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Does wine make the heart flutter?

<div class="copy"> <p>A new study looks at wine intake and reduced heart risk but don't toast the conclusions yet!</p> <p>A few wines a week may slightly decrease risk of irregular heart flutters, according to a <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2021.05.013" target="_blank">study</a> published in <em>Clinical Electrophysiology – </em>but the jury is still well and truly out on whether wine is good for your health, and responsible drinking is still required.</p> <p>A recent study, involving the University of Adelaide and Flinders University, analysed how small quantities of alcohol affect the risk of arterial fibrillation (AF) – rapid heartbeat that can lead to heart complications. the team found that found that, while drinking larger volumes of alcohol always has negative outcomes, the lowest risk of AF occurred in people who consumed less than seven glasses of wine a week, even compared to people who drank none.</p> <p>“AF can result in a range of symptoms including palpations, breathlessness, fatigue, dizziness and difficulty exercising,” says lead author Samuel Tu of the University of Adelaide and Royal Adelaide Hospital.</p> <p>“In the 1970’s, we found that binge drinking was associated with developing AF – the so called “Holiday Heart” syndrome, noted when patients would present to emergency departments in the hours or days following festive holidays where lots of drinking was involved. </p> <p>“What wasn’t very well known prior to our study was whether lower levels of alcohol consumption are associated with developing AF. Some studies have suggested that any consumption of alcohol (for example, 1 drink/day) is associated with an increased risk of developing AF.</p> <p>“Others however have suggested otherwise – that low amounts of alcohol consumption may not increase your risk of AF.”</p> <p>This research sought to clarify what the threshold of “low amounts of alcohol” was.</p> <p>To do this, the team studied 400,000 middle-aged, predominantly Caucasian individuals from the UK Biobank, with collected data from over a median 11 years. Researchers assessed how many AFs occurred over that time-period compared to how many drinks their subjects reported having.</p> <p>“We found that those who consumed less than 6 Australian standard drinks of alcohol/week had the lowest risk of developing AF, says Tu.</p> <p>“We also found that beer and cider consumption was associated with a greater risk of AF, compared to red wine and white wine consumption. These results were similar in both women and men.”</p> <p>There was a small dip in risk of AF when among people who consumed between 1 and 6 drinks, but only with wine. While no extra risk was observed for people who drank three measures of spirits a week, there was also no dip.</p> <p>With all alcoholic beverages, the risk of AF began to increase steadily with the amount of drinks consumed, regardless of what type of alcohol it was.</p> <p>Importantly, the paper does not endorse drinking wine or alcohol as a heart health benefit but clarifies how to drink responsibly to avoid AF.</p> <p>“Our findings suggest that responsible consumption of alcohol of up to 6 drinks per week may be safe in terms of minimising your risk of atrial fibrillation,” says Tu.</p> <p>“Notably, this threshold sits below what is currently recommended by the NHRMC for healthy Australians, which is 10 standard drinks per week.</p> <p>“Additionally, for those who currently consume alcohol, drinking red or white wine could potentially be a safer alternative to other types of alcoholic beverages.”</p> <p>Of course, a small decrease in the risk of AF when some alcohol is consumed can easily be interpreted as though wine is good for the health. But caution is required.</p> <p>“People like to positively reinforce their existing viewpoints,” says Simone Pettigrew, Head of Food Policy at the University of New South Wales.</p> <p>“This is partly due to how we process information – new information is tagged to existing knowledge in our brains, so it’s easier to assimilate things that gel with what we already think/know.</p> <p>“This is called a process of developing associative networks. Plus we have selective attention and recall, so we tend to focus on things we are most interested in and that we consider most beneficial to us.”</p> <p>The paper was also accompanied by an editorial by Thomas Dewland and Gregory Marcus, medical doctors from the University of California, that explains that, while the statistical analysis was robust, the results of the paper need to be considered within the context of alcohol research in general.</p> <p>They say that it isn’t uncommon for studies to show a small dip in risks for some health outcomes when only a “few drinks” per week are consumed, but that it depends on the type of alcohol and the health risk in question.</p> <p>They also say it is difficult to draw a line at what “a few drinks” means, because different countries have different standards – for example, the study used the UK standard of a drink (8 grams of alcohol), which is lower than the US standard (14g) and the Australian standard (10g).</p> <p>“What do we tell our patients?” ask Dewlands and Marcus in their editorial. “For secondary AF prevention, the message should be alcohol abstinence, especially if alcohol is a personal trigger for acute AF episodes.</p> <p>“For primary AF prevention, it is possible that continued consumption of some alcohol may be reasonable, but the exact threshold is unclear and is likely a very low amount.”</p> <!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --> <img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=159754&amp;title=Does+wine+make+the+heart+flutter%3F" alt="" width="1" height="1" /> <!-- End of tracking content syndication --></div> <div id="contributors"> <p><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/wine-decreases-heart-health-risk-still-bad/">This article</a> was originally published on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com">Cosmos Magazine</a> and was written by <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/contributor/dr-deborah-devis">Deborah Devis</a>. </p> </div>

Food & Wine

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Paul Simon celebrates 80th birthday with new project

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On his 80th birthday, Paul Simon has announced his latest project, which comes in the form of an audiobook. </span></p> <p><a href="https://variety.com/2021/digital/news/paul-simon-new-music-audiobook-malcolm-gladwell-1235087435/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Variety reports</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> that the five-hour audiobook titled </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Miracle and Wonder: Conversations With Paul Simon</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, will be available on November 16th. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The audiobook is named after a line in his track </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Boy in the Bubble</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and features a new song called </span><span style="font-weight: 400;"><em>Seven Psalm</em>s</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">: his first release since 2018. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It also features unreleased live versions of his classic songs including </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Boxer</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Sound of Silence</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Collaborating with Bruce Headlam and Malcolm Gladwell for </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Miracle and Wonder</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, Paul recorded over 30 hours of interviews over nine sessions for the audiobook. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The autobiographical project documents Paul Simon’s upbringing in New York, the genesis of Simon and Garfunkel and the start of his solo career. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The audiobook also features several cameos, including </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sting, Jeff Tweedy, Herbie Hancock, Rosanne Cash, and more to chat about their experiences in the music industry together. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Over my career, I must have given hundreds of interviews on various projects, but speaking and collaborating with Malcolm on this was especially enjoyable,” Simon said in a statement. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Malcolm Gladwell added, “He’s the most un-rock-star rock star. Paul is surprisingly down to earth and approachable. Even if he wasn’t the most successful musician of his generation he’d be the same person.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credit: Getty Images</span></em></p>

Music

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How a trip to the beautician ruined one woman's "whole life"

<p>A woman in Russia has told how she "lost her face" in the days after a seemingly innocent trip to the beautician. </p> <p>Svetlana, 37, claims the procedure she underwent has the opposite intended effect which destroyed her looks and “irreversibly aged her 10 years”.</p> <p>“My skin sagged like a rag, the face completely departed from the skull,” Svetlana said.</p> <p>“The connection of the skin to the skull, the so-called ligaments of the face, disappeared.”</p> <p>A criminal case has been launched into her situation in Russia, as Svetlana says her career and love life have been ruined by the botched procedure and wants to warn other women. </p> <p>“It’s very scary,” she said.</p> <p>“As if you were killed, you decompose – and see it every day in the mirror."</p> <p>“It’s like your face is melting and you can’t stop it."</p> <p>“Doctors don’t know how to treat it.”</p> <p>Her issues began when her cosmetologist advised that she undergo a removal of old lifting gel implants using injections of Longidaza. </p> <p>According to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.ntv.ru" target="_blank">Russian channel NTV</a>, the drug has multiple uses and was recently approved for overseas use.</p> <p>Svetlana originally sought out the treatment after her boyfriend kept “joking” that she was “old” and that he would find himself a younger model.</p> <p>However, Svetlana, who is an architect, said once she undertook the surgery, he dumped her when it went horribly wrong.</p> <p>Her "skin became saggy" after the drug "destroyed the collagen" on her face. </p> <p>She had consulted a surgeon in March 2020, <span>who she claims assured her that the Longidaza would break down excess gel under the skin beneath her eyes.</span></p> <p>“In the evening I went to the mirror and saw that my face had began to change,” Svetlana explained.</p> <p>“The skin under my eyes dried up and literally fell through."</p> <p>“In the morning, the volume of dried tissue under the eyes increased even more."</p> <p>“Rapid changes were taking place, every hour my face was altering."</p> <p><span>“I couldn’t understand what was going on.”</span></p> <p><span>After the drastic changes in her appearance, Svetlana said she became reclusive and stopped interacting with people. </span></p> <p>“Everyone asked what happened to me, why I didn’t look like myself, what was wrong with my eyes.</p> <p>“I continued to swell a lot, and stopped leaving the house so as not to scare anyone.”</p> <p>She hopes that by sharing her story, other women will educate themselves on the dangers of cosmetic procedures. </p> <p>“Two years ago I was successful, everything worked out for me, my career was going in an upward trajectory, everything was fine.</p> <p>“And this fatal mistake – my visit to a beautician – broke my whole life.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: East 2 West News</em></p>

Body

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Science’s war on art fraud

<div class="copy"> <p>In 2016 a team of scientists led by David Thurrowgood of the National Gallery of Victoria took a painting by French impressionist Edgar Degas to the Australian Synchrotron in order to solve a long-standing mystery.</p> <p>Art experts had previously noted that the artwork, Portrait de Femme (1876-1880) had been painted directly over a previous composition. Faint traces of the earlier work were visible but the piece was otherwise completely obscured – probably as the artist intended.</p> <p>Thurrowgood and the team at the Synchrotron, in the Melbourne suburb of Clayton, used high-definition X-ray fluorescence (XRF) to penetrate the surface of the painting to reveal (upside down, as it were) the face of an entirely different sitter.</p> <p>With false colour added to provide at least figurative flesh to the hidden portrait, the result was extraordinary – and a powerful demonstration of how cutting edge science and technology have an increasingly valuable role to play in revealing the secrets of art.  </p> <p>Nowhere is this more the case than in the murky but highly profitable area of forgery. The global art market turns over something north of US$60 billion a year, and some experts estimate that as much as 50% of the works traded are forged.</p> <p>Now, however, new techniques are being developed in laboratories around the world that look set to make the forgers’ lives much more difficult.</p> <p>In 2010, German painter Wolfgang Beltracchi was unmasked as one of the most successful art forgers of</p> <p>the modern era, reaping millions of euros through creating near-perfect artworks, mainly in the styles of 20th century masters.</p> <p>His output included works ostensibly by the great Cubist painter Georges Braque (1882-1963). Should anyone today attempt to repeat that dishonest little trick – and someone, inevitably, will – he or she will find attempts to pass off a moody Braque very, very much more difficult.</p> <p>In 2016, Clara Granzotto and Kenneth Sutherland from the Art Institute of Chicago developed a new imaging technique to investigate the media used by the French artist in creating a painting titled Ajax (1949-54). The work was owned by the institute and catalogued as “oil on paper” but the researchers had a hunch the description was inaccurate.</p> <p>The pair developed a method of analysing minute particles taken from the edges of the work. Called matrix assisted laser desorption ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS), the technique uses lasers to ionise large molecules, such as carbohydrates.</p> <p>When the results were in, Granzotto and Sutherland found the paint mixture contained two separate types of acacia gum. Known in art circles as gum arabic, the substance was a common addition to watercolour paints during the period. This indicated that Braque had used watercolour as well as oil paints to make the piece.</p> <p>MALDI spectrometry is today used mainly to provide detailed information for conservators and restorers. Should a previously unknown Braque from the same period suddenly come onto the market, however, it’s London to a brick any decent dealer will be giving the gumshoe detectives a call.</p> <h2>Looks deceive no more</h2> <p>Many methods used to determine the authenticity of paintings – scanning electron microscopy, for instance – necessarily destroy part of the artwork itself.</p> <p>Perhaps the best known non-destructive investigative method is optical coherence tomography, a medical imaging system that uses near-infrared light and is employed often by ophthamologists to get three-dimensional, highly detailed images of the retina.</p> <p>In the art world it is extremely useful for providing in-depth data on elements such as the composition and layering of paint. Its main drawback, however, is that it images only very small areas, so using it to map a large canvas is both time-consuming and expensive.</p> <p>Recognising this problem, a team of computer scientists and art historians from the Pusan National University in South Korea set about designing an alternative. Led by Seonhee Hwang, the group developed a method that combined fibre optics reflectance spectroscopy with a laser-based topographic analysis. The system is able to scan an entire artwork, measuring the colour characteristics of the whole piece. At the same time, a laser-based map of the thousands minuscule ridges created by the artist’s brushstrokes and fingerprints is also produced.</p> <p>To test the accuracy of their new technique, Hwang and colleagues commissioned expert painters to create forgeries of paintings by well-known Korean artists. The system was then used on the originals and the fakes. Writing in <a rel="noopener" href="http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0171354" target="_blank">PLOS ONE</a><a rel="noopener" href="http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0171354" target="_blank"> in February this year</a>, the researchers reported that the reflectance spectroscopy identified the forgery in 76% of cases, while the laser topography was successful every time.</p> <h2>It’s in the DNA</h2> <p>Once upon a time an artist’s signature – down there, in the corner of the painting – was just about all the verification anyone needed to be sure an artwork was genuine. If you had the provenance as well – the documented history of the work’s sales and owners – no more proof was needed.</p> <p>Such innocent days are long gone. Signatures and records of sale can both be forged; and even the experts, from time to time, are fooled. {%recommended 3792%}</p> <p>Is there, then, a foolproof way to establish that a work is genuine? For new paintings, the answer is yes, and it involves synthetic DNA. A technique developed at the Global Centre for Innovation at the State University of New York involves inserting a tiny amount of specially created genetic code into still-wet paint – establishing a permanent, updatable record a little like a microchip inside a pet cat.</p> <p>The system was developed at the behest of a company called the ARIS Title Insurance Corporation, which specialises in insuring fine art. Although still in its infancy, the company intends to log the DNA – each piece unique and created to order – into a database, which will also contain provenance information. To verify the authenticity of a tagged work, all any dealer will have to do is run a proprietary scanner over the canvas.</p> <p>The DNA bonds with the media used to make the artwork, so it is impossible to remove it, let alone copy the work. The system – dubbed the i2M Standard – is now being trialled, with a full-scale rollout expected soon.</p> <h2>Doing your block</h2> <p>If master forgers often get away with creating fake oil paintings, imagine what they can get away with digitally made art, a medium that can be copied any number of times without the slightest change occurring.</p> <p>Everyone knows digital art is endlessly reproducible, but over the past few years artists who work specifically in digital media have started to attract big prices for their creations. Since then, two questions have become urgent: how do the artists protect their originals; and how can buyers be sure they are getting the genuine article?</p> <p>The answer is a blockchain – the same type of recording technology now commonplace in the world of online currencies such as Bitcoin.</p> <p>A blockchain is a growing database of individual transaction records (known as blocks). Each transaction produces a timestamp and a link to the previous one – creating a verifiable and (theoretically, at least) forger-proof provenance.</p> <p>Several companies in the art world are already offering blockchain verification services to artists keen to maintain control over their creations.</p> <p>In the world of digital art this is quickly emerging as a critical course. In a field where 10 people can display artworks that to all intents and purposes are exactly the same, there has to be some way to verify who has the “real” – and hence really valuable – one.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article was originally published on <a rel="noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/technology/sciences-war-on-art-fraud/" target="_blank">cosmosmagazine.com</a> and was written by Andrew Masterson. </em></p> </div>

