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Pop Culture

Pop icon Olivia Newton-John leaves behind a legacy of kindness and inspiration

Her legend will not soon be forgotten.

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.

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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Health

Oregon utilizes teen volunteers to run their YouthLine teen crisis hotline

“Each volunteer gets more than 60 hours of training, and master’s level supervisors are constantly on standby in the room.”

Oregon utilizes teen volunteers to man YouthLine teen crisis hotline

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

Mental health is a top-of-mind issue for a lot of people. Thanks to social media and people being more open about their struggles, the stigma surrounding seeking mental health treatment appears to be diminishing. But after the social and emotional interruption of teens due the pandemic, the mental health crises among adolescents seem to have jumped to record numbers.

PBS reports that Oregon is "ranked as the worst state for youth mental illness and access to care." But they're attempting to do something about it with a program that trains teenagers to answer crisis calls from other teens. They aren't alone though, as there's a master's level supervisor at the ready to jump in if the call requires a mental health professional.

The calls coming into the Oregon YouthLine can vary drastically, anywhere from relationship problems to family struggles, all the way to thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Teens manning the phones are provided with 60 hours of training and are taught to recognize when the call needs to be taken over by the adult supervisor.

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Pop Culture

Buffy Sainte-Marie shares what led to her openly breastfeeding on 'Sesame Street' in 1977

The way she explained to Big Bird what she was doing is still an all-time great example.

"Sesame Street" taught kids about life in addition to letters and numbers.

In 1977, singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie did something revolutionary: She fed her baby on Sesame Street.

The Indigenous Canadian-Ameican singer-songwriter wasn't doing anything millions of other mothers hadn't done—she was simply feeding her baby. But the fact that she was breastfeeding him was significant since breastfeeding in the United States hit an all-time low in 1971 and was just starting to make a comeback. The fact that she did it openly on a children's television program was even more notable, since "What if children see?" has been a key pearl clutch for people who criticize breastfeeding in public.

But the most remarkable thing about the "Sesame Street" segment was the lovely interchange between Big Bird and Sainte-Marie when he asked her what she was doing.

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Family

Mom shares her brutal experience with 'hyperemesis gravidarum' and other moms can relate

Hyperemesis gravidarum is a severe case of morning sickness that can last up until the baby is born and might require medical attention.

@emilyboazman/TikTok

Hyperemesis gravidarum isn't as common as regular morning sickness, but it's much more severe.

Morning sickness is one of the most commonly known and most joked about pregnancy symptoms, second only to peculiar food cravings. While unpleasant, it can often be alleviated to a certain extent with plain foods, plenty of fluids, maybe some ginger—your typical nausea remedies. And usually, it clears up on its own by the 20-week mark. Usually.

But sometimes, it doesn’t. Sometimes moms experience stomach sickness and vomiting, right up until the baby is born, on a much more severe level.

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), isn’t as widely talked about as regular morning sickness, but those who go through it are likely to never forget it. Persistent, extreme nausea and vomiting lead to other symptoms like dehydration, fainting, low blood pressure and even jaundice, to name a few.

Emily Boazman, a mom who had HG while pregnant with her third child, showed just how big of an impact it can make in a viral TikTok.

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The cast of TLC's "Sister Wives."

Dating is hard for just about anyone. But it gets harder as people age because the dating pool shrinks and older people are more selective. Plus, changes in dating trends, online etiquette and fashion can complicate things as well.

“Sister Wives” star Christine Brown is back in the dating pool after ending her “spiritual union” with polygamist Kody Brown and she needs a little help to get back in the swing of things. Christine and Kody were together for more than 25 years and she shared him with three other women, Janelle, Meri and Robyn.

Janelle and Meri have recently announced they’ve separated from Kody. Christine publicly admitted that things were over with Kody in November 2021.

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Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

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