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Richard Wilkins and son Christian bare all in rare interview

<p>Richard Wilkins and his son Christian have opened up on their close bond in a rare interview.</p> <p>Christian, 25, made his way into the hearts of Australia when he competed on Dancing with the Stars and placed second.</p> <p>He is the youngest son of Richard, 66, and shares a close bond with his father as they are so alike.</p> <p>"I would say that Dad and I are very similar,” Christian admitted.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7837369/wilkins-family-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/81756bdf7d1e4fd18f2db43e1e5bd96b" /></p> <p>“We share a lot of the same viewpoints. And the ones we don't share, we're very good at challenging each other as to how we can think in different ways without ever making the other person feel uncomfortable.</p> <p>"We both push each other. And I think people would be very surprised at how much we both look at each other for support in terms of life, love and career. We are very much there for each other."</p> <p>Christian is one of five children, and follows behind Adam, Nicholas and Rebecca. The four siblings also share a little sister, Estella, who is 16.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7837371/wilkins-family.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/bba508b97d27458abf4a0a15947a7768" /></p> <p>"I appreciate we all have different mums," says Christian, whose mother, Michelle Burke, is wife number three.</p> <p>"But we've never used the terms half or step or whatever sibling."</p> <p>"We're all just each other's siblings and we love being in each other's lives. I never came out traditionally to my parents; I never said it as I never felt any need to. But my siblings were always so supportive of my sexuality. And because of that, it allowed me to feel able to be completely me."</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7837370/wilkins-family-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/c823eb006a1341c39ea8719c1bdb493d" /></p> <p>Richard has his own personal sentiments about his children, saying they are “the best thing I’ve ever done.”</p> <p> </p> <p>"I've got five kids and I love them to bits. I'm enormously proud of each of them and supportive, protective and, hopefully, loving. I'm being the best father that I know how to be. And I'm certainly a much better dad now than I was when my first child was born."</p>

Relationships

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Meghan Markle's tearful final words as a royal revealed

<p>It has been revealed that the Duchess of Sussex had a sorrowful last few words for her Buckingham Palace staff,</p> <p>to newly published Sussex biography <em>Finding Freedom</em>, written by royal authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, Meghan Markle said a heart wrenching goodbye to her royal team, with the duchess admitting things could have gone differently.</p> <p>Scoobie earlier reported that Meghan’s final royal engagement came with many emotions.</p> <p>While she attended a private meeting with Association of Commonwealth Universities scholars, she spoke with them about their work on subjects like health, climate change, renewable energy, and sustainable travel.</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/B9nDemBpDaT/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="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/B9nDemBpDaT/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal)</a> on Mar 11, 2020 at 3:33pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Afterwards, the royal said goodbye to her staff.</p> <p>Scoobie wrote that they hugged and<span> </span><em>Finding Freedom</em>, he said she told him: "It didn’t have to be this way."</p> <p>In March, Scobie revealed that Meghan cried while saying goodbye to her royal team.</p> <p>He told<span> </span><em>Harper's Bazaar</em> that "tears that the duchess had been bravely holding back [were] free to flow among familiar faces."</p> <p>"The Duchess of Sussex emotionally [bid] much-loved aides farewell, with her flight 'home' to Canada leaving in a matter of hours," Scobie recounted.</p> <p>He also added that Meghan would fly "back to Canada on the last commercial flight of the day, eager to be back in Vancouver Island by the morning before Archie wakes up."</p>

Beauty & Style

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Backyard pilgrimages become the way to a spiritual journey thanks to COVID

<p>Many major religious pilgrimages have been canceled or curtailed in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. These have included the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/23/world/middleeast/hajj-pilgrimage-canceled.html">Hajj</a>, a religious milestone for Muslims the world over; the Hindu pilgrimage, known as the <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-india/india-cancels-historic-hindu-pilgrimage-as-coronavirus-cases-mount-idUSKCN24N14P">Amarnath Yatra</a> high in the mountains of Kashmir; and <a href="https://www.orderofmalta.int/2020/03/12/coronavirus-cancelled-the-62nd-pilgrimage-to-lourdes-and-all-international-conferences/">pilgrimages to Lourdes</a> in France.</p> <p>Pilgrims have faced travel delays and cancellations for centuries. Reasons ranged from financial hardship and agricultural responsibilities to what is now all too familiar to modern-day pilgrims – plague or ill health.</p> <p>Then, as now, one strategy has been to bring the pilgrimage home or into the religious community.</p> <p><strong>Journey of a thousand miles</strong></p> <p>Pilgrimage can be an interior or outward journey and while <a href="https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/003043429">individual motivations may vary</a>, it can be an act of religious devotion or a way to seek closeness with the divine.</p> <p>Through the centuries and across cultures, those who longed to go on a sacred journey would find <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/1594960?seq=1">alternative ways to do so</a>.</p> <p>Reading travel narratives, tracing a map with the finger or eye, or <a href="https://www.britishmuseumshoponline.org/matter-of-faith-an-interdisciplinary-study-of-relics-and-relic-veneration-in-the-medieval-period.html">holding a souvenir</a> brought back from a sacred site helped facilitate a real sense of travel for the homebound pilgrim. Through these visual or material aids, people felt as though they, too, were having a pilgrimage experience, and even connecting with others.</p> <p>One such example is the story of the Dominican friar Felix Fabri, who was known for recording his own pilgrimages in various formats, some geared toward the laity and some for his brothers.</p> <p>Fabri was approached in the 1490s by a group of cloistered nuns, meaning that they had professed vows to lead a contemplative life in the quietude of their community. They desired a <a href="https://muse.jhu.edu/article/261870/pdf">devotional exercise</a> so they could receive the spiritual benefits of pilgrimage without having to break their promise of a life that was sheltered from the outside world.</p> <p>He produced “Die Sionpilger,” a virtual pilgrimage in the form of a day-to-day guidebook to Santiago de Compostela, Jerusalem and Rome. In these cities, pilgrims would encounter sites and scenes associated with many facets of their religion: shrines to honor Jesus and the saints, relics, great cathedrals and sacred landscapes associated with miraculous events and stories.</p> <p>Fabri’s guidebook sent the pilgrim on an imaginative journey of a thousand miles, without having to take a single step.</p> <p><strong>DIY pilgrimages</strong></p> <p>My current <a href="https://carepackagegtu.wordpress.com/2020/07/01/spotlight-barush/">book project</a> shows that from Lourdes to South Africa, from Jerusalem to England, from Ecuador to California, DIY pilgrimages are not just a medieval phenomenon. One such example is Phil Volker’s backyard Camino.</p> <p>Volker is a 72-year-old father and now grandfather, woodworker and veteran who mapped the Camino de Santiago onto his backyard in Vashon Island in the Pacific Northwest. Volker prays the rosary as he walks: for those who have been impacted by the pandemic, his family, his neighbors, the world.</p> <p>After a cancer diagnosis in 2013, a few things came together to inspire Volker to build a backyard Camino, including the film “<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/07/movies/the-way-directed-by-emilio-estevez-review.html">The Way</a>,” a pocket-sized book of meditations, “<a href="https://annieoneil.com/">Everyday Camino With Annie</a>” by Annie O'Neil and <a href="https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/M/bo5974687.html">the story of Eratosthenes</a>, the Greek polymath from the second century B.C. who figured out a way to measure the circumference of the Earth using the Sun, a stick and a well.</p> <p>“For me, this guy was the grand godfather of do-it-yourselfers. How can someone pull off this kind of a caper with things at hand in his own backyard? It got me thinking, what else can come out of one’s backyard?,” he told me.</p> <p>Volker began walking a circuitous route around his 10-acre property on Vashon Island in the Pacific Northwest. It was a chance to exercise, which his doctors had encouraged, but also created a space to think and pray.</p> <p>Each lap around the property is just over a half-mile. Realizing that he was covering quite a distance, he found a map of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route to track his progress, calculating that 909 laps would get him from St. Jean Pied-de-Port to the Cathedral of St. James.</p> <p>To date, Volker has completed three 500-mile Caminos without leaving his backyard.</p> <p>Thanks to a <a href="http://philscamino.com/">documentary film</a>, Volker’s <a href="http://caminoheads.com/">daily blog</a> and an <a href="https://www.nwcatholic.org/features/nw-stories/vashon-camino-pilgrimage">article</a> in the magazine “Northwest Catholic,” the backyard Camino has attracted many visitors, some simply curious but many who are seeking healing and solace.</p> <p><strong>Pilgrimage and remembrance</strong></p> <p>The story of Volker’s backyard Camino inspired Sara Postlethwaite, a sister of the Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity, to map <a href="https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/travel/ireland/go-walk-st-kevin-s-way-co-wicklow-1.553577">St. Kevin’s Way</a>, a 19-mile pilgrimage route in County Wicklow, Ireland onto a series of daily 1.5-mile circuits in Daly City, California.</p> <p>The route rambles along roads and countryside from Hollywood to the ruins of the monastery that St. Kevin, a sixth-century abbot, had founded in Glendalough. Postlethwaite had intended to travel back to her native Ireland in the spring of 2020 to walk the route in person, but due to pandemic-related travel restrictions, she brought the pilgrimage to her home in Daly City.</p> <p>Every so often, Postlethwaite would check in on Google Maps to see where she was along the Irish route, pivoting the camera to see surrounding trees or, at one point, finding herself in the center of an old stone circle.</p> <p>Several joined Postlethwaite’s walk in solidarity, both in the U.S. and overseas.</p> <p>After each day’s walk, she paused at the shed at her community house, where she had drawn a to-scale version of the Market Cross at Glendalough.</p> <p>As Postlethwaite traced the intersecting knots, circles and image of the crucified Christ with her chalk, she reflected not just on the suffering caused by the pandemic but also about issues of racism, justice and privilege. In particular, she remembered <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/article/ahmaud-arbery-shooting-georgia.html">Ahmaud Arbery</a>, a Black jogger shot by two white men in a fatal confrontation in February 2020. She inscribed his name on the chalk cross.</p> <p>For Berkeley-based artist <a href="https://www.maggiepreston.com/">Maggie Preston</a>, a DIY chalk labyrinth on the street outside her house became a way to connect with her neighbors and her three-year-old son. There is a link here with the medieval strategies for bringing longer pilgrimages into the church or community. <a href="https://www.luc.edu/medieval/labyrinths/imaginary_pilgrimage.shtml">Scholars have suggested</a> that labyrinths may have been based on maps of Jerusalem, providing a scaled-down version of a much longer pilgrimage route.</p> <p>They started out by chalking in the places they could no longer go – the aquarium, the zoo, a train journey – and then created a simple labyrinth formed by a continuous path in seven half-circles.</p> <p>“A labyrinth gave us a greater destination, not just somewhere to imagine going, but a circuitous path to literally travel with our feet,” she told me.</p> <p>As neighbors discovered the labyrinth, it began to create a genuine sense of community akin to that which many seek to find when they embark on a much longer pilgrimage.</p> <p><strong>‘Relearn to pretend’</strong></p> <p>Volker’s cancer has progressed to stage IV and he celebrated his 100th chemo treatment back in 2017, but he is still walking and praying on a regular basis. He offers the following advice:</p> <p>“For folks starting their own backyard Camino I think that creating the myth is the most important consideration. Study maps, learn to pronounce the names of the towns, walk in the dust and the mud, be out there in the rain, drink their wine and eat their food, relearn to pretend.”</p> <p><em>Written by Kathryn Barush. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/as-coronavirus-curtails-travel-backyard-pilgrimages-become-the-way-to-a-spiritual-journey-143518">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Travel Tips

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Pastel colours and serif fonts: is Annastacia Palaszczuk trying to be an Instagram influencer?

