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A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM UPWORTHY
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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

If you need a mood boost, we're here for you.

10 things that made us smile this week

From adorable doggos to heartwarming humans, here are 10 tidbits of joy to boost your spirits.

I'm not quite sure how it happened, but his week's list is somewhat dog-heavy.

It's a bit odd, because I'm really more of a cat person. I've had more than a dozen cats in my lifetime and not a single dog. I do love other people's dogs, though, and there's no shortage of awesome stories about dogs that occasionally make me question my loyalty to cats.

Animals in general are joy-bringers, though. Along with the dogs, we've got bears and an otter this week that I think will bring a smile to even the most hardened of hearts.


And there are awesome humans, too. Sometimes it's easy to become dismayed with our fellow humans, especially when most of what we see are headlines about bad behavior. It's good to be reminded that there are so many people doing so many great things in the world.

If you need a boost of faith in humanity or just a little mood boost with some endorphin-pushing animal videos, we've got you covered. Here are 10 things that made us smile this week:

The dramatics of this husky are entirely extra and it's hilarious. (Sound up.)

"You went and got groceries WITHOUT me? Waaaaaaah!" And how he just escalated with the foot tap. Such a drama king.

Then there are these guys with the cutest doggo photo shoot ever. 

How do you train dogs to do this? Or do they just do it on their own?

Chef José Andrés inspires with his words about utilizing our talents to change the world.

www.upworthy.com

"Longer tables, not higher walls." Chef José is an international treasure. Read the full story here.

Ths mama bear wrangling her toddlers across the street is every mom.

Been there, mama. Totally feel you.

Girls ask their stepmom to adopt them after 12 years and the joy is palpable.

Speaking of mamas, oof, this one hits right in the feels. Stepparents can be a gift, and this family clearly has no shortage of love.

As if sea otters needed to get any cuter…

It's not even doing anything and I think I might die from the cuteness.

The delightful anger management skills of this young one. 

@larobenz

BRO I CANNOT WITH HER 😭😂😂😂😂 @emmali. #TheSuicideSquadMovie #stitch #fyp #foryou #viral #blowthisup #kids #emmali #kidstiktok #funny #comedy

That grin, though. He may want to sleep with one eye open, but that girl has got charm times a hundred.

Couple celebrating their 67th anniversary get a tear-jerking surprise from their kids.

Well, shoot. That one required a tissue warning. So sweet. Read the full story here.

On a personal note, the teens are all right.

My teen daughter and her friend went to Dairy Queen and were helped by a woman who was just a ray of sunshine. She was juggling lots of different things, but was warm and cheerful and kind with everyone, from co-workers to customers. My daughter and her friend noticed.

She took their order for two mini Blizzards, but then handed them two smalls (the next size up) instead. They told her they'd ordered minis, and she smiled and said, "I know. It's all right. Enjoy." They were delighted.

They didn't see a tip jar but wanted to do something to show their appreciation. So they went to the grocery store down the road, bought a small bouquet of flowers, and went back.

When they handed her the flowers and explained how they saw and appreciated her excellent service, she was shocked and thrilled.

"You guys! I'm gonna cry!" she said. "Oh you've just made it all worth it! Can I give you a hug?"

And she did. And it was all just pure joy. And my daughter came home beaming about the whole experience.

The teens are all right.

Let's pounce into the weekend like this dog pounces into the ocean for the first time.

Bounding with joy. Let's do it.

Hope that brought a smile or six to your face! Come back next week for another roundup of joy and delight.

Sponsored

3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Can he be the father?

The presumed father of a newborn baby was skeptical of his paternity after the baby girl was born with blonde hair and blue eyes. He and his wife of two years have brown hair and brown eyes, so he thought there was no chance it was his child.

The wife reassured her husband that they could have a blonde-haired, blue-eyed baby and that, quite often, a baby’s hair and eye color can change over time.

