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"Meant to be": Magical moment mum finds lost ring 15 years later

<p>Some stories are so unbelievable that it seems like divine intervention played a part in making them happen.</p> <p>Samantha was only eight or nine years old when she lost a ring that her parents gave her for Christmas, only to miraculously find it 15 years later. </p> <p>She recalled the remarkable story of her lost ring on <em>Nova 96.9's Fitzy & Wippa with Kate Ritchie</em>. </p> <p>"So when I was about eight or nine, it was Christmas time, and we were holidaying up at Umina Beach Caravan Park," Samantha began.</p> <p>"I was in the surf, and my mum and dad had bought me this beautiful little first diamond ring for Christmas, and I was sort of in the waves up to sort of my knees, and I thought, Oh, I better take my ring off and put it around my necklace, because if I get dumped or under the waves, I might lose it."</p> <p>Samantha recalled that she was in the middle of taking her ring off when a "freak wave" came and knocked her over, causing her to drop the ring in the ocean.</p> <p>"I'm crying... my mum's crying, we're all crying, and I lost the ring," she said.</p> <p>15 years later she returned to the same beach with her own kids, when things took a turn for the better. </p> <p>"My daughter's collecting shells, and she picks up this big shell, and I said, 'Oh, that's beautiful. Like, that's a big one. We don't find them up this way'," she told the radio hosts.</p> <p>"And she said, 'Oh, hang on. I think there's like a creature or something in it'... So I said 'Put it down, put it down', and I picked it up and just make sure she wasn't going to get bitten or anything.</p> <p>"And I looked inside, and my ring was inside the shell."</p> <p>Samantha told the hosts that she remembered her mum giving her the ring and telling her "when you grow up and you have a daughter, you can give this to her."</p> <p>"When we found it, I think I cried for like, a week, it's a story that we still don't believe."</p> <p>Radio hosts Kate, Fitzy and Wippa were all in shock, with Kate telling the mum that the ring was "meant to be" with her. </p> <p>"Well, the funny thing is, my mum, actually, at the moment, is palative," Samantha shared.</p> <p>"She's very, very unwell, and out of everything that she does remember, she still remembers that story.</p> <p>"She'll still say to me, 'don't you ever get rid of that ring'. And I'm like, my daughter's got it in a box at home, and she's not even allowed to wear it."</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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"Pure terror": Samuel Johnson recalls infamous Logies moment with Molly Meldrum

<p>Samuel Johnson has opened up on his long-running feud with Molly Meldrum, which began at the 2017 Logies. </p> <p>Johnson appeared on 2Day FM’s <em>Hughsey, Ed &amp; Erin</em> on Wednesday to reveal the brutal fallout of the infamous moment when Meldrum stormed the state during Johnson's acceptance speech and took over the microphone, giving a rambling and at times explicit speech of his own.</p> <p>The win, for playing Meldrum in the two-part miniseries about his life titled <em>Molly</em>, came at a time when the actor had become a tireless fundraiser for cancer research after starting the Love Your Sister charity in 2012 with his sister Connie, who had been diagnosed with multiple cancers throughout her life.</p> <p>However, instead of being able to use his speech to raise awareness for the charity, Meldrum instead stole the actor’s thunder and was left facing a wave of criticism over his bizarre antics. </p> <p>Speaking on Wednesday, Johnson said that incident was “pure terror” and a night he’s still not forgotten about.</p> <p>“I told him it was my moment not his! I was looking down at the front table. It was all the people from <span id="U84206877909VdF">The Project</span> and they all had their jaws on the floor,” he said. “It was 8 minutes of pure terror.” </p> <p>Johnson, who previously claimed Meldrum’s antics at the ceremony cost the charity he had planned to plug over $1 million dollars, went to reveal the fallout of the incident, confessing that he’s not seen Meldrum since all the drama went down that infamous evening.</p> <p>“I don’t hold grudges, I just can’t walk into the future with him,” he continued, suggesting that more has gone down behind the scenes than fans know about.</p> <p>“There’s a lot that he’s done that I don’t say. But it’s not that I hold a grudge, it’s that I’ve moved on.”</p> <p>Johnson appeared on the same radio show last year when he spoke about the feud, when Hughesy urged him to let go of his grudge against the Aussie TV legend. </p> <p>“You said you would never speak to Molly again … I hate grudge holding and that’s bad for you,” Hughes bluntly told Johnson last year. </p> <p>“I agree with you, I totally agree with you, but when I’ve specifically asked you not do something, and it’s a once in a lifetime moment, a moment I’ll never get back … He has breached my trust in that moment and I’m sorry, I’m not going to do the Molly sequel. I don’t think I should,” Johnson argued.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Nine Network / 2Day FM </em></p>

TV

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"She was magic": Grease actress dies at age 72

<p>Susan Buckner, known for her iconic role as Patty Simcox in <em>Grease</em>, has died at the age of 72. </p> <p>The news of her passing was announced by her family's publicists Melissa Berthier, who told <a href="https://people.com/grease-actress-susan-buckner-dead-72-8644640" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>People</em></a> magazine in a statement, “Susan died peacefully on May 2 surrounded by loved ones.”</p> <p>No cause of death has yet been revealed. </p> <p>Buckner’s daughter, Samantha Mansfield, paid tribute to her mother, saying, “The light she brought into every room will be missed forever.” </p> <p>“She was magic, and I was very lucky to call her my best friend.”</p> <p>Susan shot to fame playing Patty Simcox, who was one of Sandy's (played by Olivia Newton-John) cheerleading friends at Rydell High in the 1978 cult film <em>Grease</em>.</p> <p>Buckner chose not return for the sequel, <em>Grease 2</em>, which was released in 1982 and starred Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield.</p> <p>Buckner's career in the spotlight began after she was crowned Miss Washington in 1971, and went on to join <em>The Dean Martin Show</em> as one of the Golddiggers, an all-female singing and dancing group.</p> <p>She went on to appear in the variety shows <em>The Mac Davis Show</em>, <em>Sonny and Cher</em> and <em>The Brady Bunch Variety Hour</em>.</p> <p>Susan also appeared in shows like <em>Starsky & Hutch</em> and <em>The Love Boat</em>, before appearing in her final acting role in the 1981 slasher film <em>Deadly Blessing</em>.</p> <p>In her later years, Buckner directed children’s theatre and taught dance at a gym in Florida.</p> <p>She is survived by daughter Samantha Mansfield, son Adam Josephs, grandchildren Oliver, Riley, Abigail and Ruby, as well as her sister Linda, daughter-in-law Noel Josephs, son-in-law Adam Mansfield and longtime partner Al.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Paramount</em></p>

Caring

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"Offer is on the table": New James Bond actor revealed

