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4 things to consider for your retirement planning

<p>Planning the retirement of your dreams may seem incomprehensible at the moment – life is coming at you fast and figuring out the right steps can seem like a daunting task. However, there are steps you can take to fast track your retirement and make sure you’re where you want to be much sooner.</p> <p><strong>1. What is your current situation like? </strong></p> <p>Regardless of what work situation you’re currently in, there are always questions you should be thinking about during your retirement planning. Are you managing your debt and expenses?</p> <p>Retirement is about cash flow and ensuring your basic daily needs are met with your new regular income.</p> <p>Be honest with yourself when understanding your current life situation – are you ready to retire yet?</p> <p><br /><strong>2. Envision your retirement</strong></p> <p>How do you want your retirement to look? Visualising your desired retirement outcome and envisioning it over and over will help to mentally set your life after work into motion.</p> <p>For example, do you see yourself travelling the world during your retirement or spending time with your loved ones in the comfort of your own home?</p> <p><strong>3. Calculate your needs </strong></p> <p>Knowing where you are and where you need to go are important but now it’s time to consider what you’ll need in retirement. The thing is, putting a specific number under the thumb is impossible to do as every person is different. If you’re struggling to figure out how much you’ll need during your retirement, consulting a financial advisor might be your best bet so you can get a sure answer.</p> <p><strong>4. Review your income sources </strong></p> <p>So, you know what you need for retirement but how will it happen? Consider <em>all </em>your income sources, including your superannuation, your home equity, investment portfolios and perhaps the workforce. How much longer are you willing to spend time working to get yourself into retirement?</p> <p>Are you considering retirement? What other factors are you considering? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Retirement Life

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Babysitting boundaries for ‘Granny Nannies’

<p>You are the kind of parent who, in order to help your adult children, get ahead in life and pay off a large mortgage, are chipping in to babysit grandchildren to ease the burden of childcare costs.</p> <p>The amount of caring you are doing may vary from a few hours a week to multiple days per week.<br />In doing so you are also contributing significantly to the nation’s coffers. Research shows that $5.54 billion is added to the Australian economy by unpaid carers and $1.26 billion from unpaid childcare provided by the over 50s.</p> <p>It is a very natural, altruistic and noble intention to want to help your children in this way and research published in May this year by the University of Melbourne revealed that it can be good for you. The study found postmenopausal women who took care of their grandchildren one day a week had better memory and faster cognitive speed than those who didn’t.</p> <p><strong>Balancing yours and your children’s needs</strong><br />The researchers however carry a warning about over-using the generous nature of grandparents noting that women who cared for grandchildren five or more days a week had significantly slower processing speed and planning scores, possibly because they felt exhausted and stressed.</p> <p>National Seniors CEO, Michael O’Neill says it’s important for grandparents to aim for a balance in enjoying their retirement years and providing support to their children.</p> <p>“It’s about balance and not giving up on your dreams, expectations and goals to achieve. Those goals shouldn’t be subsumed by the demands of a younger generation".</p> <p>However, the economic reality is that there is an increasing reliance on grandparents for childcare assistance in dual income families and so here are some good ideas for negotiating the babysitting/caring parameters successfully:</p> <p><br /><strong>Tips for setting babysitting boundaries</strong><br />Set limits early on – you might even like to start the conversation with your adult child before your grandchild is born</p> <ul> <li>Consider how far in advance of sitting time you'd like to be approached. If you prefer a week’s notice and not same-day requests </li> <li>Let your children know in advance if you are okay with taking grandchildren to doctor’s appointments or something similar.</li> <li>Let your children know if you are comfortable with supervising homework/study.</li> <li>Set time parameters around drop-off and pick-up </li> <li>School holiday arrangements need to be set early and be clear about school holiday activities i.e. signing grandkids up to camps/classes etc.</li> <li>Will you have grandchildren for sleepovers or not?</li> <li>Will playdates need to be arranged?</li> </ul> <p><strong>More ideas for stress-free babysitting</strong></p> <ul> <li>If you have a skill or hobby that you are talented at share this with your grandkids where appropriate</li> <li>Decide if and/or how you will deliver discipline. You are not obligated to share this role, but it will help your child and grandchild if you have a plan in place</li> <li>Let your household standards slip a bit and put away the precious ornaments while grandkids are around, as this can save heartache for them and you</li> <li>Discuss food and nutrition issues with your child as they may have strong views on this</li> <li>Discuss sleep pattern and arrangements i.e. will the grandchild be required to nap during the day or not</li> <li>Discuss appropriateness of certain movies, books and video games with your child ahead of the sitting/caring time</li> <li>The key thing to remember is to have open, honest communication about babysitting with your children early to avoid unrealistic expectations. You shouldn’t have to do anything you are uncomfortable with so you should try not to be a ‘yes’ man or woman to your children all the time, or your generosity could be taken for granted and lead to stress for both you and your children.</li> </ul> <p>What are some of your tips? Let us know in the comments below.</p> <p><em>Written by Danielle Cesta. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/wyza-life/the-granny-nanny-trend.aspx">Wyza.com.au. </a></em></p>

Caring

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Aussie woman's warning after being swindled $12,000 on dream holiday

<p>It was a moment Kate Browne had prepared for and had gone to extreme lengths to prevent. But when tragedy struck just two days into a 10-week holiday, there was a feeling of dread she and her family could have never prepared for.</p> <p>When the Browne family set off for an epic 10-week holiday exploring the sites of Africa, Kate, the mother of two children, says she’d learnt all the tips and tricks to avoid a cash scam.</p> <p>Making their way through the beautiful locations of Cape Town in South Africa and Zanzibar in Tanzania, she knew to be wary of dodgy wireless networks and to take a variety of money sources – cash, credit cards and debit cards – as they made their way across financially challenging countries with a number of currencies.</p> <p>As the managing editor of the comparison and advice site, finder.com.au, Ms Browne was well aware of the precautions needed to be taken. However, none of this mattered in the end after she was swindled out of $12,000 on only day two of the family’s incredible holiday.</p> <p>Ms Browne says she fell victim to debit card skimming, which left the family without months of crucial holiday savings.</p> <p>“I was conscious of not using my Visa debit card too much but we started in Cape Town, a big international city, and I used my card at the airport, the hostel and at a big shopping centre in the big tourist area,” Ms Browne told <a href="https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-advice/travellers-stories/every-cent-was-gone-from-my-account-aussies-warning-after-12000-holiday-swindle/news-story/d97527c7844c606fce1a0faf01eafe5f">news.com.au of the trip</a>, beginning in December.</p> <p>The mother-of-two did not realise until two weeks later into her trip that something was amiss when her debit card declined in a shop. An ATM said she’d had insufficient funds.</p> <p>“The irony is I hadn’t wanted to check my internet banking too much as I’d be on open wireless networks,” she explained.</p> <p>“Then I went online to check.</p> <p>“Every cent was gone from my account. It was a massive hit.”</p> <p>The debit card used by Ms Browne is believed to have been skimmed during the family’s first two days in Cape Town – the fraudster had taken $12,000 over the course of 12 days.</p> <p>“Apparently (skimming) is an issue in South Africa and I know it’s an issue here too,” she said.</p> <p>Although Ms Browne’s husband had a separate account which saved the family from struggling too much financially on the trip, her worry was only made heavier after she contacted her bank in Australia. </p> <p> </p> <p>Certain she’d be helped when she called the bank’s overseas emergency number, Ms Browne was left thoroughly disappointed instead after they said there was nothing they could do, and she would have to file a form at her branch back home.</p> <p>“The money was withdrawn from just two ATMs in a part of Cape Town I’d never been,” she explained.</p> <p>“And there were transactions showing I was in another country for part of that, as we’d moved onto Namibia by then and I’d made a few transactions there.”</p> <p>Her panic began to really set in after her worries were not eased by her financial provider.</p> <p>“Basically, half our money was gone,” she said. “And he didn’t do much to reassure me I’d get it back either, which is what really freaked me out.”</p> <p>As the family travelled deeper into Africa over the next three weeks – Ms Browne was receiving mixed advice on what she should do from her bank provider, going back and forth after spending days at a time off-grid in game parks and camping grounds.</p> <p>After being denied emergency money, the bank told her she had to fill out a form in Australia – but at a final tackle to solve the issue someone told her she could fill the forms in online.</p> <p>Whilst in Botswana the mother spent hours completing forms on a stranger’s laptop and didn’t hear back from her bank for a week.</p> <p>When she did, she was told the process would be a gruelling 30 days.</p> <p>“I started contacting more senior people at the bank and because of who I am and what I do, I was able to get some cut-through and long story short, it got moved overnight and the money was back,” Ms Browne said.</p> <p>“But I shouldn’t have had to do that, and other people aren’t in a position to do that.”</p> <p>Ms Browne’s experience left a sour taste in her mouth, saying when it comes to debit card fraud, all banks operated the same way: there is no urgency for debit cards as there is with credit card fraud.</p> <p>“When it’s the bank’s money it’s in their best interest to get it back ASAP and when it’s a debit card, the sense of urgency from the bank is a lot lower,” she said.</p> <p>“I really question why the bank didn’t notice for three weeks that one of its customers was in two different countries displaying really unusual behaviour. I don’t tend to pull out $1000 every single day.</p> <p>“And I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect people to wait 30 days even if they’re in Australia, to be honest. It’s a big assumption that people can literally afford to sit tight.</p> <p>“There has to be a better way to help people who are travelling, as not everyone has access to a laptop or the internet.”</p> <p>Have you ever had a scary experience like this one? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Travel Trouble

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“I could have been bitten”: Grandmother finds deadly spider in ALDI grapes

<p>A grandmother from Sydney discovered a nasty surprise as she was enjoying some grapes from ALDI.</p> <p>She had purchased the grapes from ALDI in Engadine on Friday, and after taking the grapes home, had discovered a red back spider hiding amongst the grapes.</p> <p>Yolande Gamble told <a rel="noopener" href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/woman-finds-venomous-redback-spider-aldi-grapes-061517751.html" target="_blank">Yahoo News</a>:</p> <p>“As I was placing them in a bowl a live red back spider was sitting happy in the grapes,</p> <p>“I put my hand right in and I was even eating them.</p> <p>“I probably touched it.”</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7823695/redback-spider.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/fad081f35b5c4e1682ee37e689bd019f" /></p> <p>However, Gamble has said that the store isn’t to blame for the spider ending up in the produce.</p> <p>She wants to use her close call to raise awareness of deadly spiders hiding within fresh produce, saying that:</p> <p>“I just want people to check the fruit as they’re unpacking it,</p> <p>“I could have been bitten... I was just lucky.”</p> <p>It could’ve been far worse for the Gamble family, as Yolande revealed that she usually asks her grandchildren to unpack the fresh produce.</p> <p>“It could have been my grandchildren who I asked to empty the bag.”</p> <p>Have you had a close call with a spider in fresh produce like this? Let us know in the comments.</p>

