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Why you should set your phone to black and white

<p><span>Feeling more glued to your phone than you should be? According to a <a href="https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2017/02/smartphone-habits-and-pet-peeves-of-australians/">2017 study</a>, the average person in Australia spends 2.5 hours each day on their smartphones, with three out of four men (74 per cent) admitting to having their phone at hand throughout the whole day compared with 60 per cent of women. </span></p> <p><span>If you are concerned about your screentime, setting your phone to grayscale may help.</span></p> <p><span>Replacing the saturated colours with black-and-white tones may help make the apps look less enticing, saving you from endless checking and scrolling. Switching to grayscale can also help you save battery life and make it easier on your eyes, especially if you have visual impairments such as colour blindness.</span></p> <p><span>Here’s how you can change your phone to black and white.</span></p> <p><strong><span>iPhone</span></strong></p> <ol> <li>Open Settings &gt; General &gt; Accessibility &gt; Display Accommodations.</li> <li>Select Color Filters, then toggle the switch on.</li> <li>Select Grayscale.</li> </ol> <p><span>To set it back to the colourful setting, simply switch the toggle back.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Android</span></strong></p> <ol> <li>Open Settings &gt; About device &gt; Software info.</li> <li>Tap on the Builder number several times until a notification appears that you are now a developer.</li> <li>Go back to Settings and choose Developer options on the bottom of the list. Toggle on the switch at the top if it is not already on.</li> <li>Open Simulate color space.</li> <li>Select Monochromacy.</li> </ol>

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The brilliant way Disney celebrated the birth of baby Archie

<p>Plenty of babies and young children have Disney products in their possession, but not many can say they have a special gift directly from the animation company itself.</p> <p>Following the arrival of baby Archie Mountbatten-Windsor on May 6, Disney created a Winnie-The-Pooh animation video to celebrate his birth.</p> <p>The brilliant clip details the honey-loving bear travelling all the way to Windsor Palace to bring a special book to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the newborn son in a cradle.</p> <p>In the animation, Winnie-the-Pooh travels all the way from the Hundred Acre Wood to the new royal parents, with a book with a crown on the cover under his arm.</p> <p>The bear then is seen sitting beside the Duke and Duchess as they flip through the book with a smile on their faces.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">To celebrate the birth of Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, <a href="https://twitter.com/Disney?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Disney</a> have created a special Winnie-the-Pooh animation as a gift for Harry and Meghan. The short was hand-painted in watercolour by Disney’s senior principal artist Kim Raymond. Really special🎨 <a href="https://t.co/PrY5wlMeBQ">pic.twitter.com/PrY5wlMeBQ</a></p> — Omid Scobie (@scobie) <a href="https://twitter.com/scobie/status/1126580022150598657?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 9, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>The video was shared to social media, garnering in over 7,000 likes and retweets with the caption: “The short was hand-painted in watercolour by Disney’s senior principal artist Kim Raymond.”</p> <p>Royal commentator Omid Scobie shared the sweet animation, one that might have had quite a profound impact on Prince Harry in particular.</p> <p>When his nephew Prince Louis was born in April last year, the Prince reportedly bought a very special gift for the latest royal arrival, which was a rare first-edition of the AA Milne classic.</p> <p>The book, <em>Winnie-The-Pooh </em>was published originally in 1926 and is reported to cost upwards of $15,000.</p> <p>Royal insiders claimed the first-of-its-kind novel was just a small part of a number of first editions Prince Harry planned to obtain for his young nephews and niece.</p> <p>“He originally wanted to get Lewis Carroll’s <em>Through The Looking Glass</em>, which was on sale for £24,000 ($AU45,000), but decided Winnie-The-Pooh would be more suitable reading material,” they told <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6727671/prince-harry-louis-winnie-the-pooh-christening/" target="_blank" title="The Sun">The Sun</a></em> last year.]</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see the special animation for baby Archie through images.</p>

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World's most hackable passwords: Is yours on the list?

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many people still stick to “easy” passwords to secure sensitive accounts, a study has suggested.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The UK National Cyber Security Centre has released the top 100,000 passwords that have been exposed in data breaches around the world. Using the data from Troy Hunt’s </span><em><a href="https://haveibeenpwned.com/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Have I Been Pwned</span></a></em> <span style="font-weight: 400;">site, the study aimed to identify the gaps in cyber-security knowledge and help reduce the occurrence of account breaches and exploitation.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The most popular password on the list was 123456, which was used by more than 23 million breached accounts. On the second place was 123456789, followed by “qwerty”, “password” and 111111.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The most common name to be used as a password was “ashley” with more than 430,000 appearances. Other top names included “michael”, “daniel”, “jessica” and “charlie”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dan U, senior security researcher at the NCSC said blocking these common passwords would help users protect their accounts. “Security works when people act as a community, whether that's allowing people to realise how common their password is, or just giving them confidence that the password they've picked at work or home is more sensible,” he wrote in </span><a href="https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/blog-post/passwords-passwords-everywhere"><span style="font-weight: 400;">a statement</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">More websites and Internet services have been hit with security breaches in recent years, including Facebook, Microsoft, </span><a href="https://money.cnn.com/2017/10/03/technology/business/yahoo-breach-3-billion-accounts/index.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Yahoo</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and more.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The NCSC recommended choosing three random yet memorable words to create a strong password, such as “walltinshirt” or “coffeetrainfish”, and avoiding credential reuse. </span></p> <p><strong>Top 20 most popular passwords:</strong></p> <ol> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">123456</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">123456789</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">qwerty</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">password</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">111111</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">12345678</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">abc123</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">1234567</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">password1</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">12345</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">1234567890</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">123123</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">000000</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">iloveyou</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">1234</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">1q2w3e4r5t</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">qwertyuiop</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">123</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">monkey</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">dragon</span></li> </ol>

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Should your dog go vegan?

