+
10 things that made us smile this week
University of Utah Hospital/Twitter, @BradBeauregardJ/Twitter

There seems to be a fairly broad consensus that the world is a bit of a dumpster fire at the moment, but that perspective doesn't account for the countless examples of beauty, goodness, and hope we see all around us when we look for them.

If you're looking for reasons to smile, here are ten from this week that'll give you a dose of joy and boost your faith in humanity.

1. A phlebotomist taking a moment to create breathtaking beauty on his work break.

Healthcare workers have had it rough over the past year and a half as the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic. And yet, through it all, we've seen extraordinary resilience and fortitude to carry on through the challenges. Teva Martinson, a phlebotomist at University of Utah Hospital, creates a moment of artistic beauty during a work break with the help of the lobby pianist, and it's everything.


Read the full story here.

2. Singer Shawn Louisiana nailing a Sam Cooke song at the barbershop.

Sometimes a voice shoots like an arrow straight into your soul, and Shawn Louisiana singing "A Change is Gonna Come" for the clientele at a barbershop is one of those times. So gorgeous. Smooth like butter. Definitely worth a listen.

Read the full story here.

The older guy didn't think I could pull off a Sam Cooke song #achangegonnacomeyoutu.be


3. A grandpa giving a young woman notes of their time together when she was little.

Aw dang, this is too sweet. This grandpa gave a woman three notebooks filled with stories of each time he hung out with her from ages two to five for her birthday. What a precious, forward-thinking gift.

4. Can we please have all meteorologists get a doggo sidekick?

The pandemic has turned live broadcasts into a family affair and if we keep anything from this era, pet interruptions should be it. A weather report without a dog looking for treats just isn't a weather report anymore. (The dog's name is Storm because of course it is.)

5. This baby loves her mama. And her mama's cheeks, and lips, and eyes, and cheeks, and forehead, and chin, and cheeks....

Hold onto your ovaries if you have them, folks, because this baby gushing with love for her mama and all her mama's body parts is just too precious. "I wuv all of 'em, Mommy."

6. These before and after photos of kids on their first day of school are hilariously real.

These photos say it all, don't they? We totally feel you, kiddos. Sometimes we look like this at the end of a long day, too. Read the full story and see more photos here.

7. Watch this guy surprise drive-up window food workers with big tips.

Food service workers have had a rough go of it during the pandemic, too, so seeing them get a larger-than-expected tip is super sweet. They're all so grateful and humble about it, too. People can be so good.

8. This woman collects food that stores were going to throw away and gives it to people who need it.

It seems like such a simple concept, but someone has to actually make it happen. Fourteen years ago, Claudia Wheeler started to rescue food that was going to go to waste and now runs a foundation that helps that rescued food to get to people experiencing food insecurity. Wonderful, dedicated, inspiring woman.

9. This adorable dalmatian and kitten video because these kinds of videos never, ever get old.

Seriously, even when everything seems like it sucks, a sweet dog-and-cat video can always bring a smile to your face. It's the law or something. How could anyone not smile at this?

10. When all else fails, watch a dog do somersaults with his best friend on a trampoline.

Pretty sure this is the definition of pure joy.

Hope that list lightened your load, friends. Keep on joy-scrolling!

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

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.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

Keep ReadingShow less

Memories of childhood get lodged in the brain, emerging when you least expect.

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?”

Keep ReadingShow less