This Guy Gave His Girlfriend A McNugget Bouquet And We’re Lovin’ It

A dozen roses are nice, but food is the real way to a girl’s heart.

Annika Aguinaldo, a 19-year-old college student from Manila in the Philippines, has a boyfriend who knows just that.

Last week, her boyfriend Rico Villanueva, also 19, told her he had a surprise. When she met up with him, he presented her with a gift that would make any Mickey D’s fan cry: a beautiful, DIY bouquet of Chicken McNuggets.

Here’s Aguinaldo’s priceless reaction, as captured by her friend Eia: 

I told him I didn’t like flowers, so he got me a bouquet of chicken nuggets, and I pretty much became the happiest girl on the planet pic.twitter.com/H6zLpud8wW

— Annika Aguinaldo (@AnnikaAgs) January 22, 2017

Aguinaldo told The Huffington Post that McNuggets have been a part of the couple’s love story for a long time. 

“The first time we hung out was at a McDonalds near our university and that kind of sparked the trend of nuggets in our lives,” she said. “I’d surprise him with nuggets before class when I knew he hadn’t had lunch, so I guess the whole chicken nugget bouquet was his version of repaying me.”

Since being posted on Twitter, the adorable pics have been liked over 39,000 times. Tons of women and fellow nugget fans have given Villanueva props for his romantic gesture: 

@tybrintogod @AnnikaAgs waiting for the day a man does this for me

— barry b benson (@noelliegrammie) January 24, 2017

@AnnikaAgs @_lowkeychuchi @RicocoPops @SashaAscona_ this is why im single for so long, i needa find me a mans that gets me like dis

— (@ita_veras) February 3, 2017

And in case you were wondering, yes, this MVP of a boyfriend included sauce.

“We got some flack over the apparent lack of barbecue sauce but it was actually wedged in the bouquet,” Aguinaldo told HuffPost.

Yep, he’s a keeper. 

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Pro-Life Lawmakers: Planned Parenthood Shouldn’t Get Another ‘Dime of Taxpayer Dollars’

Pro-life advocacy group Live Action, joined with members of Congress, called Thursday for the ending of taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion… Read More

The post Pro-Life Lawmakers: Planned Parenthood Shouldn’t Get Another ‘Dime of Taxpayer Dollars’ appeared first on The Daily Signal.

The First Of Many Upcoming Zelda Fitzgerald Retrospectives Has Arrived

Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald has become a poster child for the women history overlooked.

Two film projects in the works highlight the so-called “first flapper” as a gifted writer and creative in her own right ― that is, not just as the wife of 20th-century literary icon F. Scott Fitzgerald. Scarlett Johansson will appear in one, called “The Beautiful and the Damned,” which will reportedly dive headfirst into long-told rumors that the author claimed many of his wife’s ideas as his own. And Jennifer Lawrence is set to star in Ron Howard’s film “Zelda” which, per The Hollywood Reporter, asks the question: Can love exist between creative equals?

Amazon’s original series, “Z: The Beginning of Everything,” beat them both to the screen. Christina Ricci takes on the starring role, opposite David Hoflin (”American Crime”) as F. Scott, in the series adaption of Therese Anne Fowler’s novel Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald.

Released by the streaming service last week, the 10-episode series covers only the earliest years of the Fitzgeralds’ relationship, kicking off with a teenage Zelda Sayre, the Montgomery-bred daughter of Alabama Supreme Court Justice Anthony Sayre, sneaking out to dance with soldiers en route to fight in WWI. Soon, she meets one who claims he’s on track to become a famous author and finds in him a kindred rebel spirit with a similar appetite for hard liquor. Her father, of course, disapproves.

And while Lawrence and Howard will evidently ponder the two Jazz Age celebrities’ comparative artistic worth, “Z” has already made up its mind. 

Presenting F. Scott as a petulant alcoholic poisoned by entitlement, the series allows plenty of sympathy for Zelda, the sharp-witted Southern belle who is far too often charged with managing her husband’s mood and validating his talent as a Great American Novelist. At first, she doesn’t even recognize his manipulation. Upon discovering how much he’d borrowed from her own diaries and writings in This Side of Paradise, she is flattered that he would think so highly of her work. Between bubble baths and sips of champagne direct from the bottle, Zelda juggles her own mission of self-discovery (she simply can’t stand New Yorkers’ penchant for black) and her husband’s irritatingly persistent writer’s block.

