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Neighbour sends confronting note about a nearby home’s exterior

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A neighbour has been left feeling shocked after they received a scathing note that details how they have been letting down their street.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The author of the letter, who is new to the neighbourhood, has detailed all the ways that the house needs to be renovated to keep up appearances. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The letter was posted on Reddit, and reads, “Dear neighbour. Just thought I'd drop a line to ask you to do something with your house.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"We recently moved in and are down the corner from you, and yes the front yards are very small, and the landscaping is very minimal, it's easy to clean, plain, fixup and garden these homes, especially in the front.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The letter goes on to detail how the author’s family nominated the house as “the worst on both sides of the block”, as they tell their children “that’s where the lazy’s live.”</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845949/neighbour-note.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/b746806abf1e4bfba8b62d75a4b703ae" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credit: Reddit</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The letter goes on to rattle off a list of things they expect to be done to their neighbour’s house, including having the house painted, lawn mowed, weeds removed and “showing some initiative.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The author even wonders if the residents “have absolutely no pride”, as they insist they “do something with the front of that s*** hole.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Reddit post welcomed a flood of comments from sympathisers, saying the author’s request is uncalled for and unfair. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While some users shared their own experiences with nightmare neighbours, many people told the recipient of the letter to simply adorn their front lawn with “plastic flamingos and lawn gnomes”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Another thought it was a good idea, adding, "Flamingos might be too tame. I think it's time to invest in a modest display of giant lawn gnomes in raunchy poses."</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Getty Images / Reddit</span></em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Beware the difference between ‘clean’ and ‘green’ hydrogen

<div> <div class="copy"> <p><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/earth/cosmos-briefing-hydrogen-fuel/" target="_blank">Hydrogen</a> is set to be a crucial part of the energy sector by 2030. It combusts and releases energy without making carbon dioxide, meaning it <em>can</em> be used as an emissions-free source of energy – but research from the Australian National University reminds us that it could have an emissions-intensive future as well.</p> <p>The federal government has listed clean hydrogen as a priority in its <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/earth/climate/australian-government-sets-a-net-zero-by-2050-emissions-target/" target="_blank">net-zero emissions plan</a>, and various <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/technology/energy/the-incoming-hydrogen-boom/" target="_blank">state governments</a> and <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/technology/energy/electrolysers-hydrogen-fuel-manufacture-australia/" target="_blank">private entities</a> have invested in clean hydrogen fuel and infrastructure.</p> <p>‘Clean’ hydrogen does not necessarily mean it’s emissions-free: while ‘green’ hydrogen, made from water with renewable energy, involves no carbon at all, other types of hydrogen can still emit greenhouse gases.</p> <p>“The Australian Government, and quite a few other governments around the world, have used a definition of ‘clean’ hydrogen that includes ‘blue’ and ‘green’ in their hydrogen strategies. And they’ve not really differentiated at all between these two ways of making hydrogen,” explains Dr Fiona Beck, a senior lecturer at ANU.</p> <p>Currently, most industrial hydrogen is made from methane (natural gas) – releasing CO<sub>2</sub> in the process. ‘Blue’ hydrogen is hydrogen made from methane, with carbon capture and storage preventing most of the CO<sub>2</sub> from getting into the atmosphere.</p> <p>“The true emissions intensity of blue hydrogen has not been very well reported so far,” says Beck.</p> <p>“For example, international hydrogen strategies assume that you can capture up to 90% of emissions from blue hydrogen, but they’re missing out some really critical parts.”</p> <p>Beck is co-author on a recent <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2021.118145" target="_blank">paper</a> in <em>Applied Energy,</em> examining the relative costs and emissions of blue and green hydrogen.</p> <p>The researchers point out that the CO<sub>2</sub> produced while making hydrogen from methane is not the only greenhouse gas involved. It also takes energy to capture and store the CO<sub>2</sub>, for instance – and excess methane is released as well.</p> <p>“Whenever you extract natural gas, you end up with what we call ‘fugitive emissions’. These are methane leaks that happen during the process of extracting the gas, processing the gas, transporting the gas,” says Beck.</p> <p>“It’s really critical that these are accounted for because methane is a really bad greenhouse gas. It’s worse than carbon dioxide.”</p> <p>While blue hydrogen is currently cheaper to make than green hydrogen, the researchers found that this could change as electrolysers – which are used to make green hydrogen – become more mass-produced.</p> <p>“Electrolysis with renewable energy could become cheaper than fossil fuels with CCS,” says co-author Dr Thomas Longden, also at ANU.</p> <p>“CCS is an expensive option for emissions reduction with most estimates for the cost of carbon capture being above $82 per tonne of carbon dioxide. These estimates increase to about $109 per tonne of CO<sub>2</sub> for high capture rates,” he adds.</p> <p>“Blue hydrogen is sometimes discussed as a transition between just using natural gas and going fully green. But one of the things that we discuss in the paper is it’s really unclear how long blue hydrogen would be cheaper than green hydrogen,” says Beck.</p> <p>Both the blue and green hydrogen industries are in their nascency. The researchers believe an exclusive focus on green hydrogen will be both more economically sensible, and better for the environment.</p> <p>“It’s just the wrong trajectory,” says Beck.</p> <p>“If you’re going to put a whole lot of money into a new industry, it should be an industry that’s at least compatible with this energy transition. And we don’t believe that blue hydrogen is really compatible with reducing methane and carbon dioxide.”</p> <em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></div> <div id="contributors"> <p><em>This article was originally published on <a rel="noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/technology/energy/beware-difference-between-clean-and-green-hydrogen/" target="_blank">cosmosmagazine.com</a> and was written by Ellen Phiddian. </em></p> </div> </div>

Technology

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Adele convinces Spotify to make big changes

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Adele has convinced executives at Spotify to make changes to their service upon the release of her new album. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The British singer managed to persuade Spotify to remove the default shuffle option for new release albums. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As a result, listeners can hear the track listing as it was intended to be heard by the artist. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Adele shared the news with her Twitter followers, saying “</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Our art tells a story and our stories should be listened to as we intended.”</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">This was the only request I had in our ever changing industry! We don’t create albums with so much care and thought into our track listing for no reason. Our art tells a story and our stories should be listened to as we intended. Thank you Spotify for listening 🍷♥️ <a href="https://t.co/XWlykhqxAy">https://t.co/XWlykhqxAy</a></p> — Adele (@Adele) <a href="https://twitter.com/Adele/status/1462260324485242881?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 21, 2021</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While the shuffle option still comes up as the default on playlists, on individual albums, the tracks will be played in order. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When Adele tweeted the news, Spotify replied to the songstress saying “Anything for you”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Adele’s fourth studio album </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">30</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> was released the day after the Spotify changes were made, which was highly anticipated after her six year hiatus. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She first teased the album on Instagram early in October, as the announcement boasts over 6 million likes. </span></p> <blockquote 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);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CU-Kv8NgvVj/?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> <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;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CU-Kv8NgvVj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Adele (@adele)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Shutterstock / Instagram @adele</span></em></p>

Music

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Donations POUR in for man wrongly convicted for murder

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After US man Kevin Strickland </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.co.nz/finance/legal/no-compensation-after-43-years-of-wrongful-imprisonment" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">was released</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> from jail 43 years after his wrongful conviction in a triple murder, a flood of donations have swept in to help him rebuild his life.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-kevin-strickland-after-wrongful-conviction" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">fundraiser</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> set up for him in June had received over $USD 400,000 ($NZD 586,000) at the time of his release, and donations keep coming.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many supporters were outraged that the 62-year-old wouldn’t receive any compensation for his time in prison from the state of Missouri.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Today, Kevin Strickland is finally home, 43 years after being ripped away from his life and family. It took not just a village, but a movement--all of you-- to bring him home.</p> — Tricia Rojo Bushnell (@tcita) <a href="https://twitter.com/tcita/status/1463362164920623104?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 24, 2021</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Because he wasn’t exonerated through the use of DNA evidence, Mr Strickland doesn’t qualify for wrongful imprisonment payments.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Within three days of his release, donors had contributed another $600,000 to his fundraiser, totalling $USD 1.016 million ($NZD 1.49 million) .</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The organisers thanked donors on Tuesday, confirming that all the money raised would be received by Mr Strickland.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Thank you all for your support! All funds go directly to Mr Strickland, who the state of Missouri won’t provide a dime to for the 43 years they stole from him,” they wrote.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Strickland has maintained his innocence since he was sentenced to 50 years in prison in 1979. He has said that he was at home watching television at the time of the three deaths, which happened when he was 18 years old.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The fundraiser, set up by the Midwest Innocence Project, has been collecting donations for Mr Strickland since June, when the organisation began campaigning for his release.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They have said he would need help paying for basic living costs once he was free.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I can’t begin to say all the things I am thankful for,” Mr Strickland </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/travel/americas/almost-us1-million-raised-for-man-wrongly-convicted-of-1979-triple-homicide-c-4711022" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">said</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> as he left prison.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: GoFundMe</span></em></p>

Legal

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Woman THROWS AWAY winning scratchie

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A Victorian woman almost lost $260,000 after throwing away a winning lottery scratchcard.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The young St Helena woman told </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thelott.com/real-winners/instant-scratch-its/young-woman-accidentally-throws-away-instant-scratch-its-ticket" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Lott</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> that her boyfriend had gifted her the Live the Life scratchie as a surprise.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“When I first scratched it, I thought it didn’t win anything, so I just tossed it in the bin,” the woman said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But when her boyfriend went to fish the card out and check it, he said: “What the hell, you’ve won the top prize!”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I didn’t believe a word he said. I assumed he was just pranking me, or it was some kind of novelty ticket,” she </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/melbourne-woman-throws-live-the-life-lottery-scratchcard-worth-fortune-in-the-bin-what-the-hell-c-4698835" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">explained</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It took quite a bit of convincing. We read the instructions on the back of the ticket a few times. He just kept saying to me, ‘You’ve won! You’ve won!’.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The $5 ticket was purchased from Aqueduct News and Lotto - and came with the prize of $1000 a week for the next five years.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It was a big shock. It was really hard to comprehend! I always dreamt of that moment, but it was very surreal when it happened,” the woman continued.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’ve never won anything like this, so it’s amazing!”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When asked about her plans for her winnings, she said there was only one thing on her mind.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I am not sure what I will do with it. I am still coming to terms with the news,” she laughed.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I think we will definitely buy a house though!”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: The Lott</span></em></p>

Money & Banking

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The $2 pool noodle hack everyone’s trying this Christmas

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With the festive holiday quickly approaching, you can fight the urge to splurge on Christmas decorations by trying your hand at this ridiculously cheap table centrepiece.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">All you need is a pool noodle - costing $2 from Kmart - as well as a hot glue gun and some Christmas baubles.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When one woman shared the hack on Facebook, her post received almost 3000 likes and sparked a flood of recreations.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845956/pool-noodle-xmas.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/918725e646524f32822e0d3f13a30bc4" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Image: Angelica Marotta Vine (Facebook)</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“First time hack pretty pleased with the result!” she captioned the photo of her table runner, which was mostly sourced from Kmart, Big W and Target.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The DIY decoration has been frequently appearing in Facebook groups including </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/1188470091287226" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kmart Inspired Homes</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/330596703984165" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kmart Home Decor &amp; Hacks Australia</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> with some classy results.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:201.171875px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845958/259786511_4483985271669638_4094311627553942329_n.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/73ac2e2e37db4fd2abe8d6da0ed7fbc4" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Heather Kyler (Facebook)</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To make it, </span><a href="https://www.bhg.com.au/pool-noodle-christmas-wreath-hack?category=diy"><span style="font-weight: 400;">follow</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> these five steps:</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Step 1. To keep the pool noodle straight, feed a thin metal rod through the centre of it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Step 2. Start attaching baubles with the hot glue gun and work your way along the noodle.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:333.3333333333333px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845957/pool-noodle-xmas2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/71372b34fa114037a5d50c9edfa4f35e" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Angelica Marotta Vine (Facebook)</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Step 3. Once the baubles are attached, fill in any gaps with flowers, branches and other Christmas decorations. To get extra coverage, pull apart a Christmas wreath and fill the gaps on the noodle with the leaves.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Step 5. Once decorated, spray the piece with fake snow.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Haydn Fellows (Facebook)</span></em></p>

Home Hints & Tips

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What happens when you don’t get enough sleep

<h2><span style="font-size: 14px;">Sleep deprivation</span></h2> <div class="copy"> <p>Many of us have experienced the effects: feeling tired and cranky, or finding it hard to concentrate. <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/surprising-insights-into-sleeps-purpose/">Sleep</a> is more important for our <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/science/biology/the-brains-wiring-as-youve-never-seen-it-before/">brains</a> than you may realise.</p> <p>Although it may appear you’re “switching off” when you fall asleep, the brain is far from inactive. What we know from studying patterns of brain electrical activity is that while you sleep, your brain cycles through two main types of patterns: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and slow-wave sleep.</p> <p>Slow-wave sleep, which occurs more at the beginning of the night, is characterised by slow rhythms of electrical activity across large numbers of brain cells (occurring one to four times per second). As the night progresses, we have more and more REM sleep. During REM sleep we often have vivid dreams, and our brains show similar patterns of activity to when we are awake.</p> <p><strong>What are our brains doing while we sleep?</strong></p> <p>Sleep serves many different functions. One of these is to help us remember experiences we had during the day. REM sleep is thought to be important for emotional memories (for example, memories involving fear) or procedural memory (such as how to ride a bike). On the other hand, slow-wave sleep is thought to reflect the storing of so-called “declarative” memories, which are the conscious record of your experiences and what you know (for example, what you had for breakfast).</p> <p>We also know experiences are replayed in the brain during sleep – the memories of these experiences are like segments from a movie that can be rewound and played forward again. Replay occurs in neurons in the hippocampus – <a rel="noopener" href="https://qbi.uq.edu.au/brain-basics/memory/where-are-memories-stored" target="_blank">a brain region important for memory</a> – and has been best studied in rats learning to navigate a maze. After a navigation exercise, when the rat is resting, its brain replays the path it took. This helps to strengthen the connections between brain cells, and is therefore thought to be important for consolidating memories.</p> <p>But is it that important for you to remember what you had for breakfast? Probably not. That’s why the brain needs to be selective. Sleep allows it to sift through memories, forgetting certain things and prioritising what’s important. One way it may do this is by pruning away or scaling down unwanted connections.</p> <p>A leading theory of sleep function – the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24411729" target="_blank">synaptic homeostasis hypothesis</a> – suggests that during sleep there is a widespread weakening of synapses, the connections throughout the brain.</p> <p>This is thought to counterbalance the overall strengthening of these connections that occurs when we are awake and learning. By pruning away excess connections, <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/sleep-cleans-the-brain/">sleep effectively cleans the slate</a>, so we can learn again the next day. Interfering with this scaling down process can, in some cases, lead to more intense (and perhaps unwanted) memories.</p> <p>The importance of sleep for keeping our brains active may be reflected in our changing sleep patterns as we age. Babies and children sleep much more than adults, probably because their developing brains are learning much more, and being exposed to new situations.</p> <p>Later in life, sleep declines and becomes more fragmented. This may reflect either a reduced need for sleep (because we are learning less), or a breakdown in sleep processes as we age.</p> <p>Sleep is also needed to do a bit of brain housekeeping. A <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24136970" target="_blank">2013 US study in mice</a> found that sleep cleanses the brain of toxins that accumulate during waking hours. During sleep, the space between brain cells increases, allowing toxic proteins to be flushed out. It’s possible that by removing these, sleep may stave off neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.</p> <p><strong>Sleep deprivation: the reality</strong></p> <p>Getting enough sleep is important for attention and learning during our waking hours. When we are sleep-deprived, we can’t focus on large amounts of information or sustain attention for long periods. Our reaction times are slowed. We are also less likely to be creative or discover hidden rules when trying to solve a problem.</p> <p>When you haven’t had enough sleep, your brain may force itself to shut down for a few seconds while you’re awake. This is called a micro-sleep and is potentially very dangerous. Drowsiness is a leading cause of motor vehicle accidents, and sleep deprivation affects the brain as severely as alcohol. Sleep deprivation can also lead to fatal accidents in the workplace – a major issue in shift workers.</p> <p>The beneficial effects of sleep on attention and concentration are particularly important for children, who often become hyperactive and disruptive in class when they don’t have enough sleep. <a rel="noopener" href="http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/10/10/peds.2012-0564" target="_blank">A 2012 study in the journal </a><a rel="noopener" href="http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/10/10/peds.2012-0564" target="_blank">Pediatrics</a> found getting just one hour less sleep per night over several nights could adversely affect a child’s behaviour in class.</p> <p><strong>Chronic sleep deprivation</strong></p> <p>The longer-term effects of sleep deprivation are more difficult to study in humans for ethical reasons, but chronic sleep disturbances have been linked to brain disorders such as schizophrenia, autism and Alzheimer’s. We don’t know if sleep disturbances are a cause or symptom of these disorders.</p> <p>Overall, the evidence suggests having healthy sleep patterns is key to having a healthy and well-functioning brain.</p> <p><em>This story was prepared by the Queensland Brain Institute and first published on The Conversation. Read <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/why-our-brain-needs-sleep-and-what-happens-if-we-dont-get-enough-of-it-83145" target="_blank">the original article</a>.</em></p> <em><!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --> <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=18404&amp;title=What+happens+when+you+don%E2%80%99t+get+enough+sleep" alt="" width="1" height="1" /> <!-- End of tracking content syndication --></em></div> <div id="contributors"> <p><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/science/biology/sleep-deprivation-effects/" target="_blank">This article</a> was originally published on <a rel="noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com" target="_blank">Cosmos Magazine</a> and was written by <a rel="noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/contributor/the-queensland-brain-institute" target="_blank">The Queensland Brain Institute</a>. The Queensland Brain Institute (QBI), established in 2003, is a leading institute focussed on two of the greatest challenges of modern science: understanding brain function and the prevention and treatments of disorders of brain function.</em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p> </div>

