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How to avoid common financial scams

<p>Australians aged 40-60 face an increased risk of being involved in cyber-scams, here's a few tips on how to avoid becoming a victim. </p> <p><span>There is an increased surge when it comes to financial security concerns online and beyond. Even Hollywood is recognising the rise of these cyber-scams with the tv show CSI: Cyber on Channel 10. Financial scams and more are being explored with actress Patricia Arquette leading a team of FBI investigators to keep the internet safer for all.</span></p> <p>Many of us are finding it difficult to navigate this often-confusing terrain to keep money we have worked hard for safe. With scams designed to infiltrate your security from every point of entry - your phones, your mail and the internet - it is important for consumers to be aware of integral rules for maintaining financial security. </p> <p>The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) offers sound advice for avoiding the pitfalls of unwise investments and scams. On its SCAMWatch website, the ACCC offers users a useful online resource.</p> <p>Have you seen or experienced something that doesn’t feel quite right? Help others by reporting it.<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/tag/SCAMwatchRadar" target="_blank">The SCAMWatch Radar</a><span> </span>is a section for reporting scams and has a page featuring stories from victims involved in a vast array of dodgy dealings.</p> <p>The ACCC's golden rules for safe dealings are simple yet effective. Take them on board and share them with friends and family to help those you love also avoid scams and fraudulent operators.</p> <ol> <li><strong>Be realistic about the offer:</strong><span> </span>If it looks too good to be true it probably is.</li> <li><strong>Seek independent advice from legal counsel or your business planner:</strong><span> </span>From large investments to odd commitments made online, independent advice can make all the difference.</li> <li><strong>Never agree to an investment on the spot:</strong><span> </span>Take the time to carry out your due diligence and contact your independent professionals.</li> <li><strong>Don't ever send money or share your credit card details with people and sites that you don't know or trust:</strong><span> </span>If they're not known to you, do not proceed to pay an online vendor or contact of spurious origin.</li> <li><strong>Keep your bankcards safe and maintain a good ATM safety regime:</strong><span> </span>With cameras and other scamming devices built into many publicly accessible ATM's, it is best to cover your hands while entering your PIN. Also, never keep a copy of your PIN inside your wallet.</li> <li><strong>Remember that you can always contact the ACCC, ASIC and your state-based office of fair-trading:</strong><span> </span>If you suspect that something is awry, make contact with the authorities and crosscheck your experiences with them. </li> </ol> <p><strong>Identity Theft<br /></strong>It sounds like something from a movie (actress Melissa McCarthy gave it a funny take in her 2013 movie<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uO12W35DpsQ" target="_blank">Identity Thief</a> yet in real life it isn’t quite so hilarious). It is difficult to believe that one of the most common and invasive scams is identity theft. This involves dedicated scammers targeting your finances and personal security. It is a dangerous process often resulting in depleted bank accounts and strange financial events being attributed to the victim.</p> <p>To help avoid identity theft, always keep a close eye on where your personal details are entered, and only give out your personal information if it is necessary and if you trust the recipient. The ACCC advises that people shred or cut-up their old bills and personal documents, no matter how insignificant. Really don’t want to get a paper shredder? At least reduce the risk by cutting or tearing up bills with personal details and putting them out in different sections of the rubbish on different days. Or take them in to work to use the paper shredder there. By using a paper shredder your paper documents will not be able to be accessed by scammers. The ACCC watchdog also advises consumers to regularly check their credit report and double-check bank statements for odd purchases.</p> <p><strong>Money transfers<br /></strong>Be wary of sending any money in order to 'claim' or 'win' more money, as this is often a false promise. Be aware of chain letter systems or pyramid schemes; these are often pitched as 'get-rich-quick' systems. In addition to real-world scams, there are many online and phone based deceptions designed to elicit your banking details, so please be aware that any contentious purchase or subscription (mostly online) can come back to bite you. Love entering great competitions? Ensure you only enter on trusted sites.<a target="_blank"></a></p> <p><strong>Phone and Mobile Scams<br /></strong>Whether it's a text from an unknown number, or a seemingly innocuous chat with an over friendly or inquisitive call centre operator based overseas, there are many grifts that target consumers over the phone.</p> <p>Though many telemarketing calls are still legitimate, it is relatively simple to separate the wheat from the chaff by asking the speaker to provide you with their name and the name of the company they represent. Note these details and proceed to finish the conversation. If they say they are calling from the tax office or even a mobile phone company you are with say you’ll call them back through the number you know to be correct from the official website. If they baulk it is an instant sign they can not be trusted so get off the phone immediately. Do not agree to any changes or deals from just a phone call, unless you can definitely trust the caller or verify their connection to you. Unless from a veritable source, never provide the caller with your credit card details or even mobile phone number or email. </p> <p>Identifying mobile SMS and MMS scams are easier to spot: phone numbers beginning with '190' are dubious, as are SMS and MMS messages from numbers beginning with the digits '19'. </p> <p><strong>Online Security<br /></strong>This is an incredibly pertinent issue, given that the majority of our modern communications and transactions take place on the Internet. Even major banking, security and governmental institutions are capable of being penetrated by hackers or being copied by fraudsters. However, with a few simple tips, you can safely browse the web without worrying about breaches of security. </p> <p>Spam and analytic filtering software is the best starting point to limit your exposure and offer protection from those dreaded cyber-thugs. Get an anti-virus program for your operating system and let it manage your security in a simple and easy-to-interpret manner. If you can, add a few extensions to your browser and limit those nasty analytics and advertising bots from peeping into your browsing. <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.ghostery.com/en/" target="_blank">Ghostery</a> is a great free resource to block trackers, and<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere" target="_blank">HTTPS Everywhere</a><span> </span>is an advantageous application that encrypts your communication. In doubt? Next time you get your computer serviced or have a professional update your computer system speak to them about what you need to install to help protect yourself and your bank balance.</p> <p>In terms of browsing, never enter your personal details in pop-ups or sidebar advertisements. Be wary as many of these look like a regular system warning. Similarly, do not follow links within spam emails or communications from unknown sources. Harmful programs can be automatically downloaded to your computer without you knowing, and the end result can be disastrous. Try not to access any sensitive sites in a public Internet cafe or library, and make sure that your passwords are case sensitive, inventive and use different passwords for all of your accounts.</p> <p>Financial security is a major issue for all of us, requiring a good deal of vigilance and attention to detail. With a bit of experience and these simple tips, you'll easily be able to distinguish the scam from the genuine offer. </p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/financial-planning/how-to-avoid-common-financial-scams.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

Legal

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4 ways to read more books

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some of us may be familiar with the experience of buying books only to leave them on the bedside table, waiting to be finished. With all the distractions in our world today, it can indeed be hard to commit our attention and dive into the pages properly. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some practical tips can help you make reading a part of your everyday life with little to no effort. Here are some of the ideas you can try to help you read more and become a consistent page-turner.</span></p> <p><strong>1. Always keep a book nearby</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The idea is to make reading the easiest, most practical choice you can make. Whether you are chilling in the living room or winding down in the bedroom, place some reading material within your sight. Install your bookshelf at a spot you frequent around the home. Sneak a book or an e-reader into your bag whenever you go out, so that you can enjoy that novel you’ve been meaning to complete instead of scrolling through your social media feed on your commute. If you enjoy audiobooks, invest in a speaker or other device that can keep you on track as you do your activities.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s also helpful to make your environment more reading-friendly. Identify potential distractions – which may include a TV or mobile phone – and keep them at bay wherever possible.</span></p> <p><strong>2. Prepare a reading list</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Create a list of books you are interested in and load up, so that you have a new read ready every time you are done with an old one.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Don’t know what to read? Check out online reviews on Goodreads or online bookshops such as Amazon to find recommendations. Alternatively, visit your local bookstore and consult the “staff picks” or the best-seller section. You can also sift through celebrities’ lists – try </span><a href="https://www.gatesnotes.com/About-Bill-Gates/Best-Books-2018"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bill Gates</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, </span><a href="http://www.oprah.com/app/books.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Oprah Winfrey</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> or </span><a href="https://hello-sunshine.com/book-club"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Reese Witherspoon</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. </span></p> <p><strong>3. Keep things dynamic</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Your bookshelf might feel like a fixed part of your home, an object of history that should not be tampered with. However, a new perspective can help you boost your reading rate.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Author of </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Happiness Equation </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Neil Pasricha recommends thinking of your shelf as a “</span><a href="https://hbr.org/2017/02/8-ways-to-read-a-lot-more-books-this-year"><span style="font-weight: 400;">dynamic organism</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">” that is continuously “moving” and “changing”. His method is to add five new books and remove three to four of the old ones every once in a while. This way, you can start to view the shelf as an everlasting source of new stimulation instead of a static object that you could just walk past by.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Keeping your collection dynamic doesn’t have to be expensive – try a book swap with family members or friends, or borrow some reads from the local library. Your local area might also have a book sharing initiative, where you can take and leave books from a designated shared spot with your neighbours and community members.</span></p> <p><strong>4. Lean into your taste</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are moments when you want to like a book, but can’t really get into it no matter how much you try. If reading that copy of </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ulysses </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">or </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Infinite Jest</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> feels more like a chore than a leisure,</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">don’t feel guilty about ditching them. You may return to said books in the future and find them a lot more engrossing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Otherwise, you can try powering through these books to learn more about your reading preferences. Try building up your endurance by setting a goal – for example, reading 30 pages or three chapters in one sitting. If you still find yourself disliking the books, think about what makes them unappealing to you: is it the prose style, the setting, the themes or the genre? From there, you can find other titles that align more closely with what you enjoy.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It is good to challenge yourself with books that are out of your usual digs – but if the goal is to become a consistent reader, start by trusting your taste.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Do you have any tips to read more? Share with us in the comments below.</span></p>

