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Top tips to find the perfect flooring

<p dir="ltr">From wood or floating floors to tiles or carpet, choosing flooring that is both functional and builds on the feel and liveability of your entire home can be a tricky task.</p> <p dir="ltr">For interior design enthusiast and Carpet Court Style Collaborator, Emily Osmond, the task of finding the perfect flooring is a familiar one that she says was one of the biggest decisions she had to make while building her first home .</p> <p dir="ltr">“Hard or soft, flooring is one of the most important design selections you will make for your new build - it plays a huge role in creating mood, texture, colour and flow throughout the home,” she says.</p> <p dir="ltr">“When it came to designing the interior, we started from the ground and worked our way up, knowing that whatever material and colourway we decided to include on the floors would form the foundation of our entire interior style.”</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-cb0288f3-7fff-9ecc-1922-5fac5b1ab145"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">But you don’t just have to consider flooring if you’re starting from scratch. Whether you’re planning some major renovations or just want to update the flooring in key spaces, Emily says the best option will come down to three key factors: material, lifestyle, and the space’s functionality.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CckYQaEPYKu/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CckYQaEPYKu/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by EMILY OSMOND | Business Coach &amp; Speaker (@emilyosmond)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">“I wanted our bedrooms and retreat to feel cosy and like a place to unwind, so the softness of carpet was perfect for these spaces,” Emily says.</p> <p dir="ltr">“When it came to our entrance, knowing this would be a high traffic area meant that engineered timber was the best option. To emphasise how large and open the area is, we continued with this flooring seamlessly from the entrance to the kitchen, living and dining space, drawing the eye down the hallway.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Flooring, Emily stresses, acts as the basis for your entire home, and choosing an option that suits the space and that you’re happy with will save you the work of changing it later.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Paint can be easily updated, or cabinetry colours tweaked, but flooring is the base on which your whole home’s style is built upon and shouldn’t be overlooked,” she says.</p> <p dir="ltr">To help you pick the flooring that suits your needs, Emily has shared these three tips.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Budget</strong> - Building or renovating your home often sees you work within quite a tight budget, but flooring and carpet is a worthwhile item to invest in. Since it will be walked on every day, avoid skimping so you can pick high quality options.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Realise your vision</strong> - Making a mood board for her project helped Emily capture the overall aesthetic and feel of the home. Plus, having a physical version of your plan - whether as a mood board or model - can serve as a reference point you can come back to as you need.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Be confident</strong> - Though everyone’s taste differs, be confident in the decisions you make since only you known the vision you have for your home (and you will be the person living there every day).</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-7cf373e2-7fff-0da8-ef90-9dae0e3e95ef"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: @emilyosmond (Instagram)</em></p>

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This giant kangaroo once roamed New Guinea – descended from an Australian ancestor that migrated millions of years ago

<p>Long ago, almost up until the end of the last ice age, a peculiar giant kangaroo roamed the mountainous rainforests of New Guinea.</p> <p>Now, research to be <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/03721426.2022.2086518" target="_blank" rel="noopener">published</a> on Thursday by myself and colleagues suggests this kangaroo was not closely related to modern Australian kangaroos. Rather, it represents a previously unknown type of primitive kangaroo unique to New Guinea.</p> <p><strong>The age of megafauna</strong></p> <p>Australia used to be home to all manner of giant animals called megafauna, until most of them went extinct about 40,000 years ago. These megafauna lived alongside animals we now consider characteristic of the Australian bush – kangaroos, koalas, crocodiles and the like – but many were larger species of these.</p> <p>There were giant wombats called <em>Phascolonus</em>, 2.5-metre-tall short-faced kangaroos, and the 3-tonne <em>Diprotodon optatum</em> (the largest marsupial ever). In fact, some Australian megafaunal species, such as the red kangaroo, emu and cassowary, survive through to the modern day.</p> <p>The fossil megafauna of New Guinea are considerably less well-studied than those of Australia. But despite being shrouded in mystery, New Guinea’s fossil record has given us hints of fascinating and unusual animals whose evolutionary stories are entwined with Australia’s.</p> <p>Palaeontologists have done sporadic expeditions and fossil digs in New Guinea, including digs by American and Australian researchers in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s.</p> <p>It was during an archaeological excavation in the early 1970s, led by Mary-Jane Mountain, that two jaws of an extinct giant kangaroo were unearthed. A young researcher (now professor) named Tim Flannery called the species <em>Protemnodon nombe</em>.</p> <p>The fossils Flannery described are about 20,000–50,000 years old. They come from the Nombe Rockshelter, an archaeological and palaeontological site in the mountains of central Papua New Guinea. This site also delivered fossils of another kangaroo and giant four-legged marsupials called diprotodontids.</p> <p><strong>An unexpected discovery</strong></p> <p>Flinders University Professor Gavin Prideaux and I recently re-examined the fossils of <em>Protemnodon nombe</em> and found something unexpected. This strange kangaroo was not a species of the genus <em>Protemnodon</em>, which used to live all over Australia, from the Kimberley to Tasmania. It was something a lot more primitive and unknown.</p> <p>In particular, its unusual molars with curved enamel crests set it apart from all other known kangaroos. We moved the species into a brand new genus unique to New Guinea and (very creatively) renamed it <em>Nombe nombe</em>.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/724328370" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><figcaption><em>A 3D surface scan of a specimen of Nombe nombe, specifically a fossilised lower jaw from central Papua New Guinea. (Courtesy of Papua New Guinea Museum and Art Gallery, Port Moresby).</em></figcaption></figure> <p>Our findings show <em>Nombe</em> may have evolved from an ancient form of kangaroo that migrated into New Guinea from Australia in the late Miocene epoch, some 5–8 million years ago.</p> <p>In those days, the islands of New Guinea and Australia were connected by a land bridge due to lower sea levels – whereas today they’re separated by the Torres Strait.</p> <p>This “bridge” allowed early Australian mammals, including megafauna, to migrate to New Guinea’s rainforests. When the Torres Strait flooded again, these animal populations became disconnected from their Australian relatives and evolved separately to suit their tropical and mountainous New Guinean home.</p> <p>We now consider <em>Nombe</em> to be the descendant of one of these ancient lineages of kangaroos. The squat, muscular animal lived in a diverse mountainous rainforest with thick undergrowth and a closed canopy. It evolved to eat tough leaves from trees and shrubs, which gave it a thick jawbone and strong chewing muscles.</p> <p>The species is currently only known from two fossil lower jaws. And much more remains to be discovered. Did <em>Nombe</em> hop like modern kangaroos? Why did it go extinct?</p> <p>As is typical of palaeontology, one discovery inspires an entire host of new questions.</p> <p><strong>Strange but familiar animals</strong></p> <p>Little of the endemic animal life of New Guinea is known outside of the island, even though it is very strange and very interesting. Very few Australians have much of an idea of what’s there, just over the strait.</p> <p>When I went to the Papua New Guinea Museum in Port Moresby early in my PhD, I was thrilled by the animals I encountered. There are several living species of large, long-nosed, worm-eating echidna – one of which weighs up to 15 kilograms.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/471027/original/file-20220627-22-91nec3.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/471027/original/file-20220627-22-91nec3.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/471027/original/file-20220627-22-91nec3.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=451&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/471027/original/file-20220627-22-91nec3.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=451&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/471027/original/file-20220627-22-91nec3.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=451&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/471027/original/file-20220627-22-91nec3.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=567&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/471027/original/file-20220627-22-91nec3.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=567&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/471027/original/file-20220627-22-91nec3.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=567&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="Author Isaac Kerr poses for a photo, holding an Australian giant kangaroo jaw in his left hand" /></a><figcaption><em><span class="caption">I’m excited to start digging in New Guinea’s rainforests!</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="license">Author provided</span></span></em></figcaption></figure> <p>There are also dwarf cassowaries and many different wallaby, tree kangaroo and possum species that don’t exist in Australia – plus many more in the fossil record.</p> <p>We tend to think of these animals as being uniquely Australian, but they have other intriguing forms in New Guinea.</p> <p>As an Australian biologist, it’s both odd and exhilarating to see these “Aussie” animals that have expanded into new and weird forms in another landscape.</p> <p>Excitingly for me and my colleagues, <em>Nombe nombe</em> may breathe some new life into palaeontology in New Guinea. We’re part of a small group of researchers that was recently awarded a grant to undertake three digs at two different sites in eastern and central Papua New Guinea over the next three years.</p> <p>Working with the curators of the Papua New Guinea Museum and other biologists, we hope to inspire young local biology students to study palaeontology and discover new fossil species. If we’re lucky, there may even be a complete skeleton of <em>Nombe nombe</em> waiting for us.<img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/185778/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/isaac-alan-robert-kerr-1356949" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Isaac Alan Robert Kerr</a>, PhD Candidate for Palaeontology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/flinders-university-972" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Flinders University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/this-giant-kangaroo-once-roamed-new-guinea-descended-from-an-australian-ancestor-that-migrated-millions-of-years-ago-185778" target="_blank" rel="noopener">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Image: Supplied</em></p>

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It’s 2022. Why do we still not have waterproof phones?

<p>While manufacturers have successfully increased the water-repelling nature of smartphones, they are still far from “waterproof”. A water-resistant product can usually resist water penetration to some extent, but a waterproof product is (meant to be) totally impervious to water.</p> <p>Last week, Samsung Australia was <a href="https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/samsung-australia-to-pay-14m-penalty-for-misleading-water-resistance-claims" target="_blank" rel="noopener">fined A$14 million</a> by the Australian Federal Court over false representations in ads of the water resistance of its Galaxy phones. The tech giant admitted that submerging Galaxy phones in pool or sea water could corrode the charging ports and stop the phones from working, if charged while still wet.</p> <p>Similarly, in 2020, Apple was fined <a href="https://www.cnet.com/tech/mobile/apple-fined-12m-dollars-by-italy-over-iphone-water-resistance-claims/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">€10 million</a> (about A$15.3 million) in Italy for misleading claims about the water resistance of iPhones.</p> <p>It’s very common for phones to become damaged as a result of being dropped in water. In a 2018 survey in the US, <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/959492/us-top-common-smartphone-damage-cause/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">39%</a> of respondents said they’d dropped their phones in water. <a href="https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/damaged-devices-a-fact-of-life-for-most-smartphone-users-100614.html">Other</a> <a href="https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/damaged-devices-a-fact-of-life-for-most-smartphone-users-100614.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">surveys</a> have had similar results.</p> <p>So why is it in 2022 – a time where technological marvels surround us – we still don’t have waterproof phones?</p> <p><strong>Waterproof vs water-resistant</strong></p> <p>There’s a <a href="https://www.iec.ch/ip-ratings" target="_blank" rel="noopener">rating system</a> used to measure devices’ resistance against solids (such as dust) and liquids (namely water). It’s called the Ingress Protection (IP) rating.</p> <p>An IP rating will have two numbers. In a rating of IP68, the 6 refers to protection against solids on a scale of 0 (no protection) to 6 (high protection), and 8 refers to protection against water on a scale of 0 (no protection) to 9 (high protection).</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/471066/original/file-20220627-13-hyrp6k.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/471066/original/file-20220627-13-hyrp6k.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/471066/original/file-20220627-13-hyrp6k.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=600&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/471066/original/file-20220627-13-hyrp6k.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=600&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/471066/original/file-20220627-13-hyrp6k.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=600&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/471066/original/file-20220627-13-hyrp6k.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=754&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/471066/original/file-20220627-13-hyrp6k.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=754&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/471066/original/file-20220627-13-hyrp6k.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=754&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="Chart showing International Electrotechnical Commission's IP Ratings Guide" /></a><figcaption><em><span class="caption">The International Electrotechnical Commission is the body behind the IP ratings guide.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">International Electrotechnical Commission</span></span></em></figcaption></figure> <p>Interestingly, the benchmark for the water-resistance rating varies between manufacturers. For example, Samsung’s IP68-certified phones are <a href="https://www.samsung.com/global/galaxy/what-is/water-resistant/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">water-resistant</a> to a maximum depth of 1.5m in freshwater for up to 30 minutes, and the company cautions against beach or pool use. Some of <a href="https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT207043" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Apple’s iPhones</a> with an IP68 rating can be used at a maximum depth of 6m for up to 30 minutes.</p> <p>Yet both <a href="https://www.samsung.com/au/support/warranty/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Samsung</a> and <a href="https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT207043" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Apple</a> are unlikely to consider repairing your water-damaged phone under their warranties.</p> <p>Moreover, IP rating testing is done under <a href="https://discussions.apple.com/thread/251513569" target="_blank" rel="noopener">controlled</a> laboratory conditions. In real-life scenarios such as boating, swimming or snorkelling, factors including speed, movement, water pressure and alkalinity all vary. So, gauging a phone’s level of water resistance becomes complicated.</p> <p><strong>How are phones made water-resistant?</strong></p> <p>Making a phone water-resistant requires several components and techniques. Typically, the first <a href="https://www.cnet.com/tech/mobile/how-does-waterproofing-work-apple-iphone-7-samsung-galaxy-s7-sony-xperia/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">point of protection</a> is to form a physical barrier around all ingress (entry) points where dust or water could enter. These include the buttons and switches, speakers and microphone outlets, the camera, flash, screen, phone enclosure, USB port and SIM card tray.</p> <p>These points are <a href="https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?arnumber=8671469" target="_blank" rel="noopener">covered and sealed</a> using glue, adhesive strips and tapes, silicone seals, rubber rings, gaskets, plastic and metal meshes and water-resistant membranes. After this, a layer of ultra-thin polymer <a href="https://www.conformalcoating.co.uk/index.php/materials/nano-coatings/%22%22" target="_blank" rel="noopener">nanocoating</a> is applied to the phone’s circuit board to help repel water.</p> <p>Nevertheless, a phone’s water resistance will still <a href="https://www.phonearena.com/news/phone-not-waterproof-water-resistant-forever_id115587" target="_blank" rel="noopener">decrease</a> with time as components age and deteriorate. Apple <a href="https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT207043" target="_blank" rel="noopener">admits</a> water- and dust-resistance are not permanent features of its phones.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/471544/original/file-20220629-19-pektlc.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/471544/original/file-20220629-19-pektlc.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/471544/original/file-20220629-19-pektlc.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/471544/original/file-20220629-19-pektlc.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/471544/original/file-20220629-19-pektlc.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=400&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/471544/original/file-20220629-19-pektlc.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=503&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/471544/original/file-20220629-19-pektlc.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=503&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/471544/original/file-20220629-19-pektlc.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=503&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="Phone gets flushed in a toilet bowl" /></a><figcaption><em><span class="caption">Many people drop their phones down the toilet – be careful!</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Shutterstock</span></span></em></figcaption></figure> <p>Cameras are not entirely impervious to water, but some can tolerate submersion a lot better than smartphones. Often that’s because they’re relatively simpler devices.</p> <p>A smartphone has much more functionality, which means internal components are more sensitive, fragile, and must be built into a smaller casing. All of these factors make it doubly difficult to afford phones a similar level of water resistance.</p> <p>Adding water resistance to phones also <a href="https://inshorts.com/en/news/waterproof-phones-would-cost-2030-more-xiaomi-1466431118612" target="_blank" rel="noopener">increases their price</a> for consumers (by 20% to 30%, according to Xiaomi’s co-founder). This is a major consideration for manufacturers – especially since even a small crack can render any waterproofing void.</p> <p><strong>Keeping devices dry</strong></p> <p>Apart from nanocoating on the internal circuit boards, applying <a href="https://www.techradar.com/au/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/why-aren-t-all-our-smartphones-waterproof-right-now-1327692" target="_blank" rel="noopener">water-repellent coating</a> to the exterior of a phone could boost protection. <a href="https://www.p2i.com/solutions/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Some</a> <a href="https://www.hzo.com/solutions/protection-capabilities/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">companies</a> are working on this technology for manufacturers.</p> <p>Future phones <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S003039922031327X" target="_blank" rel="noopener">might also have</a> circuitry that’s fabricated directly onto (waterproof) silicone material using laser writing techniques, and further coated with water-repellant technologies.</p> <p>For now, however, there’s no such thing as a <em>waterproof</em> phone. If your phone does find itself at the bottom of a pool or toilet and isn’t turning on, make sure you take the best steps to ensure it dries out properly (and isn’t further damaged).</p> <p>You can also buy a waterproof case or dry pouch if you want to completely waterproof your phone for water activities.<img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/185775/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ritesh-chugh-162770" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Ritesh Chugh</a>, Associate Professor - Information and Communications Technology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140" target="_blank" rel="noopener">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/its-2022-why-do-we-still-not-have-waterproof-phones-185775" target="_blank" rel="noopener">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

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Who is most likely to suffer from long COVID?

