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Embarrassing mistake on Aldi Christmas wrapping

<p>An eagle-eyed mother has left the internet in stitches after spotting an embarrassing spelling mistake on Christmas wrapping paper that was picked up from Aldi.</p> <p>The mother from Queensland said that she wrapped up all of her family’s presents using the wrapping paper, but it was only until she had finished that she realised that a key word was misspelled.</p> <p>She noticed that the word ‘Christmas’ was accidentally spelt as ‘Chirstmas’.</p> <p>The mother shared the mistake in a closed Facebook post, according to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-7793323/Aldi-eagle-eyed-shoppers-spot-embarrassing-spelling-error-Christmas-wrapping-paper.html" target="_blank">The Daily Mail</a></em>.</p> <p>“Did anyone else pick up some wrapping paper from Aldi? Check the spelling,” the mother said.</p> <p>“I wrapped them all before I even noticed. I think my family will find it funny, as I did.”</p> <p>Other shoppers were quick to point out that they’d bought the wrapping paper for their presents.</p> <p>“Oh my God, I didn't even take any notice and I've wrapped a whole heap up,” one woman said as she laughed.</p> <p>However, some were indifferent to the mistake as wrapping paper is only going to get “ripped” at Christmas.</p> <p>“Who cares, it's only going to be ripped open on 'Chirstmas' day,” one said as she laughed over the spelling over Christmas.</p> <p>One joked: “Just use it for the little ones who can't read yet.”</p> <p>Others said that they would specifically seek out the paper just for a joke with their family.</p> <p>“So funny, at least the person getting the presents might have a giggle - it'll be a present to remember,” one said.</p> <p>“I would buy it just for the spelling,” one said.</p> <p>Another said: “Gonna buy it anyway, see if anyone notices.”</p> <p>One said: “Bet you $100... unless you tell them, they won't even notice!”</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see what the spelling mistake on the wrapping paper looks like.</p> <p><em>Photo credits:<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-7793323/Aldi-eagle-eyed-shoppers-spot-embarrassing-spelling-error-Christmas-wrapping-paper.html" target="_blank">The Daily Mail</a></em></p>

Art

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Coming soon: the new Bunnings with a $70 million add on

<p>If being first in line for a Saturday afternoon sausage sizzle has always been a dream of yours, then a new store opening in 2021 will definitely help.</p> <p>Construction has commenced on the site in Doncaster, Victoria, with the hardware store set to open in the second half of 2021.</p> <p>But this one won’t be like any ordinary Bunnings store, because right on top there will be a luxury 183-room, six-floor Mercure hotel, complete with a restaurant, rooftop pool, and fitness centre.</p> <p>The double-storey store will cost $90 million to build while the hotel will cost $70 million.</p> <p>The hardware giant has confirmed that over 180 team members will be employed when the new warehouse opens, with more than 700 people involved in the construction.</p> <p>It will be spread out across 11,000 square metres including two levels of basement parking with 335 spaces, a playground, café and click and collect services.</p> <p>Bunnings acting general manager property Garry James said Bunnings was excited to facilitate in the area.</p> <p>“We identified a need for Bunnings in the Doncaster area and this site provided an opportunity to build something in line with Manningham Council’s vision of Doncaster Hill,” he said.</p> <p>“We are always looking at opportunities to innovate the design of our stores and we have a number of different formats that cater for the local markets where we operate.</p> <p>“There’s no cookie cutter approach – we always assess the local need and what can be achieved in a space, regardless of whether it is 4000 or 20,000 square meters.”</p> <p>Originally, the project was supposed to be a Bunnings-apartment complex hybrid before Manningham Council decided to replace 100 apartments with a hotel, according to the<span> </span><em>Manningham Leader</em>.</p>

Home & Garden

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Over 400 volcanoes scattered across Australia you didn't know existed

<p>Volcano experts said Australia should be better prepared for potential eruptions with hundreds of volcanic centres scattered around the country’s southeast.</p> <p>As work continues to identify the victims of New Zealand’s White Island tragedy, volcanologists warned they do “not know” when an eruption could occur in Australia and there may not be much warning.</p> <p>Experts said despite the slim chances of eruption, Australia is underprepared against the risk.  </p> <p>“I would say that we shouldn’t be overly concerned by the volcanic risk,” volcanic risk expert Christina Magill told the <em><a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08120099.2013.806954">ABC</a></em>.</p> <p>“It is something that should be considered in the emergency management plan for the areas around the volcanic province, because it’s still a possibility.</p> <p>“I think that’s a hazard that we’re not aware of as much here in Australia.”</p> <p>The Newer Volcanics Province stretches 400km between Melbourne and south-east South Australia, and hosts about 400 volcanoes which have erupted in the past 4.5 million years.</p> <p>The area experienced a volcanic eruption about every 12,000 years on average, with the last eruption taking place about 5,000 years ago in the Mount Gambier and Mount Schanck area.</p> <p>However, Macquarie University’s associate professor of volcanology and geochemistry Heather Handley said eruption could take place any time. “We just don’t know – it could be in a few weeks, it could be a month, it could be a few years, it could be thousands of years,” Handley said.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08120099.2013.806954">2013 study</a> from Monash University found that the first warning signs of eruption in the area would have been noticed only up to two days in advance.</p> <p>Handley said Australia could follow from Auckland’s example. “That’s a city that’s a third of New Zealand’s population [and] sits on an active volcanic field,” she said.</p> <p>“They do prepare. They run simulations with military and they work very closely with local governments, and they try to figure out eruption scenarios.”</p>

Domestic Travel

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Kerri-Anne Kennerley accused of “slut-shaming” female colleague on Studio 10

<p><span>Keri-Anne Kennerley has been accused of “slut shaming” a female colleague live on air on </span><em>Studio 10</em><span>.</span></p> <p><span>On Friday morning, </span><em>10 daily</em><span> Senior Reporter Antoinette Latouff was invited on the morning show to take part in a segment on “Millennial Speak” where panelists pondered over whether words such as “woke” and “salty” should be added to the dictionary.</span></p> <p><span>As the segment was finishing up, Kennerley revealed that she prefers calling people directly on the phone rather than texting when she suddenly looked at Ms Latouff’s legs and said, “Did you forget your pants today?”</span></p> <p><em>Studio 10</em><span> co-hosts Natarsha Belling and Joe Hildebrand were completely taken aback by the question with Ms Latouff laughing awkwardly before explaining, “It’s a playsuit”.</span><br /><span></span></p> <p><span>“A playsuit?” repeated Kennerley.</span></p> <p><span>It was then that Angela Bishop lept to Ms Latouff’s defence and said, “And she looks unbelievable!”</span></p> <p><span>Kennerley, who had only learnt the phrase “thirsty” earlier in the segment, then said about Ms Latouff, “And she’s gonna be thirsty”.</span></p> <p><span>Belling then immediately ended the segment. </span></p> <p><span>Viewers at home were stunned by Kennerley’s shocking behavior, taking to Twitter to slam the veteran TV host, with one fan writing: “Maybe KAK should look up the words ‘I’m sorry’ and apologise to her co-host for that unnecessary comment. It was nasty”.</span></p> <p><span>Another wrote: “KAK was so rude”.</span></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Why is Kerri-Anne Kennerley slut shaming her colleague here on <a href="https://twitter.com/Studio10au?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Studio10au</a>? <a href="https://twitter.com/antoinette_news?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@antoinette_news</a> deserves an apology Kerri-Anne needs to finally be put in the bin where she belongs. <a href="https://t.co/JQCfxwZtLh">pic.twitter.com/JQCfxwZtLh</a></p> — Clementine Ford 🧟‍♀️ (@clementine_ford) <a href="https://twitter.com/clementine_ford/status/1205680903445344257?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">14 December 2019</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Asking your colleague if she “forgot her pants” on live television is disgraceful. <a href="https://twitter.com/antoinette_news?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@antoinette_news</a> deserves much, much better from KAK (and so does everyone else).<br /><br />An apology is needed at the absolute bare minimum.</p> — Alex Bruce-Smith (@alexbrucesmith) <a href="https://twitter.com/alexbrucesmith/status/1205689626897203201?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">14 December 2019</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Like, <a href="https://twitter.com/antoinette_news?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@antoinette_news</a> fully got slut-shamed by <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/KAK?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#KAK</a> on live national television and very much this is a sentence I did not think I would be saying on this fine Saturday afternoon but here we are.</p> — Jan Fran (@Jan__Fran) <a href="https://twitter.com/Jan__Fran/status/1205671111771344896?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">14 December 2019</a></blockquote> <p><span>This isn’t the first time Kennerley has come under fire for making inappropriate comments, with the 66-year-old being a part of a string of controversies throughout the year. </span></p>

TV

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“Terrifying”: Qantas plane passengers evacuated after smoke filled cabin

<p>Passengers on a Qantas flight was forced to evacuate through slides at Sydney Airport after smoke and “burning” smell filled the cabin.</p> <p>The airline’s spokesperson said the Sydney to Perth flight QF575 on Sunday morning was forced to turn around 20 minutes into the flight due to hydraulic issues.</p> <p>Passengers told the <em><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-15/qantas-plane-evacuated-at-sydney-airport-due-to-smoke-in-cabin/11801034">ABC</a> </em>the plane was on the tarmac after landing when smoke began to fill the cabin.</p> <p>“We were on the runway waiting to be towed in and we started to smell burning,” passenger Dillon Parker said.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Just had to evacuate my flight to Perth after engineering issues. Everyone had to exit the plane via slide onto Sydney tarmac after the cabin filled with smoke and the captain screamed evacuate. Terrifying.</p> — Ally Kemp (@politic_ally) <a href="https://twitter.com/politic_ally/status/1205992177903366144?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 14, 2019</a></blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/Qantas?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Qantas</a> flight <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/QF575?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#QF575</a> mid-flight hydraulic issue, landed back in Sydney, smoke in cabin, passengers told to evacuate, flight crew could not taxi correctly after landing due to hydraulic issues, slides activated. <br />Brother was on flight. <a href="https://twitter.com/SevenPerth?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SevenPerth</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Channel7?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Channel7</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/abcnews?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@abcnews</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/9NewsSyd?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@9NewsSyd</a> <a href="https://t.co/SzrzhbcxDh">pic.twitter.com/SzrzhbcxDh</a></p> — Richo Hannington (@RichoHannington) <a href="https://twitter.com/RichoHannington/status/1205992556380639232?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 14, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>The flight took off from Sydney Airport at around 8.45am (AEDT) and returned before 9.30am.</p> <p>The Airbus A330 was unable to taxi upon landing and had to be towed to the gate.</p> <p>The Qantas spokesperson told <em><a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/terrifying-incident-leads-to-qantas-flight-delays-011242798.html">Yahoo News Australia</a> </em>the flight did not require an emergency landing.</p> <p>“Once back at the gate, the captain made the decision to evacuate the aircraft as a precaution and three emergency slides were deployed,” the spokesperson said. “Passengers were evacuated through both the slides and normal exits.”</p> <p>Qantas Fleet safety captain Debbie Slade said some of the passengers may have had “itchy eyes” or a “scratchy throat” from exposure to the hydraulic fluid leak.</p> <p>“The crew did a great job of putting their training into action and following the procedures for a set of circumstances like this,” Slade said.</p> <p>“We’ll investigate exactly what happened, including liaising with Airbus, before this aircraft is returned to service.”</p> <p>Slade said what appeared to be smoke might have been “mist from the hydraulic system”.</p> <p>Some people said they sustained injuries to their arms and legs as they were exiting the aircraft.</p> <p>NSW Ambulance said “all patients had been evacuated” with one passenger being taken to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital for “minor injuries”.</p> <p>Qantas said it would assist the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau in its investigation.</p> <p>“Qantas is providing support to customers on the affected flight and managing some delays to other flights that occurred as a result of this incident,” the airline said.</p> <p>“The airline extends its thanks to all customers for their patience and understanding.”</p>

Travel Trouble

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Bob Hawke's widow responds to Rosslyn Dillon's rape claims

<p>Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke’s widow Blanche d’Alpuget says that she “didn’t know anything” about shocking claims that Hawke told his daughter not to report an alleged rape as it would negatively impact his career.</p> <p>Rosslyn Dillon alleged in an affidavit that she was raped by Labor MP Bill Landeryou in the 1980s and Hawke covered it up to protect his career.</p> <p>As neither man can defend the allegations due to their passing, it is up to Hawke’s widow to defend her former husband.</p> <p>“I didn't know anything, and I can't say anything,” Ms d'Alpuge said at the launch for her revised book 'Bob Hawke: The Complete Biography' in Sydney's north shore on Sunday,<em> <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/blanche-dalpuget-says-she-knew-nothing-of-bob-hawke-daughters-rape-claims/news-story/7b6a25cc09e07735ed6a070a4c829592" target="_blank">The Australian</a></em> reported. </p> <p>“I don't know what she said.”</p> <p>The 75 year old added that she had been advised by her lawyers to not comment on the incident.</p> <p>She also referred to advice from her lawyers when she was questioned about Rosslyn Dillon’s request for claims to the Hawke estate.</p> <p>D'Alpuget said she is worried about her late husband’s daughter after the death of Hawke earlier this year.</p> <p>“I am very concerned that Rosslyn is grieving so much, I really feel for her,” she said.</p> <p>Rosslyn claims that when she told her father of the allegations in the 1980s, he said “You can’t go to the police”, according to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/12/07/hawke-daughter-rape-legal/" target="_blank">The New Daily</a>.</em></p> <p>“You can't go to the police. You can't. I can't have any controversies right now. I am sorry but I am challenging for the leadership of the Labor Party,” Hawke is alleged to have said.</p> <p>Rosslyn said that she was “shocked and hurt that her father asked this of me” in the 25-page affidavit.</p> <p>“I thought to myself I could not make any bigger sacrifice to the (my father’s) political career if I had tried,'' the affidavit continues.</p> <p>"He asked me to let the matter go for him and I did so for him.</p> <p>"I am still haunted by the sexual assaults. I feel that I may have had a chance to get over these rapes if I was able to report the incidents to police."</p>

News

News

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White Island volcano eruption: Risky recovery operation begins

