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It's a homophobic message on a bathroom wall. But then it gets better. And then ... oh snap.

Homophobic jokes? Gross. Sadly, it's pretty standard bathroom graffiti fare. But I doubt anyone expected the dialogue that followed.

A Florida high school student shared a photo of this exchange on a campus bathroom wall.

If you've ever used a public bathroom, chances are you've seen your fair share of phone numbers, crude jokes, and graffiti scribbled on walls. But I doubt you've seen this sort of lengthy progressive discussion.

When a student at Dreyfoos School of the Arts in Florida shared this on Twitter, it went viral for good reason. Admittedly, the conversation's a little tough to follow (and hard to read), so I made you a handy key that breaks down it down. Check it out:



1. Student A: "[Redacted] chugs [redacted]"

Translation: Crude fellatio joke.

2. Student B: "And it's 2015 so that's OK! Check yourself."

3. Student C: "It was okay before 2015 too. Check yourself, before you rek yourself."

4. Student B: "Fair game, friend. However, to hold such bigoted, homophobic beliefs is even less excusable in today's world of vastly accessible media than it ever was in the past, when those views may have been the only ones a person was ever exposed to. I'm not condoning offenses of the past. I'm simply praising the progress we've made. In the end, being LGBTQ+ was OK then, it's OK now, and it will always be OK."

Now that's what I call a mic drop.



via Giphy

I love this exchange for a few different reasons. First, full disclosure: I graduated from Dreyfoos School of the Arts in 2002. So of course this makes me especially proud. I'll never forget my first day on campus seeing people with tattoos and brightly colored hair, and *gasp* two girls kissing. Seeing different types of people embracing themselves and being accepted by others was extremely eye-opening for 14-year-old me. That's because diversity of all kinds is a win for everyone because it not only promotes self-esteem but also encourages acceptance and tolerance.

But while the Palm Beach Post reporter remarked, "Only at Dreyfoos," it's not just at Dreyfoos. Not by a long shot. All over the country, young people are standing up for equality and championing the rights of LGBTQ+ folks. In 2013, Cassidy Lynn Campbell became America's first openly transgender homecoming queen, high schools around the country host Gay Straight Alliance clubs, and charities like the Trevor Project have partnered with schools to help create safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth.

This exchange is important because when people promote harmful ideas about others, we need to use our voices to educate — even if it happens on a bathroom wall. While it took a minute to get there, the sentiment shared by both students is the same: "In the end, being LGBTQ+ was OK then, it's OK now, and it will always be OK."

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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