Danielle McCarthy

News

Fri, 15 Dec, 2017

Insurance scammer gets busted on dash cam

Insurance scammer gets busted on dash cam

An alleged insurance scammer, who caused a collision after swerving into a lane and braking abruptly, drove off without sharing his details after he realised he was being filmed.

Dash cam footage of the suspicious collision shows the white van driving erratically along a coastal road in Melbourne.

Without warning, the van abruptly stopped and the driver behind was unable to brake in time, rear-ending the already-damaged van.

After the collision, the driver of the van leapt out of his car and started claiming he was not at fault.

The other driver informed him he was being recorded from his dash cam and the van driver immediately drove off.

“When I informed him I had a dash cam he changed his story and claimed he was attempting to avoid a dog (there is no dog),” the man explained online.

“I called the police and he jumped in his van and took off without giving me his details. Please note the pre existing damage to the vehicle.”

MREC-TAG-HERE

Online users condemned the van driver, saying the accident was an insurance scam attempt.

“Looks like an insurance scam. Saw (the) driver's bullbar in his rear vision mirror and thought it was pay day. Haha.. it will cost him," said Giulio.

“Change lanes without indicating, stopping in moving traffic and failing to provide details, plus damage, and his insurance will deny any claims."    

Another user said, “Looks to me like he has damaged the side of his van previously and was looking for an accident to happen so he could blame them and have his vehicle repaired by some other person's insurance.”

External Section Taboola
Georgia Dixon

News

Tue, 10 Oct, 2017

5 health symptoms you should NEVER ignore

5 health symptoms you should NEVER ignore

We all get headaches, stomach aches and pains around our body from time to time, but how do you know if it’s nothing or something serious? Writing for Body+Soul, Dr Evelyn Lewin has outlined the five red health flags you should NEVER ignore.

1. Sudden stomach ache

A tummy ache is pretty common, but sudden, intense abdominal pain is not. “There are lots of things that can cause abdominal pain, from appendicitis to constipation, ruptured ovarian cysts to a ruptured aorta (the main artery in the body),” she writes. Seek treatment immediately – after all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

2. Shortness of breath

Huffing and puffing after exercise is perfectly normal, but if there’s no reason for your sudden shortness of breath, it may be something more serious – like a pulmonary embolism (PE). “It’s more common to develop a PE if you are on the pill, have been sitting still for a long period of time (such as going on a long car drive), if you smoke or if you’ve been flying.” Pneumonia, asthma or panic attacks may also be to blame.

3. Sudden severe headache

Headaches and even migraines are something many of us regularly deal with, but a sudden, blindingly painful ache in your head should never be ignored. “If you develop a sudden headache that hurts like hell (as in, it’s the worst headache you’ve ever had), you could have bleeding around the brain that requires urgent medical attention.”

4. Unquenchable thirst

You may have drunk litres of water one day and still find yourself desperate for more. This is called polydipsia, and it may be a symptom of diabetes. “When your blood sugar levels are too high, your body pressures your kidneys into producing more urine to get rid of the excess glucose, leading to excessive thirst and frequent peeing. Consider a blood glucose test to find out if you’re at risk.”

5. Tightness in the chest or pain in the neck, jaw, arms or back

These are classic symptoms of a heart attack, and your risk only increases with age. “If you develop severe chest pain that comes on suddenly or over a few minutes, you shouldn’t rule out a heart attack without seeing a doctor first,” Dr Lewin says. “The pain might not actually feel like ‘pain’, but can feel more like a heaviness or pressure on your chest.”

External Section Taboola
Georgia Dixon

News

Wed, 14 Sep, 2016

10 items people don’t pack but should

10 items people don’t pack but should

Passport? Check. Boarding pass? Check. Novelty-sized hat. Check. You might have most of the items for your holiday ready to go, but odds are there are a few, left-of-centre travel items that are useful, but haven’t made their way into your suitcase just yet.

Here are 10 items you might not think to pack, but should.

1. Plastic bags

While you wouldn’t want to rely on these as your main form of luggage storage, a few plastic bags can be a great way to manage dirty clothes (or shoes) while on the road.

2. Toilet paper

We take it for granted here, but there are parts of the world where toilet paper isn’t as easy to come by, so it’s quite handy to have a roll (or two) in your luggage, just in case.

3. Scarf

We’ve mentioned how useful these accessories can be before, and the right scarf is so much more than a neck-warmer, easily adapted into a beach towel, sarong and blanket.

4. Room spray

A travel sized room spray is particularly useful if you’re sharing quarters that have a less-than-private bathroom. A spray here and there makes things much more comfortable.

5. Safety pins

Perfect for repairs you need to make on the fly, safety pins can be converted into an innovative way to secure broken zippers, ripped clothing and all sorts of things.

6. Duct tape

It might not be the first thing you put in your bag when you’re packing for a holiday, but tape can help bind together guidebooks and remove lint off clothing.

7. Plastic utensils

Especially if you’re finding yourself eating on the go, plastic utensils can come quite in handy while you’re eating on the fly and would like to keep your hands clean.  

8. Thongs

Even if you’re travelling in colder climates, it’s useful to have a pair of thongs in your travel bag just to make sure you can navigate through the bathroom safely.

9. Whistle

This can be an effective deterrent for pickpockets when you’re walking through unsavoury neighbourhoods and need to alert someone to help.

10. Second wallet

Having a second ‘dummy’ wallet can be quite a useful way to protect your most-essential valuables from pickpockets. You can even use it as a change purse!

Have you ever brought any of these items on holidays? Are there any other items people might not think to bring, but definitely should. Let us know in the comments.

Related links:

Woman shows you how to pack 100 items into hand luggage

How to ensure your bag is never misplaced

5 reasons to always pack a scarf

Infinity Scroll Taboola
Alex O'Brien

News

Mon, 20 Jun, 2016

How to create private photo albums on Facebook

How to create private photo albums on Facebook

Lisa Du is director of ReadyTechGo, a service that helps people gain the confidence and skills to embrace modern technology.

Facebook is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family, especially if they are interstate or overseas. Many of our clients enjoy Facebook, as they can see photos of their children and grandchildren. However, many people raise the concern of privacy.

How do you share photos with certain friends or family members without all your Facebook friends viewing it?

I just got back from a lovely trip to Mauritius. About 30 of us travelled over there to celebrate a friend’s wedding. As you can imagine, we all had our smartphones, and lots of pictures and selfies were taken on the trip. We needed a way to share our photos with each other, but keep them private amongst those who were on the trip.

Welcome to private albums on Facebook

  1. Log into your Facebook account, and visit your personal profile page
  2. Click on Photos
  3. Click on +Create Album
  4. Facebook will prompt you to choose a photo from your device to add to this album, so choose a photo or multiple photos to add
  5. Name your Album, and you can add a description for the album
  6. Click on Make Shared Album, and a field will appear. Type the names of the people that you would like to share this album with 
  7. A privacy setting will appear next to the blue Post button, choose Contributors Only
Now you can try creating private albums, and invite certain people to share that album with.

Do you use Facebook to stay in touch with family and friends? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. 

Related links:

Back to basics: How to upload photos to Facebook

How to save articles on Facebook to read later

What you need to know about Facebook's new reaction buttons

Melody Teh

News

Mon, 23 Nov, 2015

Should I work part time in retirement?

Should I work part time in retirement?

The switch to retired life can be difficult, and an increasing number of Australians are picking up part time work as a means of easing this transition. Resources like Equip’s free retirement lifestyle seminars are a helpful way of getting your head around this at times confusing process.

We’ve taken a look at the Australians who have been working part time in retirement, the benefits of this process, tax incentives that are freely available and the implications it has for your finances.

Queensland University personal finance expert Noel Whittaker notes that working in retirement is, “Extremely good for your health and your finances – the downside is that if you are income tested for age pension purposed you lost fifty cents for every dollar earned. However, thanks to the work bonus scheme the first $250 a fortnight you earn are exempt from the income test.”

Benefits

Making the transition to retirement is a major life change, particularly if you’re used to working full-time as you probably have been for many years. As Equip financial planner Jason Cook notes in his conversation with Kim Watkins, many soon-to-be-retirees are concerned about losing the benefits of being in the workforce including the friendships they share and the sense of identity it provides.

Retaining a degree of part time employment is the perfect way to ease your way into this phase of your life. If you’re working you won’t need to draw as much from your super (even at all) and there’s the potential for it to continue to grow. Many people want to retire but haven’t planned properly, and working part-time gives you chance to develop some interests and hobbies outside of work.

The Australian Government has a useful Career Break Super Calculator, so you can get an idea as to how part time work will affect your super. To access the calculator click here.

Tax incentives

People aged 55 and over may be eligible for a retirement transition strategy. If you’ve taken up part time work and you qualify for this strategy your super balance will keep growing as your employer makes contributions to your account, and these contributions are likely to be taxed lower than your marginal tax rates. And once you’ve turned 60 you won’t pay any tax on your pension earned. You may also qualify for the Equip Transition to Retirement Pension, which allows you to draw an income from super once you pass superannuation preservation age.

Pension implications

Working part-time is a great way to supplement your income in retirement, but it’s important to note that the income you do earn may have implications for your age pension. Visit the Centrelink website for information on the amount of money you can to earn with your pension.

Equip manages $7 billion of investments for members working across a wide range of Australian industry sectors. This superannuation fund has been providing strong investment performance and has been a reliable provider of retirement benefits for over 80 years.

Noel Whittaker is a best-selling author, finance and investment expert, radio broadcaster, newspaper columnist and speaker. One of the world’s foremost authorities on personal finance, Noel recently released The Retirement Living Handbook. Co-authored with Rachel Lane, this handbook provides expert insight into retirement communities and is available here.

Related links:

How to calculate the bank balance you’ll need to retire

Women worse off when they retire

What is a life-cycle super product? And do you need one?

Danielle McCarthy

News

Wed, 8 Mar, 2017

How much money you should leave your children

How much money you should leave your children

Second only to shopping for a headstone, determining your children’s inheritance is about as macabre a task as they come. But it’s one that’s important to get right.

While everyone’s situation and circumstances are different, when it comes to this topic it’s interesting to cast your mind to the words billionaire investor Warren Buffett offered, in a 1986 interview with Fortune magazine.

Mr Buffet said the perfect amount to leave to your children was, “Enough money so that they would feel they could do anything, but not so much that they could do nothing.”

This is an opinion echoed by one of Mr Buffet’s billionaire counterparts, business magnate and investor Bill Gates, who famously told the Daily Mail in 2011 that he and his wife Melinda would only be giving their children “a miniscule portion” of their estimated $81 billion fortune, saying, “It will mean they have to find their own way.”

While we agree it’s one thing for a billionaire to talk about limiting the size of their children’s inheritance, it’s still something that might be worth considering.

In an opinion piece published on The Huffington Post, Family Business Office Founder and President Richard Watts offered this advice: “It is difficult to consider leaving only a modest amount of money to your children. Perhaps it is our last act of ‘tough love.’ But do not turn a blind eye to the reality that even modest amounts of money carelessly given can have unexpected and corrupting results. Money is like a narcotic, a little more is always welcome, and the last amount never quite fills your present need.”

What are your views on this matter? Do you believe you should limit the amount of money you leave your children? Or is it better to help them financially if you can? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Any advice contained in this communication is general advice only. None of the information provided is, or should be considered to be, personal financial advice.

Related links:

How long should you keep old paperwork for

8 ways to talk to your family about money

5 ways to protect yourself when banking online

Joel Callen

News

Thu, 19 Mar, 2015

White chocolate rocky road

White chocolate rocky road

This delicious spin on the traditional rocky road combines the dreamy flavour of white chocolate with the tart sweetness of strawberries and cranberries. Delicious as a treat after dinner, or perfect as a gift. And it’s so easy to make!

Ingredients:

  • 800g white chocolate, chopped roughly
  • ½ cup chopped dried apples
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 2 ½ cups quartered marshmallows
  • 1 cup freeze-dried strawberries

Melody Teh

News

Mon, 16 Apr, 2018

Tricky quiz: Can you pick the odd one out?

Tricky quiz: Can you pick the odd one out?

A tricky general knowledge quiz promises to challenge even the brightest brains.

The 15-question quiz asks you to pick the odd word out and although some are fairly easy to spot, others questions are much more challenging.  

Creator Cody Cross, who shared the quiz on Playbuzz, claims it is so difficult that no one will be able to answer 10 correctly – let alone score full marks.

Take the test yourself:

Over60

News

Tue, 4 Feb, 2020

7 hidden iPhone hacks you never knew about

7 hidden iPhone hacks you never knew about

It can be really frustrating when it seems to take forever to write a text message, not to mention finding there’s no available space for that quick snap you want to take. Luckily, there are lots of little tricks and tips to make things that littler bit quicker.

1. Get a faster charge
Few things are worse than watching your phone charge at a glacial pace – especially when you’re short for time. For a faster way to top up, turn on Airplane Mode. Doing so will temporarily pause your phone’s background noise (such as random notifications and GPS roaming), which tend to drain the battery as it charges. While the extra juice won’t be much, a little can go a long way.

2. Set a timer for your music

Long gone are the days when you nodded off to your favourite snoozing tunes, only to wake up at 3am with the music still blaring. Believe it or not, your phone’s timer can turn off the music whenever you want. Go to Clock > Timer > When Timer Ends, tap the ‘Stop Playing’ option, and select the amount of time you want the music to play. Your phone will automatically turn off the tunes (on both Apple Music and Spotify) when the timer runs out.

3. Take a hands-free photo

You don’t need two empty hands to snap a photo on your phone. Just plug in a pair of compatible headphones and hit the volume button, and your iPhone will capture the moment.

4. Shave seconds off your typing time

If you still shift back and forth between keyboards to type numbers and symbols, you’re wasting your time. All you need to do is hold your finger down on the ‘123’ button, drag it over the number or symbol you want, and then let go. Voilà! No screen-switching necessary.

5. Make the screen smaller

If you’re a one-hand texter, you probably know the struggle of stretching your thumb across the phone’s wide screen. Try moving the keyboard closer to your left or right palm by holding on the Globe icon and selecting one of the keyboards that are positioned to either side. You can also get to this by going Settings > General > Keyboard > One-Handed Keyboard. Or, tap (not press) on the home button twice to shift the entire top of the iPhone screen down. Both tricks will make the entire screen much more accessible for the average-sized hand.

6. Press one button to make a call

Don’t waste time digging around your contacts for the last person you chatted with on the phone. Simply tap the green call button, and your phone will redial the last number you called.

7. Get more storage space
Storage space is a hot commodity for the average iPhone user. To make the most of yours, hold down the ‘Power’ button, wait until you see the option to slide and power off your phone, and then hold down the ‘Home’ button. Doing so will clean out your phone’s RAM, which reduces the amount of space your apps might be taking up.

Source: RD.com

Written by Brooke Nelson. This article first appeared in Reader’s Digest. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best subscription offer.

Alex O'Brien

News

Mon, 1 Aug, 2016

Debunking 5 myths of modern health

Debunking 5 myths of modern health

Dr Ross Walker is a leading integrative cardiologist, endocrinologist and author, specialising in the field of preventative cardiology.

There are many “myths” of modern health that gained so much traction at a time, they became fact. However, many of these are a result of misinformation, or even imaginative wife’s tales.

Dr Ross Walker takes five myths of modern health and debunks these misunderstandings.

1. You should drink eight glasses of water per day

Although it is important to stay hydrated, there is no evidence that consuming eight glasses of water per day has any major health benefits. Most people I know who do this spend half the day in the bathroom. There is an important physiologic mechanism called thirst and when you are thirsty you should drink fluid.

Although there is certainly nothing wrong with consuming water, there are other types of fluid that are quite good for your health. We have known for ages that consuming tea in all its forms has significant health benefits and evidence over the past decade has also shown two to three cups of good quality coffee per day has significant benefits as well. Low-dose alcohol, one to two standard glasses per day in combination with the Mediterranean diet has been shown to have significant health benefits. There are now many studies showing significant benefits of consuming A2 milk.

Although consuming water should be an important part of our daily fluid intake, excessive consumption may lead to a drop in the blood sodium levels which may have disastrous health consequences.

2.  Everyone should take supplements

The common view from many conservative researchers in the scientific world is that supplements purely give you expensive urine. In this situation I take the opposite view in that I believe they also give you expensive blood which is exactly what you want.

When you objectively examine the evidence on supplementation, those studies that were performed over a long period of time have shown significant benefits. To give one example, Harvard University have been conducting the nurse’s health study and the male physician’s trial for the past 30 years.

The 15-year data from the nurse’s health study and the 20-year data the male physician’s trial have shown an overwhelming benefit from taking a daily multivitamin for a prolonged period. There is also increasing evidence that the regular consumption of fish oil, ubiquinol and a new supplement called Bergamet Pro plus all have significant benefits when added to healthy lifestyle principles.

3. You need to wait an hour after eating to swim

Although there are no major health consequences in swimming soon after eating, when a large meal is consumed, there is significant blood flow directed to the gastrointestinal tract. If you perform any form of exercise on a full stomach, there is only so much blood to go around and some will be directed away from your muscles where you clearly need a good blood supply for exercise. So, it is probably better to wait at least half an hour after you have eaten before you swim or perform any other significant exercise.

4.  Do not swallow gum because it will stay in your system for seven years

There is certainly no good evidence for this one. The stomach acid breaks down many foodstuffs and if most undigested food makes it to the colon, the gut bacteria then have a feast. What is left over is passed out in the faeces as undigested matter.

5. Cholesterol causes heart disease

Many experts in the field, including myself have disputed the importance of cholesterol and heart disease for a number of years. A recent study in the British Medical Journal looked at 68,000 people over the age of 60 and showed there was no link between the so-called bad cholesterol, LDL and cardiovascular disease. Surprisingly, the same study showed that the higher your LDL, the longer you lived. This does not mean that if you have had a prior heart attack, bypass operation or coronary stent that you should stop your cholesterol-lowering pills but purely suggests that those people who have high cholesterol over the age of 60 without proven heart disease should not be treated with medications.

Can you think of any other modern healthy myths you would like to know the truth about? Let us know in the comments below.

Related links:

4 myths about allergies that will shock you

4 ways to reduce stress on your heart

5 tips from a cardiologist for better heart health

Georgia Dixon

News

Fri, 6 Jan, 2017

How to make food tastier without salt

How to make food tastier without salt

As we age, our likelihood of having issues with blood pressure, fluid retention, heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease increases. For all of these conditions, a lower salt intake is beneficial. 

How much do we actually need? The recommended daily intake is 2300mg of sodium, which is equivalent to one teaspoon of salt. This is the total for salt from all sources, not just the salt we add when cooking or to meals. (There are some people who require a higher salt intake for medical reasons - if that's you, please do not reduce your intake after reading this article.) 

Many processed foods are high in sodium. Some people use these extensively, and are at risk of excessive intakes as a consequence. If you are unsure which foods contain considerable amounts of salt, cast your eye over this list - herb salts, stock, stock cubes, Bovril, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, fish sauce, flavour sachets, powdered soup mix (such as cup-a-soups), instant noodles, processed meats (ham, bacon, salami etc), cheese, crackers, some breakfast cereals and some breads.  

Another way we increase our salt/sodium intake is by using salt in cooking and/or applying a liberal amount of salt (usually without even tasting the food) to the prepared meal. 

So, what is left to flavour foods with? Well, my first advice is that how frequently we use high-salt flavourings/foods is important. If the answer is "not often", then this is not such a problem. If the answer is "I use a lot of them almost every day", then I encourage making some changes. 

Some readers may be surprised to see bread on the list. Bread has a medium salt content - it is added for flavour, but it also helps as a preservative to keep bread fresher for longer. If, like me, you "love" bread, then look for low salt toppings and continue to enjoy those sandwiches.

To find low salt choices, look at the nutrient panel on your selected item. Salt is listed as sodium and is usually towards the bottom. Aim for products with low sodium ( less than 120mg per 100grams) or those with medium sodium (120-600mg/100g). To calculate how much salt is in the product, multiply sodium by two and a half. For example, 100mg sodium is equal to 250mg of salt. Better still, choose products labelled as no added salt, unsalted, low salt/sodium or reduced salt/sodium.

The dilemma is, then, how do we flavour food without salt? There are many natural flavourings – think fresh garlic and/ or ginger; lemon or lime juice (add to sweet and savoury dishes); black, white or lemon pepper; onion; spices; and herbs, fresh or dried. All types of vinegar are also great for additional flavour.

On making the switch to using less salt, initially it may be a struggle and you miss the taste of salt. But it will not take long before you will be enjoying the new flavours or the natural taste of food.

Here are some basic recipes for healthy seasoning alternatives.

BBQ RUB

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper 
  • 1 tsp ground cumim
  • 1 tsp chilli powder 
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
Method:

  1. Mix all spices together. 
  2. Rub on meat, potatoes, add to seafood, sprinkle on vegetables or noodles, use in soups.
SPICY SEASONING

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp celery seeds
  • 2 tbsp crushed oregano
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp crushed dried thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 ½ tsp ground bay leaf
  • 1 ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cloves
Method:

  1. Mix all spices together. 
  2. Add to meat, fish, chicken or vegetable dishes.
How do you like to season your food in a healthy way? Let us know in the comments below.

Written by Suzie Konijn. First appeared on Stuff.co.nz.

Related links:

How to break through a weight-loss plateau

5 iron packed foods that are not meat

8 ways to make healthy foods even healthier

Over60

News

Thu, 16 Jul, 2020

Mum forced to have all limbs amputated after getting COVID-19

Mum forced to have all limbs amputated after getting COVID-19

A coronavirus survivor ended up having all of her hands and feet amputated after contracting life-threatening sepsis.

Caroline Coster, 58, showed symptoms for coronavirus at the end of March and spent "two horrible weeks" trying to fight off the virus.

She initially started to recover, but took a turn for the worse and was diagnosed with a chest infection.

After a quick call to her GP, she was rushed to Bedford Hospital in the UK and was told she had developed sepsis.

She was placed in a medically induced coma for almost a month, where her heartbroken family were twice told that the hospital was going to withdraw care if Caroline didn't improve.

Writing on her blog, Caroline likened her experience of being in a coma to being “trapped in a video game”.

“When the game was switched off, so was I,” she wrote.

“When the game was switched on, my experience was disembodied white heads coming towards me and telling me ‘Caroline, Caroline, wake up’.”

Much to the hospital's surprise, Caroline started to recover with her vitals starting to heal after a month in the coma.

However, as she had been in the coma for so long, her limited blood flow was directed to her brain and vital organs. This means her hands and feet had turned black and died.

“They were now a source of pain and a hindrance as she could not use them anymore, so had to be amputated,” Her daughter Hannah, 24, wrote.

Caroline explained to the BBC that her hands looked like an "Egyptian mummy".

“They were black and shrivelled. I was so grateful to have my life that it wasn’t a huge jolt to lose those,” She said.

As her family have been forced to fundraise for Caroline to afford the massive amount of adaptions and specialist equipment that she now needs for her daily life, they started a JustGiving page.

“She is at peace with the loss of her hands and feet, as they are not what make her the person she is,” writing on a JustGiving page, Caroline’s daughter Hannah said.

“She has faced this challenge with a positivity and determination that few of us could match.