Books

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How to learn while you're asleep

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Can we learn while we’re asleep? The premise might sound too good to be true, but a new study has suggested that it’s possible.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Researchers from Switzerland’s University of Bern have found that people can learn a new language while they’re asleep.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The study, published in </span><a href="https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(18)31672-5?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0960982218316725%3Fshowall%3Dtrue#secsectitle0010"><span style="font-weight: 400;"><em>Current Biology</em></span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">earlier this year, discovered that people in a deep sleep can learn new vocabularies. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The participants in the study were put in a controlled environment and given headphones to listen through when they slept. Their brain activity was recorded when the researchers played words from a made-up language. These fake words were paired up with their German translations – for example, the fake word “tofer” is paired with “Haus” (house) and “guga” is paired with “elefant” (elephant).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Upon waking up, the participants were given an implicit memory test. Surprisingly, they were able to correctly answer questions on the made-up words, including what they denoted and whether they were the larger or smaller objects compared to the others.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The researchers found that people’s association between the words and their meaning was stronger when the word was played during slow wave sleep, also known as deep sleep, which they described as the best moment for sleep-learning. It is when the body is most relaxed and the brain is performing memory consolidation processes.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"It was particularly interesting that language areas and the hippocampus – which normally regulate language-learning while we're awake – were also activated when learning the vocabulary learnt in deep sleep," said co-author of the study Marc Züs in a press release.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"It seems these structures regulate memory formation independent of whatever state of consciousness we're in – whether unconsciously in sleep, or consciously while we're awake."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This is the latest study to support the idea of sleep-learning. In </span><a href="https://www.wired.co.uk/article/learn-languages-while-you-sleep"><span style="font-weight: 400;">2014</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, a team from the Swiss National Science Foundation discovered that listening to foreign languages during sleep helps reinforce vocabulary learning. In 2012, a </span><a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nn.3193"><span style="font-weight: 400;">study</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> by Israeli researchers found that people could associate sounds with scents that they were exposed to when they were dozing off.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While the researchers said more experiments are needed to support their findings, the study showed promise in continuous learning – even while you’re unconscious.</span></p>

Mind

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104-year-old woman fulfils her wish to get arrested

<p>A 104-year-old woman just had her biggest wish fulfilled – to be arrested by the police.</p> <p>For the International Day of Happiness, English woman Anne Brokenbrow ticked off her bucket list wish of being placed under arrest by the authorities last Friday.</p> <p>The elderly had put in her wish as part of the Bristol Wishing Washing Line initiative. “My wish is... to be arrested,” Brokenbrow’s request read. “I am 104 and I have never been on the wrong side of the law.”</p> <p>With the help of UK charity Alive Activities, the Avon and Somerset police team granted Brokenbrow’s wish.</p> <p>The elderly was handcuffed at her residence, the Stokeleigh Care Home, and charged with “being a good citizen”.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Faliveactivities%2Fposts%2F2019093208169291&amp;width=500" width="500" height="617" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe> <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Faliveactivities%2Fvideos%2F2333549470249801%2F&amp;show_text=1&amp;width=560" width="560" height="464" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></p> <p>Brokenbrow was then taken to a waiting police vehicle. According to the charity, when asked if she wanted the sirens on, Brokenbrow responded, “Yes please!”</p> <p>After the mock arrest, she posed for a picture wearing a police hat.</p> <p>“It’s something that normally never happens, isn’t it?” the centenarian said. “Now we’ve shown ‘em.”</p> <p>According to <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/auhome/index.html" target="_blank">Daily Mail</a></em>, Brokenbrow worked as a secretary before she retired.</p> <p>Kelly Lewis, the activities coordinator at Brokenbrow’s residential home said the elder’s wish was surprising at first. “She’s really fun, she’s got a really good sense of humour,” said Lewis.</p> <p>“We were surprised when she said it but thinking about it it’s actually quite in character for Anne.”</p>

Retirement Life

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Can money buy happiness?

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some of us would go to great lengths to save money, even if it means spending more time and dealing with more inconveniences on the way – be it lining up for coveted bargains or looking for secret tricks to score lower prices. But Ashley Whillans, professor at Harvard Business School believes that another approach is better in bringing us happiness.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the </span><em><a href="https://hbr.org/ideacast/2019/01/use-your-money-to-buy-happier-time"><span style="font-weight: 400;">HBR IdeaCast</span></a> </em><span style="font-weight: 400;">podcast, Whillans said that people will gain the most happiness when they use their money to buy time. She believed we should spend our hard-earned cash not only on the things we like, but also to get out of “negative experiences” like doing the dishes or commuting. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This means paying for goods and services that will reduce the time spent on stressful activities – for example, buying a pricier house that is close to anywhere to avoid getting stuck in traffic.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many people might not be comfortable with the idea of paying someone to perform seemingly basic chores like cooking, shopping or driving. However, Whillans argued that we could shift our perspective on time and money. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I find in my studies that people feel really guilty about outsourcing even though they’re giving up money to have more time that they’ve earned,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But one of her studies found that enlisting the help of “time-saving services” can help reduce stress and improve happiness.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Just the simple act of thinking about giving up money to have more free time seems to make people plan their time a little bit better. If I’m going to incur this cost to have this free time, then I’m going to make sure I really enjoy the free time that I have.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But this doesn’t mean overhauling your budget and outsourcing every task. Whillans recommended starting small and staying away from drastic changes. “Just sitting down and thinking about whether there’s anything you can outsource that you really don’t like, that stresses you out a lot, that you can afford,” Whillans said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Would you spend more money to get quality free time? Share your thoughts in the comments.</span></p>

Retirement Income

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How to tell someone you have cancer and how to respond properly as a loved one

<p>Finding out you have cancer can be devastating. After figuring out what treatments you’re going to undertake, the next daunting step is telling your family.</p> <p>ABC presenter Jill Emberson released a podcast about her experience of living with terminal ovarian cancer.</p> <p>It’s in this podcast that she goes into detail about letting the people in her life know about her diagnosis.</p> <p>"I remember the phone calls I had to make to my family. They're really hard to remember making," she says.</p> <p>"My mother — I could hardly bear having that conversation with her."</p> <p>Speaking to <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/life/telling-people-about-your-cancer-diagnosis-and-how-to-respond/10385738"><em>ABC Life</em></a>, Brenda Clasquin, a support consultant for The Cancer Council says that these conversations are known for being tough. She also says that we shouldn’t feel guilty for not knowing the right thing to say.</p> <p><strong>How to tell your family</strong></p> <p>"A diagnosis like this comes with a huge shock, and people need the opportunity to absorb that shock themselves before they tell everybody else," she says.</p> <p>Clasquin also says it can be helpful to write pointers, just so you say everything you feel like you need to say.</p> <p>"Write down some pointers of what you want to say, and what you want to avoid saying," She says.</p> <p><strong>How to tell your children</strong></p> <p>Telling your children is the next difficult step. Clasquin says even young children will sense something is wrong, despite what they’ve been told.</p> <p>"You do need to prepare to tell your children this news, but they shouldn't be the last to know," she says.</p> <p>"Make sure they feel part of the family and not excluded from what is a really big event."</p> <p><strong>How to receive this news</strong></p> <p>It can be hard enough working up the courage to tell people about your diagnosis. But what about the person who’s receiving the news?</p> <p>Clasquin acknowledges that although receiving the news can be hard to hear, it’s not the role of the person whose diagnosed with cancer to support their family and friends.</p> <p>"Hold yourself if possible and give yourself time to process what you've been told before you respond," she says.</p> <p>Do you have any tips? Let us know in the comments.</p>

Family & Pets

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Fitness trackers overestimate the number of calories burned

