61-year-old Nigerian Woman Gives Birth To Triplets .


IVF is here for the women of the world. When ever you think you need it to feel like a happy person life. Some women haven’t had the opportunity to be a complete woman like their fellow women, they will sit right there in their homes and age in sadness. Take a bold step and go foe your baby. It is possible, it is real.
Access bank helps women by paying half the money. So women, go out there and make your dream of becoming a mother possible today.

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FRSC Officials Rescues Man Attempting Suicide In Ogun


The patrol team of FRSC Sagamu Unit Command today rescued a man who was trying to commit suicide by hanging himself on a tree. While on routine patrol, a team of FRSC officials from Sagamu Unit were informed by an okada rider that an unidentified man was attempting to take his life by hanging on a tree. .

The team, led by Assistant Route Commander Igoche, immediately rushed to the location inside a bush along the Lagos – Ibadan expressway. The patrol team found the man in an unconcious state. The FRSC patrol team immediately rushed to bring him down from the tree and administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on him and he regained consciousness. During the CPR, the police were contacted and they met the FRSC team at the scene while administering the CPR.

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As humans, we all have a lot of things in common and that includes the fact that we all have foot wear. Type,class,and design not with standing, we all have to protect and beautify the feet. Now if you have shoes, you must have gone through the bad experience of hurting shoes especially for the ladies. When ladies buy a new shoe, they pay the monetary price and the pain price where the shoe torture you feet to coma. In reality, slim people have been known to be more balanced on a heel than the bigger ones. But the again, we have also seen some really big girls comfortable on heels. So what really makes you shoes hurt?

When people gain weight? they assume that it is their body that shows it, forgetting that their limps (fore and hind limps) don’t get noticed. But when you gain weight, you wont clearly notice that you feet and palms are equally gaining weight. So you put on the same size of shoes and assume that every thing is OK with the feet department, but when you attempt to walk or stand for a reason length of time like you used to, then you realize that it is beginning to hurt you like hell. This simply means that your feet have gained weight and you were too busy with the upper body parts to have noticed them. And the immediate time you lose the weight, you get back your comfort on you sexy heels.

Some people’s issues have been with their wedding rings especially for women. When you get married and start to bear children, you begin to realize that the ring is tighter than usual and begins to press down on your fingers, and you go changing it. But when you work out and lose weight, it goes back to how it used to be.

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imagesimages (1)images (2)images (3)images (6)images (8)images (9)images (10)images (11)4/images-4-7.jpg”>images (4)images (5)2cccc (2)2cccc (1) I have always told people about how wish I was born in the 20’s, like in the ancient days, so I could settle down and have 1 million kids as a teenager without having to spend my whole life schooling( even though I love to read and write a lot). I have always loved the olden days. Could it be because I spent so much time with old people as a child? I have always considered them lucky and adorable (I love the smell of an old skin) WEIRD RIGHT? Not to me.
This is because I have always loved the pictures they took in the studio with their hands crossed on the knee, the afro they wore,the big clothes that concealed everything, the fact that they gave birth early and got to see their 4th generation is a good thing to me. how they looked after their kids and passed onto them the domestic skills. I love how they take pictures in front of the flower walls which I was lucky enough to do yesterday. So I finally got to do mine yesterday and I loved it, and still do.
Take a look.

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The alternative use of a flower pot in Nigeria.





IMG_20170423_113955 As the name implies, most flower pots have been used to plant flowers in Nigeria, where the owners have no idea what the flower is called or what it is used for, talk more of the effect of that flower on their health. Nigerians just want to see a live plant (sometimes fake) in the flower pots, to satisfy their sense of belonging. which means that they can be called a “flower person”, or what ever they now call people who own flowers at home.
Most naive Nigerians have gone ahead to plant poisonous flowers in their homes out of ignorance, probably because of their preference for their colours or its appearance, But whoever said flower pots can only be used to plant flowers? No one said so, absolutely no one. There are countless things to plant in your clay pots in Nigeria, ranging from the vegetables, genetically modified fruits and nuts, down to cosmetic plants, especially for those with no space for planting in the house, but own a balcony or a varandah, or a field for planting.
. Water leaf: This seems like one of the easiest things you can plant in your flower pot.
. Ugu leaf: Ugu thrives relative good in a flower pot.
. Spinach
. Tomatoes
. pepper
. strawberries (for those in Jos)
. Apples (also for those in Jos)
. scent leaf
. curry leaves
. utazi leaves
. Ubgoro leaf
. lettuce
. cabbage
. cucumber
. green pepper
There is a long list of things to plant in a Nigerian flower pot, but if you were wondering how you can lay your hands on the seedlings of these plants, you should know that they are sold in sachet in vegetables markets in the country. I have been opportune to visit one of these shops in Jos plateau state, and I felt like buying everything in that shop. They have the most impressive packages only someone with an Agricultural eye *wink* can appreciate.
So, ladies and gentle men of Nigeria, stop planting poisonous, not so useful flowers, space taking plants, when you can have vegetables for cooking, which can as well serve as an ornamental plant for beautification, and for health. Feel free to share your photos with us on I have photos of clay pots that have been misused, or just been wasting around with weed or dried grasses.

