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.

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Michelle Reed

News

Tue, 18 Aug, 2015

Why are a record number of Aussies accessing super early?

Why are a record number of Aussies accessing super early?

More and more applications to access superannuation early are being approved, and Australians in financial hardship are walking away with more cash than ever before.

Those facing mortgage defaults, terminal illness or being permanently incapacitated are being approved to dig into their retirement savings early.

In the first 10 months of the 2014-15 financial year 73 per cent of applications for the early released of super were approved. In comparison, 63 per cent were approved in 2013-14, according to figures released by the Department of Human Services.

Additionally, the average amount being accessed has risen from $12,300 to $12,600.

This financial year more than 16,000 applications were made with around 11,700 approved. The total amount released was $148 million.

The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees chief executive officer Tom Garcia said that despite the rising approval rates for early release of super, there are still strict rules enforced to access super before preservation age.

“It’s important to understand that early release is limited to certain purposes and financial amounts – strict criteria applies to make sure the decision is in the member’s long term best interests,” he said.

“Recent budget announcements will make the system more accommodating for people diagnosed with terminal illness to successfully apply for early access to their super due to an extension of the life expectancy period from 12 to 24 months.”

Financial Counselling Australia’s executive director Fiona Guthrie warned that accessing super should be carefully thought through.

“It depends on the person’s circumstances… it may lead them to be worse off,” she said.

“They may have lost access to their funds meant to be used for retirement, you should get some advice and think it through clearly.” 

Related links: 

Have you accounted for super in your will?

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

Understanding super fees

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Melody Teh

News

Mon, 9 Nov, 2015

Beginner’s guide to the stock market

Beginner’s guide to the stock market

While your image of someone investing in the stock market may involve a sleek haircut or a suit from the 80s, normal people are using the ASX to make a lot of money. Investing in shares gives you the chance to earn better returns than if you left your money in a bank account, but while these rewards are great, so are the risks. We take a look at both in this beginner’s guide.  

What is a share?

In basic terms, a share represents a single unit of ownership of a company. Anyone can buy or sell shares of companies that are listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), and when you buy shares in one of these companies you effectively own a small part of the business.

People who make money by investing in shares generally make it by selling shares when they are more expensive than the moment they bought it (known as capital growth or capital gain), or a dividend payment, which is a share of the company’s profits issued to investors.

Where do I start?

Well, if it were easy everybody would be doing it! First things first, you need to do your homework. Share prices are not just based on a company’s financial performance, but are often a reflection of investor opinion regarding the actual value of the company. The worst thing you can do as a first-time investor is jumping into the market without a thorough understanding of how it works and the external forces (anything from interest rates to weather) moving share prices up and down.

How much do I need?

There’s no definitive answer here, but it would probably best to start small if you’re a first time investor. People should set goals and save for their initial investment. The ASX suggests you should, “start your share investing with at least $2,000” as a general rule of thumb, but this is purely a guideline and you shouldn’t feel obliged this invest this much money if you can’t afford to lost it.

Finding a broker

Buying and selling shares isn’t as simple as going up to a counter at the front of the ASX with a wad of cash. You will need to find a broker to conduct the transaction and there are two main types – those that offer advice and those that don’t. Full service brokers offer financial advice and will help you decide what to buy and sell and provide investment advice for you and your money, whereas no advice brokers are simply there to execute your buy and sell orders in the market.

What sort of shares am I looking for?

One thing you should definitely ask yourself before you start investing is what you want to achieve out of your investment, and what success will look like to you. The more money you invest the more money you stand to gain, but it also means more of your money is exposed to risks and the stock market is by no means a static monster. It’s important to have a very real conversation with your partner/dependants and figure out how much you are willing to spend and what success looks like.  

Diversify

A common mistake first time investors make when they’re trying to invest in the stock market is putting all their eggs in one basket, or investing all your money in companies that are similar to each other. Spreading your investment out over a range of different industries is the best way to ensure that your money is hedged against any market forces that may be out of your control.

Related links:

3 great ways to make money after you retire

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

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

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Georgia Dixon

News

Thu, 11 May, 2017

7 things you never knew about M*A*S*H

7 things you never knew about M*A*S*H

Did you know M*A*S*H ran more than three times longer than the actual Korean War? It may have graced our screens for 11 years, but you might not know all there is to know about the classic TV series, M*A*S*H.

  1. No one wanted a laugh track – Despite pleas from the show’s producers, the network (CBS) went ahead and added in canned laughter. You might have noticed the laugh track growing quieter and quieter as the years progressed, and in the UK, the laugh track was removed entirely.
  2. CBS banned an “unpatriotic” episode – An idea for an episode was shot down by the network for being “unpatriotic”. It involved soldiers standing outside in the freezing cold to make themselves sick enough to be sent home – a tactic actually used during the war.
  3. The writers got back at complaining cast members – If ever an actor complained about their script (or asked for changes), the writing team would change the script to make it “parka weather”, making the cast swelter in jackets through days in excess of 32°C on their Florida film set.
  4. Patients were named after sports teams – After running out of names for patients visiting the hospital, the writers turned to baseball teams. In season six, four Marines are named after California Angels infielders, while in season seven, they named patients after the 1978 Los Angeles Dodgers.
  5. M*A*S*H hosted some big-name stars – Guest appearances on the show include Ron Howard, Leslie Nielsen, Patrick Swayze, Laurence Fishburne and Rita Wilson.
  6. The series finale broke records – The two-and-a-half-hour 1983 series finale, “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen,” was watched by a staggering 121.6 million people in the US alone – back then, that was 77 per cent of households with TV sets. It remains the most-watched episode of a TV show in US history.
  7. The time capsule didn’t stay buried long – In the series’ second-last episode, the M*A*S*H gang bury a time capsule. When the show wrapped up, the land used as the show’s set was sold, and a construction worker found the capsule just months later. After getting in contact with Alan Alda to return it, Alda told the worker he could keep it.
Tell us in the comments below, were you a fan of M*A*S*H?

Alex O'Brien

News

Mon, 23 May, 2016

Carmel’s carrot cake

Carmel’s carrot cake

As featured in the Over60 cookbook, here Gabrielle Foster shares her recipe for Carmel’s carrot cake.

"The recipe has featured at our family gatherings for some 40 years now, and is shamelessly calorific. Known in the family as Carmel’s carrot cake, it came to us via an old family friend who told us that it had come into her family via an outback station cook which goes some way, I guess, to explaining its very generous size and the fact that the original recipe suggests that it be cooked in a baking dish. I love a recipe with provenance! Now embraced by a new generation of cooks led by my daughter-in-law, Katie, the cake has featured in her sister’s London cafe and more recently at another sister’s wedding. For a recent occasion, to put two carrot-averse kids 'off the scent' so to speak, I renamed the cake 'Gaby’s Golden Cake'!" – Gabrielle Foster

To discover 174 more recipes from the Over60 cookbook and the lovely stories behind where they came from, why not order your very own copy of The Way Mum Made It today

Serves: 8–10

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1½ cups light olive oil
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups grated carrot
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
Icing

  • 375 g icing sugar
  • 150 g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 250 g cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 24 cm x 40 cm loose-based cake tin.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and eggs until creamy. Gradually add the oil while mixing. Fold in the flour sifted with the cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Mix through the carrot and walnuts.
  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
  4. To make the icing, use an electric mixer to beat all the ingredients until well combined.
  5. Once the cake is cool, spread with the icing and then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Note: This cake is best made a couple of days in advance to allow the flavours to develop, and will keep in the refrigerator for 7–10 days.

Georgia Dixon

News

Mon, 23 Jan, 2017

65-year-old retiree builds “crazy” upside-down house

65-year-old retiree builds “crazy” upside-down house

It’s safe to say Valdevino Miguel da Silva and his wife of 40 years, Maria, live in the most unique house on the street, in the suburb, in the country, perhaps even the world.

A retired builder, 65-year-old Valdevino from Sao Mateus in south-east Brazil wasn’t content with the traditional retirement activities – playing golf, travelling, spending time with family and friends etc. – so he decided to do something completely unique.

“I decided to set myself a challenge by keeping active and instead of going down the traditional route of building a normal house I did it upside down,” he told the Daily Mail.

upside down house

But the project wasn’t exactly what Maria had in mind. “I told him not to do it because it sounded like such a crazy idea and I thought it wouldn't look right,” she said. “But there was no point arguing with him. Once he sets his sights on something he just goes ahead.”

The house, which the couple worked on for three years, has become something of a local attraction, with family and neighbours amazed at how the property came together. “I thought it would look horrible but to my astonishment it has turned out to be an amazing building,” the couple’s daughter Kenia said.

Flip through the gallery above and tell us in the comments, would you ever consider living in this bizarre topsy-turvy home?

Related links:

75-year-old woman miraculously wakes up after being taken off life support

101-year-old woman reveals secret to long life

Great-grandma finishes degree after 50-year break

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Danielle McCarthy

News

Thu, 26 Oct, 2017

5 clothing items you still can (and should) wear over 60

5 clothing items you still can (and should) wear over 60

How many times in your life have you heard (or even uttered) the words “dress your age”? We’ve all said it – or at least thought it – once or twice, but it’s time to stop placing limitations on what women (of any age!) should wear and how they should feel wearing it.

More designers than ever before are catering for older ladies of all shapes and sizes, meaning there’s never been a bigger selection of styles available for every taste.

Here, we’re going to take a look at five clothing items you’ve always been told not to wear after a certain age – but that you definitely should.

1. Leggings

Not only are leggings the most comfortable item of clothing ever created, but they’re cheap, versatile and a wardrobe staple every woman needs. You can wear them for added warmth during winter, pop them under a dress or tunic for a little extra coverage, or wear them as is for a sporty, casual look. Look for a pair of ponte leggings if you want a little extra thickness.

2. Skinny jeans

You don’t need to be “skinny” to wear skinny jeans! This popular style of pants can be incredibly flattering on women of all shapes and sizes – as long as you find the right pair. Shop around – try different brands and sizes than you may normally try. Don’t be afraid to go a size down, as skinny jeans often stretch with wear.

3. Sequins

A bedazzled top, skirt or accessory can instantly take an outfit from day to night. There is a threshold when it comes to sequins, however – too much, and you’ll end up looking like you belong on Broadway – not that that’s such a bad thing! When in doubt, keep it simple and stick to one sequined item.

A post shared by Style Crone (@stylecrone) on Jan 11, 2017 at 6:30am PST

4. Leather

If leather bags and shoes are acceptable at any age, then why not a leather skirt? Or leather pants? It always adds a little edge to your look and there are so many colours to choose from. These days, it’s never been easier to find leather (or leather-look) pieces that are not only stylish, but affordable and comfortable, too.

5. Bold colours and prints

We love black and white too, but there’s something to be said for an injection of colour into an otherwise basic outfit. Clashing prints is – believe it or not – a huge trend at the moment, and bold, block colours breathe life into your wardrobe. If you’re not ready for a bright hue in your outfit, experiment with colourful accessories instead.

A post shared by Ari Seth Cohen (@advancedstyle) on Aug 22, 2017 at 8:39am PDT

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How many of these clothing items and trends do you wear? Share your style tips with us in the comments below!

Over60

News

Thu, 9 Jul, 2020

Cate Blanchett gives rare glimpse inside $12 million Sydney home

Cate Blanchett gives rare glimpse inside $12 million Sydney home

Australian actress Cate Blanchett and her husband Andrew Upton have listed their Sydney home for an eye watering $12 million.

Blanchett, who is notoriously known for keeping her life private, has given fans a rare glimpse into her luxurious five-bedroom apartment in the heart of the CBD.

She purchased the property for $8 million in 2015.

According to The Daily Telegraph, the home has attracted considerable interest online.

It has been viewed more than 3,000 times since it was listed 12 days ago.

The two-storey apartment is listed in the Astor building of Sydney and offers unbelievable panoramic views of some of the city's most famous landmarks, including Sydney Harbour, the Opera House and the Royal Botanic Garden.

The first floor boasts a gorgeous open plan living, including a lounge, a generous kitchen and dining area, and two bedrooms.

The kitchen is simply a chef’s delight with stainless steel appliances, and gives plenty of storage options.

High ceilings with deep stylish black windows flood the interior with natural light.

The property previously belonged to Barry Humphries, who was better known by his comedic alter ego Dame Edna.

He infamously and illegally combined three units in the historic building 35 years ago.

Cate and Andrew, 53, bought the apartment from businessman Mark Bouris, the former host of The Apprentice Australia.

It seems the pair are getting rid of all their Australian properties, after selling their Berlera Creek holiday home in December.

Cate and Andrew are now living in England, where they own a $5.7 million manor called Highwell House in East Sussex.

The pair wed in 1997 and share sons Dashiell, 17, Roman, 15, and Ignatius, 11, and daughter Edith, five.

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.

Danielle McCarthy

News

Thu, 19 Oct, 2017

Meet the lookalike Aussie who is set to play Arnold Schwarzenegger

Meet the lookalike Aussie who is set to play Arnold Schwarzenegger

Calum von Moger has landed the role of Arnold Schwarzenegger in Bigger, a movie about bodybuilding, according to reports.

The Australian bodybuilder is a previous Mr Universe winner and has been nicknamed “Schwarzenegger 2.0” due to his striking resemblance to the iconic star.

2 (28)

While Calum certainly looks similar to a young Arnold, he will have to prove if he can also carve a career in Hollywood through his acting performance.

Bigger follows the story of bodybuilding pioneers Joe and Ben Weider. The brothers created the Mr Olympia contest and were the ones who discovered Schwarzenegger and encouraged him to move to the United States from Austria.

Training for something different. Who can guess what? Tank top: @teamvonmoger

A post shared by CALUM VON MOGER 🇦🇺 (@calumvonmoger) on Oct 9, 2017 at 10:57pm PDT

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The film is currently shooting in Alabama and is directed by George Gallo.

Actors Tyler Hoechlin and Colton Haynes, former Teen Wolf stars, will also appear in the film.

Do you think Aussie Calum von Moger resembles Arnold Schwarzenegger? Let us know in the comments below. 

Over60

News

Sat, 9 May, 2020

The startling detail hidden in Meghan and Harry’s Archie birthday video

The startling detail hidden in Meghan and Harry’s Archie birthday video

Save The Children! UK released a three-minute clip on behalf of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex who read a picture book to their son Archie on Wednesday.

What many of us might not have caught on to straight away was the person behind the camera laughing – Prince Harry.

The doting father may not have been seen but he was definitely heard time and time again while filming the video that was released on Archie’s first birthday.

View this post on Instagram

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

The remarkable clip was posted in a bid to raise money for Save The children’s #SaveWithStories campaign.

It is the first time since December royal watchers have been given a glimpse of the royal tot, and time has shown just how much he has grown.

The joy from the clip was not just evident from Prince Harry’s constant laughing but was also just a visible on Duchess Meghan who appeared to be glowing while reading to her one-year-old.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by megs + harry + archie (@_archewells) on May 7, 2020 at 7:29pm PDT

Fans took to social media to comment on how happy the family looked.

“Wee Archie looks so happy! Mum and dad, you are doing such an awesome job!” one person commented.

Another excited fan wrote: “This is so exciting! They all seem to be loving non-royal life.”

“He looks just like his handsome dad,” a third person said.

 

Melody Teh

News

Wed, 20 Dec, 2017

Kerri-Anne Kennerley on caring for husband John: “It’s terribly challenging”

Kerri-Anne Kennerley on caring for husband John: “It’s terribly challenging”

One fateful evening was all it took to change Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s life forever.

Her husband of 33 years, John, tragically fell from a balcony in March of 2016 at Bonville Golf Resort, suffering serious spinal injuries that left him a quadriplegic. He spent months in hospital before miraculously returning home for Christmas last year, but it was to a different life. The home had changed, modified for John’s needs, and he required around-the-clock care, which Kerri-Anne and John’s son lovingly provided. But along the long, hard road, there were many milestones to celebrate, including his first outing to watch Kerri-Anne get inducted into the Logies Hall of Fame earlier this year.

The couple wed at the Sydney Opera House in August 1984.

The freak accident indelibly changed the course of their lives but more than a year on, the ever-optimistic and determined TV personality knows that life is far from over.

Over60 sat down with Kerri-Anne to speak about the “new normal” of caring for John.

You’ve been very honest and open in letting the public see how life has changed for you and John since his accident last year. How have you and John both managed and coped through what is such a life-changing event and one where there is a difficult journey still ahead?

I know a lot of your readers will hear this loud and clear. When accidents happen, or a condition happens to someone you love, it is devastating and the first thing you get through is... you know, what you have to deal with is the fear of losing someone, then getting the right treatment, and then getting them to the stage where they are living and breathing.

Kak And John

Then comes the reality of how you're going to get through day to day, week to week life. A lot of it is absolutely miserable and mind-numbingly fearful. But then you get into a swing, you get in to a lifestyle (which obviously is completely different to the one you led before) and you have to adjust mentally to your new norm. Simple as that. You just have to wrap your head around the new norm. Everybody's situation is completely different but you just have to emotionally adjust to the new norm. 

It is challenging, it is difficult, there's nothing else that can be said - it is terribly challenging. Every single person would wish it wasn't happening to them. Every single person would wish they had a time machine. Or a magic wand. But given the fact that we don't, you just have to try and wrap your head around that's the way it is. Take it one part at a time and compartmentalise and make it as easy for everybody as possible. 

You and John have been married for 33 years. What do you think is key to your happy marriage, especially through this most recent life-altering hardship?

John and I go home and we'll watch the news and we'll talk about everything that's going on. He is not as clearly mobile as he used to be so our travel is 99 per cent restricted now, which is, you know, is sad. But you just have to try and fill everything else up and make it as smooth and normal as possible. And get as much help as you can to make the other little things in life as good as possible. It is challenging but you just have to be new and creative.

Image result for john kennerley site:oversixty.com.au

The festive season is upon us! How will you and John be spending Christmas this year? And what’s in store for 2018?

This year we will be at home in Sydney. We've got family coming over, we love to do it all in our little garden. I've got lots of umbrellas in case the weather's not good! We'll have family over and we'll be at home and enjoy that. And in 2018... oh we'll just... I've got to say at the end of this year I just want to take a deep breath because I've been travelling so much. You know we'll sit down and try and get a plan up but we don't have a plan yet!

Over60

News

Wed, 15 Jul, 2020

Carrie Bickmore's most embarrassing mum story wins, pants down

Carrie Bickmore's most embarrassing mum story wins, pants down

The Project’s Carrie Bickmore may have taken the top spot for most “embarrassing mum” story of all time – as she revealed she once answered the door with no pants on to one of her son’s friends.

Sharing the hilarious story with panellists Waleed Aly, Peter Helliar and Rachel Corbett on Wednesday night, the host had her colleagues in stitches as she recalled the moment she thought her 12-year-old son had come to the front door after forgetting something for school.

It came as the host sympathised with those who are currently quarantined after ACT Police warned them to “pop on some pants before they answer the door.”

“Being home in the nude is fine but honestly, legitimate question, not just in the cold, who is answering their door without putting something on?” an alarmed Rachel Corbett had asked her co-stars, before Peter Helliar ratted his co-star out.

“’I’ve said this before on this show … accidentally once,” Carrie replied.

“I thought it was Ollie coming back from school, he left for school and I was heavily pregnant and went to have a shower and I heard the gate click and saw a school kid in uniform, and I thought it was Ollie and I said, what have you forgotten, and it wasn’t him, it was one of his mates,” she went on, laughing.

