Placeholder Content Image

"I am the Bicycle Bandit": Terminally-ill ex-cop confesses to 20-year-old mystery

<p>In a startling twist to a 20-year-old mystery, 73-year-old Kym Allen Parsons, a terminally-ill former police officer and firefighter, has admitted to being the notorious "Bicycle Bandit" who terrorised South Australian banks and residents for a decade.</p> <p>Parsons' confession came just days after receiving approval for voluntary assisted dying (VAD) and being provided with a VAD kit by SA Health.</p> <p>Parsons, who has stage 4 cancer and who had previously denied the charges, changed his plea to guilty during a Supreme Court session on Monday, ending years of speculation and investigation. His sudden admission of guilt follows a plea bargain brokered by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and his counsel after the VAD approval was granted.</p> <p>In a tearful apology read to the court, Parsons expressed deep remorse for his actions, acknowledging that his behaviour was both irrational and without excuse.</p> <p>"I have no excuse for my behaviour," he told the court. "My reasoning was illogical and irrational over that time, and over the past 10 years I have tried to rehabilitate, seek help and forgiveness and demonstrate my shame in distressing actions.</p> <p>"I was fearful of confessing my past and destroying their [my wife and family's] love and trust in the person they knew.</p> <p>"I do not expect your forgiveness, and I humbly ask you accept my sincerest apology and deepest remorse."</p> <p>Despite Parsons' request for bail ahead of his sentencing, Justice Sandi McDonald deemed his crimes too severe for continued freedom and ordered his immediate custody. His access to the VAD kit while in custody remains uncertain.</p> <p>The courtroom was filled with Parsons' victims and their supporters, many of whom had worked at the banks he robbed. Some were victimised multiple times. One victim described the lasting impact of being robbed at gunpoint, detailing the immense trauma and the development of an auto-immune disease likely induced by stress. Other victims recounted struggles with PTSD, anxiety, depression, and ongoing trust issues.</p> <p>Parsons had been scheduled for trial in February on charges of armed robbery, attempted armed robbery, and firearms offences, with prosecutors alleging he stole over $250,000 from 11 banks between 2004 and 2014. DNA evidence was cited as a link to the crimes. His guilty plea and impending death are expected to ignite a legal battle over his $2.4 million estate, involving prosecutors, his heirs, and his victims.</p> <p>Previously, Parsons had been granted home detention due to his terminal stage 4 cancer diagnosis, after significant weight loss while in custody. His defence lawyer, James Marcus, stated that Parsons pleaded guilty to provide closure to the victims and their families.</p> <p>Parsons' sentencing is scheduled for June 28, marking the conclusion of a complex and emotional case that has gripped the state for years.</p> <p><em>Images: ABC News / SA Police</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Dreading footy season? You’re not alone – 20% of Australians are self-described sport haters

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hunter-fujak-290599">Hunter Fujak</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/heath-mcdonald-92440">Heath McDonald</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p>With the winter AFL and NRL seasons about to start, Australia’s sporting calendar is once again transitioning from its quietest to busiest period.</p> <p>For many, the return of the AFL and NRL competitions is highly anticipated. But there is one group whose experience is very different: the approximately 20% of Australians who hate sport.</p> <p>We are currently conducting research to better understand why people feel this way about sport and what their experiences are like living in a nation where sport is so <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1329878x15616515">culturally central</a>. We have completed surveys with thousands of Australians and are now beginning to interview those who have described themselves as “sport haters”.</p> <h2>Australia, a ‘sports mad’ nation</h2> <p>Australia has long been described as a “<a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14660970902955588">sports mad nation</a>”, a reasonable assertion given the Melbourne Cup attracted crowds of <a href="https://catalogue.nla.gov.au/catalog/2178266">more than 100,000 people</a> as far back as the 1880s.</p> <p>Australia’s sport passion is perhaps most evident today from the number of professional teams we support for a nation of 26 million people, one of the highest per capita <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Heath-Mcdonald/publication/326140082_Are_Sport_Consumers_Unique_Consumer_Behavior_Within_Crowded_Sport_Markets/links/5e9465fd92851c2f529c4322/Are-Sport-Consumers-Unique-Consumer-Behavior-Within-Crowded-Sport-Markets.pdf">concentrations</a> in the world.</p> <p>In addition to our four distinct football codes – Australian rules football, rugby league, rugby union and soccer – we have professional netball, basketball, cricket and tennis. In all, there are more than <a href="https://www.clearinghouseforsport.gov.au/kb/structure-of-australian-sport">130 professional sport teams in Australia</a> today (across both genders).</p> <p>Australia also hosts – and Australians attend – major sport events at a rate wildly disproportionate to the size of our population and economy. <a href="https://www.blackbookmotorsport.com/news/f1-australian-grand-prix-record-crowd-melbourne-albert-park/">Formula One</a>, the <a href="https://ausopen.com/articles/news/record-breaking-australian-open-ao-2024-numbers">Australian Open</a>, the <a href="https://nbl.com.au/news/nbl-sets-new-season-attendance-record">National Basketball League</a>, the <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/nrl-attendance-records-tumble-as-fans-flock-back-to-footy-20230902-p5e1ib.html">National Rugby League</a> and <a href="https://mumbrella.com.au/64-of-aussie-population-watched-matildas-new-deakin-research-claims-797902">Matildas</a> have all recently broken attendance or television viewership records.</p> <h2>Why people hate sport</h2> <p>The ubiquity of sport in our culture, however, conceals the fact that a significant portion of people strongly and actively dislike sport. Recent <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14413523.2023.2233342">research</a> by one of the co-authors here (Heath McDonald) has begun to shine light on this cohort, dubbed “sport haters”.</p> <p>Sport haters account for approximately 20% of the Australian population, according to two surveys we have conducted of nearly 3,500 and more than 27,000 adults. Demographically, this group is significantly more likely to be female, younger and more affluent than other Australians.</p> <p>Their strong negative sentiments are reflected in the most common word associations <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14413523.2023.2233342">study participants</a> used to describe sport. In the case of AFL, these were: “boring”, “overpaid”, “stupid/dumb”, “rough”, “scandal” and “alcohol”.</p> <p>While the reasons for disliking sport vary from person to person, research shows there are some common themes. The first is in childhood, where negative experiences participating in sport or attending games or matches can lead to a life-long dislike of all sport. As one professed sport hater said in an <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskMen/comments/1zxfyt/guys_who_do_not_like_sports_can_you_explain_why/">online forum devoted to men who don’t like sport</a>: "My brother would force me to play soccer against my will all the time as children. I think that is where my resentment for physical sport comes from because the choice was taken away from me by my twat of a brother."</p> <p>Sport hatred can also derive from social exclusion or marginalisation. Sport has historically been a male-centric domain that <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0277539587900525">celebrates</a> masculinity and can lead to <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-02-20/taylor-swift-effect-sports-fandom-nfl/103486274">toxic behaviour</a>, which can exclude many women and some men.</p> <p>Sport has also had to overcome racism, perhaps most symbolically visible by AFL player Nicky Winmar’s <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-04-17/nicky-winmar-indigenous-afl-racism-anniversary/102222960">iconic protest</a> in 1993. In addition, individuals with a disability still face <a href="https://www.sportaus.gov.au/integrity_in_sport/inclusive-sport/understanding-our-diverse-audiences/people-with-disability#:%7E:text=People%20with%20disability%20receive%20the,than%20adults%20who%20don't.">barriers</a> that result in lower rates of sport participation.</p> <p>Here, the current <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-02-20/taylor-swift-effect-sports-fandom-nfl/103486274">Taylor Swift effect</a> is noteworthy. The singer’s attendance at National Football League games, including the Superbowl, resulted in huge spikes in television viewership. Through her association, Swift helped make the sport more <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096969892300317X#bib122">psychologically accessible</a> for many women and girls.</p> <p>The <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;id=AvjrDwAAQBAJ&amp;oi=fnd&amp;pg=PT125&amp;dq=Contesting+national+Culture&amp;ots=1_lQuBpKK7&amp;sig=dMb-5s0PgpUumUTSFeEKZiNq0dg#v=onepage&amp;q=Contesting%20national%20Culture&amp;f=false">cultural dominance</a> of sport also fuels its detractors, with many critical of sport’s media saturation and its broader social and even political prioritisation. (The <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-02-16/macquarie-point-stadium-dominates-election-campaign-day-one/103473124">debate in Tasmania</a> over the controversial AFL stadium proposal is a good case in point.)</p> <p>From a media perspective, Australia’s particularly strict <a href="https://theconversation.com/regardless-of-the-rules-sport-is-fleeing-free-tv-for-pay-and-it-might-be-an-avalanche-154640">anti-siphoning</a> laws have ensured that sport remains front and centre on free-to-air television programming.</p> <p>Sport’s cultural dominance also fosters resentment for overshadowing people’s non-sporting passions and pursuits, as well as creating societal out-groups. Journalist Jo Chandler’s <a href="https://libraryedition.smedia.com.au/lib_a/Default.aspx#panel=document">2010</a> description of moving to Melbourne is no doubt shared by many: "In the workplace, to be unaligned is deeply isolating. Team tribalism infects meetings, especially when overseen by male chiefs. In shameful desperation, I’ve played along."</p> <p>In life, it’s fairly easy to avoid most products you might dislike. But given sport’s ubiquity, simply tuning out is sometimes not an option.</p> <h2>The Anti-Football League, a club for haters</h2> <p>In 1967, two Melbourne journalists, Keith Dunstan and Douglas Wilkie, launched an anti-sport club in response to this growing cultural dominance. In his founding address to the <a href="https://www.academia.edu/7584522/Football_is_a_Fever_Disease_Like_Recurrent_Malaria_and_Evidently_Incurable_Passion_Place_and_the_Emergence_of_an_Australian_Anti_Football_League">Anti-Football League</a>, Wilkie made clear who the club was for: "All of us who are tired of having football personalities, predictions and post mortems cluttering our newspapers, TV screens and attempts at alternative human converse – from beginning-of-morning prayers to the last trickle of bed time bathwater – should join at once."</p> <p>Membership quickly reached the thousands. Soon, a Sydney branch was launched, bringing national membership to a high of around 7,000. According to sport historian Matthew Klugman, members found joy in being “haters”.</p> <p>"…they wanted to find a shared meaning in their suffering, not to extinguish it, but to better enjoy it."</p> <p>This led to some curious rituals, with members ceremonially cremating footballs or burying them. An Anti-Football Day was also launched, taking place on the eve of the Victorian Football League Grand Final.</p> <p>The club would go on to experience periods of both prosperity and hiatus over the years, but has been dormant since <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/vale-keith-dunstan-gentle-footy-hater-cyclist-and-master-of-words-20130911-2tklh.html">Dunstan’s death</a> in 2013.</p> <p>With eight more years to go in Australia’s so-called “<a href="https://this.deakin.edu.au/career/golden-decade-of-sport-ahead-for-australia">golden decade of sport</a>”, which began with <a href="https://www.fiba.basketball/womensbasketballworldcup/2022">2022 Women’s Basketball World Cup in Sydney</a> and culminates with the 2032 Brisbane Olympics, it may be time sport haters to start a new support group.</p> <p>If you consider yourself a sport hater, and are interested in contributing your experience to our ongoing research, please provide your contact information <a href="https://researchsurveys.deakin.edu.au/jfe/form/SV_a4CqHyqipjYj5SC">here</a>.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/223733/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hunter-fujak-290599"><em>Hunter Fujak</em></a><em>, Senior Lecturer in Sport Management, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/heath-mcdonald-92440">Heath McDonald</a>, Dean of Economics, Finance and Marketing and Professor of Marketing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/dreading-footy-season-youre-not-alone-20-of-australians-are-self-described-sport-haters-223733">original article</a>.</em></p>