“However, the reality is that she will require a huge amount of adaptations and specialised equipment in order to be able to live a normal, independent life, return to hobbies and stay in the home she loves.

“Sadly, government and NHS funding for many of the items we need is very limited.

“The money raised will go towards lots of things, including adaptations around the home, a bathroom she can use independently, private hand prosthetics, and mobility aids.”

In just over a month, Caroline's JustGiving page has raised over $95,246.

Danielle McCarthy

News

Fri, 16 Jun, 2017

15 times pets ruined perfectly good photos

15 times pets ruined perfectly good photos

Anyone who’s ever tried to take a good photo of their pet will know just how difficult it can be to even get them to look at the camera, let alone look somewhat happy. So, imagine how annoying it must be to be taking a completely pet-free photo only for Felix or Fido to jump in and show off their best pose.

To brighten your day, we’ve collected some of our favourite pet photobombs of all time. Take a look at them in the gallery above and tell us in the comments, have you ever had a pet pop into your photo unexpectedly?

Ben Squires

News

Fri, 27 Nov, 2015

6 years on this McDonald’s burger sold in Iceland still hasn’t decayed

6 years on this McDonald’s burger sold in Iceland still hasn’t decayed

In the latest case of fast-food troublingly standing the test of time, a cheeseburger purchased from a McDonald’s restaurant in Iceland in 2009 still hasn’t decayed and is set to be displayed in a museum.

With the country engulfed in economic disarray, McDonald’s closed its last restaurant in Iceland in 2009, but not before Hjörtur Smárason bought a cheeseburger. But instead of eating the burger, Mr Smárason decided to keep it on a shelf in his garage and see what happened.

And the results were startling. Throughout the years the burger at least appeared to hardly decay, until it was donated to Iceland’s national museum.

The burger in question has now found a new home at the Bus Hostel Reykjavik, where a live camera is set up. To view a live stream of the burger click here.

McDonald’s has responded to questions regarding its foods indestructible nature, saying, “Actually, it can. Food needs moisture in the air for mould to form. Without it, food will simply dry out – sort of like bread left out on a counter overnight to make croutons for stuffing. You might have seen experiments which seem to show no decomposition in our food. Most likely, this is because the food has dehydrated before any visible deterioration could occur.”

Michelle Reed

News

Tue, 15 Sep, 2015

10 commandments the hard of hearing wish you’d follow

10 commandments the hard of hearing wish you’d follow

For all those people who have a loved one who has a hearing impairment, these are the commandments they wish you’d follow.

1. Thou shalt not speak to the listener from another room.

2. Thou shalt not speak with your back toward the listener or while the listener’s back is toward you.

3. Thou shalt not speak as you walk away.

4. Thou shalt not turn your face away from the listener while continuing to talk.

5. Thou shalt not speak while background noise (water running, radio or TV playing, people talking, etc) is as loud or louder than your voice.

6. Thou shalt not start to speak before getting the listener’s attention and while the listener is reading, engrossed in a TV program, or otherwise preoccupied.

7. Thou shalt not speak while your face is hidden in shadow.

8. Thou shalt not obstruct a view of your mouth while speaking.

9. Thou shalt not speak rapidly or by shouting.

10. Thou shalt be patient, supportive and loving when the listener appears to have difficulty comprehending what has been said.

Source: Pinterest

Related links:

People with hearing loss suffer in silence

What happens when your hearing is tested?

What to do when your partner won’t acknowledge their hearing loss

Melody Teh

News

Wed, 5 Nov, 2014

Why study is the key to keeping your brain healthy as you age

Why study is the key to keeping your brain healthy as you age

Two Over60 community members talk about studying later in life, how it keeps their mind healthy and why they keep going back for more.

The word study for many people conjures up memories of restless school days, strict teachers and homework you had to force yourself to complete. However, education isn’t just limited to schools – if you think about our everyday lives, we are constantly learning new things. Whether it’s trying out a new recipe, learning about historic events through a film or attempting to remember algebra so we can help our grandkids, it’s clear learning is a lifelong process. Research consistently shows that keeping your mind active has many health benefits. For over-60s, it helps to keep your mind stimulated and mental faculties in top condition as well as improving your overall wellbeing. It is why there are increasingly more seniors who are seeking to study later in life – and they’re finding they not only love it, but that it’s rewarding in so many ways.

For Bernard Macdougall, 73, from Maryborough, Queensland, taking courses and learning new things has been crucial in keeping his mind astute. It was after searching online that Bernard stumbled across the free Open2Study courses.

“A couple of year ago I was starting to get a bit anxious about whether I had any brain damage. I had a bit of numbness on the right side of my body and I felt I had a slight impediment in my speech,” he reveals, continuing, “but when I found I could get high marks in these courses I thought well I don’t have to worry, my brain is working, there hasn’t been any deterioration.”

Bernard found there was a great variety in courses offered and the option of short one-month timeframes could be easily managed. He ended up taking three courses through Open2Study and another online course through Charles Darwin University.

It was a similar case for Peter Keyes, 78, from Albion Park Rail, New South Wales, who has completed four courses through Open2Study. Peter has worked in education all his life so when retirement came around he wasn’t about to stop learning.

“You can’t sit around in retirement and twiddle your thumbs,” he laughs, adding, “I live in a retirement village and I encourage all of [the residents] to do some study rather than sit around and watch TV all day! It keeps the brain kicking.”

As well as keeping him busy, Peter also found the courses were helpful and informative.

“During my career in education I ended up being an administrator looking after buildings so I was interested in one of the courses ‘Project Management’. It gave me a further insight into the processes that I used in setting up the buildings of school buildings,” he explains, continuing, “In [my] retirement village, management occasionally ask me to go into planning meetings and talk about what things [to consider] in terms of buildings and older people.”

Studying is not only about learning new things but as Bernard found, it can be personally fulfilling too.

“Back in the 70s, I did an arts degree with major studies in anthropology. I saw that Open2Study had a course called ‘Becoming Human’. I thought, ‘Right I will have a go at that’,” explains Bernard. He soon found he was not only learning about new theories but about what it means to become human. “I was very emotionally involved as it was about human evolution,” he says.

Both Bernard and Peter found the online courses easy to manage – all that was needed was a computer and an internet connection to access the course that you could do in the convenience and comfort of your own home.

Lectures were presented through short videos, which Peter found convenient: “You can stop it at any time, make a note and then catch up,” he explains.

And for those who are worried that studying means taking exams or doing assessments again, Peter advises you not to worry.

“When people hear that they’ve got exams or test or assessment to do, they get a bit frightened. But you teach them there’s nothing to it, you can always stop and go back and have another read,” says Peter.

While there are assessments – mainly multiple choice – throughout most courses, it’s not about being competitive but having a barometer for your individual progress. It is simply there so you know how much knowledge you have learnt during the course.  

Bernard found that although he felt apprehensive sometimes, there was a greatly fulfilling feeling of not only accomplishing the assessment but gaining some high marks.

“I put a lot of work into study and when you have to press the final submit button, sometimes I was extremely apprehensive because I was anxious to get good marks,” Bernard explains, adding, “I think one has to devote time to it but it’s time I’m happy to spend.”

Both Peter and Bernard are quick to reveal that they are not going to stop studying anytime soon. Peter has just signed up to Open2Study’s ‘Innovation for Powerful Outcomes’ course while Bernard is still half way through the ‘User Experience for the Web’ course.

“The course is self-paced so I can start again and there’s no deadline for me, thank goodness,” Bernard smiles.

After each completing a number of courses, they can’t speak highly enough about how beneficial studying has been for them.

“It keeps the little grey cells going,” states Peter, because as he know only too well, “the pool of knowledge, skill, understanding and wisdom is enormous” in the over-60 community.

“For me it is very, very important to keep learning as you age. Partly so that I know my brain is still good and not fading away,” Bernard chuckles, continuing, “it is also just a matter of curiosity. I’m just interested in learning new topics.”

Alex O'Brien

News

Mon, 4 Apr, 2016

Plum jam

Plum jam

When the air starts to get crisper and the mornings cooler, we start to be surrounded by a fiery rustle of leaves and sun baked afternoons. Autumn calls for the taste of deep fruits and mugs of hot tea, so what better way to welcome the chillier months than with fruity crumpets spread with plum jam?

Ingredients:

  • 1.5kg firm, fresh plums
  • 1.5kg granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 30g butter
  • 100ml cold water
Method:

  1. Wash plums and remove stalks. Use a fruit knife to cut the plums in half (vertically), then twist to open and remove the stone.
  2. Place fruit, lemon juice and water in a large, deep, heavy based pot and bring to the boil, stirring frequently.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer until the plums have softened, about 40 mins.
  4. Keep on low heat and add sugar. Stir continuously until sugar has dissolved.
  5. Stir in the butter to help reduce frothing. Turn up the heat and stir continuously until the mixture comes to a rapid boil.
  6. Continue stirring on high heat until the jam reaches setting point. If you don't have a jam thermometer - this is obvious when the mixture starts to stick/set on the sides of the pan or starts to set when you drop it from your wooden spoon.
  7. Remove from heat. To test - place a teaspoon of jam onto a cold saucer. Allow to cool, then push your finger through the jam, it should start to congeal and wrinkle up - if you can push your finger through and its still runny, you haven't yet reached setting point. If still not set, return the pot to the heat; bring back up to a rolling boil and test again in a few minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and pour gently into clean, sterilised, warm jars. Check for air bubbles and remove. Seal and label while jars are warm. Allow to cool completely, then store.
 

Related links:

Caramel apple jam

Orange chilli marmalade

Apricot jam

Ben Squires

News

Wed, 2 Dec, 2015

Gene therapy breakthrough for treatment of hearing loss

Gene therapy breakthrough for treatment of hearing loss

Audiologist Joan McKechnie from HearingDirect explains the latest gene therapy breakthroughs that could change the way hearing loss is treated in the future. 

Hearing loss is particularly prevalent in older people and by the age of 70, three in four will have some sort of hearing loss. Thankfully, there are some medical breakthroughs occurring in the field of gene therapy that may lead to a new treatment for hearing loss. 

What is gene therapy?

Genes are like an instruction manual for the human body.  They determine what an organism looks like, how it survives and how it behaves in its environment.  Human genes reside in long strands of DNA called chromosomes, of which we have 23. Each gene carries instructions for a particular part of the body to look and behave a certain way. For example, a gene might tell your eyes to be blue. 

Gene therapy inserts new genes into a patient’s cells, usually to replace an abnormal gene and treat an illness.  Scientists can also alter how a gene works within the human body to change its behaviour.

How gene therapy helps with hearing loss

The Stanford Initiative to Cure Hearing loss suggests that 70 per cent of the common forms of sensorineural hearing loss are caused by mutations in three genes.  However, researchers at Harvard University believe that as many as 70 genes can cause deafness when mutated.  If scientists could replace or modify those genes, many forms of hearing loss would become treatable. 

Scientists have already made some positive steps in treating hearing loss that has been caused by a genetic mutation.  Researchers from the Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital managed to partially restore the hearing of mice by removing a mutated gene called transmembrane channel–like 1 (TMC1).  The Harvard researchers estimate that the TMC1 gene mutation causes between 4 to 8 per cent of all cases of deafness in humans.  If the gene mutation can be removed from human patients it could help restore the hearing of millions of people.

Researchers have also discovered a gene that plays a role in the regrowth of the hair-like nerve-endings within the cochlea.  If researchers can re-activate the Atoh1 gene, they may be able to treat the hearing loss of millions of people who have sensorineural hearing loss.

A drug that may be capable of doing just that is already in clinical trials.  Biotechnology company Genvec has partnered with Novartis to test the drug, named CGF-166.  The trial began in October of 2014 and is expected to finish in 2017.  If the trial has positive results, there may be a mainstream treatment for many forms of hearing loss within the decade.”

Written by Audiologist Joan McKechnie from UK-based HearingDirect.com.

Related links:

 

What you should tell loved ones about your hearing loss

 

What people did before hearing aids

Hearing comics that will make you laugh

Over60

News

Wed, 24 Jun, 2020

Defund the NSW Police Force Movement gains traction

Defund the NSW Police Force Movement gains traction

The recent Stop All Black Deaths in Custody rally brought central Sydney to a standstill, as citizens from all backgrounds came together to call for an end to the systemic racism and violence in the NSW policing and criminal justice systems.

Law enforcement in this state developed out the British colonising project, at a time when its focus was on dispossessing First Nations peoples from their lands, whether that be via fatal force or paternalistic policy.

The colonial legacy in the modern Australian system is all-pervasive. A stark reminder of it was the sight of NSW police surrounding the Captain Cook statue in Sydney’s Hyde Park last Friday night, as Black Lives Matter protesters were overwhelmingly outnumbered by the presence of officers.

NSW Coalition governments of the last decade have had a tough on crime focus. And in late 2018, state premier Gladys Berejiklian upped the numbers of police by 1,500 officers, which was the largest increase in NSW policing in 30 years.

Yet, with the NSW population being just over 7.5 million people, there are questions to be asked about why such a comparatively small population would warrant NSW police being one of the largest forces in the English-speaking world.

And with the brute force of policing systems under the microscope right now, it may be high time to contemplate defunding the NSW police.

The global campaign

Calls to defund police aren’t new. But, the campaign has gained recent attention sparked by the graphic footage that showed African American man George Floyd being killed in public by a group of Minneapolis police officers, who were acting as if they were simply doing their duty.

Defunding the police entails divesting funds from police forces and reallocating the finances towards investment in community-based forms of ensuring public safety and community support.

Following the killing of Floyd, the Minneapolis City Council voted to dismantle its police department as it was deemed nonreformable. And council president Lisa Bender told CNN, that councillors are looking towards “a new model of public safety” that actually serves its purpose.

The Australian context

UTS Jumbunna Institute professor Chris Cunneen explained in a recent article that defunding would work differently in Australia, as this country doesn’t have separate police departments funded by councils, but rather reimagining the system would involve federal, state and territory governments.

The professor of criminology points out that the defund the police campaign poses questions as to whether the current investment in policing and prisons is the way to go, or if alternatives, such social housing and domestic violence services, could lead to a reduction in crime.

An example of how it would work, Cunneen outlines, is that instead of sending police out to deal with people suffering a mental health crisis – which often ends in violence – funds could be diverted towards establishing a mental health emergency response unit that could be deployed.

And the professor has further explained that community-based models are already operating in many Aboriginal communities, whereby locals take part in night patrols that ensure public safety, prevent harm and also provide assistance to those in need.

The overpolicing of First Nations

The fact that the NSW Police Force continues to operate with racial bias towards First Nations people is readily apparent when considering the statistics.

The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) custody report for the end of March this year reveals that 43 percent of those in NSW juvenile detention facilities were First Nations youths, yet they only account for around 5 percent of the state population under 18 years old.

Then there’s the NSW adult prisoner population. Of the 13,525 inmates at the end of March, 3,437 were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people, meaning 25 percent of that population was First Nations, while Indigenous people only account for around 3 percent of the overall populace.

The Guardian has revealed that despite a cannabis cautioning scheme operating in NSW, between 2013 and 2017, police took 80 percent of Aboriginal people found with small amounts of cannabis to court, which compared with just 52 percent of non-Indigenous people found with the drug.

Last year’s UNSW report Rethinking Strip Searches by NSW Police outlines that despite only making up 3 percent of the state population, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people account for 10 percent of those police strip search in the field, and 22 percent of those strip searched in custody.

And it’s an advantageous moment to reflect on the fact that NSW police has increased its use of strip searches by twentyfold since 2006.

This has particularly been the case over the last five years, to the point where peak hour commuters at Central Station are now greeted with screens used to conduct these searches.

A colonial legacy

But, considering the NSW Police Force is so weighed down by historical prejudice, it might be asked if the Minneapolis model of dismantling the institution and building a new community-based body that doesn’t harbour prejudicial attitudes towards certain sectors of society is needed.

As Melbourne Law School senior fellow Amanda Porter told Sydney Criminal Lawyers last week, the policing bodies charged with dealing with the Aboriginal resistance to colonisation were all incorporated into the current NSW police system.

The policing academic added that the early NSW Mounted Police has been described as “the most violent organisation in Australian history” by local historian Henry Reynolds.

Inherent prejudice

A recent incident in a Surry Hills park and its aftermath reveal that the prejudice in the current policing system just might be too deeply ingrained.

Footage shows a NSW police constable kick the legs out from under a 16-year-old Aboriginal boy and throw him face first onto the ground.

And while the teenager did make a verbal threat towards the officer, it was part of an exchange they were both partaking in.

Indeed, the boy posed no actual physical threat to the constable whatsoever and yet the officer resorted to violence.

The constable felt emboldened enough to do this just a week after the Floyd killing, when the entire globe was focused on police violence towards people of colour. And two days later, NSW police commissioner Mick Fuller simply put the incident down to one of his officers having “a bad day”.

So, when you have the top cop casually dismissing an assault upon a First Nations teenager by one of his officers, it’s quite obvious that there’s something rotten in the state of the NSW Police Force.

Written by Paul Gregoire. Republished with permission of Sydney Criminal Lawyers.  

Over60

News

Thu, 16 Jul, 2020

Calls for new COVID symptom to be officially recognised

Calls for new COVID symptom to be officially recognised

A skin rash can be the only symptom shown on people infected with COVID-19, a new study has found.

Researchers at King’s College London said skin rashes and ‘COVID fingers and toes’ can occur in the absence of any other symptoms, and should be considered as key diagnostic signs of the virus.

Data collected from 336,000 people on the COVID Symptom Study app revealed that 8.8 per cent of people testing positive for the disease in the UK had experienced skin rash.

An additional online survey of nearly 12,000 individuals with skin rashes found that 17 per cent of those with COVID-19 reported a rash as their first symptom of the disease. About one in five (21 per cent) of the people who were diagnosed with the virus had rash as their only symptom.

The rashes can come in three forms: hive-type rash with itchy, raised bumps; chickenpox-type rash with small, itchy red bumps; and ‘COVID fingers and toes’ with sore, reddish or purplish bumps on fingers or toes.

“Many viral infections can affect the skin, so it’s not surprising that we are seeing these rashes in COVID-19,” said Dr Veronique Bataille, consultant dermatologist at King’s College London and the study’s lead author.

“However, it is important that people know that in some cases, a rash may be the first or only symptom of the disease. So if you notice a new rash, you should take it seriously by self-isolating and getting tested as soon as possible.”

The recognised symptoms of COVID-19 by the World Health Organisation currently include fever, tiredness and dry cough along with loss of taste or smell, skin rash and discolouration of fingers or toes.

Danielle McCarthy

News

Fri, 22 Dec, 2017

Rove McManus shares a rare photo of his daughter Ruby

Rove McManus shares a rare photo of his daughter Ruby

Comedian Rove McManus has shared just how proud he is of his four-year-old daughter.

Earlier this week, the former radio announcer shared a sweet post dedicated to his daughter Ruby, something the private star usually shies away from.  

"Four years to the day and still as true as ever. Happy birthday to our special little Ruby," he captioned the black and white photo of his little girl.

A post shared by Rove McManus (@rovemcmanus) on Dec 15, 2017 at 8:59pm PST

Rove was still able to express his love for his daughter without sharing a photo of her face, something the protective father does assumedly for privacy.

Back in September, the 43-year-old shared a picture of Ruby’s t-shirt which read: “I <3 Daddy”.

"The feeling is mutual #FathersDay," he captioned the adorable picture.

A post shared by Rove McManus (@rovemcmanus) on Sep 2, 2017 at 7:02pm PDT

MREC-TAG-HERE

In the past, Rove has opened up about his role as a father and how his daughter has changed his life.

"It is like having a little present that you get to keep on unwrapping, almost on a daily basis, and there’s always another great thing inside," he told The Australian.

Rove shares his daughter with wife Tasma Walton. 

Melody Teh

News

Wed, 31 Aug, 2016

The amazing caramel slice

The amazing caramel slice

With layers of chocolate, biscuits and gooey caramel, at each bite of these delectable caramel slices it will be a moment of food heaven.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 100g butter, extra
  • 2 x 395g sweetened condensed milk
  • ⅓ cup golden syrup
  • 200g dark chocolate, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan forced. Lightly grease an 18cm by 28cm slice pan and line with baking paper.

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar and coconut. Add melted butter, mix well. Press mixture firmly into prepared pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned. Cool.

3. Place extra butter, condensed milk and golden syrup in a medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until smooth. Pour over base. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden. Cool.

4. Combine dark chocolate and oil, stir until smooth, pour evenly over slice.

Related links:

Easy peanut butter fudge

Gluten-free blondies

Rocky road

Georgia Dixon

News

Thu, 19 Jan, 2017

How to focus on what’s important

How to focus on what’s important

Sophie Scott is the national medical reporter for the ABC, in addition to being a prominent public speaker. Sophie has won numerous awards for excellence in journalism and is the author of two books, Live a Longer Life and Roadtesting Happiness.

Why is it that your perspective on life can change so dramatically when you change your environment?

I have been fortunate enough to take some time away from my day-to-day routine. What I realised is that clear air, away from all the distractions, gives you space to reconsider what is important and meaningful to you.

Getting away from distractions can allow you to think more clearly, to quieten your inner thoughts so you can really listen to your intuition and authentic thoughts. But our modern world conspires against this quiet reflection.

We are so switched on with phones, emails, notifications, and devices pinging to get our attention. And a “fear of missing out” stops us from turning it all off and just giving our full and interrupted attention to what we are doing at that moment.

Neuroscience tells us that for every distraction, when we are disrupted or have to stop midway through a task, it can take up to 15 minutes to get back on track and focussed again. We fear we are “missing out” if we are not connected 24/7 but what I have realised that if we are plugged in and connected, what we are missing out on is a deeper sense of peace and calm.

One of the leadership experts I have been reading is Canadian author Robin Sharma. He’s a lawyer who became overwhelmed with the rat race and left that fast-paced life to write and lecture on leadership.

One of his key messages is that “focus is more valuable than IQ”. “An addiction to distraction is at the end of your creative production,” he writes.

I have come to believe that distraction really is the enemy of creativity. I think it’s one of the reasons that we find it hard to stick to the goals that we set, whether it’s to lose weight, succeed at work or be a better partner.

Think about the most successful person you know who is living an authentic life, according to their values. The great communicators, leaders and innovators, whether it’s Oprah Winfrey or Steve Jobs, were all completely focussed on their specific goals. They ignored distractions and instead stuck with what they believed in, even when obstacles were put in their way.

We can all bring that same sense of focus and quiet determination to whatever we want to achieve.

But how can we do it? Mindfulness and meditation is one good way to teach our brains to filter out the distractions and to boost our ability to focus. (I write about it in my book Roadtesting Happiness.)

Meditation is a proven technique to tame that voice in your head, to weed out the negative thoughts and to focus, really focus on what’s important. The science on the benefits of meditation to boost focus and reduce stress is unequivocal.

According to scientist Sara Lazar, from Massachusetts General Hospital, regular meditation can directly alter and structure and functioning ability of the brain.

“We found that regular meditation can lead to structural changes in the part of the brain governing sensory, cognitive and emotional processing,” she said.

So while I can’t promise you that I won’t check my social media, before I do, I will stop and think, “what am I giving up by doing this, take a few deep breaths and ask myself is there a more meaningful use of my time”.

What steps have you taken to feel more focused and less distracted in your busy world?

