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How Pokemon Go is helping this shelter get its dogs walked.

You can catch 'em all and help shelter dogs too.

Phil Pechingpaugh, director of the Muncie Animal Shelter in Indiana, was walking his dog and playing Pokémon Go with his daughter when he had a brilliant idea.

He noticed hoards of people walking around doing the exact same thing they were doing — catching Pokémon — only without a dog.

"I just thought, wouldn’t it be great if we could pair these people who are already out walking with shelter dogs who need exercise and stimulation?" Phil told Upworthy.


Photo from Phil Pechingpaugh, used with permission.

It sounded like the perfect partnership — people can get in a Pokéwalks while giving the pups some attention and fresh air at the same time.

Phil asked a friend to design simple ad. Little did he know how much attention it would draw.

"I didn’t expect much at all. I thought maybe we’ll get five or six people down here … but nothing like what we have received. We’ve had over 70 people in here today," Phil exclaimed.

Image from Phil Pechingpaugh, used with permission.

The people showing up to volunteer aren't just college kids playing Pokémon in their down time.

People of all ages have been coming from places near and far, Phil said, mentioning one girl who drove over two hours just so she could volunteer her time walking shelter dogs (and playing Pokémon, of course).


Phil's ad has already been shared on Facebook over 25,000 times and liked over 7,000 times on Twitter.

In the comments, people are posting with encouragement and love for this idea. It's as if everyone had just been waiting for a way to give back while collecting Squirtles and Pidgeys.

Photo by Karen Hastedt Borovsky/Facebook, used with permission.

With so many people showing up at the shelter in groups of three or four, the dog walkers had to develop a system in which one person would focus on dog walking while the others catch Pokémon.

"If you’re not responsible enough to do that, this probably isn’t the best option for you," Phil noted.

Phil hasn't had any problems with distracted dog walkers thus far, but he and his team do express caution to every person who comes in eager to give this fun, good Samaritan exercise a try.


The biggest compliment has come from other local shelters, Phil says.

"We’ve had other shelters that have reached out and said, 'now we’re going to do this.' I find that to be the biggest form of flattery," Phil told Upworthy.

Thanks to Phil, Pokémon Go may end up being responsible for a major uptick in shelter dog adoptions nationwide. He's already had a couple interested parties come in looking to adopt, and the Pokémon Dogs program has only been around for a day.

Photo by Trista Sydloski-Tesch/Facebook, used with permission.

Phil never would've imagined he'd be bring this much positive attention to Muncie and especially not because of a phone game. It just goes to show, small towns can make big splashes, especially when someone finds a way to combine fun with a good deed.

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

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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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