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Five body hacks to perk you right up

<p><strong>1. Check your posture</strong></p> <p>While gazing at the floor from a standing position, you should be able to see the tops of your shoes without craning your neck. Slouching doesn’t just make you look tired – it makes you feel tired, too, because it places excess strain on your neck, back and hips; plus, when your joints aren’t properly aligned, your whole body has to work harder than it should. Additionally, standing tall will improve the flow of oxygen to your brain, which increases your alertness and attentiveness.</p> <p><strong>2. Expose yourself to light</strong></p> <p>Environmental cues play a huge role in the body’s energy cycles, and regular exposure to natural light has been shown to maintain higher energy levels in people suffering from fatigue. Open the curtains or step outside periodically and soak up some natural sunlight.</p> <p><strong>3. Use good scents</strong></p> <p>This isn’t about dousing yourself with your favourite perfume. It’s about harnessing the power of aromatherapy to lift your spirits when you need it. Take a whiff of peppermint, rosemary or jasmine when you feel droopy. Research shows these scents increase alertness and attentiveness.</p> <p><strong>4. Surround yourself with energising colours</strong></p> <p>Focusing your eyes on a vibrant shade of red, orange or yellow has an energy-boosting effect on the body, partly because these hues represent heat and radiant energy (think fire or sun).</p> <p><strong>5. Use your soundtracks</strong></p> <p>Studies have found that listening to soothing music helps you get a good night’s sleep, while upbeat tunes with over 120 beats per minute will rev your energy.</p> <p><em>Written by Dr Holly Phillips. This article first appeared in </em><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/tips/Five-Body-Hacks-to-Perk-You-Right-Up"><em>Reader’s Digest</em>.</a><em> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a> <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN87V"></a></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

Caring

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13 totally bizarre spa experiences around the world

<p>I always adopt a ‘treat yo’ self’ attitude when I’m on holidays. “I’m already splurging on hotels and dinners out so why not book myself in for spa treatments while I’m at it”, I tell myself as my bank account slowly slips into the red. I’ll try anything twice (within reason). I’ve enjoyed extremely thorough hammam scrubs in Morocco, deep tissue massages in Vietnam and rice paper body wraps in Thailand. Each involved a little too much nudity and not a lot of relaxation, but I embraced each experience, all in the name of travel. A Japanese Onsen experience is next on my list. I have since stumbled upon a few strange spa experiences that truly put my adventurous attitude to the test. Would you try these 13 whacky spa treatments?</p> <ol> <li><strong>Irish seaweed bath</strong></li> </ol> <p>Kilcullen’s Seaweed Baths, County Sligo, Ireland The Irish have been using this stuff to cure ailments since the 12th century. Monks would harvest a special type of seaweed called ‘dillisk’ and prescribe it to patients with all sorts of issues. The same seaweed used to eliminate parasitic worms could also apparently curb a “woman’s longing”. These days, Kilcullen’s Seaweed Baths in County Sligo use steamed seaweed to enhance a bather’s spa experience. The bath full of murky, salty brine draws out toxins and supposedly leaves you feeling delightfully tingly. If you can tolerate the lingering smell of sea urchins for a few days, this might be right up your alley.</p> <ol start="2"> <li><strong>Thai fish spa</strong></li> </ol> <p>Thailand A decade ago, the strange phenomenon of fish spas swept the tourist traps of Thailand. Since then, this fishy foot spa treatment has spread all over the world, even in the west. A species of Middle Eastern carp have earned their nickname, ‘doctor fish’, by eating away all the dead skin on your feet. Some say it feels like “little delicate kisses”. Ticklish types say it’s more maddening than it is relaxing. However uncomfortable, it is effective. My feet were soft as a baby’s bottom after I tried it in Phuket in 2010. I don’t think I’ll be dipping my toes in the tank again though.</p> <ol start="3"> <li><strong>Japanese ramen noodle bath</strong></li> </ol> <p>Yunessun Spa House, Tokyo As a broke uni student living abroad in 2016, my diet consisted almost exclusively of ramen noodles. Today, I can barely look at the stuff, but it turns out, people are bathing in it. A theme park in Japan is offering visitors the chance to soak in a hot tub (shaped like a ramen bowl, of course) full of noodles and pork broth. It’s a family affair; up to 10 people can fit in the ramen bath at any given time. The treatment is supposed to give you a “healthy glow” for several days after. Unfortunately, the strong smell of soy sauce sticks around for just as long. This isn’t the only bizarre spa treatment at Yunessen Spa House. You can also bathe in coffee, red wine, green tea and sake.</p> <ol start="4"> <li><strong>Mexican cactus massage</strong></li> </ol> <p>Four Seasons Resort, Punta Mita, Mexico Massage therapists use the paddle of a cactus to work out your knots. Ouch, right? Well, actually, the needles are all removed prior to treatment. The strange service is offered at the luxury Four Seasons Resort spa and will set you back a spicy $245. The not-so-spikey massage is followed by a lathering of lotion made from indigenous plants and a splash of tequila. The treatment is said to leave your skin feeling hydrated and rejuvenated.</p> <ol start="5"> <li><strong>Finish cryotherapy</strong></li> </ol> <p>Haikko Spa, Finland Cryotherapy is gaining momentum around the world. It’s a popular method of recovery for athletes after a hard workout or competition. Thought apparently beneficial, it’s not exactly a relaxing experience. It requires entering a chamber, sealing the door and enduring temperatures as low as -110 degrees Celsius. Yes, Celsius. On top of relieving sore muscles, it also aids in boosting your metabolism and making your skin glow. Although, that glow might just be from the layer of frost on your cheeks.</p> <ol start="6"> <li><strong>New Yorker bird poo facial</strong></li> </ol> <p>Shizuka Day Spa, New York, USA Controversially known as the ‘Geisha Facial’, this treatment involves having a concoction of nightingale droppings and rice bran spread all over your face. Celebrity facialist and namesake of the upscale Manhattan spa, Shizuka Bernstein, claims the traditional and natural Japanese ingredients help to soften and brighten the skin. Grossed out? This might ease your quease. The bird droppings aren’t collected from a local park. They’re sanitised under ultraviolet lights and milled down into a fine powder. The spa treatment is apparently highly sought after and costs US$180 for an hour session.</p> <ol start="7"> <li><strong>Japanese snail facial</strong></li> </ol> <p>Ci:z.Labo Spa, Tokyo, Japan It seems the Japanese will try just about anything. This slimy spa treatment is conducted by five celebrity snails. Raised in the spa on a strict, organic diet of carrots, Japanese mustard spinach, and Swiss chard, the snails are very well-looked after. This isn’t the first time these slippery suckers have been used in the name of beauty. Snail slime was all the rage in the 80s, praised for its miraculous healing properties. Today, the ‘Celebrity Escargot Course’ involves a human facialist rubbing snail slime into your skin for up to an hour, before setting a bunch of snails loose of your face for five long minutes.</p> <ol start="8"> <li><strong>Austrian beer bath</strong></li> </ol> <p>Moorhof Landhotel, Frankling, Austria Now this is a spa treatment that I can get around. Most people think alcohol introduces toxins to your body. A handful of Austrian spas claim it can do the opposite. Soaking in a barrel of foamy beer is said to draw out toxins and exfoliate the skin. Hedwig Bauer, an Austrian spa owner herself, goes a step further to say beer baths can help treat gout, eczema, kidney stones, strokes and stress. Beer baths have now spread to Germany and the Czech republic and are often treated us fun tourist experiences rather than legitimate healing practices. If you decide to give it a go, don’t be tempted to drink the beer from your bath because, well, that’s gross. Save it for the beirhaus.</p> <ol start="9"> <li><strong>Maldivian underwater spa</strong></li> </ol> <p>Huavafen Spa &amp; Pearl, Maldives The treatments themselves are not what make this spa unique. It’s the setting. The world’s first underwater spa transports you to an ethereal realm of underwater relaxation. Channel your inner mermaid as fish dart all around you just on the other side of the spa’s glass walls. A range of massages, facials, hair and beauty treatments are available and are performed by a team of renowned massage and beauty experts. The spa is part of the Huvafen Fushi Maldives resort whose luxury, overwater bungalows are so beautiful it hurts.</p> <ol start="10"> <li><strong>Balinese snake massage</strong></li> </ol> <p>Bali Heritage Reflexology and Sa, Jakarta, Indonesia In the interest of self-preservation, I refuse to give this one a go. However, the spa therapists at Bali Heritage Reflexology and Spa in Jakarta are adamant that their python massage spa treatments work wonders. The weight of the snake does little to penetrate sore muscles, but that’s not the point of the treatment. The idea is that the fear triggered by having a snake slither all over you will trigger an adrenaline rush that boosts your metabolism. The snakes are not venomous and a masseuse stands by at all times just in case things go awry. Still, it’s a no from me.</p> <ol start="11"> <li><strong>Chinese fire massage</strong></li> </ol> <p>Oriental Taipan Spa, Beijing, China Fire cupping is common practice in Chinese remedial therapy. The service is widely available in Australia too, but one spa in Beijing takes it one step further. Glass cups are strategically placed on a patient’s back and heated with a flame, creating a strong suction effect on the skin. It is said to relieve muscle tension and common colds but expect to be left with circular bruises for days after. At Oriental Taipan Spa in Beijing, the treatment is followed by a Chinese Meridian Oil Massage involves laying an oil-soaked towel over your back setting it alight. Sounds relaxing, doesn’t it?</p> <ol start="12"> <li><strong>Vietnamese Mud Bath</strong></li> </ol> <p>Nha Trang, Vietnam The medicinal properties of mud have been well-documented for centuries. You can buy powdered mud masks from the supermarket these days. But in Central Vietnam, these spa treatments have become a fun, social activity. The Vietnamese believe mud baths help to remove dead skin cells, strengthen bones, and reduce fatigue. They also use it to seek refuge from the heat. Nha Trang has developed a reputation for its mud bathing facilities, attracting locals and tourist alike. 100 Egg Mud Bath, 6km from the city of Nha Trang, has multiple mud pools and baths to choose from. Visitors can soak in their own private egg-shaped tub for around $18 per person.</p> <ol start="13"> <li><strong>Beverly Hills Vampire Facial</strong></li> </ol> <p>Nazarian Plastic Surgery, Beverly Hills, California, USA This is less of a spa facial and more a drastic, and potentially dangerous, cosmetic treatment. Even still, it didn’t stop Kim Kardashian from trying it out. Vampire Facials are a combination of microneedling (repeatedly puncturing the skin with tiny needles) and a mask made from your own PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma). Basically, a vial of you blood is drawn, placed in a centrifuge until the plasma has separated from the red cells. The plasma is then smeared all over your face, helping to repair skin damage. Supposedly this is a more “natural” option for skin rejuvenation, compared to botox and injectables. When you put it like that, I suppose it’s true. It’s just a little (a lot) creepy.</p> <p>Would you try any of these? Let us know in the comments below.</p> <p><em>Written by Bethany Plint. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.mydiscoveries.com.au/stories/weird-spa-experiences-world/?slide=all"><em>MyDiscoveries.com.au.</em></a></p>

Cruising

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"You will literally wait for hours!": Frustrated woman vents about husband's odd bathroom habit

<p>A woman has been left wondering whether she was in the right to complain about her husband’s odd bathroom habit.</p> <p>The wife and mother has been left frustrated by her partner, who would take over the house’s bathroom for anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours at a time.</p> <p>Writing on <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AmItheAsshole/comments/bbvgh2/aita_for_getting_pissy_about_my_husbands_bathroom/" target="_blank">Reddit</a>, the woman said the long bathroom breaks often kept her and her young son from using the loo when needed. </p> <p>“Fortunately, my son has a private little corner of our backyard where he can go relieve himself in emergencies, but it can be torture for myself or any other women stuck waiting to tinkle,” she shared.</p> <p>Explaining that the situation had been going on for years, she said the wait would be longer if her husband decided to take a shower after relieving himself. </p> <p>“You will literally wait for hours! I have finally got him to where he will unlock the door before he jumps in the shower so we can at least get in to relieve ourselves.”</p> <p>She suspected that her partner has not been using the bathroom for anything related to bodily functions. </p> <p>“I have to go in after him and a lot of time it doesn’t even smell! Zero evidence that he was ‘using the facilities’,” she vented.</p> <p>“I really don’t want to know what he does with his bathroom time, I just want him to be more respectful of the fact that other people have needs too!”</p> <p>Many people jumped in to reassure the woman that her concerns are valid. </p> <p>“That sounds excessive and rude. Is he reading? Needs a quiet place?” one commented. “Something is up!”</p> <p>Another wrote, “He’s being really inconsiderate ... and honestly it kinda sounds like he’s just chilling in there to avoid his childcare responsibilities.”</p> <p>The woman was also encouraged to address the issue with her husband. </p> <p>“I think you really ought to ask the reason,” one advised. “It’s possible he has a condition he’s embarrassed about that you could help him with. Or it’s possible he needs alone time and tries to get it this way. In any case, I don’t see this getting better without you insisting on getting the reason.”</p> <p>Another user chimed in, saying, “The fact that your son has learned to pee in the yard because daddy monopolizes the bathroom is shocking. That isn’t normal … What you are dealing with is really terrible and this isn’t going to be easy to fix. Counselling would be a good idea.”</p> <p>What do you think of the bathroom dilemma? Share your thoughts in the comments.</p>