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Veganism and vegetarianism have become increasingly popular for New Zealanders, but what about their four-legged best friends?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The idea of giving dogs a vegan diet has remained controversial in the recent years. For vegan owners, it might be uncomfortable and against their values to feed pets with another animal. However, dissenters believe meat and bones are essential for dogs’ health and growth.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So what does science have to say in this matter? </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In short, it is still inconclusive. According to Wanda McCormick, animal physiologist and senior lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University, dogs may digest plant-based food more easily than their canine predecessors, thanks to extensive domestication. However, this also means that they are more vulnerable to tooth loss and decay due to lower exposure to bones.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There’s also the fact that bones, raw hide and meat-based chews can offer significant behavioural benefits to dogs,” McCormick wrote on </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/vegan-dogs-should-canines-go-meat-free-103404"><span style="font-weight: 400;"><em>The Conversation</em></span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. “Chewing can be an immensely satisfying and relaxing experience for dogs. And in a world where many pets experience long periods of time alone, such opportunities can be invaluable.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many other experts are also undecided. So far, there are no longitudinal studies on veganism in dogs. “Most of what we know about their nutrition is by trial and error,” Greg Aldrich, associate professor at Kansas State University specialising in pet food nutrition told </span><a href="https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/4/11/18301016/dog-food-feeding-pets-vegan-history"><span style="font-weight: 400;"><em>Vox</em></span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This might explain why some vets are more open to meat-free meal plan, while others are more reluctant. “Can I create a vegetarian diet for a dog? Yes, I can … We have to pay very, very, very special attention, though, because they do have tendencies toward a more carnivorous physiology,” said Aldrich.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Only today, knowing all I know about nutrition and all of the analytical techniques, would I feel comfortable feeding a dog a vegetarian diet.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Nevertheless, Aldrich said he still would not put his Labrador retriever on a vegetarian diet.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brisbane pet nutritionist Ruth Hatten recommends a mixed diet to ensure that your dog gets all the nutrients it needs. “I still encourage including raw meaty bones, raw free-range eggs and fish. While not vegan, it allows reduction of meat while significantly reducing any health concerns that may arise from a vegan diet,” Hatten told </span><em><a href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/home/pets/im-raising-my-dogs-vegan/news-story/18a4a4e6ffc1b93e4f0911340de8f39f"><span style="font-weight: 400;">news.com.au</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I understand it can be challenging for vegans to feed their dog meat, but I believe that our primary obligation is to the animals in our care. Sometimes a dog won’t enjoy a vegan diet, and that is an important factor, too.” </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you are set on a vegan or vegetarian diet for your dog, vet Derek McNair advises taking gradual steps. “Take at least a month to allow time for gut bacteria to adjust,” McNair told </span><a href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/home/pets/im-raising-my-dogs-vegan/news-story/18a4a4e6ffc1b93e4f0911340de8f39f"><span style="font-weight: 400;"><em>news.com.au</em></span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. “Have them checked every six months … After about two years, if everything is looking good with blood tests and so on, stretch it out to annually, which is what we recommend for every dog, regardless of diet.”</span></p>

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Books to help spend less live more

<p>We all want to save money, but it’s a lot easier said than done. So, if you’re looking to spend less and save more, why not turn to those who have turned their lives around with some ingenious financial experiments? Here are five books to help you reinvent your attitude towards money, debt and happiness.</p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="http://t.dgm-au.com/c/93981/71095/1880?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.booktopia.com.au%2Fthe-50-weekly-shop-jody-allen%2Fprod9780143797326.html" target="_blank"><em><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The $50 Weekly Shop</span></strong></em></a> by Jody Allen </p> <p>After being made redundant in 2009, mother of two Jody Allen created the blog Stay at Home Mum to share her tried-and-true money-saving tips for supporting a young family of four on one wage. Eight years on, she runs her own business and, despite being in a much more comfortable financial position, continues to follow a strict budget, feeding her family with healthy meals for just $50 a week. In this book, the savings extraordinaire shares her tips on how you can do the same.</p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="http://t.dgm-au.com/c/93981/71095/1880?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.booktopia.com.au%2Fmind-over-money-claudia-hammond%2Fprod9781782112051.html" target="_blank"><em><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Mind Over Money</span></strong></em></a> by Claudia Hammond </p> <p>Money has immense power over us. We need it, we want it, and it can sometimes drive us to some unlikely extremes. In this fascinating book, Claudia Hammond delves deep into the psychology of money and why our relationship with it is so complicated. From learning how being grumpy can save you money to why you should spend more when it comes to pain relief, this clever guide will change the way you see money forever.</p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="http://t.dgm-au.com/c/93981/71095/1880?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.booktopia.com.au%2Fthe-art-of-frugal-hedonism-annie-raser-rowland%2Fprod9780994392817.html" target="_blank"><em><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The Art of Frugal Hedonism</span></strong></em></a> by Annie Raser-Rowland with Adam Grubb </p> <p>Who says you need to spend money to enjoy life? In The Art of Frugal Hedonism, you’ll learn how you can save more money whilst still living your life to the fullest. Not only will this book revolutionise your financial philosophy, but applying the strategies in this guide will make you happier, healthier, wealthier and more in love with life than ever before.</p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="http://t.dgm-au.com/c/93981/71095/1880?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.booktopia.com.au%2Fthe-no-spend-year-michelle-mcgagh%2Fprod9781473652149.html" target="_blank"><em><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The No Spend Year</span></strong></em></a> by Michelle McGagh </p> <p>Could you live for a whole year without spending a cent on anything but the essentials? That’s exactly what London-based finance journalist Michelle McGagh did. After selling 80 per cent of her belongings and calculating the minimum amount of money she needed each week to spend on bills and groceries, she’s happier than ever – not to mention financially stronger – and learned how to live more on less.</p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="http://t.dgm-au.com/c/93981/71095/1880?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.booktopia.com.au%2Fthe-spender-s-guide-to-debt-free-living-anna-newell-jones%2Fprod9780062367181.html" target="_blank"><em><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The Spender’s Guide to Debt-Free Living</span></strong></em></a> by Anna Newell Jones </p> <p>In 2009, photographer Anna Newell Jones was almost $24,000 in debt. After finally realising it was time to act, she set up a blog and tracked her journey from spender to saver. 15 months later, her debt was gone. With her method, you’ll find out how you can get a clear idea of your financial situation, how you can make more money on the side, and, once you’re out of debt, to relearn how to spend the right way.</p>

