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“Be respectful:” Channel 10 intervenes after Waleed Aly cops lashing from viewers

<p>Channel 10 has been forced to intervene on social media, after<span> </span><em>The Project</em>’s host Waleed Aly was targeted by online trolls on Wednesday afternoon.</p> <p>The Channel 10 Facebook page shared a post encouraging viewers to vote for Waleed to win the Gold Logie in the upcoming annual awards show.</p> <p>“Vote for Waleed for all his hard work on The Project,” the post read, along with a smiling photo of the 40-year-old TV personality.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7828091/new-project.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/988850533ec548ceb7058e1b9937cf60" /></p> <p>However, the post was met with a flood of negative comments, with many Facebook users claiming they had stopped watching <em>The Project </em>because of Waleed.</p> <p>“No way, I can’t stand him,” wrote one user.</p> <p>“He and [Lisa Wilkinson] have ruined The Project. They have used The Project as their own personal soapbox.”</p> <p>Another comment read: “How does this muppet still have a job let alone a Logie nomination going off the number of ppl (sic) that hate him.”</p> <p>Channel 10’s social media department stepped in after a barrage of comments, branding the negative response as “abuse” and posting a link to the network’s community guidelines.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="/media/7828090/new-project-3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/d6160e262d5b45708b4ef3ee88c81b2b" /></p> <p>“We don’t tolerate or condone any form of abuse, insults or threats to any of our 10 personalities,” read the post by Channel 10.</p> <p>“Here is a reminder of our community guidelines... At 10, we're about celebrating Australian TV talent. Please consider your comments before you post them.</p> <p>“Be kind. Be respectful. Thanks for your understanding.”</p> <p>However, the message was not received well, with many users accusing the network of being unwilling to accept criticism.</p> <p>“I think people are giving you a clear message. Not sure if you’re getting the hint though,” one comment read.</p> <p>Another person wrote: “Actually, if you want proper feedback of your cast and presenters, do not tell people what they can and can't post.”</p> <p>Waleed previously won a Gold Logie for the Most Popular Personality on Australian Television back in 2016.</p> <p>This year, the 40-year-old is up again for the award alongside Amanda Keller, Tom Gleeson, Rodger Corser, Sam Mac, Costa Georgiadis and Eve Morey.</p>

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The concerning truth about Australia's best-selling picture books

<p>In recent years, there has been a surge in “female empowerment” stories in the Australian picture book market. This long-overdue movement was largely inspired by the success of the crowdfunded book <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33016249-good-night-stories-for-rebel-girls?from_search=true"><em>Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls</em></a>, spawning many imitations since its publication in 2016.</p> <p>In April 2019, I examined the 100 bestselling picture books at Australian book retailer Dymocks: an almost 50/50 mix of modern and classic stories (the majority being published in the past five years). I discovered that despite the promising evolution of the rebel girl trend, the numbers tell us that picture books as a whole remain highly gendered and highly sexist. Worse – female protagonists remain largely invisible.</p> <p><strong>Ballerinas and princesses</strong></p> <p>In the Dymocks bestsellers list, 46 per cent of books had male protagonists, while only 17 per cent had female protagonists (in 32 per cent of books there was no lead character). There were only seven female led books in the top 50, compared to 26 male led books.</p> <p>Sixteen books in the list showed characters in specific occupations (outside of parenthood). In the female-led stories, protagonists only showed ambition for traditional feminine pursuits. There were three ballerinas, three princesses and one fashion designer - <a href="https://www.dymocks.com.au/book/chicest-mouse-in-paris-claris-by-megan-hess-9781760502591">Claris</a>, a mouse, who “dreamed about clothes” and “read about handbags in Vanity Fair”. (In this story, a misbehaving girl is also chastised for being “neither proper nor prim!”)</p> <p>In comparison, the male-led stories showed protagonists in roles ranging from farmers and chefs to zookeepers and scientists.</p> <p>Not much has changed in the past 20 years. <a href="https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED419248.pdf">A 1998 study</a> found there were four primary occupations for female characters in picture books – scullery maid, daughter, princess and mother, while there were ten for males – which included detective, aircraft inventor and knight.</p> <p><a href="https://www.dymocks.com.au/book/zog-and-the-flying-doctors-by-julia-donaldson-9781407173504"><em>Zog and the Flying Doctors</em></a> (2016), one of the books from the Dymock’s bestsellers list, attempts to rectify this gender imbalance, but doesn’t quite manage it.</p> <p>Consider the first line: “Meet the flying doctors – a dragon, knight and girl, their names are Gadabout the Great, and Zog, and Princess Pearl.” Both Zog (the dragon) and the knight are male characters. The human characters are both doctors, and it is later shown that Pearl bemoans traditional princess duties. However, the male lead is a “great” knight, while our female lead is first introduced as a “girl” and then identified as a princess.</p> <p>Of course, there is nothing wrong with ballerinas and princesses, nor with celebrating femininity. What is problematic, however, is the lack of other roles presented to young girls. When there is little variety in female-led stories, and female ambition is restricted, picture books become part of a bigger problem.</p> <p><strong>Mothers and fathers</strong></p> <p>Parental roles are also represented in largely conventional ways in picture books. In a 2005 <a href="https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s11199-005-1290-8.pdf">study of 200 picture books</a> not a single father was shown kissing or feeding a baby. While mothers were always shown as active parents (feeding, holding and caring for baby), fathers were rarely shown performing parenting duties.</p> <p>In my study, mothers were similarly shown as much more active parents, but also much more cautious and serious than fathers. <em><a href="https://www.dymocks.com.au/book/no-one-likes-a-fart-by-zoe-foster-blake-9780143786603?utm_source=googleps&amp;gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4aeHibCu4gIVER4rCh3CqAyyEAQYASABEgI1NvD_BwE">No One Likes a Fart</a> </em>(2017) is a good example of this: a mother sits daintily on the couch next to a stack of books, drinking tea. The father stands with the remote control in his hand when he farts. “Do you have to?” the mother asks crossly, as he laughs.</p> <p>Fathers are portrayed as sillier and more easy-going than mothers – but fathers are also often shown to be less engaged with raising their children. For example, in the classic Australian picture book <em><a href="https://www.dymocks.com.au/book/edwina-the-emu-by-s-knowles-and-r-clement-9780207189142">Edwina the Emu</a></em>, part of the comedy is meant to come from Edwina’s partner Edward’s reluctance to be a parent (“You must be joking!”) and subsequent difficulty and annoyance in caring for his eggs (“‘You’re late,’ muttered Edward, ‘and I need a rest’”).</p> <p><strong>Where are the girls?</strong></p> <p>Perhaps most worrying of all is how little female characters are represented – male protagonists are far more common. <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-22/kids-book-top-100-analysis/10042904">A recent study</a> showed that of the top 100 Australian picture books published in 2017, it was more common for a book to have no lead character than a female lead character. Characters with speaking parts were also much more likely to be male, and 31 of the books had all male characters while only six had all female characters.</p> <p>Male protagonists have long been the default in picture books. Consider favourite protagonists like Max from <em><a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19543.Where_the_Wild_Things_Are?from_search=true">Where the Wild Things Are</a></em>, <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/series/92222-spot-the-dog">Spot the Dog</a>, Peter Rabbit and <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=hairy+maclary">Hairy MacLary</a> - even the Very Hungry Caterpillar is a “he”. This is common throughout picture books: a character may be an animal or creature and not even have a name, but will <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110503151607.htm">most likely be referred to as a “he”</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/75NQK-Sm1YY?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> <span class="caption">Even the Very Hungry Caterpillar is a ‘he’.</span></p> <p>Of the books in the Dymocks bestseller list, 24.6 per cent had either all male characters or used all male pronouns – even when characters weren’t human and had no discernible gender. Conversely, only one used all female pronouns and there were no books with all female characters.</p> <p>How we tackle gender in picture books is important, as they help inform <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11199-013-0285-0">children’s understanding of the world and themselves</a>.</p> <p>Courageous girls and loving fathers should not be radical concepts, nor do we need to continue dividing gender so severely: girls can be sweet and brave with scientific minds, boys can be adventurous and kind with a penchant for tea parties.</p> <p>None of these traits are defined by gender. It’s time we stopped limiting the things that kids can be.<!-- 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/115843/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Sarah Mokrzycki, PhD Candidate, Victoria University</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/i-looked-at-100-best-selling-picture-books-female-protagonists-were-largely-invisible-115843"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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"I never saw any evidence of marriage": New book claims Donald and Melania Trump lead separate lives

