Books

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13 books we bet you never knew were banned

<p><strong>The Dictionary</strong></p> <p>Wait … what? Some students working on their spelling might have been out of luck when the teacher asked them to “look it up”. In 1987, the Anchorage School Board in Alaska <span><a href="https://theweek.com/articles/459795/17-americas-most-surprising-banned-books">banned</a></span> the American Heritage Dictionary because it had “objectionable” entries, like the slang definitions for “balls,” “knocker” and “bed.” A California elementary school <span><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/29/the-11-most-surprising-ba_n_515381.html?slideshow=true#gallery/5635/0">banned</a></span> Merriam Webster from its shelves because the definition of oral sex was “not age appropriate”.</p> <p><strong>The Lorax</strong></p> <p>Dr. Seuss may have endeared the hearts of millions, but <em>The Lorax</em>, about the perils of deforestation, didn’t sit well with California loggers. One community <span><a href="https://www.nypl.org/blog/2013/09/24/banned-books-week-green-eggs-and-ham">banned</a></span> the book for its negative portrayal of the industry. (By the way, you've been saying "Dr. Seuss" wrong.) </p> <p><strong>Yertle the Turtle</strong></p> <p>Anti-deforestation wasn’t Dr. Seuss’s only political message to make schools squirm. One Canadian school announced <em>Yertle the Turtle</em> one of its <span><a href="https://www.nypl.org/blog/2013/09/24/banned-books-week-green-eggs-and-ham">banned books</a></span> in 2012 because of this line: "I know up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here at the bottom, we too should have rights." Apparently, that line was too partisan for a school that had banned political messages.</p> <p><strong>James and the Giant Peach</strong></p> <p>No matter how you feel about human-sized bugs, Roald Dahl’s <em>James and the Giant Peach</em> seems innocent enough at first glance. Some schools have challenged it for language, and tobacco and alcohol references. But perhaps the oddest? In 1999, one small Wisconsin town officially made it one of its banned books after <span><a href="http://orgs.utulsa.edu/spcol/?p=3246">claiming</a></span> a scene when the spider licks her lips could be “taken in two ways, including sexual”. Can’t say that would have been our first thought.</p> <p><strong>Where the Wild Things Are</strong></p> <p>It was tough enough for author Maurice Sendak to get his borderline dark and scary children’s book published. When it finally did hit the shelves, it got in even more trouble. <em>Where the Wild Things Are</em> is now a fun classic, but it was initially <span><a href="https://theweek.com/articles/459795/17-americas-most-surprising-banned-books">banned</a></span> because little Max’s punishment was starvation– well, lack of supper – and the story had supernatural themes.</p> <p><strong>Where the Sidewalk Ends</strong></p> <p>You might want to reread Shel Silverstein’s collection of poems, <em>Where the Sidewalk Ends</em> – you may have missed something in its quirky, funny and touching verses. <span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/giving-tree-50-sadder-remembered">According to some schools</a></span>, the book actually promotes everything from drug use and suicide to ignoring parents and telling lies. Yikes.</p> <p><strong>Harriet the Spy</strong></p> <p>Who knew a child misfit could create such a stir? Sure, kids loved Harriet for her strong will and rebelliousness, but critics <span><a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=87779452">argued</a></span> the “spy” was less of a good-girl Nancy Drew and more of a mean-spirited gossip. Some schools banned Louise Fitzhugh’s <em>Harriet the Spy</em> to keep students from the bad influence.</p> <p><strong>The Giving Tree</strong></p> <p>To some, this was Shel Silverstein’s sweet story about unconditional love. But to one bitter Colorado librarian who <span><a href="http://articles.latimes.com/1989-09-26/entertainment/ca-340_1_fullerton-college">took it off the shelves</a></span>, <em>The Giving Tree</em> was just plain “sexist”.</p> <p><strong>Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?</strong></p> <p>Might as well stop trying to wrack your brain for what in the world could have been grounds to take <em>Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?</em> out of schools. It was all an awkward mistake. Eric Carle might be a famous children’s illustrator, but the Texas State Board of Education <span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/richard-adams-blog/2010/jan/28/brown-bear-banned-texas">wouldn’t approve</a></span> the storybook after recognising writer Bill Martin Jr.’s name from another book: <em>Ethical Marxism</em>. There was just one problem – the political Bill Martin was not the same Bill Martin Jr. as had written the children’s book. Next time, maybe the school board should do its homework.</p> <p><strong>The Diary of a Young Girl</strong></p> <p>No, Anne Frank’s diary hasn’t been removed from libraries because of the terror of hiding from Nazis. Schools have <span><a href="http://www.npr.org/2014/09/27/351811082/banned-books-remind-us-of-the-power-of-the-written-word">deemed</a></span> some of the 14-year-old’s descriptions of her anatomy as “pornographic”. More cringe-worthy? One Alabama textbook committee asked for it to be <span><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/28/AR2010012804001.html">banned</a></span> because it was “a real downer”. </p> <p><strong>Charlotte’s Web</strong></p> <p>The unlikely friendship between a pig and spider sparked a much bigger controversy among Kansas parents in 1952. They had Charlotte's Web <span><a href="https://theweek.com/articles/459795/17-americas-most-surprising-banned-books">banned</a></span> because talking animals went against their religious beliefs, arguing humans are "the only creatures that can communicate vocally. Showing lower life forms with human abilities is sacrilegious and disrespectful to God”. We wonder what they’d think about the <em>Cat in the Hat</em> and Mickey Mouse and the three little bears and ...</p> <p><strong>The Grapes of Wrath</strong></p> <p>John Steinbeck’s work of fiction was based on the reality of the Dust Bowl that left migrants homeless and in search of work. In Kern County, California, where the protagonists land, the real-life county board of supervisors didn’t appreciate the author’s portrayal of how locals didn’t help migrants. A 1939 vote <span><a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95190615">removed</a></span> <em>The Grapes of Wrath</em> from the area’s schools and libraries.</p> <p><strong>To Kill a Mockingbird</strong></p> <p>Despite being so beloved, Harper Lee’s novel is still the <span><a href="http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/classics">fourth most-challenged or banned</a></span> classic book. Advocates of banning it argue its issues with racism and sexuality aren’t suitable for young readers.</p> <p><em>Written by Marissa Laliberte. This article first appeared in <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/thought-provoking/13-books-we-bet-you-never-knew-were-banned?items_per_page=All">Reader’s Digest</a></span>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestsubscribe?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;utm_medium=display&amp;keycode=WRA85S">here’s our best subscription offer</a></span>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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The "naughty" birthday card Princess Diana sent to her accountant