Art

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Just two minutes of “doom-scrolling” can worsen your mood

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Just two minutes of exposure to COVID-19 content can leave you feeling less optimistic and feeling worse, according to new research.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A team of scientists from the UK and Canada exposed 1000 participants to COVID news, COVID-related acts of kindness, or nothing at all, to determine whether negative news or kind acts would affect mood.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When compared to the group exposed to nothing at all, those who were exposed to COVID-related news experienced an “immediate and significant” reduction in happiness.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The team found that this drop in mood could occur after just two to four minutes.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As for those who consumed content about COVID-related acts of kindness, the study found they didn’t experience the negative consequences.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The researchers, led by psychologist Dr Kathryn Buchanan, claim that exposure to negative content can be particularly problematic on social media as they make “passive consumption of news almost unavoidable”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Even a few minutes of exposure to COVID-related news on social media can ruin a person’s mood,” the team wrote.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Given that many people spend five to 10 times the amount of time interacting with COVID-related news each day, this likely offers a conservative estimate of the emotional toll.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They also argued that additional work would be needed to confirm that the effect would be felt after exposure to content about other large-scale threats, such as climate change.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The study, published in </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0257728" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">PLOS One</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, also had some advice for those looking to avoid these negative effects.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The team offered several solutions: the increase in positive stories produced by media outlets, seeking out positive content, or engaging in other activities that can bolster happiness.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They concluded: “We would all do well to be mindful of these effects and consider balancing our doom-scrolling with some kindness-scrolling.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Getty Images</span></em></p>

Mind

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How tall and who pays: Woman’s list of first-date demands sparks debate

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A woman’s list of requirements for men to follow on their first dates has sparked a fierce debate on TikTok, with not everyone approving of her demands.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brooke Miccio, a podcast host and YouTuber, </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.tiktok.com/@brookemiccio/video/7012772540468825350?lang=en&amp;is_copy_url=1&amp;is_from_webapp=v1" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">shared</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> her extensive list of first date rules on the platform, with some including height, who pays for the date, and when she will arrive.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I have the routine down now so here are my rules,” Miccio says in the clip.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><img style="width: 278.8732394366197px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844883/https___prodstatic9net-23.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/e44c60852c7848d6b53bab0e922bdea4" /></span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: @brookemiccio / TikTok</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The “seasoned pro at first dates” included one rule about height that is less to do with her date’s actual stature and more to do with if they lied about it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’m going to wear heels to see if you’re lying about your height because every man on every dating app adds a few inches, which is fine but I am 5’7” so it’s just embarrassing if I show up in two-inch heels and we’re the same height,” she says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Like you’re lying about something, so just be honest.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One of Miccio’s other rules states that she will arrive three to five minutes late, as she says she finds it “awkward” to wait for her date to show up.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She also prefers to have drinks rather than food, with the date running for a maximum of two-and-a-half hours, and that the man should pay for the date.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If you’re courting a woman, the guy has to pay. I’m going to offer, obviously, but it’s a test,” she says in the video.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Her final two rules include wanting her date to text her asking whether she got home safely, and that they have fun on the date.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We’re just going to have fun,” she says. “Let’s have a good time.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While some viewers agreed with her rules, especially checking whether she got home safe, others thought it was too much.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Ok hear me out, I’m the same way but I think it’s okay to let go of the rules and be a little more open-minded,” one user commented.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This just doesn’t sound fun at all … dating is hard. </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">🥺”, another lamented.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: @brookemiccio / Instagram</span></em></p>

Relationships

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Tax avoidance, evasion, and the Pandora Papers

<p>What’s the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion?</p> <p>The difference used to matter. Evasion was illegal. It meant not paying tax that was due. Avoidance meant arranging your affairs so tax wasn’t due.</p> <p>Australian media mogul Kerry Packer used the distinction as a complete defence when he told a <a rel="noopener" href="https://youtu.be/LnwYoOeWZGA?t=312" target="_blank">parliamentary committee</a> in 1991 he was "not evading tax in any way, shape or form. Of course, I am minimising my tax. Anybody in this country who does not minimise his tax wants his head read".</p> <p>The Pandora Papers — the biggest-ever leak of records showing how the rich and powerful use the financial system to maximise their wealth — shows the distinction has lost its meaning.</p> <p>The dump of almost <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.icij.org/investigations/pandora-papers/" target="_blank">12 million documents</a> lays bare the ways in which 35 current or former leaders and 300 high-level public officials in more than 90 countries have used offshore companies and accounts to protect their wealth.</p> <p>Only in some of the cases could their activities be categorically declared illegal.</p> <p><strong>Tax havens are legal</strong></p> <p>Here’s how tax havens are used. Trusts and companies are set up in places with low tax rates and secrecy laws such as the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, the US state of Delaware and the Republic or Ireland.</p> <p>If, for example, a wealthy celebrity or a politician wants to buy a new yacht or a luxury villa but doesn’t want to pay tax or stamp duty or expose their wealth to scrutiny they can get their lawyer or accountant to do it through such a trust.</p> <p>For somewhere between <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.icij.org/investigations/pandora-papers/global-investigation-tax-havens-offshore/" target="_blank">US$2,000 and US$20,000</a> to set up the trust, the name of the real owner or beneficiary can be hidden.</p> <p>It isn’t illegal for the celebrity or a politician to move their money (so long as it is theirs to begin with). Assets within the trust are subject to local tax laws (sometimes zero tax) and local secrecy laws (sometimes complete secrecy).</p> <p><strong>Legal, but used by criminals</strong></p> <p>These legal means of using complex networks of secret entities to move around money are the same as those used by criminals.</p> <p>Alongside the likes of India’s cricket superstar Sachin Tendulkar, Colombian pop singer Shakira and Elton John in the Panama Papers are Italian crime boss <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.icij.org/investigations/pandora-papers/global-investigation-tax-havens-offshore/" target="_blank">Raffaele Amato</a>, serving a 20-year jail sentence for weapons and drugs trafficking, and the deceased British art dealer <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/oct/05/offshore-trusts-used-pass-on-looted-khmer-treasures-leak-shows-douglas-latchford" target="_blank">Douglas Latchford</a>, suspected of smuggling looted treasures and money laundering.</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/425189/original/file-20211007-13-1cp8an9.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="Colombian singer Shakira is one of the celebrities named in the Pandora Papers as using offshore companies. Others are Elton John, Ringo Starr, Julio Iglesias and Claudia Schiffer." /></p> <p><em> <span class="caption">Colombian singer Shakira is one of the celebrities named in the Pandora Papers as using offshore companies. Others are Elton John, Ringo Starr, Julio Iglesias and Claudia Schiffer.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Gregory Payan/AP</span></span></em></p> <p><strong>It’s far from clear these arrangements should be legal</strong></p> <p>The big question raised by the Pandora Papers is why any hiding of private wealth from tax authorities ought to be legal.</p> <p>The International Monetary Fund estimated in 2019 that tax haven deprived governments globally of <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2019/09/tackling-global-tax-havens-shaxon.htm" target="_blank">US$500 billion to US$600 billion</a> per year.</p> <p>To put that into perspective, the estimated cost of vaccinating the world against COVID-19 is <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/11/briefing/biden-g7-vaccine-donations.html" target="_blank">US$50-70 billion</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/425571/original/file-20211009-23-13m746j.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/425571/original/file-20211009-23-13m746j.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=237&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em> <span class="caption">OECD chief Mathias Cormann has brokered a deal for a global minimum corporate tax rate.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">OECD (CC BY-NC 3.0 IGO)</span></span></em></p> <p>Some of what’s been uncovered in the Pandora Papers is illegal (“evasion”) but much might not be (“avoidance”, aided by anonimity).</p> <p>The effect is the same. Dollars that ought to have been paid in tax are withheld and used for the benefit of people who aren’t keen to admit to owning them.</p> <p>Over the weekend the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, now led by Australian Mathias Cormann, brokered a deal under which 136 countries agreed to charge multinational corporations a tax rate of at least <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oecd.org/tax/international-community-strikes-a-ground-breaking-tax-deal-for-the-digital-age.htm" target="_blank">15%</a>, making tax havens harder to find.</p> <p>Ireland, previously used as tax haven, signed up.</p> <p>The nations concerned did this because because, even where legal, the use of tax havens costs billions.</p> <p>We’ll soon have to consider removing a distinction in law that vanished in practice some time ago.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/169353/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alex-simpson-225991" target="_blank">Alex Simpson</a>, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174" target="_blank">Macquarie University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com" target="_blank">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/the-pandora-papers-show-the-line-between-tax-avoidance-and-tax-evasion-has-become-so-blurred-we-need-to-act-against-both-169353" target="_blank">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em> Image: <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Aekawit Rammaket/Shutterstock</span></span></em></p>

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9 ways to unwrinkle your clothes without an iron

<p><strong>No iron? No problem.</strong></p> <p>We’ve all experienced that horrible feeling of dressing for an important engagement only to discover that the shirt we were planning to wear to that job interview, big meeting or dressy event is full of wrinkles. As much as we’d like to believe otherwise, a shirt will not unwrinkle as you wear it. But there’s no reason to panic! We’re going to show you how to get wrinkles out of clothes without an iron.</p> <p>Some of these methods may surprise you, and some will come in especially handy when you’re travelling. So let’s get to it.</p> <p><strong>Unwrinkle clothes in the dryer</strong></p> <p><span>Curious how to get wrinkles out of clothes without spending your whole morning tending to each garment? Toss ’em in the dryer. First, check your garments’ labels for the laundry symbols to determine whether you can safely tumble dry them. If you can, spritz the items with water and toss them in with a damp item or two (like damp socks). You can even throw a couple of ice cubes into the dryer. When they melt, they give off steam that’ll help your garments ditch their wrinkles.</span></p> <p><strong>Use a hair dryer to get wrinkles out of clothes</strong></p> <p><span>Lay the wrinkled item on a flat surface and blast hot air with your hair dryer. Keep the dryer a few centimetres above the fabric. Like magic, the wrinkles will disappear before your eyes. You can spritz or flick a few drops of water on the item before blowing it dry to help soften it.</span></p> <p><strong>Steam away wrinkles in the shower</strong></p> <p><span>You know how to hand-wash clothes when you’re away from home. Now learn how to unwrinkle a shirt when you’re travelling. Hang the wrinkled item in the bathroom when you shower. Shut the door to create a sauna effect. It may take up to 20 minutes of hanging in the sauna-like atmosphere to completely remove the wrinkles.</span></p> <p><strong>Use a hair straightener to unwrinkle clothing</strong></p> <p><span>A flat hair iron works really well on stubborn wrinkles, especially for hard-to-iron areas like collars, cuffs and sleeves. Just make sure your device isn’t rusty, stained with hair products, or holding loose hairs. And be careful of the heat setting and the pressure you use. You don’t want to damage your clothing or burn yourself.</span></p> <p><strong>Release wrinkles with a damp towel</strong></p> <p><span>This is such a simple method, but it totally works. On a flat surface, place a damp towel over the wrinkled clothing. Use your hands to press down and smooth out deep creases. Hang the item to air dry.</span></p> <p><strong>Try spray vinegar</strong></p> <p><span>You can actually make your own DIY wrinkle-release spray using white vinegar. It’s cheap, gentle and chemical-free. Mist the wrinkled garment with a mix of one-part vinegar and three-parts water, then let it air dry. Vinegar in your washing machine is also a great way to deodorise and clean clothes.</span></p> <p><strong>Steam out wrinkles with a kettle</strong></p> <p><span>Did you know, you can get wrinkles out of clothes with nothing more than a teapot? Boil water in a kettle, then hold your garment about 30 centimetres away from the steam. Voilà! Wrinkles are gone.</span></p> <p><strong>Make an iron out of a saucepan</strong></p> <p><span>Boil some water in a metal saucepan. When it reaches a rolling boil, toss the water down the sink. You’re going to use the bottom of the saucepan as an iron to smooth out the wrinkles in your garment. Make sure the bottom of the pot is clean, though, and be careful because it’s going to be hot.</span></p> <p><strong>Tuck it under a mattress</strong></p> <p><span>Here’s how to get wrinkles out of clothes with nothing but your mattress. Lay your garment on a flat surface, smooth out the wrinkles, and then roll it up like a burrito. Slide your fabric burrito under the mattress and wait 15 to 30 minutes. Remove it and – surprise! – no more wrinkles.</span></p> <p><span><em>Written by Lois Alter Mark and Lauren Diamond. This article first appeared in <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/food-home-garden/home-tips/9-ways-to-unwrinkle-your-clothes-without-an-iron" target="_blank">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a rel="noopener" href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V" target="_blank">here’s our best subscription offer.</a></em></span></p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

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"Lost a jewel": Olympic runner found stabbed in her home