<p>A new book on Donald Trump has claimed that he and his wife Melania Trump live separate lives, with the 45th US President and First Lady only remaining together out of an arrangement.</p> <p>Following his commercially successful expose <em>Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House</em>, Michael Wolff has released another book on Trump’s presidency.</p> <p>In new book <em>Siege: Trump Under Fire</em>, Wolff claims that the speculations surrounding the First Lady – including rumours of a body double, an extended hospital stay, delayed relocation to the White House and multiple on-record slip-ups – are indications that the Trumps’ relationship is merely for publicity purposes.</p> <p>Wolff told <a href="https://www.news.com.au/world/north-america/inside-the-trump-marriage-michael-wolff-book-claims-donald-and-melania-lead-separate-lives/news-story/782af09528c7696217d116fd1460ff7d"><em>The Australian</em></a> that the couple’s marriage is a “deal” that is akin to the rumoured relationship contract between Hollywood stars Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.</p> <p>The book, which cites more than 100 sources, features Trump’s former director campaign and adviser Steve Bannon. </p> <p>“I never saw any evidence of a marriage,” Bannon said as quoted in the book. </p> <p>He told Wolff that most mentions of the First Lady “drew a puzzled look from Trump, as if to say, ‘How is she relevant?’”</p> <p>Wolff also claimed that the First Lady’s delayed move from New York to the White House also spoke volumes.</p> <p>“Indeed, a distraught Melania, repeatedly assured by her husband during the campaign that there was no possibility he would win, had originally refused to move to Washington,” Wolff wrote.</p> <p>“And, in fact, the First Lady was not really in the White House. It had taken Melania almost six months to officially relocate from New York to Washington, but that was in name only.”</p> <p>However, many news outlets have expressed doubts over the claims in Wolff’s new book. </p> <p>“The book is full of stuff that is lurid and sensational, but so dubious in its attributions that even in a review setting I’m afraid to repeat them,” wrote Matt Taibbi of <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/michael-wolff-siege-book-taibbi-review-844398/" target="_blank"><em>Rolling Stone</em></a>.</p> <p>According to CNN political analyst Ryan Lizza, the book also contains “factual errors that mar the author’s credibility”.</p> <p>While Trump has not commented on the new <em>Siege</em> book, he rejected Wolff’s claims in <em>Fire and Fury</em>, describing the book as “the Fake Book of a mentally deranged author, who knowingly writes false information”.</p>

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Romance author Judith Krantz passes away aged 91

<p>Best-selling romance author Judith Krantz has passed away from natural causes at the age of 91. She died in her Bel Air home in California and was surrounded by family, friends and her four dogs at the time of her passing.</p> <p>Krantz was a successful journalist, writing in the industry for 27 years and interviewed a number of prominent women as well as writing numerous articles about sex. Her most popular article was “The myth of the multiple orgasm”.</p> <p>She sold more than 100 million copies of her romance novels in dozens of languages and became an author later in life, at age 50, after conquering her fear of flying, according to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-23/judith-krantz-novelist-who-mixed-sex-with-shopping-dies-at-91" target="_blank"><em>Bloomberg</em></a>.</p> <p>Each of her novels usually involved a young heroine who satisfies her taste for glamorous clothing and powerful men while navigating her way through the world of fashion, advertising and the Hollywood movie industry.</p> <p>Krantz drew on personal experience to help write her romance novels.</p> <p>“I strongly suspect that the difficulties I lived through are the elements in my life that finally made me a storyteller,” she wrote in her autobiography<span> </span><em>Sex and Shopping: The Confessions of a Nice Jewish Girl</em> (2000). </p> <p>“Looked at as a stream in which one thing led to another, the events of my life, and how I coped with them, tell me who I am. And a woman should have a clear idea of who she is.”</p> <p>Krantz also spoke about how she travelled her own “inner-directed path” in her autobiography.</p> <p>"While I seemed like another 'nice Jewish girl,' underneath that convenient cover I'd travelled my own, inner-directed path and had many a spicy and secret adventure," she wrote.</p> <p>"I grew up in a complicated tangle of privilege, family problems, and tormented teenaged sexuality."</p> <p><em>Scruples</em>, which was her first novel and told the story of the over-the-top lifestyle of the people who work in a Beverly Hills boutique, was a massive success and remained on The New York Times Best Sellers list for more than a year.</p> <p>Some of her novels were also developed into television miniseries.</p> <p>Krantz is survived by her son, Tony, daughter-in-law Kristin Dornig Krantz and grandson Nicholas.</p>

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5 minutes with author Amanda Hampson

