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Chip Reece was always a huge fan of comic books. But when his son, Ollie, was born with Down syndrome, Reece wondered if that was something they'd ever be able to share.

Reece says Ollie, who was born in 2010, is a happy kid and that the two have a great relationship. "In the morning we have a routine where I get my breakfast and he sits right next to me until I'm finished," he writes in an email. "Given how busy he can be, that's a pretty sweet thing. I'd say we're buds."

Chip and Ollie. All images by Chip Reece (artwork by Kelly Williams) used with permission.


Like any dad, he worries about his son and his son's future. He wants Ollie to see that anything is possible for him, that he can dream just as big as any other kid.

When Reece was young, he looked up to the larger-than-life superheroes in his favorite comics. But there aren't a lot of stories out there that feature a hero with Down syndrome for Ollie to look up to. And that bothered him.

So Reece decided to write a comic book of his own.

"I wanted Ollie to see that people with Down syndrome could be superheroes too," he says.

Though not an artist or storyteller by trade, Reece dug deep into his love of comics, and his love for his son, and went about designing a story he pulled very much from Ollie's real life.

The comic, called "Metaphase," follows a young boy named Ollie whose dad has Superman-like powers.

Of course, comic book character Ollie wants to follow in his father's footsteps and get in on the whole saving the world thing. But Super Dad, for all his cosmic strength, is too afraid of what might happen to his son while fighting villains.

"As Ollie gets older he becomes tired of his dad's overprotection and unwillingness to include him in his superhero adventures," Reece wrote on a Kickstarter page for the project. "Ollie has lived his life listening to the world tell him he will be limited in what he can do, with the added frustration of comparing to a dad with unlimited ability."

Ollie begs a scientist to bestow super powers upon him.

Eventually, Ollie seeks out a mysterious corporation that promises to give anyone super powers via a little genetic tampering.

Unfazed by his disability, and the limits placed on him by his dad and the world around him, Ollie refuses to let anything stop him from becoming the world's next great hero.

Woohoo! Ollie celebrates on his journey to become a superhero.

With over 400,000 people in the United States living with Down syndrome, and very, very little representation in pop culture, "Metaphase" is a much needed addition to the superhero universe.

As for Ollie? He just recently realized that the book is actually about him, and he loves it. All the attention doesn't get Ollie too excited though, Reece says, and he's plenty happy to just sit and listen to music or toss a ball around.

"There is more to him than having Down syndrome," Reece told People. "He is his own person and has his own personality, and with everything he has been through, he really is a superhero."

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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