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Yesterday, presidential candidate Jeb Bush tweeted this:


(Fun fact: The gun in the picture was made by the American subsidiary of a Belgian company that made guns for the Nazis in World War II. The only way Jeb's gun could be less "American" is if it was photographed shooting flaming bullets at an American-flag bikini.)

I know what you're thinking. Probably something like, "Why would ... how did ... that's not ... whaaaaaa...???"


To which I respond: "Yes. Indeed. Welcome to the party. Grab yourself a drink."

The response to Jeb!'s tweet was ... mixed.

Some responded bluntly.

While others responded in kind, posting images of weapons that they thought represented the spirit of other great nations and fictional planets:

Comedian Cameron Esposito took the opportunity to say perhaps America is better represented with images like this:


That's Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space.

Naturally, many were quick to point out the problematic nature of using a gun to represent a country that has a massive and unflinching gun problem.

In 2015 alone, about 13,000 people were killed by guns in the United States, which isn't exactly something to be cavalier or patriotic about.

Whether you think America is about guns or diversity or a shockingly wide variety of Oreo flavors, one thing became clear in the wake of Bush's tweet: It's pretty hard to sum up America in a single image. But that's not going to stop us from trying.

Here are 13 images that inspire love for America way more than a gun.

We all love this big, beautiful, imperfect country. So why not take this opportunity to appreciate some of the things about America that actually are cool and inspiring and patriotic?

1. How about this picture of the U.S. women's soccer team winning the World Cup?

America. Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images.

Tell me that didn't make you want to wrap yourself in an American flag and run around screaming, "We're the best in the world when it pertains to kicking balls into designated goals!" or something to that effect. America.

2. Or this photo of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon?

America. Photo by NASA/Newsmakers

That's right. Italy might have amazing food and Japan has those nifty sleeping pods, but WE'VE BEEN TO THE MOON. I hear Brazil has beautiful beaches. That's cool. WE WALKED ON THE FREAKING MOON. Ireland has some cool cliffs. America? MOON.

3. What about a photo of American singer/songwriter Bill Withers?

America. Photo via Columbia Records/Wikimedia Commons.

If Bill Withers doesn't make you love America, nothing will. Bill Withers wrote "Lean on Me." Can you fathom that for a second? He sat down and wrote "LEAN ON ME!" When he released "Ain't No Sunshine" in 1971, every human being on the planet should've been lining up just to grab a handful of the American soil that sprouted this national treasure.

4. Or hey, how about TV and film actress America Ferrera?

America. Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images.

Not only is she a talented and socially conscious actress bringing some much-needed diversity to primetime television, but her name is America! Her literal name is America. When she makes a reservation at a restaurant, someone has to actually yell out, "Table for America?" That's a table I want to sit at every night.

5. Here's another great one: The Wright Brothers taking the first flight.

America. Photo by Central Press/Getty Images.

Yeah. That happened. Other countries were cool just staying on the ground, but Wilbur and Orville Wright said: "Screw that. Let's take to the skies. America!" That's what they actually said. Seriously! Look it up. Don't look it up.

6. Or remember this "miracle" from the 1980 Olympics?

America. Photo by Steve Powell/Getty Images.

You may also remember it as the day everyone was literally weeping red, white, and blue tears. Team USA defeated Russia in ice hockey at the Olympics and, in doing so, basically ended the Cold War. Which is cooler than Jeb's engraved gun by a factor of several infinities.

7. Beyoncé. End of statement.


America. Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images.

America was founded to get away from the rule of monarchs. Despite that, one American woman continues to reign supreme. Beyonce isn't just a singer, songwriter, and actress. She's royalty. Long live the queen. Long live America.

8. This kid eating fried butter.

America. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

You name it, we fry it. Fried chicken? Duh. Fried shrimp? Easy. How about fried Oreos, Twinkies, and literal sticks of butter? Only in America do we have the true grit to batter up a stick of butter, fry it, and call it food. Sure, it's disgusting. But you know what's more disgusting than deep-frying a stick of butter? Not having the right to do so in the first place.

9. Thanksgiving.

America. Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images.

Also known as "The Greatest Holiday in the World," Thanksgiving is the day where Americans get together and celebrate food and family while politely ignoring the holiday's genocidal origins and our implicit contribution to that embarrassing time in American history. It's simply the most American day there is.

10. Ruth Bader Ginsburg.


America. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

The Ginsburger. Notorious RBG. Ruthy-Bades. Her record speaks for itself. Pro-gay-rights, pro-choice, and a pro at being awesome. In her 23 years as a Supreme Court justice, she has voted on the right side of history nearly every single time. She's one of the primary torchbearers of American progress, and she's doing it all without owning an engraved weapon. Although I do like to imagine that she owns a pair of "RBG"-inscribed nunchaku.

11. The Grand F***ing Canyon.

America. Photo by Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images.

Two things happen when you visit the Grand Canyon. The first is that you're struck by its size and pristine majesty. The second is that you realize you've actually been saluting the entire time, while gently reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in your head.

12. All this beautiful corn.

America. Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images.

Forget baseball. Corn is America's actual pastime. We grow it, we eat it, we put it in EVERYTHING. And we love it. American bodies are basically made out of corn. If the average American had a husk and a cob, we could go out to Nebraska, gently sway in the wind, and return to our truest form.

13. Finally, the Puppy Bowl.

America. Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images for Discovery Communications.

The Puppy Bowl. What can I even say about this? When the Founding Fathers got together and dreamed up the idea of a nation founded on freedom, liberty, and everything good and just in the world, they had no idea how seriously we would take it. The Puppy Bowl, a self-explanatory event that takes place annually at the same time as the Super Bowl, is the American dream incarnate. Sports. TV. Puppies. Don't even think about it. Just put on your American flag sweatpants, grab a medium-cooked burger, sit back, and enjoy.

America isn't about guns.

That seems obvious to most of us. In fact, Jeb probably knows that, too, and only posted the tweet to pander to a conservative base. He doesn't actually think a picture of a gun is what America is really about.

But it's still hard to get around the fact that a picture of a gun represents something way more troubling than inspiring.

America is a big place with lots of problems. But sometimes, it helps to appreciate its triumphs.

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


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"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

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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.

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