<p dir="ltr">Kenyan long-distance runner Agnes Tirop was found dead in her home at the age of 25, according to a statement released by Athletics Kenya on Wednesday.</p> <p dir="ltr">She was found with stab wounds in her abdomen, and her husband was missing. Athletics Kenya said it was still working to unearth more details surrounding her death.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://t.co/ncmzF6bu6Q">pic.twitter.com/ncmzF6bu6Q</a></p> — Athletics Kenya (@athletics_kenya) <a href="https://twitter.com/athletics_kenya/status/1448245193493385217?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 13, 2021</a></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">The athlete won bronze in the 10,000m at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships, and finished 4th in the 5000m at the Tokyo Olympic Games earlier this year.</p> <p dir="ltr">Tirop made history last month by shaving 28 seconds off the long-standing, women-only world record for 10,000m at the Adizero Road to Records event in Germany. She finished in 30:01, breaking the previous record of 30:29 which had been set by Moroccan Asmae Leghzaoui in 2002.</p> <p dir="ltr">Following the win, Agnes told reporters, “I’m so happy to have broken the world record. I felt the pace was good. The course was very good, too.”</p> <p dir="ltr">At the 2015 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, she became the second-youngest ever gold medallist in the women’s race, after South African athlete Zola Budd.</p> <p dir="ltr">Athletics Kenya said the country had “lost a jewel who was one of the fastest-rising athletics giants on the international stage, thanks to her eye-catching performances.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta also paid tribute, saying, “It is unsettling, utterly unfortunate and very sad that we’ve lost a young and promising athlete who, at a young age of 25 years, she had brought our country so much glory through her exploits on the global athletics stage including in this year’s 2020 Tokyo Olympics where she was part of the Kenyan team in Japan.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Mustafa Abumunes/AFP via Getty Images</em></p>

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Gabby Petito's cause of death finally announced

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Almost one month after Gabby Petito’s body was discovered, a coroner in the US state of Wyoming has revealed her cause of death.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tenon County Coroner Dr Brett Blue released a memo on Tuesday, listing Gabby’s cause of death as homicide and the cause as, "Death by manual strangulation/throttling."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Our initial determination is the body was in the wilderness for three to four weeks" before she was found, Blue told reporters, which would place her time of death in mid to late August.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The coroner believes that Gabby’s manner of death is consistent with a tragic end to a domestic violence relationship. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This is only one of many deaths around the country of people who are involved in domestic violence and it’s unfortunate that these other deaths do not get as much coverage as this one," Blue said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Gabby’s story has gripped the world, after her and her </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">fiancée</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Brian were travelling around the United States on their ‘van life’ road trip, and </span><a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/police-reports-social-media-provide-timeline-gabby-petito-s-disappearance-n1279390"><span style="font-weight: 400;">chronicling their adventures on social media. </span></a></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A few weeks into their trip, </span><a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/tragedy-unfolding-body-confirmed-as-missing-woman-gabby-petito"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Gabby’s body was found</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in the Grand Teton National Park on September 19th.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brian returned to his parent’s home in North Port, Florida on September 1st without Gabby, and Gabby was officially reported missing 10 days later. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brian is still at large, as the ruling of Gabby’s autopsy motivates police further to find her fiancée. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">North Port Police Department have made a major breakthrough in the search for Brian, as they have located a small campsite close to his family’s home. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brian is now the</span> <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/new-witnesses-in-gabby-petito-homicide-as-fbi-issue-warrant"><span style="font-weight: 400;">subject of a federal warrant</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">as a key person of interest in Gabby's case, as well as for unauthorised use of another person’s debit card.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You can watch the Teton County Coroner’s full statement on Gabby’s autopsy here:</span></p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hk_OCL4kTXQ" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram @gabspetito</em></p>

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Major breakthrough in search for Brian Laundrie

<p>A major breakthrough has occurred in the case of Brian Laundrie, who disappeared from his house in Florida in early September.</p> <p>The investigation into Brian, <span>whose fiancée Gabby Petito was found dead in Wyoming last month, has uncovered new details about his earlier movements, as well as traces of human activity in a nature reserve that has been the key area of the search. </span></p> <p><span>Police found the <a rel="noopener" href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/they-were-here-dog-the-bounty-hunter-confirms-new-laundrie-lead" target="_blank">remnants of a campsite</a> that appeared to be used recently in Florida’s Carlton Reserve, a sprawling 24,565-acre wilderness near Laundrie’s family home that has been closed to visitors, a source close to the family told <a rel="noopener" href="https://edition.cnn.com/2021/10/07/us/gabby-petito-brian-laundrie-update-thursday/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> on Wednesday.</span></p> <p><span>Chris Laundrie, Brian's father, joined law enforcement and went to the reserve to </span>help them look on Thursday morning.</p> <p><span>“Chris was asked to point out any favorite trails or spots that Brian may have used in the preserve. Although Chris and Roberta Laundrie provided this information verbally 3 weeks ago it is now thought that on-site assistance may be better,” the family's attorney Steven Bertolino said.</span></p> <p><span>The North Port Police Department also confirmed that a notice was placed on a seemingly abandoned </span>vehicle that belonged to the Laundrie family close to the reserve on September 14th.</p> <p>Brian originally told his family that he was heading to reserve the last time they saw him.</p> <p>The ongoing search for Brian comes as law enforcement try to piece together the events that led to the death of 22-year-old Gabby Petito.</p> <p>Gabby and Brian had been travelling across the United States in a 'van life' trip that they were documenting on social media.</p> <p>Gabby was officially reported missing on September 11th: 10 days after Brian returned home from Florida without her.</p> <p>In the days following, <a rel="noopener" href="https://oversixty.com.au/news/news/tragedy-unfolding-body-confirmed-as-missing-woman-gabby-petito" target="_blank">Gabby's body was found</a> in a national park in Wyoming, and the coroner determined she died by homicide.</p> <p>Brian originally refused to speak with police when questioned, and then went missing himself.</p> <p>Brian is now the <a rel="noopener" href="https://oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/new-witnesses-in-gabby-petito-homicide-as-fbi-issue-warrant" target="_blank">subject of a federal warrant</a> as a key person of interest in Gabby's case, as well as <span>for unauthorised use of another person’s debit card.</span></p> <p>He was last seen on September 13th by his family, and has been missing for 25 days.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Facebook / Instagram @gabspetito</em></p>

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"Make this stop": Ben Fordham lashes out

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Australian radio host Ben Fordham has criticised the University of Otago’s decision to name Olympic weightlifter Laurel Hubbard their sportswoman of the year, the first transgender winner in the award’s 113-year history.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He took aim at the “woke brigade” on his 2GB breakfast program, where he claimed the inclusion of transgender athletes in sporting events is “making life harder for women”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Hubbard was honoured at the Blues Awards, which celebrates the sporting achievements of students of the university.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She received the award after becoming the first transgender athlete to compete in an individual event at the Olympic Games, where she competed in the 87+ kg weightlifting event in Tokyo.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“They think they’re being inclusive, but they’re making life harder for women,” he </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/sport/olympics/make-this-stop-ben-fordham-fires-up-over-transgender-athletes-accolade/news-story/fded9325f945776562c7d2740de55a1d" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">said</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> on Tuesday’s program.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Please, make this stop. When the sportswoman of the year is born a man, political correctness has gone a mile too far.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If we keep on listening to the woke brigade there won’t be a need for women’s sport.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It comes down to biology, men are usually - not always - stronger than women.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After receiving the award, Ms Hubbard told the </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.odt.co.nz/sport/other-sport/otago-university-honours-hubbard" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Otago Daily Times</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> that she was “grateful for all of the support and kindness received from the teaching staff and students at Otago University”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It is not possible for athletes to compete at the Olympic level without the encouragement and aroha of friends, family and supporters,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This award belongs to everyone who has been part of my Olympic journey.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Michaela Waite-Harvey, president of the Otago University Students’ Association at the university, said the Blues awards aim to celebrate Otago students who excel in their sport.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We could think of no-one more worthy of sportswoman of the year than Laurel Hubbard who represented Otago and New Zealand incredibly well at this year’s Tokyo Olympics,” she told the </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Otago Daily Times</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms Hubbard’s qualification for the Games also sparked controversy, with former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner saying it was “not fair” and sports writer Ewan Mackena describing it as a “slap to the face of all women”.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: @benfordham9 / Instagram, Getty Images</span></em></p>

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10 tips for safe road trips

<p><strong>Check the brakes</strong></p> <p>To prevent accidents on the road, checking your brakes prior to departure should be at the top of your road trip checklist.</p> <p>Make sure they’re free of damage or rust, which will ensure they’re in optimal working order, and check the brake fluid as well.</p> <p>The latter ensures the pressure you put in when pressing down on the brake pedal actually makes it to the brakes. It’s basically the secret ingredient to ensure they do their job successfully.</p> <p><strong>Check the lights</strong></p> <p>When driving, you want to make sure that other drivers know when you’re switching lanes, pressing on the brakes or turning your hazard lights on.</p> <p>Doing a quick check at home is easy: simply test out all the lights with a friend to see which ones are and are not functional.</p> <p>Take note of any lights that may need to have their bulb replaced, and get them fixed before you go.</p> <p><strong>Check your battery</strong></p> <p>The battery is the power that keeps your car running.</p> <p>Before a lengthy drive, you need to make sure your battery is juiced-up.</p> <p>Particularly during the summer, the heat can increase the rate in which the battery corrodes.</p> <p>Batteries tend to have a lifespan of three to five years, so if your road trip falls somewhere within that timeframe, it’s best to get it changed before you and your family hit the road.</p> <p><strong>Check your tyre pressure</strong></p> <p>Warm weather can really do a number on your tyres.</p> <p>As the temperature rises, pressure increases, so you would have to let some air out of your tyres.</p> <p>It’s best to get your tyre pressure checked before you hit the road, as the more you drive, the more the pressure mounts.</p> <p>Always keep a tyre-pressure gauge with you in the car – they’re inexpensive to purchase.</p> <p>Also, make sure the pressure on your spare tyre is sufficient, too.</p> <p><strong>Check oil and other fluids</strong></p> <p>If your car is due to be serviced for an oil check, be sure to do so prior to leaving on your road trip, rather than waiting until you return.</p> <p>The oil, after all, ensures your engine runs smoothly, so the oil has to be checked whether it is both sufficient as well as clean.</p> <p>It’s pretty easy to do on your own – you can find various ‘how-to’ guides online – but for extra precaution, bring it in to your dealer or a trusted mechanic.</p> <p>While you’re there, have them check the transmission, radiator and brake fluids.</p> <p><strong>Fill up on engine coolant</strong></p> <p>As its name suggests, engine coolant keeps the engine from overheating.</p> <p>So if you’re looking to spend hours on the road under the sun, this is an indispensable tip.</p> <p>Some think that plain water could be a good (and less expensive) alternative to coolant but while water does transfer heat better than coolant, coolant actually boasts ingredients that will keep your engine, radiator and heater from corroding.</p> <p><strong>Check your air filter</strong></p> <p>A car’s air filter tends to need a cleaning every time you get your oil checked – or as often as is suggested in your owner’s manual.</p> <p>It’s imperative that the filter isn’t clogged or dirty.</p> <p>By keeping it clean, your car will continue to run smoothly, as it’s an integral part of your engine’s system, keeping gunk from infiltrating the fuel system.</p> <p><strong>Check windshield wipers and top up washer fluid</strong></p> <p>On average, windshield wiper blades need to be replaced once per year – this is particularly the case in cold climates where the blades tend to wear out fast.</p> <p>How do you know when they need to be replaced?</p> <p>f they leave streaks behind and actually hinder visibility more than they help with it, it is time for a replacement.</p> <p>Be sure to also fill up on windshield washer fluid before you hit the road – you don’t want to be caught with an empty tank after a particularly muddy detour!</p> <p><strong>Get a car wash</strong></p> <p>A newly-washed car boosts a driver’s morale, and gets him or her excited for the road ahead.</p> <p>On the safety front, a washed car just makes your journey all the more secure.</p> <p>After all, a clean window ensures visibility, and spotless tail lights make it easy for drivers behind you to know when you’re hitting the brakes.</p> <p><strong>Stock and emergency kit</strong></p> <p>When you’re on the road – whether for a short or a long trip – you never know what to expect. Being well prepared for the unknown is imperative; that’s why a roadside emergency kit is wise to have in your car at all times.</p> <p>You can put one together on your own, or you can buy a kit at the store; they tend to include the likes of jumper cables, a flashlight, batteries, duct tape, bungee cords, a camper’s knife, etc.</p> <p>Be sure to also have a first-aid kit handy, as well as a couple of blankets, bottles of water, and non-perishable, protein-rich snacks like granola bars in your trunk, in case of an extended emergency.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article first appeared in <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/road-trips/10-tips-safe-road-trips" target="_blank">Reader's Digest</a>.</em></p>

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“An absolute disaster”: Prince William calls out billionaires’ space race

<p dir="ltr">Prince William has called out the billionaires currently competing in a space tourism race instead of focusing their efforts on the environmental problems on Earth.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Duke of Cambridge directed thinly-veiled criticism at Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Richard Branson during a BBC interview at Kensington Palace.</p> <p dir="ltr">The three billionaires have been embroiled in a recent race to provide private commercial space travel.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live,”<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-15/prince-william-urges-billionaires-put-planet-before-space-race/100541038" target="_blank">William said</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">The interview comes after Mr Musk announced his focus on reaching Mars, and after Mr Bezos said that his inaugural space flight was part of building a road to space “so that our kids and their kids can build a future”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We need to do that to solve the problems here on Earth,” Mr Bezos said.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Amazon founder recently celebrated his second suborbital space flight, which included<span> </span><em>Star Trek<span> </span></em>actor William Shatner among its passengers.</p> <p dir="ltr">The British royal family has made a trend of speaking out on environmental issues, with William following in the steps of his father Prince Charles and late grandfather Prince Philip.</p> <p dir="ltr">Prince Charles has been calling for action to stop climate change for decades, often facing ridicule for his stance.</p> <p dir="ltr">The 72-year-old heir to the throne<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/travel/travel-trouble/prince-charles-shocked-that-morrison-not-confirmed-for-glasgow-climate-conference?fbclid=IwAR0yBM3BrGS_5kZp0-E8kfD0lmaoVumFZDUhBcq0LmueyAmeR1gHv8fOk8I" target="_blank">recently described</a><span> </span>the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in Glasgow as a “last chance saloon” for combating climate change, sharing how he tries so hard to encourage world leaders to attend and take action.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s been a hard road for him. He’s had a really rough ride on that, and I think he’s been proven to being well ahead of the curve,” William said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“But it shouldn’t be that there’s a third generation now coming along having to ramp it up even more.”</p> <p dir="ltr">William also warned that not taking action now could be “robbing from our children’s future”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“For me, it would be an absolute disaster if [my son] George is sat here in 30 years’ time, still saying the same thing, because by then we will be too late.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Now I’ve got children as well and speaking to other parents, it’s a bit of a cliche, but you do start to see the world differently.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I want the things that I’ve enjoyed - the outdoor life, the nature, the environment - I want that to be there for my children, and not just my children but everyone else’s children.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The prince said the key to tackling the issue was to “bring people with us”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“People have got to feel like there’s hope, there’s a chance we can fix this.”</p> <p dir="ltr">He also echoed his father’s message, saying the upcoming COP26 conference had to result in action.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We can’t have more clever speak, clever words but not enough action,” William said.</p> <p dir="ltr">In response to the issue of climate change, William created the Earthshot Prize, with the aim of using new technologies or policies to solve Earth’s biggest environmental problems.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: @KensingtonRoyal / Twitter</em></p>

