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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

smile happy joy uplifting

10 reasons to smile.

Since we're entering cold and flu season while also (still) trying to fend off COVID-19, we could all use some tips for boosting our immune system. We probably all know the standards—eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising—but did you know that joy can also give your immune system a kick?

According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter can release neuropeptides that can help prevent illness from becoming more serious and help fight stress that can weaken your immune system. A 2003 study found that people with more positive emotional states were less likely to develop a common cold, a 2015 study found that laugh therapy helped boost the immune response in women who had just given birth and multiple other studies have come to similar conclusions.


According to ENT-otolaryngologist Dr. Murray Grossan, even a simple smile can offer immunity benefits. “What’s crazy is that just the physical act of smiling can make a difference in building your immunity,” Dr. Grossan told NBC News. “When you smile, the brain sees the muscle [activity] and assumes that humor is happening.”

So consider this list a weekly dose of emotional inoculation. Can't guarantee it'll keep you from catching anything, but it certainly isn't gonna hurt ya!

Enjoy!

Swan couple engaging in a graceful courtship dance is just mesmerizing.

So beautiful. Mute swans are one of the few bird species that mate for life. (And whoever played the "Swan Lake" theme over this was brilliant.)

Kiddo getting woken by a new puppy surprise is the stuff core memories are made of.

Love how it took him a few seconds to enter his body and see what was happening. Then a hug before anything else. So sweet.

Cuddly cat appears to comfort human who is crying.

"Hey, hooman. You okay? Let me smoosh my face on you to make you feel better."

Dad sings Persian song for baby who blissfully rests on his guitar.

Gracious. What a lovely voice, beautiful song and adorable baby.

Doggo greets his bestest boy with the bestest hug.

I'd like to put in a request for this kind of greeting every time I come home, please.

Kid meets his baby brother for the first time and makes everyone's eyes all sweaty.

@brianaarielle89

#fyp #viral #heartwarming #siblings #brothers #babiesoftiktok

Good tears, but phew! I was not ready. Read the full story and see the Part Two video here.

This baby girl's "Hi, baby girrrl" is almost too much cuteness to handle.

@aliannaandfam

Hi mommy! 👋🏽😁 #babygirl #babyfever #babiesoftiktok #beautifulpeople #love #god

She's so darn proud of herself. As she should be.

Selma Blair, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis four years ago, lit up "Dancing With the Stars."

It hasn't been an easy road for Blair, and she was afraid she would lose her balance during the performance, but she wanted to show that people with disabilities can find joy in unexpected ways. Mission accomplished. Read the full story here.

Wee one takes his first steps and decides dancing is more important.

That shoulder shrug, though. May we all walk through life with such sweetness and swagger!

Finally, a little Paul Rudd "September" dance montage to carry you through the weekend.

If Paul Rudd being Paul Rudd doesn't make you smile, I'm not sure I can help you.

Hope that made your week a whole lot brighter! If you enjoy these posts and want to have them delivered straight to you each week, subscribe to our free newsletter, The Upworthiest, here.

Family

Dad takes 7-week paternity leave after his second child is born and is stunned by the results

"These past seven weeks really opened up my eyes on how the household has actually ran, and 110% of that is because of my wife."

@ustheremingtons/TikTok

There's a lot to be gleaned from this.

Participating in paternity leave offers fathers so much more than an opportunity to bond with their new kids. It also allows them to help around the house and take on domestic responsibilities that many new mothers have to face alone…while also tending to a newborn.

All in all, it enables couples to handle the daunting new chapter as a team, making it less stressful on both parties. Or at least equally stressful on both parties. Democracy!

TikTok creator and dad Caleb Remington, from the popular account @ustheremingtons, confesses that for baby number one, he wasn’t able to take a “single day of paternity leave.”

This time around, for baby number two, Remington had the privilege of taking seven weeks off (to be clear—his employer offered four weeks, and he used an additional three weeks of PTO).

The time off changed Remington’s entire outlook on parenting, and his insights are something all parents could probably use.

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Pop Culture

Nazis demanded to know if ‘The Hobbit’ author was Jewish. He responded with a high-class burn.

J.R.R. Tolkien hated Nazi “race doctrine” and no problem telling his German publishing house about it.

In 1933, Adolf Hitler handed the power of Jewish cultural life in Nazi Germany to his chief propagandist, Joseph Goebbels. Goebbels established a team of of regulators that would oversee the works of Jewish artists in film, theater, music, fine arts, literature, broadcasting, and the press.

Goebbels' new regulations essentially eliminated Jewish people from participating in mainstream German cultural activities by requiring them to have a license to do so.

This attempt by the Nazis to purge Germany of any culture that wasn't Aryan in origin led to the questioning of artists from outside the country.

Nazi book burning via Wikimedia Commons

In 1938, English author J. R. R. Tolkien and his British publisher, Stanley Unwin, opened talks with Rütten & Loening, a Berlin-based publishing house, about a German translation of his recently-published hit novel, "The Hobbit."

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Christine Kesteloo has one big problem living on a cruise ship.

A lot of folks would love to trade lives with Christine Kesteloo. Her husband is the Chief Engineer on a cruise ship, so she gets to live on the boat pretty much for free as the “wife on board.” For Christine, life is a lot like living on a permanent vacation.

“I live on a cruise ship for half the year with my husband, and it's often as glamorous as it sounds,” she told Insider. “After all, I don't cook, clean, make my bed, do laundry or pay for food.“

Living an all-inclusive lifestyle seems like paradise, but it has some drawbacks. Having access to all-you-can-eat food all day long can really have an effect on one’s waistline. Kesteloo admits that living on a cruise ship takes a lot of self-discipline because the temptation is always right under her nose.

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Health

Artists got fed up with these 'anti-homeless spikes.' So they made them a bit more ... comfy.

"Our moral compass is skewed if we think things like this are acceptable."

Photo courtesy of CC BY-ND, Immo Klink and Marco Godoy

Spikes line the concrete to prevent sleeping.


These are called "anti-homeless spikes." They're about as friendly as they sound.

As you may have guessed, they're intended to deter people who are homeless from sitting or sleeping on that concrete step. And yeah, they're pretty awful.

The spikes are a prime example of how cities design spaces to keep homeless people away.

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Family

13 comics use 'science' to hilariously illustrate the frustrations of parenting.

"Newton's First Law of Parenting: A child at rest will remain at rest ... until you need your iPad back."

All images by Jessica Ziegler

Kids grab everywhere.


Norine Dworkin-McDaniel's son came home from school one day talking about Newton's first law of motion.

He had just learned it at school, her son explained as they sat around the dinner table one night. It was the idea that "an object at rest will remain at rest until acted on by an external force."

"It struck me that it sounded an awful lot like him and his video games," she joked.

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When the attack on Pearl Harbor began, Doris "Dorie" Miller was working laundry duty on the USS West Virginia.

He'd enlisted in the Navy at age 19 to explore life outside of Waco, Texas, and to make some extra money for his family. But the Navy was segregated at the time, so Miller, an African-American, and other sailors of color like him weren't allowed to serve in combat positions. Instead, they worked as cooks, stewards, cabin boys, and mess attendants. They received no weapons training and were prohibited from firing guns.

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