Family & Pets

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Crowd goes nuts as man learns he's a dad on the big screen

<p><em>Image: Youtube</em></p> <p>A new dad-to-be has been given the surprise of his life while attending a basketball game – and as far as pregnancy announcements go – this is up there with one of the best we've seen.</p> <p>The Orlando Magic fan was happily watching the big game with his partner when the ‘kiss cam’ panned across to them during a break.</p> <p>The man and his partner looked suitably delighted at the attention – but something about the woman's behaviour was not quite right. Almost as though she knew something ELSE was about to happen.</p> <p>Sure enough, as the camera lingered on the couple, a special message appeared along the bottom of the screen: ‘Congrats James! You are you going to be a dad’.</p> <p>At first James did not notice the message – but slowly it became apparent that the rest of the crowd certainly had, as the cheering swelled to a giant crescendo.</p> <p>Then the magic moment arrived: the dad-to-be finally looked a little closer at the big screen, took a second or two to comprehend what he was reading, and was then completely overcome with shock, surprise and pure joy. His reaction will be preserved forever for the young family, and it really was a tremendous one.</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fNWuld3hwa8" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Sadly, James’ team lost the game – going down to the Charlotte Hornets 106-99. But there's no question that he went home a happy man regardless, with a story he will be able to share for many years to come.</p>

Family & Pets

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How do birds make their nests?

<p>The first thing to know is not all birds make nests. For example, emperor penguin fathers carry their precious egg on their feet (to keep it off the frozen ground).</p> <p>Some birds, such as <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuckoo">cuckoos</a>, will lay their eggs in someone else’s nests. Others lay them on the ground among leaves or pebbles, or on cliffs with very little protection.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433852/original/file-20211125-25-1be6ny0.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433852/original/file-20211125-25-1be6ny0.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=237&amp;fit=clip" alt="Eggs among pebbles" /></a></p> <p><span class="caption">Some birds will lay their eggs among pebbles on the ground, which doesn’t offer them much physical protection.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Shutterstock</span></span></p> <p>For the birds that do build nests, there is one main goal: to keep their eggs and chicks safe.</p> <h2>Many places to build a nest</h2> <p>Many birds also make their nests in tree hollows, including parrots. That’s just one reason it’s important to not cut trees down!</p> <p>Meanwhile, kookaburras use their powerful beaks to burrow into termite nests and make a cosy nest inside. And the cute <a href="https://www.birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/spotted-pardalote">spotted pardelote</a> will dig little burrows in the side of earth banks – with a safe and cosy spot for its eggs at the end of the tunnel.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433827/original/file-20211125-19-1en7ivf.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433827/original/file-20211125-19-1en7ivf.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">The tiny spotted pardalote is one of the smallest Australian birds, and measures about 8 to 10 centimetres in length.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Shutterstock</span></span></p> <p>Some birds, such as <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_brushturkey">brush turkeys</a>, spend months building huge mounds on the ground which can heat up from the inside. The male turkey makes sure the ground is exactly the right temperature inside the mound, and then lets the female lay the eggs inside. He’ll take big mouthfuls of dirt surrounding the eggs to check it’s not too hot or cold.</p> <h2>What materials do they use?</h2> <p>Birds construct many different types of nests. There are floating nests, cups, domes, pendulums and basket-shaped nests. They can be made out of sticks, twigs, leaves, grasses, mosses or even mud.</p> <p><a href="https://www.birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/white-winged-chough">Magpie-larks</a> (also called “peewees”), <a href="https://birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/apostlebird">apostlebirds</a> and <a href="https://www.birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/white-winged-chough">choughs</a> make mud bowl nests that look like <a href="http://www.birdway.com.au/corcoracinae/apostlebird/source/apostlebird_100486.php">terracotta plant pots</a>. To do this, they gather mud and grasses in their beaks and shake it around to mix it with their saliva. They can then attach it to a branch and build upwards until the nest is complete.</p> <p>In fact, bird saliva is a really strong and sticky material to build nests with. Birds will often mix saliva and mud to make a type of glue. And some swiftlets make their nests entirely out of solidified saliva. People will even eat these nests in <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-12/birds-nest-soup-bird-blown-to-australia/11953830">bird’s nest soup</a>!</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433823/original/file-20211125-23-7mufq4.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433823/original/file-20211125-23-7mufq4.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">Some swiftlets will make their nest entirely out of solidified saliva.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Shutterstock</span></span></p> <p>Willie wagtails use another type of glue - sticky spiderwebs. They “sew” grasses together using spider webs and the webs help keep the nests strong against wind and water, too. They have to perfect the technique of gathering the spiderweb though, otherwise it can get tangled in their feathers.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433824/original/file-20211125-19-3ejs71.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433824/original/file-20211125-19-3ejs71.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">Willy wagtail’s nest is a neatly-woven cup of grasses, covered with spider’s web on the outside and is lined with soft grasses, hair or fur.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Shutterstock</span></span></p> <p>Magpies and crows, both common visitors to our gardens, are also clever nest builders. Not only can they expertly layer their sticks into a bowl, but they also use many human-made materials in their nests. You might find them using fabric, string or a wire to hold a nest together.</p> <p>Some birds such as red kites have even been seen “decorating” their nests with human rubbish. And Australian babblers line the inside of their nests with a thick wall of kangaroo poo, followed by soft fluff, to keep their chicks warm.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433851/original/file-20211125-23-ljn8ga.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/433851/original/file-20211125-23-ljn8ga.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">The chestnut-crowned babbler lives in the desert and can have up to 23 birds roosting in one nest.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Shutterstock</span></span></p> <h2>The building process</h2> <p>To actually weave the nests, birds will usually create a base by layering sticks or twigs in the place they want it. Then they use their beaks and feet to weave a chosen materials through, to hold the sticks in place.</p> <p>They can pull strips of material with their beaks over and under, just like weaving a rug. They can even tie knots! Nests can take a really long time to make, so they’re often reused year after year. Weaver birds are so good at weaving, they can build complex nests that <a href="https://www.wired.com/2014/08/absurd-creature-of-the-week-the-bird-that-builds-nests-so-huge-they-pull-down-trees/">cover entire trees</a> and have several chambers.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kVlyUNRtQmY?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><span class="caption">Check out this baya weaver bird build an incredible hanging nest using the weaving method. These birds are found across the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia.</span></p> <p>To summarise, birds are really intelligent animals. They use their intelligence, along with their beaks and feet, to find the most clever ways to make nests with whatever materials are available. And they get better at this by learning from others, such as their parents or peers.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/172391/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kiara-lherpiniere-1276069">Kiara L'Herpiniere</a>, PhD Candidate, Wildlife Biologist, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/curious-kids-how-do-birds-make-their-nests-172391">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: Shuttershock</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Camilla assumes role held by Prince Philip for 70 years