<p>Despite <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/covid/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">all we’ve learned about COVID-19</a> in the past two-and-a-half years, so-called <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/coronavirus-disease-(covid-19)-post-covid-19-condition" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">long COVID</a>, in which sufferers experience sometimes debilitating symptoms long after the disease has passed from their system, remains frustratingly difficult to analyse.</p> <p> Part of the problem is that most studies are carried out on a relatively small number of people.</p> <p>A new study has drawn on more than a million UK patient records to glean a better understanding. According to the study, the risk of long COVID is higher for women, people who had poorer mental and physical health prior to the pandemic, and people who exprerience asthma. Long COVID risk also increases with age, up until about 70 – at which point it declines.</p> <p>The study is described in a paper <a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-30836-0" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">published</a> in <em>Nature Communications.</em></p> <p>The UK-based team of researchers examined two main sources of data: 10 longitudinal surveys from self-reported people who’d had COVID, totalling 6907 people, and healthcare records of 1.1 million people who’d been diagnosed with COVID-19. Both sources came from the UK.</p> <p>People who fit the technical definition of long COVID – that is, reporting symptoms more than 12 weeks after infection – comprised between 7.8% and 17% of the sample. Between 1.2% and 4.8% of people reported “debilitating” symptoms.</p> <p>Women were 50% more likely than men to have long COVID. Risk of long COVID also increased steadily with age, up until about 70.</p> <p>“In individuals aged over 70 we observed a sharp decline in long COVID risk in most LS [longitudinal survey] and the EHR [electronic health record] data,” the authors write in their paper.</p> <div class="newsletter-box"> <div id="wpcf7-f6-p196243-o1" class="wpcf7" dir="ltr" lang="en-US" role="form"> </div> </div> <p>“This decline in older age has been observed in other studies and may be spurious due to selective competing risk of mortality, non-response bias, lower symptom reporting in older adults, misattribution of long COVID to other illness, or a combination of these factors.”</p> <p>A few other demographic factors were more weakly linked to long COVID.</p> <p>“We found some evidence of higher long COVID reporting among individuals of white ethnicity and of higher educational attainment, which was unexpected given the common associations of these characteristics with lower morbidity more generally,” they write.</p> <p>The electronic health records suggested that people in least socioeconomically deprived areas were more likely to report long COVID symptoms – but this pattern wasn’t seen in the longitudinal surveys.</p> <p>“The stark variability in proportions of COVID-19 cases with persistent symptoms is clear from our comparison of methods of ascertaining long COVID,” write the authors.</p> <p>They urge for more representative population-based studies to be conducted, in order to further understand the illness.</p> <p>“Our data suggest that revisions of diagnostic criteria within primary care may be appropriate, particularly for demographic groups which are less in touch with healthcare services,” they write.</p> <p>“Although causal inferences cannot be drawn from these data, our findings justify further investigations into the role of sex difference, age-related change, and/or immunity and respiratory health in development of long COVID.</p> <p>“Older working individuals, with high levels of comorbidity, may particularly require support.”</p> <p><img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=196243&amp;title=Who+is+most+likely+to+suffer+from+long+COVID%3F" width="1" height="1" /></p> <div id="contributors"> <p><em><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/long-covid-demographic-risks/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">This article</a> was originally published on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Cosmos Magazine</a> and was written by <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/contributor/ellen-phiddian" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Ellen Phiddian</a>. Ellen Phiddian is a science journalist at Cosmos. She has a BSc (Honours) in chemistry and science communication, and an MSc in science communication, both from the Australian National University.</em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p> </div>

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You won’t believe how Facebook clickbaits you…! (will BLOW your mind!)

<p>You’re smart. You’re discerning. You consider yourself to be the kind of person who doesn’t get swept up in ridiculous things online.</p> <p>So, why did you do that quiz to learn which Spongebob character represents your personality? And why did you click on that “then and now” article about the actors from <em>Family Ties</em>? Let’s not even get into all the articles about “performance” and “growth”…</p> <p>Let’s face it, clickbait gets us all.</p> <p>But how does it work? And <em>when </em>does it work best?</p> <p>German researchers have <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0266743%20" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">published</a> their analysis of thousands of Facebook posts in the <em>PLOS ONE </em>journal. Their findings explore the impact of clickbait and “digital nudging” in news headlines.</p> <p>“Clickbait to make people click on a linked article is commonly used on social media,” they write. “We analyse the impact of clickbait on user interaction on Facebook in the form of liking, sharing and commenting. For this, we use a dataset of more than 4,000 Facebook posts from 10 different news sources to analyse how clickbait in post headlines and in post text influences user engagement. While clickbait is commonly used, digital nudging is still on the rise and shares similarities with clickbait – yet being essentially different in its nature. The study discusses this common ground.”</p> <p>Collecting posts from seven consecutive days in late 2017 from 10 US and UK news outlets’ Facebook pages, the team included sources often considered “reputable” and “tabloid”.</p> <div class="newsletter-box"> <div id="wpcf7-f6-p196371-o1" class="wpcf7" dir="ltr" lang="en-US" role="form"> <form class="wpcf7-form mailchimp-ext-0.5.62 spai-bg-prepared init" action="/people/facebook-clickbait-research/#wpcf7-f6-p196371-o1" method="post" novalidate="novalidate" data-status="init"> <p style="display: none !important;"><span class="wpcf7-form-control-wrap referer-page"><input class="wpcf7-form-control wpcf7-text referer-page spai-bg-prepared" name="referer-page" type="hidden" value="https://cosmosmagazine.com/technology/" data-value="https://cosmosmagazine.com/technology/" aria-invalid="false" /></span></p> <p><!-- Chimpmail extension by Renzo Johnson --></form> </div> </div> <p>The authors sought to understand how specific clickbait tendencies in both headlines and texts for Facebook news posts influence user engagement. To do this, they analysed shares, comments and reactions. The researchers could not, however, analyse post clicks as the information was not available for their dataset.</p> <p>So, what works and what doesn’t?</p> <p>Punctuation considered “unusual” – such as an exclamation mark following ellipses (…!) – in headlines saw up to 2.5 times more reactions, shares and comments. It saw a decrease in shares when included in the post text, however.</p> <p>Despite this verdict on punctuation, headlines or post text with questions saw no increase in interactions.</p> <p>Shock, horror! Long words in the headline led to reduced post interaction. Utterly unconscionable. But longer words in the post text did see more engagement.</p> <p>Doubling the number of words in a headline led to 23.7% fewer comments, but no difference in reactions or shares. The opposite was seen for posts with twice as much text with all engagement increasing.</p> <p>Interestingly, the study found common clickbait phrases like “this will blow your mind” led to about a quarter fewer reactions, shares and comments.</p> <p>Negative wording in post texts (“You won’t believe…”) can increase comments, but positive tone in headlines increases comments.</p> <p>So, when you next find yourself clicking through a 50-page gallery to see a blurry image of a disappointingly short python under the headline “THE WORLD’S LARGEST SNAKE IS BIGGER THAN YOU COULD EVER IMAGINE”, you’ll know why.</p> <p><!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --></p> <p><img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=196371&amp;title=You+won%E2%80%99t+believe+how+Facebook+clickbaits+you%E2%80%A6%21+%28will+BLOW+your+mind%21%29" width="1" height="1" /></p> <p><!-- End of tracking content syndication --></p> <div id="contributors"> <p><em><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/people/facebook-clickbait-research/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">This article</a> was originally published on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Cosmos Magazine</a> and was written by <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/contributor/evrim-yazgin" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Evrim Yazgin</a>. Evrim Yazgin has a Bachelor of Science majoring in mathematical physics and a Master of Science in physics, both from the University of Melbourne.</em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p> </div>

Technology

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“Australia wanted us out”: 501 deportee defies odds to return to Australia

<p dir="ltr">A New Zealand man deported from Australia under the controversial 501 section of the Australian Migration Act will be allowed to return, in a victory that he hopes will be a source of hope for others affected by the same scheme.</p> <p dir="ltr">Gavin Doré was a successful motorcycle salesman in Australia until 2018, when he was convicted for drug offending after his life was upended by a relationship break-up and losing his job.</p> <p dir="ltr">Desperate to stay in his mortgaged home, the 33-year-old began accepting boarders to help him cover his bills, and who brought with them exposure to the drugs scene.</p> <p dir="ltr">He was sentenced to three years and three months in prison after his costly dependence on methamphetamine pushed him to start dealing, prompting his visa to be cancelled under Section 501, which then resulted in his deportation once his sentence was complete.</p> <p dir="ltr">By then, Doré had undergone much of a drug rehabilitation program and became the father of a baby girl to his former partner.</p> <p dir="ltr">He then worked hard to appeal his case and have his visa reinstated, with the Australian Administrative Appeals Tribunal only recently allowing his return and for his visa to be reinstated.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Four plus years it took,” he told <em><a href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/501-deportee-overturns-visa-cancellation-so-that-he-can-go-back-to-visit-daughter/XAQWP7DAJ363CPR6PV6ER3F4B4/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Open Justice</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">The tribunal said the combination of financial shock from losing his job and the emotional difficulty from the relationship break-up led to a “psychological malaise” and depression.</p> <p dir="ltr">It found that Doré had a “low to negligible risk” of reoffending in Australia and that it was in the best interest of his now four-year-old daughter that he be able to return.</p> <p dir="ltr">“A lot of 501s arrive (in New Zealand) without hope and, as a result, turn to crime,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’d like people to know that this is possible (to reinstate an Australian visa), and that there is a better way.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Doré added that he was “one of the lucky ones”, having joined a group in prison who were given advice on how to appeal the decision, including what to say and not say.</p> <p dir="ltr">“When I joined the group we were given the information that the process was possible, where to find the application, who to send it to,” he explained.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We actually also got given the details of how to get in touch with an immigration lawyer.”</p> <p dir="ltr">With Australia tightening the rules since he started his appeal, Doré said people are “losing hope in the process” of appealing.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I do a bit of work with a church here (in Auckland) … and do quite a bit of work with the 501s. Anyone beating it is unheard of, really,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Australia wanted us out, no matter what.</p> <p dir="ltr">“On the surface they wanted it to look as though there was a legitimate process for an appeal to occur, but … the process itself was so difficult for everyone, really, that a lot of people can’t see a way.”</p> <p dir="ltr">With most deportees arriving with “literally a backpack” and nothing else, Doré said he was fortunate to have the support of his parents when he arrived in New Zealand.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to <em>Open Justice</em>, 192 Kiwi deportees have applied to have their deportations revoked since July 2020. Out of those, only 61 people were successful.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-53a853dc-7fff-fe5b-93ad-838ab9b58209"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: NZ Herald</em></p>

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You’re probably washing your hair wrong - here’s how to fix it

<p dir="ltr">Unlike many other aspects of life, how to look after our hair isn’t necessarily something we’re taught to do.</p> <p dir="ltr">While there are plenty of tutorials, explainers and hacks for pulling off particular hairstyles, how-to’s for ensuring your hair is healthy (and looks it) seems to still be catching up.</p> <p dir="ltr">Hair expert Zoe Irwin says that many people who are washing hair incorrectly are even inadvertently damaging it, and has gone on a crusade to teach people how to care for their locks.</p> <p dir="ltr">Speaking to <em>The Sun</em>, the creative director at John Frieda Salons said hair is often more of an “afterthought” than other aspects of their physical wellbeing, such as skincare.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Your hair needs the same treatment in order to look its healthiest,” she says.</p> <p dir="ltr">To help your hair look its best and healthiest, here are some of Irwin’s top tips and advice across each stage of the hair-washing process.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Less is more when it comes to shampoo</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">According to Irwin, most of us use too much shampoo, and cutting back can not only save you money by making each bottle last longer but can lessen the amount of chemicals from shampoo that ends up in the environment.</p> <p dir="ltr">She suggests using only a small blob of shampoo - slightly smaller than a 50-cent coin - and to apply it by spreading the shampoo over your hand rather than directly onto your hair. This means that when you do wash your hair, the shampoo will be distributed more evenly.</p> <p dir="ltr">Irwin also discourages rubbing shampoo into your hair to create a lather, since your hair is at its most fragile when wet. </p> <p dir="ltr">Instead, massage your scalp by holding your head still and moving your fingers along your scalp.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Use conditioner from tip to top</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">After shampoo removes dirt and excess oil, conditioner comes in to nourish and replenish lost moisture - and there’s a way to apply it to avoid the dreaded feeling of a greasy scalp. </p> <p dir="ltr">Irwin says applying conditioner starting from the tips of the hair and working up to the top solves this problem, as the amount of product will dilute as you move towards your scalp. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Take care when drying your hair</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Finally, Irwin says drying your hair should be done with care - avoiding too much friction of heat on your fragile locks.</p> <p dir="ltr">Instead of rubbing your hair dry with a towel, she suggests wrapping it in a towel or hair wrap and delicately pressing and patting the towel against your head. The longer you do this, the less amount of time you’ll need to use your hair dryer.</p> <p dir="ltr">When you do switch on your hair dryer, it’s best to use it in small sections of your hair on medium heat in circular motions. This helps your hair not only dry faster but also reduces the amount of heat damage inflicted.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Wash intuitively and ditch the schedule</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">As for how often to wash your hair, Irwin doesn’t say, but that’s because it's highly subjective. Though there is plenty of debate about washing hair daily, every couple days, once a week or even less frequently, it all comes down to how your hair behaves.</p> <p dir="ltr">Dermatologist Dr Iris Rubin told Cosmopolitan it’s best to shampoo hair as flakiness, excessive grease, itchiness or build-up start to crop up, rather than by following a regular schedule - with finer, straighter hair generally needing more frequent washes compared to thicker, curlier hair.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-c38228cc-7fff-2500-a403-985e0c9b29c7"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

Beauty & Style

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What it really meant to be punk in Britain

<p>There is a current surge of interest in punk. The <a href="https://www.nme.com/news/music/sex-pistols-god-save-the-queen-becomes-top-selling-single-in-uk-for-platinum-jubilee-3239877">Sex Pistols’ God Save the Queen </a>topped the UK singles charts during the Platinum Jubilee. This was 45 years to the day after it controversially didn’t when originally released at the time of the Silver Jubilee. </p> <p>Famed director Danny Boyle has also turned his hand to dramatising the life of the band in his series <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KhxwG0eCiE">Pistol</a>, which traces the evolution of the Sex Pistols and the UK punk rock movement that grew out of London in the 1970s. The series, based on the autobiography of Pistols guitarist Steve Jones, has been the subject of controversy, including <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/music/2021/aug/23/sex-pistols-win-legal-fight-against-johnny-rotten-songs-pistol-tv-series">legal battles</a> with former Sex Pistols’ frontman John Lydon who tried to prevent the use of their music. The lead singer <a href="https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/sex-pistol-johnny-rotten-how-i-became-my-wifes-carer-0dbxpxgxt">dubbed the show</a>: “the most disrespectful shit I ever had to endure”.</p> <p>Almost all genres in popular music have subcultural connotations, signifying style in clothes and moral values. But arguably no other genre has stronger subcultural currency than punk. Musician and lead singer of the band Talking Heads, <a href="https://quotedark.com/quote/punk-was-defined-by-an-attitude-rather-than-a-mus__david-byrne">David Byrne said</a> that “punk was defined by an attitude rather than a musical style”. So what did it mean to be punk?</p> <h2>Rejection of the musical establishment and political authority</h2> <p>Unlike “prog” and “glam” rock before it, punk was anti-establishment, anti-mainstream and anti-commercial. It came to be in the early to mid-1970s when music had become less accessible, and to the next generation of audience, less relatable. This happened to coincide with a period of <a href="https://journals.openedition.org/rfcb/1662">economic decline and growing social unrest</a>. It was a time when the youth of the day felt like their future was fairly bleak. </p> <p>Breaking through the high-brow attitude and elitism was central to the punk attitude. The names of early British punk bands, such as the Clash, the Stranglers and the Damned, served as statements of both belligerence and provocation. </p> <p>The Damned’s <a href="https://www.loudersound.com/features/the-10-best-punk-rock-singles-by-the-undertones-michael-bradley">New Rose</a> was considered to be one of the first UK punk records, released in October 1976. The track was comprised of aggressive energetic drumming (played by the curiously named Rat Scabies), raw distorted, riffing rhythm guitar (switching on occasions to lead parts), underpinned by the bass guitarist attacking the root notes of the guitar chords. Chord sequences were simple and sometimes jarring by way of less obvious progressions. Vocals were sitting somewhere between being sung, spoken and shouted.</p> <p>Thematically, punk lyrics were often antagonistic, challenging society’s “norms”. Songs like Anarchy in the UK (1976) by the Sex Pistols, gave voice to a young generation that felt <a href="https://consequence.net/2021/08/best-punk-songs-list/11/">disenfranchised by its own country</a>. </p> <p>Punk was never limiting and was not subject to gender bias in the way preceding types of rock music were. Many females were active contributors and participants, of particular note were <a href="https://www.discogs.com/artist/80501-Siouxsie-The-Banshees?page=1">Susan Ballion aka Siouxsie Sioux</a>, who fronted the iconic punk group Siouxsie and the Banshees, and style icon <a href="https://www.vogue.co.uk/arts-and-lifestyle/article/pamela-rooke-jordan-has-died">Pamela Rooke aka Jordan</a> (the Queen of Punk). </p> <p>It is worth noting that across the Atlantic there was also a burgeoning punk scene that preceded the UK punk movement. New York’s CBGB club, opened by Hilly Kristal in 1973, provided a place for the scene to crystallise. The Ramones, Televisionm The Voidoids, Blondie, the Patti Smith Group and Talking Heads all played early gigs there, going on to achieve prominence.</p> <h2>What punk meant to the ‘original’ punks?</h2> <p>Music journalist John Robb, who was also a vocalist in the punk rock band <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldblade">Goldblade</a> and bassist and vocalist in the post-punk band <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Membranes">the Membranes</a> opined, "It is impossible to define punk. It is subjective and means something different to everyone… [it is] exciting, confusing, exhilarating, an unpinned grenade, intellectual but not academic, revolutionary. It tore a hole in the fabric of pop culture and we all got through."</p> <p>Punk was multifaceted and was many things to many people. Something that was felt, enabling, empowering, contradictory, manifesting through individual and collective expression, but perhaps to understand what it was in the beginning, you had to be there.</p> <p>The musician Peter Hook’s origin story is firmly rooted in punk, in particular a <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4f0B5rf6z2wYQpm5WNqsqP7/they-swear-they-were-there-sex-pistols-at-the-lesser-free-trade-hall">Sex Pistols concert</a> at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester in June 1976. It was reported to have been attended by around only 40 people, but many of them went on to become culturally important figures in British music. It was this event that inspired Hook the next day to buy a bass guitar and hatch a plan to form a band. He would become a founding member of Joy Division, which became New Order after the death of singer Ian Curtis.</p> <p>For dance music pioneer and co-founder of 808 State, Graham Massey, one of his first bands was the punk group Danny and the Dressmakers. <a href="https://youtu.be/GjB2VG8zejo">He has described</a>how he was denied access to music education at school:</p> <p>“With the spirit of rebellion, I entered music around the time of punk where no musical ability was required. There was a great spirit of just jumping in and making a noise.”</p> <p>The fact that musical training and virtuosity were not required meant that punk was not confined to musical elites and deep-pocketed institutions as it had largely been in the past. Massey also talked about “the creative thrill” of “reinvention” in the wake of the dismantling of the musical establishment.</p> <p>The DIY spirit was very much part of the movement. Punks created fanzines, bands created their own labels and people made their own clothes as a form of cultural expression. Manchester band, The Buzzcocks and their manager Richard Boon created New Hormones, the first independent punk rock label in the UK. They were also responsible for organising the Sex Pistols’ Manchester gig attended by Hook, and others.</p> <p>From the late 1970s, punk lost its initial cultural impetus and fragmented (as is always the case with musical and cultural waves), into such styles as anarcho-punk, street-punk and gothic-punk. These movements subsequently gave rise to further new movements (including the new wave). However, the very term “punk” lives on used to describe nonconformity and subversion.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-it-really-meant-to-be-punk-in-britain-185729" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

