Placeholder Content Image

Sombre Aussie site tops global list of most unusual abandoned places

<p>Each year, thousands of people travel to famous abandoned buildings and hotspots to explore what were once important landmarks. </p> <p>Some deserted sites are more popular than others, as these ten sites received tens of thousands of visitors each year. </p> <p><strong>Buzludzha, Bulgaria</strong></p> <p>The Buzludzha Monument in central Bulgaria has been dubbed the tenth most famous abandoned place in the world, each year welcoming over 18,000 people. </p> <p>The site was constructed in 1981 and used by the Bulgarian communist government, and was in use until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989.</p> <p><strong>Ohio State Reformatory, USA</strong></p> <p>After first opening in 1898, the goal of the Ohio State Reformatory was to truly "reform" and rehabilitate its inmates.</p> <p>The facility was closed in 1990, and each year attracts more than 21,000 visitors.</p> <p><strong>Gereja Ayam, Indonesia</strong></p> <p>The uniquely shaped house of prayer in Central Java continues to be a popular tourist attraction in Indonesia, welcoming more than 50,000 travellers each year. </p> <p>Construction on the church was never completed after work was halted in 2000.</p> <p><strong>Lago di Resia Bell Tower, Italy</strong></p> <p>The 14-century sunken bell tower can be found near the border of Switzerland, emerging from the water from a sunken village where travellers claim they can hear bells tolling, even though there are no bells in the tower. </p> <p>The lonely (and probably haunted) tower receives more than 54,000 tourists each year. </p> <p><strong>Canfranc, Spain</strong></p> <p>The abandoned railway station is located in the Spanish municipality of Canfranc, close to the French border and once was a major hub for cross-border railway traffic.</p> <p>It first opened in 1928, but closed its doors by 1970 before it was reimagined as a hotel.  </p> <p><strong>Beelitz Military Hospital, Germany</strong></p> <p>The large hospital complex was first built in 1898 as a sanatorium, but was transformed into a hospital at the beginning of WWI and has been abandoned since 1990. </p> <p>It's understood Hitler was treated here after being wounded in the Battle of Somme, which could be the reason more than 64,000 travellers flock there each year. </p> <p><strong>Eastern State Penitentiary, USA</strong></p> <p>The prison in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is described as one of the country's most historic prisons and has housed some famous prisoners such as Al Capone.</p> <p>The prison was closed in 1971 and is tagged on social media by more than 79,000 every year. </p> <p><strong>Croix-Rouge, Paris</strong></p> <p>Also known as the Red Cross, this Paris train station has been abandoned since 1939 after France entered WWII.</p> <p>The station was only functional for 16 years, and welcomes more than 95,000 curious travellers each year. </p> <p><strong>Teufelsberg, Germany</strong></p> <p>Teufelsberg was one of the largest listening towers in the world during the Cold war.</p> <p>The site was closed in 1972, but still receives around 128,000 every year. </p> <p><strong>Port Arthur, Australia</strong></p> <p>More than a quarter of a million visitors travel to Port Arthur in Tasmania each year.</p> <p>The site itself was first opened as a timber station in 1830 and is known as a symbol of the country's convict past.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

International Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Lion King at 30: the global hit that Disney didn’t believe in

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/joel-gray-1539770">Joel Gray</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/sheffield-hallam-university-846">Sheffield Hallam University</a></em></p> <p>Thirty years ago audiences were introduced to the epic story of one little lion’s journey to find himself and his family. Little did Disney know what a roaring success the Lion King would be when it was released in 1994. In fact, they fully expected it wouldn’t be.</p> <p>In the 80s and 90s, the movie studio experienced huge hits with the animated films The Little Mermaid (1989) and Beauty and the Beast (1991). This left many of the creatives at the Disney studio keen to <a href="https://www.theringer.com/movies/2019/7/19/20699678/the-lion-king-original-animation-1994">continue making princess stories</a>. Disney executive and Hollywood stalwart Jeffrey Katzenberg was banking on Pocahontas (1995) to be their next hit.</p> <p>Therefore, the Lion King’s development was undertaken by artists and storytellers who were expected to produce something that would only ever be second best. It’s this underdog feeling that resulted in a hungry and competitive creative team producing this original hit story (it’s <a href="https://www.oprahdaily.com/entertainment/tv-movies/a28376309/the-lion-king-hamlet-comparison/">not a direct retelling of Hamlet</a>, as some might think).</p> <p>Taking heed of its immediate film predecessors, Disney ensured the movie put music at the forefront of its storytelling, teaming up film scorist Hans Zimmer (Rain Man, Gladiator) with lyricist Tim Rice (Aladdin, Jesus Christ Superstar) and acclaimed international pop star Elton John. This combination of talent resulted in a soundtrack that won the film two Oscars in 1995 (<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uB5k_flnqf0">best score</a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjgWWjkNbhU">best original song for Can You Feel The Love Tonight?</a>). The songs and music have played a critical role in the cultural and commercial impact of The Lion King. While some elements might change, in nearly every adaptation the songs have remained.</p> <p>The measure of success often used for movies is box office revenue, and the film’s 1994 total was <a href="https://www.boxofficemojo.com/title/tt0110357/">US$763 million</a> (£603 million) worldwide. Compare that with Disney’s previous great successes, The Little Mermaid <a href="https://www.boxofficemojo.com/title/tt0097757/">US$84 million</a> worldwide and Beauty and the Beast <a href="https://www.boxofficemojo.com/title/tt0101414/?ref_=bo_se_r_2">US$249 million</a>. Pocahontas, the great hope, also failed to outperform The Lion King bringing in <a href="https://www.boxofficemojo.com/title/tt0114148/?ref_=bo_se_r_1">US$142 million</a>.</p> <p>Its success spawned direct-to-video sequels, including The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride. In 1997, the film was adapted into a <a href="https://www.thelionking.co.uk/about-the-show">musical theatre production</a>, which, as well as touring globally, is a permanent fixture in the West End of London and on Broadway in New York. Then in 2019, Disney released <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TavVZMewpY">a live-action remake</a>. And now, as the original celebrates its 30th anniversary, the prequel, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjQG-a7d41Q">Mufasa: The Lion King</a>, will hit cinemas.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lFzVJEksoDY?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>Disney has cleverly followed the fans with these iterations. The 1997 stage adaptation tapped into the late <a href="https://www.onstageblog.com/columns/2017/4/13/the-50-best-musicals-of-the-1990s">90s resurgence in live musical theatre</a>. Since its debut the musical has received 70 major arts awards, including the 1999 Grammy for best musical show album and the 1999 Laurence Olivier awards for best choreography and best costume design.</p> <p>Then 25 years after the original’s release, Disney decided to remake The Lion King (following other hits such as Beauty and the Beast remake in 2017) – but the social environment had changed. In 2019, the “live action” remake of the movie ensured that this story set in Africa was rightly <a href="https://toofab.com/2019/07/04/original-lion-king-had-35-percent-black-main-cast/">cast with majority Black performers</a>. The cast introduced new names, but also attracted huge stars, including Beyoncé Knowles-Carter who voiced the character Nala.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MjQG-a7d41Q?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>After The Lion King’s early success, Disney’s subsequent movies (including Pocahontas) did not live up to commercial expectations. From the mid-90s, Disney’s dominance at the animated movie box office was overtaken by Pixar and their hits, including Toy Story.</p> <p>Disney experienced inconsistent success until 2010 when they embraced CGI 3D animation as the primary production technique for their movies. This new style was applied to their tried-and-tested format of retelling classic fairytales and placing music at the heart of the storytelling, leading to hits such as Tangled (2010) and Frozen (2013).</p> <p>The Lion King’s enduring success should be a stand-out moment of clarity for Disney: with a focus on good quality animation and solid music storytelling, even the unexpected can become a roaring 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/233024/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/joel-gray-1539770">Joel Gray</a>, Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/sheffield-hallam-university-846">Sheffield Hallam University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Walt Disney Pictures </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/lion-king-at-30-the-global-hit-that-disney-didnt-believe-in-233024">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Movies

Placeholder Content Image

‘Sleep tourism’ promises the trip of your dreams. Beyond the hype plus 5 tips for a holiday at home

