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Jacinda Ardern receives heartwarming tribute: “We are so very proud”

<p>Clark Gayford, the partner of New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, has shared a heartwarming post in light of the new gun control measures announced by his other half.</p> <p>In the wake of the Christchurch shooting, Ms Ardern was swift to announce reforms on Thursday, including the immediate ban of military-style semi-automatic guns and rifles.</p> <p>Her partner Clark shared an adorable photo of the couple’s daughter tightly clutching her father’s finger.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">For her 9 month birthday today we received the gift of crawling. <br />While her mum got her the gift of having a safer country to grow up in. <a href="https://t.co/FiCSTn0PM8">pic.twitter.com/FiCSTn0PM8</a></p> — Clarke Gayford (@NZClarke) <a href="https://twitter.com/NZClarke/status/1108632466800009216?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 21, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>“For her 9-month birthday today we received the gift of crawling,” he wrote for the caption.</p> <p>“While her mum got her the gift of having a safer country to grow up in.”</p> <p>The stay-at-home dad has received a mass amount of praise from followers, commending the way the Prime Minister handled herself in the wake of the terrorist attack.</p> <p>The sharp and cutting message has garnered over 7,000 likes and a flurry of retweets.</p> <p>The rare image of the couple’s daughter, Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford, which was paired with an emotional and inspiring tribute to his politician partner – has received countless support.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7825099/jacinda-ardern-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/d98415c1eed241dc93428d9d4e065e8e" /></p> <p>“Please thank Neve for giving you the strength to give Jacinda the strength to give us all the strength to get through this together,” wrote one Twitter user.</p> <p>“We are so very proud of your mama little Neve,” wrote another.</p> <p>“I hope she is looking after herself too in all of this.”</p> <p>42-year-old Gayford formerly told<em> </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.nowtolove.com.au/parenting/celebrity-families/clarke-gayford-tribute-neve-jacinda-adern-54764" target="_blank"><em>Australian Women’s Weekly</em></a> why he put his own career, a documentary show, <em>Fish of the Day</em> on hold to look after baby Neve while his partner lead New Zealand.</p> <p>“We weighed it up and we decided that her job was possibly slightly more important,” he’d joked.</p> <p>“It was always on the cards to work out that way. I've always been completely supportive of Jacinda and I believe in what she's trying to achieve for New Zealand.</p> <p>“So, it was easy for me to make that call. There are plenty of males out there that do that.”</p>

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The best European destination for 2019 has been revealed

<p><span>Budapest has been named this year’s “European Best Destination”, beating out 19 other cities and regions across the continent.</span></p> <p><span>Travellers from 153 countries participated in choosing the best destination at the 10<sup>th</sup> annual European Best Destinations, with the competition receiving a record of more than half a million votes this year. </span></p> <p><span>The capital of Hungary emerged on top, with more than 62,000 votes from travellers around the world. </span></p> <p><span>The competition’s website praised the city’s culture, gastronomy scene and heritage sites. “The pearl of the Danube is not only the best European destination, it is also one of the most beautiful and safest cities in the world,” it stated. </span></p> <p><span>“Budapest offers the elegance of Paris, the architectural heritage of Vienna, the charm of Porto, Stockholm’s gentle way of life.”</span></p> <p><span>Portugal’s Braga came at number two with the most votes from Brazilian and UK travellers. “The city offers the best of Portugal in a friendly and warm atmosphere,” the website said.</span></p> <p><span>Italy’s Monte Isola and France’s Metz followed at the third and fourth rank respectively. Both became the most-voted cities in their respective countries in the competition’s 10-year history.</span></p> <p><span>Below are the 2019’s top 15 European Best Destinations:</span></p> <ol> <li><span>Budapest, Hungary</span></li> <li><span>Braga, Portugal</span></li> <li><span>Monte Isola, Italy</span></li> <li><span>Metz, France</span></li> <li><span>Poznan, Poland</span></li> <li><span>Malaga, Spain</span></li> <li><span>Geneva, Switzerland</span></li> <li><span>Cavtat, Croatia</span></li> <li><span>Bratislava, Slovakia</span></li> <li><span>Sainte-Maxime, France</span></li> <li><span>Dinant, Belgium</span></li> <li><span>Athens, Greece</span></li> <li><span>Kotor, Montenegro</span></li> <li><span>Riga, Latvia</span></li> <li><span>Florence, Italy</span></li> </ol> <p><span>Other destinations in the running included Paris, Brussels, Berlin, London and Vienna. The voting took place online across 21 days from January to February.</span></p> <p><span>Last year, Poland’s Wroclaw won the prestigious title, winning over Spain’s Bilbao, France’s Colmar and Croatia’s Hvar Island.</span></p> <p><span>Click through the gallery above to see the top 5 European destinations.</span></p> <p><span>Have you visited Budapest before? Let us know in the comments below.</span></p>

International Travel

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Why being bored is good for you

<p><span>Many of us don’t consider boredom as a pleasant feeling. It’s a state that we usually associate with the tedious and the uninteresting, be it a heavy textbook, a work seminar or a long commute. However, studies have shown that being bored can actually do wonders for your creativity.</span></p> <p><span>In a recent study published in the <em>Academy of Management Discoveries</em>, researchers found that being bored can improve productivity and work performance. The participants who had gone through the “boring” task of sorting beans by colour later performed better on solving a creative task than those who were made to do interesting craft activity.  </span></p> <p>In the creative task – which asked people to come up with excuses for being late – the bored participants generated more and better ideas than the other group, as assessed by objective outsiders.</p> <p><span>The report concluded that boredom motivates individuals to try new things, or “engaging in different, often unusual, ways of doing things that are unlike typical or predictable responses.”</span></p> <p><span>Scientists around the world have agreed that despite the negative image, boredom is useful for humans. </span></p> <p><span>"From an evolutionary point of view, if you stay in one place for too long … you make yourself vulnerable to predators and you miss out on opportunity costs," James Danckert, professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Waterloo told the <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2019-01-05/boredom-is-anything-but-boring/10566842"><em>ABC</em></a>.</span></p> <p><span>"Boredom is one signal that says, 'you've been here too long, go do something else'."</span></p> <p><span>With the prevalence of mobile phones and social media, boredom has become easier to evade – stimulation is always just a few clicks away. Peter Enticott, director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Unit at <a href="https://this.deakin.edu.au/self-improvement/what-does-boredom-do-to-your-brain">Deakin’s School of Psychology</a> said that the effects of digital life on boredom and creativity remain to be seen. </span></p> <p><span>“It’s interesting that we seem to be increasingly less tolerant of boredom,” said Enticott. “Think about people constantly on smartphones, whenever the opportunity arises. The longer-term outcome of this will be very interesting, especially with each new generation who grow-up with these devices.”</span></p> <p><span>Do you agree with the claim that boredom is good for you? Let us know in the comments below.</span></p>

Mind

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“Australians will be feeling this too”: Jacinda Ardern’s message to Australia

<p>New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern shared a message to Australians in the wake of the terror attacks in Christchurch.</p> <p>She was asked during a press conference if she had a message for Australia. The 38-year-old responded saying that the attack won’t impact the relationship between Australia and New Zealand.</p> <p>“We’re incredibly aware that Australians will be feeling that too,” she said.</p> <p>“We have acknowledged that this person was not a New Zealand citizen. They did not grow up with this ideology here. They did come to us and bring this terrorist act with them.</p> <p>“But we do not see that as a reflection of our relationship with Australia or its people. And so, I do draw that distinction. I think New Zealanders draw that distinction.”</p> <p>Ardern also reflected on the “fantastic” support from Australian agencies and mentioned that she has been in contact with her Australian counterpart Scott Morrison since the attack.</p> <p>One of the most touching moments from the conference was Ardern speaking about how some of the victims in the attack were Syrian refugees.</p> <p>“I cannot tell you how gutting it is to know that a family came here for safety and refuge and they should have been safe here,” she said.</p> <p>A two-minute silence is being held this Friday in memory of those who lost their lives in the attack. A memorial service is also planned.</p> <p> </p>

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Mick Schumacher: "Being compared to my father was never a problem for me"

