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How to cook over a campfire

<p>For fast food, outdoor dining beats takeaway pizza hands down. All you need is dry wood and leaves to feed the flames, a bucket of water to douse them, and permission (check with the local ranger).</p> <p>Once you get the go-ahead, pick a small spot on bare earth or the beach below the tide line, well away from vegetation and tents. Build a lattice or teepee of twigs over kindling in the centre, keeping it small so the fire heats up fast. Ring it with stones, then light it at the base. When the flames have died down but the fire is too hot to hold your hand over, it’s time to get cooking.</p> <p>For the full bushcraft experience, try this simple fish-on-a-stick recipe: push a long stick lengthways through the fish, prop it over the fire using a forked branch for support, and cook for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally. Easier still, wrap the fish in layers of newspaper, soak the parcel in water and cook it in the ashes. When the paper blackens, the fish should be done.</p> <p>Enjoy – then douse the fire completely and remove the debris.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in </em><em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/camping-caravanning/How-To-Cook-Over-a-Campfire">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

Travel Tips

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The 5 best Meryl Streep movies

<p>Thanks to a dazzling succession of films, Meryl Streep’s name has become synonymous with elegance, raw emotional depth and amazing performances. To celebrate the release of her latest film, Ricki and the Flash, we have revisited 5 of her best movies.</p> <p><strong>1. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)</strong></p> <p>The first of Meryl Streep's three Academy Awards came in this classic family drama, co-starring Dustin Hoffman. This simple and affecting story about heartache and separation and constituted an iconic and groundbreaking study of the modern family unit. At the time the film boldly challenged stereotypes about parenthood and the role of women in domestic life.</p> <p><strong>2. Sophie’s Choice (1982)</strong></p> <p>In this acclaimed film, Meryl Streep shines as Sophie, a Polish immigrant with a haunting tale. Through the use of flashbacks, viewers are taken on a tear-inducing voyage through war-torn Europe. Sophie is a survivor of the holocaust and tells a young writer about her struggle with the most difficult situation a mother could face. Streep won her second Oscar with this tender portrayal (her first for Best Actress).</p> <p><strong>3. Silkwood (1983)</strong></p> <p>Taking on the unglamorous role of Karen Silkwood who works at a plutonium processing plant, with her boyfriend Drew (Kurt Russell) and flatmate Dolly (Cher). Streep brings an impressive and gritty performance which stands the test of time. Karen is determined to prove there is something very, very wrong going on at the plant and is prepared to put her life in danger to expose it. Directed by Mike Nichols and written by Nora Ephron and based on a true story. It is a must watch!</p> <p><strong>4. The Bridges of Madison County (1995)</strong></p> <p>Clint Eastwood's emotionally charged drama was a smash-hit and is still a heart-warming yet tear-jerker love story for the ages. The film centres on a four-day love affair between a photographer (Eastwood) and a former Italian war bride (Streep). As their romantic interlude unfolds, the pair is struck by the gravity of their impending choices and the everyday burdens of their lives. Poignant and romantic.</p> <p><strong>5. Adaptation (2002)</strong></p> <p>In this more experimental film, Adaptation saw Streep collaborating with Charlie Kaufman. The result is a sensational film jam-packed with meta-plot-twists and eccentrically engaging performances (Nicolas Cage, in a dual role as pair of screenwriter twins). Taking on the role of Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief, Streep lights up the screen with her sensual, Oscar-nominated performance.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/entertainment/we-revisit-meryl-streep%E2%80%99s-7-best-movies/"><em>Wyza</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Movies

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6 tips for healthy white teeth

<p><strong>1. Go on a white-teeth diet </strong></p> <p>If you’re quaffing red wine and black tea, or smoking cigarettes, expect the results to show up as not-so-pearly whites. Other culprits include colas, gravy, soya sauce and dark juice.</p> <p><strong>2. Chuck away your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every two to three months</strong></p> <p>Otherwise, you’re just transferring bacteria to your mouth. According to dentist Harold Katz, the best way to brush is by placing your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your gums and gently moving it in a circular motion. Grip the toothbrush like a pencil so you won’t scrub too hard.</p> <p><strong>3. Use a tongue scraper every morning to remove tongue plaque and freshen breath</strong></p> <p>One cause of bad breath is the build-up of bacteria on the tongue, which a daily tongue scraping will help banish. It’s more effective than brushing your tongue with a toothbrush too, says Katz.</p> <p><strong>4. Eat “detergent” foods that are firm or crisp to help clean teeth as you munch</strong></p> <p>Apples are good, as are raw carrots, celery and popcorn. For best results, make “detergent” foods the final food you eat in your meal if you know you won’t be able to brush your teeth after eating.</p> <p><strong>5. Stay fresh</strong></p> <p>Check by licking your palm and smelling it while it’s wet. If you smell something, it’s time for a sugar-free breath mint. Shopping for mouthwash? Make sure it’s alcohol-free. Mouthwashes with too much alcohol can dry out mouth tissue, making it more prone to bacteria.</p> <p><strong>6. Brushing your teeth first and last thing </strong></p> <p>Are the two most crucial times of the day, as saliva which keeps plaque off teeth, dries up at night, so it’s best to have all plaque cleaned off the teeth before sleep. It’s also important to brush first thing in the morning to remove plaque and bacteria built up as you slept.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in </em><em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/6-Tips-For-Healthy-White-Teeth">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

beauty & Style

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How powerful is your passport?

<p>A passport’s power lies in how many countries it can give you access to, without the need for a visa. Consider it an indication of your global mobility.</p> <p>The Henley Passport Index, which is based on exclusive International Air Transport Authority (IATA) data, looks at 199 passports and 227 travel destinations.</p> <p>It values each passport on whether a visa is required at the travel destination, or if passport holders can get a visa on arrival, a visitor’s permit or an electronic travel authority (ETA). The more countries that allow you visa-free entry, the higher your passport’s score.</p> <p>You can view the <a href="https://www.henleypassportindex.com/global-ranking">whole list here</a>.</p> <p>Japan tops the list this year with visa-free access to 189 countries, while Singapore and Germany share second place with 188. Australia and Greece are in sixth place with 183 countries.</p> <p>Malaysia shares ninth place with Hungary and Slovenia with 180 countries, while the Philippines is further down the list in 70th place with visa-free access to 66 countries, together with Tunisia, Azerbaijan and Dominican Republic.</p> <p>Check out the most and least powerful passports</p> <p><strong>The 10 most powerful passports</strong></p> <p>1. Japan (189)</p> <p>2. Germany, Singapore (188)</p> <p>3. Finland, France, Italy, South Korea, Spain, Sweden (187)</p> <p>4. Austria, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom, United States (186)</p> <p>5. Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Switzerland (185)</p> <p>6. Greece, Australia (183)</p> <p>7. Czech Republic, Malta, New Zealand (182)</p> <p>8. Iceland (181)</p> <p>9. Hungary, Slovenia, Malaysia (180)</p> <p>10. Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia (179)</p> <p><strong>The 10 least powerful passports</strong></p> <p>91.Kosovo (44)<br />92. Congo, Iran, North Korea (43)<br />93. Ethiopia, Sri Lanka (42)<br />94. Bangladesh, Lebanon, Libya, South Sudan (41)<br />95. Nepal (40)<br />96. Eritrea, Palestinian Territory, Sudan (39)<br />97. Yemen (37)<br />98. Pakistan (33)<br />99. Somalia, Syria (32)<br />100. Afghanistan, Iraq (30)</p> <p><em>Written by Siti Rohani. This article first appeared in </em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/how-powerful-your-passport"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

Travel Tips

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5 facts about sunflowers

<p>The subject of famous poetry and artwork, sunflowers are a beautiful and much adored plant. Their striking looks and vibrant colouring have made them a popular choice in gardens across the globe.</p> <p>In this article we pay tribute to the sunflower by listing 5 facts you may not have already known. </p> <p><strong>1. Sow and grow</strong></p> <p>Sunflowers are easy plants to grow. Just pop a seed in the ground, water it, then a green sprout will appear in about 14 days. To boost their height, give them a liquid feed every 2-3 weeks. </p> <p><strong>2. Tasty leaves</strong></p> <p>Each sunflower leaf grows up the stem at about a 90° angle from the one below it. The leaves are actually edible and work well in salads and stir-fries or steamed with the tough centre vein cut out and removed. </p> <p><strong>3. High and mighty</strong></p> <p>According to the Guinness World Records, the tallest sunflower in the world was grown in Germany in 2012 and reached more than 8m high. The grower broke his own record for the tallest sunflower set in 2009.</p> <p><strong>4. Bonus blooms</strong></p> <p>One sunflower head consists of more than 1000 individual blooms called disc flowers, and what we think of as petals are called ray flowers. Wild plants have multiple heads while cultivated sunflowers have one.</p> <p><strong>5. Seed and feed</strong></p> <p>There are two types of commercial sunflower seeds. The small black seed used in bird feed is also processed into oil, while the second type is a larger non-oil seed with black and white stripes that is used in food.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of </em><a href="http://www.handyman.net.au/5-facts-about-sunflowers"><em>Handyman Australia</em></a><em>.</em></p>

home & Garden

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"You can't teach stupid": Folau receives more funds in two days than farmers' rural aid in one year