Related links:

How to create a life with meaning

Aristotle’s advice to live your best life

5 signs to help you spot a narcissist

Over60

News

Fri, 17 Jan, 2020

Prince Harry’s final royal appearance: What happens next?

Prince Harry’s final royal appearance: What happens next?

The Duke of Sussex stepped out at Buckingham Palace for the draw of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, as the patron of the Royal Football League.

It is his final public engagement before he and his wife, Duchess Meghan, step down as “senior” royals.

It is also his first public appearance since his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II accepted the Duke and Duchess’ to reduce their royal roles in Britain and seek a more independent future, separated from the crown.

The World Cup draw was the last scheduled engagement for Prince Harry, sixth-in-line to the throne, before he and Meghan begin a "period of transition" and as part of his duty, he was required to witness two countries being drawn against each other.

Eyebrows raised slightly when the Sussex Royal Instagram account released footage of his last hurrah as a senior royal, with the accompanying music being a Stones Roses hit that included the line “I’d like to leave the country for month on Sundays.”

However, it emerged the indie track is the song choice of the tournament.

The Duke also spoke out about the pressures of having to be “tough” and hide your feelings.

“Rugby League isn’t just a sport, it’s a community. And one that takes care of its own,” he said.

“For many years it has been at the forefront of promoting and supporting good mental fitness, working hard to build a positive mindset for everyone involved in the sport. So I am proud to support the Rugby League World Cup 2021 Mental Fitness Charter.”

As he hosted the draws for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 with Olympic rowing champion Dame Katherine Grainger and 2005 Rugby World Cup winner Jason Robinson, he failed to show any signs of distress or turmoil that has overwhelmed the Royal Family.

 After meeting with a student from St Vincent de Paul Catholic primary school, a reporter from a British tabloid yelled to Harry: “How are the discussions going about your future?”

The outburst didn’t deter the Duke from his happy, calm state and simply laughed out loud and continued back into the palace for the draw.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex shocked the world last week when they announced they had the intention to reduce their royal duties and spend more time in Canada, while also aiming to become financially independent.

The public announcement resulted in a family summit on Monday at her Sandringham estate which was attended by the Queen, Prince Harry, Prince William and heir to the British throne, Prince Charles.

It was agreed the couple would split their time between British and Canada, which the Queen stated in a rare and personal statement.

"Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family," the 93-year-old monarch said.

The couple have said they want a "progressive" new role for themselves and the ability to fund themselves.

As of now, the couple are not allowed to seek private income and most of their money comes from the private estate of Harry's father.

 

 

 

 

Over60

News

Thu, 5 Mar, 2020

Are cyclists in NSW required to wear helmets?

Are cyclists in NSW required to wear helmets?

Remember when you were young, you’d jump on your bicycle and go for a ride to the park, to a friend’s place or to the park? Not a care in the world, using your handy companion to get from place to place? Perhaps the last thing you’d be concerned about would be getting pulled over by a police officer and issued with a penalty notice.

Well times have changed, and concerns about the potential consequences of collisions involving bicycles have led to the enactment of laws which make it mandatory to wear helmets when riding.

Dangers of riding without a helmet

Statistics suggest that one in five people injured on Australian roads are cyclists, and research – and perhaps common sense – says your injuries can be reduced by wearing approved head protection.

So, what are the laws when it comes to wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle in New South Wales?

And are they justified?

The Laws

Australia was the first country in the world to implement mandatory helmet laws.

Victoria implemented the first laws in 1990, and the rest of the country followed suit shortly thereafter.

In New South Wales, Rule 256 of the Road Rules 2014 states:

The rider of a bicycle must wear an approved bicycle helmet securely fitted and fastened on the rider’s head, unless the rider is exempt from wearing a bicycle helmet under another law of this jurisdiction.

Does the law apply to everyone, even kids?

Yes. The applies to all bicycle riders, regardless of age, including kids on bicycles with training wheels and those who are being carried as a passenger on a bike or in a bicycle trailer.

What is an approved bicycle helmet?

An ‘approved bicycle helmet’ is one which has a sticker or label certifying it meets the Australian and New Zealand standard, which is AS/NZS 2063.

Helmets manufactured after 31 March 2011 must have an identifying mark from a body accredited or approved by the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) certifying compliance with the standard.

What is a road-related area?

The requirement to wear a helmet applies to roads as well as ‘road-related areas’, which under Rule 13 of the Road Rulesinclude:

  • an area that divides a road,
  • a footpath or nature strip adjacent to a road,
  • an area that is not a road and that is open to the public and designated for use by cyclists or animals, and
  • an area that is not a road and that is open to or used by the public for driving, riding or parking vehicles.
What is the penalty for not wearing a bicycle helmet?

The maximum penalty a court can impose for the offence is 20 penalty units, which amounts to $2200, but most cases are dealt with by way of ‘on-the-spot’ fines in the sum of $344 (at the time of writing).

The fine for not wearing a helmet in NSW is the highest in the country – by comparison, the fine is currently $207 in Victoria and $25 in the Northern Territory, and critics argue the enforcement of fines is little more than a revenue raising exercise for police, with 17,560 penalty notices being issued for the offence from 2016 to 2019. 

Can I Get an Exemption?

Whereas there are laws in a number of Australian jurisdictions which clarify the situations in which an exemption from wearing a bicycle helmet can be obtained, New South Wales is one of the strictest jurisdictions when it comes to getting an exemption.

Applications for exemptions can be sought from the Roads and Maritime services on grounds such as medical requirements and religious obligations, and are determined on a case-by-case basis. 

Do Mandatory Helmet Laws Work? 

Considerable controversy exists regarding the efficacy of mandatory helmet laws.

Whilst there is no doubt wearing a helmet in an accident could save your life, requiring helmets often means less people are willing to cycle.

An analysis by Professor Piet De Jong from Macquarie University found that the benefits of mandatory helmet laws were negligible compared to the potential health benefits of more people riding.

Regular cycling has considerable health benefits including cardiovascular fitness, increased joint mobility and decreased risk of obesity. It is arguable that this net public health benefit is considerable compared to the isolated risk of injury.

Concerns have also been raised that helmets may make some forms of injury more likely. Critics of current laws often cite that helmets can cause a form head rotation injury called a ‘diffuse axonal injury’.

This injury occurs due to the rapid acceleration and deceleration of the head such as in whiplash.

In 2010, anti-helmet activist Sue Abbott successfully had her conviction and fine quashed on appeal to the NSW District Court arguing that the laws made riding more dangerous due to risk of diffuse axonal injury.

Although District Court Judge Roy Ellis still found the offence proven, he did have this to say on bike helmet laws:

“I frankly don’t think there is anything advantageous and there may well be a disadvantage in situations to have a helmet – and it seems to me that it’s one of those areas where it ought to be a matter of choice.’’

However, Ms Abbott’s theories have been disputed by many medical experts. For example, an analysis of cases by physicians through the University of Sydney in 2013 the risks of severe head injury times higher in non-helmeted cyclists that those wearing a helmet.

The debate regarding cycling helmets is unlikely to end any time soon with many activists longing to ride with the wind in their hair, without a hit to their hip pocket.

Written by Jarryd Bartle and Ugur Nedim. Republished with permission of Sydney Criminal Lawyers.

Melody Teh

News

Fri, 18 Dec, 2015

These four sisters posed for a picture every year for 40 years. See the amazing transformation over the years

These four sisters posed for a picture every year for 40 years. See the amazing transformation over the years

These four sisters posed for a picture every year for 40 years. As you scroll through the 40 consecutive photos, written plainly on their faces are the trials and triumphs of life, reminding us of the power and subtleties of time. However, throughout it all, it’s clear the familial bond and love was and remains as strong as ever. 

UPDATE: The 41st annual photograph of the celebrated series has been released. Scroll down to see the latest photo of the Brown sisters. 

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Image credits: imgur 

Related links: 

15 unlikely friendships that will melt your heart

A Christmas miracle saved my sister

Top 10 life lessons kids learn from grandparents

Georgia Dixon

News

Mon, 23 Jan, 2017

In praise of doing nothing

In praise of doing nothing

Margaret Cunningham, 61, is “semi-retired” from her role in digital communications. She is a hobby writer who particularly enjoys writing articles with a reflective viewpoint. A lifelong passion of health and fitness means she is known in her community as “that lady who runs”.

We are all habitually busy. The hustle and bustle of the outside world touches everyone. Men, women and children – always on, always connected, talking, always doing. And if we’re not busy doing, then we’re busy thinking. Our dreams, our regrets, our goals, our fantasies, our desires, then worrying, planning, questioning, analysing, and then more worrying. There is little space left for stillness. There’s just so much going on and being still is not what we’re used to. Anything that denies the human spirit of refreshment is ‘busy,’ and the busier you are the more important it is to be still. Let’s not forget we are human beings, not human doings. 

Yes, life today is a never-ending juggle of… well a juggle of everything and everyone. Our day to day life – work, leisure, relationships, and our spirituality – is swathed in a 24/7 plethora of opportunity.  When I was growing up our teachers used to say, “The world is at your fingertips”. Back then it was a figurative statement, not true literally, but a piece of advice to let me know I could go anywhere or do anything if I set my mind to it.

Today it is a literal truth – the world is literally at our fingertips and we can be connected 24 hours a day to busyness. The noise of ‘busy’ sneaks into our every empty space. It even invades our sleep, disturbing our dreams with the constant chatter of our minds. The modern world is moving at an ever-increasing rate. We race about the place as though energy is endless, and associate ‘being busy’ with ‘being successful’. If we’re not doing something, we’re not being productive. To do nothing is often thought of as being lazy or weak, but the reality is, we all need moments of ‘stillness’ or ‘nothing’ in our life.

Energy is not endless. Author Patricia Spadaro says there is a time for action and a time for stillness – hours of activity must be balanced with stillness. She says that chronic busyness without taking time out to be still is like driving a car that’s almost out of gas and pretending the tank is full. You can push the pedal to the metal for a few more miles, and even run on fumes for a bit, but then the engine sputters and spits—and splat, you’re stranded.

“And when it comes to our bodies, it’s not always a simple matter of filling up the tank and we’re on the road again. Better to fill up your internal energy reserves before your tank is empty,” she says.

We are all searching for that one thing. It’s what drives our busyness. We spend so much time searching the how, what, when, where, why of life from the outside-in, that we have become like robots rapidly moving from one of life’s events to the other, living to everybody’s agenda except our own.

I have always had a reflective personality and used to love a time of stillness. It used to set the mood for reflection and moments of insight. But about 20 years ago circumstances in my life changed and right at the time when stillness was most important I pushed it away. A grandchild to raise, an elderly mother to care for, an unwell husband and a full-time job with and additional daily two-hour travel time gave me the excuse to let this time slide. In the end the image I presented to the world was taking 100 per cent of my time but portrayed nothing of ‘me’ on the inside, and I missed me. Making time for stillness has been integral to reconnecting with ‘me’ again.

Stillness simply means – to do nothing. In her book, The Joy Diet, Martha Beck writes that “doing nothing is the most productive activity you will ever undertake.”

She says that when we speak of stillness, this is exactly what we mean. Doing nothing. Not meditation, or prayer, or brainstorming, or problem-solving, only stillness.

It sounds easy doesn’t it – doing nothing? It conjures up images of lazy days at the beach or maybe a deserted island somewhere. What I found was, it was not easy to do nothing. Much easier to be busy and I had to learn to be still and am still learning. Here are a few suggestions for how you can practice stillness on your own journey.

1. Make time for stillness

Deliberately plan and make a time for stillness. Commit to it. There is no right or wrong time of the day for stillness.  The right time is the time that suits you. Fifteen minutes is usually the ideal length of time to quiet your mind. 

2. Find the right spot

You can find a moment of stillness anywhere – on your couch, on the floor of your bedroom, in your backyard, sitting on a jetty with your legs dangling in the water, or in a room/corner dedicated entirely to these moments. The most important thing is that you find a quiet place where you can practice stillness without interruption. Don’t take your phone with you.

3. Get comfortable

Sit down, find a comfortable position, and close your eyes. Relax our body from your face all the way down to your toes.  As you move down the body, clench then unclench your muscles. Pay special attention to the face – lots going on there - unclench the jaw, bring the tongue off your top palate, close the eyes and still the eyes by lowering the eyeball down the body. 

4. Clear your mind

This is often the hardest part.  It is for me. The body may be still, but my mind is firing with rapidly moving thoughts. I start with a focus on my breathing. I count my breaths. Breathing in 1, 2, 3, 4, breathing out 1,2,3,4. This way I remain in the present and it stills the clutter of the mind. This needs practise so start small with just ten seconds of thinking nothing at all. If thoughts keep popping up don’t fight them, let them come and pass through. Don’t give up on this.

5. Observe

After you have finished take a moment to think about what you felt during this time. Did you feel vulnerable, scared, peaceful, awkward or was it just too difficult. I personally don’t know what this means for you but what I do know is you have been in exactly the right place. Keep going.

You can be in the right place by simply doing nothing. Space for stillness is not just essential to staying sane; it will be the key that opens the door to you. Who are you without your busyness? It’s a good question to start with.

Being busy and productive is important, but to be really effective we need to insert a stillness space into our day. That space where you can open and explore the inner promptings that nudge at us fleetingly before most of us brush them away.  Sometimes our own space on the inside is a very vulnerable place to be.

Swiss Psychiatrist, Carl Jung describes what can happen in this space beautifully, “Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.”

Related links:

How to create a life with meaning

Don’t let fear stop you from your goals

Parents at war: the harm it does to kids

Over60

News

Thu, 16 Jul, 2020

Calls for new COVID symptom to be officially recognised

Calls for new COVID symptom to be officially recognised

A skin rash can be the only symptom shown on people infected with COVID-19, a new study has found.

Researchers at King’s College London said skin rashes and ‘COVID fingers and toes’ can occur in the absence of any other symptoms, and should be considered as key diagnostic signs of the virus.

Data collected from 336,000 people on the COVID Symptom Study app revealed that 8.8 per cent of people testing positive for the disease in the UK had experienced skin rash.

An additional online survey of nearly 12,000 individuals with skin rashes found that 17 per cent of those with COVID-19 reported a rash as their first symptom of the disease. About one in five (21 per cent) of the people who were diagnosed with the virus had rash as their only symptom.

The rashes can come in three forms: hive-type rash with itchy, raised bumps; chickenpox-type rash with small, itchy red bumps; and ‘COVID fingers and toes’ with sore, reddish or purplish bumps on fingers or toes.

“Many viral infections can affect the skin, so it’s not surprising that we are seeing these rashes in COVID-19,” said Dr Veronique Bataille, consultant dermatologist at King’s College London and the study’s lead author.

“However, it is important that people know that in some cases, a rash may be the first or only symptom of the disease. So if you notice a new rash, you should take it seriously by self-isolating and getting tested as soon as possible.”

The recognised symptoms of COVID-19 by the World Health Organisation currently include fever, tiredness and dry cough along with loss of taste or smell, skin rash and discolouration of fingers or toes.

Danielle McCarthy

News

Fri, 17 Feb, 2017

Must-read checklist for planning your social life in retirement

Must-read checklist for planning your social life in retirement

Retirement is a significant life stage that can impact both your home and social life. Taking the leap of leaving the workplace behind is no doubt an exciting move, however, it’s important to ensure you plan ahead. According to retirement designer for women, Megan Giles, adequately preparing for the significant shift in your day-to-day interactions is key to a smooth transition.

“By working, socialising is automatic. You’ve got someone to have lunch with and you interact with your colleagues (whether you like it or not). People often expect to have an exciting and fulfilling retirement, but that doesn’t automatically happen, you need to take some time to action that. Don’t wait until day one. Plan forward the social aspects of your retirement now,” Megan says.

With Megan’s assistance, we’ve put together a must-read checklist to help you plan your retirement social life.  

1. Reconnect with people

Throughout life it’s perfectly normal for your group of friends to become smaller, due to work and family commitments becoming a priority along the way. Retirement is when you are given back the gift of time. In addition to spending time with family or friends, what better time to reach out to people you have lost touch with? Call that friend who you have been thinking about for years. Use your Facebook account to reconnect with those you have lost touch with. After all, you will soon have a lot more time for long lunches. Additionally, think about those people you work with that you would like to continue a relationship with. Schedule in regular coffees with them or invite them over for a weekend barbeque – lay the groundwork now for a deeper, more meaningful relationship in the future.

2. Take up a hobby  

If you have tap shoes, roller-skates or a set of golf clubs collecting dust in the garage, now is the time to fish them out. It’s important to consider that without the mental stimulation work provides, you will need to develop your interests. Megan advises it is especially important to take your new or rediscovered hobby for a test drive before retiring, so you can see how it fits. “If you’ve always dreamed of salsa lessons, or Pilates, that’s something you can start to do before you retire. Then after a bit of a pressure test, you have time to ask yourself: ‘Is golf what I really want to be doing’, ‘Is this volunteer group or organisation really what I would to be involved in’.”  Bonus points if your chosen activity is a form of exercise. Studies have shown that learning a new physical skill in adulthood leads to an increase in volumes of grey matter in the parts of the brain related to movement control.

3. Join a group

Leaving the workforce can impact your sense of purpose and your feeling of belonging. Finding a group activity, or simply planning a regular coffee catch up with friends, can be a great way to regain that sense of purpose and add to your happiness. “Connecting to other people leads to better life satisfaction,” Megan says. “It also helps you stay relevant. You have something interesting to talk about, something that drives you, something that you want to find out more about.”

4. Learn to spend time by yourself  

Although redesigning how you connect with others is an important factor in planning for your retirement social life, the most important person you need to reacquaint with is yourself. Don’t be afraid to spend some time alone. From reading a book curled up on the couch to spending an afternoon getting lost in a museum, learning to spend time alone can be pure bliss. In preparation, Megan advises taking some time to “practice” spending time on your own. When you enjoy your own company it will take some of the pressure off organising your social schedule and help you find a balance that works for you.

Most importantly, remember that you are enough and that it's the quality, not the quantity, of the relationships that you have that truly matters.

5. Learn to socialise on a budget

You may have factored bills, holidays and insurance payments into your retirement planning, but maybe not boundless afternoon cakes and pricey hobbies. Don’t let the width of your wallet determine your social calendar. Megan suggests taking advantage of the savings available to you as a senior to help balance out the cost of your leisure time. “Many senior’s cards entitle to you to discounted movie tickets, entry to museums as well as savings on health and fitness classes,” she explains. “You can also explore what free or low-cost activities your local council offers. If you can’t find an activity suited to your interests in your area, why not start your own? Round up a group of friends or neighbours and start a weekly walking group. Not only is this a great way to connect and interact with others, but you’ll benefit from the physical exercise”. And of course, never be afraid to play host and entertain at home. “Create a space for entertaining at home,” Megan says, continuing, “When inviting people for dinner, consider asking each guest, couple or family to bring a dish. Not only is this option good for the budget but it encourages you to be inspired by new recipes also.”

This article has been sponsored by AustralianSuper Pty Ltd ABN 94 006 457 987, AFSL 233788, Trustee of AustralianSuper ABN 65 714 394 898.  The views expressed are those of Over60 and not AustralianSuper. For more information about AustralianSuper, please visit australiansuper.com.

Related links:

Men and women: the differences in what we look forward to in retirement

Tips for coping with a retired hubby

Retirement in the age of financial uncertainty

Over60

News

Thu, 5 Mar, 2020

Are cyclists in NSW required to wear helmets?

Are cyclists in NSW required to wear helmets?

Remember when you were young, you’d jump on your bicycle and go for a ride to the park, to a friend’s place or to the park? Not a care in the world, using your handy companion to get from place to place? Perhaps the last thing you’d be concerned about would be getting pulled over by a police officer and issued with a penalty notice.

Well times have changed, and concerns about the potential consequences of collisions involving bicycles have led to the enactment of laws which make it mandatory to wear helmets when riding.

Dangers of riding without a helmet

Statistics suggest that one in five people injured on Australian roads are cyclists, and research – and perhaps common sense – says your injuries can be reduced by wearing approved head protection.

So, what are the laws when it comes to wearing a helmet while riding a bicycle in New South Wales?

And are they justified?

The Laws

Australia was the first country in the world to implement mandatory helmet laws.

Victoria implemented the first laws in 1990, and the rest of the country followed suit shortly thereafter.

In New South Wales, Rule 256 of the Road Rules 2014 states:

The rider of a bicycle must wear an approved bicycle helmet securely fitted and fastened on the rider’s head, unless the rider is exempt from wearing a bicycle helmet under another law of this jurisdiction.

Does the law apply to everyone, even kids?

Yes. The applies to all bicycle riders, regardless of age, including kids on bicycles with training wheels and those who are being carried as a passenger on a bike or in a bicycle trailer.

What is an approved bicycle helmet?

An ‘approved bicycle helmet’ is one which has a sticker or label certifying it meets the Australian and New Zealand standard, which is AS/NZS 2063.

Helmets manufactured after 31 March 2011 must have an identifying mark from a body accredited or approved by the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ) certifying compliance with the standard.

What is a road-related area?

The requirement to wear a helmet applies to roads as well as ‘road-related areas’, which under Rule 13 of the Road Rulesinclude:

  • an area that divides a road,
  • a footpath or nature strip adjacent to a road,
  • an area that is not a road and that is open to the public and designated for use by cyclists or animals, and
  • an area that is not a road and that is open to or used by the public for driving, riding or parking vehicles.
What is the penalty for not wearing a bicycle helmet?

The maximum penalty a court can impose for the offence is 20 penalty units, which amounts to $2200, but most cases are dealt with by way of ‘on-the-spot’ fines in the sum of $344 (at the time of writing).

The fine for not wearing a helmet in NSW is the highest in the country – by comparison, the fine is currently $207 in Victoria and $25 in the Northern Territory, and critics argue the enforcement of fines is little more than a revenue raising exercise for police, with 17,560 penalty notices being issued for the offence from 2016 to 2019. 

Can I Get an Exemption?

Whereas there are laws in a number of Australian jurisdictions which clarify the situations in which an exemption from wearing a bicycle helmet can be obtained, New South Wales is one of the strictest jurisdictions when it comes to getting an exemption.

Applications for exemptions can be sought from the Roads and Maritime services on grounds such as medical requirements and religious obligations, and are determined on a case-by-case basis. 

Do Mandatory Helmet Laws Work? 

Considerable controversy exists regarding the efficacy of mandatory helmet laws.

Whilst there is no doubt wearing a helmet in an accident could save your life, requiring helmets often means less people are willing to cycle.

An analysis by Professor Piet De Jong from Macquarie University found that the benefits of mandatory helmet laws were negligible compared to the potential health benefits of more people riding.

Regular cycling has considerable health benefits including cardiovascular fitness, increased joint mobility and decreased risk of obesity. It is arguable that this net public health benefit is considerable compared to the isolated risk of injury.

Concerns have also been raised that helmets may make some forms of injury more likely. Critics of current laws often cite that helmets can cause a form head rotation injury called a ‘diffuse axonal injury’.

This injury occurs due to the rapid acceleration and deceleration of the head such as in whiplash.

In 2010, anti-helmet activist Sue Abbott successfully had her conviction and fine quashed on appeal to the NSW District Court arguing that the laws made riding more dangerous due to risk of diffuse axonal injury.

