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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!)

TikTok user Absolutely Lauren catches an online scammer.

There was a massive jump in credit card fraud in America in 2021 due to the pandemic. According to CNET, fraud involving credit cards jumped 69% from 2020 to 2021, affecting 13 million Americans and costing $9 billion.

In a world where online transactions are part of everyday life, it’s hard to completely protect your information. But, by staying vigilant and monitoring your accounts you can report fraud before it gets out of hand.

A TikTok user by the name of Lauren (@absolutelylauren) from San Diego, California, got a notification that there was a $135 charge on her card at Olaplex’s online store that she hadn’t made. Olaplex sells products that repair excessively damaged hair. Before reporting the charge to her credit card company she asked her family members if they used her card by mistake.

“I don’t wanna shut my card down if it’s just my mom ordering some shampoo,” Lauren said in the video. “Definitely not my two younger brothers, they’ve got good hair but they don’t color it.”

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Joy

Thousands of women share image of Jamie Lee Curtis and Michelle Yeoh with a powerful message

'De-condition and unlearn what you’ve been wired to think: that women are your competition.'

Jamie Lee Curtis celebrating Michelle Yeoh's Golden Globes win was an empowering moment for all women.

The 2023 Golden Globe Awards was an incredible night for Michelle Yeoh. The 60-year-old actress had waited 40 years to play the lead in a Hollywood film, and winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy for her starring role in "Everything Everywhere All at Once" was a dream come true.

Yeoh's moment in the spotlight made headlines that night as her award speech went viral. But following the ceremony, another moment went viral—the split second Yeoh's name was called as the winner and the reaction of her co-star, Jamie Lee Curtis.

Curtis herself had been nominated for the Best Supporting Actress award for her role in the film but didn't win. (That award went to Angela Bassett in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.") But whatever disappointment Curtis may have felt about not winning her own award did not diminish her response to Yeoh's win, which was immediate, intense and immensely joyful.

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Photo by Anthony Duran on Unsplash

Belgian Malinois, the smartest dog breed.

If you Google "smartest dog breeds," most lists you'll find put border collies in the No. 1 spot, followed in some order by poodles, German shepherds and golden retrievers.

But a new study of canine cognition from the University of Helsinki puts a whole different breed at the top of the ladder—one that most of us have probably seen before but haven't heard the name of—the Belgian Malinois.

Best known as a police or security dog, the Belgian Malinois is a shepherd breed that looks very similar to a German shepherd. Both breeds are of similar height and coloring, but the Malinois is lighter weight and its ears are more triangular-shaped, according to the American Kennel Club.

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via Pexels

A coveted Xbox.

WCNC reports that Nash Johnson, an 8-year-old boy in Lexington, Kentucky, wanted an Xbox, but his $5-a-week allowance wasn’t enough to make it happen. An Xbox costs about $300 so at that rate, it would take him five years to save up enough money to buy one.

Nash figured he’d earn money a lot faster if he got a job. He saw a “help wanted” sign in front of Drake’s restaurant near his grandmother's house so he went online and applied for a dishwasher position. "I'm very good at washing the dishes," Nash told WCNC.

The only problem for Nash was that you have to be 16 years old to get a job in Kentucky. The application caught the attention of the management at Drake’s and they reached out to Nash to speak with him.

"At the very bottom of the application, he put that he was 8 years old … and when the kitchen manager saw the application, she just assumed that he forgot to put the 1 in front of the 8. And so she called him in very innocently," Mark Thornburg, the chief operating officer at Drake's, told Good Morning America. "The number that he put on [the application] was his grandmother's house and … she asked for Nash and Nash gets on the phone, and he says, 'Well, I'm only 8 years old.'"

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Pop Culture

Brendan Fraser's emotional awards speech about hope left audience in tears

'If you too can have the strength to just get to your feet and go to the light, good things will happen.'

Discussing Film/Twitter

Brendan Fraser took home Best Actor from the Critics Choice Awards.

Like the rest of the world, we at Upworthy have found Brendan Fraser’s glorious return to the Hollywood spotlight to be inspiring. After a multiyear hiatus, his role in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale” has been a career milestone—both catapulting him back onto the big screen and gaining widespread accolades for his incredible performance. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it yet, do. And bring tissues … it’s beautifully heartbreaking.

At long last, it seems this beloved actor and genuinely decent guy is getting the comeback he deserves. Since “The Whale” released to theaters, Fraser has been a frontrunner for the coveted Best Actor title, and scored his first win (of probably many) at the 2023 Critics Choice Awards.
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Community

Kids raise money for inclusive playground equipment for their classmates with disabilities

Recess is one of the most coveted times of day for elementary school students.

Photo by Paula Berto on Unsplash

Kids raise money for inclusive playground equipment.

Recess is one of the most coveted times of day for elementary school students. It's a time when they get to run, climb and talk as loud as they like to get all of their sillies out before heading back into the classroom. But several students at Glen Lake Elementary School in Hopkins, Minnesota, noticed not everyone was getting a chance to play.

The school has multiple students that have physical disabilities that keep them from being able to play on the available playground equipment. Because the equipment isn't wheelchair accessible, the children who use wheels to get around have to sit on the sidelines and watch their classmates play.

This reality didn't sit right for the other students at Glen Lake. They asked their teacher, Betsy Julien, how they could make it so the other kids got a chance to play alongside them during recess. When they learned that new, more accessible equipment would cost $300,000, the kids didn't let it deter them. They committed to raising the funds however they could, and got to work with the help of their teacher.

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