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Emma Thompson felt ‘too fat’ to live in LA


British actress Emma Thompson has said she never moved to Los Angeles because she felt she was deemed “too fat” when she visited.
“It is a strange place and I couldn’t live there,” she told Swedish chat show Skavlan.
The Oscar winner also condemned the pressure on actresses to be thin.
“The anorexia – there are so many kids, girls and boys now, and actresses who are very, very thin, who are into their 30s, [and] simply don’t eat,” she said.
‘It’s getting worse’
The star also revealed she threatened to quit working on 2008 film Brideshead Revisited in reaction to a co-star who had been told to shed the pounds.
She said: “The producers said to her, ‘Will you lose some weight?’. She was absolutely exquisite.
“I said to them, ‘If you speak to her about this again, on any level, I will leave this picture. You are never to do that’.
“It’s evil, what’s happening, what’s going on out there, and it’s getting worse.”

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EFCC arrests eight LG Councillors in Yola


Officials of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission have arrested eight councillors of Yola North Metropolitan Council of Adamawa.

The Chairman of the council, Alhaji Mahmoud Mamman, said the councillors were detained at the Adamawa Police Command headquarters.

He said, “I was informed that eight councillors were arrested by EFCC and I had to rush with my Vice Chairman to the police headquarters to see what is happening.

“I was told that eight councillors were arrested but so far I saw only five when I went there this morning.”

The chairman who declined to give the names of those arrested or the reason why they were arrested said only the EFCC could do that.

When contacted on the development, the spokesman of Adamawa Police Command, SP Othman Abubakar, who did not give the number of those arrested, said that it was purely the affairs of EFCC.

“All I know is that EFCC officials brought them to our facility”, Abubakar said.

Effort to get the officials of EFCC to comment did not yield result.

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Dreaded Boko Haram Is Broke – UN


Boko Haram Terrorist group operating in the North-East of Nigeria, has been declared broke by the United Nation.

The destructive Boko Haram insurgency group is currently plagued by financial difficulties, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, has said.

Feltman stated this while briefing the Security Council on the UN Secretary-General’s Fourth Report on the threat the group poses to international peace and security efforts to “check and roll it back” on Tuesday

The UN envoy also noted that Boko Haram was under intense military pressure, but warned against undermining its capacity to launch fatal attacks.

“ISIL-affiliate Boko Haram is attempting to spread its influence and commit terrorist acts beyond Nigeria.

“And Boko Haram remains a serious threat, with several thousand fighters at its disposal.

“It is, however, plagued by financial difficulties and an internal power struggle, and has split in two factions,” Feltman said.
While the previous reports on the subject had focused on South East Asia, Yemen and East Africa, Libya and Afghanistan, the fourth report focused on Europe, North Africa and West Africa.

It noted that ISIL had conducted a range of attacks in Europe since declaring in 2014 its intent to target the region.

Some of these attacks were directed and facilitated by ISIL personnel, while others were enabled by ISIL providing guidance or assistance or were inspired through its propaganda, it said.

The report stated that while the military offensive in Libya had dislodged ISIL from its stronghold Sirte, the group’s threat to Libya and neighbouring countries persists.

“Its fighters, estimated to range from several hundred to 3,000, have moved to other parts of the country.

“ISIL has increased its presence in West Africa and the Maghreb, though the group does not control significant amounts of territory in the region.

“The reported pledge of loyalty to ISIL by a splinter faction of Al-Mourabitoun led by Lehbib Ould Ali may elevate the level of the threat.”

Following the increased military pressure, Feltman said ISIL is now on the defensive militarily in several regions, but was also adapting to military pressure by resorting to covert communications such as the ‘dark web’.

“Although its income and the territory under its control are shrinking, ISIL still appears to have sufficient funds to continue fighting,” he warned.

Feltman noted that ISIL relies mainly on income from extortion and hydrocarbon exploitation, even though resources from the latter are on the decline.