Money & Banking

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Good news! New Seniors Card announced

<p>The Seniors Card program will be expanded for working seniors in NSW, Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced.</p> <p>Ahead of the state election next month, Berejiklian said a new Senior Savers Card would be available from July 1 to seniors working more than 20 hours a week.</p> <p>"If you are someone who works part time or full time and you're over 60, you will be able to access the discounts and deals that 7,300 businesses across the state currently offer seniors who don't work," she said at the NSW Seniors Festival at Sydney's International Convention Centre.</p> <p>Minister for Ageing Tanya Davies told the <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/premier-offers-seniors-card-discounts-for-over-60s-in-the-workforce-20190214-p50xpj.html?fbclid=IwAR0KLdzp-SvDyKJnbWhnNyzOzG-ijoD5lGcn0l5FOKrMu0d47NXE5p30p0A" target="_blank">Sydney Morning Herald</a> </em>that tens of thousands of residents would be eligible for the new card. </p> <p>"We understand a lot of people are working longer and retiring later," said Davies.</p> <p>"The introduction of the Senior Savers Card is a way for the NSW government to give back to these individuals for their tireless contribution."</p> <p>However, the new card will not include transport concessions and government rebates that are available to other seniors.</p> <p>Currently the Seniors Card is only available to residents who are doing no more than 20 hours of paid work per week. More than 1.6 million cardholders in NSW are given access to discounts in groceries, utilities, accommodation and more.</p> <p>Will you be signing up for the new card? Let us know in the comments.</p>

Retirement Income

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How skipping breakfast can help you lose weight

<p>Breakfast, we are told, is the most important meal of the day. Over the last 50 years, we have been bombarded with messages extolling the health benefits of processed cereals and porridge oats. We are told breakfast helps us reduce weight by speeding up our metabolism – this helps us avoid hunger pangs and overeating later in the day.</p> <p>These are not just marketing messages, they are core to nutritional guidelines in developed countries, such as in the US, UK and Australia, prepared by expert scientific panels. These messages are mirrored in the media and websites worldwide. But what if the benefits of breakfast are just another diet myth?</p> <p><strong>No word for breakfast</strong></p> <p>It’s popular these days to follow the nutritional regimes of our ancient ancestors, but no one seems to be studying whether or not they ate breakfast. The Hadza people in Tanzania are the last true hunter-gatherers in East Africa who we believe live much like our ancestors. Living with them, we noticed a definite lack of a breakfast routine. They also have no regular word to describe “breakfast”.</p> <p>After waking up, the men usually leave on a hunting or honey-gathering trip without eating, maybe grabbing some berries a few hours later, en route. If they stay in camp in the morning or even all day, a handful of honey late morning – or even consumed as late as early afternoon – may be all they eat until a larger, evening meal. That said, there is no routine and eating patterns are highly variable, depending on the camp size and season.</p> <p>The women stay close to the camp and on some days make simple food, like baobab porridge, or they eat some stored honey, but rarely before 9-10am, giving them a fasting time since their evening meal of over 15 hours. Lacking a regular breakfast routine has not made them fat or unhealthy and they lack most Western diseases. Perhaps we should take a leaf from their book. At least, that’s what the latest scientific evidence suggests.</p> <p><strong>An honest mistake</strong></p> <p>The health benefit of breakfast has now been completely debunked by a new <a href="http://www.bmj.com/content/364/bmj.l42">systematic review and meta-analysis</a> of 11 randomised trials that investigated the impact of skipping breakfast on weight and metabolic rate.</p> <p>The studies vary widely in duration and quality, and seven looked at changes in weight as well as changes in energy usage. Their conclusion is the same as in <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27292940">recent reviews</a> that have been largely ignored, namely, there is no evidence to support the claim that skipping meals makes you put on weight or adversely reduces your resting metabolic rate.</p> <p>There is now considerable evidence from these studies that skipping breakfast can be an effective way to reduce weight for some people. So why has the field got it so wrong in the past?</p> <p>One reason is the belief in “grazing” rather than “gorging” to avoid “stress” on the body from having to digest large meals, especially later in the day when glucose and insulin peaks are higher and metabolic rate lower. The flawed rationale was based on lab rodents and a few <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Jenkins+DJ+NEJM+1989">short-term human studies</a>. While the concept of over-compensation later in the day was correct – breakfast skippers do eat more lunch and slightly reduce their activity – it is not nearly enough to make up the energy deficit in a real-world setting outside a lab.</p> <p>Scientists were honestly misled in the past by many observational studies showing that obese people skipped meals more often than thin people. This mindset became ingrained in nutritional dogma. But these observational studies were seriously biased. Breakfast skippers were more likely, on average, to be poorer, less educated, less healthy and have a poorer diet. Overweight people were more likely to diet and, after a binge, more likely to feel guilty and skip a meal.</p> <p>Despite these flaws in the science and the steady increase in opposing evidence from randomised controlled trials, the idea that skipping meals is unhealthy has prevailed for decades. It’s still part of current NHS recommendations by Public Health England and one of its eight key <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/eight-tips-for-healthy-eating/">healthy diet messages</a>, part of <a href="https://www.cnpp.usda.gov/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines-americans">USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans</a>, as well as the <a href="https://nhmrc.gov.au/about-us/publications/australian-dietary-guidelines">Australian Guidelines for Nutrition</a>.</p> <p>Another common pro-breakfast argument is that, as well as reducing obesity, it is essential for the mental well-being and attention span of children, even if well nourished. Again the evidence of over 20 trials, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27184287">when reviewed independently</a>, is at best weak and inconsistent, and probably biased in the same way as for adults.</p> <p>Evidence is also accumulating that restricted eating times and increasing fasting intervals can help some people <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6004924/">lose weight</a>. Some of these recent developments that seem counterintuitive to traditional thinking, make sense when we consider the importance of the gut microbiome on our health and metabolism. The community of 100 trillion gut microbes have a circadian rhythm and vary in composition and function in fasting and fed states. Data suggests microbial communities could benefit from <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550413114005051">short periods of fasting</a>. They, like us, may need to rest and recuperate.</p> <p>Some of us are programmed to prefer eating food earlier in the day and others later, which may suit our unique personal metabolism. Around a third of people in developed countries regularly skip breakfast while many others enjoy it. This does not mean that everyone overweight would benefit from skipping breakfast. There is no one size fits all, and prescriptive diet guidelines filled with erroneous information look increasingly counterproductive and detract from important health messages.</p> <p>Different populations have their own varied breakfast habits, but before you next go hunting, why not try your own personal breakfast skipping experiments - it may suit you.</p> <p><em>Written by Tim Spector and Jeff Leach. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/skipping-breakfast-may-help-you-lose-weight-what-hunter-gatherers-can-teach-us-109840">The Conversation</a>.</em></p>

Body

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Bunnings, IKEA and ALDI launch free new service

<p>Retail stores ALDI, IKEA and Bunnings are paving the way for becoming more environmentally friendly as they have launched an initiative that helps Australians reduce the amount of household waste that ends up in landfill.</p> <p>The numbers are staggering, as each year, Australians are responsible for disposing of tens of thousands of tonnes in unwanted household products such as electronics, computers, batteries, white goods and furniture.</p> <p>The chemicals found in items such as batteries and electronic waste are known toxins for the environment, which can cause adverse effects on wildlife and waterways.</p> <p>If you need to dispose of household items, this is where you should go:</p> <p><strong>1. Batteries and mobile phones</strong></p> <p>In 2013, ALDI introduced its national battery recycling program – being the only supermarket to do so. The initiative allows for customers to drop off any brand of used batteries into a recycling bin generally found towards the front of the store.</p> <p>Those unwanted items are then collected by a recycling partner, who sort them into chemical types before sending them to a recycling plant which investigates how it can reuse the material.</p> <p>A few Bunnings stores throughout Victoria also have Batteryback recycling bins, making waste reduction more accessible for shoppers.</p> <p>In the last 10 years alone, Bunnings customers have discarded over 20,300kg of batteries for recycling.</p> <p>“It is important to dispose of batteries responsibly as they contain heavy metals and when disposed of incorrectly, they can contaminate soil and groundwater,” said the hardware store in a statement.</p> <p>Mobile phones and batteries found in phones can be disposed of through the MobileMuster program. Customers have the choice to either visit 3500 participating retailers or return their device in a reply-paid envelope.</p> <p><strong>2. IKEA will take old batteries, globes and mattresses</strong></p> <p>As if you needed more of a reason to love the Swedish furniture store. Not only does it sell stylish home décor at a budget price, but it also has its own recycling service.</p> <p>“Drop off your used cardboard, batteries and globes at our recycling station near the store exit. We’ll do the rest!” states the IKEA website.</p> <p>If you need to get rid of an old mattress, you can pay the homeware store $30 and they’ll collect it as they deliver you your new one. But the offer is only valid for in-store purchases.</p> <p><strong>3. White goods, computers, electronics and chemicals</strong></p> <p>“Australians are among the highest users of new technology in the world and purchase over 2.4 million computers every year,” according to Planet Ark.</p> <p>“This makes electronic waste of e-waste, including computers and accessories, a growing problem.”</p> <p>If you want to make a conscious decision to reduce landfill, dispose of your items such as car batteries, tyres, electronics, paint and white goods to one of the many free drop-off locations around the country.</p> <p>Find your closest drop-off point through Planet Ark’s <a rel="noopener" href="https://recyclingnearyou.com.au/" target="_blank">Recycling NearYou</a> website.</p> <p>Are you someone who takes recycling seriously? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

Money & Banking

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Airline passengers left abandoned after this happened

