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Brendan Fraser's emotional awards speech about hope left audience in tears

'If you too can have the strength to just get to your feet and go to the light, good things will happen.'

brendan fraser, brendan fraser the whale, the whale
Discussing Film/Twitter

Brendan Fraser took home Best Actor from the Critics Choice Awards.

Like the rest of the world, we at Upworthy have found Brendan Fraser’s glorious return to the Hollywood spotlight to be inspiring. After a multiyear hiatus, his role in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale” has been a career milestone—both catapulting him back onto the big screen and gaining widespread accolades for his incredible performance. Seriously, if you haven’t seen it yet, do. And bring tissues … it’s beautifully heartbreaking.

At long last, it seems this beloved actor and genuinely decent guy is getting the comeback he deserves. Since “The Whale” released to theaters, Fraser has been a frontrunner for the coveted Best Actor title, and scored his first win (of probably many) at the 2023 Critics Choice Awards.


As you can probably imagine, this full-circle moment meant a lot to Fraser. The video below captures his initial reaction to hearing his name being announced and taking his triumphant march to the stage.

And as he delivered a moving acceptance speech, there wasn’t a dry eye left in the house.

Because Brendan Fraser wouldn’t be Brendan Fraser without a charming sense of humor, he began by making the audience laugh. “Where were you for ‘Furry Vengeance’?” he quipped, harkening back to his comedy heyday.

He continued by praising his cast and crew members—including Aronofsky, who essentially plucked the actor out of obscurity. “I was in the wilderness and I probably should have left a trail of breadcrumbs, but you found me. And like all the best directors, you merely just showed me where to go to get to where I needed to be,” he told the director.

Then, with his voice trembling with emotion, Fraser declared, "If you, like a guy like Charlie, who I played in this movie, in any way struggle with obesity or you just feel like you’re in a dark sea, I want you to know that if you too can have the strength to just get to your feet and go to the light, good things will happen."

In “The Whale,” Fraser plays a 600-pound man who uses his final days to reconcile with his estranged daughter (played by Sadie Sink). Whether or not obesity is a mental illness has been a subject of debate, however it has been closely linked with mood disorders like depression—which, let’s face it, can make anyone feel hopeless and inert, overweight or not. Above all, the big theme of the film is about having the strength to hold onto hope, regardless of circumstances. Or as Fraser put it, “finding the light in a dark place.”

Fraser's words touched many who have found themselves in similar situations:

Time will tell if this moment foreshadows an Oscar win, but in our hearts, Fraser is already a winner. Thank you for giving us all a masterclass in emotional resilience and compassion.

Florida teacher Yolanda Turner engaged 8th grade students in a dance-off.

We've said it before and we'll say it again: Teachers deserve all the kudos, high fives, raises, accolades, prizes and thanks for everything they do. Even if they just stuck to academics alone, they'd be worth far more than they get, but so many teachers go above and beyond to teach the whole child, from balancing equations to building character qualities.

One way dedicated educators do that is by developing relationships and building rapport with their students. And one surefire way to build rapport is to dance with them.

A viral video shared by an assistant principal at Sumner High School & Academy in Riverview, Florida shows a group of students gathered around one student as he challenges a teacher to a dance-off.

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Cavemen must have been perpetually late, given that humans didn't get around to inventing the sundial until 1500 BCE. The first attempts at measuring time via sun movement were shadow clocks created by the Egyptians and Babylonians. These led to the sundial, an instrument that tells time by measuring shadows cast by the sun on a dial plate. Sundials were our preferred method of timekeeping until the mechanical clock was invented in 14th-century Europe.

Photo via (cc) Flickr user Sara Bogush

In 1972, Hamilton introduced the world's first digital watch. Its $2,000 price tag was hefty, but by the '80s, digital watches became affordable for the average person. Now, both technologies have merged in a cool invention, the digital sundial. Created by French Etsy seller Mojoptix, this outdoor clock uses the patterns on a suspended wand to mold natural shadows into a digital-looking time readout. The digital sundial has two major drawbacks: It only reports the time in 20-minute intervals, and it's not very effective after sundown. But it sure does look cool.

Here's the digital sundial in action!

This article first appeared on 9.15.17.

Fowl Language by Brian Gordon


Brian Gordon is a cartoonist. He's also a dad, which means he's got plenty of inspiration for the parenting comics he creates for his website, Fowl Language (not all of which actually feature profanity).

He covers many topics, but it's his hilarious parenting comics that are resonating with parents everywhere.

"My comics are largely autobiographical," Gordon tells me. "I've got two kids who are 4 and 7, and often, what I'm writing happened as recently as that very same day."

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Somewhere in Salt Lake City, a Girl Scout is getting allll the good mojo from The People of the Internet.

Over the weekend, Eli McCann shared a story of an encounter at a Girl Scout cookie stand that has people throwing their fists in the air and shouting, YES! THAT'S HOW IT'S DONE. (Or maybe that's just me. But I'm guessing most of the 430,000 people who liked his story had a similar reaction.)

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Pop Culture

Artist paints characters as described in books, then shares side-by-side with film versions

He doesn't know who he's painting, and it's fascinating to see who is close and who is way off.

Jazza tries to guess who he's painting based only on written descriptions.

Anyone who's watched a film based on a book has experienced the disappointment of a movie character not matching their imagined version of what a character looks like. Book authors offer descriptions of characters with varying levels of detail, usually just enough to help us form a mental picture or give us necessary information about them, so we may not all imagine them the same way.

Some characters' physical features are crucial to their story, such as Harry Potter's lightning-shaped forehead scar, but some are just an author's attempt to share whatever they themselves imagine a character to look like. There's often a lot that's open to interpretation, though, so it's a bit of a crapshoot whether a film depiction of a book character will match a writer's description of them—or a reader's vision based on that description.

One artist is exploring this phenomenon with a video series in which he paints characters based solely on their written descriptions. Jazza, who has made a name for himself on social media with his creative art videos, is given the features of a character as described by a writer without being told who the character is or where they're from. Then we see how his depiction compares to the character as shown on screen.

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CeraVe Skincare/Youtube

"let my cream hydrate you"

Okay, so it’s pretty common for beauty and skincare companies to have celebrities endorse their products. And when it’s not in the form of a social media post, you can bet it’s a highly stylized commercial, where said celebrity—dressed to the nines, hair impossibly shiny, skin flawless—puts on that dreamy voice to tell you all the ways in which this product is the fountain of youth, as they are caressed ever so gently by billowing fabrics draping around them. Maybe, just maybe if you use this product held preciously in their freshly manicured hands, you can get a fraction of their greatness. It’s the epitome of aspirational.

And then there's the Michael Cera CeraVe ad that premiered during the Super Bowl this Sunday.
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