Body

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Discover who is following your profile on Facebook

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Did you know people are able to “follow” your personal or professional Facebook page without sending you a friend request? </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s important to know who is following you on Facebook, as this means that your posts are appearing in their News Feed without your knowledge and will appear more regularly than you think.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, people are only able to follow your personal Facebook account if your profile is public instead of private.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It can be a bit tricky to see how someone is following your Facebook page, so here are a few tips to work out how.</span></p> <p><strong>How to see if someone is following your Facebook page</strong></p> <ol> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Go to your “Friends” tab and click on the “More” section.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Click on “Following”.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Scroll through who is following your Facebook page.</span></li> </ol> <p><strong>How to unfollow people on Facebook</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you’re tired of seeing someone’s specific posts in your News Feed, but don’t want to unfriend them, you’re able to “unfollow” them.</span></p> <p><strong>Unfollow them via their Facebook profile</strong></p> <ol> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Go to their Facebook profile.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Click the “Following” button so it doesn’t have the tick with “Following” any longer.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Done! You’ve unfollowed them on Facebook.</span></li> </ol> <p><strong>Unfollow them via your News Feed</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Have you just been reminded why you don’t like seeing this person’s posts? Unfollowing them from your News Feed is pretty simple.</span></p> <ol> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Find a status update or post from the friend you want to unfollow.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Click on the down arrow in the upper right corner of the post.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Scroll down until you find the “Unfollow” option.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Click on the “Unfollow” option.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">There! You have successfully unfollowed your friend.</span></li> </ol> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This means that their posts will no longer appear in your News Feed on Facebook but you’re still friends with them.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Did you know about the “Unfollow” option on Facebook? Let us know in the comments.</span></p>

Technology

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Why classical music is better than melancholy music every time

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many fans of classical music believe that access to the music of classical composers, such as Beethoven, Mozart and Bach, should be a fundamental human right.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It makes sense then that they would turn to classical music when they’re experiencing emotional upheaval, as Ian Warden found out.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Warden was most distressed that Robert Mueller found nothing impeachable about Donald Trump’s election campaign and turned to Beethoven to calm him down.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He told </span><a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/why-classical-music-trumps-melancholy-every-time-20190327-p5189u.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Daily Telegraph</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">:</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Classical-music-besotted I routinely listen to fine music and after listening to Beethoven's 7th Symphony (unless you are clinically dead, it is music that makes you break into a dance) my spirits were restored.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the online Canadian magazine called </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Walrus</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">, there is a heartfelt and passionate piece written by orchestral conductor Kent Nagano. The piece is called </span><a href="https://thewalrus.ca/in-times-of-crisis-we-need-classical-music/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">In Times of Crisis, We Need Classical Music.</span></a></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The essay outlines that those who live in western industrial societies are living in dreadful times of increasing materialism, consumerism, angst and alienation.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, through the darkness, there is a light.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"I want to show that, because of its powerful impact, classical music can play a significant role right now," Nagano explains.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"Composers address topics that are relevant to everyone. Their music highlights our worries and fears, our pain and joy. It can help us think more clearly, feel more profoundly, and live fuller lives than we could without it. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It can alter the way we treat our fellow humans and even our perceptions of ourselves. I want the music my orchestra performs to become a permanent, indispensable dimension of an audience's life.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">"[There] are timeless compositions that address all the uncertainties and insecurities of this epochal period, and they can support us in our search for meaning. Beethoven, for example, was convinced that man had the capacity to change for the better and to grow throughout life. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This is why there is so much hope in his music. His symphonies were meant to drive people forward. Can we hear this even today? I certainly think so."</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Do you think classical music can inspire hope? Let us know in the comments.</span></p>

Music

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Good news for Coles shoppers!

<p>Coles, the supermarket giant, has given new life to a much-loved Aussie brand, which will expand the range of Coles-branded food by 1.8 million cans – thanks to a huge new deal with SPC. </p> <p>SPC had its value slashed from $147 million down to virtually nothing, after owners Coca-Cola Amatil couldn’t secure a buyer for the manufacturing facilities in Shepparton, Victoria.</p> <p>However, SPC managing director, Reg Weine, could not be more thrilled about the new business deal with Coles. He told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/coles-new-supply-deal-offers-lifeline-and-greater-range-for-beloved-canned-fruit-brand/news-story/15b34823880a26cdb50b2895dac293df" target="_blank">news.com.au</a>:</p> <p>“It is great to see Coles continue to support local businesses and growers.”</p> <p>“The Coles brand volume will improve our factory utilisation and will also provide our growers with an additional outlet for their quality fruit.”</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 500px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7826002/fruit-salad.jpeg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/123b9389bda54070b68458978a125328" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>SPC Fruit Salad</em></p> <p>The news will ease anxieties of local growers in the area, like John Paulos. This is due to the new range of locally farmed peaches, pears and apricots that will be sold via Coles.</p> <p>“Each peach tree represents a seven-year commitment until they are producing fruit, and it’s even longer for pears — you plant pears for your heirs — so to have a commitment from Coles for this fruit makes life so much easier,” he said.</p> <p>“It takes a while to get a tree cropping and there’s not really any fresh market demand for the fruit, as these varieties are especially grown for canning.</p> <p>“So, to be able to maintain these trees and not have to think about replanting new varieties is very important to us.”</p> <p>Head of Coles Brand, Mark Field, said that the chain is proud to expand its range of Australian-grown fruit.</p> <p>“We know our customers want top quality food, and equally they want to know that they are helping to support Australian farmers and Australian jobs,” he said in a statement.</p>

Food & Wine

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How Duchess Kate will celebrate Prince Louis's first birthday

<p>Prince Louis, the third child of Prince William and Duchess Kate, will be celebrating his first birthday soon.</p> <p>The special milestone on April 23 is expected to be a private affair, but royal fans have predicted that the Duchess of Cambridge will continue her tradition of sharing special portraits through the palace.</p> <p>The 37-year-old royal has shared photos of her children to mark their birthdays, often snapping the pictures herself. In 2015, she shared two snaps of her second child Princess Charlotte that she had taken herself in celebration of the infant’s six-month milestone.</p> <p>When the princess turned one, Duchess Kate released more new portraits that she once again personally snapped.</p> <p>Last year, for her daughter’s third birthday, the Duchess also captured two photographs of Princess Charlotte with Prince Louis, only days after the young prince’s birth.</p> <p>According to <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.hellomagazine.com/royalty/2019041572086/kate-middleton-plans-revealed-prince-louis-birthday/" target="_blank">HELLO!</a></em>, the last official royal photograph featuring Prince Louis was the family Christmas card, which featured all five members of the Cambridge family.</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/BqIwkq8Ff2R/?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/BqIwkq8Ff2R/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal)</a> on Nov 13, 2018 at 2:13pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The young prince’s father might not be around for his first birthday, as Prince William is set to travel to New Zealand in late April to honour the victims of the Christchurch terror attacks on behalf of the Queen.</p> <p>“The Duke will meet with those affected by the attack and will pay tribute to the extraordinary compassion and solidarity that the people of New Zealand have displayed in recent weeks,” Kensington Palace said in an <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.royal.uk/duke-cambridge-visit-new-zealand" target="_blank">announcement</a>.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see pictures of the Cambridge family.</p>

Art

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Royal style watch: Princess Mary steals the show with stunning look

<p>One of Australia’s most beloved royal members, the Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, has stepped out for the opening of a special new museum exhibition.</p> <p>Shining in a forest green A-line skirt, a stylish pair of black suede heels and a black high-neck sweater, the Australian-born member of the Danish royal family has shown she can make dressing stylish in winter easy.</p> <p>The Princess was in Copenhagen on Friday for the official opening ceremony of the <em>Fashioned From Nature </em>art exhibition at the Danish National History Museum.</p> <p>The vibrant display explored the rich colour in nature by presenting clothing from some of the world’s leading art and design museums, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.</p> <p>Along with the elegant scientific designs related to the history of fashion includes colourful beetles, exotic bird feathers, stuffed hummingbirds, whalebone used in dressmaking, and Nordic amber and toxic plant seeds made into jewellery.</p> <p>The <em>Fashioned From Nature</em> exhibition focuses on using nature’s own materials in the fashion industry.</p> <p>Princess Mary’s stunning ankle length skirt seemed to be inspired by the theme of the event, with a stunning pattern design – along with the earthy colour.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see the Crown Princess Mary of Denmark’s chic outfit.</p> <p>Do you like the Danish royal's latest outfit? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

Beauty & Style

News

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Has Duchess Meghan already given birth to the royal baby?

<p>The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are known for breaking royal traditions and taking a modern approach to royal life – and supporters are not surprised in the slightest that Baby Sussex might just be another way the couple shows just how different they are to the rest of their family.</p> <p>Unlike their in-laws, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the soon-to-be parents have opted to not share introduce their new baby to the public on the steps of the hospital.</p> <p>Instead, they are keeping their first moments with their new child private – which begs the simple question: Have the Duke and Duchess already welcomed Baby Sussex?</p> <p>Prince Harry has not been seen since the official Instagram page for the royal family announced they would not be indulging in a public royal baby photo call, which was on April 11.</p> <p>The<span> </span><span>@s</span>ussexroyal Instagram page has also dropped a small hint that perhaps the special arrival has already entered the world.</p> <p>The latest post signs off a special message, which says: “On behalf of The Duke and Duchess (and Baby Sussex), we thank you so much.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BwR0wNFB1KI/?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/BwR0wNFB1KI/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">Just one week ago, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex asked that you kindly consider supporting various organisations around the world in lieu of sending gifts for the upcoming arrival of their first born. Not only did many of you lend your support, you took action. Their Royal Highnesses wanted you to know the impact of your support – the direct effect your donation, energy, and action made! YOU chose to be part of the collective good, and you have made a real difference. Whether a $5 donation, £1000 contribution, offering to volunteer, or spreading the word – you’ve played your part. And on behalf of The Duke and Duchess (and Baby Sussex), we thank you so much. YOUR IMPACT: @thelunchboxfund will now be able to provide a minimum of 100,000 additional hot nutritionally fortified meals to children in dire need across South Africa @littlevillagehq received donations from all over the world (from UAE to Hong Kong and the US), they’ve increased their monthly donors, had a surge in volunteer applications, and re-energized their hard working team of 200+ staff and volunteers @wellchild can now provide 300+ additional hours of specialist care by a Well Child Nurse for a child with serious health needs, allowing families to stay together at home vs in hospital @Baby2Baby have received over 5,000 products to disperse to children in need, including cribs, books, backpacks, diapers and have received monetary donations from around the globe - from Guadalajara to Italy. You made this happen. Thank you.</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/sussexroyal/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> The Duke and Duchess of Sussex</a> (@sussexroyal) on Apr 15, 2019 at 6:51am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Royal fans have caused a storm among social media, many wondering whether the royal couple’s first child has already been born based off these words.</p> <p>“Have they had the baby yet?!” one person commented beneath the post.</p> <p>“Who else saw the notification and rushed over to see if this was a birth announcement,” another comment read.</p> <p>Meanwhile on Twitter, others speculated the baby is safe and sound in the arms of their mother.</p> <p>“Meghan and Harry probably have already had that baby. They chilling,” one tweet read.</p> <p>The rumours, however, have been well and truly alive for the last week, since Buckingham Palace announced the royal couple’s decision to avoid the cameras.</p> <p>“Their Royal Highnesses have taken a personal decision to keep the plans around the arrival of their baby private,” a statement read.</p> <p>“The Duke and Duchess look forward to sharing the exciting news with everyone once they have had an opportunity to celebrate privately as a new family.”</p>