<p>Researchers in Aberystwyth University have found that popular brands of fitness trackers can overestimate the number of calories burned while walking by more than 50 per cent.</p> <p>Dr Rhys Thatcher has said that devices had an “inherent tendency” to overmeasure.</p> <p>The tests, which were carried out for the <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006sggm">BBC X-Ray programme</a>, measured the amount of oxygen a volunteer used during ten minutes of walking and running sessions on a treadmill before comparing it to a range of various fitness trackers.</p> <p>The fitness trackers on offer were varied in price, ranging from £20 ($AUD 36) to £80 ($AUD 147).</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/BrYGUEsBryN/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading&amp;utm_campaign=embed_locale_test" 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/BrYGUEsBryN/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading&amp;utm_campaign=embed_locale_test" target="_blank">A post shared by fitbit (@fitbit)</a> on Dec 14, 2018 at 9:43am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The Fitbit Charge 2 was very accurate in testing calories while the volunteer was running, underestimating by 4 per cent. However, when the volunteer was walking, the tracker overestimated by 50 per cent.</p> <p>Dr Thatcher explained:</p> <p>"If you want to know the exact number of calories that you are burning during an exercise session then it doesn't matter which device you use, you have to interpret the data with some caution”</p> <p>Fitbit have said that they’re confident about the performance of their product.</p> <p>Have you noticed that your fitness tracker over estimates the number of calories burned? Let us know in the comments.</p>

Technology

News

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Jacinda Ardern receives heartwarming tribute: “We are so very proud”

<p>Clark Gayford, the partner of New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, has shared a heartwarming post in light of the new gun control measures announced by his other half.</p> <p>In the wake of the Christchurch shooting, Ms Ardern was swift to announce reforms on Thursday, including the immediate ban of military-style semi-automatic guns and rifles.</p> <p>Her partner Clark shared an adorable photo of the couple’s daughter tightly clutching her father’s finger.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">For her 9 month birthday today we received the gift of crawling. <br />While her mum got her the gift of having a safer country to grow up in. <a href="https://t.co/FiCSTn0PM8">pic.twitter.com/FiCSTn0PM8</a></p> — Clarke Gayford (@NZClarke) <a href="https://twitter.com/NZClarke/status/1108632466800009216?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 21, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>“For her 9-month birthday today we received the gift of crawling,” he wrote for the caption.</p> <p>“While her mum got her the gift of having a safer country to grow up in.”</p> <p>The stay-at-home dad has received a mass amount of praise from followers, commending the way the Prime Minister handled herself in the wake of the terrorist attack.</p> <p>The sharp and cutting message has garnered over 7,000 likes and a flurry of retweets.</p> <p>The rare image of the couple’s daughter, Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford, which was paired with an emotional and inspiring tribute to his politician partner – has received countless support.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7825099/jacinda-ardern-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/d98415c1eed241dc93428d9d4e065e8e" /></p> <p>“Please thank Neve for giving you the strength to give Jacinda the strength to give us all the strength to get through this together,” wrote one Twitter user.</p> <p>“We are so very proud of your mama little Neve,” wrote another.</p> <p>“I hope she is looking after herself too in all of this.”</p> <p>42-year-old Gayford formerly told<em> </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.nowtolove.com.au/parenting/celebrity-families/clarke-gayford-tribute-neve-jacinda-adern-54764" target="_blank"><em>Australian Women’s Weekly</em></a> why he put his own career, a documentary show, <em>Fish of the Day</em> on hold to look after baby Neve while his partner lead New Zealand.</p> <p>“We weighed it up and we decided that her job was possibly slightly more important,” he’d joked.</p> <p>“It was always on the cards to work out that way. I've always been completely supportive of Jacinda and I believe in what she's trying to achieve for New Zealand.</p> <p>“So, it was easy for me to make that call. There are plenty of males out there that do that.”</p>

News

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Scott Morrison slammed after explosive interview with Waleed Aly

<div> <div class="replay"> <div class="reply_body body linkify"> <div class="reply_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>The Project viewers took to social media to note one key aspect of the testy exchange between Scott Morrison and Waleed Aly – The Prime Minister’s “aggressive” body language.</p> <p>The Prime Minister’s office accused <em>The Project</em> of defamation, after Aly stated that the PM once suggested exploiting Muslims for political gain – the two then came head to head on last night’s episode in a special 30-minute commercial free edition of the show.</p> <p>Viewers who tuned in on the special segment took to Twitter and Facebook to comment on the politician’s apparent frustration during the interview, in which he could be seen slouching back in his chair and crossing his legs.</p> <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FTheProjectTV%2Fvideos%2F335749733744694%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe> <p>While Aly questioned him about the Coalition’s views on Muslims, many interpreted Morrison’s body language as “aggressive” and felt he came off as somewhat of a “bully.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">And slouching back in his seat with legs crossed, a foot raised and ready to kick out. Morrison's body language was revealing, to say the least.</p> — RealFakeLiberal (@RealFakeLiberal) <a href="https://twitter.com/RealFakeLiberal/status/1108649928216109056?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 21, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Social media users were divided on who appeared stronger throughout the segment, with some commending the Prime Minister’s refusal to “back down” against Aly’s “dribbling” interview.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/ScottMorrisonMP?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ScottMorrisonMP</a> did way better than I anticipated. I was disappointed in Waleed's performance though.</p> — Christine Ryan (@ChristineRyan70) <a href="https://twitter.com/ChristineRyan70/status/1108662226435497984?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 21, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>“To me that means he’s not intimidated by his interviewer,” Pamela Johnson wrote.</p> <p>Isaac Ryan added: “Now sitting comfortably is against the law according to leftist thinkers.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Waleed tried to dig up dirt on our gracious PM who tonight clarified that he stands for uniting, not dividing the Australian people, whether they be Coptic, Muslim, Buddhist etc. But the same can’t be said for Waleed. Its not about composure. It’s about cohesion.</p> — Karen Williams (@KarenWi151515) <a href="https://twitter.com/KarenWi151515/status/1108660161894211585?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 21, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>What did you think of Scott Morrison’s interview with Waleed Aly? Let us know in the comments below.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div></div>

News

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Mick Schumacher: "Being compared to my father was never a problem for me"

<p>Mick Schumacher says he has no problem being compared to his father, Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher.</p> <p>Speaking ahead of his first Formula 2 season, Mick – who is turning 20 tomorrow – said the comparisons with the seven-time Formula 1 world champion are an "honour" rather than a burden.</p> <p>"Being compared to my father was never a problem for me," Mick said in a new video interview released by the Prema team.</p> <p>"Being compared to the best driver in F1 history is the goal you want to achieve and to have that as my idol and my father is something very special."</p> <p>Mick added, "I feel honoured to be compared to him because I just learn and try to improve."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/SchumacherMick?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SchumacherMick</a> speaks about his upcoming debut in the 2019 <a href="https://twitter.com/FIA_F2?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@FIA_F2</a> Championship, his goals for the season, staying with <a href="https://twitter.com/PREMA_Team?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PREMA_Team</a> and joining <a href="https://twitter.com/insideFDA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@insideFDA</a> <br /><br />🎬: <a href="https://twitter.com/autofocusbg?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@autofocusbg</a> <a href="https://t.co/PAVX8WttEn">https://t.co/PAVX8WttEn</a></p> — PREMA (@PREMA_Team) <a href="https://twitter.com/PREMA_Team/status/1108398847968071686?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 20, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Very little has been heard about Michael since his 2013 skiing incident, but Mick has continued to rise into prominence with his own racing career. The young German is driving for the Prema team this year after winning his first major title at the European Formula 3 series in 2018.</p> <p>Mick, who joined the Ferrari Driver Academy in January, also talked about moving from F3 to F2 racing. "The step itself isn't that huge from F3 … it's more understanding the tyre at 100 percent," he said. "That will be the most difficult part … It’s a good challenge."</p> <p>Mick will begin his first Formula 2 campaign in Bahrain next week.</p>

News

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“Australians will be feeling this too”: Jacinda Ardern’s message to Australia

<p>New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern shared a message to Australians in the wake of the terror attacks in Christchurch.</p> <p>She was asked during a press conference if she had a message for Australia. The 38-year-old responded saying that the attack won’t impact the relationship between Australia and New Zealand.</p> <p>“We’re incredibly aware that Australians will be feeling that too,” she said.</p> <p>“We have acknowledged that this person was not a New Zealand citizen. They did not grow up with this ideology here. They did come to us and bring this terrorist act with them.</p> <p>“But we do not see that as a reflection of our relationship with Australia or its people. And so, I do draw that distinction. I think New Zealanders draw that distinction.”</p> <p>Ardern also reflected on the “fantastic” support from Australian agencies and mentioned that she has been in contact with her Australian counterpart Scott Morrison since the attack.</p> <p>One of the most touching moments from the conference was Ardern speaking about how some of the victims in the attack were Syrian refugees.</p> <p>“I cannot tell you how gutting it is to know that a family came here for safety and refuge and they should have been safe here,” she said.</p> <p>A two-minute silence is being held this Friday in memory of those who lost their lives in the attack. A memorial service is also planned.</p> <p> </p>

News

Travel

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Muralist bringing much needed attention to small Aussie towns

