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“Scumbag”: Mother slammed after revealing why she missed her daughter’s open-heart surgery

<p>A mother has been slammed after revealing that she missed her seven-year-old daughter’s open heart surgery because she didn’t want to take time off from work.</p> <p>The mum said she felt guilty taking leave despite her boss insisting she take it.</p> <p>She went on to complain that her young daughter was “belligerent”, saying that she didn’t want to disappoint her clients by skipping her job.</p> <p>The woman’s confession has been met with severe backlash after she shared her story on Reddit.</p> <p>“I work as an analyst in a field where clients expect you to have your work done yesterday and the term ‘family first’ is just an empty statement,” the mother wrote.</p> <p>“My boss and I have been at a client site putting together this very urgent project.</p> <p>“My daughter suddenly had a very big health scare and needed open-heart surgery.</p> <p>“My ex-boyfriend has primary custody and I know my daughter wanted me to be there.</p> <p>“My ex-boyfriend demanded I ask for time off.</p> <p>“However I think it was unfair for him to ask for that because my boss is also my boyfriend.</p> <p>“After my boyfriend heard about my daughter he offered to give me as much time off as I wanted which I felt was unfair and he really needed me and wanted me to stay.</p> <p>“I felt like if I accepted I would be taking advantage of my boyfriend’s generosity and good will.</p> <p>“In addition, I knew that he needed me on this project.”</p> <p>The mum went on to make a series of comments about her sick daughter.</p> <p>“My daughter has had multiple instances of heart problems in the past, and every time she gets treatment she becomes extremely belligerent,” she went on.</p> <p>“She ends up continuously wetting the bed and crying and screaming all the time.</p> <p>“I knew if I went I wouldn’t be much help and I wouldn’t be able to do any work because she tries to take everyone’s attention hostage.</p> <p>“So I ended up missing my daughter’s surgery and now she’s in recovery.”</p> <p>The mother went on to say she was happy she chose work over family.</p> <p>“However, I could tell my boss was very grateful he didn’t have to call in another team member and that he appreciated that I was by his side, despite his reassurances that I could take a leave if I wanted to,” she explained.</p> <p>“It would have been selfish to everybody in the office if I had just stepped out and forced them to step up or else face the client’s ire.”</p> <p>Reddit users didn’t hold back in their criticism of the “selfish” mum.</p> <p>“No wonder dad has custody,” said one.</p> <p>“I don’t care if your kid is puking and needs a ride from school, you go to them. This is a major surgery. A surgery where they have to enter the rib cage in order to get the part they are operating on! And this is a child!”</p> <p>“Scumbag of the year,” said another.</p> <p>Said a third: “This woman is a terrible person and should just completely give up custody right now before she causes more trauma to this child.”</p> <p>Added one more: “She called her seven-year-old belligerent because she wants comfort after open heart surgery. Seriously!”</p>

Caring

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Mother outraged over treatment of child in cafe

<p>A mother in New Zealand has lashed out at her favourite cafe after she discovered a nasty note from a worker directed to her daughter printed on a receipt.</p> <p>Kimberly Sze said that she and her daughter eat at a local cafe called Coffee Supreme on a weekly basis, but that quickly ended after she discovered a rude note on a receipt.</p> <p>The server had written the table was for the “Fam w(ith) the terrifying kid” and had overcharged her.</p> <p>Kimberly was less concerned with being overcharged and furious with her child being labelled as "terrifying".</p> <p>“We come almost every weekend and my daughter is nothing but polite and friendly and we’ve never left a mess,” Sze wrote on Facebook, alongside a picture of the receipt.</p> <div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838524/mum-body.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/5298596fe8e946578179aac126a6255c" /></p> <p>“She’s never been a terror, never had a meltdown, never caused any problems and the same people working today always comment on how cute and sweet she is.”</p> <p>Coffee Supreme New Zealand is in damage control mode, saying that the company is "incredibly sorry" about the incident.</p> <p>“We know you’ve since spoken to Tim, our Food and Beverage manager and know that we’re taking this incredibly serious (sic).</p> <p>“We’re horrified, to say the least. We want Coffee Supreme Welles Street to be a place for everyone and this sort of behaviour contradicts what we’ve been building.”</p> <p>The company addressed the incident on its Facebook page, saying it had "made a mistake".</p> </div> </div> </div>

Family & Pets

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9 things financial advisors wish you knew

<p><strong>Check out the financial planner's credentials</strong><br />When shopping around for a financial advisor, look for accreditations, such as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Registered Financial Planner (RFP). If they will be handling your investments, choose a reputable Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).</p> <p><strong>Don’t delay</strong><br />If you’re trying to get out of debt or are sandwiched between dependent children and ageing parents, take a seat. “We recognise that financial advisors can take a back burner,” says money coach and CFP Sheila Walkington. “But it’s like insurance – get it before you need it.”</p> <p><strong>Go beyond the usual suspects</strong><br />Using your bank’s in-house financial advisors may be convenient. But while their products might suit your needs, they’re limited. It’s best to ask for a referral from family and friends. Look for a financial advisor whose clients are roughly in the same financial situation and life stage as you. And don’t be afraid to interview more than one candidate.</p> <p><strong>Everyone gets a little intimidated</strong><br />Many people don’t seek out financial planning advice because they don’t know what questions to ask. Good financial planners expect they’ll need to talk you through complex matters. “There’s a lot of shame associated with money,” says CFP Robyn Thompson. “But we don’t expect you to be an expert.”</p> <p>The initial discomfort is worth it. A survey by Canada’s Financial Planning Standards Council found people who have worked with a comprehensive financial plan felt twice as confident that they will have enough money to retire. As a general rule, you’ll need about 70 per cent of your pre-retirement annual income available each year.</p> <p><strong>Come ready to chat</strong><br />Good financial advisors will spend at least a couple of hours getting to know you before recommending products or strategies. “We’ll look at your taxes, income, investments, retirement savings, estate planning, insurance, debt and any other issues,” says Thompson. Your planner should check in with you at least once annually.</p> <p><strong>Keep things simple</strong><br />It’s your financial advisor’s responsibility to make sure they clearly communicate concepts to you. If they talk down to you or bewilder you with jargon, bid them adieu.</p> <p>Also, beware of the exaggerator. Head for the door if your advisor promises to “beat the market” – no one can safely guarantee that.</p> <p><strong>Be honest</strong><br />Lay out your income and spending, warts and all. “We can bring clarity to your financial habits and give you tools to help,” says Walkington.</p> <p><strong>Know how your financial advisor gets paid</strong><br />It’s fair to ask whether they receive fees for recommending some products over others, and be sure what you’re buying meets your needs.</p> <p>If you’re looking for an unbiased approach, fee-for-service financial advisors will charge by the hour or project, and isn’t motivated by commissions to sell you certain products.</p> <p><strong>Don’t D.I.Y.</strong><br />Just because you think you can handle your own securities trades, it doesn’t mean you should. Reading headlines about the latest market meltdown can make even the most level-headed investor act rashly. An experienced financial planner can keep you on an even keel through the market’s ups and downs.</p> <p><em>Written by Anna-Kaisa Walker. This article first appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/food-home-garden/money/9-things-financial-advisors-wish-you-knew"><span class="s1">Reader’s Digest</span></a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.co.nz/subscribe"><span class="s1">here’s our best subscription offer</span></a>.</em></p>

Retirement Income

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Day of the Dead festival explained

<p>A celebration of life and death<br />If you’ve heard of Day of the Dead – known in Spanish as Día de Muertos or Día de los Muertos­ – but never celebrated it, you may wonder: How can death possibly be a cause for celebration? You have to go back 3,000 years for the answer. That’s when indigenous groups in Mexico and Central America – including Aztec, Maya, and Toltec – began celebrating their deceased relatives. They believed mourning them would be an insult to their memory. After the Spanish arrived, the ritual was intertwined with two Spanish holidays: All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day (Nov. 1 and Nov. 2).</p> <p>Day of the Dead is not Halloween<br />Although Halloween is celebrated right before Day of the Dead, it’s nowhere near the same. For one thing, Halloween focuses on the scary aspects of death – namely, our fear of mortality. Day of the Dead, on the other hand, is a happy, joyous occasion.</p> <p>Originally called All Hallows’ Eve, Halloween originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. During Samhain, people created bonfires and dressed up in costumes to ward off ghosts.</p> <p>“All Hallows’ Eve was believed to be a time when the veil between the earth and other worlds was thin,” says grief and death expert Dr Kriss Kevorkian. “Ghosts returned to earth and there were celebrations mostly among the Celts. Halloween, today, doesn’t include much honouring of the dead.”</p> <p>Honouring the dead with food, drinks, and dancing<br />During Day of the Dead, families invite the souls of deceased relatives to come back for a reunion. Traditionally, that includes temporary altars with offerings commemorating their loved ones (altares de muertos or ofrendas). It also includes lots of food and drink, dressing up, and dancing.</p> <p>The Day of the Dead is not a single day but actually a celebration from October 31st to November 2. The first day (November 1st), is to honour infants and children who have died, and the second day (November 2nd), is to honour adults who have passed on.</p> <p>Day of the Dead is celebrated mostly in Mexico and parts of Central and South America. But it’s become increasingly popular in Latino communities around the world. “There are benefits to mourning and celebrating the life of a loved one who has died,” says Kevorkian. “We want to mourn the loss, but also celebrate the fact that we had such a relationship.”</p> <p>“That helps us remain connected, grateful, and appreciative of the love that was shared,” she adds. “Celebrating also helps us to understand that we shouldn’t take our loved ones for granted.”</p> <p>Grieving has no time frame<br />According to a review of studies published in 2019 in Psychosomatic Medicine, the death of a loved one is the greatest life stressor we can face. Forcing a sense of closure only adds to the stress.</p> <p>“Sadly, we are limited in our grieving due to work schedules, bereavement leave, family obligations, and our own desire not to hurt,” says Kevorkian. “But grief manifests in its own time. Give yourself time to listen to your grief rather than trying to make it fit into a particular construct. It can be painful. But it can be reframed a bit. Acknowledge how fortunate you were to have had a love so great that to lose it caused so much pain.”</p> <p>A funeral can be fun (yes, really)<br />Most people tend to think of funerals as sad, somber occasions. But it’s possible to honour the memory of your loved one by celebrating their life.</p> <p>Day of the Dead traditions involve dressing up, dancing, singing, and preparing foods that the celebrated person loved.</p> <p>“Celebrations remind us of all that your loved one accomplished in life,” says Kevorkian. “That tends to help you move forward in your grief.”</p> <p>But don’t force it, she adds. “Create your own traditions. If celebrating your loved one helps you grieve, by all means, celebrate. But do so when and how it feels right for you.”</p> <p>Death is a normal part of life<br />“Cultural practices like Dia de los Muertos in Mexico, the Qingming holiday in China, or the Obon festival in Japan all emphasise, normalise, and ritualise the continuing bonds that link the living with the dead across generations,” says Robert Neimeyer, a grief specialist. That helps “people retain – rather than relinquish – life-defining attachments even across the boundaries of life and death.”</p> <p>One way cultures that celebrate Day of the Dead normalise death: They create temporary altars (ofrendas) and adorn them with things meant to provide the deceased what they need on their journey.</p> <p>Traditionally, according to the Smithsonian Latino Center, that includes paper banners, food like Mexican bread, a pitcher filled with water so the spirits can quench their thirst, and candles to help light their way.</p> <p>You can create your own ofrenda of sorts—any time of the year. Display a collection of snapshots, mementos, and other objects that were meaningful to your loved one.</p> <p>“You can accept that your loved one is no longer here,” says Kevorkian. “But that doesn’t mean you have to forget them.”</p> <p>Your relationship continues<br />Day of the Dead traditions support the idea that your relationship with the deceased isn’t over; it’s simply changing. Grief experts say that having a continued relationship can be healing. Look for ways to continue the relationship with your loved ones that are comfortable for you. Storytelling, for example, is a good strategy for coping with loss; so is journaling.</p> <p>“My grandparents died when I was younger,” says Kevorkian. “But I still celebrate their birthdays out of gratitude for having such loving people in my life. Some might want to celebrate once or twice a year. Others might not want to celebrate at all. Grief is unique to each of us.”</p> <p>You can learn from the loss<br />Loss is never easy. But grief can teach you how to value life and those you love. “We can all seek a broader sense of self, whether trans-situational, trans-generational, or transcendental,” says Neimeyer.</p> <p>“By living well, we prepare ourselves for dying well one day. Be friendly to the whole range of human experiences – joy and grief, security and fear, knowing and not knowing – without clinging to or resisting any of them. That can allow you to embrace life in all its pain, pleasure, and paradox, and accept what is both durable and impermanent in your life.”</p> <p class="p1"><em>Written by Kimberly Goad. This article first appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/culture/day-of-the-dead-festival-explained"><span class="s1">Reader’s Digest</span></a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.co.nz/subscribe"><span class="s1">here’s our best subscription offer</span></a>.</em></p>

International Travel

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Dressed to kill: 6 ways horror folklore is fashioned in the movies