<p>An inside look into Princess Diana’s sense of humour has been revealed after a birthday card she sent to her accountant has been put up for auction.</p> <p>Assumed to be from the '90s, the cheeky card, which includes a handwritten note from the late royal is featured on LA-based celebrity auction site Julien’s Auctions after its owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, decided to part ways with the valuable item.</p> <p>The seller believes that the card was sent by Diana – who passed away in 1997 after a tragic car crash in Paris – to her accountant and close friend Anthony Burrage.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7821813/4_thp_chp_031118slug_1786jpg.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f84db9a247cb42f39817134c4293706c" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Photo: Julien's Auctions</em></p> <p>The card shows an illustrated Sleeping Beauty and includes a witty anecdote that says: “A little prick in the hand sent Sleeping Beauty to sleep”.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7821812/2_thp_chp_031118slug_1787jpg.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/fcf845e11fcd4c0080af0a8dd29cbcdd" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Photo: Julien's Auctions</em></p> <p>And while it may seem innocuous, as on first glance it seems to be referring to the classic fairytale where Sleeping Beauty pricks her finger on a spinning wheel, the cheeky humour is revealed once the card is opened. Inside the card the punchline reads: “Only the big ones are worth staying awake for!”</p> <p>The message written by the Princess says: “A belated Happy Birthday for the 5th! From Diana.”</p> <p>Bidding for the card is currently standing at $250 but the price is expected to increase each day and go up to $800-$1200.</p> <p>The bidding site has described the card as: “A humorous birthday card with ‘Sleeping Beauty’ on the cover, handwritten in black felt pen by HRH Princess Diana: ‘Tony, A belated Happy Birthday for the 5th, from, Diana.’ Tony refers to Anthony Burrage, accountant and trusted employee of HRH Princess Diana.”</p> <p>The owner of the prized possession recently spoke to <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/princess-diana-sent-friend-cheeky-13527095" target="_blank">The Mirror</a> </em>and said: “I know that Diana liked to send humorous cards, but I haven’t seen any quite this naughty, so for me it really shows that she was a fun human being that could share some dirty jokes with her closest friends."</p> <p>They added, “This is a secret card that has been kept hidden for many years. A true gem for anyone that is a fan of this special human being.”</p>

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How to start your own book club

<p>Starting a book club is easy – all you need is to love reading. Here’s how to get yours off to a flying start.</p> <p><strong>Finding Fellow Readers</strong></p> <p>Ask around your existing personal networks, including neighbours, friends, social media, or a community noticeboard. Once you mention you want to start a club, you’ll be surprised how many people may want to come along. Ask at your local bookshop and library for ideas – many run regular reading groups and can point you in the right direction for good books. Identify what common interests you and your group have and use these to help draw like-minded people. Once you start looking, you’ll find book clubs for men or women, seniors, sci-fi lovers, teenagers or cookery buffs.</p> <p><strong>The Time, the Place</strong></p> <p>Once you have a group, agree on how often you want to meet – typically clubs meet monthly, though the time-poor may want to make it bi-monthly.</p> <p>For many clubs, meeting at home works best as you don’t have to get dressed up, and noisy public venues can make talking hard. If members bring a plate of food or a bottle, it takes the pressure off the host. But try rotating your meeting location as this will help to stimulate fresh thoughts.</p> <p><strong>Idea</strong></p> <p>Tailor your venue according to the book’s subject matter. The Light Between the Oceans by M.L. Stedman was discussed over fish’n’chips by one club, while The Red Tent by Anita Diamant was chewed over at a Middle Eastern restaurant.</p> <p><strong>Size Matters</strong></p> <p>According to Christine Callen, a book club veteran of 15 years, you need a minimum number of people per meeting to make it interesting. “Seven is the magic number – fewer and there’s not enough for healthy debate,” she says. “You can have ten people in the club – not everyone will be able to make it every time – seven provides enough opinions.”</p> <p><strong>Choosing the Books</strong></p> <p>If you’re the club instigator, it’s easier if you pick the first book. Seek out book reviews in good magazines and newspapers and at bookshops. The flavour of the books you choose will be largely dictated by the personalities attending – you might like to have a wide range of genres from sci-fi to romance to travel epics. Or stick to one genre, such as history books. Decide on a strategy and a time frame – say five to 12 books across the year – then review how everything appeals to the majority.</p> <p>Take turns to come up with a list of four or five titles, then circulate the list via email shortly after your last discussion.</p> <p>Members can then vote on their preferred next book and meeting time. The member scheduled to host the next meeting coordinates the responses to decide the title and date most voted for.</p> <p><strong>Starting Discussion</strong></p> <p>Callen recommends beginning by asking all members to briefly give their opinion on the book. “Everyone arrives and has a drink to loosen up,” she explains. “Then we take it in turns to go around the room and each give the book a mark out of ten, saying in a few sentences what we liked or disliked about it. This gives everyone a chance to speak early in the night and stops one person dominating the conversation from the start.”</p> <p><strong>Tip</strong></p> <p>There is no one way to interpret a book. In fact, differing opinions are good.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared in <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/home-tips/How-to-Start-Your-Own-Book-Club">Reader’s Digest</a></span>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestsubscribe?utm_source=readersdigest&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;utm_medium=display&amp;keycode=WRA85S">here’s our best subscription offer</a></span>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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1950s magazine unearthed: You won't believe the dating advice on “how to get a husband”