<p>A British airline has had an abrupt collapse of its business, leaving hundreds of airline passengers stunned and stranded throughout Europe.</p> <p>The British airline company, Flybmi, has announced it has gone bust, telling customers to contact their “payment card issuer to obtain a refund for flights which have not yet taken place".</p> <p>The airline thanked employees for their hard work and dedication, now leaving over 376 people without a job across Britain, Germany, Sweden and Belgium.</p> <p>The East Midlands-based airline operated in 25 European cities with 17 regional jet aircrafts.</p> <p>British Midland Regional Limited, operating as Flybmi, has said in a public announcement that it is filing for administration due to higher fuel costs and the uncertainty of Britain’s exit from the European union.</p> <p>“Current trading and future prospects have also been seriously affected by the uncertainty created by the Brexit process, which has led to our inability to secure valuable flying contracts in Europe and a lack of confidence around bmi’s ability to continue flying between destinations in Europe,” the airline announced on its website on Saturday.</p> <p>Pilots Union chief Brian Strutton said the airline’s collapse “is devastating news for all employees".</p> <p>“Our immediate steps will be to support Flybmi pilots and explore with the directors and administrators whether their jobs can be saved,” he said.</p> <p>A distressed passenger was left stunned by the announcement made on Saturday, she told <a href="https://news.sky.com/story/advice-issued-for-flybmi-passengers-frustrated-by-flight-cancellations-after-airlines-collapse-11639880">SkyNews.</a></p> <p>“Unfortunately for me, I was supposed to be flying home with them in less than 48 hours to Bristol. I don’t think that’s going to happen now,” she said.</p> <p>Customers were urged not to travel to the airport on Sunday unless arrangements were made with other airlines. Flybmi explained they would not be rescheduling passengers on to other flights. </p>

Travel Trouble

News

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Outrage over McDonald’s major change to loyalty card

<p>Australia’s leading fast food chain has come under fire for “technology discrimination" after ditching its paper loyalty coffee cards.</p> <p>Over the last few years, McDonald’s had been gradually phasing out paper coffee cards but the cut was made permanent throughout Australia for the past six weeks. Now, if a customer wants to cash in and save money, they must first download the MyMacca’s app to access the “buy five, get one free” deal.</p> <p>Customers are unhappy with the change, some going as far as reporting glitches resulting in “stamps” lost. Others are enraged by how unfairly they believe it impacts older customers.</p> <p>McDonald’s is Australia’s largest fast-food chain and most popular go-to spot for coffee with over 800 locations nationwide. The restaurant sells around a quarter of a million cups of coffee a day.</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/6BE-dzBa4A/?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/6BE-dzBa4A/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">The perfect morning starts with a view, and the fresh aroma of a barista made coffee from McCafé.</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/mcdonaldsau/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> McDonald's Australia</a> (@mcdonaldsau) on Aug 5, 2015 at 2:30pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Customers have even flocked to social media to complain about the change.</p> <p>“My mum… nearly 80… does not have a smart phone, does not use the app and uses your coffee cards constantly… So now she misses out?” Dearne Carroll wrote on the McDonald’s Facebook page.</p> <p>"I have multiple cards in multiple places all with multiple stamps on them. If they will not be honoured, I am not going to be impressed.”</p> <p>One disgruntled customer told <a href="https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/retail/mcdonalds-ditches-paper-coffee-cards/news-story/28e7734576bb37fdfa88866febe71dac">news.com.au</a> his phone is unable to run the latest app as he carries an 8-year-old HTC Desire phone.</p> <p>“That cuts me out from the loyalty system immediately,” he explained.</p> <p>“Then I thought of the many people that just use a flip phone — they’ll be left out too. And also, the many older folk that don’t bother with mobile phones. This is ‘technology discrimination’.”</p> <p>Cornel Brophy also expressed his dissatisfaction with the new system.</p> <p>“My usual 3 min drive thru experience turned into 10 to download the stupid app then at the window the code wasn’t processing, cars banking up behind me peeved I’m taking so long.</p> <p>“What a stupid decision McDonalds have made!” he wrote.<br /><br /></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/8SNe1PBa_q/?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/8SNe1PBa_q/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">We hope you took some time to enjoy a McCafé moment today #InternationalCoffeeDay</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/mcdonaldsau/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank"> McDonald's Australia</a> (@mcdonaldsau) on Sep 30, 2015 at 11:14pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>A spokeswoman for the fast food restaurant told news.com.au McDonald’s had received “great feedback from customers on the app and more people than ever before are taking advantage of our coffee loyalty program”.</p> <p>“We’re proud to always offer our customers great value regardless of whether they are dining in our restaurants, using our MyMacca’s app, or ordering McDelivery through UberEats,” she said.</p> <p>“Customers with a seniors card continue to be able to take advantage of offers which entitle them to a free coffee, juice or soft drink with a purchase in our participating restaurants.”</p> <p>Are you happy about McDonald's changing its paper loyalty cards to a digital app you need to access on a mobile phone? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

News

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Duchess Meghan’s dad breaks silence about private letter: "I love my daughter"

<div class="replay"> <div class="reply_body body linkify"> <div class="reply_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Duchess Meghan’s father has spoken out about his decision to publish a private letter that the Duchess had written to him. The letter was private and said that her heart was broken.</p> <p>"If you love me, as you tell the press you do, please stop. Please allow us to live our lives in peace. Please stop lying, please stop creating so much pain, please stop exploiting my relationship with my husband,” the letter from Meghan to her father is reported to have said.</p> <p>However, in a video that has been published by <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/8424380/meghan-markle-letter-dad-loves-her/" target="_blank">The Sun</a>, her father, Thomas Markle Sr, spoke to media in Mexico, asking: <span>"Why did you release the letter your daughter sent? Do you guys think you'll ever speak again?"</span></p> <p>"Read the papers," Markle Sr replied.</p> <p>"Are you sad, do you feel hurt, is it depression you're going through?" the reporter asked.</p> <p>"I love my daughter very much, I'm very sad," Markle Sr said, as he got into his car.</p> <p>Although the letter was date stamped August 2018, Markle Sr released it to the media a week after there were reports in <a rel="noopener" href="https://people.com/royals/meghan-markle-dad-shares-letter-confirming-her-friends-account/" target="_blank">People</a> saying how hurt the Duchess was by her father’s actions.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height:0px;" src="/media/7823285/gettyimages-1082207960.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ff5579a436214e87bf417f2aa35b1580" /></p> <p>Markle Sr initially kept the letter private “out of respect for Meghan”, but released it due to false reports surfacing about the specifics of it.</p> <p>The letter goes into detail about how Duchess Meghan tried to help her father before the royal wedding in May 2018. It reportedly says: </p> <p>"So the week of the wedding to hear about you having a heart attack through a tabloid was horrifying.</p> <p>"I called and texted… I begged you to accept help – we sent someone to your home … and instead of speaking to me to accept this or any help, you stopped answering your phone and chose to only speak to tabloids."</p> </div> </div> </div> </div>

News

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Deb Knight roasted live on radio over Today’s ratings slump

<p>Deborah Knight has responded to comedian and radio host Mick Molloy’s taunts on her new role on the <em>Today</em> show, only to be roasted further.</p> <p>Molloy, who hosts Triple M's <em>Kennedy Molloy</em> radio show with Jane Kennedy, started the online campaign #JaneForToday to champion his co-host to take over the breakfast show’s new line-up.</p> <p>In response to the joke campaign, Knight called in to the radio show for an on-air interview on Wednesday afternoon.</p> <p><iframe src="https://omny.fm/shows/triple-m-national-drive/5-40-pm-deborah-knight-calls-in-response-to-janefo/embed" width="100%" height="180px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Get around it! <a href="https://twitter.com/mickmolloy?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@mickmolloy</a> has officially started a campaign to get <a href="https://twitter.com/Jane_L_Kennedy?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jane_l_kennedy</a> to host the Today Show <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/JaneForToday?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#JaneForToday</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IWakeUpWithJane?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#IWakeUpWithJane</a> <a href="https://t.co/lJ8aIw5FTJ">pic.twitter.com/lJ8aIw5FTJ</a></p> — Kennedy Molloy (@kennedymolloy) <a href="https://twitter.com/kennedymolloy/status/1095197771781496833?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">12 February 2019</a></blockquote> <p>While Kennedy said she supports Knight and Georgie Gardner as <em>Today</em>’s new co-hosts, Molloy suggested the show should let him present the weather forecast or an aerobics-style segment on the program.</p> <p>"A bit of Lycra with you would go down a treat … we want to boost ratings Mick, we don't want them to go down any more, goodness me," Knight replied.</p> <p>"The ratings are boosting, and it’s great to see two women fronting a show," said Kennedy.</p> <p>"Well, there's only one way they could go, which is up," said Molloy. "I've had two shows axed by Channel 9, Deborah, welcome aboard!"</p> <p>Molloy’s first show on Channel 9, <em>The Mick Molloy Show,</em> was taken off air after only eight episodes following poor reviews and complaints from the audiences. His second show, <em>The Nation,</em> was also cancelled in 2007 within a few months from its first episode airing.</p> <p>The <em>Today</em> show has been struggling with its ratings since the debut of the new line-up earlier this year. Last Wednesday, only 177,000 metro viewers tuned in to <em>Today</em> while the show’s main competitor, Channel 7’s <em>Sunrise</em> gained 300,000 viewers.</p> <p>In January, Knight said it is not her job to be concerned about the ratings. </p> <p>"That is for others to work at and worry about, my job is just turning up and being me," Knight told <em>Sydney Confidential</em>. </p> <p>"I try to limit the impact that the chatter and the white noise has on me."</p>

News

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What Queen Elizabeth forgot about her youngest son Prince Edward

