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Raise your hand if you actually enjoy changing diapers.

Anyone?

Yeah ... no. GIF from ETOnline.


As a dad, I get it. Changing diapers is one of the dirtiest line items in a parent's job description. More often than not, the objectives are simple: clean up the mess and get rid of the mess as quickly as possible. 

But do we ever take a moment to think about where that mess actually goes?

Photo by Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images.

Yep, a landfill just like this one.

The stats on disposable diapers in landfills are no joke.

Using a very conservative estimate, babies go through about six diapers a day. Even if a baby is a rock star at potty training and figures it out by the time she's 2 years old, that's over 4,000 diapers she went through. If a child spends a longer time in diapers, the numbers (and diapers) will keep piling up.

Studies have shown that disposable diapers rank third in terms of the consumer items taking up the most space in our landfills, and over 90% of single-use diapers end up there. It's also estimated it will take anywhere from 250 years to 500 years for disposable diapers to decompose. 

Put simply, that ain't good. 

We all want a cleaner world for our babies, right? Some believe we should start with what we attach to their rear ends.

Jennifer Aprea and her husband, David, with their son, Ryan (left), and daughter, Danielle. Photo from Jennifer Aprea, used with permission.

Jennifer Aprea is a married mom with two children living in Huntington Beach, California. When her daughter Danielle was 2 months old, she decided to give cloth diapering a try.

"Not to be too graphic, but her poop would go everywhere whenever I nursed with her," Jennifer told Upworthy. "I looked into the cloth option because of the elastic on the back, but I'll admit that I was a skeptic at first."

Not only is Jennifer completely sold on the idea now, but she's also an advocate for how cloth diapering can help families and the environment. 

But isn't cloth diapering kinda ... um, gross?

Jennifer can't help but laugh this one off.

"Dealing with gross stuff is a regular part of parenthood," Jennifer said. "All parents deal with bodily fluids and other messiness from their kids no matter what type of diapers they use."

As mentioned earlier, she prefers cloth diapers because she believes the strong elastic contains messes better than disposables. Additionally, Jennifer also created an ingenious device called the Spray Pal which makes it so parents can quickly clean their kids' diapers without getting dirty themselves. 

But that's not all.

Jennifer's son, Ryan, was a micro-preemie born at 25 weeks and weighing 1 pound and 13 ounces. He spent seven months in the neonatal intensive care unit, came home on oxygen and a feeding tube, and was discovered to be profoundly deaf and visually impaired upon discharge. 

Ryan was 10 months old in the photo and is now nearing his fourth birthday. He has worn cloth diapers his whole life. Photo from Jennifer Aprea, used with permission.

Even with those health challenges, they still used cloth diapers during time he was in the NICU and still use them today. 

Although some believe cloth diapering is an unnecessary time-consuming nuisance, Jennifer isn't buying it. All it takes is an open mind.

"We had a newborn in the NICU, his toddler sister was running around like crazy, I was running a business, and I taught part time," Jennifer said. "If I can can do it, anyone can."

To some, the jury's still out regarding whether cloth diapers are better for the environment than disposables, but cloth diapers win big in one regard.

That's one happy baby. Photo from Thirsties Modern Cloth Diapers, used with permission.

Due to the amount of water it takes to clean cloth diapers and other factors, some have questioned how environmentally-friendly reusable diapers truly are. That debate will continue for a while, but cloth diapers have a huge advantage in passing used (but clean!) ones to those in need. 

Giving Diapers, Giving Hope sets a great example as a nonprofit organization that provides cloth diapers to low-income families. Many of the diapers are donated by other families after they were used and thoroughly cleaned. 

"Good luck trying that with disposable diapers," Jennifer said. 

At the end of the day, we all want what's best for our children now, but we should also think about their future. Will cloth diapering help to make the world a better place? 

That's up to you to decide.

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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A few hours later at 7 am, Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, sanitation workers for Pelican Waste, were on their daily route when they noticed a vehicle that fit the description in the alert.

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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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