Travel Trouble

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Six ways to transform your travel

<p>After a cooped-up year, Americans are hungry to travel. Passport offices <a rel="noopener" href="https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/how-apply/processing-times.html" target="_blank">are overwhelmed</a> with applications. In July, airlines scheduled and operated <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.bts.gov/newsroom/air-travel-consumer-report-july-2021-numbers" target="_blank">the highest number of flights</a> since the pandemic began, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/22/national-parks-are-booming-that-may-ruin-your-next-trip.html" target="_blank">Record numbers</a> of travelers visited the U.S. national parks this summer, after <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/socialscience/annual-visitation-highlights.htm" target="_blank">a nearly 28% drop</a> due to the pandemic.</p> <p>But why do we travel in the first place? What is the allure of the open road?</p> <p>As a professor of <a rel="noopener" href="https://divinity.vanderbilt.edu/people/bio/jaco-hamman" target="_blank">religion, psychology and culture</a>, I study experiences that lie at the intersection of all three. And in my <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.fortresspress.com/store/product/9781506472065/Just-Traveling" target="_blank">research on travel</a>, I’m struck by its unsolvable paradoxes: Many of us seek to get away, in order to be present; we speed to destinations, in order to slow down; we may care about the environment, but still leave carbon footprints.</p> <p>Ultimately, many people hope to return transformed. Travel <a rel="noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1080/02508281.2017.1292177" target="_blank">is often viewed</a> as what anthropologists call a “<a rel="noopener" href="https://www.britannica.com/biography/Arnold-van-Gennep" target="_blank">rite of passage</a>”: structured rituals in which individuals separate themselves from their familiar surroundings, undergo change and return rejuvenated or “reborn.”</p> <p>But travelers are not just concerned with themselves. The desire to explore may be a defining human trait, as I argue <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.fortresspress.com/store/product/9781506472065/Just-Traveling" target="_blank">in my latest book</a>, but the ability to do it is a privilege that can <a rel="noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2017.11.002" target="_blank">come at a cost</a> to host communities. Increasingly, the tourism industry and scholars alike are interested in <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/cog/tri/2012/00000016/F0020003/art00003" target="_blank">ethical travel</a>, which minimizes visitors’ harm on the places and people they encounter.</p> <p>The media inundate tourists with advice and enticements about where to travel and what to do there. But in order to meet the deeper goals of transformative, ethical travel, the “why” and “how” demand deeper discernment.</p> <p>In writing “<a rel="noopener" href="https://www.fortresspress.com/store/product/9781506472065/Just-Traveling" target="_blank">Just Traveling</a>: God, Leaving Home, and a Spirituality for the Road,” I studied travel stories in sacred scriptures and researched findings from psychologists, sociologists, ethicists, economists and tourism scholars. I argue that meaningful travel is best understood not as a three-stage rite but as a six-phase practice, based on core human experiences. These phases can repeat and overlap within the same journey, just as adventures twist and turn.</p> <p><strong>1. Anticipating</strong></p> <p>Traveling begins long before departure, as we research and plan. But anticipation is more than logistics. The Dutch aptly call it “voorpret”: literally, <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.wordsense.eu/" target="_blank">the pleasure before</a>.</p> <p>How and what people anticipate in any given situation has the power to shape their experience, for better or worse – even when it comes to prejudice. Psychology experiments, for example, have shown that <a rel="noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1037/xge0000899" target="_blank">when children anticipate greater cooperation between groups</a>, it can reduce their bias in favor of their own group.</p> <p>But <a rel="noopener" href="https://iep.utm.edu/phenom/" target="_blank">phenomenology</a>, a branch of philosophy that studies human experience and consciousness, emphasizes that <a rel="noopener" href="http://ummoss.org/gall17varela.pdf" target="_blank">anticipation is also “empty”</a>: our conscious intentions and expectations of what’s to come could be fulfilled or dashed by a future moment.</p> <p>With that in mind, travelers should try to remain open to uncertainty and even disappointment.</p> <p><strong>2. Leaving</strong></p> <p>Leaving can awaken deep emotions that are tied to our earliest experiences of separation. The attachment styles psychologists study in infants, which shape how secure people feel in their relationships, <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/what-is-attachment-and-how-does-it-affect-our-relationships-120503" target="_blank">continue to shape us as adults</a>. These experiences can also affect how comfortable people feel <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.proquest.com/openview/cdd5594c53a7864881fb71e54a7422f1/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&amp;cbl=1819046" target="_blank">exploring new experiences</a> and leaving home, which can affect how they travel.</p> <p>Some travelers leave with excitement, while others experience <a rel="noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1177/0047287520966392" target="_blank">hesitation or guilt</a> before the relief and excitement of departure. Mindfulness about the stages of travel can help people <a rel="noopener" href="https://web.a.ebscohost.com/abstract?direct=true&amp;profile=ehost&amp;scope=site&amp;authtype=crawler&amp;jrnl=1931311X&amp;asa=Y&amp;AN=31381043&amp;h=nduDC2UXNGxscORELrBj%2fjZ6b4Xdbo4r5mkTwNhY2n2D7Oi0KAOPOw%2fsqhqshijmc4%2bMd%2fLjR2%2b3rONsdCopzg%3d%3d&amp;crl=c&amp;resultNs=AdminWebAuth&amp;resultLocal=ErrCrlNotAuth&amp;crlhashurl=login.aspx%3fdirect%3dtrue%26profile%3dehost%26scope%3dsite%26authtype%3dcrawler%26jrnl%3d1931311X%26asa%3dY%26AN%3d31381043" target="_blank">manage anxiety</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/423194/original/file-20210924-46597-1r365j1.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="Mask-clad passengers pass through an airport arrival hall in Lisbon, Portugal in September 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic." /></p> <p><em><span class="caption">Travel has picked up since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. For many people, taking a trip prompts anxiety as well as excitement.</span> <span class="attribution"><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/mask-clad-travelers-and-people-waiting-for-arriving-news-photo/1338516440?adppopup=true" target="_blank" class="source">Horacio Villalobos/Corbis News via Getty Images</a></span></em></p> <p><strong>3. Surrendering</strong></p> <p>Travelers cannot control their journey: A flight is canceled, or a vehicle breaks down; the weather report predicts sunshine, but it rains for days on end. To some extent, they have to surrender to the unknown.</p> <p>Modern Western cultures tend to see “surrendering” as something negative – as hoisting a white flag. But as a <a rel="noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1080/00107530.1990.10746643" target="_blank">therapeutic concept</a>, surrendering helps people let go of inhibiting habits, discover a sense of wholeness and <a rel="noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1215/10407391-2005-006" target="_blank">experience togetherness</a> with others. The perfectionist learns that a changed itinerary doesn’t mean a diminished travel experience and lets go of their fear of failure. The person with a strong sense of independence grows in vulnerability as they receive care from strangers.</p> <p>In fact, some psychological theories hold that the self longs for surrender, in the sense of liberation: letting down its defensive barriers and <a rel="noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1177/0022167820975636" target="_blank">finding freedom</a> from attempts to control one’s surroundings. Embracing that view can help travelers cope with the reality that things may not go according to plan.</p> <p><strong>4. Meeting</strong></p> <p>Meeting, traveling’s fourth phase, is the invitation to discover oneself and others anew.</p> <p>All cultures have unconscious “<a rel="noopener" href="https://www.routledge.com/The-Location-of-Culture/Bhabha/p/book/9780415336390" target="_blank">rules of recognition</a>,” their own ingrained customs and ways of thinking, making it more difficult to forge cross-cultural connections. Carrying <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Serene-Tse-2/publication/347739970_Assessing_explicit_and_implicit_stereotypes_in_tourism_self-reports_and_implicit_association_test/links/60ad92f1299bf13438e82cbe/Assessing-explicit-and-implicit-stereotypes-in-tourism-self-reports-and-implicit-association-test.pdf" target="_blank">conscious and unconscious stereotypes</a>, travelers may see some people and places as uneducated, dangerous, poor or <a rel="noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229405" target="_blank">sexual</a>, while hosts may see travelers as rich, ignorant and exploitable.</p> <p>Going beyond such stereotypes requires that travelers be mindful of behaviors that can add tension to their interactions – knowing conversational topics to avoid, for example, or following local dress codes.</p> <p>In many parts of the world, those challenges are intensified <a rel="noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1177/1468797603049658" target="_blank">by the legacy of colonization</a>, which makes it harder for people to meet in authentic ways. Colonial views still influence Western perceptions of nonwhite groups as <a rel="noopener" href="https://hrcak.srce.hr/index.php?show=clanak&amp;id_clanak_jezik=80794" target="_blank">exotic</a>, <a rel="noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1080/14616688.2012.762688" target="_blank">dangerous</a> and inferior.</p> <p>Starting to overcome these barriers demands an attitude known as <a rel="noopener" href="https://melanietervalon.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/CulturalHumility_Tervalon-and-Murray-Garcia-Article.pdf" target="_blank">cultural humility</a>, which is deeper than “cultural competence” – simply knowing about a different culture. Cultural humility helps travelers ask questions like, “I don’t know,” “Please help me understand” or “How should I…”</p> <p><strong>5. Caring</strong></p> <p>Caring involves overcoming “<a rel="noopener" href="https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/mono/10.4324/9781003070672/moral-boundaries-joan-tronto" target="_blank">privileged irresponsibility</a>”: when a traveler does not recognize their own privilege and take responsibility for it, or does not recognize other people’s lack of privilege.</p> <p>Travel becomes irresponsible when tourists ignore injustices and inequities they witness or the way their travels contribute to the <a rel="noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1108/TR-03-2017-0066" target="_blank">unfolding climate crisis</a>. Ethically, “empathy” is not enough; travelers must pursue solidarity, as an act of “<a rel="noopener" href="https://www.fortresspress.com/store/product/9781506472065/Just-Traveling" target="_blank">caring with</a>.” That might mean hiring local guides, eating in family-owned restaurants and being mindful of the resources like food and water that they use.</p> <p><strong>6. Returning</strong></p> <p>Travels do end, and returning home can be <a rel="noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.4337/9781786438577.00025" target="_blank">a disorienting experience</a>.</p> <p>Coming back can cause <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/90015633" target="_blank">reverse culture shock</a> if travelers struggle to readjust. But that shock can diminish as travelers share their experiences with others, stay connected to the places they visited, <a rel="noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2016.05.004" target="_blank">deepen their knowledge</a> about the place and culture, anticipate a possible return trip or get involved in causes that they discovered on their trip.</p> <p>I believe that reflecting on these six phases can invite the kind of mindfulness needed for transformative, ethical travel. And <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.scielo.br/j/aabc/a/76CfqdL5pPBZLcQy9FdWwxn/?lang=en&amp;format=html" target="_blank">amid a pandemic</a>, the need for thoughtful travel that prioritizes host communities’ well-being is clear.</p> <div> <p><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.ats.edu/" target="_blank">Vanderbilt University Divinity School is a member of the Association of Theological Schools.</a></em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/167687/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></p> <em>The ATS is a funding partner of The Conversation U.S.</em></div> <p><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jaco-j-hamman-408106" target="_blank">Jaco J. Hamman</a>, Professor of Religion, Psychology, and Culture, <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/vanderbilt-university-1293" target="_blank">Vanderbilt University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com" target="_blank">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/looking-for-transformative-travel-keep-these-six-stages-in-mind-167687" target="_blank">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/338598/original/file-20200529-78871-1g5gse5.jpg?w=128&amp;h=128" alt="" /></p> <div> <p> </p> </div>

Travel Tips

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Wild elk finally gets tyre removed from around its neck after two years

<p dir="ltr">A wild elk in Colorado is free after a years-long ordeal to remove a rubber tyre from around its neck. Wildlife officers were<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/Pages/News-Release-Details.aspx?NewsID=7971" target="_blank">able to free it</a><span> </span>over the weekend after local residents alerted them to the creature’s location.</p> <p dir="ltr">The elk was a four-and-a-half year-old male weighing over 600 pounds, or over 270 kilograms. He had spent the past few years travelling between neighbouring counties, disappearing for long periods of time, particularly in the winter, and acting normally for a wild animal, not wanting to be around humans.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">The saga of the bull elk with a tire around its neck is over. Thanks to the residents just south of Pine Junction on CR 126 for reporting its location, wildlife officers were able to free it of that tire Saturday.<br /><br />Story: <a href="https://t.co/WHfkfPuAck">https://t.co/WHfkfPuAck</a><br /><br />📸's courtesy of Pat Hemstreet <a href="https://t.co/OcnceuZrpk">pic.twitter.com/OcnceuZrpk</a></p> — CPW NE Region (@CPW_NE) <a href="https://twitter.com/CPW_NE/status/1447601850878812161?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 11, 2021</a></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Wildlife officers were first alerted to the elk’s plight in June 2019. While conducting a population survey for bighorn sheep and mountain goats, an officer saw the bull through a spotting scope. Wildlife officer Scott Murdoch said, “Being up in the wilderness, we didn’t really expect to be able to get our hands on the elk just because of the proximity or the distance away from civilization.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It is harder to get the further they are back in there and usually the further these elk are away from people, the wilder they act. That certainly played true the last couple of years, this elk was difficult to find, and harder to get close to.”</p> <p dir="ltr">In the past week alone, officers had made four attempts to try and tranquilise the animal. They were finally successful on Saturday evening, after wildlife officer Dawson Swanson found the elk amongst a larger group, and managed to tranquilise it, after which officer Murdoch arrived to aid in the removal of the tyre.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Why we cut the antlers off &amp; not the tire:<br /><br />1⃣ We tried, sawzall was slow going thru steel in the bead of the tire<br />2⃣ The animal was under anesthesia, time was limited<br />3⃣ Does not harm the elk, will grow back next year<br />4⃣ Reduces the chance the bull would be harvested this year <a href="https://t.co/C24rgd5krs">pic.twitter.com/C24rgd5krs</a></p> — CPW NE Region (@CPW_NE) <a href="https://twitter.com/CPW_NE/status/1448023318590672896?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 12, 2021</a></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Of the removal process, Murdoch said, “It was tight removing it,” even after cutting its antlers off. “It was not easy for sure, we had to move it just right to get it off because we weren’t able to cut the steel in the bead of the tire. Fortunately, the bull’s neck still had a little room to move.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We would have preferred to cut the tire and leave the antlers for his rutting activity, but the situation was dynamic and we had to just get the tire off in any way possible.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Once the tyre had been removed, the officers were surprised to see that the elk’s neck was in relatively good condition. “The hair was rubbed off a little bit, there was one small open wound maybe the size of a nickel or quarter, but other than that it looked really good,” Murdoch said. “I was actually quite shocked to see how good it looked.”</p> <div> <div class="reply-list-component"> <div class="reply-component"> <div class="reply-body-component"> <div class="reply_body body linkify"> <div class="reply-body-wrapper"> <div class="reply-body-inner"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p dir="ltr">According to Colorado Parks &amp; Wildlife, "the elk would have gotten the tyre around its antlers either when it was very young, before it had antlers, or during the winter when it shed its antlers. It could have been a big stack of tires that the elk stuck its head in."</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">Removing its antlers does not hurt the elk, as they will grow back next year.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Twitter/@CPW_NE</em></p>