The couple needs constant income to fuel the posh, partying lifestyle they both enjoy. F. Scott’s singular goal, which he instills in Zelda, is his own commercial literary success ― at the expense of any budding career of hers.

Historically, Zelda Fitzgerald is often remembered as a profligate spender with chiefly material concerns ― she wouldn’t marry her husband, for example, until he’d achieved some success. (In the series, marriage is simply the carrot Zelda dangles over F. Scott’s head to encourage him not to give up on his dream.) Her struggles with mental illness were seen as the cause of much marital strife between the couple and, although they were known to be competitive with one another, she has been relegated to the rank of muse, rather than creator. 

Zelda once jokingly (or perhaps not) reviewed one of F. Scott’s works in The New York Tribune by writing, “Mr. Fitzgerald ― I believe that is how he spells his name ― seems to believe that plagiarism begins at home.” Well after her 1948 death in a hospital fire, accusations that her star husband had borrowed perhaps too liberally from her writing were revisited, and the couple’s creative relationship dissected. It became more apparent than ever how vital Zelda was to her husband’s achievements. As Fowler notes, reports of the extent of Zelda’s mental illness may have been unfair, as well. The author claims the diagnosis Zelda received ― schizophrenia ― was “often applied to women who suffered depression or exhaustion brought on by impossible circumstances” at the time.

Yet, as a portrait of the writer, socialite, wife, creative and, later, mother, “Z” doesn’t seem to trust its audience, working too hard to make us love its leading lady for her status as history’s victim instead of as a smart, talented, richly complex human being with, yes, flaws. We might be allowed to adore her in spite of her imperfection, but instead we are hand-held through an often one-dimensional depiction of someone who was, in life, a passionate and ambitious 20th-century woman. 

We’ll be looking out to see how other projects lay out the life of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald.

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How Soy Can Both Prevent Breast Cancer And Fuel Its Spread

To eat soy or not: That’s the question many U.S. women have been asking. Tofu, miso paste and other soybean-based foods are high-quality sources of protein that are low in calories and saturated fat. And studies have shown that they can help prevent cancer.

Yet many doctors recommend that women who have, or are at risk of developing, a common form of breast cancer called estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer avoid eating soybean-based foods because they contain compounds called isoflavones. Some studies suggest that isoflavones can mimic the hormone estrogen and encourage tumor growth.

Now, in an animal study, researchers at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C., have uncovered a possible reason for the apparent Jekyll-and-Hyde nature of soy — how it can both prevent cancer and fuel its spread. [Top 10 Cancer-Fighting Foods]

The researchers found that rats that were given soybean isoflavones to eat throughout their lives — in particular, one type of soybean isoflavone called genistein — had improved immunity against cancer. But rats that weren’t given the isoflavone until after developing breast cancer didn’t have that same immune response to kill cancer cells. Instead, these rats had higher rates of cancer growth and higher rates of recurrence after their tumors were removed.

The study may explain why women in Asian countries, who tend to consume high amounts of soybean-based foods throughout their lifetime, have rates of breast cancer that are five times lower than those of women in the United States, the researchers said. The findings were published today (Feb. 1) in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

More than 200,000 U.S. women are diagnosed each year with breast cancer, and the majority have estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One of the most common drugs to combat this type of cancer is tamoxifen, which acts to reduce estrogen’s ability to promote cancer growth.

In their animal study, the researchers induced cancer growth in rats that had a steady diet of genistein and in rats that never had any genistein until after the cancer developed. All of the rats were then treated with tamoxifen to kill the cancer. The researchers found that the rats raised on genistein had only a 7 percent chance of breast cancer recurrence after tamoxifen treatment, but the rats that were recently given genistein had a 33 percent recurrence rate.

It’s not clear why genistein would have this effect but it may be related to the body’s immune system being activated by the isoflavone, recognizing it as a nutrient from its longtime consumption, said study senior author Leena Hilakivi-Clarke, a professor of oncology at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Care Center.

