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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy

kid smiling
Photo by Terricks Noah on Unsplash

Bringing the joy, one '10 things' list at a time

Hey all! Welcome to our weekly roundup of joyful finds! Hope these nuggets of delight bring a smile or 10 to your face.

If you'd like to have these posts delivered to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter, The Upworthiest, here.

Enjoy!


1. Some solid words of wisdom for the college-aged crowd

As someone who's been called "Gordo" for 25 years, can confirm. You have to be careful.

2. Sibling trio from South Africa sings an incredible rendition of 'Stand By Me'

@bikosmanna

🫶🏾🫶🏾 Stand by me Song by Ben E. King Covered by BikosManna #TauLion🦁 #BikoStar #MannaHero #TauLion🦁 #BikosManna #BKMN

That angelic voice. Those harmonies. The dancing body percussionist. Utter perfection. Read more about this dynamic trio here.

3. Dog grampa goes all out babysitting his daughter's pooch

Swipe through these texts. Could Gramps be more adorable?

4. Timothy Fletcher brings the house down with his jaw-dropping drum performance on AGT

The drumming is great, but the showmanship is next level. Read the full story here.

5. Woman sings in historic Iranian mosque, despite women being forbiddden to sing in public

Her voice is beautiful, but it's her courage and confidence—and that single finger stopping the man in his tracks—that make this video so incredible to watch.

6. Three cheers for all the Ronnies of the world

That's a young man who knew exactly what to do to put a mom's heart at ease in this situation. Way to go, Ronnie.

7. Girl calls her stepfather 'Dad' for the first time and it's just so beautiful

Here's to the dads who step in and step up to fatherhood. Read the full story here.

8. It's excitement over the little things like Egg Day that make a marriage

So dang sweet.

9. Sean Astin says just the right thing to a fan with depression (f-bomb warning)

@easttnelvira

I met one of my childhood heroes Sean Astin today and he offered me some words of wisdom and encouragement over the battles of depression that I needed to hear. I am so glad this was captured on video to remember this moment, cherish, and reflect on anytime I am feeling down. I hope anyone else who struggles with depression takes his words and kindness to heart too. 🖤 #seanastin #samwisegamgee #lordoftheringstiktok #lotr #lotrtok #lordoftherings #fanboyexpoknoxville #fyp #trending

A little empathy and understanding can go a long way. Read the full story here.

10. Watch a whole stadium sing their hearts out to 'Bohemian Rhapsody' at a Harry Styles concert in Poland

The music of Queen and the legacy of Freddie Mercury will live on forever, and listening to thousands of human voices lifted together in song will never get old. Read the full story here.

Have a fabulous weekend and come back next week for more smiles!

Community

Decluttering top of mind for 2024? This Facebook group can help

This online community offers easy-to-implement advice for decluttering, organizing, and cleaning up your home and your life with support from 125,000 members.

With the new year comes plenty of resolutions we all vow to keep up with the best of intentions. But by February 1, our resolve has often waned as life gets in the way and things go back to how they were. What we all need a little more of is motivation.

When we participate in something collectively, it’s easier to meet goals and maintain the enthusiasm to get things done. While the support of a friend or two is great, imagine having the power of an entire online community cheering you on and offering advice along the way.

This is where the Daily Decluttering Challenge Facebook group comes in. This online community offers easy-to-implement advice for decluttering, organizing, and cleaning up your home and your life with support from 125,000 members.

“By building a network of people who can support and encourage you along the way, you can make progress towards your goals faster and more effectively. Remember, no one achieves success alone, and having a strong support system can make the difference in a goal set versus a goal achieved,” says Kristin Burke, a goal achievement coach.

In addition to tips for tidying up around the house, members share advice on how to tackle one thing at a time, where to donate excess items, and what they do to exercise more willpower to avoid buying new things.

For anyone hoping to declutter their lives in the new year, this Facebook group has the perfect challenge to get you started.

