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"No excuse": Passenger shocked by $9 sandwich on Jetstar flight

<p>A man has been left disappointed and unimpressed by his $9 “soggy” sandwich after a flight with Jetstar.  </p> <p>A good sandwich shouldn’t be too hard to come by, at least that’s what Nick Mosley thought when he hungrily tucked into what was supposed to be a deli sandwich trio on his flight from Bali, Indonesia to Perth, Australia.</p> <p>What was meant to be a treat after a long holiday quickly became a frustrating expense.</p> <p>Unfortunately for him, what he bit into was less than appetising – a bare lettuce leaf with an egg and mayo mix spread on to the bread with smeared margarine.</p> <p>Taking to Twitter to share his disappointment, he posted a few pictures of the sad-looking sandwich and wrote: “I must say @JetstarAirways have a cheek charging AUS$9 for sandwiches… without any fillings…. Great for their bottom line but not so good for filling the tums of customers.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">I must say <a href="https://twitter.com/JetstarAirways?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JetstarAirways</a> have a cheek charging AUS$9 for sandwiches... without any fillings... Great for their bottom line but not so good for filling the tums of customers <a href="https://t.co/dok9GicE9E">pic.twitter.com/dok9GicE9E</a></p> — Nick Mosley (@BrightonNick) <a href="https://twitter.com/BrightonNick/status/1082244098331799552?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 7, 2019</a></blockquote> <p> “I had a bit of a craving for a sandwich. Having eaten many sandwiches in my life, it wouldn’t have cross my mine to peel back the bread to check the filling,” Nick <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6589237/UK-tourist-stunned-paying-5-petrol-station-sandwich-Australian-airline.html">told the Daily Mail.</a></p> <p>"However, after the first mouthful of somewhat soggy bread and margarine, peel back I did.</p> <p>“I paid for it so there is really no excuse for serving inadequate products. It was a shocker – it made a petrol station sandwich look like a gastronomic feast,” he said.</p> <p>The airline reached out to the unsatisfied customer offering a refund and an apology.</p> <p>Have you ever paid for an expensive meal only to be left unsatisfied? Let us know in the comments below.</p> <p> </p>

Travel Trouble

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Pregnant Duchess Meghan stuns in glamorous $6K gown

<p>The Duchess of Sussex walked hand-in-hand with husband Prince Harry as they attended the glamorous premiere of Cirque du Soleil’s new show Totem.</p> <p>The extravagant event was being held for Prince Harry’s charity Sentebale. The organisation focuses on youth in Lesotho, a country in Africa, who are currently suffering from HIV.</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/BstbfUnlWVL/?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/BstbfUnlWVL/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal)</a> on Jan 16, 2019 at 1:03pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Arriving at the Royal Albert Hall to meet those performing in the stunning act, Meghan opted for a dazzling, floor-length navy gown by French designer Rolan Mouret. The sparkling dress came with a hefty price tag of £3400 ($A6105).</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7822787/meghan1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ce781fea71af4e2c92e7a0a5135e1f35" /></p> <p>The Duchess chose to keep the rest of her look understated, as her hair was slicked back into a bun, with her growing baby bump proudly on display. Prince Harry chose to keep things classic, with a royal blue suit and tie.</p>

Beauty & Style

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Sylvia Jeffreys breaks her silence on pregnancy news

<p>Sylvia Jeffreys was rumoured to be pregnant according to an article published on Wednesday evening by <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-6597345/Sylvia-Jeffreys-fuels-pregnancy-rumours-gently-touches-tummy.html" target="_blank">Daily Mail Australia.</a></p> <p>The cheeky headline stated ‘Anything to tell us? Sylvia Jeffreys fuels pregnancy rumours as she gently touches her tummy in a linen shift-dress during casual outing in Sydney’.</p> <p>The former <em>Today</em> newsreader has quickly put any rumours surrounding a baby bump to rest through a witty tweet.</p> <p>The tweet is a screenshot of the article headline with the caption:</p> <p>“Nope, not pregnant. The only one fuelling that rumour would be you, @DailyMailAU. But thanks for the subtle reminder to wear spanx on all casual outings.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Nope, not pregnant. The only one fuelling that rumour would be you, <a href="https://twitter.com/DailyMailAU?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DailyMailAU</a> . But thanks for the subtle reminder to wear spanx on all casual outings. 👍🏼🙃 <a href="https://t.co/e3rLMmXUG8">pic.twitter.com/e3rLMmXUG8</a></p> — Sylvia Jeffreys (@SylviaJeffreys) <a href="https://twitter.com/SylviaJeffreys/status/1085464832772517888?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 16, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>One commenter asked Jeffreys a fair question.</p> <p>“If you gently touch your tummy, what are we to expect!!”</p> <p>The star fired back:</p> <p>“That I was feeling very satisfied with my breakfast.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">That I was feeling very satisfied with my breakfast 💁🏼‍♀️ <a href="https://t.co/hjXD3J3wOL">https://t.co/hjXD3J3wOL</a></p> — Sylvia Jeffreys (@SylviaJeffreys) <a href="https://twitter.com/SylviaJeffreys/status/1085465767347286016?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 16, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>This comes after Jeffreys' announcement that she was leaving the <em>Today</em> show just before Christmas. The confirmation came shortly after her husband, Peter Stefanovic, revealed he was leaving the broadcast network after a 15-year stint.</p>

Body

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Book corner: Discover the best books from around the world

<p>In 2012 British author Ann Morgan spent a year of her life reading a book from <span>197 territories </span>- every UN-recognised nation plus Taiwan and one extra territory chosen by her blog visitors. The result was the fascinating book called <em>Reading the World: Confessions of a Literary Explorer</em>.</p> <p>Indeed, this may be the ultimate way to travel – within our mind as we link to another’s mind. Keen travellers may wish to use Ann’s research to delve deeper into the mindset of favourite countries. It’s certainly a list that is fun to browse.</p> <p><strong>Q: </strong><strong>Why did you decide to write Reading the World?</strong></p> <p>My project was about accessing voices and perspectives rather than building up a picture of nations through reading books. Although literature can give us extraordinary and illuminating insights into other places and cultures, I don't think one book on its own can give a full and rounded picture of a society. This was more about exploring to see what I could discover (and what people would suggest) rather than looking for definitive or 'authentic' representations.</p> <p>Although many of the books I read were set in the countries in question, some weren't. For me, this was about discovering mindsets and the different ways that writers around the planet (past and present) look at life.</p> <p><strong>Q: </strong><strong>Why is it important to read local authors from different locations?</strong></p> <p>I have enjoyed reading classic books by English-language greats about travels to different parts of the world. I recently found myself gripped by Graham Greene’s book <em>Journey Without Maps</em>, an account of his travels in Liberia. These books can be illuminating and very engrossing, but what they show us first and foremost is the world as seen through a very particular set of eyes. Like all the books I read from each nation in 2012, they are not the complete picture on their own. In order to get a richer, more rounded impression it's very rewarding to balance these readings with work by local authors, people for whom Britain and its empire, and more recently the English-speaking world, weren't necessarily at the centre of the universe.</p> <p><strong>Q: </strong><strong>What was your goal in writing this book?</strong></p> <p>It brings in some of the personal histories of the people I met on my quest, as well as my own reading experiences throughout my life, a whole lot more research and many other books. Ultimately, it explores how reading can change and shape us, and reveals the extraordinary power that stories have to connect us across cultural, geographical, political and religious divides.</p> <p><strong>Q: </strong><strong>What is your favourite book you read during this project?</strong></p> <p>I read so many excellent things during the project that it’s very hard to pick one out. Some of the books were wonderful simply because of the stories they told and the way they were written. Others were special because of the lengths people went to get them to me.</p> <p>However, I have drawn up a list of my ten favourite commercially-available reads. Unlike some of the other books you should be able to buy copies of these:</p> <p><strong>My 10 favourite international books:</strong></p> <ol> <li>From Albania – Ismail Kadare <em>Broken April</em></li> <li>From Canada – Nicole Brossard <em>Mauve Desert</em></li> <li>From Czech Republic – Bohumil Hrabal <em>Too Loud a Solitude </em></li> <li>From Mongolia – Galsan Tschinag <em>The Blue Sky</em></li> <li>From Myanmar – Nu Nu Yi, <em>Smile as they Bow</em></li> <li>From Pakistan – Jamie Ahmad <em>The Wandering Falcon</em></li> <li>From Serbia – Srdjan Valjarevic, <em>Lake Como (limited availability)</em></li> <li>From Sierra Leone – Ismael Beah <em>A Long Way Gone</em></li> <li>From Tajikistan – <span>Andrei Volos, <em>Hurramabad</em></span></li> <li>From Togo – Tete-Michel Kpomassie <em>An African in Greenland</em></li> </ol> <p><strong>My Australian top 7:</strong></p> <ol> <li><span><em>Cloudstreet</em> </span>by Tim Winton</li> <li><em>The Children’s Bach</em> by Helen Garner <br /><span></span></li> <li><em>The Book Thief</em> by Markus Zusak <br /><span></span></li> <li><em>The Boat</em> by Nam Le</li> <li><em>The White Earth </em>by Andrew McGahan <br /><span></span></li> <li><em>Lovesong</em> by Alex Miller <br /><span></span></li> <li><em>The Road from Coorain</em> by Jill Ker Conway</li> </ol> <p><em>Reading the World: Confessions of a Literary Explorer</em> is not a review of 197 books. That, she says, is covered in her blog so you can <span>read the posts</span> chronologically for free. This book dives deeper into issues such as how translation, censorship, cultural identity and technology affect the way we share and understand stories.</p> <p><strong>What are your favourite foreign books? Join the conversation below.</strong></p> <p><em>Written by David McGonigal. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/entertainment/book-corner-discover-the-best-books-from-around-the-world.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a>.</em></p>

Books

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Simple Portuguese BBQ Chicken & Salad

<p>A great share plate with friends and you can make it as spicy as you like.</p> <p>Preparation time: 20 mins</p> <p>Cooking time: 15 mins</p> <p>Serves: 4</p> <p><strong>Ingredients: </strong></p> <ul> <li>Marinade</li> <li>2 long red chillies</li> <li>10 hot small red chillies</li> <li>2 garlic cloves</li> <li>Juice of 1 lemon</li> <li>1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, get the really good Spanish type</li> <li>1 teaspoon of sea salt</li> <li>1 cup of canola or vegetable oil</li> <li>1 whole chicken jointed, ask your butcher to do this</li> </ul> <p><strong>Salad to accompany: </strong></p> <ul> <li>Good handful of mixed salad leaves, choose one with lots of peppery rocket</li> <li>Packet of cherry tomatoes, halved</li> <li>Sliced red onion</li> <li>Black olives, pitted</li> <li>Dressing of 2 tbsp of olive oil, 1tbsp of lemon juice, pinch of salt and pepper and a teaspoon of dried oregano.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Method:</strong></p> <ol> <li>Blend all of the marinade ingredients in a food processor but do not over process.<br />Reserve a small amount for basting.</li> <li>Cut the chicken into pieces and cover in the marinade. Refrigerate and turn in the marinade regularly for an hour or more.</li> <li>On a high BBQ sear all of the chicken pieces then lower the temperature and close the lid for another 30 minutes, turning now and then. (Note: You can also finish the chicken in the oven once you have charred it, this delivers a really moist chicken)</li> <li>Close to serving, baste the chicken once more with the leftover marinade but don’t turn it, you want the marinade on the surface.</li> <li>Serve on the salad on a platter.</li> </ol> <p><em>Republished with permission of <span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/recipes/simple-portuguese-bbq-chicken-and-salad.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a></span>.</em></p>

Food & Wine

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The 9 most expensive, valuable and collectable records of all time

