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Standing with a crowd is easy. Standing alone takes courage.

On March 14, the whole country watched as students across the U.S. walked out of their schools in protest of school shootings and the government's inaction on gun control.

We watched videos of scores of students filling streets and football fields, carrying protest signs, and standing in solidarity with one another.


Image via Saul Loeb/Getty Images.

But the walkout was not universally embraced. Some kids walked out of their schools and found themselves alone.

Like thousands of students, Justin Blackman of Wilson Preparatory Academy in Wilson, North Carolina, walked out of his Spanish class at 10:00 a.m. on March 14. But he soon discovered that he was the only person out of approximately 700 students at the school to do so.

He shared a video on Twitter, saying, ""It's National Walkout Day. I'm the only one from my school out here."

Blackman stood outside the school for 17 minutes — one minute for each of the victims of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting — and then went back inside. He wasn't sure if he'd be in trouble with his teacher or school administrators, but no one made a fuss. One person even congratulated him.

Twitter, however, went wild over his story, and his video has been retweeted more than 60,000 times.

This Twitter exchange between Blackman and a student from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of the most recent mass school shooting, is particularly inspiring:

Screenshot via Twitter

I think the kids are going to be alright.

But not all school administrators were supportive of the walkouts. In fact, some actively tried to squash the protests.

Blackman was not the only lone walker to gain the media's attention. Rosa Rodriguez of Sayreville, New Jersey, didn't see any other students when she walked outside her high school building. As it turns out, she wasn't as alone as she thought — a handful of others students protested in other parts of campus.

But unlike Blackman, students at Sayreville were warned of disciplinary action if they left class.

Rodriguez says she was willing to take the risk to protest school gun violence, telling ABC News, "I want to show I care about it, so I want to do something about it."

According to MyCentralJersey.com, another Sayreville student was told that those who walked out would receive two days of out-of-school suspension, despite the district's code of conduct only calling for a Saturday detention for leaving campus "without authorization."

(Just so we're clear here, the school didn't want students to leave school for 20 minutes for a highly organized nationwide demonstration, so they are forcing them toleave school for two days. Makes perfect sense.)

Teens weren't the only young people who participated solo in the National School Walkout.  

Leonardo Aguilar is a second grader at Trace Elementary School in San Jose, California. Accompanied by his mom and donning a "Guns Are Cruel, Not Cool" sign he made, Aguilar joined the protest down the street at Lincoln High School on March 14.

He was the only kid from his school to participate in the walkout.

Reporter Len Ramirez shared a photo of Aguilar standing with his sign on Twitter:

When Ramirez asked the 8-year-old about being at the protest, he replied,  “I’m protesting for the Florida shooting ... I made a poster — as you can see."

When asked why he felt so strongly, the second grader said, “Because guns are not safe and people get hurt. And teenagers shouldn’t bring guns to school.”  

When asked if he feels safe at school, his response was a simple "No."

Kids are sick of living in fear of gun violence in schools — and in the United States at large.

School shootings affect American kids of all ages, who now spend their childhoods in regular lockdowns and active shooter drills. We live in a surreal era when a second grader has to explain that guns have no place in schools, while legislators talk about handing guns to teachers.

It's awesome that so many students banded together in their schools and walked out together in solidarity. I'm impressed with the way so many young people are organizing themselves and pressuring lawmakers to get out of their comfy chairs and do something about gun violence.

But these kids? The ones who stood up and walked out without their peers behind or beside them? They give me all the feels. This is what strength looks like. This is what bravery looks like.

The kids are coming, America. And they're coming armed with courage and conviction, which is a whole lot more powerful than guns.  

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

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.

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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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