Travel Trouble

Health

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The best (and worst) days to start a diet, according to science

<p><strong>Best: the day you feel ready</strong></p> <p><span>Being prepped to make a life change will help you get started. </span></p> <p><span>But being confident that you know the exact day may be more of a gut feeling: often the most successful dieters start because of a wakeup call, says dietitian, Amy Stephens. </span></p> <p><span>Maybe you went to the doctor and he told you that you’d have to go on medication unless you did something to get your cholesterol down, or a family member has a heart-to-heart with you about your health, or a friend gets sick. </span></p> <p><span>“When these things happen you set a goal that’s more emotional rather than weight-based, and that’s often more successful,” explains Stephens. “If things get rough along the way, you can remind yourself why you’re on this journey,” she says.</span></p> <p><strong>Best: after your birthday </strong></p> <p>Experts dub this “the fresh start effect.” I</p> <p>n a study from the University of Pennsylvania, researchers found that people were more likely to act on their health goals after landmark dates, including holidays and birthdays.</p> <p>When you’re thinking about how to start a diet, this is an ideal time. They explain that after a milestone, you’re less likely to dwell on past mistakes, making it easier to perform behaviours more in line with “the new you.”</p> <p>It also helps you think in big-picture ways, which can drive you toward your goals. You’ve got this!</p> <p><strong>Best: Monday</strong></p> <p>It’s a new start to the week and you’re ready to take that “new beginnings” mindset to heart.</p> <p>You know any Monday is a great day to begin anew. People report seeing Monday as a “reset” button and greater motivation to tackle their goals at the start of the week, reports <em>The Monday Campaigns. </em></p> <p>Besides, if you’ve been indulging all weekend, you’re probably ready to embrace lighter, fresher food.</p> <p><strong>Best: any day in October</strong></p> <p><span>With the abundance of sweet treats, alcohol, and holiday cheese platters around the months of November and December, it’s no wonder that research in the New England </span><em>Journal of Medicine</em><span> has shown that it can take people as many as five months to lose the weight from too many canapés. </span></p> <p><span>Though there are good ways to beat the holiday bulge if it does happen, the easier fix is to make that resolution in October, says study co-author Brian Wansink. </span></p> <p><span>The idea is that preventing kilos is much simpler than trying to shed them later.</span></p> <p><strong>Best: after a big life change</strong></p> <p><span>Let’s say you moved to a new home and are all settled in. </span><span>Or you’re in a line of work where you have the summer off. </span></p> <p><span>“A new lifestyle and routine is the perfect time to start with new good habits,” says Stephens. </span></p> <p><span>That might mean you make small tweaks to start marching toward your larger goal, like starting the day with a healthy breakfast (now’s the time to break out your avocado toast skills) or reducing the amount of sugar you have in your coffee.</span></p> <p><strong>Worst: new years</strong></p> <p><span>The problem with new years is that we pick lofty goals that are difficult to achieve – and weight loss is one you shouldn’t plan for. </span></p> <p><span>“You’re simply setting yourself up for more failure. If it hasn’t worked in the past, why would this new years resolution be any different?” says Stephens. </span></p> <p><span>If you’d like to set a goal when the clock strikes midnight, plan one thing at a time, like vow to stop eating in front of the TV or eat dessert every other night instead of every night, she advises. </span></p> <p><span>Then, set your weight loss goal another time.</span></p> <p><strong>Worst: when you have big project due at work</strong></p> <p><span>When life gets super busy and you’re preoccupied by something – you had a baby, you’re really busy at work, you’re taking on caregiver responsibilities for a family member – today is not the day to vow to lose weight. </span></p> <p><span>Stressful, busy circumstances are not the time to test your resolve and stick-to-it-ness, and there are also practical limitations, like lack of time or sleep. </span></p> <p><span>For dieting to be successful, “all the stars need to be aligned,” says Stephens. </span></p> <p><span>Now more than ever good health habits are important (eating energising food, for instance), but tackle that weight loss goal once life calms down.</span></p> <p><strong>Worst: Friday</strong></p> <p><span>The weekend is coming up and you have brunch, pizza, and ice cream cones on the calendar. </span></p> <p><span>Cornell University research found that people’s weights tend to be lowest on Friday or Saturday and highest on Sunday and Monday. </span></p> <p><span>But that’s not a bad thing – you don’t necessarily have to vow to be super strict on the weekends. They concluded that people who compensate during the week for extra kilojoules consumed over the weekend actually lost the greatest amount of weight over time. </span></p> <p><span>“Long-term habits, it appears, make more of a difference than short-term splurges,” the researchers conclude. </span></p> <p><span>All that to say: go ahead and treat yourself over the weekend – it can help you stay the course.</span></p> <p><strong>Worst: Saturday or Sunday </strong></p> <p><span>Along with occasional splurges being good for your psyche, the weekend is a bad time to start because you have too much free time, says Stephens. </span></p> <p><span>Your schedule is off, so it’s harder to stick to the healthy habits you practise all week. </span></p> <p><span>For instance, you may not be sitting down to oatmeal in the morning but rather running out for coffee and a muffin. </span></p> <p><span>Rather than cooking a meal at home, you’re going out to eat. </span></p> <p><span>Save it for when you have a normal routine or a more rigid schedule, like the workweek, which can help you stick to a diet.</span></p> <p><strong>Worst: right after a holiday</strong></p> <p><span>For many people, this is when they let loose and eat to their heart’s content. </span></p> <p><span>But dieting right after might be even worse. In an older study from 2002, researchers examined the psychological impact of planning a diet for the future. </span></p> <p><span>They discovered that planning to go on a diet can cause some people to overeat. You may have heard of it as the “last supper effect.” </span></p> <p><span>You think, what the heck, I’m going to come home and be super strict with myself, so might as well load up on as many cakes as I can now, but that can slide you into a worse place than you started.</span></p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article first appeared on <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/healthsmart/the-best-and-worst-days-to-start-a-diet-according-to-science" target="_blank">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Body

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Body mass index miscalculation

<div> <div class="copy"> <p>For the first time in my life, to my horror, I noticed I had developed a spare tyre, so I put myself on a diet to get rid of it.</p> <p>It was a very simple diet: eat less. I lost 7 kg in three weeks and I looked trim. Bouncing triumphantly off the scales one morning, I decided to check my body mass index (BMI).</p> <p>To my great surprise, with a BMI of 24.1, I was at the high end of ‘normal’, <a rel="noopener" href="http://www.health.gov.au/internet/healthyactive/publishing.nsf/Content/healthy-weight" target="_blank">defined as between 18.5 and 24.9</a>. The charts told me I could lose another <span style="font-family: inherit;">20 kg and still be normal, but that would leave me skin and bones.</span></p> <p>It naturally got me wondering: how scientific is the body mass index (BMI)?</p> <p>It may be a <a rel="noopener" href="https://academic.oup.com/ndt/article/23/1/47/1923176" target="_blank">188-year-old staple of health statistics</a>, but modern health professionals have documented many flaws.</p> <p>For starters, the BMI doesn’t distinguish whether body weight comes from fat or muscle, so Michelin Man and the Terminator might have the same BMI despite their very obvious differences in fat and muscle distribution.</p> <p>Neither does it factor in other key health criteria such as age, gender or body type. For instance, people who deposit fat around their waists are at a higher risk of disease than people who deposit it on their hips and thighs.</p> <p>My concern, however, is that the BMI ignores elementary physics.</p> <p>The problem traces back to Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet, the Belgian statistician who invented the BMI in 1830.</p> <p>Quetelet failed to consider the mathematics of scaling. He defined the body mass index as weight divided by height squared.</p> <p>Note, however, that weight is proportional to volume, which is proportional to height cubed. The upshot of this is that, all other things being equal, BMI varies directly with height, which it clearly should not. (See formula below.)</p> <p>Perhaps the fault goes back to Jonathan Swift’s <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gutenberg.org/files/17157/17157-h/17157-h.htm" target="_blank">wildly popular 1726 tale of </a><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gutenberg.org/files/17157/17157-h/17157-h.htm" target="_blank">Gulliver’s Travels</a>. Swift’s giant Brobdingnagians and tiny Lilliputians could not actually exist.</p> <p>For example, consider a giant twice as tall as myself but with exactly my shape and looks.</p> <p>If the giant was standing on a beach with no other objects in sight, a far-off observer could not tell that he was not me.</p> <p>Because his mass would be proportional to my height cubed, my double-height doppelganger would weigh eight times more than me.</p> <p>However, the cross-sectional area of his legs would be proportional to my height squared, so they would be only four times stronger.</p> <p>Those poor bones! They would be over-stressed by carrying eight times the weight.</p> <p>My giant double would collapse under his own weight. Now create a version of me half my height. He would weigh one-eighth of what I weigh, but his leg bones and muscles would be twice as strong as they needed to be.</p> <p>Nature understands this, which is why elephants look like elephants and ants like ants.</p> <p>The BMI formula does not share this insight. It can make tall people appear overweight when they are not.</p> <p>Compared with a 152 cm (five foot) individual with a ‘normal’ BMI of 22, an identically proportioned 183 cm (six foot) person would have a BMI of 26.5 – overweight.</p> <p>Based on BMI ranges, most Australians are too plump: 28% are classified as obese, 35% overweight, 35% normal and a mere 2% underweight.</p> <p>No doubt this skewing towards being overweight reflects a genuine health problem. But it might be affected by the increase in the average height of the population since 1830.</p> <p>Fortunately for Quetelet, there were few Terminators back then to question his BMI.</p> <p>And fortunately for Jonathan Swift his satire was not questioned by an incurable engineer who would have pointed out that the Brobdingnagian giants, at 12 times the height of Gulliver, would have weighed more than 100 tonnes, with a BMI in the hundreds.</p> <p>I don’t suggest changing the way the BMI is calculated, despite its flaws, because we would not want to throw out the past 188 years of BMI records (noting that in most cases the raw data – height and weight – will not have been kept).</p> <p>Instead, we could adjust the standard <span style="font-family: inherit;">BMI numerical ranges for underweight, normal weight, overweight and obese based on height, and perhaps even gender and body shape.</span></p> <p>Then your quite trim incurable engineer could relax instead of dieting himself to skin and bones.</p> <em>Image credit: Shutterstock                        <!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --> <img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=21579&amp;title=Body+mass+index+miscalculation" alt="" width="1" height="1" /> <!-- End of tracking content syndication -->          </em></div> <div id="contributors"> <p><em>This article was originally published on <a rel="noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/body-and-mind/body-mass-index-miscalculation/" target="_blank">cosmosmagazine.com</a> and was written by Alan Finkel.</em></p> </div> </div>

Body

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Brain implant helps woman’s severe depression

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A woman battling severe depression has had a life-changing experience after she received a personalised brain implant.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s like my lens on the world changed,” </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.sciencenews.org/article/brain-implant-severe-depression-activity-stimulation?utm_source=Editors_Picks&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=editorspicks101021" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">said Sarah</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, the research volunteer who received the implant.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though the device was tailored specifically for Sarah’s brain and may not work as a treatment for others, psychiatrist and neural engineer Alik Widge says it is significant because it serves as a way to study how brain activity changes during depression.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A team of researchers from the University of California implanted temporary wire electrodes into Sarah’s brain, allowing them to monitor the brain activity that corresponded to her depression symptoms.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For Sarah, a fast brain wave called a gamma wave appeared in her amygdala, a part of the brain involved in emotions, that was associated with her symptoms.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844766/sarah-brain1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/08625f274e4445b3b116fa203d69817b" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Maurice Ramirez / UCSF</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The team then worked to uncover a way to interrupt the signal, and identified a potential area to target: the ventral capsule/ventral striatum (VC/VS).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When they applied tiny jolts of electrical currents to the area, Sarah’s mood improved.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We could learn the road map of Sarah’s brain in a way that we could really improve her depression symptoms,” Katherine Scangos, an associate professor in psychiatry, said in a news briefing in September.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While the researchers were mapping her brain, Sarah would feel joy when the right spot was stimulated.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I laughed out loud,” she said in the briefing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This was the first time I had spontaneously laughed and smiled where it wasn’t faked or forced in five years.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since the initial experiment, surgeons implanted a more permanent device into her brain.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The device was programmed to detect when the gamma signals in Sarah’s amygdala reached high levels and respond by sending a jolt of electricity to her VC/VS.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The stimulation was calibrated so Sarah wouldn’t feel the jolts, but she said they would leave her feeling more energetic.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“As time goes on, it’s been this virtuous cycle, a spiral upwards,” she said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Everything has gotten easier and easier.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The research describing the technology used to make Sarah’s first implant was published in </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-021-01480-w" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Nature Medicine</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, and revealed that the effects Sarah felt occurred over two months.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The approach required a lot of sophisticated technology, including imaging and machine learning technology.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Helen Mayburg, a neurologist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, cautioned that its complex nature may make it difficult to turn into a wider treatment.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, the results contain information that is valuable to those looking to understand the effect of depression on the brain and how it can be changed.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She said, “What we all want to know is, ‘How does this work?’”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Jon Lok / UCSF</span></em></p>