Although District Court Judge Roy Ellis still found the offence proven, he did have this to say on bike helmet laws:

“I frankly don’t think there is anything advantageous and there may well be a disadvantage in situations to have a helmet – and it seems to me that it’s one of those areas where it ought to be a matter of choice.’’

However, Ms Abbott’s theories have been disputed by many medical experts. For example, an analysis of cases by physicians through the University of Sydney in 2013 the risks of severe head injury times higher in non-helmeted cyclists that those wearing a helmet.

The debate regarding cycling helmets is unlikely to end any time soon with many activists longing to ride with the wind in their hair, without a hit to their hip pocket.

Written by Jarryd Bartle and Ugur Nedim. Republished with permission of Sydney Criminal Lawyers.

Over60

News

Thu, 16 Jul, 2020

Meghan Markle gives speech for first time since leaving royal family

Meghan Markle gives speech for first time since leaving royal family

Meghan Markle has given her first speech since stepping down as a senior member of the royal family.

The Duchess of Sussex virtually addressed via webcam at the United Nations’ annual virtual Girl Up leadership summit on Tuesday.

Girl Up has a presence in 120 countries and works to “empower women and inspire them to get involved in social change,” and Meghan contributed by giving advice on how to deal with critics and “push through the fear”.

More than 40,000 people tuned in around the world.

“Your generation is often referred to as digital natives, and you understand that our online world has the power to affirm and support as much as it does to harm,” the 38-year-old said during her speech.

“We are not meant to be breaking each other down; we are meant to be building each other up. So use your voice both on and offline to do just that – build each other up, support each other.”

Markle urged the people watching to make use of their own voices to “drown out the noise” and the critics they might face as they fight to make change.

“There will always be negative voices and sometimes those voices can appear to be outsized, and sometimes they can appear to be painfully loud,” she said.

“You can and will use your own voices to drown out the noise. Because that’s what it is – just noise. But your voices are those of truth. And hope. And your voices can and should be much louder.”

Royal Commentator Victoria Arbiter informed Sunrise that the event was particularly “significant” as it is “setting the stage for the type of work Meghan is going to want to do moving forwards.”

“This is an opportunity to launch herself as a philanthropist and as an authority on this topic on this side of the atlantic,” she said.

“I think we’re going to see a lot more of this going forwards.”

Arbiter went on to say Harry and Meghan are in a lucrative position.

“Let’s take an event in the future in which she could be paid... a number of experts in the field have said that individually Harry or Meghan could command upwards of $500,000 for an appearance,” Arbiter said.

“If they appear at something together, they could be looking at $1,000,000.”

“If Harry and Meghan want to maintain their lifestyle then they’re going to need to make some significant money moving forwards, and public speaking is the most lucrative way to do that.”

Alex O'Brien

News

Thu, 2 Jun, 2016

The Waltons: where are they today?

Who can forget The Waltons? We welcomed them into our homes and into our hearts in 1972 and were treated to nine seasons of wholesome family entertainment courtesy of John, Olivia, Grandma and Grandpa Walton, John-Boy, Mary Ellen and the rest. But where is the cast of the classic TV show today?

Ralph Waite (John Walton)

After The Waltons, Waite remained on the small screen with recurring roles on Days of Our Lives, NCIS and Bones. He also attempted to enter the political world, running for the US Congress as a Democratic candidate three times in the ‘90s but was unsuccessful. Waite sadly passed away in 2014 at the age of 85.

Michael Learned (Olivia Walton)

The three-time Emmy Award-winning matriarch of the Walton family, 77-year-old Learned left the show in 1979 reportedly due to a desire to avoid typecasting. Her next move was a starring spot in the short-lived but well-received drama Nurse, for which she won another Emmy. Since, she has appeared in soap operas such as General Hospiral and The Young and the Restless.

Richard Thomas (John-Boy Walton)

Now 64, after leaving The Waltons in 1977, Thomas rejoined the cast for three Waltons TV movies. He starred in the horror film You’ll Like My Mother alongside Patty Duke and appeared in Stephen King’s It before returning to a mostly TV-based career, landing roles in dozens of TV movies and series including Law & Order: SVU.

Jon Walmsley (Jason Walton)

After The Waltons, the now-60-year-old Walmsley mostly gave up his acting career, save for a few guest appearances and roles in The Waltons movies. The talented multi-instrumentalist moved to focus more on music, composing, song writing and producing. He has worked with artists like Gregg Allman, John Mayall and Al Jardine of The Beach Boys.

Judy Norton Taylor (Mary Ellen Walton)

Post-The Waltons, Judy (now aged 58) was uncomfortable with her childlike perception despite being in her 20s, and in an effort to revamp her image posed for Playboy magazine. Aside from The Waltons movies, Norton Taylor has not returned to television, instead launching a chain of dinner theatres with her husband Robert Graves and trying to start a music career.

Mary Elizabeth McDonough (Erin Elizabeth Walton)

McDonough, 55, has mostly abandoned acting after contracting the autoimmune disease lupus. She has, however, returned to appear in all of The Waltons movies and has had guest spots on shows including General Hospital, Will & Grace and The New Adventures of Old Christine. She wrote about her experiences on the show in the book Lessons From the Mountain: What I Learned from Erin Walton.

Were you a fan of The Waltons? What was your favourite show of the ‘70s? Tell us in the comments below!

Related links:

Where are they now: cast of Happy Days

MASH: Where are they now?

Dynasty: where are they now?

Alex O'Brien

News

Fri, 1 Apr, 2016

Limoncello meringue pie

Limoncello meringue pie

This sweet, delicious pie is made with a splash of limoncello liqueur and is a great twist on the traditional meringue pie. Try it this weekend!

Ingredients:

Pastry

  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar
  • 125g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2-3 tablespoon iced water
  • Salt
Filling

  • 2 tablespoon cornflour
  • Juice of 1 orange, made up to 200ml with cold water
  • 120g caster sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 80ml lemon juice
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 60ml limoncello liqueur
  • 65g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
Meringue

  • 300g caster sugar
  • 150g egg whites (roughly 4 large egg whites)
Method:

  1. To make the pastry, in a food processor, combine flour, icing sugar, butter and a pinch of salt until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Add egg yolk and iced water, and process until mixture comes together in a smooth ball.
  3. Enclose in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  4. To make the filling, combine cornflour in a bowl with orange juice mix and stir until smooth. Place in a pan with caster sugar, lemon zest and juice, and stir over low heat for 7-8 minutes until thickened.
  5. Remove from heat and add egg yolks, one at a time, combining well with a wooden spoon.
  6. Stir in limoncello and butter, then cover surface with a piece of baking paper (to prevent a skin from forming) and cool. Lightly grease six 8cm-diameter, loose-bottomed tart pans.
  7. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface until 3mm thick. Line each pan with pastry, trim edges to fit and chill for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 180˚C.
  8. Line tarts with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or uncooked rice. Blind-bake for 10 minutes, then remove weights and paper and bake for another five minutes.
  9. Spread filling into the pastry cases.
  10. To make the meringue, turn the grill on.
  11. Place sugar into egg whites and put on top of a pan of boiling water (bain-marie).
  12. Keep mixing gently with a whisk until the mixture gets warm (don't let it cook, as we don't want scrambled eggs), then transfer to another bowl and using beat egg whites with electric beaters until soft peaks form and mixture is glossy and firm.
  13. Pipe or spoon on to tarts and grill for 5-6 minutes, until top is golden.
Written by Will Sands. First appeared on Stuff.co.nz.

Related links:

Strawberry meringues

Chocolate macadamias pavlova stack

Banana cream pie

Over60

News

Sun, 24 Nov, 2019

Why you turn down the radio when you're trying to park your car

Why you turn down the radio when you're trying to park your car

You’re driving down an unfamiliar street on a clear spring evening. You’ve been invited to a friend of a friend’s party, at a house you’ve never been to before.

Tracking the street numbers, you see you’re getting close, so you (almost automatically) turn the radio down. Finally, with all that music out of the way, you might actually be able to see the house.

Why is it that Cardi B must be silenced so you can better see the address of your party? For that matter, why do we have a convention to read silently when in a library?

One response might be: “When we need to concentrate a little more, like when we’re looking for a house in the dark, we often try to get rid of distractions so we can focus.”

This answer is intuitively appealing. It’s also exactly the kind of answer cognitive psychologists try to avoid.

The words concentrate, distractions, and focus all point towards something (attention) that is left undefined. Rather than detailing its properties and how it works, we just assume people intuitively know what it means.

This is a little circular, like a dictionary using a word in its own definition.

Hashtag nofilter

When you have a problem that seems inseparable from intuition, one way to get a handle on it is to a use a metaphor.

One of the most important metaphors for attention was provided by psychologist Donald Broadbent in 1958: attention acts like a filter. In his metaphor, all sensory information – everything we see, hear, feel on our skin, and so on – is retained in the mind for a very short period simply as physical sensation (a colour in a location, a tone in the left ear).

But when it comes to bringing meaning to that sensory information, Broadbent argued, we have limited capacity. So attention is the filter that determines which parts of the torrent of incoming sensation are processed.

It might seem like this broad description of a filter doesn’t buy us much in terms of explanation. Yet, sadly for Broadbent, he gave just enough detail to be proven incorrect.

A year after the publication of Broadbent’s book, the psychologist Neville Moray found that when people are listening to two simultaneous streams of speech and asked to concentrate on just one of them, many can still detect their own name if it pops up in the other stream.

This suggests that even when you’re not paying attention, some sensory information is still processed and given meaning (that a mass of sounds is our name). What does that tell us about how this central bottleneck of attention might act?

Radar love

One answer comes from a remarkable 1998 study by Anne-Marie Bonnel and Ervin Hafter. It builds upon one of the most successful theories in all psychology, signal detection theory, which describes how people make decisions based on ambiguous sensory information, rather like how a radar might detect a plane.

One of the basic problems of radar detection is to work out whether it is more likely that what is being detected is a signal (an enemy plane) or just random noise. This problem is the same for human perception.

Although apparently a metaphor like Broadbent’s filter, signal detection theory can be evaluated mathematically. The mathematics of human identification, it turns out, largely match those of radar operation.

A perfect circle

Bonnel and Hafter recognised that if people have a finite amount of attention to divide between vision and hearing, you could expect to see a particular pattern in certain experiments.

Imagine attention as an arrow of a fixed length that can swing back and forth between sight and hearing. When it’s pointing entirely towards sight, there’s no room for any focus on hearing (and vice versa). But if a little attention is taken up by hearing, that means there is less directed towards sight. If you graph this relationship, the tip of the arrow will draw a neat circle as it swings from one to the other.

Sure enough, the data from their experiments did indeed form a circle, but only in a certain case. When people were asked simply to detect whether a stimulus was present, there was no trade-off (paying more attention to vision did not change hearing performance and vice versa). It was only when people were asked to identify the specific stimulus that this circle appeared.

This suggests that while do we indeed have a limited capacity to process information, this is only the case when we’re processing the information for meaning, rather than being aware of its presence.

Our own research suggests this pattern indicates some deeper constraint at the heart of the way we perceive the world.

The circle represents a fundamental limit on processing. We can never leave that circle, all we can do is move forwards or backwards along it by choosing to focus our attention.

When our visual task becomes difficult – like finding a house number in the dark rather than simply scanning the road – we move along that circle to optimise the signal from our visual system. In many cases, we can only do that by turning down the input to our auditory system, by literally turning down the radio. Sorry, Cardi B.The Conversation

Simon Lilburn, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Melbourne and Philip Smith, Professor of Psychology, University of Melbourne

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Ben Squires

News

Tue, 26 Apr, 2016

100-year-old train carriage transformed into luxury cottage

100-year-old train carriage transformed into luxury cottage

Airbnb gives you the opportunity to stay in some pretty amazing locations, but we’re sure you’ll agree this beautifully restored 1904 train carriage is truly one of a kind.

This gorgeous train carriage in Codrington, Victoria, has been lovingly converted into the perfect lodgings for a night, weekend or maybe even more.

Original timber wall panels and the pressed steel ceilings are complemented by the period décor which provides guests with fabulous ambience to enjoy.

Train 2

And while you’re sleeping in a train carriage, you won’t feel as though you are, with all the amenities you’d expect from a hotel or B&B dutifully provided by the owners.

Even if you’re not headed to Codrington any time soon, make sure you scroll through the gallery above to see just how big the transformation is.

And to find out more about this property, click here.

Whether you want to make money by renting your place or to find affordable accommodation options and stretch your travel budget further, head over to Airbnb now and have a look around.

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Joanita Wibowo

News

Mon, 14 Jan, 2019

Novak Djokovic fires up tennis war over Australian Open prize money

Novak Djokovic fires up tennis war over Australian Open prize money

A war is brewing behind the scenes of the Australian Open as men’s players struggle for more pay and independence.

Over the weekend, Melbourne saw players, coaches and members of the men’s tennis tournament governing body the ATP struggle over issues surrounding leadership and prize money.

At the annual players meeting on Saturday, player council chairman Novak Djokovic reportedly voted against extending the tenure of ATP’s chief executive and president Chris Kermode. However, Djokovic refused to confirm his vote, citing the meeting’s confidentiality.

“The decision hasn’t been made on the president,” Djokovic said. “Whether there’s a renewal or not, it’s going to be decided in the next period.”

The ATP board is due to vote on Kermode’s contract renewal before the end of the month.

Tennis legend Roger Federer confirmed that “a lot is happening” behind the scenes. “It’s definitely interesting times, I’d like to call it, not bad times in our sport,” Federer said on Sunday.

“It’s maybe also a bit of a transition time. So it will be interesting to see what’s going to happen.”

A few players have publicly supported the motion to remove Kermode from his position. 

“Grand slams which report hundreds of millions of dollars in profit … yet we get less in prize money than 10 per cent of their revenue,” player council member Vasek Pospisil said in an email sent to players ranked between 50 and 100.

“The governance structure of the ATP favours the interests of the tournaments and its owners,” said Pospisil. “We need a CEO that first and foremost represents OUR interests.”

This is in line with Djokovic’s suggestion last year that the men’s players should form a new union that is separate from the ATP.

However, other players have also expressed support for Kermode’s continued leadership. Swiss player Stan Wawrinka and Australia's Nick Kyrgios said Kermode’s performance in the past few years has brought men’s tennis in the right direction.

“If you look what’s happened the last few years with our president, I think he only helped the tennis to be in a better place,” Wawrinka told The Telegraph.

“I also think that some people have some personal interest for sure … there should be a reason to move someone at that spot after a few years going quite positive for the tennis. That’s maybe where it’s a bit strange.”

Australian coach Darren Cahill endorsed Kermode in a Twitter post, saying the 54-year-old had brought “big increases in prize money, pension plan, new events, doubles initiative supporter, new progressive rules for injured players … facility upgrades” among others.

“I’d be stunned if Chris Kermode is removed. ATP needs stability right now.”

Do you think tennis players should receive more prize money? Tell us in the comments below. 

Over60

News

Thu, 7 May, 2020

Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry release adorable new video of baby Archie in honour of 1st birthday

Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry release adorable new video of baby Archie in honour of 1st birthday

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have honoured their beautiful boy Archie on his first birthday by releasing an adorable new clip to the public.

The three-minute-long footage, was released by Save the Children UK and shows Archie sitting on his mother’s lap as she reads him Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Kroger Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld.

The clip was recorded by Prince Harry.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Save The Children UK (@savechildrenuk) on May 6, 2020 at 4:01am PDT

“We’re going to read Duck! Rabbit! Ready? Want to open it?” Meghan asks, as Archie reaches to turn the first page.

“Good job,” Meghan said.

Fans were able to watch as little Archie listened intently to his mother read the children’s book.

“Hey look, a duck! That’s not a duck, that’s a rabbit,” she read, to which prompted a giggle from both Archie and dad Prince Harry behind the camera.

Later, the Duke of Sussex can be heard quacking in the background as Meghan reads: “Wait listen, did you hear that? I hear duck sounds”.

Archie was then filmed squirming towards the end of the book, and reaching for another one and repeatedly dropping it to his parents’ dismay.

Harry laughs and Meghan looks straight at the camera with a smirk.

The video was shared on Instagram to help raise money for Save the Children’s coronavirus appeal.

“Happy Birthday, Archie!” the charity said.

“Thank you Meghan for helping us to raise urgent funds for our coronavirus appeal by reading Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld and published by Chronicle Kids.

“As the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, children’s lives are being turned upside down. By donating to Save with Stories, you can support the most vulnerable families in the UK and around the world by helping to provide early learning packs, supermarket vouchers, essential household items and virus protection … Together, we can help families get through this.”

“As they celebrate this family moment, the Duke and Duchess wanted to continue to raise awareness around the urgency of bringing food and learning resources to millions of children. The Duchess chose to read one of Archie's favourite stories,” a spokesperson for the Sussexes said.

Archie now lives with his parents in the United States after they stood down from their royal roles, and is expected to mark his birthday with Zoom calls to his aunt and uncle, Kate and William, as well as a phone call with the Queen, according to reports.

Kensington Palace wished him a very happy birthday on Twitter, sharing a family portrait from the day of his christening.

Ben Squires

News

Mon, 19 Dec, 2016

Duke and Duchess to ditch Queen for Christmas

Duke and Duchess to ditch Queen for Christmas

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge won’t be joining the Queen for the Royal Family’s traditional Christmas celebrations in Sandringham this year. Instead, the pair will be spending their Christmas with the Middletons in Berkshire.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte will join the royal couple at the Middleton’s £4.7million Bucklebury mansion, in what will only be the second time since 2011 that they’ve decided to spend the day away from Her Majesty.

Reports have suggested that the Middletons are planning to pull out all the stops for Christmas this year, which will be Pippa’s last one as a single woman.

Usually the Duke and Duchess spend their Christmas with Her Majesty at her 20,000-acre Norfolk estate, but decided to opt for a more low-key celebration this year.

What do you think of their decision? Should the Duke or Duchess be spending Christmas with the Queen? Or are they well within their rights to want a quieter day?

Image credit: Twitter / Hello 

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Michelle Reed

News

Mon, 7 Mar, 2016

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan dies aged 94

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan dies aged 94

Nancy Reagan, who had been living in Bel Air, Los Angeles, has died of congestive heart failure.

The small time actress’ 52-year marriage to Ronald Reagan was once describes as "the US presidency's greatest love affair".

She wasn’t always well liked. Her penchant for lavish balls and dresses as well as her costly renovation of the white house were initially criticized. Many also felt that the Reagan’s relationship was staged and there was unease about the way Mrs Reagan visibly prompted her husband, leaving many to believe she had too much say in political affairs.

However, when her husband revealed he had Alzheimer’s, her supportiveness was not only understood, but revered, and she became one of the most influential women in US history. Nancy Reagan's best-known project as first lady was the anti-drugs "Just Say No" campaign.

After her husband died of Alzheimer's in 2004, she became a champion for Alzheimer's patients, raising millions of dollars for research and breaking with fellow conservative Republicans to argue for stem cell studies.

US President Barack Obama said Mrs Reagan "redefined the role" of First Lady.

She will be buried next to her husband, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

Related links:

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People aged 0 to 100 define what is love

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Ben Squires

News

Mon, 7 Mar, 2016

Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s husband John in a coma

Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s husband John in a coma

Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s husband John Kennerley is in an induced coma. The TV personality’s beloved husband suffered a serious neck injury in a balcony fall at Bonville Golf Resort and is currently being treated at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital.

Ms Kennerley’s manager said, “Last night John Kennerley – much loved husband of Kerri-Anne – had a fall while attending a golf event in Coffs Harbour. As a result of that fall, John has sustained a serious neck injury.”

“John was placed into an induced coma before being flown this morning to ICU at Royal North Shore Hospital where he is currently being treated by specialists.”

Ms Kennerley is yet to publicly address the incident. 

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Over60

News

Wed, 15 Jul, 2020

Dannii Minogue allowed to skip hotel quarantine

Dannii Minogue allowed to skip hotel quarantine

Danny Minogue has returned to Australia after travelling from the United States, however she will not be placed under the government’s strict mandatory 14-day hotel stay.

The pop star and her son have been granted an exemption by the Queensland government on medical grounds.

Instead of being forced to remain in the confines of a hotel, the two will spend 14 days at their Gold Coast private residence.

Minogue returned from the COVID-19 hotspot the United States over the weekend and headed straight to her Gold Coast property.

Minogue is still under the same strict hotel quarantine measures in her home, as no one is allowed to come and go from the property.

Unlike many other Australians who are returning from overseas, Minogue will not foot the mandatory $2800 bill for hotel accommodation each returning adult has to pay under current Queensland quarantine laws.

Millions of dollars has gone towards paying for thousands of travellers who have returned to Australia to quarantine in hotels since March.

On Monday night; the Queensland government said they could not comment on Minogue’s case.

“While we cannot comment on individuals, Queensland Health has strong arrangements in place whether people are quarantining inside or outside hotels,’’ a spokesperson told 7NEWS.

Alex O'Brien

News

Wed, 1 Oct, 2014

New doco proves over-60s are the real style-setters

New doco proves over-60s are the real style-setters

Examining the lives of seven uber-fabulous over-60 New Yorkers whose eclectic personal style and vital spirit guides their approach to ageing, this already internationally acclaimed film is a sellout.

Based on the popular blog – Advance Style – byAri Seth Cohen who has been blogging his photos of stylish older women since 2008, he teamed up with filmmaker Lina Plioplyte to turn the blog into a documentary.

Capturing the spirit of women aged between 62 and 95, Advanced Style screened to sellout audiences at the Melbourne International Film Festival in August, premiered in New York on September 26 and was released at select cinemas in Australia on October 2 (see details below).

Mr Cohen started photographing stylishly dressed when he moved to New York City. "It was all my grandmother's fault," he laughs. "She was just this wonderful, giving, fashionable, interesting woman."

Growing up in sunny California, Mr Cohen's says his grandmother was his best friend with whom he loved to spend time with going through her old scrap books and watching old movies together. "I learned everything from her, I learned about aesthetics, I learned how to be a good person."

The blogger’s grandmother was also the one who encouraged him to move to the big apple. "If you want to be creative, move to New York," he says. So in 2008 he took that advice and it wasn’t long before he encountered a number of "incredibly dressed, eccentric, outrageous, classic" older people on the streets of New York. "I started taking their photos and I started the blog."

It was around that time that he met filmmaker, Lina Plioplyte, in a coffee shop, who had also only recently moved to New York City.

“Lina Plioplyte, director of the film, and I met six years ago when I first moved to NYC,” Mr Cohen explains, continuing, “She was working at a coffee shop and we admired one another's crazy mix of paisley and tropical patterns and I asked if we could be friends. I told her that I wanted to start a blog where I photographed some of the most stylish, vital, and interesting older people in New York and she told me that she was just about to start a position at a fashion magazine making videos. Lina and I ran into each other about a month later at a gallery. She had been seeing my posts on Advanced Style and asked if she could make a few videos of the ladies for my blog. We started with Debra Rapoport and interviewed her about her style. From there we moved on to Tziporah and Ilona and quickly realized that these videos were about much more than just style. The ladies began to open up to us and share their lives and secrets to their incredible vitality. Lina and I became so captivated by their stories that we couldn't stop filming.”

Mr Cohen said the women he features in his photographs serve as an inspiration for people who want to feel good about themselves. "The film, the blog, my book, they're really about style - personal style and lifestyle," he told 774 ABC Melbourne's Rafael Epstein. "These women dare to be bold but that's their personal style. It's really about how they live their lives."