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Pop Culture

Here’s a paycheck for a McDonald’s worker. And here's my jaw dropping to the floor.

So we've all heard the numbers, but what does that mean in reality? Here's one year's wages — yes, *full-time* wages. Woo.

Making a little over 10,000 for a yearly salary.

I've written tons of things about minimum wage, backed up by fact-checkers and economists and scholarly studies. All of them point to raising the minimum wage as a solution to lifting people out of poverty and getting folks off of public assistance. It's slowly happening, and there's much more to be done.

But when it comes right down to it, where the rubber meets the road is what it means for everyday workers who have to live with those wages. I honestly don't know how they do it.

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Couple hilariously realize they've been snuggling an imposter cat

We'd all like to believe that we know our pets. Every pet has their own distinctive look and even if they look like a sibling, they have different personalities making it much easier to identify your pet. But every once in awhile there's a bit of a mixup where you see a cat outside that looks like yours so you find yourself frantically darting out the door while your cat is asleep under your bed.

One couple's cat mixup went in a different direction. They brought their cat inside and piddled around the house for a few hours before settling in for a snuggle session on the couch. It was then that the cat's mom noticed a cat outside that looked exactly like their cuddly little guy.

Instantly you see the confusion and concern register when they look closely at the imposter enjoying all the extra attention while the other stares from outside. Surely the real cat was offended that his own parents didn't know they were snuggling up to a generic version of him.

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Science

A juice company dumped orange peels in a national park. Here's what it looks like now.

12,000 tons of food waste and 21 years later, this forest looks totally different.


In 1997, ecologists Daniel Janzen and Winnie Hallwachs approached an orange juice company in Costa Rica with an off-the-wall idea.

In exchange for donating a portion of unspoiled, forested land to the Área de Conservación Guanacaste — a nature preserve in the country's northwest — the park would allow the company to dump its discarded orange peels and pulp, free of charge, in a heavily grazed, largely deforested area nearby.

One year later, one thousand trucks poured into the national park, offloading over 12,000 metric tons of sticky, mealy, orange compost onto the worn-out plot.

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Health

Neuroscience learns what Buddhism has known for ages: There is no constant self

Buddhist Monks have known for thousands of years what science is just now learning: the mind can be changed by training it.

Ven. Thich Thong Hai prays by a statue of Buddha in the garden at the Ventura Buddhist Center.

Proving that science and religion can, in fact, overlap, University of British Columbia researcher Evan Thompson has confirmed the Buddhist teaching of the not-self, or "anatta," is more than just a theory.

"Buddhists argue that nothing is constant, everything changes through time, you have a constantly changing stream of consciousness," he tells Quartz. "And from a neuroscience perspective, the brain and body is constantly in flux. There's nothing that corresponds to the sense that there's an unchanging self."

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Phil Collins and George Harrison

Beatle George Harrison was pigeon-holed as the "Quiet Beatle," but the youngest member of the Fab Four had an acerbic, dry sense of humor that was as sharp as the rest of his bandmates.

He gave great performances in the musical comedy classics, "A Hard Days Night" and "Help!" while holding his own during The Beatles' notoriously anarchic press conferences. After he left the band in 1970, in addition to his musical career, he would produce the 1979 Monty Python classic, "The Life of Brian."

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"Veteran" mom and "new" mom parent differently.

When a couple has their first child, they start out with the greatest of intentions and expectations. The child will only eat organic food. They will never watch TV or have screen time and will always stay clean.

But soon, reality sets in and if they have more kids, they'll probably be raised with a lot less attention. As a result, first-born kids turn out a bit differently than their younger siblings.

"Rules are a bit more rigid, attention and validation is directed and somewhat excessive," Niro Feliciano, LCSW, a psychotherapist and anxiety specialist, told Parents. "As a result, firstborns tend to be leaders, high achievers, people-pleasing, rule-following and conscientious, several of the qualities that tend to predict success."

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