<p><span>In <em>5 minutes with author</em>, <em>Over 60</em> asks book writers about their literary habits and preferences. Next in this series is Amanda Hampson, author and writer of 20 years. She has published two non-fiction books and five novels. Her latest fiction work, <em>Sixty Summers </em>is out now.</span></p> <p><em><span>Over 60</span></em><span> spoke with Hampson about “unreadable” work, the book that made her cry, and the importance of salsa dancing.</span></p> <p><strong><span><em>Over 60</em>: What is your best writing tip?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Amanda Hampson: Don’t get too caught up in trying to impress with literary acrobatics. Readers enjoy a good story well told and good writing grows naturally from that ambition.</span></p> <p><strong><span>What book(s) are you reading right now?</span></strong></p> <p><span>I’m reading <em>Milkman</em> by Anna Burns which is a book I resisted because of a review that condemned it as ‘unreadable’. It does require some degree of intestinal fortitude. Rather than finish a chapter before bed, you feel you’ve accomplished something if you finish a three-page long paragraph. But it’s an extraordinary book with wonderful subtle humour. </span></p> <p><strong><span>What was the last book that made you cry?</span></strong></p> <p><span><em>Less</em> by Andrew Sean Greer is a hilarious topsy-turvy story with an ending so simple and sweet it brought tears to my eyes.</span></p> <p><strong><span>What book do you think more people should read?</span></strong></p> <p><span><em>The Woman in White</em> by Wilkie Collins was published in 1859 and established the mystery/thriller genre. A textbook of conceal and reveal techniques, it draws the (increasingly uneasy) reader into gothic foggy landscapes shrouded in mystery.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Paperback, e-book or audiobook?</span></strong></p> <p><span>When I escape into a book, I also want to escape from the screen – so it’s paperback for me. I keep those books I really enjoyed, and my bookcase is packed with reading memories.</span></p> <p><strong><span>What is the best literary quote you have ever read?</span></strong></p> <p><span>The most useful for a writer is EL Doctorow’s advice: “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” I think of it when I’m stuck and frustrated that I can’t see further ahead.</span></p> <p><strong><span>What do you do when you’re not writing?</span></strong></p> <p><span>That was the exact question I asked myself last year when I finished my latest novel, <em>Sixty Summers. </em>Writing a book inevitably takes over your whole life and, when it’s done, out of habit you start another one. But this time, I decided to get out more so began learning Spanish and salsa dancing – seems to be my year of alliteration! They really helped me reset and refresh my thoughts.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Do you have any literary cliché that you love?</span></strong></p> <p><span>I love the ‘innocent bystander’ character who witnesses the story unfold without being able to influence the outcome; for example, Nick Carraway in <em>The Great Gatsby</em> or Stingo in <em>Sophie’s Choice</em>. It’s as though that character represents the reader, watching helplessly from the sidelines as it all goes wrong.</span></p>

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Anxiety: What it is and how to deal with it

<p><span>All of us have felt worried or anxious at some point in our lives – but for some people, these uncomfortable feelings can be more serious and debilitating. </span></p> <p><span>Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia, affecting one in four people at some stage in their lives. Those with anxiety may have persistent, excessive worries about seemingly unimportant problems, along with trouble relaxing and constant restlessness. The condition can interfere with your ability to concentrate, sleep and carry out everyday activities.</span></p> <p><span>Fortunately, it can be managed with the right treatment. Clinical psychologist and author Sarah Edelman has delved into the subject in her new book, <a href="https://www.harpercollins.com.au/9780733339776/no-worries-a-guide-to-releasing-anxiety-and-worry-using-cbt/"><em>No Worries: A Guide to Managing Anxiety and Worry Using CBT</em></a>. <em>Over 60 </em>talked with Edelman to gain a deeper look into the condition and discuss the best strategies to deal with unhelpful thinking.</span></p> <p><strong><span><em>Over 60</em>:</span></strong><span> <strong>What is the most common misconception about dealing with worry and anxiety?</strong></span></p> <p><span>Sarah Edelman: The most common misperception is that you can just get over it by thinking rationally, or just trying to see reason.  To change ingrained habits, we need a better understanding of anxiety, how it influences the way that we think and how it affects our behaviour. It is also helpful to recognise the beliefs that maintain the urge to worry. People can substantially reduce the frequency and intensity of anxiety, but it requires knowledge, self-awareness and practice of new habits.</span></p> <p><strong><span><em>O60</em>: Why do we develop worries and anxious thoughts?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Edelman: The human brain evolved in environments that were highly dangerous, so paying attention to threat had evolutionary benefits.  Although our world is far safer than the one occupied by our Stone Age ancestors, our brain is still designed to pay attention to threats. </span></p> <p><span>Many people are particularly prone to experiencing anxiety because they are genetically wired that way. Often there is a family history of anxiety, and sometimes depression as well. In addition, early life experiences have shaped our view of the world. People who grew up in an environment where aversive experiences are unpredictable and uncontrollable are more likely to have developed a vigilant, threat focused thinking style. This makes them prone to anxiety and worry.</span></p> <p><span>People may also become more anxious in later life because of feelings of vulnerability that come with having less control over our lives. If we have already developed habits such as excessive worry and overthinking, these may become more ingrained in later years, particularly if we don’t have lots of distractions.</span></p> <p><strong><span><em>O60</em>: Why do some people have difficulty letting go of this “unhelpful thinking”?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Edelman: In addition to our history and genetic disposition, we develop beliefs about the benefits of overthinking and staying vigilant to threat. These beliefs are usually unconscious, but can be brought to consciousness quite easily through introspection. Common beliefs that maintain the urge to worry include:</span></p> <ul> <li><span>Worry prepares me for the worst</span></li> <li><span>Worry help me to solve problems and motivates me to get things done</span></li> <li><span>Worry gives me control</span></li> <li><span>Worry means I care</span></li> <li><span>Worry can prevent bad things from happening</span></li> <li><span>To not worry would make me careless and irresponsible.</span></li> </ul> <p><span>As long as we believe that worry is protective, we are highly motivated to keep it up.  Most often, we don’t even realise that these beliefs affect our urge to worry. </span></p> <p><strong><span><em>O60</em>: Are there any simple habits that people can apply to their daily life to reduce worry and anxiety?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Edelman: Don’t confuse thoughts for reality. Just because you think something, doesn’t mean it’s true. If you are anxious, your perspective is likely to be biased by anxiety. Your thoughts become catastrophic. You cannot trust the content of your thoughts when you are in an anxious state.</span></p> <p><span>Use mindfulness exercises to build awareness of what is happening within your own mind. Observe your current experience, including the contents of your mind. Identify and label worry thoughts in action. Recognise that thoughts are just thoughts. They are not you, and they are not reality. </span></p> <p><span>Practise relaxation techniques to help identify physical tension as it emerges, and learn how to release it. </span></p> <p><span>Reflect on why you feel drawn to engage with worry. Remember that worry is about trying to be safe by considering all negative possibilities, but it never brings you the reassurance that you seek. </span></p> <p><span>Don’t confuse worry for problem-solving. You can problem-solve without worrying, by brainstorming solutions with pen and paper in hand. Worry does not add value to problem-solving. Don’t assume that worry prevents good or bad things from happening. Worry makes no difference to life events. </span></p> <p><span>Problem-solve if appropriate, but if it is out of your hands, practise acceptance. Many things are not within your control. Uncertainty is a normal part of life. Relax into uncertainty. </span></p> <p><span>Many problems resolve themselves. You don’t always need to intervene. Give them time. </span></p> <p>When we feel bad, it feels like this is our new reality, and things will never change. But upsetting emotions pass. Sometimes the situations themselves change, but if they don’t, we adjust to the new reality. Time heals.</p>