<p>The Duchess of Cornwall has discussed succeeding a "cherished" role from the late Duke of Edinburgh, as she described it as one of the "great honours" of her life. </p> <p>Camilla made the emotional comments during an awards dinner for the Rifles: the largest infantry Regiment in the British Army. </p> <p>The Duchess was named Colonel-in-Chief of the Rifles after the role was transferred from Prince Philip in July 2020. </p> <p>The Duke previously held the role for nearly 70 years before he died. </p> <p>Speaking to guests about serving in the role, the Duchess of Cornwall said, "To step into the boots of my dear, much missed, late father-in-law, The Duke of Edinburgh, is quite frankly terrifying."</p> <p>"I know it was a role that he cherished and of which he was immensely proud and it is one of the greatest honours of my life to have followed him into this illustrious role."</p> <p>The Duchess already had close links with the Regiment, <span>having served as Royal Colonel of its fourth Battalion since 2007.</span></p> <p>Joining Camilla at the event was the Countess of Wessex, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra, all of whom are Royal Colonels of Battalions with the Rifles. </p> <p>At the distinguished event, Camilla <span>wore her Bugle Horn brooch, made of silver and diamonds, which is central to the heritage of the Regiment and every Rifleman wears a silver bugle as their cap badge.</span></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Puppies born ready to communicate with people

<div> <div class="copy"> <p>In a result that won’t come as a surprise to dog lovers, US researchers have found that puppies are born with an innate ability to interact with humans.</p> <p>The team studied eight-week-old puppies to see how they responded to human gestures without much (if any) training by giving 375 dogs the exact same tasks. They found that up to 40% of a puppy’s capacity to interact comes down to its genes.</p> <p>“We show that puppies will reciprocate human social gaze and successfully use information given by a human in a social context from a very young age and prior to extensive experience with humans,” says Emily E. Bray, an animal behaviour researcher at the University of Arizona.</p> <p>“For example, even before puppies have left their littermates to live one-on-one with their volunteer raisers, most of them are able to find hidden food by following a human point to the indicated location.”</p> <p>But this communication only seemed to work when a human initiated it; otherwise, puppies didn’t naturally look to humans to indicate how to find the food.</p> <p>The study, <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2021.04.055" target="_blank">published</a> in the journal <em>Current Biology</em>, found that based on their genetics some puppies have a better innate ability than others to interact with humans, with 40% of the variation in following human gestures explained by inherited genes.</p> <p>“All these findings suggest that dogs are biologically prepared for communication with humans,” Bray says.</p> <p>Bray and team have been studying dog behaviour for a decade, in collaboration with a US service dog organisation called Canine Companions. All of the dogs in the study were budding service dogs with a similar rearing history and known pedigrees, allowing the researchers to build a statistical model that could assess genetic factors in comparison to environmental factors.</p> <p>These findings not only add to our understanding of how dogs develop their abilities to think and problem solve, but also have implications for determining what makes a successful service dog.</p> <p>The next step is to identify specific genes contributing to the displayed behaviours – and to keep tabs on these puppies to see whether success on these early tests can predict their successful graduation into service dogs.</p> <p>Bray says that their findings may also “point to an important piece of the domestication story, in that animals with a propensity for communication with our own species might have been selected for in the wolf populations that gave rise to dogs”.</p> <p> </p> <div style="position: relative; display: block; max-width: 100%;"> <div style="padding-top: 56.25%;"><iframe src="https://players.brightcove.net/5483960636001/HJH3i8Guf_default/index.html?videoId=6257155470001" allowfullscreen="" allow="encrypted-media" style="position: absolute; top: 0px; right: 0px; bottom: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%;"></iframe></div> </div> <p class="caption">An 8-week-old yellow retriever puppy participating in a trial of the pointing task. Credit: Arizona Canine Cognition Center</p> <!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --> <img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=154279&amp;title=Puppies+born+ready+to+communicate+with+people" alt="" width="1" height="1" /> <!-- End of tracking content syndication --></div> <div id="contributors"> <p><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/nature/puppies-born-ready-to-communicate-with-people/">This article</a> was originally published on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com">Cosmos Magazine</a> and was written by <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/contributor/lauren-fuge">Lauren Fuge</a>. Lauren Fuge is a science journalist at Cosmos. She holds a BSc in physics from the University of Adelaide and a BA in English and creative writing from Flinders University.</p> <p><em>Image: Canine Companions for Independence</em></p> </div> </div>

Family & Pets

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Too old for a dog? Author sparks huge debate

<p dir="ltr">British author Jilly Cooper has inadvertently sparked a heated debate about the ethics of elderly pet ownership after telling a newspaper that she planned on getting another dog after the death of her beloved greyhound Bluebell.</p> <p dir="ltr">The 84-year-old romance writer told<span> </span><em>The Daily Express<span> </span></em>that she was “heartbroken” after losing Bluebell, and hoped to adopt another dog after finishing her next book. This seemingly innocuous statement caused enough controversy to warrant its own segment on<span> </span><em>Good Morning Britain,<span> </span></em>where columnist Lara Asprey argued that older people don’t have the energy to look after dogs. “ I think you have to be a bit careful about taking a dog on when you're in the later stages of life. You have to be considerate to the dog. It needs to have a home it can live in for its life too," Asprey argued.</p> <p dir="ltr">She continued, "As you get older, things start to get a bit creakier, and although I understand they can be good exercise and dogs can be amazing companions, I don't see why they need to have a dog as a sole responsibility.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Otherwise I feel it's not really fair on the dog. It's a bit selfish."</p> <p dir="ltr">The show’s hosts then invited 79-year-old newsreader Jan Leeming onto the show, who argued that pets can be an important lifeline for the elderly. Leeming said, "I am 80 in January and I have always had dogs and I have always tailored my dogs to my ability.”</p> <p dir="ltr">She also responded to Asprey’s claims that elderly pet ownership was selfish, saying, "I think that's being a bit narrow. I had a friend who died at 103 and she always had Shelties and at the age of 60 she said, 'I am too old to have anymore'.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Well just think, she could have had two more lots of dogs and given them a loving home."</p> <p dir="ltr">Viewers took to social media to express outrage at Asprey’s views, and many shared their own stories of elderly relatives enjoying time with their furry friends.<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://twitter.com/susie_retro/status/1463062962722193410" target="_blank">One user said</a>, “Absolute rubbish @GMB If it wasn't for the fact that my elderly Dad had a dog after my mum passed away his life would have been much shorter, it gave him the motivation to get out every day &amp; get on with his life,” while<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://twitter.com/wendiywoo/status/1463063833673621507" target="_blank">another said</a>, “It's much better an older person who is home all day than these people getting a dog and leaving it locked, alone in the house for 10 hours a day”.</p> <p dir="ltr">An<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://twitter.com/HopeRescue/status/1463064073650720768" target="_blank">animal rescue based in Wales said</a>, “Age is not a barrier, key is matching up the right home with the right dog. Fostering is also an option for those older dog lovers who need additional support as the rescue will provide food, vet bills etc.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Jamie Grill</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Ginger Spice rocked by family tragedy