<p>In a world where the only constant is change, one thing remains certain: James Bond will always be suave, sophisticated, and British.</p> <p>The search for the next 007 has been a rollercoaster of speculation, rumours and hopes dashed faster than a villain's escape plan. But now the wait appears to be over. The man most likely in line to be the next James Bond has been revealed, and his name is Taylor-Johnson ... Aaron Taylor-Johnson. </p> <p>According to a report from <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/tv/26774029/aaron-taylor-johnson-offered-role-james-bond/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>The Sun</em></a> on Tuesday, Eon Productions, the brilliant minds behind the iconic spy franchise, appear to have finally settled on their man. According to sources as reliable as Bond's impeccable taste in martinis, Taylor-Johnson is set to don the tuxedo and wield the Walther PPK in the next instalment of the series. Well, at least if he accepts the offer.</p> <p>“Bond is Aaron’s job, should he wish to accept it," <em>The Sun </em>reported. "The formal offer is on the table and they are waiting to hear back.</p> <p>“As far as Eon is concerned, Aaron is going to sign his contract in the coming days and they can start preparing for the big announcement.”</p> <p>Now, some of you might be scratching your heads, wondering, "Aaron who?"</p> <p>Aaron Taylor-Johnson is an English actor, which automatically makes him qualified for the role. Plus, he's been in action films like <em>Tenet</em>, <em>Bullet Train</em> and <em>Avengers: Age of Ultron</em>. So, he's no stranger to high-stakes thrills and spills. Also, did we mention he's British? Because that's kind of a prerequisite.</p> <p>At 33 years of age, Taylor-Johnson would be the youngest actor to step into Bond's impeccably polished shoes since George Lazenby back in 1969. Talk about big shoes to fill. But if anyone can handle the pressure, it's our man Aaron. </p> <p>Now, some purists might be clutching their martini glasses in horror, lamenting the departure of Daniel Craig, who graced our screens for five thrilling films. But fear not, for change is the spice of life, and if there's one thing Bond knows how to handle, it's change. Besides, who wouldn't want to see what Taylor-Johnson brings to the table? Maybe he'll introduce a new signature drink or a quirky catchphrase. The possibilities are as endless as Bond's list of conquests.</p> <p>The response to <em>The Sun</em>'s announcement has caused a few reactions across the globe, with 9News reporting that "A source with knowledge of the situation tells CNN that Johnson has not been cast as Bond. And, BBC News reports that a 'production insider' said there is no truth to the rumours about Taylor-Johnson's casting."</p> <p>So, as we eagerly await the official announcement from Eon Productions, let us raise our glasses to Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the next suave superspy set to save the world, one shaken, not stirred, adventure at a time. </p> <p><em>Images: Getty / Twitter (X)</em></p>

Movies

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Experience the magic of Ireland down under: A Taste of Ireland 2024 Australian Tour

<p>Get ready to immerse yourself in the rich culture, captivating music and mesmerising dance of Ireland as <a href="https://www.atasteofirelandshow.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>A Taste of Ireland</em></a> returns to enchant audiences across Australia in 2024. </p> <p>Featuring World Champion dancers from <em>Lord of the Dance</em> and <em>Riverdance</em>, prepare to be transported to the rolling green hills and vibrant streets of the Emerald Isle, right in your hometown!  </p> <p><strong>What is <em>A Taste of Ireland</em>?</strong></p> <p><em>A Taste of Ireland</em> is not just a performance; it's an unforgettable journey through the heart and soul of Ireland. Combining traditional and contemporary Irish music and dance, this spectacular show showcases the incredible talent and passion of some of Ireland's finest performers.</p> <p><strong>What to expect</strong></p> <p>From the moment the first note is struck, and the first step is danced, you'll be captivated by the energy and artistry on stage. Feel the rhythm of the bodhrán drum reverberate through your bones, and let the fiddles whisk you away to a land of ancient myths and legends.</p> <p>Prepare to be dazzled by the lightning-fast footwork and intricate choreography of the dancers as they weave tales of love, loss and triumph through their movements. Each step tells a story, each leap a celebration of life itself.</p> <p><strong>Why attend?</strong></p> <p>Whether you're a die-hard fan of Irish culture or simply looking for a night of entertainment unlike any other, <em>A Taste of Ireland</em> offers something for everyone. It's an opportunity to witness the magic of Ireland's rich heritage brought to life before your very eyes.</p> <p>Forget your troubles for an evening and let the music and dance sweep you away on a journey you won't soon forget. Whether you're tapping your feet to the lively jigs and reels or wiping away tears during a poignant ballad, <em>A Taste of Ireland</em> is an experience that will touch your heart and soul.</p> <p><strong>Tour dates and locations</strong></p> <p>The 2024 Australian Tour of <em>A Taste of Ireland</em> will be making stops across Australia for 80 shows from March to July, bringing the magic of Ireland to a venue near you. <a href="https://www.atasteofirelandshow.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Check the tour schedule</a> to find out when this unforgettable experience will be coming to your area.</p> <p><strong>Get your tickets now!</strong></p> <p>Don't miss your chance to experience the beauty and excitement of <em>A Taste of Ireland</em>. Tickets are selling fast, so book yours today and get ready for a night of music, dance, and memories that will last a lifetime. </p> <p>Witness the show that has received rave reviews across the globe. Don't rely on the luck of the Irish – <a href="https://www.atasteofirelandshow.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">book now</a>, because tickets are selling out fast!</p> <p><em>Images: Supplied.</em></p> <p><em>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with Pace Live.</em></p>

Music

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The "dose of magic" helping Jimmy Barnes recover after surgery

<p>As Jimmy Barnes continues to rest and recover after undergoing urgent open heart surgery in the weeks before Christmas, he has shared the "dose of magic" that has made all the difference in his recovery. </p> <p>Barnes underwent the surgery on December 13th, telling his fans he was being rushed into the procedure after suffering complications from bacterial pneumonia. </p> <p>Now, as Barnes enters his fourth week post-op, he has shared with his legion of fans the unexpected "dose of magic" that has pulled him through his difficult recovery period. </p> <p>Taking to Instagram, the 67-year-old shared how much of a difference his grandson Teddy has made during his recovery time. </p> <p>“Last day with Teddy for a while. He’s been a dose of magic during these tough times, I can’t thank you enough to (Barnes' daughter Eliza and her husband Jim) for coming over and helping to look after me,” Barnes wrote.</p> <p>“We watched the cricket and had a lesson about the heart. Then Dr let Teddy listen to my heart beat."</p> <p>“He said it sounded like drums, and that means I’m going to be ok."</p> <p>Fans were appreciative of the heartfelt update, expressing relief that the musician was on the mend, and noting that being around family was a wonderful form of healing.</p> <p>“Grandchildren and great grandchildren are powerful medicine alright,” one fan wrote.</p> <div> <p>“That brought a tear to my eye,” said another.</p> <p>“Wishing you a speedy recovery Mr Barnes. Doing well mate, keep up the good work and you’ll feel like a new man in no time.”</p> <p>Since the surgery, Barnes has shared a series of graphic photos of his new scar, which runs from the top of his chest to his abdomen. </p> <p>Despite being rushed in for the surgery as the complications rapidly progressed, Barnes managed to make it home for Christmas, after he was discharged from hospital on December 22nd. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p> </div> <p class="css-1n6q21n-StyledParagraph e4e0a020" style="box-sizing: border-box; overflow-wrap: break-word; word-break: break-word; margin: 0px 0px 1.125rem; line-height: 25px; font-size: 1.125rem; font-family: HeyWow, Montserrat, 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; caret-color: #292a33; color: #292a33;"> </p>

Caring

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"Uniquely, magically, indescribably us": Read the emotional love letter from Suzanne Somers' husband