Mind

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Everyday items you’ve been using wrong this whole time

<p><span>It’s time to properly learn how to use everything in and around the home. From the right way to tear plastic wrap to having wrinkle-free button-down shirts, we’re here to help you on this journey of discovery.</span></p> <p><strong>Food storage containers</strong></p> <p><span>Glass vs. plastic aside, not all food containers are ideal for the microwave. The corners of rectangular containers usually attract more energy than other areas, leaving the food in those spots overcooked. A round container will allow food to reheat more uniformly.</span></p> <p><strong>Blender</strong></p> <p><span>There’s a reason your blender keeps stalling after every few seconds – the order of your ingredients makes a huge difference. Start with your liquid base or yoghurt, then layer ingredients from smallest to largest, keeping the toughest pieces, such as ice, at the top. The liquids will let the blades run smoothly without catching on the hard ingredients.</span></p> <p><strong>Toaster</strong></p> <p><span>The type of bread you’re toasting affects how hot you should set your toaster. While white and sweet breads heat quickly, heavier ones like rye take more time. Even slices from the same loaf might need a different setting after a few days. Once bread starts to dry out, you might need lower heat for the less fresh slices, which don’t take as long to toast.</span></p> <p><strong>Grill</strong></p> <p><span>Leaving the door of your oven closed when grilling can make heat and steam build up. Venting the steam lets your food develop the crustiness you’re going for, and letting the hot air out ensures the heat stays concentrated on the top instead of effectively baking the entire dish.</span></p> <p><strong>Slow cooker</strong></p> <p><span>Opening the lid of your slow cooker lets heat out and messes up the cooking time, so resist the temptation to take a quick look or give it a stir until there’s less than an hour left of cook time. As long as your pot is between half and three-quarters of the way full, your dish should cook up just fine.</span></p> <p><strong>Dishwasher</strong></p> <p><span>A University of Birmingham study found that the best spot in your dishwasher depends on the type of mess your plate has. The middle of the machine gets the strongest spray of water, which makes it best for carb-based stains like potatoes or tomatoes. On the other hand, the detergent is at its highest concentration at the edges, where it flows back down like a waterfall, making it the most effective spot for protein-based messes like eggs, which need more time to soak.</span></p> <p><strong>Knives</strong></p> <p><span>Big kitchen knives are scary enough without having to focus on how you hold them. Many people just wrap their hand around the handle. However, you’re supposed to hold your thumb and pointer finger on the sides of the blade. This grip will help you get more precise cuts.</span></p> <p><strong>Plastic wrap</strong></p> <p><span>Isn’t it annoying when cling wrap folds on itself and you need to rip out a new sheet? Keeping the tube still will help. Turn that box to the side and you should see a tab that you can press inwards, holding the tube in place. Aluminium foil has the same feature on its box.</span></p> <p><strong>Toothpaste</strong></p> <p><span>That image on the toothpaste package of a smear big enough to cover the bristles isn’t what the doctor recommended. Dentists say the ideal amount is about the size of a pea.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Marissa Laliberte. This article first appeared in </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/food-home-garden/home-tips/everyday-items-youve-been-using-wrong-this-whole-time" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Reader’s Digest</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">here’s our best subscription offer.</span></a></em></p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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"Incredible shock": Outpouring after murder charges finally laid

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A man arrested over the disappearance of Victorian campers Russell Hill and Carol Clay has been charged with two counts of murder.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After three days of questioning, police confirmed they had charged 55-year-old pilot Gregory Lynn on Thursday.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Victorian Police Crime Command Assistant Commissioner Bob Hill said the investigation was ongoing, and that police would continue to search for Mr Hill and Ms Clay’s remains.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Police are hopeful that we will be able to locate the deceased and provide ultimate closure to the families,” he </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-11-25/greg-lynn-charged-with-murder-of-russell-hill-and-carol-clay/100647508" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">said on Thursday</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“My heartfelt thoughts are with both the Hill and Clay families.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Lynn </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/man-arrested-over-missing-campers" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">was arrested</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> at a campsite on Monday afternoon by special operations officers, before being questioned by detectives on Tuesday.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Clay’s sister, Jill Walker, said she welcomed the arrest, which occurred 55 kilometres from where Ms Clay and Mr Hill disappeared.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Clay and Mr Hill were last heard from in March last year, after the pair travelled to a campsite in Wonnangatta Valley.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We’ve been holding this together for 20 months now … 20 months is a long time,” she told </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/news/crime-melbourne/man-charged-with-two-counts-of-murder-over-missing-victorian-wonnangatta-camper-disappearance-c-4682123" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">7NEWS</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s been an incredible shock and because it’s been such a mystery, it’s been a bit unfathomable.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Police have also seized Mr Lynn’s Nissan Patrol for forensic testing, and are appealing for information about the whereabouts of a blue trailer that was attached.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Assistant commissioner Hill said it was believed that the trailer had been sold online via Gumtree.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jetstar Airways, Mr Lynn’s employer, confirmed that </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/suspect-named-in-missing-campers-arrest" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">he had been <em>suspended</em></span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> following his arrest. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He is due to face Sale Magistrates Court in Gippsland on Friday.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">UPDATE:</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After appearing in front of the court via video link, Mr Lynn has been remanded in custody.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Lynn said nothing during the hearing, which ran for just a few minutes, and he didn’t apply for bail.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He is due to return to court on May 31, 2022, with police requesting time to prepare their evidence against him.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The dates are probably elongated because it’s a fairly substantial investigation,” Mr Lynn’s lawyer, Chris McLennan, </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/news/melbourne/pilot-greg-lynn-charged-with-murder-of-missing-campers-fronts-sale-court-via-video-link-c-4708795" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">told</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> the court via video link.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Melanie Lynn, Mr Lynn’s wife, also appeared on the video link with her camera off.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The hearing comes as police begin searching Victoria’s Great Alpine region for the remains of the campers, after establishing a crime scene in the area on Thursday.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Assistant Commissioner Hill said the investigation was “far from over”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He appealed for information about the missing trailer formerly attached to the seized vehicle, and said it was sold on Gumtree between March and July 2020.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: Victorian Police, Facebook</span></em></p>

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New police boss’s sad revelation on William Tyrrell search

<p>As the renewed search for William Tyrrell closes in on the two week mark, the new NSW Police commissioner has revealed a sad truth about the investigation. </p> <p><span>Deputy Commissioner Karen Webb, who was named as the next police commissioner on Wednesday, has said she believes William's body will be found, but so far, no DNA evidence has been found. </span></p> <p><span>Speaking to 2GB, she said she is confident police will discover the truth about the boy's </span>disappearance, but the investigation will take more time. </p> <p><span>“There’s no stones (left) unturned,” she said. “It’s been seven years now, and that’s a long time, but we’re not going to give up.”</span></p> <p><span>Over the past 11 days, NSW Police have been searching dense bushland on the mid-north coast and have bagged 15 objects of interest so far. </span></p> <p><span>All the potential evidence, which includes pieces of cloth and part of a hessian bag, have been sent off for forensic examination.</span></p> <p><span>According to Deputy Commissioner Webb, no DNA link has been established between the 15 items and William Tyrrell. </span></p> <p><span>“There’s been miles and miles of material and many exhibits taken and it will be examined, but that takes time,” she said.</span></p> <p><span>There will be a shift in the renewed search efforts, as divers are expected to search a damn near where the boy was last seen in 2014. </span></p> <p><span>Meanwhile, police are continuing their surveillance of William's foster mother, who has been named a person of interest in William's disappearance. </span></p> <p><span>NSW Police returned to the mid north coast property, then owned by William’s foster grandmother, 10 days ago to launch a fresh search based on what they have said is new information in the case.</span></p> <p><em>Image credits: A Current Affair / Nine News</em></p>

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Country’s first female PM quits on very first day

<p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p>Hours after being voted in as Sweden’s first female prime minister, Magdalena Andersson has resigned.</p> <p>Andersson’s ascension was a milestone for Sweden, viewed for decades as one of Europe’s most progressive countries when it comes to gender relations, but which had yet to have a woman in the top political spot.</p> <p>Parliament approved Andersson as prime minister after she recently became the new leader of the Social Democratic party, replacing Stefan Lofven as party leader and PM.</p> <p>However, just a few hours later Andersson was announcing her equally shocking and sudden resignation after suffering a budget defeat in parliament and coalition partner the Greens left the two-party minority government.</p> <p>"For me, it is about respect, but I also do not want to lead a government where there may be grounds to question its legitimacy," Andersson told a news conference.</p> <p>Andersson has informed parliamentary Speaker Anderas Norlen that she is still interested in leading a Social Democratic one-party government.</p> <p>She said that "a coalition government should resign if a party chooses to leave the government. Despite the fact that the parliamentary situation is unchanged, it needs to be tried again".</p> <p>Norlen, the speaker of Sweden's 349-seat parliament, said he had received Andersson's resignation and would contact the party leaders "to discuss the situation".</p> <p>He is expected to announce the road ahead today, Thursday 25th November.</p> <p>The government's own budget proposal was rejected in favour of one presented by the opposition that includes the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats. Sweden's third-largest party is rooted in a neo-Nazi movement.</p> <p>"Now the government has voted for a budget that has been negotiated by a right-wing extremist party," Green Party spokesperson Per Bolund said. "That is something we deeply regret."</p> <p>Earlier in the day, when parliament voted to approve Andersson as prime minister, independent politician Amineh Kakabaveh, who supported Andersson, noted that Sweden is currently celebrating the 100th anniversary of a decision to introduce universal and equal suffrage in the Scandinavian country.</p> <p>"If women are only allowed to vote but are never elected to the highest office, democracy is not complete," said Kakabaveh who is of Iranian Kurdish descent.</p> <p>"There is something symbolic in this decision," she added. "Feminism is always about girls and women being complete people who have the same opportunities as men and boys."</p> <p>"I was really moved by what she said. She pinpointed exactly what I thought," Andersson said after her appointment in parliament where she got a standing ovation and a bouquet of red roses.</p> <p>"I have been elected Sweden's first female prime minister and know what it means for girls in our country," Andersson said.</p>

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“I’m still absolutely certain”: William Tyrrell neighbour speaks

<p><em>Image: NSW Police</em></p> <p>A man who claims to have seen William Tyrrell in the back seat of a speeding car on the day of his disappearance is still as confident as ever about what he witnessed that fateful day in 2014.</p> <p>Ronald Chapman, a man waiting for his delivery of plants on the morning of September the 12th 2014, says “two cars gunned it” around the corner of his street about a kilometre away from William’s foster grandmother’s home in Kendall on the NSW Mid-North coast.</p> <p>He claims the little boy was unrestrained in the back seat of the Landcruiser and still wearing a Spider-Man suit.</p> <p>'I may be an old man, but I'm not a blind man,' Mr Chapman, who is due to turn 83 next month, told the Daily Mail.</p> <p>'I'm still absolutely certain it was him. September 12 2014 is a day I will never forget.'</p> <p>The retiree, who was born and raised in Kendall, told an inquest into William's disappearance and presumed death he was in the back seat of the gold or brown Landcruiser when it sped past his home about 10:45 am the morning he vanished.</p> <p>A second car was a short distance behind.</p> <p>In the seven years since William's disappearance, Mr Chapman claims he's 'never seen either car again'.</p> <p>In a town as small as Kendall, home to just 1,141 residents, that is strange in and of itself.</p> <p>'Everybody knows everybody here,' he said. 'I would've seen the cars again [if it was unrelated].'</p> <p>He recalled seeing the face of a boy in the back seat of the Landcruiser, unrestrained but not distressed, while windows in the second car were too tinted to see inside.</p> <p>Mr Chapman shared this information with police years after he vanished, initially under the impression police were doing the rounds to speak with locals and would get to him when they had a chance.</p> <p>In total, he gave detectives three detailed interviews sharing what he saw and a further two at a coronial inquiry in 2019.</p> <p>On Tuesday authorities crossed Batar Creek Road into new territory at the behest of professional body finder and water science expert Jon Olley. Within hours at the site, police have uncovered a large yellow bag which contains evidence that is being sent for forensic testing. Two more items were uncovered in a similar area.</p>

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Woman halts hundreds of protestors with kung fu moves