<p>Spice Girl Geri Horner (nee Halliwell) has been left devastated by an untimely family tragedy. </p> <p>Geri's older brother Max Halliwell has died in intensive care after collapsing at home, according to reports by The Sun. </p> <p>Geri was in the Middle East with her Formula One champion husband Christian, as he prepared for the Grand Prix in Qatar, when concerns were raised over Max's welfare. </p> <p>Close friends said that Max and Geri have always been "incredibly close".</p> <p>A source close to the singer explained, “This is the most awful, devastating, heartbreaking news and Geri is utterly broken by it."</p> <p>“It has been a terribly traumatic time since the moment she heard Max had been taken to hospital, and the worst outcome which everybody close to the family hoped might not be."</p> <p>“They are all rallying together but she barely knows what to say or think just now – she loved him dearly.”</p> <p>Police reported that Max has been transferred to hospital after being found at his home.</p> <p>In a statement a Hertfordshire Constabulary spokeswoman said, “Police were called at 9.40am on Wednesday 17 November to report the concern for welfare of a man at a residential property in Berkhamsted."</p> <p>“Officers, along with the East of England Ambulance Service, attended the scene."</p> <p>“The man was located and taken to hospital for treatment, where he sadly later died."</p> <p>A spokesman for Geri has asked that everyone "respect the family's privacy at this difficult time", as the family mourns. </p> <p>Max and Geri famously jetted off to Paris together when the singer quit the Spice Girls at the height of their fame in the 1990s, in order to escape the limelight. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Princess Eugenie's father-in-law dies before baby August's christening

<p>Princess Eugenie's father-in-law George Brooksbank has died just days before his grandson August was christened. </p> <p>The 72-year-old battled Covid-19 last year and was in hospital for nine weeks, with some reports suggesting he never fully recovered. </p> <p>A source told the MailOnline, "George had been in hospital with Covid and had not been the same after that."</p> <p>"He had been unwell for some time. It’s been a difficult time for Jack losing his father before the Christening."</p> <p>After being diagnosed with Covid-19 in March 2020, George was put on a ventilator for five weeks as he fought to overcome the virus.</p> <p><span>When he was eventually discharged from hospital more than two months later, Princess Eugenie thanked the UK's NHS staff "saving my father-in-law's life".</span></p> <p><span>"George came back to us the other day so happy, and as the 'miracle man' as he called himself," she said.</span></p> <p><span>George went on to thank the medical personnel who helped him through his illness, and praised them for their efforts. </span></p> <p><span>"It was a real eye-opener for somebody who has not been in hospital before for any length of time. I certainly owe them my life," he said.</span></p> <p>George's exact cause of death is not yet known, but it is believed he passed away last week. </p> <p>Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank baptised their son August <span>at the All Saints Chapel at Windsor in front of the Queen, members of the royal family and friends.</span></p> <p>August's cousin Lucas Tindall, the son of Zara and Mike Tindall, was also christened in the rare double service. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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Queen attends christening of her great grandsons despite recent injury

<p dir="ltr">Queen Elizabeth II has attended the joint christening of two of her great-grandchildren in Windsor despite recently<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/queen-elizabeth-ii-releases-message-after-back-sprain" target="_blank">spraining her back</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Queen was photographed being driven to the All Saints Chapel near the Royal Lodge on Sunday afternoon, where the joint christening of Princess Eugenie’s son August and Zara Tindall’s son Lucas was taking place, in what is believed to be the first joint royal christening.</p> <p dir="ltr">Princess Eugenie and husband Jack welcomed their first child, August Philip Hawke Brooksbank in February, while Zara Tindall and husband Mike welcomed their third child, Lucas Philip, in late March. Both boys share the middle name Philip in honour of their great-grandfather Prince Philip, who died in April.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CLgrGXhlpuK/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CLgrGXhlpuK/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Princess Eugenie (@princesseugenie)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">August and Lucas are cousins, as are Eugenie and Zara, Eugenie being the daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson and Zara being the daughter of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips.</p> <p dir="ltr">The private service was attended by a small number of relatives, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke of York. The Queen wore a matching lime green hat and coat for one of her first outings since her recent injury.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Queen has been resting for roughly a month per doctors’ advice, and had to cancel her appearance at the COP26 Climate Conference as a result, instead<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://oversixty.com.au/travel/international-travel/my-dear-late-husband-queen-elizabeth-discusses-prince-philip-in-climate-speech" target="_blank">delivering her speech via video link</a>. In a sign of improving health,<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/queen-makes-first-in-person-appearance-since-being-hospitalised" target="_blank">late last week</a>, she hosted the outgoing armed forces chief at Windsor Castle in one of her first engagements since the injury.</p> <p dir="ltr">Holy water from Prince Charles and Camilla’s<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://oversixty.com.au/travel/international-travel/prince-charles-and-camilla-to-embark-on-first-royal-tour-since-2019" target="_blank">recent royal tour</a><span> </span>to Jordan is believed to have been used during the baptism. The Prince of Wales reportedly brought back roughly a dozen bottles from the River Jordan, where Christians believe Jesus Christ was baptised, to use for future royal baptisms.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Instagram</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Best in show: See the adorable winners of the Dog Photography Awards

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As well as being our best four-legged friends, dogs can also be quite photogenic, as revealed by winners of the International Dog Photography Awards.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">After receiving nearly 2000 stunning photo submissions from all over the world, a panel of dog photographers made the tough choice to pick just one winner for each of their three categories.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">See the winners and the runners up for the Portrait &amp; Landscape, Action, and Studio categories below.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><span>To see all of the amazing entrants, visit the Dog Photography Awards <a rel="noopener" href="https://dogphotographyawards.com/galleries/" target="_blank">contest page</a>.</span></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>All image credits:</em></p> <ol> <li> <p dir="ltr"><em>1st place (Portrait &amp; Landscape) - Janine Ulbrich</em></p> </li> <li> <p dir="ltr"><em>2nd place - Heike Willers</em></p> </li> <li> <p dir="ltr"><em>3rd place - Izabela Łysoń</em></p> </li> <li> <p dir="ltr"><em>1st place (Action) - Chiara Hofmayer</em></p> </li> <li> <p dir="ltr"><em>2nd place - Michelle Dawkins</em></p> </li> <li> <p dir="ltr"><em>3rd place - Jess Bell</em></p> </li> <li> <p dir="ltr"><em>1st place (Studio) - Franca Lombardo</em></p> </li> <li> <p dir="ltr"><em>2nd place - Patrick Reymer</em></p> </li> <li> <p dir="ltr"><em>3rd place - Marcus Knoedt</em></p> </li> </ol>

Family & Pets

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Our pets strengthen neighbourhood ties