<p>Prince Edward is the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, however despite being the baby of the family reports say the Earl of Wessex’s birthday was forgotten while in his 20s by his mother.</p> <p>Now 54 years old, Prince Edward had a rather sobering experience in his younger life that the public took to social media to extend their sympathies.</p> <p>Jeremy Paxman’s new Channel 5 documentary is delving into the early life of the Queen’s children, and his biographer Ingrid Seward described him as a young lonely royal who found it difficult to find his place in Buckingham Palace.</p> <p>Seward, the editor-in-chief of<span> </span><em>Majesty</em><span> </span>magazine, said he was the “overlooked” third son.</p> <p>“At Buckingham Palace, he was lonely.</p> <p>“One year on his birthday he went to have breakfast with the Queen, and nothing was said. No card, no present. She didn’t know it was his birthday,” Seward recounted.</p> <p>Previously she had mentioned the same experience in her 2005 book<span> </span><em>Prince Edward: A Biography</em>, where she described the Q<span>ueen eating her toast and marmalade and sipping her special blend of homemade tea.</span></p> <p>The Prince’s demeanour hadn’t changed throughout breakfast, however, when a royal aide was made aware of the situation, the Queen was alerted, a “hasty” phone call was made, and presents were delivered to him a few hours later.</p> <p>"If it had been Prince Edward’s 20th or his 30th, his mother would not have forgotten,'" Steward wrote.</p> <p>She also noted the Queen’s second “heroic” son Andrew, who fought in the war, was her favourite son.</p> <p><em>Daily Mail</em>’s Richard Kay told Jeremy Paxman that Prince Edward never really knew where he fit in.</p> <p>“His royal aides once told me that the trouble with Prince Edward is that he can never decide whether he is His Royal Highness or Edward Windsor.</p> <p>“He couldn't tell whether he was one of us or a member of the royal family,” Kay said.</p> <p>This news comes days after the surprising revelation that <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/relationships/prince-charles-surprising-admission-prince-andrew-wants-to-be-me" target="_blank">Prince Charles claimed his younger brother, Prince Andrew, wanted to be him.</a></p> <p>The dynamic that existed between Prince Charles and his youngest brother, Edward, was extremely separate.</p> <p>“Charles is 16 years older than Edward and they weren't close,” Stewart admitted.</p> <p>She also confirmed their was a time where Prince Charles was the ‘leading’ son of the family.</p> <p>“On one of those occasions Prince Edward went upstairs and found some of the Duke of Windsor's old kilts which of course were all the tartans that the Prince of Wales is entitled to wear, and he thought, 'Ooh those look rather fun.' So, he put one on, and it fitted.</p> <p>“He went down to dinner in a tartan which was that of the Duke of Rothesay, and as he went into the dining room Charles went apoplectic and said, ‘What are you doing wearing that? I am the only one entitled to wear that kilt. It is a kilt for the Prince of Wales. Go upstairs and take it off.’”</p> <p>“Edward being such a calm person just went, 'OK', went upstairs and took it off and never mentioned it again.”</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see Prince Edward through the years.</p> <p>Are you surprised by the Queen forgetting Prince Edward’s birthday? Let us know in the comments below. </p>

News

Travel

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5 clever packing hacks: How to travel light

<p>Travelling light with carry-on comes with a lot of benefits – apart from saving money on luggage allowance, you could also skip the long wait at baggage claim and move from one destination to another more easily.</p> <p>Most airlines will allow you to bring up to 7kg on board – and with the right tricks, 7kg is all you need. Here are some of the things you can do to cut down your carry-on weight.</p> <p><strong>1. Invest in a lightweight luggage</strong></p> <p>With the right luggage, you can cut 2-3kg right off the bat. A wheeled suitcase can be a convenient option, but weekender bags also work. Keep in mind that most airlines will have size limits for carry-on luggage. While the dimensions may vary, in general they need to fit under the seat or in the overhead lockers.</p> <p><strong>2. Go digital</strong></p> <p>In today’s world, there’s little need to bring bundles of paperwork to the airport. Digitise your travel documents by using apps or saving them to your phone, a cloud drive or a USB stick. This not only helps save space and weight, but also eliminates any worries about losing important docs on the go.</p> <p>You can also swap heavy paperbacks for an e-Book reader device – or better yet, have the e-Books ready on your tablet or smartphone.</p> <p><strong>3. Wear your heaviest items</strong></p> <p>For light travelling, it is best to opt for a small number of versatile clothing items to pack. However, if you need to bring a heavy coat or a pair of boots, you can wear them to the airport to minimise the carry-on weight. </p> <p><strong>4. Minimise toiletries</strong></p> <p>Depending on your destination, you might not need to bring basics such as shampoo and body wash. Still, you can bring your personal toiletries without going over the airline’s liquid limits by going for the mini travel-sized version of the products. If your favourite brand does not offer this, you can decant them into smaller containers, which you can purchase in pharmacies.</p> <p><strong>5. Get a travel scale</strong></p> <p>Avoid the surprise of being charged excess baggage fees at the airport by weighing your bags with a luggage scale before check-ins. With portable, compact size and affordable price – some of the scales on the market cost as low as $9 – there’s no reason not to get one.</p> <p>Do you have any other hacks to keep your luggage light and breezy? Share them in the comments.</p>

International Travel

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6 travel tricks: Get through airport security faster

<p>It’s easy to be a good passenger on a flight. Use your headphones, be polite to the cabin crew and be aware that there are other people on the flight besides yourself. However, navigating the airport can be a bit tricker. Here are a few tips to help you get through the airport with ease.</p> <p><strong>1. Bring an empty water bottle</strong></p> <p>As you’re only able to bring 100ml of liquid through airport security, bringing an empty water bottle with your carry-on is a good tip to avoid paying through the nose for a bottle of water later on.</p> <p>You can easily fill it up in the water fountains provided at the airport, as well as asking cafes to fill it up for you with drinking water.</p> <p><strong>2. Let the check-in staff know if it’s a special occasion</strong></p> <p>If you’re heading somewhere special or off to see your first grandchild, it can be handy to let the check-in staff know this. By simply being friendly and courteous, it can be easier to get a free upgrade on a flight.</p> <p>If you’re feeling bold, you can ask directly.</p> <p><strong>3. Take a picture of your parking spot</strong></p> <p>It can be tricky to remember where you’ve parked your car on the best of days.</p> <p>Taking a photo of your parking spot in a carpark, especially if you’ve parked at the airport, is a good way to ease yourself into the harsh reality of everyday life after a lovely holiday.</p> <p><strong>4. Rebook your flight quickly</strong></p> <p>Waiting in a long line, only to find your flight has been cancelled, can be very frustrating. However, instead of waiting in line to complain to the airport staff, use the airport phone and call the airline to rebook your flight over the phone.</p> <p>This is much quicker than waiting in line. You could also try booking online.</p> <p><strong>5. Wear your heaviest items of clothing</strong></p> <p>This hack is definitely weather dependent, but it can help to free up space in your luggage if you’re wearing your heaviest items of clothing.</p> <p>By doing this, you’ve freed up space and weight in your luggage.</p> <p><strong>6. Bring hotel toiletries with you</strong></p> <p>If you’ve got sticky fingers and often take hotel toiletries from places you’ve stayed at, it’s handy to use them when you’re travelling overseas as they’re usually under the liquid allowance of 100ml.</p> <p>Do you know of any other tips to get through security faster? Let us know in the comments.</p>

Travel Trouble

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Good news: Qantas provides new solution to overbooked flights

<p>A new move by Qantas is looking to change the common issue held by airlines of overbooking flights.</p> <p>The Australian carrier is bringing forward the ‘Qantas Flight Switch’ initiative, which allows passengers to switch their flight date a week before departure. This offer is only available on heavily booked flights.</p> <p>The Qantas Flight Switch invitations are being sent out by email or text message and come with an incentive of an AUD$70 voucher to travel on an alternative departure date.</p> <p>Qantas Flight Switch is applied on a variety of routes with multiple daily services, such as Sydney to Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne.</p> <p>The editor of <em>Australian Frequent Flyer</em>, Matt Graham, shared with <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/qantas-flight-switch-overbooking-seats-passenger-gift-vouchers-a8738961.html"><em>The Independent</em></a> what his thoughts are on the move brought forward by the airline.</p> <p>“I think that Qantas offering vouchers in exchange for passengers changing to a less popular flight is a brilliant move.</p> <p>“It allows Qantas to manage overbooking situations with minimal impact on customers, and minimal cost to the airline’s bottom line. It also gives the airline an opportunity to re-sell seats on highly-popular flights while filling more seats at less popular times.”</p> <p>Graham added, “The key to the success of the Flight Switch offer is that the customer can choose not to accept it, although invariably some will. It’s a win-win for both the airline and the customer, who is rewarded for their flexibility."</p> <p>A spokesperson for Qantas said:</p> <p>“It’s [Flight Switch offer] currently offered on less than 100 domestic flights a week out of a weekly average of 4,300 flights. Given it’s a choice, not all customers want to switch, but for those who do, feedback has been positive so it’s something we’re continuing to offer and will look to build on to give our customers a better travel experience.”</p> <p>What do you think about this new Qantas service? Let us know in the comments.</p>

Domestic Travel

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Why cruise ships may be dirtier than you think

<p>The beautiful salty breeze on the deck of a cruise ship might not be as fresh or clean as you think it is and a new study has revealed it might be less clean than beach air.</p> <p>Research conducted on four Carnival Corporation ships over the last two years found particulate matter (PM) – pollution comprising of small solids or liquid droplets in the air – had amounts comparable to places with high levels of pollution like Beijing and Taipei, Taiwan.</p> <p>The worst readings taken in the cruise ships were in areas designated for exercise or children’s activities.</p> <p>When cruise ship air is inhaled, it can “damage the heart and lungs,” according to the study completed by associate professor at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Ryan Kennedy.</p> <p>”It’s dangerous, it’s not a healthy thing for us to be exposed to,“ he<span><a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2019/01/24/health/cruise-ship-air-quality-report/index.html"> told CNN</a></span>.</p> <p>The report explains the ship may exhaust harmful toxins into the air including metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) – of these which can have damaging impacts on vacationers and ship employees.</p> <p>The cruise ships tested were<em>: Carnival Liberty</em> in 2017, <em>Carnival Freedom</em> in April-May 2018 in the Caribbean, <em>Holland America Amsterdam</em> in October 2018 and <em>Princess Emerald</em> in November 2018.</p> <p>Holland America and Princess Cruises are both under the ownership of Carnival Corporation.</p> <p>Carnival Corporation has rebuffed the tests saying they were “completely ridiculous, inaccurate and in no way represent reality”.</p> <p>“We test the air quality of our ships and they meet or exceed every requirement.”</p> <p>This is not the first time that cruise lines have been subject to criticism for their contribution to pollution.</p> <p>In 2018 the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) committed to reduce the rate of carbon emissions across the industry fleet by 40 per cent by 2030 globally.</p>

Cruising

Health

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5 things you might not realise can be signs of depression