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The most popular words in the English language

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">What is your favourite word in the English language?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The most appealing word can vary for each person. Some people favour beautiful-sounding words, such as aquiver (adjective, defined as “quivering or trembling”), mellifluous (adjective, “smooth and musical to hear”), and discombobulated (adjective, “upset” or “confused”).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Others decide on their favourite word based on the meaning or what they represent. Some examples include serendipity (noun, “the chance occurrence and development of events in a beneficial way”), defenestration (noun, “the act of throwing someone out of the window”) and petrichor (noun, “a pleasant smell frequently accompanying the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather”).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If English is not your first language, this may influence your answer, too. In 2004, the British Council surveyed </span><a href="https://curiosity.com/topics/these-are-the-70-most-beautiful-words-in-english-according-to-a-survey-curiosity/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">more than 40,000 people</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in 102 non-English speaking countries to discover the most beautiful words in the language.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The word “mother” came out on top of the list of 70 words, winning over other contenders such as “passion”, “love” and “eternity”. Greg Selby, spokesman for the Council said, “It's interesting that mother, the only word of the 70 that describes a direct relationship between people, came top of the poll.”</span></p>

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Mothers anonymous: How children's books have written mum out of the story

<p>Here’s an interesting fact. When it comes to children’s books, the word “mother” is the most frequent noun used to refer to female characters – and has been since the 19th century. But despite this, mothers are rarely the heroes or protagonists in children’s fiction – often, they don’t even have a name. They are part of the supporting cast – and sometimes they are even dead or otherwise absent. When it comes to what their children are reading, mums are usually barely visible.</p> <p>We’ve been studying <a href="https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/edacs/departments/englishlanguage/research/projects/glare/index.aspx">gender in children’s literature</a> by analysing the frequency of words like “mother” in collections from Beatrix Potter to modern children’s books. We compared <a href="https://clic.bham.ac.uk/">19th century children’s books</a> with <a href="https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/childrens/dictionaries-you-can-trust">contemporary children’s fiction</a> which has helped us understand how repeated language patterns reflect a gendered view of society.</p> <p>What is striking in both the 19th century and contemporary data, is the inequality of gender representations. When we looked at word pairs such as “he” and “she”, or “man” and “woman” the scale of the imbalance becomes clear – in the 19th-century data “he” is more than twice as frequent as “she”, while in the contemporary fiction, “he” is still 1.8 times more frequent than “she”. Meanwhile “man” appears in the 19th-century collection 4.5 times more frequently than “woman” and in the contemporary data it is 2.8 times more common.</p> <p><strong>A mother’s place</strong></p> <p>The range of occupations for men and women is also particularly revealing. In the 19th-century data set, as you’d expect, occupations and roles for women in society were extremely limited. Women could be queens, princesses, nurses, maids, nannies or governesses – but there were not many other options.</p> <p>While there may be fewer nurses, maids, nannies and governesses in the contemporary data, we still find queens and princesses. But even now, the wide range of occupations that is theoretically open to women – doctor, driver, servant, professor, officer, spy, boss, judge, farmer, pilot, scientist, minister to name just some of the frequent ones – is mostly occupied by men in children’s books.</p> <p>It’s yet another example of what writer and activist <a href="https://guardianbookshop.com/invisible-women-9781784741723.html">Caroline Criado Perez describes</a> as the “gender data gap”, when she uncovers the invisible bias in a world designed for men. So fiction and the real world look pretty similar.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/266595/original/file-20190329-71003-mklqn.png?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/266595/original/file-20190329-71003-mklqn.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <em><span class="caption">A comparison of the frequency of mentions of different types of women in 19th-century and modern children’s books.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Michaela Mahlberg/Anna Cermakova, University of Birmingham</span>, <span class="license">Author provided</span></span></em></p> <p>Against the background of the otherwise skewed gender representation, this makes mothers even more prominent. Mothers do not only occur frequently, they are also found across a large number of texts. Mothers feature in most of the children’s books that we studied. A comparison with other typical female characters in children’s books – witch and queen – also highlights the importance of mothers.</p> <p><strong>Good mum, bad mum</strong></p> <p>But the story is not often actually about the mothers. They are defined by being somebody’s mother: “Martha’s mother sent me a skipping-rope. I skip and run,” wrote Frances Hodgson Burnett in her 1911 classic, <em>The Secret Garden</em>.</p> <p>The role of mothers is primarily to look after their children. “I got nine GCSEs and am well-known for my literacy skills enforced by Mum,” wrote 16-year-old Rachel Riley in her diary in Joanna Nadin’s 2009 novel, <em>Back to Life</em>.</p> <p>Sometimes their rules cause anger or frustration in the child protagonists. “Request denied by Mum on ‘because I say so’ grounds,” Rachel reports in <em>My Double Life</em> (2009), another book in the same series. But mothers are always there to support their children as 14-year-old Maya’s Mum demonstrates in Tim Bowler’s 2011 psychological thriller <em>Buried Thunder</em> after Maya makes a horrific discovery.</p> <blockquote> <p>Maya went on crying. ‘OK’, said Mum. ‘It’s OK’.<br />‘It’s not OK’ said Maya. ‘I’m being horrible’.<br />‘You’re not being horrible’, said Mum.</p> </blockquote> <p>And, as you might expect, they are often the person for their children to confide in as Jade admits in Julia Clarke’s 2009 novel <em>Between You and Me</em>. “Normally I tell Mum what is happening in my life. But I can’t tell her about Jack and the failed kiss or the shock of seeing him and Sybil together.”</p> <p>Mothers might not typically be the main character in the story, but their presence matters. In Rhiannon Lassiter’s Bad Blood (2007) John’s mother has died and his father has remarried. But she is a constant presence in the back of his mind. “He remembered his mother’s smell, like apples and soap; the way she’d hug him goodnight, wrapping her arms around him so that they were locked together in the hug. They were small memories but they were all his.”</p> <p>So, while mothers might often only appear in the background, without them the story would certainly not be complete. In reality, of course, mothers play numerous, varied and important roles in the narratives of their children’s lives. And they are of course, not only mums. Something to remember.</p> <p><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><em>Written by <span>Michaela Mahlberg, Professor of Corpus Linguistics, University of Birmingham and Anna Cermakova, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow, Centre for Corpus Research, University of Birmingham</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/mothers-anonymous-how-childrens-books-have-written-mum-out-of-the-story-114519"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em><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/114519/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></p>

