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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

10 things that made us smile this week

Looking for a reason to smile? Look no further.

Hey there, fellow passengers on this thrill ride!

Are we having fun yet? I don't know about you, but I keep finding myself wanting to yell, "SOMEBODY STOP THIS THING—I WANNA GET OFF!" All of these ups and downs and roundy rounds are making me queasy, I gotta tell you. And that last drop was a doozy.

While we're wondering what lies on the other side of the next climb or around the next corner, let's close our eyes and take stock of what else is happening. Smell the buttered popcorn and funnel cakes in the air. Feel the warm sun on our face and wind in our hair. Be grateful for the friend in the seat beside us, holding our hand as we scream on the descents and laugh on the straightaways.

We can't control or predict everything. But we can choose to find some good amid the chaos.


If you're struggling with the ride and having a hard time finding the good in the moment, this list won't fix everything. But maybe it'll give you a little reprieve and bring a smile to your face a few times. And maybe, for now, that's enough.

May we all be as jaunty and jovial in our later years as this awesome auntie.

I want to be her when I grow up.

The future of medicine is bright, indeed.

Aw. After the hell that healthcare workers have been through the past two years, it's lovely to see such a pure, sweet hope coming from the medical field.

Little boy sees his mom coming down the aisle and adorableness ensues.

The way he looks for her and the way his face lights up when he sees her. A perfect walk down the aisle.

A boy in Kansas sent off a note attached to balloons. A man in Quebec found them.

Incredibly, Reid Habbert's bunch of balloons traveled more than 1,800 miles with a note attached asking whoever found them to contact him. Cree hunter David Longchap found them on the traditional lands of the Cree nation in Quebec, Canada, and a beautiful cultural exchange resulted. Read the full story here.

This boys' school marimba band is nothing but sheer joy.

How fun is that? Read the full story here.

Blue Jays fan caught a homer and immediately gave it to a young Yankees fan.

Oh that kid's face. Talk about a moment to remember.

No idea who this guy is but he's amazing.

If anyone knows who or where this is, please share. Totally made my day.

Kitten discovers a sun beam.

I mean, it just doesn't get cuter than that. Kittens win, hands down.

Gamer's girlfriend surprises him with a visit from an online friend he's had for 10 years.

Proof that "virtual" friendships can be real friendships. So sweet.

This chipmunk's reaction to tasting an almond for the first time.

May we all experience something this week that gives us such rapturous pause.

Hope those little bits of joy made you smile. Come back next week for another roundup!

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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Pop Culture

Linda Ronstadt's 1970's ballad is a chart-topping hit once again thanks to 'The Last of Us'

The iconic 70s song "Long, Long Time" was an integral part of an unforgettable episode that fans are calling a masterpiece.

Linda Ronstadt (left), Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett (right)

HBO’s emotional third episode of the zombie series “The Last Of Us” became an instant favorite among fans, thanks in no small part to Linda Ronstadt’s late 1970s ballad, “Long, Long Time.”

Using the song as the episode’s title, “Long, Long Time,” moves away from the show’s main plot to instead focus on a heartbreakingly beautiful love story between Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett), from its endearing start all the way to its bittersweet end.

The song makes its first appearance during the initial stages of Bill and Frank’s romance as they play the tune on the piano, just before they share their first kiss.

We see their entire lives together play out—one of closeness, devotion, and savoring homegrown strawberries—until they meet their end. The song then plays on the radio, bringing the bottle episode to a poignant close.

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Pop Culture

13-year-old ventriloquist sings incredible, sassy version of 'You Don't Own Me' on 'AGT'

Ana-Maria Mărgean only started her hobby in 2020 and is already wowing audiences on "America's Got Talent."

America's Got Talent/Youtube

Ana-Maria Mărgean singing "You Don't Own Me" on "America's Got Talent"

It’s not every day a ventriloquist act is so jaw-dropping that it has to be seen to be believed. But when it does happen, it’s usually on “America’s Got Talent.”

Ana-Maria Mărgean was only 11 years old when she first took to the stage on “Romania’s Got Talent” to show off her ventriloquism skills, an act inspired by videos of fellow ventriloquist and “America’s Got Talent” Season 2 champion Terry Fator.

Using puppets built for her by her parents, the young performer tirelessly spent her quarantine time in 2020 learning how to bring them to life, which led to her receiving a Golden Buzzer and eventually winning the entire series in Romania.

Mărgean is now 13 and a competitor on this season of “America’s Got Talent: All-Stars,” hoping to be crowned the winner and perform her own show in Vegas, just like her hero Fator.

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Joy

34-year-old man is learning to read on TikTok in series of motivational videos

His reading skills have improved so much that he plans to read 100 books this year.

@oliverspeaks1/TikTok

Oliver James is the biggest star on BookTok.

With over 125,000 followers, 34-year-old Oliver James is a star in the BookTok community. And it all started with a very simple goal: Learn to read.

For most kids, school is a place where they can develop a relationship with learning in a safe environment. For James, school was the opposite. Growing up with learning and behavior disabilities subjected him to abusive teaching practices in special education, which, of course, did nothing to help.

"The special education system at the time was more focused on behavioral than educating," he told Good Morning America. "So they spent a lotta time restraining us, a lotta time disciplining us, a lotta times putting us in positions to kinda shape us to just not act out in class."

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Pop Culture

Buffy Sainte-Marie shares what led to her openly breastfeeding on 'Sesame Street' in 1977

The way she explained to Big Bird what she was doing is still an all-time great example.

"Sesame Street" taught kids about life in addition to letters and numbers.

In 1977, singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie did something revolutionary: She fed her baby on Sesame Street.

The Indigenous Canadian-Ameican singer-songwriter wasn't doing anything millions of other mothers hadn't done—she was simply feeding her baby. But the fact that she was breastfeeding him was significant since breastfeeding in the United States hit an all-time low in 1971 and was just starting to make a comeback. The fact that she did it openly on a children's television program was even more notable, since "What if children see?" has been a key pearl clutch for people who criticize breastfeeding in public.

But the most remarkable thing about the "Sesame Street" segment was the lovely interchange between Big Bird and Sainte-Marie when he asked her what she was doing.

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via Pexels

A couple celebrates while packing their home.

One of the topics that we like to highlight on Upworthy is people who are redefining what it means to be in a relationship. Recently, we’ve shared the stories of platonic life partners, moms who work together as part of a “mommune” and a polyamorous family with four equally-committed parents.

A growing number of people are reevaluating traditional relationships and entering lifestyles that work for them instead of trying to fit into preexisting roles. It makes sense because the more lifestyle options that are available, the greater chance we have to be happy.

A recent trend in unconventional relationships is married couples "living apart together," or LATs as they are known among mental health professionals.

Actress Helena Bonham Carter and director Tim Burton, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and producer Brad Falchuk, and photographer Annie Leibovitz and activist Susan Sontag are all high-profile couples who’ve embraced the LAT lifestyle.

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