<p><span>A New Zealand military team has landed on the volcanic White Island to recover the bodies of eight people killed in Monday’s eruption, the police announced on Friday morning.</span></p> <p><span>The eight-member NZ Defence Force team has arrived on Whakaari/White Island to airlift the bodies off to the naval ship HMNZS Wellington.</span></p> <p><span>Located about 50 kilometres off the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, the White Island is still “highly volatile” with 50 to 60 per cent chance of erupting in the next 24 hours, geological agency GNS Science said <a href="https://www.gns.cri.nz/Home/News-and-Events/Media-Releases/GNS-Science-maps-show-risk-levels-at-Whakaari-White-Island-still-high-12-12-2019">on Thursday</a>.</span></p> <p><span>“Whakaari/White Island is an active volcano, and the estimated chance of an eruption is increasing every day,” said the agency’s volcanologist Graham Leonard.</span></p> <p><span>“This level of volcanic activity is the highest we’ve seen since the eruption in 2016.”</span></p> <p><span>Six Australians are believed to be among the victims on the island: Karla Matthews and Richard Elzer from Coffs Harbour; Julie and Jessica Richards from Brisbane; Zoe Hosking from Adelaide; and Krystal Browitt from Melbourne.</span></p> <p><span>There were 47 people on the island at the time of eruption. Twenty-four of those were from Australia, nine from the United States, five from New Zealand, four from Germany, two each from China and Britain, and one from Malaysia.</span></p> <p><span>Police said on Thursday two people who were hospitalised from injuries sustained during the eruption had died, bringing the official death toll to eight. Police believe a total of 16 people have died.</span></p> <p><span>New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told ABC Radio National on Friday morning the country’s workplace health and safety regulator WorkSafe was <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2019/dec/12/new-zealand-volcano-eruption-white-island-nz-police-victim-recovery-retrieval-operation-whakaari-live-news-latest-updates">investigating the circumstances</a> around the eruption.</span></p> <p><span>“I’m passing no judgement,” she said. “I need that job to be done properly and [families and the community] deserve to have their questions answered.”</span></p>

News

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“Chill Greta!”: Greta Thunberg’s cheeky response to Donald Trump after Twitter mock

<p><span>US President Donald Trump seemed to have mocked Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg after <em>Time</em> magazine named her 2019’s Person of the Year – only for her to respond with a tongue-in-cheek jibe of her own.</span></p> <p>The 16-year-old climate change activist was recently announced as the youngest ever recipient of the magazine’s prestigious honour.</p> <p>But Trump wasn’t impressed, taking to Twitter to describe it as “so ridiculous”.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">So ridiculous. Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill! <a href="https://t.co/M8ZtS8okzE">https://t.co/M8ZtS8okzE</a></p> — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1205100602025545730?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 12, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>“Greta must work on her anger management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend,” he said.</p> <p>“Chill Greta, chill!”</p> <p>Hours after the President tweeted that message, Thunberg delivered a cheeky response by changing her Twitter bio to: “A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend.”</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 238.9830508474576px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7833395/screen-shot-2019-12-13-at-92048-am.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/2007e787dc5f4f94b0a337e7e5448e37" /></p> <p>The comments are not the first time Trump has mocked the teenager.</p> <p>The President has previously questioned the climate science Thunberg consistently refers to in speeches to world leaders and has challenged every major US regulation aimed at combating climate change.</p> <p>Earlier in the year, he retweeted footage of her UN speech in a big to mock her as he wrote: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”</p> <p>After that address, he was filmed walking past Thunberg at the summit, completely ignoring her. </p>

News

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Cruise ship heartache: Little Chloe’s next step for justice

<p>The parents of a child who plunged to her death after suffering a 46-metre fall from a cruise ship window are suing for millions as they release the chilling picture of where she died.</p> <p>The toddler, Chloe Wiegand was in the hands of her grandad near to a window when she slipped.</p> <p>However, her heart-stricken family insist the blame lies with the “negligent” cruise line, which they are reportedly launching legal action against.</p> <p>The heartbreaking photograph taken of the tent covering the part of the deck that Alan and Kimberly Schultz’s baby girl died, was taken by a criminal investigator and is now being used in a negligence suit.</p> <p>They are reportedly accusing Royal Caribbean of breaching safety protocols and standards.</p> <p>The snap shows the view which Chloe’s grandad Salvatore “Sam” Anello had been balancing Chloe when he slipped and fell while the ship was docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico.</p> <p>It also shows a partial space between the wooden railing that Mr Anello held his granddaughter and a large, glass window that could be completely opened.</p> <p>Mr Anello is facing up to six years behind bars after he was charged with criminal neglect – however Chloe’s parents are adamant the blame lies in the hands of the cruise ship.</p> <p>Mr and Mrs Schultz are sticking by their daughter’s grandfather, insisting nothing is worse than “what has already happened”.</p> <p>The family have reportedly filed a suit against Royal Caribbean to figure out why the 11th storey window was allegedly left open.</p> <p>It is reported the family will receive “unlimited” damages for “pain and mental suffering” if their claim is successful, as Chloe died on American soil and not in the high seas.</p> <p>The grieving family’s lawyer say it will be impossible to “put a figure” on their grief however, saying “four simple words – caution these windows open – and we wouldn’t be talking about his.</p> <p>“A sticker, a decal with the Royal Caribbean logo, anything, and Chloe is still with us.”</p> <p>The family will claim in court that little Chloe was being “closely supervised” by her granddad at the time of her death.</p> <p>They will further maintain Mr Anello was “unaware” one of the large panes of glass surrounding the ship’s 11th floor had been slid open when he carried his granddaughter over to the railings.</p> <p>The case alleges the window was the only one open “among dozens” and there was no clear indication that it had been opened.</p> <p>The lawsuit also claims there was a 46 cm gap between the wooden railing and the open window, which made it even more difficult for a horrified Mr Anello to reach over and grasp for his toddler as she plunged to her death.</p> <p>They also allege that Mr Anello being colourblind made hard for him to differentiate between the glass and the open window.</p> <p>Chloe’s family have insisted the toddler liked to bang on glass, just as she did when at her brother’s hockey games – which is why her grandad had sat her on the wooden railing.</p> <p>In November, it was reported there is video evidence that supports the grieving family’s claim that Mr Anello was unaware the window was open – a potential bombshell for both the case against her distraught grandad and the family’s Royal Caribbean suit.</p> <p>Royal Caribbean has refused to comment further but described Chloe’s death as a “tragic incident”.</p>

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Desperate request from White Island volcano victim’s brother denied by NZ PM

<p>The heartbroken brother of the White Island volcano eruption victim has written to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern asking if he could stage his own recovery operation of his sibling’s body.</p> <p>Mark Inman’s brother Hayden Marshall-Inman was the first victim named from the horrific eruption that has also killed seven other Australians with ten others missing or feared dead.</p> <p>Hayden worked as a tour guide on the island and was described as an “energetic young man” who would regularly leave $5 at the local shop for those who needed it for groceries.</p> <p>Mark met the New Zealand Prime Minister after the disaster and sent her an email inquiring about staging his own recovery of his brother’s body.</p> <p>New Zealand police currently say that conditions are too dangerous for emergency services to access the island at present.</p> <p>The email that Mark sent to Ardern reads:</p> <p>"We met yesterday concerning my brother Hayden who is still on White Island 44 hours after the explosions," he wrote, in an email shared with New Zealand's version of<span> </span><em>The Project</em>.</p> <p>"With the current conditions of sunshine baking and decomposing his body, he's going from a situation where we could have an open casket to now more likely not having a body at all – due to your government's red tape and slow decision making."</p> <p>"I am writing to ask for a pardon for my actions of a personal recovery."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Here is Mark Inman's letter to <a href="https://twitter.com/jacindaardern?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jacindaardern</a>, requesting a pardon should he attempt a personal recovery of his brother's body <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheProjectNZ?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheProjectNZ</a> <a href="https://t.co/jLejGDL2W8">pic.twitter.com/jLejGDL2W8</a></p> — The Project NZ (@TheProject_NZ) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheProject_NZ/status/1204648066747224064?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 11, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Staff from Ardern’s office said the message was passed onto police minister Stuart Nash and acknowledging that this must be an “incredibly tough time for you”.</p> <p>"It must be an incredibly tough time for you and your whanau (family). We have passed your email to the Minister of Police's office who will be in touch with you about the situation very soon,” the email said.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">And the response: <a href="https://t.co/8UZ5NGslw8">pic.twitter.com/8UZ5NGslw8</a></p> — The Project NZ (@TheProject_NZ) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheProject_NZ/status/1204648083415433217?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 11, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Police minister Nash then confirmed that Mark’s request to go to the volcano had been denied.</p> <p>"The last thing we want to do is to have further casualties in what is already a significant tragedy," Nash said without mentioning Mr Inman by name.</p> <p>"We won't give anyone permission to go to the island, we need to understand the risk then we can work to mitigate the chances of anyone else being injured in this.</p> <p>"The last thing we want to do is for people to risk their lives to go out to the island."</p> <p>He also said the request was "foolhardy, but I understand, out of frustration when in fact all they will be doing is putting themselves in greater harm."</p> <p>Mark told the New Zealand version of<span> </span><em>The Project<span> </span></em>that a pilot had seen his brother’s body and moved it onto a rise on the island.</p> <p>"We all know health and safety is important, but when health and safety starts to become a barrier to retrieval, that's when you get frustrated," Mr Inman said.</p>

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How much the Queen spends on Christmas gifts

<p><span>Think you spend a lot on Christmas presents? Well it’s nothing compared to the Queen.</span></p> <p>The head of the monarch is said to buy 620 gifts for staff and family annually, with the final bill totalling close to $58,000 according to a former palace aide.</p> <p>Speaking to<span> </span><em>Fabulous Digital</em>, the aide said up to two weeks before Christmas, the Deputy Master of the Household, instructs the staff, from equerries to maids, from accountants to footmen, to go to one of the state rooms at Buckingham Palace.</p> <p>They said: “Here they line up to receive a wrapped gift from the Queen, and she says a few words to each of them – usually something like ‘Thank you so much for all your help during the year, followed by Happy Christmas’.</p> <p>“If the staff are not able to be there on the specified days – they may be a ghillie working at Balmoral for example – the Household makes sure they are sent to them, along with a card from HM.</p> <p>“The presents are usually a book token or a small piece of china from the palace gift shop, and most years she gives them a small Christmas pudding in a box as well.”</p> <p>According to the Royal Household website, 1500 Christmas puddings are sent out to palace staff, workers in the Court Post Office and palace police. These are paid for through the Privy purse.</p> <p>The aide added: “An equerry will be standing beside her with a list, from which he will quietly whisper the name of each recipient as they step forward, just as they would at a palace investiture ceremony.”</p> <p>The aide also revealed that the Queen would have a personal shopping session from Harrods in her home before the holiday period.</p> <p>They said: “The gifts are all chosen online by two women in HM’s private secretary’s office now, but until fairly recently, the Queen used to be able to go on a shopping spree of her own when chosen stores – principally Harrods and Fortnums – would send vanloads of stuff for her to look at.</p> <p>“All the items were put on display on tables in two big room at Buckingham Palace.</p> <p>“It was like her very own royal shopping mall. But it’s not done now, it’s one of those things that she doesn’t really need to expend her energy on as she gets older.”</p>

International Travel

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“Stupid” driver slammed after high speed takeover ends in brutal crash

<p>A 4WD driver towing a large boat who lost control of his vehicle while attempting to overtake a car at dangerously high speed has been criticised by commenters online.</p> <p>Footage shows the 4WD speeding past two cars on a single lane highway at Braidwood in NSW, attempting to overtake them both, before the vehicle and the boat attached to it begin to dangerously spiral.</p> <p>It didn’t take long for the car to lose its bearings, as it rolled onto the road and came to a stop.</p> <p>The crash, which took place on Braidwood Road, was captured on dashcam and shared by popular group Dash Cam Owners Australia on YouTube yesterday.</p> <p>The controversial video was watched by thousands of people, most of them surprised at the motorist's reckless behaviour.</p> <p>One commenter said the driver was “crazy level stupid” while others said it was just “lucky he didn’t take another’s life, or his own”.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FDashCamOwnersAustralia%2Fvideos%2F1004976733228474%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></p> <p>“Laid waste to everything he owns showin’ off to his mate,” one user commented.</p> <p>"We have all done stupid things while driving at some point in our lives, but it's the level of stupid that is the topic of discussion here," one YouTube user commented.</p> <p>"Why would you overtake two cars at high speed with a boat on a trailer behind you? He should have just kicked back, turned the music up and enjoyed the scenery.</p> <p>"Would have gotten to his destination quickly enough and his car and boat would have been in one piece each, not scattered across the road in thousands of pieces."</p> <p>"Well at least he got in front, that should save him some time," one commenter said sarcastically.</p> <p>The video revealed that the driver was lucky enough to escape without a scratch. </p>

Travel Trouble

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New footage shows panicked moments after White Island eruption

<p><span>A new video shows tourists taking pictures at White Island in gas masks minutes before the crater exploded in an eruption that killed at least eight people.</span></p> <p><span>The 12-minute clip published on Thursday morning by Allessandro Kauffmann shows smokes coming out of the volcano before he and other visitors are urged to go into the boat.</span></p> <p><span>The video began with passengers motoring out to the island. They were then shown walking towards the crater and taking selfies in gas masks and helmets.</span></p> <p><span>“You may need to use your mask up there, OK? If you do get engulfed by the steam, basically turn your back to it and, if you need to, you can just crouch down,” a guide could be heard instructing the tourists.</span></p> <p><span>The tourists had finished the trip and returned to the boat when the footage showed them watching ashes from the eruption clouding the view of the island.</span></p> <p><span>“Go, go, go, go, please,” one passenger said.</span></p> <p><span>“We’ve got to get out of here,” one yelled.</span></p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qpKUw42H59M"></iframe></div> <p><span>Kauffmann wrote on <a href="https://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-updates/incidents/chilling-footage-from-day-of-white-island-eruption-released/news-story/74fabc8e6788de0fc473eb58e1796112">Instagram</a> that they had only left the island five minutes prior to the eruption.</span></p> <p><span>“Two tours on the volcano. Ours was the first. The other one right after … This other tour that arrived after couldn’t leave in time.”</span></p> <p><span>The video has been deleted since, but copies have been uploaded to Youtube and other sites.</span></p> <p><span>There were 47 people on the island when the eruption occurred.</span></p>

Travel Trouble

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Bulk cancelled flights as new Jetstar strike details emerge