<p>“Beauty is pain,” goes the famous adage. The phrase suggests that in order to fully understand what a society considers beautiful, you must explore ugliness. Enter the horror movie.</p> <p>Horror often examines “<a href="https://utpress.utexas.edu/books/grant-dread-of-difference-second-edition">the dread of difference</a>” seen in society, and cinema scholars like Barry Keith Grant have studied how horror films explore gender roles.</p> <p>Women’s <a href="https://press.princeton.edu/books/paperback/9780691166292/men-women-and-chain-saws">violent struggles</a> as perpetrators and victims of horror — in the pursuit of sexual freedom, social empowerment and fulfilment of desire — are reflections of the concerns of a conflicted and changing society.</p> <p>In the book we edited, <em><a href="https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/fashioning-horror-9781350036185">Fashioning Horror: Dressing to Kill on Screen and in Literature</a></em> we explored how horror literature, film and folklore are expressed through fashion and costume. <a href="https://traversingscribes.wordpress.com/">Our approach</a> was informed by our background in fashion studies, folklore and literature, as we investigated the central importance of clothing to the horror genre.</p> <p>Here, we demonstrate how common fears around femininity are expressed through costume and roles in the movies.</p> <p><strong>The ghost</strong></p> <p>The <a href="https://io9.gizmodo.com/why-are-there-so-many-ghost-stories-about-a-woman-in-w-5851037">well-known popular image of</a> a haunting woman in white is a classic gothic and horror trope rooted in <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/1259197">European folklore dating back to pre-Christian and pagan times</a>. Whether dressed in the white of a burial shroud, or the white of mourning, “the White Lady” often appeared by moonlight.</p> <p>The film <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0000000000298130/"><em>The Ring</em> (2002)</a> based on the <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0178868/">Japanese horror film</a> of the same name derived from the <a href="https://books.google.ca/books/about/Ring.html?id=ss0k8a1myFcC&amp;redir_esc=y">novel by Koji Suzuki</a>, shows a contemporary reading of the ghost as related to anxieties about new technology, social change and family relationships. The ghost in white is not seen by moonlight but by the blue glow of a television screen. <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0915208/">Naomi Watts</a> portrays a journalist who investigates a cursed videotape that seemingly kills the viewer seven days after watching it.</p> <p>In 2008, designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy took inspiration from the white shirtdress worn by Sadako, the vengeful video ghost in the 1998 Japanese original film, for their <a href="https://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/fall-2008-ready-to-wear/rodarte">Rodarte fall show</a>.</p> <p><strong>The bride</strong></p> <p>In horror, the figure of the bride represents the thwarted promise of the virginal woman abandoned or killed before she was to be wed and is related to anxiety about domesticity. <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0144120/"><em>Bride of Chucky</em> (1998)</a> shows the depths to which two murderous dolls will go to turn human again.</p> <p>Dolls have <a href="https://doi.org/10.1086/507499">traditionally</a> been used to instruct girls into their future roles as mothers and wives, and fashion dolls herald new trends. The doll in this movie presents quite a different set of possibilities for those who dare to play with her. Bored by expectations of conventional womanhood, both as a sex symbol and as a housewife, Tiffany (<a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000236/?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm">Jennifer Tilly</a>) transforms herself into a Martha Stewart in the kitchen and a crazed serial killer outside the home. <a href="https://barbie.mattel.com/shop">Barbie</a>, eat your heart out.</p> <p><strong>The mother</strong></p> <p><a href="https://lwlies.com/articles/motherhood-horror-cinema-a-quiet-place-hereditary/">Mothers subverting expected norms</a> is a common theme in <a href="https://www.npr.org/2015/10/28/450657717/why-are-old-women-often-the-face-of-evil-in-fairy-tales-and-folklore">folklore and horror</a>. In the film <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7958736/"><em>Ma</em> (2019)</a>, actor <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0818055">Octavia Spencer</a> plays a traumatized and psychopathic mother who locks up and drugs her daughter to keep her close. In the film, veterinary assistant Sue Ann (Spencer) is called upon by a group of (mostly white) teenagers to buy them alcohol; the teens nickname her Ma.</p> <p>Spencer has noted that <a href="https://www.indiewire.com/2020/07/viola-davis-betrayed-the-help-systemic-racism-1234573862">due to systemic racism</a>, Black women in Hollywood have faced limited dramatic opportunities for roles that push the stereotypes of Black women as caregivers. The actor said one appeal of starring in <em>Ma</em> was pushing beyond that mould and subverting the idea of <a href="https://variety.com/2019/scene/news/octavia-spencer-on-ma-these-types-of-roles-havent-been-available-to-women-of-color-1203218410/">Black people dying at the beginning of horror films</a>.</p> <p>Viewers learn Sue Ann experienced humiliating teen years and what begins as apparent friendly support soon spirals out of control.</p> <p>The film mines the hidden depths of Sue Ann’s resentment and fears for her own daughter as she seeks to avenge her own past. A classic transformation scene sees Sue Ann change from wearing mostly scrubs, a reference to self-effacing caregiving roles, into a glamorous outfit. Ma sits at her mirrored vanity table applying lipstick surrounded by red candles. <a href="https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-igq60-Y5Q&amp;list=RDAMVMZ-igq60-Y5Q">“Pow,” she says to her reflection</a> before heading downstairs to kung-fu kick a pyramid of beer cans.</p> <p>Her retro looks include acid-washed denim, black lace, and leopard print. Through the lens of the teens who laugh at her and find her “uncool,” these outfits suggest society’s discomfort with women stepping out of their roles as matrons and caregivers to maintain an equal place in society.</p> <p><strong>The vampiress</strong></p> <p>The female vampire turns the notion of female sexuality on its head in horrifying ways. So popular was the archetype of the man-eater in early cinema, that the “vamp” became a recognizable look for fashionable silent film actresses like <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000847/">Theda Bara</a>, <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0615736/">Musidora</a> and <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0620519/">Nita Naldi</a>.</p> <p>The undead female vampire costumes herself for seduction and disguise. Consumption therefore takes on a dual role, unlocking anxieties about capitalism. The stylish film <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1714915/"><em>Only Lovers Left Alive</em> (2013)</a>, featuring fashion icon <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0842770/">Tilda Swinton</a>, played with this by costuming her character in a mixture of old and new fabrics, with an emphasis on loungewear.</p> <p>Swinton’s shock-blonde hair was supplemented by <a href="https://www.thecut.com/2014/04/vampire-costumes-of-only-lovers-left-alive.html">yak wool</a>, further hinting at the not-quite-human nature of the vampire. <em>Vogue</em> even encouraged readers to “<a href="https://www.vogue.com/article/dress-the-part-only-lovers-left-alive-fashion">get the look</a>.” Swinton presents a new type of vampiress; one not reliant on her sexuality to stand out. She has style.</p> <p><strong>The witch</strong></p> <p><a href="https://digitalcommons.unomaha.edu/jrf/vol22/iss3/6">Fears that women will escape patriarchy</a>, particularly through sexual independence, underpin this mythology, and stories of witches can be both terrifying and empowering.</p> <p>The 1996 film <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115963/"><em>The Craft</em></a> inspired <a href="https://i-d.vice.com/en_us/article/qv8qe5/how-the-craft-empowered-a-generation-of-teen-misfits">a generation of teenage girls</a> and included frank explorations of teen suicide, depression, racist bullying, sexual harassment and slut-shaming. <a href="https://www.fairuza.org/">Fairuza Balk</a> plays the iconic teen witch Nancy Downs, an aggressive, angry goth girl, at odds with everyone outside her own small circle. As she gains in power, her appearance becomes wilder.</p> <p>Films about witches remind viewers that alternatives to the <a href="https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Waking-the-Witch/Pam-Grossman/9781982100704">dominant narratives about beauty and women’s bodies are possible</a>. A remake, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J60ueFp-jv8"><em>The Craft: Legacy</em></a> is set to be <a href="https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2020/09/the-craft-legacy-trailer-release-date">released this fall</a>. The presence of chokers, chains, dark lips and short hair in the trailer demonstrates the continued relevance of punk and goth influences for rebellious teens.</p> <p><strong>The monster</strong></p> <p>The fear of a woman’s appearance hiding something monstrous is an ancient trope. From the <a href="https://www.metmuseum.org/art/metpublications/Dangerous_Beauty_Medusa_in_Classical_Art_The_Metropolitan_Museum_of_Art_Bulletin_v75_no_3">ancient Greek gorgon</a>, to the folk tales of many cultures featuring <a href="https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004366251_008">seductive female</a> <a href="https://upcolorado.com/utah-state-university-press/item/2924-seven-demon-stories-from-medieval-japan">shape-shifting demons</a>, female beauty has the potential to kill onlookers.</p> <p>However, beauty may also come at a cost to the fashion victim, as seen in the morality tale of female vanity in <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054462/"><em>Wasp Woman</em> (1959)</a>.</p> <p>The fear of female aging, as well as the perceived arrogance and aggression of female executives, underpins this story which is an imaginative take on the of <a href="http://www.sarahalbeebooks.com/2012/07/reel-bugs-the-wasp-woman/">royal jelly in cosmetics</a>, still <a href="https://www.burtsbees.ca/product/skin-nourishment-hydrating-gel-cream">a cosmetic ingredient today</a>.</p> <p>The character Ms. Starlin (<a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0127693/">Susan Cabot</a>) is depicted as one with an intemperate desire for youthful good looks, but she is inadvertently transformed into a hideous wasp woman. How similar is this tale, at its core, to the gleeful take-downs of women who have undergone <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3781836/">botched plastic surgeries</a>?</p> <p><em>Written by <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/julia-petrov-1165055">Julia Petrov</a>, University of Alberta and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/gudrun-d-whitehead-1167622">Gudrun D Whitehead</a>, University of Iceland. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/dressed-to-kill-6-ways-horror-folklore-is-fashioned-in-the-movies-147835">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Beauty & Style

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France under siege after beheading in church

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p><strong>WARNING: GRAPHIC STORY CONTENT</strong></p> <p>France was hit by two suspected terror attacks which have left three dead, including a woman who was beheaded by a knifeman allegedly shouting "Allahu Akbar".</p> <p>Two separate assailants are understood to have launched attacks in Nice and Avignon in the south of the country just hours apart.</p> <p>The woman, who was one of three killed, passed away shortly after 9 am local time.</p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/world/europe/nice-suspected-mass-stabber-kept-shouting-allahu-akbar-after-arrested-in-france/news-story/3640cb6f1a6d98047190a8656061ca94" target="_blank" class="editor-rtflink">Her last words</a>, according to a member of the French Senate, were: “Tell my children that I love them.”</p> <p>Police have identified the suspect in Nice as Brahim Aouissaoui, who is believed to have arrived in Europe only recently after being born in Tunisia.</p> <p>Almost at the same time, a security guard at the French Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia was stabbed and left with minor injuries.</p> <p>In Avignon, 250kms away from Nice, a man shouted "Allahu Akbar" while brandishing a knife, but was shot dead. No one else has been reported injured.</p> <p>It's currently unclear if the attacks are related, but local politicians are drawing links, with French Republican Eric Ciotti tweeting "Attack in Nice, attack in Avignon, attack on the French consulate in Saudi Arabia. It is not a coincidence, the Islamists want to annihilate us! We must destroy the Islamists!".</p> <p>French President Emmanuel Macron has visited the site of the attack as France raised its attack level to “urgent” and Prime Minister Jean Castex said the government’s response will be “relentless and immediate”.</p> <p>Nice mayor Christian Estrosi said: “The attacker kept shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ even after he had been shot and as he was given medical care.</p> <p>“Enough is enough. The suspected knife attacker was shot by police while being detained, he is on his way to hospital, he is alive.</p> <p>“I must say that Nice, like France, but perhaps more than other places in the country today, is paying too heavy a price by being once again the victim of islamofascism.”</p> <p>There have been heightened security fears in France over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed published by <em>Charlie Hedbo</em>, with a teacher in France being beheaded after he showed his pupils the cartoons as part of a class on free speech.</p> <p>In response to the beheading, French president Emmanuel Macron delivered a speech in defence of free speech and the offending cartoons were projected onto government buildings in France.</p> </div> </div> </div>

News

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Tired dad's genius nap hack

<p>Nurse Michael Weber was exhausted after coming home from a 12-hour shift. His wife wanted to take their four kids aged from 5 to 12 to the shops in the snow, but Michael decided to look after the kids so she could go alone.</p> <p>When Monica came home, she was caught off guard by what she saw.</p> <p>In a stroke of parenting genius, Michael had asked his kids to draw him while he posed.</p> <p>"I'm pretty sure he's the most brilliant man I've ever known," Ms Weber wrote in a post to Facebook. "He has them doing 'realism art' while he 'poses' AKA naps. The winner gets a chocolate, but let's be honest, Michael is the one winning."</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fphoto%2F%3Ffbid%3D162819024959501%26set%3Dp.162819024959501&amp;show_text=true&amp;width=552&amp;height=697&amp;appId" width="552" height="697" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Parents around the world were fans of the idea.</p> <p>"As an L&amp;D nurse who worked night shift (every Fri, Sat, Sun) so I could be at home with the kids - my husband and I have nine (9), I totally get this!" one woman wrote. "I had to think of creative ways to get naps in while my husband worked a Mon-Fri "regular" job. Kudos, mad kudos."</p> <p>"You and your husband made my day with this," said another. "My partner works away all week as a truck driver and his first question is always, do I need 5 minutes on my own. Gotta love men whose first thought is their partner."</p> <p>Monica added later more details about the idea.</p> <p>"Between his time in the military and job as an OR nurse he is the lightest sleeper ever," she wrote, adding that her eldest two kids are also capable of getting his attention if it was needed. </p> <p>"I was gone maybe 20 minutes, no one was hurt, no houses burned down, no eyes poked out with pencils," she wrote."I took the picture upon my return when all the kids Sshhed me because they wanted to finish their drawing. I didn't pose the kids (if you know my kids they would do about anything for chocolate lol), everyone enjoyed their "art break" and Mike took some stress off my plate while resting his eyes."</p> <p>"Our kiddos are not perfect," she continued. "There are plenty of days we face all the same challenges every other "big" family faces who try to find balance between work, family, and life.</p> <p>"That's why these little moments are worth celebrating."</p> </div> </div> </div>

Family & Pets

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Chris Hemsworth's son steal hearts as he disrupts meditation video

<p>Chris Hemsworth twin son has stolen the spotlight instead of his famous dad.</p> <p>The Thor actor put up a video of him performing an underwater affirmation through his fitness app Centr.</p> <p>"Affirmations That Positively, Absolutely, Probably (Most Likely) Won't Make Your 2020 Worse," Hemsworth said as he sat at the bottom of a pool with goggles on.</p> <p>"Is it just me or is getting harder and harder to find a place where you can just get away from it all, where you can just be? Well, let's find that place together. Close your eyes. Don't breathe in because you're underwater. Imagine you're some place far, far away from wherever you've been stuck lately."</p> <p>"There are no distractions here. Nothing to break your calm. No one demanding your attention," he can be heard saying as he moves his son away from the camera.</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/CG1DGzLpUNb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" 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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CG1DGzLpUNb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">When the distractions just won’t stop coming no matter where you go, gently brush them aside. Gently, of course. They have feelings too. @centrfit</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/chrishemsworth/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Chris Hemsworth</a> (@chrishemsworth) on Oct 26, 2020 at 6:41pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Hemsworth's son quickly swims into the frame, much to the annoyance of Hemsworth as he's trying to find peace and tranquillity.</p> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>"Simply push your worries away until it's just you, and your thoughts and this moment of absolute tranquillity. If there's any distractions, just give them a gentle old shove," he can be heard saying as he nudges his son out of the shot.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838507/hemsworth-body.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/29a08871d2804bdda5d8a3c746531358" /></p> <p>"It's just you... and me... and God, this kid. Let's try this another time." he finishes the video.</p> <p>Fans love the video, as it's quickly racked up 1,113,437 views by fans despite being posted two days ago.</p> <p>Chris Hemsworth and his wife Elsa Pataky share twins Sasha and Tristan, 6, and eight-year-old daughter India. He shared with <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/new_magazine/?hl=en" target="_blank" class="editor-rtflink"><em>New!</em> magazine</a> about how he is enjoying the downtime the coronavirus pandemic has given him.</p> <p>"It has been great to be a part of Marvel over the last decade and I've loved the travel and work, but it has meant a lot of time away from home," he said. "To not be dedicated to by a schedule and to be able to have proper quality family time has been amazing."</p> </div>

Family & Pets

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Greg Norman on Trump: "He's done a phenomenal job"

