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50 years ago, a Californian saved 70,000 acres of redwoods. Now he wants to photograph the park he helped preserve.
Photo credit Ally Gran
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Ask about Dave Van de Mark in the communities bordering Redwood National & State Parks, and many people will tell you that the seventy-nine-year-old photographer is a living legend.

In June of 1963, as a fresh-faced twenty-year-old, Dave traveled from Southern California to work at a sawmill in Humboldt County. That summer dramatically changed his life and set Dave on a path that helped establish one of America's most beloved national parks.

"On only my second day on the job, I inquired as to where the trees being milled came from," Dave says. "I was quickly told I shouldn't ask such questions!"

Intrigued by his co-workers' evasive responses, Dave began looking for his own answers.

Photo credit Dave Van de Mark

"I explored like crazy, gaining strength as I hiked very long distances....I found extensive areas outside the existing state parks that were beautiful. I also saw them being logged rather brutally and I didn't like it."

A series of pivotal events further strengthened Dave's resolve to save the old-growth forests. He began hearing about the discovery of some of the tallest redwoods near Orick, California, which prompted discussions in the community for a national park. At the same time, he'd decided to take up photography and began documenting his long hikes through the forest. He also attended a meeting with some of the area's most active conservationists who took him under his wing. "Lifelong friendships developed on the spot!" Dave says.

Photo credit Dave Van de Mark

According to a GoFundMe campaign for Dave, he trespassed on private timber land, chartered airplanes to fly over clear cuts, slept on stream banks, and walked over a thousand miles to capture over 5,000 photographs.These photos of redwood destruction were sent all around the world and began raising much needed awareness that the old-growth forests were rapidly disappearing, and that more parks needed to be created.

"As soon as the timber companies knew the efforts to create a park were gaining steam," Dave says, "so were their efforts to log and impact places we were pushing for. They said only a small buffer was needed around the newly discovered tallest trees. That, coupled with almost complete opposition to a 'grand' park by local media and government, meant we faced virtually total opposition locally."

Increased notoriety came with increased risk for Dave. "I was really well known and received some verbal threats right to my face at a public hearing, and was often worried about being harmed arriving late at night to my isolated little home."

By then, nearly 90% of the redwood old-growth had been cut down. So, despite the threats, Dave and his fellow conservationists knew something more urgent had to be done. With help from university professors, Dave collected data on the scientific and aesthetic value of the redwoods. Thanks to the Sierra Club and national papers like the San Francisco Chronicle and New York Times, this information, coupled with Dave's photos, were able to reach a much larger audience.

Public support grew quickly. Over the next two years Dave and his team participated in all Senate and House hearings regarding redwood conservation, and ensured that congressional members could see the destruction with their own eyes. It all paid off. After years of immense effort, Redwoods National Park was established in 1968.

Photo credit Dave Van de Mark

Now, at seventy-nine, the legendary activist wants to revisit and photograph the areas he helped protect. And this GoFundMe will help him realize this dream.

"I have been back to areas heavily impacted by logging and that is precisely the reason for my "Fifty Years Later Project" – to allow me to have the ability and the equipment to visit and record the beautiful changes that have taken place over a half-century, before I'm too old and unable to do it. It is very heartening to see places that were eroding so badly and threatening the tallest trees, now stabilizing."

"Dave was instrumental in establishing the park, and continues to help us decades later with his photo project," says Steve Mietz, Superintendent of Redwood National and State Parks.

Christine Walters, an administrative assistant at RNSP, echoes that sentiment. "Without Dave Van de Mark...it's very possible there would never have been a Redwood National Park."

Unfortunately, Dave is struggling to find the resources to complete his dream project. His friend Ted Humphrey, who started the GoFundMe, writes "Now it is time for us to give back and thank Dave for his conservation and protection of the redwood forest. This project is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to show, through the eyes of the photographer that helped protect it, what 50 years of conservation can do at Redwood National & State Parks."

Photo credit Dave Van de Mark

When asked what advice Dave has for those fighting to save and protect old growth forests today, he offers, "Just persevere and don't ever compromise your values and be as bold as you can be."

For more information and to help Dave Van de Mark complete his life's work of documenting the forests he helped protect, please visit his GoFundMe.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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Girls are bombarded with messages from a very young age telling them that they can’t, that is too big, this is too heavy, those are too much.

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Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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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.

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

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