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Earlier this month, big news about actor Richard Gere surfaced on Facebook.

He'd reportedly opened up about a moving experience dressing as a homeless man in New York City.


Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images.

"People would just [pass] by me and look at me in disgrace," the post read. It was published with a photo taken of him dressed in clothes that, to many passersby, would imply he's homeless. "Only one lady was kind enough to give me some food. It was an experience I'll never forget."

The experience was apparently so unforgettable, he went around giving $100 bills to every homeless person he saw. (Whoa.)

What a class act, that Richard Gere.

The only problem? The Facebook post was a total fake.

It was published on the "Unofficial: Richard Gere" fan site's page (which, judging by its name, should have been a clue). Gere doesn't even have a Facebook account, as ABC News reported, so the direct quote used in the post's text was nothing short of a complete fabrication. (Man, the Internet these days.)


I'm sure whoever shared the post had good intentions. But the false post blew up a little too much for comfort, garnering more than 1.5 million Likes and 640,000 shares.

Gere didn't remain silent.

Did he get angry? Nah. He seized on the moment to speak out on homelessness (this time for real).

Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival.

The photo taken of him dressed as a homeless person was real, though. The actor had been in character for his new movie, "Time Out of Mind," released in September 2015.

Seeing as Gere doesn't have an official Facebook account, he used his co-star's — actor Jena Malone, who plays his estranged daughter in the film — to speak out on the matter:

"Hi, Richard Gere here. I was completely surprised to find that last week someone posted a photo of me on a Facebook fan page as a homeless man on the streets of New York that drew 1.6 million likes and over a half-a-million shares.

While the story that accompanied the photograph was somewhat fictional (especially the $100 hand-outs), it seemed to have touched something important in people. I'd like to find out what that is and what we can do together to make something good and meaningful happen for our homeless brothers and sisters.

The image was from Time Out of Mind, a film we released this fall, that follows a homeless man in New York City. I'd like you to join me for a conversation on the issue of homelessness and how it impacts your lives. The film's director Oren Moverman I will be taking questions live on Wednesday, 10/28 at 11AM ET right here on Jena's page, I hope you'll join us. We're excited to see what happens, PLEASE ASK QUESTIONS AND SHARE YOUR STORIES BELOW.

Talk to you soon, Richard"





Using the misleading post as an opportunity, Gere explained that he and director Oren Moverman would be chatting with fans about homelessness — which affects more than 578,000 people in the U.S., according to a 2014 report by the Department of Housing and Urban Development — in order to combat the crisis.

"I hope you'll join us," Gere wrote. "We're excited to see what happens."

Now that's how you deal with a fake Internet story.

Ask Gere questions on Malone's Facebook page to participate in the Q&A, which starts at 11 a.m. Eastern on Oct. 28, 2015.

And don't forget to check out the film (it looks incredible).

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.”

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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


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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.

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