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/charlotte-gupta-347235">Charlotte Gupta</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dean-j-miller-808724">Dean J. Miller</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p>Imagine arriving at your hotel after a long flight and being greeted by your own personal sleep butler. They present you with a pillow menu and invite you to a sleep meditation session later that day.</p> <p>You unpack in a room kitted with an AI-powered smart bed, blackout shades, blue light-blocking glasses and weighted blankets.</p> <p>Holidays are traditionally for activities or sightseeing – eating Parisian pastry under the Eiffel tower, ice skating at New York City’s Rockefeller Centre, lying by the pool in Bali or sipping limoncello in Sicily. But “<a href="https://www.smh.com.au/traveller/inspiration/pillow-menus-and-sleep-gummies-the-new-hotel-trend-that-s-putting-guests-to-sleep-20230823-p5dyu5.html">sleep tourism</a>” offers vacations for the sole purpose of getting good sleep.</p> <p>The emerging trend extends out of the global wellness tourism industry – reportedly worth more than <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogersands/2023/11/17/the-global-wellness-tourism-sector-surpasses-814-billion-market-share/">US$800 billion globally</a> (A$1.2 trillion) and <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/1018497/global-market-size-of-the-wellness-tourism-industry/">expected to boom</a>.</p> <p>Luxurious sleep retreats and sleep suites at hotels are popping up <a href="https://www.countryandtownhouse.com/style/health-and-beauty/sleep-retreats/">all over the world</a> for tourists to get some much-needed rest, relaxation and recovery. But do you really need to leave home for some shuteye?</p> <h2>Not getting enough</h2> <p>The rise of sleep tourism may be a sign of just how chronically sleep deprived we all are.</p> <p>In Australia more than one-third of adults are not achieving the recommended <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352721816301292?via%3Dihub">7–9 hours</a> of sleep per night, and the estimated cost of this inadequate sleep is <a href="https://academic.oup.com/sleep/article/41/8/zsy083/5025924">A$45 billion</a> each year.</p> <p>Inadequate sleep is linked to <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.2147/NSS.S134864">long-term health problems</a> including poor mental health, heart disease, metabolic disease and deaths from any cause.</p> <h2>Can a fancy hotel give you a better sleep?</h2> <p>Many of the sleep services available in the sleep tourism industry aim to optimise the bedroom for sleep. This is a core component of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4400203/?ref=askdoctorjad.com">sleep hygiene</a> – a series of healthy sleep practices that facilitate good sleep including sleeping in a comfortable bedroom with a good mattress and pillow, sleeping in a quiet environment and relaxing before bed.</p> <p>The more people follow sleep hygiene practices, the better their <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08964280209596396">sleep quality and quantity</a>.</p> <p>When we are staying in a hotel we are also likely away from any stressors we encounter in everyday life (such as work pressure or caring responsibilities). And we’re away from potential nighttime disruptions to sleep we might experience at home (the construction work next door, restless pets, unsettled children). So regardless of the sleep features hotels offer, it is likely we will experience improved sleep when we are away.</p> <h2>What the science says about catching up on sleep</h2> <p>In the short-term, <a href="https://theconversation.com/is-it-possible-to-catch-up-on-sleep-we-asked-five-experts-98699#:%7E:text=We%20can%20catch%20up%20on,and%20we%20cannot%20resist%20sleep.">we can catch up on sleep</a>. This can happen, for example, after a short night of sleep when our brain accumulates “<a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07420528.2012.675256">sleep pressure</a>”. This term describes how strong the biological drive for sleep is. More sleep pressure makes it easier to sleep the next night and to sleep for longer.</p> <p>But while a longer sleep the next night can relieve the sleep pressure, it does not reverse the <a href="https://jcsm.aasm.org/doi/pdf/10.5664/jcsm.26918">effects of the short sleep on our brain and body</a>. Every night’s sleep is important for our body to recover and for our brain to process the events of that day. Spending a holiday “catching up” on sleep could help you feel more rested, but it is not a substitute for prioritising regular healthy sleep at home.</p> <p>All good things, including holidays, must come to an end. Unfortunately the perks of sleep tourism may end too.</p> <p>Our bodies do not like variability in the time of day that we sleep. The most common example of this is called “<a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/13/12/4543">social jet lag</a>”, where weekday sleep (getting up early to get to work or school) is vastly different to weekend sleep (late nights and sleep ins). This can result in a sleepy, grouchy start to the week on Monday. Sleep tourism may be similar, if you do not come back home with the intention to prioritise sleep.</p> <p>So we should be mindful that as well as sleeping well on holiday, it is important to optimise conditions at home to get consistent, adequate sleep every night.</p> <h2>5 tips for having a sleep holiday at home</h2> <p>An AI-powered mattress and a sleep butler at home might be the dream. But these features are not the only way we can optimise our sleep environment and give ourselves the best chance to get a good night’s sleep. Here are five ideas to start the night right:</p> <p><strong>1.</strong> avoid bright artificial light in the evening (such as bright overhead lights, phones, laptops)</p> <p><strong>2.</strong> make your bed as comfortable as possible with fresh pillows and a supportive mattress</p> <p><strong>3.</strong> use black-out window coverings and maintain a cool room temperature for the ideal sleeping environment</p> <p><strong>4.</strong> establish an evening wind-down routine, such as a warm shower and reading a book before bed or even a “<a href="https://theconversation.com/turns-out-the-viral-sleepy-girl-mocktail-is-backed-by-science-should-you-try-it-222151">sleepy girl mocktail</a>”</p> <p><strong>5.</strong> use consistency as the key to a good sleep routine. Aim for a similar bedtime and wake time – even on weekends.<!-- 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/231718/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/charlotte-gupta-347235">Charlotte Gupta</a>, Senior postdoctoral research fellow, Appleton Institute, HealthWise research group, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dean-j-miller-808724">Dean J. Miller</a>, Adjunct Research Fellow, Appleton Institute of Behavioural Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</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/sleep-tourism-promises-the-trip-of-your-dreams-beyond-the-hype-plus-5-tips-for-a-holiday-at-home-231718">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

Sam Kerr's Olympic dream shattered

<p>Matildas captain Sam Kerr has been forced to sit out of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games after still feeling the after effects of an injury she sustained early in the year.</p> <p>In early January, Kerr suffered an ACL injury while on a training camp and despite her best efforts to recover for the Games, Football Australia confirmed she would continue her rehabilitation program in her home club environment and will not be available for selection. </p> <p>Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson said the team has been dealing with a lot of difficult injuries, which has affected who will be eligible for the team selection. </p> <p>“Unfortunately we have had a very very tough period with injuries,” Gustavsson said. </p> <p>“I just got the summary sheet here a week ago and 15 out of these 37 players are either injured or just coming back from injury which means some of the players that are selected now is selected to be evaluated where they are with their physical status in the gym window and see where they will potentially be come the Olympics."</p> <p>“I think everyone can do the math here and understand that obviously the Olympic roster will be based mostly out of those that are in camp. “</p> <p>Gustavsson already has a clear picture of which players he wants in which positions to form the best possible team to send to Paris, but knows he may have to wait to see who is actually available as the Matildas pursue a first ever Olympics medal. </p> <p>“This window will be a tough one for me and my staff in terms of evaluating players, where they are, and then the final selection process for Paris,” he said.</p> <p>“With the Olympics approaching, selection is about seeing the overall picture over four years of performance and assembling the best team possible. We are pleased and confident we have those options across the pitch.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: James Whitehead/SPP/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Man restores mate's dream pub after tragic death

<p>Kevin "Stumpy" Darmody ran the Peninsula Hotel in the Cape York town of Laura, Cairns for over 20 years before he was tragically killed by a crocodile during a fishing trip. </p> <p>The 65-year-old went missing on the Kennedy River at Rinyirru National Park in April last year, with his body recovered a month later, after wildlife officers shot and killed a crocodile during their search, discovering his remains in its stomach.</p> <p>Now, Darmody's best friend Stuart Wiggins has picked up where he left off, and travelled all the way to Cairns from Canberra to restore his mate's pub. </p> <p>"I've been coming up for 20 years myself and watched all the hard work Kev's put in and I thought I didn't want to see that get wasted," he told the <em>ABC</em>. </p> <p>He got to work and trimmed the three-metre long weeds that covered the pub. </p> <p>"The weeds were like trees. We've worked from day to night and it's looking really good now."</p> <p>Wiggins recalled how his best mate first moved to Laura, Cairns 20 years ago after he came across the town on a 4WD trip across northern Australia.</p> <p>Now, in honour of his late friend, Wiggins has renamed the hotel "Stumpy's Bar". </p> <p>"I've got a nice big sign out the front of the pub to remember him," Wiggins said.</p> <p>He also reminisced their friendship and how the pair "got on like a house on fire", saying that he too had "fished off the same spot" where Darmody was taken "so many times". </p> <p>"He was always warning people going out there, 'don't get too close to the water. If you fall in you're not going to get out,' so what happened that day we'll never ever know", he said.</p> <p>Wiggins shared that Darmody was known to for his tough exterior, but was the type of person that would "give you the shirt off his back and do anything for you".</p> <p>"Even the week before he passed, he bought a plane ticket to sneak down to surprise me for my 60th birthday," he said.</p> <p>Prior to Darmody's death Wiggins was working a "cruisy job" at Parliament House in Canberra, before deciding to leave his family behind to re-enter the hospitality industry.</p> <p>"It was a massive move to leave my family behind but even my lady Tanya knew it was something I needed to do," Wiggins said.</p> <p>"I couldn't just sit at parliament thinking the place was going to go to rack and ruin."</p> <p><em>Images: ABC/ Stuart Wiggins</em></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Better Homes and Gardens star's dream rural property up for grabs

<p><em>Better Homes and Gardens </em>star Charlie Albone and his wife interior designer Juliet Love, have listed their dream Ourimbah home. </p> <p>The 2.07ha property located on the Central Coast has been listed by McGrath Gosford agents Peter Morris and Nate Waters with a $3m to $3.2m price guidance.</p> <p>The four-bedroom, three-bathroom home sits deep behind a gated entry, which ensures privacy and is surrounded by plenty of greenery with its garden alcoves, a stunning wisteria-covered arbour, fruit trees, and a few garden beds for vegetables. </p> <p>There is also a feature dry-stone wall fire pit built by Scottish stonemason Callum Grey, that's perfect for winter and colder nights.</p> <p>The English cottage-style home  comes with a separate self-contained unit that includes a bedroom and kitchenette. </p> <p>The home is every animal lovers' dream with five paddocks that come with animal shelters, plumbed water troughs and a three-stall stable. </p> <p>For those hot summer days, whoever the new owners are can dip into the saltwater pool located on the property. </p> <p>The property is equipped with 100,000-litre tanks and has town water. </p> <p>Albone and his family bought the property in 2012 for $840,000 which means that if it was sold at the price guide then it's almost four times the original price they bought it at. </p> <p>The top acreage sale at Ourimbah currently sits at $3,725,000 for a 13.93ha Dog Trap Rd six-bedroom house, which sold in 2021.</p> <p><em>Images: news.com.au</em></p>

