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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

good news uplifting heartwarming joy

Upworthy's weekly roundup of delights from around the internet.

Hi there, happy, hopeful, helpful, heartwarming humans! And hello hurt, heartbroken humans who are handling helpless and hopeless feelings as well.

Here we are all together on this tiny rock floating through the vastness of space. Most of us are trying to figure out how to use our fleeting time on Earth to make this place a little bit better, while simultaneously being bewildered by those who insist on destruction and chaos.

It can be so easy to let our spirits get bogged down by it all, especially when narcissistic dictators suck all the air out of the room. But no matter what, there are always beacons of light we can turn to for hope—people doing things large and small to better the lives of those around them.

And in moments when those beacons of light and hope are hard to find? Well, we always have silly dog videos to fall back on for a momentary reprieve. What a time to be alive.


As we engage with the push and pull of the positive and the negative, the uplifting and the disheartening, the integration and the disintegration happening in the world, let's always make sure we're making room for joy. We've seen time and again how important moments of beauty and simple pleasures are, even for people hiding out in war zones. These are things that not only help us get through whatever we're going through, but they bring us together around our shared humanity as well.

These weekly roundups of delights from around the internet may not be life-changing, but hopefully, they can help uplift and inspire us all to see the good around us and to make our own little slice of the world, wherever we are, a little better.

A hotline where you can get life advice from kindergarteners? Yes, please. 

The kindergarteners know where it's at and their pure, wholesome wisdom will definitely make you smile. With the "Peptoc" hotline (named for the way the teacher's 6-year-old son spelled "peptalk") students of the Bay Area's West Side Elementary school are making people smile with their words of encouragement. Read the full story here.

You don't have to like basketball to smile at this incredible ending.

I don't even follow college basketball, but this video definitely made me smile. The Wildcats, who haven't won a conference championship in 40 years, were the underdogs coming in. At one point they were down by 15 points to No. 1 ranked South Carolina, then pulled this out in the end. Amazing coaching and great teamwork.

Forager Alexis Nikole making wisteria syrup is just pure delight.

@alexisnikole

WISTERIA SYRUP 💜💗 #wisteria

All of Alexis Nikole's foraging videos are delightful, but this week she was in Los Angeles and brought home some fresh wisteria blossoms to make syrup. She shares hilarious, educational videos about foraging on her TikTok channel and is definitely worth a follow. Learn more about her here.

Dogs rushing out to play—but wait for the crash at the end.

I mean, watching the dogs run with the epic music is fun in and of itself. But the slo-mo crash is too hilarious (assuming the doggo is okay—I imagine it looked more dramatic than it actually was).

More and more people's loved ones who've passed are being taken out for "one last wave."

The One Last Wave Project was begun by surfer Dan Fischer as a kind deed for people who have lost loved ones who loved the ocean. He offered to write the loved ones' names on his surfboard to take the out for "one last wave," and the response was so great, he now has multiple boards with thousands of names of people who have passed. Learn more about how the project originated and grew here.

This dog's reaction to a lemon slice is hilarious.

So. Much. Drama. The growl. The head toss.The flopping back in disgust. Silly doggo.

Mom shares her son's love of his 'big hair.'

Scroll through to see how excited and proud this kiddo was on his first day of preschool. Love to see hair love.

On a similar note, check out this heartwarming note from a daughter to her mom.

Imagine if all kids grew up with such positive feelings about how they look. What a gift.

A beautiful moment of reconnection in a coffee shop. (Yay for healthcare workers.)

Imagine running into the doctor who helped save your life while you're out getting coffee. Imagine being a doctor, running into the person whose life you helped save and seeing them thriving. Imagine being someone in that coffee shop witnessing that reunion. Just beautiful, all around.

Our moments of connection don't have to be that life-altering to have an impact, though. Even giving a stranger a compliment or going out of our way to make someone's day in some way can make more of a difference than we know. We can all share a smile. Pass along some encouragement. Be the reason someone feels a bit lighter and brighter today.

Hope this week's list brought you some joy! Join us again next week for more.

Family

Dad takes 7-week paternity leave after his second child is born and is stunned by the results

"These past seven weeks really opened up my eyes on how the household has actually ran, and 110% of that is because of my wife."

@ustheremingtons/TikTok

There's a lot to be gleaned from this.

Participating in paternity leave offers fathers so much more than an opportunity to bond with their new kids. It also allows them to help around the house and take on domestic responsibilities that many new mothers have to face alone…while also tending to a newborn.