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As Guido van Helten pulled into Brim, a remote town in Victoria of less than 200 people, he had a plan.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Brisbane-born artist has garnered international fame throughout the art world for some of the works he has done across the globe.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, some of his favourites are in Australia.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">His personal favourite is a 30-metre-high mural that’s been painted on a collection of run-down murals.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Helten specialises in photorealistic murals, which pop up in odd locations.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Helten revealed to the ABC that a lot of work and research goes into the mural locations before he’s even picked up a spray paint can.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“These sort of towns, I often drove around, but I would just drive straight past,” he explained.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Helten had often driven past Brim and had some unanswered questions.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’ve often wondered, what’s it like? What are the people like? Who lives here?”</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/Bu-AC_oBcn5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bu-AC_oBcn5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by ⚡S T E P H A N I E - L E I G H (@steph.the.knowing)</a> on Mar 13, 2019 at 5:33pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Helten’s next project is on the Southern Cross University, which has campuses in Lismore and the Gold Coast.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Gold Coast campus is the one to score an exclusive from Helten, and he’s looking to start painting on March 6</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">on a 43-metre high canvas.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The painting will take about two weeks to complete, but it’s nothing that Helten can’t handle.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He’s just spent the colder months of 2018 painting in Iowa, USA.</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/Bt30WMTAekE/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bt30WMTAekE/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Guido van Helten (@guidovanhelten)</a> on Feb 14, 2019 at 10:24am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Are you a fan of Helten’s work? Let us know in the comments.</span></p>

Domestic Travel

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The best European destination for 2019 has been revealed

<p><span>Budapest has been named this year’s “European Best Destination”, beating out 19 other cities and regions across the continent.</span></p> <p><span>Travellers from 153 countries participated in choosing the best destination at the 10<sup>th</sup> annual European Best Destinations, with the competition receiving a record of more than half a million votes this year. </span></p> <p><span>The capital of Hungary emerged on top, with more than 62,000 votes from travellers around the world. </span></p> <p><span>The competition’s website praised the city’s culture, gastronomy scene and heritage sites. “The pearl of the Danube is not only the best European destination, it is also one of the most beautiful and safest cities in the world,” it stated. </span></p> <p><span>“Budapest offers the elegance of Paris, the architectural heritage of Vienna, the charm of Porto, Stockholm’s gentle way of life.”</span></p> <p><span>Portugal’s Braga came at number two with the most votes from Brazilian and UK travellers. “The city offers the best of Portugal in a friendly and warm atmosphere,” the website said.</span></p> <p><span>Italy’s Monte Isola and France’s Metz followed at the third and fourth rank respectively. Both became the most-voted cities in their respective countries in the competition’s 10-year history.</span></p> <p><span>Below are the 2019’s top 15 European Best Destinations:</span></p> <ol> <li><span>Budapest, Hungary</span></li> <li><span>Braga, Portugal</span></li> <li><span>Monte Isola, Italy</span></li> <li><span>Metz, France</span></li> <li><span>Poznan, Poland</span></li> <li><span>Malaga, Spain</span></li> <li><span>Geneva, Switzerland</span></li> <li><span>Cavtat, Croatia</span></li> <li><span>Bratislava, Slovakia</span></li> <li><span>Sainte-Maxime, France</span></li> <li><span>Dinant, Belgium</span></li> <li><span>Athens, Greece</span></li> <li><span>Kotor, Montenegro</span></li> <li><span>Riga, Latvia</span></li> <li><span>Florence, Italy</span></li> </ol> <p><span>Other destinations in the running included Paris, Brussels, Berlin, London and Vienna. The voting took place online across 21 days from January to February.</span></p> <p><span>Last year, Poland’s Wroclaw won the prestigious title, winning over Spain’s Bilbao, France’s Colmar and Croatia’s Hvar Island.</span></p> <p><span>Click through the gallery above to see the top 5 European destinations.</span></p> <p><span>Have you visited Budapest before? Let us know in the comments below.</span></p>

International Travel

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Discover the sights, sounds and tastes of New Zealand’s North Island

<p>Active volcanoes, island sanctuaries and breathtaking views sound like a dream to many, but can quickly become a reality when visiting New Zealand’s vast North Island. A location rich in Māori culture, the sprawling farmlands and geothermal wonders will give you plenty to talk about and even more to remember as you journey through a trip of a lifetime.</p> <p>The awe-inspiring enclave is one that must be seen to be believed, and there is no better way to truly immerse yourself in the experience of a lifetime than with <span><a href="https://www.princess.com/">Princess Cruises</a></span>. As you make your way around the highly coveted regions of New Zealand, you will feel at ease knowing that you’re touring with a company that prides itself on delivering quality service and an unforgettable experience.</p> <p>Here are three reasons as to why you should visit North Island in New Zealand:</p> <p><strong>1. The picturesque sights</strong></p> <p>The Great Barrier Island is ideal for those who enjoy stargazing. It’s one of only four Dark Sky Sanctuaries in the world, which allows people to witness the Milky Way. A Dark Sky Sanctuary is a location that is known for its distinguished quality of starry skies and is an area that has been protected.</p> <p>Dark Sky Sanctuaries are usually in remote locations and there are few if any, nearby threats to the quality of the dark night sky. This means that stargazing at these locations is ideal, as you’re bound to see everything and anything that the sky has to offer.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7825104/great-barrier-island-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/e980d6927c784ec2a40792d90c174b1c" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>What the Dark Sky Sanctuary looks like at night</em></p> <p>As the Great Barrier Island is the sixth-largest island in New Zealand, it’s not the easiest place in the world to get to. Princess Cruises recognise this and have expanded their <em>Across the Ditch</em><em> </em>program to include access to the Great Barrier Island. Now, It’s no longer a challenge to get out there.</p> <p>Princess Cruises’ Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific, Stuart Allison has explained the reason behind the expansion:</p> <p>“With New Zealand attracting more repeat cruisers than any other itinerary, we’ve broadened our <em>Across the Ditch</em> Program this year by partnering exclusively with a number of regional experts to offer our guests a number of truly immersive and authentic tourism experiences.”</p> <p><strong>2. The serene sounds</strong></p> <p>With specific regional adventures at each New Zealand port, a variety of different sounds will be heard. As Princess Cruises takes you through a number of ports across North Island, you will be able to hear traditional Māori chants that come with the Haka War Dance or Poi Dancing. You’re also able to perform these dances yourself!</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7825103/princess-native-ship.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/943c154d344e458a962ac850d7f9db72" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>A Princess Cruise ship on the sea</em></p> <p>But if you prefer activities that aren’t so high strung, you can choose to experience the complete silence that comes with exploring the glow worms in Auckland, as the Glowworm Grotto will leave you in awe.</p> <p>Princess Cruises has partnered exclusively with a number of regional experts to offer their guests a variety of truly immersive and authentic tourism experiences, like the one mentioned above.</p> <p>Mr Allison explains:</p> <p>“Princess Cruises has a long association with New Zealand and the many regional communities we visit, which share in the success of cruising. We look forward to growing in partnership with communities in ways that support sustainable tourism across culture and landscape.”</p> <p><strong> 3. </strong><strong>The immersive experiences</strong></p> <p>One of the many highlights of the trip takes you off the beaten track as you take a ride through North Island’s gorgeous countryside towards Rotorua.</p> <p>Your driver – who also doubles as your guide – will take you to the first stop of the day, which is Agrodome, a sheep and beef farm complete with scenic views wherever you turn.</p> <p>The tour involves activities appropriate for the entire family, such as sheep shearing demonstrations and the opportunity to watch sheep dogs in action.</p> <p>Also included in the itinerary is Te Puia, home of the internationally renowned spouting Pohutu geyser. And to give you the most authentic experience possible, your guide will be of Māori heritage, and will tell you stories and legends of the beautiful country.</p> <p>The last 45 years, visitors have had the opportunity to immerse themselves in Māori culture with the help of the Te Puia’s Māori Arts &amp; Crafts Institute. During your visit, you will enjoy a delicious lunch and the world-famous haka – a war dance used to frighten enemies.</p> <p>To finish it off, your drive back takes you through the stunning Rotorua and kiwifruit country, giving you the perfect opportunity to take photos and relax.</p> <p>The North Island of New Zealand has a lot on offer, and luckily there’s a way to see it all. Princess Cruises offer a range of packages to suit all budget and time allowances. For more information on Princess Cruises, see a licensed travel agent or visit <span><a href="https://www.princess.com/">www.princess.com</a></span>.</p> <p><em>This is sponsored content brought to you by </em><span><a href="https://www.princess.com/"><em>Princess Cruises</em></a></span><em>.</em></p>