<p>Just one day before her death, Suzanne Somers' husband gave her a handwritten love letter as part of an early birthday present. </p> <p>Somers' husband, Alan Hamel, gave the letter to his wife of 45 years just 24 hours before she passed away at the age of 76. </p> <p>According to Somers' publicist, R. Couri Hay, Hamel “gave it to her a day early and she read the poem and went to bed and later died peacefully in her sleep.”</p> <p>The emotional poem was an expression of love from Somers' husband, as he struggled to define their intense relationships. </p> <p>“Love I use it every day, sometimes several times a day. I use it at the end of emails to my loving family. I even use it in emails to close friends. I use it when I’m leaving the house,” the note began, via <em><a href="https://people.com/read-love-letter-suzanne-somers-husband-alan-hamel-wrote-to-her-day-before-her-death-8358234">People</a></em>. </p> <p>“There’s love, then love you and I love you!! Therein lies some of the different ways we use love. Sometimes I feel obliged to use love, responding to someone who signed love in their email, when I’m uncomfortable using love but I use it anyway.</p> <p>“I also use love to describe a great meal. I use it to express how I feel about a show on Netflix. I often use love referring to my home, my cat Gloria, to things Gloria does, to the taste of a cantaloupe I grew in my garden.”</p> <p>“I love the taste of a freshly harvested organic royal jumbo medjool date. I love biting a fig off the tree. I love watching two giant blackbirds who live nearby swooping by my window in a power dive. My daily life encompasses things and people I love and things and people I am indifferent to,” he continued.</p> <p>“I could go on ad infinitum, but you get it. What brand of love do I feel for my wife Suzanne? Can I find it in any of the above? A resounding no!!!! There is no version of the word that is applicable to Suzanne and I even use the word applicable advisedly.”</p> <p>“The closest version in words isn’t even close. It’s not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction. Unconditional love does not do it. I’ll take a bullet for you doesn’t do it. I weep when I think about my feelings for you. Feelings… That’s getting close, but not all the way.”</p> <p>“55 years together, 46 married and not even one hour apart for 42 of those years. Even that doesn’t do it,” he added. “Even going to bed at 6 o’clock and holding hands while we sleep doesn’t do it. Staring at your beautiful face while you sleep doesn’t do it.”</p> <p>“I’m back to feelings. There are no words,” he concluded. “There are no actions. No promises. No declarations. Even the green shaded scholars of the Oxford University Press have spent 150 years and still have failed to come up with that one word. So I will call it, ‘Us,’ uniquely, magically, indescribably wonderful ‘Us.’”</p> <p>Somers and Hamel tied the knot in 1977, giving them 45 years together as husband and wife. </p> <p>Somers died on Sunday morning after “an aggressive form of breast cancer for over 23 years,” her publicist said in a statement.</p> <p>Suzanne was best known for playing Chrissy Snow on the 1970s sitcom <em>Three’s Company</em> and Carol Foster Lambert on the ’90s family comedy <em>Step by Step</em>.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p>

Caring

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"Magical": Ed Sheeran crashes wedding after cancelled Vegas concert

<p>Ed Sheeran, the man of the hour, recently pulled off a surprise move that left a wedding chapel feeling less little and a lot more magical. After recently being forced to <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/music/ed-sheeran-fans-left-devastated-moments-before-show" target="_blank" rel="noopener">scrap his Las Vegas gig</a> due to some venue woes, he stumbled upon a teeny spot he couldn't resist: The Little White Wedding Chapel.</p> <p>In a moment that's now etched in matrimonial history, Sheeran couldn't resist the urge to crash Jordan and Carter Lindenfield's intimate wedding ceremony. And boy, oh boy, was it a surprise!</p> <p>The couple were just about to say their "I dos" when up popped Ed Sheeran like a musical jack-in-the-box. Strolling in with an acoustic guitar and a gang of backup singers, ready to serenade the lovebirds with his upcoming single, "Magical", the jaw-dropping, starstruck expressions from the bride and groom said it all.</p> <p>After Sheeran finished crooning his heart out for the tearful duo, they sealed the deal with a kiss and the all-important certificate-signing ritual. But here's the kicker: Sheeran himself became an official witness to their nuptials, sheepishly admitting: "This is the first time I've been a witness."</p> <p>As if the entire affair wasn't surreal enough, Ed took to Instagram to immortalise the moment, captioning it with the understatement of the century: "Crashed a wedding, this is Magical."</p> <p>The fans, always ready to hop on the Sheeran bandwagon, couldn't contain their excitement in the comments section. Some were so swept away by the thought of Ed showing up at their own weddings that they contemplated tying the knot, fiancé or not.</p> <p>"I never wanted to get married, but if this could happen, I might reconsider," one fan playfully quipped. Another enthusiastic soul chimed in, "You can crash my wedding too! No date set, and I'm still looking for the fiancé, but hey, baby steps."</p> <p>This isn't the first time Sheeran has indulged in his wedding-crashing whims. In 2015, he made headlines by gatecrashing a wedding ceremony in Sydney, courtesy of a local radio station. They had organised the dream wedding for a couple who had faced some serious hardships, so Sheeran decided to sprinkle some stardust on their special day.</p> <p>Fast forward to the present, and Ed's spontaneous wedding performances are still going strong. This latest magical moment came hot on the heels of his Las Vegas concert cancellation. He had to break the news to fans just an hour before showtime. But he then went on to assure everyone that the safety of his fans was his top priority. "I really am gutted," he confessed, but promised that the rescheduled show on October 28 would be nothing short of spectacular.</p>

Music

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"Truly magical": A Lasting Tale gives everyday Australians a voice

<p>Amidst a world engulfed in fake news, endless scrolling, and the pursuit of instant gratification, Dimity Brassil firmly advocates for the significance of collecting the stories and wisdom of our elderly.</p> <p>Following the unfortunate loss of her father and sister in rapid succession, Dimity approached her 89-year-old mother, Anne, with a heartfelt request to capture her life story in her own voice. Anne graciously agreed, leading the duo to create <a href="https://www.alastingtale.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A Lasting Tale</a> – a project that would later prove to empower older Australians in sharing their life stories with their loved ones, unbeknownst to Dimity at the time.</p> <p>"When my father and sister passed away, it became apparent that we had not adequately documented their histories, especially my sister, who left behind a young child," Dimity reflects.</p> <p>"I realised that we would soon forget the sound of her voice and that we hadn't captured many of her stories in her own words for her daughter to cherish."</p> <p>Motivated by this realisation, Dimity was determined to do the same for her mother, a captivating individual whose accomplishments, community work, and insightful, witty observations on life remained largely unknown to even her own children, let alone her grandchildren.</p> <p>Recently launched nationwide, A Lasting Tale now engages 40 professional journalists in recording private audio life stories for families across Australia. To date, over 1500 everyday Australians have shared their life stories for the benefit of their families.</p> <p>By utilising the app's interactive questions or availing themselves of the professional podcasting service, families can capture essential information and stories from their loved ones. These recordings can be preserved as personalised audio series, serving as cherished mementos for generations to come.</p> <p>A Lasting Tale provides a free mobile app and collaborates with retirement villages, palliative care providers, libraries, community organisations, and even runs specialised life story intergenerational programs in aged care facilities.</p> <p>One of the most interesting stories of people who have used the new service is that of Carla Lidbury, whose mum, Linda, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and passed not long after the recording.</p> <p> Carla says, “When Mum was diagnosed with cancer, my sister and I knew we wanted to have her life story recorded.</p> <p>“Mum had such an amazing memory and was really visual with how she described things. I felt it was enabling us to keep a piece of mum forever.</p> <p>“Mum was an aerobics teacher in the 1980s and such fun. She had so many amazing stories to tell that would be lost after she passed, and luckily Mum was open to the experience and looking forward to it.”</p> <p>Linda passed not long after recording her story.</p> <p>Carla adds: “I didn’t listen to Mum’s audio life story until a few weeks after she passed. Wow! It was magical to hear her voice. It brought joy, I laughed, I cried.</p> <p>“There were so many emotions and happy moments when we heard it. It made me realise she wasn’t just my Mum – she was Linda, she was a person who had her adventures and career and friends. She was amazing.”</p> <p>Through this remarkable project, countless families have been given the gift of capturing the essence of their loved ones' lives, creating a lasting legacy that transcends time.</p> <p>Each recorded tale becomes a precious treasure, offering solace, laughter, and tears – a reminder that behind the roles of parents and grandparents, there are individuals with vibrant histories, remarkable adventures, and a wealth of wisdom to impart.</p> <p>A Lasting Tale reminds us to cherish and celebrate the stories that make us who we are, bridging generations and weaving a tapestry of human experiences that will endure for years to come.  </p>

Family & Pets

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“Our Disney princess”: Grace Irwin’s magical milestone

