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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.

True

Do you ever feel like you could be doing more when it comes to making a positive impact on your community? The messaging around giving back is louder than ever this time of year, and for good reason; It is the season of giving, after all.

If you’ve ever wondered who is responsible for bringing many of the giving-back initiatives to life, it’s probably not who you’d expect. The masterminds behind these types of campaigns are project managers.

Using their talents and skills, often proven by earning certifications from the Project Management Institute (PMI), project managers are driving real change and increasing the success rate on projects that truly improve our world.

To celebrate the work that project managers are doing behind the scenes to make a difference, we spoke with two people doing more than their part to make an impact.

In his current role as a Project Management Professional (PMP)-certified project manager and environmental engineer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Joshua Williard oversees the cleanup of some of America’s most contaminated and hazardous waste sites.

Courtesy of Joshua Williard

“Recently, I was part of a four-person diving team sent to collect contaminated sediment samples from the bottom of a river in Southeastern Virginia. We wanted to ensure a containment wall was successfully blocking the release of waste into an adjacent river,” Williard says.

Through his work, Josh drives restoration efforts to completion so contaminated land can again be used beneficially, and so future generations will not be at risk of exposure to harmful chemicals.

“I’ve been inspired by the natural world from a young age and always loved being outside. As I gained an understanding about Earth's trajectory, I realized that I wanted to be part of trying to save it and keep it for future generations.

“I learned the importance of using different management styles to address various project challenges. I saw the value in building meaningful relationships with key community members. I came to see that effective project management can make a real difference in getting things done and having on-the-ground impact,” Williard says.

In addition, Monica Chan’s career in project management has enabled her to work at the forefront of conservation efforts with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF-US). She most recently has been managing a climate change project, working with a diverse team including scientists, policy experts, data analysts, biologists, communicators, and more. The goal is to leverage grants to protect and restore mangroves, forests, and ecosystems, and drive demand in seaweed farming – all to harness nature's power to address the climate crisis.

Courtesy of Monica Chan

“As the project management lead for WWF-US, I am collaborating across the organization to build a project management framework that adapts to our diverse projects. Given that WWF's overarching objectives center on conserving nature and addressing imminent threats to the diversity of life on Earth, the stakes are exceptionally high in how we approach projects,” says Chan.

“Throughout my journey, I've discovered a deep passion for project management's ability to unite people for shared goals, contributing meaningfully to environmental conservation,” she says.

With skills learned from on-the-job experience and resources from PMI, project managers are the central point of connection for social impact campaigns, driving them forward and solving problems along the way. They are integral to bringing these projects to life, and they find support from their peers in PMI’s community.

PMI has a global network of more than 300 chapters and serves as a community for project managers – at every stage of their career. Members can share knowledge, celebrate impact, and learn together through resources, events, and other programs such as PMI’s Hours for Impact program, which encourages PMI members to volunteer their time to projects directly supporting the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

“By tapping into PMI's extensive network and resources, I've expanded my project management knowledge and skills, gaining insights from seasoned professionals in diverse industries, including environmental management. Exposure to different perspectives has kept me informed about industry trends, best practices, and allowed me to tailor my approach to the unique challenges of the non-profit sector,” Chan says.

“Obtaining my PMP certification has been a game-changer, propelling not only my career growth, but also reshaping my approach to daily projects, both personally and professionally,” Chan says. Research from PMI shows that a career in project management means being part of an industry on the rise, as the global economy will need 25 million new project professionals by 2030 and the median salary for project practitioners in the U.S. is $120K.

PMI’s mission is to help professionals build project management skills through online courses, networking, and other learning opportunities, help them prove their proficiency in project management through certifications, and champion the work that project professionals, like Joshua and Monica, do around the world.

For those interested in pursuing a career in project management to help make a difference, PMI’s Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification could be the starting point to help get your foot in the door.

Science

MIT’s trillion-frames-per-second camera can capture light as it travels

"There's nothing in the universe that looks fast to this camera."

Photo from YouTube video.

Photographing the path of light.

A new camera developed at MIT can photograph a trillion frames per second.

Compare that with a traditional movie camera which takes a mere 24. This new advancement in photographic technology has given scientists the ability to photograph the movement of the fastest thing in the Universe, light.

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Health

Interesting video explains why people looked a lot older in the past than they do today

Were people unhealthy? Did they spend too much time in the sun?

Norm was only in his 30s?

Ever look at your parents' high school yearbooks and think people looked so much older back then? All of the teenagers look like they’re in their mid-30s and the teachers who are 50 look like they’re 80.

When we watch older movies, even those from the 1980s, the teenagers appear to be a lot older as well.

Why is it that they looked so much older? Was life harder? Did people act more mature? Did they spend more time outdoors and less time playing video games? Is it their sense of fashion? Were they all smokers?

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Joy

Doggo loses his mind with joy when he finds out he's going to visit Grandma and Grandpa

Sound up for this one because Nosh REALLY loves his grandparents.

Nosh freaked when he found out they were going to see Safta and Boppa.

Eagerly anticipating a trip to the fun and doting grandparents' house is something we think of children doing, but one couple's doggo proves that visiting the "grandpawrents" is just as exciting.

In a TikTok video that's been viewed nearly 30 million times, dog owners Skylar and Deko are nearing the end of a 20-hour drive from Phoenix to Kansas City, Missouri. Their good doggo named Nosh, sits in the backseat, looking out the front window.

Suddenly, Skylar asks Nosh if he wants to go visit Safta and Boppa, the nicknames of his grandparents, and he immediately reacts. You can practically hear him say, "Whut? Grandma and Grandpa? Are you serious?!? OMG, I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!!! When are we gonna get there?!?" only it comes out as a series of squeals and whimpers and sneezy woofs of joy.

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Gen Zer asks what older generations did before Google

Google and smart phones have been around so long that Gen Z doesn't know a time before those things existed. They may have Googled what a card catalog was used for but plenty of them don't know the pressure we all felt having to learn the dewy decimal system while walking around the library with a card with numbers scribbled on it.

They've never experienced the frustration of having an out of date Encyclopedia collection from the thrift store that was missing books "D" and "X-Z" when you had a research assignment due. Oh, sweet tech savvy - we not me generation, doesn't understand that riding shot gun on a road trip meant you were suddenly a pirate with an Atlas map bigger than the dashboard.

Even as someone that was alive when having a rotary phone was the norm, I sometimes forget what life was like before all of the technological luxuries. It's not surprising that Gen Z is confused on how we survived back then without knowledge at our fingertips, so when one of them asked, Gen X, Xennials and elder Millennials entered the chat.

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Pop Culture

Gen X couple share a delightfully cheesy rap song welcoming millennials into their 40s

This club is a little different, there's Wordle, seltzers and lots of houseplants.

"Welcome to the club, Millenials."

It is pretty wild to consider that Millennials are now entering their 40s and no longer hold the mantle of the young and up-and-coming generation. According to Pew Research, Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996, so these days they range between the ages of 29 and 42.

These are the years when people begin to settle down, start families and experience the first uncomfortable signs of aging.

The Holderness Family is headed by a Gen X couple, Kim and Penn Holderness, who are best known for their viral comedy songs. Their latest video is about welcoming Millennials to their next phase in life, one that’s less about spending all night in the club and more about embracing a quieter, more practical life.

In this case, “the club” isn’t a loud place to get a Long Island iced tea but a state of mind where you’re more likely to appreciate a good walk for your mental health.

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