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Pedro Almodóvar is a legend.

He was born in Spain three years after the first Cannes Film Festival. In the subsequent 67 years of his life, he has pushed the creative envelope of screenwriting and filmmaking. His influence is truly global, and his films consistently have echoed social themes for over 30 years.

Almodóvar being selected as the president of the jury for the 2017 Cannes Film Festival is significant for many reasons.

Photo by Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images.


1. He is the first Spaniard to earn the honor.

In the festival's illustrious 70-year existence, presidents of the jury have hailed from many countries: France, USA, U.K., Belgium, Japan, Austria, Germany, Italy, Guatemala, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Serbia and Montenegro, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

Now, Spain finally gets to join that company. And Almodóvar is taking it very seriously.

"I am very happy to be able to celebrate the Festival de Cannes 70th anniversary from such a privileged position. I am grateful, honoured and a bit overwhelmed. I am aware of the responsibility that entails being the president of the jury and I hope to be up to the job. I can only tell that I’ll devote myself, body and soul, to this task, that it is both a privilege and a pleasure."

2. It's rarified company.

Some of the past presidents include Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Jeanne Morneau, Luc Besson, Kirk Douglas, Milos Forman, Louis Malle, Ingrid Bergman, and Tennessee Williams.

3. His work has been a staple at Cannes for 30 years.

His movies don't just "get in to Cannes." They are consistently in the running for the Palme d'Or, the highest prize at the festival. -

"La Mala Educatión." Photo by AFP/Getty Images.

4. His work has been cutting-edge since day one.

Black comedy/drama is an understatement when it comes to Almodóvar's work. He draws you in with luscious colors, framing, and scenery while shaking you awake with themes of identity, political freedom, and passion. His new film "Julieta" has received mass critical acclaim.

"All About My Mother." Photo by Dreamworks.

5. His mantel is overflowing with awards.

He is considered one of — if not the most — successful Spanish filmmakers of all time. He has won two Oscars, three Goya Awards, seven European Film Awards, four BAFTAs, four Cannes prizes, one Italian Golden Globe, and many more.

But that's not all. Other highlights include: the French Legion of Honor, a Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts from the Spanish Ministry of Culture, selection as a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and honorary doctoral degrees from HarvardandOxford universities. And many more.

It's a really, really big fireplace.

6. He's a president the world is actually excited about!

With all the news inundating us, we get to celebrate a universally liked celebrity getting the recognition he deserves.

Photo by Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images.

7. Diversity is (finally) getting more recognition this year.

A Spaniard finally being recognized as president of the jury and the Oscars making history this year with a black actor nominated in every major acting category are just two signs of progress for diversity in the arts.

In the scheme of the recent barrage of events that we've been subjected to as new subjects this pales in comparison. A judge at a posh film festival in an overpriced tourist town in France wouldn't normally make for breaking news. But I'll take the smallest of victories wherever I can to try to find some true escapism, in real life and on the silver screen.

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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