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5 minutes with author Kayte Nunn

<p><span>In <em>5 minutes with author</em>, <em>Over 60</em> asks book writers about their literary habits and preferences. Next in this series is Kayte Nunn, author and former book and magazine editor based in Northern Rivers, NSW. After publishing two country town-inspired novels, <em>Rose’s Vintage</em> (2016) and <em>Angel’s Share</em> (2017), Nunn released her first historical fiction work with <em>The Botanist’s Daughter </em>(2018), which became the country’s top ten bestseller. Her newest novel, <em>The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant</em> is out now. </span></p> <p><em><span>Over 60</span></em><span> spoke with Nunn to discuss her ride-or-die books, the genre she reads for fun, and the biggest obstacle to writing.</span></p> <p><strong><span><em>Over 60</em>: What is your best writing tip?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Kayte Nunn: Block the Internet/hide your phone and set aside time to write every day – even an hour will add up. Show up for the work.</span></p> <p><strong><span>What book(s) are you reading right now?</span></strong></p> <p><span>I’ve recently read <em>The Whisper Network</em> by Chandler Baker and loved it. I’ve also recently discovered the novels of Sarah Winman and Maggie O’Farrell, and am catching up on those.</span></p> <p><strong><span>What is your favourite literary character?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Mrs Danvers in <em>Rebecca</em> – she is terrifying. Honorable mention to Anne Shirley, a character I have adored since I was a young girl.</span></p> <p><strong><span>What book do you think more people should read?</span></strong></p> <p><span><em>Everyone Brave is Forgiven</em> by Chris Cleeve.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Paperback, e-book or audiobook?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Paperback mostly, audiobook on a road trip, e-book when I am travelling or can’t get it in paperback. </span></p> <p><strong><span>What genre do you read for fun?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Crime – it’s the opposite of the books I write, but I love figuring out whodunit.</span></p> <p><strong><span>If you could only read five books for the rest of your life, what titles would you choose?</span></strong></p> <p><span>L. M. Montgomery’s <em>Anne of Green Gables</em> (I still cry when Matthew dies); Jilly Cooper’s <em>Riders</em> (it never fails to cheer me up); Alan Bennett’s <em>Untold Stories</em> (so many gems that are a joy to reread); <em>Up the Line to Death: War Poets 1914-18</em> (I love poetry, and particularly those written at this time in history); and Chris Cleeve’s <em>Everyone Brave is Forgiven</em> (a beautifully written book with a wonderfully emotive story).</span></p> <p><strong><span>Which trope grinds your gears?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Girl – generally blonde – found dead in the first chapter. I’ve read it too many times.</span></p>

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5 of the best writing tips from Stephen King

<p><span>Very few authors are as accomplished and influential as Stephen King. With 60 novels under his belt and more than 350 million copies sold worldwide, King’s works have become cultural icons and touchstones of the horror and suspense genre. His impact also extends beyond the literary world – many of his works have been adapted to classic box office hits, such as <em>IT</em>, <em>Carrie </em>and <em>The Shawshank Redemption</em>.</span></p> <p><span>Over the years, King has shared some of the tricks behind his masterful storytelling. Here are some of them.</span></p> <p><strong><span>1. Read a lot</span></strong></p> <p><span>King has no patience for aspiring writers who claim to have no time to read. “You can’t put it off… you gotta read just about everything,” he said during a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=19&amp;v=hqp7A0B7abc">lecture</a> at Yale University. </span></p> <p><span>A pleasant surprise awaits once you become a seasoned reader, King said. “There’s a magic moment – if you read enough, it will always come to you if you want to be a writer – where you put down some book and say, ‘This really sucks. I can do better than this. And this guy got published’.” </span></p> <p><strong>2. Be concise</strong></p> <p><span>King is a strong advocate of compact, incisive prose. “For me, a good description usually consists of a few well-chosen details that will stand for everything else,” he wrote in his book <em>On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft</em>. “It’s also important to know what to describe, and what can be left alone while you get on with your main job, which is telling a story.”</span></p> <p><strong>3. Avoid adverbs</strong></p> <p><span>You may think moderate use of adverbs elevate your work, but King is not a fan. “To put it another way, they’re like dandelions,” he explained. </span></p> <p><span>“If you have one on your lawn, it looks pretty and unique. If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day… fifty the day after that… and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely, and profligately covered with dandelions. By then you see them for the weeds they really are, but by then it’s – gasp!! – too late.”</span></p> <p><strong>4. Edit, edit and edit</strong></p> <p><span>According to King, a manuscript is not done before it is marked up, polished and even rewritten multiple times. “Only God gets things right the first time,” he wrote in a <a href="https://jerryjenkins.com/stephen-king-writing-advice/">blog post</a>. “Don’t be a slob.”</span></p> <p><strong>5. Let go of the plot</strong></p> <p><span>In what might be his most <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/books/comments/8btcvo/why_is_stephen_king_not_considered_a_great_writer/dx9gu9j?utm_source=share&amp;utm_medium=web2x">controversial</a> piece of advice, King said that the best stories are unearthed rather than created.</span></p> <p><span>“I distrust plot for two reasons,” he said. “First, because our lives are largely plotless, even when you add in all our reasonable precautions and careful planning; and second, because I believe plotting and the spontaneity of real creation aren’t compatible.”</span></p> <p><span>Instead of trying to build a storyline, he simply acts as a narrator, watching characters react to predicaments. “Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world,” he said. “The writer’s job is to use the tools in his or her toolbox to get as much of each one out of the ground intact as possible.”</span></p>

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5 minutes with author Marcella Polain