<p>Greg Norman has spoken out in support of Donald Trump, saying he believes the president can win a second term in November.</p> <p>Despite the “quiet support” for him, the golfing legend gave his full endorsement of the controversial President while speaking with <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/" target="_blank"><em>The Australian. </em></a><br /><br />“(From) my business perspective, he’s done a phenomenal job,” Norman said.<span> </span><br /><br />“He has ­pretty much stuck to all his promises he made when he was elected.<br /><br />“Very few people who are elected as president follow through on their promises.<br /><br />“Yes, he is bombastic; yes, he has a different style; but to see him actually commit to his word about what he wants to do is actually pretty impressive.<br /><br />“And it’s having a domino effect on the American economy, it has a domino effect on people I employ.”<br /><br />Norman said he had also met Democrat candidate Joe Biden, who had impressed him by asking to hear his views on “golf and on life”.<span> </span><br /><br />He went on to say however that “the people around him” are “potentially giving him advice”.<br /><br />Norman and Trump have been familiar with each other since the sportsman first became a prominent figure in the golf word.<span> </span><br /><br />He was also involved in brokering a meeting between the US President and then-Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull a few years ago.<span> </span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838387/donald-trump-greg-norman-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/712a997db9b74dcbb6fb68c846c68bc9" /></p> <p><em>Greg Norman and his wife Kirsten Kutner arrive for the State Dinner at The White House honouring Australian PM Scott Morrison on September 20, 2019 in Washington, DC. (</em><br /><br />Norman also would attend a state dinner back in 2019 at the White House to honour current Prime Minister Scott Morrison.<span> </span><br /><br />“It was very, very classy. You read about all of the (stuff) that people are saying, there’s two sides to everything. It was by far the best event I’ve ever been at my entire life,” Norman said in 2019.<br /><br />“It was truly showing the great respect that Big Brother has for Little Brother, which is the United States to Australia,” Norman added.<span> </span><br /><br />“Donald and the First Lady just couldn’t have been nicer, very engaging.<span> </span><br /><br />“We were fortunate to sit at the head table with them and my prime minister I met for the first time that week is a very, very polished guy, a very great speaker. I’m extremely impressed with him and his wife.”</p>

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Queen allegedly throws shoes and a racket at Prince Philip

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Despite the stoic front that is put on by members of the Royal Family, it appears that the Queen herself has a bit of a temper.</p> <p>In a newly released biography called <em>Prince Philip Revealed</em>, author Ingrid Seward shares an argument between the Queen and husband Prince Philip while they were touring Australia in 1954.</p> <p>According to the book, a camera operator was horrified to see Philip charging out of the couple’s chalet, “followed by a flying pair of tennis shoes and a racket and a very angry Queen shouting for him to come back. Then the indignant Queen grabbed hold of her husband and dragged him back inside.”</p> <p>The pair were awarded a weekend off, but were still being followed by a camera crew who were filming a documentary about their tour. </p> <p>The book continues, saying there was a "stunned silence" before the royal press secretary said that the crew was to shut off their cameras or they would be arrested.</p> <p> The offending film was reportedly handed over and given to the monarch.</p> <p>The Queen reportedly came out to meet the crew and thanked them for the film.</p> <p>“I am sorry for that little interlude,” she said, according to the book. “But as you know it happens in every marriage. Now, what would you like me to do?”.</p> <p>The incident was also shown in an episode of the Netflix series <em>The Crown</em>.</p> <p>Author Seward writes that the couple has had their squabbles over the years despite being married for a shocking 73 years.</p> <p>Philip could be “very tough” on the Queen and frequently called her a “bloody fool and accused her of talking rubbish,” Seward claims.</p> <p>The Queen, perhaps used to being diplomatic, “seldom answered back but would change the subject and started talking in riddles that would divert him as he tried to figure out what she was talking about,” the book says.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Queen "disappointed" at Harry and Meghan

<p>Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are reported to have upset the Queen after bailing on the traditional royal family Christmas day in the UK.</p> <p>The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their one-year-old son Archie spent Christmas last year in Canada with Meghan's mother Doria, which upset the royal family.</p> <p>It appears the royal couple are doing the same thing this year, as they are "looking forward" to staying at home in California in their $20 million home.</p> <p>The family are travelling to the UK days later ahead of Markle's high-profile case against the <em>Mail on Sunday</em> on January 11th.</p> <p><em>Vanity Fair</em>’s Katie Nicholl said the Queen is “missing” Harry and hasn’t seen Archie in a year, making the news all the more “disappointing” for the monarch.</p> <p>An insider explained to the publication: “Global travel has been made very complicated by the coronavirus pandemic and at the moment the Duke has no plans to travel back to the UK, certainly not before Christmas.”</p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/harry-meghan-markle-snub-christmas-22787953" target="_blank" class="editor-rtflink">The Mirror</a> claimed that Harry and Meghan will host Harry’s “surrogate” dad, record producer David Foster, and his wife Katherine McPhee, for a Christmas soiree. </p> <p>“She’s really excited and is planning on doing all the traditions she grew up with as a child, including the cooking.”</p> <p>An insider spoke to Vanity Fair and said that the Sussex family could be avoiding tension between the Cambridge family.</p> <p>They said: “Let's just say that while things are better between Harry and his brother, it's not what it was, and I don't think anyone is ready for a cosy family Christmas right now.”</p>

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Queen attends royal engagement for first time in seven months

<p><span>The Queen has stepped out for her first royal engagement in over seven months.</span><br /><br /><span>Her Majesty was joined by her grandson, Prince William, on Thursday as they met with the Salisbury novichok poisoning heroes.</span><br /><br /><span>The 94-year-old royal headed to Wiltshire to speak with staff who were involved in identifying the deadly nerve agent in Salisbury.</span><br /><br /><span>Despite the current coronavirus pandemic, neither royal wore a mask.</span><br /><br /><span>It was the first engagement outside a royal palace for the Queen since the Commonwealth Ceremony at Westminster Abbey on March 9.</span><br /><br /><span>Her visit follows after it was announced that London would go into Tier 2 restrictions at midnight on Friday, as the country is still struggling in its battle against the deadly virus.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838291/queen-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/b620364af840488097124b6501d428bf" /><br /><br /><span>Many were shocked by the royals decision to ditch the masks.</span><br /><br /><span>TV personality Piers Morgan tweeted: “Why no masks or social distancing? Sorry, but this is not a smart move by the royal family as the virus rages and the country heads into another lockdown.”</span><br /><br /><span>The palace said that the decision to not wear masks was made after consulting the Queen’s medical team.</span><br /><br /><span>“Specific advice has been sought from the medical household and relevant parties, and all necessary precautions taken, working closely with (the laboratory).”</span><br /><br /><span>The centre also tested the 48 staff members who came into contact the royals for COVID-19 before the visit could take place.</span><br /><br /><span>The Queen officially opened the £35 million ($A64 million) Energetics Analysis Centre at the high-security Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL).</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838292/queen-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/bbc7d5b395704f94b850c84ddfdf3b0b" /><br /><br /><span>The centre tweeted today: “We’re delighted to have received the royal seal of approval for DSTL’s science inside defence and security, with Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge visiting our site near Salisbury this morning.”</span><br /><br /><span>Her Majesty and Prince William were given a private tour of the Energetics Enclosure.</span><br /><br /><span>Together they were shown a display of weaponry and tactics used in counter intelligence.</span><br /><br /><span>The royal engagement follows after the Queen returned to Windsor Castle earlier this month.</span><br /><br /><span>She has started back her work at Buckingham Palace after being held in a “ring of steel” by palace chiefs since March.</span><br /><br /><span>Teams of 24 key aides have worked three weeks on and three weeks off to keep the monarch safe from COVID-19.</span><br /><br /><span>Although the Queen has held private engagements inside Windsor Castle during the pandemic, she has not been seen out in public or attending engagements since March 9.</span></p>

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Travel

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Marine protected area is long overdue: Humans threaten the Antarctic Peninsula’s fragile ecosystem

<p>Antarctica, the world’s <a href="https://media.nature.com/original/magazine-assets/d41586-018-07183-6/d41586-018-07183-6.pdf">last true wilderness</a>, has been protected by an <a href="https://www.ats.aq/e/antarctictreaty.html">international treaty</a> for the last 60 years. But the same isn’t true for most of the ocean surrounding it.</p> <p><a href="https://www.asoc.org/advocacy/marine-protected-areas">Just 5%</a> of the Southern Ocean is protected, leaving biodiversity hotspots exposed to threats from human activity.</p> <p>The Western Antarctic Peninsula, the northernmost part of the continent and one of its <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0011683">most biodiverse regions</a>, is particularly vulnerable. It faces the cumulative threats of commercial krill fishing, tourism, research infrastructure expansion and climate change.</p> <p>In an <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02939-5">article</a> published in Nature today, we join more than <a href="https://homewardboundprojects.com.au/about/">280 women in STEMM</a> (science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine) from the global leadership initiative Homeward Bound to call for the immediate protection of the peninsula’s marine environment, through the designation of a <a href="https://www.antarcticanow.org/">marine protected area</a>.</p> <p>Our call comes ahead of a meeting, due in the next fortnight, of the <a href="https://www.ccamlr.org/en">international group</a> responsible for establishing marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean. We urge the group to protect the region, because delays could be disastrous.</p> <p><strong>Threats on the peninsula</strong></p> <p>The Southern Ocean <a href="https://theconversation.com/explainer-how-the-antarctic-circumpolar-current-helps-keep-antarctica-frozen-106164">plays a vital role</a> in global food availability and security, regulates the planet’s climate and drives global ocean currents. Ice covering the continent stores 70% of the earth’s freshwater.</p> <p>Climate change threatens to unravel the Southern Ocean ecosystem as species superbly adapted to the cold struggle to adapt to warmer temperatures. The impacts of climate change are especially insidious on the Western Antarctic Peninsula, one of the fastest-warming places on Earth. In February, temperatures reached a record high: <a href="https://theconversation.com/anatomy-of-a-heatwave-how-antarctica-recorded-a-20-75-c-day-last-month-134550">a balmy 20.75℃</a>.</p> <p>The peninsula is also the <a href="https://theconversation.com/humans-are-encroaching-on-antarcticas-last-wild-places-threatening-its-fragile-biodiversity-142648">most-visited part of Antarctica</a>, thanks to its easy access, dramatic beauty, awe-inspiring wildlife and rich marine ecosystems.</p> <p>Tourist numbers have doubled in the past decade, increasing the risk of introducing invasive species that hitch a ride on the toursts’ gear. More than <a href="https://www.scribd.com/document/470576496/Polar-Perspectives-No-1-Is-it-time-for-a-paradigm-shift-in-how-Antarctic-tourism-is-controlled#download&amp;from_embed">74,000 cruise ship passengers</a> visited last year, up from 33,000 in the 2009-10 season.</p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/australia-wants-to-build-a-huge-concrete-runway-in-antarctica-heres-why-thats-a-bad-idea-139596">The expansion of infrastructure</a> to accommodate scientists and research, such as buildings, roads, fuel storage and runways, can also pose a threat, as it displaces local Antarctic biodiversity.</p> <p>Eighteen nations have science facilities on the Antarctic Peninsula, the highest concentration of research stations anywhere on the continent. There are 19 permanent and 30 seasonal research bases there.</p> <p>Another big threat to biodiversity in the peninsula is the commercial fishing of Antarctic krill, a small, shrimp-like crustacean which is the <a href="https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2017.2015">cornerstone of life</a> in this region.</p> <p><strong>A cornerstone of life</strong></p> <p>Krill is a foundation of the food chain in Antarctica, with whales, fish, squid, seals and Adélie and gentoo penguins all feeding on it.</p> <p>But as sea ice cover diminishes, more industrial fishing vessels can encroach on penguin, seal and whale foraging grounds, effectively acting as a competing super-predator for krill.</p> <p>In the past 30 years, colonies of Adélie and Chinstrap penguins on the Antarctic Peninsula have <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/41242231?seq=1">declined by more than 50%</a> due to reduced sea ice and krill harvesting.</p> <p>Commercial Antarctic krill fishing is largely for omega-3 dietary supplements and fish-meal. The fishery in the waters of the Western Antarctic Peninsula is the largest in the <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-2979.2011.00406.x">Southern Ocean</a>.</p> <p>The krill catch here has <a href="https://www.ccamlr.org/en/fisheries/krill">more than tripled</a> from 88,800 tonnes in 2000 to almost 400,000 tonnes in 2019 — the third-largest krill catch in history and a volume not seen since the 1980s.</p> <p><strong>How do we save it?</strong></p> <p>To save the Antarctic Peninsula, one of critical steps is to protect its waters and its source of life: those tiny, but crucially important, Antarctic krill.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838471/antarctica-3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/b40e7f32cd174fa39cb137d91ce94e0f" /></p> <p><span><em>Image caption: </em></span><em><u>A map of the current and proposed marine protected areas under consideration. Cassandra Brooks, Author provided</u></em></p> <p>This can be done by establishing a marine protected area (MPA) in the region, which would limit or prohibit human activities such as commercial fishing.</p> <p>An MPA around the peninsula was first proposed <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/336888437_Protecting_Antarctica_through_Co-production_of_actionable_science_Lessons_from_the_CCAMLR_marine_protected_area_process">in 2018</a>, <a href="https://www.ccamlr.org/en/science/mpa-planning-domains">covering</a> 670,000 square kilometres. But the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (the organisation responsible for establishing MPAs in the Southern Ocean) has yet to reach agreement on it.</p> <p>The proposed MPA is an excellent example of balancing environmental protection with <a href="https://theconversation.com/no-take-marine-areas-help-fishers-and-fish-far-more-than-we-thought-119659">commercial interests</a>.</p> <p>The area would be split into two zones. The first is a general protection zone covering 60% of the MPA, designed to protect different habitats and key wildlife and mitigate specific ecosystem threats from fishing.</p> <p>The second is a krill fishery zone, allowing for a precautionary management approach to commercial fishing and keeping some fishing areas open for access.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838472/antarctica-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/be0da721223d49479b289f835fa16b2b" /></p> <p><span><em>Image caption: </em></span><em><u>A map of the current and proposed marine protected areas under consideration. Cassandra Brooks, Author provided</u></em></p> <p>The proposed MPA would stand for 70 years, with a review every decade so zones can be adjusted to preserve ecosystems.</p> <p><strong>No more disastrous delays</strong></p> <p>The commission is made up of 25 countries and the European Union. In its upcoming meeting, the proposed MPA will once again be considered. Two other important MPA proposals are also on the table in the East Antarctic and Weddell Sea.</p> <p>In fact, for <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/02/antarctic-marine-park-conservationists-frustrated-after-protection-bid-fails-for-eight-time">eight consecutive years</a>, the proposal for a marine park in Eastern Antarctica has failed. Delays like this are potentially disastrous for the fragile ecosystem.</p> <p>Protecting the peninsula is the most pressing priority due to rising threats, but the commission should adopt all three to fulfil their <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/269874896_Competing_values_on_the_Antarctic_high_seas_CCAMLR_and_the_challenge_of_marine-protected_areas">2002 commitment</a> to establishing an MPA network in Antarctica.</p> <p>If all three were established, then more than 3.2 million square kilometres of the Southern Ocean would be protected, giving biodiversity a fighting chance against the compounding threats of human activity in the region.</p> <p><em>Written by <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/marissa-parrott-561432">Marissa Parrott</a>, University of Melbourne; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/carolyn-hogg-1166504">Carolyn Hogg</a>, University of Sydney; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/cassandra-brooks-419939">Cassandra Brooks</a>, University of Colorado Boulder; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/justine-shaw-299755">Justine Shaw</a>, The University of Queensland, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/melissa-cristina-marquez-1166518">Melissa Cristina Márquez</a>, Curtin University. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/humans-threaten-the-antarctic-peninsulas-fragile-ecosystem-a-marine-protected-area-is-long-overdue-147671">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Cruising