<p>Talk to any pet owner and you are bound to invoke stories about the joy and companionship of having a pet. But evidence is mounting that the effect of pets extends beyond their owners and can help strengthen the social fabric of local neighbourhoods. Now a cross-national study involving Perth, Australia, and three US cities has lent weight to the observation that pets help build social capital.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qcsvDLgfjRw?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>This is not a frivolous notion, given the erosion of sense of community is often lamented. As Hugh Mackay <a href="http://theconversation.com/hugh-mackay-the-state-of-the-nation-starts-in-your-street-72264">recently observed</a>, not knowing our neighbours has become a sad cliché of contemporary urban life.</p> <p>I stumbled into pet-related research some 15 years ago when undertaking a PhD on neighbourhoods and sense of community. I was curious about the elements of a neighbourhood that might help people connect to one another, so I threw some in some survey questions about pets.</p> <p>In what has become my most-cited <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953605000535">academic paper</a>, we found that pet owners were more likely to have higher social capital. This is a concept that captures trust between people (including those we don’t know personally), networks of social support, the exchange of favours with neighbours and civic engagement.</p> <p>Fast-forward a decade to a much <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352827317300344">larger study</a> to look at the relationship between pets and social capital. Pet owners and non-owners were randomly surveyed in four cities (Perth, San Diego, Portland and Nashville – four cities reasonably comparable in size, urban density and climate).</p> <p>In all four cities, we found owning a pet was significantly associated with higher social capital compared with not owning a pet. This held true after adjusting for a raft of demographic factors that might influence people’s connections in their neighbourhood.</p> <h2>How do pets help build social bonds?</h2> <p>It is often assumed that the social benefits of pets are confined to social interactions that occur when people are out walking their dogs. Lots of dog owner anecdotes support this. In this large sample study, however, levels of social capital were higher among pet owners across the board.</p> <p>We did nonetheless find that social capital was higher among dog owners and those who walked their dogs in particular. Dog owners were <a href="http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0122085">five times more likely</a> to have got to know people in their neighbourhood. This makes sense, as dogs are the most likely to get us outside the home.</p> <p>Yet our survey data and qualitative responses show that a variety of pets can act as a social lubricant. Pets are a great leveller in society, owned and loved by people across social, age and racial strata. Perhaps it is having something in common with other people that strikes a chord, regardless of the type of pet.</p> <h2>What does this mean for how we live?</h2> <p>That pets can help build social capital is not just a social nicety or quirky sociological observation. Hundreds of studies internationally show that social capital is a positive predictor for a raft of important social indicators, including mental health, education, crime deterrence, and community safety.</p> <p>Given pets are <a href="https://theconversation.com/with-the-rise-of-apartment-living-whats-a-nation-of-pet-owners-to-do-58738?sr=1">entrenched in the lives and homes</a> of many Australians, it makes sense to tap into this as a way to strengthen the social fabric of local communities.</p> <p>Not everyone can or wants to own a pet. But two-thirds of the population does, so our cities and neighbourhoods need to be “pet friendly”.</p> <p>Australian suburbs are generally pretty good for <a href="https://theconversation.com/is-there-a-place-for-dogs-in-public-space-or-must-they-make-do-with-dog-parks-56147">walkable parks</a> and streets. In this study, we also found that having dog walkers out and about contributes to <a href="https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-016-3659-8">perceptions of community safety</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/175751/original/file-20170627-21898-vaps3d.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/175751/original/file-20170627-21898-vaps3d.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=237&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> </p> <p><span class="attribution"></span>However, in Australia, pets have traditionally belonged to people living in detached housing with backyards. Many rental properties, apartment complexes, and retirement villages still <a href="https://theconversation.com/as-pet-owners-suffer-rental-insecurity-perhaps-landlords-should-think-again-63275?sr=1">default to a “no pets” policy</a>.</p> <p>Other countries, where renting and higher-density living is more the norm, seem more accepting of pets across the housing spectrum.</p> <p>Given ageing populations, housing affordability and the need to curb urban sprawl are critical social trends in many countries (including Australia), maybe we need to <a href="https://theconversation.com/we-need-a-better-understanding-of-how-we-manage-dogs-to-help-them-become-better-urban-citizens-64749">recalibrate our notions</a> of who can own a pet and where they can live. This is not to say that pets have to be allowed everywhere, but the default to “no pets allowed” is questionable.</p> <p>My father-in-law in his 80s, for example, couldn’t downsize to a retirement complex because his extremely docile rescue greyhound exceeded the “10kg pet” rule. He couldn’t bear to part with Moby, a faithful companion through whom he met many local residents daily at the park nearby.</p> <h2>Constant companions in times of change</h2> <p>A lot of my current research is around homelessness. Chatting recently with a man who was homeless with his dog on the streets of Melbourne, he told me how his dog gets him up in the morning, keeps him safe at night, and gets them both walking daily.</p> <p>His dog was one of the few stable things in his life, so he needed a public housing option that would allow pets.</p> <p>People who are homeless also need crisis accommodation options that accept their pets. Hence it is great to see places such as <a href="https://www.vinnies.org.au/page/Find_Help/WA/Homeless_Mental_Health_Services/Tom_Fisher_House/">Tom Fisher House</a> in Perth, opening its doors to rough sleepers with pets needing a safe place to sleep.</p> <p>Beyond the practical implications for pet-friendly cities, the potential for pets to enrich the social fabric of communities has strong appeal in an era of global uncertainty, frenetic “busyness” and technology-driven communications. As cultural analyst Sheryl Turkle has said, the ways people interact and forge relationships have undergone massive change and we can end up “<a href="https://www.ted.com/talks/sherry_turkle_alone_together">connected, but alone</a>”.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MtLVCpZIiNs?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> </p> <p>By contrast, humans have been drawn to companion animals since early civilisation. In many people’s lives, they remain a tangible constant that can yield enduring social capital benefits.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/79755/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lisa-wood-167802">Lisa Wood</a>, Associate Professor, Centre for Social Impact and School of Population Health, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-western-australia-1067">The University of Western Australia</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/our-pets-strengthen-neighbourhood-ties-79755">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: Wrote/flickr</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Meghan reveals rare snap of Archie