<p><span>In <em>5 minutes with author</em>, <em>Over 60</em> asks book writers about their literary habits and preferences. Next in this series is Marcella Polain, novelist, poet and short fiction writer. Apart from her critically acclaimed poetry collections – <em>Dumbstruck </em>(1996), <em>Each Clear Night </em>(2000) and <em>Therapy Like Fish</em> (2008) – she also has a number of published essays and short stories under her belt. Her latest novel, <em>Driving into the Sun</em> is out now. <em>Over 60</em> spoke with Polain to discuss the best time to write, the book she reads for research purposes, and the unexpected reason people should read the Bible.   </span></p> <p><strong><em><span>Over 60</span></em><span>: What is your best writing tip?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Marcella Polain: Find your best writing time – mine’s first thing in the morning before speaking to anyone – and prioritise, protect and use it. If you don’t, no one else will. And, equally important, read good writing. Reading and writing are the two sides of that coin we hear about.</span></p> <p><strong><span>What book(s) are you reading right now?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Because I’m in Oxford at the moment, researching for another book, I’m reading the English translation of <em>All Souls</em> by Javier Marías, which is set there. </span></p> <p><strong><span>What is your favourite word in the English language?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Who can choose only one? Discombobulate, rapscallion, susurrus – I like the sound of many words. But the effect of a word also depends on its context. The word “oh”, for example, is quite common – we use it often in speech – and it can carry many meanings depending on its tone. Imparting a particular tone on paper demands work. </span></p> <p><strong><span>What book do you think more people should read?</span></strong></p> <p><span>This is going to make me sound like someone I’m not, but my answer is the Bible. Not for religious purposes but for the stories – the Fall, the Flood, Cain and Abel, etc - which are the foundation myths of the Judeo-Christian tradition, the tradition into which most English language literature belongs. I’ve noticed that, in the last 25 years, there has been a big change and students now come into my writing classes not knowing these stories – so when they read English language literature, they miss important cultural meanings. Whether we want to embrace or resist these myths in our writing, we need to be able to recognise them in the first place. </span></p> <p><strong><span>Paperback, e-book or audiobook?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Hardback! But any material, codex book will do. It’s a brilliant technology that fits in the human hand, is pliable, portable, reliable, self-contained. No power required and it smells good. Also, the paper, the typeface, the cover design – all these are artefacts of a moment in the history of publishing. Computers are great but when we spend so much time on them who wants to read for pleasure on them? I love being read to, so am also a fan of the audiobook.</span></p> <p><strong><span>What is your writing routine like?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Ad hoc. I rarely follow my own advice but am trying to get better at that. It’s a lifetime’s project. I’m very busy with my day job at Edith Cowan University, which I also love, so I have to fit in bits of writing where I can.</span></p> <p><strong><span>What is your least favourite trope?</span></strong></p> <p><span>I’m a poet and a writer of literary fiction, so anything that’s formulaic. I’m especially sensitive to lazy endings. Many a story is ruined for me by an ending that feels contrived, unconvincing or derivative. </span></p> <p><strong><span>How many projects do you do at a time?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Usually I work on one project at a time because I need to focus all my imaginative energy and skill on it to make it the best it can be. Good writing is difficult. To do my best work I have to work really hard. While writing <em>Driving into the Sun</em>, which took a long time, I did write some poems, however. They’re waiting for redrafting in my journal.</span></p>

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How Danielle Steel became one of the world's bestselling authors

<p><span>Danielle Steel is probably one of the most productive writers in the world. Since 1973, she has written 179 books, averaging to about seven each year. She has sold more than 800 million copies, and was listed in the<em> Guinness Book of World Records</em> for the most consecutive weeks on <em>The New York Times </em>best seller-list with an impressive record of 381 weeks. </span></p> <p><span>The secret, she revealed, was nothing short of steely commitment and work ethic.</span></p> <p><span>In an interview with <a href="https://www.glamour.com/story/danielle-steel-books-interview"><em>Glamour</em></a>, the 71-year-old novelist said she works 20 to 22 hours per day – not to mention the 24-hour sessions she puts herself into “when she feels the crunch”. Sustaining herself on a diet of toast, decaf coffee and chocolate bars, she spends the day on her desk to type away. “Dead or alive, rain or shine, I get to my desk and I do my work,” she said.</span></p> <p><span>Steel persists even in the face of writer’s block. “I keep working. The more you shy away from the material, the worse it gets. You're better off pushing through and ending up with 30 dead pages you can correct later than just sitting there with nothing.”</span></p> <p><span>Steel is also less sympathetic with the “burnout culture” that many millennials found themselves in due to exhausting work demands. “They expect to have a nice time,” she says. “To me your twenties and a good part of your thirties are about working hard so that you have a better quality of life later on. I mean, I never expected that quality of life at 25. I had three jobs at the same time, and after work I wrote.”</span></p> <p><span>Experts and writers alike have expressed skepticism over the 22-hour-work day claim. “The idea that someone could sustain that pattern effectively – work, write, commit things to memory, use their full brain capacity – is just unbelievable to me,” sleep consultant Katie Fischer told the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/books/shortcuts/2019/may/13/danielle-steel-works-22-hour-days-is-it-possible"><em>Guardian</em></a>.</span></p> <p><span>“The appeal of Steel’s process, then, seems to be that every day is race day. But you can’t sustain that,” English author Liam Murray Bell wrote on <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-write-a-novel-four-fiction-writers-on-danielle-steels-insane-working-day-117155"><em>The Conversation</em></a>. “Little and often is my mantra, with every day building momentum.”</span></p> <p>However, creative writing lecturer David Bishop said Steel’s routine merits an important lesson. “To be a writer does not require 22 hours at a desk each day, but Steel is right that there are no miracles, either,” he said. “If you want to be a writer, you have to write – however you do it. That much is inescapable.”</p>

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Why rereading the same book is good for you

<p><span>Ever found yourself picking up the same book again, even though you’ve read it cover to cover multiple times? Or do you go for the same TV show each night despite the fact that you have seen every episode? If you’ve ever wondered why it is so satisfying to revisit your favourite entertainment over and over again, there is an explanation for it.</span></p> <p><span>According to a study published by the <a href="https://www.gwern.net/docs/culture/2012-russell.pdf"><em>Journal of Consumer Research</em></a>, the phenomenon of rereading books, rewatching movies and returning to your favourite spots in town could be referred to as “reconsumption”.</span></p> <p><span>The researchers said: “Consumers gain richer and deeper insights into the reconsumption object itself but also an enhanced awareness of their own growth in understanding and appreciation through the lens of the reconsumption object.”</span></p> <p><span>They concluded that repeated reconsumption is a way for people to express and affirm “their individual experience and its special meanings to them”.</span></p> <p><span>Indeed, art and entertainment can have a lasting impact on people’s lives, even long after they were first brought into the world. This explains the appeal of nostalgia, where people would go back to old films, songs and books and see how they hold up after years have passed.</span></p> <p><span>So instead of starting a new book, you may want to look back into your shelf and find an old title – chances are, you may spot some previously unseen details in your umpteenth read.</span></p>

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5 minutes with author Robyn Cadwallader

