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This is a picture of a monkey that has never been photographed before. Ever.


It was taken by primatologist Lieven Devreese, who, together with his colleague Gaël Elie Gnondo Gobolo, were the first to definitively document the existence of Bouvier's red colobus.


Which is pretty ridiculously cool.

I spoke with Devreese via email and congratulated him on finally discovering the elusive red colobus.

He quickly and humbly corrected me.

"It is one of the 17 species of red colobus, but probably the most neglected one. Some conservationists considered that the species might have been extinct. So that's why I wanted to look for them."

Devreese and Gobolo traveled to the Republic of the Congo in Central Africa in February 2015 to conduct the search.

You know. Just two guys. Looking for a monkey that might or might not exist.

Once on the ground, they met up with local guides who took them into swamp forests along the Bokiba River in the Ntokou-Pikounda National Park, where the monkey was rumored to live.

Swamp forests: pretty much what you'd expect.

"From the start it was clear that the local people know them," Devreese said, "But because of the swampy terrain and because of hunting, it was not easy to find them in the forest."

They searched for five days. On the last day of the expedition, Devreese was preparing to pack up when several members of the team reported that they had spotted a small group of monkeys up in the trees. The group walked for an hour until they heard a promising sound. So they crept closer...

...and boom!



Monkeys.

Since no one had ever really even seen Bouvier's red colobus before, its decline is a bit of a mystery. Some of it, undoubtedly, is due to good ol' habitat destruction and humans being jerks more generally. But according to Devreese, much of the reason the species is disappearing comes down to one word ... that is made up of two words:

Bushmeat.

This is a steak. But imagine a monkey steak.

Turns out, people eat these monkeys.

It's an extraordinarily tricky issue. On the one hand, many contend that hunting local wildlife, including primates, is tradition that stretches back many hundreds of years in some Central African communities, and outsiders should, respectfully, butt the heck out.

"As people from the western world I don't think it is appropriate to prohibit the local small-scale hunting which the people living there have been doing for centuries."

On the other hand, some conservationists argue that bushmeat hunting destroys ecosystems and drives already-threatened species to extinction.

They're not mutually exclusive arguments by any means. But Devreese takes a longer view.

"As people from the western world I don't think it is appropriate to prohibit the local small-scale hunting which the people living there have been doing for centuries," Devreese explained to me. "Hunting is really part of their culture and they depend on the forest for their animal protein intake. But [in the past few decades,] the scale of this hunting has changed. It has become a commercial trade, so now people shoot as much as they can to make money."

And it gets even more complicated. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the primary reason some members of Central and West African communities hunt bushmeat is food insecurity.

It's a two-pronged problem that needs to be addressed two-prongedly.

Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo — a hub of the commercial bushmeat trade.

Helping poachers find alternate sources of income is absolutely crucial to limiting the production of commercial bushmeat. And educating potential consumers about the health risks of eating improperly prepared primate meat (HIV and Ebola are transmitted this way), could lead to a decrease in demand.

Hunting bushmeat for cultural reasons shouldn't be outlawed. And some folks in Central Africa eat bushmeat because they have to, you know, eat. But getting clean water and alternate, sustainable food sources to them could help cut down on hunting.

It's not going to be super easy to make all that happen overnight. But hey. Why not try?

The monkeys would really appreciate it.

Keep on rocking, critically endangered monkeys. You do you.

Photo courtesy of Girls at Work

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Girls are bombarded with messages from a very young age telling them that they can’t, that is too big, this is too heavy, those are too much.

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via Lewis Speaks Sr. / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.25.21


Middle school has to be the most insecure time in a person's life. Kids in their early teens are incredibly cruel and will make fun of each other for not having the right shoes, listening to the right music, or having the right hairstyle.

As if the social pressure wasn't enough, a child that age has to deal with the intensely awkward psychological and biological changes of puberty at the same time.

Jason Smith, the principal of Stonybrook Intermediate and Middle School in Warren Township, Indiana, had a young student sent to his office recently, and his ability to understand his feelings made all the difference.

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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.

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

“[A groomsman] called one of the maids of honor to explain that the groom had ‘gone.’ We were told he had left the caravan they were staying at in Oxwich Bay (the venue) at 12:30 a.m. to visit his family, who were staying in another caravan nearby and hadn’t returned. When they woke in the morning, he was not there and his car had gone,” Jordie Cullen wrote on a GoFundMe page.

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Pop Culture

14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

Here are 14 timeless pleasures to make you feel like a kid again:

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