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Immigrants are in the spotlight lately. And not in the good, Patti LuPone/Audra McDonald duet kind of way.

LuPone (left) and McDonald (right). Photo by Drama League/Flickr.

As promised, the Trump administration is advancing its plans to boot millions of immigrants from the United States — and reviving its order to stop them from coming here in the first place.


To hear all your Sean Spicers, your Stephen Millers, and your Kellyanne Conways tell it, the measures are necessary to stop, well, pretty much everything bad currently happening in America — from job-stealing to crime to terrorism.

Convincing Americans that immigrants are more than the sum of their worst stereotypes means winning back some hearts and minds, but these days, it can feel futile to appeal to America's heart or its brain.

But perhaps — perhaps America's stomach is still willing to listen.

Immigrants don't only make America great; they make it delicious. The people who risk their livelihoods and occasionally their lives to come here are often more than happy to share their secret recipes with us. Without them, we'd have nothing to eat ... nothing good, anyway.

Here are 17 of the top contributions to America's culinary scene by refugees, ex-pats, and immigrants.

Try not to drool on the keypad.

1. You wouldn't know about pretty much all the Chinese food you like if it weren't for refugee-turned-immigrant-turned-master chef Cecilia Chiang.

Chang and kung pao chicken. Photos by John Parra/Getty Images and Sodanie Chea/Flickr.

Chiang, who survived the Japanese invasion of China before immigrating to San Francisco in the 1960s, introduced America to the delicious, umami, stir-fried meat pile known as kung pao chicken at her restaurant, the Mandarin.

2. This giant paella wouldn't exist if chef Michael Mina hadn't moved here from Egypt.

Today was one for the books. #MinaMoments

A post shared by Michael Mina (@chefmichaelmina) on

Mina, the guy with the oar, was born in Cairo, immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Washington state, proceeded to open over a dozen restaurants in cities across the country, win a Michelin star, write a cookbook, appear on Gordon Ramsey's "Hell's Kitchen," launch a media company, and, in this photo, somehow managed to combine rice, shellfish, and nautical equipment into something so appetizing you would probably win a free T-shirt for finishing it.

3. Without lax 19th century immigration laws, America would have been denied its birthright: the Bud Light Straw-ber-Rita.

Anyone who watched this year's Super Bowl just for the commercials knows that Adolphus Busch was a hardscrabble German immigrant who trudged through miles of mud and ominously high grass to found the all-American beer company that makes the U.S. the perennial world leader in drunken high school reunion softball games.

4. You'd have to travel to an Eastern European war zone to enjoy these perogis.

Photo by Veselka/Facebook.

In 1954, Ukrainian refugees Wolodymyr and Olha Darmochawal came to New York City and founded Veselka in the East Village, serving these soul-altering fried meat, cheese, and potato pouches by the crock-load to NYU students who have crushed one too many Bud Light Lime Straw-ber-Ritas.

5. This ridiculous pulled turkey burger with Indian spices, candied bacon, and masala fries wouldn't be available in Elvis country.

Maneet Chauhan and the turkey burger. Photos by Theo Wargo/Getty Images and Chauhan Ale and Masala House/Facebook.

One great thing about being alive in 2017 is that you can find South Asian-Southern fusion sandwiches for less than $20 in the middle of the Bible Belt like it's no big deal thanks to immigrants like Indian-American chef Maneet Chauhan (you might know her as a frequent judge on "Chopped"), who opened Chauhan Ale and Masala House in Nashville in 2014.

6. We wouldn't know the gastronomic perfection that is surf and turf served over two cheese enchiladas.

Richard Sandoval and surf and turf. Photos by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images and La Hacienda/Facebook.

Before Richard Sandoval was a "Top Chef Masters" contestant, Bon Apetit Restaurateur-of-the-Year Award winner, and international food star, he was just a Mexico City kid with a dream. That dream? To put fried onions on top of steak on top of enchiladas with some lobster tail and risotto getting freaky on the side, as his La Hacienda in Scottsdale, Arizona, did on Valentine's Day 2017.

7. Anything with Huy Fong sriracha in it would have to be seasoned with a far lesser hot sauce.

Thanks to erstwhile humane values of decades past, America's hottest condiment was given unto us by a refugee — David Tran — who fled his native Vietnam on the ship Huy Fong in the 1970s. Had he come four-and-a-half decades later, it's likely he would have wound up in Canada and invented spicy maple syrup or whatever. (Actually, to be honest, that sounds pretty great. Please, immigrants from tropical climes living in Canada, invent spicy maple syrup.)

