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Passengers boarding airplanes: We're doing it wrong

<p>‘Tis the season for airplane travel. We may be looking forward to getting where we’re going, but most aspects of the travel itself are merely endured. There’s stressful security, the madding crowd and the scrum at boarding, where people and their myriad belongings clog the gate area, standing between you and your departure.</p> <p>But take heart: there are scientifically proven ways to improve the boarding process or at least speed it up so that it can be over and done with more quickly.</p> <h2>What’s going wrong now</h2> <p>Currently, it feels like you could have walked to your destination by the time you’ve waited through boarding calls for all the various levels of travelers, from elite down to the dregs of refundable coach. Moreover, once you scan your pass and enter the jetway, you find it’s packed with all those who were crammed up around the ticket scanner a few minutes before – affectionately called “gate lice.”</p> <p>One big contributor to this logjam is the common airline policy to charge for checked baggage, leading passengers to bring aboard more, and more fully packed, luggage. All these carry-ons take time to stow. The fuller the plane becomes, the longer it takes to put the luggage away – like a not-very-fun version of Tetris.</p> <p>Another cause is the boarding process itself: the way and order that passengers are asked to board.</p> <p>You might assume the fastest way to load a plane is from the back to the front, so that no passenger needs to pass anyone in the aisle or hop over anyone in their row. This logic forms the basis of standard boarding procedures. But what would really happen if you boarded in precisely this way? The passengers would rush into the cabin, proceed toward the back – and come to a screeching halt as the first one or two passengers stow their luggage. The first 30 passengers (the back five rows) would take up nearly the entire length of the cabin. The rest of the line has simply moved from the airport gate into the jetway or cabin – and it moves no faster.</p> <h2>The leap from serial to parallel</h2> <p>The problem is that boarding from the back to the front is a serial process: only one action at a time is completed. It’s like deleting a page of text just using the delete key instead of selecting the entire page. In this case, only one passenger at a time is seated. The aisle in the airplane isn’t used effectively.</p> <p>A more efficient way to board would have only as many passengers in the airplane as can put their luggage away without interfering with each other. Those passengers should also be ordered so as to eliminate the need to pass by anyone either in the aisle or in the rows. In other words, it is better to make passenger boarding a parallel process where multiple actions occur simultaneously, instead of a serial process.</p> <h2>An optimum method</h2> <p>Virtually all scientific or industrial fields have optimization problems: finding the best way to complete different tasks. A classic example is the “traveling salesman” problem: what’s the shortest route that connects a number of cities?</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/SC5CX8drAtU?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="caption">The “traveling salesman” is another mathematical problem that can be solved using the same optimization routine.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/65384/original/image-20141124-19618-9kjeel.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/65384/original/image-20141124-19618-9kjeel.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=237&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">Seating map showing the order that passengers board using the Steffen method.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Jason Steffen</span>, <span class="license">Author provided</span></span></p> <p>The same optimization routine that can solve the traveling salesman problem can be applied to airplane boarding. Drawing from its results, I’ve <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jairtraman.2008.03.003">proposed</a> an optimum boarding method. In this approach, often called the Steffen method, adjacent passengers in line will be seated two rows apart from each other. The first wave of passengers would be, in order, 30A, 28A, 26A, 24A, and so on, starting from the back. (For a typical airplane there would be 12 such waves, one for each seat in a row and for odd and even rows.)</p> <p><a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jairtraman.2011.10.003">In field tests</a>, this method has outperformed all others. In a test with 72 passengers it was nearly twice as fast as boarding back-to-front or in rotating blocks of rows, methods commonly used in the industry. It was 20-30% faster than more optimized boarding methods such as random boarding, when people get on without regard to where their assigned seats are. It also beat boarding windows-middle-aisle. My method even outperformed the industry gold standard of open seating, used by Southwest airlines. That’s when passengers don’t have assigned seats at all.</p> <h2>Can we make the switch?</h2> <p>So, why isn’t this optimum method of airplane boarding being adopted by any carrier in the industry? One significant reason may be the challenge of its implementation – lining passengers up in such a rigid order. While this obstacle may not be insurmountable, the question itself overlooks one of the primary benefits of the Steffen method: it allows an airline to measure how much room there is for improvement and identifies where that improvement is to be found.</p> <p>A head-to-head comparison between an existing strategy and the Steffen method (incorporating all of the different elite and special-needs passengers) might show that a 30% reduction in boarding time is possible. Then, the powers-that-be can weigh the cost of changing to a more efficient, yet still practical process – one that more effectively uses the aisle – against the benefit of recovering only a portion of that potential savings. Those are the kinds of numbers that decisions can be based upon – and it eliminates the common, but utterly useless, defense of “there’s always room for improvement.”</p> <p>Cold comfort on your flight this week, perhaps. Maybe spend some of your time standing in line spreading the word that a better way is possible.<!-- 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/33615/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>Jason Steffen, Research Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/passengers-boarding-airplanes-were-doing-it-wrong-33615" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

International Travel

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Couple dies 33 hours apart after being married for 68 years

<p>A husband and wife who had been married for 68 years have passed away within hours of each other.</p> <p>Minneapolis couple Robert and Corinne Johnson were laid to rest together after dying 33 hours apart, <em><a href="https://www.kare11.com/article/life/married-68-years-husband-and-wife-die-one-day-apart/89-fba881e6-5178-4e9a-9c0d-c9838523c1b4">KARE11</a> </em>reported.</p> <p>Corinne died on November 24 at the age of 87 from congestive heart failure. Her husband Robert, 85, followed soon on November 25 after months of battle with cancer.</p> <p>The couple’s youngest son Brent Johnson said his parents passed “on their own terms”.</p> <p>He said his father was known for his chivalrous acts, including letting others ahead through doors or buffet lines. “So it was only fitting that in the end he waited for mother to go first and then he passed away,” he told <em><a href="https://www.kare11.com/article/life/married-68-years-husband-and-wife-die-one-day-apart/89-fba881e6-5178-4e9a-9c0d-c9838523c1b4">KARE11</a></em>.</p> <p>Brent said it was not a coincidence that his father’s death came shortly after his mother’s. “When I asked him what his wishes were if mom passed away, he said he couldn’t imagine life without her. And in the end, he was right,” Brent told <em><a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2019/12/04/us/minneapolis-couple-married-68-years-dies-day-apart-trnd/index.html">CNN</a></em>.</p> <p>The pair’s other son Bruce Johnson, <a href="https://people.com/human-interest/minnesota-couple-die-33-hours-apart/">who works as a doctor that specialises in cancer</a>, said he thought his father had more time.</p> <p>“I sort of thought he looked like he could go for weeks,” Bruce said. “As soon as mom died, he went downhill and died in a day. It’s hard to imagine it’s a coincidence.”</p> <p>Robert and Corinne’s relationship began when they grew up beside each other on a farm in Nicollet County, according to their obituaries.</p> <p>The pair tied the knot in October 1951 and raised seven children together. They also shared 14 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.</p> <p>The secret to the couple’s long-lasting marriage was strong faith and commitment, Brent said.</p> <p>“Dad would say, if mom isn’t happy, no one’s happy,” he said. “He understood what it took to make a marriage work.”</p>

Caring

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Three-Michelin-starred chef bans meat from her restaurants

<p><span>When you walk into any of Dominique Crenn’s San Francisco eateries, do not expect to find any pork or chicken.</span></p> <p><span>The three-Michelin-starred chef has announced that her restaurants – Atelier Crenn, Petit Crenn, Bar Crenn and the forthcoming Boutique Crenn – will no longer serve land-based meat. </span></p> <p><span>“Meat is insanely complicated – both within the food system and the environment as a whole – and, honestly, it felt easier to just remove it from the menus all together,” the chef said in a statement.</span></p> <p><span>“Local and sustainable fish and vegetables are just as, if not more, versatile – and delicious.”</span></p> <p><span>Crenn said some of her restaurants have been meat-free for years. </span></p> <p><span>“What people haven’t talked about is [since] I opened Petit Crenn in 2015, it’s been fully vegetarian and pescatarian, we didn’t have any meat there,” Crenn told <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/dominique-crenn-michelin-star-chef-meat-ban/index.html"><em>CNN Travel</em></a>. “But I never advertised it. And then Atelier has been meat free for the last two years.”</span></p> <p><span>The chef said while she is not a pescatarian or vegetarian, she hopes to “effect real environmental change” through her dining group. </span></p> <p><span>“I know the impact of the way that we fix meat nowadays is not good. It’s killing us, it’s killing the planet,” she said.</span></p> <p><span>“I’m trying to make the best decision for my surroundings and the planet and myself. But I’m not forcing anybody to do that.</span></p> <p><span>But what am I asking is -- I really want people to think about their actions and their behavior and what they can impact on their own. And it’s pretty easy. You know, the little things will go such a long way.”</span></p> <p><span>A reduction in worldwide beef and lamb consumption would help reduce carbon emissions and stave off dangerous climate change, a <a href="https://time.com/5646787/ipcc-climate-change-land-report/">UN report</a> released in August found.</span></p> <p><span>Another study published in the journal <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0594-0.epdf?referrer_access_token=XZVziR7TomkKxdcQPHzQztRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0M2ZckU8PFAjFp2beHrcOXhMGtzE8nzrDqubMx9ONW9ULSbbQ_WUw8pvU9o1FaesDGn7Yyqm7rBefxpvX03Wpn9fVoWCmNUMPUJaksaTZag7YHqVuReazO6_biSFBudf0fo2_DKzyNTaIKyTK4Iuxp7tpl7fPwJrWv85CogEUuSnsQ9AdQHF4LkpZHfMiYl558qP0i6uGuTstvERNFrGr3v_E1KpZK84cX4qaGEUh5_IiX_HQ7lH9hoEbY6vHOB4Bh893_N1hZK2CL4CocbFg00&amp;tracking_referrer=www.theguardian.com"><em>Nature</em></a> found that to keep global warming under 2C, an average world citizen needs to eat 75 per cent less beef and 90 percent less pork. The average world citizen also needs to halve their consumption of eggs, and replace them with <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/10/huge-reduction-in-meat-eating-essential-to-avoid-climate-breakdown">five times as many legumes.</a> </span></p>

International Travel

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How stress speeds up your chromosomes’ ageing clock

<p>Ageing is an inevitability for all living organisms, and although we still don’t know exactly why our bodies gradually grow ever more decrepit, we are starting to grasp how it happens.</p> <p>Our new research, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ele.13426">published in <em>Ecology Letters</em></a>, pinpoints factors that influence one of the most important aspects of the ageing process, at the fundamental level of our DNA. It suggests how stress can cause the biochemical body clock built into our chromosomes to tick faster.</p> <p>DNA - the genetic material in our cells - does not float freely in cells’ nuclei, but is organised into clumps called chromosomes. When a cell divides and produces a replica of itself, it has to make a copy of its DNA, and because of the way this process works, a tiny portion is always lost at one end of each DNA molecule.</p> <p>To protect vital portions of DNA from being lost in the process, the ends of chromosomes are capped with special sequences called <a href="https://www.britannica.com/science/telomere">telomeres</a>. These are gradually whittled away during successive cell divisions.</p> <p>This gradual loss of telomeres acts like a cellular clock: with each replication they get shorter, and at a certain point they become too short, forcing the cell into a programmed death process. The key question is what this process, which plays out on a cellular level, actually means for our mortality. Does the fate of individual cells really matter so much? Does the ticking telomere clock really count down the remaining time our bodies have to live?</p> <p>Cellular ageing is just one of many components of ageing - but it’s one of the most important. Gradual deterioration of our body’s tissues, and the irreversible death of our cells, are responsible for the most conspicuous effects of ageing such as loss of physical fitness, deterioration of connective tissues leading to skin wrinkles, or neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.</p> <h2>What makes us tick?</h2> <p>Another crucial question is: are there factors that speed up or slow down the loss of our ticking telomeres?</p> <p>So far, our answers to this question have been incomplete. Studies have provided glimpses of possible mechanisms, suggesting that things like <a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/347/6220/436/tab-figures-data">infections</a> or even <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jeb.12479">dedicating extra energy to reproduction</a> might accelerate telomere shortening and speed up cellular ageing.</p> <p>This evidence is piecemeal, but these factors all seem to have one thing in common: they cause “physiological stress”. Broadly speaking, our cells are stressed when their biochemical processes are disrupted, either by a lack of resources or for some other reason. If cells lose too much water, for example, we might say they are in “dehydration stress”.</p> <p>More familiar types of stress also count. Tiredness and overwork put us under chronic stress, as does feeling anxious for prolonged periods. <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180712141715.htm">Lack of sleep</a> or <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763246/">emotional stress</a> can alter internal cellular pathways, including telomere functioning.</p> <p>With this in mind, we asked ourselves one simple question. Can various types of stress experienced by an individual actually accelerate their rate of ageing?</p> <h2>Stress and strain</h2> <p>In our research, led by my colleague Marion Chatelain of the University of Warsaw (currently University of Innsbruck), we chose to look at this question as broadly as possible. Many studies have looked at this problem in specific species, such as mice, rats, and various fish and bird species (both wild and in the lab). We compiled the available evidence into a summary of the existing knowledge, across all vertebrate organisms studied so far.</p> <p>The emerging picture clearly suggests that telomere loss is profoundly impacted by stress. All else being equal, stress does indeed hasten telomere loss and accelerate the internal cellular clock.</p> <p>Importantly, the type of stress matters: by far the strongest negative impact is caused by pathogen infections, competition for resources, and intensive investment in reproduction.</p> <p>Other stressors, such as poor diet, human disturbance or urban living, also hastened cellular ageing, although to a lesser extent.</p> <h2>Getting radical</h2> <p>A natural question arises: what makes stress exert such a powerful influence on cellular clocks? Is there a single mechanism, or many? Our analysis may have identified one possible candidate: “oxidative stress”.</p> <p>When cells are stressed, this often manifests itself through an accumulation of oxidising molecules, such as <a href="https://theconversation.com/health-check-the-untrue-story-of-antioxidants-vs-free-radicals-15920">free radicals</a>. Residing at the exposed ends of our chromosomes, telomeres are perfect targets for attack by these chemically reactive molecules.</p> <p>Our analysis suggests that, regardless of the type of stress experienced, this oxidative stress might be the actual biochemical process that links stress and telomere loss. As to whether this means that we should eat more <a href="https://www.britannica.com/science/antioxidant">antioxidants</a> to guard our telomeres, this certainly requires more research.</p> <p>I know what you’re wondering: does this mean we have discovered the secret of ageing? Can we use this knowledge to slow the ageing process or stop it in its tracks? The short answer is: no.</p> <p>Ageing is too fundamental to our biology to get rid of it completely. But our study does underline an important truth: by reducing stress, we can do our bodies a big favour.</p> <p>In the modern world, it is hard to escape stress completely, but we can make everyday decisions to reduce it. Get enough sleep, drink enough water, eat healthily and don’t push yourself too hard. It won’t buy you eternal life, but it should keep your cells ticking along nicely.</p> <hr /> <p><em>The author thanks his colleagues <a href="https://www.uibk.ac.at/ecology/staff/persons/chatelain.html.en">Marion Chatelain</a> and <a href="https://cent.uw.edu.pl/en/person/prof-marta-szulkin/">Marta Szulkin</a> for their contributions to this article and the research on which it is based.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/127728/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>Szymek Drobniak, DECRA Fellow, UNSW</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/tick-tock-how-stress-speeds-up-your-chromosomes-ageing-clock-127728" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