But it gets worse, with the star going on to share that she continued to stand there, pantless, chatting to her son’s friend.

“I didn’t want to make it awkward, so I asked how he was going!” she said, adding: “We get along well, he can have a laugh about it.”

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

Ben Squires

News

Thu, 12 Nov, 2015

People are happier when they do good

People are happier when they do good

If you ever needed an incentive to be kinder to others, here’s a good reason: it will make you happier.

There’s growing body of evidence that finds doing good for others can boost your own happiness, even more than doing good for ourselves. In one 2010 study, published in the Journal of Social Psychology, researchers measured the life satisfaction of 86 participants. They then assigned participants to one of three groups: one group was instructed to perform a daily act of kindness for the next 10 days, the second group was to perform new and novel activities for 10 days and the third group received no instructions. As expected, the group who practised kindness and engaged in new experiences had a significant increase in happiness. The findings show that performing good deeds do indeed make people feel better, even when performed for as little as 10 days.

In another study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies in 2011 researchers asked half of the 51 participants to remember the last time they spent money on themselves and the other half to recall when they spent money on someone else. All participants also completed a happiness survey. Researchers then gave participants a small amount of money and two choices: spend money on themselves or on someone else. The participants were told to choose the option that would make them happiest, adding that their choice would remain anonymous in case anyone felt pressured to make a particular choice. Like the previous study, people felt happier when they were asked to remember a time they bought a gift for someone else over a time when they bought something for themselves.

The researchers also found that the more you do to make others feel better, the more your own happiness increases – a “positive feedback loop” between kindness and happiness. The results showed that the happier participants felt about their past generosity, the more likely they were in the present to choose to spend on someone else instead of themselves.

“The practical implications of this positive feedback loop could be that engaging in one kind deed (e.g. taking your mum to lunch) would make you happier, and the happier you feel, the more likely you are to do another kind act,” says Lara Aknin, a graduate student in psychology at the University of British Columbia and the study’s lead author.

So it seems the key to happiness is clear: be kinder to others.

Ben Squires

News

Thu, 12 Nov, 2015

People are happier when they do good

People are happier when they do good

If you ever needed an incentive to be kinder to others, here’s a good reason: it will make you happier.

There’s growing body of evidence that finds doing good for others can boost your own happiness, even more than doing good for ourselves. In one 2010 study, published in the Journal of Social Psychology, researchers measured the life satisfaction of 86 participants. They then assigned participants to one of three groups: one group was instructed to perform a daily act of kindness for the next 10 days, the second group was to perform new and novel activities for 10 days and the third group received no instructions. As expected, the group who practised kindness and engaged in new experiences had a significant increase in happiness. The findings show that performing good deeds do indeed make people feel better, even when performed for as little as 10 days.

In another study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies in 2011 researchers asked half of the 51 participants to remember the last time they spent money on themselves and the other half to recall when they spent money on someone else. All participants also completed a happiness survey. Researchers then gave participants a small amount of money and two choices: spend money on themselves or on someone else. The participants were told to choose the option that would make them happiest, adding that their choice would remain anonymous in case anyone felt pressured to make a particular choice. Like the previous study, people felt happier when they were asked to remember a time they bought a gift for someone else over a time when they bought something for themselves.

The researchers also found that the more you do to make others feel better, the more your own happiness increases – a “positive feedback loop” between kindness and happiness. The results showed that the happier participants felt about their past generosity, the more likely they were in the present to choose to spend on someone else instead of themselves.

“The practical implications of this positive feedback loop could be that engaging in one kind deed (e.g. taking your mum to lunch) would make you happier, and the happier you feel, the more likely you are to do another kind act,” says Lara Aknin, a graduate student in psychology at the University of British Columbia and the study’s lead author.

So it seems the key to happiness is clear: be kinder to others.

Melody Teh

News

Fri, 24 Jul, 2015

Marble loaf cake

Marble loaf cake

This seemingly intricate classic marble loaf cake is a lot easier to make than it looks.

Ingredients:

  • 125g of chopped butter
  • ¾ cup of caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup of milk + 1 tablespoon of milk
  • 2 cups of sifted self-rising flour
  • 3 drops of pink food colouring
  • 2 tablespoons of sifted powdered cocoa
  • 1/3 tablespoon of bicarb soda
Icing:

  • 2 cups of icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
  • 15g of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of hot water
Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease/line the base of a 13x23cm loaf pan. 
  2. Use electric mixer to combine sugar, butter and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs one at a time and continue beating mixture.
  3. Fold flour into combined ingredients, adding milk throughout and divide into three portions. 
  4. First portion: leave plain. Second portion: add 3 drops of pink food colouring. Third portion: add soda, cocoa and 1 tablespoon of milk. 
  5. Pour each colour into pan, alternating between the three. 
  6. Use a skewer to lightly draw circles throughout the batter to smear the colours. 
  7. Smooth the top of the mixture and bake for 50-55 minutes. (Poke a skewer into marble cake to test. If it comes back bare, it is cooked.)
  8. Let cool and turn to icing: sift coca and icing sugar together and add butter and water to mixture, beating until smooth. 
  9. Spread icing over marble cake.
Related links:

Chocolate almond loaf

Strawberry and rhubarb cobbler

Mixed berry clafoutis

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

Wed, 23 Jan, 2019

Your guide to using eBooks

Your guide to using eBooks

You may have heard of eBooks - electronic books that you read on a screen. In this how-to-guide, we’ll explain why they’ve become so popular, different ways of reading them and how to buy your first eBook.

Why ebooks?

Some might say that eBooks can’t replace the feel of the real thing, but they sure have some great advantages. One eBook device can hold thousands of books so they’re fantastic if you’re on the move or don’t have a large amount of space at home. EBooks can be read in low-light or even darkness - so you don’t disturb your partner. They remember which page you’re up to, and allow you to increase the font-size for easier reading. Lastly, you can go from ‘browsing’ to ‘reading’ in minutes - you never have to drive to the book shop or wait for overseas shipping.

How do I read ebooks?

There are two types of devices used to read eBooks, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Dedicated eBook readers (such as Kindle and Kobo) can only display eBooks - but they do it well. They have a special ‘electronic paper’ screen which is more gentle on your eyes than a tablet or computer screen. They’re easier to read in bright sunlight, and the battery lasts weeks. Another option is a tablet such as an iPad or Galaxy Tab. These devices aren’t limited to reading eBooks - you can watch movies, browse the internet and so on. But their screens are less comfortable for long-term reading and the battery life is measured in hours, not weeks. To read eBooks on a tablet, you need to use an ‘app’ such as iBooks, Kindle or Kobo.

How do I buy ebooks?

If you’re using an eReader such as a Kindle or Kobo, visit the ‘store’ page on that device. Search for the book you’re interested in, click ‘buy’ and it will download. The same instructions apply to most Android tablet eReader apps. Unfortunately, many iPad eReader apps don’t allow in-app purchases - you’ll need to visit the relevant eBook website and purchase eBooks there - then they’ll appear in your app.

eBooks open up a whole new world of amazing reads, wherever you are, so why not get started today!

Written by Gabe McGrath. Republished with permission of Wyza.com.au.

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.

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.

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.

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:

Georgia Dixon

News

Thu, 11 May, 2017

7 things you never knew about M*A*S*H

7 things you never knew about M*A*S*H

Did you know M*A*S*H ran more than three times longer than the actual Korean War? It may have graced our screens for 11 years, but you might not know all there is to know about the classic TV series, M*A*S*H.

  1. No one wanted a laugh track – Despite pleas from the show’s producers, the network (CBS) went ahead and added in canned laughter. You might have noticed the laugh track growing quieter and quieter as the years progressed, and in the UK, the laugh track was removed entirely.
  2. CBS banned an “unpatriotic” episode – An idea for an episode was shot down by the network for being “unpatriotic”. It involved soldiers standing outside in the freezing cold to make themselves sick enough to be sent home – a tactic actually used during the war.
  3. The writers got back at complaining cast members – If ever an actor complained about their script (or asked for changes), the writing team would change the script to make it “parka weather”, making the cast swelter in jackets through days in excess of 32°C on their Florida film set.
  4. Patients were named after sports teams – After running out of names for patients visiting the hospital, the writers turned to baseball teams. In season six, four Marines are named after California Angels infielders, while in season seven, they named patients after the 1978 Los Angeles Dodgers.
  5. M*A*S*H hosted some big-name stars – Guest appearances on the show include Ron Howard, Leslie Nielsen, Patrick Swayze, Laurence Fishburne and Rita Wilson.
  6. The series finale broke records – The two-and-a-half-hour 1983 series finale, “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen,” was watched by a staggering 121.6 million people in the US alone – back then, that was 77 per cent of households with TV sets. It remains the most-watched episode of a TV show in US history.
  7. The time capsule didn’t stay buried long – In the series’ second-last episode, the M*A*S*H gang bury a time capsule. When the show wrapped up, the land used as the show’s set was sold, and a construction worker found the capsule just months later. After getting in contact with Alan Alda to return it, Alda told the worker he could keep it.
Tell us in the comments below, were you a fan of M*A*S*H?

Ben Squires

News

Thu, 5 Nov, 2015

10 fascinating facts you don’t know about Lego

10 fascinating facts you don’t know about Lego

The “building blocks” of generations of people’s childhoods, Lego was officially named “Toy of the Century” in 2000 by Fortune magazine and British Association of Toy Retailers. No other toy has achieved the enduring popularity of Lego so to celebrate this amazing creation that has brought so much joy to children and adults alike, let’s learn some interesting facts about the world’s favourite bricks.

1. Lego was originally called Automatic Binding Bricks

Although an accurate description, it just doesn’t have the same ring does it?

2. The name Lego comes from the Danish language

Lego was invented by Danish man, Ole Kirch Christiansen, who started it when he lost his job as a carpenter. He combined the first two letters of the Danish words “Leg” and “Godt”, which means “play well”.

3. Since 1958, every single Lego brick can interlock

Although Lego was created in 1949, there was a slight design change in 1958. However, ever since then all the blocks have been consistent so generations of children can use all their sets to create Lego masterpieces.

4. Three eight-studded bricks can fit together in 1,060 ways

Computers have figured out two bricks combine in 24 different ways, whereas six bricks staggeringly combine in 915,103,765 ways. Now that’s a lot of creations to be made.

5. A real house made entirely of Lego was once built

Lego House (1)

In 2009, James May, the presenter of BBC show Toy Stories, built the world’s first full-sized Lego house. Using 3.3 million bricks, May and 1,000 volunteers built the two-storey house which contained a working toilet and shower, as well as a bed. All were made of Lego. Unfortunately, the building had to be torn down when nobody wanted to buy it.

6. If Lego figurines were human, they would hold the record of the world’s largest population

The first Lego figurine was created in 1978 and since then four billion have been made. Each minifigure is exactly four bricks high without a hat.

7. During Christmas, 28 Lego sets are sold each second.

Christmas (1)

It seems Lego still remains a childhood favourite toy with 1,068 sets sold every minute around the world.

8. The annual production of Lego bricks averages 36 billion.

That’s 1,140 bricks per second.

9. Only 18 pieces out of one million are wasted during production.

The moulds used to produce Lego bricks are accurate within two-thousands of a millimetre so only 18 pieces are ever wasted in every million.

10. The largest commercial product Lego set is the Taj Mahal.

Taj Mahal

The set contained over 5,900 pieces to create the famous jewel of India. The Lego version of London’s Tower pieces comes in third with over 4,200 pieces.

Danielle McCarthy

News

Fri, 12 Jan, 2018

The pros and cons of Apple’s iCloud Photo Library

The pros and cons of Apple’s iCloud Photo Library

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

There seems to be lots of confusion around iCloud Photo Library, so it’s the perfect topic for us to look into today.

With more and more photos being taken using our smartphones, photo management is becoming a very popular topic.

If you have an Apple device, you may have been wondering what iCloud Photo Library is all about, and whether you should use it.

iCloud Photo Library lets you upload images you have taken on your Apple devices to Apple's Cloud Service called "iCloud". 

What does it upload:

  • Photos
  • Screenshots 
  • Imported photos from cameras and other photos you have added to your Photos Library on your Mac
What is the cost?

  • Apple provides each apple user 5GB of storage for free (this storage is shared with other iCloud services such as backups)
  • After the initial 5GB. you will need to choose a monthly plan to increase your iCloud storage 
The Pros:

  • Easily "Sync" photos across devices - This means if you take a photo on your iPhone, and you have "iCloud Photo Library" turned on, you will see this same photo on your other Apple devices such as: iPads and Mac 
  • Access your photos from anywhere! If you don't have an internet connection, you will see a low-resolution thumbnail of your pictures
  • Edit Photos from any device - iCloud Photo Library will sync your non-destructive edited images across your devices. This means you can start editing an image on your iPhone, and finish the touch ups on your Mac
  • Optimised Storage - This means the high resolution photo you took on your iPhone will be uploaded to iCloud Photo Library. The version you see on your iPhone is a low resolution thumbnail (thus saving physical storage on your iPhone). To get the high resolution image, you can download it from iCloud 
  • Backup - The goal of iCloud Photo Library is to back up your photos. If you device malfunctions, or is lost, you can retrieve your photos by signing into your iCloud account 
The Cons:

  • Confusion - Confusion lies around photo backups. Think of iCloud Photo Library like your cloud emails. If you delete an email on your iPad, it is gone from your iPhone. Same with iCloud Photo Library. If you delete an image off your iPhone, it will deleted from all other devices 
  • Storage Cost - You will get 5GB for free, but to utilise additional storage, you will need to pay. 50GB storage costs $0.99 a month, 200GB costs $2.99 per month, and 1TB will cost $9.99 per month 
  • Can't choose what images to sync - Like it not, it's all or nothing! You can pick some images to stay locally on your device
  • All Apple - These photos are all tied to Photos for iOs or Photos for Mac. To use photos in other programs, you need to export them out of Mac Photos 
The conclusion:

iCloud Photo Library is a great tool for photo backup, but you do need to understand that it will cost money to manage all your photos. Yes, you have 5GB of free storage, but the average person has more than 5GB of photos, so it's difficult to stay on the free plan. Although Cloud Storage is reliable, always back up your photos to a physical device as well... just in case!

Do you use the iCloud library? How do you find it? Let us know in the comments below. 

Over60

News

Fri, 7 Feb, 2020

"It's a miracle I'm alive": Man stabbed 15 times talks attacker out of killing him

"It's a miracle I'm alive": Man stabbed 15 times talks attacker out of killing him

A Melbourne man says it is “miraculous” he is still alive after he convinced his attacker not to kill him.

David Fowles told 10daily he was resting in his Bellfield home on January 25 when the accused, his then-housemate, allegedly came into his room and stabbed him more than 15 times.

“From the moment he entered the room it was clear to me that this was the end of my life ...  I immediately started talking, even as he was cutting me,” Fowles said.

“I told him ‘you will ruin your life if you murder me, you have to stop for your own sake’, and talked to him about things I knew he had coming up that he had hopes for.

“I had to ask him to put the knife down... it was a bit unnerving.

“I feel that, by showing compassion to the person who was killing me, I broke through whatever was gripping him at the time.”

Fowles then managed to unlock his phone and dial 000 for ambulance and police. “I put it on speakerphone and just shouted ‘Ambulance! Police!’ and the address,” he said. “Without triple zero I’d be dead.”

He suffered from a broken neck and multiple wounds across his body.

“They put five pints of blood in me I’m told, it’s a miracle I’m alive,” he said. “My right arm doesn’t work well right now and the left is in a splint, but I’ve received optimistic advice about my chances for returned function.”

Victoria Police said the attacker, a 37-year-old man, has been charged with intentionally causing serious injury and remains in police custody.

Fowles is currently in recovery at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. According to an online fundraiser page, the actor and comedian aims to carry on with his first Melbourne Fringe show in September.

Over60

News

Thu, 2 Jul, 2020

New swine flu with pandemic potential found in China

New swine flu with pandemic potential found in China

Researchers in China have discovered a strain of swine flu that is capable of triggering another pandemic.

A report published in peer-reviewed science journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences earlier this week identified the G4 EA H1N1 strain of flu, which is genetically descended from the H1N1 strain that caused a pandemic in 2009.

It has “all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus”, scientists at Chinese universities and China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in the study.

Researchers took 30,000 nasal swabs from pigs between 2011 and 2018. A total of 179 swine flu viruses were isolated, the majority of which were a new kind that has been dominant among pigs since 2016.

Following various experiments, G4 was found to be highly infectious, replicating in human cells and causing more severe symptoms in ferrets than other viruses do.

Any immunity humans gain from exposure to seasonal flu does not protect against G4, tests also showed.

As many as 4.4 per cent of the general population appeared to have been exposed to the virus, therefore showing that it has passed from animals to humans. There is no evidence yet that the virus can be passed between humans.

“Controlling the prevailing G4 EA H1N1 viruses in pigs and close monitoring in human populations, especially the workers in swine industry, should be urgently implemented,” the study authors said.

The World Health Organisation will read the Chinese report carefully, spokesman Christian Lindmeier told a Geneva briefing on Tuesday.

“It … highlights we cannot let our guard down on influenza and need to be vigilant and continue surveillance even in the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

There is no imminent threat of a new pandemic despite the virus’ capability to infect humans, said Carl Bergstrom, a biologist at the University of Washington.

“There’s no evidence that G4 is circulating in humans, despite five years of extensive exposure,” he said on Twitter. “That’s the key context to keep in mind.”

The new swine flu is still “in the stage of examination”, said Anthony Fauci, the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

It’s not “an immediate threat where you’re seeing infections, but it’s something we need to keep our eye on, just the way we did in 2009 with the emergence of the swine flu.”

Danielle McCarthy

News

Wed, 6 Jun, 2018

Daughter takes 85-year-old father’s life savings: "I never dreamt that she would do it"

Daughter takes 85-year-old father’s life savings: "I never dreamt that she would do it"

When Ray Thomson lost his life savings, he also lost the daughter he thought loved him the most.

"I was led to believe she was doing everything for me. She was alright but she was doing everything for herself - with my money," he says.

Over two years, Thomson's daughter Helen Williams robbed her father of everything he had, cleaning $320,000 out of his bank account, leaving him with just $20. 

The blind man now lives in a rest home, in a single, sparsely decorated room, a transistor radio among his meagre possessions.

In January, Williams was sentenced to 12 months' home detention for her deceit, a crime she says was motivated by a gambling and drug addiction.

Thomson can't talk about what his daughter did without breaking down. She was going to get half his money when he died but she couldn't wait, Thomson says - her "plain greed" got in the way.

"I never dreamt that she would do it. I was completely taken in by it and by the time I had woken up to what happened, it was too late.

"As far as I am concerned she's not my daughter."

The first inkling Thomson got of there being a problem was when the council got in touch about his rates account being in arrears.  

He remembers being taken by surprise. "I've never owed anyone in my lifetime," he says. 

When he checked with his daughter, he says she reassured him there had been a mistake, that there was nothing to worry about.

As power of attorney, she was able to withdraw money from his account at will and while she spent it paying back her own debt, grocery bills and on a trip, her father went without. On one occasion Thomson had no hot water for six weeks as his unpaid bills mounted up.

'She cut me off'

During the time she stole from him, his daughter was a constant presence in Thomson's life. She made sure she was often the only person he would see for days.  

"Every time she was at my place - she'd be there most times - she told everyone that I was not there. She cut me off from anyone that I knew," he says.