Drawing a distinction between style, which is personal, and the global fashion industry, Mr Cohen thinks the "The fashion world is scary," he reveals. "It doesn't include older people and it doesn't include people of different weights, and it doesn't include people of different races.”

Lithuanian born, Ms Plioplyte, who started working on this film at 25, said American culture is "all about anti-ageing, firming, tightening, thinner, younger," she says. When she began work on the doco she revealed that she’d "already started worrying about getting older," but wonderfully, the women in the documentary became mentors for her. "These women were just flaunting their styles and not hiding at all," she smiles.

Interestingly, while the film is definitely a celebration of the women it features, it’s not a picture of sunshine and roses. "It was really important not to make only a purely positive film," said Ms Plioplyte. And then Mr Cohen explains that the women in the film were competitive. "If Lina didn't show that I don't think the audience would respond to the film as being honest," he said.

The women in the film have a vain side too and that shows, but it is that pride that makes them so vital in their old age. "That self confidence shows in the way that they present themselves to the world."

Despite the women's individual eccentricities, Mr Cohen hopes the women in the film are as inspirational to other people as his grandmother was to him. "It's really all in memory of her," said Mr Cohen. "The hope and the goal of the blog is to really help people embrace their age and see that there's so much to life in your 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 100s."

Now showing in select cinemas in Australia

Cinema Nova, Melbourne

Kino Cinema, Melbourne


Palace Brighton Bay, Melbourne


Palace Como, Melbourne


Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, Sydney


Palace Norton Street, Sydney


Palace Verona Cinemas, Sydney


Luna Palace Windsor, Perth


Palace Electric, Canberra


Palace Centro, Brisbane


Regal Twin Cinemas, Brisbane


Palace Nova Eastend, Adelaide


State Cinema, Hobart

Michelle Reed

News

Thu, 15 Oct, 2015

Homemade vanilla custard

Homemade vanilla custard

It’s easy to make, delicious to eat and goes so well over pancakes, crumbles and stewed fruits. You’ll never go back to store-bought versions again.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup thickened cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 ½ tablespoon cornflour
  • ¼ cup caster sugar
Method:

  1. Combine milk, cream and vanilla essence in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly for 5 minutes until mixture is hot but not boiling. Remove saucepan from heat.
  2. Whisk egg yolks, cornflour and sugar in a large bowl until combined. Pour hot milk mixture in, whisking continuously.
  3. Return mixture back to saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until custard thickens. Do not allow mixture to boil otherwise custard might curdle. Serve warm or refrigerate to keep.
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Shannen Findlay

News

Fri, 14 Feb, 2020

George Calombaris to sell lavish Toorak mansion amid collapse of food empire

George Calombaris to sell lavish Toorak mansion amid collapse of food empire

The embattled MasterChef judge has quietly listed his lavish Toorak home for a hefty $4.1 million as his restaurant empire sits on the brink of collapse.

Calombaris’ MaDE Establishment risking going into administration with around 500 staff at 18 restaurants currently employed.

The celebrity chef first made headlines in 2019 for underpaying staff of up to $7.83 million.

"My thoughts and concerns would be for all of the employees of his company," Victorian Jobs Minister Martin Pakula said on Monday.

"In that regard, I would hope that any conversations that are had with bankers and administrators are such that those people are able to keep their jobs."

Calombaris has quietly listed his and his partner Natalie Tricarico’s impressive Toorak mansion weeks after selling his Safety Beach holiday house in January. 

The couple bought the home, held in Tricarico’s name, in 2013 for $4.75 million. 

The spacious home boasts a generous five bedrooms as well as has bathrooms and five car spots, a swimming pool and an indoor space that can be converted into a gym or theatre. 

It also features marble kitchen benches fit for a talented chef, according to the 2013 listing of the home.

The family faced an intense lashing from locals while they lived at the house after adding a gym to the backyard.

Neighbour Helen Elsworth previously told the Herald Sun the addition was a “hideous black box” and Calombaris was “the worst neighbour I’ve had in my life”.

Kay & Burton South Yarra managing director Ross Savas has confirmed Calombaris had listed the property and was in discussions with the family about the upcoming sale.

Pursuit Property buyer’s advocate Brad Willmott said the family would likely make “capital gains” from the five-bedroom house.

“It’s in a small court off Lansdowne Rd, so it’s going to appeal to business people and families downsizing from larger properties in the area,” Mr Willmott said.

“It used to have a whole bunch of trees in the backyard, but those have been replaced with some new additions.”

Scroll through the gallery to see the Toorak mansion.

Courtney Allan

News

Mon, 3 Jun, 2019

The 1000-year-old coins that could help rewrite Aussie history

The 1000-year-old coins that could help rewrite Aussie history

James Cook declaring that Australia was “terra nullius” in 1770 might not have been the right move at the time as a new copper coin could rewrite Australian history.

In an interview with The Guardian, archaeologist Mike Hermes revealed he found an ancient coin on a beach in the Wessel Islands which he believes to be from Kilwa.

Kilwa is more than 10,000 kilometres away and is now known as Tanzania. The coin dates from before the 15th century.

“The Portuguese were in Timor in 1514, 1515 — to think they didn’t go three more days east with the monsoon wind is ludicrous,” he said to news.com.au.

“We’ve weighed and measured it, and it’s pretty much a dead ringer for a Kilwa coin.

“And if it is, well, that could change everything.”

Tests on the coin’s origins currently remain inconclusive, but Hermes hasn’t given up.

Wessel Islands are an uninhabited group of islands off the north coast of Australia and became a strategic position to protect the mainland in World War II.

In 1944, five coins were found by an Australian soldier called Maurie Isenberg. He didn’t know what they were at the time and pocketed them in a tin. Isenberg rediscovered the coins in 1979 and sent them off to a museum to be examined where it was found that the coins were 1,000 years old.

The discovery of the coins raises more questions than answers about colonisation.

If James Cook wasn’t the first person to discover Australia, who was?

How did 1,000-year-old coins end up on a remote beach on an island off the northern coast of Australia?

Did explorers from distant shores explore Australia before 1770?

The discovery of the coins was forgotten about until anthropologist Ian McIntosh got the ball rolling again in 2013 when he led an expedition to Wessel Islands. Unfortunately, the journey failed to find any more coins.

Despite the coins not having any monetary value, for archaeologists such as McIntosh, they are priceless.

Over60

News

Wed, 1 Jul, 2020

How moving into a land lease community can help you retire early

How moving into a land lease community can help you retire early

After working full-time since the age of 15, including two decades doing weekend and around-the-clock shift work, Geoff Ashton decided it was time for a change.

“I was doing shift work seven days a week, at any time of day or night. I was about to turn 65, and the shift work was getting very difficult,” Geoff said.

“What’s more, it was a pretty full-on job, and if something went wrong, it really went wrong.

“I was keen to start thinking about life outside of work.”

Benefits of moving into a residential land lease community

For Geoff, a crucial part of making the transition to retirement involved moving into a Hometown Australia residential land lease community at Port Stephens, in the NSW Lower Hunter region.

In January 2020, Geoff and wife Deb moved into Hometown’s Sunrise residential land lease community, after selling their townhouse in nearby Nelson Bay.

According to the couple, a key reason behind moving into Sunrise was that - unlike some retirement villages - it wasn’t strictly for retired people.

This allows them to live at Sunrise while carrying out their transition to retirement plan, which involves working for at least two more years.

Geoff has left his previous full-time job and is now working three days a week as a truck driver, while Deb works full-time in the disability care industry.

Their three-bedroom Seabreeze home at Sunrise is also a key part of the transition planning.

Compared to their former Nelson Bay townhouse, Geoff and Deb’s new home will provide more suitable accommodation as they get older. This is because it doesn’t have any internal stairs and is smaller and more manageable than the former townhouse.

It also includes a dedicated office space, allowing Deb to occasionally work from home.

Importantly, their new home also has a yard big enough for their two dogs, along with high-quality finishes and features including a covered outdoor entertaining area, walk-in wardrobes, stone kitchen benchtops and a double garage.

As Sunrise community residents, Geoff and Deb also have access to fantastic and relaxing communal facilities including two new swimming pools, tennis and pickleball courts and a clubhouse, bowling green, community bus, cinema and library.

“The whole reason we moved in here was so I could give up full-time work,” Geoff said.

“For anybody that has full-time employment in our age group and wants to switch to work part-time, I fully recommend moving into a community like this.

“In future years, we’re also hoping to do a bit of travel, and here at Sunrise we can park our camper in the hardstand area, which is another big advantage.”

More Australians than ever before transitioning to retirement

There are a number of major trends underway, which means more Australians than ever before are moving into Hometown Australia’s residential land lease communities, to allow them to either retire early, or to transition to retirement.

For instance, due to the COVID-19 economic impacts, around 102,000 Australians aged 50-64 and a further 54,000 aged over 65 fell out of employment between February and May 2020.

It’s predicted that a significant proportion of these people may have difficulty finding new work and may need to retire early.

Already some 21 per cent of Australians who retire are forced into this situation because of sickness or injury, and a further 11 per cent because they were retrenched.

What’s more, an increasing number of Australians in their 50s and 60s are also voluntarily moving from full-time to part-time work, as part of their retirement planning.

Between 2005 and 2020, the number of people working part-time in the 55-64 age group jumped by 74 per cent, and by 249 per cent in the 65 plus age group. This compares with a part-time work growth rate of 43 per cent across all age groups during the same period.

Many people in the above scenarios are - like Geoff and Deb - looking for the right sort of accommodation which helps meet their new circumstances.

Hometown land lease communities the perfect transition to retirement option

Hometown Australia operates just under 50 residential land lease communities containing around 10,000 residents across Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia.

According to Hometown Australia joint managing director and chief operating officer Stuart Strong, an increasing number of people entering his company’s communities are in the pre-retirement or early retirement phase.

“The financial benefits of our residential land lease living model - along with the great lifestyle we offer - is very attractive to people in their 50s and 60s who are weighing up their retirement options,” Mr Strong said.

Mr Strong said that, more often than not, people moving into a Hometown Australia community were able to top-up their retirement income, as the price of homes was usually below the median house price in the surrounding area.

Mr Strong also said that residents in his communities didn’t have to pay stamp duty, nor council rates or exit fees, and retained their home’s capital gain.

“This means a person looking to retire early can do so without the significant incoming and outgoing costs which apply to other over 50s housing models,” he said.

Furthermore, once a Hometown Australia community resident reaches the pension age, or already claims a disability pension, it is possible they can also claim Commonwealth rental assistance (which is up to $139 a fortnight per couple).

This comes about because land lease living residents own their home and then secure a long-term lease on the land on which the home is located. (For instance, weekly site fees are around $175 a week at Sunrise).

Mr Strong also pointed out that Hometown Australia community homes are designed to allow people to work or study from home, and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

He said that the vast majority of new Hometown Australia community homes include multi-purpose rooms, which can be used as a study.

“Most communities also contain a range of features to keep residents active and fit, including pools and tennis courts,” Mr Strong said.

“If you are wondering if you can retire early, or have been forced to retire early, or want to ease your way into retirement, then think about our communities.

“People in the above scenarios might be pleasantly surprised to find that they can achieve a very happy housing and lifestyle solution, and find great new friends along the way.”

About Hometown Australia

To learn more about Hometown Australia and its 48 communities across Australia, go to www.hometownaustralia.com.au

This is a sponsored article written in partnership with Hometown Australia.

 

Melody Teh

News

Fri, 19 Aug, 2016

Woman shows you how to pack 100 items into hand luggage

Woman shows you how to pack 100 items into hand luggage

Do you like to pack light? Want to breeze out of the airport without waiting for your luggage to finally appear from the baggage carousels? This video is for you.

In an effort to show that you don’t have to bring an assortment of oversized suitcases with you on every trip away, English TV host and former Bond Girl Rachel Grant has proven that you can pack more 100 items into a small carry-on suitcase. As you’ll see in the video, she manages to fit in 23 items of clothing, as well as multiple pairs of shoes, more clothes and a bunch of accessories into a standard carry-on suitcase.

See how the incredible packing feat is accomplished in the video below. 

Michelle Reed

News

Mon, 15 Aug, 2016

5 reasons to always pack a scarf

5 reasons to always pack a scarf

Learning to correctly pack your travel bag is something of an art form to be mastered, especially if it involves a long haul flight.

With limited space and twelve hours of relative self-sufficiency ahead of you, you want to make sure you have everything you need to make the journey as comfortable as possible. The key to this is packing items with multiple purposes, and there is no greater hero of functional diversity than the humble scarf.

Here are five reasons to make sure your scarf always makes it onto you packing list. 

1. You can use it as a blanket

Everyone knows that airlines don’t exactly offer to hand out extra blankets. To ensure that you have your own when the cabin temperature drops, roll up a scarf and pop it in your carry on. Or, if you’re really pressed for space, where it around your neck.

2. You can use it as a pillow

Be it on your initial plane ride, the subsequent bus ride or anytime when sitting for a long period is necessary, a scarf can serve as the perfect neck pillow.

3. Cover yourself up in an instant

Many religious tourist sites won’t allow women in if they have shorts on. If you’re always carrying a scarf, you can quickly turn it into a sarong so you don’t miss out.

4. Use it as a headscarf

If you suddenly find yourself caught in the hot sun, drape your scarf over your head for instant protection.

5. It makes you stand out

Airports, tourist attractions and shopping areas are always filled with people. If you’re worried about your group getting separated, a clever solution is for everyone to wear a brightly coloured scarf, so they are easily spottable. 

What's your must-have travel accessory? Let us know in the comments below. 

Related links:

10 clever and creative ways to pass time on a layover

Managing mobility limitations on extended trips

6 strangest items people have smuggled onto flights

ronit

News

Tue, 11 Aug, 2015

What happens when your hearing is tested

What happens when your hearing is tested

For most adults, your hearing is tested by using headphones to check the softest sound that you can hear. You will be asked to respond when you hear a sound, which might be very faint. The different levels of sounds are called thresholds and these determine the type of hearing loss you might have, and the degree.

Another common part of a hearing test uses an instrument called a bone conductor, which is a bit like a headband that sits on the bone behind your ear. This instrument measures how your hearing nerve hears the sound, as they are gently vibrated through the bones in your head.

When you get the results of your test it will be on a graph called an audiogram. This puts your hearing thresholds on a graph to show you how close your hearing is to the normal range. Not only does it show how severe your hearing loss may be, it will also show where the problem may be coming from.

The audiogram has two sections – frequency and intensity. Frequency is shown across the top of the audiogram. This is the pitch of the noise, measured in Hertz (Hz). A low frequency will have smaller numbers than a higher frequency. For example, the sound of your refrigerator running would measure around 500Hz. A louder sound such as birds chirping would measure around 4000Hz.

Intensity is on the side axis of the audiogram and measures how loud the sound is in decibels. Rather than testing how loud things are, your hearing test is looking to measure the softest sounds that you can hear in each ear.

The audiogram will show whether your hearing issue is mild, moderate, severe or profound. It can also help to show what type of hearing loss you may have such as sensori-neural conductive, or mixed.

If you have a speech perception test the results will also be compared to your audiogram. This test helps show how your brain is receiving and understanding speech.

Depending on any symptoms you have and the results of your audiogram you may need further testing. Your healthcare practitioner will advise you of any other tests that you may need.

Georgia Dixon

News

Wed, 23 Nov, 2016

How to create a life with meaning

How to create a life with meaning

Margaret Cunningham, 61, is “semi-retired” from her role in digital communications. She is a hobby writer who particularly enjoys writing articles with a reflective viewpoint. A lifelong passion of health and fitness means she is known in her community as “that lady who runs”.

It’s involuntary, we don’t think about it, we just do it. Our birth right so to speak. “Life is but a breath.” Yes, it’s a biblical verse, but whether you are an atheist or a believer, there is no denying both the profundity and the common sense of these words. They’re irrefutable and they’re indisputable. Life is but a breath. Everyone breathing in, breathing out.

According to the internet, on average an adult will take approximately 16 breaths per minute, 960 breaths an hour, 23,040 breaths a day, and 8,409,600 breaths in a year, not counting exercise. Take a moment – let’s think about this. Breathing is our sole means of transport between birth and death. Breathing is life. The body can go for many weeks without food and for days without water or sleep, but life will cease in a matter of minutes if we stop breathing.

But surely there must be more to life than the mechanics of breathing. Where are we travelling to? Where are we going? Ahhh yes the age-old search for the meaning of life. The questions. What gives my life meaning? What is my purpose here? Is what gives our life meaning actually the “meaning of life”?

These are big questions and I have no big answers for you, however I do think the search may be far simpler and closer to home than we expect. Instead of asking “What is the meaning of life?” we should ask ourselves, “What gives my life meaning?” and the answer to this can be found in our stories. When we die the breaths of our lifetime will be represented by our stories.

We all have a story to tell. You don't have to be powerful, famous, or have done something amazing to have a story. I used to think I didn’t have a story to tell or more to the point, a story BIG enough or important enough to tell. Compared to some of the larger issues in life such as hunger, poverty, sickness and war, my story or my life seems insignificant and uninteresting.

It is not the size of the story that counts – our day to day experiences, our fragility, our success and failures are our stories.

Whatever your story, if it can make a positive impact on someone else’s life then that story certainly has meaning and it has breath. I was reminded of this recently when my daughter, who is in her 30s, rang me regarding an out-of-control situation with her feisty seven-year-old daughter. Mum was feeling vulnerable, fragile and disappointed with herself for letting the situation escalate to the point of no return for both her and her daughter. Not one of her proudest moments, she said. I happened to share with her a not very proud moment of mine and said I too had experienced those same feelings of fragility and failure. My daughter had no idea. She had felt quite alone with her dilemma and told me how helpful it was to hear my story. So you don’t have to conquer Everest to have a story. We all walk many different paths in life and we each have a story to offer this world through our experiences.

The In Hindsight series are my stories. They are moments of insight from my experiences. I do not want them to die so I am breathing them out. Your stories and your truth may be similar or completely different. But they are yours and you should own them. Breathing in, breathing out. Life is but a breath.

Read more articles from Margaret’s In Hindsight series here.

*Image is a stock photo and not of Margaret Cunningham.

Do you have a story to share? Head over to the Over60 “Share your story” page.

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Rocky road

Rocky road

Perfect to serve when you have guests over for morning or afternoon tea, the failsafe rocky road is also a great snack to have on hand when you get a craving for something sweet.

Ingredients:

  • 175g butter
  • ⅔ cups caster sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 250g milk coffee biscuits, broken into pieces
  • 1 cup marshmallows, cut in quarters

Melody Teh

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Wed, 25 Mar, 2015

Gluten-free blondies

Gluten-free blondies

Often overlooked in favour of the classic choc brownies, once you take one bite of these gooey treats you won’t be able to stop.

Ingredients:

  • 150g gluten-free flour
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 200 g soya yogurt
  • 1/2 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 250g light brown sugar
  • 200g chocolate 70% cocoa, roughly chopped

Alex O'Brien

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Thu, 2 Jun, 2016

4 ways to reduce stress on your heart

4 ways to reduce stress on your heart

Dr Ross Walker is a leading integrative cardiologist, endocrinologist and author, specialising in the field of preventative cardiology.

Many of us tell ourselves that we will make a conscious effort to reduce our stress levels- but not now, because we simply don’t have the time. “Maybe next week” we tell ourselves, as our to-do list grows longer and longer. Even in retirement, stress can affect us- our ever increasing connectivity to one another, via text, email, Facebook and more, can make it feel as though we never have time to simply “switch off”, both mentally and physically.

However, what many of us don’t realise is that stress can have extremely negative effects on our overall health, and particularly on our heart.  With cardiovascular disease continuing to be the leading cause of death in Australia, this is no light matter.

Read on for more insight on how stress could be affecting your health and how important it is to manage your stress to avoid these negative health impacts, with input from cardiologist Dr Ross Walker.

How stress is affecting your ticker

When it comes to the link between cardiovascular disease and stress, we aren’t entirely clear about the direct links between the two. However, what we do know is that in a moment of stress, our heart receives a quick jolt of adrenaline and then calms itself once the stress has passed.  In a period of sustained stress, this jolt of adrenaline becomes more constant and your heart needs to work harder in order to do its job. Studies have also shown that acute stress can trigger reduced blood flow to the heart and cause your heart to beat irregularly, which may trigger the onset of heart disease in the long term.

On top of this, during periods of stress, we are less likely to make healthy lifestyle choices. Be honest: how often do you reach for some wine, or a “sneaky treat” after a stressful day? And how often do you decide not to exercise, because you’ve had a long day and just want to get home? All of these lifestyle choices create further risk factors for heart disease.

Reducing the effects of stress on your heart

There are certain steps and even ingredients you can take to start looking after your heart now, to prevent illness in the long term. Remember, heart disease is the leading cause of death in Australia, and the old saying ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ goes a long way. Here are some things to keep in mind if you want to give your heart a helping hand:

1. Embrace more seafood

These delightful fatty acids are essential for our health, but our body can’t make them on its own- you need to be absorbing omega-3s in your diet, most commonly found in fish. It’s no coincidence that populations renowned for their low rates of heart disease, like the Okinawans in Japan, consume numerous portions of seafood on a weekly basis. Swap out meat three times per week for fatty fish, and if you can’t fit this much fish in your diet, consider supplementing with an omega-3 capsule on a daily basis. I recommend that all of my patients above the age of 40 begin supplementing with omega-3s, for their heart and anti-inflammatory benefits.

2. Consume more antioxidants

Chronic stress is one of the triggers of inflammation, which is often referred to as “the silent killer”, due to the fact that it is now believed to contribute to many serious illnesses, including cardiovascular disease. You may have heard about antioxidants before, and been unsure of what they do and where to find them. Well, antioxidants help fight the oxidation of cells, which is what causes free radicals, leading to inflammation. A diet rich in antioxidants can, in turn, fight inflammation, particularly that which is caused by stress, and in turn reduce the effects of inflammation on your heart. Many antioxidants also have additional heart healthy benefits. I would advise looking out for berries (such as raspberries and blueberries), as well as Ubiquinol, an antioxidant found in spinach and sardines, which when taken as a supplement can have wonderful anti-inflammatory benefits.

3. Enjoy more cheese and fat, for that matter!

This is every cheese lover’s dream, but before you go out and chow down on every wheel of brie you can lay your hands on, take a moment to read the following: a recent study found that eating Italian cheese every day actually reduced blood pressure. While this isn’t an excuse to go out an eat your weight’s worth of cheese, it could be reflective of the fact that more and more evidence is showing a diet high in healthy fats (including those found in cheese) actually benefits both our waist lines and our heart, contrary to popular dietary guidelines recommending we reduce our fat intake.

4. Exercise

Research shows that as Australians get older, they become less and less active. However, we should in fact be making more of an effort to exercise daily as we get older, as exercise is one of the greatest preventative measures we can take for long term heart health. When you exercise, your heart can pump more blood through the body and your arteries and blood vessels are kept flexible, ensuring good blood flow and healthy blood pressure control. 30 minutes of exercise per day is one of the best ways to ensure you’re giving your heart the love it deserves.

How do you stay on top of your heart health? Let us know in the comments below.

