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If you're strolling through Taronga Zoo in Sydney in the near future, you may get some otherworldly vibes.

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.


The surreal sights and lights, however, aren't meant to pull your head away from Earth — they're there to show you just how precious this planet really is.

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

Every year, light installations, musical performances, and creative forums take over Australia's largest city in a massive weeks-long event called Vivid Sydney. And this year, Taronga Zoo is getting in on the action.

The zoo created 10 amazing animal light sculptures representing critical species that Taronga is committed to protecting. Here's a look at the spectacular designs:

1. As big and blue as the sky, the Asian elephant is an obvious must-see.

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

The real elephants at the Taronga Zoo are part of crucial global efforts to keep this species — which is endangered in the wild — from going extinct. There are as few as 35,000 left in the wild today.

2. Pretty in pink, the Sumatran rhino is hard to miss ... at the zoo, at least.

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

These delightful creatures, which snack on things like fruit and shrubs, are extremely hard to spot. Experts believe no more than 400 Sumatran rhinos are alive today, making the species one of the rarest large mammals in the world.

3. The marine turtles at Taronga don't need water — they've got plenty of air to swim through.

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

Marine turtles have called the oceans home for over 100 million years. So it makes sense that Australia is fighting hard to keep them around another 100 million. Many species of marine turtles are classified as either vulnerable or endangered Down Under, which grants them special protections from threats, like hunting.

4. Australian crocs: Can't live with them, can't live without them.

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

Although freshwater and saltwater crocs in Australia are pretty much terrifying on all accounts, their existence is vital to keeping entire ecosystems in check. That's why it's been illegal to hunt or harm them in Australia since 1972.

5. The pangolin sculpture is rad but certainly not built to scale.

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

Real pangolins are very small, very scaly, and — for some species — quickly being eaten into extinction. Although it's largely illegal to hunt and trade pangolin for their meat or scales, conservationists are facing an uphill battle in keeping these little guys out of unsafe hands around the world.

6. With its bold stripes and small stature — er, small for a wild cat, that is — the Sumatran tiger is in dire need of our help.

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

Sumatran tigers — the smallest surviving tiger subspecies in the world — are prime victims of deforestation and poaching. Their numbers have dropped significantly in recent decades, with as few as 400 alive today.

7. Lemurs are holding on tight to every last branch they have left.

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

Lemurs don't have much in common with the Sumatran tiger, but being a victim to deforestation is a big one. The furry creatures, native to Madagascar, have faced steep population declines due in large part to forest burning that creates more pastures for livestock.

8. Corroboree frogs are hoping humans can save the day.

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

Although they're among Australia's most iconic (and toxic) amphibians, the southern corroboree frog is critically endangered. Who's to blame? In large part, a widespread fungus that prevents them from breathing through their skin. So the Taronga Zoo teamed up with Australia's Department of the Environment to launch a breeding program to make sure this species doesn't disappear forever.

9. It doesn't get more peak Australia than the platypus.

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

Splashing around in eastern Australia and Tasmania, the platypus has garnered the attention of folks wanting to make sure these uniquely adorable creatures stay around for as long as possible. Evidence suggests overfishing and dried-up rivers could be affecting platypus numbers, so activists are keeping watch.

10. If you're keeping your eyes on the skies to spot a regent honeyeater, you may be waiting awhile.

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

These gorgeous yellow and black birds used to be seen in flocks of hundreds, according to the Australian government. But gone are the good old days. Their dwindling habitats in the Victoria and New South Wales forests have been a key concern for advocates rooting for these honeyeaters to stick around.

The zoo also included several other sculptures to complement the critical species — "a supporting cast of creatures," so to speak — to celebrate as well.

11. Echidnas are strange and wouldn't have it any other way.

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

Let's face it: Echidnas are the perfect kind of weird. These funky, spiny anteaters are extremely rare and one of only two mammals that lay eggs (the other is the platypus!).

12. If you're going to create bright light sculptures of animals, it'd be an injustice to overlook chameleons.

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

These wacky lizards — which come in various shapes and changing hues — have long, sticky tongues and eyes that move independently from each other.

13. Cicadas aren't the coziest creatures on this list, but they might be the most interesting.

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

There are around 3,000 species of these paper-clip-sized, buzzing, clicking creatures. Amazingly, certain species have been known to disappear entirely for years, only to return back in full force (like, no big deal — nothing to see here).

14. Speaking of non-cozy animals, I've saved the least cuddle-worthy for last. Meet the funnel web spider.

Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.

Eesh. These Australian natives are creepy, crawly, eerily fast on their feet, and definitely deadly. (I'll wait as you glance around the room to make sure none are hiding nearby...)

If you happen to be Down Under between May 27 and June 15, 2016, say hi to all the creatures at Taronga Zoo.

Regardless of whether they're the real deal or a bundle of bright lights, the animals serve as a great reminder that all life here on Earth is definitely worth protecting.

Learn more about Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo.

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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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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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