<p>Records give more a sense of the history of music than anything else and somehow their market value reflects this; for example, manufacturer’s mistakes/alterations or the death of the artist can dramatically affect the resale value of a record.</p> <p>And generally speaking, rare records from the ‘60s and ‘70s (the ‘golden era’ of music), which only had a few hundred copies pressed, are the most valuable (even if that band is largely unknown) – commanding four-figure sums in some cases.</p> <p>Moreover, singles in many cases are more valuable than both EPs and LPs.</p> <p>But who sits at the top of the pile with the most valuable and collectable record that ever went to market? And which records still in circulation are worth a few quid?</p> <p>Spoiler alert: this list contains The Beatles</p> <p><strong>Nick Drake – <em>Five Leaves Left </em>(1969)</strong></p> <p>Nick Drake fits the description of musician-turned-legend following his untimely death at the age of 27.</p> <p>With only three albums released by the young artist, Drake’s records are extremely rare and an original pressing of the artist’s debut, <em>Five Leaves Left</em>, can sell for upwards of £1000 depending on its quality, of course.</p> <p><strong>The first pressing</strong></p> <p>There is debate over which is the true first pressing but it is largely accepted that the textured pink label with incorrect 4th and 5th song order (<em>Way To Blue</em> <em>and Day Is Done</em>) printed on its sleeve, and machine stamped matrix numbers is the real McCoy. NB: You will find no A1/B1 matrix on first pressings; a first pressing will read A2/B2.</p> <p><strong>The pink label</strong></p> <p>There are two types of ‘smooth’ pink label variants out there also, one with incorrect running order on the label and one corrected. But the textured label pressings, with all aforementioned characteristics, tend to be the most valuable. All three variants have ‘Made In England’ printed on the label whereas reissues do not.</p> <p><strong>The Beatles – <em>Please Please Me</em> (1963)</strong></p> <p>Records by The Beatles are of course very collectable, but this in itself is strange when you consider that there are literally millions out there and most are relatively easy to get hold of. To collect records properly, you must be prepared to put the hours in authenticating a record, so get comfortable!</p> <p><strong>The Beatles anomaly</strong></p> <p>Generally speaking, the fewer records pressed by bands/artists, the more valuable it will invariably be. However, The Beatles command a different value. As the pioneers of modern pop music, the appeal is worldwide. Any first pressing will be worth something, yet condition is still essential if you want to make/spend the big bucks.</p> <p>Having pressed and sold millions of records, it’s near impossible to find a first pressing of a Beatles record in mint/near-mint condition, so when one comes along, collectors will pay a premium.</p> <p><strong>Please please tell me what it's worth</strong></p> <p><em>Please Please Me</em> was first pressed on the gold and black Parlophone label but it soon switched to yellow and black. These minor details can mean everything. Stereo copies on the gold and black label will fetch you in excess of £5000.</p> <p><strong>Queen – <em>Bohemian Rhapsody</em>/<em>I’m In Love With My Car</em> (1978)</strong></p> <p>Extravagance all round!</p> <p>A rare edition of Queen’s most celebrated anthem was also served, at one time, as an invite to an EMI event replete with goodies including the entry ticket, matches, a pen, a menu, an outer card sleeve, EMI goblets(?) and a scarf! So, the record stands out quite a bit.</p> <p>Never ones to shy away from a bit of colour, the Queen single was pressed on a brilliant royal blue vinyl and this copy/set is valued at the rather colourful sum of £5000.</p> <p><strong>The Beatles – <em>The White Album</em> (1968)</strong></p> <p><strong>The Beatles anomaly #2</strong></p> <p>What can I say? The Beatles just about dominate any musical list. But they also take on a special kind of reverence and mean different things to different people making their value susceptible to change on an individual's basis.</p> <p><strong>Valuation of <em>The White Album</em></strong></p> <p>Ok, this is the hard part. There are a multitude of criteria to adhere to and hoops you have to jump through to guarantee yourself/part with some dough. Ready? Here we go:</p> <ul> <li>Is it a US copy, a UK copy?</li> <li>Is ‘The Beatles’ embossed or printed on the front?</li> <li>Does it contain the poster, all portraits?</li> <li>Are all known misspellings present (i.e. ‘Rocky Racoon’, not ‘Raccoon’)?</li> <li>Is the serial number a seven-digit number and is it preceded by the correct number of zeros, is it then preceded by a prefix ‘A’ (wide), ‘A’ (thin), a black dot or the prefix ‘No.’ (Two variants)?</li> <li>Is it one of only 12 made with the serial: A2000000 to commemorate 2,000,000 copies sold?</li> </ul> <p> And, so on and so on...</p> <p>Essentially, if it’s a US first pressing, with all misspellings, a serial number and embossed lettering you’re looking at $800 for one in good condition. But, if the serial number is low, it is worth more (serial number 0000001 sold for $15,000 in 2009). If the serial number is between 2 and 9 add 2000 per cent. For serial numbers under 10,000 add 50 per cent. Add $15 if poster is included and $7 for each Beatles portrait.</p> <p>A UK first pressing with all the trimmings in very good condition could cost you a maximum of £1000 but expect to add 50 per cent with serial numbers below 10,000 and an extra couple of quid for posters and portraits. Got it? Good!</p> <p><strong>Sex Pistols – <em>God Save The Queen/No Feelings</em> (1977)</strong></p> <p>This is an interesting one because the 1977 run of the Pistols’ single doesn’t just exist on one label.</p> <p>On A&amp;M, only 300 copies are said to exist after it was withdrawn from sale. This pressing is valued at approximately £10,000.</p> <p>A&amp;M also circulated promo copies and one of the few known to be in circulation recently sold on eBay for $17,179 (£11,728). However, there is an even rarer copy on L.T.S.</p> <p>Only two copies are to exist, one of which sold recently for no less than £12,629.</p> <p>And finally, a third label, The Town House, is known to have pressed the 7” single in 1977 onto a single-sided 10” acetate. Although an unknown amount of copies were produced, one of the only ones believed to exist sold in 2011 for a mega $23,000 (£15,702).</p> <p><strong>Anarchy in the record industry</strong></p> <p>That there are three separate, very small releases of this single highlights the band’s turbulent relationship with labels, all of which contribute to and complement their punk legacy; their value and their place in history. But it also shows the lengths collectors will go to get their own piece of history. Added to that is the irony that music’s most outspoken non-conformists, the epitome of anti-establishment attitude, are among the world’s most collectable and thus the most expensive bands.</p> <p><strong>The Five Sharps – <em>Stormy Weather</em> 78rpm single (1952)</strong></p> <p>The story of this particular record is as wild as the track suggests.</p> <p>The band was famously paid in hot dogs and soda for the session in New York where they cut two songs in one day. The single was put out on Jubilee #5104 and the members had to buy their own copies (despite not being paid for the session) because sales of the record were so poor.</p> <p>But the legend of this 78 is just beginning unbeknownst to the band.</p> <p><strong>From hot dogs to big bucks</strong></p> <p>Initially, <em>Stormy Weather</em> encounters some misfortune of its own and takes a turn for the worst in 1961.</p> <p>Record collector, Billy Pensabene, took a copy of the 78 he had found to Times Square Records, run by Irving “Slim” Rose, who borrowed the 78 to play on his ‘Sink Or Swim With Swingin’ Slim’ radio show which broke whilst in his care.</p> <p>The story goes that Slim promised Billy a replacement copy of the 78 and so put adverts up in the shop window offering $25-$50 for a copy. Time went by and still no 78.</p> <p>Then things went from bad to worse. Slim, in a last-ditch attempt to be a man of his word and reclaim a copy, visited Jubilee Records and asked owner, Jerry Blaine, to reissue the 78.</p> <p>Unfortunately, The Five Sharps’ session was one of a batch of 80 masters that had been destroyed in a fire. A nationwide search was underway and <em>Stormy Weather</em> became the most sought-after doo-wop record in history.</p> <p>Despite a somewhat roguish attempt by Jubilee to re-record the track using completely different musicians under the same Five Sharps moniker, the legend continued to grow for that original 78.</p> <p>Over the next 15 years only three copies ever turned up; one chipped, one cracked and one in very good condition.</p> <p>The third was sold in 1977 and is now valued at around £16,910.    </p> <p><strong>The Velvet Underground ­– <em>The Velvet Underground</em> and <em>Nico '66</em></strong></p> <p>An early version of the band’s debut cut to acetate is the only known version to exist and was bought with two other records for just 75 cents at a New York City stoop sale.</p> <p>The band’s agent at the time, the eminent pop artist, Andy Warhol, assembled the acetate to ship around to various labels and differs in order to the album now affectionately known as The Banana Album.</p> <p>In 2006, owner, Warren Hill, sold it at auction for $25,200. Following Lou Reed’s death in 2013 and the rise in interest in both the band and records, who knows how much it is worth today.</p> <p><strong>The Quarrymen – <em>That’ll Be The Day/In Spite Of All The Dang</em></strong></p> <p>The only known pressing of this pre-Beatles cut is as rare as they come and with a price tag to match.</p> <p>It is said to be the most valuable record in the world according to industry bible, Record Collector.</p> <p>The Quarrymen (McCartney, Lennon, Harrison, drummer Colin Hanton and pianist John Duff Lowe) cut the single at a local studio.</p> <p>McCartney recalls: “We shared the record. I kept it for a week, George kept it for a week, John kept it for a week, Colin Hanton kept it for a week, then Duff kept it for 23 years.”</p> <p>Worth a mesmerising £200,000-plus it’s no surprise this is the Holy Grail in the collector’s world. Even the 1981 replica copies (only 25 made) are worth £10,000. Paul McCartney is said to be the current minder of the original who bought it back from band-member and long-time guardian, Duff, for an undisclosed amount.</p> <p><strong>John Lennon/Yoko Ono – <em>Double Fantasy</em> (1980)</strong></p> <p>And finally, surprise surprise, a Beatle!</p> <p>Lennon and Ono’s album is on this list for sheer shock value. It’s value is somewhere in the region of £355,173. But before you spit your tea out and dust off your copy of this classic, there is only one copy worth this much, and its history is chilling.</p> <p>On December 8th 1980, outside John Lennon’s apartment building, Mark David Chapman asked Lennon to sign his copy of the LP. Just five hours later, Chapman would return and murder Lennon.</p> <p>Not only does the album have the last known signature Lennon gave, but it also has Chapman’s fingerprints on it.</p> <p>A disturbing logic it seems as to its apparent value, but like I have outlined: records offer more of a sense of the history of music than all other formats and you can’t get more of a sense of music history than the last signed artefact of one of the world’s greatest musicians owned by his assassin.</p> <p><em>Written by Andy Richardson. This article first appeared in <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/thought-provoking/9-most-expensive-valuable-and-collectable-records-all-time">Reader’s Digest</a></span>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V"><span>here’s our best subscription offer</span></a>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

Music

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Is our wellbeing genetic?