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A New Zealand woman </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/covid-19-delta-outbreak-kiwi-woman-tries-to-stop-anti-mandate-lockdown-protest-with-kung-fu-moves/OD4WENQRDBQOGK2TLZH2UEEZZI/" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">has taken the internet by storm</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> after her attempts to single-handedly stop a protest against vaccine mandates and lockdowns emerged online.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The introduction of new mandates across the country and the placement of regions into strict lockdowns has prompted thousands of Kiwis to take to the streets in protest.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">At a recent rally in Nelson, on New Zealand’s South Island, an unknown woman took a stand against the crowd and attempted to stop them with a kung-fu move.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The footage, posted to social media, shows the woman jumping in front of the protestors as they move down the street.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Someone can be heard saying, “they’re not going to stop, lady”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Instead of moving out of their way, the woman took a kung-fu pose to halt the protest.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, the protestors managed to continue past her, lifting their banner that read “freedom for all Kiwis” over her head.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The clip has since gone viral on social media, with many saying it was an “only in New Zealand” moment.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“You have three props and three wingers on that front line. At what point did she believe they were going to stop?” one joked.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Okay let’s give nana an award for the best reaction to protesting,” another wrote.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Kung fu grandma love it!” a third said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This isn’t the first time a New Zealander has dealt with those hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine in their own, unique way.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Another woman was spotted approaching vaccine-hesitant men and encouraging them to get the jab.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Twitter user Te Kuru Dewes (@TeKuruDewes) said that the “Aunty” was “waving cars down” and making them get vaccinated.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Apparently there’s an Aunty stopping traffic in Mangamuka (Taitokerau), waving cars down and making grown anti-vax-leaning men go and get their jab in the van. Classic.</p> — Te Kuru Dewes (@TeKuruDewes) <a href="https://twitter.com/TeKuruDewes/status/1456388117447860225?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 4, 2021</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Apparently there’s an Aunty stopping traffic in Mangamuka (Taitokerau), waving down cars and making grown anti-vax-leaning men go and get their jab in the van. Classic,” they tweeted.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If anything is going to lift Māori vaxx rates it’s going to be Aunties that told you to get vaxxed or else,” one person replied.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Don’t mess with Aunties… just don’t,” another commented.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The conflict between protestors and pro-vaccine grandmas and aunties comes as </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-data-and-statistics/covid-19-vaccine-data" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">92 percent</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> of Kiwis have received their first COVID-19 jab and 84 percent are fully vaccinated.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Tiktok</span></em></p>

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“Unlike any other”: World’s highest 360-degree infinity pool opens in Dubai

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dubai has welcomed the world’s first 360-degree infinity pool as its latest record-breaking tourist attraction.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 750-square-metre pool deck sits on the 50th floor of the Palm Tower, which offers unbeatable views of Dubai’s skyline.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">At 200-metres in the air, the </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://auraskypool.com/" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Aura Skypool</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> also takes out the top spot as the world’s highest infinity pool and has been described as “an island in the sky”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The new space also features a lounge with VIP sun beds and a bar serving tapas dishes and cocktails.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Guests have the choice of booking in for a morning or sunset session by the pool, or a full-day VIP “island” experience, costing between $NZD 67 ($AED 170) and $NZD 227 ($AED 600).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Aura is truly unlike any other destination in the UAE and the world,” Antonio Gonzalez, the CEO of Sunset Hospitality, the company behind the pool, </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://travel.nine.com.au/latest/worlds-highest-360degree-infinity-pool-opens-in-dubai/25d66d7e-2ef6-4673-be13-825aab58a0da" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">said</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in a statement last month.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“With 360-degree views of some of the world’s most iconic sights, from the man made Palm Jumeirah - celebrating this year 20 years since its construction - through to Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa and Ain Dubai - all in one view, it’s a breathtaking new destination that will continue to showcase the very best of Dubai.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The opening of Aura Skypool comes after the launch of a 240-metre high observation deck at The Palm, two floors above the infinity pool.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The residential building and hotel also features the Middle East’s first SushiSamba restaurant - a chain of fusion restaurants found across the UK and USA.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: Aura Skypool</span></em></p>

International Travel

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North Korean man sentenced to death for distributing Squid Game

<p>A man in North Korea has been handed the death penalty after smuggling in copies of the hit Netflix show <em>Squid Game</em> and illegally distributing them. </p> <p><span>Sources in the North Hamgyong province told Radio Free Asia that the man brought in the copies on USB drives from China and sold them to high school students. </span></p> <p><span>The operation was foiled when authorities caught seven students watching the hit South Korean drama. </span></p> <p><span>The perpetrator has been sentenced to death by firing squad, as North Korea tightens its laws on letting capitalist media into the country. </span></p> <p><span>One student that purchased the show has been sentenced to life in prison, while six others who watched <em>Squid Game</em> have been sentenced to five years hard labour.</span></p> <p><span>The students were punished under North Korea’s new Elimination of Reactionary Thought and Culture law, which keeps a firm grip on outside media. </span></p> <p><span>Penalties were extended to the school too, with reports teachers, the principal and other administrative staff were dismissed.</span></p> <p><span>The nine-part fictional Netflix drama sees 456 bankrupt contestants compete for a multi-million dollar cash prize. </span></p> <p><span>The contestants take part in a series of children's games to win the money, and those who lose the games end up paying with their lives. </span></p> <p><span>After being released in September, <em>Squid Game</em> has quickly become the most popular show in Netflix's history. </span></p> <p><em>Image credits: Netflix</em></p>

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How Singapore’s water management has become a global model for how to tackle climate crisis

<p>Singapore is at the forefront of nearly all countries that have formulated a long-term plan for managing climate change and is steadfastly implementing that plan.</p> <p>The small island state of 6 million people was among the 40 nations invited by the US President Joe Biden to attend his leaders’ summit on tackling <a href="https://www.state.gov/leaders-summit-on-climate/">climate change</a> last April.</p> <p>Singapore is one of <a href="https://ourworldindata.org/most-densely-populated-countries">most densely populated countries in the world</a>. It faces the twin challenges of ensuring sustainable water supply during droughts as well as effective drainage during intense rain seasons amid climate change.</p> <p>Much of Singapore is also as flat as a pancake and stands no more than <a href="https://www.nccs.gov.sg/faqs/impact-of-climate-change-and-adaptation-measures/">5 metres above the mean sea level</a>. This puts the country at risk from rising sea level due to climate change.</p> <p>But thanks to its water system management, Singapore has been a success story as a resilient and adaptable city.</p> <h2>Water-resilient Singapore</h2> <p>The country has to be prepared for when rights to draw water from Malaysia <a href="https://www.mfa.gov.sg/SINGAPORES-FOREIGN-POLICY/Key-Issues/Water-Agreements">end in 2061</a>. Singapore draws up to 50% of its water supply from the neighbouring country.</p> <p>For over two decades, Singapore’s National Water Agency, PUB, has successfully added <a href="http://bwsmartcities.businessworld.in/article/Harvesting-Every-Drop-The-Singapore-Water-Story/16-03-2017-114513/">large-scale nationwide rainwater harvesting</a>, used water collection, treatment and reuse, and seawater desalination to its portfolio of conventional water sources, so the nation-state can achieve long-term water sustainability.</p> <p>The agency has been collecting and treating all its sewage to transform it into clean and high-quality reclaimed water. As a result, the PUB has become a leading exponent of using recycled water, dubbed locally as NEWater, as a source of water.</p> <p><a href="https://www.pub.gov.sg/Documents/PUBOurWaterOurFuture.pdf">In 2017</a>, NEWater succesfully supplied up to 40% of the total water demand of 430 million gallons per day in Singapore. As the projected demand will double by 2060, the PUB plans to increase NEWater supply capacity up to 55% of demand.</p> <p>Under the plan, desalinated water will supply 30% of total demand in 2060 – a 5% increase from its share in 2017.</p> <p>The remaining share of the country’s water demand (15%) in 2060 will come from local catchments, which include 17 reservoirs, and imported water. The country does not have the land area to collect and store enough run-off despite abundant tropical rains.</p> <p>To increase the economic viability of these plans, much of the PUB’s current <a href="https://www.pub.gov.sg/resources/publications/research">research and development effort</a> is aimed at halving energy requirements for desalination and used water treatment.</p> <p>Other than that, reducing carbon emissions from water treatment and generating energy from the byproducts of used water treatment have become essential for Singapore.</p> <h2>Embracing ‘life and death’ matters</h2> <p>Based on this success story, the Singapore government applies the same approach of long-term planning and implementation to tackle threats of climate change, including rising sea level.</p> <p>In 2019, Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, described the country’s seriousness in treating climate change as <a href="https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/national-day-rally-2019-100-billion-needed-to-protect-singapore-against-rising-sea-levels">“life and death matters”</a>. The government estimates it will need to spend US$75 billion, around 20% of the country’s GDP, on coastal protection over the coming decades.</p> <p>The government has tasked PUB to lead and co-ordinate whole-of-government efforts to protect these coastal areas. The agency is working hard to ensure Singapore does not become a modern-day Atlantis, Plato’s famous sunken city.</p> <p>PUB’s first order of business is to develop an <a href="https://www.pub.gov.sg/news/pressreleases/2021pr001">integrated coastal-inland flood model</a>. This will allow it to simulate the worst-case effects of intense inland rainfall combined with extreme coastal events. PUB expects its flood model to become a critical risk-assessment tool for flood risk management, adaptation planning, engineering design and flood response.</p> <p>The agency has also undertaken coastline protection studies of different segments. The first study began in <a href="https://www.pub.gov.sg/news/pressreleases/2021PR003">May 2021 along City-East Coast</a>, covering 57.8km of the coastline. This section had been identified as prone to flooding and has various critical assets such as airports and economic and industrial districts.</p> <p>Other segments to be analysed are in Jurong Island, in southwestern Singapore, with the study to begin later this year, and the north-west coast, comprising Sungei Kadut and Lim Chu Kang, starting in 2022.</p> <p>Rather than mere adaption to coming crisis, protection measures will be designed for multi-functional land use. Nature-based solutions will be incorporated whenever possible, to create <a href="https://www.pub.gov.sg/news/pressreleases/2021PR003">welcoming spaces for living, work and play</a>.</p> <p>For sure, whatever Singapore does in climate mitigation will never move the global needle. But it is a very good example of what a country can do to successfully adapt to the dangers of climate change through good planning.</p> <p>If its policies are duplicated in other countries, these combined efforts will most certainly cause the needle to move significantly.</p> <p>After the United Nations High Level meeting on climate change, COP26, just completed this month in Glasgow, UK, Singapore can be considered to be a very good model of how countries can successfully adapt to the dangers of climate change in the coming decades.</p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/asit-k-biswas-361607">Asit K. Biswas</a>, Distinguished visiting professor, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-glasgow-1269">University of Glasgow</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-singapores-water-management-has-become-a-global-model-for-how-to-tackle-climate-crisis-162117">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: Swapnil Bapat/Unsplash</em></p>

International Travel

Health

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One last look for dying woman

<p><em>Image: Ambulance NSW </em></p> <p>Two paramedics in NSW have given a very special treat to one palliative care patient, taking her to The Three sisters in the Blue Mountains for one last look.</p> <p>Penrith woman Evelyn Collins suffered from dementia and was diagnosed with Leukaemia in October, and as part of her treatment is taken to Katoomba’s Blue Mountains Hospital for blood transfusions.</p> <p>While under the care of paramedics Judy Andrews and Mike Horan, the 85-year-old was treated to a heart-warming surprise.</p> <p>“We were asked to take her to Blue Mountains as it was quieter and even though she had dementia as soon as we walked outside she said the fresh air was beautiful,” Ms Andrews told the<span> </span><em>Western Weekender</em>.</p> <p>“As she was not at risk and just receiving treatment and we had a quiet moment, we decided to take her to the lookout to show her the view on the way.”</p> <p>She added that she never could’ve predicted the impact the moment had on Ms Collins and her family.</p> <p>“We wheeled her down and as she was looking around she had this moment of clarity and said she remembered coming there a long time ago with her husband,” Ms Andrews said of the experience.</p> <p>“She had this beautiful glow and look of happiness on her face so I took a photo to send to her daughter Kim, who said the family was overwhelmed that we would take the time to do that.”</p> <p>Ms Collins said it was “lovely” that the paramedics thought to take her there.</p> <p>“It made me feel special. It makes all the difference when you are treated with patience and kindness,” she said.</p> <p>After two years on the pandemic frontline, Ms Andrews said paramedics pride themselves on providing high levels of care to each patient.</p> <p>After sharing the photo on Facebook, NSW Ambulance were flooded with comments on the “beautiful gesture”.</p> <p>“Thank you for being so generous … the world is a better place having you both in it,” one woman commented.</p> <p>While another wrote: “It’s these special moments that make the job mean something. In all the usual nightmares that we all face, it’s these times that have the biggest effect on us. These times and these memories where you become a part of someone’s journey – whether it’s the beginning or the end, it’s these moments that stick with us forever.”</p> <p>“So much respect for our first responders. This is the most beautiful act of kindness,” added another.</p>

Caring

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What is catastrophising?

