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10 things that made us smile this week

uplifting, joy, hope

Upworthy's roundup of delights from around the internet this week.

Well, it's been another week on planet Earth and humans are still humaning in all the ways humans human.

As we grapple with an ongoing pandemic, watch war rage on in Ukraine and try to digest the latest climate change report, we feel the heaviness of the world on our hearts. At the same time, we see countless examples of humanity's capacity for caring and compassion, for hope and healing, for joy and delight. We see nations that used to be at war with one another uniting to defend freedom and democracy. We see strangers making connections with one another over their shared humanity and people dedicated to the betterment of the world.

We always have both the dark and the light, the terrible and the beautiful, and we have to choose what we allow to influence us more. Sometimes we have to focus on the problems in order to work on fixing them. And sometimes we have to immerse ourselves in joy in order to reclaim hope and recharge our energies.


Here at Upworthy, we're all about highlighting the best of humanity and lifting people's spirits so they can continue overcoming. Sometimes that means sharing awesome people doing awesome things, sometimes it means sharing heartwarming stories of human kindness, and sometimes it means sharing a goofy animal video to make people laugh.

This list of 10 things that made us smile has a little of all of those and more. Hope it brings your heart some much-needed joy.

Soccer crowd offers powerful show of support to Ukrainian player.

Sorry to start with a story that brings as many tears as it does smiles, but that's kind of where we are at the moment. While we can't look away from the horrors happening in war zones in Ukraine or elsewhere, we can look to examples of everyday people uniting in solidarity and support.

A guy forgot to change his address for a Chipotle delivery and it resulted in the best exchange.

Sha Davis/Facebook

Sha Davis forgot to change his address in the Chipotle app after he'd been traveling, so he told the driver to keep the meal. A text back from the driver created a beautiful moment of human connection. Read the full story here.

This widower and his dog playing. That is all.

I mean, what else is there to say? Just pure happiness.

Speaking of dogs, just for laughs…

Love how the cat just attacks the dog's leg instead of, you know, getting up.

Too wonderfully weird not to share. Humans humaning, I tell you. 

Nothing. I've got nothing. But definitely going to share this with everyone I know.

Toddler with "uncombable hair syndrome" has won over the internet.

Seriously, it's a real syndrome. Super rare and clearly unrivaled in the never-heard-of-that-but-wow realm. Read the full story here.

Little girl does the best Viola Davis impression, even wowing Viola Davis.

It's all great, but the purse over her shoulder and look at the end, mimicking the famous meme, did me in. Read the full story here.

Yo-Yo Ma doing his thing where he makes us cry and be happy at the same time.

He always does this when we most need it, and we love him for it every time.

If a panda somersaulting doesn't make you smile, I don't know what to tell you.

Seriously, how do these magnificent, goofy creatures survive in the wild? (I actually looked into that. Read the full story here.)

How about a panda bear swinging? That's gotta do it. 

Hopefully this roundup of delights brought a smile to your face, even if just for a little while.

As we all strive to find balance, let's remember that joy is healing and laughter is something we can all share. Take care of each other and come back next week for another roundup!

Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.

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Science

Should we wear shoes in the house? Experts weigh in and turns out we should stop immediately.

It's a common practice in the west that may be grosser than we realize.

Experts seem to agree that shoes shouldn't be worn inside

Growing up nearly everyone knew of one house that didn't allow people to wear shoes inside. It didn't matter if you accidentally wore your socks with the hole in them, there were no exceptions–shoes off. For many folks it was just seen as a quirk for that particular family and there wasn't much thought given into why they were adamant about enforcing the rule.

But it turns out that wearing shoes inside is more of a western culture thing than a global one, which makes Americans a minority in keeping outside shoes on while inside the house. It would seem that other countries may have had a bit more of an understanding on why it's a bad idea to wear shoes inside.

Common sense tells us that wearing shoes inside means you'll be sweeping and mopping more often than you'd like. Of course you track in dirt but there are apparently hundreds of bacteria and fungi that you're tracking in that can cause your family to get sick.

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It's rare enough to capture one antler being shed

For those not well versed in moose facts, the shedding of antlers is normally a fairly lengthy process. It happens only once a year after mating season and usually consists of a moose losing one antler at a time.

It’s incredibly rare for a bull moose to lose both at the same time—and even more rare that someone would actually catch it on film.

That’s why shed hunter (yes, that’s a real term) and woodsman Derek Burgoyne calls his footage of the phenomenon a “one-in-a-million” shot.

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Photos by Daniela on Unsplash (left) and Rens D on Unsplash (right)

Peeling garlic is notoriously challenging.

If you ever cook with fresh garlic, you know what a challenge it can be to remove the cloves from the skin cleanly, especially if you're starting with a full head.

There are various methods people use to peel garlic, with varying levels of success. Doing it by hand works, but will leave you with garlic-smelling fingertips for the better part of a day. Whacking the head on the counter helps separate the cloves from each other, but doesn't help much with removing the skin.

Some people swear by vigorously shaking the skinned cloves around in a covered bowl or jarred lid, which can be surprisingly effective. Some smash the clove with the flat side of a knife to loosen it and then pull it off. Others utilize a rubber roller to de-skin the cloves.

But none of these methods come close to the satisfaction of watching someone perfectly peeling an entire head of garlic with a pair of tongs.

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Modern Families

‘Hard pill to swallow’: Mom shares why some adult children don’t talk to their parents

"How your kids treat you when they are no longer in need of food and shelter, is a direct reflection of how you made them feel when they needed you to survive."

Parent and child deal with the pain of estrangement.

Even though humans are biologically hard-wired to form strong attachments to our parents, in many cases, these relationships become estranged as the children age. A recent poll found that nearly 1 in 4 adults are estranged from their families.

Six percent are estranged from their mothers and 26% have no contact with their fathers. It’s believed that these days, more children are comfortable distancing themselves from their parents because it’s good for their mental health.

“I think it relates to this new desire to have healthy relationships,” Rin Reczek, a sociology professor at the Ohio State University, said, according to The Hill. “There might be some cultural shifts around people being allowed to choose who is in your family. And that can include not choosing to have the person who raised you be in your family.”

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Pop Culture

Loretta Lynn's granddaughter wows 'American Idol' judges with raw original song

Emmy Russell's original song "Skinny," featuring lyrics about body image and eating disorders, nearly brought everyone to tears.

America Idol/Youtube, Promotional image of Loretta Lynn/Wikipedia

Emmy Russell (left) and her grandmother Loretta Lynn (right)

Emmy Russell, granddaughter of country music icon Loretta Lynn, proved that she was an artist in her own right during a recent episode of “American Idol.”

The 24-year-old singer-songwriter from Nashville auditioned in front of judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan during the show's Feb. 25 episode, during which she opened up about wanting to not live in her grandmother’s shadow.

"She's one of the biggest country music singers of all time, but to me she's just Grandma," she said, adding "I think I am a little timid, and I think it is because I want to own my voice. That's why I want to challenge myself and come out here."

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