The Week in Uppers

Because there were plenty of notable stories this week that didn't involve dirty photos

Topics: Viral Video, Uppers,

The Week in Uppers

While one innuendo-laced story about a Brooklyn congressman hogged the media spotlight this week, there was plenty more to write home about this week than just Anthony Weiner. Take a break from sex scandals and check out these inspiring stories.

  • Actresses Natalie Portman and Zoe Saldana are lending their voices to support FINCA International, an organization that promotes women’s entrepreneurship in developing countries through microfinancing initiatives. (Huffington Post)

  • Princes William and Harry are going head to head today in a charity polo match organized to raise money for disadvantaged children in the African kingdom of Lesotho. (Daily Mirror
  • Billionaire Warren Buffet auctioned off the opportunity to dine with him this past Friday, as part of his 12th annual “power lunch” charity. The winning bid was $2.63 million, and all proceeds will go to the San Francisco charity Glide. (SF Gate)  
  • More than 50 dogs competed in a unique fundraiser in Imperial Beach, California, this week. Hundreds of spectators gathered to watch the pooches face off — in a surfing competition. (Telegraph)

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  • An organization called Pilots N Paws is airlifting distressed dogs and cats to rescue organizations that help the animals find new homes. (NBC News)
  • Gabrielle Giffords continues her amazing recovery. We’ve now seen the first photos of the congresswoman taken since she was shot in January, and doctors say she could be released from the hospital sometime this month. (AP)
  • Kent Melville, a nine-year-old boy with autism, used the profits from a successful lemonade stand to start his own company, producing soda to raise money for other children with the disorder. (Huffington Post)
  • The residents of Joplin, Missouri, got some much needed help in the wake of last month’s deadly tornado — from a group of Katrina survivors who understand better than most the devastating impact of natural disasters. (NBC News)  

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Peter Finocchiaro is the deputy editor of Salon. Follow him on Twitter @PLFino.

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    Martyna Blaszczyk/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 1

    Pond de l'Archeveche - hundreds thousands of padlocks locked to a bridge by random couples, as a symbol of their eternal love. After another iconic Pont des Arts bridge was cleared of the padlocks in 2010 (as a safety measure), people started to place their love symbols on this one. Today both of the bridges are full of love locks again.

    Anders Andersson/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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    Slide 2

    A bird's view of tulip fields near Voorhout in the Netherlands, photographed with a drone in April 2015.

    Aashit Desai/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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    Slide 3

    Angalamman Festival is celebrated every year in a small town called Kaveripattinam in Tamil Nadu. Devotees, numbering in tens of thousands, converge in this town the day after Maha Shivratri to worship the deity Angalamman, meaning 'The Guardian God'. During the festival some of the worshippers paint their faces that personifies Goddess Kali. Other indulge in the ritual of piercing iron rods throughout their cheeks.

    Allan Gichigi/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 4

    Kit Mikai is a natural rock formation about 40m high found in Western Kenya. She goes up the rocks regularly to meditate. Kit Mikai, Kenya

    Chris Ludlow/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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    Slide 5

    On a weekend trip to buffalo from Toronto we made a pit stop at Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. I took this shot with my nexus 5 smartphone. I was randomly shooting the falls themselves from different viewpoints when I happened to get a pretty lucky and interesting shot of this lone seagull on patrol over the falls. I didn't even realize I had captured it in the shot until I went back through the photos a few days later

    Jassen T./National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 6

    Incredibly beautiful and extremely remote. Koehn Lake, Mojave Desert, California. Aerial Image.

    Howard Singleton/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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    Slide 7

    Lucky timing! The oxpecker was originally sitting on hippo's head. I could see the hippo was going into a huge yawn (threat display?) and the oxpecker had to vacate it's perch. When I snapped the pic, the oxpecker appeared on the verge of being inhaled and was perfectly positioned between the massive gaping jaws of the hippo. The oxpecker also appears to be screeching in terror and back-pedaling to avoid being a snack!

    Abrar Mohsin/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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    Slide 8

    The Yetis of Nepal - The Aghoris as they are called are marked by colorful body paint and clothes

    Madeline Crowley/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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    Slide 9

    Taken from a zodiac raft on a painfully cold, rainy day

    Ian Bird/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

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    Slide 10

    This wave is situated right near the CBD of Sydney. Some describe it as the most dangerous wave in Australia, due to it breaking on barnacle covered rocks only a few feet deep and only ten metres from the cliff face. If you fall off you could find yourself in a life and death situation. This photo was taken 300 feet directly above the wave from a helicopter, just as the surfer is pulling into the lip of the barrel.

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