8. The Swedes might have chef Marcus Samuelsson's La Isla Bonita all to themselves.

Samuelsson and La Isla Bonita. Photos by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images and Red Rooster Harlem/Facebook.

With all the problems in Sweden that are totally so real that everyone knows about them, it's no wonder that Samuelsson (who was born in Ethiopia and is another frequent "Chopped" judge) skipped town for New York City, bringing his brand of soul food to Harlem's Red Rooster — including this otherworldy mashup of tres leches cake, rum, passion fruit, and banana.

9. Detroit would be bereft without its iconic chili-onion-mustard dogs.

The precise origin of the Michigan-favorite Coney dog has been debated for decades, but pretty much no one contests that it was invented by Greek immigrants, notably brothers Bill and Gust Keros around 1919, when they discovered — after millennia of flailing by the best chefs in the world — that the ideal condiment for meat was goopier meat.

10. You wouldn't even be able to dream about Jose Andres' ibérico bacon cristal bread uni.

Jose Andres (L) and tapas (R). Photo by Larry French/Getty Images; Jaleo/Facebook.

It's also known as coca con arizos de mar — or "expensive ham 'n fish pizza" — and Andres serves this magical creation at his D.C. tapas restaurant Jaleo. The award-winning chef, who hails from Spain, was one of several dozen who closed his restaurants on Feb. 16, 2017, in protest of the Trump administration's immigration policies.

11. Vending machines, bodegas, and gas station convenience stores nationwide would be thousands of dollars poorer without Flamin' Hot Cheetos on the shelves.

More than "The Great Gatsby," more than "Rudy," even more than Katy Perry's "Roar," the story of Flamin' Hot Cheetos is the story of the American dream. Working full time as a janitor at a Cheetos factory (!), Mexican immigrant Richard Montañez took home some defective, un-dusted Cheetos after an equipment breakdown, sprinkled some chili spices on them, and presented his creation to corporate bigwigs, who promptly put them into production. The tangy corn tubelettes quickly became the company's #1 selling snack, and Montañez was promoted to executive vice present of multicultural sales and community activation, having successfully pulled himself up by his sticky-dusty bootsraps.

12. Cronuts would not be a thing.

Dominique Ansel and a cronut. Photos by Noam Galai/Getty Images and Chun Yip So/Flickr.

Assuming you could get a cronut, you would be first-born-child-level indebted to Dominique Ansel, the French-born chef who debuted the monstrously scrumptious croissant-donut hybrid in New York City in 2013. Unfortunately, four years later, you still can't get a cronut.

13. Your airport layover would be 1,000% less tolerable without this margherita pizza from Wolfgang Puck Express.

Puck and pizza. Photos by Michael Kovac/Getty Images and Jeff Christiansen/Flickr.

Stuck in Downtown Disney World or delayed getting back to Milwaukee? You could do a lot worse than this gorgeous bubbly cheese pie by Puck, Austria's greatest gift to America since the toaster strudel.

14. You'd have to eat this mouthwatering soft-serve in a cup instead of a cone.

If there's one thing certain cable news outlets will never fail to remind you, it's that Syrian immigrants are very, very, super-duper scary. Perhaps nothing in history illustrates this better than their most terrifying invention to date, the ice cream cone. The edible frozen treat vessel was created by Abe Doumar, who debuted his creation at the St. Louis Exposition in 1904, the culmination of the Middle Eastern migrant's dastardly plot to improve mankind and delight children of all ages around the world forever and always.

It's not just that immigrants invent food we like to eat. They pretty much cook everything we eat too.

Roughly 20% of restaurant cooks are undocumented, and an even greater share are foreign-born — up to 75% in some cities. That means that immigrants are responsible for feeding you even the down-home comfort food you enjoy, including...

15. This cheeseburger from Hardee's...

Photo by Mr. Gray/Flickr.

16. ...this stock photo apple pie....

17. ...and this American flag sheet cake.

Immigrants deserve a place in America. And not just because they fill our tummies with tasty victuals.

They enrich our communities and keep our culture varied and interesting. They do the jobs most of us don't want to do. They pay hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes and contribute to our economy in countless measurable and immeasurable ways.

Immigrants and refugees don't come here to get Americans fired, steal our wallets, or blow us up. Most of them come here for a better, safer, more secure life.

They make all of our lives richer — and more delicious — in the process.

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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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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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.