Williams went to extraordinary lengths to keep her father in the dark about what she had been doing, reassuring him constantly and even intercepting the mail. 

But when the money ran out, Thomson's lawyer turned up with the news he had just $20 to his name.

His life suddenly revealed to be in tatters, Thomson was forced to sell his house and move into a rest home. 

"I still think back on the episode and about what's happened but I will never forgive her for what she's done to me."

He says people who prey on the elderly "should be disgusted with themselves." 

Thomson says even if family are involved in helping out, his advice to others is to be wary and ask questions if something is amiss.

"Be cautious, be on the alert."

"You don't expect those sorts of things to come from your own family."

Have you ever encountered something like this?

Written by Deena Coster. Republished with permission of Stuff.co.nz.

Over60

News

Thu, 16 Jul, 2020

Patient zero found from Crossroads cluster

Patient zero found from Crossroads cluster

NSW authorities have revealed they have found patient zero who is believed to be a man from Melbourne who travelled on June 30.

He is the most likely source of the coronavirus outbreak at the Crossroads Hotel in Sydney.

The state’s chief coronavirus “detective” Jennie Musto explained to reporters on Wednesday that the man was the most likely source as he travelled to his workplace back in NSW.  

Ms Musto manages all teams that trace coronavirus infections.

She said that the workplace was a freight company, although the man was not a truck driver.

“About six” of his colleagues were also infected with the virus.

The man and a number of his colleagues went to the Crossroads for a party on July  which  led to an outbreak at the hotel.

The hotel is now linked to at least 34 cases.

“The man from Melbourne didn’t think he was particularly unwell, didn't think he was sick with COVID, he travelled on the 30th of June, he’s been in NSW for a while and it wasn’t until we interviewed him and his colleagues with more detail that we made the link that they were all on the Crossroads on the 3rd of July,” Ms Musto said.

Authorities are not releasing details of the workplace but have revealed there is little to no risk there.

NSW recorded 13 new cases of coronavirus to 8 pm on Wednesday, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard confirmed.

“Don’t get an expectation that it (case numbers) will always be zero because we think this virus will continue to transmit lowly,” he said.

“We will have transmission from time to time and that’s just the way it is.”]

Three of the cases tested positive while in hotel and the other 10 are linked to the Crossroads Hotel.

Six of the coronavirus cases actually attended the event at the hotel, while two are close relatives.

Dr Chant says she is concerned about people who have been travelling NSW from Melbourne, even before the borders closed.

“We are very concerned about areas where we may have had a number of visitors from Melbourne and the Mitchell Shires. Particularly in our coastal areas and border communities we need to have high rates of testing so if there’s been any seeding we can mop it up,” Dr Chant said.

“The crossroads highlights we won’t gain control of this if we don’t have people on board.”

Over60

News

Tue, 26 May, 2020

"'The virus is afraid of Betty!"

"'The virus is afraid of Betty!"

Fans around the world have rejoiced with the news that Golden Girl legend Betty White is safe and well amid the coronavirus pandemic.

White, 98, is self-isolating in her home in California, with visits from animal friends, including ducks.

"No one permitted in except those who must. Has helpers who are great with her," White's rep said in an email to Today.

"The animal community is watching over her," White's publicist said, adding, "The virus is afraid of Betty!"

Her friend Tom Sullivan confirmed to Closer that she is also keeping her mind active during the lockdown.

“She reads the L.A. Times cover to cover,” he said.

“She owns literally thousands of crossword puzzle books and is constantly doing them to keep her mind jumping. This is really serious with her.”

As well as keeping her mind active, White has been relaxing with a cocktail or two.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Betty White (@bettymwhite) on Jul 11, 2016 at 2:54pm PDT

“Betty loves to joke that vodka keeps her young,” her friend says with a laugh.

“She loves the image of her sitting at home in a rocking chair, drinking a martini and watching game shows, but she’s not really a big drinker. That’s not her. She’ll only take a few sips of a cocktail if the occasion calls for it.”

White also has a message to the world.

“Betty’s message to the world is to slow down and enjoy what you have: family, friends, your pets,” says the friend.

“She says that the pandemic is serious, but we have come through worse. It’s Mother Nature’s way of telling us all to slow down.”

White has spent 80 years working in television and has the longest career in the history of television.

Alex O'Brien

News

Tue, 31 May, 2016

Beautiful poem captures the pain of Alzheimer’s

Beautiful poem captures the pain of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the cruellest afflictions someone can suffer. However, the key for many loved ones of Alzheimer’s sufferers lies in finding beauty and hope even in the darkest times. This achingly beautiful poem perfectly captures the pain and heartbreak of Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Alzheimer’s Wing

As insubstantial as torn cicada wings

their old bodies are shot through with light,

the fallen leaves of autumn blown loose,

adrift and swaying in a fluky breeze of

incomprehension and the moment’s present.

 

The once beautiful boys in uniforms

and photographs, the doctor, general,

ex-headmaster, larrikins and wits,

sunny as spring and smiling, now stand

in tracksuit pants and food dashed shirts,

shuffle corridors and sitting rooms,

gather against the locked glass door,

uneasy ghosts in waiting, in search of home,

lost beds, watches, false teeth, cigarettes,

wives, daughters, memories, reasons why.

They play games or sit in vinyl chairs and snooze.

 

Sun through afternoon and picture windows

paints haloes on their heads, stipples skin

stretched on frames of bone, the light and shade

of our benevolent confinement.

 

What’s your favourite poem? Let us know in the comments below.

Written by Brook Emery, extracted from “With My Father-In-Law”.

This is an extract from Falling And Flying: Poems On Ageing, Edited by Judith Beveridge and Dr Susan Ogle, Brandl & Schlesinger.

All proceeds from book sales will go directly to the Penney Ageing Research Unit at the Royal North Shore Hospital. For Book sales, please email sogle@med.usyd.edu.au. For Donations, please click here.

Related links:

This couple won’t let Alzheimer’s erase 70 years of love

Beautiful photo series captures the pain of dementia

New research links Alzheimer's risk with negative thoughts about ageing

MREC-TAG-HERE

Basmah Qazi

News

Tue, 21 Aug, 2018

Erik Thomson speaks out after 800 Words cancelled: "It didn't have to end"

Erik Thomson speaks out after 800 Words cancelled: "It didn't have to end"

Soon to be reaching his 30th year of acting, Erik Thomson’s hugely successful show 800 Words has not been approved for a fifth season.

The show, which earned Thomson a win in the Best Actor category at the Logies, will end after the fourth season, set to air soon on Channel Seven. 

Thomson’s character George Turner is a newspaper columnist, in the fictional New Zealand seaside town of Weld. And now, due to the show being shelved, season four will be the last time we see George Turner on our television screens.

The 51-year-old actor finds the situation “disappointing” as he believes the show still had potential and a great viewership.

800 Words could have run for more seasons,” Thomson told TV WEEK.

“The plan was to jump ahead a year to see how things panned out, but that’s not going to happen, unfortunately.

“Networks these days are interested in the shiny new ball, but not always in ways to keep that ball shiny.”

Thomson believes reality television is partly to blame, with television networks strongly relying on reality shows. The actor says that scripted drama is not given the priority it deserves.

“In many ways, reality shows have become like drama series,” he says. “They cast all these archetypes. There’s the villain, the smart arse and the underdog. I get it, but hopefully with a bit of luck the pendulum will swing back to more scripted drama that runs for longer than six-to-eight episodes.”

But Thomson is still grateful for the opportunities he has been given.

“I’ve been fortunate to be in shows people just have to be home for on a Tuesday night, whether it be All Saints or Packed to the Rafters,” he says. “I’ve been lucky.”

He added, “This is my 28th year as a professional actor. I’m heading towards that three-zero years in the business. I keep pinching myself!”

As for what the future holds, Thomson is looking into darker roles after shooting horror film Awoken in Adelaide with his fellow 800 Words co-star Benson Jack Anthony, and will soon be starring in Aussie film Storm Boy.

“The journeys I want to go on now aren’t as family-orientated,” he says when talking about his shift from the “nice guy” roles that he is known for playing. 

“I’m thinking darker drama or even some edgy, dark comedy projects. I’m working with some writers and there are possibilities floating around.”

And one of those ideas may involve a reunion with Thomson’s Packed to the Rafters co-star Rebecca Gibney.

“We’ve talked about it,” he says. “But Rebecca has just finished Wanted [the Channel Seven drama series] and everyone is in different parts of the world. I dare say it could happen.”

Are you disappointed that 800 Words won’t be returning after its fourth season? Let us know in the comments below.

Alex O'Brien

News

Fri, 22 Apr, 2016

Back to basics: How to upload photos to Facebook

Back to basics: How to upload photos to Facebook

Social media is made for sharing photos and memories with your friends and family. If you’re not sure of the best way to upload photos to Facebook, here’s our quick guide.

To post a photo to your Facebook timeline:

  1. At the top of your News Feed, click Add Photos/Videos to post to your Facebook page. Click Create Photo Album to upload to a new photo album.
  2. Select the photos or videos from your computer or smartphone you want to add to Facebook. You can also tag friends, share what you’re feeling or doing, and add a location to your photo.
  3. Click Post. Your photo will now appear on your Facebook.
To upload a photo an existing photo album:

  1. Go to the album you want to add more photos to.
  2. Click Add Photos in the top right.
  3. Pick the images you want to upload and click Post Photos.
To upload a photo in a Facebook comment:

  1. Go to the post and click the camera on the right side of the text box
  2. Choose the photo you want to attach
  3. You can also write a comment to post with your photo. Press Enter to post photo and comment.
Related links:

10 new things you can do on your iPhone and iPad

5 ways to upgrade your gadgets for free

Android phones at risk of hacking

Alex O'Brien

News

Thu, 21 Apr, 2016
ronit

News

Tue, 11 Aug, 2015

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

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

When people find that they are having hearing difficulties, it can typically take years before they seek advice or treatment for it. If you are the partner of one of these people who are living in denial of their problem, it can be a frustrating time.

You may find yourself constantly having to repeat yourself, rehash conversations that they have missed, or deal with a television set that is turned up way past your comfortable level of volume. It’s natural to feel resentful and even angry that they are burying their head in the sand, but ultimately it has to be their decision to seek help. Today we have some tips for how to deal with a partner who is not admitting that they have an issue with their hearing.

See their point of view

It can be very frustrating to see that your partner has a problem and yet won’t do anything about it.

For many people who have found themselves gradually losing their hearing, they may not be aware of the extent of the problem. In a way, the sufferer “forgets” what normal hearing sounds like – and the impaired hearing becomes their new normal.

So while you may notice that they miss parts of your conversations in crowded restaurants, or that you have to often shout to be heard – they may not see that there is a problem at all.

In fact, the way that you naturally help them get through their hearing issues can hold them back from realising that they have a problem.

Avoid the cover up

It’s perfectly natural to try and help out a loved one when we see them struggling with their hearing.

For instance we repeat ourselves, speak in a loud voice (and ask others to do the same), and even choose outings where we know they will be able to hear better.

All of these actions though can help the denial of the issue continue.

One idea is to actually alert your partner each time you help them (for instance you could wave and say “I’m helping you”). In this way, you are making them very aware of how often you are helping them.

Eventually they will be able to see that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. You can then work with them to seek treatment and learn to deal with their new way of life.

Have the conversation

It can be very a very difficult subject to bring up with your partner, so always try to stay calm and focused on the issue.

Rather than starting with how frustrated you feel, focus on the fact that their hearing issues are impacting your relationship. For instance you could talk about how you feel as though you aren’t connecting as well as you could be because of the communication issues.

Be prepared for the fact that your partner may not be ready to accept that they have an issue. You may need to shelve it for a later date when they are more receptive.

In the meantime, you could begin documenting your observations of your partner’s hearing problem. You could then share this with them later to review in their own time.

Michelle Reed

News

Wed, 13 Jul, 2016

4 myths about allergies that will shock you

4 myths about allergies that will shock you

Sally Bloomfield, Honorary Professor at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, debunks four persistent myths about allergies.

Allergies are on the rise across the developed world and hay fever and eczema have trebled in the last 30 years. Yet allergies are an area of much confusion and concern. Although one study found 38 per cent of people think they have a food allergy, in fact only 1-5 per cent do, and allergists commonly report spending most of their consultations refuting firmly held beliefs that have no scientific foundation.

Theories about allergy – some from medical research and some from lifestyle “gurus” – have led to conflicting information, making it hard to know what to believe. Because of this, Sense About Science worked with me and a number of allergists, immunologists, respiratory scientists and pharmacists to produce Making Sense of Allergies, a guide tackling the many myths and misconceptions about allergies. One common myth – something that I work on – is the link between allergies and exposure to microbes.

So here is a hygiene and allergy reality fact check:

Do fewer childhood infections mean more allergies?

No. Although a link between allergies and microbes is largely accepted, the idea that more infections during childhood reduces the chance of developing allergies is now discounted. This idea came from the hygiene hypothesis, proposed in 1989, which theorised that the 20th century’s increase in allergies was due to lower rates of infection in early childhood. This hypothesis was based on observations that larger family size protected against hay fever, while smaller families were thought to provide insufficient infection exposure because of less person-to-person infection.

Exposure to a normal range of microbes during the first months after birth is critical to developing the immune system, but there is no evidence that “regular” infections are important to boost general infection immunity or prevent allergies.

Are allergies up because of modern obsessions with cleanliness?

No. Our microbiomes, the population of microbes that live in and on our bodies, have altered from previous generations. This is not because of cleanliness, but because we interact with less diverse microbial environments than those of our largely rural ancestors. The idea that excessive cleaning has created “sterile” homes is implausible: microbes are rapidly replaced by organisms shed from us, our pets, raw foods and dust.

This understanding has come from the “old friends” mechanism, a refinement to the hygiene hypothesis that offers a more plausible explanation for the link between microbial exposure and allergies. It proposes that exposure to the diverse range of largely non-harmful microbes or parasites that inhabit our world are important for building a diverse microbiome that is vital for sustaining a well regulated immune system that doesn’t overreact to allergens like pollen. These “old friends” have co-evolved with humans over millions of years. By contrast most infectious diseases only emerged over the last 10,000 years as we came to live in urban communities.

Old friend microbes are still there, but we have lost contact with them due to lifestyle and public health changes over the past two centuries. Improved water quality, sanitation and urban cleanliness have massively reduced infectious disease, but inadvertently deprived us of exposure to these microbes. Changes in microbial content of food, less breastfeeding, more caesarean sections, urban rather than rural living and increased antibiotic use have also reduced early life old friends interaction.

Will relaxing hygiene reverse the trend in allergies?

No. We now know that relaxing hygiene will not reunite us with our old friends, but carries the risk of increased exposure to other microbes that can cause old and new diseases. Because it was originally called the “hygiene” hypothesis, and because the terms hygiene and cleanliness are used interchangeably, people often assume that “being less clean” implies being less particular about hygiene.

At the same time that allergies have increased, the threats of global pandemics and antibiotic resistance have increased, and hygiene is key to containing these threats. Protecting against infection is not about how clean our homes look or how often we shower, it’s what we do to stop germs spreading.

By using “targeted” hygiene practices such as hand washing, food safety and toilet hygiene, while encouraging everyday interactions with our microbial world we maximise protection against infection, while maintaining exposure to old friends.

Are synthetic chemicals linked to rising allergies?

No. Excessive use of cleaning and personal care products and antibacterials is sometimes said to be linked to allergies because it deprives us of microbial exposure. Antibacterial products are perceived to exacerbate this. However, because evidence suggests that general day-to-day home cleaning has no impact on microbial levels, it is unlikely to impact on our human microbiome. By contrast targeted disinfectant use, for example while preparing food, can reduce infection risks.

Many people believe that “man-made” chemicals are more likely to cause allergic reactions, leading to many synthetic substances in products being replaced by “natural alternatives”. However, the most common allergic reactions are to naturally occurring allergens, in foods such as eggs, milk and nuts, in common garden plants such as primroses and chrysanthemums, and things in the environment such as pollen, dust mites and pet dander. Some natural replacements for synthetic substances could actually increase the risk of allergic reactions.

This article originally appeared on The Conversation.

Related links:

8 kitchen cupboard cures for common ailments

Why calorie counting is a waste of time

Top 10 health worries when you’re 60-plus (and how to beat them)

Alex O'Brien

News

Thu, 21 Apr, 2016
Michelle Reed

News

Fri, 22 Jan, 2016

Orange chilli marmalade

Orange chilli marmalade

Chili peppers intensify the citrus flavour and add zest to this unique marmalade. Use it to add sparkle to cheese trays or serve as a condiment with coconut-battered shrimp. And don't forget toast – it makes the traditional something special.

Makes: About 2kg

Ingredients:

  • 1kg Valencia oranges (unpeeled), seeded and thinly sliced
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 dried habanero chili peppers (or 6 dried Colorado or New Mexico chili peppers)
  • 9 cups granulated sugar
  • 8 half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands
Method:

1. Combine oranges, lemon zest and juice and water in a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes. Add chili peppers, partially cover and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until fruit is very soft, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard chili peppers.

2. Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

3. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Maintaining boil, gradually stir in sugar. Boil hard, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches gel stage, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and test gel. If gel stage has been reached, skim off foam.

4. Ladle hot marmalade into hot jars leaving 5mm headspace. Wipe rim. Centre lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.

5. Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when centre is pressed.

Recipe courtesy of Jarden Home Brands, the makers of Ball preserving products. Visit their website here. 

Related links:

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Lychee and mango sorbet

Apple and strawberry pie

Georgia Dixon

News

Thu, 1 Dec, 2016

5 signs to help you spot a narcissist

5 signs to help you spot a narcissist

Most of know a narcissist or someone with a few narcissistic tendencies. In actual fact, many of us have probably questioned whether we could possibly be on the narcissistic side of the spectrum. Rest assured that if you have pondered that theory then the chances are good that you’re in the clear.

Experts have found that the classic narcissist has little if any ability to be reflective. If you’re able to question some of your character traits and wonder what they could mean, then you’re displaying a kind of thoughtful insight that a true narcissist would not be incapable of.

The rise of the internet has seen the term “narcissist” bandied around frequently usually to describe those who are obviously vain, self- obsessed and/or selfish. While these traits are usually part of the narcissistic personality, true narcissism runs deeper and is far more complex. Here are five common characteristics to help you spot a narcissist “in the wild”.

  1. Superiority – The most obvious character trait of a narcissist is their sense of superiority and sometimes arrogance. In their mind, they are better than everyone else by a long shot.
  2. Self-entitlement – A narcissist feels that they are somehow entitled to more than everyone else. People with a healthy sense of self feel a moderate level of entitlement which experts agree is healthy. Narcissists however take it to a whole new level.
  3. Manipulative – Narcissists will manipulate a situation to achieve their desired outcome. In particular, they will carefully craft a scenario so that they come out looking like the star of the situation and receive all the credit while the actual person responsible is pushed by the wayside.
  4. Lacks empathy – A serious and complete lack of empathy is a classic trait of a narcissist. They are incapable of putting themselves in someone else’s shoes and can be very detached and cold.
  5. Will never apologise – A narcissist will never, ever believe that they are wrong. Even when presented with overwhelming evidence, they’ll will refuse to take responsibility for themselves or their actions.
Have you ever known a narcissist? What gave them away? Share with us in the comments below.