<p>Our brains are constantly building connections, forming relationships between our experiences, thoughts, actions and consequences. It’s this ongoing process that shapes each person’s view of the world – and affects everything from our reactions to daily problem-solving.</p> <p>But sometimes, our brains build cause-and-effect relationships based on overly simplistic, coincidental, or simply incorrect associations.</p> <p>These biased thought patterns – known as cognitive distortions – usually aren’t grounded in reality and tend to skew negative, says Alissa Jerud, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist and clinical assistant professor of psychology.</p> <p>One common way people distort their worldview is by catastrophising. Here’s what experts want you to know about this cognitive distortion, including how to overcome this type of thinking.</p> <p><strong>What are the different kinds of cognitive distortion?</strong></p> <p>We all experience irrational thoughts now and again. Yet reinforcing negative thought patterns alters our sense of wellbeing for the worse.</p> <p>Psychologist Aaron Beck first proposed this theory of cognitive distortion in 1976. His student David Burns, now a psychiatrist and adjunct clinical professor emeritus at Stanford University School of Medicine, continued Beck’s work by cataloguing how our brains tend to manufacture faulty connections.</p> <p>“None of them is one-size-fits-all,” explains therapist Erica Cramer, but according to Burns’ research, some common ways we cognitively distort our view of the world include:</p> <ul> <li>filtering, magnifying, and dwelling on negative details</li> <li>black-and-white or all-or-nothing thinking</li> <li>overgeneralisation, like thinking that something “always” or “never” happens</li> <li>jumping to conclusions, mind reading and predictive fortune-telling</li> <li>emotional reasoning, or coming to conclusions based on your feelings alone</li> <li>thinking in terms of “should,” “must,” or “ought to” statements</li> <li>holding yourself personally responsible (or blaming others) for things out of your control</li> <li>catastrophising</li> </ul> <p><strong>What is catastrophising?</strong></p> <p>“[Catastrophising] is when you think the worst-case scenario is the most likely scenario,” Cramer says. “Rather than there being an equal chance of something going right or wrong, you assume you are destined to experience a negative outcome.”</p> <p>This line of thinking generally starts with information that has a kernel of truth to it, says Gail Saltz, MD, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry and host of the How Can I Help? podcast from iHeartRadio.</p> <p>But when someone has a catastrophic thought pattern, their imagination takes an otherwise small concern and unravels it to the nth degree – the worst place it can go.</p> <p>Dr Saltz says to imagine a dark and gloomy day.</p> <p>“You look outside, and you think: There’s a thundershower coming; my child’s on her way home from school. It’s probably going to suddenly hit, then she may get struck by lightning and killed, and I will never be able to survive myself because I’ll be in mourning,” she explains. “That would be catastrophising.”</p> <p><strong>What causes catastrophic thinking?</strong></p> <p>“We all engage in catastrophic thinking at times, and there are likely evolutionary roots to this type of thinking,” Dr Jerud says.</p> <p>“In fact, catastrophising may have even been adaptive for our ancestors, as it may have led them to be more vigilant and thus better able to evade potential predators.”</p> <p>But Dr Saltz says switching these evolutionary alarm bells to overdrive can turn catastrophic thinking into an automatic response. Someone living with this cognitive distortion may habitually scan their environment and over-interpret signs of potential danger, concluding the worst-case scenario is the only possible outcome.</p> <p>This snowball effect takes us beyond day-to-day worries. Dr Jerud explains catastrophising is believing that not only will you stutter during your upcoming job interview, but you won’t get that job or any other job. Therefore, you’ll be unemployed forever.</p> <p>“There are infinite causes for cognitive distortions,” Cramer says. “Different situations affect people in different ways.”</p> <p>That’s why there’s no one trigger for catastrophic thinking. People can develop an ingrained catastrophic thought cycle in response to a wide range of situations, like:</p> <ul> <li>past trauma</li> <li>bad parenting</li> <li>work or relationship stress</li> <li>low self-esteem or imposter syndrome</li> <li>conditions like depression or anxiety</li> </ul> <p><strong>Is catastrophising the same as</strong> <strong>anxiety?</strong></p> <p>Catastrophic thinking (and other cognitive distortions) is especially common among individuals who struggle with anxiety, Dr Jerud says. But they’re not mutually exclusive: Not everyone with anxiety gets caught in catastrophic thought patterns.</p> <p>Still, research published in<span> </span><em>Cognitive Therapy and Research</em><span> </span>found that catastrophising is a predictor for mental health conditions, including anxiety, panic, post-traumatic stress and obsessive-compulsive disorders.</p> <p>Catastrophic thinking can also fuel an existing anxiety disorder.</p> <p>“The more you have these catastrophic thoughts, the higher your anxiety does tend to stay,” Dr Saltz says. “It’s kind of a vicious loop.”</p> <p><strong>Is catastrophising connected to other health conditions?</strong></p> <p><span>People can engage in catastrophising without any underlying medical cause. However, research suggests a few conditions may influence catastrophic thought cycles (in addition to anxiety disorders).</span></p> <p><strong>Chronic pain</strong></p> <p>Experiencing chronic or long-term pain is a common avenue to catastrophising thoughts. Research published in<span> </span><em>Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics</em><span> </span>discusses how people with chronic pain often:</p> <ul> <li>worry that they’ll always be in pain (or that it will get continually worse)</li> <li>magnify the threat value of their pain</li> <li>feel helpless that there’s nothing they can do to reduce their pain</li> <li>exaggerate anticipated painful situations</li> </ul> <p><em>Practical Pain Management</em><span> </span>reports that these catastrophic thoughts can actually increase someone’s physical pain – while putting them at a higher risk for disability and complementary conditions like depression.</p> <p>Another 2020 study in the journal<span> </span><em>PAIN</em><span> </span>found that pain catastrophising also leads people to avoid exercise or movement altogether, increasing their potential for greater pain, depression and poor health outcomes.</p> <p><strong>Depression</strong></p> <p>While having catastrophic thoughts is more commonly associated with anxiety, these patterns have a link to depressive disorders, too.</p> <p>Cramer explains that people with depression are more likely to feel like nothing goes right in their lives or that everyone has a low opinion of them. This pattern of negative thinking can make someone more susceptible to developing cognitive distortions like catastrophising.</p> <p><strong>Fatigue</strong></p> <p>Catastrophising can cause somatic – aka physical – symptoms as well. Cramer says cognitive distortion thought patterns could cause someone so much anxiety they experience back pain or headaches, for example.</p> <p>“[Catastrophising] can also make you tired because you are overthinking everything,” she adds.</p> <p>Research backs up this association. A literature review published in the<span> </span><em>Journal of Psychosomatic Research<span> </span></em>suggests someone’s tendency to catastrophise is a good predictor of their fatigue levels and how much that fatigue disrupts their life.</p> <p><strong>How to overcome catastrophic thinking</strong></p> <p>Worries, anxieties and negative thoughts are a normal part of life. But when they evolve into habitual cognitive distortions, these thought patterns can affect your physical and mental health alike.</p> <p>“When we engage in catastrophic thinking, we often miss out on what’s happening in the present moment, which can make it hard to enjoy day-to-day life,” Dr Jerud says.</p> <p>She recommends acknowledging that a feared outcome could happen (as opposed to “will” happen) and then gently shifting your attention back to the present moment. Just don’t try to push the thoughts away, disprove them, or convince yourself that your feared outcomes won’t happen.</p> <p>“The goal here isn’t to get rid of the catastrophic thoughts, but simply to not allow them to dictate what you do or don’t do,” she explains.</p> <p>“This is key because efforts to avoid catastrophic thinking often backfire, causing these thoughts to pop up even more intensely.”</p> <p>Still, rewiring our negative thought patterns might be easier said than done. That’s why the experts recommend a few approaches to help you overcome catastrophic thinking.</p> <p><strong>Therapy </strong></p> <p>Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is a psychological treatment that aims to change thought patterns by helping patients:</p> <ul> <li>learn to recognise and re-evaluate their cognitive distortions</li> <li>develop problem-solving skills and coping mechanisms that help reduce the effect of cognitive distortion triggers</li> <li>build a greater sense of self-confidence, limiting the control that negative fears have over them</li> </ul> <p>“It analyses how your thoughts influence your feelings and behaviours,” Cramer explains.</p> <p>She says CBT not only equips people with concrete tools to recognise and combat their distortions, but when practiced regularly enough, these learned skills become habits, replacing formerly catastrophic thought patterns.</p> <p><strong>Medication</strong></p> <p>While catastrophising isn’t a medical diagnosis itself, it’s often a symptom of conditions like generalised anxiety disorder.</p> <p>Dr Saltz says that for people with high anxiety levels, medication can help reduce symptoms, including diminishing their catastrophic thinking.</p> <p><strong>Mindfulness</strong></p> <p>Cramer says building a practice around distinguishing facts from feelings – a form of mindfulness – can help stop catastrophic thinking in its tracks.</p> <p>“Whenever you are thinking a negative thought, determine if it is a feeling or fact,” she says.</p> <p>“If you do not have any evidence to support the thought, it is simply a feeling and not the actual truth. Anyone can believe anything they want, but is it actually true?”</p> <p><strong>Exercise</strong></p> <p>Physical activity reduces the impact of anxiety disorders on people’s lives, including generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and social anxiety disorder.</p> <p>That’s because, according to Harvard Medical School, exercise:</p> <ul> <li>reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones</li> <li>stimulates the production of endorphins – the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators</li> <li>improves self-image</li> <li>increases strength, stamina and energy levels</li> <li>helps people build routines and social connections</li> </ul> <p>Research published in<span> </span><em>Frontiers in Psychiatry</em><span> </span>found that regular exercise may even have a protective effect against the development or progression of mental health conditions. Similar to the medication approach, focusing on ways to treat someone’s underlying anxiety may help reduce their catastrophic thinking.</p> <p><strong>Get another perspective</strong></p> <p>“Sometimes it is helpful to share your feelings with others and get an outside perspective,” Cramer says.</p> <p>“Asking questions like ‘Do you think this will likely happen?’ or ‘How do you view this situation?’ can definitely help you stay grounded and question your negative thoughts.”</p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Leslie Finlay. This article first appeared in </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/healthsmart/conditions/mental-health/what-is-catastrophising" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Reader’s Digest</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">here’s our best subscription offer.</span></a></em></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Getty Images</span></em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

Mind

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10 deodorant mistakes you need to stop making

<p>It’s a common daily hygiene routine – people apply deodorant to their underarms to hopefully keep body odour away.</p> <p>Although putting on deodorant is a common practice, there are some mistakes people make when it comes to this personal hygiene product.</p> <p>We asked skin health experts to reveal the most common mistakes people make that can reduce the ability of deodorant to do its job, and the tips to correct them.</p> <p><strong>Not knowing the difference between deodorant and antiperspirant </strong></p> <p>Antiperspirants reduce sweat, while deodorants reduce stink. According to dermatologist, Fayne Frey most antiperspirants contain aluminium salts, sometimes mixed with a zirconium salt, which bind to a protein in the sweat gland ducts.</p> <p>This creates a sweat duct plug that temporarily tamps down sweat production. Deodorants, on the other hand, are topical products that either neutralise odour – using ingredients that kill some of the bacteria that contributes to the development of body odour – or simply mask it.</p> <p>“They do not reduce the amount of sweat expelled and will not keep your armpits dry,” explains dermatologist, Dr Tsippora Shainhouse.</p> <p><strong>Applying it right after shaving</strong></p> <p><span>Be careful when swiping on deodorant or antiperspirant immediately after shaving, especially when using products with a higher alcohol content. </span></p> <p><span>These can cause irritation, according to dermatologist, Dr Alisha Plotner.</span></p> <p><strong>Layering deodorant </strong></p> <p><span>You may use this technique with dry shampoo and possibly mascara, but a fresh layer of deodorant won’t keep you fresh if it’s sitting on top of yesterday’s stench. </span></p> <p><span>You need to apply product to clean, dry skin, so it can adhere directly to the surface. If layered on top of an older product (especially a thick cream or solid) it’s likely to be less effective, explains Dr Plotner.</span></p> <p><strong>Applying it in the morning</strong></p> <p>Contrary to popular belief, you should actually be applying deodorant in the evening, before bed. Deodorants and antiperspirants are most effective on skin when sweat ducts are less active and there is minimal moisture. This can be such as in the evening and while you sleep.</p> <p>“Because deodorant should always be applied to clean, dry skin, it’s best to shower in the evening, pat your skin dry with a towel, and then apply deodorant,” explains dermatologist, Dr Joel Schlessinger.</p> <p>“If you miss the fresh scent of deodorant, it’s okay to apply again in the morning. However, this is more for your own comfort level than anything else.”</p> <p><strong>Not applying it everyday</strong></p> <p><span>This one can go either way. “Depending on your body and what type of deodorant/antiperspirant you’re using, you may not need to apply every single day," explains Dove dermatologist, Dr Alicia Barba. </span></p> <p><span>Some antiperspirants are made to last 48 hours, which means daily application isn’t essential. When in doubt, read the label, or just cleanse and reapply.</span></p> <p><strong>Forgetting to moisturise </strong></p> <p><span>Dr Frey advises applying a dimethicone-based moisturiser to the armpit in the morning to minimise irritation. For a more natural alternative, spa director, Sharla Martin, recommends moisturising with coconut oil. </span></p> <p><span>“Coconut oil soothes dry skin and can reduce water loss in very dry skin. It has natural antibacterial properties and is incredibly soothing to the skin in those delicate places.”</span></p> <p><strong>Using the wrong product</strong></p> <p><span>It’s important to take into consideration your skin type and any skin issues or sensitivities when choosing a deodorant. </span></p> <p><span>Higher alcohol content formulas, like sprays and gels, may be irritating to sensitive skin types – as can heavily fragranced formulas, according to Dr Plotner. </span></p> <p><span>“You have to take care of the skin under your arms just like you do the skin on your face,” says Dr Barba.</span></p> <p><strong>Not knowing the difference between regular and clinical strength</strong></p> <p><span>Regular antiperspirants must show a 20 per cent reduction in sweat duct plug formation, while clinical strength must show a 30 per cent reduction. </span></p> <p><span>“Clinical strength antiperspirants contain a higher concentration of aluminium zirconium salts, and although they may be more effective, they may also be more irritating,” says Dr Frey. </span></p> <p><span>“I advise my patients with sensitive skin to avoid antiperspirants with fragrance as well as extra strength formulas, and to look instead for products that contain dimethicone, which may also prevent irritation in susceptible individuals.”</span></p> <p><strong>Not considering natural formulas</strong></p> <p><span>Have you ever thought about using natural deodorant? Before you assume it doesn’t work, you should know this – they can be good alternatives for a few reasons. </span></p> <p><span>Natural deodorants may be viable options for people with light sweating, or those who are hoping to camouflage and/or prevent mild odour, according to Dr Plotner.</span></p> <p><strong>Not knowing how to get it off clothes</strong></p> <p><span>It’s frustrating to slip on a top and realise you just got white deodorant smudges all over it. Don’t worry, there are a few proven methods to wipe away those dreaded marks. </span></p> <p><span>A damp washcloth works well (just be sure to wring it out to avoid soaking your clothes). To avoid white marks all together, simply opt for a clear formula.</span></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared in <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/healthsmart/beauty/10-deodorant-mistakes-you-need-to-stop-making?pages=1" target="_blank">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Body

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The surprising reason exercise improves symptoms of Alzheimer’s

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though we already know that physical activity is good for us, new research has discovered that it may have even more benefits for those with Alzheimer’s disease.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A team of researchers have </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.scimex.org/newsfeed/why-exercise-is-beneficial-for-those-with-alzheimers" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">identified</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> a potential explanation for why exercise improves brain health.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dr Kaitlin Casaletto, the study’s senior author and a neurophysiologist at the University of California’s Memory and Ageing Centre, said the study makes the link between exercise and better brain health via inflammation.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We are starting to show the ‘who of the how’: physical activity related to better cognitive outcomes via reduced brain inflammation, particularly in adults with greater Alzheimer’s disease pathology,” she told </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">OverSixty</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">. “Broadly, our study supports the dynamic</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and plastic nature of the brain, even in older adults and even in the context of pathology.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The researchers monitored the activity of microglia - the brain’s immune cells -  in 167 older adults, as well as the levels of activation in brain tissue from deceased patients with Alzheimer’s. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As the brain’s first line of immune defence, the cells activate to remove debris, damaged neurons, and foreign invaders. But, if the cells are too active, they can trigger inflammation, damage neurons, and interrupt signalling in the brain.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This was particularly noticeable in a region of the brain responsible for processing visual information. This area is one of the regions severely impacted by Alzheimer’s disease, resulting in difficulty processing new information and remembering it later.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/JNeurosci?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#JNeurosci</a> | New research from <a href="https://twitter.com/UCSFmac?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@UCSFmac</a> shows physical activity may improve <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Alzheimers?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Alzheimers</a> by lowering brain inflammation. <a href="https://twitter.com/kbcasaletto?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@kbcasaletto</a> et al. show benefits may come through decreased immune cell activation. <a href="https://t.co/ZSgCVfnPCQ">https://t.co/ZSgCVfnPCQ</a> <a href="https://t.co/oSganHTYHj">pic.twitter.com/oSganHTYHj</a></p> — SfN Journals (@SfNJournals) <a href="https://twitter.com/SfNJournals/status/1462844838576017418?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 22, 2021</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Physical activity was also found to have a pronounced effect in reducing inflammation in people with severe Alzheimer’s.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“For instance, our study suggests that individuals at risk for Alzheimer’s related inflammation may particularly benefit from an exercise regimen,” Dr Casaletto said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, she said it’s important to understand that exercise “may not work for everyone’s brain health”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Previous work has made the connection between exercise and reduced risks of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, but Dr Casaletto said the new study is the first to show the same kinds of results in humans.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Many studies show that physical activity relates to better brain and cognitive health. Yet we still do not fundamentally understand the mechanisms linking physical activity to cognition in humans,” said Dr Casaletto.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Ours is the first human data showing that brain inflammation may be a meaningful mechanism.” </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The researchers also noted that exercise could be used to identify potential treatments.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Our team aims to identify biological targets that link known neuroprotective factors like physical activity to the brain,” Dr Casaletto said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Ideally, if we can ‘bottle’ these biological mechanisms, they could be therapeutic targets for cognitive ageing and Alzheimer’s disease.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The study was published in the </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jneurosci.org/content/early/2021/11/11/JNEUROSCI.1483-21.2021" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Journal of Neuroscience</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Getty Images</span></em></p>

Mind

Lifestyle

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Crowd goes nuts as man learns he's a dad on the big screen

<p><em>Image: Youtube</em></p> <p>A new dad-to-be has been given the surprise of his life while attending a basketball game – and as far as pregnancy announcements go – this is up there with one of the best we've seen.</p> <p>The Orlando Magic fan was happily watching the big game with his partner when the ‘kiss cam’ panned across to them during a break.</p> <p>The man and his partner looked suitably delighted at the attention – but something about the woman's behaviour was not quite right. Almost as though she knew something ELSE was about to happen.</p> <p>Sure enough, as the camera lingered on the couple, a special message appeared along the bottom of the screen: ‘Congrats James! You are you going to be a dad’.</p> <p>At first James did not notice the message – but slowly it became apparent that the rest of the crowd certainly had, as the cheering swelled to a giant crescendo.</p> <p>Then the magic moment arrived: the dad-to-be finally looked a little closer at the big screen, took a second or two to comprehend what he was reading, and was then completely overcome with shock, surprise and pure joy. His reaction will be preserved forever for the young family, and it really was a tremendous one.</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fNWuld3hwa8" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Sadly, James’ team lost the game – going down to the Charlotte Hornets 106-99. But there's no question that he went home a happy man regardless, with a story he will be able to share for many years to come.</p>

Family & Pets

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How do birds make their nests?

