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Best. Host. Ever.
Seeing the northern lights is a common bucket list adventure for many people. After all, it ticks a lot of boxes—being a dazzling light show, rich historical experience and scientific phenomenon all rolled into one. Plus there’s the uncertainty of it all, never quite knowing if you’ll witness a vivid streak of otherworldly colors dance across the sky…or simply see an oddly colored cloud. It’s nature’s slot machine, if you will.
Traveler and content creator Pency Lucero was willing to take that gamble. After thorough research, she stumbled upon an Airbnb in Rörbäck, Sweden with an actual picture of the northern lights shining above the cabin in the listing. With that kind of photo evidence, she felt good about her odds.
However, as soon as she landed, snow began falling so hard that the entire sky was “barely visible,” she told Upworthy. Martin, the Airbnb host, was nonetheless determined to do everything he could to ensure his guests got to see the spectacle, even offering to wake Lucero up in the middle of the night if he saw anything.
Then one night, the knock came.
In a video Lucero posted to TikTok, which now has over 12 million views, we hear Martin ushering her out to take a peek. Then we see Lucero’s face light up just before seeing the sky do the same.
“I thought it was a prank,” the onscreen text reads in the clip. “And then I see it….”
@penslucero Replying to @PatriotFamilyHomes ♬ Golden Hour: Piano Version - Andy Morris
“I was mostly in awe of what this Earth is capable of,” Lucero recalled. “I never expected it to be THAT beautiful for the naked eye.” This is a hopeful sentiment against the widely accepted notion that the northern lights are often better looking in photos than they are in real life.
As Lucero asserted in a follow-up video, “Our video doesn’t do it justice at all…I would argue it’s even better for the naked eye.”
Others were quick to back Lucero with anecdotes of their own experience.
“It’s definitely possible to see it like in the pics. I saw it this winter in Norway, there was bright green, purple and so much movement.”
“They’re so much better in person, the way they dance and move around is insane and beautiful.”
Of course, if you ask Martin, who everyone agreed was the best host ever, seeing guest reactions of pure wonder and joy is even “better than the lights themselves.” But still, he can’t deny that there’s a breathtaking magic to it all. He shared with Upworthy that “Sometimes it feels like it will pull you up in the sky like you are in the middle of it. I wish everyone would have the chance to witness it.”
A photo from Martin's Airbnb listing
When it comes to tips for actually seeing the northern lights, Martin admits it still mostly comes down to being in the right place at the right time. Luckily, his Airbnb listing can help with that.
Nature has a great way of reminding us that beyond the distractions and distresses of modern life, there is sublime beauty waiting for the chance to capture our hearts.
Gramma's adorably over-the-top book documenting Ricky's visit has people clamoring for more.
There are kitten lovers…and then there are Ricky's grandparents.
When Izzie Grass left her kitten, Ricky, with her parents for two weeks, she had no idea what was in store for her after she got him back. Not only had RIcky been well taken care of, but his adventures with his human grandparents were fully documented in a photobook created by Grass' mother, which she titled "Ricky Goes to Gramma's and Grampa's."
The photo album that reads like a children's book first went viral when Grass shared it on TikTok in 2020. Now it has resurfaced again, and people are clamoring for more riveting Ricky content after reading about how the kitten "helped Gramma do the dishes" and how "Cousin Jasper and Charlie ate most of" the pancakes Gramma made for him.
Check out how adorably extra Gramma is:
I’ll never run out of content. #Rickythesquittenkitten #cats #kitten #animals #pets #fyp #foryou #cute #happy #teachersoftiktok
Has any kitten ever been more loved?
"I would die for Ricky, Gramma, and Grampa," wrote one commenter.
"This is GOLD. I want to see 'Ricky Learns to Drive.'" wrote another.
"My parents didn't even put this much effort into making scrapbooks for ME," shared another.
Grass told Newsweek that her mom told her she made the book because "that's what she does," adding, "She is known for creating very sentimental gifts."
Grass also shared that the book almost didn't get made because Ricky almost didn't make it as a kitten. He was brought to the veterinary clinic where Grass worked when he was 9 weeks old to be euthanized.
"The individuals who dropped him off reported that they found a kitten with broken legs and that was throwing up everything they tried to feed him," she said. "I came back from my lunch early to care for this kitten and in the kennel was Ricky."
As it turned out, Ricky had some birth defects and health problems that required specialized care, but he didn't need to be euthanized. Grass took him home but needed a little time to prepare to give him the care he needed.
"My mom stepped up and offered to watch him for a couple weeks while I got a handle of my schedule," Grass told Newsweek. "It was during this time that she created the book."