“The immune system was not activated in animals that started consuming genistein for the first time with tamoxifen,” Hilakivi-Clarke told Live Science. This may have resulted in the genistein appearing more like the cancer-fueling estrogen and less like a tumor-fighting agent, she said.

In other words, the paradox is in the timing. It may be that soy consumption is protective only if started before cancer develops.

Despite the lingering ambiguity of whether the same is true in humans, Hilakivi-Clarke thinks the animal study can inform doctors and their patients.

“We have solved the puzzle of genistein and breast cancer in our rat model, which perfectly explains the paradox seen in earlier animal studies and patients,” Hilakivi-Clarke said. “While many oncologists advise their patients not to take isoflavone supplements or consume soy foods, our findings suggest a more nuanced message — if these results hold true for women. Our results suggest that breast cancer patients [who ate soy before their diagnosis] should continue consuming soy foods after diagnosis, but not to start them if they have not consumed genistein previously.” [6 Foods That May Affect Breast Cancer Risk]

Maggie Neola, a staff dietitian for the Barnard Medical Center and Physicians Committee in Washington, who wasn’t part of the study, said that findings from animal experiments often don’t translate to humans and that she’d like to see research from population studies with women.

“What we know about soy consumption in humans is that whole and minimally processed soy foods, such as edamame, tofu, and tempeh, have been shown in several studies to protect women from breast cancer recurrence,” Neola said. “Of course, women who want to make any dietary changes following a cancer diagnosis should consult their physicians.”

Follow Christopher Wanjek @wanjek for daily tweets on health and science with a humorous edge. Wanjek is the author of “Food at Work” and “Bad Medicine.” His column, Bad Medicine, appears regularly on Live Science.

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Lunar eclipse, Snow Moon and New Year Comet to coincide in spectacular celestial display this month

Mirror [UK], by Sophie Curtis Posted By: LittleHoodedMonk- Fri, 03 31 2017 05:31:38 GMT Astronomy enthusiasts are in for a treat this month, as three celestial events are set to coincide, putting on a spectacular display in the night sky. A full “Snow Moon”, a lunar eclipse and a passing comet should all be visible from Earth on the same day. Anyone hoping to catch a glimpse of this rare event need only turn their eyes skywards on the night of February 10, through the to morning of February 11. Here´s what to look out for and when: Full Snow Moon – February´s full moon is traditionally called the Snow Moon because usually the heaviest snows fall in February. Deep snow made hunting more difficult,

Donald Trump’s setting so many fires Democrats can’t keep up

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Two Pinocchios: WaPo Fact’Checker Skewers Schumer ´Standard´ on SCOTUS Vote

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What Curtis Mayfield’s 1960’s Music Can Teach Us About Resistance Today

If you ask his son, Curtis Mayfield would have a lot to say about the current political climate in America.

Todd Mayfield, the 1960s singer’s son, explores his father’s life and work in the context of the Civil Rights era in his new biography, “Traveling Soul: The Life of Curtis Mayfield.”  

Mayfield, who was known as one of the most influential musicians of his era, was born and raised in the poverty stricken slums of Chicago, wrote notable hits including “People Get Ready” and “Keep on Pushing” with soul group The Impressions. He later pursued a solo career and launched four music labels, Windy C, Mayfield, Curtom, and CRC Records.

Todd Mayfield told The Huffington Post that it wasn’t necessarily his father’s goal to be overtly political with his music. Instead, Todd views his father’s music as a source of social commentary of the harsh realities of life in America.

“He was very observant so he wrote about things that he saw,” he said. “He always said that he wanted to provide food for thought, so as you see all these things going on around you, it was like social commentary. I don’t think he necessarily set out to influence the Civil Right Movement, but it was just the content of the music that touched people and caused them to embrace it. But I don’t think that was necessarily his goal, I just think he was writing what his feelings and observations were about our society at that time.”

Unlike other prominent artists of the ‘60s, such as Nina Simone, who sacrificed commercial success to record political-themed music, Mayfield thinks it “wasn’t his father’s primary concern to be commercial.”

Given the current state of America, the author believes Mayfield ― who died in 1999 ― would have encouraged black America to become more progressive about their objectives.  