<p><span>In <em>5 minutes with author</em>, <em>Over 60</em> asks book writers about their literary habits and preferences. Next in this series is Robyn Cadwallader, editor and writer based outside of Canberra. Her 2015 debut novel, <em>The Anchoress</em> won the ACT Book of the Year People’s Choice Award and a Canberra Critics’ Circle Award for fiction. Her second book, <em>Book of Colours </em>was released in April 2018. In addition to these two titles, Cadwallader has also written poetry, reviews, and non-fiction book <em>Three Readings of the Thirteenth-Century Seinte Marherete</em>. <em>Over 60</em> spoke with Cadwallader about writing routine, soothing poetry, and the task of juggling between different projects. </span></p> <p><strong><span><em>Over 60</em>: What is your best writing tip?</span></strong></p> <p>Robyn Cadwallader: <span>Back yourself. While it’s vital to read and be ready to learn from others, remember that only you can write with your voice and vision; don’t weaken it by trying to be someone else. That’s a certain way for doubt to creep in. Trust yourself, put down your words in your way. </span></p> <p><strong><span>What book(s) are you reading right now?</span></strong></p> <p><span>I’m reading Nigel Featherstone’s <em>Bodies of Men</em>, a beautiful love story set in World War II and I’m about to begin reading Melissa Lucashenko’s <em>Too Much Lip</em>. I’m also reading lots of books for my research about thirteenth-century England for the next novel.</span></p> <p><strong><span>What is your favourite literary quote?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Don’t just write what you know; write what you don’t know about what you know. </span></p> <p><strong><span>What book do you think more people should read?</span></strong></p> <p><span>I think people would be less anxious and would learn to be kinder to themselves and others and the natural world if they read Mary Oliver’s poetry. It’s easy to read and understand, but so full of gentle wisdom and love for the natural world.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Paperback, e-book or audiobook?</span></strong></p> <p><span>All three! I love the feel of a physical book in my hand. But when I’m travelling, my kindle lets me take with me whatever books I want. And on long car journeys, we always immerse ourselves in audiobooks.</span></p> <p><strong><span>What is your writing routine like?</span></strong></p> <p><span>I don’t plan my stories, so I usually begin the day writing in a kind of diary / notebook about anything and everything because it stops me being scared of the next unknown part of the story. I jot down where I’m at in the story, any questions or worries I have about a character or plot development; sometimes a conversation with myself about how the work is going. That usually loosens me up to start writing. Then it’s about six hours of writing, hopefully.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Which trope grinds your gears?</span></strong></p> <p><span>The neat, everything resolved, happy ever after ending that leaves no room for the reader to take the story further in their own mind. </span></p> <p><strong><span>How many projects do you do at a time?</span></strong></p> <p><span>One major project at a time. Beyond that, I’m also writing blog posts, newsletters and interviews, editing reviews for the online journal, <em>Verity La</em>, and keeping up with social media, so there is some juggling and learning to prioritise.</span></p>

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5 minutes with author Bridie Jabour

<p><span>In <em>5 minutes with author</em>, <em>Over 60</em> asks book writers about their literary habits and preferences. Next in the series is Bridie Jabour, journalist, editor and writer. She regularly appears on the ABC, Sky News and Triple J. Her 2018 debut novel, <em>The Way Things Should Be </em>is getting a UK release in the coming August under the title <em>My Not So Functional Family</em>.</span></p> <p><em><span>Over 60</span></em><span> spoke with Jabour to discuss her favourite literary cliché, the book that made her rethink the world, and the ultimate tip to make writing easier.</span></p> <p><strong><span><em>Over 60</em>: What is your best writing tip? </span></strong></p> <p><span>Bridie Jabour: Write the first draft as if nobody is going to read it, not your spouse, not your best friend, not your kids, not your mum. Self-consciousness can be the biggest difference to writing or not writing, so just remember nobody else ever has to see it.</span></p> <p><strong><span>What book(s) are you reading right now?</span></strong></p> <p><span><em>The Erratics</em> by Vicki Laveau-Harvie, which everyone has already read, and <em>Terrific Mother</em> by Lorrie Moore – it’s slim but a punch to the guts.</span></p> <p><strong><span>What book do you think more people should read? </span></strong></p> <p><span><em>Women, Race and Class</em> by Angela Y. Davis. It taught me a lot about the world.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Paperback, e-book or audiobook? </span></strong></p> <p><span>Paperback! But my son is slowly banishing my books from the apartment to make way for him so I think I will be getting a Kindle soon.</span></p> <p><strong><span>How many books do you read each year? </span></strong></p> <p><span>About 30. Sometimes I can read one in a month and other times I can read three in a week – it depends on what I’m supposed to be doing with my time.</span></p> <p><strong><span>What books do you go to for a literary pick-me-up?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Novels by women that you just devour, such as <em>American Wife</em> by Curtis Sittenfeld or <em>I Capture the Castle</em> by Dodie Smith.</span></p> <p><strong><span>What is a literary trope that you can’t help but love, if any? </span></strong></p> <p><span>Adult siblings reunited.</span></p>

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Why you should set your phone to black and white

<p><span>Feeling more glued to your phone than you should be? According to a <a href="https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2017/02/smartphone-habits-and-pet-peeves-of-australians/">2017 study</a>, the average Australian spends 2.5 hours each day on their smartphones, with three out of four men (74 per cent) admitting to having their phone at hand throughout the whole day compared with 60 per cent of women. </span></p> <p><span>If you are concerned about your screentime, setting your phone to grayscale may help.</span></p> <p><span>Replacing the saturated colours with black-and-white tones may help make the apps look less enticing, saving you from endless checking and scrolling. Switching to grayscale can also help you save battery life and make it easier on your eyes, especially if you have visual impairments such as colour blindness.</span></p> <p><span>Here’s how you can change your phone to black and white.</span></p> <p><strong><span>iPhone</span></strong></p> <ol> <li>Open Settings &gt; General &gt; Accessibility &gt; Display Accommodations.</li> <li>Select Color Filters, then toggle the switch on.</li> <li>Select Grayscale.</li> </ol> <p><span>To set it back to the colourful setting, simply switch the toggle back.</span></p> <p><strong><span>Android</span></strong></p> <ol> <li>Open Settings &gt; About device &gt; Software info.</li> <li>Tap on the Builder number several times until a notification appears that you are now a developer.</li> <li>Go back to Settings and choose Developer options on the bottom of the list. Toggle on the switch at the top if it is not already on.</li> <li>Open Simulate color space.</li> <li>Select Monochromacy.</li> </ol>

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5 minutes with author Joanna Nell