Body

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Titanium is the perfect metal to make replacement body parts

<p><em>To mark the <a href="https://www.iypt2019.org/">International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements</a> we’re taking a look at how researchers study some of the elements in their work.</em></p> <p><em>Today’s it’s titanium, a metal known for its strength and lightness so it’s ideal for making replacement hips, knees and other parts of our bodies, but it’s also used in other industries.</em></p> <hr /> <p><a href="http://www.rsc.org/periodic-table/element/22/titanium">Titanium</a> gets its name from the <a href="https://www.britannica.com/topic/Titan-Greek-mythology">Titans of ancient Greek mythology</a> but this thoroughly modern material is well suited to a huge range of high-tech applications.</p> <p>With the chemical symbol Ti and an atomic number of 22, titanium is a silver-coloured metal valued for its low density, high strength, and resistance to corrosion.</p> <p>I first studied titanium via a Master’s degree at the Institute of Metal Research in the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1999. One of my projects was to investigate the formation of titanium alloys for their high-strength characteristics.</p> <p>Since then, the applications for this metal have grown exponentially, from its use (as <a href="https://www.britannica.com/science/titanium-dioxide">titanium dioxide</a>) in paints, paper, toothpaste, sunscreen and cosmetics, through to its <a href="https://www.britannica.com/science/titanium">use as an alloy</a> in biomedical implants and aerospace innovations.</p> <p>Particularly exciting is the perfect marriage between titanium and 3D printing.</p> <p><strong>Custom design from 3D printing</strong></p> <p>Titanium materials are expensive and can be problematic when it comes to traditional processing technologies. For example, its high melting point (1,670℃, much higher than <a href="https://www.bssa.org.uk/topics.php?article=103">steel alloys</a>) is a challenge.</p> <p>The relatively low-cost precision of 3D printing is therefore a game-changer for titanium. 3D printing is where an object is built layer by layer and designers can create amazing shapes.</p> <p>This allows the production of complex shapes such as replacement parts of a <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-30/victorian-woman-gets-3d-printed-jawbone-implant/8400410">jaw bone</a>, <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-21/rare-cancer-sufferer-receives-3d-printed-heel/5830432">heel</a>, <a href="https://www.southampton.ac.uk/news/2014/05/16-ground-breaking-hip-and-stem-cell-surgery.page">hip</a>, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27313616">dental implants</a>, or <a href="http://www.media-studio.co.uk/news/media-studios-first-3d-printed-titanium-cranioplasty-plate-delivered">cranioplasty plates</a> in surgery. It can also be used to make <a href="https://3dprint.com/219546/3d-print-golf-clubs-and-equipment/">golf clubs</a> and <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-norsk-boeing-idUSKBN17C264">aircraft components</a>.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.csiro.au/en/Research/MF/Areas/Metals/Lab22">CSIRO is working with industry</a> to develop new technologies in 3D printing using titanium. (It even <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oc8GoOOUo4">made a dragon</a> out of titanium.)</p> <p>Advances in 3D printing are opening up new avenues to further improve the function of <a href="https://www.materialise.com/pl/node/3197">customised bodypart implants</a> <a href="https://www.renishaw.com/en/metal-3d-printing-for-healthcare--24226">made of titanium</a>.</p> <p>Such implants can be designed to be porous, making them lighter but allowing blood, nutrients and nerves to pass through and can even <a href="https://3dprint.com/219795/3d-printed-lattice-structures/">promote bone in-growth</a>.</p> <p><strong>Safe in the body</strong></p> <p>Titanium is considered the most biocompatible metal – not harmful or toxic to living tissue – due to its resistance to corrosion from bodily fluids. This ability to withstand the harsh bodily environment is a result of the protective oxide film that forms naturally in the presence of oxygen.</p> <p>Its ability to physically bond with bone also gives titanium an advantage over other materials that require the use of an adhesive to remain attached. Titanium implants last longer, and much larger forces are required to break the bonds that join them to the body compared with their alternatives.</p> <p>Titanium alloys commonly used in load-bearing implants are significantly less stiff – and closer in performance to human bone – than stainless steel or cobalt-based alloys.</p> <p><strong>Aerospace applications</strong></p> <p>Titanium weighs about half as much as steel but is 30% stronger, which makes it ideally suited to the aerospace industry where every gram matters.</p> <p>In the late 1940s the US government helped to get production of titanium going as it could see its potential for “<a href="https://titaniumprocessingcenter.com/titanium-technical-data/titanium-history-developments-and-applications/">aircraft, missiles, spacecraft, and other military purposes</a>”.</p> <p>Titanium has increasingly become the buy-to-fly material for aircraft designers striving to develop faster, lighter and more efficient aircraft.</p> <p>About 39% of the US Air Force’s <a href="https://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/f22/">F22 Raptor</a>, one of the most advanced fighter aircraft in the world, is made of titanium.</p> <p>Civil aviation moved in the same direction with Boeing’s new <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/boeing-787-dreamliner">787 Dreamliner made of 15% titanium</a>, significantly more than previous models.</p> <p>Two key areas where titanium is used in airliners is in their landing gear and jet engines. Landing gear needs to withstand the massive amounts of force exerted on it every time a plane hits a runway.</p> <p>Titanium’s toughness means it can absorb the huge amounts of energy expelled when a plane lands without ever weakening.</p> <p>Titanium’s heat resistance means it can be used inside modern jet engines, where temperatures can reach 800℃. Steel begins to soften at around 400℃ but titanium can withstand the intense heat of a jet engine without losing its strength.</p> <p><strong>Where to find titanium</strong></p> <p>In its natural state, titanium is always found bonded with other elements, usually within igneous rocks and sediments derived from them.</p> <p>The most commonly mined materials containing titanium are <a href="https://geology.com/minerals/ilmenite.shtml">ilmenite</a> (an iron-titanium oxide, FeTiO<sub>3</sub>) and <a href="https://geology.com/minerals/rutile.shtml">rutile</a> (a titanium oxide, TiO<sub>2</sub>).</p> <p>Ilmenite is most abundant in China, whereas Australia has the highest global proportion of rutile, <a href="http://www.ga.gov.au/education/classroom-resources/minerals-energy/australian-mineral-facts/titanium#heading-6">about 40% according to Geoscience Australia</a>. It’s found mostly on the east, west and southern coastlines of Australia.</p> <p>Both materials are generally extracted from sands, after which the titanium is separated from the other minerals.</p> <p>Australia is one of the world’s <a href="https://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/titanium/mcs-2015-timin.pdf">leading producers of titanium</a>, producing more than 1.5 million tonnes in 2014. South Africa and China are the two next leading producers of titanium, producing 1.16 and 1 million tonnes, respectively.</p> <p>Being among the top ten most abundant elements in Earth’s crust, titanium resources aren’t currently under threat – good news for the many scientists and innovators constantly looking for new ways to improve life with titanium.</p> <hr /> <p><em>If you’re an academic researcher working with a particular element from the periodic table and have an interesting story to tell then why not <a href="https://theconversation.com/au/pitches">get in touch</a>.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/115361/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><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/laichang-zhang-715775">Laichang Zhang</a>, Professor Mechanical Engineering, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/edith-cowan-university-720">Edith Cowan University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/titanium-is-the-perfect-metal-to-make-replacement-human-body-parts-115361">original article</a>.</em></p>

Technology

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How music is used to frame our daily routines

<p>The concept of “home” refers to more than bricks and mortar. Just as cities are more than buildings and infrastructure, our homes carry all manner of emotional, aesthetic and socio-cultural significance.</p> <p>Our research investigates music and sound across five settings: home, <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;id=zcMuMglzyzkC&amp;oi=fnd&amp;pg=PA190&amp;ots=atQw4trFNS&amp;sig=35Ok_TO3mJYXgm3mGRt_8bFfZ0Q#v=onepage&amp;q&amp;f=false">work</a>, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/soin.12232">retail spaces</a>, private <a href="https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/S0163-2396(2010)0000035015/full/html">vehicle travel</a> and <a href="https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=200907280;res=IELAPA;type=pdf">public transport</a>.</p> <p>We found our interview subjects often idealised home along the lines of what <a href="http://www.losquaderno.professionaldreamers.net/?p=1106">Rowland Atkinson terms an “aural haven”</a>. He suggests, although “homes are … rarely places of complete silence”, we tend to imagine them as “refuge[s] from unwanted sound” that offer psychic and perceptual “nourishment to us as social beings”.</p> <p>We explored the ways in which people shape and respond to the home as a set of “<a href="http://www.professionaldreamers.net/images/losquaderno/losquaderno10.pdf">modifiable micro-soundscapes</a>”. Through 29 in-depth interviews, we examine how people use music and sound to frame the home as a type of “<a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/2095141?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents">interaction order</a>”. Erving Goffman coined this term to capture how people respond to the felt “presence” of an other.</p> <p>That presence can be linguistic or non-linguistic, visual or acoustic. It can cross material thresholds such as walls and fences. Goffman <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books?id=EM1NNzcR-V0C&amp;printsec=frontcover&amp;dq=behaviour+in+public+places&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwic9JaW6-XlAhV-73MBHRilB4oQ6AEIKDAA#v=onepage&amp;q=work%20walls%20do&amp;f=false">wrote</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>The work walls do, they do in part because they are honoured or socially recognised as communication barriers.</em></p> </blockquote> <p><strong>Cultivating sonic havens through music</strong></p> <p>As we detail in our recent <a href="https://tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14036096.2019.1686060">essay in Housing, Theory and Society</a>, the type of listening that most closely matches the idea of the home as an aural haven is bedroom listening – by young people in particular. We found that, as well as offering “control” and “seclusion”, the bedroom gave listeners a sense of “transcendence” and immersed them in “deep” listening. One interview subject said:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>When I get a new album … I like to experience [it] by … lying down on the floor… I’ll turn the lights off and I’ll just be engaging with the music, my eyes won’t be open.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Another reported putting on headphones to listen to special selections of music, despite not needing to. “Headphones… [is] a more intimate … kind of thing”, even in a bedroom setting.</p> <p>When it came to music in shared spaces and in relation to neighbours, our interview subjects seemed both aware of music’s visceral powers and keen to respect the territorial or acoustic “preserves” of others. One young female sharing a house with her mother carefully curated the type of music played, and what part of the house it was played in. Her choices depended on whether her mother was home and whether she had shown interest in particular genres.</p> <p>All respondents who lived in shared households expressed some kind of sensitivity to not playing music at night.</p> <p>Another lived by herself in an apartment complex of five. She took deference towards neighbours seriously enough to “tinker away” on her piano only when she was sure her immediate neighbour wasn’t home. She “didn’t play the piano much” inside her flat and was only prepared to “go nuts” playing the piano in halls and other non-domestic settings.</p> <p><strong>Music as a bridging ritual</strong></p> <p>Another of our findings accorded with the microsociological focus on how people organise <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0226981606/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i10">time</a> and <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0029344204/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i6">space</a> in everyday life. We found evidence, for example, of how music was used to wake up, or to transition to the weekend, or as a “bridging ritual” between work and home.</p> <p>One interview subject remarked that he is “dressed casually anyway” when he returns from work, so his mechanism for shifting to home mode is to listen “to music … pretty much as soon as I get home … unless I’m just turning around and going straight somewhere else”. In other words, he associated the boundary between home and non-home with music and the listening rituals of returning home.</p> <p>One of the themes in academic literature about media and the home is that electronic and digital media <a href="https://global.oup.com/academic/product/no-sense-of-place-9780195042313?cc=au&amp;lang=en&amp;">blur the boundary between the inside and outside of the home</a>. There is no doubt radio, television and now various digital platforms bring the world “out there” into the immediacy and intimacy of our own domestic worlds. But, as <a href="https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9780203033142/chapters/10.4324/9780203033142-8">Jo Tacchi noted of radio sound</a>, those sounds can also be used to weave a sonic <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0038026118825233">texture</a> of domestic comfort, security and routine.</p> <p>We also found interesting sonic continuities between our homes and how we make ourselves at home in non-domestic settings. As <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books?id=KEHjTYnT-MUC&amp;q=Locked+in+our+cars#v=snippet&amp;q=Locked%20in%20our%20cars&amp;f=false">Christina Nippert-Eng writes</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>Locked in our cars, commutes offer the working woman or man the legitimate equivalent of a teenager’s bedroom, often complete with stereo system and favourite music.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>In short, sonic havens are simply “places where we can retreat into privacy”, inside or outside our literal homes.<!-- 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/126188/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><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/michael-james-walsh-147733">Michael James Walsh</a>, Assistant Professor Social Science, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-canberra-865">University of Canberra</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/eduardo-de-la-fuente-161803">Eduardo de la Fuente</a>, Honorary Fellow, School of Humanities and Social Inquiry, University of Wollongong, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/sonic-havens-how-we-use-music-to-make-ourselves-feel-at-home-126188">original article</a>.</em></p>

Music

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Federer breaks the internet after becoming first person to receive historic honour

<p>Iconic tennis legend Roger Federer, 38, has made history and become the first living man in Switzerland to be recognised with a commemorative coin.</p> <p>The 20-time grand slam winner has now been honoured with the historical achievement in his home country, which he says is an “incredible honour and privilege”.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Thank you Switzerland🇨🇭and Swissmint for this incredible honour and privilege. 🙏<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DankeSchweiz?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DankeSchweiz</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MerciLaSuisse?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MerciLaSuisse</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GrazieSvizzera?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GrazieSvizzera</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GraziaSvizra?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GraziaSvizra</a> <a href="https://t.co/gNs6qYjOh6">pic.twitter.com/gNs6qYjOh6</a></p> — Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) <a href="https://twitter.com/rogerfederer/status/1201455063941566464?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">2 December 2019</a></blockquote> <p>The Federal Swiss Mint announced that he would be on the 20-franc coin, which shows Federer lining up his iconic backhand.</p> <p>“The Federal Mint Swissmint is honouring Roger Federer and, for the first time in its history, dedicating a Swiss commemorative coin to a living person,” the website read.</p> <p>The demand for the coin, which was released on the 2nd of December, broke the website.</p> <p>“We had 2.5 million clicks. It was too much for the shop to handle,” said Swissmint CEO Marius Haldimann to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.atptour.com/en/news/demand-for-roger-federer-coin-crashes-swissmint-website" target="_blank">ATP Tour.</a></em></p> <p>“We expected and planned for high demand, but we never imagined it would be this big. When Roger posted a link on his social media channels the website immediately had problems due to all the traffic. Some fans could access the shop but could not finish the order. Others could not get onto the website.”</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/B5kOeTyFceI/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B5kOeTyFceI/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Thank you Switzerland🇨🇭and Swissmint for this incredible honour and privilege. 🙏 #dankeschweiz #mercilasuisse #graziesvizzera #GraziaSvizra</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/rogerfederer/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Roger Federer</a> (@rogerfederer) on Dec 2, 2019 at 2:05am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Out of the 35,000 20-franc silver coins that were offered in the pre-sale window, 15,000 have been ordered. The remaining 20,000 coins are expected to sell quickly once the Mint has recovered from the dramatic spike in traffic.</p> <p>Another 40,000 coins will be released in May, when a 50-franc gold coin will be released.</p> <p>Federer is currently the oldest person to finish a season as the World No 3 at the age of 38. </p>