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Insights from Morocco into how smartphones support migration

<p>For undocumented migrants and refugees travelling to new countries, accurate information is vital. Because of this, smartphones – mobile phones that perform many of the functions of a computer, like accessing the internet – have become an important tool. They give migrants access to applications such as Google maps, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter. These can provide them with information from social media and close contacts.</p> <p>In a <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.13169/workorgalaboglob.13.1.0062?seq=1">recent study</a>, my colleague Filippo Bignami and I investigated the role of smartphones in irregular migration. We wanted to know how they helped migrants reach their destination and what kind of information migrants accessed using them. Our focus was on sub-Saharan migrants arriving in Morocco, specifically in the city of Fès, on their way to Europe.</p> <p>We found that smartphones supported migration flows by providing migrants with access to online information before and during travel and when they arrived at their destination country. They affected their migration routes and choice of final destination. They also helped migrants to share information with each other.</p> <p>The smartphones were equally used by traffickers. They allowed them to contact prospective irregular migrants and provide them with information.</p> <p>From what we’ve seen, smartphones are being increasingly used to minimise risks and address migration challenges. Policymakers can use this information to better support their journey, and ensure their safety, by engaging them through smartphone applications.</p> <p><strong>Meeting migrants</strong></p> <p>We first investigated how the use of smartphones and social media influenced migration journeys. Then we explored how they influenced decisions regarding their final destinations. Finally we looked at how they affected the financing of migration.</p> <p>To do this, we conducted interviews with 27 migrants from January 2017 until March 2018 and followed them for a period between 4 and 8 months.</p> <p>We met the migrants in the neighbourhoods where they lived, in streets, and cafes. They gave us information about their use of technology, migratory routes, demographic and socio-economic profiles, daily lives, relations with society and their migratory project.</p> <p>It made sense for us to focus our study on Morocco which, since the mid-2000s, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/26/hundreds-storm-border-fence-spanish-enclave-north-africa-ceuta-spain-migration">has been</a> a transit country for many refugees and African migrants wishing to reach Europe. They do this either through the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, or through the Canary Islands.</p> <p>It’s <a href="https://www.theseus.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/125569/Naama_Mbarek_Helsinki.pdf?sequence=1">estimated</a> that migrants come from over 10 countries in Africa, in particular; Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, Congo and Cote d'Ivoire, Togo, Guinea, Benin, Ghana, Niger, and Cameroon. According to <a href="https://www.hcp.ma/file/217998/">Morocco’s Statistics Office</a>, between 15,000 and 25,000 African migrants enter Morocco each year. Many aren’t able to complete the trip, and stay in Morocco, but each year it’s believed that <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-40504374">over</a> 8,000 irregular sub-Saharan migrants cross to Spain.</p> <p><strong>Influence of smartphones</strong></p> <p>We found that the intention to migrate was significantly influenced by mobile technologies in addition to the traditional push-factors, such as conflict, civil war, economic hardship, and family impact.</p> <p>Smartphones made the process relatively faster and smoother. They guided migrants in their quest to reach their destinations. For instance, they used Google to access news or maps which provided them with information on the directions to take to reach their destination country. These applications could also show when the best time, or place, was for border crossings.</p> <p>If migrants were in difficulty or lost they could use the phones to ask for help. They used specific applications like WhatsApp or Messenger for communication.</p> <p>These apps were also key for the migrants to stay in touch with family, friends and traffickers. Aside from emotional support, this was an important way in which migrants could continue to finance their travels. As one interviewee stated: <em>“When I need money I make a call to my parents through WhatsApp, and they send it via Western Union really fast.”</em></p> <p>The phones also provided for cooperation and communication between migrants. They helped each other choose the safest routes and share other information.</p> <p>The accessibility of smartphones made some migrants more confident and independent. Because of their access to information, some were making their journeys without smugglers.</p> <p>When they reached their destination, the sharing of news and photos about their journey – and how they managed to cross borders – motivated more young people to migrate.</p> <p>And it’s not just migrants that use them. Smartphones allowed traffickers to recruit prospective immigrants and quickly disseminate information.</p> <p><strong>New opportunities</strong></p> <p>We have seen evidence of how mobile technologies are transforming societies, migration processes, migrants’ lives, their social aspirations, and migration movements.</p> <p>This information could be used to develop policies to protect migrants’ rights and to support migrants’ participation and integration. Such knowledge is a good starting point for policy-making to revise the current regulations, so as to integrate the migrants in education, health care and housing facilities, the job market, and other sectors.</p> <p>Thus, smartphones and social media are reshaping not only migration movements but also migration policies with the daily use of mobile technologies.</p> <p><em>Moha Ennaji‘s most recent books are “Managing Cultural Diversity in the Mediterranean Region” and “Muslim Moroccan Migrants in Europe”.</em></p> <p><em>Written by <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/moha-ennaji-333834">Moha Ennaji</a>, Université Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/insights-from-morocco-into-how-smartphones-support-migration-147513">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

Travel Tips

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Water on the Moon: research unveils its type and abundance

<p>The Moon was for a long time considered to be bone dry, with analyses of returned lunar samples from the Apollo missions showing only trace amounts of water. These traces were in fact believed to be due to contamination on Earth. But over the past two decades, re-analyses of lunar samples, observations by spacecraft missions, and theoretical modelling <a href="https://theconversation.com/digging-deep-in-search-of-water-on-the-moon-26775">have proved</a> this initial assessment to be wrong.</p> <p>“Water” has since been detected <a href="https://www.space.com/40481-moon-meteorite-mineral-hidden-lunar-water.html#:%7E:text=A%20mineral%20that%20requires%20the,moon%2C%20study%20team%20members%20said.">inside the minerals</a> in lunar rocks. Water ice has also been discovered to be mixed in with <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/115/36/8907">lunar dust grains</a> in cold, permanently shadowed regions near the lunar poles.</p> <p>But scientists haven’t been sure how much of this water is present as “molecular water” – made up of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen (H<sub>2</sub>O). Now two new studies published in Nature Astronomy <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-020-01222-x">provide an answer</a>, while also giving an idea of how and where <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-020-1198-9">to extract it</a>.</p> <p><strong>Water and more water</strong></p> <p>The term water isn’t just used for molecular water, but also also for detections of hydrogen (H) and <a href="https://www.britannica.com/science/hydroxyl-group">hydroxyl</a> (OH). Although H and OH could be combined by astronauts to form molecular water at the lunar surface, it is important to know in what form these compounds are present initially. That’s because this will have an impact on their stability and location under lunar surface conditions, and the effort required to extract them. Molecular water, if present as water ice, would be easier to extract than hydroxyl locked in rocks.</p> <p>The presence of water on the Moon is scientifically interesting; its distribution and form can help address some profound questions. For example, how did water and other volatile substances arrive at the inner Solar System in the first place? Was it produced there or <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms11684#:%7E:text=We%20determine%20that%20a%20combination,the%20water%20in%20the%20Moon.">brought there by asteroids or meteorites</a>? Knowing more about the specific compound could help us find out.</p> <p>Understanding how much water is present, and its location, is also incredibly useful for planning human missions to the Moon and beyond. Water represents a key resource that can be used for life-support purposes – but it can also be split apart into its constituent elements and put to other uses. Oxygen could replenish air supplies, or be used in simple chemical reactions at the lunar surface to extract other useful resources from the regolith (soil composed of small grains). Water could also be used as rocket fuel in the form of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.</p> <p>This means that the Moon has great potential to become a refuelling base for space missions further into the Solar System or beyond. Its lower gravity and lack of atmosphere means it would require less fuel to launch from there than from Earth. So when space agencies talk of <em>in-situ</em> <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-build-a-moon-base-120259">resource utilisation at the Moon</a>, water is front and centre of their plans, making the new papers extremely exciting.</p> <p><strong>New research</strong></p> <p>Instruments on board various spacecraft have previously measured “reflectance spectra” (light broken down by wavelength) from the Moon. These detect light coming from a surface to measure how much energy it reflects at a specific wavelength. This will differ based on what the surface consists of. Because it has water, the Moon’s surface <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6130389/">absorbs light at 3𝜇m wavelengths</a> (0.000003 metres). However, absorptions at this wavelength cannot distinguish between molecular water and hydroxyl compounds.</p> <p>Using the <a href="https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/SOFIA/overview/index.html">NASA/DLR Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)</a> telescope, flown at 43,000 feet, the team behind one of the new papers observed sunlit sections of the Moon’s surface in wavelengths of 5-8𝜇m. H<sub>2</sub>O results in a characteristic peak in the spectrum at 6𝜇m, and by comparing a near-equatorial area as a baseline (thought to have almost no water) with an area near the south pole, this study reports the first unequivocal observations of molecular water under ambient conditions at the lunar surface at an abundance of 100-400 parts per million.</p> <p>This is several orders of magnitude too large for most of the water to be adsorbed onto regolith grain surfaces. Instead, the authors suggest that the water they have observed must be locked up inside glass formed by tiny meteorites impacting and melting already hydrated regolith grains. Alternatively, it could be present in voids between grain boundaries, which would make it easier to extract. Where exactly this water is sited would be of extreme interest for future explorers as it would dictate the processes and energy required to extract it.</p> <p>Luckily, the other paper used new theoretical models, based on temperature data and higher resolution images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, to refine predictions of where conditions are right for molecular water to be trapped as ice.</p> <p>Previous research has shown already that there are such kilometres-wide “cold traps” in permanently shadowed areas <a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/281/5382/1496.full">near the poles</a>, where water ice may be present. Evidence from orbiting spacecraft, however, was inconclusive about this being molecular water or hydroxyl. The new study finds that there are also abundant small cold traps where conditions permit water ice to accumulate – on the scale of centimetres or decimetres. In fact, such traps should be hundreds to thousands of times more numerous than larger cold traps.</p> <p>The team calculates that 0.1% of the total lunar surface is cold enough to trap water as ice, and that the majority of these icy cold traps are at high latitudes (&gt; 80°). This is particularly near to the lunar south pole, narrowing down the choice of future landing sites with the highest chance of finding trapped water ice. However, it is important to realise that the two studies investigated areas at different latitudes (55°-75°S vs &gt;80°S) and therefore cannot be compared directly.</p> <p>Nevertheless, these latest discoveries further enhance our understanding of the history of water on our nearest neighbour. They will undoubtedly strengthen plans for a return to the Moon. Instruments such as the European Space Agency’s (<a href="https://exploration.esa.int/web/moon/-/59102-about-prospect">PROSPECT payload on Luna 27</a>) will be able to make measurements on the Moon to “ground-truth” these tantalising glimpses of the wealth of information yet to be discovered.</p> <p><em>Written by <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/james-mortimer-125966">James Mortimer</a>, The Open University and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mahesh-anand-125967">Mahesh Anand</a>, The Open University. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/water-on-the-moon-research-unveils-its-type-and-abundance-boosting-exploration-plans-148669">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Cruising

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Air New Zealand resumes its famous "mystery breaks" to wild acclaim

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Air New Zealand has recognised that New Zealanders are eager to explore the country again and has announced the return of its "Mystery Break" offer.</p> <p>This allows guests to book their entire holiday through the airline, including flights, accommodations and transport without learning where they're going until two days before departure.</p> <p>There are also three packages on offer from the carrier, including a "Luxury" option to the "Great" and "Deluxe" options already on offer.</p> <p>All three packages include flights to and from Air New Zealand's 20 domestic destinations.</p> <p>“We’re really excited to have refreshed Mystery Breaks. It’s part of doing our bit to boost local tourism,” Jeremy O’Brien, Air New Zealand’s general manager of brand and marketing, said.</p> <p>“Previously these had been mostly purchased by corporate customers, but we’ve developed the packages further to appeal to leisure travellers.”</p> <p>Customers are allowed to “nominate one place they would prefer not to go”, but apart from that, the destination is completely anonymous until two days before departure.</p> <p>The Great Mystery Break starts at $563 and offers three or four-star hotel accommodation, with breakfast and airport transfers included.</p> <p>The Deluxe package starts at $656 allows you to stay at four or four and a half star hotels with breakfast and the use of a rental car for your stay.</p> <p>Finally, the Luxury package starts at $1,530 and includes five-star accommodation, breakfast and dinner included as well as the use of a luxury Avis rental car included in your price.</p> <p>“(The Mystery Breaks) are also a great gift option because you don’t need a name or a date to buy a voucher – the recipient can decide at a later date,” Mr O’Brien said.</p> <p>New Zealand residents are currently not allowed to travel internationally, with the exception of NSW, the Northern Territory, South Australia and as of today, Tasmania.</p> <p>This is part of the first stage of quarantine free travel between Australia and New Zealand.</p> <p>The travel bubble, which went into effect on October 16th, is a step towards reopening job opportunities and tourism between the two countries.</p> </div> </div> </div>

International Travel

Health

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“Ugly and repulsive”: Acid attack survivor slams troll after undergoing 400th operation

<p>British TV personality and model Katie Piper has shared the vicious taunt she received from a troll on Instagram, calling out the cruel nature of the comments.</p> <p>The 37-year-old has been the subject of vicious trolling since suffering a horrific acid attack in 2008.</p> <p>The mum was assaulted by an ex-boyfriend while walking in the street in London, and has since undergone almost 400 surgeries to correct the damage that resulted from the attack.</p> <p>Sharing a screenshot of the message she received on her Instagram, the troll wrote: "You're the most repulsive and ugliest thing I've ever seen why even bother with make-up."</p> <p>In response, the TV presenter noted "more work needs to be done" to combat online harassment.</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/CFeJjjvj3lt/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" 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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CFeJjjvj3lt/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Morning 🌻🌼 Amongst all this uncertainty the sun and being able to take walks has provided some consistency and peace. What’s providing you with a little escapism and clarity at the moment? Big or small My dress is @ted_baker</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/katiepiper_/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> K A T I E P I P E R</a> (@katiepiper_) on Sep 23, 2020 at 12:43am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"I've posted this message from my inbox to show you all the work and conversations around diversity and inclusion, the everyday reality for anyone who is in the minority category," she wrote.</p> <p>"The everyday existence is very different to the positivity campaigns. More work needs to be done."</p> <p>A week before, Piper shared a health update after having an operation on her right eye.</p> <p>The TV personality was left blind in her left eye following the March, 2008 attack.</p> <p>A representative for Piper told the Mail Online she was "being as brave as ever" in the lead up to the procedure and "remains positive about the future."</p> <p>"The operation was a skin graft to her upper eyelid using skin from her left arm. She is currently resting to minimise the threat of infection and to ensure a quick recovery. Katie thanks everyone for their care and warm wishes," they added.</p> <p>Piper sustained the injuries from her ex-boyfriend Daniel Lynch and accomplice Stefan Sylvestre.</p>