<p dir="ltr">Bindi Irwin and her family were all smiles on a recent trip to “the most magical place on Earth”, with some of their favourite highlights documented on social media for their fans to enjoy the occasion right along with them.</p> <p dir="ltr">The day was something of a milestone for two-year-old Grace, who was making her first trip to Disneyland alongside Bindi and Chandler. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Our Disney princess visited the most magical place on Earth for the very first time,” Bindi wrote. “My. Heart.”</p> <p dir="ltr">In the clip accompanying the caption, a series of snaps and short videos played out, though two things remained constant throughout - the delight on their faces, and the wonder on young Grace’s.</p> <p dir="ltr">It opened with a sweet family picture in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, a popular location in the centre of the park for capturing the all-important Disney portrait. </p> <p dir="ltr">Next, Grace had been introduced to a bubble wand in her dad’s arms, before the family were captured flying through the air on Disney’s Dumbo The Flying Elephant ride.</p> <p dir="ltr">From there, Grace was pictured exploring the park - on her own feet and from her mum’s embrace - as well as dancing to live music, meeting some iconic Disney characters, hosting her very own princess tea party, and experiencing the wonder of the world famous It’s a Small World attraction. </p> <p dir="ltr">All, it appears, picture perfect items on any Disneyland agenda. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cse2J6nh6S0/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cse2J6nh6S0/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Bindi’s followers certainly seemed to agree, flocking to her comments to gush over Bindi’s heartwarming post, all agreeing that the family must have had “the best time”. </p> <p dir="ltr">“That’s the BEST!” author Steve Maraboli declared. “Moments and memories like that are vitamins for the soul!”</p> <p dir="ltr">“That is so so special,” Australian TV personality Rove McManus said. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Looks like you had the most perfect time! I loved when she was dancing for the musicians,” one fan shared.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Watching Disney through your child’s eyes is simply the best!!” another noted. </p> <p dir="ltr">Meanwhile, some could only marvel at how much Grace and grown, with others simply happy to see Bindi enjoying herself in the world after her <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/body/bindi-irwin-breaks-down-on-camera-about-health-condition">difficult health journey</a>. </p> <p dir="ltr">“So glad to see you are feeling so much better that you can enjoy an adventure like Disney,” one wrote. </p> <p dir="ltr">However, another wasn’t quite so sure about the whole “happiest place” side of things, revealing that while their day had looked “amazing”, they had to note “Australia Zoo is one of the most magical places on earth. Anywhere we can love and protect animals.”</p> <p dir="ltr">And, of course, Robert Irwin had to get in on the celebration, sharing a series of hearts in response to his sister’s post - just weeks after sharing his own happy snap with the youngest Irwin wildlife warrior, too. </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Iconic Aussie author caught up in bizarre book ban

<p>Australian author Mem Fox, best known for her iconic <em>Possum Magic </em>book, has become the latest writer caught up in Florida’s wave of book bans. </p> <p>Her 1988 release <em>Guess What?</em> is the target, facing the ban in schools throughout Duval County over allegations of “pornography” in its depictions of nudity.</p> <p>The 2022 Florida law, part of the parental rights in conservative governor Ron DeSanti’s education bill, prohibits adults from distributing on school premises any content “of a person or portion of the human body which depicts nudity or sexual conduct, sexual excitement, sexual battery, bestiality, or sadomasochistic abuse and which is harmful to minors".</p> <p>Punishment for not complying includes a third-degree felony, which can mean a prison sentence of up to five years for any individual caught. </p> <p>The book asks children to guess the identity of character Daisy O’Grady with a series of questions - all yes or no - before finally revealing that she’s actually a witch. </p> <p>Illustrations through <em>Guess What?</em> - created by illustrator Vivienne Goodman - see Daisy going about her day-to-day routine, including one key ‘problem’ activity: taking a bath. </p> <p>It’s this scene that caused the trouble for Fox, with some dubbing it “pornographic”. </p> <p>However, it isn’t the first time that<em> Guess What? </em>has come into question for its depictions - past reviews took issue with its images of dead fish in underwear as well. </p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/05/GuessWhat_Embed.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p>Fox doesn’t seem too concerned about the ban though, with her agent even telling <em>The Guardian </em>that “Duval County is a county of 997,000 people in Florida. It is not important."</p> <p>As Fox herself said on <em>ABC Radio</em>, “it's pitiful, isn't it? It's like, the Americans keep killing each other with guns and then they do things like this as well.</p> <p>"You just feel sorry for them, you just think, 'people, you're so unsophisticated, you're so pitiful'.”</p> <p>She went on to note that Americans had treated her well in the past, in her 100-plus visits to the country over the course of her career. </p> <p>"They were so kind to me, they were so, so good, so generous, so warm-hearted, so affirming,” she said. “I just grieve for them.”</p> <p>And when it came to the bath time scene, she was firm in her stance that it is “completely appropriate. </p> <p>"She's washing herself, she's sort of sitting in this sink, you can't see any of her private parts at all.</p> <p>"The whole book is about guessing who this person is, it turns out to be a witch in the end."</p> <p><em>Images: Getty, Facebook</em></p>

Books

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The world’s most magical places to swim

<h2>Red Beach, Santorini, Greece</h2> <p>A crescent-shaped island in the middle of the Aegean Sea, Santorini was once a massive volcano – archaeologists say it blew its top way back in the Bronze Age. It left behind a fascinating place where whitewashed buildings cling to the edge of towering sea cliffs, and beaches come in many colours, including black, brown, white and even red. At Red Beach, iron-rich sands – and the cliffs that hem them in – have taken a curious and beautiful rust-coloured hue, which forms a stark contrast when they intersect with the beach’s deep blue waters.</p> <h2>Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands, Queensland, Australia</h2> <p>While the pristine, azure waters of Whitehaven beach on North-East Queensland’s Whitsunday coast are superlative-worthy in themselves, it’s the sand that really makes it unforgettable. Soft and blindingly white, it is made of almost 98 per cent silica – a mysterious geographical phenomenon that scientists can’t explain – but that you simply have to experience burying your toes into. While the waters are divine to swim in year round, it’s worth remembering that stinger season is from October to May, when warmer waters attract larger numbers of Box and Irukandji jellyfish – a stinger suit is recommended for extra protection.</p> <h2>Blue Lagoon, Fiji</h2> <p>In many ways, Fiji – a cluster of 330 islands in the South Pacific – is the ultimate paradise, an almost mystical place where the palms seem taller, the water always feels bathtub warm, and coral reefs extend themselves and their aquatic bounty before snorkellers from all over the world. While pretty much any spot in Fiji would do for a dip, one of the most beautiful places you can swim is the remote Blue Lagoon. Part of the Yasawa Islands, Blue Lagoon is a spot where the water seems bluer, the often empty beaches appear whiter, and the aquatic wonders, from starfish to seahorses to sharks, are truly mind-boggling.</p> <h2>Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil</h2> <p>One of the world’s best places to swim (and be seen swimming), this curving beach is a major draw for visitors to Rio. While it’s perhaps most famous for the skimpy bikinis (and, yes, Speedos) that can always be found here on a sunny day, this it truly is a great place for a dip in the South Atlantic. Afterward, dry off with a game of foot volley, a form of beach volleyball unique to Rio and its cariocas.</p> <h2>Panama City Beach, Florida, USA</h2> <p>While much of the good press goes to the sun spots further south on the peninsula (think Miami, Tampa and Key West), Florida’s very best beach is up on the panhandle. With sugary white sand (composed of quartz, not the grainier, brown silica found in most of the state), Panama City Beach sits at the heart of the Emerald Coast, a stretch of very clear, very warm, very emerald Gulf of Mexico water. Walk the beach, then spend the evening at Pier Park, a remarkable shopping complex that’s steps from the sea and keeps up the beach theme.</p> <h2>The Amazon River, South America</h2> <p>Contrary to popular belief, the warm, brown, slow-moving waters of the Amazon are actually safe for swimming – if you know what you’re doing. Yes, you will be sharing the river with caimans (a kind of crocodile), piranhas and the bizarre-looking pink freshwater river dolphins (called boto) that are found only here, but an experienced guide can tell you where, and when, it’s safe to dive in. You may even get a visit from a boto – a favourite excursion takes swimmers out to a mid-river sandbar, where you wait for the arrival of this mysterious, playful animal.</p> <h2>Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam</h2> <p>Southeast Asia definitely has a wealth of beautiful swimming spots and this one also happens to be a UNESCO world heritage site – and its easy to see why. With its stunning limestone islands jutting out of the water crystal-clear water the temperature of bath water, bathing doesn’t come with much more of a stunning view than this. From small, peaceful Titop Beach to the vast Ngoc Vung beach, you’ll be assured of a blissful experience wherever you go.</p> <h2>Manly Beach, Sydney, NSW, Australia</h2> <p>Reachable via what has to be the world’s most breathtaking ferry ride – the boat directly passes the city’s world-famous opera house and provides on-the-water views of the towering Sydney Harbour Bridge – Manly is everything a beach should be: soft sand, lovely water, and people-watching a-plenty. If calm waters are more your thing, bypass Manly’s main beach to nearby Shelly Beach, a protected marine reserve with clear, shallow waters featuring a large variety of marine life, ideal for scuba divers and snorkellers for its large variety of marine life. Post-swim, take the winding track up the headland for a scenic view of North Head and neighbouring beaches, or wander through the shops and eateries of the Corso, a pedestrian mall.</p> <h2>Cartagena, Colombia, South America</h2> <p>This beautiful, historic city – think horse-drawn carriages, cobblestone lanes and squares bordered by aging church clock towers – sits at the heart of a Caribbean playground. Just beyond its own sun-kissed beaches lie the 27 Rosario Islands (above), reachable by a short boat ride, which are filled with palms and fringed by aquamarine waters. Spend your day on the beach, then dance the night away in the city’s amazing array of salsa clubs.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/destinations/the-worlds-most-magical-places-to-swim" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>.</em></p>

