lundi 23 février 2015

John Travolta partially blames Goldie Hawn for him messing up Idina Menzel's name at the 2014 Oscars. 

The 'Grease!' actor infamously introduced the 'Let It Go' hitmaker as 'Adele Dazeem' during last year's Academy Awards and has finally revealed the series of events which left him flustered and unprepared before he stepped out on stage. 

He explained: "The truth is, I was expected backstage and it was getting very close to the time I was supposed to go on and suddenly a page - an assistant to you - grabbed me and said you're on in a minute, I was like 'What happened to 15 minutes?' and they didn't explain. Later I found out my actual page got stuck in an elevator and couldn't communicate to anybody so the back-up came to get me. 

"As I get backstage I run into Goldie Hawn. She's sexy, charismatic, beautiful and I was starstruck, hugging and loving her up, forgetting I had to do this bit. 

"Then they were like 'OK you're on' and then they said 'Oh by the way, we've changed Idina's name to a phonetic spelling and I was like 'Wait - what do you mean?' 'Go!' 

"So I go out there and I get to her thing and I go 'Huh?' In my mind I'm going 'What? What is that name? I don't know that name'. And it was this phonetic spelling, and I didn't rehearse it that way." 

Asked on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Oscars' if that meant it was "Goldie Hawn's fault", John laughed and replied: "Maybe." 

Despite the gaffe, John insists the 43-year-old singer harbours no hard feelings and even credits him for her recent career success. 

He added: "The beautiful news, and Idina actually agrees, is that she's had one of the best years of her life, and her career. And she gives me credit!" 

And Idina was given her chance to get her revenge on John during last night's (02.22.15) Oscars when she jokingly introduced him as "Glom Gazingo". 

Speaking to the audience at Los Angeles' Dolby Theater, she said: "Please welcome to the stage my very dear friend Glom Gazingo." 

The 61-year-old actor then walked on stage and hugged her before patting the 'Wicked' star on the face and embracing the joke. 

He said: "I deserve that, but you, my darling, my beautiful, my wickedly talented Idina Menzel." 

She added: "You got it, not like it's going to follow me around for the rest of my life or anything."
He replied: "Yeah, tell me about it." 

The pair then presented the Best Original Song award to John Legend and Common for their hit 'Glory' from historical drama movie 'Selma.

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It's colourless, odourless and tasteless, and it can increase your risk of developing lung cancer. Yet most Manitobans don't have radon gas on their radar of health hazards.

And that is a serious problem, says Dr. Lisa Richards, Medical Officer of Health with the Winnipeg Health Region.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is formed by a breakdown of uranium in the soil. It can seep into houses through cracks in the foundation.

The province of Manitoba, including Winnipeg, is known to have higher levels of radon gas in homes compared to other parts of Canada, with experts suggesting that between 10 and 30 per cent of houses in the city may have unsafe levels of the substance.

That's when the trouble starts. As people inhale the gas, the radioactive particles can enter their lungs and may contribute to the development of lung cancer, says Richards.

Studies suggest that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking, and is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. Radon is responsible for up to 20 per cent of all lung cancers in Manitoba, says Richards, noting that its effects are especially bad for people who smoke.

"The combined effects of radon exposure and smoking create a risk for lung cancer that is greater than the two separately," says Richards. "Since an estimated one in five homes in Manitoba exceeds Canada's radon guideline, it's reason for concern."

The baseline risk for a smoker getting lung cancer is about 12 per cent, meaning that slightly more than one in ten people who smoke can expect to get cancer. But when combined with long-term, high radon exposure at 800 becquerels per metre cubed (Bq/m³), the risk jumps to about 30 per cent. Meanwhile, the lung cancer risk for a non-smoker exposed to that same high radon level is about five per cent.

"To put it another way, a smoker's chances of getting lung cancer from high levels of radon are 250 times their risk of drowning or 200 times their risk of dying in a house fire," says Richards, adding that for non-smokers exposed to radon, the numbers are 35 times the risk of drowning, or 20 times the chance of dying in a house fire.

"Despite the lower risk for non-smokers, radon is still the number one cause of lung cancer for non-smokers," she says.

Residents of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Yukon have the highest risk for radon gas exposure, according to a 2012 Health Canada study of radon concentrations in homes across the country.