Related links:

Aristotle’s advice to live your best life

10 easy ways to relax and boost your intelligence

Being lazy can be a sign of high intelligence

Georgia Dixon

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Wed, 14 Dec, 2016

How to break through a weight-loss plateau

How to break through a weight-loss plateau

You've been exercising daily. You've improved your diet. And you've seen the number on the scale decrease. Not only do you look better, you feel better, too. However, you reach a point where you no longer are seeing results, despite the effort you are making to do so. Throughout your weight loss journey, you may find yourself at a dead end. Although frustrating and sometimes discouraging, experiencing a weight loss plateau is a normal part of losing weight.

Instead of giving up on your goals, realise that experiencing a weight loss plateau doesn't mean you've reached the end of your weight loss journey. Reaching a weight loss plateau is simply a way for your body to tell you that losing weight means you're losing a little muscle, too. As a result, your metabolism starts to slow down, which is a key factor in weight loss.

"Even if you're eating the same number of calories that helped you lose weight in the first place, your metabolism will most likely slow down after you lose fat and muscle," says Mary Green, Mayo Clinic Health System family nurse practitioner and certified nurse midwife.

"When your metabolism slows, a weight loss plateau is expected."

Luckily, Green provides some helpful tips to help you revamp your weight loss journey:

1. Re-evaluate your weight loss habits

If you're recording your food intake and physical activity, it may be helpful to look back and see if you're bending your rules about eating and exercising.

2. Cut more calories from your diet

Unless it puts you below 1,200 calories a day, try cutting your caloric intake by 200.

3. Intensify your workout

A great way to add intensity to your workout is by adding weightlifting. Weightlifting is a great way to increase your muscle mass and burn extra calories at the same time. Also, adding 15 to 30 minutes to your workout will provide extra intensity.

4. Think outside the gym

When considering general physical activity, there are plenty of things you can do to burn extra calories. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walking or bike to work instead of driving. And take a break every hour to get up and walk around. These are just a few simple things you can do to get moving.

If these tips don't help you push through your weight loss plateau, talk with your doctor or dietitian about other possible solutions to help you achieve your goals.

Even if you continue having a hard time seeing the desired number on the scale, remember the lifestyle changes you've made so far are going to impact your health significantly in a positive way. That's something worth celebrating.

Have you recently reached a weight loss milestone? Share your success stories with us in the comments below.

First appeared on Stuff.co.nz.

Related links:

The easy-peasy guide to exercise as you age

6 ways to stay active while you watch TV

How to work out in 20 minutes

Michelle Reed

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Wed, 13 Jul, 2016

4 myths about allergies that will shock you

4 myths about allergies that will shock you

Sally Bloomfield, Honorary Professor at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, debunks four persistent myths about allergies.

Allergies are on the rise across the developed world and hay fever and eczema have trebled in the last 30 years. Yet allergies are an area of much confusion and concern. Although one study found 38 per cent of people think they have a food allergy, in fact only 1-5 per cent do, and allergists commonly report spending most of their consultations refuting firmly held beliefs that have no scientific foundation.

Theories about allergy – some from medical research and some from lifestyle “gurus” – have led to conflicting information, making it hard to know what to believe. Because of this, Sense About Science worked with me and a number of allergists, immunologists, respiratory scientists and pharmacists to produce Making Sense of Allergies, a guide tackling the many myths and misconceptions about allergies. One common myth – something that I work on – is the link between allergies and exposure to microbes.

So here is a hygiene and allergy reality fact check:

Do fewer childhood infections mean more allergies?

No. Although a link between allergies and microbes is largely accepted, the idea that more infections during childhood reduces the chance of developing allergies is now discounted. This idea came from the hygiene hypothesis, proposed in 1989, which theorised that the 20th century’s increase in allergies was due to lower rates of infection in early childhood. This hypothesis was based on observations that larger family size protected against hay fever, while smaller families were thought to provide insufficient infection exposure because of less person-to-person infection.

Exposure to a normal range of microbes during the first months after birth is critical to developing the immune system, but there is no evidence that “regular” infections are important to boost general infection immunity or prevent allergies.

Are allergies up because of modern obsessions with cleanliness?

No. Our microbiomes, the population of microbes that live in and on our bodies, have altered from previous generations. This is not because of cleanliness, but because we interact with less diverse microbial environments than those of our largely rural ancestors. The idea that excessive cleaning has created “sterile” homes is implausible: microbes are rapidly replaced by organisms shed from us, our pets, raw foods and dust.

This understanding has come from the “old friends” mechanism, a refinement to the hygiene hypothesis that offers a more plausible explanation for the link between microbial exposure and allergies. It proposes that exposure to the diverse range of largely non-harmful microbes or parasites that inhabit our world are important for building a diverse microbiome that is vital for sustaining a well regulated immune system that doesn’t overreact to allergens like pollen. These “old friends” have co-evolved with humans over millions of years. By contrast most infectious diseases only emerged over the last 10,000 years as we came to live in urban communities.

Old friend microbes are still there, but we have lost contact with them due to lifestyle and public health changes over the past two centuries. Improved water quality, sanitation and urban cleanliness have massively reduced infectious disease, but inadvertently deprived us of exposure to these microbes. Changes in microbial content of food, less breastfeeding, more caesarean sections, urban rather than rural living and increased antibiotic use have also reduced early life old friends interaction.

Will relaxing hygiene reverse the trend in allergies?

No. We now know that relaxing hygiene will not reunite us with our old friends, but carries the risk of increased exposure to other microbes that can cause old and new diseases. Because it was originally called the “hygiene” hypothesis, and because the terms hygiene and cleanliness are used interchangeably, people often assume that “being less clean” implies being less particular about hygiene.

At the same time that allergies have increased, the threats of global pandemics and antibiotic resistance have increased, and hygiene is key to containing these threats. Protecting against infection is not about how clean our homes look or how often we shower, it’s what we do to stop germs spreading.

By using “targeted” hygiene practices such as hand washing, food safety and toilet hygiene, while encouraging everyday interactions with our microbial world we maximise protection against infection, while maintaining exposure to old friends.

Are synthetic chemicals linked to rising allergies?

No. Excessive use of cleaning and personal care products and antibacterials is sometimes said to be linked to allergies because it deprives us of microbial exposure. Antibacterial products are perceived to exacerbate this. However, because evidence suggests that general day-to-day home cleaning has no impact on microbial levels, it is unlikely to impact on our human microbiome. By contrast targeted disinfectant use, for example while preparing food, can reduce infection risks.

Many people believe that “man-made” chemicals are more likely to cause allergic reactions, leading to many synthetic substances in products being replaced by “natural alternatives”. However, the most common allergic reactions are to naturally occurring allergens, in foods such as eggs, milk and nuts, in common garden plants such as primroses and chrysanthemums, and things in the environment such as pollen, dust mites and pet dander. Some natural replacements for synthetic substances could actually increase the risk of allergic reactions.

This article originally appeared on The Conversation.

Related links:

8 kitchen cupboard cures for common ailments

Why calorie counting is a waste of time

Top 10 health worries when you’re 60-plus (and how to beat them)

Joel Callen

News

Mon, 1 Jun, 2015

People with hearing loss suffer in silence

People with hearing loss suffer in silence

More than half of Australians with hearing difficulties have done nothing about their condition, a Newspoll survey commissioned by Cochlear has found.

Around one in five Australians suffer from some form of hearing impairment, which not only makes it difficult to communicate with others but can increase your risk of loneliness and depression as well as damage relationships with friends and family.

However, a survey of more than 1,200 adults found that 52 per cent of those suffering hearing loss have not doing anything about their impairments. Of those, 40 per cent had not even consulted a doctor or health professional.

This is despite the fact that 72 per cent of people said they struggled in noisy environments, a quarter said their working life was affected and nearly half of people reported hearing loss adversely impacted interactions with friends and family.

Professor Graeme Clark, who created the cochlear implant for moderately to profoundly deaf people, told the Sydney Morning Herald that many people were embarrassed by their condition.

“It's obvious that the stigma of hearing loss still has a major impact on people's quality of life, but it must be remembered that hearing loss affects people of all ages, from newborns to elderly people – and there's nothing to be ashamed of,” he said.

So if you’ve got hearing loss, please don’t suffer in silence. Get your ears checked so you can live life to the fullest. 

Michelle Reed

News

Fri, 22 Jan, 2016

Orange chilli marmalade

Orange chilli marmalade

Chili peppers intensify the citrus flavour and add zest to this unique marmalade. Use it to add sparkle to cheese trays or serve as a condiment with coconut-battered shrimp. And don't forget toast – it makes the traditional something special.

Makes: About 2kg

Ingredients:

  • 1kg Valencia oranges (unpeeled), seeded and thinly sliced
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 dried habanero chili peppers (or 6 dried Colorado or New Mexico chili peppers)
  • 9 cups granulated sugar
  • 8 half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands
Method:

1. Combine oranges, lemon zest and juice and water in a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes. Add chili peppers, partially cover and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until fruit is very soft, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard chili peppers.

2. Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

3. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Maintaining boil, gradually stir in sugar. Boil hard, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches gel stage, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and test gel. If gel stage has been reached, skim off foam.

4. Ladle hot marmalade into hot jars leaving 5mm headspace. Wipe rim. Centre lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight.

5. Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when centre is pressed.

Recipe courtesy of Jarden Home Brands, the makers of Ball preserving products. Visit their website here. 

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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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Thu, 11 Jun, 2020

Frank surprise at dilapidated Sydney house on market for $3.6 million

Frank surprise at dilapidated Sydney house on market for $3.6 million

A dilapidated house with missing floorboards and a collapsed ceiling has been marketed in Sydney for $3.6 million.

Located in Darlinghurst’s Surrey Street on a 280sqm site, the five-bedroom property was described as “a true blank canvas”.

The online listing from agent BresicWhitney read: “The sprawling residence is a rare chance to craft your dream home from a piece of Inner Sydney history.”

The house was last sold in 1990, according to Domain.

The listing has been met with raised eyebrows, with one woman joking on Twitter that buyers should not expect to have “a floor AND a ceiling” amid the economic downturn.

“It’s going to be beautiful after someone spends $1.5m rebuilding it,” one wrote.

Another person wrote on Reddit: “It shocks me how many run down places in Sydney there are... All million dollar run downs, it’s crazy.”

However, others pointed out that the land size and the location would be worth the price.

“Five bedrooms with a courtyard and two-car garage in the middle of Darlinghurst. Yeah, $3.6m is about right,” one commented.

“Yeah it’s bloody expensive. But what do you expect to pay in the centre of the biggest city just a few minutes’ walk from the CBD … People are paying that much for houses of that size in the ‘burbs.”

Sydney ranks among the top three least affordable housing markets in the world alongside Hong Kong and Vancouver, according to the 15th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey.

Michelle Reed

News

Fri, 8 Jan, 2016

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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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

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.

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.

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Melody Teh

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Fri, 20 Jan, 2017

75-year-old woman miraculously wakes up after being taken off life support

75-year-old woman miraculously wakes up after being taken off life support

A 75-year-old woman has miraculously woken up after being taken off life support, stunning both her doctors and family.

It was only two months ago that Eloise Barnette's family had made the difficult decision to take the grandmother-of-two and great-grandmother-of-three off life support. She had been lying unresponsive in an Ohio hospital for four weeks.

But two days after Eloise was taken off life support, to everyone’s astonishment, she woke up.

“Everybody's definition of miracles are different, but it's a miracle to me because I've never seen it happen,” Dr Matt Wooten, Eloise's lead physician, told NBC4.

Tragic: Dale said Eloise was unresponsive one morning in October and rushed her to Mount Carmel West hospital. She had a fever of 104F

In October last year, Eloise's husband, Dale, was unable to wake her up in the morning. Eloise was rushed to hospital where one organ started failing after another. Doctors just could not figure out what was wrong. After lying in a coma for a month, her family decided to take her off the ventilator – but Eloise kept breathing.

Two days later, Dr Matt Wooten went to palliative care to check on his patient and to his surprise found Eloise with her eyes open.

“When I went down there, she opened her eyes and started talking to me. It really surprised me,” Dr Wooten said.

Eloise believes her recovery is a “miracle”. She told NBC4: “They didn't see any chance of me coming out of this and they thought it would be best to just let me go.

“I have a lot of fight in me and it keeps me going.”

Doctors still do not know how Eloise made such an astonishing recovery. 

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Thu, 19 Sep, 2019

Right Royal cuppa: The Buckingham Palace builder who gave his tea order to The Queen by mistake

 Right Royal cuppa: The Buckingham Palace builder who gave his tea order to The Queen by mistake

A builder got more than he bargained for after putting in a request for tea.

The workman was dismantling a desk at Buckingham Palace and was out of view when a “well-spoken” woman asked if he wanted some tea.

According to The Sun, he replied: “Yeah. In a mug. Two sugars. Builders’ tea.

“I don’t want any of that nonsense I had the last time I was here, all that fine china and all that saucer stuff.”

The woman returned and said: “I’ve put your tea on the table here.”

The builder looked up and saw the Queen leaving the room.

Little did the builder know that the woman he had spoken to was the Queen.

The story is told in Channel 5’s four-part series Secrets of the Royal Palaces by Kevin Andrews, the Queen Mother’s upholsterer.

Former palace chef Darren McGardey has previously said that the Queen’s favourite way to have tea is Twinings Earl Grey tea with a splash of milk and no sugar.

Twinings has had a long association with the monarchy, as they’ve had a royal warrant since 1837.

Royal butler Grant Harrold shared more light in 2018 on the Queen’s tea habits. Apparently she favours Earl Grey and Assam.

"I am sure the Queen enjoys her [tea] the traditional way, made with tea leaves in a teapot and poured into a fine bone china teacup. She will also use a strainer," he said, according to Nine Honey.

Melody Teh

News

Thu, 11 Feb, 2016

5 great cardio alternatives to running

5 great cardio alternatives to running

We’re not all born athletes, and we’re certainly not all born runners. Many people may find running particularly un-enjoyable for a variety of reasons, ranging from their body type to their attention span.

Here are five great alternative cardio options that you can try instead:

1. Swimming

Swimming not only works entire body, including being great for your core, but is non-impact thus reducing risk of injury. In fact this is a go to for when you’re injured. Mix things up and do different strokes every two to four laps alternating between freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly and so on. Kickboards will also really work your legs and core and help to create variety in your session. Aim for at 20-30min of non-stop swimming and you'll definitely feel your heart and breathing rate go up.

2. Boxing

Whether you take a class or do some work on the bag by yourself, boxing is a great cardio choice. It’s also a form of resistance training that will also strengthen and tone your entire body. If you're not sure what to do, join a boxing class or gym for a few ideas and combine bodyweight drills such as skipping, high knees and kicks to break up the punching.

3. Skipping

So simple yet so effective, skipping is not just for schoolkids. In fact, jumping rope is a great form of cardio training. Alternate what you do, go for fast speed skips intervals with short easy skipping in between. High knees, side-to-side jumps, double-unders and so on – all of which work your cardiovascular system as well as coordination and agility skills. You will also feel your core working and your posture straighten up simply by staying up tall and engaging your abs as you jump.

4. HIIT (high intensity interval training)

HIIT style training is taking off in a big way because of its ability to combine multiple modes of training into an awesome metabolic session (meaning you torch a bunch of calories during and after your session). To make an HIIT style session more cardio based, simply choose cardio and plyometric drills (i.e. rowing, high knees, squat jumps, skips, skaters etc) that you can do high reps for short bursts with little rests in between. Keep your heart rate up throughout by going for max efforts of high reps in the short intervals and keep the rests in between short so you stay in that cardio zone.

5. Hill or sand sprints

Okay so this is still kind of running. However, you can break up the idea of a long, boring run into shorter sprint intervals. Not only do you make it more achievable but you also will get a more metabolic effect from your workout (again think mega calorie burn and great for building lean strong muscle). Choose distances that are doable on your end (anywhere from 80m-200m) and go for 10-15 sprints with either standing rest or jog back as recovery.

First appeared on Stuff.co.nz 

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Melody Teh

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Thu, 19 Jan, 2017

101-year-old woman reveals secret to long life

101-year-old woman reveals secret to long life

Eunice Modlin of Boonville, Indiana, celebrated her 101st birthday this week, and her secret to a long life is something everyone can get behind.

The great-grandmother says she eats two pieces of dark chocolate every day – which is a lot of chocolate! Eunice also says keeping busy in old age is important as well, but so is taking a nap.

While we’d like to believe that chocolate is the secret to the long life, we think Eunice’s longevity has more to do with her healthy habits throughout her life.

Her son Lonnie Modlin revealed Eunice "never drank any alcohol, never smoked a cigarette and [ate] good, good food from her garden."

Happy birthday, Eunice! We hope you enjoy many more pieces of dark chocolate. 

Video source: Eyewitness News WEHT WTVW

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Ben Squires

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Fri, 21 Oct, 2016

Coral expert debunks Great Barrier Reef myths

Coral expert debunks Great Barrier Reef myths

Perhaps you've heard that the epic, 2200km-long Great Barrier Reef in Australia has died.

Perhaps you've read that on Thursday the Australian government released it's report card giving the state of the reef a D for the fifth year in a row.

Perhaps you've read its obituary by writer Rowan Jacobsen on the website Outside Online.

But before you start mourning the loss of what Jacobsen calls "one of the most spectacular features on the planet," the community of scientists that study coral reefs in the Pacific Ocean would like you to hold up, slow down, and take a deep breath.

The news isn't good, but it may not be as dire as the obituary may have you believe.

"For those of us in the business of studying and understanding what coral resilience means, the article very much misses the mark," said Kim Cobb, a professor in Georgia Tech's School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

"It's not too late for the Great Barrier Reef, and people who think that have a really profound misconception about what we know and don't know about coral resilience."

Cobb spoke to us about the state of the world's largest reef system, and why there is reason for both concern and hope.

Q: Is the Great Barrier Reef dead?

No. It's not. We just had a massive bleaching event, but we know from past research that corals are able to recover from the brink of death.

Q: So bleached corals aren't dead corals?

That's right. There's lots of confusion about what bleaching means.

Coral is an animal, and the animal exists in symbiosis with photosynthetic algae. The algae provides food for the coral in exchange for a great home. But when the water gets too warm, the algae become chemically destructive to the coral.

When that happens, the coral convulses and spits out puffs of algae to protect itself.

That removes all the colour from the coral tissue which is transparent, allowing you to see right through to the underlying skeleton.

So you are not necessarily seeing dead coral, you're really just seeing clear coral without its algae.

Q: But bleaching is still bad, right?

Bleaching events are worrisome because if the coral misses this key food source from the algae for too long it will literally starve to death.

But, if the water temperature comes back down, it will welcome the algae back. The key is that the water temperature change has to be relatively quick.

When was the massive bleaching event?

It started with the Hawaiian Islands bleaching in the early part of 2015 due to a moderate El Nino event in 2014-2015.

After that there was the build up to the massive El Nino that culminated in the warmest ocean waters during the November 2015 time frame.

Unfortunately, these warm waters didn't release their grip on many of the Pacific reefs until the spring of 2016, so that's nine months of pretty consistently high temperatures.

That is a long time for a coral to be in a mode of starvation.

Has the Great Barrier Reef been through anything like this before?

It has had very severe bleaching events associated with large El Ninos like we had last year, but the problem is we are seeing baseline ocean temperatures getting warmer every year.

When you pile a strong El Nino on top of this ever warming trend, you get more extreme and more prolonged bleaching episodes.

What was striking about this year was the extent of the damage.

It was staggering.