<p>You might have scrolled right by Annastacia Palaszczuk’s recent quote posts if you saw them on Instagram – just another lifestyle influencer posting a “deep” quote – but when she (or her media team) reposted them to Twitter they stood out as belonging to another platform.</p> <p>Blush pink, serif fonts, minimalist art – this isn’t what we expect to see on a politician’s feed. Instead, it all screams “Insta”.</p> <p>But what is an Instagram aesthetic – and what does it do for Palaszczuk in the midst of a public health crisis, and the lead-up to an election?</p> <p><strong>Parsing Insta aesthetics</strong></p> <p>On Wednesday, Palaszczuk posted an crisp image above across her social feeds, including <a href="https://twitter.com/AnnastaciaMP/status/1290793563031183363">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CDfG0Jonztq/">Instagram</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/annastaciamp/photos/a.523591701005345/3389997541031399/?type=3&amp;theater">Facebook</a>: a blush-pink background with the text “I will do everything I can to keep Queenslanders safe”.</p> <p>Above, line art of Queensland’s borders; below, Palaszczuk’s name and “Premier of Queensland”, bolded and in all-caps.</p> <p>This post – the latest in a series of three quotes posted since July 24 - leaps out from a grid that mixes up busy but low-contrast infographics with the vivid colours of the Queensland outdoors.</p> <p>As readers, we recognise this form instantly: this is an <a href="https://www.wired.co.uk/article/inspirational-quote-industry">inspirational Insta quote</a>. We know that because specific visual elements work together to help us understand and categorise the image.</p> <p>First up, the background colour. A post on July 31 used duck-egg blue; this latest is a soft blush pink, maybe not quite <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/shortcuts/2017/mar/22/millennial-pink-is-the-colour-of-now-but-what-exactly-is-it">millennial pink</a>, but definitely in that ballpark.</p> <p>The pink is a muted Queensland maroon used across the account, and the flat texture makes it stand out from the busier backgrounds on her illustrated announcements.</p> <p>Then there’s the font choices. <a href="https://www.fonts.com/content/learning/fontology/level-1/type-anatomy/serif-vs-sans-for-text-in-print">Serif fonts</a> read formal, literary – and as some users have commented after Instagram <a href="https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/instagram-is-adding-some-new-font-types-for-stories/577154/">added</a> serif fonts to Stories this week, “pretty”.</p> <p>Using a serif font for the quote makes it seem like something we’d read in a book, elevating its importance. The blocky serif font for the credit reads strong, powerful and modern, as does the use of line art to replace the silhouette of Queensland used in earlier posts.</p> <p>The vertical and horizontal centre alignment is also characteristic of Insta-inspiration quotes, which work best when they’re designed to transition seamlessly across the platform: cropped to a square for the grid and to a vertical rectangle for Stories.</p> <p>When visual elements like text or icons are aligned to the edges of an image in one format, they look wrong when the edges move – like when you extend a square pic vertically to fill a phone screen.</p> <p>This is what makes an earlier quote post look like it belongs on Twitter, not Instagram: the Queensland silhouette sits in the top right corner of <a href="https://twitter.com/AnnastaciaMP/status/1286567291505659904">the horizontal crop</a> on the Twitter timeline, but floats when the image is <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CDBE-kWALzQ/">extended to a square</a> on Instagram.</p> <p>Embracing these aesthetics softens a strong message, helping Palaszczuk navigate the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/11/us/politics/sexism-double-standard-2020.html">double standards</a> applied to women in leadership.</p> <p>The strong, direct phrasing foregrounds Palaszczuk’s leadership and commitment to Queensland’s security, while the feminine influencer layout helps dodge misogynist accusations of unladylike behaviour.</p> <p><strong>Genre tells us how to read</strong></p> <p>These design choices are all examples of genre conventions: visual and written clues that help us know how to read and understand a message.</p> <p>For politicians, committing 100% to social media genre conventions is a risky game.</p> <p>Done well, you’re <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/feb/12/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-twitter-social-media">Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez</a>, serving up voter education as she cooks mac and cheese, or sharing her notes for her iconic response to Ted Yoho.</p> <p>Ocasio-Cortez uses a different, less obviously <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/04/influencers-are-abandoning-instagram-look/587803/">curated genre</a> - it works because it feels authentic, relatable and consistent.</p> <p>Miss the mark and risk your mentions clogging with Steve Buscemi gifs: “<a href="https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/13/15966094/30-rock-buscemi-how-do-you-do-fellow-kids-meme-kill-it-please">How do you do, fellow kids</a>?” So why risk it?</p> <p>Palaszczuk’s quote posts don’t feel <a href="https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=on%20brand">#OnBrand</a> amidst the outdoor photo ops, illustrated announcements and daily infographics that characterise her grid.</p> <p>But by playing on readers’ implicit understanding of Instagram genres, they position her as a social leader.</p> <p>As readers, we recognise that a flat pastel background, a prominent quote and maybe some minimal art signals a particular genre.</p> <p>When we see a post go by on our timelines that looks like that, our understanding of genre conventions primes us to expect an inspirational quote from an historic figure – a <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CA4iMVlnKxj/">Martin Luther King</a>, a <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3950898/Prince-Harry-s-girlfriend-Meghan-Markle-breaks-social-media-silence-posts-inspirational-Gandhi-quote-thanks-friends-support.html">Gandhi</a>, an <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CDGy16Ss_7y/">Audre Lorde</a> – and then signals to us that Palaszczuk belongs in that list: a world leader whose words can guide us in an unprecedented public health crisis.</p> <p>The text says: “I will do everything I can to keep Queenslanders safe”; the subtext says: wouldn’t you vote for someone like me in October?</p> <p><em>Written by Beck Wise. Republished with permission <a href="https://theconversation.com/pastel-colours-and-serif-fonts-is-annastacia-palaszczuk-trying-to-be-an-instagram-influencer-143996">of The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Art

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Slow to adjust to the pandemic’s ‘new normal’?

<p>As COVID-19 lockdowns were introduced, we all suddenly had to find new ways of doing things. Schooling shifted online, meetings moved to Zoom, workplaces brought in new measures and even social events have changed to minimise physical interactions.</p> <p>Many of us have found it hard to adapt to these transformations in our lives. Our <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41593-020-0693-8">research</a> into memory, learning, and decision-making suggests part of the reason is that, for our brains, the change didn’t simply involve transferring existing skills to a new environment.</p> <p>More often, our brains are in effect learning entirely new skills, such as how to conduct a meeting while your cat walks across your computer keyboard, or how to work while filtering out the sound of kids yelling in the garden.</p> <p>However, our research may also offer some reassurance that in time we will come to terms with a new way of life.</p> <p><strong>How rats learn</strong></p> <p>Our new research, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41593-020-0693-8">published in Nature Neuroscience</a>, offers some suggestions about why doing new things can initially be so difficult, especially in a new or changing environment, but gets easier over time. Our findings indicate our surroundings have a changing influence on our choices and actions over time, and our brains process them differently as well.</p> <p>We taught rats how to perform new actions, such as pressing a lever for food, in one place. Next, we moved them to another room with different wallpaper, flooring, and odours.</p> <p>We then “asked” them to perform the same actions to receive a reward, but they were no longer able to do so. It was as if the rats needed to recall all the details of the memory of learning the task to perform it correctly, including the seemingly irrelevant ones.</p> <p>Things were different when we tested the rats again a week later. By this time they could make accurate choices in either environment.</p> <p>We also found that if we inactivated the hippocampus, the part of the brain that encodes detailed memories of the environment, rats could no longer perform a task they had just learned. However, they could still accurately perform tasks they had learned some time ago.</p> <p><strong>What this means for people</strong></p> <p>Our findings suggest that with experience and time, there’s a change in both the psychological mechanisms <em>and</em> the brain mechanisms of learning how to do new things and make choices.</p> <p>While the hippocampus appears to be crucial for a brief period, it becomes less important as time goes on.</p> <p>If even details that ultimately prove irrelevant are necessary for us to remember a new skill in the early stages of learning, this may help to explain why new behaviours can be so difficult to learn when our circumstances change. For our brains, working from home may be like learning a whole new job — not just doing the same job in a new place.</p> <p>But the good news is it gets easier. In the same way rats eventually adapt to a new environment, we humans can learn to work with Zoom calls and interrupting pets.</p> <p>These findings may also help us understand conditions in which the hippocampus is damaged, such as Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders, as well as psychiatric disorders such as depression and substance abuse. In time, better understanding could lead to insight into how people with such diseases might regain some functionality.</p> <p>The implications for humans do come with caveats, of course: our study was done in rats, not people. But if you have struggled to adapt to a new way of doing things during this pandemic, we hope that it is of some comfort to know you are not alone. Rats, too, struggle to learn how to do new things in new places — but it does get easier over time.</p> <p><em>Written by Laura Bradfield. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/slow-to-adjust-to-the-pandemics-new-normal-dont-worry-your-brains-just-learning-new-skills-144198">The Conversation.</a> </em></p> <p><em> </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/1-in-10-women-are-affected-by-endometriosis-so-why-does-it-take-so-long-to-diagnose-141803"></a></p>

Travel Tips

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The McDonald’s cleaning hack you NEED to try

<p>An Aussie mum has revealed her simple hack for vacuuming tricky areas using an unlikely item from McDonald’s. </p> <p>Taking to Facebook, Queensland mum Kythaya showed how she uses the lid and straw of a Macca’s drinking cup to suck up dust and insects.</p> <p>The trick works by holding the lid of the plastic cup against the end of the vacuum hose and threading the straw inside the hole.</p> <p><img style="width: 364.2384105960265px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7837377/screen-shot-2020-08-14-at-21919-pm.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/7f6e437dbdc34176899b8d15d19124d3" /></p> <p>When turning no the vacuum hold the lid and straw and move the hose around to suck up dirt and debris from hard-to-reach places.</p> <p>“Check this out, ladies,” she wrote on the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.facebook.com/groups/mumswhoclean/" target="_blank">Mums Who Clean</a> page.</p> <p>“The flies that were stuck in the window sills are gone. There is probably an actual connection for this, but this works too.</p> <p>“Just don’t let the straw go!”</p> <p>The easy trick has gone viral, with thousands responding to Kythaya’s post.</p> <p>“Keep your Macca’s rubbish! Can’t wait to try this,” said one.</p> <p>Added another: “So going to try this! With five kids and Macca’s across the road we have way too many lids and straws.”</p> <p>Said a third: “I did this on my sliding doors and it was amazing. You are a genius.”</p>

Home & Garden

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Actress reveals Tom Cruise's plan to "lure" daughter Suri to Scientology

<p>Tom Cruise has been estranged from his daughter Suri Cruise for nearly a decade now, but former Scientologist Leah Remini believes the actor has a “master plan” to get her back.</p> <p>Speaking to the<span> </span><em>New York Post</em>, the actress things Cruise will “lure” his daughter away from his ex-wife Katie Holmes and convert her to the Church of Scientology when she’s older.</p> <p>Holmes divorced Cruise in 2012 and ever since then, she has had sole custody of their daughter, who is now 14-year-old.</p> <p>The last time Cruise was spotted with Sure was in 2013.</p> <p>“Scientology considers Katie a suppressive person which is an enemy and therefore Tom believes, like all Scientologists, that he can’t be connected to Suri,” Remini said.</p> <p>“I’m sure his master plan is to wait until Suri gets older so that he can lure her into Scientology and away from her mother.”</p> <p>The<span> </span><em>King of Queens</em><span> </span>actress also said she was “really proud” of Holmes “for getting her daughter out of something that would have been potentially very toxic and dangerous for not only Suri but for their relationship.”</p> <p>“I knew Katie when she was in [Scientology] and she seemed very indoctrinated into Tom’s world,” Remini said.</p> <p>“But as time went on, and I understood why she did what she did to protect her daughter … I’m only assuming that there’s some type of agreement to protect her daughter.”</p> <p>Remini was raised as a Scientologist but left the organisation in 2013.</p> <p>The 50-year-old has since been extremely vocal as she advocates against the belief system.</p> <p>Criuse is said to be close to his two children, Isabella, 27, and Connor, 25, who he adopted with now ex-wife Nicole Kidman — both are devout Scientologists.</p> <p>In an 2018 interview with<span> </span><em>Who</em><span> </span>magazine Kidman said she loved them regardless of their beliefs.</p> <p>“They have made choices to be Scientologists and as a mother, it's my job to love them,” she said.</p>

Family & Pets

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Who you're most likely to catch COVID from

<div class="body_text "> <p>NSW Premier Gladys Berejikilian said that she is struggling to sleep due to the number of mystery coronavirus cases in NSW that continue to grow.</p> <p>She appeared on <em>Sunrise </em>to urge people living in hot spot suburbs to get tested for COVID-19 if they're experiencing symptoms. </p> <p>“We’re concerned that there is community transmission we haven’t picked up,” she said on Friday.</p> <p>“We’re doing well, we’re holding our own, but when every week you get a couple of unknown cases and they can’t be linked, you do worry.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">"That's what bothers us the most and keeps me awake at night"<br /><br />NSW Premier <a href="https://twitter.com/GladysB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@GladysB</a> says she's concerned about the growing number of mystery coronavirus cases in her state. <a href="https://t.co/2lQ2U3jLZG">pic.twitter.com/2lQ2U3jLZG</a></p> — Sunrise (@sunriseon7) <a href="https://twitter.com/sunriseon7/status/1294019388006309889?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 13, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>Health officials are concerned as NSW recorded 12 new cases on Wednesday and three of the cases acquired the virus from an unknown source.</p> <p>“What it does tell us is that there is the disease circulating, especially in Western and South-Western Sydney,” Berejiklian explained.</p> <p>She urged people to be cautious.</p> <p>“The health advice we got earlier this week says you’re more likely to get the disease from someone you know than someone you don’t know,” she explained.</p> <p>“If you’re out socialising, you’re welcoming people into your home or you’re going to church or mosque, then you’re more likely to transfer or get the disease.”</p> <p>She also begged NSW citizens to wear a mask in environments where social distancing was not guaranteed.</p> <p>“I have been wearing a mask as I’ve been doing my grocery shopping and I urge everybody else to as well,” she said.</p> </div>

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“Worst I’ve seen”: NRL world rocked by “horrific” injuries