International Travel

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Make chilli coriander squid this summer season

<p>Time to prepare <em>25 mins</em> | Serves <em>4</em></p> <p>This Chilli Coriander Squid recipe is from the book <em>Healthy Body</em> by one of Australia's foremost personal trainers Sally Matterson.</p> <p>For more information on how you can balance your hormones and shred fat for life read <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/book-review-healthy-body.aspx">our review of Healthy Body</a>.</p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong>:</p> <ul> <li>2 red onions, cut into wedges</li> <li>4 tsp flaxseed oil, plus extra</li> <li>1 tsp balsamic vinegar</li> <li>2 chillies, finely chopped</li> <li>1 bunch coriander, finely chopped</li> <li>600g (1.3lb) pre-cut squid rings (or 4 baby squid) scored and thinly sliced</li> <li>1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved</li> <li>1/2 cup kalamata olives</li> <li>100g (3.5oz) rocket leaves (arugula)</li> <li>large handful parsley leaves, roughly chopped</li> <li>juice of half a lemon</li> </ul> <p><strong>Directions</strong>:</p> <ol> <li>Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place onion on the prepared tray. Drizzle with 2 tsp of the flaxseed oil and balsamic vinegar and bake for 15 mins. Set aside to cool.</li> <li>Place chilli, coriander and squid in a bowl. Toss together.</li> <li>In a separate bowl, place cherry tomatoes, olives, rocket, parsley and the cooked onion.  </li> <li>Heat oil in a frying pan and quickly toss squid for 2 mins or until tender.</li> <li>Add squid to the salad and toss. Drizzle with remaining flaxseed oil and lemon juice. Serve.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Macronutrients per serve</strong><br />Protein 28.7g (1.0oz)<br />Fats 8.3g (0.3oz)<br />Carbs 9.4g (0.3oz)</p> <p><strong>Tips</strong></p> <p>This is a light meal that's perfect for al fresco dining. Cook the squid on the barbecue if you prefer.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/recipes/chilli-coriander-squid.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

Food & Wine

News

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"No way back": How the confrontation between Prince Charles and Prince Andrew played out

<p>It appears that the Prince of Wales has had enough of the intense public scrutiny that surrounds his brother Prince Andrew and has “read him the riot act”.</p> <p>Virginia Giuffre piled on the pressure in her<span> </span><em>Panorama</em><span> </span>interview, where she alleged that Prince Andrew had sex with her when she was 17, which are allegations the Duke of York firmly denies.</p> <p>A royal insider told<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/10479374/prince-charles-prince-andrew-sandringham-showdown/" target="_blank">The Sun</a></em><span> </span>about how the confrontation went down between the two brothers.</p> <p>“It was all very civilised and calm, but Charles calmly read him the riot act and told him there was no way back for him in the near future,” they said.</p> <p>“Andrew thought he was being treated harshly as nothing has yet been proved against him, but he accepted the decision. He really had little choice.”</p> <p> The Prince of Wales is said to be deeply worried about the scandal and the impact its having on the monarchy.</p> <p>Options being explored include Prince Andrew going to the US to clear his name, but Prince Charles is hesitant to let that happen.</p> <p>“By doing that, Andrew would remove the mystery around the royal ­family. It’s a difficult predicament.</p> <p>“Philip regrets Andrew doesn’t know how to lead a simple life. He thinks he’s been too extravagant.”</p> <p>This comes after fresh claims that a woman who does not wish to be named approached US lawyer Lisa Bloom about seeing Prince Andrew at the nightclub Tramps with a fresh-faced Virginia Giuffre.</p> <p>Bloom told<span> </span><em>The Sun<span> </span></em>about the woman’s claims.</p> <p>“The woman remembers it vividly. She had never seen a royal before or since. It was a very big moment for her — she stared at him.</p> <p>“She says he was with Virginia — who looked very young and not happy — but Andrew was smiling and seemed to be very much enjoying himself on the dancefloor.</p> <p>“She is very afraid but thinks speaking out is very important.”</p>

News

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World leaders mock Donald Trump during NATO summit

<p>Donald Trump has slammed Canadian prime minister as “two-faced” after a video shared on Twitter revealed world leaders mocking the US president at the NATO anniversary celebration in London.</p> <p>In a video footage posted by the CBC, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau appeared to be talking about Trump at a Buckingham Palace reception with French president Emmanuel Macron, British prime minister Boris Johnson and Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte.</p> <p>“He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference at the top,” Trudeau could be heard saying, apparently alluding to Trump’s appearance before the press prior to the event.</p> <p>“You just watch his team’s jaws drop to the floor.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/JustinTrudeau?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JustinTrudeau</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/EmmanuelMacron?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@EmmanuelMacron</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/BorisJohnson?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BorisJohnson</a> and other VIPs shared a few words at a Buckingham Palace reception Tuesday. No one mentions <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@realDonaldTrump</a> by name, but they seem to be discussing his lengthy impromptu press conferences from earlier in the day. (Video: Host Pool) <a href="https://t.co/dVgj48rpOP">pic.twitter.com/dVgj48rpOP</a></p> — Power &amp; Politics (@PnPCBC) <a href="https://twitter.com/PnPCBC/status/1202008162997538817?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 3, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Speaking in his closing news conference Wednesday, Trudeau confirmed that he had been talking about Trump and said the moment that made “his team’s jaws drop” was when the US president announced the location for next year’s G7 summit at Camp David.</p> <p>“Last night I made reference to the fact that there was an unscheduled press conference before my meeting with President Trump. I was happy to be part of it but it was certainly notable,” Trudeau said.</p> <p>When asked about the video during a meeting with German chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday, Trump slammed Trudeau as “two-faced” and criticised Canada for not meeting NATO’s 2 per cent defense spending target.</p> <p>“Well, he's two-faced ... he’s not paying 2 per cent and he should be paying 2 per cent. It’s Canada, they have money,” Trump said. “And honestly with Trudeau he’s a nice guy, but the truth is I called him out on the fact that he’s not paying 2 per cent and I guess he’s not very happy about it.”</p> <p>Spokespersons for Macron and Rutte have declined to comment on the matter.</p>

News

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Donald Trump denies knowing Prince Andrew as royals gather at NATO reception

<p>The royal family has welcomed US president Donald Trump and his wife Melania at Buckingham Palace.</p> <p>Queen Elizabeth II was joined by her children and other royal family members as she hosted a reception for NATO leaders at the palace on Tuesday night. Prince Andrew was notably absent amid growing controversy surrounding the scandal involving sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.</p> <p>In a press conference in London prior to the reception, Trump denied knowing Prince Andrew despite being photographed with him on several occasions.</p> <p>“I don’t know Prince Andrew. It’s a tough story, it’s a very tough story,” Trump said. “I don’t know him.”</p> <p>The two men were pictured together in 2000 with Trump’s then-girlfriend Melania Knauss and Epstein at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.</p> <p>In June this year, the Duke of York shared on his Twitter account about a breakfast meeting he attended with Trump during the president’s state visit to the UK.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">🇬🇧🇺🇸On Day 2 of the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USStateVisit?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USStateVisit</a>, The Duke of York &amp; Prime Minister <a href="https://twitter.com/theresamay?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheresaMay</a> welcome President Donald Trump <a href="https://twitter.com/POTUS?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@POTUS</a> to St James’s Palace for a UK/US Senior Business Leaders Group Breakfast Meeting. <a href="https://t.co/NfvniwmQKX">pic.twitter.com/NfvniwmQKX</a></p> — The Duke of York (@TheDukeOfYork) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheDukeOfYork/status/1135851552495865857?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 4, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, stepped down from his royal duties last month after his interview with the BBC was widely criticised for failing to address his longtime relationship with Epstein.</p> <p>In an interview aired in the UK on Monday, Virginia Giuffre reiterated her allegation that she was trafficked to have sex with the prince on three occasions between 2001 and 2002.</p> <p>“This is not some sordid sex story,” Giuffre said. “This is a story of being trafficked, this is a story of abuse and this is a story of your guys’ royalty.”</p> <p>Buckhingham Palace denied her allegations. “It is emphatically denied that The Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation,” the palace said in a statement to <em><a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2019/12/03/politics/donald-trump-prince-andrew-photos/index.html">CNN</a></em>.</p>

News

Travel

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Top travel trivia we’re getting wrong

<p>Even if you are a geography whiz or avid traveller, it is time to face the facts – and realise you’re getting many of them wrong. It seems that kangaroo-riding, drop bear-avoiding Australians believe many of the myths and misconceptions perpetuated about rivers, peaks, cities and place names around the globe. For the sake of our high school geography teachers and pub trivia teams, we did our research to bust open these top 18 surprising mistakes:</p> <p><strong>Antarctica has no time zones – False</strong></p> <p>The widely held belief that Antarctica does not use time zones has been debunked by the stations operating on the icy continent. In actual fact, nine different time zones are in use in the South Pole.</p> <p><strong>Russia and Turkey are the only countries on two continents – False</strong></p> <p>A quick look at the map might make it appear that Russia and Turkey are the only countries lying across two continents, but the experts beg to differ. Geologists insist that the boundary between Asia and Europe is in fact the Caucasus watershed, which would mean Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan also qualify.</p> <p><strong>The Nile River is the longest in the world – False</strong></p> <p>This one comes down to semantics. If you take tributaries, river bends and multiple channels into consideration, the Amazon River is marginally longer than its North African cousin at 6992 kilometres to the Nile’s 6852.</p> <p><strong>The South Pole is the same as Antarctica – False</strong></p> <p>It isn’t actually wrong to identify Antarctica as the South Pole, although technicality would have it that the term can refer to four possible South Poles on the frozen continent. The Geographic South Pole, Inaccessible South Pole, Geomagnetic South Pole and Magnetic South Pole (which constantly moves with magnetic drift!) are all different locations in Antarctica.</p> <p><strong>The capital of Switzerland is Geneva – False</strong></p> <p>Despite its prominence in international politics, the European UN’s headquarters is not in fact the nation’s capital. Neither is Zurich, another famous global cultural centre. The title actually goes to humble Bern, the fourth largest city in Switzerland, situated on the Aare River.</p> <p><em>Written by Sophie Cullen. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/top-travel-trivia-we-re-getting-wrong-antarctica-china-russia-turkey/">MyDiscoveries.</a></em></p>

Travel Tips

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Insiders tips to travelling Kauai

<p>Michael Farley takes us on his favourite travel destination; Kauai.</p> <p>This beautiful island is part of the Hawaiian archipelago, the fourth largest island of the America's 50th state. Kauai is nicknamed the 'Garden Isle', and it's not hard to see why, as lush rainforests cover the island. </p> <p><strong>1. Why did you go there?</strong></p> <p>Robyn and I used to own a condo on Kauai and it blew away in a cyclone some 20 years ago. We decided to return for a three week holiday last August.</p> <p><strong>2. What is your favourite travel memory in Kauai?</strong></p> <p>Taking time out every evening to enjoy the sunsets, watch the amazing different sunsets every evening pre dinner over Bali Hi with a glass of wine.</p> <p><strong>3. Which 'don't miss' experience do you recommend?</strong></p> <p>Play the Makai golf course at Princeville, take the chopper ride over the Na Pali Coast, visit the local markets. Visit the great beaches and try a little paddle boarding! Take the boat ride along the Na Pali Coast.</p> <p><strong>4. What was your favourite purchase from Kauai?</strong></p> <p>Go to the markets and find jewellery made from tiny shells, amazing bracelets not sold on the mainland.</p> <p><strong>5. What food did you most enjoy there? </strong></p> <p>Start the day with an Acai bowl at the fruit van in Hanalei Bay. You will find some excellent French wines in liquor store in Princeville shopping center.</p> <p><strong>6. Did you go on any good walks?</strong></p> <p>We liked visiting the gardens and walking for miles. The Allerton gardens on the south of the island are really worth a visit.</p> <p><strong>7. What is your best money-saving tip for travellers?</strong></p> <p>If you are going to play more than six games of golf on Makai course pre pay you will save 40 per cent. Also, visit the different markets every day and buy your fruit and veggies fresh as it is much cheaper than stores. Stay in a self-contained condo. I recommend Pali Ke Kua.</p> <p><strong>8. What is your best travel advice?</strong></p> <p>Allow plenty of time for flight check ins and don’t get stressed on the start of your holiday. Travel business class if you can afford it. I have long legs so a must for me.</p> <p><strong>A guide to Kauai travel</strong><br /><a href="http://t.dgm-au.com/c/185116/69171/1880?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.booktopia.com.au%2Fthe-ultimate-kauai-guidebook-andrew-doughty%2Fprod9780983888765.html">The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook: Kauai Revealed</a> by Andrew Doughty is an excellent resource. Amazon’s website describes the book as “the finest guidebook ever written for Kauai”. I agree. It is available in both paperback and Kindle formats.</p> <p><strong>Beaches</strong></p> <p><strong>Hideaways Beach </strong>Public access to Hideaways can be found just past Pu’u Poa. The steps are in disrepair so the trail can be quite tricky to navigate.</p> <p><strong>Hanalei Beach</strong> is a spectacularly beautiful setting with three distinct areas. Black Pot Beach, located by the pier, is a hangout for locals. Pine Trees, on the opposite end, has picnic and barbaque facilities. The middle section is where we set up for a day at the beach. Parking is convenient and there are showers close by.</p> <p><strong>Lumahai Beach </strong>is located a couple miles past Hanalei, is where Mitzi Gaynor “washed that man right out of her hair” in the film <em>South Pacific</em>. There are two entrances to the beach, one higher up where you take a short trail down and one at the road level. It is a beautiful setting and never crowded. The Lumahai River flows into the ocean at the west end, and you may see folks swimming in the river. The ocean is rough and lava rock plentiful, so swimming is not advised.</p> <p>Continuing down the road you will find <strong>Haena State Park</strong> and <strong>Tunnels Beach</strong>. There is a great snorkeling reef a ways east (right) down the beach. It is a fairly long trek, especially if you are carrying chairs, an umbrella, a cooler, etc. Haena often has a food truck with fish tacos.</p> <p>You will find <strong>Ke’e Beach</strong> at the end of the road. The beach is protected by a reef, so the water is generally calm, though often not particularly clear. There are trees which may provide a little shade - a little relief from the sun.</p> <p><strong>The Queen’s Bath</strong> is a lava rock tide pool, not a beach. It is located just off Punahele Road, where a small parking area is designated. When you get down to the rock field at the base of the trail, go left for 130 metres or so. Weather/surf conditions can make the hike difficult and swimming impossible, so use caution.</p> <p>We head to <strong>Anini Beach</strong> at least once a week. The beach is protected by a reef, so children can enjoy playing at the water’s edge. There is often a vendor with paddle boards and surf sails for rent.</p> <p><strong>Hiking</strong></p> <p>The <strong>Kalalau Trail</strong> begins at the end of the road, at Ke’e Beach. While the whole trail is 18 kms and requires camping permits, you may want to go the first 3 kms, as far as Hanakapiai Beach. In the summer months there is a sandy plateau for resting; in the winter the beach has been washed away. If you have the stamina, take a spur up into the valley to Hanakapiai Falls… making the route a total of 13 kms. Bring bottles of water and snacks.</p> <p>The <strong>Wai Koa Loop</strong> is a beautiful 8 km path, only recently opened to the public. It passes beneath the towering Norfolk Pines and through an old mahogany plantation. Don’t miss the spur down to the ancient Hawaiian ponds. Parking for this trail is located next to the Miniature Golf and Botanical Garden, which we love.</p> <p><strong>Activities</strong></p> <p>The history of the <strong>Kilauea Lighthouse</strong> is interesting, and the bird sanctuary is amazing. You will likely see many different tropical birds flying and nesting in the area. Guided tours with a naturalist are available by reservation.</p> <p>If you are interested in authentic <strong>slack key guitar music</strong>, there is a concert every Friday at 4pm and Sunday at 3pm at the Hanalei Community Center given by Sandy and Doug McMaster. It is a casual, laid-back venue for music and story-telling.</p> <p>The <strong>Limahuli Gardens</strong> are located almost to Ke’e at the end of the road. These gardens feature Hawaiian history and species native to the island.</p> <p><strong>Na Aina Kai</strong> grounds feature themed gardens enhanced with bronze sculptures. The two and a half hour walk to the beach is a must.</p> <p><strong>Restaurants</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.restaurantbaracuda.com/"><strong>Bar Acuda</strong></a>, a tapas bar/restaurant in the quaint village of Hanalei, is excellent! I would recommend making a dinner reservation, especially during the busy tourist season.</p> <p>Lunch and/or dinner at the <a href="http://www.kauaimedgourmet.com/"><strong>Mediterranean Gourmet</strong></a>, down the highway toward Tunnels, is at the top of our list. It is located right at the ocean’s edge. In high surf you can feel and taste the ocean spray in the air. Make a reservation and ask for a table by the windows. Plan to arrive before the sun goes down so that you can appreciate the location.</p> <p>For an evening with a local feel, check out <a href="http://thenui.com/">Tahiti Nui</a> in Hanalei. It looks like a dive… a dive that was featured in the movie, <em>The Descendants</em>, with George Clooney. The food is OK… but the local music and atmosphere is worth it.</p> <p><em>Written by Michael Farley. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/wyza-insider-travel-tips-kauai.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