By important metrics the '97-'98 El Nino was bigger, but the damage from this last one was far more extensive.

So how can you remain hopeful about the fate of Great Barrier Reef and other reefs in the Pacific?

I work on a research site in the Christmas Islands that is literally smack in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and which was much more devastated than the Great Barrier Reef.

It was worse off than any reef in the world with up to 85 per cent mortality. But even in the face of that whole-scale destruction, we saw individual corals that were still alive, looking like nothing had happened.

I cling to that. I know from my own site that there is a lot more resilience baked into the system then we can hope to understand right now and that out of the rubble will come a reef that may not look exactly like it looked before, but may be better adapted for future temperature change.

It kind of sounds like an awesome research opportunity.

You better believe it. This is a window into the future of global reefs. It's a great natural laboratory.

Written by Deborah Netburn. First appeared on Stuff.co.nz

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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.

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Melody Teh

News

Thu, 11 Feb, 2016

5 great cardio alternatives to running

5 great cardio alternatives to running

We’re not all born athletes, and we’re certainly not all born runners. Many people may find running particularly un-enjoyable for a variety of reasons, ranging from their body type to their attention span.

Here are five great alternative cardio options that you can try instead:

1. Swimming

Swimming not only works entire body, including being great for your core, but is non-impact thus reducing risk of injury. In fact this is a go to for when you’re injured. Mix things up and do different strokes every two to four laps alternating between freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly and so on. Kickboards will also really work your legs and core and help to create variety in your session. Aim for at 20-30min of non-stop swimming and you'll definitely feel your heart and breathing rate go up.

2. Boxing

Whether you take a class or do some work on the bag by yourself, boxing is a great cardio choice. It’s also a form of resistance training that will also strengthen and tone your entire body. If you're not sure what to do, join a boxing class or gym for a few ideas and combine bodyweight drills such as skipping, high knees and kicks to break up the punching.

3. Skipping

So simple yet so effective, skipping is not just for schoolkids. In fact, jumping rope is a great form of cardio training. Alternate what you do, go for fast speed skips intervals with short easy skipping in between. High knees, side-to-side jumps, double-unders and so on – all of which work your cardiovascular system as well as coordination and agility skills. You will also feel your core working and your posture straighten up simply by staying up tall and engaging your abs as you jump.

4. HIIT (high intensity interval training)

HIIT style training is taking off in a big way because of its ability to combine multiple modes of training into an awesome metabolic session (meaning you torch a bunch of calories during and after your session). To make an HIIT style session more cardio based, simply choose cardio and plyometric drills (i.e. rowing, high knees, squat jumps, skips, skaters etc) that you can do high reps for short bursts with little rests in between. Keep your heart rate up throughout by going for max efforts of high reps in the short intervals and keep the rests in between short so you stay in that cardio zone.

5. Hill or sand sprints

Okay so this is still kind of running. However, you can break up the idea of a long, boring run into shorter sprint intervals. Not only do you make it more achievable but you also will get a more metabolic effect from your workout (again think mega calorie burn and great for building lean strong muscle). Choose distances that are doable on your end (anywhere from 80m-200m) and go for 10-15 sprints with either standing rest or jog back as recovery.

First appeared on Stuff.co.nz 

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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.

Georgia Dixon

News

Mon, 24 Oct, 2016

10 easy ways to relax and boost your intelligence

10 easy ways to relax and boost your intelligence

It can be oh-so tempting to kick back with a glass of wine and your favourite TV show at the end of the day, but as relaxing as this might be, it isn’t exactly doing wonders for your mental – or physical – health. Bright Side has come up with 10 ingenious ways to help you unwind AND become smarter at the same time.

Sound good? Take a look at their ideas above and tell us in the comments, what do you do to relax at the end of the day?

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Georgia Dixon

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Fri, 21 Oct, 2016

The easy-peasy guide to exercise as you age

The easy-peasy guide to exercise as you age

Sitting and lying down are classified as “sedentary” behaviours. You can be sedentary while watching television, driving your car or even whilst sitting down at a table with your laptop.

Leading integrative cardiologist Dr Ross Walker warns that “Physical inactivity as a result of a sedentary lifestyle can lead to something known as ‘disuse syndrome’, which may include conditions and illnesses such as premature ageing, obesity, cardiovascular vulnerability, musculoskeletal fragility, and depression”. In fact, every additional hour a day you spend sitting is linked to doubling the risk of being disabled.

The simple way to avoid becoming sedentary is by making sure that the level of activity you are doing is sufficient. You may think that simply going for a long stroll from the couch to the biscuit aisle at the corner shop will do the trick. However, Dr Walker explains that this isn’t quite enough.

“Low intensity exercises such as gardening and walking are definitely great to include into your daily routine, but you should not rely on these alone to alleviate risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle.”

To ensure that you are getting enough exercise, Dr Ross advises that you need to incorporate a “moderate intensity” activity into your daily routine, for at least 30 minutes. Absolute moderate intensity has been defined by the Victorian government health guidelines as any activity that expends three-and-a-half to seven calories per minute.

Here, we breakdown some ways that you can ensure you meet this target, and ones that don’t pounding the pavement. The Illinois Wellness Centre has suggested some activities that are not normally what we think of as moderate exercise, but can be used to expend the necessary calories.

Since calorie expenditure will vary according to different individual’s fitness levels, we also share easy ways that you can measure your exertion, to make sure you are hitting the level you need to. These methods from the Victorian Government's Better Health Channel make it a whole lot easier than you might think.

1. Go for a walk and talk in the park

Walking is a great way to improve and maintain your overall health, especially when done a tad more vigorously. Grab yourself a walking buddy and head down to your nearest oval, park, or even just a quiet street. Or, talk on the phone (as long as you are in a safe area). To make sure you are exercising at moderate intensity, use “the talk test” to monitor your exertion by taking note of these simple signs:

  • If you can talk and sing without puffing at all, you’re exercising at a low level.
  • If you can comfortably talk, but not sing, you’re doing moderate intensity activity. This is where you want to be!
  • If you can’t say more than a few words without gasping for breath, you’re exercising at a vigorous intensity.
2. Do the housework

Doing the housework can be a real bother, but it can also do you a world of good. Next time your dusting, vacuuming or just generally tidying, you can take you pulse to help you turn chores into exercise. Taking your pulse at regular intervals lets you know whether you are exercising within your target heart rate range. You can do this easily by locating the radial pulse on your inside wrist. Take your pulse before you start cleaning and then again when you’ve been cleaning for about five to 10 minutes. Continue taking your pulse at regular intervals.

To take your pulse:

  • Put the first three fingers of one hand against the inner wrist of the other hand just below the thumb.
  • Lightly press your fingers into the hollow next to the tendon on the thumb-side – your artery lies just beneath the skin.
  • Using a watch with a second hand, count your pulse for 15 seconds. Multiply this figure by four to get your beats per minute. (For example, 31 pulse beats over 15 seconds equals a pulse rate of 124 beats per minute.)
Your heart rate target range may need to be professionally recalculated to take your health and general fitness into account, but the general rule is as below. Always remember that medications and environmental factors can affect this, and read all the info on the Better Health Channel to find out exactly how to use this method in detail.

  • Age 60 to 65: 80 to 112 beats per minute
  • Age 60-plus: 78 to 109 beats per minute
3. Play with the grandchildren

Running around after the little ones in the back yard can be healthy as well as fun, if you keep your calorie expenditure in the right zone. Next time you’re tickling, picking up or playing with toy trucks, take a moment to measure your activity using the exertion rating scale. To keep within a moderate intensity, aim to experience the exercise signs three to seven in the chart below.

Exertion Table

Chart from Better Health Channel.

What ways do you exercise that don’t feel like work? Let us know in the comments below.

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Alex O'Brien

News

Thu, 19 May, 2016

A broken heart can be deadly

A broken heart can be deadly

We’ve all the heard the phrase “died from a broken heart” but up until recently this was thought to be a euphemism. Recent research however has indicated that the concept of a “broken heart” may not just be a turn of phrase but an actual medical reaction that can be hazardous for your health.

The research, carried out in Denmark, examined data on nearly one million people and was commissioned to investigate the phenomenon of people dying soon after their life partner. Several studies, along with strong anecdotal evidence had indicated that grieving spouses have a higher risk of dying from heart disease and strike but why that was the case was unclear.

The study carried out by Aarhus University specifically examined whether bereaved partners were more likely than others to develop atrial fibrillation, the most common type of irregular heartbeat and a risk factor for stroke and heart failure. The data indicated an elevated risk, lasting approximately 12 months, of developing a heart flutter after the death of a partner. Those under 60 whose partners died unexpectedly were most at risk, being twice as likely to develop problems.

While the findings indicate a strong correlation between death of a loved one and the onset of serious health problems, the research team cautioned that no conclusions can be drawn as to cause and effect as the study was observational in nature, looking at data correlations. It certainly raises some interesting questions however as to the validity of “broken hearted” syndrome.

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ronit

News

Tue, 11 Aug, 2015

6 natural remedies for tired eyes

6 natural remedies for tired eyes

Thanks to all the technology screens we’re surrounded by, a frequent problem of modern life is tired eyes. Symptoms include puffiness, heaviness in eyes, a burning sensation, irritation and redness of the eyes. While getting more shut eye is the best remedy, if you can’t always fit extra in here are six natural ways to soothe those exhausted peepers.

  1. Place two spoons in freezer and when cold, place them under the eyes to reduce puffiness.
  2. Contrary to popular belief, cucumbers don’t have anti-inflammatory properties. However there round shape and the fact they’re made up of mostly water make cucumber slices a great ice pack for tired eyes. Just place chilled cucumber atop of eyelids.
  3. If your eyes are feeling particularly swollen, grab a bag of frozen peas and place over eyes (but make sure there’s a cloth between the two).
  4. The fat in whole milk is one of the most soothing properties for your eyes. Dip a cotton ball into cold milk, squeeze out excess liquid and place over eyelids.
  5. A simple cold-water compress will often solve most eye troubles. Immerse a washcloth into icy water and place over face until cloth warms.
  6. The antioxidants in tea are great for soothing tired eyes and reducing swelling. Squeeze out excess liquid from used teabags and place in freezer until cold. Pop onto eyelids for around 10 minutes or until warm.

Danielle McCarthy

News

Tue, 14 Nov, 2017

Why turning 70 really p*ssed me off

Why turning 70 really p*ssed me off

David Finchley is the pen name of fiction writer David Freilich. He has published six books and during the day works as a Consultant Neurologist in private practice. His books are available in hard copy and as e-books.

Turning 70 really pissed me off. I apologise for my choice of language but I could not think of a more polite term to express how I felt.

Forty, 50 and 60 didn’t bother me, not one bit. Seventy did, big time. I tried to work out why and finally came to the conclusion that it was the number itself, 70. I am not a religious person but I did remember a phrase from the Bible, ‘”The days of our years are three score and ten…” That must have been it. Somewhere embedded in my subconscious was that number, 70, the number of years we are allocated to be on this earth.

I wanted to check whether I had remembered the phrase correctly and looked it up on the Internet, the modern version of the Bible. It is Psalm 90:10 and it reads as follows.

“The days of our years are three score and ten and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off and we fly away.”

I had only remembered the first part, hence the 70. I understood the second part, if we were strong enough, presumably meaning healthy enough, we would live another ten years, to 80. But what did the rest mean?

Once again, the Internet came to the rescue and the explanation was no cause for cheer. The extra years, if we managed to live them, are ‘but labour and sorrow,’ in other words, shithouse (again, excuse my language), so much so that we long to escape to death,’ to fly away.’

If I thought I was pissed before, how do you think I felt now?

But wait a moment, I told myself. We don’t live in Biblical times, we live in the modern world with modern medicine that enables us to live longer and healthier lives. What do they say, 70 is the new 50, 80 the new 60 and so on.

Bullshit! (Apologies yet again).

The fact is that after the age of 70, illness and death loom larger with each passing year. Who doesn’t know someone who is seriously ill and others who have died. The odds of dying or becoming very ill shorten every single day. If I was to be completely honest with myself, it is the fear of death that is the main reason that turning 70 really pissed me off.

This is not a new fear, I am sure it is a fear we have always had. It’s just that past the age of 70 that fear becomes more acute and the reality of dying no longer seems far away.

This is all very depressing but it should not be allowed to dominate the years post the age of 70, the phase of life that I would like to call the homestretch. The term comes from horseracing, it is the part of the racecourse between the last turn and the finishing post. It also refers to the final part of an activity, such as “it was a long, tough campaign but we are finally in the homestretch.”

That’s what life is, a long, tough campaign. Life wasn’t meant to be easy is an often quoted saying. And it isn’t. Life is full of trials and tribulations, disappointments, heartache and tragedy, with only a sprinkling of happiness, never enough of that.

But by the age of 70, that is all behind you. Your job or career is over or nearly so. If you’re not in the 40 per cent of divorced couples then you are still married, happily or otherwise. You’ve raised your children and hopefully enjoyed the pleasure of grandchildren. You are either rich or poor or somewhere in between. Nothing much is going to change for you from now on.

You are in the homestretch but unlike in racing or completing a task or activity, reaching the finishing line is not something that you’re anxious to do. You want that finishing line to be as far away as possible.

If the Biblical psalm is correct, then your homestretch amounts to another 10 years. If medical science comes to your aid then it could be longer, much longer. The challenge is how to make the most of that time, however long it turns out to be.

Can I offer some suggestions, only two, really. The first is, “chill out”, as young people are fond of saying. Or, if I can quote from the book by Richard Carlson, “Don’t sweat the small stuff… And it’s all small stuff.” It is a book that tells you how to keep the little things in life from driving you crazy. Strictly speaking that is something we should be doing at all ages but we don’t. We let the little things drive us crazy, time and time again, even though we know they shouldn’t. We fail to put things into perspective. We may have failed when we were younger but now, at this time of our lives, we have to make every effort to succeed. If not now, then when?

The second suggestion is that it is time, at last, to put yourself first. You’ve done the hard yards. You’ve brought up your family, sacrificed for them and often put their needs ahead of yours. I’m not for a moment suggesting that you should no longer be there to give support, emotional, financial, whatever. But by now your kids are in their forties, most likely, way old enough to look after themselves, to make their own decisions and wear the consequences.

You should be concentrating on those things that make you happy, assuming you can still remember what they are.

Husbands and wives should reconnect with each other. You may no longer have the bodies or the physiology of your youth but there are many ways that a loving relationship can still be fulfilling at any age.

Go to good restaurants, drink good wine, enjoy expensive Scotch. Ladies, pamper yourselves- clothes, hair, trips to the spa, whatever it takes. Travel, take a cruise, splurge on business class seats if you can afford them.

I don’t doubt your kids would be horrified to see their inheritance dwindling. I’m not suggesting you spend it all, just enough to make your lives happier, to make the homestretch, however long it lasts, as pleasant as possible.

If you have to go, then go out with a bang!

Michelle Reed

News

Fri, 17 Jul, 2015

Understanding super fees

Understanding super fees

Every super fund will charge you fees for the services they provide. Some may charge less than others, and super funds that have lower fees will build your savings faster. But is that really all there is?

Main types of fees

Fees are usually deducted from your account at the end of the month, or when an action is taken. They can either be a dollar amount or a percentage of the money in your account. Usually you’ll be paying for:

  • Member fees – the normal administration fees that cover the costs of keeping your super account.
  • Management or investment management fees – these can vary depending on the different investment options used for managing your money.
  • Contribution fees – covers the administration expenses of getting and investing your contributions.
  • Adviser service fees – any personal advice provided about your super and investments are charged here. Your adviser may also get a commission if they’ve recommended certain investments to you.
  • Insurance premiums – you can usually choose to lower or increase the level of cover based on your needs.
The best way to tell if you are paying too much is to compare your fees with other superannuation products that provide similar services. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) provides a Superannuation Calculator that will help you compare.

Choose a fund with lower fees. Even the difference of 1 per cent in fees will add up decades from now and eat into your investment money.

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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.

Over60

News

Wed, 4 Mar, 2020

Unbelievable! Airline offers UNLIMITED flights for $181

Unbelievable! Airline offers UNLIMITED flights for $181

Malaysian long-haul carrier AirAsia X unveiled their new AirAsia Unlimited Pass which will allow anyone who purchases it for 499 MYR (AU$181) to be able to fly as much as they’d like for one year. 

The worldwide coronavirus outbreak has halted International travel to the ground but AirAsia X’s incredible offer has been introduced as a way to combat the downturn of business. 

"This is unprecedented," the airline’s Malaysia chief Benyamin Ismail said.

"Travelling is still very safe as long as everyone travels responsibly and is kept updated by World Health Organisation (WHO) or respective government’s travel advice."

AirAsiaX flies between Australia, Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, China and India. Singapore, Bali and Jeddah, also in AirAsia X's network, are excluded from the offer.

Unfortunately, the new promotion is only available to Malaysian members of AirAsia's loyalty program.

The incredible AirAsia pass will last until 2 March 2021. 

The holder still has to pay any government taxes and fees for their flights, which must be booked at least 14 days in advance.

"As the travel period spans across one full year, AirAsia Unlimited Pass holders can decide when best to travel and choose between exploring all available destinations or keep going back to the same favourite location over and over again in different seasons," Ismail said.

Over60

News

Wed, 15 Jul, 2020

Carrie Bickmore's most embarrassing mum story wins, pants down

Carrie Bickmore's most embarrassing mum story wins, pants down

The Project’s Carrie Bickmore may have taken the top spot for most “embarrassing mum” story of all time – as she revealed she once answered the door with no pants on to one of her son’s friends.

Sharing the hilarious story with panellists Waleed Aly, Peter Helliar and Rachel Corbett on Wednesday night, the host had her colleagues in stitches as she recalled the moment she thought her 12-year-old son had come to the front door after forgetting something for school.

It came as the host sympathised with those who are currently quarantined after ACT Police warned them to “pop on some pants before they answer the door.”

“Being home in the nude is fine but honestly, legitimate question, not just in the cold, who is answering their door without putting something on?” an alarmed Rachel Corbett had asked her co-stars, before Peter Helliar ratted his co-star out.

“’I’ve said this before on this show … accidentally once,” Carrie replied.

“I thought it was Ollie coming back from school, he left for school and I was heavily pregnant and went to have a shower and I heard the gate click and saw a school kid in uniform, and I thought it was Ollie and I said, what have you forgotten, and it wasn’t him, it was one of his mates,” she went on, laughing.

But it gets worse, with the star going on to share that she continued to stand there, pantless, chatting to her son’s friend.

“I didn’t want to make it awkward, so I asked how he was going!” she said, adding: “We get along well, he can have a laugh about it.”

Courtney Allan

News

Wed, 24 Apr, 2019

Showbiz couple split after Todd McKenny exposes secret

Showbiz couple split after Todd McKenny exposes secret

Simon Gallaher and his wife of 32 years, Lisa, have split up following Todd McKenny’s bombshell reveal on the Word for Word podcast.

Todd revealed that his ex-boyfriend, who is Simon, went onto marry his sister, Lisa – and admitted that it was “weird”.

“She married my ex-boyfriend … so we have a weird relationship,” Todd confessed on the podcast.

“She married my ex-boyfriend and is still married to my ex-boyfriend but just has never mentioned it to me. It’s weird isn’t it? I don’t think I’ve ever spoken about it publicly.”

Todd revealed this late last year and since the bombshell has been dropped, Simon and Lisa have parted ways.

Entertainment reporter Peter Ford broke the story on Wednesday this and confirmed it on 6PR Breakfast.