<p>Mick Schumacher says he has no problem being compared to his father, Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher.</p> <p>Speaking ahead of his first Formula 2 season, Mick – who is turning 20 tomorrow – said the comparisons with the seven-time Formula 1 world champion are an "honour" rather than a burden.</p> <p>"Being compared to my father was never a problem for me," Mick said in a new video interview released by the Prema team.</p> <p>"Being compared to the best driver in F1 history is the goal you want to achieve and to have that as my idol and my father is something very special."</p> <p>Mick added, "I feel honoured to be compared to him because I just learn and try to improve."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/SchumacherMick?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SchumacherMick</a> speaks about his upcoming debut in the 2019 <a href="https://twitter.com/FIA_F2?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@FIA_F2</a> Championship, his goals for the season, staying with <a href="https://twitter.com/PREMA_Team?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PREMA_Team</a> and joining <a href="https://twitter.com/insideFDA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@insideFDA</a> <br /><br />🎬: <a href="https://twitter.com/autofocusbg?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@autofocusbg</a> <a href="https://t.co/PAVX8WttEn">https://t.co/PAVX8WttEn</a></p> — PREMA (@PREMA_Team) <a href="https://twitter.com/PREMA_Team/status/1108398847968071686?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 20, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Very little has been heard about Michael since his 2013 skiing incident, but Mick has continued to rise into prominence with his own racing career. The young German is driving for the Prema team this year after winning his first major title at the European Formula 3 series in 2018.</p> <p>Mick, who joined the Ferrari Driver Academy in January, also talked about moving from F3 to F2 racing. "The step itself isn't that huge from F3 … it's more understanding the tyre at 100 percent," he said. "That will be the most difficult part … It’s a good challenge."</p> <p>Mick will begin his first Formula 2 campaign in Bahrain next week.</p>

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Prince Charles is ecstatic to be a “doting grandad” to Baby Sussex

<p>Prince Charles and the Duchess of Sussex are reportedly as thick as thieves.</p> <p>This clears the way for Prince Charles to play the doting grandfather, instead of the distance he has shown previously.</p> <p>Five years ago, when Prince George was born, things were very different. Prince Charles was feeling excluded from Duchess Kate and Prince William’s first child, as the Duchess’ parents were more on hand.</p> <p>As the 70-year-old had a more austere upbringing and was always away on royal business, he wasn’t the most present grandfather as he had little free time.</p> <p>However, things have improved with the arrival of Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.</p> <p>Speaking to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/8649056/meghan-markle-prince-harry-baby-charles-grandson/" target="_blank"><em>The Sun</em></a>, a friend of Prince Charles has said: “At the time Prince George was born, Charles was less easy in the role of a grandfather.</p> <p>“But now he welcomes each new arrival with a wider grin and even more open arms. He loves the happy chaos of it all.”</p> <p>It helps that Duchess Meghan was extremely interested in the history of the family, which is something that Prince Charles was more than eager to share with her.</p> <p>The friend went on to say, “He was captivated by Meghan when he first met her. He thought she was extremely intelligent, hardworking and impressive. They have a genuinely warm relationship.</p> <p>“When she first moved to London Meghan was very interested in the history of the family. Art was the medium through which they talked about it. They have a lot in common. He has a natural affection for her.”</p> <p>Prince Harry is delighted by the love between his father and his wife, especially when Prince Charles stepped up and offered to walk Duchess Meghan down the aisle after her father pulled out.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see Prince Charles’ cutest moments as a grandfather.</p> <p>Are you excited for the birth of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s baby? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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Roger Federer’s gracious words of kindness after shock upset

<p>It just wasn’t in the cards for Federer to win the Indian Wells final as Austrian youngster Dominic Thiem dominated the match.</p> <p>Federer offered a clinical display early in the match, as he took the first set with ease.</p> <p>Snagging an immediate break point opportunity before serving out on the first set, 6-3, the Swiss GOAT proved why he was number one.</p> <p>Things continued to get better for Federer whilst looking worse for Thiem, as the Austrian found himself 40-0 at one point.</p> <p>However, the 25-year-old wasn’t going to take that lying down, and he fought back with vigour.</p> <p>The match saw him claim a double break to go up 4-1. Federer wasn’t happy and took out his annoyance on the ball kids as Thiem continued to dominate.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Irritable Federer is the worst Federer. Complaining about the ball kids is...not a good sign. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BNPPO19?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BNPPO19</a></p> — Allen McDuffee (@AllenMcDuffee) <a href="https://twitter.com/AllenMcDuffee/status/1107435679821320192?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">18 March 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Thiem closed out the second set on 6-3, and with momentum on his side, he continued to do well in the third set.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">This 👏 Rally 👏 Is 👏 Everything 👏<br /><br />Don't miss the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BNPPO19?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BNPPO19</a> final live NOW on <a href="https://twitter.com/TennisTV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TennisTV</a> ✨ <a href="https://t.co/1rKLOJmeBP">pic.twitter.com/1rKLOJmeBP</a></p> — ATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) <a href="https://twitter.com/ATP_Tour/status/1107430895743614976?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">17 March 2019</a></blockquote> <p>The third set was thrilling, as the pair found themselves in endless rallies to take the decider to 3-3. Thiem defended two consecutive Federer smashes with volleys at the net until Federer caught on and shanked a backhand return.</p> <p>Thiem maintained the rage that Federer was feeling and capitalised on tiring out his opponent. Thiem ended up snagging the crucial break at 6-5 and served out the match with ease as he claimed his first Masters 1000 title.</p> <p>Thiem couldn’t contain his joy after the match, although maintained he was nervous to play against Federer.</p> <p>“I was a little nervous to serve it out,” Thiem explained.</p> <p>“It's been a pleasure to play against one of the greatest of all time.”</p> <p>The ever-courteous Federer thanked the fans for watching as well as praising Thiem on his outstanding week.</p> <p>“Thank you very much. It’s been a great week for me even though it didn’t work out today,” he said. “What a great week Dominic has had, congratulations. Wonderful playing at the very end there, you deserve it.”</p> <p>Were you watching the match? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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Travel

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Packing cells will change how you travel in 2019

<p>Packing cells – people either love them or think they are a huge waste of money. We’ve detailed the pros and cons of packing cells so that you can make your own mind up.</p> <p><strong>1. What are they?</strong></p> <p>Packing cells are little cubes or zippered bags of various sizes that act as removable compartments for your suitcase or backpack.</p> <p><strong>2. How do you use them?</strong></p> <p>Packing cells allow you to organise your suitcase. You sort the items you need into individual bags. Put your dirty clothes in one, underpants in another. Put your socks in one, camera gear in another. You get the point. If you’re sharing a suitcase with a travelling companion, you can put your clothes into individual packing cells – that way your clothes won’t get all mixed up.</p> <p><strong>3. What do fans say about them?</strong></p> <p>A Facebook thread on packing cells went viral this week due to the number of people commenting. Comments such as: “Best things ever – saves so much room and keeps things tidy and organised” were common. Here’s a few more comments: “They have really changed our packing. Highly recommend. No more digging through the whole bag trying to find a pair of undies.” – Alicia thoman “We use them all the time now. Each person has their own pack and then you just take it out of the case – so much easier.” – Clare Ditchburn “They are the best, love mine, make so much more room in your suitcase.” – Kathy Stringfellow</p> <p><strong>4. What do the critics say?</strong></p> <p>Critics say that packing bags are a waste of money. Some argue that the bags are just more stuff you don’t need. Why pay the money when it doesn’t really take that long to find something in your bag. Is the 20 seconds really worth the cash?</p> <p><strong>5. Tips for using them</strong></p> <p>Generally, most people we found who have used the packing bags say they love them. So how do you use them effectively?</p> <ul> <li>Use a different colour per traveller</li> <li>Make sure you buy enough of them</li> <li>Get packing bags that have a clear window or mesh to allow you to see what is in the bag. Otherwise you’re going to spend just as much time hunting for the stuff you need.</li> <li>You can make your own packing bags from laundry bags, old airline amenities bags or plastic zip-lock bags.</li> <li>Buy a selection of different sizes</li> <li>Use them for small and necessary items.</li> <li>Use one for medications</li> <li>Keep one for chargers and phones</li> <li>Have a waterproof one for wet clothes</li> <li>Have one for dirty clothes</li> <li>Where do you buy them?</li> </ul> <p><em>Written by Alison Godfrey. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/packing-cells-hack/"><em>MyDiscoveries</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Travel Tips