<p>A magazine article dating back to 1958 that advises women on how they can attract a potential husband has resurfaced through social media and has quickly gone viral.</p> <p>The piece, which featured in American magazine <em>McCall’</em>s is titled “129 Ways to Get a Husband” and includes a variety of advice on how to do just that. While many find the article hilarious, others have slammed it as sexist and bizarre.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 379.68749999999994px; height: 500px;" src="/media/7821731/44225012_2159481040729742_6926440358930808832_n.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/49f154d225ec4d77955c56807a49516d" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Photo: Facebook - <a id="js_86p" href="https://www.facebook.com/kim.marxkuczynski?__tn__=%2Cd%2AF%2AF-R&amp;eid=ARDYz95D77BVmKXwesPenDidfCJCPH4Hx2b0E8VdQ4w7dweGrc5Nm3ox37F3gMWauTkB_Zyya899ciJ2&amp;tn-str=%2AF" class="_hli" data-hovercard="/ajax/hovercard/user.php?id=100000036012261&amp;extragetparams=%7B%22__tn__%22%3A%22%2Cd%2AF%2AF-R%22%2C%22eid%22%3A%22ARDYz95D77BVmKXwesPenDidfCJCPH4Hx2b0E8VdQ4w7dweGrc5Nm3ox37F3gMWauTkB_Zyya899ciJ2%22%2C%22tn-str%22%3A%22%2AF%22%7D" data-hovercard-prefer-more-content-show="1" aria-describedby="u_84_1" aria-owns="js_86j">Kim Marx-Kuczynski</a></em></p> <p>The list ranges from semi-strange to completely outlandish, with one of the instructions advising women to be flexible when it comes to their potential partner's schedule: “If he decides to skip the dance and go rowing on the lake, GO – even if you are wearing your best evening gown.”</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fkim.marxkuczynski%2Fposts%2F2146971265314053&amp;width=500" width="500" height="624" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>Quickly gaining traction, the Facebook post has been shared 13,750 times and has obtained over 4600 likes. The controversy has spread throughout Facebook and users have questioned the motive behind the article.</p> <p>The feature was a collaboration between 16 people and they were chosen specifically for the task due to their “good minds, lively ideas and mature experience".</p> <p>The group came from a diverse background as it included a songwriter, a marriage consultant, an airline stewardess, a police commissioner, a housewife, a banker, a psychologist and a bachelor.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 418.75px; height: 500px;" src="/media/7821730/43698308_2146971158647397_4244957925166022656_n.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/a52cfe8d2ad447f79d35d397574588ef" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Photo: Facebook - <a id="js_86p" href="https://www.facebook.com/kim.marxkuczynski?__tn__=%2Cd%2AF%2AF-R&amp;eid=ARDYz95D77BVmKXwesPenDidfCJCPH4Hx2b0E8VdQ4w7dweGrc5Nm3ox37F3gMWauTkB_Zyya899ciJ2&amp;tn-str=%2AF" class="_hli" data-hovercard="/ajax/hovercard/user.php?id=100000036012261&amp;extragetparams=%7B%22__tn__%22%3A%22%2Cd%2AF%2AF-R%22%2C%22eid%22%3A%22ARDYz95D77BVmKXwesPenDidfCJCPH4Hx2b0E8VdQ4w7dweGrc5Nm3ox37F3gMWauTkB_Zyya899ciJ2%22%2C%22tn-str%22%3A%22%2AF%22%7D" data-hovercard-prefer-more-content-show="1" aria-describedby="u_84_1" aria-owns="js_86j">Kim Marx-Kuczynski</a></em></p> <p>One of the sections titled “How to let him know you’re there”, informed women of men being attracted to material items, and recommended readers to buy objects to garner their attention.</p> <p>“Buy a convertible – men like to ride in them,” said number 43.</p> <p>“Stumble when you walk into a room that he's in. Wear a band aid, people always ask what happened.”</p> <p>A user on Facebook commented how number 40 was her favourite piece of advice as it told girls to “stand in a corner and cry softly” so a man can approach you and ask what’s wrong.</p> <p>Other strategies were far more blunt, with one saying, “Make a lot of money.”</p> <p>And no listicle on how to get yourself a husband would be complete without a guide informing you on how to make yourself attractive.</p> <p>The “How to look good” section had a few things to say when it came to how women present themselves.</p> <p>“Get better-looking glasses – men still make passes at girls who wear glasses, or you could try contact lenses,” said number 49.</p> <p>“Wear high heels most of the time – they’re sexier! Unless he happens to be shorter than you.”</p> <p>Other suggestions included going on a diet “if you need to” and making yourself stand out from a crowd by dressing differently than other women.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 423.43750000000006px;" src="/media/7821729/43554515_2146971021980744_2357359153359355904_n.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/de4da15e8c794318b06fad52ca58ca15" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Photo: Facebook - <a id="js_86p" href="https://www.facebook.com/kim.marxkuczynski?__tn__=%2Cd%2AF%2AF-R&amp;eid=ARDYz95D77BVmKXwesPenDidfCJCPH4Hx2b0E8VdQ4w7dweGrc5Nm3ox37F3gMWauTkB_Zyya899ciJ2&amp;tn-str=%2AF" class="_hli" data-hovercard="/ajax/hovercard/user.php?id=100000036012261&amp;extragetparams=%7B%22__tn__%22%3A%22%2Cd%2AF%2AF-R%22%2C%22eid%22%3A%22ARDYz95D77BVmKXwesPenDidfCJCPH4Hx2b0E8VdQ4w7dweGrc5Nm3ox37F3gMWauTkB_Zyya899ciJ2%22%2C%22tn-str%22%3A%22%2AF%22%7D" data-hovercard-prefer-more-content-show="1" aria-describedby="u_84_1" aria-owns="js_86j">Kim Marx-Kuczynski</a></em></p> <p>And if you’re someone who just can’t seem to find a single man, then according to the writers, buying a dog and taking it for a walk will help you come across one.</p> <p>But if that doesn’t work then don’t fear, as the list also included: “Looking in the census reports for places with the most single men”, having your car break down in certain locations, working as a doctor, dentist or lawyer so you can be around educated, rich men, and reading obituaries to find widowers.</p> <p>To finish off the ridiculous article, the final section was titled “How to land him".</p> <p>From chatting to your date’s father about business or researching his exes to avoid “repeating the mistakes they made”, the advice just kept getting more and more bizarre.</p> <p>The vintage article gathered a lot of mixed reactions on Facebook with one saying, “In this day and age it looks more like a manual of how to get kidnapped!”</p> <p>“So, apparently, I’m doing a LOT wrong, is that why I don’t have a husband?!” questioned one woman jokingly.</p> <p>Others wondered if the story was real or was it written as satire, while others joked saying they had “been doing it wrong for years".</p> <p>“Thank God for the women’s movement!” said one user.</p> <p>“Wow – finding a man is not for the faint of heart!” wrote another.</p> <p>What do you think of this dating advice from the 1950s? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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The 1957 photo that shows uncanny resemblance between Prince Harry and Prince Philip

<p>Although Prince Harry has been plagued with nasty speculation about whether his birth was the result of his late mother’s five-year affair with James Hewitt, a new photo proves that his genes run deep in the royal family.</p> <p>After Princess Diana’s riding instructor went public with their affair, some claimed the Duke of Sussex resembled Mr Hewitt because they both have red hair.</p> <p>However, a resurfaced photo of a young Prince Philip has gone viral, with many royal fans noticing his “uncanny” likeness to his 34-year-old grandson.</p> <p>The vintage photo taken in 1957 shows Prince Philip in his mid-30s appearing on the cover of Paris Match magazine wearing a military uniform.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BpK9n6KhzDB/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BpK9n6KhzDB/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Chris Jackson (@chrisjacksongetty)</a> on Oct 20, 2018 at 3:14pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Photographer Chris Jackson shared a photo of the publication to Instagram and wrote: “I spotted this beautiful 1957 vintage cover of a @parismatch_magazine… Who does it remind you of?”</p> <p>According to the <em>Evening Standard,</em> the vintage shot shows the 97-year-old husband of the Queen “wearing the tropical dress of the Blues and Royals” – the same uniform worn by Harry at the ANZAC Memorial in Sydney during his Australian tour.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7821558/image_.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/1c1d42298b6740a9b12583a9cd7ead49" /></p> <p>The image has since gone viral, with many admitting they mistook Prince Philip for his grandson at first.</p> <p>“That’s amazing! The resemblance is spot on. I thought it WAS Harry on the Paris Match cover and had to re-read the post. Awesome comparison,” one Instagram user wrote.</p> <p>Another added: “What a find. Uncanny resemblance. Quite handsome both of them.”</p> <p>“Think this photograph may put some of those ugly rumours to bed,” a follower posted.</p> <p>James Hewitt made headlines after he revealed his affair with Diana and attempted to sell 64 personal letters from the People’s Princess – a move that many fans were disgusted by.</p> <p>Before her death in 1997, Diana attributed the colour of her youngest son’s hair to her side of the family, referring to him as her “little Spencer”.</p> <p>Do you think Prince Philip and Prince Harry share a resemblance in the photos? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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James Packer breaks his silence on why he and Mariah Carey split: "I had become toxic"