<p><em>Image: The Ellen Show</em></p> <p><span>During Meghan Markle's highly publicised surprise interview with Ellen DeGeneres, the Duchess of Sussex treated the audience to a rare glimpse into her family life, showing photos of her and Prince Harry’s two-year-old son, Archie, feeding chickens at their Montecito estate in California.</span><br /><br /><span>The couple have been very private about their children, having only ever shared photos of Archie from behind, while they’re yet to release a photo of Lilibet Diana who was born in June.</span><br /><br /><span>After moving to the US last year, Meghan told Ellen she wanted to celebrate Halloween this year with her growing family of four, saying she dressed Archie up as a dinosaur and Lilibet as a skunk “like Flower from Bambi”.</span><br /><br /><span>“We wanted to do something fun for the kids, and then the kids were just not into it at all,” Meghan said, before Ellen - who spent Halloween with the Sussexes - added that Archie wore the costume for “not even five minutes”.</span><br /><br /><span>Meghan said witnessing her husband of three years be a father was “the most beautiful thing to watch”, adding Archie had relished in becoming a big brother despite the significant adjustment.</span><br /><br /><span>“I think it’s just, everyone tells you — well, someone told H and I, ‘When you have one kid it’s a hobby, and two children is parenting,’ ” she said.</span><br /><br /><span>“Suddenly we realised, ‘Oh, right.’ Everyone talks about what it’s like for the second child, but no one talks about the adjustment for the first child when the second one comes along. So I think they have this moment of, ‘Oh, this is fun. Oh, this how it is now.’ ”</span><br /><br /><span>Having lived in the UK for most of his life, Meghan said Harry “loves” living in the US.</span><br /><br /><span>“He loves it,” Meghan said. “We moved here during lockdown, exactly when things shut down, so we’ve just been able to spend a lot of time at home and creating our home, but I think it’s just the lifestyle and the weather is pretty great. But we’re just happy.”</span><br /><br /><span>Elsewhere in the interview, Meghan revealed she and Harry attended a Halloween party in disguise before their relationship became public.</span><br /><br /><span>The Duchess told Ellen they were in Toronto, where she was filming Suits, when they decided to go incognito for a night on the town with fellow royal Princess Eugenie and her now-husband, Jack Brooksbank.</span><br /><br /><span>“Harry came to see me in Toronto and our friends and his cousin Eugenie and now her husband Jack – they came as well,” she said.</span><br /><br /><span>“The four of us snuck out in Halloween costumes to just have one fun night on the town before it was out in the world that we were a couple."</span><br /><br /><span>“It was a post-apocalypse theme so we had all of this very bizarre costuming on and we were able to just have one final fun night out."</span><br /><br /><span>Meghan and Harry, 37, met on a blind date in July 2016, before their relationship began being speculated in September that year. It wasn’t until November, shortly after Halloween, that Harry confirmed their relationship when he issued a press release detailing his concerns about the press’ “abuse and harassment” toward his new partner.</span></p>

Family & Pets

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How do pigeons find their way home? We looked in their ears with a diamond-based quantum microscope to find out

<p>Homing pigeons are known for their uncanny ability to find their way home – navigating complex and changing landscapes. In fact, they do this so well they were used as a source of secure communication more than 2,000 years ago.</p> <p>Julius Caesar <a href="https://www.asor.org/anetoday/2017/11/not-just-birds">reportedly sent</a> news of his conquest of Gaul back to Rome via pigeons, <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/255b75e0-c77d-11e2-be27-00144feab7de">as did Napoleon Bonaparte</a> following his defeat by England in the 1815 Battle of Waterloo.</p> <p>We know pigeons use visual cues and can navigate based on landmarks along known travel routes. We also know they have a magnetic sense called “magnetoreception” which lets them navigate using Earth’s magnetic field.</p> <p>But we don’t know exactly <em>how</em> they (and other species) do this. In <a href="https://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.2112749118">research</a> published today in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, my colleagues and I tested a theory that attempts to link magnetoreception in homing pigeons with tiny lumps of iron-rich material found in their inner ears.</p> <p>By using a new kind of magnetic microscope, we confirmed this isn’t the case. But the technology has opened the door for us to investigate the phenomenon in several other species.</p> <h2>The current hypotheses</h2> <p>Scientists have spent decades exploring the possible mechanisms for magnetoreception. There are currently two mainstream theories.</p> <p>The first is a vision-based “free-radical pair” model. Homing pigeons and other migratory birds have proteins in the retina of their eyes called “cryptochromes”. These produce an electrical signal that <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03618-9">varies depending on the strength</a> of the local magnetic field.</p> <p>This could potentially allow the birds to “see” Earth’s magnetic field, although scientists have yet to confirm this theory.</p> <p>The second proposal for how homing pigeons navigate is based on lumps of magnetic material inside them, which may provide them with a magnetic particle-based directional compass.</p> <p>We know magnetic particles are found in nature, in a group of bacteria called <a href="https://theconversation.com/magnetic-bacteria-and-their-unique-superpower-attract-researchers-100720">magnetotactic bacteria</a>. These bacteria produce magnetic particles and orient themselves along the Earth’s magnetic field lines.</p> <p>Scientists are now looking for magnetic particles in a range of species. Potential candidates <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00114-007-0236-0">were found</a> in the upper beak of homing pigeons more than a decade ago, but <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nature11046">subsequent work</a> indicated these particles were related to iron storage and not magnetic sensing.</p> <h2>A peek inside a pigeon’s ear</h2> <p>The new search is now underway in the inner ear of pigeons, where iron particles known as “cuticulosomes” <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982213004338">were first identified</a> in 2013.</p> <p>Single cuticulosomes have been located within distinct regions in the pigeon inner ear where other known sensory systems exist (such as for hearing and balancing during flight). In theory, if there were a magnetic sensing system in pigeons, it should be located close to other sensory systems.</p> <p>But to determine whether iron cuticulosomes can act as magnetoreceptors in pigeons, scientists need to determine their magnetic properties. This is no mean feat, since cuticulosomes are 1,000 times smaller than a grain of sand.</p> <p>What’s more is they are only found in 30% of the hair cells within the inner ear, making them difficult to identify and characterise.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/431870/original/file-20211115-6434-uzv76r.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/431870/original/file-20211115-6434-uzv76r.jpeg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="Diagram showing a homing pigeon's inner ear, with labels for hair cells and magnetic particles." /></a> <span class="caption">We conducted quantum magnetic imaging of iron-organelles in the pigeon inner ear.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Robert W de Gille</span>, <span class="license">Author provided</span></span></p> <p>To tackle this problem our group at the University of Melbourne, together with colleagues from Vienna’s Institute of Molecular Pathology and the Max Planck Society in Bonn, turned to a new imaging technology to explore the magnetic properties of iron cuticulosomes in the pigeon inner ear.</p> <p>We developed a magnetic microscope that uses diamond-based sensors to visualise delicate magnetic fields emanating from tiny magnetic particles.</p> <h2>Disproving the theory</h2> <p>We carefully studied thin sections of the pigeon inner ear placed directly onto the diamond sensors. By applying magnetic fields of varying strengths to the tissue, we were able to gauge the magnetic susceptibility of single cuticulosomes.</p> <p>Our results showed the magnetic properties of the cuticulosomes were not strong enough for them to act as a magnetic particle-based magnetoreceptor. In fact, the particles would need to be 100,000 times stronger to activate the sensory pathways required for magnetoreception in pigeons.</p> <p>However, despite the search for the elusive magnetoreceptor coming up short, we are extremely excited by the potential of this magnetic microscope technology.</p> <p>We hope to use it study a host of magnetic candidates across a variety of species including rodents, fish and turtles. And by doing so we can focus not only on cuticulosomes, but a range of other potentially magnetic particles.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/171738/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/david-simpson-1289933">David Simpson</a>, School of Physics, Senior Lecturer, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-do-pigeons-find-their-way-home-we-looked-in-their-ears-with-a-diamond-based-quantum-microscope-to-find-out-171738">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Bride's reason for barring brother-in-law from photos

