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In 2016, Brock Turner was convicted of brutally sexually assaulting a woman. A judge sentenced him to only six months in jail.

Prosecutors had recommended that Turner, who'd sexually assaulted an unconscious woman, be incarcerated for six years. Judge Aaron Persky, however, sentenced Turner to less than one year in jail and three years' probation. Turner was also required to add his name to the national sex offender registry for life.

The mind-bogglingly lenient sentence sparked both a national outrage and conversations about the role that white privilege plays in the court system. Turner's case also brought into stark relief the lack of justice served to sexual assault survivors.


California voters have spoken, and Judge Aaron Persky has been recalled.

Soon after Turner's sentencing, Michele Dauber, a Stanford law professor, sociologist, and family friend of Turner's victim, launched a campaign to remove Persky from the bench.

The campaign noted that Persky claimed to have sentenced Turner lightly because alcohol had been involved and the judge feared that time in prison could have a "severe impact" on Turner. This was absurd considering the long-lasting effects that Turner's assault and trial had on the victim, whose heartbreaking impact statement was delivered in court.

"The only thing unusual about this case is that there were eyewitnesses. Otherwise it is like the millions of other sexual assaults occurring on our college campuses every year," the recall site reads. "Virtually every campus assault involves a high-achieving perpetrator and the vast majority involve alcohol. This sentence implies that prison would never be appropriate in most campus assaults."

In June 2018, California showed it was listening. At a time when the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements were surging forward in holding people accountable for sexual violence, it felt only right that voters chose to recall Persky from the bench.

Though the state now imposes mandatory sentences for assaults on people who are intoxicated, unconscious, or otherwise unable to give consent — thereby closing the loophole that allowed this ruling — Persky's recall is not only a step toward justice but a clear message the voices of sexual assault survivors must and will be heard.

Persky's recall is California's first in 86 years. And it's historic for much more than that.

While California has allowed its residents to recall judges by popular vote since 1911, the last time it happened was 1932. Today, it's a reminder that those in power aren't immune to the consequences of their actions. The recall is a loud signal that votes matter. They're changing the way the legal system handles sexual assault — an issue that's been ignored and stigmatized for far too long.

"The vote today — if the numbers hold — is a vote against impunity for high-status offenders of domestic violence and sexual violence," Michele Dauber told The Mercury News. "This victory is not just for Emily Doe, but for girls and women everywhere."

Persky's successor is also likely to bring change to the courts. According to recent statistics from California's judicial branch, the state's judges are overwhelmingly male and white. Cindy Hendrickson, who beat out opponent Angela Storey in the nomination to fill Persky's seat, is committed to representing all citizens of her jurisdiction and has a history of working with clients from marginalized groups.

The recall is an important step, but there's still work to be done.

It's easy — when it feels like justice has been served — to step into a space of complacency. But progress won't happen unless it's spurred forward by action. That's why it's so important that this recall be seen not as a culmination but as one point on the ever-evolving path to progress. There's still so much work to be done to end sexual violence. Let's never forget the tremendous power our voices have.

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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