Mind

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Monica Lewinsky discusses her mental health during the Clinton scandal

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Monica Lewinsky became a household name after she famously had an affair with President Bill Clinton during the 1990s while interning at the White House.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In a recent </span><a href="https://edition.cnn.com/audio/podcasts/axe-files?episodeguid=b0c4a76a-a89d-47ce-becf-adb3002a2a6a"><span style="font-weight: 400;">podcast interview with CNN</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, Lewinsky discussed how the investigation into the scandal, along with the global pressure from the media, drove her to have suicidal thoughts. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"I just couldn't see a way out. And I thought that maybe that was the solution," she said, explaining how she had asked lawyers working for then-independent counsel Ken Starr about what would happen if she died.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">At the worst moment of her life, when she was seized by the FBI, questioned about her affair w/Bill Clinton &amp; threatened W/prison, <a href="https://twitter.com/MonicaLewinsky?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MonicaLewinsky</a> couldn’t see a way out. “What if I die?” she asked the lawyers interrogating her.<br />New <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AxeFiles?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AxeFiles</a>!<br />Pod here👉<a href="https://t.co/6gfKHZOtJ7">https://t.co/6gfKHZOtJ7</a> <a href="https://t.co/4Yqq2pZygW">pic.twitter.com/4Yqq2pZygW</a></p> — David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) <a href="https://twitter.com/davidaxelrod/status/1443565658575409153?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 30, 2021</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Thinking back on her experience, she asks, "How was there not a protocol?" to deal with a unique situation like hers. "That's a point where you're supposed to bring a psychologist in or, you know, something," she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The interview comes as new light is being shed on the affair in a dramatised FX series called </span><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-08/monica-lewinsky-impeachment-american-crime-story-how-to-watch/100436458"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Impeachment: American Crime Story</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, for which Lewinsky is a producer. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Monica told the interviewer that after being dismissed by Ken Starr, she began seeing a forensic psychiatrist that helped her get through the ordeal.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"I think a lot of people who have ever had suicidal ideations find themselves in a moment where it's just – it's a moment of grace, like, you know, two roads diverged in the woods," she said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"And the forensic psychiatrist picked up the phone. And so I was, you know, pretty, pretty lucky."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In an essay published by </span><a href="https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2014/05/monica-lewinsky-speaks"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Vanity Fair in 2014</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, Monica said she had never attempted suicide but that she had "strong suicidal temptations several times during the investigation and one or two periods after."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Monica told the podcast that she constantly had to fight to not be defined by the affair after her views of the situation changed in the wake of the #MeToo movement. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"My narrative was stolen and then I lost it by trying to recede, trying to run away from everything that had happened for many years," she said, adding that part of "the work" she had to put in was accepting that she would have to face her past.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She said that through working on the series, she was able to reclaim her story in the eyes of the public. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"This story is about real people and I'm involved in it, but it's also about something bigger. It reflects something bigger in our society. And so as our society changes, there are different ways that this story feels relevant," Lewinsky said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Check out the trailer for the series here:</span></p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rtipQ3EsGWo" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Getty Images</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></p>

Mind

Lifestyle

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Neighbourhood taken over by world’s largest rodents

<p dir="ltr">Meet the world’s largest rodent: the capybara. They’re semi-aquatic, meaning they love to swim, and have webbed feet designed for that exact purpose. It also means they can swim underwater for up to five minutes without surfacing for air. They grow up to 2 feet, or 60cm, in size, and can weigh anywhere between 35 to 66 kilograms. They’re native to South America, where they’re known by many names, including carpincho, chigüiro, and capivara.</p> <p dir="ltr">They’re widely adored on the internet, primarily for their friendly yet calm demeanour that allows them to make friends of all species, including cats, rabbits, deer, turtles, as well as their close relatives, guinea pigs. They’re also known for enjoying Japanese hot springs, a country they are not native to but nonetheless have taken by storm.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">there is one imposter among us <a href="https://t.co/JiXGytI4O7">pic.twitter.com/JiXGytI4O7</a></p> — CAPYBARA MAN (@CAPYBARA_MAN) <a href="https://twitter.com/CAPYBARA_MAN/status/1367517585626046468?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 4, 2021</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">What More Is There To Life? <a href="https://t.co/yKgic1TA7A">pic.twitter.com/yKgic1TA7A</a></p> — Wholesome Cat! (@GoldenHappyCat1) <a href="https://twitter.com/GoldenHappyCat1/status/1445880269718921217?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 6, 2021</a></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">But recently, they’ve been making headlines for an entirely different reason: home invasions. Okay, they aren’t stealing into people’s homes in the dead of night to swipe their valuables, but they have been accused of invading one exclusive Argentinian neighbourhood in large numbers and committing crimes such as soiling lawns and “bullying” pets.</p> <p dir="ltr">Nordelta is a gated community in the north of Buenos Aires, and was established in 1999. While it is now home to titans of industry and sports stars, it was once home to wildlife like the capybaras, who are at home in the wetland environment provided by the nearby River Paraná.</p> <p dir="ltr">While residents of the enclave have issued calls for the capybaras to be castrated or relocated, supporters both in Argentina and around the globe have rallied around the rodents, holding them up as a symbol of class divisions and environmentalism.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Mural in Buenos Aires, celebrating the capybara invasion of Nordelta, Argentina’s most exclusive gated community, an enclave of the ultra rich, built in a lush area on the wetlands of the Paraná river. <a href="https://t.co/TKhzCx74aB">pic.twitter.com/TKhzCx74aB</a></p> — Radical Graffiti (@GraffitiRadical) <a href="https://twitter.com/GraffitiRadical/status/1430541217889079300?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 25, 2021</a></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">One longtime resident, real estate broker Gustavo Iglesias, told the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/rodents-the-size-of-st-bernards-swarm-an-exclusive-gated-community-11633882543?fbclid=IwAR1BxC7KRD6Syy5fQRVQ_O0QelWfsoz2VC5XkgDmXrYkklbw6GS-SuZFDtA" target="_blank"><em>Wall Street Journal</em></a><em>,<span> </span></em>“I’m not anti-capybara; I want to scratch their cute little bellies as much as anyone else.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The problem is that their population is out of control, and people are too scared to do anything. No one wants to look like they’re opposed to nature.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Iglesias complains that his lakeside garden is used by roughly a dozen invading capybaras as a toilet daily, but the last straw was when his dog Lucho came home sporting two deep gashes “that looked like the handiwork of rodent incisors.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Critics of the neighbourhood include environmentalists like Enrique Viale, who said, "wealthy real-estate developers with government backing have to destroy nature in order to sell clients the dream of living in the wild – because the people who buy those homes want nature, but without the mosquitoes, snakes or carpinchos". Viale told<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/22/argentina-capybaras-giant-rodents-gated-community" target="_blank"><em>The Guardian</em></a><span> </span>that describing the takeover as an invasion would not be accurate, saying, “It’s the other way round: Nordelta invaded the ecosystem of the carpinchos.” Viale has been part of a decade-long campaign to get congress to pass a law protecting the wetlands from further development.</p> <p dir="ltr">While wealthy residents may not appreciate the return of the capybaras to their native habitat, people from around Argentina have taken to visiting the neighbourhood just to encounter the friendly creatures. The locals should be happy about this - tourism is good for the economy, after all.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Nunca pensé que iba a estar vivo para ver a los carpinchos domando chetos y librando la madre de todas las batallas en Nordelta.<br /><br />Estoy así: <a href="https://t.co/Gy6t7viQUS">pic.twitter.com/Gy6t7viQUS</a></p> — Portgas D.🇦🇷 (@CoupeFuego_) <a href="https://twitter.com/CoupeFuego_/status/1427827864053952514?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 18, 2021</a></blockquote> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Magali Cervantes/AFP via Getty Images</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Hero dog honoured for saving over 100 koalas

<p><em>Image: Nine News</em></p> <p>A former rescue dog who saved over 100 koalas during the catastrophic Black Summer bushfires has been honoured for his work in the United Kingdom.</p> <p>Bear, a six-year-old Australian koolie, was honoured by the International Fund for Animal Welfare at the House of Lords earlier this week.</p> <p>He appeared via video link to accept the award.</p> <p>Bear’s handler Romane Cristescy, of the University of the Sunshine Coast, couldn’t be prouder of the former rescue dog.</p> <p>“We think Bear really deserved this award,” she said.</p> <p>“He’s been such a good boy in helping us find and rescue a lot of koalas, especially during the bushfires but he works throughout the year to help us in our job to make a better and safer place for koalas.</p> <p>“We’ll give bear extra pats and extra play for his award.”</p> <p>Bear was one of two dogs honoured during the ceremony.</p> <p>Jasper, a cockapoo, won “Animal of the Year” for his work in supporting frontline NHS staff through the pandemic.</p> <p>Bear’s boundless energy made him a perfect candidate for the Detection Dogs for Conversation program at the University of the Sunshine Coast.</p> <p>He was trained to recognise the scent of koalas’ fur.</p> <p>Over the 2019-2020 bushfire season Bear is credited with saving 100 marsupials after the habitats were scorched.</p> <p>Once he’d detect their smell, Bear would drop silently to the ground at the base of the tree, to ensure it is not disturbed.</p> <p>A total of 33 people lost their lives in the fires which burned across NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.</p> <p>Three billion animals are estimated to have died over, 24 million hectares of land was burnt, and 3000 homes were lost.</p>

Family & Pets

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Why Elizabeth, Charles and Camilla may miss Lilibet Diana's christening

<p dir="ltr">Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first daughter, Lilibet Diana, named for Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana, is five months old and hasn’t been christened yet, which prompted speculation from royal watchers on where and when a christening would eventually take place.</p> <p dir="ltr">This speculation prompted a spokesperson for the family to say yesterday that plans for the christening “have not been finalised”. A palace insider said there would not be a christening in the UK.</p> <p dir="ltr">Speaking to<span> </span><em>The Sun,<span> </span></em>author and editor of Majesty Magazine Ingrid Seward that if the christening took place in the United States, where Harry and Meghan now live, much of Harry’s immediate family would be absent.</p> <p dir="ltr">The reason key members of the Royal Family, including great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth, grandparents Prince Charles and Camilla and uncle Prince Charles and aunt Kate may miss Lilibet’s christening is that their schedules simply wouldn’t allow for it.</p> <p dir="ltr">Seward said, "I don't think any members of the immediate Royal Family would have time [to fly over], their schedules are organised six months in advance.”</p> <p dir="ltr">When the couple’s first child, Archie, was christened at Windsor Castle in 2019, the Queen and Prince Philip did not attend as they were in Sandringham. The Queen also did not attend the christening of William and Kate’s youngest child, Prince Louis.</p> <p dir="ltr">It has been reported that Lilibet could be baptised into the Episcopal Church of the US, which is a member of the Anglican Communion. The Bishop who delivered the sermon at Harry and Meghan’s wedding in 2018, Bishop Michael Curry, is the head of the Episcopal Church and could officiate.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, Lilibet would not automatically be considered a member of the Church of England until she came to the UK and joined a local congregation. Seward said Harry and Meghan could baptise their daughter privately at Windsor Castle, which is what they did with Archie.</p> <p dir="ltr">Potential godparents that have been suggested by royal watchers include Princess Eugenie, Zara and Mike Tindall, or even Oprah Winfrey. Seward said the couple would choose someone particularly close to them, because, "with godparents you usually want someone who you've known all your life."</p> <p dir="ltr">Meghan herself was baptised into the church ahead of her wedding to Prince Harry in 2018.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: NDZ/Star Max/GC Images/Getty Images</em></p>

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Check out some of the 2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year winners

<p>The winners of the annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition have been announced, and the photos are predictably stunning. The competition has been held by the Natural History Museum in London every year since 1965, with categories for children and teenagers as well as adults.</p> <p>Without further ado, here are some of our favourite winners from this year's competition.</p> <ol> <li><strong>Winner, plants and fungi (main image, featured above): </strong>Rich reflections, by Justin Gilligan, Australia</li> <li><strong>Winner, behaviour: birds: </strong>The intimate touch, by Shane Kalyn, Canada</li> <li><strong>Winner, 11-14 years: </strong>Sunflower songbird, by Andrés Luis Dominguez Blanco, Spain</li> <li><strong>Winner, oceans: the bigger picture: </strong>Nursery meltdown, by Jennifer Hayes, US</li> <li><strong><span>Winner, urban wildlife: </span></strong>The spider room, by Gil Wizen, Israel/Canada</li> <li><strong><span>Winner, behaviour: mammals: </span></strong>Head to head, by Stefano Unterthiner, Italy</li> <li><strong>Winner, 15-17 years: </strong>High-flying jay, by Lasse Kurkela, Finland</li> <li><strong>Winner, rising star portfolio award: </strong>Cool time, from land time for sea bears, by Martin Gregus, Canada/Slovakia</li> <li><strong><span>Adult Grand Title Winner: </span></strong>Creation, by Laurent Ballesta, France</li> <li><strong><span>Young Grand Title Winner: </span></strong>Dome home, by Vidyun R Hebbar, India</li> </ol> <p>You can view all of the winning entries <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.nhm.ac.uk/wpy/gallery" target="_blank" title="here.">here</a>.</p>

Family & Pets

Finance

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REVEALED: Horrific texts between dad and girlfriend hours before son dies