<p>Billionaire James Packer and pop star Mariah Carey dated for 18 months before their highly-publicised engagement was called off in 2016.</p> <p>Now, the Australian businessman has candidly discussed the couple’s failed relationship in his new biography <em style="font-weight: inherit;">The Price of Fortune: The Untold Story of Being James Packer.</em></p> <p>According to an excerpt published by <a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/"><strong><em style="font-weight: inherit;"><u>The Daily Telegraph</u></em></strong></a><em>,</em> the 51-year-old says he became “toxic” at the time of their split.</p> <p>“By the time the Israel so-called Case 1000 had become public, the China arrests, and Crown's sale of Macau had occurred and the breakup with Mariah had happened, I had become toxic,” he says in his book.</p> <p>James also denies leaking any details of Mariah’s settlement after the pair’s failed engagement.</p> <p>“I had absolutely nothing to do with the story,” he says.</p> <p>The superstar singer reportedly received AUD$70 million after the breakup for an “inconvenience fee”.</p> <p>She was initially “poised to accept $7 million to walk away” before allegedly increasing the figure, reported <em style="font-weight: inherit;">The Daily Telegraph.</em></p> <p>In another published excerpt, James said his relationship was initially “fun”, but his mental health was in a dark place.</p> <p>James also describes his former fiancée as “insanely bright”.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7821526/image_.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/b7de77764f31439b9d8703bce79e16de" /></p> <p>However, underneath the surface, he was struggling mentally with the casino mogul later being admitted to a rehabilitation centre in March 2018.</p> <p>In February 2016, just a month after he proposed to Mariah with an AUD$12.7 million 35-carat ring, he admitted he was not coping well.</p> <p>The toll eventually became too much for James and the relationship collapsed, with the couple announcing their split in October 2016.</p> <p>After their split, Mariah sold the engagement ring for a fraction of the price to an LA jeweller for $2.78 million, reported the <em style="font-weight: inherit;">New York Post.</em></p> <p>The singer’s publicist told <em style="font-weight: inherit;">Page Six</em> at the time: “Mariah has been very vocal recently about her choice to move forward in her life surrounded by positivity.”</p> <p>They added, “That requires leaving emotional and material baggage behind, including an old engagement ring from an ex-boyfriend.”</p> <p>Recently, Seven Network owner Kerry Stokes’ role in the breakdown of the high-profile engagement was also revealed.</p> <p>As James struggled to cope with his business and personal life, Mr Stokes stepped in and took charge of his friend’s private affairs in 2016.</p> <p>Mr Stokes encouraged James to spend time alone in Israel so that his friend could improve his mental health before going ahead with his big day.</p> <p>“Away from all the controversies and the pressures and the intensities ... My concern was that (he and Mariah) were both in bad places and that James needed some space,” Mr Stokes said.</p> <p>“I did postpone his wedding ... James was upset at not seeing her. But he wasn't sure. He was obviously engaged to her. He was obviously emotionally involved. The fact it was postponed, he was happy to get the chance to get himself into a better place.”</p> <p>James still wanted to marry Mariah after his time in Israel but the relationship “fell apart”.</p> <p>Later, James told <em style="font-weight: inherit;">The Australian</em> that their relationship was a “mistake” for both of them. </p>

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6 things you should do when reading with your grandkids

<p><em><strong>Ameneh Shahaeian is a Research Fellow in Developmental and Educational Psychology at the Australian Catholic University.</strong></em></p> <p>There is magic in stories. We all remember hearing them as children, and we loved them. Imaginary adventures set in faraway places. Tales about how the dishwasher isn’t working. It doesn’t matter! Whether made up by parents or read from books, kids love to hear stories.</p> <p>Our <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10888438.2018.1482901">recent work</a> showed reading to children positively impacts long-term academic achievement more than many other activity (including playing music with them, or doing craft). We found the more frequently parents read to their children, the better their children’s NAPLAN scores in different areas.</p> <p>In our most recent study, we asked parents to read a wordless storybook to their three to five-year-old children titled <em>The Wolf and Seven Little Goats</em>. We also tested children in many areas of their important cognitive skills, such as language proficiency, memory, self-control, and friendship skills.</p> <p>Through examining the different ways parents tell stories, we have pinpointed which elements of shared reading are most beneficial for children’s <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0272775714000156">cognitive development</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>1. Tune in to your child</strong></p> <p>Perhaps the most important aspect of reading to children is to tune in to your child. Listen to your child’s cues. Do they like the story? Do they know the vocabulary? Are they paying attention to the pictures more, or the text?</p> <p>Try to coach your child, not to instruct them. Instead of saying: “Look they are going to cook some food, maybe they are hungry”, you can ask “What are they doing?” or “Why do you think they’re doing that?”</p> <p>Be sensitive about whether they are listening and engaged or uninterested and disengaged. If they are disengaged, are there questions you can ask to make them more interested? Do you think they’ll like a different type of story better? The best books for your child are the ones they <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/181204/110118.pdf">enjoy</a></span> most.</p> <p><strong>2. Ask questions</strong></p> <p>Parents who ask lots of questions engage in a more fun and informative way with their children. Ask them if they know the vocabulary, if they can guess what the characters are going to do next, and why they’ve done what they’ve done.</p> <p>These questions are not only helpful because they help children gain new knowledge and ways of thinking, it also <a href="https://theconversation.com/reading-to-your-child-the-difference-it-makes-57473">helps strengthen</a> the emotional bond between parent and child. Children <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4337405/">like to feel</a> they’re a part of the task, not that they’re being told how to do things.</p> <p><strong>3. Go beyond describing images or reading text</strong></p> <p>In our study, we gave parents a wordless picture book. An important difference we observed between parents was some only describe what they see. Some go beyond the picture.</p> <p>For example, when the mother goat in the picture book comes home and sees the door to the house open, one parent said:</p> <p><em>When their mother came home and was looking forward to seeing her children and hugging them and telling them a story, she suddenly saw that the door is open. She was shocked!</em></p> <p>Another parent said:</p> <p><em>The mother came home and saw the door is open; she went inside and looked for the children.</em></p> <p>This parent is only describing the picture.</p> <p>The first parent is imagining what is beyond the picture and text. This is a richer way to tell a story to children, and ultimately leads to better cognitive developmental outcomes for children. This is because it teaches abstract thinking, which is the basis for many of the <a href="https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781351236898/chapters/10.4324%2F9781351236904-7">higher order cognitive abilities</a> such as problem solving and critical analysis.</p> <p><strong>4. Make logical links between different parts of the story</strong></p> <p>Another element that has a strong link to the development of children’s cognitive skills is the way parents build logical links between different parts of the story.</p> <p>Often the events in books unfold very quickly. One minute, the wolf eats the little goats, and the next minute he is found by the mother. Some parents try to make the sequence of events more logical than others.</p> <p>For example, in this picture, when the wolf is coming to knock on the door, one parent said:</p> <p><em>The wolf, who realised the mother is not home, came and knocked on the door.</em></p> <p>This sentence is lacking logical links. How did the wolf know the mother is not home? Why should he come and knock on the door? What did he want?</p> <p>Another parent said:</p> <p><em>The wolf, who was sunbathing in the bush, saw that the mother is going to get some food. He thought, ‘Oh, the little goats are alone at home, and it’s a good time for me to go and trick them and maybe get a good lunch!’</em></p> <p>The parent here is clearly providing logical links between these different parts of the story.</p> <p><strong>5. Add relevant details</strong></p> <p>We also found most parents add many details to the story to make it more interesting or comprehensive. But <em>relevant </em>details are the most useful in terms of improving children’s learning. Relevant details are the kind of details that help make the story easier to understand.</p> <p>For example, one parent said:</p> <p><em>The little goat, who was wearing the yellow shirt and was the smallest said: ‘We shouldn’t open the door! How do we know this is our mother? She has just left.’</em></p> <p>Here, wearing a yellow shirt is a descriptive detail, but it doesn’t add much to the story.</p> <p>Another mother said:</p> <p><em>The smallest one, who was also the cleverest and very careful, said…</em></p> <p>This second parent is clearly adding a detail (that the smaller one is also the cleverest and careful) that makes the story more meaningful and easier to follow.</p> <p><strong>6. Talk about mental and emotional concepts</strong></p> <p>We found parents who not only describe the events of a story but also discuss <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00506/full">abstract concepts</a> related to emotions, desires and thoughts tend to have children who are better cognitively skilled. These children develop a better understanding of others’ emotions, better friendship skills, and even improved memory and higher order cognitive skills that are useful in later life. These lead to <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;id=cvLWDQAAQBAJ&amp;oi=fnd&amp;pg=PP1&amp;dq=abstract+concepts+children+better+cognitive+ability&amp;ots=DtILotRFSV&amp;sig=FftCKFka4vA-j2mpu3iY8UxDopY#v=onepage&amp;q=abstract%20concepts%20children%20better%20cognitive%20ability&amp;f=false">academic success</a> as well as better skills to build friendships and perform well in social relationships.</p> <p><em>Written by Ameneh Shahaeian. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.theconversation.com" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The Conversation.</span><img width="1" height="1" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/99637/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-advanced" alt="The Conversation" 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;"/></strong></a></em></p>

