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bullying, halloween, parenting

Evan was so excited to go to his school's Halloween party as Tony Stark.

It can be hard for anyone to bounce back after being ridiculed, but especially a kid who is just figuring out how to make their way in this wacky world. Bullies only succeed when we change our behavior because of them, so it's important that we don't let jerky behavior keep us down and destroy our joy.

Ten-year-old Evan learned that lesson firsthand last week.

It all started with Evan preparing for his school Halloween party by getting decked out in a sweet Tony Stark costume, complete with facial hair makeup, glasses and pomaded hair. His mom, Jill Struckman, shared photos of him in his costume on Facebook.

True to Tony Stark style, Evan wanted to be driven to school in the family's Mercedes, but his mom wasn't able to take him so he had to take the school bus.


"He was over the top excited about his costume…" Struckman wrote in another post. "He couldn't stop smiling when he left home."

Unfortunately, that excitement was ruined by some kids on the school bus who told him he looked stupid.

"Evan got to school and immediately went to the bathroom and washed his face," Struckman wrote. "When he called he was crying and sooo hurt that he didn't even want to stay for his party."

"Kids need to understand that WORDS hurt," she added.

After she got the call from the school, Struckman picked Evan up and took him out for a treat and a talk. She told TODAY Parents that Evan kept apologizing for washing his makeup off. "He kept saying, 'we worked so hard on it,'" she said. "He was really thinking about how I would feel, which tells you a lot about him."

Sometimes a little TLC from mom and a little space from the situation (and a little Starbucks as well) is enough to help a person rally, though.

"After going to Starbucks and talking through his feelings, Evan decided he didn't want to miss his school party!!! So we went home and redid his AWESOME makeup and marched right back into school!"

"He was a little scared walking back into school," Struckman told TODAY. "But he had a great rest of the day. And he was so proud of himself. It was absolutely a defining moment in his life. If he hadn't gone back, it would have broken his spirit."

Struckman shared in another post that Evan is a kid who usually enjoys standing out. "This boy has swagger and usually doesn't let things that people say get to him," she wrote. "I don't want him to ever lose that and for a minute I thought he had let others' opinions get the best of him and it crushed me!"

She also wrote that she doesn't think the kids who bullied him are evil. "I think one kid said something mean and that others got caught up in it and it snowballed from there. It's another important conversation we should all be having with our kids—DON'T just go along with something you know is not right… I think all kids just want to fit in and sometimes that might mean agreeing with something you know is wrong."

Struckman's posts on Facebook have received overwhelming attention, with thousands of comments of support pouring in. She says she's also received countless messages from all over the world, as well as offers to send Evan money. He doesn't need cash, she has said, requesting that people make donations instead. However, for the people asking if they can send him a card, she provided a PO box number.

What a great example of resilience on Evan's part and loving support on his mom's part. Bullying only prevails if we let it. Good job owning your own self, Evan. And good job, mama, for teaching your kid to be compassionate even as you teach him to stand up for himself.

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Dion Merrick / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.09.21


At 1:30 am on Monday morning an AMBER Alert went out in southern Louisiana about a missing 10-year-old girl from New Iberia. It was believed she had been kidnapped and driven away in a 2012 silver Nissan Altima.

A few hours later at 7 am, Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, sanitation workers for Pelican Waste, were on their daily route when they noticed a vehicle that fit the description in the alert.

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Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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