According to him, UN Member States are concerned that ISIL will try to expand other sources of income, such as kidnapping for ransom, and increase its reliance on donations.

“ISIL is adapting in several ways to military pressure, resorting to increasingly covert communication and recruitment methods, including by using the ‘dark web,’ encryption and messengers,” he warned.

The report also noted some of the measures taken by Member States and the UN, stressing the need to develop sustained and coordinated responses to the grave threat posed by ISIL and associated groups and entities.

Feltman said that there were 19 universal counter-terrorism conventions and protocols, as well as related regional instruments on international terrorism, and relevant UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions.

“But we need to do more, as Member States continue to face significant challenges to ensure effective international cooperation,” he said.

He warned that foreign terrorist fighters leaving the conflict could pose a grave risk to their homeland or to the countries they are travelling to or transiting through, such as Iraq and Syria’s neighbours, as well as countries in the Maghreb.

“Ultimately, it is the spread and consolidation of peace, security, development and human rights that will most effectively deprive terrorism of the oxygen it needs to survive,” he concluded.

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Kyra Poh: The 14-year-old girl who’s the ‘fastest flyer’


Fourteen-year-old indoor skydiver Kyra Poh was crowned the “world’s fastest flyer” in one of the sport’s biggest competitions, the Wind Games. She tells the BBC’s Tessa Wong what it takes to soar to the top.
Riding winds as fast as 230km/h (143mph), Kyra flips and whirls around the arena, a small blur of white spandex in a giant vertical wind tunnel.
In the air the Singaporean teenager makes it all look effortless – a combination of dancing and floating – but in reality it is hard work.
“You use all your muscles for this sport. Even those muscles you never knew existed, they will start to ache. Even your wrists will hurt,” she tells the BBC from Spain.
About 200 indoor skydivers competed at the Wind Games held in Catalonia in Spain at the weekend- Kyra was not only among the few females who took part, but also one of the youngest.
It was her first time competing against adults in a large-scale competition.
But she easily beat them to win gold medals in the solo speed category, where a routine must be completed in the fastest time possible, and the freestyle category, where competitors are graded on their choreography and the difficulty of their moves.
She says being smaller and lighter than her competitors did not give her an advantage. In fact, she thinks it made things more difficult.
“A lot of people think that if you’re lighter, you’re faster. I don’t think so. Because when you’re small, you have less body surface area, so you can push off less wind. If you’re taller, you can push off more and have more force,” she says.
Kyra won the gold medal in the junior freestyle category at the FAI World Cup of Indoor Skydiving, held in October last year in Poland.
‘I forget I’m flying’
Kyra fell into the sport accidentally. When she was nine her mother, an advertising executive, was hired to create commercials for indoor skydiving facility iFly in Singapore, and they needed a child to appear in their adverts.
“My mum asked me to try it out. I said yes. I really wanted to fly… and it was really exciting.
“When I first jumped in, I was nervous. But now these days when I go in, sometimes I forget I’m flying. The wind is so fast, sometimes when I fly, it feels like something is holding me up instead of me floating,” she says.
Kyra practices three times a week after school, and more frequently during competition season. Each session takes hours – flying repeatedly can be gruelling, and she can only fly in short spurts of three minutes before taking a break.
She also regularly does long stretching sessions to improve her flexibility. Unlike most female indoor skydivers, Kyra does not have a gymnastics or dance background.
But she tries to make up for that in other ways.
“Female competitors tend to have a very graceful style and are very flexible. So I try to incorporate that in my routine with powerful, aggressive moves which men use, that are very technical and fast,” she says.
Indoor skydiving is a very new sport, but Kyra sees it as her lifelong passion and hopes to be a professional athlete.
“When I was smaller I used to draw pictures of myself flying over Singapore. I even wanted to be an astronaut, to float in zero gravity.
“Humans are not meant to fly, but that has always been my dream. Now I can fly in a tunnel, so I’m glad to find this sport.”

Kyra started indoor skydiving when she was just nine years old
Kyra started indoor skydiving when she was just nine years old

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Good news Nigeria,, Canada Announces Visa Lottery Program


OTTAWA – Parliament of Canada today approved a visa lottery program similar to the U.S DV visa lottery which will give opportunity to winners to settle in Canada, work and obtain Canadian Citizenship after 4 years for 16 eligible countries.

Prior to the approval of this bill, Canada used to run the Highly Skilled Migrant Program which is tailored for skilled workers from certain categories to enter and work in Canada.

Eligible countries include Oman, Ethiopia, Philippines, Ghana, Guyana, Jamaica, Nigeria, Gambia, Cameroon, Kenya, Pakistan, Zambia, Thailand, Uganda, Fiji and Lesotho.