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5 reasons to go to Thailand

<p>Thailand is a tropical paradise with some of the friendliest people in the world. With delicious cuisine, elaborate gold temples, stunning beaches punctuated by pillars of limestone – this country really is magic.</p> <p>Here are five reasons why you need to go to Thailand:</p> <p><strong>1. The food</strong></p> <p>Thai food in Thailand is one of the great pleasures in life.</p> <p>If you like Thai food in your home country, you will love it in Thailand. You can eat in up-market Thai restaurants in classic-Thai wooden houses. Or grab a delicious $1 bargain at a food court. We highly recommend a street food tour in Thailand – you won’t believe how good it is.</p> <p>Food in Thailand is not restricted to Thai cuisine. Thailand also has high-quality Japanese, Chinese, Malaysian, French, Italian, Scandinavian and Indian restaurants in all the major cities and tourist spots.</p> <p><strong>2. Shopping</strong></p> <p>Forget Hong Kong, Singapore or other well-trodden shopping destinations, today’s bargains are in Bangkok.</p> <p>Shop in the multi-storey department stores and malls for international brands and top-end Thai products. Explore markets for variety and ridiculously cheap price. Buy on the street for convenience and fun. The famous Chatachak Weekend Market has more than 9000 outlets. You can spend a whole day in its exciting madness. For imported goods head to Chinatown. Head to   Pratunam for locally-made clothing and footwear.</p> <p><strong>3. Culture</strong></p> <p>Thai culture is deeply influenced by religion. Most Thais are Theraveda Buddhists. This strand of Buddhism is characterised by greater respect for elders. You will need to give up your seat on public transport if a monk enters.</p> <p>Thai Buddhists believe individuals should gain insights from their own actions, experience, knowledge and critical thinking. Their meditation is mostly silent, as opposed to chanting. Interestingly, animist and superstitious beliefs co-exist with Thai Buddhism. Thais honour Buddha statues, spirit houses, and photographs of the King.</p> <p>You can easily spend a few peaceful hours watching Thais seek guidance and protection, praying for a good future life at the temple.</p> <p><strong>4. The landscape</strong></p> <p>Wow. That is the one word you will keep saying in Thailand.</p> <p>In Bangkok, it will be because of the manmade attractions: the giant golden Buddha, the glittering temples and the incredibly twisted wires cobbled together and strung over streets. Chiang Mai will delight you with rice fields, history, hill tribes and thousand-year-old temples. In the south, expect stunning white-sand beaches and limestone  pillars topped with lush vegetation.</p> <p>Thailand has so many different landscapes that you could spend a long time exploring them all.</p> <p><strong>5. The people</strong></p> <p>The Thai people are reason enough to visit this country. They’re always smiling and helpful. Thai’s tolerate, and even like most tourists, and once you become a friend of a Thai, you’re a friend for life.</p> <p><em>Written by Len Rutledge. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/thailand-travel-inspiration/"><em>My Discoveries</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Travel Tips

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World’s happiest countries for 2019 revealed

<p>The World Happiness Report has just been released and the results are a little surprising.</p> <p>Finland has been crowned the happiest country in the world for a second year in a row, with another four Nordic countries following in tow and grabbing a spot in the top 10.</p> <p>The report released by United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, ranked 156 countries by their happiness levels based on life expectancy, social support and corruption.</p> <p>The well-being of immigrants taken in by each country was also measured and added to the list.</p> <p>Britain trailed behind the likes of Israel, Austria, Costa Rica, Australia, Luxemborg and New Zealand.</p> <p>Australia ranked 11th, just missing a spot in the top 10.</p> <p>The North African nation of South Sudan placed at the bottom of the happiness index, and America is proving to be less and less happy each year as the country falls from 14th place to 19th in just two years.</p> <p>Russia ranked 68th, falling from 59th since last year while France took 24th place and China 93rd.</p> <p>The least happy countries ranking in order include South Sudan, Central African Republic, Afghanistan, Tanzania, Rwanda, Yemen, Malawi, Syria, Botswana, Haiti and Zimbabwe.</p> <p>Four different Nordic countries ranked in the highest ten places on the list.</p> <p>Meik Wiking, the CEO of the Copenhagen-based Happiness Research Institute said the five Nordic countries who were ranked high in the index were clearly “doing something right in terms of creating good conditions for good lives.”</p> <p>“'Briefly put, (Nordic countries) are good at converting wealth into well-being,” Wiking said.</p> <p>The finding on the happiness of immigrants “shows the conditions that we live under matter greatly to our quality of life, that happiness is not only a matter of choice.”</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see the top ten happiest countries in the world.</p>

International Travel

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The top 5 most relaxing destinations around the world

<p>It can be hard to get away from it all, especially when you don’t know where to start. <a href="https://www.lastminute.com/en/discover/most-chilled-out-countries-in-the-world.html">Lastminute.com</a> has ranked a variety of locations from around the world in order of noise, light pollution and the number of green spaces available to make this easier for you.</p> <p>The top 5 most chilled out destinations worldwide are:</p> <p><strong>1. Indonesia</strong><a href="https://www.gettyimages.com.au/detail/photo/ohoililir-beach-kei-island-royalty-free-image/1012860334"></a></p> <p>Indonesia is well known for relaxing by the ocean, as well as connecting with Mother Nature. With 88,000 of coastline, a beach isn’t too far away from you no matter where you are in Indonesia.</p> <p><strong>2. Australia</strong><a href="https://www.gettyimages.com.au/detail/photo/helicopter-view-of-the-white-sands-turquoise-ocean-royalty-free-image/952973680"></a></p> <p>Australia is known for their abundance of wildlife, as well as the variety of natural beauty that occurs. Whether you’re along the Great Barrier Reef or journeying into the red-hot centre of the nation, there’s something for everyone.</p> <p><strong>3. Iceland</strong><a href="https://www.gettyimages.com.au/detail/photo/cascata-di-gulfoss-di-notte-con-aurora-boreale-royalty-free-image/932194018"></a></p> <p>Iceland is ideal for stargazing, as it’s near the top of the Arctic Circle. This is where you can see the Northern Lights. However, with an average temperature of 1.75 degrees Celsius, don’t forget to bring your thermals.</p> <p><strong>4. New Zealand</strong></p> <p>With landscapes that can make you believe you’re in another world, it’s no surprise that New Zealand was chosen to be <em>Middle Earth</em> in the Lord of the Ring franchise. You’re also never too far from the sea, but if you’re not a fan of the waves, lakes are nearby as well.</p> <p><strong>5. Sri Lanka</strong></p> <p>With lush rainforests covering the landscape and a solid average temperature of nearly 27 degrees celsius, this is bound to have you feeling more relaxed as soon as you step off the plane.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see what these relaxing destinations look like.</p> <p>Have you been to any of these destinations? Are they really as relaxing as this list claims? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Domestic Travel

Health

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How to learn while you're asleep

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Can we learn while we’re asleep? The premise might sound too good to be true, but a new study has suggested that it’s possible.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Researchers from Switzerland’s University of Bern have found that people can learn a new language while they’re asleep.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The study, published in </span><em><a href="https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(18)31672-5?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0960982218316725%3Fshowall%3Dtrue#secsectitle0010"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Current Biology</span></a> </em><span style="font-weight: 400;">earlier this year, discovered that people in a deep sleep can learn new vocabularies. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The participants in the study were put in a controlled environment and given headphones to listen through when they slept. Their brain activity was recorded when the researchers played words from a made-up language. These fake words were paired up with their German translations – for example, the fake word “tofer” is paired with “Haus” (house) and “guga” is paired with “elefant” (elephant).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Upon waking up, the participants were given an implicit memory test. Surprisingly, they were able to correctly answer questions on the made-up words, including what they denoted and whether they were the larger or smaller objects compared to the others.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The researchers found that people’s association between the words and their meaning was stronger when the word was played during slow wave sleep, also known as deep sleep, which they described as the best moment for sleep-learning. It is when the body is most relaxed and the brain is performing memory consolidation processes.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"It was particularly interesting that language areas and the hippocampus – which normally regulate language-learning while we're awake – were also activated when learning the vocabulary learnt in deep sleep," said co-author of the study Marc Züs in a press release.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"It seems these structures regulate memory formation independent of whatever state of consciousness we're in – whether unconsciously in sleep, or consciously while we're awake."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This is the latest study to support the idea of sleep-learning. In </span><a href="https://www.wired.co.uk/article/learn-languages-while-you-sleep"><span style="font-weight: 400;">2014</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, a team from the Swiss National Science Foundation discovered that listening to foreign languages during sleep helps reinforce vocabulary learning. In 2012, a </span><a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nn.3193"><span style="font-weight: 400;">study</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> by Israeli researchers found that people could associate sounds with scents that they were exposed to when they were dozing off.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While the researchers said more experiments are needed to support their findings, the study showed promise in continuous learning – even while you’re unconscious.</span></p>