But the husband “freaked out at this and refused to listen,” the wife wrote in a viral post on Reddit’s AITA page. Instead, he “demanded a paternity test and threatened to divorce me if I didn’t comply, so I did.”

The man was so confident that after the baby was born, he moved into his mother’s house while he awaited the results of the DNA test. The wife stayed home with the baby and was helped through the first few weeks by her sister.


To make things worse, the wife’s mother-in-law began to make threats. “My MIL called and informed me that if the paternity test revealed that the child wasn’t his, she would do anything within her power to make sure that I was ‘taken to the cleaners’ during the divorce,” the mom shared on Reddit.

Finally, three weeks after the child was born, the DNA test results arrived and the husband came home to read them with his wife. “I was on the couch in the living room, so he sat next to me and we started to read the results,” she wrote. “They showed that he was the father and my husband had this shocked, kinda mortified look on his face with his eyes wide as he stared at it.”

dad dna test, paternity test, you are the father

A man is shocked to learn that he is the father.

via Mikhail Nilov/Pexels

The wife said, “I told you so,” and laughed in his face. In the post, the wife also notes she has “zero history” of cheating.

Although it is rare for two people with brown eyes and brown hair to have a blue-eyed, blonde-haired baby, it is entirely possible. According to Verywell Health, there is a 19% chance that a couple with brown eyes can have a blue-eyed baby. And, as the wife noted earlier, a baby’s eye color can change over its first year of life.

Further, two people with brown hair can have a blonde-haired child if both parents carry the recessive gene for blonde hair. The blonde hair may darken over time as well.

dna, dna strand, dna test

A strand of DNA

via Warren Umoh/Pexels

If the father had done a quick Google search on the topic, he would have quickly realized that there was a very strong case that he was the father and the drama could have stopped before any damage was done to the marriage.

The positive part of this story is that the wife’s post on Reddit earned her a ton of support from people who thought her husband’s antics were utterly inappropriate. The support probably also helped to put her husband's wild antics into perspective while she determined their future. The wife felt bad about laughing at her husband, but most people thought it was appropriate, given her husband's behavior.

“Not only doesn’t he have a basic grasp of genetics, he threw a tantrum and left you immediately after having the baby to struggle alone for almost a month,” CrystalQueen3000 commented. “He’s lucky all you did was laugh in his face.”

A lot of commenters thought that the woman should leave her husband for accusing her of cheating and leaving her alone with the child.

“Honestly, if my husband left me for weeks after giving birth due to a faint assumption like this, I would be done. I can't be together with someone who abandoned me when I needed them desperately,” Matakakiba wrote.


This article originally appeared on 1.5.24

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

A pediatric operating room nurse shares the 5 things she will never let her kids do.

First responders often have a much different view of safety than people who don't handle dangerous situations every day. Police officers, doctors, nurses, firefighters and military personnel see what happens when people put themselves in danger and are often a little more cautious than the average civilian.

Situations that seem safe to some can seem like the beginnings of a horror story to someone who works in the emergency room and regularly sees people being admitted for the same types of injuries.

That’s why a video by pediatric operating room nurse Josie Rose Mueller should be seen by parents everywhere. As a mother of 3 young boys, who has been working in the operating room since 2018, she shares the 5 things she’d never let her kids do because, as Mueller puts it bluntly: She’s “seen some sh*t.”


Although the activities she mentions seem relatively harmless, she’s seen what can happen when things go wrong.

Warning: Video contains strong language.

1. Sit atop a ride-on lawnmower

“Without a doubt, I see one person on my Facebook feed doing this every single summer and yes, the photo is adorable, but it is less adorable when I see kids getting their legs cut off from it.”