<div> <div class="replay"> <div class="reply_body body linkify"> <div class="reply_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>A Facebook post by <em>The NRL Roast </em>criticising those who donated to Israel Folau’s legal battle has gone viral in just 24 hours.</p> <p>The post highlighted donations given to the Rural Aid <em>Buy a Bale </em>campaign raised in one year matched the money raised for controversial Folau’s legal battle against the Rugby League Association.</p> <p>“In 2 days, Israel Folau has received more in donations than Rural Aid's "Buy a Bale" campaign did in the 2017/2018 financial year,” the post began.</p> <p>“Folau may or may not be in the right in regard to why he got sacked and has every right to launch legal action.</p> <p>“That’s not my gripe.</p> <p>“It's the fact that every day Aussies would rather donate their hard earned, already taxed money, to a multi-millionaire professional athlete who can use the funds however he wants...TAX FREE, while people who actually make a worthwhile contribution to society, and our communities, are left in the lurch.</p> <p>“But you can’t teach stupid… You are just born that way.”</p> <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FTheNRLRoast%2Fphotos%2Fa.248365635620899%2F729888714135253%2F%3Ftype%3D3&amp;width=500" width="500" height="435" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe> <p>Folau has raised $2.2 million in just two days by 20,000 people.</p> <p>Since then, the fundraiser, which is located on the Australian Christian Lobby’s website, has been paused – a little less than $1 million short of the sacked rugby star’s $3 million goal.</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/BzATb_Wn3I_/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BzATb_Wn3I_/" target="_blank">A post shared by Israel Folau (@izzyfolau)</a> on Jun 22, 2019 at 1:07am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The ACL said the donations, which opened on Tuesday, had been “overwhelming".</p> <p>“ACL, Izzy and everyone involved is humbled and grateful. We are hitting the pause button. But if the case drags on and Israel needs more support, we will re-open this campaign,” a statement on the website said.</p> <p>The original campaign on GoFundMe was shut down after it was determined they had violated the site’s terms of service.  </p> <p>“We are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ+ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity,” Nicola Britton, GoFundMe’s Australian regional director said.</p> <p>Managing director of the ACL, Martin Iles, confirmed any money raised in the $3 million campaign will exclusively be used to meet Folau’s legal costs.</p> <p>In a poll conducted by Over60 with over 5,200 votes, it was determined 60 per cent of Australians believe Folau deserved to be sacked from his contract with Rugby Australia.</p> <p>However, 40 per cent voted Folau's controversial social post that claimed “hell awaits” gay people, among others, was not breaching his contract.  </p> <p><em>NRL Roast’s </em>post, which now sits with over 3,000 comments, has continued to stir debate with some users claiming the page was only adding “fuel to the fire".</p> <p>“If he can say whatever he believes then he should have the guts to face the consequences of his actions and use his own funds to fight his own battles,” one user wrote.</p> <p>Another added: “I don't see why people find this surprising. There are A LOT of people in the world with the same views as Falou.”</p> <p>“So you're complaining about people who are donating their OWN already taxed hard working money to Folau because they choose not to donate it to where YOU think they should donate THEIR money to?” an additional comment read.</p> <p>However, other people said it was “sad” farmers did not have “priority<span>“.</span></p> <p><span>"If only those who so support a sportsperson's contract breach which has been turned into a fight for Christianity could support those who grow our food and keep food on our tables...” one comment said.</span></p> <p>Another stated: “An absolute disgrace that people give money so easily to someone who broke his contract, not once but twice, but can’t find the money for the farmers who help put food on our tables every day, nothing like getting your priorities right.”</p> <p>Folau’s $4 million contract was terminated by Rugby Australia last month after a post on his Instagram page claimed homosexuals, among others, would burn in hell.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

Legal

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Main legal issues facing seniors

<p>As we age so do our legal requirements, and the issues we can expect to face. While sometimes these issues are unavoidable, it’s important to know your rights.</p> <p>We’ve taken a look at the main legal issues facing seniors. Understanding what to expect if you have to face these issues will put you in the best position to navigate them successfully, ensuring your wishes are fulfilled and your rights are upheld. </p> <p><strong>Decision making to safeguard your wishes</strong></p> <p>Should something happen, you want to be confident your wishes will be upheld. You can do this by appointing an <a rel="noopener" href="/finance/legal/2014/11/why-you-need-to-appoint-a-power-of-attorney-now/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Enduring Power of Attorney</span></strong></a>, which is someone who had the legal authority to manage your affairs when you are no longer able to.</p> <p>When choosing an Enduring Power of Attorney, it’s important you:</p> <ul> <li>Trust the person.</li> <li>Be confident they have no conflict of interest.</li> <li>Be confident they can make difficult decisions.</li> <li>Be confident they will listen to your wishes and respect your decisions.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Putting your will together</strong></p> <p>A will is a legal document that is filled with instructions for distributing your assets. To avoid <a rel="noopener" href="/finance/legal/2016/03/common-mistakes-when-writing-a-will/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">common will-writing mistakes</span></strong></a>, its important be thorough when putting this document together. Ultimately you should consider <a rel="noopener" href="/finance/legal/2014/11/tips-for-preparing-a-will/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">consulting an expert</span></strong></a>.</p> <p><strong>Superannuation distribution</strong></p> <p>Most superannuation funds have a death benefit nomination which gives you the power to nominate where the fund will be distributed, should you pass way. A binding nomination ensures you funds will be distributed according to your wishes.</p> <p><strong>Development of living situations</strong></p> <p>Sometimes arrangement for living at home with family members can break down, leaving seniors in a vulnerable position. By planning ahead and figuring out alternatives such as aged care you will be able to maintain a comfortable standard of living.</p> <p><strong>Senior abuse</strong></p> <p>Senior abuse can come in many forms – physical, psychological, financial, social abuse or neglect. If this is happening to you it’s important to seek out support. There is a range of organisations available for seniors who feel as though they’re suffering abuse, including the two below:</p> <ul> <li><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.myagedcare.gov.au/financial-and-legal/elder-abuse-concerns" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">My Aged Care website </span></strong></a></li> <li><a href="http://www.eapu.com.au/elder-abuse"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Elder Abuse Prevention Unit website</span></strong></a></li> </ul> <p><strong>Related links:</strong></p> <p><a href="/finance/legal/2016/02/guide-to-making-an-online-will/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>Should I make an online will?</strong></em></span></a></p> <p><a href="/finance/legal/2016/03/legal-documents-you-need-to-plan-ahead/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>Are you guilty of failing to plan ahead?</strong></em></span></a></p> <p><a href="/finance/legal/2016/03/common-mistakes-when-writing-a-will/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><em>8 common will-writing mistakes</em></strong></span></a></p>

Legal

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Enjoy a healthy burger with egg-free sweet potato and lentil patties

<p>Fantastic for a healthy burger or served on their own, these patties are the perfect light meal for entertaining!</p> <p><strong>Time to prepare:</strong> 25 minutes</p> <p><strong>Cooking time: </strong>30 minutes</p> <p><strong>Serves: </strong>4</p> <p><strong>Ingredients:</strong></p> <p>500g sweet potato, peeled, cubed </p> <div class="article-body"> <p>2 tablespoons olive oil</p> <p>½ cup brown lentils<span> </span></p> <p>1 small onion, finely chopped</p> <p>2 garlic cloves, crushed</p> <p>1 teaspoon ground cumin</p> <p>½ teaspoon ground coriander</p> <p>½ teaspoon turmeric</p> <p>60g baby spinach, roughly chopped</p> <p>⅓ cup plain flour</p> <p>Natural yoghurt and lemon wedges, to serve</p> <p><strong>Directions:</strong></p> <p>1. Preheat oven to 220°C/200°C fan-forced. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Place sweet potato on tray and drizzle with half of the oil.</p> <p>2. Bake for 15-20 minutes until tender. Mash in a bowl and set aside.</p> <p>3. Cook lentils in a pan of boiling water for 15-20 minutes until softened. Drain well. Transfer to a large bowl to cool.</p> <p>4. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan on medium. Cook onion and garlic for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add spices and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add spinach, stirring until just wilted.</p> <p>5. Transfer to bowl with lentils and sweet potato. Mix well and season to taste. Chill until cold. Form into patties and toss in flour to coat. Place on a baking paper-lined tray.</p> <p>6. Heat oil in frying pan on medium-high. Cook patties for 2-3 minutes each side until golden. Drain on paper towel. Serve patties with yoghurt and lemon wedges.</p> <p><strong>Tips</strong></p> <p>Brown lentils are also labelled as green lentils. They are larger than the French lentils.</p> <p>For a gluten-free option – replace plain flour with gluten-free flour.</p> <p><em>Recipe thanks to <a rel="noopener" href="http://australiansweetpotatoes.com.au/" target="_blank">Australian Sweet Potatoes</a>. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/recipes/sweet-potato-and-lentil-patties-(egg-free).aspx">Wyza.com.au</a></em></p> </div>

food & Wine

News

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"I made him": Trump launches into rant in "unhinged" interview

<p>US president Donald Trump had yet another meltdown as he launched into long tirades in a phone interview with Fox Business Network on Wednesday morning.</p> <p>Speaking to host Maria Bartiromo, Trump started the interview by responding to the news that Robert Mueller is set to testify next month about his investigation into Russian election interference and possible obstruction by the 45th President.</p> <p>Trump described Mueller as “obviously not a Trump fan” as he continued to deny any obstruction on his part. </p> <p>“It never ends. We had no obstruction, we had no collusion,” Trump said. “It’s hard to have obstruction when you have no crime … You didn’t have crime. You had crime on the other side.”</p> <p>In his report earlier this year, Mueller found 10 incidents in which Trump was found to be obstructing justice, including a case where Trump told a White House lawyer to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/05/barr-not-a-crime-for-trump-to-demand-staffers-lie-to-investigators" target="_blank">lie on record</a>.</p> <p>When the interview shifted to the topic of trade negotiations with China, Trump insisted that “China’s paying for it” in a series of statements that <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china-tariffs-explainer/who-pays-trumps-tariffs-china-or-u-s-customers-and-companies-idUSKCN1SR1UI" target="_blank">mischaracterised how tariffs work</a>.</p> <p>“We had a deal with [China], and it was very close, we were just finishing it, and you know my whole life is deals. I know when we have them and when we don’t – like with Mexico, we made a deal with Mexico… they know what we have, and if we don’t have intellectual property, theft protections, the opening of China… if we don’t have the opening of China, if we don’t have the things we negotiated, maybe even more than that… and right now, look, we’re getting 25 per cent on $250 billion worth of goods, nobody ever heard of such a thing, it’s massive amount of money. Don’t play, don’t let anyone tell you that China’s not paying for it, China’s paying for it… and we’re not paying for any of it.”</p> <p>Trump continued: “Since tariffs have been on, the market has been going through the roof if you know what I’m talking about… Now you have another $325 billion I haven’t taxed yet. It’s ripe for taxing. For putting tariffs on… It‘s been an incredible thing. Am I happy now? Absolutely…. When you say, ‘Are we going to make a deal?’ It’s possible we’re going to make a deal, but I’m also very happy where we are now, we’re taking in a fortune…. There’s no way you can beat the tariffs, there‘s no way you can make that money… [the tariffs] help us in ways that nobody even wants to talk about, that I don’t want to talk about them.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">This is not an interview -- this is a man ranting into a telephone. Try and make sense of this! <a href="https://t.co/6dU2lK9oF9">pic.twitter.com/6dU2lK9oF9</a></p> — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) <a href="https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1143859512765493248?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 26, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>When asked about any possible deals with Europe, Trump declared, “Europe treats us worse than China… I come from Europe, you come from Europe, you’re of the European nations. European nations were set up in order to take advantage of the United States.”</p> <p>He criticised the trade policies of the European Union before emphasising Vietnam as “almost the single worst abuser of everybody”.</p> <p>Trump also attacked his handpicked Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell after the latter stressed the central bank’s “independence” and warned about the dangers of changing policy for “<a rel="noopener" href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/25/feds-powell-warns-against-short-term-political-interests.html" target="_blank">short-term political interests</a>” in a speech on Tuesday.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Trump absolutely trashes Fed Chair Jerome Powell.<br /><br />"Here's a guy -- nobody ever heard of him before. And now, I made him, and he wants to show how tough he is, okay. Let him show how tough he is. He's a-- he's a-- he's not doing a good job." <a href="https://t.co/SGmFI8WxNb">pic.twitter.com/SGmFI8WxNb</a></p> — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) <a href="https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1143862761480491008?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 26, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>“Here’s a guy – nobody ever heard of him before. And now, I made him, and he wants to show how tough he is, okay,” said Trump. “Let him show how tough he is. He’s a – he’s not doing a good job.”</p> <p>Trump also said he would like to trade in Powell for European Central Bank president Mario Draghi.</p> <p>“We should have Draghi instead of our Fed person. Draghi, as you know, last week he said lower interest rates and we’re going to stimulate the economy… and with us we have a Fed that keeps raising interest rates.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">“a lengthy phone interview that was especially unhinged, even by his standards.” Thanks for calling it, Vox.<br />Trump’s unhinged Fox Business interview illustrates how Fox News normalizes Trump <a href="https://t.co/m6JDPreCib">https://t.co/m6JDPreCib</a></p> — K Carl (@kcarl4100) <a href="https://twitter.com/kcarl4100/status/1144016732400627712?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 26, 2019</a></blockquote>