<p><span>In <em>5 minutes with author</em>, <em>Over 60</em> asks book writers about their literary habits and preferences. Next in this series is Joanna Nell, author and GP based in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. She won an Emerging Writer’s award from the Henry Lawson Society in 2014, and has written short stories for a number of magazines, journals and anthologies ever since. Her debut novel, <em>The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village </em>became a national bestseller, and its follow-up <em>The Last Voyage of Mrs Henry Parker</em> is set to be released in October.</span></p> <p><em><span>Over 60</span></em><span> spoke with Nell to talk about blind date with a book, her go-to authors for mood boosters, and why she consumes books in all forms.</span></p> <p><strong><span><em>Over 60</em>: What is your best writing tip?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Joanna Nell: Keep a notebook and pen next to the bed. I’ve lost track of the number of brilliant ideas that have come to me in the middle of the night, ones that I was absolutely, positively certain I’d remember in the morning. And didn’t.</span></p> <p><strong><span>O60: What book(s) are you reading right now?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Nell: I’m reading the hilariously entertaining yet poignant <em>Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows</em> by Balli Kaur Jaswal, and for research purposes, dipping into the delightful <em>Your Backyard Birds</em> by Dr Grainne Cleary.</span></p> <p><strong><span>O60: What is your favourite literary character?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Nell: My favourite literary character would have to be the charming Count Alexander Rostov (recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, member of the Jockey Club, Master of the Hunt) from <em>A Gentleman in Moscow</em> by Amor Towles.</span></p> <p><strong><span>O60: What book do you think more people should read?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Nell: People should read the book that they would never normally pick up. Experimenting with a new author or genre can take the reader of on the most unexpected and exciting journey. That’s why I’m a huge fan of “Blind Date With A Book” initiatives run by bookshops and libraries.</span></p> <p><strong><span>O60: Paperback, e-book or audiobook?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Nell: All three. I buy paperbacks to support my local independent booksellers, e-books when I’m travelling (or so impatient I can’t wait until the shops open), and listen to non-fiction and memoir on audiobooks whilst walking the dog or driving.</span></p> <p><strong><span>O60: What genre do you read for fun?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Nell: I read a wide variety of genres for pleasure – anything and everything. When I need an instant pick-me-up however, my go-to authors are humorists such as Alan Bennett, David Sedaris and SJ Perelman. The brilliantly observed <em>Talking Heads</em> monologues by Alan Bennett are my all-time laugh-out-loud favourite. </span></p> <p><strong><span>O60: If you could only read five books for the rest of your life, what titles would you choose?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Nell: Five? That’s tricky. Even Marie Kondo is more lenient! If however, I was forced (at gun point) to whittle my beloved books down, I’d chose <em>The English Patient</em> by Michael Ondaatje, <em>On Writing</em> by Stephen King, <em>The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat</em> by Oliver Sacks, <em>The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox</em> by Maggie O’Farrell and <em>Black Beauty</em> by Anna Sewell. Five very different books for five very different reasons.</span></p> <p><strong><span>O60: Which trope grinds your gears?</span></strong></p> <p><span>Nell: I love a good crime novel but I’m tired of reading about young, beautiful dead girls. In 2019, I feel it’s time for authors to move on from violence against women and use their imagination when creating more original murder victims.</span></p>

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The brilliant way Disney celebrated the birth of baby Archie

<p>Plenty of babies and young children have Disney products in their possession, but not many can say they have a special gift directly from the animation company itself.</p> <p>Following the arrival of baby Archie Mountbatten-Windsor on May 6, Disney created a Winnie-The-Pooh animation video to celebrate his birth.</p> <p>The brilliant clip details the honey-loving bear travelling all the way to Windsor Palace to bring a special book to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the newborn son in a cradle.</p> <p>In the animation, Winnie-the-Pooh travels all the way from the Hundred Acre Wood to the new royal parents, with a book with a crown on the cover under his arm.</p> <p>The bear then is seen sitting beside the Duke and Duchess as they flip through the book with a smile on their faces.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">To celebrate the birth of Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, <a href="https://twitter.com/Disney?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Disney</a> have created a special Winnie-the-Pooh animation as a gift for Harry and Meghan. The short was hand-painted in watercolour by Disney’s senior principal artist Kim Raymond. Really special🎨 <a href="https://t.co/PrY5wlMeBQ">pic.twitter.com/PrY5wlMeBQ</a></p> — Omid Scobie (@scobie) <a href="https://twitter.com/scobie/status/1126580022150598657?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 9, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>The video was shared to social media, garnering in over 7,000 likes and retweets with the caption: “The short was hand-painted in watercolour by Disney’s senior principal artist Kim Raymond.”</p> <p>Royal commentator Omid Scobie shared the sweet animation, one that might have had quite a profound impact on Prince Harry in particular.</p> <p>When his nephew Prince Louis was born in April last year, the Prince reportedly bought a very special gift for the latest royal arrival, which was a rare first-edition of the AA Milne classic.</p> <p>The book, <em>Winnie-The-Pooh </em>was published originally in 1926 and is reported to cost upwards of $15,000.</p> <p>Royal insiders claimed the first-of-its-kind novel was just a small part of a number of first editions Prince Harry planned to obtain for his young nephews and niece.</p> <p>“He originally wanted to get Lewis Carroll’s <em>Through The Looking Glass</em>, which was on sale for £24,000 ($AU45,000), but decided Winnie-The-Pooh would be more suitable reading material,” they told <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6727671/prince-harry-louis-winnie-the-pooh-christening/" target="_blank" title="The Sun">The Sun</a></em> last year.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see the special animation for baby Archie through images.</p>

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World's most hackable passwords: Is yours on the list?

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many people still stick to “easy” passwords to secure sensitive accounts, a study has suggested.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The UK National Cyber Security Centre has released the top 100,000 passwords that have been exposed in data breaches around the world. Using the data from Troy Hunt’s </span><em><a href="https://haveibeenpwned.com/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Have I Been Pwned</span></a></em> <span style="font-weight: 400;">site, the study aimed to identify the gaps in cyber-security knowledge and help reduce the occurrence of account breaches and exploitation.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The most popular password on the list was 123456, which was used by more than 23 million breached accounts. On the second place was 123456789, followed by “qwerty”, “password” and 111111.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The most common name to be used as a password was “ashley” with more than 430,000 appearances. Other top names included “michael”, “daniel”, “jessica” and “charlie”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dan U, senior security researcher at the NCSC said blocking these common passwords would help users protect their accounts. “Security works when people act as a community, whether that's allowing people to realise how common their password is, or just giving them confidence that the password they've picked at work or home is more sensible,” he wrote in </span><a href="https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/blog-post/passwords-passwords-everywhere"><span style="font-weight: 400;">a statement</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">More websites and Internet services have been hit with security breaches in recent years, including Facebook, Microsoft, </span><a href="https://money.cnn.com/2017/10/03/technology/business/yahoo-breach-3-billion-accounts/index.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Yahoo</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and more.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The NCSC recommended choosing three random yet memorable words to create a strong password, such as “walltinshirt” or “coffeetrainfish”, and avoiding credential reuse. </span></p> <p><strong>Top 20 most popular passwords:</strong></p> <ol> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">123456</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">123456789</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">qwerty</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">password</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">111111</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">12345678</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">abc123</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">1234567</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">password1</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">12345</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">1234567890</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">123123</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">000000</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">iloveyou</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">1234</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">1q2w3e4r5t</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">qwertyuiop</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">123</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">monkey</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">dragon</span></li> </ol>