Cruising

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5 reasons to go to Thailand

<p>Thailand is a tropical paradise with some of the friendliest people in the world. With delicious cuisine, elaborate gold temples, stunning beaches punctuated by pillars of limestone – this country really is magic.</p> <p>Here are five reasons why you need to go to Thailand:</p> <p><strong>1. The food</strong></p> <p>Thai food in Thailand is one of the great pleasures in life.</p> <p>If you like Thai food in your home country, you will love it in Thailand. You can eat in up-market Thai restaurants in classic-Thai wooden houses. Or grab a delicious $1 bargain at a food court. We highly recommend a street food tour in Thailand – you won’t believe how good it is.</p> <p>Food in Thailand is not restricted to Thai cuisine. Thailand also has high-quality Japanese, Chinese, Malaysian, French, Italian, Scandinavian and Indian restaurants in all the major cities and tourist spots.</p> <p><strong>2. Shopping</strong></p> <p>Forget Hong Kong, Singapore or other well-trodden shopping destinations, today’s bargains are in Bangkok.</p> <p>Shop in the multi-storey department stores and malls for international brands and top-end Thai products. Explore markets for variety and ridiculously cheap price. Buy on the street for convenience and fun. The famous Chatachak Weekend Market has more than 9000 outlets. You can spend a whole day in its exciting madness. For imported goods head to Chinatown. Head to   Pratunam for locally-made clothing and footwear.</p> <p><strong>3. Culture</strong></p> <p>Thai culture is deeply influenced by religion. Most Thais are Theraveda Buddhists. This strand of Buddhism is characterised by greater respect for elders. You will need to give up your seat on public transport if a monk enters.</p> <p>Thai Buddhists believe individuals should gain insights from their own actions, experience, knowledge and critical thinking. Their meditation is mostly silent, as opposed to chanting. Interestingly, animist and superstitious beliefs co-exist with Thai Buddhism. Thais honour Buddha statues, spirit houses, and photographs of the King.</p> <p>You can easily spend a few peaceful hours watching Thais seek guidance and protection, praying for a good future life at the temple.</p> <p><strong>4. The landscape</strong></p> <p>Wow. That is the one word you will keep saying in Thailand.</p> <p>In Bangkok, it will be because of the manmade attractions: the giant golden Buddha, the glittering temples and the incredibly twisted wires cobbled together and strung over streets. Chiang Mai will delight you with rice fields, history, hill tribes and thousand-year-old temples. In the south, expect stunning white-sand beaches and limestone  pillars topped with lush vegetation.</p> <p>Thailand has so many different landscapes that you could spend a long time exploring them all.</p> <p><strong>5. The people</strong></p> <p>The Thai people are reason enough to visit this country. They’re always smiling and helpful. Thai’s tolerate, and even like most tourists, and once you become a friend of a Thai, you’re a friend for life.</p> <p><em>Written by Len Rutledge. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/thailand-travel-inspiration/"><em>My Discoveries</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Travel Tips

Health

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How to break up with toxic friends

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It may have come to a point in your life where a person you considered a “friend” might not be someone you need or want in your life anymore. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Although it can be difficult to end a relationship with someone you cared about and still may care about, it is important to focus on your well-being.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Here are the options you can consider when breaking up with a friend and still be as amicable as possible afterwards. </span></p> <p>Talk it out</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When people have intimate relationships with others, there is typically a “talk” involved which resolves any awkwardness, nerves, doubts or questions each person has for the other. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Having “the talk” with a friend can help initiate a “break-up” or it can help resolve a friendship so a break up is not necessary at all. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When having the talk, it is important to converse on these goals:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Clarifying boundaries </span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Defining the relationship, you share with your friends</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">See where each person stands in the relationship </span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Talk about a future with this friend</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This talk, if done properly and clearly with respect, can help resolve or amend hidden resentments, miscommunications, boundaries, misunderstandings, jealousy and old fights. </span></p> <p>Take a break</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">All friendships at some point, need a definitive break – whether it is forced or happens naturally. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Especially in circumstances where a difficult talk has just been had, it might help to take some time apart from your friend. </span></p> <p>Be blunt</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There may be a time in your friendship where you can absolutely not take it anymore. If this is the case, your best option might be shaking off all the negativity from your friendship by sharing your thoughts and feelings and going your separate ways from your relationship with this person. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When letting it all out with your friend, state what needs are not being met, clarify your feelings, don’t blame anyone, don’t make excuses and be gentle and kind.  </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">What are your tips for breaking up with a friend? Let us know in the comments below. </span></p>

Caring

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Why being bored is good for you

<p><span>Many of us don’t consider boredom as a pleasant feeling. It’s a state that we usually associate with the tedious and the uninteresting, be it a heavy textbook, a work seminar or a long commute. However, studies have shown that being bored can actually do wonders for your creativity.</span></p> <p><span>In a recent study published in the <em>Academy of Management Discoveries</em>, researchers found that being bored can improve productivity and work performance. The participants who had gone through the “boring” task of sorting beans by colour later performed better on solving a creative task than those who were made to do interesting craft activity.  </span></p> <p>In the creative task – which asked people to come up with excuses for being late – the bored participants generated more and better ideas than the other group, as assessed by objective outsiders.</p> <p><span>The report concluded that boredom motivates individuals to try new things, or “engaging in different, often unusual, ways of doing things that are unlike typical or predictable responses.”</span></p> <p><span>Scientists around the world have agreed that despite the negative image, boredom is useful for humans. </span></p> <p><span>"From an evolutionary point of view, if you stay in one place for too long … you make yourself vulnerable to predators and you miss out on opportunity costs," James Danckert, professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Waterloo told the <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2019-01-05/boredom-is-anything-but-boring/10566842"><em>ABC</em></a>.</span></p> <p><span>"Boredom is one signal that says, 'you've been here too long, go do something else'."</span></p> <p><span>With the prevalence of mobile phones and social media, boredom has become easier to evade – stimulation is always just a few clicks away. Peter Enticott, director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Unit at <a href="https://this.deakin.edu.au/self-improvement/what-does-boredom-do-to-your-brain">Deakin’s School of Psychology</a> said that the effects of digital life on boredom and creativity remain to be seen. </span></p> <p><span>“It’s interesting that we seem to be increasingly less tolerant of boredom,” said Enticott. “Think about people constantly on smartphones, whenever the opportunity arises. The longer-term outcome of this will be very interesting, especially with each new generation who grow-up with these devices.”</span></p> <p><span>Do you agree with the claim that boredom is good for you? Let us know in the comments below.</span></p>

Mind

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What counts as mindfulness?

<p>An episode of ABC’s Catalyst, “<a href="https://iview.abc.net.au/show/catalyst">The Mindfulness Experiment</a>”, offered a unique glimpse into what happens to people during <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindfulness-based_stress_reduction">Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction</a>, an eight-week structured training program in mindfulness meditation.</p> <p>The program followed 15 ordinary Australians who were seeking to deal with conditions including chronic pain, stress and anxiety. At the end of the experiment, many of the participants had shown improvement.</p> <p>But if you’re considering dipping a toe into practising mindfulness, or taking the full plunge, there are several things you should consider first.</p> <p><strong>Clarifying misconceptions</strong></p> <p><strong>Mindfulness is not relaxation</strong></p> <p>The origins of mindfulness can be found in Eastern traditions. <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1745691617709589?journalCode=ppsa">One definition</a> suggests it’s a way of orienting attention and awareness to the present, reminding oneself to stay present when the mind wanders, and carefully discerning those behaviours that are helpful from those that are not.</p> <p>Contrary to popular belief, mindfulness is not a way to relax or manage emotions. During practice, you will most likely experience unrest, have unpleasant thoughts and feelings, and learn unexpected and unsettling things about yourself.</p> <p>While relaxation can and does occur, it’s not always as expected and it’s not really the <a href="https://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindfulness/2011/03/want-to-relax-mindfulness-may-not-be-for-you/">goal</a>.</p> <p><strong>Mindfulness is not a quick fix</strong></p> <p>Problems that have developed over weeks, months, or years cannot be fixed overnight. Behaviour change is <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-motivated-brain/201803/why-is-behavior-change-so-hard">hard</a>. The patterns we most want to change (such as addictive behaviours, dysfunctional relationships, anxious thinking) require the investment of serious time and effort.</p> <p>Instructor Timothea Goddard championed the practice of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction in Australia and facilitated the Catalyst participants’ mindfulness journey. She acknowledges doing up to an hour of practice a day can seem demanding. But if the challenges a person is dealing with are significant, this may be what’s required.</p> <p>She adds that just like physical fitness, courses offering sustained daily practice may be more likely to offer greater transformation experiences.</p> <p>While we have <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19309694">little data</a> on the frequency or length of practice necessary, <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2015-45474-001">decades of research in psychotherapy</a> and <a href="https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/diabetes/maintaining_weight_loss_85,p07862">behaviour change</a> suggest there is no such thing as a quick fix.</p> <p><strong>Mindfulness is not an escape</strong></p> <p>You may imagine mindfulness to be like a beach holiday where you leave all the stress, pressure, and deadlines behind. It’s not.</p> <p>Mindfulness practice creates awareness around the issues that most need our attention. Often we’re drawn to emotional and physical pain we’ve been avoiding.</p> <p>One participant in The Mindfulness Experiment, Sam, found this difficult. “I want to forget about the areas that are painful, not concentrate on them,” she said.</p> <p>Mindfulness provides a <a href="https://www.mindful.org/suffering-is-optional/">method</a>, not to escape, but to explore pain or hardship with acceptance, curiosity, and emotional balance.</p> <p><strong>Mindfulness is not a panacea</strong></p> <p>Despite suggestions it will fix everything, there are many circumstances and conditions for which mindfulness is simply <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1745691617709589?journalCode=ppsa">not effective or appropriate</a>.</p> <p>If your main reason for seeking out mindfulness is for mental illness or another medical condition, speak first to a medical professional. Meditation is not meant as a <a href="https://www.lionsroar.com/what-meditation-cant-cure/">replacement</a> for traditional medicine.</p> <p><strong>Questions to ask before you start</strong></p> <p><strong>Is mindfulness for you?</strong></p> <p>An individual session with a skilled instructor can help you work out whether mindfulness is going to be right for you generally, and which approach specifically might help you.</p> <p>Mindfulness is not one size fits all. Personal attention before and during practice can make a huge difference, especially in a group. We know from <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2003-02805-000">psychotherapy research</a> individual adjustments must be made.</p> <p><strong>Who created the program?</strong></p> <p>Perhaps this seems like a strange question; few therapy clients or surgery patients know who created the method being used and they often get better. But unlike therapy or medical procedures, meditation is not overseen by any regulatory agency.</p> <p>Consider what you want to get from the program and whether there is evidence the program and instructor can help you to achieve those goals.</p> <p>This advice is especially important when considering apps. Few have been <a href="https://www.mindful.org/trouble-mindfulness-apps/">examined scientifically</a>.</p> <p><strong>Does the instructor have a personal practice?</strong></p> <p>Those who do not have a regular mindfulness practice themselves may struggle to <a href="https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9780387094830">teach others</a> to cultivate a practice effectively.</p> <p>Programs that train people to provide structured meditation programs (such as Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy) <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28031068">require</a> professional training, supervision, and extensive personal practice. While we don’t know if personal practice is necessary, it seems likely it is helpful in guiding others.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/110698/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Nicholas T. Van Dam, Senior Lecturer in Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/we-dont-yet-fully-understand-what-mindfulness-is-but-this-is-what-its-not-110698"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