Body

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Our minds may be wandering more during the pandemic — and this can be a good thing

<p>Many feel the coronavirus pandemic has changed not just our everyday lives, but also our inner mental lives. There has been talk of a <a href="https://www.mhvic.org.au/images/PDF/Submission/MHV_input_Mental_Health_Pandemic_Response_Plan.pdf">mental health pandemic</a>, but also of <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2020-10-07/what-is-brain-fog-and-what-causes-it/12734948">lockdown brain fog when we are awake</a>, as well as <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-covid-19-pandemic-is-changing-our-dreams/">reports of more frequent, vivid, and bizarre dreams when we are asleep</a>.</p> <p>We tend to think of our waking and dream lives as separate. But it is striking how deeply they are linked.</p> <p>Spontaneous thought, or mind wandering, occupies <a href="https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-psych-010814-015331">up to 50% of wakefulness</a>. Our thoughts and attention frequently drift away from what we are doing and what is happening in our immediate surroundings, with one thought following another along an associative trajectory.</p> <p>Spontaneous thoughts and experiences are also pervasive in sleep. The clearest example is dreaming, which has been described as an <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2013.00412/full">intensified form of the mind wandering</a> that happens when we are awake.</p> <p>Considering dreaming and mind wandering together suggests the fluctuations in spontaneous experience, the natural ebb and flow of attention and somewhat erratic trajectory of thoughts continue throughout waking and sleep.</p> <p>In normal circumstances, we mostly <a href="https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-psych-010814-015331">remain oblivious to the fact our minds have wandered</a>. Most people also only rarely remember their dreams, but when awakened in the sleep laboratory can report multiple dreams per night. Like mind wandering, dreaming is also largely (with the exception of certain <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30880167/">lucid dreams</a>) beyond our control.</p> <p>However, attention to our inner lives may be amplified at a time when control over our everyday lives is elusive.</p> <p>Paying attention to your dreams when you first wake up in the morning drastically increases dream recall. And <a href="http://journalpsyche.org/articles/0xc138.pdf">attempting to harness our thoughts and attention throughout the day</a> can actually make us more aware of our failures, including lapses in attention. If you have been paying more attention to your spontaneous thoughts during the pandemic, you might have become more aware of what was were there all along.</p> <p><strong>Changes in spontaneous thought — for better or worse</strong></p> <p>If you have been <a href="https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(20)30838-1">sleeping more during lockdown</a>, you are probably experiencing more early morning REM sleep. Because REM sleep is typically associated with the most vivid and complex dreams, this might lead to an increase in actual dreaming.</p> <p>If you have also ditched your alarm clock, you are probably awakening directly from REM sleep, which further increases dream recall.</p> <p>The pandemic has also changed what we daydream and <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-covid-19-pandemic-is-changing-our-dreams/">dream about.</a> Waking concerns about the pandemic seem paralleled by more frequent nightmares and dreams <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.573961/full">about topics such as social distancing, contagion, or personal protective equipment</a>.</p> <p>Some changes to our spontaneous mental lives can indicate something is amiss. Anxiety and stress are linked to increased repetitive thoughts and rumination; trouble focusing, disturbed sleep, nightmares, and unpleasant dreams, <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-covid-19-pandemic-is-changing-our-dreams/">all of which seem to have increased during the pandemic</a>.</p> <p>These repetitive, sticky and non-progressive thoughts <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nrn.2016.113">contrast with the free, meandering movement that characterises most dreams and mind wandering</a>.</p> <p><strong>Spontaneous thought might be beneficial</strong></p> <p>The restlessness of our minds might also have a silver lining. Mind wandering certainly does compromise how well we perform tasks demanding attention. But because of their associative nature, dreams and mind wandering can also help make new connections and see familiar topics in a new light. When our minds wander, our thoughts are often drawn to the <a href="https://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190464745.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780190464745">future and personal concerns</a>.</p> <p>Similarly, dreams have the tendency to weave disparate waking experiences and concerns into new and sometimes bizarre narratives. You might encounter a dream character who is a mixture of different people you have been close to at different times in your life.</p> <p>Or your initially pleasant dream of visiting friends in a faraway city might morph into a nightmare about getting infected, putting your family at risk, and being pursued by the police because you are breaching lockdown.</p> <p>Spontaneous thoughts in waking and sleep might help process memories and guide future planning and decision making, for example by enabling us to imagine alternative courses of action; they can also be a source of insight and creativity.</p> <p>Such thoughts may also contribute to coping and emotional processing. Future-oriented mind wandering is often <a href="https://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190464745.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780190464745">positive, whereas past-oriented mind wandering tends to be associated with negative moods and emotions</a>.</p> <p><strong>A great escape</strong></p> <p>Being in the here and now is often lauded as a virtue we should aim to cultivate through mindfulness. But sometimes, distraction can be useful: <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.3758/s13423-015-0993-2">Mind wandering can provide a welcome break from boring tasks</a>, allowing us to return with refreshed attention.</p> <p>Other times, distraction might just be pleasant. In our dreams, we experience alternative realities; we can travel freely and, because <a href="https://open-mind.net/papers/the-avatars-in-the-machine-dreaming-as-a-simulation-of-social-reality">dreams are rich in social interactions</a>, we can interact with people we are separated from in waking life.</p> <p>Given the monotony, restrictions, and social isolation many of us are experiencing, the unruliness and unboundedness of our minds might sometimes be a great escape.</p> <p><em>If you are interested in joining a study on mind wandering and dreaming, please email spontaneous.experiences.sr@gmail.com.</em></p> <p><em>Written by <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jennifer-windt-1153552">Jennifer Windt</a>, Monash University. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/our-minds-may-be-wandering-more-during-the-pandemic-and-this-can-be-a-good-thing-145764">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Caring

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7 silent signs of high-functioning anxiety

<p><strong>What is high-functioning anxiety?</strong><br />When we talk about people with high-functioning anxiety, we are talking about people who, at least on the surface, seem successful at school, work, or home, explains clinical psychologist Dr Inna Khazan. On the inside, however, they are experiencing a near-constant state of anxiety. “People with high-functioning anxiety push themselves to get things done, with anxiety constantly holding a ‘stick’ over their heads,” she says. “Fear of what might happen if they don’t move forward keeps them moving forward. And because these people are often high-achieving, no one thinks that there is anything ‘wrong’ with them.”</p> <p><strong>You worry excessively</strong><br />It’s normal to ruminate over things and have brief periods of worry. But if this is the mental state you experience 15-plus days a month for six months or more, you have an anxiety disorder, says psychotherapist Annie Wright. Specifically, this could signal generalised anxiety disorder. Wright explains that such worries can run the gamut from your love life to your retirement savings. “And, often, the amount and intensity of the worry you have are likely disproportionate to the event itself. In other words, everything feels like a really big deal when perhaps it isn’t.”</p> <p><strong>You can’t control your anxiety (but nobody realises this)</strong><br />Even if you know all the calming tricks – deep breaths, magic phrases to clam yourself down, jotting down your thoughts – you still live with your worries on a daily basis. Despite your self-care practices, your anxiety may still get the better of you because you simply cannot control it, says Wright. And while you’re aware of these feelings, chances are, others might not be. “People who experience it do not look like what we expect a highly anxious person to look like – frozen, unable to make decisions, failing to get things done,” she says. “Also, people with high-functioning anxiety rarely allow themselves to ask for help or admit that there is anything wrong.”</p> <p><strong>Nothing is ever good enough</strong><br />People who have anxiety disorders often feel a constant pressure to perform at top-notch standards across all areas of life. But after a while, this can wear on you. Generally, a person who we might classify as having high-functioning anxiety is ambitious, perfectionistic, and set in their way of doing things,” says Khazan. Interestingly, she explains that anxiety is often about feeling unsafe. “These structured rituals and certain ways of doing things provide people with high-functioning anxiety with a sense of safety,” Khazan says. “They may become quite upset if they are knocked out of their routine because the lack of familiar structure feels overwhelmingly unsafe.”</p> <p><strong>Your anxiety is interfering with your daily life</strong><br />You may be aware that it’s becoming harder to feel secure and competent at work and in your relationships with partners, relatives, and friends, says Wright. In other words, you appear calm and in control on the surface, but it’s a different story on the inside. As Wright puts it, “inwardly, you’re living out a high-drama movie each day and it’s starting to wear on your quality of life.”</p> <p><strong>You can’t sleep</strong><br />It’s not uncommon to have trouble falling or staying asleep, or to have a restless sleep. “You may rely on a glass or two of wine or paracetamol to mask it temporarily, but basically, you have sleep issues,” warns Wright. In addition, because your nervous system is in overdrive, you may also have a heightened startle response. This means you may jump or startle easily, such as when ambulance sirens go off or a door slams shut. Neither paracetamol nor wine are long-term solutions and may even worsen your sleep issues. Some people find taking melatonin helps with their nighttime anxiety, but ultimately you should talk to a medical professional about solutions for the long haul.</p> <p><strong>You can’t concentrate</strong><br />Concentration issues go hand-in-hand with anxiety, says Wright. For example, it may be hard to focus at work or you may have to re-read a page of a book several times because your mind wandered. Instead of concentrating on what’s happening in front of you right now, you may find yourself worrying about the future. Or, you might feel as though your mind is blank.</p> <p><strong>You’re irritable and tense</strong><br />Living with anxiety means living with a low capacity for stressors, says Wright. In other words, you sweat the small stuff, your patience is thin, and you feel grumpy. But it’s not just your mind that’s tense; many people with anxiety disorders experience tightness, constricting, and general tension in their muscles. “If you’re emotionally and mentally wound up in knots, your body is likely holding onto the tension, leading to a general feeling of physical tightness,” explains Wright.</p> <p><strong>How to get help</strong><br />Make sure you do indeed take care of yourself. “People often think they are fine because they get praise and approval from others about their leadership or accomplishments,” explains marriage and family therapist. “But ignoring it can cause burnout and increase your risk of physical health issues, sleep problems, relationship problems, anger, irritability, depression.” Individual or group therapy, along with medication, can help treat anxiety. You’ll learn to replace worrisome thoughts and behaviours with more beneficial coping strategies. Therefore, you’ll start to feel comfortable about things that previously left you anxious, she explains.</p> <div class="share-buttons"> <div class="addthis_inline_share_toolbox" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/7-silent-signs-of-high-functioning-anxiety" data-title="7 silent signs of high-functioning anxiety | Reader's Digest Australia" data-description="Your anxiety may be affecting your life – and your general health – more than you realise. Here are the warning signs."> <div id="atstbx" class="at-resp-share-element at-style-responsive at-mobile addthis-smartlayers addthis-animated at4-show" aria-labelledby="at-2c7a604c-a5b4-4c9a-99ad-f2b49444aed8"><em>Written by Claire Gillespie. This article first appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/healthsmart/7-silent-signs-of-high-functioning-anxiety">Reader’s Digest.</a> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.co.nz/subscribe"><span class="s1">here’s our best subscription offer</span></a>.</em></div> </div> </div>

Mind

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“Get the tissues out!“: Overwhelming reunion for couple kept apart for 215 days

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>An elderly couple who have been married for 60 years tearfully reunited at an assisted living home.</p> <p>Due to residing in the USA, the pair had been separated for 215 days, apart from a few emotional visits through a window. </p> <p>The pair are living at Rosecastle at Delaney Creek and the heartwarming reunion was uploaded to Facebook by the assisted living home.</p> <p>“We got to witness these two resident love birds see and hug each other for the first time since the pandemic,” the Rosecastle at Delany Creek’s Facebook post said.</p> <p>“Get your tissues out!”</p> <p>The post says that Joseph was in rehab after a surgery and the pandemic prevented the pair from seeing each other while Joseph recovered.</p> <p>“With just phone calls and a few window visits - they persevered,” the post said.</p> <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?height=476&amp;href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Frosecastleatdelaneycreek%2Fvideos%2F705069423756227%2F&amp;show_text=false&amp;width=357" width="357" height="476" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe> <p>The video shows Joseph's wife, Eve, sitting at a table while Joseph is being wheeled over to where she's sitting.</p> <p>“Who’s waiting for him over here?”</p> <p>“Look Miss Eve, who’s here?” the person off camera says.</p> <p>The pair embrace and start to cry, as they're overwhelmed with emotion.</p> <p>"I sure missed you," Joseph cries behind his face mask.</p> <p>"I didn't think I'd ever get over here."</p> <p>“You’re alright, I love you so much. For sixty years I’ve done something right," Eve said to try and calm him down.</p> <p>The life enrichment coordinator at Rosecastle, Clary Abreu said Eve was very excited to see her husband.</p> <p>“[Eve] was so excited that she paced probably all night and she sat out in the dining room waiting for him,” she said.</p> </div> </div> </div>

Caring

Lifestyle

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Princess Beatrice surprises fans with new photo from wedding

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Royal fan Sarah Jane has shared a fantastic new photo of the wedding of Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.</p> <p>Sarah had sent a message congratulating Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, on the wedding of her eldest daughter.</p> <p>"A beautiful reply from the Duchess of York for Beatrice and Edo wedding. Love the photo.Thanks Sarah," the fan wrote. </p> <p>The touching note written by the Duchess of York reads: "Thank you so much for your amazingly caring and supporting messages for Beatrice and Edo's future happiness. </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/CGzXf4Rnnu8/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" 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/CGzXf4Rnnu8/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Sarah Jane (@sarahji72)</a> on Oct 26, 2020 at 3:00am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"It was a glorious day; the sun smiled down on them. We were all delighted to be able to come together and celebrate their love for one another. </p> <p>"Beatrice looked stunning and Edo handsome - their love shone through. </p> <p>"We are so happy to welcome Edo into our family and thank him for his love and devotion to Beatrice.</p> <p>"Thank you for many years of kindness and loyalty."</p> <p>Princess Beatrice and her husband secretly tied the knot after the coronavirus pandemic shifted their initial plans for a large wedding.</p> <p>However, the royal family made sure the Queen and Prince Philip were able to attend the wedding as well as other close friends and family.</p> <p>Buckingham Palace confirmed that the Queen, Prince Philip, mother Sarah Ferguson, father Prince Andrew and Beatrice's sister Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank were all in attendance at the wedding.</p> </div> </div> </div>

Family & Pets

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Princess Mary looks pretty in purple as she reveals annual Christmas stamp

