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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week​

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

smiley face smile
Photo via br_ruy/Canva

Need a reason to smile? How about 10 of them?

Did you know that baby owls' heads are too heavy for their little bodies to hold up all the time, so they sleep on their stomachs and it's the cutest thing ever?

Did you know that otters like to have their hands rubbed by humans?

Did you know that Kevin Bacon singing a Beyoncé song with his guitar while being surrounded by goats was a thing?

There's so much to learn in this week's list of things that made us smile!


From our adorable animal friends to our awesome fellow humans doing awesome things, here are 10 delightful finds from around the internet to lift your spirit and give you a feel-good boost.

Otter loves it when a human holds and rubs its little hands and the bliss is too much.

Look at that face. I get it, little otter. Hand massages are highly underrated.

Baby owls sleep on their stomachs because they can't hold their honking heads up for too long.

This is one of those things that sounds fake, but isn't. Dr. Heather Hinam, conservation biologist, confirmed it. Entirely too hilarious.

Speaking of owls … the way owls run looks like a cartoon.

Oh my gosh, why are their legs so long and why do they look like they're picking up their trousers and sneaking around? Can't handle it.

Bono made a sweet animatic honoring his 40-year marriage to his wife, Ali.

Bono and Ali started dating the same year that U2 formed and 40 years later he still refers to her as his "soulmate." Four decades is an impressive run for any couple, but practically unheard of for a world-famous rockstar. (I see you, Jon Bon Jovi!) Read the full story here.

These brothers caring for their baby sister after she fell asleep in her high chair is so dang sweet.

@stevenbb12345

#amor #dehijos #💓💓

No idea what the backstory is on these kiddos, but clearly they've been raised to take good care of their sister. The way the older one jumped into action and the smile on the younger one's face before he snuggled her up are just precious.

Kevin Bacon sings Beyoncé surrounded by goats in the most unexpectedly delightful video.

This is the cover no one asked for but everyone finds themselves bopping to. What a combo. Read the full story here.

This 3-year-old loves her "Creepy Chloe" doll and Disney embraced her in the best way.

Creepy Chloe accompanied Briar to Disney World and had a special, spooky day.

Photos courtesy of Brittany Beard

Kids are quirky, and 3-year-old Briar Rose's choice of doll makes that clear. Disney World cast members totally went above and beyond when she brought "Creepy Chloe" to the Magic Kingdom, giving her some spooky treats, taking some fun portraits and making her an Honorary Caretaker of the Haunted Mansion. So fun. Read the full story here.

This bird trying to land a lady with his wing-waving, headless peek-a-boo dance

Bro, you're going way too hard here. Very entertaining, though.

Brodie the famous floof visits kids in the children's hospital and it's sheer joy.

Nobody can suppress a smile when they see Brodie. What a sweet way to bring some joy to these kids' day.

It's Labor Day weekend! Let's celebrate like this cat, with an epically awesome nap.

May we all find a space and time when we can be this relaxed.

Hope this list brought a smile or six to your face! Have a fabulous weekend and come back again next week for another serotonin-boosting roundup.

Education

12 books that people say are life-changing reads

Some books have the power to change how we see ourselves, the world, and each other.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Books are powerful.

As a participant in the Amazon Associates affiliate program, Upworthy may earn proceeds from items purchased that are linked to this article, at no additional cost to you.

Out of all human inventions, books might just be the greatest. That may be a bold statement in the face of computers, the internet and the international space station, but none of those things would be possible without books. The written recording of human knowledge has allowed our advancements in learning to be passed on through generations, not to mention the capturing of human creativity in the form of longform storytelling.

Books have the power to change our lives on a fundamental level, shift our thinking, influence our beliefs, put us in touch with our feelings and help us understand ourselves and one another better.

That's why we asked Upworthy's audience to share a book that changed their life. Thousands of responses later, we have a list of inspiring reads that rose to the top.

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Community

Man uses social media to teach others ASL so kids don't experience what he did as a child

Every child should be able to communicate in a way that works best for them.

Man teaches people ASL so no child experiences what he did

People start communicating from the moment they enter the world usually through cries, faces, grunts and squeals. Once infants move into the toddler phase the combine all of their previous communication skills with pointing and saying a few frequently used words like "milk," "mama," "dada" and "eat."

Children who are born without the ability to hear often still go through those same stages with the exception of their frequently used words being in sign language. But not all hearing parents know sign language, which can stunt the language skills of their non-hearing child. Ronnie McKenzie is an American Sign Language advocate that uses social media to teach others how to sign so deaf and nonverbal kids don't feel left out.

"But seriously i felt so isolated 50% of my life especially being outside of school i had NONE to sign ASL with. Imagine being restricted from your own language," McKenzie writes in his caption.

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Family

Wife says husband's last name is so awful she can't give it to her kids. Is she right?

"I totally get we can’t shield kids from everything, and I understand the whole family ties thing, but c’mon."

A wife pleads with her husband to change their child's name.

Even though it’s 2023 and schools are much more concerned with protecting children from bullying than in the past, parents still have to be aware that kids will be kids, and having a child with a funny name is bound to cause them trouble.

A mother on Reddit is concerned that her future children will have the unfortunate last name of “Butt,” so she asked people on the namenerds forum to help her convince her husband to name their child something different.

(Note: We’re assuming that the person who wrote the post is a woman because their husband is interested in perpetuating the family name, and if it were a same-sex relationship, a husband probably wouldn’t automatically make that assumption.)

"My husband’s last name is Butt. Can someone please help me illuminate to him why this last name is less than ideal,” she asked the forum. “I totally get we can’t shield kids from everything and I understand the whole family ties thing, but c'mon. Am I being unreasonable by suggesting our future kid either take my name, a hybrid, or a new one altogether?"

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Joy

Bus driver comes to the rescue for boy who didn't have an outfit for school's Pajamas Day

“It hurt me so bad…I wanted him to have a good day. No child should have to miss out on something as small as pajama day.”

Representative Image from Canva

One thoughtful act can completely turn someone's day around.

On the morning just before Valentine’s Day, school bus driver Larry Farrish Jr. noticed something amiss with Levi, one of his first grade passengers, on route to Engelhard Elementary, part of Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) in Louisville, Kentucky.

On any other day, the boy would greet Farrish with a smile and a wave. But today, nothing. Levi sat down by himself, eyes downcast, no shining grin to be seen. Farrish knew something was up, and decided to inquire.

With a “face full of tears,” as described on the JCPS website, Levi told Farrish that today was “Pajama Day” at school, but he didn’t have any pajamas to wear for the special occasion.
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via Imgur

Memories of testing like this gets people fired up.

It doesn't take much to cause everyone on the internet to go a little crazy, so it's not completely surprising that an incorrect answer on a child's math test is the latest event to get people fired up.

The test in question asked kids to solve "5 x 3" using repeated addition. Under this method, the correct answer is "5 groups of 3," not "3 groups of 5." The question is typical of Common Core but has many questioning this type of standardized testing and how it affects learning.

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Image from YouTube video.

An emotional and strong Matt Diaz.


Matt Diaz has worked extremely hard to lose 270 pounds over the past six years.

But his proudest moment came in March 2015 when he decided to film himself with his shirt off to prove an important point about body positivity and self-love.

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