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4 books on grieving you need to read

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Losing a loved one is never easy, but it can be comforting to share the feeling with other people in similar pain. Books on grieving can offer solace and help you navigate through your experience. Here are four of the most popular suggested reads for dealing with loss and grief.</span></p> <p><strong>1. <em>The Year of Magical Thinking</em> by Joan Didion</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The classic memoir tells the account of Didion’s year after the sudden death of her husband, writer John Gregory Dunne. Didion’s cold, precise way of making sense of her mourning process and how bereavements cloud her memories and perception have been praised as a difficult yet cathartic read.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Excerpt: “Grief, when it comes, is nothing like we expect it to be. … Grief has no distance. Grief comes in waves, paroxysms, sudden apprehensions that weaken the knees and blind the eyes and obliterate the dailiness of life.”</span></p> <p><strong>2. <em>Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss</em> by Hope Edelman</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">First published over twenty years ago, the core wisdom from this self-help book still rings true today. Edelman built the book on her own experience as well as interviews with hundreds of women who also had lost their mothers. She dissected how a daughter’s sense of self and perception of those around her can be transformed in the face of difficulties brought about by the absence of a mother figure, all in an honest, personal lens.  </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Excerpt: “Someone did us all a grave injustice by implying that mourning has a distinct beginning, middle, and end.”</span></p> <p><strong>3. <em>When Breath Becomes Air</em> by Paul Kalanithi</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The autobiography was posthumously published less than a year after the death of its author, neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi. After he was diagnosed with inoperable, metastatic lung cancer, Kalanithi worked on the book to ponder about his place in the world as a medical professional in training, a patient, a husband and a father, as well as about what makes life truly worth living. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Excerpt: “Before my cancer was diagnosed, I knew that someday I would die, but I didn’t know when. After the diagnosis, I knew that someday I would die, but I didn’t know when. But now I knew it acutely. The problem wasn’t really a scientific one. The fact of death is unsettling. Yet there is no other way to live.”</span></p> <p><strong>4. <em>I’m Grieving as Fast as I Can</em> by Linda Feinberg</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This guide was written by a grief therapist with years of experience counselling thousands of people in bereavement. Using real stories, she explained how a grief journey can be simultaneously unique to each individual and universal in the emotions and situations that it produced. She also offered advice on practical issues following the death of a loved one, including returning to work, finding support network and dealing with depression and anxiety.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Excerpt: “I cannot live the rest of my life without my husband. But I can live without him for one day.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Do you have any recommendations when it comes to grieving? Let us know in the comments below.</span></p>

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The only ways you should be using a semicolon