TV

Placeholder Content Image

Russell Crowe unveils new look not seen in over 20 years

<p>Russell Crowe, the man of many faces – literally, his beard has its own postcode – is making headlines again. Not for his stellar performances or his knack for embodying iconic characters, but for something far more groundbreaking: he shaved.</p> <p>Yes, you read that right. Russell Crowe has gone from grizzly lumberjack chic to smooth operator in what can only be described as a follicular metamorphosis of epic proportions.</p> <p>In a tweet that shook the internet harder than a magnitude 9 earthquake, Crowe proudly announced, "The actor prepares #20. First shave since 2019".</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">The actor prepares #20.<br />First shave since 2019. <a href="https://t.co/e48ctxh9GY">pic.twitter.com/e48ctxh9GY</a></p> <p>— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) <a href="https://twitter.com/russellcrowe/status/1759500781642780929?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 19, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>Now, to put this into perspective, in 2019 we were all living in a blissful ignorance of the chaos that awaited us in the years to come. So, the fact that Russell Crowe has finally decided to bid farewell to his facial foliage is nothing short of a miracle.</p> <p>In the accompanying photo, Crowe stares into the camera with the seriousness of a man who has just discovered a rare species of moth living in his beard. His face, now liberated from the tangled web of hair, appears decades younger, causing fans to collectively question if time travel is, in fact, possible.</p> <p>But let's not forget, this isn't Crowe's first rodeo with a clean-shaven face. Even though he cites "2019" in his caption, the last time he showcased such ephemeral smoothness was back in 2012 while promoting <em>Les Miserables –</em> a time when the world was still recovering from the shock of "Gangnam Style" and debating the colour of a certain pinstriped dress. So, it's safe to say, Crowe's clean-shaven look is rarer than a blue moon on a leap year.</p> <p>Of course, fans couldn't contain their excitement. One Twitter user exclaimed, "20 years younger instantly!" Another fan, probably needing a moment to catch their breath after witnessing the transformation, simply stated, "oh THERE you are". And let's not overlook the fan who eloquently remarked, "Looks good! It’s nice to change it up and shave. You have a nice face it was hiding behind all that hair." Ah, poetry in the age of social media.</p> <p>But what prompted this seismic shift in Crowe's appearance? Well, he didn't spill the beans on which movie role necessitated the razor, but we can only imagine the possibilities. Perhaps he's playing a time-travelling barber who inadvertently alters the course of history with each stroke of his razor. Or maybe he's set to star in a reboot of <em>The Santa Clause</em> as the titular character who decides to trade in his bushy beard for a more aerodynamic look. The possibilities are as endless as the hairs on Crowe's chin once were.</p> <p>Whatever the reason, one thing's for sure: Crowe's fresh shave has left an indelible mark on the internet. And as he gears up for roles in everything from historical dramas (he’s pegged to play Hermann Göring in the film <em>Nuremberg) </em>to MMA action flicks (such as <em>The Beast In Me</em>, which traces the life of a commercial fisherman who avenges his brother's death by fighting in a cage match)<span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">, we can only hope that his newfound smoothness becomes a permanent fixture. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">After all, in a world of chaos and uncertainty, sometimes all it takes is a clean shave to restore our faith in humanity.</span></p> <p><em>Images: Poker Face / Twitter (X) </em></p>

