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10 things that made us smile this week

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy and delight from around the internet.

It can be easy to poo-poo positivity when the world feels like a giant flaming trash bin. And it's true that "toxic" brands of positivity that admonish people to simply put a smile on their face instead of empathizing or addressing the causes and effects of suffering are b.s.

But that doesn't mean we can't look for happiness in hard times. Finding delight in small things can be a lifeline when times are tough, and our ability to wield beauty and joy to spite the darkness is part of what makes humankind so amazing.

Sometimes we struggle to find solutions to problems, sometimes we have to fight against despair and sometimes we just put one foot in front of the other to make it through the day. But we never know what little thing might spark something in our spirit, giving us just enough energy or hope to keep up our good work in this world.

Not that a hilarious dog dancing video is going to be life-changing, but if we allow ourselves to take a cleansing plunge into wholesome delight once in a while, we might emerge feeling more refreshed and ready for whatever it is we have to face.


And so we present this pool of 10 things that made us smile this week for us all to dive into. Enjoy.

The beauty and solidarity of music transcends borders.

Top violinists around the world joined Illia Bondarenko and other Ukrainian violinists who are hiding out in shelters in playing a Ukrainian folk song. It's a gorgeously haunting show of solidarity, reminding us of the humanity that connects us all. Read the full story here.

This 13-year-old with his heart-melting attempt to do something special for his mom. 

[Gulp.] Be right back, grabbing a tissue.

Gonna watch this doggo dancing just a dozen or so more times.

@carliecrom

🖤🤍🤎 #dog #dogsoftiktok

"Shake, shake, shake, senora!." Go, doggy, go.

Kitten thinks he's a rabbit. Seriously. Adorable.

I wrote an article this week about why rabbits make the best indoor pets, but kittens are right up there. Combining the two? Priceless.

So many jokes about Tom Brady returning to football after getting a taste of full-time parenting.

When legendary quarterback Tom Brady announced that he was unretiring from the NFL a mere 40 days after he retired, the jokes started flying. He seems like a great dad, but the idea that he'd prefer to be pummeled by 300-pound linemen to coordinating kid activities was too much for the people of the internet to resist. The five-hour dance rehearsal is spot on.

This kid knows how to create a calm reading environment. 

And kudos to his teacher for encouraging him. This kid will definitely be going places.

Speaking of kids going places, gotta love seeing a dream come true in real time.

Congratulations, Lynnea!

Quokkas are always good for a smile, but this one enjoying a beet is just beyond.

Along with Hugh Jackman, the naturally smiley quokka is one of the greatest gifts Australia has given the world.

Because I can never get enough of pandas being playful…

Seriously, pandas are just little kids in bear suits. It's the only explanation.

And if none of that did it for you, feel free to join forces with this entirely unimpressed new human.

We feel you, little one. It'll get better, we promise. Or at least hope. We're working on it.

Hope that washed away some of the muck and mire. Come back next for another cleansing plunge into small delights.

via FIRST

FIRST students compete in a robotics challenge.

True

Societies all over the world face an ever-growing list of complex issues that require informed solutions. Whether it’s addressing infectious diseases, the effects of climate change, supply chain issues or resource scarcity, the world has an immediate need for problem-solvers with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.

Here in the United States, we’re experiencing a shortage of much-needed STEM workers, and forward-thinking organizations are stepping up to tap into America’s youth to fill the void. As the leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing STEM education, FIRST is an important player in this arena, and its mission is to inspire young people aged 4 to 18 to become technology leaders and innovators capable of addressing the world’s pressing needs.

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Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Marlon Brando on "The Dick Cavett Show" in 1973.

Marlon Brando made one of the biggest Hollywood comebacks in 1972 after playing the iconic role of Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather.” The venerable actor's career had been on a decline for years after a series of flops and increasingly unruly behavior on set.

Brando was a shoo-in for Best Actor at the 1973 Academy Awards, so the actor decided to use the opportunity to make an important point about Native American representation in Hollywood.

Instead of attending the ceremony, he sent Sacheen Littlefeather, a Yaqui and Apache actress and activist, dressed in traditional clothing, to talk about the injustices faced by Native Americans.

She explained that Brando "very regretfully cannot accept this generous award, the reasons for this being … the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee."

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Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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