+
People are finding ways to creatively join the fight against COVID-19
Photo courtesy of Ginny Engholm
True

Most of us don't have much in common—or, we didn't, before the year 2020. Now, the entire human race is experiencing what it means to live through a global pandemic, in real-time.

Thankfully, people are finding innovative ways to channel their talents and energy for good. Many brands, organizations, and influencers are leading the way, and creatively capturing the world's attention by spreading hope, solidarity, and awareness during a challenging—and sometimes boring—time.

Meet Annie Engholm, a creative 9-year-old with a gift for jewelry-making. When the stay-at-home order went into effect and she was suddenly stuck at home with her family, Annie found herself with a lot of big feelings coupled with a surplus of spare time.


Photo courtesy of Ginny Engholm

She began crafting wearable art from the large bins of googly eyes, ribbon, construction paper and sparkly things she keeps stored on the enclosed back porch of her home. The creations were so downright awesome that her parents, Ginny and Scott, suggested she created an online store, Annie's Ever After Etsy Shop, to sell her wares.

Her mom says that Annie designs and makes everything herself, attaching pieces with a glue gun or by hand-sewing. Her dad taught her how to digitally upload the items to her Etsy shop, so she's able to take a photo of each item and place it in her store, all by herself. She also packages orders and hand makes a card for each one. "The only things we do for her is order the supplies, print the shipping labels, and take orders to the post office," said Ginny.

Annie quickly earned $264 in sales, which she decided to donate to a local hospital to, in her words, "help fight the virus." To date, she has donated a total of $500, but her goal is to hit $1,000.

"It makes me feel happy to put my emotions into something," Annie said. "I love to do crafts." She is hoping that by doing her part to fight the virus, social distancing will end quickly so she can see her friends again, because she really, really misses her friends.

Writer and mother of two Alice Gomstyn, a native of northern New Jersey, decided to use her talent and varied network to host a fundraiser perfectly suited for a pandemic: a virtual poetry slam.

Gomstyn, along with her co-host Kyra Gilbreath, organized the April 15 fundraiser as an hour-long video conference call. To get the Zoom link, participants were asked to donate at minimum $20, but many gave much more. Once the slam began, participants suggested subjects for rhyming poems that Gomstyn would quickly write and perform live, minutes later. The guests enjoyed a happy hour ambiance as they were entertained by an eclectic hodgepodge of poetry and musical parodies.

"It goes without saying that it's been a very stressful, scary time, especially if you live in the New York metro area and other hard-hit regions," said Gomstyn. "My favorite part of using my weird little speed-rhyming talent was making the people on my screen smile and laugh, the pandemic notwithstanding."The virtual poetry slam raised just under $1,700, which she gifted to a grassroots group founded in March—a New Jersey-based nonprofit devoted to buying meals from area restaurants and delivering them to healthcare workers at local hospitals on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because most people are staying home (and running out of options on Netflix), large companies are taking the opportunity to entertain the masses while indirectly raising money to help the fight against COVID-19. Take, for example, 15-year-old Charli D'Amelio, the most followed person on TikTok (54.9 million followers!). She partnered with P&G to create the #DistanceDance challenge to raise awareness of social distancing and money for charity organizations Feeding America and Matthew: 25 Ministries.

To kick it off, Charli posted a video demonstrating a few simple dance moves with a caption encouraging fans to "stay home and do the #distancedance. Because of her massive following, the video had 95,000 views in the first ten minutes. Ten hours later, it was up to 6 million views and it's skyrocketed from there.

@charlidamelio Stay home & do the ##distancedance. Tag me & the hashtag in your video. P&G will donate to Feeding America & Matthew 25 for first 3M videos ##PGPartner
♬ Big Up's (feat. Yung Nnelg) - Jordyn, Nic Da Kid

A Miami-based singer and entertainer, Persephone Dove, told Upworthy she was inspired to join the challenge after seeing the citizens in Italy performing on their balconies. "Now, I can safely brighten peoples' day, while still working towards my dreams of stardom and making the world a better place at the same time."

Bottom line: staying home saves lives. It's awe-inspiring to see what can happen when people come together. The very best of humanity shines during the darkest times, and this is true now. So, to everyone who is taking a tough situation and using it for good, we are here for it.

Turn your everyday actions into acts of good every day at P&G Good Everyday.

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.

It's incredible what a double-sided magnet can do.

This article originally appeared on 04.25.22


A new trend in treasure hunting called magnet fishing has blown up over the past two years, evidenced by an explosion of YouTube channels covering the hobby. Magnet fishing is a pretty simple activity. Hobbyists attach high-powered magnets to strong ropes, drop them into waterways and see what they attract.

The hobby has caught the attention of law enforcement and government agencies because urban waterways are a popular place for criminals to drop weapons and stolen items after committing a crime. In 2019, a magnet fisherman in Michigan pulled up an antique World War I mortar grenade and the bomb squad had to be called out to investigate.

Fifteen-year-old George Tindale and his dad, Kevin, 52, of Grantham, Lincolnshire in the U.K., made an incredible find earlier this month when they used two magnets to pull up a safe that had been submerged in the River Witham.

George has a popular magnet fishing YouTube channel called “Magnetic G.”

Keep ReadingShow less

"What Do You Know About The Female Body?" from Jimmy Kimmel

This article originally appeared on 01.14.22


When Jimmy Kimmel takes to the street, you know you’re in for a good laugh at just how little we actually know about, well, seemingly anything. That goes for anatomy too. In this case, female anatomy.

In a segment called “What Do You Know About The Female Body?” men try—and hilariously fail—to answer even the most basic questions, like “does a female have one uterus, or two?” much to the amazement of some of their female partners.

Here are some of the very best bits of nonwisdom:

Keep ReadingShow less

Woman's experience reminds everyone to lock hotel door.

If you've ever stayed in a hotel, you know there's an additional lock you can latch as an added layer of protection. But sometimes weird things happen that make us rethink the comfort and security many of us take for granted. TikTok user TayBeepBoop had a disturbing experience when a hotel front desk person attempted to enter her room while she was inside. Some readers may find the story to be unsettling but it's a powerful reminder of exactly why situational awareness and caution are so important in today's world.

Keep ReadingShow less