Movies

Placeholder Content Image

Dad cops furious note from "egotistical Karen" for parking in parent's bay

<p>A Perth dad has been left hurt after he was targeted by an "egotistical Karen" for parking in a parent's bay, while his wife was inside a shopping centre changing their seven-month-old baby. </p> <p>"Don't park here again, you selfish prick!" the note read. </p> <p>His wife took to Facebook on behalf of her hurt husband to question why someone would go out of their way to criticise him for parking in a space designated for parents. </p> <p>"My husband was putting a baby gate in the boot while I was in the forum changing our seven-month-old baby," she defended her partner, who parked at the Mandurah Forum. </p> <p>"He came back into the forum looking for me [and] when we returned, someone had put this note on our windscreen.</p> <p>"How about next time you be sure before insulting an innocent husband and father, you hero."</p> <p>The woman said that the note left her husband "hurt and almost feeling guilty" and she argued that he had every right to be there as a parent. </p> <p>Her post attracted over 300 interactions with many agreeing with the mum, and saying that the "Karen" should've gotten their facts straight before taking action. </p> <p>"There is no law for who can park in parents with prams spaces they are just convenience but anyone can park there and use,"  one man wrote. </p> <p>A few others shared the same sentiment and said that "it's not illegal to park in those bays" regardless of whether or not you have a baby. </p> <p>Some parents even shared their own experiences and why it is important to not judge someone based on looks alone. </p> <p>"This has happened to me also. I had a baby and a toddler and my husband took them inside the Mandurah forum while I unloaded our car," the person began. </p> <p>"A couple with a baby parked next to me and the man kept yelling at me that it was only for parents with prams, even though I told him I had young kids and a pram. But he didn't believe me and yelled loudly to move my car."</p> <p>One mum added that she doesn't see the need for parents with prams spaces altogether.</p> <p>"As a mum of just a five-year-old, I personally don’t see the need for parent spaces. They are not any bigger, just more convenient. Kids need exercise and prams have wheels, not hard to walk," she wrote. </p> <p>"I personally think they should be seniors bays instead, they are less mobile and struggle to walk long distances. Give them the spots."</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Kylie Minogue wins her first Grammy in 20 years

<p dir="ltr">Kylie Minogue has won her first Grammy in 20 years, taking home the award for Best Pop Dance Recording. </p> <p dir="ltr">The songstress picked up the award for her hit track <em>Padam Padam</em>, beating fellow Aussie Troye Sivan for his song <em>Rush</em>. </p> <p dir="ltr">The award was handed out during the Premiere Ceremony of the 66th annual Grammys, where she was nominated for six awards for her new album <em>Tension</em>. </p> <p dir="ltr">The 55-year-old shared a sweet clip of her reaction to the win, showing her screaming and running around in a dressing gown while her team shared their congratulations. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C28KH94vZoR/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C28KH94vZoR/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Kylie Minogue (@kylieminogue)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">She captioned the video, “Padam? Padam! ❤️❤️ Thank you SOOO much recording academy 🥹🥰😘”</p> <p dir="ltr">Padam Padam reached the top 20 in several countries, including Australia, the UK and America.</p> <p dir="ltr">This is the sixth time Kylie has been nominated for the prestigious award throughout her career, only winning it once before in 2004 for her song <em>Come Into My World</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">Before her win, Minogue dazzled on the red carpet at industry heavyweight Clive Davis’s pre-Grammys gala on Sunday.</p> <p dir="ltr">Sporting a black mini dress, Kylie posed with country music legend Shania Twain while other stars walked the carpet. </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 12pt;"><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em><span id="docs-internal-guid-44812604-7fff-e385-0206-a2af0888283c"></span></p>

Music

Placeholder Content Image

"It's always a tough day": What has changed in the 20 years since Daniel Morcombe's death

<p>Daniel Morcombe's parents have reflected on the day their son was kidnapped and murdered, on the 20th anniversary of his disappearance. </p> <p>Bruce Morcombe appeared on <em>Sunrise</em> on Thursday morning, sharing how the date is always a painful one to live through. </p> <p>Daniel was 13-years-old old when he was kidnapped from a bus stop on Queensland's Sunshine Coast on December 7th 2003, with Peter Cowan later being convinced for his murder in 2014. </p> <p>“It’s always a tough day but what we think about is Daniel’s brothers, our other two sons, and our grandkids,” he said.</p> <p>“They lost a brother, a twin brother. They will be hurting equally the same.”</p> <p>Since Daniel disappeared, the Morcombes have dedicated their lives to keeping other children safe, establishing the Daniel Morcombe Foundation shortly after his murder. </p> <p>As well as raising awareness on child safety, the couple offer practical advice for families, such as creating a “family password” with your kids as a way to keep them safe.</p> <p><em>Sunrise</em> host Monique Wright became emotional while speaking to the Morcombes, saying, “Bruce and Denise Morcombe, they have just changed so many lives through their tireless work.”</p> <p>“It’s irrefutable that they have stopped so much child abuse over the years, just extraordinary,” she added.</p> <p>Bruce added that while it is a sad day as they remember their son, it is important to remind people of his legacy while keeping others safe.</p> <p>“Remember this was a young boy of 13, 12 days short of turning 14. He never made it to 14,” he said.</p> <p>“It happened to Daniel, it can happen to you. Daniel was an innocent kid, like anybody else.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Sunrise</em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Thief returns stolen truck with note of apology – and gifts!

<p>In the bustling world of Auckland cafés, where flat whites and smashed avocados reign supreme, one café owner recently found himself entangled in a plot that could rival a sitcom script.</p> <p>Varun Chada, the proud owner of Kati Street, had his beloved 4WD truck snatched right out from under his nose, leaving him in a state of disbelief that could only be rivalled by a magician's audience.</p> <p>Picture this: a sunny afternoon, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafting through the air, and Chada minding his own business when, suddenly, his trusty truck disappeared faster than a piece of cake at a weight loss support group meeting. The audacity! The cheek! Someone had the gall to pull off a vehicular heist right outside his beloved eatery.</p> <p>But it gets better.</p> <p>Four days later, as if the universe had decided to play a cosmic prank on poor Varun, the stolen truck made a triumphant return. Parked in the exact same spot, as if it had never embarked on a wild joyride. It was like the vehicular version of Houdini's vanishing act, only with less smoke and mirrors and more caffeinated confusion.</p> <p>To add a sprinkle of absurdity to the mix, the returned truck came with a heartfelt, handwritten letter of apology. Now, we applaud any criminal with the decency to apologise, but it seems this particular ne'er-do-well could use a grammar lesson or two. The apology note featured the word "sorry", albeit with a creative twist on spelling that would make any English teacher cringe.</p> <p>“I couldn’t believe it,” Chada <a href="https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/watch-cafe-owners-stolen-truck-returned-with-sorry-note/VTWKKMRGR5AOTNIQGJNKBP6H7E/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">told The NZ Herald</a>. "The first time I thought I was losing my mind because I’d just walked inside, and the second time I rocked up, and it was parked there."</p> <p>As it turns out, the thief, in an attempt to excuse their vehicular misdeed, claimed to be a bit 'drunk' and in desperate need of a ride home. Because, you know, grand theft auto is a completely acceptable solution to a night out with one too many beers.</p> <p>"It was exactly where I’d parked it," Chada explained, "and I walked up to the window and there was a note inside it saying ‘hey mate sorry but I borrowed your car, was a bit drunk’ and none of us could believe it." </p> <p>But here's the twist that turns this tale into a comedy goldmine – the thief not only returned the truck unscathed but also left some new toys in the back for Chada's young son! It's like they momentarily transformed from a rogue car bandit to the world's most peculiar Santa Claus.</p> <p>Despite the surreal nature of the ordeal, Chada seems to be taking it all in stride. “I’m not condoning what they did is fine, but I mean, they gave it back and they said sorry, so, I don’t know, I’m just stoked to get it back, put it that way.”</p> <p>The saga has become the talk of the town, with Chada's Facebook and community pages buzzing with activity. Social media, the modern-day town square, has played a pivotal role in the unfolding drama, with hundreds of likes, shares and comments turning the café owner into an unintentional social media influencer.</p> <p>As for the truck, it's currently parked at Chada's house, awaiting the forensic scrutiny of the police. The investigation continues, but in the meantime, Aucklanders are left scratching their heads, wondering if their next caffeine fix might come with a side of unexpected vehicular shenanigans.</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Better Homes and Gardens star announces exit after 20 years

