12 captivating pics that sum up what happened this week around the globe.

Whether you missed the big headlines this week because you were busy living your own life (YOLO!) or you simply needed a break from the 24/7 news cycle (believe me, I get it), don't worry — I got you covered.

Here's this week in news, in 12 captivating photos.


1. The "British Forrest Gump," who'd had a bad case of wanderlust, completed a 10,500-mile journey on foot.

Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/Getty Images.

Jamie Ramsey finally made it home to Britain on Jan. 10 after running from Vancouver, Canada, to Buenos Aires, Argentina. It took him roughly 17 months to complete the cross-continental trek, and he raised a boatload of money for charity along the way.

2. The world said goodbye to one of music's all-time greats, Mr. David Bowie.

A fan mourns Bowie's death near a mural of him in London. Photo by Chris Ratcliffe/AFP/Getty Images.

Bowie died of cancer on Jan. 10 at the age of 69. The world took a moment to remember how he profoundly changed the music industry in more ways than one.

And, of course, Bowie wasn't the only beloved British entertainer lost to cancer this week. On Jan. 14, the world learned that Alan Rickman had died in London.

3. President Obama confessed one of his "few regrets" during his final State of the Union address.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

“It’s one of the few regrets of my presidency — that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better,” Obama said in Washington on Jan. 12. Sure, a lot of things have improved on Obama's watch (job creation, LGBT rights, an increase in clean energy use) but bipartisanship isn't one of them.

4. This Hindu holy man had a smoke before taking a dip in honor of Makar Sankranti.

Photo by Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images.

A Hindu holy man, or sadhu, smoked cannabis on Gangasagar Island (also known as Sagar Island) on Jan. 13 in India. He was one of about half-a-million Hindu pilgrims that made the voyage to take a holy dip where the Ganges River and the Bay of Bengal meet in recognition of Makar Sankranti, a holy day of the Hindu calendar, according to Getty.

5. Lawrence Erekosima made ... confetti angels? ... in celebration of his team's big win on the football field.

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images.

Roll tide! The University of Alabama's football team knocked off the Clemson Tigers, 45-40, in the College Football Playoff National Championship game on Jan. 11 in Arizona. As seen above, Alabama's #43 Lawrence Erekosima clearly enjoyed the win.

6. This woman used her animal instincts to help protect creatures in China.

Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images.

A woman dressed up like a giraffe and fed a real giraffe at Songcheng Theme Park in Sanya, China, to promote animal protection, Getty reported. She was just one of 10 others in the park that day who used body paint to send the message to onlookers.

7. Taraji P. Henson snagged a Golden Globe for her role in "Empire" ... and looked great doing it.

Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images.

Taraji P. Henson won big at the 73rd annual Golden Globes in Los Angeles on Jan. 10. Leonardo DiCaprio, Brie Larson, the creator of "Mr. Robot," and many others all had stellar nights to write home about too.

8. The ocean lost a few of its most magnificent creatures.

Photo by Remko de Waal/AFP/Getty Images.

Five sperm whales died on Jan. 13 after being beached on the Dutch island of Texel. Rescue teams were unable to save the poor things after they were spotted ashore on Tuesday.

9. China's unstable stock markets continued sparking global anxieties.

Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images.

An investor checks out how his country's economy is fairing in Hangzhou, China, on Jan. 11. Stocks over there haven't had the best 2016 so far (to put it lightly). They plummeted after the New Year, as CNBC reported, but seem to be reaching at least a bit of stability in recent days.

10. The National Guard had to step in to help save Flint, Michigan, from poisonous public water (yes, in America).

Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images.

Two years ago, Flint, Michigan, switched up the community's water supply to save a buck. The decision — which was ultimately the state's — turned out to be a disaster, as residents began consuming poisonous levels of lead. This week — after the National Guard began delivering water to residents (seen above on Jan. 13) and news broke that the failure may be linked to a spike in cases of Legionnaires' disease — community members are (justifiably) furious with Gov. Rick Snyder.

11. A shoe-shaped church (for real) now exists in Taiwan. So, naturally, tourists are all about it.

Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images.

If you've ever wondered if a glass slipper shaped church exists, well now you know. This one's in the Southwest Coast National Scenic Area of Taiwan — not in Eagleton, Indiana ("Parks and Recreation" reference, anyone?). It'll officially open its doors in February. But in the meantime, these tourists, spotted on Jan. 11, couldn't help but a snap a pic.

Although it may technically be a church, there won't be religious services there, as BBC News points out. It'll mostly be used as a space for weddings. And if you're wondering ... why a shoe? Well, duh — they're trying to attract brides to use the location. Because everyone knows that all women just adore shoes, right? (Smart move, guys.)

12. An artist created this masterpiece gown out of 5,940 ruffles of red paper ... and some elbow grease.

Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for Sotheby's.

Zoe Bradle completed her ridiculously cool art piece made out of (just shy of) 6,000 ruffles at Sotheby's in London on Jan. 14. (Yes, you're looking at a red paper dress sculpture, not an actual dress.)

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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Images via Canva and Unsplash

If there's one thing that everyone can agree on, it's that being in a pandemic sucks.

However, we seem to be on different pages as to what sucks most about it. Many of us are struggling with being separated from our friends and loved ones for so long. Some of us have lost friends and family to the virus, while others are dealing with ongoing health effects of their own illness. Millions are struggling with job loss and financial stress due to businesses being closed. Parents are drowning, dealing with their kids' online schooling and lack of in-person social interactions on top of their own work logistics. Most of us hate wearing masks (even if we do so diligently), and the vast majority of us are just tired of having to think about and deal with everything the pandemic entails.

Much has been made of the mental health impact of the pandemic, which is a good thing. We need to have more open conversations about mental health in general, and with everything so upside down, it's more important now than ever. However, it feels like pandemic mental health conversations have been dominated by people who want to justify anti-lockdown arguments. "We can't let the cure be worse than the disease," people say. Kids' mental health is cited as a reason to open schools, the mental health challenges of financial despair as a reason to keep businesses open, and the mental health impact of social isolation as a reason to ditch social distancing measures.

It's not that those mental health challenges aren't real. They most definitely are. But when we focus exclusively on the mental health impact of lockdowns, we miss the fact that there are also significant mental health struggles on the other side of those arguments.

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True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

Keep Reading Show less
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Gates Foundation

Once upon a time, a scientist named Dr. Andrew Wakefield published in the medical journal The Lancet that he had discovered a link between autism and vaccines.

After years of controversy and making parents mistrust vaccines, along with collecting $674,000 from lawyers who would benefit from suing vaccine makers, it was discovered he had made the whole thing up. The Lancet publicly apologized and reported that further investigation led to the discovery that he had fabricated everything.

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via Budweiser

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We can't forget the "Wassup?!" ad that premiered in December 1999, spawning the most obnoxious catchphrase of the new millennium.

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