<p>A number of ground staff working for Jetstar have begun to stop doing their duties and will continue to do so throughout Friday in airports around Australia. </p> <p>More than 100 flights will be cancelled due to strikes about to take place throughout the weekend, just a little less than three weeks until Christmas. </p> <p>The budget airline's unruly disruption comes after it refused demands by workers for minimum job hours, pay increases and a number of safety improvements. </p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 245.96774193548384px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/45106/jetstar-hero.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/cf96704cc68446e48177d1069ef7a758" /></p> <p>Around 250 Jetstar ground staff and baggage handlers will stop working during peak departure and arrival periods in Sydney, Melbourne (Tullamarine and Avalon), Brisbane, Cairns and Adelaide airports. </p> <p>Jetstar have confirmed  at least 80 per cent of its flights will continue to operate as scheduled over the weekend however, close to 100 flights will be cancelled on Saturday and Sunday.</p> <p>“Overall, Jetstar will cancel 44 services on Saturday, 14 December and 46 services on Sunday, 15 December, and Jetstar will contact impacted customers from today. On average Jetstar operates about 370 flights a day,” Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans said.</p> <p>“We expect to get 95 per cent of our customers on their way on the same day.</p> <p>“Any customers travelling from 13 December to 20 December can also request a full refund prior to flying.”</p> <p>Australian Federation of Air Pilots members are set to walk off the job for four hours on Saturday and Sunday following failed conversations around stalled wage negotiations. </p> <p>It is the first time Jetstar pilots have taken protected industrial action since the airline first started flying 15 years ago. </p> <p>Mr Evans said the strike would have an impact on passengers from Friday; however, the airline says it will not buckle “at any cost”.</p> <p>“We know the union’s actions are creating uncertainty for travellers,” he said.</p> <p>“We remain committed to reaching a new agreement to support the great work our people do every day but not at any cost.”</p> <p>Three days of strikes comes after the budget Australian airline rejected employee’s demands for pay increases, minimum hours on the job and numerous safety improvements.</p> <p>Transport Workers Union (TWU) leaders told the company about the planned stoppages after a majority of its members voted to launch protected industrial action.</p> <p>TWU national secretary Michael Kaine said Jetstar needed to justify why it had rejected its worker’s “modest” requests.</p> <p>“Jetstar won’t listen when these workers say to them that they simply can’t survive on 20 hours of work a week … when they make sure Jetstar knows they are on the lowest pay in the industry,” Mr Kaine said.</p> <p>“They are finding it harder and harder to support their families, and Jetstar won’t listen when these workers repeatedly say that their jobs are not safe because there are too few workers lugging around thousands and thousands of kilos of baggage and having to service overlapping aircraft.”</p> <p>Employees at Melbourne Airport will strike from 9.30 am to 11.30 am and again from 4 pm to 6pm.</p> <p>In Sydney, staff will walk off the job between 5.30 am to 7.30 am and 5.30 pm to 7.30pm.</p> <p>In Brisbane and Adelaide there will be a strike from 6 am to 8 am and 6 pm to 8pm.</p> <p>It is understood passengers impacted by cancellations will be notified by the airline today.</p>

Domestic Travel

Health

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Teachers saved student’s life after highly venomous snake bite

<p><span>Teachers of a Victorian primary school have been credited with saving the life of a 12-year-old student who was bitten twice by one of the world’s most venomous snakes.</span></p> <p><span>Deakin Hawke from West Gippsland was on a week-long school excursion to Canberra in October when he was attacked by an eastern brown snake, considered <a href="https://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/science-environment/2012/07/australias-10-most-dangerous-snakes/">the world’s second most toxic land snake</a>.</span></p> <p><span>Within ten minutes of being bitten in the leg, the boy collapsed and stopped breathing.</span></p> <p><span>Teacher Candie Ell If-Williams told <em><a href="https://7news.com.au/sunrise/on-the-show/teachers-quick-thinking-saves-student-after-deadly-snake-bite-on-school-camp-c-601494">Sunrise</a> </em>that she “went into autopilot” and applied a pressure immobilisation bandage to the leg to slow the venom from spreading while another began CPR. </span></p> <p><span>School principal Brad Wheller said he also took a photo of the snake for identification. “That’s when we made a call to 000,” he said.</span></p> <p><span>Hawke was rushed to a hospital and made a full recovery. Natalie Sindrey of St John Ambulance said the 12-year-old might not have survived had it not been for the first aid medical treatment from his teachers.</span></p> <p><span>“Straight after the bite they did an amazing job at doing the resuscitation, which is what they needed to do to keep him alive,” Sindrey told <em><a href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/teachers-save-students-life-after-deadly-snake-bite-during-camp-032807885.html">Sunrise</a></em>.</span></p> <p><span>According to <a href="https://www.flyingdoctor.org.au/about-the-rfds/stories/outback-survival-snakes-and-snakebites/">Royal Flying Doctor Service</a>, there are around 3,000 snakebites in Australia every year, with 550 hospitalisations.</span></p> <p><span>“Snakebite first aid can be very effective if done quickly,” the organisation said. “Bandage and immobilise the bite area and dial 000 for help immediately.”</span></p>

Caring

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Ex-MasterChef judge Matt Preston reveals dramatic weight loss

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Matt Preston has shown his <em>MasterChef</em> sabbatical has done wonders for his figure and has shared on social media his dramatic weight loss.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 58-year-old food critic admitted while chatting with</span><em><a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/sydney-confidential/matt-preston-exmasterchef-judge-reveals-incredible-weight-loss/news-story/85356d0fa7d2d7173d71bc0e25a1d2ab"> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Sydney Confidential</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> that he had “dropped a bit of weight and put on a bit of muscle”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Preston revealed his transformation included overhauling his diet in a “general lifestyle change”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’ve been eating less, mainly plants but not restricting myself from anything. It is about having time, that moment when there are no more excuses,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While the British-born TV star is a self-proclaimed moderate eater in order to maintain his newfound figure, he admitted he is still going to treat himself to an “occasional” burger or pizza.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While he hasn’t revealed just how much weight he has lost – with no intention to do so in the near future either – Preston says he measures his weight success against different sighs, such as “if people notice and whether your clothes fit”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Logie Award winner is gearing up to begin filming for his new show he will be co-hosting, Channel 7’s </span><span style="font-weight: 400;"><em>Plate of Origin</em>, </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">in 2020.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Viewers will see Preston reunite with fellow former </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">MasterChef</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> judge Gary Mehigan.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, Matt and Gary’s old colleague George Calombaris has remained noticeably absent from the program which will see a team of cooks from different cultural backgrounds battle it out for the top prize.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Plate of Origin</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> is expected to hit TV screens after the Tokyo Olympics wraps up in early August 2020.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Season 12 of </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">MasterChef Australia</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> will feature a new judging line up that includes Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong and Andy Allen.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Scroll through the gallery to see former <em>MasterChef</em> star Matt Preston’s dramatic weight loss. </span></p>

Body

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Why it can be hard to stop eating even when you're full

<p>All foods are not created equal. Most are palatable, or tasty to eat, which is helpful because we need to eat to survive. For example, a fresh apple is palatable to most people and provides vital nutrients and calories.</p> <p>But certain foods, such as pizza, potato chips and chocolate chip cookies, are almost irresistible. They’re always in demand at parties, and they’re easy to keep eating, even when we are full.</p> <p>In these foods, a synergy between key ingredients can create an artificially enhanced palatability experience that is greater than any key ingredient would produce alone. Researchers call this <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.22639">hyperpalatability</a>. Eaters call it delicious.</p> <p>Initial studies suggest that foods with two or more key ingredients linked to palatability – specifically, sugar, salt, fat or carbohydrates – can activate brain-reward neurocircuits similarly to drugs like <a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.2519">cocaine</a> or <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-789X.2012.01031.x">opioids</a>. They may also be able to bypass mechanisms in our bodies that make us feel full and tell us to stop eating.</p> <p>Our research focuses on <a href="https://fazzinolab.drupal.ku.edu/publications">rewarding foods</a>, <a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=odLm9LkAAAAJ&amp;hl=en">addictive behaviors and obesity</a>. We recently published a study with nutritional scientist <a href="http://www.kumc.edu/school-of-health-professions/dietetics-and-nutrition/our-people/sullivan.html">Debra Sullivan</a> that identifies <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.22639">three clusters of key ingredients</a> that can make foods hyperpalatable. Using those definitions, we estimated that nearly two-thirds of foods widely consumed in the U.S. fall into at least one of those three groups.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/aCUbvOwwfWM?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="caption">Documentaries like “Fed Up’ (2014) have linked obesity to food industry practices and American eating habits.</span></p> <h2>Cracking the codes</h2> <p>Foods that are highly rewarding, easily accessible and cheap are everywhere in our society. Unsurprisingly, eating them has been <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.12.002">associated with obesity</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://fedupmovie.com/#/page/home">Documentaries</a> in the last 15-20 years have reported that food companies have developed formulas to make palatable foods so enticing. However, manufacturers typically guard their recipes as trade secrets, so academic scientists can’t study them.</p> <p>Instead, researchers have used descriptive definitions to capture what makes some foods hyperpalatable. For example, in his 2012 book ”<a href="https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781596438316">Your Food Is Fooling You: How Your Brain Is Hijacked by Sugar, Fat, and Salt</a>,“ <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_A._Kessler">David Kessler</a>, former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), wrote:</p> <blockquote> <p>"What are these foods? …. Some are sweetened drinks, chips, cookies, candy, and other snack foods. Then, of course, there are fast food meals – fried chicken, pizza, burgers, and fries.”</p> </blockquote> <p>But these definitions are not standardized, so it is hard to compare results across studies. And they fail to identify the relevant ingredients. Our study sought to establish a quantitative definition of hyperpalatable foods and then use it to determine how prevalent these foods are in the U.S.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/305478/original/file-20191205-38993-1imt92a.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/305478/original/file-20191205-38993-1imt92a.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">In 2018, 31% of U.S. adults aged 18 and over were obese.</span> <span class="attribution"><a href="https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/downloads/2018-overall-obesity-prevalence-map-508.pdf" class="source">CDC</a></span></p> <h2>Three key clusters</h2> <p>We conducted our work in two parts. First we carried out a literature search to identify scientific articles that used descriptive definitions of the full range of palatable foods. We entered these foods into standardized nutrition software to obtain detailed data on the nutrients they contained.</p> <p>Next we used a graphing procedure to determine whether certain foods appeared to cluster together. We then used the clusters to inform our numeric definition. We found that hyperpalatable foods fell into three distinct clusters:</p> <p>– Fat and sodium, with more than 25% of total calories (abbreviated as kcal) from fat and at least 0.30% sodium per gram per serving. Bacon and pizza are examples.</p> <p>– Fat and simple sugars, with more than 20% kcal from fat and more than 20% kcal from simple sugars. Cake is an example.</p> <p>– Carbohydrates and sodium, with over 40% kcal from carbohydrates and at least 0.20% sodium per gram per serving. Buttered popcorn is an example.</p> <p>Then we applied our definition to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s <a href="https://data.nal.usda.gov/dataset/food-and-nutrient-database-dietary-studies-fndds">Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies</a>, or FNDDS, which catalogs foods that Americans report eating in a <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes/about_nhanes.htm">biennial federal survey on nutrition and health</a>. The database contained 7,757 food items that we used in our analysis.</p> <p>Over 60% of these foods met our criteria for hyperpalatability. Among them, 70% were in the fat/sodium cluster, including many meats, meat-based dishes, omelets and cheese dips. Another 25% fell into the fat/simple sugars cluster, which included sweets and desserts, but also foods such as glazed carrots and other vegetables cooked with fat and sugar.</p> <p>Finally, 16% were in the carbohydrate/sodium cluster, which consisted of carbohydrate-dense meal items like pizza, plus breads, cereals and snack foods. Fewer than 10% of foods fell into multiple clusters.</p> <p>We also looked at which of the USDA’s food categories contained the most hyperpalatable foods. Over 70% of meats, eggs and grain-based foods in the FNDDS met our criteria for hyperpalatability. We were surprised to find that 49% of foods labeled as containing “reduced,” “low”, or zero levels of sugar, fat, salt and/or calories qualified as hyperpalatable.</p> <p>Finally, we considered whether our definition captured what we hypothesized it would capture. It identified more than 85% of foods labeled as fast or fried, as well as sweets and desserts. Conversely, it did not capture foods that we hypothesized were not hyperpalatable, such as raw fruits, meats or fish, or 97% of raw vegetables.</p> <h2>Tackling obesity</h2> <p>If scientific evidence supporting our proposed definition of hyperpalatable foods accumulates, and it shows that our definition is associated with overeating and obesity-related outcomes, our findings could be used in several ways.</p> <p>First, the FDA could require hyperpalatable foods to be labeled – an approach that would alert consumers to what they may be eating while preserving consumer choice. The agency also could regulate or limit specific combinations of ingredients, as a way to reduce the chance of people finding foods that contain them difficult to stop eating.</p> <p>Consumers also could consider the role of hyperpalatable foods in their own lives. Our team needs to do further work validating our definition before we translate it for the public, but as a first step, individuals can examine whether the foods they eat contain multiple ingredients such as fat and sodium, particularly at high levels. Recent surveys show increased interest among U.S. consumers in <a href="https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/article/2019/what-food-related-causes-do-us-consumers-care-about-today/">making informed food choices</a>, although they often <a href="https://foodinsight.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/2018-FHS-Report-FINAL.pdf">aren’t sure which sources to trust</a>.</p> <p>One starting point for people concerned about healthy eating is to consume foods that are unlikely to be hyperpalatable – items that occur naturally and have few or no additional ingredients, such as fresh fruit. As food writer Michael Pollan <a href="https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/305288/food-rules-by-michael-pollan/">recommends</a>, “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”<img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/126729/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tera-fazzino-882302">Tera Fazzino</a>, Assistant Professor of Psychology; Associate Director of the Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research and Treatment, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-kansas-1588">University of Kansas</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kaitlyn-rohde-887872">Kaitlyn Rohde</a>, Research Assistant, Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research and Treatment., <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-kansas-1588">University of Kansas</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-it-can-be-hard-to-stop-eating-even-when-youre-full-some-foods-may-be-designed-that-way-126729">original article</a>.</em></p>

Body

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Here's a mental health workout that's as simple as ABC

