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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Joy and delight comin' at ya.

joy, smile, happy
Photo by Count Chris on Unsplash

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

It's Awesome Animals Week at Upworthy! That's what I'm declaring anyway, as nine out of 10 of this week's things that made us smile include creatures being painfully cute or utterly hilarious.

It's not surprising that our furry, feathery and leathery friends so often make these lists. Pets are constant and consistent sources of joy in our lives and wildlife can be wonderfully entertaining.

There are a few humans thrown in here for good measure, though. I considered totally leaning in and only including things that included animals this week, but there was one animal-free video I simply couldn't not include. I saved it for last. You'll see.


We've got wicked smart birds. We've got acrobatic elephants. We've got dogs and cats living together—"MASS HYSTERIA!" (A little OG "Ghostbusters" shoutout for my Gen Xers.) I just love this list and hope you enjoy it too.

1. A parrot named Kiwi gives his human the best kisses and "zerberts."

@tamarasbluechicken

Blue Chicken’s 2nd Birthday is next week! Stay tuned for the surprise 🎂 🎉 #funnypets #parrot #irn #funnyanimals #talkingparrot #thebluechicken

Kiwi is an Indian ring-necked parrot whom Tamara (his owner) refers to as her "blue chicken." He is so dang sweeeeet. "Thank you, baaaaby!" That third zerbert was an outright demand, but how could you say no to Kiwi?

2. When you're terrified of the cat but you really really really want to sleep in your bed.

I love how you can hear everything the dog is thinking as he moves in while trying desperately not to make eye contact with the cat. "Don't mind me…just pretend I'm not here…it's okay, I won't disturb…just let me squeeze…I won't touch, I promise…please don't kill me."

3. Find someone who looks at you the way this dog looks at its human.

The nuzzle at the end. That's just pure adoration right there.

4. Cairo the grey parrot tries to make conversation with a Kewpie doll and holy moly.

@feathersandfriends

He had a lot of catching up to do with the doll! #parrots #cairothegrey #parrotsoftiktok #africangrey

Cairo made the 10 things list several weeks ago for saying hilarious things like, "Don't be a gerbil" and "Smarten up, man!" to the cat who invaded his space. This bird is soooo smart. Look at how many different approaches he takes to try to get the doll to respond. "You talking or what? Yes or no?" Incredible.

5. Hamster picnics are far more adorable than they have any right to be.

@thehamsterstation

He absolutely loves to have a picnic ❤️ #fyp #hamster #hamsters #hamstersoftiktok #thehamsterstation #pet

First of all, this person has two hamsters and their names are Mr. Marshmallow and Mr. Crumpet. STOP IT. Secondly, I didn't know watching a hamster eat a piece of spaghetti at a picnic table was a bucket list experience, yet here I am adding it to my list after the fact. Read more about the delightful lives of Mr. Marshmallow and Mr. Crumpet here.

6. A stranger gave a service dog her pillow on a flight to make him more comfortable.

Come on now. How are we even supposed to handle such human kindness mixed with such good doggo-ness. That last image is just too much.

7. The Kiffness' duet with an alugalugging cat is absolutely epic.

Some cats do this weird "alugalug" sound when they're ticked, and South African musician The Kiffness dueted this one to perfection. So good. Find more from The Kiffness here.

8. Mama elephant out here trying to teach her kiddo, who is apparently totally untrainable.

"Put one arm down first, then bend your knees, then bring down the other arm, then one back leg at a time. Got it?"

He don't got it. Recovered quickly, though!

9. An old man introduced his 4-month-old puppy to the neighborhood cat and it was so wholesome.

@cheyennetylerberry

caught this pure moment and I haven’t stopped smiling since 💖💗💕💝💓💘💞 #viral #dogsofttiktok #catsoftiktok

The video went crazy viral and the man saw it. He made sure to let people know in the comments that he had approached the cat previously to assess its temperament before introducing Ted (the puppy) to it and that Ted had interacted with cats before. Ted's dad didn't want people to think he was endangering either animal. So sweet. Read the full story here.

10. The way this baby looks at Daddy while he's reading is the purest love there is.

See why I had to include that one? Gracious.

I hope you found some things in this list that made you smile! Come back again next week for another roundup of serotonin-boosting content.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

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Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

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Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

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