<p>The question of nature versus nurture – whether genetics or our environment plays the biggest role in determining our personality – has been a hotly debated topic in scientific circles for decades. Now, some fascinating research is being carried out in Australia to determine the role of our genes and the environment in how resilient we are to life’s difficulties.</p> <p>We spoke to Dr Justine Gatt, Group Leader and Senior Research Scientist at <span><a href="https://www.neura.edu.au/">Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA)</a></span> and <span><a href="http://www.psy.unsw.edu.au/contacts-people/research-staff/dr-justine-gatt">School of Psychology at UNSW</a></span>, about the findings from her research into the genetics of wellbeing, and whether or not it is possible to become more resilient and experience a greater sense of wellbeing as we age.</p> <p><strong>What is resilience?</strong><br />Resilience is often defined as someone’s ability to survive trauma – such as a job loss, death of a loved one, illness, natural disaster or financial difficulties – without developing a mental health problem.</p> <p>In scientific terms, resilience can be better explained as the process of being able to adapt positively after a traumatic experience, says Gatt. “It’s more [about] the steps that you take to deal with that particular stressor so that you’re functioning well,” she says.</p> <p>Some factors associated with resilience include:</p> <ul> <li>Having a positive outlook on life and satisfaction with your achievements</li> <li>Having the capacity to manage feelings and impulses</li> <li>Having a positive view of yourself and your abilities</li> </ul> <p>Unlocking the secrets of resilience will lead to ways to help develop this process in others, says Gatt. “A lot of psychiatric research focuses on how to predict and prevent mental illness. There’s a lot less focus on how people are flourishing,” she says. “Wellbeing is not just the absence of mental health symptoms – it’s a completely different state of being – so it’s important to understand it in its own right,” she says.</p> <p><strong>The TWIN-E study</strong><br />To unravel the underlying mechanisms of wellbeing and resilience, Dr Gatt and her colleagues are studying a group of 1600 healthy adult twin volunteers over time.</p> <p>The <span><a href="https://www.neura.edu.au/project/heritability-emotion-cognition-twins/">TWIN-E Emotional Wellbeing study</a></span> began in 2009 with the aim of identifying key risk factors for emotional vulnerability and resilience in the twins, including the role their genes and environments play in their vulnerability or resilience to trauma.</p> <p>In the first part of the study, identical and non-identical twin volunteers from the <span><a href="https://www.twins.org.au/">Australian Twin Registry</a></span> completed computer questionnaires as well as cognitive tests. They also provided saliva samples for the researchers to study their genes.</p> <p>Brain imaging was also carried out on some of the twins to help the scientists determine if different brain networks influenced their wellbeing and resilience.</p> <p><strong>What the researchers found</strong></p> <p>From this study, Dr Gatt and her team were able to develop a 26-item questionnaire called the <span><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24863866">COMPAS-W scale</a></span> to measure wellbeing.</p> <p>They used this scale to study how different genes contribute to wellbeing in their twin sample. “What we found was that genes account for 48 per cent of our wellbeing. That means almost half of our wellbeing is determined by our genes. Our environment accounts for the other half,” says Gatt.</p> <p>In the next phase of research, Gatt and her colleagues will perform a 10-year follow-up study on the twins to see how their brains have changed over time and to determine how these changes are associated with levels of resilience.</p> <p>The researchers also plan to study the role the twin’s genes have played in their resilience to trauma.</p> <p><strong>What the findings mean</strong></p> <p>If you don’t like the idea that your wellbeing might be determined by a gene variant that you may or may not have, there’s no need for alarm. The underlying genetics of wellbeing and resilience could be far more complex than previously thought.</p> <p>“It’s likely a large number of genes have very small effects on wellbeing and resilience,” says Gatt. “The other thing is that these genes might not necessarily predispose you to be more or less protected from trauma. They might just influence how malleable you are to your life experiences – whether or not you are more or less sensitive to the impacts of positive and negative environments,” she explains.</p> <p>Even if you do assume that approximately 50 per cent of your wellbeing is determined by your genes, there’s still a lot you can do on the environmental side, says Gatt. She has developed <span><a href="https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8AF7u-ZqkfwSXdXN2pSdmRIcjQ/view">six key resilience tips</a></span> that are likely to form the basis of e-health tools to help people to become more resilient.</p> <ol> <li>Learn to deal with stress in a positive manner.</li> <li>Own worth. Develop your sense of self-worth. Hold firm to your values and boundaries.</li> <li>Build your self-confidence. Understand your strengths and your weaknesses.</li> <li>Have a positive outlook. Include fun activities in your life.</li> <li>Set meaningful goals. These should support your interests and talents.</li> <li>Satisfaction with life. Maintain your physical health, practise mindfulness and gratitude.</li> </ol> <p>How resilient do you think you are?</p> <p><em>Written by Dominic Bayley. Republished with permission of <span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/wellbeing/is-our-wellbeing-genetic.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></span></em></p>

Caring

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The bizarre rumour that’s followed Tracy Grimshaw for years – and is true!

<p><em>A Current Affair </em>TV host Tracy Grimshaw has been on our television screens for almost four decades.</p> <p>However, there’s always been a rumour that she just couldn’t shake that’s dated back to the late '90s.</p> <p>After a rowdy night at the 1998 Logie Awards, Grimshaw found herself locked out of her hotel room completely nude.</p> <p>For years, this has just been regarded as a rumour that comes after the wild Logies after parties.</p> <p>It wasn’t until Grimshaw herself confirmed it in an interview with <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/lifestyle/stellar/why-tracy-grimshaw-is-not-going-anywhere/news-story/01d49551e72e5e174d8628e8b69c8a63" target="_blank"><em>Stellar</em></a> magazine that shocked fans.</p> <p>The TV star and her former boss James Packer used to enjoy a drink or two at the after parties. “We used to love the tequila shots,” Grimshaw reminisced.  </p> <p>It was only when Grimshaw realised what time it was that she rushed to get ready for <em>Today. </em></p> <p>“I locked myself out of my hotel room starkers,” she confirmed. Good thing it was 3:45 am and no one was around!</p> <p>“I took stock of the situation and realised that the guest opposite had<span> </span><em>The Australian</em><span> </span>delivered. Thank god it was a broadsheet and not the<span> </span><em>Herald Sun,</em>” Grimshaw laughed.</p> <p>“I covered myself with that and knocked on the next door down the hallway, then ran back to my door. Someone stuck their head out and saw me, and about five minutes later the girl from Crown walked down the hallway and let me in.”</p> <p>The whole ordeal would’ve been kept under wraps had she not confided in her then co-host Steve Liebmann when she was late to set.</p> <p>“He was wearing a microphone so it went straight to the control room in Sydney,” she recalls.</p> <p>“Of course, everyone heard it.”</p> <p>Has something like this happened to you before? What did you do? Let us know in the comments.</p>

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The Palace announces Duchess Kate's surprise new project

<p>For the past three months, Duchess Kate has been working on a special project – and the Palace finally revealed it on Tuesday. The Duchess of Cambridge is creating a garden for the annual Chelsea Flower Show in May.</p> <p>The announcement came as the Duchess made her first official engagement of the year at King Henry’s Walk Garden in London.</p> <p>Titled “RHS Back to Nature Garden”, the Duchess’s garden has been designed in collaboration with award-winning landscape architects Andrée Davies and Adam White of Davies White Landscape Architects.</p> <p>“[The Duchess] is very hands on, model making, emailing images, coming up with all the ideas that we want to capture,” said Davies. “She would often bring a folder of cuttings with her full of ideas.”</p> <p>Davies also revealed that Duchess Kate “has a clear idea of the colour palette she wants” and an interest in using natural materials.</p> <p>The woodland-themed garden is hoped to “recapture for adults the sense of wonder and magic that they enjoyed as children, in addition to kindling excitement and a passion for nature in future generations,” a Kensington Palace spokesman said.</p> <p>Sue Biggs, director general of the show’s organiser Royal Horticultural Society said the Duchess’s contribution will help encourage individuals of all walks of life to embrace nature.</p> <p>“For over 200 years the RHS has been championing the power of gardening and growing plants for the environment, for health and wellbeing and to help people of all ages, from all backgrounds, to learn and grow,” said Biggs.</p> <p>“So, to have the Duchess advocating this with us, and to be continuing our partnership with NHS England will, we're sure, further highlight the powerful benefit that access to gardens, nature and growing plants can have for all our health and happiness.”</p> <p>The Duchess is also set to continue working with Davies and White on two further gardens for the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival in July and the RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey in the fall.</p>

News

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The ratings are in – revamped Today show takes a tumble

<p>Nine’s attempt to revitalise <em>Today</em><span> </span>show with a new line-up is hitting a roadblock as Monday’s relaunch episode dropped in the ratings.</p> <p>The breakfast show’s debut of the new line-up, with co-hosts Georgie Gardner and Deborah Knight, attracted 197,000 metro viewers, while rival <em>Sunrise</em> pulled 266,000 on the same day, creating a significant 35 per cent gap between the two competing programs.</p> <p>Back in January last year, when Georgie Gardner debuted as a co-host to replace Lisa Wilkinson, <em>Today</em> pulled 256,000 metro viewers. In December, the day after Karl Stefanovic announced that he would leave the program, 239,000 metro viewers tuned in.</p> <p>The last time <em>Today</em> fell below the 200,000 mark was in September when the show dipped to 199,000 viewers across the five metropolitan capitals.</p> <p>Combined with regional audiences, <em>Today</em> attracted 311,000 viewers in total and <em>Sunrise</em> had 427,000.</p> <p>More viewers in Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane tuned in to <em>Sunrise</em>. The only capital that <em>Today</em> performed better in was Sydney with 82,000 viewers, up against <em>Sunrise</em>’s 62,000.</p> <p>The low ratings were accompanied by a barrage of criticisms from many viewers. On <em>Today</em>’s Facebook page, fans shared their complaints about the revamped show, describing it as “so boring”, “dry” and “dull”.</p> <p>Former <em>Sunrise</em> weather presenter Grant Denyer also <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/grant-denyers-verdict-on-new-today-show-line-up-it-won-t-work">shared his verdict</a> on the new-look format. “I don’t think it will [work],” Denyer said on his radio show Grant, Ed &amp; Ash Monday morning.</p> <p>“What you’ve got to remember is that breakfast TV is entertainment first – it’s bright lights, it’s bright colours, there’s cash cows, there’s money being thrown at you as a viewer … it’s a poker machine, is what it is,” he said.</p> <p>“So, you’ve now got two very experienced, serious, wonderful interviewers (Deb Knight and Georgie Gardner) – incredible journalists – but you don’t have entertainers.”</p> <p>What do you think of <em>Today</em>’s new line-up? Have you tuned in? Share your thoughts in the comments.</p>

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Lleyton Hewitt breaks his silence over Bernard Tomic attack

<p>Lleyton Hewitt has snapped back at Bernard Tomic’s criticism of his Davis Cup captaincy. Tomic, when asked on Monday whether or not he would be available to play in the Davis Cup, had some interesting things to say about Hewitt’s captaincy.</p> <p>Tomic said: <span>"It's all Lleyton. I'm going to say it honestly, no-one likes him anymore. </span></p> <p>"He's just doing the wrong thing. He's playing Davis Cup, I thought he was retired. He's playing all these matches and stuff like this. You know what I mean?</p> <p>"He used to hate Tennis Australia. It's weird. And now he loves them. What's happened here?"</p> <p>However, the comments haven’t gotten to Hewitt. He broke his silence and told Channel Nine: <span>"I had a bit of a laugh actually. </span></p> <p>"It's kind of Bernie being Bernie, especially after a loss last night and going in and complaining about a few things.</p> <p>"So, for me, I kind of just laugh it off and move forward."</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7822755/bernard-tomic.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/d66775febc7148838f631f708b867585" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Bernard Tomic at the Australian Open.</em></p> <p>Depsite Tomic specifically naming other Aussie players who were frustrated with Hewitt, such as Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis, Hewitt wasn’t worried by those comments either.</p> <p>"Those boys [Kyrgios and Kokkinakis] are going on for big matches today … we've spoken before the Australian Open and we will continue to speak after the Australian Open leading into the Davis Cup tie.</p> <p>"For me, I love being a part and helping the Australian players as much as possible."</p> <p>However, Hewitt made a point to say that things might have been overshadowed by Tomic’s comments.</p> <p>"I guess the disappointing thing [was] that the Aussies had such a great day yesterday, on both the men's and women's side," Hewitt elaborated.</p> <p>"It probably got overshadowed by Bernie's comments."</p> <p>With eight Australian players advancing to the second round of the men’s and women’s draws on the first day of the Australian Open, it’s shaping up to be an interesting start to the grand slam tournament.</p> <p>Have you been watching the Australian Open? Let us know in the comments.</p>