Mind

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How to break up with toxic friends

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It may have come to a point in your life where a person you considered a “friend” might not be someone you need or want in your life anymore. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Although it can be difficult to end a relationship with someone you cared about and still may care about, it is important to focus on your well-being.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Here are the options you can consider when breaking up with a friend and still be as amicable as possible afterwards. </span></p> <p>Talk it out</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When people have intimate relationships with others, there is typically a “talk” involved which resolves any awkwardness, nerves, doubts or questions each person has for the other. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Having “the talk” with a friend can help initiate a “break-up” or it can help resolve a friendship so a break up is not necessary at all. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When having the talk, it is important to converse on these goals:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Clarifying boundaries </span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Defining the relationship, you share with your friends</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">See where each person stands in the relationship </span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Talk about a future with this friend</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This talk, if done properly and clearly with respect, can help resolve or amend hidden resentments, miscommunications, boundaries, misunderstandings, jealousy and old fights. </span></p> <p>Take a break</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">All friendships at some point, need a definitive break – whether it is forced or happens naturally. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Especially in circumstances where a difficult talk has just been had, it might help to take some time apart from your friend. </span></p> <p>Be blunt</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There may be a time in your friendship where you can absolutely not take it anymore. If this is the case, your best option might be shaking off all the negativity from your friendship by sharing your thoughts and feelings and going your separate ways from your relationship with this person. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When letting it all out with your friend, state what needs are not being met, clarify your feelings, don’t blame anyone, don’t make excuses and be gentle and kind.  </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">What are your tips for breaking up with a friend? Let us know in the comments below. </span></p>

Caring

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What counts as mindfulness?

<p>An episode of ABC’s Catalyst, “<a href="https://iview.abc.net.au/show/catalyst">The Mindfulness Experiment</a>”, offered a unique glimpse into what happens to people during <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindfulness-based_stress_reduction">Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction</a>, an eight-week structured training program in mindfulness meditation.</p> <p>The program followed 15 ordinary Australians who were seeking to deal with conditions including chronic pain, stress and anxiety. At the end of the experiment, many of the participants had shown improvement.</p> <p>But if you’re considering dipping a toe into practising mindfulness, or taking the full plunge, there are several things you should consider first.</p> <p><strong>Clarifying misconceptions</strong></p> <p><strong>Mindfulness is not relaxation</strong></p> <p>The origins of mindfulness can be found in Eastern traditions. <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1745691617709589?journalCode=ppsa">One definition</a> suggests it’s a way of orienting attention and awareness to the present, reminding oneself to stay present when the mind wanders, and carefully discerning those behaviours that are helpful from those that are not.</p> <p>Contrary to popular belief, mindfulness is not a way to relax or manage emotions. During practice, you will most likely experience unrest, have unpleasant thoughts and feelings, and learn unexpected and unsettling things about yourself.</p> <p>While relaxation can and does occur, it’s not always as expected and it’s not really the <a href="https://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindfulness/2011/03/want-to-relax-mindfulness-may-not-be-for-you/">goal</a>.</p> <p><strong>Mindfulness is not a quick fix</strong></p> <p>Problems that have developed over weeks, months, or years cannot be fixed overnight. Behaviour change is <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-motivated-brain/201803/why-is-behavior-change-so-hard">hard</a>. The patterns we most want to change (such as addictive behaviours, dysfunctional relationships, anxious thinking) require the investment of serious time and effort.</p> <p>Instructor Timothea Goddard championed the practice of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction in Australia and facilitated the Catalyst participants’ mindfulness journey. She acknowledges doing up to an hour of practice a day can seem demanding. But if the challenges a person is dealing with are significant, this may be what’s required.</p> <p>She adds that just like physical fitness, courses offering sustained daily practice may be more likely to offer greater transformation experiences.</p> <p>While we have <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19309694">little data</a> on the frequency or length of practice necessary, <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2015-45474-001">decades of research in psychotherapy</a> and <a href="https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/diabetes/maintaining_weight_loss_85,p07862">behaviour change</a> suggest there is no such thing as a quick fix.</p> <p><strong>Mindfulness is not an escape</strong></p> <p>You may imagine mindfulness to be like a beach holiday where you leave all the stress, pressure, and deadlines behind. It’s not.</p> <p>Mindfulness practice creates awareness around the issues that most need our attention. Often we’re drawn to emotional and physical pain we’ve been avoiding.</p> <p>One participant in The Mindfulness Experiment, Sam, found this difficult. “I want to forget about the areas that are painful, not concentrate on them,” she said.</p> <p>Mindfulness provides a <a href="https://www.mindful.org/suffering-is-optional/">method</a>, not to escape, but to explore pain or hardship with acceptance, curiosity, and emotional balance.</p> <p><strong>Mindfulness is not a panacea</strong></p> <p>Despite suggestions it will fix everything, there are many circumstances and conditions for which mindfulness is simply <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1745691617709589?journalCode=ppsa">not effective or appropriate</a>.</p> <p>If your main reason for seeking out mindfulness is for mental illness or another medical condition, speak first to a medical professional. Meditation is not meant as a <a href="https://www.lionsroar.com/what-meditation-cant-cure/">replacement</a> for traditional medicine.</p> <p><strong>Questions to ask before you start</strong></p> <p><strong>Is mindfulness for you?</strong></p> <p>An individual session with a skilled instructor can help you work out whether mindfulness is going to be right for you generally, and which approach specifically might help you.</p> <p>Mindfulness is not one size fits all. Personal attention before and during practice can make a huge difference, especially in a group. We know from <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2003-02805-000">psychotherapy research</a> individual adjustments must be made.</p> <p><strong>Who created the program?</strong></p> <p>Perhaps this seems like a strange question; few therapy clients or surgery patients know who created the method being used and they often get better. But unlike therapy or medical procedures, meditation is not overseen by any regulatory agency.</p> <p>Consider what you want to get from the program and whether there is evidence the program and instructor can help you to achieve those goals.</p> <p>This advice is especially important when considering apps. Few have been <a href="https://www.mindful.org/trouble-mindfulness-apps/">examined scientifically</a>.</p> <p><strong>Does the instructor have a personal practice?</strong></p> <p>Those who do not have a regular mindfulness practice themselves may struggle to <a href="https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9780387094830">teach others</a> to cultivate a practice effectively.</p> <p>Programs that train people to provide structured meditation programs (such as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy) <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28031068">require</a> professional training, supervision, and extensive personal practice. While we don’t know if personal practice is necessary, it seems likely it is helpful in guiding others.<!-- 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/110698/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: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Nicholas T. Van Dam, Senior Lecturer in Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/we-dont-yet-fully-understand-what-mindfulness-is-but-this-is-what-its-not-110698"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

Mind

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Not everyone is beautiful – but that’s okay