<p>Trent Robinson says the Rooster’s injury crisis is “without a doubt” the worst he has ever seen after his side lost three players during Thursday night’s game. </p> <p>Luke Keary was rushed to hospital with a suspected ruptured spleen in the Roosters’ 26-4 loss to Melbourne at the SCG.</p> <p>He joins a list of the growing casualties including Keary, Mitch Aubusson, with his fractured wrist, and Lachlan Lam, who injured his ankle, who were all taken from the field on Thursday night.</p> <p>Test five-eighth Keary was taken off the field on Thursday in the 63rd minute after he said he was in severe pain.</p> <p>Paramedics rushed him to hospital and initially believed he had a rib injury. </p> <p>Despite his injury, he refused to give up and went back on to the field before he was taken off again.</p> <p>In the sheds, concerns grew for a ruptured spleen given the location of the hit where he was hit by Storm centre Brenko Lee.</p> <p>“He was running and trying to stay on but we could see it,” Robinson said.</p> <p>“It was actually our call to get him off rather than his call in the end. He sent (the trainer) away, but you've got to save them from themselves sometimes.”</p> <p>Aubusson having a fractured wrist could mean the 301-game player is off contract at the end of the season.</p> <p>It adds to an already long injury list that includes Boyd Cordner, Brett Morris, Victor Radley, Daniel Tupou, Angus Crichton and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.</p> <p>Discussing the injury crisis on the Matty Johns Show after the game, Roosters great Luke Ricketson labelled it “horrific.”</p> <p>“I’m not quite sure what it is,” Ricketson said.</p> <p>“People are stalking about the time off that everyone’s had and coming back and not being conditioned for this style of football but the game’s just got a lot faster and there’s more minutes being played and people are just not adapting to it and the injuries are just going everywhere.”</p> <p>Robinson and Craig Bellamy both suggested that the new six-again rule had contributed to the mounting injury toll.</p> <p>Less stoppages in play could point to players feeling increased fatigue.</p> <p>‘NRL Physio’ Brian Sweeney wrote on Twitter that “major injuries (that require 5+ weeks recovery time) have increased to 6.64 per round this season (an increase of over 60% since 2018).”</p> <p>Robinson said: “We knew the risk of it all and we assumed the risk because that’s what we are here to do.”</p> <p>“Not having byes and the rule changes have increased the intensity by about 10 to 15 per cent.</p> <p>“There are consequences for that, a better game and more injuries at the moment.”</p> <p>The Storms lost their own additional players including lost Jahrome Hughes with a groin injury and Suliasi Vunivalu with a broken jaw.</p> <p>They join stars Cameron Smith and Cameron Munster on the sidelines.</p> <p>Although the injury toll in Melbourne is not nearly as bad as some, Bellamy says that rule changes need to be readvised and reconsidered for the safety of the players at the end of the season.</p> <p>“Losing a guy like Luke Keary, he’s one of the elite players in our competition,” he said.</p> <p>“I thought the last 20 minutes was a bit of an ugly game to be quite honest. We had players playing in positions they’re not used to. The Roosters had that too.</p> <p>“The fatigue in the game, we decided we wanted that but I’m not sure if there’s too much fatigue with the amount of teams that have got a lot of injuries.</p> <p>“We’ve got two of our most influential players out and it’s not just about fatigue and soft tissue injuries.</p> <p>“When people get fatigued they put their bodies in the wrong places when they make tackles or absorb the contact and you get injured from there.</p> <p>“It’s something we need to have a look at, because it was like a MASH unit tonight. It seems as though there’s a lot of injuries.”</p>

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“I would prefer to catch COVID-19"

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Despite the world urgently looking for a coronavirus cure, Australian army veterans have warned against one such "wonder cure".</p> <p>The veterans were given the controversial drug whilst in East Timor and have urged scientists to consider the side effects of using anti-malarial tafenoquine as a potential COVID-19 treatment. </p> <p>Drug company 60 Degrees Pharmaceuticals (60P) is planning to conduct clinical research to determine its effectiveness in human beings.</p> <p>"Like many companies, 60P and its partners are trying to do our part to provide solutions for treating and preventing COVID 19," he said.</p> <p>Doctors and veterans have quickly raised concerns about the anti-malarial drugs' safety.</p> <p>Glen Norton is one of almost 700 soldiers who took the anti-malarial during trials conducted by the Defence Force between 1998 and 2002.</p> <p>Two decades on after the trial, Norton still suffers from mood swings, depression, anxiety, hallucinations and many more.</p> <p>"One minute I would be happy, and the next minute I would be curled up in the corner somewhere crying," he said.</p> <p>"This drug has totally destroyed my personal life."</p> <p>Mr Norton said he first began noticing changes when he took tafenoquine while deployed in East Timor in 2000.</p> <p>"We used to call Sunday nights psycho night because of the side effects," he said.</p> <p>"All of us that were on those drugs were having nightmares and things like that — we had people literally screaming in their sleep like they're being murdered."</p> <p>He's been horrified to hear that the drug is being considered as a treatment for coronavirus.</p> <p>"I would prefer to catch COVID-19 and take the risk than to let anyone go through the pain and suffering myself and other soldiers have experienced."</p> <p>American epidemiologist Remington Nevin said tafenoquine belonged to a class of anti-malaria medications shown to be neurotoxic.</p> <p>"I am afraid we're seeing the same thing potentially playing out with tafenoquine," Dr Nevin said.</p> <p>"Our group's concern is that there is simply incomplete study data on these drugs."</p> <p>He said that there were critical flaws in the study conducted on soldiers.</p> <p>"When symptoms develop in this environment, it's very tempting to attribute these — and possibly misattribute these — simply to the stresses of deployment and not to the drugs," he said.</p> <p>"I'm also concerned about the ethics of the trials that have been conducted and the quality of clinical data that have been collected from these studies."</p> <p>However, others have argued that it's safe.</p> <p>University of Queensland anti-malaria expert James McCarthy gave evidence to a Senate inquiry into the use of tafenoquine in the Defence Force in 2018.</p> <p>"Comprehensive reviews of multiple clinical trials suggest that the incidence of neurological side effects was no higher in those receiving tafenoquine compared with a placebo," he said.</p> <p><em>Photo credits: </em><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-14/ex-soldiers-warn-about-tafenoquine-to-treat-covid-19/12546468" target="_blank" class="_e75a791d-denali-editor-page-rtflink">ABC</a></em></p> </div> </div> </div>

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Leaked emails reveal patient zero for Victoria's second wave disaster

<p><span>Leaked emails have determined who patient zero is in regards to the resurgence of the disastrous second wave of COVID-19.</span><br /><br /><span>It has been revealed that the spread of the deadly infection has been linked back to a night duty manager at the Rydges hotel on Swanston Street - not actually a badly behaved security guard.</span><br /><br /><span>Leaked information shows that the night manager reported on Monday, May 25, that he had come down with a fever.</span><br /><br /><span>The following day Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions officials were told the hotel employee had tested positive.</span><br /><br /><span>It is presumed he caught it from a returned traveller, who has not been identified.</span><br /><br /><span>The emails show a commendable effort was made to stop the spread of the infection, however their efforts were proven futile.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7837356/rydges-3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/2c0bedc41c174b068038e22744c9635f" /><br /><br /><span>Seven security guards who were hired to patrol the hotel were stood down immediately and told to go home, isolate and get tested.</span><br /><br /><span>Another small number of hotel staff and health workers were told to do the same.</span><br /><br /><span>An email headed “Hotel staff member status and exposure to staff” reported on May 26 that the night manager himself was “now isolating at Rydges” and “feeling as well as can be expected”.</span><br /><br /><span>Unfortunately, it was already too late and attempts to curb the spread of the infection failed.</span><br /><br /><span>Five of the original seven guards, all from contractor Unified Security, soon returned positive COVID-19 tests.</span><br /><br /><span>The disease was spread to their families in the northern and western suburbs of Melbourne, which helped seed the second wave that has infected 15,863 Victorians, including 7866 active coronavirus cases as of Thursday.</span><br /><br /><span>As of Thursday, 275 people have died of COVID-19 in the state.</span><br /><br /><span>Officials assumed it was a security guard who had been the first one to contract the disease however as it turns out, it was the night manager.</span><br /><br /><span>There is no suggestion from any party that the hotel manager partook in any improper behaviour.</span><br /><br /><span>Victoria’s Health Minister Jenny Mikakos was running the operations of the crisis, however former Health Minister and Attorney General Jill Hennessy has taken charge.</span><br /><br /><span>“The suggestion that security guards ever had responsibility for infection control is one of the biggest myths of this debate,” a source closely involved in the hotel quarantine program told The Age.</span><br /><br /><span>“Private and public hospitals use security guards, but those guards don’t deliver babies, perform surgery or oversee infection control. Full responsibility for infection control lay with the authorised officers who were brought in from various government departments.”</span><br /><br /><span>Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews has created a board of inquiry to investigate the shortcomings in the</span><br /><span>hotel quarantine program.</span><br /><br /><span>Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton has previously revealed that genomic sequencing carried out by Melbourne’s Doherty Institute shows that most, if not all of Victoria’s second-wave cases, may be traceable back to breaches in hotel quarantine.</span><br /><br /><span>“Clearly there has been a failure in this program,” Professor Sutton said in July.</span></p>

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Travel

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Introvert or extrovert: What kind of traveller are you?