<p>The first thing to know is not all birds make nests. For example, emperor penguin fathers carry their precious egg on their feet (to keep it off the frozen ground).</p> <p>Some birds, such as <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuckoo">cuckoos</a>, will lay their eggs in someone else’s nests. Others lay them on the ground among leaves or pebbles, or on cliffs with very little protection.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433852/original/file-20211125-25-1be6ny0.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/433852/original/file-20211125-25-1be6ny0.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=237&amp;fit=clip" alt="Eggs among pebbles" /></a></p> <p><span class="caption">Some birds will lay their eggs among pebbles on the ground, which doesn’t offer them much physical protection.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Shutterstock</span></span></p> <p>For the birds that do build nests, there is one main goal: to keep their eggs and chicks safe.</p> <h2>Many places to build a nest</h2> <p>Many birds also make their nests in tree hollows, including parrots. That’s just one reason it’s important to not cut trees down!</p> <p>Meanwhile, kookaburras use their powerful beaks to burrow into termite nests and make a cosy nest inside. And the cute <a href="https://www.birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/spotted-pardalote">spotted pardelote</a> will dig little burrows in the side of earth banks – with a safe and cosy spot for its eggs at the end of the tunnel.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433827/original/file-20211125-19-1en7ivf.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/433827/original/file-20211125-19-1en7ivf.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">The tiny spotted pardalote is one of the smallest Australian birds, and measures about 8 to 10 centimetres in length.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Shutterstock</span></span></p> <p>Some birds, such as <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_brushturkey">brush turkeys</a>, spend months building huge mounds on the ground which can heat up from the inside. The male turkey makes sure the ground is exactly the right temperature inside the mound, and then lets the female lay the eggs inside. He’ll take big mouthfuls of dirt surrounding the eggs to check it’s not too hot or cold.</p> <h2>What materials do they use?</h2> <p>Birds construct many different types of nests. There are floating nests, cups, domes, pendulums and basket-shaped nests. They can be made out of sticks, twigs, leaves, grasses, mosses or even mud.</p> <p><a href="https://www.birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/white-winged-chough">Magpie-larks</a> (also called “peewees”), <a href="https://birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/apostlebird">apostlebirds</a> and <a href="https://www.birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/white-winged-chough">choughs</a> make mud bowl nests that look like <a href="http://www.birdway.com.au/corcoracinae/apostlebird/source/apostlebird_100486.php">terracotta plant pots</a>. To do this, they gather mud and grasses in their beaks and shake it around to mix it with their saliva. They can then attach it to a branch and build upwards until the nest is complete.</p> <p>In fact, bird saliva is a really strong and sticky material to build nests with. Birds will often mix saliva and mud to make a type of glue. And some swiftlets make their nests entirely out of solidified saliva. People will even eat these nests in <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-12/birds-nest-soup-bird-blown-to-australia/11953830">bird’s nest soup</a>!</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433823/original/file-20211125-23-7mufq4.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/433823/original/file-20211125-23-7mufq4.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">Some swiftlets will make their nest entirely out of solidified saliva.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Shutterstock</span></span></p> <p>Willie wagtails use another type of glue - sticky spiderwebs. They “sew” grasses together using spider webs and the webs help keep the nests strong against wind and water, too. They have to perfect the technique of gathering the spiderweb though, otherwise it can get tangled in their feathers.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433824/original/file-20211125-19-3ejs71.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/433824/original/file-20211125-19-3ejs71.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">Willy wagtail’s nest is a neatly-woven cup of grasses, covered with spider’s web on the outside and is lined with soft grasses, hair or fur.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Shutterstock</span></span></p> <p>Magpies and crows, both common visitors to our gardens, are also clever nest builders. Not only can they expertly layer their sticks into a bowl, but they also use many human-made materials in their nests. You might find them using fabric, string or a wire to hold a nest together.</p> <p>Some birds such as red kites have even been seen “decorating” their nests with human rubbish. And Australian babblers line the inside of their nests with a thick wall of kangaroo poo, followed by soft fluff, to keep their chicks warm.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433851/original/file-20211125-23-ljn8ga.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/433851/original/file-20211125-23-ljn8ga.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">The chestnut-crowned babbler lives in the desert and can have up to 23 birds roosting in one nest.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Shutterstock</span></span></p> <h2>The building process</h2> <p>To actually weave the nests, birds will usually create a base by layering sticks or twigs in the place they want it. Then they use their beaks and feet to weave a chosen materials through, to hold the sticks in place.</p> <p>They can pull strips of material with their beaks over and under, just like weaving a rug. They can even tie knots! Nests can take a really long time to make, so they’re often reused year after year. Weaver birds are so good at weaving, they can build complex nests that <a href="https://www.wired.com/2014/08/absurd-creature-of-the-week-the-bird-that-builds-nests-so-huge-they-pull-down-trees/">cover entire trees</a> and have several chambers.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kVlyUNRtQmY?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><span class="caption">Check out this baya weaver bird build an incredible hanging nest using the weaving method. These birds are found across the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia.</span></p> <p>To summarise, birds are really intelligent animals. They use their intelligence, along with their beaks and feet, to find the most clever ways to make nests with whatever materials are available. And they get better at this by learning from others, such as their parents or peers.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><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; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/172391/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kiara-lherpiniere-1276069">Kiara L'Herpiniere</a>, PhD Candidate, Wildlife Biologist, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/curious-kids-how-do-birds-make-their-nests-172391">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: Shuttershock</em></p>

Family & Pets

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5 tips to make transitioning into retirement easier

<p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p> <p>Retirement marks the end of a chapter in your career and the start of a new lifestyle. This unique transition can bring a myriad of emotions, most commonly ones of excitement and apprehension.</p> <p>If you’re pondering retiring in the next year or so, here are five tips to help you transition smoothly:</p> <p><strong>Know the transition could take weeks — or months</strong></p> <p>You likely spent decades forming a routine around your work schedule. Establishing your new normal of volunteer work, an encore career or helping family will take time. If you are married, remember that your retired status may affect your spouse’s routine, too. Talk openly about how you’re feeling during the transition to keep your spouse in the loop.</p> <p><strong>Communicate your retirement plans with family members</strong></p> <p>Your parents, kids or other family members will likely be interested in how you intend to spend your retirement days. Will you be visiting the grandkids more often? Continuing to host family get-togethers? Planning to move or purchase a retirement home? As you share your plans, don’t forget to discuss your financial picture. The benefits of open communication are three-fold: it reassures your kids that you’re financially prepared, allows you to introduce or remind your family of your estate and legacy plans, and it establishes a safe space for both sides to discuss potentially challenging financial topics.</p> <p><strong>Maintain healthy habits</strong></p> <p>Staying diligent with the activities that help you feel your best is important as you shift into retirement. Prioritize eating healthy, sleeping well, staying fit and maintaining friendships in your new routine.</p> <p><strong>Evaluate your finances</strong></p> <p>Prior to retirement, you likely outlined how you will manage your cash flow. (If not, today is the day to put a plan in place.) As you enter retirement, review your expenses to ensure they’re aligned with your plan. It’s common to revise your spending and activities after experiencing the first few weeks away from your primary job, so it’s OK if you need to adjust how much you withdraw from your accounts each month. If you want to increase your spending, calculate what that means for your later retirement years, as you don’t want your savings to come up short.</p> <p><strong>Reset your attitude</strong></p> <p>Retirement is not the ultimate finish line. Experiencing a lot of emotions is common, but try to focus on what you’re excited about in this next chapter. And, remember you’re not alone. Talk to friends, family and professionals in your life for support along the way.</p>

Retirement Life

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Harry Styles’ foray into the beauty world sparks huge demand

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The world of men’s beauty products has remained relatively untouched in the past, with many believing these self-care products are exclusive to women. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, as Grammy award-winning musician and style icon Harry Styles has launched his own non-binary line of products, the demand for men’s products has seen a global rise. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">His new brand, called Pleasing, was launched in November and features skin care items and nail polishes, which have become Styles’ signature in recent years. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Global fashion marketplace, </span><a href="https://www.lovethesales.com/press/articles/fashion-data-daily"><span style="font-weight: 400;">LoveTheSales</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, has been tracking demands and a range of sales data from over 10 million international shoppers. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since Pleasing was announced on Styles’ Instagram account, shopping searches for “men’s makeup” sky-rocketed a whopping 393 per cent compared to the week before.</span></p> <blockquote 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);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CWeVKMVvrpI/?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> <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;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CWeVKMVvrpI/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Harry Styles Updates. (@harry_update1)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There was also a 72 per cent increase in fashion searches for “men’s nail varnish” and a truly giant 641 per cent increase in demand for “men’s lip serums”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Harry started his line with specifically non-gendered items, as the conversation around gender and fashion continues to be evolving and changing amongst younger generations. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s starting with nail polish because that was kind of the birth of what it was for,” he told </span><a href="https://www.dazeddigital.com/music/article/54765/1/harry-styles-pleasing-brand-cover-2021-interview"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dazed</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in an interview. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Me seeing a colour on a flower or a wallpaper or something and thinking, ‘Oh, I wanna put that on my nails.’”</span></p> <blockquote 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);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CWTYc_4lWHf/?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> <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;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CWTYc_4lWHf/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Pleasing (@pleasing)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Harry Styles has long been known for embracing gender-neutral style, as he has pushed the envelope with his fashion in photoshoots, and donning a more progressive way of presenting himself. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With the help of his army of fans, Styles is helping to break down gender stereotypes in the world of beauty and fashion, as his new Pleasing brand is only the beginning. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Getty Images / Instagram</span></em></p>

Beauty & Style

Finance

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17 habits of people who are great at saving money

<h2 class="slide-title">Good savers don’t procrastinate</h2> <p>Good savers start early, say certified financial planners Janet Stanzak and Kristin Garrett. Many good money savers were taught as children to put away for a rainy day, but even those who weren’t have learned to jump on an opportunity. “Good savers don’t procrastinate financial decisions,” Garrett says.</p> <p>If your employer is not paying you Superannuation, a good rule of thumb is to put 10 and 15 per cent of your pay each month straight into a retirement or Super account.</p> <h2 class="slide-title">Good savers know the difference between wants and needs</h2> <div class="slide-image"> <div id="page2" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>One of the biggest lies we’re sold today, Stanzak says, is that wants are actually needs. “I’ve had so many clients try and tell me that travel, new clothing, and eating out are real needs. They’re really not.” Instead, good savers actually write down a list of their basic needs, their wants, and their big wishes.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div id="page3" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <h2 class="slide-title">Good savers don’t rely on autopay</h2> <div id="page3" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Autopay makes paying bills easier – in fact, it makes it too easy for money to flow out without you really registering what’s happening. Whether you pay by BPay or via another online transaction, intentionally paying your bills makes your brain note the expenditure. If you do set up autopay (no late fees, after all!), make sure you don’t just set it and forget it. Check the transactions at least once a month to make sure the charges are accurate and get a good sense of what you’re spending. Even better, Garrett adds, good savers write all those transactions down in their budget.</p> <h2 class="slide-title">Good savers make saving easy and automatic</h2> <div class="slide-image"> <div id="page4" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Autopay allows you to forget the pain of paying your bills, right? Well it works the other way too. Automating your savings account, either through an automatic transfer on a certain day each month or through using a savings apps, can take the sting out of saving, says Stanzak.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div id="page5" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <h2 class="slide-title">Good savers have a budget</h2> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Yes, a real, honest-to-goodness written chart or spreadsheet that they update and balance regularly is one of the trademark money-saving tips from savvy savers. “The first clue you have that someone has a problem with money is when they can’t provide their monthly cash flow,” Stanzak says. You can’t save if you don’t even know how much money you have to begin with.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/money/17-habits-of-people-who-are-great-at-saving-money"> <h2 class="slide-title">Good savers use cash</h2> <div class="slide-image"> <p>This isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, Stanzak says, but good savers often tend to use physical types of money. Research shows that people can spend more money with credit cards versus paying with cash. Statistics show that the average non-cash transaction is $100 more than a cash transaction. If you’re trying to save, handing someone a wad of cash provides enough of a mental speed bump to slow down many impulse buys.</p> <h2 class="slide-title">Good savers prioritise saving</h2> <p><img class="size-full wp-image lazyloaded" src="https://3erc1e4bvanrdzas82cngnw1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/working-out-bills-on-laptop-GettyImages-1150533155-770.jpg" alt="Good savers prioritise saving" data-src="https://3erc1e4bvanrdzas82cngnw1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/working-out-bills-on-laptop-GettyImages-1150533155-770.jpg" data-portal-copyright="Getty Images" /></p> <div class="slide-image"> <div id="page7" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>It sounds simple, but one of the best money-saving tips is simply making saving a priority in your life, says Andrea Woroch, a consumer-finance expert. “Before spending on anything else, they pay themselves first by putting savings into a retirement account or other self-directed savings account,” she says.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div id="page8" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <h2 class="slide-title">Good savers keep track of the little things</h2> <div class="slide-image"> <p>What’s a cup of coffee here or a $2 app there? Little things can add up to big expenses quickly, Garrett says, often before you even realise what’s happening. Good savers will write down, in their ledger or budget, all their expenses, even the tiniest ones. Doing this can also help you track down hidden fees you had no idea you were paying.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="slide-image"> <h2 class="slide-title">Good savers look for deals</h2> <div class="slide-image"> <div id="page9" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Being frugal is a big part of saving money. And good savers are not too proud to use coupons, hunt down the best deals, or research all possible options before buying. “Good savers think through each purchase and research alternatives like used options, compare competitor prices, look for coupons, and read reviews in detail to make the best buying decision,” Woroch says.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/money/17-habits-of-people-who-are-great-at-saving-money"> <h2 class="slide-title">Good savers adjust for life changes</h2> <div class="slide-image"> <div id="page10" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>“You’d be amazed at how many people get divorced but keep living their married lifestyle,” Stanzak says. Big life changes, like job layoffs, divorce and illness, inevitably affect our budgets. Good savers amend their spending to reflect their new earning or income status regardless of how painful it is to acknowledge.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/money/17-habits-of-people-who-are-great-at-saving-money"> <h2 class="slide-title">Good savers take free money</h2> <div class="slide-image"> <div id="page1" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Does your employer give you a discount on your health insurance for getting an annual check-up? Does your company have employee stock options or offer to match your retirement savings? Do you have flight miles or hotel points accrued that you’re not using? Many people leave this so-called ‘free money’ on the table, Woroch says. It may take a little extra effort to fill out the paperwork, but it’s worth the time.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div id="page2" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <h2 class="slide-title">Good savers have three to six months of expenses saved</h2> <div class="slide-image"> <div id="page2" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Many people live pay to pay, which means millions of people are just one bad car accident or layoff away from financial ruin. It may sound obvious, but good savers save. How much savings you need depends entirely on your lifestyle, but Garrett and Stanzak recommend having enough money to cover at least three to six months of basic expenses like mortgage, insurance, utilities and food.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/money/17-habits-of-people-who-are-great-at-saving-money"> <h2 class="slide-title">Good savers are honest with themselves</h2> <div class="slide-image"> <div id="page3" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>None of us are getting any younger. Yet so many people live in denial of this fact, Stanzak says. The truth is that each of us has risk factors that could affect financial security. Good savers are honest about their particular risks – advancing age, tenuous job security, chronic health problems, family issues,  – and plan their savings to account for them.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/money/17-habits-of-people-who-are-great-at-saving-money"> <h2 class="slide-title">Good savers do not feel entitled</h2> <div class="slide-image"> <div id="page4" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>“Too many people have this attitude of entitlement,” Stanzak says. “They get caught up in ‘I work hard, so I should have this because I earned it’.” But if you can’t afford a nice car or a day at the spa, you shouldn’t buy it, no matter how hard you work or how strongly you feel you deserve it.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div id="page5" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <h2 class="slide-title">Good savers live below their means</h2> <div class="slide-image"><img class="size-full wp-image lazyloaded" src="https://3erc1e4bvanrdzas82cngnw1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/woman-checking-price-tag-on-clothing-GettyImages-1174172845-770.jpg" alt="Good savers live below their means" data-src="https://3erc1e4bvanrdzas82cngnw1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/woman-checking-price-tag-on-clothing-GettyImages-1174172845-770.jpg" data-portal-copyright="Getty Images" /></div> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Just because you have money to spend doesn’t mean you should spend it. Good savers know that living below their means can help them save more for the future. For instance, just because you can afford a new car doesn’t necessarily mean you should buy one. If your car is in good shape, use it for as long as you can. Another way to live below your means may be to downsize your home.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div id="page3" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <h2 class="slide-title">Good savers know when it’s time to pick up a side gig</h2> <div class="slide-image"> <div id="page6" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Good savers are brutally honest about their income. They know how much they can afford to put away each month, and if they need to make more money to reach their savings goals. If need be, they pick up side gigs to help them meet their goals.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="ad-slug text-center"> <h2 class="slide-title" style="text-align: left;">Good savers start small</h2> <div class="slide-image"> <p style="text-align: left;">It can be easy to read lists of money-saving tips like this and feel completely overwhelmed and throw in the towel. But saving doesn’t have to be a huge change, Woroch says. “If you’re new to saving, start small. It’s easier to adapt to a small change than a complete life overhaul,” she explains. “So begin by automating a small amount each week and when you become accustomed to saving that amount and living off what you have left, increase it by a little. You’ll continue creating a better savings habit each time.”</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>This article was originally published on Reader's Digest. Click <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/money/17-habits-of-people-who-are-great-at-saving-money">here</a> to read the original article.</em></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