<p>You probably aren’t beautiful. It’s statistical, not personal.</p> <p>Most of us are average, a few of us are ugly, and a tiny number of us are beautiful or handsome.</p> <p>Many of us struggle with our own attractiveness, and in particular, the idea that we don’t have enough of it. <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13284200601178532#preview">Research suggests</a> that <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S147101531400052X">body dissatisfaction</a>, or not liking one’s body, is a major concern for both men and women. And the pursuit of a more attractive body, if manifested as a <a href="http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/14/943">drive for thinness</a> or a drive for muscularity, is a big risk factor for the <a href="http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0001541">development of eating disorders</a> and <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/eat.20828/abstract">muscle dysmorphia</a>, both which are on the rise in Australia.</p> <p>Who do we blame? <a href="http://public.gettysburg.edu/~cbarlett/index/08BVS.pdf">The media</a>, unsurprisingly, among a host of <a href="http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/bul/134/3/460/">potential culprits</a>.</p> <p>In the absence of population-level interventions to improve our body image, social media and corporations have filled the void.</p> <p>Tumblr and Instagram are replete with images and words that “everyone is beautiful”, that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, that “beauty is only skin-deep”.</p> <p>Dove, in marketing their beauty products predominantly to women, state their mission to create “a new definition of beauty [which] will free women from self-doubt and encourage them to embrace their real beauty”.</p> <p>These messages are comforting and appealing, but are they backed up by evidence?</p> <p><strong>Myths and maxims of beauty</strong></p> <p>Consider the sentiment, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, which suggests beauty is subjective.</p> <p>Data suggests that people are remarkably consistent in their <a href="http://jonathanstray.com/papers/Langlois.pdf">determination of who is attractive</a> and who isn’t, both within and across cultures. That’s not to say that subjectivity plays no role at all – as we’re all guided by our individually formed preferences – but that the scope for subjectivity exists within the narrow confines of the objective traits of physical beauty.</p> <p>What about “beauty is only skin-deep”, or in other words, that a person’s appearance has no bearing on their personality or behaviour?</p> <p>It does. <a href="http://www4.uwsp.edu/psych/s/389/dion72.pdf">“What is beautiful is good”</a>, according to a group of oft-cited psychologists in their seminal 1972 paper that explored this very idea. Decades later, we know beautiful people are not only just thought of as “good”. Attractive people are also <a href="http://jonathanstray.com/papers/Langlois.pdf">considered more intelligent</a>, sociable, trustworthy, honest, capable, competent, likable, and friendly.</p> <p><strong>So, what should we do?</strong></p> <p>We could attempt to convince people that they are beautiful. We could attempt to redefine beauty standards to be broader and encompassing of more people, thus allowing more people to belong to the beautiful club. But these strategies won’t work because they don’t reduce the importance ascribed to beauty in the first place.</p> <p>We could preach the platitude that beauty is simply unimportant, but this is wholly inconsistent with the data.</p> <p>We ought to be balanced in our approach to beauty – that it is important, but not as important as the media makes it out to be.</p> <p>The media will encourage you to base a disproportionate amount of your self-esteem on your and others’ positive evaluations of your external appearance. For some, this harmful tendency stems from family, friends, and partners.</p> <p>Understand that you are complex and multifaceted. The sources from which you derive your self-esteem and self-worth must be similarly diverse. What can you do with your body? What can your brain do? Are you intelligent, creative, funny, athletic, caring, a hard worker, a great cook, a great mother or father?</p> <p>Consciously placing less importance on physical attractiveness and diversifying sources of self-esteem won’t be easy. For some, the process will be extremely difficult, and it may be wise to seek the advice of a psychologist.</p> <p>A generous dose of scepticism is also needed, particularly toward campaigns spearheaded by the beauty industry – especially when these advertisements mask their commercial intentions under the guise of “feel-good” benevolence.</p> <p>Don’t be too disheartened that you’re not beautiful; not many people are. Cultivate your self-esteem elsewhere. You’ll feel better for it.</p> <p>This article was co-authored by Sangwon Lee, undergraduate LLB/BA candidate at the University of Queensland.</p> <p><em>Written by Scott Griffiths. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/not-everyone-is-beautiful-35915"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Body

Lifestyle

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Mum defends child’s unusual name after being mocked by critics

<p>A mum has defended her baby’s name after trolls made fun of the parent’s decision.</p> <p>Jade Jeanes told <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/disney-belle-beauty-and-beast-2669541" target="_blank">The Bristol Post</a></em> that herself and her husband Joshua, both 27, wanted something extravagant for their child’s name as they had been waiting for seven years to conceive.</p> <p>After some debate on whether their child should be called Belle after Jade’s favourite Disney heroine in Beauty and the Beast, the couple settled on Disney.</p> <p>Despite making her choice and having nurses in the delivery room recognise that the name is unique, Jade decided to share her baby’s name with a Facebook page created for parents.</p> <p>She was devastated when mums mocked her baby’s name on the page.</p> <p>Jade couldn’t understand the criticism, saying “it’s just a name.”</p> <p>Jade said:</p> <p>“Friends and family love the name, and I do too. It’s no one’s business what we decided to call her.”</p> <p>Jade also said that Disney loves Disney films, as she’s been described as “transfixed” whenever there’s a Disney movie on TV.</p> <p>“It was more of a fun post that I assumed people would be okay with. In the end, people just either hate it or love it.”</p> <p>What do you think of the unique name? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Family & Pets

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104-year-old woman fulfils her wish to get arrested

<p>A 104-year-old woman just had her biggest wish fulfilled – to be arrested by the police.</p> <p>For the International Day of Happiness, English woman Anne Brokenbrow ticked off her bucket list wish of being placed under arrest by the authorities last Friday.</p> <p>The elderly had put in her wish as part of the Bristol Wishing Washing Line initiative. “My wish is... to be arrested,” Brokenbrow’s request read. “I am 104 and I have never been on the wrong side of the law.”</p> <p>With the help of UK charity Alive Activities, the Avon and Somerset police team granted Brokenbrow’s wish.</p> <p>The elderly was handcuffed at her residence, the Stokeleigh Care Home, and charged with “being a good citizen”.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Faliveactivities%2Fposts%2F2019093208169291&amp;width=500" width="500" height="617" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe> <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Faliveactivities%2Fvideos%2F2333549470249801%2F&amp;show_text=1&amp;width=560" width="560" height="464" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></p> <p>Brokenbrow was then taken to a waiting police vehicle. According to the charity, when asked if she wanted the sirens on, Brokenbrow responded, “Yes please!”</p> <p>After the mock arrest, she posed for a picture wearing a police hat.</p> <p>“It’s something that normally never happens, isn’t it?” the centenarian said. “Now we’ve shown ‘em.”</p> <p>According to <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/auhome/index.html" target="_blank">Daily Mail</a></em>, Brokenbrow worked as a secretary before she retired.</p> <p>Kelly Lewis, the activities coordinator at Brokenbrow’s residential home said the elder’s wish was surprising at first. “She’s really fun, she’s got a really good sense of humour,” said Lewis.</p> <p>“We were surprised when she said it but thinking about it it’s actually quite in character for Anne.”</p>

Retirement Life

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How to get the grandkids involved in gardening