The fact that Ricky had specialized care needs at the time makes Gramma's photobook all the more endearing.
Now Ricky is now 3 years old and is doing remarkably well considering his health challenges as a kitten.
"He has made so much progress," Grass told Newsweek. "His esophagus works significantly better, he has learned how to walk, climb and run, and he continues to help me raise other foster kittens. Ricky is very loved and lives the life he deserved to have."
With a mom and grandparents like he has, it's not a surprise. Find more videos of Ricky and the animals Grass fosters on her TikTok channel here.
"If you can’t respect other people in a shared space, you don’t belong filming at all.”
Gyms are communal spaces where people can come to improve their health, fitness and/or overall well-being.
However, it’s no secret that many gyms have also become a production studio of sorts where influencers can set up a tripod to demonstrate the most cutting-edge squatting technique or where the average Joe can take that obligatory gym selfie to prove that the workout did, in fact, happen.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with either of these activities. However, they have sparked a new kind of behavior in gymgoers where they feign extreme frustration if folks walk from one machine to the next or grab a piece of equipment and, heaven forbid, enter the frame.
Take for instance a video shared to Reddit by u/ASTATINE_628, where we first see several cuts of a young woman at the gym, seemingly perturbed that people are continuously walking through her frame in her video.
The clip then cuts to a guy who breaks down what’s wrong with this scenario in a very clear and concise way.
“This sense of entitlement has gotten out of hand,” he said, noting that “for you to get upset because there’s people simply in your video going about their workout, not bothering you, minding their own business, is ridiculous.”
He certainly has a point. Of course, when personal space is actually being infringed upon, like when someone is facing harassment, that’s a different story. But in this case, as the man stated, there is no wrongdoing by simply existing.
The man then summed it all up with a short and sweet reminder about common decency. Or maybe not-so-common, since we’re needing reminders.
“Unless your name is on that gym, your filming is never a priority over other people. They pay the same gym membership that you do. If you can’t film responsibly, if you can’t respect other people in a shared space, you don’t belong filming at all,” he said.
Really, this behavior stems from something larger than modern-day gym culture. We film ourselves a lot these days, and often in public. This has undoubtedly caused a shift in how we view personal boundaries in the outside world, with both positive and negative effects.
On the one hand, it can be fun and self-esteem-boosting to treat your life as one big video diary. On the other hand, we bring strangers unwillingly into our orbit, treating them as punching bags, entertainment, or, in the case of the miffed gymgoers, nuisances. We vainly stop treating other people like fellow humans sharing life on this crazy blue planet. No video seems worth forgetting that.
Even for those who have never set foot into a gym, and never will, this is a poignant reminder to not lose our humanity as our relationship with social media grows. It’s perfectly fine to tap into “main character energy.” Let's just keep in mind that really, we’re all part of the same story.
Every friend group has at least one friend that winds up parenting the group.
If you've ever traveled or gone out to a party or bar with a group of friends, then you've probably experienced the phenomenon of the "friend-parent." Now, this is a term I totally just made up, but I bet you recognize it. The friend-parent is the one that takes on the responsibility of corralling any stragglers, tossing out drinks that have been left unattended and generally making sure everyone stays safe.
A friend-parent was recently caught on video being an "airport dad" to his group of friends. Usually, you hear about women looking out for other women in a mother-hen sort of way, but this guy group just proved the friend-parent knows no gender. In a TikTok video from Johannes2o that currently has over 8.4 million views, a small group of guys are standing near each other with "POV: our friend is an airport dad" in text on the screen.
Before the crew heads into the airport, their friend collects everyone's passports and boarding passes before checking his watch. He checks flight information one last time and then tries to have them all check in but they're too early. The whole video is playing out to the tune of "Highway to the Danger Zone."
At one point, the airport dad stands with his hands on his hips seemingly inspecting the plane from the large windows at the gate. If that's not a dad move, I don't know what is. One of the best moments that exemplifies "dad mode" is when the friend-parent realizes that one of the guys overpacked and he helps the friend repack while appearing stressed.
The guys had one job and it seems airport dad couldn't trust them with that either. The overpacker will never live this down, and now weighing and measuring bags will likely become one of airport dad's self-imposed pre-airport duties.
Watch the unexpectedly cute video below:
Hes gonna be a great dad💀 #airport #airportdad
Great info, even better delivery.
Amazon delivery drivers don’t have the easiest job in the world. Sitting through traffic, working in extreme temperatures, hauling boxes … not exactly a fun time. So when a driver goes out of their way to be extra considerate—people notice.
One delivery driver has gone viral for the way she delivered a little bit of safety education, along with some lighthearted advice. The TikTok video of the encounter, which now has more than 4 million views, was shared by Jessica Huseman, who had only recently moved into her new house.
