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Nature Valley

Ralph Pace’s career as a photographer didn’t start underwater. In fact, it started with a jaguar.

He'd decided to go to graduate school for oceanography, but before he could do so, he needed to get some research experience under his belt.

So he headed to Costa Rica.


“I was working on sea turtle projects, but it’s also one of the only places in the world that jaguars actually hunt in packs,” he says. “I called my brother and said, ‘Hey man, you won’t believe this!’ And it was kind of a typical brother thing — he sent me a camera and said ‘Prove it!’”

All photos by Ralph Pace, used with permission.

Pace didn’t grow up knowing he wanted to be a photographer, much less an underwater one. In fact, he was pre-med in college and hadn’t even been on a dive until he traveled abroad to Australia.

But once he realized the ocean was his calling, he headed to Scripps Institute of Oceanography. And after his encounter with the jaguars, he quickly realized he wanted to pair his newfound photography skills with his love of the ocean.

It didn’t take long for Pace to turn his camera toward the water to start telling stories about conservation.

He already had a passion for the environment itself. And when he started doing photography work on conservation projects, he quickly discovered a strong preference for working with scientists when taking his photos.

“They’re gonna show you the best stuff in the best way, in such a way that you know you’re not harming any animals,” he says. “Those are really the guys on the front lines of conservation.”

He started reaching out to scientists he already knew from his graduate work at Scripps and began going on projects involving sea turtles, sturgeon, swordfish, and more. Slowly, he went from simply documenting the projects to actually using his photos to tell important stories that he felt people needed to hear — landing him on the front lines of the conservation movement too.

Pace doesn’t take photos of just anything — he goes out of his way to find stories that no one has heard and bring them to light.

In many cases, that means traveling to places that most people can’t reach and will likely never get to see themselves.

“You show people this incredible world that they kinda didn’t even know existed,” he says. After all, “How do you get somebody excited about something if they can’t picture it, can’t relate to it?”

By bringing unreachable sights to people through his photos, Pace is able to bring the support to the causes they represent — like ocean conservation.

And that, he says, is the power of photography.

"With photos you have a really unique opportunity to grab someone’s attention," he says. "You take a famous photo of, say, the 'Afghan Girl' that Steve McCurry took for the cover of National Geographic. You take that picture, and it grabs everyone’s attention and they read an article about it, and at the end of it people are sending millions of dollars to refugees abroad."

Being a photographic trailblazer doesn’t always mean traveling the world though. Sometimes, it means staying put and finding stories nearby.

“I think you’re a lot more valuable if you can work in your backyard and tell stories that are close to home,” Pace says. “I tell people I’m going out to work with sea turtles in San Diego and they say, ‘There are no sea turtles here!’ They’ve lived here their whole lives and they don’t know there’s a population of sea turtles here.”

Pace’s mission is to bring untold stories to light, and sometimes those overlooked stories are nearby.

He's just one man, but Pace is confident that his stories can have a big impact on ocean ecosystems.

Ocean conservation is a huge and complex movement, full of giant and sometimes overwhelming problems. But even one story about one particular animal can have positive effects on the whole environment.

“Sometimes, by saving one thing, we create a sort of umbrella to save a lot of things underneath it,” Pace says.

He uses Costa Rica, where he worked with sea turtles but also saw jaguar conservation efforts, as an example. Oftentimes people can feel like they’re competing for resources in order to save their species, but the way Pace sees it, it’s all one story.

“Why work in competition with the jaguar folks?” he says. “Let’s protect the whole stretch of beach. Let’s work together to make sure there’s lots of sea turtle habitats so that when their populations rebound, it also provides food for the jaguar.’”

He brings that same philosophy to all the projects he photographs. By bringing one untold story to light, Pace’s photography can attract support and resources to entire ecosystems.

Though photography is a pretty specific skill, Pace's passion for new information is something we can all incorporate into our lives.

Spreading the knowledge of ocean conservation — whether though photography, writing, science, or just talking over the dinner table — is how Pace believes we will ultimately save our underwater environments.

"That's what telling stories can do," he says. "You take people to places they've never been and you introduce them to things they've never heard about. And hopefully that allows to them to make better decisions that are ultimately gonna make this planet a better place. That's all you can really hope for."

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

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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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