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5 minutes with author Fleur McDonald

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;"> In </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">5 minutes with author</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">, </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Over 60</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> asks book writers about their literary habits and preferences. Next in this series is Fleur McDonald, rural literature author and speaker. In writing her books – 12 of which are rural fiction – McDonald draws inspiration from her experience of growing up near Orroroo in South Australia and working and living near Esperance, Western Australia to manage her 8,000-acre station. Her latest addition to the </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Detective Dave Burrows</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> novel series, </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Without a Doubt </span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">is out now. </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Over 60</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> spoke with McDonald to discuss Michael Connelly’s best title, her favourite TV character, and a common phrase she couldn’t get her head around.   </span></p> <p><strong><em>Over 60</em>: What is your best writing tip?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fleur McDonald: Just to keep writing. You can’t edit an empty page. If you write every day – even if it’s only for an hour or so, you’ll find that you get into the flow much more easily, than if you’re a bit haphazard.</span></p> <p><strong>What book(s) are you reading right now?</strong></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Normal People</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> by Sally Rooney, </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Boy Swallows Universe</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> by Trent Dalton and </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The French Photographer</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> by Natasha Lester.</span></p> <p><strong>What is your favourite literary character?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Harry Bosch from the Michael Connelly series. I also love Raymond Reddington from the TV series </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Blacklist</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> – I know he’s not a literary character, but he’s fictional!</span></p> <p><strong>What book do you think more people should read?</strong></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Poet</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> by Michael Connelly. Such a great suspenseful and thrilling read. I think it’s his best book.</span></p> <p><strong>Paperback, e-book or audiobook?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Paperback, and then audio in that order. I don’t think I’ve ever read an e-book!</span></p> <p><strong>How many books do you read each year?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Oh, tricky question. I have no idea! Probably not enough because my to-be-read pile never seems to decrease at the rate I would like it to!</span></p> <p><strong>If you could only read five books for the rest of your life, what titles would you choose?</strong></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Poet</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> by Michael Connelly, </span><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Jillaroo</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> by Rachael Treasure and three books that haven’t yet been published, because I’m sure there’s lots more good ones to come!</span></p> <p><strong>What is your least favourite trope?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">I’ve never understood or liked “Call me anything, but don’t call me late for dinner.” It’s just weird!</span></p>

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Should your dog go vegan?

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Veganism and vegetarianism have become increasingly popular amongst Australians, but what about their four-legged best friends?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The idea of giving dogs a vegan diet has remained controversial in the recent years. For vegan owners, it might be uncomfortable and against their values to feed pets with another animal. However, dissenters believe meat and bones are essential for dogs’ health and growth.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So what does science have to say in this matter? </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In short, it is still inconclusive. According to Wanda McCormick, animal physiologist and senior lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University, dogs may digest plant-based food more easily than their canine predecessors, thanks to extensive domestication. However, this also means that they are more vulnerable to tooth loss and decay due to lower exposure to bones.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“There’s also the fact that bones, raw hide and meat-based chews can offer significant behavioural benefits to dogs,” McCormick wrote on </span><a href="https://theconversation.com/vegan-dogs-should-canines-go-meat-free-103404"><span style="font-weight: 400;"><em>The Conversation</em></span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. “Chewing can be an immensely satisfying and relaxing experience for dogs. And in a world where many pets experience long periods of time alone, such opportunities can be invaluable.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many other experts are also undecided. So far, there are no longitudinal studies on veganism in dogs. “Most of what we know about their nutrition is by trial and error,” Greg Aldrich, associate professor at Kansas State University specialising in pet food nutrition told </span><a href="https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/4/11/18301016/dog-food-feeding-pets-vegan-history"><span style="font-weight: 400;"><em>Vox</em></span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This might explain why some vets are more open to meat-free meal plan, while others are more reluctant. “Can I create a vegetarian diet for a dog? Yes, I can … We have to pay very, very, very special attention, though, because they do have tendencies toward a more carnivorous physiology,” said Aldrich.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Only today, knowing all I know about nutrition and all of the analytical techniques, would I feel comfortable feeding a dog a vegetarian diet.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Nevertheless, Aldrich said he still would not put his Labrador retriever on a vegetarian diet.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brisbane pet nutritionist Ruth Hatten recommends a mixed diet to ensure that your dog gets all the nutrients it needs. “I still encourage including raw meaty bones, raw free-range eggs and fish. While not vegan, it allows reduction of meat while significantly reducing any health concerns that may arise from a vegan diet,” Hatten told </span><em><a href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/home/pets/im-raising-my-dogs-vegan/news-story/18a4a4e6ffc1b93e4f0911340de8f39f"><span style="font-weight: 400;">news.com.au</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I understand it can be challenging for vegans to feed their dog meat, but I believe that our primary obligation is to the animals in our care. Sometimes a dog won’t enjoy a vegan diet, and that is an important factor, too.” </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you are set on a vegan or vegetarian diet for your dog, vet Derek McNair advises taking gradual steps. “Take at least a month to allow time for gut bacteria to adjust,” McNair told </span><a href="https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/home/pets/im-raising-my-dogs-vegan/news-story/18a4a4e6ffc1b93e4f0911340de8f39f"><span style="font-weight: 400;"><em>news.com.au</em></span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. “Have them checked every six months … After about two years, if everything is looking good with blood tests and so on, stretch it out to annually, which is what we recommend for every dog, regardless of diet.”</span></p>

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The most popular words in the English language

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">What is your favourite word in the English language?</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The most appealing word can vary for each person. Some people favour beautiful-sounding words, such as aquiver (adjective, defined as “quivering or trembling”), mellifluous (adjective, “smooth and musical to hear”), and discombobulated (adjective, “upset” or “confused”).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Others decide on their favourite word based on the meaning or what they represent. Some examples include serendipity (noun, “the chance occurrence and development of events in a beneficial way”), defenestration (noun, “the act of throwing someone out of the window”) and petrichor (noun, “a pleasant smell frequently accompanying the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather”).</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If English is not your first language, this may influence your answer, too. In 2004, the British Council surveyed </span><a href="https://curiosity.com/topics/these-are-the-70-most-beautiful-words-in-english-according-to-a-survey-curiosity/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">more than 40,000 people</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in 102 non-English speaking countries to discover the most beautiful words in the language.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The word “mother” came out on top of the list of 70 words, winning over other contenders such as “passion”, “love” and “eternity”. Greg Selby, spokesman for the Council said, “It's interesting that mother, the only word of the 70 that describes a direct relationship between people, came top of the poll.”</span></p>

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