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Sen. Ted Cruz stopped listening to rock music after 9/11. True story.

"On 9/11, I didn’t like how rock music responded," he said on "CBS This Morning." "And country music, collectively, the way they responded, it resonated with me."


Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

Fair enough. The senator didn't elaborate on which country acts in particular resonated with him following the attack, but it doesn't matter. What matters is that for just about 15 years, he's sworn off rock music. And while it's not hurting the industry or the artists, it's not doing Sen. Cruz any favors either.

When we only listen to one type of music or swear off a genre entirely, we miss out.

Every genre has its benefits, and we can make the most of them by mixing up our playlists every once in awhile. Not only does it allow us to encounter new favorites, but our physical and psychological health and well-being may be positively affected too.

Let's break it down shall we?

The queen of breaking it down, Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.

A really good reason to listen to jazz: It may relax you from the brain down.

Downtempo music (around 60 beats per minute in this case) can cause the brain to synch up with the beat and create alpha brain waves. These waves are often present when we're awake, but relaxed. Listening to smooth jazz, especially combined with nature sounds like waterfalls or thunder, can be especially soothing.

Where to start: The very helpful website Jazz and Rain, which is exactly what it sounds like.

Najee performs during the Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival. Photo by Mychal Watts/Getty Images for Jazz in the Gardens.

A really good reason to listen to metal: It may be good for your sense of self.

A study released last year determined people who identified as heavy metal fans in their youth grew up to have a strong sense of identity, a knack for community development, and were less likely to live with regrets. Rock on!

Where to start: System of a Down has an unconventional spin on traditional heavy metal, which is probably why their single, "Chop Suey," made a splash on mainstream radio in the early 2000s.

Photo by Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images.

A really good reason to listen to classical music: It may deter or prevent crime.

In 2003, city staff in London began playing classical music recordings in few dozen train stations. 18 months later, vandalism was down 37%, robberies fell around 33%, and assaults on staff were down 25%. Stateside, Minneapolis and Portland have both tested the idea of playing classical music at light rail stations to deter crime.

The experts have a few theories as to why it works. The music may be so relaxing and calming, that criminals just say, "Pass." Or the correlation may have something to do with the fact that the stops seem to be cared for or looked after. There's more of a feeling of community, and you're less likely to do something when you think someone's watching. Even if that someone is a speaker blaring Vivaldi.

Where to start: New to classical music? Give Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" a listen.

The train stations use speakers and recordings instead of live performances, but good music is good music. Photo by Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images.

A really good reason to listen to rap: It may help in the fight against depression.

Lots of rap and hip-hop songs tell the story of a person beating the odds or overcoming obstacles. According to researchers at Cambridge University, these upwardly mobile narratives may be a helpful tool for people experiencing depression or other mental health issues. These positive visual images can help people envision the mental place they'd like to be and allows them to facilitate progress toward that goal.

Where to start: The original "started from the bottom now we're here" is Notorious B.I.G.'s "Juicy." And, of course, the most recent iteration: Drake's "Started From the Bottom."

Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images.

A really good reason to listen to pop music: It may give you an extra boost of endurance during your workout.

During a challenging or especially tiring aerobic effort (in this case, treadmill-walking), a 2009 study revealed that listening to rock or pop hits can improve endurance and possibly enhance physical performance. The hits may actually distract you while you're working, allowing you to go the extra mile ... literally.

Where to start: You can't spell pop without ABBA. Well, you can, but why on Earth would you want to?


ABBA killing the boot game while performing one of their many hits. Photo by Olle Lindeborg/AFP/Getty Images.

A really good reason to listen to country music: It might bring you joy.

Well, maybe not you specifically (yet, anyway), but it does for plenty of people. And while there doesn't seem to have been any specific studies on the health or wellness benefits of country music, there are two great reasons to give it a try: 1. Loretta Lynn and 2. Johnny Cash. They're all the reason you need.

Where to start: Loretta Lynn's 2004 album, "Van Lear Rose," is great baby step into her iconic catalog. Same goes for Cash's "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash."

Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Americana Music.

So next time you turn on some music, don't be afraid to try something new.

Whether it's a genre you swore off years ago in the wake of a tragedy or just something you've never quite understood, it may be worth taking a second look. Your summer jams playlist (and maybe your mind, body, and community) will thank you.

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


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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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