Mind

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Richard Wilkins reflects on raising a son with down syndrome: “It was a shock”

<p><em>Today</em> show host Richard Wilkins has reflected on what it was like raising a son with down syndrome.</p> <p>He spoke to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.9now.com.au/today" target="_blank"><em>Today Extra</em></a> on Thursday and revealed why he was forced to send his first son, Adam, 45, into care in New Zealand. Adam was only a baby when this happened.</p> <p>Wilkins said on World Down Syndrome day:</p> <p>”I was only 18 when Adam was born [and] his mum was just 16, very unusual for down syndrome people to be born to such young parents ... It was a shock to be a parent let alone of a down syndrome child.”</p> <p>Wilkins then goes onto say that he put Adam in a home with “some reluctance”.</p> <p>“I was getting on with my life and career, I wanted to travel the world and make music and do that sort of stuff, and it was with some reluctance that after about a year we put Adam in a home.</p> <p>“People said you can have him adopted. But I thought 'he is always going to be my son' and I want a relationship with him. He has had great people in his life over the years.”</p> <p>In 2014, Wilkins revealed that he still feels guilty for putting his first son into a home. He told <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-4237304/Richard-Wilkins-teen-father-Syndrome-son.html" target="_blank">The Daily Mail</a>:</em></p> <p>“I still feel guilty for not being there all the time and for not being the pin-up boy for father of the year.</p> <p>“He's happy and healthy and living in New Zealand, but he wouldn't be if it wasn't for people who had helped us along the way.</p> <p>“I was still there for him any day of the week, but I had to relinquish everyday care to others.”</p> <p>Did you know Richard Wilkins had a son with Down Syndrome? Let us know in the comments.</p>

Caring

Lifestyle

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The hilarious outfit Today show’s Steve Jacobs wore on air

<p>Today show weatherman Steve Jacobs is showing us that he too can rock a cute outfit on set, pushing the envelope just a little bit further than usual.</p> <p>On Friday’s episode, the journalist revealed the interesting look he chose for the day – going for a classy navy-blue blazer, blue shirt and a very tight pair of cut off denim shorts.</p> <p>The Today show posted an image of the ever-cheeky Jacobs posing in his hilarious shorts alongside the program’s entertainment reporter, Brooke Boney.</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/BvSPRYrpHy4/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BvSPRYrpHy4/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">Ever wondered what goes on under the desk? Now you know! 😂👖 #9Today</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/thetodayshow/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> thetodayshow</a> (@thetodayshow) on Mar 21, 2019 at 2:11pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“Ever wondered what goes on under the desk? Now you know!” The cheeky caption read.</p> <p>Pouting for the picture, the weatherman showed off his bare legs in the showy pants.</p> <p>Brooke, 31, replicated the same pose as Steve, while dazzling in a pink sheer top, faded blue jeans and pumps.</p> <p>The Today show made headlines last week for hitting an all-time low in ratings, coming third behind the ABC News’ breakfast morning show program – an unlikely contender.  </p> <p><em>Sunrise </em>has been keeping the lead by a long shot, typically amassing over 400,000 viewers each episode.</p> <p>Do you think Steve rocks the denim shorts look? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Beauty & Style

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Masterchef’s Adam Liaw shares $7 allergy-free snack recipe

<p><em>Masterchef</em> winner Adam Liaw has gone viral for a $7 recipe that will create a week’s worth of lunchbox treats.</p> <p>The father-of-two took to Twitter to share his recipe of chocolate-covered breadsticks. Titled “Fat Pocky”, Liaw said the recipe is free from nuts, eggs and dairy, and only requires five minutes to make.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">I am going to write a recipe for something that you can make 25 portions of in 5 minutes that can keep unrefrigerated for 8 hours and contains no dairy, nuts or eggs. I don't know what it is yet but I will make it work for the good of us all.</p> — Adam Liaw (@adamliaw) <a href="https://twitter.com/adamliaw/status/1108493281296437248?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 20, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>There are three main ingredients involved, Liaw outlined: 25 plain breadsticks, 375g dark chocolate and a pack of sugar strands or nonpareil, altogether costing $7.</p> <p>Explaining the method, the 40-year-old wrote: “Just microwave the chocolate for 1 minute, then blasts of 30 seconds until it's melted. Probably 3-4 minutes all up.”</p> <p>After the chocolate is completely liquefied, “Put the chocolate into a glass and then just dunk the bloody things [i.e. breadsticks] in there.</p> <p>“Shake off as much chocolate as you can. You'll need to top up the glass with a teaspoon or so of chocolate every 2-3 sticks. Then lay them on a tray of baking paper.”</p> <p>For decoration, Liaw recommended sprinkles or other edibles such as dried mango.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Then you're just scattering them with some sprinkles. <a href="https://t.co/C7nGmXFfFM">pic.twitter.com/C7nGmXFfFM</a></p> — Adam Liaw (@adamliaw) <a href="https://twitter.com/adamliaw/status/1108602980654178304?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 21, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Liaw also gave some tips for the aftermath. “You end up with a full glass of melted chocolate,” he warned. “Just pour that onto a sheet of baking paper and spread it out. Wait for it to harden then break it up and put it in a Ziploc bag for next time.”</p> <p>The recipe came after Liaw responded to a joke on how parents are expected to create costumes or treats for “some school celebration” at the most unexpected times. “No kidding, but my son has been at school for exactly ONE TERM and this has already happened about 9 times,” he wrote.</p> <p>The series of tweets has received thousands of likes and retweets. “This is freaking brilliant,” a mother responded.</p> <p>“Thank you for saving my life. Was about to send my kids to boarding school to avoid this issue once again,” another woman jokingly commented.</p> <p>One simply wrote, “You are an international hero.”</p> <p>Would you try Liaw’s recipe? Let us know in the comments.</p>

Food & Wine

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Mum defends child’s unusual name after being mocked by critics

<p>A mum has defended her baby’s name after trolls made fun of the parent’s decision.</p> <p>Jade Jeanes told <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/disney-belle-beauty-and-beast-2669541" target="_blank">The Bristol Post</a></em> that herself and her husband Joshua, both 27, wanted something extravagant for their child’s name as they had been waiting for seven years to conceive.</p> <p>After some debate on whether their child should be called Belle after Jade’s favourite Disney heroine in Beauty and the Beast, the couple settled on Disney.</p> <p>Despite making her choice and having nurses in the delivery room recognise that the name is unique, Jade decided to share her baby’s name with a Facebook page created for parents.</p> <p>She was devastated when mums mocked her baby’s name on the page.</p> <p>Jade couldn’t understand the criticism, saying “it’s just a name.”</p> <p>Jade said:</p> <p>“Friends and family love the name, and I do too. It’s no one’s business what we decided to call her.”</p> <p>Jade also said that Disney loves Disney films, as she’s been described as “transfixed” whenever there’s a Disney movie on TV.</p> <p>“It was more of a fun post that I assumed people would be okay with. In the end, people just either hate it or love it.”</p> <p>What do you think of the unique name? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Family & Pets

