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Here's why you need to take a tour of this blind cat sanctuary.

Blind or not, these furry felines have captured our hearts.

Welcome to the Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary, where all cats — whether they're blind, have FeLV, or are FIV-positive — have a home for life.

Pepper the cat and his friend JT. Photo from Blind Cat Rescue/Facebook, used with permission.


This wonderful place was created by North Carolina native Alana Miller together with her daughter back in 2005. The idea was born out of a single blind cat rescue Miller made while volunteering for another shelter.

"A man was going to leave this sick six-week-old kitten in the PetSmart parking lot if the shelter would not accept him. I found myself saying 'I will take him,'" Alana writes on the organization's website. From that moment on, she found herself constantly encountering similar situations because finding forever homes for sick or blind cats is, well, hard.

Once they had taken in four cats, BCRS became an official cat rescue. Now, they have 90 cats.

In 2005, they built a separate space on Miller's property just for blind cats who would've been euthanized by local shelters otherwise. In 2011, they built a separate compound for feline leukemia positive (FeLV+) cats and feline immunodeficiency virus positive (FIV+) cats. Despite common misconceptions, FIV+ cats can live long healthy lives and FeLV+ cats can remain healthy for years before getting sick.

Caroline, one of the cats who's FeLV+. Photo from Blind Cat Rescue/Facebook, used with permission.

"We are a lifetime care sanctuary, we are their lifetime home," Miller told Upworthy.

Anyone who wants to is more than welcome to come visit the cats, and they have open house days scheduled regularly.

The sanctuary is surrounded by a six-foot-tall white fence that allows the blind cats to walk around freely (they can't see the fence, so they don't try to climb it). Beyond that, blind cats are just like any other cats — they jump, they play, they get into crazy, out of reach places, and they pose hilariously.

"You talkin to me?" Photo from Blind Cat Rescue/Facebook, used with permission.

In fact, blind cats are actually more like super cats than their seeing counterparts. According to Miller, if you rearrange your furniture, blind cats will readjust to the new configuration almost immediately. Meanwhile, if I rearrange my own furniture in my apartment, there's a 99% chance I'll trip on it within the next hour. So blind cats: 1, Ally: 0.

BCRS has been drastically improving the lives of sick and blind cats for more than a decade, so why are we talking about them now?

Because they recently started making incredible videos using Facebook Live, which are being shared wildly across the internet.

Photo from Blind Cat Rescue/Facebook, used with permission.

Their shelter tour (which they just posted) already has over 11,000 views and 2,400 Likes. They also have a ustream channel where you can check out what's going on in the sanctuary 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So you know where I'll be if you need me.

However, if you're not into watching the entire 20-minute video, you can meet a few of the cats below:

Here's Atticus:

This gorgeous boy was found as a stray. He is FeLV+ but appears pretty happy and healthy (and competitive). GIF from Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary Inc./YouTube.

Introducing Mickey:

Just because Mickey's blind, doesn't mean he can't catch feather toys like a ninja. GIF from Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary Inc./YouTube.

And here's Marge:

Marge just cannot be bothered with this thing. GIF from Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary Inc./YouTube.

Of course there are many more adorable, hilarious, charming cats at the Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary, but you'll have to check out their site and/or watch their many videos on Facebook and YouTube to see them.

Subscribe to their pages, consider donating to their cause, and if nothing else, take their comprehensive tour here:

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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