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Duchess Kate dazzles in summer dress as palace announces her new role

<p>The palace has just revealed that the Duchess of Cambridge has officially become Patron of The Royal Photographic Society – and it is a role that could not be better suited for the senior royal member.</p> <p>The Duchess has proven to be a keen photographer – and one the world eagerly waits to see images from when the birthday of a Cambridge child comes along each year. </p> <p>The royal mum of three has been given the new role by the Queen who held it since 1952. Duchess Kate follows in the footsteps of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who became the royal patrons of the Royal Photographic Society in 1853, the year it was founded.</p> <p>The eye behind the royal portraits of Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 4, and Prince Louis, 1, studied art history at the University of St. Andrews and has labelled herself an “enthusiastic amateur photographer."</p> <p><span>The royal member, who is also the patron for London’s national Portrait Gallery, wrote in a foreword that as a student she chose it as “the subject of my undergraduate thesis and photographs of children in particular, which feature prominently in the exhibition, are of real interest to me".</span></p> <p>The Duchess stepped out to join a photography workshop with her patronage Action for Children in a stunning summery outfit – one of her sweetest looks yet.</p> <p>The royal was all smiles as she joined young kids in several sessions to aide them in learning about the various elements of photography, including light, colour, and taking portraits.</p> <p>While doing this, the Duchess was wearing a striking yet simply beautiful paisley print dress by Ridley London, which featured floaty sleeves and a flowing hemline – a perfect look to be captured in for the summer weather.</p> <p>The 37-year-old paired the gorgeous frock with a pair of nude Castaner Carina wedge heels and a pair of gold earrings while letting her soft brown hair down in loose waves. </p> <p>The Duchess shared a sweet sentiment with budding photographers at the royal engagement, telling them to “look at everything around you. Maybe it’s in front of you, or far away but choose your subject and focus on it."</p> <p>She added, “Get outside with your camera as well. George and Charlotte love it when we do that.”</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see the perfect summer look the Duchess of Cambridge wore.</p>

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The heartfelt reason why the royal family wore blue to Royal Ascot

<p>The Duchess of Cambridge made international headlines for her heavenly Elie Saab blue look for the very first day of Royal Ascot.</p> <p>The dreamy ensemble was not the only blue look we saw the royal members flaunt during the annual ceremony – Queen Elizabeth, Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice and Zara Tindall all wowed royal watcher with their striking blue outfits.</p> <p>The strange occurrence is not at all common within the royal family – as two members being seen in the same colour can be considered as a fashion faux pas.</p> <p>In fact, royals make a conscious effort to dress in strikingly different outfits so seeing five popular royal family members rocking the same vibrant colour is an extraordinary and rare event</p> <p>However, it has been revealed the colour choice was on purpose – and indeed for an incredibly heartfelt reason.</p> <p>The colour blue is believed to be a favourite of the Queen’s, as she wears the shade nearly three times more than any other, according to <em>Vogue</em>.</p> <p>The monarch chose to don the hue for 29 per cent of royal engagements in 2012.</p> <p>Royal insiders suggest the beautiful blue tone worn by five royals during Royal Ascot this year is a nod towards their ultimate Queen and grandmother.</p> <p>The colour blue also has history within the British Royal family, as it is a shade commonly associated with royalty, art, military, business and art.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see the royal family members wearing heavenly blue during 2019 Royal Ascot.</p>

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The Queen does not stop! Her rigorous work schedule revealed

<p>On the outside looking in, a full-time position in the royal family looks like a pretty good gig.</p> <p>After all, the Queen has a throne, numerous palaces, endless crowns, tiaras and jewellery to pick from and theoretically a personal navy.</p> <p>However, being the Monarch involves a level of dedication many of us are not cut out for.</p> <p>This week the 93-year-old attended the Order of the Garter service, a special ceremony dating back to 1348 that watched senior royal family members along with 24 personally chosen knights to wear blue velvet capes, gold chains and feathery caps at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.</p> <p>The Queen, like many of her royal duties, has not missed a single one since the service became an annually held service in 1948 – meaning she has overseen 67 as Sovereign of the Garter.</p> <p>Impressively enough, it turns out Her Majesty, despite getting older, has not slowed down in the slightest – outlasting 12 British Prime Ministers and 13 US Presidents.</p> <p>Even further, the Queen’s number of royal engagements and duties were more than her grandsons and their wives, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.</p> <p>In 2018, Prince William racked up 225 engagements, while Prince Harry didn’t fall behind by completing 200.</p> <p>Queen Elizabeth however, not only increased her workload from 2017, but managed to tick off 300 official events, based off research from the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.royal.uk/court-circular" target="_blank">Court Circular.</a></p> <p>These official events are not the only ways she fulfils her role as the most senior royal member.</p> <p>Despite their being fancy afternoon teas and indulgent cocktail parties, the Queen does not get to stop and rest during these gatherings – she is expected to make polite small talk with most, if not all attendees.</p> <p>There is also paperwork no sane person would take pleasure in going through – yet the 93-year-old Monarch does so, 363 days a year, as the only days she takes off are Christmas Day and Good Friday.</p> <p>Although the royal’s job may be much easier than our own, there is no denying the Queen works hard.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see Queen Elizabeth throughout her royal duties over the last few months.</p>

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Travel

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How to find good restaurants in a new city

<p>Where to eat? It’s a question you’ve probably pondered when visiting somewhere unfamiliar. Though it’s fun to explore a strange suburb, town or city, when you’re hungry you’d rather minimise the chance of paying exorbitant prices for an unpleasant experience.</p> <p>Can economics help?</p> <p>We’ve combined economic theory with data from online restaurant ratings to identify a few simple strategies that will help you find a decent restaurant in unfamiliar places.</p> <p>The key? Location is almost everything – but in the opposite sense to what a real estate agent would have you think. When it comes to restaurants, quality of location is inversely correlated to quality of food and service.</p> <p><strong>Search costs</strong></p> <p>The first economic principle that’s important here are “search costs”.</p> <p>If you’re from out of town, it’s likely your search strategy will involve looking for something appealing within walking distance of where you are staying. To decide if it’s appealing will involve walking past it.</p> <p>Suppose you do this. Perhaps it not exactly what you wanted. Should you press on, looking for a better option?</p> <p>It’s a risk. You may end up trudging around only to end back at the same spot 30 minutes later. Settling on the first restaurant you find may therefore be the best option to minimise search costs.</p> <p>Economic theory provides a key insight about markets with search costs for customers. Businesses can take advantage of these costs to raise prices or lower quality. They can do this because they deal with more uninformed customers.</p> <p>Consider a large city with tourist and non-tourist areas.</p> <p>In non-tourist areas, restaurants will rely on local customers. If they do not provide good food and prices, customers are likely to go elsewhere next time. A restaurant that satisfies its customers will get return business; one that doesn’t is more likely to go out of business.</p> <p>In tourist areas, the situation is different. Visitors do not know the quality of each restaurant they encounter, and at best might be repeat customers for a few days. So restaurants can charge higher prices and serve lower quality food without much risk of harming long-term profits.</p> <p><strong>Big data to the rescue</strong></p> <p>To investigate how customer ignorance influences restaurants price and quality, we used data from Yelp, a major online platform where users rate restaurants.</p> <p>Yelp has a global outreach that allowed us to investigate this question in cities all over the world, such as Paris, London and Sydney.</p> <p>We mapped Yelp’s ratings onto topographical information from OpenStreetMap, an open-source repository of local information on streets and buildings.</p> <p>What we found was exactly what was predicted by economic theory: restaurants in tourist areas have lower ratings than those in non-tourist areas.</p> <p><strong>Mapping Sydney</strong></p> <p>The map below presents the results for Sydney. You can see the valley of tourist points (the red dots) in the centre of the city generally align with average ratings. There are just a few cases of exceptional ratings near tourist attractions, such as around the Sydney Opera House.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/279351/original/file-20190613-32356-1hm1zbw.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/279351/original/file-20190613-32356-1hm1zbw.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">Sydney.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Jeanne Dall'Orso, Romain Gauriot &amp; Lionel Page</span></span></p> <p><strong>Mapping London</strong></p> <p>The pattern is even clearer in London, where areas with higher local ratings seem to be systematically away from touristic locations. Our map suggests that you’d be advised not to look for lunch around Victoria Station, near Buckingham Palace (in the southwest corner) or near the British Museum (northwest from the centre of the map).</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/279352/original/file-20190613-32317-1obm5xr.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/279352/original/file-20190613-32317-1obm5xr.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">London.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Jeanne Dall'Orso, Romain Gauriot &amp; Lionel Page</span></span></p> <p><strong>Mapping Paris</strong></p> <p>Finally this Paris map suggests you are advised to venture away from all the landmarks you know – Eiffel Tower, the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, the Louvre – when looking for some good French food. Definitely steer clear of the area around the Paris-Gare de Lyon train station.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/279353/original/file-20190613-32335-235fwo.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/279353/original/file-20190613-32335-235fwo.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">Paris.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Jeanne Dall'Orso, Romain Gauriot &amp; Lionel Page</span></span></p> <p><strong>Visibility trap</strong></p> <p>The existence of tourist traps may come as no surprise. If you’ve ever gone sight-seeing in a big city, you know there are restaurants whose business is based on attracting tourists, and that they are often pricey and ordinary.</p> <p>This insight goes beyond just restaurants. In economic terms, any time a business deals with uninformed customers, higher prices and lower quality is more likely.</p> <p>A key characteristic to attract uninformed customers is visibility. A restaurant on a main road or busy thoroughfare, for example, can be found by potential customers simply walking around.</p> <p>To test whether restaurants with high visibility are indeeed more likely to offer worse deals, we looked at restaurants that were more visible but not necessarily in touristic locations.</p> <p>We focused on corner restaurants – visible to pedestrians from two streets instead of just one.</p> <p>Again we looked at Yelp ratings, and again the effect was there: corner restaurants had lower average ratings. The largest effect was for corner restaurants on big avenues in tourist areas, where average restaurant ratings were more than 0.2 stars (out of 5 stars) lower.</p> <p><strong>Chain reactions</strong></p> <p>Though our results show restaurants in tourist areas and in visible locations are generally more likely to offer worse quality and prices, there are some caveats.</p> <p>Economic theory suggests chain restaurants should have more incentive to keep the standard their consumers are used too, even if located in visible locations.</p> <p>A customer dissatisfied by the food/service of one chain restaurant is less likely to come back to the chain elsewhere. Corporate headquarters can therefore not allow individual franchises to use a visible location to lower quality or raise prices.</p> <p>This economic prediction was also confirmed in our data: restaurants that belong to a chain are not rated significantly lower in visible locations.</p> <p><strong>Find the hidden restaurants</strong></p> <p>So our advice is the following:</p> <p>You maximise your chance of finding a fantastic dining experience by stepping away from the beaten tracks. Whether searching online or on foot, look for the “hidden restaurants” tucked away on side streets and the like. Avoid the establishments with huge garish signs that are clearly pitching themselves to tourists.</p> <p>Your second-best option, when in doubt, is to look for a chain restaurant as a “safe haven” in a touristic location. Such establishments are unlikely to offer you a surprising experience, one way or other other. What you expect is probably what you’ll get.</p> <p>But when it comes to restaurants, the better option is usually around the corner.</p> <p><em>Written by <span>Lionel Page, Professor in Economics, University of Technology Sydney and Romain Gauriot, Postdoctoral Associate, New York University Abu Dhabi</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-find-a-good-restaurant-economists-can-help-117670"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p><em>This article was co-authored by Jeanne Dall’Orso, who now works as a data scientist for Masae Analytics in Paris. Jeanne also co-authored the 2016 paper <a href="https://econpapers.repec.org/paper/qutqubewp/wp041.htm">Disappointment looms around the corner: Visibility and local businesses’ market power</a> with Lionel Page and Romain Gauriot.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. 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International Travel

