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Former president Barack Obama stands in stark contrast to the current president in countless ways. One of the biggest discrepancies between Obama and Trump are their intellectual curiosity and appreciation of culture.

It’s well documented that President Trump refuses to read just about anything, unless it’s written about him. Whereas Obama has always been open about his love of knowledge and often shares what he’s currently reading on social media.

His literary tastes tend to focus on race relations, economics, technology, and current events.


As he has done in previous years, to mark the end of 2018, Obama shared a list of his favorite books, movies, and music of 2018. His choices reveal a preference for art house films and current hip-hop and R&B.

Honestly, he has pretty hip taste for a dad in his mid-50s.

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“As 2018 draws to a close, I’m continuing a favorite tradition of mine and sharing my year-end lists. It gives me a moment to pause and reflect on the year through the books, movies, and music that I found most thought-provoking, inspiring, or just plain loved,” he wrote on Facebook. “It also gives me a chance to highlight talented authors, artists, and storytellers – some who are household names and others who you may not have heard of before.”

Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2018:

“Becoming” by Michelle Obama (obviously my favorite!)

“An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones

“Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die” by Keith Payne

“Educated” by Tara Westover

“Factfulness” by Hans Rosling

“Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging” by Alex Wagner

“A Grain of Wheat” by Ngugi wa Thiong’o

“A House for Mr Biswas” by V.S. Naipaul

“How Democracies Die” by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt

“In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History” by Mitch Landrieu

“Long Walk to Freedom” by Nelson Mandela

“The New Geography of Jobs” by Enrico Moretti

“The Return” by Hisham Matar

“Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe

“Warlight” by Michael Ondaatje

“Why Liberalism Failed” by Patrick Deneen

“The World As It Is” by Ben Rhodes

“American Prison” by Shane Bauer

“Arthur Ashe: A Life” by Raymond Arsenault

“Asymmetry” by Lisa Halliday

“Feel Free” by Zadie Smith

“Florida” by Lauren Groff

“Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom” by David W. Blight

“Immigrant, Montana” by Amitava Kumar

“The Largesse of the Sea Maiden” by Denis Johnson

“Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” by Max Tegmark

“There There” by Tommy Orange

“Washington Black” by Esi Edugyan

Barack Obama’s favorite movies of 2018:

“Annihilation”

“Black Panther”

“BlacKkKlansman”

“Blindspotting”

“Burning”

“The Death of Stalin”

“Eighth Grade”

“If Beale Street Could Talk”

“Leave No Trace”

“Minding the Gap”

“The Rider”

“Roma”

“Shoplifters”

“Support the Girls”

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor”

Barack Obama’s favorite songs of 2018:

“Apes**t” by The Carters

“Bad Bad News” by Leon Bridges

“Could’ve Been” by H.E.R. (feat. Bryson Tiller)

“Disco Yes” by Tom Misch (feat. Poppy Ajudha)

“Ekombe” by Jupiter & Okwess

“Every Time I Hear That Song” by Brandi Carlile

“Girl Goin’ Nowhere” by Ashley McBryde

“Historia De Un Amor” by Tonina (feat. Javier Limón and Tali Rubinstein)

“I Like It” by Cardi B (feat. Bad Bunny and J Balvin)

“Kevin’s Heart” by J. Cole

“King For A Day” by Anderson East

“Love Lies” by Khalid & Normani

“Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monáe

“Mary Don’t You Weep (Piano & A Microphone 1983 Version)” by Prince

“My Own Thing” by Chance the Rapper (feat. Joey Purp)

“Need a Little Time” by Courtney Barnett

“Nina Cried Power” by Hozier (feat. Mavis Staples)

“Nterini” by Fatoumata Diawara

“One Trick Ponies” by Kurt Vile

“Turnin’ Me Up” by BJ the Chicago Kid

“Wait by the River” by Lord Huron

“Wow Freestyle” by Jay Rock (feat. Kendrick Lamar)

“The Great American Songbook” by Nancy Wilson

Spotify playlist of Obama’s favorite tunes of 2018.

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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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 Dion Merrick / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.09.21


At 1:30 am on Monday morning an AMBER Alert went out in southern Louisiana about a missing 10-year-old girl from New Iberia. It was believed she had been kidnapped and driven away in a 2012 silver Nissan Altima.

A few hours later at 7 am, Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, sanitation workers for Pelican Waste, were on their daily route when they noticed a vehicle that fit the description in the alert.

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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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