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Aziz Ansari is the co-creator and star of "Master of None," a show that's pretty revolutionary for a sad reason: It actually reflects the diversity of the real world.

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.


"Master of None" has a diverse cast in terms of race, gender, and sexual orientation.

And that's not as common as it should be in Hollywood.

Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images.

So when Ansari was honored at the Peabody Awards on May 21, 2016, he gave thanks where thanks was due.

"I want to thank Netflix and Universal for believing in us and letting us tell our stories," he said.

"I think they really seem to get what diversity really is. It's not, 'Hey, let's give this white protagonist a brown friend!' No. It's, 'Let's have a show where there's a token white guy.' And that's what [our show] is."

Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Peabody.

In an entertainment landscape still embarrassingly homogenous (behind and in front of the camera) Ansari is right: Netflix stands out.

Hollywood tends to create content that's overwhelming white, heterosexual, and told through the male perspective (didn't you watch the Oscars this year?). In Netflix's original programming, however, you'll find quite a few projects that buck the trend.

The cast of "Orange Is the New Black." Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images.

Series like "Orange Is the New Black," "Narcos," and "Master of None" prove TV can certainly be successful, sans-white leads. Superheroine "Jessica Jones" is breaking down gender stereotypes when it comes to action series. "Sense8" is piling on awards for its groundbreaking inclusion of LGBT characters and themes. And it says a lot that the company's first original theatrical film"Beasts of No Nation," starring Idris Elba — featured an all-black cast.

"We’re programming for diverse and eclectic tastes and for an increasingly global audience," Cindy Holland, Netflix's vice president of original content,told Variety. "So the folks working on those titles and the folks here at Netflix serving those consumers have to increasingly be more reflective of the audience we serve and the programs we make. It’s something we’re very focused on."

Idris Elba at the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.

It's not just Netflix, either. Other streaming services — namely, Hulu and Amazon Prime — can boast relatively diverse original content as well, with hits like "Transparent,""The Mindy Project," and "Difficult People" breaking the mold.

Still, across virtually all platforms (streaming or not), there's ample room for improvement.

Thankfully, diversity in television is, slowly but surely, getting better (to Ansari's delight, I'm sure).

Although streaming companies have largely led the push for change, network TV is beginning to come around.

But could this desire for diversity simply be a hot trend that'll surely fade?

That's a firm, "no" from Holland, who said Netflix is "absolutely" committed to making its programming even more diverse. It seems like they're not alone.

Diversity on TV shouldn't be all that revolutionary. But until it isn't, at least we have Ansari's candid acceptance speeches to look forward to.

Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Variety.

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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