<p>A semicolon, the hybrid between a colon and a comma, is often considered one of the more pompous punctuation marks.<br /><br />In reality, it gets a bad rap just because few people know how and when to use it.<br /><br />The semicolon is used to indicate a pause, usually between two main clauses, that needs to be more pronounced than the pause of a comma.<br /><br />So what are the practical ways to implement this little grammatical workhorse?<br /><br />Read on to see how it can help you merge connected thoughts, separate listed items clearly, and form a bridge to another sentence.</p> <div class="view view-article-slider view-id-article_slider view-display-id-article_slider_block view-dom-id-6bf7c0c1a8ea5882f1134b90914e692a"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="views-field views-field-field-slides"> <div class="field-content"> <div class="field-collection-view clearfix view-mode-full field-collection-view-final"> <div class="entity entity-field-collection-item field-collection-item-field-slides clearfix"> <div class="content"> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-title field-type-text field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item even"><strong>Why use a semicolon?</strong></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-content field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item even"> <p>In the classic grammar and style manual <em>The Elements of Style</em> by William Strunk and E.B. White (first published in 1919), the case for the semicolon is laid out clearly: “If two or more clauses, grammatically complete and not joined by a conjunction, are to form a single compound sentence, the proper mark of punctuation is a semicolon.”</p> <p>In simpler terms, that means you can use a semicolon to separate two complete sentences that are related but not directly linked by a connecting word like “but” or “so.”</p> <p>For example: “She didn’t show up to work today; she said she had a headache.”</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="views-field views-field-field-slides"> <div class="field-content"> <div class="field-collection-view clearfix view-mode-full field-collection-view-final"> <div class="entity entity-field-collection-item field-collection-item-field-slides clearfix"> <div class="content"> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-title field-type-text field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item even"><strong>Who uses semicolons?</strong></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-content field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item even"> <p>The short answer: copy editors, professional writers, and you - if you’re savvy.</p> <p>“If words are the flesh and muscle of writing, then punctuation is the breath, and a good writer will make good use of it,” says Benjamin Dreyer of Penguin Random House, author of the forthcoming book Dreyer’s English.</p> <p>The semicolon is one of his favorite pieces of punctuation, and it was one of America’s great authors, Shirley Jackson, who inspired the admiration.</p> <p>“Shirley Jackson loved her semicolons,” says Dreyer.</p> <p>“I think that’s all the defense they need."</p> <p>"The first paragraph of The Haunting of Hill House - one of the great opening paragraphs I can think of - includes three of them.”</p> <p>Here is Jackson’s sublime first paragraph: “No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against the hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.”</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="views-field views-field-field-slides"> <div class="field-content"> <div class="field-collection-view clearfix view-mode-full field-collection-view-final"> <div class="entity entity-field-collection-item field-collection-item-field-slides clearfix"> <div class="content"> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-title field-type-text field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item even"><strong>Why use a semicolon instead of a comma?</strong></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-content field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item even"> <p>According to Dreyer, “independent sentences don’t hang together well with commas, unless they’re as terse as ‘He came, he saw, he conquered,'” he explains.</p> <p>“For anything of greater length, a semicolon is simply better, stronger glue than a comma, while a period is too divisive.”</p> <p>It’s also grammatically incorrect to link two complete sentences using a comma; a semicolon acknowledges that they’re two complete sentences, even if they are related.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="views-field views-field-field-slides"> <div class="field-content"> <div class="field-collection-view clearfix view-mode-full field-collection-view-final"> <div class="entity entity-field-collection-item field-collection-item-field-slides clearfix"> <div class="content"> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-title field-type-text field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item even"><strong>How to use a semicolon</strong></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-content field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item even"> <p>It helps to think of a semicolon as sort of a soft period.</p> <p>“Semicolons provide the right link between two essentially independent thoughts that one wants to present as just shy of independence,” explains Dreyer.</p> <p>According to <em>yourdictionary.com</em>, “[The semicolon] shows a closer relationship between the clauses than a period would show.”</p> <p>Here’s an example: David was getting hungry; he suddenly regretted skipping breakfast.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="views-field views-field-field-slides"> <div class="field-content"> <div class="field-collection-view clearfix view-mode-full field-collection-view-final"> <div class="entity entity-field-collection-item field-collection-item-field-slides clearfix"> <div class="content"> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-title field-type-text field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item even"><strong>How to use a semicolon in a list</strong></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-content field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item even"> <p>In lists, we generally use commas to separate the items.</p> <p>For example, at the market, I’ll be picking up yogurt, blueberries, and coffee.</p> <p>However, sometimes there are lists that contain commas, so it gets confusing unless you separate those items using semicolons.</p> <p>For example, at the market, I’ll be picking up yogurt, which I know needs to be organic; blueberries, because they’re in season and on sale; and coffee, so Daddy will actually be able to wake up in the morning.</p> <p>Semicolons keep the items in the list neatly contained, so your meaning is always clear.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="views-field views-field-field-slides"> <div class="field-content"> <div class="field-collection-view clearfix view-mode-full field-collection-view-final"> <div class="entity entity-field-collection-item field-collection-item-field-slides clearfix"> <div class="content"> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-title field-type-text field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item even"><strong>How to use a semicolon before a transition</strong></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-content field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item even"> <p>Use a semicolon to merge two sentences after a transitional phrase such as “however” and “as a result.”</p> <p>You probably already know to use a comma after the transitional phrase (“However, I still got the discount”), but you may not know that you can use a semicolon before the transitional phrase to form a bridge to the previous sentence (“The sale was officially starting on Saturday; however, I still got the discount on Friday because I had a special code”).</p> <p>You could technically use a period in that instance, but a semicolon signals that the thoughts are connected.</p> <p>Other examples: Everyone knows he deserves a raise; of course, he won’t get one with the current budget cuts. Her email is blowing up; for example, she got 50 messages in the last 10 minutes alone.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="views-field views-field-field-slides"> <div class="field-content"> <div class="field-collection-view clearfix view-mode-full field-collection-view-final"> <div class="entity entity-field-collection-item field-collection-item-field-slides clearfix"> <div class="content"> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-title field-type-text field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item even"><strong>When not to use a semicolon</strong></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-content field-type-text-long field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item even"> <p>When you have a conjunction - a connecting word such as “but,” “and,” or “so” - a semicolon is unnecessary.</p> <p>In those cases, the correct punctuation mark is a comma.</p> <p>So it would be incorrect to write “Judy jogged on the pavement; but it wasn’t good for her knees.”</p> <p>The correct version, using a comma, would be “Judy jogged on the pavement, but it wasn’t good for her knees.”</p> <p>Of course, if you got rid of the “but,” a semicolon would be appropriate: “Judy jogged on the pavement; it wasn’t good for her knees.”</p> <p><em>Written by <span>Rachel Aydt</span>. This article first appeared in </em><span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/history/only-ways-you-should-be-using-semicolon"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN87V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></span></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

Books

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What the books you read say about your personality

<p>Many believe that what you read says a lot about who you are – as director Guillermo del Toro once said, “Browsing through someone’s library is like peeking into their DNA.”</p> <p>But can our personality truly predict our tastes in books? Yes, according to a study published on <span><a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-6494.2010.00662.x"><em>Journal of Personality</em></a></span>.</p> <p>In the study based on a survey of 3,227 participants, the researchers found that preferences in books, magazines, music, TV and movies are correlated with certain personalities.</p> <p>The correlation with personality type is also found to be stronger than other factors, such as gender, age and ethnicity.</p> <p><span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/oct/02/what-do-the-films-you-watch-and-books-you-read-reveal-about-your-personality-type">The study</a></span> asked whether the respondents preferred:</p> <p>a) Daytime talk shows, romance, cooking and religion</p> <p>b) Arts and humanities, classics, foreign films and poetry</p> <p>c) Horror, cult films and erotic novels</p> <p>d) Action and adventure, thrillers, sci-fi films and spy stories</p> <p>e) News, documentaries and nonfiction</p> <p>From the answers, the researchers were able to determine the personality type to which the participants belonged. If you prefer a) you are communal; b) aesthetic; c) dark; d) thrilling; or e) cerebral.</p> <p>Communal people tend to be relationship-oriented and empathic, if unadventurous. Fans of aesthetic and dark entertainment tend to be creative and intellectual, but while the former are calmer and more introspective, the latter may see themselves as more defiant, reckless and immodest.</p> <p>Cerebral individuals are likely to be well-organised, innovative and self-assured to a point where they dislike cooperation. Thrilling is the only preference with no consistent correlation to any personality facets.</p> <p>However, the researchers said personality might not be the only driver in taste, citing political leanings and mood as a few other factors that may be in play.</p> <p>Other studies have their own propositions on what influences our genre preferences. Last year, the <span><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-13/what-your-habits-reveal-about-your-social-class/9610658">Australian Cultural Fields project</a></span> found that education and occupation are strong predictors of what you might find enjoyable in books. People with high school qualifications are the most likely to prefer romance and sport, while those with postgraduate degrees are the most likely to read biographies, thriller and literary classics for pleasure or interest.</p> <p>Do you agree with the findings from these studies? Let us know in the comments.</p>

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Why not all glass can be recycled

