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The holidays are just around the corner — and there is no better way to get into the holiday spirit than by spreading a little bit of goodwill.

So in between hurriedly planning festivities, buying gifts, and excitedly looking forward to family get-togethers, take a few moments, if you can, to spread some joy. One of the most important (and rewarding) things about the holidays is trying to make someone else happy too.

Here are just a few ideas for how to spread kindness and empathy this holiday season:

1. Without being asked, do a chore or favor for a family member to help make their day a little bit easier.


2. Say "hi" to your neighbors — or if you don’t know them, knock on their door and introduce yourself! (It’s about time!)

3. Don’t forget to hold the door open for the person behind you.

All images via iStock.

4. Planning to bake some holiday cookies this year? Make an extra batch and donate it to the local nursing home.

5. Get in the holiday spirit and participate (without eye rolls) in events that your family or colleagues are organizing, like the ugly sweater contest or bake-off, even if you think it’s silly.

6. Do you know someone spending the holidays alone? Invite them over to celebrate with you.

7. Let someone else eat that last slice of pie.

8. Find a fun project or cause that you believe in, and volunteer your time. Websites like Volunteermatch.org can help you find a local place to donate your time.

9. Tip a little bit extra to the barista or waiter who has to work over the holidays.

10. Invite a friend you haven’t seen in a while out for coffee or lunch.

11. Pick up litter on the sidewalk that you come across while you walk the dog or go for a stroll in the park.

12. Send a card to a family member or friend you won’t get to see this holiday.

13. Donate some frequent flyer miles that you aren’t using to a charity.

14. Pick up a few extra items — like canned goods or pantry staples — when buying groceries and donate them to your local food bank. Even better? If you have a little extra cash, donate directly to a food bank.

15. Offer to babysit for free for a friend or family member so they can have a night out.

16. Animal shelters can get busy during the holidays, so foster (or adopt if you can) a cat or dog.

17. Pay for a stranger’s cup of coffee, bus fare, or even a cart full of groceries.

18. If you're buying a snack at the vending machine, why not pre-pay for an item for the person behind you?

19. Spread some cheer at work by bringing a little snack for your co-workers.

20. Try to have an open mind: read a book or article written from a different perspective, or listen respectfully (and without judging) to someone that has a different opinion than you do.

21. Buy a toy and give it to the local toy drive.

22. Clean out your closet and donate warm clothes, coats, and shoes to an org that helps people who are homeless.

23. Collect used books from friends and family to give to a school, local library, or shelter. Or create a Little Free Library.

24. Remember to send thank-you notes this season.

25. Let people merge in during traffic.

26. Walk the shopping cart back to the front of the store.

27. Give a sincere compliment to a friend or loved one.

28. Set aside a little money for a charity or two that you support.

29. Do something nice for your partner or a family member to let them know you love them, like letting them watch “their” show or doing the dishes for them.

Most importantly, keep others in mind because not only will it help make someone else's holiday better, but it will also enrich yours as well.

One simple act of kindness might just turn someone's whole day around.

Joy

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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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

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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.

The mesmerizing lost art of darning knit fabric.

For most of human history, people had to make their own clothing by hand, and sewing skills were subsequently passed down from generation to generation. Because clothing was so time-consuming and labor-intensive to make, people also had to know how to repair clothing items that got torn or damaged in some way.

The invention of sewing and knitting machines changed the way we acquire clothing, and the skills people used to possess have largely gone by the wayside. If we get a hole in a sock nowadays, we toss it and replace it. Most of us have no idea how to darn a sock or fix a hole in any knit fabric. It's far easier for us to replace than to repair.

But there are still some among us who do have the skills to repair clothing in a way that makes it look like the rip, tear or hole never happened, and to watch them do it is mesmerizing.

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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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