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How to make your holiday better for the environment

<p><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/cities/ng-interactive/2015/jan/20/costa-del-concrete-mediterranean-coastline-then-now-in-pictures">Recently surfaced before and after shots</a> of Benidorm – a seaside resort on the eastern coast of Spain – capture the physical transformations that have taken place in the region in less than 50 years.</p> <p>Gone is the small fishing village of single story houses and olive groves, and in its place has arisen the <a href="https://rua.ua.es/dspace/bitstream/10045/27662/6/benidorm_evolution.pdf">highest density of skyscrapers in Europe</a>. The economic and social opportunities that have accompanied these changes have altered traditional lifestyles just as dramatically. And it has even been proposed Benidorm <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/europe/benidorm-one-of-the-cultural-wonders-of-the-world-976708.html">should be made a World Heritage Site</a> in recognition of its tourism-driven cultural transformation.</p> <p>But despite the obvious benefits tourism can bring to an area, the change can be disruptive, and development can challenge preexisting economic, social and environmental models. In the Isle of Man, for example, where I conduct much of my research, a current controversial proposal is to build a <a href="http://www.iomtoday.co.im/article.cfm?id=36142&amp;headline=Meeting%20about%20proposals%20for%20development%20at%20Glen%20Truan%20golf%20course&amp;sectionIs=news&amp;searchyear=2017">caravan park</a> in an isolated area of natural beauty.</p> <p>But of course, tourism also has many positives and it often paves the way for empowering minorities. <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160738396000515">Research in Goa</a>, India, for example, shows that tourism enterprises tend to be owned mainly by women, giving them a source of income, independence and respect in a traditionally male dominated society.</p> <p><strong>From Costa Rica to the Scottish Highlands</strong></p> <p>This is why <a href="https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/5839GSDR%202015_SD_concept_definiton_rev.pdf">sustainable development</a> – an approach which tries to balance social, environmental and economic needs long term – is essential to make sure tourism brings impacts that are more on the positive side and less on the negative.</p> <p>Involving local people in tourism is usually the place to start, because it is local people who ultimately establish the atmosphere of a destination. Carefully planned <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/229681727_Ecotourism_impacts_in_the_Nicoya_Peninsula_Costa_Rica">eco-tourism in Costa Rica</a> for example, has involved local residents with the new developments to ensure any problems that arise are resolved.</p> <p>Similar involvement over in Scotland, has seen the <a href="https://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/42890/4/HamiltonAlexander_ATR2013_organic_community_tourism.pdf">West Highland Railway Line</a> run by local volunteers. And it is their enthusiasm that has helped to create a welcoming and award winning tourist attraction. By contrast, <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267927716_The_Janus-Faced_Character_of_Tourism_in_Cuba">research in Cuba</a> found local people who felt excluded from tourism developments turned their frustrations towards visitors – damaging the island’s reputation as an enjoyable place to holiday in the process.</p> <p><strong>Expecting the unexpected</strong></p> <p>But of course, the ultimate aim of sustainable development is to protect the existing economic, social and environmental landscapes of a place. These are after all, what tourists come to explore. So rather than making a quick profit for a few, the idea is that sustainable tourism is something that will stand the test of time and bring diverse benefits for many.</p> <p><a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259434808_Global_economic_value_of_shark_ecotourism_Implications_for_conservation">Shark tourism</a> is one example of a fast growing and lucrative activity which encourages people to enjoy, and make reliable livelihoods from these creatures – rather than <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/oct/27/shark-conservation-gaining-momentum">eat them into oblivion</a>, or kill them to sell their <a href="http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/06/24/traditional.treatment/">fins for traditional medicine</a>.</p> <p>But <a href="http://www-tandfonline-com.libaccess.hud.ac.uk/doi/abs/10.1080/09669582.2013.819876">tourism can be an unpredictable industry</a> and various challenges have left many formerly successful tourist destinations struggling to maintain visitor numbers. A series of terrorist attacks in Tunisia, for example, has seen the number of tourists <a href="http://www.tourisme.gov.tn/en/achievements-and-prospects/tourism-in-figures/figures-2016.html">drop by a third since 2014</a>.</p> <p>Changing tastes and increased competition has also seen many formerly vibrant seaside towns both in the UK and overseas struggling. Malta, for example, has had to work hard to <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261517710000634">rebrand</a> itself as a cultural destination rather than a budget sun, sea and sand one.</p> <p><strong>On the down</strong></p> <p>So what happens when the tourists stop visiting? Well, if it’s not managed carefully, it can undermine the whole economic, social and environmental fabric of a place – and <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160738301000020">can lead to many socioeconomic problems</a>. High levels of poverty, unemployment, and ill health can be found in many former coastal resorts of the UK – which have struggled to find new sources of economic diversity. Blackpool, England’s emblematic seaside town for example, was recently estimated to have the <a href="http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/lancashire-insight/area-profiles/local-authority-profiles/blackpool.aspx">lowest life expectancy</a> for men and women in the country.</p> <p>Not far away from Blackpool on the <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jtr.883/full">Isle of Man</a>, much of the beautiful Victorian architecture built to serve the once large tourist crowds have been demolished. Yet fearless riders come every year to ride in the island’s legendary <a href="https://www.iomtt.com/">Tourist Trophy</a> (TT) motorbike races. Cheered on by crowds of visiting enthusiasts, this century old event keeps tradition alive, and at the same time it has evolved to stay relevant. In 2010, the first <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TT_Zero">TT Zero</a> race involving electric bikes took place.</p> <p>So when it comes to planning your holiday destination for the year ahead, try and choose somewhere that protects the local environment and respects human rights – and use local businesses rather than multinationals.</p> <p>It’s also worth reconsidering resorts that may have fallen out of fashion but still have much to offer. You’ll still have a great time, and take some lovely photos, but it might just be that by choosing somewhere off the beaten track, you can make a difference to another person’s life in the process.<!-- 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/85478/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Brendan Canavan, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, University of Huddersfield</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/in-the-age-of-cheap-flights-city-breaks-and-world-cruises-how-to-make-your-holiday-better-for-the-environment-85478" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

International Travel

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Mysterious “blob” 130 kms wide causes confusion amongst meteorologists

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A “blob” that appeared on the US National Weather Service’s radar had meteorologists worried as they thought it was a massive storm on the way.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The mass, which was about 130 kilometres wide went over San Diego County in Southern California.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, on closer inspection, it appeared to be a massive swarm of ladybugs. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Meteorologist Joe Dandrea told </span><a href="https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-ladybugs-on-radar-20190604-story.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Los Angeles Times</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> that the ladybugs were spread throughout the sky and flew at an altitude of between 1500 kilometres and 2700 kilometres.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The most concentrated group was about 16 kilometres wide. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I don’t think they’re dense like a cloud,” he said. “The observer there said you could see little specks flying by.”</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">The large echo showing up on SoCal radar this evening is not precipitation, but actually a cloud of lady bugs termed a "bloom" <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CAwx?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CAwx</a> <a href="https://t.co/1C0rt0in6z">pic.twitter.com/1C0rt0in6z</a></p> — NWS San Diego (@NWSSanDiego) <a href="https://twitter.com/NWSSanDiego/status/1136115889516867586?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">5 June 2019</a></blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As California is home to about 200 species of ladybugs, it’s not yet known what type of ladybugs were causing the phenomenon.</span></p>

Travel Trouble

Health

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You can’t get influenza from a flu shot – here’s how it works