<p>When it comes to recycling, glass is one of the few materials that can be recycled over and over again.</p> <p>However, this does not mean that all glass can be put in the recycling bin. In fact, most experts say only jars and bottles should be thrown in as recyclables.</p> <p>This means other glass items in the house might be better off going to the trash.</p> <p>“Microwave turntables, ovenware, crystal glass, mirrors and light bulbs can't be recycled,” said Craig Mynott, from glass recycling plant O-I Asia Pacific in an interview with the <span><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-22/can-all-glass-really-be-recycled-war-on-waste/8541048"><em>ABC</em></a></span>. “We prefer if people don't put them in the recycling bin.”</p> <p>This is because different kinds of glass go through different types of manufacturing processes. According to the <span><a href="http://www.gpi.org/recycling/glass-recycling-facts">Glass Packaging Institute</a></span>, while glass containers for food and beverages are 100 per cent recyclable, the same cannot be said for other kinds of glass, such as windows, ceramics, Pyrex and crystal. These kinds of glass may contain products that cannot be reused.</p> <p>Furthermore, other glass types are often more fragile as they are designed to be transparent or heat resistant.</p> <p>That is why, the GPI said, adding these materials in the recycling process may cause production problems and defective results.</p> <p>So, what should you do with glass products that you want to dispose of? For lightbulbs, check with your local council to see if they have a recycling program. Otherwise, for incandescent and halogen globes, you can simply wrap them in paper and put them in the waste bin.</p> <p>When all else fails, selling or donating glass products is a good idea. You can also get creative and repurpose the glass products – for example, using old drinking glasses as a plant pot.</p> <p>How do you recycle your glass items? Share with us in the comments.</p>

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Michelle Obama shares "one of the best texts" she has ever received

<p>Michelle Obama has revealed the touching message she received from her older brother in response to her memoir.</p> <p>The former First Lady is currently on tour to promote her book <em>Becoming</em>, which is on course to becoming the world’s most popular autobiography with more than 10 million copies sold, according to its publisher Bertelsmann.</p> <p>During the European leg of her book tour, the 55-year-old received a text from her brother, basketball coach Craig Robinson.</p> <p>“My brother just sent me one of the best texts I’ve ever received,” Obama wrote on Instagram alongside a screenshot of the text.</p> <p>Robinson’s message to her read: “As I sit listening to the words of your book for the third time albeit this time by audiobook, it occurred to me that I haven’t thanked you for all your memories.</p> <p>“Since I'm the one who is supposed to remember everything, I realized I have blocked out everything regarding dad's death. I was here crying and laughing at the sadness of the story and the comfort of your voice.”</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/BwPq5iKh2nw/?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/BwPq5iKh2nw/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama)</a> on Apr 14, 2019 at 10:46am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>In her book, Obama wrote extensively about her father Fraser Robinson III, who struggled with multiple sclerosis for years and died in 1991 at the age of 55.</p> <p>Her brother signed off the message by thanking her for sharing her experience. </p> <p>“All I can think of is how much I love my little sister. Thank you,” Craig wrote.</p> <p>In the post, Obama explained how much her father meant to the two of them. </p> <p>“The laughs and lessons, the hugs, the heartache from losing him – they’re all still there with me, every minute,” she admitted.</p> <p>She also highlighted that sharing personal stories can help loved ones connect, even when they are “an ocean away”, just like her brother Robinson. “Love you, big brother,” Obama signed off. </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/BwFHzRBBqFs/?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/BwFHzRBBqFs/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Michelle Obama (@michelleobama)</a> on Apr 10, 2019 at 8:27am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Obama also shared in <em>Becoming</em> about her closeness with Craig. </p> <p>“You have been my protector since the day I was born,” she wrote to her brother in the memoir. </p> <p>"You have made me laugh more than any other person on this earth. You are the best brother a sister could ask for, a loving and caring son, husband, and father.”</p> <p>Have you read Michelle Obama's autobiography<span> </span><em>Becoming</em>? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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UK critics scathing review rips cafe to shreds

<p>Australian cuisine generally goes down well in London, especially when you consider how many Aussie expats call the British capital home. But this wasn’t the case for one cafe, which has been ripped to shreds by a scathing review.</p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.theguardian.com/au" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>The Guardian’s</strong></em></span></a> Jay Rayner has penned an excruciating review of Farm Girl café, which describes itself as “a holistic yet comfortingly simple approach to Australian cafe culture.”</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fabcnews.au%2Fvideos%2F10156697527774988%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>To say Rayner was underwhelmed, would be an understatement.</p> <p>“We don’t stay for dessert, we’ve suffered enough,” he said.</p> <p>“There’s V for Vegan. There’s GF for Gluten Free. There’s DF for Dairy Free. I think they’re missing a few. There should be TF for Taste Free and JF for Joy Free and AAHYWEH for Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here,” he wrote.</p> <p>And that was just the start for the café, situation in Chelsea.</p> <p>“It fills quickly on a cold winter’s evening with blonde-tressed Chelsea women just bubbling with intolerances,” Rayner continues.</p> <p>“It’s not just the dismal cooking that pains me here. It’s the squandering of ingredients and of people’s time and the tiresome narrative of ‘wellness’ with which it’s been flogged.</p> <p>“I find myself eyeing the Yorkshire terrier, greedily. Just hand him over, give me access to the grill, and five minutes.”</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fthejayrayner%2Fposts%2F1863407513733710&amp;width=500" width="500" height="551" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true"></iframe></p> <p>Rayner has a reputation for being a particularly hard marker, but to her credit Farm Girl’s founder Rose Mann took the piece in good humour.</p> <p>“We think it’s a very entertaining piece and rather enjoyed reading it,” she wrote on Facebook.</p> <p>What do you think? Does the review go too far?</p>

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Tradie’s hilarious note to wife about bathroom habits

<p>A tradesman from Brisbane has written a hilarious note to his wife outlining the issues and frustrations he has with her bathroom habits.</p> <p>Everything from her lack of flushing, leaving towels on the floor and her use of his deodorant is on the typed letter, and ends with “I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH – PLEASE CHANGE BATHROOM HABITS.”</p> <p>Clearly this is a man with some pent-up issues about his wife’s bathroom use, as the letter starts out in paragraphs and ends with some serious bullet points that need to be actioned.</p> <p>The man writes in good humour, including a mention of finding his wife’s “paw prints” inside his hair product, and a point about her stealing space in his single drawer instead of using the four allocated to her.</p> <p>As for the lid being left off the toothpaste, his wife is told that “If I didn’t love you quite so much I may just be tempted to sabotage the toothpaste with some foreign matter (up to your imagination) to teach you a lesson.”</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/media/7267484/1_499x665.jpg" alt="1 (82)" width="499" height="665" /></p> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p> <p>Kath Rose was the wife on the receiving end of the good-natured letter and told the ABC that it had her in a fit of laughter.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“He made a really important point about bathroom politics and marriages and how it's important to be open about it and chat … about how you share bathrooms, because it could really be a reflection of the marriage.”</p> <p>Does your partner or family member have any bathroom habits that infuriate you? We would love to hear how you deal with it in the comments below. </p>

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Take this test: How many books can you read in a year?