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The fiery moment you missed on Q&A after brutal stare-down: "I'm the host"

<p>In his second outing on ABC’s <em>Q&amp;A</em>, One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts butted heads with host Virginia Trioli as the Senate candidate claimed his party did not want to water down Australia’s gun laws.</p> <p>In Monday’s edition of the panel talk show, where politicians running for a Queensland seat were gathered, the 63-year-old former Senator responded to an audience member’s question about whether his party would support watering down gun laws, as was shown by One Nation members James Ashby and Steve Dickson in the <a rel="noopener" href="/news/news/one-nation-officials-on-the-sauce-when-seeking-20-million-donation-from-us-gun-lobby/" target="_blank">Al-Jazeera investigative documentary</a>.</p> <p>“We want to make it harder for terrorists and criminals to get guns,” said Roberts.</p> <p>“We want to make it easier and more encouraging for good, responsible shooters to actually access the firearms paperwork.</p> <p>“We want to make sure that people who earn a living or who use guns as part of a trade, such as culling feral animals, they are able to do it more safely.”</p> <p>Trioli and the audience member who asked the question said they saw this as a watering down of gun laws, but Roberts denied the statement. “That’s not the case … I’m making it clear there’s no watering down,” he said. “We’re making it harder for people to access guns if they’re criminals.”</p> <p>“But not for sporting shooters and others?” asked Trioli.</p> <p>“Correct,” said Roberts.</p> <p>“So, some watering down,” Trioli replied as the audience applauded.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">What was One Nation doing with the NRA in the USA? Does Malcolm Roberts support watering down gun laws in Australia? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/QandA?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#QandA</a> <a href="https://t.co/8nIJnzgXMX">pic.twitter.com/8nIJnzgXMX</a></p> — ABC Q&amp;A (@QandA) <a href="https://twitter.com/QandA/status/1117759708809449472?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 15, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Roberts also denied that Ashby and Dickson were seeking funds from US gun lobby the National Rifle Association before Trioli interjected, <span>“We saw them seek funding.”</span></p> <p><span>Roberts responded, “</span>You’re interrupting me again.”</p> <p>“I’m the host of the program, Malcolm Roberts,” Trioli replied. <span>“It’s my task to keep you on task.” </span></p> <p>Tensions were also apparent as other panellists, Liberal Senator James McGrath and Greens Senator Larissa Waters, exchanged criticisms over Adani coal mine.</p> <p>Waters said the Coalition government only supported the project because of political donations. Earlier this year, it was revealed that Adani donated $35,000 to the Liberal Party and $15,000 to One Nation over the 2017-18 period.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">How will the LNP win the votes of young Liberals who oppose Adani and offshore detention, but support the Coalition’s economic plan? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/QandA?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#QandA</a> <a href="https://t.co/qrVfNUzWkQ">pic.twitter.com/qrVfNUzWkQ</a></p> — ABC Q&amp;A (@QandA) <a href="https://twitter.com/QandA/status/1117768536372301825?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 15, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>McGrath also interjected as the audience cheered for Waters’ explanation of the Greens’ policy to oppose a new Adani mine in Queensland and phase out coal by 2030. </p> <p>“You clapped the destruction of the Queensland economy,” he said. “You’ve clapped mass unemployment.”</p> <p>The two also had a verbal spar over the allegedly growing racist sentiment among the Coalition.</p> <p>“The Liberal National party is a party for all Queenslanders regardless of where you come from and how long you’ve been here,” said McGrath.</p> <p>“As long as you share our values – and one of our values is its inclusivity, and we’re colour blind when it comes to the colour of your own skin … And I’m sure the Greens and I hope Labor would agree with that.”</p> <p>However, Waters said Peter Dutton’s immigration detention policies did not reflect this.</p> <p>McGrath replied, “You’ve accused my party of taking policy positions based on donations, which is wrong and is offensive, and now you’ve effectively accused Peter Dutton of being a racist. That is wrong.”</p> <p>He continued, “Where are your tears for those people who drowned at sea and were eaten by the sharks? Where were your tears there?”</p> <p>The talk show came ahead of the federal election, which will take place on May 18.</p>

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"We’re living with divorced dad right now”: Michelle Obama’s verdict on Donald Trump's presidency

<p>Michelle Obama has let her frustration be known over the Donald Trump presidency, as the current US president works hard to eradicate all the hard work that was done by her husband, former US President Barack Obama.</p> <p>Michelle was in London promoting her best-selling autobiography <em>Becoming</em>, when the host, US talk show host Stephen Colbert, asked how she felt about the Trump presidency.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7825976/obama.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/26857e195857431187914f81f1e900e0" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Michelle Obama with Stephen Colbert in London</em></p> <p>“We are a teenager, we’re changing all over the place and we come from a broken family,” Michelle explained.</p> <p>“We’re a little unsettled and having good parents is tough. Sometimes you spend the weekends with divorced dad and that feels like it’s fun, but then you get sick.</p> <p>“That’s what America’s going through. We’re kind of living with divorced dad right now.”</p> <p>After making the joke about living with “divorced dad”, the former First Lady took aim at Trump himself.</p> <p>“For anyone who had any problems with Barack Obama, let’s just think about what we were troubled by — there were never any indictments.”</p> <p>Michelle also told a personal anecdote about the Queen, which she broke royal protocol with by putting her arm around her in 2009.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7825975/obama-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ca99d383097c49b1a77e998a52dc2a81" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Barack Obama, Queen Elizabeth II, Michelle Obama and Prince Philip</em></p> <p>She told the story about how touched she had been by the Queen’s decision to wear a small pin badge that the presidential couple had given her as a gift and couldn’t contain her joy.</p> <p>“I don’t know that I could have done anything differently because it was a natural human reaction.”</p> <p>She’s also very fond of the Queen’s wit.</p> <p>“That was my experience, that has been my experience: that kind of warmth and graciousness and intelligence and wit — I like her.”</p> <p>Michelle’s book tour will take her all around Europe, with stops in Paris and Amsterdam.</p> <p>Have you read Michelle’s autobiography<span> </span><em>Becoming</em>? Let us know in the comments.</p>

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60 Minutes exposes Australia's big recycling lie

<p>Many Australians thought that their country was decent at taking care of the recycling waste that was left behind, but an expose on<span> </span><em>60 Minutes</em> has shown them otherwise.</p> <p><span>It has been revealed that the plastic isn’t being disposed of properly and mountains of recycling are being dumped, buried or burned in illegal processing facilities and junkyards across Southeast Asia.</span></p> <p><span></span><span>Most of Australia’s plastic rubbish ends up being stockpiled in warehouses or shipped to Vietnam, Malaysia or Indonesia to be disposed of.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Dozens and dozens of these illegal processing sites in Malaysia mean that your rubbish often ends up being dumped, buried or even burned, <a href="https://twitter.com/LiamBartlett9?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LiamBartlett9</a> reports. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/60Mins?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#60Mins</a> <a href="https://t.co/GUlKVVhgcA">pic.twitter.com/GUlKVVhgcA</a></p> — 60 Minutes Australia (@60Mins) <a href="https://twitter.com/60Mins/status/1117353519277719552?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 14, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>The Sunday night episode of <em>60 Minutes</em> argues that since China stopped taking care of Australia’s plastic waste problem over a year ago, Australia has no idea what to do with the waste.</p> <p>This is due to the lack of facilities within Australia that are able to reprocess it into new plastic goods.</p> <p>Plastic Forests founder and owner David Hodge spoke to <em>60 Minutes</em> about the problem, saying that Australians need to be enabled to recycle.</p> <p>“I think most people in Australia feel lied to, I think they feel disappointed,” Hodge told<span> </span><em>60 Minutes</em>.</p> <p>“Ninety per cent of people do want to recycle, and they need to be enabled to be able to do that.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">David Hodge is one of the few recyclers in our country who is actually recycling plastic. His business takes contaminated waste, cleans it, and turns it into new plastic products. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/60Mins?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#60Mins</a> <a href="https://t.co/51St2aFTJb">pic.twitter.com/51St2aFTJb</a></p> — 60 Minutes Australia (@60Mins) <a href="https://twitter.com/60Mins/status/1117357232935411712?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 14, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>With 71,000 tonnes of Australian plastic being dumped in countries across Southeast Asia, Hodge recognises that there’s a problem.</p> <p>“We haven’t built the infrastructure. We haven’t thought ahead,” he told <em>60 Minutes<span> </span></em>reporter Liam Bartlett.</p> <p>“Now we’re here and we’re drowning in plastic.”</p> <p>An analysis of our waste exports commissioned by the Department of the Environment and Energy stated that several Asian countries have proposed crackdowns on waste imports.</p> <p>The analysis warned:</p> <p>“If Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand enacted waste import bans similar to China’s, Australia would need to find substitute domestic or export markets for approximately 1.29 million tonnes (or $530 million) of waste a year, based on 2017-18 export amounts.”</p> <p>Did you watch Sunday night’s episode of<span> </span><em>60 Minutes</em>? What do you think of the recycling problem within Australia? Let us know in the comments.</p>

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Aussies share the weirdest things they’ve seen in hotel rooms

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A group of Aussies have shared the weirdest things they’ve seen after staying in a hotel room, on a Facebook page for frequent flyers.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The conversation began when one poster shared a photo of a sign in a hotel room, with the sign saying that you will be charged $70 every time you use the spa.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The amused man wrote:</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I had to stay somewhere rural for work, and found this sign next to the bath.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The sign itself said:</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Please note: If the SPA is used there will be an extra charge of $70 per night. If you would like to arrange this, then please contact reception before 7pm. Thank you.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The man also shared a photo of his colleague’s room, where the spa charge was only $50.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Others were quick to join in on the conversation, explaining the odd things that they have seen in hotel rooms.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One man explained that he had stayed in a place where the owners had labelled everything with instructions.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It was just weird,” he said. “Worse was that they'd taken the remote control for the RC aircon and wanted $5 a night if we wanted to use it.” </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Another said that they had rented a home in the Gold Coast one Christmas and was met with 17 signs advising reasons for loss of bond. This was after agreeing to pay peak rates.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“These were the penalty for a whole series of transgressions such as ‘not putting the bins out on the kerb on Tuesday night’,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And they didn't let us use the broadband – we paid AUD$8K – total joke.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">What are some of the weird signs you’ve seen in hotel rooms? Let us know in the comments.</span></p>

Travel Trouble

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Why every Australian must take this panoramic train trip