Real Estate

Placeholder Content Image

New global appeal launched for one of Australia's most wanted men

<p>Police have ramped up their efforts to locate one of Australia's most wanted men, who they believe fled the country over two decades ago. </p> <p>In 1999, James Dalamangas allegedly fled to Greece after his believed involvement in the death of a Sydney father. </p> <p>George Giannopoulos attended a Belmore nightclub in Sydney’s south west on April 25th 1999 when he was stabbed twice and died while trying to intervene in a fight between two patrons.</p> <p>A warrant was issued for Mr Dalamangas' arrest the next day over his alleged involvement in the brutal murder, although he was never found.</p> <p>Dalamangas, who worked as a bouncer, is also wanted for questioning over the 1997 shooting murder of another Kings Cross bouncer Tim Voukelates.</p> <p>He was also involved in a brawl at Star City Casino where his brother Peter was killed in 1998.</p> <p>Police believe he fled the country after Mr Giannopoulos' death, with authorities believing he is still living in Greece. </p> <p>After attempts to extradite Mr Dalamangas from Greece were not successful in 2003, Greek authorities agreed to commence the prosecution of Mr Dalamangas over his alleged role in the murder, but the process was suspended in 2007 when he couldn't be found. </p> <p>As the 25-year-long Greek statute of limitations nears, police are re-appealing for anyone with information to come forward, particularly if they can assist in locating Mr Dalamangas in Greece.</p> <p>“A warrant was issued for Mr Dalamangas’ arrest; however, despite extensive inquiries, he has never been located,” police said in a statement.</p> <p>Detectives have released an age progression photo of Dalamangas, who would now be aged 53.</p> <p>Dalamangas is Mediterranean in appearance, between 180 and 185cm tall with a medium build, dark hair and brown eyes.</p> <p><em>Image credits: AFP</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

"Do you hear it?": Worldwide hum global mystery baffles scientists

<p>A perplexing phenomenon known as "The Worldwide Hum" has been capturing the attention of scientists and citizens alike, as an unusual low-frequency noise continues to puzzle experts.</p> <p>This mysterious hum, first recorded in 2012, has been reported by thousands of people worldwide, sparking investigations, online discussions and even <a href="https://www.thehum.info/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the creation of an interactive map</a> documenting instances of the enigmatic sound. As researchers strive to unravel the mystery, individuals share their experiences, raising questions about its origin and effects.</p> <p>Described as a low rumbling or droning sound, "the hum" is often likened to the idling of a car or truck engine. What makes this phenomenon particularly intriguing is that it is not universally heard, with reports of the hum being exclusive to certain individuals.</p> <p>Some claim it is more pronounced at night than during the day, and louder indoors than outdoors. One Reddit user even compared it to the low-frequency vibrations felt when a passenger jet flies overhead.</p> <p>Since its first documentation, more than 6,500 instances of the hum have been reported globally, with new cases continually emerging. The interactive user-generated World Hum Map and Database Project <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">captures the experiences of those who have encountered the sound, providing a comprehensive overview of its widespread occurrence. In some regions, authorities such as the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) have conducted investigations, as was the case in the NSW Waverley Council ten years ago. Despite these efforts, the source of the hum remains elusive.</span></p> <p>Individuals affected by the mysterious noise often find solace in online communities, where they share their experiences and discuss possible explanations. Some describe feeling as though they are "going insane", and say that the psychological impact of the persistent hum is actually very severe.</p> <p>Facebook support groups have become a platform for individuals to connect, share anecdotes and speculate about the origin of the sound. Theories range from the mundane – such as the use of headphones causing collective tinnitus – to more complex environmental factors.</p> <p>While tinnitus, a symptom of auditory system issues, has been proposed as a potential explanation, it does not account for the collective experience of the hum. Various theories, including industrial plants, ocean waves, lightning strikes and the proliferation of mobile phone towers, have been suggested over the years. However, none of these explanations have gained widespread acceptance or provided a conclusive answer.</p> <p>Dr Glen MacPherson, who initiated the World Hum Map and Database Project, experienced the hum firsthand on Canada's Sunshine Coast. Having debunked the idea of "hum hotspots", Dr MacPherson theorises that the hum may be a subjective phenomenon, akin to tinnitus, originating from within the individual rather than an external source. His 11 years of research highlight the complexity of the mystery, challenging initial assumptions and pointing towards the need for further investigation.</p> <p>As "The Worldwide Hum" continues to captivate the curiosity of scientists and citizens worldwide, the quest for understanding remains elusive. While theories abound, the true origin of the hum remains unknown, leaving both experts and individuals alike intrigued by a phenomenon that transcends geographic boundaries and defies conventional explanations.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Explore. Dream. Discover: An Over60 Reader's epic journey

<p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Many people travel to all corners of the earth, seeking new and exciting experiences, especially when we retire and are able to do so. Sometimes we can be pushed beyond the boundaries of our comfort zone but usually the experience is positive and often transformational. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">One popular destination for travellers who enjoy adventure is Sedona in Arizona, a town that nestles in a desert on the edge of red rock canyons. Nearby is Hopiland, home to the Hopi Indians. One of my most treasured memories occurred in this part of the world in 1990, on top of a desert mountain known as a mesa. The mesa rose thousands of feet above ground level and I climbed up there with a group of friends from Australia. As we reached the top, we began to hear the sound of drums and chanting coming from an underground cave. Our travel guide informed us that inside the cave, Hopi women and children huddled together on the dirt floor to watch their menfolk perform legendary rituals honouring their ancient ancestors. Since the ceremony was forbidden to tourists, we were given an hour to explore the top of the mesa. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Moving a short distance away from the rest of the group, I sat down on a rock to fully absorb the nearby pulse of drums and chanting. A few minutes later, three young Hopi boys appeared and attempted to converse with me. Initially, I found it difficult to understand what they were saying until I realised they were actually inviting me to accompany them underground to join their tribal family. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Throwing caution to the wind, I followed them down a rickety wooden ladder poking out of a hole in the ground. The atmosphere inside the cave was thick with burning sage combined with swirling dust from the pounding feet of men dancing, their heads hidden inside huge masks. Barefooted women and children squatted on the dirt floor and I felt very much an intruder as I squeezed myself amongst them. But, reassured by friendly smiles and head-nodding, I began to relax, absorbing the magical rituals of times past. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Eventually the ancient ceremony ended, and I climbed the ladder back into the twentieth century, overcome by a newfound sense of humility and realisation of just how unimportant the wealth and material greed of Western society is. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">One can often rely on the unexpected to occur when travelling. During a visit to Egypt one year, our group emerged from the Temple of Isis to settle down and meditate on the bank of a nearby river when a military policeman appeared out of the bushes, clutching a large submachine gun. His other hand appeared to conceal something behind his back and as he drew closer, we noticed he had a second gun tucked into his belt. Terrified, we leapt to our feet. Then, his face breaking into a smile, he held out the hand from behind his back. Lying in its brown sinewy palm were eleven pink oleander blossoms, one for each of us. A moment of sheer terror switched instantly to one of absolute delight. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Another example of ‘the unexpected’ occurred a few days later for a member of our group who had just turned eighty. All her life she had suffered with claustrophobia and its related anxiety and panic attacks. Consequently, when we visited the Great Pyramid to ascend the steep tunnel inside which would take us up to the King’s Chamber, we arranged for her to remain outside with our tour guide. But at the last minute she changed her mind, not wanting to miss out on such a special experience. By slowly crawling through the tunnel all the way up inside the Great Pyramid, she managed to achieve something she had never in her life believed possible. We celebrated her victory that night with champagne, lots of laughs and some hilarious attempts at belly dancing. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">A travel memory that always makes my grandchildren laugh is when I was visiting my friend Palden Jenkins, an historian who lives in Glastonbury. One day we set off for Snowdonia, North Wales, for a holiday. As we pulled up outside the 500-year-old stone cottage a farmer approached, urging us to be sure to leave a pot of tea outside every night for the Booka, the name given to Welsh brownies or elves. If we did this, he said, we would be assured of a hassle-free holiday. The Booka would not trouble us if we kept the cottage clean, left out the tea and didn’t have long noses. Words cannot describe the fun we two ‘grown-ups’ had in brewing tea every evening over an open fire to cater to the whims of Snowdonia’s faerie folk. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Travelling the world can create change in our lives that we will never regret, opening our hearts, broadening our minds, and sometimes transforming our lives forever. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">To quote Mark Twain, ‘Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the ones you did. So, sail away from the safe harbour. Explore. Dream. Discover.’</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">This wonderful story, including the images, was sent in by Over60 Reader Jo Buchanan. Thank you, Jo, for sharing your adventure with us!</span></em></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;"><em>If you have a Reader Story you would like to contribute to Over60, please send it to the editor via <a href="mailto:greg@oversixty.com.au" target="_blank" rel="noopener">greg@oversixty.com.au</a>.</em> </span></p>

International Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Tiny house, big dreams: How to take a trip and give back at the same time