“It took a very, very big toll on Simon and on Lisa, and I’ve confirmed this (with) Simon himself; Simon went into a very dark place ...” Ford said.

“He and Lisa have split up.”

Simon confirmed to news.com.au that the relationship has ended.

On the podcast, Todd said that he and Simon dated for five years but was unaware that his ex was with his sister until he was told by fellow performers.

“I remember I was doing Cats and there was a newspaper banner outside the newsagency, and it said, ‘Simon’s love child,’” Todd said on the podcast.

“I didn’t know anything about that but I got into my dressing room and the other guys in the show said, ‘What about Simon and Lisa?’ And I went, ‘Which Simon?’ They said, ‘Simon Gallaher.’ I said, ‘Lisa who?’ And they said, ‘Your sister!’

“I went, ‘What?!’ I didn’t even know they knew each other.”

After the podcast went live, Simon lashed out at Todd on Facebook, calling him a “headline whore” and reaffirmed his love for Todd’s sister, Lisa.

“Todd McKenney is a Headline Whore. Shame on him. His sister on the other hand is the love of my life and wife of over 31 years. I love her to the end of the world,” Simon wrote.

Lisa also made her feelings known by lashing out at her brother on Facebook. She wrote, “Oh I’m okay, my brother is being a douchebag … We all have to just duck the fallout now.”

Simon and Lisa were together for 32 years before splitting up.

Ben Squires

News

Wed, 2 Mar, 2016

Jean Harlow’s timeless style tips

Jean Harlow’s timeless style tips

Known as the “Blonde Bombshell”, this sex symbol of the silver screen was known for her elegant, curve hugging gowns and a slinky attitude to match. She was the platinum blonde that paved the way for Marilyn Monroe.

She famously claimed not to wear under garments so as not to spoil the lines of her dresses and personified classic glamour and cheeky, old world charm.

Taken at only 26, Jean Harlow had a full life ahead of her that ended in sudden tragedy. In her short time however, she imparted her impeccable sense of character and flair on the world. Here are some of the starlet’s lasting beauty and style tips below. Scroll through the gallery above to see some of our favourite pictures of her. 

“I’d rather have a few dresses of very fine material, than a whole closetful of fussy cheap looking things.”

“You have to have faith in your clothes, just as you have to have faith in yourself, to be successful in dressing.”

"Personally, I dislike a made-up look. I never wear mascara unless my screen work demands it. I use only powder and lipstick."

"I believe too much make-up is bad for women who prefer a healthy, natural complexion. Every woman knows what make-up she desires, and she should deal with it judiciously."

"There are no tricks to the care of my hair at all. I use castile soap and shampoo it like everyone else might do. I never use a rinse. I shampoo it every four days, but I rub hot castor oil into my scalp before every shampoo."

"Of course, we use different make-up for our screen work than we do in our personal lives. The same thing applies to clothes. Clothes and make-up are always a part of characterization. You must adapt yourself to the character you are portraying on the screen. That is the reason they call us actresses and actors." 

Related links:

Our favourite Elizabeth Taylor looks

11 fabulous over 60 models

Judi Dench’s most stylish moments

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

Tue, 28 Jun, 2016

The trick to washing hair more effectively

The trick to washing hair more effectively

Nobody is perfect, but the latest word on the humble art of shampooing seems to suggest that we humans are incapable of getting anything right.

Just when you thought you wouldn't possibly require a tutorial on how to wash your hair, a haircare expert has come out to tell us just that.

According to Janis McNicholas – whose authority on the subject probably lies somewhere within her impressive title of Scientific Regional Trainer for French haircare brand Klorane – your go-to method of squeezing shampoo onto your palm and applying the dollop straight into your hair is the wrong approach.

This technique uses up more shampoo than necessary, which can result in limp hair. The vigorous foaming also puts wet hair at risk of damage.

So what's the correct way to get our locks cleaned? Here are the steps, as told by McNicholas to Huffington Post Australia.

  1. Rinse your hair with lukewarm water. Apply a tiny amount of shampoo into the palm of your hand.
  2. Rub your hands vigorously together, distributing the shampoo onto the fingers while keeping the majority on the palms.
  3. Beginning at the back of your neck, push fingers through the scalp, combining in the centre, keeping palms off and away from the scalp.
  4. Rub hands again, distributing more product onto your fingers and work the product from the fingers through the crown.
  5. Repeat the process moving forward to towards the forehead.
  6. Once the product has been distributed through the scalp, start at the nape and very gently massage the scalp in circular motions. Do not do this this too vigorously.
  7. The lather of the shampoo can then be 'raked' or distributed through the mid lengths and the ends of the hair using your fingertips.
  8. Rinse well.
According to McNicholas the eight-step hair wash procedure would ensure a squeaky-clean scalp and would require less shampoo too.

"Many people have an oily t-zone and that doesn't just stop at the hairline, it extends to the scalp. As the scalp is an extension of the skin, it is important to remove impurities, dry skin build up and sebaceous oil," said McNicholas to Huffington Post Australia.

To condition your hair, use the same method, but apply the conditioner to the mid lengths rather than the scalp.

Will you give this new method a try? Let us know in the comments below.

First appeared on Stuff.co.nz.

Related links:

Hair care secrets from an 81-year-old fashion blogger

Tips for dealing with scalp sensitivity and dandruff

How to cut your shower time in half

Over60

News

Fri, 5 Jun, 2020

Are your grandkids using headphones more during the pandemic? Here’s how to protect their ears

Are your grandkids using headphones more during the pandemic? Here’s how to protect their ears

During the coronavirus pandemic, have your kids been using headphones more than usual? Maybe for remote schooling, video chats with relatives, or for their favourite music and Netflix shows?

We have to be careful about both the volume and duration of headphone use. Listening too loudly or for too long can do permanent damage to hearing. The good news is there are ways to prevent long-term harm relatively easily.

Hearing loss in children may be increasing

Our hearing needs to be protected throughout life, because damage to hearing cannot be reversed. This is why we have workplace noise exposure standards and guidelines, which tell workers when to use protection such as earplugs or ear defenders.

Unfortunately though, hearing loss in children may be increasing. A study from last year, in which both of us were involved, reviewed the hearing of more than 3.3 million children from 39 countries across a 20-year period.

We found around 13% of children had measurable hearing loss by 18 years of age that may impact their ability to decipher sounds important for understanding speech. The study suggested hearing loss in kids is rising – but we don’t yet know why.

Not many studies have examined whether headphone use is directly linked to hearing loss in children. But in one study of 9-11-year-old Dutch children, where 14% had measurable hearing loss, around 40% reported using portable music devices with headphones. Could headphones be contributing? Possibly, but unfortunately we don’t know for sure, and more studies are needed.

How do we know whether our children’s hearing is being affected?

Adults typically first notice a hearing problem by struggling to hear higher-pitched sounds clearly. Sounds may seem muffled, or the ears may feel “blocked”, or they may notice a ringing or buzzing sound, called tinnitus.

Unlike adults, children won’t necessarily know how to describe these symptoms. Instead they may use terms they do know, like a bee buzzing, a whistle, or the wind blowing. Parents should treat any reported ear symptom as serious and get their child’s hearing tested. It’s best to visit a hearing clinic first, and then a GP if necessary, although this will depend on your location.

Excessive noise damages hearing

Our inner ear (cochlea) contains tiny hair cells, which change sounds we hear into electrical signals for our brain. These hair cells are finely tuned and are responsible for different pitches of sound, like keys on a piano.

Exposure to loud noise can damage these hair cells and perhaps the nerve that connects the cochlea to the brain. Repeated excessive noise exposure can lead to permanent hearing loss. Unfortunately, by the time someone experiences hearing problems, some irreversible damage has already happened.

What should we do to protect kids’ hearing?

The risk of hearing damage depends on both loudness and duration of sound exposure. Limiting both helps to reduce the risk of hearing damage.

Limiting loudness

We measure the loudness of sound in decibels (dB). But it’s important to note that the dB scale is logarithmic rather than linear. That means a 110dB sound (similar to a chainsaw) is actually much more than 10% louder than a 100dB sound. Parents can download free sound meter apps that help with understanding the volume of different environments and activities.

A more difficult task for parents is monitoring the loudness within their children’s headphones. Some headphones leak sounds out, while others insulate the sound into the ear. So a child using “leaky” headphones at a safe volume may appear to be listening to sounds that are too loud, but a child with tightly sealed headphones could be playing sounds at potentially damaging levels without parents noticing.

To understand their child’s specific usage, parents can:

  • listen to their child’s headphones to understand how loud sounds can become
  • check to see if children can hear you talk at a normal volume from an arm’s length away, over the sounds playing on the headphones. If they can, their headphone use is more likely to be at a safe volume.
There are headphones designed for children that limit the maximum loudness – usually to 85dB. While a limit is great, listening to 85dB sounds all day every day is not risk-free.

Noise-cancelling headphones are another option, albeit expensive. By reducing the intrusion of outside noise, it should mean children can keep headphone volume lower.

Managing duration

We should also monitor how long we’re exposed to sound. Everyday conversation is around 60dB, which will not be a problem regardless of the duration of exposure. However, guidelines say we can be exposed an 85dB sound (like a rubbish truck) for up to 8 hours at a time. But if the loudness of the sound is increased by just 3 decibels to 88dB, the sound energy is doubled, and safe exposure time would drop to just 4 hours. Operating a chainsaw at 110dB would then be limited to around 1 minute before damage is likely to occur.

Exposure to noise is cumulative. Noise can also come from other sources in the child’s environment. Consider a child’s activities throughout a day. Parents should try to avoid consecutive noisy exercises, like headphone use, music practice, then noisy toys or games. Considering the total “doses” of sound in the day means parents should schedule some breaks to allow the ears time to recover.

Of course, parents should practise what they preach! Modelling responsible use of headphones and awareness of the enjoyment of being able to hear well into adulthood is key.

Written by Pater Carew and Valerie Sung. Republished with permission of The Conversation.

Over60

News

Mon, 4 May, 2020

“We’ll hold those responsible accountable”: US claims virus came from Wuhan lab

“We’ll hold those responsible accountable”: US claims virus came from Wuhan lab

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has claimed there was “enormous evidence” the new coronavirus originated in a Chinese laboratory, but did not provide any of the alleged evidence.

Pompeo, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said on Sunday there was “enormous” and “significant” evidence that the coronavirus outbreak began in a laboratory in Wuhan, China.

“I think the whole world can see now, remember, China has a history of infecting the world and running substandard laboratories,” Pompeo told ABC’s This Week.

“President Trump is very clear: we’ll hold those responsible accountable.”

At first, Pompeo said he believed “the best experts so far seem to think it was man-made”.

But he later said he agreed with the “wide scientific consensus” from the US intelligence community that “the COVID-19 virus was not man-made or genetically modified”.

Pompeo’s statement indicated an escalation in rhetoric amid the country’s tensions with China.

US President Donald Trump made a similar unsupported claim on Thursday, saying that he had proof the pandemic started in a Chinese laboratory.

On the same day, Pompeo said in an interview: “We don’t know if it came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. We don’t know if it emanated from the wet market or yet some other place. We don’t know those answers.”

Most epidemiologists believe the virus was likely introduced from bats to humans through an intermediary animal.

The US had confirmed more than 1.15 million coronavirus cases and 67,000 deaths as of Monday, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre.

Trump has faced widespread criticism for having overseen a “slow and ineffective“ response to the pandemic as states and cities continue to appeal for more federal help in increasing testing capacity and propping up the economy.

Over60

News

Tue, 7 Jul, 2020

“Fear and hysteria”: Alan Jones returns to airwaves with coronavirus claims

“Fear and hysteria”: Alan Jones returns to airwaves with coronavirus claims

Alan Jones has once again accused the Australian Government of “extraordinary alarmist campaign over coronavirus” on the debut of his new Sky News show.

The controversial media personality has returned to broadcasting after retiring from radio a few weeks ago, with claims that Australia’s coronavirus response created “fear and hysteria”.

The 79-year-old said he was in the “cohort that was in danger” of COVID-19.

“People like me, because of my age and I’ve had everything wrong with me,” he said on Monday night.

“Now this cohort should have been looked after instead of frightening the tripe out of everyone and putting the economy into a coma, and this goes on today.”

Jones claimed the federal and state governments’ response to the pandemic has given “the impression … that if you test positive, you must immediately go to Bunnings, get a box of nails, some pine boards, build a coffin and jump into it”.

He said: “Since I was last on air and even before I went off air, we have endured this extraordinary alarmist campaign over coronavirus and it still persists.

“The economy has been crushed. What for?

“Chief medical officers whose names have never appeared on a ballot paper are running the country.

“[It was] time our leaders provided some real leadership instead of fear and hysteria.”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on Monday morning announced the Victorian border with New South Wales will be closed from Wednesday as the national coronavirus death toll reached 106.

As of Monday, there were 645 active cases in Victoria.

The following 12 postcodes are required to follow Stay at Home directions until July 29: 3031, 3051, 3012, 3021, 3032, 3038, 3042, 3046, 3047, 3055, 3060 and 3064.

“Victorians in these locked down suburbs are being urged to do their bit in the fight against coronavirus – stick to the rules and get to a testing station,” Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said in a statement.

“This virus is not selective, it will impact anyone it encounters, and personal contact is the clear source of its transmission. More than 300,000 people live across these suburbs. We need everyone to do their part and ensure it is stopped in its tracks.

“Don’t take this disease lightly. if you feel unwell with any symptoms of coronavirus, however mild, you should stay home and get tested.”

Joel Callen

News

Fri, 5 Jun, 2015

Chicken and corn soup

Chicken and corn soup

With winter coming nothing beats staying in at home warming up to this delicious soup.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 10g butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 chicken breast or thigh fillets, sliced  
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 1 x 420g can creamed corn
  • 1 x 300g can corn kernels, drained
  • 1 x egg
  • Salt and cracked black pepper
Method:

1. Melt butter in large saucepan and add garlic.

2. Stir in stock, creamed corn and corn kernels. Bring to boil and then simmer for 15 minutes, or until chicken is tender. Shred chicken.

3. Lightly whisk egg in bowl. Slowly pour into soup and stir with fork.

3. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley.

Danielle McCarthy

News

Fri, 24 Nov, 2017

The real life family who inspired “The Waltons”

The real life family who inspired “The Waltons”

The Waltons was a television series that was based on the book Spencer’s Mountain by Earl Hamner Jr.

Just when you couldn’t imagine love the characters any more, it turns out Earl based the characters off his own family.

Earl Hamner Jr. was born in 1923 and grew up in mining town of Schuyler, VA, when the Great Depression hit.

He was the oldest of eight kids and his other siblings were James, Willard, Paul, Cliff, Audrey and Marion.

Earl Sr. lost his job when the New Alberene Stone mine closed in the 30s and then worked as a machinist in another town, coming home to his family on the weekends.

Similar to his character on the show, Earl’s father enjoyed hunting, drinking and cursing.

Unfortunately, he passed away before the show came out.

Earl’s mother, Doris Hamner, was a religious woman who would really keep the light on until the last child was safely in bed for the night.

She famously entertained fans of the show in their home, serving them tea and telling stories of her children.

The home the family lived in had hardwood floors, lace curtains and a Jenny Lind bedstead.

The Waltons In Text

MREC-TAG-HERE

Earl Hamner Jr. died in 2016 but brought the story of his family to millions through his book and then the TV show.

Over60

News

Wed, 15 Jul, 2020

Carrie Bickmore's most embarrassing mum story wins, pants down

Carrie Bickmore's most embarrassing mum story wins, pants down

The Project’s Carrie Bickmore may have taken the top spot for most “embarrassing mum” story of all time – as she revealed she once answered the door with no pants on to one of her son’s friends.

Sharing the hilarious story with panellists Waleed Aly, Peter Helliar and Rachel Corbett on Wednesday night, the host had her colleagues in stitches as she recalled the moment she thought her 12-year-old son had come to the front door after forgetting something for school.

It came as the host sympathised with those who are currently quarantined after ACT Police warned them to “pop on some pants before they answer the door.”

“Being home in the nude is fine but honestly, legitimate question, not just in the cold, who is answering their door without putting something on?” an alarmed Rachel Corbett had asked her co-stars, before Peter Helliar ratted his co-star out.

“’I’ve said this before on this show … accidentally once,” Carrie replied.

“I thought it was Ollie coming back from school, he left for school and I was heavily pregnant and went to have a shower and I heard the gate click and saw a school kid in uniform, and I thought it was Ollie and I said, what have you forgotten, and it wasn’t him, it was one of his mates,” she went on, laughing.

But it gets worse, with the star going on to share that she continued to stand there, pantless, chatting to her son’s friend.

“I didn’t want to make it awkward, so I asked how he was going!” she said, adding: “We get along well, he can have a laugh about it.”

Shannen Findlay

News

Fri, 8 Mar, 2019

Lisa Wilkinson’s “forever home” is for sale

Lisa Wilkinson’s “forever home” is for sale

The gorgeous Mosman residence in NSW once owned by Lisa Wilkinson and her husband Peter Fitzsimons with Harbour Bridge and Opera House views has hit the market.

It’s got a lot of more modern features since the beloved couple first moved out, but it houses a lot of memories for the couple and their three children, Jake, Louis and Billi Fitzsimons.

The five-bedroom, three-bathroom home – with a market value of $7.5 million – hosts gorgeous harbourside views as well as a healthy mix of informal and formal living spaces so everyone in the family has a place to call their own.

The property spans over 1143spm, just a jump, hop and a skip away from Australia’s beloved Taronga Zoo, Balmoral Beach and a number of parks by the Harbour.

The prime real estate is one of the largest freestanding properties located close to Mosman village, and is not too far from where Wilkinson’s former Today colleagues, Karl Stefanovic and Georgie Gardner reside.

With high ornate ceilings and leadlight window, it's hard to understand just why Wilkinson and her husband let this home go.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Lisa Wilkinson (@lisa_wilkinson) on Mar 2, 2019 at 1:26am PST

In an article she wrote for Ten Daily, the TV show host explained the importance of her and Fitzsimons very first property together.  

“What our house did have… was a warm hug for us from the moment we walked through that front door,” she wrote.

“Like that great philosopher from The Castle, Darryl Kerrigan, always said, it was about ‘the vibe’.

“…All the bones of the home we loved so much were all still there.

“The memories too: from the tyre that used to hang in the gnarly old camphor laurel tree in the backyard, sleepless nights spent with newborns, tooth fairies, scraped knees, Easter egg hunts, birthday parties and fairy bread... they all came flooding back.”

Wilkinson and Fitzsimons sold the Mosman home in 1998 for AUD$1.655 million after purchasing the property for AUD$875,000 five years before in 1993.

Swipe through the gallery above to see the stunning Federation home.

Over60

News

Thu, 16 Jul, 2020

Patient zero found from Crossroads cluster

Patient zero found from Crossroads cluster

NSW authorities have revealed they have found patient zero who is believed to be a man from Melbourne who travelled on June 30.

He is the most likely source of the coronavirus outbreak at the Crossroads Hotel in Sydney.

The state’s chief coronavirus “detective” Jennie Musto explained to reporters on Wednesday that the man was the most likely source as he travelled to his workplace back in NSW.  

Ms Musto manages all teams that trace coronavirus infections.

She said that the workplace was a freight company, although the man was not a truck driver.

“About six” of his colleagues were also infected with the virus.

The man and a number of his colleagues went to the Crossroads for a party on July  which  led to an outbreak at the hotel.