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URGENT RECALL: Popular brand of dog food recalled for second time

<p>Check your canned dog food as Hill’s Pet Nutrition have issued a<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/is-your-dog-ok-popular-pet-food-brand-issues-urgent-recall" target="_blank">second voluntary recall worldwide</a>.</p> <p>These recalled products could cause serious health issues to your dog.</p> <p>The company have confirmed on its Australian website that the global recall affects those who have bought the canned dog food as it carries potentially toxic levels of Vitamin D.</p> <p>Although the pet food usually contains the essential nutrient for dogs, elevated levels can lead to health issues depending on the level of Vitamin D and the length of exposure.</p> <p>The statement reads:</p> <p>“Vitamin D, when consumed at very high levels, can lead to serious health issues in dogs including renal dysfunction.</p> <p>“Pet parents with dogs who have consumed any of the products listed and are exhibiting any of these signs should contact their veterinarian. In most cases, complete recovery is expected after discontinuation of feeding.”</p> <p>The brand is sold worldwide at vet clinics, online or at local pet stores.</p> <p>Hill’s Pet Nutrition has been facing backlash from dog owners worldwide via social media as a number of people have claimed their pets became ill or died after eating the food before it was recalled.</p> <p>None of the dry foods, cat foods or treats have been impacted by the second recall.</p> <p>Those who have bought the recalled products are advised to discontinue feeding them to their pets and dispose of them immediately. You are also able to have discarded products replaced at no cost, which is done by contacting the pet store, online retailer or vet clinic where you purchased the food from.</p> <p>See the full list of recalled products <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.hillspet.com.au/productlist" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p>Has your dog fallen ill due to these products? Let us know in the comments.</p>

Family & Pets

Finance

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The fool-proof way of saving for retirement

<p>We know that saving money is important – but what is less known is <em>how</em> to save money, and how much of our income should be allocated to our savings account.</p> <p>Most experts recommend saving at least 20 per cent of your income, but you should complement this rule of thumb with your own goals. In other words, the amount you should save depends on your personal priorities and reasons for saving.</p> <p>According to financial planner Eric Roberge, there are three factors to consider: how much your goals would cost, what kind of expenses your dream lifestyle would entail, and when you would need the savings.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">How much you need to save depends on:<br /><br />How much your goals cost<br />How much it takes to fund your ideal lifestyle<br />The timeline between now &amp; when you need the money<br /><br />As a guideline, save 20-30% of income. But for a better outcome, use a specific plan that addresses these factors.</p> — Eric Roberge, CFP® (@beyondfinances) <a href="https://twitter.com/beyondfinances/status/1100397642683691009?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 26, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Setting targets and deadlines for savings can help you prepare for the future and live an enjoyable lifestyle in the present. “If your goals are less expensive, you don’t necessarily need to save huge amounts of money,” Roberge told <span><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com.au/how-to-save-money-2019-2?r=US&amp;IR=T"><em>Business Insider</em></a></span>.</p> <p>“We want to be careful not to overfund goals and end up with money that doesn’t have a purpose; instead of over-saving, you may be able to enjoy that money a little bit more today.”</p> <p>Finding your dream savings to be a little out of reach? There are four options, according to <span><a href="https://www.tiaa.org/public/offer/insights/starting-out/how-much-of-my-income-should-i-save-every-month">personal finance journalist</a></span> Paula Pant: change your goals, reconsider your timeline, earn more (through pay rise, investments, additional jobs and more), or reduce your current spending to save more.</p> <p>Apart from your personal goals, Pant also advised saving up for rainy days.</p> <p>“You should establish an ‘emergency fund’ that can cover 3-9 months of your living expenses,” Pant said.</p> <p>This number might sound daunting, but Pant suggested that it is possible to build a six-month emergency fund within a year. Her method: calculate your monthly cost of living, excluding the non-essentials such as cable TV or unused memberships. If you can save up half this amount every month, you’re already well on your way.</p> <p>Do you have a savings plan that you recommend? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Retirement Income

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ALDI to launch budget "luxe" homeware range

<p>ALDI will be launching a “luxe” homeware range for its Special Buys this coming Wednesday.</p> <p>Shoppers will be able to get their hands on special bedding, living room staples, garden ornaments and bathroom assortments in stores on Wednesday, March 27.</p> <p>One of the items that has had fans particularly excited is the $99 Grace Velvet Ottoman, which comes with velvet upholstery in charcoal or navy.</p> <p>Other velvet furniture on offer include the $129 Audrey Velvet Chair. Featuring wooden legs, the seat can hold up to 150kg in weight.</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/BvQvvdFn0PP/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BvQvvdFn0PP/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">ANOTHER drop of gorgeous goodies hitting @aldiaustralia Wednesday 27th March 😍 • Velvet Bench’s $79.99 • Buffet $149 • Velvet Chairs $129 • Cushions $16.99 • Gold Side Table $79.99 • Velvet Ottomans $99.99 • Thanks @i.shop.bargains.au for the tag 💕 . . . . #aldi #aldiaustralia #aldihaul #aldispecialbuys #aldilove #aldigram #aldiloversau #aldilover #home #homedecor #homesweethome #homeinspo #homegoods #bargain #bargainshopper #bargainhunter #savvy #savvyshopper #velvet #velvetcollection #velvetdecor #home #homeinspo #homedecor #homewares</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/homeiswhereabargainis/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> Ashlee 🙋🏽🛍</a> (@homeiswhereabargainis) on Mar 21, 2019 at 12:16am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>For the bedroom, customers can get the queen/king size Quilted Coverlet Set for $69. The set includes a machine-washable cotton coverlet and two pillowcases that come in four different print designs. Also on offer is a microfibre-filled Cloud Pillow for $29.</p> <p>The range also includes a collection of bathroom and gardening goods, such as the $6 Bath Mat and the $29 Basket Hanger.</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/BvLz1ttFbfn/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BvLz1ttFbfn/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">How good do next weeks special buys look!! Coming 27 March. Thank you to the beautiful @that_coloured_door_69 for sharing ⭐️⭐️ #aldiaustralia #aldicatalogue #aldispecialbuys #aldiloversau</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/aldiloversau/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> Tammy - Aldi Lovers Australia</a> (@aldiloversau) on Mar 19, 2019 at 2:16am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Bargain hunters have been thrilled with the upcoming release. “Seriously this stuff is STUNNING and doesn’t look like it is from ALDI,” one wrote on Instagram.</p> <p>“So many stunning goodies! If I had the velvet ottoman I would just be touching it all the time,” one commented.</p> <p>Another added, “I need the chairs, ottomans and buffet.”</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see the new homewares range.</p> <p>Will you be lining up for this Special Buys launch? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Retirement Income

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Massive Coles sale sends shoppers into a frenzy

<p>If you need to stock up the freezer, this might be the right time as frozen food has been marked down at Coles.</p> <p>The nationwide sale in the frozen food section, which applies in-store, saw the prices slashed of a popular frozen chip brand by more than half.</p> <p>Bags of Birds Eye Deli Seasoned Chips are being sold for 98 cents, down from the usual RRP of $3.50.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fthediscountmum%2Fphotos%2Fa.312978146239006%2F323591185177702%2F%3Ftype%3D3&amp;width=500" width="500" height="632" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>The sale has excited bargain hunters, with some grabbing the coveted items in large numbers.</p> <p>“Just bought them all out at my store!” a shopper shared.</p> <p>“Just got back from Coles, stocked up on frozen potato items,” another added.</p> <p>One said, “Thank you to whoever shared the post about the cheap chips, good to know they are available in WA too, just went to Coles Alkimos Trinity and they have a full freezer.”</p> <p>A Coles spokesperson told <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/food/eat/coles-slashes-price-of-frozen-chips-and-people-are-loving-it/news-story/af19a95a3d9c38ed662368450d728834" target="_blank">news.com.au</a> </em>that the supermarket is “clearing space for an exciting new range of products that are set to land in stores across Australia over the next couple of weeks”.</p> <p>The new range of products may also hit the shelves in Woolworths, which slashed the prices for select freezer items for one day <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/retirement-income/woolworths-mega-half-price-sale-is-now-on-for-today-only" target="_blank">last week</a>. Online delivery and pick-up shoppers were able to get products from ice cream to frozen dinners at half price.</p> <p>Will you be picking up the chips in store? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Money & Banking

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BREAKING: Popular eggs recalled across the country after salmonella fears

