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Present Biden delivered the speech Americans have been waiting for
via CNBC / YouTube

President Biden marked the year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic by delivering his first prime-time address Thursday evening from the East Room of the White House

The speech was a solemn commemoration of the lives lost in the pandemic and the struggles Americans have faced for the past year. But the speech also marked a turning point as Americans are finally beginning to see the light after a long, dark night caused by the virus.

Biden summed up the succinctly with one line: "Finding light in the darkness is a very American thing to do."


At the beginning of the speech, Biden showed how far we've come since last March when the country suffered under chaotic leadership.

"A year ago, we were hit with a virus that was met with silence and spread unchecked, denials for days, weeks, then months," Biden said. "That led to more deaths, more infections, more stress, and more loneliness."

He signaled the difference in empathy between him and his predecessor by brandishing a card he carries in his pocket that contains an updated number of Americans who've died from the virus. It now stands at over 527,000.

Biden noted the number of deaths was greater than two world wars, the Vietnam War, and 9/11 combined.

Much like he did on the campaign trail, he showed he understands what the average American has been going through over the past year. "The things we used to do that always filled us with joy have become things we couldn't do," he mourned. "It broke our hearts."


President Joe Biden addresses nation on first anniversary of Covid shutdownwww.youtube.com

He then described a path forward marked by truth, faith in science, and continued vigilance to fight the virus in the final stretch.

"We know what we need to do to beat this virus; tell the truth, follow the science, work together," he said. "You're owed nothing less than the truth."

He took time to tout his administration's achievements in fighting the virus. While normally, this type of gesture by a sitting president would be seen as political grandstanding, a plurality of Americans believe his administration has done a good job.

The latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey, found that sixty-two percent of Americans approve of how Biden is handling the pandemic.

"Now, because all the work we've done, we'll have enough vaccine supply for all adults in America by the end of May," he said. "That's months ahead of schedule."

Biden also proudly proclaimed he was going to "beat" his original goal of getting 100 million shots in people's arms in his first 100 days in office, by having it done in just 60.

The president also announced he has directed states to make all adult Americans eligible to receive coronavirus vaccines no later than May 1.

Finally, Biden gave Americans the shot in the arm they really need by providing a date by which he believes a sense of normalcy will return.

"If we do our part, if we do this together, by July the 4th there's a good chance you, your families, and friends will be able to get together in your backyard or in your neighborhood and have a cookout and a barbecue and celebrate Independence Day," the president said.

He called it a day we could declare "independence from this virus."

He ended the speech with a call to remain vigilant in the final months of the pandemic by getting vaccinated, washing your hands, and wearing a mask.

"I promise you, we'll come out stronger," Biden said. "With a renewed commitment to one another, to our communities, and to our country. This is the United States of America ... from the bottom of my heart, I believe this, that there's nothing we can't do when we do it together."



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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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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