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olivia newton john, olivia newton john breast cancer, olivia newton john death

She leaves us hopelessly devoted.

Dame Olivia Newton-John, top female vocalist of the 1970s, who remained a beloved artist well after her leap to stardom, has “passed away peacefully” at 73 years old. Though her cause of death was not given, in 2018 the singer received her third cancer diagnosis, CNN reported.

Besides her wholesome beauty, charming persona and angelic vocals, the multiple Grammy awarding winning Australian pop star became equally well known for her advocacy for health and wellness.

After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, the same weekend she lost her father to cancer, Newton-John founded the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre (ONJ Centre) as a “positive healing center to support people on their cancer journey.” She also used her memoir, “Don’t Stop Believin’,” to share some of her own battles with the disease.

On her official Instagram page, Newton-John’s husband, John Easterling, paid loving tribute to his wife for being a “symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer,” adding that “her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer.”


Newton-John had regularly touted the soothing benefits of medical cannabis and worked toward legalizing the plant in Australia.

Newton-John leaves behind a legacy of artistic hits, the most iconic being her role of Sandy in the 1978 hit film “Grease.” One of the movie’s most famous songs, “Hopelessly Devoted” (sung beautifully by Newton-John and earning her an Academy Award nomination), mirrors the enduring devotion that fans still have for it years later. In January 2016, a live televised remake of the musical was created starring Julianne Hough in the role of Sandra Dee.


John Travolta, Newton-John’s co-star, wrote on social media: “My dearest Olivia, you made all of our lives so much better. Your impact was incredible. I love you so much. We will see you down the road and we will all be together again. Yours from the moment I saw you and forever! Your Danny, your John!”

“Grease” received backlash among viewers after being aired on the BBC in 2021, with some even calling for an all-out ban of the movie. This was primarily in response to a well-known scene where Danny Zuko (Travolta) repeatedly tries to make a move on Sandy, but critics accused the story of being homophobic and sexist.

In a podcast episode of “A Life of Greatness,” the actress called the backlash "kind of silly, because the movie was made in the '70s about the '50s. It was a stage play. It's a musical. It's fun.

"We need to relax a little bit and just enjoy things for what they are," she added. "I think it's just a fun movie that entertains people. That's all."

Newton-John was also a sex-positive icon in her own right. Following the success of “Grease,” where her buttoned-up Sandy becomes a sex-liberated teenager, she released the song “Physical,” which was banned for its suggestive lyrics before spending 10 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.

She also starred in the fantasy musical “Xanadu,” a hugely popular film in the LGBTQ community. In an interview with LogoTV, she joked that she “gets a kick” out of knowing the movie is being shown in gay bars.

Olivia Newton-John was the epitome of a class-act. Despite her celebrity status, she was open, honest and—above all— compassionate. According to People, her activism included serving as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, becoming the national spokesperson for the Children's Health Environmental Coalition and working with the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research.

Through tireless contributions, undeniable talent and an effortlessly approachable personality, she carved a spot into countless hearts and she will not soon be forgotten.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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True

You could say Marine biologist, divemaster and National Geographic Explorer Dr. Erika Woolsey is a bit of a coral reef whisperer, one who brings her passion for ocean science to folks on dry land in a fresh, innovative and fun new way using virtual reality.

Images courtesy of Meta’s Community Voices film series

Her non-profit, The Hydrous, combines science, design, and technology to provide one-of-a-kind experiential education about marine life. In 2018, Hydrous produced “Immerse 360”, a virtual underwater journey through the coral reefs of Palau, with Dr. Woolsey as a guide.

Viewers got to swim with sharks, manta rays and sea turtles while exploring gorgeous aquatic landscapes and learning about the crucial role our oceans play—all from 360° and 3D footage captured by VRTUL 2 underwater storytelling VR cameras.


Hydrous then expanded on the idea to develop two more exciting augmented adventures using Meta Quest 2 technology: “Expedition Palau,” a live event where audiences can share a “synchronized immersive reality experience”, which includes live narration from Woolsey, and “Explore,” a “CGI experience” to enjoy the magic of the ocean at home.


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“I’ve been extremely fortunate to explore and study coral reefs around the world,” Woolsey said, sharing that it was “heartbreaking” to see these important habitats decay so rapidly while the latest scientific reports did not clearly lead to widespread compassionate action.

“How do we care about something we never see or experience?” she reflected. As she discovered, virtual reality would be a powerful solution for eliciting empathy. “VR has the ability to generate presence and agency and make you feel like you’re there. It's that emotional connection that can bridge scientific discovery and public understanding”

The combination of virtual reality and the ocean’s natural breathtaking beauty is, as Woolsey puts it, a “match made in heaven” for getting people more engaged in ocean education. “When you’re floating you can look up and down and all around you…seeing a school of fish surrounding you and reefs in these cathedral-like structures. Rather than watching a video of a scientist, you get to become the scientist.”

Hydrous also has special kits to provide middle school students hands-on learning about ocean life. In addition to a journal, activity cards and a smartphone VR viewer, each kit includes lifelike 3D printed model pieces of a coral reef so that middle school students can try building their own.

These reef models even turn white when temperatures rise inside the aquarium, which mimics the real “bleaching” that corals endure when they die due to higher than normal ocean temperatures. Students really do become scientists as they figure out how to bring color back to their reef.

While it’s true that the health of our oceans affects us all, the growing threats our oceans face—pollution, overfishing, climate change—don’t always affect us on an empathetic level. Through the use of technology, Woolsey has created an innovative way to connect hearts and minds to one of the Earth’s most important resources, which can inspire real and lasting change.

“We can’t bring everybody to the ocean, but we’re finding scalable ways to bring the ocean to everyone.”

To learn more about Hydrous, click here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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