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Why Camilla didn't want Prince William to marry Kate

<p>An author reveals that Prince William and Duchess Kate were nearly “broken up by Camilla".</p> <p>It is said that the Duchess of Cornwall wanted her eldest step-son to end all ties with “pretty but dim” Kate, partly due to her “lowly” roots, reports <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/7219341/camilla-william-marry-pretty-but-dim-kate-prince-charles-split-them-up/" target="_blank"><em>The Sun</em></a>.</p> <p>The claims were made by author Christopher Anderson in his book: <em>Game of Crowns: Elizabeth, Camilla, Kate, And the Throne</em>.</p> <p>According to Anderson, Camilla did not approve of Prince William’s relationship with the now Duchess, and the two women failed to see eye to eye.</p> <p>She allegedly also disapproved of Kate’s non-royal background, which made her “too lowly” to marry into the family.</p> <p>While they seem to share a good relationship now, it is said that in the past, Camilla thought Kate to be “pretty, but rather dim".</p> <p>The rivalry went so far that Camilla allegedly is said to have asked Prince Charles to convince his son to end things with Kate.</p> <p>Anderson also claims that Camilla was jealous of Kate and felt threatened by her growing popularity and had concerns that the young couple would overshadow her and Charles.</p> <p>While Prince William and Duchess Kate did go through a brief break-up while at university, whether it has something to do with Camilla is yet to be confirmed.</p> <p>The two women seem to get along well now as they are regularly seen attending events together. </p>

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Palace releases official photo album of Prince Louis’ christening

<p><span>It has nearly been a week since Prince Louis was christened at The Chapel Royal at St James’ Palace, and now the royal family have released the official portraits from the day.</span></p> <p><span>The photos were taken by Matt Holyoak in the Morning Room at Clarence House following the christening.</span></p> <p><span>The official portraits show the 11-week-old royal being photographed with various members of his family.</span></p> <p><span>The photoshoot included three group shots and one shot of the Duchess Catherine cradling her son in the gardens of Clarence House.</span></p> <p><span>The photographer behind the royal snaps talked about what an honour it was to take the photos.</span></p> <p><span>"I was truly honoured at being asked to take the official photographs at the christening of Prince Louis, and to witness at first hand such a happy event,” he said.</span></p> <p><span>"Everyone was so relaxed and in such good spirits, it was an absolute pleasure. I only hope I have captured some of that joy in my photographs."</span></p> <p><span>Prince Louis Arthur Charles of Cambridge was baptised into the Church of England on July 9.</span></p> <p><span>The christening was an intimate gathering, with only 30 people attending the ceremony.</span></p> <p><span>Among the guests were Louis’ grandfather Prince Charles and his wife Duchess Camilla, uncle and aunt Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan, and his brother and sister Prince George and Princess Charlotte.</span></p> <p><span>Also attending the service was the Middleton family, which included Carole Middleton, Michael Middleton, James Middleton and Pippa Middleton.</span></p> <p><span>Sadly, the Queen and Prince Philip did not attend the christening.</span></p> <p><span>Scroll through the gallery above to see the beautiful official christening portraits of Price Louis and his family. </span></p>

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Prince Harry’s incredibly rare $15,000 christening gift for Prince Louis

