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Movie-making spotlight is on fascinating Canadians

(NC) Unforgettable characters in Hollywood have often been portrayed by Canadians: Mike Myers as Austin Powers, Jim Carrey as Ace Ventura, and Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones, to name just a few. While Canucks are often on the big screen, the movie characters they portray usually don't hint at the actors' northern heritage.

That may be changing though. Recent hit movies have tipped their hats our way featuring characters who are as Canadian as they are memorable, like these:

Wolverine in X-Men

Can you see Canada in places it shouldn't be?

(NC) You probably know that in many movies, Canadian locations serve as stand-ins for American ones. But these examples may surprise you:

Chicago

Could it be that a movie named after 'the Windy City' was actually shot in Canada? Better believe it. Chicago, the 2002 Oscar-winning musical was shot mostly in Toronto, in some of the city's period buildings. It makes sense. The two cities share similar architecture and follow a similar urban-sprawl pattern due to the lakes surrounding them.

Detroit Rock City

5 tips for a long life of reliable back health

(NC) According to a recent survey, 70 per cent of Canadians have experienced pain while doing their standing or kneeling projects around the house. Of the respondents, over half said back pain was the most persistent issue. But before you pack it in and give up what you love to do, consider these solutions to alleviate the stress on your back:

1. Stand up to pain

- When standing for long periods of time, keep one foot ahead of the other, with knees slightly bent. The stance will help take pressure off the lower back.

Battle winter headaches with natural strategies

lady with a headache

(NC) As if seasonal flu and cold bugs weren't enough, many of us experience more frequent headaches in the winter.

Extreme temperatures may be to blame. If you always feel worse before a storm or temperature drop, there's a reason. Changes in weather shift the atmospheric pressure, and we experience this variation physically.

Kick your smoking habit before it bites back

cigarette butt pinned on a date on the calendar

(NC) Quitting smoking, more frequent trips to the gym and eating better are all popular New Year's resolutions. For smokers, quitting can be one of the hardest challenges to overcome, but the benefits can't be disputed. Butting out means more money in your pocket, more free time in your day, and most importantly, improved health.

Watch your back and shovel with care

a person shoveling snow

(NC) Shoveling snow can be a pain in more ways than one. These tips from the Ontario Chiropractic Association will help to keep your back in top shape:

• Don't let the snow pile up: If the weather report calls for several days of snow, frequent shoveling will allow you to move smaller amounts at once. It's far less strenuous in the long run.

• Pick the right shovel: Use a lightweight pusher-type shovel. If you are using a metal one, spray it with Teflon first, so snow won't stick to it.

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