Cruising

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An insider's guide to Bangkok at its best

<p>Thailand’s capital seems to polarise people - you either love it or hate it.</p> <p>Admittedly it can be frustrating coping with massive traffic jams, heat and humidity, and crowded shopping malls. Not everyone’s cup of chai.</p> <p>But then there are people like me. I welcome the occasional escape into chaos, humanity, odiferous durian-laced markets, tuk tuks buzzing like flies and most of all, cheap and cheerful Thai street food.</p> <p>And I love the activity on the Chao Phraya River as it snakes its way through the city. It’s the Bangkok I know best.</p> <p><strong>Early memories</strong></p> <p>I first arrived here in the 1960s. I was young, inexperienced and it was my first time in Asia. What a culture shock.</p> <p>Staying at the YMCA, I met some British seamen enjoying R&amp;R and inevitably, got into all sorts of trouble. Thus, my first recollections of Bangkok are pretty hazy but I do remember being invited to “tea” by a couple of Ansett hosties (as they were known then) at the Oriental Hotel. They must have been paying “airline staff rate” as it was way too expensive for me!</p> <p>Anyhow, the place left an indelible impression and later in my career I was part of the team that launched the modern new River Wing of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in the 1970s.</p> <p><strong>The river of kings</strong></p> <p>The Chao Phraya is the heart and soul of this teeming metropolis, and has played a major role in Thailand’s history. Up till 1767, Thailand’s capital was further up river at Ayudhya but for strategic and trade reasons, King Taksin moved it downstream to Thonburi. Then in 1782, King Rama 1 moved the seat of government across the river and established today’s Bangkok.</p> <p>Since then the city has flourished as a trading port and business centre, as well as becoming the main tourist drawcard. Until the 1990s, that is, when development moved further away from the riverside to areas like Sukhumvit Road with glitzy new office buildings and of course, brand new hotels.</p> <p><strong>More recent times</strong></p> <p>I’m more than familiar with the Bangkok of the 1980s and 1990s. During that time I probably visited the city and other parts of Thailand at least 30 times on business mixed with a little pleasure, simply because it’s that kind of place.</p> <p>It was always nice to escape the sanity of Hong Kong and Singapore for the madness of the “City of Angels” and the many friends I made there.</p> <p>Classy hotels like the Shangri-La and the Royal Orchid Sheraton sprang up along the river banks, and gave tourists a reason to move back to this historic part of the city.</p> <p><strong>Today’s bangkok</strong></p> <p>The Chao Phraya is just as much an integral part of the capital’s identity as it was in the 18th century. In fact, much more so. For the river offers the traveller a true glimpse of Bangkok life, with long tail ferries, hotel shuttle boats, and huge barges being pulled along by tiny tugs.</p> <p>Schoolchildren, monks, businessmen and housewives commute to and from Thonburi and at night, there’s a steady progression of dinner cruises with live entertainment blaring forth. It’s a colourful, fun scene which the business-like centre of Bangkok can’t match.</p> <p><strong>Where to stay along the river</strong></p> <p>There are now more than a dozen riverside hotels including the Peninsula and the Mandarin Oriental, but my favourites remain the Shangri-La and the Royal Orchid Sheraton for their resort facilities [tennis, gym and pools], excellent buffet breakfasts, impeccable service and fabulous 270 degree views of river life.</p> <p>Another interesting choice would be <a href="http://www.secret-retreats.com/chakrabongse">Chakrabongse Villas</a>, previously a 19th century Royal Residence with just 12 rooms and the finest Thai cuisine.</p> <p><strong>Riverside attractions</strong></p> <p>A visit to Asiatique is a must. This recent development is a flourishing night market with dozens of restaurants, bars and boutiques selling local designer threads, different to the usual cheap T-shirt stalls (although there are those as well). There’s something here to enjoy for everyone whether you’re a shopper or not. Access is by taxi, or the free shuttle boat service from Taksin Bridge.</p> <p>The Jam Factory across on Thonburi side is a converted industrial building with two excellent restaurants, bookshop, art gallery and more.</p> <p>Learn the secrets of Thai cuisine at several cooking schools. Shop for arts and crafts at River City, next to the Sheraton. Explore the riverside precincts with bike tours and gallery visits, and try the street food (Pad Thai is my favourite).</p> <p>And if you’re in luck with timing, the annual “River on a Plate” dine-around in November is a great excuse for overeating. There are many other events along the river, year-round.</p> <p><em>Written by Phil Hawkes. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/an-insiders-guide-to-bangkok-at-its-best.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p> <p> </p> <p>Understanding the financial pages</p> <p>Understanding the financial pages: Here are a few tips that may help to get you started to understand the financial pages of the daily newspaper. Read more:</p> <p>Read more here.</p> <p>Looking at the financial pages of the daily newspaper may seem like a bewildering onslaught of information with reams of market statistics and measurements. This can make the investment world seem quite complex and intimidating, but when you break it down and try to grasp each of the component parts, it is well within the capacity of most lay people to understand.</p> <p>Here are a few tips that may help to get you started:</p> <p><strong>Firstly, a word of warning</strong><br />Beware of the temptation to start reading the financial pages in the same way you would read the form guide for horse racing!</p> <p>It is easy to get caught up in habit of tracking daily movements of particular share values, but this can distract you from the taking the broad, long term view that is so essential to successful investing. In short, don’t be tempted to try and ‘pick winners’.</p> <p><strong>Understanding the ASX table</strong><br />The financial section of the newspaper will normally show the full list of companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Next to each company will be a range of figures, usually beginning with the price of the share for that company at the end of the previous day’s trading. Some publications will also show a three letter ‘ASX code’ used to identify the company.</p> <p>Other measurements shown on this table include:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Weekly volume</strong> – The total number of shares of a company that were bought and sold within the last week.</li> <li><strong>Price movements</strong> – This may be shown as the price change since the previous day’s closing price, or it may be shown as a change over the previous week and some financial tables will even show the change over the last 12 months.</li> <li><strong>Dividend yield percentage</strong> – This figure is sometimes also shown and is the amount a company pays out in dividends each year as a percentage of the current share price. For example, if a particular share has a value of $100 and has paid a dividend of $5 then its dividend yield is 5% ($5 divided by $100).</li> </ul> <p><strong>Market indices</strong> <br />While the ASX table breaks down the performance of each company separately, you can also look at the collective performance of the market as a whole via the ‘All Ordinaries Index’. This tracks the movement of the total value of all shares on the exchange and the change over the last week and month may also be shown.</p> <p>Apart from the All Ordinaries Index, there are also a range of other sub-indices which indicate the performance of different segments of the market. The ASX 200, for example, is an index that tracks the change in collective value of the largest 200 public companies.</p> <p>Some indices focus on specific industrial segments. The S&amp;P ASX200 Energy Index, for example, measures the largest 200 energy companies. There are indices for and range of other sectors, such as health care, industry, finance, and metals and mining.</p> <p><strong>International markets</strong><br />Financial pages will also usually show various indices for major stock markets in other countries, such as the Dow Jones index in the USA, the FTSE in the UK and the Hang Seng in China.</p> <p><strong>Commodity prices</strong><br />The prices and price changes of key commodities are also a feature of many financial pages. Oil and gold are two such commodities that will usually be shown because of their importance as indicators of the general direction of the world economy and of market sentiment.</p> <p><strong>Exchange rates</strong><br />These are another important indicator of economic conditions and the state of the economies of different countries relative to each other. The financial pages will usually show the daily movement of the Australian Dollar against major world currencies, such as the US Dollar, the Euro and the Yen.</p> <p>There can be many factors within each country’s domestic economy which influence the movements in exchange rates. These can include interest rates, inflation, political stability, government debt and terms of trade.</p> <p><strong>Making sense of it all</strong><br />It would obviously take quite some time if you were to review and analyse all the items being reported and measured on the daily financial pages. Even if you do have the time to do that, it takes a considerable amount of skill and experience to interpret what different movements mean.</p> <p>Often the day to day movements in things like share prices and exchange rates are the result of transient factors and it is only a consistent analysis over a long period of time that can start to make a coherent interpretation.</p> <p>While it can be interesting to follow the fluctuating fortunes of particular shares, or the daily machinations of indices, commodities and exchange rates, it helps to have a financial adviser on your side to look at the bigger, long term picture.</p> <p>They will have access to expert research resources that constantly analyse markets at home and abroad and can position you to grow wealth without the need to personally keep track of day to day changes.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/understanding-the-financial-pages.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

Cruising

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"I want to get out": Panic as man tries to open door mid-flight

<p>A man who was suffering from a panic attack was restrained by fellow passengers after attempting to open the door of the plane mid-flight.</p> <p>Without warning, an agitated man tried pulling on the lever on the door at the back of the plane screaming “I want to get out!” in broken English.</p> <p>It was here that his fellow passengers intervened, but it wasn’t until half a dozen air stewards rushed down the aisle with one carrying handcuffs that the passengers felt safe.</p> <p>Ian McNally, who first spotted what was happening, was shaken up by the incident, but praised the efforts of another passenger.</p> <p>“I was mightily relieved when I saw him rushing to help,” he added.</p> <p>Another witness who did not want to be named was frozen in panic, according to <em><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/dec/03/man-restrained-after-trying-to-open-door-of-ba-aircraft-in-midair?CMP=aff_1432&amp;utm_content=The+Independent&amp;awc=5795_1575396722_23a2856c3503f3524c8a7f4b83339901">The Guardian</a></em>.</p> <p>“I thought that was it,” he said. “Everyone who intervened were heroes.”</p> <p>Passenger Dean Whyte, who is a shocking 2 metres tall and a boxer, also intervened with the anxious man, telling him to “calm down”.</p> <p>“It was like something out of a movie. When I got there, he was shouting ‘I want to get out’ in broken English.</p> <p>“I managed to grab him and was preparing to slam him hard if necessary but myself and the steward could see he wasn’t quite right in the head, so I held him and tried to calm him down. Eventually it worked.”</p> <p>Whyte later took a screenshot of the article from <em>The Guardian</em> and said that he was just “happy I was there to help”.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Just Happy I Was There To Help<a href="https://t.co/613bYU1ZRi">https://t.co/613bYU1ZRi</a> <a href="https://t.co/TlrtXY7RRm">pic.twitter.com/TlrtXY7RRm</a></p> — Dean Whyte (@DeanWhyte8) <a href="https://twitter.com/DeanWhyte8/status/1201791740409241600?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 3, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>A British Airways flight attendant said that they had “never seen anything like that before”.</p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

Health

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Why two people see the same thing but have different memories