2. Play with fireworks

“I will never ever ever let my kids play with explosive fireworks during the 4th of July. I have seen kids lose fingers, entire hands, teeth, portions of their jaw. I've seen them blow up basically just about anything,”

3. Go to a swim party alone

“Number 3, I will never let my younger children, who are not very, very confident in water, go to a swim party without me. It is actually true that the more people in a pool, even the more people surrounding a pool, the higher chance there is for your child to drown. There's way too much room for error. There's way too much room for someone to get lost.”

dangers, kids swimming ER

Two kids swimming with floaties.

via Juan Salamanca/Pexels

4. Ride in a car without a harness or seatbelt

“I have seen situations where one kid is buckled in and walks away with very minor injuries and the other kid either passes or walks away with very severe injuries because they were not buckled in from the same exact car crash.”

5. Attend a sleepover

“I will never let my kids be babysat by or go to somebody's house or spend the night and do a sleepover at a house where I do not know every single person that's going to be there, every single person in the house. I've known them a long time and I can verify that they're good people. I can't even get into the abuse situations that I've seen, but it was enough to really ... and I still question whether I'll ever let my kids have sleepovers at all.”

Mueller’s video has nearly 2 million views and she disagrees with those who think she’s being too cautious.

sleep over, ER nurse, child dangers

Three girls having a sleepover.

via Monstera Productions/Pexels

“It’s my job as my child’s parent to keep them safe,” she told Upworthy. “I want my children to take calculated risks, and I want them to fall, scrape their knees and make mistakes. I believe that builds character and helps them recognize and deal with adversity. However, when it comes to their life or their limbs being in danger, it’s a parent's job to keep their child away from said dangers.”

She believes parents should be short and to the point when explaining potential dangers to their young children.

“Kids don’t process long, drawn-out explanations. For example, if my husband is mowing the lawn, the rule is the boys stay inside,” she told Upworthy. “If they request to go outside, I will say, ‘The rule is we stay inside until daddy is done mowing the lawn. This keeps your brothers and you safe. We can go play outside when the lawnmower stops.’ We can make a fun game out of it like counting how many times Daddy passes the window. And the reward would be if they stay inside like I’ve asked, we play outside with Dad when he’s all finished up.”

Image by sasint/Canva

Surgeons prepared to separate 3-year-old conjoined twins in Brazil using virtual reality.

The things human beings have figured out how to do boggles the mind sometimes, especially in the realm of medicine.

It wasn't terribly long ago that people with a severe injury had to liquor up, bite a stick, have a body part sewn up or sawed off and hope for the best. (Sorry for the visual, but it's true.) The discoveries of antibiotics and anesthesia alone have completely revolutionized human existence, but we've gone well beyond that with what our best surgeons can accomplish.

Surgeries can range from fairly simple to incredibly complex, but few surgeries are more complicated than separating conjoined twins with combined major organs. That's why the recent surgical separation of conjoined twin boys with fused brains in Brazil is so incredible.



The twins, Bernardo and Arthur Lima, are almost 4 years old and have never seen one another's face. They've spent their lives conjoined at the top of their heads, facing opposite directions. Born as craniopagus twins (joined at the cranium), their brains were also fused together, making their separation extremely complex. According to the BBC, they've been cared for at the Instituto Estadual do Cérebro Paulo Niemeyer (Paulo Niemeyer State Brain Institute) in Rio de Janeiro for the past two and a half years.

Surgeon Noor ul Owase Jeelani is the founder of medical charity Gemini Untwined, which funded the surgery. He helped lead the team of nearly 100 medical workers who worked for months to prepare for the boys' separation, which was one of the most complicated of its kind.

Jeelani told the BBC that it was the first time surgeons in separate countries practiced by operating in the same "virtual reality room" together, wearing VR headsets.

"It's just wonderful," he said. "It's really great to see the anatomy and do the surgery before you actually put the children at any risk. You can’t imagine how reassuring this is for the surgeons. To do it in virtual reality was just really man-on-Mars stuff."

Watch Jeelani explain how they prepared for the procedure:

Prior attempts to separate the twins had been unsuccessful, making the surgery even more challenging due to scar tissue. However, after multiple surgeries that took more than 33 hours collectively, the boys were successfully separated in June.

