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Michelle Villemaire is a mom living in Los Angeles who wants to teach her two daughters about women's history.

Sure, she could just crack open a text book or conduct a few Google searches. But that's not how Michelle rolls. She's more...well, original in her approach. 

Michelle is a mom on a colorful mission. All photos from Michelle Villemaire, and used with permission.


Both of her daughters love art, so she decided to use it as a teaching tool to reference strong women of the past. 

And that's how she came up with yarn bombing.


Yarn bombing means placing colorful yarn creations on park benches, parking meters, and trees throughout the city. But it's about more than just decoration.

Each yarn bomb also carries an inspirational quotes recognizing great women throughout history.

One of many yarn bombs in Michelle's community.

Her girls are completely onboard with the idea. 

"My daughters love it," Michelle told Upworthy. "They think it's so beautiful and magical, but most importantly they love the message behind it."

Michelle's 8-year old daughter is excited to help out.

And the community? They're loving it too.


"I've received a ton of compliments and a lot of people braved Los Angeles rush hour traffic just to see the yarn bombs in my neighborhood," She said. "If you live here, you know there's no bigger compliment than that."

And with that, Michelle and her team of 15 volunteers took to the streets to spread good yarn vibes everywhere. 

Check out a few of her favorite bombs (and women). 

Keep in mind, these designs aren't meant to resemble the women they represent in any way. 

Eugenie Clark 1922-2015

Clark was an Icthyologist (a scientist who studies fish) popularly known as “The Shark Lady." She was a pioneer in scuba diving for research purposes and used her fame to promote marine conservation.

This particular yarn bomb was created by Karyn Newbill Helmig, a high school marine biology teacher. And yes, it's a shark — not a bird.

Yuri Kochiyama 1921-2014

Kochiyama was a human rights activist who spent three years in a Japanese internment camp during WWII.

“I didn't wake up and decide to become an activist. But you couldn't help notice the inequities, the injustices. It was all around you.”  - Yuri Kochiyama

Rosa Parks 1913-2005

On December 1, 1955, Parks, An African-American woman, refused to give up her seat on a bus for a white passenger. 

Her act of defiance and the Montgomery Bus Boycott became important symbols of the modern Civil Rights Movement. She became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation. 

“Each person must live their life as a model for others.” - Rosa Parks

Amelia Earhart 1897-1937

Earhart was the first female to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. Sadly, she disappeared over the Pacific ocean during a flight in 1937. 

“Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.” - Amelia Earhart

Mae Jemison 1956 - present

Jemison was an physician and the first African-American woman to travel in space. If that wasn't enough, she also served in the Peace Corps, holds nine honorary degrees, and almost became a professional dancer. 

“People may see astronauts and because the majority are white males, they tend to think it has nothing to do with them. But it does.” - Mae Jemison

Helen Keller 1880-1968

Keller was an amazing social activist who was deaf and blind.

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.”  - Helen Keller

​The benefits of Michelle's work don't end with beautifying the city and teaching people about women's history.

For starters, knitting and crocheting is known to help reduce anxiety and enhance self-esteem. Michelle knows how important that is as she raises her two young daughters.

"I'm going to make sure my little ones create many handcrafts," she said. "Just so we have a nice reserve of self-esteem for high school."

And once the yarn creations are ready to be taken down? Michelle transforms them and donates them to women's homeless shelters in Los Angeles.

This yarn bomb project is touching people through the community. It even got the attention of the Mayor of Los Angeles.

People all over Los Angeles love Michelle's work. Even Mayor Eric Garcetti gave her some props by sharing her yarn bomb video on his Facebook page. 

Kudos to Michelle for bringing her community together and celebrating Women's History Month in an extremely colorful way. 

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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