<p><em><strong>Warning: This story contains graphic content relating to child abuse which may distress some readers.</strong></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Messages between a UK man and his partner accused of child cruelty have been <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/news-life/dad-talked-about-digging-sons-grave-in-texts-before-murder/news-story/1fe1500c080d5cae27d4676e4f234421" target="_blank">heard in court today</a>, including threats to end his six-year-old son’s life just two days before his death.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Thomas Hughes sent a text to partner Emma Tustin about digging the little boy’s grave after Tustin claimed Arthur Labinjo-Hughes was misbehaving.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Coventry Crown Court also heard that Hughes also said, “Kid’s getting ended when I’m back”, and that he would “take his neck off”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The messages came after Tustin took Arthur to a hair appointment at friend Catherine Milhench’s home on June 17 last year, just two days before he died.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jurors were told that stepmum Tustin complained to Hughes, saying that she “had to tell Arthur off” in front of Catherine’s partner Tobias Jarman.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Ask T [Tobias] to dig Arthur’s grave for me please,” Hughes replied.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When Tustin said Hughes would have to “pay double”, Hughes said: “F**k me I’ll pay quadruple”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tustin continued to complain about Arthur on June 15 in further messages.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Backchatting me for joke threw himself on the floor shouting abuse. Still screaming,” she wrote in one message.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Hughes replied: “Just gag him or something. Tie some rope around his mouth with a sock in it or something.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On Wednesday, jurors watched CCTV footage of Tustin eating McDonald’s while Arthur was left in a hallway for 14 hours and made to sleep on the floor.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7844851/hughes-court.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/87f6a6867337489e81482551de1fc84f" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Hughes pictured with Arthur (left) and Tustin (right). Images: Supplied</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They previously heard audio clips of Athur sobbing while being allegedly abused, which had been recorded by Tustin.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In another recording for his uncle Blake, the boy can be heard saying: “Blake no-one loves me, Blake no-one loves me.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Crying in another clip, he repeated the phrase, “Daddy’s going to throw me out the window” multiple times.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Arthur was treated in a way that matched the “medical definition of child torture” prior to his death, and was deprived of food, a bed, and clothes.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jurors heard that he was found unresponsive at home in Solihull on June 16 last year.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Arthur passed away in hospital the following day, with a post-mortem examination determining his death was caused by a “head trauma inflicted on him by an adult” that was consistent with being “vigorously shaken and his head banged repeatedly against a hard surface”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Doctors also reported that he had been “poisoned with salt” and was covered with bruises.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The court was told that Tustin took more than 22 photos and videos of Arthur following the incident.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Prosecutors said that Tusin took 12 minutes to call emergency services after she allegedly assaulted him, despite having her phone.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They said she told paramedics Arthur “fell and banged his head and while on the floor banged his head another five times”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tustin and Hughes have been accused with multiple counts of child cruelty following their “systematic, cruel behaviour” and abuse in the weeks before he died.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One witness told the court that Arthur was “too weak” to hold a glass of water to his mouth.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They said his “clothes looked dirty, his lips cracked, he could barely open his mouth to speak, his hair was dirty, his nails were dirty and he looked malnourished, gaunt and worn-out”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Both defendants participated in a campaign of cruelty intended to cause Arthur significant harm and suffering,” Prosecutor Jonas Hankin QC said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Violence and intimidation, both physical and verbal, were routine.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Arthur’s visible injuries, his miserable physical condition and obvious despair provided each defendant with a daily reminder of the lengths to which the other would go to cause him harm.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jurors were told that Arthur died three months after he and his father moved into Tustin’s move, after he had been placed in Hughes care after his mum was jailed for 18 years for stabbing her boyfriend to death.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Children’s social services and police were contacted by Arthur’s grandmother in April 2020, as she expressed concerns over his care after seeing bruises on his back and Tustin was seen shoving him headfirst into the stairs.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, “no concerns were raised” after children’s services saw Arthur on April 17, and no further action was taken.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tustin has admitted to child cruelty by “forcing him to stand, isolating him within the family home, and physically or verbally intimidating him”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Hughes has denied a similar charge.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Both also deny they murdered him or an allegation of child cruelty by feeding him salt.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They are jointly accused of two counts of child cruelty by assault on multiple occasions, as well as by withholding food and/or drink.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The trial is ongoing.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you or someone you know is experiencing sexual or physical abuse, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.</span></em></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Supplied</span></em></p>

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Tragic loss for Nobel Prize winners

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Economists David Card, Joshua Angrist, and Guido Imbens were awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Economics for their development of “natural experiments” that have since been used to answer some of society’s biggest questions.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The pioneering of this style of experiment has been significant for economists, who can’t use the randomised experiments or clinical trials that those in medicine and other sciences can.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Natural experiments work by using real-life situations to study the world, and have since </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-12/nobel-prize-economics-2021-winners/100531188" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">been adopted</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> by other social sciences.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Good morning to 2021 economic sciences laureate David Card!<br /><br />Card’s wife Cynthia Gessele snapped this photo of him speaking to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NobelPrize?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NobelPrize</a>’s Adam Smith (which he suspected might be a made-up name) right after he had heard the news. <br /><br />Listen to our interview, coming soon. <a href="https://t.co/I93bJwikGl">pic.twitter.com/I93bJwikGl</a></p> — The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) <a href="https://twitter.com/NobelPrize/status/1447517204430434308?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 11, 2021</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Card was recognised for findings he made in the 1990s, alongside economist Alan Krueger.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The research duo used natural experiments to reverse misconceptions surrounding minimum wage, immigration and education.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Their most significant experiment debunked the commonly held belief that wage increases resulted in job losses by studying what happened after the US state of New Jersey increased wages from $4.25 to $5.05 in comparison to neighbouring Pennsylvania, where wages stayed the same.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But Krueger, who served as a chair of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, took his own life in 2019 and </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/introducing-david-card-the-2021-nobel-prize-in-economics-winner-who-made-the-minimum-wage-respectable-169715" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">could not receive the award</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> as Nobels aren’t awarded posthumously.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Instead, Angrist and Imbens - who also worked with Krueger - shared the prize for their contribution to “the analysis of causal relationships”.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">MIT economist Joshua Angrist shares Nobel Prize: Cited for work building the foundations of “natural experiments” in economic research, Angrist is honored along with two others in California. <a href="https://t.co/vj0F47jO6m">https://t.co/vj0F47jO6m</a> <a href="https://t.co/sXTUBwBv6v">pic.twitter.com/sXTUBwBv6v</a></p> — Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (@MIT) <a href="https://twitter.com/MIT/status/1447519773332496385?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 11, 2021</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Angrist and Krueger studied the relationship between education and lifetime earnings, finding that one additional year of education was worth an increase of about 7.5 percent in earnings.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Imbens and Angrist then used natural experiments to study the relationship between cause and effect.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">It's been a busy morning for <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NobelPrize?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NobelPrize</a> winner Guido Imbens and his family! After waking everyone up when they heard the news shortly before 3 a.m., <a href="https://twitter.com/Susan_Athey?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Susan_Athey</a> told their kids Andrew, Sylvia, and Carleton that they could decide if they wanted to go to school or not today. <a href="https://t.co/rJjZZAbKVO">pic.twitter.com/rJjZZAbKVO</a></p> — Stanford University (@Stanford) <a href="https://twitter.com/Stanford/status/1447549033539637248?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 11, 2021</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many took to Twitter to congratulate the three winners, as well as Krueger’s contributions.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The Nobel today is a good time to remember and celebrate the economist Alan Krueger,” researcher Max Roser wrote on Twitter.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Krueger died two years ago. He dedicated his energy and skills to the same research that was awarded with the Nobel today.”</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">And they STILL do it, with language that everyone gets! "kungfu represents life as a journey where people have choices to make – everybody has a destiny and yet, they also have a free will. That works well for econometrics – it’s like you already have a destiny, which is y0, ..."</p> — Dr. Tammy McGavock (@tmcgav) <a href="https://twitter.com/tmcgav/status/1447569546295054342?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 11, 2021</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The conversation also turned to the importance of mental health and checking in with those around us.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Alan Krueger also taught us something even more important: Deep dark, life-ending depression can and does attack beloved, creative, prolific, widely respected people,” economist Dr Tammy McGavock tweeted.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“No one is immune.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We must check on each other. We must normalize seeking help.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The three winners split the 10 million Swedish kroner prize, with Card receiving half and Angrist and Imbens splitting the remainder.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Niklas Elmehed / Nobel Prize Outreach</span></em></p>

Money & Banking

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Rare photos from dingo expert unearthed that show Lindy Chamberlain’s innocence

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lindy Chamberlain’s world was turned upside down in August 1980, when she was jailed for the disappearance of her nine-month-old daughter Azaria.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lindy insisted a dingo took her daughter from their camping spot at Uluru, but many refused to believe the lack of evidence that pointed to a wild dog attack. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Lindy served three years in jail over Azaria’s death, before being pardoned and set free when new evidence arose. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Despite many doubting Lindy’s story, one man named Les Harris, an </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">aeronautical engineer and part-time dingo expert, repeatedly tried to give the courts valuable evidence that would clear Lindy’s name. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Now, 30 years on, a trove of material he collected throughout the case proceedings, including </span><a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10079223/Dingo-expert-shown-Lindy-Chamberlain-did-not-kill-baby-Azaria-Uluru.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">photographs and a dingo skull</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, will go under the hammer at an auction house. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Among the valuable documents are statements he made explaining how dingoes can easily hold the weight of a baby without dragging it, could have removed clothes using their teeth, and eat their prey whole - with not even bones remaining.  </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Les Harris was the president of The Dingo Foundation in the early 1980s and based his evidence on his extensive knowledge of Australia’s wild dog. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He was interviewed for a documentary produced by Network Ten and screened in 1984 called <em>Azaria: A Question of Evidence. </em></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Based on the factual evidence available at the very time that this happened, we believe that the probability that a dingo, took, killed and carried off Azaria Chamberlain, is of such a high order as to be nearly a certainty,” Harris said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">During Lindy’s court proceedings, Les was constantly rebuffed as he tried to share this valuable information. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He wrote to magistrates and judges explaining why a dingo was almost certainly responsible for Azaria's death but his efforts were largely ignored.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Harris’s collection of valuable material on Azaria’s death will be sold by </span><a href="https://sydneyrarebookauctions.com.au/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sydney Rare Book Auctions</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, some years after his death in the New England region of New South Wales.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Harris was firmly among those who believed the Chamberlains had nothing to do with the tragic death of their daughter, which became one of the most high-profile cases in Australia. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: Getty Images</span></em></p>

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Man charged after dog found tied to cement block underwater

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A man has been <a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/news/crime/man-charged-after-dog-found-dead-underwater-in-yowie-bay--c-4211983" target="_blank">arrested</a> and charged after a dog was found dead over the weekend.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Police were called to the scene in Yowie Bay, in southern Sydney, at about midday on Saturday after swimmers discovered the two-year-old Belgian Malinois in the water.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Officers found that the dog had been tied to a cement block.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The dog was taken to a local vet to be examined.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After conducting an investigation, police executed a search warrant on Monday evening in Miranda and arrested a 49-year-old man.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Items were seized in relation to the investigation, including more than 117 grams of cannabis.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As the alleged owner of the dog, he was later charged with three offences, including "torture, beat and cause death of an animal", "commit an act of aggravated cruelty upon an animal" and "possession of a prohibited drug".</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The man was refused bail and will appear at Sutherland Local Court on Tuesday.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Getty Images </span></em></p>

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Entertainment

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"Most turbulent period of my life": Adele's huge announcement

<p>In a lengthy Instagram post on Wednesday, Adele delighted fans as she officially announced her highly-anticipated new album.</p> <p>The songstress revealed that her album, titled <em>30</em>, will be released on November 19th.</p> <p>Adele described the album as a diary of "the most turbulent period of my life", as she navigated her divorce with Simon Konecki after seven years together.</p> <p>In a text image, she writes about the process of making her album and then having its release delayed.</p> <p>She says, <span>"I was certainly nowhere near where I'd hoped to be when I first started it nearly 3 years ago. Quite the opposite actually. I rely on routine and consistency to feel safe, I always have. And yet there I was knowingly – willingly even, throwing myself into a maze of absolute mess and inner turmoil!"</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CU-Kv8NgvVj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CU-Kv8NgvVj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Adele (@adele)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span>"I've learned a lot of blistering home truths about myself along the way. I've shed many layers but also wrapped myself in new ones. Discovered genuinely useful and wholesome mentalities to lead with, and I feel like I've finally found my feeling again. I'd go as far as to say that I've never felt more peaceful in my life."</span></p> <p><span>"And so, I'm ready to finally put this album out."</span></p> <p><span>The 33-year-old singer goes on to explain how her new album was her "ride or die" and her "friend" that she needed during a difficult time in her personal life. </span></p> <p><span>She concludes the post saying "Home is where the heart is x".</span></p> <p><span>The post has racked up almost 5 million likes in under 12 hours, as fans of Adele from around the globe </span>rejoice in her return.</p> <p>The first single from the album, Easy On Me, will be released on October 15th: her first new single since 2016.</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/CUpkLl3g0nx/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CUpkLl3g0nx/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Adele (@adele)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Adele's new album <em>30</em> comes as her fourth studio album, following <em>19</em> (2008), <em>21</em> (2011) and <em>25</em> (2015), which she has previously described as timestamps of her life at those ages.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram @adele</em></p>

Music

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Uncanny Robin Williams impersonation stuns fans

<p><em>Image: Youtube </em></p> <p>Robin Williams’ fans are very excited by actor Jamie Costa’s impersonation of the late star.</p> <p>Costa posted a five-minute clip to his YouTube channel, titled<span> </span><em>ROBIN Test Footage Scene,<span> </span></em>on Tuesday, showing a scene featuring himself as Williams and Sarah Murphree as Pam Dawber on the set of<span> </span><em>Mork &amp; Mindy</em>.</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0-kOy4s_Z0M" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>The clip shows Dawber interrupting Williams as he runs through lines to break the news of comedian John Belushi’s death – and shows Williams’ reaction to the news.</p> <p>When Murphree tells Costa Belushi had been found dead that morning, Costa finds it hard to digest the news, insisting: “No, I told you, I was with him. John’s not dead, I was with him last night.”</p> <p>Blues Brothers star Belushi died aged 33 of a cocaine and heroin overdose at Chateau Marmont in LA in 1982.</p> <p>After Murphee warns Costa: “I can’t let what happened to him happen to you” and a knock on the door signals it is time for the pair to go back on set, costa returns to reciting lines – this time, with a break in his voice.</p> <p>The short film left some viewers hankering for a full biopic of Williams, who died by suicide in 2014 after battling Lewy body dementia.</p> <p>“Who else has been hoping Jamie would play Robin in a biopic since you saw his first Robin impressions?” one wrote.</p> <p>“It’s one thing to resemble a person but it’s how much he sounds like and has his mannerisms and expressions down that’s so freaking impressive. I hope this movie gets made. I still feel his loss,” said another.</p> <p>“This is absolutely incredible. Make this full length movie and hire this man NOW!” a third wrote.</p>

TV

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Facebook introduces new safety measures for kids