Under the new visa lottery program, every winner is required to have obtained at least a high school education or its equivalent or have two years of recent work experience in an occupation that requires at least two years of training or experience.

Vocational training is also considered a substitute for high school education unlike the U.S. DV Lottery.

Canadian Immigration and Citizenship encourages applicants to apply on their own although applicants are allowed to have someone else submit on their behalf.

Entrants are responsible for ensuring that information in the entry is correct and complete.

Entries that are not correct or complete may be disqualified. It is free to register for the program.

Entrants who submit more than one entry will be disqualified.

Registration for entries will be opened on March 1, 2017.

Entrants will be notified of their selection and interview appointment beginning August 1, 2017.

Checking your status online is the only way you will be notified if you are selected.

You will not be notified by phone, letter, or email.

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Facebook video helps man find the woman who saved his life


A Colorado man used a heartfelt Facebook video to find his first responders after collapsing at a half-marathon in Florida.

Amy Smythe, 39, of Newark, Delaware, could not stop thinking about the man who had collapsed nearby, mere feet from the finish line of the Key West Half Marathon last week. She had just set a personal record, beating her previous best by 20 minutes.

Amy Smythe, a nurse in a cardiovascular unit, helped another marathon runner.
Amy Smythe, a nurse in a cardiovascular unit, helped another marathon runner.
“It was fate that I had finished early,” she said.
Bill Amirault, 44, of Colorado Springs went into cardiac arrest as he was rounding the final corner of the race. Smythe, a nurse in the cardiovascular unit at Christiana Care’s Christiana Hospital, wasted no time.
“I think my instincts just kicked in,” Smythe said.
With two other strangers who were also medical professionals, she began administering CPR until paramedics arrived and shocked his heart into a normal rhythm.
With the crowd growing, the paramedics carried Amirault away, out of Smythe’s sight. She “couldn’t stop thinking about him,” she said, but didn’t know his name or where he lived.

Smythe checked the local news that night. She checked the papers. There was an article about the marathon in the sports section but no mention of the incident. Nothing had been posted to the marathon’s website, either.
Amirault, who had been airlifted to Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami, was also checking the news as he recovered, searching for any indication of who had kept him alive until the ambulance arrived.
That’s when Amirault, who “never really used social media,” had an idea: Make a Facebook video go viral.
“I’m hoping you can help me find the person or people that saved my life this past weekend,” he said in the video, shot in his hospital bed at Mount Sinai.
The video, posted January 20, has been viewed 1.4 million times and shared more than 27,000 times, and it’s received over 1,600 comments from people, including other nurses, who were determined to help him find the people who saved his life.
His video ends with an urge for people to learn CPR. “Those three minutes were so critical,” he said.
Less than 24 hours later, he had identified the people who had performed CPR on him as resident nurse Smythe, a neonatal nurse and an anesthesiologist.
“My girlfriend … called me: ‘You gotta check Facebook out!’ ” said Smythe.
“I was just so overwhelmed,” she said. “I immediately was in tears.”
Both Smythe and Amirault described their initial phone meeting as joyful, and both said their chance meeting has made them appreciate the little things.
“How it all came about with Facebook is just crazy for me,” Smythe said.
“It’s nice to have something positive on the internet right now,” she added.

Amy Smythe, a nurse in a cardiovascular unit, helped another marathon runner.
Amy Smythe, a nurse in a cardiovascular unit, helped another marathon runner.

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#ClothesWithoutLimits: Fed-up moms create their own clothing for girls


If you have a daughter like I do who hates dresses and abhors anything pink, sparkly or with ruffles and frills, you are pretty much out of luck if you head to most of the major retail stores. What you end up doing is shopping in the boys’ section for your daughter’s clothing.