<p>Gardening can be a lot of fun for kids, giving them the chance to get outside and grub around in the dirt. </p> <p>And if you give kids an area outdoors to call their own, they’ll be rolling up their sleeves in no time. </p> <p>The vegetable garden is a great starting point and a wonderful way for them to develop an understanding of where fresh food comes from. </p> <p>You’ll be surprised how many more vegies they are likely to accept on the dinner plate when they’ve grown them with their own hands.</p> <p>Let them add a scarecrow and it will become their favourite spot. </p> <p>Watering and weeding take up only so much time, so to really keep kids interested between sowing and harvesting crops they need to have a stake in the garden. </p> <p>The best way to do this is to create a kid-friendly landscape and this is possible whether you have a large garden, small courtyard or balcony. </p> <p>Use raised beds to give children a dedicated growing area, mark out kids-only spots using puppets, or decorate lights to hang outdoors and you won’t be able to keep them away.   </p> <p><strong>Watch a scarecrow </strong></p> <p>As a reward for the hard work of sowing garden beds and to give the vegie patch a guardian, help the kids make and dress a scarecrow to protect their crops from birds. </p> <p><strong><u>SINK A STAKE</u></strong> up to 3m high about 600mm into the ground, securing a crosspiece 300mm from the top.</p> <p><strong><u>ADD CLOTHES</u></strong> and stuff with grass clippings, woodchips or rags, tying the waistband and pant legs in place. </p> <p><strong><u>MAKE A HEAD</u></strong> from nylon tights or a hessian sack, stuffing it with plastic bags and securing to the stake with twine. Add a face and hat to finish. </p> <p><strong>TIP: </strong>Use bright colours to deter birds. </p> <p><strong>Garden craft </strong></p> <p>Take the time to look and you’ll find your garden is a great source of craft supplies, including seed pods, colourful foliage and flowers, twisted branches and straight twigs. </p> <p>A collection of goodies from the garden works well to create markers for paths and garden beds. </p> <p>Just add a few colourful pipe cleaners and Paddle-Pop sticks, then grab a hot glue gun and you’re all set to create anything your imagination can conjure up.</p> <p>This alien stick puppet was assembled using a glue gun, under adult supervision, to join porous materials and the shiny seedpods.</p> <p><strong>TIP:</strong> When removing a part of a plant, trim it with secateurs rather than tearing it off by hand.</p> <p><strong>Designing a flower press</strong></p> <p>Pressed and dried flowers make beautiful keepsakes or additions to art and craft projects. </p> <p>A flower press is a simple device that features a rigid base and top plate with bolts through each corner. </p> <p>To make your own press, cut two 300 x 300mm squares from 9mm marine or exterior ply. </p> <p>Drill holes about 20mm in from the corners, insert the bolts and secure threaded drawer knobs over the top.</p> <p><strong>TIP:</strong> You can also use wing nuts. </p> <p>To adjust the size of the press simply cut the plywood larger or smaller. For scrapbooks or albums you may want it A4 size. </p> <p>Position the flowers and leaves between layers of paper on the base plate then add the top plate.</p> <p>Wind the knobs to tighten the bolts and draw the top and base plates together, compressing the contents of the press. </p> <p>Change the paper every few days until the flowers or leaves have dried.</p> <p><strong>Watch the weather </strong></p> <p>Add a rain gauge to the garden and open up a new world for kids to explore. It is a simple and fun learning tool that helps children appreciate the importance of climate in their garden. The best spot is somewhere that’s frequently visited like the vegie garden.</p> <p><strong><u>POSITION THE RAIN GAUGE</u></strong> high enough so water won’t splash into it and in an area clear from overhanging buildings or trees. A large, securely mounted, seasoned hardwood garden stake is an ideal mounting point.</p> <p><strong><u>KEEP RECORDS</u></strong> to help kids learn how to track data and look at summarised results. Create a spreadsheet and graph that tallies the monthly and annual rainfall.  </p> <p><strong>Outdoor lights </strong></p> <p>Turn your garden into a fairy wonderland after dark by adding handmade lanterns. </p> <p>All you need is glass paint, LED tea-light candles and glass containers or bottles in just about any shape you can find.</p> <p>To hang lanterns from trees in the garden, decorate jars with wire handles. If you don’t have any, choose jars with a lip and make a hanger using galvanised tie wire from the hardware store.</p> <p>Paint markers make it easy to create pictures and patterns on glass candle holders of all shapes and sizes. </p> <p>They cost from $5 each, from Officeworks, resist fading and come in a range of colours including metallics. </p> <p>Get the kids to practise first on a piece of paper the same size as the surface to be painted.</p> <p><strong>TIP:</strong> If using real candles, don’t paint on the side exposed to the flame.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of </em><a href="http://www.handyman.net.au/gardening-kids"><em>Handyman Australia</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Home & Garden

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5 fascinating pollination facts

<p><strong>1. Pollination is an essential part of the fertilisation process </strong></p> <p>The movement of pollen from one flower to another flower of the same species is an essential step in the fertilisation of plants and the development of the fruit and seeds needed for reproduction.</p> <p><strong>2. 75% of flowering plants depend on pollinators for fertilisation </strong></p> <p>An overwhelming proportion of at least 75% of flowering plants depend on pollinators for fertilisation. It’s a good reason to encourage the birds and the bees into your garden to help it flourish.</p> <p><strong>3. Bees pollinate but so do other animals and insects </strong></p> <p>Birds, bees, bats, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, wasps and small mammals are all common pollinators. Other animals, as well as the wind, can carry pollen from flower to flower as well.</p> <p><strong>4. Pollination leads to the creation of everyday essentials like coffee and tequila </strong></p> <p>About a thousand plants we rely on worldwide for the production of goods require pollinators. These include those grown for food, beverages, spices and medicines. Think coffee, chocolate and tequila!</p> <p><strong>5. Protect pollinators by planting native flowering plants </strong></p> <p>You can protect pollinators by planting native flowering plants, reducing your use of pesticides and telling others of the danger these animals and insects are in through chemical misuse, loss of habitat and diseases.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of </em><a href="http://www.handyman.net.au/5-fascinating-pollination-facts"><em>Handyman Australia</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Home & Garden

Finance

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The fool-proof way of saving for retirement

<p>We know that saving money is important – but what is less known is <em>how</em> to save money, and how much of our income should be allocated to our savings account.</p> <p>Most experts recommend saving at least 20 per cent of your income, but you should complement this rule of thumb with your own goals. In other words, the amount you should save depends on your personal priorities and reasons for saving.</p> <p>According to financial planner Eric Roberge, there are three factors to consider: how much your goals would cost, what kind of expenses your dream lifestyle would entail, and when you would need the savings.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">How much you need to save depends on:<br /><br />How much your goals cost<br />How much it takes to fund your ideal lifestyle<br />The timeline between now &amp; when you need the money<br /><br />As a guideline, save 20-30% of income. But for a better outcome, use a specific plan that addresses these factors.</p> — Eric Roberge, CFP® (@beyondfinances) <a href="https://twitter.com/beyondfinances/status/1100397642683691009?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 26, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Setting targets and deadlines for savings can help you prepare for the future and live an enjoyable lifestyle in the present. “If your goals are less expensive, you don’t necessarily need to save huge amounts of money,” Roberge told <span><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com.au/how-to-save-money-2019-2?r=US&amp;IR=T"><em>Business Insider</em></a></span>.</p> <p>“We want to be careful not to overfund goals and end up with money that doesn’t have a purpose; instead of over-saving, you may be able to enjoy that money a little bit more today.”</p> <p>Finding your dream savings to be a little out of reach? There are four options, according to <span><a href="https://www.tiaa.org/public/offer/insights/starting-out/how-much-of-my-income-should-i-save-every-month">personal finance journalist</a></span> Paula Pant: change your goals, reconsider your timeline, earn more (through pay rise, investments, additional jobs and more), or reduce your current spending to save more.</p> <p>Apart from your personal goals, Pant also advised saving up for rainy days.</p> <p>“You should establish an ‘emergency fund’ that can cover 3-9 months of your living expenses,” Pant said.</p> <p>This number might sound daunting, but Pant suggested that it is possible to build a six-month emergency fund within a year. Her method: calculate your monthly cost of living, excluding the non-essentials such as cable TV or unused memberships. If you can save up half this amount every month, you’re already well on your way.</p> <p>Do you have a savings plan that you recommend? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Retirement Income

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Can money buy happiness?

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some of us would go to great lengths to save money, even if it means spending more time and dealing with more inconveniences on the way – be it lining up for coveted bargains or looking for secret tricks to score lower prices. But Ashley Whillans, professor at Harvard Business School believes that another approach is better in bringing us happiness.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the </span><em><a href="https://hbr.org/ideacast/2019/01/use-your-money-to-buy-happier-time"><span style="font-weight: 400;">HBR IdeaCast</span></a> </em><span style="font-weight: 400;">podcast, Whillans said that people will gain the most happiness when they use their money to buy time. She believed we should spend our hard-earned cash not only on the things we like, but also to get out of “negative experiences” like doing the dishes or commuting. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This means paying for goods and services that will reduce the time spent on stressful activities – for example, buying a pricier house that is close to anywhere to avoid getting stuck in traffic.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many people might not be comfortable with the idea of paying someone to perform seemingly basic chores like cooking, shopping or driving. However, Whillans argued that we could shift our perspective on time and money. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I find in my studies that people feel really guilty about outsourcing even though they’re giving up money to have more time that they’ve earned,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But one of her studies found that enlisting the help of “time-saving services” can help reduce stress and improve happiness.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Just the simple act of thinking about giving up money to have more free time seems to make people plan their time a little bit better. If I’m going to incur this cost to have this free time, then I’m going to make sure I really enjoy the free time that I have.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But this doesn’t mean overhauling your budget and outsourcing every task. Whillans recommended starting small and staying away from drastic changes. “Just sitting down and thinking about whether there’s anything you can outsource that you really don’t like, that stresses you out a lot, that you can afford,” Whillans said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Would you spend more money to get quality free time? Share your thoughts in the comments.</span></p>