Music

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Nervous Ash Barty making comeback this weekend

<p>On the opposite side of the planet to her former tennis compatriots and competitors, Ash Barty is preparing to suit up for triumphant return to international sport.</p> <p>The former tennis world number one is getting ready to compete in the Icons Series golf tournament in New Jersey at Liberty National golf club – and it will mark her official return to international competition since hanging up the racquet earlier this year at just 25 years of age.</p> <p>Barty has shown how serious she is about exploring golfing as a career by signing up for the Icons Series where she will be watched on by a global TV audience.</p> <p>During competition she will be going head to head with some of the biggest names in sport, including 23-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Phelps, NFL quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, boxing megastar Canelo Alvarez, English footballer Harry Kane and Aussie cricket legend Ricky Ponting.</p> <p>Barty is playing for “Team World” in a Ryder Cup-like format against Team USA in a nine-hole team matchplay exhibition event.</p> <p>The second day of the competition will be broadcast around the world, including on Fox Sports and Kayo from 4 am (AEST) on the morning of Sunday the 3rd of July.</p> <p>Barty won the ladies competition at the Brookwater Golf and Country Club in Brisbane’s outskirts in April and she plays off a handicap of 4. However, playing on the global stage is another level of pressure. “I’m going to absolutely be struggling,” she said in a recent interview.</p> <p>“My heart was beating so fast playing the club championships in our final with nothing on the line, so this is going to be a lot of fun.</p> <p>“I will just soak it all in, if it (my first tee shot) goes badly it’s all right, it is what it is, just go out and enjoy it with a smile.”</p> <p>Barty has always been a talented golfer and it was just over two years ago that she stunned American golfing great Tiger Woods.</p> <p>Barty also impressed English golfer Ian Poulter at the US Open, Icons Series chief executive Thomas Brookes revealed recently.</p> <p>“She’s got those skill sets within her locker. With a bit of practice she can get lower than a three or four handicap. I know she’s really, really excited to be playing in New York and she’s also really keen to bring the concept to Australia.”</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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The text message that sparked fury among Wimbledon stars

<p>Harmony Tan pulled out of the Wimbledon doubles tournament on Wednesday the 29th of June. This comes just hours after stunning Serena Williams, leaving her partner “sad, disappointed and angry”.</p> <p>The French player was scheduled to play women’s doubles with Tamara Korpatsch but withdrew due to a thigh injury. She had sent her would-be teammate a text message to break the bad news.</p> <p>“She just texted me this morning,” a furious Korpatsch wrote on Instagram. “Let me wait here 1 hour (alone on the court) before the match started. I’m very sad, disappointed and also very angry that I can’t play my 1st Doubles Grand Slam.</p> <p>“It’s really not fair for me. I didn’t deserve that. She asked me before the tournament if I wanna play doubles and I said yes. I didn’t ask her, she asked me!</p> <p>“If you’re broken after a 3h match the day before, you can’t play professional. That’s my opinion.”</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CfY-C0_NdXR/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CfY-C0_NdXR/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Tamara Korpatsch (@tami.korpatsch)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Korpatsch included a series of critical hashtags in her post, including “unsportsmanlike”, “unfair” and “mad”.</p> <p>Tan recorded the biggest win of her career with a three-set triumph over Williams on Wednesday the 29th of June.</p> <p>Playing her first ever match at Wimbledon and only her ninth grand slam match overall, Tan secured a dramatic 7-5 1-6 7-6 (10-7) victory.</p> <p>“When I first saw the draw, I was really scared. Because it’s Serena Williams, she’s a legend,” Tan said afterwards.</p> <p>“When I was young I was watching her so many times on the TV. For my first Wimbledon this is just... wow.”</p> <p>Williams has brushed off any talk of retirement after the defeat by insisting she is “motivated” to play at the US Open later this year.</p> <p>“The US Open was the place where I won my first slam, it’s super-special. There’s definitely a lot of motivation to get better and play at home,” the 40-year-old said.</p> <p>Williams refused to speculate on whether or not she will be back at Wimbledon in 2023, as doubts had been growing about whether Williams would return to the sport after dropping from number one to 1204th in the rankings after taking time off to recover from an injury.</p> <p><em>Image: Instagram</em></p>

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“This has shattered us”: BBC reality star Jasmine Burkitt has passed away

<p dir="ltr">British reality star Jasmine Burkitt, known as Jazz to her loved ones and friends, has died aged 28.</p> <p dir="ltr">Burkitt was known for her 2011 documentary, Small Teen, Bigger World, a four-part series on BBC Three where she gave viewers an insight into her life as a teenager with dwarfism.</p> <p dir="ltr">Her fiancé, Lewis Burke, confirmed the news of her passing on social media earlier this week, per <em><a href="https://celebrity.nine.com.au/latest/jasmine-burkitt-dead-at-28-bbc-reality-star/b4cb4bdf-b00b-40ab-a78c-f25a3092dc9b" target="_blank" rel="noopener">9Honey</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“She is the most incredible human that ever walked this planet, she is the strongest, funniest, most kindest and purely decent person I’ve ever known,” he wrote on their shared Facebook page.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I am truly devastated. She changed my life forever and I’ll never be the same.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Burke, who was in hospital for a heart operation at the time of her passing, said Burkitt had passed away “after a long battle with a serious mental illness”.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to multiple media outlets, Norman Burkitt, Burkitt’s grandfather, said Burke’s mother found her body in a tent where she and Burke had been living since 2021.</p> <p dir="ltr">The couple had been documenting their life living in a tent in Bodelwyddan, Wales, on their Facebook page, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/lewisandjazz/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Join our Journey</a>, after struggling to get council accommodation.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We’re a differently abled couple who happen to live in a tent outdoors, in the UK,” the introduction on their page reads.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Although this wasn’t really our first choice, we are still determined to remain happy and productive throughout!! We are turning our homelessness from something negative to something positive.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Burkitt’s grandfather said the couple’s situation highlighted the “desperate” housing situation in Wales, since the couple couldn’t get public housing together as they were from two different parts of the country.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The coroner has rang us to say there will be a post mortem. They were living in this tent because they could not get a house,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">He described his granddaughter as a “fantastic girl” who was “so clever and bright”, emphasising her love of art and her television success.</p> <p dir="ltr">“She broke all sorts of viewing records at the BBC and got two awards,” he said. “This has shattered us, we have had no sleep. Everyone will miss her.”</p> <p dir="ltr">While Burkitt was filming her show, she was a registered carer for her mother, who later died from lung and breathing problems in 2014. Both had an undiagnosed form of dwarfism, which doctors couldn’t find the cause for.</p> <p dir="ltr">Her grandfather revealed she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had a heart valve issue that meant she was taking three different types of medication and had to have hospital check-ups every six months.</p> <p dir="ltr">In January, Burkitt shared with her followers on Instagram that she had been hospitalised due to her physical and mental health at the end of the previous year, adding that she was “so happy to be much more stable” and couldn’t wait to be back with Burke and their dog, Loki.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-662c7374-7fff-b002-8b29-ade203924b07"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: @joinourjourneyinsta (Instagram)</em></p>

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Floating fracas: Hour-long brawl breaks out on cruise ship

<p>A mass brawl has broken out on a cruise ship heading into New York. However, it remains unsure if anybody will be charged.</p> <p>The brawl broke out on the dancefloor of a nightclub of the Carnival Magic cruise ship in the early hours of the morning on Tuesday the 28th of June.</p> <p>At the moment of the brawl, the ship was heading back to New York, but the exact location of the vessel will have a bearing on a criminal investigation depending on the jurisdiction of law enforcement it falls under. However, if it took place in international waters, it is possible everybody involved will get away scot-free.</p> <p>The NYPD has confirmed security on-board were unable to contain the fight and had to summon the Coast Guard. "Security onboard the boat attempted to de-escalate the situation and subsequently called for the Coast Guard," the police said in a statement.</p> <p>"The Coast Guard escorted the cruise ship to Pier 88, confines of the MTN Precinct. Uniformed personnel and Traffic Agents met the ship and the ship disembarked passengers without further incident".</p> <p>An eyewitness passenger Theresa James claims the fight began over a "threesome".</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Massive brawl breaks out in nightclub of Carnival cruise ship just off New York harbor. It started because someone got jealous over a “threesome”. The Coast Guard was summoned to escort the ship back to New York. <a href="https://t.co/2Xnljgi3O9">pic.twitter.com/2Xnljgi3O9</a></p> <p>— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) <a href="https://twitter.com/MikeSington/status/1542467886223982592?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 30, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p>She said the fight lasted for an hour and stretched from the fifth floor to the first floor, involving up to 60 people.</p> <p>Carnival described the brawl as an "altercation".</p> <p>"Thankfully no serious injuries were reported and our onboard security team intervened."</p> <p>The brawl came at the end of an eight-day voyage, which went into various islands in the West Indies before heading back up the US east coast.</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Cancelled flights, disrupted vacations, frayed tempers: FAQs about the chaos in the airline industry

<p>People around the world are anxious to travel again as pandemic restrictions are being lifted. But those planning to jump on a plane for a vacation have been frustrated by chaos in the airline industry. In both North America and Europe, thousands of flights have been cancelled and hundreds of thousands of passengers have had their trips disrupted. </p> <p>Things will get worse before they get better. Air Canada has announced it will eliminate more than 150 daily flights for July and August. “Regrettably, things are not business as usual in our industry globally, and this is affecting our operations,” Air Canada president Michael Rousseau <a href="https://milled.com/air-canada/a-message-from-air-canadas-president-gQLU1OsSJMb4j5Fl">said in an email to customers when announcing the flight cutbacks</a>. </p> <p>So why is this happening? Here are answers to some key questions about the current problems with air travel.</p> <h2>Why are so many flights being cancelled or delayed?</h2> <p>The principal cause of the disruptions has been a shortage of qualified personnel at airports to handle the recent surge in passenger traffic.</p> <p>Airlines have been taking advantage of recent demand for air travel by returning aircraft and flight schedules to close to <a href="https://www.aviationpros.com/airlines/news/21271750/air-passengers-to-reach-83-of-2019-levels-this-year-iata">80 per cent of pre-pandemic levels</a>, with the resulting volume of flights putting significant stress on the capability of the supporting infrastructure — <a href="https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2022/06/easyjet-to-scrap-more-summer-flights-from-schiphol-klm-limits-sales/">airports, air traffic control and labour conditions</a>.</p> <h2>Are the problems only happening in certain airports or is this a worldwide issue?</h2> <p>The congestion phenomenon in the summer 2022 travel season is rapidly spreading across a number of European and North American airports. The reason behind this concentration of congestion is quite simple: these are the air travel markets that have experienced the highest volumes of air travellers in recent months.</p> <figure> <p>The rapid elimination of COVID-19 protocols in these markets since March have generated a significant increase in the demand for air travel, with volumes of passengers that haven’t been seen in more than two years. This increase in volume has been highly evidenced in major airline hub airports such as <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/schiphol-airport-amsterdam-photos-security-staff-shortages-europe-flight-2022-6">Amsterdam</a>, <a href="https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/airport-chaos-european-travel-runs-into-pandemic-cutbacks-1.5959561">London</a>, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jun/19/us-travelers-flight-cancellations-chaos">New York</a> and <a href="https://globalnews.ca/video/8905320/frustrations-mount-over-ongoing-delays-at-toronto-pearson-airport">Toronto</a>, where tens of thousands of passengers are processed every day.</p> <h2>Are all the problems related to the pandemic?</h2> <p>When the global air travel market collapsed in March 2020 with the introduction of travel restrictions and border closures, the commercial aviation industry took steps to conserve cash and maintain a minimal workforce. </p> <p>Hundreds of <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackkelly/2021/02/01/airlines-lost-over-40000-workers-united-airlines-announced-another-14000-jobs-may-be-lost/?sh=6fa3ff1324b3">thousands of aviation workers were laid off or terminated</a>, with years of experience and technical expertise removed from the ranks of the commercial aviation communities. </p> <p>With the assistance of governments throughout the world, over US$200 billion of financial support was provided by governments to help the commercial aviation industry maintain minimal service and prevent financial collapse. </p> <p>When demand for air travel returned this March, the hiring frenzy began, but in a very different labour environment. The people who left in 2020 had, for the most part, moved on to other career opportunities and no longer had much interest in returning to an industry characterized by lower compensation and a higher employment risk. So the staff shortages have their genesis in the pandemic, and will continue to impact employment levels as travel returns.</p> <h2>How many more people are travelling these days compared to a year ago – and compared to pre-pandemic levels?</h2> <p>The International Air Transport Association publishes <a href="https://www.iata.org/en/pressroom/2022-releases/2022-06-09-01/">air travel statistics</a> relating to the volume of air travel throughout various world markets. It has noted that there is a significant difference in the volume of air travel, when compared to both 2021 and pre-pandemic levels. </p> <p>The air travel market that has demonstrated the highest rebound has been domestic North America — travel for April 2022 has increased more than 280 per cent compared to April 2021 traffic levels, but remains at slightly more than 30 per cent lower than April 2019 levels. </p> <p>In the Chinese domestic market, continuing pandemic-related travel restrictions and occasional city lockdowns have resulted in <a href="https://www.iata.org/en/iata-repository/publications/economic-reports/air-passenger-monthly-analysis---april-2022/">traffic levels down by close to 80 per cent</a> in April 2022, compared to April 2021 and 2019.</p> <h2>What can be done to prevent delays?</h2> <p>There are a number of perspectives that can be applied to a resolution of the current level of delays.</p> <p>European authorities have announced <a href="https://nltimes.nl/2022/06/16/schiphol-press-conference-many-flights-will-slashed-limit-passengers-ceo-wont-quit">specific reductions in flights</a>, while the U.S. government is <a href="https://www.newsweek.com/flight-cancellations-surge-buttigieg-demands-airlines-hire-staff-1717188">threatening to impose flight reductions</a> as a means of minimizing flight cancellations. </p> <p>The Canadian government has facilitated a meeting with the major aviation organizations in Canada to discuss <a href="https://toronto.citynews.ca/2022/06/21/transport-minister-airlines-airports-delays/">a concerted and effective resolution </a> and <a href="https://investors.aircanada.com/2022-06-23-Air-Canada-Comments-on-Aviation-Industry-Summit-with-Federal-Transport-Minister">Air Canada announced measures</a> it was intending to implement to ease congestion at both Toronto Pearson and Montreal Trudeau airports. </p> <p>Canadian government officials have also announced <a href="https://www.thestar.com/business/2022/05/25/airport-delays-are-here-to-stay-for-the-long-term-due-to-a-shortage-of-workers-in-airport-security-union-says.html">plans to hire close to 2,000 additional border security and screening personnel</a> to deal with specific congestion issues. Labour groups are not certain that the problems of congestion will be addressed by such actions. </p> <p>The main issue is the volume of air travellers that are being drawn into the airport environment by the volume of flights operated by the airlines. Airlines have decided to grow their capacity to meet surging air travel demand, but the airport infrastructure is not equipped to handle such volumes. </p> <p>While such enthusiasm by the airline industry is laudable in times where adequate and experienced staff are available at airports, that is not the case now — and will not be the case for the foreseeable future.</p> <h2>How long will this last?</h2> <p>The summer travel season is in full flight in the northern hemisphere. Additional airline capacity and greater demand for air service by a travel-starved population will continue through at least September. </p> <p>Unless actions being contemplated by American, European and Canadian carriers results in a reduction of peak loading of aircraft movements across major airline hubs, in North America and Western Europe primarily, the congestion and delays will continue – and possibly worsen. </p> <p>Relief will most likely come in the fall, as demand for air travel is reduced with the arrival of the school season. Staffing will also reach required levels by the fall, with the arrival of normal commercial air operating conditions. </p> <p>Other issues that may reduce demand include <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/suzannerowankelleher/2022/05/13/airfare-inflation-cool-demand-summer/?sh=42ae089032c3">higher airfares due to inflation and higher oil prices</a>, which may impact the survival of some airlines. </p> <h2>What advice would you give to air travellers over the next few months?</h2> <p>Airport authorities have been providing <a href="https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/travelling-this-summer-toronto-pearson-and-its-airport-partners-offer-travel-advice-for-passengers-822689624.html">guidance to travellers</a> on how best to prepare themselves for summer travel, including tips on how to avoid delays at security checks.</p> <p>In this coming summer of disruption, I would recommend travellers embark on their air journey with patience, ensure they are well-rested prior to departing for the airport and remember that airline staff are also experiencing stressful moments during their day. </p> <p>A smile, a thank you and, above all, a caring attitude for fellow travellers and staff is called for. The air travel experience will get better!</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/air-canada-flight-reductions-faqs-about-the-chaos-in-the-airline-industry-185750" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p> </figure>