There’s nothing wrong with that, but shouldn’t there be more options for girls?
The answer, according to 10 “mompreneurs” who have banded together, is an emphatic yes. Through their #ClothesWithoutLimits campaign, these mothers from around the country, many starting their businesses through Kickstarter, are hoping to raise awareness about the current limitations when it comes to clothing for girls and how clothing that bashes gender stereotypes can have an impact far beyond the outfits themselves.
“Clothes are such an expression of who we are and … how we choose to go out into the world is so important,” said Michele Yulo, one of the members of #ClothesWithoutLimits, who was inspired by her daughter, Gabi, now 10, to create Princess Free Zone back in 2009. Her company offers empowering T-shirts for girls emblazoned with images such as dinosaurs, hammers and soccer balls.
Too hot for tweens: Why some parents dread back-to-school shopping
“I just believe that the more options (girls) have and they can see … the less limitations they will perceive that they have.”
Yulo has now gone a step further. When Gabi, who loves baseball, basketball and playing the violin, needs to dress up for a family occasion, her mom’s had to buy suits or tuxedos that are made for boys. Dresses are not an option, said Yulo, and try finding a suit for girls at any major retailer. “Impossible,” she says.
Determined to change that, Yulo recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for Suit Her, with the hope of raising $90,000 to begin offering three different lines of suits for girls 5 to 12. (I can barely contain my excitement that my daughter, who dreads wearing dresses, can buy a suit for her cousin’s upcoming bat mitzvah.)
Yulo believes options such as suits that are made for and fit girls send a clear message to the girls buying them and the rest of us as well.
“Kids shouldn’t have to be brave to wear the things they like,” she said. “This goes back to … why is retail so important because that is how people are looking at you. That’s how they’re sizing you up. That is where the labels come from.”
‘Girl clothes without the girly’
Like Yulo, Sharon Choksi has a daughter who couldn’t find anything to wear in the girls’ sections of stores and for years would buy everything she needed from the boys’ department.
“When she was younger, we’d hear kids whisper innocently to their parents, ‘Is that a boy or a girl?,’ kids at school saying, ‘Why are you wearing boys’ clothes all the time?’ ” she said.
Girl empowerment ads like GoldieBlox: Do they work?
Her daughter wasn’t really bothered by it, but Choksi, another member of #ClothesWithoutLimits, thought of all the other girls and their parents who eventually would get tired of the comments, lose interest in dinosaurs and spaceships, and wear more gender-accepted clothing.
So she and two of her siblings (Laura and David Burns) started Girls Will Be, which offers a range of T-shirts and shorts for active girls with images ranging from dinosaurs to spaceships to math equations. It’s tagline is “Girl clothes without the girly.” (Full disclosure: My older daughter will only wear shirts from Girls Will Be.)
“Over and over, the message every season in every store is so consistent that children start to internalize that and say, ‘Oh, OK, the rough and tumble sports or the wildlife and creatures or the outer space, that’s always over there in the boys’ section, and the sparkly penguins and kittens and rainbows are in the girls’ section,” said Choksi, a mom of two.
“It’s on top of the other messages that they see in toys, that they see in the media and movies and books … and so by the time kids are 4 and 5, they’re assimilating all this information and coming up with very strong opinions, specifically on the math and the science side,” she said. “To be sending messages to one gender that that’s really not for them is doing those kids a disservice.”
For girls who love dresses and dinosaurs
Rebecca Melsky’s story is markedly different from Choksi’s and Yulo’s. Her daughter, now 5, loves wearing dresses, but Melsky, also a member of the #ClothesWithoutLimits team, wondered why she could never find one with a dinosaur or a spaceship on it.
“I really wanted to be able to show her and help her understand and feel that she can like all sorts of things, and also like all sorts of traditionally feminine styles and that those things aren’t mutually exclusive,” she said.
So, back in April 2013, she and a friend, Eva St. Clair, started Princess Awesome, which offers dresses with motifs traditionally found on boys’ clothing. At first, they started doing everything by hand, but based on the overwhelming response, earlier this year, they launched a Kickstarter campaign to move operations from their home and into factory production.
In all, they raised $215,000, blowing away the Kickstarter campaigns for previous children’s wear.
“So many people have daughters or granddaughters or nieces or friends who are interested in our clothes for so many reasons,” said Melsky. Some girls who don’t like to wear dresses say these dresses speak to them. Other girls who like them are the ones who have been wondering why all the dinosaur clothes are on the boys’ side, she said.
“Parents too … want to encourage a love of math and science in their daughters and adventure and pirates and other things besides what is available,” she said. “It’s just wanting to show them all the options they can be.”
The message that clothes send makes a difference, said Melsky.
“Kids, boys and girls, are sent a message when they walk through clothing stores or when they see what other kids are wearing and we think that … by all of us doing our part, we can change that message and give kids more options.”
Signs of change?
The mothers behind #ClothesWithoutLimits say there are signs major retailers are slowly getting the message, with all the women I talked to pointing to Target’s recent decision to move away from gender-based signage in some departments.
But still, there is a long way to go before girls and boys can find clothing that doesn’t cater to gender stereotypes in most stores, they conceded.
“Their pink and sparkly for girls has sold well and does well and there are a lot of kids who like that style and it works for them, and that’s fantastic, and it is always hard, I think, to be the first one to step out and say, ‘Nope, times are changing and we are going to offer kids something different’ for fear that it won’t sell,’ ” said Choksi of Girls Will Be.
These women aren’t doing this for the money, Yulo of the Suit Her line said. In fact, Yulo said she hasn’t made a cent from her first endeavor, Princess Free Zone, and even had to sell her wedding ring to start the business six years ago.
“I don’t think anybody’s making a fortune off of this. I think that we’re all authentically in it,” she said.
They are driven by a passion to make life better for girls and boys, and a belief that their small companies can do more by working together than by competing.
“We all believe that the message that clothes send to kids matters and that we’re all doing something about it and our voices could be louder together than they are just on their own,” said Melsky of Princess Awesome.