<p><span>From the green Alpine pastures to the bold urban districts, there is a lot to see in <a href="https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-au/destinations/holiday-destinations-in-switzerland.html">Switzerland</a>. Every corner of the mountainous Central European country packs a surprise that every traveller can appreciate. </span></p> <p><span>Taking a train trip is a convenient way of getting around to see everything the nation has to offer. The Grand Train Tour of Switzerland combines eight different lines throughout the country, covering a total of 1,280 kilometres of travel across Swiss’s diverse highlights that you can explore with a <a href="https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-au/swiss-travel-pass.html">single ticket</a>.</span></p> <p><span>Here are the reasons you should hop on the train to enjoy the best of Switzerland.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Personalised trip</span></strong></p> <p><span>The train tour, which runs all-year round, is easily customisable – you can start at any point and go in whichever direction you’d like. </span></p> <p><span>When in doubt, you can follow the popular suggestion to depart from Zurich, the country’s largest city and one of the most stylish European metropolises. Wherever you are beginning, the integrated train network makes it easy to go places.</span></p> <p><span>Exploring the destinations off the train is also made easy, thanks to the all-in-one Swiss Travel Pass. Besides train travel, the pass also gives you access to buses, boats and public transportation in most areas, as well as free admission to over 500 museums and discounts to excursions – you can pick and plan your itinerary as you please.</span></p> <p><span>Prefer to sit back and have somebody else deal with the details? Go for the <a href="https://www.switzerlandtravel.com.au/grand-train-tour-of-switzerland">9-day rail adventure package</a>, which includes must-have experiences and overnight stays in some of the most famous Swiss cities and resorts with all the nitty-gritty taken care of.</span></p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qCxSEDlc21s" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><strong><span>Great destinations, spectacular sceneries</span></strong></p> <p><span>On the <a href="https://grandtraintour.myswitzerland.com/en/">scenic rail journey</a>, you can enjoy a variety of glorious landscapes in every route. If you’re starting from Zurich, take a day to stroll around – the global banking and finance centre is full of urban charms, with numerous museums and art galleries, as well as hip riverside bars.</span></p> <p><span>From Zurich, there are two directions – you can go up north, passing Europe’s largest waterfall the Rhine Falls to arrive at the medieval old town of Schaffhausen. Then you can continue the journey through the Rhine river that stretches out to the beautiful Lake Constance, and find yourself at St Gallen, the gateway of the Alps, at the end of the line.</span></p> <p><span><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7825983/swis5-stsy9923.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/33cff19d2ca748f0be068f6b8e183909" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>'Dragon Ride' between Fraekmuendegg and Pilatus with a spectacular view of Lake Lucerne. Credit: swiss-image.ch/Urs Wyss</em></p> <p><span>Otherwise, you can take a trip down south to Lucerne, a city situated by the lakeside amid spectacular mountainous panorama, and continue from thereon to Interlaken, the gateway to the “Top of Europe” Jungfraujoch. Afterwards, the train follows the banks of Lake Thun before heading into the Simmental, where green Alpine pastures, flowering meadows and traditional villages can be seen from the train. From this point, you can expect the postcard view of Switzerland – alpine forests and mountain villages – until you get into a tunnel to emerge in the vineyards of the Lake Geneva region and arrive shortly in Montreux.</span><span></span></p> <p>Following that, Zermatt is the next destination. The resort lies at the foot of the Matterhorn. Its touristic development is closely linked to what is most probably the world's most famous mountain. The village is all car-free, has preserved its original character and offers nearly unlimited possibilities as far as excursions are concerned.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7825982/swis6-stsy9950.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/410affc08fd2466e8b19895529385cdb" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Gornergrat Train Zermatt, Valais. Credit: swiss-image.ch/</em></p> <p><span>Once you’re done and dusted, hop on the “slowest express train in the world”, the Glacier Express to St Moritz. Follow up with Bernina Express to enjoy one of the continent’s best scenic rail journeys through UNESCO-protected landscapes to the borders of Italy.</span></p> <p><strong><span>All in one tour</span></strong></p> <p><span>Whatever you are looking for in Helvetia, the Grand Train Tour of Switzerland can get you there. Travelling independently and enjoying all the tourism highlights, from picturesque sceneries to cultural sites and urban centres, have become more convenient and seamless than ever.</span></p> <p><span>Will you be visiting <a href="https://www.switzerlandtravel.com.au/switzerland-travel-brochure/">Switzerland</a> on your next trip? </span></p> <p><em><span>This is sponsored content brought to you in conjunction with </span></em><span><a href="https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-au/home.html"><em>Switzerland Tourism</em></a><em>.</em></span></p>

International Travel

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"Everything is burning": Thousands watch in horror as iconic Notre Dame cathedral blazes

<p>A fire has engulfed the roof of Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral and has toppled its spire as thousands of people watch on in horror at the iconic landmark’s destruction.</p> <p>Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot told French Media that “everything is burning, nothing will remain of the frame.”</p> <p>The famous cathedral is one of France’s most popular tourist attractions and draws 13 million visitors each year.</p> <p>French President Emmanuel Macron has said that this is a “terrible tragedy” but the cathedral will be rebuilt.</p> <p>“I’m telling you all tonight — we will rebuild this cathedral together. This is probably part of the French destiny. And we will do it in the next years. Starting tomorrow, a national donation scheme will be started that will extend beyond our borders,” Mr Macron said.</p> <p>The cause of the blaze is unknown, and earlier on Monday, there were fears that the great bells could fall.</p> <p>Paris Fire Department commander general, Jean-Claude Gallet, told reporters about the worry:</p> <p>“There’s a risk that the great bells fall. If the bells fall, it’s the tower that collapses,” Mr Gallet explained.</p> <p>“There are firefighters inside and outside.</p> <p>“We need to win this battle and block the spreading of the flames. The most efficient action is from the inside. We are not sure if we will be able to stop the spreading of the flames to the North Tower.”</p> <p>A crowd of hundreds has gathered outside the cathedral in shocked silence as they watched the 850-year-old building burn. Australian Divya Bala told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/world/europe/thousands-watch-iconic-notre-dame-cathedral-burn-in-the-heart-of-paris/news-story/aaeb7c0d39a3e7867b0afcbf6b230762" target="_blank">news.com.au </a>that watching the scene unfold was “shocking”.</p> <p>“Everyone just stayed out watching, very calmly, very quietly,” she said.</p> <p>“Some people were in tears, one older gentleman was holding himself up by the railing on the bridge and people were comforting him.</p> <p>“But I was really struck by how calm everyone was.”</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see the devastating before and after shots of the Notre Dame Cathedral.</p>

Travel Trouble

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South Australia’s wine trail to the Outback

<p class="Body">Head due north from Adelaide for about 125 kilometres and you’ll climb about 500 metres to the<span> </span><span><a href="http://www.clarevalley.com.au/">Clare Valley</a></span>, a wine region best known for its Riesling, though it’s home to a wide range of other varietals. With more than 30 tempting cellar doors, it’s a good place to abandon the car and cycle instead. Fortunately, the valley’s disused rail line is now the<span> </span><span><a href="http://rieslingtrail.com.au/">Riesling Trail</a></span><span> </span>for walking and cycling. As it was originally for trains, the gradients are gentle — unlike the terrain on either side.</p> <p class="Body"><strong class="bigger-text">Clare Valley</strong></p> <p class="Body">We took an organised tour with<span> </span><a href="http://www.tourdevines.com.au/">Tour de Vines</a><span> </span>that was fun, challenging, and rewarding. While some of the Clare vineyards were known to me, we were taken to three boutique wineries.<span> </span><a href="http://kilikanoon.com.au/">Kilikanoon</a>, where the “Oracle” shiraz was one of the most spectacular wines tasted, and<span> </span><span><a href="http://www.skillogalee.com.au/">Skillogalee</a> </span>vineyard was the perfect stop for lunch on the balcony, overlooking rolling vine-covered hills while eating excellent steaks.</p> <p class="Body"><span><a href="http://sevenhill.com.au/">Sevenhill Cellars</a></span><span> </span>is a very special place with an unusual history. It was the first vineyard in the Clare Valley, began in 1851 for the Jesuits to produce sacramental wine (the altar wine for communion) — a service it still fulfils today. Indeed the last Jesuit winemaker,<span> </span><span><a href="https://www.clarevalley.com.au/learn/local-characters/brother-john-may/">Brother John May</a></span><span> </span>only retired in 2002. While you can follow a self-guided walking tour, at 11am Monday to Friday there’s a guided tour that includes the historic underground cellar and the old-vine Shiraz vineyard, plus shrines, the church, and crypt.</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/Bq_jJncHEXZ/?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/Bq_jJncHEXZ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Sevenhill Cellars (@sevenhillwines)</a> on Dec 4, 2018 at 8:54pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p class="Body">After a day riding bikes, it was wonderful to ride into the town of Clare and settle into one of the<span> </span><span><a href="http://www.themill.apartments/">Mill Apartments</a></span><span> </span>with views over the creek behind. Besides being immaculately clean and providing all the ingredients for a substantial breakfast, the Mill has another significant feature: it’s next door to<span> </span><span><a href="http://seed.kitchen/">Seed Winehouse and Kitchen</a></span>. Housed in a beautiful 1880s-era historic building, Seed’s degustation experience — the  “seed table” with four courses and matched wines for $99 — is great value for the very creative dishes served.</p> <p class="Body"><strong class="bigger-text">The Outback</strong><br /><span></span></p> <p class="Body"><span><a href="http://www.southernflinders-midnorth.com.au/narrate/n_goyder.htm">Goyder’s Line</a></span><span> </span>defines South Australia’s Outback. In 1865, the then Surveyor General drew an east-west line marking the northern limit of at least 250 mm of rain annually; north of the line was regarded as unsuitable for cropping, only pastoral use.</p> <p class="Body">That sounded purely technical until we were travelling north from Clare with Dave Willson of<span> </span><span><a href="https://clarevalleytours.com/">Clare Valley Tours</a></span>the next morning. Right on cue, the vegetation we were driving through suddenly changed from green to the reds and yellows of the Outback. The next town we hit was<span> </span><span><a href="https://www.orroroo.sa.gov.au/">Orroroo</a></span>, a small town with a heritage streetscape and surprisingly good coffee.</p> <p class="Body">Less than an hour earlier, we passed through<span> </span><span><a href="http://www.visitjamestown.com.au/">Jamestown</a> </span>— a name that seemed quite familiar. Dave informed us that this was the home of<span> </span><span><a href="https://www.tesla.com/en_AU/blog/tesla-powerpack-enable-large-scale-sustainable-energy-south-australia">Elon Musk’s battery</a></span><span> </span>that now forms part of the South Australian electrical grid. Apparently Jamestown was also the birthplace of<span> </span><span><a href="http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/both-edward-thomas-ted-12234">Edward Both</a></span>, who created a light, affordable version of the American “iron lung” in 1937.</p> <p class="Body"><span><a href="https://www.discoverhawker.com/">Hawker</a> </span>was our next stop. I knew it solely from a line in the old Redgum song, Lear Jets Over Kulgera: “And LTDs in Hawker, and talk of a tracking base, talking mineral yields in uranium fields, and looking like they own the place”.</p> <p class="Body">Apart from being the southern gateway to the<span> </span><span><a href="https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/find-a-park/Browse_by_region/flinders-ranges-outback/ikara-flinders-ranges-national-park">Ikara Flinders Ranges National Park</a></span>, Hawker has the<span> </span><span><a href="http://www.jeffmorgangallery.com.au/">Jeff Morgan Gallery</a></span><span> </span>where the artist displays a series of large panoramas, the largest of which, the Arkaroola Panorama is an astoundingly detailed 46 x 5.5 metre painting. The collection of rocks and mineral on display is equally impressive, particularly the fluorescent rock display.</p> <p class="Body"><strong class="bigger-text">Flinders Ranges</strong><br /><span></span></p> <p class="Body"><span><a href="http://www.rawnsleypark.com.au/">Rawnsley Park Station</a></span><span> </span>is a working sheep station overlooking the amphitheatre of<span> </span><span><a href="https://www.wilpenapound.com.au/">Wilpena Pound</a></span>. It offers a range of accommodation from campsites to units in a natural bush setting but the pick must be the luxury Eco-villas with uninterrupted views of Wilpena Pound and the surrounding ranges. Lying in bed in these villas, you can operate the electronic ceiling and roof to look straight up into the clear, star-filled sky.</p> <p class="Body">Sunset at Rawnsley Park Station is the time to gain some elevation. A two-hour bush-bashing “Sunset on Chace” tour provides the opportunity to meet the kangaroos and emus of the station before a brilliant Flinders Ranges sunset illuminates the Chace Range.</p> <p class="Body">The better option to preparing your own dinner is to eat at the newly renovated<span> </span><span><a href="http://www.apple.com/">Woolshed Restaurant</a></span><span> </span>that has a genuine working shearing shed attached, and offers fine dining with modern Australian cuisine for lunch and dinner.</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/Bsv1_58hfnG/?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/Bsv1_58hfnG/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Australia Shotz (@australia_shotz)</a> on Jan 17, 2019 at 11:33am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p class="Body">A few days at Rawnsley Park could be readily filled with guided walks, 4WD safaris, or mountain biking. But only by taking a scenic flight over Wilpena Pound with<span> </span><span><a href="http://www.chinta.com.au/">Chinta Tours</a></span><span> </span>can you understand this convoluted landscape. Longer flights continue beyond Wilpena Pound and the Flinders Ranges to<span> </span><span><a href="https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/parks/find-a-park/Browse_by_region/flinders-ranges-outback/lake-torrens-national-park">Lake Torrens</a></span><span> </span>and even<span> </span><span><a href="https://www.arkaroola.com.au/">Arkaroola</a></span>.</p> <p class="Body">At Wilpena Pound Resort, a wide range of walks are available. Some venture into the Pound itself while a two-hour “Yura Udnyu” tour led by a representative of the  takes you along Wilpena Creek’s river red gums to<span> </span><span><a href="http://southaustralia.com/atdw-product?type=Attractions&amp;name=OldWilpenaStation&amp;id=56b26efa7b935fbe730ed2d8">Old Wilpena Station</a></span>, one of South Australia’s oldest and best preserved pastoral settlements.</p> <p class="Body">Coming back onto the plains from the Flinders Ranges through the<span> </span><span><a href="https://hawkervic.info/bunyeroo-and-brachina-gorge/">Bunyeroo and Brachina Gorge</a></span><span> </span>gives the chance to see yellow-footed rock wallabies and perfect panoramas from several lookouts.</p> <p class="Body">Three days is not enough to see this part of the world but I was due back in Adelaide. A fitting finale was lunch at the historic<span> </span><span><a href="http://www.prairiehotel.com.au/">Prairie Hotel</a></span><span> </span>that is most of the infrastructure of Parachilna, a stop on the road to Alice Springs. Claiming to be both hip and “Australia’s #1 Outback culinary destination” the pub’s signature dish is the “Feral Feast” of kangaroo, camel, emu, goat, and quandong with saltbush dukkah.</p> <p class="Body">As the bright lights of Adelaide came into view that evening, I was already planning my return to Outback South Australia. Next time there’s<span> </span><span><a href="https://www.arkaroola.com.au/">Arkaroola</a></span>,<span> </span><span><a href="https://www.australia.com/en-us/places/adelaide-and-surrounds/guide-to-lake-eyre.html">Lake Eyre</a></span>,<span> </span><span><a href="http://traveloutbackaustralia.com/dalhousie-springs.html/">Dalhousie Springs</a></span>, and — of course —<span> </span><span><a href="https://www.cooberpedy.sa.gov.au/tourism">Coober Pedy</a></span><span> </span>to stay in underground accommodation.</p> <p class="Body"><em>Have you visited the Clare Valley or the Flinders Ranges? Do you have any travel tips for this part of the world?</em></p> <p class="Body"><em>Written by David McGonigal. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/travel/south-australia%E2%80%99s-wine-trail-to-the-outback.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