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After damning testimony about the safety of Facebook for children, the social media giant </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">plans to introduce several features to protect young people.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">These features include instructing teens to take a break from using photo-sharing app Instagram, and ‘nudging’ those who repeatedly look at content that is not conducive to their well-being.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Facebook is also going to allow parents and guardians to monitor their teens' social media usage. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The new initiative comes after facebook announced they are pausing work on their Instagram for Kids project. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Critics of the project are skeptical of the new feature, saying the plan lacks details and clarity. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The new controls were outlined by Facebook’s vice president for global affairs Nick Clegg, where he was grilled about Facebook’s use of algorithms as well as its role in spreading harmful misinformation ahead of the January 6th Capitol riots.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We are constantly iterating in order to improve our products,” Clegg told Dana Bash on State of the Union Sunday.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We cannot, with a wave of the wand, make everyone’s life perfect. What we can do is improve our products, so that our products are as safe and as enjoyable to use.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In an attempt to keep the platform safe, Clegg said Facebook has invested $US13 billion ($A18 billion) over the past few years, as 40,000 people work on user safety. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The series of interviews came after Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former data scientist with the company, appeared before Congress last week to accuse the social media platform of failing to make changes to Instagram after internal research showed apparent harm to some teens.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She also accused the company of being publicly dishonest in its fight against hate and misinformation, which Facebook has denied. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Senator Amy Klobuchar, who is the chair of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, said it is time to update children’s privacy laws and offer more transparency in the use of algorithms.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I appreciate that he is willing to talk about things, but I believe the time for conversation is done,” said Klobuchar, referring to Clegg’s plan.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The time for action is now.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credit: Shutterstock</span></em></p>

Technology

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Beware the lure of unethical solar power

<div> <div class="copy"> <p>Solar energy may be the future. But only if it lets go of the past.</p> <p>International NGO the <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/09/to-lead-the-green-energy-future-solar-must-clean-up-its-supply-chains/" target="_blank">World Economic Forum</a> has issued a damning report card on the state of the world’s solar panel manufacturing. It may be experiencing rapid growth. It may be one of the cheapest sources of power. But its climate credentials face intense scrutiny.</p> <p>Forced labour, coal-fuelled production processes and a lack of transparency around the source of crucial components combine, the WEF says, into a cause for concern.</p> <p>“The solar industry is currently grappling with supply chain issues that could significantly impact its future,” the authors, professors Morgan Bazilian and Dustin Mulvaney, write.</p> <p>Much of their concern is concentrated on the production of polysilicon and the drive to make it cheap.</p> <p>Some 45% of global production of this component is sourced from Xinjiang province in China. And much of the labour force used to produce it is supplied by “re-education camps” detaining ethnic Kazakhs and Kyrgyz.</p> <p>On top of that, the remote desert region relies heavily on locally sourced coal for its power supply. “This attracted polysilicon manufacturers to this region of China in the first place because electricity is a major cost in the production process,” the report reads.</p> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong><em>Read more: <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/technology/solar-and-wind-cheapest-energy-source-in-australia/" target="_blank">Solar and wind cheapest energy source in Australia</a></em></strong></p> <p>This, they say, undermines any climate and environmental benefits offered by solar panels further down the supply chain.</p> <p>“Solar panels are cheaper to build and install today in many places than alternative sources of electricity like coal and natural gas, translating to lower levels of greenhouse gases and air pollution,” they write.</p> <p>But Professor Alistair Sproul of the ANU’s School of Photovoltaic &amp; Renewable Energy Engineering says photovoltaic power has more than enough wiggle room in its pricing to clean up its act. Much of the price drop in photovoltaic (PV) production in recent years has been driven by advances in technology, particularly crystalline silicon, he says. “Even if the price stayed where it is now or went up a little – PV is very cost-competitive.”</p> <p>Under current life-cycle <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.nrel.gov/analysis/life-cycle-assessment.html" target="_blank">calculations</a>, crystalline silicon PV cells produce about 50g of <span>CO<sub>2 </sub></span>for every kilowatt-hour of electricity. Black coal, in comparison, comes in at 1000g of <span>CO<sub>2</sub></span> per kWh.</p> <p>“The PV industry is growing each decade or so by a factor of 10 – this next decade is crucial – but as scale increases, costs will come down anyway – and the industry is not reliant on forced labour,” says Sproul.</p> <p>“Low-cost energy is really key here – so that there is a virtuous cycle – that as PV itself becomes cheaper it should be possible to lower the cost of producing PV further by utilising increasing amounts of PV electricity in manufacturing.”</p> <p>Sproul says materials that need coal for processing – especially steel – are all seeking alternatives.  “Hydrogen is definitely an avenue worth exploring as an alternative to coal to reduce iron oxide (for steel)  and silicon dioxide ( for silicon). [And] all supply chains need to be clear, transparent and free from forced labour.”</p> <em>Image credit: Shutterstock                         <!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --> <img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=167605&amp;title=Beware+the+lure+of+unethical+solar+power" alt="" width="1" height="1" /> <!-- End of tracking content syndication -->          </em></div> <div id="contributors"> <p><em>This article was originally published on <a rel="noopener" href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/technology/energy/beware-the-lure-of-unethical-solar-power/" target="_blank">cosmosmagazine.com</a> and was written by Jamie Seidel. </em></p> </div> </div>

Technology

Property

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Renée Zellweger sells sprawling Spanish Hacienda

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Actress Renée Zellweger is selling her private California ranch, prompting rumours she is making a sea change with her new beau.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bridget Jones</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Judy</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> star has listed her 9-acre property for $USD 5,999,999 ($NZD $8,608,168), as </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.realtor.com/news/celebrity-real-estate/renee-zellweger-selling-her-haute-hacienda-in-topanga/" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">reports</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> of her romance with recently-divorced Ant Anstead have surfaced.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Anstead recently purchased a home in Laguna Beach, where Zellweger had </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://people.com/home/renee-zellweger-selling-spanish-style-l-a-home-for-6m-amid-ant-anstead-romance/" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">reportedly</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> been spending “a lot of time” with the British actor, a source told </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">PEOPLE</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/21540-Hillside-Dr_Topanga_CA_90290_M12624-99501" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">the listing</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, Zellweger has given her home a total, “down-to-the-studs” rebuild since purchasing it for $USD 3.35 million in 2015.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Enclosed by private gates, the sprawling “authentic Spanish Hacienda” home boasts views of the Topanga and Malibu hills from nearly every room and is surrounded by wilderness.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Inside, the home has four bedrooms, Venetian-plastered arches, three fireplaces, a media room, and a chef’s kitchen boasting top-of-the-line appliances.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 410-square-metre home also includes a lounge room that opens out to a pool and patio, and is floored with hardwood and Spanish tiles.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The pool sits next to a spa tub and firepit in a large tiled area that offers a great spot for entertaining guests or soaking up the views.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: Getty Images, realtor.com</span></em></p>

Real Estate

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Sneak peek inside Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel's mega mansion up for sale

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Star couple Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dirt.com/gallery/entertainers/musicians/justin-timberlake-house-hollywood-hills-1203428497/justintimb-erlakehouse_hh14/" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">have listed</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> their swanky Hollywood Hills home for sale with the eye-watering price tag of $USD 35 million ($NZD 50 million).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Timberlake first bought the sprawling Los Angeles property from actress Helen Hunt 20 years ago, dropping $USD 8.3 million at the time.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since then, Biel and Timberlake have undertaken a complete renovation of the 10.2-acre property, with LA designer Estee Stanley designing the new rustic-modern interiors.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Inside, the home includes nine bedrooms and eleven bathrooms, as well as four fireplaces, a master bedroom with its own dressing room and bathroom, a gym, and an indoor cinema.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">An outdoor living area wraps around the outside of the house, offering views of the San Fernando Valley skyline.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 13,500-square-feet home initially sat on a 3-acre lot, until the pop star acquired a vacant 7-acre lot behind the main residence for extra privacy.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The expanded grounds include a sweeping lawn, an 85-foot swimming pool and plunge pool, a lighted sports court, a vegetable garden, and a guesthouse.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Timberlake and Biel own several other properties across New York City, Nashville, and Montana.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Justin Paul Huchel and Drew Fenton of Hilton &amp; Hyland are the listing agents for the property, with the </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.hiltonhyland.com/property/3100-torreyson-pl-los-angeles-ca-90046/" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">listing</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> describing the home as a “one of a kind stately residence”.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: @jessicabiel / Instagram, Hilton &amp; Hyland</span></em></p>

Real Estate

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6 ways to give your living room a revamp

<p><span>With spring in the air, your living room could be looking a little lacklustre. Read on for our quick and simple makeover ideas on how to refresh the space without breaking the bank.</span></p> <p><strong>Fill the floor</strong></p> <p><span>A statement rug is one of the easiest ways to change up the look of a room with minimal effort. Whether you have hard or carpeted floors in your living room, a rug acts as another layer of tactility and can be used as a focal point to ground your overall scheme. </span></p> <p><span>If you’re nervous of going for a patterned design, opt for something subtle like a stripe or Berber-style zigzag that will add interest without overwhelming the room. High pile rugs are ideal for creating a sense of cosiness and adding a soft touch underfoot, and will instantly give your room a plush and luxurious finish. If you’re after something more hardwearing, on the other hand, a low pile rug may be a more practical option for everyday maintenance, particularly if your living space is a thoroughfare to other parts of the house.</span></p> <p><strong>Get picture perfect</strong></p> <p><span>Bored of looking at the same four walls? Switching your artwork is another speedy solution for making your living room feel brand new. Whether you simply rearrange their positions on the walls, or update the prints or photographs within the frames, this simple change can be done for next to nothing and in just a few hours. Take down all your existing wall décor, including art and mirrors, so you can view the room in a fresh light before deciding where to re-hang each piece. </span></p> <p><span>Swapping the position of a mirror above a fireplace with an existing painting from another part of the room, for example, can make a big difference and help you fall in love with the space all over again.</span></p> <p><strong>Do a quick fix</strong></p> <p><span>Investing in a new lounge isn’t always an option, so take the next best route and re-curate your cushion collection. Cushions can be one of the most affordable parts of a scheme to update, so switch out any dated designs and replace them, either wholly or with new covers. For a new look, change the colour palette and patterns, and tie these in with any other soft furnishings within the room, whether that be rugs, throws or window dressings, to make sure they complement the scheme.</span></p> <p><strong>Time to move</strong></p> <p><span>Similarly to rearranging your existing wall décor, changing the configuration of your living room layout is another simple way to refresh the look and feel of the space without splashing any cash. As a main focal point in many living spaces, the television often dictates the angling of certain furniture, so try switching this first as your starting point. Repositioning armchairs and lounges will change your viewpoint of the room when it’s in use, so consider these before moving onto smaller pieces like sideboards, side tables or shelving units which are easier to slot in later on. Even changing the position of accessories, such as lamps, clocks or ornaments, will help to change up the look.</span></p> <p><strong>Go green</strong></p> <p><span>If your living room is looking bare, adding house plants is a smart way to reintroduce some greenery. A large potted plant is a great way to fill a gap in any room and you’ll be amazed as how it can instantly freshen up the space. Smaller potted plants on shelves or a mantelpiece will also help a tired scheme feel lifted – just be sure to do your research before purchasing your plants, as they all have different requirements when it comes to daylight and positioning within a room. It’s also advised to check which plants are safe around animals, if you have pets in the household.</span></p> <p><strong>Shine a light</strong></p> <p>A great idea that you should go ahead with is fitting stylish wall lights designed to bring an ambient glow to any room. By fixing lights designed to be installed onto the wall you can completely transform the living room, creating a warming atmosphere.</p> <p>There is a reason the best hotels, restaurants and meeting places add attractive and eye- catching details like this to their rooms and there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t do the same in your home. It does not matter if your living room is modern, traditional or completely unique to your quirkiness, there are thousands of lighting options available for you.</p> <p>It is a great idea to install wall lights that match your ceiling light. Homeowners look for pendant lights because they bring a grand feel and a soothing glow.</p> <p>Wall lights come in many shapes and sizes. You can choose the most suitable material for your living rooms current décor. The leading online retailers will have a variety of industrial, brass, chrome, vintage options that can really bring your living room to life!</p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Cassie Pryce. This article first appeared in </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.co.nz/food-home-garden/6-ways-to-give-your-living-room-a-revamp" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Reader’s Digest</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">here’s our best subscription offer.</span></a></em></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Shutterstock</span></em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

Home Hints & Tips

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Home with personal railway sells for $2 million

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A popular home in the Adelaide suburb of Mount Osmond <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.realestate.com.au/news/mount-osmond-home-with-rad-railway-sells-in-2m-deal/" target="_blank">has been sold</a> in a multimillion-dollar deal and boasts a surprise feature: a life-size train track.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The property at 3 Stymie Place has an 80-metre railway that runs around the property and includes a 34-metre underground tunnel.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While many train enthusiasts were attracted to the property, selling agent Pat Schinella of Agency Avenue Schinellas revealed that the buyer wasn’t one of them.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We had quite a number of people showing interest in the property,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“A couple of people were train enthusiasts but it didn’t sell to anyone who was a train enthusiast.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Mr Schinella said the buyer was a businessman who intended to move into the home with his family.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The buyer loved the garden and the views mostly,” Mr Schinella said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It was the views, the privacy, the gardens, the quality of the build - they could see that they could take it to another level.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I think they are probably going to leave the track there and maybe down the road purchase something to put on the track as a bit of a novelty.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As well as the novelty railway, the 2770 square-metre property includes a 700 square-metre home with up to five bedrooms, an indoor pool, spa, and sauna, and large indoor and outdoor living spaces.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The track was built by the previous owner, 95-year-old Bob Nash, who retired at 47 to take up model engineering.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While living in the home Mr Nash built seven steam trains and an electric tram - all from the property’s workshop.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s not a toy track, it’s a serious, fun track and children of all ages are capable of driving the tram - it is as simple as (pulling) a lever,” Mr Nash’s son Peter said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Anybody that jumps on it, whether you’re five or 55, it doesn’t matter - you get a bit of a buzz out of it.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though none of the trains or the tram were included in the sale, Mr Nash said compatible trains were commonly available.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The property’s sale came in as the second highest in the suburb, according to CoreLogic data.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, Mr Schinella said it was “the highest price achieved per square metre per allotment”.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Images: realestate.com.au</span></em></p>

Real Estate