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Philadelphia's Republican city commissioner has no time for Trump's tsunami of fraud lies
60 Minutes/Twitter, Diana O & Larry McM/Twitter

As President Trump continues to beat the drum of fraud and cheating with no solid evidence to back it up, and as many Republicans seem hell bent on sticking with Trump to the bitter end, there are some Republicans who are putting country—and reality—before party.

One of those Republicans is Philadelphia city commissioner Al Schmidt. He and his office are in charge of the vote count for the city, which has come under a huge microscope with Pennsylvania being the state that pushed Biden over the threshold of 270 electoral votes. Trump's team has been pushing hard to try to make Pennsylvania out to be a hotbed of corruption and illegal voting, but Schmidt says the allegations being made against Philadelphia's ballot counting have no basis in reality.



Schmidt was interviewed by 60 Minutes over the weekend, where he described the "crazy" things he's heard and how his office has been receiving death threats over it.

"From the inside looking out, it feels all very deranged," he said. "At the end of the day, we are counting eligible votes cast by voters. The controversy surrounding it is something I don't understand. It's people making accusations that we wouldn't count those votes, or people are adding fraudulent votes...just coming up with all sorts of crazy stuff."

Schmidt said they're getting "calls to our offices reminding us this is what the second amendment is for. People like us...for counting votes...in a democracy."

Despite the tsunami of misinformation floating around social media, including from the president of the United States, Schmidt is holding firm. Regardless of party or personal loyalty, truth comes first.

When CNN asked what evidence of any widespread fraud Schmidt had seen in the count in Philadelphia, he replied, "I have not. If evidence of widespread fraud—or evidence of any fraud at all—is brought to our attention, we take a look at it and we refer it to law enforcement, as we always do in every election."

"I have seen the most fantastical things on social media," Schmidt continued. "making completely ridiculous allegations that have no basis in fact at all, and see them spread. And I realize a lot of people are happy about this election, and a lot of people are unhappy about this election. One thing I can't comprehend is how hungry people are to consume lies and to consume information that is not true."

The CNN host asked him to clarify what information was not true, to which Schmidt replied, "Just the other day I saw something that had a long list of people that they said were dead voters who voted in Philadelphia. So when we took a break between everything else that we're doing, we looked it up, each one of them, to see what their vote history was. Not a single one of them voted in Philadelphia after they died. It's one of these things that kind of bounces around out there, that echoes around, that people say from one to another they heard something, or they heard from someone who saw something that they think might have been x, y, or z. And it's really impossible to keep up with those."

Schmidt is not alone.

The international delegation of election watchers Trump invited to witness our electoral process released a preliminary report saying that they were impressed by the conduct of our elections and chastised Trump for his baseless accusations of systemic fraud. The New York Times called election officials in all 50 states to find out what evidence they had seen of widespread fraud, and guess what. All the officials they spoke to, from both parties, said that no fraud or irregularities had played a role in the outcome of the election.

Irregularities do occur in every election, and there are systems in place for catching and remedying them. And every investigation into voter fraud—including Trump's own administration's Voter Fraud Commission—has found that no evidence of widespread fraud. Any individual instances of fraud that have been found amount to a miniscule fraction of a fraction of a percent of total legitimate votes. The case for fraud just isn't there.

And the accusation isn't benign. Right now, we have a president who is not just contesting the election results, but behaving as if it's a foregone conclusion that he's going to remain in power. He's vetting appointees for a second term. He's making sweeping changes in Pentagon leadership. He's undermining Americans' faith in our electoral system, which puts the safety and stability of our nation directly in harm's way.

The peaceful transfer of power is one of the defining elements of our democracy, a vital tradition that reminds us we have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. When the people have spoken at the ballot box, no matter who wins, the leaders of our government accept the result. In some elections, like Bush/Gore in 2000, results truly are so close that a challenge and recount is warranted. But we all know the legal challenges in this election aren't about a close count. With Biden's commanding lead of more than five million votes in the popular vote and winning key swing states by more than five figures, the result isn't that close.

This refusal to concede is 100% the emotional response of a malignant narcissist who is incapable of admitting defeat of any kind. It's the childish reaction of a man whose dad raised him to believe you're either a fighter or a loser, and it's not acceptable to be a loser. The fact that some prominent Republicans are coddling his delusions, feeding the misinformation machine that has led to millions of Americans not accepting an obvious result and undermining people's faith in our free and fair elections, is baffling and embarrassing, but it doesn't change the reality that Al Schmidt and other election officials keep reiterating.

Joe Biden is president-elect of the United States. And no amount of baseless allegations will change that.

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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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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