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Chinese…

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What?s Lurking in Your Countertop?

SHORTLY before Lynn Sugarman of Teaneck, N.J., bought her summer home in Lake George, N.Y., two years ago, a routine inspection revealed it had elevated levels of radon, a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. So she called a radon measurement and mitigation technician to find the source.

“He went from room to room,” said Dr. Sugarman, a pediatrician. But he stopped in his tracks in the kitchen, which had richly grained cream, brown and burgundy granite countertops. His Geiger counter indicated that the granite was emitting radiation at levels 10 times higher than those he had measured elsewhere in the house.

“My first thought was, my pregnant daughter was coming for the weekend,” Dr. Sugarman said. When the technician told her to keep her daughter several feet from the countertops just to be safe, she said, “I had them ripped out that very day,” and sent to the state Department of Health for analysis. The granite, it turned out, contained high levels of uranium, which is not only radioactive but releases radon gas as it decays. “The health risk to me and my family was probably small,” Dr. Sugarman said, “but I felt it was an unnecessary risk.”

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Only this can premiere at Sundance.

Exerpt:  “Zoo,” premiering before a rapt audience Saturday night at Sundance, manages to be a poetic film about a forbidden subject, a perfect marriage between a cool and contemplative director (the little-seen “Police Beat”) and potentially incendiary subject matter: sex between men and animals. Not graphic in the least, this strange and strangely beautiful film combines audio interviews (two of the three men involved did not want to appear on camera) with elegiac visual re-creations intended to conjure up the mood and spirit of situations.

turbidity

CALGARY – Premier Ralph Klein stunned a crowd at a Calgary charity roast in his honour Tuesday night when he told a joke focused on the romantic life of Liberal MP Belinda Stronach.

Reaction so far has ranged from distaste with one Calgary alderman at the event calling the premier’s remarks ”sexist” and the event’s satirist Bob Robertson saying he would never tell a joke as ”blatant” as Klein’s to those who say the comments were made in a comedic venue and it’s just Klein continuing the colourful political behaviour that has defined his career.

Most of the Calgary Homeless Foundation roast, which will be Klein’s last, featured jokes from former New Brunswick premier Frank McKenna and Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel. But late in the evening Klein said during his rebuttal speech: ”Now Belinda roasted me as a Conservative but of course now she’s a Liberal. And I wasn’t surprised she crossed over I don’t think she ever did have a Conservative bone in her body. Well, except for one.”

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