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upworthy
Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy and delight.

joy, uplifting, animals, dance
@phil_wright_/Instagram, @knucklebumpfarms/TikTok,

From delightful dancers to obstinate emus, here are 10 snippets of joy from around the internet.

Phew! Is it reallyfrigginhot where you live right now?

This time of year, we in the northern hemisphere develop a love-hate relationship with the sun. That glorious, lifegiving ball in the sky can feel oh so good, right up to the point where we become convinced it's trying to light us on fire.

Summer is still loads of fun, though, with the long light in the evenings, the sprinklers and swimming pools, the smell of freshly cut grass and somebody in the neighborhood barbecuing something yummy. There's something deeply nostalgic about summer, with distinct smells and sounds and sensations that take us back to our childhoods.

That's why I put the first video in this list first. It's reallyfrigginadorable, for one, but also the simple joy of water coming from a hose is such a sweet symbol of summer.


So whether you're sweltering at the moment or lucky enough to be enjoying some perfect weather (or cold—is that a thing anywhere right now?), I hope you're able to bask in some of summer's delights.

And if you're not able to, here are 10 things to tickle your smile trigger.

1. The only thing better than baby giggles are baby giggles plus a good doggo.

@jensonbluesky

😂 100% will make anyone smile. #babytiktoker #toddlersoftiktok #dogsoftiktok #doguedebordeaux #babygiggles #babylaughs #babyanddogs #infectiouslaugh

So perfectly summer, right? What a cutie pie. Baby laughs just never get old.

2. Strangers showed up to give the coolest birthday party of all time to 8-year-old girl who only got one RSVP.

@chloebluffcakes

Replying to @chloebluffcakes thank you, from deep in my heart. Thank you alyssa, taylor, abby, cindy, libby and wveryone else who helped make this possible. You didnt just save a little girl from heartbreak, you saved something in me ♥️ #birthdayparty.

Charlotte started at a new school this year and her mom sadly passed away from brain cancer just three months ago. So when only one invitee responded to an invitation to her party, her sister shared in a TikTok how she was heartbroken for her and pleaded with people to just go to kids' parties. The video went viral, and then strangers' kindness started pouring in. Amazing. Read the full story here. 

3. Famous street barber gives Kingston (aka The Best Kid Ever) a free haircut and some wise life advice.

@vicblends

He was so excited to meet me, I had to bless him! 💙✊🏼 #vicblends #barber #motivation #UnsealTheMeal #OscarsAtHome #InstaxChallenge #WomenOwnedBusiness #BridgertonScandal #inspiration #love

What. A. Sweetheart. Oh my gosh. Kudos to Kingston's parents for raising such a wonderful young man.

4. Drew Barrymore's zest for life is infectious—and inspiring, considering what she's been through.

People may think that being rich and famous makes it easy to enjoy simple things, but Barrymore has had to overcome an incredibly traumatic childhood to get where she is today. (As in, she was blacklisted in Hollywood at age 12 due to her cocaine addiction—not a typo, age 12.) Read more about her impressive journey to joy here.

5. These tiny frogs who can jump but absolutely cannot land are entirely too relatable.

Oh, I feel you little froggy. The inner ear systems of these pumpkin toadlets are so tiny that they lose balance midair, resulting in their graceless tumbling. (Shout out to all my peeps who are great at starting things but struggle to finish!)

6. Emmanuel the Emu is out here stealing everyone's hearts with his silly shenanigans.

Emmanuel Todd Lopez—that's the infamous emu's government name—took the internet by storm this week, highlighting the delightful account of Taylor Blake from South Florida's Knuckle Bump Farms. There's so much more Emmanuel where this came from. Get the full story here.

7. Ever seen a silverback gorilla gently petting a groundhog? Now you have, and it's probably made you a better person.

If a 400-lb gorilla can be so curious and gentle, any of us can.

8. Umm, puppy yoga is a thing? If this is what exercise entails, sign me up yesterday.

I don't think you can really get in shape this way, but who cares? This is bliss. No one needs six-pack abs when you have bliss.

9. Watch this young dancer totally blow away the professional choreographer she danced with.

Seriously, dang. She's just so good. Read the full story here.

10. May we all have the self-confidence of this cat who will not be deterred.

Ah, the cattiest cat that ever catted. More power to ya, buddy.

That's a wrap! Come back next Friday for another roundup of smiles. (And in the meantime, stay hydrated, stay sunscreened and stay cool, friends!)

Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.