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5 tips from a cardiologist for better heart health

5 tips from a cardiologist for better heart health

Heart health is a serious topic and it’s important to remember that the more information we have at our disposal, the better equipped we are to ensure we’re looking after our hearts in the best way possible. Leading Australian cardiologist Dr Ross Walker believes that maintaining optimum heart health comes down to more than just prescription medication- a holistic approach is best. Read on for his top five heart health boxes you should be checking, to keep your ticker in top shape.

1. Be aware

This isn’t the same as ‘beware’- you need to be aware of your heart and your predisposition to heart disease. Are you a smoker? Do you have a family history of cardiovascular disease? Are you overweight? When was the last time you visited a doctor for a heart check-up? These are all questions you need to be asking yourself, so that you can not only be aware of your heart health, but also determine the areas you can work on to prevent disease later down the track. If you’re unsure of how your heart is faring, visit your doctor- you should be booking in for yearly heart check-ups regardless, as they say: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

2. Consider Ubiquinol

If you have a predisposition to heart disease, or you are taking statin medication for high LDL cholesterol levels, then you’ve probably heard about Coenzyme Q10 (or CoQ10), a naturally occurring anti-oxidant in your body, from your doctor. But you may not have heard of Ubiquinol, the bioavailable (more easily absorbed) form of CoQ10, responsible for providing your cells with energy. Ubiquinol was been shown in a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology to reduce symptoms of chronic heart failure by 43 per cent, and has also been shown to assist in maintaining healthy levels of LDL cholesterol. As we age, our natural Ubiquinol levels deplete. If you’re feeling low in energy or want to give your heart some extra support, the benefits of Ubiquinol are plentiful. Always ensure that you seek out Ubiquinol as opposed to Ubiquinone- Ubiquinol is absorbed 5-8 times more readily by the body, as opposed to Ubiquinone, which the body first needs to be converted into Ubiquinol in order to reap the benefits.

3. Achieve and maintain a healthy weight

The harsh reality is that being overweight can dramatically increase your chances of developing heart disease. However, it’s never too late to improve diet and exercise routine. Don’t focus on the number on the scales – what can be a healthy weight for one person can be unhealthy for another. Instead, visit your doctor for some basic measurements, including a waist circumference measurement and a BMI test. This can give you a better idea of where you sit in terms of your weight and overall health. Forget fad diets and cutting out food groups- consult a nutritionist and learn about making simple swaps to health, unprocessed foods. Taking control of your weight will do wonders for not only your heart but your overall health.

4. Get physical

You’re probably starting to get the idea that good heart health actually comes down, in many cases, to your lifestyle choices – setting yourself up for a healthy future can prevent serious health issues as the years go by. Exercise has incredible benefits not only for your weight and mental health, but specifically for your heart – it can actually lower blood pressure and strengthen your heart, as you slowly increase your cardiovascular endurance. You don’t need to be running a marathon every day. Find something you enjoy, whether it be power-walking, swimming or even dancing, and just aim to move for 30 minutes a day.

5. Look after emotional health

Many people write off the effects that stress and anxiety can have on our health, but your emotional health should, in fact, be taken seriously. It’s not necessarily an issue of how stressed you are, but how you’re dealing with it. If you’re not expressing your feelings and coming to terms with your stress, the emotional toll can wreak havoc on your body and leave you feeling worse for wear. Stress can actually trigger the release of particular hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which can impact your blood pressure and heart rate. Health is both a mental and physical journey, and the two need to coexist if you want to take care of your body.

If you’re unsure about whether your heart is in good nick, how you can improve your heart health or simply where to start on a journey to overall health and wellbeing, the best place to start is by visiting a health professional like your GP, who can point you in the right direction and assess where you’re at, health wise.

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Homemade vanilla custard

Homemade vanilla custard

It’s easy to make, delicious to eat and goes so well over pancakes, crumbles and stewed fruits. You’ll never go back to store-bought versions again.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup thickened cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 ½ tablespoon cornflour
  • ¼ cup caster sugar
Method:

  1. Combine milk, cream and vanilla essence in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly for 5 minutes until mixture is hot but not boiling. Remove saucepan from heat.
  2. Whisk egg yolks, cornflour and sugar in a large bowl until combined. Pour hot milk mixture in, whisking continuously.
  3. Return mixture back to saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until custard thickens. Do not allow mixture to boil otherwise custard might curdle. Serve warm or refrigerate to keep.
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Caramel apple jam

Caramel apple jam

If you’re after a delicious homemade jam, why not try this recipe for caramel apple jam. Smooth, rich flavours with a very sweet twist.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups diced peeled apples (1/8-inch cubes)
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 package powdered fruit pectin
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
Method:

  1. In a Dutch oven, combine the apples, water, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  2. Cook and stir over low heat until apples are tender.
  3. Stir in pectin.
  4. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
  5. Stir in sugar; return to a full rolling boil.
  6. Boil and stir 1 minute.
  7. Remove from heat; skim off foam.
  8. Ladle hot mixture into seven hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace.
  9. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot mixture. Wipe rims.
  10. Centre lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
  11. Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water.
  12. Bring to a boil; process for 10 minutes. Remove jars and cool.
Have you ordered your copy of the Over60 cookbook, The Way Mum Made It, yet? Featuring 178 delicious tried-and-true recipes from you, the Over60 community, and your favourites that have appeared on the Over60 website, head to the abcshop.com.au to order your copy now.

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Sam Stosur faces online hate after baby announcement

Sam Stosur faces online hate after baby announcement

It seems Australia still has a long way to go.

And that was proven after Sam Stosur was on the receiving end of many ignorant comments after her baby announcement on Tuesday.

The Aussie tennis champion took to social media to reveal she’s a mother for the first time, announcing partner Liz Astling gave birth to a baby girl last month.

Stosur said she and Astling welcomed baby Genevieve into the world on June 16.

“Life in lockdown during coronavirus has been challenging in many ways but personally it's been one of the most exciting and happy times of my life,” Stosur wrote on Instagram alongside two photos of Genevieve.

“It has been a whirlwind time but we could not imagine life without her now.

“Mum and Evie are doing well and it's so amazing to be home with them both. We are absolutely in love with this little bundle and rolling with the happy chaos.

“We can't wait for what's to come and to watch little Evie grow up....Although not too quickly we hope.”

While the majority of fans and colleagues were overjoyed by the surprise announcement, there were some disgusting comments that followed.

Stosur has never explicitly spoken up about her sexuality or relationship with Astling, but she did thank her after winning the Spirit of Tennis Award at the Newcombe Medal night in 2019.

“To my Mum, Dad, … and my partner Liz, you have given me the love, support and every opportunity to pursue my dream and I’ll be forever grateful,” she wrote on social media at the time.

She also criticised Margaret Court after she made a comment saying that “tennis is full of lesbians” and suggested players should boycott Margaret Court Arena at the Australian Open.

Alex O'Brien

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Thu, 18 Aug, 2016

How to ensure your bag is never misplaced

How to ensure your bag is never misplaced

David Harwood writes for Virtuoso Luxury Traveller, the blog of a global luxury travel network, and he enjoys nothing more than taking a holiday.

Miriam and her husband were excited to travel to Budapest for a river boat cruise. The lead-up to their vacation was smooth sailing until a mechanical problem changed their flight plans at the last minute. But they still arrived in Budapest in time to meet their ship.

Unfortunately, their bags did not.

The threat of lost luggage is a major concern shared by vacationers all over the world. No luxury traveller can afford to arrive at their destination without their belongings. The good news is that a recent report suggests that the global air transport industry has reduced the rate of mishandled baggage overall since 2007. The bad news, however, is that the average rate of lost luggage remains 7.3 bags per 1,000 passengers.

Here, then, are some suggestions to avoid losing your luggage while en route to and from your vacation destination.

1. Practice total bag abstinence

The only way to guarantee your bags don’t get lost or misplaced is to not check them in the first place. Many travellers are enthusiastic about the sense of zen that can be achieved by traveling with a minimal number of possessions.

But it’s not for everyone.

If you can’t abide the thought of traveling only with whatever might fit into a carry-on suitcase, other options are available – such as shipping them ahead. Not only is this technique the ultimate in convenience and luxury, it is a weight off your mind knowing that as soon as you arrive on your vacation, everything you need will be ready and waiting for you.

Another growing trend among individuals who frequently travel to the same hotel or resort is travel caching. Many hotels allow regular guests to keep a trunk of their belongings in storage. They’ll take them up to your room when you’re due to check in – eliminating the need to even pack in the first place.

2. It’s all about the bag

No matter how appealing the idea of traveling without baggage in tow, it’s not always practical to do so. At those times, you can reduce your chances of lost luggage by being deliberate in your choice of suitcase.

Avoid bags with straps or anything else which could potentially get caught up in the automated baggage handling systems. If this happens – and your case causes a blockage – attendant staff will waste no time in destroying your luggage. They want to clear the machinery and get the other bags moving again.

Making sure your suitcase can be easily identified as yours can also help reduce the risk of it getting lost. For you, this means something eye-catching that you’ll notice as soon as it is arrives at the baggage claim carousel. (Think bright yellow or leopard print instead of drab black or grey.) For airport staff, it means making sure all your bags are clearly labelled with your name, contact information, and destination.

One caveat to that last point: Don’t tape your business card to your case as a means of identification. Thieves are known to frequent airports worldwide, and a suitcase which identifies its owner as a doctor or CEO is just begging to be stolen as it sets the expectation that its contents must be valuable. (Ditto for designer luggage.) Many suitcases and tags allow people to slide a business card in without it being visible to onlookers.

3. Plan to minimize problems

Being pre-emptive and prepared are key factors in reducing your risk of lost luggage.

Make sure your luggage is covered by your travel insurance. Pack in such a way that your bag does not arouse any suspicion among security personnel, as an inspection of your case could cause it to miss your flight. For example, the TSA advises that you spread out books within your baggage rather than stack them, as this allows individual items to be more easily identified via X-ray.

The scheduling of your flights can also play a factor. The likelihood of lost luggage increases during short layovers, so these should be avoided wherever possible.

Similarly, arrive at the airport extra early to make sure your bags have plenty of time to make it on board. Experts recommend that you check in any bags at least 90 minutes prior to the scheduled takeoff time.

Finally, it may be worth investing in new technology solutions designed to help travellers keep track of their bags. These range from simple $25 products to more expensive options specifically designed for long-distance travel.

4. How to deal with lost luggage

Unfortunately, despite all best efforts, bags may still go missing in transit. If this happens to you, file a claim with the airline as soon as possible. However, realize that it will probably take a while before your belongings are officially considered “lost” and you are compensated.

Even when you’re dealing with the most understanding airline, this process can be an extremely frustrating experience – and not one that you’d want to experience when your expectation had been for a relaxing getaway.

Fortunately for Miriam, she had booked her vacation with Virtuoso travel advisor Rosie Goldberger. When she found herself on a luxury cruise sans luggage, she knew just what to do: “I emailed Rosie about our bags from Budapest. After five days without our bags she was able to get the bags sent to our closest port as we had already boarded the ship for our cruise. Now, she more than generously offered to help us with getting the claim arranged for reimbursement on the money we spent on clothing, and personal effects needed. Thank you Rosie for saving us and making the trip go much smoother.”

Hopefully with these tips you’ll be able to avoid the nightmare of lost luggage. Regardless, booking your trip with a trusted luxury travel advisor will ensure you have an experienced advocate on your side just in case.

Do you have any other tips for avoiding lost luggage?

Let us know in the comments.

First appeared on Virtuoso Luxury Traveller.

Click here to visit its website for more information.

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6 common washing machine mistakes to avoid

6 common washing machine mistakes to avoid

Get the most out of this essential appliance.

1. Give it a deep clean

It seems counter intuitive that you would have to clean something that spends its whole life cleaning, but you really should. You can make your own washing machine cleaner with three quarters of a cup of bleach and a tablespoon of laundry detergent. Let the solution run through a soak cycle, then run an extra rinse cycle to ensure all the bleach is gone.

2. Empty your pockets

We’ve all done it – thrown in a jumper or pair of pants and left coins, keys or tissues in the pocket. These things can actually damage your machine, either through the metal scratching up the drum and damaging the glass door of a front loader, or shredded paper clogging up the workings. Make sure you check the pockets of all your clothes before you put them in.

3. Keep the door open

Did you know you should leave the door of your washing machine open after every cycle? It allows moisture from inside to evaporate, reducing the risk of developing mould and mildew.

4. Clean the surface

The outside of your machine should stay just as clean as the inside. If you get dirt, laundry detergent or stain remover on the surface, wipe it off with a clean cloth straight away. Also be wary of scratches from metal zippers or fastenings. Damage to the enamel outer surface can result in rust or dirt becoming engrained in it.

5. Don’t overload it

The drum of a washing machine is a delicately balanced mechanism. Jam too many clothes in and you run the risk of upsetting it. If you run too many heavy loads over time you can break it altogether. Plus washing too much at once means that your laundry won’t be very clean.

6. Keep the hoses neat

Hoses connecting the machine to the taps or sink should be kept straight and unkinked. As they become older, sharp bends can cause the rubber to deteriorate faster. You should also keep an eye on the quality of the seals on both ends. A faulty hose can quickly turn into a flooded house.

Michelle Reed

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Mon, 15 Aug, 2016

5 reasons to always pack a scarf

5 reasons to always pack a scarf

Learning to correctly pack your travel bag is something of an art form to be mastered, especially if it involves a long haul flight.

With limited space and twelve hours of relative self-sufficiency ahead of you, you want to make sure you have everything you need to make the journey as comfortable as possible. The key to this is packing items with multiple purposes, and there is no greater hero of functional diversity than the humble scarf.

Here are five reasons to make sure your scarf always makes it onto you packing list. 

1. You can use it as a blanket

Everyone knows that airlines don’t exactly offer to hand out extra blankets. To ensure that you have your own when the cabin temperature drops, roll up a scarf and pop it in your carry on. Or, if you’re really pressed for space, where it around your neck.

2. You can use it as a pillow

Be it on your initial plane ride, the subsequent bus ride or anytime when sitting for a long period is necessary, a scarf can serve as the perfect neck pillow.

3. Cover yourself up in an instant

Many religious tourist sites won’t allow women in if they have shorts on. If you’re always carrying a scarf, you can quickly turn it into a sarong so you don’t miss out.

4. Use it as a headscarf

If you suddenly find yourself caught in the hot sun, drape your scarf over your head for instant protection.

5. It makes you stand out

Airports, tourist attractions and shopping areas are always filled with people. If you’re worried about your group getting separated, a clever solution is for everyone to wear a brightly coloured scarf, so they are easily spottable. 

What's your must-have travel accessory? Let us know in the comments below. 

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8 ways to make healthy foods even healthier

8 ways to make healthy foods even healthier

Beyond the nutritional value of meals, scientists are working to uncover how certain foods should be eaten, what they should be combined with and how they are best absorbed.

It's a lot of science to take in, but we've waded through the research to uncover these eight amazing tweaks to make "good-for-you" foods even better at your next meal.

1. Making curry? Add black pepper

Turmeric, the spice that gives curry powder its distinctive yellow colour, is being studied for its ability to halt the production of cancer cells. Turmeric contains the potent antioxidant curcumin, which is the active ingredient with anti-cancer potential.

Curcumin is not well absorbed by the body, but a sprinkle of black pepper can enhance curcumin absorption by over 2,000 percent. Just a pinch of pepper - literally one 20th of a teaspoon - is all you need to see this benefit.

2. Having fish for dinner? Pair it with wine

It's no coincidence that the much-lauded Mediterranean diet includes both wine and fish for cardiovascular health.

It turns out that people who enjoy a glass of red or white wine when they eat fish have higher levels of heart-healthy omega-3 fats in their blood. And that's a good thing - high blood concentration of omega-3 fat is protective against coronary heart disease, stroke and sudden cardiac death. Not a wine drinker? Try using it in a marinade or sauce for your fish instead.

3. Enjoying a sandwich? Choose sprouted bread

Grains like wheat and rye can be sprouted before they are milled and baked into bread. That means the grain seed is allowed to germinate or "sprout," and this process has several benefits. It produces grains with more protein, fibre, antioxidants, B-vitamins, vitamin C and iron.

It also helps rid grains of certain "anti-nutrients" like phytic acid and tannins, which can hinder mineral absorption. Sprouted-grain breads also have a lower glycemic index than regular breads, making them a better choice than regular bread for balancing blood sugar levels.

4. Making a salad? Toss in hard-boiled eggs

Salad vegetables such as carrots, lettuce and sweet peppers boast huge antioxidant potential, but it needs to be unlocked. The key may be eggs. Studies show that adding cooked eggs to salad can help you absorb up to eight times more antioxidants like beta-carotene, which help reduce inflammation that leads to diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. Egg whites won't work, since it's the fat in the yolk that matters. Not a fan of eggs? Other fat-containing foods that can boost antioxidants in salads are avocado, almonds, pumpkin seeds or an oil-based salad dressing.

5. Eating an apple? Don’t peel it

The same goes for cucumbers, potatoes, peaches and kiwi (yes, you can totally eat the kiwi peel). Most of the antioxidants, vitamins and fibre in vegetables and fruit are found in and adjacent to the peel, so tossing it away is a huge waste of nutrients. In the case of apples, a major component of the peel is quercetin, which is an antioxidant associated with a decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes. Toss the peel, and you toss the benefits.

6. Cooking with garlic? Chop it and wait

Garlic's cell structure contains a compound called allicin and an enzyme called alliinase. Separately, they have little potential. But, once you mince garlic, these two components come into contact and create allicin, a powerful antioxidant that can kill cancer cells and prevent new ones from forming. After you mince or chop garlic, wait 10 minutes to allow allicin to form. The finer you chop your garlic, the more allicin will be produced.

Caution: this also enhances the potent flavour, so keep breath mints handy.

7. Preparing tomato sauce? Use olive oil

Raw foodists take note - some foods provide more nutritional value when they are cooked. Tomatoes are one example - they contain the antioxidant lycopene, but it's better absorbed by the body when tomatoes are heated and fat is added. Tomato sauce (even when used on pizza!) is a smart combination of cooked tomatoes with olive oil. The lycopene in tomatoes has been associated with lowering cholesterol levels and may have anti-inflammatory effects, meaning it must be absorbed to be functional. Without heat and oil, lycopene is not well absorbed by the body.

8. Drinking green tea? Add a splash of citrus

With its mellow taste, green tea is enhanced by a squeeze of fresh orange, lemon or lime juice. But it's about more than flavour! A study out of Purdue University showed that our ability to digest catechins - the antioxidants found in green tea - is enhanced by citrus. By adding citrus juice to green tea, you can increase digestion of catechins from 20 percent up to 98 percent. That's important because catechins have been shown to protect against heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

Do you have any more tips on how to make healthy food healthier? Let us know in the comments below.

Written by Cara Rosenbloom. First appeared on Stuff.co.nz.

Related links:

5 women’s health areas to pay attention to each day as you age

What it was like getting my breast cancer diagnosis

Golfers guide to lower back pain

Over60

News

Thu, 23 May, 2019

5 genius packing tips from flight attendants

5 genius packing tips from flight attendants

Taking the time to plan what to pack before you fly can save you time, money and hassle. “How many times do you pack a lot of stuff, but never wear half of it?” asks flight attendant Michele Radon. “Lay it out before you pack it. You may find that you’ll be able to wear a pair of pants with two different tops.”

 

It’s also OK to wear the same thing twice, adds flight attendant Abagail Valencia. When it comes to handbags and dress shoes, choose just one and wear your bulkiest items such as coats, suit jackets and boots, when you travel. Mix and match your go-to travel outfits. A favourite top, blazer and tailored pants can be mixed and matched for both casual and unexpected dressier occasions. The following useful tips will help make your next trip a breeze.

1. Pack “double duty” clothes

If you want to travel light, simplify your travel wardrobe to include items that can serve more than one purpose. A comfortable jumper or pashmina wrap, for example, is essential, says Radon. Airlines don’t always give out blankets, so you can use it as a blanket or a ‘pillow’ when on the plane and then wear it.

 

Pack one pair of jeans and one pair of black pants that can be dressed up or down, suggests Valencia. A couple of T-shirts is all you need for casual wear, and one dressy shirt will suffice when going out at night, she says. If you need dressier attire, add a black dress, scarf and heels, while a smart blazer should work for men.

2. Streamline your toiletries bag

When travelling light, streamline your getting-ready routine, explains flight attendant Jane Frilicci. If you’re not dedicated to a certain brand, just use the shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion the hotel supplies and use the hotel’s hairdryer. Be careful of taking bulky glass aftershave and perfume which can break or is not allowed in hand luggage on international trips. Consider using up sample size atomisers or refillable sprays, roll or cream perfume instead.

 

Take the opportunity to use up those sample size products you’ve been storing or fill your favourite product in travel size storage. If you’re going to a remote place or a resort area, prices may be high and you may not be able to buy whatever you need, so taking enough to last the trip makes sense. Frilicci recommends getting a clear travel bag so you can see all of your toiletries when going through security and on your trip.

3. Compress and protect

Bulky items such as puffy coats for colder destinations that take up a lot of room in your suitcase can be managed by using compression cubes. If you have to travel with bulky items, compression space bags can easily compress your clothes, says Valencia. They save room in your suitcase and protect your items from dirt, moisture, odours and allergens.

4. Keep kids occupied and other passengers happy

Parents need to be prepared when travelling with kids, says Frilicci. “People get bent out of shape when there is a screaming kid, especially when they’re trying to sleep.”

 

To keep kids and passengers happy, Frilicci suggests packing a new toy, not an old one. Some parents make gift bags for the passengers seated next to them – including packaged sweets, earplugs and a note that says something like “Hi, I’m Jake, I’m three months old, and I’m not the best traveller so you might hear my loud voice.”

5. Keep useful items in your carry-on bag

“Keep a separate carry-on bag with all of your essentials that you need to access during the flight – things such as a toothbrush, make-up, passport and a pen,” Frilicci says.

Written by Kim Fredericks. This article first appeared in Reader’s Digest. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best subscription offer.

Melody Teh

News

Mon, 9 Nov, 2015

5 ways to use avocado in your beauty routine

5 ways to use avocado in your beauty routine

The humble avocado. Delicious in salads or smashed onto toast, it’s also a fantastic, budget friendly addition to your beauty routine. Packed with healthy fats, antioxidants, skin-saving vitamins A and K as well as B, C, E and biotin (aka the hair growth vitamin) try these easy ways to add an “avo” to your regime.

  1. As a make-up remover – The oil present in avocados makes an effective and gentle makeup remover. You don’t even need to mash the flesh. Simply swab a cotton bud over a freshly cut avocado half and use the oil collected to remove makeup.
  2. As a serum – If you’ve got some left over oil after removing your makeup (or don’t have any makeup to remove to start with) the aforementioned avocado oil makes a potent skin serum. Gently massage into your face and around your eyes for happy, glowing skin.
  3. As a facemask – If you Google “avocado facemask” you’ll find thousands of different recipes but sometimes simple is best. Mash half an avocado with a tbsp. coconut oil (highly nourishing and soothing), half a tablespoon of raw honey (fantastic antibacterial properties) and one to two teaspoons natural yoghurt (another potent bacteria killer) and apply to a freshly cleansed face.
  4. Lip scrub – For super smooth, flake-free lips try this easy lip polish. Mix a scoop of avocado flesh with a teaspoon of brown sugar and a drop of peppermint oil (optional). Gently apply to lips before thoroughly rinsing.
  5. Hair mask – Avocado is packed with biotin, one of the best vitamins for strong hair. Simple mashing a super ripe avocado with some olive oil and applying to your hair for 20 minutes is a great way to restore moisture and shine.