Retirement Income

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No compensation after 43 years of wrongful imprisonment

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">US man has been freed after being imprisoned for more than four decades over crimes he didn’t commit.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kevin Strickland was convicted of one count of first-degree murder and two counts of second degree murder in relation to a triple homicide in 1978.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The then 18-year-old was accused of killing Larry Ingram, 21, John Walker, 20, and Sherrie Black 22, at a home in Kansas City. He maintains that he was at home watching television at the time of the murders.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He received a 50-year life sentence with no parole as an eighteen-year-old, and has always maintained that he wasn’t involved.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’m still in disbelief,” the 62-year-old </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/sunrise/on-the-show/man-walks-free-after-spending-four-decades-behind-bars-for-crime-he-didnt-commit-c-4692536" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">said</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> moments after his release on Wednesday.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Thank you (to the judge) for reviewing all the no evidence against me to begin with. I really appreciate him taking his time to listen and understand what really happened in 1978 and how I was an easy mark and the police took advantage of me.”</span></p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845887/kevin-strickland1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/273081ddd4ee44d68dcb6e42f689fdbc" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kevin Strickland was the first witness to testify at the hearing that secured his freedom. Image: KCTV5</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Strickland learned of the court’s decision to free him from prison while watching a soap opera, when the news scrolled across the television screen. He said fellow inmates began screaming.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’m not necessarily angry. It’s a lot. I think I’ve created emotions that you all don’t know about just yet,” he told reporters while leaving the Western Missouri prison.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Joy, sorrow, fear. I am trying to figure out how to put them together.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">All of Mr Strickland’s charges were dismissed after his legal team presented evidence to exonerate him.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">During the proceedings, family members of the sole surviving witness, Cynthia Douglas, said she was pressured by police to name Strickland as one of the men she saw on the night of the murders.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cynthia passed away in 2015, but her mother and daughter appeared before the court to testify.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We were talking, she said, ‘Mother, I picked the wrong guy. The officer told me that was the guy,” </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.kctv5.com/news/local_news/kevin-strickland-first-to-testify-at-long-awaited-hearing/article_5ecc3214-40f1-11ec-b53b-1f9e37137c18.html" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">said</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Senoria Douglas, Cyntha’s mother.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845888/kevin-strickland2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/46cf4c1eccd248cab801dbdad9f03e58" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cyntha Douglas’ mother, Seroria, spoke about how her daughter told her she ‘picked the wrong guy’. Image: KCTV5</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sherrie Jordan, Cynthia’s daughter, said: “She started saying (that) Kevin Strickland was the wrong guy. And she was trying to get him out, by going through the right procedures.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Judge James Welsh, a retired court of appeals judge, made the ruling to free Mr Strickland after a Jackson county prosecutor requested an evidentiary hearing, saying evidence used to convict him had since been recanted or disproven.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Under these unique circumstances, the Court’s confidence in Strickland’s convictions is so undermined that it cannot stand, and the judgement of conviction must be set aside,” Welsh </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/nov/24/kevin-strickland-freed-42-years-wrongful-conviction" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">wrote</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> when ordering Mr Strickland’s immediate release.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since securing his freedom, one of the first things Mr Strickland did was visit his mother’s grave.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“That was the first step. I didn’t have a chance to visit her in the last years … I revisited those tears that I did when they told me I was guilty of a crime I didn’t commit,” he told </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2021/11/24/kevin-strickland-prison-release-newday-vpx.cnn" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">CNN</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> on Wednesday.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, Mr Strickland will not receive any compensation from the State of Missouri for his time spent in prison, and a </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-kevin-strickland-after-wrongful-conviction" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">GoFundMe</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> set up to help him restart his life has received more than $400,000 in donations.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Midwest Innocence Project</span></em></p>

Legal

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Local council accidentally crushes woman's car and belongings

<p dir="ltr">A NSW grandmother is still awaiting compensation three months after the local council admitted to accidentally seizing and crushing her car.</p> <p dir="ltr">Wendy Tucker said she is upset at how heartless the council has been when it came to offering help, fixing its mistake, and being clear about what happened to her 1997 Toyota Camry and personal belongings, while critics described the incident as embarrassing and evidence of incompetence on the Central Coast Council’s behalf.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mrs Tucker told<span> </span><em>A Current Affair,<span> </span></em>"I just thought the council would have been more forthcoming.</p> <p dir="ltr">"It was my only car, and it had things in it - personal belongings, emotional things - you get attached to your vehicles regardless of how good or bad they are."</p> <p dir="ltr">Mrs Tucker said that three months ago, she rang the police and council rangers, fearing her car, which was parked near her daughter’s home, had been stolen. The 61-year-old high school science lab assistant claims she was told by the council that the car had been towed, and to expect a letter in the mail that would outline the next steps she should take.</p> <p dir="ltr">Unfortunately, the next day she received a call from the council informing her that the car had been accidentally crushed. The warning letter from the council arrived a few days later.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mrs Tucker said, "I thought they were exaggerating but apparently it had been crushed completely.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Former Central Coast councilor Greg Best said “heads should roll” after the incident. "Surely they should have just sat down with Mrs Tucker over a cup of tea and said 'sorry, here's what we're going to do'.</p> <p dir="ltr">"This council wracked up the largest financial debt and financial loss of any council in Australia and it has now gone to an all time high in its incompetence and embarrassment."</p> <p dir="ltr">The Council confirmed the car was left in a street at Point Clare for roughly eight weeks during NSW’s COVID-19 lockdown, and that it towed the vehicle following complaints from nearby homeowners. While this is within the council’s power, it is required to contact the registered owner and give warning that the car had been impounded.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Central Coast Council<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://9now.nine.com.au/a-current-affair/aussie-grandmothers-car-crushed-by-nsw-council-without-warning/b04415f6-ce57-42aa-a2ca-c263a61073f8" target="_blank">provided two statements</a><span> </span>to<span> </span><em>A Current Affair,<span> </span></em>and later offerred an apology to Mrs Tucker. Their most recent statement says, amongst other things, that the “Council apologies to the car owner that adequate notice wasn't provided by letter to the registered address, and despite Council undertaking the process lawfully within the legislation, compensation is assured to the car's owner.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Channel 9</em></p>

Legal

Entertainment

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Why Love Actually is the ultimate Christmas movie

<p>In November 2003, Richard Curtis' film <em>Love Actually</em> was released just in time for the festive season. </p> <p>Now, 18 years ago, the romantic Christmas film is an all-time classic and critical December viewing to get anyone in the yuletide mood.</p> <p>While every year people debate the best Christmas movies, from classics like <em>It's A Wonderful Life</em> to newer films like <em>The Grinch</em> or <em>Elf</em>, <em>Love Actually</em> always comes out on top. </p> <p>This film sums up the feeling of Christmas in such an emotional, enjoyable and poignant way, that has audiences coming back at the end of each year to feel the festive spirit. </p> <p><em>Love Actually</em> provides a string of memorable moments from multiple different story lines, that show people from all walks of life navigating their relationships. </p> <p>Along with the A-list casting, Richard Curtis' script brings the spirit of Christmas to the screen with loveable characters and an incredible soundtrack from composer Craig Armstrong. </p> <p>With iconic scenes such as Prime Minister Hugh Grant's celebratory dancing around 10 Downing Street, Colin Firth's proposal to Aurelia in broken Portuguese, Rowan Atkinson's ridiculously over the top wrapping of a gift for Alan Rickman, and Andrew Lincoln's silent admission of love to Keira Knightley, the loved-up film gives the audience moment after moment of entertainment. </p> <p>While the movie is filled with wholesome, cheery moments, the heartbreaks of <em>Love Actually</em> will have you reaching for a box of tissues, as you feel for the characters and their devastation. </p> <p>From Alan Rickman's betrayal of Emma Thompson, to Laura Linney's lost chance of love, these raw performances show that the festive season isn't always uplifting and heartfelt for everyone. </p> <p>The film continues to keep audiences engaged with its multi-storyline structure, that has everyone rooting for their favourite couple to get their happily ever after. </p> <p>In both the opening and closing scenes of the movie, the arrivals gate at Heathrow airport tells the story of togetherness during Christmastime, as loved ones embrace each other in a display of love.</p> <p>The, albeit slightly cheesy, scenes show that during the festive season, the people closest to us is what's really important: each of us with our own story to tell. </p> <p>Which shows us that love actually is all around. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Universal Pictures</em></p>

Movies

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Hulu’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ casts Canada as a racial utopia