<p>Influenza is a moving target for vaccines. Each year, up to four different strains circulate, and they are constantly evolving to escape our immune system.</p> <p>So rather than childhood jabs giving long lasting immunity, we need annual flu shots to provide optimal protection against influenza.</p> <p>But while you might sometimes get sick after having a flu shot, it’s a myth that having a flu shot can give you the flu.</p> <p><strong>A quick history of the flu vaccine</strong></p> <p>Influenza vaccines were first developed in the 1930s and 1940s, starting with the isolation of the influenza virus.</p> <p>Back then, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2554195/pdf/bullwho00626-0133.pdf">we learned</a> there were many different influenza strains. To be effective, early research showed the vaccine needed to be matched to the circulating strains, and to be able to stimulate a response from the immune system.</p> <p>The process to produce modern influenza vaccines now occurs on a much more refined and industrial scale. Hundreds of thousands of influenza viruses are collected by hundreds of national influenza centres around the world.</p> <p>From these, four strains are <a href="https://www.who.int/influenza/vaccines/en/">selected</a> for the annual flu vaccine, based on the viruses that are circulating at that time, how well the vaccines activate the immune system, how the strains are evolving, and the effectiveness of previous vaccines.</p> <p>Most modern vaccines are <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/how-fluvaccine-made.htm">manufactured</a> by growing large quantities of live virus – mostly in chicken eggs or less commonly animal cells – which are then purified, deactivated and split into smaller components. These vaccines are inactive and cannot replicate.</p> <p>There are also two new “enhanced” vaccines that are used in older people, who don’t tend to respond as strongly to vaccines: <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25119609">Fluzone High Dose</a> and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3447603/">Fluad</a>, which is designed to better stimulate immunity and draw immune cells to the site of vaccination.</p> <p><strong>How the immune system fights the flu</strong></p> <p>The human immune system has several strategies to protect against infection. For viral infections such as influenza, the key strategy is known as adaptive immunity. This part of the immune system can “remember” previous exposure to pathogens.</p> <p>When you get an influenza infection, the virus enters and hijacks the machinery of the host cell to replicate itself, before releasing these copies to infect more cells.</p> <p><a href="https://www.immunology.org/public-information/bitesized-immunology/c%C3%A9lulas/cd8-t-cells">T lymphocyte cells</a> of the immune system can recognise this viral incursion. T cells protect against further spread of the virus by activating pathways that cause infected cells to trigger a “suicide” process.</p> <p>Another strategy the body uses is to produce antibodies, which are molecules produced by B cells that recognise components of the viral capsule. These <a href="https://www.immunology.org/public-information/bitesized-immunology/c%C3%A9lulas/b-cells">antibodies</a> work by sticking to the surface of the influenza virus to prevent it spreading and facilitating disposal.</p> <p><strong>Flu shots help mount a quicker defence</strong></p> <p>On a first exposure to a pathogen, our B cells take at least two weeks to ramp up production of antibodies. However, on subsequent challenges, antibody production occurs much more quickly.</p> <p>Influenza vaccines harness this arm of the immune system, known as “humoral” immunity. By “practising” on viral components, vaccines allow the immune system to react more quickly and effectively when faced with the real virus.</p> <p><strong>So why do you sometimes get sick after a flu shot?</strong></p> <p>There are several reasons why you might feel a bit off after getting your flu shot.</p> <p>First, your flu shot only protects you against influenza and not other respiratory illness which might causes similar cold or flu symptoms. This includes RSV (<a href="https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/respiratory-syncytial-virus.aspx">respiratory syncytial virus</a>), which is common in late autumn and early winter.</p> <p>Second, stimulating the immune system can result in <a href="https://beta.health.gov.au/services/flu-influenza-immunisation-service">symptoms</a> similar to that of influenza, although much milder and short-lived. These include local inflammation (redness, pain or swelling at the site of the vaccine) and more general symptoms (fever, aches and pains, tiredness).</p> <p>Third, vaccine-induced protection isn’t complete. In some years, the vaccine is not well <a href="https://www.who.int/influenza/vaccines/virus/recommendations/201502_qanda_vaccineeffectiveness.pdf">matched</a> to circulating strains. Usually this is due to mutations that may develop in circulating strains after the vaccine strains are selected.</p> <p>The flu vaccine also doesn’t “kick in” for two weeks after vaccine administration. In some people, particularly those who are older and those who have weakened immune systems, antibody production is not as strong, and the level of protection is lower.</p> <p>Despite this, studies have consistently shown that vaccinated people are <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22032844">less likely to get influenza or complications from the flu</a> than those who aren’t vaccinated.</p> <p><strong>A better way to protect against the flu</strong></p> <p>A problem with current vaccines is the reliance on eggs, which results in a relatively slow and labour-intensive production process.</p> <p>Current <a href="https://cmr.asm.org/content/26/3/476">work</a> is aiming to speed up this process by using different technologies so that vaccine manufacturers can react more quickly to changes in circulating viruses.</p> <p>The “<a href="https://theconversation.com/a-universal-flu-vaccine-is-still-some-time-off-18525">holy grail</a>” for influenza vaccines is to stimulate an effective immune response to a component of influenza that doesn’t change each year, so annual vaccination is not required.</p> <p>These efforts have proved <a href="https://www.fiercebiotech.com/biotech/gsk-dumps-universal-flu-vaccine-after-interim-data-readout">elusive</a> so far.</p> <p>A better strategy might be to harness T cell immunity. Recent <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30778243">work</a> has shown that a type of T cell, known as “killer” T cells, can recognise other parts of the influenza virus, and therefore can provide broad protection against seasonal and pandemic strains.</p> <p>But while we wait for a better alternative, getting an annual flu shot is the best way to avoid the flu.</p> <p><em>Written by Allen Cheng. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/you-cant-get-influenza-from-a-flu-shot-heres-how-it-works-118916"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Body

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The problem with mindfulness

<p>Mindfulness, it seems everybody’s doing it. You might have even tried it yourself – or have a regular practice. Thanks to the help of an app on your phone that speaks to you in dulcet tones, you are reminded to “let go” and to “observe your breath”. From the public education to healthcare, the corporate world to the criminal justice system, <a href="https://www.themindfulnessinitiative.org.uk/about/mindfulness-appg">parliament</a> to the <a href="https://www.forces.net/news/meditating-mod-military-personnel-try-mindfulness">military</a>, mindfulness is promoted as a cure all for modern ills.</p> <p>Yet the evidence for the efficacy of mindfulness is not strong. In <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1745691617709589">an article published in <em>Perspectives on Psychological Science</em></a>, a number of psychologists and cognitive scientists warn that despite the hype, scientific data on mindfulness is limited. They caution:</p> <blockquote> <p>Misinformation and poor methodology associated with past studies of mindfulness may lead public consumers to be harmed, misled, and disappointed.</p> </blockquote> <p>Studies on mindfulness are known for their <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1745691617709589?journalCode=ppsa">numerous methodological and conceptual problems</a>. This includes small sample sizes, lack of control groups, and insufficient use of valid measures.</p> <p>To this list, the possibility of competing interests can also be added. In a recent <a href="https://retractionwatch.com/2019/04/17/plos-one-pulls-highly-cited-mindfulness-paper-over-undeclared-ties-other-concerns/?fbclid=IwAR2i5e2jd3R3m8z2SR0u1NUBCkOAigcK0XtqNaf7DVHlCHdVif6unX3VjAo">example</a>, the mega-journal <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0124344"><em>PLOS ONE</em> retracted</a> a meta-analysis on mindfulness after concerns were raised over the methodology behind the results, including “double counting” and “incorrect effect estimates”. The PLOS retraction also cited undeclared financial conflicts of interest by the authors. The journal noted that none of the authors agreed with the retraction.</p> <p>Despite these issues, mindfulness has never been more popular and its influence in mainstream culture is massive, as can be seen in the creation of <a href="https://www.campaign.ox.ac.uk/news/future-of-mindfulness-research-at-oxford-secured-with-new-professorship">a new professorship</a> in mindfulness and psychological science at the University of Oxford.</p> <p>The position was created by the <a href="http://oxfordmindfulness.org/">Oxford Mindfulness Centre</a>, which became affiliated with the <a href="http://oxfordmindfulness.org/about-us/about/oxford-mindfulness-foundation/">university’s Department of Psychiatry</a> in 2011, after <a href="https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/06144314/filing-history?page=4">initially</a> establishing as a private company in 2007 and later registering as a charity. It has since become a key player in shaping both the academic studies of mindfulness and the public’s perception of the practice.</p> <p><strong>A brief history of mindfulness</strong></p> <p>Mindfulness is a type of meditation derived from the Buddhist tradition. It encourages the observation of present thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations in a non-judgemental way. But how did it gain such prominence in Western mainstream culture?</p> <p>For a start, the modern concept of Buddhism that Westerners relate to today did not exist a century ago. This new style of Buddhism is known as “<a href="http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780195393521/obo-9780195393521-0041.xml">Buddhist Modernism</a>”, or “Protestant Buddhism” – a reform movement of the late 19th century.</p> <p>This form of Buddhism was developed as a result of the influence of Christian missionaries and to the colonialism and imperialism of South-East Asia by European nations. To respond to their colonial situation, the elite of the movement reshaped Buddhism by aligning it to Western science and philosophy. This was done by representing Buddhism as rational, universal and compatible with science – with an emphasis placed upon meditation and personal reflection.</p> <p>The advocates of this reform projected modern Western values onto Buddhist teachings who claimed to teach the “<a href="https://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.edu.documents/32886776/J_Am_Acad_Relig-2004-McMahan-897-933.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIWOWYYGZ2Y53UL3A&amp;Expires=1558635548&amp;Signature=6gNCu83q9X03bLRr0gIDWvSmFu0%3D&amp;response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3DModernity_and_the_Early_Discourse_of_Sci.pdf">pure</a>” Buddhism as taught by the historical Buddha himself.</p> <p>Contemporary meditation teachers, including Jon Kabat-Zinn (JKZ), the founder of <a href="https://www.religiousstudiesproject.com/podcast/what-is-mindfulness-a-critical-religious-studies-approach/">Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction</a>(MBSR) – an eight-week programme that offers mindfulness training to help people with stress and pain – inherited and popularised this version of Buddhism.</p> <p>When pressed about the Buddhist elements of their courses, teachers such as JKZ argue the technique is not Buddhist, but the “<a href="https://www.umassmed.edu/contentassets/abf4d773534442238acf329476591dde/jkz_paper_contemporary_buddhism_2011.pdf">essence</a>” of the Buddha’s teachings. These are said to be “<a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12671-017-0758-2">universal</a>” and compatible with science. Or as JKZ has put it, “<a href="https://www.umassmed.edu/contentassets/abf4d773534442238acf329476591dde/jkz_paper_contemporary_buddhism_2011.pdf">the Buddha himself was not a Buddhist</a>”.</p> <p>These associations with Buddhism allows advocates of mindfulness to relish the legitimacy associated with the historical Buddha – yet at the same time avoid any undesired “religious” connotations. Likewise, when mindfulness is declared as “universal” then it seems to be less about Buddhism and more about a “<a href="https://www.mindful.org/what-is-mindfulness/">basic human ability</a>”.</p> <p><strong>Science and mindfulness</strong></p> <p>The idea that mindfulness is secular because it is scientifically tested is a common strategy used by advocates of mindfulness to disassociate the practice from its religious foundation and to promote it in clinical and educational settings.</p> <p>It is <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320688499_Ethics_Transparency_and_Diversity_in_Mindfulness_Programs">well documented</a> that JKZ intentionally downplayed the Buddhist roots of mindfulness to introduce it in clinical settings. In <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14639947.2011.564844">JKZ’s own words</a>, he “bent over backward to structure it [MBSR] and find ways to speak about it that avoided as much as possible the risk of it being seen as Buddhist”. In essence then he translated Buddhist ideas into scientific and secular language.</p> <p>This approach takes advantage of the authority of science in modern Western cultures as well as the perceived opposition of “science” with “religion”. And by aligning mindfulness with science, its opposition to “religion” is implicitly conveyed.</p> <p><strong>Legitimatising mindfulness</strong></p> <p>Appealing to science and empirical studies are not the only methods that mindfulness leaders have used to lend explicit legitimacy to mindfulness. The flourish of <a href="https://www.bangor.ac.uk/mindfulness/postgraduate-courses/">MA</a> and <a href="https://www.bangor.ac.uk/mindfulness/projects.php.en">PhD</a> programmes, specific <a href="https://link.springer.com/journal/12671">journals</a>, <a href="https://www.icm2019.org/">conferences</a>, <a href="https://www.city.ac.uk/news/2019/april/launch-centre-excellence-mindfulness-research">university affiliated research centres</a> – and now the professorship – demonstrate the movement’s efforts to legitimise and secure the future of mindfulness as an academic enterprise.</p> <p>But although mindfulness claims to offer a staggering collection of possible health benefits – and aligns itself with science and academia to be seen as credible – as yet there is remarkably <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/wheres-the-proof-that-mindfulness-meditation-works1/?redirect=1">little scientific evidence</a> backing it up.</p> <p>That’s not to say a lot of people don’t find it beneficial. Indeed, <a href="https://nccih.nih.gov/research/statistics/NHIS/2012/mind-body/meditation">many people practice mindfulness</a> everyday and feel it helps them in their lives. The problem is though that there is still a lot researchers do not know about mindfulness – and ultimately the field needs a much more systematic and rigorous approach to be able to support such claims.<!-- 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/115648/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Masoumeh Sara Rahmani, Research Associate in Anthropology of Religion, Coventry University</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/the-problem-with-mindfulness-115648"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Mind