<p dir="ltr">When it comes to getting away over the summer, there is no one size-fits-all option to accommodate everyone’s unique needs. </p> <p dir="ltr">Some of us may prefer an off-the-grid adventure to the bush to reconnect with nature, while others just can’t pass up an opportunity to lay on the beach and frolic in the ocean. </p> <p dir="ltr">But if there’s one thing every holiday goer can agree on, it's the absolute need to relax. </p> <p dir="ltr">Luckily, <a href="https://reflectionsholidayparks.com.au/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reflections Holiday & Caravan Parks</a> has something for everyone this summer. </p> <p dir="ltr">From blissful camping and caravanning sites to luxurious tiny homes and creature-comfort cabin accommodation, Reflections is proud to be New South Wales’ largest holiday park operator, showing 2 million visitors a year the magic of the outside.</p> <p dir="ltr">You can feel good about your stay with Reflections, as the company is the first and only holiday park group in Australia that is certified as a <a href="https://www.socialtraders.com.au/news/what-is-a-social-enterprise" target="_blank" rel="noopener">social enterprise</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">That means the profits from the parks go back into the Crown land nature reserves the company manages to protect and nurture the land, for their lasting preservation and the community’s enjoyment while also giving back to local areas.</p> <p dir="ltr">A holiday here is essentially giving back to the local environment and community.</p> <p dir="ltr">I was lucky enough to be invited for a trip away with Reflections, and stayed in a charming Tiny House at the Jimmy’s Beach park in Hawk’s Nest on the mid-coast of NSW. </p> <p dir="ltr">Despite bringing the dreary Sydney rain with me up the coast, my stay with Reflections was nothing short of a dream. </p> <p dir="ltr">The tiny house provided all the comforts we needed on an overcast weekend, with the cosy atmosphere providing the perfect place to fully unwind from busy city life. </p> <p dir="ltr">Despite being, by name, a tiny house, the one bedroom home provided everything we needed, including a comfy bed, spacious shower, a large lounge and TV, as well as everything you could need to cook your own meals. </p> <p dir="ltr">A spacious deck was also most welcome, giving you the chance to sit in the sun and take in the picturesque nature around you, while spotting the best of Australia's wildlife. </p> <p dir="ltr">As the sun came out, we were able to indulge in all that Reflections had to offer, including bush walks, trips to the beach and even a dip in the pool. </p> <p dir="ltr">The sense of community in Reflections holiday parks is palpable, as making friends and meeting new people is encouraged and fostered, with a welcoming environment making it easy to hear the life stories of others as you cross paths in communal areas. </p> <p dir="ltr">The holiday parks are also perfect for families, with playgrounds available for the little ones, and even an ice cream truck making the rounds while playing Waltzing Matilda to signal the arrival of delicious treats. </p> <p dir="ltr">So, when booking your summer trips away, whether you’re after a quiet beach stay, a family-friendly destination, or an exploration off the beaten track, a stay at a Reflections Holiday Park is sure to leave you refreshed, reconnected, and ready for whatever comes your way.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Supplied</em></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Will we still have antibiotics in 50 years? We asked 7 global experts

<p>Almost since antibiotics were <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2937522/#:%7E:text=Since%20the%20introduction%20in%201937,operate%20some%2070%20years%20later.">first discovered</a>, we’ve been aware bacteria can learn how to overcome these medicines, a phenomenon known as antimicrobial resistance.</p> <p>The World Health Organization says we’re currently <a href="https://www.who.int/news/item/20-09-2017-the-world-is-running-out-of-antibiotics-who-report-confirms">losing to the bugs</a>, with resistance increasing and too few new antibiotics in the pipeline. </p> <p>We wanted to know whether experts around the world think we will still have effective antibiotics in 50 years. Seven out of seven experts said yes.</p> <p><strong>Lori Burrows - Biochemist, Canada</strong></p> <p>Yes! Antibiotics are a crucial component of modern medicine, and we can't afford to lose them. Despite the rise of resistance in important pathogens (bugs), and the substantial decrease in new drugs in development, we have multiple tools at our disposal to protect antibiotics. Stewardship - the principle of using antibiotics only when absolutely necessary - is key to maintaining the usefulness of current antibiotics and preventing resistance to new drugs from arising. New diagnostics, such as the rapid tests that became widely available during the pandemic, can inform stewardship efforts, reducing inappropriate antibiotic use for viral diseases.</p> <p>Finally, researchers continue to find creative ways, including the use of powerful artificial intelligence approaches, to identify antimicrobial compounds with new targets or new modes of action. Other promising tactics include using viruses that naturally kill bacteria, stimulating the host's immune system to fight the bacteria, or combining existing antibiotics with molecules that can enhance antibiotic activity by, for example, increasing uptake or blocking resistance.</p> <p><strong>André Hudson - Biochemist, United States</strong></p> <p>Yes. The real question is not whether we will have antibiotics 50 years from now, but what form of antibiotics will be used. Most antibiotics we use today are modelled after natural products isolated from organisms such as fungi and plants. The use of <a href="https://news.mit.edu/2020/artificial-intelligence-identifies-new-antibiotic-0220">AI</a>, machine learning, and other <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/may/25/artificial-intelligence-antibiotic-deadly-superbug-hospital">computational tools</a> to help design novel, unnatural compounds that can circumvent the evolution of antibiotic resistance are only in the very early stages of development.</p> <p>Many of the traditional medicines such as penicillins and other common antibiotics of today which are already waning in efficacy, will probably be of very little use in 50 years. Over time, with the aid of new technology, I predict we will have new medicines to fight bacterial infections.</p> <p><strong>Ray Robins-Browne - Microbiologist, Australia</strong></p> <p>Yes, we will have antibiotics (by which I mean antimicrobial drugs), because people will still get infections despite advances in immunisation and other forms of prevention. Having said this, drugs of the future will be quite different from those we use today, which will have become obsolete well within the next 50 years. The new drugs will have a narrow spectrum, meaning they will be targeted directly at the specific cause of the infection, which we will determine by using rapid, point-of-care diagnostic tests, similar to the RATS we currently use to diagnose COVID.</p> <p>Antimicrobials of the future won’t kill bacteria or limit their growth, because this encourages the development of resistance. Instead, they will limit the ability of the bacteria to cause disease or evade our immune systems.</p> <p><strong>Raúl Rivas González - Microbiologist, Spain</strong></p> <p>Yes, but not without effort. Currently, antimicrobial resistance is a leading cause of death globally, and will continue to rise. But in my opinion, there will still be useful antibiotics to combat bacterial infections within 50 years. To achieve this, innovation and investment is required. Artificial intelligence may even be able to help. An example is the compound "RS102895", which eliminates the multi-resistant superbug Acinetobacter baumannii. This was identified through a machine learning algorithm.</p> <p>The future of antibiotics requires substantial changes in the search for new active molecules and in the design of therapies that can eliminate bacteria without developing resistance. We are on the right path. An example is the discovery of clovibactin, recently isolated from uncultured soil bacteria. Clovibactin effectively kills antibiotic-resistant gram-positive bacteria without generating detectable resistance. Future antimicrobial therapy may consist of new antibiotics, viruses that kill bacteria, specific antibodies, drugs that counter antibiotic resistance, and other new technology.</p> <p><strong>Fidelma Fitzpatrick - Microbiologist, United Kingdom</strong></p> <p>Yes, but not many. Without rapid scale-up of measures to curtail the "<a href="https://www.oecd.org/health/embracing-a-one-health-framework-to-fight-antimicrobial-resistance-ce44c755-en.htm">alarming global health threat</a>" of antimicrobial resistance by 2073, there will be few effective antibiotics left to treat sepsis. The <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/covid19.html">Centre for Disease Control</a> has indicated a reversal of progress following the pandemic, when all focus in healthcare, government and society was on COVID. Without an approach targeting people, animals, agri-food systems and the environment, antimicrobial resistance will continue its upward trajectory. <a href="https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/health/publication/drug-resistant-infections-a-threat-to-our-economic-future">Doing nothing</a> is unacceptable – lives will be lost, healthcare expenditure will increase and workforce productivity will suffer.</p> <p>The highest burden of antimicrobial resistance is in <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)02724-0/fulltext">low-income countries</a>. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK543407/">Action plans</a> exist in most OECD, European and G20 countries. In all countries plans need to be funded and implemented across all relevant sectors as above. Better integrated data to track antibiotic use and resistance across human and animal health and the environment, in addition to research and development for new antibiotics, vaccines and diagnostics, will be necessary.</p> <p><strong>Juliana Côrrea - Public health expert, Brazil </strong></p> <p>Yes. However, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0188440905002730?via%3Dihub">available data</a> suggest that without a shift in the political agenda towards the control and prevention of antimicrobial resistance, several antibiotics will have lost their utility. The problem of bacterial resistance is not new and the risk of antibiotics becoming ineffective in the face of the evolutionary capacity of bacteria is one of the main problems facing global health. The creation of policies to promote the appropriate use of this resource has not progressed at the same speed as inappropriate use in human and animal health and in agricultural production.</p> <p>The factors that impact antibiotic use are complex and vary according to local contexts. The response to the problem goes far beyond controlling use at the individual level. We must recognise the social, political, and economic dimensions in proposing more effective governance.</p> <p><strong>Yori Yuliandra -  Pharmacist, Indonesia</strong></p> <p>Yes. Despite their <a href="https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/antimicrobial-resistance">reduced efficacy over time</a>, antibiotics continue to be produced every year. Researchers are tirelessly working to develop new and more effective antibiotics. And researchers are actively exploring combinations of antibiotics to enhance their efficacy. While antimicrobial resistance is rising, researchers have been making remarkable progress in addressing this issue. They have developed innovative antibiotic classes such as <a href="https://doi.org/10.4155/fmc-2016-0041">FtsZ inhibitors</a> which can inhibit cell division, a process necessary for bacteria to multiply. <a href="https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240021303">Clinical trials</a> are currently taking place.</p> <p>A deeper understanding of the molecular aspects of bacterial resistance has led to the discovery of new treatment strategies, such as the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1039/D2MD00263A">inhibition of key enzymes</a> that play a pivotal role in bugs becoming resistant. And <a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-021-02586-0">advances in computer technology</a> have greatly accelerated drug discovery and development efforts, offering hope for the rapid discovery of new antibiotics and treatment strategies.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/will-we-still-have-antibiotics-in-50-years-we-asked-7-global-experts-214950" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