International Travel

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Natural wonders of the world to put on your bucket list

<h2>Earth’s greatest hits</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Mother Nature sure knows how to make a statement. The planet is dotted with all sorts of gorgeous creations, from cascading waterfalls to towering volcanoes to otherworldly salt flats you won’t believe are real, and all of these natural wonders of the world tell the story of a particular destination. Of course, people travel far and wide just to get a glimpse of the most famous landscapes and the equally stunning but lesser-known natural wonders, and for good reason. Whether you’re interested in diving the Great Barrier Reef, hiking the Grand Canyon, admiring the northern lights, or just taking a tour from your couch and daydreaming about your bucket list, you’ll definitely be inspired by these natural wonders of the world.</p> <h2>Poás Volcano, Costa Rica</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">One of the most visited volcanoes in Costa Rica is also one of the oldest – it actually helped form the Central Valley. Sitting more than 2707 metres above sea level, Poás Volcano has been active for hundreds of years, though its last major eruption was in 1910. Visitors can still get up close and personal with it at the national park where it’s located (with a reservation, that is). If you’re lucky enough to get a view of the crater, it can be breathtaking; however, views may be obstructed by clouds due to fickle and unpredictable weather conditions, which change by the hour. Dress warm and bring an umbrella, as precipitation is common at the top of the mountain.</p> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">The volcano is about an hour’s drive from the centre of San José. But you’ll definitely want to build some extra time into your schedule so you can sample fresh strawberries at the fruit stands along the way or go on a tour at Doka Estate to learn how coffee is made.</p> <h2>Mount Otemanu, Bora Bora</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Bora Bora was first made popular during World War II, when soldiers were stationed on the island. Mount Otemanu is the island’s main attraction, and it has an interesting history. “During World War II, the American soldiers used the cave to check the horizon to see if any enemies were coming,” says Marania Teuru, a representative for Tahiti Tourisme. Years later, it was rumoured that women went inside the caves to give birth because giving birth on the island was not permitted. The massive mountain, which stands 727 metres above the lagoon of Bora Bora, is now the perfect backdrop for dreamy Tahitian sunsets. A few of the luxury resorts offer great views of the mountain, including the St. Regis Bora Bora and the Conrad Bora Bora Nui, which have become hot spots for honeymooners.</p> <h2>Marble Chapels, Patagonia</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">The Capillas de Mármol, or Marble Chapels, are an absolute must when visiting Patagonia. The stunning caves are located in the middle of General Carrera Lake, which makes them accessible only by boat. One of the more remote natural wonders on this list, the iridescent Marble Chapels are actually layers of calcium carbonate formations resulting from 6,000 years of wind and water slapping the rocks. The colours and arches formed inside the cave are truly breathtaking, and even amateur photographers will have a field day here. The best time to visit is in the austral summer, from December to March, when the intensity of the blue waters is intensified by the sun.</p> <h2>Yosemite National Park, USA</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">One of California’s crown jewels, Yosemite National Park is an outdoor playground for nature enthusiasts. The protected park is approximately 3108 square kilometres, and it features towering sequoias, dramatic waterfalls, beautiful mountain ranges and sheer granite towers. In addition to Half Dome and El Capitan, Yosemite is also home to Yosemite Falls, one of the world’s tallest waterfalls at 739 metres. May or June is the best time to see the waterfalls; September is also a great month to visit because of pleasant weather and fewer crowds.</p> <h2>Great Barrier Reef, Australia</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">One of the world’s greatest spectacles also happens to be one of the most vulnerable. Whether you choose to view this global treasure from a helicopter or go scuba diving to enjoy close encounters with more than 1,500 species of tropical fish, it’s hard not to notice the direct impact of climate change. Warmer temperatures have led to significant amounts of coral bleaching, and farming pollution has caused starfish to feed off the precious coral. If the damage continues on the same trajectory, more than 90 percent of the living coral will erode within the next decade.</p> <h2>Haleakala National Park, Hawaii</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Maui is world-famous for its magnificent beaches, fresh cuisine and burnt-orange sunsets, but it’s also home to some of the most beautiful landscapes. The top of the dormant volcano at Haleakala National Park is one of the most epic spots to watch the sun rise. At just over 3048 metres above sea level and spanning 12,140-plus hectares of land, Haleakala offers plenty of scenic vistas, sparkling waterfalls (near the park’s coastal section), and endangered species sightings such as the nēnē, the state bird. An important note if you want to hike to the crater at sunrise: You have to make a reservation up to seven days in advance. There is also a $30 fee to park your car, but it’s valid for three days, in case one visit just wasn’t enough.</p> <h2>Grand Canyon, USA</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Arizona has no shortage of majestic mountains and sweeping vistas, but the Grand Canyon is hands down one of the most diverse geological wonders in the state. The visual grandeur of this UNESCO World Heritage Site and natural wonder of the world is characterised by several horizontal layers of rock formations that are nearly two billion years old. Visitors have several options to experience the beauty here: Adventure seekers can enjoy an aerial view from a helicopter ride through the canyons or go whitewater rafting down the Colourado River (not for the faint of heart). For an easy hiking trail, head to the north rim to avoid large crowds and check out the Cape Royal Trail. It’s a flat, well-paved trail that’s popular during sunrise and sunset.</p> <h2>Cappadocia, Turkey</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">You may have seen the captivating photos of colourful hot air balloons against a magical landscape of rugged cliffs, valleys and minaret-like towers carved into the rocks. It’s hard to believe this place is real, but it is and it’s in Turkey! The Anatolia region of Cappadocia is filled with rich history and culture, including the 40 identified underground cities that lie below the surface and the Göreme Open Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most visited sites in Cappadocia. For a good vantage point overlooking the landscape of this natural wonder, check out Uçhisar Castle – or drift during sunrise in one of the hot air balloons.</p> <h2>Blue Grotto, Malta</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Malta is a magnificent Mediterranean island between Sicily and the North African coast. The island is known for year-round warm weather, ancient cities, dazzling beaches, and, of course, the Blue Grotto: a series of caves that form high arches along the southern coast of the island. On a clear day, you can see the fluorescent colours reflected on the cave, a phenomenon caused by the underwater flora. Try to book a boat tour early in the morning when the sea is calm, the sun is bright, and there are fewer crowds.</p> <h2>Banff National Park, Canada</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Those visiting the Rocky Mountains in Canada between July and September will be rewarded with turquoise-coloured lakes, scenic mountain views, and plenty of wildlife. The summer months allow for some of the best hiking and wildflower sightings of the year, but they also mean peak tourist season. September may be an even better time to visit, since the crowds fade, the leaves start to change colour, and the snow-capped mountains begin to appear in the distance. Biking is also another way to explore the mountains, which boast more than 354 kilometres of cycling trails.</p> <h2>Blausee Lake, Switzerland</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Blausee Lake is a small, enchanted lake in the Kander Valley in Switzerland that gets its name from its vibrant crystal-blue colour. The lake is surrounded by a stunning national park with towering pine trees, a boutique hotel, and an organic trout farm. Whether you choose to visit during the summer when the bright turquoise water is glimmering against the verdant backdrop, or the winter, when the snow-covered pine trees look like a Bob Ross painting, Blausee Lake is an idyllic place year-round. There is an entrance fee between $8 and $10, depending on the day of the week, and dogs are allowed in the park on a leash.</p> <h2>Waitaki Whitestone Park, New Zealand</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">It’s hard to pick just one natural wonder in New Zealand, but Waitaki Whitestone Park tops the list. With picturesque rolling green hills, scenic cycling trails and an abundance of wildlife, this park just may be the most gorgeous outdoor wonderland you’ll ever play in. Walk, bike or drive through the park, and as you do, be on the lookout for unique rock formations. FYI, this New Zealand gem won’t be flying under the radar for much longer because it’s up for UNESCO assessment this year.</p> <h2>Galápagos Islands, Ecuador</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">The Galápagos Islands are a group of 19 large islands in Ecuador with a unique ecosystem and diverse range of endemic marine life and species. You’ll find the island’s namesake giant tortoise, sea iguanas, penguins and sea lions, to name a few. Watch the tortoises in their natural habitat at the El Chato Tortoise Reserve, snorkel with sea animals, or spot exotic birds. For a challenging activity on land, check out many of the lava trails near the volcanoes. Bartolomé is probably the most iconic island – and the most visited. Hike more than 300 steps to the summit and you’ll be rewarded with epic views of Pinnacle Rock.</p> <h2>Stromboli, Italy</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Yep, that delicious Italian dish takes its name from an actual place – specifically, a small volcanic island just north of Sicily. Its 3,000-foot-high active volcano, nicknamed the “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean,” has had lava flowing out for years. The most impressive sightings are at night, and the best way to see the volcano is on a boat tour. There are no cars, buses, or trains on the island (only small motorbikes and Ape cars), and flashlights are recommended if you plan to walk around at night because there are no street lights.</p> <h2>Iguazú Falls, Argentina</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Split between Argentina and Brazil, these famous falls are all drama and all beauty, all the time. They’re located in Iguazú National Park, a subtropical rainforest that offers many different vantage points of the waterfalls. Book a boat ride and see them up close as you sail through the Lower Iguazú River, or walk through the park – but either way, but expect to get soaked!</p> <h2>Great Blue Hole, Belize</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">This massive sinkhole is part of the Belize Barrier Reef, one of the most pristine reef ecosystems in the western hemisphere, and it’s a favourite spot for serious divers because of its incredible marine diversity. It’s also home to several shark species. Translation: It’s not for the faint of heart, but if you’re an experienced diver, you won’t want to miss it. While you’re in Belize, make sure to check out Ambergris Caye, the largest island in the country.</p> <h2>Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Also known as the Salt Flats, this extraordinary attraction is the world’s largest salt flat – the result of dried-up prehistoric lakes. June to August is the dry season, so more tourists visit during this time. But December to April is less crowded and amazing in a whole different way: When the rain hits the salt flats, it causes a glass- or mirror-like effect, which looks really cool in photos. If you visit, keep in mind that the high-altitude flats are nearly 3650 metres above sea level, so you may experience altitude sickness if you haven’t given yourself a few days to acclimate in town first.</p> <h2>Padjelanta National Park, Sweden</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Sweden tops the list as one of the most sustainable tourist destinations in the world, and with so much natural beauty, it’s easy to see why. The country’s largest national park, Padjelanta National Park, is adjacent to the Norwegian border, and it’s a peaceful mountain escape where the Wi-Fi is weak and the air is fresh. The open terrain surrounded by alpines makes it an ideal destination for hiking, especially in July and August. Pack light, but don’t forget binoculars! You might spot newly born calves, birds or other animals.</p> <h2>Milford Sound, New Zealand</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">A remote fiord within Fiordland National Park that was formed by glaciers from the Ice Age, this remarkable jewel is surrounded by lush New Zealand rainforests, steep cliffs, and cascading waterfalls. It’s the only fiord accessible by road in New Zealand, but the best way to experience it is by boat. Take a scenic flight from Queenstown for breathtaking aerial views of the snow-capped mountains, then take a cruise to observe the black coral and sea life. The best time to visit is after heavy rain, typically in December or January, when the waterfalls are more intense. Need another reason to visit? Check out these breathtaking photos of New Zealand.</p> <h2>Suytun Cenote, Mexico</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">While most travellers head south of the border for the beautiful luxury resorts and sparkling blue waters, you’ll also want to venture out for a day trip to see this stunning natural wonder near Cancún. Located about 15 minutes from the colonial city of Valladolid, Yucatán, the underground cave has a stone walkway where a natural light beam shines through a small hole – and creates the perfect photo op. There are bathrooms and changing facilities at the park, and the site has a small entrance fee of about $6.</p> <h2>Elephant Rock, Saudi Arabia</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Jabal AlFil Elephant Rock is one of AlUla’s most recognizable natural sites: Wind and water erosion over millions of years created this massive elephant-shaped rock in the middle of the desert. It’s best to view this amazing rock formation during sunset, but dress warmly for cold desert evenings. And, in general, both men and women are encouraged to dress modestly and avoid tight-fitting clothes.</p> <h2>Northern Lights, Iceland</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">There are many places to view the northern lights (also known as the aurora borealis), and Reykjavík is certainly one of them. Colourful streaks of light create striking rainbows in the dark sky, creating a photographer’s dream shot. The months of September and April are prime time for catching the dancing light show, but unfortunately, there isn’t one location that offers optimal sightings. It also depends on the weather conditions, so it’s best to leave it up to the local tour guides to show you the best locations.</p> <h2>Grand Prismatic Spring, USA</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Wyoming is home to many iconic natural wonders of the world, including Grand Teton National Park and Devils Tower National Monument, but it also has the world’s third-largest hot spring. The remarkable Grand Prismatic in Yellowstone National Park is the single largest hot spring in the park – it’s larger than a football field, so it’s hard to miss! A feast for the eyes, the rainbow-coloured hot spring has a deep blue centre and orange spider legs radiating outward. Avoid the crowds by climbing up the new trail to an overlook on the nearby hillside; the 965m hike is worth the view.</p> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;"><em><strong>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/destinations/natural-wonders-of-the-world-to-put-on-your-bucket-list" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader’s Digest</a>.</strong></em></p> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;"><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

International Travel

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Women caught with 105 live animals smuggled inside suitcase

<p dir="ltr">Two women have been accused of trying to smuggle live animals from Thailand to India.</p> <p dir="ltr">The women, Nithya Raja, 38, and Zakia Sulthana Ebrahim, 24, were due to travel from Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport to Chennai, India.</p> <p dir="ltr">Their bags were placed on the conveyor belt to be scanned by x-ray when the animals were discovered, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation said. </p> <p dir="ltr">Inside the bag were two white porcupines, two armadillos, 35 turtles, 50 lizards and 20 snakes.</p> <p dir="ltr">The women have since been charged with violating the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act of 2019, the Animal Disease Act of 2015 and the Customs Act of 2017.</p> <p dir="ltr">This is not the first time travellers have tried to smuggle through live animals. </p> <p dir="ltr">Back in 2019, a man arrived in Chennai from Bangkok and reportedly had a month-old leopard cub in his bag. </p> <p dir="ltr">Wildlife trade monitoring agency TRAFFIC released a report in March 2022 claiming that 70,000 native and exotic wild animals, including their body parts or derivatives, were discovered in 140 seizures at 18 Indian airports between 2011 and 2020.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Chennai International Airport, Tamil Nadu, recorded the highest number of wildlife seizure incidents, followed by Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai and Indira Gandhi Airport New Delhi," the report read.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Nine News</em></p>

Travel Trouble

Health

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Famous ‘Napalm Girl’ receives final burns treatment

<p dir="ltr">The woman known around the globe as “Napalm Girl” has received her final round of treatment for the burns she received as a child when her village in Vietnam was hit by a napalm bomb.</p> <p dir="ltr">Kim Phuc was just nine years old when South Vietnamese planes dropped the bomb on the village of Trảng Bàng in 1972 and she was photographed running naked from her home, covered in third-degree burns after her clothes caught on fire.</p> <p dir="ltr">The iconic photo, taken by Vietnamese-American photographer Nick Ut before he rushed Ms Phuc to a hospital, won a Pulitzer Prize and became a symbol of the awful consequences of war.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ms Phuc, who has since become a Canadian citizen, has lived with the pain and scars from the attack ever since.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-592e9620-7fff-cb30-c831-53f262c58d99"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">On Tuesday, she underwent a 12-hour medical procedure in Miami, with local media reporting it was the final course of laser therapy for her scars.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/07/kim-phuc1.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Kim Phuc underwent the last of her laser therapy treatments for the burns across her body, 50 years after she received them. Image: Getty Images</em></p> <p dir="ltr">Now 59, Ms Phuc also reunited with Mr Ut and recalled the distressing moment when they first met.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I heard the noise, bup-bup bup-bup, and then suddenly there was fire everywhere around me and I saw the fire all over my arm,” Ms Phuc said of the moment the bomb landed, per NBC 6 South Florida.</p> <p dir="ltr">“[Ut] told me after he took my pic that he saw me burned so severely, he put down his camera and he rushed me to [the] nearest hospital.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Ut also recalled how terribly injured Ms Phuc was.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I saw her burning, her body burning so badly,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">But when he took her to a local hospital, staff initially refused to treat her and told him to take her to another hospital two hours away.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I get upset, I hold my media pass, I say, ‘I’m media, if she dies, my picture’s on the front page of every newspaper tomorrow’ … they took her right away inside,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">During her decades-long recovery, Dr Jill Waibel has been helping her, using laser therapy to heal and remove scar tissue.</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-f7f833b3-7fff-f32a-9f73-40919640df43"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">“It used to be that everyone with an injury like Kim’s would pass away and so we are blessed now that we can keep people alive but we really have to help them thrive and live,” Dr Waibel said.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CfR-zFYPGjV/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CfR-zFYPGjV/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Nick Ut (@utnicky)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Ms Phuc now lives in Toronto and is the founder of the Kim Foundation International, which provides aid to child victims of war.</p> <p dir="ltr">On the 50th anniversary of the attack, Ms Phuc penned an essay for <em><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/06/opinion/kim-phuc-vietnam-napalm-girl-photograph.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The New York Times</a></em>, revealing she hated the photo for a long time as she struggled to heal amid the photo’s growing popularity.</p> <p dir="ltr">“You don’t grow out of the scars, physically or mentally,” she wrote. “I am grateful now for the power of that photograph of me as a 9-year-old, as I am of the journey I have taken as a person.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’m proud that, in time, I have become a symbol of peace. It took me a long time to embrace that as a person. I can say, 50 years later, that I’m glad Nick captured that moment, even with all the difficulties that image created for me.</p> <p dir="ltr">“That picture will always serve as a reminder of the unspeakable evil of which humanity is capable. Still, I believe that peace, love, hope and forgiveness will always be more powerful than any kind of weapon.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-800ccc89-7fff-32a8-334c-fe72a34f8c93"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Nick Ut / Canapress</em></p>

Caring

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How effective is mindfulness for treating mental ill-health? And what about the apps?

