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As temperatures drop, pipeline protesters join together to winterize Standing Rock.

Winter is coming at Standing Rock. Are these new teepees the answer?

There is more to Standing Rock than protests. Every day is an exercise in peaceful prayer and building community.

In the few short weeks I’ve been at Standing Rock, I’ve witnessed the violence of three major incidents involving police and water protectors. I’ve also witness hundreds of people come together to protect sacred water sources and lands — all the while being under constant surveillance and psychological violence.

Sunset at Standing Rock. Photo by Wendy Carrillo.


The most egregious of incidents occurred the day I arrived, Oct. 27, when authorities raided the 1851 Treaty Camp, the “front lines” of water protectors.

Using pepper spray, noise cannons, rubber bullets, tasers, and batons, police attacked peaceful demonstrators, grandmothers, people in prayer and ceremony. Over 140 were arrested. It was shocking and frightening to arrive to that.

It’s easy to think violence is the only thing happening at the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Amid the chaos, there is order.

There are currently three camps at the Standing Rock reservation that make up the resistance working toward halting the pipeline.

The camps — Sacred Stone, Oceti Sakowin, and Rosebud — have thousands of people working toward “winterizing,” the prep work being done for winter.

Soon, the weather is expected to drop below zero and could reach -40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Paul Cheyok'ten Wagner — a member of the Saanich First Nations of Vancouver Island and an artist and inventor — is one such person looking ahead. He is designing a contemporary teepee that costs thousands of dollars less than a traditional teepee and uses materials found in any hardware store.

Women make circular teepee tops at a Seattle working party. Photo courtesy of Winter Shelter for Standing Rock Facebook page.

Currently living in Seattle, Wagner, answered the call for Canoe Families to join a spiritual journey down the Missouri River in early September. The event was focused on native unity for the protection of sacred waters and lands threatened by the North Dakota Access Pipeline. That’s when he felt a call to do something to help the water protectors of Standing Rock.

“Climate change is my number one issue,” Wagner says. Having been involved in movements like IdIe No More, which calls on all people to honor indigenous sovereignty and to protect water and land, going to Standing Rock seemed like a natural next step.

Through his campaign called Winter Shelter for Standing Rock, Wagner is hoping he and his crew of volunteers will build at least 40 of these new teepee structures.

Paul Cheyok'ten Wagner climbs a tarpee structure at Standing Rock. Photo courtesy of Winter Shelter for Standing Rock Facebook page.

The teepees, which have been dubbed “tarpees” by Standing Rock locals, use white heavy-duty poly tarp material with anywhere from 8 to 16 poles and a round plywood roof top. Traditional teepees can use 12 to 25 poles cut from lodgepole pine trees, which have to be cut, shaved, and cleaned. Usually, teepees are covered with buffalo skins or canvas — the more traditional, the more expensive. Tarps cut those costs dramatically.

“I’ve always been inventing things,” says Wagner, who experienced the frigid night air after sleeping in a summer tent at Standing Rock. “At first I thought, a cabin. But that would be too expensive; tents wouldn't hold up in the winter and teepees also need poles and canvases and that would raise the costs.”

Slowly, the idea began to form and take shape. What if he used tarp instead of canvas? What if he used wood beams instead of pine poles? What if he added a stove inside with a chimney? How would it hold up on the top? What if he added a circular structure at the top that would hold the poles and the chimney?

A banner hangs just below the tarpee ceiling. Photo by Wendy Carrillo.

As of now, at least 10 additional tarpees have been built at the various camps, each comfortably housing up to 12 people.

Bryan Fabert, a volunteer with the Winter Shelter for Standing Rock campaign, has been busy training others on how to build the structures. There is an urgency to have as many sound winter shelters as possible.

“This has never been done before,” Fabert said while hammering away at some beams at camp. “Every day we’re discovering new things that will improve on the design, especially for insulation and heat.”

The original seven-gallon stoves needed to be watched constantly and were too small to keep wood burning overnight. Because tarp is much lighter than canvas, the warmth of the stove diminishes as people sleep.

But Wagner says he’s already created a new design for a stove. “The original stove is going to be replaced with a 30-gallon barrel stove of my own design with a baffle that will create a very clean burn with little wood, all the while creating more heat.”

One of the new 30-gallon barrel stoves arriving at Standing Rock. Photo by Wendy Carrillo.

The new stoves and the circular tops are set to arrive at Standing Rock via bus from Seattle, alongside a crew of more volunteers.

Danielle Gennetly, who is of Mi’Mack Nation heritage as well as French Canadian and Syrian heritage, was an early supporter of Winter Shelter for Standing Rock and is staying through winter. “I felt called to be here,” she says. “I feel very connected to nature, to mountains and waterfalls; we have to protect these things.”

Gennetly shares her tarpee with female elders and has adorned the space with an altar by the stove, surrounded by sage and cedar and colorful streamers with words like "equality" and "diversity" hanging from the ceiling. She was one of the first to volunteer to build the tarpees and is now busy sorting food donations and creating communal spaces, such as the pantry, a mess hall for dining, and a volunteer space at one of the camps.

“This is sacred land,” Gennetly says of Standing Rock. “We must be prepared to come together and protect it; we cannot do it alone.”

Wagner echoes the same sentiment. “It’s going to take people coming together to protect water, to be partners in this peaceful movement. That’s who we are as human beings. We are protectors of water and these sacred relationships with nature."

The Friday following Thanksgiving, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers notified Standing Rock that protesters needed to vacate all campgrounds north of the Cannonball River by Dec. 5. A letter suggested the safety of the protesters was the main concern.

“Our tribe is deeply disappointed in this decision by the United States, but our resolve to protect our water is stronger than ever,” Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chair Dave Archambault II says of the decision.

The notice came as a surprise because the U.S. Army Corps had previously announced more analysis was needed for the Dakota Access Pipeline to move forward. Currently, no final decision has been made on granting an easement to Energy Transfer Partners, the corporation behind the pipeline. An easement would allow Energy Partners to dig underneath the Missouri River.

The fight for clean water is not solely an issue affecting the Standing Rock reservation. A leak could affect millions of Americans who rely on water from the river, as well as wildlife and gaming.

The Missouri River is the longest river in North America, crossing Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri. The Standing Rock Sioux Nation relies on its water, as do 17 million other Americans downstream.

As winter approaches, water protectors say they are not leaving the camp.

They will need to stay warm and think about new strategies to protect the water and land.

Watch the video below for more on how a tarpee is built:

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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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