<p>Do you find bliss in big city lights, buzzing crowds and endless hustle and bustle?</p> <p>Or are you stimulated by the undisturbed, by the secluded corners and fleeting moments of peace? </p> <p>Introvert or extrovert: there’s a destination for you.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>London for Cornwall<br /></u></strong>Extrovert: <strong>London: </strong>Year round, London is an incredible city. It’s the heart of England in art, history, shopping and gastronomy. Incredibly diverse, the city is home to the London Eye, Borough Market, The Tate, Hyde Park and the Queen.<br /><strong>Cornwall</strong>: For those tired of the big-city chaos. This rugged coastal county is home to quaint harbour villages, towering cliffs, fresh produce and an english surf culture.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Rio De Janeiro for Morro de S</u></strong><strong><u>ão Paulo<br /></u></strong>Extrovert: <strong>Rio De Janeiro:</strong> Vibrant carnival parades and a general zest for life: Rio is a destination for the socialite. The city has no shortage of beaches, rolling hills, lively restaurants and samba.<br /><strong>Introvert: Morro de São Paulo: </strong>Located on Tinharé Island, this village is completely car free. The coastal town is known for its glorious palm fringed shores, surf breaks and local beach culture. </p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Tokyo for Tottori<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Tokyo</strong>: This unique capital is buzzing with culture, fashion, incredible cuisine and scenic temples and shrines. Let’s be honest, there isn’t much to deter.<br /><strong>Introvert: Tottori</strong>: This picturesque seaside city is relatively untouched by tourists. It’s Japan’s least populated district and is buzzing with rock formations, temples, gardens and sand dunes.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Los Angeles and Yosemite<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Los Angeles:</strong> This sunny Californian city is home to Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, Hollywood and all things film industry. Head to LA to see what life is like for the stars.<br /><strong>Introvert: Yosemite:</strong> Sierra Nevada’s Yosemite National Park is known for its granite cliffs and sweeping valleys. Head to Yosemite for a scenic nature escape exploring waterfalls and mountainsides.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Paris for Epernay<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Paris: </strong>Boulangerie breakfasts and bistro dinners. For some, Paris will always be the dream. Meandering cobblestone streets, incredible historic architecture, premier boutique shopping and a vibrant arts culture. It is, after all, the City of Light.<br /><strong>Introvert: Epernay:</strong> Of course Paris isn’t everyone’s <em>cafe au lait</em>. If champagne tasting, rolling vineyards, quaint villages and hidden castles are more your thing, head to Epernay.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Bali for Lombok<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Bali: </strong>An Australian favourite; Bali is known for its rice paddies, beaches, and mountainous scenery.<br /><strong>Introvert: Lombok</strong>: If the chaos and inflated western prices of Bali don’t appeal, check out Lombok. This introvert paradise has similarly spectacular beaches and volcanic mountains, some (such as the Gili Islands) are motor vehicle-free. <br /><br /></p> <p><strong>New York City for Finger Lakes<br /></strong><strong>Extrovert: New York City:</strong> This thriving city is home to the famous Empire State Building, Central Park and Time Square. If you’re after a massive array of tourist experiences in a lively city, head to NYC.<br /><strong>Introvert: Finger Lakes:</strong> This New York region is known for its sweeping lakes, valleys and vineyards. It’s a great place to relax without the crowds whilst enjoying scenic state parks, wine country and some spectacular waterfalls.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Madrid for Porto<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Madrid:</strong> Packed with a world-class arts culture, a rich history, mouthwatering tapas, gothic architecture and incredible shopping: this lively city is a destination for the extroverts.<br /><strong>Introvert: Porto: </strong>A quiet coastal city in Portugal’s North, Porto is a one hour flight from Madrid. It’s known for its narrow cobbled streets, port wine production, merchants’ houses and boutique cafes. Built for the introverts, Porto is a perfect balance of culture and quiet.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Kathmandu for Pokhara<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Kathmandu: </strong>Kathmandu is the hub of Nepal. There are endless things to do and it’s the easiest and most accessible city in Nepal. It’s well worth the visit. <br /><strong>Introvert: Pokhara</strong>: As any capital city, Kathmandu can be chaotic. Head to Pokhara for waterfalls, spectacular scenery, clear lakes, hiking, caves and yoga retreats.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Rome for Tuscany<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Rome: </strong>Cobbled streets and piazzas, ancient columns and architecture, a fascinating history and fantastic cuisine. And of course; gelato. This charming city is impossible not to fall in love with. <br /><strong>Introvert: Tuscany</strong>: Rome can be overwhelming for some. If you’re still after an authentic Italian experience, head to Tuscany. The picturesque region is overflowing with lush landscapes, wineries, enchanting architecture and Italian renaissance. It’s also home to the cobblestone streets and terracotta cafes of Florence.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Byron Bay for Brunswick Heads<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Byron Bay:</strong> Famous for its incredible beaches, Byron Bay is a popular summer destination with Aussies and foreign visitors. Byron is also home to an animated local community, holding regular festivals and markets, and boasting great family orientated organisations such as The Farm.<br /><strong>Introvert: Brunswick Heads:</strong> Byron tends to get a little busy at the best of times. Only 15-minutes drive away is Brunswick Heads. The small beachside town boasts trendy cafes, boutique patisseries and lots of family friendly to-do’s. You can check out the highlights of Byron, but it serves as a great excuse to escape the crowds and explore secluded beaches, winding creeks and wildlife reserves. </p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Amsterdam for Utrecht<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Amsterdam</strong>: This culture-packed capital is home to a massive array of museums and galleries, delightful architecture, a lively arts culture and some pretty incredible Dutch food. <br /><strong>Introvert: Utrecht</strong>: Previously titled <em>‘the happiest place in the world</em>’, Utrecht is only 40 minutes drive from Amsterdam. Less touristy than its counterpart, the city is laced with winding walkways and medieval architecture. The Old Town is also home to the famous two-level canals.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Haridwar for Rishikesh<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Haridwar: </strong>This popular pilgrimage spot receives hundreds and thousands of tourists every year. It’s one of the central destinations for the Kumbh Mela (Holy Dip), and is full of heritage, charm, peaceful ashrams and a laid-back lifestyle.<br /><strong>Introvert: Rishikesh</strong>: Swap Haridwar for Rishikesh for a more relaxed getaway. The birthplace of yoga, Rishikesh is situated in the Himilayan foothills beside the Ganges and was a favourite destination of the Beatles.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Perisher and Thredbo for Charlotte Pass<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Perisher or Thredbo: </strong>Skiing in NSW. Let’s be honest, we aren’t spoilt for choice. The hustle and bustle of Perisher and Thredbo consistently cater for the crowd-happy extroverts.<br /><strong>Introvert: Charlotte Pass: </strong>But if you’re dying to hit the slopes but hate the chaos of Friday Flat, check out Charlotte Pass. The snow village is Australia’s highest resort, and offers a quiet alternative to Thredbo/Perisher.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Mykonos for </u></strong><strong><u>Antiparos<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: </strong><strong>Mykonos</strong>: This picturesque coastal town is known for its lively summer parties and dance clubs.<br /><strong>Introvert: Antiparos</strong>: For a secluded alternative, head to Antiparos. This little island is accessible by ferry, so you won’t bump into too many crowds.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Machu Picchu for </u></strong><strong><u>Choquequirao<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: </strong><strong>Machu Picchu:</strong> This ancient Incan citadel is high (excuse the pun) on every extrovert bucket list. The historic site is situated in Peru’s Andes Mountains, and the city skeleton is famous for its intriguing architectural history and panoramic backdrop.<br /><strong>Introvert</strong>: <strong>Choquequirao</strong>: The crowds in Machu Picchu are conspicuous. Choquequirao sits a little lower, and is similar in both structure and history. It also tends to be much less crowded than its sister citadel, and still provides a rewarding hike.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Positano for Sant'Agnello<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Positano</strong>: This vibrant cliffside town is one of the Amalfi Coast’s most well-known destinations. The steep streets are lined with lively cafes and shops, and during Summer tourists flock to the colourful village.<br /><strong>Introvert</strong>: <strong>Sant'Agnello</strong>: This beautiful antique town is a neighbour of Sorrento, and tends to accommodate those after a less touristy experience. It’s a perfect spot for the history buffs, and a great base for those keen to explore the Sorrento Coast. You can also score a B&amp;B in an authentic Sorrento lemon grove.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><u>Bangkok for Chaing Mai<br /></u></strong><strong>Extrovert: Bangkok: </strong>Bangkok comes to life after dark especially when the city fills with night markets.<br /><strong>Introvert: Chaing Mai: </strong>This mountainous city is located in northern Thailand, and tends to be a little cooler than Bangkok. It’s famous for its beautiful natural scenery, relaxed living pace, calm temples and some of the best Thai food in the country. </p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Vienna for Salzburg<br /></strong><strong>Extrovert: Vienna: </strong>Check out the influence of residents Sigmund Freud, Gustav Klimt and Mozart, or get lost in the twists and turns of Vienna’s baroque style streets. Be it for art, culture, food or history; this haven of a city is well worth the visit.<br /><strong>Introvert</strong>: <strong>Salzburg: </strong>Home of the von Trapp family, the rolling hills and ornate palaces in Salzburg provide a serene alternative to Vienna. The city shares the magnificent architecture and culture of its counterpart, but on a much smaller and more accessible scale.</p>

International Travel

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Mum’s disbelief at hilarious new licence photo

<p>Young mum Jane Dodd from Tennessee in the US was a little shocked – but mostly amused – when her brand new driver’s licence arrived in the post.</p> <p>Instead of the usual awkward headshot of herself that we’ve all learned to dread seeing on our most trusted form of identification, there was simply an image of an empty chair.</p> <p>Ms Dodd had elected to renew her licence online, but was certainly not expecting to have her headshot replaced by a common piece of furniture from the licencing centre. So she immediately called up to alert them to the problem – believing, quite correctly, that she would encounter all kinds of issues if she actually tried to use the odd piece of ID out in the real world.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fjadeisjaded%2Fposts%2F3898104436882647&amp;show_text=true&amp;width=552&amp;appId=261350607345818&amp;height=523" width="552" height="523" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe> </p> <p>The problem then escalated, as Ms Dodd found it very difficult to even get anyone at the licencing centre to believe her.</p> <p>“The lady … did not really believe me when I was like, ‘Hey, I need my licence fixed,’ Ms Dodd told a local radio station after being interviewed. “Then she looked it up in the system and goes, ‘Oh, I need my manager for this’.”</p> <p>It turns out this was definitely a first for the licencing centre in question. Wes Moster from the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security said was able to get to the bottom of mix-up, explaining to a local news outlet:</p> <p>“When the customer visited the Driver Services Centre a few years ago, an examiner made an error by capturing and saving the wrong photo (of an empty chair) to the customer’s profile. When the customer recently renewed her driver licence online, she received an image of a chair because that was the last picture taken on file.”</p> <p>That simple and perfectly reasonable explanation didn’t prevent the outpouring of hilarious reactions when Ms Dodd posted her predicament on Facebook.</p> <p>“What the heck? I’m not sure if I should laugh or what!?” commented one user.</p> <p>“Are you a vampire?” another joked.</p> <p>“Wait! You have super powers - Invisibility!” wrote a third.</p> <p>While the responses and mirth have not yet subsided, Ms Dodd has now had a replacement ID issued with her proper headshot in its place – but she will definitely be holding onto the unique original “just for a laugh”.</p> <p>Image Source: Jade Dodd / Facebook</p>

Travel Trouble

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Karen from Bunnings is back!

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Self-described exorcist and coronavirus denier Lizzy Rose who infamously made headlines as "Karen from Bunnings" has emerged to put a spell on Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews.</p> <p>She cast the spell in a bid to remove him from government and thwart his "evil agenda".</p> <p>The footage was posted online but has since been deleted due to backlash.</p> <p>Luckily, <em>The Daily Mail</em> was quick in embedding it to their website and it can be watched below.</p> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" width="698" height="573" scrolling="no" id="molvideoplayer" title="MailOnline Embed Player" src="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/embed/video/2229112.html"></iframe> <p>Rose wrote that while her yard is in the middle of being "freshly landscaped", the message is "too important to wait until the WItches outdoor ritual space is finished".</p> <p>She stands behind a "viking cauldron" that looks like a fire pit and chants that the "awakened people" of Australia say "no to mandatory vaccinations".</p> <p>“We cast you out, we cast out your evil agenda of cruelty, deception and control. No, we will not be vaccinated against our will. You are to leave government. You are to walk away from your power and your position, for we cast you out,” the 50-year-old chanted.</p> <p>“No to mandatory vaccinations. No. This is against our will, this is against our right to freedom, to choice. The universal law is greater than any law of any land. Hail, and farewell, Daniel Andrews and blessed be.</p> <p>“Call forth the rain, to bless and cleanse this right. I call forth the heavens to open and bear down upon us on this day and on this night. Cleanse this government and all its ill will,” she intones.</p> <p>“Banish from state, territory, capital and the hill. Guardians of day and guardians of night, great mother Earth, in this cauldron of bounty, punish them, make them accountable by law, by honour, make them hear and make them see, and free our people both by land and by sea.”</p> <p>After her chant finishes, Rose goes on to manifest a lifting of restrictions.</p> <p>“Reopen our economy. For as we will it, so mote it be," she finishes.</p> <p>"It is done, it is done, it is done".</p> <p>The Premier has not commented on the spell.</p> </div> </div> </div>

Travel Trouble

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COVID doctor slams "irresponsible" Current Affair reporter

<p>The Melbourne medic at the centre of a parking fine storm has slammed<span> </span><em>A Current Affai</em><em>r</em>, saying a producer “turned up” at her door, breaking stage 4 restrictions.</p> <p>Dr Katarina Arandjelovic went viral yesterday after she shared a photo of a $99 parking fine she received after working “56 hours over four days” caring for “some of our state’s sickest patients”.</p> <p>Dr Arandjelovic who works in the intensive at The Royal Melbourne Hospital urged the City of Melbourne and Lord Mayor Sally Capp to do better as she revealed dozens of healthcare workers missed out on the council’s initial round of free parking permits.</p> <p>Her post garnered plenty of attention with angry Aussies across the country criticising those in charge.</p> <p>The City of Melbourne later confirmed the fine had been revoked, and announced from this Friday it would provide up to 5000 additional temporary parking permits to frontline workers responding to COVID-19.</p> <p>But the medical professional took to Twitter recently to call out<em><span> </span>A Current Affair</em><span> </span>producer Luke Mortimer, who she claimed invaded her privacy and broke lockdown rules in an attempt to score an interview.</p> <p>She says she made a decision to not speak to any journalists after Mortimer found her address, but issued praise to Australian media for covering the story respectfully.</p> <p>“My decision not to talk to journalists was tipped when Luke Mortimer from @ACurrentAffair9 turned up at my door – not outside my building – in the internal corridor of my building. No warning, no invitation. How my address was known remains a mystery,” Dr Arandjelovic tweeted alongside a photo of Mr Mortimer’s business card.</p> <p>“This is in breach of the 5km restriction, and is broadly irresponsible. I did not invite Luke inside. Further, many women and men are petrified of unexpected visitors in the setting of domestic violence. It is just not on – and very disappointing from @Channel9.</p> <p>“I must say thank you to all the media outlets that got in touch. I am a huge fan and friend of the media, and grateful for the endless advocacy for healthcare worker safety in this pandemic. I was grateful many were keen to cover this minor story – you all do awesome work.”</p> <p>Dr Arandjelovic told<span> </span><em>news.com.au</em><span> </span>“we all need to follow the rules so that we may keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our community safe” during the public health crisis.</p> <p>Journalism is considered an essential job in Victoria and those working in media are allowed to travel outside the 5km radius. </p>

Travel Trouble

Health

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The surprising step you've been missing from your oral care routine