<p>We all know about depression. It is a debilitating illness, and while feeling sad and alone are obvious symptoms, many subtle signs are swept under the rug.</p> <p>Whether one of your loved ones have suffered from the illness, or you’ve heard about it through the grapevine, the mental disorder is one that does not discriminate. Regardless of age, gender, class or creed, anyone can suffer from depression.</p> <p>But how do you know if you’re on the road to a depressive disorder? Most people know the obvious signs, such as sleeping too much, losing interest in social gatherings and constantly feeling down, but it’s important to understand the less obvious symptoms.</p> <p>Subtle signs can help you decide whether you need to seek help.</p> <p>There is a big difference between feeling sad – which is a temporary emotion that will subside – and depression. Which carries a number of specific characteristics and can be ongoing.</p> <p>Here are the 5 signs you need to look out for when it comes to your mental health:</p> <p><strong>1. You’re easily irritated</strong></p> <p>You’re becoming easily agitated with friends and family. Things that generally don’t affect you are now causing you to feel rage. Or maybe you’re dealing with sporadic mood swings. Speaking to<em> <span><a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/stephhallett/things-you-might-not-realize-can-be-signs-of-depression">Buzzfeed</a></span></em>, counsellor Elizabeth Black of the Renfrew Centre said the feeling of constant irritation is an underrated sign of depression.</p> <p>“It can be challenging to have patience or compassion for those who present as irritable and therefore harder to identify when it is a sign of depression,” she said.</p> <p><strong>2. You’re looking back to the “good ol’ days”</strong></p> <p>Everyone has memories that they enjoy revisiting from time to time, but constantly living in the past is a sign of something more serious.</p> <p>“Many people who struggle with depression look back to the good old days as a coping mechanism,” says psychologist Dr. Sal Raichbach to <em>Buzzfeed</em>.</p> <p>“A depressed person might feel great for years but then plunge back into their sadness when a loss or a major life change occurs. Fun times in the past help them feel better temporarily.”</p> <p><strong>3. You’re finding it hard to concentrate</strong></p> <p>According to psychologist Dr. Cindy Graham, the negative thoughts that come with depression makes it harder for those with the illness to concentrate on things such as work. Many times, lack of concentration is misdiagnosed as ADHD, especially when medical professionals are unaware of the negative thoughts clouding your mind.</p> <p><strong>4. You’re finding “me time” to be stressful</strong></p> <p>Many adults look forward to the moment they can get a few hours to themselves, but for someone who is depressed, lack of plans bring about feelings of anxiousness.</p> <p>Speaking to <em>Buzzfeed</em>, Dr. Graham said: “These moments [of downtime] may feel heavenly and highly sought after by some, but for someone struggling with depression, downtime leads to plenty of opportunity for negative thoughts to run unchecked.”</p> <p><strong>5. You’re feeling guilty about everything</strong></p> <p>According to the <span><a href="https://www.apa.org/">American Psychological Association</a></span> (APA) “inappropriate and excessive guilt” is a sign of depression.</p> <p>This can range from feeling bad about something that happened at work which was out of your control, or feeling responsible for something that you had no part in. APA gave this as an example: “A realtor may become preoccupied with self-blame for failing to make sales even when the market has collapsed generally, and other realtors are equally unable to make sales.”</p> <p>While these are only five symptoms of many, if you believe you may have depression be sure to visit your doctor to get a diagnosis.</p> <p><em>If you are troubled by this article, experiencing a personal crisis or thinking about suicide, you can call Lifeline 131 114 or beyondblue 1300 224 636 or visit lifeline.org.au or beyondblue.org.au.</em></p>

Body

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Terminally ill MKR fan's romantic surprise from husband on Valentine's Day

<p>Daniella Tackhi, a terminally ill new mother, was treated to a surprise on Valentine’s Day at Westmead hospital in Sydney. </p> <p>Daniella was diagnosed with breast cancer just one month after her wedding and has been receiving treatment.</p> <p>However, yesterday, her husband Anthony pulled out all the stops to make sure that she felt valued and appreciated with a romantic lunch.</p> <p>The lunch was cooked by celebrity chefs from<span> </span><em>My Kitchen Rules</em>, Ibby and Romel, who are Daniella’s favourite team from the show.</p> <p>Organising the lunch was no easy feat, as Anthony had been working for weeks with the hospital staff, as well as Ibby and Romel, to make sure the lunch went off without a hitch.</p> <p>"She deserves the world so I wanted to do that for her," Anthony explained.</p> <p>Daniella was overwhelmed when she saw the romantic set up and burst into tears.</p> <p>"When the boys came in, I was like 'oh my goodness!'," Daniella said.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Valentine's Day: Terminally ill, but showered in love. Daniella Takchi is one of 560 patients at Westmead Hospital. The 29-year-old is too sick to leave. So her husband brought the celebrations to her - Ibby &amp; Romel from <a href="https://twitter.com/mykitchenrules?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@mykitchenrules</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ValentinesDay?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ValentinesDay</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/7News?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#7News</a> <a href="https://t.co/Oce84K8Ow3">pic.twitter.com/Oce84K8Ow3</a></p> — 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) <a href="https://twitter.com/7NewsSydney/status/1095958547815325697?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">14 February 2019</a></blockquote> <p>However, the romantic lunch wasn’t the only surprise the couple received that day. The new parents were reunited with their newborn son, who they have been apart from for five weeks.</p> <p>The family were able to spend the day together as their son was discharged from the children’s hospital.</p> <p>Ibby and Romel shared their thoughts on the experience via Instagram:</p> <p>“We had the pleasure of surprising Daniella today. Unfortunately Daniella’s health isn’t great, so we jumped at the chance to meet her and cook her the exact same dishes we served everyone in our Instant Restaurant.</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/Bt2tHPGHakT/?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/Bt2tHPGHakT/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_medium=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Ibby &amp; Romel (@ibbyromelau)</a> on Feb 14, 2019 at 12:02am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“Seeing a smile on her face was the best thing we’ve ever experienced. This has been the absolute highlight of our MKR journey. Daniella you are in our prayers and we wish you and your family lots of love."</p>

Caring

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Body language expert's verdict on pregnant Duchess Meghan: “Overly self-aware”

<p>With another public outburst from her father, all eyes were on Duchess Meghan as she stepped out with Prince Harry for a gala performance at the Natural History Museum in London.</p> <p>However, the Duchess was calm and confident as she ditched her usual habits of cradling her baby bump and holding onto Prince Harry’s hand as she walked. She walked several steps ahead of him, appearing confident and calm.</p> <p>The author of the<span> </span><em>Body Language Bible</em><span> </span>and body language expert, Judi James, says there’s more to this display than meets the eye.</p> <p>James explained that Duchess Meghan is more aware of the eyes of the public being on her after the outburst from her father.</p> <p>“'This was the first public appearance since her pregnancy was announced where Meghan didn’t cup, stroke and cradle her bump.</p> <p>“Her decision to drop these rituals looks deliberate. There are a couple of times when we can see her perform a truncated gesture, when her left hand rises towards her bump in a bid to cradle it, but she appears to self-correct and drop her hand down to her side instead.”</p> <p>James also pointed out that the distance between Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry was deliberate as well.</p> <p>“There are some clues that Meghan’s response to the problems with her father is to assert her independence and confidence in her royal role. It could have been easy for her to become visually vulnerable and to lean on or shelter behind her husband for support – but by striding out in the lead she may have wanted to suggest resilience and even a sense of power.”</p> <p>Prince Harry appeared as nervous as ever when he’s near his wife, with the Duke of Sussex displaying anxious body language.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7823606/body-language-harry.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f9d29f252fd74b35b4afbac7edbc8013" /></p> <p>“In contrast Harry appears a lot less masked, with several suggestions of anxiety visible in his facial expression and his body language. He looks tired and at times rather distant and reflective.” James said.</p> <p>“This [behaviour] would be normal for his father Charles but Harry has been the one Windsor male who always appeared jolly and lacking in any self-comfort traits. He begins by buttoning his jacket rather deliberately in two "barrier gestures", then hikes his trousers up from the back.”</p> <p>What do you think? Let us know in the comments.</p>

Body

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How being nostalgic makes you healthier