Pop Culture

'90s kids share movies that will 'take you back to a better time'

It was a magical time when animals played sports and yet somehow things were just simpler.

YouTube/Upworthy photo illustration

Honey, I shrunk the kid named Matilda while jamming in space!

Everyone knows that '90s movies just hit different. From sports movies to rom-coms to even horror, there was an undeniable innocence, without being overly simplistic or juvenile. They didn’t have nearly the amount of money going into production as they do today, but somehow managed to transport us to magical places.

Movies of the '90s are so iconic that there have been several attempts to reboot beloved titles. Which, let’s face it, tends to be a fool's errand at a cash grab. These movies are so timeless that simply viewing the original is more than fine.

Not sure which movie to start with? You’re in luck—a Reddit user by the name of YouBrokeMyTV asked ’90s kids to share movies that took them “back to a better time,” and because the internet can be a wonderful place, tons of people responded with some beloved classics.

These answers certainly don’t make a definitive list (there are just so, so many gems) but they're a fun glimpse into what made '90s cinema so special. A nostalgic romp through memory lane, if you will.

Enjoy these 14 titles that just might leave you jonesing for a rewatch:

1. "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids"

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A perfect example of how '90s movies were silly, but smart at the same time. And oh so wholesome.

2. "The Sandlot"

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It taught us nothing about baseball, but everything about friendship, rooting for the underdog and (most important) how to make s’mores.

3. "Drop Dead Fred"

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Critics might have run this cult classic through the mud during its inception, but audiences fell in love with the bizarre charm of this story about a mischievous little girl and her anarchist imaginary friend. So take that, snotfaces!

4. "The Goonies"

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Everyone just wanted to set off an epic quest with their friends for pirate treasure after seeing this movie.

5. Tim Burton's "Batman"

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Before the superhero genre was the behemoth it is today, a quirky director and the dude who was best known for playing the creepy demon in "Beetlejuice" breathed new life into comic-book movies. Marvel might be the leader on creating stories with adult themes that are digestible for kids nowadays, but this DC film was the first of its kind. Plus, that soundtrack … forget about it.

6. "Hook"

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Pretty much any '90s film starring Robin Williams was an absolute gem, but this one in particular is timeless. His gift of balancing childlike humor with emotional gravitas lent itself so well to playing the now grown and cynical Peter Pan, who must learn to reclaim his joy (relatable, millennials?). It was a bang-a-rang-er, no question.

7. "Space Jam"

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It had Looney Tunes, it had aliens and it had Michael Jordan. That’s a winning combination.

8. "Matilda"

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I don’t think I’m out of line when I say that this movie helped a lot of kids make their way through difficult childhoods.

9. "The Parent Trap"

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Even '90s reboots were awesome. And how fun it is to see that Lisa Ann Walker—the actress who played Chessy the housekeeper—is not only yet again gracing the screens in NBC’s “Abbott Elementary,” but is also being revered as a style icon on TikTok for her ultra casual looks in the film. We all knew she was onto something with long button downs and shorts.

10. "The Land Before Time"

via GIPHY


No cartoon, not even “The Lion King,” was a better depiction of childhood grief. And yet, despite encapsulating tragedy, director Don Bluth still left viewers hopeful. The subsequent 14 (yes 14) sequels definitely pale in comparison to the original, but "The Land Before Time" continues to stand the test of time nonetheless.

11. "Richie Rich"

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The scene where they play tag on four-wheelers is simply iconic.

12. "Dunston Checks In"

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Man, the '90s were the golden age of animal-centered films. And not just monkeys either—we got sports playing golden retrievers and not one, but two movies starring talking pigs. What a time to be alive. These films were made before CGI had reached the levels it’s at today, and the authentic interactions between humans and creatures reached right through the screen.

13. "George of the Jungle"
george of the jungle, brendan faser

Watch out for the tree!!!

Giphy

Have I seen this movie at least 20 times? Probably. It doesn’t get any better than this in terms of silly action films with bird puppets. It’s crazy to think that this role would eventually lead Brendan Fraser to "The Mummy" franchise, turning him into a household name. Though his career has had some tragic ups and downs, we are all grateful for the glorious comeback he’s been having.

14. Anything involving Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
mary kate and ashley

Yes, they were professional detectives.

Giphy

Whether vacationing in London, Paris or Rome, whether playing magical witches or making a huge billboard so their father could find love … Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen offered zany, whimsical entertainment while wearing fun outfits. Sometimes, that’s all you need.

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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