Retirement Income

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Tips for eating a healthy diet on a tight budget

<p>When you’re on a tight budget, the idea of coming up with tasty, healthy meals on a regular basis can sometimes seem beyond us! We easily fall prey to slick grocery marketing, and when it comes to fitting meal preparation into our day, it’s easy to fall into a rut, succumbing to quick fix fast foods again and again.</p> <p>The good news is, you can be thrifty and healthy – with a little organisation and creativity, you can enjoy first class meals on a smart saver’s budget.</p> <p>Here’s a selection of tips to help with your creative cuisine challenge:</p> <ul> <li>A golden rule is don’t shop when you’re hungry, as you’re more likely to buy things you don’t need. Shop with a list rather than buying on the spur of the moment.</li> <li>Buy fresh fruit and vegetables that are in season, and only enough for a week or so, as they go off quickly.</li> <li>Buy generic, no name and home brands where possible, especially for items where you’re not fussed about having the absolute best quality.</li> <li>Add some canned kidney beans, chick peas, lentils or other legumes to mince dishes or stews to make the meal go further. Canned beans are cheap, handy and healthy – a great addition to salads and other meals.</li> <li>Buying in bulk is almost always cheaper. It’s a great idea to buy non-perishable items in bulk (canned foods, dried beans and grains etc.), and you can freeze perishable items such as meat and bread in smaller portions to use as needed.</li> <li>When cooking a big meal, make extra to freeze or use later in the week for lunches or quick suppers. Double recipes, then freeze half.</li> <li>Use less expensive cuts of meat for casseroles that you slow cook; add extra vegetables and beans to make the meal go further.</li> <li>Look at purchasing perishables like meat and sushi at the end of the day when there are often clearances of stock close to use by dates.</li> <li>Check supermarket catalogues for specials and identify any products that you need before you go shopping.</li> <li>Buy block cheese and grate it yourself.</li> <li>Preserve when it’s cheap. Depending on your storage capacity, bottling, drying and freezing fresh fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to cash in on seasonal foods that are lower in cost but higher in taste and nutrition.</li> <li>Brown rice is a great addition to leftover meat and veggies. Although brown rice is slightly more costly than white, the nutritional payoff is well worth it.</li> <li>Pasta, likewise, is quick and easy to prepare, and can be paired with veggies, meat or a fresh salad. Have fun adding your own dash of inspiration (mushrooms, spices and herbs.) Choose wholemeal pasta when you can.</li> <li>Always keep spices, herbs and sauces handy – they can brighten up simple dishes.</li> <li>Bake your own goodies – that way you can make sure everything that goes into them is more nutritious. Plus, they are generally cheaper and tastier than store bought varieties.</li> <li>Soups can’t be beaten for nutrition and convenience, especially since you can use inexpensive soup mixes as your base. At the end of the week, make soup out of all your leftover veggies instead of throwing them out, and freeze anything you won’t eat in a few days. You can find great ideas on the internet by searching for recipes containing whatever you have in the fridge. Again, be creative, adding your own herbs and spices.</li> </ul>

Money & Banking

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5 tips to improve your financial wellbeing

<p>Have you been thinking about money lately? Wondering where to find more? Thinking you could do a better job of managing the dollars you have? If so, you are in good company.</p> <p>Between figuring out how to pay for bills that added up over December holidays, wishing for warmth or a vacation and looking at the beginning of tax season, this is a time of year when people are often prompted to take a closer look at their finances.</p> <p>Yet the picture we see when we look closer isn’t always good.</p> <p>Our research shows that <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s10834-016-9516-1">the more money family caregivers need to spend on the care needs of others, the worse their own personal financial, social and health outcomes are</a>. It also points to the need to consider our own care needs as well as our families’ when we plan our financial futures.</p> <p>The financial crisis of 2008-09 sparked increased interest in financial literacy worldwide. In Canada, <a href="http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2011/fin/F2-198-2011-eng.pdf">the Task Force on Financial Literacy</a> defined financial literacy as having the knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions.</p> <p>Following on the work of the task force, the <a href="https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/programs/financial-literacy/financial-literacy-strategy.html">Financial Consumer Agency of Canada consulted widely and developed a national strategy for financial literacy</a>.</p> <p>Now researchers are moving beyond the idea of financial literacy, which tends to focus on what we know about finances, to thinking about financial well-being or financial health — the outcome we want to achieve.</p> <p><strong>What is financial well-being?</strong></p> <p>An international authority on consumer finances, Elaine Kempson, defines financial well-being as <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326847922_Understanding_Financial_Well-Being_and_Capability_-_A_Revised_Model_and_Comprehensive_Analysis">the capacity to meet one’s current obligations comfortably and the resilience to maintain this capacity in the future</a>.</p> <p>That’s challenging for many reasons. We have to make decisions for today that are going to help us in a future with a lot of unknowns.</p> <p>It isn’t just financial knowledge that matters, but also what we are able to do with that knowledge in our economic and social environments.</p> <p>Further, as research in behavioural economics is showing, <a href="https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_asks_are_we_in_control_of_our_own_decisions/discussion">our brains can get in the way</a>. We think we are making <a href="https://www.theglobeandmail.com/investing/personal-finance/household-finances/article-our-most-irrational-financial-habit-cheaping-out-on-retirement-saving/">perfectly rational, logical decisions when we aren’t</a>.</p> <p>Technological innovation in <a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/what-is-fintech_us_58a20d80e4b0cd37efcfebaa">financial services (“fintech”)</a> can be difficult to keep pace with and understand.</p> <p>And, although there are lots of resources, it can be difficult to figure out which are appropriate for our own situation.</p> <p>So if you’ve been finding it difficult to get control of your money and make the changes you want to make to improve your financial well-being, there are some good reasons it might be challenging.</p> <p>While some people respond to a challenge by digging right in, others prefer to look the other way and hope it will all work out in the end.</p> <p>However, when it comes to money, looking the other way can result in big problems — or at the very least, missed opportunities.</p> <p><strong>Tips for increasing financial well-being</strong></p> <p>Whether you feel overwhelmed by your finances and don’t know where to start, or you think things are pretty good but you’d like to make them better, it’s never too late to make a change.</p> <p>Here are some tips and techniques to start improving financial well-being.</p> <p><strong>1. Spend less than you earn</strong></p> <p>Think about three big categories of money: spending for today, saving for the future and giving to the causes and organizations that matter to you and your family. When we spend less than we earn, we create the space to save and to give to others. Note: spending includes debt repayment!</p> <p><strong>2. Do the math</strong></p> <p>No one tool is best, but most of us could use a little help in making a budget, revising it as needed and tracking spending. Use what works for you, whether that’s a spreadsheet, an app, financial software or a pencil and paper. The best tools are the ones you use. </p> <p><strong>3. If possible, don’t do it alone</strong></p> <p>If you have a spouse or partner, work to be sure you are on the same page with financial decisions. Financial stress can be a significant source of tension in relationships. If you’re single, could you have a low-budget finance date or breakfast with a friend to compare notes?</p> <p>And if you have kids, bring them into money conversations in age-appropriate ways. Research is showing parents can be important, positive financial role models for their children.</p> <p><strong>4. Save off the top</strong></p> <p>Arrange to have a set amount come out of your chequing account and go into a savings account each payday. Revise the amount as your pay changes over time. Aim to have three to six months worth of expenses in savings to cover emergencies. </p> <p><strong>5. File that tax return</strong></p> <p>Even if you don’t owe taxes, file that return!</p> <p>Filing is the only way to get refundable tax credits like the GST refund. Federal and provincial governments use the income on tax returns to establish eligibility for benefits and supports.</p> <p>Even if you don’t get a sunshine getaway this year, if you’re responsible and proactive right now, a piece of that serenity will be within reach through your ongoing wellness — and the occasional well-planned splurge.<!-- 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/111489/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: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Karen Duncan, Associate Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/no-vacation-find-serenity-with-these-five-financial-wellness-tips-111489"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Retirement Income