<p>The sound of waves crashing on the shore, the smell of freshly baked biscuits, the chorus of your favourite rock song, these are all triggers for us to become nostalgic, to look back sentimentally on something in our past that holds deep personal meaning. But rather than just pleasant daydreaming, being nostalgic can have positive effects on our wellbeing.</p> <p>Studies have shown that people who are nostalgic are more confident, are more likely to maintain healthy relationships, have a greater sense of self-worth and are more optimistic about the future. Being nostalgic can also help counteract loneliness, which is a precursor to poor mental health.</p> <p><strong>So how does nostalgia work?</strong></p> <p>Nostalgia expert Krystine Batcho, professor at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, said nostalgia works on a psychological level by "helping a person maintain stability during times of change" and "helping them cope during times of adversity."</p> <p>"What nostalgia does is that it reconnects a person to their own history. It gives them a sense that even though so much change is going on around them, something stays the same – and that is very comforting, because change can be stressful," said Batcho.</p> <p>"People who are nostalgic are more likely to have a healthy sense of confidence and self-esteem and they’re also more likely to be interconnected socially," added Batcho, whose research involved developing an inventory test to measure the likelihood an individual will become nostalgic. </p> <p>According to Batcho, nostalgic people have healthy coping mechanisms that make them more willing to seek advice and emotional support from others and they are also more likely to engage in active problem solving – behaviours that have positive implications for those individuals’ health.</p> <p>"What we know from the health literature is that it’s very important to have a social support system in place when an individual is battling diseases that need a lot of treatment," she said. "Having a social support network can even be helpful in a preventative kind of way, because people who are connected socially are more likely to join a health club, a sports team, or monitor their diet or exercise progress because others are doing it with them."</p> <p>So what can we do to indulge in a bit of our own healthy daydreaming about days long gone? Below are the five ways you can use nostalgia to boost your wellbeing.</p> <p><strong>1. Have a nostalgic ritual<br /></strong></p> <p>The longing for a real something or someone from your past falls under the banner of 'personal nostalgia.' It could be for a loved one, a pet, place, school, a song, a possession, or any number of things. This kind of nostalgia is 'bittersweet', Batcho said, because it is a blend of ambivalent emotions – memories that are 'sweet' such as 'I liked my life back then' but also memories that are 'bitter' like 'But my brother was a real pain'.</p> <p>Interestingly, reliving the bitter as well as the sweet memories gives us a powerful tool to deal with hardships because it allows what Batcho calls 'positive reappraisal'. That’s where we see the good and the bad together, in turn helping us to see the positive in our present day hardship.</p> <p>To tap into your sense of personal nostalgia, try creating a ritual around something meaningful in your past and set aside some time to experience that ritual. It could be digging up old photographs on a quiet Sunday afternoon, reading a poem that you once liked, writing about an event from your past, or even reminiscing with a childhood friend over coffee.</p> <p>Batcho advised there is no hard and fast rule to what you should reminisce about or how often you should experience nostalgia, but "it should be used as frequently as is needed."</p> <p><strong>2. Hold a get-together and reminisce<br /></strong></p> <p>Sharing your nostalgic memories with others is a good way to nostalgise, said Tim Wildschut, associate professor within the psychology department at the University of Southampton, UK.</p> <p>Strapped for ideas about what to do? Think about how you can infuse something whimsical or retro into your next get-together with friends or family as a talking point for memories. You might like to set a historical theme with a dress code from a bygone era, or hold a vintage high tea with comfort foods from the past, or even ask everyone to bring a photo of themselves on their 21st birthday. </p> <p><strong>3. Let the music take you back</strong></p> <p>Both Wildschut and Batcho agreed that music is one of the best ways to experience nostalgia. "Listening to music gives the same benefits as writing about memories," Wildschut said.</p> <p>To find out which music will wind your mental clock back, think about the songs from your past that may have held special significance at landmark moments in your life. Was The Beatles' number playing when you had your first kiss? Was your first dance at your wedding an Elvis song? Play them as often as you like. While you’re listening, remind yourself why they mean so much to you and pay attention to lyrics that give you a warm, fuzzy feeling.</p> <p><strong>4. Do something childish - just for fun!</strong></p> <p>Doing things we did when we were kids can also be a useful strategy for dialling back to the past. "It might only be that a person has to go all the way back to the time of their childhood to when they felt safe and secure, and more importantly, really loved for who they were to find examples of problems that were dealt with earlier," said Batcho.</p> <p>Some ideas to bring out your inner child include colouring in, finger painting and swinging on swings in your local park. Chances are, if you feel a tad awkward about the behaviour as an adult, you’re heading down the right path.</p> <p><strong>5. Anticipate a loss (but enjoy the moment)</strong></p> <p>Anticipatory nostalgia is a type of nostalgia currently being investigated by researchers. This is when you feel nostalgic for the loss of something before you have even lost it – consider the example of a parent who might put a child on a bus for the first time and realise that one day their child will be so independent that they won’t need them anymore.</p> <p>Although tinged with some sadness, Batcho said this type may prove to be personally beneficial because it "reminds you to value and treasure being in the present moment, because it's true that nothing lasts forever."</p> <p>To experience this kind of nostalgia, think of the things in your everyday life that you highly value such as the coffee shop down the road that makes your favourite coffee and imagine a time when you will no longer have these things. Afterwards, remind yourself that you still do have them and make a point of enjoying them.</p> <p>What are the things in your life you are most nostalgic about? Join the conversation in the comments below.</p> <p><em>Written by <span>Dominic Bayley</span>. Republished with permission of <span><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/wellbeing/can-being-nostalgic-really-make-you-healthier.aspx">Wyza.com.au</a></span>.</em></p>

Mind

Lifestyle

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The 3 mistakes you could be making with your skincare routine

<p>Everyone has a different approach to skincare. Whether you choose to opt for 12 different products day and night, or prefer a minimalist routine, experts say that both options are perfectly fine to follow.</p> <p>Speaking to <span><em><a href="https://www.marieclaire.com.au/how-to-use-eye-cream">Marie Claire</a></em></span>, dermatologist Dr Christine Armor said: “The most important thing is that you’re applying the appropriate active ingredients to achieve your skincare goals. Most women are busy and time-poor, so want an effective skincare with as few steps as possible. However, others enjoy the multi-step ‘Korean’ approach to skincare.”</p> <p>Here are somethings you should know:</p> <p><strong>1. Skincare that works while you sleep</strong></p> <p>Our skin is the body’s largest organ, and much like the rest of us, it repairs itself while we’re fast asleep. This is the perfect time to provide nourishment and antioxidants for glowing skin the next morning. Dr Armor says: “Our final steps at night should include the application of a moisturiser and active ingredients to address repair of damage caused by environmental damage during the day and well-rejuvenating ingredients (such as retinoids and AHA’s). Again, this can be achieved through multitasking products that ‘do it all’ or using multiple different products.”<strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>2. Are you making this night-time routine mistake? </strong></p> <p>“Using an expensive eye cream in addition to their night cream. We have been told that it’s really important to use a different product in the delicate eye area as opposed to the night cream that we use on the rest of our face. In most cases, the product that you use at night to repair, rejuvenate and moisturise the rest of your face is appropriate to achieve these functions in the eye area,” explains Dr Armour.</p> <p><strong>3. Skincare doesn’t just stop at your face</strong></p> <p>While we usually have no troubles taking care of the skin on our face, we often neglect the rest of our body, which should be seen as equally important. After using harsh soaps in the shower, it’s important to rejuvenate the skin with hydrating products.</p> <p>“Individuals that suffer from sensitive or dry skin should consider products that contain beneficial ingredients like aloe vera and vitamin B5 that are gentle on the skin. This ensures that the skin’s oil is replenished and not stripped away,” said Dr Armour.</p> <p>Are you someone who prefers a 12-step routine? Or someone who enjoys the minimal approach when it comes to caring for your skin? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

Beauty & Style

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Senior sisters open their own café in retirement

<p>Stepping into Sue Wright and Nicky Brindle’s Greytown café is like walking into the stylish living room of a long lost friend. The two sisters, who have a combined hospitality experience of over 120 years, are warm and inviting, much like the light and airy contemporary surroundings of their café “2 Short Whites”… the name a humorous play on their stature and a nod to their hair colour.</p> <p>The café located in the The Hub’ a new retail development in the centre of Greytown, a pretty colonial village only one hour’s drive from Wellington, is the latest chapter in the varied and interesting working lives of these two dynamic sisters.</p> <p>“We tried retiring but to be honest got bored,” laughs Nicky. “We realised at this age no one else was going to employ us, so we decided to employ ourselves.”</p> <p>Nicky and Sue have boundless energy and have been behind several well-known businesses in New Zealand’s Wairarapa region over the years.</p> <p>Nicky is Le Cordon Bleu trained andused to own Masterton based wedding venue and catering company Toad’s Landing while Sue along with husband Andrew established the Mela fruit juice brand, which is now run by her daughter Sarah and son in law Brian Belluomini. The couple were also involved in the award-winning Lighthouse Gin and Sue owned the popular, funky giftware store Mondo for almost 10 years.</p> <p>“Nicky and I did our own thing for years then decided to come together and set up this café and restaurant. We’re both serious about food and great hospitality so it was a bit of a no-brainer,” says Sue.</p> <p>"We came along, two old ladies, and gave The Hub developer Steve Pilbrow our concept for a café … and he loved it. We want people to feel welcome here and enjoy our menu which offers seasonal, rustic and wholesome food.”</p> <p>The smell of freshly baked bread, which is fermented for 24 hours, greets visitors and depending what time of day free-range bacon can be smelt cooking. There is a terrific range of baking and sweet treats to tempt all ages while the sister’s range of preserves are neatly displayed on colourful shelves.</p> <p>Since opening their doors, Nicky and Sue have run cooking classes, such as bread-making; had themed dinner evenings and even played Fairy Godmother running a series of successful Singles Dinners (for ages 35 years to 50 years and for the 50-plus years) for those looking for love and friendship.</p> <p>“We were directors of the night serving up an incredible two-course meal and helping make introductions between people. We wanted them to come here, feel relaxed and enjoy great company, great wine and great food,” says Sue. “We all know that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!”</p> <p>Unfortunately, <em>2 Flat Whites </em>is no longer in business. The cafe has since changed hands and is now known as <em>Brasserie 74.</em></p> <p>Have you started your own business in retirement? Share your experience with us in the comments below.</p> <p><em>For more information about 2 Short Whites or the Wairarapa visit, <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.wairarapanz.com" target="_blank">www.wairarapanz.com</a></strong></span>.</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Georgie Gardner’s heartwarming wedding tribute to her father

<p>Georgie Gardner has cited a tribute to her father as one of the most memorable moments from her wedding.</p> <p>The <em>Today</em> show host married husband Tim Baker at a Sydney church in 2002. In the wedding, she made a tribute to her father, who had passed away years earlier, by having a bagpiper playing and leading a hundred guests from the church to the reception.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Georgie has shared a special moment from her wedding day which she holds close to her heart. ❤️ <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/9Today?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#9Today</a> <a href="https://t.co/h2jHEluFyX">https://t.co/h2jHEluFyX</a></p> — The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheTodayShow/status/1096205017034473472?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 15, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>"I had a beautiful man on the bagpipes, playing the bagpipes, and that was a tribute to my dad who died when I was quite young, and he always loved the bagpipes, so that was a way of incorporating him into the day," she told <a href="https://honey.nine.com.au/2019/02/14/12/54/my-wedding-day-georgie-gardner-today-show"><em>9Honey</em></a>.</p> <p>However, Gardner missed the special moment. "Unfortunately I didn't get to see it because I was off having photos, but I believe it was lovely."</p> <p>As her father could not be present, Gardner walked down the aisle with her younger brother John.</p> <p>The 48-year-old also mentioned a rendition of Elvis Presley’s <em>Can’t Help Falling in Love </em>by her bridesmaid as another highlight of the wedding.</p> <p>"She played the guitar and sang, it was a lovely acoustic performance and she's got the most exquisite voice so that was very special,” recounted Gardner.</p> <p>"It was a beautiful, late afternoon wedding and the reception was in the evening. [There was] great music, amazing food – that was really important to us – and there was a lot of love in the room, it was a very special day."</p> <p>Gardner and Baker met at a friend’s birthday and got engaged after only four months of dating. Earlier this year, the couple moved to a <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/tv/take-a-look-inside-georgie-gardner-s-new-6-million-sydney-home/">new family home</a> in Mosman, Sydney with their two children and dog.</p> <p>What’s the most special moment from your wedding? Share your story in the comments.</p>