<p>After 20 years of sharing his quick and easy recipes on <em>Better Homes and Gardens</em>, Ed Halmagyi - or as viewers know him, Fast Ed - is leaving the show</p> <p>Ed will step away from the show in two weeks to focus on a personal business venture, with his final appearance airing on Friday December 1. </p> <p>“I got closer and closer to marking 20 years of Better Homes and I thought about what I want to do in the next 10 years,” he told <em>7News</em>. </p> <p>“I’ve been incredibly lucky over the course of the last 20 years to be able to tell some really cool stories about some really amazing people.”</p> <p>“I have been honoured to get the chance to tell stories to people who love food every week and be part of this amazing show that is part of Australia’s fabric.</p> <p>“I will certainly miss being a part of Australia’s Friday nights and working alongside my Better Homes family.”</p> <p>Ed also said that agrees with his friends who have told him that his role on the show is the "best job in the world." </p> <p>“It’s pretty darned incredible,” he told the publication. </p> <p>“I’ve worked with the most incredible places, with the most incredible team.</p> <p>“I’ve had the best time, and will be forever grateful to Joh, my fellow presenters, the Better Homes team behind the scenes and to everyone who watches our show each and every night.”</p> <p>Prior to starring in the show, Ed was running a restaurant in Sydney, and was recruited after he impressed the producers with his upbeat personality when they filmed a Sydney Weekender there. </p> <p>“Twenty years ago, after what I considered an unremarkable Sydney Weekender appearance, I was asked to do a screen test,” he recalled. </p> <p>Ed never thought he would get a career in media, and it all worked out for him in the end. </p> <p>“To be honest, I never felt more ridiculous in my life than I did on that day, but I just kind of decided to be me, and…..what the hell.</p> <p>“That I’m still doing it 20 years later is equal parts fantastic and bizarre.”</p> <p>Although Ed's replacement on the show is yet to be announced, the one piece of advice that he has for them is this: “Be you and start out with the absolute most sincere respect for your audience.”</p> <p><em>Image: Seven</em></p>

TV

Placeholder Content Image

An entry fee may not be enough to save Venice from 20 million tourists

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sameer-hosany-292658">Sameer Hosany</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/royal-holloway-university-of-london-795">Royal Holloway University of London</a></em></p> <p>Venice’s history, art and architecture attract an estimated <a href="https://www.responsibletravel.com/copy/overtourism-in-venice">20 million</a> visitors every year. The city, a <a href="https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/document?repid=rep1&amp;type=pdf&amp;doi=ac36ced945412121372dc892cc31498fb268247c">Unesco World Heritage site</a>, is often crammed with tourists in search of special <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/mar.21665">memories</a>.</p> <p>But for the people who actually live there, this level of tourism has become unsustainable. So from 2024, day-trippers will be charged a €5 (£4.31) fee as part of an <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/12/world/europe/venice-tourist-fee-italy.html#:%7E:text=The%20City%20Council%20passed%20an,popular%20but%20equally%20fragile%20place.&amp;text=Starting%20next%20spring%2C%20day%2Dtrippers,5%20euros%20for%20the%20privilege.">attempt</a> to better manage the flow of visitors.</p> <p>The city’s mayor has <a href="https://travelweekly.co.uk/news/tourism/controversial-e5-venice-tourist-tax-finally-approved">described the charge</a> – which will be implemented on 30 particularly busy days in the spring and summer – as an attempt to “protect the city from mass tourism”. It comes after cruise ships were banned from entering the fragile Venice lagoon in 2021.</p> <p>Both policies are designed to respond to the particular problem facing Venice, which is that <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/02/venice-day-trippers-will-have-to-make-reservations-and-pay-fee">around 80%</a> of its tourists come just for the day. Research has shown that such a high proportion of day-trippers – who tend to spend little – <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0160738395000658">pushes</a> a tourist destination <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1541-0064.1980.tb00970.x">towards decline</a>.</p> <p>So from next year, all travellers to Venice will have to register their visit in advance and obtain a QR code online. Day trippers will then have to pay the fee; visitors staying overnight will not.</p> <p>Other exemptions include children under 14, as well as people who travel to the city for work and study, or to visit family members. To enforce the policy, the municipal police and authorised inspectors will carry out random checks. Anyone without the proper QR code will face a fine of up to €300 (£261).</p> <p>But some have expressed doubts about whether the €5 fee – the price of a coffee or an ice cream – will be enough to dissuade tourists from travelling to this iconic ancient city. One city politician <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/12/world/europe/venice-tourist-fee-italy.html">commented</a> that the charge means Venice has become “a theme park, a Disneyland,” where “you get in by paying an entrance fee.”</p> <p>Certainly the charge is a lot less than Bhutan’s (recently reduced) “sustainable development fee” of <a href="https://globetrender.com/2023/09/17/bhutan-woos-more-tourists-reduced-entry-tax/">US$100 (£82) per night</a>, which applies to all tourists, and was introduced to encourage “high value, low impact” tourism. Research also indicates that strategies aiming at persuading tourists to come at less crowded times <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/book/9780080436746/seasonality-in-tourism">do not reduce numbers</a> at peak periods, but actually end up increasing overall demand.</p> <h2>‘Veniceland’</h2> <p>But Venice has to try something. For <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/11/24/6937">researchers</a>, Venice is the embodiment of <a href="https://www.cabidigitallibrary.org/doi/book/10.1079/9781786399823.0000">overtourism</a>, and residents clearly suffer from the consequences – living with the congestion, environmental damage and affects on their lifestyle and culture that 20 million visitors can cause.</p> <p>This can then lead to a negative response, known as “<a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/348605007_Overtourism_and_Tourismphobia_A_Journey_Through_Five_Decades_of_Tourism_Development_Planning_and_Local_Concerns">tourismphobia</a>”.Another term, “<a href="https://dokufest.com/en/festival/2013/cities-beyond-borders/das-venedig-prinzip-the-venice-syndrome#:%7E:text=The%20film%20shows%20what%20remains,municipal%20council%20with%20scorn%3B%20a">Venice Syndrome</a>” has been used to describe the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264275123001816#:%7E:text=It%20explains%20the%20data%2Dgathering,between%20urban%20form%20conditions%20and">decline of the city’s</a> permanent population, as citizens feel forced to leave.</p> <p>Venice’s population is around 50,000 and has been consistently falling, from a peak of <a href="https://www.blueguides.com/venice-in-peril/">175,000</a>. If the population falls below 40,000, there is concern that Venice will cease to be a <a href="https://www.responsibletravel.com/copy/overtourism-in-venice">viable living city</a>.</p> <p>Those who remain have often expressed their discontent. Well publicised protests have included the “<a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venice-funeral-idUKTRE5AD1DQ20091114">Funeral of Venice</a>” in 2009, a mock funeral to mourn the sharp drop in population, and “<a href="https://scholarworks.gsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1065&amp;context=anthro_theses">Welcome to Veniceland</a>” in 2010, which claimed that Venice was becoming more of a theme park.</p> <p>And while “tourist taxes” <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14616688.2019.1669070">remain popular strategies</a> to address overtourism, their effectiveness remains debatable. Instead, research suggests that a <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14616688.2019.1669070">combination</a> of specific economic measures (like fees and variable pricing) and non-economic policies (such as educating visitors) is the best option.</p> <p>That combination needs to be specially designed for each destination. There can be no one-size-fits-all solution. A <a href="https://www.e-unwto.org/doi/pdf/10.18111/9789284420070">report</a> by the World Tourism Organisation on overtourism identifies 11 different strategies and 68 measures to manage visitors’ growth in urban destinations.</p> <p>Barcelona, often seen as a city which has done well in handling mass tourism, has successfully used a <a href="https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/216242/1/CESifo-Forum-2019-03-p20-24.pdf">well targeted approach</a>. This has included harnessing new technology to develop a data driven management system to control visitor flows and overcrowding. It also deliberately engaged with the public when deciding on policies, and came up with specific strategies like limiting the number of new souvenir shops.</p> <p>But it did not resort to charging an entrance fee. Venice will be the first city in the world to do so – and other locations struggling with mass tourism will be keeping a close eye on whether such a bold move turns out to be a success.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/213703/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/sameer-hosany-292658"><em>Sameer Hosany</em></a><em>, Professor of Marketing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/royal-holloway-university-of-london-795">Royal Holloway University of London</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/an-entry-fee-may-not-be-enough-to-save-venice-from-20-million-tourists-213703">original article</a>.</em></p>

International Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Elle Macpherson marks major 20-year milestone

<p>Aussie supermodel Elle Macpherson has celebrated two incredible milestones this week. </p> <p>The 59-year-old, nicknamed "The Body" during her modelling years, took to Instagram to celebrate her one-year anniversary with her American musician boyfriend, Doyle Bramhall. </p> <p>''Life beyond my wildest dreams they say," she captioned the series of photos of the pair travelling the world together. </p> <p>The post also marked 20 years of sobriety for Macpherson, who recently shared her <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cwp_ytApolL/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link&amp;igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Alcoholics Anonymous badge</a> to celebrate the milestone. </p> <p>"As I celebrate my 20 years anniversary this week… I am also celebrating 365+days of heart expanding bliss," she continued in the tribute dedicated to her blossoming relationship with Bramhall. </p> <p>"Our friend @ninamorris calls us Nomadic Lovers - So I've chosen some of my favourite images from around the world," she added. </p> <p>She then listed all the different places they've been to together, which matched the photos on the slide. </p> <p>Among them, we see a picture of the pair kissing underneath the Eiffel Tower, exploring the Sahara desert in Morocco, and one of the shrines in Tokyo. </p> <p>"Real travel requires a maximum of unscheduled wandering, for there is no other way of discovering surprises and marvels, which, as I see it, is the only good reason for not staying at home," she added. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cw0CS5OM4yu/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cw0CS5OM4yu/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Elle Macpherson (@ellemacpherson)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Friends and fans alike took to the comments to congratulate the couple on their one-year anniversary, and celebrate Macpherson's sobriety. </p> <p>"My heart is SO full seeing you love &amp; being truly loved by @doylebramhall2," wrote Dr Simoné Laubscher , the formulator for Macpherson's wellness brand WelleCo. </p> <p>"Gorgeous photos capturing your essence ❤️ Here is to many more years of wild adventures," wrote another. </p> <p>"Congratulations my friend! These are the rewards of sobriety 🙏🏻" commented a third. </p> <p>"So very happy for you both. A beautiful celebration of pure love!" added another.</p> <p>"I’m so happy for you!!! You are the ultimate example of changing your world from the inside out!" commented a fifth. </p> <p>Macpherson and  Bramhall went public with their relationship in December.</p> <p>Macpherson shares two sons, Flynn and Cy, with her French financier ex Arpad Busson, while Bramhall shares daughter India with American vocalist Susannah Melvoin. </p> <p><em><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;"> Images: Instagram</span></em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Medical Research Future Fund has $20 billion to spend. Here’s how we prioritise who gets what

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/adrian-barnett-853">Adrian Barnett</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/philip-clarke-1149967">Philip Clarke</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-oxford-1260">University of Oxford</a></em></p> <p>The <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/our-work/medical-research-future-fund">Medical Research Future Fund</a> (MRFF) is a A$20 billion fund to support Australian health and medical research. It was set up in 2015 to deliver practical benefits from medical research and innovation to as many Australians as possible.</p> <p>Unlike the other research funding agencies, such the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), most of the MRFF funding is priority-driven. It seeks to fund research in particular areas or topics rather than using open calls when researchers propose their own ideas for funding.</p> <p>As the <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/not-how-you-run-a-1b-scheme-science-fund-backers-lead-chorus-for-reform-20230619-p5dhni.html">Nine newspapers</a> outlined this week, researchers have criticised the previous Coalition government’s allocation of MRFF funds. There is widespread consensus the former health minister had <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/a-centre-never-built-and-a-hospital-that-missed-out-the-coalition-s-unusual-20b-research-fund-20230619-p5dhng.html">too much influence</a> in the allocation of funds, and there was limited and sometimes no competition when funding was directly allocated to one research group.</p> <p>The current Health Minister, Mark Butler, has instituted a <a href="https://www.innovationaus.com/billion-dollar-medical-research-grants-process-under-review/">review</a>. So how should the big decisions about how to spend the MRFF be made in the future to maximise its value and achieve its aims?</p> <h2>Assess gaps in evidence</h2> <p>Research priorities for the MRFF are set by the <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/committees-and-groups/australian-medical-research-advisory-board-amrab?language=und">Australian Medical Research Advisory Board</a>, which widely consults with the research sector.</p> <p>However, most researchers and institutions will simply argue more funding is needed for their own research. If the board seeks to satisfy such lobbying, it will produce fragmented funding that aligns poorly with the health needs of Australians.</p> <p>A better approach would be to systematically assemble evidence about what is known and the key evidence gaps. Here, the board would benefit from what is known as a “<a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15484602/">value of information</a>” framework for decision-making.</p> <p>This framework systematically attempts to quantify the most valuable information that will reduce the uncertainty for health and medical decision-making. In other words, it would pinpoint which information we need to allow us to better make health and medical decisions.</p> <p>There have been <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30288400/">attempts</a> to use this method in Australia to help inform how we prioritise hospital-based research. However, we now need to apply such an approach more broadly.</p> <h2>Seek public input</h2> <p>A structured framework for engaging with the public is also missing in Australia. The public’s perspective on research prioritisation has often been overlooked, but as the ultimate consumers of research, they need to be heard.</p> <p>Research is a highly complex and specialised endeavour, so we can’t expect the public to create sensible priorities alone.</p> <p>One approach used overseas has been developed by the <a href="https://www.jla.nihr.ac.uk/">James Lind Alliance</a>, a group in the United Kingdom that combines the public’s views with researchers to create agreed-on priorities for research.</p> <p>This is done using an intensive process of question setting and discussion. Priorities are checked for feasibility and novelty, so there is no funding for research that’s impossible or already done.</p> <p>The priorities from the James Lind Alliance process can be surprising. The top priority in the area of <a href="https://www.jla.nihr.ac.uk/priority-setting-partnerships/irritable-bowel-syndrome/top-10-priorities.htm">irritable bowel syndrome</a>, for example, is to discover if it’s one condition or many, while the second priority is to work on bowel urgency (a sudden urgent need to go to the toilet).</p> <p>While such everyday questions can struggle to get funding in traditional systems that often focus on novelty, funding research in these two priority areas could lead to the most benefits for people with irritable bowel syndrome.</p> <h2>Consider our comparative advantages</h2> <p>Australia is a relatively small player globally. To date, the MRFF has allocated around <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/medical-research-future-fund-mrff-grant-recipients?language=und">$2.6 billion</a>, just over 5% of what the United States allocates through the National Institute of Health funding in a <a href="https://www.who.int/observatories/global-observatory-on-health-research-and-development/monitoring/investments-on-grants-for-biomedical-research-by-funder-type-of-grant-health-category-and-recipient">single year</a>.</p> <p>A single research grant, even if it involves a few million dollars of funding, is unlikely to lead to a medical breakthrough. Instead, the MRFF should prioritise areas where Australia has a comparative advantage.</p> <p>This could involve building on past success (such as the research that led to the HPV, or human papillomavirus, vaccine to prevent cervical cancer), or where Australian researchers can play a critical role globally.</p> <p>However, there is an area where Australian researchers have an absolute advantage: using research to improve our own health system.</p> <p>A prime example would be finding ways to improve dental care access in Australia. For example, a randomised trial of different ways of providing insurance and dental services, similar to the <a href="https://www.rand.org/health-care/projects/hie.html">RAND Health Insurance Experiment</a> conducted in the United States in the 1970s.</p> <p>This could provide the evidence needed to design a sustainable dental scheme to complement Medicare. Now that is something the MRFF should consider as a funding priority.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/209977/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/adrian-barnett-853">Adrian Barnett</a>, Professor of Statistics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/queensland-university-of-technology-847">Queensland University of Technology</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/philip-clarke-1149967">Philip Clarke</a>, Professor of Health Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-oxford-1260">University of Oxford</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/medical-research-future-fund-has-20-billion-to-spend-heres-how-we-prioritise-who-gets-what-209977">original article</a>.</em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