The clip shows the doorbell cam recording of the driver approaching the house. As the delivery driver makes it to the front door, she sings, ”Hello … I hope your Monday’s going well. You have no markers on your house that says what number you are.”
From there, the driver’s song quickly changes tune, going from funny jest to helpful PSA.
“And that is hard to find your house my dude, and it’s unsafe, honestly,” the driver continues, adding, “what if you needed medical assistance and the paramedics didn’t know your town well? Come on.”
@_jesshopehuse We just moved in and this happened today…she’s not wrong though. Guess I need to get some house numbers. #amazondelivery♬ original sound - Jessica Huseman
“Have a great day!” she says happily before walking off.Huseman added the caption: “We just moved in and this happened today... she’s not wrong though. Guess I need to get some house numbers.”
The driver’s observation was clearly on point. Several medical pros commented to back her up.
“As someone who works in EMS I can verify house numbers are necessary! BUT ALSO MAKE SURE THEY ARE EASILY VISIBLE FROM THE STREET AT NIGHT,” wrote one person.
Another replied, ”yes! Medic here, we’ve had to call dispatch and ask for them to get [the] caller back on the phone and get [the] description of [the] house because there [are] no numbers.”
Besides her information being vital, people were mostly in love with the driver’s friendly attitude. Here are just a few of the compliments:
“Honestly, give them a raise. That’s awesome vibes right there.”
“She’s a whole friken mood, I love her she gives me pink vibes.”
“I need to meet this Amazon driver!!!! I love her!!”
The delivery driver (named Kelsey) eventually saw her viral video and decided to do a follow-up, where she added other unsafe things she’s seen on the job—primarily unclear entrances and exits—along with an additional sweet message:
@queenofconsent#stitch with @_jesshopehuse ♬ original sound - The Queen K
“Crisis management and prevention education is essential and literally a part of my soul. So anytime I do go out and deliver packages … if I see something, I say something. Cause that’s how bystander intervention works. But keeping in mind that it’s more than that. It is about reminding each other that we are enough, and being there for one another.”
Whether it’s packages or something to smile about, Kelsey is a master of delivery.
This article first appeared on 6.15.22.
If you've never seen a fox giggle, you're in for a treat.
Laughter is one of the most natural impulses in humans. Most babies start to laugh out loud at around 3 to 4 months, far earlier than they are able to speak or walk. Expressing enjoyment or delight comes naturally to us, but we're not the only creatures who communicate with giggles.
Researchers at UCLA have identified 65 species of animals who make "play vocalizations," or what we would consider laughter. Some of those vocalizations were already well documented—we've known for a while that apes and rats laugh—but others may come as a surprise. Along with a long list of primate species, domestic cows and dogs, foxes, seals, mongooses and three bird species are prone to laughter as well. (Many bird species can mimic human laughter, but that's not the same as making their own play vocalizations.)
Primatologist and UCLA anthropology graduate student Sasha Winkler and UCLA professor of communication Greg Bryant shared their findings in an article in the journal Bioacoustics.
The authors explored various play vocalization sounds, recording them as noisy or tonal, loud or quiet, high- or low-pitched, short or long, a single call or rhythmic pattern.
But really, what we want to see is what animal laughter sounds like from various species, right? While the researchers said that it can be hard to document laughter in the wild, especially among animals with quieter vocalizations, we do have some examples captured on video.
Check out these foxes laughing like little kids:
Or maybe little kids on helium. How fun is that?
Ever seen a bonobo chimp laugh? Just as cute.
I'm not sure if tickling a baby bonobo is sweet or torturous, though these researchers surely know what they're doing. It's always delightful to see the instinctual playfulness of primates.
Laughter in some animals isn't as audibly apparent as it is in these foxes and chimps, though. Researchers from Humboldt University of Berlin found that rats laugh when they are tickled—and appear to enjoy tickling, as they seek it out—but their vocalizations are ultrasonic, so it's hard to hear them without special instruments.
The UCLA researchers shared that the study of laughter in animals can help us better understand our own evolutionary behavior.
“This work lays out nicely how a phenomenon once thought to be particularly human turns out to be closely tied to behavior shared with species separated from humans by tens of millions of years,” Bryant said, according to UCLA.
“When we laugh, we are often providing information to others that we are having fun and also inviting others to join,” Winkler said. “Some scholars have suggested that this kind of vocal behavior is shared across many animals who play, and as such, laughter is our human version of an evolutionarily old vocal play signal.”
Raise your hand if you just want to see a cow laughing for real now.
This article first appeared on 1.14.22