6 reasons why global temperatures are spiking right now

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/andrew-king-103126">Andrew King</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p>The world is very warm right now. We’re not only seeing record temperatures, but the records are being broken by record-wide margins.</p> <p>Take the preliminary September global-average temperature anomaly of 1.7°C above pre-industrial levels, for example. It’s an incredible 0.5°C above the previous record.</p> <p>So why is the world so incredibly hot right now? And what does it mean for keeping our Paris Agreement targets?</p> <p>Here are six contributing factors – with climate change the main reason temperatures are so high.</p> <h2>1. El Niño</h2> <p>One reason for the exceptional heat is we are in a <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/#tabs=Pacific-Ocean">significant El Niño</a> that is still strengthening. During El Niño we see warming of the surface ocean over much of the tropical Pacific. This warming, and the effects of El Niño in other parts of the world, raises global average temperatures by <a href="https://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2023/01/2022-updates-to-the-temperature-records/">about 0.1 to 0.2°C</a>.</p> <p>Taking into account the fact we’ve just come out of a triple La Niña, which cools global average temperatures slightly, and the fact this is the first major El Niño in eight years, it’s not too surprising we’re seeing unusually high temperatures at the moment.</p> <p>Still, El Niño alone isn’t enough to explain the crazily high temperatures the world is experiencing.</p> <h2>2. Falling pollution</h2> <p>Air pollution from human activities cools the planet and has offset some of the warming caused by humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions. There have been efforts to reduce this pollution – since 2020 there has been an <a href="https://sdg.iisd.org/news/imo-advances-measures-to-reduce-emissions-from-international-shipping/">international agreement</a> to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions from the global shipping industry.</p> <p>It has been speculated this cleaner air has contributed to the recent heat, particularly over the record-warm <a href="https://climate.copernicus.eu/record-breaking-north-atlantic-ocean-temperatures-contribute-extreme-marine-heatwaves">north Atlantic</a> and Pacific regions with high shipping traffic.</p> <p>It’s likely this is contributing to the extreme high global temperatures – but only on the order of hundredths of a degree. <a href="https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-how-low-sulphur-shipping-rules-are-affecting-global-warming/">Recent analysis</a> suggests the effect of the 2020 shipping agreement is about an extra 0.05°C warming by 2050.</p> <h2>3. Increasing solar activity</h2> <p>While falling pollution levels mean more of the Sun’s energy reaches Earth’s surface, the amount of the energy the Sun emits is itself variable. There are different solar cycles, but an 11-year cycle is the most relevant one to today’s climate.</p> <p>The Sun is becoming <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2023/07/14/world/solar-maximum-activity-2024-scn/index.html">more active</a> from a minimum in late 2019. This is also contributing a small amount to the spike in global temperatures. Overall, increasing solar activity is contributing only hundredths of a degree at most to the recent global heat.</p> <h2>4. Water vapour from Hunga Tonga eruption</h2> <p>On January 15 2022 the underwater <a href="https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/images/pia26006-hunga-tonga-hunga-haapai-eruption">Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai volcano erupted</a> in the South Pacific Ocean, sending large amounts of water vapour high up into the upper atmosphere. Water vapour is a greenhouse gas, so increasing its concentration in the atmosphere in this way does intensify the greenhouse effect.</p> <p>Even though the eruption happened almost two years ago, it’s still having a small warming effect on the planet. However, as with the reduced pollution and increasing solar activity, we’re talking about hundredths of a degree.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6oANPi-SWN0?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <h2>5. Bad luck</h2> <p>We see variability in global temperatures from one year to the next even without factors like El Niño or major changes in pollution. Part of the reason this September was so extreme was likely due to weather systems being in the right place to heat the land surface.</p> <p>When we have persistent high-pressure systems over land regions, as seen recently over places like <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/oct/01/autumn-heat-continues-in-europe-after-record-breaking-september">western Europe</a> and <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-09-19/australia-weather-september-heat-records-tumble/102870294">Australia</a>, we see local temperatures rise and the conditions for unseasonable heat.</p> <p>As water requires more energy to warm and the ocean moves around, we don’t see the same quick response in temperatures over the seas when we have high-pressure systems.</p> <p>The positioning of weather systems warming up many land areas coupled with persistent ocean heat is likely a contributor to the global-average heat too.</p> <h2>6. Climate change</h2> <p>By far the biggest contributor to the overall +1.7°C global temperature anomaly is human-caused climate change. Overall, humanity’s effect on the climate has been a global warming of <a href="https://www.globalwarmingindex.org/">about 1.2°C</a>.</p> <p>The record-high rate of greenhouse gas emissions means we should expect global warming to accelerate too.</p> <p>While humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions explain the trend seen in September temperatures over many decades, they don’t really explain the big difference from last September (when the greenhouse effect was almost as strong as it is today) and September 2023.</p> <p>Much of the difference between this year and last comes back to the switch from La Niña to El Niño, and the right weather systems in the right place at the right time.</p> <h2>The upshot: we need to accelerate climate action</h2> <p>September 2023 shows that with a combination of climate change and other factors aligning we can see alarmingly high temperatures.</p> <p>These anomalies may appear to be above the 1.5°C global warming level referred to in the Paris Agreement, but that’s about keeping <a href="https://climateanalytics.org/briefings/understanding-the-paris-agreements-long-term-temperature-goal/">long-term global warming</a> to low levels and not individual months of heat.</p> <p>But we are seeing the effects of climate change unfolding more and more clearly.</p> <p>The most vulnerable are suffering the biggest impacts as wealthier nations continue to emit the largest proportion of greenhouse gases. Humanity must accelerate the path to net zero to prevent more record-shattering global temperatures and damaging extreme events.<!-- 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/215140/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/andrew-king-103126">Andrew King</a>, Senior Lecturer in Climate Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</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/6-reasons-why-global-temperatures-are-spiking-right-now-215140">original article</a>.</em></p>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