<p>To celebrate his nephew’s christening, Prince Harry has forked out $15,000 for a very thoughtful gift for three-month-old Prince Louis.</p> <p>According to reports, the Duke of Sussex bought a rare first-edition copy of A.A. Milne’s <em>Winnie-the-Pooh</em>, which dates back to 1926.</p> <p>Harry is believed to have purchased the book from Peter Harrington, a rare book store in London.</p> <p>It is understood that Harry has decided to build up a library for his two nephews and niece, in memory of his mum, the late Princess Diana.</p> <p>“One of Harry’s happiest childhood memories was being read a bedtime story by his mother,” a palace insider revealed to <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6727671/prince-harry-louis-winnie-the-pooh-christening/" target="_blank"><strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The Sun</span></em></strong></a><em>.</em></p> <p>“She loved all the old classics and Harry had the brilliant idea of starting a little library of first editions for Louis, Charlotte and George to enjoy as they get older.”</p> <p>According to the palace source, Harry originally planned to buy a copy of Lewis Carol’s <em>Through The Looking Glass</em> to mark the occasion – which would’ve set him back $46,490 – but he decided <em>Winnie-the-Pooh</em> was more age appropriate.</p> <p>The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were among just 30 guests invited to the intimate christening.</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: 658px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media"> <div style="padding: 8px;"> <div style="background: #F8F8F8; line-height: 0; margin-top: 40px; padding: 50.0% 0; text-align: center; width: 100%;"> <div style="background: url(data:image/png; base64,ivborw0kggoaaaansuheugaaacwaaaascamaaaapwqozaaaabgdbtueaalgpc/xhbqaaaafzukdcak7ohokaaaamuexurczmzpf399fx1+bm5mzy9amaaadisurbvdjlvzxbesmgces5/p8/t9furvcrmu73jwlzosgsiizurcjo/ad+eqjjb4hv8bft+idpqocx1wjosbfhh2xssxeiyn3uli/6mnree07uiwjev8ueowds88ly97kqytlijkktuybbruayvh5wohixmpi5we58ek028czwyuqdlkpg1bkb4nnm+veanfhqn1k4+gpt6ugqcvu2h2ovuif/gwufyy8owepdyzsa3avcqpvovvzzz2vtnn2wu8qzvjddeto90gsy9mvlqtgysy231mxry6i2ggqjrty0l8fxcxfcbbhwrsyyaaaaaelftksuqmcc); display: block; height: 44px; margin: 0 auto -44px; position: relative; top: -22px; width: 44px;"></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;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BlBAyMPHpOK/" target="_blank">Members of the Royal Family arrive at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace for the christening of Prince Louis.</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;" href="https://www.instagram.com/kensingtonroyal/" target="_blank"> Kensington Palace</a> (@kensingtonroyal) on Jul 9, 2018 at 8:25am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Meghan wore an olive Ralph Lauren dress with a Stephen Jones fascinator to the ceremony.</p> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p> <p>Prior to the christening, Meghan was seen laughing with the Most Reverend Justin Welby, who also baptised her before her wedding to Prince Harry in May.</p> <p>The couple were seen <a href="http://www.oversixty.co.nz/entertainment/art/2018/07/first-pictures-of-prince-louis-christening-at-st-james-palace/" target="_blank"><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">holding hands</span></strong></a> as they walked behind Prince William and Kate, before entering Chapel Royal and St James’s Palace in London. </p>

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A letter written by teenage Meghan Markle reveals her true personality

<p>An old letter written by a teenage Meghan Markle sheds light on the personality of the newest member of the royal family.</p> <p>In 1993, Meghan wrote a letter to a fellow classmate who was “very shy” and a “bit of a loner”, according to her former teachers.</p> <p>The Duchess of Sussex’s former headmistress, Christine Knudsen, at Immaculate Heart High School in California said she received the letter from one of the student’s in Markle’s group.</p> <p>“Meghan wrote her the most wonderful loving note,” says Ms Knudsen in a new documentary How to Bag a Prince that aired on Britain’s Channel 5. “Even though Meghan was not her close friend at all. It just shows the depth of [Markle’s] heart.”</p> <p>The letter reads: “Dear Michelle, You are so strong and so wonderful — your courage in strength in times of hardships is as admirable as your optimism and friendly nature.</p> <p>“I am so lucky to have you in my group and to be able to lead you on this adventure. Never stop sharing your beautiful spirit and always remember how special you are. I am here if you ever need me. I love you, Meghan.”</p> <p>Meghan’s kindness also extended beyond a friend in need.</p> <p>According to her religious studies teacher at Immaculate Heart, young Meghan approached her about how to help the local homeless people.</p> <p>Maria Pollia told the show’s producers: “One day, after class, Meghan approached me and said, ‘So tell me more about serving on Skid Row.’</p> <p>“And so I suggested she continued to volunteer at this soup kitchen in her senior year. Meghan always took it a step further, not just distributing food but learning people’s names, learning their stories.”</p> <p> </p>

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Mum discovers bittersweet handwritten note in second-hand book

<p>A Melbourne mum and her daughters are on the search to return a second-hand book to its previous owner, after finding an emotional message inside. </p> <p>Natalie Coleman purchased a second-hand book for her daughter, Leni, from a pre-loved bookshop in Melbourne.</p> <p>When the St Kilda mum brought the 5 Minute Princess Stories book home, she discovered a message written inside the front cover of the book.</p> <p>The letter was from a man named Barry and addressed to his daughter, Alexis.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ftrudie.coleman.5%2Fposts%2F1676760875771486&amp;width=500" width="500" height="688" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>“Dear Alexis. If you’re getting this without me, it’s because unfortunately my circumstances got too grim for me to give it to you yourself,” the note read.</p> <p>“You need to know I always loved you with all my heart.</p> <p>“You were the first thing I thought about when I woke up in the morning and the last thing I thought about at night.</p> <p>“Love Dad (Barry).”</p> <p>After reading the emotional message and knowing the meaning that must be attached to it, Natalie is now determined to track down Alexis and reunite her with her special book.</p> <p>The mum shared images of the book on social media, in the hope that it could help her track down Alexis.</p> <p>“I recently picked up this book from a St Kilda Op-shop for my daughter,” she explained in her post.</p> <p>“The message just breaks my heart… if you know Alexis (Dad named Barry) I would love to return your book.”</p> <p>The post has been shared in several Facebook groups but Alexis has not yet been found.</p> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p> <p>“As much as we love the book, we’d like to see it returned to the little girl whose dad wrote the letter,” Natalie told the <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><em><a href="https://www.heraldsun.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/mum-finds-tragic-handwritten-note-left-in-secondhand-book/news-story/ecf779feaad23ba2dc354ae95e5105f5" target="_blank">Herald Sun</a></em></strong></span>.</p> <p>“Any young person would treasure these words from their father.”</p>

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Carrie Fisher’s brother reveals her one big regret

<p>Shortly before her death in December 2016, Carrie Fisher revealed for the first time in her memoir that she had a <strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/2016/11/carrie-fisher-reveals-affair-with-harrison-ford-on-star-wars/">brief on-set affair with Star Wars co-star Harrison Ford</a></span>.</strong></p> <p>Carrie’s brother, Todd, has now revealed in his new book, <em>My Girls: A Lifetime with Carrie and Debbie</em>, that Carrie rued the day she told the public about her three-month fling, which she detailed in her own autobiography, <em>The Princess Diarist.</em></p> <p>In the book, Todd writes that his and Carrie’s mother, Debbie Reynolds, didn’t know about Carrie’s affair with Ford when she was a single 19-year-old and he was a married 33-year-old father of two.</p> <p>Todd says that Reynolds disapproved of both the affair and of Carrie’s decision to make it public.</p> <p>Carrie eventually told Reynolds: “You’re right. I shouldn’t have told that story.”</p> <p>At the time of her memoir’s release, Carrie describe their first intimate experience as clumsy.</p> <p> "I was so inexperienced, but I trusted something about him. He was kind," she said.</p> <p>"It was so intense," <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://people.com/movies/carrie-fisher-reveals-affair-with-harrison-ford-star-wars/?xid=socialflow_twitter_peoplemag">Fisher told People</a></strong></span> during an interview to promote the book.</p> <p>"It was Han and Leia during the week, and Carrie and Harrison during the weekend."</p> <p>Carrie died in December 2016 of cardiac arrest, with Debbie passing away just a day later.</p> <p>In his book, Todd explains how he saw what happened: “The common theory about Mum’s passing was that, after losing Carrie, Debbie Reynolds died of a broken heart. Take it from the son who was there, who knew her better than anyone else on earth — that’s simply not true. Debbie Reynolds willed herself right off this planet to personally see to it that Carrie would never be alone.”</p>