<p>Three quarters of Australian adults were warned against chewing gum as a child. But this Dental Health Week (3-9 August 2020), Australian dentists are saying quite the opposite.<br /><br />According to new YouGov data on the chewing habits of Australians, almost a third of Australian adults were told as children that chewing gum was rude, and nearly a quarter were told it was bad for your teeth. But leading dentists say sugarfree gum actually plays a key role in looking after your dental health.<br /><br />In the midst of a global pandemic it would be no surprise some of us are hesitant to keep up regular dental checks.<br /><br />In fact, the ADA's Oral Health Tracker found that just under half (48.8%) of adults surveyed had visited a dentist for a check-up in the last 12 months - a number that is anticipated to get worse as Australians avoid the dentist due to fears of proximity to others, job losses result in people spending less on their health and people are stuck at home eating sugary foods more regularly.<br /><br />Sydney dentist Dr Jalal Khan says there are some simple ways all Australians keep up their oral health even during the COVID-19 pandemic.<br /><br />Dr Khan says more Aussies should consider chewing sugarfree gum after eating or drinking when brushing isn’t possible, because it helps to neutralise plaque acid and maintain tooth enamel.<br /><br />“Oral hygiene and looking after our teeth isn’t something we should do just once or twice a day, in the morning and night, because we eat and snack so frequently throughout the day,” Dr Khan said. “Chewing sugarfree gum helps to fill the gaps between brushing and flossing creating a healthy environment for our teeth.”<br /><br />A recent scientific literature review by King’s College found chewing sugarfree gum could help reduce the incidence and growth of dental caries by up to 28 per cent.<sup>  <br /><br /></sup>Despite being preventable, tooth decay is one of Australia’s most common oral health problems and is on the rise among Australian adults and children. Maintaining good oral health is fundamental to overall health, reduces risk of chronic diseases and improves mental wellbeing.<br /><br />This week, Dr Jalal Khan drilled down into new YouGov research on Australia’s chewing habits to bust some long-held myths about chewing gum:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Bad manners or healthy habit? </strong>- The main reason Aussies don’t chew gum is because they think it’s rude (29% of adults).<br /><br /></li> </ul> <p><br />Dr Khan: “The fact is chewing sugar-free gum is a healthy habit that helps look after your teeth. The act of chewing gum stimulates saliva flow, which clears food particles, and protects the teeth by neutralising any acidity in your meal. Only 17% of Aussie adults chew gum after eating and drinking to look after their teeth.” <br /><br /></p> <ul> <li><strong>Not all gums are equal -</strong> A quarter (25%) of Australian adults avoid chewing gum because they believe it contains sugar.</li> </ul> <p><br />Dr Khan: “Most gum (93%) on the market is sugarfree and endorsed by national dental bodies. I recommend looking for gum that displays the Australian Dental Association or FDI World Dental Federation logos on the back of pack.”<br /><br /></p> <ul> <li><strong>Is there a right (or wrong) time to chew? -</strong> While 17% of adults chew before eating to prevent snacking or over-eating, dentists say chewing after a meal has more benefits.<br /><br /></li> </ul> <p>Dr Khan: “If you are on the go, it’s best to chew gum after you’ve finished a meal to stimulate saliva flow, which clears food particles and protects the teeth by neutralising any acidity in your meal. It’s important to chew for at least 20 minutes as this has been shown to help maintain the enamel on your teeth.”<br /><br /></p> <ul> <li><strong>What happens if you swallow gum? </strong>As children, over half of us (55% of Australian adults) were told that if you swallow gum it stays in your stomach.</li> </ul> <p> </p> <p>Dr Khan: “It’s an old wives’ tale that’s been passed down by each generation. The truth is if you swallow gum it will NOT stay in your stomach. Although chewing gum is not designed to be swallowed, it simply passes through your body’s digestive system after a few days.”</p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Brushing and flossing isn’t enough to maintain fresh breath </strong>- Almost three quarters (74%) of people that chew gum, do it to freshen their breath.</li> </ul> <p> </p> <p>Dr Khan: “Brushing, flossing and chewing gum all help to keep your breath fresh but so does your diet. I’m not just talking about avoiding garlic.<sup>  </sup>Our mouth is the front end of our gut and it’s lined with bacteria. The mix of the bacteria in your mouth and gut can directly influence the smell of your breath.”</p> <p><br />To keep your teeth healthy, Dr Khan recommends five simple steps:</p> <ol> <li>Get <strong>regular check-ups </strong>from your <a href="https://www.ada.org.au/Find-a-Dentist">dentist</a> (once every six months is generally recommended)</li> <li><strong>Brush</strong> twice a day</li> <li><strong>Floss</strong> daily</li> <li>Eat a healthy, balanced <strong>diet </strong></li> <li>Chew <strong>sugarfree gum </strong>after eating or drinking and when on-the-go<br /><br /><br /></li> </ol> <p><em>Issued on behalf of the Extra Oral Healthcare Program</em></p> <p><strong>Dr Jalal Khan</strong> is a Sydney-based dentist and a member of the NSW Australian Dental Association. Dr Khan has a North Sydney dental clinic and runs a mobile dental truck to provide dental services to regional communities in need.</p>

Body

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Woolworths praised for latest move in COVID fight

<p>Woolworths will announce its first chief medical officer today in a bid to protect staff and customers from coronavirus - with his first task focused on the issue of masks.</p> <p>The decision comes after the supermarket “strongly encouraged” its customers to cover their faces while shopping in NSW, ACT and parts of Queensland this month.</p> <p>Coles and Kmart have also followed suit and made the same recommendation to residents of NSW.</p> <p>But now Woolworths is taking it a step further, announcing on Friday that Dr Rob McCartney will take on the role of its first ever Chief Medical Officer.</p> <p>He will directly communicate with Woolworths board executives and create policies around the ongoing safety of Woolies shoppers and employees as the country continues to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.</p> <p>His first task is to educate staff on the importance of covering your face, and the proper way to do so.</p> <p>Other responsibilities include speaking with regulatory authorities, state and federal health departments, and educating staff.</p> <p>“There is a plethora of medical information and advice to consider in the planning and implementation of a COVID-safe workplace. This appointment ensures we have an internal expert, with a grounding in medical advice, to help make well-informed, long-term decisions on the safety and wellbeing of our teams and customers,“ Brian Long, general manager of group safety, health and wellbeing at Woolworths said.</p> <p>According to Dr McCartney’s LinkedIn profile, he is a physician who has specialised in occupational and environmental medicine for over two decades.</p> <p>He is also the founder of Resile, an occupational health service and consulting business that helps protect workers against the coronavirus.</p> <p>“My ambition is to assist these in maximising the health, wellbeing, safety and productivity of their workforce,” he said.</p> <p>“I have extensive experience in the prevention and management of occupational injury and illness, as well as helping people return to the workforce after experiencing health problems.”</p>

Caring

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What is happening with the COVID-19 vaccine?

<p>Coronavirus cases around the world have now reached over a staggering 20 million, with 737,000 tragically dying from the disease.</p> <p>And the only way to beat the illness is to create a vaccine.</p> <p>But creating a vaccine is no easy feat, as the entire process requires vigorous testing meaning it’s still a long way away.</p> <p>At the moment, there are 139 candidates in the very early stages of pre-clinical trials - which means they’re not ready to be tested on humans.</p> <p>But it’s not all doom and gloom, as there is plenty of positive progress happening.</p> <p>Twenty-five students have moved into Phase One - that means they are doing small-scale safety trials on human volunteers.</p> <p>Seventeen have progressed to Phase Two - which includes expanded safety trials.</p> <p>Phase Three involves large-scale efficacy trials - and right now, there are seven studies around the globe tracking on that level.</p> <p>For those in Phase Three, the vaccine and placebo are tested on thousands of people to ensure it’s safe and to whether or not there are any side effects.</p> <p>“The most promising one is the one in the UK with the Oxford-developed vaccine,” said Professor Peter Collignon.</p> <p>“We need a vaccine that’s about 90-plus per cent effective to really have a big impact.”</p> <p>There are also hopes that a vaccine could be approved as early as Christmas this year.</p> <p>However, Professor Collignon warned that vaccinating enough of the population to climate the virus altogether is the biggest challenge.</p> <p>“If you look at diseases where we’ve been very successful - German measles, for instance - we really still need 90 per cent of the population either having had the infection or be vaccinated to be able to eliminate the disease - in other words, to not have it circulating,” Collignon said.</p> <p>To put that in a global context, we would need close to two billion doses worldwide.</p> <p>Australia also has their own trials underway, with Dr Paul Griffin overseeing Phase One for the University of Queensland’s vaccine and promising Novavax study.</p> <p>Dr Griffin agreed with experts saying people will have to most likely wait till the end of next year before they can get vaccinated.</p> <p>And we’re yet to see how it will be distributed.</p> <p>But Dr Griffin hopes that those who are at most risk - the most vulnerable - will be the first priority.</p> <p>“I would like to think that it’s going to be a bit of a prioritisation process,” Griffin said.</p> <p>“The parts of the world and the populations that derive the greatest benefit would get access first.</p> <p>“What that might look like would be vulnerable populations and the elderly and aged care homes - and perhaps our frontline healthcare workers.”</p>

Body

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White Island volcano survivor’s emotional plea during COVID lockdown

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Stephanie Browitt overcame extreme adversity as she lost her father and her sister in the White Island volcano eruption.</p> <p>As she lives in Melbourne, she has also been in lockdown and has shared a message of hope.</p> <p>"As someone who is grieving deeply and has essentially been in lockdown since early December, due to my six months admission in hospital, I truly believe that focusing on what you can’t change is wasted energy that could be used elsewhere," she explained to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.heraldsun.com.au/coronavirus/melbourne-strong-white-island-survivors-plea-to-lockeddown-melburnians/news-story/f1753533b79b0936d98763a58bb7ea33" target="_blank" class="_e75a791d-denali-editor-page-rtflink"><em>The Herald Sun</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>She explained that her time in hospital was tough, but she kept sane by focusing on having her "normal day to day life back".</p> <p>As she was released when Melbourne is in lockdown due to COVID-19, she unfortunately hasn't had that experience.</p> <p>However, she doesn't let it get her down.</p> <p>"I’ve learnt one of the hardest lessons in life which is that you never know when you’re going to lose someone you love," she shared.</p> <p>"I lost my dad and sister so suddenly and I would do anything and everything to have them in lockdown with mum and I.</p> <p>"I feel as though people don’t realise how precious time is and that you don’t often get the chance to be with family like this," she said.</p> <p>Stephanie also explained that being in lockdown in Melbourne is something that "everyone is going through together".</p> <p>"It isn’t forever and that’s what I choose to focus on.</p> <p>"I choose to take it one day at a time and enjoy my time with mum. I choose to explore what I can do from home and get creative with my time. I choose to stay home and accept this because everybody deserves to feel safe," she said.</p> <p>She also urged people not to be selfish and be "team players".</p> <p>"We need to be team players to overcome this petrifying pandemic.</p> <p>"We just can’t afford to branch off on our own, at the risk of killing another or perhaps our own family members," she said.</p> <p>Her mum Marie said that Stephanie will require more painful and expensive surgeries as she has amputated fingers and burns to most of her body that require a compression suit and full face mask.</p> <p>“She won’t complain,” Marie said.</p> <p>That’s despite the fact “she’s disfigured and her fingers are chopped and she’s burnt all over … she’s just trying to stay alive”.</p> <p>The loss of family members seems to have hit the pair the hardest.</p> <p>“My youngest daughter passed away on the mountain and my husband suffered to death. My other daughter is horrifically injured … I can tell you, there is nothing more important than family … just having your family alive and healthy,” Marie said.</p> <p>“There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do — I would live in a gutter and give up anything — to bring my husband and child back.”</p> <p>The loss still impacts them to this day.</p> <p>“We cry daily, which doesn’t have anything to do with isolation, but because of our grief, our great loss, and our empty home which was once full of laughter and food and people,” Marie said.</p> <p>“Every week, I go to the cemetery where my husband and daughter lay, just so I can talk to them. ”</p> <p>Marie has some advice for Melbourne citizens who are struggling, which is to be safe with your loved ones.</p> <p>“There are people out there, ignoring laws designed to protect their own family’s survival. I can’t comprehend it.</p> <p>“If you have your family, and you have your health, you have everything. I just wish people could see that.</p> <p>“But there are people out there putting themselves and their families, and other families, at risk, complaining about being stuck, with their family, at home.</p> <p>“People are complaining about losing their businesses and the economy, and not being able to go shopping or out for a leisurely stroll, but these things don’t matter.</p> <p>“There is no amount of money, no possessions, that I wouldn’t give up to get some of what I had back, just to get a glimpse of my child or hear her voice or laugh again, to smell her smell.”</p> <p>“Material things you can always get back. You cannot get your family back … Death is irreversible.”</p> </div> </div> </div>

Caring

Lifestyle

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Small businesses are being starved of funds: here’s how to make their loans cheaper