Domestic Travel

Health

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The simple eye test leaving people gobsmacked

<p>Getting behind the wheel at night can be a challenge even for the most experienced drivers. However, more difficulties await those with vision problems.</p> <p>According to a Twitter user, you can check if you need glasses for driving through this simple test.</p> <p>The account posted two pictures, claiming that they show what driving with astigmatism looks like compared with normal, healthy vision.</p> <p>In the first picture, the lights from the traffic appear with big streaks, while in the second picture the lights only have a slight blur around them.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Astigmatism is when the cornea is slightly curved rather than completely round..<br /><br />With astigmatism, light focuses on several points of the retina rather just one point. This is what people with Astigmatisms vs without. <a href="https://t.co/RXWWayFBRJ">pic.twitter.com/RXWWayFBRJ</a></p> — Unusual Facts (@UnusualFacts6) <a href="https://twitter.com/UnusualFacts6/status/1109996250273902592?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 25, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>“This is what people with Astigmatisms vs without [see],” the post read.</p> <p>Astigmatism is a condition where the cornea or lens of the eye is not a smooth curve, resulting in asymmetric blur and distorted view.</p> <p>The post, published in late March, has surprised social media users who previously believed that the streaky image was “normal”.</p> <p>“Wait people can see lights normally? I thought everyone saw those lines,” one responded.</p> <p>“I thought everyone saw the lines, when I was little I would squint to make em longer to entertain myself, thought that was normal,” another commented.</p> <p>“My life and seeing is a lie, I thought everyone saw the lines,” another commenter added.</p> <p>Optometrist Ceri Smith-Jaynes told<span> </span><a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/8775288/how-two-photos-compare-astigmatism/"><em>The</em> <em>Sun Online</em></a> that the picture “is not a bad representation” what the condition might look like. “You do get a bit of streaking with astigmatism,” she said. “But it could also be a number of other things such as cataracts, opaqueness or even when a lash gets in your eye.”</p> <p>According to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/astigmatism" target="_blank">Health Direct</a>, astigmatism may be present at birth, develop with ageing, or result from eye disease or injury. Symptoms may include headaches, difficulties seeing at night and tiredness.</p> <p>The condition could be corrected by glasses, contact lens or surgery.</p> <p>Do you see the streaky lights when driving at night? Let us know in the comments.</p>

Mind

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Should you weigh yourself regularly?

<p>For some, jumping on the scales is a daily or weekly ritual; while others haven’t seen a set of scales for years. Some may still be scarred by memories of being weighed in public with results broadcast to all.</p> <p>So, is it helpful to weigh yourself? And if so, how often should you do it?</p> <p>For adults carrying excess weight and who are trying to manage their weight, the answer is yes: weighing yourself regularly can help you lose more weight initially, and keep it off.</p> <p>But for adolescents or those who have experienced disordered eating, it’s best to keep the scales out of sight.</p> <p><strong>What does the research say?</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26293454">Most studies</a> have investigated the impact of self-weighing along with other weight-loss strategies such as a low-kilojoule diet.</p> <p>These studies show self-weighing is an inexpensive technique that may help with weight loss and maintenance, particularly for men, who often respond well to structured “weigh-ins”.</p> <p>Only one study has investigated the use of self-weighing as the sole weight-loss strategy. This <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26064677">US research study invited 162 adults</a> who were wanting to lose weight to a single educational weight-loss seminar.</p> <p>Half of the people were instructed to weigh themselves daily and got visual feedback on their weight change over two years. The other half were not asked to weigh themselves daily, until the second year.</p> <p>During year one, men in the daily self-weighing group lost more weight than the control group, but women did not. The average number of times people weighed themselves a week was four.</p> <p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26064677">In the second year</a>, men in the daily self-weighing group maintained their weight loss. Those in the control group, who had now started daily weighing, lost weight, while the women stayed the same.</p> <p>Having regular weigh-ins with a health professional can also help. A <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29520919">review of more than 11,000 overweight people</a> attending a weight management program in GP clinics in Israel found those who had regular weigh-ins with the nurse or dietitian were more likely to lose more than 5 per cent of their body weight. This amount of weight loss is <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29114778">associated with a major reduction</a> in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.</p> <p><strong>How often should you weigh yourself?</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26293454">A review</a> of 24 randomised controlled trials found there was no difference in weight loss between those who weighed themselves daily versus weekly.</p> <p>No matter what other features the weight-loss program includes, the key to better results appears to be regular self-weighing, which means at least weekly.</p> <p>Making yourself “accountable” for weigh-ins either by having a set day to weigh-in or joining a weight loss program can <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28508330">help you lose more weight</a>.</p> <p>Another important point is that <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25397613">not weighing yourself</a> regularly when you are on a weight-loss diet is a risk factor for weight gain.</p> <p><strong>When is self-weighing harmful?</strong></p> <p>Regular weighing is not recommended for adolescents. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26566095">Research suggests</a> it doesn’t help with weight management and can negatively impact on young people’s mental health, especially for girls.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26566095">ten-year study</a> of the relationship between self-weighing, weight status and psychological outcomes of almost 2,000 teens in the US found that self-weighing had no helpful impact on weight or BMI.</p> <p>However, it was associated with weight concerns, poor self-esteem and trying to lose weight though unhealthy methods such as excessive fasting.</p> <p>Over the ten years, more frequent weighing was associated with a decrease in body satisfaction and self-esteem, and an increase in weight concerns and depression in the young women.</p> <p>For young men, with the exception of weight concerns, there were no significant relationships between self-weighing and other variables.</p> <p>An increased frequency of self-weighing throughout the high school years <a href="https://thebutterflyfoundation.org.au/our-services/">may flag</a> the need to investigate an adolescent’s overall well-being and psychological health.</p> <p>Self-weighing can also <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26627092">affect the self-esteem</a> and psychological well-being of adults, especially women. This is of particular concern for those with eating disorders, as <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27188448">weighing frequency can be associated with greater severity of eating disorders</a>.</p> <p>For some people, self-weighing could be the key to losing or keeping weight off, while for others, it may do harm. Consider your life stage, pre-existing health conditions and your mental well-being when deciding whether regular weighing is worth it for you. <!-- 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/92177/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Clare Collins, Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Newcastle and Rebecca Williams, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Newcastle</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/health-check-should-you-weigh-yourself-regularly-92177"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Mind

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Erin Molan: "Married at First Sight put me in hospital"

<p>Sports presenter Erin Molan has temporarily put her work on hold following an accident that she jokingly blamed on popular reality TV show <em>Married at First Sight</em>.</p> <p>On Friday, the mother-of-one revealed her injury in an Instagram post, confirming that she would be off air for a few days. </p> <p>“For those asking... no Friday Night Footy for me this week... or News or 2GB/4BC or Jonesy&amp;Amanda or Sunday Footy Show.</p> <p>“The issue not so much the fracture itself... but the fairly INTENSE pain killers that make bosses of live tv/live radio very nervous indeed. Back on deck Monday.”</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/BwJt6IIlIiK/?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/BwJt6IIlIiK/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">For those asking... no Friday Night Footy for me this week... or News or 2GB/4BC or Jonesy&amp;Amanda or Sunday Footy Show... the issue not so much the fracture itself... but the fairly INTENSE pain killers that make bosses of live tv/live radio very nervous indeed 😂🤷‍♀️🤦‍♀️🙌 Back on deck Monday 🙏🙏🙏😘 @wwos @channel9 @9newssydney @jonesyandamanda @2gb873 @4bcradio</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/erin_molan/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> Erin Molan</a> (@erin_molan) on Apr 12, 2019 at 3:17am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The 36-year-old told the <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/inglis-facing-up-to-painful-reality-but-has-good-people-on-his-side-20190413-p51dwt.html"><em>Sydney Morning Herald</em></a> that she fractured her arm after she tripped at home while rushing down the stairs to catch the popular TV show.</p> <p>“I knew MAFS was dangerous, but had no idea it would put me in hospital,” she said.</p> <p>“The real tragedy in all of this is that I missed [MAFS stars] Jess and Dan on the couch while I spent 10 hours in emergency on Monday night.”</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/BwNuK3cFcht/?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/BwNuK3cFcht/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">The saddest, most uncool way to break your hand... as revealed by @dannyweidler 🤦‍♀️ I only had 10 seconds left in the commercial break and didn’t want to pause and miss following the live tweeting... major part of the entertainment obviously) At least I’m safe until next season starts... 🤷‍♀️🙅‍♀️ #mafs #danger #slinkyslide #🤦‍♀️</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/erin_molan/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> Erin Molan</a> (@erin_molan) on Apr 13, 2019 at 4:36pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>In a follow-up Instagram post, Molan revealed how she did not want to miss a moment from the reality program. “I only had 10 seconds left in the commercial break … At least I’m safe until next season starts.</p> <p>“The saddest, most uncool way to break your hand.”</p>

Caring

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The Wiggles' Anthony Field shows off shock new look

<p>The Wiggles’ Anthony Field has shared his shock new look on Instagram as he showed off his bald head.</p> <p>“Hair today, gone tomorrow!” the 55-year-old Blue Wiggle wrote in a post earlier this month.</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/BvykfCznPSS/?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/BvykfCznPSS/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">Hair today, gone tomorrow!</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/anthony_wiggle/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> Anthony_Wiggle</a> (@anthony_wiggle) on Apr 3, 2019 at 3:32am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <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/BwGqQqgH5DC/?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/BwGqQqgH5DC/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Anthony_Wiggle (@anthony_wiggle)</a> on Apr 10, 2019 at 10:47pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <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/BwHVMEHnCBd/?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/BwHVMEHnCBd/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Anthony_Wiggle (@anthony_wiggle)</a> on Apr 11, 2019 at 5:03am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The new hairdo has attracted many compliments from Field’s friends and fans.</p> <p>“So good. Looks handsome!” commented American actress Selma Blair.</p> <p>“I dig it!!” one wrote.</p> <p>“Gone is the silver fox… on to Mr Smooth!!” another chimed in.</p> <p>This year marks Field’s 28th year being in The Wiggles. In a recent interview with the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.who.com.au/anthony-field-viral-meningitis" target="_blank"><em>WHO ARE YOU</em></a> podcast, Field shared that he has been struggling with an <a rel="noopener" href="/health/body/the-wiggles-anthony-fields-shocking-health-battle-after-high-fiving-fans/" target="_blank">unexpected health problem</a> that he likely contracted from working in the iconic Aussie kids’ band.</p> <p>“I got viral meningitis, which the doctors say I probably got from the audience, high-fiving children and not using the hand sanitiser,” he said. “That was dreadful. It was two-three years ago, and now I’ve just started getting back into exercise.”</p> <p>What do you think of Field’s new look? Share your thoughts in the comments.</p>