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10 funny collective nouns for animals

<p>You no doubt know a flock of seagulls and a school of fish, but did you know these wacky collective nouns for animals?</p> <p>1. A business of ferrets</p> <p><img width="499" height="363" src="/media/9413/ferrets_499x363.jpg" alt="Ferrets"/></p> <p>2. A tower of giraffes</p> <p><img width="500" height="500" src="/media/9414/giraffes_500x500.jpg" alt="Ferrets (1)"/></p> <p>3. A crash of rhinos</p> <p><img width="500" height="400" src="/media/9416/rhinos_500x400.jpg" alt="Rhinos (1)"/></p> <p>4. A parliament of owls</p> <p><img width="500" height="353" src="/media/9417/owls_500x353.jpg" alt="Owls"/></p> <p>5. A sleuth of bears</p> <p><img width="500" height="707" src="/media/9418/bears.jpg" alt="Bears"/></p> <p>6. A mob of emus</p> <p><img width="500" height="475" src="/media/9419/emus_500x475.jpg" alt="Emus"/></p> <p>7. A flamboyance of flamingos</p> <p><img width="500" height="635" src="/media/9420/flamboyance_500x635.jpg" alt="Flamboyance"/></p> <p>8. A shrewdness of apes</p> <p><img width="498" height="385" src="/media/9421/apes_498x385.jpg" alt="Apes"/></p> <p>9. A bloat of hippos</p> <p><img width="498" height="215" src="/media/9422/hippos_498x215.jpg" alt="Hippos"/></p> <p>10. An ambush of tigers</p> <p><img width="498" height="385" src="/media/9423/tiger_498x385.jpg" alt="Tiger"/></p> <p><strong>Related links: </strong></p> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><em><a href="/lifestyle/pets/2015/08/animal-sleeping-buddies/">Unlikely animal sleeping buddies that will melt your heart</a></em></strong></span></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><em><a href="/lifestyle/pets/2015/08/teeny-tiny-animal-gallery/">14 teeny tiny animals</a></em></strong></span></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><em><a href="/lifestyle/pets/2015/07/camouflaged-cats/">Can you spot the cats playing hide-and-seek?</a></em></strong></span></p>

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Serena Williams reignites feud with Maria Sharapova

<p>Serena Williams has hit back over false claims Maria Sharapova made about her in her book titled <em>Unstoppable: My Life So Far</em>, which was released last year.</p> <p>Williams said she was disappointed with the claims made about her, which she described as “hearsay”. </p> <p>Sharapova – who Williams has beaten 18 times in a row and is about to face her fierce rival ahead of their French Open clash – wrote in her recent memoir that Serena “hated” her for hearing her cry after the 2004 Wimbledon final.</p> <p>“I think the book was 100 per cent hearsay, at least all the stuff I read and the quotes that I read, which was a little disappointing,” Williams stated, after her third-round win at the French Open against Julia Georges.</p> <p>“I have cried in the locker room many times after a loss, and that’s what I have seen a lot of people do. I think it’s normal.”</p> <p>The tennis champ added, “It’s a Wimbledon final, you know. So, it’s just, like, I think it would be more shocking if I wasn’t in tears.”</p> <p>Williams said she was stunned how much she was mentioned in the Russian tennis player’s book, but also upset that she was portrayed as disliking Sharapova.</p> <p>“The book was a lot about me,” Williams said. “I was surprised about that, to be honest. You know, I was, like, ‘Oh, OK.’ I didn’t expect to be reading a book about me, that wasn’t necessarily true.”</p> <p>Playing at the French Open, her first tournament since becoming a mum to Alexis Olympia last September, Williams continued, “I don’t have any negative feelings towards her, which again, was a little disappointing to see in that hearsay book. Especially having a daughter, I feel like negativity is taught. One of the things I always say, I feel like women, especially, should bring each other up.”</p> <p>She added, “If anything, I feel like we should encourage each other, and the success of one female should be the inspiration to another, and I have said that 1000 times.”</p> <p>Sharapova, who returned to competitive tennis in April 2017 after a 15-month suspension for doping, also wrote in her book: “Serena and I should be friends; we have the same passion. But we are not. I think, to some extent, we have driven each other. Maybe that’s what it takes … Who knows? Someday, when all this is in our past, maybe we’ll become friends.”</p> <p> </p>

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5 tips to help you make the most of reading to your grandchildren