<p>How many books can you read in a year? Two out of five Australians read more than ten books per year, according to a <span><a href="https://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/workspace/uploads/files/readers_survey_summary_final_v-592cf39be2c34.pdf">2016 report</a></span>. However, you might be reading at a different speed and level.</p> <p>This quiz by Lenstore will let you find out your individual reading skills compared to the people of Great Britain, as well as how long it will take you to complete popular titles such as <em>Pride and Prejudice </em>and the <em>Harry Potter </em>series.</p> <p><span>It also lets you know how many more extra books you could read in a year if you increase your daily reading time.  </span></p> <p>Take the test here:</p> <div class="novel" style="width: 100%; height: 650px; margin: 0 auto; background: #fff; position: relative;"><iframe data-url="https://www.lenstore.co.uk/vc/a-novel-approach/#/embed" src="https://www.lenstore.co.uk/vc/a-novel-approach/#/embed" style="position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; border: 1px solid #ccc;"></iframe><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.lenstore.co.uk/contact-lenses/" target="_blank"></a></div> <p><span>The <a href="https://www.lenstore.co.uk/vc/a-novel-approach/">test</a> measures your natural reading speed by giving a book excerpt and questions to prove that you understand the passage.</span></p> <p><span>According to Lenstore, the average participant took 101 seconds to complete the test based on the results from 2,000 British adults. At this speed, they could read 33 books in a year if they dedicate 30 minutes every day to turning pages.</span></p> <p><span>Surprisingly, people aged over 65 were found to read faster than participants in their 20s, 30s and 40s. </span></p> <p><span>Frequent readers also finished the test much more quickly than non-readers – people who said they read more than 50 books a year completed the test in 76 seconds or 46 per cent faster than those who claimed to read no books at 112 seconds. </span></p> <p><span>How does your result compare to these numbers? Let us know in the comments.</span></p>

Books

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Collect books but never read them? There's a word for that

<p>Some people can’t get out of a bookstore without picking up a title or two, even if they already have loads of books at home waiting to be read.</p> <p>If this describes you, you might be engaging in “tsundoku”, which is a Japanese term for a person who owns a lot of unread books.</p> <p>According to <span><a href="http://www.openculture.com/2018/07/tsundoku.html"><em>Open Culture</em></a></span>, the word tsundoku dates back to the Meiji era (1868-1912) as a pun.</p> <p>Andrew Gerstle, professor of Japanese studies at the University of London told <span><a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-44981013"><em>BBC</em></a></span> that the word “doku” can be understood as a verb that means “reading”, while the “tsun” part originates in “tsumu” or “pile up”. Put together, “tsundoku” means buying reading material and piling it up.</p> <p>Gerstle said the word is not an insult in Japan, even if it might be interpreted otherwise in other countries.</p> <p>Tsundoku is distinct from the word “bibliomania”, a term commonly used by self-identified book lovers. Oxford Living Dictionaries defines the latter as “passionate enthusiasm for collecting and possessing books”. While people engaging in tsundoku pile up books by accident, bibliomaniacs have a clear intention to create a collection of books.</p> <p>No matter which category you fall into, guilt may come into play as you add another copy or two into your ever-growing library. However, as book critic Michael Dirda said: “As book collectors know all too well: We only regret our economies, never our extravagances.”</p> <p>Do you buy books that you barely get around to reading? Let us know in the comments.</p>

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Letter from Queen hidden in Sydney building – and it can't be opened for another 66 years

<p>Queen Elizabeth has written a letter to the “citizens of Sydney” and has hidden it inside one of the city’s most famous buildings.</p> <p>The contents of the letter are unknown as the letter is unable to be read by anyone for another 66 years.</p> <p>Across the front of the letter, there are instructions written in cursive scroll from Her Majesty. They were given on November 18th, 1986.</p> <p>The instructions are as follows:</p> <p>“The Rt. Hon. The LORD MAYOR of SYDNEY. AUSTRALIA</p> <p>“Greetings. On a suitable day to be selected by you in the year 2085 A.D. would you please open this envelope and convey to the citizens of SYDNEY my message to them.”</p> <p>If you’re interested in sneaking a peak early at the letter, that won’t be possible. The letter is behind sealed glass, so you’re unable to even jimmy the glass to open the letter.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="post_image_group" src="https://over60.monday.com/protected_static/657795/resources/25738857/big-Queens-Letter-QVB.jpg" alt="" data-asset_id="25738857" data-url-thumb="https://over60.monday.com/protected_static/657795/resources/25738857/thumb-Queens-Letter-QVB.jpg" data-url-thumb-small="https://over60.monday.com/protected_static/657795/resources/25738857/thumb_small-Queens-Letter-QVB.jpg" data-url-thumb-big-scaled="https://over60.monday.com/protected_static/657795/resources/25738857/thumb_big_scaled-Queens-Letter-QVB.jpg" data-url-large="https://over60.monday.com/protected_static/657795/resources/25738857/large-Queens-Letter-QVB.jpg" data-url-big="https://over60.monday.com/protected_static/657795/resources/25738857/big-Queens-Letter-QVB.jpg" data-url-original="https://over60.monday.com/protected_static/657795/resources/25738857/Queens-Letter-QVB.jpg" data-filename="Queens-Letter-QVB.jpg" data-is-gif="false" data-post-id="296662686&quot;" /><em>What the letter looks like (Source: History of Sydney)</em></p> <p>The letter was written after the Queen Victoria Building’s reopening after major restoration works had taken place in 1986.</p> <p>According to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.historyofsydney.com.au/the-queens-letter-queen-victoria-building/" target="_blank">History of Sydney</a>, only the Queen knows what’s inside and it’ll stay that way until the letter is opened.</p> <p>If you think that you can easily find this letter, you’d be sorely mistaken. The glass fame is in the dome area that has restricted access, according to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/australia/mysterious-royal-letters-threatened-demolition-and-hidden-rooms-the-queen-victoria-building-is-full-of-secrets.aspx" target="_blank">National Geographic.</a></p> <p>Some tours of the QVB will let you have a sneak peak at the letter, but there are nods to the Queen all throughout the building. The <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.qvb.com.au/centre-info/about-qvb/" target="_blank">official website </a>of the heritage-listed building explains:</p> <p>"There are many interesting and charming exhibitions and attractions throughout the building, along with portraits of the Queen.</p> <p>"There is also a letter from Queen Elizabeth II to the Citizens of Sydney to be opened and read by the Lord Mayor of Sydney in the year 2085."</p> <p>Have you seen the letter? Did you know about its existence? Let us know in the comments.</p>