<p>It seems like time has flown by and with Christmas less than two months away, Crown Princess Mary just kickstarted the official countdown.</p> <p>Stepping out in her home country on Tuesday, the Danish royal launched the annual Christmas stamp - an iconic moment which takes place every year in the Scandinavian country marking the start of the festive season.</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/CG0B2mAgAks/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" 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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CG0B2mAgAks/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Lanceringen af årets julemærke fandt i dag sted på Julemærkehjemmet Liljeborg i Roskilde. Her afslørede Hendes Kongelige Højhed Kronprinsessen sammen med kunstneren Tomas Björnsson årets Julemærke, der har titlen 'Jul i Fællesskab'. Julemærket er i år en kærlig hilsen til 100-året for genforeningen af Danmark og Sønderjylland samt en hyldest til det fællesskab, som børn på Julemærkehjemmene bliver en del af.⁣ ⁣ Kronprinsessen er protektor for Julemærkefonden, der hvert år hjælper omkring 1.000 børn i alderen 7-14 år til en bedre tilværelse på de fem Julemærkehjem.⁣ ⁣ Den 16. november 1904 blev verdens første Julemærke præsenteret i Danmark. Motivet forestillede en fotografisk gengivelse af Christian 9.s hustru Dronning Louise omgivet af en ornamental ramme bestående af kroner, våbenskjold og juleroser holdt i violet. Siden da er der hvert år blevet præsenteret et nyt Julemærke, der har til formål at indsamle penge til børn på et af Danmarks fem Julemærkehjem. På hjemmene kan 1.000 børn årligt tage ophold og modtage hjælp til at bekæmpe ensomhed, mobning, social isolation og overvægt.⁣ 📸 Mads Claus Rasmussen, Ritzau Scanpix©️</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/detdanskekongehus/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> DET DANSKE KONGEHUS 🇩🇰</a> (@detdanskekongehus) on Oct 26, 2020 at 9:10am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>And Christmas can’t be celebrated without the perfect holiday outfit, and Princess Mary delivered in the style department.</p> <p>The Princess opted for a full purple ensemble featuring a loose fitting top with a keyhole neckline as she joined guests at Julemaerkehjemmet Liljeborg in Roskilde.</p> <p>She paired it with a set of wide-legged trousers and kept her hair straight and simple.</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/CG0Z4C4gDyj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" 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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CG0Z4C4gDyj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Samfundsansvar, bæredygtighed og klima var på programmet, da Hendes Kongelige Højhed Kronprinsessen i dag uddelte CSR Prisen til Arla Foods, A.P. Møller-Mærsk og Ørsted på Børsen i København.⁣ ⁣ Det var syvende år i træk, at Kronprinsessen overrakte CSR Prisen 2020 til de virksomheder, der har udgivet Danmarks bedste rapporter om samfundsansvar.⁣ ⁣ Bag prisuddelingen står revisorforeningen FSR – danske revisorer. Med CSR Prisen ønsker de at anerkende store danske virksomheder, som i deres årlige rapporter skaber gennemsigtighed og troværdighed om virksomhedens samfundsansvar, og som på den måde kan være en inspiration for andre.⁣ ⁣ 📸 Carsten Lundager og Martin Høien / Aller Foto &amp; Video©️</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/detdanskekongehus/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> DET DANSKE KONGEHUS 🇩🇰</a> (@detdanskekongehus) on Oct 26, 2020 at 12:40pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Later on, she attended another event to present the Corporate Responsibility Award, a recognition of companies that have kept social responsibility top of mind in their practices.</p>

Beauty & Style

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Queen Elizabeth reveals her favourite scone recipe

<p class="p1">The coronavirus pandemic has brought changes to nearly everyone around the world and the British royal family is no exception.</p> <p class="p1">Most of the large scale events for 2020 were cancelled or dramatically scaled back in favour of virtual engagements.</p> <p class="p1">And the Garden Parties - hosted by the Queen during the British summer - happened to be one of the festivities that was forced to cancel.</p> <p class="p1">Not only was it a huge blow to the Queen herself, but also to the thousands of guests from across the UK and the Commonwealth invited to have tea with the monarch.</p> <p class="p1">Every year the Queen invites over 30,000 guests for tea in the grounds of Buckingham Palace in London, or the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.</p> <p class="p1">But it’s not all doom and gloom, as the Royal Pastry chefs decided to share the much-loved recipe for fruit scones served at the Garden Parties.</p> <p class="p1">The recipe was posted to the royal family’s Instagram account in May, have a watch below.</p> <p class="p1"> </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/CAYSjYcHO7E/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" 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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CAYSjYcHO7E/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Every year at Garden Parties across The Royal Residences, over 27,000 cups of ☕️, 20,000 🥪 and 20,000 slices of 🍰 are consumed! The Royal Pastry Chefs are happy to share their recipe for fruit scones, which traditionally would be served at Buckingham Palace every summer. Remember to tag us in your #royalbakes creations! 𝗜𝗻𝗴𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀: -500g Plain Flour -28g Baking Powder -94g Butter -86g Sugar -2 Whole Eggs -140ml Butter Milk -100g Sultanas - a type of raisin (Cover in hot water and leave to soak for 30 minutes) 𝗠𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗼𝗱: -Preheat oven to 180 C -Mix the flour, baking powder, butter and sugar together in a bowl, until a crumb is formed -In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and buttermilk together -Add the liquid to the crumb mixture -Continue to mix the dough, until it is smooth -(Optional) Add the sultanas, and mix until evenly distributed 1Remove the dough from the bowl, flatten the dough and cover -Leave to rest for approximately 30 minutes -Roll out the dough to a thickness of 2.5 cm and cut to desired shape -Rest the scones for another 20 minutes -Gently egg was the top of the scones -Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown -Cool before serving with jam and clotted cream Enjoy!</a></p> <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;"> </p> </div> </blockquote>

Food & Wine

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“Your husband must hate you”: Doctor trolled for being too attractive to do her job

<p class="p1">Doctor Medina Culver is intelligent, attractive and is particularly annoyed at receiving hate comments for being a “pretty woman and badass doctor”.</p> <p class="p1">The physician who is based in Las Vegas posts her medical journey on her Instagram regularly in the hopes that it will help promote the profession to women.</p> <p class="p1">But her efforts are not always met with kindness, with people often telling her she’s “too attractive” to possibly be smart.</p> <p class="p1">Culver addressed the hateful words in an Instagram video saying that ever since she began sharing statements about “women empowerment” she’s received messages telling her that she is a “waste of time” and she should be her “husband’s property”.</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/CGJ_BBDhKZk/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" 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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CGJ_BBDhKZk/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Don’t spend all your time wondering what you are, or who you like, or whether it’s right for you or wrong for you. Just be yourself and be happy 👩🏼‍⚕️🩺</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/drculver/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Medina Culver, DO</a> (@drculver) on Oct 10, 2020 at 1:17am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p class="p1">Some have gone as far as telling her that her husband “must hate her”.</p> <p class="p1">"You don't love your husband, you're arrogant, you're selfish" one of the criticisms read.</p> <p class="p1">In response, Culver simply quipped, "women are here to stay and lead - we are partners, leaders and we are gorgeous and smart."</p> <p class="p1">"Women are damn strong despite all the negative comments."</p> <p class="p1">Culver also regularly shares her day-to-day life on her page, whether that’s lounging by the pol or engaging in hobbies outside of profession.</p> <p class="p1">But even the appearance of her “normal life” has been met with criticism, with people regularly telling her that she’s “too pretty to be a real doctor”.</p> <p class="p1">"Well thank you... pretty ambitious," she responds.</p> <p class="p1">"Pretty hard-working and pretty determined to achieve my dreams."</p> <p class="p1">"Pretty women can be more than pretty faces....we can also be badass doctors."</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/CGVSqEwBZHq/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" 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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CGVSqEwBZHq/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Strong women never give up. We might need a coffee, a cry, or even a day in bed but we always come back stronger 💪🏼</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/drculver/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Medina Culver, DO</a> (@drculver) on Oct 14, 2020 at 10:40am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p class="p1">The post attracted comments from other female professionals in the medical field, with one user revealing "I've been a therapist for 10 years and I get that and you're ‘so young’ all the time."</p> <p class="p1">"I get the ‘you're too young’ or straight up ‘you don't look like a doctor’,” shared another.</p> <p class="p1">Culver's statements were widely applauded by her 26,000 Instagram followers, with users writing, "Here's to strong women. May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them."</p> <p class="p1">"No truer words! ‘Cheer each other on’ Love it," wrote one user.</p> <p class="p1">"Just laugh at that crap, it's hateful and absurd. I guarantee you are fantastically inspiring to most people who follow you or come across your posts," said another.</p>

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120-year prison sentence for cult leader

<p>Keith Raniere, who ran a cult-like group that kept women as virtual sex prisoners to service him in upstate New York was sentenced to 120 years prison on Tuesday.</p> <p>Reniere was convicted on federal sex trafficking, racketeering and possession of child pornography charges last year for his role in the alleged sex cult called NXIVM (pronounced “nexium”).</p> <p>The sentence was issued by the US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis, who presided over the six-week trial last year that ended in Raniere convicted on all counts.</p> <p>Acting US Attorney Seth DuCharme said he hopes the sentence will serve as a warning to any aspiring cult leaders.</p> <p>“When justice catches up to you, as it did today, it is severe," DuCharme told reporters outside court in Brooklyn. "Keith Raniere will not be able to victimize people anymore after today's sentence and we’re very grateful for that."</p> <p>Marc Elliot, a former NXIVM member and supporter of Raniere's, said the defendant didn't get a fair trial.</p> <p>"We all should be fighting for due process no matter how much you don't like it or how inconvenient it is," Elliot said. "Because if someone or society ever turns on you, you better hope to God that due process and laws are still standing to protect you."</p> <p>Appearing on Dateline NBC from jail, Raniere apologised for the “tragedy” and “hurt” he caused the victims but also claimed he was not guilty.</p> <p>"I am innocent," Raniere said.</p> <p>"This is a horrible tragedy with many, many people being hurt," he added. "There is a horrible injustice here. And whether you think I'm the devil or not, the justice process has to be examined."</p> <p>NXIVM is the subject of the HBO docuseries “The Vow”, which is set to feature Raniere in its second season next year.</p>

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Hugh Jackman scores big as iconic brand comes home to Australia

<p>Hugh Jackman is set to pocket a whopping $10 million after mining magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest has purchased the iconic Australian bootmaker RM Williams.</p> <p>Dr Forrest's investment fund Tattarang has bought 100 per cent of the company, and it includes Jackman’s five per cent ownership as a minority shareholders.</p> <p>It is reported that the sale price was less than half the original asking price for $190 million.</p> <p>RM Williams had been up for sale for almost 18 months after its Louis Vuitton owned parent company, L Catteron, began seeking buyers.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838322/rm-williams.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/70076b780deb4555a34dc86144ebddc4" /></p> <p><em>Andrew Tiggy Forrest and wife Nicola Forrest.</em></p> <p>The Western Australian-based mining magnate said he is proud and humbled to be taking the iconic brand back in Australian hands.  </p> <p>“R.M. Williams is a quintessential Aussie brand with a long and proud history of high-quality Australian craftsmanship,” Dr Forrest said in a statement.</p> <p>“By bringing R.M. Williams back into Australian hands, we will ensure the Australian craftmanship continues to be loved and worn all around the world.</p> <p>“I've never forgotten the first time I pulled on a pair of RMs. To wear RMs is to wear the boots of the countless hard-working Australians that have come before us.”</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838320/hugh-jackman-rm-williams.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/4a9d5e496eaf4498b9b1d4e016134513" /></p> <p>His wife Nicola Forrest added “Andrew and I want to continue the legacy of this great company, and that means continuing to employ and support the Australians that have built and grown the brand.”</p> <p>RM Williams chief executive Raju Vuppalapati said he hoped the business would grow under Dr Forrest's ownership.</p> <p>“The RM Williams team and I look forward to Andrew and Nicola's stewardship as we enter the next exciting phase of surprising and delighting our consumers with hand-crafted products made in Australia,” he said.   </p> <p>RM Williams was founded in Adelaide in 1932 by bushman and entrepreneur Reginald Murray 'RM' Williams.</p> <p>The iconic boots are a popular item both locally and overseas, and the brand has stores in New York, London, New Zealand, and Scandinavia.</p> <p>Jackman will remain involved with RM Williams as an ambassador.</p>

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"Justice for Chloe": Unbearable choice for grandfather accused of cruise ship fatal fall

<p>A grandfather accused in the fatal fall of his granddaughter Chloe from an 11th storey window of a cruise ship pleaded guilty on Thursday to negligent homicide.</p> <p>Salvatore "Sam" Anello said that he wanted to help end "this nightmare" for his family.</p> <p>His 18-month-old granddaughter Chloe slipped from his grip and fell 46 metres from an open window on a Royal Caribbean Cruises' Freedom of the Seas ship in July 2019 as the ship docked in Puerto Rico.</p> <p>Puerto Rico prosecutor Laura Hernandez said Anello would be sentenced on December 10th.</p> <p>“We have found justice for Chloe,” she said.</p> <p>A representative for Anello’s attorney, Michael Winkleman, said in a statement to America’s NBC TODAY that Anello will not serve any jail time and will serve his probation in Indiana.</p> <p>“This decision was an incredibly difficult one for Sam and the family, but because the plea agreement includes no jail time and no admission of facts, it was decided the plea deal is in the best interests of the family so that they can close this horrible chapter and turn their focus to mourning Chloe and fighting for cruise passenger safety by raising awareness about the need for all common carriers to adhere to window fall prevention laws designed to protect children from falling from windows,” Winkleman said in a statement.</p> <p>Winkleman also added that the family would continue its civil suit against Royal Caribbean with the goal of discovering why the window was allowed to be open.</p> <p>Anello, 51, said that he did not know that the window in the children's play area was open.</p> <p>“I wasn’t drinking and I wasn’t dangling her out of a window,” he said in a previous statement. He said he is colourblind and might not have realized the tinted window was open.</p> <p>“We will continue the fight for justice for Chloe and to hold Royal Caribbean accountable for its brazen failure to follow the standards designed precisely to prevent children from falling out of windows,” Winkleman said in his statement.</p>

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$1 solutions you’ll wish you knew sooner

