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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy

adam driver as a baby on a plane on SNL, two women on a couch

From Adam Driver being a big ol' baby to the best Golden Girls Gospel Remix lip sync, this week's list is sure to delight.

We Northern Hemisphere folks are almost at the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, when we flip from our days growing darker to gaining more and more sunlight.

The winter solstice is a good reminder that darkness is a temporary state. It's also a good time to slow down, get cozy and embrace the season for what it is. Put up more twinkle lights. Make a cup of tea or cocoa and sip it under a blanket. Light some candles and get your hygge on.

Embracing simple joys make the dark days a little brighter, and we've got some simple joys to get you started right here.


Enjoy!

1. How fun are these Christmas Olympics game ideas?

These would be so fun at any holiday party! Read the full story here.

2. Adam Driver gives hilarious impersonation of an 'airplane baby' having a tantrum on 'SNL'

Adam Driver as we've never seen him before. Read the full story here.

3. Perhaps the best Golden Girls Gospel Remix lip sync yet

@tabitha.jack34

#fyp #motherdaughterfunny #friends #MyAngel #ShegoneKILLmeforpostingthis

The guy riffing the original can be seen here. This lip sync challenge was popularized early in the pandemic when we were trying to find ways to stay connected virtually, and she just absolutely nails this.

4. These kids on the bus cheering on Xavier, the 'fasted kid alive'

Everyone needs this kind of cheering squad. Go Xavier, go!

4. People are sharing good things happening in America that are flying under the radar

sign that says good news is coming

Good news!

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

The news may seem like nothing but doom and gloom, but there are good things happening all around us all the time. From huge leaps in disease treatments to threatened wildlife making a comeback to everyday people being awesome human beings, you can read about tons of good things happening here.

6. The beautiful thing that happens in Amsterdam if you die and have no one to attend your funeral

cemetery

Every life deserves to at least be acknowledged.

Canva

Leave it to the poets to find everyone's humanity worth celebrating. The Lonely Funeral project enlists a poet to write a custom poem for people who don't have any family or friends and read it at their funeral. The concept has now expanded to cities around the world. Read the full story of the Lonely Funeral project here.

7. Lonely baby camel, 'Sir Camelot' gets his very own best friend: A baby cow

Aw, Sir Camelot! Everyone needs a friend. Read the full story here.

8. The total and complete guilt on the face of these doggos

That "save me" hug at the end, though. So hilarious.

9. The 'last GenX playground' has 40 and 50-somethings drowning in nostalgia

@over40_slbmom

Last GenX Playground!❤️ #genx #genxtiktokers #over50 #bestgenerationever #genxkid

Welcome to our childhood, youngsters! The slide that became a thousand degrees in the sun. The spinning seesaw that made kids puke. The wooden teeter-totter that made you see stars when someone jumped off and your butt hit the ground. Ah, the good ol' days!

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

@sky.q

The other video got a “sensitive content warning” because of the end… but why?? 😂 #repost #dogsofttiktok #dogs #australiancattledog #blueheeler #acd #heeler #cattledog

The flop for the belly rubs at the end? So darn sweet.

Hope that added a few smiles to brighten your day! If you'd like to receive posts like this one in your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter, The Upworthiest, 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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Joy

Daughter disguises Brussels sprouts as chocolates for her Dad in best Christmas prank ever

"I know his retribution will be swift and terrible, but no Christmas gift could be greater than this."

@mcjude/X

Why save the pranks for April 1st?

Christmas might be a time for sentimentality and love and all that gushy goodness, but it can also be a time for unbridled antics. After all, it’s the one time of year when our inner child spirit is supposed to come alive, right? Some people’s inner child just happens to be a bit mischievous.

Singer Judy Louie Brown falls into this category with her hilarious, meticulous and downright diabolical prank played on her dad involving some delightful Ferrero Rocher chocolates…and brussels sprouts.


As Brown shared on X, formerly Twitter, that in 2012 she came up with an “ingenious” way to wind up her dad, something described as her “favorite pastime.”

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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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Jeff Bezos at Amazon Spheres Grand Opening in Seattle.

Amazon and Blue Origin CEO Jeff Bezos recently sat with podcaster Lex Fridman for a rare, long-form interview. Over 2-plus hours, he discussed his thinking process, space exploration, Day 1 mentality, Amazon principles, morning routines and more.

During the conversation, Bezos shared some insights into his work philosophy and one big takeaway was his belief in always speaking last in meetings. The advice is helpful for anyone, whether they want to be a better leader or more persuasive in social situations.

The strategy makes a lot of sense for Bezos. As one of the most influential and successful business leaders in American history, it has to be hard to get an honest opinion from your team when you have such an incredible record of success.

When Bezos speaks first in a meeting, it can significantly affect the feedback he gets from his team.

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Pop Culture

Prefer to buy gift cards as Christmas presents? You should be aware of this holiday scam.

Every year, millions of Americans fall victim to gift card Grinches. Here's how to avoid being holiday hoodwinked.

Canva

Watch out for gift card grinches this holiday season

Once upon a time, gift cards were seen as lazy, impersonal choices for Christmas presents. But nowadays, mindsets have shifted. In today’s more practically-focused, convenience-driven world, gift cards reign supreme. After all, when finances are tight, a free $20-$100 always offers the bonus gift of relief. It’s really no surprise that 29% of celebrators say they would actually prefer to receive gift cards or physical gifts according to Civic Science.


However, there are a few greedy Grinches out there ruining the gift card purchasing experience with multiple styles of scams. This kind of naughty behavior is so prevalent that since 2022, 73 million Americans have become unsuspecting targets

.

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Pop Culture

A chat with Devon Rodriguez, the artist who surprises subway riders with epic portraits

The artist with over 8 million Instagram followers shares the best reaction he's had from drawing a stranger's face and more.

Getty Images for Meta

Subway portrait artist, Devon Rodriguez, shared what he loves most about drawing people's portraits.

Devon Rodriguez has known he had a talent for drawing since the first grade, when he would spend his lunch period drawing whatever his classmates requested in their notebooks. That's also when he learned he could make something from his art.

"l'd be like, 'All right, you guys have to give me some some of your chicken nuggets, because at this point I need something for this,'" Rodriguez says.

Years later, in 2010, an art teacher gave him an assignment to draw a stranger on the subway to practice portrait drawing. That assignment, along with Rodriguez's entrepreneurial spirit and the wisdom to leverage social media, would lead the artist to internet fame and the career he always dreamed of.

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