Restaurant's "brutal" note divides customers

<p>A restaurant has come under fire for their "brutal" note to difficult patrons, encouraging "privileged" customers who wish to "customise or modify" their menu, to stay home instead.</p> <p>A sign posted to the restaurant's front door urged customers with allergies to eat elsewhere as staff simply cannot "provide the service they require".</p> <p>While some applauded the restaurant's no-nonsense stance, others were shocked by the "rude and disgusting" message.</p> <p>"No means no. Are you one of the small group of people who have been living and entitled and privileged life?" The sign reads.</p> <p>"Maybe your mother has taken the onions out of your salad, put the dressing on the side, or substitute your vegetables. Here, however, all meals are served precisely the way we prepare them. We do not offer custom meals."</p> <p>"Remember, we are not your mother and we are definitely not genies that will make your every wish come true."</p> <p>Chef Jozef and restaurant owner Nathalie listed alternative choices for the "privileged" few including hiring a private chef, cooking for themselves "precisely the way you like", trying another establishment or accept their hospitality as it is offered. </p> <p>"We have been cooking for almost 50 years. We have many kind, friendly people, acquaintances and families that have been coming for many decades," they wrote. </p> <p>"So look around, it is a pleasure to see their happy smiles and provide them with our best food possible."</p> <p>The message also called out those with allergies and food sensitivities, encouraging them to take their business elsewhere. </p> <p>"It is simply not possible to guarantee each product used in this kitchen. Furthermore, we do not have the qualifications to provide you with the service you require," they said. </p> <p>The strongly worded sign caught the attention of many online, with some praising the restauranteurs as "honest" and "brilliant". </p> <p>"Amen, the public is not always right. And actually most of the time they're not. This establishment is well within their right to post this," one person commented. </p> <p>"You know from the very start how things are. It's one restaurant. If you don't like it, there are so many others you can go to instead... No need to have a sook. Just go elsewhere. Some of us would enjoy a restaurant like this," a second pointed out. </p> <p>Despite some support for the restaurant's honesty, others were taken aback with lots of people criticising the hard-line stance for being "snarky" and "rude".</p> <p>One disgruntled person commented, "If you are not able or willing to provide what your guests need or even give service, it might seem better to be honest but this message is rude and disgusting. Don't seek employment in service roles and then complain."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / Facebook</em></p>

Food & Wine

Placeholder Content Image

20 old words that have new meanings since the birth of the internet

<p><a href="../Dictionary.com"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Dictionary.com</strong></span></a> has revealed a list of commonly used words that have seen their definition change considerably in the last couple of decades.</p> <p>The changes have been primarily driven by the increased use of social media. While 1995 may seem like it was just yesterday to some of us, 20 years is actually a really long time. The world has change from dial-up modems and VCRs to unlimited broadband and Netflix streaming.</p> <p>Check out the list of 20 words with new meanings below:</p> <p><strong>1. Bump</strong></p> <p>Then: “to come more or less heavily in contact with.”</p> <p>Now: “to move an online post or thread to the top of the reverse chronological list by adding a new comment or post to the thread.”</p> <p><strong>2. Cloud</strong></p> <p>Then: “a visible collection of particles of water or ice suspended in the air.”</p> <p>Now: “any of several parts of the Internet that allow online processing and storage of documents and data as well as electronic access to software and other resources.”</p> <p><strong>3. Core</strong></p> <p>Then: “the central part of a fleshy fruit, containing the seeds.”</p> <p>Now: “the muscles of the torso, which provide support for the spine and pelvis.”</p> <p><strong>4. Fail</strong></p> <p>Then: “to come short or be wanting in action.”</p> <p>Now: “to make an embarrassing or humorous mistake, be in a humiliating situation, etc., and be subject to ridicule.”</p> <p><strong>5. Footprint</strong></p> <p>Then: “a mark left by the foot.”</p> <p>Now: “a unique set of characteristics, actions, etc., that leave a trace and serve as a means of identification.”</p> <p><strong>6. Friend</strong></p> <p>Then: “someone attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.”</p> <p>Now: “to add a person to one’s list of contacts on a social-networking website.”</p> <p><strong>7. Glance</strong></p> <p>Then: “to look quickly or briefly.”</p> <p>Now: “Information on an electronic screen that can be understood quickly or at a glance.”</p> <p><strong>8. Goldilocks</strong></p> <p>Then: “a person with golden hair.”</p> <p>Now: “Not being extreme or not varying drastically between extremes, especially between hot and cold.”</p> <p><strong>9. Like</strong></p> <p>Then: “having the same or similar qualities or characteristics.”</p> <p>Now: “to indicate one’s enjoyment of, agreement with, or interest in website content, especially in social media.”</p> <p><strong>10. Meme</strong></p> <p>Then: “a cultural element, as a custom or concept.”</p> <p>Now: “A cultural item in the form of an image, video, phrase, etc., that is spread via the Internet and often altered in a creative or humorous way.”</p> <p><strong>11. Ping:</strong></p> <p>Then: “to produce a sharp, ringing, high-pitched sound.”</p> <p>Now: “to make contact with someone by sending a brief electronic message, as a text message.”</p> <p><strong>12. Profile:</strong></p> <p>Then: “the outline or contour of the human face, especially as seen from the side.”</p> <p>Now: “the personal details, images, user statistics, social-media timeline, etc., that an individual creates and associates with a username or online account.”</p> <p><strong>13. Sandbox:</strong></p> <p>Then: “a container holding sand, usually located in an outdoors area.”</p> <p>Now: “an environment in which software developers or editors can create and test new content, separate from other content in the project.”</p> <p><strong>14. Swipe</strong></p> <p>Then: “a stroke with full swing of the arms.”</p> <p>Now: “to move the fingers across a touchscreen.”</p> <p><strong>15. Takeaway</strong></p> <p>Then: “food or beverage purchased for consumption elsewhere.”</p> <p>Now: “conclusions, impressions, or action points resulting from a meeting, discussion, roundtable, or the like.”</p> <p><strong>16. Text</strong></p> <p>Then: “the main body of matter in a book or manuscript.”</p> <p>Now: “to send a text message.”</p> <p><strong>17. Timeline</strong></p> <p>Then: “a representation of historical events in the form of a line.”</p> <p>Now:  “a collection of online posts or updates associated with a specific social-media account, in reverse chronological order.”</p> <p><strong>18. Tweet</strong></p> <p>Then: “the weak chirp of a young or small bird.”</p> <p>Now: “a very short message posted on the Twitter website.”</p> <p><strong>19. Unplug</strong></p> <p>Then: “to disconnect by pulling the plug from it or from a power socket.”</p> <p>Now: “to refrain from using digital or electronic devices for a period of time.”</p> <p><strong>20. Viral</strong></p> <p>Then: “relating to or caused by a virus.”</p> <p>Now: “becoming very popular by circulating quickly from person to person, especially through the Internet.”</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><strong>Related links:</strong> </p> <p><a href="../lifestyle/technology/2015/07/eight-tips-for-your-kindle/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>8 great things you can do with your Kindle</strong></em></span></a></p> <p><a href="../news/news/2015/05/new-words-in-merriam-webster-dictionary/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>Can you guess what new words have been added to Merriam-Webster dictionary?</strong></em></span></a></p> <p><a href="../travel/travel-club/2015/05/free-translation-apps/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>3 great FREE translation apps to use when travelling</strong></em></span> </a></p>