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Travel

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5 Cruise Myths Debunked

<p>When we travel, we experience the unfamiliar, dust away ‘the ordinary’ from our lives and shake off preconceptions we’ve gathered along the way.<br /><br />Yet, when it comes to cruises, many of us cling to preconceptions.<br /><br />However, today’s cruise ships are filled with unusual quirks, ready for every kind of modern adventurer. So we’re here to take you on a journey across the seven seas.</p> <p><strong>1. Cruises are for ‘oldies’ and are just plain old-fashioned</strong></p> <p>If you still believe this, chances are you’re not as with the times as you might like to think.</p> <p>Many cruise liners are trading in feather-flapping cabarets and dinners at the captain’s table for rockclimbing, assault courses and simulation surfing.</p> <p>In fact, cruises are swiftly becoming hubs of cutting-edge digital innovation.</p> <p>Robot bartenders shake and stir guests’ cocktails aboard select ships; free smartphone apps onboard have become de rigueur; and one liner recently launched a tech-bracelet with more than 130 smart features, including an app enabling you to tailor your cruise every step of the way for a truly 21st-century experience.</p> <p><strong>2. They’re crowded and ‘touristy’</strong></p> <p>As the world shrinks, new and unique travel experiences are increasingly harder to come by.</p> <p>Cruise ships are adapting to these demands, creating never-before-seen itineraries that leave the crowds far behind.</p> <p>Trace the forgotten Spice Route, through ancient jungles and along white beaches, past crumbling monasteries and deserted cave temples, backwater fishing villages and local bazaars.</p> <p>Discover Namibia’s German heritage, Benin’s voodoo traditions and Ghana’s dark slavery sites.</p> <p>Visit nomadic communities in Madagascar and venture out to tiny Pacific islands, where some of the world’s most fascinating indigenous cultures can still be found.</p> <p><strong>3. It’s boring being stuck at sea</strong></p> <p>Because you can align your cruise to your interests so perfectly these days, if you’re bored on a cruise it’s because you’ve picked the wrong one.</p> <p>Choose the right cruise and you can finally do all those things you’ve always wanted to as you drift between destinations.</p> <p>Think scuba diving or wine tasting, photography or yoga.</p> <p>Some ships have theme parks, water slides and zip lines, and you can skydive without even going ashore.</p> <p><strong>4. Isn’t the food a little dull?</strong></p> <p>Bland buffets are a thing of the past.</p> <p>Today’s cruises serve up a treat for all the senses.</p> <p>Embark on excursions to local markets, ranches and farms to source fresh ingredients for cooking classes back on board.</p> <p>You can hop aboard cruise and enjoy world-class menus from famous chefs such as Curtis Stone, gastropub guru Ernesto Uchimura and many more.</p> <p><strong>5. I’ll have to get used to seasickness</strong></p> <p>Unlike that little old sailboat in the marina, cruise ships, large or small, are equipped with specialised stabilisers that take almost all of the motion out of the ocean.</p> <p>Once settled on board, you’re likely to forget you’re even afloat.</p> <p>Booking a cabin in the middle of a deck and lower in the ship, at its natural balance point, can help settle any pre-cruise fears further, despite it being extremely unlikely you will become seasick aboard in the first place.</p> <p><em>Written by Reader's Digest. This article first appeared in<span> </span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/5-cruise-myths-debunked">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine,<span> </span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

Cruising

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Top tips for travelling with hearing difficulties

<p>Planning a trip can be stressful — especially for the one in three Australians over 55 with hearing difficulties. But hearing loss is no reason to avoid travel; by planning ahead and managing the problem early, you can set yourself up for a safe, worry-free, enjoyable trip.</p> <p><strong>How could untreated hearing loss impact you on holiday?</strong></p> <ul> <li>Making reservations over the phone could turn into a frustrating task</li> <li>You could miss airline boarding and in-flight announcements</li> <li>You might not hear hotel room-service knocking on your door</li> <li>You could find it hard to follow dialogue during guided tours or live performances</li> <li>Understanding foreign accents could be even harder</li> <li>It could prove impossible to hold a conversation in cafes or restaurants.</li> </ul> <p>Coupled with some clever listening techniques, a reliable and adjustable hearing aid is one of the best ways to manage a hearing difficulty on holiday. Hearing aids take the hassle out of planning and ensure smooth sailing throughout your trip. Just ask Australian sailor Angus Lockheart.</p> <p>Angus has sailed thousands of nautical miles in and outside Australian waters. He’s been living on a yacht with his wife for more than five years. “A yacht’s living space is much smaller than a house, and a couple spend more time together,” said Angus.</p> <p>But as his hearing loss increased, so too did his wife’s frustration at having to constantly repeat herself. With his living quarters tightening in on him, Angus finally ordered a pair of Blamey Saunders hearing aids online. They were posted to a port for him to collect, perfectly programmed using his results from Blamey Saunders hears’ online hearing test.</p> <p>“The difference is amazing!” Angus said. (And Mrs. Lockheart is pretty happy too.)</p> <p>When flying to your dream destination, you can wear hearing aids through airport security screenings and on your flight without any damage to your devices or discomfort to you. But people with impaired hearing can’t sit in exit row seats for safety reasons, so double check the seat on your ticket and notify your flight attendant.</p> <p>Back on land, outback traveller David Lloyd has visited some of Australia’s most remote deserts with hearing aids but says not all aids are created equal. “The first problem that I faced was feedback when flies flew past, but I was able to stop that happening,” said David, who recently switched to a hearing aid that can be adjusted to suit any environment using a program on his smartphone.</p> <p>Travellers should look for a hearing aid that has self-adjustment capabilities, such as Blamey Saunders aids, which allows you to adjust your settings on the go — using an app on your smartphone or Windows computer.</p> <p>For additional support, Blamey Saunders hearing aid users can contact the company’s telehealth team by phone or email. The team can even adjust a person’s hearing aid settings for them remotely, making things easier for people in remote areas.</p> <p><strong>Managing your hearing difficulties while travelling:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Print itineraries, maps, reservation numbers, and tickets in advance</li> <li>You can usually rely on the terminal display for boarding information but it’s a good idea to ask a staff member to notify you when it’s time to board</li> <li>Inform your flight attendant of your hearing loss and ask that any in-flight announcements are repeated to you in person</li> <li>If background noise is an issue, you can try strategies; such as choosing to sit in the least noisy part of a restaurant, or adjusting your hearing aid to a directional setting</li> </ul> <p><strong>Looking after your hearing aids while travelling:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Always remove your hearing aids when you swim. Most are water resistant but are not designed to withstand full immersion</li> <li>Keep your hearing aids in a drying jar whenever you’re not using them, especially when holidaying in a hot climate, as sweat can damage a hearing aid’s delicate circuitry</li> <li>If you take out travel insurance, make sure it covers your hearing aids</li> <li>Make sure you have enough batteries to last your trip, and store them in a safe place, away from sun and moisture and out of reach of pets and children</li> </ul> <p><strong>Has your hearing ever affected your travel plans? Let us know in the comments.</strong></p> <p><em>Written by Mahsa Fratantoni. Republished with permission of <span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/top-tips-for-travellers-with-hearing-difficulties.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></span></em><strong> </strong></p>

Travel Tips

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Woman's genius travel hack for packing undies

<p>Packing for a holiday is already hard enough as it is, and usually ends up one of two ways: you either pack enough clothes for a two-week trip to last you 12 years, or you end up with hardly any clothes because you decided one t-shirt would be enough.</p> <p>But if you’re Karina Judd, you wouldn’t have that problem. The savvy genius took to Facebook group, Meme Queens, to share her clever travel hack. One that requires scientific calculations and mathematical formulas to help you figure out how many pairs of underwear you need to take when you travel abroad.</p> <p>It started when one member of the group posted this:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 383.6477987421384px;" src="/media/7822762/2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/3f0e96a98f174ffa8775b51944647994" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Photo: Facebook/Meme Queen</p> <p>To lend a helping hand, Karina posted this to share her incredible travel hack.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 383.6477987421384px;" src="/media/7822761/1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ab337064919547ebaf85749f4b919ded" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Photo: Facebook/Meme Queen</p> <p>And if you aren’t quick with numbers, she also created an <a rel="noopener" href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19OozLIzUI5vsFGB81qYOoTlDr_lkAi4LdIC5Jjcfjwc/edit#gid=0" target="_blank">online spreadsheet</a> that does all the work for you. The only thing you need to do is enter how many days you plan on being away and other tiny details.</p> <p>So before you head off on your dream vacation, try out Karina’s <a rel="noopener" href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19OozLIzUI5vsFGB81qYOoTlDr_lkAi4LdIC5Jjcfjwc/edit#gid=0" target="_blank">spreadsheet</a> to help make your life a whole lot easier.</p> <p>Will you be trying out this nifty packing hack? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Travel Tips

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Get ready for the worst heatwave in 8 years – horror conditions

<p>Experts have issued a warning against the extreme horror heatwave that has hit parts of the country this week, as they say there is “no reprieve” from the record-breaking temperatures.</p> <p>Sydney is forecasted for an intense 40C on Wednesday, which is just a small taste of the 45C expected to hit the city on Friday. Canberra may reach tops of 41C today while regional New South Wales should prepare themselves for 45C.</p> <p>On Tuesday, Hay, in western New South Wales, almost reached an extreme 48C.</p> <p>And the heat does not discriminate, as forecasters have warned people about the risk the heat poses as even those who are healthy can be severely affected by the hotter-than-normal temperatures.</p> <p>The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has stated that the coming week will see “oppressive conditions”, and while you may say that these conditions are expected for summertime, these temperatures are something entirely different.</p> <p>According to the NSW Health Department, this is the worst heat the state has experienced for a long period of time since 2011, when a heatwave was responsible for a mortality rate of 13 per cent and an increase in hospital admissions by 14 per cent.</p> <p>With Adelaide reaching a maximum of 40C today, Melbourne and Tasmania will be cooling off, as a breeze coming from the sea will provide some relief from the burning conditions.</p> <p>But despite the comfortable weather in Melbourne, not every area of Victoria will experience the same luck, as Bendigo is expected to hit 43C today.</p> <p>Perth can expect a forecast of 40C towards the weekend.</p> <p>Diana Eadie, meteorologist for BOM, claims the majority of the country should expect an intense heatwave.</p> <p>“Temperatures are expected to climb into the low to high 40s – that’s eight to 12 degrees above average.</p> <p>“We’ve already seen some January maximum temperature records fall and we’re likely to see many more before the event is over,” she told <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/recordbreaking-conditions-as-extreme-heatwave-conditions/news-story/e85681a6b3417fcf6ee642fe41649218" target="_blank">news.com.au</a>.</em></p> <p>“The humidity will lead to really oppressive conditions.”</p> <p>Authorities have reminded everyone on the importance of staying hydrated during these extreme conditions and to make sure to check in on vulnerable friends, family and neighbours.</p> <p>They have also warned to not leave children and pets in hot vehicles.</p> <p>South Australia has issued a Code Red heat emergency for Wednesday. The system provides an increased amount of funding for those who are homeless and will also enforce a check up on the elderly and those who are vulnerable to the extreme temperatures.</p> <p>What will you be doing to stay cool during this extreme heatwave? Tell us in the comments below. </p>

Travel Trouble

Health

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What your zodiac sign reveals about your health

