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8-year-old Roraigh has always loved space and reading, which is why he entered a contest to have an astronaut read him a bedtime story from space.

Like most good stories, Roraigh's starts with an ordinary kid who was suddenly whisked away on a fantastic adventure.

Photo by Lost My Name, used with permission.


Roraigh's dream is to visit Pluto because it hasn't been explored yet, and he's currently in the middle of reading the Harry Potter series (so don't spoil it for him).

So it only made sense for him to apply to the contest held by U.K. book publisher Lost My Name — a contest that promised an experience he'd never forget.

To his disbelief, Roraigh won the contest! He suddenly found himself at the Kennedy Space Center in Titusville, Florida, watching an International Space Station rocket launch.

Also on that rocket? A kid's picture book ... about Roraigh.

Lost My Name specializes in personalized children's books. Not only are they super cool, but the publishers say they're proven to help kids better engage with reading.

When Roraigh's book finally arrived aboard the ISS, British astronaut Tim Peake recorded a video of himself reading the book to Roraigh. Then he beamed it back down to Earth, where Roraigh has watched it again and again and again.


Photo by Lost My Name, used with permission.

"It was really cool, a real-life astronaut reading a book to you, from space!" Roraigh told Upworthy.

Sounds like every kid's dream.

OK, so not every kid gets to watch as a book about him is launched into space.

But now every kid can listen to an astronaut read them one of their own favorite stories, just like Roraigh.

It's all part of a nonprofit program called Story Time From Space.


Photo by NASA via Getty Images.

Founded by Patricia Tribe, a former education director at Space Center Houston, Story Time From Space launches space-related books like "Mousetronaut Goes to Mars" or "The Wizard Who Saved the World" into orbit, where they're read aloud by real-life astronauts, recorded, and sent back to Earth. The astronauts also conduct fun science experiments relevant to the reading.

The videos are posted online for all to see so kids can follow along with a story before bed or in the classroom, all in the name of getting more children excited about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).


Photo by Story Time From Space/YouTube.

And if you don't believe that's an important goal, maybe this'll convince you: Story Time From Space has its own official mission page on NASA's website!

Studies show U.S. students have been hovering around the middle of the world's pack in math and science aptitude for years.

That's a bit of a bummer for the future of awesome things like space exploration, engineering, and medicine.

But the power of a good story? That won't be going away anytime soon.

The people behind Story Time From Space realized early on that watching an astronaut reading a real, hard-copy book while floating around the ISS, with the Earth glowing hundreds of miles away in the background, would be a powerful experience for many kids.

"I decided that it would be a good idea to have astronauts reading from space combining literature and science, because one should complement the other," Tribe told The Toronto Star.

After all, it's like the nonprofit's slogan says: "What you cannot imagine, you cannot do."

Right now, Roraigh's book is still rocketing through space at over 17,000 mph.

One day, it'll return home along with several other books like it that have been read to the children of Earth.

Since his experience with Story Time From Space, Roraigh said he's been given "loads of space books" from friends and relatives, and that he's excited to keep learning about the planets and how they formed.

Sounds like the program just might be working.

You can watch astronaut Tim Peake read Roraigh's book in the video below, or check out the full Story Time From Space video library.

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

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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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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