Beauty & Style

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The cutest nicknames owners call their pets

<p>The best thing about having a pet, apart from their never-ending love and companionship, is that you can call them anything you want and they’ll usually respond to it based on your tone.</p> <p>Twitter user and pet owner @metroadlib posted a sweet tweet explaining that while her dog’s name is Cooper, she calls him a range of other things. These names include:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">my dog's name is cooper.<br /><br />i call him--<br />boubba<br />boub<br />honeybunny<br />coopypoopy<br />heyloverthisismorethanacrush<br />stinkboy<br />&amp; sweetboy.<br /><br />i use sweetboy the most.<br /><br />i call this mfer "cooper" exactly 7% of the time.</p> — fooler initiative (@metroadlib) <a href="https://twitter.com/metroadlib/status/1088123017681608706?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">23 January 2019</a></blockquote> <p>This tweet resonated with a range of pet owners, who were quick to share what names they call their pets (apart from their actual names).</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Koda<br /><br />Kodes<br />Kodesters<br />Koda Popeye<br />Koda Pops<br />Popeye my Popeye<br />Lovebug<br />This Little Butthead<br />Football Head <a href="https://t.co/TDiSi05DeU">pic.twitter.com/TDiSi05DeU</a></p> — chesapeake bae // ᜀ ᜋᜒ (@adotsaint) <a href="https://twitter.com/adotsaint/status/1088128527529058304?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">23 January 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Turns out this is a common practice amongst pet owners, with one owner lamenting that his wife called one of their dogs by a nickname so much that it’s all he responds to now.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Our puppy was originally named Gary, here is how it has evolved since:<br />Gary<br />Gar Bear<br />Honey Bear<br /><br />He will now only answer to Honey Bear thanks to my wife. (He’s the white one in this photo) <a href="https://t.co/BCxhXGgnsL">pic.twitter.com/BCxhXGgnsL</a></p> — Thomas Newman (@ThomasNewman) <a href="https://twitter.com/ThomasNewman/status/1088126652763308038?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">23 January 2019</a></blockquote> <p>This practice isn’t limited to dogs either, as cat owners joined in with their nicknames.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">This is Plum. also known as Plumbelina, Plumpert, Plumbarton Oaks, Plumples, Lil’ Baby, BunBun, and Plom. <a href="https://t.co/AekT7ptKRd">pic.twitter.com/AekT7ptKRd</a></p> — tekla 💜✨ (@alketrolyat) <a href="https://twitter.com/alketrolyat/status/1088125529151148034?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">23 January 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Do you have any nicknames you call your pets? Let us know in the comments!</p>

Family & Pets

Finance

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Bank programmer jailed after stealing $1.4 million from ATMs

<p>A bank programmer in China has been jailed after stealing $1.4 million in cash.</p> <p>The theft was due to Qin Qisheng noticing a loophole in Huaxi Bank’s system back in 2016.</p> <p>As the 43-year-old worked as a senior programmer at the bank, he came to realise that withdrawals that were completed close to midnight weren’t being recorded properly.</p> <p>After realising this, Qisheng inserted scripts into the system so he was able to “test” the issue without alerting staff.</p> <p>He then made test withdrawals of 20,000 Yuan (AUD$4194) to a dummy account for almost a year before being caught. By January 2018, he had withdrawn almost 7 million Yuan (AUD$1.4 million) without notifying anyone what he was up to.</p> <p>He was caught after depositing the funds into his own bank account, as well as investing some funds in the stock market.</p> <p>Hauxi Bank accepted the claims that Qisheng was investigating the glitch and dropped the case after he returned the funds.</p> <p>“Qin Qisheng said that the matter was complicated and involved lots of work … he believed the bank would not pay attention even if he reported it,” the <a href="https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2184883/chinese-banks-software-chief-jailed-after-finding-way-withdraw"><em>South China Morning Post</em></a> reported a bank representative as saying during the trial.</p> <p>“We think this reason for not reporting is legitimate.”</p> <p>However, even though the company dropped the charges, this was not enough to save Qisheng from 10-and-a-half years of jail time, as well as a fine of 11,000 Yuan (AUD$2306).</p> <p>“On the one hand, (the bank) said that the accused’s behaviour was in violation of the rules. On the other hand, he said that he could conduct relevant tests. This is self-contradictory,” the judge said.</p> <p>The flaw that caused Qisheng to be able to withdraw the funds has now been fixed.</p>

Money & Banking

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Retirement income planning: 3 important questions you need to answer

<p>Planning for retirement can be a daunting process, with pressures to get your finances and priorities in order. If you do not have a clear idea of how you want your retirement to look like, here are the three questions to help you get started on achieving your dream retiree life.</p> <ol> <li><strong>When do you want to retire?</strong></li> </ol> <p>Having a ballpark idea of the age you want to stop working can help you figure out how much savings and income you will have when retirement comes. These include sources such as superannuation accounts and Age Pension entitlements.</p> <p>From here, you can calculate if these savings would be enough to last for the rest of your life. While no one knows how long their retirement will last exactly, it could be longer than expected. The current life expectancy for Australians is 82.5 years.</p> <p>Knowing the timing will not only give a proper foundation to determine the costs, but it can also help you sort out career and life plans with your partner and family.</p> <ol start="2"> <li><strong>How much will you need in retirement?</strong></li> </ol> <p>Consider your priorities. Whether you want to <span><a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/retirement-life/the-holidays-you-need-to-try-in-retirement/">travel</a></span>, take on new hobbies, live on a farm or spend more time with your grandchildren, these options will bring different <span><a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/retirement-life/how-much-do-you-need-to-live-comfortably-in-retirement/">expenses</a></span> and financial commitments to see through. Be as specific as possible with your wishes – how often you want to travel, what city you want to reside in – to gain an accurate picture of your future spending.</p> <p>Health expenses and emergency spending should also be factored in, as well as inflation rates. Even with senior benefits such as Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, it is likely that your medical expenses will go up as you grow older.</p> <p>Creating a preliminary budget will help you figure out the costs of your desired lifestyle and strategise accordingly.</p> <ol start="3"> <li><strong>How much do you have to save?</strong></li> </ol> <p>Saving early is the key. Most financial experts recommend committing 10 to 20 per cent of your income throughout the working years for retirement. However, if the numbers still come up short, there are some options to boost your retirement income.</p> <p>Finding part-time work or investing in assets, such as shares or property, could lower your savings burden. You can also unlock wealth from <span><a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/retirement-income/how-to-unlock-wealth-from-your-home">home equity</a></span> or other valuables at home. If you have real estate, there is also an option to top-up your pension with the <span><a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/retirement-income/options-for-boosting-income-during-retirement/">Pension Loans Scheme</a></span>.</p> <p>Another way is to adjust your retirement plan and make compromises, be it moving to a lower cost area or cutting down on the less necessary expenses.</p>

Retirement Income

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How Amazon became the best of the best

<p>Any company whose brand becomes a common noun (without the capital letter, called an eponym) has made a big impact. Generations have cleaned the house with a hoover, blown their noses with a Kleenex, stored hot drinks in a thermos and xeroxed a document. Most of us google rather than search.</p> <p>Although not exactly the same thing, the goal of many new companies is to become ‘the Amazon of’ something. In wealth management and superannuation, many new entrants describe their strategy as aiming to become ‘the Amazon of financial services’.</p> <p>Well, good luck with that, because not only is Amazon a unique company, it may well want to become the Amazon of financial services itself. FinancialAdvisorIQ (part of the Financial Times group) recently published an article about digital financial advice (FA) called ‘Betterment Yearns to be Amazon of FAs. Does Amazon?’ including this statement:</p> <p>“Amazon entering wealth management would cause a major disruption to the advice industry, pushing down prices and driving up demand for far faster delivery of financial services.”</p> <p>And now Amazon is coming to Australia, and it will change retailing and other sectors such as property and shopping malls forever. Investors should consider whether other companies held in an investment portfolio can measure up to these challenges in a digital, fast-moving world.</p> <p><strong>CEO Jeff Bezos’s annual letter to shareholders</strong><br />Amazon has disrupted many industries, and destroyed companies such as Borders Bookstores, but in its 20 years, it has had negligible impact on financial services.</p> <p>Warren Buffett produces an annual letter to his shareholders which is widely quoted, but it’s less well-known that Amazon’s Chief Executive Jeff Bezos does the same. It’s a completely different style. Buffett focuses on his returns and investments, and it’s clear that making money is the main game. In his 2017 letter, Bezos does not mention ‘profit’ once, while ‘customer’ receives 19 hits.</p> <p>There are a few highlights in Bezos’s letter that everyone can learn from, although the vast majority of large companies do not have the internal structures and processes to make them work. Bezos wants his company to always operate as if it’s Day 1, as Day 2 is a step to an excruciating, painful decline followed by death. Day 1 vitality requires obsessive customer focus.</p> <p>He identifies four rules for making high quality decisions that apply to managing a company, and they may be useful for investing or even making the most of a relationship. The rules are:</p> <p><strong>High velocity decision making</strong><br />Large organisations struggle to decide quickly because they fear failure. Speed matters, and where a decision is reversible, it should use a lightweight process. It doesn’t matter much if it’s wrong.</p> <p><strong>Don’t wait for certainty</strong><br />Most companies overestimate the cost of being wrong, whereas being slow will be expensive.</p> <p>“Most decisions should probably be made with somewhere around 70% of the information you wish you had. If you wait for 90%, in most cases, you’re probably being slow. Plus, either way, you need to be good at quickly recognising and correcting bad decisions.”</p> <p><strong>Disagree and commit</strong><br />It’s often difficult to achieve consensus, as nobody can know with certainty the outcome of a new initiative. He says ‘disagree and commit’ saves a lot of time:</p> <p>“I disagree and commit all the time … (My staff) had a completely different opinion and wanted to go ahead. I wrote back right away with “I disagree and commit and hope it becomes the most watched thing we’ve ever made.” Consider how much slower this decision cycle would have been if the team had actually had to convince me rather than simply get my commitment.”</p> <p><strong>Recognise misalignment</strong><br />Misalignment between teams and objectives must be identified early and addressed, or the problem will lead to exhaustion.</p> <p>“Whoever has more stamina carries the decision. I’ve seen many examples of sincere misalignment at Amazon over the years. When we decided to invite third party sellers to compete directly against us on our own product detail pages – that was a big one. Many smart, well-intentioned Amazonians were simply not at all aligned with the direction. The big decision set up hundreds of smaller decisions, many of which needed to be escalated to the senior team. “You’ve worn me down” is an awful decision-making process. It’s slow and de-energising. Go for quick escalation instead – it’s better.”</p> <p><strong>Does it work?</strong><br />Many analysts have criticised Bezos over the years for investing in the business rather than creating more profits and dividends. When $10,000 invested in 1997 now has a value of about five million dollars, it’s hard to criticise success and the way Amazon is challenging other businesses the world over. Are investments in your portfolio ready for the Amazon challenge?</p> <p>Do you use Amazon? Let us know in the comments below.</p> <p><em>Written by Graham Hand. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/money/superannuation/four-rules-amazon-uses-to-build-its-dominance.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