<p>The government has widely touted its support for small businesses – most notably the provision of loans subsidised by the Reserve Bank.</p> <p>In its economic update on Friday the Reserve Bank talked up its low-cost <a href="https://theconversation.com/more-than-a-rate-cut-behind-the-reserve-banks-three-point-plan-134140">Term Funding Facility</a>. Take-up was “<a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/smp/2020/aug/pdf/00-overview.pdf">increasing steadily</a>”.</p> <p>The scheme gives banks <a href="https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/smp/2020/aug/pdf/box-e-the-reserve-banks-term-funding-facility-tff.pdf">ultra low-interest money</a> (0.25% per year for three years) on the understanding they will lend it to households and businesses that need it.</p> <p>The first allocation was a proportion of each lenders’ loan book. The second was conditional on the the lender expanding lending to business.</p> <p><strong>Join 130,000 people who subscribe to free evidence-based news.</strong></p> <p>Get newsletter</p> <p>For every extra dollar the bank extended to large business, it would get one extra dollar of funding from the Reserve Bank. For every extra dollar it lent to a small or medium size business it would get an extra five dollars.</p> <p>Yet the official figures suggest that the overwhelming bulk of the new money has gone to big businesses, those with turnovers of more than A$50 million per year.</p> <p>Medium-sized businesses have barely got a look-in. Lending to small businesses has actually gone backwards.</p> <p><strong>Outstanding credit to businesses</strong></p> <p>Loans outstanding for big businesses are 7.4% higher than at the start of the year, loans outstanding for medium-sized businesses are just 1.3% higher, and loans outstanding for small businesses are down 0.6%.</p> <p>Not only have banks channelled the overwhelming bulk of their new lending to large businesses, they have also done so at lower interest rates.</p> <p><strong>Credit spread reductions for businesses</strong></p> <p>Why have small businesses missed out? One explanation might be that they are not interested in borrowing.</p> <p>However, ask any economist, and she will tell you that demand for a good is usually a function of its price.</p> <p>This ought to be also be true for business credit. The Reserve Bank says small businesses are being charged as much as 4.5%.</p> <p>If the interest rate was lower there is a fair chance the amount borrowed would rise.</p> <p><strong>Banks don’t think they’re worth the risk</strong></p> <p>Another explanation might be that banks don’t see much profit in lending to small businesses. Start ups are risky, even more so in a recession. But the Term Funding Facility was specifically set up to counter this.</p> <p>Unfortunately it has proved inadequate to the task. The Reserve Bank’s offer of a three year loan fixed at 0.25% has not been generous enough to appeal to a banking sector whose cost of funding from traditional sources has also plunged.</p> <p>What can it do to re-calibrate the Term Funding Facility? It is is due to expire in January and will need to be extended in one form or another.</p> <p><strong>They might if the money was free</strong></p> <p>One solution would be to take a leaf out of Europe’s book and make the interest rate on part of the next phase of the program negative, essentially free money.</p> <p>The European Central Bank’s scheme offers loans at rates as low as -1% to banks that are willing to expand lending to small and medium-sized businesses.</p> <p>This offer has helped drive the interest rate faced by small and medium-sized businesses as low as 2%, well below the 4.5% sometimes charged in Australia.</p> <p>If the Reserve Bank offered part of the Term Funding Facility at a negative interest rate for banks that expanded lending to small businesses, it would likely see some expansion.</p> <p>It would both help stimulate the economy and increasing financial stability by making small business failures less likely.</p> <p>Some might argue against this by saying that negative interest rates are unprecedented in Australia. But this argument does not hold water.</p> <p>The times, and almost every proposed solution to our current problems, are unprecedented too.</p> <p><em>Written by Isaac Gross. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/small-businesses-are-being-starved-of-funds-heres-how-to-make-their-loans-cheaper-143834">The Conversation.</a> </em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

Retirement Life

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Science gave this rare lizard a name – and it may already be headed for extinction

<p>Bushfires are a threat to most animal species. But for one rare lizard living on a rocky island in the sky, a single blaze could wipe the species off the planet.</p> <p>The Kaputar rock skink (<em>Egernia roomi</em>) is thought to have have one of the smallest ranges of any reptile in New South Wales – at the summit of a single extinct volcano, Mount Kaputar.</p> <p>The existence of this mysterious skink was informally known for decades, and in August last year the species was finally <a href="https://journals.australianmuseum.net.au/sadlier-2019-rec-aust-mus-715-183197/">scientifically described</a>. But months later, it may already be headed for extinction.</p> <p>Late last year, bushfires are thought to have ripped through <a href="https://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/bushfire-recovery/priority-animals">more than half</a> the Kaputar rock skink’s habitat. We don’t yet know what this means for its survival, but the outlook is not good.</p> <p><strong>A very special skink</strong></p> <p>The Kaputar rock skink is handsome lizard, typically around 10 centimetres in body length, with dark chocolate brown and grey scales and an orange belly.</p> <p>It’s found in the Nandewar Ranges near Narrabri. The ranges – weathered remnants of ancient volcanic eruptions between 21 and 17 million years ago – rise out of the surrounding plains in a series of breathtaking rock formations.</p> <p>The <a href="https://australianmuseum.net.au/blog/amri-news/kaputar-rock-skink/">Kaputar rock skink</a> lives on one of these outcrops, Mount Kaputar. It exists on a narrow band of rock at the summit, more than 1,300 metres above sea level.</p> <p>This high elevation areas is cooler than the surrounding plains, which suits this cool-adapted species perfectly. But the species’ tiny range means it’s highly vulnerable. When danger strikes, the Kaputar rock skink has nowhere to go.</p> <p><strong>When the fires hit</strong></p> <p>Bushfires tore through the Nandewar Ranges in October and November last year, <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-29/giant-pink-slug-mount-kaputar-national-park-survived-bushfire/11911308">reportedly burning</a> more than 17,000 hectares of bush. More than half of Kaputar rock skink habitat is believed to have burned.</p> <p>The expert panel advising the federal government on bushfire recovery has named the skink as one of 119 severely-affected species needing urgent conservation intervention. But the species’ rugged, remote habitat, combined with COVID-19 restrictions, have delayed efforts to assess the extent of the damage.</p> <p>It’s likely that many Kaputar rock skinks died during the fires themselves, although we hope others survived by crawling deep into rock cracks.</p> <p>But after the fires, threats remain. Vegetation loss may make the skinks easy prey, and in a charred landscape, there may be little for the reptiles to eat.</p> <p>History tells us fires do affect high-elevation skinks. For example, fire is thought to have driven the rock-dwelling Guthega skink (<em>Liopholis guthega</em>) to become <a href="https://journalofherpetology.org/doi/abs/10.1670/13-194">locally extinct</a> at some sites on the Bogong High Plains in northeast Victoria.</p> <p><strong>A mountain of threats</strong></p> <p>Species restricted to a small area are vulnerable to any loss of habitat. And fire is not the only threat to the Kaputar rock skink.</p> <p>Climate change is a big concern. While many species respond to increasing temperatures by migrating uphill to cooler climes, that’s not possible for the skink, which is already precariously perched on a summit.</p> <p>Introduced goats may also be <a href="https://journals.australianmuseum.net.au/sadlier-2019-rec-aust-mus-715-183197/">taking a toll</a> as they trample through the rocky terrain.</p> <p><a href="https://media.australianmuseum.net.au/media/dd/documents/1716_complete.f27b407.pdf">Evidence</a> suggests humans are also a disturbance to the Kaputar rock skink’s habitat. The reptiles live close to the edge of cliff lines that are readily accessible by walking tracks. Trampling of low vegetation has been observed at many sites, as have disturbed rocks – the latter possibly from people wanting to find and photograph the species.</p> <p><strong>Where to now?</strong></p> <p>Scientists know relatively little about the Kaputar rock skink. One thing we’re sure of, though, is that the species’ existence is threatened.</p> <p>Surveys are needed at known skink locations, as well as surrounding areas where it might lie undiscovered. Understanding where the species occurs and how it responds to fires, drought and other disturbances is critical to conservation efforts.</p> <p>Of course it’s the middle of winter now, so the skinks may not be very active on their cold mountain top. But my colleagues and I hope to travel to Mount Kaputar soon to survey the skink’s habitat and find out how the species fared.</p> <p>It’s just months since science officially <a href="https://twitter.com/skinks_iucn/status/1168266798757662720">welcomed</a> the Kaputar rock skink to the world. It’s far too early to say goodbye.</p> <p><em>Dane Trembath, an Australian Museum biologist with a focus on reptiles, contributed to this article.</em></p> <p><em>Written by Jodi Rowley. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-few-months-ago-science-gave-this-rare-lizard-a-name-and-it-may-already-be-headed-for-extinction-140356">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Family & Pets

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COVID hunters investigate frozen food risk

<p>Experts in New Zealand are racing to figure out just how the 100 days of the country being COVID-free could have ended.</p> <p>Virus hunters believe there is a possibility the disease could have been freighted back into the country in frozen food or even remains that had been frozen and left in a storage facility for weeks on end.</p> <p>The concerns have been sparked by the fact that one of the family members apart of the COVID outbreak that left experts wondering, worked in a cold storage facility.</p> <p>New Zealand’s director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said on Wednesday that “environmental testing” is being conducted at the cold storage facility where the person worked.</p> <p>“We do know from studies overseas, that actually, the virus can survive in some refrigerated environments for quite some time,” he said.</p> <p>“We start by looking at all the options and ruling then out, and that’s the position we’re in at the moment.</p> <p>“In general the role of surfaces for transmitting the virus has probably been overemphasised in the past.</p> <p>“There’s much more focus now on transmission in indoor environments, and respiratory droplets and aerosols.”</p> <p>Bloomfield says there is evidence suggesting the virus could have been through food, freight or food packaging.</p> <p>“I know that the virus re-emerging in our community has caused alarm and the unknown is scary. That causes anxiety for many of us.</p> <p>“We are working hard to put together the pieces of the puzzle as to how this family got the virus. We are testing all close and casual contacts.”</p> <p>Wu Zunyou, Chief Epidemiologist of China’s Center for Diseases Prevention and Control, told Chinese state media earlier this year year that the virus can survive on the surface of frozen food for up to three months.</p> <p>However, infectious Diseases physician Professor Peter Collingnon told news.com.au that he was still sceptical COVID-19 had been “imported” into New Zealand through frozen food.</p> <p>“But I have always worried when people talk about elimination, it can be so mild in people in their 30s and 40s that it can just be there bubbling away without you knowing,’’ he said.</p> <p>The cold storage facility where the NZ man worked in Mount Wellington has been shut down for testing and cleaning with 160 staff across all the facilities tested for COVID-19.</p>

Food & Wine

Finance

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Murder suspect posted about teenage girl’s death day before his arrest

<p>The man accused of killing a teenage girl in the central coast of NSW more than 21 years ago left a comment on a post about her death just a day before his arrest.</p> <p>Craig Henry Brumsby, who now lives in Sydney, was arrested on Tuesday evening for the murder of teenager Michelle Bright.</p> <p>Police say he was so shocked by the arrest that he needed medical care for heart palpitations.</p> <p>“He was actually taken back to the police station and had heart palpitations and had to get medically treated for a couple of hours,” Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty said.</p> <p>Michelle was just 17 when she was last seen alive on February 27, 1999, when a friend dropped her off on Herbert Street in Gulgong after a birthday party.</p> <p>Three days later, her deceased body was found in long grass on the side of Barneys Reef Road.</p> <p>Rumsby was arrested for Bright’s murder a day after a reward put out for information to solve Bright’s murder was doubled to a whopping $1 million.</p> <p>He posted on the NSW Police Facebook page on Monday: “It’s so sad they haven’t caught her killer... Michelle was like a sister to me.”</p> <p>“I feel sorry for the family.”</p> <p>The 53-year-old appeared in Mudgee Local Court on Wednesday and did not apply for bail.</p> <p>He will return to court next Wednesday.</p> <p>Det Supt Doherty says Rumsby had been a person of interest for several years and responses to the plea reaffirmed existing evidence against him.</p> <p>Police are yet to finalise the investigation; however, it is unlikely the reward will be paid.</p> <p>Michelle’s mother Loraine chose not to speak to the media on Wednesday, explaining on Monday she’s endured 21 years of “indescribable pain”.</p> <p>Det Supt Doherty said the charges against Rumsby had also shocked Loraine Bright.</p>

Legal

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Insider trading has become more subtle