<p>While we take physical workouts very seriously, there is much less said about the “workouts” that help us remain mentally agile and healthy. But just as with physical health, there are simple and practical ways that can help everyone to enjoy good mental health.</p> <p><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0531556516306167">Our research</a> has led us to a method for promoting mental health and wellbeing within communities, which follows a simple model that can be adopted by anyone.</p> <p>An earlier study showed that <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14623730.2017.1290540">people intuitively know</a> what enhances their mental health, but they don’t think about it on a daily basis. Unlike their physical health, people rarely consider what they could or should be doing for their mental health.</p> <p>At present, the <a href="http://www.who.int/mental_health/publications/action_plan/en/">focus</a> in mental health campaigns is on treatment for mental disorders, the removal of stigma from talking about mental health problems, early intervention and the reduction of risk factors which lead to illness.</p> <p>But the burden of mental illness continues to rise – it is thought that an estimated 50% of people in <a href="https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/sites/health_glance-2017-en/1/2/3/7/index.html?itemId=/content/publication/health_glance-2017-en&amp;_csp_=980fcbc145e1f57ab4011c6cda9e970d#sect-39">OECD countries</a> will experience mental illness in their lifetime, so there is a <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(18)30057-9/fulltext">need</a> to raise awareness in communities and to promote simple and practical steps to achieving and maintaining good mental health.</p> <p>By building on research into what people can do to improve their mental health, we have developed an “ABC” model that can be easily adopted in everyday life. Known as “Act-Belong-Commit”, the approach promotes keeping active, building stronger relationships with friends, family and community groups, and committing to hobbies, challenges and meaningful causes. Together they constitute a simple “do-it-yourself” approach to enhancing mental health.</p> <p>By encouraging people to follow these principles, as well as collaborating with community groups that offer activities and opportunities for social participation, the method – currently implemented in <a href="https://www.actbelongcommit.org.au/">Australia</a> and <a href="http://www.abcmentalsundhed.dk/">Denmark</a> – seeks to bring about long-term benefits to mental health in populations.</p> <h2>Act</h2> <blockquote> <p>Keep alert and engaged by keeping mentally, socially, spiritually and physically active.</p> </blockquote> <p>Research has credited a lifestyle with plenty of activities outside work as fostering <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/ageing-and-society/article/critical-review-of-the-literature-on-social-and-leisure-activity-and-wellbeing-in-later-life/2F2A22FDE0F28D435F56D6E69B25FF9E">positive emotions</a> and <a href="https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa022252">protecting our brains</a> from decline. An active mind and body, particularly in the company of others, can be naturally rewarding and a healthy alternative to worrying, overthinking or engaging in substance use.</p> <h2>Belong</h2> <blockquote> <p>Develop a strong sense of belonging by keeping up friendships, joining groups, and participating in community activities.</p> </blockquote> <p>Research has shown that our relationships with one another are fundamental to mental health in terms of <a href="http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1088868314523839">providing a sense of identity</a>, acting as a source of <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10865-006-9056-5">support</a>, and being an important <a href="http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0022146510395592?journalCode=hsbb">coping resource</a> for dealing with <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/srep25267">pain</a>, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1348/014466605X37468">stress</a> and difficult life events.</p> <h2>Commit</h2> <blockquote> <p>Do things that provide meaning and purpose in life like taking up challenges, supporting a good cause and helping others.</p> </blockquote> <p>A sense of meaning and purpose is vital to our well-being and has been shown to help extend our <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(13)61489-0/abstract">lives</a> and maintain a <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40473-016-0096-z">healthy brain</a>. Committing to a hobby, a challenge, a good cause or <a href="https://escholarship.org/uc/item/7pf57270">helping others</a> can all boost feelings of self-worth and protect against feelings of <a href="http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2014-35224-001">hopelessness and worthlessness</a>.</p> <p>Participating socially and contributing to the community can <a href="https://academic.oup.com/psychsocgerontology/article-abstract/73/3/522/4079956?redirectedFrom=fulltext">preserve brain function</a>, promote thoughts of “<a href="http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/002214650704800408">making a difference</a>” and reduce feelings which aren’t helpful for well-being, such as <a href="http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0146167296223006">self-centredness</a>.</p> <p>To show that these principles promote and protect mental health, we recently completed a series of observational studies on a nationally representative sample of adults in Ireland. People were interviewed at the start of the survey and then re-interviewed two years later.</p> <p>We categorised the activities of participants into indicators of acting, belonging and committing. Engaging in various social and recreational activities, such as sport, going to films, eating out or travelling for pleasure were indicators of Act. Staying in touch with friends, family and community groups served as an indicator of Belong and the frequency of engaging in social and recreational activities was an indicator of Commit.</p> <p>The results of these studies together demonstrate that higher levels of all three measures enhance <a href="http://abcmentalsundhed.dk/media/1387/abc-styrker-den-mentale-sundhed-i-irland.pdf">quality of life, life satisfaction, and self-rated mental health</a>, protect people against developing <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0531556516306167">depression, anxiety and brain function decline</a>, and lower the risk of people becoming dependent on <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S037687161730474X">alcohol</a>.</p> <p>Our research has also shown that the approach is helping patients with <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1753-6405.12514">mental illnesses</a> and is now being used as a tool for recovery by mental health professionals.</p> <h2>The campaign</h2> <p>The Act-Belong-Commit campaign aims to harness resources already present in communities – because the behaviours that promote mental health and well-being are everyday activities that most people are already doing or are readily available. Hence the campaign’s focus is on raising awareness of this fact and validating the belief that these behaviours are good for mental health.</p> <p>In both <a href="https://www.actbelongcommit.org.au/assets/resources/publications/13.-implementing-mental-health-promotion%2c-the-act%2c-belong%2c-commit-mentally-healthy-wa-campaign-in-western-australia.pdf">Australia</a> and <a href="http://www.abcmentalsundhed.dk/media/1152/from-rethoric-to-action-adapting-the-act-belong-commit-mental-health-promotion-programme-to-a-danish-context.pdf">Denmark</a> the campaign connects academics who can advise on the ABC method with a diverse range of community groups, including theatres, women’s health groups and sport teams.</p> <p>These partners are provided with training and resources such as <a href="https://www.actbelongcommit.org.au/assets/resources/education/general/6.-Act-Belong-Commit-Self-Assessment.pdf">self-help guides</a> while advertising and event sponsorship help spread the campaign’s message. Particular targets include schools, workplaces and people recovering from mental illness.</p> <p>In Australia, an annual <a href="https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/17465721211289365">survey asks people</a> if they have heard of the campaign and, if so, how their beliefs and actions around mental health have changed. Twice a year, <a href="https://www.actbelongcommit.org.au/resources/publications-and-reports">surveys ask partners</a> how the campaign has affected their activities. Similar approaches are being used in Denmark. In this way, the campaign stays in touch with communities to constantly improve its methods.</p> <p>By encouraging people to follow and prioritise this ABC approach, the campaign’s simple messages could resonate in communities worldwide and sustain the mental health and well-being of people well into the future.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/98124/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><em><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></em></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ziggi-ivan-santini-343563">Ziggi Ivan Santini</a>, Postdoctoral associate, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-southern-denmark-1097">University of Southern Denmark</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rob-donovan-1875">Rob Donovan</a>, Adjunct professor, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-western-australia-1067">University of Western Australia</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/vibeke-jenny-koushede-497353">Vibeke Jenny Koushede</a>, Senior researcher, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-southern-denmark-1097">University of Southern Denmark</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/heres-a-mental-health-workout-thats-as-simple-as-abc-98124">original article</a>.</em></p>

Mind

Lifestyle

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Fergie reveals life in wake of Prince Andrew scandal: “Been hard on the girls and me”

<p>The Duchess of York has leapt to the defence of her ex-husband, Prince Andrew, again in a new interview with<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://en.vogue.me/culture/sarah-duchess-of-york-interview/" target="_blank">Vogue Arabia.</a></em></p> <p>Prince Andrew’s interview on<span> </span><em>Newsnight </em>– where he discussed the matters of his personal relationship with sex offender and alleged child trafficker Jeffrey Epstein – went up in flames and is widely regarded as a disaster for the royal family.  </p> <p>In hindsight, the Duke of York’s words where he categorically denied any accusations that he’d had sex with one of Epstein’s alleged victims, is considered the decision that let to him standing back from his royal duties for the “foreseeable future”.</p> <p>"It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support," the Duke of York said in a personal statement issued back in November.</p> <p>"Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission."</p> <p>When speaking to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://en.vogue.me/culture/sarah-duchess-of-york-interview/" target="_blank">Vogue Arabia</a>,</em> Sarah Ferguson addressed the bitter royal scandal, saying the media scrutiny has been “incredibly difficult”.</p> <p>It is unclear whether the conversation with the publication took place before or after the<span> </span><em>Newsnight </em>interview, however, the Duchess did briefly discuss her ex-husband’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.</p> <p>"When I talk about Prince Andrew, I talk about family because the last six months have been hard on the girls and me," she said.</p> <p>"To see such a wonderful man go through such enormous pain. He is the best man I know.</p> <p>“It’s just incredible what he has done for Britain, and it’s all nonsense [her voice raises as she alludes to the Epstein scandal], so I talk about familyhood, and I’m very strong about it."</p> <p>This is not the first time Fergie has publicly declared her support for the royal, first posting a message of positivity about her former husband on November 16.</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/B45hF8DlXMg/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B45hF8DlXMg/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">It is so rare to meet people that are able to speak from their hearts with honesty and pure real truth, that remain steadfast and strong to their beliefs. Andrew is a true and real gentleman and is stoically steadfast to not only his duty but also his kindness and goodness of always seeing the best in people. I am deeply supportive and proud of this giant of a principled man, that dares to put his shoulder to the wind and stands firm with his sense of honour and truth. For so many years he has gone about his duties for Great Britain and The Monarch. It is time for Andrew to stand firm now, and that he has, and I am with him every step of the way and that is my honour. We have always walked tall and strong, he for me and me for him. We are the best examples of joint parenting, with both our girls and I go back to my three C’s .. Communicate Compromise Compassion @hrhthedukeofyork</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/sarahferguson15/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Sarah Ferguson</a> (@sarahferguson15) on Nov 15, 2019 at 12:00pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“Andrew is a true and real gentleman and is stoically steadfast to not only his duty but also his kindness and goodness of always seeing the best in people,” she said at the time.</p> <p>Prince Andrew is yet to make a public appearance since stepping back from his royal duties, however there is a chance we all may see him with the rest of the royal family at the Christmas church services in Sandringham.</p>

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Why we shouldn't demonise processed food

<p>I have a radical suggestion: let’s ban processed and ultra-processed foods. Not the products, but the terms.</p> <p>With so many diet plans and nutritional instructions offering such varied advice on how to eat healthily, a simple message like avoiding processed food is understandably attractive. As a result, some journalists, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/aug/11/why-we-fell-for-clean-eating">social media influencers</a> and even <a href="https://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/issues/305/food-and-climate/1-eat-fresh-unprocessed-foods">health charities</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/forget-about-fats-its-processed-food-we-should-be-worried-about-59850">academics</a> have gathered behind the idea that processed food is bad for you – and so-called ultra-processed food is even worse.</p> <p>This position has been taken to <a href="https://medium.com/better-humans/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-whole-foods-diet-e4025c3d116c">detailed extremes</a>, with commandments not to eat food with more than five ingredients, with more than five steps in its manufacture, or even that contains any preservatives, “chemicals” or anything made in a factory.</p> <p>As a food scientist, I think such blanket advice, while easy to remember, is ultimately unhelpful. The demonisation of processing <a href="https://theconversation.com/processed-food-linked-to-cancer-uncritical-media-coverage-ignores-problems-with-study-91935">promotes misunderstanding</a> and mistrust of the ways in which science and manufacturing actually make food better for us.</p> <p>For a start, <a href="https://global.oup.com/academic/product/molecules-microbes-and-meals-9780190687694?cc=us&amp;lang=en&amp;">all food is processed</a>, and that’s a good thing. Processing is anything that transforms food from raw materials to something more suitable for human consumption. It can make food safer, more digestible and less susceptible to undesirable changes, while retaining or improving its nutritional and aesthetic qualities.</p> <p>At its simplest, processing is cooking, the discovery of which <a href="https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdfplus/10.1086/692113">has been highlighted</a> as a <a href="https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2009/06/invention-of-cooking-drove-evolution-of-the-human-species-new-book-argues/">key step in human evolution</a> because it allowed us to absorb more energy to fuel our increasingly powerful bodies and brains. Today, besides a range of heat treatments that kill germs, other common processes used to preserve food include drying, fermentation, filtration, and freezing. In recent years, <a href="https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/signature-series/an-overview-of-novel-processing-technologies-for-the-food-industry/">advanced treatments</a> involving ultra-high pressures or pulsed electric fields have been proposed to make food safer to eat while preserving its taste, texture and nutritional value.</p> <p>So why has the term “processed food” become so negative? Partly it’s because the term more often now refers to what’s in a food item and its nutritional information. In particular, it’s used to highlight foods with high levels of salt, sugar or fat, which can be linked to a <a href="https://www2.gov.scot/resource/0043/00438754.pdf">range of health problems</a>.</p> <p>Yet “processed food” is also often used to indicate products that contain a large number of ingredients, particularly what some deem “chemical” additives. It’s true that foods that haven’t had anything added to them can’t contain extra salt, sugar or fat. But there is no correlation between the number of ingredients and a product’s quality or safety.</p> <p>Meanwhile even simple food products are likely to be made up of many chemical components. For example, a banana contains fructose, maltose, tocopherol, phylloquinone and 2-methylpropan-1-ol. An apple contains acetic acid (E260), tartaric acid (E334), carotene (E160a), ascorbic acid (vitamin C, E300) and citric acid (E330), among other compounds.</p> <p>Those aren’t ingredients, you might say, but natural components. Mixing them together in a blender in the same proportions would not give the fruit back, or even the same nutritional profile. This may be the case, but they are still very clever assemblages of chemicals, often the exact same chemicals that can be found in manufactured food products with long lists of added ingredients.</p> <h2>Natural isn’t necessarily better</h2> <p>Many of these added chemicals are derived from natural sources. Others are often artificially synthesised versions of naturally occurring compounds, such as beta-carotene, which can be found in carrots, or vanillin, which is responsible for the flavour in vanilla. If the molecules from the factory and those from the carrot are identical, why is one seen as different to the other? Would it be preferable to have much more <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-problem-with-vanilla/">costly and wasteful processes</a> to extract them from their natural sources?</p> <p>Other ingredients are not found in natural food sources, and there is no question that, in the past (indeed for centuries), things were added to food that were not safe. For example, lead and mercury were once used <a href="https://www.safefood.eu/Food-Colour-Resource/History.aspx">as food colouring</a>. However, today the food industry in many countries is highly regulated, and modern understanding of food science and safety has resulted in the prohibition of potentially harmful additives.</p> <p>In Europe, food additives are given codes known as E-numbers. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17825405">Research from 2007</a> that found six out of the hundreds of existing E-number additives were linked to hyperactivity in children led to the term becoming a pejorative description. But food containing any of those six compounds must now carry a warning label, while in all other cases an E-number actually reflects the fact that an additive has been tested and <a href="https://theconversation.com/explainer-what-are-e-numbers-and-should-you-avoid-them-in-your-diet-43908">certified safe</a>.</p> <p>The other thing to remember about all the added ingredients in food products is that including them costs the manufacturers money and so they must serve a function. Today, consumers have an enormously diverse range of needs, and foods are becoming increasingly specialised and tailored, with categories for infants, the elderly, vegans, people with allergies and many other specific markets.</p> <p>Making products that meet these people’s nutritional needs and still taste good often relies on large numbers of ingredients. Specialised products are needed to replace the nutrients of milk, the springiness provided by gluten, or the texture of meat. Food science has solved these problems by carefully optimising ingredients and control of their behaviour, from plant proteins for nutrition to xanthan gum for texture.</p> <p>Ultimately, <a href="https://global.oup.com/academic/product/molecules-microbes-and-meals-9780190687694?q=Molecules%2C%20microbes%20and%20meals&amp;lang=en&amp;cc=ie">all food is made of chemicals</a>, all ingredients have functions, and food products are not random assemblies of compounds added for no reason. These products are formulated to give them the number and type of ingredients they need to provide the nutritional, sensory, stability or safety attributes that consumers demand and legislation allows – no more and no less.</p> <p>The merits of a food should not be judged on the basis of its ingredient list, and food processing is not something of which we should be suspicious. But understanding processing, and what ingredients are in food and why they are there, has never been more important.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/128442/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alan-kelly-893104">Alan Kelly</a>, Professor, Food Science and Technology, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-college-cork-1321">University College Cork</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/demonising-processed-food-undermines-our-trust-in-science-128442">original article</a>.</em></p>

Food & Wine

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Should we scoff at the idea of love at first sight?