Entertainment

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4 ways to read more books

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some of us may be familiar with the experience of buying books only to leave them on the bedside table, waiting to be finished. With all the distractions in our world today, it can indeed be hard to commit our attention and dive into the pages properly. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some practical tips can help you make reading a part of your everyday life with little to no effort. Here are some of the ideas you can try to help you read more and become a consistent page-turner.</span></p> <p><strong>1. Always keep a book nearby</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The idea is to make reading the easiest, most practical choice you can make. Whether you are chilling in the living room or winding down in the bedroom, place some reading material within your sight. Install your bookshelf at a spot you frequent around the home. Sneak a book or an e-reader into your bag whenever you go out, so that you can enjoy that novel you’ve been meaning to complete instead of scrolling through your social media feed on your commute. If you enjoy audiobooks, invest in a speaker or other device that can keep you on track as you do your activities.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s also helpful to make your environment more reading-friendly. Identify potential distractions – which may include a TV or mobile phone – and keep them at bay wherever possible.</span></p> <p><strong>2. Prepare a reading list</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Create a list of books you are interested in and load up, so that you have a new read ready every time you are done with an old one.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Don’t know what to read? Check out online reviews on Goodreads or online bookshops such as Amazon to find recommendations. Alternatively, visit your local bookstore and consult the “staff picks” or the best-seller section. You can also sift through celebrities’ lists – try </span><a href="https://www.gatesnotes.com/About-Bill-Gates/Best-Books-2018"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bill Gates</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, </span><a href="http://www.oprah.com/app/books.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Oprah Winfrey</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> or </span><a href="https://hello-sunshine.com/book-club"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Reese Witherspoon</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. </span></p> <p><strong>3. Keep things dynamic</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Your bookshelf might feel like a fixed part of your home, an object of history that should not be tampered with. However, a new perspective can help you boost your reading rate.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Author of </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Happiness Equation </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Neil Pasricha recommends thinking of your shelf as a “</span><a href="https://hbr.org/2017/02/8-ways-to-read-a-lot-more-books-this-year"><span style="font-weight: 400;">dynamic organism</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">” that is continuously “moving” and “changing”. His method is to add five new books and remove three to four of the old ones every once in a while. This way, you can start to view the shelf as an everlasting source of new stimulation instead of a static object that you could just walk past by.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Keeping your collection dynamic doesn’t have to be expensive – try a book swap with family members or friends, or borrow some reads from the local library. Your local area might also have a book sharing initiative, where you can take and leave books from a designated shared spot with your neighbours and community members.</span></p> <p><strong>4. Lean into your taste</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are moments when you want to like a book, but can’t really get into it no matter how much you try. If reading that copy of </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ulysses </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">or </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Infinite Jest</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> feels more like a chore than a leisure,</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">don’t feel guilty about ditching them. You may return to said books in the future and find them a lot more engrossing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Otherwise, you can try powering through these books to learn more about your reading preferences. Try building up your endurance by setting a goal – for example, reading 30 pages or three chapters in one sitting. If you still find yourself disliking the books, think about what makes them unappealing to you: is it the prose style, the setting, the themes or the genre? From there, you can find other titles that align more closely with what you enjoy.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It is good to challenge yourself with books that are out of your usual digs – but if the goal is to become a consistent reader, start by trusting your taste.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Do you have any tips to read more? Share with us in the comments below.</span></p>

Books

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Fitness trackers overestimate the number of calories burned

<p>Researchers in Aberystwyth University have found that popular brands of fitness trackers can overestimate the number of calories burned while walking by more than 50 per cent.</p> <p>Dr Rhys Thatcher has said that devices had an “inherent tendency” to overmeasure.</p> <p>The tests, which were carried out for the <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006sggm">BBC X-Ray programme</a>, measured the amount of oxygen a volunteer used during ten minutes of walking and running sessions on a treadmill before comparing it to a range of various fitness trackers.</p> <p>The fitness trackers on offer were varied in price, ranging from £20 ($NZD 38) to £80 ($NZD 152).</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/BrYGUEsBryN/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading&amp;utm_campaign=embed_locale_test" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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/BrYGUEsBryN/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading&amp;utm_campaign=embed_locale_test" target="_blank">A post shared by fitbit (@fitbit)</a> on Dec 14, 2018 at 9:43am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The Fitbit Charge 2 was very accurate in testing calories while the volunteer was running, underestimating by 4 per cent. However, when the volunteer was walking, the tracker overestimated by 50 per cent.</p> <p>Dr Thatcher explained:</p> <p>"If you want to know the exact number of calories that you are burning during an exercise session then it doesn't matter which device you use, you have to interpret the data with some caution”</p> <p>Fitbit have said that they’re confident about the performance of their product.</p> <p>Have you noticed that your fitness tracker over estimates the number of calories burned? Let us know in the comments.</p>

Technology

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Prince William makes emotional plea ahead of new book

<p>Prince William has issued a heart-warming and inspiring plea in light of a new book about conservation.</p> <p>The Duke of Cambridge, 36, has dedicated a large portion of his time to help conserve rhinos, elephants and other endangered species targeted and impacted by illegal trade in wildlife.</p> <p>His public work has been particularly focused on the protection of wildlife species, and in a thoughtful plea, the Prince has written about the importance of protecting these special creatures.</p> <p>In the book, the 37-year-old Duke wrote about his passion for preserving the existence of elephants in an emotional foreword for a new book titled The Last Elephants.</p> <p>“I’m not prepared to be part of a generation that lets these iconic species disappear and have to explain to our children why we lost this battle when we had the tools to win it,” he wrote ahead of the book’s release.</p> <p>Furthermore, the Prince heartbreakingly points out that elephants are heading towards “extinction at the hands of poachers, criminal” gangs and traffickers.</p> <p>The royal member also added: “At the current pace of illegal poaching, when Charlotte turns 25 the African elephant could be gone from the wild.”</p> <p>The book, set to release in April, celebrates the magnificent lives of elephants and focuses on the worrying fact their existence is dwindling.</p> <p>Over 1 million elephants roamed Africa in 1982 when the Prince was born and today, just 350,000 remain.</p> <p>He also added the crisis does not just surround animals, but endangered families as well.</p> <p>“It is families in the world’s most vulnerable regions who suffer when two rangers a week are killed on the frontline of this fight,” the Duke wrote.</p> <p>“It is fragile democratic systems in many nations that are at risk from the source of war violence and corruption that the illegal wildlife trade funds and fuels.”</p> <p>Prince William is the president of <em>United for Wildlife,</em> an organisation which forms coalitions of campaigning groups to fight for the lives of endangered species.</p>

Books

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Duchess Meghan’s handwriting reveals this about her personality

<p>Majority of people thought that there wouldn’t be a public sighting of Duchess Meghan until after she gave birth.</p> <p>However, after the Christchurch Attacks, Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry made a special trip to the Embassy of New Zealand in London.</p> <p>This was to express their condolences about the incident. Prince Harry laid a bouquet of flowers and Meghan signed the condolence book.</p> <p>Duchess Meghan wrote:</p> <p>“Our deepest condolences. We are with you.”</p> <p>The couple then signed both of their names and added the Maori word “arohanui”, which means “much love”.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7825078/handwriting-expert.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/7f1a04c8c8ee4a329b5779721cda95e9" /></p> <p>Professional graphologist Tracey Trussell said that Duchess Meghan’s handwriting revealed more than people think.</p> <p>She told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/royals/expert-weighs-in-on-what-trait-meghan-markles-handwriting-reveals/news-story/b15afa233491d930f49228e14d598f0f" target="_blank">news.com.au</a>:</p> <p>“She has a perfectionist streak and desire for beauty and the nice things in life."</p> <p>Trussell then goes onto explain the insights into the Duchess’ personality that she’s able to pick up from her handwriting.</p> <p>"She has the self-discipline to maintain the right profile in-keeping with Royal life.</p> <p>“Nothing will stop her until she's satisfied her goal".</p> <p>Trussell also analysed another sample of the Duchess’ handwriting when they were on a trip to Belfast last March.</p> <p>“She wants to do good deeds in life.</p> <p>“She’s determined in the way she goes about achieving her far-reaching ambitions.”</p> <p>Do you agree with the handwriting expert? Let us know in the comments.</p>

Art