Rebecca Melsky (left) and Eva St. Clair, co-founders of Princess Awesome
Rebecca Melsky (left) and Eva St. Clair, co-founders of Princess Awesome

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Paralympic gold medalist marries in Imo


Josephine Orji Nwakaego, Nigerian Paralympic gold medalist marries.
Orji who holds the world record in the +86kg power-lifting category, got married to her fiancee, Kelechi Moses on January 2, 2017 at the state Banquet hall, Government house, Imo State.

In 2014, Orji, broke her own world record three times, eventually lifting 151kg, 9kg more than her previous best set about a year before.
International Paralympic Committee describes Orji as the world’s strongest female Paralympian who came to the fore to smash the world record for the women’s heavyweights. In 2016, she added 7kg onto her own best from 2015, lifting 160kg in the fourth round.

Here are some of the photos from the wedding

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Taylor Swift sings at US war veteran’s home in Missouri as Christmas surprise


Taylor Swift surprised a US war veteran by turning up at his home on Boxing Day and singing for him and his family.
Cyrus Porter, 96, told a TV station in Missouri earlier this year that he’d taken his grandchildren to her concert and was her oldest fan.
So as a Christmas surprise, the singer travelled to his home in New Madrid, Missouri, and performed Shake It Off on his enclosed back porch.
Taylor was also given a personal tour of Cyrus’ World War Two memorabilia.
Grandchild Robert Frye posted several photos on Twitter and said it was a “Christmas miracle”.
Another of his grandchildren posted a video of Taylor Swift arriving at the house during a thunderstorm.
When interviewed about her earlier this year on KFVS 12, Cyrus said he liked Taylor Swift because she put on a proper concert.
“Look what she does, she puts on a show no-one else puts on,” he said.
“I just liked the way she did stuff.”
After fighting in Germany, Cyrus Porter spent decades working and farming in Missouri.
He’s been married to his wife, 89-year-old Harriett, for 69 years and raised nine children.
Cyrus had hosted 72 people for a family Christmas the day earlier.
Many of his relatives were still there when a van pulled into the driveway of his home about 130 miles south of St Louis.
“My daughter opened the door and said, ‘It’s Taylor Swift,'” Cyrus told The Associated Press. “I couldn’t believe it. It’s not a miracle but I’d say it’s pretty close.
“I got lipstick on my face.”
Cyrus Porter’s daughter – 66-year-old Carolyn Allred from Bowling Green, Kentucky – said: “It’s really special she takes time out to do something like that.”
Cyrus said he’d driven to gigs in Memphis and St Louis to see Taylor Swift and liked the one where everyone’s wristbands lit up.
He went to the concerts with his daughter and two of his grandchildren but has 49 grandchildren and great-grandchildren in total.
He was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and says his next goal is to see Taylor Swift on her next tour.

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‘Mysterious power over humanity’: How cats affect health


The cat is one of the most powerful animals on the planet, author says
Even if your cat doesn’t give you toxoplasmosis, it may not be wonderful for your mental health
When a stray cat wandered onto the tracks of a midtown 7 train in New York City last month, the MTA halted the entire subway line until the animal was out of harm’s way. At the same time, the U.S. government euthanizes millions of stray cats each year.

