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Whenever a well-respected man is accused of sexual assault, people who know him as a "good man" step up to defend him.

It's understandable. We all want to think we really know the people we know, and when someone has shown us that they are upstanding citizens, it's hard to imagine that they could do something horrible.

But time and time again, we've seen "good men" get caught with their pants down—figuratively and literally. And until we get past the idea that a community helper who serves others selflessly cannot also be an abuser or sexual predator, we are going to keep believing the wrong people more often than not.


Cases in point: Priests who abused children, impregnated minors, procured abortions—and the bishops who allowed them to keep working.

The Pennsylvania grand jury report on sex abuse in the Catholic church has revealed some stories that should make us question what we think we know about good men.

For example, the priest who raped a girl repeatedly and then assisted her in getting an abortion when he impregnated her was probably a good man in many people's eyes. He was a priest, after all. No doubt he aided the poor, visited the sick, comforted the grieving, and offered sage counsel. I'm sure many people admired and respected him and the work he did.

But that doesn't mean he didn't have sex with a child.

And the bishop who, upon hearing about this priest's predicament, sent a letter to him saying, "This is a very difficult time in your life, and I realize how upset you are. I too share your grief," and then recommended him to minister in a different area of the country—he was undoubtedly a wonderful man in many people's eyes too.

All of the priests who molested choir boys and the higher clergy who covered it up were probably awesome, highly respected citizens in their communities.

The terrifying truth is that "good men" make the best predators.

Bill Cosby was everyone's favorite dad. He gave to charities and worked to help young black men lead better lives. He was also a serial rapist.

Boy Scout leaders have molested children—and most of them were literally Boy Scouts. Clergymen, teachers, civic leaders, politicians—these are all people who are serving the community, but that doesn't not mean that they couldn't possible be abusing their power and preying on the unsuspecting behind closed doors.

Being a "good man" is not a defense when someone is accused of sexual assault. It's just not. In fact, those are the men who most often get away with it because who would believe that a man who ministers to the needy, who exemplifies righteousness, who gives time and money to charity could do something heinous? But it happens all the time.

Most "good men" aren't predators and not all accusations are provable. But the statistics tell us who we should lean toward believing first.

I know some really wonderful men, and it would throw my world into a spin if any of them were accused of abuse or assault. But I wouldn't automatically dismiss an allegation simply because I know someone to be a good man.

Statistically, it's much more likely that an incident of reported assault actually happened than not. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center's review of the research, between 2.1 and 7.1% of sexual violence reports turn out to be false. Even at that, the center asserts that those numbers tend to be overinflated because of inconsistencies in reporting protocol and unclear definitions of sexual assault.

The truth is that most sexual assaults go unreported, most allegations turn out to be true, and alleged victims have a lot to lose by coming forward with an accusation. So when someone does come forward, the societal default should not be based on the legal imperative of "Innocent until proven guilty." It should be based on the statistical reality that tell us "Chances are the accuser is telling the truth."

Too many "good men" have done bad things for us to use character perceptions as a meaningful defense.

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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