Books

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Why we should embrace slow reading

<p>My happiest times in childhood were spent reading the books of <a href="http://www.edithnesbit.co.uk/biography.php">E. Nesbit</a>, <a href="http://www.cslewis.com/us/about-cs-lewis/">C.S. Lewis</a> and <a href="http://www.joanaiken.com/">Joan Aiken</a>. Preferring to read in hidden corners where nobody could find me, I immersed myself completely in these stories and believed utterly in their magic, even attempting to enter Narnia via the portal of my grandmother’s wardrobe. As an adult, I still call myself a passionate reader, but sometimes feel as if I’ve lost my way compared to my childhood self. I buy vast quantities of books, talk about books, read as many as possible, sometimes even write them – but it’s not often I find that same pure immersion in an imagined world which has been such a lasting inspiration.</p> <p>Celebrations like <a href="https://www.worldbookday.com/">World Book day</a> promote children’s reading and remind us all of the pleasures of a good book. Many of us make resolutions to read more, but these days there’s increasing pressure to read the “right” thing. The adult world presents a constant temptation to turn every activity into a competitive sport, and reading is no exception: it is beset with targets, hierarchies and categorisations. We guilt-read chick-lit and crime, skim-read for book groups and improvement-read from book prize shortlists.</p> <p>Underpinning this is a relentless quest for self-improvement, demonstrated by the popularity of reading challenges, in which readers set themselves individual book consumption targets. On <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/">Good Reads</a>, some participants have modest goals, others aim for as many as 190 in the year, which translates to 15.8 books a month, 3.6 a week or just over half a book each day. Impressive? Maybe, but others are reading even faster. One journalist recently embarked on a seven day social media detox <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/dec/29/social-media-detox-read-books-one-week">and read a dozen books</a> in that time. It’s a far cry from my days with Mr Tumnus.</p> <p><strong>A profound joy</strong></p> <p>This raises a fundamental question: why do we read at all? Do we want to enjoy books, or download them into our brains? Are we so obsessed with being able to tick a book title off a check-list that we risk forgetting that reading is a physical and emotional activity as well as an intellectual one? The perceived benefits of reading are often given more attention than the experience itself: campaigners tend to stress its utilitarian value and research findings that it <a href="https://scottbarrykaufman.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Science-2013-Kidd-science.1239918.pdf">increases empathy</a> and even <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0277953616303689">life expectancy</a>.</p> <p>But the reading experience is important. A sure sign of loving a book is slowing down when you come to the final pages, reluctant to leave the world it creates behind. As the UK reading agency <a href="https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/409409/Reading_the_next_steps.pdf">puts it</a>, “in addition to its substantial practical benefits, reading is one of life’s profound joys”. Children seem to know this intuitively, and engage fully with a story, often to the exclusion of all else. They are demanding, honest readers, more interested in what happens in a tale and where it takes them than whether it’s a <a href="http://www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk/">Carnegie</a> prize-winner.</p> <p><strong>Slow reading</strong></p> <p>As an adult, it is possible to recapture that immersive involvement with a book. What we need is the opportunity to focus entirely on the words, and a willingness to ignore stress-inducing challenges and targets. When I was writing my second novel I lived in Barcelona for a year, day-job free. During that time I read just six books, one of them Joseph Conrad’s <em>The Secret Agent</em>. At a recent writing retreat, I spent two hours a day reading Michel Faber’s <em>The Crimson Petal and the White</em>. I engaged completely with these novels, forgetting the outside world, and they have stayed with me, their characters and plot twists vivid and familiar when other books, read hurriedly in snatches amid distractions, have faded from my mind.</p> <p>I’m not alone in seeing the value of immersive, non-competitive reading. <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/nov/30/sarah-waters-books-that-made-me">In a recent <em>Guardian</em> article</a>, author Sarah Waters admitted to feeling out of the loop when current writing is discussed. Asked which book she is “most ashamed not to have read” (a telling phrase), she responded, “Anything people are currently raving about. I’m a slow reader, and I read old books as often as new ones, so I always feel like a hopeless failure when it comes to keeping up with brand new titles”.</p> <p>There are already advocates of <a href="https://www.sloww.co/slow-living-201/">slow living</a>, and a cultural shift toward slowing down life’s pace, savouring experience and rediscovering human connection. Perhaps it is time for this to encompass reading too. <a href="https://ebookfriendly.com/countries-publish-most-books-infographic/">184,000 books are published each year in the UK alone</a>, and we’re not going to make much of a dent in that pile even if we read 12 books a week. Indeed, no matter how fast we read, the vast majority of books will remain unknown to us. If there is one skill that adult readers can usefully learn from children, it is that of reading purely for pleasure.</p> <p><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><em>Written by <span>Sally O'Reilly, Lecturer in Creative Writing, The Open University</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/books-are-delightful-as-they-are-dont-fall-in-the-trap-of-competitive-reading-111114"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em><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/111114/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></p>

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