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Want to be happier? Try getting to know yourself

<p>The unexamined life is not worth living, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_unexamined_life_is_not_worth_living">said the Greek philosopher Socrates</a>. He was reflecting on the expression “Know Thyself” – an aphorism inscribed on the <a href="https://www.ancient-greece.org/architecture/delphi-temple-of-apollo.html">temple of Apollo at Delphi</a> and one of the ultimate achievements in ancient Greece.</p> <p>While we walk around the world more or less successful in our endeavours, many of us sometimes have the nagging feeling that we don’t truly know ourselves. Why do we really feel and behave the way we do? While we have some ideas about who we are, our understanding of ourselves is often patchy and inconsistent. So, is self-knowledge something we should strive for, or are we better off living in blissful ignorance? Let’s examine the research.</p> <p>By <a href="https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/self-knowledge/">self-knowledge</a>, psychologists mean having an understanding of our feelings, motivations, thinking patterns and tendencies. These give us a stable sense of self-worth and a secure grip on our values and motivations. Without self-knowledge we cannot have an internal measure of our own worth.</p> <p>This leaves us vulnerable to accepting others’ opinions of us as truths. If a co-worker decides (and acts as if) we are worthless, we may swallow their verdict. We end up looking out to the world, rather than into ourselves, in order to know what we should feel, think and want.</p> <p>It is an advantage to learn how to recognise our feelings. The experience of sadness, for example, could be the result of bad news, but it could also be caused by a predisposition to feeling sad resulting from childhood trauma or even just the <a href="https://www.quantamagazine.org/can-microbes-encourage-altruism-20170629/">bacteria</a> in <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19490976.2018.1460015">our gut</a>. Recognising true emotions can help us to intervene in the <a href="http://atlasofemotions.org/">space between feelings and actions</a> – knowing your emotions is the first step to being in control of them, breaking negative thought patterns. Understanding our own emotions and thinking patterns can also help us more easily empathise with others.</p> <p>Self-awareness also allows us to make better decisions. In <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/20152338?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents">one study</a>, students who scored higher on “metacognitive awareness” – the ability to reflect on personal thoughts, feelings, attitudes and beliefs – tended to make more effective decisions when it came to playing a computer game in which they had to diagnose and treat virtual patients in order to cure them. The authors argued that this was because they could set more well defined goals and make strategic actions.</p> <p><strong>Getting to know yourself</strong></p> <p>So how can we learn to know how we feel? People can have different ways of thinking about themselves. We can think about our history, and how past experiences have made us who we are. But we can also brood about negative scenarios in the past or future. Some of these ways of thinking about ourselves are better for us than others. Unfortunately, many of us tend to ruminate and to worry. That is, we focus on our fears and shortcomings, and as a result we become anxious or depressed.</p> <p>The best way to start would be talking with an insightful friend or a trained therapist. The latter is especially important in cases where a lack of self-knowledge is interfering with our mental health. Putting words to feelings and being asked follow-up questions can really help us to understand who we are. Reading about <a href="https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Intuition-Pumps-and-Other-Tools-for-Thinking-Audiobook/B00CLG3RWO?source_code=M2M14DFT1BkSH082015011R&amp;ds_rl=1235779">useful ways of thinking</a> can also help us to navigate our lives better.</p> <p>In addition, there are several other traditions throughout history that have explored ways of getting to know ourselves. Both <a href="https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/S/bo5503948.html">Stoic philosophy</a> and <a href="https://philpapers.org/rec/DUNTAU">Buddhist traditions</a> valued self-knowledge and developed practices to nurture awareness of mental states – such as meditation.</p> <p>Nowadays, mindfulness meditation has <a href="https://hbr.org/2015/12/why-google-target-and-general-mills-are-investing-in-mindfulness">gained traction</a> in psychology, medicine and neuroscience. Meditation and emotion regulation training can reduce negative feelings, rumination and anxiety. They also <a href="https://1ammce38pkj41n8xkp1iocwe-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Contemplative-emotion-training-reduces-negative-emotional-behavior-and-promotes-prosocial-responses.pdf">increase positive emotions</a>, improve the ability to recognise emotions in others, and protect us from social stress. Therapies that integrate mindfulness have been shown to be reliable in helping to <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272735815000197">improve mental health</a>, specifically the outcomes of depression, stress and anxiety.</p> <p class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/95143875" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> <span class="caption">Imagine sitting by the side of a busy road, with the passing cars representing your thoughts and feelings.</span></p> <p>By just sitting for a little while and watching our thoughts and feelings from a distance, as if we’re sitting by the side of the road and watching cars go by, we can get to know ourselves better. This helps us practice the skill of not thinking about the past or future, and we can be in the present a little bit more. We can learn to recognise the feelings that certain events and emotions trigger in us at the moment, and to create a space in which we can decide how to act (as some responses are more constructive than others).</p> <p>Imagine, for example, that you have plans to go for a bike ride with a friend tomorrow and you’re very much looking forward to this. In the morning, your friend cancels. Later in the day, a colleague asks you for help with a problem, and you feel annoyed and snap at them – telling them you don’t have time for it.</p> <p>Maybe you felt annoyed with the colleague, but the real reason was that you felt disappointed with your friend, and you now feel that you may not be as important to them as they are to you. If we’re more self-aware, we’re more likely to have the chance to pause and realise why we’re feeling the way we’re feeling. Rather than taking it out on our colleague, we can then realise that we are overreacting or identify whether there are any problems in our relationship with our friend.</p> <p>It is fascinating that almost 2,500 years after the construction of the temple of Apollo, the quest to know ourselves better is still equally important.<!-- 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/109451/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Niia Nikolova, Postdoctoral Researcher of Psychology, University of Strathclyde</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/want-to-be-happier-try-getting-to-know-yourself-109451"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Mind

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How social media can change your life

<p>So you think this whole social media caper is just a fad and only of real interest to Gen Y and Gen X? If so, then read on, you may just be surprised to find social media has been around a lot longer than you think and it has some tangible benefits for the modern Baby Boomer.</p> <p>When you strip it back, social media has been in existence since the time of Socrates and Plato – only their equivalent of broadband were messengers and instead of a computer, they used papyrus scrolls. In ancient Rome they even had small tablets restricting the amount of characters you could fit - Twitter springs to mind here.</p> <p>The Romans even used acronyms to shorten messages and long-distance communications, much the same as today’s social network users shorten ‘by the way’ to BTW and ‘please’ to PLZ.</p> <p><strong>Did you know<br /></strong>More than 500 000 Australians aged 60 years and over have a Facebook page. <br />In fact, 60 per cent of Australians aged 55 to 64 use the internet, with more than 30 per cent of those over 65 spending time online. The whole social media sphere has been somewhat hijacked by the younger generation. It’s seen as a trend with a new platform coming onto the scene every year. First it was My Space, then Facebook and now Twitter and Instagram are the flavour of the moment.</p> <p>Irrespective of the slight differences, these platforms all serve the same purpose; facilitating communication and peer-to-peer connection - this is a universal desire, not just the domain of younger generations.</p> <p><strong>Safe use of social networking sites<br /></strong>As with anything, while social networking sites offer you great opportunities, you should always remain cautious and know how to use these sites safely. You need to understand how privacy and security settings work on these sites up front. A common misconception is that only your contacts or “friends” can access the information you post, when in reality the default setting is that many more can view the material. Facebook has a <a href="https://www.facebook.com/help/325807937506242/">comprehensive explanation</a> on their site about the importance of changing the default setting.</p> <p>You may also, want to watch the video tutorial above which will show you how to change your settings step-by-step. Once you know how to take advantage of the medium and not the other way around you can start enjoying the benefits of being active online.</p> <p><strong>Reasons you need to get onto social media today</strong></p> <ul> <li>Social interaction – you can easily meet new likeminded friends online.</li> <li>Instant access to news and information – often news and information is leaked on social networking sites before mainstream media gets hold of it.</li> <li>Find a new job - If you are looking for work, many people find sites like LinkedIn valuable for job searching and notices posted on Facebook have been known to lead to a job.</li> <li>Long distance communication - You can communicate with people interstate and overseas more immediately and easily and at lower cost than a phone call.</li> <li>Keeping engaged despite geographical location - Beneficial is you live in rural, regional and remote communities where there’s limited means of socialising.</li> <li>Find lost friends and make new ones – track down old school friends or colleagues and connect with like-minded people in special interest groups.</li> </ul> <p><em>Written by Danielle Cesta. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/relationships/how-social-media-can-change-your-life.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

