+

Hallo. It’s me. Your friendly neighborhood grouch.

It’s springtime, which means the sun is shining, birds are in the air, flowers are blooming ... blech. You know what I want? Pollution! Chemicals! I want to go where the grass is orange and the water green!

Maybe I’ll just trip on down to my favorite industrial site. Seattle's got a nice one full of rusty old towers and old coal grime and beautiful chemical processing machines and ... what is this?


Where did the coal gas plant go? All the equipment's here, but it looks ... clean and beautiful?!

Seattle's Gas Works Park used to make coal gas, but since the 1960s, it's been a delightful public park. The old plant towers like a post-apocalyptic cityscape over grassy hills and the water of Lake Union.

Gas Works is what you could call a "reclaimed park," and a lot of places around the world have jumped on the trend of grabbing old industry or waste sites and turning them into beautiful public spaces.

And I, as a trash-and-grime-loving grouch, could not be more disappointed! I mean, check out these other seven sites people have ruined with their whole "Oh, no, we don't like trash. We like laughing and flowers and babies and laughing-flower-babies" schtick.

Freshkills Park on Staten Island used to be the largest landfill in the country.

Photo from New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.

Now it's a park filled with osprey nests and kayakers. Kayakers! See what I mean?

Then there's Glass Beach near Fort Bragg, California. Pretty again!

The beaches used to be perfect grouch-worthy dumping grounds, but over time, people hauled out metal and other rubbish, leaving just glass behind, which the ocean's pounded into beautiful little pebbles. Now it gets tourists!

Although, really, even I, a grouch, must admit that this German park has a kind of eerie, serene beauty to it.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Landschaftspark in Duisburg-Meiderich, Germany, used to be an ironworks plant, but was abandoned in the 1980s. Since then, it's been reclaimed and turned into a park and cultural center. There are even high ropes courses and viewing towers!

Photo by Thomas Starke/Getty Images.

The High Line in Manhattan used to be a freight line. Now it's basically like a super-cool elevated walkway and a garden had a baby.

Photo by Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

Again with the babies!

Even old prisons are getting in on the bit. I mean, check out Alcatraz!

The gardens used to be one of the few bright spots on Alcatraz, back when it was an infamous prison. The gardens were abandoned when the prison closed down in the 1960s. Years later, with some human help, the plants exploded into this riot of color. There are even places where the plants have taken over!

Although, as much as I hate to admit it, I do really dig that whole overgrown ruins vibe...

The Huangpu River waterfront in Shanghai, China, used to be a steel factory and shipyard, but look at it now.

Photo by Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Now it's known as Houtan Park. Regenerative wetlands are helping to restore the environment, while long, winding paths give visitors a beautiful experience right in the heart of one of the world's biggest cities.

Finally, check out Cheonggyecheon stream in Seoul, South Korea.

Photo by Park Ji-Hwan/AFP/Getty Images

The stream used to be a gigantic, trash-filled eyesore and was actually covered over in concrete in the 1950s, but today, it's been restored into this grand public space.

And while trash is lovely, splashing around in that water does look like fun...

Fine, fine! You win! Even this grouch must admit reclaiming old industrial sites is pretty legit.

The mix between old tech and lovely green space, the concept of taking the old and revitalizing it, history and fun twisted together ... it's pretty magical. Plus, having parks nearby can make people happier and healthier!

You got me, springtime. I guess I have no choice but to go enjoy the new life humans have breathed into these old sites. Good job, guys.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

True

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.

Keep ReadingShow less
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.

Keep ReadingShow less
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 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.

Keep ReadingShow less
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:

Keep ReadingShow less