<p>We spoke with professional astrologer Suzanne Gerber to get her opinion of how your sign might impact your health.</p> <p><strong>Aries (March 21-April 19)</strong></p> <p>The ram sign is unsurprisingly all about your noggin.</p> <p>If you experience pain up there, you might want to check out these home remedies for headaches.</p> <p>“Aries rules the head and is prone to headaches and migraines,” explains US-based professional astrologer Suzanne Gerber.</p> <p>“Especially the kind brought on by stress, which can also cause tight jaws or TMJ.”</p> <p><strong>Taurus (April 20-May 20)</strong></p> <p>“Taurus rules the throat, as well as organs and glands associated with that region,” says Gerber.</p> <p>She suggests that Taurus sun signs are particularly sensitive to weather changes and should stock up on scarves and sore throat remedies.</p> <p><strong>Gemini (May 21-June 20)</strong></p> <p>“Gemini is the zodiac sign that rules the shoulders, arms, and hands, as well as the nervous system,” says Gerber.</p> <p>“The high-energy sign thrives on communication but can develop problems in these areas, as well as colds, as a result of the ‘too much of a good thing’ syndrome.</p> <p>Those who spend a lot of time on electronic devices are prone to repetitive strain injuries, like carpal tunnel.”</p> <p><strong>Cancer (June 21-July 22)</strong></p> <p>Gerber says, “Cancer is the sensitive water sign that rules the chest, stomach, and breasts, and has to stay on guard for mood swings, depression, and emotional eating.”</p> <p>She adds that, “Blocked feelings can result in digestive woes, acid reflux (GERD) and weight gain.</p> <p>"Getting a handle on their emotions is key for Cancers!”</p> <p><strong>Leo (July 23-August 22)</strong></p> <p>“Leo is the proud monarch of the jungle and needs to be seen and appreciated,” says Gerber.</p> <p>“Their sign is associated with the back, heart, and blood, and when they’re out of balance, they can develop back problems, high blood pressure, or irregular heartbeats,” explains Gerber.</p> <p>“Meditation and giving without strings attached are their best medicine!”</p> <p><strong>Virgo (August 23-September 22)</strong></p> <p>“Virgo, the highest-energy earth sign, is associated with the intestines and digestion. They’re fussy eaters, predisposed to food allergies, eating disorders, ulcers and IBS,” shares Gerber.</p> <p>“Any exercise or practices that slow them down will be salubrious!”</p> <p><strong>Libra (September 23-October 22)</strong></p> <p>“Libras are associated with the skin, adrenals, kidneys and bladder—organs that eliminate fluid waste,” says Gerber.</p> <p>“As epicureans and seekers of balance, they’re susceptible to overdoing things and can suffer from either diarrhea or constipation.”</p> <p>She stresses the importance of keeping Libra zodiac signs well hydrated to keep things “moving.”</p> <p><strong>Scorpio (October 23-November 21)</strong></p> <p>According to Suzanne, “Scorpio rules the reproductive and elimination organs. As an intense water sign that can dwell on the dark side of life, their moods can bring on or exacerbate conditions that have to do with menstrual cycles, bathroom issues, hormones, and diabetes.”</p> <p>Gerber suggests Scorpios with these issues should deal directly and candidly with negative emotions.</p> <p><strong>Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)</strong></p> <p>“This zodiac sign is the half-human, half-horse Archer,” relates Gerber.</p> <p>"This sign rules the hips, thighs, and vision. It’s a rash and expansive sign, and can be accident-prone. They also need to watch over-consumption of alcohol and other things they know aren’t so good for them. Problems with the hips, sciatic nerve, and eyes are notable.”</p> <p>Sagittarius may be tons of fun, but they’re most likely to have klutz-alert horoscope listings.</p> <p><strong>Capricorn (December 22-January 19)</strong></p> <p>“Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, the planet of structure. As such, it’s associated with the bones, knees, teeth, and joints, making these weak spots,” says Gerber.</p> <p>“A diet rich in calcium and the vitamins and minerals needed to absorb it is essential. Regular bodywork can help them work out the accumulated tension.”</p> <p>She suggests exploring the many benefits of massage, as well as making sure you’re getting enough calcium.</p> <p><strong>Aquarius (January 20-February 18)</strong></p> <p>“Aquarius marches to his or her own drummer, but nevertheless has weak lower legs, ankles, and circulation,” according to Gerber.</p> <p>Eating circulation-helping foods is a good start for Aquarius signs, she says, adding that,</p> <p>“They’re prone to sprains and strains in these areas, as well as edema, varicose veins and blood-flow issues.”</p> <p><strong>Pisces (February 19-March 20)</strong></p> <p>“Pisces, the super-sensitive water sign, rules the feet and can experience pain and problems in that area. This zodiac sign also rules the immune system and reflexes,” shares Gerber.</p> <p><em>Written by Bryce Gruber. This article first appeared in <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/what-your-zodiac-reveals-about-your-health">Reader’s Digest</a></span>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V">here’s our best subscription offer</a></span>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

Mind

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7 silent signs you may have clogged arteries

<p><span>Preventing heart disease in patients is my main goal, but early detection is the next best thing.<br /></span></p> <p><span>This can lead to changes in lifestyle and medical therapies that can delay or deny the onset of a heart attack; almost 80 percent of heart disease is preventable with lifestyle changes.</span><br /><br /><span>Many of my patients are shocked to learn about the following clues to underlying clogged arteries and heart disease.</span></p> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-title field-type-text field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item even"><strong>1. Erectile dysfunction (ED)</strong></div> <div class="field-item even"> <p>Men have a built-in warning system for silent CHD.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-name-field-slide-image field-type-image field-label-hidden"> <div class="field-items"> <p>When achieving an erection is difficult or impossible, it can be a sign of clogged arteries in the pelvis that presents before a heart attack hits.</p> <p>There are, on average, three to five years between the onset of ED and the finding of CHD, which is plenty of time to detect and to work on preventing heart issues.</p> <p>If you and your partner are worried about sexual performance, look for and treat root causes of diseased arteries before just popping a blue pill.</p> <p><strong>2. Baldness</strong></p> <p>In a comprehensive new study of almost 37,000 men, severe baldness at the crown of the head strongly predicted the presence of silent CHD at any age.</p> <p>In a separate study of more than 7,000 people (including over 4,000 women), moderate to severe baldness doubled the risk of dying from heart disease in both sexes.</p> <p><strong>3. Ear crease</strong></p> <p>One of the stranger markers, a crease in your earlobe (specifically, an angled crease in the ear that runs diagonally from the canal to the lower edge of the earlobe) has been mentioned in medical research reports as a sign of silent CHD for decades.</p> <p>The ear crease may result from poor circulation, including in arteries in the heart.</p> <p>Although some medical professionals have argued that a crease is just a general sign of aging, researchers used the most sophisticated CT scan method to measure silent CHD and found that ear crease predicted heart disease even after the authors accounted for other risk factors, such as age and smoking.</p> <p><strong>4. Calf pain when you walk</strong></p> <p>This is known as claudication (from the Latin for “to limp”).</p> <p>Atherosclerosis can block leg arteries, particularly in smokers, before CHD is diagnosed.</p> <p>This symptom requires an evaluation without delay. Your doctor will examine the pulses in your legs and perform simple measurements of leg blood pressure and blood flow to confirm a diagnosis of poor circulation.</p> <p>It is critical that heart disease be diagnosed as early as possible because there are many dietary and medical treatments that can help reverse the issue.</p> <p>Some of my patients took these early clues to heart. I advised them to eat more plant-based foods and fewer animal products and to start a walking program.</p> <p>Their calf pain completely resolved within weeks and has not recurred for years.</p> <p>Anyone with any of the above signs of silent CHD should know his or her numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol, fasting glucose). Ask your doctor if you should be checked for heart disease with an EKG, a coronary calcium CT imaging, or an exercise stress testing.</p> <p>To borrow from Ben Franklin, an ounce of prevention (plus a bowl of kale) is worth a pound of cure.</p> <p>High blood pressure damages your blood vessels, heart and eyes while also increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia and kidney disease.</p> <p><strong>5. A tight jaw</strong></p> <p>This symptom of clogged arteries occurs more often in women, but men should be aware of it, too.</p> <p>ccording to the Harvard Medical School, aches and pains in the jaw and neck are common symptoms of angina, which is the discomfort that comes as a result of poor blood flow to part of the heart.</p> <p>The pain occurs because the main nerve that carries pain signals from the heart, the vagus nerve, is in constant contact with the neck, jaw, head, and left arm.</p> <p>Visit your doctor to find out if your jaw pain is the result of something benign, such are teeth grinding, or if it’s something you’ll want to monitor with caution. </p> <p><strong>6. Lower back pain</strong></p> <p>Your lower back pain might not be a simple sign of ageing muscles.</p> <p>According to the Physicians Community for Responsible Medicine, the lower back is also often one of the first parts of the body to accumulate plaque.</p> <p>You’ll feel pain because the reduced blood flow to the area can weaken the disks that cushion the vertebrae.</p> <p><strong>7. A smoking habit</strong></p> <p>As we all know by now, smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your health.</p> <p>And according to WebMD, quitting is one of the best things you can do to decrease your chance of CHD.</p> <p><em>Written by Joel K. Kahn, MD. This article first appeared in<span> </span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/7-silent-signs-you-may-have-clogged-arteries">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine,<span> </span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p> </div> </div>

Body

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10 favourite facts you’ve always believed that are actually false

<p>Here, the world’s most contagious myths and misconceptions – debunked.</p> <p><strong>1. Napoleon was short</strong></p> <p>A tall tale. At five six, he was actually slightly above average height for a Frenchman of the time.</p> <p>Just as his military genius has been studied throughout the years, we've also been fascinated with the life – and quirks – of the first emperor of France.</p> <p><strong>2. Don’t eat and swim</strong></p> <p>This doesn’t increase the risk of cramps; alcohol is the biggest risk increaser. But a full stomach will make you short of breath.</p> <p><strong>3. Salty water boils quicker</strong></p> <p>Adding a sprinkle of salt to water makes no difference. </p> <p>It can actually make boiling take longer.</p> <p>It is important for dishes that need to cook for a long time, that your pot or pan has a good-quality heavy base to distribute the heat evenly.</p> <p><strong>4. Oil stops stuck pasta</strong></p> <p>Nope. It’ll only make it greasy. Stirring prevents sticking.</p> <p><strong>5. Left and right brain</strong></p> <p>There’s no solid division between the talents of each hemisphere; the left brain can learn “right-brain skills” and vice versa.</p> <p><strong>6. Dropped coins kill</strong></p> <p>Terminal velocity of a standard penny is 18 to 30 kilometres per hour. Not fast enough to kill – but it sure would sting.</p> <p>Back in the day, putting a coin or other hard, flat object on a baby’s belly to help to heal an umbilical hernia was a common practice.</p> <p><strong>7. Three wise men</strong></p> <p>Nowhere in the Bible does it specify that there were three.</p> <p>Want to know something freaky? In the Bible, it is significant that Noah led seven pairs of all clean animals, one pair of every unclean animal and seven pairs of birds into the ark.</p> <p>When the flood subsided, God, who had created the world in seven days, sent a redeeming rainbow with seven colours.</p> <p><strong>8. MSG = Headaches</strong></p> <p>There’s no scientific proof—just anecdotal evidence implicating monosodium glutamate.</p> <p><strong>9. Dogs sweat by salivating</strong></p> <p>No—they regulate temperature through panting. They actually sweat through their footpads.</p> <p><strong>10 Great Wall of China</strong></p> <p>It’s not visible from space. No single human structure is visible from orbit, but you can see cities at night.</p> <p><em>Written by David McCandless and Brandon Specktor. This article first appeared in <a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/true-stories-lifestyle/thought-provoking/51-favourite-facts-youve-always-believed-are-actually">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

Mind

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Duchess Meghan finally confirms her due date

<div> <div class="replay"> <div class="reply_body body linkify"> <div class="reply_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Duchess Meghan has revealed her due date in her first public engagement for the new year with the Duke of Sussex.</p> <p>The pair were spotted in Birkenhead, Merseyside, on Monday to meet with local organisations that support groups in the community.</p> <p>As Meghan made her way through the crowd, she stopped to talk with fans, who excitedly asked when her due date was.</p> <p>"We asked her how her pregnancy was going and she said she was six months and she tapped her tummy," Carla Gandy from Wallasey told <a rel="noopener" href="https://people.com/royals/meghan-markle-due-date-first-child-prince-harry/" target="_blank">PEOPLE</a>.</p> <p><em>Hello</em>'s royal correspondent Emily Nash also revealed the Duchess told other well-wishers who had congregated in the town’s Hamilton Square that she is due in late April or early May.<span></span></p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7822741/gettyimages-1082804406.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/afed59ee2e4743f881ca4efeed34224b" /></p> <p>Meghan met another expectant mum during their visit to Number 7, which is a café and supermarket that offers discounted products to those in need.</p> <p>Angel Midgeley, 27, was presented with a basket and hamper full of baby clothes and toiletries.</p> <p>"I would say that I would lift it for you, but neither of us should be lifting right now," Meghan remarked before asking when Midgely, 27, is due.</p> <p>She then responded, "So soon! Doesn't it fly by?"</p> <p>The duo aren’t aware of the baby’s sex, as they want to keep it a surprise. When eager fans asked what the gender was, Meghan responded: <span>"We don't know. We're keeping it a surprise – whichever way, we'll be thrilled with the outcome."</span></p> <p>Are you excited about the arrival of another royal baby? Did you keep the gender of your baby a secret until you gave birth? Let us know in the comments.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

Body

Lifestyle

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8 cat breeds with the friendliest personalities