<p>For a lecture course I teach at Brown University called “Love Stories,” we begin at the beginning, with love at first sight.</p> <p>To its detractors, love at first sight must be an illusion – the wrong term for what is simply infatuation, or a way to sugarcoat lust.</p> <p>Buy into it, they say, and you’re a fool.</p> <p>In my class, I point to <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1031449/">an episode</a> of “The Office,” in which Michael Scott, regional manager for Dunder Mifflin, is such a fool: He’s blown away by a model in an office furniture catalog. Michael vows to find her in the flesh, only to discover that the love of his life is no longer living. Despairing, but still determined, he visits her grave and sings to her a stirring requiem, set to the tune of “American Pie”:</p> <pre class="highlight plaintext"> Bye, bye Ms. Chair Model Lady I dreamt we were married and you treated me nice We had lots of kids, drinking whiskey and rye Why’d you have to go off and die? </pre> <p>This might as well be a funeral for love at first sight, since all of this comes at delusional Michael’s expense.</p> <p>If you find yourself smitten with someone you’ve only just met, you’ll question whether you should give the feeling so much weight – and risk ending up like Michael.</p> <p>Psychologists and neuroscientists have tried to find some answers. But I would argue that for the best guidance, don’t look there – look to Shakespeare.</p> <h2>Sifting through the science</h2> <p>Even in a class tailored to romantics, when I poll my students about whether they believe in love at first sight, around 90 percent of the 250 students indicate they don’t.</p> <p><a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/pere.12218">At least one study</a> suggests that the rest of us agree with my students. Like them, participants in this study believe that love takes time. Two people meet and may or may not be infatuated upon first meeting. They gradually develop an intimate understanding of each other. And then, and only then, do they fall in love. That’s just how love works.</p> <p>Then again, maybe we’re more like Michael Scott than we think. <a href="https://news.gallup.com/poll/2017/over-half-americans-believe-love-first-sight.aspx">Other surveys</a> suggest that most of us indeed do believe in love at first sight. Many of us <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/love-at-first-sight-is-real-if-you-believe-1429543032">say we’ve experienced it</a>.</p> <p>What does brain science say? Some studies claim that <a href="http://www.helenfisher.com/downloads/articles/10lustattraction.pdf">we can clearly distinguish</a> what happens in our brains at the moment of initial attraction – when chemicals related to pleasure, excitement and anxiety predominate – from what happens in true romantic attachment, when attachment hormones like <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/oxytocin">oxytocin</a> take over.</p> <p>But other studies don’t accept such a clean break between the chemistry of love at first sight and of “true” love, instead suggesting that what happens in the brain at first blush <a href="https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(15)32763-6/abstract">may resemble what happens later on</a>.</p> <p>Regardless of whether chemical reactions in love at first sight and longer-term romantic love are alike, the deeper question persists.</p> <p>Does love at first sight deserve the name of love?</p> <h2>Shakespeare weighs in</h2> <p>While science and surveys can’t seem to settle on a definitive answer, Shakespeare can. Cited as an authority in nearly every recent book-length study of love, Shakespeare shows how love at first sight can be as true a love as there is.</p> <p>Let’s look at how his lovers meet in “Romeo and Juliet.”</p> <p>Romeo, besotted with Juliet at the Capulet ball, musters the courage to speak with her, even though he doesn’t know her name. When he does, she doesn’t just respond. Together, they speak a sonnet:</p> <pre class="highlight plaintext"> Romeo: If I profane with my unworthiest hand This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this: My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss. Juliet: Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, Which mannerly devotion shows in this; For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch, And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss. Romeo: Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too? Juliet: Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer. Romeo: O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do! They pray; grant thou, lest faith turn to despair. Juliet: Saints do not move, though grant for prayers' sake. Romeo: Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take. </pre> <p>Even though it’s their first encounter, the two converse dynamically and inventively – an intense back-and-forth that equates love with religion. Love poems typically are spoken by a lover to a beloved, as in many of Shakespeare’s <a href="http://shakespeare.mit.edu/Poetry/sonnet.I.html">own sonnets</a> or Michael’s requiem. Generally, there’s one voice. Not in the case of Romeo and Juliet – and the energy between the two is as stunning as it is silly.</p> <p>In the first four lines, Romeo privileges lips over hands, in a bid for a kiss. In the next four lines, Juliet disagrees with Romeo. She asserts that, actually, hands are better. Holding hands is its own kind of kiss.</p> <p>Romeo keeps going, noting that saints and pilgrims have lips. Since they do, lips mustn’t be so bad. They should be used.</p> <p>But again, Juliet answers Romeo readily: Lips are to be used, yes – but to pray, not to kiss. Romeo tries a third time to resolve the tension by saying that kissing, far from being opposed to prayer, is in fact a way of praying. And maybe kissing is like praying, like asking for a better world. Juliet at last agrees, and the two do kiss, after a couplet which suggests that they are in harmony.</p> <p>Romeo and Juliet obviously have unrealistic ideas. But they connect in such a powerful way – right away – that it’s ungenerous to say that their religion of love is only silly. We can’t dismiss it in the same way we can mock Michael Scott. This is not a man with an office furniture catalog, or two revelers grinding at a club.</p> <p>That two strangers can share a sonnet in speech means that they already share a deep connection – that they are incredibly responsive to each other.</p> <h2>What are we so afraid of?</h2> <p>Why would we want to dismiss Romeo and Juliet or those who claim to be like them?</p> <p>We talk excitedly about meeting someone and how we “click” or “really hit it off” – how we feel intimately acquainted even though we’ve only just met. This is our way of believing in low-grade love at first sight, while still scorning its full-blown form.</p> <p>Imagine if we did what Romeo and Juliet do. They show the signs that we tend to regard as hallmarks of “mature” love – <a href="http://www.robertjsternberg.com/love/">profound passion, intimacy and commitment</a> – right away. For Shakespeare, if you have this, you have love, whether it takes six months or six minutes.</p> <p>It’s easy to say that people don’t love each other when they first meet because they don’t know each other and haven’t had a chance to form a true attachment. Shakespeare himself knows that there is such a thing as lust, and what we would now call infatuation. He’s no fool.</p> <p>Still, he reminds us – as forcefully as we ever will be reminded – that some people, right away, do know each other deeply. Love gives them insight into each other. Love makes them pledge themselves to each other. Love makes them inventive. Yes, it also makes them ridiculous.</p> <p>But that’s just another of love’s glories. It makes being ridiculous permissible.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/102094/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/james-kuzner-535698">James Kuzner</a>, Associate Professor of English, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/brown-university-1276">Brown University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/should-we-scoff-at-the-idea-of-love-at-first-sight-102094">original article</a>.</em></p>

Relationships

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What's behind the belief in a soulmate?

<p>The United States appears to be in a romantic slump. Marriage rates have <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/10/11/the-share-of-americans-living-without-a-partner-has-increased-especially-among-young-adults/">plummeted</a> over the last decade. And compared to previous generations, young single people today are perhaps spending more time on social media <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2018/12/tinder-changed-dating/578698/">than actual dating</a>. They are also having <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/membership/archive/2018/11/whats-causing-the-sex-recession/575890/">less sex</a>.</p> <p>Despite these trends, a yearning for a soulmate remains a common thread across the generations. Most Americans, it seems, are still looking for one. According to a 2017 <a href="https://www.nj.com/healthfit/index.ssf/2017/02/two-thirds_of_americans_believe_in_a_soulmate_poll.html">poll</a> two-thirds of Americans believe in soulmates. That number far surpasses the percentage of Americans who believe in the <a href="http://www.pewforum.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2018/04/Beliefs-about-God-FOR-WEB-FULL-REPORT.pdf">biblical God</a>.</p> <p>The idea that there is a person out there who can make each of us happy and whole is constantly conveyed through portrayals in <a href="https://www.imdb.com/list/ls008719611/?sort=release_date,desc&amp;st_dt=&amp;mode=detail&amp;page=1">films,</a> <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0029583/">books,</a> <a href="https://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/news/a41698/find-your-soulmate-in-8-simple-questions/">magazines</a> and <a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/02/08/tv-show-couples-love-lessons_a_23356753/">television</a>.</p> <p>What accounts for the persistence of the soulmate ideal in the contemporary age?</p> <h2>Origins of the soulmate myth</h2> <p>Ten years ago, after a hard breakup, I decided to investigate. As a scholar of <a href="https://skidmore.academia.edu/BradleyOnishi">religion and culture</a> who was trained in the history of ideas, I was interested in connecting the various iterations of the soulmate ideal through time.</p> <p>One early use of the word <a href="https://scholarworks.umt.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1003&amp;context=eng_pubs">“soulmate”</a> comes from the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge in a <a href="https://www.academia.edu/1320004/_Soulmates_in_The_Encyclopedia_of_Love_in_World_Religions_ABC-CLIO_World_Religions_Project_Ed._Dr._Yudit_Kornberg_Greenberg_Santa_Barbara_California_et._al._November_2007_pp._593-597">letter from 1822</a>: “To be happy in Married Life … you must have a Soul-mate.”</p> <p>For Coleridge, a successful marriage needed to be about more than economic or social compatibility. It required a spiritual connection.</p> <p>Several centuries prior to Coleridge, the Greek philosopher Plato, in his text “Symposium,” wrote about the reasons behind the human yearning for a soulmate. Plato quotes the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-plato-can-teach-you-about-finding-a-soulmate-72715">poet Aristophanes as saying</a> that all humans were once united with their other half, but Zeus split them apart out of fear and jealousy. <a href="http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/symposium.html">Aristophanes explains</a> the transcendent experience of two soulmates reuniting in the following way:</p> <blockquote> <p>“And when one of them meets with his other half, the actual half of himself … the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy, and one will not be out of the other’s sight, as I may say, even for a moment.”</p> </blockquote> <h2>The religious sources</h2> <p>These references aren’t limited to Coleridge and Plato. In numerous religious traditions, the human soul’s connection to God has been envisioned in similar ways. While the examples from religious traditions are numerous, I will mention just two from Judaism and Christianity.</p> <p>At different points in the history of these these two faith traditions, mystics and theologians employed erotic and marital metaphors to understand their relationships with God. Despite important differences, they both envision amorous union with the one divine force as the pathway to true selfhood, happiness and wholeness.</p> <p>This idea is expressed in the Hebrew Bible, where God is consistently seen as the one to whom his chosen people, Israel, are betrothed. “For your Maker is your husband,” <a href="https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=isaiah+54&amp;version=NRSV">a passage in the Hebrew Bible</a> says. Israel – the ancient kingdom, not the modern nation-state – plays the role of God’s spouse.</p> <p>Throughout Israelite history this idea frames the relationship between the people of Israel and God, whom they know as Yahweh. When Yahweh ratifies his covenant with Israel, his chosen people, he is often referred to as Israel’s husband. In turn, Israel is envisioned as Yahweh’s wife. For the Israelites, <a href="https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah+31%3A31-32&amp;version=NRSV">the divine one</a> is also their <a href="https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hosea+2&amp;version=NRS">romantic soulmate</a>.</p> <p>This is illustrated in the Song of Songs, <a href="https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Song+of+Solomon+1&amp;version=NRSV">an erotic love poem</a> with a female narrator. The Song of Songs is written from the perspective of a woman longing to be with her male lover. It’s filled with vivid physical descriptions of the two characters and the delights they take in each other’s bodies.</p> <p>“Your channel is an orchard of pomegranates with all choicest fruits,” the narrator recounts her man saying to her, before proclaiming that her garden is <a href="https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Song%20of%20Solomon+4&amp;version=NRSV">“a fountain, a well of living water, and flowing streams from Lebanon</a>.”</p> <p>Song of Songs is not only an unquestioned part of Jewish and Christian scripture, it’s been understood for millennia by Jewish sages as the key to understanding the most important events in Israelite history.</p> <h2>Erotic mysticism</h2> <p>By the second century A.D., Christians too began framing their relationship with the divine in erotic terms through the Song of Songs.</p> <p>One of the first, and most influential, was <a href="https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/origen/">Origen of Alexandria</a>, a second-century mystic who became the first great Christian theologian. <a href="https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Song_of_Songs.html?id=Mjxy0Fl7VMsC">According to him</a>, the Song is the key to understanding the soul’s relationship to Christ.</p> <p>Origen calls it an “epithalamium,” which is a poem written for a bride on the way to the bridal chamber. For him, the Song is “a drama and sang under the figure of the Bride,” who is about to wed her groom, “the Word of God.”</p> <p>Origen views Jesus as his divine soulmate. He anticipates the end of time when his soul will “cleave” to Christ, so that he will never be apart from him again – and he does this by using erotic terms.</p> <p>His writings on the Song founded a rich and expansive tradition of Christian <a href="https://books.google.com/books?id=99CNMQmzpKIC&amp;printsec=frontcover&amp;dq=song+of+songs+mysticism+christianity&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwj--4qquZ3hAhUSVN8KHRpcBl4Q6AEINDAC#v=onepage&amp;q=song%20of%20songs%20mysticism%20christianity&amp;f=false">mystical texts</a> based on the soul’s erotic and marital union with Christ.</p> <h2>The power of the myth</h2> <p>By tracing the soulmate ideal to these religious sources it’s possible to gain fresh perspective on its power and function in an age when more Americans identify as having no religious <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-number-of-americans-with-no-religious-affiliation-is-rising/">affiliation</a>.</p> <p>The soulmate myth informs the reality show “The Bachelor,” where young women wait for the attention of one chosen “bachelor” in hopes of finding true love. It is the same in the film adaptation of Nicholas Spark’s novel “The Notebook,” which follows the path of two lovers separated at various times by war, family and illness.</p> <p>And then there are the Tinder users – wading through an excess of possible romantic partners, perhaps hoping that their one and only will eventually make them whole and happy.</p> <p>In light of the myth’s history, it’s not surprising that even at a time when fewer Americans may be turning to God, they are still looking for their one true soulmate.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/113906/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bradley-onishi-698671">Bradley Onishi</a>, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, <em><a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/skidmore-college-1358">Skidmore College</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/whats-behind-the-belief-in-a-soulmate-113906">original article</a>.</p>