They’re a disaster for the environment: One conservancy organization has called cats the “ecological axis of evil.” American cats kill between 1.4 and 3.7 billion birds each year, and they’ve been implicated in dozens of mammalian extinctions. (The Australian government has funded research into the most efficient methods of cat control — yielding products like a poison-laced kangaroo sausage called “Eradicat.”) Nearly half of house cats have physically attacked their owners.
Humans’ relationship with cats is rife with paradox. There are an estimated 100 million pet cats in the U.S., and their ranks are only growing. “Cat culture” flourishes online. The cat-less can get their fix at “cat cafés” opening across Asia, Europe, and North America.
In “The Lion in the Living Room: How Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World,” journalist Abigail Tucker traces cats’ journey from fearsome Near Eastern predator to global intruder, shedding light on how this baby-sized beast worked its way into so many homes.
Science of Us spoke with Tucker about the disturbing similarities between cats and lions, the reason cats failed to uphold the Rabbit Suppression Act of 1884, and the somewhat baffling question of why people put up with them.
You write that cats are a rather unlikely house pet. Why is that?
Cats are uniquely ill-suited for domestication. When people set out to domesticate the first animals, we targeted animals that were easy to keep in confined spaces, and animals that would eat a variety of things — think of a pig or a goat, which will eat any old swill left over from your kitchen. Cats eat only fancy food, meat that we could eat ourselves.
We also tended toward animals that had social hierarchies that we could dominate. Dogs and cattle have lead animals, and we can control them by acting the alpha dog or the lead steer. But cats are solitary animals that don’t have social hierarchies. They’re hard to physically control, and they don’t tolerate confinement well.
How to speak cat
Usually, you don’t have to write a 200-page book to figure out why we domesticated an animal. There’s a purpose for the animal, and it’s really clear: We want its meat or its milk or its fur or its labor. But what on earth did we want cats around for?
As I talked to scientists, it dawned on me that we weren’t necessarily the ones who were driving this relationship. House cats sidled up to our first settlements 10,000 years ago, because of big changes we started making to the environment. All of these animals crept into our settlement and were eating our trash — animals like badgers and foxes, in addition to small wildcats. They got into this new niche and exploited it.
So how did they trick us into feeding them and taking care of them?
For a long time, it was probably just an accident. But there are reasons that cats made the transition, but we don’t have badgers or foxes as pets today. One reason is that cats have a set of physical features that, for completely accidental reasons, remind us of human babies.
Cats have big round eyes located right in the middle of their faces, because they’re ambush predators and need good binocular vision. They have little noses, because they don’t hunt by smell. They have round faces because they have short, powerful jaws. This set of features, which is actually just an expression of the way the cat hunts, looks to us like our infants. That gave them a leg up on the competition, and made them an intriguing and charming presence, rather than a straight-up nuisance, like a raccoon.
One justification people give for keeping cats around is that they hunt rodents. I was surprised to learn that cats aren’t even that good at killing rats.
Cats are magnificent hunters, and they can hunt anything from butterflies to wallabies. They can kill rats but they have no reason to, in our cities. There’s plenty of garbage for everybody. Cats and rats have been photographed sharing piles of trash. Why would these animals fight and risk their lives, when they could just comfortably graze together?
People have tried it before — letting a feral cat colony go within a certain area, with the goal of keeping rat populations down. While they might kill a few rats, the populations of rats are so big that there’s no way the cats can ever repress them.
In colonial Australia, there was this act called the Rabbit Suppression Act of 1884. The Australians released hordes of house cats, because they wanted them to kill off these invasive bunny rabbits, which the British had also released. They even built them little cat houses out in the wilderness, so they would have a place to live. But the cats didn’t end up killing off the rabbits.
Cats can kill a gazillion rabbits, and there are still more rabbits — they breed like rabbits. What the cats ended up doing was killing off other more vulnerable, native animals. Cats don’t do their assignments the way that dogs do.
Pet owners like to say that caring for their dog or cat confers various health benefits — mental as well as physical. But what do we really know about how having a cat affects our health? There have been all these studies about toxoplasmosis, the cat-borne parasite that can get into human brain tissue. Some scientists think that there’s a link between this parasitic disease and mental-health problems, especially schizophrenia.
Even if your cat doesn’t give you toxoplasmosis, it may not be wonderful for your mental health. There are a few troubling studies that show that having a cat can decrease your likelihood of surviving a heart attack and increase high blood pressure.
People who have cats are less likely to be outside in the world, walking their cats, meeting other people in cat parks. And cats may not be as good a substitute for human companionship as other kinds of pets. Dogs and their owners have this lovely synergy — they gaze into each other’s eyes, and both of them have this flow of oxytocin going.
Is there really such a thing as a cat person?
That doesn’t happen so much with cats. In nature, cats don’t live near other cats, and they don’t have a good expressive repertoire. One way they communicate is by leaving pheromones and other smells around, which humans are completely oblivious to. We’re really not built to communicate with each other.
