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If you've watched an NFL game this year, chances are you've seen at least one ad for either DraftKings or FanDuel.

Probably, you've seen more like 17 hojillion. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.


You probably know that they allow users to bet on fantasy sports — and maybe earn (or more likely, lose) a few bucks here and there. What you might not know is that these sites have come under increased legal scrutiny in the past few months.

Nevada banned the sites from operating in-state back in September. And just today, the attorney general of New York ordered both DraftKings and FanDuel to stop taking bets in that state while his office investigates the legality of each business.

What's the deal? Why is fantasy football — of all things — attracting the attention of the law? It basically boils down to three things.

1. An employee cheating scandal makes the whole thing look ... kinda shady.

Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images.

In theory, fantasy sports are a level playing field. You put in your money and choose your players and/or teams, and you're promised an equal shot at winning a monetary prize. It's a system that works ... as long as everyone has the same information.

Increasingly, that's looking like it might not be the case with DraftKings and FanDuel.

In September, an employee of DraftKings won $350,000 in a competition at competitor site FanDuel — the same week he accidentally released a bunch of insider data online — which made it seem like people who work for daily fantasy sports sites might be operating with more information than the average player. According to some reports, executives and employees of the two companies are some of the top bettors on their rivals' platforms.

Ultimately, the employee was cleared — internally — of wrongdoing. But it prompted the FBI to launch an investigation, which is ongoing.

2. Unlike most gambling, the daily fantasy sports industry is pretty much completely unregulated.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

Gambling is a heavily supervised industry in most states and on the Internet. A 2006 law prohibits most forms of betting online. Online fantasy sports are exempt from the law, however, as "games of skill" are not technically considered gambling under the law.

Why is fantasy football a game of skill? It's ... not entirely clear. Evaluating player and team statistics — and making judgments based on that analysis — certainly requires specific knowledge. You could probably say the same for more traditional gambling platforms like horse racing and poker. But it doesn't really matter. Under the law, right now, it's considered one.

Without the same government oversight that comes with running a traditional casino or other gambling operation, daily fantasy sports could be vulnerable to hacking, cheating, insider betting, and other such bad behavior that potentially makes the contests lopsided, unfair, and not-as-advertised.

Conventional gambling outfits certainly aren't always beacons of honesty and fairness even with oversight, but right now, daily fantasy sports are subject to none. And that's a problem.

3. Gambling is a big public health issue, which is rarely addressed.

Slot machines. Photo by Philippe Lopez/Getty Images.

To hear representatives from DraftKings and FanDuel tell it, daily fantasy sports are not gambling. Which — as today's New York Times report makes clear — is news to New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, who launched the most recent investigation of the sites:

"The attorney general's office said daily fantasy sports 'appears to be creating the same public health and economic problems associated with gambling.'"

More casinos are closer to more Americans than ever before. Studies estimate 1.1-1.9% of the population — between 3.5 and 6 million people — suffers from some form of gambling addiction. And low-income Americans are particularly vulnerable, as their losses can be far more catastrophic. Many experts believe that, as a potential source of addiction, fantasy sports are indistinguishable from other forms of gambling. Now that they're available at the click of a button, the barrier to entry is suddenly extremely low, and the potential to lose hundreds or thousands of dollars is high.

Fantasy sports can be fun and harmless — but more oversight is a good thing.

For those who play — and even place the odd bet here and there — fantasy sports can be a rewarding hobby. Gambling a little bit of money with your friends or even random strangers on the Internet is fun! But betting through an easily hackable, unregulated system where employees might have access to information that you don't? Not to mention one that can be an emotionally and financially devastating if abused?

Seems like it might be a good idea to stay away until a few more rules are put in place.

Taking a look under the hood of the industry is long overdue. Hopefully, a thorough investigation can make the system fairer, more transparent, and, most importantly, work better for everyone.

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.

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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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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