<p>Does it ever strike you as odd that you and a friend can experience the same event at the same time, but come away with different memories of what happened? So why is it that people can recall the same thing so differently?</p> <p>We all know memory isn’t perfect, and most memory differences are relatively trivial. But sometimes they can have serious consequences.</p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/witnesses-are-forgetting-clues-to-the-boston-bombings-quickly-12935">Imagine if you both witnessed a crime</a>. What factors lead to memory differences and whom should we trust?</p> <p>There are three important aspects to memory: encoding, storage, and retrieval.</p> <ul> <li> <p><strong>encoding</strong> is how we get information into the brain</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>storage</strong> is how we retain information over time</p> </li> <li> <p><strong>retrieval</strong> is how we get information out of the brain.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Differences in each or a combination of these aspects might help explain why memories differ from one person to another.</p> <h2>How different people encode memories</h2> <p>Memory encoding starts with perception — the organisation and interpretation of sensory information from the environment.</p> <p>The <a href="https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/salience">salience</a> of sensory information (for example, how bright a light is or loud a sound) is important – but perception does not rely on salience alone.</p> <p>Rather, perception is strongly affected by what we have experienced in the past and our expectations of what we might experience in the future. These effects are called top-down processes, and have a big impact on whether we successfully encode a memory.</p> <p>One of the most important top-down processes is attention — our ability to focus selectively on parts of the world, to the exclusion of other parts.</p> <p>While certain visual items can be <a href="https://www.cibf.edu.au/without-attention">perceived</a> or <a href="https://www.cibf.edu.au/you-can-memorise-faces-in-a-single-glance-without-trying">encoded</a> into memory with little or possibly no attention, attending to items is hugely beneficial for perception and memory.</p> <p>How different people focus their attention on an event will affect what they remember.</p> <p>For example, your preference for a particular sporting team can bias your attention and memory. <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/metacognition-and-the-mind/201406/selective-perception-and-attention-the-world-cup">A study</a> of American football found that sports fans tended to remember rough play instigated by their opponent, rather than their own side.</p> <p>Age also contributes to differences in memory, because our ability to encode the context of memories <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0028393216301178">diminishes as we get older</a>.</p> <p>Context is an important feature of memory. <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.3758/s13421-017-0692-5">Studies show</a> that if we attend to both an item and its context, we remember the item better than if we attend to the item alone.</p> <p>For example, we are more inclined to encode the location of our car keys if we focus on both the keys and how we have placed them in a room, rather than just focusing on the keys alone.</p> <h2>How different people store memories</h2> <p>Memories are first encoded into a temporary memory store called short-term memory. Short-term memories decay quickly and only have a capacity of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11515286">three or four bits at a time</a>.</p> <p>But we can group larger bits of information into manageable chunks to fit into memory. For instance, consider the challenging letter sequence:</p> <blockquote> <p>C, I, A, A, B, C, F, B, I</p> </blockquote> <p>This can be chunked into the easily memorised:</p> <blockquote> <p>CIA, ABC, FBI</p> </blockquote> <p>Information in short-term memory is held in a highly accessible state so we can bind features together. Techniques such as verbal rehearsal (repeating words aloud or in our head) allow us to consolidate our short-term memories into long-term memories.</p> <p>Long-term memory has an enormous capacity. We can remember at least 10,000 pictures, according to <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/14640747308400340">a study</a> from the 1970s.</p> <p>Memories can differ between people on the basis of how we consolidate them. Many studies have investigated how memory consolidation can be improved. <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nature04286">Sleep</a> is a well-known example.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nn.3623">study</a> found that long-term memory can also be enhanced by taking caffeine immediately after learning. The study used caffeine tablets to carefully control dosage, but this builds on growing evidence for the <a href="https://theconversation.com/three-or-four-cups-of-coffee-a-day-does-you-more-good-than-harm-our-new-study-suggests-87870">benefits of moderate coffee consumption</a>.</p> <h2>How different people retrieve memories</h2> <p>Retrieving episodic memories, our memory of events, is a complex process because we must combine objects, places and people into a single meaningful event.</p> <p>The complexity of memory retrieval is exemplified by tip-of-the-tongue states — the common and frustrating experience that we hold something in long-term memory but we cannot retrieve it right now.</p> <p>The emergence of brain imaging has meant we have identified many brain areas that are important for memory retrieval, but the full picture of how retrieval works remains mysterious.</p> <p>There are many reasons that memory retrieval can differ from one person to another. Our ability to retrieve memories can be affected by our health.</p> <p>For example, memory retrieval is impaired if we have a <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304395901004882">headache</a> or are <a href="http://www.jneurosci.org/content/25/11/2977.short">stressed</a>.</p> <p>Retrieval is also affected by the outside world; even the wording of questions can change how we recall an event. <a href="https://www.simplypsychology.org/loftus-palmer.html">A study</a> instructed people to view films of car accidents and then asked them to judge the speed the cars were moving. If people were asked how fast the cars were moving when they “crashed” or “smashed” into each other they judged the cars as moving faster than if the words “contacted” or “hit” were used.</p> <p>Memory retrieval can also be affected by the presence of other people. When groups of people work together they often experience <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9293627">collaborative inhibition</a> — a deficit in overall memory performance when compared to the same group if they work separately and their memories are pooled after each individual has recounted their version.</p> <p>Effects such as collaborative inhibition highlight why memory differences occur but also why eyewitness testimony is so problematic.</p> <p>Thankfully, the proliferation of smartphones has lead to the development of innovative apps, such as <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-we-made-iwitnessed-an-app-to-collect-evidence-94107">iWitnessed</a>, that are designed to help witnesses and victims preserve and protect their memories.</p> <p>Technology such as this and knowledge of memory encoding, storage, and retrieval can help us determine whom to trust when differences in memory occur.</p> <p><!-- 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/104327/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><em>Written by <span>Julian Matthews, Postdoctoral Research Officer – Cognitive Neurology Laboratory, Monash University</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/why-two-people-see-the-same-thing-but-have-different-memories-104327" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

Mind

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How a photo taken of two strangers struck hearts around Australia

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The parents of a teenage girl have received praised online after a photo surfaced of their daughter with an older woman. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A thoughtful onlooker snuck a picture of a “gorgeous red head girl” she spotted sprinting up to a senior lady in Sydney’s east, who was carrying several grocery bags on her own. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Without hesitating, the girl who appeared to be in a school uniform, offered to carry one of the lady’s bag to help lighten her hefty load. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Whoever owns this gorgeous red head girl walking down Brisbane Street, Bondi Junction, carrying this lady’s heavy bags for her, take a bow,” the excited observer said in a post to Facebook on Friday.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“You did something right. She sprinted up to the lady asking if she could help.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The image appeared to inspire a number of Facebook users who joined in on praising the people who are responsible for caring for her. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This would be amazing if it reached her parents. Well done,” one impressed user wrote in a comment.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Parenting inspiration for those hard days,” another said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Love this,” a third added.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credit: Facebook</span></em></p>

Caring

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Why is my poo green?

<p>It’s happened to many of us at some point in our lives: we finish our bowel movement, look down in the bowl and have a moment of panic when we see an unusual colour.</p> <p>Poo can be found in many colours other than brown, with green poo often eliciting concern. But it’s surprisingly common and is usually no reason to be alarmed.</p> <p><strong>Why poo is usually brown</strong></p> <p>The brown colour of poo initially comes from the red of blood. Haemoglobin is the red protein in blood that transports oxygen around the body. It’s eventually broken down into a substance called bilirubin.</p> <p>In the liver, bilirubin is used to form bile and is released into the small bowel to help digest food. Bile then passes into the colon and the bilirubin is broken down by bacteria.</p> <p>The final stage in the process is the addition of a substance called stercobilin, which gives poo its brown colour.</p> <p>All shades of brown are considered normal.</p> <p><strong>Green poo in adults</strong></p> <p>Stool colour is very heavily influenced by the substances in the gut that digest food and what you eat.</p> <p>Green stools contain <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2305176">significantly more bile acids</a> than brown stools. If food is moving through the bowel very quickly – if you have diarrhoea, for instance – there isn’t enough time for the green bile to break down completely, giving stools a green colour.</p> <p><a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2621.2004.tb09947.x">Green leafy vegetables</a> such as spinach and lettuce contain large amounts of chlorophyll (green pigment) bound to magnesium. This can lead to stools turning green.</p> <p>Some green food dyes such as <a href="https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Natural-green-3">natural green 3</a> contain chlorophyll (green pigment) bound to copper which can <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/98/25/14601">turn stools a dark green</a>.</p> <p><strong>Why do babies have green poo?</strong></p> <p>A newborn’s first stool, called meconium, is very often dark green.</p> <p><a href="https://fn.bmj.com/content/97/6/F465.long">Green stools in formula-fed infants</a> are often due to formulas containing <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3876420">high amounts of iron</a>.</p> <p>But even for breastfed infants it’s <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12318490">normal</a> to have yellow-green or green poo.</p> <p>In fact, it’s normal for babies’ poo to be many different colours. <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/col.21919">One study</a> found pale stools were caused by partially digested milk fats, yellow stools were due to stercobilin (which is also involved in making poo brown) and other similar compounds, and dark stools due to bilirubin or the presence of meconium.</p> <p><strong>What about other colours of poo?</strong></p> <p><strong>Blue</strong></p> <p>Some food dyes, food additives and naturally occurring colours are unable to be completely broken down in the gut and this can distinctly colour poo. Children who have consumed a lot of blue-coloured drinks, for instance, often poo blue.</p> <p>Blueberries can also turn poo blue because of a type of antioxidant called anthrocyanin. Most anthrocyanins in blue berries are <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/03602532.2014.978080">broken down</a> by the time they reach the colon, so kids with blue poo will either have consumed quite a lot or the berries are moving quickly through the gut.</p> <p>Children with diarrhoea have a very rapid gut transit and stools often come out the same colour as the food that went in.</p> <p><strong>Orange</strong></p> <p>Orange stools can be due to beta carotene, a compound found in particular vegetables such as carrots and butternut pumpkin.</p> <p>Poo can also be <a href="https://health.ucsd.edu/news/features/Pages/2018-05-11-listicle-what-color-is-your-poop.aspx">orange</a> because of the effects of antacids containing aluminium hydroxide, a naturally occurring salt.</p> <p><strong>Yellow</strong></p> <p>Yellow-coloured poo is often normal but a greasy, foul-smelling yellow stool that floats on the toilet water can mean it contains an excess of fat.</p> <p>Occasionally, this can arise from conditions such as undiagnosed coeliac disease, where the immune system reacts abnormally to gluten and the small bowel doesn’t properly absorb fat.</p> <p><strong>Pale, cream or clay-cloured</strong></p> <p>Abnormally pale or clay-coloured stools can indicate a blockage of bile from the liver to the small intestine. This means it doesn’t go through the last stage of getting its brown colour, through the addition of stercobilin. This results in poo having a very distinct pale cream appearance.</p> <p><a href="https://adc.bmj.com/content/archdischild/52/5/360.full.pdf">One in 14,000 Australian babies</a> are born with a condition called biliary atresia, where the bile ducts outside and inside the liver are scarred and blocked. Bile is unable to flow out of the liver, which can lead to liver scarring. Biliary atresia can be treated with surgery but early diagnosis is <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22933100">important</a>.</p> <p>Pale coloured poo may also indicate the presence of an intestinal <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19825279">parasite</a> or <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6013661/">bacteria</a>.</p> <p><strong>Red</strong></p> <p>Red poo could be due to red food colouring, tomato juice and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/713000">beetroot</a>.</p> <p>However, bright red blood in the poo usually means internal bleeding from the bowel.</p> <p>Causes of red blood in the poo can include conditions such as haemorrhoids and anal fissures (small, thin tears) but may be the sign of a more sinister bowel cancer.</p> <p><strong>Black</strong></p> <p>There can be a number of harmless causes for black poo such as eating black licorice.</p> <p>Medications are another reason. Iron tablets and many antibiotics can turn poo black. (Antibiotics are also known to turn poo into <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736790/">different shades</a> of green, white, pink and orange.)</p> <p>Black, tar-like poo can indicate bleeding from higher up in the digestive tract, such as from an oesophageal or stomach ulcer.</p> <p><strong>Should you be worried?</strong></p> <p>Changes to the colour of your poo are usually temporary. Getting rid of the culprit – by finishing the medication or removing the responsible food from the diet, for instance – should be able to return poo colour to its normal shade of brown.</p> <p>If the odd colour persists, it may signify an underlying medical condition and warrant further investigation.</p> <p>Black, red and very pale poo are the more concerning colours and should be checked out by your GP.</p> <p><em>Written by Vincent Ho. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-is-my-poo-green-120975">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Caring

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The finger trick that could help detect lung cancer

<p><span>An expert has revealed a simple “finger trick” that could help uncover respiratory tumours.</span></p> <p><span>According to <a href="https://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/finger-trick-that-could-diagnose-lung-cancer-201753189.html"><em>Bupa UK</em></a>’s oncology nurse advisor Emma Norton, people can do this by bringing the nails of their index fingers together as if making the top of the heart.</span></p> <p><span>A diamond-shaped gap should be visible between the nails, Norton said. If this is missing, it could be a sign of finger clubbing or a deformity of the fingers and fingernails, which may indicate serious diseases such as lung cancer.</span></p> <p><span>The symptom occurs in 35 percent of people with lung cancer, according to <a href="https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/mesothelioma/symptoms/finger-clubbing"><em>Cancer Research UK</em></a><em>.</em></span></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fphoto.php%3Ffbid%3D10160673422260207%26set%3Dp.10160673422260207%26type%3D3%26theater&amp;width=500&amp;show_text=true&amp;height=741&amp;appId" width="500" height="741" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p><span>“The test is used by medical professionals as a partial method of confirming conditions, but you can also do the test yourself, and it only takes a few seconds,” Norton said.</span></p> <p><span>“If you can’t see any kind of gap beneath your nail beds, this means your fingers are clubbed.”</span></p> <p><span>A <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080529163120.htm">study by researchers at the University of Leeds</a> found that tumour in the lungs may lead to the overproduction of a fatty compound called PGE2, which results in clubbing.</span></p> <p><span>“There are benign cases of clubbing, where it isn’t associated with other illnesses, but particularly because of the link to lung cancer, it is generally regarded as rather sinister,” said Professor David Bonthron of the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine.</span></p> <p><span>Norton recommends that people who do the test and uncover clubbing need to see their GP as soon as possible.</span></p>

Body

Lifestyle

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Veterans have poorer mental health than Australians overall