“It was without a doubt the most complex surgery of my career,” said neurosurgeon Gabriel Mufarrej of the Paulo Niemeyer State Brain Institute, according to EuroNews. “At the beginning, nobody thought they would survive. It is already historic that both of them could be saved."

Jeelani told the BBC that the boys' heart rates and blood pressure were "through the roof" for four days after the surgery—until they were reunited and touched hands.

According to Reuters, Bernardo and Arthur are the oldest twins with fused brains to be successfully separated. They will spend the next six months in rehabilitation.

Congratulations to the Lima family and to the global team that combined dedication, perseverance and the miracle of modern technology to create a brighter future for these young boys.


This article originally appeared on 08.04.22

Health

Does your period pain feel ‘as bad as a heart attack’? You’re not imagining it

Some women experience debilitating period cramps, but the medical community isn't helping.

You’re not alone.

Here's an article to send to every jerk in your life who denied you the right to complain about your period cramps: A medical expert says that some women experience menstruation pains that are "almost as bad as having a heart attack." John Guillebaud, who is a professor of reproductive health at University College London, spoke to Quartz on the subject, and said that the medical community has long ignored what can be a debilitating affliction, because it's a problem that mostly inconveniences women.

"I think it happens with both genders of doctor," Guillebaud told Quartz. "On the one hand, men don't suffer the pain and underestimate how much it is or can be in some women. But I think some women doctors can be a bit unsympathetic because either they don't get it themselves or if they do get it they think, 'Well I can live with it, so can my patient.'"



And it's a problem that can't just be treated with common painkillers. Some people who experience dysmenorrhea, the medical term for painful menstruation, also suffer from endometriosis, a condition that can cause infertility if it's not treated properly. But research on the subject is scant, so doctors often misdiagnose it, or dismiss the pain entirely. It's estimated, however, that one out of 10 women has the condition.

Earlier this month, Girls creator Lena Dunham was forced to take a rest from show promotion and other work duties because she suffers from endometriosis. In a recent edition of her newsletter, Lenny Letter, Dunham wrote a frank essay about her struggle with the condition, and particularly with a medical institution that didn't know how to diagnose her. She didn't know how to put a name to her pain until she turned 24 and underwent laparoscopic surgery, "which is the only way to definitively diagnose endometriosis," according to Dunham.

Quartz reporter Olivia Goldhill had the same problem. She suffered from frequent period pains that were as distressing as a slipped disk, she says. But doctors had no answer for her. "Before I had my MRI scans, I told my primary care doctor that the pain seemed to be triggered by my period," she said. "He didn't think this was relevant and ignored the comment."

For now, the medical community has been dragging its feet to do research on the subject. Goldhill says the only thing people can do right now is talk about it, to heighten awareness. "Tell your doctor, your friends, your colleagues," she wrote. "We need to talk about period pain long and loudly enough for doctors to finally do something about it."

This article originally appeared on 09.14.17

Identity

When a man asks people to translate a hate message he's received, their response is unforgettable

Reading the words would be one thing. Having to think about what they mean is almost too intense.


As part of an experiment, a man asks for help translating a Facebook message he has received.

There's a man in Lithuania who speaks only English. The message is in Lithuanian. He can't read it, so he asks some locals to translate it for him.


As he asks one person after another to translate the message for him, two things become obvious.

1. He's received a message full of hate speech.

2. Translating it for him is breaking people's hearts.

It's nearly more than these people can bear.

There's a sudden, powerful connection between the translators and the man they're translating for. They want to protect him, telling him not to bother with the message.

They apologize for the message.

They look like they want to cry.

Words hurt.

Most of us would never think of saying such horrible things. This video shows people realizing in their gut what it must feel like when those words are pointed at them — it's all right on their faces. And so is their compassion.

The Facebook message is horrible, but their empathy is beautiful. The video's emotional power is what makes it unique, and so worth watching and passing around.

Here it is.

The video's in English, subtitled in Lithuanian. Just watch the faces.

This article originally appeared on 04.10.15