Relationships

Finance

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Koala Hospital overwhelmed with support after fires

<p>The devastating impact the bushfires are having on Australia has been heard across the world, motivating thousands of people to help firefighters, communities and animals by donating money.</p> <p>The generosity of those wanting to help has resulted in crowd-funding website GoFundMe seeing its biggest campaign to date, according to the organisations Year in Giving report.</p> <p>A little under $2 million has been raised to help Port Macquarie Koala Hospital save the lives of the injured marsupials who were burnt in the bushfires, making it the biggest Aussie GoFundMe ever.</p> <p>Other campaigns that have topped the list this year include a fund for Australian Survivor contestant, Luke Toki, which raised over $550,000 and the “Free Her” campaign aimed at amending laws that see people who are unable to pay fines face jail time, which raised more than $460,000.</p> <p>The top 10 Australian GoFundMe campaigns for 2019</p> <ol> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-thirsty-koalas-devastated-by-recent-fires" target="_blank">Help thirsty koalas from fires </a>– more than 44.3k donations raising $1,986,530</li> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/luke-toki-australias-true-survivor" target="_blank">Luke Toki: Australia’s true survivor </a>– more than 16.1k donations raising $550,390</li> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/bfvnvt-freethepeople" target="_blank">Free Her</a> – more than 9.1k donations raising $460,368</li> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/forlove-aus" target="_blank">For Love</a> – more than 5.8k donations raising $275,155</li> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/singleton-family-devasted-by-fire" target="_blank">Singleton family devastated by fire </a>– more than 5k donations raising $275,011</li> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/1twnffjfg0" target="_blank">The Blueboys 2019 Christmas Appeal </a>– more than 4.1k donations raising $153,907</li> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/eleanorsfight" target="_blank" title="www.gofundme.com">Eleanor’s Fight </a>– more than 3.5k donations raising $329,080</li> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/money-for-eggboi" target="_blank">Money for Eggboi </a>– more than 3.3k donations raising $80,241</li> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/markosmile" target="_blank">Marko’s smile</a> – more than 3.2k donations raising $250,107</li> <li><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/navar-herbert039s-journey-home" target="_blank">Navar Herbert’s journey home </a>– more than 3.2k donations raising $117,090</li> </ol> <p>Over 44,000 donors from 95 different countries have helped raise money for the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, which has so far cared for 31 koalas brought in from bushfire affected areas.</p> <p>“The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital has been overwhelmed by the kindness, good wishes and support from the Australian and international community for the wildlife icon, the koala,” wrote the hospital.</p> <p>“The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, and National Parks and Wildlife Service crew leaders, have spent weeks searching for koalas following the devastating bushfires in the Port Macquarie area.”</p> <p>The original target for the campaign was $25,000, but after surpassing that amount, they can now make bigger plans.</p> <p>“The number of drinking stations being built has now been increased and they will be shared with other wildlife organisations in fire affected regions across New South Wales. Two are being built for dispatch to the Northern Rivers fire area next week,” the page reads.</p> <p>“We are also purchasing a water carrying vehicle with fire fighting capabilities to replenish the drinking stations with water as needed.</p> <p>“Donations have now reached an incredible amount and we are extending the project to establish a wild koala breeding program.”</p> <p>All in all thanks to the generosity of people, an incredible amount of money has been raised for the bushfires. </p>

Money & Banking

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Apartment living on the rise: How do families and their noisy children fit in?

<p>A growing number of Australians live in apartments. The compact city model presents many benefits, but living close to each other also presents challenges.</p> <p>Rapid growth in apartment developments in recent decades has led to a <a href="https://www.ocn.org.au/book/export/html/1200">rise in noise-related complaints and disputes across urban Australia</a>. Households with children are on the front line of such tensions. They are one of the fastest-growing demographics living in apartments. Analysis of the latest census data show, for instance, that <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1755458617301093">families with children under the age of 15 comprise 25% of Sydney’s apartment population</a>.</p> <p>Apartment design and cultural acceptance of families in the vertical city have not kept pace with this shift in housing forms. Cultural expectations that families with children ought to live in detached houses are persistent. Apartment planners and developers reproduce these expectations by <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-8470.2004.00278.x/epdf">neglecting children in building design and marketing</a>.</p> <p>With children’s sounds being difficult to predict or control, changing apartment demographics are an issue for planners and residents alike.</p> <h2>Trying to be good parents and good neighbours</h2> <p>My research explores the everyday experiences of families living in apartments in Sydney. It reveals that <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1755458617301093">parents trying to make apartment life work face an emotional juggling act</a>.</p> <p>Apartment living often creates an emotional dilemma between being a good parent and being a good neighbour. Parents want to allow children to be children, but are ever anxious about annoying the neighbours.</p> <p>Cities are layered with many different sounds, but the home is framed as a private space of peace and quiet. Sounds that intrude are considered noise. The “good” apartment neighbour avoids sounds that penetrate neighbours’ homes.</p> <p>This is near impossible when children are involved – and particularly when apartments are poorly designed. Key pressure points include crying at night and playing and running during the day.</p> <p>Parents spoke about the challenges of sleep training in an apartment. They wanted to be considerate neighbours, so felt anxious and guilty when their children did not comply. Some received angry letters from neighbours, or heard them call out and bang on walls and ceilings in midnight protests.</p> <p>One mother described the difficult juggling act of an unsettled baby and an upset neighbour:</p> <blockquote> <p>[The neighbour] called out … ‘Pick up your baby!’ … I was so upset because we are trying our best and we were exhausted ourselves … [The neighbour] banged on the ceiling really loudly … I felt it on my feet, like it was shaking … That just kind of added to my stress … When I got back into bed after the shrieking finished and he [the baby] went back to sleep and the stomping on the roof finished … I just said, ‘I don’t know if I can do that again’ … knowing that, you know they’re hearing it all of course, and we felt terrible.</p> </blockquote> <p>Parenting anxieties were not limited to night-time. Monitoring kids’ play to minimise noise made parents feel like the “fun police”.</p> <blockquote> <p>I always feel like I am constantly telling them ‘not in here, not in there, don’t do that’ … I’m constantly worried that we are annoying the neighbours. Because they are kids, they are loud. They don’t have a volume button.</p> </blockquote> <p>Parents attempted many strategies for managing noise. These included putting down carpet and foam mats, restricting some activities to rooms without adjoining walls or to “sociable” hours, closing windows and covering air vents. The expectation that their children’s sounds do not belong in apartments weighed heavily.</p> <blockquote> <p>When he [the neighbour] first started complaining, Harry [son] was crawling. Imagine trying to teach a crawler that they are not allowed to crawl through the house … You know, he [the neighbour] wanted the impossible and got angry with us when we couldn’t deliver that for him, with no kind of seeming effort to understand where we were coming from …</p> </blockquote> <p>This family’s neighbour had written notes, aggressively banged on their walls and threateningly confronted the parents over their children’s noise. The mother described feeling vulnerable and at a loss:</p> <blockquote> <p>I feel like we have entered this entirely new area of discrimination that I had no idea existed before, but is actually quite prevalent among our peers. It is common among the mothers in my mothers’ group … People just don’t like children and they don’t like children’s noise … And you know parenting is hard … So to have the ‘Oh my God I am pissing loads of people off’ in the back of your mind as well … is really uncomfortable.</p> </blockquote> <p>While not all families reported such negative experiences, almost all felt anxious about noise and had stories of friends who had experienced problems.</p> <p>The sounds made by children were always front of mind. Aware of their neighbours’ surveillance and (at times overt) moral judgments, they changed their domestic routines and modified their homes as much as possible.</p> <h2>People need apartments made for families</h2> <p>Broader changes are needed. Families living with children in apartments challenge norms that delineate the home as a place of quietude; that define “good neighbours” as tranquil ones; and that position children as belonging elsewhere (detached houses). And they come up against such norms in dwellings that hamper their best efforts to regulate sound.</p> <p>Families living in apartments actively pursue strategies for making everyday life “work”. But there is only so much that individuals can change. The wider problem of apartments’ poor acoustic design and performance persists.</p> <p>Both <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1755458617301093">cultural and technical norms must shift</a> if the policy paradigm of urban consolidation is to have any hope of meeting the needs of a diverse population.</p> <p><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sophie-may-kerr-209848">Sophie-May Kerr</a>, PhD Candidate in Human Geography, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/with-apartment-living-on-the-rise-how-do-families-and-their-noisy-children-fit-in-88244">original article</a>.</em></p>

Retirement Income

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The psychology behind why people buy

<p>Between <a href="https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/joreco/v21y2014i2p86-97.html">40% and 80%</a> of purchases are impulse buys. Marketers often get blamed for this, but while marketing tactics may be <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1744-6570.2010.01187_2.x">cynical, manipulative, and even deceptive</a>, shoppers are generally wise to their ways.</p> <p>Of greater concern, is the fact that up to <a href="https://academic.oup.com/joc/article-abstract/64/5/915/4086043?redirectedFrom=fulltext">95% of our daily decisions</a> are potentially determined by <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S105774080570108X">impulsive, unconscious processes</a>. All too often, consumers are ignorant of the <a href="http://psycnet.apa.org/record/1992-98649-000">social influences</a> and <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/288902202_Social_psychology_and_consumer_psychology_An_unexplored_interface">psychological states</a> that make them vulnerable shoppers. In fact, most people entertain a costly <a href="http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.552.7516&amp;rep=rep1&amp;type=pdf">illusion of invulnerability</a> and consider themselves especially shrewd shoppers.</p> <p>You can avoid spending too much by becoming more mindful of the factors that influence your shopping behaviours. Here are six factors which could cause you to overspend, along with some tips about how to counteract them.</p> <h2>1. Social pressure</h2> <p>Human beings are very susceptible to social pressures. The cooperative and competitive behaviours, which have ensured our survival as a species, also nudge us <a href="https://youtu.be/_qHYmx7qPes">to spend more than we need</a>.</p> <p>For example, the social norm of reciprocity obligates us to exchange gifts and good deeds at Christmas.</p> <p>Competition also fuels consumption: sales reinforce a sense of scarcity, and use time constraints to provoke a fear of missing out among shoppers – even when they’re buying online. Flash sales – such as Black Friday – create a herd mentality, which can provoke panic buying, hysteria <a href="http://blackfridaydeathcount.com/">or worse</a>. Being aware of these pressures will minimise their effects and allow you to maintain a sense of perspective.</p> <h2>2. More abstract money</h2> <p>The concept of money is a shared myth, powered by the human imagination. Our <a href="https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062316097/sapiens/">imagination has been instrumental</a> in the rapid development of the species, allowing people to swap pieces of paper and bits of metal for things they want. From notes and coins, to debit and credit cards, and most recently phones and <a href="https://www.fitbit.com/uk/fitbit-pay">Fitbits</a>, the human imagination accommodates increasingly abstract forms of money. This is dangerous.</p> <p>These new forms of money ease the “<a href="https://youtu.be/PCujWv7Mc8o">pain of paying</a>”, reducing the level of guilt we feel when parting with money. It temporarily hides the financial repercussions of our purchases (the lower bank balance or lighter wallet). This leads people to splurge without keeping track of the true financial costs of their decisions. Using cash when shopping will increase the pain of paying and make you more sensitive to how much you’re spending. This, in turn, will ensure that you only spend money on the items you really want.</p> <h2>3. Decision fatigue</h2> <p>Research <a href="https://www.guilford.com/books/Handbook-of-Self-Regulation/Vohs-Baumeister/9781462533824">suggests that</a> people have limited reserves of willpower. As we make decisions throughout the day, this reserve becomes exhausted, resulting in “resource depletion”. <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/510228">Resource depletion</a> causes people to act impulsively. Doing shopping early in the day, and avoiding other sources of stress, such as big crowds, will minimise the risk of resource depletion.</p> <h2>4. Mindsets</h2> <p>Psychological states known as “<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1057740810000215">mindsets</a>”, which influence perceptions and decision making, can also make people more likely to spend. They occur outside of our conscious awareness, when the thought processes we use in one situation are carried over and used to process information in the next.</p> <p>Thinking positively in one situation can predispose a person to think positively in an unrelated situation – for example, generating supportive thoughts about giving to charity might prime a person to have positive thoughts about the bottle of detergent they see in an ad break a few minutes later. The makes them more likely to buy it.</p> <p>Mindsets also influence shopping goals. People with a “deliberative mindset” are open minded and likely to review all their options, while people with an “implemental mindset” are more close-minded and goal-focused. An implemental mindset reduces procrastination and focuses people to pursue their buying goals. These goals could be explicitly stated in a shopping list or even activated unconsciously.</p> <p>The implemental mindset can be dangerous, because it creates <a href="http://journals.ama.org/doi/10.1509/jmkr.44.3.370">shopping momentum</a>. This is when buying one thing makes you more likely to buy another since your goal-focused mindset remains active even after you bought what you intended. This is one of the reasons why people emerge from shopping centres burdened down with several bags, having gone in to buy one item.</p> <p>Unfortunately, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S074959781000110X">switching between different mindsets</a> can deplete your mental resources and cause you to spend more. Making rules to guide your decisions before you go shopping can counteract the effects of these mindsets and reduce the risk of shopping momentum. For example, telling yourself that if a product is below a certain price, you will buy it, but if it costs more, you will not. Making a list and setting a budget will help you remember the old adage, “it is not a bargain unless you need it”.</p> <h2>5. Making comparisons</h2> <p>Shopping is essentially a three step process. First you ask yourself, “do I want to buy something?”; then, “which product is the best?”; and finally, “how will I buy the product?”. But when people consider two possible purchases, it induces a “<a href="https://academic.oup.com/jcr/article-abstract/34/4/556/1820298?redirectedFrom=fulltext">which-to-buy</a>” mindset, which primes them to skip the first question, and makes them more likely to buy something.</p> <h2>6. The halo effect</h2> <p>Using mental shortcuts help us navigate everyday life more efficiently. Yet these shortcuts <a href="https://www.penguin.com.au/books/thinking-fast-and-slow-9780141033570">can also lead to</a> incorrect assumptions and costly mistakes. In the context of shopping, not all assumptions are bad. Indeed, some assumptions are central to marketing. For example, branding works because we assume that products under the one brand have a similar level of quality.</p> <p>But other assumptions are less reliable. The “halo effect” occurs when we make incorrect assumptions, which lead us to think positively about something. So, the eye catching deals we see in the front window often make us assume that the other in-store deals are equally valid and generous.</p> <p>To counteract the halo effect, you need to come prepared. Knowing the recommended retail price (RRP) of products will ensure that you are not influenced by high anchor prices that give the impression of deep discounts. Remaining sceptical and calm will improve your decision making and reduce the risks of cognitive bias. This will likely be good for society, the environment and your pocket.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/108680/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/brian-harman-648072">Brian Harman</a>, Lecturer in Marketing, <em><a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/de-montfort-university-1254">De Montfort University</a></em> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/janine-bosak-400922">Janine Bosak</a>, Associate Professor in Organisational Psychology, <em><a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/dublin-city-university-1528">Dublin City University</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-avoid-overspending-uncover-the-psychology-behind-why-people-buy-108680">original article</a>.</p>

