+
hollywood military expert donating to ukraine
Jon Barton via Instagram

Being a hero doesn't stop once you're out of the military.

Jon Barton has made a name for himself in Hollywood, but it’s not just for his military expertise. Lots of film and TV sets will hire a consultant to discuss uniforms and weapons in a way that feels more authentic. But that extra bit of magic Barton brings—the special sauce that keeps him working with A-listers like Tom Cruise and Chris Hemsworth—is his compassion.

“I would take the actor and I would put him into a world of his/her military backstory. And I would say, ‘I’m going to teach you what it means to be a marine. Not just how we shoot a gun," he told Upworthy. "I’m going to teach you all the history, the ethos, what it means when we say Semper Fi.’”

That drive for integrity naturally compels Barton to fight for what’s right. After the notorious shooting accident on the set of "Rust," when cinematographerHalyna Hutchins was fatally wounded, Barton addressed the need for better gun safety measures on social media. Namely, he urged the need to hire actual experts, not just armorers.

“For me, it’s personal. I am passionate about keeping people safe. You can’t even come close to an accident,” he said.

Barton continues to put his empathy into action, most recently by donating nearly $1 million worth of tactical supplies to the volunteer soldiers fighting in Ukraine.

The idea came to him, as so many do nowadays, via Instagram.


A friend reached out to Barton asking if he had any medical supplies to donate. Unfortunately, the answer was no, but that led to something even better. The doctor leading the donation asked Barton if instead he had camouflage uniforms or knee pads.

As the owner of Night-Fire Media, a military rental company with a warehouse absolutely full of tactical gear, it “just clicked.”

“I’ve got a whole warehouse of camouflage, uniforms and kneepads, like it made so much sense that I could donate,” he said, adding that uniforms and weapons tend to change colors every couple of years, becoming outdated—and easily usable—quite quickly. But they would be perfect for the volunteer soldiers who have nothing to fight in but civilian clothes.

“I said, ‘how many do you need? I think I can fill your whole plane.'”

Though no actual weapons have been sent (Barton might be generous, but he’s not looking to break the law), hundreds of boxes have been sent containing equally important gear: uniforms, LBEs (load bearing equipment), rifle slings and all kinds of accessories for use in cold weather, including waterproof boots and flame-retardant combat gloves. And though the armor pieces were taken out (again, not trying to get arrested), around 300 military-grade Kevlar vests were also donated.

Barton has given around 80% of his entire inventory, and plans to keep the mission going.

After news of his efforts begun making headlines, Barton opened up his mailing address for others to send items. Both civilians and vets across the country have been inspired to donate things like emergency blankets, sleeping bags and fire-starting kits. One small act of kindness has now taken on new life.

Barton’s sense of purpose comes from simple human empathy.

“As Americans, we should fight oppression and evil wherever it rears its ugly head in the world, if we’re able. I am blown away by the Ukrainian people’s tenacity and their philosophy as war fighters. Above everything else, I think we need to commend that. You know, we're a country that started and we gained our independence by fighting for our freedom. We didn’t do it alone. So I want the Ukrainians to know they’re not alone. We believe in their fight.”

In times of war, heroes emerge in many places, not just on the frontlines. Whether that’s giving time, money or supplies, each time we choose generosity, humanity wins.

If you would like to send any items to Barton, you can mail to:

10866 Washington Blvd. #502, Culver City, CA, 90233

Or, you can send something via Amazon using this wishlist.

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.
Keep ReadingShow less
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.

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.

Keep ReadingShow less
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.

Keep ReadingShow less