Books

Placeholder Content Image

Adorable reason behind Chris Hemsworth’s red carpet cheat notes

<p>Chris Hemsworth has been married to Spanish actress Elsa Pataky for almost 13 years, and while she speaks fluent English, Hemsworth is yet to master her native tongue.</p> <p>On June 8, he was at the premiere of his Netflix film Extraction 2 and was caught with some Spanish words scrawled on the palm of his hand.</p> <p>The 39-year-old was then photographed with what appeared to be a cheat sheet, which he personally found hilarious.</p> <p>“After years of coming to Spain and being asked ‘has my Spanish improved’ I can safely say it’s in the palm of my hand,” he wrote on Instagram alongside the photo.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CtOqVmTJ1sx/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CtOqVmTJ1sx/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Chris Hemsworth (@chrishemsworth)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The actor revealed what was written on his hand during a guest appearance on local TV program El Hormiguero (Spanish for The Anthill).</p> <p>In the interview, Hemsworth also shared that his three children with Pataky - daughter India, 10, and twin sons Tristan and Sasha, 9 - find it funny that he doesn’t speak nor understand the language.</p> <p>“I try, but I can’t. My children laugh at me when I try to have a conversation with them in Spanish,” he admitted.</p> <p>“Sh*t, f**k, what happened? … I know that, that’s what my wife yells at me. The more she gets angry, the more she speaks Spanish.”</p> <p>Speaking to <em>Today</em> in 2017, Pataky said she had pretty much given up on teaching Hemsworth her native language, focusing on teaching their children instead.</p> <p>“He promised me, he said, ‘I’ll be speaking Spanish in two months.’ There we go, we have been together for six years,” Pataky – who speaks five languages: English, Spanish, Italian, French and Romanian - told <em>Today</em>.</p> <p>“That’s important, that’s what my mum did to me, talked in Romanian. I start to speak in English, I’m like, ‘I don’t express myself great.’ I got used to making an effort to speak to [the kids] in Spanish.”</p> <p><em>Image credit: Instagram</em></p>

Movies

Placeholder Content Image

Alan Joyce preparing to sell controversial $20 million mansion

<p>Outgoing Qantas CEO Alan Joyce is saying goodbye to more than his long-time role at the airline as he prepares to sell his controversial harbourside mansion.</p> <p>The veteran airline boss purchased the gorgeous North Shore home for a staggering $19 million in May 2022.</p> <p>Soon after he was forced to launch a fierce defence of his excessive spending habits after Qantas announced a whopping $1.9 billion loss.</p> <p>The airline came under fire for poor customer service, extended wait times for flyers, and drama over lost bags and late flights, amid legal action over its move to lay off workers that lead to Joyce launching the defence of his own record as airline boss.</p> <p>He said he was tired of being forced to justify his professional and personal decisions.</p> <p>“Why is it relevant what I do in my private life? I’m not a public figure. People regard the CEO of Qantas as like a politician and it definitely shouldn’t be. It’s a business figure,’ Joyce told <em>The Australian</em> in 2022.</p> <p>“It’s been well reported over the years how much I get paid, so I do have the money because Qantas went to record profits and had a ­record share price.”</p> <p>According to reports, Joyce is set to sell his short-term blue chip pile in Mosman, overlooking Mosman Bay and move into a generous penthouse in The Rocks.</p> <p>It is understood that Joyce has undertaken some refurbishments on the Mosman home. That paired with the competitive market for prestige homes in Sydney means the home could sell for more than $20 million.</p> <p>The luxe home has been previously owned by former foreign exchange dealer Alison Ethell and her sister, Jane, since 1993 when it cost $1.25 million.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Getty / Realestate.com.au</em></p>

Real Estate

Placeholder Content Image

“How do you pay someone for 20 years?”: Folbigg’s big compensation question

<p>Since her <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/kathleen-folbigg-pardoned-after-20-years-behind-bars" target="_blank" rel="noopener">release from prison</a>, Kathleen Folbigg has been the centre of a media frenzy, with networks battling it out to secure an exclusive tell-all interview.</p> <p>Following a fierce bidding war, Seven Network has won the rights over Nine for the interview believed to have cost more than $400,000.</p> <p>A source from Seven said the exclusive interview will be aired on the Sunday evening current affairs show, <em>7News Spotlight</em>.</p> <p>Others have proposed the deal has cost the network close to $1 million.</p> <p>The deal could see her on the list of select few Australians awarded seven-figure sums in light of their wrongful convictions, including Linda Chamberlain.</p> <p>Chamberlain’s lawyer Stuart Tipple said Folbigg needs to be declared innocent and be given compensation for her years in prison, noting she had a solid case.</p> <p>“The sad thing is all she can get is money, how do you pay someone for 20 years?” he said.</p> <p>“And also, I think we need to reflect on an injustice just doesn’t affect Kathleen.</p> <p>“I feel tonight very much for her husband and the father of those children and the injustice that just affects so many people, so many lives.</p> <p>“I feel very, very badly for him tonight and I just think of the whole process of just how harmful it is to them and to our society and our confidence in the whole judicial system.”</p> <p>Robyn Blewer, director of the Griffith University Innocence Project, noted two recent cases to illustrate how Folbigg could be compensated for her 7,300 days in jail.</p> <p>West Australian man Scott Austic received $1.3 million in May 2023 on top of an earlier payment of $250,000 after serving nearly 13 years for murdering his pregnant secret lover.</p> <p>He had sought $8.5 million after being acquitted on appeal in 2020.</p> <p>Both payments were ex gratis, unlike David Eastman’s award of $7 million in damages by the ACT Supreme Court in 2019.</p> <p>Eastman served almost 19 years over the 1989 shooting murder of federal police assistance commissioner Colin Winchester, where he was acquitted at a second trial.</p> <p>"The difference is it was in ACT which has a human rights act and under that, there is an entitlement for compensation under human rights," Dr Blewer told AAP.</p> <p>"Mr Eastman was then able to sue because there was a right to compensation.</p> <p>"The court assessed his damages in the same way they would a tort ... the court went through every time he was injured.”</p> <p>Like Austic, Chamberlain was awarded an ex grata or grace payment. She was awarded $1.3 million in 1992 which now equates to about $3 million.</p> <p>Folbigg will need specific legal advice about whether a civil claim is possible due to NSW lacking a human rights act like that of the ACT.</p> <p>Dr Blewer said she could become reliant on what the government was willing to pay.</p> <p>"Twenty years is a substantial amount of time lost," she said.</p> <p>"It might depend on the good grace of the NSW government."</p> <p>No further steps can be taken until Folbigg’s lawyers obtain the final report of former Chief Justice Tom Bathurst.</p> <p>An application to the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal to quash her convictions will likely follow.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Facebook / Instagram</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Kathleen Folbigg pardoned after 20 years behind bars

<p>Jailed in 2003 and considered at the time to be Australia’s most prolific female serial killer, Kathleen Folbigg has now been pardoned over the death of her four children and will be released without delay.</p> <p>Folbigg, 55, was convicted of killing her three children Patrick, Sarah and Laura, and was also found guilty of the manslaughter of her firstborn Caleb between 1989 to 1999.</p> <p>Her babies were aged between 19 days and 19 months.</p> <p>The historic convictions have not been quashed as that can only be done through the Court of Criminal Appeal.</p> <p>Folbigg has always maintained her innocence, insisting that her children had each died of natural causes, and as a result she has served 20 years of a minimum 25-year prison sentence.</p> <p>NSW Attorney General Michael Daley announced the pardon, saying Folbigg had endured “a terrible ordeal” and there was a possibility she could sue the government if the convictions were quashed, a legal step which goes beyond a pardon.</p> <p>"What is the difference between today and what has transpired in the past? New evidence has come to light," he said, referring to new scientific evidence submitted in an inquiry into the death of the babies.</p> <p>Former NSW Chief Justice Tom Bathurst KC is leading the inquiry and is now writing up a final report for the NSW governor.</p> <p>Daley said he had received a phone from Chief Justice Bathurst last week that "he had come to a firm view" about what the outcome of his report would be.</p> <p>Prosecutors argued Folbigg smothered her children during periods of frustration and insisted that some of her diary entries were admissions of guilt.</p> <p>New scientific evidence has now cast sufficient doubt on her guilt.</p> <p>Folbigg and her two daughters were found to carry a rare genetic variant, CALM2-G114R, which can cause cardiac arrhythmia and sudden death.</p> <p>According to cardiology and genetic experts, the genetic verity was a “reasonably possible cause” of Sarah and Laura’s death.</p> <p>The variant was not found in Caleb or Patrick.</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook</em></p>

