When was the last time you gave your local library a little love?
Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.
The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.
Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.
When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.
The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.
Danielle Kirk is speaking up for those often overlooked in our cultural debates.
Many people felt a gut punch when the Supreme Court issued its decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the decades-old Roe v. Wade decision that protected a woman's right to an abortion. However, for some this was a call to action.
Danielle Kirk, 27, a mom of two and an activist on TikTok, used her voice in an attempt to educate the people that make decisions in her small town. Kirk lives in Kentucky where a trigger law came into effect immediately after Roe v. Wade was overturned. Being a former foster child, she knew she had to say something. Kirk spoke exclusively with Upworthy about why she decided to speak up.
Kirk hadn't planned to speak at the Pikeville rally, a protest against Kentucky's Human Life Protection Act, triggered in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling. But when the organizers asked for speakers, she felt compelled to make her way to the podium. “I felt like what I had to say had not been said before, coming from someone that had been in the system," Kirk explained. "There's so much of a gray area when it comes to this issue and they're trying to make it black and white. The law in Kentucky does not give way to people that I know."
She further explained that the wording of the act is so unclear that doctors she knows personally are afraid because there's no clear distinction on what is considered a great enough threat to the mother's life, which is the only exception given in the state's law.
I didnt plan on speaking today, but something told me to. For so long our voices have been silenced into sumbission. No more. Its time for us to all band together, create the support systems we need HERE, turn our tears and anger into outreach. If they want to pass this back to the states, let your state representives & congressmen know that they work for us, if they cant, we’re coming for their jobs!!!! @appalachian_nana thanks for sending me this video
Kirk asked the question, "Do I have to be on my death bed to have an abortion?"
Appalachia is an expansive territory that spans 13 states, including Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky and Mississippi. Of those 13 states, five have trigger laws and four others are either fighting in court to enact bans on abortion or plan to call a special session to enact a ban. In the state of Kentucky, where Kirk lives, the trigger law does not allow for any exceptions for rape or incest, even if the victim is a child.
Kirk has two small daughters and is a victim of childhood sexual abuse herself, which gives her a unique perspective on why this extreme ban is harmful. She was raised by her biological mother for only a short period of time before her mother's death, and she spent time in and out of the foster care system where she experienced sexual abuse. Being born and raised in rural Appalachia, first West Virginia, then Kentucky, Kirk understands what this ban would mean for the people in her small town and other towns like hers across the country.
At 15.2% of the population, Appalachia has some of the highest poverty rates in the country. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2020 national average poverty rate was 11.4%. Resources for people living in Appalachian areas are scarce due to the remote locations that most of the population lives in. Most rural areas don’t have public transportation or Uber to take them places. There are regions in Appalachia that don’t even have internet access. So being able to get appropriate medical care when pregnant can be a challenge for those living in the region.
Poverty doesn’t only stop at transportation, the area's residents are also challenged in terms of employment as well as access to grocery stores, clean water or even running water. It's a population that is struggling to survive on limited resources.
I understand a lot of people have been warning of this, & they didn’t listen in the past. But young voters here are tired & ready to fight. #Kentucky #606 #OrganizeAppalachia
Which is why Kirk’s speech is what government officials need to hear. It’s also what people who are supporting the abortion ban need to hear. Because sometimes, speaking the truth of your personal experiences is the only way to change the minds of neighbors and politicians. And things can seem far removed when you don’t personally know someone affected by larger decisions.
During our interview, Kirk expressed hope that the trigger law could be halted. In fact, on June 30, a Louisville Circuit Court Judge issued a temporary restraining order to block the state's abortion ban. This means abortions can continue in the state, for now.
Kirk said she feels it's important for people to see someone that talks like her taking a stance against something that is supposed to be popular in a conservative state like Kentucky. "People have been silenced into submission," she said. She hopes that others might be inspired to speak up and even become motivated to run for local or state office—something she is considering for when her children are a bit older.
Certain sensations bring up incredible memories.
There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.
It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.
Nostalgia is fleeting and that's a good thing because it’s best not to live in the past. But it does remind us that the wonderful feeling of freedom, creativity and fun from our childhood can still be experienced as we age.
A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”
It was a call for people to tap into the collective subconscious and bond over the shared experiences of youth. The most popular responses were the specific sensory experiences of childhood as well as memories of pop culture and businesses that are long gone.
Ready to take a trip down memory lane? Don’t stay too long, but it’s great to consider why these experiences are so memorable and still muster up warm feelings to this day.
Here are 19 of the best responses.
"An eraser that looks and smells like a very fake strawberry." — zazzlekdazzle
"Remember the warm, fuzzy static left on your tv screen after it was on for a while. A lot of you crazy kids WEAPONIZED the static to shock your siblings!" — JK_NC
"Waking up super early on Saturday morning before the rest of the family to watch cartoons." — helltothenoyo
"When you'd watch a vhs and it would say 'and now your feature presentation.'" — Mickthemmouse
"Eating one of those plastic-wrapped ice pop things after a long day of playing outside in your backyard with your friends." — onyourleft___
"Scholastic book fairs." — zazzlekdazzle
"The distinctive newspaper-y feel of those catalogues, the smell of them. Heaven. I would agonize over what books to get, lying on my living room floor, circling my options in different colored gel pens, narrowing it down to 2-4 from a dozen in an intense battle royale between slightly blurry one-line summaries. I know my mom's secret now. She would've bought me the whole damn catalogue. But she made me make my choices so that I really valued the books. I'd read them all immediately, reading all night if I had to, hiding in a tent under my covers with a flashlight I stole from the kitchen. I thought I was getting away with something. As an adult, I notice, now, that the flashlight never ran out of batteries." — IAlbatross
"Watching 'The Price Is Right' when you were sick at home." — mayhemy11
"That feeling of limitless freedom on the first day of summer vacation. That feeling of dreaded anticipation on the last day of summer vacation." —_my_poor_brain_
"Blockbuster." — justabll71
"The noise when picking up the phone when someone was surfing the web." — OhAce
"The TV Guide channel. You had to sit through and watch as the channels slowly went by so we could see what was on. It blew getting distracted by the infomercial in the corner and then realizing you barely just missed what you were waiting for so had to wait for it to start all over." — GroundbreakingOil
"Light Bright. I barely remember it myself but you’d take a charcoal-black board and poke different colored pegs through it. You plug it in to the electrical outlet and all the pegs light up creating whatever shape you made in lights." — 90sTrapperKeeper
"You knew it was gonna be a good day when you walk into PE class and see that huge colorful parachute." — brunettemountainlion
"Ripping handfuls of grass at recess and putting them on your friend." — boo_boo_technician
"In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum-security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem if no one else can help, and if you can find them....maybe you can hire The A-Team." — Azuras_Star8
"Watching 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.' There was something so special about the intro where he would sing Won't You Be My Neighbor while he changed his jacket and shoes. I loved every second of it, and would watch in utter content and fascination each time as if I'd never before seen him zip his cardigan up and back down to the right spot and change his shoes with the little toss of a shoe from one hand to the other." — Avendashar
"Somewhere between blowing on some cartridges and pressing the cartridge down and up in the NES to get it to play." — autovices
"That feeling when you are going as high as you can go on the swings. Power? Freedom? Hard to describe." — zazzlekadazzle
"Cap guns. But smashing the entire roll of caps at once with a hammer." — SoulKahn90