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Early in 2016, the Palin family rocketed back into headlines for a couple reasons.

On Jan. 19, 2016, Sarah Palin formally endorsed Donald Trump for president. Seeing as Trump's the current GOP front-runner and Palin was once gunning for the vice presidency, the endorsement naturally made waves.


Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images.

That same day, however, a different story cropped up regarding the Alaskan family. Track Palin, the former politician's 26-year-old son who served in Iraq, was arraigned on charges of domestic assault and possession of a firearm while intoxicated, USA Today reported. According to his mom, Track is living with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), which played a role in her son's actions.

The two stories seemingly have nothing to do with one another. But Palin used the spotlight from her Trump endorsement to not-so-subtly blame her son's PTSD on Obama's failure to provide adequate resources to returning men and women in uniform. She stated that veterans "have to question if they're respected anymore" and they need a commander-in-chief "who will respect them and honor them."

If you're bothered by Palin's assertion that the president is somehow personally responsible for her son's wrongdoing, you're not alone.

On Jan. 20, Paul Rieckhoff, founder and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), spoke out against Palin's dangerous message to voters, loud and clear.

"It's not President Obama's fault that Sarah Palin's son has PTSD," Rieckhoff, who served as an Army first lieutenant and infantry rifle platoon leader in Iraq, told NBC News. "PTSD is a very serious problem, a complicated mental health injury, and I would be extremely reluctant to blame any one person in particular."

Paul Rieckhoff speaks at an event in New York City. Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images.

Let's set aside the fact Obama has fought for veterans in a number of ways — like expanding their access to education, passing tax incentives encouraging businesses to hire them, and, yes, improving health care for those living with PTSD — it shouldn't even matter. Blaming a president for any one individual's battle with PTSD defies reason.

Rieckhoff — whose organization is bipartisan — called on Palin to "resist the urge to politicize" PTSD, and he encouraged Trump to provide specific plans on how he'd help vets living with the condition.

PTSD amongst vets is a serious issue that should be discussed by our leaders, but not in such a blatantly politicizing (and misleading) way.

PTSD surfaces when an individual's "fight-or-flight" response — a healthy, instinctive reaction every human has in times of distress to protect us from danger — is damaged or changed, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The condition can arise after someone experiences something particularly terrifying — like abuse, rape, natural disaster, or war — and some research suggests it can even be inherited.

PTSD may cause a person to relive upsetting memories, experience jumpiness, and have trouble sleeping, among other symptoms.

A person living with PTSD may try to cope with their condition by abusing drugs and alcohol, according to the VA. Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images.

Because they are more likely to see violence abroad, war veterans are especially affected by PTSD. While about 7-8% of the general population will have the condition at some point in their lives, up to 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans will experience PTSD in a given year, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

"You may have been on missions that exposed you to horrible and life-threatening experiences," the VA's website says. "You may have been shot at, seen a buddy get shot, or seen death. These types of events can lead to PTSD."


Photo by Armend Nimani/AFP/Getty Images.

But it's not just related to combat trauma — female veterans are more likely to experience PTSD due to sexual violence experienced while serving too.

As Rieckhoff pointed out, the causes and ramifications of PTSD are complicated as they pertain to any one person. Palin's attempt to connect her son's mental health directly to a political foe is ignorant at best and malicious at worst.

Taking care of our vets should be a high priority for whoever lives in the White House in 2017 — Democrat or Republican.

One good thing that came from Palin's PTSD comments is that we're talking about the issue. Hopefully a candidate's platform in helping our returning vets will be a priority to voters this November.

Click here to support Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

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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