News

Placeholder Content Image

“They snack-shamed my three year old”: Mum fires up on school note

<p>An American mother has taken to social media to share her Pringle problem with the world. </p> <p>As Megan Peavey explained in her TikTok video, she’d sent her three-year-old son to school with some chips in his lunchbox to enjoy when snacktime rolled around. </p> <p>However, the staff at the school weren’t exactly of the opinion that Pringles were the right choice, going so far as to suggest Megan had purposefully done the wrong thing and given her child something ‘unhealthy’. </p> <p>“Look at what happened to me today,” she said in the now-private clip. “I sent my son to school with Pringles, which is a very age appropriate snack for a three year old.” </p> <p>She went on to explain that the school had responded by sending the boy home with his empty chip container, the line “please help us make healthy choices at school” written across it in bold black marker. </p> <p>“They wrote that on his Pringles cup,” she said, “they snack shamed my three year old, they snack shamed me, by writing that passive-aggressively on his trash.</p> <p>After asking viewers what they might do in that situation, she described how she got in touch with the school, calling them out on what they’d done, and they “did not label things as healthy and unhealthy” in their house “because that starts eating disorders”.</p> <p>“Do you think that’s ridiculous?” came her final question. “Because I f***ing do.” </p> <p>Megan later shared an update on the entire situation, outlining how she had spoken to the school’s director, and was told “it was passive-aggressive of me to keep sending Pringles after the note”. </p> <p>But, as she pointed out, she didn’t believe Pringles to be an ‘unhealthy’ snack like they did.</p> <p>“I consider things like Doritos, Cheetos, and Milky Way bars to be unhealthy,” she noted, before adding that she regularly sends her son to school with the likes of granola bars with his other snacks, and that she just would have appreciated the school speaking to her directly without leaping to the note. </p> <p>Megan stood her ground and didn’t apologise to the educators, before she “walked downstairs and I just checked my son out - we’re done there.”</p> <p>Her comments were flooded by fellow parents who were more than eager to back her up, with many noting that they may not have handled it so well themselves - one even wrote that she’d have sent her child with an entire tub and a handwritten “no thank you” the next day. </p> <p>“I cannot even explain how out of line and wild this seems to me - on the school's part," another said.</p> <p>“On his birthday…send pringles for EVERY kid in the class,” someone suggested.</p> <p>And one pre-k teacher even came forward to share her take, noting “never would I ever tell a family to 'make healthy choices'. My girls get a bag of chips with their sandwiches, along with fresh fruit."</p> <p><em>Images: TikTok</em></p>

Family & Pets

Placeholder Content Image

Madonna releases “controversial” 20 year old music video

<p dir="ltr">Pop veteran Madonna has finally released the music video for her hit song <em>American Life</em>, 20 years after it was filmed. </p> <p dir="ltr">The video, which is arguably her most controversial yet, was originally set to come out in 2003, but was scrapped at the last minute due to overwhelming negative press. </p> <p dir="ltr">While the song itself was a wry look at Madonna’s own experiences of fame and success, the original video was instead a graphic commentary on the then-imminent American invasion of Iraq.</p> <p dir="ltr">Shot just weeks before the war began, the video shows Madonna and her posse of backup dancers all wearing army garb, preparing for a fashion show that sees soldiers walk the catwalk alongside victims of war.</p> <p dir="ltr">The “fashion” show is observed by disinterested fashion experts, who watch on with impassive faces as violence breaks out on the catwalk, with blood and guts spilling everywhere. </p> <p dir="ltr">Had it have been released at the time of growing tensions between the US and Iraq, the video would’ve been heavily censored, or even banned, due to the numerous graphic depictions of violence, with dismembered and disembowelled victims laying on the runway.</p> <p dir="ltr">In response to the outrage, Madonna said the video would never see the light of day. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I have decided not to release my new video. It was filmed before the war started and I do not believe it is appropriate to air it at this time. Due to the volatile state of the world and out of sensitivity and respect to the armed forces, who I support and pray for, I do not want to risk offending anyone who might misinterpret the meaning of this video,” she said in 2003. </p> <p dir="ltr">Now, two decades later, Madonna’s finally officially released the original music video on her official YouTube channel to mark the album’s 20th anniversary.  </p> <p dir="ltr">You can watch the video <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZAMiK6ROZA">here</a>, but be warned that viewer discretion is advised. </p> <p dir="ltr">Despite the backlash that occurred when the video was first filmed, many fans are glad the unseen footage has finally been released. </p> <p dir="ltr">The video has racked up hundreds of thousands of views in less than a week, and multiple comments praising the pop veteran for her bold statement. </p> <p dir="ltr">One commenter wrote, “This video is not only iconic but also a powerful and still relevant message to this day. I'm glad it finally got an official release after all these years!”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Music

Placeholder Content Image

20 classic movie quotes you’ll love

<p>From <em>James Bond</em> to Robin Williams in <em>Dead Poets Society</em>, these classic movie quotes are sure to bring a smile to your face.</p> <p><strong>1. "Bond. James Bond." </strong></p> <p>Sean Connery in <em>Dr No</em> (1962) </p> <p><strong>2. “Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”</strong></p> <p>Robin Williams in <em>Dead Poets Society </em>(1989)</p> <p><strong>3. "ET phone home." </strong></p> <p>Drew Barrymore in <em>ET the Extra-terrestrial </em>(1982)</p> <p><strong>4. "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!" </strong></p> <p>Clark Gable in <em>Gone with the Wind </em>(1939)</p> <p><strong>5. "Get busy living, or get busy dying." </strong></p> <p>Tim Robbins in <em>The Shawshank Redemption</em> (1994)</p> <p><strong>6.  "Go ahead, make my day." </strong></p> <p>Clint Eastwood in <em>Sudden Impact</em> (1983)</p> <p><strong>7. "Here's looking at you, kid."</strong> </p> <p>Rick Blaine/Humphrey Bogart in <em>Casablanca </em>(1942)</p> <p><strong>8. "I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12. Jesus, does anyone?"</strong></p> <p>Richard Dreyfuss in <em>Stand By Me</em> (1986) </p> <p><strong>9. "If you build it, he will come." </strong></p> <p>Ray Liotta in <em>Field of Dreams</em> (1989)</p> <p><strong>10. "I'll be back." </strong></p> <p>Arnold Schwarzenegger in<em> The Terminator </em>(1984)</p> <p><strong>11. "I'll have what she's having." </strong></p> <p>Estelle Reiner in <em>When Harry Met Sally</em> (1989)</p> <p><strong>12. "I'm also just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her." </strong></p> <p>Julia Roberts in <em>Notting Hill</em> (1999)</p> <p><strong>13. "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse." </strong></p> <p>Marlon Brando in<em> The Godfather</em> (1972)</p> <p><strong>14. "Life is a box of chocolates, Forrest. You never know what you're gonna get." </strong></p> <p>Sally Field in <em>Forrest Gump </em>(1994)</p> <p><strong>15. "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."</strong></p> <p>Humphrey Bogart in <em>Casablanca</em> (1942) </p> <p><strong>16. "May the Force be with you." </strong></p> <p>Harrison Ford in<em> Star Wars</em> (1977)</p> <p><strong>17. "Oh, Jerry, don't ask for the moon. We have the stars." </strong></p> <p>Bette Davis in <em>Now, Voyager </em>(1942)</p> <p><strong>18. "Say hello to my little friend." </strong></p> <p>Al Pacino in <em>Scarface</em> (1983)</p> <p><strong>19. "You had me at hello." </strong></p> <p>Renee Zellweger in <em>Jerry Maguire </em>(1996)</p> <p><strong>20. “You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!” </strong></p> <p>Michael Caine in <em>The Italian Job</em> (1969)</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Movies

Our Partners