<p>Mindfulness forms part of the <a href="https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/consumer-packaged-goods/our-insights/feeling-good-the-future-of-the-1-5-trillion-wellness-market">trillion-dollar wellness industry</a>, representing 1.5–6% of yearly spending around the world (estimated to be more than <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/30/top-10-meditation-apps-pulled-in-195m-in-2019-up-52-from-2018/">US$200 million</a>) on wellness products and services. </p> <p>Smartphone apps, in particular, have skyrocketed in popularity offering incredible promise for mental health with wide reach, and scalability at low cost. Mental ill-health was <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30869927/">on the rise</a> before the pandemic but reached <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2215036620303072">new heights</a>during it. Correspondingly, COVID created <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/04/21/meditation-up-during-coronavirus/">previously unseen</a> demand for mindfulness apps and <a href="https://news.usc.edu/168467/demand-for-uscs-free-mindfulness-classes-skyrockets-during-covid-19-pandemic/">online courses</a>.</p> <p>It’s no surprise people have turned to mindfulness in the wake of the past few stressful years, and their considerable promotion. And while there may be some benefit, it cannot treat mental ill-health on its own, and should not be relied upon to do so.</p> <h2>What does research say about mindfulness for treating mental health?</h2> <p>In-person mindfulness-based programs such as those for stress reduction, which often include health information and guided meditation practice, show moderate benefits among healthy individuals and those with mental ill-health.</p> <p>Among healthy populations, <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1003481">a comprehensive review</a> shows mindfulness-based programs help most with symptoms of anxiety, depression, and distress, and to a slightly lesser extent, in promoting well-being. </p> <p>Among individuals with a psychiatric diagnosis, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272735817303847">a comprehensive review</a> shows mindfulness-based programs can help with anxious and depressive disorders, as well as pain conditions and substance use disorders. But mindfulness-based programs do not outperform standard talk therapy. </p> <p>When it comes to structured online mindfulness programs (digital variations on programs like mindfulness-based stress reduction), a <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272735815300623">review</a> shows benefits are small but still significant for depression, anxiety, and well-being.</p> <h2>What about mindfulness apps?</h2> <p>The evidence for mobile phone interventions and apps is less positive. </p> <p>A recent <a href="https://journals.plos.org/digitalhealth/article?id=10.1371/journal.pdig.0000002">comprehensive review</a> of mobile phone interventions (including apps) combined results from 145 randomised controlled trials of 47,940 participants. The study examined text messaging interventions and apps for a number of mental health conditions relative to no intervention, minimal intervention (such as health information), and active interventions (other programs known to work). The authors “failed to find convincing evidence in support of any mobile phone-based intervention on any outcome”. </p> <p>One <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165032720328317?via%3Dihub">review</a> of mindfulness apps, included in the above comprehensive review, found well-designed randomised controlled trials for only 15 of the hundreds of apps available. Overall results were small to moderate for anxiety, depression, stress, and well-being. While these results sound positive, most studies (about 55%) compared apps to doing nothing at all, while another 20% compared apps to controls like audiobooks, games, relaxing music, or maths training. </p> <p>When apps are compared to well-designed treatments, the effects are often less promising. <a href="https://bmcpsychology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40359-018-0226-3">One study</a> comparing a mindfulness app to a “sham” (something that looked and felt like mindfulness but was not), the app was no better.</p> <h2>But does it do any harm?</h2> <p>Evidence shows mindfulness meditation can actually make some people worse off. </p> <p>A recent <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/acps.13225">meta-analysis</a> that examined 83 studies on meditation, including 6,703 particpants, found 8.3% of people became anxious, depressed, or experienced negative changes in their thinking during or after meditation practice.</p> <p>Other <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10503307.2021.1933646?journalCode=tpsr20">research suggests</a> those first exposed to meditation via an app may be more likely to experience adverse effects such as anxiety, depression, or worse. </p> <p>While apps and other forms of meditation are relatively inexpensive, if they do not work, the return on investment is poor. While the costs may seem relatively small, they can represent significant costs to individuals, organisations, and government. And some learning modules and training programs cost <a href="https://beyou.edu.au/resources/programs-directory/s/smiling-mind-school-program">thousands of dollars</a>.</p> <h2>Mindfulness should be used ‘as well as’, not ‘instead of’</h2> <p>The investment in these programs is not a problem on its own. Mindfulness meditation (including various digital offerings) has considerable <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8083197/">potential</a>. The problem is mindfulness is not enough, and should be used as a supplement to first-line mental health treatment such as psychotherapy and medication, not instead of first-line treatment. </p> <p>More concerning is that some mindfulness apps claim they can prevent mental health problems. There is not enough evidence yet to be able to make these claims.</p> <p>In a world where people are facing so many challenges spanning social and income inequality, unprecedented environmental changes, war, economic instability, and global pandemics (to name a few), we must choose support programs very carefully. </p> <p>While mindfulness may have some benefits for some people, it is not a replacement for first-line treatments for mental ill-health.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-effective-is-mindfulness-for-treating-mental-ill-health-and-what-about-the-apps-182436" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>.</em></p>

Mind

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How to use reminiscing as a way of moving your health forward

<p>Whenever people think about moving their health forward, it’s not uncommon for them to do so by thinking about how physically active they are. And that’s good! Thinking seriously about the level and frequency of physical activity is worthwhile because it’s hugely important for healthy ageing.</p> <p>But sometimes people struggle to find forms of physical activity that they really enjoy and feel excited about pursuing. They might have the will but lack the ideas.</p> <p>Then, when people are a bit older, the issue becomes more physical. Again, they might have the will, but there might be challenges posed by injury or illness.   </p> <p>The more I’ve researched the science of physical activity and healthy ageing, the more convinced I’ve become that memory has an important part to play in enhancing our physical and mental health. Let me explain…</p> <p><strong>Our physical activities stay with us</strong></p> <p>It has long been known that some of our strongest and most positive memories are those related to sport and recreation experiences. Why? Because they tend to be multi-sensory in nature – involving sight, sound, and touch – which gives them a stronger memory trace. They also tend to be linked to exciting activities and events, which make them easier to retrieve.  </p> <p>Recently, health care professionals have been able to make good use of such memories, especially for people living with dementia. As dementia affects short-term memory more than long-term memory, it is still possible to recall and relive experiences that are long past…particularly sports-based memories.</p> <p><strong>Back to the footy</strong></p> <p>The power of such memories was recently studied for 16 older adults living with dementia. The researchers wanted to know if recalling and reliving past sporting experiences could positively impact residents’ quality of life and social functioning.</p> <p>It was found they could. Over 3 weeks, the residents met twice a week (for 60-minutes) to recall and share memoires of supporting their local football team. As a result of sharing their stories, the residents became more animated, spoke more fluently, showed more engaged social behaviours, and reported an improved quality of life.    </p> <p>Whilst further research is being conducted, reminiscence therapy appears to be a simple, cost-effective way to enhance the life experience of older adults.</p> <p><strong>Looking backwards to look forwards</strong></p> <p>Reminiscing on the past can be helpful in other ways too. Think about people in their 30s, 40s and 50s who are finding it difficult to establish a regular pattern of physical activity and exercise. This is a common problem, a part of which can be identifying enjoyable forms of physical activity…things people will feel motivated to do. </p> <p>Here’s where reminiscence can also prove to be useful. I recently interviewed five adults in their 40s and 50s about their return to physical activity and exercise. In each case, many of their happiest and most vivid memories involved the physical pursuits of their youth. As it turned out, these early experiences were also important for inspiring an improvement in their health through an increase in physically activity. </p> <p>This makes personal memories a great place to start. Thinking back to earlier times and the things we used to love doing. But not just thinking about it…doing things that help to bring those experiences to life a bit. Finding old photos, watching videos, looking at memorabilia, and/or meeting up and talking to old teammates and friends.</p> <p><strong>Reminiscence as a pathway to better health </strong></p> <p>Reminiscing in this way has the potential to inspire health change. It can help to generate ideas about how we might get moving and keep moving. Whilst that might involve doing something ‘old’ (a physical pursuit we’ve enjoyed in the past), it might also involve doing something we’ve never, ever tried before (and always wanted to try).</p> <p>Using our ability to remember and reminisce is helpful for motivation. By generating some inspiration from within ourselves, it can provide a natural source of energy that helps us out of bed in the morning and get us out the door, without needing to think about it too much!   </p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/06/spence-book.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p><em>Image: Supplied</em></p> <p><em><span lang="EN-US">Dr Gordon Spence, author of Get Moving. Keep Moving, is a highly sought-after speaker, coach, educator and author who helps clients to live well and perform well. A psychologist and exercise scientist, Gordon’s areas of expertise are sustainable performance and healthy ageing, with a particular interest in people returning to exercise in mid-life. For more information visit </span><a href="http://www.healthyageingproject.com/"><span lang="EN-US">www.healthyageingproject.com</span></a></em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

Caring

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Collagen 101: What you need to know about this skin saviour

<p dir="ltr">Collagen is having its moment in the world of beauty and health at the moment, taking the form of tablets, creams, lotions and powders that promise to hydrate skin and reduce signs of ageing, but do these products actually work?</p> <p dir="ltr">Products such as <a href="https://happyhealthyyou.com.au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Happy Healthy You’s</a> Happy Collagen powder include benefits for overall skin health, hydration and nutrition, and it turns out that collagen is one of the most abundant proteins found in the human body in our skin, muscles, tendons and bones.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-fb92fec4-7fff-9ddc-a7c9-d79319e07d45">Renee Grandi, a naturopath, nutritionist and collagen advocate who helped create Happy Collagen, tells <em>OverSixty </em>that collagen is the “body’s scaffolding system”, which is “critical” for the structure of your skin matrix, arteries, digestive tract, uterine/vaginal tissue, cartilage, eyes and bones.</span></p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/06/Collagen_I_alpha_chain_98-110_500.png" alt="" width="500" height="500" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Collagen Type I makes up between 60-80 percent of the collagen peptides in our skin’s dermal layers. Image: PubChem</em></p> <p dir="ltr">“Collagen constitutes 95 percent of human skin, so it’s a big deal,” she says. “Collagen peptides are formed from glycine, proline, hydroxyproline and arginine amino acids.”<br />There are even different types of collagen - types I through V being the most common - with types I and III making up a combined 90 percent of our skin’s dermal layers.</p> <p dir="ltr">But, ageing (particularly the onset of menopause), lifestyle habits, and even stress can cause collagen to degrade over time - which is where supplements can come in.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Those that are more likely to need a collagen boost include women going through perimenopause and menopause as this is when collagen production particularly starts to diminish,” Grandi says. </p> <p dir="ltr">“This is due to lowered oestrogen levels and increased adrenal stress/fatigue.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The adrenal glands become the primary source of oestrogen instead of the ovaries during menopause. Unfortunately, when we're stressed and cortisol is heightened, cortisol takes precedence over collagen and oestrogen production. </p> <p dir="ltr">“There’s an average of 2.1% skin-collagen decline for post-menopausal women per year. This can also impact predispositions to accelerated ageing, uterine prolapse, vulvovaginal atrophy, and bone and joint pain. Collagen is essential for women in menopause, especially if you've had a hysterectomy. A collagen supplement is an easy way to ensure you’re getting your recommended intake.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Food vs skincare</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Though collagen got its start as a skincare treatment, the protein isn’t well-suited to these kinds of products since it is too large to penetrate the skin, Dr Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital, told <em><a href="https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/what-is-marine-collagen-and-should-you-try-it/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Everyday Health</a></em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">This is why collagen products nowadays use collagen peptides (hydrolyzed collagen), which is already broken down, making it easier for collagen to be absorbed in a similar way to when we eat it.</p> <p dir="ltr">Some of the food we eat can contain collagen - think bone broths, eggs, octopus and squid - which is broken down into amino acids that circulate in the blood.</p> <p dir="ltr">But, Grandi says supplements can make it easier for people to get the amount of collagen they need every day.</p> <p dir="ltr">“To boost your collagen for therapeutic integrations you would have to eat about 3-4 servings of collagen-rich foods per day,” Grandi explains.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The best practice is to focus on a holistic approach to skincare with strategic diet, lifestyle, product and supplement interventions. </p> <p dir="ltr">“For instance, you need a healthy gut and skin microbiome to achieve such results, it’s so empowering to learn about what goes on behind the scenes of your skin!”</p> <p dir="ltr">However, upping your collagen intake, whether through diet, supplements, or both, Grandi says it isn’t just a matter of consuming every kind of collagen you can get your hands on.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The trend became to have every form of collagen available and the “more collagen the better mentality”,” she says.</p> <p dir="ltr">“In reality, the body only uses type 1 and type 3 collagen to improve the skin matrix which is most abundant in bovine collagen. The body also does not need more than 5 grams per day. Any more simply will not be assimilated by the body.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Grandi adds that this is why products like Happy Collagen stand out from the crowd of other products that aren’t as selective.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We conducted two years of developmental testing of different forms of collagen and the range of supporting skin nutritional ingredients in the formula,” she says. “We also worked with our Happy Healthy You Community and our practitioner team for their feedback.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Where collagen comes from makes a difference</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Collagen products can source collagen from one of two sources: marine and bovine.</p> <p dir="ltr">Marine collagen comes from the skin and scales of fish, and tends to contain types I and II, the collagen which is found in cartilage and eye structures.</p> <p dir="ltr">In comparison, bovine collagen contains both type I and III, and is the kind of collagen used in Happy Collagen products.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-f428b469-7fff-fe15-bc14-01b7671bdc41"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">For women over 50, types I and III can have additional benefits besides improving the skin’s appearance.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/06/LisaCurry-Happy-Healthy-You-Happy-Collagen-.jpg" alt="" width="1000" height="667" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Products like Happy Healthy You’s Happy Collagen powder use bovine collagen, which contains types I and III, for maximum benefits for your skin. Image: Supplied</em></p> <p dir="ltr">“Research shows that menopausal women and women suffering from pelvic organ prolapses, vulvovaginal atrophy, genitourinary dysregulation, and painful sex may have significantly reduced levels of collagen type I &amp; III peptides,” Grandi explains. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Type I collagen enhances skin membrane health, wound healing, tissue regeneration, bone, hair, nails, tendons and even your eyes' cornea! Type III is ideal for uterine health, inflammation, cartilage, and cardiovascular integrity. This makes bovine collagen a powerful healing resource for women over 50.”</p> <p dir="ltr">If you are considering introducing collagen supplements into your diet, it’s recommended you seek the advice of a medical professional first.</p> <p dir="ltr">Grandi also advises to add food rich in vitamin C and zinc to “support collagen production and utilisation while taking a collagen supplement”.</p> <p dir="ltr">But, improving your skin health with supplements isn’t just about collagen either, Grandi says.</p> <p dir="ltr">“There is a range of other factors such as digestion, oxidation and stress that need to be addressed in a formula as well.” </p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-b41e82fc-7fff-24db-38e1-f59a2d27ec88"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

Body

Lifestyle

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Pretty in Pink: Vera Wang marks 73rd birthday with “unreal” looks

<p dir="ltr">Fashion icon Vera Wang has celebrated her 73rd birthday in style, stunning fans with her age-defying looks during her pink, floral-themed celebration.</p> <p dir="ltr">Wang’s Enchanted Garden-themed party was replete with flowers, trees filled with twinkling fairy lights, a gravity-defying cake covered in pink roses, and karaoke.</p> <p dir="ltr">Unsurprisingly, the fashion designer stunned in two outfits: a pink satin princess dress split down the middle to show matching floral shorts, and a pink sequined mini skirt and matching boob tube, with both looks completed with silver stilettos, necklaces with pink jewels, and a pink-and-silver crown.</p> <p dir="ltr">The party appeared to be inspired by Wang’s new Rosé Prosecco, which she posed with throughout the night.</p> <p dir="ltr">Her pomeranian, Lola “the party princess”, also made an appearance among the slew of photos Wang shared with fans on social media.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Celebrating my Bday with CAKES and KARAOKE….. and my new ROSÉ PROSECCO!!!!!!,” she captioned the series of posts.</p> <p dir="ltr">Wang’s friends and a host of fans flooded the posts with well-wishes for the bridal designer, with many sharing their disbelief over her age.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Happy birthday love!! 💗” fashion designer Lisa Perry wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Happy Birthday Fellow Cancer Queen ♋✨💗,” model Theodora ‘Teddy’ Quinlaven commented.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Happy birthday beautiful, you are truly inspirational to us older women,” a fan said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The way you look is unreal! Fabulous!” another added.</p> <p dir="ltr">“You look so beautiful and wearing my favourite colour! Have a great one!” a third wrote.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-d54eb279-7fff-c1e5-80d1-5184703a747e"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: @verawang (Instagram)</em></p>

Beauty & Style

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How to make your house and garden more tranquil – tips from an acoustics expert