<p>When Hulu’s series <em>The Handmaid’s Tale</em> premiered in 2017, reviewers noted <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/24/arts/television/review-the-handmaids-tale-creates-a-chilling-mans-world.html">its gripping drama and dystopian exploration</a> of rape culture and <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/26/the-handmaids-tale-year-trump-misogyny-metoo">misogyny at a time when both were hallmarks of Donald Trump’s presidency</a>.</p> <p>The series is adapted from Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel. It has won numerous awards and was recently renewed for <a href="https://www.elle.com/culture/movies-tv/a35130606/handmaids-tale-season-5-news-date-cast-spoilers-trailer/">a fifth season</a>. But some commentators, including writer Ellen E. Jones, have <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/jul/31/the-handmaids-tales-race-problem">criticized the series for its use of colour-blind casting that created inclusivity but otherwise ignored race in storylines</a>. Others, including Noah Berlatsky, have analyzed how both the series and novel <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/15/15808530/handmaids-tale-hulu-margaret-atwood-black-history-racial-erasure">erase Black people’s history</a>.</p> <p>Our research examines representations of <a href="https://www.upress.state.ms.us/Books/R/Race-in-Young-Adult-Speculative-Fiction">race in speculative fiction</a> and of <a href="https://www.mqup.ca/reading-between-the-borderlines-products-9780773555136.php">Canada in U.S. literature</a>, leading us to notice how Hulu’s series represents race and national difference.</p> <p>The show positions Canada as a morally superior nation that has rejected the dystopian society’s repressive and exclusionist thinking. This is especially apparent in Season 4’s focus on characters’ escape to Canada, a theme that references older abolitionist narratives. In so doing, the show obscures Canada’s history of slavery, colonialism and racism.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/81PyH5TH-NQ?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> </p> <h2>Atwood’s dystopian world</h2> <p>Both the novel and show draw on U.S. history to imagine a dystopian world facing an unexplained fertility crisis. Gilead, a <a href="https://lithub.com/margaret-atwood-on-how-she-came-to-write-the-handmaids-tale">theocratic nation led by religious fundamentalists</a>, has overthrown the U.S. government. Atwood’s female narrator is an <a href="https://go.gale.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA206534450&amp;sid=googleScholar&amp;v=2.1&amp;it=r&amp;linkaccess=abs&amp;issn=00294047&amp;p=AONE&amp;sw=w&amp;userGroupName=anon%7Ec0791e64">educated white woman</a> forced to become a “handmaid.” Each month, a commander rapes her in a religious fertility ceremony. Babies born to handmaids are raised by commanders and their wives. The sole purpose of the handmaids is to rebuild Gilead’s population.</p> <p>Writer Priya Nair explains that Atwood’s novel draws on the historical <a href="https://www.bitchmedia.org/article/anti-blackness-handmaids-tale">oppression of Black enslaved women and applies it to fictional white women</a>. For example, <a href="https://www.routledge.com/Dark-Horizons-Science-Fiction-and-the-Dystopian-Imagination/Moylan-Baccolini/p/book/9780415966146">handmaids who are disobedient</a> are beaten or hanged.</p> <p>Despite clear parallels to slavery, Atwood only obliquely references slavery when the narrator <a href="https://msmagazine.com/2017/05/02/whats-not-said-handmaids-tale/">explains that the “Children of Ham</a>” have been relocated to the Dakotas. “Children of Ham” is a Biblical phrase that was <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/01/arts/from-noah-s-curse-to-slavery-s-rationale.html">used historically to justify enslaving Africans</a>.</p> <p>Nair also notes that the novel focuses on white women’s oppression, while seemingly ignoring “the historical realities of an American dystopia founded on anti-Black violence.”</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433508/original/file-20211123-26-1jbixok.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="A crowd of women, of white, Black and Asian identities, seen in cloaks and bonnets." /> <span class="caption">Actors are seen at the filming of Handmaid’s Tale at Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., February 2019.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">(Victoria Pickering/Flickr)</span>, <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/" class="license">CC BY-NC-ND</a></span></p> <p>While the novel relies on historical experiences of Black Americans, its characters are predominantly white, a feature of Gilead that Atwood maintains in the 2019 follow-up <em>The Testaments</em>. As reviewer Danielle Kurtzleben notes, in this second instalment: “<a href="https://www.npr.org/2019/09/03/755868251/the-testaments-takes-us-back-to-gilead-for-a-fast-paced-female-centered-adventur">Readers hoping to hear more about race in Gilead will be sorely disappointed</a>.”</p> <p>Atwood intentionally framed Gilead as both misogynist and racist: <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/15/15808530/handmaids-tale-hulu-margaret-atwood-black-history-racial-erasure">the theocracy is interested only in reproducing white babies and, therefore, only enslaving white women</a>.</p> <h2>Colour-blind casting in Hulu’s adaptation</h2> <p>In adapting the novel, Hulu relied on a diverse cast of actors. <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005253/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1">White actor Elisabeth Moss</a> plays June and <a href="https://blackbookmag.com/arts-culture/essay-the-handmaids-tale-star-o-t-fagbenle-on-racial-fairness-in-the-entertainment-industry/">Black British actor</a> <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1282966/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1">O-T Fagbenle</a> portrays her husband Luke. <a href="https://www.bustle.com/p/samira-wiley-on-doing-right-by-her-handmaids-tale-character-her-wife-the-queer-black-community-herself-8732193">Black actor</a> <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm4148126/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1">Samira Wiley</a> was cast as June’s best friend Moira. Actors of colour portray characters of all class positions in Gilead’s society.</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433506/original/file-20211123-25-401rkr.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=237&amp;fit=clip" alt="A Black woman dressed glamorously in red lipstick is seen arriving at an event in front of a Hulu / Handmaid's Tale sign." /></p> <p><span class="caption">Samira Wiley, who plays Moira, arrives for ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ FYC Phase 2 Event in August 2017 in Los Angeles, Calif.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">(Shutterstock)</span></span></p> <p><a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0588005/">Executive producer Bruce Miller</a> acknowledges that <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/jul/31/the-handmaids-tales-race-problem">he cast actors of colour</a> in many roles to avoid creating an all-white world, which would result in a racist TV show. The show doesn’t address race, he explained, because: “<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/jul/31/the-handmaids-tales-race-problem">It just felt like in a world where birth rates have fallen so precipitously, fertility would trump everything</a>.”</p> <p>The show then relies on colour-blind casting and <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2017/06/16/the-handmaids-tale-proves-that-colorblind-casting-isnt-enough/">colour-blind storytelling</a>.</p> <p>In Atwood’s novel, Canada is <a href="https://the-handmaids-tale.fandom.com/wiki/Canada">the place to which handmaids escape</a>, fleeing there on the Underground Femaleroad — a term that clearly invokes <a href="https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/underground-railroad">the Underground Railroad</a>.</p> <p>In Hulu’s series, handmaids — <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5931656/?ref_=ttep_ep10">including Moira</a> — escape from Gilead to Canada where they find protection and safety, and are able to rebuild their lives. The series draws on older literary traditions that have been integral to maintaining the myth of Canada as free from racism.</p> <h2>Draws on abolitionist narratives</h2> <p>In the 1840s and 1850s, U.S. abolitionist authors intentionally represented Canada as a racial haven. By casting <a href="https://www.utpjournals.press/doi/abs/10.3138/jcs.2020-0025">Canada as morally superior</a>, abolitionists imagined what the U.S. might look like if slavery were abolished.</p> <p>Abolitionist authors like Black songwriter and poet <a href="https://southernspaces.org/2020/white-people-america-1854/">Joshua McCarter Simpson</a> and white novelist <a href="https://www.harrietbeecherstowecenter.org/harriet-beecher-stowe/harriet-beecher-stowe-life/">Harriet Beecher Stowe</a> celebrated Canada as a place that resisted racial violence and provided legal protection for Black refugees fleeing U.S. slavery.</p> <p>Some abolitionists sought to capture the nuanced accounts of Black refugees in Canada. Abolitionist editor <a href="https://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/drew/drew.html">Benjamin Drew</a> published oral testimonies of Black refugees, including their experiences of racism in Ontario.</p> <p>Others, like Stowe, minimized the difficulties of the lived experiences of Black Canadians, focusing on stories of Black success in Canada. These celebratory narratives dominated representations of Canada in U.S. literature.</p> <h2>Canada as utopia?</h2> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433513/original/file-20211123-20-1n4hkjj.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=237&amp;fit=clip" alt="A group of women in red cloaks and bonnets are seen walking by a cluster of trees outside." /></p> <p><span class="caption">Hulu’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ escape-to-Canada stories draw on historical narratives by abolitionists.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">(Victoria Pickering/Flickr)</span>, <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/" class="license">CC BY-NC-ND</a></span></p> <p><a href="https://www.chairs-chaires.gc.ca/chairholders-titulaires/profile-eng.aspx?profileId=4528">Literary scholar Nancy Kang</a> argues these abolitionist stories constructed an “<a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/40033673">allegory of Canadian freedom reigning triumphant over American bondage</a>.”</p> <p>Hulu’s <em>The Handmaid’s Tale</em> escape-to-Canada stories draw on these historical narratives. The handmaid Emily, portrayed by white actor <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0088127/">Alexis Bledel</a>, escapes Gilead dramatically, entering Canada by <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8363118/?ref_=ttep_ep1">wading across a rushing river</a>, nearly losing June’s daughter. Once across, she weeps over the baby, recreating an iconic scene from Stowe’s <a href="http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/uncletom/uthp.html"><em>Uncle Tom’s Cabin</em></a>, when the enslaved Eliza escapes slave-catchers by fleeing across a river with her child.</p> <p>Later in the episode, an Asian Canadian doctor welcomes Emily to Canada, saying: “You’re safe here.”</p> <p>On some level, Hulu’s use of colour-blind casting, as Berlatsky notes, “addresses the narrative’s debt to African-American history.” But viewers are still watching an adaptation of a novel whose emotional horror is based on imagining violent, racist aspects of U.S. history <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/15/15808530/handmaids-tale-hulu-margaret-atwood-black-history-racial-erasure">as if the atrocities happened to white people</a>.</p> <h2>Myths of Canada</h2> <p>The series avoids Canada’s history of anti-Black racism, slavery and state violence against Black bodies, as detailed by gender studies and Black/African diaspora scholar <a href="https://wgsi.utoronto.ca/person/robyn-maynard/">Robyn Maynard</a> in <a href="https://fernwoodpublishing.ca/book/policing-black-lives"><em>Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present</em></a>. It also overlooks Canada’s colonial <a href="https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1450124405592/1529106060525">violence toward Indigenous peoples</a>. These <a href="https://theconversation.com/canadas-shameful-history-of-sterilizing-indigenous-women-107876">forms of violence</a> are intertwined with seeking control over women’s reproductive rights and sexual freedom.</p> <p>The series also overlooks Canada’s history of <a href="https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/chinese-immigration-act">racist immigration</a> <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/auschwitz-jews-not-welcome-in-wartime-canada">and asylum</a> policies.</p> <p>Hulu’s series does explore some of the consequences of patriarchal oppression. But the show’s positioning of Canada as a racial haven obscures <a href="https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/racism">its history</a> and the <a href="https://www.cbc.ca/firsthand/m_blog/dont-believe-the-hype-canada-is-not-a-nation-of-cultural-tolerance">contemporary reality of racism</a> experienced by BIPOC women and communities in Canada.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><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; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/167766/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/miranda-green-barteet-1254372">Miranda Green-Barteet</a>, Associate Professor, Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-university-882">Western University</a></em> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alyssa-maclean-1261523">Alyssa MacLean</a>, Assistant Professor, Department of English and Writing Studies, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-university-882">Western University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/hulus-the-handmaids-tale-casts-canada-as-a-racial-utopia-167766">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: Hulu</em></p>

TV

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The Beatles: Get Back review – Peter Jackson’s TV series is a thrilling, funny (and long) treat for fans

<p>The Beatles’ Get Back project, undertaken in January 1969, has finally been completed. Again.</p> <p>For most of the last 50 years it has been known as <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let_It_Be_(1970_film)">Let it Be</a>, a film and LP record released in 1970. The project, conceived by Paul McCartney, was originally intended to be a television special documenting the band’s preparation for a live concert (their first in two and a half years). Because of the performance element, the Beatles decided to get back to their roots and only develop material that could be played without adding overdubs.</p> <p>As it happened, the concert didn’t go ahead, the Beatles famously deciding instead to play a short unannounced gig on the roof of their headquarters. The TV special became a feature film, and the audio was handed over to the “wall of sound” producer, Phil Spector (leading to controversial results).</p> <p>Meanwhile, in the early 1980s, the Beatles withdrew the film version (a fly-on-the-wall documentary directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg) from circulation.</p> <p>Lindsay-Hogg’s Let it Be is remembered as a portrait of a band in the process of breaking up. And indeed, George Harrison did briefly quit the band early into the four-week project, though Lindsay-Hogg’s documentary does not cover this episode.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433853/original/file-20211125-17-14zc63j.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/433853/original/file-20211125-17-14zc63j.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">George Harrison in Get Back.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Walt Disney Pictures, Apple Corps, WingNut Films</span></span></p> <p>Let it Be was seen as a downer in part because the Beatles, especially Lennon, were keen to trash it in the light of the band’s breakup (which occurred just weeks before the release of Let it Be, both film and album). As Lennon said in December 1970, the shoot was “hell”, and Spector was “given the shittiest load of badly recorded shit”.</p> <h2>A different tenor</h2> <p>While the newly released The Beatles: Get Back, directed by Peter Jackson, covers Harrison’s departure and return, Jackson’s film is tonally different from Lindsay-Hogg’s. According to Jackson, the dour account of Let it Be is inaccurate, since there is much “joy” and friendship evident in the 60 hours of film and 150 hours of audio tape that has been sitting in a vault for half a century.</p> <p>Much of this audio has long been available as bootlegs, informing written accounts of this period of the Beatles’ history. The audio without the video, however, doesn’t always tell the whole story.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hmDy9x3AUc0?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>While Jackson and his team haven’t shied away from the moments of friction, ennui, and aimlessness experienced by the band, the tenor of Get Back is more upbeat than Lindsay-Hogg’s version (though there is perhaps more levity in that film than Jackson or its reputation allows).</p> <p>But Get Back is not just a recut of Let it Be; it is a documentary in its own right, a film about the making of a film. Lindsay-Hogg is now a character in the drama of trying to work out what the project is about, and how it will end.</p> <p>Unlike the cinema verité style of Let it Be, Get Back gives much-needed context in the form of titles naming the protagonists and songs, as well as explaining what is happening. The use of a day-by-day countdown to the live performance gives the otherwise shapeless events a sense of narrative and even tension.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nSrCk1icisI?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Get Back was to be a feature film with a theatrical release, but COVID-19 led to a rescheduling and reconceptualising of the work, so that it became a documentary for Disney+. Recent reports were that the series would be a three-part series with a six-hour running time.</p> <h2>The climactic rooftop concert</h2> <p>As it turns out, that running time is closer to eight hours. (Let it Be is a mere 80 minutes long.) Almost all of these eight hours show the Beatles at work on a sound stage (at Twickenham Film Studios) or in an ad hoc recording studio (put together in the Beatles’ Apple headquarters, when – after Harrison’s walkout – it was decided that Twickenham wasn’t conducive to creativity).</p> <p>The Apple studio is clearly more pleasant, and the tone is further lightened when the Beatles are joined by an outsider, their old friend Billy Preston, on keyboards (a crucial moment for the project).</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/385eTo76OzA?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>There is nevertheless something of a hermetic feel to most of Get Back, so that when the Beatles and Preston head up to the rooftop to play in public – the cinematic “payoff” that the band and Lindsay-Hogg had been looking for throughout the project – there is a palpable sense of release.</p> <p>And the famous rooftop concert, presented with creative use of split screen, is stunningly good (and is also, for the first time, presented in its 42-minute entirety).</p> <p>After the countless run throughs and takes of the same songs over the preceding weeks (as well as numerous covers and early Beatles tunes), the sense of energy and the quality of playing gives the film the climactic moment that it needs, complete with police officers demanding, albeit politely, that the Beatles stop breaching the peace of London’s West End.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/I392lK8QUhQ?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <h2>Cigarettes, cups of tea, and white bread</h2> <p>Get Back is very different from Let it Be in part due to Jackson’s editing, especially his use of montage, which produces a dynamic, sometimes frenetic, energy. Beyond these stylistic elements, Get Back is notable as a technical feat.</p> <p>It looks and sounds astonishingly good, not something that was ever said about Let it Be. Jackson and his technical team have employed the kind of film restoration techniques used in his war documentary <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7905466/">They Shall Not Grow Old</a> (2018).</p> <p>The vision in Get Back is beautifully saturated, sharp, and less grainy than Lindsay-Hogg’s film. Harrison and Starr, in their sartorial splendour, often resemble their cartoon equivalents from <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063823/">Yellow Submarine</a> (1968).</p> <p>If there is anything unvarnished about Jackson’s film it is the sight of people apparently living off cigarettes, cups of tea, and white bread. Also notably “historical” is the homosocial nature of the project; almost all of the active participants are men. Even Yoko Ono, who sits beside Lennon throughout, is almost entirely silent (save for her vocal participation in a couple of impromptu jams).</p> <p>While the film has been painstakingly restored, the soundtrack has been almost remade. Much of the audio was recorded on mono quarter-inch tape. Jackson’s technical team used machine learning to effectively “remix” these mono tapes, allowing Jackson to hone in on individual voices masked by other sound sources (voices or musical instruments).</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433854/original/file-20211125-19-e4obm5.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/433854/original/file-20211125-19-e4obm5.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">John Lennon in Get Back.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Walt Disney Pictures, Apple Corps, WingNut Films</span></span></p> <p>This is an extraordinary technological breakthrough, allowing key conversations to be heard properly for the first time, and for the remixing of the play throughs and rehearsals of songs, which weren’t being recorded as “takes” on the eight-track system.</p> <p>Get Back is a treat for any Beatles fan. It’s a reminder, too, if one is needed, that some classic songs were recorded for the project. (Given that McCartney supplied at least three of these classics – Let it Be, The Long and Winding Road, and Get Back – it’s unsurprising that he has long been unsatisfied with the way they were originally showcased.)</p> <p>But Jackson’s film isn’t all sweetness and light. Lennon, for instance, is dismissive of Harrison’s I, Me, Mine, and he makes a throwaway joke about Bob Wooler, a Liverpool disc jockey whom Lennon assaulted in 1963. Also notable is the relative absence of George Martin, who largely hands production duties to his sound engineer, Glyn Johns, surely a sign that Martin found something amiss with the project.</p> <p>And indeed numerous sequences show a band lacking focus and discipline. Get Back, then, is unquestionably a mixed bag: thrilling, compelling, and funny, but also sometimes just a little boring.</p> <p>In this, Jackson has been true to the original project. His extraordinary TV series is essential viewing for anyone interested in popular music.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><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; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/172404/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/david-mccooey-308502">David McCooey</a>, Professor of Writing and Literature, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-beatles-get-back-review-peter-jacksons-tv-series-is-a-thrilling-funny-and-long-treat-for-fans-172404">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: Apple Corps Ltd</em></p>