Ben Squires

News

Mon, 16 Nov, 2015

5 in-flight freshening beauty tricks

5 in-flight freshening beauty tricks

As any regular traveller will tell you, flying can really take its toll on your skin leaving it dry, lack lustre and unhappy. You can blame the re-circulated, moisture free air for the majority of skin concerns and while you can’t do much to change that, you can minimise the distress to your skin that it causes. Here are our top tips and tricks for happy, post flight skin.

  1. Pack non-fragranced, gentle face wipes – While you may board in a full face of makeup, make sure you remove every last trace once you’ve boarded. Leaving makeup on can both exacerbate the drying process and stop the absorption of treatment products so you’re better off with a clean face.
  2. Mist before moisture – Packing a travel-sized face mist is a great way to keep skin hydrated and improve the absorption of treatment products. Look for one with gentle, hydrating ingredients that won’t irritate or dry out the skin and apply as often as you remember.
  3. Switch from a cream to oil – Applying a good quality facial oil after you’ve misted is one of the best ways to lock in moisture and prevent dryness occurring. There are a plethora of products on the market for all different skin types so look for one that suits your needs and apply as often as needed.
  4. Pack a specific eye product – The skin around your eyes needs special care, especially during flights. Packing a hydrating, de-puffing product any applying after boarding and before landing can help your eyes remain fresh and puff free.
  5. Don’t forget your lips – Your lips will dry out faster than any other part of your face due to their lack of oil glands. Make sure to take a petroleum free lip balm and apply as regularly as possible, especially after eating and before sleeping.

Over60

News

Tue, 9 Jul, 2019

"I am more than Ashleigh Barty": Rafael Nadal starts sexism storm at Wimbledon

"I am more than Ashleigh Barty": Rafael Nadal starts sexism storm at Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal has weighed in on the Wimbledon court debate as he rejected suggestions that Ash Barty deserved to play on Centre Court over him on Monday.

Despite her world number one status, Barty only played one of her four Wimbledon matches on Centre Court this year. The French Open champion was also assigned to play on the 4,000-capacity Court 2, the third-ranked court at the All England Club, for two rounds – including her last match against Alison Riske on Monday night, where she suffered a shock loss 6-3 2-6 3-6.

In the same evening, men’s world number two Nadal defeated 69th-ranked João Sousa on the 15,000-seater Centre Court in a straight-sets win described by a leading tennis journalist as a “snoozer”.

When asked by a journalist if the more competitive women’s match involving the world’s number one should have been staged on Centre Court instead of his, Nadal said, “I am the world No. 2 and I won 18 grand slams.”

Nadal said there was no way to predict whether one match will be more exciting than the other. “Can we predict the future or not?” he said.

“My answer is not no or yes. My answer is they make a decision. You are putting Ashleigh Barty in front of me. For me, both decisions are good.”

Nadal said he felt that his standing in the sport is ahead of Barty’s.

“In the world of tennis today, honestly, my feeling is today I am little bit more than Ashleigh Barty, even if Ashleigh Barty is the first player of the world and she already won in the French Open and she is playing unbelievably good,” the 33-year-old said.

“But we can’t create problems every single day about decisions that they have to take. At the end of the day they have to make a decision.

“Court No. 2, okay, they have to make decisions. Today they probably decided that. They have another girls playing on the Centre Court now.”

Barty said the court assignment does not affect the way she plays her match. 

“Scheduling is out of my control. I’ll play on any court I’m scheduled on,” the 23-year-old said.

“I think obviously scheduling is very difficult. There are so many incredible matches all the fans and all the people want to watch, and players want to be a part of.

“No matter what court you’re scheduled on, it shouldn’t matter how you approach the match or play. It certainly doesn’t for me.

“Court 2 is a beautiful court here. We played on that court earlier in the rounds and for a doubles match, as well. It’s a beautiful court. I enjoyed my time out there.”

Ben Squires

News

Thu, 30 Nov, 2017

Cruise ship workers dish the dirt about what goes on below deck

Cruise ship workers dish the dirt about what goes on below deck

Even if you’re an experienced cruiser, odds are you’ve only seen one side of life on these ships as a passenger. But for the crew members on these vessels, life at sea is a very different prospect, and once the boat leaves port anything goes.

Reddit user willfulpool posed the question: “Cruise ship employees, what are things that happen aboard the ship that the guests don’t know about?”

And the response was staggering:

One user said: “You work with like, 20 other people in your department, all in this little prison of a job for six months at a time, except every few weeks two to three of the people might just be swapped out to other people.”

Another useer revealed: “A family friend use to work for a cruise line and told me deaths are common, especially with the elderly.

“Senior/nursing homes are expensive and for a much smaller price tag the elderly can be gone for a week or two at a time and have people constantly checking on them and they get all their meals.”

Yet another added: “I did a behind-the-scenes tour of a cruise ship once and they showed us the morgue.

“They also have two full ICUs on board since, even with helicopters, it can be days between someone falling ill and getting them to a proper hospital.”

One more really spilled the beans, saying “You would be amazed at what people will flush down the toilet. Pool noodles, T-shirts, shoes... pretty much anything that people don't want to pack with them when they leave.

“The ship also needs to fuel up (bunkering) and sometimes passengers are on board while that is going on. No open flames are allowed outside while bunkering is ongoing and this becomes a problem with passengers who need a smoke.

“To get around this they smoke in their rooms, which sets off the smoke detectors. There is also a regulation that bunkering must immediately stop if a fire alarm goes off until the hazard of a fire has passed. So somebody from the crew has to go to your room and make sure it isn't on fire. Then they call down to the engine room to report it's a false alarm. Then we can start the pumps again. 

“On average, bunkering is usually interrupted three or four times due to this and it's annoying as hell.”

Were you aware of the secret life at sea?

Alex O'Brien

News

Fri, 20 May, 2016

3 natural remedies for rough skin on feet

3 natural remedies for rough skin on feet

Cracked heels are a very common problem and can range in severity from a cosmetic issue to a painful problem. Some of the causes of cracked heels are dry air, lack of moisture, improper foot care, an unhealthy diet, aging, prolonged standing on hard floors and even wearing the wrong types of shoes.

Instead of spending all your money on expensive creams and exfoliates, try these three simple home remedies to resolve the problem, as illustrated in the gallery above.

Source: Top10 homeremedies.com

Related links:

How to prevent blisters for good

Why you should use body oils for dehydrated skin

New app to help fight skin cancer

Michelle Reed

News

Mon, 2 Nov, 2015

Pumpkin and chicken red curry

Pumpkin and chicken red curry

If you’re feeling like Thai food tonight, but the take-out menus away and give this pumpkin and chicken curry recipe a try. We bet you’ll be converted!

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 small pumpkin, halved, peeled and cubed
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons of Asian fish sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of peanut oil
  • 0.5kg of chicken breast, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh basil
  • White rice to serve
Method:

1. In a large pot of boiling water, boil pumpkin until it begins to get tender, for about seven minutes.

2. Using a blender, blend shallots, garlic, curry paste and water until smooth.

3. In a bowl, mix coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar. Stir until dissolved.

4. Heat two tablespoons of peanut oil in a large wok on medium heat. Add chicken, searing until lightly brown. Remove chicken from wok.

5. Add remaining oil to wok and return to heat. Add mixed curry sauce and cook, stirring. Add coconut milk mix and bring mixture to a boil.

6. Add pumpkin and chicken and let simmer until chicken is cooked through and pumpkin has grown tender.

7. Garnish with basil and serve with white rice.

Related links:

Saffron rice

Thai prawn curry

Chicken and cashew nut stir-fry

Michelle Reed

News

Tue, 4 Aug, 2015

Is your super fund performing as best it can for you?

Is your super fund performing as best it can for you?

The super fund investment returns for the 2014-15 financial year are in and, despite a poor June run-in to the end of the year, leading ratings agency SuperRatings, reported that the median return for Balanced investment options across the industry was a respectable 9.7 per cent (after tax and investment fees).

While the Equip investment option’s one-year 10.5 per cent return to 30 June 2015 was substantially better than the SuperRatings Balanced survey, Equip are asking their members to start thinking about the performance of their super fund in a different way.

Instead of absolute returns, Equip believe it is much more meaningful for fund members to set a retirement income goal to aim for and use online calculators and, from time to time, other tools to track how they are performing against that retirement income goal.

Why does Equip think this is a better approach?

It’s important to remember that the main purpose of superannuation is to provide you with an income when you have stopped working and retired.

It enables you to establish in your own mind how much income you think you will need when you stop work and are retired. The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) publishes the annual income it calculates is required for a “comfortable” retirement, $58,444 p.a. for a couple in the March 2015 quarter ($42,569 for a single). However, your needs or lifestyle aspirations might be different and it is usually better to consider what percentage of your current take-home pay you will need and start your calculations from there.

The benefit of this approach, is it renders short-term investment cycles less important to achieving your overall objective. Not saying that investment returns are not important, just different if looked at from the perspective of whether you’re on target to hit your income goals. Taking this view also removes some of the temptation to try to jump in and out of the market, often at the wrong time.

How has Equip gone about changing the conversation?

Most of Equip’s members now receive annual statements that place retirement income projections front and centre. However, providing the majority of fund members who do not make their own investment decisions or seek professional financial advice with the right products for achieving financial adequacy in retirement has also been an important part of our focus.

Equip’s MySuper and MyPension products are designed with a retirement income focus – respectively providing members with an appropriate balance of risk and return that makes for a smoother ride and steady growth towards building their super benefit, and an income and investment strategy aimed at making their money last longer through retirement.

Steps towards reframing your thinking about income in retirement

  1. Make a realistic calculation about how much income you will need in retirement compared to the take-home income you have today. You can work in today’s dollars, as the best online calculators take inflation and other things into account.
  2. Jump onto a good online calculator and input your current information, including your super balance, to see how much income you’re on track to receive. Preferably, use a calculator that can take into account your partner’s likely income and super benefit, if applicable, and one that will include any government Age Pension that you might be entitled to.
  3. Change some of the variables – current contributions, investments and retirement age to see what a difference these make. It may even identify some things you can do immediately to improve your income projection!
  4. Once you have set your course, take less notice of the various investment performance league tables published in the media. Obviously, your fund should deliver consistently strong returns, but does not necessarily have to “shoot the lights out” at the top of the league every year in order for you to achieve your goals.
  5. If you’re older and well on track towards achieving the retirement income you need, you might consider taking some risk off the table and investing more conservatively. If your income will meet your needs, how much risk do you really have to take to earn more?
If these are challenging ideas for you, it might be best to talk to a professional financial planner about working out how much you need and how best to get there. A good financial plan is often the best investment you can make!

Setting retirement income goals is embedded in the financial planning culture at Equip, so if you want to talk to one of their expert planners, you can click here to request an appointment, or obtain more information on what they have to offer here.

Related links: 

Over the next 40 years over 50% of retirees won’t retirement the way they want

Understanding super fees

The “secret” bonus for seniors who work

Alex O'Brien

News

Thu, 5 May, 2016

Where are they now: cast of Happy Days

Where are they now: cast of Happy Days

Can you believe Happy Days has been off the air for over 30 years? It was one of the most popular TV shows of the 1970s, bringing us the entertaining hijinks of the Cunninghams – the picture-perfect 1950s family – for 11 seasons. But where is the cast today? Let’s take a look at what Richie, Howard, Marion, Joanie and the Fonz are up to today. Flip through the gallery above to see what they look like now.

Ron Howard – Richie Cunningham

After Happy Days, Howard turned his talents behind the camera, becoming an acclaimed director and producer. Some of his films include Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, for which he received the Best Director Oscar in 2001, and The Da Vinci Code. Howard, 62, also produced, narrated and appeared in cult sitcom Arrested Development. His next big project is Inferno, one of the sequels to The Da Vinci Code, which will be released this year.

Henry Winkler – Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli

Winkler, now 70, was the breakout star of Happy Days and continues his success to this day. His production company Fair Dinkum Productions created the shows MacGyver and Hollywood Squares. He also established a strong friendship with Adam Sandler, and the two appeared in several of the latter’s films together. He also had a recurring role on Ron Howard’s show Arrested Development. He has two children and one stepson with his wife Stacey.

Tom Bosley – Howard Cunningham

Bosley, who played the patriarch of the Cunningham family, went on to appear in several television shows including ER, Walker, Texas Ranger and That ‘70s Show. Bosley, who had been fighting lung cancer, sadly passed away from a staph infection in 2010, just weeks after his 83rd birthday.

Marion Ross – Marion Cunningham

87-year-old Ross has remained active on television since Happy Days ended, appearing on shows The Love Boat, The Drew Carey Show, That ‘70s Show and Gilmore Girls. In the 90s she moved into voice acting, scoring roles on cartoons SpongeBob SquarePants, Kung Fu Panda and The Wild Thornberrys. She currently lives in California and has two children with her late husband Paul Michael.

Erin Moran – Joanie Cunningham

Moran, 55, never found a role as successful as Richie Cunningham’s younger sister Joanie but continued to appear in television series after Happy Days ended. She starred alongside Scott Baio in the short-lived spinoff Joanie Loves Chachi. She has since appeared in The Love Boat, Murder, She Wrote and was a contestant on the TV show Celebrity Fit Club. Sadly, not much is known about her whereabouts today, since she was forced out of her home in 2012.

Anson Williams – Potsie Weber

Like his Happy Days co-star Ron Howard, 66-year-old Weber moved into directing. He began with after-school specials before directing episodes of Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Charmed. He has also been successful in the world of business, specialising in producing “drug-free solutions to debilitating problems.”

Related links:

Cast of Anne of Green Gables: Where are they now?

Where the original Full House cast are now

Where they are now: The Brady Bunch

Ben Squires

News

Tue, 16 Feb, 2016

These 6 women prove you can be sexy at any age

These 6 women prove you can be sexy at any age

If you think ageing means less make-up, more lounge pants and longer hemlines? Think again.

These six vibrant women, with an average age of 80, prove that sexiness and radiance has nothing to do with age – or “magical” anti-ageing treatments for that matter. From the world’s oldest model to activists and style queens, be inspired by the women who refuse to fade into the background just because of their age.

Learn more about these incredible women in the trailer for a BBC documentary documenting their lives. It’s almost like a UK version of Advanced Style by Ari Seth Cohen and it will dazzle you.

 You can learn more about them on the Fabulous Fashionistas youtube channel here

Ben Squires

News

Wed, 18 Jan, 2017

Great-grandma finishes degree after 50-year break

Great-grandma finishes degree after 50-year break

In proof that you’re never too old to achieve your goals, a 94-year-old great-grandmother from Hawaii has successfully completed her college degree, after taking a 50-year break from her studies to support her family.

Amy Creighton put her education dreams on hold to support her young family over half a century ago and has now finally finished the degree she wished to hold. But apparently, she’s not too keen at leaving her education there.

Amy said, “It feels good to graduate, to finish that part of my life. But I feel that I’m still on the road. I have more to learn. So I’m doing my masters.”

Congratulations Amy! Finishing a degree is an enormous achievement. Have you, or do you know of anyone who’s achieved a similar feat? 

Source: 9 News

Related links: 

Sneaky things ageing does

The daily habit that can add years to your life

Why our perception of ageing needs an overhaul

Over60

News

Tue, 18 Feb, 2020

Jacqui Lambie denies being complicit in government’s “vortex of secrecy”

Jacqui Lambie denies being complicit in government’s “vortex of secrecy”

Jacqui Lambie has implored Australians to trust her after she was accused of being “sucked into the vortex of secrecy that is our current Government”.

The Tasmanian senator appeared on Monday’s edition of Q&A, which focused on the Australian public’s lack of trust in their political representatives.

When questioned about getting children to trust elected officials, Lambie said it was too much to ask at the moment.

“Trust comes with leadership and in this country we’re lacking leadership,” she said. “I don’t know how you teach your children to have trust when my generation and the one below does not trust those people in high office.”

Lambie urged the Morrison government to handle the sports rorts scandal with greater transparency.

“Don't say ‘there is nothing to see here’ when millions of Australians can quite clearly see there is something to see here,” she said.

“We have got a report that they won’t release. If there is nothing wrong with that report and there is nothing to see here, then release it.”

However, Lambie was called out later when an audience member asked why she voted to repeal the medevac bill, which allows refugees being held on Manus Island and Nauru to visit Australia temporarily for medical treatment.

In December, the medical evacuation law was repealed after the key crossbencher made a “secret deal” with the Coalition.

The audience member said the senator was being “sucked into the vortex of secrecy that is our current government”.

Lambie denied the accusation and asked the public to “believe the best outcome will come”.

She said while she would like to “get it off their chest straight away”, she could not discuss the matter due to the “national security implications”.

“I know I’m asking a big ask and I did it last year standing up, but I just can’t say anything,” she said.

“I’m asking you to trust me, that I believe the best outcome will come.”

Host Hamish Macdonald suggested Lambie might be hypocritical for demanding transparency in the sports rorts case.

Lambie responded, “First of all, the sports rorts has no national security attached to it. So that’s a big thing. I was in the armed forces for 10 years and am very aware of national security and how it works.

“I’m asking the people on the judgement that I’ve made just to trust me.”

Lambie said the Morrison government could not ask the public to just “trust” them because they have “no credits left on the board”.

According to a 2019 election study by the Australian National University, trust in the Australian government has reached a record low, with just a quarter of Australians confident in their political leaders and institutions.

Serena Lillywhite, CEO of Transparency International in Australia, said the country’s score in the Corruption Perceptions Index has dropped eight points in eight years to 77, with 100 being the cleanest and zero being the most corrupt.

“Our Government is really characterised at the moment, I think, by … listening to these well-connected individuals, powerful special interest groups, who are really trying to influence the way policy is made, the way decisions are made for their own interests and for businesses’ interests,” she said.

Ben Squires

News

Tue, 17 Nov, 2015

5 ways to upgrade your gadgets for free

5 ways to upgrade your gadgets for free

It seems there’s a new gadget on the market every other week, but keeping up with the latest technology doesn’t have to be expensive. There are ways to upgrade and update your current devices to make them faster, better and “like new” again. Here are five ways to upgrade your devices without paying a cent.

1. Get a faster camera

We’re used to updating software on our smartphones or tablets but few people ever think to update their camera’s software. Most digital camera makers will have current software versions on their website, which can usually fix minor faults and boost camera speed

Check out the websites for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus and Panasonic to see if there are any upgrades for your camera.

2. Upgrade computer’s operating system

It’s always a good idea to upgrade your computer’s operating system as the update will often fix bugs and problems, give you access to new and improved features, and help keep your computer running smoothly. If your computer has the update system turned on automatically, next time your computer asks you should click yes.

If not, manually check if there are updates to your computer system. For PC, visit the Microsoft website here. For Mac, open the Mac App store on your computer and click the tab for updates, or visit their website here. 

3. Extend your web browser

For desktop users, an easy way to make your web browser more useful for you is to install extensions. Like apps on phones, there’s a plethora of extensions that cater to every need you can think of – such as shortcuts to save articles to read offline later or to share articles on various social media.

For a full list of the available extensions, click here for Google Chrome, Safari and Firefox.

4. Get rid of double-ups

Most smartphones have duplicate contacts and photos on them. Cleaning your phone will free up space and stop any potential confusion. These free apps can find the duplicates and streamline your smartphone.

Apple users can use CleanUp Duplicates, which will analyse a contact book, find duplicates, and merge them, or Space Saver which finds double-up photos and deletes them.

Andorid users can use apps like Duplicate Media Remover that looks for duplicate videos, photos and audio, and DupPhoto Cleaner that looks for duplicate photos. 

5. Automate your computer or phone’s tasks

Gadgets can be trained to do your every bidding with the help of automation apps. These apps let you create rules that your phone follows automatically. The most popular automatic app is IFTTT that stands for If This Then That. Find more information on their website here.

Ben Squires

News

Tue, 24 Nov, 2015

Android phones at risk of hacking

Android phones at risk of hacking

Do you use the lock screen feature on your android phone? Then you might be at risk of hacking.

While using a password on your phones is advisable to prevent others from accessing your phone, a security flaw in the android system leaves it vulnerable to hacking.

Researchers at Texas University in Austin discovered the flaw which allows the device to be unlocked by circumventing the lock screen with a lengthy password.

Hackers can gain access to phones by typing a large number of characters into the emergency call window of the device. They then open the phone’s camera and access the options menu that causes a password prompt to appear.

“By manipulating a sufficiently large string in the password field when the camera app is active an attacker is able to destabilise the lock screen, causing it to crash to the home screen,” researchers wrote.

“At this point arbitrary applications can be run or developer access can be enabled to gain full access to the device and expose any data contained therein.”

The problem currently affects smartphones operating on Google’s Android Lollipop 5.0 and above. It does not affect users who have a pin or pattern password, only those who use characters.

If you believe you have a vulnerable device, update your phone’s software or if it’s not available yet, switch the locking method of your phone.

ronit

News

Thu, 15 Oct, 2015

3 great ways to make money after you retire

3 great ways to make money after you retire

Online marketplaces are only growing – and mobile apps on smartphones are making it easier to tap into ways to use them and line your pockets with a little extra cash on the side.

If you have spare time and can price your skills right, you could turn simple things your knack for grammar and attention to fine detail into getting paid to edit someone’s resume for them, or perhaps rent our your spare room while you’re on vacation.

1. Take a simple task from Airtasker and get paid for it

Is there something you can do that another person might not have time or skills to do themselves? Sometimes they do, and just don’t have the inclination – but they do have cash. On AirTasker you can sign up to bid on tasks others post on the site. The quicker you are to respond, the higher chance you’ll get the job.

Jobs you might find here are things like – cleaning a flat, fixing someone’s resume, assembling IKEA furniture and more. 

2. Rent out your home on Airbnb

If you have a spare room, you might want to consider listing it on AirBnB – it won’t take more than an hour or two if you have a digital camera, or a smartphone.

Decide how much you’ll charge per night (Airbnb will take three per cent of your earnings) and give your first couple of visitors a discount so they’ll review you well. You will need to declare your earnings at the end of the financial year, but since it doesn’t take much to set up your home with some fresh towels and clean sheets, it’s certainly a handy way to pocket some cash.

3. Use your ute

Someone is always looking for someone with a ute that they can talk into helping them move a few items in and out of their home. The good news is that through MeeMeep you can quote how much you’ll lend your wheels out for on advertised jobs. Some of these might be eBay buyers who just want to pick up a fridge or other goods they can’t fit in their car boot. 

Ben Squires

News

Tue, 17 Nov, 2015

5 ways to upgrade your gadgets for free

5 ways to upgrade your gadgets for free

It seems there’s a new gadget on the market every other week, but keeping up with the latest technology doesn’t have to be expensive. There are ways to upgrade and update your current devices to make them faster, better and “like new” again. Here are five ways to upgrade your devices without paying a cent.