<p>Many of us have been spending more time at home than ever before, and chances are unless you live by yourself in the middle of nowhere, at some point unwanted noise will have infiltrated your lockdown.</p> <p>Whether it’s cars passing nearby, a neighbour’s blaring music or the constant drone of a lawnmower, the trouble with sound is that – unlike light – it can be hard to block out completely. This is because it’s <a href="https://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/sound/u11l1c.cfm">a pressure wave</a> in air that readily diffracts around objects and easily passes through porous obstacles such as trees and shrubs. </p> <p>The wind and temperature gradient in the atmosphere also <a href="https://morgridge.org/blue-sky/how-do-temperature-and-wind-affect-traffic-noise/">affects transmission</a>of noise. This is why we may hear the noise from a distant motorway if the wind is blowing from that direction – or think the motorway has moved to the bottom of the garden on a cold still morning when there is a temperature inversion – this is when there are warmer layers of air above colder ones.</p> <p>Another issue with sound is that people living in a quiet area may be more seriously disturbed by the odd passing vehicle than people living in an area where traffic noise is more constant.</p> <div data-id="17"> </div> <h2>Creating quiet</h2> <p>Reducing noise at source is usually the best course of action. Ideally, many of us would like to reduce the number of noisy vehicles passing our homes and gardens but unfortunately, we can’t control this. In the case of road traffic, reducing the speed limit would help – as would a smoother road surface or, better still, a surface that absorbs sound such as porous asphalt. These are all jobs for the highway authority – but they may have more pressing claims on their budgets.</p> <p>There are, however, things you can do around your house and garden to make things a little more peaceful. A barrier such as a close boarded fence, earth mound or wall close to the road should help – but they will have to be long enough and high enough to have much effect.</p> <p>Much depends on where the house is in relation to the road. The aim would be to position any barrier so that the road is not in view from any exposed window or part of the garden.</p> <p>If noise can’t be controlled over the whole garden then consider making a tranquil zone in part of the garden where you can relax. This might involve building a wall or fence around part of the area to block the major sources of noise while not forgetting that the house itself can act as an effective barrier. </p> <p><a href="https://bradscholars.brad.ac.uk/handle/10454/11576">A water feature</a> may also help to mask residual noise. The more natural sounding this is the better – but make sure it’s not too noisy, as this may be disturbing to you or your neighbours.</p> <h2>Natural features</h2> <p>Interestingly our <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-tranquil-spaces-can-help-people-feel-calm-and-relaxed-in-cities-82358">perception of tranquillity</a> is shaped not only by the sounds we hear but also what we see. </p> <p>A study involving brain scans has shown that we process auditory information differently <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20600971/">depending on the scene in view</a>. The noise of a sandy beach and motorway at distance are quite similar, but research has shown that if using the same sound recording while showing a beach scene (as opposed to a motorway scene) to volunteers in an MRI scanner, the resulting brain patterns differ significantly. The rated tranquillity also differs significantly.</p> <p>In fact, <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273366914_Tranquillity_and_soundscapes_in_urban_green_spaces-predicted_and_actual_assessments_from_a_questionnaire_survey">research on tranquility has shown</a> that the rated tranquillity of a place depends on both the percentage of natural features – such as greenery, rock, sand and water – in view and the level of man-made noise. </p> <p>This means there is a trade-off in the sense that if you cannot control the noise, the perceived tranquillity improves if the amount of greenery or water in view increases. This is worth bearing in mind when creating a tranquil garden space.</p> <h2>Finding tranquillity indoors</h2> <p>Inside the home, some of the same principles apply. Reduce sources of noise by installing double glazing to windows and doors and add a thicker insulation layer in the loft to control aircraft noise.</p> <p>If it proves difficult to control noise in the bedroom then think about changing rooms so that you sleep on the non-traffic side of the house. Another thought is to include pictures of nature as wall art – the bigger the better – as <a href="https://core.ac.uk/display/76945458?source=2">research has shown</a> that installing pictures of nature scenes on the walls, as well as playing relaxing sea sounds as background music, can significantly improve people’s experiences of tranquillity and anxiety in a doctor’s waiting room.</p> <p>Many of us have enjoyed listening to the birds more often with the reduced traffic levels of lockdown. It would be nice to think the “new normal” would include some of these gains. Hopefully people will realise that many of the journeys they make by car are not strictly necessary. And it’s important not to forget that nature is around us all the time – if only we just take a moment to stop and listen.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-make-your-house-and-garden-more-tranquil-tips-from-an-acoustics-expert-140208" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

Home & Garden

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Prince Charles' first meeting with granddaughter Lilibet was "very emotional"

<p>During the celebrations of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, Prince Charles was often spotted in grandpa mode with Prince William and Kate's three children. </p> <p>According to royal aides, the Duke of Wales also spent quality time with his other grandkids, Archie and Lilibet, as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visited the UK for the milestone celebrations. </p> <p>One of Prince Charles' closest royal aides said the 73-year-old's first meeting with his one-year-old granddaughter was "very emotional".</p> <p>"It was a fantastic visit and of course the Prince was delighted to see his grandson and meet his granddaughter for the first time," the source told UK reporters.</p> <p>"It was fantastic to see them. It was wonderful to have them back in Britain, the Prince [Charles] and the Duchess [of Cornwall] were absolutely thrilled to see them," they added of seeing the Sussexes.</p> <p>"The Prince of course hasn't seen his grandson Archie for a bit of time and so it was very, very, very special to have some time with him. He hadn't met Lilibet, his granddaughter, and so to meet her for the first time was I think very emotional, a very wonderful thing."</p> <p>Lilibet, who was born in Los Angeles on June 4th 2021, also met the Queen, her namesake, during the Sussexes first trip to the UK in some time. </p> <p>It is believed the Lilibet was introduce to Her Majesty on June 2nd following the Trooping the Colour event to kick off the four-day celebrations. </p> <p>Lili also celebrated her first birthday during her first visit to the UK, with photos from a party at Frogmore Cottage being released by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their return to the US after the short trip.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / Instagram </em></p>

Family & Pets

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14 smart small yard landscaping ideas

<p><strong>Leave some space</strong></p> <p>When considering landscaping ideas for a small yard, remember to leave space. It’s easy to overcrowd things and inadvertently create a claustrophobic effect. Here, a seating area has a clear view to the garden, courtesy of a small patch of grass and some unobstructed hardscaping.</p> <p><strong>Layered landscape</strong></p> <p>An easy backyard idea for small yards is to create a layered landscape – just like in nature. Think of a forest with low groundcovers, ferns, shade-tolerant understory shrubs and trees, and the tall overhead trees. You can do the same thing with your small yard landscaping! Use things like groundcovers, bulbs and crevice plants to create a beautiful layered landscape, while maximising your flower bed space!</p> <p><strong>Walls and fences</strong></p> <p>Sure, you want your small yard landscaping to include privacy, so why not utilise surrounding structures like walls and fences? For this small yard idea, vines are the perfect answer – just be sure to pick one that’s not invasive or a garden thug.</p> <p><strong>Vertical gardens</strong></p> <p>A popular trend in small yard ideas is to garden vertically. There are many off-the-shelf products that allow you to grow plants vertically, such as the wall planters seen here. Or you can create something yourself. Either way it creates gardening space out of thin air.</p> <p><strong>Hanging planters</strong></p> <p>Another clever way to maximise space is with hanging planters.</p> <p><strong>Window boxes</strong></p> <p>A more traditional way of maximising gardening space is with window boxes. Naturally, you can attach them beneath your windows. But other small yard ideas include placing them on a porch, around the perimeter of a patio, or hanging from a deck railing.</p> <p><strong>Dwarf plants</strong></p> <p>Growers are continually introducing new cultivars with special characteristics. One of those is a dwarf habit. When considering landscaping ideas, you can grow a tree that matures at 30cm or 25 metres. When you choose the former, you end up with enough space to add companion plants.</p> <p><strong>Columnar plants</strong></p> <p>While you’re considering size and growth characteristics, think about habit as well. Columnar plants, such as this upright pear cultivar, grow straight up. There’s more room to the side, and more light at the bottom for a greater variety of plants. And yet you still get the blooms and the fruit. Win-win!</p> <p><strong>Trailing plants</strong></p> <p>Here’s another shape that will help when looking for landscaping ideas for a small yard. You can run trailing plants down the side of a planter, as seen here, or let them trail from the top of a wall. Either way maximises space and softens a hard surface to help it blend into the landscape.</p> <p><strong>Crevice plants</strong></p> <p>Crevices are ubiquitous to most gardens, so you might as well make use of them. Sedum and other succulents such as Sempervivum are perfect for these spots, which are often on the lean and dry side. They make the space prettier and the hard surfaces less imposing.</p> <p><strong>Narrow spots</strong></p> <p>Along with crevices, most gardens have narrow strips that lack soil and moisture. Rather than fighting the conditions, work with them. One of the small yard ideas you can implement is to plant some tough, vining groundcovers and let them sprawl over the area. Use ivy in shady areas, succulents in sunny spots. A mulch of gravel is a nice low-maintenance addition that keeps plant foliage clean.</p> <p><strong>Containers</strong></p> <p>Let’s not forget containers when thinking about small yard landscaping. They’re more popular than ever – and not just because they maximise gardening space. Containers add greatly to a garden’s character. They allow you to show off your favourite plants. And if you coordinate their colour and arrange them in odd numbers, you create a dashing focal point.</p> <p><strong>Lawn substitute</strong></p> <p>As you saw earlier, a small lawn can be helpful to a small-space garden because it opens up the area and makes it feel less claustrophobic. Well, if you’re not going to be walking on the lawn all the time, you might consider substituting a groundcover. You not only avoid mowing, you also integrate the area into the landscape. With a groundcover, your lawn becomes the garden.</p> <p><strong>Bonsai and miniature garden</strong></p> <p>The smallest yard in the world has room for a garden when the plants are miniaturised. Examples include bonsai, miniature fairy gardens and terrariums. Although usually kept indoors in cold climates, they can holiday outside for the summer in a protected location where they’re not exposed to too much direct sunlight.</p> <p><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-10109d2b-7fff-55c9-ef0b-3a37aaae3da9">Written by Luke Miller. This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/food-home-garden/gardening-tips/14-smart-small-yard-landscaping-ideas" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here’s our best subscription offer.</a></span></em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

Home & Garden

Finance

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Guy Sebastian speaks out after court victory

<p>A judge has warned Guy Sebastian’s former manager Titus day, he is facing a full time prison sentence.</p> <p>However, he is allowed to roam free for the time being as the singer claims he is “heartbroken over the depth of betrayal and dishonestly.”</p> <p>Titus Day will have to surrender his passport after being convicted of 34 charges including the fraudulent embezzlement of over $640,000 of the famed singers earnings.</p> <p>Guy spoke out about the jury’s guilty verdict, saying he felt grateful the “painful chapter” of his life is “finally over.</p> <p>“I’m finding it very difficult to put into words how I feel about all of this right now,” Sebastian wrote on social media.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cfc8xxEvfSj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cfc8xxEvfSj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by guysebastian (@guysebastian)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“It was not only shocking but also heartbreaking to discover the depth of betrayal and dishonesty that I uncovered over these last four plus years.</p> <p>“There’s nothing more important than trust in an artist/manager relationship. The thing is, Titus was more than just my manager, he was one of my closest mates.”</p> <p>Sebastian said he tried everything to get “honest explanations” for the money he discovered had been missing, but the requests were met with “the most outrageous and unfounded accusations”.</p> <p>He claimed Mr Day tried to “tarnish” his reputation and “dissuade him” from pursuing justice.</p> <p>Day faced a gruelling seven-week trial after he was accused of embezzling nearly $900,000 allegedly owed to the singer in the form of music royalties, performance fees and ambassador payments.</p> <p>The jury heard a mountain of evidence from witnesses, including Sebastian, his wife Jules, bookkeepers and the police officer in charge of the investigation before making their determination.</p> <p>On Friday the jury found him guilty and convicted him on 34 of the 47 charges. He was found not guilty of 13 charges.</p> <p>Crown prosecutor David Morters SC on Friday told the court he was applying for Day to go straight to prison on the basis he was found guilty of so many charges, the quantity of money they involve and the period of which they were committed.</p> <p>“The offender has been found guilty of 34 of 47 counts, the total value is about $648,000...each offence can carry a maximum penalty of prison,” Mr Morters told the court.</p> <p>“The accused was in a position of trust over four years.”</p> <p>Day’s defence barrister Dominic Toomey told Judge Timothy Gartelmann SC he would have to be “positively satisfied” Day would definitely go to prison after undergoing a sentence hearing.</p> <p>Judge Gartelmann told the court while Day is “likely” to be sentenced to full-time imprisonment, he is not “positively satisfied” of the certainty due to the limited evidence before the court.</p> <p>“The application must be refused. However, it must be understood that the determination I have made today does not mean the accused will not be sentenced to full time imprisonment nor does it mean it is unlikely.</p> <p>“The determination whether a sentence of imprisonment is appropriate will be made following a sentence proceedings in due course.”</p> <p>Day must surrender his passport to the court and report to police at Waverley Police Station once a week.</p> <p><em>Images: Nine News</em></p>

Legal

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Woman accused of killing pro cyclist captured in Costa Rica

<p>The woman accused of <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/news/news/pro-cyclist-shot-dead-at-25-suspect-at-large" target="_blank" rel="noopener">fatally shooting</a> pro cyclist Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson, 25, has been caught by police in Costa Rica after 43 days on the run. </p> <p>Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, 34, was found at a hostel on Santa Teresa Beach in Provincia de Puntarenas on Wednesday, the Marshals Office said in a news release, as they confirmed she will be deported and returned to the US.</p> <p>Armstrong was wanted for the shooting of Wilson, who had previously dated Armstrong's boyfriend — 35-year-old professional cyclist Colin Strickland — in what investigators believe may have been a violent act of romantic jealousy.</p> <p>The shooting took place outside a friend's home in Austin, Texas, on May 11th. </p> <p>After a week in hiding, Armstrong used a fraudulent passport to fly from New Jersey to Costa Rica, according to the US Marshals Office. </p> <p>Wilson’s family is still mourning the loss of their “beautiful daughter and sister,” who excelled as a biker and skier.</p> <p>“Moriah was a talented, kind, and caring young woman. Her life was taken from her before she had the opportunity to achieve everything she dreamed of,” the family said.</p> <p>Moriah was at the top of her game in the relatively new sport of gravel racing, and was just days from participating in the Gravel Locos bike race at the time of her death. </p> <p>The day after the race, an event organiser remembered her on Facebook as a “role model, a shy compassionate person, a spirited tactical racer and a competitor that genuinely cared about those competing against you.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram / US Marshals Office</em></p>

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How to make a budget, according to money experts

