no idea how much it was going to cost him. He shared the experience in a now-viral Facebook post he called "The Horrors of Socialized Medicine: A first hand experience."

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Pop Culture

Monica Lewinsky reclaims the office power suit in new voting campaign

The activist teamed with apparel brand Reformation to combat voter frustration in a fabulous way.

Lewinsky partnered with Reformation for their "You've Got The Power" voting campaign

Monica Lewinsky knows a thing or two about reinvention.

The former White House intern became the source of media obsession after her affair with former President Bill Clinton become public. It solidified her place in history against her will, but through her actions since, Lewinsky has transformed her public persona into a feminist icon and champion of a powerful anti-bullying campaign.

Now, the 50-year-old Lewinsky is lending her household name to sustainable fashion brand Reformation and Vote.org in hopes to encourage people to vote this year.
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Pop Culture

Don't worry, Wendy's isn't raising prices during the busiest times. But changes are coming.

People were very upset after hearing that surge pricing may come to the local drive-thru.

A combo meal from Wendy's.

In a world where prices are continuously increasing, prominent companies are turning to surge pricing to raise prices even further during peak demand times. Uber charges people more for a ride when demand is high. Hotels have been changing prices based on demand for years and Amazon uses AI to keep prices constantly in flux.

Recently, Ticketmaster, known for charging high fees, has been charging customers even more for tickets as demand rises.

On Monday, February 26, news reports began circulating that Wendy’s, America's 5th most popular fast-food chain, would implement dynamic pricing at its restaurants. Many assumed that meant a Dave’s Double burger would cost an extra $3 during dinner time or medium fries would cost an extra buck during the lunch rush.

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Pop Culture

What is in its 'golden age' but not enough people know about it?

There's so much good out there if you know where to look.

Canva

From astronomy to knitting, some fields of human endeavor are having a heyday.

When you peruse the news headlines or dive into discussions on current events on social media, it's pretty easy to feel despondent. Doom and gloom sells, unfortunately, and our natural negativity bias that's meant to protect us can be overworked by a 24/7 bombardment of humanity's challenges.

There is an anecdote to all of that, though: Curating and cultivating the good. Sometimes it's just knowing where to look to find examples of problems being solved, discoveries being made, innovation taking huge leaps and other evidence that humans are moving our collective life forward in incredible ways.

Someone on Reddit asked, "What is currently in its 'Golden age,' but not enough people know about it?" and thousands of people responded. Reading through the answers is an enlightening and uplifting glimpse of things we might not personally be involved with but are happy to see having a heyday. Like, who wouldn't like to know that we're in a golden age of astronomy and paleontology. Space and dinosaurs? It's like realizing our 5-year-old selves' ideal future.

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