<p><strong>Pull nails out gently</strong><br />If you’re planning to pull a nail out of wood but worry that the hammerhead will hurt the grain, protect the wood before using the hammer. How? Slip a plastic spatula under the head of the hammer before you start the job.</p> <p><strong>Replace the oil in baking</strong><br />Fat makes baked goods moist and tender. It’s also incredibly kilojoule-dense, and if you’re cutting kilojoules, it’s an easy place to start. But say you don’t like your cakes and muffins dry and tough? Then applesauce is the answer. Replace up to 2/3 of the oil called for in a cake or muffin recipe with applesauce, and you’ll add moisture and flavour while ditching the fat.</p> <p><strong>Sweeten the house</strong><br />People who are allergic to air fresheners and sprays can still enjoy the benefits of a sweet-smelling house. Wet a cotton ball with vanilla and dab it very lightly on the outside of a regular light bulb (not a halogen bulb) in your lamps. When you turn on the lamp, the bulb heats up and a faint but alluring scent of vanilla drifts out.</p> <p><strong>Soften beans</strong><br />Afraid those dry beans have been on the shelf too long? Help soften them by adding a pinch of baking soda to the soaking water. Add a fresh pinch to the cooking water, too, and you can significantly reduce the aftereffects of bean consumption.</p> <p><strong>Neutralise mouth ulcers</strong><br />Place an antacid tablet directly on the ulcer, giving it time to dissolve, or simply chew one. The medicine will stop the acids and enzymes in your mouth from attacking the tissue in the sore, and more importantly, it will stop the pain. (Be sure to check the product’s label for correct dosage instructions.)</p> <p><strong>Rip it off the right way</strong><br />Pulling an adhesive bandage off your child’s skin can be tough on both of you. Make it easier by rubbing the bandage with a cotton ball soaked in baby oil. Rub until you can easily pull the bandage off. This trick works well for adults with sensitive skin, too.</p> <p><strong>Clean your carpet overnight</strong><br />Whether your carpet smells dank and musty because of a pet, a smoker, or a season of rain, take the odour out with baby powder. Using a flour sifter, spread the powder generously over the carpet. Let it sit overnight – a few hours will suffice, but overnight is better – and vacuum up the powder and the smells in the morning.</p> <p><strong>Hold a nail</strong><br />Stop hitting your fingers every time you hammer a nail in place. Use the teeth of an ordinary comb to hold the nail while you hammer.</p> <p><br /><strong>Get rid of fishy odours</strong><br />Been chopping something pungent? The smell of garlic or fish can linger on your fingers long after the food is gone. Avoid that by scrubbing your wet hands with baking soda, just as if it were soap, then rinse in warm water. Your hands will smell sweet – and feel softer, too.</p> <p><strong>Remove splinters</strong><br />Make a paste of Epsom salt and water and apply it to the area harbouring a splinter. The paste will pull the splinter to the surface of the skin in about 10 minutes. It will pull insect stingers out of your skin, too.</p> <p><br /><strong>Skip the shaving cream</strong><br />Use hair conditioner for a smooth, clean shave – on your legs, under your arms, and (for men) even on your face. The conditioner will pamper your skin as well as your hair! You can also use hair conditioner as a soothing agent for legs irritated by shaving.</p> <p><strong>Preserve your bouquet</strong><br />Spray the undersides of your cut flowers – leaves and petals – with hair spray to prolong their life. Be sure to stand about 30 cm away when you spray them for best results.</p> <p>Numb your eyebrows<br />Make plucking your eyebrows much less painful by putting an ice pack on them until they’re uncomfortably cold. At that point your skin will be numb enough to begin plucking. You won’t even feel the tug!</p> <p><strong>Train a dog</strong><br />Most dogs hate the sound of dried beans rattling in a can. Use that to your advantage when training a dog by putting a handful of beans in the bottom of an empty aluminium soda can. Seal the top with a strip of tape. When your dog misbehaves, shake the can a couple of times.</p> <p><br /><strong>Refresh tired feet</strong><br />Take this tip from marathon runners, who know that a ten-minute soak in a sugarless mouthwash will take your tootsies from tired to terrific. Alcohol invigorates and mint will make them smell sweet again.</p> <p><strong>Remove crayon from walls</strong><br />If you find crayon markings on your wall, don’t get mad – get shaving cream. Spray the shaving cream directly onto the offending artwork, and scrub it off with a toothbrush or scrub brush.</p> <p><strong>Make a close-fitting hot pad</strong><br />Soothe aching muscles with a custom-made hot pad. Fill a long sock, such as a tube or athletic sock, with dried beans, and tie the top tightly closed with ribbon or string. Heat in a microwave on high for 30 seconds. Place it right on your painful spot. You can drape it around a stiff neck or wrap it around a sore wrist, and it will mould to you, providing faster relief.</p> <p><strong>Keep cookies fresh</strong><br />Homemade chocolate chip cookies can go from tasting deliciously soft and cakey to feeling hard and crunchy in a matter of days. To keep your freshly baked cookies tasting freshly baked, put a couple of slices of bread into the tin or jar where you store the cookies, laying the bread right on top of the cookies. The bread will keep that just-out-of-the-oven flavour and texture intact for up to a week.</p> <p><strong>Wax your windows</strong><br />Do your double-hung windows have a bumpy ride every time you open or close them? If your windows don’t slide up and down with ease, let a candle help them. Clean the insides of the window frame where the sashes travel, then rub the same area with a candle. The windows will have a much smoother journey.</p> <p><strong>Make your garage floor sparkle</strong><br />If you find a puddle of oil on your concrete garage floor, pour paint thinner over it, and then cover the area with kitty litter. (Make sure that the garage is well ventilated by keeping the garage door open, and don’t let anyone smoke or strike matches anywhere near the affected area – and keep the cats away.) The kitty litter will absorb the oil. Just sweep up the mess and you’re done.</p> <p><strong>Clean smudges off suede</strong><br />Suede jackets, shoes and handbags look great, but they’re prone to picking up dirty marks. Clean fresh smudges off quickly and easily before they set into stains by rubbing the suede gently with a piece of fresh white bread. Use a small, circular motion. You may need a second piece of bread to get the spot clean.</p> <p><strong>Keep down items from clumping</strong><br />Throw one or two tennis balls into the dryer the next time you dry down-filled items like pillows, comforters and jackets. They’ll ditch the flat look they get from the washing machine and puff up again with pride.</p> <p><strong>Repel mosquitoes</strong><br />You may love the mild apple-like flavour of chamomile tea but mosquitoes absolutely hate it. Brew a very strong batch of chamomile tea and keep it in a spray bottle in the fridge. Before you relax in the back yard or run through the tall grass, spray exposed skin liberally. It’s fragrant, potent and totally safe for children.</p> <p><strong>Fill a stripped screw-hole</strong><br />If the screw keeps turning and turning in a piece of wood, push a bit of foil loosely in the hole and try again. It will grab tight.</p> <p><strong>Freshen a fridge</strong><br />If something soured in your fridge or the freezer failed, clean it out, then fill a wide, shallow bowl with fresh coffee grounds and leave it in the fridge or freezer overnight. The strong scent of coffee will permeate the space, eradicating any hint of what went wrong.<br /><br /><strong>Banish burned-on food</strong><br />Liquid fabric softener is your best friend when it comes time to scrub pots and pans soiled by your worst enemy, baked-on grime. Soak the offending vessel in water and a squirt of fabric softener. Let it sit for an hour. Wash and rinse it all away.</p> <p><strong>Feed your plants</strong><br />Used coffee grounds are full of nitrogen, so it’s a shame to throw them away each day. Coffee is especially good for acid-loving plants, like camellias, evergreens, rhododendrons, azaleas and rose bushes, so be sure they don’t miss out on the occasional cup of coffee – grounds, that is.</p> <p><strong>Oil squeaky hinges</strong><br />Spray a little oil-based furniture polish on a squeaky door hinge, then open and shut the door several times to work the lubricant into the hinge. The furniture polish is a lot cleaner than the oil you’d usually use for a noisy hinge, and it works just as well to silence the squeak.</p> <p><strong>Untangle a shoelace</strong><br />Junior got a knot in his sneaker and pulled and pulled until it became an impenetrable mass. Sprinkle the knot generously with cornflour, and then work the knot again. The laces will start to slip and slide, and you’ll be able to get the kinks out.</p> <p><strong>Breathe better with a paper bag</strong><br />Got a case of the hiccups? Stop them before you start to hurt. Breathe in and out of a paper bag for a few minutes. You’ll create a build-up of carbon dioxide in your lungs, which helps relax your diaphragm – whose involuntary tightening causes the hiccups in the first place. This trick works if you’re hyperventilating, too.</p> <p><strong>Give the jar a hand</strong><br />No more banging a jar on the floor to loosen a tight lid. No more running it under hot water. And no more fancy tools designed to do the trick – that somehow don’t work. Just put on a pair of rubber gloves, and open the jar with ease. (Psst – sandpaper also works wonders!)</p> <p class="p1"><em>This article first appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/food-home-garden/home-tips/1-solutions-youll-wish-you-knew-sooner?pages=1"><span class="s1">Reader’s Digest</span></a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.co.nz/subscribe"><span class="s1">here’s our best subscription offer</span></a>.</em></p>

Retirement Income

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Facebook is tilting the political playing field more than ever and it’s no accident

<p>As the US presidential election polling day draws close, it’s worth recapping what we know about how Facebook has been used to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3834737/">influence election results</a>.</p> <p>The platform is optimised for boosting politically conservative voices calling for <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/10/26/facebook-algorithm-conservative-liberal-extremes/">fascism, separatism and xenophobia</a>. It’s also these voices that tend to generate <a href="https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/radical-ideas-social-media-algorithms/">the most clicks</a>.</p> <p>In recent years, Facebook has on several occasions been made to choose between keeping to its <a href="https://www.facebook.com/communitystandards/introduction">community standards</a> or taking a path that avoids the ire of conservatives. Too many times, it has chosen the latter.</p> <p>The result has been an onslaught of divisive rhetoric that continues to flood the platform and drive political polarisation in society.</p> <p><strong>How democracy can be subverted online</strong></p> <p>According to <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/20/us/politics/russian-interference-trump-democrats.html">The New York Times</a>, earlier this year US intelligence officials warned Russia was interfering in the 2020 presidential campaign, with the goal of seeing President Donald Trump re-elected.</p> <p>This was corroborated by <a href="https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/new-evidence-shows-how-russias-election-interference-has-gotten-more">findings</a> from the US Brennan Centre for Justice. A research team led by journalism and communications professor Young Mie Kim identified a range of Facebook troll accounts deliberately sowing division “by targeting both the left and right, with posts to foment outrage, fear and hostility”.</p> <p>Most were linked to Russia’s Internet Research Agency (IRA), <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-russia-sanctions/u-s-blacklists-individuals-entities-linked-to-leader-of-russias-ira-idUSKCN26E2HO">the company</a> also behind a 2016 US election influence campaign. Kim <a href="https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/new-evidence-shows-how-russias-election-interference-has-gotten-more">wrote</a> the troll accounts seemed to discourage certain people from voting, with a focus on swing states.</p> <p>This month, Facebook <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/06/technology/facebook-qanon-crackdown.html">announced</a> a ban (across both Facebook and Instagram, which Facebook owns) on groups and pages devoted to the far-right conspiracy group QAnon. It also <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-takes-down-network-tied-to-conservative-group-citing-fake-accounts-11602174088">removed</a> a network of fake accounts linked to a conservative US political youth group, for violating rules against “coordinated inauthentic behavior”.</p> <p>However, despite Facebook’s <a href="https://www.wired.com/story/facebooks-latest-fix-for-fake-news-ask-users-what-they-trust/">repeated promises</a> to clamp down harder on such behaviour — and <a href="https://theconversation.com/facebook-is-removing-qanon-pages-and-groups-from-its-sites-but-critical-thinking-is-still-the-best-way-to-fight-conspiracy-theories-147668">occasional</a> efforts to actually do so — the company has been <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/samantha-power-facebook-reduce-spread-misinformation/2020/10/23/d54c1bda-1496-11eb-bc10-40b25382f1be_story.html">widely</a> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/oct/14/facebook-greatest-source-of-covid-19-disinformation-journalists-say">criticised</a> for doing far too little to curb the spread of disinformation, misinformation and election meddling.</p> <p>According to a <a href="https://comprop.oii.ox.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/93/2019/09/CyberTroop-Report19.pdf">University of Oxford study</a>, 70 countries (including Australia) practised either foreign or domestic election meddling in 2019. This was up from 48 in 2018 and 28 in 2017. The study said Facebook was “the platform of choice” for this.</p> <p>The Conversation approached Facebook for comment regarding the platform’s use by political actors to influence elections, including past US elections. A Facebook spokesperson said:</p> <p><em>We’ve hired experts, built teams with experience across different areas, and created new products, policies and partnerships to ensure we’re ready for the unique challenges of the US election.</em></p> <p><strong>When Facebook favoured one side</strong></p> <p>Facebook has drawn widespread criticism for its failure to remove posts that clearly violate its policies on hate speech, including <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/06/28/facebook-zuckerberg-trump-hate/">posts</a> by Trump himself.</p> <p>The company openly <a href="https://about.fb.com/news/2019/09/elections-and-political-speech/">exempts</a> politicians from its fact-checking program and knowingly hosts misleading content from politicians, under its “newsworthiness exception”.</p> <p>When Facebook tried to clamp down on misinformation in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential elections, <a href="https://www.bushcenter.org/people/joel-kaplan.html">ex-Republican staffer</a> turned Facebook executive Joel Kaplan argued doing so would disproportionately target conservatives, the Washington Post <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2020/02/20/facebook-republican-shift/">reported</a>.</p> <p>The Conversation asked Facebook whether Kaplan’s past political affiliations indicated a potential for conservative bias in his current role. The question wasn’t answered.</p> <p>Facebook’s board also now features a <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/16/technology/peter-thiel-donald-j-trump.html">major Trump donor</a> and vocal supporter, Peter Thiel. Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has himself been accused of <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/21/business/media/facebook-donald-trump-mark-zuckerberg.html">getting “too close”</a> to <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/22/surprised-about-mark-zuckerbergs-secret-meeting-with-trump-dont-be">Trump</a>.</p> <p>Moreover, when the US Federal Trade Commission investigated Facebook’s role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it was <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jul/12/facebook-fine-ftc-privacy-violations">Republican votes</a> that saved the company from facing antitrust litigation.</p> <p>Overall, Facebook’s model has shifted <a href="https://www.theverge.com/interface/2019/4/11/18305407/social-network-conservative-bias-twitter-facebook-ted-cruz">towards increasing polarisation</a>. Incendiary and misinformation-laden posts tend to generate clicks.</p> <p>As Zuckerberg himself <a href="https://www.facebook.com/notes/mark-zuckerberg/a-blueprint-for-content-governance-and-enforcement/10156443129621634/">notes</a>, “when left unchecked, people on the platform engage disproportionately” with such content.</p> <p>Over the years, conservatives have accused Facebook of <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2019/04/10/ted-cruz-threatens-regulate-facebook-twitter-over-alleged-bias/3423095002/">anti-conservative bias</a>, for which the company faced <a href="https://www.thewrap.com/trump-campaign-halts-twitter-spending-over-disgusting-bias-against-mitch-mcconnell/">financial penalties by the Republican Party</a>. This is despite research indicating <a href="https://www.mediamatters.org/facebook/study-analysis-top-facebook-pages-covering-american-political-news">no such bias exists</a> on the platform.</p> <p><strong>Fanning the flames</strong></p> <p>Facebook’s <a href="https://www.livescience.com/49585-facebook-addiction-viewed-brain.html">addictive</a> news feed rewards us for simply skimming headlines, conditioning us to react viscerally.</p> <p>Its sharing features have been found to <a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6380/1146">promote falsehoods</a>. They can <a href="https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/can-voting-facebook-button-improve-voter-turnout/">trick users</a> into attributing news to their friends, causing them to assign trust to unreliable news sources. This provides a breeding ground for <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2020-10-05/conspiracy-theories-coronavirus-5g-conspiratorial-psychology/12722320">conspiracies</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0207383">Studies</a> have also shown social media to be an ideal environment for campaigns aimed at creating mistrust, which explains the increasing <a href="https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/516412-polls-show-trust-in-scientific-political-institutions-eroding">erosion of trust in science and expertise</a>.</p> <p>Worst of all are Facebook’s “echo chambers”, which convince people that only their own opinions are mainstream. This encourages hostile “us versus them” dialogue, which leads to polarisation. This pattern <a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2020/02/21/concerns-about-democracy-in-the-digital-age/">suppresses valuable democratic debate</a> and has been described as an <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Age-Surveillance-Capitalism-Future-Frontier/dp/1610395697">existential threat to democracy itself</a>.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Facebook’s staff hasn’t been shy about skewing liberal, even suggesting in 2016 that Facebook work to <a href="https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2016/04/facebook-employees-asked-mark-zuckerberg-if-they-should-try-to-stop-a-donald-trump-presidency/">prevent Trump’s election</a>. Around 2017, they proposed a feature called “<a href="https://www.theverge.com/2018/12/23/18154111/facebook-common-grounds-feature-conservative-bias-concerns-shelved-joel-kaplan">Common Ground</a>”, which would have encouraged users with different political beliefs to interact in less hostile ways.</p> <p>Kaplan opposed the proposition, according to <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebooks-lonely-conservative-takes-on-a-power-position-11545570000">The Wall Street Journal</a>, due to fears it could trigger claims of bias against conservatives. The project was eventually shelved in 2018.</p> <p>Facebook’s track record isn’t good news for those who want to live in a healthy democratic state. Polarisation certainly doesn’t lead to effective political discourse.</p> <p>While several <a href="https://about.fb.com/news/2020/10/preparing-for-election-day/">blog</a> <a href="https://about.fb.com/news/2020/08/preparing-for-myanmars-2020-election/">posts</a> from the company outline measures being taken to supposedly protect the integrity of the 2020 US presidential elections, it remains to be seen what this means in reality.</p> <p><em>Written by <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michael-brand-290376">Michael Brand</a>, Monash University. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/facebook-is-tilting-the-political-playing-field-more-than-ever-and-its-no-accident-148314">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