The science of dreams and nightmares – what is going on in our brains while we’re sleeping?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/drew-dawson-13517">Drew Dawson</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/madeline-sprajcer-1315489">Madeline Sprajcer</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a></em></p> <p>Last night you probably slept for <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352721816301292">seven to eight hours</a>. About one or two of these was likely in deep sleep, especially if you’re young or physically active. That’s because <a href="http://apsychoserver.psych.arizona.edu/jjbareprints/psyc501a/readings/Carskadon%20Dement%202011.pdf">sleep changes with age</a> and <a href="https://www.hindawi.com/journals/apm/2017/1364387/">exercise</a> affects brain activity. About three or four hours will have been spent in light sleep.</p> <p>For the remaining time, you were likely in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. While this is not the only time your brain is potentially dreaming – we also dream during other sleep stages – it is the time your brain activity is most likely to be recalled and reported when you’re awake.</p> <p>That’s usually because either really weird thoughts or feelings wake you up or because the last hour of sleep is nearly all <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Elizaveta-Solomonova/publication/320356182_Dream_Recall_and_Content_in_Different_Stages_of_Sleep_and_Time-of-Night_Effect/links/5a707bdb0f7e9ba2e1cade56/Dream-Recall-and-Content-in-Different-Stages-of-Sleep-and-Time-of-Night-Effect.pdf">REM sleep</a>. When dreams or your alarm wake you, you’re likely coming out of dream sleep and your dream often lingers into the first few minutes of being awake. In this case you remember it.</p> <p>If they’re strange or interesting dreams, you might tell someone else about them, which may further <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00426-022-01722-7">encode</a> the dream memory.</p> <p>Dreams and nightmares are mysterious and we’re still learning about them. They keep our brains ticking over. They wash the thoughts from the day’s events at a molecular level. They might even help us imagine what’s possible during our waking hours.</p> <h2>What do scientists know about REM sleep and dreaming?</h2> <p>It’s really hard to study dreaming because people are asleep and we can’t observe what’s going on. Brain imaging has indicated certain <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1087079216300673#sec3">patterns of brain activity</a> are associated with dreaming (and with certain sleep stages where dreams are more likely to occur). But such studies ultimately rely on self-reports of the dream experience.</p> <p>Anything we spend so much time doing probably serves multiple ends.</p> <p>At the basic physiological level (indicated by <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053810021001409">brain activity, sleep behaviour and studies of conciousness</a>), all mammals dream – even the platypus and echidna probably experience something similar to dreaming (provided they are at the <a href="https://www.wired.com/2014/07/the-creature-feature-10-fun-facts-about-the-echidna/#:%7E:text=It%20was%20long%20thought%20that,re%20at%20the%20right%20temperature.">right temperature</a>). Their brain activity and sleep stages align to some degree with human <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053810021001409#b0630">REM sleep</a>.</p> <p>Less evolved species do not. Some <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2468867319301993#sec0030">jellyfish</a> – who do not have a brain – do experience what could physiologically be characterised as sleep (shown by their posture, quietness, lack of responsiveness and rapid “waking” when prompted). But they do not experience the same physiological and behavioural elements that resemble REM dream sleep.</p> <p>In humans, REM sleep is thought to occur cyclically every 90 to 120 minutes across the night. It prevents us from sleeping too deeply and being <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4972941/">vulnerable to attack</a>. Some scientists think we dream in order to stop our brains and bodies from getting too cold. Our core body temperature is typically <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laneur/article/PIIS1474-4422(22)00210-1/fulltext">higher while dreaming</a>. It is typically easier to <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.2147/NSS.S188911">wake from dreaming</a> if we need to respond to external cues or dangers.</p> <p>The brain activity in REM sleep kicks our brain into gear for a bit. It’s like a periscope into a more conscious state, observing what’s going on at the surface, then going back down if all is well.</p> <p>Some evidence suggests “fever dreams” are far less common than we might expect. We actually experience <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00053/full">far less REM sleep</a> when we have a fever – though the dreams we do have tend to be <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3830719/">darker in tone and more unusual</a>.</p> <p>Spending less time in REM sleep when we’re feverish might happen because we are far less capable of regulating our body temperature in this stage of sleep. To protect us, our brain tries to regulate our temperature by “skipping” this sleep stage. We tend to have fewer dreams when the weather is hot <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/23744731.2020.1756664">for the same reason</a>.</p> <h2>A deep-cleaning system for the brain</h2> <p>REM sleep is important for ensuring our brain is working as it should, as indicated by studies using <a href="https://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/S0960-9822(17)31329-5.pdf">electoencephalography</a>, which measures brain activity.</p> <p>In the same way deep sleep helps the body restore its physical capacity, dream sleep “<a href="https://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/S0960-9822(17)31329-5.pdf">back-flushes</a>” our neural circuits. At the molecular level, the chemicals that underpin our thinking are bent out of shape by the day’s cognitive activity. Deep sleep is when those chemicals are returned to their unused shape. The brain is “<a href="https://www.science.org/doi/abs/10.1126/science.1241224">washed</a>” with cerebrospinal fluid, controlled by the <a href="https://theconversation.com/on-your-back-side-face-down-mice-show-how-we-sleep-may-trigger-or-protect-our-brain-from-diseases-like-als-181954">glymphatic system</a>.</p> <p>At the next level, dream sleep “tidies up” our recent memories and feelings. During <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC534695/">REM sleep</a>, our brains consolidate procedural memories (of how to do tasks) and emotions. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC534695/">Non-REM sleep</a>, where we typically expect fewer dreams, is important for the consolidation of episodic memories (events from your life).</p> <p>As our night’s sleep progresses, we produce more cortisol - the <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2005-01907-021">stress hormone</a>. It is thought the amount of cortisol present can impact the type of memories we are consolidating and potentially the types of dreams we have. This means the dreams we have later in the night may be <a href="https://learnmem.cshlp.org/content/11/6/671.full.pdf">more fragmented or bizarre</a>.</p> <p>Both kinds of sleep help <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jb-Eichenlaub/publication/313545620_Daily_Life_Experiences_in_Dreams_and_Sleep-Dependent_Memory_Consolidation/links/5c532b0ba6fdccd6b5d76270/Daily-Life-Experiences-in-Dreams-and-Sleep-Dependent-Memory-Consolidation.pdf?ref=nepopularna.org">consolidate</a> the useful brain activity of the day. The brain also discards less important information.</p> <h2>Random thoughts, rearranged feelings</h2> <p>This filing and discarding of the day’s activities is going on while we are sleeping. That’s why we often dream about things that happen <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0264574">during the day</a>.</p> <p>Sometimes when we’re rearranging the thoughts and feelings to go in the “<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3921176/">bin</a>” during sleep, our level of consciousness allows us to experience awareness. Random thoughts and feelings end up all jumbled together in weird and wonderful ways. Our awareness of this process may explain the bizarre nature of some of our dreams. Our daytime experiences can also fuel nightmares or anxiety-filled dreams after a <a href="https://www.sleepfoundation.org/dreams/how-trauma-can-affect-dreams">traumatic event</a>.</p> <p>Some dreams appear to <a href="https://rai.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdfdirect/10.1111/j.1467-9655.2010.01668.x">foretell the future or carry potent symbolism</a>. In many societies dreams are believed to be a window into an <a href="https://digitalcommons.ciis.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1050&amp;context=ijts-transpersonalstudies">alternate reality</a> where we can envisage what is possible.</p> <h2>What does it all mean?</h2> <p>Our scientific understanding of the thermoregulatory, molecular and basic neural aspects of dreaming sleep is <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nrn2716">good</a>. But the psychological and spiritual aspects of dreaming remain largely hidden.</p> <p>Perhaps our brains are wired to try and make sense of things. Human societies have always interpreted the random – birds wheeling, tea leaves and the planets – and looked for <a href="https://brill.com/display/book/edcoll/9789047407966/B9789047407966-s003.xml">meaning</a>. Nearly every human society has regarded dreams as more than just random neural firing.</p> <p>And the history of science tells us some things once thought to be magic can later be understood and harnessed – for better or worse.<!-- 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/210901/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/drew-dawson-13517"><em>Drew Dawson</em></a><em>, Director, Appleton Institute, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/madeline-sprajcer-1315489">Madeline Sprajcer</a>, Lecturer in Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</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/the-science-of-dreams-and-nightmares-what-is-going-on-in-our-brains-while-were-sleeping-210901">original article</a>.</em></p>

Mind

Placeholder Content Image

Research reveals who’s been hit hardest by global warming in their lifetime - and the answer may surprise you

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/andrew-king-103126">Andrew King</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ed-hawkins-104793">Ed Hawkins</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-reading-902">University of Reading</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hunter-douglas-1460792">Hunter Douglas</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/te-herenga-waka-victoria-university-of-wellington-1200">Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/luke-harrington-489028">Luke Harrington</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-waikato-781">University of Waikato</a></p> <p>Earth is warming and the signs of climate change are everywhere. We’ve seen it in the past few weeks as temperatures hit record highs around the world – both in the Northern Hemisphere and the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-is-australia-having-such-a-warm-winter-a-climate-expert-explains-210693">warm Australian winter</a>.</p> <p>Global warming is caused by humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions, which continue at <a href="https://theconversation.com/global-carbon-emissions-at-record-levels-with-no-signs-of-shrinking-new-data-shows-humanity-has-a-monumental-task-ahead-193108">near-record pace</a>. These emissions are predominantly generated by people in the world’s wealthiest regions.</p> <p>Our world-first analysis, <a href="https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/2752-5295/aceff2">published today</a>, examines the experience of global warming over the lifetimes of people around the world: young and old, rich and poor. We sought to identify who has perceived warmer temperatures most keenly.</p> <p>We found middle-aged people in equatorial regions have lived through the most perceptible warming in their lifetimes. But many young people in lower-income countries could experience unrecognisable changes in their local climate later in life, unless the world rapidly tackles climate change.</p> <h2>Measuring the climate change experience</h2> <p>We examined temperature data and population demographics information from around the world.</p> <p>Key to our analysis was the fact that not all warming is due to human activity. Some of it is caused by natural, year-to-year variations in Earth’s climate.</p> <p>These natural ups and downs are due to a number of factors. They include variations in the energy Earth receives from the sun, the effects of volcanic eruptions, and transfers of heat between the atmosphere and the ocean.</p> <p>This variability is stronger in mid-to-high-latitude parts of the world (those further from the equator) than in low-latitude areas (in equatorial regions). That’s because the weather systems further away from the equator draw in hot or cold air from neighbouring areas, but equatorial areas don’t receive cold air at all.</p> <p>That’s why, for example, the annual average temperature in New York is naturally more variable than in the city of Kinshasa (in the Democratic Republic of Congo).</p> <p>To account for this, we applied what’s known as the “<a href="https://archive.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/346.htm#:%7E:text=The%20%EF%BF%BDsignal%20to%20noise,to%20this%20natural%20variability%20noise.">signal-to-noise ratio</a>” at each location we studied. That allowed us to separate the strength of the climate change “signal” from the “noise” of natural variability.</p> <p>Making this distinction is important. The less naturally variable the temperature, the clearer the effects of warming. So warming in Kinshasa over the past 50 years has been much more perceptible than in New York.</p> <p>Our study examined two central questions. First, we wanted to know, for every location in the world, how clearly global warming could be perceived, relative to natural temperature variability.</p> <p>Second, we wanted to know where this perceived change was most clear over human lifetimes.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/541474/original/file-20230807-17-ogjdti.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/541474/original/file-20230807-17-ogjdti.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/541474/original/file-20230807-17-ogjdti.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=394&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/541474/original/file-20230807-17-ogjdti.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=394&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/541474/original/file-20230807-17-ogjdti.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=394&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/541474/original/file-20230807-17-ogjdti.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=495&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/541474/original/file-20230807-17-ogjdti.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=495&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/541474/original/file-20230807-17-ogjdti.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=495&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="Annual-average temperatures at four major cities with signal-to-noise ratios shown for 20, 50 and 80 years up to 2021." /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Annual-average temperatures at four major cities with signal-to-noise ratios shown for 20, 50 and 80 years up to 2021.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Author provided</span></span></figcaption></figure> <h2>Our results</h2> <p>So what did we find? As expected, the most perceptible warming is found in tropical regions – those near the equator. This includes developing parts of the world that constitute the Global South – such as Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia.</p> <p>Household incomes in the Global South are typically lower than in industrialised nations (known as the Global North). We might, then, conclude people in the poorest parts of the world have experienced the most perceptible global warming over their lifetimes. But that’s not always the case.</p> <p>Why? Because most parts of the Global South have younger populations than wealthier regions. And some people under the age of 20, including in northern India and parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, haven’t experienced warming over their lifetimes.</p> <p>In these places, the lack of recent warming is likely down to a few factors: natural climate variability, and the local cooling effect of particles released into the atmosphere from <a href="https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ac3b7a">pollution</a> and changes in land use.</p> <p>There’s another complication. Some populated regions of the world also experienced slight cooling in the mid-20th century, primarily driven by human-caused <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nature10946">aerosol emissions</a>.</p> <p>So, many people born earlier than the 1950s have experienced less perceptible warming in their local area than those born in the 1960s and 1970s. This may seem counter-intuitive. But a cooling trend in the first few decades of one’s life means the warming experienced over an entire lifespan (from birth until today) is smaller and less detectable.</p> <p>So what does all this mean? People in equatorial areas born in the 1960s and 1970s – now aged between about 45 and 65 – have experienced more perceptible warming than anyone else on Earth.</p> <h2>Rich countries must act</h2> <p>Our findings are important, for several reasons.</p> <p>Identifying who has experienced significant global warming in their lives may help explain <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate2660">attitudes to tackling climate change</a>.</p> <p>Our findings also raise significant issues of fairness and equity.</p> <p>Humanity will continue to warm the planet until we reach global net-zero emissions. This means many young people in lower-income countries may, later in life, experience a local climate that is unrecognisable to that of their youth.</p> <p>Of course, warming temperatures are not the only way people experience climate change. Others include sea-level rise, more intense drought and rainfall extremes. We know many of these impacts are felt most acutely by <a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2022/5/11/climate-change-is-devastating-the-global-south">the most vulnerable populations</a>.</p> <p>Cumulative greenhouse gas emissions are much higher in the Global North, due to economic development. To address this inequality, rich industrialised nations must take a leading role in reducing emissions to net-zero, and helping vulnerable countries adapt to climate change.<!-- 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/211108/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/andrew-king-103126">Andrew King</a>, Senior Lecturer in Climate Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ed-hawkins-104793">Ed Hawkins</a>, Professor of Climate Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-reading-902">University of Reading</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hunter-douglas-1460792">Hunter Douglas</a>, PhD Candidate, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/te-herenga-waka-victoria-university-of-wellington-1200">Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/luke-harrington-489028">Luke Harrington</a>, Senior Lecturer in Climate Change, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-waikato-781">University of Waikato</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/research-reveals-whos-been-hit-hardest-by-global-warming-in-their-lifetime-and-the-answer-may-surprise-you-211108">original article</a>.</em></p>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