International Travel

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What’s behind the magic of live music?

<p>For months, fans were relegated to watching their favorite singers and musicians over Zoom or via webcasts. Now, live shows – from <a href="https://abc7chicago.com/lollapalooza-2021-vaccine-requirement-saturday/10922695/">festivals like Lollapalooza</a> to <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/09/14/theater/broadway-reopening-shows-nyc">Broadway musicals</a> – are officially back.</p> <p>The songs that beamed into living rooms during the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic may have featured an artist’s hits. But there’s just <a href="https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/republic-of-ireland/emotional-and-surreal-fans-return-to-live-music-in-ireland-40525205.html">something magical</a> about seeing music surrounded by other people. Some fans reported being so moved by their first live shows in nearly two years that <a href="https://twitter.com/CaitlinSchiffer/status/1437988855676817411?s=20">they wept with joy</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://music.columbia.edu/bios/mariusz-kozak">As a music theorist</a>, I’ve spent my career trying to figure out just what that “magic” is. And part of understanding this requires thinking about music as more than simply sounds washing over a listener.</p> <h2>Music as more than communication</h2> <p>Music is often thought of as a <a href="https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00052">twin sister to language</a>. Whereas words tend to convey ideas and knowledge, music transmits emotions.</p> <p>According to this view, performers broadcast their messages – the music – to their audience. Listeners decode the messages on the basis of their own listening habits, and that’s how they interpret the emotions the performers hope to communicate. </p> <p>But if all music did was communicate emotions, watching an online concert should’ve been no different than going to a live show. After all, in both cases, listeners heard the same melodies, the same harmonies and the same rhythms.</p> <p>So what couldn’t be experienced through a computer screen?</p> <p>The short answer is that music does far more than communicate. When witnessed in person, with other people, it can create powerful <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences/article/music-as-a-coevolved-system-for-social-bonding/F1ACB3586FD3DD5965E56021F506BC4F/share/467b545a472056b57236dd84e46e9495712b2a6e">physical and emotional bonds</a>.</p> <h2>A ‘mutual tuning-in’</h2> <p>Without physical interactions, our well-being suffers. We fail to achieve what the philosopher Alfred Schütz called a “<a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/40969255">mutual tuning-in</a>,” or what the pianist and Harvard professor Vijay Iyer more recently described as “<a href="https://www.ojaifestival.org/2017-ojai-music-festival-program-notes/">being together in time</a>.” </p> <p>In my book “<a href="https://global.oup.com/academic/product/enacting-musical-time-9780190080204?cc=us&amp;lang=en&amp;">Enacting Musical Time</a>,” I note that time has a certain feel and texture that goes beyond the mere fact of its passage. It can move faster or slower, of course. But it can also thrum with emotion: There are times that are somber, joyous, melancholy, exuberant and so on. </p> <p>When the passage of time is experienced in the presence of others, it can give rise to a form of intimacy in which people revel or grieve together. That may be why physical distancing and social isolation imposed by the pandemic were so difficult for so many people – and why many people whose lives and routines were upended reported an <a href="https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.581036">unsettling change in their sense of time</a>.</p> <p>When we’re in physical proximity, our mutual tuning-in toward one another actually <a href="https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0094446">generates bodily rhythms that make us feel good</a> and <a href="https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00782">gives us a greater sense of belonging</a>. One study found that babies who are bounced to music in sync with an adult <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/infa.12140">display increased altruism</a> toward that person, while another found that people who are close friends tend to <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121213104230.htm">synchronize their movements</a> when talking or walking together. </p> <p>Music isn’t necessary for this synchronization to emerge, but rhythms and beats facilitate the synchronization by giving it a shape.</p> <p>On the one hand, music encourages people to make specific movements and gestures while they dance or clap or just bob their heads to the beat. On the other, music gives audiences a temporal scaffold: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hYYgz-AJKU">where to place these movements and gestures</a>so that they’re synchronized with others.</p> <h2>The great synchronizer</h2> <p>Because of the pleasurable effect of being synchronized with people around you, the emotional satisfaction you get from listening or watching online is fundamentally different from going to a live performance. At a concert, you can see and feel other bodies around you. </p> <p>Even when explicit movement is restricted, like at a typical Western classical concert, you sense the presence of others, a mass of bodies that punctures your personal bubble.</p> <p>The music shapes this mass of humanity, giving it structure, suggesting moments of tension and relaxation, of breath, of fluctuations in energy – moments that might translate into movement and gesture as soon as people become tuned into one another.</p> <p> </p> <div data-react-class="Tweet" data-react-props="{"> <div> <div> </div> </div> </div> <p>This structure is usually conveyed with sound, but different musical practices around the world suggest that the experience is not limited to hearing. In fact, it can include the synchronization of visuals and human touch.</p> <p>For example, in the deaf musical community, sound is only one small part of the expression. In Christine Sun Kim’s “<a href="http://christinesunkim.com/work/face-opera-ii/">face opera ii</a>” – a piece for <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31750130/">prelingually deaf</a> performers – participants “sing” without using their hands, and instead use facial gestures and movements to convey emotions. Like the line “fa-la-la-la-la” in the famous Christmas carol “<a href="https://youtu.be/WgEVI8DEkF8">Deck the Halls</a>,” words can be deprived of their meaning until all that’s left is their emotional tone.</p> <p>In some cultures, music is, conceptually, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2014.0096">no different</a> from dance, ritual or play. For example, the <a href="https://doi-org.ezproxy.cul.columbia.edu/10.2307/850267">Blackfeet in North America</a> use the same word to refer to a combination of music, dance and ceremony. And the <a href="https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/9780262018104.003.0002">Bayaka Pygmies of Central Africa </a>have the same term for different forms of music, cooperation and play.</p> <p>Many other groups around the world categorize communal pursuits under the same umbrella.</p> <p>They all use markers of time like a regular beat – whether it’s the sound of a <a href="http://www.kumeyaay.info/music/gourdrattles.html">gourd rattle</a> during a <a href="http://eviada.webhost.iu.edu/scripts/collection.cfm?mc=7&amp;ctID=33">Suyá Kahran Ngere ceremony</a> or <a href="https://nyupress.org/9780814731208/the-games-black-girls-play/">groups of girls chanting</a> “Mary Mack dressed in black” in a hand-clapping game – to allow participants to synchronize their movements.</p> <p>Not all of these practices necessarily evoke the word “music.” But we can think of them as musical in their own way. They all teach people how to act in relation to one another by teasing, guiding and even urging them to move together. </p> <p>In time. As one.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/whats-behind-the-magic-of-live-music-169343" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