<p>Every cat lover knows the stereotype: Cats are aloof, indifferent, and moody. But there are some breeds that are known in the animal-loving community for being more social and affectionate. These are the cat breeds that experts say make the friendliest pets.</p> <p><strong>1. Maine Coon</strong></p> <p>There’s a reason these cats have the nickname “gentle giants”. While larger than the average cat – they usually range in size from nine to 18 pounds – experts note that they tend to be big softies.</p> <p>Their meow is a high-pitched, light sound, often surprising to hear coming from such a massive fur ball.</p> <p>These friendly cat breeds also generally get along great with humans and other cats alike, making them ideal choices for multi-pet households.</p> <p>“[Maine Coons’] sweet natures and playful silliness are a delight to have around,” says Patricia Washburn, author of <em>Self-Care for Cats (And Their Humans)</em>.</p> <p><strong>2. Burmese</strong></p> <p>A majestic-looking feline originally from southeast Asia, the Burmese is a great choice if you want a cat that’ll cuddle up in your lap.</p> <p>Relatively small in size but often stocky, these friendly cat breeds love curling up for a snuggle, and they have no problem letting their humans know when they want attention.</p> <p>“Burmese cats are exceptionally affectionate,” says Bruce Silverman, VMD, a practicing vet at Chicago’s Village West Veterinary.</p> <p>“This has actually been very consistent with the Burmese during their vet visits.”</p> <p><strong>3. Siamese</strong></p> <p>They may be villainous, scheming characters in Disney’s <em>Lady and the Tramp</em>, but don’t let that fool you – Siamese cats are truly kind kitties!</p> <p>Animal expert and communicator Libby Brittain praises Siamese cats as “inquisitive and intelligent”.</p> <p>Aloof, these cats are not – they’re known as one of the most curious breeds, if not the most curious, and often take interest in what their humans are up to. </p> <p>One thing that Brittain notes, though, is that Siamese are one of the most vocal cat breeds, so much so that “you can carry on a conversation” with them.</p> <p>While some cat owners love that, others might prefer a less noisy pet.</p> <p><strong>4. Bombay</strong></p> <p>Who says black cats are bad luck?</p> <p>These black beauties make great companions and, despite being nicknamed “the miniature panther,” they tend to be far more pal than predator.</p> <p>In fact, Washburn calls them “gorgeous creatures who are often great with kids,” and they’re known for being friendly cat breeds that get along with owners and strangers alike.</p> <p><strong>5. Persian</strong></p> <p>These fluffy white felines might be the chosen companions of Bond villains, and while it is true that Persians generally love being held and pampered, the bad-guy association doesn’t hold up.</p> <p>“Just like their sweet faces, this breed is gentle and loves returning affection that they are given,” says Rachel Barrack, DVM, founder of <em><a href="http://www.animalacupuncture.com/">Animal Acupuncture</a></em>.</p> <p>She notes that, while they love a good cuddle, they tend not to be particularly rambunctious or playful.</p> <p>But while they may not make the best choice for people looking for a peppy pet, they’re an affectionate companion for those seeking something a little more laidback.</p> <p><strong>6. Exotic Shorthair</strong></p> <p>Exotic Shorthairs are directly related to Persians ­– they were bred to be a mix of Persians and American Shorthairs.</p> <p>As such, they’re similar to Persians in both looks and personality. Since their short coats require significantly less grooming than Persians’ ample fur, they’re often touted as ideal alternatives to Persians for people with busier schedules.</p> <p>As for disposition, “Exotic Shorthairs are very friendly and … seem to become very loyal to at least one of the humans they live with,” Emily Parker, cat behaviour expert at <em><a href="https://www.catological.com/">Catological</a></em>, told <em>RD.com</em>.</p> <p>On the flip side, though, Barrack notes that Exotic Shorthairs may not immediately be friendly to people they don’t know.</p> <p>“Sometimes it takes this breed a bit of time to warm up to strangers, but these cats are loyal and dedicated pets,” Barrack says.</p> <p><strong>7. Ragdoll</strong></p> <p>Most cat people know exactly how the Ragdoll cat got its name: When a human picks it up, it’ll go limp like a rag doll.</p> <p>But there’s far more to Ragdolls than just passive balls of fur – these friendly cat breeds love to play with their trusted humans and have been known to even come when they’re called.</p> <p>“They’re super affectionate and love to follow their people around,” Washburn told RD.com.</p> <p><strong>8. Abyssinian</strong></p> <p>If you’re looking for a playful, spunky cat with a great personality, these tawny-coloured cats make a purr-fect choice.</p> <p>Known for being boisterous and active, the Abyssinian “loves activities, is super playful, and loves people of ALL ages – young kids included,” according to Barrack.</p> <p><em>Written by Meghan Jones. This article first appeared in <span><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/pets/8-cat-breeds-friendliest-personalities?items_per_page=All">Reader’s Digest</a></span>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V">here’s our best subscription offer</a></span>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

Family & Pets

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5 secrets of super happy couples

<p>There are at least three pressure areas in relationships once couples are aged 50+, says <a href="http://couplestherapyaustralia.com/">Peter Fox</a>, couples therapist. If we can control the A.B.C. of relationship isssues then we are at least off to a great start.</p> <p><strong>A) Financial pressure: </strong>This can affect couples in their second marriage more so than those in their first. The former have to re-build their finances including superannuation, and recoup losses from the family home, for example. As a result the couple becomes time-poor during a period in which they crave quality time together.</p> <p><strong>B) Step-family or blended-family relationships: </strong>The children in the family can be from a wide range of ages and each responds to a new family set up differently. Sometimes grown up children from the first family become estranged. Each generation of children is dealing with multiple new relationships and these can require a great deal of attention and management. Whatever the situation is, how does the couple at the head of the family find time for each other?</p> <p><strong>C) Chronic illness: </strong>Fox says new pressures arrive when one member of the couple, sometimes the one who had previously been the main decision maker, develops a chronic illness. As a result of the illness, their roles must reverse. A similar relationship turning point occurs when the previous main breadwinner is made redundant and becomes financially dependent on their spouse. A crisis of relevance may accompany this.</p> <p>The great news is that there is plenty that people can do, even if they’re in a perfectly healthy relationship, to increase happiness in their 'togetherness'.</p> <p>Here, we look at long-term changes you can start to implement in order to help support a happy relationship.</p> <p><strong>Tip 1: Prepare for ‘longevity risk’ </strong></p> <p>Most people anticipate an active life until the age of 75, but 75 is now considered to be young. In Australia, people have a good chance of living to 90 and beyond, and of staying healthy and active until that time. But do they have finances in place to take them through to that age? Looking ahead and planning for the future can be one of the keys to maintaining romantic love.</p> <p>“Plan financially and practically for the possibility of being alive and together and healthy until you’re beyond 90 and that will take away a lot of the stress couples can experience as they age,” Fox says. “It’s not just about finances, but also being close to family, in a suitable house and having access to support.”</p> <p><strong>Tip 2: Cultivate younger friendships </strong></p> <p>“We have a tendency to grow old around other people of the same age,” Fox says. “This means we all face the same difficulties and require the same sort of support at the same time. If your kids are busy, or are not nearby, it really helps to have someone younger who can drop in, check you’re okay and help out with the shopping.”</p> <p>A good relationship with people in a younger generation, Fox adds, can also be stimulating. It can help keep a relationship young and lively and inspire change and passion. “It keeps your outlook young, and that can be of real benefit to a relationship,” he says.</p> <p><strong>Tip 3: Get your shared priorities straight </strong></p> <p>How often do you find you’re distracted by responsibility for your grandchildren, or by other activities not directly related to your relationship? And are you sure that you’re on the same page in terms of how you feel about specific activities?</p> <p>Fox tells a story of a couple he counselled. The wife thought she was a long way down her husband’s list of priorities because he was always in the garage working on the car. He felt he was putting her at the top of the list because the car was to take them on a trip around Australia.</p> <p>“Have a check-in every few months about your real priorities and whether they are in alignment,” Fox says. “Figure out what it is in your life that is distracting you from those real priorities as a couple, and what you can do to re-balance. Often what couples say their priorities are and what their activities indicate are quite different.”</p> <p><strong>Tip 4: Enjoy your lives apart </strong></p> <p>This is simply ensuring you have a separate life and interests.</p> <p>“Make sure there is something in your life that you do away from your partner, and that you are truly passionate about,” Fox recommends. “If you are passionate about something then it brings a great deal of stimulation back into the relationship.”</p> <p>And it’s not just a feel-good suggestion, Fox says. A hobby or some other activity also introduces other vital ingredients into a relationship. It’s no secret, for instance, that a healthy social network is a great contributor to health and happiness. If you are able to introduce each other to new networks via your individual passions then it will be enormously beneficial to your relationship.</p> <p><strong>Tip 5: Share a leisure activity</strong></p> <p>The flipside to the previous point is that you should also share an activity you are both passionate about. Fox regularly sees a large group of kayakers in his local area heading off to yet another social or competitive event. Many are 50+, couples who paddle two-seater kayaks.</p> <p>“This ticks all the boxes,” Fox says. “They have shared leisure, develop a social network, and get out in the fresh air for some great exercise.”</p> <p>What are your secrets to a happy relationship? Let us know in the comments section below.</p> <p><em>Written by Chris Sheedy. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/relationships/5-secrets-of-super-happy-couples.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

Relationships

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Broccolini and chorizo chimichurri rolls

<p><strong>Time to prepare: </strong>20 minutes</p> <p><strong>Cooking time: </strong>10 minutes</p> <p><strong>Serves: </strong>4</p> <p><strong>Ingredients:</strong></p> <ul> <li>1 bunch broccolini, roughly chopped</li> <li>6 minicaps baby capsicums, halved, thinly sliced</li> <li>2 truss tomatoes, quartered, seed removed, diced</li> <li>½ small red onion, finely chopped</li> <li>4 chorizo, sliced</li> <li>4 soft long rolls, warmed</li> </ul> <p><strong>Chimichurri mayo</strong></p> <ul> <li>1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves</li> <li>⅔ cup coriander leaves</li> <li>1 garlic clove, crushed</li> <li>1 long green chilli, chopped</li> <li>2 tbs olive oil</li> <li>1 tbs red wine vinegar</li> <li>⅔ cup whole egg mayonnaise</li> </ul> <p><strong>Directions:</strong></p> <p>1. To make the mayonnaise, combine the parsley, coriander, garlic and chilli in a food processor. Process until finely chopped then transfer to a small bowl. Stir in oil and vinegar. Remove 2 tbs to a large bowl and set aside. Add the mayonnaise to the small bowl, season and mix well.</p> <p>2. Add the tomato, minicaps and red onion to the reserved sauce in the large bowl and stir gently to combine.</p> <p>3. Add the chorizo to a large, non-stick frying pan. Place over a medium-high heat. Cook, shaking the pan often for 4-5 minutes, or until light golden. Add the broccolini and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until tender.</p> <p>4. To serve, cut the rolls lengthways down the centre without cutting all the way through. Spread both sides of each roll with some chimichurri mayo. Divide the broccolini and chorizo between the rolls. Top with the tomato mixture. Serve with remaining mayo.</p> <p><em>Hero image courtesy of Wyza. Republished with permission of <span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/recipes/broccolini-and-chorizo-chimichurri-rolls.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></span></em></p>

Food & Wine

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5 ways to earn more stable investment income