Body

Lifestyle

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The one piece of fashion advice Julie Bishop ignored in parliament

<p>Julie Bishop has gone through a fashion evolution over the last two decades, swapping out her patterned blazers, brooches and pearls for designer power suits, colourful dresses and high pumps.</p> <p>In that time, the soon-to-be retired politician has been more than open about her changing identity and opened up to Mia Freedman on Mamamia's No Filter podcast and says her style shift has been an integral part of reclaiming herself.</p> <p>“When I was first appointed to the ministry [in 2003], I was asked to be the Minister for Ageing. And one of the Prime Minister’s senior advisors rang me and said, ‘Julie, take this the right way, but forget the Armani suits and forget the corporate look.</p> <p>“You’re the Minister for Ageing, you’re going into aged-care homes; you’ve got to dress appropriately.’</p> <p>“I said, ‘What? You mean like cardigans?’ He goes, ‘Yeah, more prints, more colour… just not corporate.’</p> <p>“So you’ll see me, as Minister for Ageing, looking like they expected me to look. And then I thought, ‘This is ridiculous. Don’t let other people define who you are, what you wear. Be authentic.’</p> <p>“And so I just decided one day, ‘I’ve had enough of that. I’m going to dress the way I want to dress.'”</p> <p>The former minister has no apologies about her love of fashion either, going out of her way to support local Australian designers like Rachel Gilbert.</p> <p>“I don't apologise for it," she said. "It's who I am, and if you want authentic politicians, you've just got to accept the fact that I love fashion. I always have, and I always will.”</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see some of Julie Bishops fashion style.</p> <p>What do you think of Julie Bishop's statement fashion style while she was in politics? Tell us in the comments below. </p>

Beauty & Style

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Palace photo album: The first photos of royal babies throughout history

<p>The Duchess of Sussex will give birth to her first child with Prince Harry very soon, and royal fans are waiting anticipation to see the adorable face of Baby Sussex.</p> <p>Although there is a classic royal protocol which sees every royal wife posing with their newborn on the hospital steps, there have been whispers questioning whether Duchess Meghan will follow the tradition or choose to make her own rules.</p> <p>While there are no clear answers on just how exactly the royal couple may choose to show their newest member to the world, supporters of the royal family are clearly torn down the middle on what they think may happen.</p> <p>Some royal insiders believe the Duchess is opting for a home birth, meaning publicly posing and cradling her newborn outside of a maternity ward, like Duchess Kate has done in the past, will be out of the question.</p> <p>Others, however, think she may choose to go for a more traditional route after “breaking” a few royal rules over the last year.</p> <p>If the Duke and Duchess of Sussex do not opt for a photo just days after the birth of their first arrival outside of a maternity ward, royal fans may just have to wait a little while longer to see the little bundle of joy.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see the first photos of royal babies throughout history.</p> <p>The royal family are sticklers for tradition, but do you think this may be another refreshing twist for the British family if Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan choose not to pose on the hospital steps for the world to meet their newborn? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Family & Pets

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The best ever gifts for people who are impossible to buy for

<p>The gift of family love is a priceless commodity to treasure forever.</p> <p><a href="https://www.giftsaustralia.com.au/">Gifts Australia</a> offers everything you need to celebrate the joy of love and family, with a comprehensive range of the best family gifts and <a href="https://www.giftsaustralia.com.au/experiences">experiences in 2019</a>.</p> <p>With an online store that’s easy to browse, you’ll find unique and specialty gift selections for all ages and occasions to not only suit, but also delight every family member.</p> <p>The best part is, each gift comes complete with the spirit of caring, sharing, loving and giving — expertly wrapped and promptly delivered to their door or inbox. </p> <p>The <a href="https://www.giftsaustralia.com.au/">Gifts Australia</a> team knows that one of the best parts of life is creating amazing memories together, and they’ve teamed up with some of Australia’s best experience providers to offer experiential gifts that the whole family can enjoy.</p> <p>Send your family on the adventure of a lifetime with experiences such as the exhilarating high of a <a href="https://www.giftsaustralia.com.au/men/experiences/helicopter-sydney">scenic helicopter joy ride</a>, hovering, skirting and darting above spectacular Sydney Harbour.</p> <p>This is one thrill-seeking experience that ticks all boxes for adrenaline-charged excitement, family togetherness and a breathtaking harbourside and Sydney-skyline backdrop.  </p> <p><img style="width: 400px; height: 400px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7825960/heliexpsyd20-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ef8f35abd3b344e88610bb968bcb3fc6" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Scenic helicopter ride above Sydney Harbour</em></p> <p>Still up in the air, another memory-making family gift idea is the Great Ocean Road, Tandem Skydive experience.</p> <p>Imagine reaching altitude on board your scenic flight of up to 15,000 feet above this World Heritage-listed region, with its landmark Twelve Apostles and beyond to the surfing icon of Bells Beach, Barwon Heads and Torquay.</p> <p>Take the plunge from the fast-moving aircraft for an insane up to 60-second free fall before drifting back to earth!    </p> <p>For a rejuvenating experience that mums and dads are sure to savour, the gift of a <a href="https://www.giftsaustralia.com.au/experiences/natural-hot-springs-and-lunch-for-2">Lunch and Hot Springs for 2</a> in Victoria is just the ticket.</p> <p>The luxurious setting for this indulgent event is Mornington Peninsula’s Hot Springs, where couples will enjoy a farm-produce tapas-style luncheon with a vineyard vista, followed by the chance to soak up the relaxing surroundings in 20 hot springs bathing experiences on offer.     </p> <p>While remaining in immersion mode, busy mums would love you even more for the gift of a float-tank package.</p> <p>The Elevation Float Experience in Melbourne is designed to alleviate and amend sensory deprivation in a range of awakening methods and professional techniques. After a blissful hour of expertly prepared floatation, her stresses will simply melt away.</p> <p>Dads who like to take control of the barbeque tongs would delight in an<a href="https://www.giftsaustralia.com.au/experiences/american-bbq"> American BBQ Class</a>. These smoking-hot events take place in NSW, Victoria and Queensland and will show him not only how to master the kitchen implements, but importantly how to best balance the fiery mélange of barbecue flavours. </p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 229.5px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7825959/gifts-austalia-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/7b9084eec6594ebbbf4e42f0f64a7a25" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>American BBQ Class</em></p> <p>There is also a stunning range of expertly packaged hampers that are brimming with gourmet foods, fine wine and premium spirits at <a href="https://www.giftsaustralia.com.au/">Gifts Australia</a>.</p> <p>Deluxe skincare for him and her, homewares, the finest Champagnes, leather travel accessories — you name it, <a href="https://www.giftsaustralia.com.au/">Gifts Australia</a> offers not only the best-quality presents in 2019, but also the widest selection to match.</p> <p>You can also choose to personalise your luxurious gift offering with customised gift cards. The best gifts in 2019 always combine the finest quality in cherished experiences and keepsake treasures, with a personalised touch.</p> <p>And, of course, we haven’t forgotten the little ones. They can dream big and fly high with introductory jetpack/jet boots experiences at select venues throughout NSW, Queensland and Western Australia.</p> <p>A Maroubra Surf Experience in Sydney is also a fun-filled exercise for kids to keep their cool while learning how to ‘hang 10’ with the best of them. </p> <p>There’s also a massive range of premium-quality gift ideas for kids of all ages.</p> <p>These include, but are not limited to, beautiful books, designer bed linen, jewellery and fashion accessories, pamper packs, novelty gifts, building kits, art-based toys, games and endless activities to keep their young bodies and minds challenged and entertained for hours.</p> <p>The “nothing but the best” theme continues apace at <a href="https://www.giftsaustralia.com.au/">Gifts Australia</a>, and also plays it safe with a range of gift vouchers for you to peruse, order and deliver online or to the recipient’s door.</p> <p>Gift vouchers are valid for three years and can be made out to any denomination. They’re also designed to delight the entire family and ensure every taste and whim is fulfilled.</p> <p>For gift giving that embraces the best of everything in 2019, make <a href="https://www.giftsaustralia.com.au/">Gifts Australia</a> your first destination.</p> <p><em>This is sponsored content brought to you in conjunction with <a href="https://www.giftsaustralia.com.au/">Gifts Australia</a>.</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Peter Overton’s surprising admission about wife Jessica Rowe

<p>Jessica Rowe is the first person to put her hand up and admit she’s not exactly a wizard in the kitchen, and her husband, Nine News host Peter Overton has no objections to this.</p> <p>And on Monday’s <a rel="noopener" href="https://9now.nine.com.au/today" target="_blank"><em>Today Extra</em></a>, Overton joked about having his own meal prepared so he can avoid his wife’s cooking.</p> <p>“I order my own food in,” the 53-year-old newsreader said.</p> <p>“Petey, he's so impressed (of my cooking). Aren't you darling?” the 48-year-old former co-host on <em>The Project</em> joked with her husband of 15 years, to which he jokingly replied: “Yes, I'm so impressed I order my own food in.”</p> <p>After the light-hearted banter between the sweet couple, Overton directed his praise towards his wife for making what started as a joke about Rowe being a bad cook on Instagram into her own series of books titled <em>Diary of a Crap Housewife</em>.</p> <p>“You had a bit of fun and it's turned into something more than you expected.</p> <p>“It does challenge these Instagram perfect lives. It doesn't exist,” he said.</p> <p>The journalist also added: “You can't have four kids, two kids, three kids and have it all perfect.</p> <p>“I think that's what the authenticity of what you've done has been the key to its success,” Overton added.</p> <p>Funnily enough, this is not the first time Overton has made remarks over <a rel="noopener" href="/news/news/leaked-footage-shows-peter-overton-s-priceless-reaction-to-wife-jessica-rowes-cooking" target="_blank">Jess’ lack of culinary skills.</a></p> <p>Just last week, footage of the Nine newsreader reacting to his wife’s latest dinners.</p> <p>The former <em>Studio 10</em> host was left cackling on air after listening to her husband voice his displeasure with her pasta with “very watery tomato sauce.”</p> <p>On a monitor, Overton was shown sighing in-between takes of the 6 pm news bulletin where he was seen saying: “Oh, for the 20th night in a row. Pasta with a very watery tomato sauce. Yeah, I am a bit over that.”</p> <p>Cheekily, he then pulled out his “survival pack” which proved to be none other than a few meaty burgers and fries from McDonald’s.</p>

Relationships

Finance

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The superannuation change that helps the wealthy at the expense of the young