Music

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Trailblazing musician and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto dies at 71

<p dir="ltr">Composer and activist Ryuichi Sakamoto, the creative force behind <em>The Last Emperor</em>’s award-winning score and trailblazing member of Yellow Magic Orchestra, has passed away at the age of 71 following a second cancer diagnosis. </p> <p dir="ltr">Sakamoto died on March 28, as a statement released by his management team to his official website confirmed. </p> <p dir="ltr">“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of artist and musician, Ryuichi Sakamoto,” it read.</p> <p dir="ltr">"While undergoing treatment for cancer discovered in June 2020, Sakamoto continued to create works in his home studio whenever his health would allow.</p> <p dir="ltr">"He lived with music until the very end.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to his fans and all those who have supported his activities, as well as the medical professionals in Japan and the US who did everything in their power to cure him,” it continued, before going on to explain that his funeral service was “held among close family members” as per his wishes, and that they would be unable to accept “calls of condolences, offerings of incense or flowers, and the like.” </p> <p dir="ltr">To conclude the statement, the team shared one of Sakamoto’s favourite quotes, “‘Ars longa, vita brevis’. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Art is long, life is short.” </p> <p dir="ltr">Sakamoto’s art is perhaps what he will be remembered best for - by many, for his widely-renowned soundtracks, including those for Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, the same film in which he starred alongside his friend, David Bowie. </p> <p dir="ltr">The team managing the late Bowie’s official Twitter account posted a tribute to Sakamoto in the wake of the news, writing, “REST IN PEACE RYUICHI SAKAMOTO … ‘Here am I, a lifetime away from you’” alongside a picture of the two, taken in Japan in 1983.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">REST IN PEACE RYUICHI SAKAMOTO</p> <p>“Here am I, a lifetime away from you...”</p> <p>Sad to learn of the passing of actor, composer, and producer <a href="https://twitter.com/ryuichisakamoto?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ryuichisakamoto</a>. The renowned Japanese artist passed on Tuesday 28th March aged 71.</p> <p>He won awards - including an Oscar, a Grammy and Bafta -… <a href="https://t.co/OZdRVnQyYW">pic.twitter.com/OZdRVnQyYW</a></p> <p>— David Bowie Official (@DavidBowieReal) <a href="https://twitter.com/DavidBowieReal/status/1642598977785741318?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 2, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Sakamoto’s contribution to numerous music genres - including the likes of synth-pop, house music, and hip-hop - won’t be forgotten either. In the 1970s, he rose to fame as a member of the Japanese group Yellow Magic Orchestra, helping to lay the foundations for generations to come with their innovative electronic approach. </p> <p dir="ltr">In the 1980s, Sakamoto even joined forces with Iggy Pop for the 1987 hit ‘Risky’. </p> <p dir="ltr">“One of the greatest, most influential composers of our times,” tweeted one fan of his music mastery. “And I mean like really truly foundational levels of influence. Do you like electro? Hip hop? Video game music? Modern film scores? Jpop? Jrock? "Experimental music"? He was a pioneer of it all!"</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">RIP to Ryuichi Sakamoto, one of the greatest, most influential composers of our times. And I mean like really truly foundational levels of influence. Do you like electro? Hip hop? Videogame music? Modern film scores? Jpop? Jrock? "Experimental music"? He was a pioneer of it all! <a href="https://t.co/IoFlJwL9OL">https://t.co/IoFlJwL9OL</a> <a href="https://t.co/HP1Jdfltkg">pic.twitter.com/HP1Jdfltkg</a></p> <p>— Art-Eater ➡️⬇️↘️🐲👊 (@Richmond_Lee) <a href="https://twitter.com/Richmond_Lee/status/1642537126834339840?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 2, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">And his success from 1987 wasn’t to stop there, with Sakamoto taking home the Academy Award for his score on the period epic <em>The Last Emperor</em>. While the award was presented at the 1988 ceremony, the film - directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, and telling the story of China’s last emperor, Puyi - was released the previous year. The score also saw him take home a Grammy and a Golden Globe for his work.</p> <p dir="ltr">As the Japan Film Society wrote on Twitter, Sakamoto was “a singular artist whose contributions to music and film remain unparalleled.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">R.I.P. Ryuichi Sakamoto (1952-2023), a singular artist whose contributions to music and film remain unparalleled. <a href="https://t.co/FUKyvHWRf9">pic.twitter.com/FUKyvHWRf9</a></p> <p>— Japan Society Film (@js_film_nyc) <a href="https://twitter.com/js_film_nyc/status/1642515647388176385?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 2, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">In 2007, Sakamoto branched out again, founding a conservation organisation known as More Trees, with the goal of promoting sustainable forestry in Japan, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Reportedly, Sakamoto even contacted the Tokyo governor shortly before his passing, continuing his mission to protect Japan’s tree cover. </p> <p dir="ltr">And in 2011, Sakamoto turned his influence into activism yet again in the wake of the Fukushima meltdown when he organised a concert against nuclear power.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="zxx"><a href="https://t.co/mYLMEN6HrZ">pic.twitter.com/mYLMEN6HrZ</a></p> <p>— ryuichi sakamoto (@ryuichisakamoto) <a href="https://twitter.com/ryuichisakamoto/status/1642507238467309568?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 2, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Caring

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“I’ll never speak to him again”: Samuel Johnson blows up at Molly Meldrum

<p>While speaking to Larry Emdur and Kylie Gillies on <em>The Morning Show</em>, a visibly upset Samuel Johnson blew up over 79-year-old Molly Meldrum’s bizarre behaviour at a recent Elton John concert. </p> <p>Meldrum issued an apology for the <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/entertainment/music/a-naughty-boy-who-needs-a-new-belt-molly-meldrum-s-excuse-for-mooning-elton-john-s-crowd" target="_blank" rel="noopener">“faulty belt buckle” incident</a>, telling the <em>Herald Sun</em> that he “shouldn’t have ventured on stage, but I just wanted to tell Elton that I loved him. Some people thought it was part of the show. It wasn’t. Elton had no idea I was going to jump on stage. Elton might have been singing The Bitch Is Back but it was more a case of the idiot is back.”</p> <p>Now Johnson has revealed something of a rift between himself and Meldrum – whom he portrayed in the 2016 miniseries “Molly”, and was rewarded for his efforts with a coveted Gold Logie. </p> <p>It was during that 2017 Gold Logie acceptance speech that Meldrum mounted the stage and stole Johnson’s “million-dollar moment” when he was trying to raise funds for cancer, which claimed the life of his sister Connie.</p> <p>Johnson told hosts Larry Emdur and Kylie Gillies that he has not said a word to Meldrum since that incident.</p> <p>“I’ll never speak to him again. He cost my charity a million dollars that night</p> <p>“I want to do him a service, not a disservice. I am a little bit uneasy talking about this.</p> <p>“Firstly, thank you, Molly. He has helped me out of a legal pickle and I’ve known him for 20 years. He visited my sister in hospital when she was sick with cancer when she was 11 in the 1980s.</p> <p>“I am really grateful for everything Molly has done in our lives. But at the same time, when I won the Gold Logie I was about to have my million-dollar moment and I told him specifically not to come on stage. He was not nominated, it was my moment.</p> <p>“I wanted to make it about cancer and he wanted to make it about the network. He ended up coming up at the Gold Logies and it was my million-dollar moment gone wrong,” Johnson fumed.</p> <p>“It was an absolute catastrophe. He warbled in a very drunken fashion for eight whole minutes. Now I have seen him do it again at the Elton John concert. Maybe it is time to hang up your hat, mate. I hope he is OK.”</p> <p>Johnson also made it very clear that he did not believe Molly’s excuse and apology. “I thought his apology was false. I don’t believe it was a wardrobe malfunction,” he said.</p> <p>“I believe that if it was a wardrobe malfunction, we would have seen his undies not his bum.</p> <p>“For years, I have not said anything. I don’t want to say anything. Who are his minders? Is he OK? He should not be allowed out in the PM.</p> <p>“He has two shots of vodka in his coffee in the morning. If I want to make any sense out of him, I need to see him before midday. Stop, Molly, stop!”</p> <p><em>Images: Seven / Twitter</em></p>