The hotel is now linked to at least 34 cases.

“The man from Melbourne didn’t think he was particularly unwell, didn't think he was sick with COVID, he travelled on the 30th of June, he’s been in NSW for a while and it wasn’t until we interviewed him and his colleagues with more detail that we made the link that they were all on the Crossroads on the 3rd of July,” Ms Musto said.

Authorities are not releasing details of the workplace but have revealed there is little to no risk there.

NSW recorded 13 new cases of coronavirus to 8 pm on Wednesday, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard confirmed.

“Don’t get an expectation that it (case numbers) will always be zero because we think this virus will continue to transmit lowly,” he said.

“We will have transmission from time to time and that’s just the way it is.”]

Three of the cases tested positive while in hotel and the other 10 are linked to the Crossroads Hotel.

Six of the coronavirus cases actually attended the event at the hotel, while two are close relatives.

Dr Chant says she is concerned about people who have been travelling NSW from Melbourne, even before the borders closed.

“We are very concerned about areas where we may have had a number of visitors from Melbourne and the Mitchell Shires. Particularly in our coastal areas and border communities we need to have high rates of testing so if there’s been any seeding we can mop it up,” Dr Chant said.

“The crossroads highlights we won’t gain control of this if we don’t have people on board.”

Shannen Findlay

News

Sat, 15 Feb, 2020

Jess Rowe on “letting go” of her eldest daughter Allegra and reaching milestone 50: “I bawled my eyes out”

Jess Rowe on “letting go” of her eldest daughter Allegra and reaching milestone 50: “I bawled my eyes out”

Jess Rowe has become a familiar face after nearly a quarter of a century on Australian television screens.

While the 49-year-old has definitely had her share of incredible achievements and milestones, there is nothing that made the former Studio 10 host prouder than dropping her eldest daughter, Allegra, 13, off to her first day of high school.

The star told 7News that sending her oldest off into her own major milestone was an emotional rollercoaster all on its own.

“I think, as a teenager, it is such a rollercoaster of emotions,” Rowe explained.

“I remember being a teenage girl, and I want to help her, protect her, let her go a little bit - and I think sending her to high school, it’s that next stage.

“Being a mother, being a parent, is a series of letting go, and you don’t realise - when they are so small, you keep them so close.

“When I walked back to the car, I bawled my eyes out. It’s those milestone moments, and I do think as parents it’s important that we take that time to reflect on how far we’ve come, but also what is ahead.

“I describe my technique at the moment as a cross between the mum in Mean Girls who says hi to everyone, and the mother in Bend It Like Beckham who is always peering around the door with snacks for everyone and then disappearing.

“I haven’t worked it out yet. I like to think that I’m not strict. Peter (Overton) is probably stricter than I am.

“But I think it’s about empowering our kids to also feel that they are involved in the decision making, even if you’re deciding, ultimately.

“You want them to have a sense of growing up and give them extra bits of responsibility.”

For the former Channel 10 star, Rowe says she is “looking forward” to reaching 50-years-old.

“I love getting older. I know I’m far more comfortable in my skin now than I ever was in my 20s, 30s or even 40s, because I don’t care as much about what people think.

“And when it comes to becoming 50, we’ve got to get out of our comfort zones and push ourselves all the time and be open to new opportunities. Life is too short.”

Scroll through the gallery to see Jess Rowe with her beloved husband, Peter, and two girls, Allegra and Giselle.

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.

Over60

News

Tue, 21 Jan, 2020

What you definitely WON'T see on The Block in 2020

What you definitely WON'T see on The Block in 2020

The Block host Scott Cam dropped a major hint when wrapping up the popular renovation show last season that gave a major sign at what is to come in 2020.

“I’m looking forward to a break. It’s been a big one,” Scotty said at the time.

After speaking about Tess and Luke’s incredible win last year, Cam revealed the one thing viewers would not be seeing on the show anytime soon.

Throughout recording The Block, Cam made a point to point out to viewers the sheer size of The Oslo – a rundown hotel that Channel 9 reportedly purchased for $10 million.

While it is believed to have been purchased purely to entice more people into tuning into the program, there is no doubt it impacted the five teams and crew in a sad way.

“We learned that it was too big, and we won’t be doing it this big again, I can guarantee it,” Cam told news.com.au.

“We always try and go bigger and better but we probably crossed the line.

“It’s achievable because it all got done and sold really well. But I think just for the crew and everybody in future, it will still be a big construction and still be big, but it just won’t be as big as this.”

The Oslo is twice the size of 2018’s Gatwick renovations and more than six times the size of the original Block in Bondi back in 2003.

It took an immense toll on the five teams who competed for the top prize, including a lack of sleep teamed up with the pressure of time restraints.

Tess and Luke, who won the biggest prize with their gorgeous four-bedroom home, were the most outspoken couple of all,

At one point, Tess said the experience was “destroying” her.

“I just want to be left alone. I’m not coping. I’m so sick of it — I can’t do this anymore,” she said during a tiff with Cam about budget issues at the time.

“This is literally destroying us. It is. Luke and I f***ing HATE each other, we don’t stop fighting. What this is doing to us is not good.”

The couple also admitted their mental health came under fire especially when they were portrayed as the “lazy” ones on the show.  

“It’s really sad that we feel like we have to explain ourselves to people who have no idea who we really are. They’re judging us based on a show that is completely full of sh*t,” Tess said.

They were crowned the Blockheads of 2019 after making the most in profit when their apartment was sold at auction – $630,000 above the $2.90 million reserve.

Cam acknowledged the journey was a rough one for the couple and the others teams.

“It’s really been a massive Block. It’s been really hard for them (Tess and Luke), and we are really happy they made some life-changing money,” he said.

The TV show host said there were people on hand for the teams to talk to if they were having a hard time.

“It’s a rollercoaster. But later in the show, they (Tess and Luke) had a good time. We didn’t edit them to look a certain way.

“We just shoot it as we see it and that’s what we saw. And now, when I asked Tess and Luke, ‘Do you like The Block’ … they said, ‘We love it, all $730,000 worth’.”

They also pocketed an extra $100,000 for coming first.

Here are the final results of The Block 2019:

Mitch and Mark – $3.374 million – $384,000 profit

Tess and Luke – $3.620 million – $630,00 profit

Matt and El’ise – $3.450 million – $460,000 profit

Andy and Deb – $2.420 million – $430,000 profit

Jesse and Mel – $3.378 million – $388,000 profit

Joanita Wibowo

News

Fri, 16 Aug, 2019

The Gogglebox Australia segment that brings everyone to tears

The Gogglebox Australia segment that brings everyone to tears

The families of Gogglebox Australia were sent to tears as they sat down to watch celebrity chef Kylie Kwong on an episode of Anh’s Brush With Fame.

Speaking to comedian Anh Do, Kwong opened up about two heartbreaking moments in her life, including a time when she and her partner Nell lost their son.

Explaining that it took four years for Nell to fall pregnant, Kwong recalled crying “for 10 hours straight” after Nell’s waters broke five months early.

“In the end we felt blessed he lived for six days … inside Nell, alive, and then he let go,” Kwong said. “But the six days was profound.”

The story moved Sarah Marie, who is pregnant with her first child with husband Matty, to tears. “I can’t even imagine what they went through,” she said.

Kwong’s loss also led Tim to share a similar situation he had gone through. “I went through something just as hard,” he said as his sister Leanne comforted him. “I was a father, I had been told it was successful... and then to have it ripped away, it is the most heart-wrenching thing I’ve ever had to go through.”

Kwong also shared about how she came out to her parents in her teenage days.

“It was a very lonely time, because I didn’t even know what was going on inside of me,” Kwong said. She eventually told her father, “Dad, I’m gay”.

In response, Kwong was told to leave the house in a matter of days, with her father saying, “I disown you as my daughter”. However, he later backtracked and asked her to stay.

Tim resonated with the story, reflecting on his own struggle in coming to terms with his sexuality. “Even during my time, as a way to fight against this innate internal urge, I deliberately went out and looked for girlfriends,” he said.

Danielle McCarthy

News

Thu, 5 Oct, 2017

This is the most ridiculous case in Judge Judy history

This is the most ridiculous case in Judge Judy history

Judge Judy Sheindlin has made a living out of dealing with strange court dramas, but this might be the most ridiculous case in the history of the television program.

In this extremely brief court case, which you can view yourself below, the defendant manages to blow the entire trial in 26 seconds, and Judge Judy herself can’t help but crack up due to the sheer ridiculousness of it all.

Watch it for yourself here:

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What are your thoughts? Do you watch Judge Judy?

Hero image credit: YouTube / Entertainment Tonight

Over60

News

Thu, 16 Jul, 2020

Queen to knight Tom Moore in her first in-person engagement since lockdown

Queen to knight Tom Moore in her first in-person engagement since lockdown

Tom Moore made headlines around the world with his valiant efforts to walk 100 laps of his back garden in order to raise money for the UK National Health System (NHS).

He chose the number 100 in order to celebrate his 100th birthday and captured hearts around the world with his sweet goal.

He raised more than $50 million for the NHS and is about to receive a knighthood for his charity work.

Much to the surprise of Moore, the Queen herself is making it her first in-person engagement since the lockdown.

In a statement from Buckingham Palace, it was revealed that the Queen would confer the Honour of Knighthood on Captain Sir Thomas Moore at an Investiture at Windsor Castle on the 17th of July. 

The statement added: "During the ceremony, The Queen will use the sword that belonged to her father, George VI and will award Captain Sir Thomas Moore with the insignia of Knight Bachelor."

Strict social distancing measures will be in place for the event, with the entire ceremony taking place inside the confines of Windsor Castle.

"Members of the public are asked not to attend Windsor town centre or gather in the hope of seeing any of the ceremony, which will not be visible from any external viewpoint," the Palace explained.

When Moore's knighthood was announced, he said he was "overwhelmed with the gesture".

"Never for one moment could I have imagined I would be awarded with such a great honour," he said.

"This started as something small and I've been overwhelmed by the gratitude and love from the British public and beyond. We must take this opportunity to recognise our frontline heroes of the National Health Service who put their lives at risk every day to keep us safe."

Over60

News

Fri, 16 Aug, 2019

KitKat releases chocolate bar using one of the world's rarest ingredients

KitKat releases chocolate bar using one of the world's rarest ingredients

KitKat have released their newest limited-edition chocolate release with cocoa that has been sourced from soil near volcanic islands.

It’s giving fans a taste of the world’s rarest cocoas and the chocolate is called KitKat Chocolatory Sublime Volcanic.

With three different flavours from three different volcanic islands, this gives fans a taste of cocoa that accounts for less than 0.2 percent of global production.

The new bar is a dark chocolate range that features the traditional wafer inside. The three bars offer distinct flavour profiles that match up with the regions that they’re from, which are Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines.

The luxurious tastes come at a price, as bars are $5 each, with a three piece back setting you back $14.

KitKat ANZ have been showcasing the new range on their Instagram story.

The Vanuatu chocolate is known as “earthy, deep and bitter”, whereas the Papua New Guinea is “fresh and fruity”. For those after a more intense flavour, the Philippines packs a punch with spicy and aromatic notes.

“At KitKat Chocolatory, we are passionate about bringing the world’s best and most unique chocolate to Australians, and this new range is truly one of the most special to date. We’re delighted to introduce KitKat Chocolatory Sublime Volcanic as an exquisite new offering for our chocolate-loving guests,” KitKat Chocolatory head chocolatier, Connie Yuen, said to InsideFMCG.

“We are also thrilled to be launching nationwide online delivery for the first time ever, allowing everyone across Australia to get their hands on the delicious new range.”

The new range is being sold at the chocolate boutique in Melbourne as well as being able to consumers on Thursday.

Over60

News

Wed, 15 Jul, 2020

Virologist accuses Beijing of COVID coverup

Virologist accuses Beijing of COVID coverup

A Chinese virologist who fled to the US earlier this year has accused Beijing of covering up the initial COVID-19 outbreak.

Li-Meng Yan, formerly a researcher at the Hong Kong School of Public Health, told Fox News’ Bill Hemmer Reports the Chinese government was aware in December that more than 40 people had been infected with the virus, and that there were human-to-human transmissions.

Yan said she had records of communications with others in China.

“I am waiting to tell all the things I know, provide all the evidence to the US Government,” she said.

Yan previously told Fox News Digital lives could have been saved if her supervisors had not ignored her research at the onset of the pandemic.

She claimed the Chinese government refused to let overseas experts, including those from Hong Kong, conduct research on the SARS-like cases in mainland China.

She received information about human-to-human transmission from a scientist at the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in China on December 31.

She said she reported the details to her supervisor Dr Leo Poon, but he “just nodded” and told her to continue working.

On January 9, the World Health Organisation released the statement: “According to Chinese authorities, the virus in question can cause severe illness in some patients and does not transmit readily between people.”

When Yan attempted to report her findings on January 16, she was warned “to keep silent” and not to “touch the red line”.

She said she boarded an April 28 Cathay Pacific flight to the US in fear of her life. “I know how they treat whistleblowers,” she said.

In a statement to Fox News, the University of Hong Kong said Yan is no longer employed at the institution. “Out of respect for our current and former employees, we don’t disclose personal information about her. Your understanding is appreciated,” a spokesperson said.

A Wired investigative report published in May found that social media posts, news articles and blog posts detailing the early days of the pandemic in China have been wiped off by the state in a systematic censorship and suppression campaign.

Over60

News

Tue, 21 Apr, 2020

Why rereading Harry Potter might be the next best thing after your friendships

Why rereading Harry Potter might be the next best thing after your friendships

Humans are innately social creatures. But as we stay home to limit the spread of COVID-19, video calls only go so far to satisfy our need for connection.

The good news is the relationships we have with fictional characters from books, TV shows, movies, and video games – called parasocial relationships – serve many of the same functions as our friendships with real people, without the infection risks.

Time spent in fictional worlds

Some of us already spend vast swathes of time with our heads in fictional worlds.

Psychologist and novelist Jennifer Lynn Barnes estimated that across the globe, people have collectively spent 235,000 years engaging with Harry Potter books and movies alone. And that was a conservative estimate, based on a reading speed of three hours per book and no rereading of books or rewatching of movies.

This human predilection for becoming attached to fictional characters is lifelong, or at least from the time toddlers begin to engage in pretend play. About half of all children create an imaginary friend (think comic strip Calvin’s tiger pal Hobbes).

Preschool children often form attachments to media characters and believe these parasocial friendships are reciprocal — asserting that the character (even an animated one) can hear what they say and know what they feel.

Older children and adults, of course, know that book and TV characters do not actually exist. But our knowledge of that reality doesn’t stop us from feeling these relationships are real, or that they could be reciprocal.

When we finish a beloved book or television series and continue to think about what the characters will do next, or what they could have done differently, we are having a parasocial interaction. Often, we entertain these thoughts and feelings to cope with the sadness — even grief — that we feel at the end of a book or series.

The still lively Game of Thrones discussion threads or social media reaction to the death of Patrick on Offspring a few years back show many people experience this.

Some people sustain these relationships by writing new adventures in the form of fan fiction for their favourite characters after a popular series has ended. Not surprisingly, Harry Potter is one of the most popular fanfic topics. And steamy blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey began as fan fiction for the Twilight series.

As good as the real thing?

So, imaginary friendships are common even among adults. But are they good for us? Or are they a sign we’re losing our grip on reality?

The evidence so far shows these imaginary friendships are a sign of well-being, not dysfunction, and that they can be good for us in many of the same ways that real friendships are good for us. Young children with imaginary friends show more creativity in their storytelling, and higher levels of empathy compared to children without imaginary friends. Older children who create whole imaginary worlds (called paracosms) are more creative in dealing with social situations, and may be better problem-solvers when faced with a stressful event.

As adults, we can turn to parasocial relationships with fictional characters to feel less lonely and boost our mood when we’re feeling low.

As a bonus, reading fiction, watching high-quality television shows, and playing pro-social video games have all been shown to boost empathy and may decrease prejudice.

Get by with a little help

We need our fictional friends more than ever right now as we endure weeks in isolation. When we do venture outside for a walk or to go the supermarket and someone avoids us, it feels like social rejection, even though we know physical distancing is recommended. Engaging with familiar TV or book characters is one way to rejuvenate our sense of connection.

Plus, parasocial relationships are enjoyable and, as American literature professor Patricia Meyer Spacks noted in On Rereading, revisiting fictional friends might tell us more about ourselves than the book.

So cuddle up on the couch in your comfiest clothes and devote some time to your fictional friendships. Reread an old favourite – even one from your childhood. Revisiting a familiar fictional world creates a sense of nostalgia, which is another way to feel less lonely and bored.

Take turns reading the Harry Potter series aloud with your family or housemates, or watch a TV series together and bond over which characters you love the most. (I recommend Gilmore Girls for all mothers marooned with teenage daughters.)

Fostering fictional friendships together can strengthen real-life relationships. So as we stay home and save lives, we can be cementing the familial and parasocial relationships that will shape us – and our children – for life.The Conversation

Elaine Reese, Professor of Psychology, University of Otago

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

ronit

News

Tue, 3 Nov, 2015

What my grandparents mean to me…

What my grandparents mean to me…

While we always love hearing about the treasured memories and stories that you, the grandparents, have with the favourite young ones in your lives, we thought we’d find out what the other side thinks.

Three lovely children from the Elliott family – Crystal, 13, Nikita, 11 and Vance, 5 – were more than happy to share their thoughts about the special place their grandparents hold in their lives. (A small disclaimer though, their grandparents may or may not have been close by ‘sternly’ warning that only positive answers would be allowed!)    

“My grandparents mean a lot to me because they are always there for me when I need it most,” says a very articulate young Nikita, continuing, “They are always there when my parents need help and stuff and they take us lots of fun places.”

The Elliott children are close to both sets of grandparents often staying over at their grandparents’ homes during the holidays as well as plenty of weekend outings together. In fact, they had just spent a weekend with them and as always, it was jam-packed with fun activities like swimming at the beach, learning to fish and ice-cream treats.

“Our grandparents mean a lot to me because they are someone we can go to if we can’t go to our parents,” says Crystal, grinning cheekily before continuing, “Grandparents let you get away with more stuff.”

Nikita adds: “They’re always fun to be around and grandfather always cracks a lot of corny jokes but they make me laugh anyway even though I know they are really bad.”

Growing up with the grandparents close by has created many precious and often hilarious memories for the Elliott children.   

“With my mum’s parents, we were having a barbeque outside and I was holding out my kebab and a kookaburra came and swooped and tried to eat it,” exclaims Nikita. “We always laugh about how it almost ate my face!”

Crystal is just glad she is under the watchful eye of her Grannie.

“With my dad’s parents, we were at the beach and I got dunked by a wave when I was little and my head got buried in the sand under the water and my legs were dangling up and then Grannie had to pull me out and it was really funny,” says Crystal, who sees the lighter sides of things now.

It seems saving lives is a specialty of grandparents with little five-year-old Vance telling his tale of a fun fishing trip on the lake almost turning into disaster when the boat capsized!

“First, grandfather caught a fish,” tells Vance, adding,“And then I standed up and then the boat tipped.”

“I was panicking!” shouts Vance, but then, “Crystal was paddling and paddling to me and Grandfather was paddling and paddling and then we were all safe,” concludes Vance with a big smile on his face. 

With fun activities, holidays and a caring shoulder to rest on, it is clear that grandparents are just as valuable parts of grandchildren lives as grandchildren are to grandparents. Although that's a fact any grandparent will tell you. 