1. Get a faster camera

We’re used to updating software on our smartphones or tablets but few people ever think to update their camera’s software. Most digital camera makers will have current software versions on their website, which can usually fix minor faults and boost camera speed

Check out the websites for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Olympus and Panasonic to see if there are any upgrades for your camera.

2. Upgrade computer’s operating system

It’s always a good idea to upgrade your computer’s operating system as the update will often fix bugs and problems, give you access to new and improved features, and help keep your computer running smoothly. If your computer has the update system turned on automatically, next time your computer asks you should click yes.

If not, manually check if there are updates to your computer system. For PC, visit the Microsoft website here. For Mac, open the Mac App store on your computer and click the tab for updates, or visit their website here. 

3. Extend your web browser

For desktop users, an easy way to make your web browser more useful for you is to install extensions. Like apps on phones, there’s a plethora of extensions that cater to every need you can think of – such as shortcuts to save articles to read offline later or to share articles on various social media.

For a full list of the available extensions, click here for Google Chrome, Safari and Firefox.

4. Get rid of double-ups

Most smartphones have duplicate contacts and photos on them. Cleaning your phone will free up space and stop any potential confusion. These free apps can find the duplicates and streamline your smartphone.

Apple users can use CleanUp Duplicates, which will analyse a contact book, find duplicates, and merge them, or Space Saver which finds double-up photos and deletes them.

Andorid users can use apps like Duplicate Media Remover that looks for duplicate videos, photos and audio, and DupPhoto Cleaner that looks for duplicate photos. 

5. Automate your computer or phone’s tasks

Gadgets can be trained to do your every bidding with the help of automation apps. These apps let you create rules that your phone follows automatically. The most popular automatic app is IFTTT that stands for If This Then That. Find more information on their website here.

Alex O'Brien

News

Tue, 26 Apr, 2016

Beautiful photo series captures the pain of dementia

Beautiful photo series captures the pain of dementia

For those of us who have witnessed the pain of dementia first-hand, we know how debilitating it can be and how much sadness is causes for the patient and, of course, their loved ones.

A 28-year-old Scottish photography student, Zaria Sleith, has created this beautiful and sombre photo series to capture her grandfather’s final days in his five-year battle against dementia.

Jimmy, or “Groovy” as he was affectionately known, was Sleith’s chosen subject when given an assignment to create an eighteen-week documentary at university. “At first I didn’t know if it would be too personal to do ... [but] I decided to go for it. It would give me memories of him, for years to come, a different way to remember him by,” she explained to The Huffington Post.

After Groovy sadly passed away this Valentine’s Day, Sleith knew she made the right decision. “I am so glad I captured the images when I did.”

Sleith has released the series in a touching book titled, Please Don’t Forget.

Related links:

Man with Alzheimer’s makes heartbreaking plea for visitors

Eating blueberries could prevent Alzheimer’s

Tips to keep dementia at bay

Alexandra Houle

News

Tue, 3 Nov, 2015

10 new things you can do on your iPhone and iPad

10 new things you can do on your iPhone and iPad

Apple recently launched a new mobile operating system but what exactly is new or different about it? Well, it may not look too different but there are a few exciting new tweaks that make life a bit easier. To help you navigate around the new iOS 9 operating system, here are 10 new tricks you can now do on your iPhone and iPad.

1. Hide photos

For those photos you don’t want others to see, there’s now an option to hide them. They’ll still be in your photo album but won’t be visible to others. Go to the Share menu and click the Hide option.

2. Select multiple photos

Previously you could only select one photo at a time if you wanted to upload to Facebook or email it to others. Now when you click Select you can tap and drag as many images as you want.

3. Switch to low power mode

When you’re out and about with the battery heading to the red zone, you can now switch your phone to a low power mode which will help your battery conserve energy. Go to Battery menu in Settings and switch to Low Power Mode.

4. Organised photo album

Pictures taken with the front-facing camera (aka selfies) will automatically go into their own folder in the photo app, as will screenshots. Now all your photos will be neatly organised.

5. Switch between apps

The new system lets you use a back button, located at the top-left corner, to quickly switch between apps.

6. Zoom in on videos

You could once only zoom in on photos but now you can get a better look at any part of a video. Simply pinch and zoom on the video.

7. Split the screen

Attention iPad owners, you’ll want to know about this feature will be handy! You can now have two apps running side-by-side on the screen. Slide your finger in from the right to bring in the second app as a sidebar.

8. Take better Notes

The stock-standard Notes app on the iPhone is better than ever. Besides text, you can now add web links, photos, checklists and drawings.

9. Write on email attachments

You can now doodle on email attachments. Look for the Markup button when you open a particularly attachment.  

10. Block out ads

If you use the Safari app the new version now supports mobile ad blockers, so you can now browse the internet largely without ads. Go Settings and then Safari and choose Content Blockers.

Related links:

Shortcut tips all iPad users need to know

5 little-know things about iPhone’s photo app

How to spot a fake Facebook profile

Michelle Reed

News

Thu, 28 Apr, 2016

This couple won’t let Alzheimer’s erase 70 years of love

This couple won’t let Alzheimer’s erase 70 years of love

At 89 and 86, respectively, Alfred and Sylvia Paley have been married for 67 years and are now beginning the battle against memory loss. 

Alfred was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. So, the couple’s grandson, Sam Maller, decided he would help them preserve their decades of memories with a video that celebrated their love and told their story.

The journalism student at Syracuse University created the moving video tribute to chronicle Alfred and Sylivia’s romance from the time they met as teenagers, in the hopes it would be a quick way to jog Alfred’s memory during his lapses.

“Life has been wonderful,” Alfred says in the video, entitled “A Life in Love.” “You want to know what love is? It’s wanting to be with certain people as much as you can.”

Just beautiful, you can watch the video above.

Related links:

5 beliefs that invite true love

Number-one reason people divorce (and how to prevent it)

6 trusted tips for finding love

Ben Squires

News

Mon, 25 Jan, 2016

3 myths about Facebook busted

3 myths about Facebook busted

If you are a Facebook user you may have heard some rumours about changes to the system that affect your rights and privacy.

But there seems to be more fiction than fact, so we will do our best to bust some of the myths that you may have heard.

Facebook Myth #1: Facebook owns the information that you post on your page

The idea is that Facebook ‘owns’ every picture, video or post that you have on your page.

When you signed up to Facebook you agreed to their terms of service which do not state that they own anything that you post.

Depending on your privacy settings, the terms do say that you agree to let Facebook uses your content – but it is still yours.

Facebook Myth #2: People can tell when you've looked at their profile.

We all enjoy looking at our friends photos, or even our ex’s, but we certainly wouldn’t expect that they are notified when we have viewed something on their page.

In fact, no one can see who has viewed their page. It’s only if you ‘like’ or comment on something that the page owner would be notified. This also goes for business pages and games.

Facebook Myth #3: Facebook won’t be free in the future

Sometimes a rumour circulates that Facebook will start charging us to open or keep a profile, or make us pay for messaging services.

In fact, Facebook has made a pledge saying that they will never charge their users.

Image Credit: Gil C / Shutterstock

Related Links:

YouTube tips you didn’t know

How to spot fake Apple products

In pictures: Microsoft’s Windows operating system through the ages

ronit

News

Tue, 11 Aug, 2015

Hearing loss brings with it an increased risk of depression

Hearing loss brings with it an increased risk of depression

A study performed last year by researchers from the US National Institutes of Health found that there was a strong link between hearing impairment and an increased risk of depression. Even mild hearing loss could have an impact, according to the study. Let’s take a closer look.

The study

The study was performed by interviewing over 18,000 people over 18. Participants had their hearing tested and performed a standardised questionnaire about depression. The findings strongly indicated a link between hearing loss and depression. The risk of moderate to severe depression was about five per cent for people with excellent hearing. People with good hearing had a seven per cent risk. And people with some hearing impairment had an 11 per cent risk. The worse a person’s hearing impairment was, the higher their risk of depression. Except for people who were completely deaf.

Break it down

The study’s author, Chuan-Ming Li, MD, PhD points out that “hearing impairment tends to isolate people from friends and family because of a decreased ability to communicate.” This feeling of disconnection can impact one’s psychological wellbeing and overall health. Interestingly, this effect is more pronounced in women under the age of 70.

If you notice any of the warning signs of hearing loss (muffled sounds, needing to ask people to speak more slowly or loudly, etc), you should speak to your doctor. The earlier you treat hearing loss, the more you can reduce your risk of developing depression.

If you are depressed, or you think somone you know might be, click here to contact the Depression Helpline, or give them a call on 0800 111 757.

Joel Callen

News

Tue, 3 Mar, 2015

Hearing loss could be harming your relationship

Hearing loss could be harming your relationship

If you or your partner suffer from hearing loss, it could be affecting more than just your day-to-day life – it could also be deteriorating your relationship. The simple truth is that the key to a strong relationship is good communication. When that breaks communication breaks down, it can put a strain on what was once a strong bond.

Let’s take a look at why this is:

On average, people take up to 10 years to seek help for hearing loss. Combine this troubling fact with the shame some people feel in admitting their hearing isn’t what it once was, and you can have a relationship where miscommunication is bound to happen. Thirty-nine per cent of people say that miscommunications are the biggest contributor to stress in their relationship.

Even when you and your partner are aware of any hearing difficulties, arguments can still arise from one of you being misheard.

Related link: How you can help someone with hearing loss

But, believe it or not, there are some simple things you can do to help make hearing loss a non-issue in your relationship.

Setting expectations is an important part of this equation. If you and your partner take the time to understand that hearing loss can affect the time it takes to respond to even the simplest questions, you’ll be off to a great start.

Patienceis key. The few extra seconds that it can take for someone to process a statement or question can feel like a lifetime for their partner. Remember that they may be filling in the blanks between the few words they heard you say. Give them time, and don’t dismiss them if you don’t get an answer straight away.

Remember, don’t let hearing loss cause friction. Take the time to work through the problem, and you’ll be just fine.

Related links:

How hearing aids could improve your balance

5 reasons to cherish your hearing

The truth to a long-lasting relationship

Joel Callen

News

Mon, 22 Jun, 2015

Chocolate almond loaf

Chocolate almond loaf

This rich, decadent loaf combines chocolate, almonds, and coffee for a truly delicious treat you can have for dessert, morning tea, or a naughty midnight snack.

Ingredients:

  • 175g unsalted butter
  • 410g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 315g plain flour, sifted
  • 70g cocoa, sifted
  • 80g ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 285ml sour cream
  • 185ml strong coffee, cooled
Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C and lightly grease a 23cm loaf tin.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (this should take about four to five minutes). Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat slowly. Gradually increase the speed until everything is just evenly incorporated.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add half of this mixture to the butter and eggs and beat lightly. Add the sour cream, beat lightly. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and incorporate.
  4. When the batter is smooth, gradually add the coffee.
  5. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave the loaf to cool in the tin for 20 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Related links:

These mini lemon tarts are to die for

These cookies are what you get when you combine carrot cake with biscuits

Mini fruit tarts are a delicate, decadent dessert

Michelle Reed

News

Thu, 13 Oct, 2016

How to work out in 20 minutes

How to work out in 20 minutes

Finding the motivation to exercise, day in and day out, is often equally as testing as actually breaking a sweat. Whilst your friends brag about their morning hikes and Pilates classes, you wonder how they find the time and the energy for such gruelling work outs.

It may surprise you to learn that spending hours exercising is actually completely unnecessary. 

Over60 spoke to PhD qualified nutritional scientist and former fitness instructor, Dr Joanna McMillan, to find out how high intensity interval training (HIIT) can benefit over-60s.

A basic definition of HIIT is the repetition of exercise sets, alternating with short, active recovery periods. “For a lot of people, this is a lot easier to handle then doing a tough class or an hours run. Your period of doing something more high intensity are shorter” Joanna explains.

Benefits of this type of training include:

  • It increases your metabolism
  • You burn more calories than you would in a traditional workout
  • You continue to burn fat 24 hours after your workout
  • It can take you as little as 20 minutes
  • No equipment needed – design a workout around what you have.
However, Joanna says that the biggest win for over-60s with this type of training is not cardiovascular endurance, but healthy bones.

“One of the great things about doing high intensity interval training is that a lot of older people are walking or playing golf, bowling, swimming, because they think it’s better for their joints, but it’s not great for improving bone health. You’ve got to do something with a bit more impact”.

Studies show that strength training over a period of time can help prevent bone loss, and may even help build new bone.

Before you let images of dumbbells, treadmills and weight machines turn you off the concept, remember that HIIT training is flexible and Joanna assures that you can completely customise the training technique according to you.

“The good thing about HITT is that it is all relative to your level of fitness, you just have to make sure you are, at times, exerting yourself to close to your maximum performance”.

Joanna explains the best ways to apply HITT to your work out if you are a beginner is simply changing up your usual walk.

Walk for 30 seconds at a steady pace, and then for the next 30 seconds, walking at your briskest level. From here, you can build up to a more strenuous workout.

IsoWhey personal trainer and athlete Nardia Norman, has curated a special workout for Over60, aimed at those who are already at a fair cardiovascular level.

Perform the below exercises as many reps as you can in a 20 second period. Then, rest for 40 seconds before moving onto the next exercise. Follow the order of steps one to six.

After completing one circuit, rest for two mins. Repeat another three to four times depending on your fitness level.

  1. Body weight squats onto a chair
  2. Incline Ppush up (against wall or chair)
  3. Right leg leading step up
  4. Left leg leading step up
  5. Alternating Lunges
  6. Bird/dog exercise, which you can view how to do here.
All of the exercises in the circuit are compound exercises, meaning they use more than one muscle group at once, and are considered to be the most functional. Nadia has designed the program to improve the quality of movement needed for everyday living.

“Movements such as bending over, reaching overhead, walking, picking up items and getting out of bed will be improved with general strength training”.

However, Joanna warns that you still need to exercise with caution. “You have to be careful if you have a pre-existing heart disease, type 2 diabetes or any serious health problems.  Have a check-up with your doctor and work with your physiologists to make sure you’re working out right for your condition”.

Have you tried one of the training methods mentioned? How did it go? Let us know in the comments below.

Related links:

Why you need to walk more and sit less

Number-one reason your health deteriorates as you age

Part 2: How to improve your coordination with yoga

Melody Teh

News

Fri, 19 Jun, 2015

Mixed berry clafoutis

Mixed berry clafoutis

In case you didn’t know, a clafoutis is a baked French dessert that calls for berries to be arranged in a greased baking dish and covered with a thick batter. And if that description didn’t sell you, take our word for it, this clafoutis is delicious. Enjoy our mixed berry variation – but use your favourite berries.

Ingredients:

  • 150g raspberries
  • 150g blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 250ml pouring cream
Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C, and lightly grease a baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, mix your berries with the brandy and leave aside.
  3. Sift the flour into a large bowl, and stir in the sugar, salt, and baking powder.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, and vanilla extract. Slowly add the cream mixture to the flour mixture and stir until it forms a smooth batter.
  5. Arrange the brandied fruit in the baking dish and slowly pour the batter over the top, ensuring the berries are evenly distributed.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes until the clafoutis is puffed and lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven, top with extra fresh berries, and dust with a little icing sugar.
  7. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, or a little ice cream.
Related links:

Try these individual tiramisus

This plum cake is completely delectable

Portuguese custard tarts are incredible

Ben Squires

News

Thu, 17 Mar, 2016

6 signs you could be at risk of a heart attack

6 signs you could be at risk of a heart attack

Heart attacks are one of the most urgent and alarming health issues to be faced with. While not everyone is at risk, wouldn’t it be great to know what the symptoms are, well in advance?

Recent studies have shown that the three main causes of a heart attach are high blood pressure, high cholesterol and of course, smoking.

However, there are five other conditions that can also lead to a heart attack – diabetes, obesity, poor diet, lack of physical activity and excessive consumption of alcohol.

This infographic breaks covers six symptoms that could signal you might be at risk of having heart attack a month in advance.

Heart Attack Infographic

1. Chest discomfort

This is considered to be the most common symptom and can manifest in various forms such as pressure, burning or pinching. These feelings can occur during physical activity or while you rest.

2. Feeling tired

The heart has to work harder as its arteries begin to close, so simple tasks can feel exhausting. This can result in longer sleep at night or feeling like you need to take several naps

3. Long-lasting cold

Struggling to overcome sickness could be a sign of heart failure. The heart struggles to supply the body with blood and it can leak back into the lungs. White or pink mucus with your cough can indicate this.

4. Swelling

When the heart is struggling with blood supply, veins can begin to swell and cause a bloating effect. The main points of swelling are the feet, ankles and legs, because they are the furthest away from the heart.

5. Dizziness

A weakened heart will weaken the brain as it may not receive enough oxygen.

6. Shortness of breath

The heart and lungs work together, so if the heart begins to work poorly, the lungs won’t get the oxygen they need. This causes breathing difficulty and needs to be treated immediately.

Image credit: Healthydietstyles.com

Related links:

5 tips from a cardiologist for better heart health

A coffee a day linked to reduced risk of death

3 cholesterol myths debunked

Alexandra Houle

News

Tue, 3 Nov, 2015

10 new things you can do on your iPhone and iPad

10 new things you can do on your iPhone and iPad

Apple recently launched a new mobile operating system but what exactly is new or different about it? Well, it may not look too different but there are a few exciting new tweaks that make life a bit easier. To help you navigate around the new iOS 9 operating system, here are 10 new tricks you can now do on your iPhone and iPad.

1. Hide photos

For those photos you don’t want others to see, there’s now an option to hide them. They’ll still be in your photo album but won’t be visible to others. Go to the Share menu and click the Hide option.

2. Select multiple photos

Previously you could only select one photo at a time if you wanted to upload to Facebook or email it to others. Now when you click Select you can tap and drag as many images as you want.

3. Switch to low power mode

When you’re out and about with the battery heading to the red zone, you can now switch your phone to a low power mode which will help your battery conserve energy. Go to Battery menu in Settings and switch to Low Power Mode.

4. Organised photo album

Pictures taken with the front-facing camera (aka selfies) will automatically go into their own folder in the photo app, as will screenshots. Now all your photos will be neatly organised.

5. Switch between apps

The new system lets you use a back button, located at the top-left corner, to quickly switch between apps.

6. Zoom in on videos

You could once only zoom in on photos but now you can get a better look at any part of a video. Simply pinch and zoom on the video.

7. Split the screen

Attention iPad owners, you’ll want to know about this feature will be handy! You can now have two apps running side-by-side on the screen. Slide your finger in from the right to bring in the second app as a sidebar.

8. Take better Notes

The stock-standard Notes app on the iPhone is better than ever. Besides text, you can now add web links, photos, checklists and drawings.

9. Write on email attachments

You can now doodle on email attachments. Look for the Markup button when you open a particularly attachment.  

10. Block out ads

If you use the Safari app the new version now supports mobile ad blockers, so you can now browse the internet largely without ads. Go Settings and then Safari and choose Content Blockers.

Related links:

Shortcut tips all iPad users need to know

5 little-know things about iPhone’s photo app

How to spot a fake Facebook profile

Danielle McCarthy

News

Mon, 6 Mar, 2017

TV couples who got together in real life

TV couples who got together in real life

TV actors spend up to 16 hours a day on set, so it’s safe to say everyone gets to know each other pretty well, pretty quickly. And when two of those actors are spending 16 hours a day pretending to be a couple, it’s only natural for true feelings to grow.

Here, we take a look at five couples whose small-screen romance spilled over into real life.

John Stamos and Lori Loughlin (Full House)

They played a married couple on the show, but you may not have known that Stamos and Loughlin actually dated briefly in the late 80s. They broke up after just four months but remained close friends. Stamos was then married to model Rebecca Romijn from 1998-2005 while Loughlin has been married to Mossimo Giannulli (founder of the Mossimo fashion brand) since 1997.

Jennifer Morrison and Jesse Spencer (House)

Aussie Jesse Spencer, who had his breakout role in Neighbours, met Jennifer Morrison at Vancouver Airport while waiting to catch a flight to film the pilot episode of House in 2004. He proposed to her two years later on top of the Eiffel Tower. While they parted ways in 2007, they continued to play an item on the hit show.

Laura Leighton and Doug Savant (Melrose Place)

Leighton and Savant co-starred in the hit soap Melrose Place until 1997, and one year later they were married. Now, almost 20 years on, the pair are still with each other and have two children together, Jack (born in 2000) and Lucy (born in 2005). Leighton also helped raise Savant’s two daughters from a previous marriage.

Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos (All My Children)

While their characters were falling in love on the show, so were the actors behind them. Ripa and Consuelos, who played Hayley and Mateo, eloped in 1996, just one year after meeting. They have been married for more than 20 years and have three kids together, Michael (born in 1997), Lola (born in 2001) and Joaquin (born in 2003).

Emily VanCamp and Josh Bowman (Revenge)

Their on-screen relationship was filled with drama and betrayal, but in real life, things are a bit smoother sailing. They began dating in 2011 after meeting on the set of the show, and are still together today.

Do you know any other TV couples who dated in real life? Let us know in the comments below.

Related links:

Actors who played characters much younger than themselves

7 things you didn’t know about Lucille Ball

The Nanny: Where are they now?

Ben Squires

News

Thu, 17 Mar, 2016

6 signs you could be at risk of a heart attack

6 signs you could be at risk of a heart attack

Heart attacks are one of the most urgent and alarming health issues to be faced with. While not everyone is at risk, wouldn’t it be great to know what the symptoms are, well in advance?

Recent studies have shown that the three main causes of a heart attach are high blood pressure, high cholesterol and of course, smoking.

However, there are five other conditions that can also lead to a heart attack – diabetes, obesity, poor diet, lack of physical activity and excessive consumption of alcohol.

This infographic breaks covers six symptoms that could signal you might be at risk of having heart attack a month in advance.

Heart Attack Infographic

1. Chest discomfort

This is considered to be the most common symptom and can manifest in various forms such as pressure, burning or pinching. These feelings can occur during physical activity or while you rest.

2. Feeling tired

The heart has to work harder as its arteries begin to close, so simple tasks can feel exhausting. This can result in longer sleep at night or feeling like you need to take several naps

3. Long-lasting cold

Struggling to overcome sickness could be a sign of heart failure. The heart struggles to supply the body with blood and it can leak back into the lungs. White or pink mucus with your cough can indicate this.

4. Swelling

When the heart is struggling with blood supply, veins can begin to swell and cause a bloating effect. The main points of swelling are the feet, ankles and legs, because they are the furthest away from the heart.

5. Dizziness

A weakened heart will weaken the brain as it may not receive enough oxygen.

6. Shortness of breath

The heart and lungs work together, so if the heart begins to work poorly, the lungs won’t get the oxygen they need. This causes breathing difficulty and needs to be treated immediately.

Image credit: Healthydietstyles.com

Related links:

5 tips from a cardiologist for better heart health

A coffee a day linked to reduced risk of death

3 cholesterol myths debunked

Ben Squires

News

Mon, 17 Oct, 2016

There are 16 different animals hidden in this picture

There are 16 different animals hidden in this picture

From dancers hidden in flocks of flamingos to dogs hidden in a herd of cows, we love the odd brainteaser here at Over60. But this one might be the trickiest yet.

In this optical illusion, the silhouettes of 16 different animals are cleverly hidden in the one picture. As you can probably see, some are a lot easier to spot than others.

Brainteaser -in -text

How many did you spot? Scroll down for the reveal.</