Retirement Income

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What you should tell your grandchildren about money issues

<p>Being a parent presents us with daily challenges, including decisions about what things to expose our children to. One of the questions I am constantly asked by parents is what should they teach their children about money, and at what age.</p> <p>Talking about money is no different to talking about how to keep healthy or how to keep safe when using the internet. If your child thinks money is something that “mum and dad get from a machine”, then they don’t know how hard their parents work to generate an income for the family and meet all of their expenses.</p> <p>Moving money from an abstract concept to something tangible that is earned and saved before it is spent is an important step for children to understand. Children are more intelligent than we often give them credit for. They are also more understanding and resilient – if there are tough financial situations to explain, what children appreciate most is honesty, consistency and facts.</p> <p>So, if you don’t have enough money to buy something your child has asked for, be honest and put the facts in front of them. Explain the difference between things the family <strong>needs</strong> and the things they <strong>want</strong>.</p> <p>Tell them that all the “need items” must be purchased first, and then you will see if there is enough money left in the budget to buy what they want. And if there isn’t, tell them how the item can be budgeted for – and how you can all work towards saving for it over time.</p> <p><strong>What is the right age to start having these discussions?</strong></p> <p>You should be open with your children about money as soon as they are able to understand. However, what your child needs to know at the age of four or five is very different to what they need to know at the age of 10, 15 or older.</p> <p><a href="http://www.massey.ac.nz/massey/fms/Colleges/College%20of%20Business/School%20of%20Economics%20&amp;%20Finance/FinEd/documents/FinanceStudyWEBv2.pdf?7B7DE79F6F2FC1A47A247B28528D8E4C">Research by the Westpac Massey Fin-Ed Centre</a> shows that most young people get their financial information from their parents so it is important that parents provide a good foundation for future financial well-being from an early age.</p> <p>The initial conversation with a four to five-year-old does not have to be about money. Start with the concept of “delayed gratification”. It is a powerful way of teaching children there are benefits in waiting for things. They also need to know that not every demand they make is going to be fulfilled instantly. Every family has a limit to its available resources, even the very rich need to have plans for their money.</p> <p>For children aged 6-10, involve them in preparing a household budget and allocating money to different parts of your budget. Let them help you prepare a shopping/grocery list and then allocate to them an amount as per your agreed budget.</p> <p>Take them grocery shopping with you, hand them the list that they have prepared along with a calculator. Give them the responsibility of staying within the allocated budget and be strict with this. The incentive for the child could be that if they manage to get all the items on the list for less than the allocated amount, they get to decide how to spend the surplus.</p> <p>When you get home, this can become a conversation about money: the benefits of staying within the allocated amount and how to make tough decisions about what items are priority.</p> <p>For children aged 10 – 15, give them the responsibility of setting the household budget under your supervision. Discuss the different components of budgets: expenses that occur weekly/fortnightly/monthly/annually so they can see how important it is to have a better understanding of how and where the money is being spent.</p> <p>They may have a goal of buying something new for themselves – so help them to work out whether it is a need or a want and how they plan to pay for it. Discussions about short, medium and long-term goals can be useful.</p> <p>For those age 15 and over, start having discussions about their goals for their future – beyond high school. Encourage them to start saving for their future, whether that be higher education, travel, or buying a house.</p> <p>At this stage they also need to start learning about their rights as a consumer, signing agreements, the difference between debit cards and credit cards, and saving for things you want instead of borrowing.</p> <p><strong>They need to know they will sometimes go without</strong></p> <p>Children also need to be made aware that they will sometimes have to go without things they want. They need to understand that, as a parent, it is your moral, legal, social and ethical responsibility to look after their needs, but that you are not obliged to pay for all their wants. But explain that you are happy to work with them to help them save for the things they want.</p> <p>Another common question is, how much should you tell your children. Should you tell them how much you earn, how much debt you have and what, if any, savings you have in the bank?</p> <p>There are varied opinions on this. Some parents feel that they should be totally transparent with their children, while others feel that they don’t need to know that level of detail. Either way, children should have a general idea about the household’s income and expenditure.</p> <p>Children need to know from an early age that money is not an endless resource and there are times when you may not have enough money for the things they want to buy. It is a good idea to discuss options in such cases. You will be surprised at some of the creative solutions children come up with.</p> <p>The main thing is to involve children in money discussions; give them some responsibility and an opportunity to manage money from an early age so they understand its value.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/39686/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/pushpa-wood-161760">Pushpa Wood</a>, Director, Westpac Massey Fin-Ed Centre, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/massey-university-806">Massey University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-should-we-tell-our-children-about-money-39686">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

Entertainment

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Which huge celebrities are heading to the jungle for I’m A Celeb?

<p><span>Channel 10 has released a series of teasers for next year’s edition of <em>I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!</em>.</span></p> <p><span>Celebrity chef Miguel Maestre has been announced as the first cast member of the show – however, the remaining contestants coming to the African jungle are yet to be unveiled.</span></p> <p><span>The network has provided sneak peeks of these figures for fans and viewers ahead of the program’s season six premiere on January 5.</span></p> <p><span>Below are some of the clues that the network has given out, along with popular guesses from fans.</span></p> <p><strong><span>TV presenter</span></strong></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">He's a TV host with a rig to boast. Can you guess this hunky presenter? All is revealed soon...<br />-<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ImACelebrityAU?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ImACelebrityAU</a> starts Jan 5 on 10. <a href="https://t.co/fhekBNLaOD">pic.twitter.com/fhekBNLaOD</a></p> — #ImACelebrityAU (@ImACelebrityAU) <a href="https://twitter.com/ImACelebrityAU/status/1203874332407058435?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 9, 2019</a></blockquote> <p><span>The “hunky” TV host “once famously lost his shirt”, a teaser video said. Beau Ryan emerged as one of the top predictions along with Matty J and Tommy Little.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Pop culture guru</span></strong></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">How will this pop culture guru deal with being away from their family for so long? Pick up on any sneaky clues in this one? All is revealed soon when <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ImACelebrityAU?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ImACelebrityAU</a> returns, Jan 5 on 10. <a href="https://t.co/dukdXlEFsp">pic.twitter.com/dukdXlEFsp</a></p> — #ImACelebrityAU (@ImACelebrityAU) <a href="https://twitter.com/ImACelebrityAU/status/1204898656035295233?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 11, 2019</a></blockquote> <p><span>Also joining the cast is an in-the-know TV presenter who spends “a lot of time with their aunty”. Yumi Stynes has been thought up as the person behind this hint, along with Dylan Lewis and Todd Sampson.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Reality TV beauty</span></strong></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">From Instagram likes to insect bites, a blonde bombshell is heading into the jungle! WHO is this reality TV beauty? Get your hot takes in, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ImACelebrityAU?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ImACelebrityAU</a> starts Jan 5 on 10. <a href="https://t.co/igK0mp291W">pic.twitter.com/igK0mp291W</a></p> — #ImACelebrityAU (@ImACelebrityAU) <a href="https://twitter.com/ImACelebrityAU/status/1201367707418947585?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 2, 2019</a></blockquote> <p><span>A “blonde bombshell” is said to have left “her tropical paradise” to join the competition, according to the hint video. Fans’ guesses include singer Sophie Monk and <em>The Bachelor</em>’s Abbie Chatfield.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Logie-winning DJ</span></strong></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">A famous DJ. With a Logie? Who makes people LAUGH?? This clue is gonna keep you up at night we reckon. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ImACelebrityAU?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ImACelebrityAU</a> starts Jan 5 on 10. <a href="https://t.co/fgf9HjI5jr">pic.twitter.com/fgf9HjI5jr</a></p> — #ImACelebrityAU (@ImACelebrityAU) <a href="https://twitter.com/ImACelebrityAU/status/1201606968118534144?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 2, 2019</a></blockquote> <p><span>The “famous DJ” is tipped as a person who “likes to make crowds laugh”. Tom Gleeson came out as the top guess, while others suggested Wil Anderson and Sam Pang.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Aussie comedienne</span></strong></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">A controversial comedian is heading into the jungle! But who? Prep your best LOLs, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ImACelebrityAU?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ImACelebrityAU</a> starts Jan 5 on 10. <a href="https://t.co/4ZgQ4FsgI0">pic.twitter.com/4ZgQ4FsgI0</a></p> — #ImACelebrityAU (@ImACelebrityAU) <a href="https://twitter.com/ImACelebrityAU/status/1202509880566829056?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 5, 2019</a></blockquote> <p><span>The “controversial comedian” is “no barbie”, the hint said – leading fans to guess Nikki Osborne and Meshel Laurie. </span></p> <p><strong><span>TV megastar</span></strong></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">IT'S CLUE TIME BABY! Here's your first official hint at one celeb heading into the jungle. WHO IS SHE????? Get your guesses in, and find out Jan 5. <a href="https://t.co/zkq8w0oJnu">pic.twitter.com/zkq8w0oJnu</a></p> — #ImACelebrityAU (@ImACelebrityAU) <a href="https://twitter.com/ImACelebrityAU/status/1198843760182013952?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 25, 2019</a></blockquote> <p><span>“This international party animal likes to prove her critics wrong,” the teaser clip said. The most popular guess is Lindsay Lohan, who had success as judge on <em>The Masked Singer </em>earlier this year.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Footy legend</span></strong></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">A Footy Legend is heading into the jungle! Expect one HELLUVA character. Who could it be? All is revealed on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ImACelebrityAU?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ImACelebrityAU</a> Jan 5 on 10. <a href="https://t.co/Z51DfviUIj">pic.twitter.com/Z51DfviUIj</a></p> — #ImACelebrityAU (@ImACelebrityAU) <a href="https://twitter.com/ImACelebrityAU/status/1199909666710413312?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 28, 2019</a></blockquote> <p><span>The “larrikin” is said to be “one of the biggest characters the game has seen”. Fans’ predictions have ranged from soccer player Kevin Muscat and former Sydney Swans player Warwick Capper to former rugby union player and <em>Bachelor </em>Nick “Honey Badger” Cummins.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Order of Australia winner</span></strong></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Want another juicy celeb clue? 'Course you do. Who do you think this Leading Lady could be? Find out when <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ImACelebrityAU?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ImACelebrityAU</a> kicks off Jan 5 on 10. <a href="https://t.co/pmVm57xZPS">pic.twitter.com/pmVm57xZPS</a></p> — #ImACelebrityAU (@ImACelebrityAU) <a href="https://twitter.com/ImACelebrityAU/status/1199187048126484481?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 26, 2019</a></blockquote> <p><span>The Order of Australia winner is described as a “leading lady” who “knows how to put on a show”. Many believe the person could be Magda Szubanski, who was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia in January this year.</span></p> <p><span>Other guesses include Lisa McCune, Rhonda Burchmore and Kate Ceberano.</span></p>