TV

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Bill Gates shares holiday reading list

<p><em>Image: CNN</em></p> <p>Almost every year Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates lists books he has read and recommends them on his blog. This year Bill has shared what he calls his “holiday readers”. He shares he has read a lot this year but these five books stood out most.</p> <p>1. A Thousand Brains: A New theory of intelligence by Jeff Hawkins. “Few subjects have captured the imaginations of science fiction writers like artificial intelligence. If you’re interested in learning more about what it might take to create a true AI, this book offers a fascinating theory.” Hawkins was the co-inventor of the PalmPilot device back in the 90s.</p> <p>2. The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing and the Future of the Human Race, by Walter Isaacson is the second book that gates recommends. “The CRISPR gene editing system is one of the coolest and most consequential scientific breakthroughs of the last decade,” says Gates. The author does a good job highlighting “the most important ethical questions around gene editing.”</p> <p>3. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro. “This book makes me think about what life with super intelligent robots might look like-and whether we’ll treat these kinds of machines as pieces of technology or something more.”</p> <p>4. Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell. “If you’re a Shakespeare fan, you’ll love this moving novel about how his personal life might’ve influenced the writing of one of the most famous plays,” he noted.</p> <p>5. Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. It is a “wild tale about high school science teacher who wakes up in a different star system with no memory of how he got there.” Gates found this to be a fun read and finished it in one weekend</p>

Books

Property

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See inside Adele’s $41.5 million property portfolio

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Pop icon Adele has shared an inside look into her property portfolio, revealing that she has invested millions in Los Angeles real estate but can’t quite afford London’s hefty prices.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 33-year-old, who has a reported net worth of $USD 200 million, has snapped up three properties in the last five years in the exclusive neighbourhood of Hidden Valley.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The kind of house I have in LA I could never afford in London. Ever,” the British singer told </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.vogue.co.uk/arts-and-lifestyle/article/adele-british-vogue-interview" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Vogue</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Her most recent purchase, a 513-square-metre, four bedroom home, was from her friend and next-door neighbour Nicole Richie, which she paid USD $10 million for earlier this year.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The pop star bought her first home in Beverly Hills for $USD 9.5 million, before going on to purchase a second home for $USD 10.5 million shortly after splitting from husband Simon Konecki in 2019.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s widely believed that Konecki lives in the home, which is across the street from Adele’s other two properties, so that the pair can raise their eight-year-old son close together.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The exclusive community - located inside a gated enclave - is aso home to fellow A-listers Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lawrence and Katy Perry.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Take a look inside the singer’s deluxe portfolio and everything they offer.</span></p> <p><strong>#1 Hidden Valley Road (2016)</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The four-bedroom home designed by Scott Mitchell opens with a two-storey foyer, and comes with a library on the second floor.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845901/adele1-0.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/58a89ca9577944859c9d12230ed9f73c" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Realtor</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Features of the home include two formal living rooms - one with a fireplace and the other with floor-to-ceiling windows - as well as a chef’s kitchen, an expansive family room and breakfast area, and a bonus room usually reserved as a gym.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845899/adele1-3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/df02202242a3420b84d9119a988556a1" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><em>Image: Realtor</em></span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845898/adele1-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/b10f8c08b7a947e7a17bb1e5075797ea" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><em>Image: Realtor</em></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Outside, the property includes a treehouse, an outdoor train set, a pool, and a dog run.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845900/adele1-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/e041985bcfd64b37b8138b2a6784ab1b" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><em>Image: Realtor</em></span></p> <p><strong>#2 Hidden Valley Road (2019)</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dubbed an “art collector’s paradise”, the contemporary home features high ceilings and plenty of natural light.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845896/adele2-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/8c7973ecd0974be486a3a1bdecc93cfd" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><em>Image: Realtor</em></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The home boasts a sunken living room, a 2000-book library, custom-made furniture, and a jacuzzi in the main bedroom’s ensuite, as well as a private balcony and custom walk-in wardrobe.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sitting on more than 3000 square metres, the house is surrounded by expansive lawns, fruit trees, a solar-heated pool, and a large driveway</span></p> <p> <img style="width: 500px; height:281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845897/adele2-0.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/87973c84ae13448b83fc354838829ad2" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><em>Image: Realtor</em></span></p> <p><strong>#3 Lime Orchard Road (2021)</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The mini-mansion wraps around a park-like backyard, with a large lawn accented with stone pavers that lead to a stone patio with an inset pool and separate spa.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Other features include a basketball court and a large hedge offering maximum privacy.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, photos of the home are hard to find since Adele bought the home from Richie and her husband, Joel Madden, in an off-market deal.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Madden and Richie made a tidy profit on the property after purchasing it for $USD 6.7 million back in 2015.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: @adele (Instagram)</span></em></p>

Real Estate

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Strictly Ballroom producer’s hottest property hits the market

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Just two years after dropping a record-setting $10.25 million on a Rose Bay apartment, film producer Antoinette “Popsy” Albert has put her historic Bellevue Hill property up for sale in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The asking price is expected to be a high one, with </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.domain.com.au/news/film-producer-popsy-albert-lists-bellevue-hill-house-inhigh-20-million-range-1106705/" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">some sources</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> saying it could be within the “high $20 million range”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Designed by architect Espie Dods in the 1980s, the five-bedroom home features five bathrooms, several formal and informal living rooms, dining areas and a loggia (a covered seated area) that spills out into the garden.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The home also boasts a custom theatre, next door to a wine cellar, and one of its bedrooms acts as a self-contained apartment.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 1400-square-metre property is nestled among some of Bellevue’s most famed homes, all found on Ginahgulla Road. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The co-producer of Baz Luhrman’s </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Strictly Ballroom</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> has </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.domain.com.au/10-ginahgulla-road-bellevue-hill-nsw-2023-2017435033" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">listed</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> the home with Christie’s realtor Ken Jacobs.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Albert and her late husband, music producer Ted Albert, purchased the home in 1982 for $825,000 from the estate of late racehorse owner Allan Lewis.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: Getty Images, Domain</span></em></p>

Real Estate

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Tiger Woods' secret Kiwi home hits the market

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">An estate on the Kāpiti Coast, to the north of Wellington, which has been home to diplomats, Danish heavy metal icons, and famed golfer Tiger Woods has entered the market in a rare sale.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 40s-styled manor is surrounded by manicured gardens and native bushland and features an extensively remodeled interior that is just as luxurious.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, it’s guest-list has been kept tightly under wraps by its current owners Ralph Green, his wife Letizia Columbano, and their son Lorenzo Green.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We don’t kiss and tell about our guests,” Green </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/houses/127024230/inside-tiger-woods-secret-kiwi-hideaway-beloved-of-nottobenamed-rock-stars-and-foreign-dignitaries" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">said</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Tiger Woods was rather hard to hide. He was meant to be a secret, but it got out because he’s like that. Other guests… I’m struggling to remember on purpose.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Woods stayed at the 1.89-hectare Greenmantle estate in 2002 while competing in the New Zealand Open.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Before Green took over the property in 2012, the then-owner was the former head of New Zealand’s Criminal Investigation Bureau.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This was just after September 11, and there was a lot of scuttlebutt around that they were going to target an American ison, and that New Zealand was seen as a soft target area,” Green explained.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“So there was something like 13 police patrolling around this place, the security was unusually high.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">More recently, Green said the Greenmantle estate had been approved to host heads of state by the diplomatic protection squad.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We have quite high clearance,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Without revealing too many details, he said the most “surprising” celebrities he’s hosted had included “well-known” rock stars, with the lead singer of a Danish metal band with a quite profane name topping the list.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But the chance to host A-list guests wasn’t the reason why Green and his family took over the property.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After seeing the “beautiful pink house sitting proudly up a lovely drive” while growing up in the area, Green and Columbano jumped at the chance to tour the property when it hit the market years later.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We went in there and fell in love,” Green said, referring to the tour he and his wife took of the gardens and the nikau forest behind the house.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“To have a virgin nikau forest in your backyard, it was just too much. We surprised the real estate agent by saying, ‘yes, we’ll take it’. He was a little shocked.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After the previous owner had run the home as a boutique hotel, Green and Columbano converted it into “a luxury lodge”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Having a home and income combined quite usefully. THat’s how we ended up here, because of the gardens, the birdlife, looking at Kāpiti [Island], and having something that’s quite distinctive,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The house boasts six bedrooms - each with balconies and stunning views - as well as seven bathrooms, two separate guest cottages, a heated outdoor pool, and a permanent marquee house nearby.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Within the nikau forest, walking trails lead to a secluded spa.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s like going to Indonesia but without the heat or the insects,” Green said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There is an area we call the nikau amphitheatre that people seem to want to get married in. It’s so nice to sit under all these nikau and listen to the sound of the owls at night.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Having just become grandparents, Green and Columbano are saying a reluctant farewell to the property and moving to be with their daughter in Venice.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s a question of priorities, we’ve become grandparents for the first time, and we want to be grandparents,” Green said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Having last sold for $2.05 million in 2012, propertyvalue.co.nz values the property between $3.25 and $3.5 million now.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The property, which is expected to sell for an even higher price, is on sale for tender by </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.nzsothebysrealty.com/purchasing/property/wtn10334/" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sotheby’s International Realty</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and closes on Thursday, December 9.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: Getty Images, Sotheby's International Realty</span></em></p>

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How to make roads with recycled waste, and pave the way to a circular economy

<p>It cost <a href="https://www.buildingfortomorrow.wa.gov.au/projects/russell-road-to-roe-highway/">A$49 million</a> to add 12.5 kilometres of extra lanes to Western Australia’s Kwinana Highway, south of Perth’s CBD. That’s not unusual. On average, building a single lane of road costs about about <a href="https://www.bitre.gov.au/sites/default/files/rr148.pdf">A$5 million per kilometre</a>.</p> <p>What is unusual about this stretch of extra freeway is not the money but the materials beneath the bitumen: two stabilising layers comprised of <a href="https://www.wasteauthority.wa.gov.au/images/resources/files/2021/06/RtR_Pilot_Report.pdf.pdf">25,000 tonnes of crushed recycled concrete</a>, about 90% of which came from the demolition of Subiaco Oval (once Perth’s premier football ground).</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jiFwKw3NTkk?wmode=transparent&amp;start=75" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Recycling building and construction materials remains the exception to the rule in Australia. The<a href="https://www.awe.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/national-waste-policy-action-plan-2019.pdf"> National Waste Policy</a> agreed to by federal, state and territory governments has a target of 80% resource recovery by 2030. It’s currently <a href="https://www.awe.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/sustainable-procurement-guide.pdf">about 40%</a>.</p> <p>Of the 74 million tonnes of waste <a href="https://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/pages/5a160ae2-d3a9-480e-9344-4eac42ef9001/files/national-waste-report-2020.pdf">generated in Australia in 2020</a>, masonry materials comprised about 22.9 million tonnes. Plastics, by comparison, comprised about 2.5 million tonnes. Of the 61.5 million tonnes of “core waste” managed by the waste and resource recovery sector, 44% (27 million tonnes) came from the construction and demolition sector, compared with 20% (12.6 million tonnes) from households and local government activities.</p> <p>Most of this waste – concrete, brick, steel, timber, asphalt and plasterboard or cement sheeting – could be reused or recycled. It ends up in landfill due to simple economics. It’s cheaper to buy new materials and throw them away rather than reuse and recycle.</p> <p>Changing this equation and moving to a circular economy, in which materials are reused and recycled rather than discarded in landfill, is a key goal to reduce the impact of building and construction on the environment, including its contribution to climate change.</p> <h2>The economics of ‘externalities’</h2> <p>The fact it is more “economic” to throw materials away than reuse them is what economists call a market failure, driven by the problem of “externalities”. That is, the social and environmental costs of producing, consuming and throwing away materials is not reflected in the prices charged. Those costs are instead externalised – borne by others.</p> <p>In such cases there is a legitimate – and necessary – role for governments to intervene and correct the market failure. For an externality such as carbon emissions (imposing costs on future generations) the market-based solution favoured by most economists is a carbon price.</p> <p>For construction material waste, governments have a few more policy levers to help create a viable market for more recycling.</p> <h2>Using procurement policies</h2> <p>One way to make recycling more attractive to businesses would be to increase the cost of sending waste materials to landfill. But this would likely have unintended consequences, such as illegal dumping.</p> <p>The more obvious and effective approach is to help create more demand for recycled materials through government procurement, adopting policies that require suppliers to, for example, use a minimum amount of recycled materials.</p> <p>With enough demand, recyclers will invest in further waste recovery, reducing the costs. Lower costs in turn create the possibility of greater demand, creating a virtuous circle that leads to a circular economy.</p> <hr /> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/432794/original/file-20211119-17-19fvngo.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/432794/original/file-20211119-17-19fvngo.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="Diagram of the circular economy" /></a> <span class="caption"></span> <span class="attribution"><a href="https://www.awe.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/sustainable-procurement-guide.pdf" class="source">Australian Government, Sustainable Procurement Guide: A practical guide for Commonwealth entities, 2021</a></span></p> <p>Australia’s federal, state and territory governments all have sustainable procurement policies. The federal <a href="https://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/856a1de0-4856-4408-a863-6ad5f6942887/files/sustainable-procurement-guide.pdf">Sustainable Procurement Guide</a> states the Australian government “is committed to transforming Australia’s waste into a resource, where most goods and services can be continually used, reused, recycled and reprocessed as part of a circular economy”.</p> <p>But these policies lack some basic elements.</p> <h2>Three key market-making reforms</h2> <p>Our research suggests three important reforms could make a big difference to waste market operations. This is based on interviewing 27 stakeholders from the private sector and government about how to improve sustainable procurement.</p> <p>First, government waste policies that set aspirational goals are not supported by procurement policies setting mandatory minimum recycled content targets. All contractors on government-funded construction projects should be required to use a percentage of recycled waste materials.</p> <p>Second, the nature of salvaging construction materials means quality can vary significantly. Cement recycled from a demolition site, for example, could contain contaminants that reduce its durability.</p> <p>Governments can help the market through regularly auditing the quality of recycler’s processes, to increase buyer confidence and motivate suppliers to invest in production technologies.</p> <p>Third, in some states (such as Western Australia) the testing regimes for recycled construction products are more complex than that what applies to raw materials. More reasonable specifications would reduce compliance costs and thereby the cost of using recycled materials.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><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; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/164997/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/salman-shooshtarian-693412">Salman Shooshtarian</a>, Research Fellow, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/savindi-caldera-1187623">Savindi Caldera</a>, Research Fellow and Project Development Manager, Cities Research Institute, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tayyab-maqsood-711277">Tayyab Maqsood</a>, Associate Dean and Head of of Project Management, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tim-ryley-1253269">Tim Ryley</a>, Professor and Head of Griffith Aviation, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/griffith-university-828">Griffith University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-make-roads-with-recycled-waste-and-pave-the-way-to-a-circular-economy-164997">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: Main Roads Western Australia</em></p>

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