<p>Fixed interest investments have traditionally been an attractive option for investors who are looking for a steady income stream. There are many types to choose, each with varying risks and benefits, so you need to be careful in choosing which is right for you.</p> <p>The summary below may help you compare the merits of various fixed interest options and we also take a look at a “new kid on the block” that is catching the eye of many investors looking for healthier returns.</p> <p><strong>Government bonds</strong></p> <p>Government bonds have long been a mainstay for fixed interest investors, thanks to the attraction of their high security. A government bond is effectively a loan you are making to the government with an agreed interest rate and fixed term. The fact that the government guarantees the return of your principal at maturity makes them safe and reliable, but the interest rates are generally quite modest. Government bonds usually need to be purchased through your broker.</p> <p><strong>Peer-to-peer lending</strong></p> <p>Peer-to-peer lending is a relatively new concept in Australia and holds appeal to investors who are looking for new fixed interest opportunities. The big attraction in comparison to the other alternatives described here is that they offer investors attractive returns by providing them direct access to the previously hard-to-access asset classes of consumer and business credit.</p> <p>Peer-to-peer lenders match people who have money to invest directly with people who are looking for a loan. This is done using an online platform, which effectively bypasses the need for a traditional financial institution.</p> <p>Investors get the potential to achieve higher returns while being able to control the level of risk they take on. They can specify parameters on the use of the funds they invest, such as nominating the interest rate, loan period and on some platforms the credit criteria of the loans to reflect their risk appetite.</p> <p>By opening up the market and connecting lenders and borrowers more directly, there is no need to rely on a bank to set the borrowing terms. The transparency, efficiency and control inherent in the concept is driving the popularity of peer-to-peer as an option for fixed interest investors and the fact that platforms open to retail investors are well regulated and must conform to ASIC rules is adding to their acceptance. </p> <p>Peer-to-peer lending is already well entrenched in the UK and USA and is now entering the mainstream in Australia. Of course there are still risks involved, but P2P lending platforms place a strong emphasis on control and transparency, helping investors choose the platform and assets that match the risk level they are comfortable with, rather than relying on the whims of a monolithic institution.</p> <p>Some also provide a Provision Fund which can help protect investors against borrower late payments or defaults.  It could be a clever option for those investors looking for a new way to earn competitive fixed interest rates.</p> <p><strong>Corporate bonds</strong></p> <p>Corporate bonds bear some similarity with government bonds in that they involve lending money (in this case to a company) at an agreed interest over a set term, but there are important differences. Bonds can vary greatly in the amount of capital security they offer.</p> <p>Generally speaking, corporate bonds are less risky than buying shares in a company, but their ability to pay interest and to pay back your capital at maturity can be compromised if the company goes out of business. Bondholders take a higher priority than shareholders if this eventuates, but the risk of capital loss still exists.</p> <p>Corporate bonds can also be traded prior to maturity on a market such as the Australian Securities Exchange. The market value of a bond on the market may differ up or down from its face value, based on current economic conditions.</p> <p>Take for example if you were selling a 10 year bond that was paying 5% p.a. interest. If market interest rates had slumped to, say, 2.5%, then the interest income from your bond would be very attractive to buyers and the bond could be sold for a higher price than its face value. Conversely, if market rates had jumped above 5%, then the value of the bond could go down.</p> <p><strong>Mortgage schemes</strong></p> <p>Mortgage schemes are a type of managed fund that lends to borrowers to buy property or to undertake property development projects. On the surface these may seem safe and have attractive interest rates, but there are potentially higher risks. Mortgage schemes are often used to raise capital by developers who may not be able to secure loans from banks, due to the higher risks of borrowers defaulting or a property development project going bust.</p> <p><strong>Hybrid securities</strong></p> <p>The term ‘hybrid security’ is a catch-all name that covers a range of investments with odd sounding names, such as ‘capital notes’, ‘convertible preference shares’ and ‘subordinated notes’. These can be highly complex investments that are issued by institutions like banks, but this doesn’t mean that they offer the level of security that you would normally associate with bank investments, (such as term deposits).</p> <p>Rates can be attractive but in certain circumstances your investment could be converted to shares in the bank and leave you with less capital than you initially invested.</p> <p>Do you have any investments? Have you branched out into P2P lending? Let us know in the comments!</p> <p><em>Written by Tom Raeside. Republished with permission of <span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/investment/what-are-your-options-on-fixed-interest-investments.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></span></em></p>

Retirement Life

Finance

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The return of ALDI’s $199 cult product sells out in 90 seconds

<p>Aussies are always ready to snap up ALDI bargains – and today was no exception.</p> <p>One of ALDI’s most popular Special Buys releases returned to stores today, and shoppers all around Australia braved through the heatwave to line up for the item.</p> <p>The popular $199 rocking chair was first released in July 2017 as part of the limited edition range, sending shoppers into a frenzy. The chair went back on sale in January and July last year to sell out within a minute in stores.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Faldiloversau%2Fposts%2F731864057170975%3A0&amp;width=500" width="500" height="633" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>This year, people are still as excited about the rocker, which has been re-released with an updated design and new upholstery. <em>News.com.au </em>reported that the North Strathfield branch in Sydney saw about 35 people queue in the 30C heat in hopes of getting their hands at the best-selling item.</p> <p>Shoppers cited the chair’s high quality and affordable price as the reason they were willing to line up in the morning. The chair comes with both normal and rocking legs, making it a popular nursery items for parents.</p> <p>“I heard it is really good quality and it sold out so fast last year so I thought I’d get one too,” a pregnant shopper told <em>News.com.au</em>.</p> <p>“We have a four-week-old baby boy at home and my wife wanted it for his nursery,” said another shopper. “Normally I wouldn’t have got it but because of the price, especially when others sell for so much more, I couldn’t pass it up.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">My toughest ever assignment. Fighting a crowd of pregnant women and fellow grandparents when Aldi opened at 830 to secure an Ava Rocker Chair. Not proud of my behaviour, but got one. All gone in 90 sec frenzy. Something to do with breastfeeding. I don’t ask too many questions. <a href="https://t.co/f9Gi7KVERW">pic.twitter.com/f9Gi7KVERW</a></p> — Matthew Abraham (@KevCorduroy) <a href="https://twitter.com/KevCorduroy/status/1085375344444620800?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">16 January 2019</a></blockquote> <p>The chairs in the display racks sold out immediately, and customers could be heard saying, <span>“I can’t believe how quick they sell” as the staff handed them the chair from the back of the store.</span></p> <p>Did you manage to get the $199 rocking armchair? Tell us about your favourite ALDI bargain in the comments.</p>

Money & Banking

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Make your retirement funds go the distance

<p>You only get one shot at going into retirement, so it is essential that you go in with your eyes wide open. That means being aware of where your income may be coming from, how to plan for living and recreational expenses, and making decisions that are balanced and have an eye on the long term.</p> <p>The earlier you start preparing, the more options you will have, so here are some top tips to get the ball rolling.</p> <p><strong>Where do you stand now?</strong><br />Even if you haven’t been especially concerned about financial planning throughout your working life, it is important to do so as you enter retirement, where you are no longer able to rely on earned income.</p> <p>The first part of the planning process is to get a clear understanding of where you currently stand financially. What assets do you have and what are they worth? This includes your home, your savings and investments accounts, your superannuation, and your possessions.</p> <p><strong>Key dates to be aware of</strong><br />The next step is to establish the key milestones as you transition to retirement. The first milestone is your “preservation age” — the age at which you can access your super. Provided you have retired from the workforce, the minimum preservation age is 55 years if you were born before July 1960. This age increases on a sliding scale up to age 60 for those born after June 1964.</p> <p>The second milestone is the age at which you are eligible for the age pension. For those born before July 1952, this will be 65. For those younger than that, it can be as high as age 67, depending on your date of birth. Eligibility also depends on the income and assets tests.</p> <p><strong>Plan around your lifestyle decisions</strong><br />Once you know when your super and pension income will kick in, you can start to plan your finances around the lifestyle activities you want to engage in during the potentially long years of retirement ahead. For example, you may want to:</p> <ul> <li>Travel in the earlier stages of retirement, before settling down</li> <li>Make some renovations around the home in the earlier years, so you don’t have to worry about them later</li> <li>Make major recreational purchases, such as a boat or motorhome</li> <li>Downsize your home or move to a retirement village down the track</li> </ul> <p>Ideally, all of these major lifestyle decisions should be projected early, so that you can allocate funds for them, decide where those funds should be drawn from, and ensure that you have enough left to generate an ongoing income.</p> <p><strong>Assess your income options</strong><br />Get a clear picture of where your retirement income may come from. This could include:</p> <ul> <li>Income from super</li> <li>Investments outside super</li> <li>Part-time employment</li> <li>The age pension</li> <li>Home equity release or selling the family home</li> </ul> <p>In assessing these income sources, you need to consider whether one may impact another. For example, selling the family home or working part-time may impact your age pension.</p> <p><strong>Take full advantage of entitlements</strong><br />While the age pension on its own may not be enough to fund the lifestyle you want to enjoy, it can certainly be a handy supplement to your ongoing living income. Apart from the pension itself, there may also be other benefits, such as travel concessions, cheaper medicines, and reduced council and water rates, which can translate into a significant amount of savings every year.</p> <p>Structuring your investments to maximise entitlements is therefore a critical issue and some professional financial advice can make a big difference in that regard.</p> <p><strong>Is work an option?</strong><br />Not everyone is particularly keen on making a sudden shift from full-time work to full-time leisure, so if you are still interested in continuing to work part-time, it can help you delay drawing down on your super and other assets.</p> <p>There are incentives within the social security system to encourage this, so seek advice to see how it may be a good option for you financially.</p> <p><strong>Budgeting is essential</strong><br />There may be a temptation to splurge a little when you first receive a large lump sum from your super, but make sure you project your living expenses properly before taking the plunge.</p> <p>More than ever, a simple budget is essential to ensure you don’t outlive your income in retirement, so ask for advice and get things in writing to make it as tangible as possible.</p> <p>Don’t forget to include emergency funds in your budget to take care of any surprises or spikes in expenses, such as unexpected illness, a house move, or a family crisis.</p> <p><strong>Get advice early</strong> <br />As you can see from the factors mentioned here, there are many interconnected elements to planning income and expenses for retirement: speak to a financial planner to help put the puzzle together, structure a diversified investment strategy, maximise entitlements, and map out your lifestyle and living expense needs.</p> <p>What are your biggest concerns about getting through retirement without financial worry? Share your thoughts below.</p> <p><em>Written by Bridges. Republished with permission of <span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/make-your-retirement-funds-go-the-distance.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a></span>. </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Save Money In Ways You've Never Thought Of Before With These 5 Tips

<p>It can be tricky knowing when to get started, especially when you don't know where to begin. These tips aim to help you get started.</p> <p><strong>1. Find your hidden savings accounts</strong></p> <p>Take your savings wherever you find them, even if they aren't in the bank.</p> <p>"You can definitely start with the change in the middle console of your car," said Sheldon Crow, branch manager at Bellco Credit Union in Arvada, Colorado.</p> <p>"If it works for you, that is a savings account."</p> <p>Guys who toss their pocket change each night into a jar or drawer may be astonished at how much they've piled up in change.</p> <p>Do you have gift cards lingering in your wallet, a pile of tips you haven't bothered to deposit, store credit, a cash-back account you're ignoring, or a reloadable charge card you forgot you reloaded?</p> <p>Maybe you let your PayPal or Venmo account balance increase whenever you sell something on eBay or a friend pays you back for a night out.</p> <p>Honor your cash-stashing habits as creative ways to save money, whatever they are.</p> <p><strong>2. Pick an inconvenient bank</strong></p> <p>It's great to do all your banking in one place, especially if you bank online.</p> <p>But when the money you saved is just a few keystrokes away, even determined savers can give in to the temptation to make a quick transfer to cover a bill, or withdraw savings from the ATM "just this once."</p> <p>So make it a challenge to access that money.</p> <p>Deposit savings in a different institution from your everyday accounts.</p> <p>Shred the ATM card so you have to bank in person.</p> <p>Pick one that's far away from your home or work, with inconvenient hours.</p> <p>Choose a bank that charges big fees for withdrawals or a brokerage that makes you wait 48 hours for a transfer. </p> <p><strong>3. Pay it off—but keep paying in</strong></p> <p>If you're finally making your last car payment, or paying off a credit card or a student loan, avoid the temptation to bump up your spending or accrue new debt.</p> <p>Instead, divert into savings the same amount you've been paying all these months.</p> <p>Such money-saving tips don't change your standard of living, so you won't notice any difference in your budget, but you'll be paying yourself instead of a creditor. </p> <p><strong>4. Set aside a portion of every windfall</strong></p> <p>Congrats, you got a bonus (or a big tax refund or a check from a relative).</p> <p>Good for you! Use this rule of thirds: Put one-third into savings, one-third to reduce debt, and the final third to spend on something wonderful for yourself.</p> <p>Don't save the whole amount, which will make you feel virtuous, but deprived.</p> <p>This plan gives you balance—you allocate some of your unexpected cash to the past (paying off debt), some to the future (saving), and the rest on a present for yourself. </p> <p><strong>5. Open a roundup savings account</strong></p> <p>Understanding that people need encouragement to save, the financial industry came up with a clever and painless way to do it: automatic savings.</p> <p>Every time you use your debit card to make a purchase or pay a bill, these accounts round up the purchase amount to the nearest dollar, transfer the difference from checking to savings, and keep track of how much you're putting away.</p> <p>It's just like your change jar, only virtual.</p> <p>Bank of America calls their product the "Keep the Change" Savings Program, and many banks and credit unions offer something like it.</p> <p><em>Written by Lisa Greim. This article first appeared in <a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/money/save-money-ways-youve-never-thought-these-10-tips">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V">here’s our best subscription offer</a>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