"Am I dreaming?": Prince William serves up burgers from food van

<p>The Prince of Wales has stunned a few unsuspecting customers of a London food truck by serving them burgers. </p> <p>In collaboration with popular YouTube channel<em> Sorted Food</em>, Prince William took part in the stunt to promote The Earthshot Prize, a mission he founded in hopes to repair the planet. </p> <p>They worked together to create a plant-based 'Earthshot burger', which they served to customers, in the clip shared on YouTube. </p> <p>As part of the stunt, Prince William first hid his identity by facing away from the customers, when it was time to serve the food, he turned around with burgers in hand to the shock of the diners. </p> <p>"My brain took three seconds to buffer - am I dreaming?" one said after seeing Prince William serving burgers. </p> <p>"I was lost for words," said another. </p> <p>"I was shell-shocked" said a third. </p> <p>The Prince of Wales also praised last year's Earthshot Prize winners, and explained that the dishes served used three of their innovations, which all represented a solution to help repair the planet. </p> <p>"For those of you who don't know, the Earthshot Prize is there to repair and regenerate the planet. Everything you see here comes from the winners from last year," he said.</p> <p>The ingredients for the burgers were sourced by Indian start-up Kheyti, who support local farmers and help shelter their crops from unpredictable weather events and pests. </p> <p>The burgers were cooked in a cleaner-burning portable stove from Mukuru Clean Stoves, which aims to reduce air pollution, and the food was served on Notpla takeaway containers made from natural and biodegradable materials. </p> <p>This is the verdict from the diners: "the best burger we've ever had."</p> <p>The Prince also joked with diners saying that the global Earthshot Prize started back when he "had hair."</p> <p>"It's designed as an environmental prize tackling the world's greatest environmental problems,"  he said. </p> <p>"We liked the idea that this is a big deal, this is like something we really need to aim for, but it's about saving the planet, not taking us to the moon."</p> <p>He added:  "And there's many people out there who want us to move to the next planet already and I'm like, hang on, let's not give up on this planet yet."</p> <p><em>Images: Kensington Palace/ Sorted Food YouTube</em></p>

Food & Wine

Placeholder Content Image

Arctic Ocean could be ice-free in summer by 2030s, say scientists – this would have global, damaging and dangerous consequences

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jonathan-bamber-102567">Jonathan Bamber</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-bristol-1211">University of Bristol</a></em></p> <p>The Arctic Ocean could be ice-free in summer by the 2030s, even if we do a good job of reducing emissions between now and then. That’s the worrying conclusion of a new study in <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-023-38511-8">Nature Communications</a>.</p> <p>Predictions of an ice-free Arctic Ocean have a long and complicated history, and the 2030s is sooner than most scientists had thought possible (though it is later than some had wrongly forecast). What we know for sure is the disappearance of sea ice at the top of the world would not only be an emblematic sign of climate breakdown, but it would have global, damaging and dangerous consequences.</p> <p>The Arctic has been experiencing climate heating <a href="https://theconversation.com/arctic-is-warming-nearly-four-times-faster-than-the-rest-of-the-world-new-research-188474">faster than any other part of the planet</a>. As it is at the frontline of climate change, the eyes of many scientists and local indigenous people have been on the sea ice that covers much of the Arctic Ocean in winter. This thin film of frozen seawater expands and contracts with the seasons, reaching a minimum area in September each year.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/530136/original/file-20230605-19-mdh85y.gif?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/530136/original/file-20230605-19-mdh85y.gif?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/530136/original/file-20230605-19-mdh85y.gif?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=184&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530136/original/file-20230605-19-mdh85y.gif?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=184&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530136/original/file-20230605-19-mdh85y.gif?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=184&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530136/original/file-20230605-19-mdh85y.gif?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=232&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530136/original/file-20230605-19-mdh85y.gif?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=232&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530136/original/file-20230605-19-mdh85y.gif?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=232&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="Animation of Arctic sea ice from space" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Arctic sea ice grows until March and then shrinks until September.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://www.nasa.gov/feature/esnt/2022/nasa-finds-2022-arctic-winter-sea-ice-10th-lowest-on-record">NASA</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>The ice which remains at the end of summer is called multiyear sea ice and is considerably thicker than its seasonal counterpart. It acts as barrier to the transfer of both moisture and heat between the ocean and atmosphere. Over the past 40 years this multiyear sea ice has shrunk from around <a href="http://polarportal.dk/en/sea-ice-and-icebergs/sea-ice-extent0/">7 million sq km to 4 million</a>. That is a loss equivalent to roughly the size of India or 12 UKs. In other words, it’s a big signal, one of the most stark and dramatic signs of fundamental change to the climate system anywhere in the world.</p> <p>As a consequence, there has been considerable effort invested in determining when the Arctic Ocean might first become ice-free in summer, sometimes called a “blue ocean event” and defined as when the sea ice area drops below 1 million sq kms. This threshold is used mainly because older, thicker ice along parts of Canada and northern Greenland is expected to remain long after the rest of the Arctic Ocean is ice-free. We can’t put an exact date on the last blue ocean event, but one in the near future would likely mean open water at the North Pole for the first time in <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nature10581">thousands of years</a>.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/530138/original/file-20230605-29-9uuhxu.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/530138/original/file-20230605-29-9uuhxu.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/530138/original/file-20230605-29-9uuhxu.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=712&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530138/original/file-20230605-29-9uuhxu.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=712&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530138/original/file-20230605-29-9uuhxu.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=712&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530138/original/file-20230605-29-9uuhxu.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=895&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530138/original/file-20230605-29-9uuhxu.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=895&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530138/original/file-20230605-29-9uuhxu.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=895&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="Annotated map of Arctic" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">The thickest ice (highlighted in pink) is likely to remain even if the North Pole is ice-free.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2015/05/new-tools-for-sea-ice-thickness/">NERC Center for Polar Observation and Modelling</a>, <a class="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/">CC BY-SA</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>One problem with predicting when this might occur is that sea ice is notoriously difficult to model because it is influenced by both atmospheric and oceanic circulation as well as the flow of heat between these two parts of the climate system. That means that the climate models – powerful computer programs used to simulate the environment – need to get all of these components right to be able to accurately predict changes in sea ice extent.</p> <h2>Melting faster than models predicted</h2> <p>Back in the 2000s, an assessment of early generations of climate models found they generally <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2007GL029703">underpredicted the loss of sea ice</a> when compared to satellite data showing what actually happened. The models predicted a loss of about 2.5% per decade, while the observations were closer to 8%.</p> <p>The next generation of models did better but were <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012GL052676">still not matching observations</a> which, at that time were suggesting a blue ocean event would happen by mid-century. Indeed, the latest <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sixth-assessment-report-working-group-i/">IPCC climate science report</a>, published in 2021, reaches a similar conclusion about the timing of an ice-free Arctic Ocean.</p> <p>As a consequence of the problems with the climate models, some scientists have attempted to extrapolate the observational record resulting in the controversial and, ultimately, incorrect assertion that this would happen <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/21/arctic-will-be-ice-free-in-summer-next-year">during the mid 2010s</a>. This did not help the credibility of the scientific community and its ability to make reliable projections.</p> <h2>Ice-free by 2030?</h2> <p>The scientists behind the latest study have taken a different approach by, in effect, calibrating the models with the observations and then using this calibrated solution to project sea ice decline. This makes a lot of sense, because it reduces the effect of small biases in the climate models that can in turn bias the sea ice projections. They call these “observationally constrained” projections and find that the Arctic could become ice-free in summer as early as 2030, even if we do a good job of reducing emissions between now and then.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/530365/original/file-20230606-21-usmovg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/530365/original/file-20230606-21-usmovg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/530365/original/file-20230606-21-usmovg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=394&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530365/original/file-20230606-21-usmovg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=394&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530365/original/file-20230606-21-usmovg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=394&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530365/original/file-20230606-21-usmovg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=495&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530365/original/file-20230606-21-usmovg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=495&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/530365/original/file-20230606-21-usmovg.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=495&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="Walruses on ice floe" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Walruses depend on sea ice. As it melts, they’re being forced onto land.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">outdoorsman / shutterstock</span></span></figcaption></figure> <p>There is still plenty of uncertainty around the exact date – about <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2016GL070067">20 years or so</a> – because of natural chaotic fluctuations in the climate system. But compared to previous research, the new study still brings forward the most likely timing of a blue ocean event by about a decade.</p> <h2>Why this matters</h2> <p>You might be asking the question: so what? Other than some polar bears not being able to hunt in the same way, why does it matter? Perhaps there are even benefits as the previous US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/06/politics/pompeo-sea-ice-arctic-council/index.html">once declared</a> – it means ships from Asia can potentially save around 3,000 miles of journey to European ports in summer at least.</p> <p>But Arctic sea ice is an important component of the climate system. As it dramatically reduces the amount of sunlight absorbed by the ocean, removing this ice is predicted to further accelerate warming, through a process known as a positive feedback. This, in turn, will make the Greenland ice sheet <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2014GL059770">melt faster</a>, which is already a major contributor to <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2021RG000757">sea level rise</a>.</p> <p>The loss of sea ice in summer would also mean changes in <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg2/chapter/ccp6/">atmospheric circulation and storm tracks</a>, and fundamental shifts in ocean biological activity. These are just some of the <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2021RG000757">highly undesirable consequences</a> and it is fair to say that the disadvantages will far outweigh the slender benefits.</p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jonathan-bamber-102567">Jonathan Bamber</a>, Professor of Physical Geography, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-bristol-1211">University of Bristol</a></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/arctic-ocean-could-be-ice-free-in-summer-by-2030s-say-scientists-this-would-have-global-damaging-and-dangerous-consequences-206974">original article</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