<p>Another federal budget, and yet more tinkering to superannuation tax breaks. But the latest changes will only help older wealthier Australians. The losers are younger workers and taxpayers.</p> <p><strong>What's the plan?</strong></p> <p>From July 1 2020, Australians aged 65 and 66 will be able to make voluntary pre- and post-tax superannuation contributions without having to pass the<span> </span><a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/Definitions/?anchor=P1358-111493#P1358-111493">Work Test</a>, under which they are required to work a minimum of 40 hours over a 30-day period.</p> <p>About 55,000 Australians aged 65 and 66 will benefit from these changes at a cost of A$75 million over the next four years.</p> <p><strong>It's another boost for tax planning</strong></p> <p>Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the changes will help Australians save for their retirement.</p> <p>But most 65- and 66-year-olds still working to top up their superannuation are already eligible to make voluntary super contributions, because they satisfy the Work Test. Working 40 hours over a 30-day period – or little more than one day each week – is hardly onerous.</p> <p>For every dollar contributed to super that genuinely helps Australians save more for their retirement as a result of these changes, there will be many more dollars funnelled into super to make extra use of superannuation tax concessions.</p> <p>The biggest winners will be wealthier retired 65- and 66-year-olds with other sources of income, such as from shares or property, which they will now be able to recycle through superannuation.</p> <p>They will be able to put up to $25,000 into super from their pre-tax income and then – because super withdrawals are tax-free – take the money back out immediately. Their contributions to super are taxed at only 15%, whereas ordinary dividends or bank interest is taxed at their marginal tax rate. The tax savings can be<span> </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/tax-free-super-is-intergenerational-theft-60369">as high as $5,000 a year</a>.</p> <p>Such strategies aren’t costless: other taxpayers must pay more, or accept fewer services, to make up the difference.</p> <p><strong>It will mean larger inheritances</strong></p> <p>The government is also allowing 65- and 66-year-olds to make three years’ worth of post-tax super contributions, or up to $300,000, in a single year.</p> <p>These changes will mainly boost inheritances.</p> <p>Most people who make after-tax contributions already have large super balances and typically contribute from existing pools of savings to minimise their tax.</p> <p>Grattan Institute’s 2016 report,<span> </span><a href="https://grattan.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/876-A-better-super-system.pdf">A Better Super System</a>, found that only about 1% of taxpayers have total super account balances of more than $1 million, yet this tiny cohort makes almost one-third of all post-tax contributions.</p> <p>These changes will turbo-charge so-called “recontribution strategies” that minimise the tax paid on superannuation fund balances passed on as inheritances. When inherited, super fund balances originally funded by pre-tax contributions can be<span> </span><a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Super/In-detail/Withdrawing-and-using-your-super/Withdrawing-your-super-and-paying-tax/?page=6#How_tax_applies">taxed</a><span> </span>at 17% (including the Medicare levy), depending on the age of the deceased and the beneficiary.</p> <p>To avoid this tax on their estate, individuals can withdraw superannuation funds tax-free and contribute them back as a post-tax contribution, up to the annual<span> </span><a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/Super/Self-managed-super-funds/Contributions-and-rollovers/Contribution-caps/#Nonconcessionalcontributions1">post-tax contributions cap</a><span> </span>of $100,000 each year.</p> <p><strong>It fails the government's own test</strong></p> <p>In 2016, the government tried – but failed – to define the<span> </span><a href="https://grattan.edu.au/news/when-comfort-in-retirement-comes-at-too-great-a-cost/">purpose</a><span> </span>of superannuation as providing “income in retirement to supplement or substitute the Age Pension”.</p> <p>The proposed objective<span> </span><a href="https://grattan.edu.au/news/submission-to-senate-standing-economics-committee-inquiry-into-the-superannuation-objective-bill-2016/">rightly</a><span> </span>implied that super should not aim to provide limitless support for savings that increase retirement incomes.</p> <p>The benefits of super changes should always be<span> </span><a href="https://grattan.edu.au/news/submission-to-senate-standing-economics-committee-inquiry-into-the-superannuation-objective-bill-2016/">balanced</a><span> </span>against the costs of achieving them. The government’s latest changes fail that test.</p> <p><em>Written by Brendan Coates. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-budget-super-change-that-helps-the-wealthy-at-the-expense-of-the-young-114811">The Conversation</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Woolworths hack: How to score a FREE hot roast chicken

<p>A Woolworths customer has discovered a simple trick to score a free hot roast chicken that you might not have known.</p> <p>The Australian woman took to Facebook and claimed in a post that while her partner was doing a grocery shop, a staff member told him how he could get his hands on a free and delicious roast chicken.</p> <p>“He got talking to the butcher and he said at 10 minutes or less before closing time, they have to give the cooked chickens away for free. Not sure if it’s one per person. Apparently staff can’t take them,” she said in a Markdown Addicts Facebook page.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7825927/woolworths-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/7c4363435d9241b9b4d256669cfec924" /></p> <p>Another excited shopper revealed how she went home with a trolley full worth of free roast chickens after an employee offered them to her shortly before closing time.</p> <p>“10 free hot cooked chickens, saving $90. Winning,” the customer said.</p> <p>“The deli manager waved us down when we walked in and told us all the chickens were free as they were full and closing in 30 minutes, so we jumped at that chance and filled up but left a few still there for others.”</p> <p>This trick though is especially lucky, as it is a rare occurrence for there to be leftover roast chickens for sale within 10 minutes of closing time, according to a Woolworths spokesperson.</p> <p>“Like all retailers, we work hard to minimise our stock loss with better processes in our store. This is not only the right thing to do, but also good business,” they told the <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-6920075/Woolworths-shopper-discovers-little-known-trick-free-roast-chickens.html"><em>Daily Mail</em></a>.</p> <p>“To help manage stock levels and reduce food waste, store managers can elect to mark down roast chickens.</p> <p>“All markdowns are clearly displayed on applicable products.”</p> <p>While the hack unknown to many has been making its way through social media, many former employees shared their thoughts and explained giving away free chicken usually comes down to the manager of the store.</p> <p>“When I was the supervising, our chickens would be marked down and an announcement was made, about 10 minutes before close, most of the time they were sold. But if there were any left after midnight when closed, us staff were able to pick them up and take them for free,” a former staff member explained.</p> <p>A wife of a manager of a store added: “Depends on who’s on that night. Sometimes they’re chucked but from what I’ve heard they will ask people at random if they want them.”</p> <p>While many were excited by the prospect of getting their hands on a free dinner, some were sceptical and warned other shoppers the deal is not a guarantee.</p> <p>“Every store is different! I wouldn’t get too excited,” one user said online.</p> <p>“Majority of the time there are no chooks left, and definitely won’t cook any more after that, so I wouldn’t get too excited if they can avoid giving away for free they will,” another comment read online.</p> <p>Will you be trying out this hack at your local Woolworths store? Let us know in the comments below</p>

Retirement Income

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Lindy Chamberlain speaks out about giving birth in prison

<p>Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton is now 71 years old. And appearing on the fourth season of <em>Anh’s</em> <em>Brush With Fame,</em> in what is considered a rare occasion, Lindy described the moment she gave birth to her fourth child while in prison – only a month after she was wrongfully sentenced for the death of her daughter, Azaria.</p> <p>“I knew the moment she was born they were going to take her off me. So every moment of the birth I fought it, (it was) like, ‘Keep her inside, she’s yours, the minute she’s out, she’s not’,” she told Do.</p> <p>Her daughter Kahlia was born in Darwin hospital, in what Lindy says was an incredibly painful experience.</p> <p>Almost 40 years ago, Lindy’s nine-week-old daughter Azaria vanished during a family camping trip to Uluru in August 1980.</p> <p>The baby’s body was never located, and despite her claims that a dingo had taken her child, Lindy was sentenced to life behind bars in 1982 for Azaria’s murder.</p> <p>While she was fortunate to not spend an eternity behind bars, the 71-year-old still resided in prison for three years before being acquitted.</p> <p>Sitting down with Do, Lindy said that she is grateful for the experience, as it has made life better for other Australians.</p> <p>“If I hadn’t gone through all that, we wouldn’t have the laws that we’ve got in Australia right now, we’ve got independent forensic science now as a result of that trial.</p> <p>“If I’d been let out at the time, if I’d been found not guilty at the trial, we wouldn’t have those laws,” said Lindy.</p> <p>She said it was her faith that got her through tough times.</p> <p>“To me, I was never a victim, because I knew I had a clear conscience and God knew I had a clear conscience, so it doesn’t matter what anyone else believes because me and God knew the truth,” she revealed.</p> <p>The mother-of-three was released after the discovery of vital evidence. In 1986, an Englishman died while climbing Uluru, and came to rest near a matinee jacket – the item of clothing Lindy described Azaria to be wearing during her disappearance.</p> <p>After four inquests and government inquiries into how the young girl died, Lindy was exonerated in 2012 and received $1.3 million in compensation from the Australian government.</p> <p>The full episode of Lindy’s appearance on <em>Brush With Fame </em>will air on the ABC on April 24th.</p>

Legal

Entertainment

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The brand new technology you're about to see in Woolworths

<p>Woolworths has introduced a new surveillance technology to monitor its store.</p> <p>The supermarket giant is trialling a new robot in Sydney’s Gregory Hills branch to roam around the aisles and alert staff members on any potential safety hazards.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 333.5px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7825973/woolies2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/3d16d2dd7a13436e823a7c9bebf6440e" /></p> <p>“We’ve been working hard to reduce trips and slips in our stores, but we still see too many,” a Woolworths spokesperson told <em>Over 60</em>.</p> <p>“We’re trialling new technology in Gregory Hills to see if it can help make the store safer for our customers and team. It will roam the store looking for potential safety hazards, and allow one of our store team members to quickly attend to it.”</p> <p>He said Woolworths have no plans to expand the robot trial to other stores at this time.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 333.5px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7825974/woolies1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/0b3d67865dd54ddc863b1bd8bbb7c9f5" /></p> <p>The retailer has also installed iPad screens with in-built cameras at the self-serve checkouts to deter theft. </p> <p>“We know the vast majority of our customers do the right thing at self-serve checkouts,” the spokesperson said. “This is a security measure we are trialling for those that don’t.”</p> <p>The spokesperson said the supermarket has ensured that the PIN pad will be out of view from the cameras, and that the technology is “fully compliant with payment card security standards”. </p> <p>He said, “The store has eight manned checkout lanes, and we’ve hired 40 customer service team members, for customers who prefer to interact with our team as they checkout.”</p> <p>The move came after Coles debuted <a rel="noopener" href="/finance/legal/coles-debuts-new-tactic-to-stop-self-checkout-thefts/" target="_blank">tablet-sized cameras</a> at the self-serve checkout area in 12 of their Melbourne stores last week.</p>

Technology

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5 golden rules to help solve your recycling dilemmas