Retirement Income

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Angry resident leaves aggressive note on parked car's windscreen

<p>A Sydney resident has taken their passive aggression to the next level after leaving a handmade parking violation note and leaving it on the windscreen of a parked car. </p> <p>The note slammed the car owner's parking skills and decided to issue a parking violation outlining that they are “bullheaded”.</p> <p>The note was left at 6:15 in Sydney beach suburb Coogee, where parking is notoriously tricky.</p> <p>The note read:</p> <p>“This is not a parking ticket, but if it were within my power, you would receive two. Because of your bullheaded, inconsiderate, feeble attempt at parking, you have taken enough room for a 20 mule team, two elephants, a goat and a safari of pygmies.”</p> <p>The note continued in its aggressive attack, saying:</p> <p>“The reason for giving you this is so that in the future, you may think of someone else, other than yourself.</p> <p>“Besides, I don’t like domineering, egotistical or simple minded drivers and you probably fit into one of these categories.”</p> <p>The note signed off with:</p> <p>“I sign off with wishing you an early transmission failure (on the motorway at about 4:30pm).</p> <p>Also may the fleas of a thousand camels infect your arsehole.”</p> <p>The note was posted to Instagram account<span> </span><span>@b</span>rowncardigan and it quickly went viral.</p> <p><span>@b</span>rowncardigan posted it with the caption: “When the passive aggressive turn pro.”</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/BspFkjPnOWm/?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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BspFkjPnOWm/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">When the passive aggressive turn pro. #passionagro #brb #whippingupsometemplates #kindaintoit #would</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/browncardigan/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> B Cardi</a> (@browncardigan) on Jan 14, 2019 at 8:35pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Many commenters have commended the use of the note.</p> <p>One person said, “I need these printed for my place,” while another added, “Does it get any better.”</p> <p>Many commenters were tagging their friends in the post and asking, “Which one of you did this?”</p> <p>Have you ever left a note for someone or found a note left on your car? Let us know in the comments. </p>

Legal

Entertainment

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Brain training: Games and apps to keep your mind active

<p>For those of us who grew up without the Internet to help us with our homework or an iPhone to carry around in our back pockets, technology in this digital age can seem daunting indeed. </p> <p>Our kids or grandkids may have even tried to keep us up to date by buying us the latest gadget – perhaps even gifting a smartphone, an iPad or some other tablet for Christmas or a birthday. </p> <p>Well pull it out of the drawer, dust it off, plug it in and start to use it for a little brain training. Why? Because those “apps” that young kids these days keep talking about can actually help to keep your mind sharp. </p> <p>Apps is short for Applications, the programs that operate on your device. Microsoft Word, the calculator and the digital album you keep your photos in are all examples of apps on your computer, tablet or smartphone. </p> <p>There are plenty of fun brain training apps that can help keep your mind active and stimulated. Mental exercise is good for your general health and wellbeing and potentially helps prevent the onset of dementia. </p> <p>Rather than simply relying on the weekend newspaper’s crossword or Sudoku to give your brain a workout, here are six exciting and creative apps to keep your mind active.</p> <p><strong><span><a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lumoslabs.lumosity&amp;hl=en">1. Lumosity </a></span></strong></p> <p>This application is among the most popular in the world, boasting millions of downloads and subscribers. It offers users an array of games, which test your mind in the most interesting ways possible. Focusing on core skills related to memory, focus, problem solving and flexible-thinking, Lumosity is an app with the potential to really increase your mental dexterity and offer noticeable results. </p> <p>Price: Free for limited access; subscriptions are $15/month or $80/year. <br />Available for Apple and Android. </p> <p><strong><span><a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.wonder&amp;hl=en">2. Elevate</a></span></strong></p> <p>Elevate is an amazing app that has made waves in the digital world. The application won the coveted Best iPhone App of 2014 from the Apple App Store. This pays testament to both its popularity and effectiveness. The brain training exercises are fun and challenging, offering users the chance to hone their skills in listening, memory and comprehension. Elevate is a “freemium” app, which means that a basic version of it is available for free, however, there are also in-game purchases available for consumers.  </p> <p>Price: Free for limited access; in-game purchases range from A$0.99-A$193.34 per item.<br />Available for Apple and Android.</p> <p><strong><span><a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.yourelink.Eidetic&amp;hl=en">3. Eidetic</a></span></strong></p> <p>A comprehensive brain-training package, the app offers users the chance to focus their attention on improving their memory function. The program is based around offering real-world help with memory improvement, offering difficult puzzles for the user. The application is easy to use, with plenty of in-app assistance offered to even the most inexperienced user. There are in-app notepads and statistics to aid in the understanding of your brain training progress.</p> <p>Price: Free.<br />Available for Android.</p> <p><strong><a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cognifit-brain-fitness/id528285610?mt=8">4. Cognifit Brain Fitness</a></strong></p> <p>Put together by a team of neuroscientists, Cognifit Brain Fitness is one of the best brain-training apps available online. The games are enjoyable and designed to keep you coming back for more. There’s also a handy progress tracker that allows you to follow and monitor your brain development.</p> <p>Price: Free for up to 4 games; annual subscription fee of $120.<br />Available for Apple.</p> <p><strong><span><a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/happify/id730601963?mt=8">5. Happify</a></span></strong></p> <p>This bubbly app proves that happiness can be learned. After research revealed the healing power of positive thought, the app developers decided to put the theory to the test. Proceeding on the basis that positive reinforcement can lead to a happier life, Happify offers users a simple way to reflect on their thoughts. The program offers a series of quizzes and polls, as well as a ‘gratitude journal’ that allows for reflection and ordered thought. The end results, according to developers, will be a series of new, positive life habits. By learning new behavioural patterns, the brain can be re-trained into a happier form.</p> <p>Price: Free; but also has in-app purchases.<br />Available for Apple.</p> <p><strong><span><a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/personal-zen/id689013447?mt=8">6. Personal Zen</a></span></strong></p> <p>This charming little app is one of the funniest on offer, allowing players the opportunity to interact with two animated characters. Developed by US researchers, the principle behind the app is simple: by focusing on positive energies, the brain is relaxed and therefore more malleable. After a little bit of game play, users often report feeling more tranquil and mentally focused. It’s also a good all-around diversion and relaxation aid!  </p> <p>Price: Free <br />Available for Apple.</p> <p>Would you try one of these brain-training apps? How do you prefer to keep your mind sharp?  </p> <p><em>Written by Tom Raeside. Republished with permission of <span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/wellbeing/brain-training-games-and-apps-to-keep-your-mind-active.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a></span>.</em></p>

Technology

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Don’t fall for this latest Facebook scam

<p>If you come across a “Secret Sister" gift exchange invitation on your Facebook newsfeed then head the other direction, because the seemingly innocent gesture is one giant scam.</p> <p>The Better Business Bureau issued a warning against the social media con.</p> <p>Inspired by Secret Santa, the exchange involves purchasing a $15 gift to send to your “secret sister” only to receive 6 to 36 gifts in return.</p> <p>And while it sounds too good to be true, it’s because it is. The entire concept is shrouded in flaws. It starts off with six people on your friends list spreading the word and recruiting six participants each. Then, the total 36 people involved (six groups of six) are expected to send a gift to the same person on the top of the “Secret Sister” list.</p> <p>It is then that they recruit another six people to send a gift to the next person on the long list, and while the person who kickstarted the entire gift exchange may receive something on their doorstep, the further your name goes down on the list, the less of a chance you have.</p> <p>But before you turn to your friend and confront her for attempting to scam you, it’s important to note that they most likely have no idea of the pyramid scheme, and probably shared the post because they thought it would be a nice idea.</p> <p>The <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.today.com/style/secret-sister-holiday-gift-exchanges-are-scam-t142112" target="_blank">TODAY</a> </em>show revealed that the scheme falls into “illegal gambling” as you receive less than what you originally hoped for.</p> <p>It’s also safer to not take part in the exchange as handing out your home address and other personal information to strangers on the internet is never a good idea.</p> <p>The Better Business Bureau advises those who received an invitation to join a “Secret Sister” gift exchange to ignore it and report the post on Facebook.</p>

Technology

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Hugh Grant sends Twitter message pleading with car thief

<p>Poor Hugh Grant. The British actor got his car broken into on the weekend, where the thief stole many possessions, including his children’s medical cards.</p> <p>The star went to Twitter to ask if he could at least get his script back, which had “many weeks worth of notes and ideas” on it.</p> <p>Grant tweeted:</p> <p>“In the unlikely chance that anyone knows who broke into my car tonight and stole my bag, please try and persuade them to at least return my script. Many weeks worth of notes and ideas. And perhaps my children’s medical cards. Coach Films ,Ealing St Mary's Ealing Green  W5 5EN*”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">In the unlikely chance that anyone knows who broke into my car tonight and stole my bag, please try and persuade them to at least return my script. Many weeks worth of notes and ideas. And perhaps my children’s medical cards. Coach Films ,Ealing St Mary's Ealing Green W5 5EN*</p> — Hugh Grant (@HackedOffHugh) <a href="https://twitter.com/HackedOffHugh/status/1084560910197448704?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 13, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Many fans were shocked by the theft and offered suggestions. </p> <p>One fan said: <span>“That’s so terrible. They may ditch your bag once they realise there’s no immediate value- so keep an eye out in the area…”</span></p> <p>Others suggested that the movie star search the local bins in order to see if the thief has thrown away the script once they’ve realised they can’t sell it.</p> <p>One commenter pointed out the hilarity of the mental image of Hugh Grant searching through bins.</p> <p>“Can you imagine Hugh Grant going through the bins!???”</p> <p>Another agreed saying: <span>“That’d hit the front pages!”</span></p> <p>No word as of yet whether Grant has been able to retrieve his possessions after they were stolen. Fingers crossed he finds the script with all of his notes in it as well as his children’s medical cards.</p> <p>Have you been victim to a burglary? What did you do? Let us know in the comments.</p>

Movies

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The moment 17 people were murdered in front of Andy Murray when he was 8 years old

<p>Tennis champ Andy Murray has released his autobiography,<span> </span><em>Hitting Back</em>, which provides in-depth details about his childhood and how he skyrocketed into the world of tennis.</p> <p>But what many people don’t know about Andy is that when he was just 8 years old, he was part of the deadliest mass shooting in Britain’s history. The shooter was also someone Andy and his family knew well enough to get lifts home from time to time.</p> <p>43-year-old former scout leader, Thomas Hamilton, had gone into Andy's primary school in Stirlingshire, Scotland, with 743 cartridges of ammunition. The former scout leader ran a youth group, which 8-year-old Andy attended at the time of the shooting.</p> <p>Over the next three to four minutes, Hamilton became responsible for the deadliest mass shooting in Britain.</p> <p>Hamilton opened fire in the gymnasium, where P.E classes were being run. He opened fire within the room, injuring students and teachers.</p> <p>Some children he shot at blank range.</p> <p>Whilst this was going on, Andy and his older brother, Jamie, were hiding under desks in a classroom and trying to distract themselves with songs.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7822739/andy-murray.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/9e77d07bde0f453a9361b9b9887143f6" /></p> <p>After Hamilton had finished with the gymnasium, he decided to walk towards the library and shoot at random. He, again, injured many teachers and students.</p> <p>The trauma ended once Hamilton re-entered the gymnasium and put the barrel of the gun to his own mouth.</p> <p>With 32 people treated for gunshot wounds and one child dying on the way to the hospital, this was a traumatic experience for those involved.</p> <p>Judy Murray, Andy's mother and tennis coach, spoke about the event in an interview with ESPN in 2008:</p> <p>"Absolutely horrendous. The worst. The worst thing you could ever imagine having to go through in your life.</p> <p>"Sitting, waiting and not knowing if your child is alive or dead – you can't imagine what that was like. It was quite horrific."</p> <p>Andy has used this experience to advocate for gun control in the United States, saying that "something needs to change".</p> <p>Did you know Andy Murray had been through such a traumatic experience? Let us know in the comments.</p>

Books