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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.

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From political science to joining the fight against cancer: How one woman found her passion

An unexpected pivot to project management expanded Krystal Brady's idea of what it means to make a positive impact.

Krystal Brady/PMI

Krystal Brady utilizes her project management skills to help advance cancer research and advocacy.

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Cancer impacts nearly everyone’s life in one way or another, and thankfully, we’re learning more about treatment and prevention every day. Individuals and organizations dedicated to fighting cancer and promising research from scientists are often front and center, but we don’t always see the people working behind the scenes to make the fight possible.

People like Krystal Brady.

While studying political science in college, Brady envisioned her future self in public office. She never dreamed she’d build a successful career in the world of oncology, helping cancer researchers, doctors and advocates continue battling cancer, but more efficiently.

Brady’s journey to oncology began with a seasonal job at a small publishing company, which helped pay for college and awakened her love for managing projects. Now, 15 years later, she’s serving as director of digital experience and strategy at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which she describes as “the perfect place to pair my love of project management and desire to make positive change in the world.”

As a project manager, Brady helps make big ideas for the improvement of diagnosing and treating cancer a reality. She is responsible for driving the critical projects that impact the lives of cancer researchers, doctors, and patients.

“I tell people that my job is part toolbox, part glue,” says Brady. “Being a project manager means being responsible for understanding the details of a project, knowing what tools or resources you need to execute the project, and facilitating the flow of that work to the best outcome possible. That means promoting communication, partnership, and ownership among the team for the project.”

At its heart, Brady’s project management work is about helping people. One of the big projects Brady is currently working on is ASCO’s digital transformation, which includes upgrading systems and applications to help streamline and personalize oncologists’ online experience so they can access the right resources more quickly. Whether you are managing humans or machines, there’s an extraordinary need for workers with the skillset to harness new technology and solve problems.

The digital transformation project also includes preparing for the use of emerging technologies such as generative AI to help them in their research and practices.

“Most importantly, it lays the groundwork for us to make a meaningful impact at the point of care, giving the oncologist and patient the absolute latest recommendations or guidelines for care for that specific patient or case, allowing the doctor to spend more time with their patients and less time on paperwork,” Brady says.

In today’s fast-changing, quickly advancing world, project management is perhaps more valuable than ever. After discovering her love for it, Brady earned her Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification through Project Management Institute (PMI)—the premier professional organization for project managers with chapters all over the world—which she says gave her an edge over other candidates when she applied for her job at ASCO.

“The knowledge I gained in preparing for the PMP exam serves me every day in my role,” Brady says. “What I did not expect and have truly come to value is the PMI network as well – finding like-minded individuals, opportunities for continuous learning, and the ability to volunteer and give back.”

PMI’s growing community – including more than 300 chapters globally – serves as a place for project managers and individuals who use project management skills to learn and grow through events, online resources, and certification programs.

While people often think of project management in the context of corporate careers, all industries and organizations need project managers, making it a great career for those who want to elevate our world through non-profits or other service-oriented fields.

“Project management makes a difference by focusing on efficiency and outcomes, making us all a little better at what we do,” says Brady. “In almost every industry, understanding how to do our work more effectively and efficiently means more value to our customers, and the world at large, at an increased pace.”

Project management is also a stable career path in high demand as shown by PMI research, which found that the global economy will need 25 million more project managers by 2030 and that the median salary for project managers in the US has grown to $120K.

If you’d like to learn more about careers in project management, PMI has resources to help you get started or prove your proficiency, including its entry-level Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification program. For those interested in pursuing a project management career to make a difference, it could be your first step.

Teresa Kaye Newman thinks that Boomer parents were right about a few things.

Teresa Kaye Newman, a teacher about to have a son, knows a lot about how to deal with children. So she created a list of 11 things she agrees with Boomers on when it comes to raising kids.

Newman believes she has credibility on the issue because she has 13 years of experience dealing with “hundreds and hundreds” of other people’s kids and has seen what happens when her so-called “Boomer” parenting principles aren’t implemented.

Of course, Newman is using some broad stereotypes in calling for a return to Boomer parenting ideas when many Gen X, Millennial and Gen Z parents share the same values. But, as someone who deals with children every day, she has the right to point out that today’s kids are entitled and spend too much time staring at screens.

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Leila Danai doesn't need you to approve of her hair.

A video of a preschool-age girl is capturing hearts because of the incredibly confident way she responded to a boy who didn’t like her hair. Leila Danai, who was 3 and a half when the video was taken, is one of the only Black children in her school, and her mother, Mildred Munjanganja, prepared her for comments people might make about her hair.

In the video, Leila tells her mother that a boy in school said he didn’t like her hair, "I said, 'I like it!'" she responded. “He said, ‘I don’t like that hair — it’s crazy.’ And I said, ‘My mommy made it. And if you don’t like it, I’ll keep it for myself,” she continued.

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Unsolicited opinions aren't just annoying. They can be hurtful.

Sure, parents sometimes make some…interesting choices when it comes to naming their child. But the key word there is choice. It probably should go without saying that it’s not the best move to insert an opinion on something rather personal and vulnerable, especially when that opinion is not requested.

But nonetheless, people do cross this boundary, expressing their disapproval and giving new moms and dads yet another reason to second guess themselves.

As one frustrated mom shared on Reddit, her own in-laws gave what she described as the “most unhinged” reaction to her newborn’s name, leaving her and her husband completely “crushed.”
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Saturday Night Live's fake Macy's ad is all too real for parents.

The holidays are supposed to be a magical and cozy time of joy and togetherness, when families gather for annual Christmas card photos and dress up for holiday events, with everything feeling merry and bright…right?

Tell that to parents trying to wrangle their little cherubs into scratchy sweaters, uncomfortable dress pants and inexplicably difficult-to-put-on snow boots.

The ideal vs. the reality of the holiday season is the premise of an Saturday Night Live spoof ad that aired in 2019 and is making the rounds on social media. It starts as a normal Macy's holiday sale commercial would—seriously merry and bright—then devolves into a hilarious representation of the behind-the-scenes reality parents deal with every year.

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Family

Gen X mom shares the revelations she got after her son gave her an ultimatum

If she didn't go to therapy, they would have no contact.

@fiftiesrediscovery/TikTok

One Gen X shares some amazing revelations she had in therapy

Not that long ago, the thought of adult children choosing estrangement from their parents would have been seen as fairly atypical, even if their parents engaged in toxic behavior. But now, many trauma-informed millennials and Gen Zers are going the low-to-no-contact route—as many as 25% of young adults, according to The Hill.

But even if it is becoming more common, that doesn’t mean it’s an easy choice to make. It often comes after multiple failed attempts to improve communication, set healthy boundaries and establish a healthy dynamic.

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via Taylor Skaff/Unsplash and Kenny Eliason/Unsplash

A Chevy Tahoe for $1? Not a bad deal at all.

The race to weave artificial intelligence into every aspect of our lives is on, and there are bound to be some hits and misses with the new technology, especially when some artificial intelligence apps are easily manipulated through a series of simple prompts.

A car dealership in Watsonville, California, just south of the Bay Area, added a chatbot to its website and learned the hard way that it should have done a bit more Q-A testing before launch.

It all started when Chris White, a musician and software engineer, went online to start looking for a new car. "I was looking at some Bolts on the Watsonville Chevy site, their little chat window came up, and I saw it was 'powered by ChatGPT,'" White told Business Insider.

ChatGPT is an AI language model that generates human-like text responses for diverse tasks, conversations and assistance. So, as a software engineer, he checked the chatbot’s limits to see how far he could get.

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