TV

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"An arts engagement that’s changed their life": the magic of arts and health

<p>In 2007, a life-changing encounter at South Australia’s Flinders Medical Centre became the catalyst and symbol for a national arts and health movement. </p> <p>A young woman, Becky Corlett, was being transported through the hospital where an artist-in-residence, Rebecca Cambrell, was painting a mural. Becky had suffered a stroke and cardiac failure. She had stopped eating and was non-responsive even to family. When Becky passed the mural, however, she made a noise of interest. </p> <p>Cambrell instinctively drew Becky closer and gave her a paint brush. To everyone’s surprise, Becky started adding dabs of paint to the canvas, and then she smiled. The wonder of this moment only dawned on Cambrell when she turned around. </p> <p>“Her parents were convinced that the moment she touched that paintbrush, something was triggered inside Becky that made her want to live”, remembers Cambrell.</p> <p>Becky’s story is just one of many collected in our new report <a href="https://apo.org.au/node/321047">Telling the Story of Arts in Health in South Australia</a>.</p> <h2>What is ‘arts and health’?</h2> <p>Arts and health is broadly defined as using arts practice to deliver health outcomes, be they specifically targeted interventions or general wellbeing benefits. </p> <p>Arts and health work comes in many forms. It can be <a href="https://statetheatrecompany.com.au/shows/euphoria/">play</a> about mental health issues in rural areas. It can be a <a href="https://www.visualisingmentalhealth.com/">university competition</a> to design solutions to community wellbeing challenges. It can be the <a href="https://celsus.net.au/a-hospital-within-a-park/">integration</a> of art throughout an entire hospital to create a calming environment.</p> <p>In an interview with us, design researcher Jane Andrew said the breadth of arts and health work means participant involvement can range “from passively viewing to making to being in the environment”. </p> <p>The benefits are diverse. A <a href="https://www.who.int/europe/publications/i/item/9789289054553">2019 World Health Organisation study</a> looking at over 900 peer-reviewed publications found arts and health can do everything from encouraging health-promoting behaviours to supporting end-of-life care.</p> <p>The diversity of the arts and health field is represented by the perspectives of our report’s 47 interviewees. We spoke to arts therapists, managers of hospital-based arts and health programs, government arts agency staff, CEOs of local health networks and former ministers. We asked them about their past experiences with arts and health, the present challenges and opportunities for the field, and how best to advance this work in the future.</p> <h2>Art and health in Australia</h2> <p>Although benefits of the arts to health have been recognised <a href="https://academic.oup.com/book/9415/chapter/156246455">for millennia</a>, the formal field of arts and health work <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17533010903421484">first emerged</a> across South Australia and the rest of the nation through the community arts movement of the 1970s and the rise of health promotion in the 1980s. </p> <p>The establishment of the Flinders Medical Centre’s Arts in Health program in the late 1990s provided a major step for the field into health settings, and the program remains an <a href="https://anmj.org.au/the-art-of-healing-inside-flinders-medical-centres-pioneering-arts-in-health-program/">innovative leader today</a>. </p> <p>The former director of the program, Sally Francis, recalled how, “on a regular basis” the program would have “three, four, five stories of someone who has been critically ill and had an arts engagement that’s changed their life.”</p> <p>But Becky Corlett’s story had, as Francis describes it, a “huge and far-reaching effect” on arts and health in Australia. Days after Becky’s first painting experience, former South Australian Minister of Health and Assistant Arts Minister, John Hill, visited the hospital "I was just walking along, and I saw the painting going on and there was this little girl busily doing art. […] Her parents came up to me and had tears in their eyes. […] She was reconnected with life."</p> <p>Inspired by this encounter, Hill and Francis led a push to have arts and health formally recognised by the state and then federal government. The <a href="https://www.arts.qld.gov.au/images/documents/artsqld/Research/National-Arts-and-Health-Framework-May-2014.pdf">National Arts and Health Framework</a> was officially endorsed in 2014. </p> <p>This historic statement declared the Australian federal, state and territory governments’ recognition of and support for the field. The framework aimed to raise awareness of arts and health, and to encourage government departments and agencies across the country to integrate arts and health work into their services. </p> <p>However, it did not make any funding or legislative requests, meaning no permanent arts and health policy followed its endorsement.</p> <h2>What next for arts and health?</h2> <p>Next year marks ten years since the framework’s endorsement. </p> <p>While there is continuing good work in this space across the country, our interviewees believe arts and health remains underutilised. Community artist Lisa Philip-Harbutt told us there is a lack of “connection between all the various things that people are doing” – different arts and health projects often aren’t speaking to each other.</p> <p>To regain momentum for the field, interviewees recommend developing educational pathways for prospective arts and health workers, conducting a review and update of the National Arts and Health Framework to embed it in policy, and establishing research partnerships between universities and arts and health programs. </p> <p>The hope is that the next generation of leaders will be inspired by witnessing arts and health’s life-changing power. </p> <p>According to Deborah Mills, a key driver of the National Arts and Health Framework, "If you want passionate advocates, they have to have a visceral understanding of what creative activity does."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/an-arts-engagement-thats-changed-their-life-the-magic-of-arts-and-health-196212" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

Art

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5 magical destinations to spend Christmas

<p>Here are the five best places to spend Christmas around the world. If you can’t be home for Christmas this year, one of these locations would do nicely!</p> <p><strong>1. Niseko, Japan</strong></p> <p>For a guaranteed white Christmas without the 24-hour flight to get there, Niseko should be on your Christmas list. The resort, on the northern island of Hokkaido, is considered the powder capital of the world and you’ll get fresh snow virtually every day. Even if you’re not a skier, you can soak up the Japanese onsen culture, dine at the Michelin star restaurants and indulge in a little après ski.</p> <p><strong>2. Bruges, Belgium</strong></p> <p>Europe’s best-preserved medieval city oozes charm from every cobblestone. Walk through the snow-dusted streets, inhaling the scent of praline and warm waffles, stopping in at one of the many chocolatiers to warm up with a cup of hot chocolate. A small ice rink and Christmas market take over the central square, creating one of travel’s most snappable moments.</p> <p><strong>3. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil</strong></p> <p>Aussies are so accustomed to a warm holiday season that a trip to the snow might be too much to handle. So head straight across the Pacific to South America and the buzzing beachside beauty of Rio. Brazil is the world’s largest Catholic nation, so Christmas is a big deal. The world’s largest floating Christmas tree sits in the harbour, bedecked with thousands of twinkling lights, and the whole city is in a festive mood.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ahytoTd8vHo" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p><strong>4. Salzburg, Austria</strong></p> <p>One of Europe’s great Christmas market hubs, the markets here date back to the 15<sup>th</sup> century. The main market runs for the month before Christmas and sits right in front of the grand Cathedral of Salzburg. Other markets are dotted around the city, like the Advent Market in Hellburn that has an oversized advent calendar as the centerpiece.</p> <p><strong>5. Rome, Italy</strong></p> <p>Midnight mass inside St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican is a one of a kind Christmas experience that you will never forget. An enormous tree is set up in the middle of St Peter’s Square and there’s also a television screen broadcasting the mass inside if you can’t get a seat. The Christmas season lasts for a full month in Italy, so you will be able to participate in a number of religious ceremonies leading up to the day.</p> <p><em>Image: Getty Images</em></p>