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.

Brainteaser -in -text -two

What a clever optical illusion. Did you find the animals straight away, or did it take a bit of spotting? Let us know in the comments section, we’d love to hear from you. 

Related links:

Find the ballet dancer in the sea of flamingos

Can you spot the dog in the herd of cows?

Is this cat walking up or down the stairs?

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Danielle McCarthy

News

Mon, 22 May, 2017

4 benefits of storage baskets

4 benefits of storage baskets

Storage baskets are hidden treasures when it comes to organising a home. Not only do they hide plenty of items inside, they are also hard working and add an aesthetic texture and warmth to any room. Whether your storage basket is handled, woven, metal, lined, coloured or lidded, here are the benefits it will bring to your home.

1. Organisation

If you are having trouble in your home organising your items and finding a home for them all, then a storage basket is what you need to invest in. Instead of wasting precious time searching for your items that regularly go missing, you can put them in a storage basket to resolve your issues. Storage baskets can be placed in any room of your home and they will not look out of place. A well-organised space will also enhance productivity in rooms where people want to work and allow you to entertain guests in a more comfortable environment.

2. Easy cleaning

Next time you are doing a last-minute tidy up of your house before you go out or before people come over, you can now put clutter in your storage baskets. By removing clutter, you will allow your guests to appreciate your house without being distracted by all your belongings. If you have blankets or books in your lounge room, you might want to put them in a storage basket when you are entertaining and then take them out when you are at home relaxing.

3. Maximum safety

Your guests will benefit from your storage baskets as more of your items are put away, it means that there is a less likely chance of someone dripping over an item and hurting themselves. It also means that your items will have maximum safety from little (or adult) hands that might accidentally damage it.

4. Versatility

You can use your storage baskets for whatever you want and storage baskets made from jute/cotton look much neater than having all your things out in plain sight. You might want to use your storage baskets for your towels, toys, décor, cushions, clothes, plant holders and blankets. You can also use them to store your favourite hobby equipment such as your arts and craft or put them on a bookshelf to hide the clutter.

Danielle McCarthy

News

Mon, 21 Aug, 2017

Prince William and Kate join the royal family on holidays in Balmoral

Prince William and Kate join the royal family on holidays in Balmoral

Prince William and Kate have been spotted near the Scottish Balmoral Castle during their summer break.

The pair joined other members of the royal family for a Sunday church service in Balmoral.

William and Kate were driven by Prince Andrew to the Crathie Kirk chapel, which is located near the castle.

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Other royals who attended the service include Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla.

The pair’s summer holiday follows a recent participation in a historic ceremony, the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele.

Last month, William and Kate attended the ceremony that paid tribute to the casualties suffered by England and Belgium in WWI.

Queen Mathilde and King Philippe of Belgium also attended the Last Post ceremony, as well as British Prime Minister Theresa May.

“Members of our families; our regiments; our nations; all sacrificed everything for the lives we live today,” William said at the ceremony. 

“During the First World War Britain and Belgium stood shoulder to shoulder. One hundred years on, we still stand together, gathering as so many do every night, in remembrance of that sacrifice.”

Ben Squires

News

Thu, 3 Mar, 2016

5 places you should never use dishwashing liquid

5 places you should never use dishwashing liquid

Although dishwashing liquid is a great cleaner, capable of lifting the dirtiest of stains and greasiest of greases off almost everything, it does have its limitations. These are the five places to never use dishwashing soap.

1. Car

It’s been touted as a handy way to clean your car, but dishwashing liquid is much too harsh on the paint of cars. It will strip away any protective wax, making your car vulnerable to scratches and nicks. Make sure you have the right cleaner for the job.

2. Dishwasher

It might seem logical if you’ve run out of dishwashing tablets to simply grab the dishwashing liquid, but it’s a big mistake. Dishwashing liquid won’t work in the dishwasher as it’s too sudsy and if put in the dishwasher, you’ll be dealing with an overflowing machine.

3. Washing machine

Dishwashing liquid simply does not contain the heavy-duty detergent to clean clothes the right way. Also, like the dishwasher, it will result in a flood of suds.

4. Windows and mirrors

Dishwashing liquid will leave streaks so don’t skip the glass cleaner if you’re looking for clean windows and mirrors.

5. Hands

Never substitute hand soap for dishwashing liquid! It’s much harsher than the soaps we use to clean our hands and will damage skin over time.

Related links:

5 surprisingly dirty things in your house

Surprising uses for sunlight soap you’ll love

Homemade remedies for the garden

Over60

News

Thu, 16 Jul, 2020

What is love?

What is love?

From songs and poems to novels and movies, romantic love is one of the most enduring subjects for artworks through the ages. But what about the science?

Historical, cultural and even evolutionary evidence suggests love existed during ancient times and across many parts of the world. Romantic love has been found to exist in 147 of 166 cultures looked at in one study.

The complexity of love has much to do with how people experience it differently and how it can change over time.

Like, love, or ‘in love’?

Psychological research over the past 50 years has investigated the differences between liking someone, loving someone and being “in love”.

Liking is described as having positive thoughts and feelings towards someone and finding that person’s company rewarding. We often also experience warmth and closeness towards the people we like. In some instances we choose to be emotionally intimate with these people.

When we love someone we experience the same positive thoughts and experiences as when we like a person. But we also experience a deep sense of care and commitment towards that person.

Being “in love” includes all the above but also involves feelings of sexual arousal and attraction. However, research into people’s own views of love suggests that not all love is the same.

Passionate vs companionate love

Romantic love consists of two types: passionate and companionate love. Most romantic relationships, whether they be heterosexual or same sex, involve both these parts.

Passionate love is what people typically consider being “in love”. It includes feelings of passion and an intense longing for someone, to the point they might obsessively think about wanting to be in their arms.

The second part is known as companionate love. It’s not felt as intensely, but it’s complex and connects feelings of emotional intimacy and commitment with a deep attachment toward the romantic partner.

How does love change over time?

Research looking at changes in romantic love over time typically finds that although passionate love starts high, it declines over the course of a relationship.

There are various reasons for this.

As partners learn more about each other and become more confident in the long-term future of the relationship, routines develop. The opportunities to experience novelty and excitement can also decline, as can the frequency of sexual activity. This can cause passionate love to subside.

Although a reduction in passionate love is not experienced by all couples, various studies report approximately 20-40% of couples experience this downturn. Of couples who have been married in excess of ten years, the steepest downturn is most likely to occur over the second decade.

Life events and transitions can also make it challenging to experience passion. People have competing responsibilities which affect their energy and limit the opportunities to foster passion. Parenthood is an example of this.

In contrast, companionate love is typically found to increase over time.

Although research finds most romantic relationships consist of both passionate and companionate love, it’s the absence or reductions in companionate love, moreso than passionate love, that can negatively affect the longevity of a romantic relationship.

But what’s the point of love?

Love is an emotion that keeps people bonded and committed to one another. From an evolutionary psychology perspective, love evolved to keep the parents of children together long enough for them to survive and reach sexual maturity.

The period of childhood is much longer for humans than other species. As offspring rely on adults for many years to survive and to develop the skills and abilities needed for successful living, love is especially important for humans.

Without love, it’s difficult to see how the human species could have evolved.

A biological foundation too

Not only is there an evolutionary foundation to love, love is rooted in biology. Neurophysiological studies into romantic love show that people who are in the throes of passionate love experience increased activation in brain regions associated with reward and pleasure.

In fact, the brain regions activated are the same as those activated by cocaine.

These regions release chemicals such as oxytocin, vasopressin and dopamine, which produce feelings of happiness and euphoria that are also linked to sexual arousal and excitement.

Interestingly, these brain regions are not activated when thinking about non-romantic relationships such as friends. These findings tell us that liking someone is not the same as being in love with someone.

What’s your love style?

Research has found three primary styles of love. First coined by psychologist John Lee, the love styles are eros, ludus and storge. These styles include people’s beliefs and attitudes about love and act as a guide for how to approach romantic relationships.

Eros

This style of love refers to erotic love and is focused on physical attraction and engaging in sex, the quick development of strong and passionate feelings for another and intense intimacy.

Ludus

This style involves being emotionally distant and often involves “game-playing”. It’s not surprising people who endorse this love style are unlikely to commit, feel comfortable ending relationships and often start a new relationship before ending the current one.

Storge

Storge is often regarded as a more mature form of love. Priority is given to having a relationship with a person who has similar interests, affection is openly expressed and there is less emphasis on physical attractiveness. People high on storge love are trusting of others and are not needy or dependent on others.

Or is a mixture more your style?

You may see yourself in more than one of these styles.

Evidence suggests some people possess a mixture of the three main love styles; these mixtures were labelled by Lee as mania, pragma and agape.

Manic love includes intense feelings for a partner as well as worry about committing to the relationship. Pragmatic love involves making sensible relationship choices in finding a partner who will make a good companion and friend. Agape is a self-sacrificing love that is driven by a sense of duty and selflessness.

Why do you love the way you do?

A person’s love style has little to do with their genetics. Rather, it’s associated with the development of personality and a person’s past relationship experiences.

Some studies have found people who are high on dark traits, such as narcissism, psychopathy and machiavellianism, endorse more of a ludus or pragma love style.

People who have an insecure attachment style, involving a high need for validation and preoccupation with relationship partners, endorse more mania love, while those who are uncomfortable with intimacy and closeness do not endorse eros love.

No matter the differences in the way love is experienced, one thing remains common for all: we as humans are social animals who have a deep fascination for it.The Conversation

Gery Karantzas, Associate professor in Social Psychology / Relationship Science, Deakin University

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

Over60

News

Thu, 23 May, 2019

Europe is creating one of Earth’s largest biometric databases

Europe is creating one of Earth’s largest biometric databases

The European Parliament voted in favour of a system that would streamline its systems for managing a variety of programs, including travel and border security via a singular database.

The system, called the Common Identity Repository (CIR), would streamline a number of functions, including the ability for officials to search a single database instead of multiple databases, with shared biometric data like fingerprints and images of faces.

The system would also have a repository of personally identifying information, such as date of birth, passport numbers and more.

According to ZDNet, CIR is one of the largest tracking databases on the planet and will amass the records of more than 250 million people into a single database. It will contain identifying information on both citizens and non-citizens of the EU.

Politico Europe has said that the new system “will grant officials access to a person’s verified identity with a single fingerprint scan.”

The European Parliament has released a statement on the new system, saying that it “will make EU information systems used in security, border and migration management interoperable enabling data exchange between the systems.”

“Without changing access rights or endangering the data protection rules that govern them, interoperability will ensure faster, more systematic and more complete access to EU information systems for professionals on the ground: police officers, border guards, migration officers and consulate staff members, in order for them to do their job better,” Rapporteur Jeroen Lenaers (EPP, NL) said in a statement at the time.

“Better decisions can be made on the basis of better information.”

However, the new system has raised large privacy concerns. A European Commission official told Politico Europe that they didn’t “think anyone understands what they’re voting for”.

Danielle McCarthy

News

Thu, 25 Jan, 2018

Aussie tradie’s hilarious note to wife about bathroom habits

Aussie tradie’s hilarious note to wife about bathroom habits

A tradesman from Brisbane has written a hilarious note to his wife outlining the issues and frustrations he has with her bathroom habits.

Everything from her lack of flushing, leaving towels on the floor and her use of his deodorant is on the typed letter, and ends with “I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH – PLEASE CHANGE BATHROOM HABITS.”

Clearly this is a man with some pent-up issues about his wife’s bathroom use, as the letter starts out in paragraphs and ends with some serious bullet points that need to be actioned.

The man writes in good humour, including a mention of finding his wife’s “paw prints” inside his hair product, and a point about her stealing space in his single drawer instead of using the four allocated to her.

As for the lid being left off the toothpaste, his wife is told that “If I didn’t love you quite so much I may just be tempted to sabotage the toothpaste with some foreign matter (up to your imagination) to teach you a lesson.”

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Kath Rose was the wife on the receiving end of the good-natured letter and told the ABC that it had her in a fit of laughter.

“He made a really important point about bathroom politics and marriages and how it's important to be open about it and chat … about how you share bathrooms, because it could really be a reflection of the marriage.”

Does your partner or family member have any bathroom habits that infuriate you? We would love to hear how you deal with it in the comments below. 

ronit

News

Tue, 3 Nov, 2015

3 easy recipes to cook with the grandchildren

3 easy recipes to cook with the grandchildren

What better way to introduce your grandkids to the delights of cooking than to teach them yourself? You will not only be teaching them a life skill but it can be the starting point for a discussion on healthy eating and nutrition. Here are three easy recipes where you can take the backseat and let the grandies do the cooking (and the work!). Win-win!

Lunch: Salad in a jar

How do you get kids eating more veggies? Make it fun and interesting! Also, letting them take control and create their own salad will make it much more palatable. You can use any veggies and other toppings like ham as well. Let the grandkids choose but enforce the rule that they must choose at least five vegetables. For soft foods, show your grandies how to cut them with a butter knife or scissors for those too little to use knives. Add the dressing first and then layer all other ingredients into the jar. Then once done get the kids to shake it up and tip into a bowl.

Salad In A Jar

Image credit: Pinterest

Dinner: Tortilla pizzas

A quick and easy dinner that children will love to help prepare because who doesn’t love pizza? This healthy alternative to fast-food varieties is good for everybody as well. Grab some tortillas, smother with a jar of pizza sauce and sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese. Now the fun part: just add whatever toppings you like. Bake for eight minutes in preheated oven of 200°C or until cheese is melted.

Image credit: Pinterest

Tortilla Pizzas

Dessert: 3-ingredient Nutella brownies (image at top)

This recipe for delicious Nutella brownies for dessert or a treat only calls for three ingredients and it’s ready in less than 30 minutes. Perfect for the impatient grandies. All you need is 1¼ cups of Nutella, 2 eggs and ½ cup plain flour. Get the kids to measure out the ingredient and mix up in a big bowl. Pour into a greased baking pan and into a preheated oven of 180 degrees Celsius.

Image credit: Pinterest 

Over60

News

Wed, 8 Jan, 2020

Shoppers delighted over ALDI’s new $5 low-calorie frozen treat

Shoppers delighted over ALDI’s new $5 low-calorie frozen treat

Aussie shoppers have shared their joy over a new addition to ALDI’s frozen aisle.

Aldi’s new release, named Kenny’s Frozen Dessert, is an Australian-made dupe to the famous high-protein, low-calorie ice cream Halo Top.

While a 473ml tub of Halo Top retails for $9 at Woolworths, Kenny’s is sold at just $4.99 for a 475ml tub.

The dessert comes in choc chip cookie dough (360 calories) and salted caramel (300 calories) flavours.

Shoppers who have tried the treat shared their approval on social media sites.

“They taste amazing too - we tried the cookie dough one,” one wrote.

“This is good. Like, really good! The ice cream is super creamy, and tastes like ‘real’ ice cream, with a soft and easy to eat texture, ideal for scooping,” another reviewed.

“Tried yesterday the salted caramel!!! 10/10,” one commented.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by macro hacks & snacks (@macroreview) on Jan 7, 2020 at 3:54am PST

Photo credit: Instagram @aldiloversau

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.

Melody Teh

News

Tue, 19 Jun, 2018

Chickpea curry

Chickpea curry

Perfect for dinner through the week, this chickpea curry isn’t just tasty; it’s also healthy, cheap and filling.

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 fresh tomato, chopped
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 5cm piece root ginger, grated
  • Pinch of garam masala     
Method:

1. Heat a deep saucepan (with a lid) and add the oil. Cook the onions and garlic, until the onions are caramelised.

2. Add the salt, cumin, coriander, turmeric and red chilli powders. Mix for a minute and tip in the tomato. Cook the sauce until it begins to thicken.

3. Add four tablespoons water and stir. Then tip in the chickpeas and mix. Cover and simmer for five minutes. Then add the ginger and the garam masala. Cook for another minute.

TOP TIP: Best served with rice.

Related links:

Hearty beef and barley stew

Chicken parmigiana

Winter beef casserole

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.”

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.”

Michelle Reed

News

Tue, 29 Sep, 2015

Sugar biscuits

Sugar biscuits

If you’re craving something sweet, this simple sugar biscuit recipe is almost too easy to make!

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of softened butter
  • ½ cup of Copha vegetable shortening, melted
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cups of plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of bi-carb soda
  • Sugar for decorating
Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C.
  2. Combine butter, shortening and sugar in a bowl. Mix until fluffy.
  3. Add vanilla and egg and mix.
  4. Add flour, baking powder and bi-carb soda and mix thoroughly to form a batter.
  5. Roll batter into small balls, place on a lined baking sheet, and flatten.
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes and top with sugar while still warm.
Related links:

Strawberry shortcake biscuits

Melting moments

Jam drops

Michelle Reed

News

Tue, 29 Sep, 2015

Sugar biscuits

Sugar biscuits

If you’re craving something sweet, this simple sugar biscuit recipe is almost too easy to make!

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of softened butter
  • ½ cup of Copha vegetable shortening, melted
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cups of plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of bi-carb soda
  • Sugar for decorating
Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C.
  2. Combine butter, shortening and sugar in a bowl. Mix until fluffy.
  3. Add vanilla and egg and mix.
  4. Add flour, baking powder and bi-carb soda and mix thoroughly to form a batter.
  5. Roll batter into small balls, place on a lined baking sheet, and flatten.
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes and top with sugar while still warm.
Related links:

Strawberry shortcake biscuits

Melting moments

Jam drops

Over60

News

Fri, 17 Jan, 2020

Karl Stefanovic’s fiery clash with Peter Dutton over $100 million scandal

Karl Stefanovic’s fiery clash with Peter Dutton over $100 million scandal

Fury continues to mount over the government’s sports funding scandal, with Peter Dutton coming up with an unconvincing defence as he faced Karl Stefanovic on breakfast television.

A damning report this week from the Auditor-General exposed the “biased” operation of a $100 million grants scheme that was manipulated a day before the election to funnel cash into marginal seats the Coalition desperately needed to win.

The minister for sport at the time, Bridget McKenzie disregarded advice from Sports Australia and decided to carve out her own process to award 684 payments in a manner that favoured knife-edge seats the government needed to win or was targeting.

Dutton appeared on the Today show this morning to defend the disgraced senator, saying she should not be sacked and insisted that no rules had been broken.

“That’s not the point,” Stefanovic fired back. “The point is that nine of the ten electorates awarded the most money were either marginal seats or ones the Coalition were hoping to win.

“I mean, that’s a damning figure. That is pork-barrelling of the highest order. It’s been stacked.”

An investigation uncovered that over 60 per cent of projects that received funding were not recommended by Sports Australia under the existing selection criteria.

“Applications from projects located in those electorates were more successful in being awared funding that if funding was allocated on the basis of merit assessed against the published program guidelines,” found Auditor-General Grant Hehir.

Furthermore, the applicants that Sports Australia did recommend was ignored, with Senator McKenzie’s office running its own “assessments”, revealed the audit.

“The important point is that the money has gone out, not against recommendations, not to clubs that weren’t deserving of it,” said Dutton.

But that statement contradicts what the Auditor-General had found, regarding Sports Australia’s recommendations being ignored by Senator McKenzie.

Stefanovic slammed the process as “just not fair” and highlighted the importance of an integrity and corruption body at a federal level.

“She’s done something wrong here and something needs to be done about her behaviour,” he said.

Melody Teh

News

Mon, 16 Apr, 2018