<h2>What is a budget?</h2> <p>Creating a budget and sticking to it is one of the first steps to becoming financially independent. But what is a budget? In general, your budget is your spending plan (for the week, the month, the year, etc.) that is based on how much money you bring in, and how much money you spend. One way to budget your money is to start with setting a goal. Read on for more tips for making a budget and sticking to it.</p> <p> </p> <div> </div> <p> </p> <h2>Why budget?</h2> <p>“To accomplish any goal in life, it’s all about discipline,” counsels Brian Saranovitz, president of Your Retirement Advisor. “Your financial life is no different.”</p> <p>In the process of building financial discipline in your life, budgeting is the very first step. In every other aspect of personal finance – from shopping to saving to investing to buying a home to retirement planning – your success will depend on your ability to create a budget… and stick to it!</p> <p>“There is a magic about money,” says financial educator, Tiffany Aliche. “When money is not planned for, tracked, and kept record of, it literally disappears.” Here’s a simple, step-by-step approach to how to make a budget.</p> <p> </p> <div> </div> <p> </p> <h2>How to make a budget step 1: set your goal</h2> <p>Do you want to save for a deposit on a home? Or a beach holiday? Or simply start saving each month for emergencies? Whatever your goal is, it’s wise first to visualise the results of your budget and write it down. By imagining the results and creating a mental picture, you’re much more likely to stick to your budget and achieve your desired outcome.</p> <p> </p> <div> </div> <p> </p> <h2>How to make a budget step 2: total your monthly income</h2> <p>Start by identifying your current, monthly, post-tax income – which is easier than it sounds: simply add up all of your sources of income. Besides your salary, don’t forget commissions and bonuses, interest, spousal or child support, dividends, freelance income, or any other cash you have flowing in. Write it all down, whether by hand or on a smartphone or computer. If you’re comfortable with a spreadsheet, then go ahead and use one to record your data.</p> <p> </p> <div> </div> <p> </p> <h2>How to make a budget step 3: determine your monthly expenses</h2> <p>On the same page, write down all of your monthly expenses. Make sure to include discretionary expenses (eg entertainment, travel, hobbies) as well as fixed expenses (eg housing, food, utilities, transportation, debt payments). When in doubt, it’s best to overestimate expenses.</p> <p>Says Saranovitz, “It’s amazing how much your expenses add up. By simply taking the time to analyse and categorise your spending, you’ll have a much better sense of ALL your spending. Many people are surprised to find out how much more they’re spending than they thought.” Don’t overlook the little things that eat away at your money like fees and monthly subscriptions.</p> <p>For utilities and other bills that vary, Aliche suggests, “To figure out an average amount of usage, take the last six to twelve months of each bill, add them up, and divide by how many months you have. Many companies will keep your old bills online, so they’re easy to find.”</p> <p> </p> <div> </div> <p> </p> <h2>How to make a budget step 4: are you living within your means?</h2> <p>Next, you’ll want to compare the totals. Are you living beyond your means? Are you spending more than you earn? Simply subtract your monthly expenses from your post-tax income. If the result is a negative number, jump to the next slide.</p> <p>If the result is positive – congratulations! You are living within your means.</p> <p>The first thing you should do with your excess is to set up an emergency fund, which experts say should be three to six months of salary. A quick way to accumulate emergency funds is to earmark a percentage of your pay each pay period. When you reach your goal, don’t stop adding money; the more you have saved, the better off you’ll be. You could also use the extra to:</p> <p>Pay down debt.</p> <p>Add to your retirement fund.</p> <p>Invest it. There are a number of online tools to help you choose some low-cost investment vehicles or work with a financial advisor to maximise your allocation strategy.</p> <p>Donate to your favourite charity. The world is full of people who find motivation in doing good for those less fortunate.</p> <p>Spend it – that big-screen TV isn’t going to buy itself – but only when you’re satisfied with all of the above options. And make sure you shop around for the best deal.</p> <p> </p> <div> </div> <p> </p> <h2>How to make a budget step 5: got a negative number?</h2> <p>You’re not living within your means, and you need to make changes. “Look at your discretionary expenses to identify where you can cut back your spending,” advises Saranovitz, who advises clients across the country. “While you must eat and keep the lights on and the rent paid, you can try and cut down on your non-discretionary expenses. And there’s always room to cut the discretionary expenses as well.”</p> <p>Can you get a side hustle? Cut your subscription to streaming services? Sell some of the stuff sitting in your garage? Move in with a relative?</p> <p>Getting a credit card or another credit card is not a solution to expenses that are greater than your income. The fees and interest on credit cards can be a savings killer. However, a balance transfer card could help cut expenses while you’re digging yourself out of a hole.</p> <p> </p> <div> </div> <p> </p> <h2>How to make a budget step 6: commit to yourself – and stick to it</h2> <p>In a recent banks survey, 54 per cent of millennials reported having a budget and 73 per cent of those stick to their budget most or all of the time. Read your vision/goal at least once a week to keep yourself motivated. Budgeting is hard because we’re subjected to the world of media and advertising with shiny things and happy people using those things. “One way I’ve reduced my spending on clothing, for example, I just don’t go to the mall or retail stores as much,” reveals retirement educator Lynn Toomey. “To reduce the grocery bill, I place my order online and therefore reduce the number of impromptu (and unnecessary) items in my shopping cart. Plus, I use the time I saved navigating the grocery store for more enjoyable endeavours.”</p> <p>A budget can also be a fun way to test yourself. Make it a competition with yourself. While a budget might sound stressful, it’s a great way to reduce your stress because, done properly, you’ll be living within your means. Imagine how good you’ll feel depositing the extra money into a savings account!</p> <p> </p> <div> </div> <p> </p> <h2>How to make a budget step 7: having trouble? Get help!</h2> <p>Plenty of online tools and smartphone apps can help you stick to a budget, including Mint and YNAB (You Need A Budget). MoneyTips.com offers free budgeting advice, while Tiffany Aliche offers templates for tracking your budget.</p> <p>If you prefer the human touch, enlist the aid of an accountability partner. He or she could be your spouse, a friend, or a financial advisor who helps you stick to your budget. Many people think they can’t afford an advisor, but the value of having one is undeniable. Says Saranovitz, “Talk to a few financial advisors to see who makes you feel comfortable at a price you can afford. Most will hold an introductory meeting at no charge.”</p> <p> </p> <div> </div> <p> </p> <h2>How to make a budget step 8: review prior results</h2> <p>How often you check your progress, your spending and your savings is an individual decision. While we believe life is to be lived, we also believe that it can be lived a bit more responsibly with an eye on the future, when you’re no longer able to work in retirement. Says Toomey, “I’ve seen people who check their family’s accounts every day, which I believe borders on obsession. I feel it’s healthier to check your spending once a week, and then check on your progress against your goals once a month.” Review your cash reserve either annually or when your financial situation changes. Don’t stop budgeting once you reach retirement.</p> <p> </p> <div> </div> <p> </p> <h2>How to make a budget step 9: anticipate changes</h2> <p>The one guarantee in life is that nothing stays the same. It’s important in your plan to outline the potential life changes that you’ll want to budget for. Consider events such as:</p> <p>Having a baby</p> <p>Kids going to daycare, school or university</p> <p>New auto loan or mortgage</p> <p>Getting a raise</p> <p>Taking on a roommate</p> <p>Helping elderly parents</p> <p>Helping adult children</p> <p> </p> <div> </div> <p> </p> <h2>How to make a budget step 10: re-set goals</h2> <p>With life’s changes, sometimes your goals have to change as well. With a baby on the way, plans for a holiday may have to give way to renting a bigger apartment. If you have a spouse, make sure that you have this conversation together and determine your joint priorities. Get on the same page with significant decisions such as financing your kids’ education, helping out a parent in need, or taking on additional debt.</p> <p> </p> <div> </div> <p> </p> <h2>How to make a budget step 11: adjust the budget</h2> <p>If reality throws you more than you think you can handle, just take a deep breath, relax and reset. It’s more about consistency than the ups and downs. Consistent budgeters and savers do much better over the long term than those who are in and out of the commitment. It’s the same with exercising and eating right: consistency is king.</p> <p> </p> <div> </div> <p> </p> <h2>How to make a budget step 12: if all else fails, try the ‘Pay Yourself First’ budget</h2> <p>Write down your post-tax income and your realistic savings goals. Then, when you collect your income, take the savings you’ve chosen and bank or invest it. Simply spend what’s left over. Adjusting your life to fit your savings goal is another way to make the budgeting process work.</p> <p>Says Aliche, “If you’re not ready for a full set of discipline, try the ‘Pay Yourself First’ budget. I remember when I had no money, just setting aside $5 in a savings account every pay period helped. I wanted to get out of the thought of ‘I don’t have.’ I had to acknowledge it is about habits, not necessarily amounts. You have to start somewhere. Then I set aside more as I made more.”</p> <p> </p> <div> </div> <p> </p> <h2>Love yourself!</h2> <p>It’s OK to treat yourself every once in a while… as long as you have a plan to make up the shortfall (and go through with it!). Who doesn’t like being naughty every once in a while? Says Saranovitz, “It all comes down to determining the priorities in your life and what will make you happy. We suggest that going without a few shiny things and being a better penny pincher, or budgeter, or saver, will go a long way toward happiness, too. Don’t give in to the ‘BUY ME, SPEND MORE, TAKE MORE CREDIT’ messaging that plagues our society.”</p> <p>“I named my future self ‘Wanda,’ who is me at 80,” says Aliche. “I think about her a lot. You wouldn’t put your grandma to work. Think about having to put yourself to work when you’re 80. You should do what you can now to make sure your 80-year-old self doesn’t have to work!”</p> <p> </p> <div> </div> <p> </p> <h2>Don’t let money sour your relationship</h2> <p>If you’re in a relationship, open and honest communication around money is the best policy. For couples, a recent survey shows finances were a greater source of relationship tension than sex, according to 68 per cent of respondents. On the flip side, a 2015 Money magazine poll found that across the generations, couples that have greater financial trust in each other and fewer money conflicts reported having better sex lives. Who knew budgets could be so sexy?</p> <p>If you’re in a relationship, both you and your significant other should each have some money to spend any way you want, no matter how small and without guilt. Make sure to budget for this ‘play pay,’ and enjoy it!</p> <p><em><strong>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/money/how-to-make-a-budget-according-to-money-experts" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader’s Digest</a>.</strong></em></p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Super rare car hidden in barn for 40 years set to sell for huge sum

<p>A rare BMW 507 that has spent nearly half a century sitting inside a garage has received a fresh breath of life.</p> <p>The 1957 Series II Roadster will go under the gavel at the Bonhams Audrain Concours action on the 30th of September, expecting to sell for between $1.8-$2.2 million.</p> <p>The 507 is widely considered the most collectible and coveted BMW to date. The German marque made only 252 examples of the flagship sports car throughout the late ‘50s.</p> <p>The glamorous convertible’s exclusivity (and price tag) attracted only the most VIP customers. Notable owners include Elvis and King Constantine II.</p> <p>This particular car was delivered new to Caracas, Venezuela. It was fitted with sought-after Rudge knock-off wheels and an optional hard top. As standard, the 507 was equipped with a V-8 engine and 4-speed ZF manual transmission.</p> <p>The antique piece eventually made its way to Montreal, Canada, and was snapped up by the current owner’s late father in 1979. It was driven straight into a suburban garage in Philadelphia and has been sitting there for the past 43 years. According to the auction house, the two-door was actually part of a fleet of 507s kept by the family and was only started up very occasionally.</p> <p>As for the condition, the BMW was treated to a makeover in the early ‘70s and repainted in Pontiac Bright Blue Metallic. Inside the original leather interior has what Bonhams calls a “lived-in” appearance.</p> <p>You can check out the car below:</p> <p><em>Images: Bonham</em></p>

Money & Banking

Entertainment

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Melbourne artist charged over Shane Warne memorial

<p dir="ltr">A Melbourne street artist has been charged over painting a mural of the late cricket legend Shane Warne on the side of an empty house.</p> <p dir="ltr">Jarrod Grech spent over 30 hours painting the mural after Warne’s sudden death in March in an attempt to lift community spirit.  </p> <p dir="ltr">The artist had done a number of paintings on the same wall of an empty house in Carlton over the past three years, as had many other street artists in the area. </p> <p dir="ltr">Despite the mural being appreciated by locals, Grech has now been charged by police with “intentionally and without lawful excuse” damaging property by not obtaining the homeowner’s permission.</p> <p dir="ltr">Grech said he painted the mural purely as a sign of respect to Shane Warne and his family.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This is my way of expressing loss,” he told <a href="https://7news.com.au/news/vic/melbourne-street-artist-charged-over-shane-warne-mural-c-7345584">7News</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">Even Warne’s daughter Summer expressed her love and admiration of the mural as she posted it on Instagram </p> <p dir="ltr">“Looks unreal, did a bloody great job,” she wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He would love it too.”</p> <p dir="ltr">After seeing Summer’s reaction, Grech said having her approval of his art meant the world to him. </p> <p dir="ltr">“It makes me feel a lot better about the charges, like it makes it feel like it’s worth doing to make them happy,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Street art advocate Dean Sunshine, whose own factory acts as an outdoor gallery for artists, said the charges against Grech are hypocritical.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We live in Melbourne which prides itself on a huge street art scene, and people are doing murals all over town so I just couldn’t believe it,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Instagram</em></p>

Art

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Return of the dream team: Cameron Diaz’s huge announcement

<p dir="ltr">Beloved Hollywood actress Cameron Diaz is set for a massive comeback to our screens after retiring in 2014. </p> <p dir="ltr">The <em>Charlie’s Angels</em> star will star alongside Jamie Foxx in a Netflix movie called <em>Back in Action</em>. </p> <p dir="ltr">Foxx announced the exciting news on Twitter in the form of a three-way phone call between himself, Diaz and NFL player Tom Brady.</p> <p dir="ltr">Brady, who earlier in the year announced his retirement from the game but retracted it a few weeks later, was advising an “anxious” Diaz on how to come back into the spotlight. </p> <p dir="ltr">Foxx and Diaz have a quick chat where he is asking how she’s feeling, trying to calm her nerves before surprising her with Brady on the other line. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I was talking to Jamie and he told me you need a few tips on how to un-retire. I’m relatively successful at un-retiring,” Brady says to a laughing Diaz.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Honestly, exactly what I needed,” Diaz responds.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Cameron I hope you aren’t mad I recorded this, but no turning back now. Had to call in the GOAT to bring back another GOAT. <a href="https://twitter.com/CameronDiaz?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CameronDiaz</a> and I are BACK IN ACTION - our new movie with <a href="https://twitter.com/NetflixFilm?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NetflixFilm</a>. Production starting later this year!! 🦊🐐 <a href="https://t.co/vyaGrUmbWb">pic.twitter.com/vyaGrUmbWb</a></p> <p>— Jamie Foxx (@iamjamiefoxx) <a href="https://twitter.com/iamjamiefoxx/status/1542190656386236416?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 29, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Foxx then jumps in to say he will leave them to it before the line ends. </p> <p dir="ltr">There is not much yet known about the movie, but it is expected that comedian and fellow actor Seth Rogan will be directing it. </p> <p dir="ltr">This also won’t be the first time Diaz and Foxx appeared alongside each other with the pair starring in <em>Annie</em> (2014) and <em>Any Given Sunday</em> (1999).</p> <p dir="ltr">Diaz took a break from acting in 2014, a year before marrying rocker Benji Madden of Good Charlotte.</p> <p dir="ltr">The couple have one child together, Raddix Madden who was born in December 2019.</p> <p dir="ltr">After becoming a mother, Diaz did a small number of interviews speaking about whether or not she could get back into acting. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Will I ever make a movie again? I’m not looking to, but will I? I don’t know. I have no idea,” Diaz previously said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Maybe, never say never, but I couldn’t imagine being a mum now where I’m at as a mother with my child at her first year to have to be on a movie set that takes 14 hours, 16 hours of my day away from my child.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Getty </em></p>

Movies

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Facial recognition is on the rise – but the law is lagging a long way behind

<p>Private companies and public authorities are quietly using facial recognition systems around Australia.</p> <p>Despite the growing use of this controversial technology, there is little in the way of specific regulations and guidelines to govern its use.</p> <p><strong>Spying on shoppers</strong></p> <p>We were reminded of this fact recently when consumer advocates at CHOICE <a href="https://www.choice.com.au/consumers-and-data/data-collection-and-use/how-your-data-is-used/articles/kmart-bunnings-and-the-good-guys-using-facial-recognition-technology-in-store" target="_blank" rel="noopener">revealed</a> that major retailers in Australia are using the technology to identify people claimed to be thieves and troublemakers.</p> <p>There is no dispute about the goal of reducing harm and theft. But there is also little transparency about how this technology is being used.</p> <p>CHOICE found that most people have no idea their faces are being scanned and matched to stored images in a database. Nor do they know how these databases are created, how accurate they are, and how secure the data they collect is.</p> <p>As CHOICE discovered, the notification to customers is inadequate. It comes in the form of small, hard-to-notice signs in some cases. In others, the use of the technology is announced in online notices rarely read by customers.</p> <p>The companies clearly don’t want to draw attention to their use of the technology or to account for how it is being deployed.</p> <p><strong>Police are eager</strong></p> <p>Something similar is happening with the use of the technology by Australian police. Police in New South Wales, for example, have embarked on a “low-volume” <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/jul/01/calls-to-stop-nsw-police-trial-of-national-facial-recognition-system-over-lack-of-legal-safeguards" target="_blank" rel="noopener">trial</a> of a nationwide face-recognition database. This trial took place despite the fact that the enabling legislation for the national database has not yet been passed.</p> <p>In South Australia, controversy over Adelaide’s plans to upgrade its CCTV system with face-recognition capability led the city council to <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-06-22/adelaide-city-council-votes-no-to-facial-recognition-in-cctv/101172924?utm_source=pocket_mylist" target="_blank" rel="noopener">vote</a> not to purchase the necessary software. The council has also asked South Australia Police not to use face-recognition technology until legislation is in place to govern its use.</p> <p>However, SA Police have <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-06-22/adelaide-city-council-votes-no-to-facial-recognition-in-cctv/101172924?utm_source=pocket_mylist" target="_blank" rel="noopener">indicated</a> an interest in using the technology.</p> <p>In a public <a href="https://www.itnews.com.au/news/sa-police-ignore-adelaide-council-plea-for-facial-recognition-ban-on-cctv-581559" target="_blank" rel="noopener">statement</a>, the police described the technology as a potentially useful tool for criminal investigations. The statement also noted:</p> <blockquote> <p>There is no legislative restriction on the use of facial recognition technology in South Australia for investigations.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>A controversial tool</strong></p> <p>Adelaide City Council’s call for regulation is a necessary response to the expanding use of automated facial recognition.</p> <p>This is a powerful technology that promises to fundamentally change our experience of privacy and anonymity. There is already a large gap between the amount of personal information collected about us every day and our own knowledge of how this information is being used, and facial recognition will only make the gap bigger.</p> <p>Recent events suggest a reluctance on the part of retail outlets and public authorities alike to publicise their use of the technology.</p> <p>Although it is seen as a potentially useful tool, it can be a controversial one. A world in which remote cameras can identify and track people as they move through public space seems alarmingly Orwellian.</p> <p>The technology has also been criticised for being invasive and, in some cases, <a href="https://www.marketplace.org/shows/marketplace-tech/bias-in-facial-recognition-isnt-hard-to-discover-but-its-hard-to-get-rid-of/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">biased</a> and inaccurate. In the US, for example, people have already been <a href="https://www.wired.com/story/wrongful-arrests-ai-derailed-3-mens-lives/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">wrongly arrested</a> based on matches made by face-recognition systems.</p> <p><strong>Public pushback</strong></p> <p>There has also been widespread public opposition to the use of the technology in some cities and states in the US, which have gone so far as to impose <a href="https://www.wired.com/story/face-recognition-banned-but-everywhere/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">bans</a> on its use.</p> <p>Surveys show the Australian public have <a href="https://securitybrief.com.au/story/australians-uneasy-about-facial-recognition-tech-report" target="_blank" rel="noopener">concerns</a> about the invasiveness of the technology, but that there is also support for its potential use to increase public safety and security.</p> <p>Facial-recognition technology isn’t going away. It’s likely to become less expensive and more accurate and powerful in the near future. Instead of implementing it piecemeal, under the radar, we need to directly confront both the potential harms and benefits of the technology, and to provide clear rules for its use.</p> <p><strong>What would regulations look like?</strong></p> <p>Last year, then human rights commissioner Ed Santow called for <a href="https://www.itnews.com.au/news/human-rights-commission-calls-for-temporary-ban-on-high-risk-govt-facial-recognition-565173" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a partial ban</a> on the use of facial-recognition technology. He is now developing model legislation for how it might be regulated in Australia.</p> <p>Any regulation of the technology will need to consider both the potential benefits of its use and the risks to privacy rights and civic life.</p> <p>It will also need to consider enforceable standards for its proper use. These could include the right to correct inaccurate information, the need to provide human confirmation for automated forms of identification, and the setting of minimum standards of accuracy.</p> <p>They could also entail improving public consultation and consent around the use of the technology, and a requirement for the performance of systems to be accountable to an independent authority and to those researching the technology.</p> <p>As the reach of facial recognition expands, we need more public and parliamentary debate to develop appropriate regulations for governing its use.</p> <p> </p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mark-andrejevic-567958" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Mark Andrejevic</a>, Professor, School of Media, Film, and Journalism, Monash University, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Monash University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/gavin-jd-smith-195220" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Gavin JD Smith</a>, Associate Professor in Sociology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-national-university-877" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/facial-recognition-is-on-the-rise-but-the-law-is-lagging-a-long-way-behind-185510" target="_blank" rel="noopener">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