<p>A career in the Australian Defence Force (ADF), or the armed forces in any country, can be rewarding, but also demanding. Challenges include the rigorous training, frequent moves, and maintaining social connections.</p> <p>Beyond this, military personnel may be exposed to trauma during combat, peace-keeping missions, border protection, disaster and humanitarian relief, and training accidents.</p> <p>They may be confronted not only with threats to their own lives or safety, but also with the suffering or death of others, which can have a significant emotional and <a href="http://www.defence.gov.au/Health/DMH/Docs/MHPWSReport-FullReport.pdf">psychological impact</a>.</p> <p>So it’s not surprising we see <a href="https://www.dva.gov.au/health-and-wellbeing/research-and-development/health-studies/mental-health-prevalence-report">higher rates of mental illness</a> among veterans compared to the overall Australian population.</p> <p>The rates of suicide are also concerning, particularly among younger veterans. Between 2001 and 2016, <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/veterans/national-veteran-suicide-monitoring/contents/summary">373 Australian veterans</a> took their lives. Male veterans under 30 had a suicide rate more than twice the national average for men the same age. These figures have led to considerable community concern, including <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/drive/plea-to-pm-for-royal-commission-into-veterans-suicide/11678984">calls for a royal commission</a> into veteran suicide.</p> <p>Whether or not this eventuates, we should be targeting veterans with a high level of care that better reflects their unique set of needs.</p> <p><strong>Transitioning back into civilian life</strong></p> <p>Recent research has highlighted <a href="https://www.dva.gov.au/health-and-wellbeing/research-and-development/social-research/transition-and-wellbeing-research">one of the most challenging periods for military personnel</a> can be transitioning back to civilian life.</p> <p>Major lifestyle changes can be stressful for anyone, but leaving the ADF can feel like more than leaving a job. It will likely represent a change in a person’s way of life across the board.</p> <p>While many transitioning personnel may initially experience some uncertainty and a sense of losing some part of themselves, most make the adjustment successfully. For others, the problems may not go away and for some, may become worse, unless they receive help.</p> <p>A comprehensive study commissioned by the Departments of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) and Defence in 2015 found ADF members who had discharged or transitioned to the Reserves were <a href="https://www.dva.gov.au/health-and-wellbeing/research-and-development/social-research/transition-and-wellbeing-research">at greater risk</a> of experiencing mental health issues compared to both those who were still serving and the broader Australian community.</p> <p>For example, in the previous 12 months, 17.7% of transitioned ADF personnel had experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) compared to 8.7% still serving in the ADF full-time, and 5.2% in the Australian community.</p> <p>Other common mental health conditions in transitioned ADF personnel include depression (11.2%), and anxiety disorders such as panic disorder (5.4%), agoraphobia (11.9%) and social phobia (11%), all estimated to be higher than <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4326.0Main+Features32007?OpenDocument">rates in the general population</a>.</p> <p>Rates of suicidality (thinking about, planning or attempting suicide) were more than double for those who had transitioned out of full-time ADF service compared to those still serving in the ADF full-time (21.7% versus 8.8%), and <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4326.0Main+Features32007?OpenDocument">ten times greater</a> than the Australian community.</p> <p><strong>Seeking and receiving help</strong></p> <p>About 75% of veterans who reported they had mental health concerns in the DVA study had sought and received assistance at some point from a GP or mental health professional. These rates are much higher than in the general community and auger well for the <a href="https://www.dva.gov.au/health-and-wellbeing/research-and-development/health-studies/pathways-care-report">preparedness of veterans to seek care</a>.</p> <p>However, as is the case in the Australian community and internationally, there is an under-engagement with evidence-based treatment and practice. Only <a href="https://www.dva.gov.au/health-and-wellbeing/research-and-development/social-research/transition-and-wellbeing-research">about 25%</a> of help-seeking veterans were estimated to be receiving evidence-based care, such as cognitive behavioural therapy. This may be because veterans don’t stay engaged in health services for long enough to receive evidence-based treatments.</p> <p>So while the help-seeking and care delivery for veterans is on par with, and in some ways exceeds, that of the general community, there’s room for improvement to ensure veterans remain engaged with services and receive the treatment they need.                                                                                                                                                                                                            </p> <p><strong>What could we be doing better?</strong></p> <p>Coming from a health system in the armed forces where health care is organised for them, veterans may have heightened expectations about the level of coordinated and integrated practice.</p> <p>So first, we need improved integration and coordination of services, including development of outreach capabilities which more proactively engage with veterans and their families and connect them to appropriate services. Outreach can be led by health professionals or intersect with existing peer support networks.</p> <p>Second, we need to enhance the knowledge and skills among health professionals in the various services to which veterans are reaching out. Importantly, services and treatments should be delivered with appropriate “military cultural awareness”.</p> <p>This means practitioners demonstrating they understand the types of experiences veterans may have been exposed to, and the potential lasting impacts of these experiences. Veterans are likely to be more engaged in services if they feel well understood.</p> <p>Parallel to this, we need to be aware of the needs of, and actively support, the families who often bear the brunt of the mental health problems experienced by the veterans. <a href="https://www.openarms.gov.au/">Open Arms – Veterans &amp; Families Counselling</a>, a free national counselling service, plays a large role in provision of this support.</p> <p>Ultimately we need to continue to focus on innovations in the prevention of and early interventions for mental health problems among veterans, including suicidality. In doing so we must maintain a focus on well-being outcomes more broadly and not just on symptoms and conditions, ensuring our goal remains assisting veterans in living a meaningful and satisfying life in all its domains.</p> <p><em>If this article has raised issues for you or you’re concerned about someone you know, call Open Arms on 1800 011 046 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.</em></p> <p><em>Written by Nicole Sadler. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/veterans-have-poorer-mental-health-than-australians-overall-we-could-be-serving-them-better-119525">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Retirement Life

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5 ways to enrich garden soil

<p>Healthier garden soil means healthier plants. It is the foundation of successful gardening and thus worth paying attention to.</p> <p>Here are 5 ways you can enrich your garden soil.</p> <p><strong>1. Spread grass</strong></p> <div id="page1" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Grass clippings add nutrients as they decompose. They also provide shade, keeping roots cool and reducing water loss in hot weather.</p> <p>Mix them with leaf litter or dig into the soil to avoid them forming a mat that will repel water.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.handyman.net.au/5-ways-enrich-garden-soil"><strong>2. Use manure</strong></div> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.handyman.net.au/5-ways-enrich-garden-soil"> <div id="page2" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Cow manure improves soil micro-organisms and chicken manure, which is high in nitrogen and phosphorus, is great for the lawn and vegie patch.</p> <p><strong>TIP:</strong><span> </span>Don’t use manure from carnivores, such as dogs and cats.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.handyman.net.au/5-ways-enrich-garden-soil"><strong>3. Lay straw</strong></div> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.handyman.net.au/5-ways-enrich-garden-soil"> <div id="page3" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Lucerne hay and pea straw strengthen the soil, so they’re highly recommended. They also break down fairly quickly, which gives the soil a quick nutrient injection, and can be dug in to speed up the process.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.handyman.net.au/5-ways-enrich-garden-soil"><strong>4. Use bark</strong></div> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.handyman.net.au/5-ways-enrich-garden-soil"> <div id="page4" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>These mulches take longer to break down, so they don’t need applying as often.</p> <p>They shade the soil, help retain moisture, repel weeds and look decorative, but don’t add many nutrients to the plants.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.handyman.net.au/5-ways-enrich-garden-soil"><strong>5. Add compost</strong></div> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.handyman.net.au/5-ways-enrich-garden-soil"> <div id="page5" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>A well-rounded source of goodness, compost allows water to penetrate the soil. It provides slow-release nutrients, attracts worms and encourages a healthy root system. Best of all, you can make it from kitchen scraps.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.handyman.net.au/5-ways-enrich-garden-soil"> <p><em>Written by Handyman. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.handyman.net.au/5-ways-enrich-garden-soil"><em>Handyman</em></a><em>. </em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

Home & Garden

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Princess Anne shrugs at the Queen in hilarious clip

<p>Princess Anne has been caught on camera shrugging at Queen Elizabeth II in an apparent ‘snub’ to US president Donald Trump.</p> <p>In a video filmed at Buckingham Palace’s NATO reception on Tuesday evening, the Queen could be seen shaking hands with Trump and his wife Melania.</p> <p>The 93-year-old monarch then looked over and noticed her daughter standing nearby. The Queen gestured at her daughter, but the princess shrugged and replied, “It’s just me and this lot.”</p> <p>According to Britain’s PA Media news agency, Princess Anne was pointing to members of the royal household, including the Deputy Master of the Household, Lt Col Anthony Charles Richards, and William Peel, the Lord Chamberlain.</p> <p>Social media users believed that the Queen was “scolding” Princess Anne for not greeting the president.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">We're all Princess Anne in this video. <a href="https://t.co/hlImWTbWCV">pic.twitter.com/hlImWTbWCV</a></p> — Jono (@jonoread) <a href="https://twitter.com/jonoread/status/1202168606311747590?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 4, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>However, the <em>Times </em>journalist Valentine Low said Princess Anne was not snubbing the Trumps.</p> <p>Low said he found from colleague Laura Elston of the Press Association that the interaction was caused by a mix-up from the Queen.</p> <p>“Princess Anne: the truth. No, she didn’t snub the Trumps. And she wasn’t told off by the Queen,” Low wrote on Twitter.</p> <p>“Instead the Queen, after greeting the Donald (and the Melania), turned to Anne to see who was next. But there wasn’t anyone waiting: Trump was the last leader to be received by the Queen.</p> <p>“Anne raised her hands in the air, laughed and said: ‘It’s just me’, adding a moment later ‘and this lot’ as she pointed to the members of the household behind her.</p> <p>“So, the truth is now out there. Not that anyone will pay any attention. Anne the Trump Snubber is a much better story.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">So, the truth is now out there. Not that anyone will pay any attention. Anne the Trump Snubber is a much better story.<br />5/5</p> — Valentine Low (@valentinelow) <a href="https://twitter.com/valentinelow/status/1202227560639352834?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 4, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Princess Anne was also caught on camera alongside <a href="https://o60.me/qfVfu2">world leaders who were joking about Trump</a> at the event.</p>

Relationships

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‘Life just went to crap’: why army veterans are twice as likely to end up in prison in Australia

<p>The question of whether Australia does enough to support its ex-service personnel is growing in urgency, with Labor leader Anthony Albanese this week <a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/news/we-must-do-better-labor-backs-royal-commission-into-veteran-deaths">adding his voice</a> to those calling for a royal commission into veteran suicides.</p> <p>The numbers are alarming – between 2001 and 2017, <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/veterans/national-veteran-suicide-monitoring/contents/summary">419 serving and ex-serving</a>Australian Defence Force personnel died by suicide. But while the suicide rate for men still serving was 48% lower than in the equivalent general population, the rate is 18% higher for those who had left the military.</p> <p>For women it’s a similar story, where the suicide rate for ex-serving women is higher than Australian women generally. However, the small numbers of ex-service women who have been studied means the data are limited.</p> <p>But there’s another issue afflicting ex-military men that’s not often discussed: they are imprisoned twice as often as men in the general Australian population. This is according to the first known Australian prison audit to identify incarcerated ex-service members, conducted in South Australia last year.</p> <p>In fact, these findings support <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.d3898.extract">research from England</a>, which identifies ex-service men as the largest incarcerated occupational group.</p> <p>The high rate of imprisonment, along with the spike in the suicide rate of ex-members, reflects the challenges some service people face transitioning from military service back to civilian life, and the critical lack of available transition planning and support.</p> <p><strong>Why do some veterans turn to crime?</strong></p> <p>When a United States ex-Marine fatally shot 12 people in California in 2018, President Donald Trump promoted a widespread, oversimplified connection between military service and criminal offending. He <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-rankles-veterans-with-comments-about-ptsd-and-california-shooter/2018/11/09/2c4ab5ba-e463-11e8-a1c9-6afe99dddd92_story.html">said</a> the shooter</p> <p><em>was in the war. He saw some pretty bad things […] they come back, they’re never the same.</em></p> <p>We have so far interviewed 13 former service men for our ongoing research, trying to explain the findings of the South Australia audit. And we found the connection between military service and criminal offending is more complex than Trump suggests.</p> <p>The combination of childhood trauma, military training, social exclusion and mental health issues on discharge created the perfect cocktail of risk factors leading to crime.</p> <p>For many, joining the service was a way to find respect, discipline and camaraderie. In fact, most interviewees found military service effective at controlling the effects of childhood trauma. One man we interviewed said he “could see me life going to the shit, that’s when I went and signed up for the army […] The discipline appealed to me. To me I was like yearning for it because I was going down the bad road real quick.”</p> <p>Another explained that joining the military was the: “BEST thing I ever did. LOVED it. Well they gave me discipline, they showed me true friendships and it let me work my issues out […] I loved putting my uniform on and the respect that I could show other people, whereas before I’d rather hit them.”</p> <p><strong>Leaving the military can aggravate past trauma</strong></p> <p>However, all men complained military discharge was a complete, “sudden cut”. This sudden departure from the service, combined with the rigorous military training, can aggravate previous trauma. As one ex-service member put it: “The military is a fantastic thing […] but the moment that you’re not there […] it magnifies everything else and it’s just like a ticking time bomb.</p> <p>“I mean you’re trained to shoot people.”</p> <p>Another reflected that when he left the army, he lost the routine that kept his past traumas at bay.</p> <p>“I was working myself to the bone just to stop thinking about it. Then when I got out issues were coming back, coming back. I’ve lost my structure […] and life just went to crap.”</p> <p>Every man we interviewed had been diagnosed with some combination of post traumatic stress, multiple personality disorder, anti-social personality disorder, bipolar, depression, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder or alcohol and other drug dependence.</p> <p>They arose from various combinations of pre-service and service-related trauma.</p> <p>All interviewees lacked support from the Australian Defence Force or government veteran services. One explained how he found it difficult to manage post traumatic stress since his usual strategies were “getting very thin”.</p> <p>And the lack of support for their mental health issues worsened when they were incarcerated because they said the Department of Veterans Affairs cut ties, and “no-one inside the prison system is going to pay for psychological help”.</p> <p><strong>Maintaining identity</strong></p> <p>For some men, joining criminal organisations was a deliberate way to find a sense of belonging and the “brotherhood” they missed from the defence force. One man reflected:</p> <p>“I found a lot of Australian soldiers that are lost. You think you’re a civilian but you’re not, you never will be […] even three years’ service in the army will change you forever.</p> <p>“And the Australian government doesn’t do enough.”</p> <p>Ex-service men in prison are a significant, vulnerable part of that community. The Australian Defence Force and government veteran agencies need to urgently reform transition support services because current discharge processes are costing lives.</p> <p><a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09638237.2017.1370640">English research</a> has found peer support helps service men transition into civilian life, but the men we interviewed did not receive peer support until they were in prison.</p> <p>Then, it was through a <a href="https://xmrc.com.au/">welfare organisation</a> and Correctional Services, not defence agencies.</p> <p>One man told us that after his discharge</p> <p><em>I actually went back and asked if I could mow the lawns for free, just so I could be around them still. They wouldn’t allow it.</em></p> <p>If ex-service men could maintain contact with the Australian Defence Force through peer support and informal networks, their identity and sense of purpose could be maintained to reduce the risk factors for offending and re-offending.</p> <p><em>If you or anyone you know needs help or is having suicidal thoughts, contact Lifeline on 131 114 or beyondblue on 1300 22 46 36.</em></p> <p><em>Written by Kellie Toole and Elaine Waddell. Republished with <a href="/For%20women%20it’s%20a%20similar%20story,%20where%20the%20suicide%20rate%20for%20ex-serving%20women%20is%20higher%20than%20Australian%20women%20generally.%20However,%20the%20small%20numbers%20of%20ex-service%20women%20who%20have%20been%20studied%20means%20the%20data%20are%20limited.">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

Retirement Life

Finance

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Understanding the financial pages