Caring

Lifestyle

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Fans spot major change to Duchess Meghan’s engagement ring

<div> <div class="replay"> <div class="reply_body body linkify"> <div class="reply_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>The Duchess of Sussex has made her first appearance since giving birth to baby Archie.</p> <p>The eagerly awaited return was widely praised by royal fans all over the world and naturally all eyes were on Duchess Meghan who had not been seen for months before the Trooping the Colour parade.</p> <p>Royal watchers did not miss a single detail when it came to the glowing new mother, and were quick to point out a stunning new addition to her finger – a diamond eternity band.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.61888701517705px;" src="/media/7828037/meghan.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/5d9477b0b72349f0a987a42ebf7c5a69" /></p> <p>It is likely the dazzling change to the royal’s hand is a present from her husband in honour of either the birth of their first child or one year of blissful marriage together.</p> <p>However, amongst all the excitement of the new addition – fans and eagle-eyed watchers happened to graze over a massive change to the Duchess’ three-stone engagement ring.</p> <p>For this year’s annual celebration of the Queen’s birthday, pictures taken of Duchess Meghan appear to show the ring has been reset and now instead of the original solid yellow gold band, it is now an ultra-thin micro-pavé one.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.05590062111804px;" src="/media/7828039/ring.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ea003702728043e5b32a78ce16d013ae" /></p> <p>Reports are not clear on when the Duchess made the significant change – but thankfully it has not gone unnoticed.</p> <p>During her final months of pregnancy, Duchess Meghan opted to go without her engagement ring – possibly due to her fingers swelling.</p> <p>During Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s first interview together to confirm their engagement, the prince said the ring was “obviously” yellow gold as it is her favourite.</p> <p>“…The main stone itself I sourced from Botswana and the little diamonds either side are from my mother's jewellery collection, to make sure that she's with us on this crazy journey together,” he said.</p> <p>The Duchess went on to add: “Everything about Harry’s thoughtfulness and the inclusion of Princess Diana’s stones and obviously not being able to meet his mom,”</p> <p>“It’s so important to me to know that she’s a part of this with us."</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div></div>

Relationships

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Prince William’s best friend is getting married – to Prince George's teacher!

<p>Prince William’s best friend has found love with someone very familiar to the royal family – Prince George’s teacher!</p> <p>Thomas van Straubenzee – a lifelong friend of the Prince and godfather to Princess Charlotte – proposed to Lucy Lanigan-O’Keeffe, the assistant head teacher at the prep school that the Duke’s son goes to, <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/prince-georges-teacher-to-wed-his-dad-the-duke-of-cambridges-best-friend-x7qdbbmwn" target="_blank"><em>The Times</em></a> reported.</p> <p>31-year-old Lanigan-O’Keeffe teaches outdoor learning and mindfulness at Thomas’s London Day Schools in Battersea. She and 36-year-old van Straubenzee reportedly met a year ago through a friend.</p> <p>This will be van Straubenzee’s second marriage following his separation from Lady Melissa Percy, daughter of the Duke of Northumberland, in 2016.</p> <p>Van Straubenzee and his brother Charlie attended Ludgrove School in Berkshire with both Prince William and Prince Harry. It is speculated that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex may ask Charlie to be the godfather to Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, who will be <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/bazaar-brides/a28162639/prince-george-teacher-engaged-prince-william-friend/" target="_blank">christened in July</a>.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7828054/kms2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ca733a17664241b69d8b9092cfe98a43" /></p> <p>According to <em>The Times</em>, Prince William will serve as an usher and may make a speech at the wedding. Prince George and Princess Charlotte, who will also be attending Thomas’s Battersea in September, are also expected to be pageboy and bridesmaid at their teacher’s wedding.</p>

Relationships

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Sarah Ferguson reunites with Prince Andrew at Royal Ascot – and shares royal secret

<p>Sarah Ferguson has added a colourful flair to royal life – from her outfit choices to her relationship rollercoaster with Prince Andrew, 59.</p> <p>It would be easy to assume the royal could tell a few juicy stories about her life as a member of one of the world’s most well-known and documented families.</p> <p>However, one secret the Duchess of York is ready to tell has little to do with her and instead is an in-depth look into one of the royal family’s most heart-wrenching tragedies.</p> <p>Almost two centuries since the death of the Queen’s great-great-great grandmother Princess Louise – mother to Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert – a history of the royal’s sad and troubled life has been documented by Fergie.</p> <p>The Princess was separated from her two young sons and banished to a German hamlet where she would never be allowed to see her children again.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7828019/princess-louise-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/0223f29a543140f4b6f2a3dbc79d360a" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Princess Louise</em></p> <p>In an exclusive interview with <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.hellomagazine.com/royalty/2019062374448/sarah-ferguson-exclusive-interview-hello-documentary/" target="_blank">Hello</a>!</em>, Sarah revealed she has made a documentary in Germany with the aim of uncovering Princess Louise’s footsteps through historical archives, and a visit to her tomb.</p> <p>"She was discarded by her husband – Ernst I, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld – and sent to St Wendel," Sarah said.</p> <p>"Whatever she had done to upset Ernst – who it seems was tired and bored of her and wanted to divorce – to have to leave her two boys and never see them again was, for me, beyond words.</p> <p>"I wanted to know what Louise had done so terribly wrong that she should be taken from her children on that dank, rainy 26 August day – Albert's fifth birthday – put in a carriage, discarded and written out of history."</p> <p>During filming, the 59-year-old was hit with emotions, as her own mother, Susan Barrantes, left her family when she was just a young girl.</p> <p>"I just don't know what it would be like for me to not be with my girls. I really couldn't fathom it," the Duchess said, who is mother to Princess Beatrice, 30, and Princess Eugenie, 29.</p> <p>"One of the best things I've done with my life is that my daughters and I are like a tripod. The girls are very supportive of me and I am very supportive of what they do.</p> <p>"The key is to always be there, but never to wrap them in cotton wool. We work in unity and [ex-husband Prince] Andrew and I are focused on being good parents together.</p> <p>“We are bigger than friends. We learn from each other, support each other and understand it's about communication, compromise and compassion."</p>

Relationships

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How Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary

<div> <div class="replay"> <div class="reply_body body linkify"> <div class="reply_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>On June 19, 1999, Prince Edward – who is the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip – married Sophie Rhys-Jones.</p> <p>The Earl and Countess of Wessex married in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, in a particularly unique service where guests were informed not to wear hats.</p> <p>The televised ceremony attracted an estimated 200 million viewers around the world.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">The Earl and Countess of Wessex at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RoyalAscot?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RoyalAscot</a> - the day before their 20th wedding anniversary 📷 Chris Jackson &amp; <a href="https://twitter.com/AdamDavyPA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AdamDavyPA</a> <a href="https://t.co/mxwp4ZoCX0">pic.twitter.com/mxwp4ZoCX0</a></p> — PA Royal Reporters (@PARoyal) <a href="https://twitter.com/PARoyal/status/1141031255888355328?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 18, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>The unlikely pair met at a tennis event in the early 1990s, where Sophie was a public relations professional.</p> <p>It has been two decades since the royal couple tied the knot, and since the royal couple have welcomed two children – 14-year-old Lady Louise Windsor and James, viscount Severn who is 10.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see the last two decades the Earl and Countess of Wessex have spent together.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

Relationships

Finance

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Why we resort to retail therapy

<p><span>We all have our own ways to blow off steam – but for some, making an impulse purchase seems to be the answer.</span></p> <p><span> A study from the University of Michigan found that shopping can reduce sadness by restoring one’s sense of control in life. </span></p> <p><span>The researchers discovered that making buying decisions helped reduce negative emotions by subverting the belief that “situational forces control the outcomes in one’s life”.</span></p> <p><span>Although some may worry that impulse treats may put a dent in their wallet and therefore make their mood even worse, another <a href="https://northstarpsych.com/files_uploaded/8df9f1b646b4900b8dd33849f6e898c5.pdf">study</a> published in <em>Psychology &amp; Marketing</em> suggested that buyer’s remorse is not an issue. “There seem to be few, if any, downside consequences of engaging in the unplanned purchase of treats,” the researchers wrote. The study participants, they wrote, “did not experience anxiety, guilt, or buyer’s remorse,” nor did they “attempt to engage in compensatory activity” or “suffer a downturn in mood post-purchase”.</span></p> <p><span>However, retail therapy can only go so far in repairing mood and reducing stress. The study said shopping helps temporary and mild slumps but not “chronic negative conditions” such as loneliness. </span></p> <p><span>“We are currently dealing with small transactions and fleeting emotions. I am interested in larger purchases and chronic conditions,” said Scott Rick, a marketing professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. “How far can the healing go?”</span></p> <p><span>If you want to reap the benefits while still keeping your budget in check, there are a few tricks you can apply. Katherine Burson, a marketing professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business recommended using your imagination. “The people who simply imagine that they are buying have less sadness at the end of the experiment, suggesting that imaginary shopping may have some of the restorative benefits we see in real shopping, which might be the ultimate solution,” said Burson.</span></p> <p><span>You can also make the shopping experience a little less practical by using cash instead of card and removing your credit card details online – you are <a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/07/30/can-shopping-become-an-addiction_a_23057029/">less likely</a> to buy on a whim if you have to produce bills or manually enter your information.</span></p> <p><span>Finally, wait it out – making decisions in a tight time span can cloud your judgment over the true necessity of the item. Plan ahead and give yourself some time before committing to fork out some money.</span></p>

Retirement Income

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Heartbreaking decision – is Israel Folau’s wife risking it all?