<p>If you’ve purchased any eggs from Woolworths, Coles or an independent store lately, you may want to throw them away.</p> <p>This is due to Salmonella fears from Bridgewater Poultry farm eggs.</p> <p>The eggs that have been impacted are:</p> <ul> <li>Woolworths 12 Cage Free Eggs 700g</li> <li>Victorian Fresh Barn Laid Eggs 600g</li> <li>Victorian Fresh Barn Laid Eggs 700g</li> <li>Victorian Fresh Barn Laid Eggs 800g</li> <li>Loddon Valley Barn Laid 600g in Victoria and South Australia</li> </ul> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">⚠️ Food recall ⚠️ Bridgewater Poultry is recalling various barn laid eggs and cage free eggs in ACT, NSW, Vic., Tas., and SA. The recall is due to potential Salmonella Enteriditis contamination <a href="https://t.co/XoaQSF8D1a">https://t.co/XoaQSF8D1a</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FoodRecallAu?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FoodRecallAu</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FSANZ?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FSANZ</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FoodRecall?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FoodRecall</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SalmonellaSE?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SalmonellaSE</a> <a href="https://t.co/NYVDl3a8C9">pic.twitter.com/NYVDl3a8C9</a></p> — FoodStandardsAusNZ (@FSANZnews) <a href="https://twitter.com/FSANZnews/status/1108506513159712768?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">20 March 2019</a></blockquote> <p>The products have been available in Woolworths and independent stores in ACT, NSW, VIC and TAS and Coles in VIC and SA.</p> <p>Any food products that contain salmonella can cause severe illness if eaten and any people concerned about their health should seek medical advice.</p> <p>Salmonellosis symptoms include fever, headache, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. Symptoms usually appear around six to 72 hours after the contaminated food has been eaten. It can last for four to seven days but can go on for much longer.</p> <p>According to NSW Health data, there were 412 cases of salmonella in January.</p> <p>You are able to return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund.</p> <p>Check your eggs!</p>

Money & Banking

Entertainment

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The lessons my drum kit taught me

<p>Matt Ryan was 13 years old when he got his first set of drums.</p> <p>“It was a metallic green, rusty old abomination from a local pawn broker, but it was loud and I loved it.” Ryan explained</p> <p>However, it had been a while since Ryan had touched his drums, which were now gathering dust in his bedroom.</p> <p>After watching the documentary on ABC with Guy Sebastian called <em>Don’t Stop The Music</em>, Ryan realised the true impact that music has had on his life.</p> <p>Speaking to <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/life/the-life-lessons-my-drum-kit-taught-me/10627192"><em>ABC Life</em></a>, Ryan said: “More than just a creative outlet, music taught me discipline. It was the first time in my life that I had really taken notice of growth as a result of commitment, and the first real skill that I felt I owned.</p> <p>“However, the months between getting that first kit and actually being able to play it were some of the most testing of my young life.”</p> <p>Learning an instrument as a child can be difficult but rewarding. There’s a proven link between learning music and increased ‘cognitive capability’. This means that people who learn to play an instrument can see overall improvement to their <a href="https://theconversation.com/music-training-speeds-up-brain-development-in-children-61491">listening, reading and writing skills.</a></p> <p>Ryan also noticed an increase in confidence once he mastered the drums.</p> <p>“Things like the confidence that came with performing in front of, and with, others; the management of emotion; and the decision-making and problem-solving involved with improvising within the set structures of a song.</p> <p>“I saw these traits spill out into other areas of my life and manifest in both social and formal situations.”</p> <p>However, Ryan remembers fondly on some advice that was given to him by his original drum teacher during his very first lessons.</p> <p>"Music isn't like sports or modelling. It's not something that if you don't reach your goals by 25, you're finished. Your playing will only get better as you grow older and wiser. Your best music days are ahead of you."</p> <p>Ryan is hoping to find out whether or not that’s true.</p> <p>Do you have an instrument you still play? Let us know in the coments.</p>

Music

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“She tipped me over the edge”: Kochie defends behaviour on Sunrise after Pauline Hanson feud

<p><em>Sunrise </em>host David Koch has admitted he was “tipped over the edge” by Pauline Hanson’s comments on <em>Sunrise</em> about the Christchurch attacks.</p> <p>He spoke to Kyle and Jackie O about the divisive words that have been used by Hanson and why he was so impacted by them.</p> <p>“I went her, because [of] her words, and probably I'm a bit too passionate about this because I do work with Muslim youth workers in western Sydney.”</p> <p>As Koch runs a youth centre in Macquarie Fields, he has seen the real-life ramifications that Muslim children experience due to politician’s comments.</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/BvSR3TvhZmb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BvSR3TvhZmb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Kyle and Jackie O (@kyleandjackieo)</a> on Mar 21, 2019 at 2:34pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>He told <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6836771/Sunrise-host-David-Koch-doubles-criticism-anti-Muslim-Pauline-Hanson.html" target="_blank">The Daily Mail</a>:</em></p> <p>“When politicians talk and they pit Australians against Muslims, and the scaremongering, these kids deal with it on the street.</p> <p>“What happened in New Zealand really got to me. We're a society now that's becoming a bit dangerous.”</p> <p>After the <em>Sunrise </em>segment aired, a petition with over 122,000 signatures was set up calling for him to be sacked for the way he handled the interview.</p> <p>However, Kochie has no issues with the conversation.        </p> <p>“Pauline's had worse in parliament, she's the leader of a political party.”</p> <p>He also mentioned that politicians should be held more accountable for their words.</p> <p>“Politicians don't understand the power of their words, particularly in an election campaign.”</p> <p>“Australia, we are so compassionate, so understanding, and we're proud of it. We're the best multicultural nation in the world.”</p> <p>Do you agree with Kochie’s words? Let us know in the comments.</p>

TV

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Prince William makes emotional plea ahead of new book

<p>Prince William has issued a heart-warming and inspiring plea in light of a new book about conservation.</p> <p>The Duke of Cambridge, 36, has dedicated a large portion of his time to help conserve rhinos, elephants and other endangered species targeted and impacted by illegal trade in wildlife.</p> <p>His public work has been particularly focused on the protection of wildlife species, and in a thoughtful plea, the Prince has written about the importance of protecting these special creatures.</p> <p>In the book, the 37-year-old Duke wrote about his passion for preserving the existence of elephants in an emotional foreword for a new book titled The Last Elephants.</p> <p>“I’m not prepared to be part of a generation that lets these iconic species disappear and have to explain to our children why we lost this battle when we had the tools to win it,” he wrote ahead of the book’s release.</p> <p>Furthermore, the Prince heartbreakingly points out that elephants are heading towards “extinction at the hands of poachers, criminal” gangs and traffickers.</p> <p>The royal member also added: “At the current pace of illegal poaching, when Charlotte turns 25 the African elephant could be gone from the wild.”</p> <p>The book, set to release in April, celebrates the magnificent lives of elephants and focuses on the worrying fact their existence is dwindling.</p> <p>Over 1 million elephants roamed Africa in 1982 when the Prince was born and today, just 350,000 remain.</p> <p>He also added the crisis does not just surround animals, but endangered families as well.</p> <p>“It is families in the world’s most vulnerable regions who suffer when two rangers a week are killed on the frontline of this fight,” the Duke wrote.</p> <p>“It is fragile democratic systems in many nations that are at risk from the source of war violence and corruption that the illegal wildlife trade funds and fuels.”</p> <p>Prince William is the president of <em>United for Wildlife,</em> an organisation which forms coalitions of campaigning groups to fight for the lives of endangered species.</p>

Books

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Duchess Meghan’s handwriting reveals this about her personality

<p>Majority of people thought that there wouldn’t be a public sighting of Duchess Meghan until after she gave birth.</p> <p>However, after the Christchurch Attacks, Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry made a special trip to the Embassy of New Zealand in London.</p> <p>This was to express their condolences about the incident. Prince Harry laid a bouquet of flowers and Meghan signed the condolence book.</p> <p>Duchess Meghan wrote:</p> <p>“Our deepest condolences. We are with you.”</p> <p>The couple then signed both of their names and added the Maori word “arohanui”, which means “much love”.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7825078/handwriting-expert.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/7f1a04c8c8ee4a329b5779721cda95e9" /></p> <p>Professional graphologist Tracey Trussell said that Duchess Meghan’s handwriting revealed more than people think.</p> <p>She told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/royals/expert-weighs-in-on-what-trait-meghan-markles-handwriting-reveals/news-story/b15afa233491d930f49228e14d598f0f" target="_blank">news.com.au</a>:</p> <p>“She has a perfectionist streak and desire for beauty and the nice things in life."</p> <p>Trussell then goes onto explain the insights into the Duchess’ personality that she’s able to pick up from her handwriting.</p> <p>"She has the self-discipline to maintain the right profile in-keeping with Royal life.</p> <p>“Nothing will stop her until she's satisfied her goal".</p> <p>Trussell also analysed another sample of the Duchess’ handwriting when they were on a trip to Belfast last March.</p> <p>“She wants to do good deeds in life.</p> <p>“She’s determined in the way she goes about achieving her far-reaching ambitions.”</p> <p>Do you agree with the handwriting expert? Let us know in the comments.</p>

Art