<p>Looking at the financial pages of the daily newspaper may seem like a bewildering onslaught of information with reams of market statistics and measurements. This can make the investment world seem quite complex and intimidating, but when you break it down and try to grasp each of the component parts, it is well within the capacity of most lay people to understand.</p> <p>Here are a few tips that may help to get you started:<strong><br />Firstly, a word of warning</strong><br />Beware of the temptation to start reading the financial pages in the same way you would read the form guide for horse racing!</p> <p>It is easy to get caught up in habit of tracking daily movements of particular share values, but this can distract you from the taking the broad, long term view that is so essential to successful investing. In short, don’t be tempted to try and ‘pick winners’.</p> <p><strong>Understanding the ASX table</strong><br />The financial section of the newspaper will normally show the full list of companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Next to each company will be a range of figures, usually beginning with the price of the share for that company at the end of the previous day’s trading. Some publications will also show a three letter ‘ASX code’ used to identify the company.</p> <p>Other measurements shown on this table include:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Weekly volume</strong> – The total number of shares of a company that were bought and sold within the last week.</li> <li><strong>Price movements</strong> – This may be shown as the price change since the previous day’s closing price, or it may be shown as a change over the previous week and some financial tables will even show the change over the last 12 months.</li> <li><strong>Dividend yield percentage</strong> – This figure is sometimes also shown and is the amount a company pays out in dividends each year as a percentage of the current share price. For example, if a particular share has a value of $100 and has paid a dividend of $5 then its dividend yield is 5% ($5 divided by $100).</li> </ul> <p><strong>Market indices</strong> <br />While the ASX table breaks down the performance of each company separately, you can also look at the collective performance of the market as a whole via the ‘All Ordinaries Index’. This tracks the movement of the total value of all shares on the exchange and the change over the last week and month may also be shown.</p> <p>Apart from the All Ordinaries Index, there are also a range of other sub-indices which indicate the performance of different segments of the market. The ASX 200, for example, is an index that tracks the change in collective value of the largest 200 public companies.</p> <p>Some indices focus on specific industrial segments. The S&amp;P ASX200 Energy Index, for example, measures the largest 200 energy companies. There are indices for and range of other sectors, such as health care, industry, finance, and metals and mining.</p> <p><strong>International markets</strong><br />Financial pages will also usually show various indices for major stock markets in other countries, such as the Dow Jones index in the USA, the FTSE in the UK and the Hang Seng in China.</p> <p><strong>Commodity prices</strong><br />The prices and price changes of key commodities are also a feature of many financial pages. Oil and gold are two such commodities that will usually be shown because of their importance as indicators of the general direction of the world economy and of market sentiment.</p> <p><strong>Exchange rates</strong><br />These are another important indicator of economic conditions and the state of the economies of different countries relative to each other. The financial pages will usually show the daily movement of the Australian Dollar against major world currencies, such as the US Dollar, the Euro and the Yen.</p> <p>There can be many factors within each country’s domestic economy which influence the movements in exchange rates. These can include interest rates, inflation, political stability, government debt and terms of trade.</p> <p><strong>Making sense of it all</strong><br />It would obviously take quite some time if you were to review and analyse all the items being reported and measured on the daily financial pages. Even if you do have the time to do that, it takes a considerable amount of skill and experience to interpret what different movements mean.</p> <p>Often the day to day movements in things like share prices and exchange rates are the result of transient factors and it is only a consistent analysis over a long period of time that can start to make a coherent interpretation.</p> <p>While it can be interesting to follow the fluctuating fortunes of particular shares, or the daily machinations of indices, commodities and exchange rates, it helps to have a financial adviser on your side to look at the bigger, long term picture.</p> <p>They will have access to expert research resources that constantly analyse markets at home and abroad and can position you to grow wealth without the need to personally keep track of day to day changes.</p> <p>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/understanding-the-financial-pages.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></p>

Legal

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Ex-police sergeant charged for stealing from homes of the dead

<p>A 66-year-old ex-police sergeant whose job it was to comfort grieving families may land himself in jail after it was found out he was stealing from the homes of the dead. </p> <p>Graeme 'Taff' Williams’ role was “sudden death coordinator” at Stoke Newington police station, in London, UK, until 2013.</p> <p>His job was to locate relatives of the deceased and log their belongings and valuables.</p> <p>However, it was revealed William’ stole more than $10,000 and valuable furniture from the homes of three deceased people after visiting their homes.</p> <p>He was “trusted implicitly” by his employers and was paid an annual salary of $52,966.82 by the time he retired.</p> <p>Williams was convicted of three charges of theft by a jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court.</p> <p>Prosecutor, Alexandra Felix, said Williams abused his position “by helping himself to the cash that was recovered, stealing it and providing information to heir hunters in return for payment”.</p> <p>Expensive furniture, artwork and other pricey goods were stolen from the home of one deceased, whose family thought were being taken to a homeless charity.</p> <p>An $800 watch, a 60-inch flat-screen TV, a fridge-freezer and washing machine were missing from the home, said the deceased's sister.</p> <p>She noted only the expensive items were the ones that had gone missing.</p> <p>William told Hackney council in 2012 that $35,835 had been recovered from the home of an elderly man who had been moved to a care home despite $40,835 being “banked” in the superintendent’s safe.</p> <p>Despite retiring in 2013, he continued to volunteer at Newingtown station and made money from heir hunters.</p> <p>Jurors heard $6,520 was missing from $46,315 cash that was found from under the bed of a man who died in his flat in 2015.</p> <p>Police raided Williams' home and found $20,000 in a safe and $5,000 in a box.</p> <p>Not stopping there, he had also received $11,504.02 in “discretionary” referral fees from heir hunting firm Fraser and Fraser, after he left the force.</p> <p>Company boss Andrew Fraser told jurors that as far as his firm was aware Williams was retired.</p> <p>Her further went on to say he hadn’t realised he was still working with police.</p> <p>“I knew he was retired because I was invited, as lots of other people were to his retirement. I didn't know he continued to work at Stoke Newington police station” Mr Fraser explained.</p> <p>“A number of cases were referred to us after his retirement. I think there might have been a dozen or so.</p> <p>“A couple of cases were looked at but we didn't spend much time on them but couldn't establish much value in them.</p> <p>“'After he retired he was a private individual. These referral fees were paid out at discretion.</p> <p>“Payments of $8,000 and $3,504.02 were paid in discretionary referral fees in relation to two estates.”</p> <p>The court heard that Firm Fraser had received an email addressed to them from William’s police email on at least one occasion.</p> <p>“The whole firm thought he had retired from the police,” Mr Fraser said.</p> <p>“If I knew he was still any matters referred to us from a police officer I would not have made payment. We saw him as a member of the public from after his retirement.”</p> <p>Williams denied but was convicted of three charges of theft. A separate charge of fraud was dropped earlier in the trial.</p> <p>Judge Alex Gordon ordered a medical report and bailed Williams ahead of sentence on 7 January.</p>

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“You destroyed my life”: Widow’s heartbreaking reply to man who killed her husband

<p>A man who bashed a grandfather in Adelaide to death with a hammer in front of his wife has been ordered to spend the rest of his life under mental health supervision.</p> <p>In May 2018, Steven Berg stormed the house of the couple and attacked 74-year-old Deon Hewitt who was cooking dinner with his wife, Patricia. The attack ended in death.</p> <p>Patricia saw the horrific crime and said to Berg in court that he “destroyed my life”.</p> <p>"You destroyed my life. I couldn't even say goodbye to the man I spent the best parts of my life with…. For this I will never forgive you."</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F9NewsAdelaide%2Fvideos%2F1434612646686069%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></p> <p>Berg was found not guilty of murder due to mental incompetence as the court was told he was suffering delusions at the time of the unprovoked and random attack.</p> <p>"My husband was my best friend, taken from me in the most horrific way - You have inflicted more pain on my family than any sentence can on you - until my final day I'm to live without my husband, stuck with the memory of that night," Ms Hewitt said.</p> <p>Five victim impact statements were read out in court by family members of Leon, as his grandchildren outlined their grief and the toll his passing had on their mental health.</p> <p>"When we were feeling down, we had Pop to call," they said.</p> <p>Leon and Patricia’s daughter Vanessa said that as long as Berg is detained “society is a safer place”.</p> <p>"the day you took dad from us, we lost a mother as well - I fear for the day Berg is released - While he is detained, society is a safer place,” she said.</p> <p>Berg is being held in the secure mental health facility of James Nash House.</p>

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Our grandchildren learn through play – it shouldn’t stop at preschool

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The </span><a href="https://minerva-access.unimelb.edu.au/bitstream/handle/11343/123771/Transition-to-Primary-School-A-literature-review.pdf?sequence=1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">transition from preschool to school</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> is a big deal for many children and parents. Over the next few weeks, many preschoolers will take part in a </span><a href="https://www.cela.org.au/category/around-australia/page/4/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">transition program</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, designed by their teachers, to prepare them for school.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They’ll meet their </span><a href="https://www.kidspot.com.au/school/primary/starting-school/what-is-the-first-year-of-school-called/news-story/d66b0b9a2a5d6959dd97c01328420028"><span style="font-weight: 400;">foundation</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> teachers, spend some time in a classroom and hopefully make some new friends.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">These children’s education has so far focused on </span><a href="http://ceril.net/index.php/articulos?id=594"><span style="font-weight: 400;">play-based learning</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. This means they’ve learnt through exploring and playing, supported by skilled early childhood educators.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But they’re about to enter a world of formal learning. Although play-based learning does happen in schools, there tends to be a stronger focus on instruction.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The current system isn’t working for many students. One-quarter of children who start school </span><a href="http://www.mitchellinstitute.org.au/reports/educational-opportunity-in-australia-2015-who-succeeds-and-who-misses-out/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">aren’t developmentally ready for this transition</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and </span><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/lifematters/childhood-anxiety-australia-report/7214886"><span style="font-weight: 400;">levels of mental ill-health among children</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> are concerning.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many educators and researchers argue </span><a href="https://ro.ecu.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3692&amp;context=ajte"><span style="font-weight: 400;">more play in the early years of school</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> could better support children’s transition and learning. Parents think so too. In a </span><a href="https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/social-affairs/school-children-have-too-much-phone-time-not-enough-play-time"><span style="font-weight: 400;">recent survey</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, 93% of parents acknowledge the benefits of play and 72% said the first years of school should focus more on play-based learning.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If we’re genuinely committed to improving outcomes for all children – and we know play benefits learning – we need to better integrate play-based learning into schools’ formal learning structures.</span></p> <p>How do we learn through play?</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Increasing play-based learning in schools means changing how we think about playing. When many of us think about play, we probably think of free play, which is unstructured and directed by children, usually without adult involvement.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Play-based learning, though, is </span><a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10409289.2016.1220771"><span style="font-weight: 400;">more usefully conceived as a spectrum</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, with free play at one end and teacher-guided, </span><a href="https://www.monash.edu/conceptual-playworld/about"><span style="font-weight: 400;">playful learning</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> at the other. In between are a variety of methods either entirely based on play, or incorporating elements of it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For example, a skilled educator can help children discover new ideas when they play with water. The educator might encourage children to playfully experiment with water tubs and toys in a way that allows them to develop their own hypotheses about how water behaves in certain situations and why.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The educator could work with the children to test their hypotheses, questioning and talking to them about what they observe during their play.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Play-based learning in the early years of school can </span><a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/183693911103600416"><span style="font-weight: 400;">significantly improve kids’ language and social connections</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Research shows the impact of play-based learning extends into other areas of development too.</span></p> <p><a href="http://www.mitchellinstitute.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Quality-is-key-in-early-childhood-education-in-Australia.pdf"><span style="font-weight: 400;">High-quality</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> play-based learning can:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">strengthen </span><a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325171628_Neuroscience_and_learning_through_play_a_review_of_the_evidence"><span style="font-weight: 400;">neural pathways associated with learning</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">enhance </span><a href="https://www.edutopia.org/article/how-use-play-learning"><span style="font-weight: 400;">well-being</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">improve </span><a href="https://www.parentingscience.com/benefits-of-play.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">memory and organisational abilities</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">teach children </span><a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329000371_Play_cognition_and_self-regulation_What_exactly_are_children_learning_when_they_learn_through_play"><span style="font-weight: 400;">self-regulation and problem-solving skills</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">encourage </span><a href="https://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/images/pedal/play-culture-article.pdf"><span style="font-weight: 400;">creativity and critical thinking</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Quality depends on warm and responsive relationships with skilled educators and an environment that facilitates exploration and learning. It also involves a developmentally appropriate learning program.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The skills children learn through play equip them </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/play-based-learning-can-set-your-child-up-for-success-at-school-and-beyond-91393"><span style="font-weight: 400;">to engage with formal, academic learning</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. When children start to develop and harness these skills, </span><a href="https://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/classroom-resources/play-based-learning/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">research shows</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> they’re better able to cope with the demands of formal learning and thrive later on in school.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">And when more than </span><a href="http://www.mitchellinstitute.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Australias-health-tracker-overview.pdf"><span style="font-weight: 400;">70% of children don’t get the recommended amount of physical activity</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, play is even more essential.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many researchers and educators believe less play – inside and outside the classroom – </span><a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2011/10/all-work-and-no-play-why-your-kids-are-more-anxious-depressed/246422/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">may be contributing to rising levels of anxiety, depression, and challenges related to attention and self-control</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. For children experiencing high levels of stress or other forms of disadvantage, </span><a href="https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/142/3/e20182058"><span style="font-weight: 400;">play can be a vital antidote</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The </span><a href="https://www.pc.gov.au/research/supporting/deep-persistent-disadvantage/deep-persistent-disadvantage.pdf"><span style="font-weight: 400;">links between disadvantage, poor health, changing lifestyles, and inequality</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> are, of course, complex. But there is </span><a href="https://dera.ioe.ac.uk/18189/16/EPPE_TechnicalPaper_12_2004.pdf"><span style="font-weight: 400;">good evidence</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> to suggest how we approach education in the early years – particularly in relation to play – is an important part of how we address these challenges.</span></p> <p>Australia’s school system downplays play</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The </span><a href="https://www.education.gov.au/early-years-learning-framework-0"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Australian Early Years Learning Framework</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> guides educational programs for children aged 0-5. It complements the </span><a href="https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Australian Curriculum</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, which guides learning throughout primary and secondary school.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While complementary, the frameworks take quite </span><a href="https://ro.ecu.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3692&amp;context=ajte"><span style="font-weight: 400;">different approaches to play</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Play is a fundamental component of the Early Years Learning Framework. In contrast, the curriculum’s focus on academic performance has </span><a href="https://www.smh.com.au/education/political-pressure-takes-the-fun-out-of-kindy-say-academics-20140506-zr5b3.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">extended formal learning to the early years of school and even preschool</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, despite the fact play-based learning is far more appropriate at these ages.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are a few policy options that can support more play-based learning in the early years and ensure it is integrated into education in the middle years of childhood and beyond. These options include:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href="https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22029435-000-too-much-too-young-should-schooling-start-at-age-7/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">starting school later</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (either by changing legal starting ages or parents electing to start their children later)</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href="https://www.edutopia.org/article/research-tested-benefits-breaks"><span style="font-weight: 400;">more or longer breaks</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> for play during the day</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4jDZn2d3VrAenFUMGFodTBIaUE/edit"><span style="font-weight: 400;">extending play-based approaches into the early years of school</span></a></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">integrating more play-based learning into existing approaches.</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Increasing school starting ages by law would involve governments and parents meeting the significant cost of an extra year of early education and care. </span><a href="https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/social-affairs/school-children-have-too-much-phone-time-not-enough-play-time"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Research</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> shows most parents want less break time at school, and schools are already finding it difficult to adequately cover the curriculum in the time they have.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While some policy options are likely to gain more traction than others, there is strong support for increasing play-based learning in schools. This will require teachers, governments and families to all be on the same page about the benefits of play for children’s learning. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Kate Noble. Republished with permission of </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/children-learn-through-play-it-shouldnt-stop-at-preschool-126921"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Conversation. </span></a></em></p>