All in all, it enables couples to handle the daunting new chapter as a team, making it less stressful on both parties. Or at least equally stressful on both parties. Democracy!

TikTok creator and dad Caleb Remington, from the popular account @ustheremingtons, confesses that for baby number one, he wasn’t able to take a “single day of paternity leave.”

This time around, for baby number two, Remington had the privilege of taking seven weeks off (to be clear—his employer offered four weeks, and he used an additional three weeks of PTO).

The time off changed Remington’s entire outlook on parenting, and his insights are something all parents could probably use.

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Photo by Bambi Corro on Unsplash

Can flying to college twice a week really be cheaper than renting?

Some students choose to live at home while they go to college to save money on living expenses, but that's generally only an option for families who live in college towns or cities with large universities where a student can easily commute.

For University of British Columbia student Tim Chen, that "easy commute" is more than 400 miles each way.

Twice a week, Chen hops on a flight from his home city of Calgary, flies a little more than an hour to Vancouver to attend his classes, then flies back home the same night. And though it's hard to believe, this routine actually saves him approximately $1,000 a month.

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Tony Trapani discovers a letter his wife hid from him since 1959.

Tony Trapani and his wife were married for 50 years despite the heartache of being unable to have children. "She wanted children,” Trapani told Fox 17. "She couldn't have any. She tried and tried." Even though they endured the pain of infertility, Tony's love for his wife never wavered and he cherished every moment they spent together.

After his wife passed away when Tony was 81 years old, he undertook the heartbreaking task of sorting out all of her belongings. That’s when he stumbled upon a carefully concealed letter in a filing cabinet hidden for over half a century.

The letter was addressed to Tony and dated March 1959, but this was the first time he had seen it. His wife must have opened it, read it and hid it from him. The letter came from Shirley Childress, a woman Tony had once been close with before his marriage. She reached out, reminiscing about their past and revealing a secret that would change Tony's world forever.

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Internet

Man goes out of his way to leave tip for a server after realizing he grabbed the wrong receipt

Instead of just brushing it off and moving on, the man wrote out a note explaining what happened with a sincere apology along with a $20 cash tip and delivered it to the restaurant.

Man goes out of his way to leave forgotten tip for server

Being in the service industry can be hard. People have to spend long hours on their feet, deal with repetitive movements that can create pain and sometimes interact with not so nice customers. When you rely on tips for survival on top of everything else, it can feel like a bit of a gut punch when someone decides not to leave you one despite how good your service was.

One customer must've realized the disappointment that can occur after not receiving a tip when serving tables because he went out of his way to give one. In a post shared on Reddit, a customer revealed in a letter that he realized he took the wrong receipt after leaving. Instead of taking the blank one, he took the merchant's copy which holds the tip amount and his signature.

The error was discovered when he was checking his bank account and saw the amount taken off of his card was not the amount he expected. That's when he decided to check the receipt from that day and saw the error.

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Science

Scientists have finally figured out how whales are able to 'sing' underwater

The physical mechanism they use has been a mystery until now.

Baleen whales include blue, humpback, gray, fin, sei, minke whales and more.

We've long known that baleen whales sing underwater and that males sing in tropical waters to attract females for mating. What we haven't known is how they're able to do it.

When humans make sound underwater, we expel air over through our vocal chords and the air we release rises to the surface as bubbles. But baleen whales don't have vocal chords, and they don't create bubbles when they vocalize. Toothed whales, such as sperm whales, beaked whales, dolphins and porpoises, have an organ in their nasal passages that allows them to vocalize, but baleen whales such as humpback, gray and blue whales don't.

Whales are notoriously difficult to study because of their size and the environment they require, which is why the mechanism behind whale song has remained a mystery for so long. It's not like scientists can just pluck a whale out of the ocean and stick it in an x-ray machine while it's singing to see what's happening inside its body to create the sound. Scientists had theories, but no one really knew how baleen whales sing.

Now, thanks to researchers at the University of Denmark, that mystery has been solved.

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You can learn a lot by alayzing faces.

There are countless situations in life where we have to figure out how someone really feels, but they have a good poker face that keeps their feelings well-hidden. According to body language expert Terry Vaughan even the most deceptive people in the world have a tell: the left and right sides of their face don’t usually match.

So, which side do we believe? Vaughan says the left.

“The reason this is a powerful hack is because the left side of the face is more likely to reveal the ‘true emotion’ or the ‘dominant’ emotion if there’s a mix,” Vaughan says. The reason? “The right hemisphere of our brain does more heavy lifting in dealing with processing emotions. The left hemisphere…is a little more analytical or ‘strategic.’”

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