International Travel

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"OMG that's Nicole Kidman!": Magic moment at Hugh Jackman's Broadway fundraiser

<p dir="ltr">Nicole Kidman surprised fans when she appeared at fellow Aussie Hugh Jackman’s Broadway show. </p> <p dir="ltr">The actress attended New York's The Winter Garden Theatre to watch Hugh’s <em>The Music Man</em> show and was ready to dig deep into her pockets to support a charity. </p> <p dir="ltr">During a break in the show, Hugh came back on stage and announced that he will be auctioning off his signed hat.</p> <p dir="ltr">The winning bidder will see their proceeds going to Broadway Cares – a nonprofit US organisation that helps provide medicine, health care, and meals to those in need. </p> <p dir="ltr">As the bidding started, Nicole could be heard offering a huge US$100,000 (AU$150,000) for the hat and was met with cheering from the crowd. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CldqPWVOr1z/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CldqPWVOr1z/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Hugh Jackman (@thehughjackman)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Nicole won the bid and made her way to the stage as the crowd applauded her generosity. </p> <p dir="ltr">Later on Instagram, Hugh thanked her for her generosity in a post that showed him handing over the hat to her. </p> <p dir="ltr">“The generosity and love emanating from @nicolekidman leaves me speechless. Thank you Nic for your friendship and support! @musicmanbway @nicholastheward @bcefa,” he wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">She replied: “Darling Hugh, To my friend of 30 years. Right back at you such a generous gorgeous man, it was a brilliant night in the theatre and an honor to be able to donate to @bcefa! + Congratulations to the talented cast.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>Check out the amazing moment in full <a href="https://celebrity.nine.com.au/latest/nicole-kidman-hugh-jackman-the-music-man-broadway-show-bids-150000-for-hat/5d6a88fc-a056-4d33-9a66-a66e41c3ddb9" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>. </strong></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Instagram</em></p>

Caring

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“His music lives on”: Legendary UK rocker dies aged 75

<p dir="ltr"><em>Game of Thrones</em> actor and guitarist Wilko Johnson has died aged 75.</p> <p dir="ltr">The beloved actor played Ser Ilyn Payne in the popular series but had found fame earlier as guitarist in the band Dr Feelgood.</p> <p dir="ltr">His devastated band mates released a statement announcing the heartbreaking news.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This is the announcement we never wanted to make, &amp; we do so with a very heavy heart: Wilko Johnson has died,” the statement read.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He passed away at home on Monday 21st November. Thank you for respecting the family’s privacy at this very sad time. RIP Wilko Johnson.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Before his rise to fame, Johnson worked as an English teacher before forming a band with some of his friends.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">This is the announcement we never wanted to make, &amp; we do so with a very heavy heart: Wilko Johnson has died. He passed away at home on Monday 21st November. Thank you for respecting the family's privacy at this very sad time. RIP Wilko Johnson.<br />(Image: Leif Laaksonen) <a href="https://t.co/1cRqyi9b9X">pic.twitter.com/1cRqyi9b9X</a></p> <p>— Wilko Johnson (@wilkojohnson) <a href="https://twitter.com/wilkojohnson/status/1595358840400248832?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 23, 2022</a></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">The group rose to fame and eventually Johnson was cast as Ser Ilyn Payne in <em>Game of Thrones</em> in 2011.</p> <p dir="ltr">He was initially meant to be a guest star in the first season but reappeared in the second season.</p> <p dir="ltr">Unfortunately he was phased out of the show following a terminal pancreatic cancer diagnosis in 2013 and was given only 10 months to live.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I suddenly found myself in a position where nothing matters anymore," Johnson told the Associated Press in 2013.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I'm a miserable so-and-so normally. ... I'd be worrying about the taxman or all the things that we worry about that get in the way of the real things.</p> <p dir="ltr">“And suddenly it doesn't matter. All of that doesn't matter.</p> <p dir="ltr">"You walk down the street and you feel intensely alive. You're, 'Oh, look at that leaf!′ You're looking around and you think, 'I'm alive. Ain't it amazing?'"</p> <p dir="ltr">Johnson is survived by his sons Simon and Matthew and grandson Dylan.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

News

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Using a dental scanner on corals like a “magic wand”

<p>Dr Kate Quigley’s trip to the dentist might have revolutionised coral reef research.</p> <p>The intra-oral dental scanner her dentist was using turned out to be the perfect thing for scanning baby corals and learning critical information about their growth.</p> <p>“Baby corals and teeth are actually not too different. They’re both wet,” says Quigley, now a senior research scientist at the Minderoo Foundation.</p> <p>“Which might not seem like a big deal – but if you’re scanning something, that creates diffraction. […] Having tech that can work in a wet environment and handle a texture that’s wet, is actually really important.”</p> <p>There are a few other things that bring dental scanners and coral together, too.</p> <p>“The properties of teeth and baby coral skeletons are very similar. They’re calcium-based, slightly different, but similar enough that the resolution of the laser was tailored to coral skeletons, just by accident,” says Quigley.</p> <p>While conducting research at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and James Cook University, Quigley managed to get one of the tooth-scanning devices she’d seen at the dentist (the ITero Element 5D Flex), and test it on corals.</p> <p>Quigley has published a description of the new method in Methods in Ecology and Evolution.</p> <p>Monitoring coral growth is key to restoring and preserving it.</p> <p>“Growth and survival are really the currency of any monitoring program. It doesn’t matter what organism you’re looking at,” says Quigley.</p> <p>But it’s very difficult to monitor the growth of corals – because of their shape and size.</p> <p>“How most coral growth studies are done is really just taking 2D flat images. And that works really well when the coral is really young, say a month or two months, because they’re like little flat pancakes,” says Quigley.</p> <p>As they grow, corals develop very complex three-dimensional structures. Scanning these structures is time-consuming, and often destructive: the coral has to be killed in order to be scanned.</p> <p>The dental scanner takes quick, harmless scans and uses AI to combine the images into a 3D picture almost immediately.</p> <p>“Instead of taking all day and into the night, it takes two minutes,” says Quigley.</p> <p>It also provides better detail.</p> <p>“Baby corals start off really small. They’re almost invisible,” says Quigley.</p> <p>“Being able to measure those really fine scale differences, smaller than a millimetre, was also really important.”</p> <p>Quigley describes the scanner as “effectively a magic wand”.</p> <p>So far, the scanner’s been shown to work in a lab (at AIMS National Sea Simulator) and in the field – on a boat above the water.</p> <p>Unfortunately, it’s not waterproof enough to take diving. Yet.</p> <p>Quigley hopes it will become a regular tool used by coral researchers and restorers.</p> <p>“If we are thinking about scaling up reef restoration in the future we’re going to need a way to measure and monitor these individuals more effectively. It wouldn’t be sustainable if it’s one individual a day.”</p> <p>Quigley says that this discovery demonstrates the importance of thinking laterally.</p> <p>“In science I feel like there’s less and less room to just be creative anymore,” she says.</p> <p>“This has been a really interesting time for me – to dabble in dentistry and look at all the tech that’s available and may be useful in conservation.”</p> <p><strong>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/nature/coral-dental-scanner/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">cosmosmagazine.com</a> and was written by Ellen Phiddian.</strong></p> <p><em>Images: Shutterstock</em></p>

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