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Science

Should we wear shoes in the house? Experts weigh in and turns out we should stop immediately.

It's a common practice in the west that may be grosser than we realize.

Experts seem to agree that shoes shouldn't be worn inside

Growing up nearly everyone knew of one house that didn't allow people to wear shoes inside. It didn't matter if you accidentally wore your socks with the hole in them, there were no exceptions–shoes off. For many folks it was just seen as a quirk for that particular family and there wasn't much thought given into why they were adamant about enforcing the rule.

But it turns out that wearing shoes inside is more of a western culture thing than a global one, which makes Americans a minority in keeping outside shoes on while inside the house. It would seem that other countries may have had a bit more of an understanding on why it's a bad idea to wear shoes inside.

Common sense tells us that wearing shoes inside means you'll be sweeping and mopping more often than you'd like. Of course you track in dirt but there are apparently hundreds of bacteria and fungi that you're tracking in that can cause your family to get sick.

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Pop Culture

Man tries to correct a female golfer's swing, having no idea she's actually a pro

“My hope is that he comes across this video and it keeps him up at night."

Representative Image from Canva

A man tried to tell a pro golfer she was swing too slow.

We’re all probably familiar with the term “mansplaining,” when a man explains something to a woman in a condescending or patronizing way. Often, this comes in the form of a man explaining a subject to a woman that she already knows on an expert level. The female neuroscientist who was told by a man that she should read a research paper she actually wrote comes to mind.

Recently the next-level mansplaining was caught in the wild. Well, at a golf driving range anyway.

Georgia Ball, a professional golfer and coach who’s racked up over 3 million likes on TikTok for all her tips and tricks of the sport, was minding her own business while practicing a swing change.

It takes all of two seconds on Google to see that when it comes to incorporating a swing change, golfers need to swing slower, at 50-75% their normal speed…which is what Ball was doing.

And this is what prompted some man to insert his “advice.”

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Photos by Daniela on Unsplash (left) and Rens D on Unsplash (right)

Peeling garlic is notoriously challenging.

If you ever cook with fresh garlic, you know what a challenge it can be to remove the cloves from the skin cleanly, especially if you're starting with a full head.

There are various methods people use to peel garlic, with varying levels of success. Doing it by hand works, but will leave you with garlic-smelling fingertips for the better part of a day. Whacking the head on the counter helps separate the cloves from each other, but doesn't help much with removing the skin.

Some people swear by vigorously shaking the skinned cloves around in a covered bowl or jarred lid, which can be surprisingly effective. Some smash the clove with the flat side of a knife to loosen it and then pull it off. Others utilize a rubber roller to de-skin the cloves.

But none of these methods come close to the satisfaction of watching someone perfectly peeling an entire head of garlic with a pair of tongs.

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Modern Families

‘Hard pill to swallow’: Mom shares why some adult children don’t talk to their parents

"How your kids treat you when they are no longer in need of food and shelter, is a direct reflection of how you made them feel when they needed you to survive."

Parent and child deal with the pain of estrangement.

Even though humans are biologically hard-wired to form strong attachments to our parents, in many cases, these relationships become estranged as the children age. A recent poll found that nearly 1 in 4 adults are estranged from their families.

Six percent are estranged from their mothers and 26% have no contact with their fathers. It’s believed that these days, more children are comfortable distancing themselves from their parents because it’s good for their mental health.

“I think it relates to this new desire to have healthy relationships,” Rin Reczek, a sociology professor at the Ohio State University, said, according to The Hill. “There might be some cultural shifts around people being allowed to choose who is in your family. And that can include not choosing to have the person who raised you be in your family.”

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Pop Culture

Loretta Lynn's granddaughter wows 'American Idol' judges with raw original song

Emmy Russell's original song "Skinny," featuring lyrics about body image and eating disorders, nearly brought everyone to tears.

America Idol/Youtube, Promotional image of Loretta Lynn/Wikipedia

Emmy Russell (left) and her grandmother Loretta Lynn (right)

Emmy Russell, granddaughter of country music icon Loretta Lynn, proved that she was an artist in her own right during a recent episode of “American Idol.”

The 24-year-old singer-songwriter from Nashville auditioned in front of judges Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan during the show's Feb. 25 episode, during which she opened up about wanting to not live in her grandmother’s shadow.

"She's one of the biggest country music singers of all time, but to me she's just Grandma," she said, adding "I think I am a little timid, and I think it is because I want to own my voice. That's why I want to challenge myself and come out here."

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