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upworthy
Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy

kid dancing, kangaroo doing air guitar, kid hugging santa
@kleinkwagga1/TikTok, The 2023 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, @natasha_luigui/TikTok

From kids to kangaroos, this week's 10 things is full of delights.

Each year, the Comedy Wildlife Awards highlights photos that capture our animal friends in hilarious moments, made all the more delightful by the fact that not one of them is actually trying to be funny.

Perhaps that's one reason we love animal and little kid videos so much. Their hilarity is so pure. And we've got a whole passel of funny kiddos and furry friends in this week's list of things that made us smile.

If you're looking for some small joys to lift your spirit, we've got you covered! Enjoy!


1. Kiddo steals the show at his sister's end-of-year dance school concert

@kleinkwagga1

Doen dit lyfie doen dit! @Bernice West #Dans #fun #show Die Here het my mooi gemaak🎊🥳

That's a kid that was born to dance. Learn more about 7-year-old Klein Kwagga here.

2. New England mall's magical "Santa Elevator" is a child's Christmas dream come true

@natasha_luigui

33 Days Until Christmas! We had to take a trip to the North Pole so Kohen can tell Santa what he would like for Christmas personally 😅🥹 #santaselevator #fyp #santaselevatorexpress #santa #christmas2023

The Natick Mall has taken the mall Santa visit to a whole other level. Read the full story here.

3. You think you've seen every cute kitten-attacks-dog-friend video and then this one comes along

And the doggo was still so gentle. So darn cute.

4. Groom surprises his bride's family by learning Korean in secret

Such a thoughtful gesture. Read the full story here.

5. Delivery driver finds a baby turtle and his reaction is pure wholesomeness

So darn sweet. Read the full story here.

6. Twins separated shortly after birth were both named Jim and led wildly parallel lives

HaveSomeFun3344/YouTube

Identical twins separated as newborns may not seem like a smile-worthy story, but the parallels between their lives are so remarkable, it's like the universe decided to play a hilarious joke on everyone. Not only did their adoptive parents name them both Jim, they also both had childhood dogs named Toy and a brother named Larry. They both married women named Linda, got divorced, then married women named Betty. They both named their sons James—one of them James Alan and one of them James Allan. And that's not even the end of the bizarre coincidences in their lives before they met at age 39.

Read the full, incredible-but-true story here.

7. Sometimes confidence is the key to success and sometimes it's the key to comedy

Good effort, buddy.

8. What is love? It's all about missing teeth.

Awww. It's true, that IS love.

9. The 2023 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards are here and they're utterly delightful

kangaroo playing air guitar, turtle smiling at a dragonfly on its nose

Silly kangaroos, enchanted encounters and more make up this year's Comedy Wildlife Awards.

The 2023 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

Animals being unintentionally entertaining is the best. Check out 14 of the funniest finalists for the Comedy Wildlife Awards here.

10. Speaking of animals being unintentionally funny, these little trash bandits should get an award of their own

"Just act normal, Jim." HA.

Hope you enjoyed this week's roundup! If you'd like to get more posts like this in your inbox, sign up for the free Upworthiest newsletter here.

Family

Dad takes 7-week paternity leave after his second child is born and is stunned by the results

"These past seven weeks really opened up my eyes on how the household has actually ran, and 110% of that is because of my wife."

@ustheremingtons/TikTok

There's a lot to be gleaned from this.

Participating in paternity leave offers fathers so much more than an opportunity to bond with their new kids. It also allows them to help around the house and take on domestic responsibilities that many new mothers have to face alone…while also tending to a newborn.

All in all, it enables couples to handle the daunting new chapter as a team, making it less stressful on both parties. Or at least equally stressful on both parties. Democracy!

TikTok creator and dad Caleb Remington, from the popular account @ustheremingtons, confesses that for baby number one, he wasn’t able to take a “single day of paternity leave.”

This time around, for baby number two, Remington had the privilege of taking seven weeks off (to be clear—his employer offered four weeks, and he used an additional three weeks of PTO).

The time off changed Remington’s entire outlook on parenting, and his insights are something all parents could probably use.

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TikTokker Amber Cimotti found this out the hard way when her daughter noted that she has an “old” person's name.

“My daughter told me the name Ashley or Amanda — or my name is Amber — are like old people names and I never thought about it this way,” Amber explained in a video with over 3 million views.

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Christine Kesteloo has one big problem living on a cruise ship.

A lot of folks would love to trade lives with Christine Kesteloo. Her husband is the Chief Engineer on a cruise ship, so she gets to live on the boat pretty much for free as the “wife on board.” For Christine, life is a lot like living on a permanent vacation.

“I live on a cruise ship for half the year with my husband, and it's often as glamorous as it sounds,” she told Insider. “After all, I don't cook, clean, make my bed, do laundry or pay for food.“

Living an all-inclusive lifestyle seems like paradise, but it has some drawbacks. Having access to all-you-can-eat food all day long can really have an effect on one’s waistline. Kesteloo admits that living on a cruise ship takes a lot of self-discipline because the temptation is always right under her nose.

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Woman shows her misbehaving cat to 'the trenches'

You always hear about a "bad dog," giving the furry goofballs a reputation for getting into mischief, but what about bad cats. Not all cats are angels just lounging around the house until someone gives them food while fanning them with a giant palm leaf. Some cats have a sketchy "catigree" and every once in a while they let that wild streak show. When that happens, what is a cat owner to do?

A cat mom that goes by the user name Lambo Licia on Instagram posted a video showing exactly how she gets her cat in line when he's misbehaving. No, it's not with a spray bottle. She shows him what life is like in "the trenches." You know, the area of town where homeless cats roam and cat burglars have real whiskers and thumbs that don't work, leaving a strange fish smell wherever they lurk.

If Scared Straight: Cat Edition was an actual thing, Mega, the orange tabby would be the first to turn his life around. He looks absolutely petrified from all of the unruly cat behavior he sees out the window and his mom's commentary.

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Science

College students use AI to decode ancient scroll burned in Mount Vesuvius

“Some of these texts could completely rewrite the history of key periods of the ancient world."

When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 C.E., it buried entire cities in volcanic materials. While Pompeii is the most famous site affected by the natural disaster, the nearby villa of Herculaneum was also laid to waste—including over 800 precious scrolls found inside Herculaneum’s library, which were carbonized by the heat, making them impossible to open and recover their contents.

Which brings us to the Vesuvius challenge, started by computer scientist Brent Seales and entrepreneurs Nat Friedman and Daniel Gross in March 2023. The contest would award $1 million in prizes to whoever could use machine learning to successfully read from the scrolls without damaging them.

On February 5, the prize-winning team was announced.
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Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons

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Fame comes with a lot of challenges, but it also comes with some pretty obvious perks. There's the money that frequently follows fame, of course, but there's also the special treatment people automatically offer you.

Some famous folks might revel in that special treatment and some might even express gratitude for it. But occasionally, you find a celebrity who refuses it altogether.

Take basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal, for instance.

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