<p>Insider trading comes in two main forms: arguably legal and clearly illegal.</p> <p>But, as with drugs in sport, it’s hard to tell when arguably legal ends and clearly illegal begins.</p> <p>It is generally accepted that it is wrong to buy shares in the company you run when you know something about it that the market does not.</p> <p>It’s especially wrong to buy shares when you are telling the market that things are much worse for the company than you know them to be.</p> <p><strong>Join 130,000 people who subscribe to free evidence-based news.</strong></p> <p>Get newsletter</p> <p>But what about suddenly sharing everything – an avalanche of information – in the lead-up to a share purchase in order to muddy the waters and create enough uncertainty to lower the price?</p> <p>Chief executives have enormous discretion over the tone and timing of the news they release, generally answering to no one.</p> <p>A linguistic analysis of twelve years worth of news releases by 6764 US chief executives just published by myself and two University of Queensland colleagues in the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378426620300881">Journal of Banking and Finance</a> suggests they are using this discretion strategically.</p> <p>Not clearly illegal (how can oversharing be illegal?) their behaviour can have the same effect as talking down their share price while buying, something that is clearly illegal.</p> <p><strong>Spreads matter, as well as signs</strong></p> <p>Earlier analyses of insider trading have looked at only the “sign” of the information released to to the share market. On balance was the tone of one month’s news releases positive or negative?</p> <p>We have looked at the “spread”, the range from positive to negative as well as the net result.</p> <p>It doesn’t make sense to treat as identical a month’s worth of releases which are all neutral tone in tone (sending no message) and a month’s worth of releases of which half are strongly positive and half are strongly negative (stoking uncertainty).</p> <p>Our sample of discretionary (non-required) news releases is drawn from those lodged with <a href="https://web.stevens.edu/hfslwiki/index.php?title=Thomson_Reuters_News_Analytics">Thomson Reuters News Analytics</a> between January 2003 to December 2015. It includes firms listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the AMEX American Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ technology-heavy exchange.</p> <p>The archive scores the tone of each release as positive, negative or neutral.</p> <p>We used the <a href="https://www.thomsonreuters.com/en/press-releases/2014/thomson-reuters-starmine-model-predicts-us-stock-performance.html">Thomson Reuters Insiders Filing Database</a> to obtain information on chief executive buying, limiting our inquiries to significant purchases of at least 100 shares.</p> <p><strong>Strategic uncertainty</strong></p> <p>About 70% of the chief executives proved to be opportunistic traders in the sense that they bought with no particular pattern, rather than at the same time every year.</p> <p>We found that news releases by these chief executives increased information uncertainty by 5.8% and 3.6% in the months before they bought and in the month they bought.</p> <p>In the months following their purchases, the positive to negative spread of their news releases returned to the average for non-purchase months.</p> <p>The unmistakable conclusion is that their behaviour is strategic.</p> <p> We obtained similar results when we used other measures of buying and the tone of news releases.</p> <p>Our results provide no evidence to support the contention that chief executives behave in this strategic way when selling shares. This is consistent with other findings suggesting that the timing of sales is often out of the hands of the sellers.</p> <p><a href="https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup?title=Insider%20trading%20and%20voluntary%20disclosures&amp;publication_year=2006&amp;author=Q.%20Cheng&amp;author=K.%20Lo">Previous studies</a> have found only <a href="https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup?title=Voluntary%20disclosures%20and%20insider%20transactions&amp;publication_year=1999&amp;author=C.F.%20Noe">weak links</a> between executive share purchases and the news they release to the market. This might be because those studies have looked for more easily detected (and more clearly problematic) negative news releases.</p> <p>But that’s an old and (with the advent of linguistic analysis) increasingly risky approach.</p> <p>Our research suggests that by saying many things at once chief executives can achieve much the same thing.</p> <p><em>Written by Barry Oliver. Republished with permission <a href="https://theconversation.com/insider-trading-has-become-more-subtle-142981">of The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Legal

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Luxury jewellery company designs $2 million face mask

<p>Face masks are quickly becoming an essential part of people's daily uniforms when they step outside, with some choosing to have a more luxurious face mask to protect them from coronavirus.</p> <p>Luxury Israeli jewellery brand Yvel has created a custom-made white gold 18-karat face mask with more than 3,600 white and black diamonds.</p> <p>The mask doesn't come cheap, with the white gold and diamond-encrusted face mask having a whopping price tag of $USD 1.5 million ($AUD 2.09 million).</p> <p>The buyer of the mask requested to remain anonymous but urged the jewellery brand to complete the mask by the end of the year.</p> <p>The mask will weigh 270g and is being fitted with N99 filters at the request of the client.</p> <p>“Money maybe doesn’t buy everything, but if it can buy a very expensive COVID-19 mask and the guy wants to wear it and walk around and get the attention, he should be happy with that,” the designer of the mask Isaac Levy explained.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height:0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7837341/facemask-jewelerry-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/38e6dcfb24724539bef19df7452b2230" /></p> <div class="body_text "> <p>While Levy said he would not wear the mask himself, he is grateful his company was given the opportunity to create it.</p> <p>“I am happy that this mask gave us enough work for our employees to be able to provide their jobs in very challenging times like these times right now,” he said.</p> <p>The request for the expensive mask came from a businessman in America, and will "not be delayed" for its due date of 31st of December.</p> <p>“In these tumultuous days, every order we receive helps to preserve the company’s day-to-day operations on the one hand, and brings foreign currency into a country that needs all the help from us industrialists on the other,” Levy added.</p> <p><em>Photo credits: </em><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gq.com.au/style/news/this-jewelery-company-has-designed-a-2-million-face-mask/image-gallery/c73646fbf49811739d9e89473c0fe2a0" target="_blank" class="_e75a791d-denali-editor-page-rtflink">GQ</a></em></p> </div>

Money & Banking

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Curfew breakers on late-night Maccas run turn themselves in

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Three Melbourne vloggers have been fined thousands of dollars after they posted a video of themselves breaching curfew rules for a McDonald's run on Chinese social media.</p> <p>The international students are seen dodging police officers as they make their way into a McDonald's restaurant at 2:30 am on Sunday morning.</p> <p>The students boasted about their "courage" to break the city's 8:00 pm to 5:00 am curfew which has been imposed in parts of Melbourne due to stage 4 coronavirus restrictions.</p> <p>"Who does late-night McDonald's serve?" one student said in the video, accompanied by the James Bond theme tune.</p> <p>"It serves us — the heroic people," another student replied.</p> <p>The trio returned to their apartment before declaring: "This is why Melbourne's restrictions are like a fart".</p> <p>The video was posted on Weibo and received tens of thousands of views in a few hours, sparking widespread condemnation from the Chinese community. </p> <p>"Don't show off risking other people's lives, even if you don't care about your own safety," Wu Yufeng, a Melbourne resident, commented on WeChat.</p> <p>The criticism forced the students to pull the video and issued a public apology.</p> <p>The vloggers told the ABC in a statement that they accepted every criticism they received and they also "provided their detailed account" to police on Monday.</p> <p>"Our so-called 'courage' is very naive before the law. We were a group of shameful jokers, and ignorant people seeking attention," they said in the statement. </p> <p>"We have confessed our mistakes to the police today and received our infringements.</p> <p>"We accept all criticism, which is the punishment we deserve."</p> <p>Victoria Police have confirmed that each person was fined $1,652 for breaching chief health officer directives.</p> <p>"It followed a video which emerged of them filming themselves going out after the curfew hours at approximately 2.30 am on Sunday morning to get take away food from a fast food restaurant in the CBD," a Victoria Police spokesperson told the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-12/melbourne-international-students-break-curfew-for-maccas-run/12546682" target="_blank">ABC</a>.</p> <p>"For the sake of the health and safety of every Victorian, we need people to follow these directives and will not hesitate to issue fines to those who choose to selfishly and blatantly show a disregard for community safety."</p> <p><em>Photo credits: <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-12/melbourne-international-students-break-curfew-for-maccas-run/12546682" target="_blank">ABC</a></em></p> </div> </div> </div>

Legal

Entertainment

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Jim Parsons finally reveals why he quit the Big Bang Theory

<p>Jim Parsons opened about the “intense summer” that made him realise it was time to step away from his starring role on<span> </span><em>The Big Bang Theory</em>.</p> <p>The 47-year-old actor played Sheldon Cooper for 12 seasons on the show before he decided it was time to say goodbye, a decision that ended the show in 2019.</p> <p>Now he’s revealed why. Appearing on<span> </span><em>David Tennant Does A Podcast With …</em><span> </span>Parsons spoke about the reason for his departure.</p> <p>It turns out that a particularly tough summer spent in New York City gave him a moment of “clarity”.</p> <p>After finishing Season 11 in summer 2018, he moved to New York to appear in<span> </span><em>The Boys In The Band on Broadway</em>. He also agreed to film a commercial for Intel. On his way to the commercial shoot, he noticed his dog had become “gravely ill”.</p> <p>“He just looked so bad and I was so tired and I just started crying,” he told the host. “I was like, ‘This dog’s going to die while I’m off working and I feel so bad.’”</p> <p>In the end, he and his husband, Todd Spiewak made the tough decision to put their dog down so he would no longer be in pain. He spent the next few days in a dark place, realising something needed to change in his life, but not being sure what.</p> <p>To top it off, he slipped and broke his foot. He felt one bad thing was happening after the other, which is when Parsons had a moment of “clarity” that the change in his life was bidding farewell to<span> </span><em>Big Bang Theory</em>.</p> <p>“The bottom line was that it was a really intense summer,” he said. “The dog passing away, he was 14, and Todd and I had been together for 15 years at that point, so it just was the end of an era.</p> <p>“I had this moment of clarity that I think you’re very fortunate to get in a lot of ways, of going, ‘Don’t keep speeding by.’ You know? ‘Use this time to take a look around.’ And I did,” he said. “I was like, ‘I gotta make a move.’”</p> <p>His father died at the age of 52, and he came to a realisation that he would be 46 by the time Season 12 ended, which he was contractually obligated for. </p> <p>Parsons then spent some time thinking how he would want to spend the next six years.</p> <p>“I’m not superstitious or anything like that. It was just a context thing,” he told Tennant.</p> <p>When he returned to Los Angeles, he broke the news to Big Bang Theory writers Chuck Lorre and Steven Molaro that he would not entertain the idea of a Season 13.</p> <p>Lorre explained that he considered moving the show forward without Sheldon, but ultimately decided not to.</p>

TV

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Celine Dion stuns in futuristic photo shoot

<p>Celine Dion has proven once again that age is just a number by showing off some serious skin in a gilded photoshoot for her new 12th English-language album,<span> </span><em>Courage</em>.</p> <p>Taking to her Instagram over the weekend, Celine shared two photos of her rocking a gold bodysuit by French fashion designer Thierry Mugler.</p> <p>The 52-year-old captioned the post, “Live life by the golden rule”.</p> <p>The iconic singer credited her 34-year-old backup dancer - and rumoured love interest - Pepe Munoz for styling the look.</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/CDq8CN9DLha/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CDq8CN9DLha/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Live life by the golden rule ✨ - Team Céline . Vivez la vie en respectant la règle d’or ✨ - Team Céline . #Courage #Sunday #MuglerArchives . Styled by @p.e.p.e.munoz and @sydneylopez Hair: @dee_termined_girl Makeup: @justinstclairmakeup 📸: @paolakudacki</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/celinedion/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Céline Dion</a> (@celinedion) on Aug 9, 2020 at 6:52am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>It didn’t take long for fans to flock to the comments section to praise her.</p> <p>“Ageless,” wrote one, while another called her, “My queen”.</p> <p>“So awesome. Such a strong woman,” added another.</p> <p>Others speculated on the inspiration behind Celine’s look.</p> <p>“Love this. Star Wars C3-PO?” proposed one.</p> <p>“Love the dress! Looks like one that Britney wore at the Circus Tour!” added another.</p> <p>“Beyonce vibes!” was another suggestion.</p>

Music

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Masked Singer's Echidna revealed on first night

<p><span>On Monday night's episode of <em>The Masked Singer</em> Australia, the Echidna was the first contestant to be revealed.</span><br /><br /><span>Hiding behind the elaborate mask was none other than the smooth-singing voice of tennis champion Mark Philippoussis.</span><br /><br /><span>Dannii Minogue was not far from the correct guess when she singled out another tennis star, Bernard Tomic, instead.</span><br /><br /><span>Jackie 'O' Henderson got it right however, saying: “I agree that it's a tennis player, and he's got a brilliant serve, he's done modelling. I am locked in Mark Philippoussis.”</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.3008130081301px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7837286/masked-singer-17.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/1a4e083ae1f94078bfe1c303ec3a1ed8" /><br /><br /><span>Mark admitted he was not happy to be out so early.</span><br /><br /><span>“I was bummed. I'm going to be honest, I am competitive,” he said to host Osher Gunsgerg.</span><br /><br /><span>Mark went on to say that he loves music and singing and enjoyed his time on the show.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.3008130081301px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7837287/masked-singer-16.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/e302762712ee4970b8f7d62e97c4f2e4" /><br /><br /><span>“I mean...who doesn't love to sing? I love music. It was an incredible adventure and it was, you know, good to do something where you're uncomfortable,” he said.</span><br /><br /><span>“I definitely was uncomfortable in this mask, but it was an absolute pleasure and it was fun. I had some fun,” he went to add.</span></p>

Music

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Bingeing Netflix under lockdown? Here’s why streaming comes at a cost to the environment