"I did it”: 59-year-old grandma finally scores dream Qantas job

<p>A 59-year-old grandmother has gotten her big gig with Qantas after dreaming of being a flight attendant for about 40 years.</p> <p>Jackie Cookson is one of the airline’s latest recruits, having graduated on May 29, with her first flight scheduled for June 3.</p> <p>Cookson can now add flight attendant to her versatile resume, with her previously working as a travel agent, a receptionist on an oncology ward and a newspaper sales rep.</p> <p>The 59-year-old, who calls herself “crazy nana” has shared her journey on TikTok since her first interview with Qantas, through all the assessments and training and to her upcoming graduation.</p> <p>In January 2023, she posted her first video ahead of her first in-person interview with Qantas, which attracted more than half a million views, saying people might think she was crazy to apply given her age, but she was finally following her dreams.</p> <p>The grandmother-of-two revealed she had an interview at another airline when she was 20 years old but never went as she ended up getting married.</p> <p>“In my eyes then if you were married you couldn’t be cabin crew. How bloody stupid was that,” she said.</p> <p>She got the job and relocated from Perth to Sydney for her training.</p> <p>“Crazy nana is going to be a cabin crew, watch out!” she told her followers.</p> <p>Four months on saw Cookson standing proudly in her Qantas uniform, with her certificate in hand.</p> <p>“Can you believe it? Crazy nana’s gone and bloody done it, hasn’t she? I’ve passed, today I’ve graduated. I did it,” an elated Cookson said.</p> <p>“If I can do it, anyone else can do it. Follow your dreams. Don’t give up. Don’t be thinking ‘I’m too old’ or this or that. Look at me, I’ve got my wings.”</p> <p>Cookson, who is originally from England but has been living in Australia for about 30 years, told <em>news.com.au </em>that the older she got, the more she thought she may have missed her chance.</p> <p>“After Covid I took a year off and travelled the world, went back to see my 91-year-old dad in Yorkshire, and I applied while I was on holiday,” she said.</p> <p>“I haven’t studied for a long time, so it’s definitely been a challenge, but I put everything I’ve got into it and I’m thrilled to have gotten my wings.</p> <p>“I fly on my first flight to LA on Saturday. I’m nervous, like any first day on the job, but I know I’ll settle into it, but I’m mostly just really excited. I love people and I’m looking forward to working with our customers.”</p> <p><em>Image credit: TikTok</em></p>

International Travel

Placeholder Content Image

What it means when your teeth fall out in a dream

<p dir="ltr">Dreaming of your teeth falling out is never pleasant, but surprisingly and unfortunately they’re one of the most common types of dreams people experience and there are a few reasons why. </p> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation"><strong>1. Insecurity or shame</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Dreams often represent feelings more than literal symbolism, and teeth falling out can represent issues with confidence and self-esteem. To interpret this dream, think about any areas of your life where you are experiencing shame or self-doubt.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>2. Rebirth or transformation</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">A theory popularised by renowned psychiatrist Carl Jung suggests that teeth falling out in a dream could represent a type of rebirth or transformation. Losing teeth is not necessarily a bad omen, but rather could be a sign of growth or positive changes, as adult teeth come in afterwards.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>3. Loss or grief</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Losing teeth in a dream could represent a real-life loss or grief, and if the subconscious is trying to assimilate a real-life loss, it could lead to ‘losing’ things or parts of you in your sleep.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>4. Lack of control </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">Another popular idea is that losing your teeth in a dream is about control, more so a lack thereof. It’s important to consider if there is something in your life that makes you feel powerless, such as an issue out of your control or a sudden change.</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>5. Literal dental issues</strong></p> <p dir="ltr">There is a possibility that dreaming of your teeth falling out could represent literal dental issues. Researchers in the Frontiers in Psychology study found that teeth dreams often correlated with dental irritation. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p>

Mind

Placeholder Content Image

Three Aussie regions set to be unliveable

<p dir="ltr">Three major economic centres are set to become uninhabitable by the end of the century as global temperatures are on track to warm by 2.7C. </p> <p dir="ltr">It is predicted that Broome, Darwin and Port Hedland in WA are to be pushed outside the “human climate niche”, referring to the temperature and humidity conditions in which humans can survive.</p> <p dir="ltr">The destinations are just three of the many northwestern sections of Australia facing “niche displacement” in the next 70 years.</p> <p dir="ltr">New research by The University of Exeter, published in the science journal Nature Sustainability in May 2023, calculates the human cost of climate inaction based on current insufficient policies and government inaction.</p> <p dir="ltr">According to the report, two million people will be living with unprecedented mean average temperatures (MAT) above 29C. </p> <p dir="ltr">MAT &gt;29C is the point at which wellbeing scientifically declines, labour productivity and cognitive ability shrinks, negative pregnancy outcomes are emancipated and mortality rates soar.</p> <p dir="ltr">The report calculates that twenty per cent of Australia, around 374,977 Aussies, will be negatively impacted by the 2.7C temperature increase. </p> <p dir="ltr">Those Australians would join a third of the world’s population, including Africa, South America, and South-East Asia. </p> <p dir="ltr">A 3C warmer temperature in Darwin would mean that for 265 days of the year, temperatures would reach above 35C.</p> <p dir="ltr">At 40C, humidity soars and temperatures become lethal, the Australian Academy of Science reports.</p> <p dir="ltr">The University of Exeter report also explained the effects of a “wet-bulb temperature” where temperature and humidity are combined. In temperatures above 28C (WBT) body struggles to cool itself by sweating, and fails to do so in temperatures above 35C (WBT), which can be fatal.</p> <p dir="ltr">By limiting global warming to 1.5C, which is the goal of the Paris Agreement, 80 per cent of those at risk of rising temperatures would remain in their climate niche.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, scientists warn that a 1.5C will still cause severe and irreversible effects on people, wildlife and ecosystems.</p> <p dir="ltr">Global warming currently sits at 1.2C, but new research from The World Meteorological Organisation suggests there is a 66 per cent chance at least one year in the next five will breach the 1.5C threshold. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Despite increased pledges and targets to tackle climate change, current policies still leave the world on course for about 2.7C end-of-century global warming,” The University of Exeter report said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“These results highlight the need for more decisive policy action to limit the human costs and inequities of climate change.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The report also found the impacts of rising temperatures will not be felt equally, as estimates of the human cost of climate change “tend to be expressed in monetary terms”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“(Estimates) tends to recognise impacts on the rich more than those on the poor (because the rich have more money to lose) and tend to value those living now over those living in the future (because future damages are subject to economic discounting),” the report said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“From an equity standpoint, this is unethical — when life or health are at stake, all people should be considered equal, whether rich or poor, alive or yet to be born.”</p> <p> </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p>

Domestic Travel

Our Partners