<p>It has been almost two years since Maria Tutaia married her rugby star husband, Israel Folau, in November 2017.</p> <p>The journey has proven not to be easy; Maria has stood by her embattled husband even if it means risking her own career as well.</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/BpqkIaggDFk/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BpqkIaggDFk/" target="_blank">A post shared by MARIA FOLAU (@mariatutaia)</a> on Nov 1, 2018 at 9:47pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>As Folau prepares for a major legal fight to save his own career, after he was sacked from Rugby Australia last month for publicly voicing his anti-gay beliefs, his 32-year-old wife has used her own social media platforms to back him.</p> <p>But there are concerns the professional New Zealander netballer could be at risk of jeopardising her own career by showing her public support.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7828053/maria-folau.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/231c40aa0cc74824b5dc05a249816232" /></p> <p>Last week, she publicly donated her own money to his legal battle, Folau telling his own donors when setting up his GoFundMe page that he and Maria had “already spent over $100,000".</p> <p>However, the Adelaide Thunderbirds – the team Maria plays for – has released their own statement on her public endorsement of her husband.</p> <p>“While Netball SA in no way endorses the reposting, we do not believe Maria has contravened our social media policy,” the organisation said.</p> <p>The club also went on to say Maria was a good ambassador for the sport, by taking part in youth and community projects to inspire other young players to pursue a career professionally.</p> <p>However, other professional players do not see eye to eye with the Adelaide Netball Club.</p> <p>Aussie Netball legend Liz Ellis took to Twitter calling for Maria to be sacked.</p> <p>“Anyone who is seen to support or endorse homophobia is not welcome,” she wrote.</p> <p>“As much as I love watching @MariaFolau play netball I do not want my sport endorsing the views of her husband.”</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/BjJqpBwgWI-/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BjJqpBwgWI-/" target="_blank">A post shared by MARIA FOLAU (@mariatutaia)</a> on May 24, 2018 at 12:00am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Maria is currently training for next month’s World Cup in Auckland where she will play for the national New Zealand team in the UK. </p> <p>She will be sure to face a number of uncomfortable questions regarding her personal beliefs.</p> <p>Netball New Zealand said in a statement the professional sportswoman had not broken any social media policy.</p>

Legal

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Blondie’s Debbie Harry: “I escaped serial killer Ted Bundy”

<p>Debbie Harry has made an explosive claim as she says she was once lured into a taxi by serial killer Ted Bundy in the early ‘70s.</p> <p>The 73-year-old is planning to reveal the entire story in her autobiography,<span> </span><em>Face It</em>, which is set to be released in October this year.</p> <p>In a previous interview with<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/music-news/8191211/Blondies-Debbie-Harry-claims-serial-killer-Ted-Bundy-lured-her-into-car.html" target="_blank"><em>The Sun</em></a>, the Blondie singer spoke about the unsettling encounter which occurred in New York City: “It was in the early ‘70s and I was trying to get across town at two or three o’clock in the morning.</p> <p>“This little car kept coming around and offering me a ride.”</p> <p>Harry then said she hopped inside the vehicle after many failed attempts at finding a taxi.</p> <p>“I got in the car and the windows were all rolled up, except for a tiny crack. This driver had an incredibly bad smell to him.</p> <p>“I looked down and there were no door handles. The inside of the car was stripped. The hairs on the back of my neck just stood up.</p> <p>“I wigged my arm out of the window and pulled the door handle from the outside. I don’t know how I did it, but I got out.</p> <p>“He tried to stop me by spinning the car, but it sort of helped me fling myself out. Afterwards I saw him on the news, it was Ted Bundy.”</p> <p>Once Bundy was arrested, he admitted to his lawyer that he first attempted to kidnap a woman in 1969 and implied that his first murder happened in 1972.</p> <p>He was only 27-years-old when his first recorded murder occurred in 1974.</p> <p>He went on to kill 30 women.</p> <p>But even after the serial killer was imprisoned, the nightmare wasn’t over as he managed to escape lockup twice.</p>

Legal

Entertainment

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Susan Boyle opens up about plans to start a family at 58

<p>Susan Boyle has revealed her plan to start a family at the age of 58.</p> <p>The singer, who shot to fame after appearing on <em>Britain’s Got Talent </em>in 2009, said she is interested in “fostering” children in a recent interview on <a rel="noopener" href="https://play.acast.com/s/bizarrelife/8b29568b-712d-4781-afe6-aaee983aaaf4" target="_blank" title="The Dan Woottan Interview"><em>The Dan Wootton Interview</em></a> podcast.</p> <p>“I’ve never had any of my own, that’s my biggest regret, but I love kids,” said Boyle.</p> <p>“When things quieten down a bit I would like to get into fostering.</p> <p>“I’m 58 so I’ve got something to bring my family home to. I’ve a lovely house, why not share it?”</p> <p>Boyle has been kept busy this year with releasing her new album <em>Ten</em> and competing on <em>America’s Got Talent: The Champions</em>.</p> <p>Boyle became an ambassador for Save the Children in 2013. At the time, she said working with the charity made her feel as though she was “adopting the kids”.</p> <p>She said, “I love children and I feel like I’m adopting the kids. I feel like a mammy.”</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Jo4_XWVEIO0"></iframe></div> <p>She also released a song – a posthumous duet of <em>O Come, All Ye Faithful </em>with Elvis Presley – for the charity, with all the proceeds going to donations.</p>

Art

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Letter reveals the Queen’s heartbreak over Princess Diana’s death

<p>Princess Diana’s passing is something that is still discussed to this day, despite taking place more than twenty years ago on August 31, 1997. This is because not only was it embedded in people’s minds but was also a pivotal moment in the history of the royal family.</p> <p>Upon Princess Diana’s passing, the British Royal Family was criticised for their initial reaction.</p> <p>However, a resurfaced letter written by The Queen sets to change all of that.</p> <p>According to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.express.co.uk/news/royal/1144891/royal-news-princess-diana-latest-the-queen-elizabeth-ii-letter-diana-death-william-harry" target="_blank"><em>The Express</em></a>, the Queen expresses her sadness in the letter.</p> <p>"It was indeed dreadfully sad, and she is a huge loss to the country.</p> <p>“But the public reaction to her death and the service in the Abbey seem to have united people around the world in a rather inspiring way.”</p> <p>The Queen also spoke about the strength of her grandchildren and Diana's sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.</p> <p>“William and Harry have been so brave and I am very proud of them.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwgm93uF4w6/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwgm93uF4w6/" target="_blank">Wishing a very happy 93rd birthday to Her Majesty The Queen! Credit: 📸PA</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/kensingtonroyal/" target="_blank"> Kensington Palace</a> (@kensingtonroyal) on Apr 21, 2019 at 12:39am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The letter was written in response to condolences from Lady Henriette Abel Smith, who was a lady in waiting, as well as a close confidante to the Queen.</p> <p><span>F</span><span>ollowing the death of Lady Smith</span><span> in 2005, the letter was auctioned off the same year and initially obtained by the <em>Daily Mail</em>. </span></p> <p>A majority of the letter was typed, but it was the written postscript where the Queen let her true feelings show.</p> <p>”I think your letter was one of the first I opened – emotions are still so mixed up but we have all been through a very bad experience.”</p> <p> </p>

Books

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Research has revealed that technology is a literal pain in the neck

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Researchers have revealed that technology is changing the bones in our necks and skulls, which is setting people up for a lifetime of pain.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This comes from device overuse, as it can cause posture problems.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Researchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast have found something unusual that tends to go unnoticed.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They used a sample of more than 1,200 people aged between 18 and 30. They discovered that 41 percent of the participants had grown a bony lump on the back of their skull.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The horn-like spurs were between 10 to 30 millimetres thick.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We suspect the reason for this bone spur formation is because they carry their head forward,” University of the Sunshine Coast’s David Shahar said to </span><a href="https://thewest.com.au/news/health/researchers-reveal-technology-is-proving-a-pain-in-the-neck-ng-b881234805z"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The West.</span></a></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The sustained stress on the skull is creating bone de-position which usually takes years.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The simple solution? Lift your head.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Bringing the weight of the head back to rest on the bones and not on the muscles,” Dr Shahar said. </span></p>

Technology

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"I never saw any evidence of marriage": New book claims Donald and Melania Trump lead separate lives

<p>A new book on Donald Trump has claimed that he and his wife Melania Trump live separate lives, with the 45th US President and First Lady only remaining together out of an arrangement.</p> <p>Following his commercially successful expose <em>Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House</em>, Michael Wolff has released another book on Trump’s presidency.</p> <p>In new book <em>Siege: Trump Under Fire</em>, Wolff claims that the speculations surrounding the First Lady – including rumours of a body double, an extended hospital stay, delayed relocation to the White House and multiple on-record slip-ups – are indications that the Trumps’ relationship is merely for publicity purposes.</p> <p>Wolff told <a href="https://www.news.com.au/world/north-america/inside-the-trump-marriage-michael-wolff-book-claims-donald-and-melania-lead-separate-lives/news-story/782af09528c7696217d116fd1460ff7d"><em>The Australian</em></a> that the couple’s marriage is a “deal” that is akin to the rumoured relationship contract between Hollywood stars Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.</p> <p>The book, which cites more than 100 sources, features Trump’s former director campaign and adviser Steve Bannon. </p> <p>“I never saw any evidence of a marriage,” Bannon said as quoted in the book. </p> <p>He told Wolff that most mentions of the First Lady “drew a puzzled look from Trump, as if to say, ‘How is she relevant?’”</p> <p>Wolff also claimed that the First Lady’s delayed move from New York to the White House also spoke volumes.</p> <p>“Indeed, a distraught Melania, repeatedly assured by her husband during the campaign that there was no possibility he would win, had originally refused to move to Washington,” Wolff wrote.</p> <p>“And, in fact, the First Lady was not really in the White House. It had taken Melania almost six months to officially relocate from New York to Washington, but that was in name only.”</p> <p>However, many news outlets have expressed doubts over the claims in Wolff’s new book. </p> <p>“The book is full of stuff that is lurid and sensational, but so dubious in its attributions that even in a review setting I’m afraid to repeat them,” wrote Matt Taibbi of <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/michael-wolff-siege-book-taibbi-review-844398/" target="_blank"><em>Rolling Stone</em></a>.</p> <p>According to CNN political analyst Ryan Lizza, the book also contains “factual errors that mar the author’s credibility”.</p> <p>While Trump has not commented on the new <em>Siege</em> book, he rejected Wolff’s claims in <em>Fire and Fury</em>, describing the book as “the Fake Book of a mentally deranged author, who knowingly writes false information”.</p>

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