Talk about stealing the thunder. The big show-stopping moment at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards ceremony had nothing to do with videos at all, but a bump. Not just any bump, but Beyonce Knowles' bump, to be precise.
Pop diva Beyonce, who had recently hinted that she wanted to fall pregnant before she hit her 30th birthday, was right on target.
"When you're young - 18 or 19 - you have the energy and drive. That's the time to work as hard as you can," said Beyonce. "Now I'm a woman, and because I gave it my all, I can focus on my marriage. I can decide I want to have kids. I can be the mother I want to be and dedicate myself to my children."
After over three years of marriage to rapper Jay-Z, Beyonce took off her sequined jacket and rubbed her swollen tummy at the end of her on-stage performance of Love on Top while hubby Jay-Z hooted and clapped for his wife.
"I want you to feel the love that's growing inside of me," she told the crowd. The performance was met with a standing ovation.
After more than three years of marriage, the couple has performed the ultimate duet. In a stunning orange gown, 29-year-old Beyonce held her visible bump and told the press, "I have a surprise!" putting an end to the rumours.
If Beyonce puts half as much into her parenting as she does into her music, the child will be very lucky indeed... Congrats to the happy couple!
The world's oldest person, Besse Cooper, of Monroe, Georgia, celebrated turning 115 years young this past Friday.
To celebrate the mammoth milestone, a small group of about 15-20 people gathered at Cooper's nursing home, where Besse Cooper enjoyed two small slivers of her birthday cake and nodded as musician Mike Cronic sang "Tennessee Waltz."
Born in Tennessee, Cooper moved to Georgia during World War I to find work as a teacher. With 12 grandchildren and over a dozen great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, she could hardly be described as lonely, though her husband Luther passed away in 1963.
After Brazilian, Maria Gomes Valentin died on June 21, Cooper took her place as the oldest person on the planet.
How remarkable it would be to pick her brains about all the changes she's seen in her lifetime. For instance, I wonder which decade was her favourite and why...
Happy birthday, Besse!
According to a study from University of British Columbia, single parents and homosexual male couples are facing significant discrimination in the Metro Vancouver rental housing market.
Gays men are 25 per cent more likely, as singletons are 15 per cent more likely, to be rejected by prospective landlords than their heterosexual couples.
Published in the August issue of the journal Social Problems, the study was the largest investigation of housing discrimination towards single parents, and the first of its kind to pin down geographic variables in their discrimination.
Surprising, then, since Vancouver is reputed to be a tolerant and sexually diverse community. To lead author Nathanael Lauster, a professor in UBC's Dept. of Sociology, this means that housing discrimination may be even more pervasive in other cities.
Despite strong housing laws against discrimination, after nearly 1,700 online rental inquiries in Metro Vancouver, the study found that discrimination varied significantly by neighbourhood, with East Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster -- areas popular with single parents -- reporting the most discrimination.
"For single parents, the discrimination may be based more on their real economic marginalization," Lauster said.
For gays, the opposite was true. Neighbourhoods with large gay populations, like Vancouver's West End and West Side, showed significantly lower levels of discrimination towards male same-sex couples. Approximately 10 per cent of same-sex couples in Canada live in Vancouver.
Curiously, the study -- which focused on online entries through popular online housing websites like Craigslist -- found no significant differences in landlord responses to female same-sex couples relative to heterosexual couples. And no landlord or property manager received more than one e-mail inquiry during the study.
While discrimination by sexual preference or family relationship is illegal in Canada, clearly more needs to be done to ensure landlords treat prospective renters fairly.
Should Canada implement the equivalent of affirmative action in the rental market? Or is it a landlord's prerogative to whom they should and shouldn't let their property?