One of the fascinating things about cats is their adaptability. Even though they are fundamentally asocial animals, they’ve figured out how to manipulate their human hosts. Feral cats don’t meow much, but in the presence of humans, cats learn how to communicate to get what they want. They purr in a manner that embeds this insistent, annoying, almost infantlike cry inside of a pleasant purr, to condition their owners to get them food.
But is it possible to know if cat owners’ mental-health problems are the result of having a cat? Might someone who is already lonely or antisocial be more likely to get a cat?
I think it could be both. Somebody who is socially isolated to begin with, or unable to do the rigorous care that a dog needs, might be more likely to get a cat — but having a cat can be isolating in and of itself. It’s interesting that people persistently describe the internet as a digital cat park, where cat people can finally socialize via their pets.
I have seen a lot of articles lately about the cat-borne parasite toxoplasmosis. [One researcher blames the rise of insanity in the 19th century on the rise of toxoplasmosis-infected house cats. Another study says that people with toxoplasmosis are twice as likely to be in a car crash, and suggests that infected drivers have been distracted and worn out by persistent low-level sickness. Toxoplasmosis-infected prey animals like chimps and rats, which are usually repulsed by the urine of predators like leopards and rats, are attracted to it instead.] A lot of these stories seem a little bit hysterical. Do you think the fear around toxoplasmosis is warranted?
I do think a lot of them are overblown. Scientists agree that the parasite gets into our brain and can be very damaging to human fetuses and people with compromised immune systems, but there isn’t a ton of support for the idea that cats are manipulating us via this parasite.
An incredible thing dogs can do with their noses to tell time
I think that the fact that we have glommed onto this idea, and we write so many stories about it, speaks to the fact that cats do have some kind of mysterious power over humanity. These stories about toxoplasmosis remind me of stories that used to come out six or seven hundred years ago about cats and sorcery — that cats have dark powers we don’t understand, that they’re witches in disguise.
On that note, cat culture seems pretty female. Whether it’s witches or “cat ladies,” cats seem to always be associated with women — what’s that about?
From my experience drifting around the cat world, it does seem to be more of a female-centric passion. The simple, slightly sexist explanation is that cats’ infantile-looking features prey particularly on female instincts.
There are some interesting ideas from evolutionary psychologists — that a woman might use a cat to hone her parenting skills or, before having kids, to demonstrate her fitness as a mate. I think that people of both sexes could be guilty of that. It does seem like it’s a good way for guys to meet women, to be a passionate public cat-man.
Why are cats such an ecological disaster? How did they end up in isolated island environments like Australia?
Cats are very good shipboard travelers. They don’t need a lot of water; they don’t need a lot of vitamin C, so they don’t get scurvy. They’ve been able to endear themselves to sailors for the past 10,000 years and sail across the oceans, which are the major barrier to mammalian dispersal. It’s usually hard for mammals to get to places like Australia. They have to ride on rafts or get blown in. A lot of islands don’t have any mammals living on them at all, let alone apex predators that are hypercarnivores, like cats.
With just a few tweaks, the house cat is basically the king of beasts. Cat species are very different in terms of size, but the feline blueprint — their behaviors and the proportions of their bodies — is really consistent across species. You let it go in any environment and it’s going to be able to kill anything that’s smaller than it, and even things that are a little bigger. It’s like a meat-eating machine.
You tell stories of house cats clawing and scratching their human owners, especially children. Why do cats so often turn on the people who feed them?
Cats and humans haven’t lived locked inside the same places, in such numbers, until the last few decades or so. We talked about the implications for our mental health, but this arrangement might not be so great for cats’ mental health, either. They can get really stressed out in our houses. A lot of things that we consider normal — everything from the volume of our voices, to our thermostats, to the way that a child is playing with a toy — can stress cats out.
There’s evidence that to prevent cat-human violence, we need to go to more extreme lengths than I’d ever thought. Experts say that you need to give an entire room of your house for the cat’s exclusive use. That you should make sure the cat has multiple litter boxes, one per floor, and extra ones for extra cats. That you should never rearrange your furniture. That you should try not to wear perfume. That houseguests are freaky for your cat.
You’re coming at this subject as a lifelong cat-lover. Did learning all of this — that cats are bad for your health, bad for the environment — change your relationship with your cat? Why would you still want to have a cat?
I lost a lot of my sentimental regard for cats — that “oh, my cute fur-baby” response. But I find that I marvel at them more. I can appreciate the backstory, how this little animal managed to carve out a place for itself in the world, and to become a dreaded invasive species and — culturally speaking — one of the most powerful animals on the planet.
To me, it’s about the wonder of life, and how this animal has gotten so far in the world without giving us much in return. I think that makes our relationship more pure. Humans are so good at extracting what they want from the environment. With cats, we’re not necessarily holding the reins. We don’t even know what we want, but we love it.
The interview has been edited and condensed.

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