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A woman has shared her shock online after her invitation to her sister’s wedding came with a shocking request.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Initially, the woman’s husband wasn’t invited to the ceremony at all. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But when it was confirmed that he could come, the woman’s sister requested he stay out of the family photos because he was in a wheelchair.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The woman took to Reddit to explain the situation, writing that her sister was getting married next month.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“My husband and I were both planning on going but when we got the invitation it was only for me,” she </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://honey.nine.com.au/latest/brides-request-to-cut-brother-in-law-out-of-wedding-photos/b8007193-258d-43f7-a761-eb0f32bfdf51" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">explained</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“When I called my sister and asked about it she said my husband was of course fine to come but she requested that he not be in any family photos.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“My husband is in a wheelchair. I’ve been married to him for 8 years. He has been in a wheelchair since he was 16 and my family has always ever known him to be in his chair,” the woman continued.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 422.9559748427673px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845662/reddit.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/8d1fbb94bc0c4435b97b488fd0b3180a" /></span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Reddit</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to her, her husband wasn’t allowed in the photos because her sister was afraid he would take attention away from her due to his visible disability.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“She justifies this by saying when people come over and see our family photo they always ask about him because he’s the only one that is in a wheelchair so he stands out,” she explained.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“She says she wants to be the main focus in her photos.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The woman said she was “livid” at her sister’s request, telling her sister she was being a “selfish bridezilla”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I told her we wouldn’t be coming,” she wrote.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’ve been getting calls from parents and relatives telling me I need to apologise to my sister because now she’s upset.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She said she was angry that her family weren’t supporting her husband.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“My husband hates being a burden and he says he’s fine with not being in the photos. Which made me even angrier because now he feels bad about himself for something I feel is unwarranted,” she added.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When she asked whether she was in the wrong for fighting for her husband and not apologising, others responded with support for her decision.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The bride is the a--hole,” one person wrote, adding, “Some people are this shallow and self-centered”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s really difficult to believe that the family would take the bride’s side on such an obnoxious request and be upset with op [the original poster],” another said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“A missing family member stands out,” one person noted. “So the whole attention whore thing won’t work out the way she intended.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This makes me sad that people have had that experience of exclusion due to such things,” another shared.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This would absolutely be the hill I’d died on,” one person declared.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Getty Images</span></em></p>

Family & Pets

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Baby Archie’s favourite song revealed in rare moment

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Prince Harry and Meghan Markle </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/royals/harry-and-meghan-reveal-archies-favourite-song/news-story/c04940a3f2b3bc0054b0b7f04e2d3858" target="_blank"><span style="font-weight: 400;">have shared</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> a rare snippet of information about their toddler Archie during a sweet moment over the weekend.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The pair visited the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, a US air force base in New Jersey, as part of the commemorations for Veteran’s Day.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since the Taliban took over Kabul, the air base has become a refuge for more than 10,000 Afghan people evacuated from Afghanistan by the US.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">During their visit, Harry and Meghan went to a classroom of Afghan children and helped them with their English lessons.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Meghan taught the children phases such as “nice to meet you” and helped them learn the words for different colours by holding up different coloured markers.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845639/meghan-harry2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/7723de19e2cb41b38f4076a94b482cf8" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Task Force Liberty Public Affairs</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Then both Harry and Meghan sang “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” with the class to teach them English words for the body.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Afterwards, the couple revealed that the tune was Archie’s favourite song.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The former royals have been notoriously private about their children, Archie and Lilibet, and cited privacy as their main reason for stepping down from royal duties.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though they have shared aspects of their own lives and their departure from the royal family in interviews, few photos have been taken of their children by the paparazzi.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7845640/meghan-harry3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/72ea2f8a298247efb2ad04a2ee8672dc" /></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While visiting the refugee centre, Harry and Meghan learnt about Dari, one of the official languages of Afghanistan, from the refugees.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">They could be heard saying Tashakur to the people around them, with the phrase roughly translating to “Thank you”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The couple also thanked the teachers there for “tireless efforts, and reminded them to take care of themselves and their own mental health as well”, according to a statement they released.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image: </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Task Force Liberty Public Affairs</span></em></p>

Family & Pets

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Bindi posts sweet tribute for dad to mark Steve Irwin Day

<p dir="ltr">To mark Steve Irwin Day, held annually on November 15, his daughter Bindi Irwin posted a heartfelt message for her Dad on Instagram. Underneath a photo of the pair enjoying a sunset, Bindi wrote, “Your legacy will live on forever. I love you for even longer.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CWRi414PIhF/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CWRi414PIhF/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Younger brother Robert also posted tributes to his Dad to mark the occasion. Underneath a photo of Robert, Bindi, and Steve, Robert wrote, “Today is #SteveIrwinDay. Thinking a lot about my Dad today and the impact that he made on our planet, inspiring an entire generation. I also think about what a truly amazing dad he was.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Through a lifetime captured on camera and stories from my family and those who knew him best, I’m able to remember the special times with dad. I still look up to him every day and while I miss him so much, it means the world to me and my family that each year we can have a day for the world to celebrate what he stood for❤️”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Bindi commented on the photo, “Love you so much”.</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/CWRc8kJBUPz/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CWRc8kJBUPz/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Robert Irwin (@robertirwinphotography)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Robert posted another tribute later in the day, thanking supporters for celebrating Steve Irwin Day. His second post read, “Wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who celebrated Steve Irwin Day today. It means the world to see so many people sharing stories and memories of how my dad changed their lives and inspired them. It is the honour of my life to get to continue his mission ❤️”.</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/tv/CWS__1chnBV/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/tv/CWS__1chnBV/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Robert Irwin (@robertirwinphotography)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Other tributes included one from the Australian Embassy in the United States, where Steve Irwin became incredibly popular thanks to his<span> </span><em>Crocodile Hunter</em><span> </span>series. Their tweet read, “Throw on your best khaki today as we celebrate Steve Irwin Day. Steve created a legacy inspiring people to love all wildlife, no matter how big, small, fluffy or scaly. So let’s all take a page out of Steve’s book today &amp; appreciate &amp; be kind to every living thing 💚🐍🐊🐨”.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Throw on your best khaki today as we celebrate Steve Irwin Day. Steve created a legacy inspiring people to love all wildlife, no matter how big, small, fluffy or scaly. So let’s all take a page out of Steve’s book today &amp; appreciate &amp; be kind to every living thing 💚🐍🐊🐨 <a href="https://t.co/qjj32ch8UH">pic.twitter.com/qjj32ch8UH</a></p> — Australia in the US 🇦🇺🇺🇸 (@AusintheUS) <a href="https://twitter.com/AusintheUS/status/1460331434544181257?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 15, 2021</a></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Wildlife Warriors Worldwide, the non-profit organisation established by Steve and wife Terri, also posted in honour of the special day. Their Instagram post, accompanied by a photo of the entire Irwin family, read, “Today, we are celebrating Steve Irwin Day by honouring the most extraordinary Wildlife Warrior that ever lived. Steve’s passion and enthusiasm to conserve wildlife inspired countless others, people just like you, to fight for the protection of wildlife and wild places. 🙌🏻</p> <p dir="ltr">Join us as we come together and continue Steve’s important conservation work by educating and connecting people with wildlife, in the hope that one day humans and wildlife will live harmoniously alongside each other. We’re all #WildlifeWarriors, and we are proudly wearing our khakis today. 💚”</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/CWRf0OwPk5Y/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CWRf0OwPk5Y/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Wildlife Warriors (@wildlifewarriorsworldwide)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Steve died in September 2006 after being injured by a stingray, leaving behind wife Terri, Bindi, 8, and Robert, 2.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: John Stanton/WireImage</em></p>