Art

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“Things were different”: Olivia Newton-John hits back at Grease sexism claims

<p>Olivia Newton-John had addressed backlash surrounding her classic 1979 movie Grease.</p> <p>In the smash hit musical, the Aussie actress plays goody-two-shoes Sandy Olsson who changes who she is at the end of the movie to impress her bad-boy boyfriend, Danny Zuko (played by John Travolta).</p> <p>Despite the final scene being hailed as one of the most iconic movie screen moments, in recent times it’s been classified as sexist.</p> <p>Speaking to The Guardian, Newton-John said critics need to take into account that the movie was filmed during a very different time period.</p> <p>"It's a movie," the 72-year-old told the publication. "It's a story from the Fifties where things were different. Everyone forgets that, at the end, he changes for her, too. There's nothing deep in there about the #MeToo movement.</p> <p>"It's just a girl who loves a guy, and she thinks if she does that, he'll like her. And he thinks if he does that, she'll like him. I think that's pretty real. People do that for each other. It was a fun love story."</p> <p>Back in 2018, when the film celebrated its 40th birthday, Travolta also said he was proud of the film and how it remains a fan favourite with audiences both new and old.</p> <p>"This is a film that's so timeless that keeps on giving to each new generation," he told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.etonline.com/john-travolta-shares-his-most-vivid-memories-from-filming-grease-exclusive-104277" target="_blank">ET</a> at the time. "When people watch this, they just get happy. They want to become the characters they're watching. They want to sing along with it, they want to dance, they want to be part of this film. When mutual enthusiasm comes together and creates an environment you can create almost anything and we created Grease."</p>

Movies

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My best worst film: Pink Flamingos – “one of the most vile, stupid and repulsive films ever made”?

<p><em>In a new series by The Conversation, writers explore their best worst film. They’ll tell you what the critics got wrong – and why it’s time to give these movies another chance.</em></p> <p>While some may know John Waters through his family friendly <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095270/">Hairspray</a> (1988) – adapted into a stage musical <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hairspray_(musical)">in 2002</a> and back to the screen <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0427327/">in 2007</a> – many know him as the Prince of Puke, the King of Bad Taste or the Pope of Trash.</p> <p>Perhaps his most notorious film is the exploitation comedy <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069089/">Pink Flamingos</a> (1972), the first in his “Trash Trilogy”, which also includes <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072979/">Female Trouble</a> (1974) and <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075936/">Desperate Living</a> (1977).</p> <p>Pink Flamingos is emblematic of Waters’ camp aesthetic, juxtaposing grotesque subject matter against pastel colours, kitsch props and bubblegum pop music.</p> <p>Waters’ muse <a href="https://www.them.us/story/drag-herstory-divine">Divine</a> is Babs Johnson, the “filthiest person alive.” She lives with her mother Edie (Edith Massey), who dresses as a baby, sits in a crib and screams for eggs; her ghoulish lover Cotton (Mary Vivian Pearce); and her son Crackers (Danny Mills), who, in a particularly gruesome moment, has sex with a woman while a live chicken is crushed to death between their two bodies.</p> <p>But Babs’ title of “filthiest person alive” is at stake, and she must rival Raymond (David Lochary) and Connie Marble (Mink Stole), who kidnap women, imprison and forcefully impregnate them, and sell their babies to lesbian couples.</p> <p>Variety’s <a href="https://variety.com/1973/film/reviews/pink-flamingos-1200423192/amp/">first review</a> is now famous, calling it “one of the most vile, stupid and repulsive films ever made.”</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838450/evergreen-5-movie-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/34ba8ffdcdd84d0ab84e873fdc198af3" /></p> <p><strong>Banned for indecency</strong></p> <p>It wasn’t just the critics who were unimpressed. When distributors tried to bring the film to Australia in 1976, it was <a href="https://www.refused-classification.com/censorship/films/p.html">banned</a> for “indecency”. A cut version was given an R rating and released that year theatrically.</p> <p>The film’s full version was eventually granted an X18+ rating, for pornographic, non-simulated sexual activity, restricting sale and hire of the film to the ACT and some regions of the NT.</p> <p>In 1997, for a 25th anniversary cinematic re-release, the uncut film was again refused. The classification board <a href="https://www.refused-classification.com/censorship/films/p.html">said</a> films could receive an R rating when sexual activity was “realistically simulated” – but not when it was “the real thing”.</p> <p>Films with unsimulated sexual activity, such as Catherine Breillat’s <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0194314/">Romance</a> (1999) and John Cameron Mitchell’s <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0367027/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Shortbus</a> (2006) have since been awarded R18+ classification, allowing the category to include them.</p> <p>But the full version of Pink Flamingos maintains an X18+ rating. Even the National Film and Sound Archive’s 2017 <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-12/the-banned-and-the-beautiful-films-government-censored/8702692">screenings of banned films</a> showed a cut version rated R18+.</p> <p><strong>Stupid? No: it was groundbreaking</strong></p> <p>Despite this reception, Pink Flamingos is now heralded as groundbreaking. It shaped the boundaries of bad taste and gross out humour.</p> <p>There are several shocking scenes in the film. One sees Divine and Crackers break into the Marbles’ home where, after licking all the furniture, Divine fellates her son. Another sees a shot of a man flexing his prolapsed anus so it looks like it’s miming the words to “Surfin’ Bird”.</p> <p>But perhaps the most notorious is where, in the final scene, Divine eats dog faeces to the song “How Much is the Doggy in the Window?”.</p> <p>Just how much can you stomach when watching something disgusting?</p> <p>The characters in Pink Flamingos challenge normative ideas around sexuality, gender and family. Confronting perceptions of “good taste”, Pink Flamingos attacked an elitist culture that excluded many communities, such as queer folk and punks.</p> <p>Unlike the respectable queer characters palatable to a broad audience in <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5164432/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2">Love, Simon</a> (2018) or <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0157246/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Will &amp; Grace</a> (1998–2005, 2017–), Pink Flamingos allows us pleasure in others’ disgust at these mad characters.</p> <p>The film draws on a queer rage that channelled the discontent many viewers felt with assimilationist politics. Babs Johnson and her family were disgusting and broke the law – and the audience loved her for it.</p> <p>Pink Flamingos contributed to a camp aesthetic that is imbued in many popular queer films, such as <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0179116/">But I’m a Cheerleader</a> (1999) and <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0390418/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Raspberry Reich</a> (2004), and Waters’ rage became a key part of queer cinema, seen elsewhere in the <a href="https://www.vulture.com/article/new-queer-cinema-movies.html">New Queer Cinema</a> movement of the early 90s and beyond.</p> <p>In an era when films depicted queer folk as painfully banal, such as <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065488/?ref_=fn_tt_tt_10">The Boys in the Band</a> (1970), or offensive, such as <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080569/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0">Cruising</a> (1980), Waters’ films were a funny and crude counterpoint.</p> <p>They were a promise of a brighter and queerer future.</p> <p>As I have argued <a href="http://www.sensesofcinema.com/2019/20-years-of-senses/divine-dog-shit-john-waters-and-disruptive-queer-humour-in-film-issue-80-september-2016/">elsewhere</a>, Waters’ films do not make explicit political statements. His ideology is conveyed through humour.</p> <p>Through co-opting the plastic, pink flamingo lawn ornament, Waters makes fun of middle class respectability. Before carrying out the punishment of the Marbles (for “asshole-ism”, no less), Babs Johnson proclaims:</p> <p><em>Kill everyone now! Condone first degree murder! Advocate cannibalism! Eat shit! Filth is my politics! Filth is my life!</em></p> <p>The humour lies in the absurdity of the situation.</p> <p>When Variety dubbed the film “one of the most vile, stupid and repulsive films ever made”, Waters used this on the posters promoting it. Waters wanted to offend people with Pink Flamingos – and if you can stomach to look past the offence, you will find a biting and hilarious film, as shocking and politically relevant as ever.</p> <p>But in revisiting Pink Flamingos, there is one scene that still doesn’t sit right with me. The on-screen deaths of the chicken (purely for the sake of comedy) are a cruelty and grotesquery that goes beyond my own sense of good taste. Everyone has their limits.</p> <p><em>Written by <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/stuart-richards-9983">Stuart Richards</a>, University of South Australia. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/my-best-worst-film-pink-flamingos-one-of-the-most-vile-stupid-and-repulsive-films-ever-made-147358">The Conversation.</a></em></p> <p> </p> <p> </p>

Movies

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Prince Louis’ most precious moments in pictures

<p class="p1">It may be his goofy expressions or his attempt at perfecting the royal wave, but Prince Louis has managed to win the hearts of royal fans around the globe. The 2-year-old and the youngest of the Cambridge clan gets into plenty of mischief and thankfully, it’s all caught on camera.</p> <p class="p1">We’ve watched him grow from a newborn into a handsome little boy, and it seems people just can’t seem to get enough of the Prince.</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/tv/CF4dvUDFPEK/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" 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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/tv/CF4dvUDFPEK/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">We've got some questions for you, @DavidAttenborough...🌍🕷️🐒</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/kensingtonroyal/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Duke and Duchess of Cambridge</a> (@kensingtonroyal) on Oct 3, 2020 at 5:59am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p class="p1">While he may never become king, that doesn’t take away from his popularity, and due to being the youngest, there is a certain fascination surrounding him.</p> <p class="p1">His most recent appearance was when he asked the famous Sir David Attenborough a question about animals, marking the first time people heard him speak.</p> <p class="p1">With his cherub face and golden hair, Louis has forged a name for himself.</p> <p class="p1">Take a look at some of Prince Louis’ most precious moments throughout the years.</p>

Art

Property

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Serena Williams gives rare look into beautiful home

<p><span>Serena Williams has given an update on her daughter Olympia from the comfort of her glamorous walk-in-wardrobe.</span><br /><br /><span>The star revealed she had signed her little girl up for tennis lessons on Thursday in an Instagram video, while perched behind her was her clothing and handbags.</span><br /><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838404/serena-williams-3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/4a2be5edc8404957b4262881273fa370" /><br /><span>The 39-year-old's items could be seen neatly placed in sectioned compartments, and fans could also see the room's lush wooden flooring.</span><br /><br /><span>As she walked around the stunning space, Serena explained: "I signed Olympia up for tennis lessons. Don't even start with me, because I'm not giving her tennis lessons.</span><br /><br /><span>“I signed her up for some, but the lady has no idea that it's my daughter.</span><br /><br /><span>“So we'll see how that goes. I'm not a pushy mum, but I know how I like techniques. I wanna make sure she's good."</span><br /><br /><span>The stars personalised show space for bag’s was also showing behind her along with a select few pairs of expensive footwear.</span><br /><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838407/serena-williams.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/884ac43e24eb48048271c17b81e88277" /><br /><span>Serena is reportedly living in her stunning mansion that she has owned for over two decades, in Palm Beach, Florida.</span><br /><br /><span>The star is living with her husband Alexis Ohanian and daughter Olympia.</span></p> <p><span><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7838406/serena-williams-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/26fcf5e316064b6b9c3ca64b40b9c807" /></span></p>

Real Estate

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Hemsworth brothers list stunning Malibu retreat for $4.9 million

<p><span>Australian brothers Chris, Liam and Luke Hemsworth are looking to let go of their Malibu home that they shared for $4.9 million.</span><br /><br /><span>Together the trio have lifted the price $1.45 million more than they paid for the place using a trust four years ago, real estate records show.</span><br /><br /><span>While there were not many changes made to the 4,612-square-foot floor plan, with its polished concrete floors, warm woody accents and shiny marble finishes - they did touch up the landscape and exterior of the house.</span><br /><br /><span>The home hosts four marvellous bedrooms, four bathrooms, a sunny chef’s kitchen and a wine cellar.</span><br /><br /><span>It also features a spacious media room that is decked out with purple walls and carpet floors.</span><br /><br /><span>The back patio includes a sauna and beyond that is serene tiered gardens that overlook a grassy lawn and unbelievable mountain dunes.</span><br /><br /><span>Altogether, the Malibu retreat is 1.3 acres and is above Point Dume.</span><br /><br /><span>Chris Hemsworth, 37, is best known for his role as Thor in the Marvel cinematic universe.</span><br /><br /><span>Liam Hemsworth, 30, gained fame for his role as Gale Hawthorne in “The Hunger Games” trilogy.</span><br /><br /><span>Luke Hemsworth, 39, plays the part of Ashley Stubbs on HBO’s critically acclaimed sci-fi western show “Westworld.”</span></p>

Real Estate