<p><em><strong>Senior Lectures in Education, Margaret Kristin Merga and Paul Gardner, join Lecturer Saiyidi Mat Roni and Associate Dean Engagement at Murdoch University School of Education, Susan F Ledger, to discuss how to make the most of reading to children.</strong></em></p> <p>Reading to your child is one of the most successful ways of instilling a love of reading in them. But in <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://ro.ecu.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3781&amp;context=ajte&amp;z=1522037874&amp;preview_mode=1&amp;login=2097887" target="_blank">our recent study</a></strong></span>, more than one-quarter of primary-school-aged respondents claimed they were never read to at home.</p> <p>Children typically enjoy being read to, and see educational, social and emotional <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0004944117727749" target="_blank">benefits</a></strong></span> to the practice. But families are busy, and finding time to read aloud can be eaten up by the demands of everyday life.</p> <p>Not all parents have been read to themselves as children, so may not have experienced a model they can then follow with their own children. And many adult Australians may be <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Previousproducts/4228.0Main%20Features22006%20(Reissue)?opendocument" target="_blank">struggling readers</a></strong></span> themselves.</p> <p>With this in mind, here are five suggestions that can help make the experience of reading to your children fun, relaxing and educational.</p> <p><strong>1. Give it all your attention</strong></p> <p>For many people, the best time to read with their children is at night, once the children are in bed. But if you find your child too cranky and disengaged at this time (or if you are feeling tired yourself), you might want to try reading to them earlier in the day.</p> <p>Whatever the time, it’s important to give the book and your children all of your attention. Phones and other devices with enabled notifications should be switched off. Everyone should be comfortable, and children should associate time spent being read to with enjoyment.</p> <p>Where possible, we strongly suggest reading to your child becomes part of the daily routine. The <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2002-02073-003" target="_blank">more often</a></strong></span> children are read to, the more substantial the benefits. Reading to children is both an opportunity to model how the written word sounds and a chance for family bonding.</p> <p><strong>2. Engage with the story</strong></p> <p>Children don’t typically enjoy having the story stopped every few seconds for comprehension checking, so we suggest you keep interruptions to a minimum.</p> <p>But recapping is useful when picking up a book again after a break. If parents let their children provide this recap (“So, where are we up to?”) this also enables informal comprehension checking. Opportunities for prediction are also beneficial (“Wow… what do you think might happen next!”).</p> <p>Sharing your response to a book and encouraging children’s responses stimulates critical thinking. These techniques and others can enhance learning and comprehension, but they shouldn’t upset the fluidity of the reading experience or turn it into a test.</p> <p>You can share the task of the reading itself with your children if they want to. This is beneficial for a range of <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-9817.2004.00238.x" target="_blank">reading skills</a></strong></span>, such as reading comprehension, word recognition and vocabulary building.</p> <p><strong>3. There’s no age limit</strong></p> <p>You can start reading to your child from early infancy to support their developing <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0193397304001418" target="_blank">language abilities</a></strong></span>, so it’s never too early to start. The skills infants and young children develop through shared reading experiences can set them up for <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://adc.bmj.com/content/93/7/554.short" target="_blank">literacy achievement</a></strong></span> in their subsequent schooling years.</p> <p>Reading to your children remains important beyond the early years, too, with continuing benefits for <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://ila.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/TRTR.1185" target="_blank">literacy development</a></strong></span> and <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://www.alpaa.com.au/sites/default/files/downloads/kalb_et_al_reading_to_young_children_copy.pdf" target="_blank">cognitive skills</a></strong></span>.</p> <p>We should read to young people for <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0004944117727749" target="_blank">as long as possible</a></strong></span>. There is no age where the benefits of being read to completely expire.</p> <p>Very <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/lit.12141" target="_blank">recent research</a></strong></span> in the UK found struggling adolescent readers can make remarkable gains on their reading comprehension when books are read to them at school. This is perhaps due to the opportunity for students to enjoy books that are too hard for them to read themselves.</p> <p><strong>4. Pick a book you both enjoy</strong></p> <p>We suggest you select a book that interests both you and your child. Reading together is a great opportunity to share your passions while broadening your children’s horizons through making diverse book choices.</p> <p>Don’t be afraid to start reading chapter books to your children while they are still very young. The age to begin this will vary depending on your child’s attention span, but it’s often possible to begin this with pre-schoolers.</p> <p>As long as the story isn’t too complex, children love to be taken on an enjoyable journey into books that are too hard for them to read independently. This can also help to extend child’s vocabulary, among other benefits.</p> <p>It’s a good idea to take your children to the library and model how you choose interesting books for shared reading. Research shows many <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/eie.12143" target="_blank">primary</a></strong></span> and <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02188791.2014.961898" target="_blank">high school</a></strong></span> children are easily overwhelmed by choice when they attempt to pick what books to read independently, so helping them with this is a valuable skill.</p> <p><strong>5. Don’t worry about your style</strong></p> <p>Not all of us are destined to be award-winning voice actors, and that’s OK. It’s great to use expression and adopt different voices for the characters in a book, but not everyone will feel able to do this.</p> <p>At multiple points in our research, we’ve come across people who have praised the reading efforts of parents who weren’t confident readers, but who prevailed nonetheless. For example, in our <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://www.ala.org/aasl/sites/ala.org.aasl/files/content/aaslpubsandjournals/slr/vol20/SLR_BecomingaReader_V20.pdf" target="_blank">recent paper</a></strong></span> a respondent described being read to by her mother who struggled with dyslexia. This mother, and many other parents, have inspired a love of reading in their children through their persistence.</p> <p>Being taken into the virtual reality of story is a memorable, pleasurable experience that stays with us forever. Reading aloud provides parents with a valuable opportunity to slow down, relax and share the wonderful world of books with their children.</p> <p><em>Written by Margaret Kristin Merga, Paul Gardner, Saiuidi Mat Roni and Susan F Ledger. Republished with permission of <strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://theconversation.com/" target="_blank">The Conversation.</a></span></strong></em><img width="1" height="1" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/93659/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-advanced" alt="The Conversation"/></p>

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Meghan Markle’s wedding speech left guests in tears

<p>The Duchess of Sussex left her wedding reception guests teary-eyed after delivering an emotional poem dedicated to Prince Harry.</p> <p>Meghan’s poem articulated how “blessed” she felt to have met her prince and said their romance was “love at first sight”, reported <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6387068/meghan-markle-broke-royal-protocol-with-poem/" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>The Sun.</strong></em></span></a></p> <p>“Meghan totally stole the show,” one guest shared.</p> <p>“It was the most special part of the entire day and the most unexpected.</p> <p>“She read her poem like the professional actress she is.</p> <p>“Most of the room was ­misty-eyed by the final line. Harry looked so proud and had to wipe away a tear.</p> <p>“She spoke about their first date and falling in love at first sight."</p> <p>Meghan said she knew she had met her prince straight away and "how blessed and lucky she feels to have found such a profound love".</p> <p>Meghan’s two-minute poetry reading to the couple’s reception guests at Frogmore Hall was just one of the many ways the wedding abandoned royal protocol.</p> <p>Prior to this wedding, no royal bride had ever officially addressed their wedding guests.</p> <p>The newlyweds, who married on May 19, had their first date in July 2016.</p> <p>Their first date is believed to have been arranged by fashion designer Mischa Nonoo, a mutual friend.</p> <p>Harry and Meghan went for a drink and reportedly arranged to see each other the next day after it went so well.</p> <p>Last November, Harry revealed that he was smitten “the very first time we met”.</p>

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Fury over racist post about Meghan Markle

<p>A German company has apologised for a racist social media post of a chocolate-covered marshmallow sweet in a bridal dress, on the day of the royal weedding.</p> <p><a href="http://www.bbc.com/" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>BBC News reports</strong></em></span></a> Super Dickmann's post of a Schokokuss (chocolate kiss) included the caption: "What are you looking at? Wouldn't you also want to be Meghan today?"</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">A German chocolate company is being accused of racism after releasing an ad for the royal wedding, depicting Meghan Markle as a chocolate-covered marshmallow in a wedding dress <a href="https://t.co/43QdzBZXLh">https://t.co/43QdzBZXLh</a> <a href="https://t.co/YnHELbrbn1">pic.twitter.com/YnHELbrbn1</a></p> — CBS News (@CBSNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/CBSNews/status/999335322310860800?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 23, 2018</a></blockquote> <p>But the post has quickly be criticised by social media users as racist.</p> <p>After a swift backlash, the company responded with a spokespersons describing the post as "stupid and embarrassing".</p> <p>The company responded online, stating, “A big pardon! The world of Super Dickmann's is colourful and diverse and far from racist thoughts.”</p> <p>While the post has been deleted, images continue to circulate around social media.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Do you *honestly* not see *anything* racist about portraying Meghan Markle as a chocolate in a wedding dress? I know sometimes seemingly innocuous things get called racist but, my god man, COME ON!</p> — Peter Bryson (@PeterMBryson) <a href="https://twitter.com/PeterMBryson/status/999309138625736704?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 23, 2018</a></blockquote> <p>What are your thoughts?</p>

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