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Steve Irwin's eerie final speech revealed

<p>A close friend and colleague of Steve Irwin's has opened up about the fateful trip that claimed the Crocodile Hunter's life, revealing he "tried to stop" the production from going ahead. </p> <p>John Stainton, producer for <em>The Crocodile Hunter TV Show</em> and 15 year friend of Steve Irwin, spoke to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au" target="_blank">news.com.au</a>'s daily news podcast and admitted he"felt uncomfortable" about the underwater documentary project, and had a feeling he was going to die on the trip. </p> <p>John tried to have the <em>Ocean's Deadliest</em> show canned before they all travelled to Australia's northeast coast for filming, and when he was unsuccessful, prepared a will. </p> <p>While John's fears were for his own life, it was Steve that was killed after the barb of a stingray pierced his chest on Batt Reef near Port Douglas. </p> <p>John told the podcast that he was so concerned about the lead up to the shoot, that he asked Discovery Channel to call it off, but they refused when everyone had already been paid. </p> <p>“I felt uncomfortable about it when we were sort of going into the production. In fact, three weeks before we were lined up to shoot I actually rang Discovery and said ‘Look at I don’t feel good about this thing’,” he told <em>I’ve Got News For You</em> podcast host Andrew Bucklow, explaining that he was told it was too late to cancel.</p> <p>“I just had this premonition in January that would be the last day of my life this year. I just had this really weird feeling … So much so that I went and got tests and CAT scans. I thought ‘I have to have something wrong with me’ (but) nothing came back."</p> <p>“I even made a will that year in June before we went on the trip,” he added.</p> <p>Adding to John's unsettling feeling about the trip, he said Steve gave a speech to everyone involved in the documentary that had him feeling even more uneasy. </p> <p>“A couple of days before we started the show, he made a little speech to all the crew that were up there catching crocs for his research trip which I joined at the end with our crew to do the deadliest movie. And it was really weird,” he said.</p> <p>“He was sort of thanking them all for being who they were and for helping him … It was like a ‘finale’ speech... Very weird."</p> <p>“I had this idea on arriving that something was wrong, but it’s just life, you never know what things are going to do to you,” he added.</p> <p>After Steve was tragically killed at age 44 by the stingray, John said it was him that called Steve's wife Terri to deliver the devastating news. </p> <p>“I can remember that night, I couldn’t sleep,” John said of making the calls.</p> <p>“I think when you’re, as anyone that will know when they’re in a state of grief grieving and sadness and shock, that you have to do what you have to do,” he said.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Getty Images</em></p>

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Postnatal psychosis is rare, but symptoms can be brushed aside as ‘normal’ for a new mum