TV

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A history of loneliness

<p>Is loneliness our modern malaise?</p> <p>Former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy <a href="https://hbr.org/cover-story/2017/09/work-and-the-loneliness-epidemic">says</a> the most common pathology he saw during his years of service “was not heart disease or diabetes; it was loneliness.”</p> <p>Chronic loneliness, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/mar/12/duncan-selbie-isolated-bad-health">some say</a>, is like “smoking 15 cigarettes a day.” It “<a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2013/08/dangers_of_loneliness_social_isolation_is_deadlier_than_obesity.html">kills more people than obesity</a>.”</p> <p>Because loneliness is now considered a <a href="http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2017/08/lonely-die.aspx">public health</a> issue – and even an <a href="http://fortune.com/2016/06/22/loneliness-is-a-modern-day-epidemic/">epidemic</a> – people are exploring its causes and trying to find solutions.</p> <p>While writing a book on the history of how poets wrote about loneliness in the <a href="https://www.britannica.com/art/English-literature/The-Romantic-period">Romantic Period</a>, I discovered that loneliness is a relatively new concept and once had an easy cure. However, as the concept’s meaning has transformed, finding solutions has become harder.</p> <p>Returning to the origins of the word – and understanding how its meaning has changed through time – gives us a new way to think about modern loneliness, and the ways in which we might address it.</p> <h2>The dangers of venturing into ‘lonelinesses’</h2> <p>Although loneliness may seem like a timeless, universal experience, it seems to have originated in the late 16th century, when it signaled the danger created by being too far from other people.</p> <p>In early modern Britain, to stray too far from society was to surrender the protections it provided. Distant forests and mountains inspired fear, and a lonely space was a place in which you might meet someone who could do you harm, with no one else around to help.</p> <p>In order to frighten their congregations out of sin, sermon writers asked people to imagine themselves in “lonelinesses” – places like hell, the grave or the desert.</p> <p>Yet well into the 17th century, the words “loneliness” and “lonely” rarely appeared in writing. In 1674, the naturalist John Ray <a href="http://www.thesalamancacorpus.com/varia_various_1500-1699_ray_a-collection_1691.html">compiled a glossary</a> of infrequently used words. He included “loneliness” in his list, defining it as a term used to describe places and people “far from neighbours.”</p> <p>John Milton’s 1667 epic poem “<a href="https://www.dartmouth.edu/%7Emilton/reading_room/pl/book_1/text.shtml">Paradise Lost</a>” features one of the first lonely characters in all of British literature: Satan. On his journey to the garden of Eden to tempt Eve, Satan treads “lonely steps” out of hell. But Milton isn’t writing about Satan’s feelings; instead, he’s emphasizing that he’s crossing into the ultimate wilderness, a space between hell and Eden where no angel has previously ventured.</p> <p>Satan <a href="https://www.dartmouth.edu/%7Emilton/reading_room/pl/book_2/text.shtml">describes</a> his loneliness in terms of vulnerability: “From them I go / This uncouth errand sole, and one for all / Myself expose, with lonely steps to tread / Th’ unfounded deep.”</p> <h2>The dilemma of modern loneliness</h2> <p>Even if we now enjoy the wilderness as a place of adventure and pleasure, the fear of loneliness persists. The problem has simply moved into our cities.</p> <p>Many are trying to solve it by bringing people physically closer to their neighbors. <a href="https://www.aarp.org/research/topics/life/info-2014/loneliness_2010.html">Studies</a> point to a spike in the number of people who live alone and the breakdown of family and community structures.</p> <p>British Prime Minister Theresa May has set her sights on “combating” loneliness and <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/17/world/europe/uk-britain-loneliness.html">appointed</a> a minister of loneliness to do just that in January. There is even a <a href="https://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org">philanthropy</a> called the “Campaign to End Loneliness.”</p> <p>But the drive to cure loneliness oversimplifies its modern meaning.</p> <p>In the 17th century, when loneliness was usually relegated to the space outside the city, solving it was easy. It merely required a return to society.</p> <p>However, loneliness has since moved inward – and has become much harder to cure. Because it’s taken up residence inside minds, even the minds of people living in bustling cities, it can’t always be solved by company.</p> <p>Modern loneliness isn’t just about being physically removed from other people. Instead, it’s an emotional state of feeling apart from others – without necessarily being so.</p> <p>Someone surrounded by people, or even accompanied by friends or a lover, can complain of feelings of loneliness. The wilderness is now inside of us.</p> <h2>Populating the wilderness of the mind</h2> <p>The lack of an obvious cure to loneliness is part of the reason why it is considered to be so dangerous today: The abstraction is frightening.</p> <p>Counterintuitively, however, the secret to dealing with modern loneliness might lie not in trying to make it disappear but in finding ways to dwell within its abstractions, talk through its contradictions and seek out others who feel the same way.</p> <p>While it’s certainly important to pay attention to the structures that have led people (especially elderly, disabled and other vulnerable people) to be physically isolated and therefore unwell, finding ways to destigmatize loneliness is also crucial.</p> <p>Acknowledging that loneliness is a profoundly human and sometimes uncurable experience rather than a mere pathology might allow people – especially lonely people – to find commonality.</p> <p>In order to look at the “epidemic of loneliness” as more than just an “epidemic of isolation,” it’s important to consider why the spaces of different people’s minds might feel like wildernesses in the first place.</p> <p>Everyone experiences loneliness differently, and many find it difficult to describe. As the novelist Joseph Conrad <a href="https://books.google.com/books?id=8P99Y2HWGK4C&amp;dq=under%20western%20eyes&amp;pg=PP1#v=onepage&amp;q=true%20loneliness&amp;f=false">wrote</a>, “Who knows what true loneliness is – not the conventional word but the naked terror? To the lonely themselves it wears a mask.” Learning about the range of ways others experience loneliness could help mitigate the kind of disorientation Conrad describes.</p> <p>Reading literature can also make the mind feel like less of a wilderness. The books we read need not themselves be about loneliness, though there are lots of examples of these, from “<a href="https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/tip-sheet/article/69506-10-books-about-loneliness.html">Frankenstein</a>” to “<a href="https://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/aug/24/teju-cole-top-10-novels-solitude">Invisible Man</a>.” Reading allows readers to connect with characters who might also be lonely; but more importantly, it offers a way to make the mind feel as though it is populated.</p> <p>Literature also offers examples of how to be lonely together. British Romantic poets often copied each other’s loneliness and found it productive and fulfilling.</p> <p>There are opportunities for community in loneliness when we share it, whether in face-to-face interactions or through text. Though loneliness can be debilitating, it has come a long way from its origins as a synonym for isolation.</p> <p>As the poet Ocean Vuong <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/05/04/someday-ill-love-ocean-vuong">wrote</a>, “loneliness is still time spent with the world.”<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/91542/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/amelia-s-worsley-443122">Amelia S. Worsley</a>, Assistant Professor of English, <em><a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/amherst-college-2155">Amherst College</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-history-of-loneliness-91542">original article</a>.</p>

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Like father like son! Ricky Ponting’s adorable first Twitter and Instagram posts

<p>Cricket fans have been anticipating this moment for years, and their wish has finally been granted: Ricky Ponting has joined social media.</p> <p>While most Aussie athletes are active on social media platforms, Ponting has avoided Instagram and Twitter until now.</p> <p>The 44-year-old tweeted four adorable photos of his son Fletcher playing cricket to mark his first post.</p> <p>The pictures show the doting dad teaching Fletcher how to grip a cricket bat during their first net session together.</p> <p>“A day of firsts; finally on social media and the first net with my son Fletcher,” posted Ponting.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">A day of firsts; finally on social media and the first net with my son Fletcher. <a href="https://t.co/DAe79MzqKr">pic.twitter.com/DAe79MzqKr</a></p> — Ricky Ponting AO (@RickyPonting) <a href="https://twitter.com/RickyPonting/status/1204672548551553024?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">11 December 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Shortly after, Ponting made an Instagram account, where he posted footage of him throwing tennis balls at his son in the nets. The younger Ponting was a natural, and clearly following in his father’s footsteps as he hit a shot that went right above his dad’s head.</p> <p>Channel 7’s cricket account was dropping hints on their Twitter about a “big, huge, enormous, massive breaking news”.</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/B57MOTVBTdA/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B57MOTVBTdA/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A day of firsts; finally on social media and the first net with my son Fletcher.</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/rickyponting/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Ricky Ponting AO</a> (@rickyponting) on Dec 11, 2019 at 12:08am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“In exactly one hour, there will be breaking news; a never before seen event,” posted 7 Cricket.</p> <p>“Although it will be more important to people on Twitter rather than those who aren’t.”</p> <p>Within one hour, Ponting’s Twitter and Instagram accounts had over 3700 and 1300 followers respectively.</p>

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The problem of living inside a social media echo chamber

<p>Pick any of the big topics of the day – <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-49560557">Brexit</a>, <a href="https://insideclimatenews.org/news/03092019/hurricane-dorian-climate-change-stall-%20%20record-wind-speed-rainfall-intensity-global-warming-bahamas">climate change</a> or <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/12/us/politics/trump-immigration-policy.html">Trump’s immigration policies</a> – and wander online.</p> <p>What one is likely to find is radical polarization – different groups of people living in different worlds, populated with utterly different facts.</p> <p><a href="https://qz.com/933150/cass-sunstein-says-social-medias-effect-on-democracy-is-alexander-hamiltons-nightmare/">Many people</a> want to <a href="https://www.adweek.com/digital/arvind-raichur-mrowl-guest-post-filter-bubbles/">blame</a> the “social media bubble” - a belief that everybody sorts themselves into like-minded communities and hears only like-minded views.</p> <p>From my perspective as a <a href="https://objectionable.net/">philosopher</a> who thinks about <a href="https://philpapers.org/rec/NGUCAA">communities</a> and <a href="https://philpapers.org/go.pl?id=NGUCIA&amp;aid=NGUCIAv1">trust</a>, this fails to get at the heart of the issue.</p> <p>In my mind, the crucial issue right now isn’t what people hear, but whom people believe.</p> <p><strong>Bubble or cult?</strong></p> <p>My research focuses on <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/episteme/article/echo-chambers-and-epistemic-bubbles/5D4AC3A808C538E17C50A7C09EC706F0">“epistemic bubbles” and “echo chambers.”</a> These are two distinct ideas, that people often blur together.</p> <p>An epistemic bubble is what happens when insiders aren’t exposed to people from the opposite side.</p> <p>An echo chamber is what happens when insiders come to distrust everybody on the outside.</p> <p>An epistemic bubble, for example, might form on one’s social media feed. When a person gets all their news and political arguments from Facebook and all their Facebook friends share their political views, they’re in an epistemic bubble. They hear arguments and evidence only from their side of the political spectrum. They’re never exposed to the other side’s views.</p> <p>An echo chamber leads its members to distrust everybody on the outside of that chamber. And that means that an insider’s trust for other insiders can grow unchecked.</p> <p>Two communications scholars, <a href="https://www.asc.upenn.edu/people/faculty/kathleen-hall-jamieson-phd">Kathleen Hall Jamieson</a> and <a href="https://www.asc.upenn.edu/people/faculty/joseph-n-cappella-phd">Joseph Cappella</a>, offered a careful analysis of the right-wing media echo chamber in their 2008 book, <a href="https://global.oup.com/academic/product/echo-chamber-9780195398601">“The Echo Chamber.”</a></p> <p>Rush Limbaugh and the Fox News team, they said, systematically manipulated whom their followers trusted. Limbaugh presented the world as a simple binary – as a struggle only between good and evil. People were trustworthy if they were on Limbaugh’s side. Anybody on the outside was malicious and untrustworthy.</p> <p>In that way, an echo chamber is a lot like a cult.</p> <p>Echo chambers isolate their members, not by cutting off their lines of communication to the world, but by changing whom they trust. And echo chambers aren’t just on the right. I’ve seen echo chambers on the left, but also on parenting forums, nutritional forums and even around exercise methods.</p> <p>In an epistemic bubble, outside voices aren’t heard. In an echo chamber, outside voices are discredited.</p> <p><strong>Is it all just a bubble?</strong></p> <p>Many experts believe that the problem of today’s polarization can be explained through epistemic bubbles.<span class="attribution"><a href="https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/wroclaw-poland-april-10th-2017-woman-624572783?src=-1-15" class="source"></a></span></p> <p>According to legal scholar and behavioral economist <a href="https://hls.harvard.edu/faculty/directory/10871/Sunstein">Cass Sunstein</a>, the main cause of polarization is that <a href="https://press.princeton.edu/titles/10935.html">internet technologies</a> have made the world such that people don’t really run into the other side anymore.</p> <p>Many people get their news from social media feeds. Their feeds get filled up with people like them - who usually share their political views. Eli Pariser, online activist and chief executive of Upworthy, spotlights how the <a href="https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/309214/the-filter-bubble-by-eli-pariser/9780143121237/">invisible algorithms</a> behind people’s internet experience limit what they see.</p> <p>For example, says Pariser, Google keeps track of its user’s choices and preferences, and changes its search results to suit them. It tries to give individuals what they want – so liberal users, for example, tend to get search results that point them toward liberal news sites.</p> <p>If the problem is bubbles, then the solution would be exposure. For Sunstein, the solution is to build more public forums, where people will run into the other side more often.</p> <p><strong>The real problem is trust</strong></p> <p>In my view, however, echo chambers are the real problem.</p> <p><a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/eprint/F2sFqWtZfpgU9nfK8u3E/full">New</a> <a href="https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Filter-Bubbles%2C-Echo-Chambers%2C-and-Online-News-Flaxman-Goel/9ece17d2915f65c66c03fa28820447199addec45">research</a> suggests there probably aren’t any real epistemic bubbles. As a matter of fact, most people are regularly exposed to the other side.</p> <p>Moreover, bubbles should be easy to pop: Just expose insiders to the arguments they’ve missed.</p> <p>But this doesn’t actually seem to work, in so many real-world cases. Take, for example, climate change deniers. They are fully aware of all the arguments on the other side. Often, they rattle off all the standard arguments for climate change, before dismissing them. Many of <a href="http://opr.ca.gov/facts/common-denier-arguments.html">the standard climate change denial</a> arguments involve claims that scientific institutions and mainstream media have been corrupted by malicious forces.</p> <p>What’s going on, <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/episteme/article/echo-chambers-and-epistemic-bubbles/5D4AC3A808C538E17C50A7C09EC706F0">in my view</a>, isn’t just a bubble. It’s not that people’s social media feeds are arranged so they don’t run across any scientific arguments; it’s that they’ve come to systematically distrust the institutions of science.</p> <p>This is an echo chamber. Echo chambers are far more entrenched and far more resistant to outside voices than epistemic bubbles. Echo chamber members have been prepared to face contrary evidence. Their echo-chambered worldview has been arranged to dismiss that evidence at its source.</p> <p>They’re not totally irrational, either. In the era of <a href="https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-great-endarkenment-9780199326020">scientific specialization</a>, people must <a href="https://doi.org/10.2307/2027007">trust</a> doctors, statisticians, biologists, chemists, physicists, nuclear engineers and aeronautical engineers, just to go about their day. <a href="https://philpapers.org/go.pl?id=NGUEAT&amp;aid=NGUEATv1">And they can’t always check</a> with perfect accuracy whether they have put their trust in the right place.</p> <p>An echo chamber member, however, distrusts the standard sources. Their trust has been redirected and concentrated inside the echo chamber.</p> <p>To break somebody out of an echo chamber, you’d need to repair that broken trust. And that is a much harder task than simply bursting a bubble.<em><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></em></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/c-thi-nguyen-606694">C. Thi Nguyen</a>, Associate Professor of Philosophy, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/utah-valley-university-2123">Utah Valley University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-problem-of-living-inside-echo-chambers-110486">original article</a>.</em></p>

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