“He would probably say, ‘The more things change, the more they stay the same,’” Todd said. “He would talk about the things we [black people] need to do to better themselves, and at the same time you work towards your goals and not let the forces that are against you stand in your way. That was really the underlining theme of a lot of it [his music], but a lot of it had to do with personal responsibility and introspection.”

Mayfield says he wants the book to serve as a catalyst for readers to re-examine the legacy of the elder Mayfield, who’s a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

“It’s just a reminder that this person was very prolific in many ways and very relevant in terms of his musical genius and his message. So I think hopefully we can get it back out there and that folks really appreciate it as much as I do,” he added.

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BREAKING: Trump signs executive order targeting DODD-FRANK

Trump just signed an executive order targeting the Dodd-Frank financial crap bill passed by Democrats: Breaking News: @POTUS signs executive orders on finance regulations. pic.twitter.com/cRHOquwccI — Fox News (@FoxNews) February 3, 2017 . . .

Signs Of Depression And Anxiety Can Be Seen In Newborns

Depression and anxiety can take root as early as the very first moments of life. 

Certain patterns of brain connectivity seen in newborn babies can predict the baby’s likelihood of showing early symptoms of mental illness ― including sadness, excessive shyness, nervousness and separation anxiety, according to findings published in the February 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. These early symptoms, in turn, are strongly linked with clinical depression and anxiety in older children and adults.

“[Brain connectivity patterns] may indicate that for some children their brains are developing along a trajectory that increases their risk for mental health symptoms as they develop,” Dr. Cynthia Rogers, a child psychiatrist at Washington University in St. Louis and lead study author, told The Huffington Post.

“It’s important to note, however, that the experiences and environment that they are exposed to as they grow may alter these connectivity patterns making it more or less likely for these symptoms to develop.”

The initial aim of the study was to investigate functional connectivity differences between babies born prematurely and those born at full-term. Previous studies had suggested that pre-term babies are at a greater risk of developing psychiatric issues later in life, and the researchers wanted to know whether differences in brain connectivity played a role. 

First, the researchers conducted MRI scans on 65 full-term newborns and 57 pre-term babies. The premature newborns were born at least 10 weeks early, but the brain scans were conducted either on or around their original due date. Then, two years later, the researchers assessed the children for early symptoms of depression and anxiety. 

When analyzing the brain scans, the researchers focused on how the amygdala ― the brain’s fear center ― interacted with other brain regions. 

In contrast to what Rogers expected, the results did not show major differences between the pre-term and full-term babies. They found that both healthy full-term babies and pre-term babies had similar amygdala connectivity patterns to adults, although the strength of these connections was slightly reduced in the premature newborns. 

In both premies and full-term babies, stronger connections between the amygdala and the insula (involved in consciousness and emotion) and the medial prefrontal cortex (involved in planning and decision-making) were associated with a higher risk of early signs of anxiety and depression at age two. 

This means that there are certain brain patterns already present at birth ― whether the baby is born early or on-time ― that can predict later risk of mental illness.

“Our study is one of the first to detect these functional differences in amygdala connectivity at birth relating to early symptoms,” Rogers explained. “There have been some other studies in older infants and young children that have found functional differences but the advantage of studying infants at birth is these patterns are not influenced by experiences they have had after birth.”

So what does it mean that the premature babies showed slightly weaker connectivity patterns? This may reflect more widespread brain differences in pre-term compared to full-term babies ― but we’re still not sure yet what the lasting impact of those differences might be, according to Rogers.

“These weaker connectivity patterns may suggest who goes on to have symptoms, but even among preterm children there is variability in the connectivity,” Rogers said. “It is also likely that experiences that these children have after birth continue to affect the amygdala connectivity with other brain regions and that may determine who goes on to have impairing symptoms.”

The researchers plan to evaluate the children again when they are 9 and 10 years old to study how their brains have developed over time and to evaluate the lasting impact of the connectivity patterns.

“If we can understand what patterns of connectivity are related to early social and emotional impairments, we can then study what predicts those connectivity patterns,” she said. “We can evaluate whether there are experiences these children have while in the hospital or early in infancy that change these patterns for better or worse that we can aim to modify.”

This reporting is brought to you by HuffPost’s health and science platform, The Scope. Like us on Facebook and Twitter and tell us your story: scopestories@huffingtonpost.com

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