10 things that made us smile this week

Welcome to Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy and delight.

Um, how is it February already? Despite January feeling like it had 172 days, February feels like it arrived all of a sudden. Pandemic time is so trippy. (Is the pandemic still happening? The data certainly says so, but a whole lot of people have decided "no," which is probably why we've all become obsessed with a simple word game. Weeeee!)

It's also Friday, which means it's time for another roundup of delights from around ye ol' interwebs. Woohoo! Each week, we pull together a list of things that we all can enjoy no matter who we are, where we live, what we ate for breakfast or how we feel about people sharing their Wordle results. Just tiny packages of pure, happy things to boost our endorphins.

This week we have epic dance moves, hilarious kids, heartwarming reunions and awesome animals to lift our spirits. Isn't it funny how reliable arts and kids and animals are for bringing us joy?


So if you've got the winter doldrums, are stuck in COVID quarantine or could just use a little pick-me-up, we've got you covered. Buckle up and enjoy!

Watch this dance troupe get funky to James Brown on Lunar New Year.

@danceon

We’re feeling good and ready to have a funky time 🎶💃🕺 #Moga_almeri

We kicked off the week celebrating Lunar New Year with this awesome video. The formation, the outfits, the moves—it's all here. Year of the tiger, bring it on.

Speaking of dance moves, this little girl has 'em—and the spunk to match.

Oh my goodness, that face and those moves. This little girl at a Chinese dance competition seems to have the spirit of Latin dance flowing right through her veins. She's feeling it and it shows.

Speaking of feeling it in competition, this doggo was just supposed to come over and sit.

Puppers had one job, but decided that job needed some flair. Give this doggo all the prizes, please.

A dad filmed his daughter every week for two decades to create a 5-minute time lapse.

This sounds like such a simple idea on paper, but to actually carry it out is an incredible feat. It's also incredibly moving to watch for any parent. A wonderful gift from Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester to his daughter, Lotte. Read the full story here.

An 8-year-old snuck his handmade book onto the library shelf and now it has a huge waiting list.

Dillon Helbig wanted his book in the library, so he just made it happen.

KTVB/Upworthy

Dillon Helbig had wanted to have a book in the library since he was 5, so he left his homemade graphic novel on the shelf. The librarians found it and put it into circulation, and now it has a years-long waiting list. Such a great example of adults supporting kids in their creativity. Read the full story here.

Mom films daughter asking if she lived in colonial times, and every parent has been there.

Kids don't have a good grasp of time when they're young, which can make for some hilarious inquiries and assumptions. The innocence of this kid's questions is just classic.

Jimmy Kimmel made Quinta Brunson cry by surprising her with her beloved sixth-grade teacher.

The teachers who make an impact in our lives are never forgotten. This exchange between "Abbott Elementary" creator Quinta Brunson and the teacher she named the show after is just pure love. Read the full story here.

Speaking of love, these guys offered people $5 to call someone and tell them they love them.

@toachieveyou

Why do you guys think they turned down the money? | idea from @areyoukiddingtv ❤️ | @ledariusjoshua @brandnrode @kye_man

The challenge was sweet, but the responses afterward were even better. Read the full story here.

Watch Hector the hummingbird land on a man's finger to eat. 

Hector the hummingbird. That's just too much. There's something so magical about hummingbirds, and we don't often get to see them this close to a human. (Side note: Have you ever had a hummingbird fly right by your ear? It's so loud. That wing flapping is no joke.)

Penguin groups meet up and one of them gets confused. But don't worry—his friend's got his back. 

What a muppet, indeed. You can practically narrate this entire video in your head as you're watching it, can't you? "Um, Chuck? We're going this way, pal." So hilarious.

Hope you enjoyed this week's roundup of happy things! Come back next week to share more snippets of goodness and joy. :)

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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