The study found that 11 per cent of homes in Winnipeg have unsafe levels of radon gas. That means they have more than the 200 Bq/m³ of radon gas that is deemed to be safe. The danger may be even more pronounced during the winter months when people keep the windows closed, trapping the gas inside.

Other health regions in Manitoba showed higher numbers for the 200-plus Bq/m3 range in the Health Canada study. For example, the Interlake-Eastern RHA was 23 per cent, Southern was 26 per cent, and Prairie Mountain was 43 per cent. The Northern RHA was 11 per cent.

But at least one local expert says the 11 per cent estimate for Winnipeg is too low. Pam Warkentin, Assistant Director of the Canadian - National Radon Proficiency Program, which is the certification program recognized by Health Canada, says she believes as many as 30 per cent of Winnipeg homes may have hazardous levels of radon gas.

"We know, through surveys done here in the past, that Winnipeg's numbers are higher than in the Health Canada survey," she says. "In fact, our research has shown us that, in some areas of the city, 60 per cent of the homes have levels higher than 200 becquerels."

The only way to be sure about radon is to test your home, she says. "There are options available, including do-it-yourself radon test kits or hiring a professional," she says. "If you are worried about deploying a kit improperly, then hire a professional."

Many people hold off testing, says Warkentin, because they're worried about the cost of correcting the problem. "Get the test done, and then think about how you will install a mitigation system. You can put it into your repair budget in the future."

If your home does test above 200 Bq/m³, you still have time, says Richards. The risk of developing lung cancer depends on how much radon a person is exposed to, how long their exposure is, and whether they smoke.

A number of studies have made the link between residential radon exposure and lung cancer, she says. One, which pooled data from seven different studies, including one done in Winnipeg, found the longer the exposure, the greater the risk.

It doesn't pay to ignore the warning, adds Richards. Lung cancer is the leading cause of all cancer deaths in Canada, ahead of breast cancer for women and ahead of prostate cancer for men, she says.

"When you learn that two out of five Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetime, and lung cancer is a leading cause of deaths due to cancer, it only makes sense to reduce your exposure to what causes lung cancer," says Richards. "Stop smoking, and get your home tested for radon gas."

How radon enters your home

Potential entry routes for radon gas in homes with concrete foundations include cracks, areas with exposed soil or rocks, openings for utility fixtures or hollow objects such as support posts. Major entry points include sump pumps and floor drains.

Homes with less common types of foundations, such as concrete slab-on-grade, stone, or pressure-treated wood, may have other entry routes where openings or paths exist between the house and the ground.
"There are many factors that influence radon gas levels," says Pam Warkentin, Assistant Director of the Canadian - National Radon Proficiency Program. "Your home might have a foundation leak, but perhaps the leaky windows are letting the gas flow out of your home, keeping the level low."

Homes built in 2010 or later in Manitoba have a roughed-in system that allows home owners to install a radon mitigation device. "Anyone with a home built after 2010 should still have their home tested for radon, so they'll know if they will need to complete the roughed-in system," says Warkentin.
Reduce radon gas in your house
If you've tested your home, and the radon level is above the Canadian guideline of 200 Bq/m³, Health Canada recommends that you take action to lower the level. The higher the radon concentrations, the sooner action should be taken to reduce levels to as low as practically possible.

If you hire a contractor to measure the radon level in your home, make sure they are certified under the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program (C-NRPP). For a list of certified professionals, visit Costs for mitigation and remediation can run from $500 to $4,000, depending on where the radon leak is and how severe it is, but can be as little as $50 to $100 to seal a sump pump.

Testing for a minimum of 90 days is recommended by Health Canada to obtain the most accurate results, because radon levels can fluctuate. Testing is best done during the colder months - when windows are closed - to give a more accurate reading.

Radon test kits can be purchased through:

Manitoba Lung Association
Phone: 204-774-5501
Toll-free: 1-888-566-5864

Canadian Cancer Society
Phone: 204-789-0886

If buying a kit from a hardware store or online, look for the Canadian National Radon Proficiency Program logo, which certifies the laboratories that give the test results.