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Entertainment

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Hidden women of history: Neaera, the Athenian child slave raised to be a courtesan

<p>The ancient worlds of Greece and Rome have perhaps never been as popular as they presently are. There are numerous television series and one-off documentaries covering both “big picture” perspectives and stories of ordinary people.</p> <p>Neaera was a woman from fourth century BCE Athens whose life is significant and sorrowful – worthy to be remembered – but may never feature in a glossy biopic.</p> <p>Possibly born in Corinth, a place where she lived from at least a young age, Neaera was raised by a brothel-keeper by the name of Nicarete.</p> <p>Her predicament was the result of her being enslaved to Nicarete. While we don’t know the reason for this, we do know that foundlings were common in antiquity. The parents of baby Neaera, for whatever reason, left her to fate – to die by exposure or be collected by a stranger.</p> <p>From a young age, Neaera was trained by Nicarete for the life of a hetaira (a Classical Greek term for “courtesan”). It was Nicarete who also named her, giving her a typical courtesan title: “Neaera” meaning “Fresh One”.</p> <p>Ancient sources reveal Naeara’s life in the brothel. In a legal speech by the Athenian politician and forensic orator, Apollodorus, the following description is provided: “There were seven young girls who were purchased when they were small children by Nicarete … She had the talent to recognise the potential beauty of little girls and knew how to raise them and educate them with expertise – for it was from this that she had made a profession and from this came her livelihood.</p> <p>“She called them ‘daughters’ so that, by displaying them as freeborn, she could obtain the highest prices from the men wishing to have intercourse with them. After that, when she had enjoyed the profit from their youth, she sold every single one of them …”</p> <p>The occasion for the passage from Apollodorus is a court case that was brought against Neaera in approximately 343 BCE. Neaera was around 50-years-old by the time of her prosecution, which took place in Athens.</p> <p><strong>Trafficking and abuse</strong></p> <p>The circumstances of her trial are complicated, involving the buying, selling, trafficking and abuse of Neaera from a very young age.</p> <p>Piecing together the evidence from Apollodorus’ prosecution speech, which has come down to us with the title, “Against Neaera”, it transpires that two of her clients, who shared joint ownership of her, allowed her to buy her freedom around 376 BCE.</p> <p>Afterwards, she moved to Athens with one Phrynion, but his brutal treatment of her saw Neaera leave for Megara, where circumstances caused her to return to sex work.</p> <p>Further intrigues involving men and sex work saw Neaera eventually face trial on the charge of falsely representing herself as a free Athenian woman by pretending to be married to a citizen.</p> <p>The charge of fraud was based on the law that a foreigner could not live as a common law “spouse” to a freeborn Athenian. The fact that Neaera also had three children, a daughter by the name of Phano, and two sons, further complicated the trial and its range of legal entanglements.</p> <p>While we never discover the outcome of the trial, nor what happened to Neaera, the speech of the prosecutor remains, and reveals much about her life. Unfortunately, the speech of the defence is lost.</p> <p>We do know, however, that the man with whom Neaera cohabitated, Stephanus, delivered the defence. Of course, he was not only defending Neaera – he was defending himself! Should Neaera have been found guilty, Stephanus would have forfeited his citizenship and the rights that attended it.</p> <p>Stephanus had a history of legal disputes with the prosecutor, Apollodorus. He also had a history of being in trouble with the law. For example, he had illegally married off Phano – not once, but twice – to Athenian citizens. Shady “get rich quick” schemes motivated such activities, and it seems that Stephanus was adept at using both his “wife” and his “daughter’ for bartering and personal profit.</p> <p>Another accusation revealed during the trial alleged that Stephanus arranged for Neaera to lure men to his house, engage them in sex, and then bribe them. And while Apollodorus provides no evidence for such a scam ever having taken place, judging by Stephanus’ track-record, it does not seem implausible.</p> <p><strong>Remembering Neaera</strong></p> <p>Reading through the long, complex and damnatory speech of Apollodorus, we risk losing sight of the woman at the centre of it. Caught amid petty politics, sex scandals, and personal vendettas is a woman who becomes peripheral to the machismo being played out in court.</p> <p>Yet, somewhat ironically, this is the only ancient source we have that records not only Neaera and the life she was forced to lead – but the life of a hetaira from infancy, girlhood, middle-age and, ultimately, past her "use by” date.</p> <p>Had she not been taken to court as part of the factional fighting of ancient Athens, had she not had her reputation annihilated so publicly, we would have never known about Neaera.</p> <p>Were it not for Apollodorus and his ancient version of “slut-shaming”, Neaera’s story would have been lost.</p> <p>But it hasn’t been lost. Somewhere, amid the male rhetoric, her story endures. Unfortunately, her voice is not preserved. All we can read in the speech, “Against Neaera” are the voices of men; her prosecutor and the witnesses he calls to the stand.</p> <p>Ironically, these testimonies and accusations - so casually introduced in ancient Athens, but received so differently today - emphasise the inhumanity of the sex trade in an antiquity too often and too unthinkingly valorised.</p> <p>The document known as “Against Neaera” is the only record we have of this (almost) hidden woman. It prompts us to remember. And it’s important to remember Neaera.</p> <p><em>Written by Marguerite Johnson. Republished with permission from <a href="https://theconversation.com/hidden-women-of-history-neaera-the-athenian-child-slave-raised-to-be-a-courtesan-126840">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Art

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What is there to love about black and white films? Everything!

<p>Any photography app worth its hashtags features a black and white mode. It’s as much a part of the tech shebang as filters. In this hypersaturated mega mega-pixeled era, it seems we just can’t get away from the eternal beauty that is black, white and the grayscale between. It is simultaneously austere and flattering. Totes arty as the millennials might say.</p> <p>Many of us, of course, can remember when black and white wasn’t a choice. Like national service, short back and sides and the poetry of John Laws, it was pretty much mandatory. Especially if you wanted to catch the latest goings on at <em>Number 96</em>.</p> <p>But where the format really shone was film. Every few years, some hip director who is inordinately fond of the word “zeitgeist” rediscovers the sheer monochromatic magnificence of the medium. And we get titles such as <em>The Artist</em> and <em>Nebraska</em> as a result.</p> <p>But you know what? The rest of them can keep their CGI and digital cameras that can pick up every pore on Angelina Jolie’s nose.</p> <p>Black and white gave generations of screen goddesses the ethereal allure necessary for the title. It flattered and cajoled like a teenage boy working up to ask the prettiest girl in school to the prom.</p> <p>Twelve-feet tall and in a flickering beam, Ava, Marilyn, Joan and Bette didn’t look like people you saw on the streets of Adelaide or Melbourne. And that was precisely the point. Call me a misty-eyed nostalgic but I prefer my Katharine as a Hepburn not a Heigl and Bacall over Beyonce.</p> <p>Lest you write this reminiscence off as a priapic stroll down mammary lane, let’s get to the likes of Cary and Cagney. Black and white was ideal for portraying men who saw the world in precisely these terms. Enigmas in dinner jackets with flinty faces, and hearts that would never be broken again. Even if it meant a lifetime of last drinks and loneliness.</p> <p>If this all sounds rather romantic, no apologies are made. That was the point. Because when you stepped out into the Technicolour sunshine of Australian daylight, you blinked to not only accustomise your eyes to the light but the fact that you were no longer beside Charles Foster Kane’s bed as he breathed his enigmatic last.</p> <p>Of course, the technology exists to colourise pretty much any film you care to mention but this Pantone migration has not taken place. Want to know why? No one wants to see the hues of Rick’s Café Americain, let alone its proprietor. It’s better than fine as is.</p> <p>From a craft perspective, the filmmakers simply did not have the luxury of a rainbow to create a sense of foreboding or fantasy. What they had at their disposal was light and shadow, perspective and dimension. Not to mention the European expressionist grounding that gave rise to an American artform as idiosyncratic as jazz: film noir.</p> <p>Aesthetics aside, black and white films also throw down a visual challenge to the viewer; they make you recalibrate the image and subliminally add the colour yourself.</p> <p>Or not. You have the option.</p> <p>It is as much a cinema of inference as exposition. Take the shower scene in <em>Psycho</em> as an example. Do you think the infamous shot of Janet Leigh’s blood gurgling into the shower drain would be any more chilling if it was red instead of grey? We say no.</p> <p>What director Alfred Hitchcock asks viewers to bring to party is the finishing touches, the custom viridian spoutings of their nightmares. The original plasma screen if you will.</p> <p>So roll on black and white, roll on. Down in front and pass the Jaffas.</p> <p><em>Written by David Smiedt. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/in-praise-of/in-praise-of-black-and-white-films.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

Movies

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Researchers answer whether or not social media is damaging to children and teenagers

<p>If you have grandkids, chances are you’ve worried about their presence on social media.</p> <p>Who are they talking to? What are they posting? Are they being bullied? Do they spend too much time on it? Do they realise their friends’ lives aren’t as good as they look on Instagram?</p> <p>We asked five experts if social media is damaging to children and teens.</p> <h2>Four out of five experts said yes</h2> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/300424/original/file-20191106-88372-1gchds4.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /> <span class="caption"></span></p> <p>The four experts who ultimately found social media is damaging said so for its negative effects on mental health, disturbances to sleep, cyberbullying, comparing themselves with others, privacy concerns, and body image.</p> <p>However, they also conceded it can have positive effects in connecting young people with others, and living without it might even be more ostracising.</p> <p>The dissident voice said it’s not social media itself that’s damaging, but how it’s used.</p> <p><strong><em>Here are their detailed responses:</em></strong></p> <p><iframe id="tc-infographic-447" class="tc-infographic" height="400px" src="https://cdn.theconversation.com/infographics/447/481cdbb0db0264715f5a913360f033ab19a29f6e/site/index.html" width="100%" style="border: none;" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><em>If you have a “<strong>yes or no</strong>” health question you’d like posed to Five Experts, email your suggestion to: alexandra.hansen@theconversation.edu.au</em></p> <hr /> <p><em>Karyn Healy is a researcher affiliated with the Parenting and Family Support Centre at The University of Queensland and a psychologist working with schools and families to address bullying. Karyn is co-author of a family intervention for children bullied at school. Karyn is a member of the Queensland Anti-Cyberbullying Committee, but not a spokesperson for this committee; this article presents only her own professional views.<!-- 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/126499/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 --></em></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/au/team#alexandra-hansen">Alexandra Hansen</a>, Chief of Staff, <a href="http://www.theconversation.com/">The Conversation</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/is-social-media-damaging-to-children-and-teens-we-asked-five-experts-126499">original article</a>.</em></p>

Technology

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Will and Grace star Shelley Morrison dies at 83

<p>A veteran actress with a career spanning over 50 years, Shelley Morrison, has passed away. </p> <p>Morrison died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles from heart failure after a brief bout with illness, her publicist Lori Dewaal told The Associated Press. </p> <p>She was 83-years-old. </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/B5lcg6kpRHb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B5lcg6kpRHb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">U 83. godini napustila nas je američka glumica Shelley Morrison, TV publici najpoznatija po ulozi Karenine čangrizave sluškinje Rosario iz humoristične serije #WillandGrace. Počivala u miru. #shelleymorrison #inmemoriam #tv #televizija #croatia #hrvatska #tvserija</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/maliodtelevizije/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Mali od televizije</a> (@maliodtelevizije) on Dec 2, 2019 at 1:26pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Morrison pulled off the role of an animated maid from El Salvador flawlessly and became such staple figure, her small role would go on to become one where she would appear in 68 episodes over the course of <em>Will and Grace’s</em> eight-season tenure. </p> <p>What was meant to be a character written for one single episode, became a staple to the show and was one of Morrison’s “all-time favourite characters.”</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/B5jbTwoliBK/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B5jbTwoliBK/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Such sad news. Our beloved Shelley Morrison passed away today. She was absolutely hilarious and had the biggest heart. She was a part of our Will and Grace family and will be greatly missed. My heart goes out to her entire family. ❤️</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/seanhayes/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Sean Hayes</a> (@seanhayes) on Dec 1, 2019 at 6:37pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>In a biography she wrote before her death, she said: “She reminds me a lot of my own mother, who loved animals and children, but she would not suffer fools. </p> <p>“It is very significant to me that we were able to show an older, Hispanic woman who is bright and smart and can hold her own,” </p> <p>Before making strides on <em>Will and Grace</em>, Morrison was best known for playing Sister Sixto on <em>The Flying Nun</em> alongside Sally Field from 1967 to 1970.</p> <p>She guest-starred on dozens of television series starting in the 1960s. </p> <p>This includes<em> The Fugitive, L.A. and</em> <em>Law and Murder, She Wrote. </em></p> <p>Most recently, she voiced a character, Mrs. Portillo, on the Disney animated series <em>Handy Manny.</em></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/B5jhEuQnH0Z/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B5jhEuQnH0Z/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Oh, Shelley... what a loss. Our dear Rosario has passed on. Shelley had a career that spanned decades, but she will always be our dear Rosie. She was a kind soul with a huge heart and always had a smile on her face. All my love to Walter and the entire family. #shelleymorrison 😢</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/therealdebramessing/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Debra Messing</a> (@therealdebramessing) on Dec 1, 2019 at 7:32pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Born Rachel Mitrani to Jewish parents from Spain in the Bronx, New York, in 1936, Morrison spoke primarily Spanish as a child.</p> <p>The actress majorly was cast primarily as Latina characters, but she played a range of ethnicities in theatre, television and film.</p> <p>Her movie roles put her in casts with Hollywood’s biggest stars over the years. </p> <p>She appeared with Dean Martin in 1968’s <em>How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life</em>, with Barbra Streisand in <em>Funny Girl</em> the same year, with Gregory Peck in 1969’s <em>Mackenna’s Gold</em>, with Shelley Long in <em>Troop Beverly Hills </em>in 1989, and with Salma Hayek in <em>Fools Rush</em> In in 1997.</p> <p>Morrison is survived by her husband of over 40 years, Walter Dominguez.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see Shelley Morrison over the years. </p>

TV