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There's a lot to love about America. Freedom of religion. Freedom of assembly. Freedom to dress casually on Friday.

...though the frozen treat is mandated by federal law. Photo by Jewel Samad/Getty Images.


But perhaps the most cherished American freedom of all is the freedom to call the governor of your state an asshole to their face whenever you damn well feel like it.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, for example. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

That's exactly what Florida resident Cara Jennings did when she came face-to-face with Gov. Rick Scott in a Starbucks yesterday.

But ... why would anyone want to yell at Rick Scott?

He looks nice.

Photo by Joe Radle/Getty Images.

I mean, just look at those teeth. Such clean teeth!

Jennings had three reasons, it turns out. And they're pretty big ones.

1. "You cut Medicaid, so I couldn't get Obamacare," Jennings accused.

Under the Affordable Care Act, everyone has to buy health coverage or face a tax penalty. But what if you can't afford insurance? According to the law, anyone who makes up to 138% of the poverty line is eligible for Medicaid, and anyone who makes between 138% to 400% of the poverty line can have their coverage subsidized if they buy a plan from their state or federal exchange.

In theory, anyway.

The catch is, the ACA is a federal law, and Medicaid is a state program. The federal government can't force the states to expand it to include higher-earning people if they don't want to. So the federal government gave the states a huge carrot to get them to do so: offering to pay for the expansion in full until 2020, and 90% after that. Basically a total win-win.

Thanks, Obama. Photo via iStock.

But Florida, under Scott, refused (after saying he'd take the money in 2013). Which, essentially, means that anyone in Florida who makes more than poverty wages but less then a living wage is pretty much out of luck.

Jennings isn't exactly correct to say Scott cut Medicaid. But it is true that his government rejected a pretty no-brainer expansion of Medicaid that wouldn't have cost the state a dime for seven years. And in doing so, he put affordable health care out of reach for many, many Floridians.

2. "A million jobs? Great! Who here has a great job?"

As Jennings shouted in his general direction, Scott boasted that Florida has added 1 million jobs in his tenure. He's (close enough to) right!

Jennings replied that these jobs mostly kind of suck. And she's also kind of right.

Florida's economy. Photo by M. Minderhoud/Wikimedia Commons.

Scott has faced criticism that many of the jobs his state has added since he took charge don't really pay all that well — and there's some evidence to support this claim. A 2014 United Way report found that over half of all jobs in the state paid less than $15 an hour, and sectors that offer low-paying jobs have been among the fastest-growing.

There's some evidence that this has begun to change recently, but it's hard to blame Jennings for feeling frustrated.

3. "You stripped [women] of access to public health care."

According to WFTS-TV in Gainsville, Jennings had been "reading about Scott signing a bill that cuts money for Planned Parenthood and seized the opportunity to speak her mind."

And it's true! Scott signed a bill in March stripping state funding from clinics that provide abortions, including Planned Parenthood.

Really? This again. Still with this? Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images.

Planned Parenthood does provide abortion services. It also provides plenty of other services, including cancer screenings, contraception, and STD/STI testing. Cutting funding puts those services in jeopardy.

As the gutsiness of Jennings' epic rant makes clear, when it comes to holding politicians to account, politeness can be kinda overrated.

Most of us, at some point in our lives, learn that shouting at a stranger in a coffee shop is rude. But these are big issues that affect real people! And when, if ever, else was Jennings going to have an unscripted conversation with the governor responsible?

Like most politicians, Rick Scott undoubtedly spends a lot of time surrounded by lots of people who agree with him. If not for a lady in a Starbucks yelling at him, when's he gonna hear about it?

So if you feel the need, by all means, yell at your governor.

Still. Those teeth. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

It's the American way.

Fine print: Upworthy does not expressly endorse yelling at your governor. There are many, many situations where this might not be appropriate or advisable. Though, if you want to yell at your governor, you have the constitutional right to. Upworthy does endorse the Constitution of the United States.

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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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.

Pop Culture

John Cena sets new world record with 650 wishes granted with the Make-A-Wish Foundation

He’s become the foundation’s most requested celebrity—and he never turns anyone down.

"I'll drop everything."

The multitalented, mega famous John Cena might hold many titles, but this might be the coolest one yet—and it has nothing to do with wrestling.

The actor and WWE performer just broke the Guinness World Records for most wishes granted through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. As of July 19, Guinness World Records reports, Cena has granted a whopping 650 wishes. The highest amount any other celebrity granted was 200.

The 16-time world champion first became a wish-granter back in 2002. Since then, he’s become the foundation’s most requested celebrity—and he never turns anyone down.

"I just drop everything. I don't care what I'm doing," he said in a WWE produced video after granting his 500th wish. “I can't say enough how cool it is to see the kids so happy, and their families so happy, I truly want to show them that it's their day.”
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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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