<p>Have you ever found yourself facing your recycling bin, completely befuddled about whether or not you can put a particular item in it? You’re not alone. According to Planet Ark, <a href="http://recyclingnearyou.com.au/documents/05nrw_gbugly_report-1.pdf">nearly half of Australians find recycling confusing</a>.</p> <p>Australia’s recycling rules can seem horrendously complicated, but fortunately they are <a href="http://theconversation.com/recycling-can-be-confusing-but-its-getting-simpler-68063">becoming more simple</a>.</p> <p>In the meantime, here’s a brief guide to some of the golden rules of kerbside recycling, plus what to do with materials that can’t go in your recycling bin.</p> <hr /> <p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/162140/original/image-20170323-13486-5j3j3r.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /> <span class="caption"></span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">The Conversation</span>, <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0/" class="license">CC BY-ND</a></span></p> <hr /> <p>As the first rule above says, most papers, plastics, metals and glasses can be recycled, but there are a few exceptions and rules for special handling. To find out more, click on each material below. This will also tell you how else you can recycle the items that can’t go in your kerbside recycling bin.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="tc-infographic-206" class="tc-infographic" height="1200" src="https://cdn.theconversation.com/infographics/206/d27a7b85b2795827a6d10f713aeb8c7f638d4da7/site/index.html" width="100%" style="border: none;" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>Other helpful sources for recycling rules include:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Planet Ark’s <a href="http://recyclingnearyou.com.au/recyclesmart/index.cfm">mobile app</a>, <a href="http://recyclingnearyou.com.au/">online guide</a> and <a href="http://recyclingweek.planetark.org/recycling-info/%22%22">National Recycling Week website</a>.</p> </li> <li> <p>The Victorian government’s <a href="http://getitrightbinnight.vic.gov.au/what-can-i-recycle">Get it right on bin night</a> and the South Australian government’s <a href="http://www.recycleright.sa.gov.au/">Recycle right</a> campaigns.</p> </li> <li> <p>Sydney’s <a href="http://garbageguru.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/">Garbage Guru</a>, which lets you look up any item and see the best thing to do with it – it’s likely to be applicable to many other cities across the country.</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>Why do some things need special treatment?</strong></p> <p>Some items need special handling before they can go in kerbside recycling. These are generally either very small items, or complex/composite items.</p> <p><strong>Small items</strong>, like scraps of paper or foil, steel bottle caps or plastic bottle lids and coffee pods, can cause problems if simply placed in a recycling bin. Because they are small, they can literally fall through the cracks in sorting machines, causing damage to the machines or ending up in landfill.</p> <p><strong>Combined or composite items</strong> are complex items that contain multiple materials, such as newspapers or magazines in plastic wrap, or composite items like Pringles tubes. Automated recycling machines can cope with very small amounts of different materials, such as staples in paper, plastic windows on envelopes, paper labels on glass jars, or slight residues of food on containers. But items with multiple materials can confuse the machines and end up in the wrong category, introducing contamination.</p> <p><strong>Why is contamination an issue?</strong></p> <p>Contamination is when things that can’t be recycled through kerbside recycling systems end up in the recycling system.</p> <p>Contamination can create many problems: recyclable materials may need to be dumped in landfill; the output of recycled materials is less pure; workers at recycling facilities can be put at risk; and in some cases machinery can be damaged. All of these lead to increased costs of recycling that may be passed on to residents.</p> <p>For example, glass recycling programs are designed only to process glass bottles and jars, which are crushed and then melted down and re-used. Drinking glasses, ceramics, plate glass (window panes) and oven-proof glass melt at higher temperatures than normal glass bottles and jars. When these are incorrectly placed in recycling, this tougher glass can remain solid among the melted glass, leading to impure glass products and damaged machinery.</p> <p>Better technology is helping to remove contaminants during sorting. But it’s always best to get it right at the source. Planet Ark says that a good recycler’s motto is: “If in doubt, leave it out.”</p> <p><strong>What about things that can’t be recycled at home?</strong></p> <p>Just because something can’t be recycled through kerbside collections, that doesn’t mean it can’t be recycled at all.</p> <p>New channels for recycling more complex items have been pioneered by organisations such as <a href="http://recyclingnearyou.com.au/recyclesmart/index.cfm">Planet Ark</a> and <a href="http://www.terracycle.com.au/en-AU/brigades">TerraCycle</a>, as well as by local councils, industry and government under schemes such as the <a href="http://www.packagingcovenant.org.au/">Australian Packaging Covenant</a> and the <a href="https://www.environment.gov.au/protection/national-waste-policy/television-and-computer-recycling-scheme">National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme</a>.</p> <p>Most councils have drop-off locations for larger items that can’t go in kerbside bins, such as electronics, batteries, light bulbs, chemicals and hazardous waste, as well as pickups for white goods and mattresses.</p> <p>Many supermarkets in metro areas have <a href="http://redcycle.net.au/redcycle/">REDcycle</a> bins that accept soft plastics like plastic bags, soft plastic packaging, biscuit packets and trays, dry cleaning bags, and other “scrunchable” plastics.</p> <p>Industry take-back programs include <a href="http://www.fridgebuyback.com.au/">Fridge Buy Back</a>, <a href="http://techcollect.com.au/">TechCollect</a> for electronics, and <a href="http://www.ReturnMed.com.au">ReturnMed</a> for unwanted or expired medicines.</p> <p>Some big companies now have collection points, such as <a href="http://www.ikea.com/au/en/store/rhodes/services#recycling">Ikea</a> which take used batteries, light bulbs, mattresses and allen keys, and <a href="https://corporate.aldi.com.au/en/corporate-responsibility/operations/battery-recycling/">ALDI</a> which also takes used batteries.</p> <p>Recycling is vital to reducing resource use and waste to landfill, and so getting it right is crucial.<!-- 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/65552/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>Jenni Downes, Research Consultant, Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/five-golden-rules-to-help-solve-your-recycling-dilemmas-65552"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

Books

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“Forget voting for me”: Samuel Johnson’s desperate plea on DWTS

<p>He’s the fan favourite, and expected to be crowned winner of this year’s<span> </span><em>Dancing With The Stars</em>, but Samuel Johnson doesn’t want fans to vote for him.</p> <p>Instead, the Gold Logie winner has a different request – to donate 55 cents to his cancer charity Love Your Sister instead of spending the same money on the text message to put forward a vote.</p> <p>In a heartfelt post to Facebook over the weekend, the actor made a plea for viewers to skip over an SMS vote and instead donate to his charity made in honour of his sister, Connie, who passed away in September 2017 after a long battle with cancer.</p> <p>“Being that SMS votes cost 55c and NONE of the proceeds go to charity, I’m asking that you forget voting for me and consider donating 55c to cancer research instead?” Johnson’s post read.</p> <p>“I’ve even created a special 55c button! Unforch it’s not deductible, because it’s less than two bucks.</p> <p>“I cannot work harder for your donation and appreciate your consideration regardless.”</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/BV7-qbpgSsh/?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/BV7-qbpgSsh/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Love Your Sister (@loveyoursister)</a> on Jun 29, 2017 at 1:38pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Johnson further went on to thank his fans for their support, describing his time on<span> </span><em>Dancing With The Stars</em><span> </span>as a “magnificent” experience.</p> <p>“If I get the boot, it won’t be because I f**ked up. No way. I am so happy that I’ve not repped you poorly,” he wrote.</p> <p>“So thanks for inspiring me to get clean and clear. Thanks for giving me something to dance for.”</p> <p>The winner of<span> </span><em>DWTS</em><span> </span>will be awarded $50,000 for their chosen charity as well as the mirrorball trophy.</p> <p>Viewers are able to vote for their favourite celebrity to stay on the show by voting via SMS for 55 cents a pop or a maximum of once a day online.</p> <p>Johnson retired from acting in 2016 to focus on fundraising money for Love Your Sister, which he ran with his late sister Connie Johnson.<span></span></p> <p>Have you been watching Samuel Johnson compete on Dancing With The Stars? Tell us in the comments below. </p>

Music

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What happens when online communities close down?

<p>This week saw the<span> </span><a href="https://support.google.com/plus/answer/9195133">closure of Google+</a>, an attempt by the online giant to create a social media community to rival Facebook.</p> <p>If the<span> </span><a href="https://www.socialmedianews.com.au/social-media-statistics-australia-march-2019/">Australian usage of Google+</a><span> </span>is anything to go by – just 45,000 users in March compared to Facebook’s 15 million – it never really caught on.</p> <p>But the Google+ shutdown follows a string of organisations that have disabled or restricted community features such as reviews, user comments and message boards (forums).</p> <p>So are we witnessing the decline of online communities and user comments?</p> <p><strong>Turning off online communities and user generated content</strong></p> <p>One of the most well-known message boards – which existed on the popular movie website<span> </span><a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/imdb-message-boards-shut-down-why-films-a7562701.html">IMDb</a><span> </span>since 2001 – was shut down by owner Amazon in 2017 with just two weeks’ notice for its users.</p> <p>This is not only confined to online communities but mirrors a trend among organisations to restrict or turn off their user-generated content. Last year the subscription video-on-demand website<span> </span><a href="https://help.netflix.com/en/node/9977">Netflix</a><span> </span>said it no longer allowed users to write reviews. It subsequently<span> </span><a href="https://variety.com/2018/digital/news/netflix-deletes-all-user-reviews-1202908904/">deleted all existing user-generated reviews</a>.</p> <p>Other popular websites have disabled their comments sections, including<span> </span><a href="https://www.npr.org/sections/publiceditor/2016/08/17/489516952/npr-website-to-get-rid-of-comments">National Public Radio (NPR)</a>,<span> </span><a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/letters/archive/2018/02/we-want-to-hear-from-you/552170/">The Atlantic</a>,<span> </span><a href="https://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-09/why-were-shutting-our-comments">Popular Science</a><span> </span>and<span> </span><a href="http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2014/11/07/editors-note-reader-comments-in-the-age-of-social-media/">Reuters</a>.</p> <p><strong>Why the closures?</strong></p> <p>Organisations have a range of motivations for taking such actions, ranging from low uptake, running costs, the challenges of managing moderation, as well as the problem around divisive comments, conflicts and lack of community cohesion.</p> <p>In the case of<span> </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/feb/01/closure-google-plus-everything-you-need-to-know">Google+</a>, low usage<span> </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/oct/08/google-plus-security-breach-wall-street-journal">alongside data breaches</a><span> </span>appear to have sped up its decision.</p> <p><a href="https://www.npr.org/sections/publiceditor/2016/08/17/489516952/npr-website-to-get-rid-of-comments">NPR</a><span> </span>explained its motivation to remove user comments by highlighting how in one month its website<span> </span><a href="https://www.npr.org/">NPR.org</a><span> </span>attracted 33 million unique users and 491,000 comments. But those comments came from just 19,400 commenters; the number of commenters who posted in consecutive months was a fraction of that.</p> <p>This led<span> </span><a href="https://www.npr.org/sections/publiceditor/2016/08/17/489516952/npr-website-to-get-rid-of-comments">NPR’s managing editor for digital news, Scott Montgomery, to say</a>:</p> <p><em>We’ve reached the point where we’ve realized that there are other, better ways to achieve the same kind of community discussion around the issues we raise in our journalism.</em></p> <p>He said audiences had also moved to engage with NPR more on<span> </span><a href="https://www.facebook.com/NPR/">Facebook</a><span> </span>and<span> </span><a href="https://twitter.com/NPR">Twitter</a>.</p> <p>Likewise,<span> </span><a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/letters/archive/2018/02/we-want-to-hear-from-you/552170/">The Atlantic</a><span> </span>explained that its comments sections had become “unhelpful, even destructive, conversations” and was exploring new ways to give users a voice.</p> <p>In the case of IMDB closing its message boards in 2017, the<span> </span><a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/imdb-message-boards-shut-down-why-films-a7562701.html">reason given was</a>:</p> <p><em>[…] we have concluded that IMDb’s message boards are no longer providing a positive, useful experience for the vast majority of our more than 250 million monthly users worldwide.</em></p> <p>The<span> </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/feb/06/imdb-shuts-down-message-boards">organisation also nudged users</a><span> </span>towards other forms of social media, such as its<span> </span><a href="https://www.facebook.com/imdb">Facebook page</a><span> </span>and Twitter account<span> </span><a href="https://twitter.com/imdb">@IMDB</a>, as the “(…) primary place they (users) choose to post comments and communicate with IMDb’s editors and one another”.</p> <p><strong>User backlash</strong></p> <p>Unsurprisingly, such actions often lead to confusion, criticism and disengagement by user communities, and in some cases petitions to have the features reinstated (such as<span> </span><a href="https://www.change.org/p/google-save-google">this one for Google+</a>) and boycotts of the organisations.</p> <p>But most organisations take these aspects into their decision-making.</p> <p>For fans of such community features these trends point to some harsh realities. Even though communities may self-organise and thrive, and users are co-creators of value and content, the functionality and governance are typically beyond their control.</p> <p>Community members are at the mercy of hosting organisations, some profit-driven, which may have conflicting motivations to those of the users. It’s those organisations that hold the power to change or shut down what can be considered by some to be critical sources of knowledge, engagement and community building.</p> <p>In the aftermath of shutdowns,<span> </span><a href="https://aisel.aisnet.org/icis2018/social/Presentations/5/" title="There's No Place Like Home�: Online Community Displacement and Migration">my research</a><span> </span>shows that communities that existed on an organisation’s message boards in particular may struggle to reform.</p> <p>This can be due to a number of factors, such as high switching costs, and communities can become fragmented because of the range of other options (Reddit, Facebook and other message boards).</p> <p>So it’s difficult for users to preserve and maintain their communities once their original home is disabled. In the case of Google+, even its<span> </span><a href="https://plus.google.com/communities/112164273001338979772">Mass Migration Group</a><span> </span>– which aims to help people, organisations and groups find “new online homes” – may not be enough to hold its online communities together.</p> <p>The trend towards the closure of online communities by organisations might represent a means to reduce their costs in light of declining usage and the availability of other online options.</p> <p>It’s also a move away from dealing with the reputational issues related to their use and<span> </span><a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1461670X.2014.972076">controlling the conversation</a><span> </span>that takes place within their user bases. Trolling, conflicts and divisive comments are common in online communities and user comments spaces.</p> <p><strong>Lost community knowledge</strong></p> <p>But within online groups there often exists social and network capital, as well as the stock of valuable knowledge that such community features create.</p> <p>Often these communities are made of communities of practice (people with a shared passion or concern) on topics ranging from movie theories to parenting.</p> <p>They are go-to sources for users where meaningful interactions take place and bonds are created. User comments also allow people to engage with important events and debates, and can be cathartic.</p> <p>Closing these spaces risks not only a loss of user community bases, but also a loss of this valuable community knowledge on a range of issues.</p> <p><em>Written by Stan Karanasois. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/goodbye-google-but-what-happens-when-online-communities-close-down-114729">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

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