<p>Coronavirus lockdowns have led to a <a href="https://www.csiro.au/en/News/News-releases/2020/COVID-19-puts-brakes-on-global-emissions">massive reduction</a> in global emissions, but there’s one area where energy usage is up – way up – during the pandemic: <a href="https://which-50.com/an-extraordinary-period-in-internet-history-akamai-data-shows-30-per-cent-surge-in-internet-traffic/">internet traffic</a>.</p> <p>Data-intensive <a href="https://www.streamingmediablog.com/2020/04/cdn-traffic-update.html">video streaming</a>, <a href="https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/gaming-usage-up-75-percent-coronavirus-outbreak-verizon-reports-1285140">gaming</a> and <a href="https://blog.zoom.us/wordpress/2020/04/01/a-message-to-our-users/">livestreaming</a> for business, university and school classes, is <a href="https://theshiftproject.org/en/lean-ict-2/">chewing up energy</a>.</p> <p>Estimates can be <a href="https://www.carbonbrief.org/factcheck-what-is-the-carbon-footprint-of-streaming-video-on-netflix">notoriously difficult</a> and depend on the electricity source, but six hours of streaming video may be the equivalent of burning one litre of petrol, due to emissions from the electricity used to power the <a href="https://theconversation.com/wheres-your-data-its-not-actually-in-the-cloud-its-sitting-in-a-data-centre-64168">data centres</a> which deliver the video.</p> <p>In fact, the energy associated with the global IT sector – from powering internet servers to charging smartphones – is estimated to have the <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160811090046.htm">same carbon footprint</a> as the <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-06610-y">aviation industry’s fuel emissions</a> (before planes were grounded).</p> <p>But Australia is a global leader in research to lower the energy used in IT, which is vital for meeting the streaming demand without the environmental cost.</p> <p><strong>Where does the data come from?</strong></p> <p>Video requires huge amounts of data, and accounts for around <a href="https://theshiftproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2019-02.pdf">80% of the data</a> transmitted on the internet. Much of the energy needed for streaming services is consumed by data centres, which deliver data to your computer or device. Increasingly housed in vast factory-sized buildings, these servers store, process and distribute internet traffic.</p> <p>Research in 2015 found data centres may consume as much as <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2078-1547/6/1/117">13% of the world’s electricity by 2030</a>, accounting for about 6% of global carbon dioxide emissions. And the European Commission-funded Eureca project <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/major-milestone-driving-energy-efficiency-data-rabih-bashroush/">found</a> data centres in EU countries consumed 25% more energy in 2017 compared with 2014.</p> <p>Imagine what those figures will look like at the end of this year of home-bound internet use.</p> <p><strong>Meeting demands with Moore’s law</strong></p> <p>The growth in IT is often taken for granted. In contrast to the old days of dial-up internet, we now demand a three-hour movie, in high definition, to download immediately. We want phones that can take video like a pro.</p> <p>None of this is free. Nor is it sustainable. Every year the number of computations, or transmission of information through space, done globally, <a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/332/6025/60">increases by 60%</a>, according to 2011 research.</p> <p>All this computation uses “transistors”. These are tiny switches that amplify electrical signals, and are made using silicon-based technology.</p> <p>For the past 40 years, our ever-increasing need for more computing was largely satisfied by incremental improvements in silicon-based computing technology – ever-smaller, ever-faster, ever-more efficient chips. We refer to this constant shrinking of silicon components as “Moore’s law”.</p> <p>For example, since the late 1970s the length of transistors reduces by about 30%, and the area by about 50%, every two years. This shrinks the energy used in switching on and off each transistor by about 50%, which is better for the environment.</p> <p>While each transistor uses only a tiny amount of energy, there are billions of transistors in a typical computer chip, each switching billions of time per second. This can add up to a vast amount of energy.</p> <p><strong>We need better chips</strong></p> <p>Recently it has become much <a href="https://www.sciencefocus.com/future-technology/when-the-chips-are-down/">harder</a> (and much more <a href="https://www.economist.com/news/2013/11/18/no-moore">expensive</a>) to pursue such trends, and the number of companies pursuing smaller components is dropping off rapidly.</p> <p>Globally, four companies manufactured chips with 14 nanometre (nm) transistors in 2014, but in recent years they’ve struggled to continue shrinking the size of silicon transistors. Global Foundries dropped out of this race altogether in <a href="https://www.anandtech.com/show/13277/globalfoundries-stops-all-7nm-development">2018</a>, and Intel experienced enormous <a href="https://www.anandtech.com/show/15580/intel-cfo-our-10nm-will-be-less-profitable-than-22nm">problems</a> with manufacturing at 10 nm. That leaves only two companies (Samsung and TSMC) making 7 nm transistors today.</p> <p>So the answer isn’t to switch off Netflix. The answer is to create <a href="https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/02/24/905789/were-not-prepared-for-the-end-of-moores-law/">better computer chips</a>.</p> <p>But we’ve got everything we can out of silicon, so we need to use something else. If we want computing to continue to grow, we need new, energy-efficient computers.</p> <p><strong>Australia is a leader in low-energy solutions</strong></p> <p>Australia is leading the world in this new field to replace conventional electronics. The ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies (<a href="http://www.fleet.org.au/">FLEET</a>) was established in 2017 to address exactly this challenge.</p> <p>Michael Fuhrer explains topological materials and why they might change the world.</p> <p>Last year scientists at FLEET published research in Nature <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0788-5">revealing</a> the discovery that the “topological” material sodium-bismuthide could be the key to achieving ultra-low energy electronics.</p> <p>These so-called topological insulators, which led to a <a href="https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/physics/2016/summary/">2016 Nobel Prize in Physics</a>, conduct electricity only along their edges, and in one direction, without loss of energy due to resistance.</p> <p>This discovery is a first step towards the development of a low-energy replacement for conventional silicon-based electronics.</p> <p>Other top research centres in Australia are addressing different parts of this challenge. For example, <a href="https://tmos.org.au/">one centre</a> is working to reduce the energy used in ubiquitous communication of digital data. Another two are taking a different tack, developing an entirely new <a href="https://www.technologyreview.com/2019/01/29/66141/what-is-quantum-computing/">quantum technology for computing</a> which promises to enormously speed up, and improve the efficiency of, certain difficult computing tasks.</p> <p>Quantum computing expert Michelle Simmons explains why this research is so important.</p> <p>Other countries are equally focused on developing alternatives to the unsustainable need for better and faster electronics, since we cannot sustain the energy needed for these existing and future technologies.</p> <p>All of these technologies are still confined to specialised laboratories and are probably at least a decade away from finding their way into everyday devices. But we don’t expect the demand for computing to go away, and the energy problem in IT will only become more urgent.</p> <p><em>Written by Michael Fuhrer and Errol Hunt. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/bingeing-netflix-under-lockdown-heres-why-streaming-comes-at-a-cost-to-the-environment-143190">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle buy first home in USA

<p><span>The duke and duchess of Sussex have bought their first home in California.</span><br /><br /><span>Meghan and Harry are reportedly looking to settle down in Santa Barbara, a picturesque city which is only just 160 kilometres from Los Angeles.</span><br /><br /><span>A representative for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirmed to HELLO! UK the Sussex Family, including son Archie, moved into their new home in July.</span></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/CDyHstlMrvR/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="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/CDyHstlMrvR/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Meghan and Harry❤ (@meghan_and_harry)</a> on Aug 12, 2020 at 1:48am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><br /><span>"They have settled into the quiet privacy of their community since their arrival and hope that this will be respected for their neighbours, as well as for them as a family," the source said.</span><br /><br /><span>The city of Santa Barbara is an affluent community, meaning Meghan and Harry will likely be rubbing shoulders with plenty of celebrities including Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres and Rob Lowe.</span><br /><br /><span>Harry and Meghan's first home together was Frogmore Cottage, a historic Grade II listed property in Windsor.</span><br /><br /><span>It was the first home the couple were able to really spend time together when they first were married.</span></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/CDz5gJBn_jP/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CDz5gJBn_jP/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">La controvertida biografía no oficial sobre los duques de Sussex ha sacado a la luz numerosos detalles de su vida en palacio. - En noviembre de 2018, la Familia Real británica celebró el 70º cumpleaños de Carlos de Inglaterra. Lo hizo distribuyendo unas entrañables fotografías junto a la duquesa de Cornualles, sus dos hijos (el duque de Cambridge y el de Sussex) y las esposas y los hijos de estos. Al príncipe de Gales se le veía feliz, mirando a la cámara mientras sostenía a su nieto George entre los brazos. Todo parecía tranquilo y pacífico en este posado institucional dominado por las sonrisas y la armonía familiar. Pero, según hemos sabido casi dos años después, la intrahistoria de aquellas instantáneas nada tiene que ver con lo que se nos mostró en su momento. - En las páginas de Finding Freedom se recoge que aquel posado, motivado por la celebración del cumpleaños de Carlos de Inglaterra, no fue sino una "pesadilla absoluta". El motivo no era otro que la tensión existente entre los dos hermanos, Guillermo y Harry, que no quisieron hacer un esfuerzo para facilitar la tarea al equipo encargado de tomar las fotografías. Asimismo, se dejaba entrever ya en aquel momento que la relación entre el príncipe de Gales y su hijo pequeño era "complicada".</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/royalty_dr/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Royalty DR</a> (@royalty_dr) on Aug 12, 2020 at 6:23pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><br /><span>In January, after the pair announced they had the intention to step down as senior royals, Megs and Harry spent their time coupled up in Canada on Vancouver Island.</span><br /><br /><span>Eventually, when the pair trekked it to Los Angeles to finally settle and look for a home to buy, reports showed they stayed in Tyler Perry’s $23.8 million Beverly Hills mansion.</span></p>

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Woman rescues $3000 couch using a $3 ALDI find

<p>A woman has revealed how she made an incredible “$2549 saving” using a $3 product from ALDI.</p> <p>Alex Oates, from Melbourne, purchased an expensive second-hand couch online for $450, but when she went to pick it up she discovered it was in a “much worse state than the pictures showed”.</p> <p>Originally costing $2999 from Freedom Furniture, Alex was adamant that she could return it back to its original condition.</p> <p>“I probably searched Facebook Marketplace for two months until I found the couch I wanted,” the 30-year-old mum told news.com.au.</p> <p>“But when I picked it up it had heaps of stains that you couldn’t see in the photos. There were spot stains, pen scribbles and rub marks from their dog. It looked terrible.”</p> <p><img style="width: 382.53968253968253px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7837301/screen-shot-2020-08-11-at-121757-pm.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/c9c62c6797d14681b84d09fc6533f5c2" /></p> <p>Luckily for Alex, she previously invested in a Bissel machine - a popular upholstery cleaner - and decided to use Di San, a $3 stain remover from ALDI, to deep clean the couch.</p> <p>“I couldn’t guarantee it was going to work but it was worth a shot for a couple of hours of my time and a $2500 saving off buying it brand new,” she said.</p> <p>“I sprayed the spot stains with the Di San and let them sit while I removed the cushion covers and sprayed them before running them through the washing machine,” she explained.</p> <p>“I then got the Bissell machine and put the Di San solution into the tank and filled with water and cleaned the couch.”</p> <p>After two hours of hard work, Alex managed to remove all the stains except one, which was located at the bottom of the couch. </p> <p>“We are 100% happy with the results, hubby was very weary about it when I first said we would go second-hand but he’s now very happy with the couch.”</p> <p>The post quickly gained people’s attention, with many praising Alex for restoring the piece of furniture rather than buying it brand new. </p> <p>“OMG I love hearing stuff like this. Well done. You give me hope as I’m currently looking for a new couch myself and probably the same budget as well,” one woman wrote.</p> <p>“Looks fabulous … great score,” another said.</p> <p>“You did a great job, well done,” some added.</p>

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Rare glimpse inside Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell's home

<p>Goldie has given fans a rare look into her beautiful home that she shares with her husband Kurt Russel.</p> <p>It is not the first time the actress has shared her home with loyal fans as thanks to lockdown the star has posted videos from her spacious living room and her workout room.</p> <p>Now the actress has also shared pictures of her large garden, which perfectly encapsulates her eccentric and bubbly personality.</p> <p>The lush green garden is filled with quirky décor, including a giant cow that has been spotted multiple times throughout her social media account.</p> <p>Now that lockdown restrictions have been eased, Goldie and Kurt have been able to allow visits from their family again, including Goldie’s daughter Kate Hudson.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/tv/CAtYhTgni0h/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/tv/CAtYhTgni0h/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Goldie Hawn (@goldiehawn)</a> on May 27, 2020 at 4:08pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Doting grandmother Goldie was pictured with her grandson Ryder in July, and has five other beautiful grandkids to spoil and love.</p> <p>The actress previously told Australian Women's Weekly: "A good family is the answer to happiness. I look at our kids and grandchildren and there's nothing in the world that could make me as proud as I am of all of them."</p> <p>Goldie and her hubby Kurt, who is also an A-list actor, celebrated 37 years of blissful marriage together back in February.</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/CDmlqJEH4gk/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="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/CDmlqJEH4gk/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Goldie Hawn (@goldiehawn)</a> on Aug 7, 2020 at 2:21pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The celebrity couple are often asked about marriage, and Goldie previously revealed their reasons for not tying the knot.</p> <p>Speaking on Loose Women in 2015, the actress admitted: "I would have been long divorced if I’d been married. Marriage is an interesting psychological thing. If you need to feel bound to someone, then it's important to be married.</p> <p>"If you have independence, if you have enough money and sense of independence and you like your independence, there’s something psychological about not being married because it gives you the freedom to make decisions one way or the other.</p> <p>“For me, I chose to stay. Kurt chose to stay, and we like the choice."</p>

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