Technology

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9 great movies that got rotten reviews when they came out

<h2>Critics missed the mark on these movies</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Before there was the almighty review section of every online shopping site, we looked to movie critics to fill us in on whether a film was worthy of our dollars, eyeballs, and time. A trip to the movie theatre isn’t exactly an inexpensive activity, so the opinions of these cinephiles has been historically a pretty important factor in terms of whether or not we buy those tickets. However, these film buffs don’t always get it right. In fact, some features that were badly panned by critics ended up becoming what we now consider the best movies of all time.</p> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">This surprising list includes some of the most iconic dramas, comedies, romantic movies, and horror films – many of which went on to become blockbusters and award winners. It just goes to show you that sometimes it’s best to trust your gut and take a chance on a big-screen story that looks interesting, regardless of what the so-called experts have to say.</p> <h2>Clueless</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Released: 1995</p> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Director: Amy Heckerling</p> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Critics didn’t love Clueless as much as audiences? As if! The reviews were most certainly mixed on this 1995 comedy, based on Jane Austen’s Emma and starring Alicia Silverstone as Cher, a Beverly Hills teen navigating her social circle and the halls of her wealthy high school. Time magazine critic Richard Corliss had this to say about the film upon its release: “Paying to see Clueless is not really mandatory. You can learn most of the jokes by surfing the TV and newspaper reviews and get a hint of Silverstone’s blithe lustre by watching MTV’s relentless promotions. Taking this Cliffs Notes route, moreover, saves you from sitting through several slow stretches of plot sludge.” Way harsh! Personally, we think Cher and her crew offer a timeless classic that touches on all of the nuances of teenagedom, even if it’s in a glossy, California setting.</p> <h2>Casablanca</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Released: 1942</p> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Director: Michael Curtiz</p> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">An American expat (Humphrey Bogart) running a nightclub in Casablanca, Morocco, must decide whether to help his former lover (Ingrid Bergman) and her husband escape the country during the early days of World War II. Today, when we think of Casablanca we think of romance, intrigue, and the glamorous bygone era of old Hollywood. But at the time, the New Statesman’s critique of the beloved classic said the love story was “horribly wooden” and filled with “clichés everywhere that lower the tension.” To the fans of the film who are offended by such a shoddy review, or to those who are about to discover it for the first time, we say, “Here’s looking at you, kid.” After all, the flick is filled with some of the most memorable movie quotes of all time.</p> <h2>Taken</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Released: 2009</p> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Director: Pierre Morel</p> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Just when he thought he could take it easy, a retired CIA agent (Liam Neeson) finds himself right back in the action and putting himself in danger when he must save his kidnapped daughter. Fans ate up every minute of one of the best action movies of all time, spawning sequels; however, critics were less than thrilled. Roger Ebert only gave the movie two and a half stars, saying it was “preposterous,” although he admitted no one expects these kinds of popcorn thrillers to be plausible. Entertainment Weekly called it a “propulsively outlandish B movie.” Not exactly the words that would inspire someone to plop down the cash for a movie ticket. But moviegoers did, and it turned Neeson into a bona fide action star. For the record, he went on to play the character of Bryan Mills another two times.</p> <h2>The Wizard of Oz</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Released: 1939</p> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Director: Victor Fleming</p> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">A tornado sweeps Dorothy and her dog, Toto, away from Kansas to the magical land of Oz, where she meets new friends and foes in her quest to get home. The Wizard of Oz is one of those classic family movies your kids will love – and that you’ll be excited to watch together for the first time. Today, the flick seems like something spectacular, and the nostalgia involved warms the heart. But Otis Ferguson, film critic for The New Republic, hated the film at the time of its release, writing, “It has dwarfs, music, technicolor, freak characters, and Judy Garland. It can’t be expected to have a sense of humour as well – and as for the light touch of fantasy, it weighs like a pound of fruitcake soaking wet.” But the joke was on him, as the film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture.</p> <h2>The Godfather Part II</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Released: 1974</p> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Director: Francis Ford Coppola</p> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Starring Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro, this movie sequel continues the violent saga of the Corleone family crime syndicate. The original film, which came out two years earlier, won three Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for star Marlon Brando. However, the folks behind some of the most widely read film reviews didn’t have a lot of love for the sequel. Take this tidbit from New York Times columnist Vincent Canby: “It’s a Frankenstein’s monster stitched together from leftover parts. It talks. It moves in fits and starts but it has no mind of its own…. Looking very expensive but spiritually desperate, Part II has the air of a very long, very elaborate revue sketch.” Still, The Godfather Part II won an impressive six Oscars, including Best Picture.</p> <h2>Beaches</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Released: 1988</p> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Director: Garry Marshall</p> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Sure, you have to be prepared to watch Beaches with several boxes of tissues by your side, but the film is an absolutely touching tribute to the ups and downs of friendship and life. It’s an odd-couple sort of relationship, with two very different women (Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey) sharing a friendship from childhood: one from an upper-crust upbringing, and the other with a more down-and-out lifestyle as an aspiring entertainer. But a reviewer for the Los Angeles Times liked the book better, saying, “The movie is missing what the book had reams of: heart, connective tissue, sense, sensibilities, a good ear, and a bad mouth.” While that might be true, Beaches is one of those sad movies that brought audiences together because they loved the story so darn much. And let’s not forget the film’s power ballad ‘The Wind Beneath My Wings,’ belted out by the one and only Divine Miss M.</p> <h2>Titanic</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Released: 1997</p> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Director: James Cameron</p> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">A society girl (Kate Winslet) falls in love with a struggling artist (Leonardo DiCaprio) on the ill-fated ocean liner. That’s about as succinct a plot summary as one can possibly get, but it doesn’t hurt the film’s popularity that we’re still fascinated by the Titanic more than 100 years after the famous ship’s sinking. James Cameron’s sweeping film drew so many people to theatres, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who had not actually gone to see it more than once – and that says a lot about a movie that’s more than three hours long. Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times, however, wasn’t buying what Cameron was selling. ‘What does $200 million buy? The 3-hour-and-14-minute Titanic unhesitatingly answers: not enough,’ he wrote in a review headlined, ‘The Titanic Sinks Again.’ Do you know what we say to that? “I’ll never let go, Jack. I’ll never let go.”</p> <h2>Star Wars</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Released: 1977</p> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Director: George Lucas</p> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">The first-released film in George Lucas’ epic series of films about Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Han Solo, and Yoda in a galaxy far, far away, the first of the Star Wars movies paved the way for blockbusters with tons of merchandise and created a fandom like no other. To this day, the film, which has the subtitle A New Hope, is as important in pop culture as it was back in 1977. At the time, though, critics didn’t have the nicest things to say about the sci-fi feature. Pauline Kael of the New Yorker wrote, ‘It’s an assemblage of spare parts – it has no emotional grip… an epic without a dream.’ Legions of fans beg to differ.</p> <h2>Forrest Gump</h2> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Released: 1994</p> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">Director: Robert Zemeckis</p> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;">A kind-hearted boy from Alabama (Tom Hanks) falls in love with his best friend, Jenny (Robin Wright), and witnesses important events of the 20th century. Forrest Gump gave us some of the most memorable scenes and movie lines in film history, including the infamous “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” Today, there’s even a Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurant chain, whose name is derived from the business Forrest and his bestie cooked up. But although it was loved by fans, it wasn’t necessarily loved by critics. Entertainment Weekly‘s Mark Harris had this to say about it: “It is…glib, shallow, and monotonous, a movie that spends so much time sanctifying its hero that, despite his ‘innocence,’ he ends up seeming about as vulnerable as Superman.”</p> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;"><strong><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/entertainment/23-great-movies-that-got-rotten-reviews-when-they-came-out" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>.</em></strong></p> <p style="font-size: medium; font-weight: 400;"><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Movies

Property

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Household appliances that use the most energy

<p dir="ltr">As the colder months are well and truly settling in, a lot of us are relying on our various devices and appliances to make winter a little easier. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, as energy bills continue to rise, it’s worth being aware of things in our home that leech more electricity than others and therefore drive our electricity bills even higher. </p> <p dir="ltr">With general household appliances being responsible for more than 30% of your energy consumption, it's reflecting on your daily usage habits of appliances, and making any substitutes where you can. </p> <p dir="ltr">One of the main energy drains in most households are <strong>tumble dryers</strong>. </p> <p dir="ltr">While they are certainly a convenient purchase, dryers can drastically increase your electricity bill, as regularly using your clothes dryer can cost you anywhere from $100-$650 a year.</p> <p dir="ltr">To cut down the costs of your dryer, only tumble dry your clothes when absolutely necessary, which is admittedly a lot easier said than done in winter. </p> <p dir="ltr">If you can hang out your clothes to dry them, take advantage of this option. </p> <p dir="ltr">Also, make sure you turn off your tumble dryer at the powerpoint when it’s not in use, as some dryers can still use energy even when they’re not being used. </p> <p dir="ltr">Another huge power drain is <strong>fridges</strong>, as they are in use 24 hours a day.</p> <p dir="ltr">As we can’t go without a fridge, and can’t unplug it when it’s not in use (because it's always in use), it's important to pick the right fridge for your needs. </p> <p dir="ltr">Choosing a smaller fridge can help cut some electricity costs, as bigger units use more power to keep on. </p> <p dir="ltr">Also, look for the energy efficient stickers on fridges when making your purchase and decide accordingly. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Air conditioning units</strong> and <strong>heaters</strong> can also contribute to almost 40% of your total energy bill, especially in times of extreme weather. </p> <p dir="ltr">For the sake of your electricity bill, it's best to limit the use of these appliances where you can and stay warm in other ways. Think electric blankets, cups of tea and only the cosiest slippers. </p> <p dir="ltr">And again, looking out for energy efficient stickers on these appliances when you’re buying them will help you save big bucks on your bills. </p> <p dir="ltr">Other smaller appliances such as <strong>TVs</strong>, <strong>computer monitors</strong> and even <strong>kettles</strong> are notorious for passively draining the electricity when they’re not being used. </p> <p dir="ltr">In order to prevent this accumulative energy drain, be sure to switch off these appliances at the powerpoint when you’re not using them, and your next electricity bill will thank you. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Home Hints & Tips

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"Walk the rooms": Inside the house that Johnny Cash built

<p>Johnny Cash's former home has hit the market, with the California property expected to sell for up to $1.8 million.</p> <p>Cash, who passed away in 2003 at the age of 71, shared the property with his first wife, Vivian Liberto, and the home is adorned with the relics of Johnny's love for music.</p> <p>The house features a wood-panelled recording studio, wall-mounted turn tables and a country motif living room.</p> <p>The artist reportedly built the 4,500 sq. ft. home in Casitas Springs, California, back in 1961 as an escape from his demanding lifestyle.</p> <p>Johnny and Vivian, along with their three daughters, spent six years in the homestead retreat, which was rumoured to be built to Cash's exact wishes.</p> <p>According to the listing agents of Douglas Elliman, "Johnny bought the land and built the house to his exact specifications, walking the rooms and deciding on exact placement and layout. He created a secluded sanctuary, unique to this rural small-town enclave. Longtime locals recount stories of Johnny setting up speakers on the hillside outside the house and playing concerts for the townspeople down below."</p> <p>Inside the five bedroom home, most rooms remain original to Johnny and Vivian's vision, with painted ceilings featuring a touch of glitter, an original wall-mounted turntable and intercom system, and curved brick fireplace in the family room.</p> <p>Despite a modern uplift in the his and hers suites, the property is undeniably Cash's with custom wood built-ins, exposed brick walls, natural wooden beams and a country motif living room.</p> <p>The grounds are equally mesmerizing with live oaks, verdant gardens, a sparkling swimming pool, and corrals and fields ready for horses, pigs, goats, chickens or other rural uses.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Douglas Elliman Realty</em></p>

Real Estate

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Update your home interior with these stylish tips

<p dir="ltr"> If your home needs a revamp, it’s reasonable to think a major change is needed to see any difference - but you might be surprised to find that even the smallest of changes can add some new life into your home’s interiors.</p> <p dir="ltr">Andrea Lucena-Orr, Dulux’s Colour and Communications Manager, says making your home reflect your unique style that just a couple cans of paint could be all you need.</p> <p dir="ltr">“People often underestimate the power of paint as a cost-effective and impactful way to jazz up your space,” she says. “Additionally, colour can be introduced in a number of ways to help tailor and refresh interiors, all whilst keeping the structure and integrity of the home intact!”</p> <p dir="ltr">Paint can be a particularly helpful tool in revitalising your space if you’re renting and can’t knock down walls to your heart’s content, or if you’re looking for change that won’t cost an arm and a leg.</p> <p dir="ltr">To prove just how effective painting can be at revitalising your space, Dulux Trend Forecaster and Stylist, Bree Leech, took to her own rental home with a paintbrush or two.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-2fce05c2-7fff-1636-6c0d-fffb27457698"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">“Our dining room had a feature that didn’t work for us and I’d wanted to fix it for some time!” Bree explains. “It was a neutral space that had a cut-out in the wall so you could look through the adjoining room. The cut-out feature was serving no real purpose and the dining area just felt a bit flat.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/06/home-interiors1.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Before and after Bree Leech revamped her dining room with a lick of paint and some simple changes. </em></p> <p dir="ltr">She solved this problem with fluted wall panels that covered the cut-out feature, which she then painted with bright colours that were fun, joyful, and reflected her personal style.</p> <p dir="ltr">Those wanting to achieve something similar won’t have to work it all out on their own either, thanks to these tips from Bree herself.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Colour isn’t just for walls</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Bree says: “Painting dining chairs or a table is also a great way to achieve this look whilst renting. Add artwork that references your colour scheme to bring it all together.”</p> <p dir="ltr">But, Bree adds that having an overall mood or style is critical for selecting colours.</p> <p dir="ltr">“When selecting colours, always have an overall mood or style in mind and select colours that help bring this idea to life. It’s helpful to have a visual you can refer to like a mood board, materials board or a Pinterest board,” she explains. “This helps keep your colour scheme cohesive and gives you a reference point to work out your proportions as this can dramatically change the mood of the space.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Small changes work just as well as going bold</strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-a17f3c09-7fff-5f3c-5231-ab6c37bc7f85"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">“When it comes to scheming, going bold with colour can really pay off but equally, small changes can make a big difference,” Bree says. “If you want to introduce smaller pops of colour, choose furniture items or highlight small areas of a wall, door or even your ceiling.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/06/home-interiors2.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Work with what you have</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">If you’re renting or following a strict budget, you may need to work with the existing fittings and features - but that doesn’t mean you’ll need to compromise on your style.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Working with existing fittings and fixtures can often mean a clash in colourways,” Bree adds. “While you may not be able to pull up the carpet or replace the kitchen benchtop, you can always add rugs for a tonal effect to get you closer to your desired palette. Dulux also offers a wet room coatings range (Renovation Range) which allows you to paint over existing benchtops, cabinetry and tiles for a bespoke, premium look.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Test your colours with this simple trick</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Since the colours you see in-store might look different in your home (or even at different parts of the day), it’s worth testing how the colour will look before you decide using this hack from Bree.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Paint a cardboard slip or piece of paper and leave the painted swatch up on the walls for a few days,” she says. “Move it around the room at different times of the day to ensure you love the colours(s) under different lighting conditions – both natural and artificial.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-fcffa6b1-7fff-aa38-0e20-fc649c1624fa"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: </em><em>Dulux Colour Forecast 2022 - Wonder Palette, Bree Leech (Dulux Colour Forecaster &amp; Stylist), Mike Baker (Photography), Wall Panel: Colour -</em><em>DULUX Harmonious, Product - DULUX Wash&amp;Wear, Supplied by Surround by Laminex; Chairs: Colour - DULUX Plunder, Product -</em><em> DULUX Aquanamel; </em><em>Rug supplied by Halcyon Lake </em><em>(</em><em>Supplied)</em></p>

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Unlikely hack makes ironing a thing of the past

<p>Wishing you could find a way to make ironing a thing of the past?</p> <p>Well, you’re in luck. This clever grandma has come up with a genius hack for crease-free clothing – and best of all, there is no iron in sight.</p> <p>The savvy nan called Babs, also known as brunchwithbabs on Instagram, shared the hack on her page and she’s gone viral.</p> <p>The US-based grandmother who calls herself the “internet mom/grandma you didn’t know you needed” shares all kinds of advice on her page gaining her quite the following.</p> <p>Captioning the video showing how to remove creases from clothes without an iron, Babs writes:</p> <p>“Babs Hack *tip: high heat, works great on cotton and another option is throwing in a damp rag which also works like a charm.”</p> <p>In the footage, Babs asks viewers, ”Do you like to iron on a beautiful sunny day? Me neither.</p> <p>”Try ice cubes instead.”</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cdalnisloi4/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cdalnisloi4/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Babs (@brunchwithbabs)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“Four to five ice cubes right in,” she revealed, before adding that you should let the ice cubes do their magic for 10 to 15 minutes.</p> <p>At the end of the video, Babs can be seen removing the dresses and showing they are wrinkle-free.</p> <p>The video has been viewed more than 50,000 times and her fans are impressed. Let us know if you've tried this genius hack.</p>

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