For more information on how to reduce the levels of radon gas in your home and for information about contractors who can do the work, visit

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Writer Elisa Albert believes that the so-called "Mommy Wars" have gone on long enough — they are both a distraction and a cop-out, she says. "It's a way of avoiding the actual issues, which is: Women don't have enough support for any of the choices that we make," Albert tells NPR's Kelly McEvers. "We are pitted against each other and ultimately, then, are pitted against ourselves. And everybody is unhappy, and everybody feels judged. It doesn't have to be this way."

Albert touches on these issues in her new novel After Birth. Ari, the main character, is a former Brooklynite, now living in upstate New York with her one-year-old son and her husband, a professor at the local college. 

She's supposed to be working on a PhD in women's studies, but her postpartum depression makes it impossible for her to make much progress. She feels lost, angry and at odds with those around her. Here's how she describes her "mommy group."
Who knew motherhood could be a mostly material experience? We'd sit in Starbucks rooting around in pastel-camouflage diaper bags for chew toys and muslin wraps while women without babies gave us endless dirty looks. Me and this one silent, dark-eyed woman the only ones breastfeeding; the others busy with chemistry experiments: powders, cold packs, bottles.
The poor babies were beside the point, like half-forgotten elderly consigned to our care. The girl babies looked like drag queens: ruffles and bows, a flower-and-rhinestone headpiece. One thusly adorned kept giving me a hilariously crank look like can you believe this s—-? She was cool. I winked at her like sorry, honey, I know, but it's not forever, I swear.
Albert tells McEvers that she doesn't necessarily agree with Ari on the topics she touches on in the book — such as formula feeding, C-sections and in vitro fertilization. "This character was a vehicle to kind of let fly on a lot of things," Albert says. "And the point, I think, is ultimately it doesn't matter what choices anybody makes."

Interview Highlights

On Ari's postpartum depression
Things are really bad for her. She's lonely and isolated, and feels very cut off from her former self and from the people around her, who can't fully relate to what she's been through and what she's going through. ... She's entered an entirely new self and it's unfamiliar.

On Ari's anger

Female anger makes us very uncomfortable as a culture, historically and in all kinds of strange ways. Female anger is dangerous and very hard to take because we are conditioned to disown it and to pretend that, you know, as women we don't have full range of emotions somehow. It's not ladylike; it's not appropriate. So female aggression is a fascinating subject for me as a novelist, and I think Ari ... wants a lot from women, from her elders, from her peers. She wants guidance and sisterhood and she's not getting any of that. She's pretty let down. There's this sense of, like, you're on your own with this pretty enormous, powerful and very vulnerable transition. And I think that's what underlies her rage.

On "sisterhood"

It's a question of what do we owe each other as people, as women? And I think everybody has kind of a different idea about that. You know, to each her own, but I personally believe — and I share this with Ari — that we owe each other some measure of support and sisterhood and openness and honesty. And when we are bereft of those things, things get rough quick for all of us.

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Sharon Osbourne is "thrilled" her son is having another baby. 

The outspoken presenter, 62, is looking forward to becoming a grandmother again after Jack, 29 - who already has a two-year-old daughter Pearl - announced over the weekend that he and his wife Lisa Stelly are expecting their second child together. 

Sharon tweeted: "I am blessed, my amazing son @Jackosbourne and daughter-in-law @MrsLisaOsbourne are expecting their 2nd baby. YAY!!!!! (sic)." 

The former reality TV star revealed the pair are set to add to their brood by sharing a photo of his spouse's blossoming baby bump on his Instagram account on Sunday (02.22.15)
He captioned it: "Supprise!!!!! #round2 #babyinbound (sic)." 

Lisa, 27, also broke the news she is over four months pregnant on her lifestyle blog, Raddest Mom, and admitted little Pearl is already preparing to become a big sister. 

Sh wrote: "I'm pregnant! Pearl is very happy to become a big sister. She diligently reads her 'I'm a big sister' books every night & recites to me her plans of bathing, feeding, singing to, and holding the baby. We are more than halfway through this thing & are very excited to be parents again! Thanks for all the well wishes." 

The couple - who married in Hawaii in October 2013 - revealed they were expecting another baby in August 2013 but they sadly lost the little boy to a miscarriage just a few months later. 

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New York comedian Todd Barry, known as the "Third Conchord" on the HBO series Flight of the Conchords, will bring his deadpan antics to the Park Theatre on May 21.
Tickets, which sell for $22, are available the Park Theatre, Music Trader and online at and

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