<p>The period after birth of a child is supposed to be a time of great happiness for women. However, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7491613/pdf/WPS-19-313.pdf">a significant number</a> of new mothers will experience a mental illness at this time.</p> <p>One is <a href="https://www.thewomens.org.au/health-information/pregnancy-and-birth/mental-health-pregnancy/post-partum-psychosis">postnatal psychosis</a> (also known as postpartum or <a href="https://www.cope.org.au/health-professionals/health-professionals-3/perinatal-mental-health-disorders/puerperal-psychosis/">puerperal psychosis</a>). It’s not related to postnatal depression.</p> <p>Postnatal psychosis affects <a href="https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD009991.pub2/full">one to two in every 1,000 new mothers</a>, or about 600 women each year in Australia.</p> <p>But our <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S026661382100245X">interviews with women</a> who have been diagnosed with this rare but serious condition show their symptoms were often dismissed as a normal part of adjusting to motherhood.</p> <h2>What is postnatal psychosis?</h2> <p>Postnatal psychosis affects women across all cultures and geographic areas.</p> <p>The condition can put a woman at risk of self-harm or suicide and, on rare occasions, of harming others including her new baby or other children.</p> <p>We don’t know what causes it. But contributing factors may include sleep deprivation, and rapid hormone changes associated with pregnancy and childbirth.</p> <p>The risk of postnatal psychosis increases if a woman has a history of <a href="https://www.sane.org/information-stories/facts-and-guides/bipolar-disorder#what-is-bipolar-disorder">bipolar disorder</a> or has had postnatal psychosis before.</p> <p><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JUFRZ6PgfQE?wmode=transparent&amp;start=81" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> </p> <h2>What are the symptoms?</h2> <p><a href="https://www.cope.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Postpartum-Psychosis_Health-Prof-Fact-Sheet.pdf">Symptoms</a> can begin in the first few days after giving birth but may not appear until up to 12 weeks afterwards.</p> <p><strong>Some women have manic symptoms</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>manic symptoms include feeling they do not need to sleep, and are powerful and strong</p> </li> <li> <p>women may have unusual experiences, such as seeing or hearing things others cannot. They may believe things that are not true</p> </li> <li> <p>they can also make unrealistic and impulsive plans, can be disorganised or forgetful, and talk very quickly</p> </li> <li> <p>their moods may change rapidly or they may seem excessively happy.</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>Others have depressive symptoms</strong></p> <ul> <li> <p>depressive symptoms include a loss of energy and an inability to sleep or eat</p> </li> <li> <p>women may have thoughts or auditory hallucinations that they are a bad mother and they may say they wish to die. Hallucinations or delusions (false beliefs) point to postnatal psychosis rather than to postnatal depression</p> </li> <li> <p>women may find it difficult to complete activities, such as caring for themselves or their baby, or attending to other tasks in the home</p> </li> <li> <p>they may believe they are helpless, hopeless and worthless, especially as a mother</p> </li> <li> <p>they can become isolated and no longer enjoy activities.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>Women say it’s traumatic</h2> <p>Women say postnatal psychosis is traumatic, especially if they do not get help when they first report symptoms. But it can be challenging to diagnose because of the stigma surrounding mental illness around the time of giving birth.</p> <p>Women say they are <a href="https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs00737-015-0548-6.pdf">reluctant to disclose</a> unusual symptoms as they feel ashamed they are finding motherhood difficult and worry they may lose custody of their baby.</p> <p>When we <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S026661382100245X">interviewed ten women</a>, who had experienced an episode of postnatal psychosis in the past ten years, we discovered another barrier to diagnosis.</p> <p>Women said they knew they had unusual symptoms, such as not being able to sleep or changes in the way they thought or behaved, but they found it difficult to get help. Often, they were told these symptoms were a normal part of adjusting to motherhood.</p> <p>Their postnatal psychosis was not identified until their only option was admission to an acute mental health unit and separation from their baby.</p> <p>So we need more education about the condition for health-care workers. By identifying the condition earlier, this gives women more treatment options.</p> <h2>There are treatments</h2> <p>Once diagnosed, the condition can be treated with antipsychotic and mood stabilising medication, prescribed by a psychiatrist or other treating doctor.</p> <p>This is <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00737-009-0117-y">very effective</a> but medication is often not started until the symptoms have become very severe and the woman requires hospitalisation in an acute mental health unit, without her baby. This separation can compromise the developing bond between them.</p> <p>So early diagnosis can potentially reduce the time a woman may spend in an acute mental health unit.</p> <h2>Admission to a mother-baby unit</h2> <p>Best practice is to admit women and their babies to a <a href="https://www.cope.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/COPE-Perinatal-MH-Guideline_Final-2018.pdf">mother-baby unit</a>, which is usually linked to a hospital. This allows women to continue to care for their babies with the support of child and family health-care professionals.</p> <p>However, publicly funded units are only available in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland. In New South Wales, two public mother-baby units <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/new-unit-provides-mother-and-baby-mental-health-support-to-western-sydney-20210909-p58q9v.html">are being built</a>. In NSW, the only existing one is a <a href="https://www.sjog.org.au/our-locations/st-john-of-god-burwood-hospital/our-services/mental-health-and-therapy/mother-and-baby-unit">private facility</a>, which many families cannot afford.</p> <h2>Helping others</h2> <p>The women we interviewed said they developed support networks with each other. One woman told us:</p> <blockquote> <p>You feel like, okay, that was such a hard experience, is there a way that we could make that a little less hard for the women who are going to go through it next time?</p> </blockquote> <p>Women wanted to tell their stories so others would better understand postnatal psychosis and could find it easier to get help.</p> <p><em>If this article has raised issues for you, or if you’re concerned about someone you know, contact the following organisations for more information or support: <a href="https://www.panda.org.au/info-support/postnatal-psychosis">Perinatal Anxiety &amp; Depression Australia</a> (PANDA), 1300 726 306; <a href="https://www.cope.org.au/">Centre of Perinatal Excellence</a>; <a href="https://healthyfamilies.beyondblue.org.au/pregnancy-and-new-parents/maternal-mental-health-and-wellbeing/bipolar-disorder">Beyondblue</a>, 1300 22 4636; Lifeline, 13 11 14. You can also contact your GP or go to your nearest hospital emergency department.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/170278/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/diana-jefferies-183951">Diana Jefferies</a>, Senior lecturer, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/postnatal-psychosis-is-rare-but-symptoms-can-be-brushed-aside-as-normal-for-a-new-mum-170278">original article</a>.</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

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Zoo condemned as “cruel” for video of monkey smoking a cigarette

<p dir="ltr">A Chinese zoo has been condemned as cruel and exploitative online after a video of a small monkey smoking a cigarette went viral. Hengshui Wildlife Park, in the province of Hebei, responded to critics, claiming the video was part of an anti-smoking campaign.</p> <p dir="ltr">The video, which had been uploaded to the zoo’s official social media accounts last week before being deleted, shows the monkey sitting on a bench dressed in a purple onesie. It can be seen puffing on the cigarette before the cigarette is removed by a woman.</p> <p dir="ltr">The monkey, blinking repeatedly, rubs its eye, seemingly because of the smoke, before falling backwards.</p> <p dir="ltr">The video has been criticised widely online after being shared to social media and subsequently being picked up by Chinese media outlets. Critics condemned the video as “sick” and called for action to be taken against the zoo.<br /><br />PETA Asia Vice President Jason Baker told<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/cruel-monkey-forced-to-smoke-cigarette-sparks-outrage-083651115.html" target="_blank">Yahoo News Australia</a><span> </span>that it was disturbing to see an incident like this framed as entertaining, saying, "How cruel to force a baby monkey to smoke for human amusement. Gradually, zoos are learning that spectacles like monkey performances, elephant rides, and photo ops with tiger cubs are inappropriate and exploitative."</p> <p dir="ltr">An employee at the zoo told Red Star News that even though the cigarette was lit, the monkey did not inhale any of the smoke, and was simply posing for a video designed to highlight the issues associated with smoking.</p> <p dir="ltr">Broadcaster CCTV said that zoos should be setting an example of how to treat animals, and questioned how effective it was to use a monkey to influence human habits.</p> <p dir="ltr">The China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation has commenced an investigation, with deputy secretary general Ma Yong calling the incident “unreasonable” and stating that it was most likely illegal. He added that the zoo would be under close scrutiny following the incident.</p> <p dir="ltr">Roughly 28% of the Chinese population, or 316 million people, smoke, according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: The Paper</em></p>

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How Noodle the pug decides the daily outlook for millions of people

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Is it a bones day or a no bones day?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One small pug knows the answer, and is using his knowledge to help millions of people on TikTok dictate what kind of day they will have. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Noodle, who is a 13-year-old rescue dog belonging to Jonathan Graziano, wakes up each morning and has his morning routine filmed. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jonathan, who is a social media manager in New York City, sits Noodle upright so he can see if Noodle stands up on his own. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If Noodle can stand up, then it's a “bones day”, but if he flops back over in his bed, it's a “no bones day”. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jonathan says that if it’s a bones day, you should get up and make the most of your day and do the thing you’ve been putting off. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If it’s a no bones day, Noodle’s prophecy is the perfect opportunity to implement self-care and take a day off from any strenuous activities. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With over four million followers on TikTok and each “daily reading” racking up millions of views, Noodle has quickly become an online sensation. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I had absolutely no idea this would become the barometer in which the nation foretold how their day was going to go,” Jonathan said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many followers have reached out to Jonathan to let him know how they have lived their lives according to Noodle, such as proposing to a girlfriend or asking for a raise at work.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“People have told me it’s a reason they buy lottery tickets and they’ve won a ton of money,” Graziano said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Neil Dagnall, a reader in applied cognitive psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University in England, Noodle’s readings are providing people with a sense of routine. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He said, “Life is full of uncertainty and Noodle’s actions provide a form of guidance and reassurance to some people.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credits: TikTok @jongraz</span></em></p>

Family & Pets