Legal

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Aussies go into meltdown over confusing road rules quiz

<p>A tricky road rule quiz has had Australian drivers debating, even after the answer has been revealed.</p> <p>The scenario-based question, posted by Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) on its Facebook page on Wednesday, led to a heated row as drivers could not agree on the correct answer. </p> <p>The page’s administrator went ahead to step in and ask everyone in the comments section to keep the discussion "civil".</p> <p>The post included a picture of four cars in an intersection, three of which were travelling through a green light. The red car was in the middle of the intersection while the pink car was behind the solid line and just about to pass through the traffic light, followed by the blue car at the back. All three cars indicated that they were going to change lanes from the left to the right.</p> <p>The question that the RACQ posed was: "Which vehicle, or vehicles, are performing an illegal manoeuvre?</p> <p>a. Red and Pink</p> <p>b. Red</p> <p>c. Pink</p> <p>d. Blue"</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fracqofficial%2Fphotos%2Fa.185021091535422%2F2053817167989129%2F%3Ftype%3D3&amp;width=500" width="500" height="671" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>One of the commenters suggested the red and pink cars, as the former was changing lanes in an intersection and the latter was crossing an unbroken line.</p> <p>Another suggested that while the pink car was clearly breaking the rule, the red car’s decision to change lanes on an intersection was not exactly safe.</p> <p>One argued that all three cars were in the wrong, as he claimed that changing lanes within 30 metres of an intersection was illegal.</p> <p>The RACQ revealed that only the pink car was making an illegal move. </p> <p>"The image shows a vehicle crossing a continuous line separating the lanes, which is illegal," it explained.</p> <p>"With the red car, while we don't advise people cross lanes at an intersection, it is not illegal to do so."</p> <p>When a commenter challenged the RACQ on the legality of changing lanes mid-intersection after passing through a solid line, the motoring organisation referred to the state laws.</p> <p>"In Queensland, line markings aren’t carried through an intersection (apart from turn lines)," the RACQ responded. "There isn't anything in the road rules that says you can't change lines in an intersection, but we would advise against it."</p> <p>A commenter complained about how different road rules are across Australia. </p> <p>"One thing becomes clear … I see a lack of uniformity via separate state laws," he said.</p> <p>"We are one small (in terms of population) nation … Why the hell can't we have national uniform laws, that generate no confusion and are easily stated in one rule book."</p> <p>What do you think of this confusing road rules question above? Share your thoughts in the comments.</p>

Legal

Entertainment

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4 expert tips: How to store books properly

<p>To keep your books in pristine condition, it is not enough to just put them on a shelf or stack them on your nightstand. Below are some of the best tips from librarians and experts that will help preserve books in good condition and prolong their life for years to come.</p> <p><strong>1. Find the right place</strong></p> <p>When it comes to storing books, humidity and temperature are the keys. To promote book longevity, the storage area should be a stable, cool, dry and well-ventilated environment.</p> <p>A room that is too humid or prone to condensation can lead to mould growth and encourage insects like silverfish and roaches, while hot temperatures can turn the bindings and pages dry and brittle. Because of this, experts generally advise against keeping books in the attics, basements and garages. Places near radiators, vents or water pipes are also not recommended.</p> <p>The British Library recommends keeping your reads in a place that has a relative humidity of 45 to 55 per cent. You can check the humidity level by getting a hygrometer.</p> <p><strong>2. Stay away from sunlight</strong></p> <p>Direct sunlight brings a lot of damage on books. Prolonged sunlight exposure can bleach spines and increase the paper’s acid content, allowing for the release of organic acidic vapours and turning the papers yellow and brittle. The US Library of Congress also suggests keeping books away from other intense lights.</p> <p><strong>3. Keep upright whenever possible</strong></p> <p>According to the National Library of Scotland, only large, heavy books should be placed flat. Other types of books should be kept upright without leaning to the sides of the shelves in order to protect the covers and spines. Organising books by size and using book stands with books of similar size could help them maintain their shape.</p> <p>If you have to stack your books, make sure to keep the largest books at the bottom and lighter, smaller ones on top in a pyramid-adjacent shape to prevent the spines from becoming rolled.</p> <p>Take care not to leave any books open and facing down for any period of time.</p> <p><strong>4. Clean regularly</strong></p> <p>Dust your books regularly to prevent dirt from accumulating, which could foster mould growth and pest infestation. To clean a book, take it from the shelf, keep the book closed and use a soft, chemical-free duster to clean it individually. Don’t forget to clean the bookshelves – while they are clear, you can also use this opportunity to vacuum the floor underneath the shelves.</p> <p>How do you store your books? Share your ideas in the comments.</p>

Books

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Good news: Facebook finally lets you ‘unsend’ messages

<p>For those of you who have sent a private message to the wrong person and wished for there to be a way to unsend it, you’re not alone. Facebook has listened to its users and added an ‘unsend’ feature to Messenger.</p> <p><a href="https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/5/18211255/facebook-messenger-unsend-delete-feature-sent-mark-zuckerberg">The Verge</a> has reported that if you have the latest version of Messenger for iOs (Apple) and Android, you will be able to delete messages that you were never meant to send. However, you only have 10 minutes to do so after sending the first message, otherwise the feature doesn’t work.</p> <p>The added feature comes after users demanded to have it implemented after seeing CEO Mark Zuckerberg being able to delete a message after sending it out. The feature was originally only for “higher ups” within Facebook, but after multiple sources noted that messages that they received from the CEO had disappeared, that was when news of the ‘unsend’ feature came to light.</p> <p>It took Facebook nine months to implement the ‘unsend’ feature for all users, but it’s finally here. Facebook also said that it would limit Zuckerberg’s use of the feature until everyone was able to use it.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height:0px;" src="/media/7823677/messenger-unsend.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/3205103eaf4249ada947ec6d0fb7c9cc" /></p> <p><em>Source: The Verge</em></p> <p><strong>How to use the feature</strong></p> <ol> <li>Press and hold on the message you want to delete. Note: <strong>Must be done within 10 minutes of sending the first message.</strong></li> <li>Tap ‘Remove’ when Messenger displays the ‘Copy’, ‘Forward’ etc section.</li> <li>You can then choose whether you want to remove for everyone and remove for you. If you choose ‘Remove for everyone, the people in the chat will be notified that you have removed the message.</li> <li>Choose your option and then click on ‘Remove’.</li> <li>It will show that you have removed a message in Messenger.</li> </ol> <p>Will you be using this feature? Let us know in the comments.</p>

Technology

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Kensington Palace shares rare photos of Princess Diana

<p><span>Kensington Palace has released a rare throwback photograph of Princess Diana and Prince William in celebration of the Duke's new patronage.</span></p> <p>On Wednesday, Prince William officially became the Royal Patron of The Passage, a charity focusing on homelessness.</p> <p>The Palace announced the news with pictures of his first visit to the charity in 1993, when he went with his mother and brother Prince Harry.</p> <p>The first photograph depicted Princess Diana sitting with Prince Harry on her lap and Prince William nearby. The second showed the charity's visitor book signed by the Princess and her first son.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">This entry in The <a href="https://twitter.com/PassageCharity?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PassageCharity</a> visitor’s book marks The Duke of Cambridge's first visit with his mother Diana, Princess of Wales in 1993. <a href="https://t.co/iKgC5pQMaB">pic.twitter.com/iKgC5pQMaB</a></p> — Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) <a href="https://twitter.com/KensingtonRoyal/status/1095653653107617792?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 13, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>"The visits I made as a child to this place left a deep and lasting impression upon me – about how important it is to ensure that everyone in our society, especially the poorest, are treated with respect, dignity and kindness, and are given the opportunities to fulfil their potential in life," Prince William said in a statement.</p> <p>The 36-year-old Duke of Cambridge marked the news with another visit to the charity, in which he helped serve food in the resource centre’s kitchen and met with clients and volunteers for the charity’s 'Home for Good' program.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">8-10 volunteers support Head Chef Nour Shab in the kitchen every day. <br /><br />2,651 homeless people were supported by <a href="https://twitter.com/PassageCharity?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PassageCharity</a> in 2017/18 - this was made possible with the help of the charity’s 450 regular volunteers who work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. <a href="https://t.co/P0xSVsCMAd">pic.twitter.com/P0xSVsCMAd</a></p> — Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) <a href="https://twitter.com/KensingtonRoyal/status/1095660758409596928?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 13, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>The Duke has also been a Patron to Centrepoint, a charity that supports homeless youths, since 2005, following in the footsteps of his mother who had filled the role from 1992 until her death in 1997. </p> <p>When he took over the role at the age of 23, he told <a rel="noopener" href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1498374/William-becomes-patron-of-the-homeless.html" target="_blank"><em>The Telegraph</em></a>, "My mother introduced that sort of area to me a long time ago. It was a real eye-opener and I am very glad she did. It has been something I have held close to me for a long time."</p> <p>On Thursday, Prince William also visited a number of men’s mental health charities in London, including the 'Future Dads' program run by the charity Future Men where he discussed issues surrounding fatherhood.</p> <p>"Whenever a high-profile royal visits any organisation, they bring the spotlight with them so his visit will naturally be a huge boost for awareness of the issue," royal expert Victoria Murphy told <a href="http://sandhillsexpress.com/abc_world/prince-william-visits-mens-mental-health-charities-in-london-abcid36158055/"><em>ABC News</em></a>.</p> <p>"So public visits, where they speak about and endorse the work of the charities in this area as well as meeting and speaking to people they have helped, are an important part of helping to achieve this."</p>

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